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NYC in January

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Guinevere, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. Guinevere

    Guinevere Well-Known Member

    I was thinking about taking a second trip to NYC in January (AFTER New Years) so it will be cheaper. What would you recommend to see/do in NYC in January?

    I already went for one week in August and saw all the "touristy" stuff like Times Square, Empire State, Rockefeller, Statue of Liberty, MOMA, the Met, Natural History Museum, World Trade Centre museum and walking tour (but not the memorial because it wasn't open yet. I will probably go again to see it this time) and I took a bike ride around Central Park. I feel like I hadn't seen enough of the city itself and the neighborhoods and the shopping. What would you recommend that is not really a "touristy" thing?
  2. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

    Frick Museum is always high on my list. In January the hot house at the Bronx Botanical Gardens can be a nice, warm treat.
  3. sk9tingfan

    sk9tingfan Well-Known Member

    - Walking and/or Eating Tours: www.bigonion.com and specifically this one:


    But there are tons of other companies that offer a wide selection

    - Go walking around Greenwich Village, Washington Square

    - Go to Chinatown and Little Italy and see the chickens that dance and play tic tac toe

    - Go down to the Lower East side specifically to shop and possibly get some of the better bargains in NY(this might be something of an oxymoron). You will probably find things in these stores that you won't in the big chains


    Before you go, either check out the websites or buy copies of New York Magazine or Timeout NY

    - Go to Serendipity's for its frozen hot chocolate or other decadent choices

    - Go to John's in the Village for pizza

    - Go to see The Highline although in January you could face high winds and of course very cold temperatures http://www.thehighline.org/

    - Take the train or bus up to The Cloisters

    And this is just Manhattan. There are things to go see in Brookyn, etc.
  4. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

    What made me feel like a non-tourist was taking the subway and going to this little restaurant in the East Village called Villa della Pace (food is incredible btw). We also ate at a fabulous Dominican restaurant in Washington Heights, I think it's called Galicia. Shopping in Soho was pretty crowded, but not "touristy", especially once you're off the main drag of Broadway south of Houston.
  5. Guinevere

    Guinevere Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all your replies. Those links look really good sk9tingfan, I already have a couple picked out I want to check!

    I also would like to explore Brooklyn. I've heard of Park Slope and Williamsburg but that's about it but not sure if they're places to visit.

    I also visited the Cloisters - that was one long bus ride, more than an hour from the Met!! It's so far north that it wasn't on most of my maps!
  6. sk9tingfan

    sk9tingfan Well-Known Member

    I would go to Brooklyn Heights which is closer to the city than Park Slope since it has become a prime location due to its close proximity to Wall Street and it is known for its great restaurants and other food shops. I believe that Jacques Torres has his main store there. If you do go, get over to the Promenade which has a spectacular view of the Financial district, but make sure you bundle up. The Brooklyn Museum and The Museum of the City of New York are also special, both in Brooklyn. If you make it to The Brooklyn Museum, it's also very near the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

    Supposedly, the best pizza in New York is in the Midwood section of Flatbush at DiFara's and accessible via the BMT at the Avenue J and 16th street stop not that far from where I grew up. I went back there a couple of years ago and got really depressed because nothing looked the same. If you have a car, try going to Sheepshead Bay for lunch or dinner for really good fish or seafood.


    I grew up in the city and lived in Manhattan for 20 years, but I don't get back in that often and not for long periods of time. My shopping mecca was the Lower East Side, but note that many of the shops close by sundown on Friday and don't reopen until Sunday which is a huge shopping day there.

    Soho and Tribeca are also really funky neighborhoods. If you like to sew, go to the Garment District which starts at about East 35th and goes up to around East 41st Street between Fifth and 8th Avenues If you watch Project Runway, that is where Mood is and I would also check out M & J Trim and the button, bead and ribbon stores. Even if you don't sew, the textiles, etc are something to see!
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2011
  7. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    You can take the subway to 190th St. and walk through the park to the Cloisters building. It's not a short subway ride but it's quicker than the bus :lol:

    But even though the bus trip is long, the bus route is a pretty interesting introduction to how different NYC's neighbourhoods can be.
  8. Guinevere

    Guinevere Well-Known Member

    I learned that on the way BACK after I asked one of the workers at the Cloisters on how to get back to the city faster. The subway was easily half the time the bus took.

