NYC Itinerary: What do you have to add?

Old Aug 24th, 2004, 11:32 AM
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NYC Itinerary: What do you have to add?

Going to NYC in December with 16 year daughter. She's into shopping and art, I'm into the museums. She's interested in seeing the Big city of NYC, compared to the Midwest. Here's our itinerary in a snapshot. Open to suggests for dinning and thoughts on how exhausted we might be, and if things should be switched around. Thank you Fodorites.

Check into the Algonquin
St Patricks Cathedral
GE Building (architect/beauty?)
Dinner near Radio City Music Hall
Rockettes Christmas Spectaluar

Shopping along 5th Avenue
Musuems: Guggenheim and Metro Musuem of Art
Stop into famous hotels look around Plaza, Waldorf Astoria ??

Sat: Grand Central Terminal
Empire State Bldg
Statue of Liberty tour or some sort of Boat/harbor tour that will get close ot Statue of Liberty.
Broadway Show (Fiddler on Roof or Rent?)
Dinner at Tavern on the Green

Sun: Jewish Museum
SoHo Shopping
Greenwich Village Shopping
Club 21 or Rainbow Room for Dinner

Mon: Leave at 3:00 any suggestions?

Also, tell me where in Greewich can I find the Beat hangouts?
floridawannabe is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2004, 12:44 PM
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I'm wondering if you realize that almost everything you want to see is along a VERY narrow corridor (5th Avenue from Midtown to about 86th St.). You will get an excellent experience that involves no actual neighborhoods whatsoever. It's good to see all the "typical tourist" stuff, after all it's why you are coming here! But you should absolutely WALK AROUND more. "Shopping" will be very spread out and could also mean anything. Is there something in particular you collect or would like to buy that you can't find at home?

As for individual items:

"Dinner near Radio City Music Hall"

Unless there is a particular restaurant you want to try in this area, this seems like a strange choice. Most restaurants that are very near Radio City cater to lunchtime expense accounts. You can take the "F" train directly from Radio City to Chinatown, for instance (20 minute trip), and have a little more open experience.

"Dinner at Tavern on the Green"

I think the main reason people eat at TotG is to tell people back home they ate there. If that is the reason you are doing it, skip it. The food isn't that good.

"Statue of Liberty tour or some sort of Boat/harbor tour that will get close ot Statue of Liberty."
The Staten Island Ferry is FREE and gives the best view of the Statue of Liberty.

"Club 21 or Rainbow Room for Dinner"

Make sure to call ahead to make sure the Rainbow Room is open to the public that night, it can be rented out for Weddings, etc. Great view! I would also reserve ahead of time for "21". If I had to pick, I would pick the Rainbow Room every time.

"Also, tell me where in Greewich can I find the Beat hangouts?"

Beat hangouts? You can find them in 1956, most likely. What exactly are you looking for?

Just a little insider tip: "Greenwich" [pronounced GRENN-itch] is a suburban town in Connecticut about 45 minutes from NYC. "Greenwich Village" or "The Village" is a neighborhood in the lower-central portion of Manhattan. You have to use both words. Asking for directions to "Greenwich" will result in responses that direct you to first board commuter rail at Grand Central.

QC is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2004, 01:25 PM
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The GE Building - which is Rockefeller Center - is on 5th Ave, so you might want to do your 5th Ave portion of shopping that day. Your daughter may be interested in H&M, cheap trendy clothes, which is right next to Rockefeller Center.

On Friday, although the Guggenheim isn't that big, the Met is huge. Is there any particular period/style of art that you and your daughter are interested in? You may not have time for shopping after (or may be too tired). If you are into Modern art, the Museum of Modern Art is scheduled to re-open in late November after a complete multiyear redesign, so you might want to consider that.

By the way for shopping, Madison Ave btwn 60th and the 80s is now where most of the top designers are, and is a much nicer shopping area than 5th ave.

For dining in the Radio City area, there is a seafood restaurant which is ok (overpriced) but has the fortune of overlooking the ice skating. Restaurants immediately around Radio City are either expensive or geared for office lunches.

I'd drop Tavern on the Green - you are completely paying for the view, the food is really not good (rather than just overpriced), and the view in December, unless there is snow on the ground, is nothing so great. You can walk around Tavern on the Green for free to see what it looks like.

