NYCC Tuesday Tips is a new series we’re trying out in anticipation of New York Comic Con 2018 this October. Similar to our San Diego Comic-Con Sundays, we will be compiling tips and tricks for making the most out of your time at the convention based on our past experiences. New tips come out every Tuesday right here on the blog.
This week: Staying in New York City
Whether it is your first time or your fourth time, New York City is a bit of a marvel if you don’t live here the rest of the year. New York Comic Con veterans have probably figured out how to work the city and know what to expect. Newbies, though, might not.
If you are like me, my first year at New York Comic Con was an experience that stretched beyond the convention. No one told me how much walking was involved, where to stay, or how to navigate the city. Instead, I pieced together my plan with limited information from the internet.
My second year wasn’t much better.
So what do you need to know to survive New York City? Hopefully some of these tips will help.
1. Be prepared to walk. A lot.
New York City, for a native Oregonian like me, was an entirely new experience when I arrived for NYCC 2014. I knew about the subway, I knew a lot of people walked, but I didn’t realize the extent to which those two things were true.
Unless you are going to spend money to take Uber everywhere, or taxis, you will want to come to NYC ready to walk 500 miles and then walk 500 more. That is a slight exaggeration, but if you prepare for 500 miles you’ll be set for NYCC weekend.
2. Be prepared for the stairs.
There’s walking, and then there are stairs. If you are staying anywhere away from the main convention area then you are going to be using the New York City subway system. It is a great way to travel, but it requires a lot of up and down. You’ll have a couple flights of stairs down, a couple flights back up, and the elevators are terrible.
Thankfully the station right near the convention center has escalators to bring you back to the surface from the depths of hell, but most others don’t. The subway system is old and only some of the stations have had new additions added like escalators and working elevators.
Time to hit up the stair climber and get those thighs ready to go.
3. Start to learn the NYC subway system now.
I’ve lived here for two years now and I still struggle with navigating the trains from time to time. Thankfully there are a lot of apps now, so come prepared to use your data and take advantage of the free WiFi found all around the city.
You will want to download the offline NYC Subway & Bus Maps for those times where you’re cruising through an underground tunnel and have no access to service. You can download CityMapper to figure out what trains to take and the best route to your destination. Google Maps has a public transportation option too, that will give you decent directions and typically alerts you to any delays.
Oh, and you will want to follow the NYCT Subway twitter account to keep up to date on any and all travel disruptions. The biggest pro to learning the system now is the ability to stay further away from the convention, yielding cheaper lodging costs.
4. The food scene around Javits isn’t great.
Unlike San Diego Comic Con which has easy access food a stones throw away from the convention center, the Javits Center is in a strange industrial part of the city near the river. As a result, there are not a lot of restaurant options that are easily accessible. There is typical convention food inside, but if you want to take advantage of the NYC food scene, you have to be prepared to walk.
Thankfully if you’re shuttling between Madison Square Gardens and Javits, there are going to be restaurant options along the way. The closer you get to Broadway and 34th, the more options your search will yield.
Just keep in mind when planning out your meals that getting anything away from the convention center is going to take time since you will have to walk, bus, or taxi somewhere.
5. Buses can be your friend.
When I came to NYC for the first time I was weirdly terrified of taking the bus. Now that I’ve lived here for two years let me tell you something: buses are your friend and they will often be included in any directions you look up on apps.
Buses can save you valuable leg strength if you’re trying to get between places that would normally take 15-25 minutes to walk to. If you’re near a bus stop you can use your phone to look up the bus number’s “Bus Time” to see if there is one coming soon and hop on it if there is.
An example search would be, “Q32 bus time” which will then show you where the buses are along the stops both to and from the main destination. All the buses you will be taking will have an “M” in front of the number (standing for “Manhattan”). They cost the same amount as a subway ride, and if you have an unlimited metro card it will work on the buses.
We could go on, but we’ll stop for now. Stay tuned for next week’s topic which we will be announcing on Twitter!
As always, please comment or tweet us about the topics you would like us to cover. This will be our fifth year attending NYCC, so hopefully, we have some helpful tips to get you through.