New York City: Capital of the World

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New York City is frenetic. People walk fast, talk fast and they're always late. But somehow it all blends -- sometimes harmoniously and sometimes with great discord. New York City is many things, but it is never boring.

(Note: All telephone numbers are within the 212 area code unless otherwise indicated.)

Airports

Three airports serve New York: JFK (718 244-4444) handles the most international flights; LaGuardia (718 533-3400) handles the most commuter flights; and Newark (973 961-6000) is most convenient to the West Side. JFK-to-midtown taxi fares are fixed ($30); return fares are not. A better bet is on-demand, shared minibus service from Gray Line Air Shuttle (757-7712) or SuperShuttle Manhattan (800 258-3826) for less than half the price of a cab.

Hotels

New York City has 66,000 hotel rooms. You can pay $150 or thousands per night. Stay in midtown for Javits Center events. Sofitel (354-8844, 800 763-4835, $219-$599) is a new facility with 398 well-appointed rooms and 52 executive suites equipped with two-line, data port phones. Novotel's (315-0100, 800 668-6835, $219-$399) 480 soundproof rooms have data ports, large desks and minibars. The hotel's business center offers PCs and faxes, plus laptop and cell phone rentals. The Double Tree Guest Suites (719-1600, 800 325-9033, $210-$750) all have kitchenettes. The Soho Grand Hotel (965-3000, 800 965-3000, $334 and up) isn't midtown, but comes highly recommended by sophisticated New Yorkers who know.

Restaurants

There are more than 18,000 places to grab a bite in the city. Gotham Bar & Grill (620-4020) is known for its innovative cuisine and architecture. The atmosphere is hip but elegant, meaning jeans or a business suit will work. The Mee Noodle Shop (888-0027 for the midtown location) serves good Chinese food cheap and fast at several spots. Gallagher's Steakhouse (245-5336) is a classic spot for a huge steak. Cajun restaurant (691-6174) serves creative Creole-Cajun cuisine to the tunes of a Dixieland band. The Little India neighborhood at East 6th Street between First and Second avenues has nearly two dozen Indian restaurants, all of which are good.

Insider's Guide

For quintessential New York experiences, go skating at Wollman Rink in Central Park; it's at once so New York and so countrified. Play at Chelsea Piers (336-6000), a recreational paradise with a full "" fitness center, skating (ice and in-line), basketball courts, indoor climbing, restaurants and even golf. Shop at the flea market on 26th Street and 7th Avenue or Orchard Street on the Lower East Side. At the end of the day, celebrate sunset with drinks atop the World Trade Center. Pick up New York, The Village Voice and Time Out New York for the latest happenings and The New Yorker for cultural events. Check Site59.com's Local Flavor section for last-minute tickets to all sorts of events.weather Bring your overcoat. New York is chilly and possibly snowy in November and December. The wind rips along the rivers, and the tall buildings work like wind tunnels.

Rent or Buy? Cars: Don't bother.

Photo services: Spectra Photo/Digital (986-6030) provides full processing and printing services at nine locations.

Computer/AV equipment: International Business Solutions (888-1830) rents computer equipment configured to your software and special needs.

Personal Computer Rentals (268-0200) rents computers and AV gear with 24-hour technical support.

Rent-A-PC (3333-3338) is another technology resource.

Suddenly need a tux? Step into Baldwin Tuxedo (245-8190) or Harrison Formal Wear (302-1742) and step out in black tie.

Other Resources

St. Clare's Hospital (586-1500) serves midtown. Ripped those pants or tore that dress? Try Abe's Tailor Shop (921-1193) or European Tailoring (752-2239). Visit the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau Information Center (484-1200, 800 692-8474) to get additional information, purchase theater tickets, book sightseeing tours and airport transportation, hit an ATM, buy a bus or subway Tailor Shop (921-1193) or European Tailoring (752-2239). Visit the New York Convention & Visitor MetroCard, and exchange currency.

Calendar

December holiday festivities include Kwanza Fest at the Jacob Javits Center, the Christmas tree lighting in Rockefeller Center, New Year's Eve in Times Square and the New Year's Eve Midnight Run in Central Park.

Don't Miss

The performing arts -- whatever your preference, you won't find a better selection or caliber of performing arts. Lincoln Center (875-5000) is the city's premier complex for world-class performances. Carnegie Hall (247-7800) is a landmark concert hall. Bargain hunting? TKTS (World Trade Center 768-1818, Times Square 221-0013) sells same-day tickets for Broadway and Off-Broadway plays. For other theater tickets, call Tele-charge (239-6200) or Ticketmaster (307-4100).

CIO's CORNER:

"When I'm taking a visitor to dinner, I like La Goulue [988-8169]. Also for great Japanese, try Nobu [219-0500]," says Arthur Tisi, former CIO at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and now CEO and CTO of @Thought Technologies. "For a drink, the Stanhope [288-5800] or the Plaza [759-3000] hotels are nice, or the King Cole Bar [753-4500, ext. 3756]." For later in the evening, he recommends Veruka [625-1717], "which is pricey but great, and all the bars on Bleeker Street are fun." Tisi insists The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the No. 1 must-see in the city. "The Temple of Dendur, the Annenberg Wing and the rooftop, without a doubt," he says.

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