With more events per week than most global cities have in a year, New York City is primed for a wonderful fall and winter. Take advantage of the air specials, hotel deals, restaurant openings, concerts, art exhibits, new Broadway plays and sales on your favorite clothing brands to see just how much New York has to offer. It's time to indulge in a trip to the city that never sleeps. Who cares if you don't want to spring the $500 scalping price for the new version of Neil Simon's Odd Couple, the latest Nathan Lane and Mathew Broderick Broadway vehicle. We found plenty of inexpensive (and sometimes free) things to do around every New York corner.
Thanks to American Airlines (tel. 800/433-7300; www.aa.com), getting to New York just got a little cheaper. The airline is having a special "Net SAAver" sale fare to New York from most of its U.S. gateways. Some sample roundtrip fares into New York JFK and LaGuardia airports include:
- Dallas into JFK: $236
- Los Angeles into JFK: $298
- Miami into JFK: $178
- San Diego into JFK: $298
- Seattle into JFK: $298
- Atlanta into LGA: $228
- Chicago into LGA: $218
- Orlando into LGA: $178
- Tampa into LGA: $158
Tickets need to be purchased at least seven, 14, or 21 days prior to departure or within one day of departure. A one-night minimum stay is required. Federal and security taxes come to approximately $25 per roundtrip flight. The new American Airlines terminal at Kennedy is large, efficient and sparkling clean. The walk to the gates seems far at first but the amenities, restaurants and shops provide for easy waiting time.
From the American terminal at Kennedy, New York's AirTrain (www.panynj.gov/airtrain/index.html) is across the street from the terminal. The cost to get into town comes to $7 (compared to a $45 dollar cab ride) with a normal riding time of 35 minutes into Penn Station at 34th Street and 7th Avenue. Peak travel fare comes to around $12. Even if you're not going to Midtown, AirTrain can get you to points of embarkation going to different locations all over the five boroughs.
Once in New York, several low-priced options for hotels are available. Apple Core Hotels (tel. 800/567-7720; www.applecorehotels.com) offers five centrally-located Manhattan hotels to choose from. Advertising "great value in the heart of Manhattan, with perks you won't find even at New York's fanciest hotels," Apple Core Hotels is not for the traveler looking for trendy, boutique hotels. With locations in Midtown, Times Square, and points farther downtown, these hotels guarantee you access to tourist points such as museums and shopping areas as well as local New York neighborhoods such as Murray Hill and sites like Madison Square Garden. At the Web site, you can book rooms at a Comfort Inn, Super 8, La Quinta, Red Roof and Ramada. The sites excellent (and incredibly fast) search engine yielded some very affordable prices for a mid-January weekend stay. A room at the Super 8 Times Square located in the heart of the lights and activity that is Broadway from Friday, January 13 to Sunday, January 15, 2006 cost only $109 per night. At the Ramada Inn Eastside, a room for the two nights cost only $99 per night.
For smaller, quaint accommodations, the Abingdon Guest House (tel. 212/243-5384; www.abingdonguesthouse.com) on Hudson Street in the West Village is a bed and breakfast located within a series of townhouses on a stretch of retail that includes a jewelry store, wine store and vintage clothing shops. Each room is tastefully furnished in dark woods and bold colors. Rates start at $149 with some triples going for approximately $245. A minimum stay of two nights is required during the week and a four-night weekend guarantee may be required during certain times of year. A summer special of fifty percent midweek discount is available for stays of three nights or more with a Sunday or Monday check-in. This hotel fills up very quickly. It's strongly advised to book well in advance.
For inexpensive stays, the Chelsea International Hostel (tel. 212/647-0010; www.chelseahostel.com) is an excellent lodging option. Located in the fashionable Chelsea district near shops, outdoor restaurants and movie theaters, the hostel attracts backpackers to businesspeople of all ages from all over the world. Dormitory-style rooms start at only $28 per night. A private room costs $70 for one or two people. While this might be titled a hostel, the people who run the joint recognize that this is New York. There is no curfew, no chores and no lockouts. The hostel has a courtyard and a kitchen.
For a full-listing of events and happenings around the city, go to www.nycvisit.com. You can tailor the events listing engine to select events occurring during the time of your visit. For example, from December 5 to December 12, there are walking tours of Rockefeller Center for $15 and several Christmas events all over the city. There's also a New York Review of Science Fiction Readings by the South Street Seaport, a short walk from Ground Zero and New York's Wall Street area. All these events are listed in the Web site's Events Calendar (www.nycvisit.com/calendar/index.cfm?pagePkey=9&eventTypeFkey=1).
Women shoppers should go to the Web site Daily Candy (www.dailycandy.com) for sales and special retail deals around New York. You may have to take ten seconds to sign-up, but the simple process allows you immediate access to fashion deals such as 50 percent off of handbag sales and sample sales and warehouse sales for top brands. For men, Gerry's Menswear (212/691-0636) with one location in Chelsea and another on the now very chic fashion block around Bleecker Street and West 10th has end of season sales that place top-designer clothing at the occasional twenty five to fifty percent off normal price. Shopping at Gerry's is an education in what's "au courant" in the world of men's attire.
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