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We have a plan....comments appreciated

Ireland
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We have a plan....comments appreciated

We arrive at JFK on Thursday landing at 130pm. We're going to take the Airtrain and Lirr to Penn Station and then walk to our hotel - Nyma on W 32 Street. Check in and take a wander to get our bearings. Thinking of doing the Gray Line Night Tour in the evening to see the city. return to Times Square and grab some dinner and wander around the area.

Friday - breakfast at hotel, walk to B&H Photo Video so hubby can buy a camera. Subway to WTC memorial followed by a walk through Wall Street. walk to South Ferry (?) to get the Staten Island Ferry. Following ferry, subway to Rockerfellar Centre (via Grand Central), grab a bite to eat, then TOTR. Might wander back to Times Square to see the shops we may have missed the previous night.

Saturday - bus 111 from Port Authority Bus Terminal to Jersey Gardens. Spend the day shopping. No plans for what to do Sat evening. Can anyone recommend a cinema where we could see a good movie Sat night (something new which isn't showing in Ireland yet!!)

Sunday - our wedding anniversary!! Breakfast and hit American Museum of National History, had thought about doing BB Kings Harlem Gospel Choir brunch Sun morning before AMNH? wander through Central Park and grab some lunch. Wander over to Guggenheim. Recommendations for a relaxed meal Sun night? Pub grub/ Italian/Indian...? Nothing fancy.

Monday - free to do anything we missed/last minute shopping etc. leave for airport at 5pm (Lirr and Airtrain to JFK) for 9pm flight back to Dublin.

I realise we're missing a lot but my husband has a hip injury that means he can't walk as much as he had hoped and I don't want to tire him out so we've done a must see list and will see everything else the next time. Comments or suggestions much appreciated.

Manhattan
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1. Re: We have a plan....comments appreciated

You'll find plenty of old and new movies that won't make it to Ireland. I just posted this on another thread.

…typepad.com/explorenyc/2013/04/april-2013-t…

42 the movie about baseball player Jackie Robinson is opening on the 12th and here's where it'll be playing on the 13th.

moviefone.com/movie/…

New York NY
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2. Re: We have a plan....comments appreciated

Here's the thing - Times Square is tourist central. Low quality everything - the last place anybody in NYC would go to shop. Overpriced and low-quality. Yes, you have the M&M's store and it is kind of cool. Yes, it is worth seeing - don't get me wrong - but it is the last place to go for food and shopping.

The great thing about your hotel is that you've got the bus right at the corner. You're going to walk more than half a mile (almost three quarters of a mile) up to Times Square for what? You'll do it once - you'll see it - I can't imagine you'll miss anything (and if you realize you did miss something in particular, you go back just to go to that one thing).

Please don't head to Times Square thinking that is where the good eats are - not at all.

Mario Batali's Otto Enoteca in Greenwich Village is excellent. Those buses - the M.1, the M.2 (limited), the M.3 and the M.5 (Limited). They stop literally at Mario Batali's door. If it were chucking down with rain, you'd barely notice a drop going from the bus into the restaurant. It is very reasonably priced with $10.00 pasta dishes, quartino's of wine, good pizza's, fun starters. www.ottopizzeria.com/ You can make reservations using OpenTable or you'll have a long wait.

The M.5 bus will take you within a block of the 9/11 Memorial. Yes, you can walk around the 9/11 Memorial, Wall Street, South Ferry area rather easily.

I think your itinerary is missing Brooklyn. I think it would be a shame to come over and not go to Brooklyn - we're talking about just a few minutes on the subway - it isn't like London where a trip to Greenwich is a real day trip. You can get to the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn in less time than South Ferry. You can take the same M.1, the M.2 (limited), the M.3 and the M.5 (Limited) at 33rd Street / Fifth Avenue down to 14th Street (just two stops if it is a limited bus). Walk into Union Square - it is very nice. You've got Whole Foods there, lots of shopping. There is a Nordstrom Rack, Best Buy, lots of shopping and a big movie theatre. Do a google street view of 14th Street and Broadway, NYC. From there you jump on the Brooklyn bound L train three stops to Bedford Avenue and you emerge in the heart of the young / hipster / fun Northside neighborhood in Williamsburg. Bedford Ave. and N.7th St. (that's where the subway station is) is the heart of the neighborhood. Go ahead and do a google street view if you want to have a look.

