Getting Around

LFCS 07 Conference Venues

These are the main sites of LFCS; most of them are located in Midtown Manhattan (Google Maps by default show all subway stops, marked by white M’s in blue squares. Zooming in you can find the list of subway lines that serve a specific station. Train stations on the map, including New York Penn Station, Grand Central Terminal, and 33rd Street PATH Station are indicated by black train pictograms).

1.   CUNY Graduate Center. The Graduate Center is located on the east side of Fifth Avenue between 34th and 35th Streets. There are several subway stations nearby (in order of increasing distance):

  1. 34th Street-Herald Square (at Sixth Avenue (aka Avenue of the Americas) and Broadway) served by orange lines B, D, F, V and yellow lines N, Q, R, W.
  2. 33rd Street (at Park Avenue South) served by green line 6 (warning: local stop, see subway miniguide).
  3. 34th Street-Penn Station (at Seventh Avenue) served by red lines 1, 2, and 3.
  4. Another 34th Street-Penn Station (at Eighth Avenue) served by blue lines A, C, and E.

2.   Midtown hotels (i.e., all except International House, see 3 below) are within walking distance of the Graduate Center. You can locate the subway station closest to the hotel of your choice by checking the conference map. Be advised that the 33rd Street station of green line 6 is not equipped with elevators or escalators; if your luggage is heavy, you might want to use the 34th Street-Herald Square station instead.

3.   International House is further away. It is served by red line 1. Unfortunately, neither 116th Street-Columbia University station nor 125th Street station, the two subway stations closest to International House, is equipped with elevators; there are escalators for part of the descent from the elevated 125th Street station. More detailed information on getting there can be found below.

4.   Welcome reception will take place at O’Reilly’s on Sunday, June 3 at 7-9 PM. O’Reilly’s is within walking distance from all midtown hotels (you can find them and O’Reilly’s on this map). If you stay at International House, you can take red subway line 1 to 34th Street-Penn Station (marked “34th St-Penn Station [1,2,3]” on the map) and then walk to the restaurant.

5.   Conference dinner will take place at the Jewel of India restaurant on Monday, June 4 at 7 PM. The restaurant is within walking distance from the Graduate Center and all midtown hotels. On the map you can find a suggested walking route to the restaurant from the Graduate Center past the renowned New York Public Library building lined with lions. You will also find there a host of subway stations in the close vicinity of the restaurant.

Airport Information

New York City is served by three major airports, John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), and LaGuardia Airport (LGA). See the instructions below for transportation to Midtown Manhattan. We suggest to keep your luggage to a minimum if you plan on taking the subway through the city, especially during rush hour, as it will be difficult to pull multiple large bags through the crowded train stations. You may also wish to avoid the subway late at night for safety reasons.

  • From Newark Airport (EWR):
      1. Taxi. A taxi to Manhattan will cost about $60 – $80, including round-trip(!) tolls and tip. Taxis operate on a flat-rate system; the taxi dispatcher will hand you a rate card and indicate what your base flat-rate fare, before tolls and tip, will be. Customary tip is 15-20%; there is an additional charge of approx. $1 for each piece of luggage over 24 inches handled by the driver. Travel time can be anywhere from 35 minutes depending on traffic.
      2. AirTrain + NJTransit. AirTrain is a monorail service that links the airport with New Jersey Transit trains. The monorail to the Newark Liberty International Airport Train Station is free. You can buy a ticket for the New Jersey Transit train either at the airport, where an airport employee in a burgundy jacket will assist you and explain your travel options, or at the Newark Airport Train Station. The ticket to New York Penn Station, which is within walking distance of all our Midtown hotels (see the conference map), is $14 one-way. Two NJ Transit lines serve the Newark Airport Station: Northeast Corridor Line (red) and North Jersey Coast Line (blue) (see NJ Transit Rail map). The red line is a safer bet as some blue line trains terminate before reaching New York, which requires an additional transfer at Newark Penn Station. A detailed schedule for your day of travel (along with a more readable map) can be found here. Travel time is approx. 50 minutes.

