NYC trip help!

Dec 6th, 2003, 07:03 AM
  #1  
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NYC trip help!

Planning a trip to NYC Dec 18-22 with my mother (age 80) and daughter (age 10) - will be visiting college student son. My mom was in a wheelchair (hip replacement) when we started planning the trip - got great advice from you then, but she's up and around with a cane and definitely not interested in bringing a wheel chair now.
So,have itinerary, with questions, and would welcome any advice!

Dec 18th - Staying at Red Roof Inn on 34th in Little Korea - should get there by 2 pm.
plan to window shop - see the Christmas displays

Fri Dec 19 -
10 am show for Christmas Spectacular. Just read the book 'Great Fortune' about the Rockefeller center and afterwards would like to see as much of the center as we can - are there building lobbies or don't miss sites that are open?
Metropolitan museum of art - open late on Friday, (wheelchairs offered if needed)
Make dinner plans with son

Sat Dec 20th
Grand Central Station - Christmas Fair
Balthazar to eat (son's request!)
Handel's Messiah at Carnegie Hall.

Sun Dec 20 - Mass at St. Patrick's then brunch
United Nations - take a tour (wheelchairs offered if needed)
Reception at Hunter College - school stuff for my son

Mon Dec 22
American Girl Doll Store
Central Park carriage ride then tea at the St. Regis (want to see that Maxfield Parrish mural!!) - could this be a huge wait?
Flight out at 7 pm - leave Manahttan by 4 or 5?

Tried to do no more than one walking activity per day and will rely on taxis a lot.
Food - breakfast is free at the hotel. My daughter eats next to nothing and my mom is not much better - any suggestions for cheap and healthy? Maybe carryouts around 34th and just eat in our room?
Have tickets for Christmas Spectacular and Carnegie hall -
Any ideas on getting cheap tickets to anything on Thursday night? Thinking less than $50 - which I guess excludes Broadway and Henry IV.

Fodors is great!


Marita is offline  
Dec 6th, 2003, 07:29 AM
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In general, it's a good itinerary.
Definitely make reservations now for Balthazar. You might already be too late!
As for theater tickets for under $50, you can get them at TKTS for a little more than $50 if you're willing to stand in line.
HowardR is offline  
Dec 6th, 2003, 09:40 AM
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I think your itinerary sounds fine, wish I were going too! Since you expressed in interest in Rockefeller Center, you might be interested the tour. Try to contact them in advance to see how much walking would be involved. The phone number for reservations is: (212) 664-7174, and there is more information at: http://www.shopnbc.com/pom2k.aspx?ca...ft=0&storeid=2.

If you do not want to do the tour you can go into the lobby to check out the architecture & decor, there used to be a brochure at the "front desk" that told about the ceiling mural. Also there is a shopping concourse that you can walk around.

I think your itinerary sounds fine, wish I were going too! Since you expressed in interest in Rockefeller Center, you might be interested the tour. Try to contact them in advance to see how much walking would be involved. The phone number for reservations is: (212) 664-7174, and there is more information at: http://www.shopnbc.com/pom2k.aspx?ca...ft=0&storeid=2.

If you do not want to do the tour you can go into the lobby to check out the architecture & decor, there used to be a brochure at the "front desk" that told about the ceiling mural. Also there is a shopping concourse that you can walk around.

As far as food for your picky eaters, try one of the Cosi sandwich shops. These are NOT a "subway/blimpie" type place. The are a bit nicer and offer inexpensive sandwiches, salads, croissants, coffee, juice etc. You can eat there or take it with you. There are several locations throughout Manhattan. Also near Rockefeller Center is a place called Au Croissant & Gourmet. It's on west 51st street between 5th & 6th Aves. They serve breakfast as well as sandwiches (from basic to more "gourmet"), salad platters, smoothies, sushi, wraps, Quesadillas, Quiche, hot sandwiches (most were $5.95) and they have cookies, fruit, etc. for dessert. Before everyone jumps on me for recommending this let me state that it is hardly in the same category as a restaurant like Balthazar, but it is decent food at a very inexpensive price. Order at the counter and there are plenty of tables and chairs to sit and relax. Not sure of the hours, except I know they are not open Sunday mornings. If you wanted to get the hours the phone number is (212) 333-4343.

If they will eat Italian food, try John's Pizza (212 391-7560) at 260 West 44th Street. This tends to be noisy around theater time. If you Mom can make the short flight of stairs ask to sit up there.

Have a great trip!
Margie is offline  
Dec 6th, 2003, 09:49 AM
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I'm not sure where you're flying out of but I think you need to leave more time. You need to arrive at the aiport at least 1.5 hours in advance - probably longer if you have checked luggage - and getting from midtown to JFK for instance will take longer than an hour if leaving the city at 5pm. Also, it can be heard to get a cab at 5pm - especailly araound Christmas.

Hope you have a great time!
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 6th, 2003, 12:21 PM
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Didn't realize Balthazar needed reservations! I'll check into that. Thanks for the suggestions for eats - those are the types of places I'm looking for. Know of any close to 34th and 6th, where our hotel is?
Rockefeller center tour info on the web site says 'wear your walking shoes' so I thought it might not be a good choice for us - too difficult for my mother to keep up with a group of people on the go. I was wondering if there were any kinds of self-guided tours where we could go at our own pace. If there is still a front desk or information center, I'll try there for informational pamphlets.

