Killing 2 hours in immediate vicinity of Penn Station.
March 19, 2013 8:00 PM   Subscribe

Killing 2 hours in immediate vicinity of Penn Station. Is there enough stuff to look at to fill 2 hours? My bus arrives just before 5, my friend works in the same neighborhood til 7. I'm not looking for a place for dinner--I'm waiting for her. Maybe a drink, though. I don't wan't to walk very much--I'll have a bag and be wearing OK but not super comfy shoes. No more than a 5 block radius? So, aside from maybe stopping for a drink in a bar, is the neighborhood interesting enough that just wandering will keep me interested for two hours?
posted by primate moon to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (27 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
No, the neighborhood is not especially interesting. I would just go to one of the Starbucks in the area and cool my heels while waiting.
posted by dfriedman at 8:03 PM on March 19, 2013

Ace Hotel bar or maybe a cafe in K-Town which is along W32nd.
posted by cazoo at 8:11 PM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Grab a bag of Garrett's Popcorn and watch people try to rush home from work.
posted by justinleon at 8:13 PM on March 19, 2013

You could kill some time in Macy's.
posted by scratch at 8:14 PM on March 19, 2013

No, but it's a bit mall-ish, so if you're up for some shopping or browsing, that could work.

There's also the Empire State Building, if you're up for it and if your bag is allowed.
posted by Sara C. at 8:14 PM on March 19, 2013

If you are interested in beer, the ginger man has an interesting selection and is roughly a 10 minute walk.
posted by phil at 8:19 PM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Walk around the Ace Hotel, which is actually interesting if you know the history of the building. Look for the original ceiling inside the Breslin, the giant fish tank at the John Dory, the entire living room purchased at auction by the lobby bar, the skylights in the lobby which are now covered up, as well as a lot of the original tile. The entire lobby is a set because the designers weren't allowed to modify the land marked building. There's also often a DJ and good people watching in the Ace Hotel lobby, and the hotel has some stores.

Or get a drink at the NoMad Hotel's library room where you could conceivably read one of the many books they have there while waiting.
posted by kathryn at 8:23 PM on March 19, 2013 [6 favorites]

There's a lot of interesting stuff to do if you aren't in the city a lot. I don't know if you've already Googled "things to do near Penn Station," but it's a common and popular question and you'll find some good responses. Maybe start here, has walking suggestions. You could totally walk to the High Line and back.

GingerMan is fun, good suggestion if you like craft beer.
posted by Miko at 8:34 PM on March 19, 2013

You're not too far from the High Line. It's a gem. Easy way to kill a couple hours, and between all the sights, you won't notice the walking. And if you do, it's easy enough to plop your ass down and people-watch.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:45 PM on March 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

There's no way you'll make the High Line in uncomfortable shoes and with luggage.

Even the Ace is a stretch, though at least there's heat, a comfy couch and a bar waiting for you at the other end.
posted by Sara C. at 8:47 PM on March 19, 2013

It's only a few blocks! It does depend on the luggage, but...if we're talking about just a backpack or a roller, you can make the top end of the High Line (at 30th), which is plenty interesting.
posted by Miko at 8:56 PM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Walking directions - .03 miles to the 30th street entrance to the High Line.

P.S. why limit yourself - just pack a comfortable, small pair of traveling shoes.
posted by Miko at 9:01 PM on March 19, 2013 [5 favorites]

It is not clear if you are arriving via Amtrak, NJ Transit or LIRR. If you are arriving via Amtrak, I believe they have a baggage check facility for their passengers only. If you check your bag there, you have a much wider range of options. It seems as if your limiting factor is more your bag than your shoes. I would find a way to take that out of the equation. FedEx it to your friend's apartment?

The area directly around Penn Station is not great. I did a midnight run a few weeks ago that had one of its stops at Penn Station. I have lived in the NYC area for 80% of my life, and it was the first time I actually saw a purse snatching happen live. I am old and slow unfortunately.

Whenever I go to shows at MSG or a game, I will often meet friends for dinner and drinks at Mustang Sally's. It is a reasonable place to eat and drink. Easy to get to even with a rollie.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:12 PM on March 19, 2013

Disregard what I said up there -- I didn't realize/possibly forgot the northern branch of the High Line had opened!

Though I stand by it being fricken cold and maybe it would be more fun to cozy up someplace with a book and a glass of wine or something.
posted by Sara C. at 9:13 PM on March 19, 2013

Maybe take a 5-minute taxi ride to Chelsea Market? You could easily wander/eat/drink/hang out for 2 hours there.
posted by shivohum at 9:16 PM on March 19, 2013

If you like cameras, you can poke every fancy camera in the world at B&H at 34th and 9th.
posted by akgerber at 9:17 PM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I'm taking the Goto Bus from Boston. It drops off at 8th Ave. and 31st. I'll have a roller bag, and I'm not willing to take off the cute-but-slightly-less-than-perfectly-comfy shoes til the next day for more serious walking--which includes exploring the High Line. I think I'll just mosey on over to the Ace Hotel and sit in the bar and people-watch or read. Or maybe the Chelsea Market--though I don't want to ruin my appetite! Thanks for all the great suggestions!
posted by primate moon at 9:25 PM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

The Ace Hotel does look cool - I'm sticking my nose in there next time.
posted by Miko at 9:26 PM on March 19, 2013

Just for walking around it's a pretty short jaunt up to Times Square and the Theater District. Certainly worth seeing if you've never seen it before. Don't get pick-pocketed.

Ace Hotel is a great place for a drink but there's not much to see there really. You could walk down to Madison Square Park, even though it's cold there's plenty of stuff going on around there.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:53 PM on March 19, 2013

Jim. Hamleys universe (comic books) is at 4 w 33rd
posted by brujita at 10:48 PM on March 19, 2013

If your friend works nearby, perhaps you could do a handoff of their keys and head to their apartment to unpack and relax a little? (Assuming that you're planning to stay with your friend.)
posted by ocherdraco at 4:39 AM on March 20, 2013

There's a bowling alley in penn station
posted by cestmoi15 at 4:45 AM on March 20, 2013

That bowling alley is in the Port Authority, not Penn Station.
posted by Grither at 5:13 AM on March 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

You seem take your footwear seriously. The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology is five blocks from 8th Avenue and 31st street. On view now: Shoe Obsession, which they say "features over 150 examples of the most extraordinary shoe styles of the 21st-century, highlighting the new concepts, constructions, materials, and types of embellishment that have positioned shoes at the height of fashion."
Also within five blocks/two hours - a massage at a Korean day spa e.g. Juvenex or a round of pool at Space Billiard Café.
posted by jcrcarter at 6:53 AM on March 20, 2013 [5 favorites]

Whenever I'm at Penn Station I make sure to drop by NY Pizza Suprema - the place looks like any ol' pizza joint but has some of my favorite NY-style slices. Super crispy crust, super fresh ingredients, really flavorful pizza.
posted by tripledrop at 8:26 AM on March 20, 2013

Well, if you decide to go for the "just a drink" option, I'm fond of Walter's Bar, which was recently renovated to become significantly less sleazy (sigh). It's a very short walk from Penn Station.
posted by Dr. Wu at 9:42 AM on March 20, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks for even more thoughts and suggestions. Especially for Museum at F.I.T. show on shoes (!) and Walter's Bar. Now I can't wait to get there!
posted by primate moon at 7:26 PM on March 20, 2013

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