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NYC question for 21yo and 23yo sons

Old Mar 14th, 2011, 09:35 AM
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NYC question for 21yo and 23yo sons

A couple of years ago, I promised my sons I would send them to NYC for my youngest son's 21st birthday. The time has come. They have been once before with me, but they are really not familiar with the city at all.

I have reservations for them at the Pod Hotel and tickets to see Book of Mormon. Two questions: (1) inexpensive, good place to eat close to the Eugene O'Neill theater before the play; and (2) what direction on the subway to point them for bars and clubs that would be fun at night for their age group.

I don't think much goes on at night for their age around the hotel. I have heard the Lower East Side might be a fun area for them to explore at night--but I don't know. I am hoping for some good suggestions.

I'd like to tell them a couple of subway stops that might get them in the right areas--and if anybody has recommendations for particulars bar or clubs, that would be good, too.
Kate101 is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2011, 10:03 AM
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First - don;t tell them any subway stops. to visit the city they will need to understand the subway and for that they should get a subway map. (After all - they're adults, not children.)

There are dozens and dozens of bars and clubs they might like and I - and probably you - don;t have a clue which. They should look at Time Out New York online - which will list all sorts of places - and who/what type of music is playing where when. Must better to have an idea of what they want than just to wander the streets hoping to find something they'll like.

Much of the nightlife is downtown - but there will be a lot they probably won;t want (very expensive uber trendy places, gay bars, places with wrong type of music) so they should pick before heading out.

For eating - what types of food do they like and dislike- and what do you consider inexpensive (and does this include beer or wine and tip/tax)?
nytraveler is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2011, 10:22 AM
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Tell then to look at Time Out NY and Village Voice on line for what is going on that week.

There are literally scores of bars on the Lower East Side that cater to the under 25 crowd. It all depends what they like.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2011, 10:51 AM
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I don't know if this will help, but I went to the new Hofbrau Bierhouse on 45th & 3rd Sat. night, we were the oldest people in there, definitely a 21-30 year old crowd (and it was a nice college crowd), not nightclubish or snobbish, just a fun atmosphere. Great beer too.

The meatpacking district is trendy, this is where you get the doormen/velvet ropes.

There's lots of nightlife in NY, all depends on what kind of scene they want.
owlwoman is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2011, 11:54 AM
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They will definitely have a map, and they do understand the subway system.

They like most kinds of food. To me inexpensive would be under $20-$25, not including alcohol, tax or tip.

I will have them check out Time Out NY and Village Voice.

owlwoman - I will mention that place to them, because it's not too far from their hotel.

Thanks for your suggestions.
Kate101 is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2011, 12:25 PM
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Do they like Thai food? There are a number of good, cheap places in Hell's Kitchen, just west of the theater. My fave is the hole-in-the-wall Pam's Real Thai Food, on W. 49th just west of 9th Ave. The mini-chains Wondee Siam and Yum Yum are good too, each with multiple locations in Hell's Kitchen.

Another Hell's Kitchen option is Hallo Berlin - while not the hip beer hall scene owlwoman describes, they have some tasty German food and the prices are good.

Or if they prefer, it's pretty much always a safe bet to go to a pub for dinner, though I'd recommend avoiding the touristy ones along 8th Ave near the theater. I like St. Andrews east of 7th Ave and can come up with names of some others if you think they'd like that.

Overall, Hell's Kitchen along 9th Ave between 42nd and 57th Streets is a good bet for inexpensive but tasty food in a range of palates!

And near their hotel, there (hopefully still is) an Amish Market, kind of a high-end grocery with plenty of good options for breakfasts or lunches. Also the food court in the lower level of Grand Central Terminal (also nearby) has outposts of a lot of NYC eateries; check out their website for details. ...Hopefully they can avoid the plethora of fast-food joints in midtown that are too easy a default option!

What kind of scene are your boys into for going out? (Sports bars? Karaoke? Dance clubs?) While Time Out, Village Voice and are all good resources, if you give an idea of what they like, I'm sure some of us can provide some specific options!

