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Help finalizing NYC itinerary with a twist, please

Help finalizing NYC itinerary with a twist, please

Old Oct 18th, 2010, 03:34 AM
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Help finalizing NYC itinerary with a twist, please

Hi all, last month y'all gave me great advice on a weekend itinerary for a girls' trip to NYC at the end of this month in celebration of my best friend's birthday. Since then, two changes: 1) another friend, whose birthday is fast approaching, will be coming with 2) I am now pregnant with our first child and prone to waves of nausea and fatigue.

That said, I'm revisiting the itinerary. My goal is to not at all reduce the fun for my friends, but also to not 'over do it' physically. Being on my feet for hours at a time just isn't feesible right now. Would appreciate any tweaks to the following that might reduce standing or walking for long periods.

Our Friday has changed, so need help figuring out how to spend afternoon. The latest version of our plan goes something like this:

Friday
+arrive at LGA at noon . Drop bags/early check-in at hotel in Long Island city via M60 bus to N Line.

Anyone know how much a taxi ride would cost for three people from LGA to Holiday Inn Manhattan View?

+How to spend time from say 2-6 p.m. before dinner on the Upper West Side?

+ What to do after dinner?

Saturday

+ Possibly Top of the Rock and breakfast via N train to 49th st.

+Harlem + (this is the one 'must' for my best friend)

Studio Museum - 144 W. 125th Street (N train to #3 train or D train)

Lunch at Amy Ruth's - 15 minute walk down Lenox/Malcolm X

Harlem Heritage's Renaissance Walking Tour (I think I can manage this, keeping my eyes open for places to sit along the way.)

+Head back to hotel #3 to N before taking N to 49th St for 8 p.m. show

+After show, explore Times Square. Maybe John’s pizza. Open to suggestions here.

Sunday

+Church service at Brooklyn Tabernacle N to #4

+Lunch at Grimaldi’s B25 Bus

+ A train to 4 to N back to hotel to pick up bags and head to airport

TIA. cdg
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Old Oct 18th, 2010, 06:50 AM
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For all your planned subway connections, especially on weekends. Check the service advisories online and within subway stations carefully. On weekends many trains have service interruptions or are rerouted, which could cause trouble for you, especially on departure day.

I live in the East Village in Manhattan, and a taxi fro LGA is usually less than $25 on the meter, so I would expect it to be a good deal less to your hotel location. With three people, I'd just take a taxi and make your arrival easy.
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Old Oct 18th, 2010, 07:37 AM
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Definitely take a taxi to your hotel rather than bus/subway - it will make the start to your weekend a lot easier!

A couple of thoughts on your itinerary:
* On Friday, you could:
- If the weather is good, exit the N at 5th Ave/59th Street and walk west across Central Park. You have 4 hours to accomplish it, and you can choose how far north to go depending on your health. Jump on a subway at whatever point to get uptown for dinner.
- Exit the N at 3rd Ave/59th Street (back of the train), transfer to uptown 4, 5, or 6 to 86th Street and go to the Met (pay what you wish). A most New York of places; fun to wander through period rooms, Japanese courtyard, Temple of Dendur; frequent benches for sitting and little cafes scattered throughout. Take crosstown bus to west side for dinner.
- At Times Square, transfer N to uptown 1. Visit Lincoln Center (66th St) if that interests you, or exit at 79th Street and go to the Natural History Museum. It's also pay what you wish, a most New York of places - and you can do a recon mission for when you'll bring your kid to NYC! Oh, and on some Friday evenings, they have a jazz band in the Rose Center which is pretty cool.
- If you're up for it, how about Top of the Rock after dinner? I'm not sure you'll want to put it (midtown) in with Harlem (uptown) in one day...

* FYI/FWIW, the transfer between the N and A, C, E at 42nd Street is really long, crowded and convoluted. Try to avoid it if you can! Other transfers you've listed are all pretty much okay. On Sunday, I'd transfer from N to 4 at 59th Street rather than in Brooklyn (unless construction schedule makes that impossible); it's another very long transfer when you do it at Atlantic Avenue. Also, try to avoid more than one transfer in a route, especially on weekends.

* John's Pizza has kind of gone downhill. What other kinds of food are you interested in? There are a lot of good eateries on 9th Ave, just a few blocks away...

* FYI, note that depending on where your Harlem walking tour leaves you off, any downtown train you catch will connect with the N in midtown (so you don't have to schlep unnecessarily).

