View Full Version : First time going to New York - Need Advice/Help
07-29-2005, 05:26 AM
I am heading to the Big Apple this mid-Sept and would really be grateful any of you could give me tips on tourist attractions, great food to go for, places to stay (on a budget as I will be there for 15 days), places to go for Wetas, clothes to wear, so forth. I know I can get most of this info from the net but nothing beats advices straith from the people who live there.
So, please let me know. Thanks very much.....:bow
07-29-2005, 05:37 AM
You really have to go to a Broadway show! Doesn't matter which one, just go to one for the experience! There is a half-price ticket booth for same day shows in Times Square, but the lines can be long. Here is their website: TKTS (http://timessquare.nyctourist.com/broadway_tkts.asp)
If you are going to visit the Statue of Liberty, go first thing in the morning to avoid long lines. You will then have more time to do other things later in the day.
Most of the best museums are located in or around Central Park, so you can plan a whole day of museum hopping without a lot of leg work!
Be careful of what you eat from street vendors!!! :rollin
Hope this helps... I lived in the NY area for a few years back in the late 80's so hopefully some more people will give you some more current tips!
07-29-2005, 06:33 AM
Though Im not from there, I'd say this from my experience ;
For clothes, go to Woodbury Common (an hour bus ride from manhattan). Cheap as hell and the range is fantastic...
There's an excellent statue shop somewhere near Park avenue but forgotten :dunno
07-29-2005, 06:59 AM
You have to visit Mike Richards shop in Brooklyn if you are going to NY and you are maybe wanting to buy collectibles.
His address is
A&R Computer World Inc.
8701 5th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11209
I also have his email & phone number, if you need it pm me & I will pass it on.He will help you stock up on your collections.
07-29-2005, 07:01 PM
Thanks for your tips guys. Hey, is that all? Can anyone shed more light? I am pretty sure that they are more things in NY. Any tips and advice would be useful.
07-29-2005, 08:25 PM
Got to 42nd strret Toys R Us, and alot of other attractionsand stores...you'll be amazed. Go to hearld square. Go to Grand Central Park, Bronx Zoo...the list goes on and on . Definately visit Mikes Shop. I Live in NYC by the way.
07-29-2005, 09:57 PM
Midtown Comics Times Square
200 W 40th Street (Corner of 7th Avenue)
New York, NY 10018
I've Being there last year and found some Weta pieces like Morgul Lord, other statues, some environments and busts.
07-30-2005, 07:02 AM
-Cheapest hotel I've stayed at in New York is Howard Johnson's at I think 50th st. It is a little walk from there to Times Square, but the subway station is right across the street.
Tip: There is a little coffee shop at the ground floor of Howard Johnson hotel that offers a MASSIVE breakfast for less than $5. Eggs, sausage, hash browns, pancakes, the works...
-Keep your wallet in your front pocket AT ALL TIMES. If someone tries to distract you in any way, most likely they are pic-pockets. Be careful.
- On the subway: Buy an all-day subway card for each day of your trip, available at the airport or Penn Station. You will save a lot of time and money doing this. You'll see lots of wierd things and people. They won't talk to you if you don't talk to them. Don't stare, they don't like that. :p
-I reccomend checking out Madam Trusoe's Wax Muesum in Times Square if you have the time. It's worth the admission price.
- If you are looking for skin, :naughty , check out the area around the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Good peep shows...
- Take the subway to Chinatown and just explore. You'll feel like you are in another world. There are some great resturants and electronics/game shops here, but becareful of the counterfeit merchandise sold by many of the shops along the street...
- Check out the Circle Line Boat Tours. It's really cool seeing the city from the water.
- NBC TV studios offers tours of it's facilities for a small charge. They take you everywhere...to the Nightly News set, Conan O'brien's show set, Saturday Night Live's studio, etc. I had the chance to meet Conan on the tour once...buy tour tickets at the NBC studio gift shop...
