Give me some ideas for my NYC trip!
September 21, 2004 1:35 PM   Subscribe

I'm planning a trip to NYC with my girlfriend in November, I need ideas of a place to stay and things to do; we've both seen many of the touristy things, but wouldn't be opposed to seeing them again. I want to do the trip on a tight budget ($500-600 for the weekend, less if possible) since we are both students. Also, I would like to make the trip as romantic as possible. Any ideas?
posted by mhaw to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (23 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Greenwood Cemetary [warning: cheesy music] is a wonderful place to stroll or hike through for a couple (or more) of hours. If you turn left after coming in through the main entrance, you'll go up a hill that has a number of war memorials and a perfect view of the statue of liberty.
posted by ursus_comiter at 1:49 PM on September 21, 2004

1) stay at a hostel if you can. I liked the amsterdam inn, it was clean, close to a subway line, and in a pretty good neighborhood. and i got it for 69 a night which is a good deal (might be more now though). Don't expect more than a room and sharing a bathroom though. But since you're students, I'm guessing you're both use to that.

2) For cheap eats, there's a great Indian Food place in lower manhatten called Mamoons (sp?). Cheap as hell but amazingly good food. I can't remember the address though which bugs me. Also, there are some places that serve 6 dollar lunches, etc but several places don't accept credit cards so be prepared to use cash (you might no that already). If you're going to be on the upper east side, I can recommend 2 places. One was good the other was great.

3) on places to visit, I dunno. It depends on what she likes to do, etc. If she's really into window shopping, tag along and act interested even if you aren't. That works amazingly well.

4) get a zagat restaurant guide when you're down here. it's a valuable resource and can help you find good food places. if you need any recommendations, email me and i can give you a rundown of a couple of places i like.
posted by Stynxno at 2:30 PM on September 21, 2004

Depends on what you/she likes. Museums are cheap. The park is free. Get a copy of Time Out NY and see what other stuff is free this month.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:32 PM on September 21, 2004

There is a place called Mamoun's on MacDougal, between Bleeker & W. 3rd St - and they have really good falafel ($2) but it's not a particularly romantic setting.

The Central Park Zoo can be a lot of fun; also, in November, there should be ice skating in Central Park which is nicer and a lot cheaper than Rockefeller Center.

The Staten Island Ferry is free and though it doesn't stop at the Liberty Island or Ellis Island it does give you a nice view of both of them as well as Lower Manhattan
posted by Caz721 at 2:46 PM on September 21, 2004

Staten Island Ferry at night is very romantic (what Caz said)--eat at Chinatown before or afterwards, and wander around NoLiTa/Lower East Side. Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City is great, and gives you a great view of Manhattan. Go to PS 1 too, also in LIC.
posted by amberglow at 2:58 PM on September 21, 2004

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is amazing - and the rooftop garden is very beautiful, even romantic (esp at sunset). $7 suggested donation for students, and you could spend all day there. That may also include entrance to the Cloisters, their medieval museum which is somewhere outside downtown.
posted by jb at 3:00 PM on September 21, 2004

Oh - and cheap eating all over Hell's Kitchen (West side, 9th Ave? in the forties and fifties)
posted by jb at 3:37 PM on September 21, 2004

There is a place called Mamoun's on MacDougal, between Bleeker & W. 3rd St - and they have really good falafel ($2) but it's not a particularly romantic setting
That's why you take it a couple blocks away to Washington Square (daylight hours only).
posted by LionIndex at 3:44 PM on September 21, 2004

I've had excellent luck with the Gershwin Hotel. It's cheap, hip, central, attractive, clean, and friendly.
posted by stonerose at 4:28 PM on September 21, 2004

Figure on spending the most money on the hotel--everything else is cheap. : >
posted by amberglow at 5:59 PM on September 21, 2004

eat at Chinatown before or afterwards

and if you do, make sure it's at Wo Hop. Best place in Chinatown. Try the fried dumplings.
posted by jonmc at 6:04 PM on September 21, 2004

I love the Brooklyn botanic garden. Very romantic, very cheap, very beautiful.
posted by melissa may at 6:39 PM on September 21, 2004

$600 should be totally sufficient for a romantic weekend in New York. My suggestions, based on romantic stuff my girlfriend and I did back when I lived in NYC:

- Stay at the Chelsea Lodge. It's in Chelsea (obviously), and has extremely cute, really romantic rooms that are 'European style' -- i.e., you share a bathroom with two or three other rooms on your floor. I've stayed there many times; it's much nicer than a hostel and much more affordable than a hotel, and the people who run it are very nice and will make you feel welcome. Extra points for the fact that it's in a brownstone on a street, not on the avenue in a big hotel-like building, and for having a pretty good diner around the corner.

- Go to the Cloisters. It's a beautiful museum of medieval art located at the very top of Manhattan (at 207th St., I think) inside a huge castle, which is in turn inside a lovely park. It's really quite unbelievable that it's even there -- out of the way and special. You walk from the subway station through the park to the castle, and you can see the river the whole way.

- Go to Po for dinner on Cornelia St. in the West Village. It's small, very elegant, and has very good, imaginative (i.e., not Little Italy) Italian food for reasonable prices. Dinner with a nice bottle of wine shouldn't run you more than $60–$70, which is fine on your budget, I would guess, and it's a nice out-of-the-way place on a beautiful little street (W. H. Auden lived on it). Afterwards, you can walk to Doma, IMO the best coffee shop in New York City, which is at 14th and Perry.

