What's to do in NY?
July 25, 2007 8:56 AM   Subscribe

I'm headed to NY from Chicago for the first time in my adult life and am looking for suggestions on things to do, places to eat/drink.

I'll be there from Thursday night through Sunday night and staying near 26th St. and 6th Ave. What are some of the must-see places in the city? Where's a great place to get a burger and a pint of Guinness? Any uniquely NY cuisine I should try? Are there any areas I should avoid at all costs? Thanks for your ideas!
posted by peruvianidol to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (26 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Great burgers (some say the best) are to be had at the Corner Bistro. There will inevitably be a long line/wait, but that is part of the Corner Bistro experience. Drink a few of their cheap brews while you wait in line.
posted by mds35 at 9:01 AM on July 25, 2007

We've had about 200 threads of this nature before. Use your tags.



posted by allkindsoftime at 9:06 AM on July 25, 2007

Friday night at 6pm, go to the South Street Seaport to see Suicide (a great classic NYC band, hugely influential) in concert, for free. Get there early to be able to see the stage up close, and pee before the concert starts.
posted by mds35 at 9:07 AM on July 25, 2007

BTW there's not many areas that you should totally avoid. Just be alert and don't look like a tourist. I generally don't head above the top of Central Park unless its to head up to the Cloisters, but I know plenty of people who live up there and get by just fine. The best parts of Manhattan IMHO are below 14th street. And get out to Brooklyn if you can - lots of fun to be had there.
posted by allkindsoftime at 9:09 AM on July 25, 2007

Coming from Chicago you have to try NYC style pizza, just because those are the two valid pizza styles in this country.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:15 AM on July 25, 2007

Friday night fireworks at Coney Island are my FAVORITE.

Also, if you're into theatre, Grey Gardens, Gypsy, 110 in the Shade and Beauty and the Beast are all closing on Sunday, so the weekend should be filled with incredible performances.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:20 AM on July 25, 2007

allkindsoftime, good lord, there's a million things "above Central Park" like say... Columbia University, the Apollo, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the Little Red Light House/ George Washington Bridge. I dare say that the crime rates of many of these areas is lower than some neighborhoods below 14th St.
posted by kimdog at 9:21 AM on July 25, 2007

Arthur's Tavern is a great place for music.

Molly's Pub and Shebeen is a fave
3rd Avenue (between 22nd and 23rd Streets)

Ace bar is great.

is awesome

Joe's Shanghai
for soup dumplings

Jing Fong - 20 Elizabeth Street in Chinatown for Dim Sum
posted by Shanachie at 9:35 AM on July 25, 2007

I haven't managed to eat there yet, but everyone told me to go eat at Two Boots Pizza -- there's one in West Village (11th-ish and Bleecker-ish) which will also get you to the West Village--an important must-see.
posted by gsh at 9:38 AM on July 25, 2007

Wander through the Village, Little Italy and Chinatown, don't miss Central Park and definitely grab some pizza. You might also try a good deli. The Carnegie Deli is fun and good, but there are so, so many great delis in the city. Times Square is fun at night, especially if you are taking in a show. Also, if you like Jazz you are headed to the right city.
posted by caddis at 9:41 AM on July 25, 2007

this website has some stuff
posted by Gregamell at 10:09 AM on July 25, 2007

This question is a bit broad. NYC has a zillion things to offer, and sports fan is going to like some stuff that a fine-art fan might find boring. Anyway, here are some things I love doing in NYC:

-- Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge.
-- The Bronx Zoo, especially the amazing gorilla exibit.
-- The major art museums (Met, MOMA, Guggenheim)
-- The Brooklyn museum is also wonderful, and its Ancient Egypt exhibit is the third best in the world, after Cairo and The British Museum.
-- "Spring Awakening," which is a pretty ground-breaking Broadway show
-- "Blue Man Group," which is about the most fun you could have at the theatre. Very interactive.
-- The view from the top of the Empire State Building
-- The Cathedral of St. John the Divine
-- Just walking the city

This doesn't appeal to me, because it's a little too close to home, but you might want to stop by Ground Zero. It is, perhaps, the site of the defining event of your lifetime.
posted by grumblebee at 10:53 AM on July 25, 2007

Regarding Two Boots Pizza, unless something's changed in the last few years, it's not typical New York style pizza. I seem to recall it being soggy and soupy.
posted by JaredSeth at 11:29 AM on July 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

I think that the burger joint at the Parker Meridien is pretty cool (and cheap for college student-types). I think it's authentic, but I'm not a real New Yorker, so what do I know.
posted by tmcw at 11:38 AM on July 25, 2007

