NY Proposed Itinerary

Mar 13th, 2007, 04:10 PM
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NY Proposed Itinerary

We are embarking on our second US trip commencing the last week of August to include Honolulu, Vegas, New York.
We are arriving in New York on Monday 3 September for 6 nights.
As this is our second trip to New York we have left out museums/Broadway shows which took up most of our short trip last time. Please comment on our proposed itinerary as follows:
Monday 3rd
Arrive La Guardia 5.15pm, cab to hotel UWS
Excelsior Hotel $225 per night or On the Avenue $279 per night – comments please
Unpack, dinner and wander UWS.
Tuesday 4th
Bike ride Central Park
Brunch Boat House Central
Wander to Bloomingdales, Tiffanys, St Patricks, SAKS, Waldorf, Grand Central Station
Dusk: Top of the Rock
Drinks: Rennaissance Hotel
Dinner: Bubba Gumps (Husband’s request) or Virgils
Wednesday 5th
First boat to Ellis Island
The Beast Jet Boat Ride (around 2.00pm)
Back to Hotel for Rest
Evening: Comedy Club – Comic Strip Live/Dangerfields/Stand Up New York (comments please)
Thursday 6th
D Train to Coney Island
Lunch at Nathans
F to Prospect Park, wander around Park, Botanical Gardens, make our way down to the Promenade.
Dinner: Grimaldis
Evening: Brooklyn Bridge
Friday 7th
Breakfast UWS
Wander down Broadway to Columbus Circle
Flatiron Building
Union Square (Park and Virgin Megastore)
West Village(Washington Square, Arch, Bleeker Street)
Dinner: Coppolas, UWS
Saturday 8th
4 Hour Harlem and Bronx Tour (9am to 1pm)
Afternoon free to include things missed on previous days
Dinner: Perhaps NY Harbour Lights Dinner Cruise
Sunday 9th
Free day to include things missed on previous days
Fly out of JFK (taking cab to airport) at 7pm

We really don’t want to be rushing around like headless chickens, although there is a lot we want to revisit we would like it to be at a steady pace and we are open to any changes that may occur on the day.

Any comments/advice would be appreciated.
HumpMurph is offline  
Mar 13th, 2007, 04:41 PM
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Just a heads up - you are coming into La Guardia on Labor Day evening - the tradtional end of summer return for a lot of people - particularly from the beach areas of Long Island. The airport will be very crowded and busy and traffic into Manhattan at that hour 5pm - 10 pm) will probably be quite heavy. If you can arrive earlier in the day, I would do so. At any rate, a cab into Manhattan in heavy traffic can run into upwards of 35 - 40 dollars, you might want to consider calling a car service. You an do a search on here for endless discussions of the merits of car service vs. taxi.

I am curious about your restaurant choices particularly your Friday night choice of Coppolas on the UWS. Is it a favorite of yours? I would recommend a better restaurant in the Village, where you are spending your day. If you are looking for a nice neighborhood italian I can recommend Bella Vitae on Minetta Lane, Da Andrea on Hudson Street, Gonzo on W. 13th St. or for more upscale and truly New York experience, Lupa or Babbo or Gusto or Morandi.

Also, you might want to check out Comix a new comedy club on W. 14th Street that has artists like Richard Lewis, Scott thompson and Janeane Garafalo.
mp is offline  
Mar 13th, 2007, 05:42 PM
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Thanks MP. We leave Las Vegas at 7.45am and have one stop in Chicago arriving in NY at 5.15. Will speak to our travel agent to see if there are any other alternatives to get us in earlier.

The restaurant choice was just one I found on Menu Pages. I was thinking we would go back to the hotel and change before going out for dinner.

Will we have enough time to do everything on the Friday? Should we stay out and have dinner then go back to the hotel?
HumpMurph is offline  
Mar 13th, 2007, 06:30 PM
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I wouldn't bother chnaging that flight. That is the end of the final 3 day weekend of the summer and there will be heavy traffic coming in from LI - either day trip or summer renters probably until 11 or midnight.

You might get a better deal from a car service than a cab - or they may hike their rates because of the holiday. Check the web sites - and call in advance from Las Vegas - Carmel, Tel Aviv are options for basic (sedan - not limo) services.

