Planning a trip to NYC in mid-Oct

Piggybacking off of this thread, my wife and I are planing on taking a 4-5 day long weekend to NYC in the 2d half of October. Lot of good suggestions in that thread. I was wondering if anyone had suggestions as to specific nuts and bolts. It will just be the 2 of us. We can pretty much spend whatever we wish, but we feel no need to just piss away $$. For example, no need to spend a grand on a hotel room when $250 will do.

-I know my wife’s big “musts” are the Met, the Guggenheim, and a Broadway show. Any specific recommendations as to where to look for a hotel? Or specific hotel recommendations? Pretty much all we’ll be doing there is sleeping, maybe relaxing/reading in between activities. So we just want safe, clean, and convenient. I’m seeing plenty of opportunities in Midtown? We are very comfortable walking - so I could imagine having 1 big event (museum/show) each day, and otherwise walking about for meals, to parks, and gawking like stupid midwesterners.

-We have lived nearly our whole life in/near Chicago, so we are not unfamiliar walking and getting around in a large-ish cities. Should we have any qualms about public transit? Are cabs a good option, or slow/pricey?

-Which airport ought we fly into and how do we get to the hotel?

-Any areas/times we ought to NOT feel safe? All of Central Park pretty much OK? I could imagine us doing something like walking across the Brooklyn Bridge and/or taking the Staten Island Ferry, but don’t imagine going too far afield. Assume there is plenty around Midtown, and parts of Manhattan from the N end of Central Park on south.

-Any really neat neighborhoods just to stroll about - maybe in conjunction with a meal or before/after one of our planned outings?

We are not foodies or anything, and aren’t big on waiting on line for something trendy. The idea of walking the High Line and ending up with a light, fresh meal is pretty ideal to us. Neither of us drinks much, and we go to bed early and wake early.

Sorry to ask things so similar to what has been asked countless times before, but I’d appreciate any input.

Another one - what are the theaters that would most give a “Broadway experience”?

In my NYC tourist experience, I would say be careful about getting a hotel that is too far from a subway stop. Hotels will be cheaper on 10th and 11th avenue, but that 2 block walk to the eight avenue line is surprisingly long and you will be mighty sick of it by the end of your stay.

We used the subway almost exclusively, rarely took a cab. Buses are fine, you may occasionally find a cross-town bus convenient, or the bus on 5th avenue to get from museum to museum.

I’ll second this. We’ve stayed at the Ink 48 (48th & 11th) and the 3/5 miles seemed like an eternity. I’d second midtown or Chelsea area, we’ve had a good stay and at the Eventi before. Probably not a good choice for this trip, but the Conrad in Battery City is also nice if you are more Village/FiDi/Meatpacking focused.

Any of the theaters that are part of Broadway will give you a Broadway experience. It’s really more about which show you want to see and can you get reasonable tickets on the night you want to go.

While it is touristy, Katz’s Deli is worth it for the pastrami and pickles.

I just made several posts to the slightly older thread. Since the topics are virtually the same, maybe they should be combined by a mod?

I flew from NYC to O’Hare in 2018 and remember how pleased I was to find out that it’s an easy trip from O’Hare to downtown Chicago via the L. Unfortunately the equivalent is not true for any of the 3 NYC area airports. Each of them has their advantages/disadvantages and none is really significantly closer–La Guardia is closer in terms of mileage but with traffic it hardly makes a difference. I would just go with the flight that’s best priced and most convenient time-wise.

But if you want bragging rights about flying into an airport that makes you feel that you’re landing in the East River or on Rikers Island (the main city jail) then by all means take a flight to LaGuardia.
These are webpages with good airport transport guides
How to Get from JFK Airport to Manhattan
How to Get From Newark Airport to Manhattan
Getting To and From LaGuardia Airport in New York City
A Guide to Airports Near New York City

About the “Broadway experience”, it doesn’t mean the same to everyone, and YMMV, but for me it’s enhanced a bit by the theatre itself. If the show itself is wonderful but the theatre itself is a modern box, then I’d rate the experience 9/10 ; if it’s in a beautiful older theater then I’d give it a 10/10

For example I saw the 2009 revival of South Pacific at the Vivian Beaumont, which is listed as a Broadway theater even though it’s at Lincoln Center and not in the Theater District. Even though it was a stellar production, the sterile glass box atmosphere detracted from the Broadway experience for me.
On the other hand I’ve seen great productions, like Drood and Great Comet of 1812 at the Imperial, and Phantom at the Majestic, which are lovely, atmospheric older houses, and being in them enhanced my experience.

Again YMMV and if you’re deciding between 2 shows both equally interesting to you and both well reviewed, it’s your call as to what creates the Broadway experience for you.

Just stay away from the off-Broadway play Perfect Crime. I saw it 27 years ago and have no idea how they’ve kept running. Gullible tourists?

And yes, all of Central Park should be OK especially in the daytime. If you’re going to the Guggenheim, look in at the Central Park reservoir and the Conservancy Garden at 104th St; it’s right across from Museum of the City of NY which is worth a quick look.
For a nice neighborhood to wander around, maybe the West Village and Washington Square?

