Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New York City Tips

This time next week we'll be here! I am so excited. These are all the tips I have collected so far. So many fabulous things to do!!!! Thought you might be interested too. Photos are courtesy of Andrew Mace.
Kate on Clinton said... Two things come to mind quickly: for a beautiful hour with interesting views of Manhattan, Hudson river and New Jersey, the High Line, also see the newly renovated American Wing at Metropolitan Museum of Art. One more, especially for May. If you're feeling adventurous, the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens has an amazing Cherry Blossom festival. This is VERY popular - people get dressed up in all sorts of costumes, there are performers, etc. Timing is key - for the blossoms and entrance lines. I'll share some insider tips if you're interested. Of course the blossoms will be there before and after the festival too.

Karen said... ......You will be staying in a very Happening place! Ruby Foo's - awesome! and right near your place.. and Il Cortile (awesome Italian restaurant in little Italy), which is right near Canal street vendors... the deals!..but you'll need a cab to get there from Times Square..just a few minutes ride. Madam Tussaud's ( museum walking distance from your hotel...really fun! And you're where all the shows are! You'll be able to buy tickets to almost anything! Let me know if you run into the Naked Cowboy, be sure to take pictures, he's a NYC icon. Go to the top of the Rock! The view is awesome...and Take a carriage ride around Central Park and be sure to visit the Central Park Zoo. There are usually lots of artists displaying their work right at the carriage ride entrance to the park.

Sara said... Central Park for sure! It was awesome to see all the people in such a beautiful space in the middle of a huge city!!!

style-for-style said... I love the Guggenheim, and China Town

mfinn said... ..Definitely buy a pass for the "hop on, hop off" tour.. it's really the best way to see the whole city, especially for a first-timer. http://www.newyorksightseeing.com/ The tour covers all of Manhattan and has options for Queens, Brooklyn, etc... and take it in the night as well.. it's a totally different experience!

I saw the Broadway show "Mary Poppins" this past October, and it was one of the best shows I've ever seen. I definitely recommend taking one of these in!

LemonyRenee' said... ...We were last in Manhattan a little over a year ago for the Thanksgiving Day Parade. One of the highlights of our stay was dinner at Lidia Bastianovich's (sp?) restaurant, Becco. Wonderful. And a walkable distance from Times Square. Whatever you do, enjoy!

Moose said... ...Mom did the NYC Marathon last year and her & dad left me with the house sitter, so, I say don't go!!! Mom says have a blast and go get a yummy cupcake in Greenwich Village (get a dozen, since their will be 3 of you) and take that box up to the Top of The Rock and eat eat eat!! The view is out of this world and you may get in trouble for eating up there, but a good memory!!!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said... May is an excellent time to visit ...not too hot and muggy as yet and not as crowded as summer. The "hop On and Off" bus rides are good ..they give you an overview and you can get an idea of places you'd like to visit.
If you want to go to the top of the Empire State Building it might be wise to buy tickets ahead of time as the wait it very long to go up and down and it takes up a whole day. The "Top of the Rock" is a better bet as you can see a lot up there--in fact the second photo in your blog post was taken there!
SI ferry ride is fun and free --just take it round trip back and forth and you'll get to see the NYC harbor and you pass by the Statue of Liberty. Of course you can pay to go on the ferry that passes close to the Statue of Liberty and docks on the island it is on and also Ellis Island, but I strongly advise pre ordering those tickets in advance for pick up at the box office and getting there very early as the boat lines are long. Lower Manhattan area has Ground Zero, Wall Street, lots of little pubs to eat in, narrow little streets. It is a quick ride to Greenwich Village by subway. Your hotel is in a good location to see Times Square, Rockefeller Center, 5th Ave stores, St. Patrick's Cathedral and Central Park and also MoMa (Museum of Modern Art)

Nancy said... There is a wonderful ongoing art installation on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum, on Fifth Ave. The artist is building with bamboo and viewers can tour around and through. I haven't seen it yet, but I can't wait. Also, you might like to visit the Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park (northern tip of Manhattan); The Highline park, which winds its way on former elevated train tracks goes through Chelsea (western Manhattan, downtown). Also South Street (tall ships galore, east side of lower Manhattan). Museum of Natural History and Central Park, of course. Have a grand time!
susanna said... New York, New York!!! Here are my NYC suggestions:

1) Check out John Derian's shop...www.johnderian.com. It's my favourite shop in the city.