    1. AirTrain + NJTransit + PATH. It is possible to reduce the cost to $9 in exchange for an extra transfer. Buy a ticket for NJ Transit to Newark Penn Station ($7.50) instead of New York Penn Station; in this case it does not matter which northbound train to take. At Newark Penn Station, transfer to the PATH train directly across the platform (here is the PATH system map). You can pay the $1.50 PATH fare with a Pay-per-Ride Metrocard available from vending machines on the PATH platform (hint: you can later use the extra money on your Metrocard for the New York City subway). Take the World Trade Center-bound line (color on the map is red; you will see letters “WTC” illuminated above the doors of the train; being the only PATH line at Newark Penn Station, it is hard to miss). Transfer at the second stop, Journal Square, to a 33rd Street-bound line (only one – either yellow or dashed yellow-blue line – operates depending on when you travel; make sure that “33” is among the destinations illuminated above the doors). Get off at the last stop, 33rd Street station, which is within walking distance from all Midtown hotels (see the conference map). Travel time is approx. 75 minutes.
    2. Bus + PATH. If you have only one carry-on, you can take New Jersey Transit bus 62 from the airport direct to Newark Penn Station. This lowers the cost of the trip to $2.75. To catch the bus, go to the lowest level of your terminal (baggage claim) and follow the signs to NJ Transit buses; you will need $1.25 in exact change to board the bus; a dollar bill plus coins is fine. From Newark Penn Station you can follow the PATH instructions from option 3 above. Travel time is approx. 80 minutes depending on traffic.
    3. There are also coach buses from the airport to Grand Central Terminal and the Port Authority Bus Terminal (see conference map). A one-way ticket costs $14 ($23 round-trip). You can buy it online or at the ground transportation center on the lowest baggage claim level of the airport terminal (bus drivers do not sell tickets). Both from Grand Central or from Port Authority Bus Terminals you can leisurely walk 8-15 blocks to your hotel or take a subway (see the subway map). Travel time to Manhattan can be anywhere from 55 minutes depending on traffic.
    • From JFK Airport (JFK):
        1. Taxi. A taxi to Manhattan will cost between $50 and $60 (including tip and toll). Taxis operate on a flat-rate of $45 to any place in Manhattan before tolls and tip. To get the lower of the above rates you should instruct the taxi driver to choose a toll-free route. The ride can take anywhere from 40 minutes depending on the traffic.
        2. AirTrain + LIRR. JFK also has an AirTrain that can connect you to the New York City subway and/or to the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). The AirTrain costs $5, payable at the end of your ride: just buy a Pay-per-Ride Metrocard from a vending machine at AirTrain Stations A or D (hint: you can later use the extra money on the Metrocard for the New York City subway). Take the AirTrain to Jamaica Station, Station D for a convenient transfer to LIRR. You can take an LIRR train to New York Penn Station, which is within walking distance from all Midtown hotels (you will be traveling westbound along the grey portion of the LIRR map; to check the schedule, go here and choose an appropriate link in the “To Penn Station” column). Typically, an LIRR ticket costs $5 – $7 (try to buy a ticket from an LIRR ticket vending machine at a station as the fare will be higher if you buy a ticket on board). If you arrive in NYC on Saturday or Sunday, you can buy a CityTicket for $3 (is not sold on board), which is a 35-minute trip for only $8.
        3. AirTrain + subway. As an alternative to the LIRR, you can transfer to the blue E subway line at the upper platform of the Sutphin Boulevard/Archer Avenue/JFK Airport subway station. Or you can take an AirTrain to Howard Beach Station, Station A instead of Station D. At Howard Beach Station you can transfer to the blue A subway line at the Manhattan-bound platform of the Howard Beach-JFK Airport subway station. A Mahhattan-bound train on either line will get you to 34th Street-Penn Station for a total of $7 in about 60 minutes (including the AirTrain).

      1. There are also coach buses from the airport to the Grand Central Terminal, the Port Authority Bus Terminal, and Penn Station (with transfer at Grand Central). A one-way ticket costs $15 ($27 round-trip). You can make a reservation online. Moreover, they claim to provide drop-off at and pick-up from Midtown hotels, including the New Yorker Hotel, Hotel 31, Herald Square Hotel, and Gershwin Hotel ($15 one-way, $33 round-trip); see New York Airport Service for complete details. Travel time to Manhattan can be anywhere from 40 minutes depending on traffic.
  • From LaGuardia Airport (LGA):
      1. Taxi. There is no fixed rate from LaGuardia Airport. You will pay by the meter amount, plus toll and tip. An approximate fare is $30, including toll and tip. To lower the price, you can instruct the taxi driver to choose a toll-free route, which may result in a longer trip. The ride can take anywhere from 25 minutes depending on the traffic.
      2. Coach buses. New York Airport Service serves LaGuardia airport too. See JFK option 4 for details. Prices from LaGuardia are $12 one-way, $21 round-trip to Grand Central, the Port Authority Bus Terminals and to Penn Station (with transfer at Grand Central). Hotel drop-off/pick up is $12 one-way, $27 round-trip. Online reservation is available. Travel time is anywhere from 50 minutes depending on traffic.