Get to Brooklyn and have pizza at Carmine's. There is a chicken and rice cart that shows up around 7pm right next to the Hilton Hotel at 6th Ave. (Ave. of the Americas) between 53rd and 54th Sts. It is awesome and only $5. You will know it is the right cart when you see the line. I stood in the rain for 20 minutes with guys who drove from Long Island just to have this food. I miss it.
posted by nimsey lou at 11:44 AM on July 25, 2007

26/6 as a starting point: Just east of 6 Ave on 26 St is a coffee/breakfast place called Antique Cafe which is nice. An avenue+ walk east is Madison Sq Park, where you can grab a very nice burger (or a Chicago Dog) and a beer or wine at the Shake Shack and sit in a beautiful park. Night is even better with the MetLife tower clock lit up and the Empire State lit up in the distance and the Flatiron building right there as well.

You can do the huge NY stuff during the day; Times Square, The Met, for some reason a lot of people still love looking at the Hole otherwise known as Ground Zero but if you have to it's walking distance to the South Street Seaport. With only a few days, Times Square. a show, a museum and the Seaport will be plenty to do but touristy. In the late afternoon, do Mad Sq Park for some nice relaxing.

If you want a nice walking/eating/shopping experience, West 4th St between 10th and 12th Streets has a few very nice small outdoor seating restaurants in a quiet part of the Village that is all small brownstone walk-ups, then a few blocks to Bleeker for dessert of a famous Magnolia cupcake on Bleeker and 11th Street and then walk Bleeker towards 6th Ave for small shops (from fashion boutiques to old jazz/punk vinyl record stores), catch the F (at 4th Street, one/two blocks north of Bleeker) back up 6th to 23rd for your place. (Get a map.)

If you want to dip into the NY pizza thing there are three places right around the Village area I mentioned above. Two Boots is on 7th Ave (where Greenwich Ave crosses) and 11 Street. On 6th ave and 11 Street is the real original "Famous Rays" pizza (though there are a three million others that stole the name - 6 Ave/11 St is the real one.) And on Bleeker between 6th and 7 Ave is John's Pizza. Enjoy.
posted by Kensational at 11:52 AM on July 25, 2007

Oh, I forgot to mention bagels. Get a nice hot bagel with a schmeer, mmmmmmm.
posted by caddis at 12:22 PM on July 25, 2007

I'll second the Parker Meridian burger joint.

But I'd stay FAR away from "Spring Awakening". It doesn't break any new ground, and it'll be overrun with teenagers.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:33 PM on July 25, 2007

and to find good NYC pizza peruse the insanely pizza obsessive Slice (they host Jeff Verasano's obsession with making the perfect pizza which was previously discussed on MeFi.
posted by caddis at 12:39 PM on July 25, 2007

Fair enough if you dislike "Spring Awakening," but what other musicals are like it? It's somewhat rare to find a show (straight play or musical) that collides two time periods in the way that show does, and I can't think of another musical that does. I claim it's ground breaking because it's formally eccentric while at-the-same-time being incredibly popular. This gives it some power to create waves in the NYC Theatre scene.
posted by grumblebee at 12:40 PM on July 25, 2007

I've written a bunch of posts about how to visit New York City, aimed specifically at first-time visitors. Recaps some of what's mentioned above, but should be useful for you.
posted by anildash at 12:42 PM on July 25, 2007

Grey Gardens does the same thing (colliding time periods and music), and FAR better. :)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:45 PM on July 25, 2007

Two Boots Pizza can be good, but it's nothing special, IMO. I used to live near the Ave. A location and I would order form there every now and then for something different, but their pizza is only good if you get an entire pie and it's hot and fresh.

If you find yourself near Columbia, go to V&T's for a great pie.
posted by mds35 at 1:12 PM on July 25, 2007

You must go see some sort of Broadway show- many shows have student rush and/or lottery tickets, where you can get cheap seats! Talkin' Broadway has 'em all laid out. In the Grey Gardens vs. Spring Awakening debate, I'd choose Spring Awakening, only because I was surprised at how boring Grey Gardens was. But Spring Awakening not the typical Broadway Musical experience, and I don't think it should be anyone's first Broadway show- for that, I'd reccommend something like The Drowsy Chaperone.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:18 PM on July 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

good lord, there's a million things "above Central Park"

When did I say there wasn't?
posted by allkindsoftime at 8:41 AM on July 27, 2007

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