NYC Advise

Jul 3rd, 2003, 07:53 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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NYC Advise

My wife and I are heading to New York in a month for the first time. I would love some suggestions on a good mix of tourist type activities and slightly off-the-beaten path activities. What are must-sees and what can be skipped? We are not really museum types, but we both really enjoy quaint neighborhoods with great pubs, restuarants, coffee shops, etc. that don't eat into the wallet too much. I also really like viewing architecture (primarily homes). Any help or ideas is greatly appreciated. BTW, we are most likely staying at Park South (this may change if I can grab a last-minute deal).
Zach is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2003, 08:11 AM
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Get all of your touristy items done in one day, so you'll have the rest of the time to explore. Day one I would take the Staten Island Ferry to get a good view of the Statue of Liberty (no need to tour it). Just ride the ferry back. You never even have to get off. While you're downtown, go see ground zero (now a piece of history of course) and check out Wall Street. Work your way back uptown by first going to the village and grabbing some lunch. Great coffee shops in Soho and Tribeca. McSorley's pub in the village in historic as they come. The beer is just OK, but it's quaint and small to be sure. Oh, and it's cheap too. Just 2 kinds - light and dark and you buy 2 at a time. Ask me why, I don't know.

Great homes can be seen around the west 80's near central park, in my opinion. More great architecture is in Central Park, so take a walk and check that out. Have fun! My favorite restaurant , if you like ethnic food, is in Midtown at the corner of w48th and 9th called El Deportivo. Great Spanish and Cuban food!
olivia is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2003, 09:20 AM
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One person's must sees is another's can be skipped. Mine suggestions are

Must sees from south to north
Statue of Liberty (from Staten Island ferry which is free or Circle Line Cruise or trip to Ellis Island)
Union Square outdoor market
View from Empire State Building
Rockefeller Center
Central Park
Frick Museum (in an old mansion)
Metropolitan Museum (Temple of Dendur, Sculpture Court, rooftop garden)
Cooper Hewitt Design museum (former mansion)

Other homes/architecture for you to check out
Morgan Library (old Morgan mansion)
Main public library at 5th & 42nd
Homes around Beekman Place & Sutton Place
Gracie Mansion (Mayor's house)
Abigail Adams Museum (old house)

Meatpacking district (very hip shops & restaurants)
East Village & West Village
Chinatown (shopping on Canal St & eating)
Upper West side
mclaurie is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2003, 09:29 AM
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As a native New Yorker, I would highly reccomend The Greenwich Village area. There are great little shops, cafes and cool brownstone buildings. I like the West Village in particular. Try wandering Bleecker street between 7th Ave the the Hudson River. There is a great place on 7th ave and 11th street called the White Horse Tavern. One of the oldest pubs in NY and they have a good bar menu. Also try a Bistro Burger at Corner's a dive bar with the best and hamburgers in NYC. Soho is fun also, but a little pricier than the West Village.
mhatter is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2003, 09:30 AM
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"quaint neighborhoods with great pubs, restuarants, coffee shops, etc. that don't eat into the wallet too much."

Dude, you MUST spend a day or two wandering the West Village. I would consider this off-the-beaten-path for tourists. It's downright charming, yet full of character.

Other advice:
DON'T take the Liberty Isl/Ellis Island Boat Tour. The lines are crazy and the statue is closed anyway.

DO take some other boat tour, even if it's just the free Staten Island Ferry. It gives you a whole different view of the city, plus it's cool and breezy.

Walk across the Brooklyn or Manhattan Brige - at least part of the way.

See Times Square at night. Though I can't stand it myself (WAY too crowded with slow-moving tourists), it's something different that I guess you've got to see once.

Canal Street (Chinatown) is also a sight to see. Bring lots of cash to buy fake designer watches and handbags. Like Times Square, see it because it's so different!
suzanne is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2003, 09:47 AM
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Two "home" museums to visit: Thoedore Roosevelt birthplace, a victorian era townhouse near Gramercy Park, and the Old Merchant House, turn-of-1900s townhouse just off the Bowery (E 3rd St?).
ellenem is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2003, 12:04 PM
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Also remembered you might get a kick out of the bar at Guastavino - 59th betw 1st & York. The ceiling is the underside arches of the 59th st bridge.

