Suggestions for 4 days in NYC

Old Oct 8th, 1998, 03:46 PM
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Suggestions for 4 days in NYC

Will be in NYC for the first time on 12/25 thru 12/29. We will be celebrating our first wedding anniversary. Need suggestions on daily agenda and RESTAURANT recommendations. Will be staying at Morgans. A few things we want to do....
*Broadway Show - WHICH ONE?
*Museums - Met, Frick, Gug.
*Window shopping/Rockfeller Ctr/Skating
*Central Park / Soho?
*Limo service from airport?
*Radio City - Is it a must?
*EATING - Need suggestion for anniversary dinner. $$ no limit, italian or american, romantic, great wine and food.
Any opinions, comments or suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
Old Oct 8th, 1998, 09:21 PM
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Definitely see Les Miserables. It's wonderful. Also, a buggy ride through Central Park, very romantic. We will be in NYC the exact time. Great city at that time of year. Also, if you are in the mood for desserts, go to Cafe Lafortuna on the upper west side. Very quaint, good coffee and pastries and to top it off, opera music.
Old Oct 9th, 1998, 05:32 AM
Paul Rabe
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Don't miss: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Natural History, Staten Island Ferry (get as good a view of Statue of Liberty as you could want without having to wait an hour for the NPS ferry to the island), Macy's (although DON'T go there on December 26th),Time Square (no longer sleazy). Ray's Pizza is not exactly a romantic place, but it has (IMO) the absolutely best pizza in America.
Old Oct 9th, 1998, 06:44 AM
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I work in NYC and my favorit time of year is December. You picked a great place for your 1 year anniversary. My favorite plays are the Lion King, Les Mesirables, Miss Saigon. ( i just saw Footloose, very light and upbeat. Good choice if you can't see any of the "Big name productions" which may be crowded during the holiday season.) By all means, go to Rockefeeler Center to see the tree and the ice skaters. Directly across the street as St Patrick's Cathedral and Sachs. The most romantic restaurants in the city are One If By Land, Cafe des Artes, River Cafe (actually in Brooklyn Heights, beautiful view), Waterdside Cafe, Il Cortile (located in Little Italy) and Union Cafe (in Union Square Area). If you go to the Union Square Cafe, walk over to Lola's on 21st or 22nd street, fantastic blues music. Also, stop by the top of the Pennisula Hotel for a drink. Have fun.

