I've been reading posts on this forum for 2 weeks now, and have learned a lot, so am going to post a few questions.
My sister and I are coming to NYC May 4-8th. She has never been, I've been there twice, although I didn't plan either of those trips. My sister wants to see all the usual things, SOL, ESB, a couple of plays, shopping, etc.
I've gotten tickets already to TOTR, ESB, and the ferry to SOL and Ellis Island, also the 3 hour Circle Line boat tour. I've made up a rough itinerary, but want to figure out what order we should do it all in, to avoid zigzagging around the city. We've got 3 full days there, and want to use them as best we can. Here goes:
Day 1 (Thursday the 4th)
Arrive at LaGuardia at 8:19pm
Take a taxi to Amsterdam Court Hotel
(W. 50th between Broadway & 8th)
What is traffic like at 8:30-9:00 on a Thursday evening? Is it reasonable to think we may be in the hotel by 10pm, and have some time to go out walking around that night?
Day 2 (Friday the 5th)
TOTR (8:30-8:45am admission)
NYC Public Library (42nd & 5th)
ESB (34th & 5th)
Grand Central Station (42nd & Park)
3 hour Circle Line boat tour (Pier 83 at 42nd & 12th)
8pm Barefoot in the Park at Cort Theatre (48th & 5th)
Walk around TS
All my research says not to shop in TS, the stores there are tourist traps. I know my sister is going to want to buy t-shirts (she always does, no matter where she goes!). Is there a good place for this elsewhere or just in TS?
Day 3 (Saturday the 6th)
Taxi to Battery Park
Ferry to SOL and Ellis Island
South St. Seaport
Maybe walk across Brooklyn Bridge
Depending on time left, work our way uptown and go through some of the neighborhoods.
I figured SOL and EI would take a lot of time, so didn't want to plan too much on this day. We'd like to see some of the neighborhoods like the Village, Soho and Tribeca, but it's not something we couldn't do without if we run out of time. I heard of Big Apple Greeter, but didn't want to be locked into a specific time, so didn't request that. I've read about a free bus service in the Financial District, is that available on weekends, and how far uptown does it take you?
Day 4 (Sunday the 7th)
Fifth Avenue shops
afternoon play (if can get tickets to something good at discount booth)
I haven't listed any restaurants because neither of us is too concerned with where we eat. We'll just pop in somewhere when we're hungry and try it out. However, I was wondering if anyone knows what kind of places are around the Amsterdam Court hotel?
Transportation around the city is my one concern. I'm afraid to even try the subway. I know it's safe, I rode it several times on my previous trips, but my friend understood how it worked, and I didn't have to figure it out. I'm afraid to try it because I don't understand the system and am afraid I'll end up somewhere and be off track from where I need to be, thus wasting time trying to get around. I've done mapquest directions on some of the attractions, and figure we can walk to a lot of the ones close by the hotel, but the furthest ones, we'll take a taxi, like to Pier 83 and Battery Park. BUT..my sister has asthma, and we are both out of shape, so I know we will end up taking taxis more often than not! Any suggestions on helping me thru the subway system? (We don't understand bus routes either, here in Indiana, we drive everywhere!)
Thanks for any help/suggestions you can give me!