Quick NYC Sightseeing Itinerary
September 20, 2017 6:33 AM   Subscribe

I'm at a conference with quick access to NYC and my colleague, who has never been before, would like to go in for the evening. All of my day trips in the past are predicated on getting back on the train at like 5:30 so I have no clue where to take her.

We would arrive at the WTC PATH center between 3:30 and 4 pm.

My usual one-and-done for NYC is the Met but it closes at 5:30 uptown.

The only things my coworker has mentioned specifically are the 9/11 memorial and the Statue of Liberty, so I guess we could do the museum and then the Staten Island Ferry before dinner...somewhere? Tell me where, I like plans.

Please also suggest alternate activities/itineraries bc I think my coworker is most interested in general sightseeing and I'm a native New York(state)er who doesn't really want to explain my feelings about the memorial and sightseeing but would like an excuse to avoid it. If that makes sense.
posted by Snarl Furillo to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (15 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
You could take a PATH train to 33rd and walk down the High Line. Then get drinks or dinner.
posted by gyusan at 6:57 AM on September 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

The 9/11 memorial is en plein air, and you can sit on a bench and enjoy some down time while she peruses it. (I feel memorials are best contemplated solitary, anyway.) It is free and open until 9 pm.

Unless she meant the 9/11 museum? The last entry is 6 pm Sun-Thurs and 7 pm Fri-Sat. I happen to agree with your feelings and would just say "I lived through the day, am aware of what happened, and don't wish to revisit it."

For pure sightseeing I'd recommend either walking the Brooklyn Bridge and having dinner in downtown Brooklyn, or walking up the Hudson River Park pathway and stopping anywhere along the way to eat.

If you want to stay near downtown, there are several museums in the downtown area:

New York City Fire Museum
Irish Hunger Memorial
African Burial Ground National Monument
Museum of Jewish Heritage
National Museum of the American Indian
Museum of Chinese in America
Merchant's House Museum (just discovered while researching this reply and is totally my jam!)
posted by Liesl at 7:06 AM on September 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

The Museum of the American Indian, which Liesl mentioned, is very close to the Staten Island Ferry and less than a block from the Wall St bull statue. You could do that instead of the 9/11 memorial, then stroll along Battery Park to either the Staten Island ferry or a boat to the Statue of Liberty. I have never gone to the Statue of Liberty but have been on the Staten Island Ferry hundreds of times. (Unless it's warm enough to sit outside it's rather dull. And at rush hour a bit crowded too. But the sunset is nice.)

I would have dinner in Chinatown. I like Pho Pasteur Vietnamese. It is also right next to the very busy and quite interesting Columbus Park.
posted by Vispa Teresa at 7:19 AM on September 20, 2017

Is there a reason you're confining yourself to the WTC path stop? The Christopher Street or 9th Street stops are probably going to be just as easy to get to, and you could get off there and just walk around Greenwich Village. For food, try Cafe Reggio, it's a little coffeshop with sandwiches and pasta; it's reasonably priced, picturesque and historic (they opened in 1927 and claim to be the establishment that introduced cappucino to New York City).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:23 AM on September 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

When I had a friend in town for 24 hours, I took him on the East River Ferry from Pier 11 in the Financial District up to 34th Street. In one half-hour ride, you can see great views of the new WTC, Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge, etc etc. For someone new to NYC, it's a super convenient $4 one-stop shop for sightseeing, and you don't have to waste however long it takes going all the way to Staten Island and back just for a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty, which you can see just fine from Battery Park anyway.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:26 AM on September 20, 2017 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Any Path station is fine, I was thinking WTC bc of my coworker's interest in the museum (sorry for confusing the museum and the memorial).

I don't really know my coworker very well and I was hoping to avoid walking around without a destination and then having to choose a restaurant together. I'm not much of a city person and I always find that kind of sightseeing stressful.

Thank you for the other museum suggestions; I'll see if any of them interest her. More suggestions welcome!
posted by Snarl Furillo at 8:28 AM on September 20, 2017

So if I were gonna get more specific with the itinerary - I'd say, go to the WTC PATH station, check out the (outdoor) memorial, walk down the greenway to Battery Park and check out the view of the Statue of Liberty, then continue on to Pier 11 (on the opposite side of FiDi) and hop on the ferry. Take it up to 34th, then either stay on it and head back down or get in a cab, and go to dinner.

Any idea about food restrictions or preferences? Also, is this happening today?
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:36 AM on September 20, 2017

There's the Museum of American Finance.

It does not look like they are offering tours at this time, but for future reference, you can tour the Gold Vault of the Federal Reserve of New York. It's a shiny pile of gold, three feet away from you!

Federal Hall turns out to be a museum of George Washington and the birthing of the American goverment. Did not know that!
posted by Liesl at 8:38 AM on September 20, 2017

If you're going to eat down there, you might try Blue Ribbon Federal Grill or Augustine, as not too strenuous options.
posted by praemunire at 8:50 AM on September 20, 2017

Response by poster: Haha, it will happen today if we organize ourselves and aren't too tired!

She mentioned liking Mexican and Puerto Rican food and nixed Thai, Indian, and "American Chinese food."
posted by Snarl Furillo at 8:51 AM on September 20, 2017

The Empire State Building is great at night, it's open til 2AM, no lines, and close to the 33rd St PATH. You can skip the hawkers on the sidewalk and the various movies and exhibits and just get a ticket inside for the observation deck. Might be too cloudy tonight for a really spectacular view though.
posted by yeahlikethat at 8:56 AM on September 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

The tacos and burritos at Dos Toros Tacqueria are pretty good. Not a destination, but decent food if she likes Mexican...
posted by pinochiette at 8:57 AM on September 20, 2017

Another thought is the new WTC observatory - it isn't cheap, but it's pretty spectacular. No idea what lines look like these days, though.

For very casual dinner, there's a Shake Shack down there, just north of the Wintergarden complex, or there's the Hudson Eats food court thing in the Wintergarden which has some decent options & a nice view (though it is fundamentally a food court so factor that in). Also I think there's a new Eataly down there somewhere, though I assume it's super crowded.
posted by yarrow at 9:01 AM on September 20, 2017

I enjoyed the south seaport area when I wandered around last summer. It might be a little chilly today or really nice, I'm not sure how the winds coming off the harbor act.
posted by Hactar at 9:11 AM on September 20, 2017

Aw man, I feel you on the WTC. The Skyscraper Museum in Battery Park is pretty cool and appears to be open til 6 today. You could combine that with a ferry ride pretty easily.
posted by ferret branca at 11:15 AM on September 20, 2017

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