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New York April 2019 - all welcome - suggestions

(24 Posts)
Morgan Sun 13-Jan-19 22:16:45

Going to New York with kids aged 17 and 13 for a week - I’ve never been before and the kids have never been to America .
Thought I’d do a thread for anyone going in the Easter hols so we can share ideas / tips etc
I can’t decide whether to get a city pass or book tickets in advance for Top of the Rock etc
Would also love recommendations for restaurants - we are staying in China town so anywhere there would be good - also want a good diner for breakfast and a deli for bagels etc
Any hints , suggestions would be gratefully received .

OP’s posts: |
Frolie Wed 16-Jan-19 17:13:09

You’ll love NewYork! So much for teenagers to do! Big Daddy’s Diner is such fun! / we always take a trip there when we’re in NYC. Also, a guided bike tour of Central Park was a big hit. We all loved that! Recommend The Met and The Whitney art galleries. The Whitney is next to the High Line, so you could combine those. John’s Pizza on Bleacker Street is fab and reasonable. Eating out is v expensive, so factor that in to your spending money. I’d recommend Greenwich Village/ Chelsea / Meatpacking they’re all fabulous places and really interesting to explore. Statue of Liberty boat trip is amazing but book in advance as the queues are huge. Have a great time!

winnerwiner Wed 16-Jan-19 22:47:25

Ellen's Stardust Diner would be good with teenagers, basically those who want to act/do broadway also wait tables, so they made a diner where intermittently the staff burst into Broadway songs and dances. It's in Times Square. Katz' Diner (where Meg Ryan did the Harry met sally scene) is a very lovely jewish salted beef in a bagel kind of place I went many years ago, but really liked it. Eating out is really expensive esp with the pound as it is, plus, I know people feel really strongly one way or the other with tipping but in the US you are sadly paying them their wage expect 15-20%, sorry. I know it's painful. Also remember April is changeable, it could be 25c or it could be snowing.The Hudson in April is also likely to be brass monkeys if you are planning a trip to Staten Island so bring layers for any boat trips, plus Brooklyn has some lovely villages and gorgeous views for sundowners, I hope your family has a great trip!

BubblesBuddy Wed 16-Jan-19 23:17:35

Oh no!!! Not Ellen’s again! Or Katz. Please look at Time Out for recommendations. If you go anywhere in this area or venture into SoHo you will find loads of places to eat. Look for local coffee shops full of locals. Mulberry, Spring and side streets are good places to look. Google maps will be your friend too.

BubblesBuddy Wed 16-Jan-19 23:18:56

You pay local tax as an extra add on - around 8%. Double the tax for the tip.

allfurcoatnoknickers Thu 17-Jan-19 02:34:49

I live in New York - AMA!

Regarding restaurants/bagels/delis arguably two of the best bagel places are Brooklyn Bagel and Murray's Bagel - both in Chelsea. You can drop into them both if you're doing the high line. There's also Absolute Bagel, but that's way up on the UWS.

Diner wise, they're everywhere, and Ellen's doesn't count, it's not a diner, it's a tourist trap. I've heard good things about La Bonboniere in the West Village. I tend to go to my local though, which is Chelsea square. I've always wanted to try Lexington Avenue Luncheonette on the UES. It's very old school and close to the Met.

If you want to eat in a proper old school diner which is now a relatively nice restaurant, try Empire Diner, also in Chelsea.

Always worth checking out the websites Eater and Grub Street for up to the minute food news smile

BubblesBuddy Thu 17-Jan-19 14:47:36

Isn’t Chelsea a bit of a trek from Chinatown though? Frankly any local cafe will fit the bill for breakfast. Seeking out a special place isn’t worth the cost of getting there! Dinner is a bit different but again neighbourhood restaurants are great and we found, even in March, the best ones are busy! There is every type of food you could possibly want in NY and you’ll just have to walk 100 yds to find somewhere!

Hellohah Thu 17-Jan-19 15:08:27

I am place marking as I'm heading to New York with a 13 yo DS for 6 nights in April HT.

Morgan Thu 17-Jan-19 18:28:15

Thanks for the replies - will follow up these recommendations .
Good advice re the weather - we are skiing the week before so will have warm stuff with us 😃
Is Katz not worth a visit ? I was keen as love When Harry Met Sally .
Also want to some Friebds stuff as I also love Friends
Where is the best place to shop ? Fancy visiting a US TKMaxx and a few chains but shopping not high up the list .
Any attractions off the beaten track ?

OP’s posts: |
BubblesBuddy Thu 17-Jan-19 18:29:37

My top recommendations are: the High Line (stop for coffee in Chelsea market), Top of the Rock, Empire State, Met Museum and Central Park, Staten Island Ferry, Ellis Island, Tenement Museum, SoHo, Tiffany’s and 5th Avenue, Brooklyn Bridge, Twin Towers memorial (very sad and not for everyone), MoMa, Guggenheim, Radio City Music Hall and there is plenty more! I always recommend Lonely Planet guides for a comprehensive guide and you are bound to find something of interest not mentioned above that floats your boat!

It can be icy winds in March so gloves, hat and a duvet type coat are worth taking.

BubblesBuddy Thu 17-Jan-19 18:43:30

Just seen your latest message. Again, do go to Katz if it means something to you but it’s touristy and other places are just as good! Meeting locals is often better than meeting tourists.

