New York Journals

A Week in New York

A September 2004 trip to New York by Muchmor

Embassy Suites New York Photo, New York, New York More Photos
Quote: We spent a week in New York doing the usual tourist things and visiting the usual sights. However, we visited during the third anniversary of 9/11, which turned out to be a highly emotional experience that I feel privileged to have witnessed.

Embassy Suites New York

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel | "Embassy Suites Hotel"

Embassy Suites New York Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
We had a two room suite with large living area, kitchenette, bathroom, bedroom with king size bed and a great view of the harbour. A buffet breakfast was included in the price and the choices etc were very good and set us up for the day’s sightseeing. All these things measured up to the usual good standard of Embassy Suites. However we felt the service within the hotel was of a poor standard and let the hotel down. We noticed that some areas of our room got dusty and seemed not to be cleaned, such as the dressing table. Also sweets left on the table mysteriously disappeared. At the time of our arrival the light over the bath was flashing on and off, after a long flight etc we decided not to both...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on September 29, 2004

Embassy Suites New York
102 North End Avenue
New York, New York 10281
(212) 945-0100

Applebee's

Restaurant

Quote:
This restaurant was located within our hotel building, so we used it out of convenience more than anything. I will not go into too much detail as all Applebee’s are very much alike. The theme was Wall Street with lots of pictures of South Manhattan both before and after 9/11. They also had lots of stocks, share certificates, and newspaper cuttings over the walls, which were quite interesting. The staff was very nice and the food very good, especially the dessert – Triple Chocolate Meltdown, a chocolate sponge cake covered in chocolate syrup and vanilla ice cream. I have to confess to having this twice in a week – very naughty, but very nice! My husband loved the Apple Pie dessert. We...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 29, 2004

Applebee's
102 North End Avenue
New York, New York 10282
(212) 945-3277

Planet Hollywood

Restaurant

Quote:
Although this was just another Planet Hollywood restaurant, I thought it deserved a mention, if only for its restrooms! We decided to eat here whilst we were in Times Square, as it was one of the few places without a queue. We were given seats quickly, and the service overall was good. The food was typical PH stuff: burgers, pasta, pizza, etc. The place itself is pretty large -- one of the largest PHs we have been in -- and has all the usual movie memorabilia, including the dress Demi Moore wore in Indecent Proposal. However, it was the restroom that is worth mentioning. I had to visit the ladies’ room and was greeted at the door by the attendant. She then led me to a cubicle, opened ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 30, 2004

Planet Hollywood
1540 Broadway
New York, New York 10036
(212) 333-7827

Empire State Building

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Attraction

Empire State Building Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
The Empire State Building is a must-see and must-do when in New York. We booked our tickets online before we went, where you get electronic tickets to print out - very easy. We chose to have both the observatory tickets and the Skyride. We went in September and didn’t have to queue for the Skyride. You have to go through two separate introduction rooms before you actually get on the ride itself. As part of the intro, they explain why they have chosen to keep the Twin Towers featured in the ride - as a tribute to the buildings and those who were lost. Skyride is a simulator ride, which is basically a helicopter ride over New York. You fly across all the major sights, and the film inc...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 11, 2004

Empire State Building
350 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street
New York 10118
(212) 736-3100

World Financial Center

Attraction | "World Financial Centre"

World Financial Center Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
The World Financial Buildings were opposite our hotel and Ground Zero. Apart from being a huge office block, they also hold restaurants and shops. On the ground floor, there are several restaurants, coffee bars, and a Starbucks. There is also a seating area both inside and outside the centre where you can sit and people-watch. There are lots of police and security guards wandering around, which is an unfortunate legacy of 9/11. The building also has a shopping area with some clothes shops such as Gap, gift shops, and more. There are only about 10 or so shops, but it is quite pleasant and very bright with the big, glass roof. There is also a Ground Zero information area, which has models of the ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 11, 2004

World Financial Center
West Street
New York, New York 10128
+1 212.945.2600

Gray Line New York Sightseeing

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Attraction | "Gray Line NY Tours Overview"

Gray Line New York Sightseeing Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
We booked Grey Line Tours via the internet before we left for New York. We booked the all loops package, which consisted of four separate tours: uptown, downtown, Brooklyn and a night tour. This was good value for money at $49 per person. Even if you only want to take a couple of the tours, this still works out cheaper than buying them individually. You have to take all tours within 48 hours, which sounds daunting, but we did the uptown in the morning of day one and the downtown in the afternoon. Then the following day we did Brooklyn and then the night tour, so it worked out great. Each tour takes about 2 hours if you stay on from start to finish. They all start and end in the Times ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 19, 2004

Gray Line New York Sightseeing
777 8th Avenue
New York, New York 10036
(212) 445-0848

Gray Line New York Sightseeing

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Uptown Grey Line Bus Tour"