- You can make a great day downtown: walk from Chelsea to the Strand, eat a knish at the knish place on the eastern side of Houston (near the Landmark Cinema), see a movie, have dinner at Teresa's, a great Polish place on (I think) Ave. A between 5th and 6th.

- A nice, tasty place for lunch is the Fairway Cafe, which is up above the Fairway on Broadway in the 70s. it has nice big windows and you can look out over the UWS.

- And two more: there's a great Japanese confectioners on 5th Ave near Saks (the name of which, sadly, I can't remember). And, if you want to go somewhere more uptown, make a few hours out of St. John the Divine (at 110th and Amsterdam), which is the largest (not tallest) cathedral in the world, and stop in at the Hungarian Pastry Shop across the avenue. Make sure to check out St. John's wacky children's garden, which has giant surreal statuary.

Wow -- boy oh boy do I miss New York! I hope I can move back there before I die. Writing all this has made me jealous!
posted by josh at 6:51 PM on September 21, 2004 [1 favorite]

If either of you like good live music, Bleeker St. in the Village is a lot of fun at night (Kenny's Castaway, the Baggot Inn, the Cafe Wha, to name 3 of like 90 places), and the Magnolia Bakery at its extreme west end is open for cupcakes - really good ones - until 12:30am.

The Empire State Building is far, far more romantic at night than in the daytime. Lines are often shorter too, especially in the cold months when there is no humidity to haze up the view.

Grab a copy of Let's Go New York. Nothing beats it for up to date on the cheap info, including detailed lodging reviews, activity suggestions, and so on. It's aimed at young people so there's quite a bit of romantic info.

Some things that would be handy to obtain as soon as possible upon arrival include a current copy of Time Out New York (an activity mag for locals), a MetroCard FunPass allowing a day's free travel on the subway; a subway map; and maybe a copy of the Village Voice available on streetcorners, although I personally find the latter somewhat annoying.

If you want to splurge for a romantic meal, ask the folks at where - the discussion is always entertaining, especially if you let them know what you like.

Noting an erratum above: the Cloisters was a monastery, not a castle. It was transported across the Atlantic brick by brick and reconstructed.

Man. How am I ever gonna leave this city? I love it here.
posted by ikkyu2 at 7:14 PM on September 21, 2004

Also a good place for live music: Tonic. I dunno about romantic, though (but Supersilent is playing there Nov. 8! Dude!)
posted by kenko at 7:47 PM on September 21, 2004

Try Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant, in the basement of Grand Central Station, or Union Square Cafe. Great food and great people-watching, in both cases.

Or better yet, just wander around and pick a menu.
posted by swift at 10:43 PM on September 21, 2004

Great recommendations!

If I can add one: the food at Po has not been very consistent. I would suggest Pearl across the street.
posted by hummus at 8:02 AM on September 22, 2004

There are some great suggestions in here - am bookmarking for next time we go. Thx all!
posted by widdershins at 9:06 AM on September 22, 2004

Take her to lunch at Shanghai Cafe (Mott btw Baxter and Canal), followed by lychee ice cream at Chinatown Ice Cream Factory (Bayard btw Mott and Elizabeth). Once you've got the ice cream, walk west on Bayard to Colombus Park to eat dessert and people watch. Delicious, cheap (dinner and ice cream together shouldn't cost more than $20), and chicks dig it.
posted by saladin at 10:33 AM on September 22, 2004

If the weather is good, take the A/C train to High St station in Brooklyn and walk across the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan. You get a great view of the harbor, brooklyn, lower manhattan and the east river, not to mention the bridge itself. When you get to the Manhattan side, you'll be close to City Hall and several subway lines.
posted by hashashin at 11:18 AM on September 22, 2004

I'd have to disagree with the Wo Hop suggestion above, but second the recommendations for the Fairway Cafe, the Cloisters (actually several different cloisters, all moved over by (I believe) Rockefeller), B'klyn Bridge walk (and Brooklyn Heights Promenade), Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Oyster Bar (you want the lunch counter, not the dining room -- get a half-dozen Malpeques or Blue Points, a Bass Ale, and an oyster pan roast and you got yerself a nice meal).

Plus, walking around the little windy streets in the West Village, finding your own little corner of Central Park, hot chocolate at the City Bakery on W. 18th St., and swanky cocktails at Angel's Share.

And I haven't been to Suba, but it looks cool.
posted by Vidiot at 11:34 AM on September 22, 2004

I agree with Vidiot, Wo Hop is old-school-chop-suey-American-style Chinese food and I wouldn't recommend it either. If you are in Chinatown, though, I would recommend the soup dumplings at Joe's Shanghai. And the pork buns at Mei Lai Wah are worth the struggle it sometimes takes to get them.
posted by hashashin at 11:00 PM on September 22, 2004

You can get amazing, cheap meals in Chinatown just by following your nose and looking for interesting things. I doubt I could find any of the restaurants that I've enjoyed there a second time, but no matter; there are always more.
posted by Vidiot at 6:09 AM on September 23, 2004

« Older Best "works-out-of-the-box" "all format" video...   |   Can somebody suggest a good, free file... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.