What should I do in NYC 10/3?
October 2, 2019 8:06 PM   Subscribe

I'm in town with my wife who is speaking at a conference and I have the day to myself. Can't do the art museums or major tourist stuff without her so what should I do?

We're staying in Chelsea. I almost bought tickets to NYCC but I dont really care about autographs and $55 to then spend more money on a poster or what have you felt silly. I'm not opposed to taking transit anywhere especially for food and/or booze that can only be had in New York and not in another world city. Is there a weird happy hour or menu item that only happens on Thursdays somewhere? I need to be back in Chelsea by 6:30
posted by Uncle to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (17 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I'd work through the Chelsea galleries to pick out a dozen to share later.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden, or the big one out in the Bronx.

Just walk through the city, find nooks to share later. East village is lively, the garment district has rack of cloths being walked down the street.
posted by sammyo at 8:18 PM on October 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

Museum of Natural History has spectacular dinosaurs, if that’s your taste. I think it is $20 or so.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 8:28 PM on October 2, 2019

Walking tour? Big Onion is good (or at least was the last time I took one of their tours) and has Brooklyn Bridge and Heights at 11:00 and South Street Seaport at 1:00 tomorrow.

The Tenement Museum is really cool. The museum bought and restored an old tenement building, and they recreated apartments of real families from various eras, which they use to tell visitors about the history of immigrants in New York. You can't just wander through: you have to go as part of a tour, and the tour guides are all professionals and are really good. They also do walking tours of the neighborhood. There's a list of apartment and neighborhood tours tomorrow here.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:44 PM on October 2, 2019 [3 favorites]

the merchant's house museum is AMAZING and provides a nice counterpoint to the tenement museum - and they are fairly close to each other. in fact you'll have to walk past katz's deli, or russ and daughters, to get from one to the other. there's your day sorted :-).

posted by fingers_of_fire at 9:25 PM on October 2, 2019 [3 favorites]

AMNH, like all city museums, is suggested donation. They tell you it’s $20 but they have millions in private and public support and if you say you’re up for $5 they’ll be fine with that and no one will shame you. However I can’t think of a more depressing way to spend an afternoon than at that monument to colonialism. I’m jaded by raising A kid here but I would pay good money to avoid the AMNH. And there’s nothing there you can’t see at similar colonialist temples of accumulation all over the world.

You’re in Chelsea already (I live in the next neighborhood down). And it’s going to be a cool rainy day. The new Whitney Museum is a world class experience for modern art and amazing views off its terraces (and if you come out on the east side terrace you can wave at me in my kitchen).. On a rainy day the high line isn’t crowded and can be quite beautiful and contemplative. Or Chelsea Market can be a good indoor distraction for people watching and some kinds of shopping. On a weekday it isn’t typically so crowded (on weekends it’s downright intolerable) but it may be more so today because of the rain.

I would not bother heading out to an outer borough destination when downtown Manhattan is your oyster for a day unless you’ve already walked the streets of the West Village or been to the Whitney and the High Line. Or if you’re a foodie walk 9th ave up towards midtown and pass hundreds of interesting small restaurants and shops. Truthfully I can’t think of any “thurdays only” food options because that’s not how Nyc rolls.

Or — again if you don’t mind rain— walk the length of Hudson River Park along the riverbank, it’s gorgeous and moody in the rain.

I guess other than the Whitney and Chelsea market, and tourist attractions of that sort which New Yorkers frankly avoid (museums ugh), your best bet is to walk the city the way New Yorkers do and expect serendipity.
posted by spitbull at 12:56 AM on October 3, 2019 [3 favorites]

By the way if you are set on a museum, the history of the guitar exhibit at the Met is one of few museum exhibits worth suffering the crowds and prices for. Everyone I know who loves music and has seen it just raves about it. But that means hauling over to
Midtown East side so start after rush hour and be home before the evening rush starts. Central Park is also right there and is really beautiful in rain, and spookily empty on a rainy cool weekday I’ll bet.
posted by spitbull at 1:00 AM on October 3, 2019

Oh they’re shootings a movie all day (again, it seems like every other week) today on Hudson Ave between Horatio and 12th (grrrr my damn parking zone). I don’t know what movie, only that I had to move my car. But movie shoots mean celebrities, paparazzi, gawkers, cool old cars, and other pleasant NYC diversions. It’s just below Chelsea. Come down 9th ave past 14th and it turns into Hudson. Two blocks down is the set.
posted by spitbull at 1:05 AM on October 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

Ok I just checked the signs (I get up early) and it’s a TV show called “Katy Keene” (info here, the star is someone named Lucy Hale?), not a movie production.
posted by spitbull at 1:59 AM on October 3, 2019

The New York Historical Society is one of those museums that people never have time for when they're only here for a few days, and it's always got interesting things to see. So your wife might not mind you going without her. Ditto the Cooper Hewitt. Ditto ditto the tour at Rockefeller Center.

If you really don't want to see art museums solo, then normally I'd send you to the High Line or to Governor's Island, but it looks like the rain will be pretty steady all day, so you might not want to be outdoors (which also probably rules out the Central Park Zoo). But if you're okay with leaving Manhattan, it's not a long subway ride to get to the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens (which will easily kill a day and is close to a lot of great food), or to the Cloisters.
posted by Mchelly at 3:39 AM on October 3, 2019

Take a stroll to Koreatown on West 32nd Street.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:04 AM on October 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

There are so many museums in the city that you can certainly go to one without it influencing your later plans with your wife. I'd suggest one of the lesser known ones, like the Cooper Hewitt design museum, or the Earth Room, which is a room full of dirt. Or the Museum of the Moving Image, which is always a fun experience.

But my favorite rainy NYC activity is to go to a movie at the Metrograph or the Angelika, maybe go to a bookstore like the Strand, and have a coffee and a giant cookie in any of the delis. If you have any specific hobbies there is definitely a store in the city that caters just to your hobby, and those can be very fun even if you don't buy anything.
posted by k8lin at 4:08 AM on October 3, 2019 [3 favorites]

Personally if I had a rainy day off in the city this week, I’d probably go to the Russian Baths for a low key sweat and then go to Cha-An tea house for a fancy tea and chiffon cake. Maybe hit up Printed Matter too.
posted by thirdletter at 4:28 AM on October 3, 2019 [5 favorites]

Oh I missed the enjoinder against museums; was going to suggest that you read this New Yorker article and then go see the exhibit at the Met Breuer (the old Whitney).
posted by yarrow at 5:47 AM on October 3, 2019

Best answer: If you’re still around on Saturday I’d save Koreatown for then — it’s the annual Korean Day fair and parade. Eating will be especially good.
posted by spitbull at 6:01 AM on October 3, 2019

If you like tea Cha An, suggested above, is excellent and so is Té Company, which is even closer to where you’ll be.
posted by ferret branca at 6:39 AM on October 3, 2019

Best answer: Ooo! Ooo! Ooo! I nearly dragged myself into the city on purpose today to see Drawing the Curtain: Maurice Sendak's Designs for Opera and Ballet at the Morgan Library (Lex & 36th St). The exhibit closes on Sunday, so this is a disappearing opportunity. Appetite-whetting discussion on NPR here, show info over here.
posted by apparently at 8:23 AM on October 3, 2019

From a previous NY thread:


More quirky off the beaten track type of thing
posted by doozer_ex_machina at 5:59 AM on October 4, 2019

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