Help Esther and Jim Tour Chicago and NYC

statue of liberty skylineStart spreading the news; Esther and Jim will be in Chicago and New York City this January!  Esther celebrates her 30th birthday on the 15th of January, and I wanted to do something really special this year to mark such a milestone.  Thanks to American Airlines  (both of us – round trip – $540 out of San Antonio), and the fact that a 2-day layover in Chicago caused no appreciable increase in ticket price, we will be leaving Rachel with her grandparents and winging our way north (Jan. 10-17).  But we need your help.

I haven’t visited Chicago in almost 20 years, and the last time I was in New York City was November, of 1995, with Reuben and Shawn.  This time, we will be staying at the Millenium Knickerbocker Hotel (60 bucks a night on Priceline using some tricks from in Chicago, and with our friends Shawn and Kathy Clark in New Jersey (visiting NYC during the day).

Here’s where you come in.

I am definitely eating a pizza pie at some point, but, other than that, we’re looking for suggestions for the best way to spend the two days we have in Chicago (keep in mind, this is a WINTER visit). What are some neat tours, museums, and essential things we should not miss?

In New York, the Clarks will be our local guides, but I am interested in which Broadway show should we make sure to see, and what other New York City suggestions you have. Two pastor friends recently said that we should not miss a Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir Concert which is given every Sunday afternoon.

Because the weather is usually in the 20’s with snow likely, what winter clothes are ESSENTIAL for our trip? I don’t want to drop a ton of money on something that I will rarely wear again.

Please add your thoughts and suggestions to the mix, and we’ll tell you how the trip went.


31 Responses to Help Esther and Jim Tour Chicago and NYC

  1. NJShawn says:

    Yo, Bucky.

    You are basically facing a toss of the dice…if memory serves, the last several Januarys have yielded at least 1 major snow storm, and I think year before last we got a record dump of over 16 inches.

    Even if it doesn’t snow here, count on cold, Cold COLD!! Get’s pretty bitter here, especially for a warm-blooded Texas couple like y’all. So be sure to bundle up with at least one major parka/heavy coat. You won’t leave the house unless you’re very well insulated and many-layered. Ears and hands also suffer a bit. BTW: Bring some moisturizer (stop with the wimpy girly man retorts!). It is REALLY dry in the winter here.

    Snow removal is pretty good, so you’re likely not to need boots, but if you got ’em, bring em.

    As far as Broadway shows…any of the Disney shows are great (Kathy and I have seen the Lion King…pretty cool). Plus, I’ve heard Wicked (the story of the Wicked Witch of the East BEFORE Dorothy arrives) is very good. Um, don’t know about the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, but if it’s billed as a Broadway show, it’ll be great.

    I’m not sure how much time we’ll have, but a trip to Philly might be in order as well. We’ve had a couple friends in who’ve enjoyed The Melting Pot (an ok cheese fondue, but FANTASTIC main course pot and dessert fondue restaurant). Plus, we could hit the new buildings for the Independance Mall/Center. The Philly Mint is also in the general vicinity (been there, though. Unless you like machines/money, kinda boring).

    I think the Tree in RFC will be down, but they should have the skating rink in full swing. Plus I’m sure Esther will want to see the Lady of Liberty, along with Ellis Island, Times Square, ESPN Zone, etc. Times Square is pretty much Disneyland, but it’s still worth seeing.

    Anyway, that’s about all the rec’s I can come up with for now. REALLY looking forward to you and Esther coming out. And I didn’t know it was Esther’s birthday, so that’s great!!! But wait, doesn’t that put you close to the BIG one? I’ll make sure I plan venues that only have handicapped access…


  2. RubeRad says:

    Here’s a tip that Gmail just gave, probably because it scanned “NYC” in the text of your email: I hope you find this helpful:

    NY Nose Surgery-Dr Kwan
    Preserving Asian Identity Through Cosmetic Surgery. 2 NYC Locations!

