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Grandma and New York

Grandma and New York

Old Feb 21st 2005, 9:48 pm
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Question Grandma and New York

My Husbands Grandma is coming to stay and would like to go to New York for a day. Where would you recommend we take her to sight see etc, bearing in mind that she won't be able to walk too far in one go and may not appreciate the more modern sights!!! Any advice please?!!
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Old Feb 21st 2005, 10:29 pm
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Default Re: Grandma and New York

Originally Posted by robskatie
My Husbands Grandma is coming to stay and would like to go to New York for a day. Where would you recommend we take her to sight see etc, bearing in mind that she won't be able to walk too far in one go and may not appreciate the more modern sights!!! Any advice please?!!
I'm planning a two-day trip to NYC for my mother and she can't walk too far. So I figured on a 5 star hotel because there will be a cabs galore soon as we walk out of the lobby to take us anywhere we want to go. I want to take her to The Rockefeller Centre, which is one of New York’s lovely art deco buildings; there are lots of things to see around The Rockefeller Center, the place is quite compact. I want to take her to the Guggenheim Museum, but we both like Frank Lloyd Wright buildings and the GM is another of his creations, plus there will be some neat paintings inside. We also want to go to the main art galleries, again a cab ride should suffice to avoid crushes in the metro/tube which is a pretty shitty affair, with pretty large rats that don't bother hiding from humans. It might be a good idea to travel up during the week; we are planning to take an Amtrak from DC's Union Street Station. Tickets are pricey though; so you might want to drive up, I just prefer a lazy mid-day middle of the week train ride.
 
Old Feb 21st 2005, 10:38 pm
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Default Re: Grandma and New York

Originally Posted by Franklin
I'm planning a two-day trip to NYC for my mother and she can't walk too far. So I figured on a 5 star hotel because there will be a cabs galore soon as we walk out of the lobby to take us anywhere we want to go. I want to take her to The Rockefeller Centre, which is one of New York’s lovely art deco buildings; there are lots of things to see around The Rockefeller Center, the place is quite compact. I want to take her to the Guggenheim Museum, but we both like Frank Lloyd Wright buildings and the GM is another of his creations, plus there will be some neat paintings inside. We also want to go to the main art galleries, again a cab ride should suffice to avoid crushes in the metro/tube which is a pretty shitty affair, with pretty large rats that don't bother hiding from humans. It might be a good idea to travel up during the week; we are planning to take an Amtrak from DC's Union Street Station. Tickets are pricey though; so you might want to drive up, I just prefer a lazy mid-day middle of the week train ride.
Looks like we will be going on a Saturday (unfortunately) due to work, school and college commitments. We will also be taking our 3 daughters so trying to balance everybody's likes and dislikes will be a bit more of a problem, I think Hubby is going to go off with Grandma alone for a few hours and I will go with the girls to look at some of the "cooler" sights!
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Old Feb 21st 2005, 11:02 pm
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Default Re: Grandma and New York

Originally Posted by robskatie
Looks like we will be going on a Saturday (unfortunately) due to work, school and college commitments. We will also be taking our 3 daughters so trying to balance everybody's likes and dislikes will be a bit more of a problem, I think Hubby is going to go off with Grandma alone for a few hours and I will go with the girls to look at some of the "cooler" sights!
Is this trip going to be in the very near future (i.e. before it gets warmer)? If it's halfway decent weather you can't beat a Circle Line boat cruise. It's about $25 per person for a three hour boat trip around the whole of Manhattan Island and the views are amazing. The boats are mostly covered so it's not like you're exposed to the elements the whole time, and there's even a bar on board.

http://www.circleline42.com/index.ihtml

If that's too much time out of one day but you want amazing views then I'd recommend a trip up the Empire State Building, but be warned it can be freezing at the top even if it's a nice day at street level.

Staying with the outdoor theme: if grandma wants to see Central Park without walking all round it you can get horse drawn carriage rides in the park from the 59th Street side near the Plaza Hotel. They're a bit pricey, but what the hell, eh?
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Old Feb 21st 2005, 11:07 pm
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Default Re: Grandma and New York

I am NYC 5 days a week and I take subways and have NEVER seen a four legged rat so you can discount Franklin's take on that. But don't take grandma on the subway, too crowded not much of a sightseeing thing to do.

Since you are limited in time and human mobility, opt for the double decker one day bus tour. You and grandma can take it all over Manhattan from lower Manhattan's Wall Street to the streets of Harlem. You can get off at points of interest and back on the next one to continue the tour.

