Sunday, January 3, 2010


(updated July, 2013)

To do:

- Ride the Staten Island Ferry—it’s free and fabulous.
- Museum of Natural History—my father took me for the first time when I turned 5 or 6—unforgettable!
-*** The High Line, the city’s newest ‘elevated park’ on the West Side—with its own website no less, Chealsea's art galleries are nearby
- Central Park, of course. There’s a great view of the park from the sculpture terrace at the -***Metropolitan Museum of Art (another ‘of course’—I loved the mummies as a kid) *tip: you can pay WHAT YOU WANT TO ENTER! Sign says "suggested admission $20" But it's perfectly acceptable to give a dollar or 2.
- Chinatown, just wander the streets and go into some of the ‘department’ stores.
-The Frick Collection, 1 East 70th Street
-The Guggenheim Museum, Fifth Avenue and 89th Street—even if you just look from the outide.
- Lincoln Center, whatever is there
- The Noguchi Museum This is the studio of the Japanese/American sculptor Isamu Noguchi, out in Long Island City. His beautiful Japanese sculpture garden is worth a visit on a nice day.

-Empire State Building, Fifth Avenue at 34th Street
Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Website has tips on how to do it best:
- Times Square at night
For anyone with immigrant grandparents, check out the Tenement Museum
- Governer's Island My friend Rowena and her son Ollin said this was a highlight of their trip (open in spring/summer only)
- The Tenement Museum
-*** Metropolitan Opera tour
Tour of Radio City Music Hall--great!


-The Strand Book Store, 18 miles of used books. Broadway and 12th Street.
- Academy Records, Used CD’s, classical, jazz, pop. 12 West 18th Street
Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Tiffany’s (just to look)
- *** Zabar's at Broadway between 80th and 81st Sts, for the best deli, as well as kitchenware
Daffy's Broadway at 18th St., also near Macy's - bargains on designer clothes
Century 21 for discount designer clothing
- *** Uniqlo for inexpensive, well designed childrens and adult clothing from Japan


Dim Sum:

Here's our list of favorite dim sum places:
Jing Fong (20 Elizabeth St., one block south of Canal Street, upstairs) is an old favorite. It seats 2000 people. It varies in quality
from superb to so-so, but I've generally been happy there. Best to go between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., weekdays; weekends there's a line.
Sunshine (27 Division St.) is Nick's new discovery.

Grand Restaurant on the top floor of the New World Mall (also check out their basement food court). Last stop on the #7 train--you're in Hong Kong! Fun, glitzy decor--don't miss the bathrooms.
-Moaz Vegetarian, 38 Union Sq. East—the best falafel, ‘Just like Israel,’ my friend Kathy says—cheap meal. You can eat across the street in Union Square Park (they even have picnic tables now).
-Nyonya, 194 Grand Street—great Malaysian food, cheap—right across the street from Ferrara’s bakery. I loved the lady fingers (okra) with shrimp and an appetizer called achat.
-Slice of NY Pizza, there are many to choose from, but it’s a classic NYC food experience. According to KE, “In my opinion the two best are City Pie (72nd near Broadway) and Joes Pizza in the Village (Carmine near Bleeker and 6th Ave.). The one at the corner of Spring St and Thompson in Soho is good too.
- *** Bagels and cream cheese, my favorite is Bagels on the Square, 7 Carmine street near Sixth Avenue (near Bleeker). Scallion cream cheese and whitefish salad are my preferred bagel toppings. Snack on a bench in the middle of Broadway traffic, or stroll over to Riverside Park.
-Sabrett’s Hot Dog, sold from umbrella-topped pushcarts all over town. I have to confess that after almost 30 years in NYC I don’t think I ever ate one, but it’s a classic.
-Grey’s Papaya hot dogs (essential with mustard and sauerkruat), 72 and Broadway.
-Yonah Schimmel’s Knishes, since 1910, 137 E. Houston between 1st and 2nd Avenues.
-Eat a hot pretzel from a pushcart as you stroll around Rockefeller Center.
-Eataly, 200 5th Av. at 23rd St. is an enormous, glitzy Italian market with restaurants. Worth a visit.
-Pearl on Cornelia Street, no reservations taken

Indian food:
- Chinese Mirch 120 Lexington Av. at 28th St. (despite the name, it's Indian food)
- ***Curry in a Hurry across the street - buffet
- Tiffin Wallah 28th bet Lex and Park (it has a south indian buffet lunch for 7 bucks weekdays)
- ***Chola 232 E 58th St - upscale Indian, more $$ but worth it!

