How do I make the most of New York?
August 30, 2007 8:33 AM   Subscribe

I'm in New York until September 9. What should I do?

I'm staying in Manhattan, at W 84th St and Columbus. What should I do to make the most of my time here? Advice on couples activities welcome. I'm not averse to spending money on special experiences, but budget-conscious suggestions are welcome.
posted by Dasein to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (19 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Go running in Central Park.
posted by OmieWise at 8:40 AM on August 30, 2007

I always tell people to ride the Cyclone at Coney Island, while it's still open. There are better roller coasters out there, maybe, but few with the atmosphere and simplicty as the Cyclone.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:43 AM on August 30, 2007

Come to the Coney Island meetup on September 8.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:46 AM on August 30, 2007 [1 favorite]

Ride the tram to/from Roosevelt Island. A friend of mine who'd been in NY for years was under the impression that they'd invented the tram for the Spiderman movie, until I got her to ride the thing.

The Boat Basin Cafe has great burgers and a great view. Perfect when the weather's nice.
posted by moonmilk at 8:48 AM on August 30, 2007

Sit in the bleachers at a Yankee game. Take the Yankee stadium tour.

Scalp tickets to the US Open.

Farm Aid. It is on September 9th so depending on when you leave it might be too late.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:52 AM on August 30, 2007

Target sponsors a free night at MOMA, Fridays 4-8 pm. It was a little overrun with youngsters but still what a great museum.

How does one get stuck in Manhattan for nine days? That is awesome.

Chowhound Manhattan will point you to awesome foodie eateries:

and a good cheap eats thread:

I hate to fuel the culinary smugness of New Yorkers, but the pizza really is that good.

Touristy stuff: The Statue of Liberty: I got more out of seeing it from the shore than going through double security searches and then only being able to partially ascend the statue. It felt like it took all day.

Ground Zero, while historically important, isn't that interesting at this point. It's a sanitized construction site with some carefully managed folk memorials.

Nine days is a long time. I'd definitely get out of Manhattan and get comfortable with the subway.

These walking tours look pretty cool:
posted by mecran01 at 8:56 AM on August 30, 2007

Ride the Staten Island Ferry. It's got amazing views and it's free!
posted by exhilaration at 8:58 AM on August 30, 2007

< --should be useful. also:br>
September street festivals:


Saturday September 1st
Friends of Dag Hammarskhold Festival
(on 2nd Avenue from 45th - 57th Street)

Sunday September 2nd
The 23rd Annual Brazilian Day Festival
(on 6th Avenue from 42nd - 56th Street
& on 46th St. from Madison - 7th Avenue)

Monday September 3rd *Labor Day*
M.E.C.A. Family Festival
(on Lexington Avenue from 34th - 42nd Street)

Friday September 7th
United Nations Festival
(on 47th Street from 1st - 2nd Avenue)

Saturday September 8th
Big Apple Performing Arts Festival
(on 7th Avenue from 47th - 57th Street)

Sunday September 9th
Midtown Fall Festival
(on 52nd St. from Lexington - 7th Avenue)
posted by mecran01 at 9:00 AM on August 30, 2007 [1 favorite]

Hey, ThePinkSuperhero, can you email me?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:01 AM on August 30, 2007

US Open!!
posted by spec80 at 9:01 AM on August 30, 2007

Top NYC guidebooks:

Top NYC guidebooks.

MeFi thread on best NYC bookstores

I've only been to NYC twice, and didn't have a lot of time to look around, so I'm just throwing out stuff I wish I had been able to do more of.
posted by mecran01 at 9:03 AM on August 30, 2007

Walk the streets -- go into neighborhoods, which are the heart and soul of the city, and observe the mass of people. You will enjoy a wonderful sight and an energetic rush. I grew up in Brooklyn and know that best. Take the subway to the other side of the East River, visit Park Slope, Bay Ridge, Borough Park, Greenpoint, Sunset Park, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn Heights and take in some of the local eateries. Talk to people, take pictures and enjoy. You will come away marveling at the great human experiment in cooperation and co-existence that is uniquely New York. Have fun -- New Yorkers are great people.
posted by terrier319 at 9:11 AM on August 30, 2007

Breakfast: Pastis
Lunch: Yama
Dinner: Otto

Hudson River Park
posted by mattbucher at 9:25 AM on August 30, 2007

The "What to do in NYC" page on Travelfilter has a lot of similar questions filled with tons of answers.
posted by mathowie at 9:34 AM on August 30, 2007

I wrote up/linked some free/cheap attractions in another AskMefi question a while ago.

Make sure you click over to, it's my indispensible resource for what's going on in NYC.

See also:, New York Times' UrbanEye, Flavorpill, New York Magazine's Agenda, Manhattan User's Guide. Offline, I'd also look through the New Yorker's event listings (grab a copy of this week's magazine and flip through the first dozen or so pages).

Do get out to Coney Island while you still can; it may be all condos soon.

I used to live 3 blocks away from where you're staying. Zabar's and H&H are very close by so you can easily pick up bagels and smoked salmon for breakfast or a cheap snack. Additionally, Central Park and the Natural History museum are a block or so away. I'd also hit up the Neptune Room, Good Enough to Eat, Nice Matin, Ouest, or Sarabeth's for brunch. Columbus Bakery for baked goods (cookies, tarts, breads, etc.) is just down the street. Land Thai Kitchen for the good, cheap Thai in the neighborhood.

Street fairs are fun but most of them are run by the same company and offer 95% of the same crap (cheap socks, pashminas, frozen lemonade, funnel cakes, etc.) every single time. Seen one, seen them all.

See also, Anil Dash on:
The Basics (advice for first time visitors)

The Must Sees

What You Can Skip

Make sure you scroll down into the comments for those 3 posts, too.
posted by kathryn at 9:34 AM on August 30, 2007 [1 favorite]

Brooklyn West Indian Carnival Parade, September 3, Eastern Parkway toward Grand Army Plaza.
posted by billtron at 9:45 AM on August 30, 2007

Get comfortable with the subway...
I second mecran01 with viewing the statue of liberty from the shore. Also check out the museums, I can’t remember which (museum of natural history was one I think) takes donations to get in, don’t screw them but someone trying to save some green can have a great time there.
posted by doorsfan at 1:16 PM on August 30, 2007

Call a meetup?
posted by Afroblanco at 9:04 AM on August 31, 2007

Thanks, all.
posted by Dasein at 11:08 AM on September 1, 2007

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