Saturday, June 27, 2009

NYC Tourist for Half a Day

How to tour Midtown NYC in 12 hours. After a fun day yesterday, I wanted to jot down this itinerary for future reference. As NYCers we always make fun of the tourists, but in reality, they have been to more places and seen more shows than we can even imagine. Just talk to the people before and after you next time you go to TKTS booth. Time is of the essence and wear comfortable shoes! Keep in mind this is June, depending on weather you would have to adjust for things (esp. Christmas crowd etc)

Stop 1: [noon]
5th Ave, Central Park South.
photo ops:
//Golden Statue by Central Park: With the sun shining and trees flowing, you can't get better "man-made nature" than this. Afterwards, I looked up the statue and apparently it is Gen. Sherman. Kind of violent if you think about it.
//The Plaza Hotel: right next to Central Park south, you can't miss it.
//Horse-drawn carriages: You can either go on this (we didn't) or sneak a photo next to it.
//Apple Store (giant clear cube is a hit with tourists, makes for nice photos too)
//Various Designer Stores (Louis Vitton, Gucci, Coach, Bergdorf Goodman, etc). As you walk down 5th Ave to Rockefeller Center, be sure to check out window displays of your favorite designers! I particularly liked the colorful Coach displays.

Stop 2: [12:30pm]
Rockefeller Center. 49th-51th St, 5th Ave.
photo ops:
//Atlas with globe: A classic that is on many postcards.
//St. Patricks' Cathedral (across from the center. at 51st)
//Rockefeller Center flags: well, this area has ice skating and the tree during Christmas holidays. during summer they have lots of food/bars/tents.
//Nintendo Store: 10 Rockefeller Plaza. we didn't go here but this is usually a stop when I'm in the area. Kiddies will love all the merchandise here.
//NBC Studio Shops/tour: Another option in the area.

Lunch Break: [1pm]
Dean & Deluca Cafe
1 Rockefeller Plaza (Between 5th and 6th Ave.)
//They have cold sandwiches, soups, pastries, designer waters, and more. Check out upstairs for more seating. I really loved their fresh lemonade and roast beef sandwich. The cuban sandwich was good but I prefer my cuban sandwiches heated.

Stop 3: [2pm]
Top of the Rock [link]Entrance is on 50th Street btw 5th and 6th Ave. Closes at midnight. We actually bought tickets at a ticket booth in Rockefeller Center so we didn't have to wait at all. Maybe it's a summer thing though. If you want to save your money for the Empire State Building, consider this: where do you go to see the Empire State Building? (hint: not from the Empire State Building itself!). By the way, there was practically no line when we went. Sweet!
photo ops from top:
//The Empire State Build
ing: in its full glory.
//Central Park: How big is it? Look north, that huge green span of land is Central Park
//Met Life Building: this is the reason why you can't see the Chrysler Building. Oh well.

Stop 4: [3pm]
MoMA [link]53rd St between 5th and 6th Ave.
//We got a combo ticket from Top of Rock booth. Checked out some famous French impressionistic paintings as well as Andy Wharhol pop art. Tons of Picasso too. The sculpture garden makes for fun outdoor photos.
Stop 5: [4:30pm]
Times Square TKTS booth [link]47th St, Broadway.
//Get in line for discount broadway tickets here! The booth opened at 3pm but we lined up around 4:30pm and still bought tickets within 20 minutes. Make sure to bring a list in case they don't have your first choice.
//Check out Times Square during the day! Take tons of photos!
Dinner Break: [5:30pm]
Tony's Restaurant [link]
43rd St Btw Broadway and 6th St
//Watch out for the huge portions (one pasta dish is enough for 3-4 people) and make reservations if you can! I love the seafood linguini and some people love their stuffed mushrooms.

Stop 6: [6:45pm]
Toys R UsTime Square
//Huge 4 story toy store with an indoor ferris wheel featuring cars with theme characters such as Toys Story, Mr. Monopoly, Barbie, ET, and more. Also check out the LEGO statue of liberty and empire state building on the top floor. People not into toy stores can check out other Times Square shops before wandering over to the 8pm show.

Stop 7: [8pm]
Majectic Theatre44th St btw 7th and 8th Ave
//We saw Phantom of Opera here. You will go to the theatre where you are watching your broadway show. Alternatively, you should check out the AMC Theater in Times Sq. (42nd St btw 7th and 8th Ave) since they have now added IMAX. The non-IMAX screens have beautiful stadium seating too. Quite an experience!

Stop 8: [10:30pm]
Times SquareWhy not checkout NYC by night! While night shots are hard to do on camera, you can videotape your party or the bright billboards.

Stop 9: [11:15pm]
Empire State Building [link]Want to see the famous NYC night lights? This is a great place to go as it closes at 2am. There was no line in sight when we got there at 11pm. The Chrysler Building is no longer blocked, so take out your cameras! We just went to 86th Floor not 105th. The souvenior shops are packed with ESB items so be sure to take a look if you want some stuff for friends back home.
*note: I joined my party later in the day, but they had started early by touring financial district (wall st., the bull, stock exchange, etc). I've written down estimated times of arrival for the different stops, obviously you can adjust them as needed. We've mostly walked everywhere and I suggest you do the same. When we tried to take a cab from MOMA to Times Sq. we ended up stuck in traffic for a quite a while.

*thoughts: I probably should have included Grand Central, Bryant Park, and the NY Public Library too. Maybe I can include it between MoMA and Times Square since it's not too far.

1 comment:

Gail said...

Nice post! Please note that you left the letter 'L" out of the word "Haf" in this post's title.