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How can I experience NYC like a local?

Portland, Oregon
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How can I experience NYC like a local?

I'm looking to experience NYC the way locals do. Any favorite experiences, restaurants, activities, etc. that you would recommend for my trip?

Queens, New York
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1. Re: How can I experience NYC like a local?

Welcome to the forum. Have a look at the FAQ "sticky" at the top of this forum for our viewpoints on exploring our town.

Otherwise, here are essential tips for experiencing NYC like we do:

1. Take the subway everywhere. (And the bus, too.)

2. Don't call the subway, "the metro." Call it "the subway" or just "the train."

3. Walk.

4. Stay away from Times Square.

5. Don't bother with chain restaurants which you can go to anywhere else. They're usually more expensive here anyway.

6. Don't stop in the dead middle of the sidewalk to take a photo/text/use your mobile phone/look at a map. Please pull over.

7. Don't stop at the very top or bottom of a staircase. Especially in the subway.

8. Don't pronounce our Houston Street like the city in Texas. It is named after a guy who pronounced his name "HOW-stin."

9. Don't expect free refills on iced tea and soda. But you can get unlimited coffee and tea at most places.

10. Drink tap water. It's healthy and tastes good. And it's free!

New York City, New...
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2. Re: How can I experience NYC like a local?

To repeat:

Me? I hang out at Union Square Park, go to Barnes & Nobles, eat a Tasti-D-Lite (a NYC specialty "frozen dessert"), walk around Greenwich Village and Hudson River Park, eat a Basta Pasta or Cafe Loup(interesting restaurant)s or order in food (Thai, Japanese, Chinese, etc.). look for 'secret gardens (St. Luke's Hudson St, behind Jefferson Market Library (6th Ave & Greenwich) or even out to Bklyn Botanical Japanese Gardens.

Connecticut Yankee
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3. Re: How can I experience NYC like a local?

Ok, I'll bite: What's a Tasti-D-Lite? And where does one get one?

New Orleans...
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4. Re: How can I experience NYC like a local?

Tasti-D-Lite or however you spell it is a pretty junky frozen yogurt popular with middle-aged anorexics and Seinfeld fans. I'm sure many others like it as well (present company included), but it's nothing to really step out of your way for.

As for Lindzface, what sort of NYC local do you want to be? Which neighborhoods do you enjoy in Portland?

Brooklyn, NY
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5. Re: How can I experience NYC like a local?

Take away the name "New York City" and you essentially have a collection of various diverse neighborhoods. Locals will often provide the neighborhood as part of the address. "Its on Mercer Street in the Village." The best way to see New York is to take the subway to some of these places.

In Manhattan, there are many nice nabes including Soho, Greenwich Village [East and West], Chinatown, the Upper West Side and Chelsea to name a few.

Brooklyn has DUMBO, Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, Fort Greene, Williamsburg and Brighton Beach. Great neighborhoods can also be found in Queens [like Jackson Heights] and the Bronx [like Belmont/Arthur Avenue].

To know and see New York like a native is to know and see its neighborhoods. The best way to do this is to keep your guidebook in your backpack, and just wander around. To the casual tourist, New York can be a mere collection of sites to be checked off an itinerary. To a knowledgeable traveler, New York is an exploration. Step out of the tourist queue and see where and how we actually live.

Connecticut Yankee
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6. Re: How can I experience NYC like a local?

Thanks, AlicePalace. I'll take a pass on that, I think. (along with egg creams and celery soda)

Yalesville...
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7. Re: How can I experience NYC like a local?

fussyguest - have you ever had an egg cream?? I make them all the time, had one lasst night, in fact. I like them as they are a bit lighter than shakes!

As for the tasti-d-lite I tend to not eat that much soft ice cream product - also the celery soda - pretty much of a miss for me also.

Poppa

Connecticut Yankee
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8. Re: How can I experience NYC like a local?

Hello, Poppa! Have I ever Had an egg cream??? Why, Yes! I have! I've even Made egg creams! (remember Dalmayr's at West Farms Mall?)I'm not a fan. Have you ever made them with vodka? I'd drink that!

New York City, New...
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9. Re: How can I experience NYC like a local?

Well I still love Tasti-D-Lite and am neither a Seinfeld fan or a middleage anorexic. It is an iconic Ny local's experience and you deserve it! There is also a "ritual" that youget a free taste, and if you are a young thing you always get one, takes forever to make up your mind and hold up the line, then pay by credit card (probably billed to your father) :)

http://www.tastidlite.com/

Oh,you must rty it - they are all over NYc

Portland, Oregon
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10. Re: How can I experience NYC like a local?

When I'm in Portland, I especially love the neighborhoods with lots of character. Small boutiques, thrift stores, random stores and restaurants. I tend to gravitate toward the hippie areas of Portland when I'm looking to hang out.

Any area in NYC that are like this?