Safety Tips in New York City

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Most Viewed Warnings and Dangers in New York City

  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    It gets under your skin....

    by sue_stone Written Sep 26, 2004

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    Watch out - New York gets under your skin.

    We loved our stay there and really packed a lot into our trip. But as soon as we got home we started talking about going back.

    And it just gets worse.....5 months later and we still talk about going back for a longer visit, and we dream of living there one day.

    We've got it bad.

    Brooklyn Bridge
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  • chodearm's Profile Photo

    Pretzel/Hotdog Stands

    by chodearm Written Jun 10, 2004

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    Their on every corner next to a tourist attraction. The native New Yorker uses them, but its tourists who they prey on. First don't stand there with your money in your hand, ask them how much, because if they don't have a sign they tend to charge what they want. Tell the dude or dudet tat works the cart that you were just up the road and you saw pretzels for 1.50 rather than 2.00 and motion that you are walking away. They will usually give it to you for the lower price because they know you can walk one block and buy it from anther cart.
    I know alot of people who had the cart food come out the wrong end if you know what I'm saying. Make sure what you are eating isn't undercooked. I call them roach coaches for a reason.

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  • jo104's Profile Photo

    Don't leave a meal for the seagulls

    by jo104 Updated Oct 9, 2008

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    While waiting for the ferry to Ellis Island we chose to find the New York equivalent of Mr Whippy. Unfortunately the kiosk was only serving frozen youghurt which you could have in any flavour as long as you chose either chocolate or vanilla.

    On Liberty Island there is a kiosk as well as the crown cafe which serves a range of food, although I only tended to see the unhealthy number of burgers & fries on the tables.

    The warning is for those people who chose to eat outside on the patio area, there is a posse of the most aggressive seagulls I've seen just waiting to get their beaks into your meal. These birds are not shy in coming forward either and in some cases they did not wait for sloppy seconds. So do be on your guard and also remember to dispose of unwanted food and rubbish items in the trash bins.

    The alternative is bring a picnic or takeaway to eat elsewhere on the island

    Just waiting for a piece of the action

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  • ForestqueenNYC's Profile Photo

    Stay Away from Times Square on Saturday

    by ForestqueenNYC Updated Oct 2, 2005

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    This is another place to avoid on Saturday. I went there on a beautiful Saturday afternoon and I think everyone who lives in all five boroughs of New York plus all the tourists in town must have been there. I could hardy wait to get out of that area. It is impossible to take good photos with so many people. This photo is one of the less crowded areas that I saw.

    Times Square on Saturday Afternoon

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  • thetimidtraveller's Profile Photo

    Do not drink liquids!!

    by thetimidtraveller Written Nov 4, 2005

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    It took me days to finally accept the fact that the only beverage that I should consume while puttering about NY was my morning coffee and that I should use the facilities before leaving said cafe. Why? Because there are very few and far between bathrooms available to the needy sightseer. Often we would stop in a cafe for an afternoon mug only to find that there were no facilities available. Other times we would dash into a McDonalds in the hopes of relief only to find huge lineups for one messy stall. On a trip to Brooklyn I found myself in the basement of Mc's in a lineup for one of two unisex romms...and boy did I wish I had skipped all liquid upon entering that filth.

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  • csordila's Profile Photo

    Jet lag, or there is a morning in the evening

    by csordila Updated Mar 21, 2009

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    Category: Airplane

    The more time zones you cross, the more you will suffer from jet lag. You gain time flying eastward and you lose time in the backward direction. This causes a syndrome, which is not else than a disturbance in your internal clock.

    Some things you can do to avoid, or at least to reduce the unpleasantly sleepy symptoms :
    Take many liquids during all the time of the flight. The consumption of mineral water or juice is highly recommended, even if you are not thirsty. The humidity of the air in the planes is very low!! After landing switch your clock to the local time as soon as possible, and never let disturb yourself of what is the time now at home.
    If may be, try to fly by plane landing late afternoon. If you arrive in the morning try not to sleep until the local sleep time; it facilitates your conversion.