Thai Food:
- *** Zabb Elee 75 2nd Ave at 5th St., in the east village. It's Isan (northern Thai) and just got written up in the Times (June 2011) so go at an off hour or be prepared to wait.
- Pure Thai 766 9th Av. between 51st & 52nd St.
***Thai Esarn
71-28 Roosevelt Avenue
Elmhurst Ny

Chinese (not in Chinatown):
- Grand Sichuan at the corner of 25th St and 9th Ave., 15 7th Av. South, below Sheridan Sq. in the Village, and at 21 W 39th St near Grand Central. All three are great and each has a different menu.
--Legend, 88 7th Avenue, between 15th and 16th streets.
Open 7 days, 11:30am--11pm. Excellent spicy Szechuan food, not expensive.
- See Flushing below
Queens has some of the best ethnic eating - it is worth taking the train, and easier than you think:
- ***Trattoria L'Incontro (a spectacular Italian restaurant, like a trip to Italy)
21-76 31 Street (easy to get to: Ditmars Blvd. on the N or Q train, it's right there) Astoria
(718) 721 3532
Greek food: Bahari, 3114 Broadway, Astoria, 718-204-8968,

Jackson Heights: take the R train to 74th St./Roosevelt Ave. On 74th St itself is a whole block of Indian restaurants, shops and a giant supermarket. I like Tawa Tandoor. And, as you turn right on 74th from Roosevelt Ave, is a place where they sell a counter with Bangladeshi food and Tibetan dumplings in back . Nearby is a Tibetan/Nepali place called Himalayan Yak at 72-20 Roosevelt Av.
Up Roosevelt Av., walking under the train are a number of good Mexican, Colombian and Ecuadorian places, all good. At 79th St is *** Arunee Thai (38-79 79th St. )

In Flushing (Main St. Flushing on the 7 train) Are some incredible Chinese places. It's like going to Hong Kong. As you get off the train you will see a window where they sell little pork sandwiches. Across the street is a tall modern building where there is an air-conditioned Asian food court called *** The New World Mall. It is amazing, and on the top floor there is a huge dim sum palace.
(Grand Restaurant, 40-21 Main Street,

At the corner of 41st Av and Main Street, down a few steps, is a funky food court *** where stalls offer all kinds of fabulous Asian delights such as hand pulled noodles, sandwiches of lamb with cumin, and cold Chinese salads. Notice the Szechuan stall to the left as you enter!You can get an acupuncture treatment or a Chinese massage as well.

Where to watch the sun set in NYC
Places to stay: Since I lived in NYC I don't know much about hotels. My friend Kathy Erteman rents out her loft on 18th street--where I used to live. Lovely space, ideal location:
Also, check out for apartment listings--in NYC and all over the world

Gallery Hopping in Bushwick

Good Italian food near Linclon Center (a bit pricey), Gabriel's, 11 West 60, 212-956-4600,

Keens, 72 West 36, order the prime rib hash in the Pub Room

Amazing movie theater in Queens

Salam Cafe, Arabic cuisine, quiet place in Greenwhich Village: 104 West 13th, near 7th ave.

Ethnic areas of NYC by subway:

The 'real' Little Italy, Arthur Avenue in the Bronx,

Hip rooftop bar in Williamsburg,

Tips: Buy a one week Metro Card for $30; it's good on subways and buses. If you are only there for a short time, there are re-fillable cards for individual rides as well. From JFK airport, there is an 'Airtrain' that costs $5; you then switch to the regular subway, so the whole trip costs $7.50. A taxi is over $50!
From Newark airport, the best way is the bus to either Port Authority (8th Av. & 42nd St, west side) or Grand Central, 40th St. East Side - a taxi from  Newark to Manhattan is VERY $$$!

Buy Time Out Magazine for listings.

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