A few free hours near south end of Central Park on Monday
February 1, 2014 1:17 PM   Subscribe

I am taking a one-day trip to Manhattan. I get off the bus from Boston Sunday night by Penn Station and am busy from 11 am Monday until I catch my return bus from Penn Station at 5 pm. Two questions: What cool thing or things can I do Monday morning for a few hours before my 11 am meeting with friends to eat lunch just south of Central Park? One thought is to just wander that end of Central Park. What would be a good take-out low-carb meal to get to eat as I leave town? Is there any good BBQ in that area to recommend?
posted by BearClaw6 to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (9 answers total)
Basically anything in Midtown is applicable, here.

In fact, if I were you, I'd just go to Yelp and either do a few searches ("low carb", "bbq", "shopping", "museums", etc) for Midtown, or just browse Midtown for stuff that looks interesting. Make sure to limit your search to the hours you're talking about -- if you're looking to kill time early in the morning, that will somewhat limit your options.

This is not in the part of town you're referring to, but it's close to Penn Station and within 10 minutes of Central Park by subway, and it's the quintessential thing to do on a weekday morning, IMO -- the Flower District.

In general, with hours to kill, you could really go almost anywhere in Manhattan. The city is very compact, and the subway system is very efficient. For a good distance metric, 20 north/south blocks is a mile. Penn Station is about a quarter mile from the Flower District. Central Park is about a mile and a half from Penn Station.

Frankly, if you don't know New York well, just walking and wandering and stopping into a coffee shop or bakery to warm up periodically might be all you really need to occupy your time.
posted by Sara C. at 1:55 PM on February 1, 2014

Best answer: Oh, and here are a few interesting places/landmarks on the southern end of Central Park:

Columbus Circle and the Time Warner Center (a boring mall, but nice, and good for warming up. There's a Whole Foods in the basement which might be good for a low carb meal to go)

Lincoln Center

Carnegie Hall

FAO Schwartz
posted by Sara C. at 1:57 PM on February 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you are into delis, Carnegie Deli is near there.
posted by Dansaman at 3:42 PM on February 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

You can visit the moma in the morning.
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 3:45 PM on February 1, 2014

Best answer: BBQ before your 11 a.m.? OK! For a variation on the theme, check out Koreatown in the West 30s, especially 32 between 5th and 6th, a short walk from Penn Station. While there, you can treat yourself to a massage at one of my favorite kooky places, Juvenex.

The south end of Central Park is right next door to the Plaza and the fancy stores and a bit of a walk west to Columbus Circle. It's all pretty expensive, but Brooklyn Diner on 57th is close by, has a giant menu, and great people-watching. My favorite restaurant in that 'hood is Fred's at Barneys.

Have fun!
posted by thinkpiece at 4:29 PM on February 1, 2014

You can visit the moma in the morning.

Double check their opening days and hours. I'm not positive, but there's a chance MoMA is closed on Mondays. They also may not be open early enough in the morning.
posted by Sara C. at 5:43 PM on February 1, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions. For dinner, I was thinking of something I could grab in late afternoon on the way back to Penn Station. I will definitely check out lots of these ideas. And the Carnegie Deli.....that is where I am meeting my friends....a little early so as to miss the noon rush.
posted by BearClaw6 at 6:52 PM on February 1, 2014

Best answer: The Nintendo store at Rockefeller Center opens at 9am. The Lego Store opens at 10am. The Apple Store on 5th Ave is 24/7. All of these are fairly close to Carnegie Deli. A little further away but indoors & also potentially more interesting is Grand Central Terminal.

MoMA is now open Mondays but not until 10:30am. Their store, however, opens at 9:30am.

Before you leave, you could get BBQ from Hill Country on 26th and 6th. No sugar in their rub. Their brisket is good. Another option is a bun-less burger from 5 Napkin or Shake Shack near Times Square. None of these are really right next to Penn Station but the area immediately surrounding Penn Station is a food wasteland.

Closer to Penn Station is Cho Dang Gol where you can get a Korean spicy tofu and kimchee stew (just make sure they don't add rice cakes).
posted by kathryn at 8:17 PM on February 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Resolved:
It was snowing like...well the middle of winter in NYC....but I still got out. I spent the time that morning finding breakfast at Zabar's followed by a slushy walk just south of Central Park to FAO Swartz. This is where I heard about a cool store that I will visit later called The Evolution Store. Then I 'cut' through the southern part of Central park past the zoo to meet up with friends. By that point, there was about 5 inches of snow on the ground, so mostly I just got cold and wet, but I bet this would be wonderful in the summer. I met up with friends for lunch at the Carnegie Deli and was impressed with the truly massive mounds of food!
posted by BearClaw6 at 6:50 AM on March 10, 2014

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