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Synopsis: P>Fodor's Exploring Guides are the most up-to-date, full-color guidebooks available. Covering destinations around the world, these guides are loaded with photos, essays on culture and history, descriptions of sights, and practical information. Full-color photos make this a great guide to buy if you're still planning your itinerary (let the photos help you choose!) and it's a perfect companion to a general guidebook, like a Fodor's Gold Guide.
All the great sights plus the history and anecdotes that bring them to life
· Extraordinary coverage of history and culture
· Itineraries, walks and excursions, on and off the beaten path
· Architecture and art
Practical tips and full-color maps and photos
· Getting there and getting around
· When to go and what to pack
· Quick tips on where to sleep in every price range
· Savvy restaurant picks for all budgets
Praise for Fodor's Exploring Guides
"Most travel guides are either beautiful or practical. This one is both." -- New York Daily News
"Beautiful...and the depth of text is impressive." -- San Diego Union Tribune
"Authoritatively written and superbly presented...worthy reading before, during, or after a trip." -- Philadelphia Inquirer
"Concise, comprehensive, and colorful." -- Washington Post
"Absolutely gorgeous. Fun, colorful, and sophisticated." -- Chicago Tribune
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
NEW YORK IS
On the Street
A New York street can be a lonely place but seldom -- morning, noon, or night -- is it an empty one. Around 5 AM, the first batches of briefcase-carrying commuters emerge from the city's subway stations, just in time to see the nightclubbers heading for home.
A few hours later, young people make their way to school; soon after, the first lunch-seeking office workers begin filing onto the sidewalks. By early afternoon, the earlyrising commuters are already making for the stations and by dusk Midtown Manhattan is buzzing with pre-theater diners. In Greenwich Village, meanwhile, the bars and clubs prepare for another long, busy night.
Off the Street
One contributory factor to the round-the-clock hubbub on New York's streets is the size and price of the apartments that rise above them. Most Manhattan apartments are small and, except for a few rent-controlled properties, extremely expensive. Rather than stay indoors cooking in a tiny kitchen, New Yorkers will welcome any opportunity to eat, drink, and socialize outside their apartments.
Free enterprise rules the New York streets. An abundance of foodstands can be found all around the city, and appetites can be satisfied -- often surprisingly well -- without ever venturing inside a restaurant. Bookworms can shop at makeshift outdoor tables, which offer for sale all kinds of reading material ranging from brand-new discounted hardbacks to used paperbacks. Many New York apartments have been furnished by various purchases from street markets, where the merchandise ranges from eccentric lumps of junk to pieces of matching furniture.
Even if it rains, there is no need to duck inside for shelter. As the first drops start to fall, street-corner traders appear, seemingly from nowhere, bearing armfuls of inexpensive umbrellas.
Listen to bike riders and truck drivers locked in verbal combat at traffic lights, after jostling for prime position the length of the last block. Careful eavesdropping may even provide you with useful ammunition if you ever find it necessary to exchange insults with a New Yorker.
Watch out for rollerbladers who tempt death by weaving through Fifth Avenue's frantic rush-hour traffic -- sometimes they will even grab hold of passing vehicles for a free tug.
Times Square and 42nd Street
The 1970s saw Times Square and the adjacent stretch of 42nd Street -- on the borders of Broadway -- being taken over by porno theaters, massage parlors and adult bookstores. Drug dealers and prostitutes plied their trade; homeless people were a common sight, and the pedestrian congestion was ideal for pickpockets.
A major program of regeneration and development got underway in the mid-1980s, under the banner of the Times Square Business Improvement District. The now considerably transformed area -- patrolled by its own security force and kept clean with frequent garbage collection -- succeeds in its intention of being safe and welcoming to shoppers, tourists, and legitimate businesses. New construction work has seen high-rise hotels, shopping complexes, and office buildings appear, but the new-look square has drawn a mixed response from New Yorkers. While most are happy to see crime levels reduced and relish a much-improved subway station, many fear Times Square's "Disneyfication," its character buried beneath theme restaurants and major retail franchises.
Many New Yorkers are skeptical about the scheme's chances of success, happy to lose the sleaze but fearful at the same time of trading Times Square's legendary vitality for a sterile landscape of modern towers.
Battery Park City
The sleekest testament to New York's powers of metamorphosis is Battery Park City, a $4-billion project combining commercial, residential, and recreational areas on a 92-acre landfill site on the western edge of the Financial District.
Conceived in the 1970s, Battery Park City gave a new lease on life to an abandoned stretch of Hudson River waterfront while finding a use for the thousands of tons of earth and rock excavated during the building of the World Trade Center.
Like Rockefeller Center (to which it is frequently compared), Battery Park City is evolving through the labors of several architects working within a single master plan, which is intended to re-create the atmosphere of an elegant, traditional Manhattan neighborhood.
Of the commercial architecture, Cesar Pelli's World Financial Center, completed in 1986, was well received for its palm-decorated Winter Garden atrium, but encountered a mixed response overall.
More popular is the mile-long Esplanade, restoring public access to this section of the Hudson River for the first time in decades. Victorian-style lampposts and benches heighten the leisurely ambience. The residential buildings are luxury apartments.
Approximately bordered by 14th and 29th streets, and Sixth Avenue and the Hudson River, Chelsea began collecting the residential overspill from the increasingly upscale Greenwich Village through the 1980s. By the early 1990s, the neighborhood -- a prominent shopping area during the 1890s and now mixture of townhouses and apartment buildings, industry and commerce -- was an increasingly important nightlife and restaurant area, with a strong gay contingent among its residents and business owners. Many early landmarks remain, not least the Chelsea Hotel and those of the Chelsea Historical District.
As Greenwich Village moved out of the price range of all but the most established writers and artists, the city's creative spirits crossed Broadway into the less costly East Village. Unlike former commercial areas such as SoHo and TriBeCa, however, the East Village already had its own population with deep roots, among them a sizable Ukrainian community. This prevented the area moving headlong into gentrification.
Title: Exploring New York City (Fodor's Exploring ...
Publication Date: 1994
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