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NYC ideas

Canuck's picture

NYC ideas (post #48908)

I'm headed to NYC at the end of this month for a 4-day weekend with two girlfriends. We're staying near the UN and will not likely stray into the burbs due to time constraints. Food isn't a huge issue for them (meaning cheap meals).

They want to do lots of shopping on 5th and elsewhere; I'm also planning Ground Zero, CB2, Penzeys, TJs if I can find one, Broadway Panhandler, Century 21, Nordstrom Rack, Canal Street. I'd also like to visit Ellis Island if there's time and go to Sylvia's Diner for Sunday gospel brunch. We may see a show but some have been cancelled due to the writers' strike so we'll leave that until we get there.

I know there are lots of threads on NYC but I thought I'd ask anyway. What do you love (on a time and money budget) in NYC. I haven't been in 14 years. One woman has two small children and is looking forward to uninterrupted sleep for the first time in years, so we won't be out too late. However, we're interested in maybe a nice bar for a drink early evening. It makes me sad to remember doing this with DH at Windows on the World last time.


Gretchen's picture

(post #48908, reply #1 of 28)

Broadway Panhandler has a special on Wusthof chef's knife ($59.95=half off) and Shun Kenn ONion santoku ($189). Free shipping to the end of the month.

There's a Whole Foods somewhere--but apparently Fairway Market near Columbus Circle is the fun place--like TJ's?  New Yorkers, check me.


Canuck's picture

(post #48908, reply #5 of 28)

Fairway Market added to the list. Thanks.

chiffonade's picture

(post #48908, reply #2 of 28)

Broadway Panhandler...

Have you been to BP lately?  I was there recently and I felt it was a bit of a disappointment.  The staff was anything but attentive and we had to practically tackle someone to assist us.  It has switched hands a couple of times and I remember the "friendlier" incarnations but this visit really fell short. 

OTOH, Dean & DeLuca and Gourmet Garage never disappoint.  Just the ooooh factor at D&D make it worth the trip - and all the better if you buy something.  When we were in NY late this summer, we grabbed a bunch of goodies (and sublime bread) from GG and headed back to our hotel to "nosh."  Those were some good eats.

Depending on your time constraints, try to get to Chinatown.  We went to the Peking Duck House for lunch and were served with all the pomp, circumstance and glorious food as the dinner crowd. 

"Sandra Lee is the Culinary Anti-Christ and I am the Anti-Sandra Lee.  The precious moments you may take to measure a level cup of flour are NOT wasted time!"


*You're a REAL person, eat REAL food."


Canuck's picture

(post #48908, reply #6 of 28)

I've never been; just heard about it here. Honestly, I don't need anything there but thought I should check it out just in case there's something I didn't know I needed. Which reminds be to add Zabars to the list along with D&D and Gourmet Garage, which I've never heard of. Thanks.

CookiM0nster's picture

(post #48908, reply #13 of 28)

If you're doing Fairway and Zabar's you ave to stop in at H&H bagels too. Ask for whatever's hot and eat it on your way out of the store. It's the ultimate NY bagel experience.

Canuck's picture

(post #48908, reply #16 of 28)

Mmm, hot bagels sound good. Perhaps with something from Zabars?

dorcast's picture

(post #48908, reply #3 of 28)

The TJ's is on 14th Street, near Union Square, and is always very crowded. You could do some good exploring/shopping in that area. There is a farmers' market in Union Square, on the South Side (14th Street) is a DSW, a couple of blocks East is Whole Foods, and a couple of blocks East of that is TJ's.
If you go to 5th Ave around there, you will be in the Flatiron district - Anthropologie, Sephora, Zara, J Crew. On 18th St just off of 5th stop at City Bakery for the famous hot chocolate, and great salads & cookies.
Also in that area you could have drinks at Union Square Cafe, or Blue Water Grill.
I'd only head to Canal Street if you are looking for designer knock off bags, if so, you'll be very happy - if not, then skip it, you'll be overwhelmed by crowds.

Happy to give more info, ask away.....(shopping & food seem to be my specialities!)

Gretchen's picture

(post #48908, reply #4 of 28)

We ate at a good Vietnamese restaurant down there however.

