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View Full Version : One Day in NYC- What's a MUST see??



dani0303
Mar. 30, 2013, 11:55 AM
I am traveling to NY at the end of April for my cousin's wedding. It's in Mahopac which I can see isn't *that* far from the city. We'll be flying in Weds afternoon and staying in the city until Friday am. What things are must see? I went to the city when I was a kid but I don't remember much. Help a girl out please!

Natalie A
Mar. 30, 2013, 12:09 PM
Depends on what you like, honestly! You should definitely see Central Park, but besides that... it's really up to you as to what you like to do (museums? touristy things? food?) just a tip: Times Square is not worth it unless you're going to a show (which you can do half-price at the TKTS booth there). Otherwise it's just crowded and ridiculous.

Alagirl
Mar. 30, 2013, 12:24 PM
Say hi to Michaelynn at the hack line in central park.

WoofNWhinny*
Mar. 30, 2013, 01:48 PM
Central Park via carriage ride! :yes: Definitely worth it.

*IF* you go to the Empire State building, watch the movie, it's very nicely done. OTOH, I wouldn't bother with the Empire State building at all if there's much of a line.

littlebaypony
Mar. 30, 2013, 01:59 PM
I enjoyed the double decker red bus tours because you can get off and on as you please, the drivers announce what you're seeing and some city trivia. I did lower Manhattan which included Empire State Building, Ground Zero, SoHo, TriBeCa, FlatIron building, Battery Park, and many more interesting sites. Cost around $35 for a day pass.

867-5309
Mar. 30, 2013, 02:57 PM
Grand Central Station. Absolutely a landmark. The main lobby is breathtaking. Ground Zero, Times Square, Chinatown, walk 5th Ave. don't take the boat to the Statue of Liberty too time consuming. Take free Staten Island ferry over n back for the visual. Splurge on a great lunch, do your homework on chowhound and find something awesome. Have fun.

JenEM
Mar. 30, 2013, 04:53 PM
My ideal day in NYC starts with grabbing a bagel for breakfast and sitting down on a bench in Central Park to eat it, then wandering over the Met for a few hours. Go have lunch somewhere, go wander through the Strand bookstore. Then maybe down to the Brooklyn Bridge, from whence you can pretty easily walk around the tip of Manhattan passing Fort Clinton for a view of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, and see Ground Zero, ending up near Wall St/Trinity Church. I've been up the Empire State building around sunset, and the view that time of day is fabulous, but it's crowded and pricey. Grab dinner and a show, if that's your thing.

AliCat
Mar. 30, 2013, 08:35 PM
I always advise Top of the Rock over the Empire State Building. Shorter lines, amazing views, cleaner.

hoopoe
Mar. 30, 2013, 08:46 PM
If I had to pick one thing it would be Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty

Alagirl
Mar. 30, 2013, 11:02 PM
any NYCers?

I was told in another thread that since Sandy the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island were closed...are they back open?

Natalie A
Mar. 30, 2013, 11:34 PM
I was told in another thread that since Sandy the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island were closed...are they back open?

I heard that they were supposed to open before the 4th of July, so I'm assuming not yet.

ako
Mar. 30, 2013, 11:56 PM
Central Park,
a musical or play (TKTS),
Grand Central Station (great lunch places downstairs),
Staten Island Ferry or a Circle Line or other boat cruise,
reservations at a world-class restaurant - go to the French Culinary Institute if you don't want to spend $$$,
WTC.

Waste of time: Times Square, Chinatown.

NeedsAdvil
Mar. 31, 2013, 12:05 AM
Head to the East Village and have breakfast at Tompkins Square Bagels. They have amazing bagels/breakfast sandwiches, etc. And bacon cream cheese. BACON. CREAM. CHEESE. If you want more of a "foodie" experience, Prune is great, in the Lower East Side, as is Stanton Social Club (I know Prune does brunch on the weekends, but I don't think they do early service during the week, so you could go for dinner) From there, depends on what you like. I'm most familiar with the EV, so most of my suggestions will reflect that.
Shopping? Being a tourist? Other?
Shopping- you can walk to Soho from the EV and there's some great shopping, and if you like chocolate, get yourself to Kees Chocolates!
Being a tourist- if the weather is good, from the subway in the EV, it's only 2 stops to the Brooklyn Bridge, you can walk across and then hit Grimaldi's for pizza. Otherwise, as others suggested, Top of the Rock is great, as is MoMA.
Other- Try the Turkish Baths or anything else that strikes your fancy. Highly recommend the cheap massage places for a 30 minute foot massage after a day of walking around the city. If you do happen to end up in the EV, the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop is a must.

