Welcome to Rockefeller Center
Welcome to Rockefeller Center Hotel Service! We look forward to the opportunity to assist you in booking your hotel stay near Rockefeller Center, NYC.

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New York is a city of such extremes that any visitor would be hard pressed to describe it without resorting to superlatives. Words like biggest and best come to mind when referring to America's most populated city. The superlatives are not always positive though. The enormous number of people, pace of life and stark urban landscape contribute to an often grim and sometimes frustrating experience when walking along its streets. Despite problems common to any major city, New York attracts 34 million visitors each year to its man-made canyons.

A true archipelago, the 314 square miles that make up New York City are a series of islands that embrace five boroughs, or administrative districts: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx. More than 8 million people live in the city's metropolitan area, which includes Long Island and parts of southern New York State, northeastern New Jersey and southwestern Connecticut.

Getting around

Street System

Manhattan streets were laid out in an easy-to-follow grid pattern back in the early 1800s. Unfortunately, maneuvering within the city is not as simple nowadays. For those unfamiliar with Manhattan traffic, the best driving advice is: DON'T. If you absolutely must drive, timing doesn't really mean much. Although rush hours are 7-9:30 a.m. and 4:30-6:30 p.m., city streets are always busy.

Be alert at all times. The traffic density of streets in Manhattan is probably the highest in the country. A good street map is helpful. When driving in the other boroughs a street index and map are necessities. Note: Drivers should keep car doors locked at all times.

In Manhattan consecutively numbered streets run east/west, and avenues cross north/south. Fifth Avenue is the dividing line between east and west streets. Most avenues are one-way and are alternately northbound and southbound. In general, even-numbered streets are eastbound and odd-numbered streets are westbound. Most downtown streets are one-way. Exceptions are Canal, Houston, 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, 57th and 125th streets, which run both east and west.

As you make your way into Lower Manhattan, the city's efficient grid pattern system falls apart in the Greenwich Village and SoHo areas. From Houston Street south, both the numbered streets and Fifth Avenue come to an abrupt end.

Crosstown traffic usually moves faster on 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd and 57th streets, because these streets are wide. Northbound and southbound traffic moves faster, at least during non-rush hours, on one-way avenues: These northbound avenues are First, Third, Madison, Avenue of the Americas (Sixth Avenue) and Eighth, while the southbound avenues include Second, Lexington, Fifth, Seventh and Ninth. Gridlock is a particular hazard of driving in the city; it is illegal to stand or stop in the middle of an intersection or to make left turns, except where otherwise indicated.

For those who do not wish to use surface streets to travel, East River Drive and West Side Highway provide elevated, controlled-access roads around the city. Note: Avoid the parkways and expressways during rush hours.

The speed limit on downtown streets is 30 mph, or as posted. No one under 17 is allowed to drive in New York City, even with a valid driver's license from another state.


Finding a parking space may be the most difficult aspect of your visit to New York City. Parking is prohibited on most downtown Manhattan streets and is next to impossible in entertainment districts. If you do find a space, read the curbside signs to avoid having the car towed and paying a $185 towing fee plus a fine and storage fee.

Very few accommodations have free parking, and Midtown Manhattan parking lots and garages average about $13 an hour. Guests staying at a hotel with parking facilities often find it is easiest to leave the car in the lot or garage and use public transportation or taxis.

The best strategy available for those wishing to avoid the heavy traffic and exorbitant parking fees in Manhattan is to “park and ride” with the daily commuters. From Queens, parking is available near the #7 Flushing line at Shea Stadium, 126th Street and Roosevelt Avenue, from 5-5: fee before 11, $5; after 11 and after 5 p.m. for Mets games $8.

Another garage is located at Queens Plaza and Jackson Avenue above the Queens Plaza IND subway line and one block from the Queensboro Plaza IRT subway line. Fee $1.50 per half-hour; $8 maximum per 12 hours.

Commuters and visitors from New Jersey have the option to park at NY Waterway's Weehawken, Hoboken and Jersey City terminals and ride a ferry to Lower or Midtown Manhattan. Connecting bus transportation from the Manhattan ferry terminals into the city is available. For schedules, fares and parking fees phone (800) 533-3779.


With more than 12,000 licensed yellow medallion cabs roaming the streets, the taxi is one of the most frequently used modes of transportation by visitors. Yellow medallion taxis are the only vehicles authorized to pick up street hails. To avoid being “taken for a ride” and paying more than you should, always give the driver the intersection nearest to your destination as well as the full street address.

Once the meter starts, it continues running. Even at a standstill in traffic, you pay. Taxi fares begin at $2.50, then increase 40c each additional fifth of a mile, or 40 cents for each 120 seconds waiting in traffic. A 10 to 20 percent tip is customary. A 50c per fare surcharge applies between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., plus any bridge and tunnel tolls. One fare generally covers all passengers—taxis can carry four people maximum (three in the back seat, and one in the front).

Complaints or lost articles can be reported to the Taxi and Limousine Commission; phone (212) 692-8294. When calling, passengers must provide the taxicab identification number.

Public Transportation

Compared to some cities, public transportation in New York is a good bargain. A $2 fare buys you an unlimited-mileage ride as long as you do not get off. In Manhattan subways traverse the length of Avenue of the Americas (Sixth Avenue), Broadway, Seventh and Eighth avenues and several portions of both Lexington and Park avenues.

Crosstown subways operate on 14th, 42nd, 53rd and 60th streets. In addition there is a shuttle train from Grand Central Terminal to Times Square (intersection of Seventh Avenue and Broadway from 42nd to 43rd streets), where passengers can transfer free of charge to other lines.

Subways also are fast. The New York City subway system accommodates some 1.2 billion riders annually because it is fast, efficient and one of the cheapest ways of getting around. Although New York City subways can be intimidating, directional signs and maps are posted at each station.

Using them is a snap if you heed these four pearls of wisdom: Avoid using the system during weekday rush hours (usually 8-9:30 a.m. and 5-6:30 p.m.) and late at night; ride in the conductor's car if possible (located in the middle of the train); try to avoid using the subway restrooms; and avoid the express and take the local trains (although not as fast as the express, the local trains stop at each station, so missing the correct stop is less likely).

MetroCard, a thin plastic fare card, replaced the familiar tokens for subway admission. You can purchase individual cards at subway station vending machines, neighborhood merchants and tourist information centers. The Pay-Per-Ride MetroCard is good for 11 rides and costs $15. Unlimited ride cards for 1, 7 or 30 days range $7-$70. The card can be used on all New York City buses and at all subway stations.

Maps for both subway and bus routes are available at the Grand Central, Pennsylvania and Columbus Circle stations and the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Note: In the What To See section attraction listings will often include the nearest subway (S) station or stations. Consult a subway map to determine which train line is nearest and most direct; not every train runs from each station.

Riding the aboveground rails is another option. The Metro North Railroad serves Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties. For schedules phone (212) 532-4900 in New York City, or (800) 638-7646 elsewhere in New York. The Long Island Rail Road serves Nassau and Suffolk counties; for schedule information phone (516) 822-5477.

From New Jersey, the NJ Transit stops every hour at Harmon Meadow Boulevard; phone (973) 762-5100.

More than 200 bus routes serve New York City. Buses run uptown on Tenth, Eighth, Sixth, Madison, Third and First avenues and downtown on Ninth, Seventh, Fifth and Second avenues. Some of the major east-west crosstown bus routes are 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, 57th, 65th and 79th streets. Upon boarding, ask the bus driver for a free transfer from an uptown or downtown bus to a crosstown bus, or vice versa.

Most bus stops have Guide-A-Ride signs, showing bus stops and transfer points along that route. Fare on the Manhattan and Bronx lines is $2; exact change (no bills) is required. For information concerning the subway and city-operated buses phone the New York Transit Authority at (718) 330-1234.