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CHRISTMAS 🎄IN NYC

Saturday December 23, 2023

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6:00am - Leave Home

Leave home and drive to Union Station in New Haven, CT

Estimated Travel Time: 1hr 15min

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7:15am - Arrive @ Union Station

Union Station - Metro North Railroad - New Haven, CT

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7:39am - Depart Untion Station

Union Station New Haven, CT to Grand Central Station, NYC

Estimated Travel Time: 2hr 10min

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GCS

9:50am - Arrive @ Grand Central Station, NYC

Arrive at Grand Central Station - LINK
Grab some breakfast

  1. Main Concourse: The heart of Grand Central, the Main Concourse is an architectural marvel. Look up to see the famous celestial ceiling, with its beautifully painted constellations. The four-faced opal clock atop the information booth is another iconic feature.

  2. Dining Concourse: Below the Main Concourse, this area offers a range of dining options. From quick bites to sit-down meals, there's a wide variety of cuisines to choose from. It's a great place to grab a meal and soak in the bustling atmosphere of the station.

  3. Whispering Gallery: Located near the famous Oyster Bar & Restaurant, this unassuming archway holds a unique acoustic feature. Stand at diagonal corners with a friend, whisper something, and be amazed as your voice carries clearly across the distance to your friend's ear.

  4. Shopping: Grand Central is home to a variety of shops, ranging from everyday conveniences to luxury goods. Whether you're looking for a souvenir, a new book for your journey, or some fine clothing, you'll likely find it here.

  5. Grand Central Market: A European-style food market offering fresh, gourmet ingredients. Stroll through the aisles to find a range of items, from artisanal cheeses and fresh produce to high-quality meats and seafood.

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10:30am - Head to the Natural History Museum

  1. Start at Grand Central Station: You will be starting from Grand Central Terminal, which is located at 42nd Street and Park Avenue.

  2. Take the Shuttle (S) Train: You need to take the Shuttle (S) train towards Times Square-42nd Street. This is a very short trip, usually just one stop.

  3. Transfer to the C or B Train: Once you arrive at Times Square-42nd Street, transfer to the uptown C or B train. These trains are on the same line but make sure to check the train's destination displayed on the sign.

  4. Get off at the 81st Street Station: Ride the C or B train to the 81st Street - Museum of Natural History Station. The museum is located right there, so you won't have to walk far once you exit the subway.

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11:00am - Natural History Museum

It will still be cold in the morning. We can spend a couple hours at the Natural History Museum near Central Park where it's warm and there are amazing things to see. 

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  1. Dinosaur Exhibits: The museum is renowned for its impressive collection of dinosaur fossils, including the imposing Tyrannosaurus Rex and the massive Titanosaur. The dinosaur halls are a must-see for visitors of all ages, offering a glimpse into the ancient past.

  2. Rose Center for Earth and Space: This spectacular addition to the museum includes the Hayden Planetarium. It offers incredible exhibits on astronomy, the universe, and the natural forces that shape our planet. The stunning Space Show is a highlight, taking visitors on a breathtaking journey through the cosmos.

  3. Hall of Biodiversity: This exhibit showcases the variety and interdependence of all living things on Earth. It features a stunning diorama of a rainforest and provides insights into the challenges facing Earth's biodiversity today.

  4. Milstein Hall of Ocean Life: Home to the famous 94-foot-long blue whale model suspended from the ceiling, this hall offers a comprehensive exploration of ocean life. The hall's meticulously crafted displays, including dioramas and interactive exhibits, bring the undersea world to life.

  5. Mammal Halls: These halls display an array of mammals in beautifully detailed dioramas that depict animals in their natural habitats. From African elephants to North American mammals, these exhibits offer a close-up look at some of the most fascinating creatures on our planet.

An empty New York Subway car is seen on March 23, 2020 in New York City. The city will soon be halting subway service each night to disinfect for the coronavirus.

1:00pm - Head to John's Pizza of Times Square

  • Start at the American Museum of Natural History: The closest subway station is located at 81st Street - Museum of Natural History.

  • Take the B or C Train: Board the downtown (southbound) B or C train. These trains run on the same line, so you can take either.