I would avoid Times Square at all costs, but it is "the" touristy place, so if that's what you are looking for, then go for it. I'd rather rub lemon juice in my paper cuts.

CharingHounds
Mar. 31, 2013, 12:46 AM
The Frick Collection, right by Central Park (1 East 70th Street
New York, NY 10021
Phone: 212-288-0700)
Excellent collection of art in a beautiful historic site. The courtyard was once used as a riding arena. Just imagine...
Events are also held there: concerts, lectures, symposia, etc.
A bit of info:
"The Frick Collection is housed in the former Henry Clay Frick House, which was designed by Thomas Hastings and constructed in 1913-1914. John Russell Pope altered and enlarged the building in the early 1930s to adapt it to use as a public institution. It opened to the public on December 16, 1935. The Frick was built at a time when almost every building on Fifth Avenue above 59th Street was a private mansion, with a few private clubs and a hotel. Amidst this wealth, Henry Clay Frick's home was among the most opulent, with private gardens both on the avenue front and in an interior courtyard.
The Frick is one of the preeminent small art museums in the US, with a high-quality collection of old master paintings and fine furniture housed in 6 galleries within the formerly occupied residential mansion. Many of the paintings are still arranged according to Frick's design.
The collection features some of the best-known paintings by major European artists, as well as numerous works of sculpture and porcelain. It also has 18th century French furniture, Limoges enamel, and Oriental rugs.[1] After Frick's death, his daughter, Helen Clay Frick, expanded the collection, with a third of its art works acquired since 1919. The Frick also oversees the nearby Frick Art Reference Library."

Amwrider
Mar. 31, 2013, 01:20 AM
Definitely contact Michaleenflynn regarding a carriage ride in Central Park and maybe even a tour of the stables. Also the Metropolitan Museum of Art (currently an exhibit of Impressionist artists), the Guggenheim Museum and also the National Museum of Natural History (love that place).

suz
Mar. 31, 2013, 07:08 AM
the last remaining tack shop in nyc is on 24th i think? is it still even there?!
well if it is i like to people watch in there-amazing the nyc people who ride!
after that a stroll to la petite auberge on 26th for a long boozy lunch and amazing european service and food, really a lovely dining experience.
and for something really different head over to i trulli for wine tasting at the bar.
they have bar menus for olives, cheeses and sausages to sample---super fun and delicious!

Manahmanah
Mar. 31, 2013, 08:19 AM
If you can get tickets to the play "sleep no more" do go spent one of your nights at that. It's a mash up of Hitchcock and Macbeth and its amazing. The actors are all professionally trained dancers and you follow them around the set, which is a 5 story warehouse with over 100 immaculately detailed rooms. It is the most amazing thing I have ever seen and we have gone back about 6 times each time bringing out of town friends who do not stop raving about it for days. If you do go, wear something comfortable you will be running up and down a lot of stairs.

clanter
Mar. 31, 2013, 09:15 AM
We'll be flying in Weds afternoon and staying in the city until Friday am. !

gee , and attend a wedding?... might only to get to see the airport...looks like Wednesday evening and maybe Thrusday some

Tha Ridge
Mar. 31, 2013, 12:40 PM
The tack shop in NYC is not worth the visit.

Have you been to the city before? That always informs my recommendations. Even then, I don't think Times Square, Top of the Rock, etc., are necessarily worth it. What do you like? Art? Outdoors? Food? You gotta give us a little more to work with. ;)

pdq
Mar. 31, 2013, 12:47 PM
Sotheby's (http://www.sothebys.com/en/inside/locations-worldwide/new-york/overview.html).

Not to buy (unless you're ready to spend some serious cash), but to wander around and look at the items that will be going up for auction. Even if you don't have two nickles to rub together, you'll feel richer than Donald Trump just being there inspecting the gorgeous furniture, equestrian art by some of the great English, French and American sporting artists (major swoon!), jewelry and high class items. It's free, too - just walk in the door.

dani0303
Mar. 31, 2013, 01:11 PM
Wow thanks for all the replies everyone!! I have lots to do and plan :D

Laurierace
Mar. 31, 2013, 02:02 PM
Interesting how we all have such differing opinions! I think Times Square is one of the coolest places on Earth. I could just stand there and people watch for hours. Even better, grab a window seat and watch the world go by while sipping on a good drink and eating cheese cake!

anita m
Mar. 31, 2013, 02:52 PM
Go see Wicked and visit the 9/11 Memorial.

