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New York by Neighborhood (also Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens) - please help!

New York by Neighborhood (also Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens) - please help!

Nov 10th, 2009, 09:13 AM
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New York by Neighborhood (also Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens) - please help!

I've been researching each NY neighborhood and was wondering what your recommendations are. I'm not including the more touristy ones on here but can you suggest some restaurants and what not to miss in each area? We will be in New York for 10 full days arriving Christmas day and through New Years. We wanted to do a neighborhood (or two) a day. Here are the neighborhoods we're interested in (not necessarily in that order) and what we kind of want to do in the area. Some of the neighborhood listed we're thinking can be joined in with another one close by to make a day out of. Many thanks in advance.

1. Queens = Queens museum of Art. Besides that, can you suggest a day in touristy Quuens? Which neighborhood is best to visit?
2. Brooklyn = cross the Brooklyn bridge. Any good spots nearby to eat and visit?
3. Bronx = my husband's not big on Zoo's so not sure if I can persuade him to go. Where should we go visit in the Bronx burrough?
4 Tribecca = Besides the cool cobble streets and nice buildings and good restaurants, is there a cool area in Tribecca to hang out in? We'd like to visit Antartica which is supposed to be a divey bar there.
5. East Village = East 9th street and the Strand. Maybe have some Ukranian food - never had it before so if you have, what did you order and did you like it? Any suggestions on good restuarants (even if it's not Ukranian).
6. Little Italy = I want to go to a nice clam house for lunch. Visit St Patrick's Cathedra;l.
7. Chinatown = have dim sum at Oriental Garden (because I am a HUGE seafood fan and apparently this is their specialty) or Ping's Seafood because it's a smaller venue. What do you think? Maybe head to battery park after and take a free ride on the ferry?
8. Lower East Side/Greenwhich Village = I want to visit Orchard street for some shopping. Can you tell me what are the most concentrated shops (their cross streets) on Orchard St? Maybe have lunch there somewhere or head to Greenwhich Village and wander? What's not to miss in the area? I wanted to end up at dinner here at Tamoe sushi place.
9. Upper East Side = Hit the museums. Need to see when the free museums days area.
10. Upper West Side and Central Park. Maybe hit this during the 12/31st since we'll be at St John the Devine that evening at 7:30. Will want to have dinner somewhere close by and watch the fireworks at Central Park that evening.

That's all I was thinking. Of course we'll also be seeing some shows, visit Times Square and the like. Anything else you recommend? Also, if you can recommend which neighborhoods to combine for a single day, that would be great!

Many thanks in advance! Looking forward for any feedback.

Maria Cooper
maria_so is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 09:15 AM
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Oh, and wanted to add, we're usually up for anything. We like museums, artsy things, outdoorsy things, shopping, love food, theater. We don't really want to do the ball drop in Times Square for New Year's eve. We'll be staying at Affinia Dumont at midtown. We won't have a car. W're both in our mid 30's, no kids. Many thanks!
maria_so is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 09:21 AM
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Sorry - these are not "neighborhoods". New York City is mad eup of 5 separate boroughs (each equivalent to a county elsewhere).

Brooklyn (Kings county) has dozzens of separate neighborhoods - and more than 2 million residents. Queeens and the Bronx also have dozens of neighborhoods - most primarily residential. and once outside of Manhattan transit is muchmore diffiucult - you often need a subway, then a bus to get some where and end of the line can easily taek 1.5 to 2 hours.

Manhattan (the island most people think of as NYC) also has many differnt neighborhoods - and you could spend 10 days exloring those alone. I don't think you have any conception of how large NYC is. You mention upper east side and "hitting the museums" This would take you at least a week (Met, guggenheim, Whitney, Frick, Museum of the city of NY, Museo del Barrio, Asia House and several others), most of which don;t have free days.

I suggest you head for the outer boroughs only to do/see specific things - or you'll waste a huge amount of time.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 09:37 AM
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Sorry, nytraveler, i meant i want to visit the neighborhoods of NY and then something in the burroughs of Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens. I don't know much about the latter 3 burroughs so as a tourist, I was thinking maybe someone could suggest an easy spot for me to visit like maybe brooklyn heights for brooklyn to include walking across the bridge back to Manhattan.

Of course I won't go to ALL the the museums, maybe just 2 (Guggenheim and Nat history, for example).

I only have 10 days and want to visit the areas listed and was just wondering what highlights to hit. I understand NY is HUGE and there's so much to do which is why I was asking for advice on what to do in the areas. I agree I'm not from NY and don't know the burroughs well which is why I thought I'd ask.

