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Chi Town Sox
First time going to NYC other than a half day stop when I was young (first time since I've been 21), any recommendations on where to stay (and how to stay at a relatively decent price, which I know is not easy), food, bars, which sites are worth it, which are not, etc. We will be flying into Newark, is the train the easiest way to get to Manhattan. I usually pull Hotwire a few days before hand but does anyone else have any secrets?
Balta1701
In a few months I might well be making a similar thread myself, so Ill also appreciate those tips.
southsider2k5
I'll be there in two weeks.
Steve9347
I was also planning on making a similar thread, as the wife and I will be staying in Times Square at the end of March for a quick weekend to check the city out... any recommendations are welcome.
Balta1701
So basically the 4 of us should update as we go and whoever is the last of us will wind up being the lucky one who gets all the knowledge?
southsider2k5
Mine is a worktrip with hotel and airfare paid for, so I won't be much help in that aspect.
NorthSideSox72
I had a couple consulting gigs in NYC a few years ago, I was there 4 or 5 days a week most weeks for like 6 months.

First, think of NYC as multiple cities. Manhattan is Manhattan, Brooklyn is very different, etc. Most people think of NYC as Manhattan.

That being the case, there is really nowhere inexpensive to stay in Manhattan. I was staying in nice but not super-nice hotels, like the Hilton in Midtown, etc. Depending on time of year, the rate was $400 to $600 a night. You can go a level down, to like a Hampton Inn type place, and do just fine, but still it will cost you $350-$400 a night probably. Just be ready for that.

Food is also expensive, even the simple stuff.

If you are comfortable using a combination of subway and cab to get around, then don't stay in Midtown or Times Square. You can stay in, for example, the Battery, down near the financial district. Less going on, but cheaper stays. And you can still get anywhere on the island pretty quickly via taxi or subway. Chelsea is a nice compromise, a little more going on, a little cheaper than the big spots.

Some of the best places I ate were not the chain places, or the renowned ones, but the local pubs and eateries found on every block of Manhattan. Check Trip Advisor or the like, and find local places near your hotel or the sights you will be seeing. Lots of good places that are only moderately expensive (as opposed to stupidly expensive).

And if you have time, spend an evening over in Brooklyn. Easy train ride or cab or shuttle boat trip, less expensive everything, and IMO, better bars and restaurants unless you are made of money. Less touristy as well.

The good news in, there is one thing that is cheaper in NYC than Chicago - taxi rides. I have no idea why, but they are.
Balta1701
If one wants to spend 2-3 days covering the touristy things on the Manhattan list, is it plausible to stay outside the city, perhaps on the Jersey side, and then commute in?
DrunkBomber
Happy hour=awesome
Go to Chinatown and try to buy a baby tiger
southsider2k5
QUOTE (NorthSideSox72 @ Feb 28, 2012 -> 12:40 PM) *
I had a couple consulting gigs in NYC a few years ago, I was there 4 or 5 days a week most weeks for like 6 months.

First, think of NYC as multiple cities. Manhattan is Manhattan, Brooklyn is very different, etc. Most people think of NYC as Manhattan.

That being the case, there is really nowhere inexpensive to stay in Manhattan. I was staying in nice but not super-nice hotels, like the Hilton in Midtown, etc. Depending on time of year, the rate was $400 to $600 a night. You can go a level down, to like a Hampton Inn type place, and do just fine, but still it will cost you $350-$400 a night probably. Just be ready for that.

Food is also expensive, even the simple stuff.

If you are comfortable using a combination of subway and cab to get around, then don't stay in Midtown or Times Square. You can stay in, for example, the Battery, down near the financial district. Less going on, but cheaper stays. And you can still get anywhere on the island pretty quickly via taxi or subway. Chelsea is a nice compromise, a little more going on, a little cheaper than the big spots.

Some of the best places I ate were not the chain places, or the renowned ones, but the local pubs and eateries found on every block of Manhattan. Check Trip Advisor or the like, and find local places near your hotel or the sights you will be seeing. Lots of good places that are only moderately expensive (as opposed to stupidly expensive).

