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Hotels in NYC:

Hotels in Manhattan, even the national chains, CAN cost $200/night or well over $200/night. Hotel prices are very dependent on the time of year you're visiting. This means it is possible to get a lovely room in one of the new hotels on Times Square at $120 for 2.

www.woogo.com is a company, based in the UK, which owns several properties in NYC. One listed on their site was called Hotel 307 (upon arriving we found its real name was Imperial Court) at 307 West 79th on the Upper West Side. It had a special going for a double-double with a private bath for just $130/night (cost split between two people). This room also had a kitchenette, cable and A/C (a necessity in NYC in July). It was a little rundown but it was quiet and clean.

1. Apple Core hotels. Operates Red Roof, Comfort Inn, Super 8, La Quinta, and Ramada hotels. Rates start around $89, although they can hit $300 and up when the city is at full capacity. I can vouch for the La Quinta as being a great deal, well located, and clean. These are often sold out, but always worth checking... and I rarely see them on any of the hotel sites. http://www.applecorehotels.com

2. Club Quarters. Intended for business travellers, these are generally not very busy on the weekend, so you can get some deals, especially if you take the one near Wall Street. They also have locations at Rockefeller Center and near Times Square. http://www.clubquarters.info

3. Quikbook. Another hotel consoldiator (like hotels.com and hoteldiscounts.com) with usually excellent rates in NYC. http://www.quikbook.com

2 helpful hotel websites finding a reasonable hotel room: http://www.newyorkmetro.com/urban/guides/nyonthecheap/travel/hotels.htm
http://www.ny.com/hotels/budget.html

If you're willing to stay in an outer borough (Queens, The Bronx or Brooklyn) and take the subway into the Manhattan, you can get hotel rooms for under $100.00. For example, I think the Super 8 in Queens is only $89.00, and it's near a subway line.

There's also a YMCA on the East side that serves as a hostel, and lot of other “student” hostels for those of you traveling without a family, and willing to share bathrooms. Again, even less frills, but a roof, a shower, and a bed!

Of course, if money isn't an issue this trip you can't go wrong with upscale hotels like the Soho Grand, the W, or the classic Waldorf.
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Just sayin' ...

Diane
- no, I don't have the time to put one together (you'll see why in a moment)



I totally agree. The recent threads on LBYM made me realize how many times we are asked the same questions (and give the same answers). It is clearly going to happen over and over again since for some crazy reason people like to visit our fair city :)

I was thinking perhaps with a little group effort it might not be that hard. I just did a search for key phrases (restaurants, etc.) that I remember suggesting in post of the past (on this and other boards), and was able to locate several detailed thread that would be useful.

If each of us did this I bet we could compile some very useful info.

I'd be willing to organize it into something that makes sense, but I also have no idea how one actually goes about "making" a FAQ. But i'd assume it is easy.

jez
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I'd be willing to organize it into something that makes sense, but I also have no idea how one actually goes about "making" a FAQ. But i'd assume it is easy.


You just list out the questions and then the answers. Then post whatever you want to be the FAQ, and FA the post and ask Twitty to make it the FAQ.
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You just list out the questions and then the answers. Then post whatever you want to be the FAQ, and FA the post and ask Twitty to make it the FAQ.


Great! Sounds like something I can handle. Afterall I FA posts ALL the time (just kidding folks). So let me know who is willing to put in a little elbow grease (not toooo much) and I'll get going.

jez
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The recent threads on LBYM made me realize how many times we are asked the same questions (and give the same answers).

jez:

Perhaps you could just provide a link to that thread on LBYM!!! Lots of useful information in that thread.

As far as a "NY FAQ", please bear in mind that the board is a "state" board -- not a city board. What other cities in NYS will you be including in the FAQ?

:)

Christina
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As far as a "NY FAQ", please bear in mind that the board is a "state" board -- not a city board. What other cities in NYS will you be including in the FAQ?


...other......cities?
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...other......cities?

Yeah, just ask Grumpy or Earle.

Christina
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I can only do so much! Besides that link to the LBYM thread I have already found several others containing different, useful info.

I have no issues with other areas of NY State and those people more familiar are welcome, as far as I'm concerned, to compile info to be included on the FAQ. It just seems that we tend to get more questions about visiting NYC than, say, Ithaca. No judgement (I went to school there).

It was just an idea. Also, it isn't permanent. If we put one up and later decide to motify, that shouldn't be a problem.

jez
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other areas of NY State

Now I'm really confused. You mean Brooklyn, right?
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other areas of NY State
-----------
Now I'm really confused. You mean Brooklyn, right?



