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  1. #1
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    All about New York - luggage, sightseeing, accommodation

    Hey guys, I'm pretty new to the forum and I'm actually looking for tips about my trip to NYC. I'm going there in March and I'm traveling solo. What should I pack? I'm a girl, btw, so what are the must-haves for a girl. I'm flying from Europe so I don't have unlimited luggage. And where would you recommend me to stay? I've been looking up hotels at hotels in NYC and I'm also reading the reviews, but I'm still confused. I just need a clean room with a bed and a separate bathroom, so hostels are not an option for me. I'd also love to find some kind of cheap deal, because NYC seems like an expensive city, even for an European. I'd also love to hear about off-track non-touristy sights and places to eat. Thank you really much!

  2. #2
    Forum Member Rocks's Avatar
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    Wear your most comfortable shoes and pack another pair of comfortable shoes. You'll walk a lot.
    If you're going for at least five days, get a weekly unlimited MTA (subway and bus) card. They're only $30 or so and totally worth it. I was in NYC last November and when I was tired of walking, I'd just hop on any bus.
    Also, take the Staten Island Ferry. It's free and you'll get a stunning view of Lower Manhattan.


    I always stay with a friend, so i can't help with hotels. But someone else can, I'm sure.
    Last edited by Rocks; 01-29-2015 at 06:52 AM. Reason: typo city

  3. #3
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    For a place to stay in NYC, consider the Larchmont. The Larchmont Hotel, New York, NY 1(212)989-9333

    The hotel bills itself as "European Style". There are individual rooms with a sink in each room, plus a shared toilet and shower down the hall. The hotel is located in the West Village, with plenty of great restaurants nearby.

    My husband stays there frequently when he travels to NYC. I have been there once. The rooms are simple, clean, and comfortable. Also reasonably priced for NYC.

  4. #4
    Forum Member eightspokedb's Avatar
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    Tiffanys - and the Diamond District.....that is all....
    never skate faster than your guardian angel can fly....black and gold til I'm dead and cold....
    be nice - until it's time to not be nice.......what separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize...

  5. #5
    Forum Member binje's Avatar
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    I haven't been in eons, but my cousin and his wife like the Pod hotels. They're in their 50s and one of them has serious back problems, so if it's comfortable for them, it's probably not too bad.

  6. #6
    Forum Member bermudajes's Avatar
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    I went to NYC for the first time two years ago. It was a work trip, but I work for a nonprofit, so we were trying to keep costs down. We stayed at the Hotel Azure, which claims it's in "SoHo" but it really in Chinatown - neither of these things meant much to me anyway. I liked it. The room was small, but nice and clean, and had a separate (pretty spacious) bathroom. Definitely one of the more affordable hotels I found in my search. Also, when I was in danger of missing my flight home because I'd lost track of the time (seriously?!) they were very helpful in calling me a car to rush me to JFK.

    We were working in the Wall Street area and went to all the touristy attractions at night (Times Square, Rockefeller Plaza, Central Park) and it was located close enough to everything.

    As for dress, I'll second the comfortable shoes. Otherwise, it really depends on your style - you'll see everything in NYC. But definitely plan on colder weather - March is usually still very winter-like.
    travel light.
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    spread the light.
    be the light.

  7. #7
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    New York City is the greatest city in the world. (Okay, I'm biased, I was born and raised there.)

    First, watch this videos.......while it's meant to be funny, heed what it says. It's all true:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LmPBPWHJu4

    New York is a very, underline very, add another very, expensive city.

    Here's an article with suggestions of free things to do in NY:

    Top 20 Free Things To Do In NYC*|*Fodor's

    Also, the subway is your friend. It will take you to most anywhere you want to go. I suggest, however, if you can, to stay off of it during rush hour--morning and evening. On the upside, New York is a wonderful walking city with something to see on almost every street.

    As far as accommodations go, you might want to check out Brooklyn and New Jersey. Both have convenient public transportation into and out of Manhattan and rates should be lower.

    If you want to go to a Broadway show, and don't have your heart set on the hottest ticket in town, check out the TKTS booth in Times Square for discounted tickets for shows the same evening.

