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NY in 9h, is it possible?? =)
Posted October 17th, 2011 - 6:17 pm by from Machelen, Belgium (Permalink)
Hello ! we are 2 CSers (Kristel
http://www.couchsurfing.org/people/kristel.debandt/ and me) from Spain
and Belgium stopping for 9 hours in NY next thursday 20th.
We are stopping there in our flight to Buenos Aires, where we are going to start a motorbike trip crossing all South America;
But staying in NY without visiting anything could be like a travellers sin! =)
Our idea is to get out of the airport and make a quick scapade to the center (Manhattan, Brooklyn...)

The facts:

day of arrival: 20th
arriving to JFK terminal 8: 12:40h
estimated time exiting after duane controls: 14:00h
departing flight time from JFK terminal 8: 21:50h

the idea:

visiting: ground cero + city hall + china town + brooklyn bridge + empire state building

The questions are:

- do you think this is a sensible thing to do?
- should we take a metro, bus or taxi?
- can you give us some tips in the airport (JFK) or in the way to the center?
-
well, that could be almost like a miracle, but if you can take us from
the airport or guide us in the center, we could invite you to have lunch
or to drink something

Thanks a lot in advance!

Kristel & Mikel

Posted October 17th, 2011 - 9:52 pm by from Jackson Heights, United States (Permalink)
In 9 hours, absolutely yes there are a million things you can do! In 3 hours, which is what you actually have, it's a tight squeeze!!

I think that it's possible but you would be VERY pressed for time so I would think about maybe 1-2 things that you would be interested in doing during that time.

That said, I think you should be very realistic about the time that it will take you to check out of customs and then to check in with enough time for your flight. I would give at least 2 hours from the time you land until the time when you actually exit the airport. Then you need to account for at least one hour of travel time into Manhattan/Downtown Brooklyn. You can easily do this in 1 hour on public transportation (the Air Train to the subway or one of the tourist buses that drops you in Midtown). You can also go by cab but it's hard to say how long that would take because of traffic (impossible to predict!). I believe it's a flat fee from JFK to Manhattan and then metered to other parts of the city.

So - that starts your sightseeing time at 3:40pm (assuming 3 hrs from landing). You have to be back at JFK 2 hrs before your next flight and allow 1 hr for travel. So if you leave wherever you are around 6:45-7pm you should arrive back at JFK in time for your flight.

This can be done but I think you will be rushed. If you are set on seeing some NYC sights think of a couple of things you want to do. Maybe a quick hop on-hop off bus tour (without hopping off!) to see all of the sights. Maybe a quick trip to Times Square. Or like you said, sticking with Lower Manhattan and wandering around (and eating in) Chinatown, going over to the Brooklyn Bridge, seeing City Hall, etc. For the 9/11 memorial you need reservations/tickets, I'm not too sure how that works other than it's a timed entry and tickets are limited.

Things to keep in mind: you will have just gotten off quite a long flight, you'll probably want to eat, and you'll have luggage. (Not sure whether there is luggage storage at JFK.)

I'm not saying all of this to be pessimistic but instead to be realistic.

Another option is getting a cab and checking out some of the interesting places that are near to JFK, e.g., Jamaica Bay and the Rockaways. Still NYC but not the touristy part. ;)

You might also want to pose this question in the Lonely Planet travel forums - the folks there will certainly have advice for you!

I wish you luck!!

Posted October 18th, 2011 - 2:02 am from Astoria, United States
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Posted October 18th, 2011 - 6:01 pm by from Machelen, Belgium (Permalink)
Yes, this is what we were looking for, realistic tips to do in our case; THANKS a lot!
Think I would like to see the Empire State but we have to talk about.
Does anybody knows a way to save time through the police controls in JFK?
Of course we all have our ESTA and passport; if we tell the police our plan would they be kind to not to stop us for too long? (lots of people tells that american police at airports arent any any friendly)
M

Posted October 18th, 2011 - 6:07 pm by from Jackson Heights, United States (Permalink)
No clue about passport control, sorry. But I don't see any reason why they would deny you entry. Maybe you'll get lucky and the line for non-US passports will be short. :)

Re: the ESB, do you want to just "see" it from the outside or do you want to go in the building and go up to the top? You might want to think about the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center (it's on 42nd St., just 6 blocks down from the ESB), I've heard that the view of the ESB (and the city in general) is good from there.

Also, it's pricey to go to the top there, too, at least $20. If you do want to do these kinds of things be sure to research tickets (and probably buy them, too) before you come as there might be timed entry.

Posted October 18th, 2011 - 9:52 pm from New York, United States
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Posted October 18th, 2011 - 10:03 pm from Brooklyn, United States
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Posted October 18th, 2011 - 10:08 pm from Astoria, United States
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