1st time visit in NYC in May

Apr 20th, 2009, 11:25 AM
  #21  
 
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You mentioned touring Madison Square Garden...did you perhaps mean Radio City Music Hall instead? If you were interested in that, it could be combined with your Top of the Rock/NBC day. I toured it during my first trip to NYC, 10+ years ago (before it was refurbished) and found it fascinating.
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Apr 20th, 2009, 11:28 AM
  #22  
 
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Also, if you find yourself running short of time, make sure you consider the subway...get a transit pass when you get there so you can easily use whatever transportation fits your needs. Don't be intimidated...they are pretty easy to figure out and are not affected by traffic.
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Apr 20th, 2009, 11:53 AM
  #23  
 
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"Lexington and Third? These avenues are parallel..."

The Affinia Dumont is on E 34th St between Lex and Third.

sunshinegirl, you need to get a good street map and start marking they key things you plan to do.
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Apr 20th, 2009, 12:09 PM
  #24  
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I knew it was there just abbreviated. I did get a good map today too which made it all more visual! I can see now where we want to go. Just difficult to know how much time it really takes to go from one thing to another. I am seriously wondering about doing a hop on hop off bus tour as we could see a lot more than on our own.
Here is what I am thinking we should do now..see what you think:

Friday pm ( we land in la guardia at 9 am)
Circle boat tour or speed boat tour
5th ave shopping
Times square
NBC Tour ( if we can get tour tickets ahdead of time)
TOTR

SAT
hop on hop off bus tour? to get a look at all the extra things we dont have time for?
chinatown on bus tour?

Sun
SOL( get tickets and reserved sol ahead of time
Brooklyn Bridge ( walk toward Manhattan) Have dinner or lunch at pizza place by bridge?


Sunday
one of the morning shows then to airport as flight leaves at 1
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Apr 20th, 2009, 12:19 PM
  #25  
ita
 
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Central Park has daily free walking tours. Check their website. Also check my thread-first time visit to New York
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Apr 20th, 2009, 12:43 PM
  #26  
 
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I have always thought that viewing the Statue of Liberty from a passing boat is the exciting view -- that is the view that newly arrived immigrants saw when they entered New York Harbor. I don't think there is much of a point in getting off and crawling around the statue or even climbing it (do they allow that now?. Ellis Island Museum is worth a visit - immigrant history of New York. And you get a great view of the Statue. Also - no point in doing both Top of the Rock and Empire State - Top of the R is probably more preferable.
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Apr 20th, 2009, 05:05 PM
  #27  
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Good point on the SOL. Skipping Empire State Building and doing Top of the Rock. Thank you!
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Apr 20th, 2009, 06:38 PM
  #28  
 
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You're picking a great time to go. A lot of the residents head out of town on long wkends and you should have great weather. Looks like you already may have a plan of attack try to do midtown on Sat or Sun. Since this is one of the busier and commerce centered areas of the city, there's less traffic and crowds during the weekends (fewer folks at work) which makes getting around a bit easier.

Circle Line is an excellent tour, but a long tour. Be prepared for three to four hours. The tour is fully narrated so it has a lot of interesting info, but it circumnavigates the island so it does take a while.

I've done the NBC tour and it takes an hour or so. It's really not that great. The MSG tour is even more underwhelming. A tour I did like was Radio City Music Hall's.

Central park is very nice but huge. Check out a map and pick a place or two (the zoo's nice, the boathouse for lunch is pretty good, avoid tavern on the green) and head there. Otherwise it's easy to get turned around on some of the winding pathways. And yes, it's safe.

For shopping, head downtown. Century 21 on Courtland (close to ground zero) is my favorite store in NYC. It's a square block of discount designer clothing. Think of a Marshalls or TJ Maxx with Marc Jacobs, Armani, and other top designers and that's Century 21.However, it does get crowded. Fifth Ave is more fun to window shop than to spend; it's expensive.

It sounds like you're going to be very busy. New York isn't going anywhere and if you like it, head back. It's cheap enough to get there. I suggest fewer activities, lingering over lunches with your friends, and taking in the "vibe" of the city rather than trying to get it all done.

Either way, I'm sure you'll have a great time.
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Apr 21st, 2009, 03:21 AM
  #29  
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Thank you for your honesty and insight!I do think we should relax a bit and not try to do so much. As a Michigander who has never been there but hears about NYC so much, it is tempting to try and "see" everything.I am thinking one of the hop on hop off busses might get us everywhere one day and we can get off at the places of interest and pass the others by but we still will have seen areas? I know they have a touristy reputation and it is recommended not to do it but thought it might get us all over one of the days? Any opinions on this or on a particular company to use? or tour to take? We were thinking the 48 hour one so we could come and go ......so much to do and so little time!
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Apr 21st, 2009, 04:27 AM
  #30  
 
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OK, I hate to be the one to mention this--but sometimes NYC weather (even Memorial weekend), doesn't cooperate. I've lived here all my life and had to move many M weekend plans indoors due to rain. In that case, you may want to add a museum. (They are all fabulous!) On the flip side, I've also experienced hot as you-know-what Memorial Days. This will also slow you down and could make you feel cranky. The hot pavement wears on tired feet.

