New York is like no other city on earth. The diversity, the culture, the style… New York is definitely a city in a class all its own. Fashion, theatre, advertising and the arts have perpetuated New York into one of the most gay friendliest cities in the world. Visitors will find world class hotels including mega-hotels and hip boutique hotels. Dining choices include superb gourmet restaurants with world-renowned chefs, ethnic restaurants, original New York style Delis, New York pizzerias and the most amazing bakeries. See the sights. Visit amazing museums. Shop for designer items on New York’s famous 5th Avenue. Take in a Broadway show. And, then party the night away at one of New York’s hot clubs. After its all said and done, you may have enjoyed Gay New York City so much that you may want to purchase some real estate and stay! (Out and About)
John F. Kennedy international Airport – JFK
JFK is located in Queens approximately 15 miles southeast of midtown Manhattan. It takes about 30-45 minutes by car. JFK is the biggest of the New York airports and handles domestic and international flights.
Newark, NJ – EWR
“Newark”, in Newark, New Jersey handles both domestic and international flights. It is relatively close to Manhattan – approximately 16 miles southwest from midtown Manhattan and is especially convenient from and to the west side of Manhattan. Newark airport is accessible from the New Jersey Turnpike Exits 13A and 14 and from U.S. Routes 1 & 9 and I-78. It is 3 miles south of Newark, New Jersey and is quite convenient for passengers continuing on by car to the north or south (via the New Jersey Turnpike) or the west on Rt. 78.
“LaGuardia”, is located on the northern shore of Queens (on the Grand Central Parkway, is 9 miles from midtown Manhattan and mainly handles domestic flights, Canada and the Caribbean. Most domestic flights in the U.S.A come through LaGuardia (there are some exceptions such as Continental Airlines). LaGuardia is accessible by the Rand Central Parkway, local highways, a ferry from Manhattan and by helicopter and seaplane.
Driving in New York City is not an easy task. If you are driving, try to hit New York City during non-rush hours. Since New York City is an island, the only access to the city is by tunnel or bridge, all of which bottle-neck during peak hours. Once in the city plan on parking your car for the duration of your visit and taking public transportation.
Hailing a cab in New York City is easy. Just stand on the corner, hold up your hand and a taxi will appear. Service is very reasonable. All taxis will have meters so you will be able to watch your fare.
The subway in New York City is very safe and easy to use. Visitors will find the subway systems very clean and efficient, however if several of you are traveling together, you will often do better by hailing a cab.
New York City has two main rail stations, Grand Central Terminal and Pennsylvania Station. Grand Central is on the East Side, in midtown, and Penn Station is on the West Side near Macy’s, just below midtown. Both are served by bus and subway lines.
Metro-North Commuter Railroad, which goes to NYC suburbs in New York, Connecticut, and, New Jersey, serves Grand Central.
Penn Station serves Long Island Railroad (LIRR), a commuter railroad serving New York’s Long Island; Amtrak, the U.S. national passenger railroad, serving many points throughout the U.S.; New Jersey Transit, a commuter line serving points in New Jersey; and PATH (Port Authority Trans Hudson), a subway line serving Manhattan and New Jersey.
Approximately three dozen bus lines operate from the Port Authority Bus Terminal located between Eighth and Ninth Avenues and 40th to 42nd Streets, serving approximately 55 million riders a year. Direct service is available to Atlantic City, the Meadowlands Sports Complex, Monmouth Park, Belmont Park and points throughout the United States. The terminal connects with the 42nd Street stations of the IND, IRT, and BMT subway systems.
The Port Authority serves as a ferry transportation clearinghouse for the NY-NJ metropolitan area.
NEW YORK AREA INFO & NEIGHBORHOODS
New York is a city made up of small neighborhoods. Each New York neighborhood has distinctive characteristic, but what they all have in common is a gay friendly atmosphere. Chelsea and Greenwich Village have the greatest concentration of gay life and The Upper West side is not far behind.
Greenwich Village: The Villag
e is home to the largest gay and lesbian population in New York City. This part of town has been home to artists and writers, nonconformists, entertainers, intellectuals, and bohemians since the turn of the 20th century. The Village is made up of quaint brownstones bordered by lovely gardens. The Village is also home to the country’s largest Halloween parade. In Washington Square Park, one will find skate boarders, jugglers, stand-up comics, sitters, strollers, sweethearts, chess players, fortune tellers, and daydreamers converge and commune. In the commercial areas, one will find hip-boutiques and cafes and restaurants of all kinds. At night, Greenwich Village comes alive with sounds from late-night coffeehouses, cafés, experimental theaters, and music clubs.
Chelsea: Chelsea stretches from 15th Street to 34th Street (give or take) between the Hudson River and Sixth Ave. Chelsea has it all – nightlife, art, shopping, and recreation at the Piers. And, of course, a happening gay scene.
SoHo & TriBeCa: The streets south of Houston (pronounced HOW-ston) and north of Canal streets are home to the city’s largest concentration of the cast-iron fronted buildings, built as warehouses and manufacturing spaces, but converted to living spaces, called “lofts,” for artists and sculptors who appreciated the larger spaces. These huge, 19th-century architectural gems (Victorian Gothic, Italianiate, and neo-Grecian among them) are prized by preservationists and the well-heeled bohemians of SoHo who call the neighborhood home. When SoHo became too upscale for starving artists, many moved further downtown to another, then-half-abandoned industrial district, TriBeCa (the Triangle Below Canal). TriBeCa also became a hot destination, most notably for dining.