How can a newbie transplant already be a bigger New York Snob than me ?!?

jez
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As far as a "NY FAQ", please bear in mind that the board is a "state" board -- not a city board. What other cities in NYS will you be including in the FAQ?

Hey! I was going to say that!! ;-)

Earble
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Now I'm really confused. You mean Brooklyn, right?

Oh, you wacky Southeasterners...

Earble (northwesterner)
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I have no issues with other areas of NY State and those people more familiar are welcome, as far as I'm concerned, to compile info to be included on the FAQ. It just seems that we tend to get more questions about visiting NYC than, say, Ithaca.

Sadly, you're right. There are no other frequently asked questions about the rest of the state. Now, if you want to start a section called "questions that ought to be asked, but aren't", count me in.

Earble
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if you want to start a section called "questions that ought to be asked, but aren't", count me in.

Earble



Write it up and we'll post it! I'm not the boss here ...

jez
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chkNYC: <...Yeah, just ask Grumpy or Earle...>

Thank you, Christina!

Indeed, New York is a big place, even though the majority of the people seem to have congregated in tne southeastern part - the "Huddled Masses Yearning To Be Free!" It is for that reason that some of them become tourists during Fall and come up here on bus tours to watch the leaves turning or to go watch the cascading waters at Niagara Falls!

Bucolic "upstate" has some of the most beautiful scenery worldwide and owns truly spectacular vistas. And yes, there are other "cities," although I tend to shun those as much as I do NYC. I even dislike visiting my daughter in the Binghamton area, only an hour from me.

Actually, if any of you do come up here in the Fall, stop by and say hello. My number is in the book.

Regards,

Grumpy
.
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Bucolic "upstate" has some of the most beautiful scenery worldwide and owns truly spectacular vistas.

I concur!

I even dislike . . . the Binghamton area,

I spent one of the worst times of my life there.

~~ Alison, upstate New York visitor, former downstate resident
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I even dislike . . . the Binghamton area,

I spent one of the worst times of my life there.


Uhhh, Alison, can you give details? My wife are meeting some friends of ours to attend a Binghamton Mets game in a couple of weeks. That's the excuse to get together (Binghamton is equidistant between us), but if there's something we might need to know, I'd sure appreciate it.

Earble
who's now thinking maybe we should have gone to see the Jamestown Jammers, after all...
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Uhhh, Alison, can you give details?

Harpur College was no Wonderland -- at least not for me. Wrong place, wrong person, wrong attitudes all around, wrong everything. Ah, but I was so much older then; I'm younger than that now. Or something <g>.

It was a long time ago, and not fondly remembered. Objects in Alison's memory may differ from reality. YMMV, of course.

but if there's something we might need to know, I'd sure appreciate it.

I'm sure you'll have a great time!

(Please ignore the ramblings of an imaginary friend)

;^D

~~ Alison
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I think it would make sense to have two FAQs for this board, one for the NYC+suburbs area, another for the rest of the state. The NYC area is the focus for much of the questions and discussions, but certainly not all.


sheila
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Well, I for one have taken this FAQ seriously. I have been cuting and pasting like mad from previous posts, then editing out as much of the chit-chat as possible. Some of you have sent me things off line which I haven't been able to get to yet since I can't access that account here at work (where I have ample free time to do this)

My concern is how huge this is becoming. Restaurants alone, once broken down into ethnicity is very lengthy. Gosh, just pizza alone has about 10 suggestions! Anybody have ideas of how to organize? I was thinking that on the main FAQ page we have the catagories and then links to other posts containing that specific topic, so nothing gets toooo long. Ideas?

Also, I was serious about non- NYC people compiling their own FAQ to be included. Obviously it doesn't need to be as long, but any info you feel is worth sharing would be helpful to include.

I have included bits and pieces about the outer boroughs but basically stick to Manhattan. If anyone wants to write up something about Queens etc. go right ahead.

I will reply to THIS post with my first draft of the first section I have edited. It doesn't include restaurants, neighborhoods, specific walking tours, festival and activites. Feel free to offer any and all feedback.

jez

ps. just occured to me that all the formatting I did in MS Word might be totally lost, so hope it isn't too screwed up ...

jez
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Transportation to & from NYC:

1) Fly into LaGuardia, JFK, or Newark (NJ) Airports:

For those of you who fly into LaGuardia, there is an M60 bus that will take you directly into the city for $2.00. It won't take dollar bills. If you don't have coins or a metrocard for the bus, there is a change making machine on the inside near the ATM. It goes across Manhattan on 125th Street allowing you to get on and get on an appropriate subway.

From JFK you can take the airbus to Jamaica and then take either the subway or the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) into the city.

From Newark you can take a train shuttle or bus into Port Authority in Manhattan.

