NYC - upper east side questions

Old Jun 22nd, 2005, 10:39 AM
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NYC - upper east side questions

I'm staying in the 80's on York ave for the week of july 4th. I had a couple of questions that I'm hoping the group can help out with:

1. What are the possibilites for parking on the street for the week ? It seems there are no weekly parking rates and the daily rates are steep.

2. Is there a vantage point from the upper east side to watch the fireworks that is not a complete mob scene ? I understand that the FDR drive will be closed to traffic but will we be able to see anything that far up in Manhattan ?

3. I need some help with the bus system. Our group will have 2 adults and 2 kids and I don't know if we need exact change or if we can buy a pass for the week etc ..

4. How long will it take to get from the upper east side down to Coney Island ? Also, is this a safe trip to bring kids (14 and 6) along for the subway ride and Coney Island itself ?

Thanks for any advice !!

Bill
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Old Jun 22nd, 2005, 11:11 AM
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I can answer some of your questions.
*It is possible to find legal parking on the street, but you'll have to keep moving it (not every day, if you're lucky) because of street cleaning/alternate side of the street parking regulations.
*If you don't busy bus/subway passes, you will need exact change. Obviously, if you have the passes, you won't.
*Yes, it is definitely safe to ride the subway to Coney Island.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2005, 11:32 AM
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You can park the car on the street but there is no place you can just leave it for the week. Parking on the avenues is mostly metered and limited to an hour at a a time. And feeding the meter would be little cheaper than a garage - even if you could spend the whole day running back and forth.

You can park on the side streets if you want - and shouldn't have much trouble fnding spots - 5/10 minutes circling. But then you need to deal with alternate side of the street parking - which requires that every street be cleared twice a week for 1.5 hours for the street cleaning machines. The details on days and times are posted on signs. You MUSY obey this - or they can give you a ticket - $100 plus - or tow the car (you don;t even want to know).

So - do this if you can fit it in your schedule. If not - you'll have to bite the bullet on a garage. Check icon.com for a selection of places - it shouldn;t be more than $30 per day.

You really can;t see the fireworks from the upper east side - even if you have access to the roof of a building - you're just too far away - you need to go substantially further south.

For info on the subways and buses go to the MTA - metropolitan transit aurhority - web site. It has everything you need - including a downloadable interactive subway map. Generally you will want to use the subway vs the buses - which take forever since they stop every couple blocks.

From the upper east side to Coney Island by subway is a trek. You might be best taking the LexAve to 14th st and switching to the Q. Otherwise you need to take the D or F - which are west side lines - and might mean taking the bus to the train. I would expect the trip to take at least an hour. It perfectly safe - but parts of it are ot too salubrious. n Frankly - if I had acces to a car I would drive rther than take the subway.

Coney Island itself is also perectly safe (the aquarium is great) but some of the surroundong areas are somewhat gritty. I'm wondering why you want to go there - I think kids would be disappointed in this as an amusement park if they're used to theme park rides. And the beach is nothing to write home about - there are better options.

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Old Jun 22nd, 2005, 11:35 AM
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I've watched July 4th fireworks from the upper east side along the river near 70th and yes, you can see them. There are lots of people lining the banks, but I wouldn't describe it as a mob scene, nothing like the crowds closer to the firework barges.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2005, 12:09 PM
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IMHO, the unlimited ride MetroCard ($24 for 7 days, unlimitd use of subway and regular buses) is one of the best bargains in the world.

In my experience, parking on the streets (not avenues) is easier on holiday weekends, when so many of the locals leave town. I believe the alternate-side cleanings are suspended on holidays, so that owuld simplify your strategy a bit -- do check an authoritative source about this. Even if you have to use a garage part of the time, each day parked on the street saves a few bucks.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2005, 03:38 PM
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1. As others say NO possibility of street parking for the week but certainly possibility for a day at a time and on holiday weekend. This location

INSTANT PARKING LLC
434 East 80th Street
New York , NY 10021
(between 1st & York )

seems to be iconparking.com cheapest place in the area.

2. If it's a good view it's a mob scene. The only other possibility is if you're staying in a highrise building many NYers go to their roofs to see the fireworks.