And if you have time, spend an evening over in Brooklyn. Easy train ride or cab or shuttle boat trip, less expensive everything, and IMO, better bars and restaurants unless you are made of money. Less touristy as well.

The good news in, there is one thing that is cheaper in NYC than Chicago - taxi rides. I have no idea why, but they are.


When I was looking the difference between midtown and wall street was $100 a night.
NorthSideSox72
QUOTE (Balta1701 @ Feb 28, 2012 -> 12:42 PM) *
If one wants to spend 2-3 days covering the touristy things on the Manhattan list, is it plausible to stay outside the city, perhaps on the Jersey side, and then commute in?

Sure you can. I've never stayed in NJ, but I have flown in there and took the train or a cab into Manhattan. And I'd have to think hotels are cheaper.
Steve9347
Our two days are pretty planned out already. We have our passes reserved for the 9/11 memorial, tickets reserved for The Comedy Cellar, a class booked at Barry's Bootcamp, and reservations at Candle79 (vegan), Butter (Alex Guarnaschelli), and The Lamb's Club (Geoff Zacarian), and a whole lot of other ideas in between.

I cannot wait.
NorthSideSox72
QUOTE (southsider2k5 @ Feb 28, 2012 -> 12:46 PM) *
When I was looking the difference between midtown and wall street was $100 a night.

Yeah, as I said later in that post, you can stay in the financial district area for cheaper, you just can't as easily crawl home from the bars. Short cab ride, no biggie.

If you do stay down there, avoid the Club Quarters. That room I had there was the weirdest hotel room I've ever stayed in. It was - I kid you not - taller than it was wide. It was the size of a small bedroom, and for whatever reason, had like 15 foot ceilings.
Chi Town Sox
actually, it's more so the sights, I have my food and bars already lined up. Big foodie right here, I'll give you my list of where I will be looking to eat (all types of price points as well). But I would also like any food rec's, Note: I will not be visiting all of these but this is my list as of now

One of the Momofuku’s, this guy is a New York legend
Ippudo for some Ramen
Di Fara (a little far) but this place looks insane, the owner has made every single pizza served there for 40 years by himself.
Minneta Tavern – for the so called “best burger” ever made, the Black Label Burger
Crif Dogs and the speakeasy located next door
Birreria above Eataly – I think I am most excited about this
Shake Shack
Takashi
Papaya King
Ess-A-Bagel
Big Gay Ice Cream Truck
Sushi Azabu
Eleven Madison Park
Lombardi’s/Grimaldi’s

Yes, quite a few were seen on Anthony Bourdain but these places were legit before he was even there
Reddy
From Newark, actually I think the busses are super easy. Like $12 or $15 gets you from EWR to Midtown so much faster and hassle free than the train. That said, I've done the train plenty, and that works too. But if you're on vacation, go out to the street and find the sign that says "busses to manhattan every 15 minutes".

And you can definitely stay in Jersey. It'll take you 20 minutes by bus/train/taxi and you'll be in the heart of midtown. a much, much more attractive option if you wanna save some coin.

Personally i HATE times square. I don't really think it gives you anything you can't get in another major city - just with more flashy lights and more annoying people than you can possibly handle. The only thing it's good for is Broadway. GO SEE A SHOW while you're here. There's a lot of great stuff on Bway right now - just steer clear of Spiderman. tongue.gif

G&T
I've been there a few times on short trips. Once for New Years. My favorite memories come from just walking Manhattan and eating and drinking as you go. We (wife and I) walked from Battery Park to Midtown and went through Soho and Washington Square. It took the better part of a day. I still remember the random restaurant that I could never find again in Soho that served one hell of a brunch. Or walking through Central Park and just taking it in. It's a hell of a place.

I've also been there and planned everything and enjoyed what we did but felt more stressed. NY is crowded. No, I mean it is REALLY crowded. The cabs are great but getting around without leaving time to just relax will become stressfull. On some level you have to plan because restaurants require reservations well in advance but NY is a city you can just walk outside and enjoy.

Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill is good but nothing I'd go out of my way for. Eat at the food carts! Especially when drunk. When I went I was usually staying with my brother and the chicken and rice cart was good stuff.
Reddy
QUOTE (G&T @ Feb 28, 2012 -> 02:08 PM) *
I've been there a few times on short trips. Once for New Years. My favorite memories come from just walking Manhattan and eating and drinking as you go. We (wife and I) walked from Battery Park to Midtown and went through Soho and Washington Square. It took the better part of a day. I still remember the random restaurant that I could never find again in Soho that served one hell of a brunch. Or walking through Central Park and just taking it in. It's a hell of a place.

I've also been there and planned everything and enjoyed what we did but felt more stressed. NY is crowded. No, I mean it is REALLY crowded. The cabs are great but getting around without leaving time to just relax will become stressfull. On some level you have to plan because restaurants require reservations well in advance but NY is a city you can just walk outside and enjoy.

Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill is good but nothing I'd go out of my way for. Eat at the food carts! Especially when drunk. When I went I was usually staying with my brother and the chicken and rice cart was good stuff.

totally. cabs suck in midtown. it takes LONGER in a cab than it would just taking the subway. no joke.

and brunch-wise, a little place in the West Village called Good has the best friggin brunch there is. (disclaimer i have not experienced anywhere near all the brunches "there is")
FlaSoxxJim
QUOTE (Chi Town Sox @ Feb 28, 2012 -> 01:50 PM) *
actually, it's more so the sights, I have my food and bars already lined up. Big foodie right here, I'll give you my list of where I will be looking to eat (all types of price points as well). But I would also like any food rec's, Note: I will not be visiting all of these but this is my list as of now

One of the Momofuku’s, this guy is a New York legend
Ippudo for some Ramen
Di Fara (a little far) but this place looks insane, the owner has made every single pizza served there for 40 years by himself.
Minneta Tavern – for the so called “best burger” ever made, the Black Label Burger
Crif Dogs and the speakeasy located next door
Birreria above Eataly – I think I am most excited about this
Shake Shack
Takashi
Papaya King
Ess-A-Bagel
Big Gay Ice Cream Truck
Sushi Azabu
Eleven Madison Park
Lombardi’s/Grimaldi’s

Yes, quite a few were seen on Anthony Bourdain but these places were legit before he was even there


The speakeasy connectd to Crif Dogs is Jim Meehan's PDT and I am dying to get there. If you make it there be sure to report back on the experience. Pegu Club, Death and Co., and Employees Only are the other NYC serious cocktail joints I would love to check out.
DrunkBomber
QUOTE (Balta1701 @ Feb 28, 2012 -> 12:42 PM) *
If one wants to spend 2-3 days covering the touristy things on the Manhattan list, is it plausible to stay outside the city, perhaps on the Jersey side, and then commute in?

I was only there for for like 4 days and we stayed in Long Island and took the train everyday and it wasnt a problem at all.
G&T
QUOTE (FlaSoxxJim @ Feb 28, 2012 -> 02:18 PM) *
The speakeasy connectd to Crif Dogs is Jim Meehan's PDT and I am dying to get there. If you make it there be sure to report back on the experience. Pegu Club, Death and Co., and Employees Only are the other NYC serious cocktail joints I would love to check out.


My wife and I are thinking of going to see The Book of Mormon or something on Broadway. So these are places I might have to check out if we do.
Reddy
QUOTE (G&T @ Feb 28, 2012 -> 02:29 PM) *
My wife and I are thinking of going to see The Book of Mormon or something on Broadway. So these are places I might have to check out if we do.

when are you going? because if you wanna see Mormon, get tickets NOW. It is sold out forever.
G&T
QUOTE (Reddy @ Feb 28, 2012 -> 02:30 PM) *
when are you going? because if you wanna see Mormon, get tickets NOW. It is sold out forever.