Separately you may be disappointed with Coney Island. The rides are very 1940's and has lots of carnival games, a boardwalk and a positively packed beach - nothing like a modern amusement park. Also - do check to make sure that it's open during the week after Labor Day. You may want to add the aquarium, which can be reached easily via the boardwalk.
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 13th, 2007, 06:40 PM
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Sounds like you want to visit some of the same sites I hit during my last visit. If you search for my name you'll see my 10-day trip report. I also went at the same time of year.

I loved seeing Coney Island - it was very quiet the day we were there but we thoroughly enjoyed it. After grabbing lunch at Nathan's we dipped our toes in at the beach, chatted with the lifeguard and then walked along the boardwalk.

We walked along one of the streets in Brighton Beacha and really enjoyed that as well.

Jim Caruso's Cast Party was lots of fun - it's on Monday nights at Birdland - www.castpartynyc.com

Have a fabulous time - it's a great time of year to visit New York.
janette is offline  
Mar 14th, 2007, 03:27 PM
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Our flight has been charged to go via Dallas so we arrive in NY at 4.00pm. Will definitely look into car services.

Any comments on the two hotels I have narrowed it down to.

HumpMurph is offline  
Mar 14th, 2007, 03:58 PM
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well, I live nearby so I haven't stayed in either hotel, but my brother & sister in law stayed at On the Avenue and thought it was pretty nice. I think the Excelsior is considered a step down in quality
janie is offline  
Mar 14th, 2007, 07:34 PM
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Bubba Gumps? Blech!!! I just threw up all over my Fortuny bedspread. Why don't you just eat at Red Lobster in Times Square?

Why would you ever want to wander around the Waldorf Hotel? That's a complete waste of time.

You need to tell us what kind of food you like and what you want to spend. We will advise accordingly.

marginal_margiela is offline  
Mar 14th, 2007, 11:52 PM
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How unfortunate for your bedspread.

Bubba Gumps is my husband's choice.

We will wander past the Waldorf to say we have seen it.

Really just want opinions as to whether or not we can fit what I have planned into the time I have allotted.
HumpMurph is offline  
Mar 15th, 2007, 12:36 AM
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Well, marginal margiela will disapprove, but we enjoyed wandering around the Waldorf Hotel the last time we were in New York. We didn't stay long, but enjoyed our visit.
KTtravel is offline  
Mar 15th, 2007, 05:49 AM
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Your question about your Friday itinerary: I would say of course, it depends upon how long you spend at the stops along the way (will you want to explore the mall shops in the Time Warner building at Columbus Circle? Will you shop in Macy's? How long will you take pictures of the Flat Iron building? You will be in Union Square on a Friday, which is one of the days of the Greenmarket - some people can happily spend two hours there . . . you get the picture . . but yes, you will probably have enough time, if you pace yourselves and don't get too distracted . . .

I would recommend Virgil's (the lamb BBQ is actually quite good, as are several other dishes) over Bubba Gumps, if those are your two choices to please your husband - but if you are looking for BBQ in Manhattan, take it from someone who is married to a major BBQ fiend - Blue Smoke or Daisy Mae's or R.U.B. are better . . . not great, authentic NC or KC or southern 'cue, but very respectable.

Personally, I would skip the harbor lights cruise - it's a looong time to be a captive audience and there are actually some pretty dull stretches along the river. And the food is mediocre. And it is overpriced for what you get. If you want to see the harbor at night, I'd take a nice, quick romantic ride on the Staten Island Ferry, or go have an expensive drink at Rise, the bar in the Ritz Carlton in Battery Park.
mp is offline  
Mar 15th, 2007, 06:36 AM
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I am not disapproving, I just want to know why the Waldorf? Why don't you want to wander around the Peninsula or the Pierre or the Mandarin Oriental? The Waldorf Astoria is like Tavern on the Green--living on its past glory. There are so many wonderful buildings in Manhattan.
marginal_margiela is offline  
Mar 15th, 2007, 06:58 AM
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MM - 'Why would you ever want to wander around the Waldorf Hotel? That's a complete waste of time." is not disapproving?

wow! I guess we have different definitions of disapproving!

