#1 Posted by EthanML (459 posts) -

Hey guys - I'm from Ireland but my new job is sending me out to NY for training for a couple of weeks at the end of June.

The typical tourist-y type stuff isn't really my thing, not super into just sightseeing for the sake of it.

So, I'm asking the locals and those who have visited NY before - what are the best things to do, check out, and most importantly: eat, in order to make the most of the experience and get a 'real' feel for the city?

#2 Posted by RockyRaccoon37 (468 posts) -

I don't live there, but visited two years ago (and will be going back in two weeks or so)-- my highlights:

S'MAC - An amazing Mac and Cheese restaurant

Barcade - It's what it sounds like, a bar with a grip of arcade machines. Last time I was there all games were a quarter per play. They have two locations now, one in Brooklyn and the other in Manhattan.

Museum of the Moving Image - Cool little museum that focuses on cinema, with lots of interesting artifacts and exhibits. It is small though and way out in Queens, so maybe plan on doing it if you want to visit Queens.They also play classic films in their theater there, and when I was in town I managed to catch Taxi Driver which was pretty perfect.

Prospect Park - A really nice, big park in Brooklyn with a pretty dope zoo.

Don't avoid "tourist-y" stuff though just for the sake of it, otherwise you'll miss out on some great sights, like the Brooklyn Bridge, the MOMA, Wall Street, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, etc. You might think they're lame or whatever but they definitely do define the city. The reality is you'll never really get a "real" feel for the city unless you live there for some time, so just find the things that interest you and check them out.

It's a cool city with a ton to see!

#3 Edited by Cerberus3Dog (399 posts) -

If you want video game related stuff, Barcade is pretty cool. There is another location in Brooklyn.

http://barcadenewyork.com/

EDIT: The post above me mentions it. It's a pretty cool spot for drinks in the evening. Also, maybe the Hayden Planetarium so you can get a chance to see Neil DeGrasse Tyson

#5 Posted by OldGuy (1575 posts) -

While I don't live in NYC I have some go to places when I'm there (well, okay, I have some go to places in Brooklyn)...

Okay, this is "touristy" but when I'm in NYC I've gotta hit Coney Island and grab a dog at Nathans (not because they're the best dogs in the world but becuase...) I then hop on the Cyclone for a couple of rides (NOTE: unless you like it rough do NOT ride in the last seat of any of the cars).

When you've had your fill of the beach and roller coasters it's straight up pizza time and my favorite is just up the street: Totonno's

Hit up East Harbor Seafood House for your Chinese food fix.

I like The Atlantic Chip Shop (though I doubt you're coming to the US in anticipation of eating something simulating what you can get everywhere back home - the Deep Fried Pizza is interesting however).

#6 Edited by RockyRaccoon37 (468 posts) -

@oldguy said:

While I don't live in NYC I have some go to places when I'm there (well, okay, I have some go to places in Brooklyn)...

Okay, this is "touristy" but when I'm in NYC I've gotta hit Coney Island and grab a dog at Nathans (not because they're the best dogs in the world but becuase...) I then hop on the Cyclone for a couple of rides (NOTE: unless you like it rough do NOT ride in the last seat of any of the cars).

Forgot about Coney Island! Yeah it's a neat visit especially on a nice day. I had a good time on the Cyclone, but thought it was way too expensive for how short of a ride it was. Still totally worth it though.

#7 Edited by michael_katarn (83 posts) -

EAT KATZ DELICATESSEN!

But in a less capslocky way go to Katz Deli on the lower east side and get a sandwich, I recommend Pastrami or Corned beef. Also stop at any number of Bagel spots. Ess-a-bagel, Brooklyn Bagel Co., H&H, and Bergen Bagels are all acceptable. Pizza options include Lombardi's, Spummoni Gardens(way out in Gravesend but the most unique slice you'll find in NYC), Pasty's, Di Fara, Sal & Carmine, and Artichoke Basille.

If you go to Queens for check out PS1, the Museum of the Moving Image(as mentioned above) and for foods you must eat at Queens Comfort.

