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New York vacation advice

EntriechEntriech Registered User regular
Hello H/A,

My wife and I are taking a short 5 day trip to New York, resulting in 3 full days there. We've never been before, and only have the vaguest idea of some things to do. I was hoping to pick the brains of some who have been and enjoyed or who live there on what might be worth spending time and money on. I know we've had a few of these in the past, but they're at least a couple years old.

Details about the trip:

It'll be Monday to Friday at the end of May. We're actually going to be staying in Jersey City near Exchange Place, and traveling via the light rail, PATH, and other forms of public transit. On the docket so far, we're thinking of a visit to the Museum of Natural History, and we'll probably want to try to take in a Broadway show. Beyond that, things get a bit murky. I've had a couple acquaintances suggesting to look into any hop on/hop off tours that operate between the major tourist joints in the city. Are some of the major, tall landmarks worth visiting? Such as the Statue of Liberty, or the Empire State building.

We're into science and history, but not so much into art. We're perfectly happy to do some sightseeing and photo taking. A little shopping wouldn't be bad, but we're more lookers than buyers. We both love bookstores, so if there's a standout one of those, that'd be great. Besides that we're into gaming and entertainment. She's quite into interior design, and crafty-type stuff. I've got a strong fondness for craft beer. Food-wise we both love Italian, and we've got a real fondness for pork otherwise. We're trying to avoid murdering ourselves walking around too too much, so attractions that involve a bit of sitting down are appreciated.

I really appreciate any advice that people can offer, and am happy to provide more detail if needed. Thanks!

Gamecenter/Gamertag/Steam ID/PSN: Entriech
Guild Wars 2: Entriech.3507 | Scythe Gearsnap, Phlork, Irenic

Posts

  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    If you like history, The Metropolitan Museum of Art is your jam.
    Nat history is mostly boring dioramas and shit. The Met has everything from ancient armor, to Roman Coins, to a motherfucking indoor pyramid.
    EAST SIDE
    /drops mic

    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    Check out the City Pass. It gives you tickets to six attractions for 40% off total. If they are what you plan on seeing, then it's worth getting.

    http://www.citypass.com/new-york?creative=20612214389&adpos=1t1&mv_source=rkg&gclid=COKa3MaR4bYCFc9FMgodJAkArg

    sig.gif
  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    In the middle of Times Square is a half price booth for theater tickets. Grab random tickets, for whatever show is available. My most memorable musicals (like Avenue Q and Stomp) were my third or fourth choice, so don't worry if your first choice show is sold out.

    As an aside, I'm not a fan of staying outside of Manhattan. You just lose too much time due to travel. It doesn't seem like much, but it adds up, and it feels like you're always on a schedule.

    iTNdmYl.png
  • FantasmaFantasma Registered User regular
    The main issue I had in New York the three times I was there is the huge amount of people trying to visit a specific place. Maybe things have changed since then, but try to be patient. China Town used to be a nice place to walk and just take a look around, the Empire State building offers a good chance to take some pictures if it is not raining, I spent a good amount of time visiting Barnes & Noble in Manhattan.

    Hear my warnings, unbelievers. We have raised altars in this land so that we may sacrifice you to our gods. There is no hope in opposing the inevitable. Put down your arms, unbelievers, and bow before the forces of Chaos!
  • WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Entriech wrote: »
    but not so much into art.

    Forgive me for suggesting it, but in my experience sometimes 'not into art' means 'not into contemporary art'. Try the Frick:
    http://www.frick.org/collection

    Its the house of a wealthy industrialist from the 1800s who loved collecting art turned into a museum. So its both interesting in terms of the art there (Goya, Whistler, Rembrandt to name a few) and in a historical 'holy shit this was someone's house' sense.

    Wassermelone on
  • supabeastsupabeast Registered User regular
    The Museum of Natural History is really a museum for kids.

    Personally, I try to avoid being anywhere above 23 street unless I really have to go up there. Lower Manhattan is where all the cool shit is. Walk all over the East Village, Lower East Side, and SoHo. Midtown is just an overpriced tourist trap/mall. Statue of Liberty is a pointless visit, because once you’re standing at the bottom, you can’t see the statue anyway.