Gray Line New York Sightseeing Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
We decided to start our tours on our first full day in the city so that we could get a feel of the place and perhaps find places on the tours that we could later go back to. We started with the uptown tour. The tour guide on this bus was am energetic elderly lady who had lived in NYC all her life and was very informative and funny. She kept telling the driver to slow down, stop, speed up, and more. As this was an older bus without a built-in microphone, every time someone wanted to get on or off, she had to wind the cable up and escort people up and down the stairs, then re-attach the microphone and start again, which she made very amusing. The tour started at the back of Times Squar...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 19, 2004

Gray Line New York Sightseeing
777 8th Avenue
New York, New York 10036
(212) 445-0848

Bus Tour - Brooklyn

Attraction | "Brooklyn Grey Line Bus Tour"

Bus Tour - Brooklyn Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Of the three main tours we went on, the Brooklyn one was by far the least interesting. It starts in Lower Manhattan at Battery Park and is in a coach, which was rather disappointing, but apparently open-top buses are not allowed in Brooklyn. After leaving Battery Park, you travel around towards South Street Seaport and then across the Manhattan Bridge to Brooklyn. Buses are not allowed on the Brooklyn Bridge, but this is better as you can look across to the right to see it as you go over the river. The first stop is the Marriott Hotel. You then travel through Camden Plaza, Brooklyn Heights, Old Fulton Landing, and onto the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. Of ...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on October 19, 2004

Bus Tour - Brooklyn

New York, New York

Gray Line New York Sightseeing

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Grey Line Night Bus Tour"

Gray Line New York Sightseeing Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
The night tour is very good and it takes in a lot of the sights from the uptown, downtown, and Brooklyn tours but, yes, you’ve guessed it, at night. You need to pick your timing here. The tours start from around 6pm, but if you want to start the tour in the dark, you need to allow for this. We went in September and started our tour at 6.30pm, which meant that the sun was just starting to go down, but it was still light. The tour starts and finishes in Times Square, so if it is not quite dark when you depart, don’t worry, you will see it all again in all its glory when you return at the end of the tour. We travelled around Times Square, and as we went down one of the roads, we caught th...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 19, 2004

Gray Line New York Sightseeing
777 8th Avenue
New York, New York 10036
(212) 445-0848

Coney Island Beach, Boardwalk, Amusement Parks

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Attraction | "Coney Island"

Coney Island Beach, Boardwalk, Amusement Parks Photo, Brooklyn, New York
Quote:
Coney Island is a strange place. We went on our last full day in New York, basically because we couldn’t think of anywhere else to go. We took the subway from Lower Manhattan straight to Coney Island, which was a very easy trip. When you exit the subway you are faced with a building site, which straight away is a little disconcerting. You then walk down one of the side roads to get to the beach area. We went in September and the amusement park area was closed, which we had expected, although I hadn’t expected it to be so small and uninspiring. I had read lots about the area and had read articles that raved about the big wheel and the roller coaster, but the whole place was very old and looked u...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on October 25, 2004

Coney Island Beach, Boardwalk, Amusement Parks
Surf Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11224
(718) 372-0275

Macy's Herald Square

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Attraction | "Macy's"

Macy's Herald Square Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
This store is advertised as the biggest and best department store in the world. Well, the biggest it may be, but it is certainly not the best. I was very disappointed with this place. First, we visited at the beginning of September and they already had Christmas decorations up on the ceilings. Way to early for my liking. We entered near the perfume counters and could not take a step without someone trying to spray us with some smelly one or another, which was very annoying. I admit to never having seen so many handbags in one place, although I actually found there to be too many, as I was so spoiled by choice, deciding not to bother buying one, even though I really needed one. The stor...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on October 25, 2004

Macy's Herald Square
151 West 34th Street
New York, New York 10001
(212) 695 4400

New York Aquarium

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Attraction

New York Aquarium Photo, Brooklyn, New York
Quote:
The New York Aquarium is located at Coney Island, and we spent an hour or so there in September. We had visited Coney Island, but although very warm, it had started to rain, so we went to the aquarium to pass the time. Upon entering you are faced with a corridor of viewing windows looking onto different sea creatures, and of course, fish. You can see marine fish, corals, crabs, shrimps, and many other types of fish. There is also a large pool full of stingrays. In another section you can see beautiful jellyfish floating around blue-lit aquariums, showing them off to their best. They are fascinating and very peaceful to watch. They have several tanks with several different species on s...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 25, 2004

New York Aquarium
Surf Avenue at West 8th Street
Brooklyn, New York 11224

Brooklyn Bridge

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Brooklyn Bridge Photo, Brooklyn, New York
Quote:
We decided to walk the Brooklyn Bridge after we had been on the Brooklyn bus tour. We got off before it went back to Manhattan and followed the path leading to the pedestrian walkway of the bridge. The views across the river to Manhattan are stunning, and the sight of the bridge itself as you look down its length at all the cables is quite something. The walkway is split into two sides, with pedestrians on one side and cyclists on the other. This was obvious from signs and markings on the footpath, but lots of people still walked into the cyclist lane and were duly advised otherwise by angry passing cyclists. There are a number of telescopes dotted along the path, which you can put m...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 25, 2004