    Restaurants in midtown--the main tourist and work area--will be more expensive than in the more residential areas. The same goes for hotels.

    Weatherwise, March can be finicky. I'd suggest being prepared to dress in layers rather than lug heavy clothes.

    Lastly, you might want to scan this even though I don't agree with all of them:

    15 Things NOT to Do in New York City | Fodor's
    Last edited by Frank II; 01-29-2015 at 01:36 PM.
    Editor--One Bag, One World: News, Reviews & Community for Light Travelers. http://www.1bag1world.com

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by binje View Post
    I haven't been in eons, but my cousin and his wife like the Pod hotels. They're in their 50s and one of them has serious back problems, so if it's comfortable for them, it's probably not too bad.
    I have stayed in one of the pod hotels in NYC (pod39) and it was fine, though sometimes more expensive or on par with a more typical hotel. I am going to nyc in April and as of a couple weeks ago when I booked my stay, it was less expensive to stay at a hampton inn with in Chelsea with a bigger bed, city view and free breakfast included than a single bed at the pod.

    I will say that unless you are travelling solo or REALLY comfortable with your travelling companion, the bathrooms in pod39's rooms are private/not shared, but they ARE enclosed in glass and leave...basically no privacy within the room, save for a band of frosted glass (barely enough to obscure the terlet while one is having their, ahem, morning constitutional, and no space to escape the accompanying sphincter fog). I was flying solo so it was nbd, but I'm positive my other half would have been Not Into It One Bit.
    Last edited by capncat; 01-29-2015 at 04:23 PM.

  9. #9
    Forum Member nukediver's Avatar
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    I cannot stress this enough - listen to Frank II's advice!

  10. #10
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    I'm very appreciative of the tips in this thread also, as one of my kids is traveling to New York this spring with a school group. Much of their visit is already planned out, but they do have some choices to make and free time as well. Thank-you for all the info!
    Aeronaut 45; Synapse 19; Co-Pilot; PCBP & other packing cubes; Swift; 2 x Little Swifts; 3 x Side Effects; 5 Shop Bags; Small Cafe Bag; 6 Travel Trays; 5 Clear Quarter Packing Cubes; Cache ; Guardian Lights; 3 x 3D Clear Organizer Cubes; 3 x 3D All-Fabric Organizer Cubes; 4 Yarn Stuff Sacks; many Clear Organizer Wallets; many, many pouches; Cafe Messenger Stabilizer.

  11. #11
    Registered User daisy's Avatar
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    We spent 11 days in NYC in June 14.

    (without knowing your budget or tastes...)

    We stayed on Madison Ave, at Morgans and then at The Roger. Both hotels were good - we only moved as we extended our stay and Morgans could not accommodate us for the additional nights.

    Morgans had a good bar and ok breakfast room. Roger had a so-so bar and a good breakfast room - lots of French accents at the Roger.

    The location was perfect - walking distance to everything and we felt quite safe coming back to our hotel at all hours.

    Just along the street is the Morgan Library and Museum which has changing exhibitions and musical performances as well as the library itself.

    The Morgan Dining room (NOT the cafe) does a very nice brunch on weekends - a lovely quiet way to start the day. You don't need an exhibition ticket to access the Dining Room.

    If you like theatre then I can recommend "Sleep No More" which is a theatre experience quite unlike any other.

    The set is a 'hotel' in a warehouse just off the High Line (which we walked on a weekend - sorry Fodors). It is 'promenade' theatre where the audience moves through the set rather than just sitting and watching.

    If you have a companion to dine with or are comfortable dining solo, the dinner/show ticket is excellent - "The Heath" restaurant is quite something.

    The performance itself is actually best experienced alone - MrDaisy and I entered the show separately and spent days comparing notes afterward - we had totally different experiences. I think trying to do it with friends or as a couple would detract from the experience.

    Loved New York and can't wait to go back.
    List under construction ....

  12. #12
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    The National Museum of the American Indian, in lower Manhattan near the Staten Island ferry terminal, always has free admission. Its in a magnificent building from the early 1900s. Both the museum exhibits and the building are well worth seeing.