  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    hsu wrote: »
    As an aside, I'm not a fan of staying outside of Manhattan. You just lose too much time due to travel. It doesn't seem like much, but it adds up, and it feels like you're always on a schedule.

    To offer a massive counterpoint, Manhattan is not the end-all be-all. I took out my little cousin a few weeks ago and her biggest OMG moment wasn't anywhere near the typical tourist spots.

    It was on the 7 Train heading into Manhattan when she saw the five pointz building

    5POINTZ_HOME_BANNER_1.jpg

    The only reason to stay in manhattan is if you have money to burn and want a by-the-numbers NYC tourist experience.

    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • supabeastsupabeast Registered User regular
    There’s a 7 train? Is that in Flushing or something? ;b

  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    It goes from Times Square to Flushing, yes.

    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • AkilaeAkilae Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Entriech wrote: »
    Hello H/A,

    My wife and I are taking a short 5 day trip to New York, resulting in 3 full days there. We've never been before, and only have the vaguest idea of some things to do. I was hoping to pick the brains of some who have been and enjoyed or who live there on what might be worth spending time and money on. I know we've had a few of these in the past, but they're at least a couple years old.

    Details about the trip:

    It'll be Monday to Friday at the end of May. We're actually going to be staying in Jersey City near Exchange Place, and traveling via the light rail, PATH, and other forms of public transit. On the docket so far, we're thinking of a visit to the Museum of Natural History, and we'll probably want to try to take in a Broadway show. Beyond that, things get a bit murky. I've had a couple acquaintances suggesting to look into any hop on/hop off tours that operate between the major tourist joints in the city. Are some of the major, tall landmarks worth visiting? Such as the Statue of Liberty, or the Empire State building.

    I tend to recommend my friends to stay away from those hop on/off tours. They're useful for seeing the popular tourist destinations and not walking around... except they channel you towards the popular tourist destinations. Standing in line for Liberty Island is also a giant time waster.
    Entriech wrote: »
    We're into science and history, but not so much into art.

    The Museum of Natural History for science and natural history.
    The Met for more history.
    The Cloisters for a more quiet, contemplative history experience. If you must choose, this over Natural History.
    Museum of the City of New York for local history.
    New York Public Library is also a good place to go without crazy crowds.
    You guys might enjoy the Morgan Library and Museum.
    Entriech wrote: »
    We're perfectly happy to do some sightseeing and photo taking.

    Times Square, as much as locals go out of their way to avoid it, is a must then.
    The Highline. Maybe.
    DUMBO/Manhattan Bridge Park to get a great shot of Manhattan.
    Brooklyn Promenade for a great panorama of Manhattan and a wonderful riverside stroll.
    Don't go to Liberty Island. Take the Staten Island Ferry for a great angle of the lady. (Unless Ellis Island is also open by that time, then by all means get the two-fer, as Ellis Island is actually worth visiting for immigrant history)
    Entriech wrote: »
    A little shopping wouldn't be bad, but we're more lookers than buyers. We both love bookstores, so if there's a standout one of those, that'd be great.

    Well... if you want a local bookstore... St. Mark's Bookshop. Otherwise, you might get a real kick out of the NYPL's Rose Reading Room.
    Entriech wrote: »
    Besides that we're into gaming and entertainment.

    The Nintendo store.
    Entriech wrote: »
    She's quite into interior design, and crafty-type stuff.

    Huh. And not so much into art? Strange combination. Otherwise, MoMA and Guggenheim.
    Entriech wrote: »
    I've got a strong fondness for craft beer.

    Lots of these in the city. I want to say Heartland Brewery, but some beer snob will be jumping in soon to right whatever wrongs I am committing by recommending that place.
    Entriech wrote: »
    Food-wise we both love Italian, and we've got a real fondness for pork otherwise.

