Thanksgiving in NY 07 tips

Old Oct 23rd, 2007, 12:49 PM
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Thanksgiving in NY 07 tips

Hi,

Myself and Brother are travelling to NY from Liverpool in the UK on the 20th of next month till the 28th so will be there for thanksgiving.

I’ve got a few things I’m looking for advice/tips, any help at all really.

Firstly I’ve been for the past three years and have always visited in September so I know it’s going to be cold but is it really that cold???

I want to book somewhere for our meal on Thanksgiving day, our hotel is the Pennsylvania (more for location that luxury, so by Macy’s ) we, well I plan on hauling my brothers butt out of bed and getting a good spot to watch the parade by central park west so if anyone has any ideas on somewhere to eat. We were thinking about the boat house but not sure, I just don’t want to pay an ridicules amount but a fair price and would love it to be tasty. It would be great if someone had some fav spots to share.

Info on Black Friday would be great, I know it busy well manic and there are offers in all the stores but where are the best deals……..this leads me onto my next q?? any information on Woodbury Common would be great, I normally go and spend the full day there but am trying to work out when will be best to go over thanksgiving, I was thinking Fri. but was told the w/e would be better for offers and travel if I did it on the Sunday. I want to sort out transport as well as normally leave from Port of Authority first thing and come back very last thing at nite but am trying to find out the time of the first bus out.

I’m sorry I’ve asked so much but this is my first Thanksgiving so want to make the most of it and fit in as much as possible, I plan to do a show on Broadway again and Cirque Du Soleil too.

I look forward to hearing back soon

T.T.4.N
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Old Oct 23rd, 2007, 01:05 PM
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First of all, change your hotel....to anywhere else!!! The Pennsylvania gets about the worst ratings of any hotel on this website!
Second, avoid Woodbury Common over Thanksgiving weekend. It's a zoo there that time! If you're going to be here from the 20th, why are you waiting until that weekend to go to Woodbury Common?
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Old Oct 23rd, 2007, 01:36 PM
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If you have a decent rate at the Penn, keep it and know that the hotel is not great, but hey you are only sleeping there, and it is central to shopping and a few restaurants.

For the Parade, I'd think anywhere on CPW you should be able to see most of the parade, but I'd suggest heading to Columbus Circle to see all the bands and all the floats as well.

YES IT WILL BE COLD, probably, it could be a range of cold from chilly to frigid, so bring layers, hat/scarf and gloves.

Woodbury Common will be very busy, but hey get in the spirit of the season and warm up your credit cards. The sales are supposed to be very good this year, to lure out the shoppers early in the holiday season.

If you want to be a bit adventurous, head down to just north of Philadelphia to Franklin Mills another outlet (a mile of stores, all INDOOR), with more than 200 stores, and ask for a coupon book at the center info desk. It will give you further savings and will vary from store to store. To get there, you'll need to rent a car (try renting at Newark Airport on Priceline you can get one for $25 for a day). From there head down the NJTurnpike to exit 6 and ask directions to Franklin Mills, it's easy from there.

For restaurants on Thanksgiving, you might check www.menupages.com to see what restaurants are open that day, or head up Columbus Ave, where there are several restaurants per block.

Have a great time while you are here.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2007, 01:45 PM
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My suggestion would be to go to Woodbury Common on Monday the 26th. Thanksgiving week is truly horrid up there, but it might just be bearable if you wait until Monday. Otherwise, go on Wednesday the 21st.

To be honest, you might have trouble getting on the bus if you do it on Thanksgiving weekend. But if you can afford it, I'd urge you to rent a car so you can travel at your own pace. Cars will be much cheaper on Monday or Tuesday the 26th or 27th than on a weekend, and you might actually get a good deal. Try Enterprise.

The warnings about the Hotel Pennsylvania are well-founded. It's probably the worst big hotel in all of Manhattan, but it can be cheap. I doubt if you'd find anything reasonably priced even if you cancelled right now. If you were in the market to look, I'd recommend the Pod Hotel with the caveat that some rooms have bunk beds are are really, really small. (The cheapest rooms also have shared baths.)

I don't think people should be so quick to tell you that Thanksgiving will be really cold. That's not always the case. It may be in the 50s. The weather around here has been very unpredictable lately. It's very warm now, though the forecase is for rain and colder temps starting tomorrow ... but it's already done that to us twice and then gone back up into the 70s.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2007, 02:02 PM
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The Black Friday thing gets worse ever year. Last year they opened at midnight the night of Thanksgiving. I'd pass.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2007, 02:03 PM
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The Penn Hotel is scheduled for renovation or demolition. According to the following article it has started.

Please check with whomever you made your reservations.

