10 Hours in NYC on a Saturday, Suggestions Please!

So I have a business trip to NYC next week and the meetings are over at 2:00 on Saturday, Oct. 20; everything up to that point is scripted out for us. That gives my wife and me about 10-12 hours to explore everything there is to offer, I cannot see any problems in squeezing it all in.

We're staying at the Westin in Times Square and neither of us have ever been to the Big Apple. We want to make the most of our time and can't even begin to make up our minds. Suggestions are greatly appreciated.

We'll be eating at Del Frisco's Friday night, so we're looking for another great place to eat, but not necessarily any "big names", just something New York-y and delicious. In fact, my wife suggested finding a genuine NY pizzaria, which sounds great to me. She's a huge fan of the theater and found locations to buy half price Broadway tix for the Saturday evening shows, so we might do that. I'd really like to visit St. Patrick's Cathedral Sunday morning as our flight doesn't leave until 4:00.

Here's a thought I had today and have no idea if it's even feesible--can we get tix to Saturday Night Live's taping? I have no idea where or how, but apparently it is indeed 1.)Live, 2.) From New York, and 3.)on Saturday Night.

We're not the bar-hopping type and have no interest in night clubs (if that's even the right term) or anything along those lines. Consider us tourists to the highest and most ignorant degree, wanting to maximize our time.

Thanks in advance for the suggestions!

Suggestion 1: Put a space somewhere in "Saturday...Suggestions" so it doesn't screw up my formatting! :O

There's a place called Primo Pizza near the big library which I used to go to all the time when visiting a friend who went to Columbia. Sorry I couldn't be more descriptive!

Suggestion 1: Put a space somewhere in "Saturday...Suggestions" so it doesn't screw up my formatting!

Done. Now where are my SNL tickets?

Bassmasa wrote:
Suggestion 1: Put a space somewhere in "Saturday...Suggestions" so it doesn't screw up my formatting!

Done. Now where are my SNL tickets? :)

They're in the mail.

I would suggest you to go to a taping of the Daily Show or Colbert Report but it's on Saturday.

1) Hit Gray's Papaya so you can say you have.
2) Do try and eat their pizza, also just so that you can say you have.
3) You'll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. Be cautious.
4) Spend as much time as you can walking the streets and loudly pointing out all the assholes. It's my favorite social game to play in that town.
5) Leave Manhattan (not just because it's in NY) -- I've found that my favorite parts of New York are not on that island.
6) Similarly, you might want to take in all the major sights. Liberty and Ellis Islands, take some patience, but I really enjoyed them.

It's too bad Minor League season is over. A Cyclones game is cheap, and a blast.

OK, this is the most important thing you can do, and i cannot stress this enough.

Go to John's Pizzeria at 278 Bleeker Street, between 6th Avenue and 7th Avenue.

I would seriously consider making a trip to NYC just to go there if i'm within a 500 mile radius. One caveat: Do NOT get garlic on the pizza, it overwhelms the amazing sauce and crust.

Seriously, you have to go, don't let me down. And don't go to any other John's Pizza, only go to the one on Bleeker. And don't listen to anyone else, this is the best pizza you'll ever have. I guarantee.

If you're in the mood for an offbeat art museum, the American Folk Art Museum at 45 West 53rd Street is an amazing place, you can do the entire museum in 1-2 hours, great experience.

jonnypolite wrote:
OK, this is the most important thing you can do, and i cannot stress this enough.

Go to John's Pizzeria at 278 Bleeker Street, between 6th Avenue and 7th Avenue.

I think I've actually been to that one. It was alright. >= Sbarro.

Blasphemer!

Go to MOMA. Seriously, just do it.

I've never seen a modern art collection that is as fleshed out as the one at MOMA (this is coming from an international perspective as I've seen the best US, Europe & South America has to offer, sans Rome).