    Try not to limit yourself, since NYC is where you can literally taste the world. Italian can also go pricy, or go cheap. Whatever you do, don't go to Little Italy for Italian food. But do go to Chinatown for Chinese food, and K-Town for Korean food.

    For Italian, for a while I liked to point people to Frank's Restaurant in East Village. If you make it out to Brooklyn and are craving Italian, then you MUST go to Noodle Pudding. Go early, since they don't take reservations. Before you even browse through the menu, ask your waiter if the "Trust Me Menu" is available. If it is, then trust them with your stomach and wallet.

    Do NOT go to the new Grimaldi's... either one of them. Just.. don't. Lombardi's is good, as is Di Fara (go before the old man quits making pizza!).

    If your love for Italian is not limited to lunch and dinner, then you must swing by Veniero's for cheesecake, cannoli, and everything in between.

    Go to Katz's for pastrami. Yes, you can Sit Where She Sat while Having What She's Having.
    Go up the street from Katz's to Russ and Daughter's for smoked salmon. Ask for "Belly Lox With Cream Cheese" (those exact words) on a bagel for true New York fare.

    For pork? Daisy May's or Fatty Cue.
    Entriech wrote: »
    We're trying to avoid murdering ourselves walking around too too much, so attractions that involve a bit of sitting down are appreciated.

    That's a pity, cause none of the places you will go will involve much sitting down. NYC is also best experienced by walking and using the subway.
    Entriech wrote: »
    I really appreciate any advice that people can offer, and am happy to provide more detail if needed. Thanks!

    Don't take those bloody tourist hop-on/off buses, take the subway. It's confusing, but New Yorkers have become used to pointing people in the right direction.
    Don't go to Empire State, go to Rockefeller for a view of Empire State and a great photo op.
    Do see a Broadway show, but get your tickets from TKTS (google it).
    Don't walk down Broadway through Soho, walk down the parallel Mercer St. for a much more pleasant walking experience.

    Akilae on
    Deebaser
  • AkilaeAkilae Registered User regular
    Deebaser wrote: »
    It goes from Times Square to Flushing, yes.

    Listen to this man. He has MTA art as his sig.

    Deebaser
  • EriosErios Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    supabeast wrote: »
    There’s a 7 train? Is that in Flushing or something? ;b

    You wound me, sir. :P

    5 Pointz is neat though. The whole neighborhood is pretty cool and you can get some great views of Manhattan from Gantry Plaza Park. I've lived near there for 3 years and it's pretty great.

    Also, there are a number of hotels near Queensboro plaza (near the N/Q) it's one stop out of Manhattan. It's not the prettiest area, but the hotels should cost you substantially less.

    Take the Staten Island Ferry for a great view of downtown and the Statue of Liberty for free. If you want to see the whole from high up, Top of the Rock is better than the Empire State Building, though they're both a bit pricey/touristy. If you like Parks, check out (obviously) Central Park, Prospect Park (and neighboring park slope is pretty and neat), The Cloisters, and if you want to hike around a bit, Inwood Hill Park. Those are in descending order, I'd say, though each is really cool. The whole West Side below 125th is home to the beautiful Riverside Park which transitions to the High Line around 36th, which then transitions to Hudson River Park and eventually the beautiful Battery Park (City). Riverside Park and the High Line are more of a gorgeous hike with views than the other parks. The Met (both the museum and opera company) can't be beat. The Brooklyn Academy of Music does some great theatrical work as well with a modern twist. You can always play the lottery at different Broadway shows if they're sold out or really expensive, like Book of Mormon. Just show up a bit before, put your names down and then come back for the drawings.

    Queens and Brooklyn are both neat places. If you're into new or weird cuisine for slightly cheaper than Manhattan's top spots, Western Brooklyn is pretty good for that (parts of Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Park Slope, Cobble Hill/Boerum Hill/Crown Heights). If you want funky ethnic food, Queens is pretty tops. Of note are the Greek restaurants in Astoria (namely Taverna Kyclades) and SriPraPhai in Woodside. Get a Zagat Guide or peruse Yelp. Flushing is likely better for Chinese food than Chinatown, though it's far out there.
    supabeast wrote: »
    The Museum of Natural History is really a museum for kids.

