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mtolar Sep 29th, 2008 07:19 PM

NYC in 2 days - updated
September trip got cancelled due to Hurricane Ike, but it's back on for October 17-19, Friday night - Sunday night. Thanks for all your help in earlier posts.

Updated: Since I had to cancel previously planned trip where I was staying in Newark and dealing with expensive and inconvenient travel into the city, I have now made reservations at the Holiday Inn GW in Fort Lee, NJ and hope this is an improvement somewhat. They have a bus stop at a gas station across the street and I can ride for $2 to the subway station and then ride the subway to downtown. I'm not sure yet how to get back to the hotel, but I plan to call the hotel and ask their recommendations. (also been reading comments at My rate is $133/nt. Not too bad for being better accessible to get to the city, eh?

Because it's my husbands first visit to the city, we are planning to do the Greyline Hop on/ Hop off All-Loop tour. This is the only way he will see the beautiful churches and structures in Midtown, Uptown, Harlem, etc. while also getting a feel for the NYC life. I want to spend most of my time not "underground" in the subways, but we do plan to use them alot, as I know the buses can take much longer. I DO NOT have time to waste! ;)

The big issue for me now is what Broadway show to see. I just read reviews on Jersey Boys and had had my heart set on that one, but the language will be an issue for us. I respect that's just part of the storyline for this show (boys from NJ) but we'd rather sit through something a little more "tame" and family oriented. But by the same token, I'm not sure DH would like Wicked or Gypsy. We are both very musical people, but also like plays. Top pick with reviews is August: Osage County but it is sooooo long and generally not recommended for first-time Broadway visitors???

We'd appreciate any advice.


mtolar Sep 29th, 2008 07:31 PM

We might also like the Blue Man Group, I think. Please share your comments. THanks!

travelbuff Sep 29th, 2008 07:36 PM

DON'T stay in New Jersey, you will spend alot more in transportation costs and travel time and you can find a hotel for a reasonable price per night that will probably save you money in the long run.

The buses stop after a certain time in the evening, so you would probably have to take a cab back to your hotel after the Broadway show and figure it will end up costing about $75. Also cabs in the city are not required to go to New Jersey and could even end up getting lost and costing you even more.

Try priceline or,, for suggestions on hotels. The Grand Union on E. 32nd is showing a daily rate of $175nt and you would be able to walk to alot of the sites from there.

Also the Millenium is offering discounted rates and I have seen it for $199nt in the Times Square area.

Ft. Lee into Manhattan is all the way up on the West Side opposite the George Washington Bridge, so you would end up spending alot of time traveling instead of site-seeing.

dmlove Sep 30th, 2008 08:49 AM

If you can get tickets to Jersey Boys, do it. The show is fantastic. I'm sure there's some "adult" language, but honestly, I don't remember for sure (which means what I do remember is the story, and the music and the talent - WOW!!)

happy_train Sep 30th, 2008 09:26 AM

While I am normally a huge fan of public transit in New York, I also would not recommend staying in Fort Lee.

If you really need to stay in Jersey to keep your hotel costs down, I would recommend staying in Jersey City. The PATH train (functions just like a subway) is much nicer and easier to deal with than the bus, and runs 24/7.

nytraveler Sep 30th, 2008 09:55 AM

You do NOT want to stay in Fort Lee. It cn tak in excess of 30 minutes just to get onto and acros the George Washington Bridge. Agree to lok for a deal in Manhatan - even if you need to take someplace simpler.

As for Jersey Boys- I think you will find that almost every show (except Disney) will have some adult language in it. If that's what you want - then just go and see it. A few colorful words shuoldn't maky any adult melt.

MGergen Sep 30th, 2008 11:40 AM

Going to NYC this weekend. Looking forward to checking out the shows at the museums, (the Modern, Whitney, Met, and also the newly opened one at Columbus Circle). Love to eat dinner after shows at Molyvos, a Greek restaurant on 6th Ave, between 55th and 56th. Have seen Mamma Mia (if you loved Abba, you'll go wild, but if not, don't).. Jersey Boys was excellent. We loved Spamalot (for fans of Monty-Pithon); The Lion King is great for all ages. Equus, we saw years ago, and it was wrenchingly fabulous. For our anniversary we are going to have lunch at Jean George's and if the weather is nice, walk in Central Park. For apple struedel, we love the cafe at the Neue Museum, up off 5th Ave, near the Met, like Vienna. I think, after acquaintance with the city is made, through tours of various shorts, walking around is a great way to discover this multifaceted city, where English is just one language among many.

hikrchick Sep 30th, 2008 11:58 AM

I work in Fort Lee and I agree with everyone else who says not to stay there. Don't do it. The bridge can get really backed up. The place where the hotel is -- Route 4 East just off of the New Jersey Turnpike, can be a nightmare with traffic, and trucks. I don't know where they are telling you that there is a bus stop at a gas station but I can absolutely tell you that the sort of bus you will ride is what we call a "jitney" and not a regular NJ Transit bus. I personally uwould nevr ride in a jitney as they are private buses and I have no idea how much they are inspected. In fact, New Jersey just announced they will be making surprise inspections on those jitney buses.

Jersey City would be a much better idea for you. Also, there is a Sheraton Hotel at Lincoln Harbor in Weehawken. It is sort of adjacent to the NYWaterway ferry and there is a free Sheraton shuttle bus to and from the ferry boat. I have stayed there when I needed a weekend away from home 20 minutes away (LOL) and it's very nice.

j_999_9 Sep 30th, 2008 12:12 PM

You have me searching my brain (no easy task) to remember the profanity in Jersey Boys. There must have been some, but it just doesn't stand out for me.