HungarianHippo
Mar. 31, 2013, 07:38 PM
I don't think Ellis Island is opening this year.

People watching in NYC is great fun, but I wouldn't do it in Times Square because you will not see any NYers or get a sense of what the city is like. Might as well go to Mall of America. Far more "real" spot to sit for a spell would be Central Park. Or Bryant Park, which reminds me a lot of Paris (it's at 42nd & 6th).

If the weather is nice and you have enough time, the Circle Line boat tours are pretty good-- it's touristy of course, but very interesting, you'll learn a lot of the history.

With such limited time to spend, I'd pick one key "activity", whether that's a show or museum or lunch at a hot new place, and then just get to know the neighborhood around it. Otherwise you'll lose most of your time just getting from A to B.

RW06
Mar. 31, 2013, 07:49 PM
Head to the East Village and have breakfast at Tompkins Square Bagels. They have amazing bagels/breakfast sandwiches, etc. And bacon cream cheese. BACON. CREAM. CHEESE. If you want more of a "foodie" experience, Prune is great, in the Lower East Side, as is Stanton Social Club (I know Prune does brunch on the weekends, but I don't think they do early service during the week, so you could go for dinner) From there, depends on what you like. I'm most familiar with the EV, so most of my suggestions will reflect that.
Shopping? Being a tourist? Other?
Shopping- you can walk to Soho from the EV and there's some great shopping, and if you like chocolate, get yourself to Kees Chocolates!
Being a tourist- if the weather is good, from the subway in the EV, it's only 2 stops to the Brooklyn Bridge, you can walk across and then hit Grimaldi's for pizza. Otherwise, as others suggested, Top of the Rock is great, as is MoMA.
Other- Try the Turkish Baths or anything else that strikes your fancy. Highly recommend the cheap massage places for a 30 minute foot massage after a day of walking around the city. If you do happen to end up in the EV, the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop is a must.

I would avoid Times Square at all costs, but it is "the" touristy place, so if that's what you are looking for, then go for it. I'd rather rub lemon juice in my paper cuts.

Are you a fellow East Village COTHer?!?!?! I cannot function on the weekends until I've had a Tompkins Square bagel!!

NeedsAdvil
Mar. 31, 2013, 09:07 PM
Are you a fellow East Village COTHer?!?!?! I cannot function on the weekends until I've had a Tompkins Square bagel!!

LOL! I don't live there, but my best friend does, so I average about a weekend a month there. Love the EV, and those bagels are like crack!

ThreeHorseNight
Mar. 31, 2013, 10:09 PM
Wow thanks for all the replies everyone!! I have lots to do and plan :D

It definitely depends on what kind of things you like to do. Some people can't miss the museums (art or history or even the sex museum), others can't stand to be cooped up inside looking at things. Some people want to do the truly iconic NY things - go to Times Square, ride the subway, go up to the top of the Empire State Building; others thing those things are too touristy. Some people can't wait to shop; others can't be bothered.

I think the coolest things are all the different neighborhoods. The Village is totally different than say, the upper West Side. Wherever you are, keep your eyes peeled for interesting shops or restaurants or places for a snack (bagel, pizza, Chinese). If you like to eat, plan on having several good meals or snacks as part of your day.

Grand Central Station is indeed beautiful, and iconic. The ceiling was restored; it used to be dirty and dingy and you couldn't really see what was up there. If you go to Times Square, remember that where Disney and the M&M's stores now stand used to be an area that you would have been told to avoid - it was populated by sex shops, porn movie theatres, hookers, and drug addicts. The transformation of NYC in the last twenty years has been amazing. Some native NYers miss the grit of the city. It is a much cleaner, safer place with lots of the areas that were formerly unsafe now popular areas.

The subway is the best way to get around if you're going somewhere that's too far to walk. You won't see anything underground but it will be fast. The bus is slow and gets frustrating if you're going very far. Cabs can get very expensive and they are hard to grab if the weather is bad or it's rush hour.

I used to like the Circle Line boat tour but haven't been on it in years. It is indeed touristy but you get to see a lot and get a feeling for the different areas of the city. I find Ellis Island fascinating since my grandparents came through there but there's a long wait to get the ferry over there because of security and I think it and the Statue of Liberty are still closed.

If you like theatre do see a show. If you want to wait on line you can buy discounted tickets. Don't waste daylight seeing a matinee when you can be out and about - see an evening performance.