I think sometimes people don't really hear all the tones that can be conveyed in their words.
mp is offline  
Mar 15th, 2007, 07:50 AM
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The Waldorf Astoria is a beautiful hotel and if you’re interested in seeing it, it certainly will not be a waste of your time! I also can’t see you being disappointed with Coney Island. I’m guessing if you wanted a big, glitzy amusement park you would be going to Disney. Since you’re hitting a lot of classic Brooklyn sights, you might want to pop into Farrell’s for a drink. Here’s a little info about it http://tinyurl.com/2u4dbs There is also a very old cemetery in Brooklyn with lots of history and famous “residents”. Here’s a link to that http://www.green-wood.com/

Caroline’s is also a good comedy club. Dangerfield’s and Caroline’s are both expensive. Maybe you can look online and see if there’s anyone you recognize at any of the clubs and choose that way.
Dohlice is offline  
Mar 15th, 2007, 07:52 AM
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mp, I am sorry if I come across as bitchy and critical; it is just my nature. I am not trying to be mean. If I didn't care, I would not come here and try and help people with their travel problems.

I realize that many (probably most) travellers don't want the sophisticated viewpoint that I offer. That's OK. If you want to just wander around Manhattan eating ice cream and buying fake bags, ignore my advice.
marginal_margiela is offline  
Mar 15th, 2007, 08:25 AM
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Your plans sound wonderful - the few comments I would offer would be:

I found these two web sites helpful when planning time in Central Park-walking or otherwise -
if you haven't found sites you like - there is so much to see - I find having this beforehand always helps me plan - one of my favorite spots is Literary Walk, which is on the south end of the Mall -

centralpark.com : this site has a good drop down menu listing all the attractions in Central Park -


And there's a great view of the Park from the garden rooftop of the MET also, although I realize the MET isn't in your plans this go around-perhaps it was in your museum tour last visit anyway

The Waldorf holds a special place in my heart since it was my Dads favorite for many years way back when - plus it is a NYC treasure, a reknown building that is ingrained in the history and stories of the city - there are wonderful other old buildings to see and new ones also, and all are treasured for different reasons- including the Waldorf- by architects, artists, historians and tourists alike for different reasons. The Waldorf is indeed a NYC landmark for many and for good reasons aside from personal memories -

When we visited Brooklyn this site was helpful to me:

and if you scroll down there are links to a self walking tour of the bridge and Brooklyn that were both great.

Union Square:
here is my favorite link/map/list of stores and restaurants for US


The market is marvelous! I can eat my way through that any day - if you want a simple, nothing fancy lunch in Union Sq, I like the CoffeeShop - this link calls it mediocre, but what do I know - I like their salads and sandwiches and diner style sit down- you can go fancy at Blue Water Grill or Union Sq Cafe -

or you can just eat your way through the market

or just treat yourself to coffee and pasty after at
Tisserie - Tisserie.com - owned by a Venezuelan couple who know their coffees and pastries (the brownies oh!) and many a lunch for me has been a fruit cup, coffee and brownie - very bad.....

or, go to Chocolate by the Bald Man -if you are a chocoholic, or just walk in the door to see the place, it is amazing.

Also, the view of Union Square is fabulous from the top floor of Filene's Basement ( I know, the basement store that actually goes up and isn't in a basement....) just keep going up in the escalator -

I don't know if you will have any free time or if it interests you, but if you have never looked into the Tenement Museum, you might google it at tenement.org and see if it interests you - it isn't a museum in the sense one might think, it offers a few tours(50/60 minutes each)

the Confino Living History tour is my favorite (about 50-60 minutes) - of a restored tenement bldng - the history and what you see is fabulous, it gives you such a feel for what happened to immigrants after they came thru Ellis Island - it really made it come full circle for me the first time I went- and the actress who 'lives' in the apt is amazing. The bookstore/ticket office also has a short film of about 20 min on immigration, but if you go to Ellis Isl I don't think you have to take time for this film if you didn't choose to.

It's on the the Lower East Side/ you could do it one morning and stroll from there on Orchard/Delancey street (like the movie: Crossing Delancey) and on to Soho -if you haven't been to that area - and snack in Soho - we did this one morning, did the 10am tour, cup of soup in Soho and on to other things by 1pm...but best to get tix ahead of time by phone or online from your hotel if not before.