  • Transfer at Columbus Circle: Get off at the 59th Street - Columbus Circle station. Here, you will need to transfer to another train.

  • Take the 1 Train: Once at Columbus Circle, transfer to the downtown (southbound) 1 train.

  • Get off at 50th Street Station: Ride the 1 train to 50th Street.

  • Walk to John's Pizzeria: After exiting at 50th Street, John's Pizzeria is a short walk away, located at 260 W 44th Street.

JPTS

1:30pm - John's Pizza of Times Square

Amazing pizza in an old cathedral in the heart of NYC.

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  1. Historic Building: John's Pizzeria is housed in a former church, which gives it a distinctive ambiance. The building's architecture, including its high ceilings and stained glass windows, adds a unique charm to the dining experience.

  2. Famous Coal-Fired Brick Oven: One of the key features of John's Pizzeria is its coal-fired brick oven. This type of oven is known for producing a distinctively crisp and flavorful pizza crust, and it's a traditional cooking method that's become increasingly rare.

  3. No Slices – Whole Pies Only: John's Pizzeria is known for serving whole pies only, not slices. This is a tradition that goes back to the origins of the restaurant and is a hallmark of many classic New York pizzerias.

  4. Location in the Heart of Times Square: Situated in the bustling area of Times Square, John's Pizzeria is a popular spot for both tourists and locals. Its location makes it an easy stop for those visiting the nearby theaters, shops, and attractions.

  5. Long History: John's Pizzeria has a long and storied history in New York City. It's part of the John's of Bleecker Street family, a name that has been synonymous with New York pizza since 1929.

  6. Spacious Interior: Despite being in a busy area, John's Pizzeria in Times Square is known for its spacious interior, which is a rarity in Manhattan. This makes it a convenient spot for larger groups and families.

  7. Celebrity Visits: Due to its location and fame, John's Pizzeria has seen its fair share of celebrities over the years. It's not uncommon for guests to spot a famous face enjoying a pie.

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2:30pm - Walk to Edge

  1. Start at John's Pizzeria: Located at 260 W 44th Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues.

  2. Head West on W 44th Street: Exit the pizzeria and start walking west on W 44th Street towards 8th Avenue.

  3. Turn Left onto 8th Avenue: When you reach 8th Avenue, take a left and head south.

  4. Walk South on 8th Avenue: Continue walking south on 8th Avenue for about three blocks.

  5. Turn Right onto W 42nd Street: When you reach W 42nd Street, make a right turn and head west.

  6. Continue on W 42nd Street to Hudson Yards: Keep walking on W 42nd Street. You will pass several landmarks and cross over 9th and 10th Avenues. The street will lead you directly into the Hudson Yards development.

  7. Find Edge NYC: Edge NYC is located at 30 Hudson Yards, near the intersection of 10th Avenue and W 33rd Street. You'll find it as part of the Hudson Yards complex, adjacent to The Shops and Restaurants at Hudson Yards.

The entire walk is approximately 1 mile and should take about 20 minutes, depending on your pace and crowd conditions. It's a great way to see a bustling part of the city, and you'll pass by many iconic locations and new developments along the way. Always be mindful of traffic and pedestrian signals while walking in New York City.

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2:50pm - Edge NYC

Edge NYC is the highest outdoor observation deck in the western hemisphere. 

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  1. Location and Height: The Edge is located in Hudson Yards on the west side of Manhattan. It's situated at 30 Hudson Yards, one of the tallest buildings in the area. The observation deck itself is located over 1,100 feet above street level, making it one of the highest outdoor sky decks in the Western Hemisphere.

  2. Unique Design: One of the most striking features of the Edge is its design. The deck extends out from the building, creating a feeling of floating in the sky. The glass floor sections offer a direct view down to the streets below, providing an exhilarating experience for visitors.

  3. Incredible Views: The Edge offers breathtaking panoramic views of New York City, including landmarks like the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and the Hudson River. On a clear day, you can see up to 80 miles away, encompassing the city and beyond.

  4. Glass Walls: The Edge features angled glass walls, allowing visitors to lean out over the city for an unobstructed view. This design enhances the feeling of being suspended in the air above Manhattan.