Check out:

http://www.nytours.us/?OVRAW=New%20Y...OVMTC=standard

http://www.sightseeingworld.com/NewY...OVMTC=standard

http://www.sightseeingworld.com/NewY...OVMTC=standard

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Originally Posted by robskatie
Looks like we will be going on a Saturday (unfortunately) due to work, school and college commitments. We will also be taking our 3 daughters so trying to balance everybody's likes and dislikes will be a bit more of a problem, I think Hubby is going to go off with Grandma alone for a few hours and I will go with the girls to look at some of the "cooler" sights!
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Old Feb 22nd 2005, 12:01 am
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Regular users of the NY subway can become desensitized to the filth. Some regular users love the subway, others (particularly visitors) are repelled by it. I guess I am in the camp that is repelled by it. The NY subway is in a word: disgusting. Quite a shock the first time I traveled on it. But some parts of the subway might be better than other parts. There are newer bits, but a lot of the old parts of the system were smelly particularly on hot humid days. A lot of the system is rotting, with very poor maintenance and hygiene standards. I guess if you travel it each day it gets easier to deal with and finally you just ignore how bad it really is. Awful, filthy, old and foul are words that come to mind to describe the NYC subway system. And yes, there are lots of rats in the NYC subway; I saw a huge one along the tracks near the platform, I couldn't keep my eyes off it.

Don't get me wrong, NYC is a great city, well worth many visits, and yes you should use the subway just to experience it. But I'm not convinced it is a good place to take a grandma. No sir. Imho, as far as grandma is concerned best to stick the buses or take a cab. Elfman's suggestion about taking a cruise around Manhattan is brilliant. I was going to say that the NYC skyline from NJ is likely very good, but will take time out of your day. The boat trip sounds really great.

Last edited by Franklin; Feb 22nd 2005 at 12:42 am.
 
Old Feb 22nd 2005, 12:12 am
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Default Re: Grandma and New York

Riding the NY subway should be part of a visitor's sightseeing experience in NY if they are able bodied and out of a pushchair.

It is dirty but no dirtier than London's Tube IMHO and I've ridden a fair bit of the NY subway system (to the boroughs) and was a daily Tube user back in London.

For those bringing visitors with walking difficulties, look for organized coach or bus tours. There are plenty around and there might be a specific tour that fits one's tastes.

If you're there for more than a day, an older visitor might enjoy going to a Broadway show. There's still a TKTS discount box office for Broadway shows in Times Square I think (the other was in the World Trade Center. It was less busy than the TS location).

If you plan on visiting any museums or art galleries, plan exactly what you want to see inside so you and your group don't end up wasting valuable energy and time wandering aimlessly.

For kids, a visit to a department store might be fun. I can't remember if NY dept. stores have cafes but maybe grandma and another adult can take it easy in the cafe whilst the youngsters and at least one other adult can check out the kids depts of interest.



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Old Feb 22nd 2005, 12:35 am
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Default Re: Grandma and New York

Originally Posted by NC Penguin

It is dirty but no dirtier than London's Tube
I disagree - I think NY subway stations are noticeably dirtier and grimier than those on the tube - I never saw a single rat in any tube station in more than three years in London but i've seen them in the subway. Loads of tube stations have had facelifts and full renovations in recent years, often incorporating imaginative decorative features, whereas every NY subway station I've ever been in has looked like it hasn't been modified or cleaned since the system first opened in about 1905. The subway is cheaper to ride than the tube and the trains are air conditioned but the tube beats it on cleanliness, ease of navigation, and convenience - the subway doesn't even have escalators, for god's sake.
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Old Feb 22nd 2005, 1:01 am
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Originally Posted by elfman
I disagree - I think NY subway stations are noticeably dirtier and grimier than those on the tube - I never saw a single rat in any tube station in more than three years in London but i've seen them in the subway. Loads of tube stations have had facelifts and full renovations in recent years, often incorporating imaginative decorative features, whereas every NY subway station I've ever been in has looked like it hasn't been modified or cleaned since the system first opened in about 1905. The subway is cheaper to ride than the tube and the trains are air conditioned but the tube beats it on cleanliness, ease of navigation, and convenience - the subway doesn't even have escalators, for god's sake.
I agree, the London tube is far better and cleaner than the NYC subway.
 
Old Feb 22nd 2005, 1:35 am
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Default Re: Grandma and New York

Thanks guys! I love the idea of the cruise boat and the bus tour, that would be great for Grandma and the girls. Think we may give the subway a miss this time, 3 kids, Grandma and the subway.... :scared:
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Old Feb 22nd 2005, 1:36 am
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Default Re: Grandma and New York- OT

Originally Posted by elfman
I disagree - I think NY subway stations are noticeably dirtier and grimier than those on the tube - I never saw a single rat in any tube station in more than three years in London but i've seen them in the subway. Loads of tube stations have had facelifts and full renovations in recent years, often incorporating imaginative decorative features, whereas every NY subway station I've ever been in has looked like it hasn't been modified or cleaned since the system first opened in about 1905. The subway is cheaper to ride than the tube and the trains are air conditioned but the tube beats it on cleanliness, ease of navigation, and convenience - the subway doesn't even have escalators, for god's sake.
Prior to moving to the US, I was a daily rider of the Tube and I did see mice (not rats) on the tube from time to time. Some were so accustomed to humans, that they stood motionless on platforms. I recall seeing them regularly at Oxford Circus, Bank and from time to time at Angel.

