Travel advice - New York

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Travel advice - New York

Post by Enail on Wed Feb 03, 2016 6:06 pm

I'm looking to take a low-key trip of a few days to New York and I could use some advice!

I've never been for some reason, and I'm finding it weirdly hard to get ideas of what to see and do - most suggestions either seem to be targeted to "it's just like in the movies" people (enough movies set in New York are filmed in Toronto that I've seen most of them Razz) or "I've never been to a large, multicultural city" people. So I'd love some suggestions of other fun things to see and do! I'm looking for more low-key activities that get a feel for the city or are culturally interesting rather than hardcore sightseeing (though I might go for a play if that counts, there's at least one thing I'd like to see that probably won't come to me any time soon), coffee shops with a lot of atmosphere and people-watching, restaurants or foods that are distinct to New York or hard to find elsewhere, that kind of thing. I especially like wandering interesting areas, but am limited in walking ability, so if anyone's familiar enough that they could tell me of cool areas that have frequent benches or even planters you can sit on, that would be super-helpful!

Since transportation is challenging for me, I'd also really like to stay in an area that's as convenient as possible to other things and that's in a nice, interesting area itself, even if I have to pay a little more for a hotel than I otherwise would, so any suggestions for that also appreciated!


Last edited by Enail on Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Travel advice - New York

Post by Caffeinated on Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:41 pm

Ooh, fun! I visited my friend in NY a couple years ago and was amazed.

One of my favorite things we did was have lunch at a little hidden restaurant on top of Bloomingdales. It's called Le Train Bleu, and it's like being in an old-fashioned dining car in a train, but you have a view out over the city. Here's a little piece about it: http://www.businessinsider.com/le-train-bleu-is-a-secret-restaurant-inside-bloomingdales-in-nyc-2015-6

Another amazing thing (that might already be on your list because it's one of the obvious ones) was going to the Met. If you're an art person, it is absolutely worth going. I liked it better than the MoMA.

Something I didn't get to do because of limited time and logistics issues but plan to do next time I'm there is see the Tenement Museum. https://www.tenement.org/

Another favorite thing we did was walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, but I don't know how feasible that would be with limited walking. Also great, getting pizza at a little local place in Brooklyn. To drink: an amazing soda not sold in my neck of the woods, the Manhattan Special. It's an espresso coffee soda. Wow.
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Re: Travel advice - New York

Post by Werel on Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:42 pm

Seconding the tenement museum! A good friend works there and recommends that you buy tickets in advance. I haven't been to NYC in like a decade, so I don't have much to recommend, but if you're gonna be in Park Slope you should check out Brooklyn Superhero Supply.

Also, maybe subscribe to The Skint for a lot of free/super-cheap cultural events?
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Re: Travel advice - New York

Post by fakely mctest on Thu Feb 04, 2016 6:38 pm

I went to the Tenement Museum the last time I was there and it was fascinating!  Highly recommended.  I would definitely get tickets online in advance (lines can be long).  They do different interpretive tours on different days/times so you can plan ahead and pick the one you want (they are of differing length and location -- some stay only in the museum, others are in the museum and around the neighborhood).

I GREATLY prefer lower Manhattan to midtown or upper Manhattan.  The neighborhoods are more stacked into each other and tangly so it's easy to hop from one to the other and see a lot of things in a relatively small area.

The one exception, which I cannot recommend highly enough, is The Campbell Apartment in Grand Central station.  The cocktails aren't cheap, but you can nurse one for a while, and it's well worth paying a visit to drink in the 1920s railroad tycoon's private office and saloon. Plus, Grand Central is BEAUTIFUL.

The Evolution Store is awesome.  I'm actually going to go back there on my next trip because I enjoyed poking around so much.

Ferrara is kind of a touristy place, but that's for a reason.  Little Italy is RAPIDLY shrinking and this is one of the stalwart holdouts.  Have a coffee and a cannoli at least.

Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles in Chinatown is a bit tough to find but worth the search.  While you're there you can check out Pearl River Mart.

The High Line if the weather is nice.  It's a little further up than lower Manhattan proper but really beautiful and peaceful (even with a ton of other people around!)  Lots of benches and other places to sit.  If you go, you can check out Story, which I think is a neat concept for a store.

If you want to splurge on a nice meal while you're there, I can recommend Balaboosta, Navy, and Northern Spy.  If forced to choose I would say Balaboosta but with brunch at Northern Spy.

The Chelsea Flea if you're there on a weekend.  Chelsea Market if you're not.

A really peaceful way to spend a quiet evening is at Burp Castle (if you like beer -- they sometimes have ciders, but that's it).  The bartenders keep the noise down by shushing people who get loud.

For a break from it all, my fave, secret place is Great Jones Spa.  A three hour pass to their water lounge is something like $55 or $60: a well-appointed locker room (locks included), fluffy towels and robes, hot sauna with cold plunge pool, Turkish bath, and whirlpool, water, tea, and fruit, and lounge chairs to laze about on.

As for lodging, I've had the most success finding deals on Hotwire (just make sure to check out the place's website to see if you can get a better price directly).  This time around I discovered The Bowery House: tiny private rooms, luxe shared bathrooms, great location, from $55 per night.  Personally, I sprung for a cabin with a window, which was a whopping $60 per night.

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Re: Travel advice - New York

Post by Enail on Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:50 pm

Thanks, all! Lots of cool things to check out! Shiny/thrilled
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Re: Travel advice - New York

Post by mirright on Thu Apr 28, 2016 3:17 am

Thanks for this thread. I'm going to NY this week. I'll visit all places you've mentioned here!

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