We are flying out of LaGuardia at 7. Sounds like we need to be out of Manhattan shortly after 4.

On the theatre tickets - is there such a thing as cheap discounts for unsold tickets miutes before the show? Or is that basically not done since TKTs is there?
I was very interested in Henry IV but it seems there are no discounts on those tickets at all. Next choice was Wonderful Town (since we're coming from Ohio -the New Yorker thought it was great but it doesn't seem to be doing sell-out business.
Thanks for the tips! I can't wait to go - we're all getting pretty excited!
Marita is offline  
Dec 6th, 2003, 01:16 PM
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If you go to www.playbill.com and register (registration is free), they are currently offering discount tickets ($55) to Wonderful Town through Dec. 21 (except for Saturday evenings).
caroler is offline  
Dec 6th, 2003, 02:26 PM
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Hi Marita:

Good choice on Red ROOF! Nice property nice location
Great inexpensive Italian resturant is on 32nd and madison Called Bela Napoli. Great pizza, Italian sandwiches and Great bela napoli salad! You can seat more formal in the back, but still keep most funds in your pocket!
Also good Coffee, sandwich shop two doors down..forgot the name!..sorry!
JOHN
bmw732002 is offline  
Dec 6th, 2003, 02:27 PM
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Marita there is a Cosi at 498 7th Ave
498 Seventh Ave (on 7th Ave between 36th & 37th St). I ate at O'Reilly's Pub a few years ago (very good burgers and they also have salads, etc) at 54 West 31st St. Between 6th & Broadway. Might want to call ahead to make sure they are still there (212) 684-4244. Everyone says "oh walk down the street near the hotel and you'll find something" Although this is very true in NYC I hate to "shop for restaurants" and like to have a few suggestions in mind even if only for the first day we are there, after that we will have had a chance to see what is nearby and go from there.

The Gourmet Croissant place at RC might be a good lunch or breakfast stop on the day you are go the Christmas show, it's right across the street from Rockefeller Center.

I've been to the Christmas fair, it's very nice and there are wooden benches in the corners of the room if your Mom wants to sit down for a few minutes.
Margie is offline  
Dec 6th, 2003, 02:54 PM
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Balthazar is a very, very popular restaurant!
As for theater tickets, any last minute unsold tickets would be at TKTS. The previous advice you got about joining Playbill is good, especially since you can get discount tickets for Wonderful Town, which you want to see. I'd do it right away.
Henry IV is worth the full price, truly a great threatrical experience, but I don't think your 10-year-old daugther would enjoy it.
HowardR is offline  
Dec 6th, 2003, 02:57 PM
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Here is the website for Balthazar: http://www.balthazarny.com/splash.html click on "Bienvenue" and from there you will get a chance to take a look at the menus, etc.
Margie is offline  
Dec 6th, 2003, 03:45 PM
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Re: cheap tickets, you can ABSOLUTELY go to the box office of the show of your choice day of or even minutes before the show to see if there are any returns/unsold tickets, the like. I do it all of the time. BUT sometimes there are only one or two seats, never together. So it's up to you!
hilaryg is offline  
Dec 7th, 2003, 05:49 AM
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hilaryg, are you saying that you got discounted tickets at the box office at the last minute, without any special offer? That's a new one to me.
HowardR is offline  
Dec 7th, 2003, 08:46 AM
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Marita, there's a Hale & Hearty Soup on 7th ave betw 35-36-cafeteria style eat-in or take out.

The mural at the King Cole bar is wonderful. If you're worried about a wait, call & see if they'll take a reservation. (I didn't know they served tea).

I think for tickets for Thurs you should look at the playbill site or one of the others (theatermania.com, hitshowclub.com) & buy something ahead of time rather than worrying about standing in line. All these sites also have off broadway which is less $. De la Garda seems to be popular with all ages.
mclaurie is offline  
Dec 7th, 2003, 02:25 PM
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Henry IV is well worth the price! So much better than anything you will bw able to get at TKS. Instead of seeing a so-so show, go for the best. We see many shows each year (Saw Ann and the Tropics last night), Henry is the best thing we have seen in YEARS! If you possibly can spend the $ and tickets are available for your time here, go for it. Your mother and daughter will thank you.
Elainee is offline  
Dec 8th, 2003, 03:57 AM
  #15  
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I checked into De La Garda - I read that the audience stands during the entire performance? Am I reading that right?
Looks like a lot of the Henry IV performances are sold out so my decision may be made for me..... I was thinking of leaving my daughter with my son and going just with my mom, thereby only having to cover my own ticket - but may all be a moot point now!
Marita is offline  
Dec 8th, 2003, 06:10 AM
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Henry IV is almost completely sold out. The line for cancellations on Friday night had about 20 people on it, and only 3 got in. And that is during a blizzard. Also, not for a 10 year old as it is close to 4 hours long. I think you might also consider The Regard Evening (off-Broadway) but it stars Bill Irwin who is amazing.
bugswife1 is offline  
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