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  The Chatter Box : Travel
Messages 1 2 

New York by lisacrank on 14 July 2005 8:55pm

Im off to New York in September and wondered if anyone can recommend good value accommodation that isn't too expensive! Also any advice on the must see sights would be greatly appreciated!

Re: New York by salty underpants on 15 July 2005 5:28pm
There's a hostel in midtown Manhattan. I know some people who've given it mixed reviews, however. But then, these are people not used to staying in hostels, so maybe it's okay.
Re: New York by cameragrrrl on 28 July 2005 3:06am
Hey Lisacrank -- how long will you be in NYC and what are your interests? There's tons of stuff to do, ranging from Generically Touristy (but good), to Alarmingly Eclectic (still good).

As for cheap(ish) accomodations...well, that's all relative!
The Gershwin is a good place to consider. It's well-located, has a funky Only-In-NY sort of atmosphere, and offers a range of rooms from dorm-style bunk-bed hostel rooms, to proper hotel rooms. Check out their site: http://gershwinhotel.com/english/site1.html

There's also my personal favorite, Ye Olde Carlton Arms Hotel. Every room, hallway, staircase -- indeed, every inch of flat available surface, is completely covered in murals. Each room is lavishly painted, with different themes. Very cool.
Plus, the hotel itself has an interesting history. Again, check out the site: http://www.carltonarms.com/index.html

The prices are about on par with less-interesting hostels, such as Big Apple -- if not cheaper!
Re: New York by tucsonmike on 28 July 2005 7:12am
I'm a native New Yorker (from Brooklyn orginally, now playing cowboy in Tucson). I'll be happy to answer questions. Accomodations, I can't really comment on, because I stay with Mom and Dad when I go back.

Must see sights. There are many. My favorties and hearbreakers are as follows:
1. The ultimate heartbreaker. Ground Zero. So much so, I am writing a book about it....:-(
2. The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Make a day of it.
3. And while you are on the water, the Staten Island Ferry.
4. Brooklyn Heights (my home neighborhood). It is full of historic homes and interesting restaurants along Montague Street.
5. The Bronx Zoo.
6. The Cloisters. A castle transported from Spain and rebuilt in Upper Manhattan as a Medieval Museum. It is part of the Metropolitan Museum.

I am only giving you a bare sample. If you give me an idea of your interests, I'll give you some more. I will be there end of Sept beginning of October.

Bon Voyage.
Re: New York by cameragrrrl on 28 July 2005 2:27pm
Mike -- glad to meet you, as another Heights native (I'm near the Fruit Streets, myself).

Lisa, if you want to do Brooklyn I would tie it into a whole lower-Manhattan itinerary. Something like:

Ground Zero, St. Paul's, Staten Island Ferry (just for the view of the city, and the Statue of Liberty), Wall Street area, Seaport area, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge crossing into Bklyn Heights, have a pizza at Fascati's (80 Henry Street), walk around the Fruit Streets where variously famous actors and writers called home over the years, and proceed directly to the Promenade for a glorious view of the lower Manhattan skyline.

Try to time that last bit to coincide with sunset, imho.
Re: New York by tucsonmike on 30 July 2005 5:44am
Hi Camergrrl,
As they say in outer Brooklyn Staten Island etc, "yo, cuz LOL!" I grew up on Grace Court one block South of the Promenade. Yes, sunset would be a great time to be on the Promendade. Especially that time of year, there may be a slight nip in the air, but it is usually dry and comfortable. Your suggestion for doing Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn Heights is good.
On the NBC nightly news not long ago Brian Williams was with the author David McCullogh who just wrote the book 1776. During the story, they toured the Heights, Greenwood Cemetery and Fort Greene Park.
Also if you have time in Lower Manhattan check out the Lower East Side as well as Chinatown and work your way up to the Village. I never thought I would enjoy the Tenement Museum at 90 Orchard St. A great intro into immigrant New York life. (I didn't think I'd enjoy it, because as a kid I still had to visit older relatives in the Bronx who lived in buildings like that).
If you are in Chinatown on a Saturday or Sunday morning, go to the Nice Restaurant, 39 East Broadway for Dim Sum brunch. Trust me, you will fill up. If interested, I will make sure regulars can take you. For our British friends, the Lower East Side is New York's answer to London's East End.

If you make it Uptown to Harlem Sylvia's at Lenox Ave. and 126th Street is good. Getting touristy but good and I hope Mrs. Woods is still greeting the customers. She is the founder and owner. I attended City College of New York (back when Harlem was less safe and I carried all sorts of weapons) and on the Northern Edge of the Campus is Hamilton Grange, Alexander Hamiltons house that was moved Uptown. Harlem, you can do if you go the Cloisters. Get an unlimted Metro Card and the Number 4 Bus covers all those sites from Penn Station all the way to the Cloisters.

My favorite Heights restaurant is just down the street from Fascati's Noodle Pudding. On the Southern edge of the Neighborhood is the Arab section and you have Middle Eastern places.

Yes, 9/11 is a major part of my life. Two friends escaped from the Towers (one is with me in Tucson) and Sunday, I am going up to a small town North of me to interview someone who moved here in April. He was on police duty that day.

All right Cameragrrl. The important question. Mets or Yankees?:-)
Seriously Lisacrank, any other questions or specific things of interest, let us know.
Re: New York by cameragrrrl on 2 August 2005 4:02pm
Hey Mike,

Sorry, I though Id posted replies, but evidently my browser disagrees.

First of all, in the absence of the late, great Brooklyn Dodgers I am forced to align myself with the Yankees :-)

Secondly, we must be stalking each other because I am also a proud City College alum. Though my diploma is still sitting in a drawer somewhere on Convent Ave. Did you go to P.S. 8?

