New York, New York!

by Erika Torres

new york skyline

Looks like we’re going to get to cross off something from our 2013 Goals list faster than expected! We’re heading to New York in May and we need your help!

Where should we eat?

Where should we go?

How do we save money?

We’re thinking of actually trying out Air BnB for the first time, but may rely on Priceline just in case. Any tips are greatly appreciated!

I’ve been twice before, but Eric’s never been. So we plan on being full on tourists for five days, eee can’t wait!

Things I want to do:

Sit on Carrie’s doorstep!
Have dessert at Serendipity
Go on a horse carriage in Central Park (it’s on my baby bucket list!)
See Chicago on Broadway

Things We want to do:

Central Park
Ellis IslandStatue of Liberty Ferry
World Trade Center site
Times Square
Top of the Rock

Places we want to eat:

Papaya King
Serendipity (just dessert)
Carnegie Deli

We are avid foodies so let us know of some must-eat spots!


Rebecca March 24, 2013 - 4:11 pm

I agree about Groupon and livingsocial. I recently saw they had a hotel package so make sure to look at the Escapes/travel as well. As a current NYCer, I love Chinatown/ Little Italy the vibe is fun and you can find some really great priced food. The Frying pan is awesome! I take visiting friends there all the time. I also take my friends to Ellen’s Stardust Diner on Broadway and 51st. The food is fine (it’s a 50’s diner) but you don’t go for that. All the staff sing, and they do it well. I’m a dancer/performer so I’ve heard my share of terrible stuff but they are great. It’s really fun and cheaper then a Broadway show. :o) Speaking of Broadway shows, you didn’t say if you wanted to go to one but if you to, join It’s free and had a bunch of discounts to shows. You don’t have to wait in line like you do at TKTS. The UN is very cool and Tudor City, an area right by the UN, is one of my favorite areas. I like Top of the Rock better then the Empire State Building and it tends to have less of a line. Macy’s on 34th st. is really fun just to go and walk around. If you want to buy something, go to the visitors center (not sure where it is at the moment because they are doing construction) and show an out of state ID and they give you a coupon for either 10 or 11% off. From 4-8P/m on Fridays, the MoMa is free. Target sponsors free Fridays every week. Also, the Met has a suggested donation of $25, if that is too much you are able to give less. Clearly you want to be respectful of the institution, etc but there is that flexibility. The Museum of the City of New York is pretty cool. Walking along the High Line is a definite must, it’s very cool what they’ve done with the space. Hope you guys have a great trip, there really is no where like it! :o)

Alexis Marlons March 24, 2013 - 4:20 am

I love to visit NYC one of these days. This is actually one of my vacation list this year.

City Girl March 23, 2013 - 5:51 pm

Oooh — yay!!! I might be up there in May visiting my fam and some besties before Little Bit arrives. Email me your dates :). And, you definitely picked tourist-y spots, but that’s part of the experience! I would add the Empire State Building, maybe the MOMA or Guggenheim, and brunch at Sarabeth’s. Enjoy!!! xoxo

Tiffany March 22, 2013 - 4:27 pm

We did some sort of sightseeing pass and bus access bundle deal. It was great. The best food I had there was from the street trucks – Carnegie SUCKED!

pen || new york nonsense March 21, 2013 - 5:47 pm

You’re going to have so much fun! May is a great month in the city. I’m dying for springtime NYC right now (it was like 38 degrees today, ughhh). Definitely go to Lombardi’s – besides for their delish pizza, get their salad too- the salad dressing is like liquid gold. Go to 456 Shanghai in Chinatown for awesome (and cheap!) dim sum and Essex House (not the hotel, there’s a restaurant downtown with the same name) for all you can drink brunch. (They say it’s like a 3-drink limit or something like that, but it’s not) Make reservations a week or so before though- it’s popular and gets crowded. Take a walk on the Highline (old school elevated train tracks they turned into an outdoor park/promenade) and then walk down to Union Square to go to to Heartland Brewery – my husband and I are a sucker for that NYC chain. To save money, check Groupon & Living Social. We use Groupon/Living Social deals all the time, and usually they’re worth it. Just always check against Yelp before you buy anything.

Ally March 21, 2013 - 12:59 am

You are so lucky! Visiting New York is on my 2013 goals list too. I want to go for my 30th birthday on January 1st, 2014. I want to see the ball drop in Times Square but I don’t want to wait in the cold for 12 hours so I was thinking about going to the DoubleTree Hotel NYE Gala. Apparently, they let you party inside the warm hotel all evening and right before the ball drops, they let you go outside to see it. It’s at least $500 a person and includes food and drinks. It’s also the most expensive time of year to visit NYC so I don’t know if I’ll be able to swing it. Anyways, I have two other fun trips planned for this summer so I’m not going to be too bummed if I end up missing NYC.

