Welcome to New York. Now pay out the nose. Or not!

Trip Start Aug 12, 2010
Trip End Sep 13, 2010

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Flag of United States  , New York
Thursday, August 26, 2010

So we all got up very early after a lovely nights sleep and had a delicious breakfast (it being free may have been a big factor). After some debate we decided NOT to get the NY Passes as we didn't think we could get our moneys worth, boy were we wrong. We got to the Empire State building at a bout 9:20 and started through the many queues inside (there are a lot). Fortunately it being a weekday and being fairly early (it opens at 9) they were all reasonably short. After seeing the various deals we eventually decided to GET the NY pass as it included the 'Skyride' available within the Empire State Building. So $75 later we had passes to go to almost every attraction in NY for free. We went on the skyride (Crap - Abi)(Boring - Ben)(Thank god we didn't just pay for that - Nic) and headed on up the Empire State Building. The day was considerably nicer than yesterday so the views were lovely. Oh and I'm going to tally up the costs of the various places visited.

NY Pass: $75   Empire State + Skyride: $42
We Paid: $75    Could have paid: $42

Next on our list was tickets for a musical, so since it was still morning (11 - Ben) we headed to the South Ferry Docks for them. Lo and Behold there were Avenue Q tickets at 40% discount so Abi and I got some then headed to the 'Bodies' Exhibit which was sort of an arty way of explaining how the human body worked in graphic (pretty sure the bodies/bones were real - ben) detail. (Interesting but not worth $25 - Nic) ( Agreed - Ben) (Not my cup of tea - Abi).

NY Pass: $75   Bodies Exhibit: $25
We Paid: $75   Could have paid: $67

So by this point we were almost breaking even and we hadn't even got to the arty farty stuff Abi wanted to see. Next on the list was the Guggenheim. Word to the wise. This place isn't open on Thursdays. It was a Thursday. Thumbs down from us as what kind of place closes on a midweek day?! (We are coming back tomorrow damnit - Abi). So we headed to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for some more.... art. Nic and I came in to see if there were any cool armour sets or something (there weren't - Ben) so we left Abi to look around and headed to the much cooler sounding Natural Science Museum. Well it sounded cooler. Really there wasn't all that much to see we hadn't seen before and the 'cool' stuff wasn't included on our ticket. but we had a good look round anyway 

NY Pass: $75   Met Art Museum: $20 Natural History Museum: $20
We Paid: $75    Could have paid: $107

Next on our list was the Museum of Modern Art. I joined Abi for this while Nic went off in search of the Zoo. Abi regaled me with a (very - Abi) brief lesson in Art History as we went around which made the experience much more interesting for me although the real highlight was seeing the Van Gogh and Picasso paintings just hanging on a wall with no ropes between you and them despite there very large dollar value.

NY Pass: $75   Modern Art Museum: $20
We Paid: $75    Could have paid: $127
We then met back up with Nic who had failed to enter the Zoo (apparently they don't need any more Ape's - Ben) and decided to take advantage of 'yet' another offer from the NY Pass Book - food from Planet Hollywood. We were skeptical as we figured the '$10 off' coupon would be per table and the prices would be horrendous. However, when we got there we found not only that it was per person but the prices were quite reasonable (with the discount - Nic). So we settled into a table and ordered of the Menu. Once all was done Nic and I had huge burgers with fries and several drinks for just $10 while Abi and Michelle had slightly more expensive meals so their tally was $16 each. For a place that had some very impressive Movie props (Clothes from the main characters in Titanic! - Abi) (One of the Death Stars from Star wars! - Ben)  and had played host to some serious stars it was a very cheap meal. To top it all off the coupon was also valid at their gift shop, so Nic and I got effectively free things (they were less than $10, a Bottle Opener and a Shot Glass) while Abi and Michelle a Top each for just $10 (rather than $20)

NY Pass: $75   Full Price pp: $21 Discount at Store: $10
Meal pp: $11
We Paid: $86    Could have paid: $147

By the time we got out of here it was time for Abi and I to go the Musical so we left Nic and Michelle to their own devices. Oh it was 'Avenue Q' by the way. The actors were all very good and we laughed a lot, it was highly entertaining and I would recommended it to anyone. As the first Musical I have seen, I was impressed.
Nic and Michelle on the other hand, not content with the savings we had made so far decided to opt for the Madame Twoswords. As the most expensive exhibit in New York at $35 (and no discounts for students! Gits! - Nic), this was a good choice. They had a lot of fun posing next to various wax models as the photo's will show once i get them.

NY Pass: $75   Madame Two Swords: $35
We Paid: $86    Could have paid: $182

So back to Abi and I. We came out of the Musical and headed for the Rockefeller Tower for the days final free-bee we were to take advantage of. As one of the tallest buildings in NY but less well known, you could get fantastic views of the City at Night without having to deal with the crowds of the Empire State Building. We got up the top and had a breathtaking 'almost' uninterrupted 360 degree view of New York City, with the Empire state building highlighted against the background. We took lots of pictures (mainly with Abi's Camera as ours don't deal with night time well - Ben) then headed back to the hostel.

 NY Pass: $75   Rockefeller Tower: $20
We Paid: $86    Could have paid: $202

So there you go. Probably the most epic day so far, and for those of you who may visit NY here is a bit of advice:

1. Get an NY Pass. Not a NY City Pass, or an Explorer Pass. They are not the same.
2. Get up early and get the Empire State Building out of the way early (be there by 9). As we were coming out at 10:30ish the queue was around the block.
3. You can get Multi-day passes but we wouldn't recommend it - we are shattered from today and as good as it was I wouldn't want to do it again back to back.
4. Check which days things are open - we noticed for example that the Metropolitan Museum was closed on Mondays

Other than that a fantastic day, and sunny too! Enjoy the photos.
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Claire on

Wow, I'm tired just reaing your blog, sounds like an EPIC day. Dad and nana like the photos.

Concerned reader on

Did you find Nic?

benmcelroy on

Yes. Eventually.

Ruth Landers on

Great commentary and photos of New York. Glad the weather improved for going up the Empire State Building, You really packed a lot in!

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