Thanks anyway.
maria_so is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 10:20 AM
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Personally, I commend you for realizing there's more to New York than Manhattan.

Is your husband a baseball fan? Yankee Stadium is in the Bronx, if that would interest him more than the zoo.
jent103 is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 10:41 AM
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Wow, you've done a lot of research! From my experience, you've got plenty to fill ten days.

I'll leave it to the nice New Yorkers to offer more details on routes and restaurants!
lcuy is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 10:57 AM
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Check out the Bronx and its botanical garden. We never made it to Arthur Avenue there but it was on our list. There are many Italian places to eat. You should be able to get a far better Italian meal there than in "Little Italy" in NYC.

Also~WaveHill in Riverdale, The Bronx is a lovely garden.(end of the Harlem line) I particularly like gardens in the winter and the views of the river are also lovely.

In Brooklyn look at the Willamsburg section(Peter Lugers for a burger @ lunch) or Park Slope. You may also want to check out Al di La as a place for an Italian dinner.

We stayed in Chelsea on our most recent trip(see my trip report). There is a great deal to do there. There are many galleries and the High Line is a particularly nice walk. There are lots of good little places to eat.

Enjoy..I wish I could be at St John the Divine on Christmas Eve.
PamSF is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 10:58 AM
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BTW~I mentioned the 12:30 each day prayer service @ St Paul's Chapel near the WTC site. It is quite moving.
PamSF is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 11:11 AM
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Sounds like you guys are going to be VERY busy while you are here. I am also THRILLED you are coming to the Concert for Peace at St. John's. This year we are doing Beethoven's 9th again and the Cathedral is fully open. A few years ago there was a fire and most of the nave was closed for repairs. I think Lauren Flannigan from the Met will be our guest, and she has an amazing voice.

Things to see and do in the city, to be honest alot of your time to see the outter broughs will be spent in transit, the city is BIG. So pick areas of the city you want to see most and research what's there. I'd suggest getting a book or two like the Fodors book on the City. They have already done all the research for you.

Pick an area like downtown and, start from there, see Battery Park, The Staten Island Ferry, walk up Broadway to eee Trinity Church, Wall St, World Trade Center, (Century 21 is right across the street for some good shopping), St. Paul's Chapel (World Trade Memorial), City Hall. From there walk up to Chinatown and Little Italy. That'a a full day of site seeing right there. Umberto's Clam House is a block away from Old St. Patricks and a good stop for dinner.

My area of town (Hamilton Heights) has some beautiful National Heritage Brownstone streets (Convent Ave, 147th St, Hamilton Terrace) a few Landmark Buildings, City College, and a few good restaurants, just to give you an idea of additional things to see. Also if you like Jazz, St. Nick's Pub is one of the BEST jazz spots in the city (149th and St. Nick).

Keep us posted on your planning and I'm so looking forward to saying HI New Year's Eve.
travelbuff is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 11:14 AM
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Check out the weekly on line magazine www.timeout.com for New York. I recently saw a good walking tour in the Bronx that included the Botanical Garden and other spots. I think they do other out of the way suggestions.
laurie_ann is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 11:46 AM
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Between Christmas and New Years you will want to be mainly indoors unless we get some unexpectedly warm weather. I cannot reco the botanical gardens, the zoo ir wlking the Brooklyn bridge is the weather we usually hve then (high of perhaps 40 - with a windchill at night often in the teens or below).

If he is a basebll fan he probably would like a tour of Yankee Stadium (go to the web site for details). If you gt a warm day take the subway to the far side of the Broolym bridge and walk back. I don;t know of anything in Queens worth a visit on a first trip to NYC versus what you would get in Manhattan - and an hour closer.

If you were coming at a more clement time of year I would suggest either the botanical garden or the zoo in the Bronx, the Brooklyn botancal garden/prospect park of Brooklyn Museum, Queens - not so sure. And Staten Island is almost completely residential - except for the free ferry - which has great veiws of the Manhattan skyline on the way back.

And if you have to choose museums go to the Met (the greatest cultural institution in the western hemisphere) versus the Guggenheim (the outside is the best part).
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 12:01 PM
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thanks all and hello travelbuff! Looking forward to meeting you at St John's and thanks again for the ticket to the concert!!!!

Yeah, we've both been to NY before separately so we've both seen a lot of the touristy stuff and wanted to concentrate more on the neighborhoods ( I know Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn is a burrough and not a neighborhood but never been to before so wanted to check it out). I think we've pretty much decided for Brooklyn to hit DUMBO (i find the name cute too), walk across the bridge. I've read it will be freezing cold with the wind chill on the bridge but willing to sacrifice a little for the experience. Maybe end up at the river cafe for dinner or that cool rice restaurant everyone seems to be mentioning. Was thinking maybe of combing this with a morning at Chinatown. Do you know how far the Brooklyn museum is from DUMBO?