  3. So our windbreakers and topless sandals won’t fit the bill?

  4. Steph says:

    Wow! For my 30th birthday, we went to Johnny Carino’s, and shared an appetizer! 🙂

  5. Mmmmmm. Johnny Carino’s. I remember when I used to be able to eat there.

  6. Echo_ohcE says:

    If you go to Chicago without walking down State Street and going window shopping, you will have wasted your time there. Michigan Avenue is nice too.

    But look, here’s what you shoud do. Click this:

    That’s information about taking a horse and buggy ride in the loop there. They can even take you on a tour. Don’t worry about freezing to death, they give you blankets and I think hot chocolate. Your wife will think it’s the greatest thing ever.

    And if you don’t eat pizza at Gino’s, then, well, I don’t know what on earth you’d be going to Chicago for. Better leave the Weight Watchers in Texas.

    Ok, if you can’t make it to Gino’s, you can go to Lou Malnati’s:

    Actually, now that I think about it, I think Lou’s might just be better pizza. But it’s a toss up. I always go to Lou’s because I was a suburbanite. But Gino’s is more famous. I can’t decide which is better though.

    And you have to have at least one gyros sandwich while you’re there. I recommend Lucky Dog:

    They put a very unique sauce on their gyros, that just make them delicious! But beware, it’ll kill ya. Get some cheese fries with that to make sure you can’t eat for a week!

    If in walking downtown, you come across a street vendor selling roasted chestnuts, I don’t care if they’re 100 dollars, buy em. They’re AWESOME. But they might not do that anymore.

    You might also enjoy taking the elevator to the top of the Sears Tower, which is really, really cool. I think you’re 108 stories up. Be sure to take a walk through Millennium Park while you’re there. Ask anyone how to get there. They have lots of cool stuff there.

    Right near Millennium Park there are: the Shedd Aquarium, the Adler Planetarium, the Field Museum, and the Art Institute . I really recommend the Art Institute. They’ve got an incredible collection.

    And don’t forget the world famous Chicago Symphony Orchestra:

    And dude, you and your wife will both want goose down parkas, or something like that. Here’s the rub with Chicago in the winter: the wind. That’s especially true because of all the tall buildings downtown. It directs air from the upper atmosphere down on you. The wind seems to go right through you. 20 degrees and windy in Chicago is different from 20 degrees elsewhere.
    Try this coat:

    That was for men. For women maybe:

    But whatever you do for a parka, get goose down (or sometimes they have the less bulky but just as warm synthetic) with some kind of waterproofing on the outer shell. The trick to surviving Chicago wind is this water proofing. It seals out water, so it also really helps to cut the wind. If you get one of those cheap nylon down parkas, you’ll be somewhat warm, but the wind will blow right through it. Same goes with wool. Wind just goes right through it. You need a water proof or resistant coating of some kind, with down underneath. Same concept with hat and gloves. Although you can probably just use the hood on your parka, your wife might need a hat in conjunction with the hood. Most women do in Chicago. But with gloves, don’t mess around. Don’t get the 5 dollar wool gloves at Wal-mart. Won’t do you much good. You need something that’s warm AND cuts the wind. Leather gloves with fleece lining are usually pretty good. Fleece for warmth, leather to cut the wind and give you a good grip.

    If you dress as I’ve suggested, you will really enjoy your time in Chicago, because you won’t be afraid to spend some time outside, doing things like window shopping and taking a horse and buggy tour of the loop. You’ll see people running around without nice parkas, and without gloves and stuff, but you’ll see that they look like they’re dying too. You’ll see them with this one-foot-in-the-grave look on their faces, and you, a Texan, will be forced to pity the natives for not knowing how to cope with their own weather. I know you don’t really want to shell out a couple hundred bucks or whatever, but that’s what it costs to be happy in this kind of cold. And you know what? I know it’s not ALWAYS hot in Texas. The nice thing about these parkas is that even if you’re kind of cold, like if it gets into the 40’s at night or whatever, you can sit outside and smoke a cigar in this coat without roasting in it. The coats breathe. So yeah, they’ll keep you warm in serious weather, but they also aren’t only good for serious weather. So you should keep them for a long time. And don’t worry, even if you lose weight, Eddie Bauer parkas have draw strings so you can make it tighter in certain places. Which is also very key to keeping warm, because of the wind flying up a loose jacket.

    You MIGHT be ok in this, but I’m not recommending it:

    Your wife would probably be ok in this:

    In fact, if you can find a full length down coat, that’s perfect. Buy yourself the cheaper jacket, because men (especially, ahem, large men like us) can take it. Women have a much harder time with the cold. But if you try to get her a full length down parka, she’ll be very happy.

    Here’s a calendar of city events:

    And I’d really recommend Christkindlmarket, which is sort of a German-fest/Christmas market thing. It’s cool and very Chicago:

    Well, that’s about all the recommendations I’ve got for ya.

  7. David says:

    Having just suffered through the state of Emergency in Buffalo this October and the most recent storm in December I believe I am a traveling expert. I’m sure you will have no problem because you are still well insulated. However, your lovely wife will need a quality pair of thermal socks.

  8. Cam Gillett says:

    Debbie and I saw Beauty and Beast this past May. Get your half priced tickets at a ticket outlet on the water front in downtown Manhatten…just south of the Brooklyn Bridge. They have surplus tickets on a wide varity of shows…no trouble finding something good if you just go down there.

    We definitely concur about the Brooklyn Tabernacle. We went to the morning service and then did a walking tour of Brooklyn during the lunch hour and had a great pizza at a little restaurant under the Brooklyn Bridge….then walked back to Brooklyn Tab for the 3PM evangelism and choir service….awesome.

    If there is snow, but the weather is non-stormy I think a long walk in Central Park could be fun. Have fun!


  9. How about a nice warm hotel room?

  10. Daniel B says:

    Chicago rocks. But in January? I really like going up to the John Hancock Tower. They have a restraunt there called, “signature room at the 95th” it is really pricy but there is also a lounge that (I think) serves the restraunt food. trick is if you get reservations at the lounge you don’t have to pay the 10 bucks to take the elevator to the top, it’s free. It’s just a one story stair flight from there. Then when you get to the obsertion room its like a history of Chicago tour with all kinds of fascinating factoids on the walls. There is also an outdoor observation deck where you can really feel the elements 100 sotries above the ice covered sidewalks. Check it out

    I also like the millenium park alot but I don’t think it would be fun in the winter.

  11. RubeRad says:

    Our family went to Chicago summer 05, and had a blast! Navy Pier was all right, but if you want to do Navy Pier, go ahead and park in the city and walk to the pier (or hop a free shuttle). Parking in the Navy Pier lots costs over twice as much.

    The other great thing we did in Chicago is the Museum of Science and Industry. An amazing museum — even better if you have kids, but you would probably still like it anyways. Another parking tip; instead of paying for the MSI lot, if you check parking signs carefully, you can find ample free parking in the lots for the apartment buildings just to the north of the museum, and walk across the street.

    And my best-ever memory of Chicago was going on an architectural walking tour. They have many other kinds of architectural tours, like boat tours in the river, but they’re kind of pricey ($75/ticket?), and it might be too cold to enjoy.

  12. Bill says:

    Personally I wouldn’t go to either, at least in JANUARY and possibly not in the summer either, although I would like to see Ellis Island and the WTC site of 9-11 for historical basis. I was within a few hours of NYC with some friends but the attituuuuude of New Yorkers was offensive so we turned around and headed back to Toronto…….

    Have a Great Trip anyways, I’m glad you can get away, and a Big Happy Birthday to Esther….!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  13. Wow. My mom just called to say that Linda (my sister-in-law) is taking her to New York with the boys the day after Christmas. Why does my own mother always have to beat me to the punch?

  14. Wouldn't You Like to Know says:

    AIRPORT EXPRESS – Airport transportation shuttle to and from O’Hare. Since I was traveling alone I thought this was the easiest way. The cost is $25. No appointment needed if you are at the airport (go to their desk at baggage claim), but you MUST make an appt. if you need a shuttle to the airport.

