new york questions

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Jan 15th, 2010, 01:44 PM
  #1
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new york questions

planing 12 sleep first time visit to NY in sept this year.Father & son[16]I have been recomended an apartment where a friend has stayed and recieves good reviews from other travellers....not a rip!.. it is located at east55th st.mid town.....Is this a good part of town to start exploring from ?there are many helpful posts for visitors from which Iam compiling to help plan our stay.The must do things are in place and the apartment was selected to get feel for ' liveing like a local! as apposed hotel to machine processing.Regardiing jet lag ...Melbourne aust. to lax...NY...would a sleepover in LA improve our arrival condition?..Is there a prefered time of day to arrive in NY..taxi to midtown? how many $........Is there a fast train down to the smithonian instute in DC and is one day enough or two days and a sleepover in DC a better option?....all advice appreciated..Rhettski & son.
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Jan 15th, 2010, 03:12 PM
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I'll try to answer some of your questions.

East 55th is an ok place to stay as a location. It doesn't really matter that much where you stay as long as it is in Manhattan below 125th Street.

I probably wouldn't bother with an overnight in Los Angeles. You can sleep just as easily in NYC.

From JFK, the taxi fare is a flat $45, but you will also be expected to pay tolls and a tip on top of that. Plan on $60.

There is good train service to DC from NYC, but it may be cheaper to fly (ironic, yes) if you book far in advance on a non-refundable ticket. THe travel time is about 3 to 4 hours depending on the train (faster trains are much more expensive).

A BUS is a much much cheaper option for travel (more like $25) but takes longer. Obviously, the trip would be physically possible in one very long day, but staying overnight would be preferable. You may not realize that the Smithsonian is not a single museum but rather a collection of many gigantic museums. Each is worth 2 or 3 hours of your time (or more), so even if you stay overnight, you'll have to pick and choose. Crowds can be a problem at some times of the year (especially summer). With 12 days, I'd certainly devote 2 of them to DC.
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Jan 15th, 2010, 05:07 PM
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Agree on almost all of the above. I prefer train to plane to get to DC since 1) it's much more comfortable and 2) it generally runs on time - within 15 minutes or so - and planes are much more unreliable.

As a native NYCer I would reco spending all the time here - but honestly DC has a LOT to see. And I would plan on spending 2 nights/3 days there. As mentioned the Smithsonian is a whole pack of different Museums - check the web site for details - plus you must visit the Capitol (where Congress sits) and some of the major (outdoor) monuments - esp Lincoln and the Viet Nam and WWII memorials. I find the Lincoln to be the singe most moving place in Washington - not just for what he did but for all the other civil rights activities that it has hosted and represents.

As for Ne York - the area the apartment is in in OK - but primarily business. You really must explore some of the residential areas (upper west side, east and wet village, lower east side, SoHo, Chelsea) to really understand the city and the people. And also to find a lot more good quality moderate and inexpensive restaurants than you usually get in midtown. Get a good city map in advance, locate th areas and what you wnat to see, and make the subway your friend.
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Jan 15th, 2010, 11:01 PM
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dear doug &nytraveler..thanx for you replies which are very helpful as Iam still in planing stages,the apartment Iam looking at is us$300 per night which seems par for the course considering the space,kitchen/bathroom & liveing like local feel....but if we stay two nights in DC and use the train[we like trains]maby a hotel in the upper west side would be ok...planning continues,,,,best Rhettski.
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Jan 16th, 2010, 05:05 AM
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$300/night sounds quite high. You don't say when you're coming or how big that apt. is, but for example the Beaconhotel.com is an apartment style hotel with daily maid service, a front desk plus all the amenities an apartment offers like kitchen and space. It's on the upper west side which will feel more like you live here than the east 55th location (although I did live near east 55th for many years). If the east 55th st. apt. is just 1 bedroom, I really think it's too pricey.

However you travel to Washington, at least one overnight if not two is better and Washington hotels are usually cheaper than NYC.
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Jan 16th, 2010, 10:22 AM
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IMHO if you want to feel like someone who live sin NY - rather than just works there or is a tourist the upper west side is a much better area. This is almost all residential (mid/upscale) but has great access to Central Park, many of the major museums (on east or west side) but a ton of good local restaurants and shops as well as some of the chain places. Two subway lines will get you to the rest of Manhattan quickly.

