Help with NYC

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by Maplerock, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    Hi! We're going to be passing through NYC (1st time visitors) for three days (2 nights) and want to see the city. If we also wanted to see the USMMC on my third day, where would be a good place to stay to do both?

    Knowing that we'd like to see some of the usual touristy stuff (Statue of Liberty, Ground Zero, Empire State Bldg, etc. Where should we stay in a budget hotel?

    Is parking in NYC do-able or should we subway?

    If any experts could suggest a possible itinerary it would be welcome. Wish we had more time but we don't.

    Arrive NYC 1PM Sunday... leave after King's Point Tour Tuesday night. So basically we have 1/2 day Sunday, All day Monday, and a couple of hours on Long Island after the tour Tuesday.

    THANKS!
     
  2. HeWantsTheBFE

    HeWantsTheBFE USAFA Class of 2017

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    I love close enough to NYC to take the Metro-North in... so I can't help with hotels. I would recommend visiting the Intrepid Sea/Air/Space Museum on the West Side, north of Chelsea. Also, http://www.smacnyc.com/ would be a great place to stop for lunch.
     
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Budget hotel and NYC do not go in the same sentence. Best bet is to go a little north or east and take the train in, IMO. Tarrytown has some decent hotels and round trip train fare to Grand Central is $18-$24 depending on time of day. You'll want to see Grand Central anyway, at least for a quick peak. From there take subway to see your sites.
     
  4. kdbax

    kdbax Member

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    I live two hours north of NYC and travel into the city regularly - not to mention our DS is a 1/C and has been doing this run for 4 years - so I guess I qualify as a local.:redface:

    How are you getting to NYC? NYC is not car-friendly. Do not plan on staying in NYC with a car. If you're using public transportation (air, train) for your visit, you might want to go to one of the travel sites like Priceline to see what you can get in Manhattan. Depending on when you visit (not vacation weeks or high season), you can get some deals. If you have a car, as kinnem said stay outside the city. You might think of staying in Nassau County closer to Kings Point; not cheap, but less expensive than Manhattan and close to where you want to be. You can take the Long Island Railroad into Penn Station in Manhattan for touring - easy connections to the subway in Penn Station. (You will need to use Penn Station to travel to KP if you want to use public transportation to get to the Academy; while there are plans to have the Long Island Railroad go into Grand Central, those plans are far in the future. However, I agree with kinnem that Grand Central is well worth a visit.:thumb:)

    As for sites to see: Right now both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are closed to tours, thanks to Hurricane Sandy, with no projected date of reopening. If you'd like to take a harbor tour to pass by, I'd recommend going down to the Battery and taking a Staten Island Ferry trip for a harbor view. The subway runs from Penn Station to Lower Manhattan (right now the South Ferry subway station is closed, again thanks to Hurricane Sandy, but there are other stations close by) and the ferry is free.

    Ground Zero: You need to reserve a tour in advance. It sells out. Please look at various sites to reserve tickets - just google "World Trade Center Tours." This might be a good option for a Monday visit.

    Empire State Building: Again, you can buy tickets in advance. The times aren't set in stone. The site is http://www.esbnyc.com/.

    Aside from that - geez, I've lived within 2 hours of NYC all my life and I can't say I've even scratched the surface. Never been to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (my kids have). What are your interests, aside from what you've mentioned? Restaurants you'd like to try? (Last month I visited a really good Turkish restaurant right by Times Square - Dervish - that had a really good lunch special.) If you can give me some ideas of what you'd like to do, I'd be happy to try to put together some ideas for you.:smile:
     
  5. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    Thanks to all...

    KDBAX- I am indeed driving in. So a place where we could park and then ride public transportation into the city would be best.

    It is just me and my 2018 hopeful son traveling, so we'd like to find a fun place or two to eat.

    So the S.L. and Ellis Island are out, and Ground Zero & E.S.B. are ticketed tours. Any other suggestions for unsavvy out of towners?
     
  6. KP2013dramamama

    KP2013dramamama Member

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    Depending upon the time you arrive in Manhattan on Sunday, take in a Broadway show or go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In Times Square there are budget ticket sales. Check the MMA website for what you'd like to see before going. If the weather is great, go to Central Park, walk around the theater district and check out FAO Schwartz...cool toy store. Have fun!
     
  7. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Don't know what you mean by fun places to eat but you might try Chinatown or Little Italy... or better, one for lunch and the other for supper.
     
  8. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    Kind of surprised no one suggested the South Street Seaport Museum. . .
     
