Travel & Leisure
If you’re planning a trip to the Big Apple, NYCD-ROM (Alan Rand Multimedia Group) is a handy disc. It’s billed as a “Cultural Directory” of New York City. There’s information on over 300 institutions, accessible in three ways: by Categories, Active Maps, or Directory. Click on Categories to bring up a screen with icons representing art museums, science centers, theaters, concert halls, historic buildings, etc. Click on one to get a list of appropriate institutions; say, The Museum of American Folk Art. Click again for a profile of the Museum, including photos, a short history, and a map showing its location. The program will even help get you there by giving you bus or subway routes. Directory lets you browse through all the institutions included on the disc, or you can search by location using the Active Map. Pass the cursor over pins representing every place listed in the Directory, in all five boroughs of the city. If you want to find all the institutions in mid-Manhattan that have gift shops and on-site parking and are open on Sunday, use the Search function, plug in the criteria and up pops a list. The visuals are good, the music is not bad (although an option to turn it off would be welcome), and there are short video introductions to the different sections by New York icons like Beverly Sills, Arthur Mitchell, and Philippe de Montebello, which add a touch of class. With all these good features, it’s too bad the disc limits coverage to the most well-known institutions. If you really wanted to get a taste of all that New York has to offer, you might want information on some slightly less highbrow recreations, like rock clubs – Tramps, The Knitting Factory, CBGB’s, The Beacon, and Roseland are all conspicuously absent. But here’s the kicker: you can’t print! Once again, a good reference tool is rendered practically useless unless you plan to carry your laptop with you. If you don’t, pack a paperback guide.
– March 1996
Previous Travel Review | Travel Index | Next Travel Review