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#1 Edited by polygon-al (27 posts) -

Hey guys,

Me and my partner are going to be heading to New York soon and it will be our first time there.

We have made a list of places we would love to see but I figured I'd post here and ask any native New Yorkers for places to visit or things to do. We are trying to do a lot of things that don't cost a ton of money so if you can recommend things like that, then that would be great but any recommendations are welcome.

We have no idea with regards to food places, so any good restaurants/take-away joints would be helpful.

Any heads up of places that are clear tourist traps, would be awesome.

Here is the list of places we have provisionally made. We are definitely not gonna be able do all of them so if anyone can say whether the places below are worth the effort of going to visit them or not, that would also be great.

  • FAO Schwartz
  • Brooklyn bridge
  • Central park
  • Flat iron building
  • 30 Rock
  • Statue of liberty
  • Freedom tower
  • Times Square
  • Mid Town Comics
  • New York public library
  • Highline park
  • Grand central station
  • Chrysler building
  • Washington Square park
  • St Patrick's cathedral
  • Trinity church
  • Cloisters at the Met
  • Upper East side
  • Nintendo World

Any help or advice in general whilst we are in New York is also greatly welcome.


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#2 Posted by metalsnakezero (2832 posts) -

The list you made are good places. Only go to the parks on warmer day. Best thing about Central park is the Red-tail hawks so get a map of where they could be and enjoy some bird watching.

If your interested in art the Metropolitan museum of art is cool. It pay what you want so a simple dollar per person is good despite what they label it as.

As for food I could say anywhere but be sure to look at the grading. If you find yourself in Chinatown Manhattan, hop kee is a good place and good prices.

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#3 Posted by paulmako (1685 posts) -

I'm not a native but I will agree that the Metropolitan Museum of Art is great.

The Natural History Museum in is also amazing, I thought it was even better than the one in London.

When I visited I took a site seeing boat trip. Which of course was super-touristy and pretty expensive, but was worth it for me. I think it was the company called 'Circle Line' and the cruise was called 'Best of New York'. The cool thing was it went around the whole of Manhattan island. So lots of my memorable images of the city are from seeing it from the water. It took about 2.5 hours so it's a quite an investment but I'm glad I did it.

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#4 Posted by mellotronrules (1987 posts) -

nice! you've got a lot of the key stuff on there. what time of year are you coming- soon? if so the outdoorsy stuff might be subject to cold/winter conditions, but depending on where you're from it isn't so brutal. some quick thoughts:

-i think FAO Schwartz is closed :-/

-food is a little bit difficult to recommend as nyc has just about everything. yelp and foursquare, although at times insufferable, can be a really great tools for finding good stuff for whatever area you find yourself in. (if there's specific cuisine you're looking for let me know and i can see if i know any good spots).

-not sure if you plan on venturing into brooklyn (which is totally worth it but also can be it's own trip) but smorgasburg is pretty good fun- it's a food market where you get to try a lot of signature dishes from food vendors for not-too-expensive.

-you can lose a ton of quality time in the museum of natural history or the met. there's also MoMA and the guggenheim if you're into visual art. the museum of the moving image is also pretty rad if you're a film buff, although that's in Astoria/Queens (but worth the trip IMHO). i've also heard the transit museum in brooklyn is awesome, but haven't been yet.

-since this IS ostensibly a video game website, you could check out one of the various Barcades

-eat. a. bagel.

-if you're into comdey, comedy cellar is a bit of an institution. it's tiny and for up-and-comers, but big time names often crash unannounced to try out new material (i've caught louie ck there unintentionally).

-SLEEP NO MORE. this is expensive but IMO 1000% worth it. everyone i know who's gone (myself included) becomes mildly obsessed. if you have ANY interest in theater, immersive narrative, set design, the roaring 20s, or inhabiting your own personal bioshock (in terms of setting and murder/mystery, not so much the water), DO IT.

TRANSIT PROTIP: again not sure where you're coming from, but something i've learned the hard way- unfortunately not all subway stations in nyc have stairs or walkways to change direction once you're past the turnstile. meaning: you can swipe in at your intended station with a desire to head uptown, realise you're on the downtown side, and then your only choice is to exit the station, cross the street, re enter the station only to discover your card (ticket) is on "cooldown" to avoid multiple swipes at the same station. so you'll wait unnecessarily.

the tl;dr is: read the signs before you enter a turnstile, they'll tell you if you're on the right side.

that's all i got for now- feel free to ask if you think of specific interests! have fun!

