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Thread: I'm going to the U.S.

  1. #31
    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cupcake View Post
    There was an episode of 20/20 or one of those nighttime news shows that documented young people crossing over there to party and getting framed for things and ending up in jail, not a picnic for sure. Id spend the extra time in San Diego, you could spend almost the whole day at the zoo, and its a beautiful zoo
    Sounds like a winner to me!
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

  2. #32
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    Go to La Jolla and walk along the Cove. Go see the seals that have taken over one of the beaches. Walk along the coast and pick through the tide pools. That's what I'd do.

  3. #33
    Elite Member Chalet's Avatar
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    Yes, La Jolla! Gorgeous.

    could you redommend any CHEAP spermarkets in these cities or any good & cheap restaurants?

    Um, people...this lovely young lady wants a cheap spermarket......what's going on here?

    this may sound completely stupid to you, but i'm serious: are there any areas in these cities where we better not walk around at night or at any time? i know this sounds stupid, but i've seen too many gangster movies and e.g. our hostel in NY is a block north of central park in harlem and the people in the movies usually get shot there so i don't know.

    I live in NY and YES, there are places you shouldn't walk at night. I'm not loving where you are staying. Harlem is cool, but not so close to that park and NOT at night. Born and raised here I attribute my safety to being smart, not feeling like a victim and not walking in bad neigborhoods at night.

    I know you are on a tight budget but my recommendation is to find another youth hostel in a completely different neighborhood. Coming home on the 1,2,3, D, 4,5,6 trains late at night in that area is not thrilling me.

    is the public transportation system reliable? e.g. my guide says that buses, the subway, etc. drive 24/7 in new york, but is that really true? every day, all the time?

    Yes, 24/7 and always populated.


    we'll be in NY on independence day - what are the best places to be on that day?

    Most popular places are the Seaport (as someone mentioned) or along the East River to see the Macy's fireworks. The West Village is a blast at night and I think they make have fireworks on the Hudson River. Witchcurlgirl will know.

  4. #34
    Elite Member stef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cupcake View Post
    There was an episode of 20/20 or one of those nighttime news shows that documented young people crossing over there to party and getting framed for things and ending up in jail, not a picnic for sure. Id spend the extra time in San Diego, you could spend almost the whole day at the zoo, and its a beautiful zoo
    after all the stuff you wrote i don't wanna go there anymore. i'll tell my friend and hope she understands...

    we wanted to go to the zoo & sea world in san diego anyway.


    Quote Originally Posted by BBDSP View Post
    Go to La Jolla and walk along the Cove. Go see the seals that have taken over one of the beaches. Walk along the coast and pick through the tide pools. That's what I'd do.
    if this is la jolla, we'll definitely go there. so beautiful. but is it different from the other beaches in san diego?



    Quote Originally Posted by Chalet View Post
    Yes, La Jolla! Gorgeous.

    could you redommend any CHEAP spermarkets in these cities or any good & cheap restaurants?

    Um, people...this lovely young lady wants a cheap spermarket......what's going on here?

    this may sound completely stupid to you, but i'm serious: are there any areas in these cities where we better not walk around at night or at any time? i know this sounds stupid, but i've seen too many gangster movies and e.g. our hostel in NY is a block north of central park in harlem and the people in the movies usually get shot there so i don't know.

    I live in NY and YES, there are places you shouldn't walk at night. I'm not loving where you are staying. Harlem is cool, but not so close to that park and NOT at night. Born and raised here I attribute my safety to being smart, not feeling like a victim and not walking in bad neigborhoods at night.

    I know you are on a tight budget but my recommendation is to find another youth hostel in a completely different neighborhood. Coming home on the 1,2,3, D, 4,5,6 trains late at night in that area is not thrilling me.
    okay, that typo obviously wasn't intended.
    so central park at night is dangerous? i've read the reviews of the hostel and everyone said it was a nice neighborhood and also save. i'm a little worried right now.
    we've already paid a deposit for the hostel, so we won't be able to change it anymore.
    are there any other areas that we should avoid at night?
    "This is not meant to be at all offensive: You suffer from diarrhea of the mouth but constipation of the brain." - McJag

  5. #35
    Elite Member yanna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stef View Post
    is it true that waiters/waitresses don't get a general salary = the tip is the only payment they earn?
    I'm not American either so I'm not sure exactly how that works but what i did was leave a 15% tip. 20% if the place was really upscale. Waiters make next to nothing in the States.

