A weekend in NYC
It is impossible to have a finite list of the best NYC has to offer. It is especially difficult if you are going there for just a long weekend. Everyone will tell you what their favorite places are. In a city with so many things to do, I had weekend that packed a punch! Let me tell you all about it.
This is a GREAT find! I know that I will come here again and again. Awesome location, right around Penn station. I have waited many times fore the busses to and from DC just around the corner. Many times I wanted a snack and ended up in a crappy fast food restaurant. If you are in the same situation - Here is your place. The locale looks like just another forgetful fast food pizza joint, but it is so much more than that. You can tell that the pizza is someone's Italian grandma's recipe and super cheap. Pay cash only though to $10 minimum.
We stayed at the W Hotel at Time Square. It is a good experience to have at least once, but I doubt I would stay there again. The hotel was nice, the streets were absolutely crowded with tourists oblivious to their surroundings. Also, not a lot of good snack spots and lots of traps for desperate tourist's looking for a bite - beware!
The Empire State Building
We took a brisk walk south and reached the lighted Empire State Building. We did not go up though. I have in the past, but tickets for observation decks tent to be expensive - it is a great view once up there. We chose to go to the top of the Rock this time, it is always worth at t at least go through one.
Good bun, good dog. It's a decent snack if you are hungry and find one around the area. They have several locations around the city. If you are hungry upon one and you find one, it is a good place to stop for a bite. Yet, I would not go out of my way for a meal there.
Top of the Rock & MOMA Entry Deal
They are quiet costly if you buy the tickets separately for each. However, they have an a package to enter both to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck and MoMA - ROCK MoMA - which will save you about $10.
The Rockefeller Observation deck offers 3 levels. On the highest you get an unobstructed view no pesti plexiglass guardrail to get in the way of your perfect shot. We chose to go up at night, a choice offered at The Rock.
If you are in NYC, you must stop at this plaza. It is always nice, no matter which season you choose to visit.
Museum of Modern Art
I always forget how big this museum is. The museum comprises of 5 floors. The bottom two and the upper one are temporary. Floor 3 and 4 are permanent modern art pieces, mostly painting.
There is always an architecture driven exhibition, I've always enjoyed it. This past trip they had 3 Japanese architects showing models of current design buildings - including the New Museum of Contemporary Art by Saan which I had a chance to visit on this trip - bringing the experience to full circle.
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It was meant to be a recommendation. Across from Hearst Tower. We stumbled on this place, and it was delicious. It is an upscale Italian restaurant that will not break your budget. It is a little more pricey than a fast food place - but it is a good option for a sit down restaurant and to treat yourself. The food is worth it.
2 Columbus Circle
The original building designed by Edward Durell Stone in 1964. It is on a quirky site with a curbed facade at the circle. The building had a solid marble exterior. At the top, it had tall arch windows with Venetia decorations and the edges had a repetitive pattern that created a border. It suffered a lot of criticism, and it was renovated
I've been to NYC several times, and as a tourist I hadn't been able to penetrate more further than the edges. The park size is totally intimidating. If you have time and venture in, there is plenty of cool things to see.
Bethesda Terrace & Fountain - there are a set of stairs with galleries at the bottom. You can catch local artists and maybe a homeless guy taking a shower in the fountain.
Belvedere Castle - a legit castle, with a view of the lake. It has a small store that happened to be closed.
Romeo & Juliet Statue - there is also a concert stage just around and a place for bad and over priced snacks.
Jacqueline Onassis Reservoir surronded by a running track where new yorks run, and a beautiful place to visit on a nice day.
Solomon R Guggenheim Museum
I've been out there twice, not inside yet. NYC is an expensive city, best way is to spread it out. Can't wait to come back!
Metropolitan Museum of Art
It is a hidden jewel. This is a practically free museum - how does it works? Your payment is a contribution and is optional. The amount that you donate is up to you.
Every year the most famous clothing designer put together an exhibition at the METs - The Mets Gala. It just so happens the exhibition got extend until September and I had the chance to see it. The exhibition was about technology and clothes. I found it fascinating and a lot of connections to architecture. But more in a separate post.
