A couple things have happened to prompt this post. Primarily, since leaving New York, I’ve had a few people who have been heading out there for a trip and have asked me what to see and do. For one person I filled a couple pages of her notebook. For another, I sent her a long email. I thought I might just edit that email into a post and then I can just forward it to whoever asks.
The second is the fact that The Sexy Master Electrician and I are heading to New York in early March on our way to a wedding in DC. I am super exited to revisit some of my favorite places and find some new ones. I just hope all my favorites are still there and still wonderful!
This list is all of the the spots and things I would tell anyone coming to visit me while I was in New York to see. Some of the less touristy stuff I would do with them, (most of the eating and drinking stuff) and I would always try to get them on a bike. Seeing a city by bike is probably my favorite way to do it. Anyway, here we go in no particular order or importance…
Things to See:
- Go to Madison Square Park (Broadway and 23rd St) The Flat Iron Building is here. Several times a year there is Madison Square Eats on the west side of the park in the middle of the street triangular intersection. Several great food trucks and smaller restaurants set up around the perimeter for you pick and choose from. Enjoy some food, you can’t really go wrong- all of the trucks are fabulous.
- Walk down Broadway from 23rd to Union Square (17th Street). Look up, there many beautiful buildings.
- Check out the One World Trade Center aka the Freedom Tower and 9/11 Memorial (you might need tickets ahead). I want to check on the new museum that is finally open and hopefully the observation deck at the tower if it opens.
- Unless you want to go into Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty (which is really cool, save your self the time in line and money by taking the Staten Island Ferry over and back. Even better, catch a Staten Island Yankees’s game while you are there.
- If you are there in the summer see if you can go to Governor’s Island and wonder around. The park spaces are beautifully designed around and through the old base and they have a very interesting mix of art and performances through out the season.
- Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and hang out in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
There are signs everywhere directing you to the park, Make sure you take the stairs on the Brooklyn side shortly after the wood planks end, instead of following the path all the way down. The stairs drop you in DUMBO, close to the water, the path goes much farther into Brooklyn.
My favorite part of the park is on the north side of the bridge, under the Manhattan bridge. Two old warehouses are right along the water that are gorgeous. Although, I know this is changing as a part of the Brooklyn Bridge Park development.
Get a hot chocolate or ice cream from Jacque Torres on Water Street, just behind the abandoned Empire Warehouse.
- Take a cab ride down Park Avenue to 34 Street from some where in the 70’s. They should take you up and around Grand Central Station. It’s such a great perspective going around GCS. The ride down Park Ave is nice too, typically there is some really good art in the median gardens and do not forget to go inside Grand Central.
- See if there is an exhibit or even at the Park Avenue Armory. It’s a cool space and the exhibits are typically grand in scale.
- See the Met, Guggenheim, and MoMA. The Met and MoMA are huge, I typically have to pick which exhibits I want to see and go to them, otherwise, it’s just too much. Go to the roof of the Met. Hopefully the latest installation is up for you to enjoy with an awesome view of central park. The Met rooftop and MoMA are my favorites if you don’t have time for all of them.
- If you want to go to the top of the Empire State Building, do it during the day, if you want to go to the Top of the Rock, do it at night.
A great view of the Empire is from a rooftop bar in the La Quinta on 32nd Street. Opens at 5PM.
- Go to the Storefront for Architecture and the Center for Architecture. Both are in great neighborhood to wander around in. THe CFA is a block away from Washington Square Park.
- See Time Square, but don’t waste too much time there. Don’t eat anything there or around the Empire state building. There are much better places out of the tourist areas farther north or south.
- Walk along the Hudson River Park. The view and parks are great.
- Walk the Highline. I would stay start at the top (near 33rd St and 10th Ave, I think, they keep expanding it) End down in Chelsea and wander. Great buildings to see along the walk and down in Chelsea.
- Take the Train to the new Atlantic Terminal and check out the Barclays Center and BAM.
If you can catch a performance at BAM, I recommend it. One of my favorite venues. Wander around the Fort Greene neighborhood.
- If you want to stick to Manhattan, see if there is a performance at Lincoln Center. The spaces are gorgeous and so are the performances.
- Wander around Soho, but skip Broadway, get on the smaller side streets. The storefronts are amazing and so is the stuff they are selling.
- In Brooklyn head out to Greenwood Cemetery. It’s huge, old and really cool. It’s also the highest point in Brooklyn. At that point, the statue Minerva is pointing out at the Statue of Liberty, who is facing her.
- If you get on your bikes and have a day, check out Coney Island on your way to Rockaway Beach. Skip the beach at Coney Island and enjoy it at Rockaway.
- Don’t forget to take the tram over to Roosevelt Island and check out the old buildings and the memorial.
- Go to the 8th Ave and 14th Street subway station- just to check out the sculptures.
- Pizza by the slice: Luigi’s in Park Slope. When I told the owner I was moving, he gave me a t-shirt. Curious to see if he remembers me when we go back.
- Pizza resturant: Fornino in Williamsburg Brooklyn, but Patsy’s near Union Square is also really good and probably closer to where you will be.
- Thai food on the cheap: National, Joya or Song. Same owner three different Brooklyn hoods, all amazing.
- Sweet Revenge will pair your cupcake with a beer or wine.
- Egg and cheese sandwich: Any deli (for the most part), so good no matter how you order it, seriously.
- Also get a macaron. Many delicious places have them, but look for a place that specializes in them. Cafe M was one of my regular stops.
- Favorite Cheese Shop: Murray’s Cheese Bar, they also do beer and wine pairings.
- Favorite sandwiches: Snice, Spreads, No. 7 Sub or a wrap from Nanoosh
- Favorite expensive dinner: Freemans
- Favorite burger: Bonnie’s Grill in Park Slope
- Favorite Chicken and Waffles: Melba’s or Amy Ruth’s
- Favorite Brunch: Kitchennette, in Brooklyn Giovanni’s
- Favorite Doughnut: This is hard one but Doughnut Plant is amazing, one of my favorites was the Orange Blossom Cashew, but you can find many excellent options in many places. #nycdonuttour
- Favorite BBQ: Dinosuar BBQ
- Favorite Taco: Rockaway Taco, get the guac with plantain chips
- Favorite Pie: Four & Twenty Blackbirds in Brooklyn
- Favorite coffee shop: Southside in Brooklyn, Joe’s is good too in the city
- Favorite hidden cocktails: the Mulberry project or PDT
- Favorite brewery: Brooklyn Brewery. Go on a Friday night and order pizza from Fornino’s (see above). Rocky Sullivan’s is connected to the 6 Point Brewery and has some awesome pizza with a rooftop deck down in Red Hook too!
Whew! That’s all I have for right now. I’m sure I will add and change this as I remember things and visit old places and new ones!