Feeding a party of 30+ in NYC

Feb 14th, 2007, 05:37 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,485
I agree with the splitting your party idea. This will help you get seated and also help you avoid the pre-set menu.

Carmine's and Tony's di Napoli are both good ideas. Ollie's in TS and John's pizza are other good ideas. I think Chinatown is another great idea. Chinese New Year is a lot of fun, especially because there will be a parade and a big dragon comes by each shop owner and roars in the door.

You might also try cheap Indian food -- 6th Street in the E Village is a row of Indian restaurants and they are virtually the same, IMO.

For breakfast, I'd send someone on a bagel run for a couple dozen bagels and cream cheese. For lunch, I'd stick to delis or pizza parlors where everyone can get a slice.

Good luck and have fun!!
lisettemac is offline  
Feb 14th, 2007, 05:42 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Ellen's Stardust Diner has a party room; it's also in the theater district. It is diner food with a singing waitstaff. My kids just went with a high school theater group, and they had a great time. I think there were 50 altogether in their group.

The profile of your group might be different, but if you think they would find it fun to sing along with the showtunes, then it's worth considering.

skatedancer is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2007, 08:24 AM
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Hi! I've just got back from our trip and it was very successful indeed. We never did get to eat at Carmines but we were very well fed; for most evenings we took the students to the Times Square area and let them go off in groups. They were pleasingly adventurous in their choices, the prize going to the girls who celebrated Chinese New Year with a pig's ear! We did not go to the fireworks because the group were simply too cold, having spent the day at Liberty Island, Ellis Island and Wall Street. Despite consuming Dean and Deluca hot chocolate they couldn't face the wait so we took them back to the hotel instead.

I enjoyed NYC immensely. Everyone we met was so incredibly charming, the city looked ravishing in the snow... every vista was breathtaking. If you want to make a bunch of sophisticated, jaded 18 year olds gasp with delight like little children, fly them across the Atlantic and take them up the Empire State building at night!

Thanks everyone for all the advice and help, and for the wonderful welcome to your magnificent city.
MsT_UK is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2007, 09:27 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Charming? I always insist that NYers are friendly and more helpful than they get credit for, but I'm sure this is the *first* time they've been described as charming!!
lisettemac is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2007, 10:50 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Really? I fancy myself quite the charmer. : - )
bugswife1 is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2007, 03:21 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 981
So glad that you had such a good time. I'd love to hear more about what you and the students did while you were here and what they liked/didn't like.
Margo_Chester is offline  
Feb 24th, 2007, 02:10 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
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Hats off to you MsT_UK. Glad to hear your trip was so succesful.
And how did they like Washington DC?
Rhea58 is offline  
Feb 24th, 2007, 03:44 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 7
In reply to Margo...

We arrived in the afternoon, and by the time we had settled in to the hotel and eaten, it was late, so we went straight to the Empire State building (we had prebooked on the Internet.) The students were quite tired and grouchy by then (their body clocks told them it was midnight) and they were not really quite sure why we were dragging them into the lifts. When they went out onto the observtion deck they were completely amazed and loved it, despite the fact it was so cold!

Day 2 we walked all morning; starting off with the Library, then the Chrysler building, the UN (which sadly we couldn't tour because it was Saturday) and finally the Rockefeller centre. Many of them had studied depression era USA history and the New Deal so there was a lot to talk about. Even the ones who didn't take history found plenty to look at, mostly spotting film and TV locations... We then gave them a couple of hours to shop on 5th Avenue, while I and two other teachers went up to the Top of the Rock, which really took my breath away! It was my first sight of central park, which looked beautiful in the snow.
Finally that day we walked up through central park to the Met and let them have free time to look at whatever they wanted. Most of them chose the Egyptian stuff and despite them all being quite tired and grumpy on the way there, they perked up a lot. The temple of Dendur impressed them especially and I think it looked especially dramatic as it was dark outside. Then we headed to Times Square by cab to eat.

Day 3, our final day before going to Washington, started with a subway journey down to Battery Park. We got the ferry to Liberty Island, and it was UNBELIEVABLY cold but that added to the thrill (well, for those of us who had come prepared with boots and thermal underwear!)
Then on to Ellis Island, which they found very moving. The audio guides were excellent, it meant we could leave them to wander around in their own time, and a lot of the students found it very poignant. We then took the ferry back and worked our way up to Wall Street. The cold was beginning to wear them down, but the sight of the stock exchange energised them somewhat, along with some very friendly cops who got chatting to some of the girls!! Then we went to Ground Zero. Again, by the time we arrived, the students were very cold and grumpy, but they all spent a lot of time reading the displays and it really affected them deeply.
However, even after another stop for drinks, the consensus was that it was too cold to wait for the fireworks in Chinatown, so we headed back to Times Square by subway and they went off to eat again.

That was pretty much it! The following day we headed to Washington.

All in all, the students were all very dazzled by being in New York; some of them were more impressed by the fact they were walking on the same streets as the cast of Friends, Sex in the City and the Day after Tomorrow, than by the history and culture they saw; but we didn't mind that too much! In the UK we have a complicated relationship with all things American; the students find it easy to criticise America but also they all desperately want to BE American!

So my advice to anyone else planning a visit - Feb is a good time to visit as the attractions are not too packed with people, but warn your party to come prepared with scarves, boots and hats etc. I was pretty impressed with the way our two and a half days panned out and liked the way our tour leader had planned it. Doing New York and then Washington was the right way round - the pace in NY, and the amount of concentration required, meant it was much more stressful in than Washington, which was much easier to walk round (wider streets, fewer crowds) So for us as chaperones, it was good to get the hard bits out of the way earlier in the trip.

MsT_UK is offline  

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