We have had a lot of excellent advice so I will just add a few points
about comfort and safety.
Nice thing about NYC is that anything goes and you will see anything.
Comfort first! I wear a fanny pack with the pouch in front instead of
any kind of pocketbook or back pack. I wear it under a loose jacket or
sweat shirt. I keep my money in a pocket or 2 and only small amount
in the fanny pack. I never wear expensive looking jewelry on the
outside where it shows when I am walking around. I dress down and
don't wear very expensive looking jackets when I walk the streets. I
have never been threatened but after I passed 60 I go with a friend.
Walk like you are confident. You can even be reading street signs and
look confident. Make eye contact. Thieves say that they are more
likely to walk away from someone who makes eye contact and speaks a
greeting than from
someone who avoids the eyes. When all else fails act like you are
crazy. All humans tend to avoid someone who acts crazy. :< )
One of my former students who is a very accomplished thief gave me
some unsolicited advice once, "The ones who walk around gripping their
purse like the welfare check just arrived and is in that purse are
good pickings. Go for the sure thing" Just be aware of your
surroundings and where your money and packages are. It is when you
are distracted that you are most vulnerable. Every summer for about 5
years I took large groups of young people into NYC, DC, and Philly.
Only time we had incident was when someone put backpack down near
themselves. This was before the big crackdown in crime in the city.
It is so much better now.
One of the fun things is seeing celebs. I always have a hard time
thinking who I am talking to and worry I will call one by the wrong
name. I was walking along talking to Sidney Poitier and almost
called him Harry Belafonte. He is the epitome of class so he would
not have faulted me but I did catch myself. I was talking to Morgan
Freeman and his wife in a museum and I thought I was talking to
parents of a child I taught. I have taught so many over the years and
he seemed so familiar having been in my house on the small screen so
often I thought of him as family. When I suddenly realized I was
talking to Morgan Freeman I was embarrassed. He thought it was
amusing. He is also a gentleman. I sat next to "Fish" and his sweet
wife at the theater. Had seasons tickets at the City Center. They must
be around 100 by now.
I have run into others who were anything but sweethearts. Some were
little piss-ants who were so puffed with their own importance.
But it is all part of NYC. I would really like to see Chuck Close I
understand that he wheels around the Village and SOHO often but never
when I have been there.
Come and enjoy NYC, wear layers, bring a rain coat/windbreaker, very
comfortable shoes, light jacket for the conference rooms which are
notoriously cool. Bring lots of selfsticking mailing labels for the
venders. I usually preorder a large breakfast from room service
scheduled to be delivered while I dress. I order something that I
can carry for lunch then I don't have to worry about the crowds/lines
until supper/dinner. Lunch eateries are crowded enough with the
regular workers without the added 6000 art teachers trying to get to
Wow! I feel like I am there already. And I don't even have my days
approved yet. Well, I have gone to conference before and had to take
deduction in pay. See y'all there.