    GREY LINE – Trolley tour was a great way to get your bearings if you are new to the city. There is a host on the bus giving tidbits of info on the history of the city and other fun facts. I chose the Hop On and Off with access to most museums and sites including Sears Tower and Architectural Boat Tour (daytime only) $55. Also, the trolley transport was good until the next day so I was able to hop on to get to another part of the city the following day. Access to sites were only good for one day, so start early! Tickets can be picked up at the Water Tower; tourist info and HOT TIX is located at the Water Tower also. (Across from Macy’s)

    GINO’S EAST – I was directed to this place by a local. Great deep dish pizza. I hear the true Chicago deep dish has cheese on the bottom toppings in between and sauce on top, exactly what they served at Gino’s

    PORTILLO’S – Again directed by a local, known for their hot dogs. I ordered the Portillo’s beef hot dog, fries and med. drink for less than $7. The famous dog is topped with onions, chili peppers, tomato and mustard. Remember no ketchup on the hot dog! Yum!!!!

    GARRETT POPCORN – You have to order the Chicago Mix! It is a mix of cheddar and caramel. I could not stop eating. It gets a little stale after a day, but still so tasty.

    MAGNIFICIENT MILE – One word, Expensive! Good window shopping. If you are planning on going into Burberry there are no prices on anything! I guess their modo is if you can afford it, you don’t need to know how much it costs. There are a few notable “discount” stores in the area – Filene’s Basement, Nordstrom Rack and Marshalls. H&M is also a great place to go. MNG by Mango is a European chain that will be opening soon in Water Tower Place.

    BUCKTOWN – This area sounded interesting. Cab ride from downtown was about $12-$15. The shopping was not really my style, but it was worth the experience. If you like vintage/thrift stores this is the place for you. There were few side streets I walked down that had nice historic brownstones.

    OPRAH – I had a great time at Oprah! I got last minute reservations online. There are no standby seats so don’t bother to stand in line. TIP – check her website daily, they will post last minute availability and the topic. You will have to fill out the form and submit a little paragraph; make it a compelling one because they read everything that comes in. This was the 1st time I did it and they called me a few days later for a taping for the following week. You can try the old fashion way and call when the reservation line is open. I hear that people have tried for years to no avail. A cab ride from downtown was about $20. Although they advise that you show up between 7-7:30am for a 9am taping people were in line at 6:30am for the good seats. Be prepared to wait, dress warm you will be waiting outside about an hour while they check people in. They have a coat and purse check inside. Security is very tight and they will make you check all cameras and camera phones. Once you are checked in you will be ushered upstairs for more waiting. Bring food to munch on. They did let a few people go back out to get coffee and snacks down the street.I must say this place is a well oiled machine. The actual taping took about 1 hour. Oprah knows what she is doing!

  15. Echo_ohcE says:

    Man, I typed out this long list of suggestions, including many hyperlinks for more information, and spent a lot of time on it too, and it was all about Chicago, but it didn’t post for some reason. How bizarre is that?

  16. RubeRad says:

    I think it’s up there now — often comments with many links like that get accidentally flagged as spam. (This is a good thing — you should see how much crap the spam filters catch correctly!) With a quick note as above, the blogfather can usually go fish it out pretty quickly.

  17. Echo…WOW! Great post! This is why we have blogs…I will definitely check into those parkas. I cleaned up the links with some html magic. Good stuff.

  18. Echo_ohcE says:

    Oh, thanks for the HTML support. Much better. Happy to help.

    Someone above said Portillo’s is great, and I couldn’t agree more.

    Let me wax eloquent a bit about Chicago food. The bigness of it will probably remind you of home. If you eat it in Chicago, it’s going to be big and very fattening. Just resign yourself that you can redouble your efforts when you return home. Besides, by then, you’ll be ready to stay away from fattening foods for a while. I’m on Jenny Craig, and my wife and I went to Olive Garden, and I ate a lot. The next day, I had a terrible headache, and I thought I was an 18 year old college kid again.

