New York Journals

A New York Minute

Best of IgoUgo

A May 2013 trip to New York by tvordj

Flatiron Building Photo, New York, New York More Photos
Quote: Having only briefly visited Manhattan some years ago, and my partner never having been there, we decided our next trip will be to the Big Apple in the springtime.

Stories

New York, here we come!

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Century 21 Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
We got to New York via Newark Airport on an early morning flight from Halifax. It's a 2 hour flight from here. We got the airport bus to Port Authority because that was very close to our hotel. We arrived at the hotel by about 8:30 or so with no chance of getting into the room until after 4. We left the bags there and headed out. Start off with breakfast. We could have used the hotel but it was crowded and a bit of a madhouse so we had a nice cooked breakfast at a nearby pub we saw was open for breakfast. Walked a few blocks up to the Gray Line offices and got our hop on hop off tickets in exchange for our prepaid voucher and went across the road to get on a bus. The weather is perfect f...Read More

New York in the rain

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

The Dakota Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Day 2 was a bit of a disappointment overall though it wasn’t all bad. It started on a difficult note with the breakfast in the hotel. The hotel breakfast room is woefully inadequate for a hotel with 36 floors x 6 rooms. The food you get is mediocre, the coffee is awful and the bacon was that precooked and reheated stuff which always tastes like salty plastic to me. It was crowded and a bit of a madhouse. We did manage to snag a table. We thought we would have to take a (heavy paper) tray up to the room. All the dishes are Styrofoam or plastic. Not a very environmentally friendly set up. I don’t think we’re going to continue to partake, free or not. It had been raining quite hard when we g...Read More

Come Rain and Come Shine

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Ellen's Stardust Diner Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
It’s another rainy day. Really rainy this morning. We couldn’t face breakfast in the madhouse again so we headed out into that takeout café and sat on the bar stools there and had egg and bacon sandwiches. I liked mine. Graham didn’t. We got a cab to Broadway and 51st where we would later meet up with the tour bus for the tv and movie locations tour. Today we've booked the On Locations Tv and Movie tour. We nipped into a bright 50s style diner/cafe there for a coffee while we waited. It looked as if it would have had a great breakfast. Damn. All of a sudden, though the music already seemed loud, it seemed like the song playing was being sung live. Why, yes, it is! Apparently this is a sin...Read More

The sun comes out over the Big Apple

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Circle Line Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Weather Gods are with us today. It’s sunny and hot. We had breakfast in the pub again this morning and, due to the advice of the guy in the souvenir shop yesterday, we decided to do the Empire State Building this morning first. He said there were not lines early in the morning. He must have meant really early because there were when we got there about 10:15. Luckily we were still ahead of the worst of the crowds. The first queue was to go through security and it was steady moving. The lineup for the ticket counter wasn’t bad. We had to have our passes scanned there. Then there’s another line up to get to the elevator to go up. They get you to stop for a quick photo in front of a green scr...Read More

New York Explorer Pass

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
Many of the big cities have sightseeing passes and New York does too. There's a New York Pass and a City Pass and with those, you can visit and do and see all you can fit in for a designated number of days, minimum 3. They all have a list of attractions that accept the pass and all are similar. I never find them worth my while as i just can't fit enough into each day to make it break even. I discovered a pass called the New York Explorer Pass. It can cover 3, 5, 7 or 10 days with different prices for each, of course. The pass is valid for 30 days which is excellent to be able to spread things out even if you're only in New York less than a week. They have a fairly similar list of things to...Read More

Holiday Inn Express New York City Times Square

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel | "More or less recommended"

Holiday Inn Express New York City Times Square Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
The Holiday Inn is pretty much as you'd expect. Good clean rooms, reasonable price, even for New York and a good location. We booked this one because of the location and a good deal we got from Expedia. The room was an ok size, not huge but it was fine, and had a comfy queen bed. We got extra pillows when asked, no problem and the room faced the back so it was quiet. There are only two elevators so the wait can be slow at busy times. Judge accordingly. There's free wifi in the hotel which we found a bit slow sometimes but the wired connection was free too and we used that. I was happy to see that the was a large safe in the room, big enough for the laptop. The location, as i s...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 14, 2013

Holiday Inn Express New York City Times Square
343 West 39th Street
Manhattan, New York 10018
866-539-0036

Eat

Tir Na Nog

Restaurant | "Full Irish please"

Tir Na Nog Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
There are several pubs around Manhattan in this chain. There was one a few doors away from our hotel on 39th street and as it was open for breakfast, we ate there when we arrived at the hotel. We couldn't get into our room that early and the breakfast room was very crowded. It's an Irish themed pub and is a fairly large pub with a nice wood and stone decor. The menu we had was only breakfast and it was very good. We ate there twice for breakfast. Couldn't say what the food is like for lunch or dinner but if breakfast is anything to go by, it will be very good indeed. Prices are probably about par for NYC. Breakfast was about 11 dollars with about a dozen choices.There are cheaper places yo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 14, 2013

