The holiday season means New York City is packed full of tourists exploring what the city has to offer. Valarie D’Elia heads to the crossroads of the world, Times Square, to help travelers from all around the world take a bite out of the Big Apple.
Every day at New York City’s official information center at 7th Avenue and 52nd Street, all kinds of questions come through the door.
A popular one is seeing the Big Apple from above.
“We were interested in finding out about helicopter tours,” said one tourist.
Finding great cheesecake, booking the Yankee Stadium tour and the 9/11 memorial were also among the queries on Thursday.
After observing for a couple of hours, I took a turn answering questions.
“I want to see if we can get some tickets to Wicked,” said a tourist.
Out of more than 50 million visitors this year to New York City, an estimated 7,000 of them walk into the five visitors center each week.
I see firsthand that the center is multi-lingual assisting global visitors as far flung as Russia, Austrailia, China, Spain, London, California and France.
"This basic information on New York City in 10 different languages, including French,” said a Sam Morales, manager of the 7th Avenue information center.
The coolest thing about the information center is it has the only above ground MetroCard machine in the city.
So, how'd I do with my first foray as a visitor center specialist?
“When someone comes to the center, they want to talk to a New Yorker. You know, they want to sort of feel like a New Yorker and sort of act like a New Yorker and talk and get the feeling of New York. So you did a great job,” said Morales.
The midtown visitors center is open seven days a week, including holidays. Oh, yes and the bathroom is across the street at the Sheraton.
For more information on the centers, go to www.nycgo.com.