    Anyway, Gino’s and Lou Malnati’s: this is the best pizza you’ll ever have. And I’m happy to let you go and try New York pizza immediately following for a little bit of a Pepsi challenge. Gino’s and Lou’s make their pizza pretty much the same, but they’re the only ones that really do it that way. Except for this little bar I bounced at for 2 years. Wow! Anyway, they spread out a generous layer of dough in the pan. Oh yeah, you gotta get pan pizza. And if you go to Lou’s get butter crust. Anyway, it’s thick and delicious. Then they place a LAYER of cheese. Now when I say a layer, I don’t mean they sprinkle on shredded cheese. I mean they put a LAYER of cheese. It’s one, big slice. Then on top of that is one big slice of sausage at Lou’s, and large, flat pieces of sausage at Gino’s. Then the chunky (southern Italian – southern Italian food is distinctive for its chunky tomatoes) pizza sauce is put on top. If you can finish two pieces of this pizza, especially being used to weight watchers, I’ll be impressed. Your kids and wife will probably only be able to manage one piece. Lou’s has an excellent spinach bread. I don’t even like spinach!

    Portillo’s is famous for its hot dogs, and well, Chicago is famous for hot dogs too, but Portillo’s is one of the best. You can also try that Lucky Dog (above). Chicago hot dogs are kind of difficult to eat. They serve them in some kind of paper or something usually. They do that for a reason! Keep the paper on it as you eat it to help hold it together. You’ll thank me! Chicago hot dogs have tomato wedges, cucumbers, onions, pickle relish, a pickle spear, mustard and sport peppers and celery salt. I always get them without the sport peppers, because, come on, I don’t want that on a hot dog! So you can get these almost anywhere. Stop at any gas station anywhere in the Chicago area and ask where a good place to get a Chicago hot dog is, and they’ll tell ya. One place is pretty much as good as another.

    Ah, the Gyros. I don’t know if you’ve ever had a gyros before, but it’s a wonderful way to have a heart attack. It’s Greek – kind of. When I went to Greece, I found that they made them very differently, but that’s their problem. Chicago has the largest single city population of Greek speakers in the world, second only to Athens. Same goes for Polish, second only to Warsaw. True story. So you can get REALLY good Greek food if you like that. Which – how could you not like Greek food? Anyway, a gyros is a sandwich. You start with a pita. Then comes the meat. Now, this is no ordinary meat. They process gigantic slabs of meat; it’s a beef/lamb mixture. It’s WONDERFUL…I’m drooling just thinking about it. It comes on a gigantic slab, shaped kind of like a really big ham. And they put a skewer through it and slow roast it so that it spins around and around and around, roasting slowly and evenly and deliciously. Mmmmm. They pile on probably about a pound of it on the pita, slicing it off with a knife. You should watch them do this. They cut it off and it just falls onto your sandwich. Then they put the sauce on. This sauce is a special cucumber sauce. It has a fancy Greek name with a lot of t’s and z’s in it that I can’t pronounce, even after two years of Greek. It’s basically sour cream and some herbs and stuff. Really good. They PILE it on. If they don’t pile it on, ask for a little extra on the side. You’ll probably have to pay a quarter, but that’s the best quarter you ever spent, because if you have some left over to dip your fries in – you’ll be in heaven. Then they add tomatoes and onions. Like I said, it’s the greatest way to have a heart attack I can think of. The only companies in the world that make the meat and the sauce for gyros are all in Chicago. You’re going to the gyros capital of the world. They export it to Greece. Now at Lucky Dog, what makes them so special is that their sauce is just a little bit different. It’s just a little bit sweeter and has a bit more of an interesting flavor. I highly recommend it.

    In the Chicago area in general, there are lots and lots of little burger and hot dog grease joints all over the place. They’re all wonderful and a little distinctive. If you see one and you’re hungry, just go in. You won’t be sorry.

