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New York City is one of the most touristic places in the USA and is visited by over 50 million people annually. Tourists come here to have a glance at gigantic skyscrapers of Wall St., and Empire State Building in particular, enjoy diverse cuisines from all over the world, see the famous Statue of Liberty and watch a few shows on Broadway. While points of touristic interest are known and the main attractions are obvious, some people aim at finding unrevealed places in narrow alleys of Madison or thrift shops on Bowery with antiques and curiosities. Therefore, this article is for those who seek for a real spirit of the mega-police and tend to explore it to the fullest avoiding damn-beaten landmarks. But first, let’s go through a few facts that an average tourist might find quite useful before actually going for an adventure. Overall, the population of NYC and its suburban areas is almost 19 million people, and it’s increasing year-to-year. While being the most populated city is U.S. there are more than 170 different languages spoken and estimated 40 minorities dwelling in the area. So, when you go to the city you always experience a ‘boiling cauldron’ of cultures, languages, traditions and customs even though we call them all ‘a New-Yorker’. I have to be frank, the Big Apple is not the most suitable place for a budget tourist though everybody should visit it at least once. According to the National Statistics Agency prices for food, accommodation and transportation usually vary from expensive to ‘How much?!’.
For instance, a business district meal will probably cost you at the lowest $16, whereas if you go to a fast-food chain restaurant like MacDonald’s or KFC you will have to pay around $10 for a combo-meal. While food and snacks can be found for reduced prices, especially in small suburban cafes, housing might make you shed a tear. E.g. renting a two-bedroom apartment with some amenities will take not less than $65 out of a tourist’s wallet. And this one won’t be a perfect vacation villa but a simple shelter for a night. Of course, there is always an option to stay at a hostel and it will averagely cost you $20 a night, or more depending on a district. But hey, you’ve come here for a New York experience, right? The best way to find a moderate price accommodation is to look it up online in advance and wait for a decent deal. When you find yourself lost in a web of strange streets you’ll most probably think of hiring a taxi to take you to the desired destination. Well, then you have to be prepared to pay $23 for a short ride. I’d advise you to find an underground station and explore the city a bit more by paying $2.75 per ride or simply buying an ‘Unlimited MetroCard’ for $32 and enjoy the Metro for 7 days. When you’re all fed, have a nice bed for a night and have already decided how you’re going to conquer the city, it’s time open Google Maps and look up a few places that will differ you from a ‘basic tourist’; and here are some suggestions.
Obscura Antiques and Oddies Established only 20 years age, the store preserves obscure items of early 19th century medical experiments. Here, you can have a glance at the evolution back-in-the-day medicine practice. The shelves are heavy from skulls, bones, medical equipment, antique clothes and postcards that you can add to your collection of odd items and mementos, should you have one. Some of the items for sale are papier-mache and were an idea of a French medical student who wanted to create perfectly realistic study models for his practice. The place is a great reminder of what came before the modern methods of healthcare. Dream House ‘The Dream House’ is not a perfect out-of-the-town American Dream cottage with neat rooms, three bedrooms and a nice backyard; it’s something one of a kind. The exhibition is created by a couple of sound and light artists who have attempted to preserve the beauty and extravaganza of late night colors, shades and lullabies. Even though the entry fee is $10, it’s truly mesmerizing experience that will lead you to a world of gleaming neon lights and unearthly frequency sounds. The authors themselves call it ‘a new media’ and ensure that every step made in the house will trigger fascinating effects and pitches of resonating tones. Track 61 It’s a famous piece of some conspiracy theory. Supposedly, the track is used as a get-away escape means for officials in cases of emergencies, when they have to leave the city before something goes South. In fact, it’s an abandoned underground metro station built in 1938 and wasn’t expected to be a functioning train station but had a different unknown purpose.
The place has been occasionally used for various train exhibitions and is sometimes seen as a point of interest for many historians who comes here to find an answer to an intriguing question, ‘Is it an abandoned piece of state property or does it have a story of its own to tell?’. Governors Island When the hum and noises of the sleepless city exhaust you, there is a nice place to have a break and behold a piece of history. Used as a fishing place by many Indian tribes that inhabited the areas in the middle of the 17th century, Governors Island is now a peaceful and quite place with a beautiful view on Manhattan. Even though it doesn’t contain a great share of museums or historical landmarks, there is still found a spiritual link to a sacramental spirit of the first dwellers. Or, it’s simply a nice place to get way from a big city life for a while. The Sisyphus Stones Not far away from the most Northern part of the Hudson River, a garden of unusual riverside stones looking upon GW Bridge. The shards appeared unexpectedly just a year ago with nothing but two signs saying their name and a warning to mind their heavy weight. In fact, the stone people are a creation of a local artist who wanted to give some company to roaming tourists. It’s interesting that the installation has had quite a history of disappearance and reappearance over and over again. Now, random people are allowed to rearrange them giving them various shapes as a token of the city’s mutability.
After a tour like this you must be starving and would give anything for a nice juicy burger from MacDonald’s. Even though having a fancy dinner is an expensive pleasure for a regular tourist, there are a few dishes that one has to try otherwise, the New York experience won’t be complete. Egg Cream Egg Cream is a nice refreshing sweet drink made, obviously, out of an egg jerk and some supplements. Loosely translated from Yiddish, egg cream means ‘complete delight or sweetness’ and does really correspond with its name. Usually made with hot chocolate, the beverage can be easily combined with different syrups including strawberry, banana, caramel or, even, carrot. There are plenty of stores that call egg cream their specialty but it’s better choose the ones that sell exclusively the very drink without tacos or slices of pizza. Chopped Cheese Yes, it’s a burger but what a burger it is! Made according to ‘a special recipe’, this dish can drive anyone crazy with its taste, light composition and softness. Normally, it’s created by mixing up sliced beef, fondue cheese, salad, tomatoes and, if you wish so, onion. Unfortunately, this delight doesn’t spare your wallet and costs from $4 to $6 per piece. Notwithstanding, if you’re looking for a real New York City dish and cannot finish your trip without one, then chopped cheese is a number one candidate. New York-style Pizza So you’ve come to a point when you’d really eat some pizza right now but you’d still want to probe local foods. Well, the solution is easy and shouldn’t be too harsh on your budget – local pizza. Yes, it’s a special kind of the Italian dish. Crispy thick crust and plentiful fillings alongside a soft topping and mozzarella on the top will make your stomach go wild from excitement. Cut in slices and served with oil, it normally costs from $12 to $23. Expensive? Well, it’s a New York experience, remember? Knysh It’s a mostly potato-filled Jewish cuisine bun that is typical for Bronx and Queens. Made out of dough, it can be cooked in different ways from frying to grilling or, even steaming. If it’s baked, the dough is covered in yolk so the crust gets its golden tan. You can choose from a variety of fillings including meat (pork, chicken), greens like beans, spinach, or you can take a shot and order a few with fruits. Whatever you decide, your hunger is to be exterminated. Half-moon Cookie A black-n-white cookie should be a number one choice when it comes to a dessert. Sugary icing on Irish bread is pure heaven if you’re scared to gain a few extra calories.
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