Saturday, March 7, 2009

New York City -> Planning Nightmare

The lights on Broadway shine down, illuminating those who fell in step with the American dream. Red L.E.D. clocks are tick-tick-ticking away, and they're already reading 14:39. Time to squeeze everything you can out of life, in the last few moments. And why not? This is your life. This is your time to be whomever you want to be. After all, You are not the kind of guy who would be at a place like this at this time of the morning. But here you are, and you cannot say that the terrain is entirely unfamiliar.

But how did you get there? And how did you know where to stumble on your forever journey? Everything has to start somewhere: And here, at the beginning of everything, is where I currently reside.

Open in front of me are two travel guides. Each very different, yet also distressing revealing about my personality. The first, small and laying open, The Marvel Comics Guide to New York City, and the other Fodor's New York City. The first allows me to delight in all number of childhood dreams: Reading Spider-Man comics, I had hoped to one day visit the site of all his adventures. I had wanted to view the neighbourhood in which he grew up, and the location of his first apartment.

Now, years later, I will finally be granted that chance. When finally granted the chance to look at the Empire State Building, I will not only see it for all it's grandeur . I will also recognize it as the headquarters of Wilson Fisk: The Kingpin of Crime.

And the second book? Well it keeps me firmly grounded in reality. It offers me all the sights to see, without the animate flair. It also speaks of museums, and eateries, and walking trips from station to station.

There is also a, somewhat insulting, section on how to use the subway. It offers such tips as "If you're lost, ask a station manager or police officer for help." I understand that there is probably a necessity for this sort of information - but, really? It seems like I'm stuck in elementary school, where I keep expecting the next tip to be "Don't talk to strangers, and if you see a person in a large white van offering free candy - well you best just stay away."

Despite all that, this text offered me worlds of information, coupled with delightful full-colour images. The days of buying black and white travel guides lays firmly in the past for me. If I'm grabbing a book, rather than just searching "top 10 things to do in..." it's because I want the sensory engagement and full colour delight of a beautiful text.

So for now, as I struggle to decide upon my future destinations, I will leave you with a large number of resources that I have found helpful in my planning. Perhaps you too will find them useful, if ever you are to create your own trip to New York City.

New York City - Trip Planning Resources
Fodor's New York City
The Marvel Comics Guide to New York City

Custom Google Maps:
New York City Map (Hotels, Restaurants, Photo Ops, Attractions.)
New York Hotels (Neighbourhood breakdowns, hot spots, hotels)
New York Superhero Tours (Marvel's NYC)
Spider-Man Locations (Worldwide / NYC)

13 Things to do in New York City (4:27)
Travel Bites New York - Eat (4:53)
New York City Travel Guide (51:22)

10 Free Thigns to do in NYC
National Geographic: New York Traveller
Free NYC
New York State Tourism

And of course, by no means is this a complete list. If anything, it should be used as a jumping off point. Linking from blog to blog, or map to map, in search of your favourite attractions, or most relevant information is probably the best way to go.

Also, if you really feel up to it - once there, why not make your own best of video, or podcast? If you do, let me know about it - you might find yourself added in the next update. At the very least, create your own custom Google Map. If nothing else, it will help in the planning of your own unique experience.

Be on the lookout for my outline in the next post.

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