    Personally, I try to avoid being anywhere above 23 street unless I really have to go up there. Lower Manhattan is where all the cool shit is. Walk all over the East Village, Lower East Side, and SoHo. Midtown is just an overpriced tourist trap/mall. Statue of Liberty is a pointless visit, because once you’re standing at the bottom, you can’t see the statue anyway.

    This is good advice.

    Erios on
    Steam: erios23, Live: Coconut Flavor, Origin: erios2386.
  • AkilaeAkilae Registered User regular
    Anywhere above 23rd? I know it's popular to hate on Midtown Manhattan, but there are locations very much worth the visit.

    Deebaser
  • BlazeFireBlazeFire Registered User regular
    Into a walking tour? We took one from Real New York Tours and had a great time.

  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    Akilae wrote: »
    Anywhere above 23rd? I know it's popular to hate on Midtown Manhattan, but there are locations very much worth the visit.

    Yeah that's cutting out pretty much all your museums, most of your flagship stores, and quite a few amazing bars/restaurants

    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • supabeastsupabeast Registered User regular
    Deebaser wrote: »
    Akilae wrote: »
    Anywhere above 23rd? I know it's popular to hate on Midtown Manhattan, but there are locations very much worth the visit.

    Yeah that's cutting out pretty much all your museums, most of your flagship stores, and quite a few amazing bars/restaurants

    Yeah, but that also cuts out most of the tourists and bankers. Not a terrible compromise.

  • LawndartLawndart Registered User regular
    supabeast wrote: »
    Deebaser wrote: »
    Akilae wrote: »
    Anywhere above 23rd? I know it's popular to hate on Midtown Manhattan, but there are locations very much worth the visit.

    Yeah that's cutting out pretty much all your museums, most of your flagship stores, and quite a few amazing bars/restaurants

    Yeah, but that also cuts out most of the tourists and bankers. Not a terrible compromise.

    Yeah, nothing like visiting Wall Street if you want to avoid tourists and bankers.

    Anyway.

    The Natural History Museum is worth skipping, as it's dated and dimly lit. Well, unless you've ever said "I'd like to visit a zoo and an aquarium, but only if all the animals were dead, stuffed, and mounted."

    And yes, somewhat counter-intuitively, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has far, far more interesting historical doo-dads and whatnot. Also things like lots of Tiffany glass and a Frank Lloyd Wright room.

    Also, for bookstores, it's worth visiting The Strand, doubly so if you're into comic books or assorted related geekery, since Forbidden Planet is a block or so away.

    Deebaser
  • TurksonTurkson Near the mountains of ColoradoRegistered User regular
    If you like World War 2 history, check out the Intrepid Sea and Air museum. It's a decommissioned Aircraft Carrier tied up in NYC.

    We missed a few places...
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    The *only* way to enjoy Manhattan is to murder yourself walking around. Bonus: you won't get fat from eating all that food! I recommend wandering the East and West Villages. Lots of pretty brownstones and interesting people. Also plenty of little cafes to give your feet a rest.

    The most interesting historical museum I've seen is the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side. The Natural History museum is marvellous if you have children under 10, otherwise don't bother.

    The Statue of Liberty is worth seeing but closed due to Hurricane Sandy. The Empire State Building is a tourist trap with a lovely view; well worth going up on a clear day.

    Gamer stuff is pretty poor in Manhattan. The game shops are no different to anywhere else. You might like Barcade, which is a craft beer/vintage arcade machine bar in Brooklyn

    http://barcadebrooklyn.com

    If your wife likes design, she'll probably like MoMA.

    http://www.moma.org

  • EntriechEntriech Registered User regular
    Thank you so much for all the advice, everyone. I definitely feel like I've had my eyes opened with respect to the Natural History museum vs the Met, and we'll probably be going to the latter instead now. Seeing as we've only got three full days there, I think we've got the attractions side of it nailed down, though it does make me excited to make further excursions to the city if this one goes well. We're only a nine hour drive away, so.

