And so, this is the One Brooklyn Modern's Tourist Guide to New York City:
Food is the primary reason to visit New York, and never leave. I'll start with cheap eats and work my way up.
- Burger Joints - If you're into burgers, and who isn't, grab one on The Star on 18 Diner on 18th and 10th. It's one of my little known secrets. Their burgers are of the huge variety, they're greasy, and they fall apart. Second to this burger, I obviously enjoy Shake Shack, but there are long lines, and other tourists, and we don't want you to be at the level of other tourists. If you do go to Shake Shake, try to aim for an obscure one -- the one on the Upper East Side on 86th street usually isn't that busy. Third favorite is the Burger Joint which is hidden behind a curtain in the Parker Meridian hotel in Midtown. It's a hole in the wall (literally), no windows, so lets hope the place never catches on fire. It's the kind of place that I imagine once was secretive, but now there is a line into the lobby that makes it feel touristy. And yet, amazing burgers.
- Pizza - Joe's Pizza, on Carmine and 6th Ave., is our staple. I get the margarita pizza vs. the traditional cheese pizza, and find it delectable. Husband goes for cheese pizza. Beyond Joe's, I don't want you to go to a pizza place that has a massive line, the diminishing returns start the second you join that line. In general, pizza made at local businesses in New York is extremely good, and there are pizza places everywhere. We also like Bleeker Street Pizza, oddly located on 7th Avenue, and not on Bleeker Street (yet, close to it). You can sit down there. Lastly, if you're uptown
- Hot Dogs - Gray's Papaya. There are three left in the city, and a bunch of knock offs (that are really just as good), but who could miss the original? The recession special was $2.75 when I was a student; don't ask me what it is now. It's two dogs and fresh papaya juice, which kind of cancels out the fact that your stomach needs to digest two hot dogs. I always went to the one on 6th Avenue and 8th Street.
- Bagels - My favorite place is Bagels on The Square (located right next to Joe's Pizza in The Village). Grab one for breakfast and eat it in Father Demo Square right across the street. It's a newly renovated park, with a fountain, and it overlooks a church. Not to mention, perfect bagels, and blazingly fast service.
There are other cheap eats, like Mamoun's on MacDougal street, which sells falafels, but I've never been a falafel girl.
Oh, wait, one more, Grom, have to get gelato at Grom. It's from Italy, and I'm quite sure elves make it.
Ok, now onto expensive eats.
Brunch - We don't really have lunch in New York; it's brunch. If it's taking place at a restaurant, it dosen't involve clients, and it is before 5pm, it's brunch.
- BG - Situated atop Bergdorff Goodman, this little jewel overlooks central park. In addition to a light brunch menu, they also have afternoon tea service. It's a little feminine in there, husbands beware :)
- Sarabeth's - I drool just thinking about the jam assortments. Careful of the weekend rush, it can be most annoying.
- Cookshop - I once ran into Hugh Jackman here, so, +100 points for Cookshop. One of the best brunch places in New York.
- Pastis - If for some reason you're in the mood for a French brunch, instead of an American brunch.
Dinner - A perfect dinner in New York isn't something that takes place before a show, it is the show.
- The River Cafe - I'll say two things, the first is that the tasting menu is the best meal I've had in my life, and the second is that we loved this place so much, we got married here.
- Blue Water Grill - American fusion with a little Japanese influence, plus live jazz in the basement at night.
- Atlantic Grill - Owned by the same people who own Blue Water Grill, but uptown, and less fusion. I suggest the lobster.
Alright, now that you're stuffed and thrilled, it is time to think about things to do in New York. I mostly go to work and come home, but on occasion I venture out to do something other than eat. These things include:
- Parks - Central Park, the High Line, and Brooklyn Bridge Park are my favorites.
- Shows - Oh how I want to see The Book of Mormon.
- Museum - Obviously The Met, MoMA, The Whitney, The New Museum...
- Movies - While you're in town, New York shows movies they don't show anywhere else, check out the Angelika Film Center for some off the beaten path films that beg to be analyzed.
And if you're up for some shopping...
- SoHo - A staple for retailers large and small.
- West Village - All the boutique versions of Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, etc. It's a walk down Bleeker Street.
Alright, that's all I can think up for now, but I hope this helps my soon-to-be savvy New Yorker friends, and those of us who live here and need another burger crawl.