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  1. #1

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    Out and about in NYC

    Or, Marge Simpson's guide to the fun and off-beat.
    JeffClair and kedrin both nagged me into starting a thread with things to do in NYC, so here are a few of the things I've done this year, in no particular order.

    I kicked off 2012 by treating myself to afternoon tea at Lady Mendl's. I enjoyed it so much I'm going to do it again this January. Info here:
    http://www.innatirving.com/?pg=dining-mendls
    If you'd like to have afternoon tea, or a light meal, in a more casual atmosphere, this place is a favorite of mine:
    http://alicesteacup.com/
    Their scones are to die for.

    Earlier today i was in the East Village, so here are some places to check out if you're in the area:
    Book lovers paradise at the Strand:
    http://www.strandbooks.com/

    Did you know that NYC has a Ukrainian museum?
    http://www.ukrainianmuseum.org/
    It's a small place with frequently changing exhibits and friendly staff. Check out the divine kilim exhibit if you're into such things.

    St.Marks in the Bowery is an interesting place that is supposedly haunted by the ghost of Peter Stuyvesant. I have been there many times, however, and have never seen a peg-legged ghost gliding down the aisle. They do a lot of community outreach; it's my private theory that anyone who claims to have seen a ghost in the church was probably there to attend an AA meeting. However, they put on a lot of programs and in the summer the garden is a lovely place to visit. Check their schedule and see if there is something to interest you:
    http://stmarksbowery.org/

    I love this little shop:
    http://lasirenanyc.com/
    It's crammed with all sorts of colorful, cute things from Mexico: jewelry, day of the dead figures, wall hangings, oilcloth bags. All sorts of stuff you didn't realize you needed until you saw it in the shop. The prices are all reasonable, and the clerks are friendly and chatty. You can put yourself on their mailing list, and they'll notify you when they have sales, or are running neighborhood walking tours.

    While I was strolling around today, I came across this divine bakery:
    http://www.blackhoundny.com/cakes.html
    I had never seen this place before, so I had to try something. I can personally vouch for the choclate peppermint cake.

    It was too cold for me to consider eating ice cream today, but I fantasize about the salty pimp at this place:
    http://biggayicecream.com/
    Last edited by Marge_Simpson; 12-02-2012 at 01:27 AM.

  2. #2

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    Awesome recs, Marge! I've been meaning to try Alice's Tea Cup since you first mentioned it, but haven't gotten around to doing it.

    If we can add to this thread, can I mention Levain Bakery ? They have the most amazingly divine chocolate chip cookies I have ever tasted.

  3. #3
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    Can't complain about the croissants at Petrossian's Boutique and Cafe and I just love the ornateness of the building too:
    http://www.petrossian.com/boutique.html
    http://www.petrossian.com/restaurant...taurant-4.html

    Also, I love the tiny Myzel's
    http://www.myzels.com/

  4. #4

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    Levain is fabulous, though I suspect one of their cookies has at least 1000 calories.

    As long as we're on the subject of bakeries, this place near Lincoln Center is wonderful:
    http://www.bomboloni.com/

    Ditto for this place:
    http://www.chocobolo.com/

    Doughnut Plant has the best doughnut in NYC:
    http://doughnutplant.com/

    I walk past Myzel's every time I'm at City Center, but I've never gone inside. I will check it out for sure! (mmmm.....chocolates)

  5. #5

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    Back in August I did something I'd had on my bucket list for ages, I learned how to make pizza at this place:
    http://pizzaacasa.com/Home.html
    It was a blast. I'd tried making pizza before, but without great results. I was convinced that yeast died when it looked at me. And one guy in my group admitted he'd never even turned on his oven before.
    The classes are small and the instructor, Mark, insisted we'd all be making delicious pies before the evening was over. He walked us through everything, step by step, and made 4 pizzas for us while our dough was rising. Then he set us loose to create our own pizzas. There are all sorts of ingredients to play around with: mozzarella, sausage,ricotta, olives, capers, peppers, anything you might want on your pie. Or a dessert pie: fruits, nuts, Nutella, caramel. We each made enough dough to make 4 pizzas, and you can take home all the leftovers.
    Don't eat dinner beforehand.
    The class is a great way to spend an evening and worth every penny.

