No idling

I haven't finished with my last holiday yet, but am thinking about my next trip. To New York in a week or so, for work. Yes, I know how lucky I am. It's my first visit there and I have a day and a half free. What should I do? Where should I go? What should I see? I don't have much money and am pretty worn out at the moment so don't feel like doing much - no art museums or anything too taxing. I'd like to wander about, eat some interesting food, and see something amazing. I'll be staying near the UN if that makes any difference. Grateful as always for your collective wisdom.


an original New York bar - could be straight out of 'midnight cowboy'. It's just off Times Square and just the sort of place that's rapidly being replaced by TGI Friday and their hateful ilk. It's been in the background of a couple of Martin Scorcese films.

If you love buying books, don't miss Strand bookstore. It's amazing, huge, and you can find awesome deals.

Washington Square is always a winner.

And Central Park.

And a walk over Brooklyn Bridge (start in Brooklyn).

You may wish to wrap up warm for these.

The Staten Island ferry, Grand Central Station, the Guggenheim, the Flat Iron buiding, MoMA and Greenwich village. My favourite place in the whole world apart from Clerkenwell. You'll love it, Anne, it's like being on a film set all day.

hi anne,

well first off I'd say take a train out to Coney Island. It's closed up now, but that adds rather than detracts from the atmosphere. It'll take you about 45 minutes to ride the train out there. (I'm in the process of righting up my trip for you)

I never made it to flushing meadows on foot, but I did get to pass the remains of the worlds' fair in a cab. If you're taking a cab into manhattan from the airport maybe ask if they can drive that way so you can have a little peak.

lastly McSorley's ale house in the east village is a fantastic experience. There's two types of drink on offer (light or dark beer) and if you mention you're hungry they'll plonk down a big plate of cheese, crackers and dragon breath inducing onion.


oh and paul is right with MoMA it's well worth the entrance fee.

Get the cable car to Roosevelt Island! It's a bit terrifying. There's not much on Roosevelt Island though, but it's nice to go there, very peaceful and you can stare across the water at Manhattan.

Also, definitely go to Coney Island.

yes all of the above - and definitely coney island for you i think - can't wait to see what you make of it. i still dream of a bagel shop i visited a couple of times on broadway near columbia but i can't for the life of me remember what it's called - it really is the best bagel experience i've ever had though so i'll try and figure out exactly where it is!

i'll be there in just over a week's time too, from the 17th till the 19th and then again from the 26th - 30th. there is a really good band playing on the 17th that i'm going to go and see, so if you happen to be about on that date let me know and i'll tell you where they're playing.

Hello, well we've had a chat about Flushing Meadows, hope it's nice weather when you go there.

All the other things people talk about are great as well - Coney island is great if you have the energy walk along the boardwalk to Brighton Beach where everything is in Russian.

A couple of travel things. I would advise booking a car from the airport to your hotel, it costs less than a taxi and it's great to see someone holding a bit of card with your name on it! We used as did another friend a couple of weeks ago it's around $20 cheaper than getting a cab.

Get a travel card for the subway, don't forget that you can use it on the bus as well. The bus is great for those cross-town journeys. If you are near the UN the M15 service goes up 1st avenue and down 2nd avenue. Go from the East Village to Harlem watching the areas change.

We loved the Yonah Schimmel Knishery at 137 East Houston St (between 1st & 2nd Ave) it's a real step back in time.

Other Music is great record shop it's on East 4th st just off Broadway, next to the soon to close Towere Records. In the East village Kims is a really good record shop as well (St Marks place)

If you want to see bands Ludlow Street (off East Houston has loads of low price venues - The Cake Shop (cafe, record shop and venue all in one) and Piano's were bothe good.

That's it for now!

You lucky sod! Pre-Christmas is the best time of year to go to New York, as the weather is crisp and sunny, and perfect for a random walk from your hotel through Greenwich Village or anywhere really, to Central Park. You'll feel like a local, won't get lost, and, like on my first NY visit, spend a lot of time looking up and realising you're in the city - and smiling a lot! (oh, and Century 21 opposite the World Trade Center site is great for cheap but impressive Xmas pressies). Have big fun!

Hi Anne,

If you're about on a Sunday I'd recommend the gospel church on 135th and Malcom X Blvd (opposite the Harlem Hospital Centre). I think the number 2 line has a stop at 135th and it's only about 20m from the church. The service starts at 11 but get there early for all the children singing up front.

I'd also recommend a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. And if the weather is dry a nice early morning walk from the up near UN all the way downtown (via Grand Central) is really nice. For views from way up high the Top Of The Rock at the Rockefeller Centre is pretty good and the queues aren't bad.

Also, get a bus map and use the buses loads cos they're really easy and you can see lots.

Have fun!

John x

Could I also recommend the Time Out "Book of New York Walks". Even if you only have time to do 1 or 2 of them, it's an excellent read for the plane on the way over.

Oh, I'm very envious of you right now! You and my wife -- she's going to NY this month too (15th through the 19th). You two could cross paths. Tell us how it goes when you get back, will ya?

Have fun!

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