Old Oct 10th, 1998, 03:37 PM
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Forget about Les Miserables, its been running too long and is quite stale. I heartily recommend Ragtime, Phantom of the Opera, and Titanic. As far as getting tickets, it is recommended that you pre-order from Tele-charge or Ticketmaster. Hope that helps.
Old Oct 10th, 1998, 09:21 PM
Brian Kilgore
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NYC has a million great restaurants but for elegance matched with good food matched with romance matched with people watching, my favorite is Cafe Des Artistes, on the upper west side, very close to Central Park. That could be the place for the anniversary dinner. Check museums to see what special shoews are on; maybe there's a show that is of particular interest. Otherwise, the Metropolitan and the Museum ofModern Art are the two that really have high impact for a first time visitor, and are big enough to have some things you'll really enjoy seeing. For window shopping, walking down Fifth Avenue for perhaps ten blacks from the Plaza, and up Madison Avenue for perhaps twenty blocks from 56th Street is hard to beat, except for wandering around Soho on a Saturaday, looking at commercial art galleries.
Old Oct 12th, 1998, 07:15 AM
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Broadway.At this point,take whatever you can get that has great seats. Restaurants: Cafe des Artistes,5757 at the Four Seasons Hotel, One if by Land, Daniel, Montrachet. Make reservations ASAP! What with company X-mas parties & such, reservations are VERY hard to come by in any of the celebrated restaurants!Itinerary. One of my best suggestions is to start at 82nd & 5th Ave at the Met.Museum of Art & work down. (bus runs down 5th if you get tired) The museum itself is beautiful, especially the sculpture garden that overlooks Central Park. You may just be there in time to see Tiffany exhibit before it moves on. Fantastic. Keep going south down 5th. Central Park is on the right. Pop into the lobby of the Pierre at 60th? & 5th & see if you can get a glimpse of the Ballroom. Further down to 59th, the Plaza Hotel on your right.Tour the lobby & use the rest- rooms! Stroll in the park a little. Across from the park is FAO Schwartz. An hr there at least-especially for big kids like us. Must see the Barbie dept. Don't miss the big snowflake at 57th & 5th. On to Trump Tower,Tiffany, Bendel, Rockefeller Ctr, St. Patricks Cathedral & Lord & Taylor's windows--all on 5th! Now to 33rd & 5th for the Empire State Bldg. If you can do all of that in a day-I want to hear about it!
Old Oct 14th, 1998, 05:52 PM
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We ate at Cafe de Artistes, and found it to be very nice. If you go don't be afraid of the Hungarian wine. It's only $18 a bottle, but very nice. Afterwards, you can walk to central park, take a buggy ride and have them drop you off at Tavern on the Green for coffee or a nitecap. It is stunningly beautiful, and I promise you will like it.
My wife did, and she also loved shopping in SoHo.
We found the "limo" service (actually a town car) to be the same price as a cab.
Have a great trip !!
Old Oct 14th, 1998, 10:09 PM
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We try to go to NYC once a year. We recently saw Les Miserables (in Toronto), and I would not recommend it either. We thought it was a "snooze". We loved Chicago, Ragtime, Miss Saigon, and Phantom of the Opera. I, too, would recommend pre-purchasing tickets. I think it's worth the extra expense, as opposed to taking your chances or paying premium prices for last minute seats. A Broadway musical is a thrilling experience. And, memorable long afterward. Most likely, Radio City and Lion King are out of the question at this point. Following, you may want to have a nightcap at "The View" in the Marriott Marquis. The elevator ride to the top is a thrill in itself. There's a nice (and reasonably priced) appetizer/dessert buffet. And, the live music is nice. The views aren't the best in the city, but they're thrilling all the same. Our favorite NYC Museums are the Frick Collection (spectacular, romantic, Fragonard panels - among other treasures - a personal collection in a private home, as opposed to a museum setting) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (cocktails on the roof - very romantic, but you must check for seasonal times). Another fine place to have cocktails is the Rainbow Promenade Lounge (not to be confused with the Rainbow Room). The views at night are fabulous - especially with the Empire State Building aglow - particularly nice as a follow-up to a ride through Central Park in a horse-drawn carriage (they have blankets in winter). It's best to go between shows at Rainbow and Stars to avoid a wait. But, it's worth the wait if there happens to be one (and the line moves quickly). Breathtaking views (be sure to walk down the hall for a look at Central Park on the other side) for the price of a drink (and no one seems to care if you enjoy just one for a long, long time). Another place we enjoyed for drinks was Bemmelman's Bar at the Carlyle - fine piano/vocalists and a comfortable, beautiful (murals by the illustrator of the "Madeleine" books). We also loved Cafe des Artistes. Go for brunch - reservations essential. Excellent food and service. A tad pricey, but good value. The murals (very racy) are awesome, along with the rest of the decor. Be sure to check out the surrounding building and the others in the same block. Beautiful! We also thought Rene Pujol was wonderfully romantic. Reminiscent of a comfortable, old fashioned hotel dining room (with splendid, huge, fresh flower arrangemens). It's French, but not "snooty" in the slightest and we thoroughly enjoyed the food. Another cozy restaurant (although a bit stark in decor - but to a fine effect) is Sonia Rose. Very intimate, reasonably priced, satisfying food (also French). Warm and friendly service. Do be sure to go to Rockefeller Center to view the tree and the skaters. And, peeking inside St. Patrick's is a must. Breathtaking! Cafe Nicholson (if it's open) is spectacularly romantic. Reasonably priced fixe prix menu. Absolutely gorgeous and very welcoming and friendly service. The owner is utterly charming and will tell you how he collected his treasures the world over. We loved this place! As you're wandering around, be sure to stroll through any fancy hotel you pass. The lobbies, restrooms, cocktail lounges - all incredible. If you have time, take a hop on/hop off bus tour. The "downtown" loop gives you a terrific overview of the various neighborhoods without walking about in the cold weather. Get off in the Village for lunch. There are fabulous, appealing, spots to "fall into". For shopping, since it will be awfully cold outside, any of the large department stores will be "decked to the halls" in Christmas splendor - with "after Christmas" sales in every department. On our last trip, I received a fabulous "makeover" in Barney's at the "Look" (their private line) counter. You'd think by 48, and after dozens of makeovers, I'd know how to do this by now. But, this make-up artist really knew what she was doing, and I'm really glad I bought "the works" (which still generate daily compliments from my husband). For one thing, she insisted on trying colors she thought would "enhance" me, rather than the ones which I found appealing in the tray (or their descriptions), and she taught me where to put it all with an expert hand. Agree that you should make dinner/brunch reservations forthwith. You didn't mention where you live, but be SURE to dress for the cold, winter weather. Warm coat (with layers underneath), hat, gloves, and warm shoes or boots. This is NOT the time to sacrifice comfort for fashion - you'll be much more comfortable and have a much better time. Also, we have found that it doesn't cost much more to taxi from place to place - so don't obsess over taking public transportation to get around. And, contrary to reports you may have heard or read, we have found the taxi drivers friendly, knowledgable, and efficient (no going the long way around). One more thing, be sure to wander the neighborhood around your hotel for "carry out" which appeals to you. Load up and take it back to your room for a romantic evening "en suite".
Old Oct 20th, 1998, 08:31 PM
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Hi Becca; I highly recommend the Metropolitan Museum of Art above all others. It is spectacular at Christmas. The tree and antique Italian nativity are too amazing for words. Walk, walk, walk. The city is a wonderland of lights. It is so romantic just to hold hands and walk. I think you can still get tickets for the Radio City Music Hall Christmas show. It is as good as any Broadway show. If you've never been to a big theater musical production, this one is grand. I thought that the nativity scene complete with all live animals was pretty darn cool (and I see a lot of theater). Get "golden circle" tickets. They are worth the little extra in price. Its worth the effort just to see the inside of Radio City. As far as Broadway tickets go - get some NOW. It doesn't matter if you buy tickets in advance or on the day of the show, you'll pay the same prices (especially during the holidays)and yes, that is $75. I don't think its ever worth spending your few hours in NY standing in the TKS line. Its your anniversary - spend the money and see one great show. I personally like the res agents at Telecharge. They have seen the shows that they sell, know the seating intimately and are a great help. They've saved me numerous $$ by knowing which expensive seats aren't THAT good and which lesser priced seats are great. A great new show (in previews now) is ON THE TOWN. I saw it last summer at the Delacort in Central Park and it was excellent. A tremendous opportunity to get good tickets since the show hasn't opened yet. We also, loved NOISE & FUNK - if you like tap, see this show. Of course, LION KING is the top choice, but good luck getting tickets for your 2nd anniversary. However, if you can get a line on these from your concierge at almost any price see the show. It is indescribable. Limos from the airport are the same as taxis in price, much more comfortable, but sometimes unreliable. Make sure you know who you are dealing with. Never get into one of the limos with drivers that solicite in the airport baggage claim area. There are lots of big, expensive restaurants in NY, but my very favorite romantic place is DeGrezia at 231 E. 50th St. Its very small, very intimate and the waitstaff will hover over you like you are royality. The sexiest hotel room in NYC is # 1506 at the Barbizon. Laying in your king bed you can look out your terrace door and see the Chrysler Building in all its lighted glory every night. Are you set on Morgan's? I thought the whole operation had a very large ego and the rooms are quite futuristic in form and function. They are more like cruise ship cabins than comfortable, cozy hotel rooms. Have a wonderful trip and HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! P.S. The NY Times has a great web site with theater reviews in the Arts & Leisure section.
Old Oct 26th, 1998, 03:16 PM
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Hi Becca!