    If you like empanadas, check out one of my favorite places in Hell's Kitchen:
    http://www.empmamanyc.com/

  6. #6
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    Cones, at 272 Bleecker Street, has delicious artisanal ice cream, including several unexpected South American flavors such as dulce de leche and corn.

    City Winery, 155 Varrick Street is a wine shop, wine bar, and performance space. The website indicates that Los Lobos will be performing some acoustic concerts there this month. Anyone who likes klezmer music should consider going to their Klezmer Brunch on Sunday mornings.

    The average tourist doesn't have much occasion to go to Park Slope, but anyone who does go there should try Brookvin, at 381 - 7th Avenue, Brooklyn. There is an outdoor courtyard that makes a wonderful spot for a late lunch on a warm day.

  7. #7

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    I will be visiting in February -- Anyone know of a bakery (probably German) that makes Crumb Cake with a yeast (bread-like) vs. cake-like part under the crumbs.

    Also, Manhattan suggestions for a great pastrami sandwich would be most appreciated. (One that never, ever sees the inside of a microwave, or the addition of mayo.)

    The Tenement Museum looks interesting -- have any of you been, and would you recommend it?

  8. #8

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    Yes, I haven't plugged the Tenement Museum yet.
    This is my absolute favorite museum in NYC. It's also the only museum I've ever become a member of. Which is really saying something as I pride myself on my ability to enter museums without paying. (MOMA? Free on Friday evenings. Natural History? Visit the gift shop first, you don't need to pay admission for the shop, then exit the shop on the 2nd floor and you'll be inside the museum itself. Metropolitan? Keep your eyes on the ground as you approach the museum, people always drop those metal badges you attach to your clothes)
    Besides tours of the apartments in the building, the museum also has neighborhood walking tours, and often has author readings and lectures. They also have a nifty gift shop. Info here:
    http://www.tenement.org/

    If you visit the museum, stop off at another favorite place of mine, just 2 blocks away:
    http://www.economycandy.com/index.php
    You'll get a real dose of nostalgia here, and I dare you to enter the store and not buy something, They also do mail order and really nice gift baskets.

    Another place nearby:
    http://www.pickleguys.com/
    The smell in there is divine and the young guys that work there are very funny and will give free samples of anything you like.

    If sweets are more to your liking, check out the Doughnut Plant (link in a previous post), which is just across the street. And if you like bialys, check out this place, which is next door :
    http://www.kossarsbialys.com/ Yum, yum!
    (the place where I took the pizza class is on the same block)

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    My favorite 24-hr eatery in NYC is L'Express:
    http://www.lexpressnyc.com/
    Excellent food and atmosphere anytime of day or night! I don't drink coffee, but I'm told by all my friends I go with that the espresso is excellent. I usually go out dancing in the city, and it's nice to know that I can leave a club at 3am and have a better option than fast food.

  10. #10

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    I took a terrarium-making class at this place in Brooklyn in October:
    http://twigterrariums.com/
    Their studio is fabulous, you could spend hours examining all their funky terrariums. The one I made has a little man taking a photo at the bottom of a ravine.

    I had never had any interest in terrariums until I saw Twig's booth here during the summer:
    http://www.brooklynflea.com/
    Definitely worth a visit, all sorts of nice handmade items, refashioned clothes, food, etc. I was there in the summer, when the market is located in Williamsburg. I haven't been to the cold-weather location, which is downtown Brooklyn.

    I saw the Harry Potter exhibit (twice, no less) when it was here last year. It's back again, and if you liked the films you will love the exhibit. It's a good idea to buy a ticket in advance as the lines can get very long. Info here:
    http://www.discoverytsx.com/exhibitions/harry-potter

    Alvin Ailey, one of my favorite dance companies, is at City Center this month. Info here:
    http://www.nycitycenter.org/
    If you've never seen "Revelations", it's a must-see.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44nqeAXLS-k
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GP4cJF7V1g
    Last edited by Marge_Simpson; 12-03-2012 at 03:46 AM.

  11. #11
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    Marge. Eh timely as I sit Newark bound at gate b 13
    Staying in grammercy park, got any good recs for that area?
    Ps I am hitting Rockefeller centre if you want to skate this week!!!!

