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NYC trip w/16 yr old daughter

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I'd like to run this by all of the nyc experts so you can give me some advice and ideas about our planned itinerary. This is not our first trip to the city so we have done quite a bit already such as WTC site, St. Patrick's, Macy's, 5th Ave, Brooklyn Bridge,etc. Very interested in recommendations for moderately priced ideas for eating with a teen at our different locations throughout the day ($20 and under- we're not big eaters so we are not looking for quantity but quality). Also, a market near our place by Washington Square as we will have a very small kitchenette. We arrive on 7/29. I would also like to squeeze in a harbor cruise on the circle line (actually bought a NY Pass so it would be free).

Here goes:

Arrive Sunday: (We'll be up at 4 AM this day)
Staying near NYU on Sullivan St.
Buffalo Exchange (love this store) Suggest others like it, please!
Rent bikes at battery park
Ride the Staten Isl Ferry (maybe)
Audubon Society's sunset cruise at 7 PM

Bronx Zoo
Yankees Game at 7; will arrive much earlier to check out the stadium, though.
Suggestions on places to eat w/a teenager?

Skyride in Empire State Building (daughter's choice)
Wax Museum (again my daughter)
Grand Central Audio Tour (been there but haven't done the tour)
NBC Tour at 6
Top of the Rock

Wed: This looks ambitious to me. We'll probably pick up food at Whole Foods and chill in Central Park a bit. Not committed to the bike tour yet.
Museum of Natural History
Central Park bike tour
Maybe Dylan's and Serendipity

Ellis Island
Wander soho, China town, etc
Peter and the Starcatcher at 7

Highline and Chelsea Market
Circle Line (maybe)

Thank you in advance!!

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    Wed is not really doable. MoMA (are you sure you want MoMA and not the Met) is midtown. (MoMA is great is you love modern art - if not the Met haas way ore to see and do - including the Costume Institute, the Impressionists and the Temple of Dendur in the Egyptian section.) While Central parka and Museum of Natural History are further uptown. I reco against the bike tour. In NYC adults are not allowed to ride bikes on sidewalks - so if you ride a bike most of the Park is closed to you (you have to stay on the one circular road) and you will miss many of the sights. Exploring on foot is much better. Check out the web site of the Cenrtal park conservancy to see what walking tours they may have,

    IMHO ESB and Top of the rock is overkill - do one or the other.

    To get to Ellis Island you MUST have advance tickets for the ferry. Get them from the National park Service, without advance tickets you can wait hours to get on a ferry (in addition to the 40 minutes or so for the security line - think airline type security -no large bags or backpacks.)

    Yankees Stadium also has very strict security - again no large bags or backpacks and they inspect purses. there are a ton of different places to eat in the stadium - several with real food. Go to the website and see which you want to eat at.

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    There are many food stores bear you that are excellent.

    On Bleecker
    Fiacco's-Italian meat and prepared food, get the rice balls
    Cones-Ice Cream
    Amy's-great bread
    Lobster Place-fresh and cooked fish
    Rocco's-Italian pastries

    Rafetto's-great, gret, store amde pasta
    Joe's Diary-hole in the wall that makes it own mozzarella for over 80 years.
    Payard's 116 Houstonwonderful chocolates and French baked goods
    Murray's Bagels

    Larger stores
    Citarella-expensive fish, prepared food, fruits and veggies.
    Morton Williams-over priced supermarket

    Dylan's and Serendipity are highly over rated.

    Economy Candy is old style candy store at half the price and City Bakery for hot chocolate

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    $20 per day is really really really low for a meal budget in NYC if you want "quality", and it's even fairly low for dinner only, though much more possible. For example a pastrami sandwich at 2nd Avenue Deli or Katz's (excellent quality) is going to cost you $15, and that's before tax, tip, and drink. There are a lot of restaurants where you can get a main course for $20 or less, but if you want anything more than a main course, that can be a challenging budget.

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    Food at Yankee Stadium is very pricey. I would suggest bringing your own sandwiches, snacks, etc. Pack them in a clear plastic bag and take only plastic bottles of water or non-alcoholic beverages.

