NYC Tourist Trap Tip

Take a tour on the first day of vacation to get a crash course of the city. 
Take notes of everything that seems interesting. 
Go back and explore in depth.
It's weird to say, because I always felt sorry for people taking tours whether it be on a bus, boat, or foot.
They always seem to be zooming past the best stuff and stopping at the worst.  
But I get it now. 
My parents treated us to an afternoon on the Circle Island Cruise
While I had been to most of the places the tour guide mentioned, 
he peeked my curiosity for Roosevelt Island
It's now on my list.
Have you ever been pleasantly surprised on a tour? Most are lame!
Have you ever written/read an entire blog post using center justification? Most are lame!
This is not Roosevelt Island. I think it's Downtown Manhattan.
 Although I don't know for sure. I wasn't taking notes. 
C is for Columbia University. Teenagers jump off this 100 ft cliff! Mine better not. 


  1. That first photo of the city is the west side of Manhattan near 57th Street, not downtown.

    1. hahah you're awesome!! thanks!!

    2. Yep, that triangle building was right near my old apartment in Hell's Kitchen. I always use it as a landmark when I am turned around in Central Park- triangle building means west side :)

  2. That's correct. You can tell by the top of the Hearst Tower (the one with the triangles):


  3. I did the semi-circle cruise when I first visited New York and really enjoyed it. I think you usually learn something interesting on these types of tours and particularly like boat trips as you always get a different perspective on a city from the water.

  4. You are such a funny writer (I mean funny, like hilarious, in a good way). I love your blog. Thanks!

  5. Haha! I am going to be in NYC for a few days in a couple weeks and am looking forward to getting ideas on what to do from your blog [i agree about most tours being lame! i've only ever done one i really loved]. Love reading about your adventures with your kids.

  6. I used to live on Roosevelt Island. It was like living in a different outside of Manhattan, but so close. I took the tram to work every day! The ruins on the southern end always piqued my interest. And one of the apartment complexes used to be a psych hospital (?)http://rihs.us/?page_id=401
    There is also a really beautiful old church near the northern end.
    I've moved to the 'burbs since, but I hear that there are outdoor movie screenings in the summer.
    I miss Roosevelt Island! Thanks for sparking my memories.

  7. This actually made me laugh out loud.

  8. this is an awesome tip! there are so many interesting things out there in the city that aren't always front and center in our minds. I live in Westchester but go to the city a lot--I still love tours. I recently took the Circle Line Harbor Lights cruise. I totally recommend it--so pretty during the sunset. check out my post: http://bit.ly/T3FHNG.

  9. My husband is from Roosevelt Island! It is a darling place. They have their own art gallery, children's theater (http://mstda.org/index.html), community garden, and lighthouse. If you go, take the tram! The views of the city skyline are fantastic. Now is a perfect time of year, because there might still be fireflies north of the subway stop. If you get hungry, there is even a halfway decent sushi joint http://www.yelp.com/biz/fuji-east-new-york !

  10. I have loved every tour I've been on. I guess I'm grateful that I've been on really good tours. The best one I ever went on was a walking tour of Edinburg. It was so good! We stopped at all these neat little places and the tour guide was so good about giving interesting history behind everything. Best story: theres a pub calld Maggie Dickenson's pub. She was hanged for concealing her illegitimate pregnancy but she was only knocked out. On the way to the cemetery she woke up. She couldn't be punished for the same crime twice so she got to live. She opened a pub across from the public gallows and heckled everyone who was hanged for the rest of her life. Tours can be really neat.

  11. In case you forgot, you wrote very fondly of a tour you went on awhile ago by yourself and got that lovely picture of you with the orange life preserver.

    By the way, in the first picture is Owen giving you the thumbs up or gun hand? BOYS!!

  12. Sharon, you're so funny! You must laugh out loud when these things come to you. :)

  13. "Piqued," not "peeked."

  14. I always recommend Gray Line for first time visitors to NYC. It's a great way to get a glimpse of it all then go back for more - and the tour guides are usually really fun and full of banter!

  15. The tour of Lincoln center is the best ever. It is not planned out at all. For us the guide was an "aging" (he was telling stories about the 50s so...) Broadway actor and he pretty much just tested which theaters he could get into and that is where we went. We heard stories of famous people he had worked, his various wives. When we got to the State Theater NYC Ballet was rehearsing and he said, "Let's just see if we can peek our head in." He checked with someone and we quietly went in too watch them rehearse. It was the cheapest tour (compared to other NY tours) and probably the best I have ever been on and ever will. Completely not tourist-y, just a guy showing you where he works and telling stories of the past. I just hope they never change it.


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