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NY trip: Running in Central Park; Hairspray and MET

NY trip: Running in Central Park; Hairspray and MET

Jul 5th, 2005, 11:53 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 34
NY trip: Running in Central Park; Hairspray and MET

I have to share this to you all as I’ve found loads of info from this board. Trying to make it as brief as possible - been to NY few times already but this time only the two of us!
Checked in at Crowne Plaza (United Nations) on 42nd and 2nd Avenue – 3 blocks from grand central station. No complaints – nice room and friendly staff - $40/night parking while the room, we had a 2night complimentary from the raffle that I won.
Purchased daily metrocard for $7.00/ea (unlimited rides up to 3am). We used the bus more than the subway. There is a bus stop right in front of our hotel door – so very convenient.
Went to MET to see European artist and there was an exhibit of Matisse (something like Textiles of Life) it was nice and so with Renoir and the rest of them; husband is an art freak so he really enjoyed it.
*hint: although they posted “suggested donation” being $15, we paid $2/ea for admission and donated the rest of the money to the coffee shop – a good place to take a break.
Took bus to Chinatown, walked to Little Italy and Greenwich Village; I noticed while strolling in Greenwich Village a lot of restaurants/bars, pizza place marked “Zagat review” posted on the glass window and they were all packed.
Had late dimsum lunch in Chinatown, 2 diff. appetizers and combo entrée with drinks for $28.00 – food was good. (can’t remember of the place but it had “Zagat” sticker).
We got up early on Sunday morning took the bus to Central Park (West side on 91st St) asked driver about the Reservoir location – a runners track so he stopped at the gate. Never been to this side before and was glad I went; one loop is about a mile so managed to ran with a group of runners: 7 miles – husband gave up easily so he wandered around this gigantic park.
Watched broadway show “HairSpray”, LOVED IT – very entertaining. Got orchestra seats for half-price ($50/ea) at TKTS booth in south Seaport on Sat. for Sunday matinee show.
Show started at 3pm, had a slice of pizza/soda before the show, total8.50
After watching Hairspray (about 2.45 mins. including 10 mins intermission) took bus to Angelo’s in Little Italy –we were whisked away for there was a 30-min wait, waiters were overwhelmed/overworked so we did not bother, instead end up at Costa Azzura, (we ate here before) good timing they have one table left for two outside, we had a satisfying meal, ordered stuffed eggplant for appetizer, entrees: Lobster Ravioli and Seafood combo, with 2 beers, total amount (including tip) $61.00. Did not order dessert for I leave room for Ferrara’s (just around the corner) gelato and some pastries! It was packed also but the line for take out was not bad compared to table service.
Total foot mileage: running/walking from Sat/Monday: 16.37 miles!!
That’s it folks.
passion4travel is offline  
Jul 5th, 2005, 01:14 PM
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"...we paid $2/ea for admission and donated the rest of the money to the coffee shop..."
Fortunately, most museum visitors are a bit more generous. If most visitors took your approach, there probably wouldn't be a Metropolitan Museum around any more.
Interesting that you willingly pay $50 for a theater ticket, but didn't feel the museum was worth $15.
HowardR is offline  
Jul 5th, 2005, 03:15 PM
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I'm glad you enjoyed the Met - but disappointed that you felt it was worth only $2. The "optional" price is really for use by students and the poor - not people who have enough money to travel to NYC on vacation.

I don;t understand people who are willing to pay $10 to see a movie they will forget in 1/2 hour - but feel no need to pay an equivalent anount when they choose to take advantage of one of the world's greatest cultural institutions (which subsists almost entirely on private contributions).

Perhaps the US needs to do what the rest of the world does - and suport such museums through tax money - then they could be free for all. And I'm sure no one would complain if their income taxes increased $100/$200 or so per year to support the arts.
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 5th, 2005, 03:57 PM
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Well said, nytraveler!
HowardR is offline  
Jul 5th, 2005, 04:44 PM
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I guess I was most bothered by this post when you mentioned your husband is an "art freak". I guess stiffing the museum for the admission fee would have been easier to swallow if you didn't really enjoy or appreciate art but wanted to go to say you'd been there or just to see the building (not justified, mind you, just easier to swallow). But since he's an "art freak" I find it embarrassing that he's not willing to pay for what he enjoys.
Patrick is offline  
Jul 6th, 2005, 03:30 AM
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Paasion4Travel: I am a New Yorker and thoroughly agree with the posters who feel you should have donated more than a measley two dollars to our MET museum. I probably could qualify to pay that amount since I live here, which is very expensive, and usually have less than 200 dollars to spend on food and entertainment every month; I could never afford a Broadway show, for example- but I never donate less than 5 dollars. This museum has given so many wonderful exhibitions and public programs to our city and tourists who come here, the money is well spent. Besides, there are always many free events going on here in town, it seems a shame that you two couldn't spare a few more dollars, especially from an "art freak" and spouse. And while I'm having my two cents, "grand central station" is always capitalized: Grand Central Station"! But other than that, glad you enjoyed your visit. Come back anytime.
bellastar is offline  
Jul 6th, 2005, 04:05 AM
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You people are harsh.
With all the critics on this board, who will even *want* to post?
Can we not *live and let live*?
Regardless how I feel personally about the donation, I'm glad you had a good trip and posted.
wanderluster is offline  
Jul 6th, 2005, 05:05 AM
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I too agree with the word "harsh" and I might add unnecessary to boot. Here was someone who took the time to share her NYC experiences with all of us in an honest way. So many people come to this board for information and don't bother to share when they return. I too am glad they had a great time and want to thank them for sharing. H
Reeder is offline  
Jul 6th, 2005, 06:13 AM
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We "harsh" posters are also sharing our experiences. And, may I again point out that if every visitor to the Metropolitan decided on a $2 donation, the museum would, at best, have to severely curtail its programs and close down parts of the facility....and at worst, close down altogether.
Those potential scenarios are indeed harsh realities!
HowardR is offline  
Jul 6th, 2005, 08:02 AM
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Passion4travel, thanks for posting. I find all posts very helpful. Since New York is such a huge, diverse city, I usually read all posts concerning this wonderful place. Your post is very helpful. I have no reason to pull it apart. You took the time to post, which was generous of you. Thanks.
Heavens is offline  
Jul 6th, 2005, 01:03 PM
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I did not mean to suggest that we all didn't appreciate the post and the information included. But to those who think it is unfair to point out what a person should learn from the mistakes they made, I ask this -- where should it stop?