When you go towards Grand Central, make sure to get a look at the Chrysler Building next door, IMHO the most beautiful skyscraper in the city. And if you're interesting in modern architecture, walk up Park Ave in the 50's and see the Seagram Building and the Lever House.

For the Broadway Show, Fiddler hasn't gotten very good reviews. You may want to consider Ave Q, Wicked, or the Producers.
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Old Aug 24th, 2004, 02:38 PM
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Taking it day by day:
Thursday--You don't say what time you'll be arriving. Assuming it's early afternoon, you're okay schedule-wise. When you say, "GE Building," I assume you mean Rockefeller Center. I can't believe you would just look at the building and ignore the giant tree, the skating rink and other parts of the world famous real estate development. For dinner, you're probably better off going a few blocks from the Music Hall. If you let us know your food preferences and price you want to spend, we can pass along some suggestions.
Friday--You'll never be able to accomplish all this. I'd spend the morning at the Metropolitan Museum (it's less crowded then) and devote the afternoon to shopping. I'd leave the Guggenheim off your list. The Plaza is on Fifth Avenue, so it can easily be included. The Waldorf-Astoria, however, is a couple blocks east and you probably wouldn't have time on that busy day.
Saturday--That's a good daytime schedule. Normally, I'd recommend the ride to view the Statue of Liberty as a first-thing activity. But, on a cold December day, you're smart in waiting until later in the day when it's warmer. I totally agree with the other posters about Tavern on the Green. Forget it! You can do a lot better. As for the theater, I'll disagree with a previous poster about Fiddler on the Roof. Actually, most of the critics liked the show. (The NY Times was a notable exception.) No, it's not the bet thing on Broadway, but it's worth your time. Having said that, I might suggest Hairspray instead!
Sunday--The only question I have about your daytime activities is that I'm not sure how early the stores open on Sunday. I know that those in Soho don't open before 11 or 12. As for dinner, the 21 Club is closed on Sundays. As for the Rainbow Room, do you realize that it's very expensive. If you can juggle your schedule, why not go there for brunch, which is excellent?
HowardR is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2004, 03:46 PM
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Can only agree with not going to TOG - vastly overrated - good only for the view - either in summer/garden or with snow. Even then - go for lunch and order defensively (something its hard to ruin - otherwise they will). It's not the expense - its' just not very good food. Also, avoid Carmine's - unless you want a very loud group grope experience of very ordinary red sauce italian.

Rather than the SOL I would do the ferry to Ellis Island (good views of the SOL) and then spend some time at the museum - just as much what American is about.

For the Met agree to go to the website and pick out what departments you want to visit - otherwise you could spend a week. You may also want to consider one of the gallery talks - they can be very informative - if they have one on a topic you're interested in the day you're there. Don;t miss the neapolitan Christmans tree and creche.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2004, 05:40 PM
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Here's a couple of particular order:

1. Visit MOMA and/or the Metropolitan (Met has free 1 hr tours that cover a lot of ground in a little amount time)
2. I'd suggest Battery Park ferry to Ellis Island & Statue of Liberty
3. Visit Wall St. (free tours of NY exchange and takes about 1 hr)
4. From Wall St., take subway to Canal St. for some real bargain shopping (daughter will love the place..IMHO)

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Old Aug 24th, 2004, 05:46 PM
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Pumpy: tours at the NYSE have been suspended at the present time.
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Old Aug 24th, 2004, 05:49 PM
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I hit reply too soon. Just wanted to add that while I have not read the reviews on Fidler, I did see the show and thought Alfred Molina was fabulous - for what that is worth!
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Old Aug 24th, 2004, 05:57 PM
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OK, I go on again and off again about Tavern on the Green, but I'm not sure everyone is listening to you. We're talking about a 16 year old girl. I can't imagine her NOT loving Tavern on the Green, especially probably having seen it in a bunch of movies. So the food isn't the greatest in all of New York, it's certainly better than average. And yes, it's expensive, but hey, I haven't heard of another suggestion that would probably impress her as much as Tavern on the Green -- especially if you arrive by horse and carriage, or head home that way!!! I don't get the part about needing snow. At night the place will be spectacular with all the lights -- although snow would only be an added bonus.

