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Oh no, my parents in law!

Malaga, Spain
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Oh no, my parents in law!

Dear folks,

We will be heading to the city in Easter 2011 for our 11th visit.

The thing is that we will be bringing my parents in law in what will be their first visit to the city. They've always wanted to go but never dared to do so (mainly because of language issues...). So, a few very specific questions:

We have agreed that, while we will be doing some of the touristy stuff for first timers (TOTR, ESB, etc.), they will have an atypical first trip to NYC, since their daughter and I don't feel like doing the same stuff all over again. That mainly means getting to outer boroughs as well as districts such as Greenwich village and the likes in the city.

Would you recommend any tourist activity (sightseeing, tours, etc.) that would be suitable for such different backgrounds? Maybe the NYC Panorama? (we were there once but it was a Tuesday and it was closed).

My father in law must be the person who likes fish most in the world (OMG I don't even know if this sentence makes sense in English...). We were thinking of booking a table at Le Bernardin. We love that restaurant and I think they would also love it. However, given that we've already been there twice, would you recommend any other seafood place in the same quality/price level?

Okay I already mentioned the language problem. Do you know of any Spanish language theatre performance? They do love theatre, but spending a couple of hours translating is not my idea of a funny night out.

And last, but not least, what good jazz club would you recommend within walking distance to Columbus Circle where we will be probably staying?

Thank you all.

new york city
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1. Re: Oh no, my parents in law!

Just a word on the theater and translation . If you take them to a musical like Phantom of the Opera it is the music and the singing ability of the performers that counts plus the elaborate sets... I attended a concert in Italy of a very famous Italian singer outdoors in Florence and did not understand a word of what he said and yet had a very enjoyable time. The language of music is universal.

Malaga, Spain
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2. Re: Oh no, my parents in law!

bliming,

I fully agree with you, and we will actually be going to The Phantom of the Opera (for the fourth time between London, Madrid and NYC!).

I probably got lost on translation. I meant a comedy or a drama.

Thanks for you reply.

New York City, New...
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3. Re: Oh no, my parents in law!

I'll start with the easiest question, the last on jazz club. Dizzy's Coca Cola is considered one of the best jazz clubs in the city and is located in the Time Warner building AT Columbus Circle. It also has some nice views and the food is not bad either. If you go and eat there, you have a better table and view.

I believe the Grayline co. offers Spanish language guided tours and I suggest you send them on one of those on their own. There's NO reason you all have to be tied to each other every step of the way. Plenty of people speak Spanish here and loads of other tourists manage just fine without knowing English. We have a very large Spanish speaking population from South American and Mexico and many of them work in hotels and restaurants. You could also hire a private Spanish language guide for them for a day. In addition to that, you might want to consider contacting

bigapplegreeter.org

and see if any of their volunteers speak Spanish. This is a free program for visitors to get taken around by a local NYer.

For a Broadway show, one option is to go to something for which they already know the story. Have a look at what's playing and see if they would know any of these stories.

http://www.playbill.com/events/listing/1.html

There's a new musical opening based on Pedro Almodavar's movie "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown". It will obviously be in English, but if they saw the movie, this is a possibility. It hasn't opened yet so we don't know whether it will be a hit and still running by Easter, but with the people involved, I'd guess it will be.

As for a seafood restaurant, honestly I don't think there's a better one with as innovative cooking in NYC than Le Bernardin. There are plenty of other seafood restaurants if you just want a change. I think Caviar Russe is a hidden gem (and if you like caviar and/or sushi, an especially good option) but I wouldn't put it in the same league as Le B. Aquagrill in Soho is very good. You can get some excellent fish dishes at some of the better French restaurants like Cafe Boulud or Daniel. And there are plenty of more casual seafood places like Jack's Luxury Oyster bar, Ed's Chowder House and Blue Water Grill. (Blue Water Grill also has a jazz club in the basement).

I think anything you intend exploring outside Manhattan will also interest them whether it's the Panorama or something else.

New York City, New...
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4. Re: Oh no, my parents in law!

Repertorio Espanol is probably the most well-known Spanish-language theater here. They do have some (but not many) productions in English, so check the schedule carefully.

http://www.repertorio.org/schedule/

New York City, New...
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5. Re: Oh no, my parents in law!

