stephmodo: New York: Plan My Day

New York: Plan My Day

• 03 October 2009

Readers, would you do me a favor? Tell me...what do we have to see/do/eat/procure while in New York City this weekend? Although we traveled here for a good friend's wedding, we still have some discretionary time to fill up. I love New York and while I have my favorites, I'm feeling like discovering new things for the moment. So dish your favorites si'l vous plait!

p.s. extra points for budget-friendly recommendations :)


  1. Serendipity restaurant-Have the frozen hot chocolate. Very unique little place-lots of history.
    Central Park-especially around the little lake... love all the fun statues... especially at some of the entrances to the park.
    The museum-fantastic.
    Have fun.

  2. It's hard to leave NYC without a good bagel. If you happen to be on the lower east side, I recommend:
    Also, the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park is very charming especially in the Fall.
    Have fun!

  3. Caracas Arepa Bar
    93.5 E 7th Street

    The model sailboats in Central Park

    Cupcakes at Crumbs

  4. Though not budget, my husband still raves about the French Onion soup at Les Halles (in Manhattan on John Street)

  5. My "must-visit" every time I am in New York is Il Laboratorio del Gelato on Orchard St. Best gelato I've ever had (including in Italy)...the dark chocolate is to die for!

    -Rachael @ littlebits

  6. Coney Island for Nathan's Hot Dogs and fries and a ride on the Cyclone.

    Elephant and Castle in the west village.

    Fedora's and Monty's are all way old-school village favorites from when my mom and dad lived there in the 70s, lots of regulars.

    Can't go wrong on Smith St. in Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn, it's loaded with restaurants.

    And get a really awesome slice of pizza!

  7. My two favorite places in New York are the Cloisters museum... so, so, so pretty to wander around those grounds, I'd especially think right now! - and the Charles Engelhard Court in the Met. The fountains... the Tiffany glass... the windows looking out on the park - I think you could probably take a great nap there!

  8. Sea, in Brooklyn just a block or two off the bedford stop on the L train — great thai food in a gorgeous setting. Entrees are like, $7-13 or so.

    Just a block from that is the shop The Future Perfect, which has some of the coolest pieces for the home I've ever seen. It's pretty pricey, but great to look around for inspiration.

    And last but not least, the South Street Seaport museum is just really, really, really cool. Features many artifacts from New Yorks seafaring past, with fully restored three mast ships — there's tons of shops around the museum that give the appearance of a schlocky mall, but the museum itself is great.

  9. You must go to cafe habana in soho and get te Cuban
    sandwich and street corn. When I lived there I went there
    weekly. Also in soho, the taco shop la yummy and cheap and unique. Walking the Brooklyn bridge is one of my all time fav activities for visitors. While in Brooklyn visit the brooklyn ice cream factory and then take a water taxi back to manhattan. Of course Madison square park and shake shack is another great activity. Breakfast at Sarabeths along central park. I have tons more but don't want to take up too much comment space! Have fun.

  10. I never leave nyc with out a trip to the ABC carpet & home store... it's such a beautiful place. Also, for a cheap night walk across the brooklyn bridge and eat some pizza at grimaldi's. Alice's tea shop in the upper west side is such a cute little shop to have some tea & a treat at too!

  11. I second the Cloisters. Long subway ride uptown but beautiful. I loved to get Pizza at Arturos on Houston, about 4 or so blocks west of Broadway.

    Very, very jealous you're in New York for the fall.

  12. Budget-friendly UWS dining places where the wait shouldn't be too long:

    Kefi Restaurant, Greek @ 84th & Columbus,

    Land Restaurant, Thai @ 81st & Amsterdam (also one on east side),

    Recipe, simple Rustic American @ 82st & Amsterdam,

    Baked goods:

    Alice's Teacup has several locations around town, but has ridiculously long wait times. You can, however, pick up a scone or two (with jam and clotted cream!) to go very quickly from their counter. I'd recommend their pumpkin, earl grey, or ham & cheese scones.

