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Old 07-14-2005, 01:12 PM   #1
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Trip to New York!

Hi Everyone,

It's been quite a while since I actually logged in, but have been lurking everyday...well, maybe several times a day . It seems that I have over 17,000 posts to mark as read!

Anyway, a friend and I are planning a trip to New York in November and we're trying to find cheap places to stay...something that's still safe and clean, but not several hundred dollars a night (which is especially painful, given the Canadian dollar exchange rate these days!).

We haven't done *any* firm planning or anything yet, we're just in the beginning stages. Accommodations are the first thing we have to figure out though, because it will dictate how long we can stay for. So does anybody have any suggestions for cheap places to stay in NY? We're open to pretty much anything...hostels, if any colleges rent out dorms (we're both still students), heck - we'll even rent a couch!

Any suggestions would help a bunch...there's waaay to much online to be able to make sense of it all!

TIA!
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Old 07-14-2005, 01:15 PM   #2
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If you come Sept 17-18 you can join some of us at the Bronx zoo!
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Old 07-14-2005, 02:07 PM   #3
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Sara, a lot of information is available if you want an "economy" trip. Just answer a few questions for me and I'll be glad to help:

How long will you be staying?
Are you willing to be housed outside of Manhattan (ie: in the outer boroughs)?
Are you able to or want to rent a vehicle?
Do you have qualms regarding NYC public transportation?
Do you want to do away with 5* dining?
Are you planning on doing sightseeing and if yes, any particular locations?
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Old 07-14-2005, 03:53 PM   #4
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Ha! Menagerie, I told my friend about the zoo trip, and got one of those "you're insane!" looks...so I think that September's out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jchillin
Sara, a lot of information is available if you want an "economy" trip. Just answer a few questions for me and I'll be glad to help:

How long will you be staying?
Woo hoo! Thanks, JChillin! We'll likely around 4 or 5 days, as it stands now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jchillin
Are you willing to be housed outside of Manhattan (ie: in the outer boroughs)?
We're open to pretty much anywhere, as long as it's relatively easy to get around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jchillin
Are you able to or want to rent a vehicle?
I'm not sure I'm up to driving around NYC, and my friend isn't a very experienced driver...so I think renting is out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jchillin
Do you have qualms regarding NYC public transportation?
I don't...yet. Should I?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jchillin
Do you want to do away with 5* dining?
Most definitely. My friend will be in her first semester of law school (w/ super-expensive tuition!) and I've only been working for a little over a year. I'd be surprised if we stray past your typical casual franchise too often...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jchillin
Are you planning on doing sightseeing and if yes, any particular locations?
Definitely...on the "possibles" list right now are:
- a Broadway show
- a nightclub of some sort
- walk through Central Park
- Metropolitan Museum of Art
- go to a live taping of one of Letterman, SNL or the Daily Show
- go up the Empire State Building
- visit the Statue of Liberty
- check out Grand Central Terminal
- visit the American Museum of Natural History
- visit the Guggenheim Museum
- visit Trump Tower
- walk down Wall Street
- check out Times Square
- walk the Brooklyn Bridge

Anything I should cross off immediately? Or anything I should add right to the "definitely" list?

Thanks so much for your help, JChillin!!!
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Old 07-14-2005, 04:24 PM   #5
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I might leave the walk accross the Brooklyn Bridge out. I would add the South St Seaport and perhaps a visit to ground zero.

Check with priceline.com for a room in midtown. Very often you can name your own price for the room (especially if your stay extends through the weekend).
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Old 07-14-2005, 04:25 PM   #6
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You should not be bothered by the notion of mass transit in NYC - it is absolutely wonderful and you can get everywhere using it - you just can't be intimidated by not knowing your way around it. If you can get a map online beforehand and study it just a wee bit it will help a lot.

One thing I noticed about dining is that foreign food was not expensive, but American food was - go figure.

