In a New York (Last) Minute - what should we do this holiday weekend?
October 10, 2015 11:46 AM   Subscribe

My boyfriend and I are taking a spontaneous trip to NYC. We will be getting in Sunday afternoon and will be staying until early Monday evening. What amazing things should we do, and where should we eat, in this very short amount of time?

We are both into art, architecture, live music, food, and cool popular science-y stuff. Ideally I would love for us to find recommendations for:

-something artistic, theatrical, experiential and immersive, like Sleep No More, (except not that because I've already done it!)
-an unusual festival or happening that we wouldn't find an equivalent to in our home city (Boston)
-a really fantastic band or show
-something else I'm not thinking of!

Free events are of course welcome, but we're willing to spend a bit for this. One place that's already on my list is the Cloisters, but otherwise we would prefer not to do the usual museums and attractions (unless there is a can't-miss, utterly amazing exhibit we should catch) or Broadway this time around.

For food/drinks, we are looking for:
-places with great food, but not intensely formal atmosphere for Sunday night/lunch on Monday. Could be almost anywhere in the city; any type of food as long as it's vegetarian-friendly. Preferences: cuisine from a country that is hard to find in other major cities OR in a setting that is in itself really unusual or interesting.
-a bar for craft cocktails with a good whiskey selection, and/or beautiful/interesting visually.
-your best bagel/breakfast/brunch recommendations for Brooklyn

Thank you!
posted by prewar lemonade to Grab Bag (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
As far as veg friendly and hard to find cuisines we were recently taken to sigiri in the ear village for Sri Lankan food and it was great (it's also byob). Get the kottu roti, a crazy stir fry of cut up roti (savory pancakes) with veggies and meat and spices. If you like it hot know that we got one order rated 3/10 and another 6/10 and the six made me sweat quite a bit and I have a high chili threshold.

To take a stab at your last question requires more info - brooklyn is a big place, can you help us by narrowing down your bagel/breakfast/brunch request at least geographically? Where will you be coming from or what will you be doing after breakfast and in what part of BK.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 11:58 AM on October 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

Hi Exceptional Hubris, it looks like we'll be in East Williamsburg, maybe close to Bushwick? It looks like the closest major streets are Flushing Ave and Wyckoff Ave, if that helps, and not far from the end of the English Kills. Not familiar at all with the area, so not sure if that's too detailed or not detailed enough!

Thanks for the suggestion on food, that sounds awesome!
posted by prewar lemonade at 12:13 PM on October 10, 2015

You're staying very near Bunna cafe - Ethiopian has never been very well represented in NYC (for a city of its size it always seemed weird to me) but It is quite well regarded and certainly very veg friendly. A bit further from there but still close is Roberta's which may be bushwicks most iconic restaurant. Started in an auto repair shop in 2008 they've expanded into a bakery, pizza shop, tiki bar tent, fancy tasting menu counter and more. The pizzas are great (they catered our wedding we like them that much) and the rest of the menu is terrific. Crazy long waits and no reservation but at odd hours or if you know in advance and can wait it's probably worth checking out.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:25 PM on October 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Definitely stop by the Roberta's takeout shop for a sticky bun for breakfast! Maybe try Okiway, for okonomiyaki, or Falansai, for Vietnamese, which will also be pretty near you.

For drinks, you'll be near the Narrows bar, on Flushing Ave, which is nice. In my opinion, the best bar around is Dutch Kills, which is in Long Island City.

Maybe check out the Skyscraper Museum in downtown Manhattan?

On preview, +1 to the Bunna recommendation! It's all vegan and all delicious.
posted by ferret branca at 12:27 PM on October 10, 2015

Go to PS1 MoMA in LIC for the newly opened Greater New York exhibition. Then over the Dutch Kills Bar for fabulous cocktails.
posted by Pineapplicious at 1:14 PM on October 10, 2015

PS1 is a great suggestion. If you haven't walked the Hi Line yet you should (free) and then maybe the new Whitney just a few blocks away from the northern end (not free). On a recent short trip to nyc I had dinner at Sake Bar Hagi for Japanese izakaya food. Totally great (and don't let the Times Square location dissuade you). Have fun!
posted by AwkwardPause at 1:34 PM on October 10, 2015

Many of the smaller immersive theatre shows are dark Sundays, unfortunately, and as vegetarians, Queen of the Night's dinner & barter format will be a very poor value for you.

I'd see if anybody on Then She Fell's Facebook page is selling their tickets but they only sell 15 a night so it's a long shot. Also I can't tell if they're sold out or dark on Sunday.

You might be able to get into Accomplice, though. Or one of the Escape Room experiences (there's like four of them in NYC right now).

Atlas Obscura is hosting performances at the Robotic Church this weekend, too.

NY Adventure Club is going into some mausoleums at Woodlawn Cemetery in Sunday afternoon.

The Woolworth Building now has official guided tours where photography is allowed (not always the case in the past). Might be interesting to take that in on Monday afternoon, and couple it with One World Observatory, the 9/11 Memorial, seeing the Calatrava WTC station, the Fulton Transit Hub, or maybe also a visit to the Dead Rabbit (great cocktail bar).

As a fan of Sleep No More, you might like a drink at Gallow Green (rooftop garden bar).

One of my favorite cocktail bars is Dear Irving where each of their four rooms has a different "theme."

For whiskey, we enjoy Brandy Library, the Flatiron Room, and Maysville (bourbon).

Oh and Superiority Burger is very hot right now and vegetarian.
posted by kathryn at 1:35 PM on October 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

The Cloisters might not be the best choice for such a brief trip. Looks like the nearest subway stop to Flushing & Wyckoff is Jefferson Street. From there to Fort Tryon Park is about an hour on the subway, and then you have to walk through the park to get to the actual Cloisters. It's a wonderful place, but going there would eat up a lot of your time.
posted by shiny blue object at 3:29 PM on October 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

Sorry for the slow followup, everyone. We ended up taking shiny blue object's recommendation and skipped the Cloisters. Instead, for our day outing we walked the High Line and despite wanting to avoid museums, the Whitney (thanks Awkward Pause!) The High Line was tremendous; highlight of the trip. We didn't get to take the food or drink recommendations this time around, but next visit we hope to make it to Roberta's, Dear Irving, some of the immersive theater shows KathrynT suggested, and more.

Thanks so much to everyone who made suggestions. You made our mini-trip amazing and gave us many things to daydream about for future trips!
posted by prewar lemonade at 6:37 PM on October 18, 2015

If you want to keep up with the various immersive theatre goings-on in NYC, I highly recommend the No Proscenium newsletter.
posted by kathryn at 1:24 PM on October 21, 2015

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