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The "ask ca_gere NYC tips" thread #2836746

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Hello all, specifically ca_gere.

 

I have booked flights to New York w/c 16th June. I will be there for about ten days. I would very much appreciate hints, tips and weird shit to do while we're there, including good restaurants etc., or if you have recommendations as to online resources to help plan things that would be excellent.

 

I can give you virtual pints in return, or real pints, actually, when I'm over. Although they don't serve pints, do they? Small-pints, I'll call them.

 

:up: :up: :up:

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I've never been but I know that when I do eventually make it, I'm heading straight here: http://newyork.ucbtheatre.com/

Lots of American sitcom darlings seem to start there.

What ever you do, do not go and see the Livia Scott show there. I went a couple of weeks ago and it was quite literally the worst thing I've ever seen in a room packed full of arrogant cunts.

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I Love New York!!

 

When we go we always plan the days we are going to go to the main attractions in advance and head to them early as the queues are massive. On the day we went to the empire state building we were there for just after 9 am and we got up to security very easily with hardly any wait. By the time we had gone through security passed the photographers trying to fleece you of your dollars and got to the elevators (approx 15 minutes) the queue for security was backed up to the door and heading out onto the street. So it pays to organize these days so you don't end up wasting your day in a queue.

 

Personal favorites for me:

 

Shopping:

Jersey garden or Woodbury common outlets on one of our first days in New York to get it over and done with.

 

For souvenirs we usually go to China town and haggle with the shop owners there instead of paying the prices in Times Square. A lot of folk go down china town and Canal street for their knock off handbags etc, we did this on one visit and there was a decent selection. You will be asked every couple of yards if you want gucci, prada, handbags, watches. Take your pick and follow them if that's what you're after. I think the NYPD are clamping down on this more now so I guess you take your chances...

 

Sightseeing:

 

Top of the Rock - Go for dusk or night as you get great views of all the hustle and bustle, we also went to Bills burger bar on the ground floor of Rockefeller plaza too for burger beer and football (the american type) I'm sure there are more authentic burger joints but we just happened upon it after we'd been up to the top.

 

The intrepid air, sea and space museum, its an air craft carrier which is cool enough on its own! I paid $20 for the tour of Concorde and the guide was amazing and really knowledgeable and I got to sit in the pilots seat!

 

Food:

 

I took the wife to Daniel (3 Michelin stars) for a slap up meal, at the time it was voted 9th best restaurant in the Michelin guides top 50 in the world, being a foodie it was a great experience and the food was top notch all be it expensive by the time you added your drinks and tip. We were the best part of $400 for that one!!

 

We also wen to Ruth's Chris Steak house for steak and lobster Yum!!! again quite expensive but very good.

 

Sure I'll think of more to contribute... 

 

Kev 

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Useful thread. I'm planning on going in November/December -- will it be cold as shit? How would you rate it on a scale of one-to-Braemar?

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If it is still showing Adam, I would 100% recommend going to see Dark Universe in the planetarium of the Museum of Natural History. It is mind meltingly good.

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Useful thread. I'm planning on going in November/December -- will it be cold as shit? How would you rate it on a scale of one-to-Braemar?

 

I was there December 18-24th 2 years ago and it was dry but cold especially in the wind, in fact the wind was a cunt to be honest. 

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I second Katz's deli.

Ride the Cyclone & Wonder Wheel at Coney Island (grab a Nathan's Hot Dog).

Check out the East Village live scene (Cake Shop, Sidewalk Cafe etc)

Loads of galleries, but less obvious ones are the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Cloisters and the Folk Museum beside MOMA.

One time I was there in summer, and it was unpleasantly clammy...had to stagger from one air conditioned coffee shop to the next.

I know it's obvious, but don't miss the best freebies...Brooklyn Bridge & the Staten Island Ferry.

There used to be plenty happening in Williamsburg, but spmewhere

Edited by Alan Cynic
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Ten days is a solid stint. You'll have plenty time to see stuff and not feel rushed. That said,  you'll probably still leave thinking you could have seen/done more. My main advice is don't over-plan. You'll be here when summer is just kicking off which means a) it'll be hoorin toasty and b) there will be a lot of impromptu stuff going on. If you're rushing around to get from one end of the city to the other you'll be sticky and desperate for air con,  you'll also change your plans because you come across an outdoor concert or some such happening and want to hang around. Having a loose plan is obviously preferable though so figure out what you can see/do in the same day according to the map, giving yourself plenty of time to get from a to b. i.e. don't try and go to the guggenheim and ground zero in the same day. Let yourself get lost a few times - the best moments will be finding those wee places off the beaten track that you just stumble across without knowing where you are.