    Another frequent complaint is that the foot swells up , an oedema take shape on the ankle. Many people hardly can get off because of this. Important, that you let move the limbs repeatedly, and be strolling on the board.

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  • Bavavia's Profile Photo

    Ticket stealers!

    by Bavavia Written Nov 26, 2003

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    Someone told me today at the bus station to not keep bus or train tickets in your hand, but put in a secure place in your luggage. There are people who go to the bus terminals and train terminals and distract people and then take their tickets directly from their hands and run off! A lady I talked to told me this happened to her.

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  • nicolettart's Profile Photo

    Port Authority Characters

    by nicolettart Updated May 10, 2004

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    When you exit, you will be facing 42nd street. Go left for higher numbered streets, right for lower. You don't want to hang around, as you will see a collection of sleeping homeless and an occasional raving lunatic. Don't be alarmed, use common sense, there are uniformed officers nearby or in the building if you need help. The info booth is also manned during late hours if you need directions.

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  • AliasGirl's Profile Photo

    No Miracles on 34th Street

    by AliasGirl Updated Nov 10, 2004

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    34th Street Area is probably one of the busiest and craziest areas in all of New York City, (even crazier than Times Square although its pretty close).

    Macy's, Madison Square Garden, shopping malls, stores, eateries make this location a busy hub for tourist activity..which means its also a great place to prey on innocent victims. You'll find many types of charcters hanging around, I was just there walking through on 9/17/04 so I thought it was a great tip to share. Try to stay away from this area until early evening, that way the sidewalk will open up more and it will be less of a potential pickpocket area..

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  • ForestqueenNYC's Profile Photo

    You May Be Fined If You Sit Here Without A Child

    by ForestqueenNYC Updated Aug 18, 2008

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    9/28/05

    I just read this on the Drudge Report:
    Woman Ticketed for Sitting on a Playground Bench with No Kids...

    It seems that some parks and playgrounds in New York have signs posted that you are not to enter unless you are accompanied by a child. This is to keep pedophiles out. A good idea. But the police should use some common sense, for heaven's sakes. But since they don't, be aware of the signs and don't go in unless you have a child.

    BTW the fine could be as much a $1000 and 90 days in jail.

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  • INFORMATION YOU CAN ACTUALLY USE

    by Notcounterfeit Updated Aug 16, 2009

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    After reading all the horse manure the idiots were leaving on this board ("don't come you'll fall in love with it" or "stay away from hollis, queens!"), I decided to give you tourists the info you will actually need; you obviously won't be going to hollis unless you want to watch steel rot. You WILL be going to manhattan.

    This city is perfectly safe, and there's a few precautions to take at late hours if you want to be close to 100%:

    Thank me later.

    - When walking after 9 PM, take major streets crosstown instead of side streets. As a guide, use Houston, 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, 57th, 72nd, 79th, 86th. There's always people walking, even at 4 AM.

    - Subways are safe at night. You will never be completely alone on a platform ANYWHERE in manhattan. Just stick to where people are.

    - DO NOT get into a confrontation with cops for ANY reason. The NYPD are fond of making things up to arrest people they don't like(even more so if you are not white). Then it's your problem when you spend 12 hours in booking. If you are apprehended for ANYTHING (being loud, loitering, being drunk)- just apologize nicely to the jackass and be on your way.

    - Be VERY wary when going to Chelsea's warehouse district at night. There has been violent crime against clubgoers, sexual assaults against women, even a bouncer charged with murder. If going, avoid drugs and DO NOT get into arguments with patrons- some are armed.

    - The streets in the "flatiron" district and vicinity in midtown are almost entirely deserted at night (not common in manhattan). At night, avoid Broadway between 23rd and 34th streets, and all the side streets(24th-32nd, between 6th avenue and Broadway).

    - Enjoy the city before the yuppies ruin what's left of it.

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  • 850prc's Profile Photo

    Be sure of what you're eating

    by 850prc Written Feb 5, 2007

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    OK, I'm being a bit funny with this tip. I took the accompanying picture because strange and unintentionally funny signs are a special amusement to me.