  5. Champagne Bar: The observation deck includes a champagne bar where visitors can enjoy a drink while taking in the stunning views. This adds an element of luxury to the experience.

ROC

4:30pm - Head to Rockefeller Center

  1. Start at Hudson Yards Station: Begin at the 34th Street-Hudson Yards subway station, which serves the 7 train. This station is located near 11th Avenue and W 34th Street, close to Hudson Yards.

  2. Take the 7 Train: Board the eastbound 7 train, heading towards Queens.

  3. Transfer at Times Square-42nd Street: Disembark at the Times Square-42nd Street station. Here, you will need to transfer to another subway line.

  4. Transfer to the B, D, F, or M Train: At the Times Square-42nd Street station, transfer to an uptown B, D, F, or M train. These lines share the same platform for uptown trains.

  5. Get Off at 47-50 Streets - Rockefeller Center Station: Ride the B, D, F, or M train to 47-50 Streets - Rockefeller Center station. This stop is directly beneath Rockefeller Center.

The subway ride, including transfer time, typically takes about 15-20 minutes, but it can vary based on train schedules and waiting times. It's always a good idea to check the latest subway information or a real-time transit app for any service changes or delays.

ROC

4:45pm - Rockefeller Center

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  1. Channel Gardens: This lovely garden area between the British Empire Building and La Maison Française offers a peaceful retreat. It features beautifully designed flower beds and fountains, providing a serene contrast to the bustling city streets. The displays change seasonally, offering something new to see throughout the year.

  2. Shopping and Dining: Rockefeller Center is a premier destination for both shopping and dining. You'll find a wide array of shops, ranging from world-famous brands to unique boutiques. The dining options are equally diverse, with cafes, fine dining restaurants, and quick-service eateries to suit every palate.

  3. Rockefeller Plaza: This famed plaza is not just for ice skating; it's a vibrant space where you can soak in the architectural grandeur of the surrounding buildings. It's often the site of outdoor events and broadcasts, especially during the holiday season when the famous Christmas tree stands here.

  4. Art and Sculpture: Rockefeller Center is adorned with a variety of art and sculptures. Notable works include the Prometheus statue at the lower plaza, the Atlas statue on Fifth Avenue, and numerous murals and bas-reliefs inside the buildings. These pieces are integral to the Center's Art Deco design and are worth exploring.

  5. Seasonal Events and Installations: Depending on the time of year, Rockefeller Center hosts various seasonal events and art installations. In the summer, there are often outdoor activities and pop-up gardens, while winter brings the famous Christmas tree and holiday-themed decorations.

New York, NY, USA - December 14, 2016: Holiday shoppers enjoy the scene of the Winter Village at Bryant Park in Manhattan.

6:00pm - Bryant Park Winter Village

A short walk from Rockefeller Center and near Grand Central Station.

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  1. Ice Skating Rink: The centerpiece of the Winter Village is the ice skating rink, which is free to use (though you need to rent skates if you don't have your own). The rink is surrounded by skyscrapers, offering a unique urban skating experience.

  2. Holiday Shops: The Winter Village features dozens of custom-designed glass kiosks, which create a European-inspired open-air market. These shops sell a variety of items, including artisanal crafts, jewelry, local foods, and unique holiday gifts. It's a great place to find something special for the holidays.

  3. The Lodge by Urbanspace: This is a cozy, rink-side bar and food hall offering a variety of eateries and a cocktail bar. It's the perfect spot to warm up with a hot beverage or grab a bite to eat while enjoying the festive atmosphere.

  4. Festive Decorations and Lights: The park is decked out with festive lights and holiday decorations, adding to the magical winter atmosphere. The holiday tree is a focal point, beautifully lit and adding to the festive ambiance.

  5. Events and Activities: Throughout its duration, the Winter Village hosts various events and activities. This includes free performances, themed skating nights, and other special events that add to the holiday spirit.

DALL·E 2023-12-21 19.37.45 - A photo-realistic image of the Metro North Railroad at Grand Central Station in New York City during Christmas. The scene should capture the bustling

7:38pm - Train Leaves Grand Central > Union Station

Arrive at Union Station around 9:50pm

8:38pm - Backup Train Leaves

Arrive at Union Station around 10:50pm