Near Bryant Park: Where to Stash Mom?

Old Jul 20th, 2015, 09:12 AM
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Near Bryant Park: Where to Stash Mom?

Hi, NY Fodorites.

I’m bringing my mother to NYC, while I take a few meetings. She is not accustomed to travelling alone, but there will be a few hours on my arrival day where I’m going to need to leave her alone (before our hotel is ready).

Can you recommend a place near Bryant Park, perhaps even the Library?? where she can be indoors, can entertain herself for a few hours, with ample seating/cafes?

Thanks in advance for any ideas!
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Old Jul 20th, 2015, 09:19 AM
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If the weather is OK Bryant Park is a good place - several places to eat and a lot to sit and people watch.

But perhaps your mom can get into the hotel room early - or at least sit in the lobby - esp if the weather is very hot like now. The library has some great exhibits but not sure about seating. She might also want to check out Grand Central Station - which is gorgeous and has a bunch of casual places to sit with a beverage.
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Old Jul 20th, 2015, 09:23 AM
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There is a Panera very near Bryant Park. She could spend some of her time hanging out there.

HTtY
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Old Jul 20th, 2015, 09:44 AM
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There is also a Le Pain Quotidien right along the park.
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Old Jul 20th, 2015, 09:49 AM
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She'll love Bryant Park, always lots of people and plenty to look around at (expensive shops, unique items) and to eat (not overpriced). There is a reading room with magazines etc, separate from the nearby library. Sometimes there are birdwatchers giving little tours but I'm not sure how to find out about the schedule.
The "Southern Porch" at the park is perfect for sitting, with comfortable chairs etc. She could also stroll the shops along 5th Ave but if she prefers to be indoors should probably head into the library, and Bryant Park Café.

I'm sure you can find several youtube videos that people have taken of strolls around the park, that would familiarize her with the area if she feels antsy about being alone there.
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Old Jul 20th, 2015, 10:00 AM
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Oh, thank you!! All great reccos. There is an author panel at the Reading Room we'll be going to first, so maybe she can just linger there after and kill time. I didn't think the 'Reading Room' was an indoor place. I'll write down the other options, too.

Thanks again, New Yorkers!
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Old Jul 20th, 2015, 11:00 AM
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Are you coming back for the Fringe Festival this year? I am going to be a Fringe Ambassador this year. Will really know what that means after a meeting on Thurs night. I will report back afterwards. The "job" description several weeks ago was just my style. we'll see if it has changed.
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Old Jul 20th, 2015, 11:11 AM
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You might check to see if there are any free public tours of the library that day.
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Old Jul 20th, 2015, 11:22 AM
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Grand Central Terminal is just a few blocks away. There is plenty of food, shops, seats, and the Main Concourse is beautiful.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Central_Terminal
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Old Jul 20th, 2015, 11:25 AM
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Ooh! The Fringe Festival! Had a lovely time those years ago! Won't be there for that, though.

Thanks, k-marie. I'll look into tours. That's a good idea. She'd like a tour guide in that great building.
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Old Jul 20th, 2015, 11:26 AM
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Thank you, IMD. A 2nd redo for Grand Central. I'll look at that next.
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Old Jul 20th, 2015, 11:47 AM
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If you or your mom go to Grand Central Terminal - go downstairs for better food shops and eating.
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Old Jul 20th, 2015, 11:49 AM
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Thanks, diane, for that tip! Nearish our hotel, so may be an option for one of our meals!
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Old Jul 20th, 2015, 12:14 PM
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A Grand Central Terminal

On the Grand Concourse level is a wonderful, wonderful pastry shop called Financier.

For a more expensive meal try the Oyster Bar, which is hard to find and be sure to look up at the exquisite tile work. Try the Clam Chowder and watch them make it bowl by bowl.

For a better food value take the escalator up from Grand Concourse and go to Cucina & Co.

For a taste of NY, try Junior's cheesecake. There is a take-out store on the main level and small restaurant downstairs. The restaurant stinks but the cheesecake is one of the best in the City.
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