The Lonely Fight For The Hotel Pennsylvania
A hacker and his compatriots stand athwart an old hotel’s demolition and everything they say it represents. Will a development-mad city hear them?

by Chris Shott

Published: October 9, 2007

Tags: Real Estate, Hotel Pennsylvania
This article was published in the October 15, 2007, edition of The New York Observer.


Chris Krupnik
Vornado Realty Trust wants to demolish the Hotel Pennsylvania and build an office tower almost as big as the Empire State Building.
More from Tales of Retail



Gregory Jones was welling up. “As of Monday, scaffolding went up around the hotel,” he said, pausing. “I get a little emotional,” he sobbed. “Friends of mine work at this hotel. It means a great deal to me.”

Mr. Jones, a big burly guy with a shaved head, a goatee and a soft spot for antiquated accommodations, was speaking to a panel of elders from the local community board last week about the fate of his cherished Hotel Pennsylvania.

Voracious developer Vornado Realty Trust, which owns the ancient lodge on Seventh Avenue—along with several adjacent lots—has threatened to demolish the 22-story Beaux-Arts structure, built in 1919, and erect in its place by 2011 an enormous office tower rivaling the size of the Empire State Building.

The smashing hotel redevelopment plan is merely part of a far grander scheme to reconstruct, reconfigure and polish to a Grand Central–like shine the entire surrounding area, from the old Farley Post Office to Madison Square Garden and Penn Station below to the Manhattan Mall.

As the first metal beams of a new construction shed went up around the hotel last week—a sign of forthcoming improvements, not implosion, if you believe the hotel’s Oct. 4 press release—Mr. Jones, 38, a nearby 30th Street neighbor, rushed to lobby local officials: Tell Vornado, he pleaded, leave Hotel Pennsylvania alone!

“How much more do we have to sacrifice in our history for progress?” asked Mr. Jones, who has formally requested an historic evaluation of the McKim, Mead & White–designed building by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission.

“If we can get this building landmarked,” he said, “they can’t touch it.”

That’s a pretty big if.

Decades ago, legendary preservationist Jane Jacobs spearheaded massive demonstrations to protect another McKim, Mead & White creation, the original Penn Station, which once stood stoic across the street. That didn’t stop developers, who ruefully razed the beloved hub in 1963.

Mr. Jones’ neo-Jacobsian revival, titled “Save The Hotel,” hasn’t generated quite the same level of public outcry.

“I have been talking to a lot of people and gotten very little interest in the Pennsylvania Hotel,” noted community board member Joyce Matz, who nonetheless volunteered to research the hotel’s history and report back to the neighborhood advisory group next month. “I don’t honestly know how worthy it is to save.”



ONCE A GLAMOROUS DESTINATION where jazz standouts Count Basie and Duke Ellington performed in the grand ballroom—a place immortalized (along with its phone number) by the Glenn Miller tune “Pennsylvania 6-5000”—the 1,700-room hotel has since devolved into a cheap, decrepit tourist trap more commonly associated with reported bedbug attacks than big-band nostalgia.

Preservationists citywide have responded to Vornado’s proposed demolition with a resounding “Eh.”

Of Manhattan’s fourth-largest hotel with its famous phone digits, Roger Lang, director of community services and programs for The New York Landmarks Conservancy, a leading private preservation advocacy group, reportedly remarked, “Size and a number do not a landmark make.”

The Municipal Art Society’s president, Kent Barwick, in an interview for another story, told The Observer, “Preserving that hotel, which has become very seedy, is not anywhere near as important as reusing the Farley building and creating a new rail station.”

“[T]he inside has been pretty much stripped,” Peg Breen, president of The New York Landmarks Conservancy, told the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “I don’t think anyone who has stayed there recently has been overly in love with the place. … Whatever tears are going to be shed, they’re too late.”

An emotionally invested Mr. Jones isn’t swayed by all the naysaying: “Call it a hole in the ground. Call it a shithole. Call it whatever you like,” he said of the Hotel Pennsylvania. “If you don’t keep your past alive, then there’s no hope for the future. Are we just going to pave over our history and forget about it?”

This important history lesson coming from a self-described technophile: Part of Mr. Jones’ passion for the old hotel comes from his involvement in a biannual gathering of computer geeks, the so-called H.O.P.E. (Hackers on Planet Earth) conference, organized by the Long Island–based quarterly techie mag 2600, which last July drew nearly 3,000 conventioneers to the endangered inn. The hacker group has converged on Hotel Pennsylvania almost every other year since 1994; it’s scheduled to descend upon the premises again in July 2008 for an event called “The Last Hope.” “The hotel will still be here,” Mr. Jones said, “hopefully.”

