Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Marge_Simpson, Dec 2, 2012.
marge_simpson you are a treasure trove! you should have a tour company for NYC!!
Perhaps, but anyone taking part in my tours would have to sign a waiver first, releasing me from any responsibility for insulin shock or dangerously high cholesterol levels.
barbk: your hotel is not far from Rockefeller Center, and you should check out Top of the Rock (link in a previous post). I'd pick that over the Empire State Building (if you were planning to go there) While you are at RC, check out the rink, which will still be open while you're here. If you just want to watch, and it's chilly out and/or you're feeling lazy, go downstairs to the concourse level. (look for the elevators on either side of the rink, you really can't miss them) There are tables and chairs down there and you can hang out and watch for as long as you like.
While you're at RC, I would recommend nipping into La Maison du Chocolate, on 49th Street. After all, sight-seeing is a strenuous business and you will want to keep up your strength.
If you don't have Pylones stores where you are, there is one at RC, on 50th St. Have a look, they sell all sorts of useless but adorable things.
For a really unique snack, stop by Miniamoto, on 49th, right off 5th Avenue. They sell Japanese pastries and confections that look more like works of art than something you'd actually eat.
Did you know we have a piece of the Berlin Wall in NYC? It's a short walk from your hotel:
Incidentally, since no one has ventured a guess as to what I purchased at Tea and Sympathy, I will tell you: it was a spotted dick.
And I am still waiting for someone to elighten me on the Mitzvah tank.
Seoul Garden!!!! http://www.seoulgarden32.com/ Though utilitarian in decor, the food is good. The BBQ is excellent but I've actually enjoyed the shredded raw beef over pickled turnips and separately, a rather excellent grilled mackerel.
If you want more ambience and live entertainment, Kum Gang San http://www.kumgangsan.net/manhattan.php
I personally haven't tried it yet but many folks have vouched for the quality of Korilla BBQ http://korillabbq.com/
And if you go to the Doughnut Plant as suggested by Marge, go to RUB BBQ. http://www.rubbbq.net/
Definitely order the burnt ends if you get there early enough. I was adventurous enough to try the bacon chocolate chip cookies (one order gets you four) and wasn't that impressed but you've got to try it once, right?
From my recent visitors, recommendations are definitely for Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center) over the Empire State Building because (1) you can get closer to the edge (apparently the Empire State Building sets you further back) and (2) you actually can take a picture of the Empire State Building from there. Maison du Chocolat is excellent but Jacques Torres is another convenient option in the basement of the Rockefeller Center as well. Don't forget to take a picture of the Atlas statue (http://www.rockefellercenter.com/art-and-history/art/atlas/) which is opposite to St. Patrick's Cathedral (http://www.saintpatrickscathedral.org/).
When you do go to Central Park, try and get to the Central Park Boathouse (http://www.thecentralparkboathouse.com/) for brunch. If you get there when they open, you don't need to make a reservation. The prices are surprisingly reasonable. I tend to like to drag visitors up Belvedere Castle which gives people a nice vantage point for photos. The Metropolitan Museum backs right onto the Central Park right by Cleopatra's Needle/Obelisk.
Not sure if you follow cooking blogs but Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen has her recommendations of New York here: http://smittenkitchen.com/debs-new-york/
She also recommends Yonah Schimmel as well: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2012/03/potato-knish-two-ways/
ETA: A popular application to navigate is HopStop http://hopstop.com/mobile
There's a bunch of MTA approved apps here as well: http://mta.info/apps/
To clarify: there are 2 Doughnut Plants. One is on Grand Street, on the LES near the Tenement Museum. The other is on 23rd St, close to R.U.B.
THANK YOU all so very much for the great ideas. I'm copying out the whole thread and sharing with my companions as we plan. This is going to be fun. (Just cross your fingers for no major weather events in Colorado or NYC during our visit.)
On the horrible occasion that weather is less than optimal, you can spend time exploring the subway artwork:
Some of my favourites are:
81st Street-Museum of Natural History
14th Street/Eighth Avenue
34th Street-Herald Square
59th Street/Lexington Avenue-59th Street
Lexington Avenue-53rd Street
42nd Street-Bryant Park/Fifth Avenue
Fifth Avenue/59th Street
Just keep your eyes peeled!
Another place to ice skate (or just watch) is Bryant Park, their rink will still be open while you're here. The park is on 42nd, between 5th and 6th.
The park also has a beautiful little carousel, but I don't think adults are allowed to ride.
If you're in that area, you can also check out the Photography Museum, just a block north of the park:
They have a great gift shop, and on Friday eves it's pay what you like.