2) Each at Cafe Habana at 17 Prince Street (Nolita). Great Cuban food at great prices.

3)If you've never been to New York, it's worth taking a double decker bus tour on the first day. You'll get a good idea of which neighborhoods to explore later. Plus, you can hop on and off the buses throughout the day.

4) Catch the Staten Island ferry from the southern tip of Manhattan to Staten Island. You'll get a great FREE view of the Statue of Liberty from the decks.

5) Check out b&h photovideo. It's a mecca for photographers.

Oh yes... There's a rooftop beer/wine/sangria bar at the Met. Go around dusk and you'll see New York light up around you. It's so pretty!

Suzie Ridler
Reg went to a werewolf pub when he was there plus I would totally go to the Jon Stewart show but that's me

Pat Meagher Pineau
Letterman is really hard to get a ticket. My brother went and had to get his ticket one year before!! But you can go on line to the show's website and request one. We went to Regis and Kelly and got tickets that way. Do one of the bus tours, they tell you really interesting facts about the city, and a great way to see it. And the MET is a must see. I love New York. You will have a great time. Don't forget Broadway!

Helena Soukup
The MOMA and a Broadway show. Ooh, and personally I'd go to Tender Buttons. It's an incredible 'old' button store with the most amazing ambience and gorgeous buttons too!

Kelly Gibbons
Greenwich Village...St. Mark's place...by NYU. Quiet, different vibe...and you never know who you might see!

Anne Chisholm
I love New York. Just walk and enjoy. If you like bargain shopping go to Century 21 and Canal Street. Window shop in Soho and Greenwich Village. Get tickets to Broadway shows at the last minute booth in Times Square. Walk Central Park from one end to the other.

Jessica Moreau-Berry
OH! I have so may places for you... I don't know where to start!! OH!! Here is one must in Soho. http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-market-nyc-new-york-2
Just look for the big white tent!

Gillian da Silva
Greenwich's West Village!!! And SoHo!!!!
www.OnceUponATart.com....best sandwiches!
You should go to the Magnolia Bakery in the West Village.
And Tara took me to a cool gallery in Midtown a winter ago...the American Folk Art Museum (beside MOMA) All over the city is a food chain called PAX, delicious wholesome fast food. Organic and yummy.xoxo

Donna- For city viewing I like one of the double decker tour bus companies that offer you "get-on-get-off" service for photographing city scenes, tall buildings, neighborhood charm. I also like The Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. http://www.metmuseum.org/cloisters/ It is a total sensory experience from the medieval art and architectural pieces to the building to the Gregorian chant recordings that seem to ooze from the walls.

LeendaDll- I think Cirque's newest-newest tour, Ovo, is going to be in NY in May.
You might considering joining GoldStar Events. which offers great discounts on local events. I know they offer shows in NY and you can, closer to the time you're going, search for events on the specific days you'll be there. I did that in SF and scored a 5-hour walking tour for less than 1/2 price... but they have lots of shows, concerts, spas, sporting evenings... you literally never know what you'll find.
Nancyj-When myself and two girlfriends visited NY we were one block from the Empire State Building. Definitely take the double bus tour and of course sit on top but keep your head down if you are sitting on the right side of the bus as they take corners sharp and before you know it your face is in a tree. If you want to be taking pictures, sit on the left side. On the tour, you can get on and off the bus and one spot is where they sell the knockoffs for purses, etc. The tour guide will tell you all about it. Also, if you have time, take the tour again in the night. A completely different experience! Maceys was an experience too!! A floor for purses, a floor for shoes, a floor for just about everything! We didn't get to Bloomingdales. DON'T bother with the carriage ride in Central Park. It's a complete ripoff! You only get to go a little way in and then you're back out again. I thought they would take us through at least half of the Park! Very disappointing.

