This was a first trip for us. Thank you for all of the advice.
I found NYC to be a bustling, glitzy and exciting city. There is a diversity of people that is rare and really makes NYC an interesting and special place. From the giant skyscrapers to the serenity of Central Park, it is a fascinating place.
We arrived Saturday morning, took a taxi to our hotel, Le Parker Meridien, then set out on foot to have a look at the neighborhood and find breakfast. After some exploring, we found Certe at Lyn’s Café. Pastry, omelets and Belgium waffles with freshly-squeezed orange juice were very good.
We headed on foot to the MOMA next. We spent several hours absorbed in the art. We saw Starry Night, which was special to my daughter and me since I had done an art project with her class based on it.
We started heading towards our hotel, stopped to do a little shopping at H&M, then dropped into a Starbucks for a snack.
We headed back to our hotel to unpack. We loved the style and pretty much everything about Le Parker Meridien. The suite was very comfortable, and the location was especially good. It’s an easy walk to all of midtown.
After settling in, we headed out for dinner. We took the subway to Chinatown, but it was dark, and quite honestly, Chinatown seemed kind of creepy to me. It was night, and we were solicited by person after person lined up along the street. We moved on to Little Italy and had dinner at Taormini’s. The food was very good and we enjoyed the atmosphere.
We walked to Times Square. Everything glitters. We took it all in as we shopped. We went to the play Hair Spray (purchased tickets in advance). We all enjoyed it, but especially my 14-yr. old daughter. It was a lot of fun. Next, we went to Top of the Rock. The skyline views were incredible. All tourists should visit Top of the Rock.
We had a very special breakfast at Norma’s, in the Parker Meridien. The meal was fantastic, and beautiful modern décor matched the rest of the hotel.
We took the subway to the Ellis Island Ferry. This was the only time we had a problem with the subway. We needed to be in one of the front five cars, which we didn’t realize until reading a sign inside the car. We weren’t sure how many cars there were or which one we were in, so at each stop, we would move up a car and ask if we were in the front five yet. I think we did that about three times. Upon arrival we bought our tickets to Ellis Island and got in line. It took about an hour to board. The boat ride was lovely and we came upon the Statue of Liberty pretty quickly. Of course just seeing it makes you feel patriotic, with a lump in the throat. We took lots of pictures as we passed. We arrived at Ellis Island and toured the museum. It is such an interesting museum and again, the patriotic feeling hits you.
We headed to the WTC site on foot when we returned. As I noted, the trip to Ellis Island had already put a lump in my throat and the WTC site brought tears to my eyes. We went to St. Paul’s Chapel. It was an emotional day.
We walked to the subway along with New Yorkers going home from work, so it was very busy and crowded. We took the subway back to the hotel and had dinner at Europa Café, which is very nice with the added benefits of being right next to the subway and a half-block from our hotel.
About the (subway) trains: we found them to be generally comfortable, reasonably clean, and very convenient. One does need to study the subway map and plan each trip. Remember, when you see your stop fly by because you expressed when you should have localled, just get off, go up and over the tracks, and return to your stop on the opposite-direction local – all for no extra charge!
Tuesday, we woke up early and headed straight to the Metropolitan Museum. It looked like rain and we were tired of walking so we took a taxi. For breakfast, we had pastry at a café in the Met. Then we spent all day traveling through room after room of beautiful paintings and objects d’art. What a truly spectacular museum! The Met was my and my husband’s favorite place in NY. We had lunch at the Met cafeteria, which was pretty good and better than other cafeterias. After the Met, we were tired so we went back to our hotel and had dinner at the Hamburger Joint. It’s an interesting spot with the music, the décor and the constant influx of diners. The hamburgers and fries hit the spot and were cheap, certainly by NYC standards. We started to take a walk, but it was pouring rain. My husband and daughter went swimming. The view from the pool is fantastic.
WEDNESDAY, THE FINAL DAY
We packed up and left our room at 12:03 p.m. We stored our luggage and headed to 5th Avenue to see St. Patrick’s Cathedral and to shop. The cathedral was beautiful. We walked and stopped in at Trump Tower, Tiffany’s, and finally at Abercrombie and Fitch, my daughter’s favorite store. After shopping, we went to Rockefeller Center, and then took the subway to Central Park. Other than our hotel room, Central Park was the only quiet place we visited in NYC. It’s a beautiful park with many points of interest. There are statues, monuments, a children’s zoo, playground, carousel, and lots of interesting people like skaters and artists, one of which convinced us to have our daughter’s portrait drawn, which turned out to be a good but imperfect likeness. We ran into Tavern on the Green quite by accident, and decided to have lunch. I’m glad we did since we had a very good meal in a very lovely place. The grounds and the different parts of the restaurant were beautiful. The food was very good, but I ordered liver, which most people don’t care for, so you may not want to trust me on this.
New York is such a charismatic city. I would recommend it as a destination for all ages.
NYC Trip Report by First Timer
This was a first trip for us. Thank you for all of the advice.
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