A quick weekend visit to New York City

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by tom911, Feb 28, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    Back in New York City for a cold weekend. As I write this Saturday night at 10pm it’s 27F/-3C outside. High temp today was 30F/-1C. Bright, blue skies all day. Snow is forecast for Sunday and we may see 1-3 inches in Manhattan on Sunday. I fly home Monday and not expecting to be impacted. This is the third coldest February in New York City weather history.

    FRIDAY

    Boarded the 7:15am SFO-Dallas flight. Slept an hour of the 3 hour flight to DFW in my coach seat (made it up to #2 on list, but as I booked this two weeks out never thought the upgrade odds would be good), and then started watching the SNL 40th anniversary show the rest of the way.On arrival it was snowing and another aircraft was occupying our gate. Took about 30 mins to find us another gate which ended up being right next to our original one. Thought for sure I had missed my connection to New York LaGuardia, even though it was in the same terminal about 10 gates down.

    It was my lucky day. Arrived at the gate 10 mins before the 1:35pm departure to find the gate area packed and a 20 min departure delay posted. We did board, and then we sat. DFW is not well equipped to deal with deicing, and today every aircraft needed to be deiced. We made it to the deicing pad just before 4pm and were airborne at 4:30pm, so running almost 3 hours behind schedule. Flight time was 2.5 hours and we landed at 8pm (time zone change). I wasn’t expecting an upgrade here, either, as only one seat was open and I was #3 on the list. Guess there were some misconnects with the weather and they cleared four additional upgrades at the gate. Enjoyed two glasses of white wine, a beef burrito with rice, and a key lime tart for dessert. Used one of my three remaining free wi-fi passes which are due to expire in May.

    Bought a Metro card at an airport shop, then off on the Q70 bus into Queens for a connection to the 7 line subway into Manhattan. Got off at Bryant Park/42nd Street and connected to another train one stop away to Herald Square/34th Street, and then a 10 min walk to my hotel. Total transit costs: $2.50. Checked in just after 9 (no luggage worries as I did carry-on). I’m at Hyatt Place on a $98 plus tax rate (this is one fantastic rate for New York City). Popped out to get some Diet Coke and a snack and was in for the night.

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    SATURDAY

    Some water tower views from my room:

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    More hotel and water tower photos starting here:
    http://tom911.smugmug.com/Hotels/Hyatt-Hotels/2015-Hyatt-Place-Midrown/i-CCqpQrc

    Was out at 10am and walked around midtown, roughly 36th Street up to 50th Street. The Empire State Building is just two blocks away from the hotel.

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  2. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    Was interviewed at Grand Central Terminal by a student doing a project on the history there. She saw me taking photos and asked “why” I was taking photos. She wanted to know how technology could impact a terminal user’s experience, too. She made an audio recording of my contribution.

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    Stopped at St Patrick’s Cathedral during noon Mass which had just started, then back to the hotel at 1pm.

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    Checked out at 2 and boarded the #3 express train down to Wall Street for a hotel change to the Holiday Inn Express on Water Street, not far from the closed South Street Seaport. Rate here is $93 plus tax. Took about 30 mins to get down here between subway and walking a few short blocks.
     
  3. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    Was out the door at 3pm and set off for the Brooklyn Bridge. I’ve seen a couple TV news reports showing ice floes in the harbor, so figured they’d certainly be working their way up the East River. Wasn’t as much ice as I was expecting, but still something you don’t normally see here, even in the winter.

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    Looking towards the Manhattan Bridge:

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    Looking towards the Verrazano Narrows Bridge (sun in that direction):

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  4. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    Late lunch/early dinner stop in Brooklyn was at Pot Belly Deli where I had a roast beef sandwich on a roll. Was hoping to get into Shake Shack, a burger franchise that we don’t see in California, but not a seat to be had. Got the F train into Manhattan and got off at the first stop, East Broadway, a station I’m certain I’ve never used. It’s just up the road from Chinatown and I arrived to see three different lions going shop to shop for some type of ceremony. They also went inside some shops, and were accompanied by drums and small entourages.

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    Stopped at the 55 Fulton market for some milk and snacks and was back at my hotel before 7pm for the night.

    I've added the photos to my January New York City gallery and today's photos start here:
    http://tom911.smugmug.com/Travel-USA/New-York-City/2015-New-York-City/i-3jG3mHv
     
  5. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    Checked out of the hotel at noon (normal checkout is 11am but extended for elites until 2pm), and walked down to the Staten Island Ferry. Started snowing along the way.
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    Photo on departure from Manhattan:

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    Could barely see the Statue of Liberty:

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    Currently at the Staten Island ferry terminal awaiting the trip back. Have my rollaboard along to avoid going back to claim it.
     
  6. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    You must be Plat with HGP. Hyatt Diamonds should get the guaranteed 4 pm checkout.
     
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  7. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    Yes, Platinum with IHG and Diamond with Hyatt. I did a late checkout with Hyatt on Saturday (2pm).

    Snow still coming down in Manhattan.

    Statue of Liberty Ferry:

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    Battery Park:

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    Ice floes along the water at Battery Park:

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    More photos starting here:
    http://tom911.smugmug.com/Travel-USA/New-York-City/2015-New-York-City/i-pSSq3CG

    Heading back out to enjoy the weather now that I've left my bag at a new hotel in midtown.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
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  8. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Great stuff!
     
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  9. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    We were there for the Christmas Tree lighting, brings back some memories,

    Toured Cornell Medical Center Cancer research facilities, went to another China Town a short drive from the college.

    Thanks for the report..
     
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  10. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    Back to the ferry terminal where I got the #1 train at South Ferry station to 34th Street and checked into my new hotel, Hyatt Place. The roadway in this area was not looking good - just slush instead of the nice snow I saw out in Battery Park. If you weren’t careful, you’d step into a pool of water at some corners. Definitely a case of “look before you leap”. Checked in about 3:30pm.

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    Was back out on the street about 30 mins after and walked over to Macy’s at Herald Square to get some photos from there and some of the nearby streets.

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    Plenty of work being done to keep the sidewalks clear:

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    Roads were starting to look a little messy, though.

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  11. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    Expect some drivers are in for a surprise when they return to their cars:

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    This is a new snow plow with a rotating brush that blows snow to the side:

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    The Department of Sanitation snow plows were out, this one in front of the Post Office behind Madison Square Garden:

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    Dinner was at a pizza place I’ve used before behind Madison Square Garden. Two slices and a Diet Coke for $9.50. Slow walk back to the hotel and called it a night.

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    One last road shot:

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    My flight home early tomorrow afternoon is sold out but is still scheduled to depart on time. AA has cancelled some flights but not mine. Hoping it stays that way.

    Photos of this segment start here:
    http://tom911.smugmug.com/Travel-USA/New-York-City/2015-New-York-City/i-76FmTg8
     
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  12. LauraPDX

    LauraPDX Silver Member

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    Thanks Tom911, am headed to NYC in less than a week (from Pacific NW, where we skipped winter this year).
     
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  13. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    Maybe it will be a little warmer by then. It was pretty much in the 20s during my visit.
     
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