Tir Na Nog
315 West 39th Street (between 33rd And 34th Streets)
New York 10018
(212) 760-0072

Ellen's Stardust Diner

Restaurant | "Singing for your supper"

Ellen's Stardust Diner Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
The Stardust Diner is in the heart of Times Square, at Broadway and 51st street. It's got a classic 1950s feel with lots of chrome and neon and it's a singing restaurant. The staff, that is. The staff are all actors and singers, hoping to make it in show business. They each take turns singing for the customers along to a karaoke style backing track. It's all highly entertaining. We only had bagels and coffee so I can't speak for the food but the menu looked pretty good. I think it would be good fun even if it is a bit on the touristy side of things. It's in Times Square, you can't expect it not to be! It's got a level entry but the bathrooms are up on the second level. They are by no means cheap but...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 14, 2013

Ellen's Stardust Diner
1650 Broadway
New York, New York 10019
(212) 956-5151

Yum Yum Bangkok

Restaurant | "Superb Thai, "Yum Yum Bankok!""

Yum Yum Bangkok Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
On 9th Ave, north of 42nd Street, there are loads of restaurants of many different varieties. We chose a Thai place called Yum Yum. There seemed to be three different buildings close to each other with that sign on so presumably they're all owned by the same people. We decided on the fixed price meal. For $16.95 we got a bowl of soup, spring rolls, a little salad, a choice from a list of main dishes and we got dessert as well. The food was all absolutely superb, fresh and hot and tasty. I had the Beef Pad Thai and my dining partner had a Chicken Red Curry and we were both very satisfied. The shrimp soup to start was hot and spicy and the coconut chicken soup was smooth and mild. The food w...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 14, 2013

Yum Yum Bangkok
650 Ninth Ave.
Manhattan, New York 10036
212-262-7244

Heartland Brewery Midtown West

Restaurant | "Brew pub with Gluten Free options"

Heartland Brewery Midtown West Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Heartland Brewery is a chain of brew pubs. Their own brew varieties are quite good and they feature a good selection of other beer, both domestic and imported. The location in Port Authority is the newest one in the group. It was convenient for us as it was just around the corner. This wasn't a huge place but was by no means small either. The decor was nice, the lights were low, the menu was quite long. I also noticed quite a few gluten free choices which is becoming a more popular option these days. Service was a bit slow but the food was good when it arrived. Prices were high but no worse than average for the city. There are several of these around the city, including one und...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 15, 2013

Heartland Brewery Midtown West
625 8th Avenue
New York City, New York 10019
(646) 214-1000

The Irish American Pub and Restaurant

Restaurant | "One of many Irish pubs in NY"

The Irish American Pub and Restaurant Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
The Irish American pub is on a small street, John St. between Broadway and Nassau St. in lower Manhattan. It's a short walk from Ground Zero and the new Freedom Tower. It's not very accessible for mobility impaired as it's below ground level. Fulton St. is the closest Subway station.

The pub is large and they also have a games room with pool tables and dart boards. There's a long and varied beer menu and the food was pretty good mostly.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 14, 2013

The Irish American Pub and Restaurant
17 John Street
New York, New York 10038
(646) 414-6223

Rock Center Cafe

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Splurge in Rockefeller Centre"

Rock Center Cafe Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
We often ate lunch late. This day we found ourselves in Rockefeller Centre around mid afternoon and were starving. Most of the places we found in the concourse of RC were takeout or very small cafes, at least what we saw, but there are a couple of really nice restaurants that front on the outdoor plaza where the skating rink is in winter. We chose the Rock Center Cafe after looking at the menu. The prices were pretty high but we decided to splurge on a really nice lunch.The location is nice and would be especially so in winter as you look out on the skaters and the huge Christmas treet. This time of year they have outdoor seating as well. There is an elevator nearby and you can...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 15, 2013

Rock Center Cafe
20 West 50th St
New York, New York 10020
(212) 332-7600

Things to do

Guggenheim Museum

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Less than impressed"

Guggenheim Museum Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
The Guggenheim building was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and is a very neat building. The main gallery is a spiral ramp up 6 floors. Best to take the lift to the top and work your way down. However, much to our disappointment, it's mostly modern art, not a more equal mix of modern and traditional. It's still mainly 20th century and forward but heavy on the later rather than earlier 20thc. There's one small room of more traditional paintings including Gaugin, Picasso, and a few other more recognizable names, at least for us. It was very busy on the rainy day we went so we couldn't get near the cafe in addition to navigating the crowds. It costs about 25 dollars to get in. Ther...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on May 14, 2013

Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Ave
New York, New York 10128
(212) 423-3500

On Location Tours

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "On Location in New York"

