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Quick NYC location advice please for those of you who are familiar with the city.

(40 Posts)
bramblina Sun 14-Aug-16 00:46:25

Hi, DH and I are going to NYC first week in December, sans children, first time ever, for my big birthday.

We plan to visit;

The Highline
Staten Island ferry to see Statue of Liberty (not climb up)
9/11 memorial
Brooklyn Bridge
Times Square
TOTR
Possibly ESB
Grans Central Station
Central Park
Hopefully a show (will buy TKTS South Street Seaport, south east)
Macy's
Bloomingdales
Katz Deli

And I wonder where to stay? I found a lovely hotel but it's up along side Central Park (to the west) and wonder if this is just too far from everything we want to see? Will we end up finding the travelling a bit of a bind? So therefore I thought we'd be better near Times Square but think there are a lot of attractions we aim to see in the south west area- will it be best to stay in that area? How easy is it to travel around? Do you jump on the subway just like you would in London and not really consider it? Do we need to find a hotel near a station?

WWYD?

TIA

SwedishEdith Sun 14-Aug-16 02:35:01

We had an almost identical itinerary when we went and stayed on W 32nd St which was pretty ideal. Close to a subway station (dead easy to use once you've figured out which lines go where). I would avoid staying in Times Sq - it's horrible (but visit it anyway). West Central Park is lovely but slightly out of the way. But Manhattan itself isn't that big - walk as much as you can. Hope you have a great time.

CharlesBakerHarris Sun 14-Aug-16 03:10:34

How far up Central Park West? If you're anywhere near 72nd street, that's one stop from Times Square on the 2/3 - takes about 4 minutes! New York is surprisingly compact! There's also an app you can download called Todaytix, which has the same Broadway tickets as the TKTS booths, so I'd use that and save the time! Would recommend Top of the Rock over ESB - you don't need to do both.

MyFriendsCallMeOh Sun 14-Aug-16 03:18:31

Upper west side is fine, you'll be near museums (frick etc). Times sq is a mess, even at night, restaurants are touristy and overpriced (as are hotels) and it's horribly noisy.

Justawaterformeplease Sun 14-Aug-16 05:53:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

redcaryellowcar Sun 14-Aug-16 06:01:11

We stared at the Helmsley it was lovely?

bigTillyMint Sun 14-Aug-16 06:09:09

We did virtually all of those things and stayed just west of Times Square - borges of Meat packers.

We went to the deli in When Harry met Sally (I think that was Katz?) And thought it was really good value - definitely not as much as $20 although DD and I shared the sandwich and chips as the portion was ENORMOUS! (pulled turkey IIRC) But we didn't have table srrvice - like most people, I took the plunge and queued up, so perhaps that made it cheaper?

SwedishEdith Sun 14-Aug-16 13:51:18

You can just have hot dogs in Katz's if you want. Deli portions seemed huge in New York - too much for one, usually.

bramblina Mon 15-Aug-16 01:22:56

Thank you all so much for your replies!!

I really want to get this booked- prices are rising as we are going the first week in Dec.

CharlesBakerHarris, I was looking at the Lucerne which I think is on W79th street, so pretty close to a subway station- but how safe would it be to travel back on an evening? Late evening? Also, will there be anything to do on an evening? Is there any point in staying all that way up when it's simply for the hotel?

Thanks for all your tips. If you have any hotel recommendations then please do say. I've a list on my booking.com account which I keep looking at!!

Chimchar Mon 15-Aug-16 01:36:10

I loved Chelsea market and the area surrounding it.

Also loved Bryant Park, which is by the library. There was a fab Christmas market there with really unique gifts when we went last year.

We stayed about 7 minutes on the subway out of town (2 stops). We were in Long Island city in a Hilton home 2 hotel. I couldn't recommend it highly enough. It was clean, comfortable, safe and you could take your own food in!

bramblina Mon 15-Aug-16 01:43:20

Thanks! How safe is it to travel at night on the subway?

