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Old 10-02-2012, 08:17 AM   #16
shoney
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The staten island ferry is a commuter boat and is not meant for viewing the statue of liberty. Although you can see it, you aren't very close. It is also about a 1/2 hour each way and you have to get off and get back on. To me, it is time consuming.

The Beast will bring you right in front of it for great pics, but it will cost money.

So, the old "time is money" comes in.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:30 AM   #17
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I would table the Statue of Liberty for now and save it for a return visit when it has reopened.

I suggest you reserve tickets to the 9/11 memorial for late afternoon, just in case. They are free, so if you don't make it, no problem. It's worth a visit. Expect about half an hour of queueing/security and 45 minutes or more to visit the site - depends whether you want to just check it out, or sit down and reflect.

I would, as Cornflake suggested, start at the park and work my way down. And definitely do the Empire State Building - it is one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. Watch the Ken Burns New York documentary section on the ESB for some background - it's so much more important and interesting than Top of the Rock.

You may also want to duck in to the Metropolitan Museum of Art when you are in the park (depending on where you are.) It is a pay what you wish museum so feel free to contribute a dollar a person or whatever. It would just be a shame to miss one of the world's finest museums when you are so close.

Enjoy your trip!
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:10 AM   #18
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Thanks for all of the great suggestions so far. Ok, it sounds like we will need to buy 2 Transit cards since there are 5 of us.

A little more info: I wanted us to go and just wonder around Central Park for a bit. It's historic and beautiful. My daughters are 18, 16 and 15. They will get enough of this pretty quickly. What area would you recommend?

It sounds like we will choose the Top of the Rock or the Empire State building to save on time.

A friend had suggested to take the Staten Island Ferry purely so my girls could get a closer look at the Statue of Liberty. She said to just take the ferry to the Staten Island and them come right back. It's also free.

The last time I was in NYC, the 9/11 area was under construction. There were some things to see, but not much. I wanted to take them to this area because it's part of our countrys history and something they have learned about in school over the years. Just a quick stop by is fine.

Finally, I know they each have some money and I know they will want to shop (on a budget) a little. Would you take them to Chinatown for this? My husband and I have been there and we enjoyed ourselves. Although, we never ate there...and we love Chinese food.

Not that this matters, but we are taking this extra day in the City because I loved visiting NYC, my girls have never been and Thursday is my birthday. So it is a special treat for us all!

One other thing. We are driving from Ohio on Wednesday afternoon/evening. We are planning on going as far as we can and then going the rest of the way Thursday AM. How far would you drive into the city from that direction. Where would you plan on parking and then taking other transportation?

Thanks so much for all of the help!
You won't get a much closer look at the Statue from the Ferry - I mean it is closer but it's not close. Ferry is great regardless though. It is indeed free, it's an hour r/t, take it at night and it's a lovely view of the downtown skyline. Docking is also fun (er... generally).



The park is historic and beautiful (and entirely man-made) - and 1/4 of the land mass of Manhattan. It's LARGE. It also, however, contains tons of fun stuff. There's a little castle, a big, gorgeous skating rink (in the winter), ponds, lakes, a resevoir, statuary, parks, canoe rental, a theatre, a carousel, garden areas, sports fields, etc. Large.



You might go to Bethesda Fountain (it's been seen in a bajillion movies), walk round the lake there - then go over to the Met as Janepod suggests. The Met is totally worth it.

The area by the memorial is still under construction and no, there's nothing there. There never was anything there, even when the Twin Towers were there. The area is desolate. If you're not going to do the whole memorial deal, yeah, it's just a walk-by, if you want your kids to see the scope and size of the area and all.

As far as shopping - it depends on what they want to shop FOR. Chinatown is good for knockoff purses and such, but you kind of have to know what you're doing for the good stuff and it's not cheap.

If they want to shop in little, different type of boutiquey stuff and stands and like teenage-y stuff, I'd head to the Village, not Chinatown. Unless they want art supplies, then def. go to Pearl.

Otherwise, go wander the West Village, make your way east to St. Mark's Place - that way is all about the little shops, interesting stuff, cheap street jewlery, etc.

Also tons of places to eat - Khyber Pass is right on St. Mark's and really good Afghan food in a cool, atmospheric place. Also tons of other food in the Village, everything from good sushi, pizza, gourmet ice creams, Peanut Butter & Co (peanut butter sandwiches of amazing variety made with their own various peanut butters, it's fun), the rice pudding place, etc., etc.

I'd drive from Ohio in one day, it's not that long a drive that I'd stop close, why not just come in Wednesday night? Where you stick your car depends on where you're staying, if you are. In general, there's a lot on the river off the West Side Highway in the 50s that's not expensive and it's out of the way so you don't have to drive in the City itself much. Do not drive in the City itself except to put your car in a garage and then leave.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:20 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Janepod View Post
I would table the Statue of Liberty for now and save it for a return visit when it has reopened.

I suggest you reserve tickets to the 9/11 memorial for late afternoon, just in case. They are free, so if you don't make it, no problem. It's worth a visit. Expect about half an hour of queueing/security and 45 minutes or more to visit the site - depends whether you want to just check it out, or sit down and reflect.

I would, as Cornflake suggested, start at the park and work my way down. And definitely do the Empire State Building - it is one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. Watch the Ken Burns New York documentary section on the ESB for some background - it's so much more important and interesting than Top of the Rock.

You may also want to duck in to the Metropolitan Museum of Art when you are in the park (depending on where you are.) It is a pay what you wish museum so feel free to contribute a dollar a person or whatever. It would just be a shame to miss one of the world's finest museums when you are so close.