We spent three weeks in NY in October in 2018. We got an AirBnB in Yorkville (2nd Avenue, not far from Gracie Mansion) and it was far better than a hotel. I’m not sure if you can get one for short periods. Yes, be close to a subway stop - we were a block away.
We saw 2 shows a week, all using TKTS. Don’t worry about theater ambience - they all are good. We saw the My Fair Lady revival at Lincoln Center which is a nice but not spectacular theater, and the production was spectacular enough for me. We were seated close to the stage, which helped. We saw “Anything Goes” there in its original revival like 30 years ago.
Tip - save your TKTS stubs/receipt. If you have gotten tickets there, you get to jump the line if you buy new tickets within I think 3 days.
If there is a particular production you want to be sure to see you can buy ahead. TKTS has an app which lets you check ticket availability from anywhere, so you can get a good idea.
As for museums the Met is great, as is the Museum of Natural History (my favorite from childhood) but check what exhibitions are around at the less known museums. I saw a great one on Frankenstein at the Morgan Library, and my biologist wife wanted to go to one on diseases at the Museum of the City of New York.
This was all pre-Covid, I think you may have to buy in advance now.
We got Metro Passes and rode the subway everywhere, which is by far the most efficient way to travel. I did walk from Yorkville to the East Village to check out where I hunted for used sf books when I was in high school. No problems. I enjoyed the Tenement Museum but my father grew up down the block from it.
We didn’t go out that much at night except to get dinner at one of the restaurants that lined 2nd avenue near our apartment. Midtown should be no problem before midnight. I wouldn’t go to the park then but I grew up learning to not go to the park then.

AirBnB and other short term rentals, despite their popularity, are generally illegal in NYC multi-residential buildings.

definitely! \t’s not just interesting historically, it’s emotional, too.
You personally feel what it was like for the people living n those conditions a century ago/

Thanks, all.

I thought about piggybacking onto that previous thread, but for whatever reason chose not to.

This trip is something my wife has really wanted to do for a while, so I’ll leave most of the details up to her. I just wanted to make sure we weren’t making a “wrong” choice out of ignorance.

The Tenement Museum sounds neat. Heaven knows I’ve read enough novels about living in them… Metro Pass and taking the subway sounds good too. I’ll recommend that she look for hotels close to a stop.

Our rental was for 30 days. The owner actually lived there - he was in the music business and traveled often and rented his apartment out when he was away. He asked us to leave a week early because his gig was ending early, which we agreed to.

Sounds like it worked well, until you got kicked out :slight_smile:

I’m generally a fan of AirBnB, especially when travelling for an extended period or with the family. I’ve got two upcoming reservation over the summer in LA and Croatia, but I know that some places like New York and Paris are cracking down.

I used to live across the street from the Chelsea Savoy Hotel on 7th Ave and 23rd Street. It was a reasonable price and had the 1/9 subway at it’s door. Quick ride to Broadway and a quick walk to Greenwich Village (although I have no idea on the current safety situation.)

We did NYC over Christmas so Rockefeller Tree is out.
We planned on getting subway passes for the week but ended up Ubering everywhere. If you can afford it, I think that is the way to go (especially if someone in your family is always 15 minutes late and you have timed tickets). Guggenheim was disappointing, MOMA was an experience and at the Met we hired a guide to make sure we hit everything and we could have gone back a second day. We saw “Book of Mormon” and there are a ton of Broadway plays, you can’t go wrong there. Times Square was meh.

I would advise you to take what I call, “The Americans Tour”: The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Ground Zero and Freedom Tower. And we took the opportunity to eat at an actual bonafide Michelin Star restaurant. I was craving a scotch and soda and their well scotch was a 12 year old single malt.

If you’re itinerary is leaning heavily towards museums and/or tourist attractions, you might want to look at a tourist discount package such as CityPass, New York Pass, NY Sightseeing Pass, or Go City. They all have various packages and options. However, it doesn’t seem like the Met (or the Tenement Museum) participate in any of these packages. Some of them include guided walking tours of various neighborhoods as an option. Another plus is that since your already have a bar-code admission ticket on your phone, you don’t have to wait in line to buy tickets.

If you go to the Met, you also get a free admission to the Cloisters that doesn’t have to be on the same day, which is good since the Cloisters are one of the few major museums NOT closed on Monday. It’s located in Fort Tryon Park on the heights at the northern tip of Manhattan. Out of the way, but well worth the trip. Fort Tryon Park is also a very nice park, with amazing views of the Hudson Palisades, which should be fall foliage by the time you visit. If you do go, a guided tour is a almost a must.

Cloisters is probably the one thing I’d really like to see. Just sounds so cool to me, and seems every time a TV show/film needs a need setting, it ends up being the Cloisters.

Will definitely look into those passes. Thanks. We still haven’t gotten around to hammering out an itinerary yet. My practice, tho, is that most generally such programs are structured such that NO one such program includes ALL of the specific things WE are interested in! :wink:

The Cloisters also have a little cafe tucked away in the back that people miss. Go if you’re there and the weather’s nice, not because of the food, but because of the setting.

It may sound crazy, but if you plan to hit the Met and the Cloisters, purchasing a membership might be a good option. A basic membership is $110 and gets you free admissions for you and a guest, which isn’t worth it if you’re only going once, but the added perks, such as discounts at the museum stores and restaurants or early members-only admission, might make it cost effective.