Favourite New York City Spots
Favourite New York Activities
Soccer - I love to watch my
Liverpool, and other English and International football (soccer)
matches on a Saturday or Sunday morning. There are a number of bars
in New York showing live soccer,
but I usually go to McCormack’s on 3rd Avenue.
on the East Side -
Penelope’s is my favourite brunch place at the weekends. I
to sit at the counter, so I don’t have to wait for a table.
an unusual (funky) place with a friendly atmosphere. It’s on
Lexington Avenue and 30th Street. For a review of Penelopes go to Menu
Pages. Florent in the
Meatpacking District and The Union Square Coffee shop are also cool
brunch spots I like to visit.
a New York beach at Coney Island
– New York’s Coney
is about 45 minutes on the train from Midtown. Coney Island features a
beach, an amusement park, and the world famous Nathan’s hot
stand. All the attractions are open and operating roughly between
Easter and Labor Day.
with UNAC –
I’ve enjoyed running after work with the UN Athletic Club. We
meet outside the UNICEF building at 6:15 p.m. on Tuesdays and run for
about 6 miles slowly. The people are friendly and run at all levels, so
no need to feel worried.
in Central Park or Bryant Park
Rink in Central Park and The
Pond Rink in Bryant Park are
much less crowded than the Rockefeller Center, and the Pond rink is
Top Ten New York Spots
– 1 East 70th Street. Unlike large – and somewhat
overwhelming - museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this art
museum is small. In 2-3 hours, you can see all of the Frick collection,
which is displayed in the beautiful former home of a wealthy American
industrialist, Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919). My husband took me here
for our first date, and he later proposed to me here, too.
New York City Opera
– 20 Lincoln Centre. Although its neighbor in Lincoln Center,
‘The Metropolitan Opera’ is more famous because of
elaborate sets, opera lovers often say that the NYC opera has better
music. Also, the tickets are cheaper. In fact, if you are between 21-35
years old, you can join the ‘Big
program. That is, by paying a small membership fee per year, you will
be able to go to any opera for only $30 (instead of the usual price of
$80-$125) and will be invited to two pre-opera cocktail parties with
free drinks and hor d’oeuvres There are special discounts for
New York Puppet Library
– Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn. 718-853-7350. If you visit
Park in Brooklyn on a Saturday, you will find many wonderful surprises
– a beautiful Botanical garden, an art museum, and inside the
large arch near the farmer’s market – a puppet
this very unique ‘library’ (open Saturdays from
can play with the puppets, learn how to use them from the librarian,
and, if you like, take them home for a week or two – all for
FREE! I have borrowed puppets from this library for parties and it has
been a lot of fun. Simply the experience of traveling in the subway
with a giant puppet is very memorable.
NYC shoreline & the Shorewalkers
– This not-for-profit group leads recreational walks along
shore areas throughout the New York metropolitan region and promotes
environmental causes. Although they have many other – and
– walks throughout the year, the most famous is ‘The
This 32-mile walk along the entire shoreline of Manhattan takes place
every year on the first Saturday of May. You can walk slowly on this
mostly flat walk, see places in Manhattan that you likely
seen before and meet many different people.
York City Downtown Boathouse
– Pier 40, far western end of Houston Street. Try kayaking in
York City – for FREE! The only requirement is that you know
to swim. From mid-May till mid-October on weekends and most weekday
evenings, you can borrow a kayak, paddles and a life jacket for a
20-minute paddle inside a protected area of the Hudson River. The
Boathouse offers kayaking lessons and kayaking holidays, too.
New York Humanities & Social Sciences Library
- Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. This library is a short walk from the
United Nations and is quite famous. With its two lions in front,
‘Patience’ and ‘Fortitude’, the
outside of this
library has been shown in many movies and advertisements. However,
don’t stop there! It is definitely worth your time to look
inside. From Tuesday to Saturday at 11am and 2pm, there are free
one-hour tours of the library. Simply go to the information desk in the
lobby a few minutes before the tour is scheduled to begin. On the first
floor, there is a ‘periodicals room’, a beautiful
where you can read recent magazines or newspapers from many countries
of the world. On the second floor, there is a large and extremely
beautiful reading room – a quiet place to read or study. In
addition, there are art exhibits, free internet access, technology
classes, and interesting lectures – most for free, and others
just a small fee.
