Advice sought on a trip to NYC

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After returning from the Netherlands and visiting the Rijks Museum and Van Gogh Museum I've decided to fulfill a long term promise to myself and spend a few days in the Big Apple. I'm soliciting suggestions for a clean but reasonable place to stay in Manhattan, the best time of the month/week to go and places to see/shoot. My first objective is the N.Y. Metropolitam Museum of Art.

Thanks in advance.
 
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Rich, when my wife and I were in New York last summer for our daughter's wedding we stayed at the Carlton Hotel on Madison Ave. near 29th St. It is magnificent, immaculate and the service is excellent. Rooms are very clean and comfortable and there is a wonderful restaurant right in the hotel. It is reasonably priced, at least by New York standards. The location is mid-town east; a clean, safe and relatively quiet neighborhood with easy access to public transportation. We were very pleased with the hotel and will go back there our next trip to Manhattan.
 
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Any reason you insist on staying in Manhattan? If cost is an issue you can consider a whole bunch of hotels in the meadowlands. It's a lot cheaper than Manhattan and the bus ride isn't that bad (with the bus stop in front of the hotel). Added bonus: your hotel room will be quiet at night.

Manhattan, of course, is far more convenient.
 

LyndeeLoo

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Rich - Marriott, Sheraton, Westin and the Carlton are all having specials throughout the summer. Prices range anywhere from $160-$259 per night, which is great for New York City. Check out Travelzoo, and you'll be able to get the particulars.

I would recommend New Jersey for more affordable prices, but for me, at the end of a touring day, the last thing I want to do is to have to travel back over to Jersey. As Lurker said, staying in Manhattan is more convenient.

As far as sights are concerned, take your pick! Here's a thread on the very topic. Your first stop however, must be B&H! :biggrin:

Also, make sure to visit the New York City Public Library. Beautiful architecture. And since you're into church interiors, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine is a must - it's absolutely beautiful. St. Patrick's is lovely, but St. John's? Wow.

I agree with the Met. Museum of Art, but also do the Guggenheim and the History Museum as well.

I'll have more for you later, and oh, BTW - I would PM DezM for suggestions, as well. You know he loves his city, and knows it well...
 
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Rich, I'm not current on hotels, but with regard to your schedule and places to visit, you might want to avoid Monday (or use it as a travel day) as a number of museums (including the Met) are closed that day.

It's a fantastic and photogenic city. I'm not sure when you've be planning to go, but be aware that July and August can be very hot and humid. The sun beating down into the canyons and off the walls of buildings in Manhattan can be brutal.
 
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St. John the Divine is not to be missed. It's no Segrada Familia, but it's the closest the US will come to that.

Other places that might not be on the average tourist's radar that will offer plenty of photographic opportunities:

1. NY botanical Garden in the Bronx.
2. Brooklyn Botanic Garden
3. Brooklyn Museum
4. Brooklyn Bridge Park
5. The Cloisters in Ft. Tryon Park (where the famous Unicorn Tapestries are)
6. Coney Island & the newly re-opened NYC Aquarium
7. Governor's Island (the ferries run in the summer)
8. Smorgasburg in Brooklyn. It's mobbed, but it's local Brooklyn at it's tasty best. And riding the NYC Water Taxi there will offer nice panoramas of the city.
9. Some Museums are closed on Wednesday. They generally tend to alternate days with each other so check out the individual museum for it's dark day.
10. Highline Park
11. If you come in the summer, there are lots of free cultural events every night of the week. Concerts, dance, and movies at Lincoln Center, Central Park Summer Stage, Celebrate Brooklyn, and more!

Generally, weekends are mobbed and crowded in the summer, but that's also when a lot of the fun activities are scheduled.

B&H is a good place to go as a novelty, but you're probably better off ordering anything you want/need from VA and avoiding the 8.75% NYC sales tax.

As for reasonable and clean places to stay, you can also check out Brooklyn for relatively cheaper prices than Manhattan. Also, travel a bit further away from mid-town and the prices drop. The Chelsea Savoy is clean, but the rooms are tiny like a European hotel. The Jane Hotel is very chic, but a bit of a hike to the subway. Still, it's in the midst of the West Village and right on the water and right near the Highline. I don't know what the rates are like, but I've had friends stay at the Hotel Newton on 94th Street & Broadway. It's right on an express subway stop that will take you anywhere in the city, and it's a nice walk across Central Park to the Met Musem (and all of the other 5th Ave. Museums on Museum Mile: The Met, The Guggenheim, The Museum for the City of New York and more). Don't confuse this with the Days Inn on the same block. They are VERY different!

I will add other ideas as they come to me.

One last thing . . . Make sure you let us know when you're coming and perhaps we can organize an NYC Area Cafe Member Shoot. There are plenty of us around, you know . . .
 
