First NYC Visit

Jul 14th, 2009, 03:03 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2009
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First NYC Visit

Hello! My husband and I are from Texas and are taking our first trip to NYC in August. I have just a few questions; 1. If our plane is landing at La Guardia at 4pm, how long will it take to get to Marriott Midtown East on 3rd Avenue at this time of day? We are wanting to make dinner reservations and then go to Top of the Rock right before sunset. Any suggestions for dinner? Nothing too expensive and something like Italian, Mexican, American - basic food. 2. If we can get a shuttle (have a coupon) for less than a taxi to get to our hotel from the airport, would it be a slower mode of transportation? I am wondering if the shuttle will have people with destinations all over the city and extra time will be spent on delivering everyone. 3. What is a reasonable place to eat around the Richard Rodgers Theatre before the 7 pm show of In the Heights? Thanks so much for your help. We (especially me) is very excited about the trip.
lreeves is offline  
Jul 14th, 2009, 03:08 PM
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1. Half-hour to 45 minutes in my experience.

2. Yes and yes.

3. Why do you need to do all TOTR the first day?
sf7307 is online now  
Jul 14th, 2009, 03:09 PM
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1. But that didn't include a) landing on time, b) getting off the plane, c) getting to the front of the terminal, and d) getting a taxi. Add at least half an hour.
sf7307 is online now  
Jul 14th, 2009, 03:48 PM
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I'm from NYC and now live in Texas. For the love of G-d do NOT go for Mexican food in NYC.

Save yourself!

Spare those poor taste buds that have done nothing but loyally report the character of your food to your brain. Good gosh, are you from Abilene or something -- how could you ever get the idea that you might want to eat Mexican food in NYC? I understand that Texans think that Mexican food is a staple of their dining out diets and believe it is actually one of the best cuisines in the world (14 years down here and I still don't get that peculiar dose of insanity) but in New York? You might as well be from Miami and seeking Cuban food in Oregon.

As for the LaGuardia landing, etc.: (1) do you have bags that you will check in? If so, add 40 minutes. (2) Are you arriving on a Friday? If so, add 30 minutes.

The shuttle will suck -- it'll take additional time to get going because the shuttle to Manhattan will want to fill up completely, as opposed to SuperShuttles at DFW or IAH that will cast off with just 2-3 fares to areas near the airports.

Are you trying to go to Top of the Rock the same day as your tickets to In the Heights? I would guess not.

If you are, you cannot do TOTR at sunset and see the show at 7 -- sunset in August in NYC will be after 8 pm in all likelihood (maybe earlier at the very tail end of the month), and never by 630 or 615 pm.
BigRuss is offline  
Jul 14th, 2009, 03:56 PM
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If you are landing at 4pm, your plane will most likely be late, that is prime time at LGA, so figure you will not be landing on time. Also you are coming in during rush hour, so there will be TRAFFIC on the way into the city. I'd suggest taking a service car instead of either the shuttle or taxi. That way if you are stuck in traffic, (and you probably will be) you won't be paying what's on the meter, but a set price. Carmel is probably one of the better car services and you can find them online as well as a discount coupon on their website.

The shuttles are not that much of a bargin, as there will be several people in the van and yes they will be stopping at several locations, so figure in time in traffic, other stops and more traffic, you will be wasting quite a bit of time.

I wouldn't think you will have time to eat and then get up to the TOTR. Another great place to watch the sunset is the top of the Met Museum, with a glass of wine, divine.

You might check or for suggestions on restaurants all over the city, or pick up a Zagat guide, so you have options handy wherever in the city you are siteseeing. They are available at bookstores, drug stores, newstands and grocery stores (Bed Bath and Beyond too).

Very close to your hotel there are several good places for dinner, you might ask at your hotel for suggestions as well.

If you are here for a few days a special museum you might want to see is The Cloisters up in my area of Manhattan. It is in Ft. Tryon Park, and one of the real GEMS of New York and not as visited by tourists (we kind of keep it a secret). It is part of the Met Museum, so if you spend the morning at the Met you can spend the afernoon at The Cloisters using the same pass (lapel button).

After The Cloisters, if you like Indian food (really good Indian food)
walk back through the Park and down Ft. Washington Ave to 187th St to
Kismat, one of my fav restaurants in the city.

Hope this helps a bit, have a great time while you are here.
travelbuff is offline  
Jul 14th, 2009, 04:36 PM
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You will be in rush hour and a cab will take 45 minutes or more to the hotel. If you take a group shuttle it will be more like two hours o rmore as they trek from one hotel to another.

You don;t have time to do dinner and make TOTR before dark. You should check into your hotel and relax a little bit, do TOTR in day and night and then have dinner. (New Yorkers typically eat out at 8 or later - not 5 in the afternoon, when many restaurants won;t be open. there is some good Mexican in NYC (but not Tex/Mex) - but not in midtown.

Overall you'll do better focusing on more ethnic cuisines better repreented in NYC - all the oriental types, fusion an dintersting things like Moroccan, Egyptian, Greek, Ethiopian etc. And do visit some of the residential areas (upper west side, village, lower est side) for dinner. Many sidewalk cafes and generally much better food at moderate price points.

As for eating near In the Heights - what do you consider to be reasonable - and does this includes drinks and/or wine?
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 14th, 2009, 05:12 PM
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Thanks for all the quick replies!

Big Russ - LOL when I read your response. Things are just different in Texas and, we wouldn't live anywhere else. Texans do love their Mexican food and margaritas. I was only going on reviews I found on Yelp and in Fodors and there were some Mexican restaurants with good reviews. (We are in Houston area.)

I also didn't make myself clear. We are not planning to go to TOTR AND a show in the same night. We were wanting to go to TOTR our first night in NYC. (We are seeing "In The Heights" on Sunday night after arriving on a Wednesday.) The idea of eating out after visiting TOTR is a good one.

Travelbuff - Thanks for the advice on the service car. I will check into it. Also, thanks for the tip on The Cloisters. There is just so much we want to do in the week we will be there.

I wish we could try some of the more ethnic cuisines, but due to diet issues with an illness of mine, we can't. It is a real bummer. This is why I was asking for recommendations for more basic cuisines. I would say no more than $15 to $25 a piece for an entree would be what we would consider reasonable - not including drinks. Is this possible in NYC?
Any suggestions on sidewalk cafes?
lreeves is offline  
Jul 14th, 2009, 07:45 PM
Join Date: May 2007
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The problem with the Cloisters on a first trip is the amount of travel time away from the other sites. The Cloisters itself, especially the Treasury are worthwhile, but it is a limited collection.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
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