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#5 Edited by WynnDuffy (1012 posts) -

Hire some bikes or skates and go around Central Park, it's a blast. There's usually a lot of people doing the same (as well as joggers) so there's a community feel to it, even though a lot of the people are probably tourists too.

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#6 Edited by polygon-al (27 posts) -

@metalsnakezero: Man, I never even thought of wildlife stuff, great idea. I will definitely keep that in mind, thanks.

@paulmako: That does sound like a great "touristy" thing to do. Our trip consists of us going to New York after visiting my partners family in Toronto so we only have 5 days in New York. We will definitely need to make a list of things that we 100% want to do and then see how much time and money we have left. Thanks for the idea!

@mellotronrules: We are coming April 10th so I imagine there is still a decent chance it will be cold/windy. I am from Scotland and my partner is from Canada. We have lived in both places so we are pretty used to cold and miserable weather, haha. We like outdoorsy stuff so even if the weather is not great, we will probably still stubbornly brave the elements.

Is FAO Schwartz closed for good? That's a shame. We wanted to do the cheesy tourist thing and play on the giant piano. Ah well...

Brooklyn is a definite for us. It sounds like a great neighbourhood to walk around in for a day. I dunno why I omitted the Museums I had from my list but yeah we have the MoMA and the Guggenheim on there but that film Museum sounds great.

With regards to food, I love Pizza and my partner loves Sushi. But to be honest, we are happy to try most things as long as they are delicious and not too expensive.

Thanks for your in-depth reply, definitely gave me some more things to think about!

@wynnduffy: Yeah that is great idea, especially if the weather is nice. Do you recommend biking in the city in general or is that a bit of a death trap? Any recommendations for specific bike rental places/companies?

Thanks for taking the time to reply to me guys, really appreciate the advice! If you think of anymore, I am open to it all.


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#7 Posted by Dietomaha (217 posts) -

The Natural History Museum is amazing. As for eating...go to Little Italy. Some of the best food I've ever had came from that area. Though sadly I don't remember their names off the top of my head. My suggestion is to go for places that aren't obvious. Like...don't eat in Times Square, for instance. Find some little pizza place off in a corner of the city somewhere.

We stayed fairly close to Times Square (maybe like 4-5 blocks away), and there was a comedy place right near there. We went to it one night just for something to do, and there were about 5-6 people in the audience. At the very end, Jim Gaffigan came out. That was a crazy experience, it was like a private show. I felt bad for the earlier comedians. There were definitely times where I was the only one laughing, and that was only because I felt bad that no one else laughed.

Go into random stores on Fifth Avenue and laugh as all the employees look at you like you don't belong. And then watch your wife try on a $500 Gucci belt while the security officer stares her down.

Also take a goddamn taxi at least once.

I really miss NYC. I've only been there twice, but it's such an incredible city. If you find yourself with nothing to do at any point, you've messed up.

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#8 Edited by kmfrob (277 posts) -

I would personally skip the Statue of Liberty and go straight to Ellis Island. The museum there is really great. Perhaps my enjoyment is down to me being an old-timey New York obsessive, but my wife also enjoyed it a lot and she's not really that bothered by any of the immigration tales. I could have spent the whole day there, but alas we were only in New York for a short time and had to move on.

We were staying in Park Slope in Brooklyn and there were plenty of good places to eat round there. The street with the Barclays Center on it had some cool places to eat. I know the general rule is you don't get good pizza on the west coast and you don't get good Mexican on the east, but to our uncultured European tastebuds the Mexican in New York was pretty damn good.

Elsewhere there looked like there were a lot of nice places to eat around Little Italy, but they were all pretty hipster heavy and looked like the type of places you would be queuing to get into and then rushed out of. Seemed like there was a lot of good and authentic Japanese/izakaya food to be had too, but it was pretty pricey. As we were staying in Brooklyn we never made it to Manhattan for dinner, but if we had have made it Japanese food would have been the choice.

Just gonna say though, eating and drinking in New York is SUPER expensive. That mandatory tipping in the states... mate... just pay the staff better!!!

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#9 Edited by polygon-al (27 posts) -

@dietomaha:Haha, that is brilliant. I would probably be too much of a wuss to do it but the thought of it makes me laugh. Thanks for the info, I think it's fair to say Natural History Museum seems to be a winner and a comedy club at night also definitely a good shout.

