How do I park in NYC without crying?
July 27, 2018 8:05 PM   Subscribe

My sob story and my plans are below the fold. Basically I need help knowing where to park on the cheap and easy.

So this was supposed to be the cheer up my 14 year old nephew weekend - he's been having a rough go of it lately and I thought it would be good to have a break. So the plan was to fly him to NYC to see his two favorite MLB teams play (royals/yankees.) We live 4 hours away but thought a weekend trip would be nice. Error #1 flight was cancelled. He was able to get book on a flight first thing tomorrow morning. Error #2 Originally it was going to be me, younger daughter and nephew but since we had tickets to the game that nephew couldn't make, brought pouty teenager daughter because she said she wanted to go. (She has been pouty the whole time and I regret this decision) Error #3 We were late leaving to get to NYC because we were waiting on determining the outcome from error 1. We thought maybe he could fly in nearby but no - unaccompanied minor caused issues. So we were late getting to our NJ hotel which had a free shuttle to Yankee stadium that we missed by 30 minutes. Error #4 we took over-priced lyft to the game (the drive ignored his google maps and it took us 45 minutes to go 3 miles but it was raining so whatever). Error #5 the game was rain delayed... then cancelled. Error #6 decided to take public transit because of error #4 - one amazing gift was a family bought our subway cards because we did not realize we were in the cash only line and I only had $2. After two trains and a bus the bus dropped us off 4 blocks from the hotel - in a residential neighborhood with no cabs or shelter in sight - so we walked 10 minutes in the pouring rain. Error #7 - I shouldn't have brought the teenager because I cannot handle the 'tude.

So - tomorrow we reset.

Surprise #2 was going to be a tour of NBC studios. I only got 3 tickets because there were only going to be 3 of us but now there are 4 - this might complicate things but say it doesn't. We are in Fort Lee, NJ. We need to get to Laguardia to pick up nephew at 11:30, then get to NBC studios by 1245. It would be great to see the Baseball game after. There is a 105 game, and the cancelled game is rescheduled so it is a double header. Here is the ideal scenarios ranked:

1. Find a place to park - use public transit to get to airport to get nephew. Lyft or Cab to the NBC studio tour, get to Yankees stadium for last innings of 1st game. Get back to car - drive 4 hours back to home.

2. Find a place to park - use public transit to get to airport to get nephew. Lyft or Cab to the NBC studio tour, see a few things in NY, got to a few innings of the rescheduled game that starts at 7pm. Drive 4 hours home. (I do not like to drive at night).

3. Drive to Laguardia, drive to the NBC studios, drive to Yankee stadium, drive home.

Despite this sounding like an extravagant weekend, we really can't afford it and do not want to be paying out the wazoo. I was trying to do something nice, there was a reason we were only staying one night in NJ. Plus now I will be toting 3 kids (so this may factor into the cost of public transportation vs driving).

Please help! Tell me to park here - go there - and do this and that.
posted by turtlefu to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (8 answers total)
Do not do option three. And getting to midtown from Laguardia in 45 minutes is optimistic. Yellow cabs are your best bet, I think. Tomorrow, go get your nephew, get into the city, have lunch, wander a bit, subway to the second game of the double header, yellow cab back to Fort Lee. Assuming you are the only adult, otherwise you could send one adult to get nephew, other to take 2 others to studio tour.

If you must head home tomorrow night, check out of the fort lee hotel and drive some of the way then find a cheap clean chain hotel and rest for the night. Sorry this plan sounds so expensive.
posted by vrakatar at 8:31 PM on July 27, 2018

If you want to do option 2 drive into Manhattan and park somewhere near 125th and St. Nicholas. You should be able to find street parking on one of the streets a few blocks south of 125th. From 125th and St Nicholas take the M60 to LaGuardia. Cab to Rockefeller Center, but agree that you will be cutting it close.

You will have time between the tour and the game to walk around, get lunch, etc.

It is a straight shot from Rockefeller Center to Yankee Stadium on the D train. When you leave the game take the D back down to 125th. If your nephew has luggage you will need to store it before going to the game.
posted by plastic_animals at 8:52 PM on July 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

Just want to point you to SpotHero, which allows you to prebook parking and you can frequently find good rates.
posted by lalex at 8:58 PM on July 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

The makeup game starts at 7:05pm. I believe that tickets for tonight's rainout will be honored tomorrow night, not during the day game. I think if your nephew wants to see baseball, walking into the last inning of a game is not great. Not even sure they will let you in. Also, there is a chance tomorrow's game(s) will also be rained out.