I've also ridden extensively on the Paris metro and seen rats there.

One reason why the NY subway doesn't have escalators is that their stations are not so deep underground as the London Tube. Same is true for the Paris metro. Stations aren't so deep below ground level.

As for navigation, the NY metro is pretty easy to navigate. The only problem I had was working out which exit to leave by and quite often I'd end up coming up to street level on the wrong side of the street I wanted.

NY metro is air conditioned but it's far from perfect too. In the summer months, there'll be carriages with no or very fews passengers in them. Why? 'Cos those are the carriages in which the aircon has broken down. I learnt that quick one summer.




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Old Feb 22nd 2005, 2:52 am
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Robskatie: do you think that Grandma and your family might enjoy a late Sunday morning brunch with a (black) Gospel choir to entertain the diners? I know that they are really popular - there's a famous one in the Harlem area.

I'll post some info tomorrow if you're interested.

Do you know where you'll be staying? If you haven't booked an hotel yet, a popular place for families is the Embassy Suites hotel next to the River Hudson and Winter Gardens and close to Ground Zero; you can easily get to Battery Park from here for the ferries to Ellis Island & Statue of Liberty (walkable - but maybe Granny would appreciate a taxi). Also it's not far from Chinatown/Little Italy and South Street Seaport (where the other TKTS outlet is located opposite the Coach handbag store).

The good thing about the Embassy Suites is that the rooms are very large and suitable for families (most in NYC are tiny) and they have a free cooked to order breakfast and free cocktails/beers in the early evening for a couple of hours 'Managers reception'. There is also a multiplex cinema attached to the Embassy Suites too. I haven't stayed there myself as I live in the suburbs but my sister's friends came for a visit from Blighty when it opened a couple of years ago and they enjoyed their stay there. Here's the website but do search on their promotions page as they're running special family weekend offers at the moment:

http://embassysuites.hilton.com/en/e...tyhocn=NYCNYES

(Top tip: take a travel blanket with you - I've seen them in places like Target where you can fold it up into a shoulder bag...if you go on a boat or bus it will keep granny warm).
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Old Feb 22nd 2005, 12:32 pm
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Default Re: Grandma and New York

Originally Posted by Englishmum
Robskatie: do you think that Grandma and your family might enjoy a late Sunday morning brunch with a (black) Gospel choir to entertain the diners? I know that they are really popular - there's a famous one in the Harlem area.

I'll post some info tomorrow if you're interested.
<<snip>>
I hope the above is not a reference to Sylvia's in Harlem. When I visited Harlem (on my own), I popped into Sylvia's for lunch. It's turned into a complete tourist trap. Coachloads of tourists dine there, the service is poor and the food is, well, quite unremarkable. Sylvia's probably did serve good Southern food but even before I moved to the South, I recognized that Sylvia's was far from a good example.




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Last edited by NC Penguin; Feb 22nd 2005 at 8:26 pm. Reason: grammar error
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Old Feb 22nd 2005, 12:39 pm
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Default Re: Grandma and New York

Yes, they can do that at Macy's ... the cafe is on the lower level

Originally Posted by NC Penguin
Riding the NY subway should be part of a visitor's sightseeing experience in NY if they are able bodied and out of a pushchair.

It is dirty but no dirtier than London's Tube IMHO and I've ridden a fair bit of the NY subway system (to the boroughs) and was a daily Tube user back in London.

For those bringing visitors with walking difficulties, look for organized coach or bus tours. There are plenty around and there might be a specific tour that fits one's tastes.

If you're there for more than a day, an older visitor might enjoy going to a Broadway show. There's still a TKTS discount box office for Broadway shows in Times Square I think (the other was in the World Trade Center. It was less busy than the TS location).

If you plan on visiting any museums or art galleries, plan exactly what you want to see inside so you and your group don't end up wasting valuable energy and time wandering aimlessly.

For kids, a visit to a department store might be fun. I can't remember if NY dept. stores have cafes but maybe grandma and another adult can take it easy in the cafe whilst the youngsters and at least one other adult can check out the kids depts of interest.



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Old Feb 22nd 2005, 12:43 pm
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Default Re: Grandma and New York

On a side note, I have to laugh because the description of Robie's grandmother and all the ensuing posts, mine included, depict her to be old, feeble and infirm. Probably is far from the truth as I'm a grandmother and I'm only in my 50's. But then there is my father who is a grandmother and he is 89. Wonder in what age group Robie's grandmother belongs?


Originally Posted by robskatie
My Husbands Grandma is coming to stay and would like to go to New York for a day. Where would you recommend we take her to sight see etc, bearing in mind that she won't be able to walk too far in one go and may not appreciate the more modern sights!!! Any advice please?!!
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