NYC Trip Report

Old Apr 1st, 2006, 06:12 AM
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NYC Trip Report

Just back from NYC and we had the most amazing time. Thanks to those on this board who helped me plan by replying to my questions, and all those who have posted in the past so I could read older posts! As you were all so helpful, I thought I’d share our trip report. Hope it’s not too long and I don’t waffle too much!!

Day 1
Flew from LHR to Newark with British Airways early on Friday 24th March. A fairly uneventful trip apart from an hour’s delay taking off because the catering truck had broken down! Still, we made up time across the pond and landed on schedule at EWR. Newark airport was practically empty – think ours was the only international arrival at the time in Terminal B so very short line for immigration and a nice welcome to the US with a very friendly immigration official (although he did jokingly threaten not to let me in for spelling Manhattan incorrectly on my customs form!).

We took the airtrain to Newark Liberty station and then NJ Transit to New York Penn Station (airtain around the station was free, NJ Transit was $14 each) and as our hotel was just across the street from there, we were in our hotel room just over an hour and a half after landing! Our hotel was the Affinia Manhattan on 7th Avenue and I’d seen numerous favourable reviews of it on Fodors and Trip Advisor – we weren’t disappointed. Our studio suite was large, clean and comfortable and whilst we didn’t really use the small kitchen much, it was handy for making coffee and toast each morning. There was plenty of drawer and closet space, a full size ironing board and iron, and on the one occasion we had to call housekeeping, they were quick and helpful.

So, having got to the hotel much earlier than expected, we had the whole afternoon to begin to get acquainted with the city. First stop was the Empire State Building. I’d heard to expect long queues, but we were prepared for the wait. All in all, we were in line for about an hour which I didn’t think was too bad. The view from the top was great. It was a little overcast, but still clear and we could see for miles – the highlight however being the Chrysler Building – by far the most beautiful in NYC in my opinion! It was $16 each to go to the top, and whilst in the queue staff were constantly trying to sell audio tours saying there was nothing at the top to tell you what you were looking at. Well in fact there was some information up there, and we also picked up a leaflet just past the cashier telling you about the view. This was only in English however, so maybe the audio tour would be worthwhile if you don’t speak English, but if you do, personally I’d advise you save your money! Back on ground level, we took a stroll down towards the Flatiron Building, and found it mildly amusing that towards the bottom it was shrouded in scaffolding advertising British Airways!

We trundled back towards the hotel, freshened up, had a drink in the bar and then as it was getting dark made our way up to Times Square. For any Londoners reading who have never been to NYC, in terms of noise, activity, bustle and chaos, it’s just like Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus rolled into one and then multiplied by about 10 times! Great photo opportunities for Hubby, and as for me, I think I just stood there gobsmacked whilst I tried to take it all in! By that point, we were beginning to feel quite jet lagged, so found an Italian place on one of the side streets and had the pre-theatre menu. OK food, very expensive, however we knew we were never going to get either a gourmet meal or a bargain in that part of town, it was just convenient on the first night!

Back to the hotel, and crashed into the biggest and most comfortable bed ever by 8.30pm (well, it was 1.30am as far as we were concerned, and we had been up for about 22hours)! First impressions of the city were great, and we were really excited about the rest of the trip. Report of day 2 to follow!
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Old Apr 1st, 2006, 06:19 AM
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Day 2
Woke up ridiculously early (4.30am if memory serves me correctly!) and started to plan the day. The weather forecast was cloudy and chilly, but dry and we decided to go to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Set off about 8.30am and got about 30feet down the road before stopping at the Europa Café for coffee and a muffin! Thus fortified we went into the bowels of Penn Station to fathom out how to buy a Metrocard, and use the subway. As seasoned Tube travellers in London this proved to be easy….until we hit weekend engineering works (also, a regularity in London so why wasn’t I surprised?!). We had planned to get the 1 train to South Ferry which was right by Battery Park, however the trains weren’t running south of 14th Street. We could have taken the 2 or 3 train to Chambers Street instead and caught a replacement bus to South Ferry, but decided to stay on until Wall Street and walk instead. Being Saturday, the financial district was deserted, and we didn’t explore much as we planned to return during the week ahead, and wanted to be sure we caught an early ferry.

