Mini Day Trip

By Keoni,

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Because I am constantly talking about Betterbidding and my trips to NYC, today I was asked for advice as

follows... "If you were staying the weekend in West Orange, NJ for a wedding at 5 pm on Saturday, what

would you do to get the best overview of NYC in 5 - 6 hours on Saturday morning/early PM?" Without

thinking I replied that in that short of time, I would drive to Weehawken or Pavonia, take the water taxi

over to 39th Street, walk the 3 blocks to 42nd Street (or taxi), and use the Entertainment Book Ticket for

the buy-one, get one free ticket on a two hour Circle Line Water Tour. This goes from 42nd, down the

Hudson and WTC, around the tip of Manhattan, past the Statue of Lib, South Street Seaport, and up

up the East River under the BMW bridges, and turns around at the UN building. The only other option

I could think of was head to mid-town and take the double decker busses but these folks are rookies and

with an impending wedding at 5 pm I didn't want to get too complicated and stress them out over trying

to get on the Path/Subway in/out, parking, etc... Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Regards, Keoni :)

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Not sure how much being on the water will give them a 'feel' for the city... certainly a nice ride/view, but not so much an overview of the city.

I'd sooner head to 33rd St PATH station, walk to Empire State Building and take it to the top (go early or can spend too much time waiting online... Top of the Rock is an alternate buidling), head to Times Square to see the lights of the city, have lunch at a "city" place (Katz's deli, a 'known' pizza place, etc), if time permits take the subway to Brooklyn and walk the Brooklyn Bridge back towards the city, taking in the skyline on the way back.

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I mapped out directions to Journal Square and Path to 33rd. Recommended they walk the two blocks to ES for a trip to the top. I believe the subway

is now $4.00 a trip so I recommended they grab a cab from ES up to Radio City, Rock Center, St. Pat's and again, depending on time, taxi or walk back to Times Square. After that, if enough time take the subway to WTC, then Path back to Journal Square. Otherwise if out of time take the Path back to Journal Square. Keep in mind, they are only looking at 6 (+-) hours from the hotel in Orange so subtract 1 hour just to get back and forth to the parking garage in JS. Now they're parked, fumbling around to find the path station and ticket machine, buy the tickets, get to the correct platform, ride the Path to midtown. Minimum, another 30 minutes if the train is there waiting for them when they walk up. Not likely so add another 20 minutes. Now we're down to 4 hours, tops. There are 4 people in the crowd, never been to NYC, probably will have some disagreements over what is going on. Probably never experienced a subway other than DC which is a kiddie train compared to NYC. In other words, we have 5 subway lines known as the red, blue, yellow, green and orange lines. Never more than two lines cross a single station, and the only difference in the trains is which endpoint they are going to, Virginia or Maryland and so you are dealing with 5 lines, and 10 destinations. Folks can do this in their heads. This is nothing compared to uptown, downtown, cross-town, N line, R line, Q line, 1, 2, 3, 4, etc... A train, E train, C train, and that's just on your Blue line, and although once you have experienced it a couple of times, the FIRST day is very intimidating. Now add the stress that this is a family wedding you can't miss and you're looking at 3 hours to go from ES, 53rd Street sites and Times Square, throw in lunch, even on the run... and when my daughter and I went to the top of the ES, it seemed like we didn't really spend much time on-line but by the time you walk around the bottom a couple of times to get to the elevator, walk around the top a couple of times taking photos, gawk at the Art Deco ground floor which is truly amazing, you got a minimum of 1 hour invested. Now we're down to 2 hours to loop up thru 52nd/53rd Street somehow grab lunch, and back down to Times Square. You or I could do this easily but with 1st timers, I am skeptical based upon my own rookie experiences just a few short years ago when we were getting the HOTH for $37 bucks per nite!

I totally agree with you that you have to press the crowd in Times Square and marvel at the Moving Message Boards, experience the subway, and if nothing

else stand at the bottom and gaze up at the ES, Chrysler Building, Grand Central TERMINAL, etc... My first visit we stayed in a Savings Barn/Priceline Murray Hill 3* and ate at Sarge's Deli. Nothing can replace that experience of eating where the local's eat! I had recommended my friends grab a sandwich at Carnegie Deli cause us non-natives relate to what has been hyped by the media. I personally thought $27.00 for two to share a plate with a Pastrami on Rye was rediculous even with the "all you can eat kosher Dill's..." But I will change that recommendation per your suggestion to Katz's. Anyway, just wanted to share with you my thinking about why I recommended the "safe" version of taking the Circle Island in the first place. While it doesn't give you the "feel" of the City, and I totally agree with you on that point, I felt it may be the best option for folks to see the landmarks they are familiar with, and still keep folks from choking each other cause they are "late to the wedding..." Since you provide lots of advice to non New Yorkers, and I do truly appreciate it and that is why I give you so much business, I wanted to remind you that your view may be a tad unrealistic when it comes to navigating Manhattan for 1st timers simply because it is so familiar to you...

My Warmest Aloha,

Keoni :)

U Au Mea Kei'ki O' Ka'Aina, I Kapono "The rightiousness of the land is perpetuated in our children"

Ancient Hawaiian Proverb and State Motto of Hawaii.

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I agree that what i posted above is "a lot" for a short period of time, but given the unknowns of the the wait at the Empire State Building/Top of the Rock, timeframe for lunch, etc, i just gave add-ons/options if time permited (or give them options to choose from to come up with what they wanted to do)

Keep in my that Katz's is probably out of the way and not that easy for them to get to, so not the place to go if trying to save on time. The Second Ave Deli (no longer on Second Ave... now at 162 E. 33rd St, aka 33rd and Third Ave) is another option closer to the 33rd St PATH train.

ESB-->Times Square-->Grand Central/Chrysler Bldg-->2nd Ave Deli are all within a fairly compact "grid" which could be done walking (no need to get on the subway) in a 'clock-wise' order and may be do-able given their schedule (again, lots of unknowns time-wise). If they're running late can always get some of their sandwiches 'to go' and hop in a cab, straight shot up 33rd to the PATH (if timer permits walk it and take in the sights of the city... including Koreatown (32nd b/w Fifth Ave and Sixth Ave, which is nothing 'that' special, but a good example of pockets of culture that exist in the city)

Besides, weddings never start on time anyway! :)

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