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by Natalie Williams

As a native New Yorker who relocated to the Mohawk Valley, I make attempts at having the best of both worlds: the peace & quiet, space and inexpensive lifestyle afforded by the City of Utica, and the cultural stimulation and intensity of the big city.

I have taken all modes of transportation to get there, from the railway to bus service to driving myself down. I have found that the most convenient and cheapest way to get to New York City is by taking the Spanish language transport van, The Bueno Express. They provide twice-a-day door-to-door transportation from Utica to the Bronx or Manhattan and back. You can book your travel to New York City with a couple of phone calls or make arrangements over the internet. All for $50 each way!

For an overnight stay, the best bargain in town is the HI New York City Hostel. They are located on 891 Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The price of a year membership is $18 and about $70 per night. You will enjoy a bunk bed in the men’s or women’s dormitory, in addition to the company of an array of international guests. Group tours are arranged by the hostel as well.

Even without much money, you can still delight in New York City tourist attractions. For one, various old and new architectural masterpieces await you there. I often visit the Apple stores dotting Manhattan. Autumn brings the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and winter brings the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

Here are some things to remember when visiting New York:

– The Staten Island Ferry is free

– The city’s parks and recreation areas are well kept

– There are plenty of free concerts

– Most museums have a ‘suggested’ admission, for which you can choose to pay less than they advertise

– There is free WiFi in many locations

– And for scholarly pursuits, there is the New York Public Library

Whatever your tourist experience brings, remember to tip your server, driver or tour guide, and be sure to take some photos of the iconic landmarks you encounter on your trip! Why not go there for a few days and be a part of it?

Information about The Bueno Express can be found by calling (315) 797-1010, and information regarding the HI New York City Hostel can be found at http://hinewyork.org/.

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