Have fun - it sounds like a marvelous trip with your other destinations too ! Aloha too !
escargot is offline  
Mar 15th, 2007, 09:09 AM
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MM, I think visitors like to visit the Waldorf since it represents "old New York" and its a beautiful building, with a nice lobby, and it will allow a walk down Park Avenue and past the Seagram Building -- unlike the Mandarin Oriental which sits atop a mall, and looks like they allowed Donald Trump to do the interior design.
thit_cho is offline  
Mar 15th, 2007, 04:10 PM
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MM I hardly think "Bubba Gumps? Blech!!! I just threw up all over my Fortuny bedspread" is a "sophisticated viewpoint".

Many thanks for all your replies. I will investigate all of them.

HumpMurph is offline  
Mar 15th, 2007, 06:30 PM
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I live on the UWS and but unfortunately can't give you feedback on either hotel. However, they both have good locations. Although, OnTheAve is closer to the express subway stop at 72nd street.

I think your itinerary sounds like alot of fun and very different from what other tourists might tackle. Busy, but doable. Walking from either hotel choice down Bway to Columbus Circle and then on to Macy's, Union Square and the West Village. Doable. I have walked my mother from Hell's Kitchen to Chinatown- with stops along the way. I completely pooped her out with this one, but she lasted. She was mid 50ish at the time. It'll take you a good part of the day. You'll definitely want to take a subway or taxi back uptown at the end.

One thing to note, Astroland will only be open on the weekends after Sep 3rd. Maybe consider swithcing your Coney Island/Brooklyn day to Saturday. Shouldn't stop you from going out to Coney Island if you still decide to do it on a Thursday. You can also wander down the boardwalk towards Brighton
Beach. "Little Odessa"/Brighton Beach is a neat little neighborhood to explore- Russian/Ukrainian neighborhood. Or alternatively, get off at the Brighton Beach stop and then make your way down to Coney Island.

Walking from Prospect Park to the Promenade is a bit to chew off. But then again, so is your walk from the UWS to the West Village(for most people, not for me, if I have a day to kill in the city and someone to show around). Brooklyn is a great place, but the distance between the park and Brooklyn Heights is quite a distance and there aren't as many known places to stop for a break. Those who know Brooklyn better than I, can probably point you to interesting places to stop and enjoy along the wat. You might prefer to hop on the subway. Get the 2 or 3 at Prospect Park and take it to Court Street. Again, any Brokklynites on this board, feel free to chime in.

For your "shop" day, I suggest you take a stroll through Bergdorf Goodman's, kitty corner across the street from Tiffany's. Don't know how much money you'll have in your pockets to burn, but whether or not you buy anything, it's one of the prettiest department stores (well, for me at least- and no I can't really afford to shop there) we have in Manhattan.

If you want to do a cruise of Manhattan, consider a Circle Line tour instead of a dinner cruise. See Manhattan from the boat, then go have a nice dinner elsewhere.

Hmmm, Bubba Gumps? I vote no. Virgil's is a better bet. I'm no BBQ afficianado, but what MP wrote, echos what I have read/heard elsewhere.

If you do dinner at Virgil's, have a drink before or afterward at Jimmy's Corner (on the same block as Virgil's). The owner, Jimmy Glenn, used to be a boxer and has trained and coached many boxers(Muhammed Ali in 75 for the South Africa fight) and still manages some fighters (and sometimes they even come by to visit) in his lifetime. He is one of the nicest men on the face of the earth (and he was my boss for the several years I worked as a bartender for him- so I say this from my heart). Lots of history in that bar. It's a neighborhood place, not a tourist destination. Looks like a dive, and well, it kind of is, but there is a wonderful camaraderie. Great jukebox too. And, shhh, it's alot cheaper than any other place nearby. I'm not giving too much away, just saying it's worth a visit.

As for dinner at Coppola's- beside finding it on menupages, any other reason for choosing it (besides location?). Not steering you away, as I've never eaten there or heard anything either positive or negative about it.
lp_nyc is offline  
Mar 24th, 2007, 07:57 AM
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How are your plans coming? You certainly got a lot a great suggestions (you do have to sort through them to see what is applicable for you!)

I was simply blown away by Escargot's post with SO MANY great links and I'm bookmarking this whole thread for our trip in May.

Thanks for starting it and keep posting about your ideas for your trip in the fall.
Brahmama is offline  

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