 

Do you know where you're staying? Depending on where you are when you first get in,  I'd recommend going straight to Times Square. If there's ever a good time to go it's right when you first get in. You'll have that awestruck 'I'm in New York' moment and it is really impressive. As for touristy highlights, I think the top of the rock/nbc studio tour is one of the best things you can do. Lines are shorter than the Empire State and the view is arguably better. The studio tour is ace even if you're not familiar with nbc shows (snl, Monday night football). The people who show you around are EXACTLY like Kenneth from 30 Rock (it's probably part of their brief nowadays) and they know how to keep you entertained. There's also a high chance you'll see someone famous (Jim Carrey was in doing something when I went)

 

You probably don't need much advice on which tourist landmarks to see, they are all pretty obvious. Doing them in the 'right' order can be tricky coz you need to be a bit smart with subways/walking times, etc.

 

Definite musts:

The High Line (a great way to see the city, although it gets mega busy so go early or late)

Ground Zero (It's really touching)

Greenwich Village (just go for a wander and get lost, it's really picturesque during the day and a great place to go out at night (loads of live music, comedy clubs and all kinds of bars)

Lower East Side/Eat Village (great bars and odd restaurants, younger/trendier music scene)

Chinatown (solid munch)

Brooklyn Bridge/Dumbo - As Alan said, it's free. Walk over, take pictures and wander around Dumbo on the other side.

Go to a rooftop bar (I can give you a list of good ones - it's just one of those things you have to do)

Soho - cool shops. Be prepared to want to buy loads of stuff because the prices for clothes are half what they are back home.

Go to Brooklyn at least once - I can give you a whole separate list for Brooklyn alone (which I probably will in a second post)

Go to a gig - There are hunners of ace venues (I can send you another list)

Central Park - Obvs

 

Semi-musts

Go to a sporting event - Basketball season will be over but Baseball will be going. Yankees or Mets games are fun (I prefer Citi field but Yankee stadium is more iconic I guess)

A boat ride - you can get on one of those old yachts that takes you round manhattan. Or just one of the ferries. A great way to see the city and honestly, after all the crazyness of midtown/subways/etc it'll be just what you need with the breeze and water and all that good stuff.

Go to the theater - Some seriously good broadway shows and off-broadway shows

Alan's advice is good. Take a day to go to Coney Island - it still has some old New York charm to it. And Nathan's hot dogs are the balls.

 

I'm probably waffling now. I could go on and on. I'll do another post for food and for Brooklyn.

 

For gigs:

http://www.ohmyrockness.com/

http://www.bandsintown.com/home - Bandsintown has become a really good tool.

 

Last note: for the UCB theater, whilst I would highly recommend it, make sure there are decent people on the night you go. It's on the amateur side of things and there's nothing worse than shit comedy. Although you could see the next Louis CK or something so that's the risk you take.

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Useful thread. I'm planning on going in November/December -- will it be cold as shit? How would you rate it on a scale of one-to-Braemar?

 

This winter was unreal. So fucking cold one minute and t-shirt weather the next. Definitely prepare for it to be much colder than Scotland. It's probably a negative-Ballater.

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Incredible post, thank you! Looking forward to the food/Brooklyn follow-ups. Particularly the food. I'm all about the food.

 

We haven't booked anything accommodation-wise and obviously welcome recommendations in that respect, too! Considering airbnb - thoughts generally?

 

I'd read somewhere about heading out to a place called Fire Island for a day/night, do you know anything about that?

 

I guess, roughly we thought...airbnb/cheapish hotel & touristy things; on to Fire Island for a paddle; back to the city and a nice hotel for our final dayz.

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From the Dublin thread...

This is my fucking thread. I'll bash some stuff out for you tomorrow.

 

 

Can we get Lucky in here to show him how to actually reply to one of these threads?

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I can't recommend Airbnb enough. It's cheaper than a hotel and you can get some amazing places all to yourself. Last year my sister got married and almost all the 30 plus folk who came over from scoltand went Airbnb and had nothing but good experiences. Their neighborhood guides are also really good for getting a sense of what to expect.

 

https://www.airbnb.com/locations

 

I'm a bit biased because I live there but don't rule out staying in Brooklyn. If you can get somewhere near the Bedford or Lorimer L train strops in williamsburg you'll probably be paying half as much as you will in midtown and it's actually better connected than most places in manhattan (1 stop from Manhattan, 3 from Union square which has loads of connections). Any further than into BK becomes a bit of a trek but there's definitely a sweet spot that a lot of people miss out on because they want to stay in midtown. Other than that, I'd say you'll want to stay south of midtown - the best restaurants and bars are all in lower manhattan and you don't want the ballache of getting to the upper east side or something at night.

