Planning on Going to NYC?

Just cleaning out my inbox and stumbled across this email. I wanted to post it so I could delete it.

A little background for the email, I was thinking about heading to New York last March, but the plans fell apart. My brother was in New York City the previous fall (2015) for work, so I asked him for some advice. This is what he had to say back in January:

I’ll give you a high-level explanation of what I did in New York.  From there, ask me whatever you’d like.

I stayed at the Millenium Hilton, it was directly across from the World Trade Center Memorial (towards the south end of Manhattan).  Wall Street, the famous “Charging Bull,” the Federal Reserve and Battery Park are still just a bit further south, but most of the touristy stuff will be north of you. 

What I found worked best was to simply travel on foot.  Like I said when you were up for New Year’s, you can’t see much from a subway.  I was able to blaze a pretty nice path heading south on Broadway down to see the bull and then walk Wall Street before going to see the Brooklyn Bridge.  I stopped for lunch at a place called O’Hara’s (big cop/firefighter bar across from the trade centers… a lot of the first responders that died were regulars there).  From there, I just headed north on Broadway past NYU up to Union Square.  Park Avenue meets up here, so you have a pretty nice reference point to start your tour of Midtown.  What worked well for me was to continue on Broadway and make a quick left (west) on 31st – about a block south of the Empire State Building – to go check out Madison Square Garden.  I’ll warn you, this was the only time I really felt uncomfortable walking around.  Lots of junkies and panhandlers around “The Garden,” and they’re not afraid to get in your face.  Head back to Broadway, or try 7th Ave like I did, and continue north.  Either way, you’ll hit up with Times Square at 46th St.  If you catch a show, most of the Broadway acts are between 44th and 54th.  If you’re a music snob, Carnegie Hall is at 7th Ave and 56th St., which is just south of Central Park (59th).  From there, I basically played the human version of Pac-Man and toured the blocks between 60th St. and 42nd St. with Lexington Avenue and The Avenue of the Americas (6th) as my east/west boundaries.  Lots of great stuff to see in there, just depends on your taste.  Rockefeller Center, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Museum of Modern Art, Radio City Music Hall, Grand Central Station, NHL and NFL corporate offices, Trump Tower, Chrysler Building and the United Nations, to name a few.  Map My Run pegged me at just over 13 miles to do all this and get back to my hotel via Broadway again. 

Yankee Stadium is in the Bronx which is north and east of Manhattan, Barclays Center is in Brooklyn while Flushing Meadows is in Queens, which are on Long Island, just south and east of Manhattan.  The football teams and the Devils play in New Jersey.  You can reach all these places via public transit, but I was warned about safety – particularly after dark – getting to and from these places on foot… plus they’re really far away. 

Spend the money for the Observatory Tour at the 9/11 Memorial one of the nights you’re out.  It’s worth the cost and crowd.  Furthermore, buy a drink and take in the view from the lounge.  You can see everything from up there!

Food is really whatever you make of it.  It’s worth noting though, things cost significantly more just because you’re in Manhattan – even the basics like McDonald’s or Subway are probably 30% more expensive than back here.  I stuck mostly to Irish pubs for dinners and tried a couple food carts for lunches (pizza slices and gyros seem to be on every third corner) when I was out walking around. 

No matter where you’re flying in from, JFK, LaGuardia or Newark, plan to set aside roughly $80 for cab fare to get you into the city.  Manhattan has a ton of tolls, so it’s not just the distance that gets you (trust me, I found a taxi fare website that quoted me at about $50… and didn’t account for tolls and taxes). 

Hope that helps!

Good luck

Hopefully this helps someone out. If you've been to NYC before, what are your thoughts on these suggestions?

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Published on Friday, July 22nd, 2016 at 2:53 PM.
Last updated on Friday, July 22nd, 2016 at 8:59 PM.