New York City Seeing
November 17, 2005 4:52 PM   Subscribe

If you had one day to spend in New York City, what would you do?

My wife and I are going to be in New York City to see a broadway show, then we have the entire next day to spend doing whatever we want to. So if you had one day to do anything you wanted to, what would you do? (A good place to eat in the Manhattan area? A really cool thing to see?). We are not looking to do the touristy thing like "see the statue of liberty" but things that are really cool.
posted by Hands of Manos to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (30 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
for breakfast: dim sum if on the lower half of the island, Barney Greengrass if on the upper; spend all day at the Met (cruise through the modern section, otherwise it's a 2-day trip), Guggenheim and maybe MOMA, even though I feel their new high entry fee is the worst thing that's happened to art in 50 years; lunch at crif dogs; dinner at Katz's.
posted by luriete at 4:58 PM on November 17, 2005

And oh yeah, stop at the Strand while walking from the UES down toward dinner/lunch/whatever.
posted by luriete at 4:59 PM on November 17, 2005

i'd shop, wander, have lunch at the Union Square Cafe, shop and wander some more, and get over to the Met at some point for a hour or so (or special exhibit).
posted by amberglow at 5:00 PM on November 17, 2005

I'm a museum geek, so I'd head straight to MoMA, no question. (The cafe there is really quite nice as well.) Have fun!
posted by scody at 5:00 PM on November 17, 2005

"Very Special Pierogies" at Little Poland, then the rest of the day at the American Museum of Natural History. Later, sex.
posted by interrobang at 5:01 PM on November 17, 2005

If I had just one day in Manhattan - and the weather was bearable - I'd put on my walking shoes and just set out. I think one of the most amazingly things about Manhattan is the street level energy. You could easily do a SOHO, East Village, West Village tour on foot in a day. Cool stores, cool street scene - good food. You could also do a midtown, central park upper west side tour.
posted by Wolfie at 5:07 PM on November 17, 2005 [1 favorite]

My favorite seafood restaurant anywhere (and I grew up on Cape Cod) is Sea Grill in Rockefeller Center. I don't have a preference between dinner or lunch, but I'd eat one of 'em there.
posted by cribcage at 5:07 PM on November 17, 2005

One Day in Paradise: Morning at the Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side, afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum on the East Side, then dinner at Gino's at 60th and Lexington, nearby on the East Side. If not enough time, then Metropolitan and Gino's for lunch.
posted by madstop1 at 5:20 PM on November 17, 2005

If you decide to visit museums on the upper east or west side or both, take a stroll through Central Park while you're up there.
posted by ursus_comiter at 5:30 PM on November 17, 2005

you know what's cool and free? the staten island leaves every half hour from the bottom of manhattan and you get a great view of the city. round trip probably takes about an hour or less.
posted by paul_smatatoes at 5:34 PM on November 17, 2005 [1 favorite]

ClicheFilter: if it's a clear day not during the holidyays you've got to go to the Empire State Building or the Top of the Rock.

Yes they're touristy, but if you haven't seen the city from a skyscraper, you haven't seen the city.
posted by lalochezia at 5:49 PM on November 17, 2005

I'd hit the museums, but I love museums almost as much as I love tacos.

Seriously, I don't even know which one to recommend. So many choices, so little time!
posted by I Love Tacos at 6:13 PM on November 17, 2005

A little cold for this, but if it was bearable I'd veer straight on over to do The Circle Line Tour again. Boat, all the way 'round the island. It's such a great contrast, seeing this amazing city without it bearing down on you. It puts things in perspective. The site indicates that it's $15-$28, and (1) What? (2) Whatever I paid last year, I would have paid double (apparently $30-$56).
posted by user92371 at 6:16 PM on November 17, 2005

Are you going to be back anytime soon? If so, skip the museums and head down to the galleries in Chelsea, which are free and fun to breeze through and far less grueling than the big museums. If you're going to be here before mid-January, though, the Russia exhibit at the guggenheim is really fantastic. Get brunch (or maybe bagels), and a slice, and find someplace nice for dinner. Look for the special stuff that's going on. There's supposed to be a cool exhibit of can art somewhere right now.
More than anything, walk walk walk. Drink in the city.
posted by ch1x0r at 7:14 PM on November 17, 2005