In response to some of your questions, it really isn't necessary to call a limo service for pickup at the airport. If you are flying into JFK or LaGuardia, definitely take a yellow cab. It will be much less expensive than a limo. As far as romantic restaurants go, I have several suggestions. Erminia on the Upper East Side(83rd between 2nd and 3rd avenues)is wonderfully romantic and serves delicious Italian cuisine. Gramercy Tavern on 20th and Park Avenue is one of my all time favorite restaurants. Beautiful decor and the food (American)is out of this world. I also like Savoy, Frontiere, Raoul's and Provence which are all in Soho. They are all very intimate and the food is great at all four places. I also recommend checking out Temple Bar on Lafayette Street(a five minute walk from Soho) for a drink either before or after dinner. It is a martini bar;dark and sexy, the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion. I agree with the recommendation for Sonia Rose. My husband proposed there, so it definitely fits into the romantic category. Wherever you decide to eat, make reservations WELL ahead of time (at least a month before you arrive in the city). Restaurants book up so quickly and you don't want to be disappointed! You can email me with other questions if you like. Happy Anniversary! Allyson
Old Oct 26th, 1998, 05:18 PM
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What great replies! That's what I love about this site- so many generous people sharing such neat information. We haven't been to NYC in a few years, but just reading these posts has me wanting to book a flight TONIGHT! I've only one comment -- a hearty vote against Miss Saigon, particularly on an anniversary trip. I really DID NOT like that show, plus it's a downer.
Old Oct 27th, 1998, 02:48 AM
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I live near Dallas, Texas - but I worked (had an office) right on Times Square NYC for seven years (some time ago.) I lived in Westchester County but went to NYC practically every day - including weekends so I think I qualify as an expert. (I really enjoy NYC and Las Vegas - basically the only two cities I "vacation" at.)
1.) You din't say what your "budget" could stand! On your first anniversary, it could be tight! Advice: Don't try to save money! Go to the best and worry about it later. The hotels, (good) restaurants and shows are NOT inexpensive.
You probably do not want to hear this, but someone has to tell you. The (good) hotels in downtown Manhattan are $250 (or more) per night, good restaurants: $100 per couple (to do it right) and $75 per show ticket. You will spend $500 per day just for the "necessities."
2.) The Internet is a GREAT place to find out about NYC. Just type "New York, NY" or "Broadway Show" into any search engine and start from there. Visit the travel sites. Check out all the links from one site to another. Bookmark all the NYC sites that interest you. Check out the following sites especially:
ALLNY Links - Broadway Online Tony Awards - Buy Broadway - City Search NYC - New York City insider - NYToday(A New York Times Site) - On Broadway - Playbill Theatre NYC - Radiocity Music Hall - Sidewalk New York City - Virtual Big Apple. (Those are some that I use.)
3. A word of caution! I am NOT familiar with "Morgans" and I think if it was good I would know about it!
4. Plan and book restaurants and shows in advance. Get names of the people you make the reservation with - in case they screw it up (and some will!) It is difficult to get good Broadway show tickets!!!! (I have been trying to get tickets to Chicago and Lion King for over a year now. Also couldn't get them to "Cabaret." If you snoop around the Broadway Theatre websites, you will find out very quickly which shows are the best. Insist on sitting in the first 15 rows of the center orchestra - or the sides as close to the center aisle as you can get. (The seats in the back cost the same!) The very front of the mezzanine is also good.
5. By all means see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular - worth every penny. (Cost between $50 and $75 per ticket - as does every Broadway theatre ticket. Pay it and cry over the bills later.
6. I won't go into the tourist stuff, except to say that there are tons of stuff to see. (Circleline Cruise around Manhattan is fun!) My wife enjhoys just walking down Fifth Avenue from Central Park south stopping at some of the stores. (But not my cup of tea.) Drool over the diamond district between 5th and 6th on 47th street.
7. My wife and I will be back in NYC in mid-November for (4 days) a business meeting/banquet. Around it we will see "Rent", "On the Town" and Radio City Christmas. We will stay at the Sheraton NY Towers, and eat at Sardi's (a NYC theater institution) and the "21 Club". The "21 Club" can be expensive - but they have a special (fixed price) before theatre menu which is no less than some third raters. (I think it is only $29.) If you want to eat at a place that is both romantic and has the best view of the city (from the 65th floor of Rockefeller Center) try the "Rainbow Room." It is expensive, but the have a $42 special. Be sure to ask for the "fixed price" theatre deals.
8. Bottom line: If you do your homework well, you will have a good time. If you don't, you won't. Don't leave the important stuff until later ...or worse yet, until you get there. Learn about NYC as much as you can from the Internet (what a terrific resource!) I pretty much know the city and find that the websites accurately reflect what is there.
I could write for hours on NYC. If you have any questions, just write me.

