punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

December Trip - Need some advice

Sweden was a litmus test to see how well CR and I got along on extended travel, and I have to say it went very well. Our next trip is less "exciting," perhaps, than the wilds of rural Scandinavia, where rampant moose stealthily creep in the dusk of midnight to eat people's apple trees, because our target destination is New York City, where thieves stealthily creep to take your wallet (a.k.a., the hotels). I haven't been there since... well, discounting hub airports like JFK or Newark, the last time I was in Manhattan proper, the Statue of Liberty had scaffolding around it. Almost 22 years ago, and that was only because I was with an RPGA tour to Origins. That trip was a disaster I shall tell someday, but it certainly wasn't the fault of the Big Apple. The last time I walked the streets, I was a tween, traveling with my parents because my dad got some deal on a Lincoln Continental Mark V. We had a hotel right on Times Square, facing the 25 cent peep shows that I heard are now gone.

Anyway, here's what we want to do, and I'd love some advice or anecdotes. Our plan is to stay only a few days, over a weekend (poss Thu-Sun), near the first week of December (like say, over the weekend of the 8th). I want to see the tree at Rockerfeller Center, and New York at Christmas. The big tree and all. The things we want to do in New York seem rather touristy, and this is not a list in stone, but covers what we want to do:

- See the Statue of Liberty.
- Go on top of the Empire State Building
- Possibly see a Broadway show (cost is an issue with this one)
- Eat New York style pizza (my son's request)
- Visit Chinatown

Hotel, we assume will be the biggest cost at $120-150/night for downtown. Travel is the next big cost, and we're on the fence on how to go. The choice is by bus or by plane (train had nothing going for it, expensive, slow, bad times). Here are the list of advantages/disadvantages I forsee:

Bus Advantages:
- Cheaper (about $130 for both, round trip)
- No TSA (IMHO, the worst part about flying)
- You get to see America (warts and all)
- Puts me right in NYC
- Can bring my own food

Bus Disadvantages:
- Long trip (4-5 hours)
- Scary bus people
- I had a traumatic experience because of Greyhound once

Plane Advantages:
- Quicker (45-50 minutes, usually)

Plane Disadvantages:
- Expensive (about $200 for both, round trip)
- TSA up my butt, don't know what I can take on plane anymore
- Cab from Airport to downtown expensive
- When you add arriving early at the airport, cab, and all... it's almost the same time as bus travel

I have questions that aren't easily answered by tourist sites.

- Where does one get good "New York Pizza?"
- How much do cab rides cost? What do you tip them?
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