    But, it's a good point... When you buy from some street vendors, you might want to be sure of what it is you've ordered. We've all heard the jokes, perhaps deserved, questioning exactly what animal has been roasted and placed on that stick you're considering. :)

    As for the silly picture that accompanies, I have a question... Would a "Hair and Nail Deli Salad" qualify as Atkins-friendly? It's definitely not vegetarian.

    The Hannibal Lechter special?

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  • Brisvegaskid's Profile Photo

    Catching the Bus

    by Brisvegaskid Updated Jan 4, 2007

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    To catch a bus, we eventually found out that you have to buy the tickets (from rail station vending machines) and have it validated as you get on the bus.

    We found out the hard way that the bus drivers will not accept cash for a ticket on the bus. The one we came across when, in ignorance we got on a bus without a ticket, would not explain what we should do or where we could get a ticket. And neither would anyone else on the bus. It was awkward and frustrating. She just kept saying she would not accept cash. Ok, ok. What next?

    Not her problem.

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  • davequ's Profile Photo

    Ain't many maggots, (but there's mucho rats)

    by davequ Updated Jun 25, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In the Rolling Stones tune "Shattered"
    one of the lyric lines is:
    " bite the biiiigg apple - don't mind the maggots "Manhattan imo has been so thoroughly cleaned up the maggots must have expatriated. I didn't see any.

    Did see some RATS though ---------------->

    Monday night is "garbage night" in the village.
    This means it's Mardi Gras for the local rodent population.
    The garbage gets dumped on the curb - piled high in chewy&delicious plastic bags for pickup around 3-4am.

    I saw few if any rats during daylight hours, but you should have seen them after 2am on garbage night.
    It looked like a blue-Light special @ Kmart: rats scurrying in groups & pairs all over the block doing their weekly grocery shopping. Supposedly there are an estimated 70 million rats within New York City

    Oh well, in fairness, all the big cities of the world have 'em. Here's the only rat (above right) I had the opportunity to get up close & personal with.

    I heard a young lady scream loudly just a few houses down my street.
    When I ran over to see what was going on

    (At last!! - a heroic fantasy & my big chance to experience getting stabbed in the groin with a greasy stiletto while in the act of rescuing a fair helpless damsel from some drooling Village mugger)

    she was furiously yanking her dog's leash to hold him back from further investigation of this cuddly little feller.

    Probably a garbage
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  • davequ's Profile Photo

    gentrification, Gentrification, GENTRIFICATION

    by davequ Updated Dec 17, 2007

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    - to the demons of gentrification ...

    Don't ruin all our great cities & turn them into theme parks In my opinion gentrification in Manhattan
    (as in most cities of the world like Paris & San Francisco) is out of control and insidiously robbing these great cities of their most prized assets: their character, history & culture. Manhattan is becoming Disneyland.

    When I was there this fall, some excellent small businesses had closed as they could not make a profit anymore after paying their escalating rents.

    Now I read one of the eastside landmarks is closing for the same reason.

    Stories are here:
    Hold the mustard, maybe forever

    and here:
    2nd Ave demo w/pics

    and here:
    CBGB another casualty of gentrification

    Just an opinion / question, but while kudos for reduction in crime and the 'cleanup' of Manhattan are in order,

    if this trend continues:

    if icons like the 2nd Ave. Deli & CBGBs disappear and eventually all that remains in Manhattan are corporate-sponsored "chain" / franchise businesses ( e.g. Starbucks, ESPN Zone and Dunkin' Donuts )
    please tell me why anyone would ever want to come here anymore?
    "The invasion by any homogenized culture is so depressing,
    the erection of another Disney World in, say, Umbria, Italy, more so.
    It strangles the indigenous culture and narrows expression of life."

    David Bowie ... earthling ... 1997Update: some good news -
    Per the owner of now-closed 2nd Ave Deli, Jack Lebewohl, his son Jeremy
    is opening 2nd Ave (what will they call it?) @ 162 East 33rd St
    between Lexington and Third Avenues this December 17, '07.
    Here's some info:
    2nd Ave Deli: Take 2

    photo copyright Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times
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