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My 12 year old son and I will be in NYC staying in eastern Midtown later this month. We'll have 3 nights - arriving by air and taking a sleeper back to Savannah.

 

We've got a pretty tight itinerary but things like the hop on hop off bus and water taxi end ridiculously early around 5/6 PM.

 

IF we wanted to just ride the rails on a $2.75 fare, in the evening, on a weekend, which subway ride would you take out of the city to see the sights & lights?

 

Which would you totally avoid for fear of safety?

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Something that you didn't me thin and also would take up a full afternoon. But I found it fun, and scenic. Take the New Jersey Transit/Metro North commuter train to Port Jervis. It's a beautiful line and includes the Moodna Viaduct which is the longest and tallest east of the Mississippi River. And I want to say round trip is only 30 dollars. So not bad. And the city of Port Jervis had plenty to keep me entertained on the layover.

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The Roosevelt Island aerial tramway has wonderful views and costs the same as a subway ride. You can take the tram round-trip (you have to get off, pay again, and get back on), or you can walk to the F line subway stop on the island.

 

Several subway lines cross the East River on the Manhattan Bridge, which also has some good views. I remember once I took the train across the bridge and immediately turned around and came back - and several other people on the same train were doing exactly the same thing.

 

I don't know much about longer trips of interest. The 7 train in Queens is mostly (maybe entirely?) above ground, but I didn't think the views were very interesting.

 

For non-train fun, the Museum of the Moving Image is open until 8:00 PM on Fridays and has free admission after 4:00. Their interactive exhibits (make your own stop-motion animation, make your own flip book, etc.) are a lot of fun for all ages.

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The Roosevelt Island Tram is fantastic - not only does it cost the same as a subway ride, but you only need a MetroCard to ride (no special card or ticket). The New York Transit Museum is also amazing - it has dozens of subway cars and has plenty of exhibits explaining and depicting the history of the NYC Subway. I also strongly recommend the High Line park, which is free and goes through a wonderful area.

 

As to the ideal subway line to enjoy the city, I would take the F to Coney Island. You can enjoy the boardwalk, as well as the original Nathan's Hot Dog Stand, and if you have time, there's the amusement park itself. There's also an the the aquarium to enjoy. Hope this helps!

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Don't forget the Free Staten Island Ferry!😊

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Don't forget the Free Staten Island Ferry!

Right. You can not miss the SIF. It's the largest ferry in the world, and offers hot chocolate chip cookies (they are actually delicious), and a wonderful view of the city (including the Statue of Liberty) pretty much the whole way.

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The Roosevelt Island Tram is fantastic - not only does it cost the same as a subway ride, but you only need a MetroCard to ride (no special card or ticket). The New York Transit Museum is also amazing - it has dozens of subway cars and has plenty of exhibits explaining and depicting the history of the NYC Subway. I also strongly recommend the High Line park, which is free and goes through a wonderful area.

 

As to the ideal subway line to enjoy the city, I would take the F to Coney Island. You can enjoy the boardwalk, as well as the original Nathan's Hot Dog Stand, and if you have time, there's the amusement park itself. There's also an the the aquarium to enjoy. Hope this helps!

F Line sounds good. Definitely planning on the tramway as it will be close to my hotel. As much as I'd love to ride the SIF, I have one of those sightseeing passes that already offers a couple of round-the-tip cruises, so I'm good there. Will probably check out Brooklyn Tabernacle on Sunday, and that's close to the transportation museum. It's website is blocked here at work. Anyone know their hours and admission on Sunday?

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I will say that I don't really recommend the hop-on hop-off busses for actually seeing NYC. They are at least $30 per person, so I think just walking around and taking mass transit whenever you need to go longer distances, is in my opinion, the better option. NYC is great for pedestrians, and often not so great for vehicles (especially a huge double-decker bus), so it's very likely that you'll be able to cover the same distance walking, but have more flexibility and at less expense. Just my opinion.

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I don't disagree, but the activities we are interested in were covered by the tourist trap packages, so the HOHOs are a nicely available.

 

We're fat lazy office dwellers, and though we're trying to condition ourselves to a few days of walking, I'm sure we'll appreciate the busses (which, stop between 5/6. How stupid for the "city that never sleeps").

 

All good information. I hope we get our full value. I wish MTA offered a daily or three day pass. Don't know I'll get 12 rides in 3 days to pay for the 7-day.

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I'm also bummed to see that the vintage subways will be running THIS weekend - a week before I'm going to be there! :(

Just heard about that - courtesy of another student who's taking it to Brighton Beach this weekend. I can't make it, which is a shame since they'll be running the rare R40 slants, my favorite car:

img_5193.jpg

 

Fortunately, nostalgia rides aren't that rare, so if you're ever in the city again, you might be able to catch one.

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Fortunately, nostalgia rides aren't that rare, so if you're ever in the city again, you might be able to catch one.

"Nostalgia ain't what it used to be." -- attributed to Yogi Berra

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How stupid for the "city that never sleeps"...