I'd also agree about the Rainbow Room for brunch. It's too supper clubby at night anyway.

I'm also with Howard. What 16 year old girl wouldn't LOVE Hairspray, compared to Fiddler on the Roof?

And Thursday might be the night to have dinner at 21 (although I'd suggest you eat in the Saloon -- the room with all the toys and clutter). Or walk a few blocks to the giant TAO, for sharing modern Asian. It will be filled with 20 somethings, and she'll feel so "adult". Or there's nothing wrong with either Sea Grill or Rock Center Cafe overlooking the skating rink. Frankly I'd think 21, despite its fun atmosphere in the saloon, would seem stuffy and old to her.
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Old Aug 24th, 2004, 09:10 PM
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I'm tired just reading this. My husband and I were there during a blizzard last year and still had a great time. I would make Tavern on the Green a stop to see and then keep going. We had a wonderful day walking through Central Park after a snowfall. You could have brunch there and go ice skating in the park. There is a wonderful rink there too. Another very interesting tour is the Tenement House Museum, It takes you through an original tenement house and gives the history. Ellis Island is ALL day, don't expect to do anything else except have dinner. And if you get half on your list done, you did well.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 04:11 AM
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Thanks everyone for so much information! I'm the status/been there done that chick, who wants to experience Tavern on the Green, especially after seeing it in movies. I thought it would be very special, and at night with the lights...I had heard the food was not so good, so now I'm not sure, maybe we will just view it. Thanks for the information about restuarants around Radio City Music. I was just thinking that since it was close to our show, easy to find a place to eat. You all have so many helpful hints. After reading so many posts on this site, I'm getting very comfortable with going to NYC. Can't wait. Thanks again for the bounty of information. I'll post a trip reply when we come back.
floridawannabe is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2004, 07:29 AM
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Some suggestions

Leave the Algonquin and instead of heading east to Fifth Ave., go west to 7th ave.. Have pre-theater dinner at Foley's Fish House (7th 47-48 st. in the Renaissance Hotel). Great views of Times Square and nice way to start the trip. Walk a few blocks north east to Radio City. When you get out of Radio City, walk over to Rockefeller Center to see the tree and the skating rink. You'll then also be able to see the Xmas windows at Saks Fifth Ave.which is directly across from Rock Center. Walk down Fifth Ave. to 44th to your hotel.


The Metropolitan and the Guggenheim are all the way uptown in the 80's. The main dept stores in midtown are mostly in the 50's with the exception of Lord &Taylor. Since the Met is open late on Fri night and they have live music in the evening, you could go shopping first. Then go to the museum (although your feet may give out) OR, as others said, go directly to the museum first when it's probably less crowded and you're fresh and then shop.

Another option is to check the Met Museum website and see what time(s) the tours on are on the day you're going to help you decide what's the best time.

Here's a walking plan of the midtown shops with some highlights from your hotel.

Go first to Lord &Taylor at 39th &Fifth. You will have to stand on line to see the windows there which are always great. If you're interested in shopping there, go in. Then work your way up Fifth Ave. Don't miss H &M for your daughter (near Rock Ctr.) Henri Bendel at 55-56 has very cute things (not cheap though) and a good cosmetics dept. Around the corner (56 just west of Fifth) is a store Felissimo with great gift items and trendy jewelry (

Back at 56 &5th cross the street and have a look in Trump Tower. Then have a look at Tiffany's and cross back to the other side of Fifth and check the windows at Bergdorf Goodman. Maybe go into Bergdorf for a look around. Their home dept. is beautiful and often has wonderful gifts. They also have a rest. if you're geting hungry for lunch. Or, you could try Norma's at the Parker Meridien Hotel for a burger. (57th &6th)

You are right at the Plaza Hotel at this point. Have a look around. (You will have also passed the St. Regis Hotel (just off Fifth at 55th) Their King Cole Bar is famous for the Maxwell Parish mural of Old King Cole.) Across from the Plaza is the Pierre Hotel, another old beauty. The Waldorf is over on Park Ave. and not on this walk.

