Subject: Re: 5 days in New York
Hi Nancy, You can see, shop and eat a lot in 4.5 days if you're organized.

You might want to take one of of those open topped tour buses of NYC on your first day. This will give you a general feel for the city. Buy a map and follow along. NY is very easy to navigate, especially above 14th street where it's an easy grid.

Here's a few basic NYC101 lessons:

Ave's run north to south, except Broadway which runs on the diagonal. Ave's run one way, except for Park Ave, which goes both north and south.

5th Ave is the dividing line between east and west. So for example, 10 West 50th St. would be between 5th & 6 Ave's and 10 East 50th would be between 5th and Madison. The bigger the number, the further away from 5th Ave it is. Hence, 300 West 50th St, further west of 5th than 200 W. 50th Street. There are buses that travel on every avenue.

The streets run east to west and are also one way. There are too many to have a bus for each one, so the buses run east to west on the big 2-way streets such as 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, 57th, 72nd, 79th, 86th and 96th. Also, there's a bus running east on 50th street and one going west on 49th street.

Pick a neighborhood each day to explore. Buy Metro cards so you can hop on any bus you want.

The downtown neighborhoods are Chinatown, Little Italy, Tribeca, Soho, the west village, the east village (aka the lower east side). You could easily split this up into 2 days depending on your pace and how much time you spend in shops, museums, eating, etc. There are too many great restaurants here for me to recommend unless there's something specific you're looking for.

North of the village and starting on 9th Ave and 12th Street is the Meat packing district. Spice Market is the new and hottest restaurant and you *might* be able to get in for lunch. Pastis is one of my favorite bistro's and I like Markt, the Belgian Bistro as well. Walk down 14th Street toward the water and you'll pass Jeffrey's, NY's trendiest store (great shoes), you'll also pass Stella McCartney's shop, La Perla Lingerie and a few other designers. For a nice break, go up to the rooftop bar of the Ganesvoort Hotel and have a drink and enjoy the view. Walk up 9th Ave and on 15th street you'll get to the Chelsea Market - definitely worth a diversion. Go in and look at the shops. After that, walk east one block to 8th Ave and you'll be in the heart of Chelsea. There are some great restaurants and if you ladies like dance, check out who's at the Joyce theatre and buy tickets for while you're in town. It's my favorite place for dance companies. From Chelsea, you can walk east in the 20's (20th or 21st is good) and you'll hit the Flat Iron district once you get to 5th Ave.

Midtown/Uptown Sak's, St. Patricks Cathedral, Rockefeller Center - all at 49th St and 5th Ave. On 5th walk north and stop at Takashimaya Dept store on 54th Street - one of my favorites. They have a great tea room for lunch. On 55th/56th Street is Henri Bendel's for upbeat clothes and every brand of make-up. Great place for make-overs. Walk north one block to 57th Street and go into what I feel is the Temple of Retail - Bergdorf Goodman. Best clothes/shoes/cosmetics/jewelry/accessories. On 57th Street walk east - you'll pass Trump Tower on 5th and Tiffany's. Keep going east and you'll pass Prada, Coach, C. Dior and Suarez across the street. Hit Madison and walk uptown. At 61st, you'll hit Barney's. Their restaurant, Fred's, is terrific. Continue going north and you'll see all the big designer shops - Hermes, Givenchy, Cavalli, etc. If you still have the strength - hit the Whitney Musuem on 75th Street - it's small. And of course on 82nd and 5th is the Metropolitan Musuem of Art.

Buy yourselves a Zagat Guide. Don't get stuck with a bad meal in NYC.

How's that for a start?

Candice NYC