Edit: Spumoni Gardens is far from Manhattan but if you make the trek to Coney Island its not far from there.

#8 Posted by megalowho (978 posts) -

Check out the High Line walkway for views, Chelsea Market for groceries/food items and the Frying Pan to hang out on a docked boat and drink when the weather is nice.

Pizza anywhere is pretty good to great, skip the .99 cent slices though. Pastrami on rye at 2nd Ave Deli or Katz's, Ippudo for ramen if you get there early, the Wafels & Dinges truck - lots of good food to stumble upon.

One touristy thing I'd recommend is a bit of a hike so most don't make it - take a trip up to Fort Tryon Park and The Cloisters Medieval museum. It's a castle by the cliffs at the edge of the city, one of my favorite spots.

#9 Posted by Rem (13 posts) -

I know nothing of New York but I have it on good authority that you should stay the fuck out of Far Rockaway.

#10 Posted by alwaysbebombing (1649 posts) -

Vinny

#11 Edited by EthanML (459 posts) -

Finding and hugging Vinny will of course be at the top of my list, worry not.

By the way I forgot to mention, I'll be staying at the Cosmo hotel on 95 W Broadway. Thanks for the suggestions so far guys!

#12 Edited by ztiworoh (731 posts) -

Lots of great recs here that I won't bother repeating, but if you can deal with a bit of weird and want a cool cultural experience I'd highly suggest getting tickets to Sleep No More

It's an interactive theater thing that's based off of Macbeth, but you experience it by exploring a 5 story building that is as close to being in Bioshock's Rapture as you're likely to experience. I can not recommend it highly enough. It's filled with violence and nudity and actors who won't hesitate to bring you into the action - it's like nothing else that I've ever done!

#13 Posted by development (2620 posts) -

Well the main thing you need to know is to bring fuck tons of money if you wanna enjoy yourself. If you can find 3 things to do in NY that don't cost 25 bucks a head I'd be shocked.

#14 Posted by RockyRaccoon37 (468 posts) -

Well the main thing you need to know is to bring fuck tons of money if you wanna enjoy yourself. If you can find 3 things to do in NY that don't cost 25 bucks a head I'd be shocked.

I didn't really find this to be the case. Manhattan certainly has some expensive places to go to but as long as you aren't hitting up some ritzy clubs you should be okay.

#15 Posted by development (2620 posts) -

@rockyraccoon37: True, I was being hyperbolic. But, I mean, excepting a bunch of dive bars, what I said is still pretty accurate. You can pull up a list of museums, for instance, that are either the most boring thing in the world (the huge minority) or 25-45-bucks a head on top of being the most boring thing in the world (come on, museums suck). It helps if you're the outdoors-y kind of person if you wanna have some free/cheap fun.

But, eh, at least there's stuff to do. More than I can say about where I live upstate.

#16 Posted by OldGuy (1575 posts) -

@oldguy said:

While I don't live in NYC I have some go to places when I'm there (well, okay, I have some go to places in Brooklyn)...

Okay, this is "touristy" but when I'm in NYC I've gotta hit Coney Island and grab a dog at Nathans (not because they're the best dogs in the world but becuase...) I then hop on the Cyclone for a couple of rides (NOTE: unless you like it rough do NOT ride in the last seat of any of the cars).

Forgot about Coney Island! Yeah it's a neat visit especially on a nice day. I had a good time on the Cyclone, but thought it was way too expensive for how short of a ride it was. Still totally worth it though.

Yes the CI Cyclone is expensive, but for a coaster snob like me (I've ridden 180+ coasters) it's worth it (the rollovers on the drops are wicked keen). The Wonder Wheel is also fun to ride in a "what in the world is that thing?" kind of way... too bad the Hell Hole doesn't exsist any more...

#17 Posted by michael_katarn (83 posts) -

@ztiworoh: I have nearly gone so many times but the combination of $$$ and disliking the feeling of being controlled by someone else has kept me from seeing it. Everyone says it transformative though.

#18 Posted by code3xbl (33 posts) -

@ethanml Congrats on a free business trip!