    1. Bus + subway. If you have only one carry-on and absolutely no time restrictions, you can take a bus from the airport to a subway. The cost is $2 (if you use a Pay-per-Ride Metrocard for a free transfer from bus to subway). The buses that stop at the subway are the M60 and Q33 (unlike the subway, they do not operate late nights). You can pay $2 in coins to the driver, but then you will have to pay an extra $2 for the subway, so you should try to buy a Metrocard from a newsstand at the airport. M60 provides connections with A, B, C, D, N, W, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 subway lines at various points along its route (see M60 bus schedule and map). Possibly the optimal transfer point if you are not a fan of carrying heavy suitcases up and down stairs is at West 125th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue in Manhattan to the 125th Street station of blue and orange subway lines. In order not to miss your stop: wait till the bus crosses the East River; it will then operate along 125th Street; look for white-on-green street names at the intersections and for subway entrances marked with line letters/numbers. All stops are by request, so you may need to press a button or a strip located throughout the bus to signal your desire to get off. St. Nicholas Avenue is the second intersection after passing the famous Apollo Theater on your right (zoom in on the map). Once off the bus, use the elevator on the opposite side of 125th Street to go down; after paying your fare, take another elevator to the downtown platform. Down at the downtown platform, you can either take a blue A train to 34th Street-Penn Station or an orange D train to 34th Street-Herald Square. Both lines normally run express, which will save you some time (see subway miniguide about possible schedule changes). All three subway stations are equipped with elevators. Be advised that the 125th Street portion of the bus route can take an inordinate amount of time due to traffic congestion.
      The alternative bus, Q33, will take you to the E, F, G, R, V, and 7 subway lines in about 30 minutes, traffic permitting (see Q33 bus schedule and map). If you fly by Delta Shuttle, take Q47 instead. These buses are easier to navigate since you do not have to worry about getting off at the right place: you will travel the whole length of the route to its 74th Street Bus Terminal. There, at the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue subway station, take either a Manhattan-bound blue line E to 34th Street-Penn Station or a Manhattan-bound orange line F to 34th Street-Herald Square. Both normally run express (see subway miniguide about possible schedule changes). Again all three stations are equipped with elevators. Your total travel time with some luck will be about 60 minutes.

Arriving by train or bus

Both major train stations, Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal, as well as the Port Authority Bus Terminal are within walking distance from most hotels (see conference map).

For those who are staying in International House

Attending talks. This dorm-like housing is the furthest from the main site. Be prepared to take subway at least twice a day and reserve about 45 minutes to get to/from Graduate Center. The closest subway station is 125th Street on the red 1 line. You can either take the 1 train all the way to 34th Street-Penn Station and walk to the Graduate Center or, to save some time, you can use a convenient across-the-platform transfer between the local 1 train and the express 2 or 3 trains at the 96th Street station.
Getting there from an airport. Most probably you will follow the general directions to Midtown Manhattan and then hop onto a 1 train at 34th Street-Penn Station or at Times Square-42nd Street for an extra $2 (unless you take a taxi in the first place or transfer from another subway line). Unfortunately, neither the 116th Street-Columbia University nor the 125th Street 1 train station of the is equipped with elevators (125th Street platform is high above ground level; there is an escalator that takes you most of the way down… when it works, of course). So expect some physical exercise. The only better alternative exists if you fly into LaGuardia Airport. Then you should take M60 bus (see LaGuardia option 3 above). But instead of getting off at St. Nicholas Avenue, proceed till the bus turns left onto Broadway (that will be the second left turn after 125th Street, see the map). Get off at the first stop after that, go uptown to 122nd Street, turn left and walk until you reach Riverside Drive, then turn right and walk to International House, which will be the first building on your right after the park.

