Pay Your Respects At The 9/11 Memorial
The 9/11 Memorial is made up of two reflecting pools, each marking the footprints where the Twin Towers once stood, honoring the lives lost during the terrorist attacks on the site in 1993 and 2001. The names of every person who died in those attacks are inscribed onto the edge of the memorial pools. The memorial is always free to visit, and the National September 11 Memorial Museum is free on Tuesdays after 5 p.m. .
Explore The Lower East Side
The Lower East Side is one of the best areas in all of New York especially with its small markets, coffee spots and history, too.
As I mentioned before, take a look around the Tenenmant Museum, visit Katz Deli and explore the craft stalls and thrift stores that make this area of New York totally unique.
Sightseeing In New York
In a city that never sleeps, its no surprise that you will find limitless activities and attractions in NYC. While in the Bronx visiting the New York Botanical Garden, you may as well stop by the Bronx Zoo or grab a slice of world-renowned pizza. Of course, walking through Time Square is a must-do for first time visitors, but dont spend too much time here when there is so much more to see. You can spend days in Central Park, where activities range from biking and jogging to playing a baseball game. Sightseeing in New York City can be overwhelming, but fortunately New York tours make it easy to navigate the boroughs and make the most of your time in the city.
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Ride The Bronx Zoo Bug Carousel
Praying Mantis, Dung Beetles, Lady Bugs, and Grasshoppersoh my!
Because youll find all these larger-than-life insects , and more, at the Bronx Zoos truly unique bug carousel.
Aptly located near the famed zoos butterfly exhibit:
This one-of-a-kind carousel features sixty-four different, hand-carved, vibrantly painted, wooden insects that you can hop aboard as you whirl and twirl your way through the ride.
Truly the first and only carousel of its kind:
The Bug Carousel is a fun and educational experience that has been worming its way into childrens hearts since 2005.
And while youre aboard:
Dont forget to admire the lovely, painted murals that line the center of the ride and listen to the beautiful sounds of the insect world since the carousels music was created using the sounds of insect recording from the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Address: 2300 Southern Blvd, The Bronx, NY 10460, United States
Hours: The zoo and carousel are open daily from 10:00 am t0 4:30 pm with final admissions occurring 45 minutes before closing.
How to Get There: Take either a New Haven or Harlem line train to Fordham and board the Bx9 bus once youre here. Ride the bus for four stops, get off at Southern Boulevard and East Fordham Road, and walk to the zoo from here.
Price: Included with a total experience ticket , otherwise it costs $6 to ride the carousel.
Hike In The Adirondacks
- Indian Head Hike: You dont have to hike the high peaks to get a killer view in the Adirondacks. Hike Indian Head, a rocky overlook with great views of Lower Ausable Lake in a day and youll get those Adirondack sights without the massive effort. Youll still have to put in some effort though its not a walk in the park.
- Cobble Lookout: If youre looking for the closest thing to a leisurely walk you can find in the Adirondacks, then walk the 2 ½ mile trail to Cobble Lookout. It can be done in about 1 hour and you still get a beautiful Instagram shot at the lookout.
- Whiteface Mountain: On the opposite side of the hike spectrum from Cobble Lookout is Whiteface Mountain. This is a challenging hike that can be done in the summer when its muddy or in the winter when its snowy. Start early and have fun but be safe and make sure youre prepared for this hike.
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Visit The Museum Of Glass In Corning
The very small city of Corning has the worlds largest space dedicated to contemporary art and design in glass. The older I get the more it feels like a lot of museums feel the same same old dark paintings in ornate frames in room after room of an old palace thats been converted into a museum. Thats not the case at the Museum of Glass in Corning.
You could spend hours here. You can watch other people blow glass, learn how to make glass yourself, and then actually make glass! There are also interactive exhibits and informative galleries with information about things like how wine and glass have interacted over history.
