The Northwest – New York
New York City, NY – 40.7128 N, 74.0059 W
C&C Approach – The Mission Possible?
Your Mission should you choose to accept it..
The current mantra at 72hrJetsetterGirl’s office is “Cost and Competitiveness” aka C&C. In short – how to get more with less $$s. As we know, NYC is not a very $$ friendly destination to visit, but hey we do LOVE it. 72hrJetsetterGirl’s mission for this adventure is to see the attractions and experience the vibe of the Big Apple…but wait with the only expenses being her subway fares. This mission will self-destruct in 72 hours.
This mission is not 72hrJetsetterGirl’s first trip to NY. It’s actually her #7. LOVE LOVE NYC!
Day One…Ready to Rock NYC
55 minutes after touching down at JFK and for under US$15, 72hrJetsetterGirl dropped her luggage off at her hotel and was ready to get this mission started.
72hrJetsetterGirl’s first C&C adventure was a tramway ride to Roosevelt Island. As a fan of all things presidential, exploring FDR’s Four Freedom Park was definitely on the itinerary. The park celebrates the four freedoms (of Speech, of Worship, from Want, from Fear) which the US President articulated in his 1941 State of the Union address. On a side note, his better half, Eleanor, changed the role of First Lady through her active participation in American politics – You rock Eleanor! The park has views across the East River to the United Nations Building. Cost of entry to the park was a $1 donation.
Admiring NYC’s architecture
Back on the subway, the next attraction was a free guided tour of the world’s largest terminal – Grand Central Terminal. (Alert! – it is a terminal as trains terminate here, not a station). Thank you Cornelius Vanderbilt for a magnificent Beaux Art masterpiece. The tour guide did a fabulous job, some of the stops on the tour were the “kissing room” and the cocktail bar of The Campbell Apartments . The piece-de-resistance is the Grand Central Terminal Clock with its four opal faces – worth $10M+. Former First Lady Jackie Kennedy, played a surprising role in saving this landmark from being demolished to make way for an office tower development in the 70s. The tour also included a stop at the Chrysler Building for all Art Deco lovers. A tip was given to the guide.
Stomach rumbling, mind wandering…Grand Central Terminal has a dining concourse; but why eat there when you can dine at the iconic Oyster Bar Restaurant for a couple extra greenbacks. 72hrJetsetterGirl’s lunch was a fried oyster po boy sandwich – delicious – well worth the extra $s for the ambience of a beautiful decorated setting.
With perfect weather 72hrJetsetterGirl decided to take in the sunshine and enjoy the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple on foot and meandered up 5th Avenue, feeling like Holly Golightly window shopping along the way (yes 72hrJetsetterGirl is a big Audrey Hepburn fan – pure elegance). The next stop was the Museum of Modern Art, often referred to as MoMA. If you arrive on a Friday afternoon, after 4pm = FREE admission, to interpret the masterpieces of modern and contemporary art. The sculpture garden is a great place to rest weary feet. MoMA is definitely a MUST SEE museum in NYC.
The final C&C attractions on the Upper East Side before calling it a day, was strolling through Central Park to the tranquil setting of the living memorial to singer, songwriter and peace activist John Lennon’s “Strawberry Fields Forever” and the greco-roman designed “Imagine” meditation spot. 72hrJetsetterGirl could not go pass a photo opportunity of the 16th US President who brought about the emancipation of slaves – Abe Lincoln. It was certainly a busy, informative, culturally diverse and cost effective day.
Day Two..the mission continues…
72hrJetsetterGirl joined a “pay-what-you-wish” tour of the Bohemian capital of the west side of lower Manhattan – “the Village” (Greenwich Village). The walking tour covered such landmarks as The Stonewall Inn and Monica’s apartment on Bedford St from the “Friends” TV series. The informative tour concluded at the heart and center of the neighborhood, Washington Square Park. 72hrJetsetterGirl tipped the guide who provided an interesting narrative of the Village which has undergone an extensive gentrification process.
Lunch was a quick was a catch-up with a fellow Aussie expat at the hip Tommy Bahama Bar and Restaurant on 5th Avenue. Once up to date on all the happenings it was time to bid “hoo-roo” and continue the C&C mission.
