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My first time/trip report

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My first time/trip report

This was my very first time to New York City and I must say, OH MY! thanks to all who gave me suggestions for our trip. My husband and I took our two sons ages 18 and 14 and left our little Mid-west town of 12,000 on Friday, March 17th.

We flew Northwest from St. Louis to LGA. Here goes:

Friday: Arrive LGA at 1:24 p.m. Get our luggage and call for our reserved pickup with Crown Limosine. thanks NYwhiz. We got a strech limo to wow the kids, plus we would never have gotten all of our stuff into a taxi. They picked us up promptly and delivered us to our hotel, The Manhattan Club.It is at the corner of 56th and 7th, across from Carnegie Hall. We got caught going downdown in the parade route, but that was fun, we just rolled down the windows and listened to the bagpipes and drums. Only took 8-10 minutes extra. Checked in with no trouble,have a great room,we unpacked and set out for a bite to eat. We stopped into the Stage deli, I had some very good chicken soup with a matzo ball, and the boys had corned beef. They loved the mustard there.We then went to MOMA's free friday night. We got there about 3:50, so we waited in line, but only for 18 minutes, and I had a ball just listening to all the different languages around me. The museum is large, we started at the top and worked our way down. My husband and I would have stayed till it closed but the boys have no appreciation for art so they were bored. Youngest son pronounced most things "crap", and I had to agree with a few strange pieces. Overall, I really liked it. We then went to Churriscaraia Platforma for dinner. This is a great carnivore feast!!! The salad bar is awesome with quality cheese,seafood, and vegetable salads, and then you get 18 or so different kinds of roasted meat. Very good!! We walked back to the hotel and went to bed full.


Started the day with bagels from Pick a Bagel. Went to Times Square and walked around, checked out TKTS to see if there was anything we wanted. With two teenagers the day does not start early, it was 11:00 when we headed out. Had lunch at Pig and Whistle pub, 165 W. 47th st. Good pub fare and the soccer game was on! I had a big chef salad and the boys had french dips. It is strange to us to see restaurants say "$10.50 minimum per person", we could have had the same lunch at home for about half the price. Boy, food is expensive here!!!! Husband then took youngest son to Wicked while oldest son and I went to Jewtopia. Got these tickets at the TKTS booth. This show is very funny. We decided we might be the only gentiles there, and if we had been Jewish we probably would have gottn more of the jokes, but we laughed alot anyway. Small cast, small theatre, worth the price. Met up with others at Starbucks around 46th st. We looked around Times Square some more, and went to Macy's. Biggest store I've ever seen!! It was crazy, and loud, and crowded. I tried to shop, but gave up, too many people. We went back out and walked around and just looked at buildings and people. Went to the ESPN zone for dinner. Had a points card from a trip to Vegas. My VIp card let us bypass the 2 hour wait, we got seated in less than 10 minutes. Food was good and boys love to watch big screen sports. Back to hotel and bed!


Slept late, got every one up and went to the "Burger Joint" in Le Parker Meridian. It really is behind a big velvet curtain. Didn't have to hunt it, you could smell it. Good burgers and fries, at what may be a bargain for NY. Strolled 5th Avenue, shopped in Cole Hahn, looked around FAO Shwartz, and went inside the Sherry-Netherland Hotel to look because the outside was so pretty. I love to look at buildings, see their design and decor. This embarasses my boys, but too bad!

We then went to see Spamlot at 3:00p.m. This was the only show we had bought tickets in advance for. We love Monty Python and this was such fun!! I had really looked forward to this and it was hilarious!

After wards we ate at Carmine's on 44th. We had to wait about an hour and a half, but it was worth it. The food was delicious, and the portions are HUGE!!! We ordered only two things plus a salad, an had too much! Everyone liked this place. Sunday's special is a four-pasta platter, lasagna, ziti with meat sauce, cannaloni, and ravioli with pesto. Oh, then the Titanic for dessert. A giant banana split. Big enough for 6-8.


