thanksgiving minus turkey plus nyc
November 24, 2009 6:01 PM   Subscribe

Will be in NYC for Thanksgiving: Will things be open? Anything cool going on?

My mother and I are not too into the rituals of Thanksgiving. This year we're ditching the family dinners and, instead, meeting in New York City to take advantage of the city, our vacation time, and seeing each other (it's been about 6 months since we last hung out). We'll be there from Wednesday-Saturday.

We have specific thing on our agenda (eating at Momofuku, shopping at Desigual, going to MoMA for free on Friday, experiencing culture shock at Brighton Beach, going to bars with photobooths), but I'm wondering if most places will be open on Thanksgiving Day and/or if there is anything particularly fun happening then.

I'm pretty sure that neither of us is interested in watching the Thanksgiving parade (again, not too into Thanksgiving as a holiday), and this is her first time to NYC. We like art, walking around, food and wine, theatre, and various other funky things (Mom is hipper than I am...). But, neither of us wants to spend too much money, especially since we know that a fun time can be had in NYC without breaking the bank.
posted by mustcatchmooseandsquirrel to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (12 answers total)
Museums may not be open but most stores/tourist traps will be open. thanksgiving isn't like XMAS (and even there, more and more places are in NYC are open).

Small mom & pop places are likely to be closed.

Stuff that is not in Manhattan is likely to be closed.
posted by dfriedman at 6:04 PM on November 24, 2009

Best answer: Lakeside Lounge - 162 Avenue B (between 10th & 11th Streets) - has a photobooth (and some pictures from the photobooth on the website).

Also, you can get Momofuku's pork buns at Momofuku Milk, the dessert bar behind the restaurant if you're not up for a whole meal.
posted by Frank Grimes at 6:14 PM on November 24, 2009

Actually dfriedman, Thanksgiving in NY is *more* likely to have things closed than Christmas. The thing to do on Christmas if you are in New York & not X-ian, is Chinese & a movie. That option might not be available thanksgiving.

Lots of Jews, Muslims etc., in New York, where Thanksgiving, despite its quasi-religious overtones is a US-ian holiday celebrated by many religions - even the Chasids do it in a kind of kosher way. I went to an Egyptian Muslim thanksgiving, but I don't know if that is standard.

The tourist traps in Manhattan will be open Thanksgiving day, but a quick check shows MOMA is closed Thanksgiving. Many restaurants will have thanksgiving "seatings" and a lot of the cool ethnic ones in ethnic neighborhoods will be closed since the clientele will vanish. Again Manhattan you won't starve but it will be tourist central. I think movie theaters might be open, museums definitely not. I think there was a similar thread and I pretty much said the same thing.
posted by xetere at 6:36 PM on November 24, 2009

Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade would be a cool thing to do. (Just mentioning in case you didn't know about it).

I'm sure there will be restaurants and shops open, though Macy's will be closed. xetere is correct: you won't starve.
posted by LOLAttorney2009 at 6:44 PM on November 24, 2009

Trust me, Chinese and a movie is available on Thanksgiving. Plenty of bars will be open.
posted by josher71 at 6:49 PM on November 24, 2009

some of the replies to my question from yesterday might be useful for you, link
posted by hibbersk at 7:22 PM on November 24, 2009

2nd josher71, and check out listings in or timeoutnewyork for what will be open, which will be plenty.

Also, its a good day for wondering around the village (east and west), the highline, central park. Window shopping on 5th Ave or Madison will be nice too, if that is your thing.
posted by cestmoi15 at 7:51 PM on November 24, 2009

Oh, and you don't say where you're staying, but if it is a hotel with a concierge, ask them.
posted by cestmoi15 at 7:52 PM on November 24, 2009

Best answer: Wednesday and Thursday, avoid Central Park West and Columbus Avenue unless you want to get jammed in balloon traffic and balloon gawkers.
posted by JimN2TAW at 7:53 PM on November 24, 2009

even the Chasids do it in a kind of kosher way.

Ummm, don't think this is true of all or even most Chasidim. There is a Jewish holiday, Sukkot (occurred just recently, in October) that is somewhat akin to Thanksgiving, and in fact I've heard said that the tradition of having a feast of "thanksgiving" (first made a national holiday/tradition by Lincoln) was inspired by early Jewish settlers in America who openly enjoyed Sukkot. Chasidim tend to reject any non-specifically-Jewish holiday observances.

Oh, btw, I do second the recommendation to see High Line Park. A very clever construction, and not too time-consuming (as it is only partially constructed).
posted by RRgal at 8:04 PM on November 24, 2009

I'd recommend the Chelsea galleries on Saturday. They're all free and you can walk to the High Line afterwards. I would assume they're open but you might want to call first to doublecheck. If you pick up the latest issue of Time Out, you'll be able to see what's on show and you can also call one or two places to make sure they're open.

I'd get a copy of Time Out no matter what your plans are. The magazine has all different kinds of activities listed - including free ones.
posted by anonymous78 at 2:40 AM on November 25, 2009

There was an article in the NY Times several years ago which described how many local Chinese people got married on Thanksgiving because most Chinese restaurants would close for the day.
posted by brujita at 10:18 PM on November 25, 2009

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