There are plenty on StubHub.
Reddy
QUOTE (G&T @ Feb 28, 2012 -> 02:34 PM) *
There are plenty on StubHub.

ah touche. i don't usually check there cuz i'm broke. tongue.gif
southsider2k5
Right now the two big things I want to see are Wall Street/NYSE and the 9/11 memorial plaza.
G&T
QUOTE (Reddy @ Feb 28, 2012 -> 02:37 PM) *
ah touche. i don't usually check there cuz i'm broke. tongue.gif


Yeah, I couldn't believe how expensive Broadway tickets are. StubHub is actually below face.
southsider2k5
QUOTE (G&T @ Feb 28, 2012 -> 01:40 PM) *
Yeah, I couldn't believe how expensive Broadway tickets are. StubHub is actually below face.


I got the wife tickets for Wicked and Joseph over the years. It was multiple times more expensive than good baseball tickets (without getting into the all inclusive tickets).
flippedoutpunk
I agree with staying in Jersey, either Newark or East Rutherford are ideal because they have a NJ transit line. You'll save a ton of money doing so and the NJ Transit leaves you at the bottom of Madison Square Garden once you commute into Manhattan.

If you've never been to times square, get it out of the way the first day, buy your family their I <3 NY t shirts, and don't look back.

If you want to do something touristy I recommend doing one of the double decker bus tours (as long as its nice outside). I've taken visiting family on about 6 of those and each time I learn something that I didn't know before about Manhattan. Also they have stops where you can get off and explore the neighborhood at your leisure and you can hop on the next double decker bus just by showing your ticket/receipt.

I don't recommend taking cabs while in Manhattan unless its a short trip, with the immense traffic you will most likely be getting charged for just sitting at a jam packed red light for 20 minutes. I recommend taking the train to get from point A to point B (you'll also get a great view of Splinter and his ninja turtles, seriously....).

Theres about a billion awesome restaurants to go to obviously, yelp can be your best friend here.

If you're a geek like me i recommend taking a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met), it has an amazing collection and the building itself is incredible, and pretty conveniently located within Central Park.

Hope you have fun!
ChiSox_Sonix
Agreed on Times Square. I hate that place. If you've never been go for the experience but go and get out. There's so much more to do. As for what to do, it really depends on what you're interested in. There are comedy clubs, bars, restaurants, shopping, food etc..

If you're looking for a cheap knockoff or want to grab a designer whatever from a sketchy alley go to Canal St. Little Italy and Chinatown are right there too if those interest you. Union Square has some interesting places - Max Brenner (Chocolate by the Bald Man) is there and that's a neat little chocolate shop/restaurant. Brooklyn has some nice comedy clubs, Upper East Side has some good eatiers and pubs, lower east side has a younger night life crowd if you're into that. The Canal Room is a fun 80's/90's club. Gansevort Hotel has a gorgeous rooftop club/bar. There's Rock Center, shopping up and down Madison and Park, the Diamond District is in midtown, Eleven Madison Park is one of the best restaurants in the world, Bohemian Beer Hall is Astoria (Queens) is a European themed outdoor beer hall, Johnny Utah's is a country rock bar with a mechanical bull right across from Radio City Music Hall, Heidelberg (Upper East Side, 86th and 2nd i think) is an authentic German restaurant that was featured on Tony Bourdain, etc...

Chi Town Sox
QUOTE (Steve9347 @ Feb 28, 2012 -> 12:48 PM) *
Our two days are pretty planned out already. We have our passes reserved for the 9/11 memorial, tickets reserved for The Comedy Cellar, a class booked at Barry's Bootcamp, and reservations at Candle79 (vegan), Butter (Alex Guarnaschelli), and The Lamb's Club (Geoff Zacarian), and a whole lot of other ideas in between.

I cannot wait.


I was thinking of Butter but the reviews kinda threw me off, please let us know how it is! Inside of it looks amazing
Swingandalongonetoleft
Also tentatively planning to visit NYC and catch a Yankee or Met game with a friend I used to work with at who's at grad school out there. Depending on her schedule it might even be the Sox we see.
HickoryHuskers
The one time I went to NY and had to get my own hotel, we got a room in Secaucus NJ at a nice hotel for $99/night. The hotel had a free shuttle to the NJ Transit station, and it was only a 10 minute train ride to Penn Station.