Murrey's Cheeses? 33rd streeet?

Canuck's picture

(post #48908, reply #8 of 28)

LOL; my neighbour told me yesterday that I HAVE to go to Murray's.

Canuck's picture

(post #48908, reply #7 of 28)

Yes, Union Square is something I wanted to do too. Hot chocolate etc sounds good; apparently Anthropologie and Shabby Chic are the only two places Shari wants to visit, so we'll be in that area. Nicole's goal is the Canal Street bags, so we're going. Plus, it should be entertaining. I forgot about DSW; I think we'll all lilke that.

Thanks for your advice. If you do think of anything else, I'm all ears, and I'll feel free to ask; it's just so overwhelming. I hate to think about how many things I'll miss :)

TracyK's picture

(post #48908, reply #9 of 28)

I was just there this past weekend, I do have some suggestions, but I have to dash off to a meeting and won't be out until lunchtime. I will definitely write more later!!

One clarification: It's the stagehands strike that is shutting down Broadway... the writers strike affects TV shows mostly. :-)

However, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular is NOT affected by the strike, and my mom, sister and I were able to get tickets on Friday for the Sunday show... and it was excellent. HIGHLY recommended, and only $40-$50 a ticket.

CT poster in bad standing since 2000.

Canuck's picture

(post #48908, reply #10 of 28)

I did wonder why the writers would be affecting Broadway. I thought it might be a sympathy thing :)

Yes, any recommendations welcome; I don't leave for 2 weeks. I'll talk to the others about Radio City; sounds like a good time.


msm-s's picture

(post #48908, reply #12 of 28)

Canal Street- Pearl Art supplies- probably not on your list :-) but it's worth climbing all those paint-spattered stairs if you have an artist to shop for.

i don't have much experience in NYC, but last time i was there in 2003 i enjoyed drinks at Cleopatra's Needle most nights i was there; they had live jazz at a 'decent' hour every night and it was of the laid-back variety. Friendly regulars to converse with. I never made it to Iridium.

Re the theater- i heard a blurb on NPR that many non-union off-broadway "jewels" are being discovered because of the shut-down of union shows, so you'll likely find an excellent play.

Canuck's picture

(post #48908, reply #15 of 28)

I've heard of Cleopatra's Needle; will add it to the file. Thanks. Unfortunately, no artists. However, I'm sure my suitcases will be filled with something to take home LOL.

msm-s's picture

(post #48908, reply #17 of 28)

you may be thinking of the original C'sN- an obelisk in central park (i think there's one in london too), but this little bar is really nice. I stumbled on it by accident and it became my "home base" when i was there.

Canuck's picture

(post #48908, reply #19 of 28)

Maybe you're right. Anyway, it sounds like a good find. It's in the folder. Thanks.

dorcast's picture

(post #48908, reply #11 of 28)

The Shabby Chic store is in Soho, so you could combine that outing with a trip to Dean & Deluca. Sadly, so many neighborhoods in NYC are losing their individuality as Victoria's Secret & Starbucks are everywhere, Soho included, but it is still nice to walk around for galleries and different shops.

Fairway is my local market (2 blocks away) it has great fruits, vegetables, cheeses, etc, but it is a zoo on weekends! Upstairs at Fairway is a cafe by day, good for lunch; at night, it becomes a very reasonable, very good, little known steakhouse. 7 blocks South from Zabars.

Combine your Canal St shopping with lunch in Chinatown, as a few have mentioned, there are some really good, really reasonable restaurants. You could walk to Chinatown from Soho,
and stop at Pearl River Trading Company. It's now in a newer, cleaner - less character - location on Broadway, and is a great source for Asian foods, dishes, fun gifts.

Let me know if you need specific directions, subway stops, etc...

Canuck's picture

(post #48908, reply #14 of 28)

Thank you, thank you!

I think I need to get a really good map and start plotting things on it so we can do areas rather than going back and forth around the city.

We live near a Chinatown in Toronto, so are fine for supplies. However, all of us like Thai, and one's a vegetarian, so maybe Chinese or Asian would be a good lunch. Is there anywhere in particular you recommend?

