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Old 11-19-2012, 07:43 AM   #31
TLHB70
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I really like a lot of the music they play out around the park
 
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Originally Posted by cornflake View Post
This is a common misconception about those buses - they're NOT a way to get around. At all.

They're just a way to sit in traffic and pay a lot of money to do so, honestly. If you're not up for walking, for sure take cabs or the train or buses, but try the regular City buses, not the tour buse. You'll just stand at stops forever waiting for them (and then I've heard people say they come by but are too crowded so they have to stand and wait and wait and wait for another) and then sit in traffic some more on them.

Get metrocards and hit the regular buses and trains, you'll get everyplace you want to go, and much faster.

Also, if you want to have like a 'tour', do something like take a bus to a farther destination, like take a bus to get the Ferry, or take the bus up to Ft. Tryon Park and go to the Cloisters (great, Medieval things museum up in a lovely park at the top tip of Manhattan). Or take a bus up one ave, go crosstown on another bus across the Park and then take another back down - transfers are free in general and those buses come often and have their own lanes and such. Still longer than it'd be on the train but faster than the tour things and way cheaper.
The metrocards will work on both buses and trains? I assume the maps will be at the stops, correct? I will make DH look into that tomorrow when we arrive. The things right around TS will not be an issue. We were just thinking about the things farther away.
Thank you! Your information has been extremely helpful!
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:50 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by TLHB70 View Post
The metrocards will work on both buses and trains? I assume the maps will be at the stops, correct? I will make DH look into that tomorrow when we arrive. The things right around TS will not be an issue. We were just thinking about the things farther away.
Thank you! Your information has been extremely helpful!
Yes, metrocards work on all MTA buses and subways. There are paper subway maps you can request from any subway token booth clerk (go into the station and there's usually a booth in the larger ones) that they'll give you for free.

Bus maps are per line, mounted on the bus stop poles on the street. Like the bus stop on 42nd and 8th for the M42 crosstown bus shows the route for THAT bus.

I'm sure there's someplace to get a map of all bus lines but got me as to where - there's a red tourist thingy in TS, maybe there.

You can also look online before you go and print a wee one - and there are apps for smart phones - and if you put two NYC addresses or even cross streets (like if you put 34th and 7th avenue to 42nd street and 8th avenue, new york) into google and hit maps, it will give you a map and if you hit directions, there's a bus logo above the directions you can click that will tell you the bus AND subway lines you can take and highlight the stops on the map.

The mta.org I think has the general maps.
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:55 AM   #33
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Bus stops here look either like a glassed-in three-sided shelter thing with an information pole or just the pole (there's a stop about every 2 blocks on avenues, about every single block going crosstown). Pole has information on what buses and their destinations at the top (and where you currently are) and the map lower down.

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Old 11-19-2012, 08:45 AM   #34
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I really like a lot of the music they play out around the park
 
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Thank you! I am going to look for a smartphone app now.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:42 PM   #35
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Chiming in - if you are heading far from Times Square (for example the WTC Memorial), I would reccomed not taking teh regular MTA bus. Take a taxi (even through it will be expensive) or the subway. Depending on the time of day, it could take you over an hour to get from TS to Lower Manhattan.

For Serendipity - I wouldn't eat anything there. The food is not great. But its a good photo opp!

If you do want to walk Fifth Ave and look at the Holiday windows, and you have limited mobility, I strongly reccomend going at night - after 9 or 10pm. I walked Fifth ave this past Saturday night around 10:30, on my way home from dinner and we were basically the only people on the street. We saw everything (that was up) without the crowds, pushing and shoving.

I'm not Catholic - but St. Patricks is just magical this time of year. It's worth a stop.

the weather is great here right now - a fantastic time to visit the city!
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:54 PM   #36
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I really like a lot of the music they play out around the park
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frndshpcptn View Post
Chiming in - if you are heading far from Times Square (for example the WTC Memorial), I would reccomed not taking teh regular MTA bus. Take a taxi (even through it will be expensive) or the subway. Depending on the time of day, it could take you over an hour to get from TS to Lower Manhattan.

For Serendipity - I wouldn't eat anything there. The food is not great. But its a good photo opp!

If you do want to walk Fifth Ave and look at the Holiday windows, and you have limited mobility, I strongly reccomend going at night - after 9 or 10pm. I walked Fifth ave this past Saturday night around 10:30, on my way home from dinner and we were basically the only people on the street. We saw everything (that was up) without the crowds, pushing and shoving.

I'm not Catholic - but St. Patricks is just magical this time of year. It's worth a stop.

the weather is great here right now - a fantastic time to visit the city!
Thank you so very much for your helpful information!
I can't wait to be there. We fly out tomorrow around 10 AM so we should be there by noon.
I am so excited that the weather forecast is showing nice weather for the week. I hope it stays that way.
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:56 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by frndshpcptn View Post
Chiming in - if you are heading far from Times Square (for example the WTC Memorial), I would reccomed not taking teh regular MTA bus. Take a taxi (even through it will be expensive) or the subway. Depending on the time of day, it could take you over an hour to get from TS to Lower Manhattan.

