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NYC with Teen Girls- Trip Report

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Aug 7th, 2008, 06:58 PM
  #1
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NYC with Teen Girls- Trip Report

Just returned from a 4 night, fun filled packed to the brim, adventure to NYC with my 15 year old daughter and her friend. I did much of my trip research on this forum and thanks to all of you, we saw a huge slice of New York. The girls loved every minute of it from the hot underground subways to the streets teaming with people from every county to the skyscrapers and of course the shopping.

Here goes in abbreviated form. We stayed at the Embassy Suites...good choice for room size,helpful staff, huge free breakfast and my much needed two free glasses of wine in the evening..bad choice for location if you want nighttime entertainment in Times Square, good location if you like to be near the water.

First Evening, subway to Union Square, great people watching, shopping at Forever 21, Dinner at a great cuban restaurant and walk up 5th avenue to Times Square. The girls saw many shops along this walk that they wanted to return to. They of course loved Times Square and they just wandered through the crowds, in and out stores, taking pictures and checking out the street vendors, Cab back to hotel because I didn't have my bearing for which subway.

Will post the rest of trip later.
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Aug 7th, 2008, 07:53 PM
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great start--can't wait to read more. I want to take my teen boys soon.
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Aug 8th, 2008, 06:20 AM
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Day 2, Woke up extremely early, to take the subway to the Today Show...It took us longer than we expected because of making a mistaken subway stop. Back on the subway to the closest stop to Rockerfeller Center and headed for the Today Show. Unfortunately, there was a line to get in because Sheryl Crow was playing. I got some coffee and let the girls roam around the Center..We then headed towards 5th Ave to St Patricks Catheral. We were able to go inside, beautiful. Too early for shopping so we headed towards Central Park. stopping along the way to go inside Trump Tower, the Apple Store(extremely cool signage and stairways going down to store), and purchase sunglasses and pashminas from street vendors. Once in Central Park,,we just walked and walked. I loved Central Park. We ended up at Strawberry Fields and I took them by the Dakota Building. Walked back from the park on the sidewalk passing the horse and carriages, more street vendors, NYorkers strolling, running, pushing baby carriages, walking their dogs. I made a purchase from a local artist who had a table outside of Central Park selling her watercolors. Once we left the park, the stores and museums were open. We headed to FAO Schwartz and went up to the "floor piano" as seen in Big and they also took pictures with the FAO Schwartz doorman, walked into Ferragamos...just to say we did it, and then headed to MOMA. This was one of my goals, I totally enjoyed seeing the Impressionists but they weren't as interested. But, they can now say, they saw a VanGogh, a Picasso, a MOnet..They will appreciate this later in life. Ate lunch at an Irish Bar, restaurant..No waiting, reasonable prices, and good food. Score!

Onto shopping. These stores were all located within walking distance, H&M, Anthropologie, JCrew.

At about 4 p.m we headed back to the hotel, taking the subway, to get ready for "Rent", At Fodorites, suggestions, I purchased our Rent tickets at Broadway Box for around a 35%discount and had them held at Will Call. Back at the hotel, I went and got my two free glasses of wine, the girls dressed up and off we went again at about 6:45 to catch a subway back to Time Square. Once at Time Square, we picked up our tickets, got a quick bit to eat at a nearby pizza by the slice place and headed back to the theater. We all loved Rent, They waited for the actors (mainly the male actors)to come out of the theater after the show and got pictures with three of them. This was so exciting for them. We decided to head back to the hotel after the show (by this time, its 11:30)I felt more confident in taking the subway home and so we did, arriving back at the hotel after midnight. Tired but happy!

Two Fodor hot tips: Tickets for MOMA were $2.50 a piece at a web site called High Five. This is a web site where teenagers can get tickets for events, some museums for up to $5 a tickets. You can also purchase an extra ticket for an adult for each teen. We used this the National Comedy Theater too!

Use Broadway Box for discount tickets for Rent and Legally Blonde.

Buy Metro Passes versus single tickets for subway and bus rides.

