Enhance Your New York City Vacation As A Tourist With The Four Best Secrets of the New York Lifestyle of Our Boomer Friends

This is what my dearest longest (we never say oldest) friend, a lifetime resident of New York City, taught me of secrets of the New York lifestyle that will greatly enhance your New York vacation experience:

WHERE TO STAY

Stay in a hotel in a residential area of Manhattan that has easy access to the tourist areas by subway, not a tourist area.  Subways are safe.  Uber is an option. Tourist areas are crowded, being full of tourists more interested in themselves than their impact on quality of life.  Staying in a tourist area is just tolerating New York, with exposure to the noise, the smells, the claustrophobia, of masses of people rather than enjoying the New York experience.  You will spend enough time in your day in the tourist areas as you are a tourist, but staying in a residential area is a reprieve from this and comes with so many benefits.

We stayed, upon recommendation, in the Upper East Side. It was walking distance to Central Park, Fifth Avenue, one subway stop to the theatre district, two stops to Rockefeller Center, two stops to Times Square, and fifteen minutes to Soho, the Village, and the Lower East Side. We had the convenience of a neighborhood, quieter, cleaner, with excellent less expensive neighborhood restaurants, supermarkets with quality prepared food, organic, gourmet, and ethnic. And, the hotels are not as expensive as in the tourist areas with better service and amenities, including some with kitchen facilities.

To Consider:

Courtyard by Marriott New York Manhattan/Upper East Side

Residence Inn by Marriott New York Manhattan/Midtown East

And when, not if, you want an extended stay in New York, check this blog post:

Experiencing New York City For a Month: The Bristol Plaza is The Perfect Luxury Home Away From Home in the Perfect Location

Experiencing New York City For a Month: The Bristol Plaza is The Perfect Luxury Home Away From Home in the Perfect Location

 

WHAT TO SUBSCRIBE TO:

TIMES TALKS

On one of our trips to New York, we planned to see the musical, Evan Hanson.  As I had subscribed to the Times Talks Newsletter, I saw that the producer, director, and major performers, including Ben Platt and Rachel Bay Jones (both of whom later won Tonys) were going to give a Times Talk.  It was inexpensive and amazing.  We got a preview of songs and a review of songs from Rent, a previous production by the same people.

Because you want to take advantage of New York, even if you do not yet have a trip planned, subscribe to Times Talks Newsletter.   It is free.

From their website:

“TimesTalks is The New York Times’s live conversation and performance series that pairs New York Times journalists with the most creative and seminal figures in the fields of film and theater, art, music, literature, innovation and fashion.”

You too will be amazed at the opportunities this opens for you and you too may plan a trip to New York around a specific politician, interview, performer or performance.

You can view previous Times Talks on the website.  Take a look at the categories, and there is something and someone of interest to you whatever you like, and you don’t even have to attend in person in New York, and can enjoy this New York experience in your own home.  If you have a trip planned and already have theater tickets, check to see if the cast has done a Times Talks.  It will enhance your New York experience.

THE 92 Y

Just as Times Talks enhances your New York experience by providing interesting programming, so does the 92 Y.   You sign up for emails for free.  There are events, lectures, concerts, tours and performances galore at very reasonable prices.  There are even tours that are wonderful.  We saw Chita Rivera talk about her life and perform, we listened to Samantha Bee interview Mark Kelly, and took a tour of the Lower East Side.

According to Wikipedia, the “ 92nd Street Y is a multifaceted cultural institution and community center located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City, USA, at the corner of East 92nd Street and Lexington Avenue. Its full name is 92nd Street Young Men’s and Young Women’s Hebrew Association. It is not part of the YMCA.”

As with Times Talks, you have 92Y on demand.  From your home, you can watch Whoopi Goldberg and Melissa Rivers or an interview with Jamie Foxx, and more.

WHAT TO JOIN

You will return because New York City is the number one city in the world, so join:

THEATRE DEVELOPMENT FUND (TDF)

The Theatre Development Fund (TDF) is a Not-For-Profit Organization for the Performing Arts which works to make theatre affordable and accessible to all.  They have senior memberships, with an even greater discount for those of us retirees who do not live in New York!  Memberships are $40, and less if you do not live in New York.  You will save that amount on one show!