Also go to the west 79th st boat basin cafe on the Hudson River-cheap & fun.
mclaurie is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2003, 02:28 PM
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I would definitely spend some time in Greenwich Village. There is a great bar called Down the Hatch where we spent an entire afternoon drinking with locals. It was a blast! We also found a cool bar that had seating right in a window facing the sidewalk. We stopped in for some beers and had the best time people watching. We even recognized one of the people passing our window as Trenton Tarrentino! Sorry, can't remember the name.
srianda is offline  
Jul 6th, 2003, 05:46 PM
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One thing we did last year that was really unusual was visit the Lower East Side Tenement Museum -- I think it is on Orchard Street. They have a website. It is run by a non-profit that buys old tenement bldgs and restores them. Very interesting and not on the regular tourist list.
laurelt is offline  
Jul 8th, 2003, 10:48 AM
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Questions: where is the Abigail Adams Museum? And where are the East and West Villages?

Thanks, a great thread. I will be in NY 7/19 - 7/26. I have already done the tourist items and looking for the type of activities listed here.
Ronda is offline  
Jul 8th, 2003, 11:02 AM
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The Abigail Adams house was renamed a few yrs ago to Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden. It's located on East 61st st (I think at 1st av). East village is roughly east of 4th av/ Lafayette st and between Houston st and 14th st. The west village is west of 6th av between houston and 14th. Greenwich Village is in the middle of east and west. The East VIllage is a great place to eat. A huge variety of restaurants at very reasonable prices.

There are many free events, especially in the evening. Some can be found in Lincoln Center, Washington Sq. Park and Battery Park. For more info check out, Also pick up a New York Magazine or Time Out NY when you get here. They list many of the free events.
MFNYC is offline  
Jul 8th, 2003, 11:19 AM
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Ronda, the Abigail Adams (didn't know it was renamed MFNYC) is at 421 east 61. It's a strange location because it's in the middle of an entrance to the 59th st bridge & easily missed. There's nothing "fabulous" inside but it's pretty amazing it's survived in that location for all this time. I also like ellenem's suggestion of the Roosevelt house.

The west village is what people usually think of when they say "the village" or greenwich village. The east village has been resurrected within the last 10 yrs from a very seedy area to a trendy, young, hip neighborhood. It's sort of what Soho used to be.
mclaurie is offline  
Jul 8th, 2003, 11:40 AM
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I visited the former Abigail Adams Smith house last summer and was just enchanted.

It's actually the remodeled carriage house from an estate briefly owned by the daughter of the famous first wife/mom of presidents. The stone building survived the fire that destroyed the Smiths' home and it was then converted into a summer resort back in the early 1800s when most of the population of NY lived below 14th street. The main reason it survived was that had only two owners for a period of about 100 years and then was bought in the 1920s by a historic society. As the Mt. Vernon etc. it's been set up as it might have been during its days as a summer resort. Quite the disorienting experience to step out again onto 61st Street! I didn't find it obscured by the bridge, it's right in the middle of the block.

This might not be the cup of tea for the OP who said, "We are not really museum types" but it was certainly worthwhile for me!
Anonymous is offline  
Jul 8th, 2003, 12:23 PM
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Definitely try Greenwich Village as previous posters stated (aka West Village or "the village".) My favorite place to eat there is a small Mexican restaurant on MacDougal Street off West 3rd Street called Panchito's. A dinner for 2 including appetizers should run you under $40. Great food, great service, and you will definitely be full! Plenty of bars, restaurants and brownstones.

As for architecture you can also check out the Flatiron Building (only comes to my mind because I work near it) on 23rd Street between 5th and Broadway. Unusually shaped building indeed.
missjanna is offline  
Jul 8th, 2003, 03:27 PM
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Just my 2cents as a lifelong resident of Soho and the Village, both east and west... DUMBO out in Brooklyn is the closest thing to the old Soho. The East Village is just another gentrified mess. If we're lucky, it will all be Chinatown in 10 years ;-)
allan is offline  

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