Back later
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Aug 8th, 2008, 07:17 AM
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This sounds like a happy trip!!!
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Aug 8th, 2008, 08:01 AM
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DAy Three. Ate hearty breakfast at the Embassy Suite, took subway to China Town. THis was a unique experience for the girls especially vendors hawking "Gucci, Prada, Chanel. We shopped at the kiosks and also in some bargain clothes stores for teens..Amsterdams. They had fun trying on clothes and made some purchases. Walked to the lower East Side towards Tenement Museum. This walk was interesting as it took you through neighborhoods that were more about the residents than the tourists. Arrived at Tenement Museum. I purchased tickets on their web site prior to trip to insure that we were able to do the tour that we wanted. We went on the interactive tour. This was great for families. The tour was educational by being experiential. We learned alot what life was like in 1916 on the lower East Side for a 15 year old girl and her family after immigrating from Europe After the tour we walked towards Little Italy. We decided to eat lunch at one of restaurants...The girls loved this food, I did not. I wouldn't recommend it, if you are looking for good Italian. After lunch, walked back through Little Italy, heading towards Soho.
There are tons of tourists in Chinatown, Little Italy as well as Soho. They wanted to shop in Soho but either they had already shopped in similar stores or the boutiques were too expensive for them...so shopping was not as successful for them there. Personally, I think they just got overwhelmed from all the choices. Along with the boutiques,there was Forever 21, H&M, Yellow Rat Bastard, Old Navy, anything you can imagine.
Left Soho, walked back through Chinatown to subway stop and headed back to hotel to get ready for evening.
We ate dinner at Chevy's a Tex-Mex restaurant at the Embassy Suites,and then took the subway back to Penn St. STation around Macy's to go to the National Comedy Theater for a 9:45 show. We got those tickets for $5 a piece from High Five web site. This was clean, family improv. Most of it was very good. The girls really enjoyed it..this was their first experience at a comedy club. You were not expected to buy anything to drink..all in all, fun night and not too expensive.
After show, headed back to subway, back to hotel. After we got back to hotel, we walked out to the piers to enjoy the view of the Statue of Liberty and the building lit up across the river. Headed back to hotel for some sleep.
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Aug 8th, 2008, 08:39 AM
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I am really enjoying every word of your trip report!!

My mother, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and I are taking my daughter and niece to NYC after Christmas for their 16th birthdays!

I appreciate your tips on the discount MOMA tickets. will check out that website today, as that is definitely in our itinerary.

Also, didn't think our girls would be interested in the Tenement Museum, but after reading your description, it sounds really interesting. Did the girls enjoy it?

Also, a minor shopping question: when you said "These stores were all located within walking distance, H&M, Anthropologie, JCrew.", did you mean near MOMA?

can't wait to here more! Thank you!
Dina
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Aug 8th, 2008, 08:44 AM
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HI Dina, The girls did not ask any questions of the young actress playing the immigrant daughter but they walked away saying they really enjoyed it and learned quite a bit. It might feel a bit on the youngish side if your girls are more on the sophisticated side but there are other tours to be taken.

The stores that I mentioned were not far from MOMA..walking distance. [email protected] was right across the street from St. Patrick Cathederal and Anthropologie and JCrew were right near Rockerfeller Center (within blocks of each other)
I will continue with the rest of the trip later.
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Aug 8th, 2008, 01:02 PM
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I was just in NYC and went to the rooftop garden where there was not only a great view, but also a huge sculpture of a balloon animal dog - the kind that people make from a long balloon, twisting into various shapes. The reflections of yourself and the city were lots of fun and teens should enjoy it if you are already at the Met.
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Aug 11th, 2008, 04:59 AM
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Day 4...I had to take a break from my writing to mourn the loss of our favorite quarterback...Brett to the NY Jets. I hope him and his lovely wife, Deanna, read this forum to get some hot tips on what to do in NYC. Anyway....
Day 4 (Sunday) started with another hearty breakfast for the girls at the hotel. We then made the decision that we were going to not go back to the hotel before our evening show...Legally Blonde, we were prepared for a long day. From our hotel we walked to Century 21 which was closed until 11 so we continued our walk in the financial district. The girls spotted some cute Brazilian boys along the way and that was part of their "window shopping" It seemed they had the same tourist route as us..We decided to head towards the Staten Island Ferry. The walk there was interesting and brought us through Wall Street, old church and cemetary,interesting cobblestone streets and architecture. As it was Sunday, not many stores or restaurants were open but I really enjoyed this neighborhood. We eventually found the Staten Island Ferry. The ferry ride is free and takes you right past the Statue of Liberty. Plenty of room to stand by the railing and get great views of Lady Liberty as well as the skyline of New York and New Jersey. Once you arrive at Staten Island, you will need to get off the ferry and wait for its return. They do offer tours of the Island (for a fee) The girls really enjoyed this ride and got great pictures. Oh yes...the cute Brazilian Boys were also on this ride. Once off the ferry, we decided to walk towards the Brooklyn Bridge,,,which didn't seem that far (or so we thought). We passed a large shopping entertainment district on the water and continued to head towards the bridge. This was the tricky part,,we could not find the entrance to the walking bridge. We tagged along with some New Yorkers who also wanted to walk the bridge..She eventually found the entrance (after asking 3 different parties)and we were on our way. The bridge was really busy (more like crowded) with walkers and bikers. There is a lane for each. Its a beautiful, historic bridge with great views of skyline. Upon suggestions from this forum, we went to look for Grimaldi's Pizza on the other side of bridge in Brooklyn. It took us some time time before we spotted it and the line was very long. Being hot and tired, we didn't want to wait in line for pizza so we went looking for another restaurant that didn't serve only brunch. I asked a young man, who looked like he might live in NY. His suggestion was a great little place, just one block down called Rice. This was a great restaurant..no lines, looked like the locals frequented the place and the food was great! Score again! Also in our quest to find Grimaldis we went past a store front that housed a carousel. Seems some rich guy bought it for his wife and she restored the horses and now they are looking to house it at some park...in the meantime, they rent a storefront to house the lovely carousel,,,I guess their living room must not be that big...go figure!
After our interesting lunch, took the subway back to Union Square for more shopping. Walking up the steps from the subway, an Urban Outfitters greeted us. Let the shopping begin. After Urban, headed to Union Square and the girls shopped, book stores, clothes stores, jewelry etc. I watched the entertainment around the square while they shopped,,,plenty of it! We headed up Broadway Street towards Time Square to catch our show for Legally Blonde. Along the way, I noticed many, many costume jewelry stores. I am not sure if this neighborhood has a name, but if you are looking for his kind of jewelry, this might be the street. We reached Times Square, packed again with hordes of people. Arrived at our theater in plenty of time (we walked extremely fast)We enjoyed Legally Blonde, but liked Rent better. We got tickets for 50% off at Broadway Box. After the show, we decided to walk towards Rockerfeller Center and eat along the way. It was around 10 pm and we found this cute restaurant that served Mediterranean Food. It was recommeded by the two ladies sitting outside of the restaurant drinking a glass of wine...I thought...good endorsement. I thought the food was great, but I am not sure the girls enjoyed itthat much. They probably would have enjoyed a pizza at this point. After dinner, we walked to Top of the Rock. I used my 20% of coupon, (another suggestion from this board). It was around 11 p.m...no lines. They whisked us up to the 77th floor and we enjoyed the beautiful, night time view of all the lighted buildings. What a way to spend our last night in NY. I then splurged and hailed a taxi to take us back to the hotel. Past midnight, we arrived back at our home away from home.

