Trip Report- NYC

Dec 8th, 2006, 05:56 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,559
Trip Report- NYC

Thanks for the tips I received from Fodorites! I had a fantastic trip, traveled alone tho I met up with various friends who live there or happened to be visiting at the same time. I really love going to NYC alone and dashing about unencumbered. December is the BEST!

Hotel: Marriott Courtyard on 40th and Broadway. Great location, fantastic view of the ESB from my 28th floor it were a glorious framed picture! 4 nights FREE using 95K Marriot points (this hotel is $500 a night during December!) Very clean, stylish, comfy bed, good service, all around great.

Car service: Carmel to and from JFK. They are the best!

Getting Around: I bought a $24 7-day Metro pass and used it at least 30 times.
I like riding the buses when I am tired so I can rest and sightsee at the same time. Also did quite a bit of subway navigation...thanks to whoever told me to ride the 7 train to Queensborough Bridge, I liked the view of NYC
skyline at night.

Holiday stuff- There is no places as wonderful as NYC in December! Saw all the department store windows, Macy's windows were my favorites this year. WOW, what a noisy dislay it is!

Celeb sightings: Bill Murray on my flight, he was Mr Chit-Chat with everybody! Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore on Mercer St (movie shoot.)

Shows: Radio City (always eat that up!) Spamalot (loved it!), Drowsy Chaperone (charming.)

Churches: St Patrick's (a mob scene, people were talking on their cell phones in there, I was astounded!) and St John the Divine (impressive, gargantuan, like being in a European cathedral.)

Several meals out: Ocean Grill on Columbus on the UWS, clubby atmosphere, good food. The Cafe Figaro in Greenwich, funky and fun.
Mostly I picked up delicious "fast food" at Pax and Europa.

NY Botantical gardens: Went with a friend who writes a garden column. A very comedic series of errors transpired while trying to navigate on public transport. (Train stalled, our station was closed, twice we got on the wrong buses and had an up close and personal tour of the Bronx. We went back to
Midtown in a gypsy cab which was the most luxurious ride I have ever had!)

Museums: Guggenheim (wish I had re-visited the MOMA instead.) Natural History- the Gold exhibit was great.

I walked for miles (one day I hoofed it from Brooklyn Heights to my hotel on 40th, the maid was flabbergasted when I told her!) I came upon Union Square right after a triple stabbing, at first I thought it were a Law and Order shoot but it was the real thing!)

I went to lots of offbeat places around NYU with a friend who is a student there.

Top of the Rock: I am SO GLAD I read several glowing reports about this---the nighttime view was thrilling and hypnotizing. Not crowded like the ESB; it is a magical place.

Loved every minute of this trip. I did absolutely no shopping (which I loathe.) I may be the only person who ever came home from NY empty handed.


vivi is offline  
Dec 8th, 2006, 06:09 PM
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2 more things:

The weather: Chilly, crystal clear, not a drop of rain. SOOOO nice to go walking in winter and not step in slush!

JFK: I flew to LAX from JFK yesterday.
traffic from midtown to JFK was very light. Then I was the ONLY person in the American Airlines terminal at 1PM for a 2:20PM flight... there were about 5 agents vying to wait on me, it was eerie. I was also the only person in the TSA line! From curb to check-in, through security, and to my gate took about 5 minutes. I am sure this was some crazy aberration!

vivi is offline  
Dec 8th, 2006, 07:15 PM
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Vivi. . . So the views from the Top of the Rock at night were worth it? Other posters told another person to skip it at night b/c you wouldn't see anything. . . After reading your post, thinking maybe we can do that on Sunday night of our visit after dinner and free up some time on Monday.

(As you know, I'm over planning AND trying to make time for shopping!)

Scary about Union Square. . . maybe we'll be crossing that one off our list. LOL!

Of all the windows, you liked Macy's best? Worth just seeing that one??

Glad that you had a great time!

kellbell is offline  
Dec 8th, 2006, 07:22 PM
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Hi Vivi-
I live in NYC and your report got me excited!!! I have to get out more often. I work at home and a lot of times I get stuck working and/or in the neighborhood, but I will venture out and do more in the city even though I live here. Glad you had a blast and thanks for the report.
Abby43 is offline  
Dec 8th, 2006, 07:40 PM
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The Union Square stabbing was fleeting and there were scads of cops there instantly. I am sure it's not a common occurence so don't even worry about it.

I thought the Top of the Rock at night was gorgeous, a gabillion twinkling lights on a clear night, very peaceful after a hectic day. Part of it is completely indoors, nice & warm with padded benches to sit on. I must have been very lucky because there were hardly any visitors when I was it gets closer to Christmas it will probably get crazier. I am sure that some people prefer the daytime views...

The Macy's windows were the most glorious to me...the whole atmosphere is unforgetable especially at night when the Empire State Building is all lit up. Lord and Taylor's windows were very charming, almost delicate when compared to Macy's.

Hopefully you will pass by Saks or Cartier when their storefronts light up with music and animation (about every 10-15 minutes.) Tiffany and Ralph Lauren also look beautiful at night. Really, the whole place is holiday excess at its finest, LOL.
vivi is offline  
Dec 9th, 2006, 05:32 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Three comments:
1. It's not being fair to Cafe Europa to call it "fast food." Actually, you get a very good lunch at one of its sites for under $10.
2. Don't let your experience at Union Square deter others from going there. It's generally a very safe area. Believe me, it's hardly normal for a triple murder to occur there....or at any other tourist area in Manhattan, for that matter!
3. Make sure you dress warmly before going to the Top of the Rock. The views are great, but it's cold, very cold up there this time of the year.
HowardR is offline  
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