What does a native New Yorker do for fun?
People are always asking me for unique things to do in NYC. Dunno about unique but here’s what I do as a native NYCer when I get a moment or two:
1. Walk down Riverside Drive
On a clear day, take a walk down Riverside Park. It’s perfect in spring or fall – here’s when I did it in November 2009. There’s an entrance on 72nd and Riverside Drive. Start off by walking to the tip of the West Side Pier and pretend you’re on a ship. Afterwards, you can stroll all the way down to Union Square via the bike path (or bike, natch) and see some ruins of old NYC, the parks, and even the High Line if you want to step off for a bit. It’ll be the most relaxing part of your Manhattan trip.
2. Eat at John’s Pizzeria
Always tell everyone to try out John’s Pizzeria on W 44th Street. Everybody goes to Lombardi’s downtown cause that’s where American pizza was invented in 1897. That’s all fine but it’s kinda not worth it. The thing is, Lombardi had a buncha helpers who were named Grimaldi, Patsy, and John, amongst others. John set up shop, like the others, and John’s Pizza’s his flagship. The pizza’s the same in that’s it thin and great – not coal fired, though. But the thing about John’s Pizza’s that it’s in a converted cathedral. So try to get a seat in the main room and look up at the stained-glass ceilings. You can also have fun trying to figure out where the choir was. It’s cheap too; figure $50 for a pizza, two drinks and a salad. It’ll be the nicest pizza place you’ve ever been to. Two notes:
- the mens rooms are tiny,
- avoid any time 90 minutes before a Broadway show, place’s packed.
3. Step out at Solas
Back when I was single, was at Solas on East 9th practically every Thursday and Friday night. The best thing about the joint – beside the no cover charge – is that it’s essentially three different spots in one. The eastern part’s a regular bar; belly up, order yourself a Dark and Stormy and chat up the girlie next to you. The western part’s almost always has a DJ and a private party that you’re always able to crash and get down with your bad self (don’t be a douchebag if you do). That has a bar too. Finally, upstairs is a lounge area although they usually jack up the sound up there too. Oh, and there’s a bar there too. Love that joint. It’s the only thing I miss about being single.
4. Get a drink (with or without bubbles) in the Winter Garden
Despite the name, the summer’s the best time to head downtown to the World Financial Center / Winter Garden. There’s usually a lotta shows that’re free to see and you can get a Dark and Stormy here too or something else with bubbles in your drinks. Like mosta NYC, it’s not really cheap but it’s not crazy expensive. Good place for a fourth date or a nice night out.
5. Have lunch with real silverware and food you don’t have to unwrap for $7
Go eat at Curry Row – already wrote about it once here.
I’ll post more stuff to do in the city that’s not in guidebooks next year. If you have anything you like about the city, lemme know?
As for me, back to the grind…
Regarding the usual nuthin, spent most of Thursday night in the hospital again. Just a lotta waiting around for doctors. Come so often to this emergency room that I should get some sorta rewards point.
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Mood: still worried
Music: maybe I’m on my knees
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11 Replies to “5 Unique things to do in NYC – 2011”
I wish I had read this before my trip out there. Ah well. Maybe next time.
I like the new blog layout btw. It's always been interesting to watch design changes, and color trends. I am loving the light colors!
Well if that's the case, I wish I wrote this before your trip out here. OK then, I'll do this again next year so you'll have a set of things to do when you come back. It all works out in the end somehow.
Thanks for the thoughts on the new blog; I've been doing a lot of tinkering and wonder if I've just made things a lot worse, you know? I feel this is much brighter and easier to navigate somehow.
haha, i was at solas last week.
p.s. why were you at the hospital?
Friend was sick; no fun there at all.
Awww, which I saw this before I visited. We did try John's Pizza, though! Thanks for that recommendation! 😀
Sorry Cass! But did you like John's Pizza? Food and settling, let the folks know…
Mmm John's Pizza! What a cool place! Was just talking 'bout that the other day with my bf- wish I thought'a bringing him there before we moved out of Manhattan!
Sorry to hear about your loved ones being in the hospital! I hope things are getting better.
I lived on E 8th St (st mark's) for a year and was single .. how did I not know about Solas? There are amazing bars in the neighborhood.. there's a Polish one near there that I really liked. I love the E village for nightlife! One of my fave spots (for salsa) closed in Alphabet city.. losing it's latin flavor. But yeah.. best memories I have are on that side of town. Shared a tiny room with another woman just to afford living there once in my life! Amazing.
I also second walking down Riverside Drive! I've also biked, roller-bladed and ran up and down the West Side Highway. I lived in Chelsea and W 32nd for 2 yrs so it was close by.
I'm thinking of making a NY list myself.. so many special things that only someone living there for many years would know. ;p