  9. EDPKP81

    EDPKP81 Member

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    If you stay on Long Island near the Academy (see separate thread on hotel suggestions), you can take the LIRR into NYC and then subway to wherever you want to go.
     
  10. kdbax

    kdbax Member

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    Another possibility with limited time in the city is one of the hop-on, hop-off bus tours. Gray Line offers these: http://www.newyorksightseeing.com/. They're easy to do right from Times Square.

    Since you're driving, I would recommend staying on Long Island and taking the train into the city. The Port Washington line (closest to Kings Point) runs about every 1/2 hour (more frequently during rush hour).
     
  11. mulan50

    mulan50 Member

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    Maple Rock - How exciting your 1st trip to NYC! So you have really only 1 1/2 days in NYC, right? All depends on what you want to see. The city never sleeps. Go online, you can get some good deals on hotels midtown (34th- 48th streets). You can also google in for discount parking coupons. If you get a hotel midtown on Sunday, traffic is not too bad and hotel may offer free parking. If you are up for walking, you could spend rest of day sightseeing. Empire State building is on 34th Street, so is Macy's. A block over and down is Madison Square Garden. Times Square is on 42nd Street, ABC studio and there are places you can sit, traffic is blocked there. 42nd Street is also home to Mme. Toussards Wax Museum and all the Broadway shows. Really neat to see at night with all the lights on. Rockerfeller Center is another place to walk by, NBC studio is there and, you can watch the ice skaters and St. Patrick's is across the street. If you are game and want to walk, and depending on weather, about 20 blocks to see all. The buildings do cut down on windchill somewhat. Monday you could drive downtown. We do it all the time. Chinatown is a fun place to visit and they are in middle of 2 week celebration for New Years. Depending on how game you are you could eat in one of strictly Chinese restaurants, we do all time or there are more Americanized ones. Little Italy borders for a few blocks on Chinatown. Restaurants offer outdoor dining too and menus are always posted on sidewalks so you don't have sticker shock when bill arrives. Same thing here, if you want to walk, about 15 blocks away is Ground Zero. If you want to wait , they do have a line where you can get tickets in for the day. The NYC Courthouse and Federal Buildings are there as is Wall Street. We usually park in Chinatown but it is a walk. You could also go to the Intrepid Air & Sea Museum but it is on the waterfront and may be cold. The shuttle is now housed there. Since the Intrepid is on docks, there is really nothing else in vicinity there. Or you could stay uptown around 59th Street and see Central Park, . On one side 5th Avenue, Plaza Hotel, Trump Towers and lots of exclusive shopping. On other side Central Park West about 20 blocks up is Museum of Natural History and Planetarium. You could spend days there and not see everything. Have fun!
     
  12. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    I'll take the easiest one first:

    "Is parking in NYC do-able or should we subway?"

    Parking while "do-able" is exceptionally expensive. Further changing garages and driving from place to place in Manhattan is even more expesive. Expect to pay ~$40.00/day to park a car anywhere around or within convienience of the sights and attractions you mention. By far the cheapest - and fastest way - around Manhattan is indeed the subway. That's why even when he was a relatively anonymous billionare before he became Mayor Michael Bloomberg often took the subway and still swears by it. Tht said, if you are intimidated by the subway and it can be so there are always Yellow Cabs.

    As for "budget hotels" there are some and I always believe the best way to find those are "Hotels.com". That said even budget hotels for the one of the two nights you mention - Monday will not likely be cheap. So my advice is this:

    1) If you decide to NOT rent a car at all then I'd stay in Manhattan on Sunday night and place my bags with the Bellman at that hotel on Monday morning after breakfast. That leaves you in Manhattan for Sunday afternoon and most of Monday without any big expense for parking, etc and local transportation. I'd do subways - if you stay in Midtown start with the Empire State Building - Sunday afternoon is usually a good time to do ESB as the lines aren't long, even on nicer days on Sunday. If you are into that sort of thing - Saint Patrick's Cathedral - after the ESB is nearby an Masses, etc. will be over. If you are a baseball freak then I suggest lunch across the street fromESB on the south side of 31st street at "Foley's" ask the guy at the elevators or one of the likely several NYPD beat cops in the Cushman Carts outside of ESB and they'll point the way. It's a truly traditional NYC Irish Taveran where lots, and lots of sportswriters have and still hang out that is filled with Mets, Yankeen and other assorted Sports Illustrated Memorabillia. The shepard's pie and/or the corned beef and cabbage are the best and very reasonably priced so a good way to fill up for the rest of your day.

