Wow, ARR! Incredible job planning, visiting and documenting your trip. Many thanks for sharing it with us.I have a couple of things to add, perhaps they'll help on your next trip.1. www.hopstop.com for directions. You can even specify what combination of walking/trains/buses you want. Quite useful, especially when combined with www.straphangers.org, where you can find maps of streets surrounding each station in the subway system. Particularly useful outside Manhattan.2. One thing I'd encourage you to do next time: walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. To me this is the urban equivalent of summitting a mountain. I'd take the train to Brooklyn Heights and have a nice look around this lovely brownstone Brooklyn neighborhood. Don't miss strolling on the Promenade--many movies have taken advantage of the beautiful views across the East River to southern Manhattan. Then find your way to the entrance of the Brooklyn Bridge (email me for more specifics if you're interested--also for more things to do on this side of the bridge) and start walking. It's just amazing to hear the traffic sounds fall away as the footpath rises higher and higher over the river, and to walk out over the middle of the river with views of Manhattan up and down the East River, out to the part of NY Bay that includes the Statue of Liberty... it's really dreamy. You end up near City Hall, which is another nice area to look around, or a short walk from Chinatown, where you can replace the calories you just walked off!3. Bargemusic. This can be combined with the above, in reverse. One of my favorite things to do is take the 4, 5, or 6 train to Brooklyn Bridge and walk over the bridge at sunset and then head down to Bargemusic (walking distance from the Brooklyn side of the bridge). This is an old barge that has been refitted to accomodate chamber music. Mostly they have classical music with top musicians from Lincoln Center, but sometimes they have jazz and other types. It's an amazing place, where the wall behind the stage is actually floor to ceiling window looking out on the underside of the Brooklyn Bridge and across the East River to the lights of South Street Seaport. When boats go past, the barge gently sways in their wakes (I've sometimes wondered how violinsts can manage not to miss notes, but they don't, at least to my ear). In the winter they have a fire going in the fireplace. It's kind of magical.4. Big Apple Greeters. http://www.bigapplegreeter.org/ This is a corps of native NYCers who have special interests and make themselves available to tourists with similar interests. It's free. Part of how nice we can be, as you've already noticed--and thank you for saying that!! I think you have to book this in advance, but it's probably worth looking into if you want to see, say, bead or yarn stores, or particular kinds of concerts, for instance.5. On the subject of crowded streets: walk as though you're driving. No kidding. Faster lanes in the middle, slower to the outside. Do NOT stop mid-sidewalk. Pull over to the side lanes to look up or take pictures. NYers will LOVE you if you do this. And be correspondingly crabby if you impede the flow of foot-traffic.6. One recent visitor had luck finding a reasonable hotel room here: http://www.newyorkmetro.com/urban/guides/nyonthecheap/travel/hotels.htm which I found on the New York board right here on MF.7. Visit NYC Greenmarkets. Rule is that produce must be picked within 2 days of sale. The granddaddy is the one at Union Square on Saturdays, though other days (I believe MWF) and other locations are also fun. Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn on Saturday is another main one to see if you're nearby. Check these carefully before you go--some are not year round (tho Union Square is)--and none of them are every day, some only once a week. You can make a meal out of wonderful baked goods, fresh fruit, astounding cheeses. And if you do have a kitchenette in your hotel, even better. But this is a wonderful way to experience some local color. Of course there's tons more I could say, but I'll stop here. I'm glad you liked our City and that you plan to return. We welcome visitors like you. As a native Brooklynite, if I can help anyone with additional information, please email me, I'd be happy to oblige.Best,AB in Brooklyn
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