New York Journals

New York City ... Winter Wonderland

A December 2005 trip to New York by Whiterabbit79

ONE UN New York Photo, New York, New York More Photos
Quote: What could be more perfect than Christmas in NYC? Besides the transit strike, our trip was nearly perfect. We saw the sights, shopped, drank many warm drinks, and did a lot of walking. Overall, this trip was a grand time and I would do it all over again, maybe at a different time of the year.

ONE UN New York

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel | "Millennium UN Plaza"

ONE UN New York Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
The Millennium UN Plaza is located on the east side of Midtown. It is roughly 1 block from the United Nations. When you first arrive at this hotel, you must have your bags checked at the door by security. This is standard. From here you enter the beautiful lobby. The lobby is adorned with reflective glass and lighting. With it being the holiday season, there was a beautiful Christmas tree in the center. Once we checked in, we made our way to the 38th floor and our room. The room was small but not bad for NYC standards. Since there were three of us, we had an extra cot brought in and still had plenty of room to move around. The room itself seemed to have a modern Asian flair. It had a closet ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 22, 2005

ONE UN New York
One United Nations Plaza
New York, New York 10017
(212) 758-1234

Utopia Restaurant

Restaurant

Quote:
If you want a real "everybody knows your name" type of place, this is it. Utopia is a small hole-in-the-wall Greek restaurant that is always busy with locals and tourists alike. It's a small diner with what I would guess is less than 50 seats/benches. When we arrived at around 6pm, it was packed. Our server, Angelo, was great. He was an older gentleman. I believe him to be the owner. He took our orders from memory and everything came back perfect. I had ordered the Chicken Caesar Salad Wrap, which came with coleslaw and a side pickle. I also ordered a nice hot cup of tea since it was so cold outside. My dinner, which was so large that I couldn't finish it, came out to less than $13. For a girl on a bu...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 22, 2005

Utopia Restaurant
267 Amsterdam Ave.
New York, New York
(212) 813-6233

Cafe Palermo

Restaurant | "Caffe Palermo"

Quote:
Caffé Palermo is located in Little Italy and is widely known as the "Cannoli King" of New York by locals and tourists. Our group visited this great restaurant for lunch on our second day in New York. We walked in to find a case full of desserts and holiday decorations all around. Our waitress was quick to help us and to take our drink orders as we made our lunch decisions. The restaurant's menu is varied but very Italian. I chose to get the chicken, red pepper, and mozzarella panini with a hot tea and water. The panini was fresh and delicious. Once we all finished our lunch, we all split a cannoli and a cheesecake. All I can say is, it was to die for. This is how dessert should be made. If you are in ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 22, 2005

Cafe Palermo
148 Mulberry Street
New York, New York 10013
(212) 431-4205

Dishes

Restaurant | "Dishes at Grand Central Station"

Quote:
For a busy traveler, a place like Dishes is great. While waiting for our train in Grand Central, our group was able to get a great breakfast for a reasonable cost. I had a delicious Turkish bagel with goat cheese and bacon. I also purchased an orange-and-chocolate chip muffin and an apple juice. The muffin was for later but was also great. Overall, it is a good place for breakfast if you are in a hurry.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 22, 2005

Dishes
6 E 45th St
New York, New York
(212) 687-5511

Rice to Riches

Restaurant

Quote:
Our group stopped into Rice to Riches for a reprieve from walking. From what I have heard, it's a rather well-known dessert shop within NYC. And now I know why. They specialize in flavored rice pudding. I know what you are saying: "Rice pudding?" I thought the same thing. And then I tried the "Coast to Coast Cheesecake with Mischief" (Mischief=buttery graham-cracker crumble). Now, I am not a big fan of rice pudding, but this was the best thing I have tasted in a long time. It was rich, but not nauseatingly rich. It was creamy and sweet, but refreshing at the same time. And as I was enjoying this, I forgot it was rice pudding. If you are in the area of Spring Street, you MUST check this place out.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 22, 2005

Rice to Riches
37 Spring St
New York, New York
(212) 274-0008

Bubba Gump Shrimp Company

Restaurant | "Bubba Gump's"

