Hear about travel to New York City as the Amateur Traveler talks to Rebecca Shoval from Not Just Tourists NYC about her adopted home in the city that never sleeps.
Why should you go to New York City?
Rebecca says, “I think someone should come to New York for so many reasons. I think it’s this incredibly vibrant place. It exudes life and I find walking around the city, it really just gives you energy. It’s also this vibrant multicultural place where you can really see the way that there’s so much commitment to the city and to the culture and to people really living in something resembling harmony next to each other… or at least ignoring each other and not getting in each other’s business. There are so many different things to do.”
Rebecca says that the city has changed since COVID-19. She highlights how the city has recovered and transformed from the pandemic’s impacts, offering a unique perspective on what makes New York a vibrant and dynamic place.
Rebecca recommends exploring different boroughs and neighborhoods within New York City. The city’s diversity is reflected in its various neighborhoods, each with its own cultural influences and attractions. She particularly recommends Queens, known for its ethnic neighborhoods like Jackson Heights and Flushing, offering immersive food tours and unique experiences.
Public transportation is an essential part of the New York experience. Rebecca emphasizes the convenience of using apps like MyMTA, MTA Bus Time, and Train Time to navigate the city’s extensive subway, bus, and train systems. The ease of using Apple Pay or Samsung Pay to access public transit now makes travel efficient and hassle-free.
The Staten Island Ferry offers stunning views of the Statue of Liberty, Southern Manhattan, Brooklyn, and New Jersey. It’s a free ferry that provides a unique and picturesque perspective of iconic landmarks. Rebecca suggests taking this ferry to get a feel for the city’s beauty from the water.
The Tenement Museum provides insights into New York’s immigrant history, showcasing how various ethnic communities lived and worked. She would recommend that museum or the New York Historical Society instead of a trip to the World Trade Center Memorial for those interested in history.
Walking across iconic bridges like the Brooklyn Bridge and Williamsburg Bridge provides breathtaking city views. Additionally, taking city ferries offers an alternative way to see New York’s skyline from the water.
Rebecca recommends seeing New York from above but suggests skipping touristy skyscrapers like the Empire State Building and opting for bars or restaurants with panoramic views. The Graduate Hotel’s rooftop bar on Roosevelt Island is recommended for its exceptional view of Manhattan and surrounding areas.
You have to check out the entertainment scene in New York. Broadway is amazing for its incredible talent and performances, while jazz enthusiasts are advised to explore smaller venues like Arthur’s Tavern, Cellar Dog, and Somewhere Nowhere for a more interactive experience.
Try visiting parks like Brooklyn Bridge Park, Prospect Park, and Domino’s Sugar Factory, which offer unique recreational spaces and city views.
For ionic New York food, you have to consider getting bagels and pizza. Joe’s Pizza and Tompkins Square Bagels are Rebecca’s favorites. Try street food, especially halal carts which are much more prevalent than hot dog stands in New York these days. Try some cuisine you can’t get at home like Caribbean food, regional Chinese, or Burmese cuisine. Eat something at a bodega.
Rebecca’s favorite restaurants include the experimental restaurant Fulgrances in Brooklyn which is notable for its rotating chefs and wine selection. Another favorite is Little Myanmar in the East Village, which serves Burmese food. She recommends the pasta at Nona Dora’s (even the Gluten-free). Reservations are advised due to ongoing restaurant challenges post-pandemic. Use the Rezy app.
Wear comfortable shoes, carry a reusable water bottle, and bring a sense of adventure as you explore one of the world’s greatest cities, New York City.
If Oregon isn’t on your travel itinerary for this year, it’s time to add it because Oregon is a state that offers so much to do for so many travelers. Learn more at TravelOregon.com.
right click here to download (mp3)
New York City
Jackson Heights, Queens
7 (New York City Subway service)
Museum of the Moving Image
Chinatown and Little Italy Food Tour – New York City (Review)
Food Tours – Culinary Backstreets
New York Mets
Arthur Ashe Stadium
Chinatowns in Queens
Union Square, Manhattan
Staten Island Ferry
MTA Official Apps: MYmta, TrainTime
The Feast of San Gennaro
Veniero’s Pastry New York City
Russo’s Mozzarella and Pasta
Graduate Hotel New York
New York City Ballet
Smalls Jazz Club
Blue Note New York
The Back Room
Somewhere Nowhere NYC
National September 11 Memorial & Museum
New-York Historical Society
NYC Transit Museum
American Museum of Natural History
The High Line
Domino Sugar Refinery
Tompkins Square Bagels
Sammy G’s Pizza
Fulgrances Laundromat (restaurant)
I learned about your podcast on traveling from Mike omited from the University of the Pacific, including the series covering Albania, wanted to send you a quick note on your wonderful work!
Albanian Institute New York
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