Of course you can also take a taxi or a shuttle bus.

2) Drive to NYC. The problem is where you park the car/store it while you are in the city since you certainly don't want a car in Manhattan. The majority of hotels don't offer parking. Those that do are high end hotels or are farther out from Manhattan. Those hotels that offered parking usually charged anywhere from $25/day on up.

3) Take an Amtrak train to Penn Station in NYC.

4) Take commuter trains going to NYC from upstate NY (called Metro North), or PATH trains in from New Jersey. With these you have the option of buying the tickets online/over the phone for a cheaper price. Only problem is you can not print boarding passes. They have to be mailed to you via snail mail so it needs to be decided on in advance.
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Hotels in NYC:

Hotels in Manhattan, even the national chains, CAN cost $200/night or well over $200/night. Hotel prices are very dependent on the time of year you're visiting. This means it is possible to get a lovely room in one of the new hotels on Times Square at $120 for 2.

www.woogo.com is a company, based in the UK, which owns several properties in NYC. One listed on their site was called Hotel 307 (upon arriving we found its real name was Imperial Court) at 307 West 79th on the Upper West Side. It had a special going for a double-double with a private bath for just $130/night (cost split between two people). This room also had a kitchenette, cable and A/C (a necessity in NYC in July). It was a little rundown but it was quiet and clean.

1. Apple Core hotels. Operates Red Roof, Comfort Inn, Super 8, La Quinta, and Ramada hotels. Rates start around $89, although they can hit $300 and up when the city is at full capacity. I can vouch for the La Quinta as being a great deal, well located, and clean. These are often sold out, but always worth checking... and I rarely see them on any of the hotel sites. http://www.applecorehotels.com

2. Club Quarters. Intended for business travellers, these are generally not very busy on the weekend, so you can get some deals, especially if you take the one near Wall Street. They also have locations at Rockefeller Center and near Times Square. http://www.clubquarters.info

3. Quikbook. Another hotel consoldiator (like hotels.com and hoteldiscounts.com) with usually excellent rates in NYC. http://www.quikbook.com

2 helpful hotel websites finding a reasonable hotel room: http://www.newyorkmetro.com/urban/guides/nyonthecheap/travel/hotels.htm
http://www.ny.com/hotels/budget.html

If you're willing to stay in an outer borough (Queens, The Bronx or Brooklyn) and take the subway into the Manhattan, you can get hotel rooms for under $100.00. For example, I think the Super 8 in Queens is only $89.00, and it's near a subway line.

There's also a YMCA on the East side that serves as a hostel, and lot of other “student” hostels for those of you traveling without a family, and willing to share bathrooms. Again, even less frills, but a roof, a shower, and a bed!

Of course, if money isn't an issue this trip you can't go wrong with upscale hotels like the Soho Grand, the W, or the classic Waldorf.
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Getting around NYC

Currently, local buses and subway rides cost $2/person/ride. You can pay per ride putting as much as you like on the metrocard (but you need to put no less than $4) OR you can buy an unlimited pass for:
a month, a week or a “fun pass”, which is just for one day.

For most tourists, even those planning on staying 5 or so days it probably makes sense to buy the weekly unlimited. It cost $24.00, works on all busses and trains which you will likely use several times and day and will really help you get around the city. You can buy them at vending machines at the stations or from tellers there as well.

* Ask the tellers for a subway map. Though big ones are posted on the subways and station walls it is nice to have your own - for free!!

www.hopstop.com is good for directions. You can even specify what combination of walking/trains/buses you want. Quite useful, especially when combined with www.straphangers.org, where you can find maps of streets surrounding each station in the subway system. Particularly useful outside Manhattan.
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Attraction Discount Passes:

1) The New York City Pass (www.citypass.net) - Costs $63.00 and gets you into the following for free:

Museum of Natural History
Museum of Modern Art
Guggenheim Museum
Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum
Circleline Sightseeing Cruises
Empire State Building Observatory

You can bypass tix lines (but not security lines) and you have 9 days from activation to see each attraction once.

2) The New York Pass (www.newyorkpass.com) -

$54 one day pass
$89 two day pass
$114 three day pass
$144 seven day pass
Days start from first use of card.

There are kids' cards available for cheaper prices and sometimes, these passes go on sale. These passes allow you free admission to 40 top attractions from the Empire State Building Observatory to the Statue of Liberty to the United Nations. It also includes discounts at 25 restaurants and stores, and line skipping. It is fabulous to NOT have to stand in the sweltering heat for tickets. Furthermore, you can visit each place more than once (assuming you have time)--you can see each attraction once every 24 hours--very nice if you want to go to the Empire State Observatory during the day and then go again later some other night to see the city lights. The card can be bought in advance up to a year. It also comes with a guide that tells you what you are entitled to and the address and phone number of each attraction/restaurant/store.