Thirdly, one of my childhood friends grew up on Grace Ct, lol.

Any other connections, I wonder?
Re: New York by tucsonmike on 3 August 2005 1:49am
OK Camergrrl, I grew up as a Mets fan. Now I follow the D'Backs and the Red Sox more. Don't worry, I've driven by Forest Lawn Cemetery to put the hex on Walter O'Malleys grave. (Miserable cretin)...
Yes, I attended P.S. 8. Where did you go to high school? I was in an honors program at Tilden in East Flatbush. (Where my Mom went to high school).
I grew up at number 1 Grace Court. As I said, Mom and Dad still live there.
We should explain to our British friends, New York City grammar schools do have names, but no one remembers them. You refer to the number.

When I went to P.S. 8 it was paired with P.S. 7 in the nearby neighborhood now called DUMBO (Down Under Manhattan Bridge).
P.S. 7 (now an empty lot in an up and coming neighborhood that was a slum) was the Robert Fulton School. Fulton invented the steamship in 1807.
P.S. 8 was famous for the author and wife a former U.S. Ambassador to China Bette Bao Lord. P.S. 7 was famous for
Al Capone.
Spike Lee.
Spike Lee was a childhood friend, but we haven't been in touch for years. So no, I can't get anyone an audition! LOL!
Cameragrrl I can send you something my Mom just sent, how you know you are a New Yorker. I am starting to pick up a Southwestern drawl. I went to interview an ex New York cop for my 9/11 book Sunday. I got to Starbucks in Oro Valley first to interview Dave. First, Oro Valley has money. People saw my cowboy hat and started staring at my waist. I thought "I'm not that good looking," then light dawned on marble head. They were looking to see if I had a gun LOL! Then Dave showed up on his Harley and suddenly, my Brooklyn accent made a comeback with an occasional "y'all" thrown in. I'll post more on the Arizona blog I have

We'll look for more similarities as we go. What sort of work do you do?
(waiting for the summer thunderstorms).
Re: New York by cameragrrrl on 3 August 2005 5:29am
Hey Mike,

I assume if anyone feels like we hijaked this forum, they will let us know?

Fond memory: A few years after "In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson" was published, Bette Bao Lord did a reading of the book to my third grade class at P.S. 8 :-)

I went to LaGuardia High School of Music and Art. Studied painting and photography; never got to dance on cars, etc, as per "Fame".

In fact, I am completey a product of New York's public education system, and have managed -- a wonder in this country -- to have NEVER attended a school with a football team.

Interesting connections: The original High School of Music and Art was located on the City College campus (now home to A. Philip Randolph H.S.). My dad is an original-building Music and Art AND City College alumni, so has spent quite alot of time, supposedly smoking terribly naughty things, in St. Nicholas Park.

Actually, to bring this post back to a more topical arena: Hamilton Heights (Harlem area) is a beautiful off-the-beaten-path place to walk around in Manhattan. Mike already mentioned Hamilton Grange. To quote an ealier NY-Related post of mine, Northern Manhattan has many wonderful, often ignored sites: The most bucolic section of Central Park -- Harlem Meer, the Conservatory Gardens, and the waterfalls. Fort Tyron Park, which contains the CLoisters, and is stunning especially when the flowers are in full bloom. The beautiful architecture of Columbia University. The funky, melting-pot neighborhoods of Harlem, Morningside Heights, Hamilton Heights and the Washington Heights/Inwood area. The Apollo theater. Glorious St. John the Divine Cathedral and Riverside Church. The building where they shot "Royal Tennenbaums." And, of course, Grant's Tomb.

Evidently, Copeland's has a better reputation for tasty soul food among Harlem natives than Sylvia's (which is good, but touristy). Copeland's Take-Out place is pretty cheap, and just a few blocks north of Hamilton Grange on 145th and B'way.
Re: New York by tucsonmike on 4 August 2005 7:41am
Yes, Cameragrrl, something tells me no one would be shy about letting us know, LOL!
I know many folks in Britain follow American football. New York is not really a good town for that. My high school, Tilden had a football team, but we were awful. I went out for Junion Varsity football. Soccer was big in Tilden. I played in junior high, but wasn't good enough to play for Tilden which was all West Indian immigrants on the team. Cameragrrl, for baseball, we had Willie Randolph, now the Mets manager.
New York was always a big baseball town. Football, very little. Basketball is big (though most kids on the schoolyard can't afford to even sit upstairs at a New York Knicks game). The major league soccer team plays in New Jersey, six miles West of Midtown Manhattan.
Another sight I enjoy is the Subway Museum. When I am back in October, I want to see if I can still do chinups on the bars of the old trains. The main museum is on the edge of Brooklyn Heights in an old station. There is a small exhibit in Grand Central and the first subway station at City Hall was supposed to be made part of the museum.

Some more stream of consciencenous. If you like steak, go to Peter Lugers in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Another slum that is becoming an artists neighborhood. It is the Marcy Avenue stop on the J train. You might find some stuff about local galleries there as well from the Village Voice.
You can get a free download on your computer and pick the hard copy up for free within city limits. I have to find the old website I used to know that described New York neighborhoods in detail.
Poor Lisacrank has gotten more than she bargained for. LOL! What are the odds of this though? Two from the same neighborhood meeting here even though now we live 2400 miles apart.
Thank you for the update on Harlem. I'll be back for a week. It's strange. I feel like an immigrant remembering the "old country." That's what happened when I was with my two New York friends on Sunday and the one in my Toastmasters club tonight. I can't imagine what it is like for Europeans reading this. The lifestyle I have now is so different from what New York is. I have to drive to a foreign country to hit the nearest beach. I see rock canyons, not skyscrapers. OK, Cameragrrl, which part of New York or site are we going to cover next?
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