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Yet another firstie's trip report

Brisbane, Qld
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167 posts
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Yet another firstie's trip report

-'cos you can never have too many! I loved reading others so thought another take on how to spend your first ever 5 days in NYC might be of interest to others.

We LOVED NYC, like so many before us, even though my husband at least was dubious beforehand. We were accompanied by my 20 yo daughter. We found New Yorkers, especially those in the service industries who naturally we encountered the most as tourists, so friendly and helpful and interested in what we thought and where we came from and the city itself seemed so very accommodating for locals and tourists alike-brilliant subway system, tables and chairs in every square and vacant space to plonk in, wifi in all the parks, public artwork, excellent fresh food...OK I'll stop gushing-suffice my daughter now wants to work in NY if she can after she finishes her Uni studies.

I will post each day as a separate post. Day 1 Sun 3 July we flew in late arvo from LA having had a couple of days break to recover from the red-eye Pacific flight. Quick customs at JFK but bit of a wait for bags. Caught a taxi from the line but it was raining and the freeway was jammed so we all agreed he should rat run (as we call it in Aus) - saw some interesting views of Jamaica (I loved the Dutch-style houses) and Queens as we certainly twisted and turned our way around the streets! We stayed at Chelsea Pines Inn on 14th st and we can't say enough complimentary things about this place and the wonderful owner-operators and staff -see separate review.

After checking in we ducked out for a quick bite heading towards the river and came across Bills Burgers and Bar-ended up being pretty average burgers actually-but filled the spot and then wandered down to the river as the rain had eased. Saw our first misty glance at the SoL and then walked a stretch of the High Line til heavier rain drove us homewards for an early night. Had grand plans to come back and walk the length of the High Line as loved how they have landscaped this and the views down to the cross streets but regrettably ran out of time-story of the entire trip-ah well. Next time.

United Kingdom
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383 posts
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1. Re: Yet another firstie's trip report

Hi there, I'm from Liverpool , England and we're visiting NYC

Oct '11 for my sons surprise 18th - can't wait. Was it easy getting the taxi from JFK? How much did it cost? Sounds like you had a great time - did you see a show, we haven't decided which one to see yet. Any other interesting things there you'd recommend? Thanks, sue.

Melbourne
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2. Re: Yet another firstie's trip report

Sounds good so far; can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip. I too am from Oz and will be heading over in January, so any suggestions will be most welcome.Cheers

Brisbane, Qld
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167 posts
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3. Re: Yet another firstie's trip report

Groov-yes getting a taxi you just follow the signs to the official taxi cab queue outside the terminal where the yellow cabs are and they have a dispatcher who keeps the line moving and gets you quickly into a cab. People say there are touts inside who try to grab you but we didn't encounter any. Don't use them if you are-go to the official line. There is a standard fixed rate for JFK to eg downtown. There is more info on the Top 10 Q on the right hand side of this page. For us 4pmish Sunday pm going to downtown area the official rate was $50.50 including the tunnel toll and we rounded up to $60 with a tip - the driver was an efficient and nice guy who gave us lots of tourist info as we drove past places etc, Most advice says be prepared to pay around $60 so we had this sum ready.

Sounds like a great birthday surprise trip for your son-I'll progressively post the rest of the trip so you can see what we did then I'll get back to you with our stand-out highlights. We saw How to Succeed-daughter and my choice but my husband loved it too-very funny and anyone who has ever worked in an office would relate to it. Have you sussed out what your son might like based on London shows he'd like? I was tempted by Spiderman but it kept being delayed due to technical issues so didn't want to risk it and Book of Mormon was all booked out by the time I got my act together.

United Kingdom
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4. Re: Yet another firstie's trip report

Hi thanks for info - actually it's between spiderman and how to succeed and the Daniel Radcliffe element is swaying me - looking fwd to hearing your next post.

