New York is a city of absolute wonders, but first you have to get here. And on that front, our public transportation options from area airports are perhaps not as seamless as they are in other cities. Eric Mortensen (Juilliard's Digital Media Librarian and IAML's assistant web editor) has created this very helpful transportation guide, to which Janie G. offers the following personal advice and comments:
La Guardia is the airport closest to the upper west side of Manhattan. However, international flights are more likely to arrive at JFK or Newark International airports. Both La Guardia and JFK are in Queens, one of our five boroughs. Bear in mind that Manhattan is an island, so you have to cross waterways connected to our mainland by bridges or tunnels. The AirTrain is a good option from JFK. If you choose to take a cab, it is a flat fare of $52 plus tolls and tip. In other words, no matter how much traffic you encounter, the fare will not exceed that amount. As Johnny T. conveyed in our infamous "Welcome to NYC" video, and as all of us will remind you, DO NOT, DO NOT respond to offers of rides by persons who approach you in the arrival terminal. Just find the sign for yellow taxis, and wait there for the next available cab. The dispatcher will give you a piece of paper from the NY Taxi and Limousine Commission that outlines the flat fare, and the professional obligations of the taxi driver. Take it.
Taxi or limo service from Newark airport will be the most costly option. Newark is in New Jersey, a different state. So, if you arrive in Newark, follow Eric's directions for AirTrain or bus service to Manhattan.
And once you get to the island, you'll become expert in our subway system. Yes, announcements may be garbled and un-intelligible (no matter what one's native language is), but people will be helpful. And NY is truly an international city: subway signs are posted in multiple languages, and you're likely to find someone who can assist you in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Cantonese, or Mandarin. Or of course in English.