Last Day,,,,Breakfast, packed our bags and stored them with the bellman for a small fee. We then headed back to Century 21 and meandered our way back through the Financial District. We found the Bull and took some pictures, the girls bought a few more souvenirs from the street vendors, We then bought lunch from one of the street food carts, This also is an experience, sloppy Philly Steak Sandwiches and chicken schwarma....We sat on the steps of some museum, ate our food, shooed the pigeons away and took in the lunch scene on Wall Street. The girls presented me with a Snow Globe of Lady Liberty for a thank you gift for taking them to the Big Apple. I was touched..but I eventually had to leave it at the airport because I put it in my carry on bag...No fluids on the plane. I guess we will just have to go back to get another.

Headed back to airport at 2 for a 5 p.m departure. We took a taxi but a town car would have ended up being the same price and way more comfortable.

Arrived back in Wisconsin..just in time for all the Brett Favre saga.

Thanks to everyone for all your suggestions and ideas. The girls had the best time and I did too, watching them, enjoying every single sight, sounds, smell and of course SHOPPING in the big city!

Andrea
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Aug 11th, 2008, 07:33 AM
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Great, informative trip report. Thanks, Andrea!

I'm happy to hear the shopping is good around Union Square. That's where are hotel is located.

How did you get the 20 % off ticket to Top of the Rock?

Thanks,
Dina
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Aug 16th, 2008, 02:44 PM
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Hi Dina,
Here is the web site for discount tickets for Top of the Rock http://www.destinationcoupons.com/Ne..._rock/Deck.asp

and her is the web site for High Five: http://www.highfivetix.org


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Aug 16th, 2008, 04:07 PM
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twbuss:

Terrific trip report with lots of good information that will be helpful to others.

We have stayed at the Embassy Suites two times and loved it. The breakfast is a great way to start the day.

You and your girls certainly covered a lot of ground - well done.

Sandy

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Aug 16th, 2008, 10:30 PM
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Thanks for sharing. Sounds like you all had a great time! We are taking our soon-to-be 156 yr. old daughter in October. Can't wait! Thanks for all the info.
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Aug 17th, 2008, 04:59 AM
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Great report and I picked up a few tips too.
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Aug 17th, 2008, 05:01 AM
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You sure know how to get the most out of your day. I'll call you when I need to plan a trip :.)
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Aug 17th, 2008, 05:33 AM
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Thanks for the great report. I enjoyed reading it.
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Aug 18th, 2008, 07:11 PM
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I also being from Wisconsin will be venturing to the Big Apple the beginning of November. Your report was wonderful and makes me even more excited to go and see the sites.
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Aug 18th, 2008, 10:07 PM
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Sounds like a great trip!
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Aug 19th, 2008, 01:06 AM
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Great trip report.

Also great information on the High5 website, something I never knew existed.

Just bought tickets for MOMA for a family of 4 for 10$....a considerable saving.

Don't you just love this forum ?
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Sep 4th, 2008, 05:26 PM
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I do love this forum. It has so many good tips. The best advice was people's feedback on proposed itinerary. If you have never been to NYC..it's hard to know what travel time is from neighborhood to neighborhood. I received great advice in what order to do things. We are missing NY.
Andrea
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