Trip to New York Advice

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by ddeadserious, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. ddeadserious macrumors 6502a

    ddeadserious

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
    Location:
    Plymouth, MI
    #1
    Planning a trip to New York this Spring to propose to my girlfriend.

    I've never been there, but I will be paying [nearly] all of the expenses, so I need some help from people on how much I should plan on spending and on what.

    We will be taking a train there from Toledo, OH, so we will not have a vehicle once we arrive.

    I've never used public transportation before as a form of getting around(including taxi's :eek:), so what will I be paying to get around?

    What are some must see places(other than the obvious)?

    Good place to propose? I was thinking Central Park, but I'm open to suggestions.

    Where should we stay(remember, I'm kinda on a college student budget here) that is a reasonable price? Would it maybe be cheaper to stay slightly outside the city?

    Any other advice is welcome. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. splitpea macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    Honestly, you're much better off not trying to use a car to get around. Traffic's a bitch, and parking is worse. Most NYers use public transport and their own two feet to get around day to day.

    Taxis add up quickly, so take the subway as much as possible -- in many cases it's the quickest way to get around, and it's much less expensive than cabs: $2.25 per ride. Don't know how long you'll be there, but get an unlimited-ride Metrocard for each of you: they make 1-day, 7-day, and 30-day passes. If you take more than a couple rides a day, they're a good deal.

    One of the first things you do when you arrive should be to pick up a subway map. (Bear in mind that it's not to scale, so you may want a separate map of the city, although above 14th street the grid system is reasonably self-explanatory, and NYers aren't as crotchety as our reputation: you can usually stop someone to ask directions.)

    The Metrocard will also get you onto public buses (not to be confused with tour buses), which are slower, but give you a chance to see the city as you travel. Same price.

    And above all, plan on walking a lot. It's a great way to get the flavor of the city. Distances in NYC are pretty short (roughly 20 blocks to a mile if you're going north-south), and public transportation is inefficient (and taxis a total rip-off) for anything less than 3/4 of a mile. Pack comfortable walking shoes.

    I recommend this as a fun way to see a lot of the highlights of the city.

    Places to propose... that depends. What sorts of things are you two into? Food? Arts? History? If you're going to do Central Park, I recommend the castle, btw. Or the gardens. Or the fountain.

    Don't eat at chain restaurants. You can get much better food for the same amount or less if you're willing to look for local restaurants. There are a lot of ethnic restaurants that you may not find at home: don't be afraid to try them. Street vendor food (in the commercial districts, not at tourist traps like museums) is a good deal if you trust your immune system. And don't leave without trying some real pizza!
     
  3. ddeadserious thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ddeadserious

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  4. andalusia macrumors 68030

    andalusia

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    #4
    Mmm, now I want to order some pizza...
     
  5. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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  6. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #6
    I would also suggest using the subway, it isn't the worlds easiest to get around, but it is good to see another side of the city.

    Additionally as you've never used a taxi before they taxi drivers may try and rip you off, which won't happen on the subway - and its cheaper :).
     
  7. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #7
    Here's the latest subway map:

    http://www.mta.info/nyct/maps/submap.htm

    This info changes every month or so, based on route changes, repairs, new numbering...etc.

    You will be arriving at Penn Station, I believe...which is along the A, C and E subway lines.

    Where is your hotel? It doesn't take much to reach many locations in Manhattan by subway unless it the underserved East Side. A much-needed 2nd Ave line is under construction. If you can let us know where you are staying, I can get you there more or less, via the subway.

    More helpful hints:

    Street names (numbers) run increasing from south to north. Avenues increase from east to West with some notable exceptions (Park Ave. is where 4th Ave should be...also Lexington and Madison Aves fit inside the grid...6th Ave is also called Avenue of the Americas...etc.)

    I second the pizza. And honestly, you can go into ANY corner pizzeria and buy a slice and it will be the BEST pizza you have ever eaten. No joke.

    Where to propose...it does certainly depend on your likes and her likes. Top of a building like Empire State or Top of the Rock works. In front of the temple from "When Harry Met Sally" in the Metropolitan Museum of Art? Rockefeller Center? Lincoln Center? Coney Island in front of Nathan's Famous if she is a hot dog fan (ya never know). Fancy restaurant? The castle in Central Park is a good place, but I would also recommend the bridge near the Duck Pond in the SW corner of the park (minutes from the 5th Ave Apple Store!) You have the backdrop of the Plaza Hotel as well as some terrific scenery:

    [​IMG]

    Another thing to do that is cheap...well, free actually...is the ride the Staten Island Ferry and take pics of the Statue of Liberty along the way. Either explore Staten Island while there, or just hop back on the ferry for the return trip. Round trip will take you about 45 minutes to an hour. Some GREAT views of Lower Manhattan!
     