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    Certainly not "high quality" but definitely a fun option for dinner is the Shake Shake in Madison Square Park (there are other locations, but this is my fav) www.shakeshack.com

    John's Pizzareria on 44th (between 7th & 8th Aves) in the theater district is reasonably priced, decent (not gourmet) food. Housed in a former church, balcony and stained glass still intact. www.johnspizzerianyc.com

    Your instincts were correct, Wednesday is too ambitious. On the other hand, Friday is a bit light and perhaps you can leave it open and fit in something you wanted to do the previous days but didn't get to.

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    On those sandwiches: Faicco's Pork Store is a great place to pick up the ingredients...they can make the sandwich, or you can buy the meats and cheese and get the bread at Amy's a few steps to the east.

    Or head to Joe's Dairy on Sullivan and buy the cheeses.

    Adu gave more info, above, on those two gems.

    For pizza on Bleecker: Keste, at #271, is very good for whole pies. Go early or you face standing in line.

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    I offer the following occasionally but now seems right to do it again. The other posters always add great ideas.

    How to eat cheaply in NYC


    Every, and I do mean every, neighborhood in Manhattan has what are euphemistically called delis. Almost all have some sort of breakfast specials that usually includes eggs, potatoes, toast and coffee. If you are not hungry or are cholesterol adverse, they also usually sell sliced fruit and yogurt. Of course there are bagels and pastries. NEVER EVER order room service.

    There are many places that make their bagels. NOT DUNKIN DONUS. Some of the better one’s include Ess-a-Bagel,. Murray’s Tal’s, David’s.


    Part of the NY experience is to avoid chain restaurants. There is an incredible variety of inexpensive foods, among them Chinese and Indian. Quality varies substantially. If you are in or near Chinatown, there are many places including Big Wong’s. If you are near the East Village East 6th Street has literally 14 Indian restaurants to choose from. There are also excellent Indian restaurants on Lexington Avenue in the 20’s. The East Village also offers inexpensive Eastern European cooking at Veselka comfort food at Mama’s.

    No NY’er cannot resist a frank at Gray’s Papaya who also sells fruit drinks including papaya, hence the name. There are now many variations on papaya and dogs all are inexpensive. I do not think the fruit drinks have ever come in contact with real fruit, but that also is part of the charm. Nathan’s are also very good but they are more expensive.

    Pizza is a long lunch standby-do not go to ANY chain, the cheese is older than the kids who make it. Look for by the slice places and try a calzone as well, you will not eat for two days.

    Sidewalk hot dog venders are always cheap, avoid the guys around Rock Center, you pay a premium. There are those who wonder about the hygiene, the dogs are boiled and the knishes grilled for forever. It must kill anything that lurks

    Free samples are available at Dean & Deluca, Sarabeth’s, and Gourmet Garage.

    It is the rare independent bakery in NYC that does not have at least one bread or pastry that is enticing.

    With the economy is bad many restaurants are offering Recession specials, so keep your eye out., especially pizza places and the Indian places on 6th Street

    The following are inexpensive meals and desserts:

    Inexpensive Italian- La Marca (3rd Ave. and 22 Street, only opened noon-10 PM, Mon-Fri), Excellent Food Value

    Inexpensive Eastern European- Veselka,

    Dessert-Veniero's, DeRobertis for the frozen lemon thing and cannoli , Fat Witch Bakery (brownies only) Chelsea Market

    Brunches-, I Coppi, (best $15 brunch we have had in a long time) Turkish Kitchen, Cafecito (Ave C), Clinton Street Bakery, City Bakery

    Pizza-Motorino, they luncheon special with individual pizza is a great great buy, also Lombardi’s

    Hole in the wall-Stage (next to Stomp) great cheap home made soups

    French fires-Pomme Frites

    Inexpensive American-Mama’s

    Ice Cream-Cones on Bleecker, Il Laboratorio de Gelato, Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, Cones and Sundae (East 10th off Third) Ronnybrook at the Chelsea market

    Chinatown-Big Wong. Joe’s Ginger, NY Noodletown

    Dim Sum-Jing Fung, Golden Unicorn, Nom Wah on Doyers Street

    Sandwiches-Dafonte-the meatball tastes like old Brooklyn and where else can still get potato and egg sandwiches.

