Itinerary for 3 days in September

Old Aug 26th, 2002, 02:32 PM
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Itinerary for 3 days in September

My husband and I are planning our first trip to NYC this September and I am looking for suggestions regarding our itinerary. Thus far our plans are:

Arrive at Newark airport 4:30, take a cab to our hotel - the Grand Hyatt near Grand Central Station. (How long should the cab ride take?) I need ideas for a casual dinner near our hotel (something that doesn't require reservations, Italian would be a plus). Plan to spend the rest of the evening checking out Grand Central Station and the Empire State Building. (Can we walk from our hotel to the ESB?)

Need ideas for a quick, simple breakfast near hotel or Battery Park. We plan on taking the subway to Battery Park then the ferry to Liberty Island (no plans to get off the boat here)and Ellis Island (will get off and tour the memorial, how long should this take?) Upon returning from Ellis Island we plan to walk through the financial district, possibly stop by the WTC site, then take a subway up to Soho Square. We will walk through Soho, make a quick detour over to Little Italy for lunch (can we do all of this before lunch?), and then walk through Washington Square and Greenwich Village. Plan on taking a subway back to the hotel and cleaning up for dinner. We were thinking of dinner at the River Cafe (any other places with views of the Brooklyn Bridge that are less pricey? Also, what is the attire at River Cafe?).

Need ideas for a quick breakfast near the hotel or the Met. Plan on taking a subway to the Met and spending the morning there, maybe having lunch around 1:00 on the rooftop. Then heading back to Midtown and walking past St. Patricks, the Rockefeller Center, Chrysler Building. Maybe checking out the NY Public Library before getting ready for dinner and a show. Dinner at Chez Josephine or Carmines (again, whats the appropriate attire?) Les Mis at 8:00. We would like to walk through Times Square on the way back to the hotel (is it a safe walk from the theater district to Grand Central after a show?)

Quick breakfast. Spend the morning walking through Central Park and maybe doing some shopping (will anything be open?). Lunch at Seredipity. Our flight leaves from Newark at 4:30 (what time should we plan on heading to the airport?).

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I've been reading the posts on this board for weeks and can't believe all of the great advice. Thanks New Yorkers!
Old Aug 26th, 2002, 02:54 PM
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Great plans. I'd just tweak them a bit:

First, I'd have breakfast at Grand Central, not Battery Park. Go down to the lower level, tons of places to eat. Head downtown & do Ellis Island (rd trip w/tour figure about 3 hrs). Then head to Wall St. See the Regent Hotel Ballroom (gorgeous) & Trinity Church. Then Ground Zero. Do lunch in Little Italy, then do Soho & Wash Sq. Skip the Village (Greenwich for now). Dinner at one of the many restaurants at South St. Seaport (hotel can recommend one). After dinner head to the Empire State Building (try to get there by 11:15 the latest). Amazing at night. Saturday - The Met & then cab it 20 blocks down 5th Ave to the Plaza Hotel. Wander around the lobby, then across to FAO Schwartz. Head south down 5th to Tiffany, Trump Tower, St. Patrick's, Rock Ctr. Forget Chrystler (too far East) & Library. Chez Josephine is a must. After Les Mis, head down to Grove St. in Greenwich Village & visit the piano bars. Everything is open late. Even John's Pizza is open until midnight. Sunday - cab it to the upper westside (72nd & Central Park West) See the Dakota where John Lennon was shot, and then wander through Central Park. In that area is Strawberry Fields, Bethesda Fountain, the Mall, & Tavern on the Green. You need to leave the city by 2PM.
Old Aug 26th, 2002, 02:59 PM
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Forgot to add: short distances, take a cab. It is already $3 for 2 of you by subway or bus, cab won't be much more. Try to handle the hotel check out on Saturday night so you save time on Sunday. Front desk is open all night so it shouldn't be an issue. Since you can check out the Empire State building on another night, I would go right to Lincoln Center on Thursday night (you will be there early enough) and see if I could get into one of the shows or concerts. There are always people selling tickets out front for reduced prices, especially an hour before the show. If not, it is still a beautiful place to walk around. There is a great Mexican restaurant across the street, Rosa Mexicano. Great frozen pomegranite margaritas and guacamole.
Old Aug 26th, 2002, 03:10 PM
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Atonelli, if you are arriving on a weekday I don't think you'll arrive at your hotel until at least 7:00PM especially if you have checked baggage...add to that the normal weekday rush hour traffic on the turnpike and at the tunnel...since you mentioned that you would like to check out Grand Central Station on your first night, maybe you could choose a place to eat in there (the classic Oyster Bar Restaurant comes to mind, but it's not Italian)...some very good neighborhood favorites if they're still around that serve Italian are Grifone on E. 46th between 2nd and 3rd and Remi's on W. 53rd between 6th & 7th...I can't think of any near the Empire State Building that are worth recommending...yes, you can walk from the hotel to the Empire State Building...if you can squeeze some shopping in on Saturday when you're on 5th Avenue, you'd be better off than squeezing it in on Sunday...In my opinion you should leave for airport no later than 1:30PM...I like going to the River Cafe and other than the Water Club on the Manhattan side, I can't think of better views...if you go the River Cafe order the chocolate dessert that resembles the Brooklyn Bridge.
Old Aug 26th, 2002, 06:41 PM
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for atonelli
Old Aug 27th, 2002, 12:32 AM
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Having just returned from our first trip to NYC, we can't offer any detailed advice comparing one place with another, but our best tip would be to make sure you get a Metrocard, which gives you unlimited bus and subway rides. You can get a one day one for $4. You get them from machines in the subway stations, and can pay by cash or credit card.

