Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday Q & A - Visiting NYC, Philly, DC

I live in New Jersey.  If you plan to travel to the area and have any questions, please email me, I love to talk about this area because I really do love it so much.

1.  We are planning to come to New York City for a long weekend.  What time of year is best to come?  

This depends...Manhattan is beautiful when it is all decked out for Christmas...Rock Center, St. Pat's, the windows, the stores, the shops, Fifth Avenue, Radio City... anytime between Thanksgiving and New Year's is good but it can be chilly.
Rock Center is something to see at Christmastime!

You will more than likely want to walk around in NYC, the last two weeks of April and the first two or three weeks of May are best for this.  The trees and flowers are in bloom and it is not too humid yet.
New Yorkers LOVE dogs!  The girls LOVE to bring Oliver to Manhattan,
he gets a lot of attention!

2.  Where do you recommend going in Manhattan?  

This all depends on you and what you like.  There are tons of great museums: the Met, MoMa, The Museum of Natural History, the Guggenheim...just to name a few...

Most people like to tour the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

The WTC Memorial is open now, though it won't be complete for a couple of more years.

Personally, I have always preferred downtown to uptown.  Greenwich Village, Chelsea, the East Village...campy shops, funky thrift stores, interesting people....  It's changed a lot down there since I was in my late teens and early 20s going to CBGBs & Bowery Ballroom... Limelight, Tunnel, Webster Hall, Sound Factory... but there is a TON of history down there.  And the best Manhattan pizza is on Bleecker between 6th and 7th- John's of Bleecker--they don't take cash and they don't serve slices and if you ask for ranch dressing they might think you are crazy (we brought our California relatives there, apparently they eat pizza with ranch dressing in California!)
Little Italy

My favorite thing to do now in Manhattan is walk around Central Park.  You can enter right on Fifth by the Plaza Hotel and walk around the will see what New York City is all about...street performers break dancing, people in their sixties roller boogey-ing, a violinist, a ballerina posed as a statue...there is so much culture and diversity in that park, it is different every time we go.  The architecture is beautiful and there are so many hills and valley and fountains and stone is really something to see!
Central Park - one of my Top Three favorite places on Earth!

I would say that if you had 4 days, you should definitely try some NYC pizza, either at John's of Bleecker or at Grimaldi's in Brooklyn.  You should spend an afternoon in Central Park, plan a day for the Statue of Liberty.  You may want to do Top of the Rock.  See a Broadway show; off-Broadway is really cool too.  And spend a couple of hours in a museum.  There really is a lot to see and you could easily be busy for weeks.
It's worth the wait for Grimaldi's

3.  I would like to come to the NY-Philly area, how long do you think I need to really experience both places?  

At least a week.

There is so much to do in both places.  At a minimum, four days in NYC.  At least two more for Philly.  Philly is a totally different city than New York.  Philly is down to earth and relaxed compared to NY.  I would recommend checking out Constitution Trail in Philly, that will take a full day.  PLan on checking out cheesesteaks and seeing if you prefer Geno's or Pat's.  There are tons of museums in Philadelphia, too: The Franklin Institute, Constitution Center, the Philadelphia Museum of Art...just to name a few.
No education is complete without a trip to see the Liberty Bell!

4.  How long does it take to get to Washington DC from Philly or NY?

It takes about 3.5 hours from Philly and about 5 from NY.

5.  Do you have recommendations for DC?

All of the museums in DC are free...and there are A LOT.  The Aquarium is totally worth it.  You could spend days exploring the Smithsonian and not see it all.  If you want to see the White House, make reservations well in advance.  Get up early one morning and do the will be totally worth it!