New York City Trip Report - A Great Time!!!

Old Oct 16th, 2003, 10:54 AM
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New York City Trip Report - A Great Time!!!

Thanks to all New Yorkers and Fodors.com for your help and information. It helped to make our trip a pleasure and unforgettable!
Arrived Oct4 noon at LaGuardia, my daughter(28)and I shared a cab to Midtown. (Something I learned on Fodors!)Since it was Sat. with little traffic, only a 35 min.ride and $27.50 total w/toll and nice tip.
Checked into Travel Inn at 42nd & 10th.(a budget hotel with good amenities like pool=summer,free parking). We had a nice room, very clean, new carpet, two double beds, newly tiled bath, good staff, good service, and for Oct. in NYC at a very rate.
After a quick rest, we walked to Time Sq. area for dinner at Zen Palate, a recommendation from Fodors. It was vegetarian and delicious! Later we strolled around enjoying the lights and people and went back early since we had been up since 4am.
Day 1: Purchased a Metrocard $21., a good buy since you can ride for a week unlimited on the subway or bus. We then caught the subway to Ground Zero. This was a very solemn and awesome place that actually made your heart hurt as an American. Took lots of pictures and videos. We then went across Cordlandt St. to Century 21, a great store to shop. My daughter particularly enjoyed this store! Outside Century 21 on the sidewalk,we bought a fake purse and we love it!Who cares? It looks real to us. Lol
Got back on the subway to go to Chelsea Market to have lunch. Arrived at 1:20 and walked around, it was so pleasant. We ate New Eng. clam chowder f/The Lobster Place in the Market and had sourdough parmesan bread from Amy's Bread, umm good! We ate at a little bistro table watching people walk by. On our way out we bought and shared a cookie f/The Brownie and then back on the subway to the hotel for a rest and heavier jacket since was getting cooler outside.
Later Sunday evening, we videoed Times Square lights. We then had pizza on Broadway. While walking back we saw a crowd gathering outside the Theatre and "Chicago"
had ended. Police were guarding cars and the crowd, we stopped, out came Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas! A real surprise.
Day 2: Took the subway, (I liked riding the subway, can you tell???, really liked rubbing elbows w/ New Yorkers, made me feel like one!!!) anyway took the subway to upper East side. and walked our way down Madison Ave and enjoyed the designer windows and shops, so great! Went to Rockefellar Center, couldn't forget Pokemon Center for my grandson. Got to see them working on the ice rink.
Then we headed to Chinatown to shop, yes on the subway, using our Metrocards!We even transferred twice to make it downtown. My daughter bought a pachima and more purses and silver jewelry. Fun, Fun!!!
We then walked over to Little Italy for dinner at Da Gennaro Risteranto which was nothing to rave about. Even though it was on Mulberry St. I later learned there were much better ones to pick from. After dinner we walked down Mulberry to Broome, then left toward Spring,found a subway to 42nd and our hotel.
Day 3: We grabbed a cup of coffee at next door coffee shop and headed to catch our first NYC bus to go to the MET. UhOH, missed it!,Watched it pull out. Walked on caught subway instead, arrived about 9:30am
and did as I was advised on Fodors: Suggested Prices posted on entry fees to the MET. I gave the ticket person $10. to get in. Saved us a little money. We were smiled at and given our little pins and told Thanks. We thoroughly enjoyed the museum. This was my third visit and my daughter's second. We stayed 4 hrs., not nearly long enough.
After exiting the MET we ate hotdogs from a vendor (very good) and headed to 23rd St. to try out some ladies resale shops recommended by friends which turned out to be not such a good idea.Around 3:30 we found a cafe which turned out to be pretty good. It was Cosmo's Diner on E.23rd, rude waiter simply because I didn't understand to order your hamburger w/lettuce and mayo and mustard instead of saying "all the way w/mayo&mustard" like we TXans do. We then headed uptown got off the subway instead at the area around the New York Public Library and Bryant Park. We were so tired that we just sat and rested in the park for a long while.Walked toward 34thSt and decided to try the Empire State Building for a dusk view but the lines were too long. We decided to purchase our tickets and come back another day. Then we caught the subway one more time to 42nd St. Time Sq.area. We had Ice Cream on our walk back to hotel.
Day 4: It is Wed. and we decided to do the Grayline Tour and see NYC from the doubledecker buses. We both had done this our last visit and really enjoyed it. We paid $49. each and received the all loops tour that incl. uptown, downtown, night tour of Brooklyn and afternoon tour of Brooklyn. It is hop on and hop off. They advertise their buses to run every 15 min. I have to say I did not find that to be true. There were times that we waited 45 min. for buses. They were very unorganized in their scheduling. Buses would pull up and load maybe 15 people and take off leaving 40 in line to wait longer. It was more of a "hop off" than "hop ON" situation.
However, since we purchased at noon on Wed. I asked the man to extend our tickets thru Friday night and he was real "nice" and extended them thru Sat. night. So they will give a little. If not for that I probably would have asked for my money back since we really did wait in line a lot.
Having said all that, if you really want to enjoy NYC and really see it, then sit on the top, it is spectacular!
On the Grayline we got off first at Greenwich Village, saw a rock video being taped. Walked on down to 7th and had lunch at Caliente, Mexican Restuarant, very good.
Again, waited on the bus.
Caught the bus to Chinatown and shopped more and then got back on bus for late night tour of Brooklyn. It was breathtaking!
We crossed the Manhattan Bridge and got a great view of NYC and lots of great pictures.
Day 5:Grayline tour of uptown and Harlem and Riverside area was very interesting. One good thing about the tour is the narrators are well informed. This I appreciated as well as enjoyed. At lunch time we decided on Time Sq. area and the Westside Cottage II, excellent Chinese food and enormous servings. Once again, a Fodors
recommendation, yea!!!
We then headed to the Empire St. Bldg. for a dusk to evening view. It was spectacular to say the least. Wonderful. I had been up the towers but only in the daytime so the lights were so beautiful.
Day 6: Caught bus to Chinatown, can you tell we liked Chinatown? No actually, we kept remembering things we saw and ones we needed to buy for so we kept going back! Then we rode to Battery Park and photographed the Sphere and eternal flame. To see this was wrenching and hurt also. But I was very pleased to see the memorial.
We then walked around the Wall St. area. We found a deli on Broad St. called Trader's Deli. It was ok, you could tell it was not accustomed to tourist.
We strolled around some and then waited for the afternoon 3:00pm bus tour to Brooklyn.
This tour is 2 hrs. long and goes all over and has stops that you can get off there.
Afterwards we headed back to our hotel.
Day 7: Sat. Last day to enjoy Grayline and NYC. I jumped out of bed at 7am and took an early morning stroll for coffee and rolls to Amys Bread on 9th. Next, we caught the bus after a 45 min. wait..........to Union
Square. We read there was a street fest there. No sign of it...Anyway we lucked out and saw a movie being filmed right in the middle of Union Sq. and saw Mary Kate and Ashley, my granddaughter's favorites. After-wards we walked back, yes walked, all the way to our hotel on 42nd St. and hailed a cab to LaGuardia for a 4:31 flight to Texas.
It was a wonderful week in NYC and we are already planning our next trip.