Afternoon Itinerary: Nyc Pizza And Greenwich Village
Regardless of which museum you visited, you should make your way to Fifth Avenue, where you can catch the M1 bus downtown using your unlimited daily MetroCard. This above-ground form of transit gives you a pretty great view of Manhattan’s famous Fifth Avenue shopping district. The ride should take about 45 minutes to get to Houston Street, where you should disembark for your next part of the day: lunch.
No one should spend a day in New York City without enjoying a great piece of pizza, so our next journey will bring us to the oldest pizzeria in AmericaLombardi’s Coal Oven Pizza. Like bagels, there are many great places in NYC for pizza, but Lombardi’s is an excellent choice for a first time visitor. Arriving around 2 p.m. during the week is ideal, as you’re less likely to have to wait in line for a seat.
Getting There: From Houston, you’ll walk two blocks south on Broadway, passing Prince Street, and take a left onto Spring Street. Walk four blocks, passing Crosby first, and you will find the red awning of Lombardi’s alternatively, if you want to make the journey more quickly, you can catch the subway from 86th & Lexington and catch the 6 train to Spring Street.
Getting There: From Lombardi’s, walk two blocks north on Mott Street and take a left onto East Houston. You’ll walk about two blocks and see the Subway for the B, D, F, V . Take the first uptown train one stop to West 4th Street.
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Pose On The Iconic Orange Couch At Nycs The Friends Experience
Enter into the classic NYC sitcom like never before at The FRIENDS Experience. Take a load off on the iconic orange couch, order a coffee from Central Perk, and even take a seat at Monica & Rachels kitchen table. Theres tons of memorable set recreations, costumes, and props to explore. Buy your tickets today!
Take A Selfie With The Wall Street Bull
This is a silly little thing that attracts way too many visitors for what it is. People actually line up for a crowded selfie around the Wall Street Bull. But it seems to be the thing to do when visiting New York, so when in Rome
When you are done at the bull, go around the corner to the iconic Wall Street. It is pretty cool to see. This is the financial hub of the world and its worth spying on the suits who walk by doing something very important on their cell phones.
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Night Itinerary: Dinner A View And A Night Cap
The options available for dinner in New York City are virtually endless. Home to some of the world’s finest restaurants, as well as many more affordable choices, it’s hard to suggest just one place to have dinner, but if you’re in the mood for some of the best Chinese food in the United States, head on over to Chinatown.
Chinese food in New York City is famously delicious, and surprisingly affordable. Two local favorite Chinese restaurants are Wo Hop and Oriental Garden . Wo Hop serves classic Chinese-American cuisine from lo mein to chop suey, in a plain below-street-level location while Oriental Garden focuses on fresh Chinese seafood that’s still swimming in tanks when you arrive. You can also check out some Recommended Chinatown Restaurants for some other ideas.
Getting There: From the West 4th Street Subway, take the B or D downtown 2 stops to the Grand Street Station. Exit on Grand Street and walk west, crossing Bowery. If you’re heading to Oriental Garden, take a left onto Elizabeth Street and walk two blocks. If you’re heading to Oriental Garden, take a left onto Mott Street and walk two blocks.
Getting There: From the recommended restaurants above, you can take the B, D, F, or V train uptown to 34th Street. Walk one block east to 5th Avenue and take a left. The entrance to the Empire State Building is on 5th Avenue between 33rd & 34th Streets.
Stop By Please Dont Tell A Secret Speakeasy In New York City
Travel back to nester-year at this secret, prohibition era, St. Marks Place speakeasy.
So hidden in fact:
That the only way you can gain access to this dark and mysterious bar is through a nondescript, vintage phone booth at Crif Dogs .
And once you do find the aforementioned phone booth:
Youll need to dial a super-secret telephone number just to get inside.
After youre in, youll enjoy the most glamorous parts of the roaring twenties and early thirties in this low key, relaxed feeling bar.
