This afternoon in midtown manhattan
August 20, 2010 8:43 AM   Subscribe

What interesting thing can I do this afternoon in midtown Manhattan (with airlines cabin baggage)?


I have a flight back at 9 pm from L Guardia. I am done with my office work in Long Island; can't change this flight. I am looking to take the train to Penn station and hang out in the city till 6ish and then take the subway to LGA. What can I do and/or in what bar/coffee shop should I hang out for the next few hours ?

I had lived CT/NJ for a number of years. I am familiar with the city and the usual touristy things that one would do during the day. Also, I have cabin baggage. which makes it slightly messy to move around. I can obviously go uptown to the Met and easily spend the entire afternoon there (I think it is open late on Friday evenings). Cloisters is also appealing - but the trip to Cloisters and back can be complicated. Another attractive option would be to find a really cool place where I can grab coffee and write for a few hours; any ideas that you have in that direction will be welcome ...

Pl give me some ideas ...
posted by justlooking to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Go grab a burger/drink at Shake Shack (77th and Columbus) and sit in Central Park and write. Then pick up a cupcake from Crumbs (76th and Amsterdam) on the way to Riverside Park.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:49 AM on August 20, 2010

Just FYI, the trains don't run to LGA. You've got to take the bus and take rush hour Friday traffic into account.
posted by mrsshotglass at 9:00 AM on August 20, 2010 [3 favorites]

You might be able to check your bag at one of the hotels even if you aren't a guest.
posted by Carbolic at 9:03 AM on August 20, 2010

I say head uptown. The Met is a good option, but have you ever been to Harlem? Go to 125th Street, check out the Studio Museum (small, but excellently curated), grab dinner at one of the many fabulous restaurants, and then a drink at Lenox Lounge before you grab the M60 bus somewhere along 125th to LaGuardia (which will be much faster than any subway, and take you directly to your terminal).
posted by ocherdraco at 9:03 AM on August 20, 2010

I'd head straight to Jackson Heights, Queens and spend my time in the mostly Indian sub-continent focused part of the neighborhood there. It's one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city and the nation - and has really fun shops and great food. Take the E, F, M or R trains to Jackson Heights/Roosevelt Ave stop and walk north on 74th st 1/2 block. And you'll be quite close when you're ready to grab a car to LGA (I wouldn't bother going there by subway, it's no fun).
posted by jardinier at 9:06 AM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Get some falafel and sit in Union Square for a while and people watch.
posted by edbles at 9:11 AM on August 20, 2010

If you haven't been to the city for a while, maybe you'd want to go for a leisurely walk through the new High Line Park? (especially if you can store your luggage somewhere). It's pretty cool.

Maybe grab a drink in the beer garden at the Standard Hotel?

Or get six oysters and a PBR for $8 at Fish on 280 Bleecker Street?

(just listing things I have enjoyed when visiting the city lately).
posted by AwkwardPause at 9:41 AM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks all. Didn't take into consideration the Friday evening traffic and the bus trip issues ...

I am probably going to head uptown towards central park and then take a call to go to Harlem or the Met by late afternoon (assuming I have time to kill :-) ...

Jackson Hts is a great idea; but I am originally from India and had spent good time in the sub-continent focused parts of NY/NJ when I was living in CT early and mid 2000s :-)
posted by justlooking at 9:52 AM on August 20, 2010

Ha, I was afraid of that after I posted - hopefully someone else will find it useful. : D
posted by jardinier at 10:02 AM on August 20, 2010

Just a word of caution: Many museums won't let you in with a bag larger than say 13", and others won't even have a place for you to check it. No luggage in museums, unfortunately.
posted by cmgonzalez at 11:02 AM on August 20, 2010

You can take the EFMR or 7 trains into Queens, then switch for a bus at Roosevelt Avenue. Rush hour traffic isn't as much of a factor that way.
posted by cmgonzalez at 11:10 AM on August 20, 2010

If you don't mind going back to Penn Station, you can definitely check your bag there for the afternoon.

And I would definitely second the High Line / Standard suggestion. Great place to sit, stare at the city, people watch, etc.

If you are headed uptown, I'd jump on the M60 bus that takes you to LGA on 125th St. That also increases the likelihood of you getting a seat!
posted by weelittlemaggie at 11:56 AM on August 20, 2010

weelittlemaggie, where can you check baggage at Penn Station? I don't know of any public storage lockers there (not since the 80s). AFAIK, the only baggage check in Penn Station is for Amtrak ticketed passengers.
posted by Majorita at 4:03 PM on August 20, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks all.

I'll try to make time for High Line if I manage to do this again; it looks interesting (I don't think it was there when I lived in the tri-state area).

Baggage check in in Penn station would have certainly been convenient (although a big detour on the way out). I'll try to research this.
posted by justlooking at 12:58 PM on August 22, 2010

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