Definitely visit Zabars to get food for a picnic n the Park and enjoy all of the sidewalk cafes (as long as you're here at a reasonably warm time of year). Don;t worry - the area is still very busy - but not as frantic as midtown can be.
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Jan 16th, 2010, 11:12 AM
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thanx mclaurie & nytraveler for adjusting my mind.Rhettski.
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Jan 16th, 2010, 01:08 PM
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I would recommend travelling from New York to Washington by Megabus. If you book it far enough in advance it can be very inexpensive. That is how we travel from Baltimore to NYC. You would also see some of the countryside on the trip. I think it is probably faster than by plane because of the distances to the airport and the time for security, etc. Look into it.
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Jan 16th, 2010, 08:58 PM
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I also recommend spending a night or two in DC.

There is a fairly new bus service called Bolt Bus that goes back and forth between NYC and DC. It also runs NYC to Boston, NYC to Philadelphia, and NYC to Baltimore. I usually hate buses, but I've taken this bus twice and was very happy with it. It picks up and drops off at three places in NYC and two in DC. The cost is only $17.50. It takes 4 hrs and 45 minutes, NYC to DC. Considering how long it takes to get to and from the airport, and the wait time before flights, the bus is actually just as fast and convenient. Both times I took it, it was clean and quiet. It runs every hour all day.

Ita, don't know where you are in Baltimore, but Bolt Bus picks up outside of Penn Station in Baltimore and drops off at Penn Station in NYC, really good if you don't want to go out to the travel plaza. I haven't tried the Megabus yet.
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Jan 17th, 2010, 07:40 PM
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we get the Megabus at White Marsh Park and Ride, which is very convenient. I will check out Bolt Bus too
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Jan 17th, 2010, 07:42 PM
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p.s. the parking is free.
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Jan 18th, 2010, 04:20 AM
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I notice you didn't get a lot of response on your question about stopping in LA. While I've not flown to/from Australia, I have been to Hawaii from NYC and I found a stop in California to be a BIG benefit. To Hawaii from NYC we didn't stop and I was jet lagged for days. From Hawaii back to NYC we stopped (in San Francisco) and had not only a lovely time in SF, but a much better return. I don't know if it had to do with flying east/west and I'm not sure just sleeping one night (and doing nothing else) is the answer. But if you've got a decent amount of time to spare, I'd say stopping is a good idea, especially if you're flying coach.
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Jan 20th, 2010, 09:50 PM
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I travel back and forth between DC and NYC quite often and I alternate between the train and the bus. The bus is significantly less expensive and can be fine, but I've also had some very bad bus experiences (e.g. buses showing up 3 hours late while I stand in a street corner in the rain, people fighting and shoving to get onto a bus that's oversold tickets...). Generally if its not a busy travel time, the bus will be OK. Bolt Bus and Mega Bus are the best, but there are tons of these buses. The bus takes 4+ hours, depending on traffic. I've had it take up to 6. The train goes from Penn Station in NYC to Union Station in DC and takes 3 to 3.5 hours, depending if you take the acela or regional (check www.amtrak.com for schedules and prices -- they get more expensive as it becomes closer to your travel date). If you're not worried about money, I find the train to be much more pleasant. I don't think it makes much sense to fly when you factor in the time and money it takes to get to and from the airport.

You should definitely spend the night in DC. Thats alot of time in transport for one day. Also, as mentioned, the Smithsonian is not just 1 museum, but a whole group of museums. And they're all free, which is not the case in NYC.
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Jan 22nd, 2010, 06:06 PM
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thanx for all replies 1. a stopover in LA is our choice 2. bus or train prefered to air.....still working on a place for twelve sleeps...its not about the dollars but finding clean and safe,quirky[?] yes...dangerous..no...would somewhere on the edge like Brooklyn or The bronx be OK ??? We like blacks and latinos...but would they like us ??
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Jan 22nd, 2010, 07:38 PM
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Hi Rhettski,
we did the trip from Melbourne to New York and we had a couple of nights in LA on the way. It was a good way to break up the flights and we were glad to get off the plane. We have done Melbourne to LA and then onto Vancouver without a break and found it too long.
Can't help you with accommodation as we stayed in a hotel.
Lordy
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Jan 22nd, 2010, 11:37 PM
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yes Lordy...one nite near LAX is our choice then overnight to DC,three nights and two FULL days roaming the smithsonians,bus/train to nine sleeps in NY......back to OZ and ...work/school...thankyou to all who are helping me plan THIS trip...Rhettski.
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