View Full Version : Hey New York, need advice

03-10-2008, 08:06 AM
My family and I are traveling to NYC on Sun., March 16th-Thurs. March 20th. I have an appt. with Dr. Boachie on Mon.@10 am. Only I could schedule an appt. in an unfamiliar city in the middle of the St. Patrick's Day Parade. We are staying at the Belvedere @W. 48th St. I e-mailed the concierge and they said if we left early enough catching a cab would be no problem before streets start closing. Any suggestions would be great??

We are making a family vacation out of this bringing our 2 sons age 20 and 15. We will probably do tourist things since 2 out of the 4 of us have never been to NYC. If you have suggestions on restaurants that would be great. I know we want real homestyle italian? What about restaurants in Chinatown?
Of course pizza? A deli and bagels??

The weather forecast shows highs of 40. I guess we need heavy winter coats???

We already purchased tickets to Young Frankenstein at the Hilton Theater. Any suggestions on where to eat before or after this show?

Our 15 yr. old is a cross country/track runner and adheres strictly to a training philosophy of running every day no matter what. He had google earthed some routes in Central Park. I am nervous about this-Is it safe in the morning or daytime hours for him to run alone? He wont want to be stuck on the treadmill in the hotel.

I am nervous about the appt. but a I look forward to the trip to NYC.

Thanks for any info.

03-10-2008, 08:39 AM
Hi Mary -- I chuckled when I read about the timing of your appointment -- yeah, it's going to be crazy. The main thing to remember about NYC cab ridess is that it always takes at least 30 minutes longer than you think it will, so give yourself lots of extra time. I can't help you with specific restaurants, etc., but hotel staff are usually an excellent source of that kind of information.

Your son should be okay in Central Park during the daytime, but I would avoid the park in the very early morning or late evening (dusk).

Good luck with your appointment! There's usually a long wait to see Boachie so bring snacks and something to read.

03-10-2008, 09:15 AM
Hi Mary,

In mid March in NY the weather can vary greatly. I am still wearing my winter coat - but some days it's too much. I'd suggest layers (maybe a lighter coat and an extra sweatshirt?).

As far as running in Central Park, I've never done it - but for safety reasons I wouldn't do it too early - I'd opt for 7 or 8 a.m. vs. 5 a.m. for sure.

There are so many restaurants to choose from. It sounds like you'll be right in the heart of the theater district. I know there are a few decent chains (Olive Garden, and a Planet Hollywood that you all might enjoy) and then of course there are lots of other restaurants from inexpensive to very high-end.

As far as travel to Boachie's office, the best way would be by subway, given that it's the day of the parade. If you must take a cab, leave a LOT of extra time. If it were me, I'd take the subway for sure - we don't even drive into Manhattan on a normal day!

If you have any other questions, please ask away.

Wishing you a great trip - I'm sure you guys will have lots of fun in NYC!

03-10-2008, 09:46 AM
I recommend the subway as well...and I live in a little town in So Cal. that has 9 stoplights and 2 lane roads! I've been to NYC twice and I love the subway! We got the weekly metro pass and used it to ride the bus as well. Not too expensive and a great way to get around the city.
I would suggest you get tickets to see Wicked if you haven't seen the show before. It really is amazing and one of my favorite shows (I've seen it 3 times now and would love to go again!). We went to NYC the first time at the end of March and wouldn't you know it, it snowed for us after they had 2 weeks of warm sunny weather there. We were freezing but loved it none the less. We just went and bought some warmer clothes and had a blast. :D

03-10-2008, 11:15 AM
I agree with the others - keep the subway in mind...especially if it turns out to be a rainy or snowy or bad weather day. In those cases getting a cab can be quite difficult. Just in case a cab doesn't work for you, here's a backup plan...

Here's what I suggest, your hotel is only a couple blocks away from the "E" subway line (blue line) which stops at 50th and Eighth Ave. That subway goes straight cross town so you will pass UNDERground through Fifth Ave and the St. Pats Parade. You would get off the subway at the third stop ( Lexington Ave station). From there you have a few choices:

-go outside and hail a cab but at least you'll be several blocks away from the parade and won't have to try and get through before they close the roads,

-or, you can transfer to the #6 train (green line) which stops at the same station - you would just get off the E, go up a giant escalator, turn left at the top of the escalator and keep walking until you see another subway track (there would be signs to point you in the direction). You would ride that subway 2 stops to the 68th street stop which puts you at 68th and Lexington. The only issue is you would have a 4 Avenue walk(pleasant enough - but would take about 10 minutes) to get to the hospital at York Ave. The neighborhood you'd be walking through is safe...restaurants and then residential (I used to live very close to Hospital for Special Surgery).

Just make sure that you get on the E train and not the A or E which also travel on the blue line (each subway car has a sign on the window telling you which line it is so you can easily tell). Also make sure you get on the 6 and not the 4 or 5 when you are on the green line.(or if you get on the 4 or 5 by accident, get off at the next stop where you can either take a longer walk to the hospital or transfer to the 6)

As Geish points out, you could buy a 7day metro pass for unlimited rides on bus and subway - or you could buy a 1 day unlimited pass or you can pay per ride (don't want to bore you with details but feel free to ask or PM me if you want more details).