Let me know if you want a quick link dump on public transit here. However, you mentioned that you wanted to eat. Any particular cuisine you are looking for? I am also assuming you are staying in Manhattan (or labeled as New York, New York in address listings)

Since you will be here at the end of the month, you will be able to attend a State Fair/Carnival - where you can get some American grease and fat in your blood! It's the State Fair Meadowlands, which is in New Jersey and you can get there using public transit. It runs from June 20th to July 6th. Info here: State Fair Meadowlands (New Jersey)

Renting a car?

#19 Edited by afabs515 (1325 posts) -

Pizza. Lots and lots of pizza. And Chinese food and bagels, but pizza is the main thing.

#20 Edited by ztiworoh (731 posts) -

@michael_katarn: I'll admit that it's pricey - though it's on par with your average Broadway show, if not a bit cheaper - but when you see just how sprawling and detailed it is, it makes sense that they need to charge a bit for this, it must be a ridiculous amount of money to put on each night and keep it all maintained.

Not sure what you mean about being controlled by another person though? If anything, you have ultimate freedom in the space. If you simply want to find the bed of one of the characters and sleep, no one will stop you. If you want to eat food off of a plate you find (there's real food used in the show) no one will stop you. The only thing about being "controlled" is that you might get picked by a character for a "one-on-one" scene where they take you to a part of the show that no one else gets to see, but it's not like they force you, more they invite you and you should go because it's going to be undoubtedly rad.

#21 Edited by michael_katarn (83 posts) -

@ztiworoh: Yeah I totally understand why its expensive (I've never actually been to a Broadway show either buts that's mostly my dislike for musicals than it is price). I would be very uncomfortable with the way it blends your personal space with the performance. I am almost sure I would leave before it ended. I have in the past had to leave concerts for this same reason. It's surely a personal issue and not the shows fault. I'd like to see it one day but I won't buy the tickets knowing I will probably walk out.

#22 Posted by mooncake (160 posts) -

@megalowho: Definitely this; the High Line is one of the most unique opportunities in a large metropolitan area, and is just a surreal and amazing experience. Though it's probably become fairly touristy now since its been opened for a while.

#23 Posted by 71Ranchero (2829 posts) -

Make sure you get mugged at least once. No trip to NY is complete without a good mugging.

#24 Posted by TooSweet (398 posts) -

Don't be afraid to try the food. Look up good pizza spots. I'd personally avoid any chain spots like S'Barro's, Pizza Hut etc... Also I'd avoid any Ray's Pizzas. Try Katz deli as mentioned above. Other decent spots for food:

  • Rice to Riches (rice pudding)
  • Prohibition Bakery - Baked goods. They have this awesome Beer and Pretzel cupcake that is awesome. It's very small though. But taste great.
  • Chinatown Factory - Ice Cream. I'm partial to their Sesame Seed Ice-Cream.
  • Crif Dogs - Awesome hot dog spot. If you make an early enough reservation you can reserve a spot in the "secret room" hidden behind a phone booth.
  • Lower East Side has a lot of Indian Restaurants.
  • I know Brooklyn now sports a lot of good eateries but I haven't been any that I can think of.
  • If you don't mind spending a bit of cash Ben and Jack's is a decent steak house.
  • Baohaus - Taiwanese/Chinese sandwiches. Very good stuff.
  • Cafe Habana - in downtown Manhattan. You must try the cuban sandwich and their corn cob. You won't regret it.

Visit Video Games New York. Even though it's a bit pricey it's still worth looking at their game collection. It's a very cool. Barcade for beer and arcades. Also 2 Bits is a small bar that also features arcades and pinball machines.

If you are into Comic Book Shops there are tons. Midtown Comics, JHS (formerly Jim Hanley's Universe), Forbidden Planet, Roger's Time Machine etc...

Coney Island will be fun once the weather gets warm. Cyclone and the Wonder Wheel are great.

#25 Posted by RockyRaccoon37 (468 posts) -

Make sure you get mugged at least once. No trip to NY is complete without a good mugging.