    Levain Bakery is a small enterprise, but big in flavor. Their cookies are about the size of your hand and are amazing. They usually have at least one of their 4 flavors fresh out of the oven since they bake throughout their business day. @ 74th & Amsterdam.

    Have fun - even though it's raining and damp and cold and a little icky!

  13. see the high line! our incomplete answer to the promenade plantee:

    if you go to the cloisters, eat or drink at new leaf:

  14. Try Momofuku in the east viilage on first ave close to 10 St. They have amazing pork buns!!! Then take a short walk to ButterLane bakery 123 East 7 St. I think the best cupcakes.

  15. This is not travel advice, but an observation....could you and your husband be cuter together? :)

  16. Hop a water taxi (at Borden Avenue) and head to the newly opened section of Gantry Plaza State Park ( or take the 7 line (subway) there too (get off on Vernon Boulevard/Jackson Avenue). The park offers great views of Manhattan and you can lounge in a hammock :)

  17. i looove park slope brooklyn if you want to try somewhere other than shops, good eats and an awesome choc. bar!


  18. Vosges Chocolates. Get a Barcelona bar. You won't regret it.

    SoHo location: 132 Spring Street (between Greene & Wooster)

    Upper East Side: 1100 Madison Avenue

    And in Bergdorf Goodman they have a "Purple Door" salon.

    If you want "free" in the budget category, the Staten Island Ferry really is wonderful. You catch the best views of The Statue of Liberty & the Brooklyn Bridge.

    I completely support the Cloisters recommendation. It was on my "to do" list for four years & I never made it.

  19. I've lived here 5 years and the best giant cookie you'll ever eat comes from levain bakery on 74th and amsterdam. One cookie could feed your whole family. If you can't find time for anything else, just get this cookie.

    No matter what anyone tells you about ny cupcakes, billy's in chelsea are the best. I believe 23rd st? And while youre in chelsea, hit one of the million street fleas. They're the best!

    Topshop on broadway right above grant street, it's the first one in the us!..italian at little frankie's on the lower east side (2nd and 2nd) they have outdoor seating.

    Long island city has an amazing museum called ps1 that is an old public school.

    Um, enjoy! Haha!

  20. i'm totally taking notes; i'll be in new york in a week! thanks everyone!

  21. L'Ecole - hands down my favorite find in NY. It is the French Culinary Institute and they have prix fixe menu that is budget-friendly and delicious! Seriously $28 for a three-course lunch in NYC? We just returned and may I recommend the gnocchi nicoise with candied eggplant oh and the plum and hazelnut napoleon. Mmm. You'll find it in Soho and it is kitty corner to Muji and up just a little from Pearl River Mart for a little after lunch shopping. Here is the site:
    Make your reservation on line, it couldn't be easier.

  22. I second going to Caracas Arepa Bar! Here's a tip: it's a small place, so go a bit earlier than the dinner rush.

    This one is not budget friendly, but check out this fantastic Korean(vegetarian) restaurant, Hangawi:

    There's also bakeries to see and sample from, like Magnolia.

  23. Also, if you're near it, stop into see the enormousness that is the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (FREE!).

  24. Haven't read all the comments and don't know if it is too late for your planning, but a must do is to walk the Brookslyn Bridge at sunset (from Brooklyn) as the lights come up in the city. It is free, of course, and beautiful. You can also eat Pizza at grimldis on the Brooklyn end before your walk.

  25. Moutard in Brooklyn (Park Slope) is a very French cafe that was filmed in Julia and Julia. The owner is from Paris and loves to talk to you. He just opened another restaurant just like it recently in Paris. Very fun. Chairs look like they were imported from France.

  26. Grimaldi's at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge...beyond words. Hot Chocolate at Jacques Torres (both in DUMBO).

    And Burger Joint...a greasy spoon, hole in the wall tucked behind a red velvet curtain in the lobby of Le Parker Meridian Hotel. You'd never know it was there and the burgers and shakes are fantastic.