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Lots of good stuff here, thanks. Having traveled throughout Europe in B&Bs and small apartments I don't have a problem with smaller rooms as long as they're clean and relatively quite. Further a metro trip across a river is no problem as long as the ride and the trip to and from the trains is safe and short.
 
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The Courtyard on 47th? street was a reasonable price and walking distance from the theaters for plays, Times square, radio city music hall, Macy and of course B&H.
Of course, the subway makes all of those easier.
 
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My wife and I go to NYC for operas at the Met every year. We like the Upper West Side near the Museum of Natural History. We have stayed at the Lucerne, the Excelsior, and Park 79. Park 79 is a bit more spartan, but clean and comfortable. All are near subway and bus stops, and it's an easy stroll across Central Park to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. If you stay at the Excelsior, you can park a car in the parking lot of the Natural History Museum for a reduced rate. And there are lots of nice restaurants in the area.

On our last visit to the city we were meeting my son, his wife, and three children. We used Home Away or VRBO (I forget which) to rent a small apartment around 91st street, and that worked out very well. In fact, for our next visit we plan to look for a similar, but smaller such rental for just the two of us.

Don't miss the Frick Collection. It is a highlight for both the building itself and the fabulous art it contains.
 
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I would strongly recommend against staying in NJ. Yes, the pricing is cheaper, but you do not want to spend valuable vacation hours commuting over/under the river. Furthermore, I would recommend that you stay in Midtown Manhattan as opposed to Brooklyn or another borough of NYC. The ability to quickly go back to your hotel to stash or retrieve gear or to grab a quick nap is worth the extra $.

You are going to have a blast here in NY.
 
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Contrary to popular beliefs, the Hudson is less than a mile wide. Commuting will not take "hours" and if the money saved allows you to stay for another 2 or 3 days well worth the consideration, I think.
I'm not saying you should stay in NJ. I'm merely pointing to a option that's not that well known.
 
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I'm merely pointing to a option that's not that well known.
It's known. It's just not an option that's exercised often; for a reason. Seriously, unless you're looking for the commuter experience and have been longing for the sensory delights of the Port Authority Bus Terminal, stay in Manhattan. If you've used public transportation to get from your home to the National Mall in DC, you can cross that experience off your bucket list.

If you're interested in sight seeing in Brooklyn, PM me (this goes for anyone on the board). I should point out that the very hot, in, hipster Brooklyn really refers to the original town of Brooklyn and not the borough. I've lived 59 years in Flatbush & Flatlands, which Manhattanites and hipsters think of as suburbs/country. (Maybe it is country, there is an original Dutch farm house around the block from me.)
 
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Hey Rich,

I took the kids to NYC a few years ago for Spring Break. We stayed at the 35th St/ESB Hampton Inn. For an extra adventure we used the Bolt bus from DC to NYC to save $$$. IIRC I paid less than $120 for all 4 our us. The hotel was clean, close to a subway stop and Penn Station where our bus stop was.

I would not drive to NYC, it's not worth it. The AMTRAK is a pricey option. We essentially did Times Square South, the Crown, ESB, China Town. We took the subway to get close then walked everywhere else.

I hope this helps. Good luck. :smile:
 
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Thanks. Gene, I wasn't planning on driving. The train is very expensive. I just read about the Bolt bus. It looks like a good deal, especially if the seats are comfortable and they have wi-fi as advertised.
 
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Thanks. Gene, I wasn't planning on driving. The train is very expensive. I just read about the Bolt bus. It looks like a good deal, especially if the seats are comfortable and they have wi-fi as advertised.
Yep, Bolt had comfy seats and WiFi the entire trip. Mega Bus is also another option. For Bolt, I drove to New Carrollton Metro then picked up the Bolt bus from there. I did not want to leave my car in DC or take the Metro to Chinatown. One stop at Baltimore Penn Station then onto 95 and the Turnpike. We hit a 20 min rest stop about an hour from NYC then onto Grand Central. It took 5 hrs up and 4.5 hours back.

Seating is open, first in line gets first pick. It was clean, it was a huge melting pot of PAXs. There were no safety issues and I did not smell BO nor any funky odors.
 
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We just did a trip there at the end of April. You can see some images from the trip here:

https://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=359050

We stayed in a great VRBO. It was 1100sf in Hell's Kitchen around 51st. It was fantastic, BUT, NYC does not allow short term leases like that. We were a little worried but they had good reviews and everything worked out well.

Definitely do the high line park. It provided a great alternative viewpoint of the city.

Cheers
Wembley
 
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Ps Rockefeller center does not allow use of tripods at the top. There was a photographer who used a big suction cup attachment to attach to the glass and then was shooting through the gaps in the glass. Great idea for evening, nighttime shots from there.

Cheers
Wembley
 
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If the Met is your primary place to visit, consider going there on a Friday or Saturday when it is open late. The Museum is closed on Monday, except holiday Mondays. You could easily spend the entire day inside. Also, included in the admission is entry to the Cloisters, but it's a bit of a trip to get up there.
 
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