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Teach me how to New York


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#1 ChaosLex

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 01:36 PM

Figured I'd ripoff SammyBirdland with the title. ;)

 

My wife and I are going to take a long weekend trip to NYC in October. This will be the first time either of us have visited the city.

 

Any recommendations for hotels, transportation, etc.? I'm leaning towards Hotel Pennsylvania, which seems to be 1) right dab in the middle of everything and 2) doesn't appear to be completely wallet-busting. As for transportation, I'm leaning towards Amtrak, since trips up to NYC are rather cheap. At least, a hell of a lot cheaper than I expected. I found seats for coach and business at $98 and $225, a pair, respectively.

 

What else should I look into? Not just transportation and lodging wise, but for the city visit in general. I've read about packages you can buy, which contain tickets to all sorts of locations, including the Empire State Building, museums, 9/11 memorial, etc.

 

Thoughts on any of this stuff or anything else I'm missing? Thanks in advance!


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#2 McNulty

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 01:42 PM

I've got tons man. Avoid midtown. It's awful, essentially the worlds most expensive outdoor mall. No New Yorker goes there. It's embarrassing to admit it. Stick to neighborhoods like the village, soho, LES, Chinatown and maybe Chelsea. Amtrak is absolutely the way to go. Buy two weeks in advance for the best prices. Don't do business class. It's a worthless upgrade. Download hopstop and kickmap NYC lite to navigate the subways. I would also avoid the tourist stuff besides the 9/11 memorial. You will cry though at that place. Go to a show for sure, and see some comedy. I'd highly recommend UCB on Sunday night for ten bucks. Book in advance and get there early though. For food, there's tons so do not hit up chains or anything you recognize. Black tree is my favorite local unknown spot on orchard st. Blind tiger has great food and better beer.
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#3 Oriole85

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 01:43 PM

^ I do Vamoose from Bethesda when I go, it's $30 each way. 


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#4 McNulty

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 01:45 PM

Lombards probably had the best pie in the city but I'd recommend brooklyn for pizza. Be sure to visit queens. It's insane out there. Particularly woodside. Governors island has a free ferry and is worth a look. They have a hammock garden that's free. Hit me up if you need more.
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#5 mweb08

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 02:04 PM

The MET is a great museum as is the American Natural History Museum. The Bronx Zoo is a top 3 zoo in the country if you care about that.
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#6 McNulty

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 02:10 PM

I'm going to keep posting as I remember stuff. The Dead Rabbit is awesome. Be sure to go upstairs. Best cocktail bar I've ever been to and nothing else is close. Airbnb might be a good option for lodging.
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#7 McNulty

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 02:19 PM

Saigon shack on macdougal for banh mi (Vietnamese subs) and incredible cafe du monde. They put something in the coffee that is unique and awesome. Get it to go and take the short walk to Washington square for the best people watching in the city. It's a zoo.
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#8 Nigel Tufnel

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 04:44 PM

Yeah, whatever you do, do not stay anywhere near Times Square.

 

You can save some money by driving most of the way, to the Journal Square or Hoboken PATH train stations, and then taking the PATH train into NYC.  Amtrak is definitely more convenient, though.

 

The last time I was in New York, we stayed near Washington Square Park, which is a nice area, but only one express train stop from 34th street.  I've also stayed at the Hotel Le Jolie in Brooklyn a couple of times, which has free parking/breakfast and is only one subway stop from Manhattan.

 

http://www.panynj.gov/path/maps.html


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#9 DJ MC

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 05:01 PM

All three times I've gone to New York recently, I've stayed in New Jersey (or drove there) and took the train in. NJ Transit goes right to Penn Station, and PATH gives you several stops through Midtown. Extremely convenient.


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#10 BSLMikeRandall

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 06:02 PM

McNulty mentioned Chinatown, id have to disagree with going there. Went there thinking we would get some authentic Chinese food. Instead I literally vomited on the sidewalk because the stench of stagnant water mixed with rotting in the sun old food, mostly fish, was too much. Its like health codes dont exist there. One guy literally was hosing out trash out of his store and onto the sidewalk. Found the nearest subway station and got the hell out of there.

Ive only been a few times for some ball games. Id say Juniors is a must for one of your meals and definitely for cheesecake.
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#11 McNulty

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 06:05 PM

It does smell but it's such a unique experience.

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#12 SammyBirdland

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 07:16 PM

Canal St in Chinatown is where you can buy the finest fake Rolex watches and Coach bags.

 

Get a free subway map from one of the token booths and get an all day pass and go anywhere you please all day.  


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¡Hasta la vista, pelota!

#13 mweb08

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 07:44 PM

Katz's is great for pastrami/corned beef.
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#14 McNulty

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 07:51 PM

Katz's is great for pastrami/corned beef.


Nah it's a tourist trap. Go up the street to Russ & Daughters for lox instead.
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#15 mweb08

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 07:59 PM

Katz's is great for pastrami/corned beef.



Nah it's a tourist trap. Go up the street to Russ & Daughters for lox instead.

Eh, it was pretty damn good.

#16 McNulty

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 08:19 PM

Katz's is great for pastrami/corned beef.




Nah it's a tourist trap. Go up the street to Russ & Daughters for lox instead.


Eh, it was pretty damn good.

You are not wrong but it's usually pure middle aged white woman chaos in there. I liked 2nd ave deli better.

Fette Sau has ridiculous meats in Williamsburg.

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#17 mweb08

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 08:35 PM

I still need to go to Brooklyn. That's on the near term to do list.

#18 McNulty

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 08:42 PM

I still need to go to Brooklyn. That's on the near term to do list.


I'm going this weekend to see my lady friends new apt if you want to pop up

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#19 mweb08

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 08:46 PM

I still need to go to Brooklyn. That's on the near term to do list.



I'm going this weekend to see my lady friends new apt if you want to pop up

That would be great but we can't this weekend.

#20 RampageBassoon

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 08:47 PM

Staying in NJ will be much cheaper and NJ transit is so cheap. Hoboken PATH for like $2.50. If you stay close you'll never pay more than $5 to catch a train to NYC. Moreover, taxes, gas, random costs are much cheaper in NJ than anywhere in NY. You could even stay in Weehawken and take the ferry for super cheap. Agreed on downloading the HopStop app. Central Park and the zoo are cool to check out if it's a beautiful day. Ellis Island is worth checking out as well. The Statue of Liberty is a bit of a tourist trap but Ellis Island is super interesting. If you end up going I can tell you how to get on a secret extra tour.
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