Review: FODOR'S NEW YORK CITY 2009




My husband and I are planning a trip to New York this spring so receiving this book now was timely.

At the front of the book is a page titled ‘Be a Fodor’s Correspondent’ with headings that speak to the commitment of these guides. The headings are ‘Tell us when we’re right’, ‘Tell us when we’re wrong’ and ‘Tell us what to include’ and under each are requests from the publisher for an honest opinion about the book. Calling the reader a ‘correspondent’ may be a marketing ploy but it does extend to the reader a certain amount of ownership to the book and which I think is a good way of connecting to the guide users.

The table of contents is divided by area, i.e., there is Lower Manhattan, Soho and Little Italy, Central Park, Midtown, the Upper East Side, etc. These sections follow a table of
General items of interest such as New York City with kids, New York City Like a Local, New York City for Free as well as other ideas. After this the contents focuses on well-known areas and where to eat, shop, accommodations and entertainment. There is a list of maps to be found in the guide and then a page about how to use the book, which is somewhat superfluous because I found the book’s structure highly intuitive. However, the list of symbols is a useful tool.

The guide is structured for practicality. It gives information on accommodations and dining depending on your budget. Districts are explored for their culture and history so if that’s the kind of thing that interests you, this is a good guide for that alone. What I also enjoy is the advice that is offered everywhere, for instance:

“Driving is not recommended as parking here is very difficult.” Then directions about taking the subway to the Lower East Side are given.

The book is full of brightly colored photos of everyday situations found in diverse areas of New York which gives one a ‘feel’ for the city. Maps are everywhere and give a good sense of ‘place’ in relation to areas of interest. The pages are quite sturdy, so much so that they give the guide quite a heft (well, that could also be because this book is 550 pages). I have to admit I weighed the book on my kitchen scale – it weighs just short of 1 ½ lbs (about .6 kg). Now that’s not much if you’re driving to New York and you have it tucked into your glove compartment but hauling this book around in your luggage might get heavy. However, even if you tend to travel light, I’d make room for this book.

All in all, I found this book to be an excellent resource. It’s complete as far as I can tell, and one can always check the Fodor website (www.fodors.com) for more information.

5 comments:

Staci on January 5, 2009 at 8:11 PM said...

I've always wanted to visit NYC. Isn't that cool how this particular book turned up in your mailbox for review!! Have fun!!

Myckyee on January 5, 2009 at 11:26 PM said...

I've only been once before and I loved it. There wasn't enough time to do everything we wanted to but I knew we would go back. It's so vibrant!

Literary Feline on January 8, 2009 at 12:07 AM said...

Guide books do come in handy when visiting unfamiliar places. I'm not too familiar with Fodor's travel guides, but I will have to get one the next time I travel. It sounds like a good resource.

I hope you have a good time on your trip this spring!

bermudaonion on January 9, 2009 at 8:40 PM said...

I wish I could go to New York with you!

Myckyee on January 9, 2009 at 9:25 PM said...

Literary Feline, thanks! I didn't know these guide books either but I'm glad I found them.

Bermudaonion, I've decided to go when Book Expo America is happening. I'll try to get into it, but if not, hey, it's New York!

 

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