Do you think we'd be best taking the subway everywhere? Last time I was there no one would. But that was 14 years ago. I'm looking forward to walking now that my foot's completely healed but we may need to move faster sometimes; so much to see :)

dorcast's picture

(post #48908, reply #18 of 28)

Subway is fast, easy & inexpensive....however, I'm not sure how far East you are staying. With 3 of you, cabs won't be too expensive, but if you are going all the way to Canal St or Soho you'd be better off on Subway.

I don't know that many Chinatown places, this one is great for soup dumplings...

A few helpful sites...
You can plug in destinations, and it gives you the best routes to get there - sort of a mapquest of public transportation. I find their time estimations to be a bit long, but the directions are great.
Cities all over the country, you can find shops, restaurants, etc with reviews & directions.

In the last year or so, Wine Bars have been opening. I only can recommend the few I know in my neighborhood (Upper West), but if you've had a long day of shopping, and aren't looking for a big dinner, these maybe great places for you.....not too young, good wines, cheese plates, etc that you can order at the bar.

Canuck's picture

(post #48908, reply #20 of 28)

Thanks for the links; I'll sort through all our activities and then get the directions. I'm debating taking my laptop.

TracyK's picture

(post #48908, reply #21 of 28)

If your crew likes Indian, you can't go wrong with one of the cheap Indian places in "Curry Hill." Delicious.

Also, it's always a good bet to cab/subway down to Spring Street, walk to Mulberry & Grand, wander around Little Italy and pick an Italian place... then go to Ferrara for dessert (best. cannoli. EVER).

We ate at CraftBar, it was divine and very reasonably priced, if you want a brush with gourmet that won't break the budget.

CT poster in bad standing since 2000.

Canuck's picture

(post #48908, reply #22 of 28)

I love Indian; I'll check with the others. Italian also sounds yummy, as does CraftBar.

No wonder New Yorkers stay up all night; there's just so much to jam in. :)

TracyK's picture

(post #48908, reply #23 of 28)

My sister had never been to New York (not even to visit me when I lived there), so this is what we crammed in to three days:

Spring Awakening on Broadway
Dinner at Guantanamera (Cuban)
Times Square
Toys R Us
American Girl Store
Rockefeller Center
Tour of NBC Studio
Tour of Radio City Music Hall
Ground Zero
Battery Park
Statue of Liberty
Little Italy
Brunch at Barking Dog (Upper East Side/Yorkville)
Central Park
Artist reception, Union Square
Christmas Spectacular
Dinner at CraftBar

My feet still hurt. :-)

CT poster in bad standing since 2000.

Canuck's picture

(post #48908, reply #24 of 28)

Wow! That's a lot. I'd need a week off. But I will print this list and see if I can use it as a guideline for our trip. I can't wait :)

dlish's picture

(post #48908, reply #25 of 28)

Holly's picture

(post #48908, reply #26 of 28)

Oooh oooh ooh I second Payard. Everytime I am in NYC, I have to make a stop there. In fact my fav thing to do is stop first thing in the morning, buy everything for a carpet picnic and then head out to the NY Botanical Gardens for the day...bliss! Strike up a conversation with the guy when you walk in...numerous times we have found a beautiful little plate of cookies slipped to our table while we wait.

Also if you have kids in tow, Serendipity is is OK but atmosphere is great for kiddos and it is a legend.

If you take in the theater, Lidia Bastianich's Bacco is fabulous and very reasonably priced!

Have gobs of fun!!!

PS We did a little deli research when we were there recently (6 different delis including all the high profile ones) and our fav was Stage Deli...

Canuck's picture

(post #48908, reply #27 of 28)

LOL! I love the enthusiasm. No kids this time; that's mostly the point of going :) And about the deli, we've got a vegetarian. She's really flexible, but I'm probably going to have to pass on the delis and steakhouses this time. But I'll make it all up in cookies, bagels and chocolate Mmmm.

Bacco sounds good too. We're not going to have enough mealtimes....

Holly's picture

(post #48908, reply #28 of 28)

Gotta love NYC...I agree with matter how long the trip, there are never enough meals to go with all the possible places to eat! Have Fun!