Got our passage only tickets from Castle Clinton (at $11.50 each, we thought this was excellent value for what would turn out to be a fascinating whole day’s excursion). The queue for the ferry was long, and all in all we probably waited for about an hour and a half to board and set off. The views from the ferry of the Manhattan skyline and Liberty Island were great, and after a walk round the Statue of Liberty and plenty more photo stops, we carried on to Ellis Island.

I had wanted to visit Ellis Island since my parents came back from their first trip to NYC in 1999 and said how moving the museum was. The exhibits were thoughtfully arranged and I was particularly impressed with the depth they went into about the immigrant experience. Not just the actual landing on Ellis Island, but what had conditions been like in their homelands which persuaded people to leave, and how communities developed once immigrants had been admitted into the US. As we walked around the balcony above the huge registry room, all of a sudden a choir of visiting teenage students on the level below launched into the most beautiful arrangement of the Star Spangled Banner which echoed around the whole hall and literally stopped everyone in their tracks. Whilst not an American, it was an incredibly moving moment given events in recent history and where we were at the time.

Outside, we walked around the Wall of Honour to see if chosen to remember anyone with the same surname as us, particularly as my father has recently been researching our family tree. I wasn’t surprised to see 4 families sharing my maiden name as it is originally Irish, although so far my Dad hasn’t found traces of anyone who emigrated as far as the US. The big surprise was when we got to the panel for my married name and therefore Hubby’s family, to find it missing! Cue the odd comment about what thieving types I’d married into (in jest you realise!).

By this time, it was late afternoon so we waited for the ferry back and caught the Subway back to our hotel to rest our weary feet and freshen up before heading out to dinner. This time, we headed south towards the West Village and took the Subway to Christopher St & Sheridan Square. Yet again, the jet lag (combined with a busy day) was catching up with us, so we weren’t too fussy about where we ate, as long as it was filling! We strolled along Bleecker St and surrounding roads to soak up some of the atmosphere - what a great area! The buildings had so much character and there were lovely small shops and restaurants. Whenever I go away, I always like to think “which area would I most like to live in if I lived in this city/country and money was no object”. The West Village wins hands down! We passed a couple of Real Estate places later in the week and clearly money would have to be no object to live there, but one can always dream! Anyway, in the end we had a dinner in a Mexican place which fitted the bill as being filling, and afterwards we strolled off some of the guacamole before heading back to the subway. On the way, passed a small shop selling vintage clothing I think, but the main attraction was the cutest little dog (bulldog I think) wearing a t-shirt in the window. At first, hubby didn’t think he was real, but a big yawn from the dog proved him otherwise. Cue me singing “How much is that doggy in the window?” Oh dear, 1 frozen Cosmopolitan and I’ll do anything....
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Old Apr 1st, 2006, 06:42 AM
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Wonderful report. More! More! We want more!
 
Old Apr 1st, 2006, 07:34 AM
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Thanks Neoploitan! Here's more....

Day 3
Sunday morning, and we woke up early again. Hubby was very excited as first thing we were off to his dream shop; the B&H Photo super store (corner of W34th St and 9th Ave). As a keen amateur photographer, this place was his heaven, and to be honest, I found it fascinating as well. He’d already done his research before we left London, and knew which kind of lens he wanted for his camera. It only worked out about $30-$40 cheaper in the US, but the experience of going to B&H was worth it! It’s worth bearing in mind if you ever want to go that as it’s Jewish run, it’s closed Friday afternoon and all day Saturday. Wide angle lens purchased, we stopped back at the hotel to drop off the packaging etc, and on the way back I picked up a copy of Time Out New York in case we thought we would be able to stay up late enough one night to see a band! Minor excitement ensued when I spotted by chance that my colleague’s boyfriend’s band was listed in there as they’re currently touring the US. What a tenuous link with fame I have!

Anyway, we caught the F train from 34th St down to Delancy St as today I wanted to visit the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. Straight away on leaving the station it was clear we were in a completely different type (though no less interesting) area of Manhattan. As opposed to the quaint and affluent area of Greenwich, or the bright lights of Times Square, the Lower East Side really had the feel of a more gritty neighbourhood still with a strong immigrant community, but noticeably changing with small trendy vintage clothing boutiques and bars. We went to the museum booking shop and paid to go on the ‘Getting BY’ tour of the tenement and then we had about 30 minutes to kills which gave us a chance to wander up and down Ludlow & Orchard Streets. We spotted Katz’s Deli and planned to return for lunch after the museum.

