Throughout 35+ years in IT, I’ve traveled to many cities across the nation thanks to work-related trips. I’ve gone to DC, Boston, Chicago, LA, San Francisco, San Diego, and many more destinations. Throughout all those travels, I never have been to NYC. Thinking about it, if work didn’t send me there I didn’t go. But, when planning a trip to DC that was not work-related I decided to fix that and extend my trip by 3 days, starting in NYC on a Tuesday and then traveling to DC for the weekend. It’s a busy week, but one that will offer many memories to keep.
To start with, the entire trip was supposed to be to Washington, DC. I had things planned out, including a concert at the Kennedy Center with the National Symphony to hear Bach’s Magnificat and the first part of Handel’s Messiah. The next night, I’ll return to the Kennedy Center for the musical, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical. Of course, trips to museums, seeing the sites in the nation’s Capitol, and dinner with friends would fill out the trip. I’ve been to DC at Christmas time and it’s always wonderfully decked out.
Then, I decided to check out flight costs if I started in NYC, took the train down to DC, then flew out of DC. The costs were about the same so there really was no excuse not to travel to NYC, especially at Christmas. So, the planning began to figure out what to do in the 3+ days in the City. Once I posted on Facebook, the suggestions from friends started coming in. Thanks to their suggestions and some research, here’s what I’ve come up with. Some are locked in such as the Broadway show and museum trips, but some are fluid and could change all the way up to landing in NYC.
After landing at La Guardia Tuesday afternoon and hopefully checking into my hotel, I plan to get out and explore some of the city before seeing an off-Broadway play that night. It will let me learn the subway system and see some places I probably won’t get to any other time during the trip.
- Battery Park – I don’t plan to take the trip out to see the Statue of Liberty as it will just take too much time, so I’ll just take the train down to the park and gaze at Lady Liberty from afar.
- Wall Street – After walking up from Battery Park, I definitely want to see Wall Street and the NYSE. I’d love to tour the Federal Courthouse, but it’s closed right now during the pandemic.
- Times Square – Leaving Wall Street, I’ll take the train uptown to Times Square to walk around it that afternoon. This will probably be the only time I’ll truly explore Times Square. If I haven’t already bought my tickets to my Tuesday night play, I’ll see what’s up at the TKTS booth.
- Hudson Yards and The Edge – My observation experience will be at the newest place up in the clouds, The Edge. It’s 100 stories above the city and has some of the best views, including a glass floor that lets you look down from that height. If time allows, I want to check out the The Vessel and the Highline.
- Dinner and a Play – I wanted to be spontaneous but I’m starting to lean towards a small one in Greenwich Village called Fairycakes. It’s world premiere will be in the Greenwich House Theater, a small community theater that only has 12 rows. Sounds like a great time to be had. Since I’ll be in the Village I plan to grab some New York style pizza at one of the many places off Bleecker Street.
Wednesday is another full day, hopefully starting at a museum and ending on Fifth Avenue. This is my Broadway show day everything pretty much hinges around it. I also plan to get my NYC Christmas experience on this day with Rockefeller Center.
- Natural History Museum – After an early breakfast at Andrew’s Coffee Shop on 7th, I want to head uptown to the American Museum of Natural History. That is, if I can get tickets. As of today, tickets still haven’t opened up for December. unlike the other museums.
- Lunch, a Play, then Dinner – Leaving the museum, I’d love to take in a NY Deli and then head back to the hotel to get ready to see Hadestown. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it and it will be my first Broadway show. After the show, a quick block and a half walk and I’ll be dining at Lattanzi on Restaurant Row.
- Christmas time in NYC – After dinner, it’ll be time to walk off that fabulous Italian food so I’ll head over to Rockefeller Center, see the skaters, the tree, and start to get that feel of Christmas in NYC. Then, it’ll be time to walk to Fifth Avenue to see the Sak’s Christmas lights and wander down the avenue to check out the windows.
Thursday is mostly museums and other sights. I’m planning to visit Ground Zero, the Met, and then the Guggenheim. At the end of the day, I’m going to head back to the hotel to pack and rest for the trip to DC the next day.
- Ground Zero – I plan to start the day by heading down to Ground Zero and grab breakfast at an Amazon Go. I want to check out the self-service checkout to see how it works. From there, I have an early bird admission to the museum which has a guided tour included.
- Art, Art, and more Art – After Ground Zero, I’m going to head uptown to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to spend an afternoon browsing the collections. Following the Met, I’ll head on up Fifth Avenue to the Guggenheim. After spending the afternoon in fine art, I’ll just take the bus back to my hotel, pack, and relax.
My last day in NYC will be short, but I’m still going to get in one last tour, starting with mass at St. Patrick’s and then taking the self-guided tour of the cathedral. After that, I head back to the hotel, grab the bags, and then to Penn Station to catch the Acela down to Washington DC. All in all, a pretty busy week in the Big Apple.