  12. #12
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    Levain cookies are overrated. I'll give them that they're huge and have lots of chocolate in them, but they're also under-baked doughy messes in the middle. I much prefer the ones Jacques Torres sells at his chocolate shops.

    If you know who Dorie Greenspan is, you should check out her cookie shop Beurre and Sel. I have heard it's pretty fab.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post

    Also, Manhattan suggestions for a great pastrami sandwich would be most appreciated. (One that never, ever sees the inside of a microwave, or the addition of mayo.)
    The Carnegie Deli, no question about it. 7th Ave at around 55th St.

    Katz's Deli on the Lower East Side is another option.

  14. #14
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    Thanks, Marge, for starting the thread. Thank you and others for sharing more of NYC. I'm afraid I won't be visiting any time soon, but I do enjoy reading and learning more about NYC.
    Angie
    “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” ~ Thomas A. Edison

  15. #15

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    Great pancake place - Cafe Luluc in Brooklyn (around the Boerum Hill area). Slightly crunchy outside, and buttery goodness inside. I only get the pancakes from there so I can't speak for the other things on the menu.
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/cafe-luluc-brooklyn

  16. #16

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    Another one of my favorite places is Scandinavia House; I'm there fairly often when they are showing films:
    http://www.scandinaviahouse.org/
    Besides films, there are art exhibits, lectures, kids' activities, and language lessons. Most of the lectures and art exhibits are free, and I highly recommend the current show about Icelandic Saga sites. Having actually been to Iceland, I wished I'd seen something like this before I went there, as it would have increased my understanding of what I saw. But having been there, I had a sort of thrill looking at the photos, as I recognized many of the locations.
    The restaurant is nice (I can personally vouch for the vanilla waffles ) and the gift shop is pretty cool (you can buy Fazer chocolates there - yay!)

    Not far from Scandinavia House is a great place for discounted, brand-name cosmetics:
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/cosmetic-market-new-york
    The stock changes often and the staff are all rude New Yorkers, but you can find some real bargains here.

    If you've seen "Silence of the Lambs" and have a demented sense of humor, you MUST see this musical:
    http://www.silencethemusicalnyc.com/
    I was laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes. I saw this last year in the East Village, but it has since moved to the theatre district. I'd recommend checking the TKTS booth for half-price seats before buying full-price tickets at the box office. Don't go if you are easily offended - most of the songs are seriously raunchy.
    Last edited by Marge_Simpson; 12-03-2012 at 06:42 PM.

  17. #17
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    Marge I want to travel on your NYC tours: I love your suggestions!

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by whoa View Post
    Great pancake place - Cafe Luluc in Brooklyn (around the Boerum Hill area). Slightly crunchy outside, and buttery goodness inside. I only get the pancakes from there so I can't speak for the other things on the menu.
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/cafe-luluc-brooklyn
    Love this place! Totally seconding this rec

  19. #19

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    Yes, I should start a "NYC desserts" tour. Who wants to see the sights when you can eat sweets?

    Here's a great chill-out place, where you can sit for as long as you like over coffee and cake:
    http://www.burdickchocolate.com/stor...cafes-nyc.aspx
    Much nicer than Starbuck's, the clerks are v. friendly, and a slice of cake is not too pricey. Their chocolates are divine (if overpriced), and if you pay a visit you should treat yourself to a chocolate mouse.

    If you're into fashion, check out the museum at FIT - it's free
    http://fitnyc.edu/13706.asp

    Also for fashionistas (or people who sew) Check out this magazine place in the Garment District - they've got every fashion magazine you've ever heard of:
    http://www.aroundtheworldnyc.com/

    For people who like the theatre (or weird people like me who love to read plays) Check out this cool bookshop in the theatre district:
    http://www.dramabookshop.com/
    If you pay a visit you will find the clerks are super helpful, and the place has a cat. But don't try to pet him, he is bad-tempered and will hiss at you if you try.
    Last edited by Marge_Simpson; 12-04-2012 at 06:18 AM.

  20. #20

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    Thanks for the thread. The Scandanavian House exhibit looks interesting- I'll have to check that out.

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