  27. you really should go cruise the [free!] galleries in chelsea to see all the interesting things contemporary artists are doing in the city these days - new york is the center of the art world, and eternally fascinating for that. today i stopped in at a fantastic maya lin exhibit at pace wildenstein gallery, on 22nd street just west of 10th avenue. all the best galleries are in the 20s west of 10th. pick up a free L magazine on the street for copious recommendations on the best exhibits in the city.

    and from there you could eat at le grainne cafe (fab) - 21st and 9th ave.

    and then can just walk up the stairs to the highline park (someone mentioned it above - you must go! it's brand new and wonderful!) - entrances on 18th, 14th streets and 10th ave.

    finally, once you walk down the highline you end up in the lovely streets of greenwich village. everything sandwiched between hudson and greenwich streets are just gorgeous. my favorite little cafe/coffeehouse is 11th street cafe - on 11th and greenwich. they have wonderful salads! :)

    have so much fun! :)

    (oh and p.s. if you are really missing french boulangeries/patisseries - you must check out almondines in dumbo, brooklyn. beyond amazing - the baguettes and pastries taste just like paris!)

  28. The Memorial-Sloane Kettering Thrift Shop on 3rd Avenue in the upper 80's is a trove of great furnishings and accessories.

  29. Papabubble is your kind of place aesthetically. it's tiny and wonderfully styled and they make incredible hard candy by hand....tiny pieces with words and pictures worked into them, gorgeous lollypops.....even if you aren't into candy (who isn't?!) it's worth it just to look. Somewhat strangely located on the edge of touristy Little Italy but not far from Soho and NoLita.

  30. Walk around the West Village! It's my favorite thing to do in NYC...avoid the tourist crowds and just walk around all the townhomes, winding streets, enjoy coffee at a small cafe (my favorite: Mojo Coffee on Charles St).

    For a budget friendly restaurant: go the Meatpacking DIstrict for lunch! all the restaurants have great deals.

    Also - Casa Restaurant (brazilian) on Bedford & Commerce St. Delicious! Also one of the most beautiful st's in NY - Cherry Lane! Enjoy.

  31. Most of my favorites have already been mentioned but definitely get a cookie at Levain Bakery. So very delicious!

  32. For a taste of Paris, it's La Quotidien, the same Belgian group that is in Paris with fabulous bread, coffee, marvelous breakfast...... soups and salads and wonderful desserts the rest of the table. Wonderful!

  33. when i leave nyc, these are the things i will fantasize about:

    -clinton street baking company's blueberry pancakes (the best pancakes i've ever had, amen).

    -cafe habana's roasted corn on a stick.

    -central park on a sunday to watch the rollerskating dance party.

    -a black & white cookie from crumbs (the frosted ones, not the fondant ones).

    (yes, i do a lot of eating here)

    -rice pudding from rice to riches.

    -the brooklyn flea market.

    -cupcakes at butter lane.

    -belgian fries + a variety of dipping sauces at pommes frites (ya, this should be up near the top).


    -the dumpling truck (rickshaw dumplings).

    -the wafels & dinges truck.

    -highline park is at the top of my to-do list.

  34. Merci, merci dear readers! Your advice is much appreciated. I cannot wait to see what we can get to between wedding events. Again, this list is amazing! Thank you for taking a minute or two to share this priceless information with me.


  35. Grammercy Tavern. Great food. You can eat in the bar and you won't need a reservation. Amazing flower arrangments also.

  36. I second Magnolia Cupcakes, which you can do while walking around the West Village (best neighborhood in NYC), and then head up to walk the Highline - brand new elevated park on the West Side. And for a killer burger, you MUST go to Shake Shack - in Madison Square Park. Amazing fries too (and frozen custard black & white shakes). Also the Cloister is STUNNING - a bit of a hike, but worth it. Incorporates pieces of medieval French cloisters in the museum -- amazing! And the MOMA (known as "The Modern" to NYers) reopened a few years ago after an extensive renovation. Beautiful.

    So for the late post, but clearly, you need to stay longer!

  37. doughnut plant! seriously the most amazing doughnuts you will ever eat. its in the lower east side.