Don't miss MoMA! But go on Friday evening when it's free.
I mentioned Big Onion walking tours in a previous post, and I'd recommend them to anyone. But if you're interested in a tour that's "off the beaten path" then perhaps you'd enjoy a graffiti tour. No, I'm not making this up. I did the Banksy tour over the summer and it was really fun.
First of all, Marge, you are a treasurer trove of info about NYC! Thank you. We live in Philly, so we usually take the train to go to the Theater District (unless we're visiting our relatives in Riverdale in the Bronx, then we drive).
Re: the "Mitzvah Tank," I haven't been in one, but I'm guessing that If you go in there, the Chasidic rabbis will teach you to do one of the mitzvot (plural of "mitzvah") of Judaism. The word "mitzvah" means "commandment," but also can refer to a "good deed." For men this might include putting on a tallit (prayer shawl), and saying the appropriate Hebrew blessing, putting on tefillin (phylacteries) which contain the essential Jewish prayer, the "Shema" (Hear of Israel, the Lord is God, the Lord is One ..."), which is actually said three times a day. Tefillin are put on the forehead for morning services, except on the Jewish Sabbath. If there is a specific Jewish holiday coming up, they might teach you the blessings for that holiday (blessings for lighting the Chanukah candles, shaking the lulav (palm branch) and etrog (citron, like a lemon) for the fall harvest holiday of Sukkot (a few days after Yom Kippur), blessings for lighting the Sabbath candles for the women, etc. Remember, I haven't been in one of these, but I'm guessing that this is part of their mission. We do have something similar to this in Philly. I think it's called the "Mitzvah Mobile."
Barnes and Noble is not unique to NYC, of course, and neither are author readings, but since we have so many B&N's here we also have lots of events. If you've never gone to an author reading, do! They are great fun. The B&N on 86th and Lexington has several reading groups. Info here:
Do you like music from different countries? Or would you like to hear something new to you? Broaden your horizons and check out the World Music Institute's schedule:
I got hooked on Flamenco by going to one of their events about 8 years ago.
Speaking of which, if you're a flamenco fan, you'll want to go to City Center this March:
The website doesn't mention this (yet) but they usually offer free Flamenco lessons before the show.
On a totally different note, I am SO annoyed with myself. I was on the subway yesterday, and saw this ad, which I thought was legit, albeit over-the-top. The laugh was on me:
Another nifty NYC museum that you've probably never heard of, the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. The museum is on 61st Street, and at the time it was turned into a hotel, this was considered "the countryside" to the downtown residents who came here.
A docent will take you around on a tour, and I guarantee you'll learn all sorts of strange and interesting things.
While I was out and about today, I stopped in another one of my favorite bakeries, Poseidon, in Hell's Kitchen. Everything I've tried there is delicious, the staff is very friendly, and they make their own phyllo dough from scratch.
If you're in the East Village and craving something sweet, check out Veniero's. They have a dine-in section (nice coffees, too) as well as take-out.
If you're following this thread, you've probably figured out by now that I love walking tours. (See the Big Onion and Forgotten NYC links in previous posts)
If you'd rather explore on your own, here are some great books to get you started:
The Big Onion Guide to New York City: basically outlines all the walks that the company runs, so you can do them on your own, mostly in Manhattan. http://www.amazon.com/The-Onion-Gui...UTF8&qid=1358823847&sr=8-1&keywords=big onion
Walking Brooklyn: deals with Brooklyn, obviously, and also includes places to eat. (a plus in my book!)
Nosh New York: great for foodies!
http://www.amazon.com/Nosh-New-York...&qid=1358824303&sr=1-1&keywords=nosh new york
New York Curiosities: one of the reasons why I know where all the wacky stuff is.
Secret New York: more wild and wacky sights.
barbk, make a reservation for afternoon tea at Lady Mendl's while you are here! (link in my very first post) I went back again this afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
The first course is a small tart that varies according to the whims of the chef; today it was squash and parmesan. Which sounds odd, but was very tasty. Next are sandwiches: egg salad, cucumber, smoked turkey and smoked salmon. The waiters bring the sandwiches around twice, but I discovered that if you smile hopefully they will offer them for a third time. Then come scones (plain and cranberry) with raspberry jam and a huge pile of clotted cream. Then their signature cake, made of layers of crepes and vanilla custard. Last, chocolate covered strawberries and cookies. Today's cookies were ginger sandwiches with vanilla creme, and divine shortbread. And tea, of course! I waddled out of there completely stuffed.
If you make a reservation, ask if you can have the table in front of the fireplace.
