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Quick trip to NYC with 16 YO DD - a few questions


Dec 2nd, 2011, 11:06 AM
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Quick trip to NYC with 16 YO DD - a few questions

Thanks to adu and starrs, for some great tips, but I don't want to hijack the holiday thread so I'm starting a new one because I have a few questions.

We arrive at LGA and are staying near Times Square so we will be cabbing in. If our plane arrives on time, do you think we would have time to squeeze in a show on Broadway? I know we are taking our chances, but I hesitate to buy in advance, in case or flight is delayed? Is there a good place to buy last minute tickets?

About the New York Pass, I was thinking of getting it, because it includes admission to many of the museums, but someone mentioned that at these museums you can just pay anything you want. Is that true?? The admission price on the Met Website says $25 and doesn't mention that you can name your own price.

It also includes the HopObHopOff tours. Given our short time period (two full days) I think that might be a good way for us to see a lot in a short period of time. We are seeing Book of Mormon the first night, the second night is still open. The main things we want to see are the Met and the Cloisters, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and Times Square (DD is a Broadway buff). If time, she really wants to go to Hoboken (!) to see the bakery from Cake Boss. That one is not high on my list, but just in case, how long does it take to get to Hoboken?

Thanks!!! Running out right now, I'll check back in a while!
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Dec 2nd, 2011, 11:08 AM
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What time does your plane land?
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Dec 2nd, 2011, 11:11 AM
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It is supposed to land at 5:15 pm.
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Dec 2nd, 2011, 11:30 AM
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The Met is indeed pay as you wish. It is listed as "recommended" prices with a plea "To help cover the costs of special exhibitions, we ask that you please pay the full recommended amount." If you purchase admission online (which is completely unnecessary) the only option is to pay the full amount. The Cloisters is included with whatever admission you pay for the Met if it's on the same day, but if you go a different day, it too is pay as you wish

There is a small Cake Boss outpost in the Discovery Times Square exhibit space, so if you don't want to or can't make it to Hoboken, maybe that will satisfy your daughter? http://www.discoverytsx.com/cakebosscafe

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island will take about half a day. How many days and what days of the week will you be here?Are there any other sights or museums to wanted to see?

If your plane arrives on time, you'd probably make it to your hotel in time to check in and get to a 8:00 pm show. But LGA flights are rarely on time, and weather delays at this time of year, combined with traffic in midtown make it an option I wouldn't recommend.
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Dec 2nd, 2011, 11:50 AM
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Hi cat,
If you had a week, I think the pass MAY equal out. In 2 full days and 2 partial days? I just don't see it.

The first link you provided (on the other thread) included the HOHO bus and the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I think that's a good deal.

I don't see HOW you can fit in a trip to Hoboken in that short of time. Tell her "next trip". It will give her something to look forward to.

As far I as understand your trip looks like this -

Arrival Day - ** and you may fit in a Broadway show
Full Day 1 - * and the Book of Mormon at 8pm
Full Day 2 -*
Departure Day - **

So much of what you want to do requires a lot of travel time* -
*Ferry to Ellis Island
*To the Cloisters and back
You could do TWO of those on your full days but it's going to be hard to squeeze in the third. IMO anyway.

Easy to fit in** -
Times Square -
Met - you could spend 2 hours to HOURS in here

Things I think you'll want time to do -
Go up to Top of the Rock for the view -
Spend at least a few minutes watching the skaters
Walk along 5th Avenue looking at the stores and store windows
See at least a LITTLE bit of Central Park and the rink there
Go to the holiday booths at Bryant Park
At least see the lions at the Library

The good thing is that the HOHO bus will take you to (or near) most of these. I've spent a few hours just riding to get an overview. Yes, in winter. Yes, in the cold. In fact with my mom and it snowed.

So, back to the pass that includes musueums - I don't see it being cost effective given your limited time. I haven't done the math yet, but take a look.

If *I* were planning the trip, I'd add in the Frick and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum - especially if your daughter is interested in Ellis Island. I'd also wander a bit in the LES to see some of the things Aduchamp and ellenem told me about. And one of my FAVORITE NYC holiday memories is wandering around Greenwich Village and seeing the Christmas tree vendors (and knowing the guy from NC was one of them and living there for the season with his family).

