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.