Ask Joe - NYCtourist's questions and answers

Learn how to navigate New York City

Ask Joe! New York City Questions and Answers From NYCTourist

Do you have questions before your upcoming vacation in NYC? Don't worry - our New York City insider Joe the Doorman has answers. Scroll below for answers and information on the most frequently asked questions about NYC.

Navigating the NYC Map

How do I use the map of NYC?

New York City may seem like a confusing city to get around, but its helpful grid system makes navigating the NYC map fairly simple. In Manhattan, avenues travel north to south, with streets traveling east to west. The higher the street number, the farther north that street is. 

What are the districts of Manhattan?

Each district in Manhattan has its own identity, and offers something different for every kind of NYCTourist. For example, the Financial District of Manhattan is the business capital of NYC, while the East Village is home to a culturally rich art history.

Sometimes, districts are clearly marked - other times, you'll travel from one district to the next without even noticing. Manhattan districts make navigating NYC easier, and inspire a neighborhood atmosphere in New York City.

Using NYC Transportation

The subways of New York are a very affordable way of getting around town.

The subways of New York are a very affordable way of getting around town.

What is the cheapest form of transportation in NYC?

The best way for budget travelers to get around New York City is the NYC subway.  The NY subway travels through four of the five boroughs of Manhattan (Staten Island excluded), and services NYC commuters 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. At $2.25 per ride, the NYC subway is the cheapest transportation in NYC.

Click here for more information the NYC subway map.

How much is taxi, bus and subway fare?

NY taxi fare varies based on how far you're traveling, however, the standard rate of fare issued by the NY government is $2.50 upon entry, and $0.40 for every fifth of a mile you travel. Tolls and tip are never included in the initial NY taxi fare.

NYC bus and NY subway fare costs $2.25 per ride.

For more information on NYC transportation options - including NY limo service, NYC car rental, major NY airports and more - click here.

Attending the Thanksgiving Macy's Parade...

Staying near the Parade Route is a great way to get a unique view of the Thanksgiving Macy's Parade.

Staying near the Parade Route is a great way to get a unique view of the Thanksgiving Macy's Parade.

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has been a NYC tradition for nearly a century. Here are some questions you might have if you're planning on attending this famous NYC parade.

What NY Hotels are on the Macy's Day Parade Route?

Book these NYC hotels on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade route well in advance to ensure the best views of this popular NYC parade.

  • Park Central NY Hotel:  Located on 7th Ave, this famous hotel in NYC features stunning Manhattan views year round, and is one of the best NY hotels to watch the Macy's Day Parade.
  • The Wellington Hotel NY: Another 7th Ave hotel in NYC, The Wellington is an affordable NY hotel with an on-site cafe. Grab a morning coffee and settle in for stunning hotel room views of the Thanksgiving Day Parade NYC.

Click here for more information on the best hotels in NYC.

When should I arrive to the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, and where should I stand?

It's recommended you arrive to the Macy's Day Parade route no later than 7am. NYC tourists at this popular New York parade should stand between 72nd St and 61st St on Central Park West. Avoid 6th Ave, which is closed to the general public, and the official viewing area, which becomes incredibly crowded. 

For all of the best Thanksgiving Day Parade NYC tips, check out our Macy's Parade page here.

Broadway Shows and NYC Entertainment Tips

Seeing a show on Broadway in New York is an experience like no other.

Seeing a show on Broadway in New York is an experience like no other.

If you're looking for the best New York City entertainment, here are some helpful tips to know before the curtain rises ...

What is the proper attire for the Broadway theater?

While there isn't a strict dress code at Broadway theaters, we recommend wearing business casual attire to the show, especially if you're going to dinner before the show begins. A jacket is preferrable for gentlemen, as many upscale NY restaurants require that men wear a jacket. Also, no baseball caps or tennis shoes, but jeans are OK.

How do I get cheap Broadway tickets?

The easiest way to get cheap Broadway tickets is through the TKTS discount tickets booth. There are three TKTS dicount ticket booths - Times Square, South St. Seaport, and Brooklyn - all of which offer 30- 50% savings on same-day Broadway tickets. Get cheap Broadway ticket deals on the best NYC shows at these discount ticket booths in New York City.