  8. ddeadserious thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ddeadserious

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    #8
    Wow, thanks again for all of the replies.

    I'm not sure where we're staying yet, obviously the cheaper the better, but I'd like to feel safe leaving my stuff there. :)

    As for the proposal, neither of us are necessarily into anything significant that I could wrap a NYC proposal into. She's old fashioned(shoulda been born in the 40s).

    All I know is that neither of us want a proposal where it causes a scene or has 500 people looking at us.
     
  9. splitpea macrumors 6502a

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    Among the starlings
    #9
    Even if you propose in the middle of Times Square, most people around you won't make a big deal of it -- if they even notice. However, it sounds like you want something more private and romantic. Would you prefer to do something outside the usual tourist haunts, or would you be happy with a popular spot?

    How long are you planning to be in the city, btw?
     
  10. jonbravo77 macrumors 6502a

    jonbravo77

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    Phoenix, AZ
    #10
    For the proposal might I suggest the boat tour around Manhattan Island it goes right by the Statue of Liberty, good spot to pop the question IMO. :)
     
  11. mrfrosty macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Dangerous if she says no i think :)
     
  12. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #12
    New York is pretty expensive, you're probably going to spend $100/person/day at least, a private room for two will probably cost at least around $100/night.

    If you are on a low budget take a look at Hostelworld or Hostelbookers, you should be able to find low priced good accommodation on there with private rooms as well as dorms.

    I've stayed at hostels with 60" flat screen TV's so the quality is usually pretty high, especially if you pick places with a rating of over 80% (and over 85% if possible).

    In New York itself I've heard Tone Hostels are pretty good.
     
  13. heehee macrumors 68020

    heehee

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    #13
    Take her to central park and propose while riding the horse carriage, that's how I proposed. :) It's right next to the Apple store too. :D
     
  14. ddeadserious thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ddeadserious

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    #14
    You guys are awesome, you're making planning this a whole lot easier.
     
  15. ddeadserious thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ddeadserious

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    #15
    What are some decent suburbs that I might be able to find a place to stay a bit cheaper?
     
  16. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #16
  17. splitpea macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    You're not going to want to stay in the suburbs, because you'll have a terrible time getting in and out of the city. The outer boroughs, though, particularly Brooklyn and Queens (as rdowns suggested) are pretty easy to get to and from as long as you stick near a subway line. You could also try Newark and Hoboken, as the PATH trains are sort of like a subway line to NJ.
     
  18. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #18
    Secaucus, NJ is just a bus ride away from the city and it should be cheaper. I have stayed at the Harmon Meadows Embassy Suites many years ago and the NJT bus to NYC stopped right outside the building.

    Do a hotels.com or priceline search. It's a VERY expensive city and it's rare to find anything safe or of good quality for less than $150 a night...even in the close-in suburbs.:( I have to take an opposing view to the poster who recommended the hostels specifically about hotel costs in the city...$100 a night is probably half what you can expect to pay for a quality room in the city. Through Priceline, I have managed closer to $150-160 at times. I have a few friends in the city which makes it a lot more affordable now. :)

    I just did a Priceline search for hotels near Times Square and most were over $200 a night and as much as $450 a night. The cheapest at $110 was indeed a hostel. ;) North Jersey hotels get you down to approximately $100-150 a night.

    I would suggest to save up your pennies now and make this trip memorable by getting a hotel room in the city. Nothing says 'you mean the world to me' like scrimping and saving.

    It will also shave 60-90 minutes off of your commute into the city. Even from a hotel 10 miles away in NJ, it will take 30-45 minutes to get to Port Authority (42nd St and 8th Ave). Nothing romantic about sitting on a bus for 45 minutes with limited views of the skyline (you get a nice view minutes before you enter the Lincoln tunnel....based on traffic, the availability of that view can last as long as 20 minutes or less than 1.)

    Good luck! If you have specific questions about hotel locations and availability of transit options, let us know. Some areas are better served than others.
     
  19. RudyGrow macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2009
    #20
    I recently went with my school and a few things to avoid are fast food restaurants (chains), the wax museum, and hotels in the city.

    Fast food in NYC seems to be even junkier than anywhere else. The wax museum, unless you enjoy looking at inanimate objects, was a waste of $30. Hotels in the city are also very overpriced. You're better off just staying in New Jersey and bussing into town.

