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3 Days in NYC - Trip Report

Cheshire, United...
Level Contributor
720 posts
109 reviews
3 Days in NYC - Trip Report

Hi Everyone

The trip began whilst we were confined to our hotel room in the DR for 24 hours whilst Hurricane Maria swept through. Luckily whilst still having Wi-Fi we saw that there was a sale on for flights to NYC in 2018. A city we have always wanted to visit but never got round to planning (living in the UK much more convenient to fly to a host of European cities within 2 hours) we decided that the money saved on this holiday due to lack of trips etc. due to the weather we would book NYC for March.

Back in the UK it was straight on to TA for hotel advice – so many options I really didn’t know where to start. In the end we opted for the Best Western Premier Herald Square, a small hotel on W36th Street with easy access to the sights in Mid Town & a few subway lines within a few minutes walk. a separate review will follow

Our visit was from Sat 17th March – 21st March 2018.

For the next few months I was a daily visitor to the NYC Forum picking up hints & tips, along with YouTube posts & Time Out articles.

A big Thank You to all those who post on the forums & help out with advice, itinerary suggestions etc. without this invaluable source of info we would never have made the most of our short trip.

Here is a summary of our days in NYC, hope you enjoy reading.

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24 replies to this topic
Cheshire, United...
Level Contributor
720 posts
109 reviews
1. Re: 3 Days in NYC - Trip Report

Sat 17th March

We arrived at JFK at 6.45 in the evening surprisingly on-time considering we were on the Tarmac at Heathrow for 1 ½ hours being de-iced. We flew through immigration & customs (again not expecting this with it being our first time) and hopped into a yellow cab outside the terminal – taxi stand easily visible from the arrivals hall & again only a small queue. Following the advice on here I made sure we received our receipt from the dispatcher & gave the taxi driver our hotel address & we were off. Traffic was really light and in no time we saw the city lights ahead of us – most of the buildings lit up in Green for St Patrick’s Day – to say we were excited was an understatement!!! Just after 9pm we arrived at the hotel & checked in. After a quick freshen up we decided on a trip up to the top of the Empire State building. Given how busy the streets were with revelers celebrating St Patrick’s (It did look messy at times!) we were expecting queues at the ESB but we bought tickets and walked straight through security & to the lifts. Having never been in a building so high up I really didn’t know what to expect but the view of downtown lit up was breathtaking & it was so quiet on the outside terrace. We then turned the corner towards the Hudson River & then came the wind with its chill factor & knock out blow – I’ve never felt cold like it! Luckily we had come prepared with bobble hats & scarfs but I couldn’t talk my teeth hurt so much from the cold ☺ Having taken in the views from all sides and not being able to take the cold for much longer we went inside & admired the view from the windows before meandering round the shop and heading back down.

At this point we were wide-awake & decided to walk down 5TH to Madison Square Park hoping to grab something from the Shake Shack which unfortunately had just closed. We took some great pictures of the ESB lit up in green & then decided to head back to the hotel since at this point it was nearly midnight (and we had been up since 7am UK Time) Opposite the hotel was an Irish Bar we thought we might try seeing as it was St Patrick’s – seeing the mess inside we decide to retire to the hotel bar for a nightcap before heading to bed.

Here are a few random pics of the night (no selfies I promise!! That was my pet hate!)

http://slickpic.us/1681245TmUM

Cheshire, United...
Level Contributor
720 posts
109 reviews
2. Re: 3 Days in NYC - Trip Report

Sun 18th March

We were up bright & early and out of the hotel for 7.30. It was a cold crisp sunny morning with no clouds in the sky. We had tickets booked for TOTR at 8.15am. We took a leisurely stroll through Bryant Park & walked past the library. It was nice to glimpse the city without the crowds. As we walked up 5th past the library we chanced upon the NY Half Marathon – deciding to stop & clap some of the runners, admiring their bravery for running in such cold conditions. After a brief chat with a friendly NYPD officer who helpfully advised us where to cross 42nd St due to the marathon, we were back on track to the Rockefeller Centre.

We arrived slight early and found the entrance to the concourse however finding the actual way to the TOTR reception was a different matter with the maze of corridors – again another friendly security guard sent us in the right direction. In next to no time we were at the top of the observation deck with only a handful of people there – definitely recommend this time of day, stunning views & no pushing or shoving with the selfie stick brigade. Again it was very cold & windy depending on which side you stood but for me the views were far better here than the ESB.

