I Need Your Help

I’m not really here yet.  Not really.  Technically.  Not at all.

BUT – I need a quick favor from you…

In less than two weeks Jared and I are heading up to New York City for a quick weekend trip.

And the only thing he wants to do is see the Statue of Liberty.

What should we do for the other 40+ hours we’re there?

I’ve done a lot of the tourist Must Do’s on my last trip, and he doesn’t seem too jazzed about anything in a guide book.  Anyone have any suggestions for things to see and do in Manhattan that are off the regular tourist beaten path?

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  1. Karl says:


    Central Park!!!

    Skip Fifth Avenue, though. Nothing but a time suck.

  2. Miss Elle says:

    Magnolia Bakery… Prepare for the best cupcakes of your entire life.


  3. I’ve lived in NY for 28 years and never saw that Statute of Liberty…my brother said you’re better off taking the Staten Island Ferry for free since it’s hot and crowded in the Statue. And it’s a nice ride

  4. Oh did I mention that I am probably meeting you guys with Robin. Hope that’s ok

  5. Hmmm…you are going for the calendar thingy right?

    I need you to harass Backpacking Dad for me and tell him he has little hands. I’d do it myself, but I wasn’t hot enough to win.

    Beyond that, I have no idea having never been there. If I were to go though, I’d totally find myself inside some museums. That’s the way I roll.

  6. We did the NBC tour and it was awesome!

  7. New Yorker (sadly, currently living in LA) speaking here…

    New York is a walking city. Take a walking tour. There is a great tour company called The Big Onion that gives excellent walking tours. They also have a book you can buy and take self-guided tours. You’ll get more flavor of the city from that than just about anything else you could do, other than living there for a few years.

    I always took out-of-town guests to Central Park. Start at the 72nd and Central Park West entrance. Find Strawberry Field. Walk from there to the Shakespeare Garden, then the Castle. From there, take a meandering tour through the Ramble and end up at the lake. Rent a rowboat. Have an expensive drink at the bar. Walk over to the East side of the park and check out a museum. Or stay on the west side and check out the Museum of Natural History. If you stay west, there’s a great Indian restaurant on Columbus in the 70s called Mughlai.

    On your second day, walk around the Village. Get lost. Take side streets with names that don’t have numbers. After lunch, do the same in SoHo.

    I’ll second Karl on skipping 5th Ave. below 59th St. (where the park ends and the shopping begins). Also skip Times Square.

  8. RW says:

    Drinks at the Algonquin, where Dorothy Parker and the Roundtable held court.

    Don’t forget Papaya King.

    Spend a night at the Chelsea Hotel?

    Must lunch once at Katz’s Deli.

  9. whall says:

    If they’re still playing, the original Blue Man Group was there off broadway. AWESOME show.

  10. Finn says:

    Tenement Museum in Chelsea

    Brooklyn Bridge

    Castle Clinton, Battery Park

    Ellis Island

    Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum

    Grant’s Tomb

    The Cloisters, Ft. Tryon Park (museum)

    I second Central Park (Strawberry Fields, Alice In Wonderland Statue, Zoo) and the Staten Island Ferry.

    I’ll be visiting some of these on my trip and let you know if I come up with anything else fun.

  11. Cricky says:


    Oh look, someone wrote the exact book you’re looking for!

  12. Poppy says:

    Visit Dawg and Poppy. We have booze!

  13. Sunshine says:

    I never get tired of wandering around Central Park.
    Get tickets to a show.
    Eat authentic cooking in ethnic neighborhoods. There was a place near my best pal’s (a former P-burgian himself, FYI) apartment that had awesome Vietnamese.

    I also think going over to Grimaldi’s in Brooklyn is super fun, the pizza is to die for and get a local Brooklyn-made beer or four while you’re eating.

    Actually, I could spend days on end eating, that’s my favorite vacation thing to do.

    Second to that, going to gay bars (with previously mentioned pal) – email me if you want to know the most trendy gay bar in Manhattan right now, amazingly, I do know. lol

  14. just bob says:

    Try not to get mugged.

  15. we only managed to catch one museum, so perhaps another? you so need to walk in central park…and do a romantic carriage ride! dine in little italy. hit the “top of the rock” instead of the esb again. if you can score tickets to wicked or any broadway play, DO IT!

    most importantly, hang with dawg and poppy!

  16. OH! how could i forget that you have to do what we never did: eat real new york cheesecake and real new york pizza!!!

    sigh. i am so jealous that you are going back and yet still so fucking happy for you. send me pizza…

  17. Sybil Law says:

    Damn! All of my ideas are taken (even the frigging Algonquin! Nice – RW!)!
    I just hope you have a great time, then. :cheese:

  18. avitable says:

    Go to Ninja New York for dinner. Since I can’t go, you have to go there for me.