    What I'd love now is just some straight up favorite restaurant recommendations. Doesn't have to be any particular kind of food or price range, I'd just love to know where you folks love to eat. Is it a pretty safe bet I should be making reservations, or is it possible to just walk in off the street? I'm accustomed to something the size of Toronto, but my understanding of New York is that it has a significantly higher density of people.

    I'd also appreciate any tips or tricks in dealing with the public transit. Any weird things to know about the subway, path, or light rail? Are cabs just as much of a scam as I've heard they are? Can anyone speak to how bad the driving is in Jersey City? As I said, we'll be leaving the car at our hotel, but we do have to actually get to the hotel.

    Thanks again, everyone, this is great so far.

    Gamecenter/Gamertag/Steam ID/PSN: Entriech
    Guild Wars 2: Entriech.3507 | Scythe Gearsnap, Phlork, Irenic
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Cabs are not a scam. What have you heard about them? It is however much cheaper to take the subway.

    Deebaser
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    Last time I went to NYC spent the whole time in Brooklyn. Not sure if it's the same in all boroughs, but it seems like cabbies didn't know where anything was outside of Manhattan. Like I regularly had to say "go to this intersection of this and this street" and often I'd have google maps open on my phone to make sure we were going in the right direction.

  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    Transit tips:
    Cabs are most certainly not a scam.
    Download a subway map to your phone. Don't be that guy with a paper map.

    Restaurant Recommendations:
    Rare Bar and Grill = Best Burger in NYC. Some people will tell you otherwise, but they're wrong
    Crif Dogs = Best Hotdog in NYC. Don't get a cart dog. They're disgusting.

    Pretty much everything on eater's Essential 38 is usually gold
    http://ny.eater.com/archives/2013/04/new_yorks_38_essential_restaurants_april_13.php

    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    It'd take a guy a lifetime to know Brooklyn t'roo and t'roo. An' even den, yuh wouldn't know all.


    You can't just give an intersection in most parts of brooklyn like you can in manhattan. Unless you're going to the airport, or are in a particularly popular neighborhood, it isn't really all that unreasonable to expect that you know where you're going.
    Brooklyn is a mindnumbingly huge place. There are 1500 streets.

    http://www.brooklyn.com/modules.php?name=ST

    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • LawndartLawndart Registered User regular
    Deebaser wrote: »
    Transit tips:
    Cabs are most certainly not a scam.

    In general, no, although it's possible, if unlikely, that a cabbie might try and scam a tourist by not turning on their meter and charging a jacked up price. This is much less likely now that cabs have more high-tech meters installed, but I have had a cabbie try and pull this trick on me back in the day when I picked up a visitor at Penn Station. Waiting a few blocks from our destination to say "well, the cab ride coming up here was half as much, and your meter isn't on, so you can either turn it on for the rest of the trip or let us off here for free" shut him the fuck up, though.

    In general, though, you should stick to the subway unless you just want the experience of a cab ride.

  • EriosErios Registered User regular
    Cabs are not a scam. What have you heard about them? It is however much cheaper to take the subway.

    To elaborate, cabs with the yellow livery of the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission are not a scam, but expensive. The weird dude in the black/silver Lincoln asking you "taxi?" aggressively is a scam and will rip you off unless you have supernatural negotiating and haggling abilities. You'll tend to find the former in Manhattan south of 125th Street, the airports, and the rich parts of Brooklyn and Long Island City.

    Steam: erios23, Live: Coconut Flavor, Origin: erios2386.
    Essee
  • TehSlothTehSloth Hit Or Miss I Guess They Never Miss, HuhRegistered User regular
    I'd recommend checking out the Embark NYC subway map app. It's pretty good, although I hear the new google maps beta is on par as far as subway maps go. I visited about a month ago and went pretty much everywhere via subway except for my initial trip to where I was staying since I didn't feel like attempting to get my luggage onto the subway at rush hour. I was pretty amazed with how convenient it is. Never took the PATH though.

