Suggestions for New York, Round II

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Matryeshka, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. Matryeshka

    Matryeshka Well-Known Member

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    I think a year and a half is sufficient recovery time since last I was there. Sort of like King Kong returning, only it will be King Penguin. I will be going to New York December 5th through 10th. I have many, many, many ways I wish to terrorize this city but unfortunately I only have five days. Last time, I did the major museums, walked around Little Italy, Chelsea Market, FAO Schwartz, Central Park, and Chinatown. I plan to go back to Chinatown, FAO Schwartz, and Chelsea Market.

    My must do/not-impossible-at-all list:
    • Chelsea Market
    • Freedom Tower/World Trade Center
    • Ellis Island
    • FAO Schwartz
    • Rockefeller Center Xmas Tree
    • Chinatown
    • Ice Skating at Sea Port--it's walking distance from the bratling (supposedly) and I'm hoping less crowded than Rockefeller.
    • Macy's
    • Crumbs Cupcakery
    • The Strand Bookstore
    • American Folk Art Museum
    • Institute for Study of the Ancient World
    • Frick Collection
    • Museum of Biblical Art
    • FIT
    • Asia Society
    • Brad Graduate Center
    • Union Square
    • Shops at Eataly
    • Torture the Bratling (younger brother, though I only have my mother's word for it)

    If there's time, I'd like to re-visit the Met and MOMA. Maybe see Radio City Music Hall and the Rockettes. I would love to see a Broadway play again. I think all that's doable, right? I'm arriving at 10:00 Tuesday morning and leaving 6:15 Thursday evening. Some of these I don't really need to go in--I can just look at the Window Display at Macy's and FAO Schwartz and take a picture of the Rockefeller Tree from a distance. The bratling lives in the financial district very close to the World Trade Center, so I don't think it will take all that long. I do know I have to call early and get security clearance.

    The biggest issue from starting to come up with a vague itinerary is I actually think time wise it IS possible to do everything, if everything kept normal hours business hours, or different hours--all the stuff you want to do is all opens at 11 and closes at 6! Even though it's my must-do list, I am somewhat flexible. I cannot do anything high, so that lets out a few things.

    I think all that's possible right, :shuffle: I need to sit down and look at open/closing times, how far places are from each other, and basically pour over a good guidebook...but then I thought, nah, I'll let FSU do it for me. Come on, you know you want to...

    I'm also looking for suggestions for food trucks/mid-priced restaurants. The last time I was there, the bratling was in his first Uber High Power Job and looking to show off, so a meal for two in the two hundreds was nothing to him. Now he's matured, has a serious live-in girlfriend, and is secure enough that he's not doing any grandstanding :wuzrobbed . We will probably go to ONE nice-ish restaurant--the bratling is itching to go to some Bobby Flay restaurant. I want to try Marcus Samuelson's restaurant. We'll probably end up compromising with Les Halles. I love Italian, Greek, Lebanese, Thai, French, tapas, Mexican, Spanish, Polish, Russian, and Indian. I do not like Chinese or dim sum (yes, I know I'm weird). I can tolerate Japanese food. We might go to the Prime Grill (upscale Kosher) because I worked in a limited capacity on the publication of their cookbook. I also need a GOOD place for coffee--this is a problem when I was there before as the only place that served a decent cup was Au Bon Pain. I do NOT want to spend any more than $40 for dinner and $20 for lunch except my one nice-ish night out. I'm looking for $40 to cover an entree, one alcool drink, and the majority of the tip. I need the $20 to cover a drink (non-alcool) and the meal.

    Any app/twitter (subway/bus schedules, food trucks, anything that shows when museums will have late hours) suggestions would be really appreciated, as I think a lot of my ability to cover a lot of ground will depend on how long it takes me to get places. When I was there before, I had one day where I managed to do five things and another where one museum took up my entire day.