New York Road Runner’s Club
- 9 East 89th Street. Although this organization is most famous for
organizing the New York City Marathon every year, they also offer
classes, running groups, and many shorter races. It’s great
to run with thousands of people in Central Park. I highly recommend the
New Year’s Eve ‘fun run’ – a
4-mile run that
begins at midnight. The entrance fee includes music in the park before
the race, a T-shirt and/or hat, water, champagne and snacks. You can
run or walk among people of all ages (including babies in strollers)
and enjoy looking at all the costumes and fireworks. Check out the
‘Road Runner’s’ calendar for other events
– One of the most beautiful views of Manhattan is from the
shoreline of Jersey City, New Jersey. To get there, you can take a
quick trip on either the PATH
train (toward New Jersey, to either the ‘Exchange
Place’ or ‘Pavonia Newport’ stops) or by ferry
(to ‘Exchange Place’ in Jersey City). Once there,
find a shoreline walkway with many good restaurants, all with an
amazing view of Manhattan. In summer, there are often ethnic festivals
in this area. Also, there is a large shopping mall and sales tax is
- Fort Tyron Park (Subway A to 190th St. Then take M4 bus to Fort Tryon
Park-The Cloisters). The Cloisters house the Metropolitan Museum of
Art's collection of art and architecture from medieval Europe. Best
known for the beautiful tapestries on display, the Cloisters also offer
architectural installations, a series of special programs, and
fantastic views of the Hudson. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy this
– This museum is in one of the most unique buildings in New
City. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, an architect from my home state
of Wisconsin, the museum is shaped roughly like a teacup or an upside
down terraced hill. It is not unusual to see adults with their children
here, going up and down the spiraling ramp. The museum is quite large,
so it takes at least half a day to see everything. From October to May,
on the First Friday evening of the month, you can explore the galleries
while listening to world-renowned DJs and sipping a cocktail.
Top Ten New York Spots
The following are
my ‘top ten destinations’
for daytrips out of the city…and the answer to the question:
What do I do with my houseguests?
If you enjoy
history, art, architecture, music, nature,
picnics and shopping, there is something here for you. If you have
questions that are not answered on the websites, please contact me for
more information (use this form).
Have fun and enjoy New York…it’s not just the city!
- Storm King
Sculpture Park (http://www.stormking.org/)
Walk, talk, picnic and enjoy a collection of monumental sculpture in
the great outdoors!
- Woodbury Common
Premium Outlets (Keywords: Woodbury Common Premium
Outlets…and select the first on the list)
After the art, shop ‘til you drop in an outlet center that
discount stores for all of the famous designers and brand names you
find in Manhattan.
Sculpture Garden (http://www/gardenvisit.com/ge/pepsi.htm)
Walk less than at Storm King, picnic and see more sculpture in a
beautiful outdoor setting at Pepsico Corporate Headquarters in
Purchase, New York.
- Caramoor (http://www.caramoor.org/html)
This is advertised as ‘a garden of music’ in
Katonah, New York, where Raymonde Burke lives!
This is as close as you can get to a castle in the New York area.
It’s one of America’s finest Gothic Revival
- Sunnyside (http://www.hudsonvalley.org)
This estate was the home of Washington Irving, the author of The Legend
of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle.
- Kykuit (http://www.hudsonvalley.org)
Visit the Rockefeller estate for architecture, art, history and gardens.
- Boscobel (http://www.boscobel.org)
This Federal style mansion is located on the east bank of the Hudson
River, about an hour and a half drive from Manhattan, but it seems
years away. Visit and enjoy the historical architecture, the outdoor
theater and an unforgettable view of the Hudson River Valley.
- Cold Spring (http://www.coldspringchamber.com)
If you want to visit a small historic town with incredible views of the
Hudson River at the water’s edge, go to Cold Spring. Main
is filled with antique shops and restaurants and, if you have a car and
some time, you can find hiking trails only one mile from town.
- The Cloisters (http://www.metmuseum.org/home.asp)
(Select The Cloisters in the What’s Online column.)