    FC: 1993-7778-8872 PSN: TehSloth Xbox: SlothTeh
    twitch.tv/tehsloth
  • kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    Why take a cab when Uber exists?

    fwKS7.png?1
  • supabeastsupabeast Registered User regular
    What is your restaurant budget? A decent dinner starts at around $40 a person and tops out at around $250 before alcohol.

  • noir_bloodnoir_blood Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Get a gyro from one of the street carts. They're fucking delicious.

    You can always try to get into the Book of Mormon lottery. I mean, you probably won't win the tickets, but hey, there's always that itsy bitsy little chance that you do.

    Speaking of Musicals, skip the expensive Broadway ones and see an off broadway one. Last year the fiance and I ended up seeing Silence!. It helps if you've seen Silence of The Lambs, but even without it, it's a pretty funny and catchy musical.

    Definitely do 30 Rock over Empire. The location itself just has better photo ops, and once you get up to the to the top, the view is better too.

    I personally enjoyed the double decker tour buses. I think it was like 40 for a two day pass, and it was nice to sometimes just stop walking and jump aboard one of them and enjoy the sights. If you do take one though, bring a jacket, especially if you want to sit on the second level. I went there one year around this time and it gets really cold. Also, if you do go, try to do a night one, as seeing the city during that time is quite nice. The one we took ended up taking us into Brooklyn as well, so that was cool.

    We never bothered with the Statue of Liberty. It just seems like too much to pay, and it's not like you can go inside the statue anyways. Instead just take a ferry to NJ and back. You still get a great view of the statue.

    Oh! If you head to Brooklyn, try to catch one of The Moth shows. For comedy, check out the Upright Citizen Brigade comedy club. And of course, if you're a nerd, you need to check out the Way Station bar. It has a Tardis bathroom!

    noir_blood on
  • EntriechEntriech Registered User regular
    All of this further advice has been awesome. I'll definitely be sure to download some kind of subway app onto my ipod touch before we go, an interactive electronic map seems a lot more useful than a paper one.

    I consulted with my wife, and we've already done some simple planning. Day #1 looks like it's going to be a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and we've got tickets to see Don Quixote at the Met Opera that evening. Day #2 we're probably going to see a musical, she's leaning hard towards Phantom of the Opera, as she's a big fan, and I'm not super picky. We'll probably also spend part of Day #2 gawking at Times Square like the dumb tourists we are (we figure we have to do this and get it over with). Also a trip over to Rockefeller Center, including the observation deck. Day #3 is more of a sightseeing day, and we're planning on hitting up the Staten Island ferry both ways, exploring Battery park, and then heading over to the Strand bookstore and Forbidden Planet to do some shopping in that neighbourhood. Depending on time we may snoop around more after that, or head back over to Jersey City. The Barcade there is actually a very short walk from our hotel.

    I really appreciate all the other suggestions though. We've got a long list of other stuff we'll definitely want to go see the next time we come back, like the Cloisters, the Frick Collection, the High Line, Chinatown, and more. Next time we may take the opposite approach and stay over in Brooklyn so that we can explore that side of things further as well.

    I want to thank everyone who posted advice, before this thread I only had the vaguest idea of what we were going to do in NYC and now we've got a solid plan, and a lot of future places we want to go. Cheers, folks.

    Gamecenter/Gamertag/Steam ID/PSN: Entriech
    Guild Wars 2: Entriech.3507 | Scythe Gearsnap, Phlork, Irenic
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    I saw Phantom of the Opera last year. It seemed weak and tired compared to other Broadway musicals I have seen. I think its been running too long.

    Forbidden Planet near the Strand is exactly the same as Forbidden Planet everywhere. Check out St Mark's Comics nearby for something a bit more unique (if small and grungy.)

    http://www.stmarkscomics.com/

    As a bonus, St Marks, the street it is on is a great place to get cheap Asian food, and also St Mark's bookshop, which has a lot of local stuff.