    Tapas-Despana on Broome Street, Nai

    Inexpensive French Bistro-Sans Coulette


    When we travel we often buy different foods as we walk around the city and put them in our backpacks and have dinner in the hotel room. In NYC you will probably see foods that are unfamiliar. Bring a knife, forks, and a corkscrew. If you are using a carryon bring plastic utensils with you.

    These are most of my favorite food stores. This is as highly subjective and geographically limited list you will find. The majority of stores are below 14th Street.
    Stars indicate they are better than the others on the list. There are scores of excellent places that are not on the list, so exclusion is not necessarily condemnation.
    Tourists can use this to put together their own food tour, buy stuff during the day for a feast in your hotel room at night or for gifts. One time we were flying back from Milan and we purchased a cake there and shared it with family when we landed.

    Bagels and Bialys
    Just because it is round, does not make it a bagel. There is a lot of crap being sold. A bagel must be boiled before it is baked. The ones with pimples on the bottom, like those you get at the sidewalk carts, are steamed. The ones you get at Dunkin Donuts are white bread in a circle, Rachel Ray.

    Various Locations
    My personal favorite. Ess-a bagels are yeasty while others are sweet because they add sugar. Ess-a Bagel is a bit of a play on words and means eat in Yiddish. The stores are crazy busy and there is a wide variety of spreads.

    *Kossar’s Bialys (Established 1935)
    367 Grand Street
    What is a bialy? Originally from Bailystok, Poland and called Bialystoker Kuchen (cake). And yes, Mel Brooks stole the name for Max Bialystock. It is most and doughy, much like the perfect pizza crust but with an indentation in the middle for either bits of garlic or onion. Try their bulkas which are bialy dough in the shape of a hero or an onion wheel also called a pletzel. An onion wheel is round and thin covered with duh onions, or the other version poppy seeds. Toast it, butter it, and keel over dead.

    Various Locations
    Murray’s knows how to make bagels, chewy and large. The lines usually move quickly.

    Amy’s Bread
    Various Locations
    The breads are well prepared and my favorite is the black sesame and the potato. I have never seen the same kid behind the counter twice, thus the staff is not knowledgeable and some seem confused by an order.

    80 Spring Street
    I guess they could have made the space smaller, but then only your hand would fit through the door. Unlike the restaurant, the bakery deserves the praise for their baguettes and croissants.

    Various locations
    Yes, it is a stupid name and the place has all the charm of a company store at a gulag but it is a sister to City Bakery. They make fabulous almost everything including a pretzel croissant. They only offer about 10% of what can be had at the City Bakery and there is no place to sit and eat.The staff here and at City Bakery has not been told that space program was discontinued.

    170 Second Ave
    Very expensive but good as a dessert gift. The cookies are delicious and everything looks tempting some things are not as good as they look.

    *Blue Ribbon Market
    14 Bedford Street
    There is not a bad bread in the house. They are made across the street at Blue Ribbon Bakery, where you can see the ovens on the basement. (They also have a interesting bathroom.)
    Pick anything.

    *Clinton Street Bakery
    4 Clinton Street
    Not only is this bakery but a great place for brunch which is impossible to enter on weekends. They may make the best biscuits in town followed closely by their scones.

    *City Bakery
    3 West 18th Street
    Try the hot chocolate melted from chocolate bars or the pretzel croissants or the baker’s muffins or anything laid out on the counter. Extremely crowded at breakfast and lunch. Celebrities have been spotted but unless they are disguised as spoon I have not seen any.

    DeRobertis (Established 1904)
    176 First Avenue
    It has the original tin ceiling and tiled walls and floors. Be selective in what you order, order nothing chocolate but the lobster tails, cannoli, and pignoli cookies are good and they are known for their lemon and orange things. (I am sure it has a real name) They hollow out the fruit, then fill it with a sorbet and freeze the whole thing including a peel lid.