For some participating hackers, the hotel’s looming demise has become a pet cause. “If you go to the Web site, hope.net, a funeral march will play and flash animation will come up saying ‘All good things,’” Mr. Jones pointed out. An entire section of the site is devoted to news and commentary about Vornado and its plans for the hotel site.

“Just recently, I was in Vienna and Pisa [Italy], where people expressed a great deal of concern to me over the fate of the hotel,” wrote pseudonymous 2600 publisher and WBAI radio personality Emmanuel Goldstein in an e-mail to The Observer. “It was hard (and rather embarrassing) to explain why New Yorkers might not care enough to get involved. The hotel was old; the rooms weren’t as big and luxurious as other more modern facilities; and New Yorkers simply weren’t in a position to grasp the importance of such a place since they normally don’t need cheap and easily accessible hotels if they already live here.”

Yet, even among the directly affected, it seems, the dire future of a dingy hotel isn’t enough to prompt any real action. “I looked upon the other people with 2600 to do this and nobody did much of anything,” said Mr. Jones, who has taken it upon himself to spearhead the preservation drive. “I plunked down money to have an actual, official Web site. I manage it. I host it. In the past week, I’ve probably thrown more stuff up on that Web site than when I first started it.”

But why bother with a propaganda campaign at all? Can’t hackers just crack into Vornado’s computers and sabotage the developers’ plans that way?

“Like spamming them to death?” asked Mr. Jones. “Those are destructive means. That’s not what a true hacker is about. We’re not about taking down Vornado. We’re about finding new ways around the system to get Vornado to stop what they’re doing.”

For now, though, the outsiders seem content to play an insider’s game, seeking the support of various boards and agencies. “If they can get a proposition on the books, then we can start taking political action,” the head hacktivist explained. “Everybody else uses politics as leverage. Why not us?”

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Old Oct 23rd, 2007, 02:31 PM
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One advantage of going to an outlet center like Woodbury Common on a holiday weekend is that there are usually extra discounts. Those are likely to be on Friday-Sunday only.


FWIW, I've found that in the past couple of years, so many people go to places like Walmart and all the electronics chains for the crazy Black Friday deals on computers and toys, the outlet centers are a little less crowded that day you might expect.

But, it is still not for the fainthearted...
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Old Oct 23rd, 2007, 03:19 PM
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I'll just add that opentable.com has a list of places open for T'giving meals. It doesn't list every place in NYC that's open, but many and you can book on that website.

Friend of a Farmer is famous for their T'gving meal but it's difficult to get a reservation.
http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...1&tid=35076930
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Old Oct 23rd, 2007, 03:57 PM
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In response to nyer's comment about Woodbury Common, I can almost guarantee you that Woodbury Common will indeed be mobbed over Thanksgiving weekend. It's almost as much a sure thing as death and taxes!
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Old Oct 23rd, 2007, 04:15 PM
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HowardR, like I said, not for the fainthearted, but Woodbury Common will be mobbed ANYTIME from Thanksgiving till Xmas, and for some the extra deals are worth it.

BTW, I have been there on the day after Thanksgiving--have you? It is nuts for sure, but there was more insane traffic at some of the malls with Best Buy.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2007, 05:25 PM
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CANNOT reco strongly enough against staying at the Hotel PA. It is a dump. (There are numerous reports of dirt and vermin.) Even if it weren't, that's not a great area for tourists - being primarily business and somewhat dreary at night. PLEASE try to stay somewhere - anywhere else.

As for the weather, it's a toss up - you may have warm weather in the 50's - or it could be low 40's during the day and freezing at night. However snow (more than a flurry) is extremely unlikely, but you might well get rain. Not much colder than the UK at that time of year - think dressing in layers.

Thanksgiving dinner is a big deal - some places don;t open at all - and the ones that do generally have full multi-course dinners with set seatings (2pm, 4pm etc). Generally prices are not low. For moderate and a little interesting try Fraunce's Tavern downtown - has been serving continuously for hundreds of years - and this is where Washington bade farewell to his troops at the end of the Revolution. Food is fine - and few places are really good on thanksgiving since they have to process so many more people than usual.

You might check out opentable.com to see which places are serving and still have room.
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 05:02 AM
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nyer, yes, we have been there on the day after Thanksgiving.....once, and never again on that day!
Sure, it'll be crowded every day during the holiday period, but certainly more bearable compared to Thanksgiving weekend. The secret is to get there early.
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 05:46 AM
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There aren't really any great places to eat in the Penn Station vicinity: lots of chain fast food, mostly. The exceptions are Koreatown (definitely check it out!), and a smattering of Irish pubs... You'll have better luck in the area immediately to the northeast, such as Ginger Man (www.gingermanpub.com) and Under the Volcano, both on 36th St between Madison and 5th Aves. Another good choice is Brendan's (www.brendansbar.com) - but you're probably not in NYC for food you can get at home...