    LoveIsUnity
  • LawndartLawndart Registered User regular
    Oh, if you're going to be nearby visiting the Strand and Forbidden Planet, and you like food and crafts, if you're there on the right days you should walk a few blocks north and check out the Union Square Greenmarket.

  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    If you're at Battery Park walk over to the Elevated Acre at 55 Water Street.
    There's an outdoor escalator between the two buildings that make up 55 on the South Side of Water Street.

    At the top of the escalator is a nice hidden park that gives you a great view of the Brooklyn Bridge and the South Street Heliport. I could watch the helicopters take off and land all day :)

    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • cabsycabsy the fattest rainbow unicorn Registered User regular
    Entriech wrote: »
    All of this further advice has been awesome. I'll definitely be sure to download some kind of subway app onto my ipod touch before we go, an interactive electronic map seems a lot more useful than a paper one.

    I consulted with my wife, and we've already done some simple planning. Day #1 looks like it's going to be a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and we've got tickets to see Don Quixote at the Met Opera that evening. Day #2 we're probably going to see a musical, she's leaning hard towards Phantom of the Opera, as she's a big fan, and I'm not super picky. We'll probably also spend part of Day #2 gawking at Times Square like the dumb tourists we are (we figure we have to do this and get it over with). Also a trip over to Rockefeller Center, including the observation deck. Day #3 is more of a sightseeing day, and we're planning on hitting up the Staten Island ferry both ways, exploring Battery park, and then heading over to the Strand bookstore and Forbidden Planet to do some shopping in that neighbourhood. Depending on time we may snoop around more after that, or head back over to Jersey City. The Barcade there is actually a very short walk from our hotel.

    I really appreciate all the other suggestions though. We've got a long list of other stuff we'll definitely want to go see the next time we come back, like the Cloisters, the Frick Collection, the High Line, Chinatown, and more. Next time we may take the opposite approach and stay over in Brooklyn so that we can explore that side of things further as well.

    I want to thank everyone who posted advice, before this thread I only had the vaguest idea of what we were going to do in NYC and now we've got a solid plan, and a lot of future places we want to go. Cheers, folks.

    If you are a nerd (which you are) and you're going to be in Times Square anyway (which you are) Toys R Us in Times Square has both an enormous roaring t-rex and an indoor full-size ferris wheel you should go look at (but mostly a t rex)

    LoveIsUnity
  • AkilaeAkilae Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    @Entriech:
    Entriech wrote: »
    All of this further advice has been awesome. I'll definitely be sure to download some kind of subway app onto my ipod touch before we go, an interactive electronic map seems a lot more useful than a paper one.

    Have a paper map ready. No matter what people say, you WILL look like a tourist. iProduct thefts in NYC are up, so you don't want to be stuck without some sort of navigation reference.
    Entriech wrote: »
    Day #1 looks like it's going to be a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and we've got tickets to see Don Quixote at the Met Opera that evening.

    Depending on how early you get to the Met, you might have enough time for one other thing between the Met and the Opera. Central Park would be a good idea. For dinner, Patsy's is nearby on 56th st. Dine where Frank Sinatra liked to get his Italian food! It's a no shorts, no sandals affair though. Call head to make reservations and to make sure you're appropriately dressed.
    Entriech wrote: »
    Day #2 we're probably going to see a musical, she's leaning hard towards Phantom of the Opera, as she's a big fan, and I'm not super picky. We'll probably also spend part of Day #2 gawking at Times Square like the dumb tourists we are (we figure we have to do this and get it over with). Also a trip over to Rockefeller Center, including the observation deck.

    Might want to swing by St. Patrick's, since it's right next door. Kinokuniya (Japanese bookstore) is also in the neighborhood. Minamoto Kitchoan across the street from Rockefeller for delicate Japanese pastries. Katsu-hama is a few blocks away for excellent Japanese fried pork chop. Le Bernardin for the opposite end of the price spectrum. Wu Liang Yi for pretty good Szechuan cuisine (warning, they'll give you the foreigner's menu though).
    Entriech wrote: »
    Day #3 is more of a sightseeing day, and we're planning on hitting up the Staten Island ferry both ways, exploring Battery park, and then heading over to the Strand bookstore and Forbidden Planet to do some shopping in that neighbourhood. Depending on time we may snoop around more after that, or head back over to Jersey City. The Barcade there is actually a very short walk from our hotel.