TDF members get special access to deeply discounted tickets available online and in advance for hundreds of Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway theatre shows, dance performances and music concerts.  We saw many plays at $33 to $40 per ticket, and were surprised to be in the first row in Off Broadway and in great orchestra seats for Broadway.  Sign up to get their emails.

Prove you qualify, and then you are able to purchase deeply discounted tickets to all kinds of shows. It is the type of listing where the availability changes daily, so it is best to keep checking for the days and times you want, not everything is available every day, but could be added even the day of the performance.  This membership works great for last minute people, as you never know what will be added when you want it.

Who is eligible to enroll in TDF’s membership program?

You must belong to one of the following groups to qualify for TDF membership:

Full-time students

Full-time teachers and school faculty

Recent graduates (26 years of age and under)

Full-time union members

Retirees (no longer working and 62 years of age or older)

Individuals on federal disability

Full-time government employees/civil servants

Full-time staff members of not-for-profit organizations

Full-time non-exempt employees (full-time and eligible for overtime pay)

Full-time arts professionals

Members of the armed forces

Freelancers

Full-time clergy

 

THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART

Tripadvisor just came out with its list of top museums in the world and the Metropolitan Museum of Art is number three in the world.  Other lists include it among the top museums in the world, some as the most visited in the world.  According to Wikipedia, “The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City, colloquially “the Met”, is the largest art museum in the United States. With 7.06 million visitors in 2016, it was the third most visited art museum in the world, and the fifth most visited museum of any kind.”

You can sign up on the website for free to get emails.  The website is wonderful and has so many resources and information that you can enjoy from your home, without coming to New York.

A single Admission is $25, and for their most popular exhibits, the lines are out the door and around the museum, causing you to wait for an hour or two to just get in.  If you join the museum for $80, there is no line to wait on and you go right in.  You will want to return again and again for their highlights tour, given every day, and different every day depending on the docent. Look at the website. There is more to do and see than there is time to do what may be of interest.

I have written other blog posts about this marvelous place:

Experiencing New York City For a Month: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Step by Step Navigation of the Best of the MET and Heavenly Bodies, the Anna Wintour Exhibit

Experiencing New York City For a Month: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Step by Step Navigation of the Best of the MET and Heavenly Bodies, the Anna Wintour Exhibit

 

Exploring the MET: The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is a Hidden Treasure Destination for Grandchildren

Exploring the MET: The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is a Hidden Treasure Destination for Grandchildren

 

OTHER MUSEUMS

For free, you can sign up at the website for any New York museum, and there are so many, for any interest.  You will get periodic emails about what is happening at the museum.  You keep up as if you are a New Yorker, and better yet, know what is happening so you can plan a trip.

Some links for you to explore include:

The Guggenheim

https://www.guggenheim.org/

Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum

https://www.cooperhewitt.org/

9/11 Memorial Museum

https://www.911memorial.org/

Whitney Museum of American Art

https://whitney.org/

The High Line

https://www.thehighline.org/

And, I learned about the Woolworth Building Lobby tour, which not only introduced us to Art Deco in New York but also the Tribeca area of New York. https://woolworthtours.com/

 

WITH CHILDREN?

Check out these blog posts:

Top Eight Tips for Visiting New York City With Toddlers and Preschoolers

Top Eight Tips for Visiting New York City With Toddlers and Preschoolers

 

New York Broadway Plays for Grandchildren

New York Broadway Plays for Grandchildren

 

Perfect New York City Vacation for Grandchildren with Grandma and Grandpa

http://grandmother-blog.com/blog/2013/02/25/perfect-new-york-city-vacation-for-grandchildren-with-grandma-and-grandpa/

 

Would I have known about the secrets above without a dear New York friend?  Absolutely not! Now I share my dear friend’s wisdom and experience with you.

 

Enjoy with

Joy,

 

Mema

 

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