Also, definitely trust JChillin's advice. He knows what he is talking about and is a wonderful resource for all things NYC!!
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Old 07-14-2005, 08:40 PM   #7
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Wow Sara...you have quite the itinirary planned. The reason for asking those questions is that you can save a ton of cash by:

-Finding a hotel outside of the "Tourist Square" (any hotel from 59th St. south)
-Driving or taking public transit - cheaper than taking cabs...believe me. There is no problems with the transit system in NY...it's really good. A 7 day transit pass (we call it a metro-card) costs $24.00. Unlimited rides!
-The 5* restaurant reference regards restaurants in the same location as the "Tourist Square". You can eat anywhere else and have the same or better quality food and service. There are some very nice "family" restaurants in the outer boroughs.
-Sightseeing, when planned through travel agents or anyone but you are crappy...you're on time limits and can't linger at any one location. It is better if you go out on your own. This is where public transportation comes in for big savings and you can take your time.

TG is correct about the restaurants...ethnic food overall, is less expensive. I have a ton of links that will help you manuever...lemme just compile them and get back to you.
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Old 07-14-2005, 09:37 PM   #8
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A hotel room inside NY City limits is going to run anywhere from 125 - 200 a night. I'm assuming you don't have your hearts set on staying at the Ritz-Carlton or at the Waldorf Astoria, which are a bit more pricy.
All I ever expect from a hotel is a safe, clean place to crash. If you don't use the fancy restaurant, pool, sauna, and weight room, why pay for it? IME, you can never go wrong with discount chains like Super 8, Days Inn, Quality Inn, and Holiday Inn.

Look for hotels in Northern New Jersey (Bergen, Secaucus, Union) and Queens (Long Island City, Astoria, Elmhurst) - both locations are very close to Midtown Manhattan, and are relatively inexpensive (75 - 125 per night).

I wouldn't even think about renting a car. It's very expensive, and parking is always a time consuming pain. Besides, the NYC public transportation system is safe and convenient. There are very few places in this city where you're more than a 10 minute walk from a bus, subway, or light rail stop.

You can get system maps here:
http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us/nyct/index.html
A 7 day unlimited use metrocard costs $24 - it's good on all NYC subways and buses.


So, what to so when you get here:


At a kiosk smack in the middle of Times Square, you can get halfprice tickets to same day Broadway shows (depending on availability)
http://timessquare.nyctourist.com/broadway_tkts.asp
Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center, St Patrick's Cathedral, and Grand Central Terminal are nearby.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a must - the Guggenheim isn't far away.

The Cloisters - The Met's collection of medieval art displayed within a beautiful castle and garden. This is quite a subway ride - all the way to the northern tip of Manhattan, but well worth it IMO. I think you can get a discount pass if you plan to visit both the Met and the Cloisters.

If you like art, stroll the streets of SOHO and Greenwich Village and check out the art galleries. Then have lunch or dinner in Little Italy or Chinatown.

Central Park is a must as well. The newly renovated Great Lawn, Belvedere Castle, and Turtle pond are a stone's throw from the Museum of Natural History, which itself is a must-see. You can rent boats and go rowing on the Lake too.

Empire State Building - a must.

Statue of Liberty - worth the trip only if they're letting people into the statue, otherwise, you'd be better off doing the CircleLine cruise around Manhattan. The Staten Island Ferry is one of the few remaining freebies left in the city. From it, you can get some amazing pics of the Statue of Liberty and what's left of our skyline after 9-11.

Trump Tower is neat to visit around Xmas, but there's really not much to see there except for the outrageously-priced boutiques.

I agree with BrianNY that the South Street Seaport is worth a visit - especially Pier 17. You can get some great pics of the Brooklyn Bridge from the Fulton Street fish market area. Wall Street is actually unimpressive, but you probably want to get your picture near the bull statue.

The Intrepid air-sea museum on the West side is neat if you're into WWII naval and aerial history.

I am very familiar with Manhattan, Queens, and parts of Brooklyn. JChillin is familiar with the Bronx and Manhattan. I'm sure that we can answer any questions that come up as you plan this trip. Have fun!
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Old 07-14-2005, 10:53 PM   #9
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A couple other things you must squeeze in....

The Strand Bookshop

Coney Island!
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Old 07-14-2005, 11:08 PM   #10
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Toirtis, you must be reading my mind...the Strand is just outside the South St. Seaport and Coney Island is a must see.
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