Mars Bar*
East Village
(Second Avenue and First Street)

"Everyone in Manhattan is from somewhere else." 

--Robert Hughes (author and art critic) 

"There are eight million stories in the Naked City."  

-- opening line of the Naked City TV series (1958 - 1963)

". . .people will still do really crazy things to live here."

--New York Magazine

"The day you step off the boat or plane you're a New Yorker."

--Frans Timmermans, Dutch Minister for European Affairs and International Cultural Policy

commenting on the 400th year anniversary 

of the Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam


NEW YORKERS may have a reputation for being tough and rude, but most of us are really very friendly and helpful. Do NOT be afraid to approach us and ask questions or directions.  Sometimes New Yorkers are in a hurry or rushing to an appointment, but people will usually stop and point you in the right direction.  Since there are 8.3 million New Yorkers that translates into potentially 8.3 million smiling faces (or not) and New York City is a fantastic place for people-watching and to just watch things go by.


Once you've had a quick lesson in the layout of the City's street grid, instituted in 1811 (see street grid link), and understand that there are both East and West Sides of Manhattan, getting around becomes easier.  The City's transportation agency (the Metropolitan Transit Authority or MTA) has a great transportation HELP phone number (718-243-7777). You can call this number and say: "I want to go to Battery Park. I'm at Lexington Avenue & 42nd Street, how can I get there?" The MTA representative will tell you. if you have access to a computer, the MTA website is very user-friendly.  Incidentally, the open grid street layout for a city was first used in the design of Philadelphia by William Penn.  


Remember even native New Yorkers occasionally get lost in New York especially on the old, tiny streets of downtown Manhattan and the Village. And some times it's simply difficult to recall which subway goes where. A helpful hint about riding the subway is once inside the train it is better NOT to stand near the subway doors since new passengers usually rush through the doors at each stop.  If possible, sit or stand in the middle of the car instead and concentrate on when your stop will be coming up. Usually in non-rush hours, a seat can be found.


Much has been written and said about New Yorkers.  In his biography of John Adams, David McCullough notes that the country's first Vice President and future President described New Yorkers as such: "They talk very loud, very fast, and altogether. If they ask you a question, before you can utter three words of your answer, they will break out upon you again -- and talk away."  O'Henry described the city's inhabitants as "mysterious strangers."

Surprisingly, one of the most famous and most beloved New Yorkers is SANTA CLAUS who first appeared in the poem, A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore, created and written at his Manhattan residence in Chelsea.  Moore’s poem begins with that familiar phase, known by children throughout the world:  “Twas the night before Christmas.”  And, by the way, St. Nicholas was the patron saint of old Dutch New Amsterdam (New York). 


New Yorkers have also been described as "locomotive people." They do a great deal of walking and walk very fast. Over eight million people live here and in 2011 there were 50.6 million tourists who visited the city.  Walking on the hectic sidewalks of New York is truly an art form. Do not walk in bunches: a family of three or four holding hands on the street does not allow other pedestrians to easily and quickly walk past. Times Square and other popular neighborhoods can be full of people who often create pedestrian-traffic-jams especially in the evening. Be mindful of other pedestrians.


Walking around the City can be a very exciting, fun and a positive experience. Walks to Battery Park and historic downtown Manhattan or on a quaint and quiet Greenwich Village street are highly recommended. One never knows what beautiful old building, church, synagogue or landmark you may stumble upon or what bizarre and fun person might suddenly appear. And, in the Village -- as in all of New York, people watching is especially fun!

NYC buses are a wonderful means of transportation with seats offering great views of the City as it passes you by as you travel down Broadway or across town or wherever.


One day fun MetroCards are available and allow unlimited rides for one day.  Unlimited ride MetroCards for seven-days are a bargain if you're visiting for several days.

New Yorkers and NYC are also fashionably GREEN.  New Yorkers generate less greenhouse gases than "residents of any other American city, and less than 30 percent of the national average" according to David Owen in his book, WHY LIVING SMALLER, LIVING CLOSER, AND DRIVING LESS ARE THE KEYS TO SUSTAINABILITY.  And the majority of New Yorkers are not "car-dependent."  A 2010 MTA census reported that over a million New Yorkers (1,053,464 to be exact) commute to jobs in Manhattan each day via subway   

*Mars Bar was closed and demolished the summer of 2011. 

Mars Bar

Metropolitan Transit Authority

 MTA Fares 

Famous New Yorkers