Quote:
Bubba Gumps is the stereotypical tourist resturant. It's based on a big-name movie. It's located in the highest tourist-populated area of the city (Times Square/Broadway). It's loud and gaudy. With that said, it was great. Our group decided to skip the wait and sit at the bar. This was a smart idea, as there was quite a wait for a table. Shawn, our bartender, was hilarious. He was told us that he was a long-time resident of NYC and a student of Juilliard. Personal touches like that really help make things great when relaxing after a long day of touring the city. He also makes a mean Delta Sunset (aka raspberry margarita). We also chose to have dinner at the bar. I ordered the fried shrimp (y...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 22, 2005

Bubba Gump Shrimp Company
1501 Broadway
New York, New York 10036
(212) 391-7100

Metropolitan Museum of Art Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
When we entered the Met, we entered with the "masses." But was I was amazed at was the beautiful staircase directly in front of me. It looked to be white marble and seemed to go up forever. However, before you can go up the stairs, you must purchase a pass. The cost when I went was $12. It may differ, I am not 100% sure. As you roam through the museum, you see all the greats... Rembrandt, Vermeer, Poussin. And you can also catch some great exhibits like I did. I was able to get to see the Van Gogh exhibit. It had a great selection of his early sketches, later paintings, and the great self-portrait. Be warned though that it can be manic at some times. But it is well worth it if you are an art...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 23, 2005

Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10028
(212) 535-7710

Strawberry Fields/Central Park

Attraction | "Strawberry Fields in Central Park"

Strawberry Fields/Central Park Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
We decided to visit Strawberry Fields and the John Lennon "Imagine" memorial at Sunset on our first day in NYC. Unfortunately, by the time we got there, it was dark. But even though it was dark, I was still surprised to see how many people were there. I would have to say there was a good 25 people there taking pictures of the beautiful memorial. The "Imagine" memorial still had flower pedals lightly dusted over it. It was sobering but great.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 23, 2005

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

Times Square

Attraction

Times Square Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Times Square, the center of all the "craziness" in New York. It's where all the energy and life is. And it is best experienced at night. At night, all of the neon of the billboards are in full force. It's exhilarating. Around Times Square, you will find people selling photos, artwork, and jewelry, along with different foods (which all smell GREAT). There are so many other intangibles that go along with Times Square, it just has to be experienced to fully understand it.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 23, 2005

Times Square

New York, New York 10036

Christmas at Rockefeller Center

Attraction | "Rockefeller Center & The Christmas Tree"

Christmas at Rockefeller Center Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
You cannot go to New York City during the holiday season and NOT see the Christmas tree. We, of course, decided to go and see the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and all the holiday decorations that come along with it. We walked up to find a mass of people huddled around the tree. Everyone was taking pictures, crowding the ice-skating rink to get a sight of the skaters. The tree was standing so tall. The lights reflecting off the windows of the surrounding buildings. It was absolutely grand. If this doesn't get you in the holiday mood, I do not know what will.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 23, 2005

Christmas at Rockefeller Center
Between 47th and 50th Streets and 5th and 7th Avenues
New York, New York

Grand Central Terminal Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Grand Central Terminal--what a marvel. We entered the terminal via a side entrance that is located just past the Grand Hyatt on Park Avenue. You may think that by taking a side entrance to the terminal it will be less hectic, but you will be wrong. The terminal is a busy place morning, noon, and night. However, on a cold day, it's a GREAT place to get a good cup of coffee in the dining hall. The terminal also houses many shops that carry everything. from wine to clothing and everything in between. The main terminal is a maze of tunnels that go to different tracks. The ceiling of the terminal is beautiful. For the holidays, they tastefully decorated the area. However, even though it was beautiful ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 23, 2005

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

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
Our group came up to St. Patrick's Cathedral actually by accident. We were walking from Rockefeller Center. We looked down the street to find this beautiful cathedral tucked away in between giant towers. This cathedral is like one you would see in France or England. It's made in that style. We entered the church as it is still clearing from Sunday Mass. You find the local parishioners mixed with the tourists that are mixed with the homeless all under one roof. You feel the need to be silent when you come into this building. To walk in silence and to take it all in. The beauty of the archways, the nave, the organ, and everything in between. This is a MUST-SEE sight.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 23, 2005

St. Patrick's Cathedral
460 Fifth Ave
New York, New York 10022
(212) 753-2261

Battery Park

Attraction

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
We went down to Battery Park on the day before we to leave NYC. And of course it was one of the coldest days of our trip. Just as a note, bundle up during the winter and bring a jacket during any other season due to the winds. From the end of the park, you can see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. You can take a ferry out to see them for cost. You can find the ticket booth for that in Castle Clinton. I would have done it if not for the extreme cold weather. As I continued to walk through the park, there was a rather large Navy and Air Force Memorial that faced out to sea. The park is a great place to take a break with the family (on a nice day, that is).

