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Washington Heights to Midtown/Downtown

Lihue
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Washington Heights to Midtown/Downtown
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We've been here a month but have not been able to enjoy NYC because we came for my daughter's surgery at NYP-Columbia. The surgery was a month ago and she's recovering in our Airbnb and unable to stay out more than an hour, maybe two (stomach issues). She wants to see Rockefeller Center and buy a few souvenirs.

Is this possible? Should we hire a car for a couple of hours or take a taxi down then take another back? Are there bathrooms easily accessible?

I did ride the subway once last week to go from 168th to 72nd, but hesitate to take her on it. I'm very paranoid about catching Covid. We're all vaccinated, but catching Covid would be terrible since she's a bit weak plus it would mess up our plans to return home.

Any ideas would be appreciated. Thank you!

20 replies to this topic
Boston...
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1. Re: Washington Heights to Midtown/Downtown
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You could take a taxi or an uber both ways.

New York City
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2. Re: Washington Heights to Midtown/Downtown
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There are very few taxis near Columbia presbiterian, Take an Uber to Rockefeller Center and you can take a Taxi Back

Make sure the Cab takes you, Its the Law, Sometimes they don't want to leave Midtown because they cannot pick up any rides on the way back.

I hope your daughter is getting better

Astoria, New York
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3. Re: Washington Heights to Midtown/Downtown
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With your stamina concerns I can see where public transit is unappealing

Have you noticed if legal street hail Yellow or Green cabs are readily available in the area around the hospital? https://www1.nyc.gov/site/tlc/passengers/your-ride.page

If yes, that may be the best way

If not, I'd price car services such as Dial 7, Carmel & Uber/Lyft both for two one-way trips & by the hour

Restrooms can be challenging but there are some available inside 30 Rockefeller Center

Brooklyn, New York
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4. Re: Washington Heights to Midtown/Downtown
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I was in the Rock Center area this past Sat prior to the tree lighting. It was PACKED!

It will be crazy until the end of the year. Bathrooms are not readily available. I have used the ones at 30 Rock and she will need to go down a flight of stairs...and I would guess that the ladies line will be longer than the men's(which I have never come across.)

Also, you will experience traffic if you choose to take a cab and then you will need to navigate the crowds.

Parts of the streets/sidewalks are blocked off for security and accessibility.

United States
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5. Re: Washington Heights to Midtown/Downtown
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It will be very difficult for a car to get close to the tree -- say to see it by driving by it -- as several streets around it are now closed to traffic for the Christmas season and traffic on 5th Avenue is backed up to the 60s.

On the off chance you don't make it to Rock Center, another nice tree is at Lincoln Center, assuming they put it up this year. Lincoln Center is the big performing arts center on Broadway at 63rd-66th, just far enough north to avoid midtown madness.The Metropolitan Opera is performing at the opera house and New York City Ballet is doing the Nutcracker at David Koch Theater. So there will be big posters and photos up for those and, depending on when you are there, possibly a lot of people coming and going.

And many uniquely NYC photo ops.

New Jersey
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6. Re: Washington Heights to Midtown/Downtown
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There are bathrooms in 630 Fifth Avenue, which is the building at Rockefeller Center directly across the street from St Patrick's Cathedral. Use the entrance behind the statue of Atlas and take the escalator down. At the bottom of the escalator you can't go straight ahead; turn right and then left. The ladies room is on the left hand side, opposite the lower level of Bill's Bar and Burgers.

I was there Tuesday evening around 6:30pm and there was no line.

The sidewalk along 5th Ave gets very crowded; I prefer to look at the tree from 49th or 50th Sts midblock. Those streets are closed to traffic, so there's more room to walk and you get a closer view.

New York City, New...
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7. Re: Washington Heights to Midtown/Downtown
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I'm glad to hear things are progressing. Given your situation, I would find a good car service and hire a driver for a few hours and get driven around rather than trying to navigate thru huge crowds and trying to find transport back uptown.. There are car services in Washington Heights. Maybe you can ask some staff at the hospital for a recommendation.

New York City, New...
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8. Re: Washington Heights to Midtown/Downtown
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Very close to where you are now is the Jumel Mansion - only a few blocks away. Maybe worth looking into to see something special, a bit off the beaten track and often missed by tourists. https://www.morrisjumel.org/

There are guided tours of the grounds.

The Sylvan terrace homes are right nearby. Also worth seeing. There’s a lot of history in that area. Many jazz greats lived in the brownstones nearby.

Astoria, New York
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9. Re: Washington Heights to Midtown/Downtown
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From a vehicle you should be able to see (at least the top) of the tree across the Channel Gardens on 5th Ave side just across from St Patricks https://www.rockefellercenter.com/map-directions/#map

I'm thinking Whiz is right - an hourly car & driver is probably best for your situation

Also glad recuperation is going well

Hope you can fit in some sightseeing

Get home safe

Lihue
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10. Re: Washington Heights to Midtown/Downtown
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Thank you everyone for your suggestions. So kind of you to take the time. My daughter is slowly recuperating from her successful surgery by Dr. Tomoaki Kato at NYP. We decided to book a private car...costly, but probably the safest bet.

I

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