Travelling to the USA

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Starscream NZ, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. Starscream NZ

    Starscream NZ Well-Known Member

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    So next year I embark on what will probably be the biggest adventure of my life so far, and that's travelling to Europe and the US by myself (well, flying with a friend but mostly going our separate ways whilst on the ground). So I have a few questions for folks who could be of help.

    I'll be travelling to both San Fran and New York while I i'm in the US. With more time in NYC than SF. While i'm there predominately to be an irritating tourist i'd certainly like to check out the local toy shops to see if I can grab me some figures (will namely be after Generations figures). I hear there's a TRU in Times Square, but that it's overpriced? Where are some places I can check out that are easy to get to, that'll have a good selection of figures?

    Secondly, tours. NY is full of them, so i'm kind of over-loaded for choice. For those that've visited, or live in NYC. What would you recommend as 'must see' things? So far i'm determined to see a Broadway show, visit Times Square and i'll probably hit up the 9/11 memorial too. I've heard of some sort of 'gold tour card' that you can purchase, and grants you access to a large number of tours across the city. Anyone know anything about this at all?

    Thirdly, tipping. It's a pretty foreign concept to me, as not many other places in the world seem to have such a strong focus on tipping. Here in New Zealand you only really see people giving a tip at a restaurant, but am I correct in saying you are 'required' to give a tip to pretty much any service? Such as taxis?

    And, as a fun side. What would be the one 'must try' fast food place? I'm generally a pretty healthy eater so I don't eat takeaways a lot, but the US is pretty infamous for it's massively unhealthy portions/takeways. We have McDonalds, KFC, Wendys and Burger King here. So what should I try? Taco Bell? What else is good?
     
  2. firehawc_69

    firehawc_69 cloppers = ignore list

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    I can only really speak for the tipping part, but sales tax in NY and SF are about the same, so when you are at a restaurant you can simply double the tax and round up for a tip. Other than that, you don't really have to tip unless they've somehow impressed you enough where you want to. Baggage handlers at airports and hotels should be tipped too.
     
  3. Macross7

    Macross7 Well-Known Member

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    You only have to tip at restuarants that they wait on you.

    Be sure to go to the Empire State Building. They had an ape infestation a while back but they've cleared that up. Statue of Liberty. If you can't go in the statue, you should be able to get to the island itself.

    As for cheap toys, you'll have to get out of Manhatten for that. There are some Targets in Queens that didn't seem to have jacked up prices. But I think the amount of $$ & time spent to get to that will end up being the same or more then just paying Times Square TRU prices.

    As for fast food. You seemed to name all the major ones. Pizza Hut maybe. In & Out seems to be liked but it isn't in New York state. NYC street vendor?
     
  4. firetruckprime

    firetruckprime Autobot

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    Liberty Island is still closed b/c of damage from Hurricane Sandy.
     
  5. Razerwire

    Razerwire 99 Problems... Veteran

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    First and foremost, welcome!

    Now, for some tips on SF and NYC.

    As I was originally from the SF Bay Area, here are some things to note:

    1. Don't refer to San Francisco as San Fran. Locals loathe that nickname. SF is acceptable though most people just refer to it as "the city."

    2. IN-N-OUT. There's a secret menu that can be found easily with a quick google search. I usually order a Double Double Animal Style, Extra Crispy Fries Animal Style and a neopolitan shake.

    3. Del Taco. I prefer it much more than Taco Bell but do yourself a huge solid and go to a local Mexican place, preferably one that offers Mission style burritos.

    4. SF, like NYC, is a HUGE culinary wonderland. Ask around and you'll usually be led to great food. SF takes huge pride in their foodie culture and much of it is, or can be, very healthy as Californians tend to be very health-centric.

    5. If you're staying in the city, bring layers! Even in the summer, San Francisco can be very chilly, especially at night when the marine layer rolls in. It is quite common to see people wearing light to medium jackets at night in the middle of summer.

    6. As far as toy stores go, there isn't much to look at. There are some comic/hobby stores in the Sony Metreon and a specialty store here or there but nothing that really stands out. There's one in Japan Town but it's rather overpriced.

    7. What I do for tipping is I take the final total and divide it by 5. Some prefer to take the before tax total and divide it by 5 but either way you're at 18%+ which is the unspoken standard for the restaurant industry in cities like NYC and SF where lots of good restaurants with good service exist.

    As for NYC, I'll let those who know that city far better than I do offer their advice. I usually go up there once a year but I'm still no expert of the land.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
  6. xMostWanted559x

    xMostWanted559x Well-Known Member

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    have fun on trip!
     