The tour of the museum was superb. Our guide Elyse was informative and interacted well with the group. Rather than just talk, she encouraged questions, and not only did she discuss the history of immigration and life in the area, but also brought it round to more relevant questions on the subject today. Whilst we were in the US, the news was full with proposed changes to support offered to immigrants and there was a huge demonstration in LA so this was all very topical.

The museum itself was an old tenement which had been restored to display 4 apartments as they would have been when the building was inhabited over the years. We visited 1 displaying life in the late 1800’s when a German family had lived there, and another dating back to he 1930’s when it was home to an Italian family just before the building became entirely vacant. The research into the real families had clearly been extensive, with census information and photographs to illustrate that these people had really existed. All in all it was excellently done. A really thought provoking museum, and especially good to visit to supplement a trip to Ellis Island and give more incite into the history of the city and it’s people. The tour cost $15 each, and as it is run by a non-profit making organisation, well worth it.

Afterwards we made our way back to Katz’s but as it was now pretty much Sunday brunch time it was heaving! We took a ticket and soon realised there would be a long wait for a table but we were starving so decided to grab and sandwich and coffee at a little place down the road instead. It was raining by the time we finished, so we dived back into the subway and went up to Lexington Avenue to have a look round Bloomingdales.

Back into another totally different district, and the walk from the station to the store afforded me another opportunity to sing “How much is that doggy in the window” as we passed a cute pet store with adorable puppies for sale.

Blooingdales itself is a lovely store, reminded me of a slightly smaller Selfridges in London (ie: full of beautiful things, but all a little out of my price range). We went to the visitor’s centre to get our 11% discount vouchers and proceeded to buy...very little! Not because we didn’t see anything we liked, but the things I did like were usually several thousand dollars. Still, it’s always nice to browse! We did get a souvenir Little Brown Bag for my Mother in Law, and I bought some Cosmetics (it’s worth noting the 11% discount vouchers not valid for cosmetics).

The rain had cleared up by then, so we wandered down Park Avenue (I could smell the money!!) and into Grand Central Station. It’s a gorgeous building and a great photo opportunity. I hadn’t really planned on going there, we just stumbled upon it and thought we may as well go is as we were in the area. Very glad we did as it’s so impressive and Hubby was delighted he has his new wide angle camera lens courtesy of B&H to take pictures which really captured the whole of the concourse.

Tired yet again from the day’s sightseeing and shopping, we headed over to Little Italy for dinner. As it was Sunday night it was very quiet and we had no trouble getting a table for an inexpensive but delicious pizza followed by the best coffee we’d had so far in NYC. Please don’t shoot me down in flames here...but...I found it very difficult to get good coffee there. Sorry, sorry, sorry, but it just never seemed strong enough!

Strong coffee still didn’t keep us awake though! We were in bed early yet again (although a record as I think we had managed to stay up till 10.30pm that night!). The weather forecast for the next day was great so we had lots planned. Incidentally before we went we checked weather.com for the forecast and it was fairly dismal. bbc.co.uk was much more optimistic, and in the end proved to be the one which was right!
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Old Apr 1st, 2006, 08:22 AM
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You write an excellent report,quiUK. We were in the city just two weeks ago, and walked much of your walk! Ellis Island is indeed moving, isn't it. Sorry you didn't get to Katz's-their sign "send a salami to your boy in the army" isa still hanging there,since world war II days.
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Old Apr 1st, 2006, 08:35 AM
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Bravo!!
Just in case I am not homesick-this did the trick
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Old Apr 1st, 2006, 08:41 AM
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Great report, I'm really enjoying it! Isn't it great how the neighborhoods are close but each so unique? I'm with you on the coffee issue - as wonderful as NYC is and all the fantastic things that are available to eat and drink, the coffee is what ususally comes upi short for us, as you said it just isn't strong enough!
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Old Apr 1st, 2006, 08:46 AM
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(sorry about the typos!!)
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Old Apr 1st, 2006, 08:53 AM
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Thanks for your comments everyone! I'm really enjoying writing this as it brings back all the memories of being there! Day 4 coming straight up!

Day 4
Glorious sunny morning so we had planned a day of walking, followed by a trip to Top of the Rock for sunset.

