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Old 12-13-2012, 05:49 AM   #1
NeutralNovice
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Planning 1st NYC Solo Trip - Need advice!

Hey all! I am planning on my first ever solo trip to anywhere outside of Las Vegas! I am going solo because: A) Most of my friends that I'd go on trips with can't afford it right now B) If they could afford it, they probably don't care for musicals C) This trip will be limited to musicals and food only--I neither drink/club/party etc.

I'm sure there are NY Travel Forums somewhere on the internets but I like us Disney folk and the way we travel lol--so I figured this would be a good place to start. Basically, I need help with three things: Hotel, 3rd Musical, and Do Not Miss Food places!

Planned trip dates: 02/05/13 - 02/08/13 (so short, I know!)

Musicals I definitely want to see: Phantom & Wicked + 1 more, possibly.

Hotel: 3.5-4 Star (I know, I'm a spoiled brat)
  • I'm frugal but would like a nice hotel! (Range: $80-$120/nt)
  • I would want my hotel to be in a relatively "safe" area.
  • Easy (and quick) transportation is preferred!

Food: If anyone can give me a list of their top food choices in NYC, I will most definitely pick some! I don't really care for fancy stuff--I like the stuff that you'd see on shows like "Diners, Drive-ins, & Dives" or just stuff that's decently priced and so absolutely good that I can't miss it!

Again, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:08 AM   #2
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My first suggestion is to rethink either your hotel budget or desires because -

Quote:
Hotel: 3.5-4 Star (I know, I'm a spoiled brat)

I'm frugal but would like a nice hotel! (Range: $80-$120/nt)
That level at that price is not happening. I don't think I've ever known anyone had a hotel room with its own bathroom under $100 in the city.

Luckily, you're not coming at a popular tourist time, so I'd bet you can get deals, but they'd probably be in the $125-150/night range and that's not for luxury hotels, but more basic.

Also, when you're looking at hotel rates, keep in mind the tax is like 15% or some such on hotel rooms, just so you can figure your budget.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:51 AM   #3
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NYC isn't an inexpensive city, but you can visit there without going broke!!
Hotels are pricey and if you're going to see some shows, I suggest visiting broadway.com They have hotel/ticket packages that are fairly reasonable. We went a couple of years ago on a package and stayed at the Marriott in Times Square (beautiful hotel right in the heart of the city) and we got a great deal. Get Wicked tix asap as it is a very popular show!! NYC is a busy place and can be intimidating, but don't let that stop you!! Common sense goes a long way!! Have a great trip!!
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:57 AM   #4
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I highly suggest adding Once to your musical list.

For cheap good cheap food Shake Shack is one of my favorites.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:45 AM   #5
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4 star hotel for $80-$120 a night is not happening anywhere near the city.
Up your budget and stay here. Location, location, location.....

http://www.millenniumhotels.com/mill...oadwaynewyork/
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:29 AM   #6
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I can't help with hotels as I live locally but love the idea of this trip!

The choices you listed are great musicals. Other choices, mama Mia, newsies or once. I have really enjoyed all 3. All a little different but all special in their own way. I love the lively feel good musicals with good dancing so newsies is my pick. But once is so so so lovely and mama Mia? So much fun (I am a big abba fan).

Places to eat. Some folks would recommend the star dust diner and honestly the food is average and you go to be entertained by the wait staff. Maybe go for dessert after a show.

There's a great higher end Mexican place called toloache. Some of the entrees are pricey but I am a fan of their tortilla soup and the small 2 tacos. Pretty filling but not overly so. They are on 50th right by wicked.

I also enjoy the shake shack or steak and shake for inexpensive burgers. Both are walking distance to the theater district.

I also want to recommend dinosaur BBQ in Harlem. A little out of your way but the food is sooooo good. (If you like BBQ). They have a few reaturants in the ny area.

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Old 12-13-2012, 09:56 AM   #7
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THank you all for your replies! Yeah, I figured me wanting a 3.5-4* for my price was a bit far-fetched.

I'll compile a list of Must-Eats... perhaps I'll use a random number generator to pick which I will visit LOL.

