Overwhelmed by NYC possibilities!

Old May 18th, 2007, 10:54 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Overwhelmed by NYC possibilities!

Next month I'm taking my baby sister to NYC for 5 days as a high school graduation present. We visited a couple of years ago and did a number of 'first time in NY' things- top of the Empire State Bldg; riding Staten Island ferry; quick visits to the Met and Museum of Natural History; Broadway show; etc. We were meeting relatives at various points so it was a pretty hectic and structured trip, although lots of fun.

My sister's very laid back and said she didn't really care what we do on our upcoming trip- as long as she's in the city she's happy. In our most recent conversation, she asked for us to be less scheduled, and mentioned she's on a museum kick. (Unlike most teens, she is not a shopper at all.)

I've already gotten tickets to a few shows and to a walking tour, so we're set there. The museums- now I'm getting overwhelmed. Too many choices!!! She didn't have a preference as to type of museum (although she wants to go back to the Met.) But I'm swimming in museums- the Tenement Museum sounds fascinating; now I see that Monet exhibit at the Wildeman Galleries- oooo; but wait, there's the Museum Mile Festival while we're in town.

After you've done the obvious first-time-visitor things-- how the heck do you decide what to do next? (Besides accept that you'll need another trip.) =)

Pisces is offline  
Old May 18th, 2007, 11:10 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I have a couple of really good guidebooks I used before heading to the city. One fav was "Irreverent Manhattan"
You can find many used on Amazon.com
Find some with museums etc listed and have her pick the ones she wants to visit. Without knowing something, you could be wasting precious time or missing something really special.
LLindaC is offline  
Old May 18th, 2007, 11:14 AM
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My best suggestion is to pick a few neighborhoods to do each day, and then plan on going into the places that look interesting along the way.

I'm very much into over structured vacations, and had the same sense of overwhelmment that you had. And I was going for the first time, but my boyfriend had been before. He was also adamant that it not be too overly structured.

We picked our few must sees (well I piked my few must sees) and then walked between them and stopped at places that looked interesting. It worked really well for us.

Just remember walking in NYC is the best way to get a sense of the city.
Binkieloo is offline  
Old May 18th, 2007, 01:48 PM
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If the museums are having a festival while you are here, then probably the entrance fee is waived for the day, so you could start at the top of 5th Ave and wander down and see several museums as you wander.

Also the Central Park Zoo, Bronx Zoo and Aquarium are all part of the nature conservency so if you joined while you are here, you would get free admission to all three and get a monthly magazine to remember your trip.

Kind of off the beaten path and yet still fun and interesting would be the Richmondtown Restoration on Staten Island. There are several buildings that have been rennovated there, including the earliest building in the US that was used as a school.

Also the Cloisters is part of the Met and you could do the Met in the morning and head uptown to the Cloisters in the afternoon. At the Met walk through Central Park to the avenue on the west side of the park, called Central Park West, and take the train (B or C) to 125th st and change to the A train and get off at 190th ST, and walk through Ft Tryon Park to the Cloisters, you will be amazed that you are still in Manhattan.

On a hot day you might enjoy a trip out to Jones Beach or better yet, Fire Island to the Sunken Forest. Long Island Railroad has packages which include rail/cab/ferry service over and back and I think it's $22pp. The Sunken Forest is a beautiful walk through a protected forest area on the island. There is also a cafe there and a Ranger STation for information on the seashore.

Have a great time while you are here.
travelbuff is offline  
Old May 18th, 2007, 03:13 PM
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Th Museum Mile festival sounds like a good idea--but it's really not.

The museums do waive admission fees, but not for the whole day, only for the festival hours (6-9 pm or thereabouts).
It gets insanely crowded at some of these museums and you may waste a lot of time getting in.
(by the way if you are trying to save money and think of the festival for that purpose, most of the museums have discounted or free hours/days at some point during the week)
Some other ideas, depending on the dates you'll be around: concerts in Central Park (summerstage),crafts fairs,etc. Check out Time Out NY (magazine or online) for other ideas
janie is offline  
Old May 18th, 2007, 03:34 PM
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I like the idea mentioned of combining time in neighborhoods with a museum or site, - really gives you a feel for the fact that NYC is much more than mid-town or times sq - the most fun, for us, is stumbling upon cafes, restaurants, galleries, neighborhoods -

The Tenement Museum is fabulous, the tours are only 1 hr each, you could do one or two, watch the short film and walk the Lower East Side, look up a list of the galleries in the LES for some interesting art - and/or from there up into Soho (although you say she doesn't like shopping, maybe just for lunch afterwards) and then in the afternoon do another neighborhood/smaller museum -

how about letting her google the museums and choose 2 and you choose 2 and each of you be responsible for that morning or afternoon/neighborhood/printing out some material, sort of being the 'tour guide' - this always worked well with my kids, got them involved, taught them how to figure transporation, etc wherever we were -

The Met and the Cloisters is one of my favorite days -
Walking tour of Brooklyn Bridge and some time in Brooklyn - does she just like museums or also funky art galleries? plenty of those in nyc !

Central Park, to me, is an outdoor museum, the architecture, literary walk, etc -

are great sites to peruse and plan a day in the park
escargot is offline  
Old May 18th, 2007, 05:13 PM
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Don't miss the Ellis Island Immigration Museumm - it's brilliant.

Also- some of the smaller ones don;t take long but can be fascinating - New York Public Library exhibits, New York Historical Society, Museum of the City of New York.

For the Met pick a few departments - and see if you can catch on to a gallery talk - which can really bring everything to life.
nytraveler is offline  
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