NYC on a Weekday
November 17, 2009 12:35 PM   Subscribe

NYC Filter: What's fun to do in New York City on a weekday?

Three friends and I (two men, two women, all late-20s) will be in New York City as tourists on a weekday. This will be in the near future, so the weather will probably be chilly.

We are spending the previous night in a hotel just outside the city (a 30 minute bus ride away), so the first problem is getting into town during the morning rush hour. Should we take our time checking out of the hotel and leave in the late morning when traffic will presumably be lighter?

Once we get there, what's cool to do? We've all been to NYC before, but probably not on a weekday - is there something we should take advantage of doing while most people are at work? Free or inexpensive would be great, though we wouldn't be opposed to a museum or something with a reasonable admission price. But I'm sure there's tons of cool places to just go visit.

We'll be leaving the city probably just ahead of the evening rush hour, so suggestions for lunch are also welcome.
posted by LolaGeek to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (12 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Are you driving into NYC or taking the bus? The bus during rush hour is a breeze thanks to the special bus only lane. But please, keep in mind when you are at the subway station that almost everyone around you is on their way to work and probably in a rush.

A lot of NYC's big ticket museums are actually 'suggested' prices. You can hit up the Met and Natural History on the cheap this way.

If I had a day off in the city I'd probably hit up the line for rush tickets to a Wicked (or another show) matinee and then Shopsins for lunch at the Essex St Market.

You could also stand in line to see David Letterman and I'll wave hi to you from my office window.
posted by mrsshotglass at 12:48 PM on November 17, 2009

Hit up the museums, for sure. They are usually pretty dead during weekdays (even if there are school trips, etc.) compared to weekends, and it's a totally different experience.
posted by shownomercy at 12:51 PM on November 17, 2009

A lot of the major museums and such will be much MUCH less crowded at a weekday. The ferry and the parks if you can stand the cold (shouldn't be TOO cold, but pretty nippy). The Natural History Museum is having some coll shows going on right now, and the New York Historical Soc. is right next door (they're doing a big show on Lincoln).

If you're gonna stick in that neighborhood, I know a few lunch places.
posted by The Whelk at 12:51 PM on November 17, 2009

Rush tickers are also a good idea on a weekday. You ave a good chance of getting semi-to-decent seats at slashed rates.
posted by The Whelk at 12:52 PM on November 17, 2009

Roaming through the galleries in Chelsea. Way less crowded than any museum, with an extra element of discovery as you go up and down the blocks, in and out of various buildings. (And free!) There are some great restaurants nearby too, when you decide you need to sit down for a while.
posted by hermitosis at 12:53 PM on November 17, 2009

If you take a coat you can walk the Brooklyn bridge (something I'm told everyone should do once in their lives) and right on the Brooklyn side is a tremendous pizza place, so activity + lunch all in one? (then take the subway back)
posted by arniec at 1:27 PM on November 17, 2009

You know what's cool as shit, indoors, lasts just an hour or two and is totally free? Going down to Pearl Street to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and watching arguments.
posted by saladin at 1:34 PM on November 17, 2009 [3 favorites]

Yup, museums on a weekday is perfect. And you need to walk the Bridge the other direction, so use that pizza as fuel. ;)
posted by rokusan at 1:36 PM on November 17, 2009

Lot of tourist stuff not really open if you go with the rush hour crowd. But one distant destination that might take a little time to get to would be the Cloisters. Well worth it for the museum and for the view.

Before or after thanksgiving? Macy's windows if after. Ditto other fifth avenue storefronts.

Lunch? Way too many variables. Start here and do due diligence before you go.
posted by IndigoJones at 1:57 PM on November 17, 2009

Response by poster: mrsshotglass: We're leaving our car at the hotel and taking a bus into the city. Good to know about the bus lanes!

People suggesting theater tickets: We're actually seeing a show the night before, and as cool as it would be to rush a matinee, I don't think the guys would be up for that much Broadway in such a short time.

IndigoJones: Without getting too specific about timing, I don't think there will be many Christmas decorations up yet. But I heard some of the big stores are already decorated..?

Thanks everyone for the great suggestions so far!
posted by LolaGeek at 4:04 PM on November 17, 2009

Go to an art house or repertory movie...Film Forum and Walter Reade have screenings during the day.

Poke through the stacks at the Strand.
posted by brujita at 8:48 PM on November 17, 2009

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