New York

Started by Neph, December 31, 2012, 07:13:21 am

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


Visiting New York for the first time in March. I'm going with Mrs Neph and my two children, daughter is 17 and my son is 12. We are going for 5 days and I was wanting a bit of advice on what to see and what not to see.


wouldn't bother..not much happening there...:)
From the Land of Honest Men.


We were there in 2010 with our 15 year old daughter and did  the obvious tourist stuff. We went in July when the temperature was hitting 38C so it was very different from March when it might be 38F.

In no particular order of preference.

1. Top of The Rock at the Rockefeller Centre.
I much preferred this to the Empire State Building experience. Much shorter queues and more room in the viewing areas at the top. It's lower than the ESB but you get a clear view of Central Park and Uptown and crucially you can see the ESB from it which you can't when you're in the ESB. Disadvantage, you can't see Downtown from it.

2. Empire State Building
It's iconic so you'll probably go there anyway. We had to contend with horrific queues and had to walk up the last six floors. The first lift only takes you to the 80th floor, there's another waiting area there before you get another lift to the viewing area on the 86th. It was so busy there that they were allowing people to walk up the last few floors. I'd expect it will be a lot quieter in March than July. If you do get up there you get a superb view of the Chrysler Building and Downtown. You should do either this or Top of The Rock at night so you can see the city all lit up.

3. Ellis Island
A superb museum which much to our surprise Katie loved. Normally she hates being dragged to museums but she loved this. If either of the kids have done or are likely to do Modern Studies it's a must-see. Make sure you get the audio-tour (I think it was free) it enhances the experience. When we went there were queues for the ferry and there is full airport style security before you can get on it which was a pain.

4. American Museum Of Natural History/Hayden Planetarium
On the upper west side near Central Park. As a space geek I loved the planetarium and the museum features more dead and extinct animals than you knew existed. It's very good on dinosaurs. It's also convenient (about 8 blocks) from Strawberry Fields if you want to go there. The blocks are only about 80 yards deep when you are heading in a "North-South" direction.

5. Central Park.
It's vast, 2.5 miles long by 0.5 mile wide, don't expect to see more than a fraction of it. In the summer there are usually street performers dotted around, no idea if they will be out there in March.

6. Times Square at Night
Garish, but something you should see with just about every building lit up with lights and advertising screens. Who's paying the electric bill for all this ?  Probably the safest place in New York, all the cops seem to congregate there in the evenings, we would regularly see about 30 or more cop cars parked up here at night.

7. Bryant Park at 42nd Street West and 6th Avenue
This was a good place just to sit and watch the world go by. Maybe not in March though, you might freeze your buns off.

8. Walking around.
We enjoyed just wandering about taking in the sights of the city. It's amazingly dynamic but jeez I wouldn't want to live there (well not in Manhattan).

We got a City Pass which gave reduced admission fees to many of the attractions.


Quote from: Neph on December 31, 2012, 07:13:21 am
Visiting New York for the first time in March. I'm going with Mrs Neph and my two children, daughter is 17 and my son is 12. We are going for 5 days and I was wanting a bit of advice on what to see and what not to see.

A great city, you should have a brilliant time.
Chris and Carrie are the best guides, so speak to them. If you want to go to Ellis Island/Statue of Liberty - get there early (2 1/2 hr queues when we went, so didn't bother) and take the same ID as if you were going abroad. Central Park and the roof of the Met museum are a must, your children might like Times Square, and strangely Toys'r'us there was good fun. The street food is licensed, so good imo.
What area are you staying in?
Money, it's a gas


Add to BP's list - Greenwich Village - this is where I'd stay, Chrysler Building, Flat Iron, Rockefeller and Radio City, Cruise around Manhattan, Ice Skating in Central Park (or hire bikes if warm enough), Science Museum (q expensive last time I visited), Guggenheim and MOMO are very good, Statten Island Ferry (free) is a must for me. Also try to get off the island and visit Queens, Bronx, Hoboken and quite cheap to get out to Atlantic City in New Jersey. Alway wanted to get the train to Long Island too as I think it;s all one fare? Finally, to save money, look out for decent deli's rather than restaurants which can be quite expensive. CQ should be able to advise on latest attractions.


Chris Quartly

December 31, 2012, 16:36:00 pm #5 Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 16:55:12 pm by Chris Quartly
It's possibly easier to narrow down advice based on what you and your family like to do rather than just rattle off all kinds of things. March was gorgeous here this year, the sun was out every day and it was pretty warm, so it's a hard place to pack for as well! I'll mention a few things, but feel free to ask for more info or reach out privately about anything.

You'll be surprised how much ground you can cover on foot as well, I'd recommend walking a lot rather than taking cabs and subways unless you're going a significant distance, you never know what you're going to see along the way. Although having said that, the subway is a wonderful service.

I'm not a fan of Times Square, but you can't come all the way and not take a walk through it... although to be honest it's little more than a brightly lit area IMO.

