#OnTheRoad On Instagram: New York City

Having recently splurged on a cross-country move, my travel budget isn’t bursting at the seams, but my fascination for new sights and experiences remains in tact. With a traveler’s spirit in tow, I’ll be exploring my own city this week, taking the train or driving to some of my favorite NYC destinations and some I’ve yet to visit. I aim to focus on showing you some of the green beauty of spring showcased in a city not known for greenery as well as street art, architecture, food and drink and the general vibrancy of this dense city. Come along for the ride with me as I explore and publish photos from both the nostalgic and the new for me in New York City. Follow along on Instagram here.[Photo Credit: Elizabeth Seward]

Video of the day: New York City 1938

Today’s Video of The Day takes us all the back to the year 1938, when New York City was ‘The Wonder City’. Watch this video through to the end and take note of all the changes you see. Not only is New York City very different these days than it was back then (even more people, even more speeding cars), but, naturally, the people of New York are different these days, too. But the differences, after they have been accounted for, aren’t actually what I find to be so striking about this video. It’s the similarities that get me. Watch as the video guides you through the Statue of Liberty and Wall Street, take note of how easily you connect with the traffic on the streets. If you have ever lived in or visited NYC, this video takes you back in time but simultaneously serves to show that NYC is, as always, pretty timeless.

Some business travelers benefit from the recession

A growing number of business travelers is trading the appellation “road warrior” for “day tripper.” Tighter corporate travel budgets are prompting these frequent fliers to complete their roundtrips in one day, rather than assume the expenses of a hotel stay and meals while on the road. Also, it comes with the perk of not being able to entertain, which cuts travel expenses further. These jaunts tend to involve flights of no more than three hours, even though some people are going coast-to-coast and back without bothering to check in to a hotel.

For some, it isn’t just a case of budgetary discipline, though that factor will never disappear in a recessionary environment. Business travelers are also drawn to the notion of being able to get home at night. Even a late-night arrival means plopping your head on your own pillow and having breakfast with the family.

Of course, these one-day runs are grueling. Even for a two-hour flight, you have to get to the airport an hour early, and unless you live right next to the airport, you’re probably looking at another hour to get there. So, to catch a 6 AM flight, you’re leaving the house at 4 AM (with a wakeup of around 3:30 AM at best), and you’re not touching the ground at your destination until 8 AM … assuming there are no delays. Depending on traffic and distance, you get to the office at 9 AM and work the entire day. To catch a 7 PM flight, you leave the office at 5 PM to get there an hour early. After two hours in the air (again, assuming nothing goes wrong), you’ll probably get home by 10 PM. That’s an 18-hour day; it’s tough.While the actual cost savings is being questioned, in my experience, it’s substantial. In 2003 and 2004, I made frequent runs from Boston to New York. With the rate my company had with the Delta Shuttle, coming home at night was a no-brainer. On longer trips, the savings may not be as substantial — as you have a higher fare and likely a less expensive hotel than you’ll find in Manhattan — but you’re still looking at more than $200 a night, assuming a $150 room and meal expenses.

The cost savings, however, may come at the expense of your health. Some experts see this sort of aggressive travel as rough on your body … and I can tell you it’s a bit rough on the spirit, too. But, if you have enough time between one-day runs, it isn’t so bad at all.

And, don’t worry: even though you lose the hotel points, you’ll still pick up the miles.

Lifelong New Yorkers are unreliable for directions

Don’t ask New Yorkers for directions. Don’t get me wrong, we’re more than willing to help. But, you could wind up with some bad information. A recent poll of lifelong New Yorkers conducted by New York Pass, an attraction discount card, shows that most of us don’t have the city’s basics nailed down.

[Photo by James Trosh via Flickr]

NYC tops U.S. list of most expensive cities

It’s not exactly shocking to see that New York City is the most expensive city in the United States. Groceries, gasoline and other items tend to run a tad more than twice the national average. Whether you rent or buy, you’ll spend a fortune in this city, where the average price for a home is $1.1 million and an apartment, on average, will cost $3,400 a month.

So, how can so many bloggers live here? Remember: these are averages. That means someone has to be on the underside of them.

Housing prices were also among the reasons why San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. worked their way into top spots on the list. Average home prices shot past $600,000 in all four of these cities. In Austin, the average home price is a much more modest $226,998, and it’s even more comfortable in Nashville, at $201,020.

The measure used to determine the cost of leaving in each of the cities is based on expenses in six categories: groceries, housing (rent/mortgage), healthcare, utilities, transportation and miscellaneous items. The prices of 57 goods in these categories were used.Six of the most expensive cities in the country are in California, with four of them among the top 10. Texas has four – Austin, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas. Most of the costliest cities are on the two coasts, though Chicago (14), Las Vegas (18), Phoenix (25) and St. Louis (35) made the top 40.

The most surprising appearance on the list of most expensive places to live is Detroit. Even though it’s plagued by unemployment of 16.7 percent, utilities are expensive. Electricity costs an average of $243.56 a month, compared to a mere $141.64 in Atlanta.

The ten most expensive cities on the list are:

  1. New York City
  2. San Francisco
  3. San Jose
  4. Los Angeles
  5. Washington DC
  6. San Diego
  7. Boston
  8. Philadeplhia
  9. Seattle
  10. Baltimore

Check out the full list here.



[Photo via MigrantBlogger]