For Serendipity - I wouldn't eat anything there. The food is not great. But its a good photo opp!

If you do want to walk Fifth Ave and look at the Holiday windows, and you have limited mobility, I strongly reccomend going at night - after 9 or 10pm. I walked Fifth ave this past Saturday night around 10:30, on my way home from dinner and we were basically the only people on the street. We saw everything (that was up) without the crowds, pushing and shoving.

I'm not Catholic - but St. Patricks is just magical this time of year. It's worth a stop.

the weather is great here right now - a fantastic time to visit the city!
In general, agree about the bus but thought the poster wanted to 'see the City and stuff from aboveground like on one of the greyhound messes.

Above poster is of course correct - it will take a while to get down to there on the bus. If you want to get there quickly, take the train.

Food is not the point of Serendipity! No one eats the food - ice cream and frozen hot chocolate, people! Though there are plenty of other fun, way less crowded places. If you like rice pudding, try Rice to Riches, a store that sells only rice pudding, in a huge variety of flavours.



There's also Oatmeals, with awesome locally-sourced oatmeal in sweet and savoury combinations (like with apples sauteed in butter and cinnamon or with figs and gorgonzola and a balsamic reduction), I believe this is maple bacon and parmesan -




or Pie Face, which is a cute Aussie store sells sweet and savoury pies and pastries.



Or go straight to Momof uku (no space, board thinks I'm cursing) Milk Bar and try...



Or their famous cereal milk soft serve (ice cream tastes like the milk left over in a bowl of kiddie cereal)

Or go to Doughnut Plant and try the world's greatest doughnuts (no kidding, those Krispy Kreme things are like a 1, these are an 11 on a 1-10 scale)



We do dessert well here.

Last edited by cornflake; 11-19-2012 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:51 PM   #38
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I really like a lot of the music they play out around the park
 
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OMG, cornflake! I want to try ALL of those!
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:40 PM   #39
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We are from South Jersey and are heading to NYC the day after Christmas to see the Harry Potter exhibit, American girl store, Lego store, and FAO. We hope to eat at Ellen's. This will be the first time the kids have done the city thing in NYC. We are hoping to do the Nat. History museum the next day. Any thoughts for how bad it will be the day after Christmas?

Thanks!
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:27 AM   #40
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:28 AM   #41
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We are heading up next Friday!

Thanks cornflake, your suggestions look yummy!

We go to Donut Plant every time we come up, that place is awesome.

We have also gotten their donuts at Dean and Deluca.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:45 AM   #42
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I skimmed through the thread, but a GREAT website for planning a NYC trip with kids is www.mommypoppins.com She has an entire holiday guide, along with kid friendly places near the big events (like Rockefeller), for all budgets. I use this site regularly when planning family outings and needing a few child-friendly ideas.

One of our favorite and more off beat holiday things to do is ride the vintage subway cars. They only run on Sundays and pretty much stick to the schedule given (there is info about them on the above website if you are interested). It's cheap and fun - a great way to go to Rockefeller or Macy's.
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Old 11-28-2012, 01:25 PM   #43
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This is a common misconception about those buses - they're NOT a way to get around. At all.

They're just a way to sit in traffic and pay a lot of money to do so, honestly. If you're not up for walking, for sure take cabs or the train or buses, but try the regular City buses, not the tour buse. You'll just stand at stops forever waiting for them (and then I've heard people say they come by but are too crowded so they have to stand and wait and wait and wait for another) and then sit in traffic some more on them.
I have to disagree with this. I have taken 3 douuble-decker bus tours and loved all of them. We never sat in traffic for longer than any other car does and we managed to see the entire city in a 2 hour tour. We got off at numerous stops like Macy's, the village, chinatown, 911 memorial, and we never waited more than 10 mins for a bus to pick us up. We managed to find open seats on the top level every time. We keep doing the tour because we love it every time.
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Old 11-28-2012, 01:35 PM   #44
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I have to disagree with this. I have taken 3 douuble-decker bus tours and loved all of them. We never sat in traffic for longer than any other car does and we managed to see the entire city in a 2 hour tour. We got off at numerous stops like Macy's, the village, chinatown, 911 memorial, and we never waited more than 10 mins for a bus to pick us up. We managed to find open seats on the top level every time. We keep doing the tour because we love it every time.
Have you done this around the holidays? At a certain point, cabs don't even want to go near midtown some times in the day because it's so bad aboveground.

If it's not a crowded time of year, ... OP is coming during the holidays. I stand by that the tour buses are not a good idea at all.
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Old 11-28-2012, 01:43 PM   #45
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mtemm, I see you are in MA , did you drive into the city or did you take the train down?
we want to do this around the holidays, and thought about driving as far as connecticut and taking the train, from maybe Stamford. not sure.

I would drive into the city, I just don't know where I would put the car. so not a city person here, LOL

My husband and I had to travel back and forth to NYC from the greater Boston area many times over the course of a year, and we regularly took the train from Stamford. Parking is about $10 a day, and we left the car for days at a time with no issues. My husband has been driving in Boston for many years, but we still found this to be the best option for us.
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