New York Journals

First Bite of the Big Apple

A February 2004 trip to New York by justinef

Quote: On our first visit to New York, we tried to pack in as many of the sights as possible and see how Americans celebrate Valentine's Day. It also raises that question of whether the person who called it "the city that never sleeps" stayed in the same hotel as us.

First Bite of the Big Apple

Overview

Quote:
The amazing feeling of getting off the bus outside Grand Central Station and walking around the city for the time and seeing in reality for the first time the many places that you've seen in films and television.

Quick Tips:

If you are going to be there for Valentine's Day, be sure to make reservations in advance. We didn't and ended up having a romantic burger in a diner, as we couldn't get in anywhere else. We also couldn't find anywhere that sold champagne.

Best Way To Get Around:

Hail a yellow cab, an essential New York experience.

Chelsea Star Hotel

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Quote:
I will admit full responsibility for the mistake of staying in this hotel, as it is me who has the bohemian pretensions and the love of quirky decor. We were looking online for somewhere to stay and found this hotel, with its boasts of being where Madonna lived while she was starting out and its mad-themed rooms. This, we thought, would add to the New York experience, but on further investigation, the themed rooms weren't en suite; they all shared a shared bathroom. This was not for us, so having fallen in love with the idea of this hotel, we then decided to stay in one of their en-suite rooms, foregoing the quirky rooms for what still looked like stylishly designed, pastel-coloured rooms – why, at ...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on September 20, 2005

Chelsea Star Hotel
302 W. 30th St.
New York, New York 10001
(212) 465-8664

Empire State Building

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Attraction

Quote:
We arrived just before it was due to open and already the queue snaked its way through most of the basement. We queued and we queued. We're English, so we’re quite good at it, but it was stuffy and the woman in front of us was wearing a garish pair of trousers that wasn't making the time go any faster. After what felt like an eternity, we reached the elevator to go partway up, and then we queued some more. Eventually we reached the top to be greeted by a man in a dinner jacket playing a small Hammond organ. He was playing "Here comes the Bride." It was St Valentine's Day, and several couples were getting married at the top of this landmark, but at the same time, there was a throng of tourists w...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 20, 2005

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

The Sopranos Tour

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Attraction | "Sopranos Bus Tour"

Quote:
My partner and I both love this show, although he is somewhat more obsessed than I am and I wasn't sure that it would hold my interest for a whole day, but it turned out to be great fun. We meet at the Button in garment district. Our group was a diverse bunch: a few Germans, a few Goths, some New Yorkers who had evidently been on the trip more than once before, and several other couples. Our tour guide (unfortunately, I don't remember his name) was brilliant: he was an actor who had appeared in the show three times and was very much a bit part actor. His hands were in one scene holding some cards, and his largest role was as a chef who died in a fire, who you barely glimpse. But this, he fel...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 22, 2005

The Sopranos Tour
In front of the Garment District "Button" (Seventh Ave. by 39th St.)
New York, New York
(212) 209-3370

World Trade Center Site

Attraction | "Ground Zero"

Quote:
It is unfortunate that this is a sight, and we had no intention of going to visit it, but on our first morning, up early, not having adjusted to the time difference, we decided to walk from our Midtown hotel to the Staten Island Ferry. Our route took us past Ground Zero, a truly disturbing sight. The sheer size of the devastated area brought home the scale of the attack and was genuinely eerie. We read some of the words of tribute to those who died and the bravery of the fire service and paid our respects in silence, but were keen not to dwell there for too long. At the same time, there were other tourists taking photographs of each other there as if it was a theme park. Yes, it is a m...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on September 22, 2005

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

Tiffany & Co

Attraction | "Tiffany's"

Quote:
Audrey Hepburn has a lot to answer for! It being my birthday and Valentine's Day during our visit, my partner had the sweet idea that he would buy me a piece of jewellery from this famous store, perhaps secretly hoping I would be transformed into Ms. Hepburn. I did question whether he would be able to afford anything in here, but went along with the idea. However, I needn't have worried about him blowing the savings - the shop was full of gaudy baubles that my grandmother would even find too old-fashioned. I doubt anyone in there was a serious customer, though, as, like us, everyone else seemed to just be tourists coming in through the revolving door to have a qui...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on September 22, 2005

Tiffany & Co
Fifth Avenue at 57th Street
New York, New York 10022
888-546-5188