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Trip Report on Christmas & New Year in New York

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Jan 14th, 2009, 05:08 PM
  #1
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Trip Report on Christmas & New Year in New York

My wife, my daughter (17yrs) and I did some preparatory work and booked our airfares and accommodation 11 months in advance. We also joined www.playbill.com free of charge, and booked our shows and the Radio City Spectacular when the specials became available. This site gives you daily updates on specials. We also joined SKYPE and invested the minimum AUD$16 to enable us to talk to any landline in Australia for just over 2c per minute. We also used it to make reservations for Christmas Dinner at Rockcenter Café.

Our accommodation was particularly tricky as we did not know where we wanted to stay. On the recommendation of Fodors and Michelin Guide we chose The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Tribeca. In hindsight it was a stroke of genius and one of the few hotels that guarantee a rate that far out.

We arrived at JFK New York at 7.30pm. On the suggestion of this website we took a cab to Tribeca for $45.00 plus tip of $10. We were harassed between collecting our luggage and making it to the cab rank by people trying to ‘help’ with cheaper transfers and less wait times, but the horror stories we had read confirmed we had made the right decision.

The Cosmopolitan Hotel, Tribeca was fantastic. The entrance to the Subway is 25 yards from the hotel lobby. We stayed in room 526 with 2 double beds. We had free Wireless Internet which gave us the facility to talk to our family back home in Cairns on Skype. The hotel was absolutely spotless. The maid service was outstanding. As budget conscious Australians all we were looking for was fresh towels and linen daily. If you are looking for a hotel that provides room service, valet parking and a large bathroom this hotel is not for you. If you are low maintenance are only require the basics such as clean comfortable beds and maid service, this is you.

We stumbled across The Cosmopolitan Café more by accident than planned. We had breakfast there the first morning and had such great food and service it became a daily habit. It is in the hotel complex itself, seats only about 20, but what it lacks in size it makes up for with charm. What we found was that most of the cafes in the tourist areas were overpriced fast food franchises, and it was a pleasure to get back to the Cosmopolitan Café for a good wholesome affordable dinner after a day of sightseeing. After booking the Rockcenter Café for Christmas Dinner, we cancelled and had the most memorable Christmas dinner at the Cosmopolitan Café. If in New York over Christmas, make this a must do.

For $74.00 each we purchased a ‘Citypass’. This gives you entrance into the 6 most famous attractions including The Empire State Building, the 2 hour Circle Line Cruise, Museum of Natural History, Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is valid for 9 days after your first visit. Make your first visit to one of the museums as you will not have to stand in line as long to purchase it.


We did Central Park on Christmas Day and did some value shopping on Boxing Day. I thought the windows in the top stores would be a little more than they were. After experiencing Myer Store windows in Melbourne, I thought the New York’s window displays were a fair bit over rated.

The most frustrating part of our family trip to New York for 10 days over Christmas & New Year was the lack of laundry facilities. We asked around and were advised that Chinatown was best for coin operated laundries. We asked at West Broadway Cleaners in Tribeca about their costs. I was pleasantly surprised to find that their cost was $1.50 per pound. They weighed our laundry bag at 22lb and we paid $33.00 for a very professional service of washing & folding. The cost would have been more for a cab both ways and the coins for both washing & drying. The moral of all this is check out the Dry Cleaners in New York before you try anything else!

We caught a Cab back to Kennedy for a total of $55.00 and arrived back in Cairns grateful for experiencing New York at Christmas.


garryoday is offline  
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Jan 15th, 2009, 03:58 AM
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garroday:

Nice to see your trip report and pleased to hear that The Cosmopolitan Hotel worked well for you and that you were more than happy with the Cosmopolitan Cafe.

I am sorry that you ran into difficulties getting your laundry done during your recent holiday. Perhaps it was not offered close to your hotel but there are certainly
'full service laundry' places in areas beside China Town. NYC is actually one of the best places to get your laundry done for you cheaply.

Never mind it sounds like you worked it out and all had a great time. Thanks for your report.

Sandy

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Jan 15th, 2009, 04:50 AM
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I agree with Sandy. In most other residential areas you will find both dry cleaners and laudromats that charge by the pound.

What shows did you see? Just an fyi, broadwaybox.com is another website that also provides discounts and doesn't require "joining".
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Jan 15th, 2009, 03:39 PM
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My wife and daughter saw Chicago. I saw Spamalot the same night.

I can thoroughly recommend Spamalot.
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Jan 15th, 2009, 03:51 PM
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Alas it's closed along with a number of other long playing shows including Hairspray and Gyspy.
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