Off the beaten track is definitely SoHo. We stayed there last time we went and it’s very much smaller scale than further up. There are buildings with the exposed fire escapes, loads of cafes, great restaurants and even a cobbled Street or two. The lower east side and the Tenement Museum is worth a visit.

You could try spotting iconic buildings. Chrysler building is one of the best but take a look at the Flat Iron Building and the cathedral in the sky: the Woolworth building near the Brooklyn bridge in Manhattan. Grand Central Station is also beautiful.

The last time we went to Macy’s it was equivalent to a discount jumble sale. Even if you don’t buy anything, go into the up market stores! You can take a peek at how rich New Yorkers spend their money!

Morgan Fri 18-Jan-19 15:16:55

BubblesBuddy can you recommend other Katz type places ?

All those recommendations are fab thanks . Tenement museum has been mentioned by someone else - will look that up. We are staying in china town .

OP’s posts: |
WingingWonder Sat 19-Jan-19 21:43:19

Cupping rooms on broome in soho fab for brunch
Chelsea market for food/ coffee & browsing..
Standard for ubiquitous cocktails
Walking tours good- look on trip advisor for current recommendations

Long shot but if you have any friends who are soho house members then you can head there...

Nb take at least a couple of comfy shoes to switch each day....

Morgan Fri 25-Jan-19 17:15:50

@allfurcoatnoknickers can you recommend a lovely restaurant for a 50th birthday celebration - 2 adults and 2 kids ( 17 and 13) - we do love a good steak so a fab steakhouse might be the best ??

OP’s posts: |
bestbefore Fri 25-Jan-19 17:48:23

You and your teens might like a visit to Woodbury common outlet centre for discount shops etc; it's an hour north of Manhattan but there's plenty of buses who will take you there, I booked via Expedia.
Finding the bus stop was tricky but we got there!

allfurcoatnoknickers Fri 25-Jan-19 20:05:04

@Morgan Oooh, absolutely!

Peter Luger in Brooklyn is the ultimate NY steakhouse. It's cash only and you need to make a reservation weeks in advance, but give them a call and see!

Keen's is the second oldest steakhouse in NY - loads of history and has a collection of 50,000 smoking pipes, including a few belonging to the rich and powerful. Interesting for history alone.

If you want trendy - look at STK meatpacking or Strip House. STK is a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine, because it's so pretentious, but the food is delicious.

I love to go to Porterhouse in the Time Warner Center. Grab a drink at Center Bar first and watch the sun set over Columbus Circle and Central Park. Or you could go and get a pre-drink at the very secret, very special hidden bar "The Office" in the Mandarin Oriental.

OR if you want to go rogue - M.Wells in Long Island City is over the river from Manhattan in Queens, but Michelin starred without breaking the bank. Always has interesting non-steak-y stuff on the menu. I celebrated a few anniversaries and birthdays here, and used to live around the corner.

Hope that helps! Happy to answer follow-up questions.

Morgan Sat 26-Jan-19 12:22:10

@allfurcoatnoknickers thank you so much .love the look of Porterhouse but may be pushing the boat out a little too far ..
M Wells looks cool - how long to travel there from Chinatown ?? Would thurs be better than fri night ?
Keens also looks good with the kids - ultimately which of those 2 would you choose ?!?

OP’s posts: |
allfurcoatnoknickers Sat 26-Jan-19 12:44:09

@Morgan M.Wells is about 30 minutes door to door on the N train or 20 mins in a cab from Chinatown. Keen's is closer - about 15 mins on the D.

They'll both be busy on Thursday and Friday, but very buzzy on Friday. You'd have fun either night smile

Regarding which one to pick - it depends on your DH! If he's the old school traditional type who gets a kick out of history - then Keen's all the way.

If he wants something more modern and unusual, which is off the tourist trail - M. Wells.

allfurcoatnoknickers Sat 26-Jan-19 12:44:54

@Morgan I'd always pick M.Wells. But I have such a soft spot for the place!

HRTpatch Sat 26-Jan-19 12:51:26

We got married there last year anf going back for our anniversary..some great ideas here. We loved Greenwich village and Brooklyn so are planning time there.
Going back to Bar 65 for dinner as we had a very good meal there....and I recommend fast tracking up to the Top of the Rock. Much more civilised.

Morgan Sat 26-Jan-19 13:47:33

Food for thought @allfurcoatnoknickers I quite fancy M.Wells - seems you can book online a month in advance so will be on it nearer the time .
I’m torn between planning the hell out of our trip or staying more relaxed and going with the flow . I expect the city will be busy the week before Easter ?

Looking at Wicked tix for me and my daughter (13) but can’t decide If to buy now ( $350 for 2 tix ) or wait .

OP’s posts: |
lurker101 Sat 26-Jan-19 15:36:18

Clinton Street Bakery is fantastic for breakfast - their pancakes are amazing

allfurcoatnoknickers Sat 26-Jan-19 18:34:55

@Morgan I don't think it'll be super busy? Definitely not as bad as right before Christmas or Thanksgiving.

I tend to be a bit of a hardcore planner, but my one suggestion would be to group things geographically - you'll get a lot more done if you're not zipping all over town. It's tricky to get across town, so group things by east and west and go from there.

Also Clinton Street baking company is fab. They also have a sister restaurant called Community on the UWS that does the same famous pancakes. I'm a regular grin

BubblesBuddy Sun 27-Jan-19 02:07:22

We have been to The Mercer and several others on the Refinery 29 website guide. It’s spot on.

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