- Check out Coney Island in Brooklyn. Nathan's hotdogs and italian ice should be enough reasons... :banana
07-30-2005, 07:27 AM
I don't live in the city proper. maybe in a few years... but a new yorker all my life. Unfortunately, most of sept I will be away in boston, otherwise we can get together for eats and weta hunting. IM me when your plans firm up and I'll see how the dates go.
Right now, SOHO is not to be missed, it is where the beautiful people go and where all the expensive stores are located. It's worth a days stroll and window shopping. East village for people watching and music: jazz, the blue note has $5 entrance fees after 11pm, something like that, check out their website. cafe wha has reasonable cover for rock and soul, google them. You have to try St Alps' almond milk tea with tapioca pearls, it is 4 dollars for 10 sips, but it is an amazing drink, 10th? and 3rd. Oh, almost forgot, indian row on 4th between 2nd and 3rd? has very good indian food, but you need to look up zagats or some other guide to pick the right restaurant. There's one that is really good, but I forgot the name. That area of town is hopping at night and on weekends. Take a big apple tour on a nice day with warm weather, I've never done it, but I hear people from out of town enjoy it. Look up citysearch for restaurants, very accurate for the most part. The heartland brewry near 14th street between 6th and broadway is a nice bar. You really need a guide for the address, I know where everything is, but each street numbers I get a little foggy. Chinatown is past it's hayday, only worth a visit for cheap eats or during chinese new years for firecrackers. Little Italy's restaurants are also past its hayday, but neat, worth visiting during street festivals on weekends. I hate the times sq area becauase it's on the sleazy side, but they have cleaned it up considerably. I would say, it's worth a peek at night with all the neon and it's right where the shows are. Wicked is an amazing show but hard to get tickets. TKTS like someone mentioned for half price tix, google that also, but seats kinda stink and the choices are limited. The museums in NY are my favorite, I go regularly to them. MOMA just reopened and I hear it's amazing, check out site for free tours The met is always amazing but closed mondays, lots of museum tours on the hour that's also free. Guggenheim, whitney, museum of natural history/planetarium (on the other side of the park), it goes on... Central park is huge. The west side is mostly residential but around the planetarium, the neighborhood has become quite busy as well. The met opera is in that area and along columbus ave there are lots of movie theatres and shops. If you're into french food, La Boit en Bois is a good french restaurant on the cheaper end (haha), very very small and always busy and requires reservations, 30 per person for prix fix and all cash. Five points for sunday brunch, their eggs rancheros is the best in the city, again, reservations! Miracle grill is very reasonable for brunch and has good mexican brunch fare. Hope this helps. Have a good time.
07-30-2005, 07:32 AM
there is a sex museum in NY ;)
07-30-2005, 07:38 AM
Great recommendations thus far...
As mentioned, if your heading into Brooklyn and visit Mike Richards and Coney Island (Nathans, etc..), then be sure to check out the Aquarium in Coney Island.
I work one block away from the South Street Seaport. If you would like to meet for lunch, let me know. There is a food court there with much to chose from. Nothing like cheap dining by the water.
07-30-2005, 08:14 AM
there is a sex museum in NY
I'm sure you'll find one in London, Paris, Milan...Plymouth (UK), if you look hard enough.:p
07-30-2005, 09:04 AM
Great Activities on a Budget:
Off Broadway Plays
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Haydeen Planeterium/Museum of Natural History
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Bronx Botonical Gardens
Great Food on a Budget:
Chinatown (Pick up some counterfeit watches for about $50.00- remember to bargain)
Buy the Zagats Book there are just too many...
07-30-2005, 09:49 AM
-Take a walk in Central Park and take in the views of the city.
-Hop on the subway to Chinatown and have a look around. It's truly another world. Little Italy is just a short walk away. I had one of the best lunches of my entire life there (Little Italy) in a little hole in the wall for VERY cheap. The food is reasonably priced and is to die for.
-Go to the American Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, the Met, etc. The Nat. Hist. museum was my favorite of that group.
-Hit the stores/boutiques on 5th Avenue if you have some money to spend and are into clothes. The best clothing designers in the world all have anchor stores there. My girlfriend wanted to spend nearly every second of our trip there. She was in heaven. :lol
-Go to a Broadway play and take in Times Square.
