tom911 goes to New York City for Christmas Week

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by tom911, Dec 23, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    Just home from 5 days in and about New York City. The first three nights were spent at the Hyatt in Jersey City ($99 a night) and the fourth night was spent at Hotel Indigo in Chelsea (credit card renewal night, value around $250).. I took AA to JFK (one way around $180) and UA home from JFK (30K in PS F, zeroing out my account as planned).

    I am a native New Yorker, born in New York CIty. We moved to California when the Brooklyn Shipyard closed. I have relatives all over the place back there.

    TUESDAY

    Parked off airport (no Benicia bus on Sunday - would have preferred BART) at $12 a day with a coupon. Spent the night at Hyatt SFO and checked in just before the Regency Club closed.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    SQ LPP, sobore, violist and 2 others like this.
  2. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    WEDNESDAY

    Arrived at SFO at 0530 for my 0705 nonstop SFO-JFK, making a brief stop in the Admiral's Club. This is a two class 767-300 and first class had been sold out for at least a week, so no expectation of an upgrade. I had a window seat in the first row of coach.

    Worked my way to the gate an hour before departure as I noticed the flight was zeroed out. Page was made for five volunteers at $300 each. I was the only volunteer. Agent called and got permission to increase to $500 and alerted me. I was still the only volunteer. Thought things were looking good as they finalized the flight load. Wrong! Woman with a stroller arrives 7 mins before departure, part of a party of four, and is denied boarding and placed on the noon departure. tom911 is instructed to board. Off to JFK. (My alternate routing, SFO-DFW-EWR, had been locked in, as I could not do the noon SFO-JFK due to PATH to Jersey City closing at 2200). Agent played by the rules here.

    As an EXP, I did request a free sandwich and it was provided upon presentation of my boarding pass. Had my Samsung tablet along and watched several TV programs while en route. Pretty uneventful flight.

    I was met at JFK by DHammer53 and we took a driving tour about Brooklyn which included visits to some areas hit with Hurricane Sandy flood damage. Dinner stop was for roast beef sandwiches as I expected to have plenty of pizza in the days ahead. Dan was kind enough to drop me off at the World Trade Center PATH station after we came through the Battery Tunnel (you'll recall it was closed due to flooding). He headed home and I went one stop on the PATH train to Exchange Place in Jersey City, arriving at the Hyatt.

    I was given a 7th floor room at the Hyatt with a midtown Manhattan view.

    [​IMG]

    view from outside the Hyatt during the day:

    [​IMG]

    More Hyatt photos HERE.
     
    sobore and uggboy like this.
  3. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    THURSDAY

    After hotel full buffet breakfast with a Manhattan view (free as Diamond, otherwise $22 or $12 for continental breakfast), walked 20 mins over to a sporting good shop and then to the Newport Mall. Popped into Macy's there and then a 20 min PATH train ride directly to Herald Square/34th Street, where Macy's flagship Manhattan store is located. Checked out the Christmas windows.

    [​IMG]

    I then walked over to Bryant Park to see the ice skaters and the outdoor market, though I have to say I'm more fascinated with the Zamboni.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next stop was Grand Central station which had an indoor holiday market. My cousin Kathleen called me as I had just left there setting up lunch (she was coming in from Long Island), so walked about 20 blocks down to an Irish pub at 23rd Street and 3rd Avenue, about 40 mins, and had a Smithwick's Irish beer and shepherds pie, just as good as anything I've had in Ireland.

    [​IMG]
     
    sobore and uggboy like this.
  4. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    THURSDAY NIGHT

    After our pub visit, we took the bus up to a very-crowded Rockefeller Center, and also made the stop at St Patrick's to light candles. Saks Fifth Avenue had a light show set to music being displayed on their building.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Set off to Bryant Park after to have a drink, but due to crowds we ended up at the bar at the Residence Inn which worked out fine.

    [​IMG]

    Back to Jersey City by PATH.
     
    sobore and uggboy like this.
  5. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    FRIDAY

    Popped over to Macy's in Jersey City for a half hour, a 20 min walk from the Hyatt, then met Catman who lives here in Jersey City for lunch at Dorian's, an upscale local restaurant with a bar right outside the mall. I had a corned beef reuben. Spent two hours talking about airline and hotel points and recent travels. 20 min walk back to the Hyatt in high winds with dark clouds. No rain, though. Counted myself lucky.