MUST go to Magnolia Bakery on the Upper East Side (uptown from Lincoln Centre) for the best cupcakes EVER! I suggest the red velvet, only because they are the REAL red velvet that I have yet to see from any bakery in Canada.
Chinatown will be an amazing experience whether you're there for shopping, people watching, wanting to get shoved in a small room to buy counterfiet Coach or Louis Vuitton (or a van, like my bestie and I did last time we went).
Get a NY bagel! Make sure its an independently owned shop and not a big American chain. I had the best bagels just north of Broadway and 95th on the upper west side. I believe it was called Lenny's. Its a bit uptown from where you are staying, but I'm sure in that area there are a whole bunch of places to get good eats too. Near Times Square though, everything is jacked up expensive so it might not hurt to travel either!
Central Park is definitely a must. I could probably go to NYC for a week and spend every single day there. I absolutely love it.

artyem- NYC is the most awesome place. I love that city. I am so far away now that we live in Colorado.and do I have advice!?
Hell yeah:
best news weekly with events and things to do:
awesome walking tours - a MUST:
Use this site to find the best subway/bus route from anywhere to anywhere:
A daily list of free and cheap things to do:

and riding the bus is better than the subway - you see more.

and one last MUST go to museum:
http://www.rmanyc.org/ great affordable cafe, amazing Buddhist art, and any concert or movie they have is always very worth it but reserve in advance, they sell out.

meadowood- Put on your walking shoes and walk! That's what we did from our teeny tiny "hotel" room on the upper West Side all the way down to Battery Park.
Get a subway pass and use it! THE best way to get around in the city.
Check out any of the diners on the corners, usually named after whatever street corner they happen to reside on. (like West 67th Diner sorta thing) Firstly, cheap? OMG! And the menu has just about everything! One that we went to felt like it was right out of The Sopranos. We sat in a booth for two at the back and all the waiters (all male) were standing at the back watching for people coming in. And they had the best accents and were kibitzing back and forth. A real taste of NYC!
We were only in the city for a weekend so we didn't go to any museums simply because we wanted to be outside ... the apple & cherry trees were out in Central Park ... we did go see a Broadway show however - Spamalot. Unfortunately for us the Times Square TKTS booth wasn't open while we were there so the first day we went to the box office and asked for the cheapest tickets, and we got in for $35. each. Not bad.

I would say go to Keen's Steakhouse Its the most amazing restaurant, been open in Manhattan since 1885 and in 1905 an actress challenged the fact they only let men in and made it open to both genders.
The Metropolitan Museam of Art is amazing, you could spends weeks in there though so I would do a bit of an investigate first to figure out which sections might interest you most.
The Strand Bookshop on Broadway is a fabulous bookstore full of remained stock and is possibly one of the largest bookshops in the world.
For a great deli try Zabars which is a few blocks from the Natural History museum and for great candy go to Economy Candy on the lower East side

Also......any tips on getting from La Guardia to Midtown? How much is bus? taxi?
We want to see Wicked, should I get tickets at the theatre or book from here now?


Jen Worden said...

Shelagh,we did the van thang and I think it cost in the region of $30. +tip? Good advice here: http://www.frommers.com/destinations/newyorkcity/0021020193.html

The TKTS booth will get you best price but you might not get the show you want. Personally, I'd head to the ticket booth for Wicked as soon as you get there. Tell'em you've come all the way from Nova Scotia and you really REALLY want to see the show and is there anything they can do for you. That's what we did and got a fairly reduced price.

Enjoy your trip. NYC rocks!!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Jen's advice is very good! Does your hotel offer shuttle bus pick up form La Guardia? If you take a cab make sure it is a licenced NYC yellow cab!

Go to this link for airport tansportation info:

The TKTS booth web site:

Wicked wasn't being offered last week. We loved "Billy Elliot" --that was one on sale.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

PS: I love all the hints and tips you got Shelagh. Just be aware Keens is VERY expensive. Did you go to your library or book shop and buy a tour book about NYC? That's what I do and I read it on the plane and highlight or make a list want I want to do. The Met is across the street from a portion of Central Park so you can pop into both. Go to the Central park web site and download a map so you can see the places of interest in it that you want to see.

If you like boat rides and want to take one around a portion of Manhattan that has a commentary about all you are seeing look at the Circle Line web site. It is a relaxing way to see the sights and you go near the statue of Liberty and under the bridges, etc, NYC looks so cool from the harbor. There are other boat rides you can pay to take at South Street Seaport in lower Manhattan that will take you shorter distances. Lots of places to eat in seaport too.

The cherry trees now don't have blooms in the Brooklyn Botanic Park but there is always something blooming there. The Japanese garden is beautiful ( look at my blog as I did many posts about the BBG)

It is har to see and do everything so going into Brooklyn may be hard to do, Just prioritize and have fun! I can't wait to see your photos when you get back!

Safe travels!

nycstylelittlecannoli said...

please feel free to check out my blog about NYC and some of the great places to check out. you can never go wrong and it is the city that never sleeps!!

Ron said...
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