-Go to Ground Zero just to see the devastation of such a historic site.
-Have a drink at The Plaza, since it's about to be closed if it hasn't already.
That's just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many other things to do. I can think of many other cool place to go like Ellis Island, Top of Empire State Building, F.A.O. Schwarz, Toys 'R Us in Times Square, and plenty of others.
NYC is an AWESOME place to spend a few days/weeks.
Buy the Zagats Book there are just too many...
Interestingly enough, one of my law professors writes the wine list write-up for the NYC Zagat's. Great guy, and very knowledgable about wine with an extensive collection. It says a lot about his taste that he's located in SC, and was asked to do the NYC write-up. Stravitz is his name if you have the book. Great guy.
07-30-2005, 03:17 PM
Everyone wears black in the city, especially at night, but it's the city and you can wear anything you want, including your girlfriend's clothes... Weather will be hot in early sept and really nice late sept, 70's. Jeans is common staple. If you go to a nice restaurant, khaki pants and nice shirt is fine. Again, it is the city, no one cares what you wear... Always bring a jacket in case it gets cold.
07-30-2005, 09:31 PM
some of the tips i have are repeats from others have said:
- broadway shows - the tkts booth is the most reliable source of cheap tickets, however, if you do want to watch sold-out shows such as "spamalot" or "lion king", there are always standing-room only or rush tickets available on the day of the performance. i highly recommend both shows that i mentioned, but be prepared to get in line at the theater at 6 am for a 10 am box office opening since they have limited standing room and its first come first serve. check out the times square visitor center between 46th and 47th on broadway for a list of all the shows that have rush/student rush/standing room tickets available. sometimes, playbill.com has some good deals, but you have to join as a member first.
- definitely do the standard round of tourist attractions , ie. statue of liberty, rockefeller center, empire state building, times square, central park, etc. etc.
- go to the museums! the museum of natural history with the planetarium and the metropolitan are first bets. if you're looking to save money, moma is free after 4 pm on fridays and its awesome in there!
- i'm not sure how much of a foodie you are, but nyc is home to some of the greatest restaurants in the world. if you can afford something a little pricier, i'd suggest union square cafe or gramercy tavern. l'ecole is the french culinary institute's restaurant ... you have students cooking for you but they have a great $20 3-course prix fixe for lunch and $30 3-course prix fixe for dinner (after 8 pm, it becomes a 5-course meal for the same price!) for cheap eats, i'd head to chinatown for new green bo or wong's and to the shake shack in madison square park for great burgers and shakes. soho and the village are also great to go for good food and to just check out the environment.
- for a cheap boat tour, ride the staten island ferry ... its free and you'll get an awesome view of lower manhattan. circle line is nice too but it does cost $20+ per person for a tour along the west and south side of manhattan.
if you're ever looking for anything else to do while you're here in the city, check out the free newspapers (metro, am new york, village voice) for any special events that might pop up!
as for ssw stuff the only 2 places i know are midtown comics that someone else mentioned and forbidden planet down near union square.
hope that helps ... if you have any more quesitions feel free to ask. i've learned to do just about everything cheaply in the city since i was on a student's budget the past 4 years (along with blowing every last extra cent i had on ssw!) i hope that you have a wonderful time here!
08-01-2005, 02:45 AM
Y'all, those tips are GRREAATT.
Everything mentioned was all helpful to me.
Yes, I love food, Broadway, shopping, sightseeing, musuems in general. I am an all rounder :dance . the cheap and free tips was wonderful. Keep em coming.
I hope to also catch Dave Letterman on the Late Show. Anyone attended b4? I read that I could submit for online tickets or go to the booth to submit. Any surefire tips in getting tickets.
I would like to try all the reputable (but cheap) foods in NY. Hot Dogs, burgers, doughnuts, bagels, desserts, the works!!! I am totally foreign there...
About brunch, can anyone help me on where's the best food spread and value for brunch? What is the price like and can I just walk in? Addresses and names would be very helpful.
