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Visiting New York & Chicago - Where to go?

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Visiting New York & Chicago - Where to go?

Postby sahiel » Sat Jun 11, 2011 4:35 pm

So, another travel thread!

My mum is coming over to the US to visit us, but she's doing a multi-trip and wants to do some adventuring beforehand.
She picked New York and Chicago as the two places to go and wanted to know what was "can't miss" in them, since i've
never been to either place I figured perhaps you lovely folks could help me direct her to spots she might enjoy!

Any advice from residents or anyone whose been there would be awesome, so thank you! :)
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Re: Visiting New York & Chicago - Where to go?

Postby Relwynd » Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:07 pm

Not a resident of NYC, but I have been there a time or two...

For those who can help better than I, may I suggest telling us what sorts of activities your mother likes? Might help narrow down the lists a bit.
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Re: Visiting New York & Chicago - Where to go?

Postby sahiel » Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:45 pm

This is my problem I asked her the same thing and, as perhaps mothers are wont to, she said "I don't mind, just New York!" etc... ever so helpful ;)

I think i'd venture that in the end she wants a 'tourist' experience, to see the definitive 'parts' of New York/Chicago, whatever that might be, more the 'take pictures', look at and eat/drink, type of thing rather than an adult adventure playground (which incidentally rock) or more physical trip.
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Re: Visiting New York & Chicago - Where to go?

Postby seregul » Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:46 am

Off the top of my head:

-Skydeck at the top of Willis (aka Sears) Tower.

-Boat tour along the river. I haven't done this myself but I've heard it's a lot of fun.

-Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium/Oceanarium, Adler Planetarium. They are all within walking distance of each other, and while you're there you could swing by Buckingham Fountain and Millennium Park.

-Wrigley Field/-ville. The Cubs are bad, but the bars aren't.

-Lincoln Park Zoo.

-The corner of LaSalle and Madison. This is approximately where they flipped that Semi in The Dark Knight.
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Re: Visiting New York & Chicago - Where to go?

Postby Brekkie » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:37 am

Seeing a Broadway show is always a good evening activity.

I'd skip the Statue of Liberty because the ferries are kind of annoying and you get 99% of the experience by just standing near the water's edge and taking a picture or two. Save yourself the couple hours.

I would say the Empire State Building is worth it though, purely for the view from the top. That one is pretty fast and hassle free, you're in you're out.

Ground Zero is worth seeing as well.

That's the major stuff for NYC, without knowing better what would interest her.
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Re: Visiting New York & Chicago - Where to go?

Postby Sabindeus » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:46 am

I'm a resident of NYC!

I have NO idea where tourists go. If you want to be impressed by bright lights and crushed by people, go to Times Square. I can also probably recommend several restaurants that would be hard to find for an out of towner. <_<
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Re: Visiting New York & Chicago - Where to go?

Postby Darielle » Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:47 pm

When I went there, I did Times Square, Empire State Building, and then walked around through to the UN building, Central Park, Grand Central Station etc. Now, the last few probably aren't so hot unless you have a particular interest in them, but yeah.

The only downside was it was in December '10. During the dumb snow before Christmas. And I walked the entire way. Still enjoyed it though.
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Re: Visiting New York & Chicago - Where to go?

Postby Forgrim » Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:06 am

Sabindeus wrote:I'm a resident of NYC!

I have NO idea where tourists go. If you want to be impressed by bright lights and crushed by people, go to Times Square. I can also probably recommend several restaurants that would be hard to find for an out of towner. <_<


Ditto, being a resident of NYC.

I live on freaking tourist avenue, so if she wants one quick trip to hit 4 tourist spots, she can start on 34th and 5th ave. and walk uptown, stopping by the empire state building, the NY Public Library (40th Street), Rockefeller Center (49th Street), then Central park (~53rd Street). All by just going uptown on 5th ave. And she can stop by the numerous shopping places on 5th ave. if she's into that. I've dealt with tourists the entire time i've lived on this avenue, and trust me, if she walks that 5th ave., she won't be alone. I've been asked to take pictures of so many ppl over the years, i'm immune.

And yes, as Sabin as noted, if she wants to see a billion ppl milling around looking lost, Times Square is for her.
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Re: Visiting New York & Chicago - Where to go?

Postby Sabindeus » Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:09 am

Forgrim wrote:I live on freaking tourist avenue, so if she wants one quick trip to hit 4 tourist spots, she can start on 34th and 5th ave. and walk uptown, stopping by the empire state building, the NY Public Library (40th Street), Rockefeller Center (49th Street), then Central park (~53rd Street). All by just going uptown on 5th ave. And she can stop by the numerous shopping places on 5th ave. if she's into that. I've dealt with tourists the entire time i've lived on this avenue, and trust me, if she walks that 5th ave., she won't be alone. I've been asked to take pictures of so many ppl over the years, i'm immune.


This sounds like a fantastic idea. I approve.

And yes, as Sabin as noted, if she wants to see a billion ppl milling around looking lost, Times Square is for her.


It's true!
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Re: Visiting New York & Chicago - Where to go?