Enjoy your trip!
I remember vividly late, the night of 9-11, watching the local news. There had been various threats, rumours, etc., all day about all kiinds of things and then there was a rumour about a bomb at the Empire State.

The reporter standing outside someplace was talking about it and how they didn't know, but there were a ton of cops headed there, whatever, and he was talking to random people on the street. He told one woman, who said if something happened to the Empire State, that was it, she was out of here, because 'that's OUR building.' I remember sitting and watching that and totally understanding her. That building just is NY. It's iconic. So's the Chrysler bldg., but it's different.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:36 AM   #20
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I would get tickets for the 9/11 memorial. I've been many times & they never care about the time on the ticket. You could have a ticket time of 10:30am & show up at 1pm & they let you in. It's more a security thing. This memorial is not to be missed. The "museum" (gift shop!) is TINY & very crowded. The actual museum hasn't opened yet. The memorial is something every american needs to see as a reminder.

I'd also go with top of the rock so your view INCLUDES the ESB. We always took guest to the twin towers for that reason.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:22 AM   #21
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I am excited to find your thread. I am going to follow along because our family -- consisting of DH, DD age 17, DD age14, and me -- is planning a trip for Thanksgiving week.

(I am trying to figure out what to do about a Thanksgiving meal. )
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:43 AM   #22
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I am excited to find your thread. I am going to follow along because our family -- consisting of DH, DD age 17, DD age14, and me -- is planning a trip for Thanksgiving week.

(I am trying to figure out what to do about a Thanksgiving meal. )
We went hear for Thanksgiving meal. They had a traditional meal and you could also order off their menu. It was tons of fun.

http://www.ellensstardustdiner.com/
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:25 AM   #23
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Thank you for all of the suggestions! I am shocked, but I emailed The Beast about the free ride and we got on!!! We are all very excited. I'm sure that will be a highlight.
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:30 AM   #24
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Thank you for all of the suggestions! I am shocked, but I emailed The Beast about the free ride and we got on!!! We are all very excited. I'm sure that will be a highlight.
How cool. I am excited for you!!!
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:56 PM   #25
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The park is historic and beautiful (and entirely man-made) - and 1/4 of the land mass of Manhattan. It's LARGE.
Specifically, it's 2.5 miles N-S (from 110th St. down to 59th), and a 1/2 mi wide (from 5th Ave to Central Park W, or if you are counting the blocks, equivalent to 8th Ave.)

5th Av between 82nd and 110th has several major museums, it is known as Museum Mile. You should defiinitely not miss the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and you also might like the Guggenheim or the Cooper-Hewitt.

If you are planning to go by the Theatre District or the Chrysler Building, I'd also suggest making it a point to pass through Grand Central and go to the NYPL Central Building (the Schwartzman Bldg.). Take a break on the steps and be sure to take photos with Patience and Fortitude (aka the Library Lions). NYPL currently has a really fun exhibit on Lunch in NYC: they have a recreated section of the Automat on display! (The automat was just SUCH a NYC institution and once-upon-a-time it defined "fast food", it would be a shame to miss it.)
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:07 PM   #26
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We went hear for Thanksgiving meal. They had a traditional meal and you could also order off their menu. It was tons of fun.

http://www.ellensstardustdiner.com/
Thank you for this information! We were definitely wanting to eat here for one of our meals. I was not sure if every restaurant would be open for Thanksgiving. It is great to know that we can eat here that day! Did you have a reservation? I know that one does not typically need a reservation at that restaurant, but I did not know if they require it for Thanksgiving.
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:33 PM   #27
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Thank you for all of the suggestions! I am shocked, but I emailed The Beast about the free ride and we got on!!! We are all very excited. I'm sure that will be a highlight.
Wow! I am so excited for you...what perfect timing!!!!

It really is a lot of fun!!!!
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Old 10-02-2012, 04:36 PM   #28
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Thank you for this information! We were definitely wanting to eat here for one of our meals. I was not sure if every restaurant would be open for Thanksgiving. It is great to know that we can eat here that day! Did you have a reservation? I know that one does not typically need a reservation at that restaurant, but I did not know if they require it for Thanksgiving.
In case you're not interested in a diner for Thanksgiving... don't get me wrong, it's cute, it's fun for breakfast or whatever, but it is a diner.. yes, most restaurants are open.

A lot do a Thanksgiving option, some of the ethnic don't, so you can go have burritos if you wish. If you'd like classic Thanksgiving, go with a good, classic restaurant. Also a lot of the nicer neighbourhoody places and pub-like deals have a classic Thanksgiving on offer.
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:36 PM   #29
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Cornflake - you are always so gracious iwth your NYC advice...hope you don't mind an "add-on" question to the others you've answered;

We'll be going to NYC in December, and arriving about noon on a Sunday. We could possibly do the 9/11 memorial - but it would be arpound 4:30 or 5 in the afternoon. Do you know if the fountains will still be working in December, and - do you know if that is an OK place to go, no doubt it will be dark by then. (I.e. will we be stumbling around in the dark, or will we be able to see what we are doing?)

Thanks!
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:51 PM   #30
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Thank you for this information! We were definitely wanting to eat here for one of our meals. I was not sure if every restaurant would be open for Thanksgiving. It is great to know that we can eat here that day! Did you have a reservation? I know that one does not typically need a reservation at that restaurant, but I did not know if they require it for Thanksgiving.
Yes we made reservations. We had a great table and a really great server. My DD had been in the parade in the morning and was caught on TV. We were talking about it, so he sang a song directly to her. Sat right next to her and sang a special song just for her.
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