    *Donut Plant
    379 Grand Street and Chelsea Hotel
    I do not know what they do but the donuts taste so much better than just about any other place. He also makes excellent churros. The valrhona chocolate is a monument to gluttony. Small storefront with bakery in back.

    Eileen’s Cheesecake
    17 Cleveland Place
    That’s all she makes so she better make them well. Not the best but very good.

    * Fat Witch Brownies
    Chelsea Market
    They make the fudgy type and they have a few variations. Staff is pleasant but sloooow. They have tourist buses that stop at Chelsea Market, so the lines may be long at times.

    Various locations
    In the food wasteland that is Wall Street, Financier knows how to make cakes and croissants. They are often crowded but the staff doesn’t know ganache or panache.

    Various locations
    Stick to the cheesecake.

    *La Bergamonte
    177 Ninth Avenue and 515 West 52nd Street,
    For many years this was in the middle of food nowhere. Now with the Chelsea Market and the fattening of the Meatpacking district is getting its due. Extremely fine croissants and pastries and a place to sit

    Le Pain Quotidien
    Various locations
    A chain from Belgium which makes it Belch. The baguettes are wonderful as are the brownies and raisin whole grain bread. This is probably the best food of any chain. The staff however, is laconic and unknowledgeable and very often there are out of many of the popular items. Nice brunches.

    *Little Pie Company
    424 West 43 Street
    Their sour cream apple walnut pie is akin to crack cocaine but only a little cheaper. The other pies are good but not in the same category. People start lining up for Thanksgiving on 4th of July, so order in advance.

    Patisserie Claude
    187 West Fourth Street
    Patisserie Claude has been selling pastries to Pig Me for a long time. We do not go often by when we do we are rewarded.

    *S & S Cheesecake
    222 W 238 St, Bronx
    Could be the best cheesecake in the city, creamy but not dense, perfect,

    Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies
    204-207 Van Dyke Street, Red Hook
    This is place is hard to find when you are standing in front it. Fortunately the silky pies can be found at Citarella and other self-defined fine stores.

    *Sullivan Street Bakery
    533 W 47th Street
    You have probably eaten there breads many times and didn’t know it. It is offered in scores of restaurants and markets. You can identify many of the breads by sight. They are brown and crusty will the inside is light and airy. A paradigm for carbs.

    342 East 11th Street
    Established in 1894 some of those people are still waiting on line. I love this place, the best inexpensive tiramisu, addictive ricotta cheesecake, moist pignoli cookies, there are scores of offerings and no losers. The take out staff is never the same and the lines are long for the café. For Thanksgiving and Christmas, the café is turned to a waiting room for take out. They use an old fashioned machine to wrap the string around the box, while quaint, adds to the interminable line. You can also call in an order.

    N.B. You can take your cupcake fight outside. We have tried many but a winner has yet to be named.

    Candy and Chocolates

    *Economy Candy (Established 1934)
    108 Rivington Street
    I am not sure they make anything on premises but they do have every candy still in production at very good prices. If you are a fan of candy stores, you will want to be buried here.

    Evelyn’s Hand Dipped Chocolates
    4 John Street
    The best value for hand made chocolate in NY. It is clearly not the best, but most candy is made by hand and Evelyn can be seen slipping in and out from behind the counter. The cost is a fraction of the top notch candy stores. This is the type of place you find in a quaint town with quaint people. This 9/11 survivor should be supported.

    *Jacques Torres Chocolates
    Various Locations
    For some reason people know the Brooklyn location better than the one on Hudson Street. Their truffles are exquisite as are all the chocolates and the hot chocolate. The lines are extraordinary on Valentine’s Day.

    80 Thompson Street
    Kee was a banker or a lawyer before she started making the best truffles in NYC. Some are Asian influenced each variety is better than the next. This is a must stop for chocolate cuckoos.

    Various locations
    Truffles are flown in from Switzerland. I once bought some for a chocolate loving friend who about to get married. While eating the truffles, this modest woman was made sounds that are usually reserved for her husband. Although she was completely embarrassed, I knew I bought the right gift.