    On a braggy note, I have lost 40 pounds since the last time I was in New York :encore: but I might actually be in worse shape, as last time I chased unruly kiddies around and now I sit at a desk. Any recommendations to build walking stamina would be helpful that does not involve running. I do like to walk, but I am not built to be a runner and I look odd doing it. I'm also looking to build stamina because of the weather. Even by Southern standards, I cannot tell you how much I HATE being cold. HATE IT. So I figure going around will be difficult for me from that aspect as well. It's in the high 60s here, and I'm wearing two long-sleeved shirts and heavyish pants and am perfectly comfortable.
     
  2. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

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    My favourite places for coffee when I was in New York were Birch Coffee (near Eataly) and Toby's Estate Coffee (in Brooklyn).

    I can't help with restaurants--I went to delis, burger joints, and Vietnamese places. I focused more on dessert places--Big Gay Ice Cream, Chocolate By the Bald Man, and the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory were the standouts.
     
  3. flyingsit

    flyingsit Well-Known Member

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    Do not bother with Crumbs. They have branches here in DC and their cupcakes are mediocre at best; the flavors sound super-interesting but the actual cupcakes are not worth eating unless there are no other cupcakes available at all.
     
  4. Lacey

    Lacey Well-Known Member

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    The weather could be brutally cold in December and you may be miserable walking around. Do you have a down coat? If not, get a hat, scarf and gloves.
     
  5. Spun Silver

    Spun Silver Well-Known Member

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    This list is insane but if you either want to whip yourself into shape by losing about 10 pounds and walking 25 miles in 2 days, or spend app. $300 on taxi fares, I would start by dividing your list into neighborhoods and tackle them that way.

    Downtown:
    Freedom T/WTC
    Chinatown
    Ferry to Ellis Island
    S St Seaport
    Chinatown

    Chelsea/Union Square area, more or less from the S. up:
    Strand
    Crumbs at Union Sq, but there are many other locations
    Union Sq
    FIT
    Chelsea Market
    Eataly
    and Macys if you feel like going another 8-10 blocks north.

    Midtown:
    Schwartz
    Rock Center tree
    Grad Center IF by Brad you mean CUNY (?)

    West Side:
    Museums of Folk and Biblical Art

    Upper East side:
    Asia Society
    Institute for Study of Ancient World
    Frick

    For the least effortful itnerary, you need to look at E-W locations as well as streets within each neighborhood, or you'll do a lot of backtracking. Study the subway map (no time for buses) to see which neighborhoods are easiest to connect to from each other: basically, you have East and West Side lines but some of them cross over too. Ellis Island is going to take a big chunk of time because of the two ferry rides.

    One pretty and refreshing way to do some of this is to do the West and Upper E. Side bits on the same day and take the beautiful 72nd St walk across Central Park to get from one nabe to the other. You need just a bit of a sense of direction to do that, as there are various roads in the park, but you enter at 72 St on either side. The walk passes the lovely Belvedere Fountain as well as a pond where rowboats can be rented.

    I guess Starbucks doesnt do it for you? For cheap eats, just make sure to be in one if the many nabes that has multiple affordable restaurants at lunch or dinner time, which is pretty much any of these excrpt the Upper E. Side, and enjoy choosing spontaneously. Fill up in Chinatown, Chelsea and the U. Sq. areas -- many options there. Ninth Ave between 42 and 60 St is great too, full of tiny cute places offering many cuisines incl. Thai -- you cd go there on your midtown or West Side jaunts. I am rusty on NYC restaurants, but this used to be a nice Asian/Thai chain: http://spicethainyc.com/spice/home/index.html

    Good luck and be sure to report back on your weight loss, foot and leg condition, and just to let us know you survived. :D
     
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  6. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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    I believe Ellis Island just reopened a few weeks ago after being shut since Sandy. Not everything is open yet (I believe the restaurant isn't), so check the website before you go and make sure about their hours and what is open.
     
  7. Southpaw

    Southpaw Saint Smugpawski

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    Yep, Ellis Island just reopened. It's not a quickie trip, either. There's so much to read in there that anybody who loves history can easily get bogged down.

    In my cynical opinion Crumbs is totally worth the trip. I've had so many of the fancy schmancy NYC cupcakes and none of them are worth the hype and the price to me, except for Crumbs. I mean, don't get me wrong the others are good, but Crumbs blows them all away.
     