* Sunday:
- Buses in Brooklyn are notorious for taking a really long time to show up; try to find a different way to travel if you can.
- The line for Grimaldi's every day is not to be believed!! Every time I walk by there, I'm astounded that people would wait that long to eat in a restaurant. In fact, another restauranteur has capitalized on the situation and opened another pizza place around the corner. I asked an acquaintance who lives next door to Grimaldi's about the new place; he said the pizza there is good too but now they're getting crowded from overflow.
- I'm sure you really want to have good NY pizza! How about a place in SoHo or the Village? Lombardi's is great -t try to get seated in the original restaurant not the newer addition. Arturo's is one of the first places I ate at when I moved here 20 years ago, and it's still good. (4 train to 6 once you're in Manhattan; for Arturo's add maybe a crosstown bus on Houston.)
- If you do stick with your plan to go to Grimaldi's, I'd suggest either walking across Cadman Plaza to the R train and transfer to the N in Manhattan, or take the F at York Street and transfer to the N at 34th Street/Herald Square (a little bit of a walk in the transfer but not too bad). And if you're in DUMBO, you can't leave without a taste of Jacques Torres' chocolates, famous hot chocolate or decadent ice cream!
- Again if you're in DUMBO and up for it, you might consider walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. You can get the R in City Hall Park at the other end, with an easy transfer to the N uptown.
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Old Oct 18th, 2010, 07:59 AM
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Thanks, ellen. Will closely watch for advisories. Also, will def take taxi from/to LGA.

ggreen, this is fantastic info-sharing! Thank you so much! I quite like the Met suggestion. As for food we like everything, Thai, Latin, Italian and seafood are among them. I'm sure it's an acronymn but what's DUMBO?
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Old Oct 18th, 2010, 08:34 AM
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Dumbo=down under Manhattan Bridge overpass.

Agree on taxi. For 3 of you no other way makes sense. nyccabfare.com or hopstop.com will estimate the cost.

My thoughts before reading other responses
For Fri. 2-6 your options include:
Museum of Natural History on the UWS
NY Historical Society on the UWS
Filene's, Burlington Coat Factory or Loehmann's on the UWS
A visit to Sephora for makeovers on Broadway & 73 st. (make appointments if you want to do this)

OR stay in LIC and visit one of the museums there- PS 1, Socrates Sculpture Garden, Noguchi Museum

For after dinner, what about a jazz club? Smoke is on the UWS

Sat.
I don't know what show you're seeing on Sat. night or what time the walking tour ends, but this day sounds brutal to me-totally too much. I don't think you'll have time to go back to the hotel to change inbetween and waiting to eat after the show at 10 pm sounds like a bad idea.

Sun
Grimaldi's lines are infamous and it's not worth the wait. Either go to lunch at Bubby's in Brooklyn or head back into Manhattan and have a bite before heading to the hotel.
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Old Oct 18th, 2010, 08:34 AM
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Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass (the Brooklyn side)
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Old Oct 18th, 2010, 08:37 AM
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PS at LGA only use an official yellow NYC taxi from the taxi line. Don't accept a ride from anyone who approaches you, regardless of what they offer. For the return to LGA, you might want to order a car service from a co. like dial7.com so you don't have to worry about finding a taxi on a Sunday in LIC. They won't charge much more than a taxi would cost.

If you use hopstop.com or the mta trip planner and make sure to use the correct date or day of the week and time, they will take into account any subway line changes for the weekend. They're doing a lot of repair work on tracks and you can wind up wasting a lot of time getting lost. http://tripplanner.mta.info/_start.aspx
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Old Oct 18th, 2010, 09:34 AM
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CDG, you're very welcome! My restaurant rec's are more on the casual/inexpensive side but FWIW, here they are!

Okay, well if you like Thai, there are a ton of places on 9th Ave in "Hell's Kitchen". My favorite is a little hole-in-the-wall call called Pams Real Thai on W. 49th Street; it's gotten popular though so there may be a crowd. Yum Yum and Wondee for some reason both have multiple locations in the neighborhood and are also good.

For some local color and decent food, try either Vynl Diner with American and pan-Asian options, or Film Center Cafe with its dark interior and old movies in the background. And it's more of a lunch place (though open for dinner), but the tiny, casual Island Burgers and Shakes has a humungous menu of tasty burgers, chicken sandwiches and salads (though no fries!).

