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Filed under: Travel — Thomas @ 14:17


My baby and I have decided to take a trip to New York City! After a few years of not really taking a holiday just the two of us together, it's about time. I've been preparing work for it, and now I'm preparing us. NYC - home of Interpol, Strokes, The Walkmen, The National, and lots more.

We'll be going for a full week, arriving Saturday evening November 29th, and leaving again on Sunday evening December 7th. Inbetween we're probably going to stay a night in Boston and visit Ward.

Since I want to make the most of it, I'm asking all of you for ideas for things to do there. I'm sending a 30$ Amazon gift card to the person who gaves us the suggestion we ended up liking best!

What we've already planned:
- A NY Knicks vs Portland basketball game on Tuesday
- A free greeter that looks like a great idea
- A Nada Surf concert

Here's stuff we've been told about or think about but don't know where it is:
- there's supposed to be a huge toy store somewhere - any idea ?
- I'm sure there must be a huge comics store too somewhere - where's the biggest ?
- same for music - preferably collector stuff
- there's supposed to be some 'live system-shock-type RPG/puzzle experience' which was featured in Wired once and now also exists in Madrid - any idea ?
- Where to get the best hamburger and/or hot dog ?
- Where's the best movie theatre ?

Here's a bunch of stuff we want to do but not sure where to get:
- a theatre play
- a musical
- a tv studio
- stand-up comedy
- good concerts
- good food

And of course, any other kind of tips are welcome as well.

NYC baby! This ought to be good.


  1. Well, if you like art, visiting MOMA is a must do.

    Comment by swentel — 2008-10-31 @ 14:41

  2. FAO Schwartz is the toy store, located on 60th and 5th near the apple store.
    The biggest comic store is forbidden planet near 14th and 5th
    The best place to find music is in the village near bleeker and carmine.
    The geekiest movie theatre is the zeigfeld (forget the address)

    Comment by d — 2008-10-31 @ 14:42

  3. Toy Store – FAO Schwartz – http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&client=firefox-a&ie=UTF8&q=fao+schwartz+nyc&fb=1&latlng=40763565,-73972895,12753037637348042654&ei=yggLSaWEFY7CNaD0uUs&cd=1

    It was in the movie BIG with Tom Hanks where he plays the floor piano

    I can’t remember where the best burger is but the best Hot Dog is at any of the “dirty water dog” carts lining the streets of Manhattan. My favourite pizza is Ray’s (a NYC chain you can find on a lot of corners downtown) and you must have a bagel from one of the Jewish deli’s. Don’t get suckered into a Dukin Donuts or any of the other chains.

    For awesome French food (and if you want to dine at a celebrity chef’s place), Anthony Bourdain’s place Les Halles downtown is great ( http://www.leshalles.net/ny_downtown.php). Of course you might not want French since you are so close to France so for Chinese just go to Chinatown or Italian go to Little Italy next door. For Sushi just go into one of the small dives you see.

    For tickets to a show try the half price booth the day of the show (http://www.nyctourist.com/broadway_tkts.asp)

    As for TV shows, it has to be the Late Show with Dave Letterman. The tickets are free but hard to get (http://lateshow.cbs.com/latenight/lateshow/show_info/tickets/). Put in a request now.

    For the real NYC vibe for concerts I suggest looking for a venue in the village (you will also find great record shops there). I personally like small venues but there are a wide ranges of sizes and music styles. Irving Plaza is a great place that I have gone to many times. The other places like CBGB’s and The Wetlands are all closed and I think the small dive I used to love Nightingale looks like it has turned into an upscale lounge (seems like a lot of the old placed I used to go to have done that).

    Anyway, hope that helps.

    Comment by John (J5) Palmieri — 2008-10-31 @ 14:53

  4. Thomas,

    One of the things to note is that typically tickets to broadway shows tend to be moderately expensive if you pay full price. Luckily, if you’re not picky, you can get deeply discounted tickets through the Theater Development Fund has discount booths for day of tickets, commonly called TKTS booths.


    Basically, you show up at the booth at around 3pm and they have a list of dozens of shows and musicals. Watch the lists, then you get the front pay them your money, and walk out with cheap tickets — usually about 1/2 price. Great deals. As a side note, they only accept cash.

    Comment by Patrick Wagstrom — 2008-10-31 @ 15:18

  5. For comedy, go to the UCB theatre (upright citizens brigade).

    I’ve never been, but i want to.

    Comment by jacob berkman — 2008-10-31 @ 16:02

  6. FAO Schwartz is the big toy store near the Apple Store – there is also a large Toys’R’Us in Time Square. I think it’s bigger than the FAO Schwartz (it has a ferris wheel in it) but is probably a bit more tacky.

    The zoo in Cental Park is pretty good, especially the penguin tank when they do feeding.

    Also if you venture further out, e.g. Brooklyn, Harlem, Bronx, etc (which you should) then watch out for express trains – they skip downtown at high speed. Which is either good or bad depending on where you’re heading to / from :-)

    Comment by Paul Cooper — 2008-10-31 @ 16:56

  7. – there’s supposed to be a huge toy store somewhere – any idea ?

    There’s multiple, you may mean the one on fifth and 58th, on the corner of the Apple Store of Fifth Avenue on the south-east corner of central park. There’s also a big toys’r’us on times square and a disney store on fifth and 56th street.

    – same for music – preferably collector stuff

    Many bootlegs on one on Spring Street, just out of the 6 subway stop. There’s a big virgin store on union square (14th street) and aonther big store near times square, but that’s all mainstream stuff.

    – Where to get the best hamburger and/or hot dog ?

    JG Mellon’s.

    – Where’s the best movie theatre ?

    I’d say AMC Times Square (42nd street, 8th avenue) is probably the biggest/best.

    – a theatre play
    – a musical

    NYC Ballet or NYC Opera. Many websites offer Broadway discounts, just google for broadway and cheap.

    – good food

    Ah, the true beauty of this city, but little discussed. Just a few examples:
    – Jean George, on west park avenue near columbus circle (61st str) (sort of a Mediterrenean / Asian fusion) – book it for cheap lunch
    – Morimoto and Nobu, in Chelsea (both Japanese)
    – Tau, in midtown (Chinese)
    – in general, great korean barbeques (or other excellent Asian food) all around in Koreatown (~30th street and around) and of course near Chinatown (I don’t like them as much), lots of good Sushi all around
    – Les Halles (Manhattan) or Peter Lugar (better & cheaper, but in Brooklyn) for the best steak in the world
    – see http://www.menupages.com/ for a complete guide

    Comment by Ronald — 2008-10-31 @ 18:11

  8. You forgot ‘Luis’ in that list of famous New Yorkers ;)

    As far as musicals go, I highly recommend Avenue Q- hilarious and very New York.

    Movie-theater-wise, the only theater worth going to as a tourist is Film Forum. Everything else is just a big box showing the same things you can see anywhere.

    Food… too many to list. Email me if you want to discuss. :)

    Comment by luis — 2008-10-31 @ 18:59

  9. If you like coffee, make sure to try out Grumpy Coffee, Gimmie Coffee or 9th Street Espresso. They’re all legendary for what they do to the coffee scene there.

    Comment by lukas — 2008-11-01 @ 05:43

  10. There a burger which is very interesting:

    It is inside a classy hotel, behind a curtain you can find this place which does not look classy at all!

    Comment by foobar — 2008-11-01 @ 11:44

  11. Hey there,

    Go on the NYC Skyride in the Empire State Building!


    This was just absolutely incredible, and worth every moment of waiting. I have no idea what the lines are like now, but when we went on it a couple of years ago, we waited over two hours on line to get tickets, and would gladly do so again. It’s a virtual flying tour of New York City in which you sit on a platform that moves so that it feels real. This is a *must see* if you go to New York City!

    Comment by Little Girl — 2008-11-02 @ 06:19

  12. Personally, I’d suggest hopping on the first train out, and visiting somewhere that’s less like any other big bland city in the world instead.

    Comment by SW — 2008-11-03 @ 18:23

  13. Oh, and don’t go to the empire state building; hit the Rockefeller Center instead- much shorter line, and a better view (since it includes the Empire State Building.)

    Comment by luis — 2008-11-04 @ 06:25

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