NY trip report, 9/28 - 10/2

Old Oct 11th, 2002, 08:08 AM
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NY trip report, 9/28 - 10/2

Part 1:
I just returned from my first ever trip to New York City so I thought I’d send a trip report. First of all I want to say that this forum was extremely helpful in my research and decision making while planning the trip. Thanks to all of you for your wonderful tips and advise. This was a Mother/Daughter trip. My 2 sisters and I treated our mom to the trip to celebrate her 70th birthday. Mom can’t walk for very long, so we took cabs everywhere. We all enjoyed it all very, very much. We were blessed with incredible weather the whole time (mid-70’s). Here’s our itinerary and a little about our experience.

We arrived on Sat., Sept. 28th at LaGuardia Airport. We took a cab to the Belvedere Hotel at 319 W. 48th St. (between 8th & 9th Ave.). We loved the hotel and recommend it highly! It was very nice, clean, friendly staff, great location (only a 1 ½ block walk to Time Square), not to mention great prices. First thing we did was walk down to Time Square where there was a street fair (lots of merchants selling purses, etc.), then went to the corner store at 48th & 8th and bought some bagels, cream cheese, fruit, flowers, etc. for our room. We ate lunch at Pigallo’s, a small French restaurant on the opposite corner of 48th & 8th. That evening we took a cab to Pier 83 (on 42nd St.) to take a Circle Line Harbor Lights Cruise. We really enjoyed seeing the cityscape at night with all the lights! Seeing Lady Liberty lit up in lights and hearing the NY fireman’s (sorry, can’t remember his name) version of “God Bless America” as we sailed past her was awesome! And we were blessed with incredible weather, which helped make it even more enjoyable! (To be contd.)
Old Oct 11th, 2002, 08:09 AM
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Part 2:
Sunday, my sister treated us all to a 3-hour private limo ride around the city! I think she booked it on-line through NY Limotours. She told the diver ahead of time the main sights we wanted to see and he took us around and waited for us to go in look around and take pictures. He told us a little history and answered our questions about the city as he drove us around. He took us by the St. John Divine church, Grant’s Tomb, The Met. Museum, The Plaza Hotel, The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, Trump Towers, Tiffany’s, Grand Central Station, and the U.N. He dropped us off at Serendipity 3 at 12:30 p.m. We ate lunch and enjoyed the famous Frozen Hot Chocolate! Yum! We then went across the street to Bloomingdale’s and shopped until around 5:00 p.m. We took a cab back to the hotel and rested for a bit and then took another cab to the Empire State Building. We had purchased our tickets on-line and so proceeded right to the waiting line for the ride up the elevator. It only took us 45 minutes to get to the observation floor (82 I think). It was a beautiful night view of all the buildings and lights! We then took a cab back to our hotel and ate at the restaurant there, the renowned Brazilian Steak House "Churrascaria Plataforma". It was fabulous food! They have an all-inclusive price per person that includes the incredible salad bar/buffet. They come around to your table with several different types of meat and breads, drinks, and desserts. It was very good food, service, and atmosphere! (TBC)
Old Oct 11th, 2002, 08:10 AM
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Part 3:
Monday morning we took a cab to the east entrance of Central Park where we boarded a carriage for a ride through the park. It was again a beautiful sunny day, perfect for the park. Our driver was Irish and wore a top hat and coat. His carriage was pretty (white with red velvet interior) and clean. Some of the drivers don’t take as good care of their carriages. It was $64. + tip for the longer ride, which lasted about 50 minutes. We all enjoyed it immensely. We walked around the Bow Bridge and pond area and took photos then walked to Tavern on the Green for lunch. We didn’t even have reservations and had no trouble getting an outdoor table. It was beautiful and the food was good. It is a must to visit at least once! We ordered the pre-fix lunch ($28.) per person, which includes several choices of entrees and dessert. We then took a cab to Macy’s and shopped until around 7:00 p.m. We went back to the hotel to rest. Then we walked down to Times Square and ate pizza at Famiglia’s on Broadway. There was a crowd of people gathered on the corner of 53rd and Broadway. We found out the Rolling Stones were arriving soon so we waited to see their limos drive past. That was our closest brush with celebrity I guess (unless you count the Today Show hosts.) (TBC)
Old Oct 11th, 2002, 08:11 AM
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Part 4:
On Tuesday morning we went to Rockafeller Plaza and took the NBC Studio Tour. It was $15. per person. They told us a little of the history of NBC and took us around to see the News Room where Tom Brokaw does his broadcast and then we looked into the Saturday Night Live studio and while they told us a little about the show and how things are done. Then we went into a room set up similar to a news/weather control room and I got to do a mock weather segment using the green wall and a teleprompter. It was pretty interesting and worth the money I guess. We didn’t run into any of the “talent” (as they call them) in the halls, but oh well. We then shopped across the plaza at the Met. Museum of Art shop for a while and then ate lunch at the Rockafeller Center Café (outside on the actual floor that is the ice rink in the winter). It was pretty pricey, but good food. After lunch we took a cab to the World Trade Center site. We looked at the memorabilia left on the fence around the church across the street and then walked over to the site. It was all cleaned up and quiet. We paid our respects and only stayed for a few minutes since it was pretty warm by this time (almost 80 degrees). Since we are from Oklahoma, we can associate what the New Yorkers went through losing so many lives in such a terrible tragedy. We then took a cab to Little Italy and walked around there and stopped at Ferrara Bakery for a cannoli and gelati. Since Mom couldn’t do much walking we didn’t get to shop much or stay as long in that area as we would have liked. It is very different from Midtown and Uptown. We took a cab back to our hotel and rested before going out to dinner and a play. We had reservations at Sardi’s on 44th St. at 6:00 p.m. The food, atmosphere, and service were all excellent. I’m sure there were thousands of other restaurants we would have liked just as much or even better, but we wanted to eat at a place that we had heard about all our lives and was a New York classic. We walked to 42nd Street to see the musical “42nd Street”. It was excellent!! It was just the kind of show we wanted to see. The costumes, the music, the tap dancing, the comedy…it was all a real treat! The Ford theater itself is beautiful. Even the restroom break during intermission is entertaining. (If you ever go there ladies, you’ll know what I mean.) (TBC)
Old Oct 11th, 2002, 08:12 AM
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Part 5:
On Wednesday morning we got up early and went to Rockafeller Plaza to attend the Today Show. We even made signs to hold up that said “Oklahoma loves (hearts) New York”. We got our smiling faces on TV four times during the 8:00 and 9:00 segments! The very last segment was an outdoor cooking demonstration that all of the hosts came outside for. So we got lots of photos of them and when it was over Al Roker and Ann Curry went around visiting the outside audience members. They were genuinely nice and friendly, down-to-earth, etc. I got my picture made with Ann. It was a memory that we were glad we got up early to achieve! Then we walked right next door to Christy’s auction house for a free viewing of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry. Mom says it was the “icing on the cake” of the trip! Before leaving the area, we walked over to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and took a self-tour. We caught a cab right out front and went back to the hotel to pack for our departing flight. (Boo hoo.)