MyFriendsCallMeOh Mon 15-Aug-16 04:23:07

So funny, I stayed at the Lucerne last year Ina girls weekend to nyc. We all live in Texas so not such a big deal but the hotel was chosen my a friend who used to live on 88th so it was righ in her neighborhood. We went to breakfast at sugar and plumm on Amsterdam (round the corner, so cute) and there are loads of small independent restaurants and bars nearby. We walked and took cabs mostly, didn't really take the subway (too much to see above ground). Did Central Park, Guggenheim, frick collection, high line and Chelsea market, lots of cocktails, dinner in the revolving restaurant (Marriott?) using Times Square. We'd all been before and done Statue of Liberty, ground zero etc but it was a great trip and Lucerne is a good clean safe hotel in a decent location.

PitilessYank Mon 15-Aug-16 05:15:14

The Algonquin is an amazing hotel, great location, walkable to Grand Central Station, Times Square, and Central Park. That is where I stay in NYC.

Gumnast2014 Mon 15-Aug-16 05:37:06

We stayed at the Blakey on west 55th st off 7th avenue. We got a great deal on booking.com and through quidco.

You can walk to most of those places and it was really close to Central Park.

We got upgraded to a suite and I couldn't recommend more

But lots of choice I go on trip adviser and compare price

Chimchar Mon 15-Aug-16 08:57:46

I went with my DH and 3 kids...we used the subway up until just after midnight and it felt really safe day and night. People were really kind, and often got up to make space for us all to sit together.

You can tell when you go a bit too far out of the touristy bits, and that didn't feel so safe tbh, but overall, I didn't worry about our safety at all and I am the Anxiety Queen!

Obviously you need to trust your instinct, and be aware, but New York and its people did themselves proud!

CharlesBakerHarris Tue 16-Aug-16 16:28:07

The UWS is a really safe, family-friendly area, so perhaps you might want to stay somewhere else if you're child-free? There are a lot of new-ish boutique hotels in the Lower East Side that I've heard good things about.

Manhattan in general is actually very safe - I've walked home on my own at ridiculous times and never felt scared, and as a PP has said, people are pretty friendly and welcoming, even on the subway! I actually live in Manhattan so feel free to run any other locations by me if you want.

YoScience Tue 16-Aug-16 16:43:56

I went to New York last summer with my 14yr old DD. We stayed on w 79th st (park 79 hotel). We traveled about using the subway and I never felt unsafe on it or coming from the station to the hotel at night.

bramblina Thu 18-Aug-16 21:46:56

Thanks, everyone!

We live on the north west Scottish coast, in the highlands. My nearest shop is 10 miles, and supermarket is 65 so we're pretty remote....! We went to London in Easter with the children and never felt unsafe. Dh and I went before the children (2002 but things are changing, I thought it would be a worry but not at all. I wondered the same of NYC, without sounding too naive and like a country bumpkin, it's best to check these things than go out too late and get mugged for everyone to say "well that was pretty stupid....!"

We have actually booked the World Centre Hotel in the financial district, overlooking the Ground Zero monument. Not sure if it would feel a little too sad but it looks amazing and it was more affordable than the more central ones. SofL, Brooklyn Bridge and highline are very high on the list of priorities so it's hopefully going to be a good choice.

CharlesBakerHarris- thank you for your kind offer!! I could ask questions and listen all night.....! Where will be best for ice skating? Is it worth going to Macy's and Bloomindales or are they very similar? Which will have the best Christmassy things? Is there anything other than the normal tourist attractions you would suggest doing/seeing? smile

galaxygirl45 Thu 18-Aug-16 21:56:13

We stayed at The Conrad Hotel, which is right by the World Trade Centre and Battery Park. It faces the river, and was heavenly quiet all times of day and night to be honest (I'd nearly booked one in Times Square and would have had a meltdown, it's not even worth a visit!!). It was literally a 2 minute to the 9/11 site, and we walked down to the Staten Island Ferry, Brooklyn Bridge area, and Wall Street and Broadway easily. There was a huge Century 21 not far away too. Also, Tribeca is lovely to walk through and we walked quite a few blocks up then hopped on a bus. You buy a ticket from the subway stations a bit like an Oyster card for subway and bus but every journey is very cheap so it was really easy to get everywhere. Think we put $10 on one and didn't use it all in 4 days. I don't think it matters too much where you stay as it's so easy to get around.

