What to download for your BEA trip
As the countdown to BEA / Book Expo America begins, I thought it would be useful to think about what wired folk should download (besides books, of course), so you might consider:
Signing up for:
Your Twitter arsenal: Twitter will be *the* way to keep up with people and panels. If you haven’t already signed up, chances are you won’t be familiar enough with the program to utilize it at BEA, but for current users, make sure you’ve got your mobile app like Tweetie or Twitterberry and, if you’d like, a desktop manager like Digsby or Tweetdeck .
Flickr: if you want to post / share pictures
Downloading on your iPhone (although you can access these applications on the web, too):
Hopstop: particularly handy for getting around the city because it provides both subway / bus and walking directions. We use it for getting to neighborhoods with which we’re not familiar (or any areas served by the G or M trains).
NYC Subway Map: There are several free iPhone applications that provide maps of the NYC subway system. @DBerthiaume uses CityTransit (available for $2.99) that uses GPS to find you the nearest subway station (and which also includes maps of Metro North — with trains serving Westchester and Connecticut — and the Long Island Railroad). Maps for New Jersey Transit buses and trains (including PATH trains that serve Hoboken and Jersey City) can be found on the NJ Transit web site.
*** Note: A lot of subway lines are “affected” — by which I mean “royally screwed up” — by track work on weekends. Check the MTA Service Advisories site for details (and the iPhone application CityTransit provides these updates from the MTA site). ***
Yelp: information about nearby bars, restaurants, shopping, hotels, banks, drugstores and more
Loopt: find people (but only if they’re on Loopt as well — Twitter sort of does the same thing)
Any New Yorkers have other suggestions for handy getting-around-NYC applications? Please comment.
Once you’re in New York, these web sites may be of use.
Menu Pages: @kalenski reminded me of this useful site that lists menus for hundreds (thousands?) of New York City restaurants broken down by cuisine, neighborhood, zip code — pretty much any designation you’d want.
GoMobo: Allows you to place on order online with a local eatery and then have it delivered (or you can pick it up).
Open Table: If you know where you want to eat, you can make reservations here.
And here are some tips for catching a bus the New York way (or at least my way).
As you may know, the Javits Center, located at 34th Street and 11th Avenue, is a bit out of the way. The closest subways are at 34th and Seventh Avenue or at 34th and Eighth Avenue; depending on how fast you walk, you’re looking at a 10-20 minute hike.
The Javits Center Directions page notes that there is an M34 crosstown bus available. I will take this on faith. I have never taken it. I am not sure I have ever seen it. Nevertheless, if you would like to try, this is how to do it: walk west on the north side of 34th Street, which is the side of the road on which the bus allegedly arrives.
At each bus stop — one is located on each avenue, check to see if a bus is in view. If it is, wait for it; if not, continue walking to the next avenue. Periodically, turn your head to see if the bus is coming — it’s perfectly normal; New Yorkers are paranoid — and if it is, book like all heck to the next stop. Keep doing this until you catch the bus or get to the Javits Center. I always find it tremendously fulfilling when I beat the bus to my destination. The small pleasures.
And lastly, for tweeple coming to New York, feel free to use #nychelp if you have questions about the city (and if you’re from New York and are willing to help out, check the hash tag and answer what questions you can). Check my Want to help out bookish folks coming to NYC for BEA? post for details.