Local SiM or phone cards are highly recommended for connecting with your colleagues in the city during your stay. International ‘roaming’ connected to your Australian personal mobile telephone can be prohibitively expensive while in the USA.
Depending on your arrangement with your telephone company it is a matter of choice. Many participants to the CSW meetings will consider using a second, cheap phone and use either T-Mobile, or Sprint ‘SIM’ cards, for example, as a good local alternative to super expensive ‘roaming’ costs. If you choose to use your own phone, before buying a local SIM card check whether your mobile is unlocked and can work in the USA (GSM and non GSM) networks.
WiFi: The UN has a WiFi service for those attending conferences inside the building, but that service ends upon leaving the site. There may be no WiFi in the NGO parallel session venues. You may want to check with your hotel in regards to the WiFi / or wireless services they offer during your stay. The cost for this will vary from accommodation to accommodation.
Some public venues such as New York Public Library may offer free WiFi as do some parks (weather permitting). Free WiFi can be found in various cafes and locations relatively close to the UN, including at the time of writing:
- Cosi Sandwich Bar, 685 3rd Avenue between 43rd and 44th Streets.
- In the vicinity of the Station Master’s Office in Grand Central Terminal. The wireless service can only accommodate 60 users online at a time. The Station Master’s Office is the waiting area for ticket-holding passengers and is located near Track 36.
- Barnes and Noble, 555 Fifth Avenue near 46th Street.
Post cards and letters can be sent from the Post Office in the Tourist lobby of the UN building. In the foyer of the main UN building you can be photographed for your own personalised sheet of UN stamps. For packages (of documents you may have collected), there is a local post office near to the UN located on Lexington Avenue at 45th Street. The city’s Main Post Office is at 8th Avenue and 33rd street and is open 24 hours a day.