Next we wandered around the Rockefeller Centre watching the skaters before heading to St Patrick’s across the road. Such a beautiful building against the backdrop of the modern skyscrapers.

Next we headed to Grand Central Station, not before dropping by the Vanderbilt Urbanspace Foodcourt for a coffee and my first ever Nutella Doughnut (very yummy). Following our guidebook we looked around the various halls & food market before heading for the subway. Here we bought the unlimited 7 day pass which was a godsend for getting around the city. We took to subway to Hudson Yards where we walked down the highline. The weather was still cold but sunny and we enjoyed the walked down to Chelsea enjoying the views on the way. Arriving much earlier than we thought, we walked around Chelsea Market which I found OK but nothing special. We grabbed a sandwich for lunch and then walked around the area (and a quick pint in the Brass Monkey) until it was time to head to Chelsea Piers for our Classic Harbour Line Tour at 1.45.

Having researched several boat trips, this one looked the best – yes it was a little more cost wise but it was a beautiful covered wooden boat with no more than 25 onboard. It was nice & warm onboard & we were able to enjoy great views of Manhattan, SOL, Ellis Island, Brooklyn complete with champagne/drinks & snacks included in the price. The tour was very informative & lasted 2 ½ hours. Highly recommended for those like us who were only on a short visit to the city.

Following the boat trip we headed back to the hotel for drinks & rest before heading out for the evening.

We had the sun & stars tickets for TOTR and my OH wanted to go at sunset. Having been up the top of the ESB the night before I wasn’t particularly bothered but we went anyhow. What a contrast to our visit earlier that morning, the place was crowded everyone pushing & shoving for pictures and poses. We lasted 20mins finally getting a few shots before heading back down to grab something to eat. We ended up at Bills Burgers since we were given a voucher from friends, food was great and service quick which we were glad since at this point tiredness was setting in. We headed to Times Square to walk off our food – another place of contrasts to the neighbourhoods we were in earlier. Place was manic & crowded, again we took a few pictures before heading down Broadway back to our hotel.

A few random pictures of the day:

http://slickpic.us/1681249NRjO

Cheshire, United...
Level Contributor
720 posts
109 reviews
3. Re: 3 Days in NYC - Trip Report

Mon 19th March

Shortly before 9am we were at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum – a very sombre and moving experience but also a very fitting tribute to the victims. The area also for me reflected the resilience of the city to rebuild after such tragic & life changing events, and I am glad we made the time to visit here.

Afterwards we walked over to Trinity Church and the surrounding area to reflect on what we had seen over the last few hours. We had lunch at O’Haras a friendly Irish Pub next to the FDNY Memorial. The inside of the pub was covered in badges of emergency services across the US and worldwide. Again we met some lovely people from the west coast US who we chatted with for a while before heading out again.

Heading down Broadway we spotted the charging bull and fearless girl which we couldn’t get a picture of unless with some random stranger having a selfie or in an inappropriate pose with it ☺. Seeing as the weather was still lovely and sunny we headed to & walked over Brooklyn Bridge towards DUMBO. Against the direction of everyone else, however at the other side it was quiet and we managed to get some great pictures with it being less crowded. After leaving the bridge we walked down Washington Street for the famous Manhattan Bridge Picture before walking down to the pebble beach – again another great spot for views. The afternoon was lovely and a few families were playing on the grass. We sat and enjoyed the view for ½ hour before heading to the roof of empire stores for another viewpoint. From there we walked under Brooklyn Bridge to Brooklyn Bridge Park & Brooklyn Heights Promenade. We loved this part of the city it was so refreshing to get away from the crowds & enjoy unspoilt views, however at this point it was getting very late in the afternoon & tiredness started to creep in. Back on the subway to the hotel – coming out on to Herald Square into the throes of crowds of shoppers and residents going about their city life.

Later in the evening after a short rest we headed down to Greenwich Village for Pizza & drinks. We loved this area at night a nice mix of restaurants and bars which were still busy for a Monday night. We were still full from lunch but ended up having a few slices at Joe’s pizza very good & inexpensive whilst looking at the celebrity photos on the walls. A few drinks at MacDougal St Alehouse (my OH wanted to visit a dive bar) before we headed back to the hotel. This time we walked back through Washington Square Park, stopped to admire & photograph the arch before walking up fifth Ave. We were hoping to stop at the rooftop bar 230 but by this point heavy legs & tired eyes got the better of us.

