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Tourists, what were your geographical surprises?

Queens, NY
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Tourists, what were your geographical surprises?

Okay, I'm curious.

What are the stickiest misconceptions you've had about NYC area geography? And more importantly, where did you get them? I was thinking of this question after recently seeing that post from the person who thought she could do Niagara Falls as a half-day trip by bus, and the several people who seem to think Brooklyn is a neighborhood.

If you've been to the NYC area recently, what surprised you about the geography and placement of things? How did it change your perceptions of the area? Where did you get your misconceptions from?

When I lived in London, I could not get my head around how close together things were in the UK. I thought that for London and Edinburgh to be four hours apart by train, it had to be some crazy super-high-speed ultra-TGV train. In my mind, Brighton HAD to be at least two hours south of London, and Oxford around three hours north - how could they possibly be that close? Wouldn't they all be the same city then with no countryside in between? It took some exploring for me to realize how extremely different British geography is from American.

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The London NYC
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1. Re: Tourists, what were your geographical surprises?

That Times Square was the centre of Manhattan and the best location. Gladly I was soon corrected after doing some research before planning my first trip! I think my misconception was and remains a popular one with tourists. For me it probably came from looking at travel agents brochures as the majority are all in and around TS.

It took me 7hours to fly to NY from the UK but 6.5 from NY to SF, brought home just how big the US really is!

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Uppsala, Sweden
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2. Re: Tourists, what were your geographical surprises?

I was surprised that Manhattan was so easily walkable, I thought that it would be bigger in terms of distances. I really dont know why I thought that.

Edinburgh, Scotland
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3. Re: Tourists, what were your geographical surprises?

Don't know if it counts as a geographical one but I had expected Times Square to be a square in the way that Union Square is a square. Given that the UK is about the size of S.C. it is hardly surprising that you (and we) are often geographically surprised on visiting each other's countries. OMG it takes 2 days to drive right across the USA. In that time you could just about do the UK end to end 4 times (traffic permitting)

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Queens, NY
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4. Re: Tourists, what were your geographical surprises?

Great stuff.

On another thread, another person describes Queens essentially as a suburban town 20 miles from Manhattan. That's a really good one - wonder where that idea comes from!

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Queens
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Edinburgh, Scotland
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5. Re: Tourists, what were your geographical surprises?

I don't know what Queens is like but maybe they were referring to the character of it compared to NYC rather than the geographical location.

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Mineola, New York
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6. Re: Tourists, what were your geographical surprises?

Fundriver...and if you drove across the US in 2 days, you'd be breaking every sped limit in every state through which you passed!

Edinburgh, Scotland
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7. Re: Tourists, what were your geographical surprises?

Frank...it's all in the name!!! Ok make it 3 days then and 6 times the length of the UK :-)

New York City, New...
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8. Re: Tourists, what were your geographical surprises?

A friend of mine recently visited for the first time from Washington State. I'm from Long Island, so we spent a day there showing her different areas. She was really shocked by how it looked. She told me she expected it to be like a mini Manhattan and a lot more crowded. She said it looks like your typical suburb, but at the same time, different from most suburbs. She said there are a lot more businesses and warehouses; a lot more than most suburbs she's been to. Also was surprised at how large Long Island is.

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Queens, New York
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9. Re: Tourists, what were your geographical surprises?

I overheard a family from Texas chatting with some locals on the subway last week. They said they were having a great time, but "everything is just...different!"

Edinburgh, Scotland
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10. Re: Tourists, what were your geographical surprises?

Kind of a Homer Simpson "Doh" moment that one!