Friday, December 17, 2010

Pinstripe Bowl Travel Guide

Countless Syracuse fans will descend on New York City in the coming weeks for the Pinstripe Bowl. Many Cuse fans have been here before for early-season basketball tournaments and the Big East tournament, however there are those who are making their first trip to the Big Apple and they need to plan accordingly.

First off, how to get to and from the Pinstripe Bowl is going to be important to plan out. There are a few different mass-transit options from New York City, and they all offer different benefits. Right off the bat, most people will tell you that the 4 train is the best way to Yankee Stadium.

The 4 train is nice, it's a newer train. However, it's also a very overcrowded line and it makes quite a bit of stops along the way. If you are staying on the east side, it's certainly a solid train to take. Wherever you get on, you will want to get off at 161st Street - Yankee Stadium.

My favorite way to Yankee Stadium is the B/D train line. The B/D uptown is a real quick ride if you are in mid-town Manhattan or staying on the west side. It drops you off at the same 161st Street - Yankee Stadium station. It is also much less crowded than the 4 train, and you can often find a seat if that's something that interests you.

For those of you who are more adventurous, you can take the A train which runs express from 59th Street to 125th Street (no stops). From there you get off at 125th St. Station and on the same platform the B/D will come to take you 4 more stops to Yankee Stadium. That's how I do it.

If you prefer to travel in a little more style, there is a brand new Metro-North train that can get you to the game in 15 minutes from Grand Central Station, which is located at 42nd Street between Park Ave. and Lexington Ave. Passengers get off at Yankee Stadium - 153rd Street Station, and you have to walk a few blocks, but it is much cleaner than the NYC Subway system. I've never gone this way but I'm sure people use it.

For further information on traveling to Yankee Stadium, check out the MTA official website with bus directions and other information for other boroughs.

Now, assuming you know how to get to the game, and you have picked out a hotel, you will need to find some classic New York food to keep you going between drinks. If I had to give a list of places to eat in Manhattan it could go on for days, instead I'm going to point out a couple famous places that everyone should try once in their life.

If you want Chinese food, you have got to go down to Chinatown. It's dirty, it's overcrowded, and it's the place to go in NYC for good Chinese food. I recommend Wo Hop located at 17 Mott Street. During the holiday season there can be a wait, however it is DEFINITELY worth it! There is two Wo Hop's, one upstairs, and one downstairs. You will want to wait in the line to eat in the one downstairs. Believe me, you will not be disappointed. There was a time when Wo Hop was open 24-hours, however now they close for 2 or 3 hours around like 5 or 6AM. Perfect for after the bar scene.

From there, it's a very short walk to Little Italy, which has gotten littler and littler over the years. The Feast of San Gennaro is over unfortunately, however there still are some great Italian restaurants along Mulberry Street year round.

If a New York deli excites you, and you want a Pastrami sandwich literally as big as your head and a knish (and lets be honest of course you want those things) than you should definitely hit up Katz's Deli, located at 205 East Houston Street. Katz's has been open since 1888 and although it is a little pricey, it is totally worth it. Once again, you will not leave disappointed.

Everyone also knows that New York City is a pizza town. There's tons of places to get a New York slice. Ray's, Famous Ray's, Original Famous Ray's, Sbarro's. The list goes on and on. Lombardi's on 32 Spring Street claims they invented pizza as we know it today, and they might be right. They started making pizza in 1905 and are still going strong.

If you want to take a trip to Brooklyn, than Grimaldi's is another famous NYC pizza place. Located just over the Brooklyn Bridge at 19 Old Fulton Street, Grimaldi's makes their pizza in a brick oven, which just spells awesomeness. They have a few locations in the New York area (Queens, Long Island), however Brooklyn is their original and most famous location. Definitely recommended.

Overall, you can not go wrong getting a slice of pizza in New York City as long as you stay away from the chains you can find in any city. If you take the train into Penn Station, than I recommend going to Rosa's Pizza on the LIRR level. Big slices, great taste. They also sell some big beers that can get you in the right spirits for your trip uptown to Yankee Stadium.

Check back in the coming days/weeks as we will have more travel tips and places to see here at The Cuse Connection.

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