West 46th Street between 5th/7th Aves is Little Brazil; I don't know specific rec's but you might find something there.

For seafood and true NY experience in one, you should go to the Grand Central Oyster Bar in the terminal. (There are lots of options on the menu other than oysters.)

If you're in Hell's Kitchen and it's open, stop into Amys Bread betw 46th/47th Streets. Everything is yummy, but they're especially known for their amazing bread and their cupcakes, red velvet and otherwise... (Umm, I've got a bit of a sweet tooth if you hadn't noticed!)

www.menupages.com is an excellent resource for New York restaurants: menus and reliable user reviews all in one!
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Old Oct 18th, 2010, 09:40 AM
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P.S. If you do end up in DUMBO, IMO the only thing good about Bubby's is the view of the water from inside the restaurant. Better to take a stroll through Empire State/Fulton Ferry Park for the view and eat elsewhere. I'd suggest SuperFine with a menu that changes daily and a decidedly DUMBO, artsy vibe; Rice for some good pan-Asian cuisine; or even grab a sandwich from one of the upscale groceries or La Bagel Delight and bring them to the park... Also Rebar for an offbeat pub menu - sit near the bar not in the restaurant seating - including a yummy cobb salad and some of the best mac-n-cheese anywhere!

(Brooklyn restaurants are included on menupages.com)
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Old Oct 18th, 2010, 10:39 AM
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>>

Just had to second this -- Jacques Torres' hot chocolate is amazing!
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Old Oct 18th, 2010, 01:56 PM
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No need to take 3 trains coming from Grimaldis:
You can take the R train from Brooklyn Heights, it's just an additional 5-10 minute walk from the A/C stop at York. Or take the B 25 bus back to the stop near Montague street and take the R from there.
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Old Oct 18th, 2010, 04:34 PM
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If John's Pizza has indeed gone downhill (and that doesn't fit with my admittedly somewhat limited experience), they're still one of the best such spots in NYC. For me, John's and Grimaldi's are the NYC pizza places I'd go back to first, followed by Nick's on the Upper East Side. Was less taken with Lombardi's, but one can do worse.

It's true that there can be a line at Grimaldi's. Getting there before they open can be a wise idea.
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Old Oct 18th, 2010, 05:29 PM
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When in Harlem be sure to visit Strivers' Row.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strivers'_Row

I am not a fan of Grimaldi's or John's. Although they were some of the earliest and best spots for whole pizzas, they have been surpassed by a number of places.

Lombardi's is supposedly the first maker of whole pies in NYC and they never disappoints. Tontonno's makes a fabulous pizza.

Motorino maybe the pizza maker in the city. We go there quite often because we live in the neighborhood and the NY Times concurred that is one of pizza parlors in America. Another East Village pizza maker that is not known is Luzzo's but costs more than the others. Another expensive pizza restaurant is Pizza Fesca.

Co. on Ninth Ave and the new Mario Batali place called Eataly are supposed to be good but we have not eaten there. N.B. Although Eataly is new a place it is a zoo at almost any time. The pizza restaurant is just one part of huge emporium that sells mainly imported Italian provisions
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Old Oct 18th, 2010, 07:05 PM
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thanks for the translation, mclaurie, and the tips!

ggreen, again. awesome input. thinking of the cobb salad and mac-n-cheese got my stomach talking.

question re: weather. would a light, wool peacoat be too heavy for temps this weekend?
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Old Oct 19th, 2010, 07:46 AM
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I'm not a great source when it comes to clothes because I always run hot(!), but I'd venture to say that unless you're like me, a light wool peacoat would be good this weekend. The forecast looks like Friday will be cool (mid 50's), with the weekend low to mid 60's both days. Friday and Saturday are forecast to be sunny! (Not so much on Sunday.)

Given the range of areas and places you'll be, I'd recommend dressing in layers and carrying a bag you can offload a sweater or other layer into. As a Brooklynite who spends most of her time in Manhattan, I can tell you this is pretty much a way of life for a lot of NYers! The only issue being that you then have to cart that bag around with you for the day.
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Old Oct 25th, 2010, 11:43 AM
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thanks ggreen for suggesting i post link to TR here.

http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...eally-i-do.cfm
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Old Oct 25th, 2010, 12:11 PM
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Old Oct 25th, 2010, 04:40 PM
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Lombardis or Di Fara for pizza
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Old Oct 25th, 2010, 05:37 PM
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The OP has returned from the trip.
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