Day trip to Manhattan?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Bob Friend, Dec 6, 2004.

  1. Bob Friend

    Bob Friend Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm considering taking the family on a day trip to New York this weekend. It's about a three hour drive from where I live (am I crazy?). Not sure what we're going to do, but I was thinking about the usual touristy things like Rockefeller center, Central Park, and things like that. We've never been to New York so I'm a bit clueless. Can any of you folks reccomend a good place to park that is centrally located to these things and perhaps reccomend some things we may do/see. I've got four kids so cheap/free is good.

    I know this is a pretty vauge question so thanks in advance for any help.
     
  2. John Alvarez

    John Alvarez Screenwriter

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    I have to say that a day trip to the city with 4 kids is nuts . Cheap is not part of the equation either. If you do go I would recommend taking the train from another part of the city or N.J. and using the subways. I really,really,really have to recommend staying at least overnight though. One of free things to see is the Toys-R-Us.
     
  3. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Bob, no way you get to NYC in 3 hours from Raynham. Used to take me 4-4.5 hours from Weymouth and I was flying. Add in construction on 95 and any traffic in the city and you better plan on 4 hours from where you are. Maybe look into the Acela, it may be expensive, but if you add in gas and parking (which will be through the roof) you may break even.

    If only a day trip, do Rockefeller Center (maybe bring skates), have a carriage ride around Central Park and walk up and down Park and 5th Ave for great window shopping. Don't forget to get the kids some roasted chestnuts from a street vendor, mmmmm. I did this trip a couple times when I was a child and had a blast. NYC is great during the holidays and every kid should be able to see it once. Just remember to bundle up (the canyons between the skyscrapers get windy) and wear walking shoes, you'll do a lot of it. Too bad FAO is not around anymore, I had a great time there.
     
  4. Jim Sentry

    Jim Sentry Stunt Coordinator

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    I thought FAO Schwartz has reopened. Just riding on the Subway is a kick. Maybe visit Ground Zero.
     
  5. Bob Friend

    Bob Friend Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeff,

    You're another 45 minutes north of me, but my figure was just an estimate. I'm planing on leaving here at between 5 and 6 am on Saturday so I hope traffic should be pretty light until I get close to NYC.

    Bob

    By the way, roundtrip train faire for the 6 of us would be over $500.00 (non acella which is more)
     
  6. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    I agree completely with John Alvarez. If you're not going to do the train, than either park in NJ and take a train into the city, or spend the night and park your car at the hotel. With the hotel, you could come in during the afternoon, do some sightseeing seeing, see a show, then do some more sightseeing seeing the next morning, and leave in the afternoon to avoid traffic.

    Another option would be taking the train half way -- pick it up one or two hours outside NYC. That would cut down on the amount of driving you have to do, and solve your parking problem. Penn Station is also right next to a lot of touristy stuff, like the Empire State building; about a 10-15 minute walk from Time's Square, and then another 5-10 to Rockefeller center (I've never walked it with kids, so it may take a bit more -- you certainly can do it without a taxi or subway).
     
  7. Bryan Ri

    Bryan Ri Screenwriter

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    If you can get a train into Grand Central, that's a good place to start. For one, that's a neat place to see in itself. Also within walking distance is Time Square, Toys R Us, Broadway (even if you don't actually go to a show, it's still a sight to see), and a ton of other things right in that area. You could easily kill a day just starting from Grand Central.
     
  8. Bob Friend

    Bob Friend Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks guys!
     
  9. MarkMel

    MarkMel Screenwriter

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    If you are coming from MA, drive in and park your car in fairfield CT or Bridgeport CT and take the train from there. For a first timer driving in NYC you'll be pulling your hair out by the time you get parked. These trains end at Grand central station. I only live an hour outside of the city in CT and have been going to the city for many years. I always opt to take the train when possible. Much less stress. And I know my way around the city.

    I will be in the city as well this weekend, taking a bus trip organized by our town to see the x-mas show with my daughter and wife at Radio City. So happy I'm not driving.
     
  10. Bob Friend

    Bob Friend Stunt Coordinator

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    Mark,

    Is this a commuter rail or Amtrak you're referring to?