They don't just have random Picasso, van Gogh, Cézanne, Gauguin, Matisse, Dali, Mondrian, Pollock, Warhol, etc. They've got the ones that even the most casual art fan knows...The Persistance of Memory, Starry Night, etc.

You can get address & ticket info and also browse the collection here.

http://www.moma.org/

Important: If you decide to go start at the TOP FLOOR and work your way down. The collection is HUGE and the best stuff is on the top two levels (floor 6 & 7 I beleive). You'll be tired by the time you work your way half-way down so hit the good stuff first.

Edwin wrote:
I would suggest you to go to a taping of the Daily Show or Colbert Report but it's on Saturday.

And you really need to get the tickets in advance. In theory they'll let in anyone who shows up, but the Daily show studio is rather small, and from what I can tell Colbert's is even smaller.

The Daily Show gives out more tickets than they have seats, to ensure they have a full audience; if you received a ticket from a previous show, but didn't make it in, you have preference to get in. Then they cover the people with current tickets, and only if there is still room after those people will you still have a chance of getting in.

The Colbert Report process may be slightly different. However, it should also be pointed out that after requesting Daily Show tickets online, it was only a few weeks before we were standing in line to get in. When we requested Colbert tickets, I think it was a good 6+ months before we even received a response (they are both first come first served) ... sadly we ended up not being able to make it to the recoding the day we had tickets for.

MOMA is magnaawesome, but you could spend all afternoon there and not get through it all.

jonnypolite wrote:
Blasphemer!
I said >=. I could have said ~.

MOMA's pretty alright.

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm not crazy about art, but I think that's because I haven't been to a quality museum since 3rd grade...hopefully my appreciation has increased since then. Would a few hours be enough time? I think my wife would really like that. Incidentally, we'll be in Chicago over Thanksgiving and thought about going to the museum there. Wow, I could compare and contrast the stuff I was looking, rub my chin, and say, "When I was at the MOMA in New York last month" in casual conversation over and over...

jonny wrote:
Go to John's Pizzeria at 278 Bleeker Street, between 6th Avenue and 7th Avenue.

Thanks for that one, duely noted.

Wordsmythe wrote:
I think I've actually been to that one. It was alright. >= Sbarro.

Y'know, Wordsmythe, I love the scene from last season's Office where Michael Scott goes for the interview at Dunder Mifflin NYC and says something along the lines of "I just wanted to stop by my favorite New York Pizzaria before the interview" as he's walking into Sbarro. I had it all planned out to do just that and make my wife giggle when I did it and feel somewhat like a hero and the object of her adoration. But now, I'll have to give you partial credit in my mind...THANKS!

Another thing, how much cash should I have? We won't go anywhere off the island (despite the recommendation above, I just don't think we have enough time). I don't want to carry too much cash with me, but I also don't want to run out. Is $200 enough to get by for a weekend assuming I can use my debit card to eat and such? This age of digital payments has me spoiled and if I carry over a Lincoln in my wallet I feel like everyone's eyeballing me.

Again, keep in mind that all of my information about NYC has been formed solely from TV and movies...my wife is convinced we're going to get in a cab, Bruce Willis will be driving, and we'll become some part of a plot to defuse a bomb. There's always hoping.

Yeah, I'm good for things like that.

Let me know if you need anything while you're in Chicago. I live right next to the Loop.

Let me know if you need anything while you're in Chicago. I live right next to the Loop.

Will do. We'll have our 2.5 year old with us, along with my family including another 3-5 children, so it won't be quite as footloose and fancy free as New York. Still, I appreciate the offer. I love Chicago and can't wait to take them to the Shedd Aquarium. They can fend for themselves, I'm watching the penguins.

Bassmasa wrote:
Is $200 enough to get by for a weekend assuming I can use my debit card to eat and such?

Yes, you can get by on debit card for admissions to museums and restaurants. Just remember you will blow through cash if you use cabs to get around.

