How to kill 3-4 hours on Sunday in Manhattan in air conditioned comfort
July 18, 2019 7:26 AM   Subscribe

I'm meeting up with a friend on Sunday for an early brunch in Manhattan. We'll sort where to eat pretty easily. But then we have a couple of hours to kill before I take the bus out of Port Authority. It's also going to be 100 degrees.

A few caveats:

* She'll have just come back the night before from 2 months of roaming around Europe so she'll be tired and jet-lagged.

* Her daughter lives in NYC, so she's familiar with most of the museums / galleries.

* I'm having some foot issues so I can't walk fast or very far.

We are both familiar with most of the well-known museums that tourists tend to hit.

Please recommend a place somewhere nice and cool where we can just chill and relax. I don't think she'd mind going back to a museum she's been to before, but it'd be great to consider a place that isn't so popular.
posted by HeyAllie to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (15 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
The AMC Empire 25 a block away starts showing movies at 9 AM.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 7:39 AM on July 18, 2019 [8 favorites]


The bowling alley in Port Authority? It opens at 11 am on Sundays, and they also have ping pong and karaoke. There was also an arcade when I went there once.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:43 AM on July 18, 2019 [2 favorites]


Even people who go to NYC museums often haven't necessarily been to The Rubin Museum, a lovely collection of Asian art an easy taxi ride from Grand Central. Nice exhibition spaces, but also lots of nice cozy corners to sit and chat.

I would also recommend The Morgan Library and The Asia Society for the same reason -- under the radar spaces that might be new to one or both of you, plus pretty quiet and manageable.
posted by EmilyFlew at 7:52 AM on July 18, 2019 [9 favorites]


The Rubin is definitely very cool.

If you want more open space/less activity, and are somewhat flexible on your definition of walking far - the WTC Oculus and attached Brookfield Place are as close as NYC gets to suburban malls in terms of scope and use, although with a more stylish flare (depending on who you ask). The walk issue is only that the winter garden/brookfield place, which is a lovely place to just sit and take in the air conditioned scene, is a fair ways west (its right on the hudson). If you were taking a cab you could get off directly opposite One World Trade and be there, but if youre walking over there is a rather long tunnel - its very manageable, its many peoples daily commutes, but its worth knowing about.

Once in a similar position a friend and i killed a couple hours at brookfield place, which has quite solid food options in the Brookfield Eats food court (again, river views) and if that doesnt work for you you could walk back to the attached Eataly at the Oculus.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 8:07 AM on July 18, 2019 [2 favorites]


The People's Forum 320 West 37th is pretty close to PA, and has a nice lobby area (w/ cafe if you need it) to sit and chat. Or go to one of the talks happening at the same time.
posted by RajahKing at 8:08 AM on July 18, 2019


Movie theater
posted by amro at 8:48 AM on July 18, 2019


Second much of the above. Just adding:
National Geographic which is down the block and fun.
Spyscape is fun too but no easy train (5m walk from the E at 7th Ave) if your foot is feeling particularly painful
posted by TravellingCari at 9:51 AM on July 18, 2019


Hit up the 42nd main library branch. See some exhibits, sit in the various places you can sit when you're tired. If you get bored, go shop at the muji across the street. Get a cocktail at the bar at the Bryant Park hotel on the south side of the park. Or get a fancy snack at Lady M Cake Boutique next door.
posted by greta simone at 10:04 AM on July 18, 2019 [2 favorites]


A lot of people forget about the Museum of Art and Design (at Columbus Circle) - a lot of fun things to look at, a fantastic shop and it's generally not crowded.

I also highly recommend hotel lobbies. They're always air conditioned, there's generally one nearby wherever you are, and (especially in the big ones - Mariotts, Hyatts, etc) they have tons of comfy furniture, don't care how long you're sitting there, and often sell drinks and snacks from the bar or lounge.
posted by Mchelly at 11:49 AM on July 18, 2019 [2 favorites]


I was also coming here to say NYPL Main, just three avenues away (or you could take the 7 one stop if you really want to). Can't beat the cost. There's a little Amy's Bread cafe there now.
posted by praemunire at 12:19 PM on July 18, 2019


The walk issue is only that the winter garden/brookfield place, which is a lovely place to just sit and take in the air conditioned scene, is a fair ways west (its right on the hudson).

Just to avoid any mishaps on what's going to be a ridiculously hot day, Brookfield Place, etc., are like 3.5 miles by foot from the Port Authority, so if you were planning on walking rather than cabbing it back from wherever you go to the PA, this would not be a good choice.
posted by praemunire at 12:24 PM on July 18, 2019


...Crud, sorry, both Main and Mid-Manhattan don't have Sunday hours during the summer. Scratch that one. However, the 53rd St. library isn't that much further (cheap cab if you can't walk it), and it is filling in for Mid-Manhattan on Sunday.
posted by praemunire at 12:28 PM on July 18, 2019


My comment was unintentionally vague - if you are taking public transport to Brookfield Place you can still expect something of a walk - i dont believe the origin of this trip was specified but whether coming from Penn or via the East side, the Fulton St/Chambers St subway stops which nominally connect to BPL are still a 10+ minute walk from the water/atrium etc.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 1:03 PM on July 18, 2019


What would exhaust me and make me itchy just to think about it, on a 100 degree day with difficulty walking, would be having to cross town from an east side museum to get back to Port Authority, no matter how nice that museum was. Personally I'd suggest to my friend that we brunch in the restaurant inside the Whitney downtown, and then just hang out there in the beautiful cool museum until you have to go uptown for your bus.
posted by nantucket at 2:32 PM on July 18, 2019 [4 favorites]


Exceptional_Hubris:
My comment was unintentionally vague - if you are taking public transport to Brookfield Place you can still expect something of a walk - i dont believe the origin of this trip was specified but whether coming from Penn or via the East side, the Fulton St/Chambers St subway stops which nominally connect to BPL are still a 10+ minute walk from the water/atrium etc.

E goes to World Trade which is a much shorter walk.
posted by TravellingCari at 10:23 AM on July 19, 2019


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