Brooklyn Bridge
Access At Tillary Street And Boerum Place
Brooklyn, NY

Grand Central Terminal

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Grand Central Terminal Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Grand Central Station is one of those places you have to go to whilst in New York, as it is featured in so many films. How many times have you seen people meet here or leave loved ones there, or seen people running from the police and disappearing into the restrooms, never to be seen again? Well, we walked from Times Square down to the station to see for ourselves. When you first walk in you look up and notice the ceiling. It is dark green with gold stars and constellations on it. There are huge chandeliers hanging between the opulent arches. For a railway station it is quite a spectacular architecture. As I suppose it is most days, it was pretty busy with a mixture of genuine travell...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 25, 2004

Grand Central Terminal
87 E 42nd St
New York, New York
(212) 340-2210

Statue of Liberty

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Statue of Liberty - Part 1"

Statue of Liberty Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
This review will span two entries, sorry. I booked my tickets for the Statue of Liberty on the web, the day after they allowed booking. I was very excited and booked tickets to go to the second level of the statue, where you can see through a glass ceiling to see the inside of the building and can also get a higher viewing platform – or so I thought. The e-mail confirmation suggested getting to the departure point – Battery Park -- two hours before our 12:45pm tour. When we arrived, there were several ticket queues, but I spotted a small sign for pre-booked tours and went to the allotted table for the ticket. I was asked my name and given an envelope with ferry tickets, tour tickets, ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 30, 2004

Statue of Liberty
Liberty Island
New York, New York 10004
(212) 363-3200

Statue of Liberty

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Statue of Liberty - Part 2"

Statue of Liberty Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Continued from Part One…. Annoyingly, we saw quite a few people with larger bags than those we had. It seems to be down to the guard on duty as to what is let in and what isn’t! A tour guide is available to walk you through the museum, or you can go it alone, as we did. It has replicas of the face and feet of the statue and also the original lamp, which was replaced. There are also hundreds of postcards featuring the statue, going back to before it was completed -- very interesting. You can see exactly how the statue was built and see photos of it growing bit-by-bit. After the museum, you get to the viewing platforms. We had brought tickets for the observation deck, but w...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 30, 2004

Statue of Liberty
Liberty Island
New York, New York 10004
(212) 363-3200

World Trade Center Site

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Third Anniversary of 9/11"

World Trade Center Site Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
We were privileged to be in New York during the 3rd anniversary of 9/11. Our hotel was opposite Ground Zero, so we only had to walk outside to appreciate the atmosphere. We went out after breakfast and were confronted by lots of people milling around, paying respect, and getting ready for the ceremony. We had to walk round to the opposite side of Ground Zero, as the side our hotel was on was set aside for friends and relatives of those who perished. When we got round the other side, there were quite a few people, but not as many as I had expected. Inside the site, many police and fire fighters were standing and waiting for the ceremony to start. At the time of the first plane’s impact, the chur...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 30, 2004

World Trade Center Site
Vesey Street, West Side Highway, Liberty And Church Streets
New York

World Trade Center Site

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Tribute in Light"

World Trade Center Site Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
On the evening of the 3rd anniversary of 9/11, we witnessed an amazing sight - the Tribute in Lights. These are two beams of light, reaching up into the sky from Ground Zero, honouring those who died on that fateful day. We first saw the sight whilst we were on a Grey Line bus tour in Brooklyn. The sight of the beams rising into infinity from across the river was awesome. When the bus pulled over so we could take photos, most of the people in the bus just sat and stared in wonder. We went on to view the lights from quite a few locations throughout the night. Our hotel was opposite Ground Zero, so when we returned later that night, we had even better views of the lights. They weren’t a...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 30, 2004

World Trade Center Site
Vesey Street, West Side Highway, Liberty And Church Streets
New York

World Trade Center Site

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Ground Zero"

World Trade Center Site Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Ground Zero is a very special place for very obvious reasons. Our hotel overlooked the site, so we walked past it often during our stay. Whilst we were there, it was the third anniversary of 9/11, so Ground Zero had even more poignancy. As you stand on the metal gantry built to the side of the site that leads to the underground stations, etc., you get a very strange feeling. The actual site is not as big as I had suspected; it doesn’t look as if two of the world’s tallest buildings once stood there. Although, of course, the buildings were tall. Most of the base of the site was made of concrete, as they are starting work on the replacement buildings. However, you can still see the orig...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 2, 2005

World Trade Center Site
Vesey Street, West Side Highway, Liberty And Church Streets
New York

Strawberry Fields/Central Park

Attraction | "Strawberry Fields"

Strawberry Fields/Central Park Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Strawberry Fields is a section of Central Park which is dedicated to the memory of John Lennon who was shot outside the Dakota Building just outside the park. It is called a garden of peace. You enter by going under a lovely little stone bridge. There are many pathways leading to a central area where there are benches for quiet contemplation, each dedicated to the memory of someone’s loved one. There is a large mosaic on the ground with the word "imagine" in the center which had lots of flowers round it. The flowers were for not only John Lennon and peace but for the anniversary of 9/11 that weekend. When we were there, there was a large peace symbol made out of origami doves of peace, which w...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 2, 2005

Strawberry Fields/Central Park
West Side Between 71st And 74th Streets
New York, New York