Harlem: A Mecca for African-American culture and life for more than a century, Harlem started out as Nieuw Haarlem, a prosperous Dutch farming settlement. By the turn of the 20th century, black New Yorkers started moving uptown into Harlem’s apartment buildings and town houses. The neighborhood prospered and by the 1920s, Harlem had become the most famous black community in the United States, perhaps in the whole world. The Harlem Renaissance, generally regarded as occurring between 1919 and 1929, was Harlem’s golden era, when local writers such as Zora Neale Hurston, W.E.B. DuBois, Langston Hughes, and Ralph Ellison achieved literary recognition. The Depression hit hard here, but happily, today the neighborhood is well on the way to new glory days: Young people and families are moving into the newly restored brownstone and limestone buildings, and the combination of architectural treasures, crackling vitality (even Bill Clinton chose Harlem for his post-presidential office!), great music and culture, and honest-to-goodness, lip-smacking soul food make Harlem a must-see destination.
Chinatown: South of Canal Street lies bustling Chinatown, which has over the years expanded into the Lower East Side and Little Italy. The largest Asian community in North America can be found among the narrow streets between Worth and Hester and East Broadway and West Broadway; its main street is Canal Street. Within these boundaries, you’ll find traditional Chinese herbal-medicine shops, acupuncturists, food markets filled with amazing varieties of fish and exotic vegetables, funky pagoda-style buildings, stores selling all manner of items from beautiful jewelry and silk robes to hair accessories and plumbing parts, and hundreds of restaurants serving every imaginable type of Chinese cuisine, from dim sum to fried noodles to extravagant Cantonese, Hunan, Mandarin, or Szechuan banquets.
East Village: Since then, the area has been home to the Beat generation of the 1950s, hippies in the 1960s, and punks in the late 1970s and 1980s. Today it’s still a young person’s neighborhood, with its experimental music clubs and theaters and cutting-edge fashion. New York University is in the area, so there’s no shortage of clientele here. Foodies take note: this neighborhood reputedly contains the most varied assortment of ethnic restaurants in New York City. For more trend-setting street life, head east toward Alphabet City (named for avenues A, B, C, and D)- still a little rough around the edges but with many reasonably priced, fun, and gamut-running places to eat, drink, and shop…and, if you’re really getting into the scene, some very cool tattoo parlors.
Little Italy, NoLIa: The heart of Little Italy is Mulberry Street. In the second half of the 19th century, NYC’s Italian immigration reached its peak, with several Italian parishes and an Italian-language newspaper. Today, there are fewer than 5,000 Italians living in Little Italy, but the heavenly aromas of the Italian bakeries and restaurants still waft around Mulberry and Grand Streets.
The neighborhood known as NoLIta, or North of Little Italy, offers gorgeous one-of-a kind, designer goodies – bejeweled and embroidered purses, rainbow colored shawls, hand-tooled boots, and custom-designed jewelry
Lower East Side: This is New York’s landmark historic Jewish neighborhood, which was once the world’s largest Jewish community. It was here that the New York garment industry began. Today it is one of New York’s favorite bargain beats, where serious shoppers find fantastic bargains (especially along Orchard Street on a Sunday afternoon), cutting-edge new designers, and hot bars and music venues – and possibly the best place to get a great pastrami sandwich, pickles out of a barrel, and the world’s best bialys.
Midtown: Midtown is the center of many visitors’ trips to New York City. The beautifully restored Grand Central Terminal is paces away from the Chrysler Building, the United Nations complex, Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and Trump Tower. There’s the fascinating Morgan Library and the awesome New York Public Library, both of which have changing exhibitions. Behind the public library is the lovely Bryant Park, which hosts free movies and music events in summer. And what says New York better than Fifth Avenue stores? Midtown also includes the new, revitalized Times Square and the Theater District, where world-famous Broadway productions wow audiences nightly.
Union Square: As Broadway marches north and west across Manhattan it forms a series of squares beginning with Union Square at 14th Street. The Union Square neighborhood is a thriving cultural, business, educational and health care hub. Throughout Manhattan and beyond, the vibrant community is known as the Heart of Off-Broadway and is celebrated for its top-notch restaurants, diverse retailers, excellent universities and hospitals, and one of the city’s most popular parks.
Upper East Side: From the edge of Central Park at 59th Street to the top of Museum Mile at El Museo del Barrio at 105th Street, this is the city’s Gold Coast. The neighborhood air is perfumed with the scent of old money, conservative values, and glamorous sophistication, with Champagne corks popping and high society puttin’ on the Ritz.
Between Lexington and Madison Avenues, Park Avenue is an oasis of calm with wide streets meant for strolling, lovely architecture, and a median strip that sprouts tulips in season and sculptures at other times of the year. Railroad tracks ran in this median before World War I. This grand street stretching down to midtown is one of our city’s most coveted residential addresses. Once Manhattan’s Millionaire’s Row, the stretch of Fifth Avenue between 72nd and 104th Streets has been renamed Museum Mile because of its astonishing number of world-class cultural institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum. This stretch is lined with the former mansions of the Upper East Side’s more illustrious industrialists and philanthropists.
Upper West Side: Broadway, brownstones, books, and some of the city’s best bagels… the Upper West Side extends north from Columbus Circle at 59th Street up to 110th Street, and is bordered by Central Park West and Riverside Park. The Upper West Side is separated from the Upper East Side by Central Park. This is the traditional stronghold of the city’s intellectual, creative, and moneyed community, but the atmosphere is not as upper crust as the Upper East Side. Elegant, pre-war buildings along the boulevards of Broadway, West End Avenue, Riverside Drive, and Central Park West meet shady, quiet streets lined with brownstones. Much of the area is protected by landmark status, and the neighborhood’s restored townhouses and high-priced co-op apartments are coveted by actors, young professionals, and young families.
Content edited from NYC & Co.