Junior's Restaurant in Time Square
I think they have the best cheese cake. They were the first ones in Brooklin. Out of all the tourist traps, this is your best bet if you find yourself hungry in Time Square, and will be your only choice in a pretty big mile radius
9/11 Memorial and Museum
9/11 will forever be a sore spot in the memory of every person that lived in th US when the twin towers came down. We all still remember exactly where we were when it happened. This memorial does provide a commemorance suited for your own style of grievance. The complex comprises of a main plaza with two massive fountains in the shapes of water falls into an abise, the opening
where the towers once stood and where so many people lost their lives. A popular use, you can contemplate the water letting the sound soothe the pain of the memory. The plaza is big, and even as visited as it is, you can find a quiet corner somewhere if that is more your style.
there are 3 buildings of this plaza. The museum is south. The museum has really long lines, si you must get there early in order to access the building. The museum it has the right amount of apacity and transparency to transport you in even from the plaza. at the north there is Freedom Tower by Liebstik.. from the architectural point of view, it is a very plain building, that expands forever and then disappearinginto the sky with its slick blue glass. There are some texture limited to the base created by operable louvers. It also has not been very successful at filling up tenant spaces. Regardless of its shortcomings, a long line of tourists awaits to go its viewing deck, to what I am sure is an amezing view of the city. Lastly, at the East, there is a building by Calatrava. It reads like a sculpture, a prayer of interlaced structure members created a cacoon, and inside is the train station. Although outside is still very much under construction, don't be fooled by their barricades. The building is already under use, and can be access underground.
This are in fact the best macaroons I've tasted. Legend has it that they ship a fresh batch from Paris every morning, and they sure taste like it. If you are in a city with one - it's worth the trip. There are two new ones supposed to pop up in D.C. at Georgetown and Union Station, I can't wait until they open.
New Museum of Contemporary Art
yes, tons of museum. The shape of the building itself is interesting, design by Canaan, we had just seen a model for the design at NoMA, i did not go see the expo, just a bathroom break.
Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery
If you love the show "curb my enthusiasm " and "Seinfeld" then you will have to come here, or if you have Jewish heritage. We tried the lakes (potato cakes) and they were too oily. As their name suggests, they are known for their Knisk (pronounced Kee-nissh). They are a dough filled with potato and meet. We were planning on having lunch at Katz's, and knish is heavy - so we took it for later. I was not a big fan, but take it with a grain of salt- after all. By the time I tried it, it was cold and stored in a hotel room
"How Harry Met Sally" Quote
The sandwiches are huge! Split one and it will still be a sizeble meal.
Murray's Cheese Bar
Don't be fool, there is a small shop area part of the same bar which would make a great place to get snacks for a party. If you are on the go, there is a bar, where you will be served drinks and cheese.
Whitney Museum of American Art
New York is a city full of museums and, unlike DC, most of them are not free. I didn't check the expositions this time, but this building frames the start of the high line. It is a good place to take a rest, restroom and water break and maybe even check out the small shop inside, especially in hot summer days
The High Line
New addition to New York architecture, it is an old railroad line high in the sky that has been outfitted with gardens. The path connects Chelsea to lower Manhattan, and it has spur an area of new exciting architectural development along it, which includes a building under construction designed by the late Zaha Hadids. There is a few places to stop along the way, including a few bars, the Boom Boom Room is located at the top of the Standard Hotel.
Tiny little bar, on an English basement. The beer selection is astonishing and have raffles with prices.
A New York architecture classic, and a pilgramage for every architect
A gem a few steps away of the Flatiron Building. Ice cream is best I have had in the USA, comparable with Gelatos in Italian piazzas. I didn't try the coffee but it looked phenomenal, and I will try a quick breakfast there next time.
The Cooper Union For Advanced Science
There is an original building, and a new addition. The new addition is reads as an architectural experiment. The volume fails as it can be read
Caracas Arepa Bar
My favorite Arepa place, and the one that put Arepa on the map in USA. A few years ago they appeared in Bobby Flay versus Food? A restaurant started by two Venezuelans, and they beat Bobby Flay. Try their Pabellon - an arepa filled with shreaded beef, black beans, white cheese, and sweet fried plantains. It is the perfect balance of sweet and salty. Now they have several places in New York, including a Rum taste bar in Brooklin
Panorama 2016 Concert at Randall's Park
Randall Park offers multiple concerts a year, including the Mayor's Ball and Panorama. Panorama July 2017 offered multiple great calivered artists. We only went for the last day, but we got to see the headliner and a few good shows just before. Look for my blog for additional information HERE