Most of the places in the neighborhood that I'd recommend a visit to are restaurants, but you aren't likely to be hungry after exiting this place. The Strand bookstore and the Forbes Gallery are both in walking distance, though. And if you like to bowl, you could stop off here and work off the calories:
Disclaimer: I am a terrible bowler and haven't set foot there since the 80's, my then-boyfriend liked bowling but I was hopeless at the game. There was a lively bar scene inside, however!
Walking from Lady Mendl's to the subway at Union Square, I discovered that we have a Rosicrucian Lodge in NYC. I know a bit about this (from having been a moderator on a Harry Potter board some years ago, don't ask! ) but never realized we had any groups here. If you want to get in touch with your higher self, I suppose you could go check them out.
If you're in Union Square, make sure to look up and see if you can puzzle out the time on this demented clock:
edited to add: Grace Church is lovely, and just a few minutes walk from Union Square. I wouldn't go out of my way to visit (unless you really have a thing about Gothic architecture) but if you're in the area you may as well have a look. They have quite a few free lunchtime concerts, check the schedule to see what's on.
God, I can't move to NYC soon enough. Why can't I just be rich? I found an article today about the new 400 square foot micro-apartments. Maybe I can afford one of those? lol
Move to Woodlawn, you can rent a whole house for what you'd pay for one of those micro-apartments.
I found out about Sugar Tooth tours by accident - I was in Poseidon Bakery one weekend, deciding what cookies to buy, when a group of about 10 people walked in together. They were clearly on a tour of some kind. So I asked what was up and the tour leader gave me their card. I haven't done a tour yet, but it's on my bucket list for 2013:
So, on Friday morning I had a dental appointment at the ungodly hour of 8AM. Afterwards I was seriously craving some pancakes and went to the Brooklyn Diner since it was just a block away from my dentist's office. I figured the food would be blah and overpriced, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was overpriced but quite tasty. But I did get 3 humongous pancakes.
The best pancakes I've ever had (also overpriced, though) are at Pershing Square, across from Grand Central:
Another cool thing to see: Canstruction! It usually takes place in November but got postponed this year. Most of the sculptures are really creative and have me thinking "how the heck did they dream that up?!"
Instead of an admission fee you are asked to donate a can of food. All the sculptures (which are created from cans of food) are taken apart when the competition is over, and donated to local food banks.
So, see a great exhibit for a worthy cause.
Chinese New Year events are coming up soon:
While you're in Chinatown, you MUST get a cone at the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory - never mind if it's cold out. My favorite flavors are the almond cookie and the green tea.
Also, stop off at Aji Ichiban aka Munchie's Paradise, for some unique snack foods:
Mei Li Wah is a hole-in-the-wall place with insanely delicious pork buns:
I'm coming down for the Saturday show in early March, so thank you for the heads up on pre-show lessons. In case you did them before, are they actual dance lessons (i.e., should I plan on bringing yoga pants along? ), or more of a fun learn-a-few-steps type of class? Either way, looking forward to it!
It's more of a "learn a few steps" thing. But I only watch, as I'm choreographically challenged.
I'm attending the same performance, btw.
Oh, I have a pretty serious learning disability when it comes to choreography -my poor my skating coach will attest to that! We should definitely try and get together before/after the show in case that's doable for you as well. Will text you once it gets closer to the event -wheee
Had a great trip; thanks for all the advice. Fun notes:
- Grand Central Terminal has a way cool huge exhibit up for the 100th anniversary, with nice folks from the (subway) museum there to answer questions, and free tours at the bottom of the hour from 10:30 - 6:30. There will be new "experiences" up in sequence throughout the year; this exhibit closes in mid-March...to be followed by...Interpretive Dance celebrating the 100th anniversary. I can't make this up.
- Carnegie Hall tour was interesting, but a little bit more about the people than the building. Having read the Linda Fairstein mystery set there, I was good on that.
- Avenue Q is playing off-broadway for cheap; loved, loved, loved it. Sat next to a kid in the theater program at NYU/Tisch on the flight home -- he said that the folks in that show all have arms like solid rock -- holding up a puppet for a 2 hour show 8 times a week will do that.
- Newsies had great dancing (saw SYTYCD Jess LeProto & Evan Kasp....?) Jess has some of the sharpest and best dance moves of any of the very talented troupe; Evan was highlighted in the tap sequence. However, the music sounds like it is right out of Aladin or The Little Mermaid. I was expecting Ariel to pop out and close the show with "A Whole New World". Which might have made the plot more interesting and less predictable. Rating: dancing A, book C-, music C.