We set off through the West Village as we wanted to see it by daylight, and it was lovely. It was really early so we stopped for a coffee (another really good one – maybe by this time I was getting better at finding strong coffee!) and then strolled round Grove & Bedford Streets, along Bleecker St and then towards Washington Square Park. There were a few chess players out, and when hubby went up to ask them if he could take a picture, one turned out to be from Luton in England which kind of took us unawares! We continued to stroll down towards SoHo and Hubby was pleased we had set off so early as the shops weren’t fully open yet. However Dean & Deluca was and I was keen to look around. Any Brits may be as surprised as we were to see such items as Colman’s Mustard, HP Sauce and Walker’s Shortbread in such a gourmet food store!

We walked up through NoHo and caught the subway up to 51st St to take a look at St Patrick’s Cathedral and do some window shopping on 5th Avenue and a brief pit stop at Trump Tower (how much red marble?!) before going to Central Park.

As it was such a beautiful day, we spent much of it in the park, and started off by going to the zoo. Really sweet little zoo, and given it’s location in the middle of a city like New York I was impressed. If (not if…when) we go back, I’d like to go out further and visit the Bronx Zoo as it is supposed to be fantastic.

After the zoo, we walked. And we walked. And we walked. For miles. Central Park is enormous but also stunning. In the end, we only got as far as the southern end of the reservoir, but as we had criss crossed our way around, stopped for numerous photo opportunities it took a while! In the end, we started making our way back as we wanted to be at the Rockefeller Centre in time to see sunset.

Top of the Rock was an excellent experience and I’m so pleased I had heard about it on this forum. It’s opened so recently it wasn’t in any of our guidebooks and for anyone going to NYC it’s well worth a visit. There was no queue, but even if there had been, the whole experience would have been nicer than the Empire State Building. There was plenty of information about the history of the building itself which would keep people interested whilst waiting. The lifts (elevators) was great, with a glass ceiling letting you see just how fast you’re going and a kind of ‘light show’ as you go up. I heard a member of staff in the gift shop tell a little boy that each lift had cost $10million. Whether that’s for real or not I don’t know, but if so, then they’re worth it!

At the top the view was great, we could see all of Central Park (from up there it didn’t look as if we had walked that far!) and more importantly, the Empire State Building. It was generally quieter up there than when we went to ESB, but got a little busier at dusk. As it had been such a clear day, the sunset was incredible and it was beautiful to watch the city light up at night. It was sobering however to think how and why the skyline has changed since 9/11.

Back at street level, I was surpised to see the skating ring outside the Rockefeller Centre was still there. For some reason I just thought it would be there at Christmas time. It wasn’t too busy, and I briefly contemplated a skate, but after my humiliating attempt in London last December and seeing the quality of the skaters there, I thought it best not to! Plus, our feet were a little weary after so much walking, and there was still plenty ,ore to do! We walked back past Radio City Music Hall and back to Times Square to get some more night time shots.

We had walked miles that day, so didn’t stray too far that night for dinner. We had some well earned drinks at the bar nest to the hotel and ate nearby. It was pretty busy as we were right near Madison Square Garden and the Rangers were playing. Afterwards, the fans spilled out into the bar where we were and there was a really fun atmosphere! Although I never did figure out if they had won the game or not!
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Old Apr 1st, 2006, 09:10 AM
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What a great trip report....definitely one of the best I've ever read on the forum.
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Old Apr 1st, 2006, 09:48 AM
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Thank you HowardR - That's very kind of you to say! Here's Day 5....

Day 5
Back to B&H photo that morning for a new memory card as with all the photo opportunities hubby was in need of an extra gigabyte or 2! We could have gone to any store but enjoyed our previous trip to B&H so much we went back there.

Then we caught the subway down to South Ferry again. As it was a weekday, the #1 train was running fine this time. Whilst on the subject of the subway I can’t tell you how exciting it was to be on a train where even the announcements sounded so cool! To hear that you’re on a Bronx bound train sounds so much more exciting than being on “a fast Aldgate, next stop Finchley Road” which is what I hear every day at home! Still, I suppose if you’re an American tourist in London it works the other way round!

Anyway, once at South Ferry, we walked across to Battery Park again. This time as we weren’t queuing to get the ferry we had time to wander round and look at everything in more detail - the Sphere statue which used to stand between the twin towers was a moving tribute to the 9/11 victims. It wasn’t until we saw a picture of it later that day of how it looked before the attacks that we realised the damage it had sustained. Of course this shouldn’t have been surprising, but I found it very poignant nonetheless.