  19. B.E. Earl says:

    If you are feeling real adventurous, take the subway to Coney Island (it’s easy) and go have a hot dog at Nathan’s and some pizza at Totonno’s.


    Most of my favorite things to do in NYC have to do with cocktails, so I will suggest the following:

    Hang out in Union Square and then have a drink at Pete’s Tavern on 18th St. Classic, old-timey NYC pub.

    For an evening cocktail you will never forget, try to find PDT on St. Mark’s Place or The Back Room down on Norfolk St. Click on the links below and you will see why.



    And if you have a nice day, a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge is a nice little morning.

    Other than that…what RW said.

  20. sara says:

    i used to visit nyc every other month or so and most of my time there was spent alone, without the boyfriend that I had gone there to see. Instead he pawned me off on his friends. UGH. BUT! He did take me to Brooklyn Brewery and I LOVED that. So go there!

  21. Cris says:

    You could always try to score tickets to a Jets game and watch Farve once again.

    Pick your fav NYC Movie and try to find the sights of all your favorite scenes.

    Katz Diner is ok but they have armed security at the exit to make sure you pay. It kind of offended me. Plus I couldn’t skip out on the fuggin bill.

    Hop on a Subway train and ride, ride, ride.

  22. u know says:

    how bout them cowboys?

  23. Chris says:

    I always loved spending my free time in Central Park. Also, there’s a great flea market in midtown – can’t remember exactly where, but it’s on 6th at about the 40s I think… Sigh, been too long since I’ve been back. Have fun!!!!!!

  24. little_lj says:

    A subject close to my heart!

    - Go to the Guggenheim
    - Have brunch at Cafeteria
    - Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, grab a slice at Grimaldi’s Pizza (BKLYN side), then walk over to the Brooklyn Promenade for one of the best views of the city. Walk back down and spend some time in Brooklyn Bridge Park. This is literally one of my favorite things to do.
    - Eat dumplings at Dumpling Man in the East Village
    - Wait in line at the TKTS booth in Times Square to get discount tickets for Broadway (the line may look long, but it moves fairly quickly)
    - Mooch around Union Square Farmers Market on a Saturday morning
    - Go rowing on the Lake in Central Park

    I could literally go on all day… have an amazing time…

  25. Dan says:

    Brooklyn Zoo is pretty cool, but I seem to remember you don’t like zoos.

  26. Blue Streak says:

    go have dinner at Freeman´s. Love that place. Also, go to Grand Central. I love walking around in the market there.

  27. hoatzin says:

    Have sex inside the Statue of Liberty. There’s a special elevator to the “Honeymoon Suite” just to the left of the main door. Slip your cashier an extra twenty, wink 3 times, and she’ll give you the key. (Bring your own sheets)

    Get front-row seats to a Knick game and punch Woody Allen’s lights out.

    Roller-skate around the Rockefeller Center ice rink while it’s still an open-air restaurant. A great way to get a free meal, just grab anything that takes your fancy as you glide by the tables. If caught, just scream, “What are YOU lookin’ at?” People will think you are a native New Yorker and cower in fear.

    Have sex on the roof of Bloomingdales. Make your way to the concierge desk and slip whoever is working the right-hand desk $100. For an extra $250, you can have yourself pre-dipped in Belgian chocolate. Skip this one if the forecast calls for rain and/or mosquitoes.

  28. hoatzin says:

    (More suitable for a visit with girlfriends, than with husband, perhaps)

    At the carousel in Central Park, play the “Harry Met Sally” game. Sit astride one of the brightly-painted horses and experience several lengthy, extravagantly loud orgasms.

    20 points for each child within earshot who tells their parents, “I’ll have what she’s having.”

    50 points for each time it’s real.

  29. kat says:

    A restaurant recommendation: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Harlem. I promise, you won’t regret it.

  30. - visit Dawg & poppy’s new place…

    - go to a comedy club (usually open after 10 PM) Google NYC comedy club and see who’s performing the weekend you are there. this is really one of the funnest things to do at night in NYC.

    - try to get tickets to a TV show taping

    - see a Broadway show (check playbill.com to see what’s on that weekend)

    - walk around Greenwich Village

    - check craigslist for goings on in NYC

    - tell me what weekend and maybe I will take the train down to meet you guys!


  31. oops my last one was supposed to say…

    - grab some sandwiches from a bodega/deli and a bottle of wine and have a romantic picnic in central park near strawberry fields!

  32. NYCWD says:

    :slaphead: Have you learned nothing from your last visit?

    Be like Nike.

    Just do it.

    (“it” being the city… not the hunky-dunky “it”)

    Be… dynamic!