  38. Jacques Torres also has a shop located in beautiful Central Park West. It's on Amsterdam between 73rd and 74th. The hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies are quite possibly the best in the world. The almond pastry (maybe a pithivier?) is also just incredible. And grab a bag of mendients to take home. All very affordable!

    Hope I wasn't too late to help you out. :)

  39. I have nothing to add in regards to NYC, but I wanted to make sure you knew that you two are a gorgeous couple. Really. Good work. :)

  40. My college roommate Allison owns the sweetest childrens' clothing boutique in SoHo. Its called Bundle and its at 128 Thompson St. I always stop and get special outfits for all my little ones (my kids, nephew, friends' kids with upcoming birthdays), cause the clothes are so beautiful and well-made.

  41. oh man this is FANTASTIC! i'm going to ny for my first time in march and have officially bookmarked these comments. there's so much to do, and see (and eat!) hope you had a lovely trip.

  42. I second and third all the recommendations to go to Cafe Habana - the roasted corn rolled in Cotija cheese is seriously heaven (I think it's on Spring & Rivington).

    I've had a lovely tapas dinner at Alta before (midtown West)...

    For a no frills, cheap & fun night, cheap pitchers & free hot dogs w/beer purchase at Rudy's on the West Side...

    Always love Central Park, and while I've never been that Cloister Museum I saw recommended looks pretty spectacular.

  43. Roxy in times square for cheesecake, yum!

  44. Clinton Street Bakery in the East Village - it's tiny, so you may have to wait awhile. Get the banana nut pancakes.

    Check out clothing at Daffy's - several locations, but the one I go to is by Macy's flagship - lots of beautiful European clothing cheap! cheap! cheap! I like it better than Century 21.

    Pizza at Mariella's (approx 57th on 8th)- take your dinner to Central Park and have a picnic

    Shake Shack - ooohh, yum!

    The River Cafe in Brooklyn - pricey but worth it.

    This is a great idea - I'm getting ideas, too, for my next visit!

  45. Yay - such fun! But, er, I would skip Serendipity - very touristy. But I'm so glad someone mentioned walking over the Brooklyn Bridge! I would take the subway over to Brooklyn and walk back into Manhattan for the best view. If you can catch it late in the afternoon towards sunset, all the better. I second Levain Bakery (try the dark chocolate peanut butter cookies - mmmmm!), Central Park, and Burger Joint (it's a secret hole-in-the-wall, but if the weather's nice and the place is packed, which it always is, take your meal to the park, just 2 blocks up). I would also try to pass through Grand Central Station (and the little market there - often expensive, but charming to look at). Wander the West Village, get tickets to something at TKTS (there's a booth in South Street Seaport that's less crazy, so you can stop there after you walk across the Brooklyn Bridge if you time it right), get a glass of wine at the new cafe in Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, explore the main library at on 5th Ave at 42nd Street and meet the lions out front... So many great things! Enjoy!!

  46. I second (or third) Grimaldi's for pizza.

  47. My husband proposed on the Brooklyn Bridge, so I whole heartedly second walking across. The directions are kind of crazy, so print them off before you go.

    And also, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum: is fabulous. Best tour I've ever been on.

  48. steph:

    i just came back, here's my list:

    go to kate's paperie, and two thrift stores: East Village Thrift Shop & Housing Works, you won't regret it.

  49. Both Free: Walking the Brooklyn Bridge, taking the Staten Island Ferry...
    Modern Museum of Art (I think free on Friday evenings) or Metropolitan Museum of Art (I think pay what you want all the time)...
    Just do a lot of walking - best way to see the city!

  50. Dylan's Candy Bar is so fun!

    And, if you're into history, and for a future trip, read "The Great Bridge; the building of the Brooklyn Bridge" by David McCullough (it's long but soooo good), and then walk the Brooklyn Bridge. It will truly be an amazing experience.

  51. hey! i'll be there too!

    my sister natalie has alist on her blog on the column:

  52. You really Must grab a slice or two at Two Boots Pizza on 11th in the West Village! The "Larry Tate"- a spinach, mushroom and white sauce pie-- is my favorite! So, so good!


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