Other web sites we found particularly useful were and

Have a great trip.
Old Aug 27th, 2002, 03:48 AM
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Friday - trip from airport to hotel can take up to one hour. You can walk to ESB. Distance just about 1/2 mile.
Saturday - first ferry is between 9 and 9:30 and you should be back by 12:30. Walk up to Ground Zero and then go for lunch in Little Italy. Then head uptown walking through SOHO and Greenwich Village.
Saturday - you might be better off taking a bus to the Met. Requires less walking. You get the bus on Madison Ave.
Old Aug 27th, 2002, 03:05 PM
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Thanks so much for the suggestions, I plan on making our reservations for Chez Josephine tonight. Will probably hold off on the River Cafe, I'm not sure we want to spend that much money. How long can hold off on making reservations there? Also, what's the appropriate attire for Chez Josephine? Does my husband need to wear a jacket/tie?
Old Aug 28th, 2002, 07:46 AM
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No jacket and tie for Chez Josephine. Neat attire is fine, even neat jeans. Make your reservation for 6 pm so you can linger a bit or walk around before the show. Bring a sweater since the theater can be chilly. River Cafe is really expensive, which is why I suggested something more casual at the Seaport. However, you could always consider the River Cafe for brunch. Or, instead of eating down there just for the view, take time out of your day to walk across the bridge and back. Then you can eat anywhere you want.
Old Aug 28th, 2002, 08:07 AM
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The Bryant PArk Grill is behind the library, overlooking Bryant park. If it's a warm evening, it's a great place to have dinner and watch the city go by.

If I'm not mistaken Thursday night is sushi night in the club lounge at the GH.

I'd stay away from Michael Jordan's in Grand Central....the ESB is a 20 or so minute should do it.

Also, yes, it is a busy, safe walk down 42nd from Times Square to the hotel.

Cheers, I love that Hyatt!
Old Sep 3rd, 2002, 12:48 PM
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sounds fun. hopefully you haven't left yet so i can give you my two cents. as for walking from the theater district to grand central after the shows, we had no problems. we did it two nights and it was pretty safe. we even stopped off at the rainbow room (which was on our way) for a late night drink.

as for ellis island, try to get there early. we had to skip it because the wait just to get on the ferry was running over 1 hour that day (in the rain!) that doesn't include the wait just to get tickets. we did the harbour tour instead (which is included in the price of the ellis island tour ticket) which we really enjoyed. they take you directly under the brooklyn bridge which made for some great pictures.

you will love the met. try to get there as early as possible. we only allocated 3.5 hours for it, which wasn't even half as much time as we would have liked.

have a great time!
Old Sep 5th, 2002, 02:21 PM
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If you're looking for a good restaurant in Little Italy. We just got back and ate at Da Nico's... it was FABULOUS. If it's nice outside ask to sit inside the courtyard. Enjoy!
Old Sep 5th, 2002, 02:40 PM
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On Saturday, I would walk from the Met down 5th Avenue back to your hotel. The Upper East Side is very beautiful and there is so much to see on 5th. Plan on at least 2-3 hours to do this with minimal shopping. Longer for more shopping. You will pass FAO Swartz, Bergdorf's, Bendels, Tiffany & Co, St. Patricks, Cartier, Ferrangamo, A/X (Armani Exchange)and that is just the tip of the iceburg.
Old Sep 5th, 2002, 08:03 PM
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If you go to the Oyster Bar in Grand Central, GET THE OYSTERS. The fish and other foods there are lackluster. The oysters, however, are sublime. I never realized that different oysters had their own distinct flavors until we had a platter of various ones there. The ones from more northern waters are the best.
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