  33. Turnbaby says:

    Take what DAWG said and then what everybody else said–just be in the moment and have a blast.

  34. Robina says:

    Never been to New York, but if I went, I would hit up Doggy Bloggy. He lives there, and he is an AWESOME cook. I mean, totally Chef worthy and have-his-own-show worthy.

    His link is on my blog.

  35. I'm More Dynamic Than A Cascading Style Sheet…

    It was a busy ass weekend. Here's a quick recap: EDIT: Poppy has a much better and detailed account of weekend activities. Quite a list huh? Amidst doing the truck ton of errands and things that got added to the day… I tried to explain to Po…

  36. delmer says:

    The wife at the time and I went to the top of The Empire State Building. It has a very good view and the headsets they rent were a pretty good bargain.

  37. You MUST eat breakfast at Norma’s – it’s a restaurant in the lobby of Le Parker Meridian Hotel on West 57th right near Central Park.

    Oh dear God — something called Waz-Za is my all-time favorite!! But there’s mandarin orange french toast, berry brioche, carmelized chocolate banana waffles, cinnamon crepes. And my husband says there’s good things with eggs too. It is DIED AND GONE TO HEAVEN wonderful.

    And if you can score tickets to Alter Boyz go see it. It is a hilarious Off Broadway musical.

  38. Donna L. says:

    Try to hail the Cash Cab! At the very least be a street shoutout.

  39. ali says:

    and shopping.

    that’s all i do in new york.
    (i have many, many recommendations if you’d like!)

  40. It’s not off the beaten path but you should go to the wax museum. It’s awesome!

  41. black belt momma’s comment reminded me about the sex museum!!! we didn’t get to do that, but you should probably go with jared anyhow…

  42. Clown says:

    Go here…

    Except go to the street address instead of the web address.

  43. martymankins says:

    I’m not sure if previous commenters mentioned the SoL and I’m sure you know this, but getting online and pre-purchasing tickets saves a ton of time. Otherwise, you wait in even longer lines due to security.

    Like I said, you already knew this… I’m just adding it here just to be nice.

    As for other stuff to do, Times Square is a must. As is Central Park and Columbus Circle. MoMA would also be a must, would would put you right next to Rockefeller Center. For dinner one night, Alfredo’s would be a nice.

  44. Summer says:

    I’m visiting NYC Oct 3-5! Check out the NBC tour you can see Conan’s studio and SNL studio. Top of the Rock is nice at night. The city looks like colored jewels and it’s romantic too. Chinatown is cool. I’d skip the museums. Grand Central Terminal is nice. A walk in Central Park is nice, don’t go at night. Lots to do. I’ll ask my son now that he lives there.

  45. Summer says:

    I see you had a recommendation for Dinosaur BBQ. We have one here in Rochester NY and it is delicious.

  46. chicken says:

    I totally tried to get in the cash cab EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. It never worked…probably for the best, since I would suck. Only hail the Toyota mini vans…
    My favorite restaurant is in Little Italy, it is Angelo’s on Mulberry. There is a little bakery up the street and around the corner, I have no idea what the name is, but they have great canoli! Rosa Mexicana on the upper east side is good for, MEXICAN! and celeb sitings.
    Take the Staten Island ferry and sit on the right side…and you just saw the statue of liberty! the FREE way!
    Walk around Canal street…find the bull, see the naked cowboy…eat a pretzel from the street vendor…

  47. Bonnie B. says:

    Take an eating tour with a New York cabbie! Go look at his website FamousFatDave.com.

  48. I have no opinion on NYC. Been there once, five years ago. If I was going again tomorrow, I would spend more time in Central Park, go to the New York Public Library, spend an entire afternoon at Tiffany’s, and go to a church service at a church in Harlem.

    But that’s just me. :) Hope you get the WordPress shit worked out. I’ve seen your Twitter anguish and I wish I could help!

  49. Jer says:

    Go to the PopOver Cafe for Popovers and homemade strawberry butter. (I saw Mira Sorvino here, she was looking rough and arguing about prices)

    Hit the Stage Deli on Broadway for sandwiches as big as your head.

    Ljubo’s pizza on Westchester square (take the 6 to the Bronx – like J. Lo!) – yeah it’s the Bronx, but damn the pizza is good.

    If you like Greek Food, you must, must, go to Queens and Astoria Ave.

  50. Mr Farty says:

    Empire State Building, deffo. And any and all museums.

  51. Maria says:

    http://www.shopandsavetickets.com to see if you can get tickets to a play. Then you can walk Times Square after the show.

    Central Park
    Walk around the Village and get lost.
    Go to Gonzalez y Gonzalez for dinner and dancing.

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