Postby Cogglamp » Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:44 am

- Grabbing some sandwiches/drinks/pastries from Bouchon Bakery in the Time Warner Center (3rd floor) and then walking over to Central Park and eating it (awesome people watching spot)
- I prefer the Rockafeller Center skydeck over Empire State Building skydeck. Better views of Central Park, more central location to 5th Ave/Madison and overall better location
- Walking across Brooklyn Bridge and then going to Grimaldi's pizza which is at the base of the bridge (great pizza, great view and hey, a bit of exercise when you're eating your way around town)
- 79th Street Boat Basin - nice spot to grab a beer/drink with some food on the Hudson with a bunch of locals. Usually quite busy but you can then walk up or down Riverside Park which is a highly underrated and fabulous park along the water.
- If you're heading down to Ground Zero, keep on going to the Staten Island Ferry. It's free and offers a fantastic view of downtown. Unfortunately, Staten Island is terrible and you should just get back on the ferry and head back.
- There is a bar on top of the Met. Drinks. Central Park. Outside. Awesome.
- If the Met is too big for you, I highly recommend the Frick Museum. Great collections now housed in an old mansion like those that used to line Madison and 5th Avenue back in the day of Robber Barons/Gilded Age.
- There are more restaurants there than you can possibly comprehend. Even the street meat is superb. Let me know if you have a craving for something. I'm sure I can find it for you. Even something as weird as Fried Mars Bars and Fried Toffee and yes, it's as good as it sounds.
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Re: Visiting New York & Chicago - Where to go?

Postby Sabindeus » Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:22 am

Cogglamp wrote:- There are more restaurants there than you can possibly comprehend. Even the street meat is superb. Let me know if you have a craving for something. I'm sure I can find it for you. Even something as weird as Fried Mars Bars and Fried Toffee and yes, it's as good as it sounds.


I have a hard time recommending restaurants because all the places I eat are like, entirely ordinary and not at all famous. I just think NYC has a higher baseline of food quality than some other cities I have been to. And then all the restaurants I do like that are famous are the kind where their fame causes them to be horribly overcrowded all the time with multi-hour waits/lines. Like, Grimaldi's, totally worth going but you WILL stand on line. For a long time.

Speaking of pizza, if you're a new yorker watch this video. And if you're not a new yorker, watch it anyway and it might give some insight into our culture. :)
http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-j ... razy-broad
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Re: Visiting New York & Chicago - Where to go?

Postby exiledknight » Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:36 am

Chicago
Magnificant Mile(make sure that you walk around the tribune building, really cool for tourists)
from the mile you can keep walking two blocks to milenium park, which will spit you out at the bridge to the art institute or, the bridge that leads into grant park. From there it is about a half mile walk to buckingham fountain, the museum campus is not far(field, shedd, planetarium)however I would reccommend a cab if you go there...and it is worth going there because every famous picture of the chicago skyline has been taken from right by the planetarium.
The skydeck at the Sears tower(I refuse to call it willis)
The Daly Plaza(huge picasso sculpture, drag race scene form blues brothers shot there)
Navy Pier-Make sure to go inside throughout the entire place, really neat stained glass museum in there, also a pirate boat tour...I am going on that someday
Lincoln Park zoo- I have always had an affinity for it due to the location, really neat lagoon and the arboretuem(I failed at spelling this) right outisde
The River walk
Merchandise Mart

Those are all the big tourist things, and all well worth seeing

If she is into the whole gangster thing

2212 n Clark street- Site of the St Valentines Day Massacre, not really much to see there but it is a neat place def will send some chills down your spine
922 Eastwood the spot where Louis Alterie got gunned down...gunman fired from the house across the street
3808 W Grand Ave Hymie Weiss lodging
2222 South Wabash formerly the location of the Four Deuces
2126 South Wabash Avenue Colosimo's Cafe/ Restaurant(Big Jim Colosimo-subject of the Jim Croce song)
738 North State street-William F. Schofield's flower shop this was the shop where Capones gunmen shot down Hymie Weiss with their tommyguns concealed in flower boxes(directly across the street is Holy Name Cathedral)

Should be a pretty good start


As far as food
Maxwell street-dogs and sausage
Lou Malnatti's- IMO the best chicago pizza

Great Steakhouse's
Fultons on the river
Chicago firehouse
Gibsons
Harry Carey's Italian Steakhouse
Keefer's
Tavern on Rush
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Re: Visiting New York & Chicago - Where to go?

Postby Cogglamp » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:24 am

Sabindeus wrote:I have a hard time recommending restaurants because all the places I eat are like, entirely ordinary and not at all famous. I just think NYC has a higher baseline of food quality than some other cities I have been to. And then all the restaurants I do like that are famous are the kind where their fame causes them to be horribly overcrowded all the time with multi-hour waits/lines. Like, Grimaldi's, totally worth going but you WILL stand on line. For a long time.



The best advice I was given when traveling is to find out where the locals eat and eat there. That and to drink with the locals since alcohol has a fantastic way of breaking down barriers (even when you don't speak the language).

I totally agree about the baseline food comment. There are a few cities that are head and shoulders above the rest and NYC is definitely one of them when it comes to food. I'll take the ordinary places over the famous (although I know I named a few but that was due to the OP asking for New Yorky types of things). The ordinary places for you and I in NYC are not ordinary to those visiting.
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Re: Visiting New York & Chicago - Where to go?

Postby Sabindeus » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:57 am

Well since you put it that way, there's a place I really like in Union Square called Republic. They do like thai/vietnamese noodles. It's delicious stuff. http://www.thinknoodles.com/
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Re: Visiting New York & Chicago - Where to go?

Postby Sabindeus » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:58 am

Also, even though you'd have to stand in line, I definitely recommend Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. http://shakeshack.com/
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