Hands of Manos, what show are you seeing?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:16 PM on November 17, 2005 [1 favorite]

Let's not forget Prospect Park. If you want to find something that manages to be both "really cool," calming, and not overdone, it's where to head. There's more to New York than Manhattan (and Park Slope can be fun as well).
posted by allen.spaulding at 7:20 PM on November 17, 2005

Response by poster: Avenue Q
posted by Hands of Manos at 7:28 PM on November 17, 2005

Staten Island Ferry. Don't look back towards Manhattan on the way out. You will want to, like Orpheus and Eurydice, but you should not. Wear a blindfold if you have to. Once you get to Staten Island, turn around.
posted by holgate at 7:44 PM on November 17, 2005 [1 favorite]

If it's a nice day, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge can be thrilling. Great views and history. There are some very good restaurants on the Brooklyn side at Fulton landing (Patsy's for pizza, the River Cafe for pricier, more romantic, dining).

But what's really cool, and quintessentially New York here (I think), is Bargemusic, intimate chamber music concerts Thurs-Sunday evenings in a beautiful setting under the bridge. There is seating for a ~100 people, you can usually get a reservation if you call a week or two in advance. The performers are world class. It will be memorable.
posted by bmckenzie at 8:02 PM on November 17, 2005

Just hang around Times Square and go to the Christmas Show at Radio City. Whatever you do -- stay away from the outer boroughs.
posted by Oddly at 8:32 PM on November 17, 2005

One of the best social-history museums anywhere is the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. You'll never forget it, and it's especially moving if there are 19th-century immigration stories in your family history. And you can have lunch at Katz's.
posted by Miko at 8:46 PM on November 17, 2005

SI Ferry is always one of my favorites. You might want to do it early or late in the day as it runs even after all the other fun things close and a round trip'll take a while.
posted by Opposite George at 9:14 PM on November 17, 2005

I had one day, and this is what I did.

I went to MoMA, Maxilla and Mandible, the Gotham Book Mart, and up the Empire State. I also walked down West 72nd Street to the park, because I like the Dakota.

I rode the subway, which was fun, but next time I would take more cabs, because there's more to see that way.

If I had it to do again, I'd walk around more on the Upper West Side (thinking about all the millions of fancy apartments I'd like to look in) take Miko's advice on the Tenement Museum, and completely skip the horrid conjoined twin musical I went to. What the hell was I thinking?
posted by Sallyfur at 9:36 PM on November 17, 2005

For one day, I heartily second the wandering around through SoHo and the Village, then a walk down Broadway to Battery Park. Plenty of great street life, boutiques and sights to soak in.

Top of the Rock, the observation deck at Rockefeller Center, just re-opened and I bet the view from there on a clear night can't be beat.

I don't know what kind of food you're into or what budget you're on, but for a greasy spoon experience, you can't beat La Bonbonnierre in the West Village.
posted by nyterrant at 11:11 PM on November 17, 2005

If you're the museum type and you're willing to get out of Manhattan, I highly recommend P.S. 1
posted by rxrfrx at 5:21 AM on November 18, 2005

Come back and let us know what you did, mmmkay?
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:47 AM on November 18, 2005

I think this is the coolest thing in New York at the moment: Bodies. $25/person, so it's kinda a pricey, and maybe not for the squeamish.

And they just reopened the Rockefeller Roof Deck. Very touristy, but I don't think too many tourists have heard about it yet.
posted by exhilaration at 8:41 AM on November 18, 2005

Spend at least a little time in central park...especially if its a nice clear day. It's not as pretty now that its between fall and winter but still check it out. I cannot go to NYC without at least swinging by.
posted by UMDirector at 11:03 AM on November 18, 2005

You can hang out with me! (I know we already have plans to do that)

I've been wanting to see the new photography at MoMA, or the the VanGough drawings at the met.
posted by splatta at 12:11 PM on November 18, 2005

Just hang around Times Square and go to the Christmas Show at Radio City. Whatever you do -- stay away from the outer boroughs.

I realize this thread is pretty old but just incase somebody comes across this in the future. Ignore the above advice.
posted by blim8183 at 11:54 AM on July 12, 2006 [2 favorites]

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