@kmfrob: Yeah to be honest we might not do any boat tour kind of stuff as it sounds like a big commitment and I think we would prefer to just visit the different neighbourhoods. If we have time though, we will definitely look into doing one or the other.

Yeah the tipping and the tax not being added to the tag prices of in store items, really caught me off guard when I lived in Canada and it still does every time I go back. Thanks for the food recommendations. It sounds like we will just need to scout for the best local joints in and around where we are staying.

I forgot to ask as well, but if anyone has any suggestions for good Comic Book stores (other than the one I mentioned) and good Coffee Shops, that would also be much appreciated. Thanks again!

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#10 Edited by shivermetimbers (1334 posts) -

Rockefeller Plaza (that's near the Nintendo World if I remember correctly) has a good coffee shop whose name escapes me atm, but you can Google it and find it. There's also a shopping center of sorts in Rockefeller that may have a comic book store (don't quote me on that)

You also should try out some pizza while you're there. I mean you can't go wrong with any of them, just if you want to go a little south, Deninos is great and my favorite slice.

Haven't been to NYC in a while, but just know that it can smell really bad due to all of the smoking people do along with the car fumes and other stuff. Oh and the honking and noise is really bad.

And don't go to Central Park at night. I'm not your mother or father or anything, but yeah.

Edit: if not on your list, try and go to the One World Trade Center Memorial. In it are the remnants of the old world trade center, a few memorabilia of those who were on site, and news broadcasts during the tragic event. It's sad, but I find it worthwhile.

Edit 2: Seafire Grill is great, but VERY expensive. If you want seafood, I think it's the best in the City tho.

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#11 Posted by DookieRope (305 posts) -

Find someone selling mutton on the streets of Brooklyn and eat it. Preferably after drinking 10 beers.

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#12 Edited by vocalcannibal (383 posts) -

Koreatown, right near Herald Square which is also right near an amazing karaoke place called Duet. That place has great cocktails and private rooms with phones where you can just call and order food whenever. My friend and I were there from about midnight to 2am once and it was amazing, even through it was just us two.

Anyway, Koreatown. There's a food court on 32nd street called Food Gallery 32. The bottom floors has a ton of great Asian food and the top floor has a dessert bar called Spot if you have extra cash for some really cute cake and boba tea. I spent 3 months in NYC for a fashion internship right in that area and went to Ktown constantly. The food ranges from cheap and delicious (Food Gallery 32 has a place that just sells steamed buns, they're huge and barely cost anything) to cool as hell (there's a bbq place where you can get a watermelon full of soju).

Edit: OH ALSO, get an app that will let you remotely enter the ticket lottery for broadway shows you might be interested in seeing. My friends and I always do this for day trips and it's perfect for two people to do because you can each enter, and whoever wins has the option to get one or two tickets. I got to see Matilda AND Hedwig and the Angry Inch this way. Some friends were even lucky enough to get those sweet $10 Hamilton tickets!

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#13 Edited by polygon-al (27 posts) -

@shivermetimbers:Thanks for the info! Yeah we were definitely gonna go check out the World Trade Center stuff. I will keep that Pizza place in mind for sure, thanks again :)

@dookierope: Excuse my complete ignorance but in the UK, mutton is lamb and to my recollection, it's similar to a kind of sliced roast beef. Are they really selling that on the street or is that just a term that is used for general street meat like Hot Dogs and Kebabs and things?

@vocalcannibal: You have made my partner very happy. She LOVES steamed buns so we will most likely be heading there at some point. Thanks for the heads up on the lottery app. We were probably not gonna bother with a Broadway show due to time and money but if we could get to see a show for that cheap, that would be awesome. Cheers!

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#14 Posted by The_Nubster (3153 posts) -

real quick! I don't know if you're vegetarian/vegan but my girlfriend and I just came back from there and she is vegan. We found some really, really awesome places that I fully enjoyed too.

Blossom de Jour is a great diner-style place. Their skyscraper burger and cauliflower bites are delicious and I'd heartily recommend it.

Hangawi is a Japanese restaurant that has hot stone bowl rice and sake, traditional Japense cuisine. Pricey but the atmosphere and the food are unlike anything else I've had.

Beyond Sushi is great if you enjoy sushi and they have a very unique twist on their food. it's cozy and friendly and I highly recommend it.

Get ready to do a ton of walking, and as others have mentioned, it can be very loud and sometimes smells like poop. If you see a crowd start crossing a street, cross with them otherwise you might get pushed around a little bit. Times Square is noisy and awful and neither me or my girlfriend enjoyed it very much.