For breakfast, try the Tick Tock diner on 8th Ave at 34th Sreet, or for better food (though a longer trek), the Cheyenne Diner on 9th Ave at 33rd Street is a classic and worth the detour. Of the fast food variety, if you've never had one before, you might want to check out the Krispy Kreme kiosk inside Penn Station. These donuts are a southern phenomenon, and harder to find in NYC than the ubiquitous Dunkin Donuts.

By Central Park, you might want to check out the local bakery chain Le Pain Quotidien for good food and cosy, relaxed atmosphere, either take-away or sitting at one of their large wooden tables. There's one near Columbus Circle/Lincoln Center.

Check out any of the above - and more - on menupages.com, a terrific resource for menus and user reviews.

Very interesting article about the Hotel Penn. I had no idea it's slated to become a skyscraper "rivaling the size of the Empire State Building"!!!
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 06:05 AM
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Yes, the Hotel Pennsylvania will be redeveloped, but glumbug needn't worry about the Thanksgiving reservation. This isn't going to happen in the next 5 weeks, so Aduchamp's alarmist tone is unfounded. The reservation is safe.

Good luck at Woodbury Common. I went last year on the Sunday after Thanksgiving and had to wait in a traffic jam for 45 minutes before we could even get to the off-ramp. That's just a hint of how busy this place is on Thanksgiving weekend.
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 08:20 AM
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Glumbug-

Although there are always incursions of chain stores, one of the charms of NY is shopping in unique or individually owned stores.

I am sorry I did not mean to sound alarmist but when a mainstream newspaper states that there is scaffolding and that the interior has been stripped, I thought prudence would be helpful.
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 09:11 AM
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For Black Friday, Macy's itself will have doorbusters (fabulous a few hour only deals for those who wish to arrive at the crack of dawn), and since you'll be right there, glumbug, it might be most convenient to take advantage of those and leave Woodbury Common for a less insane midweek day. There will also be more than enough shopping in the city to keep any bargain hunter occupied. Also, by the way it is possible, if complicated, to get to Franklin Mills by public transport from NYC. You would take a NJ transit train to Trenton, New Jersey from Penn Station, then a #127 SEPTA bus from Trenton Station to Philadelphia Park Casino, and then either take a #20 Septa bus to Franklin Mills, or have the casino doorman or guest services get you a cab to the mall (probably less than 2 miles away but not a safe walk due to traffic--and the casino is fun, by the way, but you must be 21 to to gamble, drink, or go on the floor). An even easier option for fabulous mall shopping would be to take a bus from Port Authority to Garden State Plaza in Paramus, NJ. This is a very easy ride, but the place will be INSANE on Black Friday.
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 02:25 PM
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Thank you all so much for all the information!

I’ve checked and am told the reservations still stand. At this stage I don't think I'm going to have the option of swapping hotels I knew the Penn did not have the best reputation but the Edison cancelled on me last minute so this was the best possibility location wise so I'm hoping I can put up with it. I've contacted the hotel and told them I want one of the renovated rooms if that helps but I’m less reserved British I’m good at complaining so will if I need to.

I know its going to be manic over this period so I am tryng to prepare myself. I thought it would be a better idea to do the city shopping on Black Friday and then head to the outlet on the Sunday with maybe Century 21 and South Sea Seaport on the Saturday. I didn’t consider the driving to Woodbury Common, I am of course going with the sales in mind and my brother does drive so if I can convince him to that would be a huge relief and I guess the earlier we go the better it will be on the roads. I know there are early morning offers so it would make sense to get there as early as possible.

As for the meal I’m in the process of booking with open tables and I plan on wrapping up warm but there’s been so much food for thought and info to go on I know its goin be a great trip maye even insane

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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 02:50 PM
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Words of advice about shopping: GO EARLY!
On any weekend, you have to get to Woodbury Commons before noon to get a parking space. On that weekend, I'd shoot for 10-10:30!
As for city shopping, again, the earlier the better....and, if the smaller crowds isn't enough of an incentive, often the best special offers are available early in the day.
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 03:01 PM
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yep I was planning on starting of as early as possible but I'm still trying to pick somewhere to eat, thinking $80 limit (can be up to or less) my brother wants the traditional meal where as I may just prefer a steak but there are so many recommendations it gets confusing............the Rockefeller centre is fully booked and I don't want to be somewhere to far away as in down town or somewhere which is to pub like either, any ideas?????
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 03:10 PM
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I was at the Met Museum today and their elegant Christmas Tree will be up by or shortly after Thanksgiving.
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