    There are many chocolate stores in midtown that make exceptional products but I have not enough experience to add them to the list. These include Richart, Maison du Chocolat, and Pierre Marcolini and Burdick. Just turn your pockets inside out for a taste.

    Alleva Diary (Established 1892)
    188 Grand Street
    Not as good as its neighbor DiPalo but extremely offers a fine selection of Italian cheeses.

    *DiPalo Dairy (Established 1925)
    200 Grand Street
    One of NY’s great stores. Not only are the cheeses spectacular but their prosciutti are perfect. Their selections are impeccable. If at all possible avoid the weekend crowds, even though they have adults behind the counter.

    East Village Cheese
    140 Third Avenue
    His cheese must fall off the truck to charge the lowest prices in the city. There is always some $2.99 per pound special. For that price you will not get the best, but at least you will be filled. The staff has become nicer over the years but not much. Cash only.

    *Formaggio Essex
    Essex Market on Essex Steet.
    That should be enough Essexes. This is a tiny outlet from a Boston company. The cheeses are excellent but they have vats where you take a bottle and fill it with a vinegar sherry or olive oil and both are redolent and extremely flavorful. There is some rules about deposits but I am not good at rules. The Essex market is a poured concrete structure with many stalls selling veggies and Hispanic staples with a barber shop in the back. Do not be deterred that it looks like pig farm from the outside.

    *Joe’s Dairy (Established 1925)
    156 Sullivan Street.
    If you do not like Joe’s you do not like New York. They have been making mozzarella for over 80 years and the smoked version is addictive. The store is tiny, tiny, tiny and the staff is family and know their stuff and the neighborhood. One time I bought my mother-in-law a smoked mozzarella here. The next time I saw her she said she cut off the outside because she thought the outside was burned.

    *Murray’s Cheeese
    254 Bleecker Street and another in Grand Central
    Best in show. They carefully choose only the finest quality of every variety. The staff is cheesemongers, one is even a gossip monger. The ricotta cheese cake is worth going to jail. This is a must visit for anyone who has the slightest interest in cheese.

    *Russo’s Mozzarella (Established 1908)
    344 East 11th Street
    Cleverly they make fresh and smoked mozzarella which are excellent but they also make pastas, sauces, and there own olive varieties. Cramped but the guys know what they are doing.

    Ice Cream

    272 Bleecker Street
    In 1986 an Israeli newspaper sent a reporter to cover the NY Mets in the World Series because they heard there was a David Cone. He isn’t related to this place either. Sweet creamy, fresh ingredients with many varieties. Many tourists happen upon it when eating at John’s Pizzeria.

    *Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
    65 Bayard Street
    Store made ice cream which for wimps offers vanilla and chocolate since they also serve flavors like green tea, lichee nut, and my favorite almond cookie. The kids behind the counter are always nice. There is no better way to end a meal in Chinatown. Inexpensive but cash only.

    *Il Laboratorio de Gelato
    95 Orchard Street
    Everybody claims their gelati is the same as in Italy, blah, blah, blah. Their gelati is like Italy. It is the type you eat four times a day as you walk around Rome or Florence before you realize you have ruined your appetite for dinner. Expensive and cash only.

    Sundaes and Cones
    95 East 10th Street
    They have nothing to do with just Cones and is a shade below, But if you are in the neighborhood, the store made ice cream is creamy and offer interesting flavors.

    Various locations
    An Italian gelati chain. The quality is high but so are the prices.


    Yonah Schimmel (Established 1890)
    137 East Houston Street
    Yonah has been dead for a long time and they have not redecorated or cleaned the windows since. If they made great knishes the owners could be considered knish savants but they are not. The knishes you buy at sidewalk carts, however, are shaped like third base, taste worse, are fried and often a green patina inside. Thy make the baked variety and may or may not have the all types on hand.

    Kitchen Supplies

    * Broadway Panhandler
    65 East 8th Street
    They finally moved closer to Broadway. This is good for the semi-serious chef. There is an excellent selection of knives and pans but half the store is dedicated to stuff you use once or cutsey-poo crap.