3. Kids below a certain height ride free so check the MTA website for details. There are several different metrocard options and it depends on how often you use transit and who you are. The weekly pass is "a bargain" if you ride everywhere and the kids can ride free. But if you have to buy 4 weekly passes and do more walking (or taxiing) than you expect, it can be a costly mistake. A pay as you go metrocard can be used by all of you. A weekly pass can only be used by one person. Here's the website with the details

http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us/metrocard/mcgtreng.htm

4. That website will also lead you to the subway map which will show how far Coney Island is. Yes it's safe but do a text search here on what others say about it to decide if you really want to go.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2005, 05:33 PM
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Naturally, everyone's itinerary will be unique and you must take all the transport options and possibilities into account. The height limit for kids is 44 inches, so probably even the 6-year-old will have to pay. But the weekly pass is $24 and a single subway ride costs $2, so if you ride twice a day you come out ahead (that would be 14 rides for the price of 12).
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Old Jun 22nd, 2005, 06:48 PM
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Anonymous is correct with the height requirements for kids riding free on the bus, but; I was in the city in April with a 6 and an 8 year old both over 44" tall, and not one bus driver would take a fare for them, they all let them ride for free. Obviously you can't count on that, but you might want to try before springing for a card (although they are an excellent deal). How old are yor kids?
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Old Jun 22nd, 2005, 08:08 PM
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The OP said they were ages 6 and 14.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2005, 02:04 AM
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oops - sorry, I missed that!
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Old Jun 23rd, 2005, 02:34 AM
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York Avenue in the 80s is too far up to see the fireworks. I went to the FDR drive a few times in the past and did find it a mob scene, and it was expecially bad in very hot weather.
If you have the budget for it, try booking a dinner in a restaurant that overlooks the river, such as the Water Club just off the FDR drive around East 25th Street.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2005, 04:09 AM
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Taking little kids on buses/subways without paying is a sore spot with many - esp at rush hour. Your kids are too big anyway and will need to pay - so ti's not an issuee for you.

But the rationale behind letting little kids on free is that they sit onthe parents lap (technically it's one little kid free with each adult). The problem is when you have one adult get on with 2/3 kids and a stroller and then spread out over 4 seats - while other folks are standing. (If the bus is empty who cares - but that happens once every other leap year.)

We had a brouhaha on the crosstown bus recently when one of these "entitled" women refused to hold her "free" child so two older ladies could sit down (the child was lying over two seats).

The driver stopped the bus and refused to go any further until the b***h picked up her little darling. You should have heard her whining and threats to report the driver for being rude.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2005, 04:27 AM
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Technically, it's up to 3 kids free for each paying adult. But that doesn't make me feel any better about old ladies having to stand!

http://www.mta.info/metrocard/mcgtreng.htm
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Old Jun 23rd, 2005, 06:53 AM
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nytraveler, I offered each time to pay for the kids, none of the drivers would accept a fare which I thought was very generous of them.

I think the lady you had such a bad bus experience with has bigger issues than just poor social skills! Amazing what some think they are entitled to, isn't it?
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Old Jun 23rd, 2005, 07:28 AM
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"Is there a vantage point from the upper east side to watch the fireworks that is not a complete mob scene ? I understand that the FDR drive will be closed to traffic but will we be able to see anything that far up in Manhattan."

I used to live in this neighborhood. Yes, you CAN see the fireworks. Don't go to the FDR. Instead, go to Carl Schurz Park and go to the promenade. It's higher up and you will have a better view. You will need to go a little early to get a good spot.

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Old Jun 23rd, 2005, 07:31 AM
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Another fireworks option is a Circle Line "cruise" -- basically the boat parks in the river near the fireworks. The last time I did it the price was very reasonable (I think $25?). Check the website.

I fear you'll be disappointed if you try to view the show from the UES. If the conditions aren't perfect, you won't see much. Better to get closer to the action.

Enjoy!
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Old Jun 23rd, 2005, 07:45 AM
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good advice about Carl Schurz Park, I hadn't thought of that.
Still, you will be a few miles from the fireworks, so I can't say the view would be optimal.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2005, 10:07 AM
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1. Possible, but it is going to be a pain moving your car just about every day.

2. I used to live on the UES and went once over to the FDR drive in the 80s or 90s to see the fireworks (yes it was a mob scene...never again!), but as far as I see, looking at various websites, the FDR drive is only closed between 14th and 42nd St this year. So maybe you'll see a little from Carl Shurz park...not sure how much.

3. Buses aren't much faster than walking. Use subways, and get either a pay-per-ride (1 card for whole family, $2/ride) or 4 separate weekly passes. Check MTA website for prices.

4. It will be a haul to go to Coney Island, but worth it. It is fabulous- it has so much character (and characters!) I was just there last weekend. The rides have virtually no lines. The beach actually isn't bad - sand is very soft. Safe? Absolutely!
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Old Jun 23rd, 2005, 10:20 AM
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I have a friend with a penthouse on East End and we tried to view the fireworks from there one year. Yes - you can see something. But you are so far (miles) away that everything is very distant and the drama is lost - never mind you don;t get any of the music etc. If it's cloudy you would see very little - and that was from a rooftop.
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