I respect that you don't want to listen to profanity, but I can tell you that the audience when we went was filled with middle-age-to-senior types, about 60% female, and no one seemed offended by the language. Anyway, I'm sure it's not a dominant part of the show.

mclaurie Sep 30th, 2008 12:17 PM

If you had a car, I think the Ft. Lee location would not be so terrible but it is really impossible to get across the highway coming back on the bus. It just can't be done. You could try bidding on Priceline and might get a good alternative in Jersey City. If you bid 3* in Jersey City, all the options are good. You could also try bidding for Manhattan, but I doubt you'd get anything close to $130/night on those dates.

If you're worried about language in Jersey Boys, don't even THINK about August Osage. Very heavy going. I'm at somewhat of a loss to recommend something else. I don't want to send you to Mary Poppins (although it's quite enjoyable for adults) but everything else apart from Disney seems to have some language issue. Billy Elliott will have opened in previews (after a hugely successful run on London) but that will also have some strong language. It would be my pick for a show at the time you're coming unless you can get tickets to South Pacific.

mtolar Sep 30th, 2008 01:41 PM

OKAY everyone....your messages are received loud and clear....I will try and find another place besides Fort Lee. So glad I hadn't put any money down on it yet. THANK YOU so much! :)

I am shopping on Priceline right now....will bid for Manhatten midtown?? and perhaps Jersey City. I will also look up that Sheraton that you mentioned.

Jersey Boys -- would have been a dream to see for us BUT we just can't see paying $400 for 2 tickets and feeling squeamish with every F word...some of the reviews indicate that the boys are from Jersey and that is expected. Sure, no problem, but for us...we just don't like to be around "adult" language. I am an adult but don't need to pay hard-earned money to "splurge" and watch a first-class Broadway show that is like an R-rated movie. Now, that doesn't mean you have to suggest Mary Poppins to me either! LOL I have seen Hairspray with some girlfriends a few years ago...don't remember any F words or GDs in that one...I guess I just assumed they were all that way. What about Gypsy? or should I keep trying for Wicked? do guys like those??? maybe we should just get there and do TKTS and settle for Mamma Mia...or what about Blue Man Group?

You guys are helping me so much. THank you, thank you, thank you.

Can't wait...only 2 more weeks!

MomDDTravel Sep 30th, 2008 02:20 PM

my dh LOVED Wicked... but he does love musicals :-)

We saw Jersey Boys - I am Jersey girl..dh grew up in Brooklyn (both live in CA now)..and we were both offended by the language. jmo.

travelbuff Sep 30th, 2008 02:26 PM

You might check the Grand Union Hotel as their website is listing rooms for $175nt for the fall season. The hotel is quite nice, large rooms, close to restaurants, close to shopping, and if you are a walker you can walk to the theatre from there. Also close to the subway (Lex Ave line - on the east side), and bus lines.

mtolar Sep 30th, 2008 03:36 PM

MomDD, thank you for understanding. :)

travelbuff, Hotel Grand Union is booked my weekend...but a great suggestion, thank you.

mtolar Sep 30th, 2008 06:31 PM

Does anyone know if is legit? I spoke with the "owner" and we discussed availability in a B-type studio rental near Times Square. Unfortunately, I can't find any reviews or solid info from me wonder if it's too good to be true?? anyone know about this???

ellenem Sep 30th, 2008 06:37 PM

A better well-reviewed choice "outside" Manhattan is the Quality Inn in Long Island City, a very short subway ride from midtown Manhattan.

sunny16 Sep 30th, 2008 08:18 PM

The Quality Inn is a good suggestion because it's only one stop away from Manhattan, but be aware that the area is a total dump. I see that hotel every day from my subway on the way to work. It's surrounded by new high rises and construction and there just aren't a lot of amenities down there, although it should be safe at night. Just a heads up. It shouldn't matter much for you since you'll be going right into Manhattan.

ShutRbug Sep 30th, 2008 08:48 PM

I'll be in NYC in mid October(six nights!) Staying at the Pan American Hotel on Queens Blvd. in Elmhurst (Queens) - $155 with free parking, good reviews on Trip Advisor. It's a few blocks from the subway and I suspect a 25 minute ride into Manhattan.

travelbuff Oct 1st, 2008 12:46 AM

If you'd consider a B&B, there's a lovely one just up the street from me, and the rooms are VERY nice and the price is around $100nt. I'm in Hamilton Heights just off the A train, which will get you to midtown in 15 minutes.

mtolar Oct 1st, 2008 06:36 AM

you guys are absolutely amazing....I sincerely appreciate your help.

I just made a decision and booked 2 nights (of my 3 night stay) at the Millenium on Broadway for a rate of $249/nt. MUCH more than I wanted to pay, but availability is becoming a factor.

Travelbuff, the B&Bs are booked...the hurricane cancelling my previous trip forced me to have to plan this one in under 3 weeks, so I'm finding many places not available.

The idea now is to stay Fri/Sat night at the Millenium, paying a bit more. But then fetch my luggage late on Saturday night and take a cab to Newark and stay in a cheaper $75/nt airport hotel for Sunday night for my early flight out on Monday morning. My genius sister thought of that idea. Pay more to stay in NYC and then cheap on the last night to catch the plane out the next morning. :)

So --- I think my search is over for hotels. WHEW!!! what a relief!

I will need to ask the Millenium to hold my bags on Sunday at checkout until I come back for them late that night. Then I need to factor in the price to catch a cab to Newark for late night check-in at the airport hotel. $60??

I'm starting to doubt we will even try and see a Broadway show at this point....we'll see. I'll be sure and post a trip report when it's all over. :)

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