We took our tour with the NY Party Shuttle. It ran from 8:30 until 2:30. Our guide was Tom, this is a good way to see all of New York. We saw all the major attractions of the city,took the Staten Island Ferry,Strawberry Fields,the Dakota, Wall street, Noho, SOho, Chinatown,etc. Tom pointed out little things and made this tour very worthwhile. At the Southstreet Sea Port I had my first Nathan's hot dog. Sorry, but it was gross! After our tour we went back to the Hotel to rest. Husband and I went to Grand Central Station to look at it. It is pretty, and the prepared food market downstairs is awesome! The concierge recommended March restaurant for dinner. My husband and I went out for a night by ourself's. The boys had original Ray's pizza. March is a lovely little restaurant. We had the tasting menu. 5 courses. The service was good, the food nicely presented and very good. This was not near as expensive as some of the places I had read about. I would definetly go back. It was intimate, and quiet. A very grand evening. We took our first NY taxi ride tonight. SCARY!! I just knew we were going to crash and had to hang on to keep from being thrown against the front seat. Funny, I heard today NY has 12,000 taxi's. that's one for every person in my town!


Took my first subway trip today. We bought our Metro cards, all the boys swiped theirs and went thru the revolving gate, and I could not get my card to work. After 6 or seven swipes, it said go, and like I always do at a revolving door, I reached across me and pushed it once around, and it locked! With me not thru it yet. Of course my card couldn't be swiped yet, not for 18 minutes, and surprise! A very nice New Yorker walked up and handed me her ticket so I could get to my family. Yes, they laughed at me. We took the train to 72nd so we could experience Gray's Papaya. Much better than Nathan's. Boys shopped at Urban outfitters. then back to the subway and off the Century 21. Again, just too many people for me, and too much clutter too. We looked thru St. Paul's Cathedral and went to Chinatown. I had some Black Sesame Ice cream from the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, and bought a Louis Vuttion purse. My oldest bought a LV duffle bag. We looked areound for the Pearl River Mart. Glad to find it, bought some beautiful chopsticks. Back to Hotel, changed our clothes, went to the Time Warner Center to get a snack at Whole Food Market. Then to Hairspray. We bought tickets inside the Times Square Visitor Center. Great seats!! Forth row, center section. What a fun show!! This was a hit with the whole family. This cast did a wonderful job. Afterwards, we ended up at Broadway Joe's steakhouse. Just mediocre. They do give you a 20% discount with your playbill, so that was good.


Husband and I left kids asleep and set out to explore. Stopped at Bagel Pro on 56th, good breakfast bagels. Went to Bloomingdales, and bought the cutest high heel wedge sandals!! Looked in H abd M, and Daffy's. Back to hotel to get boys. Had lunch and the Carnegie deli. Knew the sandwiches were huge, and they are awesome. I loved the corned beef. We set up on the balcony area and could see most everyone in this room. It was fun to listen to the waitresses and look at the pictures on the wall. Shared cheesecake, YUMMY!!!!! We then went back to the Shubert Theatre and were part of the World's Largest Coconut Orchestra! In celebration of Monty Pythons's 1st year run, they gave away free coconuts, and crowded us all together outside in the alley. Two stars from the show came out and led us in playing along to "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" and we made the Guiness Book of world records!! all 1,200 people!! It was crazy, and such fun! I will always remember this, so silly, just like Monty Python. We then walked down Broadway and looked in shops, and had dinner at the Croton Resevoir Tavern. It's at 40th betwn 6th and Bdwy. This was probably our favorite restaurant. It is contemporary, and chic, and while it seemed to be a local after work spot for drinks, the food was excellant and reasonably priced. they had a pre-theatre menu for $29. I had grilled shrimp on linguini with olive oil and tomatoes, and some tomato soup. The soup is large enough to be a meal! My oldest son had a strip steak that was perfectly cooked, and husband had delicious salmon. This food was not only tasty but was plated nicely and looked pretty. Those of you who live here need to try this place. We then went to see Sweeny Todd. Excellant seats in this theatre, and what a good show. Strange and twisted, but such performances!!! All the actors/musicians are to be applauded! We really enjoyed this, even though everyone dies. It is dark, yet funny at times. Back to hotel.


