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Convention 2016 Travel

The convention site (Friday evening through Monday) will be on the campus of St. John's University.

Getting to St. John's

See the annotated campus map for the bus stop and garage locations described in the following sections, along with the main convention areas.

From Manhattan or Brooklyn

Take the E or F train to the Kew Gardens/Union Turnpike station. From there the Q46 bus, which runs along Union Turnpike, takes you directly to St. John's. See below for details on these subway and bus routes.

Subways: E or F Lines from Manhattan

The E train runs along 8th Avenue in Manhattan and is accessible from Penn Station (34th Street stop), the Port Authority Bus Terminal (42nd Street stop) or Grand Central (by taking the #6 train one stop to 51st Street and transferring to the Lexington Avenue stop on the E train). The F train originates in Brooklyn and runs along 6th Avenue in Manhattan. The trip on both subway lines takes about 30 minutes from 34th Street to Union Turnpike.

There is elevator service at the Union Turnpike station. One elevator takes you from the platform to the mezzanine level; a second elevator goes from the mezzanine to the street. To get to the nearest Q46 bus stop (not the origination point but the first stop on Union Turnpike), you would cross Queens Boulevard, a multi-lane road, and walk about 1.5 blocks.

The exit closest to the originating Q46 bus stop is located at about the middle of the train; the Q46 bus stop is right outside the exit. The exit closest to the elevator is at the front of the train.

Q46 Bus

The buses run roughly every 5-6 minutes on weekdays and 8-10 minutes on weekends. There are quite a few limited (LTD) buses that make selected stops only, but these run only on weekdays.

The bus stops closest to the OrigamiUSA convention sites are: 173rd Street (Gate 5, G5 on the campus map below) and 175th Street (Gate 4, G4 on the map). Only 173rd is a limited (LTD) stop. For the return trip to the subway, the stops are at 171st Street and 174th Street. Neither of these is a limited stop.

The trip from the Union Turnpike/Kew Gardens station to the school takes approximately 16-18 minutes according to the published schedule (although a test trial mid-afternoon during the week took only 12 minutes both ways). The actual schedule can be viewed here.

From the LIRR (Long Island Railroad) or JFK Air Train Stop in Jamaica

Starting from Jamaica at either the LIRR station or the Air Train stop on the E train at Sutphin Boulevard, you would take either the Q30 or Q31 bus (from Sutphin Boulevard and Archer Avenue) directly to St. John's along Utopia Parkway. See below for details on the bus routes.

Q30 and Q31 Buses

The Q30 runs roughly every 5-8 minutes on weekdays and 15-30 minutes on weekends. The Q31 (which has a more restricted schedule on weekends – from 8 or 9 am to 7 pm) runs roughly every 10-20 minutes on weekdays and 20-30 minutes on weekends. The trip from Sutphin Boulevard/Archer Avenue to the school takes, on average, 20 minutes. Both buses stop at Union Turnpike and Utopia Parkway, 2 blocks from the entrance at 175th Street and Union Turnpike (Gate 4, G4 on the map below). They also stop at 80th Road and Utopia Parkway (Gate 3, G3 on the map), which will be a pickup stop for the campus carts (see below).

The actual schedules can be viewed here:

By Car

If you are driving to St. John's University, enter through Gate 6 (G6), located at 170th Street and Goethals Avenue. As you enter, make the first left turn and drive through the parking area to the parking garage.

Specific address and GPS information:

St. John's University
8000 Utopia Parkway
Queens, NY 11439
GPS: 40.721378, -73.790375
718-990-2000

More detailed driving instructions can be found on the St. John's website.

Free parking is available for both overnight and day attendees.

Getting Around St. John's

Walking

The St. John's campus is easily navigable – in striking contrast to last year's experience. The terrain is primarily flat, with a few inclined areas and minimal stairs to climb along the walking paths. The primary convention areas are in buildings that are quite close to each other, easily reached by short walks.

This annotated campus map shows direct walking paths from the bus stops and among the primary convention sites. As you become familiar with the campus, you will no doubt find your own preferred routes -- possibly shorter and more scenic.

If You Have Accessibility Issues

For those who prefer not to walk, we will be providing three 5-seater golf carts traveling regularly between the bus stops and the parking and convention areas.