  7. B'Bantor

    B'Bantor Extra like OMG

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    Oh PM me when your in town I know a secret spot in Brooklyn that sells G1 -Generations with varying degrees of selection at any given time. Sometimes there's lots of TF's, sometimes there's 2.
    A good place to eat junk food would be Action Burger in Willamsburg Brooklyn. I took my brother there Christmas Eve for his special lunch :lol  The Empire Strikes Back was playing on the screen, I read Marvel TF # 18 from the little comic rack on the table, played a few rounds of Street Fighter & ogled the figures displayed in acrylic cases recessed into the wall.. what a fun spot! Food was great too.
    Another place to visit if you like to get liquored up in a shady neighborhood would be the Gotham City Lounge located in my "hood" Bushwick Brooklyn. The floor of this pub is hundreds of comics under glass, figures hang from the ceiling and are on display everywhere along with Statues, Busts, Artwork and everything else to amuse the drunken fanboy. The owner is my friend he's the nicest dude.. he's a mild mannered science teacher by day.... and a sudslinger by night.
    The Brooklyn Museum. Great spot.
    Toy Tokyo. Japanese Toy Store... in New York!
     
  8. User_93049

    User_93049 Well-Known Member

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    Two things you must see in SF: Chinatown and In-n-Out burger. You gotta go online for the secret menu thou. If you don't really want to do that, ask for our "French Fries" (not really sure what they're called in New Zealand [crisps?], but seriously, they're hella good.

    Also, in California, we say "hella" instead of "hell of a", so try to keep up with our lingo!
     
  9. B'Bantor

    B'Bantor Extra like OMG

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    ^^^ Do you Cali guys still call sunglasses "Locs"
     
  10. xMostWanted559x

    xMostWanted559x Well-Known Member

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    only if u have the Eazy-E ones...
     
  11. User_93049

    User_93049 Well-Known Member

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    Never heard that. Try Seattle.
     
  12. Chalice

    Chalice ليس هناك ما هو صحيح، فكل

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    Having had a few visitors from other countries(the UK and Aus specifically), the restaurant they *ALL* declared to be their absolute favorite American thing that they couldn't get enough of is a burger chain called Five Guys Burgers(or just Five Guys).

    Dunno if they go out west as far as San Francisco, but you'll definitely find them in NYC.

    Also, where in Europe are you going? Do your best to spend atleast a weekend in Barcelona. There is no more awesome city in the world. If I spoke any of the three languages spoken there I'd have moved long ago.

    Also, stay the fuck away from Venice. It's a shit hole and a tourist trap. Literally every other city in Italy is wayway better.
     
  13. xMostWanted559x

    xMostWanted559x Well-Known Member

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    yea alot of people use to wear the Easy E glasses and they were called locs. mostly the younger people in the 90s.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. User_93049

    User_93049 Well-Known Member

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    Five Guys and Chick-Fil-E (chicken burgers that are actually good) are BEAST. On level or even better than In-N-Out in my opinion.
     
  15. JazzHunter83

    JazzHunter83 Mrs FatalT

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    This is an interesting thread indeed. Since I'll be visiting soon, not really as a tourist since I'll probably just stay in bed with FatalT the whole time. I haven't really considered too many tourist issues, but the tipping culture over there has scared me a little. It's great to get some 'rules' regarding tipping. I don't want to be a miserly tipper, but I don't want to walk around with 'sucker' on my forehead either.
     
  16. xMostWanted559x

    xMostWanted559x Well-Known Member

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    Oh no...five guys is not better than in and out lol.

    I say chick fil e and in and out.
     
  17. xMostWanted559x

    xMostWanted559x Well-Known Member

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    Is he from the USA?


    At a good resteraunt usually we do 10-15% of bill
     
  18. JazzHunter83

    JazzHunter83 Mrs FatalT

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    Yeah, he is. I am Australian, awkward shit ;)  We still haven't decided which country we want to settle in, so we do the back and forth thing until we figure it out. I know he doesn't want to stay in Texas though, so if we settle on the US, we still have no idea which state. We are highly organised as you can see ;) 
     
  19. xMostWanted559x

    xMostWanted559x Well-Known Member

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    I had family friends who are from australia. They said everything costs twice as much there but people make twice what we make if that's true? 25 dollar steak is 50 over there?
     
  20. JazzHunter83

    JazzHunter83 Mrs FatalT

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    pretty much. It's all relative with income vs costs of living. From the research I have done it seems to even out ultimately.

    I have never paid $50 for a steak though! That's crazy! A decent main course in a decent (not super high class) restaurant would run about $28-40 dollars. There is a huge variation depending on city and even time of the year. A steak at lunch is cheaper than a dinner steak - despite being the same cut and prepared the same way. I can get surf n turf at the local rsl for $15 and it's enough to bring a doggie bag home ;)