I think there is probably a subway map online if you want to visualize what I am describing. I'll check later and post a link if there is one (plus you can get a free one from the token booth clerk and probably in your hotel as well)

Gotta get my son on the bus, but I'll be back with more later....

03-10-2008, 01:03 PM
Here is a link to the NYC subway map (on the upper right there is an option to open it as a pdf file which you could print and/or magnify/enlarge so you can see detail better). http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us/nyct/maps/submap.htm

Carmines is a "family style" italian restaurant (i.e. big portions that serve 2-3 people; you order a couple/few and share with each other and/or save leftovers for later) right in the theatre district at 200 W. 44th. I haven't lived in the city for 5 years so things may have changed, but it does tend to get a big crowd - especially during the peak broadway show hours...and I don't think they take reservations but I could be wrong. They also have a location on the upper west side at 90th and Broadway. YOu can see the menu at http://www.carminesnyc.com/. There are a bunch of theme restaurants near the theatre district /times square/midtown if you think the boys would like that (and I don't know where you are coming from so you might already get enough of this at home). They sometimes get big lines but are huge restaurants so it usually moves pretty quickly...it could be fun for lunch or a casual dinner there's ESPN Zone, Harley Davidson Cafe, Jeklyl & Hyde, Planet Hollywood, Hard Rock Cafe, RockBubba Gump Shrimp Factory, etc.

Of course little italy is loaded with italian restaurants - although I can't name a single one. We would always just get ourselves downtown to Mulberry Street and wonder around for a few blocks and go into whatever restaurant caught our attention at the time and smelled good - i never took note of the names. There are a huge bunch of them running a few blocks on Mulberry Street (north of Canal) and on some of those side streets. If it was nice weather I'd say you HAD to go and get an outside table to people watch - but given the time of year you would be indoors. They all post their menus in the window so you can peruse your choices.

Pizza - I always liked John's Pizzeria and it seems to be well regarded by others also; there a few locations. The original is in Greenwich Village. There is one in the vicinicty of your hotel at W. 44th between 7th/8th Ave and there is one near Dr. Boachie at 408 E. 64th (between 1st Ave & York) Its a "pizza restaurant" - that is you are waited on and can not order single slices, but whole pizzas. Reasonably priced, casual, I used to love to go there for a relaxing pizza and pitcher of beer. Patsy's pizza is another restaurant located a little further, but still walking distance, from Dr. Boachies at 60th between 2nd&3rd Ave. There are also other locations that are good depending on where you find yourself (There are myriad "fast food" pizza by the slice places, many are good - just trust your nose and eyes)

Central Park, as Maria said, keep away early early morning at when it gets dark (although even then I've walked around those hours and never felt anything but safe, however since he'll be alone and he's still a kid he should avoid it then just in case). Just to be extra safe, keep him to the more major routes where there are always plenty of runners, bikers, moms with strollers-the whole safety in numbers things. Keep him south of 97th st. - north of that it gets more remote...its actually quite peaceful with streams, rolling hills, woods, etc. A great place to "escape" the crowds, but since there are fewer people there, keep him at 97th or south (there's a east/west crossover path right around 97th - it might be a bit higher at 99th or so, i don't remember. That crossover is fine, just don't go north of it. He could also cross over or run around the reservoir which isn't on the "road" but still gets a lot of runners, walkers etc so I would consider it safe. Which routes are he considering? I don't blame him for not wanting to be stuck on a treadmill - it's so much more interesting to be running outside-especially in a new city!

If you have any other questions feel free to ask

Good luck witih your appointment!

03-10-2008, 03:07 PM
Mary---good luck to you with your appointment.
You got a good time, probably the first one in that morning & Monday's there seem way better to me than Thursdays. Should get in & out fairly early. Of course being a new patient, it might add on a little bit.
Then you can go to the parade!!!
Hope you have nice weather to tour the city....Lynne :)

surgery was Aug 2006/Boachie/Kim...fused T11-L5(60 curve now, was 95..)

03-10-2008, 03:28 PM

Good luck on your appt. You guys are so awesome with your detailed advice. You were making me hungry with all of that talk of good N.Y. pizza. I agree about Wicked. The best Broadway show I ever saw. Amazing music.

03-10-2008, 06:32 PM
Hi Mary,
I live in NYC and have many suggestions for you. I also have an appt. with Dr. Boachie on the 17th!!
Feel free to email me l.bavaro@tomjames.com and I'd be happy to give you some ideas!


green m&m
03-10-2008, 07:39 PM
Heh, st pats, it'll be crazy. I avoid nyc like the plague during any holiday/parade stuff. Just can't handle all that crowd. I love it otherwise :D

I can't recommend any 'best' chinatown restaurants, but there is a bakery that sells pork buns that are the best I've ever had. Pork buns are just a bun filled with kinda like bbq pulled pork ish stuff. Only with Chinese seasons/flavor So good.. Mmm.. They are not skimpy w/ the meat like most other places.

they are called May May http://www.maymayfood.com The place is really small and can get crowded and sometimes gets annoyed if you take too long to browse.