We take the subway to Brooklyn today. Our oldest son has met up with his Newspaper teacher from home, so it's just the three of us today. We have pizza at Grimaldi's. How good! Very different from what we have at home. We walked back across the the Brooklyn Bridge. I loved the view, and seeing Manhattan from a distance. We went to the South street seaport and saw the Bodies exhibit. My husband is a doctor and he thought it was very cool. My son and I liked it, but we thought the bodies looked like "meat". Kinda gross then. It is very facinating, how they have disected these human bodies to show how your muscles work, how your veins and arteries run through you, great learning experience. We left and walked around Wall street, youngest son wanted to go to the fancy McDonald's. We had a snack and listened to the lady play the piano. We then looked at St. patrick's Cathedral. What a beautiful church. It is quite lovely. We went to Rockerfeller Center and met up with our son and his teacher, and went to the Top of the Rock. (thanks for the vouchers) This was incredible!. It was not quite dusk yet, and we watched the sun go down and the lights come on all over the city. I loved seeing Central Park, and picked our Tavern on the Green from all the lights. Everyone enjoyed this, took lots of pictures. Afterwards, went to Gallagher's for dinner. We emjoyed our food, but did I mention how expensive everything is in New York? How do you all afford this town?


Breakfast at Pick a Bagel. Our limo comes for us at 9:15. It takes a little while to get thru traffic, and then we at the airport. Good Bye N.Y.

Overall, this was a busy, and interesting trip. Some surprises. The only rude people we met weren't New Yorkers, just visitor's like us. and all the different languages. that was facinating to just stop and listen around you. Two things you need to demand though, you native New Yorker's: Clean bathrooms, and free drink refills!

thanks for all the help here at the forum in planning our trip!!

New York, NY
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1. Re: My first time/trip report

"Free drink refills and clean bathrooms".

Well, you can forget about the free refills (except for coffee) and clean bathrooms, how about bathrooms, period!! HAHAHA. Sometimes,when you really need one, it is hard to find.

Wow, sounds like great fun, you saw some great shows, had some great food, and plenty of bagels!!

Good for you for seeing Jewtopia, I thought it was hilarious, I am glad you enjoyed it too, and you don't have to be Jewish........

And although food in NY can be expensive, it all depends where you go, and you chose some of the pricier places, but was it worth it? Probably. If you live here, you don't do it that often, trust me.

I am happy it worked out well for you.

Detroit, Michigan
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2. Re: My first time/trip report

Terrific report, HM. You got lots done, saw lots of stuff. It's obvious that you're open to all kinds of experiences and that's what makes traveling a joy!

Queens, New York
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3. Re: My first time/trip report

Wow! What a fabulous trip. Congrats on a safe and successful journey. Extra points for doing so much with teenage boys! ;o)

Seriously, you sound like a wonderful bunch, and I'm so impressed that you did so many things. You all have so much energy and enthusiasm! How are your feet? More extra points for finding and eating an unusual flavor at the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory.

What was the family verdict on Stage vs. Carnegie delis?

Thanks for an impressive and upbeat report.

Bronxville, New York
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4. Re: My first time/trip report

I don't really have much to say except that I really enjoyed your report! I'm glad you had fun in our City. Come back soon!

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5. Re: My first time/trip report

Did I read correctly? You got tickets for "Wicked" at the TKTS booth?

Geelong, Australia
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6. Re: My first time/trip report

Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us. I loved your report and hearing about your travels with teenage boys.

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7. Re: My first time/trip report

I enjoyed your report, but I have to disagree. We went to NYC and found it to be very inexpensive. I checked on Menupages and this forum and got ideas for less expensive places to eat...there are so many places that do not cost an arm and a leg...believe me because we were on a very tight budget but ate very well.

Roswell, GA
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8. Re: My first time/trip report

HM-great posting. I'm making a copy of your report for my family to enjoy reading on the flight up to NYC thursday evening. I'm getting so excited.

Danbury, Connecticut
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9. Re: My first time/trip report

Nice report, glad you enjoyed March. It's often overlooked but I think it's nice and romantic.

Sunderland, United...
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10. Re: My first time/trip report

Another poster who took part in The World's Largest Coconut Orchestra! Well done.

A really good report, glad I've just had breakfast as all that food would have had me eating more than I should have.