If it's a nice day--Central Park is an absolute MUST!! Especially in early summer, it is the heartbeat of the city. You can buy a NYC hotdog or pretzel, walk through the park (maybe near the zoo at West 67st) and meander around, sit, and take in the scene. You can find a bench and literally sit for hours. Or—buy lunch at a Korean Market or fabulous gourmet deli and find a spot to picnic. It's an oasis.

Yes, it’s OK that is hitting all the very touristy spots to “see" NYC, but haven't allowed any time to truly experience it. Why not plan for a leisurely lunch at an outdoor cafe, in a fun neighborhood? Sit on the steps of the Met Museum and people watch? Head to a downtown neighborhood and meander? There may be lots of free stuff that weekend, street fairs, free concerts, etc. Check NY Magazine or TimeoutNY before you go.

I agree about 5th Ave shopping. Unless you have big bucks to spend at Bergdorf’s, Bendels or Tiffany’s, the best shopping in NYC is NOT on 5th Ave. If you do go to Chinatown, it will be worth it to head to NOLA, the Lower East Side, Soho, East or West Village or any downtown locale. It's young, hip and fun and much less filled with (forgive me) tourists.

You didn't mention your age group. But if you are young at heart, I urge you to take some time here to just go with the flow, relax and enjoy!
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Apr 21st, 2009, 05:53 AM
  #31  
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We are aged 49-55 and a 17 year old daughter.Like you said young at heart! Anything in particular a teen would love to experience...? We will go to Central Park and were thinking of a boat or bike and lunch at one of the lakes. I did think about the weather possibility...what museum would you suggest if we did do a museum? I will check out the magazines you mentioned! Thank you!
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Apr 21st, 2009, 06:18 AM
  #32  
 
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Do not do Hop On/Off buses. there are several detriemnts:

They cost a fortune
They don;t runs frequently (every 30 minutes or so versus 5 for city buses
They can;t go lots of places - buses arent allowed on any of the side streets or into Cenral Park (which is pedestrian/bike only except for a couple of hours M-F rush hours)

For transit subway is fastest and esiest, buses are much slower due to traffic but you do get to see things (if you really want just to look at things through a window) and OK for short distances

If you go to hopstop.com you can input addresses and it will tell youhow long to get there via foot, subway etc.
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Apr 21st, 2009, 08:05 AM
  #33  
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Thank you for that website!
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Apr 21st, 2009, 01:05 PM
  #34  
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You are all very helpful! We have decided to prob not go into the SOL but visit by the Beast or 75 min Circle Tour Cruise.
Wondering about a great restaurant in China Town with chinese food.
Also any casual restaurants, cafes in Times Square ( gotta do it!) and around the Affinia Dumont?
Thank you!
I love the hopstop.com!
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Apr 21st, 2009, 01:25 PM
  #35  
 
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I really think you would enjoy going to a Broadway musical. Go to www.broadwaybox.com and see which ones have discounts and sound like something you'd like. You can see Times Square when you're going to and coming from the show--it's right there.

Whenever I'm in NYC, I just eat breakfast and lunch wherever, and don't plan for a specific restuarant. There are pizzerias, sandwich shops, delis, Whole Foods, etc. everywhere, and you can just grab a bite there--or get take out and eat in Central Park. I think it's often a waste of good sightseeing time to have a sit-down lunch unless you have a specific restaurant you have your heart set on.

Riding bikes in Central Park would be fun.

In my opinion, Fifth Avenue shopping is best done by window shopping as you walk along Fifth en route to your next stop. It's fun to look in the stores in the diamond district, too.

Another really interesting thing to do is the Tenement
Museum--the teenager would definitely like this--it's not really a museum. Get tickets in advance. www.tenement.org

If you go to a "real" museum, go to the Met. www.metmuseum.org I'd advise looking on the website first, and picking out two or three areas/exhibitions to see. Otherwise, you'll be overwhelmed.
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Apr 21st, 2009, 01:31 PM
  #36  
 
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"I think it's often a waste of good sightseeing time to have a sit-down lunch ..."

We do the opposite: Have our main meal at mid-day, so we can take a rest and get good food for more reasonable prices (and often smaller portion sizes). Then supper is something quick and light, possibly followed by the treat that we were too full to tackle at lunch time. This also removes any anxieties about curtain times.
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Apr 21st, 2009, 01:36 PM
  #37  
 
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By the way - it's Fleet Week so there will be lots of cute guys with tight white pants in the streets and on the ships!
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Apr 21st, 2009, 02:21 PM
  #38  
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Fleet week eh? My niece may enjoy the view!
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Apr 21st, 2009, 06:43 PM
  #39  
ita
 
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slow down-just being on the street in New York is exciting. Whenever I travel I get as much information as I can, but never plan a rigid itinerary. Allow time for the happenstance.
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Apr 22nd, 2009, 03:07 AM
  #40  
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Thank you for that advice...that makes sense. We just need a few places that we know in advance we want to experience and then let the rest happen.
Still thinking of a show...found tickets to Hair.... not sure if we will buy them yet or not.
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