March might still be a bit early for some things, Coney Island is still in bad shape from the hurricane, for example, as is Staten Island (as well as Long Beach and many other places by the water), although the ferry is running and highly recommended as Neil says. You do little more than get the ferry to Staten Island, got off and hop on another one and come back, but you get some great views of lower Manhattan and it goes fairly close to the statue of liberty (I'd recommend heading out to the back of the ferry on the return journey and watching the city get closer). I think the statue itself is still closed to the public for repairs but I could be wrong. Another easy/free thing to do is to take a walk along the Brooklyn Bridge (if you can time it for dusk then even better), better to walk from Brooklyn to Manhattan.

A handy tip for both The Met and the Natural History Museum, both are donation-based so you can pay what you want rather than the "suggested" fee (which gives little indication that it's merely a suggested donation). Both places are huge (especially the Met) and are really all-day activities although if you don't have that kind of time to spare you should at least pop in for a bit to get a feel of the place. You have to pay extra for a few things in the natural history museum (like the planetarium) but paying a few bucks to get into the Met gives you access to almost everything. Not sure the roof will be open in March, I think it opens in May (but if it is open you can get up there for free).

You'll need to walk around Central Park for a bit, of course. Many people like to go to the Strawberry Fields memorial for John Lennon, and just outside that part of the park is the Dakota building where he was shot...

The Bronx Zoo is a great day out, it'll be open from 10:00am-4:30pm during March and you'll need every minute of it. Another tip is that on Wednesday you can pay what you like to get in.

I've yet to do some of the things I'm sure are great (Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, MOMA, Guggenheim). I also hear that the Tenament museum is fantastic, am planning a visit soon.

There are loads of great inexpensive places to eat as well, the first thing I think about when thinking about recommendations is food! Beer is expensive though although since it's a family holiday you might not have to worry too much about that. If you do go to a bar, worth remembering that the etiquette is to leave a $1 tip on the bar per drink you've ordered (I wouldn't tip for a coke/soft drink though, just alcohol), it's fairly grating but you might not get served again if you don't...  although that's if you're ordering at the bar rather than a table service.

Best coffee I've had:
Tiny little hole in the wall in the East Village. Get the drip-coffee.

Bakery: (prince street), whenever we are in this part of town we have to go in. The wife thinks the pistachio cake is the best thing she has ever eaten.

Pancakes: (just be warned this place gets very busy)

Grab a falafel sandwich for $3 from, it'll keep you going!

The best burgers I've ever had are in our neighbourhood in Brooklyn from Ox Cart Tavern (

Two record shops to visit:
Other Music: (then from there you can walk to Abraco, grab a coffee and go to) Kim's: and if you're so inclined around the corner from Kim's is the building used for the Physical Graffiti album cover at 96-98 St Marks Place.

If you're looking to go to any gigs, keep an eye on (though you'll need to make sure a show is all-ages if you're taking everyone, most shows here are 21+). playlist of previous 7 days:<br /><br /><br />Q's Comps<br /><br />Some Other Suckers Parade


The Intrepid museum is cool , we enjoyed it there , theres now  a space shuttle exhibit and and concorde in addition to the war planes etc , if thats your thang .
the skyline walk too , though we ran out of time to do it , it gets great reveiws .
I'll try and behave . Promise

Chris Quartly

Do you mean the highline? It's a nice little walk (about 20 blocks I think) with some interesting architecture and a few views of the Hudson. I wouldn't go out of the way to do it but it's a chilled out spot if you need to find one. playlist of previous 7 days:<br /><br /><br />Q's Comps<br /><br />Some Other Suckers Parade


the high line linear park is meant to be a good place to take photo's I think, not done it though saw in in 2006

Chris Quartly

We went just before the spring I seem to remember, so things were a bit bare still. One of the benefits of living here is to see the city change with the seasons. Although the erm... aroma... of all the linden trees in the spring takes some getting used to! playlist of previous 7 days:<br /><br /><br />Q's Comps<br /><br />Some Other Suckers Parade


Yeh sorry ... Highline
I'll try and behave . Promise

Chris Quartly playlist of previous 7 days:<br /><br /><br />Q's Comps<br /><br />Some Other Suckers Parade


Many thanks to all involved for the advice given. I've got to admit that I made a slight error and that we are actually going to YORK at the end of March. Anybody got any tips to what to do in Old York?

Chris Quartly

Have you asked the Grand Duke? playlist of previous 7 days:<br /><br /><br />Q's Comps<br /><br />Some Other Suckers Parade


Quote from: Chris Quartly on January 05, 2013, 18:32:29 pm
Have you asked the Grand Duke?

I like that.

Seriously, thanks for all the advice and tips given about New York. I did smile when I read people's views on the garishness of Times Square. We decided that we might as well go for it if we are doing New York so we booked a hotel right on Times Square.

Most of the advice offered we were planning to do anyway but it's good to know we were on the right track.

All I need is a couple of Rush dates at Radio City Music Hall to add the icing on the cake.