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post #35611 of 37396
I hate crowds, and generally dislike people, so I'm all in on the "avoid landmarks" sentiment.
post #35612 of 37396
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcmeyer View Post


I'm actually not one to typically plan much in the way of an itinerary when I travel, beyond where I'll be sleeping

 

I'm the same way when I travel alone. My wife is an obsessive planner, however. I heard her talking to herself before we went out one day saying "Is there anything else we could possibly need?" Anything else we could POSSIBLY need... And she meant it, too. If it's just me I'll stumble out of my hotel and walk until I see something interesting. 

post #35613 of 37396
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarbutch View Post

Having taken both approaches to, say, NYC, I think you should strike a balance. [...]

 

People should travel in whatever way gives them the most pleasure.  Me, when I’m travelling for pleasure, I like to travel alone with as little a pre-planned itinerary as possible.  I also like returning to places I’ve been before and settling in for a while, living as much like a native as possible.  Other people like to be on the move, collecting sites the way some of us collect ties.  Whatever makes you happy, do more of that.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarbutch View Post

[...] Using mimo's example of the Statue of Liberty, I went for the first time in 2014 with my boys. It always seemed like a big hassle to devote most of a day to it, so I'd always skipped it. It was amazing, and no picture or video could convey its essence. Same with Ellis Island. The Empire State Building, however, was neat but not essential.

I trust that jcm will find his level and have a wonderful trip.

 

Regarding the Statue of Liberty, I can say that I was born and spent most of my life until my early twenties within one hour of NYC but never visited it until years later when I was probably in my thirties and someone I knew in the film business rented a deck on one of the Circle Line cruise ships for his wedding reception.   At night, viewed right up close from the water with floodlights lighting it from the base, craning your neck to look up at it in all its immensity, it’s awesome in the original sense of the term.

 

I suppose while travelling it’s worth considering living like a native for a bit, and when staying at home it’s worth looking at it from time to time through the eyes of a visitor.

 

Have a good trip.

 

Cheers,

 

Ac

post #35614 of 37396
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcmeyer View Post


Thanks CM, and everyone else. I'm actually not one to typically plan much in the way of an itinerary when I travel, beyond where I'll be sleeping, but for this one I'm doing a bit more research because I feel like a fish out of water, culturally-speaking. Especially if I end up going alone. That said, going alone means I'd have even less of a schedule to keep. But trust in the fact that I will be doing a lot of random wandering around, stuffing my face, drinking whiskey, buying too much, and generally taking it in.

Oh and I'll probably take a selfie or two.

 

For what it is worth, English proficiency in Japan is frustratingly poor. And the Japanese language is difficult to learn. Add the cultural differences, and sometimes just ordering a cup of coffee will be a big hassle. Charming at first, but starts to grate towards the end of a long and hectic trip. On top of that, the lack of actual space- just look at the size of the seats in any coffee joint or bar or even bus stops!

 

We have a slight advantage because we can identify and memorise Chinese characters for street names, stations, buildings, in order to orientate ourselves. Otherwise it would be...ummm....nightmarish.

 

But dont let us put you off. Japan is a beautiful place. It is much more technologically advanced than I had expected. For example, in the streets of Shinjuku, they have parking sensors with some sort of vehicle identification, so that one cannot just drive out of the carspace and then reverse back into the same carspace again to reactivate the timer. Japanese art is exquisite, from simple things like wall murals, pottery, embroidery, architecture, to their artisanal rice wines. Tokyo is clean as a whistle, as in rubbish free. In the Narita airport carpark, I saw not a single piece of detritus, no Coke cans, no cigarette stubs, no confectionary wrappings, nada, nothing- just pristine.

 

All the above is just a shorthand way to say that there is much to like and explore in Tokyo alone than many visitors would expect.

 

Look forward to the selfies...and possible new Ring Jackets....perhaps some Japanese bespoke shoes...and don't forget Japanese denim!

post #35615 of 37396
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caustic Man View Post

If it's just me I'll stumble out of my hotel and walk until I see something interesting. 

Often the best type of holidays.
post #35616 of 37396
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarbutch View Post

The Empire State Building, however, was neat but not essential.

 

What an excellent discussion this has become.

 

I went to the ESB once.  A friend of mine was working on the 73rd floor and I hadn't seen him for ages, so took the chance to catch up during a brief visit.  I couldn't be bothered to go to the top, and I wanted a coffee.  So we went to the shitty Starbucks in the basement.  Therefore, I have visited the bottom of the Empire State Building. Not excellent, but true. :)

post #35617 of 37396
I've been to NY twice. Never even considered the statue thing.
post #35618 of 37396
I echo the sentiment of the ESB. I went once when I visited NYC and now that I live here, haven't been back inside. I agree the Statue/Ellis Island is worth the trip, especially if you have interests in history or various cultures.

Been to Japan once and it also amazed me how clean it was when I was there. At the hotel, staff with white gloves were using tongs to pick up dirt off the floor. Unfortunately I was with family on a tour so I couldn't really check out the clothing wares but hopefully next time I will.

I've never been to London and my wife agreed I could camp out at Savile, Jermyn, and even take a trip to Northampton. icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif
post #35619 of 37396
Quote:
Originally Posted by mimo View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarbutch View Post

The Empire State Building, however, was neat but not essential.

What an excellent discussion this has become.

I went to the ESB once.  A friend of mine was working on the 73rd floor and I hadn't seen him for ages, so took the chance to catch up during a brief visit.  I couldn't be bothered to go to the top, and I wanted a coffee.  So we went to the shitty Starbucks in the basement.  Therefore, I have visited the bottom of the Empire State Building. Not excellent, but true. smile.gif

I went to the Ripley's Believe It Or Not museum in the ESB when I was a kid. At least, my recollection is that it was in the ESB...
post #35620 of 37396
Agree about the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Enjoyed both as a tourist many years ago.

Also enjoyed going up the Empire State, but not something you would need to do twice that's for sure.
post #35621 of 37396
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarbutch View Post


I went to the Ripley's Believe It Or Not museum in the ESB when I was a kid. At least, my recollection is that it was in the ESB...

 

I remember one in Times Square.  Never went there, though as a little kid I wanted to, of course.

 

Cheers,

 

Ac

post #35622 of 37396

For those wanting to get some of the Statue of Liberty experience without the time commitment, cost, and hassle, jump on the Staten Island Ferry. It's free, you get great views of the statue and Manhattan, and there are 4$ tallboys on board. Can't beat it.

post #35623 of 37396
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkside View Post

For those wanting to get some of the Statue of Liberty experience without the time commitment, cost, and hassle, jump on the Staten Island Ferry. It's free, you get great views of the statue and Manhattan, and there are 4$ tallboys on board. Can't beat it.

I have fond memories of doing exactly that.
post #35624 of 37396
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkside View Post
 

For those wanting to get some of the Statue of Liberty experience without the time commitment, cost, and hassle, jump on the Staten Island Ferry. It's free, you get great views of the statue and Manhattan, and there are 4$ tallboys on board. Can't beat it.

 

Noted.

post #35625 of 37396
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkside View Post

For those wanting to get some of the Statue of Liberty experience without the time commitment, cost, and hassle, jump on the Staten Island Ferry. It's free, you get great views of the statue and Manhattan, and there are 4$ tallboys on board. Can't beat it.

True. I did that 2010 as S of L was closed!
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