Miniguide to New York City Subway and Buses

Being one of the largest subway systems in the world, the New York City subway may differ from other subways with which you are familiar. Most conference sites are within walking distance from each other. So you may end up not using the subway at all. Here are some tips for those willing to do it:

1.   The word “train” is often used instead of “line.” You may well hear “Downtown R train is arriving…”
2.   Not all lines run at all times; some lines run differently depending on the time of the day and day of the week. Lines may not run on weekends (including B, V, and W trains). Lines may not run evenings/late nights or have shorter routes then (these include B, C, R, V, W, and 3 trains). For more information, pick up a free subway map from any booth agent at a subway entrance or download it here; at the bottom of the map you will find details on how lines are running at different times of day on weekdays and on weekends. You may also have noted that each mention of a subway line in these instructions is a link to a page with a full description of how the line operates.
3.   Some trains run express, i.e., they skip the stations marked by black dots on the map; other trains are local and stop everywhere. For example, 4 and 5 trains typically do not stop at 33rd Street Station because they run express. All lines that stop at a station are listed under the station’s name on the map. Lines with boldface letters/numbers in such a list serve the station at all times; non-boldface ones only serve the station at certain periods: be sure to check the bottom of the map.
4.   Pay attention to signs directing you to subway platforms and subway entrances: sometimes express and local trains stop at different platforms. More importantly, sometimes opposite direction trains have separate entrances: you may have to pay extra $2 if you get into a wrong one. In all such cases the entrance will be marked “Downtown” (southbound) or “Uptown” (northbound). In particular, 33rd Street 6 train station has separate uptown and downtown entrances.
5.   If you arrive Saturday, June 2 or Sunday, June 3 or if you travel late at night, pay special attention to posters and flyers at the stations and on the platforms alerting you to reroutings due to maintenance work. These reroutings differ from week to week and may drastically change (or eliminate) the line you are going to take. A complete list of weekend changes can be found here. Line-by-line service changes during the week can be found here.
6.   Try to avoid taking buses because they are extremely slow. The only possible exception to this rule are buses from LaGuardia Airport that are more or less the only type of public transportation there (see LaGuardia option 3 above).
7.   Bus number consists of a letter followed by a number, e.g., Q37 and X37 are different buses. The letter refers to the borough mainly served by the bus: M means Manhattan, B means Brooklyn, Q means Queens, Bx means Bronx, S means Staten Island. Finally, X means express. The express buses are more expensive ($5 instead of $2); also $24 weekly passes are not valid for them.

Paying for subway or bus.

There are two types of Metrocards that can be used to pay for both subways and buses:
1)   Pay-per-Ride ($2 per a subway or bus ride). Transfer between subway and a bus and from bus to another bus is free (minor restrictions apply that most probably will not affect you; you can find the fine print here.
You can charge a pay-per-ride card with any sum between $4 and $80. But it is beneficial to buy in multiples of $10 as you get a 20% bonus, for example $12 instead of $10 (if you anticipate frequent use).
2)   Unlimited Ride. ($24 for 7 days or $7 for 1 day).
Both types of Metrocards can be bought from vending machines at the stations (cash or credit card) and some newsstands at the airport. Further information about fares can be found here.
3)   Exact change can be used to pay for a bus: no bills are accepted. You may not get a free transfer.
4)  Needless to say, you should only buy a Metrocard from a vending machine or a station booth agent.

Miniguide to New York City Grid

In Manhattan, “Downtown” is considered a direction not just a destination; it’s South, or rather what New Yorkers refer to as South, that is, SSW along Manhattan’s major axis. Similarly Uptown is North. As you can see in the maps, Manhattan is roughly a grid of numbered streets running East-West and avenues running North-South. The numbers of the streets increase as you go uptown (North) while the building numbers on each street increase from Fifth Avenue. Fifth Avenue is the spine of the island splitting streets into “East” and “West.” For example, 1 East 34th Street and 500 East 34 Street are both East of Fifth Avenue with 500 E 34 St being approx. 0.7 miles further east. 500 E 34 St and 500 W 34 St are actually different places approx. 1.5 miles apart. Many avenues are also numbered, increasing Westward. Building numbers on avenues increase as you head uptown. The grid helps make New York a very walkable city as it is hard to get lost on a Cartesian plane; 1 mile is approximately 20 streets or 6-8 avenues.
Warning: all this discussion is applicable to Manhattan only, excluding Lower Manhattan. In particular, there is yet another 500 East 34th Street in Brooklyn; Downtown in Brooklyn means North; 65th Avenue in Queens is followed by 65th Road, and only then by 66th Avenue, etc.