@TheIncredibles! - You mentioned "location location location!"
That is where I am a bit torn or, at the very least, naive. When you say location, do you mean that it is desirable to be in the center of it all, namely the Theater District? Or should I veer away from the possibly heavy crowds and move a bit outward of Times Square and just travel to the theater I need to go to?

I've read a couple places that staying in the Theater District is not necessarily the best option due to crowds and possible noise leaks into the room. On a personal note, I actually prefer some sort of continuous noise because I suffer from annoying tinnitus so I usually need something to drown it out.

Oh and... what is "Once"? I hope I don't offend anyone by not knowing what that one is--I just recently really got into musicals!
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:01 AM   #8
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The theater district and Times Square are very close together - easily walkable.

I second the Marriott Marquis - a bit pricey, but amazing location and great accommodations.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:05 PM   #9
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This is an opinion thing - I'd say DON'T stay in Times Square. It's just a giant glot of tourists standing around and cabs stuck and you just want to get in for a show and get out.

Stay in another neighbourhood and see something else. Even if you stay somewhat adjacentish you're better off, imo.

Once is also one of those things - many people adore it, it's won a number of awards. The music/songs irritate me no end. I haven't seen it in toto as the like three numbers I've seen from it, I hate all of. Look at a number on youtube or something, you might love it.

Avenue Q is tons of fun - there's Annie (again), Newsies, Chaplin possibly, etc., etc.

I didn't know dinosaur bbq was still open, thought Phuket ate it.

Eats - Doughnut Plant, Momf uku Milk Bar and Noodle Bar, Khyber Pass, Veniero's, food trucks like Wafels and Dinges, etc.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornflake View Post
This is an opinion thing - I'd say DON'T stay in Times Square. It's just a giant glot of tourists standing around and cabs stuck and you just want to get in for a show and get out.

Stay in another neighbourhood and see something else. Even if you stay somewhat adjacentish you're better off, imo.

Once is also one of those things - many people adore it, it's won a number of awards. The music/songs irritate me no end. I haven't seen it in toto as the like three numbers I've seen from it, I hate all of. Look at a number on youtube or something, you might love it.

Avenue Q is tons of fun - there's Annie (again), Newsies, Chaplin possibly, etc., etc.

I didn't know dinosaur bbq was still open, thought Phuket ate it.

Eats - Doughnut Plant, Momf uku Milk Bar and Noodle Bar, Khyber Pass, Veniero's, food trucks like Wafels and Dinges, etc.

x2, stay away from Times Square....you will be better off.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeutralNovice View Post
Oh and... what is "Once"? I hope I don't offend anyone by not knowing what that one is--I just recently really got into musicals!
Once - won 8 Tony's including best Musical this year. I'm biased because my friends niece is the Female lead. But my 19 yr old son has seen it twice and loves it. I trust his judgement. Besides the music that I have listened to from the musical I adore.

http://www.oncemusical.com/
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:55 PM   #12
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Jersey Boys. My favoriye show ever. Try Priceline for a hotel.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:58 PM   #13
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I am more into plays than musicals, but Dead Accounts and The Heiress are both supposed to be terrific (I have tickets to both but haven't seen either yet.) There's also Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with Scarlett Johansson, if she is your cup of tea.
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:22 PM   #14
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The Marriott Marquis is great if you are planning to spend most of your time in the Theater District. There are a few hotels there - the one near the Nederlander Theater (Hilton Times Square) or Marriott Courtyard New York. Or the Westin Times Square is centrally located.

For shows, I hear Chaplin is great. Annie is also supposedly good. If you want to try the standby line - Book of Mormon was fantastic. Newsies is also a good option.

Eating...Virgil's on West 44th. I has a great dinner at Carmine's Times Square this week. Really, really good. 5 Napkin Burger is good (saw the cast of Glee eating there last time I had dinner there - which was actually before I went to go see Book of Mormon). Marseille is good French food. That's over on 9th, near some of the theaters.
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:41 PM   #15
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Newsies- my DS17 saw it on election day, and said it was fantastic. Just thought I'd throw that out there!

I am going into the city for a weekend a the end of Feb- booked the Red Roof Inn Times Square, which got good reviews for being a "cheap" hotel, for $175 a night. That was a cheap rate.
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