    Just outside the Loop (if you take the BLUE line train CTA) is the University of Illinois at Chicago campus. To the north of this campus (on North Halsted – if it becomes South Halstead, turn around and go north) is Greek Town. Not much there, but interesting. I think there’s a Greek Museum around there somewhere. But it’s kind of fun for the kids. To the South of the campus is little Italy. You can’t get bad food there if you go to one of the Italian places. I understand that there are some Thai and Mexican places, but I never tried em. The CTA train costs 2 dollars. You can get all day passes and I think week long passes. But beware. Don’t take these at night. But this is a great, cheap way to get around the city. You can take the Red line just out of the city to the South and get off in China Town. Big, big fun for the kids. And hey, who doesn’t like Chinese food?

    But I want to reiterate that you simply MUST do the horse/buggy thing and the Christkindlemarket thing. You MUST. And someone said that Museum of Science and Industry is cool, and it is, especially for kids. I went about 2 years ago and found it rather interesting in parts, but overall kind of dull. But the Art Institute is mind numbing. You feel very small and insignificant after going there. They have stuff from Ancient Egypt like crazy, lots of cool suits of armor from the middle ages – like whole rooms lined with them, and lots of other cool stuff. Remember, the Impressionistic paintings are to be viewed from a distance. They have a certain distance they’re designed to be viewed from, usually about 5 – 10 feet. That’s when it looks real. Anyway, you could spend days in there if you like to look at the art for a minute or so, which I do.

    You have no reason to go to a McDonald’s or Burger King or Taco Bell or whatever else in Chicago. Eat the local mom and pop burger joint. However, downtown is a rock and roll McDonald’s by the Hard Rock Cafe that the family might enjoy.

    Have some fun!

  19. Echo, a friend of mine hooked me up with one of these parkas (he’s adding a hood). Is this the ticket?

  20. Louis Luftop says:

    Hey we did a whirlwind visit to NYC this summer – my kids have NEVER seen so many people at once in one place. Here’s my Cliff’s Notes:

    1. Central Park Carriage ride is a must – Esther will think it very romantic

    2. Empire State Bldg – kinda pricey – tickets are $15 per person to get to the 82nd floor observatory. Try to do it at dusk so you can catch some daylight and city lights. To get to the 102nd floor observatory is another $15/each….ouch!!!

    3. Ice skate at Rockefeller Plaza – “it’s the most wonderful time of the year!”

    4. Do you have time to do Conan or Letterman? That would be cool.

    5. Katz Deli – you gotta do that. Have Esther re-enact Meg Ryan’s scene from “When Harry met Sally” just for grins. A pastrami sandwich is about $18 but it’s big enough to split.

    6. Take the Staten Island Ferry out and back to take some Statue of Liberty pics. Ground Zero is walking distance from there.

    Also, I was in Chicago a few years back for a business trip….my favorite memories:

    1. Giordano’s Pizza – I’ve never had a pizza with layers and layers and layers of pepperoni…Jenny Craig will have to take a back seat for this outing.

    2. Architectural Tour – I don’t know how pricey this is, but we took a boat up Chicago River through downtown and had a tour guide talking about the historic buildings. Pretty cool.

    Merry Christmas to all!


  21. Echo_ohcE says:


    I don’t have enough information to say definitively that that parka is good to go. Two things I lack. 1) what the outer shell is like, 2) what the insulation is like. If the insulation is comparable to goose down, that’s good to go. If the outer shell is water proof and thus wind proof, then you should be ok. And yeah, definitely get a hood.

    Last year I was a student at UIC. In november, the temp got into the 20’s and the winds were ridiculous. I had an Eddie Bauer parka and took the train to the campus. When I would be waiting for the train, I’d be freezing until I put my hood up. That took care of it. When I would get on the train, I’d take the hood off, because I’d get hot. Then I’d get off the train and walk to class, and sometimes I wouldn’t bother to put the hood back up. Within 5 minutes I’d be in so much pain that I couldn’t stand it. Then I’d put the hood up. Instant relief. A painful, horrible, almost beyond my ability to endure walk to class suddenly became no big deal.

    Make sure to get a hood.

