Manhattan on 12/26?
December 12, 2014 7:24 AM   Subscribe

We're thinking about making a quick visit to Manhattan the day after visiting my family in the Hudson Valley for Christmas. Is this a bad idea? If we decide to do it, what (other than the Midtown Xmas dept store display / Rockefeller Center sights, which I know about) would be good activities, including cheap but yummy lunch options, we might not have thought of. For reference, we visit NY a couple times a year, have done so by both train and car, just not usually at the holidays.
posted by aught to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I'd head over to a museum with an exhibit I'd be interested in.

For a super-cheap lunch, I'd do Canal street and just go into the best smelling Chinese restaurant, of course I might go to Big Wong for soup dumplings. Head over to Little Italy for a canolli afterwards.

If you want a New York-cheap lunch, Churrascaria Plataforma is a wonderful choice. You can eat enough to keep you full until lunch the following day. It's $40 per person, including all you can eat meat, or $26 for just the salad bar. It's so freaking delicious I can't even....
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:36 AM on December 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I don't think you're gonna have trouble getting into the city on 12/26; in my experience as a commuter who has to work then, it's usually pretty quiet.

MoMA has free Fridays after 4 PM, which is great but also likely to be super-crowded.

You should probably stop by the Strand, as no NYC visit is really complete without it.

For a cheap lunch, it's hard to go wrong with Chinatown, as Ruthless Bunny suggests. I like Big Wong King also (though for roast pork, not soup dumplings: my pick for that is Shanghai Cafe); my favorite dim sum is Buddha Bodai. Xi'an Famous Foods is also a popular and tasty choice.

If you happen to want some Mefite company for lunch, my office is right by Chinatown and as I said above, I have the privilege of working on 12/26, so drop me a line!
posted by ferret branca at 7:50 AM on December 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: We really enjoyed taking the boat out to Ellis Island and Liberty Island. (Weather permitting) It was a nice break from being surrounded by city. I think we went on Christmas Eve instead of Boxing Day, but the air was cold, the sky was cloudless and bright, and it was really refreshing. It was pretty reasonably priced, too!
posted by jillithd at 8:03 AM on December 12, 2014

Best answer: Definitely a good idea! Pretty much everything should be open 12/26.

Some food options:
A Salt and Battery
La Esquina
Hampton Chutney Co.
sample cheeses at Murray's (or go to their cheese bar/restaurant)
Eataly (not necessarily cheap, but you can sample your way through the place)

I'd actually avoid Chinese/Chinatown because Christmas is such a big night for them, you're likely to get whatever's left over (sort of the xmas equivalent to brunch).

What have you done before? What types of things do you enjoy? Adults/kids/ages?

The Transit Museum is worth a trip, if you've never been.
posted by melissasaurus at 9:22 AM on December 12, 2014

Best answer: I had a great meal at A Salt and Battery.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:51 AM on December 12, 2014

Best answer: Agree with ferret branca that itll be a quiet-ish day as most offices will be closed and I think a good day to go into city. Only thing to be aware of (which you probably know already) is that trains will likely be on a holiday schedule so plan accordingly.

After working in midtown for so many years I tend to want to stay the hell away for it for fun things, BUT i did go to parker & quinn recently ( and really liked it. It was definitely loud at night, but its close enough to midtown tourist spots without having that feel at all. Cool decor, etc. Not exactly cheap but you can get things like grilled cheese & soup, burgers etc without being totally robbed. It is in the refinery hotel and you can go to the rooftop after or before for a drink; enclosed rooftop with great views.

If you choose to drive in, you can have a drink or a bite at Rosie O'Gradys on 52nd & 7th, and park in the parking lot under/next to it. You can have your parking ticket validated & it should end up around $20 no matter the hours (but verify the time limit on that prior to going). I don't think it would be terrible to drive in that day, though I guess that depends on how far up you are in the hudson valley.

Have fun!
posted by kmr at 10:15 AM on December 12, 2014

Best answer: A lot of Broadway shows are doing a Friday matinee that day.
posted by La Cieca at 12:18 PM on December 12, 2014

Best answer: a bit late but depending on when your last few times a year visit was, a few new-ish things:
-a new ice rink at the Seaport this season if that's your thing
-if it's reasonable out, the new section of the Highline was completed this fall and now runs to 34th St.
-the holiday cards exhibit at the Morgan and new train show at NY Historical are both amazing.
posted by TravellingCari at 5:06 PM on December 14, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks all, I appreciate you taking the time to recommend things.
posted by aught at 2:09 PM on December 15, 2014

Response by poster: Just a follow up in case anyone cares, that we actually went into the city 12/24, despite weather forecast for heavy rain, walked through the only light rain from a convenient garage on 55th we got a good Parking Panda deal for, had lunch at Tehuitzingo in Hell's Kitchen (really good al pastor, barbacoa, papas/chorizo tacos; partner had green salsa enchilada which were even better, and a very hardy portion); saw The Last Ship, quite fun, partner got Sting's autograph afterward following only a short wait at the stage door, a thrill for her; dinner at Queen of Sheba (Ethiopian), also very good (vegetarian platter); rain stopped completely during supper so we decided to walk back over to the xmas delirium happening at Rockefeller Center and 5th Ave, then after we had our fill of dazed European tourists taking pictures trudged back to our garage, to drive up Palisades / Thruway towards my folks'. A liquor store across the street from the garage was still open and we bought a couple (okay, a couple more since we had packed some from home) bottles of wine for our visiting with relatives. Traffic, happily, was light in and out via GWB. As always thankful for EZpass. About as nice a quick visit as we could possible have asked for given the unpredictability of weather and traffic. Again, all responses appreciated even if we ended up going our own way.
posted by aught at 8:14 AM on January 5, 2015

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