Looking for ideas for a day-trip to NYC
November 16, 2004 9:24 AM   Subscribe

Looking for ideas for a day-trip to NYC (more inside)

I'm looking for a good route for a sorta "walking tour" where I can just park the car and spend the day wandering around Manhattan. I'll be driving into the city from PA with my mom and aunt (two hip ladies) and we just wanted to have a little fun day in the city, absorbing some food/culture/shopping. I do realize that we can probably see and do less than 1% of what's there, but I'm relatively unfamiliar with NYC, so I wanted to just get a good taste. Also, I have no pretentions, we'll do touristy and non-touristy stuff alike. Thanks.
posted by dicaxpuella to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I did this about two years ago. It was my first trip, and I only had a day -- so if you've been there before this probably won't apply to you.

We stayed midtown-ish, in a quiet section and walked to the Library, Rockefeller Center, Time Square, the Pakistani-pushy-electronic district. We also did the Empire State building thing. Yes it was a very long day but we accomplished it all walking. It reeked of touristy stuff, yes, but we felt fufilled and not cheated (No "Oh man, we spent all day at the stupid NBC store?"). We also didn't buy anything and just basically ran around from run place to the other. I'm sure there's a ton of hidden stuff we missed but for a survey of New York, it's what I'd recommend.
posted by geoff. at 10:54 AM on November 16, 2004

Wow so many typos. Please excuse my poor grammar.
posted by geoff. at 10:55 AM on November 16, 2004

Manhattan is so big, you should probably choose an area to concentrate upon. The Village, Little Italy and Chinatown are relatively close and can be done together. These neighborhoods are filled with so many small and interesting shops that it can be fun to just wander with no pre-planned agenda. Further uptown you can take in museums and more traditional shopping. If you are going to be there after Thanksgiving you might take in Rockefeller Center and the tree - although this can get pretty crowed on weekends.
posted by caddis at 10:56 AM on November 16, 2004

Try cloudtravel's How to Visit New York City or the Best One-Day Walking Tour of New York City (which actually would probably take you a couple days unless you know your way around pretty well.)

Big Apple Greeter may be a good resource, too: they match up visitors with locals who are knowledgeable about a particular aspect of the city and are happy to share. (Never done it myself, but it sounds neat.)

I can also recommend Jane Egginton's New York Walks.

If you give us a sense of the sorts of things that you and your mom and aunt may find interesting, we may be able to give you some more concrete recommendations. What do you like? Restauraunts? (Fancy? Hole-in-the-wall? Ethnic? Trendy?) Museums? (Art? History?) People-watching? Quiet neighborhoods? Shopping (funky? trendy? high-end? Second-hand?) Music? (live, clubs, jazz, classical, the stuff the kids like?) You get the drift.

You also may want to park outside the city and take the train in -- that way you won't have to sweat the parking hassle and expense. Where in PA are you coming from?
posted by Vidiot at 11:51 AM on November 16, 2004

if you want food/culture/shopping, i'd stay downtown (below 14th street) and just spend the day walking around, wandering, and letting serendipity take its course.

i'm a wandering person myself, and would just walk around a few different neighborhoods in one day.

start in, say, the east village (kim's music and video, toy tokyo, alphabets, random weird schlocky and touristy shops all down st. mark's). then wander down and cross over houston onto the lower east side (economy candy, teany, american apparel, katz's deli, lenin on top of that apartment building on houston st.). then hop over to soho (apple store, rocks in your head (great record store), kid robot, prada, rice to riches, crumpler, kate's paperie, shiny expensive things all around). then take a detour over to washington square park and the nyu area. from there you can head up to union square (farmer's market, the strand, forbidden planet), or over to the west village, which is gorgeous, picturesque, and just has a wonderful vibe to it. can't remember any shops off the top of my head, though. but it is the home of excellent food + drink places, such as joe's pizza, magnolia bakery, vegetarian's paradise 2, westville, blue ribbon bakery, vol de nuit. most of the things i've mentioned are easily googleable, as well.

i don't know -- i like walking and i like wandering, and i don't mind getting lost or walking in circles.
posted by kathryn at 12:19 PM on November 16, 2004

MOMA's reopening this weekend, so you could stop by there (but it's 20 bucks now to get in)
posted by amberglow at 1:20 PM on November 16, 2004

If it's not your first trip, I'd highly recommend Brooklyn: Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, Prospect Park, the Botantical Garden (indoors in winter), Brooklyn Museum, Coney Island, Brighton Beach.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:19 AM on November 17, 2004

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