Have fun: Fred (& Doris)
P.S. Let us know how you made out.
P.P.S. Don't forget the "Today" show every morning - you an look right into the Studio while they are on the air. Go through the NBC Studio tour (only $10.) 49th Street/Rockefeller Center.
Old Oct 27th, 1998, 06:06 AM
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I don't know if you have made up your minds about shows, but I give a great big vote for Les Mis, contrary to what some say. It is a very powerful musical. Last year, just about the entire cast was replaced and the show revamped. Regarding getting tickets, it is also possible to just walk up to the box office on the day you want to see a particular show, and see if there is any availability. My husband and I have done this often, with no problems. Don't bother with Tavern on the Green; it's a tourist trap with very bad food.
Old Oct 27th, 1998, 11:20 AM
Monica Richards
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Just got back from 4 days in New York myself. A few comments:

1) It is really expensive. I have been there a couple of times before but must have blocked out how much everything costs. $500.00 per day for a couple is not out of line.

2) We stayed at the Wellington Hotel at $175.00 per night. The location was good, and the rooms were OK, but the service was lousy. They screwed up my reservation and made not even the slightest attempt to fix it, apologize or anything. We wound up leaving a day early and staying in Boston instead. Don't know what we would have done if that hadn't been an option.

3) We saw an off-broadway show called "Secrets every smart traveler should know". It was recommended by the guy at the ticket booth at that place in Times Square that sells same-day tickets at a discount. It was hilarious! If you can't get good seats at a Broadway show, or if you are restricted to seeing something on a Sunday night (almost nothing plays on a Sunday evening) go see this. The "theater" seats about 60 people, so it's an intimate experience. Well worth it.

4) We had dinner at "L'Absinthe" for our super splurge night. The food was excellent, service was good although the atmosphere was a bit stuffy (other clientelle was a little snobby, not that that's the restaurant's fault).

5) This time we went to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Ellis Island was fascinating, and I really enjoyed that. If you see the Statue of Liberty, DO NOT wait to go up into the tower. It takes forever, and when you get up there it's absolutely nothing spectacular. A little space with tiny porthole windows.

5) The Met is closed on Mondays. Forgot this little fact, to my husband's great disappointment.

6) Don't be afraid to take the subway. It's really fast, and easy to figure out, and safe as long as it's not 1:00 in the morning. Actually, for all I know it might be safe then too.

That's all I can think of for now.
Old Oct 27th, 1998, 12:40 PM
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OK, this is the fourth time I am attempting this post. You should check out the restaurants on Restaurant Row near the theaters. Almost all the restaurants have pre-theater fixed price meals. This is good since they know you have a show to catch, and make sure you are out in time. There is a very good, small French restaurant called Le Rivage that we enjoy. Some restaurants in NY, such as Carnegie Deli, Sardis, 21, are NY landmarks, but just aren't the same anymore. At one point, they were the places to eat and be seen, but now they are just touristy - not the real NY. Regarding the theater, not only do most shows not perform on Sunday nights, but almost all theaters are dark (no shows) on Mondays. Whatever you decide, have a fabulous time. It's a wonderful city.
Old Oct 27th, 1998, 04:38 PM
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You've gotten lots of good advise, but I'll add my two cents worth as well. Besides Lion King(which is impossible to get a ticket to) Ragtime, Chicago, REnt and Cabaret are probably the hottest current shows. Since you've never been to NYC the Broadway show experience is the most important thing- some of the older shows are good -I think Les Miserables is an excellent show. Definately go the Metropolitan Museum- but if you can go to the Guggenheim(Frank Lloyd Wright architecture alone makes it worth the trip), the Frick(wonderful collection in beautiful setting) and Museum of Modern Art. You might consider taking a city tour to get you familiar with the surroundings. There are many wonderful restaurants in the city. I think Aquavit is quite lovely-if you sit in the waterfall room. The Four Seasons is the only restaurant with landmark status- it is a monument to contemporary design and I've never been disappointed in the food there. In the theatre district Firebird is a very charming, romantic Russian restaurant. I think Gotham Bar and Grill is one of the city's best places to eat- it's very attractive in a sort of modern way. The Royalton Hotel is a neat place to have post theatre drinks as is the Algonquin. Afternoon tea in the Palm Court at the Plaza Hotel is always a nice treat. Shopping on Madison and Fifth is fun and expensive. Soho shopping is a little more reasonable, but the shops are getting a little "mallish"- if you go to Soho - the hot restaurant is Balthazar- French brasserie atmosphere- lots of celebs. Many of the Soho galleries have moved to Chelsea which is also worth a visit- the Chelsea Market is really neat- wholesale and retail food purveyers. A very good restaurant in Chelsea is Chelsea Bistro and Bar- very French-excellent food and service. For an evening activity you might check into a cabaret performance , perhaps at Cafe Carlysle or Rainbow and Stars.
Old Nov 2nd, 1998, 02:24 PM
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I appreciate the great response to my posting. It has helped me make many decisions. We were able to get tickets to Cabaret and Radio City, but are still deciding on the "perfect" restaurant! Any comments on Windows on the World or LeCirque 2000?
Old Apr 4th, 2002, 06:45 AM
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Is all the info here still reliable or does it need updating? It seems to me to be a wonderful guide.
Old Apr 4th, 2002, 07:06 AM
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Though some of the hotel and restaurant prices are higher now, some of the shows are gone and, sadly, Windows on the World is no longer around....still, it's interesting how much of the info is still on target more than 3 years later.

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