I would suggest MoMA and the Whitney if you want to do art museums. The Museum of Natural History is one of those nerdirific places, like the Smithsonian in DC, that has all kinds of cool animals and history and such.

As for pizza, there is no good pizza in Manhattan. Go to Queens or Brooklyn for pizza. If you want to get italian food, go down to Mulberry St. and find a restaurant. If you want to go bar hopping, go to Houston and just hit up the bars. You are going wiith your wife, so keep the eyes in front of you and not distracted by various other women. Also the Empire State Bldg at night is a good idea if you want to be chessy semi-romantic.

Please don't be a 9-11 tourist and go see the towers. I think of it as an insult that it has become a tourist trap down there.

Mayfield wrote:
Please don't be a 9-11 tourist and go see the towers. I think of it as an insult that it has become a tourist trap down there.

But feel free to walk past it on your way to the Liberty ferry, right?

A couple of other nifty places:

South Street Seaport http://www.southstseaport.org/

Native American Museum http://www.nmai.si.edu/ - this one is even free!

I'd be wary of actually going in to the empire state building on a Saturay night, there can be a lot of waiting and standing in line involved, even when you have bought tickets online.

Do not go to the empire state building, especially not on a time budget.

Do not try and get to the statue of liberty or ellis island on a time budget on a saturday. You'll shoot the whole day.

MOMA is a great idea.

Since you're in a potentially romantic situation, central central park (specifically, the pond and the carousel) are sure fire hits with the chicks.

Midtown geek: 11 East 33rd street - the compleat strategist.

The best mid-price deal in mid-town dining used to be Cite, but it closed, but they moved to Maloney's (http://www.maloneyandporcelli.com/)

A mass at St. Pat's is not to be missed. Do it for sure, and I'm not even catholic. If you are episcopalian, the mother church is on wall street, but its a HAUL from mid town. If you want coffee and general wanderign around, go to Cafe Reggio in the villiage (http://www.cafereggio.com/) and just wander. God I love it there. Now I'm all nostalgic.

rabbit wrote:
If you want coffee and general wanderign around, go to Cafe Reggio in the village

I used to practically live there. Definitely second that suggestion. I think no trip to NYC is complete without visiting Chinatown for Dim Sum. I'm trying to remember my favorite place, I think it's on Elizabeth off of Canal but I'm not positive. Sorry I can't be more specific.

I think if you want Dim Sum, you need to get to a Dim Sum restaurant before noon, at the latest. For the uninitiated, Chinese Dim Sum is a brunch full of the greasiest Chinese treats you can imagine. Think of egg rolls, stir fried veggies, beef or pork pot stickers, steaming hot pork buns, wide rice noodles with shrimp inside, fried shrimp balls, steamed pork balls, various forms of congee, and egg custards. My parents indoctrinated me at a young age, so I have no trouble taking all this stuff in first thing in the morning, but those accustomed to healthier diets may want to keep a bathroom handy afterwards.

There's also Nintendo World, the site says they close at 9 PM on Saturdays. The store's not as big as I had first imagined it, but you could probably spend a good 20-30 minutes looking at the memorabilia that they've got on the top floor. Also, it's the only place that I've felt comfortable with whipping out my DS for wireless play with strangers.

So you are really traveling around NYC for 10 hours with 4 to 6 kids, one of them at age 2.5? I imagine that'll be quite difficult in moving them around. I love mass transportation systems, especially when I'm only using them periodically on the weekends. The subway is $2/person to go anywhere on the system, and I think you can get transfer tickets to use the bus system as well. But with that many kids, a taxi would be a lot easier than the thought of losing a kid (or two?) behind at a subway stop. I wonder if you can even fit that many kids into a taxi.

yoyoson wrote:
I think if you want Dim Sum, you need to get to a Dim Sum restaurant before noon, at the latest.

