Manhattan transfer

Paul Hopkins finds that flying United into Newark, New Jersey makes for a far more relaxing arrival to downtown New York 

Here’s the thing: life in New York, in particular Manhattan, is fast-paced and as busy as the proverbial bee, and walking quickly isn’t just about getting from one place to the next as fast as possible; it’s a point of pride. If you’re not keeping up with the breakneck pace, then native New Yorkers will ask you to kindly step aside and let them pass.

You’ve got three days, maybe five, perhaps even a week to discover —  or rediscover as in my case —  the city that never sleeps and it can be hectic at that breakneck pace. So, you want to arrive in one piece, relatively rested to begin your sojourn.

The best way to do so is to forget about flying into JFK. Fly into New Jersey instead! Travel-time from JFK to midtown Manhattan (Times Square and all that jazz!), via the A train, by the time you actually manage to exit JFK, can be up to an hour and 20 minutes.

From the much more accommodating Newark Liberty airport, New Jersey, to Manhattan, by taxi, bus or train, clocks in at around 27 minutes and with a lot less hassle.

This year is a milestone for United Airlines as they are celebrating 20th years serving Ireland to New York.

The flight from Dublin departs daily at 0920am and arrives into Newark at 1135am same day — and hit Manhattan just after noon, in time for lunch. (Departure from Newark is 1935 arriving next morning at 0705am). On both journeys, because of travel times, you can arrive refreshed and paying an extra few bob for an Economy Plus seat is well worth it for that extra leg room.

Car hire apart, there are several relatively inexpensive ways to get from Newark to Manhattan.

The Air Train: offers connecting service to NJ Transit and Amtrak trains which will bring you into Manhattan. Surprisingly, this can actually be much quicker than taking a cab or bus, and it is much more affordable. $11.55 one way will bring you from Newark Airport to Penn Station.

Taxis: fare (plus tolls) to any Manhattan location, approximately $50-75. Taxis are available outside of every terminal and there is typically a taxi stand where you will be directed to a taxi. .

Several companies offer shuttles to Manhattan, including:

Go Airlink NYC offers shared transfers from EWR (starting at $12/person), as well as private transfers via sedan or van for groups of up to 11 passengers ($64-133/transfer).

The Newark Liberty Airport Express is available from 4 a.m. – 1 a.m., with shuttles leaving every 15-30 minutes for midtown Manhattan and every 2 hours to downtown Manhattan (from 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.). One-way fare is $16, but you can save by buying round-trip tickets, at $28. One free child under 16 is included in the fare.

NYC Airporter offers transfers between Newark Airport and JFK or LGA airports for $24. If you’re traveling from Newark to Manhattan only you’ll catch the Newark Airport Express bus which will take you to the Port Authority bus terminal.

Having hit the Big Apple, for the novice and the initiated, there is so much to do and see and experience. For your ‘one a day’, if you go for a week, here are seven top Irish places of interest in NYC.

American Irish Historical Society, 991 Fifth Ave., between 80th and 81st streets: This institution houses many of the great historical records of the Irish. A veritable  treasure trove for someone who cherishes history.

Glucksman Ireland House, 1 Washington Mews, at Fifth Avenue: A great place, on a nightly basis, to experience the best of Irish culture. Political speakers, playwrights and people who are well known speak here, such as writer Pete Hamill, former President Mary McAleese and actors Liam Neeson and Gabriel Byrne.

Irish Arts Center, 553 51st St., between 10th and 11th avenues: Experience the best of Irish theatre and cultural activities.  a wonderful place to bring  children, and to understand the culture that shapes the Irish in America.

O’Neill’s Irish Bar, 729 Third Ave., between 45th and 46th streets: Wonderful old-fashioned Irish pub that serves bangers and mash.  On the wall, brought over from Ireland, you have advertisements of train schedules from 100 years ago in Ireland, and of old taverns, and old Guinness ads that are 60, 70 years old. Like stepping back into the past.

Irish Repertory Theatre, 132 W. 22nd St., between Sixth and Seventh avenues: Performances of the latest productions from Ireland, and great Irish-American dramas. They just produced Eugene O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones, moved to a bigger off-Broadway venue because it was so successful.

Fitzpatrick Manhattan, 687 Lexington Ave., between 56th and 57th streets: A landmark hotel and a home away from a home for many Irish who come to NYC. You can pick up the Irish papers and have your Irish breakfast, too, with real Irish bacon and sausage, black pudding and Irish soda bread. Everybody who comes here from Ireland ends up in the lobby at Fitzpatrick’s.Well, almost everybody …

McSorley’s Old Ale House, 15 East 7th Street: Established in 1854 as a saloon for Irish workers, this bar still stands today and is as much a living museum as a place to relax and enjoy a beverage.


Getting there

The United  flight from Dublin departs daily at 0920am and arrives into Newark at 1135am same day — and hit Manhattan just after noon, in time for lunch. (Departure from Newark is 1935 arriving next morning at 0705am).

Economy fares:

€548  incl. tax for travel between 01apr & 24jun or 23aug & 31oct or 18dec & 24dec 2018

 €724 incl tax for travel between 25jun & 22aug 2018

€434 incl tax for travel between 1nov & 17dec 2018 or 25dec 2018 & 31mar 2019

 Fares require 60 days advance purchase; fares are not refundable after ticketing and changes are permitted with a fee and subject to availability.