We found most of the cab drivers to be friendly and helpful with information. The traffic was a lot heavier on the weekdays (both car and people), which I guess is typical. All New Yorkers were very friendly! Several offered to take our pictures together when they would see us taking each other’s. Several would ask if we needed help when they would see us looking around like we were lost. We were very impressed with the people, the city, and the whole trip! Thanks, New York, for keeping your city so beautiful to share with the rest of the world. God bless all of you!
Old Oct 11th, 2002, 09:03 AM
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Thanks for the report. I would like to ask if you had difficult times hailing cabs? Especially after the 42nd St show?
Old Oct 11th, 2002, 09:30 AM
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Marsha: A great trip report. It sounds like you covered the city well and got in most of the important sights. Although they are often bashed, I'm glad you ate at and enjoyed Sardi's and Tavern on the Green. They are New York institutions and once in a lifetime experiences. You got real lucky with the weather, it's pouring rain today and tomorrow will be chilly and dreary. Glad you enjoyed our fair city and come back real soon.
Old Oct 11th, 2002, 10:40 AM
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We really didn't have much difficulty at all in hailing cabs. After the 42nd St. Show we walked down to Broadway and did a little street shopping and when we were ready to go, there was a cab right where we needed it. Lucky I guess. The only time we had difficulty hailing a cab was on Monday afternoon around 5:30 p.m. in front of Macy's. It didn't take too terribly long though. Seems like we walked to the next block and finally found an available one.
Old Oct 11th, 2002, 11:18 AM
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We were there over the weekend too -- you had fantastic weather. How wonderful for you! The city really sparkles these days. Since our daughter now lives and works in NYC, we go up several times a year. I've always loved NY. Wish I could afford to retire there!
Old Oct 11th, 2002, 12:04 PM
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So glad you had a great trip. Thanks for the trip report. When you live here long enough, you forget how magical the city really can be. Thanks for helping me look at it (again) from a tourist's eye!
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