  8. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

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    Are you going to the Institute for the study of the ancient world for the map exhibition? Because I've been meaning to see it, if you would like company. :)
     
  9. kedrin

    kedrin Active Member

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    I too would be interested in Institute for the study of the ancient world, if either of you want company. :)
     
  10. Matryeshka

    Matryeshka Well-Known Member

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    YES, Marge and kedrin, I am and would love company. If I ever got rich, one of the things I'd collect would be maps, especially Medieval and Roman maps.

    I went to Crumbs last time and loved it. In fact, I'm planning on eating one the first day. :lol:

    SpunSilver, that was EXACTLY the type of advice I was looking for, thank you so much. When you put it that way too I can see visually how insane my must list is, and it doesn't leave any room for "that place looks nifty, maybe I'll stop in..." It's a very stressful list and it is supposed to be a vacation.
     
  11. Louis

    Louis Tinami 2012

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    I've lived in New York for 6 1/2 years and haven't done this list. :lol:
     
  12. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

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    You need to get out more, Louis! At least go to Eataly, it's 5 minutes from your place. And check out what's on at the Joyce, you only have to cross the street!

    Matry, for Chinatown, I'd recommend a walking tour to give you an overview, and I love Big Onion tours. they don't have the Chinatown tour scheduled for the dates when you'll be here, but the multiethnic eating tour and the immigrant NY tours both take in Chinatown. Schedule here:

    http://www.bigonion.com/schedule/

    If you're near Union Square and need a place to eat, I'd suggest Max Brenner, They have regular food which is pretty good, but the real reason to go here is the chocolate desserts. Info here:

    http://maxbrenner.com/home.aspx

    I am off on Friday the 6th; so that would work for the map exhibit, if you are agreeable. :)

    For something less expensive, but very delicious, Num Pang has a location near Union Square, they also have a branch inside the Chelsea Market.

    http://www.numpangnyc.com/

    The South Street Seaport is horrid, full of tourists and tacky shops. The rink at Bryant Park (42nd and 6th) should be open when you are here, I'd try that instead, if you are determined to go skating.

    I have never been to the biblical art museum, but I'll be at Lincoln Center tonight and will have a look.

    BTW, if you are looking for something to do in the evenings, Alvin Ailey will be performing at City Center (55th and 6th) while you are here - I am going on the 6th. I absolutely love this company and recommend them to everybody. If you've never seen them before, "Revelations" is a must-see. Schedule here:

    http://www.nycitycenter.org/tickets/productionNew.aspx?performanceNumber=7466
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2013
  13. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    When does the tree at Rock Center go up? I know they cut it down yesterday, up in CT.
     
  14. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    Girl With A Pearl Earring and a bunch of other Vermeers are at the Frick right now, on loan from their museum in the Netherlands.
     
  15. Finnice

    Finnice Well-Known Member

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    Do you know how long? Well, I can alwayd check from their web site.
     
  16. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the link to Big Onion Tours -- they look great. We'll be visiting in late June/early July, and they seem to have some twilight tours that might work.

    Anyone know of any tours that cover Long Island City history? I will do one of the Newtown Creek Alliance water tours.

    I have some sympathy on the coffee issue. I went to Washington (state) in September, and I was shocked at how bad most of the coffee was. We must be lucky around here, but so many of the independent shops I visited there had meh coffee, in a number of cases worse than Starbucks.
     
  17. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    Since you said you wanted to see a Broadway play but didn't mention anything specifically, why don't you go to the TKTS booth in Times Square and buy a last minute ticket? They are much cheaper and you might end up seeing something unexpected but incredible. We did that when we went for our wedding last year. We had every day so planned that we didn't feel comfortable buying tickets ahead of time so one night we realized we could get away and we just got tickets and saw Edwin Drood which turned out to be fantastic.
     
  18. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    End of January, I think.
     