There is a website called betterbidding.com where you can see exactly what rates and hotels people have been getting on Priceline and Hotwire.
ChiSox_Sonix
QUOTE (Swingandalongonetoleft @ Feb 29, 2012 -> 01:19 AM) *
Also tentatively planning to visit NYC and catch a Yankee or Met game with a friend I used to work with at who's at grad school out there. Depending on her schedule it might even be the Sox we see.


Citi field is more fun than Yankee stadium. More of an open stadium and laid back atmosphere. At Yankee stadium everyone is so anal about everything and it's not as enjoyable.
Reddy
QUOTE (ChiSox_Sonix @ Feb 29, 2012 -> 09:11 AM) *
Citi field is more fun than Yankee stadium. More of an open stadium and laid back atmosphere. At Yankee stadium everyone is so anal about everything and it's not as enjoyable.

And if you wear white sox gear prepare to get heckled. A lot. Yankee fans are the worst. I still go to all the Sox games tho. smile.gif
Chi Town Sox
QUOTE (Reddy @ Feb 29, 2012 -> 08:30 AM) *
And if you wear white sox gear prepare to get heckled. A lot. Yankee fans are the worst. I still go to all the Sox games tho. smile.gif


I'll be in NYC (again) in June for a bachelor party and Sox at Yanks, looking forward to it
Swingandalongonetoleft
QUOTE (Reddy @ Feb 29, 2012 -> 08:30 AM) *
And if you wear white sox gear prepare to get heckled. A lot. Yankee fans are the worst. I still go to all the Sox games tho. smile.gif


Good to know, I was going to buy her one of those pink hats. I'd rather not have her wearing a chili dog though...
Steve9347
QUOTE (Chi Town Sox @ Feb 28, 2012 -> 05:50 PM) *
I was thinking of Butter but the reviews kinda threw me off, please let us know how it is! Inside of it looks amazing

Will do.
DBAHO
Going to be spending 2 weeks there in late May, can't wait to go back there.

For those looking for cheap accomodation out of Manhattan, try the Westin in Newport / Jersey City. You can get the PATH Train from Newport to 33rd Street, which takes about 10-15 mins. Bit of a nightmare at night though, trains only run every half an hour past 12.

I'm going to checkout some of the foodie recommendations from here, I was living on Intern's wages the last time I was there so could hardly afford to splurge. If you're after a good burger though, the Burger Joint at the Parker Meridian on W 57th St do an excellent one, highly recommend it.
southsider2k5
So what is the best way to get from LaGuardia to essentially the WTC site? Is there a train that runs between the areas?
Reddy
QUOTE (southsider2k5 @ Mar 7, 2012 -> 02:55 PM) *
So what is the best way to get from LaGuardia to essentially the WTC site? Is there a train that runs between the areas?

take a cab to midtown then jump on either the E,N,R, or 5 depending on where you get dropped off. Honestly LGA is tough via anything but cab.
HickoryHuskers
QUOTE (southsider2k5 @ Mar 7, 2012 -> 02:55 PM) *
So what is the best way to get from LaGuardia to essentially the WTC site? Is there a train that runs between the areas?


Depends on how you value time and convenience in relation to expense.

Take cab entire distance = fastest & most convenient but most expensive

Take cab to midtown and then E or R train = moderate time, convenience and expense

Take the 33 bus to Jackson Heights and then E or R train = least convenient and least expensive but most time-consuming
southsider2k5
QUOTE (HickoryHuskers @ Mar 7, 2012 -> 02:39 PM) *
Depends on how you value time and convenience in relation to expense.

Take cab entire distance = fastest & most convenient but most expensive

Take cab to midtown and then E or R train = moderate time, convenience and expense

Take the 33 bus to Jackson Heights and then E or R train = least convenient and least expensive but most time-consuming


How expensive are we talking to cab it?
HickoryHuskers
Last time I flew into LGA I took a cab to midtown and it was around $35, but that was a while ago and I'd bet it's more expensive now.
southsider2k5
Looking at being in NYC next week, Rangers and Knicks are in town for a game each at MSG. Rangers tix start at $50 on stubhub, Knicks at $100.