On Location Tours Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
There are many tours you can take in New York City and lots of tour companies, both big and small. Everyone knows New York and it's familiar to so many because it's used for filming in a huge number of TV and Movies. There is a company that does bus tours to show you many of the locations used for lots of series and film. Some of the tours they do specialize in particular popular tv shows or in areas such as Central Park. We took a general TV and Movie location tour from the company, called On Location, which mainly went from mid town Manhattan to the downtown area. While on the bus, you have video screens and the guides play clips from the shows and movies as you go by or visit the sites. The guid...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 17, 2013

On Location Tours
10 West 37th Street, 10th Floor
New York 10016

Circle Line

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Cruise New York"

Circle Line Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
At the end of a lovely sunny day, our last day in New york, we made plans to take a cruise around the two rivers surrounding Manhattan. There are a couple of companies but we went with the Circle Line cruises since it was one of the choices we could pick using our Explorer Pass. It was a very good decision. The boats are very large and can hold hundreds of people. We didn't think they'd all fit on board judging from how many were waiting in line to board but they did. The cruises are narrated, pointing out all the highlights, the buildings and history. You sail out and by the Statue of Liberty and you sail under three bridges, the Brooklyn, the Manhattan and the Williamsburg. The cruise ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 14, 2013

Circle Line
Pier 83 West 42nd Street
New York, New York 10023
(212) 563-3200

Helen Hayes Theatre

Attraction | "Helen Hayes Rocked"

Helen Hayes Theatre Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Rock of Ages is playing at the Helen Hayes Theatre in 2013 and that's the production we chose to see while in New York recently. We really, really loved it! The show is really entertaining, lots of fun and filled with very talented artists. The theatre is smaller but still seats over 500 which means it can still be Broadway, not off-Broadway which is designated as seating under 500. The seats are a bit narrow for those of us with a larger frame and in this production, the staff shout at you if you try to take photos of the set before the show starts. IT's to do with copyright apparently. Obviously it's rude to take photos during the show and you shouldn't do that! They also h...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 16, 2013

Helen Hayes Theatre
240 West 44th Street
Manhattan, New York 10036
+1 212 944 9450

Empire State Building

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Must do or tourist trap?"

Empire State Building Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
The Empire State Building may not be as instantly recognizable as the Statue of Liberty but it's equally as famous. In fact, the building itself is not one of the more beautiful in the city. It's nice, yes but the nearby Chrysler is nicer but the views from the 86th and 102nd floor observation decks more than make up for it. There are some lovely Art Deco details through the interior, especially in the lobby. The higher deck is entirely glassed in and it costs more to go there. There's an exhibit on the history of the buildinng on the 80th floor and you can go up to the decks from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. The view of the city at night would be equally spectacular. Due to high crowding, the early m...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 16, 2013

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

St. Patrick's Cathedral

Attraction | "Gothic Cathedral in the heart of New York"

St. Patrick's Cathedral Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Currently (2013) St. Patrick's Cathedral is covered in scaffolding on the outside and about half the inside is as well. It's a bit disappointing but you can still see the altar and some of the chapels in the back and sides. The Cathedral opened in 1879. It was partly financed by donations from everyday people, immigrants as well as the more wealthy Catholics of New York. It was not inside the city proper when it was built but over time, the city has been build up and up Manhattan until it's now the heart of mid town. It's a really nice Cathedral in the Gothic style with twin spires. The inside has high vaulted ceilings and some beautiful stained glass and carvings. There are huge bronze ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 16, 2013

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

Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Sea, Air and Space"

Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
How often do you get to actually walk on the deck of an aircraft carrier? I've always wanted to and now I have. The USS Intrepid was an aircraft carrier commissioned in 1943 and it served the military for nearly 40 years. After being decommissioned, it's been set up as a museum to feature it's history entwined with that of the American military and space programs. The main flight deck is lined with planes and helicopters from WWII era to the modern day including a fighter used in Afghanistan. There is also an SR71 Blackbird, one of my favourite planes. There's also a TopGun style F14 fighter jet. The communications tower is at the center and you can go up into the bridge as well. At the f...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 16, 2013

Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum
West 46th Street and 12th Avenue on Pier 86
New York, New York 10036
212 245 2533

Century 21

Attraction | "Discount department store"

Century 21 Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
In Canada, "Century 21" is a real estate company. In New York, it's a huge department store in Lower Manhattan (and other branches). Apparently it gives discount prices on name brands but the prices didn't seem any cheaper than any other place. There are several branches around the city and the one we went to in Lower Manhattan is one of the biggest department stores in the city (though not THE biggest, that's Macy's). There are 6 floors with lifts and escalators and a big old fashioned grand staircase from the ground to the second floor. There are cashier stations instead of cashiers in various departments. We weren't impressed with the staff. They were dismissive when we asked where to...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 14, 2013

Century 21
22 Cortlandt St
New York, New York 10006
+1 212 227 9092