How abt the upcoming Big Apple Comic Con? Anyone going? What can I expect? Is it mainly for comic enthusiast or are there loads of toys? Is the event huge similar to SDCC? Is it worth going?
Kierbaudy, how much is Miracle Grill's mexican brunch? Where and what time and day does it start? How about La Boit en Bois's brunch? How much and where and when?
Wetawork, thanks the offer but i do not want to impose. What is the Aquarium in Coney? Is it a restaurant, ride or fish aquarium?
elwood49, where is this Little Hole in the Wall? Pastas, pizza, can you elaborate why it is to die for? How cheap is VERY cheap?
asphodel1224, does standing room in a broadway show mean you have to stand throughout? Wouldnt that be long and tiring? How much cheaper would it cost? What are rush tickets?
The shake shack sound good. Where else can I catch good/famous food at low low prices. I love burgers, hotdogs, mexican food, deserts, etc.
Is the staten island ferry free all day?
BTW, is Sept sale season in NY? Like clothes, footwear, etc. you name it?
Appreciate all your comments thus far.:clap :bow
08-01-2005, 02:51 AM
08-01-2005, 11:00 AM
in terms of standing room tickets, yes, you are standing throughout the entire show. personally i don't find it that bad at all especially because these shows are usually very entertaining and i don't really notice the discomfort. plus there is a 15 minute intermission and you can get to the bathroom first! for the most part, you are standing behind the last row of people in the orchestra section, meaning that the view is pretty darn good. when i went and watched the lion king, the row in front of us remained empty through the first act and so we got to sit down after the intermission. theater protocol usually allows you to sit down in any empty seats after the intermission. we really lucked out though, because usually the shows have to be sold-out in order for standing room to go on sale. standing room tickets are usually $21.25 with a maximum of 2 tickets per person.
as for rush/student rush tickets, those are tickets for usually the first two rows of the orchestra (which means you get to sit and be the closest to the performers) that go on sale the day of the performance. some shows like 'rent', 'wicked', and 'avenue q' have lotteries that are held 2 hours before curtain that determine who gets these tickets. 'wicked' is pretty much the hottest ticket - last i tried to get tickets there was about 300 people who were trying to get 20 tickets! if you really have your heart set on watching a show, the best bet is tkts because you are guaranteed a ticket for half off the face value. if you don't mind getting up at the crack of dawn and waiting in line for about 4 hours, i really would suggest 'spamalot' standing room tickets as its a great show and really funny if you're a python fan. (the show is sold out until sometime next year so unless you want to shell out big bucks for tickets from a broker or you have connections, seated tickets are out.) monday is usually dark, so don't expect to see any shows then.
as for cheap eats, nathan's for hot dogs on coney island are fabulous, shake shack at madison square park (not garden, they also have frozen custard),and tony luke's (9th ave and 42nd street) for philly-style sandwiches. for really cheap hot dogs in the city, you can try gray's papaya (38th st. and 8th ave) or papaya king on 86th st. and 3rd ave. for really good falafel, try rainbow falafel at union square park or mamoun's in the village. katz's deli is the place to go for pastrami but make sure you read up and understand the ticketing system before you go.
there's a good brunch at a soho restarant called "public" (public-nyc.com)- for $20 you get a cocktail (like a bloody mary) and brunch. thers'a also a good moroccan/mediterranean brunch place in soho called "l'orange bleue'; i think brunch there runs $13 or so. here's the site www.lorangebleue.com/agrume.php (http://www.lorangebleue.com/agrume.php)
for good desserts, head to veniero's (www.venierospastry.com/), (http://www.venierospastry.com/),) cafe lalo (the cafe from the movie 'you've got mail' www.cafelalo.com), or seredipity 3 (225 E. 60th Street) for the frozen hot chocolate.
the staten island ferry is free all day. however, if you are tight on time i would probably skip it since you get somewhat of the same view when you get on the statue of liberty ferry.
check out citysearch.com and newyorkmetro.com for more cheap eats and other things to do in the city.
hope that helps!