    As I said, if you are adventorous use Hotels.com but read the recent reviews before picking a hotel - your "bargain room" will be very small in Manhattan so take that into account getting more to two in a room their bargain listings are always "sporty at best." If you are a Marriott or Hilton person, then I'd go with either a Courtyard or Hampton Inn Property in Midtown and "bite the bullet" - you'll be able to get a room with two full size beds and even be able to squeeze in a rollaway for a fourth person/second child if you need to and that might be cheaper and will of course be "less adventurous for you." It's the way I'd go but it could be as much as 50-70/more for that first night - but as I said, you'll fit in the room for sure, and it will definately be clean and safe. These hotels I'm talking about are generall between 24th Street and 40th street. Above 40th you are in the Times Square area until you get east of 5th avenue and then you are on the "West Side" which usually is a bit higher priced. Below 24th and down to lower Manhattan - I would not recommend for a family I did not know, especially between 5th and 11th Streets - It's Chelsea and it's safe but the area is very "young and hip" email me if you want more details and there's really nothing in the way of tourist attractions there, unless you want to go to the Chelsea Hotel and see where Andy Wahrol and Sid Vicious died... Though if you are looking fo a HUGE lobster - porteguese style there are two most excellent places on 24th street for that.

    You may find something downtown but it too will likely be higher priced.

    After the ESB heading south one can easily take the Subway down to the new Freedom Tower and Ground Zero memorial sites. From there depending on when you g and whether it's Monday or Sunday you may need to pay special attention to the subway advisories as I'm pretty sure there is still ongoing recovery efforts from hurricane Sandy damage to the 1 and R lines in lower Manhattan which are the easiest ways to get to Battery Park where you get the ferry to the Statue of Liberty.

    All that is doable if you ae organized and you don't have small children with you in the day - day and half you mention. There's other advice I can give you but it's easiest to answer specific questions if you PM me - basically tink of Manhattan of 26 square miles where in each square mile (~10 square blocks) you can find alsmost as much variety as you'll find in many other entire cites with the exception of Chicago - not a bigot about it - trust me while I have lived in NYC and Manhattan twice in my life it's not where I'd choose to live at this stage of it or likely for the rest of it either. Great place to visit though.

    From the sound of your post it sounds like your plan is for you to accompany your child on their vist most of the day or at least half of it on Tuesday. If that's the case you may not need or want a car then either - if you do, my suggestion is that one of you or all of you cab back out of Manhattan and pick up the car at LGA if you are flying in on Sunday - on Monday afternoon. If you are choosing to drive up, I'd check suggest trying to see if you can stay at a loca hotel in Great Neck (eitehr the ANdrew or the Inn at Great Neck on Monday evenin, and see if you can pay to keep your car in their garage from your arrival at Sunday at ~ noon through checking out of that hotel on Tuesday.)

    Not sure if this is possible if you don't stay there Sunday night but worth a try, if not and you are driving take parking fees into account for just parking your car and leaving it set from Sunday throuh Monday afternoon at your Manhattan Hotel - most have some sort of valet service and the car is usually at a garage within a block or so of the hotel so only takes 1/2 hour or so from requesting it till they bring it round to you. Unless you are a seasoned NYC driver, I do NOT recommend driving around Manhattan or really around and in the five boroughs except to get through them to Great Neck. I'm not an alarmist but unless you live in the so called "Bos-Wash" corrider, traffic will be significantly more than you are used to and can easily put you in a very foul mood - foul enough to carry over and ruin an otherwise excellent visit.

    If you do have things you want to do on Long Island while you DS/DD is on their visit Tuesday or you just want to stay out of their hair, depending on what you are looking or, there are several nice Arboretums and other such places to visit in Nassau County not far from USMMA.

    Sorry for the ramble but I expect with the coming of spring and some few remaining 2017 folks trying to make final decisions as well as 2018 PC's starting their quest, this topic will be on more than just your minds and revisiting/updating it comes up from time to time - that's why there's a sticky on it but that gets dated, etc.