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 23, 2005

Battery Park
Battery Place
New York, New York 10004
(212) 809-5508

St. Paul's Chapel

Attraction

St. Paul's Chapel Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
This church is found on the east side of the World Trade Center Memorial. It is one of the many places that became a memorial after 9/11. We came across this lovely chapel after visiting Battery Park. What caught our attention was this memorial/artwork that was found directly outside of the church. This piece of bronze art is a cast of roots of a sycamore tree that had stood in the church's courtyard. This sycamore was taken down when the trade centers collapsed on 9/11/01. According to a sign in front of the piece, the artist (Steve Tobin) took over 300 casting of the actual roots of the sycamore to commemorate what happened on that day. Once we entered the church, we entered yet ano...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 23, 2005

St. Paul's Chapel
Broadway
New York, New York 10006
+1 212 602 0747

Charging Bull (Wall Street Bull)

Attraction | "Wall Street/The Bull"

Charging Bull (Wall Street Bull) Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
"The Bull" is one of the most touristy things I did in NYC. However, being in the Financial District, I had to have my picture taken with it. It's kind of a requirement. From what I have read, the statue is about 7,000 pounds of pure bronze. It stands in front of the Wall Street section of the Financial District. Since it was the holiday season, they (whoever owns it) were nice enough to put a holiday wreath around it. Very festive. I would recommend it if you are in the area, but don't make a special trip if you aren't.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 23, 2005

Charging Bull (Wall Street Bull)
26 Broadway
Manhattan, New York 10004

World Trade Center Site Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
What is it like? It's sobering. It's sad. It's everything you would expect it to be. It is also great to see that the locals are not sulking in the past but living their lives and thriving. Locals and tourists visit the WTC site to remember what happened on that day. I know I stood there and looked around. I remembered watching on TV the people running past the Burger King I just walked by. It's surreal. But it is also uplifting to know that we will not be kept down by this and we will go on.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 24, 2005

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

Bryant Park

Attraction

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
Bryant Park. This is just a nice park located just down the block from the public library. I initially visited the park on my initial night in the city. They had many stalls up and running with different vendors. The vendors had everything from local photographers/artists to ceramics to make-up. I was lucky enough to purhase some lovely photography by a local artist (the name escapes me at the moment-will update once I remember). However, on my last day in the city, I decided to go back for one last look around. I am glad I did. One thing I didn't notice at night is that they had an ice skating rink set up. I am not an ice skater but it was nice to sit there with my nice, hot cup of coffee a...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 24, 2005

Bryant Park
500 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10110
(212) 768-4242

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
Address: Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, New York City We have always heard how great this library was and made it one of our tasks to visit it while we were in NYC. I am so glad we did, as it was marvelous. We decided to come in through a back entrance to avoid some of the crowds. This was a big help. Like every major site, be expected to have your bags searched. There is no cost to visit the library however a donation is appreciated. We made our way down these amazing halls of white marble and beautiful arches. We then came upon the McGraw Rotunda. This rotunda was made out of all hardwood. It looked to me to be made of mahogany but I could be wrong. On all of the walls and the ceilin...Read More
Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
During our trip to NYC, we decided to only see one Broadway play. I have seen the movie version of "Phantom," which prompted me to want to see the stage version. I was not disappointed. Now mind you, I have always known of the stage version but have never been a big play/opera fan. This production has changed my mind. The songs/music that Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote are beautiful and the players did them justice. The actress playing Christine, Rebecca Pitcher, was as close to perfect as you can get. And the actor playing the Phantom, Howard McGillin... what a talent! His voice was brilliant. The range in his acting was out of this world. I really felt for him as the Phantom. If you are a fan o...Read More