galaxygirl45 Thu 18-Aug-16 22:03:23

It won't be sad overlooking the WTC site - it is stunningly beautiful around there and has all been totally redeveloped. We absolutely loved it, and the new Westfield market area has just opened. It's a gorgeous part of the city.

MsAmerica Sat 20-Aug-16 21:49:14

Yes, you can just jump on a subway - or, in my case, I prefer buses, so you can see the city.
I strongly recommend buying a couple of guidebooks.

CharlesBakerHarris Sun 21-Aug-16 08:22:54

Ice skating options:
1. Rockefeller Centre - iconic, right by the Christmas tree but SUPER expensive and pretty small so you get bored pretty quickly. You an reenact scenes from Home Alone 2!
2. Central Park - Wollman rink (although may be called the Trump rink now...ugh). Cheaper and bigger than the Rockefeller, also pretty iconic, nice views of Central Park skyline. You can re-enact scenes from Serendipity!
3. Bryant Park - personal fave. Free to skate, although you pay to rent skates. Biggest and cheapest, with some lovely Christmas market stalls all around it. Really festive feeling.

Where you're staying will be great - walkable distance to Battery Park and Brooklyn Bridge, and the atmosphere really isn't sad anymore. The memorial itself is beautiful, and moving, but the area doesn't have that emptiness it used to.

Travel wise, both buses and subway journeys cost $2.75 per trip, whether you go one stop or twenty. If you're likely to take the subway more than eleven times, then get a 7 day unlimited pass, which is $30 and means you don't have to worry about topping it up. New York is very walkable but it can get BITTERLY cold in winter so you might use the subway more than you think, although to be fair December is usually warmer than Jan or Feb.

It's worth going TO both Macy's and Bloomingdale's for the window displays, but necessarily in both. I like the wooden escalators in Macy's and it also has a Christmas shop on one of the top floors (ask someone where it is when you go in because I can NEVER remember where it is!) where you can buy New York-themed Christmas baubles which are good presents/ souvenirs. Bloomingdale's is arguably more upmarket/ expensive. Don't know which you'd prefer!

dingalong Sun 21-Aug-16 13:57:14

I'm heading there in December with dh and leaving dc's behind.
We've been a few times but this time we're staying in the east village - I'm keen to visit Brooklyn this time.
We'll do highline, ice skating, moma we've done the tourist stuff before so can do what we fancy.
I'm in Ireland countryside so looking forward to lots of different food, theatre and nice bars within a nice walk.
I'm looking forward to spending time with Dh as with three young dc's and him working 6 days a week for the last 6 months it's been v busy

MsAmerica Sun 21-Aug-16 21:26:36

CharlesBakerHarris, for what it's worth, I once did a comparison and was surprised to find that the mark-up at Macy's was actually higher than Bloomingdale's. Macy's also wins out for having the rudest, dumbest salespeople.

bramblina Sun 21-Aug-16 23:11:50

Dingalong, I hear you, our 3 dcs are young and dh is abroad for 5 days. Never left the kids before so was feeling very liberated when I booked, now wondering if it is too long and how I'll feel after the 3rd day.....we're going for 6 days.

MsAmerica, you're funny smile I'm going to come back and write all these things down.

CharlesBakerHarris- could I book you while we are there? grin You are incredibly helpful!! I think I'll go with your recommendation re. skating. What are your views on airport transfers? We are flying in to JFK. It seems a cab will cost about $60 (I think I have read) or we could book a shared bus/cab type thing....WWYD?

I have so far bought the Lonely Planet pocket guide which so far has been very interesting I may not buy the full guide. Plus you lot are brilliant!!

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