    Bob
     
  11. MarkMel

    MarkMel Screenwriter

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    Commuter rail. Here's their website with rates - Metro North; http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us/mnr/html/connfares.htm

    You can probably find the schedules there as well. I really think that this is your best bet. There's a station in Stamford CT as well. Basically there's a station off of every third exit or so along that part of I-95. You can just get on the train and pay for your fare once on, or pay at the station.
     
  12. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Pay at the station. They charge extra for buying your tickets on the train.

    M.
     
  13. Aurel Savin

    Aurel Savin Supporting Actor

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    PArking in Manhattan on a weekend is not THAT expensive. If you park for the day, it should not cost you more than $30-$40 ... I would still do this rather than complicate things with parking in another state and then wait for trains, etc.

    But I do agree with others, that you should at least stay overnight. I live in the next borough, and going to the city, on a Saturday ... there is just so much that you can do in a short winter afternoon.
     
  14. ScottHH

    ScottHH Stunt Coordinator

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    If you are going to take the train, I agree, Metro North from Stamford. I don't know how old your children are, but two adult round trips to Stamford will cost you $37, if the kids are between 5 and 11, they are only $1 each way, if older, they pay full adult fare too. The train will take you close to an hour.

    The traffic should not be too bad at 9am on a Saturday. On the way out on Saturday night, it will be a little tougher. I found this link to Parking Garages in NY. Icon's website lists prices. It should be cheaper than the train, and I believe less of a hassle. On a weekday, I'd give you the opposite opinion.

    FAO Schwarz at 767 Fifth Avenue (58th St.) reopened a week ago.

    Not free or terribly cheap for a big family, I really enjoyed the Museum of Natural History as a kid. It's at the edge of Central Park, and will make a great break if the family gets cold in the park.
     
  15. Dan Mc

    Dan Mc Stunt Coordinator

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    We did a day trip into NY on our honeymoon. We were staying about an hour and a half away in PA, driving was not as bad as I expected. I managed just fine, but I am used to driving in Houston. Just be assertive, nobody is going to cut you any slack, especially the cabbies. We came in on a weekday, got there around noon, and found a parking garage just off of Broadway that was $20 a day I think (this was in 2000). From there we took the Subway where we wanted to go. I would imagine you could spend the whole day without spending much money. Check out the tree and Rockefeller Center, Central Park, Toy's R Us, FAO. If you want to save time and money on food, just grab some hot dogs from a street vendor, or stop by one of the many pizza places. One day I would like to see the city during the holidays, sounds like fun.
     
  16. Matt Butler

    Matt Butler Screenwriter

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    I envy you guys. I would love to take a trip to NYC for a couple days at leat. Hell a day would make me happy. Ive never been that far back east. (Im in Cali.)
     
  17. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Dan Mc, good advice for driving in Manhattan, but I believe I can say it is wasted on Bob - he is from Massachusetts and that kind of advice for a Mass driver may lead him to think he has to take a few lives in order to "drive assertive".[​IMG] I assure you, anybody familiar with Boston/Mass driving will find Manhattan and its surrounding areas as easy as driving a horse on a merry-go-round. If you've driven the Big Dig, New York City is a cake-walk.
     
  18. JustinCleveland

    JustinCleveland Cinematographer

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    Matt,

    I'll give you half way, you're welcome to our half-foot of snow and bitter cold. Trade? [​IMG]
     
  19. MarkMel

    MarkMel Screenwriter

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    It's not the driving that's the issue. It's the fact that he doesn't know where he's going that could be stressful. I know when I have my wife and kid in the car driving somewhere I've never been before and not exactly sure where I'm going it's slightly stressful. Take a wrong turn or two or say "oops I think we should've went the other way" to get back "I knew you didn't know where you were going" the stress factor goes up. Now, I don't have these problems when I'm alone in the car. [​IMG]

    Anyone can drive in NYC but just because you can drive there doesn't mean you know where you're going. All day parking around Rockefeller center is going to cost a lot more than $20.00. Not to mention the traffic around that area on the weekend with all of the holiday shoppers.
     
  20. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Again, par for the course for a Boston driver. I've been driving in Boston for over 20 years and the Big Dig combined with the one way streets (that change on any given day), the alleys that can be streets or alleys (depending on the time of day), the complete lack of directional signs and the converted cobblestone cow paths, I know Manhattan streets (especially above Houston) better than my own hometown. [​IMG]
     

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