    But you're right, the bus ride was incredibly interesting. I was fascinated by how just a few blocks from the Met, the neighborhood was completely different. It was like so many different worlds all inhabiting the same place. I think it was Harlem? I can't remember. Then I fell asleep. :shuffle:
  9. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

    I lived right across the street from the 190th St subway for many years. To get to the Cloisters, don't exit the subway station through the long tunnel. Take the elevator, which will bring you up to Fort Washington Ave. The Cloisters is a short walk from there, you'll see a sign pointing you in the right direction.
    My favorite museum is the Tenement Museum, on the Lower East Side:
    After you visit the museum, check out this fantastic candy store, which is 5 minutes away:
    Also 5 minutes away, yummy donuts:
    And awesome pickles:

    Another cool museum is the International Photography Center, in midtown. On Fridays it is pay what you like after 5 PM:
    Bryant Park is across the street from here, and the ice rink will be open while you're here, if you like to skate (or just watch):

    If you're an Alan Rickman fan (he is a god :swoon: ) or just a fan of comedies, get a ticket for "Seminar". I saw it last week and loved it.
  10. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

    Off the top of my head:

    Generally, West is more fun than East Side.

    For great restaurants: Upper West Side (poke your nose into Zabar's while you're at it), Tribeca (if you can stand the cold winds coming off the Hudson), Meatpacking District (fun cobblestone streets).

    Best cupcakes are at Two Little Red Hens, in the Upper East Side (2nd Avenue between 85th and 86th), Magnolia's got nothing on them!

    West Village is fun and pretty and has my favorite ice cream store (Cones).

    Soho for lots of fun shopping.

    Agree with Marge about the Tenement Museum, which can be done in about an hour but is very historically interesting.

    Also consider the New York Public Library; hang out with the giant lions in the front and check out some of the art inside.

    Alvin Ailey might be performing in January; not sure. Or consider seeing something at Lincoln Center, perhaps a New York City Ballet performance.
  11. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

    I echo the Frick. Also, I used to like the Museum of the City of New York. Haven't been there in years, but they have Cecil Beaton exhibit through February 20.

    The Hispanic Society is a hidden gem, full of treasures. http://www.hispanicsociety.org/

    Here is an interesting list: http://www.yelp.com/biz/belvedere-castle-new-york-2#hrid:DgI3x0BuPOcI3rxexX-Ngg
    It includes the Belvedere Castle in Central Park (I got married at the foot of the castle stairs).

    Since you are going off peak tourist season, don't forget to look on Groupon and Living Social for hotel or food deals.
  12. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

  13. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    Do you skate? The rinks in Central Park will still be open, and I think the one at Rock Center will still be open.
  14. The Village Idiot

    The Village Idiot Demon Barber

    I'll second the DiFara's...not that I've been, but I've wanted to. I imagine it in the middle of nowhere though...which may or may not be correct. Also, very, very few refer to it as the BMT anymore...most people just call it the subway. Take the Q out there.

    When you go to the memorial, be sure to reserve your (free) pass ahead of time.


    NY'ers seem to like to wait on line at Shake Shack (all their locations, not just Madison Sq Park) for burgers for some inexplicable reason. I don't understand, but people do it.

    Also, there's a ramen thing going on right now. Ramen and buns at Momofuku Noodle Bar, and dessert at the Momofuku Milk Bar make a filling evening. There's also Ippudo and my personal favorite Totto Ramen. But there are usually waits for these places so strategizing a time to go is important.

