Travel expert Johnny Jet, né John Einar DiScala, has been blogging about travel tips for well over a decade. His website has been named “one of the top best money-saving web sites for travel” by Budget Travel Magazine, and the L.A. Times calls it “one of the top 10 essential travel resources on the internet.” Johnny has even authored a popular travel guide book, You Are Here Traveling with JohnnyJet.com: The Ultimate Internet Travel Guide (You Are Here, 4). And to think that this travel guru once had a fear of flying!
A frequent Boingo user, Johnny Jet has experienced the delights of too many cities to count (to date, he has visited over sixty countries). Yet ask him to name his favorite city in the world, and he answers with no hesitation: New York City. Below, Johnny provides his top five tips on traveling in the Big Apple.
Have you explored these Johnny Jet recommendations on New York City?
1. Take Public Transportation From the Airports
Pack light if you plan on taking public transportation from the airport. When I land alone at LGA, I take the M60 Bus to 125th Street and then either take the subway down to my family’s apartment or the train to Connecticut, where I grew up. The bus takes 30 minutes and costs $2.25 and the subway transfer is free. From JFK, I jump on the Air Train to Jamaica Station and then the E Train to 53rd street – total price is $7.25. From Newark I usually take The Newark Airport Express Bus that leaves every 15 minutes and costs $15 to the Port Authority or Grand Central
2. Visit Grand Central Terminal
I’ve been fortunate to travel through some incredible train stations around the world but my favorite is Grand Central Terminal. Thanks to Jackie Onassis, the station was saved from potential obliteration, and it’s been completely restored back to its 1913 splendor. Now there’s a market, fine restaurants and bars in addition to transportation and the glorious ceiling. One secret place many locals don’t even know about is The Campbell Apartment. It was formerly the private office and salon of 1920s tycoon John W. Campbell, but it has been reborn as a chic cocktail lounge. Go there for a drink but be sure to dress up (no baseball caps, t-shirts, athletic shoes, etc.).
3. See a Baseball Game at Yankees Stadium
You can’t go to New York when the Yankees are in town and not visit the stadium that George Steinbrenner built. The $1.5 billion stadium opened in 2009 and I was lucky to be in attendance when the Yankees christened it in grand fashion by winning the World Series. To get to the game, either take the subway or ferry.
4. Walk Through Central Park
Every time I spend the night in the city, I always take a stroll through Central Park. It’s a haven for New Yorkers, and it’s so big (843 acres) I’ve actually gotten lost, cutting through from the East side to the West side. I recommend getting picnic food from Agata and Valentina (79th and 1st) and walking to the boathouse to rent a row boat for an hour or two. Or eat on one of the benches along Poets walk.
5. Eat Pizza!
The first thing I do when arriving in the Big Apple is get a slice of pizza. My favorite is Don Filippos on 78th and Lexington but you can find hundreds of tasty joints throughout the five boroughs. For a carb-overload, find a place that serves baked ziti pizza. Yum.