Last Minute Trip to NYC

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Aug 31st, 2006, 10:00 AM
  #1
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Last Minute Trip to NYC

First time poster, long-time viewer has questions:

We just moved to DC and are interested in heading to NYC for the Labor Day weekend (yes, last minute, I know). Would you recommend we drive (we're from Texas, so we're used to driving everywhere) or ride the train? What are the pros/cons?

Thanks!

DCNewbies
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Aug 31st, 2006, 10:03 AM
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Check the weather. We are due to get something like 4-6 inches of rain in a short period of time over the weekend. Ugh.
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Aug 31st, 2006, 10:43 AM
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Definitely take the train. Parking will be a hassle, and it's faster and less stressful to take the train.

Train:
Pros: Not having to deal with traffic, not having to find parking in NYC. It's only a 3-4 hour trip, and you can relax on the train. Amtrak has a fantastic cheese and cracker tray.
Con: Trains will be crowded, two train tickets will be more expensive than gas/tolls

Driving:
Pros: Ability to follow your own agenda and not have to worry about catching trains, ability to bring more luggage
Cons: Traffic, traffic, and more traffic! If you park in a garage, it will be expensive (street parking is available). Did I mention traffic?

Do you have a hotel yet? I would figure out where you're staying before you worry about how to get here!
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Aug 31st, 2006, 11:02 AM
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You could certainly drive, but you'd have to pay about $40 (perhaps less) a night just to park in a Manhattan garage. If you can afford that, then drive. You might look at the Washington Post to read discussions about cheaper places to park outside of Manhattan (in NJ) where you can then ride into the city on NJ Transit or the PATH. I know the subject has been discussed there many times. The Skyline Hotel on the West Side Highway does have particularly reasonable parking prices ... or at least did last time friends stayed there. It was around $10 to park in the hotel's own garage, though the hotel itself isn't very convenient or spiffy.
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Aug 31st, 2006, 12:33 PM
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Take the train! You wouldn't want to use your car once you're in the city; it would just sit in the hotel parking lot. And the highways between DC and NYC will be hellacious both going and coming back on a holiday weekend. The train isn't cheap, but it's comfortable (you can walk around) and WAY better than sitting in an endless Jersey Turnpike back-up.
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Aug 31st, 2006, 12:58 PM
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Based on the weather reports, I'd ask the question, are you sure you want to do this this weekend? If yes, I'd use public transportation.

If you decide to drive, go to iconparking.com to look for more affordable garages. Do you have a hotel yet?
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Aug 31st, 2006, 01:18 PM
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Thanks for all the replies (funny and serious one's). To the train it is!

By the way, I booked a reservation at The River Cafe based on recommendations found here. Thanks!
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Aug 31st, 2006, 01:23 PM
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Regarding hotel stay, we typically stay at Kimpton Hotels, so it's either The Muse (in the Theater District) or 70 Park Avenue (Midtown/Murray Hill). Has anyone stayed at either of these?

We've stayed at Kimpton Hotels in SF and DC and have been very happy with the service and attention to detail.

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Aug 31st, 2006, 01:36 PM
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At the River Cafe, make sure you catch your cab back to Manhattan at the restaurant. It's hard to find a yellow cab in that area away from the restaurant. If you get one, chances are you'll be getting a gypsy cab.

Bring your boots! Rubber ducky is optional.
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Aug 31st, 2006, 01:45 PM
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Bring your boots??? Bring your dinghy or sea kayak.
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Aug 31st, 2006, 01:51 PM
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One nice thing about being in the city this weekend, is that it will be fairly deserted by NY standards. I would recommend the Muse as an excellent choice. It has good reviews of here and on tripadvisor. It is centrally located and close to the subway and bus routes and is just off Times Square.

We've also been talking about a GTG in the city this weekend, since lots of us are around, I'll bring up that post.

Bring umbrellas and raincoats and make the most of your time here.

ENJOY!!!
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Aug 31st, 2006, 02:05 PM
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Thanks again.

I'm looking at Shecky's and trying to get a feel for a neighborhood that's not too pretentious, yet not too dangerous. We're in our early 30's and are sort of past the meat-market scene (and the velvet ropes) but still young enough to enjoy good house/DJ-spun music. Any ideas for Friday or Saturday night?

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Aug 31st, 2006, 02:17 PM
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Dangerous?
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Aug 31st, 2006, 02:23 PM
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Dangerous: A place you shouldn't be after 2am unless you're looking for a fight, to get mugged, etc.

No offense was meant to any of you that live in the city and think that most areas are safe, just want to make sure that our inebriated selves don't wander too far off the beaten path and into a neighborhood where we shouldn't be.
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Aug 31st, 2006, 03:43 PM
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Both the Muse and 70 Park are fine, but if you're not doing theater (the Muse is convenient to Times Square and theaters) I would pick something else. 70 Park is in a very quiet location that will be even quieter this weekend. This weekend may be your last chance for a while to get a hotel bargain. If you want to do some clubbing, I'd stay further downtown, unless you're trying to rack up points.

Places to consider are in Soho (Soho Grand, 60 Thompson, the Mercer), lower east side (the Hotel on Rivington), the village (Washington Square hotel), Gramercy area (Gramercy Park Hotel, the Giraffe).
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Aug 31st, 2006, 04:07 PM
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Dinghy? Boots? I'd bring an ark.........
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Aug 31st, 2006, 04:07 PM
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BTW DCNewbies, I'm heading to your neck of the woods this weekend. How are things shaping up weatherwise there? Should I bring an ark.........
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Aug 31st, 2006, 05:36 PM
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Up to 10 inches of rain for Maryland/DC. Ack!!!
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Sep 5th, 2006, 09:42 AM
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Glad to report that we had an EXCELLENT time in NYC this past weekend. The concierge at the 70 Park Ave hotel performed a small miracle and secured reservations for us at Babbo and Bouley. Both Zagat-rated restaurants were superb and should not be missed on your next trip to NYC. Don't wait until the last minute to book a reservation, as these small, but great restaurants are usually booked one month in advance.

Regarding the weather, Saturday was really the only dreary day we experienced. Sunday's weather turned out to be incredible, and experienced Central Park amid mild, sunny weather.

Thanks again to you all for your wonderful recommendations.
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Sep 5th, 2006, 10:24 AM
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Hi DCNewbies, glad you enjoyed NYC. And I am happy to report that we had a great time in DC. Weather wasn't to bad as it seems you had the worst of it on Friday, and we arrived Saturday. Saturday was a bit dreary, but it cleared up around 6 or so, and the rest of the weekend was beautiful.
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