This is not really out of the city, but you will feel as though you
have left the city and the 21st century when you visit this medieval
museum in Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan.
of Natural History
Great for adults and kids. See dinosaurs, the great blue whale, live
butterflies, cultural exhibits, IMAX movies, and tons more. And
don’t miss one of the fantastic shows at the Hayden
Take a walk in Central Park (across the street) afterwards or enjoy
lunch at one of the many nearby cafes.
York Botanical Garden
In the Bronx. Two-hundred and fifty acres of gorgeous trees, plants, a
maze for kids and other exhibits. Lots of hands-on activities for kids.
At Christmas time, they have a fantastic toy trains exhibit that is a
At Fifth Ave and 64th Street. A very small but attractive zoo with sea
lions, penguins and 200 more species. Great for kids, even little ones
because it’s not so big. Stroll through the park afterwards,
the Dairy, to the Carousel (see below).
You can go by yourself or take a walking tour to see the sights of this
magnificent and diverse park. Rent a bike or a boat; jog or skate or
just amble through the winding paths. See Belvedere Castle, the
Delacorte Theater (free performances of Shakespeare plays in the summer
“Shakespeare in the Park” series); the Great Lawn
performances by the New York opera in the summer), the reservoir
(especially beautiful in April when the cherry blossoms are out),
Bethesda Fountain, the Boathouse, the Dairy, Tavern on the Green,
Summerstage (lots of great concerts all summer long – many
free) and many historic bridges, arches and statues. If you have kids,
don’t miss the Conservancy Water, where you and your kids can
sail model boats by remote control and the Swedish Marionette Theatre.
If you are a bird watcher, you’ll find all kinds of species
– bring your binoculars.
A wonderful independent bookstore located on 42nd Street between Fifth
and Sixth Avenues, across from Bryant Park and the New York Public
Library. Great books and a little café attached. Check out
website for special events – mainly authors reading from
Do you like to laugh so hard your sides feel like they’re
splitting? Try out a comedy club and listening to outrageous (and
sometimes uncouth) routines by today’s leading stand-up
There are many of these clubs in NYC. Check out the links below:
While it is not as big or fantastic as Central Park, Riverside Park
does have the advantage of being on the Hudson River. It stretches from
72nd to 158th Street and there is a bike path and walking/jogging paths
the whole way. In summer, grab a barbecued hamburger at the 79th Street
Boat Basin café. Play tennis, soccer, or volleyball or just
on one of the many benches and enjoy the peace and quiet.
top ten New York City spots
Museum of Art:
Discover magnificent collections of the world’s art (western,
Islamic, African, Asian). Visit the Temple of Dendur, the rooftop
sculpture garden overlooking Central Park (you can pay whatever you
wish to enter!)
Sometimes called the “living room” of historic
village, the park ‘s street lamps even have lampshades
by a local artist. It also has the famous Washington Square arch,
reminiscent of the Arch of Triumph in Paris. WSP is surrounded by the
buildings of New York University. In good weather, it is filled with
students, Greenwich Village locals, chess players, musicians, jugglers
and all kinds of “street entertainers”
near Battery Park City: Watch the boats, bicycle ride, roller blade,
picnic, have a weekend brunch, and learn how to relax in the big city
Chinese Scholar’s Garden:
Are you beginning to wonder if there is any place to relax and hear
yourself think” in New York? Visit the beautiful Chinese
Scholar’s Garden, an authentic ancient Chinese-style
artist’s meditation garden in New York City’s
Mercantile Library: Listen to
lectures on and readings by some of the great figures in the literary
Bowery Poetry Club: What is a
poetry slam? Find out at the Bowery Poetry Club, a place where everyone
can be a poet!
Art Galleries of Chelsea:
Explore the art galleries of West Chelsea (in the 20’s
10th and 11th Avenues) and discover what’s on the
edge” of the New York art scene.
Chelsea Piers: Play golf, go
skating, take a boat ride, exercise, and even go bowling in the dark!
International Center of New York:
This non-profit organization welcomes newcomers to New York City with
classes and other opportunities to practice English and to go
sightseeing. Check out the web site and arrange a tour of the center if
you want to consider becoming a member
Museum of Modern Art:
Enjoy the grandeur of modern art in this beautifully designed space
where members of the United Nations community can enter free of charge!