I wrote to my friend Mike in New York and asked him about his top 10 places to see in NYC.

Hi Mike,

I just found out that you are based in NYC. I didn’t notice that before. Yes. I will visit New York soon. The schedule is not fixed, but it should be before the X’mas. I know you must have many tips to share. If I ask you to list the top 10 places to see in NYC, what will you say? :-D

Jian Shuo Wang

Mike replied quickly with his top 10 list of New York City. I found it a very good guide for first time visitors to New York. After checking Mike for permission, I am posting his suggestions here. It may be helpful for other visitors. It may inspire many readers to make their own top 10 list about New York, or their own cities.

(1) Statue of Liberty – most touristy place for out-of-town tourists; a lot of New Yorkers have never visited.

(2) Time Square – crowded, not very far from the MS New York office; there is a place to buy half-priced ticket for Broadway shows for the same night.

(3) The Metropolitan Museum of Art – one of top art museums of the world; takes more than one day to finish; a stroll in the Central Park afterwards is highly recommended.

(4) Rockefeller Center – largest Christmas tree in the world (so claimed); NBC TV studio and store are there.

(5) Chinatown – very crowded, good Cantonese or Sichuan restaurants; next to Little Italy with good Italian food.

(6) The New York Stock Exchange – the center of Capitalism. Wall Street and Ground Zero are nearby too.

(7) The Empire State Building – tallest building after 9/11 with observation deck on top.

(8) Brooklyn Bridge – You can walk on the bridge and have a good view of the East River. The bridge was the tallest structure in the world when it was built late 19 century.

(9) Big Apple Bus Tour – a city-wide bus tour you can hop on and off at many points; good and quick way to see different parts of the city.

(10) Fifth Avenue – Christmas shopping (or just window shopping) for fashion; downtown West Broadway has more upscale fashion boutiques (places where you can shop for your wife but things can be a bit expensive that you will be secretly happy that she does not come along).

I think you should at least go to one good restaurant for Western cuisine and a French bakery for pastry. There are too many good choices to list.

P.S. Mike Wu is a Rapid Response Engineer in Microsoft based on New York City.

Virus Found on this Site Yesterday

Yang Pan and Gordong Wang reported that some pages on this site were infected by a MHTMLRedir.Exploit virus. It is confirmed. How astonishing it was. I built the page from template. The template itself was stored in database and was free of virus. I rebuilt all the pages and everything is OK now. I have complained to the hosting company because I assume it was infected by other threads on the server. Thanks for your report for me to correct the problem quickly.

Shanghai Trail

I learnt a small shop space near Xintiandi only cost around 5000 RMB/month to rent. Not a very bad deal. I dreamed to open an Unofficial Shanghai Tourist Center before. I don’t like the so-called Shanghai Official Tourist Center. They are not helpful as the worst travel company because they have no incentive to attract more visitors to their centers (they are not a profit center so not many people care). In the “unofficial” tourist center, there will be some free articles (printed from this site and other contributing sources) and some volunteers to offer tour guide (in exchange of foreign language practices with native speakers to Shanghai). It may remain a dream until I decide to retire some day. I am serious because retiring early (than age of 40) was my other dream.

The Freedom Trail in Boston inspired me a lot. For a visitor to a completely new city, nothing is more helpful than a pre-selected trail so he/she can follow to see some good places. The places do not have to be the most famous places or the landmarkers. A trail connecting some nice book stores, or typical local resident houses are also appreciated.

I talked about the Shanghai Trail idea (name it Wangjianshuo’s Trail? Haha) with some friends before. It was before I started my Starbucks Trail (Reason). When people suggested me to visit other places than a globally consistant coffee shop, I explained that “It is the trail that connects all the Starbucks that attracted me, instead of the shops.” By connencting the Starbucks, you get a well designed trail showing your the morden aspect of the city – the Starbucks were all selected to the good office buildings. I will draw the trail and you will find how nice the places along the trail is.

Just like this trail, there should be more trails with different aspects of Shanghai, isn’t it?

Fly to US is Cheap

I didn’t believe newsletters from large companies will contain any interesting information. I always flow the “Subscribe, Receive, Delete, Receive, Delete, …., Bothered, Unsubscribe” pattern. The Northwest Airlines latest promotion was an exception. I learnt it only take 1,880 (230 USD) for round trip from Guangzhou to SFO, and 2,880 RMB (350 USD) for round tip to New York. I monitor the air ticket price closely for the U.S. Trip.