Thoughts from our 2008 NY Trip

New York Travel Blog

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 As you all know, hotels in NY can be quite expensive. Many are run-down, don't have proper a/c, and many don't even have elevators. To our surprise, we found a turn-of the century hotel on 77th & Broadway that proved to be a real bargin. It's called the Hotel Belleclaire. It's only two stops away from Time Square and reasonably priced. But, you need to book way in advance. We don't recommend going to "cheap" route when lodging in NY. All the cheap stuff is just that, "cheap, dirty, and uncomfortable!"

We found a nice restaurant called the Palm Restaurant in mid-town and its a true italian gangster hang-out with plenty history.  The waiters are all italian/new yorkers, and speak italian in the kitchen (they even yell at each other in typically italian tradition). The food is great and service is excellent and they even throw-in a free NY style cheese-cake for first-timers. It's a must visit location for anyone of fancies fine steak in a very cool location. We also enjoyed cuban cuisin at a little place called "Havana something" on Little Brazil street in Times Square. The food there was authentic, and I know authentic Cuban cuisin because I'm Cuban. They also had live music after 10 p.m., which was extraordinary!!

I DON'T RECOMMEND FOR ANYONE TO VISIT THE "VIEW" ON THE TOP FLOOR OF THE MARRIOT HOTEL IN TIMES SQUARE. THIS PLACE IS A BIG RIP-OFF. THE FOOD SUCKS, THE SERVICE SUCKS AND THE VIEW ITSELF IS NOT ALL THAT. TRUST ME ON THIS ONE. UNLESS YOU ENJOY POOR SERVICE, CRAPPY FOOD, AND EXPENSIVE OVERALL, THEN GO. OTHERWISE, THERE ARE MUCH BETTER CHOICES.

Another place I highly recommend is the "Tavern on the Green" inside Central Park. This place is a bit pricey but worth every dime. There's live music every night and fancy settings. We enjoyed this place due to it's atmosphere and food. Highly recommended!!

The highlight of our trip to New York was of course my graduation from Columbia Business School. This is a fabulous college campus that was originally called Kings College during the reign of George 2nd. Built in the 1700's, you can expect to find a lot see while touring the campus. Get on the # 2 Train toward Uptown and get-off at 116th Street. It's right there.

Of course, the second highlight to our trip was taking the Circle Line boat tour around Manhattan. This is a ferry that goes around the entire island in about 3 hours time. We took the short version that last's about 2.30 hours. Our version started at pier 83 and goes all the way under the Williamsburg Bridge. The sights are absolutely awesome!! Here's the key for this trip: Arrive early and be the first in line when the line starts forming to board. This way, you can sit way in the back of the second level and get the best views and best photos "up close" of Manhattan Island.

We don't recommend you visit China Town, Soho, Little Italy, or Greenwich Village. Unless, you plan to spend most of your time doing shopping. We actually plan to visit those places on our second trip as well as to rent a paddle boat in Central Park and ejoy a relaxing afternoon. But, if this your first time in NY, you definitely need to see the sights. Don't forget to have lunch at Francis Tavern while visiting Wall Street. This is the tavern where President George Washington said, "go-bye" to his troops.

We plan to be in NY again in September. See you then!
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photo by: herman_munster