Cart service will be available at key times throughout the day and will cover major convention and bus stop locations in its route. The three 5-seater carts will make the circuit at "rush hour" times during the day – early morning before class registration, lunchtime, evenings after classes. Service may be available at other times of the day and evening, perhaps with more abbreviated routes (to be announced).

This annotated campus map shows the full circuit to be covered by the carts.

Before You Come

First, of course, don't forget to register for the convention! And if you want to stay in the St. John's University dorms, register for housing, as well. Also see the links in the sidebar to the left.

Travel around New York is complex, with many overlapping systems - bus, train, subway, taxi - so we highly recommend you find yourself a good guidebook. The "Lonely Planet" series of guidebooks are generally excellent, and, for our international visitors, they publish in German, French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese and Japanese. Find a guidebook you like, and definitely read it before you come! There are also many websites to help plan your visit.

A detailed map of New York will be helpful if you plan on doing any sightseeing before or after the convention; transportation maps are available at major bus and train stations.

There are bus stations very close to St. John's University, making it an easy spot from which to launch trips around the city.

And if you think you might need some extra assistance before or during the convention - whether with language, first-timer questions, or any other special requests - please get in touch with us at convention-info [at] origamiusa.org and we'll see if we can help. Please remember that we're all volunteers, and so we cannot guarantee assistance with every special need, but will do our best to accommodate you.

Entering the U.S.

If you'll be coming from outside the United States, remember that Customs and Immigration processes at U.S. ports of entry have become increasingly strict; please make sure you understand what paperwork is necessary for travel from your country to the U.S.

See:

Some countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program - from these countries, a visitor's visa is not required. See the U.S. State Departement website for details:

If you are traveling from a country not participating in the Visa Waiver Program, then you will need a visa - and need to allow for sufficient time prior to your departure for visa processing - plan ahead! Some countries require an invitation letter in order to obtain a visa. If you need one, contact convention-info [at] origamiusa.org and we will provide you with an invitation to attend the convention.

Getting to NYC

By air

New York is served by three major airports, run by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey: LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy International and Newark Liberty International. LaGuardia and Kennedy are closest to St. John's. Newark is not recommended. The taxi fare from LaGuardia to the campus might be somewhat lower than from JFK (probably under $25).

airport map

Public transportation is available to St. John's from JFK, by taking the Air Train to Jamaica and transferring to the Q30 or Q31 bus (see details under "Getting to St. John's" above.

General information on getting to and from the airports is accessible here:

Specific information on each airport, including terminal maps and other details:

By train

Long-distance, interstate travel by train is served by Amtrak; all Amtrak trains arrive in New York at Pennsylvania Station (abbreviated "Penn Station" by locals; and with station code "NYP" within Amtrak).

If you're coming from the surrounding areas, you have several other choices:

  • Long Island Railroad, serving Long Island, NY, and terminating at Penn Station in Manhattan
  • Metro-North Railroad, directly serving stations East of the Hudson River out of Grand Central Station in Manhattan, and West of the Hudson via connections to New Jersey Transit's Hoboken station.
  • New Jersey Transit, serving stations in New Jersey, with service terminating in Hoboken, New Jersey, and in New York's Penn Station

By bus

There are a huge number of bus lines running to/from New York, too numerous to list here. Most bus lines use the Port Authority Bus Terminal located between Eighth and Ninth Avenues from 40th to 42nd Street.

Getting around NYC, generally

On foot

Manhattan, in spite of its size, is a very walkable city. The roads are (mostly) laid out in a grid: "Avenues" run approximately North/South, and are either named or numbered; "Streets" run approximately East-West, and are (generally) numbered. Streets are designated "West" if they are west of 5th Avenue, and "East" if they are to the east of it. South of approximately 14th Street the strict grid begins to break down, and navigating is a bit more of a challenge.

Bus, Subway and Train

Public transportation in the city is run by the New York City Transit, part of The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).

All parts of Manhattan are easily accessible by bus and subway.

Taxi

New York's famous yellow taxicabs are another very useful option for getting around the city, particularly if you're traveling with a small group. Some information on the cab system in the city, including fare information:

Wheelchair Accessibility

The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission provides this information to request demand-responsive wheelchair accessible service. Information is here: