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Old 07-22-2008, 10:16 AM
 
455 posts, read 1,329,152 times
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Hey all!

I'm planning on visiting NYC in early September and I'm looking for some recommendations on things to do, places to see, etc. I've visited NYC before, but only with my parents/grandparents. My grandparents live in Westchester, so I'll be either taking the train or driving in daily, and returning at some point in the evening/early morning for a week or so. I'm going alone, and I'm a 24 year old, single male college grad.

I've been to these places before, but again, only with my parents and grandparents (but it's been many years since then):
* Empire State Building
* Metropolitan Museum of Art
* Radio City Music Hall
* Brooklyn Botanical Garden
* FAO Schwartz
* St. Patrick's Cathedral
* Intrepid Museum
* Grand Central Station
* Chinatown (Koreatown?)
* Bronx Zoo
* Natural History Museum

I'm probably going to visit the Bronx Zoo and Natural History Museums, but other than that, I've never walked around by myself. So ideas and recommendations are appreciated.

I also LOVE food (fortunately, my high metabolism allows for indulgence) and was thinking of visiting one of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants, the first Ray's Pizza, Morimoto's restaurant (Iron Chef) or any others you can think of. Since I'm going by myself, how do restaurants typically handle reservations for 1?

How about nightlife? Anything I should check out? (Webster Hall was recommended)

Thanks in advance!

PS - My thought is to get a Weekly MTA Metro-North pass and a 7-day Unlimited MTA pass. Also, can I get on and off the MTA Metro-North in between stops? (ie - if I purchase the weekly pass for Golden's Bridge -> Grand Central on the Harlem Line, can I go from Golden's Bridge -> White Plains, then White Plains -> Grand Central?)

Last edited by RowingMunkeyCU; 07-22-2008 at 10:34 AM..
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Old 07-22-2008, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Newton, Mass.
2,954 posts, read 10,802,300 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RowingMunkeyCU View Post
My thought is to get a Weekly MTA Metro-North pass and a 7-day Unlimited MTA pass. Also, can I get on and off the MTA Metro-North in between stops? (ie - if I purchase the weekly pass for Golden's Bridge -> Grand Central on the Harlem Line, can I go from Golden's Bridge -> White Plains, then White Plains -> Grand Central?)
The train goes straight through from Golden's Bridge. It takes just over an hour. If you WANT to go to White Plains (it's not a bad spot these days but no NYC, obviously) you certainly can get a ticket for there and get off, and I don't see any reason why you couldn't use the weekly pass for that as well, but there is no need to change trains or anything.

FAO Schwartz is no more.

If you're into lower Manhattan and want to cross into Brooklyn, here is a recent thread:

Lower Manhattan - what's a "must see"
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Old 07-22-2008, 01:13 PM
 
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FAO Schwartz IS open, but much smaller.

Gordon Ramsay at the London is not worth the money.

Go to the Rose Center at the planetarium - worth a visit.
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Old 07-22-2008, 01:23 PM
 
3,225 posts, read 7,498,611 times
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Default partial to Radio City, Intrepid Museum, Natural History Museum..,

not too crazy about Chinatown even though I love Chinese food. I find the ambiance not too great and that part of town too congested and visually unappealing. But that's probably just me.

Re: reservations for 1, if it's real busy some places don't even make them for two, but on off-nights, etc., that shouldn't be a problem.

Welcome back and enjoy the Big Apple.
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Old 07-22-2008, 01:34 PM
 
455 posts, read 1,329,152 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holden125 View Post
The train goes straight through from Golden's Bridge. It takes just over an hour. If you WANT to go to White Plains (it's not a bad spot these days but no NYC, obviously) you certainly can get a ticket for there and get off, and I don't see any reason why you couldn't use the weekly pass for that as well, but there is no need to change trains or anything.
Thanks! The reason I ask is because there's a reptile show going on that's in White Plains I plan on attending. NY Reptile Expo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viralmd View Post
Gordon Ramsay at the London is not worth the money.

Go to the Rose Center at the planetarium - worth a visit.
Hmm... just a bunch of hype... too bad Well, I guess it gives me an excuse to find something else that's good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles View Post
not too crazy about Chinatown even though I love Chinese food. I find the ambiance not too great and that part of town too congested and visually unappealing. But that's probably just me.

Re: reservations for 1, if it's real busy some places don't even make them for two, but on off-nights, etc., that shouldn't be a problem.

Welcome back and enjoy the Big Apple.
Thanks! Ya, it's not so much that I'm looking to revisit a bunch of the places I've already been (not looking to visit FAO Schwartz, just saw it as a kid in the Home Alone movies), moreso that I want to see/do the things I didn't have the chance to when I was with my family (and probably too young to truly enjoy anyway).
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Old 07-22-2008, 02:27 PM
 
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The Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Cloisters, the American Indian Museum, South Street Seaport, the NY Stock Exchange, the Statue of Liberty

Some good restaurants I'd recommend are: Becco's (Italian), Meskerem (Ethiopian), Churrascaria Plataforma (Brazilian). There are plenty of other great restaurants that you can checkout at the Zagat's link below.
Restaurants - Ratings & Reviews - Zagat Survey (http://www.zagat.com/Verticals/VerticalHomePage.aspx?VID=8&SNP=ER - broken link)
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Old 07-22-2008, 03:29 PM
 
Location: New York City
151 posts, read 470,099 times
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Screw all the touristy garbage -- spend your whole trip eating here. There's no point in coming to NYC except to try some of the most amazing food you'll ever have in your life.

That being said, you'll need to make yourself open to going to Brooklyn. Most of the best places to eat in NY are in Brooklyn and lower Manhattan. Here's where you need to eat, by food group and $ rating. There are so, so many great places to eat but I'll try and compress it. This is the semiofficial Hamza guide:

Italian (truly the best food)
------
$$$ Lil' Frankie's -- Everything is amazing, though pizza is beat by... -- 19 First Avenue b/w 1st and 2nd street -- (212) 420.4900.

$$ Amorina -- The best pizza in NYC and I challenge anyone who thinks otherwise to a fist-fight -- Located in Prospect Heights, near Park Slope in Brooklyn. Get off the Q train at 7th ave and walk to Vanderbilt ave. -- 212.230.3030. Call for addy as I can't remember.

$$/$ Mama Lucias Restaurant -- The owner/owners are really, really Italian. The extremely handsome (and flirtatious) father/owner immigrated to NY from some tiny Italian island in the 1970s. They make all their pasta by hand. Tell-tale touch of quality? All the bread they bring you is hot out of the oven. -- 1701 Foster Avenue (just off the B/Q train at Newkirk looooong into Brooklyn) - 718-434-9858. Not open on Mondays.

$ Cafe Dante -- Epic canolis. -- 79-81 Macdougal Street -- 866-681-0299

Japanese
---------
$$$ Blue Ribbon Sushi -- Local Park Slope Sushi house turns out to be one of the better in the city. Expensive, but worth it for a once-in-a-decade NY visit. -- 278 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY -- 718-840-0408

$ Yakitori Taisho -- Stupid delicious Japanese street food hole-in-the-wall opens into a subground bar so humid, you'll be swilling the cheap beer and drunkenly yummy Saki. NO SUSHI. -- 5 Saint Marks Pl (take the 6 to Astor place and walk) - 212-228-5086. *Must visit*

These are really the only places I get Japanese food in the city. I'm a habituate Taisho abuser. I would refer to YELP.com for more info on good Japanese places in NY

Chinese
-------
I don't much like Chinese food, but if it's any good at all, it'll be in Chinatown. Ask someone else on the board.

Greek
-----
$$$+ Pylos -- Dangerously low-hanging clay pots? Check. Amazing greek wines? Check. Life-changing food that will make you believe in the Greek Jesus? Check. Epic prices? Check. This fancy Greek nabe restaurant has it all, for better or for worse. -- 128 E 7th St -- 212-473-0220

$$ Kefi -- If you're going to see an opera at the Met, you need to make a stop at Kefi. Fantastic food, but the desserts are amazing. Hell, go anyway even if you're not going to the Met. 222 W 79th St -- 212.873.0200.

American
--------
$$ The Farm on Adderly -- Good "American" food in New York City begins and ends with The Farm, my own nabe joint. Everything here is amazing, nothing is bad, and they have a great bar/beer/wine selection. Yet this place really shines for brunch: the best french toast in NYC. So come twice... once on a weeknight, once on the weekend. And extra points for gorgeous waitstaff. Walk off your meal in the largest and most beautiful collection of Victorian homes on the east coast! -- 1108 Cortelyou Road (take the Q train to the Cortelyou stop in Brooklyn, walk towards Coney Island ave.) -- 718.287.3101

Indian
------
$$/$ The best Indian food in all of NYC is, hands down, Saravanaas. If you're not familiar with Indian food, I would suggest you patiently explain to the largely FOB (Fresh-Off-the Boat) waitstaff that you're new in town, heard this was the very best Indian place in NYC, and for some reccomendations. Make sure they go through what's spicy, what's not, etc. But the very best. Just amazing food. My vote? Get the mini-tiffin. A little bit of everything. -- 81 Lexington Ave. -- 212.679.0204

French
-------
** Will edit in later. Need to get the proper names from a friend. Amazing food, but all French restaurant names sound the same to me.

Basque
-------

$$$+ Convivum Osteria -- You MUST go to this restaurant. There is absolutely no excuse possible to miss it. A mix of Italian and Basque food, it is another life-altering eating experience. The prices are the stuff of legend, but this is entirely worth it. Go at night, bring a honey or grandparents, and ask to eat "outside" in the back for epic romance x2. Extra points for having a fountain. -- 68 5th Ave in Park Slope, Brooklyn -- 718-857-1833. If you are allowing yourself even but a single really, really expensive NY meal, you should make it here.

Wine & Cheese
--------------

$$ The Bourgeois Pig -- There may be better wine and cheese places in the city, but I don't know any of them that are as sexy. Good prices for what you get. Usually packed on weekends. -- 111 E 7th St b/w 1st Ave and Ave. A -- 212.475.2246

Ice Cream
---------

$$/$ The Chocolate Room -- Some of the best chocolate in the city, in many incarnations. Their chocolate ice cream and chocolate fudge are winners. And they match the chocolates with great liquers. -- 86 5th Avenue (in Park Slope, again) -- 718-783-2900

$ Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory -- Mix one part Brooklyn Bridge view with two parts gorgeous DUMBO trustafarian people-watching, add a dash of epically delicious iced cream made in, and named after, the best part of NYC, and you have a hit. Get your Ice Cream to go and walk back to Manhattan over the Brooklyn Bridge. Cash only! -- 1 Water Street -- 718.246.3963

Jewish/Kosher
------

All the touristy kosher places are blah, including the various "delis". In fact, most kosher places are blah. But some are outstanding, especially the ones that make the food like momma used to...

$$ David's Restaurant -- ... especially if your momma happened to be a Syrian Jew. Aleppo-Syrian cooking at its best. Prices are high but portions are large and astoundingly amazingly incredibly good. The rice-and-plum stuffed game hen well make you convert. No dairy products, meat only. -- 539 Kings Highway in Brooklyn, NY. Take the F train to Kings Highway and walk up ( e.2nd, then e.3rd, etc.) towards Ocean Parkway -- 718-998-8600.

That's all for right now. I'll add more when I get home and can check my little black foody book.

Last edited by Hamza; 07-22-2008 at 04:12 PM..
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Old 07-22-2008, 03:30 PM
 
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For CLASSIC French: Le Perigord. Not cheap, but GREAT French food.
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Old 07-22-2008, 04:03 PM
 
Location: New York City
151 posts, read 470,099 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RowingMunkeyCU View Post
... Gordon Ramsay's restaurants, the first Ray's Pizza, Morimoto's restaurant (Iron Chef)
Garbage.
Garbage.
Garbage.

Next!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RowingMunkeyCU View Post
How about nightlife? Anything I should check out? (Webster Hall was recommended)
Garbage unless you're an underage bridge/tunneler, or are interested in underage bridge/tunnelers. Ew. Will post more on nightspots to hit later.

Not sure about the Metro-North, but yes, get an unlimited metrocard for the subways and buses.
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Old 07-22-2008, 07:45 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn
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DEFINITELY go see Coney Island--this may be the last chance, before developers get their hands on it and turn it into a sanitized parody of itself.
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