    New York Cake and Baking Distributor
    56 W 22
    Has what every serious amateur and professional baker needs, flour, pans, cookie cutters, etc. The quarters are Spartan and the staff acts like they just found a cure for cancer.

    My favorite store Bridge Cookware has left NYC for the wilds of New Jersey.

    Food Markets
    Unless otherwise noted these places are expensive or very expensive.

    Agatha and Valentina
    A large department features hard-core Italian cold cuts like soppressata and hot or sweet cappicola, while the cheese department sports a huge number of offerings and loads of free samples. The prepared foods section also has a thick Italian accent and is among the more interesting in the city.

    Various Locations
    One of the best spots for fish from standard stuff with gills to razor clams. Knowledgeable fishmongers. Same is true for meats. Their prepared foods are universally good with outstanding soups. They collect bread and cakes from various but good places.

    Dean and Deluca
    Various Locations
    The original food museum. The fruit is laid out to be admired, as are the cheeses, breads, and cakes. The main location on Broadway always a line at the espresso bar. Prices are higher than a stale bagel at the airport.

    *Eli’s Vinegar Factory
    31 East 91st Street,
    Eli had a fight with his family at Zabar’s and opened up a much more expensive food market. When you look at the prices, you think you are in a foreign country and miscalculated the exchange rate. On the other hand, every thing here is outstanding and it is a bit out of the way.

    Various locations
    Cheaper than the others
    The fruits and veggies are outstanding as are the meats, fish, and store made breads. They also carry reasonably priced groceries. The Brooklyn store has food counters with an outdoor eating area with a view of the Statue of Liberty. But the food choices are not for the huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

    Grace’s Marketplace
    She is the daughter of old man Balducci, who was such a difficult character and opened her own place. Physically it resembles the long gone Balducci’s on 6th Ave, but retained the good qualities such as the prepared meats and excellent meat, fish, and produce selections.

    Manhattan Fruit Exchange
    Chelsea Market
    Best veggie value in town. Crowded, crowded, crowded. Cash only

    *Russ and Daughters (Established 1914)
    179 East Houston Street
    A new generation has taken over with the same pride and dedication to smoked fish as their aunts, uncles, and grandparents. Sable, white fish, lox, gravlax, it does not matter they are all mouth watering. Try the chopped liver, it is full flavor.

    Trader Joe’s
    Various Locations
    Very good on selected items, while almost everything is reasonably priced. Extremely long lines on weekends and late afternoons.

    *Zabar’s (Established 1931)
    2245 Broadway
    Another NY institution with a well deserved reputation. The prices are cheaper than almost those above but the quality is the same or better. Large cheese selection, fantastic prepared foods, the claim to sell more coffee than anyone in NYC, store made knishes, breads and cakes from the best purveyors, Zabar’s brand spices and olive oil (this is known as one of the best buys anywhere.). The lox slicers reportedly make $85,000 a year. And upstairs is a cookware section. The staff is wonderful but the clientele is often obnoxious and aggressive. Sharpen your elbows and fight for the tri-colored pate.

    *East Village Meat Market
    139 Second Avenue
    It helps if you speak Polish but you can get by in English. Old fashioned butcher shop where every thing is cut upon request. They also make great, great kielbasa and in many shapes and types and smoked hams. Relatively inexpensive.

    *Faicco’s (Established 1900)
    260 Bleecker Street
    They make their flavorful sausage, rice balls, sauces. You get the old schmooze from the guys behind the counter as well. If you like old fashioned Italian butchers who know what they are doing, this is the joint.


    *Raffetto’s (Established 1906)
    144 W. Houston Street
    They cut fresh pasta from sheets to your specification in front of you on a machine that looked obsolete 50 years ago. Not a gimmick just the freshest, tastiest pasta yet. They have many types including saffron. Cash only.


    *The Pickle Guys
    49 Essex Street
    Some employee defected from Gus’s, the pickles are perfect as is the spiel. They also offer a free pickle. There are barrels and barrels of sour, new, half sour, pickled peppers just calling your name.

