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New York Impressions and USA general

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New York Impressions and USA general

We just returned from a trip to the USA. We spent 7 days in New York, 3 days in Washington DC and 2 days in LA. Our budget did not allow us to stay in anything above a 2 star hotel. In New York we stayed at the Super 8 Hotel near Times Square. We were rather worried about the condition of this place, as the reviews about this hotel seem to be split between good to outright disgusting. When we entered the room to our horror the first thing we saw was a cockroach. We never saw another one during our 7 days stay. The room was small, adequately furnished with a shower and toilet. The heating was turned up so high we had to turn on the air-conditioning to cool down the room to a liveable temperature. Breakfast was included in the price which included a reasonable selection bagels, doughnuts, fruit, and drinks. The only draw back is the canteen type of dining room with small little tables and at times standing room only to eat the breakfast. The hotel itself is not all that clean. The staircase has not seen a broom or a duster for a long time. And about the bead bugs in some of the reviews, yes there were bed bugs in my bed; I still suffer from an itchy back.

New York did live up to our expectation. It is easy to get around in this big City. The 7-day Metro Card is a must and a bargain at $21.00. We also bought a New York City Pass, which gives you access to 6 attractions at a discounted rate. Since we were in New York out of season and never had to que up anywhere we could have bought individual tickets and probably done it cheaper this way. We found a few 2 for one offers and the Guggenheim museum had a reduced entry fee because 2 floors were closed for visitors, which was disappointing, also the Intrepid offered a reduced entry fee because the USS Growler Submarine was also closed for visitors. If you are thinking of buying electronic gadgets do not buy anything from stores around Times Square. The will rip you off big time. We felt safe in New York at all times. Be sure you are bringing with you a pair of comfortable shoes to wear, as you will be walking a lot in this City.

We took the Greyhound bus to Washington DC where we spent 3 days. We stayed at the Double Tree Suites at Foggy Bottom. This is a very nice location only a few steps from the Metro. Of course we visited all the war memorials and a lot of museums, which are free to visit. Unfortunately 3 days is not enough if you really want to get involved.

We flew to LA where the weather was horrible; we decided to cut our visit short and return home early.

It was an interesting holiday but besides the nice memories I would not return to the USA again. I find that you are constantly being ripped off. The hotels are expensive, the quoted prices do not include taxes which adds extra dollars, and on top of all that the guest hast to chip in with tips to anyone and everyone who does a service for you. In my country, Australia where the living standard is equal or higher than the USA the living costs are cheaper and every worker is paid a reasonable wage, no tipping is required. I also found the constant begging a turn off. This was particular rampant in Washington.

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61. Re: New York Impressions and USA general

I'm sorry about your experience.

I hope one day to see your beautiful country. I had planned to come last year, but the friend who was accompanying me asked me to check into New Zealand as an add-on. After looking over the sites on the web, I changed my mind and we spent our entire vacation in New Zealand. Wonderful! Everything was not perfect, nor has it ever been on my numerous trips, but I've learned and enjoyed every one of them. I am grateful each time I get to see a different way of life, and even more grateful that I live the life I do at home.

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62. Re: New York Impressions and USA general

Okay Carpenter,

Put that hammer back in your tool belt. You'll put an eye out with that thing! ;-)

West Palm Beach...
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63. Re: New York Impressions and USA general

It'd be a toss-up for me between the funnel spider and a NY cockroach! I had one in my apartment once that was big enough to toss a saddle on. It got away and I stayed on a friend's couch for a month while my place was being strip-searched down to the floorboards. (Ever see the Gene Hackman movie, "The Conversation?" That's what my apt. looked like!)

It'd also depend on whether I got to eat any of the BBQ first or died hungry.

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64. Re: New York Impressions and USA general

Ok if you are talking spiders - give it its full name - the funnel-web spider, but dont forget the red back and the trapdoor spider - they are just as mean ! dont get me started on koalas and kangaroos.

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65. Re: New York Impressions and USA general

It's funny that a message pretty much bashing the USA gets more responses than any other subject I've seen so far. Like I tell my german step-mother, if you don't like the USA, go back to Germany!!!!!!!

South of France
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66. Re: New York Impressions and USA general

Qantas747, I travel every year in the USA, I love NYC, I have friends there (French only). I've never been ripped off, I found Americans very helpfull and nice. If you don't return to the USA, do not go to France either because it's sure that you'll have more chance of being ripped off in France than in the USA!!!!!

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67. Re: New York Impressions and USA general

It's way past my bedtime but I can't stop reading and I had to check this page with a record number of posts!

ruffian and carpentar - thanks for the belly laughs and ruffian I will keep your family in my prayers!

it is a shame that this post has received the most number of replies but just think what a difference we each can make by our attitudes and how we treat others....

Perth Western...
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68. Re: New York Impressions and USA general

I travelled to USA West Coast last year and had a ball. We are going to New York in August and am soooo looking forward to it. This site has been great in giving advise on accomodation etc. I always make the most of the country I am visiting and never expect it to be the same as where I live, how can I. Therefore you need to expect things to be different and can never rely on the weather, if its fine then thats a bonus. I feel that you probably moan about everything in Aussie as well and thats a shame, nothing is ever right. Get out there and enjoy the people and sounds and the history and of course the beauty of all these wonderful places.

Droitwich, United...
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69. Re: New York Impressions and USA general

By my count it's Aussies 0 The rest of the World 56!!

Seems no one likes a sad Aussie, but they do not mind the US experience.

I cannot beleive this thread is still active but it's amazing to see where all of the reveiws have come from.

Seems tripadvisor is a 'very useful' site, and well visited.

Maybe we should all go visit 'Quaint Arse' and then we can see what he really likes.

Keep up the good work all you contributors and the advice given is useful.

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70. Re: New York Impressions and USA general

I don't understand the anger directed at you for sharing your experiences. Maybe it is just me, but your comments did not seem to be meant to be ugly or anti-American even though what you described could be described of any country under similar circumstances...any major city, low rated accomodation and unexpected poor weather. Those are just the fortunes (or misfortunes) of travel. I do hope you return and next time visit some of the REAL sites like the Rocky Mountains, the beautiful Atlantic and Pacific coasts, the incredible forests and canyons, etc. Our history is much older than the European settlers.

I did love in Australia the "rounding off" way of tipping. Unlike many who have responded, I have been subjected to manditory tipping in USA and elsewhere and when it is automatically added to a bill and I resent it. To me, a tip should be for good service, not just an extra charge tacked on a bill. While in your country for 6 weeks, I did see some begging in your larger cities as well as other places especially where there are large numbers of indiginous people. It is not a USA issue, it is a worldwide issue. I've traveled to many, many countries and seen poor people or people who live on the streets because of their addictions in every one of them.

You chose some of the most densely populated and expensive cities...... there is so much to offer all over this country at a far, far less price. I can't imagine my impression had I only visited two or three of the largest cities in all of the vastness and diversity of Australia.... it is an injustice for you to judge my country on your limited visit. I would like to invite you to return with better research and realistic expectations and see a very different and wonderous America. We love Australians!