New York City Trip Report - May 2014
Traveled April 24 to May 1 2014 to Washington DC and then flew to New York City May 1-5, 2014. This was our 2nd time in DC and our 5th time in New York City. It was focused on Spring so we went to places with gardens and flowering trees. We went after Easter/Passover/Spring break.
Day 1 – Flew from LAX to Reagan Airport in Washington DC. Arrived very late, picked up car and drove to townhouse in West Alexandria and went to bed.
Day 2 – 7 Washington DC and Alexandria (see trip report in Washington DC Forum)
Day 8 - Drove to Reagan Airport, took a commuter flight to JFK. Took the Airtrain to LIRR to Penn Station and then took a taxi to hotel in Midtown East in New York City.
Walked to Roti Restaurant (GF Friendly) for dinner. Stopped and bought a bottle of wine and took it back to hotel room which included a refrigerator and microwave.
Walked to Lincoln Center to see a play.
Day 9 – Had a continental breakfast at the hotel. Walked to Grand Central Station and took the LIRR to New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. Spent the day, had a wonderful tour, and ate at The Pine Tree Café In the Leon Levy Visitor Center (good food but not GF Friendly). Back to the hotel and then walked to Mozzarelli’s Pizza (GF Friendly) for dinner. Stopped at Pip’s Place Bakery (totally GF) and picked up muffins, cupcakes and cookies. Went back to hotel, and then walked to Richard Rodger’s Theater for a musical.
Day 10 – Got up late and had continental breakfast at the hotel. Walked to Bloomingdales then walked to The Dairy, Central Park Visitor Center and took a wonderful guided walking tour of the park. Went to Pizzarte for late lunch (GF Pizza). Stopped at Rockefeller Center to get tickets for next day tour and Top of the Rock at sunset. Then walked to Blooms Deli for dinner and stopped at Pip’s Place Bakery (totally GF) for more muffins and cookies. Walked to Carnegie Hall for concert.
Day 11 – Got up early and had breakfast at The New York Luncheonette on East 50th Street and took the subway to The Cloisters Museum. Spent a lovely morning at the museum before the crowds arrived. Took subway back to Columbus Circle to the Whole Foods (GF friendly) bought cheese and meat for lunch, and rotisserie chicken and salads for dinner. Then took the subway and went back to hotel to drop off the food and had lunch in the hotel room. Took the subway to Metropolitan Museum of Art to view the temporary exhibits and then took the subway back to hotel room for wine and cheese snack. Had a wonderful guided Rockefeller Center Art and Architecture Tour and then went up to the Top of the Rock for sunset. The view at sunset is spectacular and the lights coming on provide just a wonderful show. Walked back to hotel room for dinner and pack to get ready to leave.
Day 12 – Had breakfast at The New York Luncheonette on East 50th Street and walked back to Pip’s Bakery for muffins and cookies to take home. Took a hired car to JFK because it seemed easier than the train. Flew home to Los Angeles.
THINGS I LEARNED AND RELEARNED AGAIN FOR NEW YORK CITY
Do not over pack! We were worried about the changes in the weather and took too much clothing and jackets. Ended up with an extra piece of luggage which was hard to navigate in New York City. We did take the Airtrain and LIRR in from JFK to Penn Station. The taxi ride to the hotel across town in the late afternoon was long and expensive. We did take a hired car with a set price mid-morning back to the airport and had no traffic problems. Take fewer pieces of luggage and take the subway.
Spring weather varies from day to day and the daily weather report is usually correct.
Walking in New York City is great but at peak periods the crowds of people slow you down. Our walk to Lincoln Center took about 15 minutes longer than planned. The next night we planned extra time and walked to the Theater District which was jammed.
Popular tourist places were very crowded on this Spring trip while the crowds were much smaller on a previous trip in a winter month. Go early to museums or tourist places.
Getting around New York City is easy but it does take time to get from place to place and so planning is really important. Lots of official people in the subway stations to help with directions. Fun to walk the city and see the different neighborhoods and architecture styles.
Getting a taxi in the morning is much easier than getting a taxi in the afternoon or evening.
Food in New York City is expensive! One person has Celiac(Gluten-free) and cannot eat anything with wheat which limited our choices and was the reason for a room with a refrigerator. Reviews of restaurants are very individual and ratings vary widely as we found during a quest for gluten free pizza. There are a lot of Gluten Free friendly restaurants in New York City but they may not be close by or have type of food you want to eat. From previous experience we knew that the really wonderful expensive restaurants can accommodate gluten free needs. We chose not to eat anyplace really expensive this trip but looked for moderately priced places.