Thoughts?
Rex Kicka**
QUOTE (southsider2k5 @ Mar 7, 2012 -> 03:45 PM) *
How expensive are we talking to cab it?

I would be looking at $50+ to cab it to WTC from LGA. You're gonna likely have a toll on one of those bridges.

I would totally recommend, if you are going to eat in Chinatown - to go to Joe's Shanghai. (Specifically that restaurant and not one of the six imitators named Joe's Ginger etc.) and get the soup dumplings. It's a pork dumpling that is filled with pork and soup. It's amazing.

Also, there's great Thai food in Hell's Kitchen. (There's a lot of great food in Hell's Kitchen, in general.)

If you want to save money by staying in NJ, but still feel like you are in Manhattan, I'd recommend staying at the Hyatt Exchange Place in Jersey City, or the Westin Newport Jersey City. Both are 4+ star hotels with amazing skyline views because they are on the Hudson and both are steps away from PATH subway trains between Jersey City and New York. Cost is $2.00 per person to scoot across the river, and the trains run 24/7, unlike New Jersey Transit.
southsider2k5
QUOTE (Rex Kicka** @ Mar 9, 2012 -> 11:11 AM) *
I would be looking at $50+ to cab it to WTC from LGA. You're gonna likely have a toll on one of those bridges.

I would totally recommend, if you are going to eat in Chinatown - to go to Joe's Shanghai. (Specifically that restaurant and not one of the six imitators named Joe's Ginger etc.) and get the soup dumplings. It's a pork dumpling that is filled with pork and soup. It's amazing.

Also, there's great Thai food in Hell's Kitchen. (There's a lot of great food in Hell's Kitchen, in general.)

If you want to save money by staying in NJ, but still feel like you are in Manhattan, I'd recommend staying at the Hyatt Exchange Place in Jersey City, or the Westin Newport Jersey City. Both are 4+ star hotels with amazing skyline views because they are on the Hudson and both are steps away from PATH subway trains between Jersey City and New York. Cost is $2.00 per person to scoot across the river, and the trains run 24/7, unlike New Jersey Transit.


The hotel is paid for by work, so that isn't a problem, but thanks for the tip. The guy I am working with picked the place. We will make the trip out to Jersey for an afternoon though, as we have a satellite office over there I am going to visit. Sounds like we are taking the PATH over, and the Ferry back.
Rex Kicka**
If you sit in the first PATH car, you can see what the conductor sees out the front of the car, its kind of cool if you're a train nerd. Not that I would know or anything.
southsider2k5
QUOTE (Rex Kicka** @ Mar 9, 2012 -> 11:22 AM) *
If you sit in the first PATH car, you can see what the conductor sees out the front of the car, its kind of cool if you're a train nerd. Not that I would know or anything.


I totally get that. I do that every once in a while on the South Shore. I love sitting at the top of the double deckers for the views.
DukeNukeEm
QUOTE (Rex Kicka** @ Mar 9, 2012 -> 11:22 AM) *
If you sit in the first PATH car, you can see what the conductor sees out the front of the car, its kind of cool if you're a train nerd. Not that I would know or anything.

You mean engineer, conductors dont operate the train they coordinate crew and passengers. I'm guessing the MTA doesnt even have them anymore.

Just sayin'
Rex Kicka**
QUOTE (DukeNukeEm @ Mar 9, 2012 -> 02:08 PM) *
You mean engineer, conductors dont operate the train they coordinate crew and passengers. I'm guessing the MTA doesnt even have them anymore.

Just sayin'

Yes, you are correct. Although the PATH train does have a conductor still.
DBAHO
You'll also probably get to meet Teddy the PATH Bum (youtube him if you want to see more info).

Rex I'm going to definitely try those places in Chinatown when I visit in May, Chinatown was really the one place I didn't eat at much actually, so definitely looking forward to checking those out.
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