I've got to go too so I'm not proofing this. I think your time will be crunched already and you won't have time to take advantage of the things on the pass to make it cost-effective.

ps - you really are going to have to PLAN this trip
vs going with the flow, in order to fit everything in
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Dec 2nd, 2011, 11:51 AM
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Oh, and the vendors at Union Square during the holidays (reminds me of those along the Seine in Paris) and Fishs Eddy.

Those are MUSTS for me during the holidays in NYC
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Dec 2nd, 2011, 02:16 PM
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I don't think you can make a Broadway show on your day of arrival if you don't already have a ticket. I really don't. If your flight is on time and you skip eating, you can probably drop your bags and run to a theater by 8pm, but if you still have to choose a show and buy the tickets, not. Not with traffic the way it is now. You'll hit rush-hour traffic coming into the city even though the flow will be moving out, that won't make the streets any faster to navigate. I might even suggest a car service over a taxi so you aren't paying for the time you're stuck, and I hardly ever recommend that from LGA.

By the way the NY Pass doesn't really save you much time at Ellis Island. Yes, it's included, but you don't have a time reserved. You just get to pick up the ticket, and then you have to wait in line, which can last 2 or more hours. If you booked a timed ticket yourself, you'd pay more, but you'd have a guaranteed spot at a particular time. If you don't already have a time reserved now, just be sure to arrive early ... as in as early as you can possibly get moving in the morning ... at least an hour before the first ferry. You simply cannot imagine how bit the crowds are right now.

Regarding the Met, if you do pay for admission, it's free to go to the Cloisters on the same day, but you have to pay a separate admission to go on different days.

Regarding the HOHO bus. Right now, traffic in Midtown is horrible. It's really faster to walk from the Public Library to Central Park than to take the HOHO bus. Seriously. I'd strongly recommend that you take a miss on that to maximize your time.
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Dec 2nd, 2011, 02:48 PM
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a couple suggestions...

you and your daughter might enjoy "Love, Loss, and what I wore". It was very entertaining, and when we were there, not sold out. So possibly you could get tickets. But the other thing you could do after arrival is have a nice dinner, then go to Top of the Rock if the weather is reasonably clear to see the city lights, and see the skaters as well. that wouuld be a fun use of your time and probably not far from your hotel.

Having cabbed through New York a couple weeks ago, I have to agree that the traffic was horrid, and I think I would hate sitting in a HOHO bus that was trying to get through Times Square, taking an hour. Can I suggest instead one of the Big Onion Walking tours that Nyer brought up a few posts up? In particular, the walking tour of lower Manhattan is great. Its perhaps the oldest part of the city, and you will learn a great deal about the history and the architecture. it would probably fit in well with your trip to SOL and Ellis island, because they start from a spot fairly close to Battery Park.
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Dec 2nd, 2011, 03:41 PM
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Lots of good input here. Thanks, everyone!

Doug, I think you are most likely right about not making a show that first night. Good idea about the car service. Is that something I have to reserve and can anyone recommend a good one?

I like the sound of the Big Onion tour and will check that out. We may have to skip SoL, yet again.

And thanks so much for the heads up on the pay what you want admission to the museums. IS there a list of museums where that is the case?

As for Cake Boss, she will probably have to see that on her own dime. I don't thin the outpost would do. She wants to see the whole family. Grrrr.
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Dec 2nd, 2011, 03:58 PM
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Some museums have "suggested" or "recommended" admissions, which means you can chose to pay full price, one penny, somewhere in between, or endow a new wing. Other museums have an admission price that is one price, with a discount for students and seniors. Make sure your daughter brings her student ID just in case.