Bring lots of money - everything is expensive - and watch your purse or wallet. Crime is way down but tourists are still prime targets!

Have fun.

Janeway
Apr. 4, 2013, 04:41 PM
This has been great! I'm heading to NYC for the first time ever in May!

May I hijack and ask for restaurant recommendations? My friend and I are major foodies, and want to splurge on one of the top restaurants. Any thoughts? We're staying in midtown, so any recs for great coffee/bagel would be awesome too!

MHM
Apr. 4, 2013, 05:01 PM
Janeway, I've had many good meals at Victor's Cafe on West 52nd in the theater district. Cuban cuisine, excellent food, great service. :)

www.Victorscafe.com (http://www.Victorscafe.com)

Joe Allen on West 46th is also fun, for the people-watching as much as the food. Many theater types go there. One time I saw a Broadway matinee, then went to Joe Allen for a bite, and ended up eating two tables over from the star of the show I had just seen. :cool:

NeedsAdvil
Apr. 4, 2013, 09:33 PM
if you want a great Italian foodie experience, try Del Posto. There's also Craft, which is simple, but amazing.

Tha Ridge
Apr. 4, 2013, 09:34 PM
T
May I hijack and ask for restaurant recommendations? My friend and I are major foodies, and want to splurge on one of the top restaurants. Any thoughts? We're staying in midtown, so any recs for great coffee/bagel would be awesome too!

When you say splurge, what do you mean? I've listed a few "top" recs below, but that means $200+ per person after tax and tip, without drinks (almost double that for Per Se). If your looking for less than that, let me know and I can give you more ideas. :)

Top restaurants—
Eleven Madison Park
Per Se
Daniel
Corton

Other "top" but less traditional:
Jungsik
Momofuku Ko
Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare
Blanca

Bear in mind that getting a table at most of these is bloodsport unto itself. A lot don't accept reservations until 28 days out and open their phone lines at 9 a.m.

hightide
Apr. 4, 2013, 10:02 PM
I just came back from a weekend in NYC. Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island were closed and I was told 4th of July, around there, as someone else said.
Ground Zero is definitely a cool place, and Wall Street with some of the fancy stores is a short walk away.
Empire State Building is nice but Top of the Rock has more or less the same views with way less lines.

Central Park is really cool, though. I was there last weekend and everything is just about to come to full force spring mode!

Janeway
Apr. 4, 2013, 11:18 PM
Those are great! Thanks very much! And we are going to go to a show, so knowing of a place like Joe Allen's to go to after is perfect.

I looked at the menus of all of the above named, and while I knew I was picky, I didn't realize how picky until I saw some of the items! :lol: I mean sweetbreads with beets, purple potato ice cream and burratta cheese just doesn't grab my appetite!!

nhwr
Apr. 4, 2013, 11:29 PM
If you like museums, the Cloisters (http://www.metmuseum.org/en/visit/visit-the-cloisters).

And I like the Circle line ride around the whole island if the weather is good.

Tha Ridge
Apr. 4, 2013, 11:32 PM
I looked at the menus of all of the above named, and while I knew I was picky, I didn't realize how picky until I saw some of the items! :lol: I mean sweetbreads with beets, purple potato ice cream and burratta cheese just doesn't grab my appetite!!

Also, even "foodies" must try some New York staples on their first visit—go down the West Village (my nabe!) and share a real coal oven pizza at John's of Bleecker Street (my absolute favorite pie in the world), then spend a morning on the Lower East Side with a real bagel and lox from Russ & Daughters!

hosspuller
Apr. 4, 2013, 11:49 PM
True foodie? Lower Manhattan ... Little Italy & Chinatown. Canal street station by subway get you both.

Tha Ridge
Apr. 4, 2013, 11:51 PM
True foodie? Lower Manhattan ... Little Italy & Chinatown

Skip Little Italy. No really good Italian food there anymore—gotta go to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx for that.

Tiger Horse
Apr. 16, 2013, 05:07 PM
If I had to pick one thing it would be Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty

Ditto!

chisamba
Apr. 16, 2013, 05:34 PM
I am going to be the rare person who says, why would you go to the most exciting city in the world to go to a park. go to the City to see the city, not fake country. One of the high rises, i happen to prefer Empire State Building, because you get an overview of the architecture and enormity of the city. I prefer to do that last, at night.

One of the city bus tours, because as said before, you can get on, and get off.

a circle line tour is also my fave, you get a lovely view of the statue of liberty and ellis island.

YOu can manage to get all three of these in in one day, with planning.