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Out and about in NYC

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Marge_Simpson, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

    Or, Marge Simpson's guide to the fun and off-beat. :lol:
    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:
    If you'd like to have afternoon tea, or a light meal, in a more casual atmosphere, this place is a favorite of mine:
    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:

    Did you know that NYC has a Ukrainian museum?
    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:

    I love this little shop:
    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. :lol: 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:
    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:
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
  2. oleada

    oleada Well-Known Member

    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. DustPuppyOI

    DustPuppyOI Well-Known Member

  4. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

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

    As long as we're on the subject of bakeries, this place near Lincoln Center is wonderful:

    Ditto for this place:

    Doughnut Plant has the best doughnut in NYC:

    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. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

    Back in August I did something I'd had on my bucket list for ages, I learned how to make pizza at this place:
    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. :lol:
    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:
  6. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

    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. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

    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. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

    Yes, I haven't plugged the Tenement Museum yet. :lol:
    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:

    If you visit the museum, stop off at another favorite place of mine, just 2 blocks away:
    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:
    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)
  9. personwhoishere

    personwhoishere Well-Known Member

    My favorite 24-hr eatery in NYC is L'Express:
    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. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

    I took a terrarium-making class at this place in Brooklyn in October:
    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:
    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:

    Alvin Ailey, one of my favorite dance companies, is at City Center this month. Info here:
    If you've never seen "Revelations", it's a must-see.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
  11. victoriajh

    victoriajh trying to ignore rod and find the eurosport feed

    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. asdf334

    asdf334 Active Member

    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. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

    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. Simone411

    Simone411 Clippy Loves Ashley, Michelle, Tara, and Sasha!

    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. :)
    The Accordion likes this.
  15. whoa

    whoa Member

    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.
  16. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

    Another one of my favorite places is Scandinavia House; I'm there fairly often when they are showing films:
    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 :lol: ) 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:
    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:
    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: Dec 3, 2012
  17. Cachoo

    Cachoo Well-Known Member

    Marge I want to travel on your NYC tours: I love your suggestions!
  18. oleada

    oleada Well-Known Member

    Love this place! Totally seconding this rec :)
  19. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

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

    Here's a great chill-out place, where you can sit for as long as you like over coffee and cake:
    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

    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:

    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:
    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: Dec 4, 2012
  20. kedrin

    kedrin Well-Known Member

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

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

    The Merchant's House Museum is another favorite place of mine:
    It's another NYC place that is rumored to be haunted. But unlike St. Mark's, there is serious evidence to back this up. Definitely visit when they are giving a guided tour, the volunteers who run the tours are passionate about the building and you'll learn a lot more than you would if you tour the building on your own.
    I took one of the candlelight ghost tours here in October, and it was seriously spooky. (although we did not encounter any actual ghosts) At the end of the tour we could enter a raffle: the winner would get to spend a night in the house with some psychic researchers who were going to try to make contact with the resident ghost. :eek:
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  22. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

    And you didn't jump on the opportunity to sign up for that?
  23. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

    Err, no....I'd probably scream my head off if I saw a real ghost.
    There were a bunch of young guys on my tour, though, who practically tripped over each other in their rush to enter the raffle. :lol:
  24. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

    Well, last one to sign up would be the biggest baby ;). This is good to know in case I ever end up spending Halloween in NY, though.
  25. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

    Another cool place, the Morgan Library:


    I haven't been here in awhile, but I'm planning to go this weekend to see the Beatrix Potter exhibit. This place is a must-see for book lovers; you will positively drool over
    Pierpont Morgan's library. I itch to open the books and have a good look, but alas, they are all under lock and key. The gift shop is pretty cool, too.
    Anytime I've been here, there are volunteers cruising the lobby and asking visitors to take a short survey. Definitely do this if they ask you, they will give you a coupon for a free admission.

    Last January I did something I'd wanted to do for ages: take part in the No-Pants Subway Ride.
    It was a hoot. I'm going to do it again this year as I happen to be off that day. Info here, for anyone who would like to take part:
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  26. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

    Yet another great place, close to Bryant Park:

    They have a great gift shop, and if you want to save money, go on Friday eves when it's pay what you like. If you are interested in photography, the school has dozens of classes at any given time. If you visit during December, you should check out the skating rink and the holiday fair in Bryant Park. I am especially enamored of this place, which has a booth in the park:
    The "throwdown wafel" is divine. :swoon:
  27. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

  28. Evilynn

    Evilynn ((Swedish skating dudes))

    I'm so going to print out this entire thread the next time I go to NYC. :respec:
    The Accordion likes this.
  29. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

    Cool! Maybe I will have to organize a "NYC Dessert" tour.

    Any crafty people here? I've got some links for you.

    Want to learn how to sew? I took classes here several years ago and can't recommend them highly ehough:

    If you quilt, embroider, or knit, check out this fabulous shop in SoHo. They also have classes:

    This place is a quilter's paradise, and they have tons of classes, too:

    Want to hit up the garment district, but aren't sure where to start? This blog can help you out:

    Looking for ribbon, lace, rhinestones? This place is a trimming Mecca, and the website only has a fraction of what's available in the store:

    Are you seriously into buttons? This place is more like a museum than a retail store, and it's fun to browse here even if you don't plan to buy anything:

    NYC has a Michael's, at Columbus and 100th St.:

    Do you make jewelry? You'll want to hit up the bead shops, which are all in the same area, 6th Avenue between 35th and 38th Street. This place is a favorite of mine:
  30. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

    PeterG and (deleted member) like this.