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  19. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

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    The Met is open till 9PM on Friday and Saturday:
    http://www.metmuseum.org/visit

    MOMA is free on Friday evenings, they are open till 8 PM: Try to get there around 6, before they give out all the free tickets.
    http://www.moma.org/visit/plan/offers#admission

    For a nice place to eat near the Met, check out Café Sabarsky, It's not cheap, but the atmosphere is great - you'll think you are in Austria.
    http://www.neuegalerie.org/cafes/sabarsky
    A budget option is the ShakeShack on 86th and Lexington, the lines there are very reasonable compared to the other locations - I've never wited more than 10 minutes at this location. The concretes are divine.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
  20. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

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    My favorite Italian restaurant, Cara Mia, has delicious pastas, great service, and reasonable prices. It's in Hell's Kitchen on 9th Ave and 46
    http://nycrg.com/cara-mia/
     
  21. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    Zabar's. Zabar's. Zabar's.
     
  22. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

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    I have never set foot in Zabar's. :shuffle:
    I will rectify this ASAP.

    http://elcentro-nyc.com/ Matry, if you like Mexican food, try El Centro on 9th Ave and 54th; it's in walking distance of the bible museum, MOMA, and the folk art museum.
    Prices are reasonable and they make very nice mojitos. ;) Unfortunately they do not serve desserts. I don't understand restaurants that don't do dessert. But the food is rather tasty.

    For Thai food, there are at least a dozen Thai places on 9th Avenue between 42nd and 55th, and I've eaten at most of them. My favorite, however, is Room Service, for the funky décor and yummy drinks:
    http://www.yelp.ca/biz/room-service-new-york-6
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
  23. Louis

    Louis Tinami 2012

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    Love this place. We should do an FSU meet-up!
     
  24. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    Even better than Ellis Island, IMO, and doesn't require a ferry trip: The Tenement Museum. It's not a traditional museum per se but a series of walking tours around the lower east side, visiting places (including restored apartments) that give a window into the lifestyles of early immigrants. Completely fascinating. Various routes and lengths to fit your interests and schedule -- including some evening events.

    Eataly is lots of fun to browse & shop -- but if you plan on eating there, you might have to wait a while for a table. Quite a while depending on time & day.

    Another fun -- and extremely affordable -- evening thing to do is the Upright Citizen's Brigade, in Chelsea (and also the East Village tho I don't know if they have the same kind of lineup there). Improv and standup, with current and future stars. Sunday nights are the best, with frequent appearances by SNL, 30 Rock, and Colbert performers and writers. Amy Poehler is one of the founders (Poehler and Zach Galifianakis were both there the night we went).

    For a relatively inexpensive but completely delicious (and unusual) restaurant, I recommend Café Himalaya in the East Village. We ate there on our last night and it was such a great way to end the trip.
     
  25. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

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    Yes, we should. Perhaps at the start of the new year? :)

    I've put Cafe Himalaya on my bucket list.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  26. Matryeshka

    Matryeshka Well-Known Member

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    I have reserved my tickets for the 9/11 memorial. I still have nothing else planned, except the brattling's girlfriend REALLY wants to see the Rockettes and has decided that I provide the perfect excuse for her going. The bratling is arranging tickets for that.
     
  27. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, if you are going to Radio City, you can grab a cupcake at Magnolia Bakery, which is right down the block, and see how they stack up against Crumbs.
    If you need a place to eat before or after the show, la Bonne Soupe is in walking distance, and not full of tourists. The food is nice and the prices are reasonable.
    http://labonnesoupe.com/

    Rockefeller Center is right down the street from Radio City, so you can swing by and have a look. Have you been to Top of the Rock? I did this last year and loved it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  28. Matryeshka

    Matryeshka Well-Known Member

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    Errrr...yes, yes I have been to the Top of the Rock. It did not end well. :shuffle:
     
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  29. JeffClair1979

    JeffClair1979 Active Member

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    Some other good restaurants that I love are Apiary and The Smith, both in the East Village. If you find yourself craving Italian or gluten free, Nizza in Hell's Kitchen is great. El Azteca in HK also has really good Mexican food (and margaritas) at reasonable prices.

    Show-wise, if you're looking for a broadway show worth seeing, Pippin, Kinky Boots, Matilda and Newsies are all fantastic.

    Just now realizing how much I miss living there!!
     
  30. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

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    Come back. All is forgiven.