    As for what you SHOULD do. Broadway is a must and I had the most fun on Canal street.
     
  20. Synchromesh macrumors 6502a

    Synchromesh

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Location:
    SF
    #21
    I agree with that. I've had indigestion in NYC very quickly while when visiting California (both SF and LA) for 6 days total, had no problems at all. Keep in mind that I didn't go to fastfood places often in either city but mostly went to lower/mid-priced restaurants. Californian food maybe overpriced but it seems like it was better quality overall to me.

    But if you enjoy sushi NY is your place. Sushi places are very plentiful and because of competition are priced lower than just about anywhere I've seen. Just try to check them out on the internet first if you can, they do serve uncooked fish after all.

    Your best bet is to take the subway as mentioned before. I drove my car to NY, then parked in Brooklyn where I was staying and aside from a few short local trips basically avoided touching it. Still got a nice parking ticket though. Subway does take you everywhere, just make sure to study the subway map as it is quite confusing and complicated. Walking is also going to be your best bet. If you are not used to extensive walking I suggest you start walking around more at home. I go to the gym and do running as cardio and yet my feet were close to falling off at the end of every night in NY.

    Hope you enjoy your trip.
     
  21. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #22
    BUT nothing will quell the romance of this weekend faster than having to bus into the city every day. :rolleyes:

    If you want this to be memoriable and to do this right, spend the money on a hotel in the city. Start putting aside extra money now.
     
  22. iOrlando macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    #23
    do any of you by chance live in NYC?

    some of the advice here is horrid. eck..

    trust me. you do now want to stay outside of Manhattan if you are on vacation. No way around that. That includes the other boroughs of NYC (which aren't referred to as the burbs). The burbs is Westchester county, Fairfield county, northwestern NJ, etc.

    any savings that can be had would be simply absorbed by the transit and time and hassle it takes to go to and from the hotel.

    now keeping in mind that you are a college student, I am not sure what sort of restaurants you like or dont like.

    For some good restaurants I would go either to the upper west side or the upper east side in Manhattan. You can find a ton of nice family-run ethnic restaurants that have pretty good prices, good atmosphere, and good food. Stay away from mid-Manhattan or times square. Those food establishments are over priced and pretty blah.

    For neat places to propose...there is a cable car the goes from manhattan over the east river...that can be somewhat interesting. Roosevelt Island Tramway its called.

    I really like the MET (art museum). It would be a great place to publicly propose, if thats your thing.

    If not, yes central park or just a low-key coffee shop down near soho or the meat packing district would be fun.

    i guess my biggest thing is just dont stay out of manhattan. I have never heard of any person saying they enjoyed that decision.
     
  23. splitpea macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Among the starlings
    #24
    Um, yes.

    Disagree. If you're within 20 min of Manhattan on the subway or PATH, you'll save a LOT on hotels, without much inconvenience. On a student budget, the difference is significant. I do agree that you should avoid the actual suburbs, and the outer edges of the outer boroughs.

    One good place to look might be Long Island City, which is about 10-15 min to Times Square on the subway, and has a bunch of hotels sprouting up. It'll be less expensive than something within the same distance within Manhattan, and more convenient / better quality than anything the same price within Manhattan (is there really any convenience advantage to being in Manhattan once you're above 96th?)

    Somewhat agreed. You'll probably get the best food/price ratio most reliably on the UWS and UES, and usually great atmosphere too. Midtown has more variability in quality, but if you're already seeing the sights in Times Square it doesn't always make sense to hike up to the UWS for dinner. There are plenty of good restaurants (and even more good pubs) on 9th ave, for instance.

    The trick is to stay east of the commercial parts of Midtown or west of Times Square by a couple avenues, and avoid the chains and the larger storefronts, which tend to be tourist traps. There are lots of good restaurants on the sidestreets. The same goes for the Village and other popular areas. The further you get from the tourist attractions the more likely you are to get good food and the less likely you are to pay too much for it.
     
  24. bainesajay macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2003
    Location:
    Canada
    #25
    Recently Visited

    Hey,

    I recently visited NY with my wife a few weeks ago.

    I agree with staying in Manhattan, the economy is a bit down and you can get a decent three start for about $80 a day. If that is too much then you would likely have to go to the boroughs. I visited NJ and taking the PATH train from door to door destination is about 45 minutes. Especially for a tourist because you do now know everything exactly.

    The "romantic" places are all in Manhattan, your GF will really appreciate it all. There is a iPhone and iPod Touch NY Subway Map application. It works offline as well, it is really helpful. The NY people are really nice, I came from Canada and everyone was great.
     

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