If someone posted that New York was a big city and they learned you could distract the host at a restaurant and sneak out without paying, should we all sit and here and politely say, "thank you for your informative post"? If someone from Europe comes to New York and proudly mentions that they tipped 5 % at a nice restaurant, shouldn't we let them know that's NOT what should be done? Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that what passion4travel did was the same as either of those two examples, but nevertheless she has talked about something that many of us think for future reference by her or anyone else should be corrected. I hate to discourage people from posting trip reports, but hopefully people post to learn as well as to educate, and for everyone to ignore that someone has done a serious travel "mistake", it should be called to their attention -- politely as done here. And I think ignoring it suggests to future travelers to New York that it is fine to only pay $2 if you're visiting the coffee shop. In my opinion NOT pointing out that such behavior is wrong is a mistake as it encourages the same behavior from others.

If I post a trip report here and mention that I have called the natives by the "wrong" name, or have failed to do something that local custom or even general travel custom dictates, I welcome being told what my mistake was.
Patrick is offline  
Jul 6th, 2005, 01:23 PM
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Sounds like you had a great trip, thanks for taking the time to tell us about it. You might not realize it, but the Met does not charge for special exhibitions; the Chanel exhibit that is current on is included with your museum admission as was the Matisse exhibit your enjoyed and the Diane Arbus exhibit held this spring. It is because people pay the suggested admission (if they can honestly afford it) that these events are possible and are able to be held without additional cost. Now that you are aware, you might want to give a little more to this wonderful institution the next time your visit.

Did you book your hotel direct or through one of the discount websites?

Oh, and I would like to add (no nastiness intended) that Grand Central Station is a Post Office; Grand Central Terminal is the train station.
Margie is offline  
Jul 6th, 2005, 03:27 PM
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I agree that Monday morning quarterbacking can be helpful for that traveler and those to follow but there are ways to recommend a different way of doing things and not. I think those "in the know" should be more careful in choice of words. The pokite way of making a suggestion can be helpful rather than hurtful.
Reeder is offline  
Jul 6th, 2005, 04:34 PM
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Hi Margie-
Thanks very much for the correction, here's some information from the website for Grand Central Terminal:

"Most people refer to this Beaux-Arts beauty as Grand Central Station but it's actually a Terminal because this is where train lines originate and terminate".

I never made that distinction previously, because all of us (my family has lived here for 2 going on three generations, have always called the Grand Central Terminal "Grand Central Station" and that's the common usage with most everyone I know. But both are still capitalized. And next time I take a cab there, I'll be sure to use the proper name, or else the most common one just "Grand Central".

to passion4travel: Your informative trip report WAS very much appreciated.

Rereading it, I did notice again that you carefully quoted us prices for everything from the $50 theater tickets to the $61.00 dinner at Costa Azzura, to the $40 a night parking at your hotel. To a New York City resident, these sound like hefty sums.

Moreover, you gave others here a "hint" that implied that it was just fine to pay only two dollars to get into the MET and enjoy all of the exhibits. Hope you had time to enjoy the Chanel/Lagerfeld exhibit mentioned here and the Arbus exhibit. I saw both, and the Diane Arbus exhibit was particularly moving, as it included many of her personal effects, even diaries.

I stand by my stated opinion that it's a shame that you could only come up with $2 to get into this world class Museum, which I still believe is a paltry sum compared to the other sums you posted for dinners and other entertainment.

If that sounds harsh, it wasn't meant to. It is my honest opinion, and remains unchanged by the criticism noted here.

I feel very strongly about this subject, and I simply said what I think in a straightforward way. I also then finished by saying I was glad you enjoyed your visit, and to come back anytime.
bellastar is offline  
Jul 7th, 2005, 03:42 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 43
In the spirit of "education"--in London "everyone" posts how the museums in London are now "free"--but I notice that they too have donation boxes.

Should I be donating everytime--some of the time? Is a donation really expected?--at the Met in NY I always donate because I feel that I should. Should I feel the same in London?

Again, I want to be "educated". . .
jeri is offline  

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