    You can check out the Superhero Supply Co. in Park Slope. :)

  15. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

  16. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

    For cupcakes, I recommend the new Sprinkles which opened on Lexington between 60th and 61st, IIRC, diagonally across from Bloomingdales. Anyone who has watched Cupcake Wars needs to check this place out. It is pricey, but these are the best cupcakes I have ever had anywhere.
  17. mon125

    mon125 New Member

    After Broadway, you can go to La Bonne Soupe (55th Street btw 5th and 6th Avenue) for a cheese or chocolate fondue!
  18. sk9tingfan

    sk9tingfan Well-Known Member

    It shows how old I am.....:p Older New Yorkers differentiate between the IRT, the BMT and IND which are different lines of the subway(I was always more of an IRT gal) DiFara's is really only one or two at most very short blocks walk from the train station. That being said, it is in a very residential area of Brooklyn with little else there unless you were heading south to either Sheepshead Bay or Coney Island.
  19. The Village Idiot

    The Village Idiot Demon Barber

    Oh I know. :) I was going for a less offensive reaction than, "BMT? Daaaaaaaaaaaang how old ARE you?" :lol:
    sk9tingfan and (deleted member) like this.
  20. sk9tingfan

    sk9tingfan Well-Known Member

    Pizza at $.15 a slice, gas at $.299, nickle pickles, penny candies, a dime to get on the subway, nickle candy bars and penny candies, The New York Time for $.05. Does that give you a reference point? :p
  21. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

    And it cost $.03 to mail a letter and $.02 to mail a postcard. Biggest trauma of my childhood was when popsicles went from $.05 or $.07.
  22. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I don't get it either. The shakes are pretty good, but otherwise :confused:

    Yes, second this as well.
  23. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member


    I had dinner there this past Friday. The food is nice and the price is right. Speedy service, too. I can heartily recommend the dinner crepes and the almond apple tarte. And the chocolate mousse. :swoon:


    I also like the food at Radiance, which is just a block away from La Bonne Soupe:
    If you are into tea, they have a gazillion different kinds, and they also have tea-tastings. (Check the website under "events" for dates and times) Even if you don't like tea, the food is tasty, and the place has a v. tranquil atmosphere - nobody will try and rush you out of there. Reasonable prices, too.
    If you insist on trying Shake Shack (the burgers really are excellent) I'd go to the one on E. 86th St, I've never waited in line more than 15 minutes there. This location is handy if you want to combine it with a visit to the Met or the Guggenheim.

    NYC Ballet schedule for January can be found here:
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2011
  24. Guinevere

    Guinevere Well-Known Member

    Wow thanks everyone!! I've only been there once (well twice but the first time I was 2) and it is already my favorite city. So much to do. And see. And eat!!!

    I'm definitely going to go skate (how could I not) and check out all those places to eat. I really envy those who live there!!!
  25. The Accordion

    The Accordion Well-Known Member

    If you haven't seen it yet. Sorry for the caps shouting. I just think everyone should see this show. :)
  26. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

    This place, at Union Square, is on my list of places to try. (most of the things on my list involve food :lol:)
    My coworkers claim it is divine.


    If you get down to the Lower East Side (perhaps to visit the Tenement Museum) walk over to Houston Street and try an authentic knish here:

    I love this fantastic little store. It's near Houston Street and is crammed with all sorts of funky things from Mexico:

    This place is also nearby, I can personally vouch for the gelato:
  27. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    I just saw a terrific exhibit on Charles Dickens at the Morgan Library & Museum. If you're into classic literature, you'll probably enjoy it.
  28. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

    I love the Morgan. The gorgeous library makes me sooo jealous. And I itch to open the cases and have a good look at all the books. Website here:
  29. DustPuppyOI

    DustPuppyOI Well-Known Member

    Seconding La Bonne Soupe in midtown except I love their French onion soup. The Gruyere is amazing in its quality and it's not overly salted.

    If it's freezing cold, definitely make your way to one of the Farmer's markets (http://www.grownyc.org/ourmarkets) and do try the hot ciders. Some have apple chunks while my favourite is the pear cider heavily spiced with cinnamon and cloves!

    Should you see a show at NY City Center, make sure you go across the street to Myzel's (http://www.myzels.com/) for sweets instead of the overpriced food counters.

    If you're looking for tours, I've only heard about this one: http://www.famousfatdave.com/
  30. oleada

    oleada Well-Known Member

    Max Brenner's chocolate-y stuff is yummy, but their other food is not really outstanding. So go there for dessert or a hot chocolate :)