TKTS booth in Time Square – check the details on-line, but if you get there early you can get signicant discounts on tickets for Broadway and off-Broadway shows for that day.

"Take 5" tickets - For theater, dance, concerts, if you have a teenager along (or someone age 11 and up) you can get hi5 tickets to shows for $5 for one youth and one adult. If you have multiple teens, you can get "Take 5" tickets, where two adults go free, the kids are $5 each. You don't have to live in NYC, you can live anywhere. Go to highfivetix.org and click on "events"--the selection includes music, comedy, off Broadway plays and dance. You order by credit card and print out the receipt.
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Some Attractions/Places that are basically free:

-Grand Central Station's main room
-Times Square (at day and night)
-Staten Island Ferry/Staten Island - ferry close to sunset to see Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty at sunset.
-Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island tour (if you want to go inside Statue a separate reservation must be made in advance—they are booked for several days in advance so do not wait until you get to NYC)
-Battery Park, the sculpture the Sphere, and the walk north along the West side of Manhattan, along the Hudson
-Ground Zero – while important for many tourists to visit it is basically a construction site at this point
-Wall Street and the NYSE (flag was on greek columns outside)
-American Stock Exchange The tour of the Stock Exchange is free, and fun.
-Landmark buildings: Empire State Bulding, Chrysler Building, Flatiron Building, Federal Hall
-New York Public Library on 42nd st. – most beautiful stacks and reading room (The lions are named "Patience" and "Fortitude.") and Bryant Park behind the library is worth a visit as well.
-Washington Square Park and the Arch (seen in “When Harry Met Sally”)

Big Apple Greeters - http://www.bigapplegreeter.org/ This is a corps of native NYCers who have special interests and make themselves available to tourists with similar interests. It's free. Part of how nice we can be, as you've already noticed--and thank you for saying that!! I think you have to book this in advance, but it's probably worth looking into if you want to see, say, bead or yarn stores, or particular kinds of concerts, for instance.
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Museums:

1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) - Greatest collection of art, in the Western hemisphere. The impressionist collection is especially impressive, since Americans took to the "Salon des Refuses" (gallery of refused painters -- all the great impressionists), while the French were still rejecting them. Don't miss the American collection, the furniture, the Egyptians, the Costume Institute. Seek out the Byzantine cloisonnes, and the Hellenic, Hellenistic, Etruscan, and Roman collections...and don't forget the European artists, including Rembrandt. I recommend an entire day. http://www.metmuseum.org/

The Cloisters, the Medieval branch of the MMA - has no equal, in the U.S. This is where you see the Unicorn Tapestries, and many other medieval masterpieces. It's located in northern Manhattan, separate from the main building of MMA.
http://www.metmuseum.org/events/ev_cloisters.asp

2. The American Museum of Natural History - with the new planetarium. Don't miss the fabulous Gems and Minerals collection, the dinosaurs (which I remember, as a kid, as being as tall as the Empire State Building), the Hall of Biology, the ethnic artifacts, and even the late-19th century nature dioramas There are life sized (real and then stuffed) animals in their natural settings. There is a life-size whale that hangs above your head- all fascinating for kids. Plus, they have many temporary exhibits. Well, you have to spend an entire day here, too.
http://www.amnh.org/

3. The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)- which has many seminal works of modern art. This museum takes up, where the Metropolitan Museum leaves off...but it's much smaller. Unlike the Met, where you pay what you can afford, MOMA isn't as good an LBYM deal...but it's still worthwhile, especially in it's new building. Even if you don't have the time to go through the museum check out the museum stores, one located across the street from the museum and another one down in Soho. Basically a museum itself of modern products, and it's free! www.moma.org

The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum – located on an actual BattleShip on the Hudson River, has all sorts of planes and authentic gear and information. Facinating, especially for children.
http://www.intrepidmuseum.org/intrepidmuseum/index.php?MERCURYSID=317671c6c879ea2a07044a51f000ceba

Other Notible Museums are:
The Guggenheim
The Frick
The Whitney
The Museum of Jewish Heritage
National Museum of the American Indian
International Center for Photography (ICP)

4. NYC has more museums than any other city in the world. Here is a list:
http://www.ny.com/museums/all.museums.html

Many museums in NY don't really charge admission, they have "suggested donations". I know this is true for the Museum of Natural History and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Whatever it is that you they ask you can actually give them whatever you want (for example $1) If you go to NYC often, there is a discount yearly pass you can get to the Met for just $50. Gives you unlimited free visits for the year.
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