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Need Help with NYC Trip


Mr.Marc

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I'm planning a summer trip to NYC (maybe around late June) and wanted to know a few things before I go. I would like for anyone who lives in or is familiar with NYC to give me any tips on what hotel would be great for someone such as myself that would like to be in the middle of everything (all the sites and sounds). I plan to visit at least one of the famous buildings such as Rockefeller Center or the Empire State. I would also like to at least see the statue of liberty from, maybe, a long distance view such as on a short boat tour or even from land. Also, I plan on going to Times Square and maybe 5th Ave. I really just want to do all the things most tourists should and would do on a trip to NY. However, I would like to do all of this by walking or taking the subway. Is this possible or would I also need take buses and taxis (I really don't have a problem with trains but understanding bus routes can become confusing)? I plan to fly in from to JFK airport. I know JFK has a subway station that connects to the Jamaica station, from there I can take the E train (I believe into NYC/Manhattan).

I would appreciate any help on a great hotel in the middle of everything as well as suggestions on what other sites or places I should venture to.

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Thanks Steven. What about 5th Ave? Is that within walking distance from any of the hotels near Times Square? Also, what hotels in Times Square would you recommend?
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To an outsider the Subway can be a little confusing, but if you have traveled a litle and used a few other major subway systems around the world without problem you will be fine. I think nothing else in the USA compares in scale and scope, but maybe Washington DC.

The train from JFK is called AIRTRAIN it is NOT part of the subway. it is automated, and extremely easy to use and navigate. It stops at every terminal and long term parking. Jamaica station is a major transit center believe it or not. The LIRR, air train, the subway, and a ton of busses meet up there. You might want to take airtrain to Howard beach instead. its another subway station and you would take the A train to midtown. Not making a suggestion since I have never made that transfer, but I would guess it easier than Jamaica.

Its not too confusing, but make sure you give yourslf a little time to make the transfer. and I waned you to know that it is a seperate system that the subway.

It sounds like you definately want to stay near midtown to hit up all that tourist stuff. but getting a view of lady liberty will be diffacult without taking the subway down to battary park and taking a ferry. Midtown is pretty damn dense and your hotel room view is likely to be of another building quite close by :)

You can walk all of manhattan like nibble says, but its am immense pain. Unlike a regular 10 mile walk, you have to wait for traffic at most of the 200 or so cross streets between Harlem and that battary :) So I would suggest you find a hotel in mid town and walk like mad from there, but when you head down to the financial district and the battary and the WTC site, take a train. that should be pretty easy for you to navigate. Take the R or W to whitehallSt-South Ferry Station

after you do the ferry thing you might want to "walk along the shore" you cant really, there is a highway(FDR), but just a few blocks is South Street seaport. and views of the Brooklyn Bridge the whole way. from the seaport you can get a ferry up the east river to 34th street (under the Brooklyn, Williamsburg and manhattab bridgees) and you end up back in midtown. likely a reasonable walk to wherever your hotel is. If you choose against the ferry back to midtown, you can walk down fulton away from the waterfront

Regarding empire or rockafeller, do the rock. it has much smaller lines to get to the top, is much cheaper, and you can actually see the empire state from there and take some sweet pictures. If you want to do empire because it is empire and yada yada yada, totally understood, but I hate lines.

I am by no means a NYC expert, but I did grow up on Long Island, so know some of the basics by proximity.

Some of the places you mentioned are extremely close together, so you should have no problem on your planning.

just start using online maps to get your bearings.

Google maps shows subway stops, and important locations, so you can see that Empire is kind of on its own on the southern edge of midtown. Rockafeller center is pretty much on 5th. as is St Patricks (worth seeing) then walk North on 5th untill you at least get to the park.

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I appreciate everyone's help. I'm not intimidated by the subway system as I have done the L in Chicago and it's pretty decent. I am, however, intimidated by the bus systems as they can become confusing. I just wanted to make sure that I could just use the subway and only the subway to get to where I want to go while in NYC.

Once I have a hotel in line, I'll really be able to ask the questions I want.

I'll update everyone soon.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ok everyone, I'm a little indecisive. I've looked for hotels online and I came across two that seem appealing or at least ok. The first is the Wellington Hotel. From what I saw it seems to be in walking distance to all of the cultural attractions (times square, central park, 5th ave., etc.). What really attracted me to it is that it is right in front of the subway. Anyone familiar with this hotel? Is it in a good spot for what I want to do?

Also, I found the Holiday Inn/Manhattan-Downtown/SOHO. Is this a better location than the Wellington Hotel?

I'm open to any other hotel suggestions that anyone may have.

I appreciate everyone's help.

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The Wellington, according to what I found review-wise on Yelp.com, isn't a great hotel. The lcoation is good, though. Holiday Inn tends to be very consistent, but it's farther downtown, which I like, but you might not work as well for what you want to do.
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Maybe I've let my experience getting to and from LaGuardia a few years ago cloud my opinion. That was a nightmare. I don't think I've ever taken the Airtrain, but if it's as easy as it sounds, that's the way to go and JFK would be the easiest airport to fly into.
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  • 1 month later...

The Pod on 51st between 2nd and 3rd isn't that expensive and it's right near the E train stop at 53rd & 3rd (which as other have said connects to the Airtrain to JFK at Jamaica). It's a short walk to Fifth Avenue and it's in midtown Manhattan; everything is definitely within walking or subway distance.

I am a NY'er (now) and I hate Times Square- tourists, crowds, ghetto.

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The Pod on 51st between 2nd and 3rd isn't that expensive and it's right near the E train stop at 53rd & 3rd (which as other have said connects to the Airtrain to JFK at Jamaica). It's a short walk to Fifth Avenue and it's in midtown Manhattan; everything is definitely within walking or subway distance.

I am a NY'er (now) and I hate Times Square- tourists, crowds, ghetto.

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I can't stand Times Square, seeing it once was enough for me. Far too touristy, far too crowded, far too many nutjobs trying to peddle crap (comedy show tickets, bootleg merchandise, religion, political agendas).

Ghetto? Well, unless you call all the creepy people trying to peddle crap as ghetto - I think not.

I don't get down there enough to explore more of the non-touristy things to do in New York.

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I kind of want to reem you out.

the use of the phrase Gheto is entirely innapropriate in Manhattan. you may be some kind of preppy kid from the burbs that is scared by urbanity, but time square is not ghetto by any sense of the word.

it is kitsch, it is touristy as all get out, but ghetto?

I am no fan of really anything touristy in NYC, but to call it ghetto is completely off base.

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