08-01-2005, 12:06 PM
My advice...don't go.
My trip was not that great....it was ok but I was ready to come home after 2 days. Not to mention someone stole my credit card one night too....
08-01-2005, 12:09 PM
Not to mention someone stole my credit card one night too....
Sorry to hear that, Gruson. It hadn't been pre-authorised, had it? :thud
08-01-2005, 12:48 PM
Stay at the Waldorf Astoria. Lovely view and great service.
Brunch at the Plaza was always enjoyable.
Must pick up chocolates from that little shop on Rockefeller Center. They have their chocolates flown in from Europe twice a week.
08-01-2005, 06:47 PM
Miracle grill brunch is tasty (get mexican fare, stay away from pancakes and such), I don't remember exact prices but I think it averages around 9-12 bucks per person, you don't need reservations. It's not the largest in terms of spread, but it is tasty and has flavor. Reasonalbe spread. Hmmm... I've never tried brunch at La boit en bois, but they do have one, again cash only. It's on the pricey side, I think around 20 per person, but 2-3 courses I think. Sorry, I don't know for sure. City search might help. I also liked candela for brunch, it is nuovo cuisine, a little light on the spread but fairly well done if you like salmon and some unknown ingredients in your food. Their dinner is excellent but intimidating gothic atmosphere if you dine alone. Bruch is not that crowded and you can go alone, it is on average 12-14 bucks. I'm not a meat and potatos person, so I don't know any in the city that are cheap like that. There are diners in the city, there's a really good one in gramacy park area with tile decorations on the outside around 28th and 3rd I think, not sure if someone knows which one, it is very busy but cheap. Tai food is usually on the cheap side and there are plenty in the city, averages around 8-12 bucks for lunch. Venerios is indeed excellent, one of the best bakeries in the city, but you have to know what you want, it is fast paced and people are pushy. Very good cookies, but their cakes are heavenly.
I think the city is great, really large and diverse, great for walkers. 2 weeks is a long time for a visit because it is large and it can get overwhelming, I think 1 busy week is probably enough, but this will vary on the person. You might like foraging for food. I travel alone quite a bit and been to many large cities and finding food is always the toughest, finding a place that a single person can go and eat comfortably.
John's and Ray's Pizza are better than average. John's has a thinner crust and Ray's is thick all the way. Pizza and soda can run you 4 bucks easy, it is expensive. You definately have to have pizza because NYC has the best in the country. Stands typically have lousy hotdogs, but their prezels are good, if you like prezels. In the morning rush hour (7-9:30 am) during the weekdays, you can come out on to the city streets and you will find vendors with huge aluminum carts on the corners offering really cheap and great bagels (really fresh), they are everywhere. I think they are like a dollar or 1.50 each, so it's a cheap and quick breakfast. Pace is fast so know what you want before you step up to their window. Citysearch is very accurate so look up restaurants, they have location and prices. Coney island used to be a hell hole, but now it is really nice with broadwalk and an aquarium as well as little rides. I remember going as a kid, but stopped when it turned dangerous and became a mess. Now, families go there all the time. It's a very long ride from the city on the subway, an hour and half maybe, so I'm not sure if it's worth it, but worth a detour if you are in the neighborhood. Best steaks in town used to be peter luger's in bklyn, where the hassidic community lives which is an interesting sight because of the cultural aspect. They have german size beer. Weekends are the best for central park, safest that time also. Sometimes there are mimes and street performers on weekends. Chinatown has good ice cream and there is a pancake lady on weekends at the end of mott st in a little stand and she makes these bite size pancakes that are really tasty. It is endless...
08-01-2005, 09:10 PM
Thanks for the tips again.
Does brunch mean all you can eat/buffet or is it a set course meal? From where I come from, brunch is buffet. What time does brunch usually start?
Is NY's tap water safe enough to drink?
Is it generally safe to walk around the city at night from let's say 10pm to 1am? in terms of muggers and thefts?
