Mar 01 2009
We’re going to New York City in 2009. It’s official. But what are we going to do while we’re there? And where else will my super lady and I be going? We’re not really sure, and we need your help.
We’re looking for advice from NYC longtime residents, expats, tourism professionals, people who have visited NYC recently, or even PR and marketing people for NYC businesses and organizations.
As a bit of background, this pleasant turn of events has come about because my wife was voted Employee of the Year at one of Canada’s only five-diamond hotels in Vancouver (Canada Tourism trivia note: there’s only one other five-diamond in Canada and it’s in Whistler). The prize was a $4,000 travel voucher and five days paid vacation (It’s not redeemable for cash, just airfare and hotel arranged through an appointed agent, in case you were wondering).
We’d decided before the announcement came down that if she won, we’d finally go on a trip to New York City we’ve been putting off for a number of years. We’ve both always wanted to go to the city that never sleeps, but between work and other commitments, it just never happened. But now we’re committed.
Here’s the problem (and I concede it’s a very nice problem to have): we don’t actually know much about New York City other than what we’ve seen on television or in movies, or read in books. So we need help planning the details. For instance:
1. Where are we going to stay?
Obviously, this is a hugely important consideration, since our itinerary will be determined in part by what’s easy to access. The travel voucher will take care of our hotel, but if we’re going to do any traveling elsewhere this year, we’d prefer not to blow the entire amount on a central Manhattan hotel for 7 days.
2. When should we go? And how long should we stay?
We were thinking Spring or Summer. Is there an ideal time of year to be in New York City? And how long does it take to see everything we want to see? We figured the trip would be somewhere from a week to two weeks. We spent about a week in Chicago recently seeing the sights, enjoying great food, art and entertainment and felt that was a perfect amount of time. We figure New York is a bigger city with more to do, so we’ll probably need more time.
3. What are we going to do?
There are a few things we’re definitely doing: visiting Times Square, Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum, the United Nations building and the Statue of Liberty. Other than that, our itinerary is pretty open.
Sherry and I like art galleries and museums. We like walking around and going into interesting neighborhoods and taking photos of cool architecture and local (maybe not so famous) landmarks that show off a city’s unique heritage. We like strolling through parks and gardens. We love funky cafes, ethnic restaurants and cool little brew pubs. We might even check out a nightclub or two. What else… I’m a photographer with a pretty decent camera. I’m also a political junkie and Sherry is a huge fan of Sex in the City TV series, so anything to do with either of those interests could be good.
4. Where else should we go?
We’re considering turning this trip into a multi-city adventure. Are there any other cities or areas near New York City that we should explore before or after we’ve gone to the big city? For instance, is it feasible and desirable to include a trip to Washington, D.C., or Boston? Or is that too ambitious? Based on our interests listed above, is there a must-see place we should go outside of NYC?