    The Staten Island ferry runs 24 hours a day so both a day trip to see the harbor and an evening trip to see the city lights are possible. As with the subway, the weekday morning and evening rush hours aren't good times to ride the ferry.

    Major additional recommendation for "Sleep No More". I think you'll have to book your ticket for it well in advance.

    The NYC subway 7 train, which runs between Manhattan and Queens, has many interesting non-touristy places to see and eat near it. I assume, but don't know for sure, that there are guides to places accessible by it.
    Last edited by JohnDel; 01-30-2015 at 08:24 PM. Reason: Additional thoughts

  13. #13
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    A few further thoughts:

    Precipitation is about the same month to month in New York City so you're probably going to get rained on (or possibly snowed on, even in March). Bring rain gear.

    Most any common thing you forget to bring can easily be purchased.

    Union Square Park (Broadway and 14th Street) has a Green Market Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays throughout the year. Even when there isn't much fresh produce, there are regionally produced baked goods, fruit juices, yogurt, ice cream, wine and other good things to eat or drink that don't require cooking. Plus days when the weather is nice, there are street performers, mostly on weekends, and arts and crafts vendors. There are other Green Markets in parks and plazas on various days, but Union Square is the largest. Check out Greenmarket Farmers Markets | GrowNYC for a list of locations and a schedule.

    The 7 train, which I mentioned in a previous post, runs almost all of its route in Queens elevated about 25 feet above ground so it offers many interesting views just by riding it out to Flushing, its endpoint, and back.

    The Noguchi Museum, Home | The Noguchi Museum , is not far from Socrates Park that is recommended in Fodor's list. Noguchi was a sculptor, product designer and dance performance set designer.
    Last edited by JohnDel; 02-01-2015 at 07:31 PM.

  14. #14
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    Hi! I am a born and raised New Yorker (Queens!), and I still live here. Great suggestions from everyone, especially Frank II and JohnDel. I'm surprised we have not all gotten into a fight yet over where to get the best slice of pizza.

    AirBnB could be one way to find more affordable accommodations with a personal touch. You will have to read the descriptions very carefully to determine whether you're getting the apartment all to yourself, or whether it's a room in someone's home (and whether there is a bathroom within the bedroom). Prices will probably be lower if you choose to stay in another borough (like Brooklyn or Queens). AirBnB is not everyone's cup of tea, as it's having to deal with the owner/primary tenant of the space, as opposed to the more anonymous and professional transaction at a hotel. I've used AirBnB in other cities around the country and in Montreal. I've generally had a pretty good experience.

    LLBeans, I'd love to know your particular interests, or places you tend to seek out when you are traveling, because NY has so much to offer. I tend to be low-budget-oriented, and I too have traveled a fair amount as a solo female. For example, as a traveler, I try to seek out feminist bookstores and food co-ops. If you have those same interests, I can definitely point you to the ones in NYC! Improv/sketch comedy shows ($10 or less) abound here, as well as all kinds of theater/performance art. If you are a night owl, the East Village/Lower East Side in Manhattan, and Williamsburg in Brooklyn will have many businesses open later at night.

    If you have a preference for a certain type of food, or are curious to try a cuisine that is hard to find in Europe, NYC will probably have it. Just let us know and we can point you the way!

  15. #15
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    No reason to get into an argument about the best slice in NYC...it's in Queens.....Brother's Pizza.....Fresh Meadows.

    Best Pizza In Queens - NYC

    The 5 Best Slices Of Pizza In Queens CBS New York
    Editor--One Bag, One World: News, Reviews & Community for Light Travelers. http://www.1bag1world.com

    Aeronaut(2), Tri-Star(2) Cadet , Large Cafe Bag, Travel Tray, Travel Money Belt, Absolute Straps(3), Side Effect, Clear Quarter Packing Cubes (2), 3D Organizer Cubes (4), Aeronaut & Tri-Star Packing Cubes, Clear Organizer Wallet, numerous Organizer Pouches,, Guardian Dual Function Light, Vertical Netbook Cache, Nexus 7 Cache, RFID Passport Pouch, numerous Key Straps.

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