Archive | November, 2013

holidays in New York CIty 2013

TBP 0025 Holiday Season in New York City 2013

Posted on 16 November 2013 by Leslie Lello

holidays in New York CIty 2013

The Holiday Season In New York City! Even when I was living in Los Angeles, I was watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV and looking forward to visiting the decorated windows on 5th Avenue when I came home for the holidays.

Here is my overview and advice about celebrating New York during the holidays. There are TONS of holiday related things to do… just be sure to wear a comfortable pair of shoes and dress warmly!

For more advice and details, check out this week’s podcast TBP 0025!

PODCAST NOTES FOR TBP 0025 “Holiday Season in New York City 2013”

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – The kickoff of the holiday season in New York City!
It’s on NOVEMBER 28, 2013, Starting at 9am.

The parade Begins on 77th and Central Park West. The route is south on Central Park West until 57th Street, then continue south on 6th ave to Herald Square. I never knew this but the route is 2.5 miles. Seems shorter than that to me.

To view the parade (and get a good spot) get there early, wear VERY WARM clothes and comfortable shoes, and try to get near a public restroom or a coffee shop so that you can use the bathroom. Bring snacks and beverages (but not too many beverages). 😉

Here are more tips for attending the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade:
http://gonyc.about.com/od/tipsforvisitingnyc/tp/thanksgiving-parade-tips.htm
http://gonyc.about.com/od/thanksgiving/tp/2011-Macys-Thanksgiving-Day-Parade.htm

If you can’t deal with the crowds, go to the Balloon Inflation in Central Park(79th and Columbus) on November 27th.
http://gonyc.about.com/od/thanksgiving/p/Macys-Thanksgiving-Parade-Balloon-Inflation.htm


Windows on 5th Avenue:

http://gonyc.about.com/od/christmassights/tp/holiday_windows.htm
http://gonyc.about.com/od/christmassights/tp/christmaswindow.htm
http://gonyc.about.com/od/christmassights/l/bl_xmaswindows.htm (This is the link for the map of the Window Display Walking Tour)

Rockefeller Center – tree and ice skating – go late at night!
The Christmas Tree lighting will be on December 4, 2013 – ceremony 7-9pm
http://www.rockefellercenter.com/events/2013/11/01/2013-rockefeller-center-christmas-tree-lighting/

Ice Skating alternative – Wollman’s Rink in Central Park at 63rd street. They’re calling it Trump Rink now. You can pre-book to avoid lines or getting shut out.
http://www.nycgovparks.org/facilities/iceskating/5
http://www.wollmanskatingrink.com/

FAO Schwartz
Not on the windows walking tour, but always fun to visit at xmas, whether you are an adult or a kid.
http://www.fao.com/home/index.jsp

Bryant Park is a park behind the New York Public Library on 5th Avenue has ice skating, shopping (more than 125 outdoor shops) and the restaurant Celsius during the holiday season.
http://bryantpark.org/things-to-do/wintervillage.html

The Party and Ball Drop in Times Square finishes the season. Expect insanely crowded public transportation. Bring games and other things to do. Just like the parade – think bathroom breaks, dress warmth, food, water, comfortable shoes.
FYI, the ball is made out of Waterford Crystal (which is why it sparkles so nicely).
http://www.timessquarenyc.org/events/new-years-eve/nye-schedule/index.aspx#.UoZJsY0Z0tI
http://www.timessquarenyc.org/events/new-years-eve/index.aspx#.UoZJs40Z0tI
http://www.timessquarenyc.org/events/new-years-eve/index.aspx#.UoZKm40Z0tI
http://www.wikihow.com/Attend-the-New-Year%27s-Celebrations-in-Times-Square

This is the best page to read if you are deciding to go to Time Square on New Year’s Eve: http://www.timessquarenyc.org/events/new-years-eve/nye-faq/index.aspx#9

If you don’t want to hang out in Time Square on NYE, but want to get a close up look at the ball, you can go to the Time Square Visitor’s Center.

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travel better podcatss episode 24 travel and coffeehouses Leslie Lello photography.leslielello.com

TBP 0024 COFFEEHOUSES ARE THE SAVIORS OF THE TRAVELER

Posted on 09 November 2013 by Leslie Lello

travel better podcatss episode 24 travel and coffeehouses Leslie Lello photography.leslielello.com

Coffeehouses transformed how travelers experience their trip.

Bathrooms are just one of the benefits of coffeehouses becoming popular with the growth of Starbucks in the 90’s.

This is especially true in New York City, where you could spend hours in the 80’s searching for a bathroom. I vividly remember doing the pee-pee dance at the New York Public Library waiting on a HUGE line for the public bathroom because it took so long to fine one we could use and they were so scarce back then.

This podcast is about how travelers can leverage the use of coffeehouses to enhance their travel experience.

Benefits of Coffeehouses for Travelers (there are more than this, but here are a few):

  • Bathrooms
  • Temperature relief from outdoor heat or cold
  • Place to wait for train or bus or traffic to pass
  • Place to relax after/during stressful travel
  • Caffeine
  • Wi-Fi
  • Meet friends
  • Research route, hotels, restaurants
  • Get local advice from Baristas and other patrons

SOME COOL COFFEEHOUSES IN THE CITIES I HAVE LIVED IN:

Los Angeles: Aroma Cafe in Studio City
New York City: Too many… OMG go on YELP
New Jersey – Cool Beans in Oradell
New Jersey- Fine Grind in LittleFalls
Chicago: Eva’s Cafe in Old Town, near the Sedgwick stop which is the El Brown Line you use to get to Second City

My favorite chains are:
Caribou Coffee
Paneras
Corner Bakery

My favorite coffee kiosk is Dutch Brothers, but it can only be found in the Western US and Rockies. Here is the link to the locations.

I mentioned Aeropress again (here’s a link to the first time I mentioned it). Totally recommend!
Aerobie AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker

 

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TBP 0023 TSA Security Checkpoints – Know Your Options…

Posted on 02 November 2013 by Leslie Lello

plane_silhouet_black_white_line_art_coloring_book_colouring-999px

In today’s Travel Better Podcast (#0023) I will be discussing the options you have for going through the TSA Security Checkpoints at airports.

Most people think that you MUST go through the scanner at the TSA Security Checkpoints, but there are other choices that you can make that might appeal to you more and might even be faster for you and your family.

This is especially important during the holidays, which is the busiest travel time of the year, and can often create massive waits at the airport to go through TSA Security Checkpoints.

Listen to today’s podcast to find out what you can do to make the experience faster, or at least more enjoyable, so that you can “travel better”.

TBP 0023: Podcast Notes:

I commented on this post a few months back and this is what inspired the podcast idea for today.

Story from CNN about Precheck Security

RELEVANT TSA SECURITY CHECKPOINT LINKS REGARDING PRECHECK SECURITY

http://www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck
http://www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck/tsa-precheck-application-process
http://www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck/tsa-precheck-participating-airports
http://www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck/tsa-precheck-how-it-works

HELPFUL STUFF TO BUY:

SCOTTEVEST Trenchcoat and other travel clothes
Homeopathic Time Zone Remedy: Here is the blog post I wrote a few months ago.

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My name is Leslie and I am the owner, publisher and media creator of Travel Better Podcasts.

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