What to do in a trip to New York

Email sent from a New Yorker advising about what to do in a trip to New York. I thought that it can be helpful to post it here. Any add-ons or suggestions are welcome!

First off, one of the best things about new york is that there is always something happening; but how to find out about the special events going on?  In a word, the internet.  Check out the following resources a day or two before you fly over here:

GothamList on Gothamist.com
http://gothamist.com/2010/02/25/pencil_this_in_931.php
(Need to sign up for a daily newsletter of stuff going on that day; it is sent around 4am NY time; they don’t send you spam, and you can unsubscribe when you leave NY)

The Skint: Free and cheap stuff to do in NYC
http://www.theskint.com/

Time Out NY – things to do
http://newyork.timeout.com/section/own-this-city

Time Out NY – free things to do today
http://www3.timeoutny.com/newyork/tonyblog/tag/free/

NYMag Agenda
http://nymag.com/agenda/

NYMag Event Search
http://nymag.com/srch?t=event&N=0&No=0&q=Listing%20Type%3AEvents&Ns=nyml_sort_name|0

Flavorpill NYC
http://flavorpill.com/newyork

BrooklynBased weekly tip sheet
http://brooklynbased.net/tip-sheet/

Bushwick weekly culture picks on BuskwickBK.com
http://bushwickbk.com/2010/12/02/bushwick-culture-weekly-picks-12210/
(Updated every Thursday, but you need to go to bushwickbk.com to find the new suggestions.  These are specific to the neighbourhood called Bushwick, just south-east of Williamsburg, which is where the next wave of gentrification is happening; basically, it’s what Williamsburg was 10 years ago).

http://nyc.myopenbar.com/
(Lists events all over the city where you can drink for free. You’d be surprised how many there are!)

The Village Voice is the main free weekly newspaper. You’ll find them all over the city, but you can check it out ahead of time online at:
http://www.villagevoice.com/

If you are looking for the NY equivalent of the place that I met you at, it’s probably a bar called Lit Lounge in the east village.  Very scuzzy place (much more so than Dalston Jazz Bar) but has some pretty fun energy.  There is a hot dirty basement which is where most of the dancing tends to take place.  This place is only good late at night (say, after midnight).   Other similar places (you can google them for more info) include K&M Bar (Williamsburg), 169 Bar (East Chinatown/Deep Lower East Side), Darkroom (Lower East Side),

In general, if you want to walk around to a string of bars that will be very busy/lively on a weekend (Thursday-Sunday), you should go to the Lower East Side.  Ludlow St. in particular, between Houston (pronounced How-ston, not Hee-u-ston like the city) St. and Delancey St.  You’ll also find quite a lot on Orchard St. and Essex St., which are parallel to Ludlow, and on the two main cross streets: rivington and stanton.  There are more bars in this area than worth mentioning!  If you want dark and loud, go to Motor City.  If you want an incredible list of beers and some decent food, go to Spitzer’s.  If you want a bar with bright lights, go to Max Fish.  Piano’s is also an okay place, and often has live music (note that there is an upstairs space at Piano’s, to get there you need to go to the staircase at the back of the main room. It’s often quieter up there.)   Basically, you can just walk around this area and you’ll find something to occupy you.  That said, I’m not crazy about it – it gets way too packed with tourists and people from other parts of the city just looking to get wasted… (That can be fun when you’re just visiting NY!  But when you live here, it gets a bit tiring…)

If you want really well made cocktails, there are tons of places to get them in NY.  One place I like in Manhattan is called Little Branch (20 7th ave at Leroy St., in the basement. Look for the unmarked door with a bouncer standing on the corner.)  In Williamsburg, the place to go is Dram (177 S. 4th St. near Driggs Ave.)

I love to take visitors to the Brooklyn Flea Market on Saturdays and Sundays. 10am-6pm in an old bank (address = One Hanson Place, Brooklyn).  This is in a neighbourhood called Fort Greene.  It’s really easy to get to by train. The bank itself is quite beautiful (be sure to go to the basement and check out the vault, where there are some tasty food vendors – and the vault itself is cool to check out, it’s amazing how thick its doors are!)

Then there’s the classic things that visitors like to do: Central Park (though you should consider visiting Prospect Park in Brooklyn instead, which I think is nicer!), shopping in Soho, shopping on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, going to Broadway shows (go to TKTS discount booths for last minute savings), going for brunch (have a bloody mary with your breakfast!), eating NY bagels (cream cheese and lox, if you’re into it), eating NY pizza (the most classic place for a traditional slice is Joe’s at 7 Carmine St. in the West Village, but there is lots of good pizza in NY), going to the museums (i love the MoMA), checking out art galleries in Chelsea…

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