My friend Ben in Oregon asked me for NYC tourist recommendations.
This was my reply:
- Ride the Staten Island Ferry back and forth – it is free, easy, good views of the harbor, etc
- Eat at Shake Shack (the Madison Square location if it is warm enough) or the Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridian.
- Eat Lombardi’s pizza in NoLita & right across the street, amazing Rice Pudding at “Rice to Riches”
- Walk up West Broadway (distinct from regular Broadway) from Canal to Houston (pronounced “house-ton”), take detours to the to the right as you please
- Get an expensive drink and play free pool at the Hudson Hotel Library Bar on W 58th street. Walk in, go up the escalator, turn left, then right, walk to the back like you know where you are going.
- Rent bikes and ride around Central Park – the big loop is 6 miles (rent them at Columbus Circle next to Kinkos or on 96th & Broadway)
- If you like Thai food, take the 7 train to Queens (an adventure on its own, a bit like a ride at Disneyland) and have the best at this place: Sripraphai
- I haven’t been in years and years, but either the Top of the Rock or Empire State Building to get a good view is probably worth doing. Go at an off hour.
- Visit Grand Central Station – good food court downstairs if you need a snack.
- Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and back
- The subway is the best way to move uptown and downtown.
- Cab drivers have to pick you up no matter what, look for one with the numbers lit up, flag them down, get in and then tell them where you are going. Pay before you get out. Tip $2-$3 or so.
- Don’t go eat anywhere within 4 blocks of Times Square (for Pete’s sake!)
- Don’t try and walk through Times Square, just witness it.
- Don’t worry about crime other than keeping a handle on purses/backpacks.
- Don’t expect much if you go to “ground zero” (we don’t call it that), it is really just a construction site now. Although you do get a sense for how big of a footprint the buildings had.
- Don’t hesitate to ask me for more, I’m happy to help