    Took the Port Authority (PATH) train to the World Trade Center station (next stop after leaving my hotel) and visited the Century 21 department store which is very popular with international visitors as they have designer clothing, shoes and handbags. Fun maneuvering around packed aisles and folks with multiple shopping bags. World Trade Center construction definitely coming along.

    [​IMG]

    Next stop was J and R Electronics at the foot of Broadway, and then I set off on a 3 hour walk up to Herald Square and 34th Street for the PATH train back to New Jersey. Along the way I stopped at the holiday market at Union Square/14th Street, shopped at Crate and Barrel, Best Buy and some clothing stores. Lots of shoppers about. Had a slice of pizza at a pizza place and was energized to keep on going.

    [​IMG]

    Even walked by a fire.

    [​IMG]
     
    sobore and uggboy like this.
  6. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    SATURDAY

    Leisurely hotel breakfast which I get free with my Hyatt status in Jersey City. They do focus on area products including salami from New York City, cheese from Jersey and ham from Virginia.
    Made my way by PATH train from the Grove Street stop, a 15 min walk away in downtown Jersey City, and got off in Manhattan at 23rd Street off 6th Avenue (station next to Hyatt, Exchange Place, closes on weekend for Hurricane Sandy repairs). I walked over to my new hotel, the Hotel Indigo, a Priority Club boutique hotel franchise, on 28th St off 6th Avenue.
    Huge room at Hotel Indigo on the 18th floor. Couldn't tell if I was upgraded or if this was a standard room. Came with $15 minibar credit. I have a free night here after paying $49 to renew my credit card with them (I also have a Hyatt card with a similar arrangement when you renew). Rack rate was $250 if I had to pay. Excellent value for my $49 renewal.

    Hotel photos HERE.



    [​IMG]


    Back out and walked up to Macy's at Herald Square and from there up Fifth Avenue to take in shop windows. Even had the good fortune, as I wandered into the Plaza Hotel, to see chefs wheeling out a gingerbread house to their cafe.


    Cartier:


    [​IMG]


    inside the Plaza Hotel:


    [​IMG]


    From there I walked over to the ice rink in Central Park, then over to Columbus Circle where CNN is, as well as more holiday market stalls in the corner of the park. Lots of horse-drawn carriages about. Back to my hotel by subway.


    [​IMG]


    Was back out at 7pm for pizza at a place nearby that was highly rated by Yelp. From there off to Macy's where I actually made some purchases, heading back to my hotel after 9pm to call it a night. Cashier chided me for not having a Macy's credit card so I could get offers all year long.


    SUNDAY


    Was out the door at 0745 and down to 7th Avenue to catch the #1 train to 42nd Street. I was greeted by a giant rat who ran by the fare gates just as I entered. Waited about 15 mins as Sunday morning service is not as frequent as other days. Waited another 15 mins at 42nd Street for the E train to Jamaica, where I transferred to the Air Train to the UA terminal at JFK, arriving at 0930.


    Stopped in the UA first class lounge for a few minutes for some juice and pastries, then off to the gate where boarding started 45 mins before our 11am departure. Due to weather issues at SFO we were held on the ground for 30 mins, then smooth sailing across the country in my sleeper seat. Only watched one movie on the digital movie player provided (End of Watch). This was my first and last time in United first class transcon (3 classes of service) as I was burning the very last of my UA miles as we part company over changes to elite flyer benefits. Couldn't find any seats in AA or UA coach or business class with miles.


    Arrived at my off-airport parking lot at 3pm to find I had a dead battery. Pretty sure I left the dome light on as it came on when the car started up. Think I was in a rush for the shuttle which had just passed by me and just forgot to turn it off. Made it home fine in pouring rain the whole way. Wasn't ready to tackle accidents and a backup on the Bay Bridge so took the longer route across the San Mateo Bridge just so I could keep moving (and I did, mostly at 50-55 and some sections at 45 when there was a lot of water on the road).

    Safely home.

    I'll leave you with one last photo from Rockefeller Center.


    [​IMG]



    The New York City photos are in THIS GALLERY.
     
    view, sobore, jswong and 1 other person like this.
  7. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    That's it.
     
    sobore, jswong and uggboy like this.

Share This Page