LGA is under construction that has caused major traffic jams. Is there anyone in NYC who can watch your two daughters while you go to LGA to pick up nephew? Or, conversely, who can pick up nephew at LGA while you watch your two daughters?

If so, do one. If not, I would actually do a modified #3. It depends on where home is. If it is north of the city, I would drive to Yankee stadium and park in one of the lots under the Major Deagan (87) so that at the end of the game you can not lose an hour and a half backtracking. If you live west of the city in say NJ or PA, I would also drive and then hop across the George to wherever you live. Under no circumstances would I drive to Rockefeller Center. Parking in Midtown is difficult and expensive. Too much time too.

If it were me, I would either drive to Westchester Co north of the City and take a Metro North down to the city where I would take a cab or Uber from 125th St stop to LGA, pick up nephew assuming he is on time. (My gf was 6 hours delayed flying into LGA today. It is a bad weather nightmare.) If you can get him by say noon, take a yellow cab from the cab stand to NBC Studios. After the tour, take the subway (D Train) to Yankee Stadium Root for the Yankees! After Yankee victory, take the Metro North from Yankee stadium to wherever you parked your car at the station in Westchester. Get in car. Tell the three ying yangs to go to sleep. Drive 4 hours home. Open wine. Drink 2 glasses. Vow to never do that again.

I drive to the UES of Manhattan, to Yankee Stadium and to LGA regularly from Westchester. I am one of those strange people that would rather drive than take a train. I enjoy the challenge of driving in NYC with my big ass pickup. I believe I have really good parking Karma. I find spots on the street all the time. Spots big enough to parallel my truck into. Having said that, there is zero chance I would drive to the NBC Studios midday on a Saturday.

If it were me, I would consider blowing off the NBC tour. Your nephew is here to see the Royals and the Yankees. I would pick him up at LGA in my car, drive to the UES of Manhattan, park and then get lunch. After lunch, I would walk around then get back to car, hop on the FDR to the Willis Ave Bridge to the Major Deagan to Yankee stadium. Find one of the $20 parking lots, get to the game early and walk around the stadium. Your daughters may not like it, but this is about your nephew. Do what will make him cheer up.

Also, Yankee Stadium lets you bring in your own food. I would stop somewhere and get a bag of peanuts, sandwiches, etc rather than pay the insane prices inside.

Finally, if my weather forecast is accurate, there is a decent chance of a rainout again tomorrow although both teams will fight to get the games in.
posted by AugustWest at 11:02 PM on July 27, 2018 [3 favorites]

I can't tell if you're intending to stay through the entire game, but getting the subway gets very, very crowded afterwards. One option for getting away from Yankee Stadium that hasn't been mentioned is the Bx13 bus, which will take you basically to the George Washington Bridge. Another is to walk over the bridge to 155th St. Street parking in either of those areas should be possible with some patience.
posted by hoyland at 3:47 AM on July 28, 2018

I drove to the Bronx Zoo from mid-Atlantica and found that there is a Little Italy nearby with a neighborhood park which was really busy with kids enjoying themselves. We found street parking nearby. One of my hacks is searching up parking on a Yelp map when it looks impossible. I’ve been graced with one-dollar-sign options for storing the car, with reviews, so it’s not blind. The weather looks better today, and ideally your teen will chillax once another teen is amongst you.
posted by childofTethys at 6:40 AM on July 28, 2018

I just noticed I'm a day late with my poor contributions. Sorry.

it took us 45 minutes to go 3 miles

This is not particularly unusual. Surface vehicle travel is to be avoided. Use Google Maps for the best routes. Avoid I-95 unless Google prefers it.

I guess you'll be driving from Ft. Lee. The interchange at the NY side of the GWB is spaghetti for a tourist. Drive slowly and watch the signs and the GPS, even if people are honking at you.

Do one thing each day. Do one thing each day. Do one thing each day.

IMHO, just do baseball and then leave town. Stay out of Manhattan if possible. Maybe I've misunderstood your plan, which reminds me of The Out-of-Towners. Look for Stallone in the Central Park scene.
posted by JimN2TAW at 3:59 PM on July 28, 2018

How did it go? I would have agreed with previous poster who just said drive to LGA. Too bad it wasn't a sunday you were trying to plan, as free sunday street parking options are delightfully abundant in most of nyc. Though not near yankees games, im sure.
posted by elgee at 12:51 AM on July 30, 2018

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