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Old Oct 16th, 2003, 11:46 AM
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thanks for the report. Sounds like you had a great time!
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Old Oct 16th, 2003, 11:47 AM
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Lawsy honey, I am just exhausted after reading this! I must go lie down and rest
You did NYC proud! I am glad you enjoyed everything and that the weather stayed good for you.
You come back soon, you hear~
Scarlett
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Old Oct 17th, 2003, 01:16 PM
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Judylib: I loved your report. I was in N.Y. in March and felt it was the greatest place for a vacation. I cann't wait to go back.

Because it was the "Off Season" we didn't take a double decker tour because it seemed there were too few buses and we'd have to wait.
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Old Oct 17th, 2003, 02:17 PM
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Day 7: Saturday is farmer's market day in Union Square. Was that there? I wonder if it was canceled because of the movie shoot.
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Old Oct 17th, 2003, 03:19 PM
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Just an FYI to you Judy and to anyone else who is reading this thread: there is now a growing body of evidence that these humble sidewalk vendors peddling knock off pocket books, etc., are actually funneling proceeds (and it numbers in the hundreds of millions of dollars) to global terrorist organizations. Once saw this news story i decided to pass on buying this sort of stuff next time. I hope you'll consider that as well.

glad you had a good time in the big apple, though.

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Old Oct 17th, 2003, 04:10 PM
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Flopmeister, where did you see this story?
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Old Oct 17th, 2003, 07:33 PM
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Loved reading an appreciation of NY through someone else's eyes. I live in the city but honey, I've never done half of what you've accomplished. Brava for you!!
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Old Oct 19th, 2003, 05:04 AM
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Thanks for the great report judylib. Our family of four will be going to NYC near Christmas and I am beginning to read all I can about it. When you said you went to the MET and gave them $10, is that to mean that the ticket prices are listed as more than that and you can choose to pay a chosen "donation" price to get in? Did you and your daughter each pay $10? I ask because I am trying to budget our trip and we, too, wanted to see the MET. It would be wonderful not to have to pay more than we need to, yet pay what is acceptable to the museum staff. Thanks again for your help!
 
Old Oct 19th, 2003, 06:31 AM
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KandKmom, the Met has a "suggested" donation price but you can pay whatever you want. At Christmas, I go in just to look at the tree, and so I give them considerably less than $10.
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Old Oct 19th, 2003, 12:16 PM
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I too read the stories about the sidewalk vendors and terrorism. Go to NYTimes.com and do a search. I can't remember when I read the article but I think it was in July.

RE: Donations to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The museum exists solely off donations. With the downturn of the economy donations have been off. Please give the full price if you are spending more than a couple of hours.
 
Old Oct 19th, 2003, 02:32 PM
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GoTravel, the museum does not exist solely off of donations. There is money from memberships, fundraising events, gift shop sales and NYC and state taxes among other things.
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Old Oct 19th, 2003, 02:40 PM
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My understanding was that it did not get state monies and that it existed off private funds.
 
Old Oct 19th, 2003, 05:57 PM
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"As a privately funded nonprofit institution, The Metropolitan Museum of Art must rely on the generosity of its friends and supporters to meet the enormous cost of providing programs and services, year-round, to millions of local, national, and international visitors."
Therefore, if you want to spend time looking at the treasures that the Museum has to offer, isn't it only fair that you pay your way? Of course, students and children pay less, and being called a donation, makes it easier for those with limited funds to pay something and still see what the rest of us can see.

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