I'm afraid my husband is a soccer fan (he's English) and not a baseball fan at all. So I guess we may skip Bronx and/or Queens if I can't find anything of interest although I really wanted to be able to see something of those 2 other burroughs.

Thanks nytraveler. I've looked up the free days in the museum and found some to even have the parties after hours, etc. I've been to Guggenheim but it's small and they have the Kandinsky exhibit going on that I would really like to see so I may just do that on the pay as you wish sat. Brooklyn museum has the free first sat then too though so not sure what we'll do just yet.
maria_so is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 12:18 PM
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The Bronx and Queens are very, very residential. Many of the places of interest are spread over many miles. Therefore it's difficult to pinpoint a particular thing to do, since the places of interest are not next to one another or as easily connected as in Manhattan. Also, many of the places of interest in those boroughs are in outdoorsy settings, so if the weather is cold and gray, you may not have an enjoyable time.

With all that time, you should go to the Cloisters at the northern end of Manhattan. Yes, it's a museum, but it's like taking a trip to Europe. You can cap your visit with a meal in the interesting surrounding neighborhood that is experiencing many changes.

If you get some nicer weather, the Bronx Zoo is indeed next to the Bronx Botanical Gardens and both have special holiday displays. While in the neighborhood, it's easy to visit Arthur Avenue, the Little Italy of the Bronx, for a meal.

Another thought for Queens would be to take the #7 train to the end of the line at Flushing, Queens, and explore the area--many good Asian restaurants. Similarly, some enjoy a ride to Astoria, Queens, the end of the line for the N/W trains to have a Greek meal.
ellenem is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 12:21 PM
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If you like Jazz, a trip to the Louis Armstrong house in Queens might be of interest.


Again, it's in a residential neighborhood, not really close to anything else. You reach it from the #7 train, so this might be combined with lunch or dinner in Flushing.
ellenem is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 12:26 PM
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Queens has some of the most interesting neighborhoods in the city as it is probably the most diverse area in the world. You will find just about any ethnic cuisine and quite well done since they cater to people who know their own cuisines. Flushing is definitely worth a visit - replete with great Asian restaurants and some say the best Chinese eating in the world. Here are a couple: Joe's Shanghai, Spicy and Tasty - but you can almost walk into any one of them and enjoy. Take the 7 train to last stop - Main Street. Sripraphai (in Woodside) is considered by many the best Thai restaurant in town.
jroth is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 12:27 PM
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Thanks ellenem! I like the idea of taking the #7 to Flushing or the nw trains to astoria. Once you get off the train, is it somewhat of a small area to wander and find stuff to look at? I like it! Thanks!
maria_so is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 12:28 PM
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Oh, and we do like Jazz so the suggestion at Hamilton heights and the one in queens is duly noted! Thanks.
maria_so is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 02:38 PM
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Several good suggestions so far.

For Brooklyn, consider the Brooklyn Museum, which is quite good. If the time of year were right, would also recommend the Brooklyn Botanical Garden next door (though they do have some indoor exhibits). There's a subway stop right at the museum and if memory serves, the subway line runs through the DUMBO neighborhood. A good spot to eat near the Brooklyn Bridge on the Brooklyn side is Grimaldi's Pizza (not to mention the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, if you don't mind frozen treats this time of year).

There apparently isn't much in the way of decent Italian food in Little Italy anymore aside from Lombardi's Pizza -- most guidebooks I've seen call the area's eateries tourist traps. Such guidebooks recommend the Arthur Avenue area in the Bronx as being a much better option.

Veselka is a 24 hour Ukrainian diner in the East Village -- very good in my experience.

Good options in the Lower East Side for food include Katz's Deli (arguably the best pastrami on rye you'll ever have), Russ and Daughters (smoked fish on bagels and such, take out only), Il Laboratorio del Gelato (ice cream storefront), and Kossar's Bialys (bialys and not much else).
bachslunch is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 02:50 PM
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thanks bachslunch!

Another question, all we need for NYE is a dinner place that's nice enough without a pre fixe menu near the Upper West side (by St John's the Devine).

Any ideas?
maria_so is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 02:54 PM
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If you head to one of the ethnic places on the upper west side they usually don't have prix fixe fou-fou dinners on New Year's Eve. Just tell us what cuisines you like - and some idea of budget - and people can make recos.
nytraveler is offline  

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