Marea is an Italian restaurant with many fish options. Their pasta with octopus is one of their most recognized (and delicious) dishes.

http://www.marea-nyc.com/

CT
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6. Re: Oh no, my parents in law!

What about the current production of West Side Story? While I haven't seen it, the reviews have stated that some of both the conversation of the Sharks and certain songs are in Spanish in the current staging. This combined with knowledge of the story, may be interesting!

elsewhere
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7. Re: Oh no, my parents in law!

Hi MACPollo. God bless you for bringing your in-laws on their first trip. :-) They must be very excited.

I understand that you don't want to the "same old, same old," but since this is their first (and possibly only) trip, maybe you could cut them slack about revisiting places you've been before?

Like, Le Bernadin? It just doesn't get any better for seafood than Le Bernadin. I think you could probably manage to choke down the food one more time. :-)

For something that might be a little different for you and also interesting for them ... do you think they would enjoy a Food/Culture walking tour? We did one last Sunday and really enjoyed it. You walk around a neighborhood with a very enthusiatic, knowledgeable tour guide, learn a lot of history/culture, and taste some of the local food. You'll probably have have to translate for your PIL's, but they will get the gist of what's going on and enjoy the food.

Also ... I'm a big fan of the Circle Line tour. You have probably done this. I have done it more than once, too, when hosting relatives. Again, you would have to translate, as the tour guides speak only English.

Malaga, Spain
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8. Re: Oh no, my parents in law!

Thank you all for your recommendations.

Yes, I do think that we will go to Le Bernardin. We have had two wonderful meals there, so I guess a third won't hurt. :)

nywhiz,

Of course they can do some activities on their own!. Contrary to what might look from my words they have extensively travelled during their lives, mainly in Europe. They are just intimidated by NYC, I don't really know why.

But you know what? I actually feel like being with them all the time. I do love them, and one of the most exciting things I've done in your city is watching first time visitors' eyes when we take the Queensboro bridge and see all those wonderful buildings... We don't want to miss a thing, so to say :)

"Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown" sounds like a stunning idea. I didn't come up with that. My mother in law is a huge fan of Almodovar (I can't stand him, but that's a different story).

Crans,

Gave a look to Repertorio Español. Great idea. Again, thanks.

Curlinchick,

What are the whereabouts of Marea? We will probably be going to Arthur Ave to eat some Italian delicacies. It doesn't get better almost anywhere in the world except of course Italy itself.

Yankeemom,

My wife is a huge fan of WSS. She will appreciate your rec.

And finally,

newtoplaya (good nickname)

Of course we will do most of the "same old". Nor my wife or myself seem to get tired to see the Statue of Liberty, do a dining cruise / Circle line, get atop the TOTR or the ESB, et al. It is just that I want them to get advantage of our -limited- insight to the city.

Hey I've liked that idea of a walking food tour. Could you elaborate a bit further on that?

I almost forgot one last question.

This is probably better suited to GreenWhiteBlue. I almost certainly know the answer, so excuse me if I'm being naive.

My father in law would LOVE (not only him to be fair, myself as well) to see a surge drill. We have some kind of fetish with police cars and the like... I guess that it being an exercise, they are not planned whatsoever. But just in case, are they predictable at all? - I mean with regard to dates and/or areas.

Thank you folks for all your help. Highly appreciated, and excuse my messy English. I've spent the whole week in France and start mixing both languages up.

Mesa, Arizona
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9. Re: Oh no, my parents in law!

Your English is a lot better than some people for whom English is their first language.

Here's a spanish-language theater site I found. I know nothing about them:

http://www.repertorio.org/

elsewhere
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10. Re: Oh no, my parents in law!

Hi again! Here are two websites with information about food/culture walking tours. There are many other tour operators, too, but I think these are the most well-known.

http://www.foodsofny.com/

cityfoodtours.com/newyork/new-york-food-tour…

We wanted to go with Food of New York, but I waited too long to reserve and all of the tours were sold out. We were pretty happy with City Food Tours. We did the Lower East Side Artisan option, but your PIL's might appreciate the Flavors of New York option more.