I feel like part of anyone's first visit to New York is the realization that most of it sleeps just as much as any other big city. -_-

New York is certainly more active at night than other big cities, although that is probably just due to its sheer size. Many subway lines are open 24 hours, whereas Chicago is unusual in that even 2 lines remain open through the night. Also, when I rode #66 in March I walked back and forth to the Empire State Building during the stop at Penn Station around 2 AM, and there was still a significant number of cars and pedestrians. Meanwhile, a couple of years back I walked around the western edge of the Loop in Chicago around the same time of day before catching the last Orange Line train of the night for an early morning flight, and there was virtually nobody on the streets. While I have less experience with other cities, Chicago is clearly the American city with the most urban characteristics besides New York. Edited by brianpmcdonnell17

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New York doesn't compare itself to Chicago. It compares itself to London, Paris, Tokyo, etc. Which to be fair are three more cities that also sleep. If I had to pick a city that did the least amount of sleeping I'd probably choose Las Vegas or Manila over New York, but that's not exactly a ringing endorsement. :wacko:

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New York doesn't compare itself to Chicago. It compares itself to London, Paris, Tokyo, etc. Which to be fair are three more cities that also sleep. If I had to pick a city that did the least amount of sleeping I'd probably choose Las Vegas or Manila over New York, but that's not exactly a ringing endorsement. :wacko:

In terms of world cities, I agree with you. However, many if not most Americans who are visiting New York for the first time have not visited comparable cities in other countries.

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I don't mind a city sleeping. I figured that out last time I was there - not much to do between 3 and 6 AM. But my beef is when these tourist buses stop at 5 or 6 PM with nearly 3 more daylight hours to go. That's just crazy, in my humble opinion.

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Many subway lines are open 24 hours, whereas Chicago is unusual in that even 2 lines remain open through the night.

Not counting temporary service disruptions, almost every subway line runs 24/7. I'm pretty sure the C and B are the only trains that don't operate at night, and all stations in the system are open 24/7. My point is that mass transit is almost always an option in NYC, regardless of the time.

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Agree with Chris, Vegas and Manila Never Close!

 

I've been in Queens @3am and it was like being on the Moon! LOL

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I suspect one of New York's claim to 24 hour claim is the Subway system. Until recently it was pretty much the only system that ran 24 hours.

 

Now of course, London has joined the ranks (though not yet and possibly not ever on all lines) and several other cities are preparing to jump in. As far as surface Suburban Lines go though, there already were several cities that pretty much ran round the clock if you consider 20-30 min headway as running.

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I suspect one of New York's claim to 24 hour claim is the Subway system. Until recently it was pretty much the only system that ran 24 hours.

 

I assumed it was based on the clubs and drug culture from the sixties and seventies. Humans can't normally keep going all day and all night long unless they're on something stronger than a conventional OTC stimulant. In many major cities the transit curfew is when most/all of the maintenance is completed. Not sure how New York gets around it but I guess they just wait until something important fails before shutting down the interchange/station/bridge/tunnel to fix or replace the failed component(s).

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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Many subway lines are open 24 hours, whereas Chicago is unusual in that even 2 lines remain open through the night.

Not counting temporary service disruptions, almost every subway line runs 24/7. I'm pretty sure the C and B are the only trains that don't operate at night, and all stations in the system are open 24/7. My point is that mass transit is almost always an option in NYC, regardless of the time.

 

But it is SAFE 24/7?

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I suspect one of New York's claim to 24 hour claim is the Subway system. Until recently it was pretty much the only system that ran 24 hours.

 

I previously assumed it was based on the clubs and drug culture from the sixties and seventies. Humans can't normally keep going all night long unless they're on something stronger than a conventional stimulant. In many major cities the transit curfew is when most/all of the maintenance is completed. Not sure how New York gets around it but I guess they just wait until something important fails before shutting the line or interchange down to fix it.

 

I really think that it's just that New York City is massive both in population and area, yet not very conducive to automobiles, so mass transit is desperately needed, pretty much round the clock. Of course it's not nearly as busy late at night, but I've been on trains at 11:00 PM or later and all the seats were filled up. As to how they maintain the infrastructure if the trains run 24/7, there's the occasional service disruption at night or on weekends, during which they do their repairs and construction.

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Many subway lines are open 24 hours, whereas Chicago is unusual in that even 2 lines remain open through the night.

Not counting temporary service disruptions, almost every subway line runs 24/7. I'm pretty sure the C and B are the only trains that don't operate at night, and all stations in the system are open 24/7. My point is that mass transit is almost always an option in NYC, regardless of the time.

 

But it is SAFE 24/7?

 

I would say that a grown man traveling on a subway train at night is completely safe. It definitely isn't any less safe than being out on the street late at night, especially since every station and train car is lighted, and that regardless of the time, there are pretty much always multiple people riding in each one. My point is, I would not consider the subway to be at the limiting factor when it comes to safety late at night.

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