(From their hotel to the LES, they would take the 6 train downtown to Bleeker, Spring or Canal. From the theater, the best bet is the F train on 6th Ave down to 2nd Ave or Delancey. The Meatpacking is around 14th Street and 9th Aves, so a straight shot down from the theater district on the A/C/E...)
ggreen is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2011, 12:35 PM
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The show is at Eugene O'Neill Theatre, 230 West 49th Street. has a great feature 'search nearby' that lets you type in restaurants, pizza or whatever you want near any location. For restaurants, they even link reviews. Saju Bistro on west 44th st. has a good pre theater dinner for ~$20 and it includes a hanger steak as an option for the entree. There's also lots of ethnic options nearby if they want something more unusual. Wondee Siam is good Thai, Hell's Kitchen is good Mexican and there's a fun Cuban, Guantanamera, with live music nightly.

In addition to the lower east side, the east village and Williamsburg, Brooklyn are hot areas for young people.

Ess-A-Bagel on 3rd ave. & 50th is not far from their hotel and a great spot for b'fast and snacks. It's one of the famous bagel places.
mclaurie is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2011, 02:20 PM
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As far as 21yo likes electronic dance music--not sure which specific styles. He also likes Bob Dylan. So I'm not sure how I'd peg him.

They have pretty good taste in current music. They aren't much into the jazz scene. Probably just music with a good beat.

That wasn't very specific, was it?
Kate101 is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2011, 05:54 PM
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I'm assuming you've confirmed that the hotel will check them in without your credit card and that their ages aren't an issue? 23 should be ok, though.
Bowsprit is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2011, 08:42 PM
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The boys will be 21 and 23 - I have never heard of a hotel anywhere that doesn't take 21-year olds, have you?
sf7307 is offline  
Old Mar 15th, 2011, 01:15 AM
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Like all travelers including well seasoned adults, they will find some places they really like and when they leave, they will learn of the greatest music venue or restaurant in the world which was right next to the place they went.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Old Mar 15th, 2011, 03:25 AM
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They should be fine as long as the credit card has enough of a credit balance for the hotel to put a sizable hold - which it will probably do for 2 young men.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Mar 15th, 2011, 05:17 AM
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I walked by the Pod hotel last evening -- the area has a few spots that might appeal to them. Nothing to compare with downtown, of course, but maybe handy to begin or end an evening.

Down towards 2nd Ave is a bar called the Stag's Head -- looks a cut above the usual sports bars in the area. If the kids like French symbolist poetry, perhaps a drink or bite at Le Bateau Ivre would be in order. If they walk towards 3rd they'll pass BXL, which specializes in mussels and Belgian beer.

If they walk to 2nd and turn right, they will come to the Morning Star Cafe in half a block -- a diner and coffee shop with a pretty good breakfast.

On the corner of Lexington and 52nd is a very reasonable steak and frites place, Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecote - salad, steak and fries for $24, bottle of house red for another $24.
Fra_Diavolo is offline  
Old Mar 15th, 2011, 06:03 AM
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sf7307: My then 21 y/o daughter stayed at a Marriott that wouldn't accept her credit card as it was different than the cc that the reservation was under (ours). A quick phone call sorted things out. The Marriott balked again because she was with guests under 21. Perhaps that was the difference.
Bowsprit is offline  
Old Mar 15th, 2011, 06:48 AM
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For music given your son's tastes, if they don't go to a club in the LES or Meatpacking, they might do well to go to Williamsburg, which is the first few stops into Brooklyn on the L train. (The main drag, Bedford, is the first stop into BK, but the scene is shifting eastward...)
ggreen is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2011, 02:58 AM
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sf7307, there are many hotels in the US that will not accept or will make it difficult for people under 25 unless they are traveling on business on a corporate card -- or their parents' card.

This is especially true at holidays like St Patrick's Day, Fourth of July, for big concderts, and at prom time. Hotels have been badly burned by older brothers and sisters in their early 20's renting rooms that are then occupied by as many kids as can crowd in for a night of drinking and partying.

It's like trying to rent a car if you are under 25; many have to suffer for the actions of a few.
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