    Also, look out for prices. Prices that you will see on things are without VAT tax. At least that was the case in NY and NJ were I went this Christmas. VAT tax is not the same all over the States but if you hold on to your receipts and get them stamped at the airport when you leave the country you can have it returned in Germany (not sure exactly how that works but it might be worth asking about and it would be great if someone had told me before I threw away my receipts from my Christmas shopping)

    Voltage is different so don't bother to take your hair dryer with you all the way from Germany. Chances are it will not work. Mine was on a really low setting that would never, ever dry my hair.

    Public transportation mostly sucks. It didn't in New York but in Princeton and anywhere else I tried to use it buses were very infrequent and there was also a very sharp social divide in who rides on them. I must say that Americans seem to love their cars. If you can afford a car it might be for the best in many cases. I didn't rent one because I couldn't figure out how to drive an automatic but that was my stupid hangup, I'm sure you'll do fine

    Your trip sounds fantastic and I'm sure you'll have a great time! Don't forget to try pancakes! I still crave them!

  6. #36
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    Ok, I am kind of an expert on La Jolla (grew up there and still visit every year) so bear with me.

    I am not very knowledgeable about other beaches in San Diego...

    In La Jolla, the Shores is the largest beach and the one that is probably best for just sunning because it has a large sandy shore. It's good for body surfing and you can also take surf lessons (surf divas is good).

    The Cove area is different, it is an irregular rocky shoreline with a park that is perhaps better for strolling or tide-pooling than sunning. However, there is a small patch of sand where you can sun, swim, and snorkel, and that is nice. It is very pleasant to get a sandwich in town and have a picnic at the Cove.

    San Diego has other beaches that are pretty good in the towns of Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, and on Point Loma, but I'm not as familiar with them.

    There's also an area called Mission Bay where you can do various watersports in a sheltered bay area.

  7. #37
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    my advice is to ditch your deposit and switch your hostel. the park is absolutely dangerous after dark, especially if you don't know where you are going.

    how are you travelling between cities? flying/buses/driving?

    sounds like an awesome trip - have fun!

  8. #38
    Elite Member LynnieD's Avatar
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    It's interesting how 'non Americans' just assume there is Public Transportation everywhere.....guess I never thought of that.

    As others have said: there isn't in most places.

  9. #39
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    stop scaring the poor girl! lots of people go to harlem and tijuana, as long as you are careful and don't do anything stupid (flashing your cash, standing around with a camera around your neck looking at a map like a lost tourist, or trying to score pot in tijuana) you will be fine.
    my advice for the hostel - explore the area during the day so you know where the subway is and all that. and if you're coming home late at night, take a cab. they're pretty affordable in new york and that way you avoid walking around on your own at night.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

  10. #40
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    i can speak for san francisco. it is a great city (relatively small) with lots of interesting neighborhoods and varied foods. do touristy stuff like ride a cable care and go to the top of lombard hill. or go to the mission and get some ethnic foods and look at freaks. or if you want to look at hippies and freaks, go to the haight. all this is accessible on MUNI. not as reliable as the ny transit system but ok.

    do you like to do outdoor stuff? if so, i would recommend going to muir woods and seeing the redwoods, so beautiful. or you can rent a bike in SF from blazing saddles and ride it across the golden gate bridge. descend into sausalito, take a break at cafe trieste for some espresso and a snack, then ride on the surface streets to the bike path. go as far as you want. and then if you are too tired to ride back to SF at night, you can always ride your bike back to sausalito and take the ferry. so much fun and a good way to see stuff.

  11. #41
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    ^^^^
    yes, i've never been to san francisco but i totally recommend renting bikes or even taking bike tours when traveling. it's a great way to see a new place. look them up on the internet or in guide books.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

  12. #42
    Elite Member FierceKiten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yanna View Post

    Voltage is different so don't bother to take your hair dryer with you all the way from Germany. Chances are it will not work. Mine was on a really low setting that would never, ever dry my hair.
    Most hotels have blow dryers in their bathrooms, so dont worry somthing petty like that.