At this point, if you have the strength I would walk over to Madison Ave. Have a look at the windows at Barney's (about 61 st.) which are usually outrageous and humorous. Then decide if you want to continue on to the Met. You could take the Madison Ave. bus up to 80th st. and then just walk a block over to Fifth where the museum is.

On Sat. I would seriously consider doing the downtown loop of the Grayline bus tour. You will pass the buildings you want to see. There may be some deal that will also get you tickets into one or more of the the places you want to visit. I know it's expensive but your feet may be sore from Fri. and you're really trying to cover a lot of ground. I assume you're talking about doing a show in the evening. (If you mean a matinee, I wouldn't try going downtown in the morning. Traffic at Xmas time is awful) I actually think Tavern on the Green may have a pre-theater dinner but be aware it's not really near the theaters so you'll have to hustle to get there in time. Eat early, like 5pm. Your daughter will like Rent better, you'll like Fiddler. I'd pick Wicked if you can get tickets.

On Sun

Are you aware the Jewish museum is all the way uptown at 92nd st?? It's 10 blocks north of the Met. Not a good match IMO with Soho which is totally on the other end of the city. It is open til 8pm on Sun though if you want to go downtown first and then do the museum at the end of the day. Don't try to do the Jewish Museum on Fri after the Met. It closes early on Fri.

I think the suggestion of the Rainbow Room for brunch is a good idea, but not sure what to tell you to do in the morning. Most things in midtown don't open til 11 or 12 on Sun. although right before Xmas that might be different. I think you should head downtown to Katz's deli
have breakfast and then walk around Soho and the village.

The only place I know of from the "Beat" guys is the Cedar Street Tavern

They did hang out at Washington Square Park which is at the bottom of Fifth Ave.

Do on Monday whatever you missed. The one museum I love you haven't mentioned is the Frick on Fifth & 70th. It's in a beautiful mansion.

Have fun.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 08:06 AM
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What movies has Tavern on the Green been in? Maybe I just didn't know what it is, but I can't think of any off the top of my head. Oops...
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 08:11 AM
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Thanks Mclaurie, wonderful helpful suggestions. You all are making my trip just perfect! Part of my point of going to NYC in winter was for the Christmas decorations. Thanks for the thump on the head reminder.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 08:17 AM
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One of my all-time favorite memories in NYC in December is ice-skating at Wollman Rink in Central Park - great skyline views & less crowded than at Rockefeller. Go at nighttime when the city is lit up. From there, you can easily walk down to Serendipity 3 for dessert (frrozen hot chocolate) - not the best food in the world, but a fun experience especially for a 16 year old. Watch the movie Serendipity before you go - they skate at Wolman Rink & eat at Serendipity!

She'll more than likely love shopping in H&M which someone else mentioned. For an inexpensive but filling dinner - go to La Bonne Soupe (a small cafe with more locals than tourists) on 55th btwn 7th & 8th. They have the best cheese fondue that will fill you up on a cold day! Or, get their soup special for 13.95 - soup, bread, salad, dessert & wine (or soda)! Very yummy.

As for the shows to see - definitely Christmas Spectacular. I just saw Fiddler this past weekend & while I was disappointed (I have seen many shows on Broadway), my friends LOVED it (they had never been to NYC before). I personally LOVE Rent, but you will have to decide if it is appropriate for your daughter - swearing & subjects you might not feel comfortable with her watching (although I am sure she is exposed to at school, etc.). If no one has mentioned it yet, get 1/2 price tickets at TKTS right in Times Square for the Broadway show - Fiddler & Rent always seem to be there & available - we just got 4th row tickets for $53 per person! Both theaters are small, so there really isnt a bad seat in the house. Take your chances & save some $!

Have a wonderful trip!
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 08:21 AM
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This is the list of movies the restaurant provides on it's website

New York Stories
The Night We Neven Met
Crimes And Misdemeanors
Only When I Laugh
The Out Of Towners
It Had To Be You
Wall Street
The Mirror Has Two Faces
Whispers In The Dark

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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 10:57 AM
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Depending on exactly when you are going you may be ably to shop on Sunday AM - the last week or so before Christmas the department stores typically open at 9am - or even 8 am on sunday.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 11:02 AM
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Thanks Sclubb, great information, lots of helpful information! Much appreciated.
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