One of the guidebooks we had brought with us mapped out a walk around the financial district and we followed the route from Battery Park, up Broadway and past the Charging Bull statue up to Trinity Church and then down Wall Street. At one end of the Stock Exchange, a helpful Broker outside having a cigarette break told hubby the best place to get better pictures of the building. I would have loved to have seen the trading floor there, but for obvious reasons it’s now closed to the public. I had to make do with being able to ‘smell the money’ instead! The financial district reminded me a lot of the Square Mile in London. Empty at the weekend, and buzzing during the week. Also, as the layout f the streets is so old, it doesn’t follow the grid patterns, and I suppose was the closest we had seen to the winding lanes which we’re familiar with in the more historic parts of London and Europe.

Our walk continued to South Street Seaport which was an unexpected surprise. If we hadn’t have had the guidebook we probably wouldn’t have gone there, but it gave us a great view of Brooklyn Bridge and some interesting historic buildings. There were some nice shops in Pier 17, including an art gallery with some great pictures and prints. There were a couple of beautiful paintings of Central Park and looking back on it, I wish we had bought one as a unique souvenir, but we didn’t. Still, it’s as good a reason as any to return!

Over lunch in the sunshine (weather continued to be gorgeous for the remainder of our stay), we debated whether or not to go to Ground Zero. As far as I was concerned, we were tourists, and Ground Zero should not be a tourist attraction. I would hate to think of ordinary New Yorkers, who may well have experienced 9/11 first hand, walking past seeing people taking pictures and gawping at all that remains of a place where such a dreadful thing had happened and so many people had lost their lives and families lost loved ones. On the other hand, we both agreed that in a way, we wanted to go as a mark of respect I suppose. So we went. I defy anyone to go there and not have tears in their eyes and a lump in their throat, even over 4 years down the line. It was pretty busy there, but the information boards and tributes put up by the local authorities were sensitive to the surroundings. People were taking photos there however, and personally I did find that distasteful; especially those taking shots of their kids/wife/friends in front of the barriers as if to say “look where I’ve been”. Sadly, I think it has become a tourist attraction in that respect, and I suppose who’s to say I wasn’t contributing to that by going myself. I don’t however, regret going, as in doing so it reinforced for me the enormity of what happened and (without getting political here) why we mustn’t forget. It was a truly moving experience, and we didn’t speak much for quite some time afterwards. We wandered through Battery Park City and sat overlooking the Hudson River for a while before walking back to the subway.

In retrospect, what we did next seems very frivolous, but, we decided to get the subway back to Midtown and go to Macy’s. Still, to be fair to Macy’s, it’s huge and they offer an 11% discount to visitors as do Bloomingdales, plus it feels a bit more accessible to those of us who have champagne tastes and beer pockets! But....we still didn’t buy anything! Well, apart from a couple of souvenir Macy’s bags for our Sister in Law’s birthday which is coming up. What was going on?! We were in the shopping capital of the world and it was Hubby who was buying all the exciting stuff (B&H photo of course!) and I wasn’t buying anything….well except souvenir fridge magnets which we collect from around the world! But still, this wasn’t good enough!

In a desperate attempt for retail therapy, I dragged Hubby to “Diamond Row” on 47th Street. Purely for window shopping of course. Overall we agreed that it would be much more interesting if they put prices on the items in the window so we could gawp and go “how much!?”. The shops were just closing (probably a good thing!) so we made our way back to the hotel before going out for our final night’s dinner in the West Village.

All the guidebooks I’d read, as well as this forum, had recommended John’s Pizzeria on Bleecker St so we went with the aim of getting a table there. There was a queue, but in the end we only waited about 15 mins until we got a booth. Our usual trick came into play of ordering the largest pizza they had, with the most toppings, oh yes, and a salad on the side. Let me remind you, there’s only 2 of us....Still, it was delicious, and of course, we couldn’t finish it all.
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Old Apr 1st, 2006, 09:56 AM
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I appreciate your review of the Tenement Museum, as it is one of the places I am keen on going to when I finally make my first visit to NYC.
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Old Apr 1st, 2006, 10:54 AM
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Presocia - the Tenement Museum was a highlight for me, I hope you enjoy it and have as great a time as we did on our first trip to NYC.