    Public transportation mostly sucks. It didn't in New York but in Princeton and anywhere else I tried to use it buses were very infrequent and there was also a very sharp social divide in who rides on them. I must say that Americans seem to love their cars. If you can afford a car it might be for the best in many cases. I didn't rent one because I couldn't figure out how to drive an automatic but that was my stupid hangup, I'm sure you'll do fine
    Last time I checked, car rental services offer automatic or sticks, available depending on your choice of car. Buses run on schedules, not every five minutes or demand. "Americans love their cars", If one can afford a car, any american or european for that matter would use it. I fail to understand "social divde", comment. There are people who depend on public transport and could care regaurdless who uses them.

  13. #43
    Super Moderator Tati's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FierceKiten View Post
    Most hotels have blow dryers in their bathrooms, so dont worry somthing petty like that.

    Last time I checked, car rental services offer automatic or sticks, available depending on your choice of car. Buses run on schedules, not every five minutes or demand. "Americans love their cars", If one can afford a car, any american or european for that matter would use it. I fail to understand "social divde", comment. There are people who depend on public transport and could care regaurdless who uses them.
    I've always chosen to do without a car when in an area with good public transit, even though I can afford one; I'd just prefer to walk and take transit when feasible.

    About the social divide, it can depend on where you are. In big cities where public transit is good, you'll see people from all walks of life, professionals, students and corporate types included, taking it, the subway in particular. But in smaller towns (like the one I live in now, so I'm not knocking Americans here) it's really just lower-income people and some students who take the bus, because it's absolute shite and you can't rely on it. I don't think the commenter was suggesting that people who use transit are actually of a lower social class; just that in some areas a lot of people think they're too good for the bus and simply won't take it, ever.

    The vast, vast majority of people in my current town have cars and use them ALL the time, and it's certainly not because they're wealthier than people in Toronto or New York. The town is just less dense, there's parking everywhere, people think the bus is "icky" and the bus system isn't very comprehensive.
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  14. #44
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FierceKiten View Post
    Most hotels have blow dryers in their bathrooms, so dont worry somthing petty like that.



    Last time I checked, car rental services offer automatic or sticks, available depending on your choice of car. Buses run on schedules, not every five minutes or demand. "Americans love their cars", If one can afford a car, any american or european for that matter would use it. I fail to understand "social divde", comment. There are people who depend on public transport and could care regaurdless who uses them.
    yes, they do love their cars. the US is a car-dominated culture. there are cities where you need a car to get around because public transport is shit, and you can't take the train everywhere if you're traveling like you can in europe. it's just the way it is. why are you getting all offended about it?
    in europe, i know tons of people who could easily afford a car but choose not to have one because they don't need it where they live, and they don't want to waste money on insurance or parking for a car they'll use only for long trips, and choose instead to rent one on the rare occasions when they need it.
    i've got lots of american friends living in europe and it's one of the first differences they notice.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

  15. #45
    Elite Member FierceKiten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post
    yes, they do love their cars. the US is a car-dominated culture. there are cities where you need a car to get around because public transport is shit, and you can't take the train everywhere if you're traveling like you can in europe. it's just the way it is. why are you getting all offended about it?
    in europe, i know tons of people who could easily afford a car but choose not to have one because they don't need it where they live, and they don't want to waste money on insurance or parking for a car they'll use only for long trips, and choose instead to rent one on the rare occasions when they need it.
    i've got lots of american friends living in europe and it's one of the first differences they notice.
    Let me state that I am an American and Im not offended but on the defense speaking from experience. Since living in europe, I have noticed the differences reguarding transport, it's understandable and has been cheaper to get around than by car. No complaints there but I guess I would also be one those odd balls who depended on our shitty transport to get me from A to B. I didnt have a car back at home because honestly, I couldnt afford one at the time. So I offered the thread starter tips how to get around LA, the only way I know, nothing more.

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