Click here for information on the best Broadway shows in NYC!

What are the Best Comedy Clubs in NYC?

Clubs and landmarks from TV shows are also popular destinations.

Clubs and landmarks from TV shows are also popular destinations.

NYC is home to some of the best up-and-coming comedians in NYC. New York comedy clubs are a great way to enjoy fun and affordable entertainment in NYC.

  • Upright Citizens Brigade Theater: This famous comedy club in NYC has featured some of the funniest improv comedians in recent memory, including Amy Poehler, Adam McKay and Horation Sanz. For just $5- $10, the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater offers cheap fun in NYC.

Where do I find the diner from "Seinfeld"?

This famous NYC landmark is actually called Tom's Restaurant, and can be found at 2880 Broadway and 12 St in Morningside Heights Manhattan.

What about the bar from "How I Met Your Mother"?

MacLaren's Bar in "How I Met Your Mother" is the famous NY bar where Neil Patrick Harris gets his game on every episode. In real life, this NY bar is actually called McGee's Pub and Restaurant, and is located at 240 W. 55th St between Broadway and 8th Ave.

How do I get NYC TV show tickets?

TV show tickets in New York City can be hard to come by, but with good planning and plenty of patience, you can find yourself sitting in the audience at the most popular TV shows in NYC. 

The best way to acquire TV show tickets in NYC is by applying to your show of preference online. We recommend applying to more than one TV show to give you a better chance of seeing a show live while you're in town.

Some TV shows - such as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart - offer same-day tickets that are available online. However, even these tickets do not guarantee you make it on set. For all NYC TV shows, make sure to follow their directions carefully, and always get in line before the recommended time.

Click here for Doorman Joe's helpful guide to TV show tips in New York City.

Look below the fold for more Q&As including Holiday Fun and legendary NYC Shopping.

NYCTourist Travel Info

Hotels in New York City

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Restaurants in New York City

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Attractions in New York City

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Ground Zero Museum Workshop


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9/11 Memorial Museum


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Empire State Building Skip the Line


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The Metropolitan Opera


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New York Explorer Pass


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Transportation Rates in New York City

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Royal Way Limousine

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*Terms & Conditions: Offers, promotions and rates subject to change and may vary based upon date, length of stay and other factors. Some offers do not include taxes and fees. All offers based on availability and are subject to change without notice.

Holiday Fun in NYC

The NYC Christmas lights are world-famous, and a spectacular sight around the Holidays.

The NYC Christmas lights are world-famous, and a spectacular sight around the Holidays.

It doesn't get more beautiful than the holidays in NYC. Scroll below for answers to frequently asked questions about the holidays in NYC.

When are the NYC Holiday Lights Turned On?

You're likely to see Christmas lights in NYC as early as Thanksgiving. However, the "official" beginning of the holidays in NYC is the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting. This annual event in NYC takes place on the last night of November, or the first night of December, and is one of the most popular holiday events in NYC.

 Get in the holiday spirit by checking out NYCTourist's comprehensive guide to holiday fun in NYC!

New York City Shopping

New York City is home to some of the best designer clothing stores in the country.

New York City is home to some of the best designer clothing stores in the country.

Where do I find the best shopping in NYC?

New York City is home to some of the best designer clothing stores and boutique shops in the country. While you can find great NY stores all over New York City, some neighborhoods in Manhattan are especially known for their great New York shopping.

  • East Village Shopping: The East Village of Manhattan is known for its trendy boutique shops and thrift stores. Enjoy great NYC shopping deals, and find cool fashions you won't see anywhere else when you explore the best NYC stores in the East Village.
  • Shopping on Fifth Ave: Perhaps the most famous shopping avenue in the entire world, Fifth Ave NYC is home to the largest selection of designer stores in NYC. Take home exclusive NY fashions when you shop on popular Fith Avenue in Manhattan.

Click here for more information on the best shopping in NYC!