I started making a list of everything I want to see when I visit NYC and I think I’m going to have to spend a month there just to see it all. Good luck with your planning!

Jane March 20, 2013 - 4:03 pm

Try the Halal Guys for some yummy Chicken and Rice 🙂 Corner of 53rd and 6th

Nikki March 20, 2013 - 11:02 am

After living in Manhattan for the past 12 years, my husband and I have yet to take a carriage ride in Central Park, but if it’s on your ‘baby bucket list,’ then you should do it! If you like the experience, try doing a day bike rental. There’s a path that runs along the Hudson River from 125th Street in Harlem to the South Street Seaport. My husband and I do it all the time! Make sure you check groupon and travelzoo for deals on bike rentals. You should definitely do Eataly: over 11 Italian restaurants at different price points. Their gelato and coffee is out of this world! If you like burgers, try Stand in Union Square…their burgers and shakes are phenomenal. Stand sells mini-shakes if you’re calorie conscious. The toasted marshmallow shake is amazing. Definitely do dim sum in Chinatown. Other great food options are the restaurants in Chelsea Market: Friedman’s Lunch is FANTASTIC and you’ll love all of the epicurean shops. I only buy my olive oil and vinegars from the Market. Go ahead and bite the bullet and do one of the hop-on, hop off tours of the city. Do it on your first or second day and then you realize what sites you would like to experience in depth. As for museums, the Tenement Museum is probably the most under-rated. It gives you an inside glimpse of life from the viewpoint of those immigrating to the US many years ago. It’s a humbling experience. While you’re down there, check out the Clinton St. Baking Company. Their famous for their pancakes, but their fried chicken is also delicious! Definitely do the MET!!! Try American Museum of Natural History if you have time. If you’re looking for hotel deals, google the boutique hotels in Manhattan. They have some great deals. I love the Indigo Hotel in the fashion district. It has great rates and a beautiful rooftop lounge….oh and speaking of rooftop there’s a CHIC rooftop lounge on Ink Hotel…no cover charge! Since you’ll be here in May, the weather should be much nicer, try out the Frying Pan on Pier 66. It’s basically a barge on the Hudson River, but it’s a cool spot to chill and have a drink on a beautiful day. If you’re thinking of spreading to the other boroughs, definitely take the walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and then check out DUMBO, the area beneath the bridge. There are also some great restaurants in Brooklyn Heights and that’s where you’ll find the Transit Museum. If you have time, travel to Red Hook in Brooklyn and check out Brooklyn Crab. So, of course since I read your blog, you know that I am cost conscious. All of these suggestions are reasonably priced and will not break the bank. I have so MANY ideas, so feel free to email me for other suggestions, especially food!

Leslie B March 20, 2013 - 11:25 am

Maybe I missed the boat on Stand? I thought their burger and shakes were fine but I would rather go to Burger Joint or wait in line at Shake Shack before going back to Stand.

Nikki March 20, 2013 - 12:11 pm

Ah, Leslie…maybe you caught the chef on a bad day, but Burger Joint is okay and Shake Shack is definitely an upscale McDonald’s! I also enjoy the multiple burger options at STAND. Furthermore, Stand actually mixes their shakes!!! Have you tasted the Peanut Butter, Chocolate or the Toasted Marshmallow Shakes??? Shake Shack shakes come from the SAME machine used at McDonald’s. Shake Shack, especially the one in Madison Ave. Park is great for photo ops and people watching, but you’ll even find a better burger at Schnipper’s down the street on 23rd and Madison Ave. Just the opinion of a foodie that has experienced NUMEROUS burgers in NYC and DC. To make it even spicier…my favorite is Ottomanellli’s! Their beef is grass-fed and it’s ground fresh by butchers in their meat market on the Upper East Side. They are way off the beaten path, but yet you will find Otto’s packed on weekends by locals. But, hey what do I know????

Leslie March 20, 2013 - 1:08 pm

Adding these to my list!

The Norwegian Girl March 20, 2013 - 9:19 am

NYC sounds amazing! It`s been a dream of mine for ages! dessert at Serendipity sounds awesome! totally a must-eat spot!

Pam E-P March 20, 2013 - 8:01 am

We went to NYC a couple of summers ago and the only thing I recommend AGAINST is the NBC Studios tour. It wasn’t worth the time or money we invested. We did the Empire State Building on a fast pass and that was worth the extra money for the time it saved us. We were only there for a long weekend, so time was precious. We also used the red bus line for transportation. Just hopped on and off of them. Also, get a bagel somewhere! We found a little place right off of Times Square. I never understood the fuss about bagels, but OH MY GOODNESS! I’d go back, just for a bagel!