- Happened upon the Wafels and Dinges truck featured in a Food Network Throwdown with Bobby Flay episode (Wafels won) and had one. Delish!
- Metropolitan Museum turns out to admit two people with my reciprocal membership, making one of my companions very happy. Lunch there in the Petrie room overlooking Central Park was great. Lamb ragu with gnochi I would have been pleased to have in a good Italian restaurant. That was a surprise.
- Late night drinks upstairs at the lounge of the Mandarin Oriental were a blast. The adjacent seating area featured three old guys in tuxedos, accompanied by three much, much younger women in tight sparkly, short cocktail dresses. Hmmm...
So: I am in GCS all the time, even go into the food hall now and then, and just realized on Friday that there is a Li-Lac Chocolates right in there. But, better late then never! I'm still fantasizing about the peanut butter fudge.
Today's mission was to visit the Whitney Museum, as I had never set foot in there, and this needed to be rectified. http://whitney.org/
I loved the Nadelman sculptures. Okay, NYC ballet goers: where have you seen this before?
It's pretty much a done deal that I will be going to NYC during 4th of July weekend. It'll be my first time. The one touristy thing I will definitely do is at least one morning run in Central Park. Other good places to run (about 3-4 miles long)?
I want to take in one artistic show. None of the Broadway shows currently running interest me except maybe Once. Will Shakespeare in the Park be held during 4th of July weekend? I'll go read the Ballet NYC thread next. Kwanfan1818--I need your help!
Now, where can I go get coffee? One in each major borough would be fantastic!
ABT will be doing "Sleeping Beauty" that weekend, info here:
Shakespeare in the Park should have something while you're here, but their schedule hasn't been posted yet. Check here for updates:
There are several other companies that do free Shakespeare, all rather good, and no tickets or waiting in line needed.
NY Classical Theatre performs in the northern part of Central Park, near 103rd St. Check here for updates:
Hudson Warehouse performs at the Soldiers and Sailors monument (which looks like a Greek temple) on W 89th and Riverside Drive. Their schedule is already posted, they will be doing "King Lear" that weekend.
The Drilling Company, aka Shakespeare in the Parking Lot, performs on the Lower East Side, in (where else?) a parking lot. Check here for updates:
Boomerang Theatre performs in Central Park, near W 77th. Looks like they're doing "Hamlet" this season. Info here:
4th of July in NYC = fireworks. 'Nuff said.
Macy's Fireworks, right? I will check that out unless I attend a play or musical.
The 2013 schedule for Shakespeare in the Park is out and it looks they will be taking a breather while I'm in town. Bummer. The two plays are The Comedy of Errors (OMG, love Jesse Tyler Ferguson!) and Love's Labour's Lost.
I think I'll check out the King Lear production.
I know another touristy thing I'll be doing. Go to a Dean & Deluca! Yes, I'm a "Felicity" uber. I'll get a sandwich and a slice of cake here before I see King Lear.
ETA: I have found three places to run: Central Park, Hudson River Park, and Brooklyn Bridge.
Holiday gifts last year were Li-Lac Chocolates' French Mint bars. You can smell the mint through the packaging! Also Marge, if chocolate and peanut butter are your thing, get thee to Baked NYC (http://bakednyc.com/) in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Found out about them via Smitten Kitchen's recipe of buckeyes: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2010/10/buckeyes/. I've only been in the area pre-Hurricane Sandy but when the weather gets nicer, take the *ahem* subsidized transportation to IKEA Brooklyn, get to the Red Hook ball fields for the Latin food trucks from April to October (yelp site, official site), and then another side trip to Baked NYC, also in the area.
Wafels & Dinges - Follow their twitter account to monitor their locations (https://twitter.com/waffletruck). Don't forget to try the speculoos spread! http://www.thekitchn.com/sweet-treat-speculoos-spread-127167
Well NYCB Principal Ashley Bouder recommends Hudson River Park on the west side : http://www.nyc-arts.org/collections/193/NYC-Ballet-Principal-Dancer-Ashley-Bouder, http://www.hudsonriverpark.org/
Further north is Riverside Park (http://www.riversideparkfund.org/) which is pretty extensive as well, stretching from 58th St to 156th St.
ABT Principal Marcelo Gomes recommends "Bis.Co.Latte on 10th Avenue, Grumpy’s in Chelsea and City Bakery"
Totally unrelated food recommendation but a co-worker has recommended Num Pang http://www.numpangnyc.com/, particularly their pork belly sandwiches. I'm guessing it's the Pulled Duroc Sandwich? They've got two locations: Union Square and by Grand Central!
Separate names with a comma.