Time for a Ferry Ride
On previous trips to the “City that never sleeps” 72hrJetsetterGirl had made the ferry ride across the Hudson to America’s Great Lady and toured where the “American Dream” became a reality for 12 million immigrants. The mission this trip was to view the Giant Goddess and the Manhattan Skyline from the FREE Staten Island Ferry ride.
After a relaxing ferry ride, 72hrJetsetterGirl paid her respects at the 9/11 Memorial and then moseyed her way back along Broadway admiring the great buildings of yesteryears!
Sunday – the day of rest?
72hrJetsetterGirl’s final day in NYC on this Mission Possible was more subdued and low key. Central Park never gets boring, no matter how any times you visit such landmarks as Belvedere Castle, Alice in Wonderland sculpture and the Jackie K Reservoir. 72hrJetsetterGirl then strolled along the Museum Mile taking in the architecture of the United States’ largest art museum and one of the world’s most visited museum “The Met” and the Frank Lloyd Wright’s designed Guggenheim museum (72hrJetsetterGirl is a big fan of FLW). 72hrJetsetterGirl then took time to reflect upon the Mission of the last 72 hours with a cupcake at The Todd English Food Hall at The Plaza Hotel.
Mode of Transport
During this mission, 72hrJetsetterGirl travelled on various modes of transportations (plane, monorail, subway, tramway, ferry) and the last but not least was Amtrak, the passenger railway service, from Penn Station, NY back to Union Station in the nation’s capital.
Start Spreading The News – Useful tips
- If flying into JFK get acquainted with the JFK AirTrain to Federal Circle and then jump on the LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) at Jamaica Station to Penn Station and change to the appropriate line for your accommodation. Would not suggest this option if you have a number of large suitcases;
- Not sure what to see a MoMA or limited on time, google Must-See Works at New York’s Museum of Modern Art;
- The “pay-what- you-like” tours by “Free Tours by Foot” company offer many walking tours of NY neighborhoods as well as food, bike and bus tours. To date 72hrJetsetterGirl has not been disappointed with these tours.
- At the Ellis Island Immigration museum, you can check the register to find out if your decedents made the journey across the Atlantic.
- Acorns are adorned throughout Grand Central Terminal; top of the clock at the information booth, engraved in the marble and on every light fixture – it’s the Vanderbilt’s family symbol “from the acorn grows the mighty oak”;
- Grand Central Terminal is the world’s largest train terminal. During morning peak hour, trains platform there every 58 seconds;
- Greenwich Village ranked among the ten most expensive housing areas in the US;
- The Status of Liberty, is in fact a nickname. Bartholdi, the French Sculptor who designed the statue, named his gift “Liberty Enlightening the World”.
The Nuts and Bolts of this C&C Mission
Why this destination
- It is New York! There is no other place like it.
- A friend was going there on business and asked 72hrJetsetterGirl if she would like come along. Didn’t need to ask 72hrJetsetterGirl twice, tickets were booked before the sentence was finished!
- 72 hours (In Friday morning, Out late Sunday afternoon)
- Inbound flight to JFK. Outbound Amtrak back to DC.
- Best way to navigate NYC is on foot and by the subway. A map from the hotel will be your best go to guide for directions.
What to take
- Carry on… Anything Audrey Hepburn or Carrie Bradshaw will have you feeling that you belong in New York.
- Even 72hrJetsetterGirl cannot see everything in NYC in one trip.
- For us Southern Hemisphere folks, winters in NY can be brutal and unfortunately in bitterly cold weather, being out and about sightseeing in negative temperatures would be a tough mission… A snow covered Central Park is priceless though.
- Look to travel to NYC in “shoulder seasons” – Spring or Fall (colors very pretty) and the crowds are a little less.
- Accommodation rates are always a premium in NYC – just need to bite the bullet and do it. You won’t regret your time in the Big Apple.
- For any new traveler to NYC, yes you want to visit the attractions you have read about, seen in the movies or people have told you about – it is certainly a city with its own particular “vibe” and needs to be experienced at least once in a lifetime. Some of these attractions/activities can have you eating 2 minute noodles when you get back home, but theses are the sacrifices for having wonderful memories.
This is a city no matter how often 72hrJetsetterGirl visits it is one of her favorites. Even on a C&C mission you can still experience the culture and the sights of New York and not feel that you have “missed” out. 72hrJetsetterGirl felt very pleased with the outcome of this mission and having a few more greenbacks in her purse to allowed for some “reward” shopping at Tiffany & Co…all hard works deserves a nice reward!