Budget and the Beach March 20, 2013 - 7:44 am

I love NY! (could never live there though). Well Central Park is a must of course, and I got sick and missed walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, but I also here this is a must. I liked just walking through the villages (east, west-where Carrie lived) because of the architecture. But I think my favorite thing was getting tickets to see Book of Mormon. We did the lottery system and won front row seats. Avoid times square, it’s so overrated. I missed the boat on the food thing. I just didn’t plan right so I have no advice about that.

Jessica March 20, 2013 - 7:38 am

As a fellow foodie here is my list of places you should try—they are not touristy so you can experience the real NY.

1. Sanfords- Astoria,NY (cozy,close to the city and Astoria is the new “it” you can prob stop by the Museum of the Moving Image while your there.)
2. Sea- Brooklyn,NY (Williamsburg really hot hipster spot and Brooklyn Bowl is nearby)
3. Tazzini- Glendale, NY (amazing italian food by a Top Chef guy from TV forgot his name lol)
4. Carmine’s- Theater district? it has a few locations but the food is amazing!

I can prob think a few more and for places you can try Sex Museum, Bodies on display this is by Seaport, the carriage is a must I got engaged on one of those rides amazing experience… Enjoy NY and be prepared for the cold! LOL I’m freezing as I type this! LOL

Lisa @ Lisa the Vegetarian March 20, 2013 - 6:54 am

Make sure to head down to Greenwich Village around Washington Square Park (my old campus at NYU) – there’s lots of places to eat and cute shops. The South Street Seaport is also a nice place to go if you’ve never been there before. Great views of the Brooklyn bridge. Have fun!

jobo March 20, 2013 - 6:14 am

Yay! Love this! So fun – even though I’ll be where YOU are when you are in my neck of the woods (kind of!). Have so much fun – and run central park! 😉

Tiffany March 19, 2013 - 6:47 pm

Añejo Tequileria is a great little restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen (and walking distance from Penn Station) Make sure you get a bagel, try various pizza places, and indulge in a black and white cookie! Unfortunately, the Museum at Ellis Island is closed right now due to damage from Hurricane Sandy, but I highly recommend the Tenement and Transit Museums.

krantcents March 19, 2013 - 5:41 pm

As an ex New Yorker I definitely recommend Lombardi’s and Papaya King. There are other good places, but it has been a while. You may want to check out the museums. The Natural History Museum, Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenhein are all near each other. If you can, you may want to visit the New York Stock Exchange. I think you can still visit the gallery (above the trading floor). Funny as a native New Yorker, I never went on the carriage ride! Last recommendation, you may want to visit the UN, although it is on the upper Eastside. Enjoy your trip.

Leslie Beslie March 19, 2013 - 4:20 pm

Hi! Thanks to Eemusings for recommending me and I am very excited about your trip to nyc! I wrote up this little thing which might help give you some ‘off the beaten path’ ideas.

I see you want to visit Carrie’s brownstone, unfortunately people actually live there and they have a little chain and sign asking that you respect their home. But you can walk past it and that is a cute little neighborhood anyway. There’s a few other things you should do around there so I made you a little map:

And if you’re going to do Times Square, you might as well hit some other things near there. Here’s another map:

And for giggles, here’s a walk to the east side:

If you’re going to Brooklyn, take the time to walk across one of the bridges coming back. Brooklyn Bridge is beautiful but crowded of course. Manhattan bridge is much less crowded but the trains run across it so it can be loud from that. Williamsburg Bridge is less crowded and quiet (no trains), it comes out on the Lower East Side so it has a different view.

Oh if you eat burgers and you’re going to Central Park, you HAVE to go to Burger Joint. It’s inside a hotel and amazing. Trust me on this one.

Meg @ Mr.C & Me March 19, 2013 - 4:19 pm

I hope you have a wonderful time! I’ve only been to NYC twice but during one trip we went to see Chicago on Broadway and it was aaaaamazing!

Dave March 19, 2013 - 3:44 pm

You’ve got to eat at Shake Shack! Be prepared to wait for Serendipity. Minimum of an hour wait, likely MUCH longer.

Michelle March 19, 2013 - 3:26 pm

Sounds like so much fun! I haven’t been since I was really little, so I have no tips. Looking forward to pictures though 🙂

eemusings March 19, 2013 - 2:15 pm

Hurrah! I’m going to keep an eye on this thread, especially for food recos. Ask Leslie Beslie for ideas too!

We’ve booked a private rental through Wimdu for our last few nights in NYC, which includes T’s birthday. Will look for a cheaper rental/hostel/couchsurfing host for the first few nights a bit closer to the time.


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