If you're looking for a nice restaurant for the anniversary, have a look at this. www.mirandarestaurant.com/

I love the restaurant - Miranda. Excellent. Great service / delightful atmosphere / excellent food / reasonably priced. The neighborhood is busy and very safe. Subway is totally safe and busy - even late into the night.

On the Upper West Side near the Natural History Museum, I like some of the restaurants near 72nd Street (near the Dakota). On Columbus Avenue. I like Harry's Burritos. I like Ronda - Spanish / tapas. I'm a big fan of Spice (thai food). Spice has a few locations. Very reasonably priced - good food. www.spicethainyc.com/

Don't eat in Times Square.

Ask us - we'll help you. Don't just pick something in Times Square that looks good - it will be rushed, low-quality, overpriced. They don't operate on repeat business - they operate on getting the new tourists in the door - they know they'll never come back but there will be thousands of new tourists flocking to Times Square the next day.

Long Island
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3. Re: We have a plan....comments appreciated

I agree with MoreFFmiles regarding Times Square and the food. I wouldn't eat there either and Times Square is essentially just a tourist trap. With that said, however, realize that you are a tourist and likely will like to do tourist type things. I believe that most people not from the US (or even a big city) would be amazed at Times Square at night. It is an amazing spectacle to see. Perhaps just a quick visit when the sun goes down to walk through just to experience it is all you really need.

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
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4. Re: We have a plan....comments appreciated

Wow! Really insightful post, but now you've kind of scared me about my own plans. We are due in NYC in the beginning of June, and I planned to take the kids to Jekyll and Hyde in TS- obviously for the experience , not the food. As that location is still relatively new, there aren''t a whole lot of reviews to go on. Should I still take them there? If not, then where? They are 2 boys, (11 and 14) and my daughter (22). Thanks for any help.

New York NY
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5. Re: We have a plan....comments appreciated

I'm not going to tell you not to take them there if that is something you think they'll enjoy.

You know your children best. I think I was talking more about adults and people looking for a smart and upscale meal. If you think your children will enjoy Jekyll & Hyde, don't cancel your plans because it is touristy and in Times Square. I suspect your 22 year old daughter may be less than thrilled but if the boys enjoy it, I'd hate to suggest you take your children to a smart and formal restaurant when Jekyll & Hyde is something you think they'd enjoy.

The goal is to have an enjoyable trip and everybody will have different interests and needs. I would not take my comments addressed toward adult couples and apply it as a blanket statement for all visitors.

Ireland
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6. Re: We have a plan....comments appreciated

Thank you so much MoreFFmiles, your replies are always so helpful and informative. I've copied your email into my itinerary and will make a point of seeking out the restaurants you mentioned which all look amazing. Hubby is especially excited about Spice and I'm looking forward to Otto and Rondas. Miranda looks lovely too so will hopefully fit that in too.

New York NY
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7. Re: We have a plan....comments appreciated

Excellent. Please come back and give us a trip report. I think this will make a huge difference and you'll enjoy your trip so much more dining with locals in the know. You will eat so much better - you will have a much better experience and you'll probably save money too. But the best part is that you'll get a more authentic New York experience rather than the mediocrity of Times Square.

The more people that write trip reports telling others how much they enjoyed exploring the real New York and how easy, safe, and comfortable it is to visit these great neighborhoods slightly off the Hop On Hop Off bus route, the more we can help more visitors get more out of New York.

I'm looking forward to hearing. Enjoy. All the best...

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: We have a plan....comments appreciated

This is another endorsement for Batalli's Otto, a great place for pizza, pasta and he has an incredible wine list that's very well priced. It is also a great afternoon pit stop for drinks at the bar. Do try their Olive Oil ice cream.

If you are heading to SOHO, I'd recommend lunch at Balthazar's. It may not be the "in" place it was 10 years ago, but it never ceases to be very good.

Ireland
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9. Re: We have a plan....comments appreciated

Thansk WEQueen...Balthazars has just been added to the list of places to try. Much appreciated.

New York NY
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10. Re: We have a plan....comments appreciated

I would recommend Balthazar more for a glass of wine or a break in the day for a light bite to eat but I really wouldn't recommend it for dinner. It is very popular with the visitors and it is a decent place - when people are visiting for the first time and we're in the area, we'll swing by but it isn't really a local go-to place for a full meal.