Top of the Rock has some good combo tickets that may be of interest to you. For example. if you planned to visit the Museum of Modern Art, TOTR and MoMA have a combined ticket for $38 (Purchased separately: Adult = $25 TOTR + $25 MoMA; Student <12) = $25 + $14)

From where you are staying, you will spend close to an hour each way making all the connections for the trip to Hoboken. A local familiar with the route might navigate it more quickly. Truly this should be low on your list with so little time. Perhaps for some NY glamour have your daughter watch the movie "Enchantment" (or other NY movie), and then visit sights from the movie.
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Dec 2nd, 2011, 03:59 PM
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If you were getting in at 3:15 would you recommend car service?
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Dec 2nd, 2011, 04:00 PM
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BUT check the details, as it is usually not pay as you go on every day, often just specific days.
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Dec 2nd, 2011, 04:07 PM
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Most museums that have set admissions have pay-what-you-wish aka FREE nights. Here's one listing:

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Dec 2nd, 2011, 04:29 PM
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Ok, so from what I can tell, The Met (including the Cloisters, is pay your own price any time. The rest seem to fall on days we won't be there.

The Frick is only pay as you wish on Sundays. I'll probably be lucky to get her to the Met and the Cloisters, as far as art museums go. The Tenement one sounds interesting. What is LES?

ellenem, what movie is Enchantment? There is an old one with David Niven. Is that the one you mean?
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Dec 2nd, 2011, 04:36 PM
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Oops! Sorry, the movie is "Enchanted."

LES = Lower East Side
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Dec 2nd, 2011, 04:37 PM
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By the way, you must reserve your tour at the Tenement Museum. It is visited only on a tour.
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Dec 2nd, 2011, 04:56 PM
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Oh, Enchanted!!! We love that movie!
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Dec 2nd, 2011, 06:21 PM
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My daughter and I had been to NYC a few times - when she was 13, 15 17, and then when she moved there at 18 to attend college. She is 21 and a Senior. I don't know what your DD likes, but my daughter loved Broadway shows, going out to eat, sidewalk cafes, walking around the Village, SoHo, Central Park, Serendipty. The one thing she (and I) thought was a total waste of time? Getting off the ferry to go to the Statue of Liberty. It will take up a lot of time between the crowds and the security line. If u must see it, see it from the water. Can't emphasize this enough, esp if you have a very limited time.
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Dec 2nd, 2011, 07:03 PM
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cat, if you get the first combo pass it includes a night tour. That would be a GREAT thing to do on your first night. Grab something to eat and ride around the city looking at the holiday lights.

Re traffic moving slowly in Midtown - what part am I missing? If you can walk faster than the bus is going, "hop off" and walk to your next destination and the "hop on" and ride to the next. That's the #1 benefit of the HOHO bus - IMO anyway. It's a "no brainer" way to get around and see the sights for a first timer. Seriously, when I'm thinking about routes in the city I "see" in my minds eye an image from my first visits - standing with the HOHO route map. I turn with Central Park to my back, orient the map and figure out how to walk to the next place I want to go. Natives/locals/frequent visitors know which subway or bus to take. First timers don't. If you buy both loops, you can pretty much navigate the city without worrying about $$$ for a couple of days - when you buy the 2 day pass. Is it the fastest way to get somewhere? No. But people who are ON the bus are tourists and not trying to get somewhere fast. Their #1 goal is seeing the city.

I've had to get out of cabs in Midtown to walk when traffic was too bad. Traffic is traffic - not specific to HOHO.
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Dec 2nd, 2011, 07:09 PM
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It is true that a couple of the major museums are pay s you wish but IMHO someone who can afford $100 or more for a ticket to a Broadway show should be able to stump up the full price. (It's perfectly understandable that poor students of large families with limited budgets take advantage of the pay what you wish - but unless finances re a big issue I would be ambarassed not to pay the regular price.

You can save money by taking the free Staten Island ferry to see the SoL and a great view of the skyline on the way back - rather than taking the ferry to Liberty Island when the Statue was closed.

I would not risk a broadway show on the night you arrive - since afternoon flights into LGA are often late and traffic this time of year can be horrendous.

If you want a car service instead of a cab try dial 7 or Carmel. You have to make arrangements in advance - then call them when you plane actually lands and they will have a car there in about 15 minutes (they have hundreds that are constantly dropping off and picking up at all the airports). Do not order "meet and greet" which is considerably more expensive - unless you really want it.
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