Cafe Gitane, Prince Street - Soho

Cafe Gitane is possibly the Soho flagship of the wonderful neighborhood cafe you've one time or another dreamt of owning yourself. It's on Prince Street slightly to the east of Broadway - which means you'll need to leave behind the infamous and overpacked Soho to explore your way into the quieter and somewhat underrated Lower East Side. But you'll find Prince Street West blocks well worth exploring - not exactly jammed with restaurants and shops side by side, but a delicate selection of both scattered around in a rather laid-back fashion. St. Patricks Old Cathedral stretches through the middle of the street, presenting the loveliest view for you to enjoy from one of Cafe Gitane's outdoor tables with a mozzarella sandwich and mint lemonade at your company. Food is delicious. And plenty. One is almost good for two.

Don't be surprised that indoors are packed at all hours with a well stylish crowd conversing ceaselessly over breakfast / brunch / lunch / late lunch / whatever... Don't let the laid-back setting fool you. Hardly ever a vacant table, so book beforehand; although it seems too nonchalant a place to actually make a table reservation. But looks are deceiving. A black limo was on first hand spotted dropping off one well disguised starlet on a Tuesday afternoon. You figure out the rest.

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Urban Outfitters @ Soho

Urban Outfitters - although not a New York brand - is a must see NYC spot. Their Soho (more precisely Noho) location is the best. Get in and get lost. Urban is as much candy to the wanderer's eye as is a crazy shopping oasis. You may walk out of an Urban Outfutters store half an hour after walking in, having spilled out as much as twice your self-designated daily shopping allowance - of course if you got one. If not; then chances are high you are in some serious retail trouble. For that reason, it's strongly recommended to walk through the Urban doors having an idea as to how far you'll let your wallet stretch. Then let's just say 'fingers crossed'. You'll never know what you'll end up buying even then.

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Toys'R'us @ Times Square

You don't need to have a four-year-old brother back home whose wishes you ought to attend to, or be a four-year-old yourself to pay Toys'R'us a visit in New York. Contrary to what you might be thinking beforehand, you'll find this Toys'R'us to be something beyond toys.

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Times Square

You are meant to get to Times Square if you are in New York; it's a given, something almost involuntary and denies any calculated intention. If it's your first time in New York City, pure wonder will drive you there. Starting with your second or third visit, you'll start progressing to your own, layered 'prefer-to-avoid' stages; but whichever 'Times Square perception level' you are at, you'll find yourself gazing at the blinding lights just the same. After all - and if for the sake of absolutely nothing elseon a Sunday night, Times Square is still one of the rare proofs that New York is indeed 'the city that never sleeps'. (Keep in mind that by then, the rest of the city is literally having its third dream).

Rest assured. Times is the best place for a New York tourist to start off... simply because everyone else around you is doing practically the same. As far as anyone's concerned; finding a free, working wi-fi hotspot on Times Square is probably easier than bumping into a real New Yorker.

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Getting to Manhatan

Whichever airport your NY journey starts in, you'll have plenty of ways to get to Manhattan - without having any trouble fetching a convenient ways of transport once you land. Meaning: don't go down the lane of 'over-control' and arrange a private car to take you from the airport to your hotel - you'll only end up paying some quatro-price of everyone else who'll show up on the island one way or the other at most half an hour later than you.

You run into Manhattan buses the moment you step outside the airport. Just take that bus (~ 15$ from JFK) and try holding your breath till you reach Midtown. If you've arrived at some rush hour or on a Sunday evening, expect getting into some serious traffıc. Unless you take the 'Airtrain' (doesn't seem like it takes you to Manhattan) or fetch yourself your private helicopter; you are unlikely to by-pass that trafiic jam anyway. Take the cab after you get all the way to Times Square or Grand Central station. If your hotel is in these whereabouts, and if you are not traveling w/ some enormous baggage, you might even be able to get to your room on foot! Of course, cabs are always ready to take you to Manhattan from the airport too. Why wouldn't they be? JFK cab drivers literally drool over the 60$ you'll have to pay them (after taxes & tip) for that ride!

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