    Best of luck to you all - Acta Non Verba - Jasperdog!
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  13. WisconsinMMAMama2015

    WisconsinMMAMama2015 Member

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    I agree with kdbax! We had never been to NYC prior to parents weekend two years ago. We stayed in a hotel on LI right off of the LIRR. Took the train into the city, then walked & used the subway. We took the double-decker bus tour. We paid for the 48 hour package which also included a night tour. It was AWESOME for us first-timers - 18 yr. old son and friend included! There are multiple different loops to choose from, you can hop on and off wherever you want throughout the city. We even used it as transportation to go between the different areas of the city. The night tour was incredible! We saw a little bit of everything and then decided where we wanted to go on foot. The tour guides are able to recommend local fun places to eat and will stop the bus to let you off. We liked it so much that we are going to do it again! :thumb:
     
  14. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    c:

    I love the Seaport Museum but it's not the easiest place to get to and on cold, windy spring days not all that fun, except for "salts" like us. Given limited time if I were looking to do "typical sights" I'd go with the other suggestions myself - probably especially the hop on - hop off bust pass as it'd likely save them 40-50 for Monday on cab fare.

    Maplerock: As for interesting places for you and your PC to eat just let the folks on this forum know what sort of food you want and whether you'd be looking for that in/around Manhattan or out by Great Neck any the plethoria of suggestions will ensue. Because of the wide variety of ethnic heritages, etc. around NYC the possibilities are pretty much limitless.
     
  15. Lynpar

    Lynpar Member

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    What is the name of the resturant with the singing waitstaff? They pass the tip jar for a special offering that will go to another acting, singing or dance lesson for a staff member. The food is decent and the portions huge but it is very entertaining.
     
  16. Lynpar

    Lynpar Member

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    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  17. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    Well, that goes back to my comments in that other thread. I make a lousy tourist. Just ask my ex. . . . "What do you mean you don't want to check out the engine room on this Liberty Ship?"
     
  18. Matthewmillr94

    Matthewmillr94 Member

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    I live on Long island bout 30 minutes from USMMA and 40 - 50 minutes from lower Manhattan. My favorite parts of Manhattan are around Chinatown (around canal street, bowery, Mott street is a must - try bubble tea and some of the chinese bakeries, they're both delicious Wo Hop restaurant on Mott is world famous, as is Dragonland bakery and Tai Pan Bakery on Canal). If you're near southern manhattan and Chinatown, then Battery Park is also a lot of fun. You can get a fantastic view of the Statue of Liberty from the Staten island Ferry, which leaves out of Battery Park. I think tours of the statue of liberty are closed right now because of damage from hurricane Sandy. From Southern Manhattan, you could take a subway up to Central Park (subways are cheap, and its a very long walk) which will be really, really nice in a couple months, but it is still pretty cool right now. From central park its not too far of a walk to Times Square, which is nice to walk through but the stores are extremely expensive.

    Staying in Manhattan is always expensive. Hotels here on Long Island are also pretty expensive, but significantly cheaper.

    Best of luck to you! I hope you have a nice trip. USMMA is a great visit. I don't think that any of the pictures online to it justice. It's surrounded by a pretty cute town that I've never walked through, but i imagine would be fun to explore.
     
  19. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    Wow! What a caring bunch of folks!

    Thanks to all that have responded. Wonderful information. I'm a type A person... and it sounds like driving and parking in NYC will probably be bad for my blood pressure.

    We are driving in from Indiana, so I'll have a car, and parking will be a big issue... since I'm a tightwad too.

    It sounds like it might be best to stay outside the city and mass transit in to town. Would there be a lot available at a less than exorbitant price on Sunday afternoon/evening? If so we (just me & my son) could do some sightseeing then, and go to the hotel afterward... riding the train and or subway in on Monday.

    Again, THANK YOU ALL! Such a warm and helpful group!
     
  20. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    There are budget hotels in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens which are comparatively inexpensive. You might even find free street parking. Just make sure they are within walking distance of subway stations (and don't leave anything valuable in sight). You might even be able to get a deal by bidding on a service like Priceline, especially if you sign on for two nights. The advantage of this area is that the trip to midtown Manhattan is quick and cheap (using the subway). Also, you would not have to cross any bridges or tunnels on your way to KP on Tuesday morning.

    Traffic on Sundays in Manhattan is generally not horrible (except Chinatown). I don;t know which route you are taking into New York, but if is a northern route and you are arriving relatively early in the day you might find it interesting to come in on the George Washington Bridge, make your way over to Broadway and drive south to the bottom of Manhattan, passing through an amazing variety of vibrant neighborhoods. You could then work your way north and cross to LIC and your hotel, chill, then head to manhattan.

    Trying to see New York in a day and a half is like the old Woody Allen joke about the speedreadig course he once took. The final exam was to read War and Peace (1,400 pages) in an hour and write a book report....It was about Russia.

    Hope you have a great trip
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013

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