 

I went camping on Fire Island last summer, going again this summer. It's great. 25 bucks for a campsite (although you'd need a tent - I could give you a lend actually). You could definitely go for a night and it's a nice change of pace from the city. It's totally travelable sans car too. Train, to a ferry then there are no cars on the whole island. Book as early as possible though because it's pretty popular. It'll take you about 2 hours on the train and depending on the ferry times, another couple of hours to get to the campsite so go as early in the day as possible. 

 

http://www.watchhillfi.com/camping.html 

 

There are cabins and rentable houses but they almost all seem to have a 3 or 4 night minimum so camping is your best bet. There's showers and clean shitters and what not so it's not totally primal.

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Brooklyn post:

 

The main thing that differs between Manhattan and Brooklyn is you really need to know where you're going in BK. You can't really just wander about like you can in Manhattan and expect to find cool stuff. The neighborhoods are much more spaced apart and the good shit is very much hidden/non-touristy. Beyond Dumbo, Brooklyn Bridge park and probably the Williamsburg waterfront, there isn't that much to see in terms of landmarks but the whole point is more to see the neighborhood stuff like shops, delis, bars etc. On that front, BK has you covered.

 

Bedford Avenue is an experience at most times and a good place to start. It's gotten fairly yuppie but it's still home to some turbo-hipsters holding onto that last thread of pre-gentrification boho-cool. Just a walk up and down and you'll see a lot of interesting characters, stupid hats, art galleries with like two postcards inside, wanky shops and a good mixture of fancy fast food and affordable higher-end restaurants. A drink/lookie in the Whythe hotel I would recommend. It's got a nice rooftop. It's also near Brooklyn brewery, which I would also recommend. You could walk around the waterfront around there too which has an awesome view.

 

You'll probably feel really sketched out if you get off anywhere other than Bedford or Lorimer (except in the yuppie areas like Park Slope or Carroll Gardens). I'm not gonna lie, Brooklyn isn't the prettiest. It can be quite scary-looking and I can guarantee you will think you're gonna get robbed at gunpoint BUT... it's totally safe. Looks are deceiving and I can genuinely say that, aside from a few places in East New York/Bed Stuy/Brownsville I have no worries walking about at any time of the day or night.

 

Come to Bushwick! It's about 5 stops on the L train after Williamsburg (about 15 mins from union square) and there are some truly awesome things to see. Give me a shout and I'd happily show you about. It's a very arty area so there's loads of big murals and some interesting bars. There are also plenty of block parties in summer and they're always fun. I can picture the conversation now:

 

My GF: Where you going?

Me: Meeting a guy off the internet

My GF: OK, how will you know who he is?

Me: He said he'll be the one in the full Aberdeen kit, shouldn't be too hard to spot.

 

For w'burg spots (all walkable from Bedford L stop):

Criff dogs - hot dog + Milkshake

Sweet Chick - amazing fried chicken. Either rza or gza is a part -owner so if you're lucky you'll see him

Alligator lounge - a bar that gives you a free pizza with every drink

Union Pool - lively bar with a taco van in the back garden

Kellog's Diner - a classic 24hr diner.

Fette Sau - hipster barbeque place

Videology - a film-nerd bar that plays movies 24/7 (took a friend there a few weeks ago for Francis Ford Coppola day. we got drunk and watched 2 godfathers and Jack)

Barcade - it's good fun

Radegast - a massive beer hall. Great german food.

Brooklyn Bazar - an absolute must. It's a venue come flea market come bar come art gallery. Free to get in too. You'll get buzzed, see a good band and buy something you don't need.

Brooklyn Bowl - A venue come bowling place. Good fun

Glasslands - awesome venue

Knitting Factory - as above

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Can we get Lucky in here to show him how to actually reply to one of these threads?

 

 

I thought that as well as soon as saw ca_gere's post. 

 

Lucky has been absolutely taken to school.

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Flying on Saturday, woo.

Ca_gere, is there anywhere I can watch the Dons game?

Looks like I may head to Southside Guitars in Brooklyn at some point. :)

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Flying on Saturday, woo.

Ca_gere, is there anywhere I can watch the Dons game?

Looks like I may head to Southside Guitars in Brooklyn at some point. :)

 

Dons games are tricky. Particularly early games. There's a Celtic bar that shows Scottish Football but if there's a Celtic game on at the same time you're outta luck. That said I wouldn't be surprised if they'd put the game on at least one TV if you asked. They're guaranteed to be open at that time anyway.

 

Jack Demsey's on 33rd st between 5th and 6th ave.

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