Random pics of the day

http://slickpic.us/1681253YM0A

Cheshire, United...
Level Contributor
720 posts
109 reviews
4. Re: 3 Days in NYC - Trip Report

Tues 20th March

Unfortunately this was a tale of two halves. The morning started off well. After a long day yesterday we had a lie in & then headed to Scotty’s diner on Lexington Avenue for an American Breakfast of Eggs & Bacon (OH) and my first ever Pancakes (blueberry) very yummy and unlimited coffee. Previous days we had made use of the hotels breakfast that, was included in our room rate but today we wanted to try an American diner.

Afterwards we caught the 6 train to downtown to China Town & Little Italy – which we both thought was a bit of a disappointment. Might have been better on a guided walk as we really didn’t know where to go. Plenty of tacky souvenir shops & this was the only time we were mithered to buy ‘’designer’ bags ☺

We then caught the train to Bushwick for a tour of the area with Graff Tours at 12pm. I loved this area so different from the other neighbourhoods we had visited – felt a sense of community with all the little cafes and bars. We were the only ones on the tour with Eddie, a great guy who was passionate about street art & gave us a very informative insight into the area. Very few people about and the weather was freezing cold, after the tour we bought Eddie a coffee & had a chat before he moved on to his next appointment. If you are looking for something a bit different then I would highly recommend this, the street art was amazing & such a shame that it gets painted over each year. Still feeling the cold we headed to Union Pizza works for lunch – again Pizza was great in what I could only describe as a small garage but we soon warmed up next to the wood fire.

Here are a few pics of the street art in Bushwick

http://slickpic.us/1681257114E

Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
826 posts
16 reviews
5. Re: 3 Days in NYC - Trip Report

We were there at the same time. I love your pictures, thanks for sharing them. The harbor cruise looks like it included some really wonderful views of the city.

Cheshire, United...
Level Contributor
720 posts
109 reviews
6. Re: 3 Days in NYC - Trip Report

At this point we received a text from our airline saying our late night flight the following day had been cancelled due to an impending snowstorm. Not wanting to be stranded we headed back to the hotel & called the airline to see what could be done. We were given the option of heading back this night which meant cutting our short trip even shorter by one day or flying back two days later which wasn’t an option for us due to other commitments ☹

Sadly this meant missing out on the Brooklyn Brewery Tour that evening & also Central Park & shopping the following day.

Within ½ hour our cases were packed and we were looking at the options to get to Newark. Since we were next to Penn Station we braved the NJ Train option, which, was actually easy once we had navigated Penn Station. Within 30 minutes we arrived at Newark Airport (a bit too early for the flight) in a bit of a daze as to what had happened. Luckily for us as we checked in we still had been given our upgrades which made for a comfortable flight home. Mixed emotions sad to be cutting short our fantastic trip but also glad not to be stuck in a snowstorm.

Even though it was a short trip we had a fantastic time and covered a lot of ground. We loved the city and are already looking at when we can come back. Next time we want to incorporate some of the Museums and of course Central Park that we missed. Next time I will also look at a Hotel perhaps in Brooklyn or Greenwich as these areas we loved the most

For those coming for the first time here are a few observations;

We found people to be very friendly in the city - even stopping to help us if we looked lost

Subway easy to use & best way to get around the city - finally understand why HOHO buses aren't advised when you see the traffic.

Get out and enjoy the other neighbourhoods away from midtown - this is where you see the real NYC

We never felt threatened even late at night

Comfortable walking shoes - even at night my stiletto shoes stayed in my suitcase (and I dont wear flats at home!)

Go and enjoy - don't be nervous!

United Kingdom
Level Contributor
148 posts
7 reviews
7. Re: 3 Days in NYC - Trip Report

Fantastic trip report thank you for sharing. Sorry your trip cut short but definitely a perfect excuse to return again.

Your pictures look fantastic, [picture quality if super....can I ask what camera you have? Thanks

Cheshire, United...
Level Contributor
720 posts
109 reviews
8. Re: 3 Days in NYC - Trip Report

Hi it was A Samsung S8 phone!!

Edited: 25 March 2018, 18:57
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
148 posts
7 reviews
9. Re: 3 Days in NYC - Trip Report

Lol I also have a Samsung s8 and didn't realise the picture quality was that good 😂 so I'll definitely use my phone more than I thought then haha. Thanks again.

Manchester, United...
Level Contributor
323 posts
9 reviews
10. Re: 3 Days in NYC - Trip Report

Fab trip report and loved your pics, brilliant. Shame you had to leave early but it's a great excuse to return!!!

10 sleeps till our trip😁

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