    Spanish Provisions

    408 Broome Street (Original at 86-17 Northern Blvd. Queens)
    The chorizos and morcilla are incredibly tasy and tangy and are found in many restaurant around town. Their cheeses are also top notch and offer a wide selection. They also offer Serrano ham which is many respects is sweeter and more delicate than porsciutto. They serve tapas as well. There is no table service, the selection is limited as are the hours, but what they serve is excellent.

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    WOW! You guys are the best. I will print this out and take it along with me.
    To clarify, the $20 price for food was a maximum per lunch/dinner, per person cost. I know prices for most everything are high! We will hit the local eateries and plan to avoid chains! Probably get bagels for breakfast and eat those in our room before we hit the pavement.
    And, yes, I did mean the Met not Moma. Thanks for recommending an on-foot exploration of Central Park. I think we'll rent bikes in Battery Park and ride along the river on Sunday.
    We will do the virtual ride on the 2nd floor of the Empire State Building (daughter's desire, again) and not go to the observation deck. We will go to TOTR after the NBC tour at sundown, instead. We've gone to the Marriott Marquis' revolving bar to watch the sun set and have a beverage. That was a great experience, too.
    Again, thanks! If you want to add anything I will check back, too!

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    Sorry - I didn't read that as $20 per day for food - but $20 each for lunch and dinner - which is doable is you are REALLY careful - but less for lunch and more for dinner. MANY ethnic places have specials at lunch that let you have a plate plus beverage, tip and taxes for perhaps $12 to !3. And if you're very careful you can get a light dinner with water or soft drink for $25 or so.

    But -- you will have to be REALLY careful and stick to mostly ethnic places with special deals. (When we go to a local neighborhood cafe it typically costs us between $70 and $80 for dinner for 2 - a shared appetizer, then a basic pasta or chicken each, one glass of wine, tax and tip. And this is a local neighborhood place. Don;t forget listed prices are plus 8% tax and 20% tip.)

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    Personally, my DDat 16 in NYC would have been overwhelmed by so much structure. I'd remove Ellis Island On THRS and start to wind down and just enjoy your surroundings. I'd also remove one thing fromTues and Wed. I just think that's too much to do.

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    Forgot to add eating places:

    Freeman's for Bfast/brunch/lunch. It's in East Village and down what looks like an alley. Worth it.
    I like tapas at Boqueria on Spring Dt in SoHo.
    La sirene in soho is great little French Place where u can BYOB. Reservations required.

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    Also agree with NYT about biking in CP. If you need something to do, perhaps rent a row boat? Get there early on a nice day to avoid a line. (We did this and were 2nd in line. It was fun!)

    As for Museums, I don't think two in one day is wise. Ive been to all of those and for me and my friends, we had a bit of mental overload after a few hours. If you can, do one each day or if you have to pick just one for the entire trip, I'd go with the Metropolitan. SO much to see and do. That might be "it" for the day.

    Another eating suggestion that is fun for DD is Cafeteria, on 7th Ave and 17th. Get a table outside and people watch. The food definitely fits your budget. DD and I liked it for brunch or lunch.

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    Thank you all! Adu champ1 I just had the chance to read everything you wrote and it is quite entertaining. I appreciate everyone's advice- I will be there with my 16-year old daughter- we often share meals and will explore some of the ethnic diversity available in NY.
    We will definitely just plan to enjoy Central Park. I didn't realize the bikes were so limited in where they can go.
    Ellis Island is a must do. We will be making rubbings of family members' names. My daughter has never been there and is eager to go.
    I do understand that 2 museums in a day is a lot. We'll probably head into the Natural History Museum, then hang in the park and then go to the Met later in the day.
    The itinerary is fluid! It will ebb and flow with us as we go from place to place!

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    You didn't mention this, but I suggest considering a "Foods of NY" tour. My DD is 24 and on our trip to NY in May, we did their tour of Greenwich Village (their original tour) and really enjoyed it! Here is their website:

    Several of the places Adu mentions in his totally excellent list are included on the tour.

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