Day 6 and final thoughts
Our final morning in NYC, and as our flight left Newark just after 5pm, we checked out of the hotel but left our bags there so we could make the most of the time we had left. Our first stop was the International Centre of Photography. Anyone who’s been following this may by now have realised that Hubby is quite keen on his photography, so we didn’t really feel we could leave without paying a visit. Both the guidebooks we had said this was a really good museum with changing temporary exhibitions and a very good permanent display of pictures. When we got there, they were showing an exhibition of photography by African artists and the pictures were great. Both thought provoking and interesting, however when we went to look for the permanent display we were told that they were only showing on those 2 floors so it wasn’t quite what we expected. Still an interesting visit nonetheless.

We took advantage of our last morning to walk around Midtown and get some last shots. Yet again, it was a beautiful day and so we spent a little more time soaking up the atmosphere at the Rockefeller Centre (those expert skaters again, and one unfortunate not-so-expert who fell over and the paramedic had to be called out – I hope she was OK in the end).

Eventually, it really was time to try and find our way back to the airport, so we took the train back from Penn Station to Newark (a mere $14 again, such a bargain compared to a cab if there are only 2 of you and you don’t have much luggage).

Finally, on the way back, a chance to reflect on it all. NYC is an incredible place. The pace of life there is non-stop, even compared to London and it truly is a world class city.
In 5 days, I feel we only scratched the surface and just touched upon the major tourist attractions. There’s so much more I’d like to see. If (not if….when) we go back, my list of must sees includes:
The Met
MOMA
Bronx Zoo
A Broadway show (Hubby not as into drama as much as me though, hence us not going on this visit!)
Harlem
The East Village
Chinatown
The Frick Collection
The Guggenheim
The Museum of Jewish Heritage
A Yankees game

Better work hard over the next year and start saving for a return visit then...!

Thank you if you’ve read this far down my monologue! Hubby’s pictures are still being ‘tweaked’, but when they’re ready for viewing, I’ll post a link in case anyone’s interested.
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Old Apr 1st, 2006, 11:04 AM
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What a wonderful trip and thank you so much for the trip report. I'm glad that you enjoyed your visit to the Tenement museum, which I think is one of the best in NYC - unique and well-presented.

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Old Apr 1st, 2006, 11:25 AM
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Hi,

I respectfully disagree with your sense of the "Ground Zero" area. Folks from the UK are especially welcome to migrate to the site of the former World Trade Center towers, and such a setting is likely to galvanize most who visit for the ongoing "war on terror".

I visited the Ground Zero area about six months after "Sept. 11" and found myself taking pictures of the many greetings of condolence left there by previous visitors. I just don't think it was disrespectful of anybody to have had their own photos taken in the area.

What matters, in your case, isn't what you felt at the moment you were there, but rather, how having been there will effect your future voting, and understanding of the world-wide picture.

Why shouldn't it be OK for you and others to document their having been to "Ground Zero"?

Beyond that, I want to say that I loved your trip summary and I read through the whole thing.
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Old Apr 1st, 2006, 11:29 AM
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You saw a lot. It sounds like you need to do some discount shopping. Loehmann's, Daffy's, Syms. Come back soon.
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Old Apr 1st, 2006, 11:48 AM
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NorthwestMale - thanks for your comments on our trip to Ground Zero - it's interesting and helpful to hear a different point of view. We went there with a non-political frame of mind; more concerned with the memory of those who had lost their lives of loved ones there rather than ensuing foreign policy.

Mclaurie - thanks for the tips. If (not if...when) we return, I'll be sure to check them out!
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Old Apr 1st, 2006, 12:35 PM
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quiUK

I am usually quite happy with the coffee in NYC but a good cup of tea, that's a different story.

When you come back to NYC add a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge.

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and writing such a upbeat and positive NYC report.

Sandy
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Old Apr 1st, 2006, 02:12 PM
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Really enjoyed your report, thanks!
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Old Apr 1st, 2006, 02:29 PM
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Coffee? Well, I think Starbucks, Costa, and all the similar coffee places are fine. But I have yet to get a really good cup of coffee in a regular diner, deli, or even above average restaurant. I've gone to numerous popular neighborhood breakfast places and the coffee is virtually undrinkable.
 

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