Last year's trip to The Big Apple was a big hit, and this year we'll have summer weather and even better sights. One big difference this year is that you'll get your bus tickets on your own, or get to NYC some other way on your own. If you sign up for this meetup, you'll be guided and chaperoned while in NYC from noon until 7PM, and you'll have your subway fares covered. If you simply want to tag along, meet across from the Guggenheim when the bus arrives, or find us among the 9 million residents - we'll be the ones with cameras. Or, use the bus as a cheap daytrip to NYC and do your own thang, it's all good.
How Will We Get There and Back?
In style, baby, in style. You'll park at the Catholic Diocese in Manchester (right by the Currier Museum), and board at 6:30AM. Be sure to get there on time or download that app on all the lovely places to visit while in Manchester for the day. You'll arrive at the Guggenheim on 5th Avenue around 11:30AM, and have the day to spend in NYC until re-boarding for the return trip at 7PM, arriving back in Manchester at 11:30PM and snug in your bed around midnight.
You'll be riding a luxury coach with all the amenities on board, so the five hour trip will fly by. You may bring whatever you like, including food, drink, quiet entertainment, and can leave what you like securely on board while traipsing around the city.
Reserve your seats by calling 603-[masked] ext 108.
I will already be in the city, and will meet the bus at the Guggenheim to take anyone who wants to venture about with me (see the next section).
You're also welcome to get to NYC another way. If you're tagging along with me, it would be best to meet us at the Guggenheim when the bus arrives. You can also meet us at Coney Island, using modern mobile technology (phone calls) to find each other.
What Will We Do in New York?
You are, of course, free to do whatever you like. Hit the Guggenheim and then Museum Mile; find the many waterfalls in Central Park; take a carriage ride; get the Naked Cowboy to sign your forehead in Times Square; take in a show; hit the top of the Empire State, the Top of the Rock, or the Top of the Tower; take in the views and hobnob with the Hoi Polloi at 230 5th's rooftop garden; find Grant's Tomb; buy a diamond necklace at Van Cleef & Arpels; enjoy a Circle Line or yacht charter around Manhattan; hit Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty; meander through and figure out what SoHo, DUMBO, and TriBeCa stand for; or whatever you like.
No, sorry, you cannot visit the photo meccas of B&H Photo or Adorama, they are closed Saturdays for the Sabbath.
Or, you can tag along with me to a couple of my favorite NYC photo haunts, including Coney Island, 5pointZ, and Hunter's Point in Long Island City. You can pre-pay your public transport costs by signing up to this meetup, or group up on your own for Metro Cards (four per card) to minimize the cost of speedy travel down and back. In case of inclement weather, I plan on hitting indoor facilities such as the Museum of Natural History and New York Public Library, some of which charge an entrance fee.
Coney Island offers a large boardwalk, the beach, the ocean, and, of course, Coney Island Amusement Park. A photographic gem in the off-season, you'll have lots of color, geometry, landscape, and people to keep you and your camera busy for hours in late June.
Lots of people watching and street photography possibilities, too - on the beach, in and around the amusement park, at famous Nathan's, and especially along the boardwalk.
If you've been dying for a scary roller coaster ride, be sure to wait on line for this park's ride - the whole structure is made of wood and the creaks and groans as you're pulled to the apex is scarier than any high-speed whip around them newfangled super-safe coasters.
As special luck would have it, we'll be getting to Coney Island in time for the annual Mermaid Parade. This raucous event is not for everyone - many mermaids will be semi-topless, and last year 750,000 attended (talk about street photography opps). If we get there early enough, we will try and get into the staging area - you'll need a crisp $10 bill to get your camera in to this area, though. As with the Portsmouth Halloween Parade, it's worth it. More info on the parade here.
5pointZ is named for its proximity to Five Points, and is one of the few places where graffiti is not only tolerated, but sanctioned. Graffiti artists from all over the world are provided permits to do their craft. Good stuff stays for years, while lesser art is painted over in as little as a couple days.
There are blocks and blocks of the highest quality graffiti you'll see, waiting for you to ooh and aaah and photograph.
This area is slated for demolition to make room for apartments, so this may be your last chance to see this little gem.
Finally, Hunters Point in Long Island City offers spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline, a great park with giant cranes, interesting new architecture going up before your eyes, the ginormous Pepsi-Cola sign, eclectic neighborhood buildings, and the lovely village where we can slump into comfortable seats at Café Henri over a fresh fruit croissant and cappuccino.
Anyone else is welcome to put together another itinerary for others to follow - use the comment section or message board to work it out.
How Many Arms and Legs will this Cost Me?
Very few, actually. if you choose to take the bus, a round trip is $95 ($75 for Currier members). Subway fare is $2.75 per trip, express buses ar $6, and you can expect 4-6 trips. Food is actually cheaper in NYC than in Portsmouth, NH because of all the competition. The price on this meetup is padded a bit to cover PayPal costs.
Due to the last two group-purchase debacles (Currier's fault, not yours), you are responsible for obtaining your bus tickets on your own, or for getting to NYC if you're not taking the bus.
Find a Ride, or Reserve Your Bus Seats by calling[masked] ext 108.
If you're sure you want to tag along with me as your tour guide, regardless of how you get to the city, sign up for this meetup and throw in $28, which covers all your public transportation costs and pickup/delivery at the NYC bus drop-off. You'll also be asked to provide a mobile phone number so I can keep track of you if you wander off or Tony Soprano didn't like the look you gave him.
If you're a native or seasoned cosmopolitan regular, you're welcome to tag along without signing up here - just find us and join in. But you're also responsible for yourself and subway/bus fares.
What Should I bring?
Bring light layers of clothing, including a windproof and/or waterproof outer layer, especially if the weather is iffy or you're planning a trip on the water. It's about 10 degrees warmer in NYC than this area typically, and you can leave excess clothing in the bus if you bring too much - err on the side of caution.
Wear very comfortable walking shoes - you'll be amazed at the miles you will walk without noticing it. For reference, 20 blocks equals about a mile.
Bring cash for purchases, noshing, entrance fees, and souvenirs, though there are plenty of cash machines throughout the city. If you're planning on hitting a museum, visit your local library to see if they have free or discounted passes.
Bring your camera (duh!), plenty of battery power and memory cards, and the lightest kit you can muster. A good[masked]mm or fast 35/50mm lens is an excellent walk-around lens, and a sharp wide angle zoom will be your Big Apple friend.
Be sure to have your phone so we have a way of communicating. If you have a smart phone, you may wish to grab one of the excellent subway or tourist apps available through your app store.
Why, Why, Tell Me Why!
This is a rare chance to visit New York as a group for a very low cost. Seriously, this is cheaper than taking the extended family to the movies. New York City is so full of photographic opportunities that you could do this trip every day of the year and never hit the same photogenic place twice.
New York is not what is was when I grew up there as a kid - it's safe, friendly, clean, and full of free stuff to cover every photographer's desire. It would be very difficult to be disappointed as a photographer with a trip to New York.
If you have a question about what to see or do, where to eat, who has the best cappuccino or Hungarian Goulash, or whether it's a good idea to travel to Fire Island and see all of Central Park in one trip, ask me or one of the other jerks originally from New York, we'll gladly tell you how it is ;)