Some NY Holiday Hints

Nov 28th, 2011, 02:12 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 26,710
Some NY Holiday Hints

Christmas Week is the busiest tourist week of the year. So here are some what I hope are helpful hints:

The Met Museum has one of the most elegant Christmas trees. Not only should you go early but there is an entrance to the left of the main steps which has about 1/10 the foot traffic as the mean entrance.

From JFK you can the Airtrain to Jamaica Station and then take either the LIRR (Long Island Railroad) otr the "E" "J" and "Z" subway line and save the cab fare. The subway will take longer but will cost at least $5 a person less. If you are going to some parts Brooklyn or Queens, you can the Airtrain to Howard Beach and the "A" train

As noted on another post, if you fly in on AA at LGA or another airline in that building there is a large staging area for licensed yellow cabs to the right of building. When you exit building turn right and then right again at the end of building.

Use the subways or walk whenever possible. Traffic is insane that week.

The streets are around Rock Center and Times Square often become impassable. In fact they change the bus stops on Fifth Avenue that week because of the crowds.

Whatever you need tickets for, get them now, if they are still available.

Whenever possible eat in in residential areas not in the tourist areas. The food will be cheaper and they are often less crowded because some NY'ers go away.

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 and Lunch 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's, 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


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.

Have a great time in NY.

I am sure others will have many other hints.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Nov 28th, 2011, 03:12 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,566
Well we aren't going to be in NY for Christmas but will be there next year so I appreciate all your great advice, thanks for posting.
Maudie is offline  
Nov 28th, 2011, 06:45 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 26,710
You are welcome.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Nov 29th, 2011, 04:58 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 517
Oooh, potato and egg heroes - haven't had one of those in years. I need to make a note of that one - thanks, Adu. Good tips.

I would just add to make a plan with your loved one(s) if you get separated in the crowds. And I know there's probably less of a need for this now since everyone has cell phones, but don't underestimate how insanely crowded a seemingly standard street corner can become. I remember the look of horror on my claustrophobic sister's (who still doesn't carry a cell phone)face some years back when she thought she lost me in a crowd.
YankyGal is offline  
Nov 29th, 2011, 06:20 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 10,556
Nice idea to post, Adu. Thanks.
PeaceOut is offline  
Nov 30th, 2011, 03:51 AM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,391
The President is coming for the tree lighting - well he will be around the block sort of. Watch the show with a stiff drink in the comfort of your hotel room....Yes the streets are getting busy. Visit neighborhoods away from midtown while you are here.
SueNYC is offline  
Nov 30th, 2011, 06:17 AM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 3,060
What great tips--thank you! We aren't coming at Christmas time either, but will refer to this when we are there in May. Thanks again!
musicfan is offline  
Nov 30th, 2011, 08:20 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 26,710
You are welcome.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Nov 30th, 2011, 12:14 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 7,667
I won't be there at Christmastime, but we will be there for a few days next summer. Thanks for all the tips, Adu!
tenthumbs is offline  
Nov 30th, 2011, 12:41 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 20,588
Thanks, Adu! DD and I leave a week from today for a whirlwind, 2 day trip. I'm going to print this out for a reference!

Will the tree at the Met be up by then? Can I ask about The Cloisters Is it far from the center of things? I'd really like to see the Unicorn Tapestries but don't want to take too much time out of our day. The only firm plan we have is Book of Mormon Thursday night. Everything else is open.
cat111719 is offline  
Nov 30th, 2011, 12:49 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 20,588
Btw, we are flying into LGA and we are staying at the Moderne. Any tips for the best way to get from airport to hotel?

And do you think we will have much time that first night to do much? I am clueless as to how long it will take to get to the hotel.

cat111719 is offline  
Nov 30th, 2011, 08:40 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 26,710
There are many others who offer a great deal of very fine advice on these boards and I was hopeful they would add to the list.

Thye Clositers is about a 45 minute subway ride and walk from midtown.

There is limited public transportation from LGA, so a cab is best.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Dec 1st, 2011, 06:23 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,889
cat11719, I think the Unicorn Tapestries and the Cloisters are well worth the travel time! An added attraction right now is the exhibit of the Lewis Chessmen. I wish I could be there, too!

Have a wonderful trip, saige.
saige is offline  
Dec 1st, 2011, 07:38 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 27,868
If you have time, The Botanical Gardens in The Bronx has a wonderful train exhibit. Then head over to Arthur Avenue for some AMAZING eats.

Go to Zero Otto Nove for to die for pizza.

[089 is the telephone code for several Italian cities]
DebitNM is offline  
Dec 1st, 2011, 08:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 20,588
Thanks! When I was in NYC once before, we took a city tour in an open air bus. It was the wintertime, and cold, but I enjoyed it. I just don't remember how long it took. Do you think that is a good idea with our limited time?
cat111719 is offline  
Dec 1st, 2011, 10:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 20,588
What is all of your opinions on getting a New York Pass, wither with the Hop On Hop Off bus tour? There is a two day one available, and it also gets you to the font of any lines. Do you think it is worth it? I usually get the Museum pass in Paris and find it to be a good deal.
cat111719 is offline  
Dec 1st, 2011, 10:16 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 69,399
None of the locals like the HOHO buses.

Do you plan (or will have time) to see all/most of the attractions on the pass?
starrs is offline  
Dec 1st, 2011, 10:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 20,588
I'm not a local, so that's okay! WHat I liked was the stories they told about the different neighborhoods, things I would have had no way of knowing, and since we won't be with any locals, it might be nice.

I'm not really sure how much time we'll have. The first full day, we need to be back for our theatre tickets at 8, the second day is wide open. I love just being able to run in and check something out and if we like it, we can stay, as opposed to having to pay at each thing. I'll go over the list of things with DD to decide.
cat111719 is offline  
Dec 1st, 2011, 10:39 AM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 16,658
This is a great thread thank you Aud! I am arriving on December 13 and VERY excited. I have not been to NYC at Christmas time since my daughter was about 2 years old...

Our only firm plans are Mary Poppins on the 13 and Lion King on the 14th.
MomDDTravel is offline  
Dec 1st, 2011, 10:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 69,399
cat, just looking at it I don't see that many things I'd just "drop in" for. You can buy timed tickets for the Top of the Rock. You'd get in MOMA. Other than that, I'm not sure what you'd want (and have time) to see.

My favorite museum is the Frick. Gorgeous building, gorgeous collection but small and intimate - not overwhelming.

Cost it out (the pass).

ps - I really like the HOHO buses too.
starrs is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:46 AM.