A bar that comes complete with chic leathered booths and quirky beyond belief animal heads affixed to the walls.
The real highlight of any trip to this fantastic, New York City bar is a taste of one of their premier cocktails, which are all served to you by the former, Pegu mixologist, Jim Meehan.
Im not gonna spill the beans on their uber-delightful drinks menu since part of the fun of this place is discovering their awesome selection of drinks upon arrival.
And if you need something to soak up all that alcohol goodness:
Then feel free to treat yo self to any of the delicious hot dogs served at Crifs next door.
***Before you stop by, be sure to make a reservation, by phone, since this bar can get extremely busy and wait times can regularly exceed an hour without booking a table in advance***
Address: 113 St Marks Place, New York, New York, 10009
Hours: Open Sunday through Thursday from 5:00 pm to 2:00 am and Friday/Saturday from 5:00 pm to 3:00 am.
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The Empire State Building
This New York City attraction has been made famous time and again with cameo appearances in films like An Affair to Remember, Sleepless in Seattle, King Kong, and more. Be sure to head to the Empire State Building‘s 86th-floor observation deck to check out amazing 360-degree views of the city.
Take a self-guided multimedia tour to learn more about the incredible sights youll see from the top of the city. The Empire State Building even accommodates late-night visitors thanks to opening hours that extend until 2AM.
Fun fact: ESB was the tallest building in the world for almost four decades, and was designed by renowned architecture firm Shreve, Lamb and Harmon in the early 20th century. For more info, check out our guide to visiting the Empire State Building.
Enjoy Some Water Sports
If you love the outdoors and being near the water:
Then Queens is the New York City borough for you.
Because even though everyone thinks of Coney Island when they consider some of New York Citys top beaches, Rockaway Beach and Long Beach are two amazing seaside spots where you can do a bit surfing.
And yes, you read that correctly.
I really did just mention going surfing in the Big Apple.
If youre visiting during the summer, you can easily swing by either of these beaches and rent a surfboard from one of the many local shops here, like the cash-only, Rockaway Surf Club.
If surfing is a bit too adventurous for you, then you can always just head to the Long Island City Community Boat House instead and do some 100% free kayaking along the East River on a nice, sunny, weekend.
***PRO-TIP: For one of the best panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline, stop by the rooftop bar at the Z NYC Hotel.***
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Stop By The Sprinkles Cupcake Atm
Raise your hand if you love sugar almost as much as you love life itself?
Because if so:
Then youll love the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM on NYCs Upper East Side.
And yes, you really did just read that correctly.
Because not gonna lie, all of my gastronomic dreams instantly came true the minute I realized that a cupcake dispensing ATM actually existed in the world.
These delectable little desserts are actually pretty dang delicious since theyre always fluffy, moist, flavorful, and emerge with the perfect ratio of icing to cake.
They also come in a fantastic assortment of flavors like salted caramel, red velvet, carrot, cinnamon sugar, lemon coconut, and more!
The lemon coconut is definitely my favie fave.
What are you waiting for? Stop by one of the most creative ATMs EVER and pick your du jour dessert today since unusual things to do in NYC really dont get much sweeter than this.
That wicked awful pun was 100% intentional.
Every time I mention this place to a total, cupcake ATM virgin, their eyes well up with wonder, they become giddy beyond belief, and start doing a little happy dance as their inner child totally takes over.
Which makes all the sense in the world since this ATM is straight-up Willy Wonka level magical.
***For any of my dietarily restricted friends, Sprinkles has vegan and gluten-free options available too. And for a full list of NYCs other, super Instagrammable desserts, check out this post right now!***
Human Conditions: The Films Of Mike Leigh
May 27-June 8 at Film at Lincoln Center, 165 West 65th Street, Manhattan filmlinc.org.