    Union Square area? As people have already mentioned, you can swing by St. Mark's from there, since it's just a short walk away. No recommendations for lunch, since that's too numerous (although I would say to go Manoun's for falafel).

    Lots of choices for dinner in that area, but I highly recommend Kenka on St. Mark's. Arrive at 6 sharp, otherwise you'll be waiting for up to 45 minutes to an hour for seating. It's a Japanese beer hall/grill type of place. Everybody I've taken there have gone in asking "What the hell is this place?" (naughty posters on the walls, almost exclusively Asian clientele, everybody jabbering over each other, crazy menus), and walked out asking "Why the hell do we not have something like this back home?"

    Something more intimate and quiet? Hasaki on 9th.

    Want something more "foodie"? Then Ippudo for ramen (and a 1-hour wait).

    After dinner, you can walk over to Veniero's if you want for Italian pastries.

    Don't want Italian pastries? Then carefully follow these instructions: Locate Village Yokocho around 3rd Ave. and Stuyvesant St. Go inside, DO NOT sit down. Upon going up the stairs and entering the restaurant proper, let the waiters know you want to go to the bar if they pay you any attention. Turn left and push the unmarked door open. Welcome to Angel's Share, one of NYC's hidden bars, where the seating limit is probably 15 (if not 10), the clients keep quiet and to themselves, and the Japanese bartenders are some of the best in NYC. Get a whiskey cocktail for yourself, and whatever your partner wants. Enjoy a relaxing evening entirely isolated from the hustle and bustle of the city.

    Akilae on
  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    Unless you're really down with cocktail culture I would avoid Angel's Share. I went with a buddy that's more of a beer guy one time afterwork and he did not feel comfortable at all. The waiters lack warmth and I was frankly embarassed for taking him there.
    Little Branch, Middle (or is it Medium?) Branch, Pegu Club, Dutch Kills, and Dead Rabbit all have similar top notch bar programs, but they aren't dicks about it.

    Honestly, I'd recommend B Flat in tribeca first. It's a lot less "It's a Secret to Everybody", but the bartenders are knowlegable, the space is tight, and Happy hour is baller.

    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • AkilaeAkilae Registered User regular
    Deebaser wrote: »
    Unless you're really down with cocktail culture I would avoid Angel's Share. I went with a buddy that's more of a beer guy one time afterwork and he did not feel comfortable at all. The waiters lack warmth and I was frankly embarassed for taking him there.
    Little Branch, Middle (or is it Medium?) Branch, Pegu Club, Dutch Kills, and Dead Rabbit all have similar top notch bar programs, but they aren't dicks about it.

    Honestly, I'd recommend B Flat in tribeca first. It's a lot less "It's a Secret to Everybody", but the bartenders are knowlegable, the space is tight, and Happy hour is baller.

    That's actually true.

    Then again, could always point him to The Back Fence. Not being sarcastic about it, but The Back Fence really is the go-in-and-drink-in-an-unpretentious-place kind of bar.

  • CJTheranCJTheran Registered User regular
    Download Hopstop for your iPod if you plan on using mass transit at all.( Protip: you will be using mass transit.) This is a great navigational tool.

  • silence1186silence1186 Character shields down! As a wingmanRegistered User regular
    Djeet wrote: »
    Last time I went to NYC spent the whole time in Brooklyn. Not sure if it's the same in all boroughs, but it seems like cabbies didn't know where anything was outside of Manhattan. Like I regularly had to say "go to this intersection of this and this street" and often I'd have google maps open on my phone to make sure we were going in the right direction.

    One note about cabbies: they will bitch and moan about taking you anywhere other than midtown Manhattan. Just open the door and get in; if they are on duty it's illegal for them to refuse you.

    V wrote:
    Words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth.

    Eriosnoir_blood
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