You should be able to enjoy more leasurely food/walking around if you stay just a block or two away from all the parade route.

If you like chocolate, I'd def. goto Jacque Torres. There's one in Tribeca right by the Houston St stop on the 1 train (a stop before Canal st - Chinatown stop) I love his Earl Grey chocolate.

03-10-2008, 08:31 PM
Thank you so much for all the replies. Ya'll got me so excited I got out the suitcases. Thanks especially for all the subway info. I have looked at the links and have taken down notes. Need to print it off.

Carmines looks great and the comments about places in Chinatown sound great. We're from Texas, we like bbq. My husband gets into smoking pork butts for pulled pork(sounds gross-tastes GREAT!), maybe he'll get some new tips for seasoning.

Jill- I am looking at the course my son mapped out to run in Central Park. It is a 7.6 mile loop. It looks like a big rectangle that loops back in front of what looks like water(reservoir) seems around 86th street. We will watch the time he runs. There was a time when I could have run it with him, no more, but we can walk some of it.

Thanks again for all the kind words!
I praying for a warming trend!

03-10-2008, 08:57 PM
Happy to help, Mary.

And I, too, am praying for a warming trend - I'm so ready for spring!!

03-10-2008, 11:44 PM
OMG ... if you're a creme brulee of cheesecake fan (or in my case, addict - I hit them 2-3 times a day when I'm there), do NOT miss Baby Watson at 8th and 52nd. There's also one down by the Garden, but the other location is usually closest to my hotel.

(If only they shipped to Texas!)

When I travel, I avoid chains. Why eat what you can eat at home?

My favorites ...

Italian food?

La Vineria on 55th (between 6th and 7th or 7th and 8th ... I always forget) is badA**. It's also BYOB, and the corking charge is next to nothing. There just happens to be a liquor store across from the Hampton Inn on 8th with an acceptable (as in "it'll do") wine selection. Just around the corner from the restaurant ;-).


Shimuzu (near 8th and 51st) has one of the best shochu selections I've seen, and make a deliciously unique seaweed salad. I've always been a big fan of Blue Fin (outside the W at Times Square), but this place won me over on the last visit. Everything was impeccably fresh.

Have a blast and be safe!


green m&m
03-11-2008, 10:33 AM
When I travel, I avoid chains. Why eat what you can eat at home?


That's exactly how I feel... I'm going to have a eat-a-ton at the end of this month in Indy cause I'll be there for a couple of days.

03-11-2008, 08:43 PM
Hi Mary. As a former New Yorker, I have some restaurant suggestions as well, though I think some others mentioned them in previous posts.

Pizza: Definitely John's Pizza. I found the one in the village on Bleeker Street is better than the other locations (there's one in the theater district, I think on 45th street, and one on the upper east side)

Also there's a restaurant called Serendipity, which has great food and deserts...one of their specialities is the frozen hot chocolate. I think it's on 59th between Lexington and 3rd avenue. It's near Bloomingdales.

Someone already mentioned Carmines, which I think is still on 44th street near Broadway. They have great Italian food, family style...HUGE portions.

Then there's Ellen's Stardust Diner, which is on Broadway and 50th street, I think. They have good food and the staff sings and performs for you as well.

It's great that you are combining your appt with a vacation! Good luck with your appt!


03-11-2008, 08:56 PM
Tell your son to just run a few blocks west and he can then run south along the hudson river. There is a running path the whole way down to the southern tip of Manhattan and it is perfectly safe and absolutely spectacular. Carmines is great, but you must make reservations in advance. Otherwise, Victor's Cafe (cuban food) is always a fun place in the Theatre District. In Little Italy try SPQR and in Chinatown see if you can make it to the Peking Duck House. John's Pizza, as others have said, is very good, but so are most street corner pizza places. If you want lunch around Dr. B's office, there is a good japanese restaurant on 70th between York and 1st avenue and a good irish pub a few doors away from that for burgers and the like. Good luck.

03-11-2008, 08:59 PM
Then there's Ellen's Stardust Diner, which is on Broadway and 50th street, I think. They have good food and the staff sings and performs for you as well.


It's so funny you mentioned Ellen's. I've only been there once - my son and I actually got together with two other families at Ellen's (all our kids have scoli and we initially met on this forum).

One family was in town from Texas (they actually recommended we meet at Ellen's for lunch because they'd been there on a prior visit and my friend's daughter loved the singing staff!). We had so much fun - we sat with the kids for a couple of hours and they really enjoyed the live entertainment!

green m&m
03-11-2008, 11:53 PM
I just found out that May May closed last September! :'(. The owners are tired, they've finished their kids education and didn't want to sell and risk ruining the bakery's name and reputation. Their kids didn't want to run the business(which I totally understand but... sniffle)

No more pork bun.