    Make sure to get a size of this parka that allows you to wear a sweater or something under it. Because if it’s not warm enough, usually a sweater underneath will do the trick.

    Speaking of layers, don’t be shy. Use long underwear. Wearing blue jeans is usually fine, because they cut the wind ok. But there’s no insulation. That’s why I recommend a full length parka for your wife. But for both of you, long underwear pants are a great thing. I had a security job outside in Janurary 2 years ago. Long underwear saved me from great discomfort. You’d be surprised how big a difference it makes. For a woman, it may be the difference between wanting to be outside and not minding being outside or refusing to step outside unless it’s absolutely necessary.


  22. Echo_ohcE says:

    PS Giordano’s is ok, but totally second rate compared to Lou’s. Peperoni, blech!

  23. danielbalc says:

    Heard about a great club in Chicago you just HAVE to check out. It’s called the “Ice Bar”. They evidently cater to the 300+ pound, gun totting type. All you need it a body gaurd and you’d fit right in.

  24. Echo_ohcE says:

    Ice Bar…hehehehe

    You gotta read these…

    It’s a rap-gang-banger bar where people keep getting shot and stuff. Hahahaha….

  25. Steve A says:

    Gino’s East Pizza can’t miss it. Wrigley field. Magnificent Mile.

    Gotta go to Brooklyn Tabernacle, sit in the front of the mezzanine, it does sway once worship starts. Go see Wicked, get the sound track first if you’re not familiar with it. Get some good Italian & Chinese food.

    Whatever you do, don’t eat Mexican food there! Have fun and felicidades to Esther.

  26. Jessica says:

    Hey Jim!
    I’m going to NY on the 19th of Jan. we are just staying fr 4 days My sister in-law lives in NYC so we are staying with her. She says the Brooklyn bridge is one of the top things to see also Central Park. She says it hasn’t snowed yet this winter, so I bet there will be a big one coming. We are in the same boat as you as far as winter clothes. Well I hope you guys have a great trip!

  27. Lupin says:

    Lined jeans are really nice. My wife got me a pair for Christmas and they definitely keep you warm. Good luck. I’ve never been to NYC or Chicago so I don’t have any advice.

  28. Amie Krueger says:

    Hey guys I hope that you have a great time in both places and Happy Bday Esther……I have family in Chicago and they say you must see the Sears Tower, Navy Pier and do some shopping and sight seeing on Michagan Avenue. Send pictures!!!! Again Esther we hope you have a AWESOME bithrday!!!!1

    Todd Amie & Christian

    PS Take a jacket for Chicago in January they do not call it the “windy city” for nothing.

  29. Linda Ost says:

    Hi Jim and Esther,

    These are my thoughts now that I have experienced NYC. First, it will be extremely cold so wear the following: Scarf, headcovering, gloves, wool socks, ski jacket is preferable. Use a backpack for your belongings instead of having Esther carry a purse. Buy a “metrocard” once you are in the subway. The subway is a fantastic way to get around the five burroughs. Start your day by 9:00 am or earlier, it gets dark by 4:30 pm. Make sure you carry enough cash in case you need to hail a taxi ($30-50) Eat off the street, (it’s cheaper) and all vendors are regulated by the city. Take plenty of water bottles for your walking tour of NYC.

    Must see places: Rockefeller center, Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island, Little Italy/Chinatown, (maybe). 5th avenue between 34 – 57th street. Madison Square Gardens, Time Square Church has been newly remodeled. I don’t know anything about Broadway shows, except that you may want to purchase tickets online before you go.

    Between food and transportation, you and Esther may spend around $100.00 per day, not including extras.

  30. Linda Ost says:

    One more thing about spending time in NYC. You are going to walk alot, take comfortable shoes, and definetly wear thermal underwear (top and bottom). Have Esther come by and I can lend her some that will keep her very warm.

    Don’t try to do everything, choose carefully what is most important, then do them.

  31. […] Vacation Report What a ride!  Thanks to all of you who gave us so much good advice about what to wear and what to do in Chicago and New York in January. We had an awesome time, and […]

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