Oops, you're right. Didn't notice the time window he had. Save it for the next trip then.
Go to a Broadway show, and please for the love of theater not one of the Disney shows. I was a huge fan of Chicago, I got to go see it when it had Bebe Neuwirth. For the essential NYC deli, visit Carnegie Deli, you'll be glad you did. I think it's fairly close to where you're staying as well.

I'm not sure if you're into this sort of thing, but there's a literary pub crawl of Greenwich Village that is pretty fun. It's in the afternoon, lasts about 3 hours, and wanders all over Greenwich Village in addition to telling various interesting historic tidbits in the process. The Village has become quite upscale since I moved away maybe 7 years ago, but it's still a fun place to go if you'd prefer something like that to tourist destinations. Here's the link:

http://www.bakerloo.org/pubcrawl/ind...

You can also bail on the tour early if you've had enough, or leave to check something out and catch up later. And if you're in the area, in the mood for lunch, and for some reason don't want pizza I'd suggest Veselka, a Ukranian restaurant on 2nd Ave and 9th St. It's right in the middle of the east village and is reasonably priced. It's also open 24 hours a day, which was a huge perk back when I lived in the area.

I'd also suggest not going to the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, or some of the other renowned tourist spots. Tickets are expensive ($30 per person for the ESB I believe) and you could spend half a day just on that one thing, given the crowds and such. However, Madame Toussaud's Wax Museum is within a few blocks of the Westin and really is a lot of fun. The line outside is generally not very long, and you can spend as much or as little time as you'd like inside.

MOMA is a good idea as well, though you'll likely have to pick an exhibit or two and leave afterwards if you want to do anything else in NYC.

South Street Seaport is really a fun location and would also give you an opportunity to check out the Wall Street area. You could even pass through Chinatown and Little Italy on the way (both are just south of Canal St.). Another good Wall Street destination is Trinity Church on Broadway about where the World Trade Center used to be. It's positively ancient and has an equally ancient graveyard outside. One thing to be aware of though--the Wall Street area practically shuts down after business hours and there aren't a ton of restaurants, etc, so plan to eat in Chinatown, South Street Seaport, or someplace similar rather than just hoping to run across something.

I'd say that $200 in cash would be plenty. Don't worry too much about NYC being a wretched hive of scum and villainy. The truth is that Manhattan is now one of the safest big cities in the US. If you're worried about pickpockets or something like that, just spread out your cash on your body rather than putting it all in your wallet. Taxi fare is typically around $10 for one trip in Manhattan. If you're feeling more adventurous there's always the subway for $1.50. The subways systems goes absolutely everywhere, and depending on traffic can even be faster than a cab ride.

Oh, another easy fun location from the Westin is the Cupcake Cafe in Hell's Kitchen. Here's their website:

http://www.cupcakecafe.com/

Their cupcakes are great, and it's a good excuse to say you've been to Hell's Kitchen. There's also a coffee shop named Casa Cupcake nearby as well. They have good coffee and poetry readings in the evenings:

http://www.nycnosh.com/?p=14

The two cafes are really the same business, just each with a different focus. And both within blocks of the Westin.

Trainwreck wrote:
yoyoson wrote:
I think if you want Dim Sum, you need to get to a Dim Sum restaurant before noon, at the latest.

Oops, you're right. Didn't notice the time window he had. Save it for the next trip then.

Actually, what I said isn't true. I've managed to convince a place in Chinatown to serve us Dim Sum at 3PM, but they weren't pushing the food around on the carts anymore. Instead we ordered direct from the menu. But in general, it is a brunch thing. A very yummy and delicious brunch thing. Mmmm.

Things I'd like to do when I go to New York:

1. Say hello to Spiderman

2. Foil a terrorist plot

3. Prank Call the Ghostbusters

4. Drop by the coffeeshop from Friends, get Monica's number

5. Go to a baseball game, tell the Yankees they suck

6. Ride the subway, save someone from throwing themselves on the tracks

7. Avoid aids

8. Hump one of the girls from Sex & The City

Yeah, sounds like a fun city...