The British director Mike Leigh sometimes describes his working method as organic: He casts actors who develop their parts with him over a lengthy period of time. The results are roles that feel lived-in as much as written, and have led to such indelible characters as the volatile, abrasive drifter Johnny in the harrowing, hallucinatory Naked and Brenda Blethyn and Marianne Jean-Baptistes reunited mother and biological daughter in the heartbreaking, Palme dOr-winning Secrets & Lies . But a highlight of Film at Lincoln Centers series that may not be as well known today and is not currently streaming is Leighs first feature, Bleak Moments , from 1971. It stars Anne Raitt as a lonely office worker and Eric Allan as a propriety-bound teacher who takes her on a date but is so emotionally straitjacketed he cannot make a move. BEN KENIGSBERG
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Take A Leisurely Walkthrough Van Cortlandt Park
Looking to escape the chaos of the city with a short jaunt into the simple beauty of nature?
If so then consider taking a scenic hike through the Bronxs very own, Van Cortlandt Park.
Because believe it or not:
This massive green space is 1,1146 acres in size, making it the third-largest park in the city.
It is also home to more than twenty miles of hiking trails, including the picturesque Cass Gallagher Nature Trail, the John Kieran Trail, the John Muir Trail, the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail, and the Putnam Trail.
A diverse array of fantastically fun hikes that will take your through the parks Forever Wild Preserve, Northeast/Northwest Forests, Croton Woods, Wetlands, and Meadows.
Feel free to grab a map and enjoy this amazing, expansive natural landscape while doing fun things like barbecuing in the Shandler Recreation Area, walking your dog in the Canine Court, visiting the Van Cortlandt House Museum , and exploring the Van Cortlandt Nature Center.
The park is also home to four different playgrounds, as well as a variety of different sports fields where visitors can cycle, play basketball, and enjoy a friendly game of baseball.
Address: 3545 Jerome Ave, Bronx, New York, 10467
Hours: Open daily from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm.
How to Get There: Take the 1 train to 242nd Street station and walk to the park from there.
Head To The Upside Down In This Immersive Stranger Things Experience
Get on your spandex, set that bouffant, and get ready for a nostalgic journey into 1985 Hawkins. The Duggal Greenhouse in Brooklyn Navy Yard has now become a portal to an immersive Stranger Things mini-verse, filled with epic audiovisual sets, supernatural mysteries, and pulse-racing encounters that bring the cult TV sensation to life. Get your tickets now!
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Hang With Farm Animals At The Queens County Farm Museum
Find cows, sheep, pigs, and more at the Queens County Farm Museum, which dates back to 1697 and is the longest continuously farmed site in New York State. Spread out on 47 acres, the museum is free to enter , and it allows people to learn all about what the area was like before a bustling city sprung up around it.
Visit The Crumbling Small Pox Hospital Ruins On Roosevelt Island
Unless youre of a certain generation:
You probably will never have any idea of just how horrific smallpox really was.
Ive heard horror stories from my parents and thats more than enough for me to realize that is was really bad.
And thats putting it mildly.
Thankfully though, the disease was fully eradicated in 1979 and has since become a distant memory.
A memory that you can revisit along the southern tip of Roosevelt Island.
Because its here that youll find the ruins of Renwick Hospital.
Its a Gothic Revival style smallpox hospital that was built in 1856 by James Renwick Jr.
Initially constructed here, to keep infected patients away from the general population:
The hospital remained in active use until 1875 and, on average, treated about 7,000 patients per year.
Later, because of the increased number of island inhabitants:
The building was converted into a nurses dormitory that eventually fell into disrepair and became nothing more than a long-standing of New York Citys darker past.
Fast forward a couple of hundred years though:
And you will now find nothing more than the ruins of the Renwick Hospital here, long since abandoned and having fallen into disrepair.
At least until 1975:
When the Landmarks Preservation Commission took interest in the site, declared it an official landmark, and did some super fun things like reinforcing the walls so the structure didnt fall down completely.
Which is why:
Address: Roosevelt Island, New York, New York, 10044
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