Brisbane, Qld
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167 posts
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5. Re: Yet another firstie's trip report

Day 2. 4th July Woke to a cloudy am so tossed up Brooklyn or Central Park and Central Park won. After a filling breaky of divine bagels (I had never liked them-obviously never had a real NY bagel before!), home made cake (they called it bread but we'd call it cake-butterscotch), fresh fruit and good coffee at Chelsea Pines Inn (hereafter CPI) we headed out. The subway was a few metres away from the front door so bought our 7 day passes and 10 mins later arrived at Columbus Circle. We enjoyed a slow wander up through the park mostly along the east side following a rough route I had made so we didn't miss some of our "musts" like the statue of Balto, the Bethesda Fountain and the Alice in Wonderland sculpture. Spent too long watching squirrels too (novel for us). By now the sun had burnt through the clouds and it was a beautiful day. We were surprised by the rocky outcrops at the southern end of the park-expected more flat terrain and impressed with the great kids playgrounds. If my daughter had been 6 we would have never got out of the park!

Reached the Met which was open as it was a public hol. I had a number of galleries I wanted to look at and no interest in the Alexander McQueen show which is attracting the crowds (sorry-just not our cup of tea). I had planned to limit us to 3 hours to avoid museum overload but we ended up spending about 4 hrs - mostly concentrating on the 1st floor on the Egyptian galleries and the American wing and then on the 2nd floor some specific artists in the 19th and early 20C galleries and the Ancient Near Eastern gallery. Could easily have spent days and days here. We went up to the roof for the views-it has a small cafe and bar and limited seating. Grabbed a wrap to eat as still too full from breakfast to have a larger lunch in one of the cafes here as I had thought we might.

We meandered back across the park, busy now with families and sunbakers on the Great Lawn and down to the Lincoln Centre to pick up our internet ordered tickets for the RSC later in the week, thence to Columbus and called into the Wholefoods store in Times Warner to buy take away salads for dinner (we need this chain in Aus) and headed back.

Had a couple of hours rest and ate our light dinner at CPI before jumping back on the subway about 7.45pm to the Hudson River walkway to watch the fireworks. I had followed advice posted on another forum and what we do locally-head up river from the official viewing spots and still get a good view but avoid the masses. We got out at 72nd and though people were gathering had a river railing spot and only light crowds. Took some spectacular sunset shots here. We enjoyed the fireworks though would be better if we could have heard the music too. We then shuffled in the crowds back to Broadway and deciding subways would be packed hopped on a near empty bus but got out in the Times Square area to see the craziness at night. Found a little cafe-no idea of its name and had tea and muffins before subwaying home-already officially loving NY.

Brisbane, Qld
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6. Re: Yet another firstie's trip report

Groov-Daniel was excellent-he can sing-perhaps not project his voice as good as some more professionally trained experienced performers but still very good-also John Larroquette was brilliant. I loved the fact the theatre was small so more intimate (at least compared to ones here) so you could really see the actors. We were in the second row on the first balcony-just off centre and very good seats-cost us around $90 with a discount-think full price was $132 but I bought them on-line prior. I didn't want to waste time and be limited in show choice using TKTS. You could go for broke and do both?????

Bali4eva-you'll see what I rave about in my posts-I don't know how to be succinct! but also happy to answer any questions.

Dallas, Texas
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for Boston, Orlando, Walt Disney World
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7. Re: Yet another firstie's trip report

Really enjoying your TR so far.

London, United...
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8. Re: Yet another firstie's trip report

We are there for the first time in September and are staying at the Chelsea Pines Inn so I am looking forward to the rest of your trip report.

United Kingdom
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383 posts
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9. Re: Yet another firstie's trip report

Hi, I've decided to use the broadway discount site and try to get both nearer the time - worth the risk with the amount I'll be saving.

You were so lucky to be there 4th July was the empire state fantastic with the different coloured lights on? sue

NYC
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10. Re: Yet another firstie's trip report

Really like your trip report.

Yeppers