Ah New York. So many things to do!
I really love New York and have spent a lot of time there, including one year as an intern. I enjoy going back and discovering new things and re-visiting old favourites. This time, I went for a week with a good friend of mine. We managed to cover a lot of new and old ground, including Manhattan, Astoria (Queens) and Brooklyn. Here’s the lowdown of some of the things we got up to!
Things to do in Manhattan:
Drag brunch at Lips
I’d had dinner with a show here before. This time I went to the Sunday drag brunch show that includes a meal and unlimited mimosas for an additional $6. Great funny show and great entertaining drag queens. Definitely something different to do! Definitely book in advance.
Check it out here: http://www.nycdragshow.com/drag-brunch
Comedy Improv UCB theatre
My friend booked tickets for a Sunday evening comedy improv session. I’d been to prepared comedy shows, this was the first time I’d seen live improvisation in action, like on the show ‘Who’s line is it anyway?’. It was pretty random, with subjects from peanuts through to Disney! Very enjoyable.
Check it out here: https://hellskitchen.ucbtheatre.com/
Drinks at Off the wagon
I used to love finding ladies’ nights and happy hour drink offers as an intern in NY. It seemed a little harder to find happy hours that ended after 7pm this time around, but there were a few. One of them was at Off the Wagon, an old favourite, with half price drinks until 8pm. A low key dive bar, just the way I like them!
Check it out here: http://www.nycbestbar.com/off/
Live music at Groove bar
For a $5 entry charge on a Wednesday evening, we went to the Groove bar, which was one of my favourite live music places. We listened to a live group in a packed out bar and were lucky to get seats. Great atmosphere and always great music.
Check it out here: https://clubgroovenyc.com/index.cfm
Staten Island ferry
Did you know the Staten Island ferry is free?? I didn’t! Luckily my friend did! We’d both visited the Statue of Liberty before and weren’t too bothered about seeing her up close and personal again, so the free ferry from Manhattan to Staten Island was a great compromise. We got to take the ferry from the Whitehall ferry terminal for a great view of the Statue of Liberty. Ferries run 24/7 and regularly. Just so you know, there wasn’t much to do at the Staten Island end, we got a coffee and waited for the return ferry. A friend tells me that there are some shops being built near the terminal so there should be some shopping fun available soon.
Check the schedule here: https://www.siferry.com/schedules.html
Roosevelt Island cable car
So while wandering around, we came across a cable car that goes to Roosevelt Island. A little investigation showed that it’s run by the MTA so you can use your standard subway pass to take it for the same cost as any other journey. We went along for the views and to try something new, and I’m glad we did. Have a look at this cool time lapse video of the view across the city…
Of course, you have to go shopping in New York! There are countless places to shop, but I have two favourites. One is shopping around Union Square (14th Street) where there is a big DSW (shoes!) and a Burlington’s Coat Factory. There’s also Barnes & Noble (books), TJ Maxx (discount everything), Old Navy and other places nearby.
My other favourite is Century 21. There are a few of these around, but the one I always go to is the Downtown Manhattan store (Cortlandt Street). The store is pretty mahoosive and good for a wander around.
You can check locations here: https://www.c21stores.com/stores
Things to eat in Manhattan:
Ippudo is a nice Japanese restaurant with great ramen. There is a very friendly, lively and buzzy atmosphere here and the food was very tasty. There a few different locations, you can check them here: https://ippudony.com/
I LOVED this place. It’s a Japanese grill place where you order various meat dishes and grill them straight on the table in front of you. We went to the Times Square restaurant at lunch time on a weekday. The lunch offers were awesome, including $6 cocktails. We both ate well and the food was so tasty! I would have happily eaten here again. Multiple times…
Here is the website: https://www.gyu-kaku.com/
Have a look at this delicious video…
Xian famous foods
This chain is a low key restaurant serving tasty, and often spicy, Chinese food. It’s reasonably priced and very unassuming. More cafe style dining. I enjoyed my spicy lamb noodles and the iced tea was lovely.
You can see their menu here: https://www.xianfoods.com/menu
I met an ex-colleague for lunch and she recommended this seafood restaurant close to Union Square. It’s a very cute and cosy place with great service and a nice atmosphere. I ordered the seafood paella, which was very tasty.
Here is their website: https://www.sagaponacknyc.com/
Things to eat in Astoria:
Astoria in Queens has become cooler and trendier over the years. There are a lot of new shops and restaurants opening up regularly.
Don’t come here if you’re looking for a light snack. Do come here if you’re looking for a hefty fresh gooey cookie. Chocolate peanut butter cookies were goooood.
I know this place has been here (survived) for at least a few years as I came here before. The photos of the sushi don’t do it justice! It was very tasty, and we celebrated with happy hour lychee mimosas.
New York City Bagel & Coffee House
New York and Bagels are a winning combination. I enjoyed my ‘everything bagel’ with cream cheese, and a good chai latte. We even had breakfast here twice. My friend enjoyed waffles on one of those mornings.
Here’s the website for the chain: http://nycbch.com/
We spent one evening in Brooklyn, which started with us walking across the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan – a nice 25 minute stroll. We then took the train to Jefferson Street and walked through part of the Bushwick Collective and saw some of the street art.
We met up with some friends at Archie’s for pizza and drinks. It’s a really nice little unassuming restaurant with great food. We were lucky to get seats! Also pretty chilled out and it was nice not to be rushed at all. We enjoyed a good chat over our food and drinks.
Here is their website: https://www.archiesbrooklyn.com/
So that’s not even everything that we did or ate, but it is a good selection! The trip was really jam-packed with a lot of walking and a lot of eating. New York is a great place for walking around and transport is really convenient. It was easy to find anything we needed. As ever, I’m always happy to go back to discover even more about this great place.