I'll be there from Sept 10 to Sept 26, can anyone tell me what the temperature would be like? Do I need a jacket?
Thanks so much.:yay
08-01-2005, 09:24 PM
brunch here is usually a set meal. there are rarely any buffets in nyc.
walking around at night from 10pm-1am can be fairly safe, though it depends on where in the city you are. times square is pretty safe to walk around. if you're walking around the city on fridays and saturdays that's even better because nightlife in nyc begins at midnight so there will be a lot more people around.
nyc's tap water is safe to drink, though i filter mine with a brita. i seriously doubt you're going to get sick from drinking unfiltered tap water.
as for good bagels, try h&h bagels or ess-a-bagel, though the cart bagels are pretty good and cheap.
temperature in september should be warm enough still that you can wear t-shirts. i'd recommend a light jacket though, just in case it gets cooler at night.
08-01-2005, 10:12 PM
I will be bringing my laptop to NY and intend to hook up to the net often, can anyone recommend place where I can get free wi-fi connections. I thought Starbucks hotspot was free but I just checked their site and apparently I have to subscribe to the hotspot service. My Starbucks here has free wireless connection in their premises.
Can anyone help?
08-01-2005, 10:57 PM
certain parks in the city may have free wi-fi, though i'm not completely sure if its free or through subscription. bryant park, which is on 42nd street between 5th and 6th avenues, does have wifi, but like i said, i'm not sure that its free.
08-02-2005, 03:26 AM
Any recommendations where I can buy original DVDs for the best prices. I know the usual large establishments like Tower, HMV, Borders have DVDs but I do believe their prices are strictly recommended retail. Any places better than them?
Also, any other places other than TRU, FAO, Mike's shop, Midtown Comics where I can get Star Wars Hasbro, Master Replica, Gentle Giants, Wetas, Sideshow Colelctibles, statues, toys, etc....?
BTW, how many TRU's are there in NY besides the Times Square outlet? Is tehre any Best But stores there? I would like to buy the SW MR Best Buy sabers is possible. I am also looking for all the US exclusive Star Wars items like the Target Lava Vader, Walmart Exclusives..... Are there any specialty collectible stores there? Sounds very limited, aint it?
08-03-2005, 05:14 PM
Asphodel......are you out there?
Anyone who could help me on my previous query would be great. Thanks.:help
08-03-2005, 05:48 PM
Keep in mind, you'll find mostly Region 1 dvds in NYC.
J&R Music World (http://www.jr.com/templates/information/directions.tem) has a tremendous selection of dvds. It's right accross the street from City Hall Park which has free wifi access.
A block away on Fulton St. there is a dvd street vendor who sells legit (Region 1) dvds. Be careful of other dvd vendors selling camcorder bootlegs.
08-03-2005, 07:37 PM
I usually get my DVD's from the internet or from Best Buy - there really isn't any discount outlets here in NYC that sells DVD for any cheaper than national chains. Bootleg DVD's can be had in Chinatown, but they're pretty poor in quality, though I've gotten some before that were pretty good.
As for more SSW stuff, the only other place that I know of is Forbidden Planet. I can't remember the exact address but its something like 12th Street near Union Square Park. When I went there earlier this summer, I believe that they had Gandalf on Shadowfax and a couple of busts displayed.
I think that the Times Square TRU is the last TRU in the city. There used to be one in Union Square but it closed earlier this year. The Times Square TRU used to be really good with restocking their merchandise back in my heyday of Toybiz collecting. I used to go right when they opened in the morning and race the other collectors to get all the rare ones. I believe that they tend to be fairly good with restocking since it is a large store and they get a lot of business from all the tourists in Times Square.
As for Target, there aren't any in the city - there is one out in Queens (but a long subway and bus ride) and one in Brooklyn (haven't been to that one). The only Walmart I know of is in New Jersey.
There are a couple of Best Buys in the city - 3 that I know of. One in the Upper East Side on 86th, one on 23rd, and another in Soho on Broadway I believe. I'm sure that you can go onto the Best Buy website and locate stores much more precisely.
Hope that helps!
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