July 9, 2009

What would you do in NYC for a week?

Here's what Jac did.

Thing I most wish I did: the Basil Wolverton exhibit.


Hoosier Daddy said...

I was there for 2 days and I drank heavily. Too big, too noisy, too crowded. Works for some but not for moi.

former law student said...

Yankees game
Broadway show
Frick collection/Guggenheim
Staten Island ferry
If it's not hypercrowded like it always is, American Museum of Natural History -- never try it when it's raining.

former law student said...

Also, the guy playing the melodica reminds me of Ronnie Malley of Chicago's Lamajamal, a Mediterranean folk/jazz band. Bass player does not.

Richard Dolan said...

My sister and her family were visiting us for a few days recently. Highlights of their stay were: riding the Cyclone at Coney Island; briefly sampling the Russian joints in Brighton Beach; dinner at the Queen (Bklyn); people watching in midtown; an early morning shopping trip to Century 21 (have to be in and out before the Euros arrived).

Life is different with a pre-teen son in tow, but the key is still knowing your audience and what will work for them.

Hoosier Dad sounds like he was mostly hanging out in Manhattan, but there's lots more to NYC than its crowded, noisy and overpriced bars.

KCFleming said...


I'd visit Trooper York.

He'd get sick of me after one day, so I'd leave early.

Wince said...

"Danielle at Cafe Brama," in NYC with an iced coffee and a sketch pad.

Althouse, the Next Generation?

EKatz said...

On a Sunday afternoon last summer I took the M4 bus to Fort Tryon Park, and walked through the park to the Cloisters. It was a wonderful visit: art, lovely cloister gardens, views of the Hudson River, a wind quintet playing in the park. Also, I love riding on NYC's buses - a great way of seeing different neighborhoods even if you don't have time to stop and walk through each one.

Walking around Lower Manhattan and visiting its historical sites - Trinity Church, St. Paul's Chapel (a centuries-old church next to the former World Trade Center that served as a base for recovery workers after the attacks), Federal Hall, and further north, City Hall Park.

I also recommend the World Financial Center, and walking the promenade from the center to Battery Park.

42nd street branch of the NY Public Library. Also walk down "library way", which I believe is on 41st street btw. 5th ave and Park or Madison maybe... the sidewalk has plaques engraved with quotes from different authors.

Statue of Liberty and the wonderful Ellis Island Museum, on a sunny clear day.

rhhardin said...

Book flight to Ohio.

Robert Cook said...

I do plan on going to see the Wolverton exhibit in the next week or so.

I visited the Francis Bacon retrospective at the Met last weekend. It was the most exciting painting show I've ever seen. Far from the denatured, rather decorative looking works I was familiar with from seeing Bacon only in reproduction, the actual works are large, savage, emotional, with beautiful surfaces displaying just enough but not overdone impasto and textural effects.

Unknown said...


I often have much to complain about here, but today you're my new hero. I love Basil Wolverton's work and his "spaghetti and meatballs" aesthetic.

His humor comics were light and fluid (and funny) in their anarchism. (Think of E.C. Segar's Popeye.) His grotesque illustrations are roiling, heaving landscapes of ink. His cartoons make a world.

Wish I could see that show myself.

Lem said...

The Unicorn Tapestries at The Cloisters.

traditionalguy said...

Gramercy Park Tavern, The Tavern on the Green , Sardis and Grand Central Oyster Bar are oldies but goodies. When not eating, see Museums everywhere, walk Central park, and see a Broadway Play every night. Also check out Lincoln Center's calendar. The Algonquin Hotel's Roundtable is still there, and has a good singer performing nightly in the Oak Room. The shopping along Madison Avenue is still interesting, provided that you are still feeling wealthy. The best sports Bar to see an important event on TV is Mickey Mantle's across from the Southside of Central Park. Also walk Grenage Village for flavor of old NY.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

I ride my bike into Manhattan every weekday for work, back to Brooklyn every night, dinner, a dvd, maybe the gym. On the weekend we try to get a little nature in- Governor's Island, Gantry Park, maybe a museum once in awhile.

Jeff Gee said...

You're my hero today, too. I'm catching the Wolverton exhibit come hell or high water. Thank you!

Also worth checking out: Basil's vocal stylings...

Lisa said...

Anybody heard about the firing of NY Senate staffers because they are white?

How is this remotely legal?


" During the long years of Republican control, the all-white GOP "conference" would regularly bemoan its lack of diversity, and make extra efforts to recruit minority Senate candidates and hire minority staff.

During the first five months of this year, with the Senate under the control of its first African-American majority leader, Smith, top Democrats bemoaned the lack of minority Senate staffers.

But instead of trying to recruit new hires, they fired nearly 200 almost exclusively white workers and replaced them with a large number of minority employees, many of whom were seen by their fellow workers to be unskilled at their new jobs.

The move produced severe racial tensions, made worse by the fact that, as a high-level Democratic staffer confided, "We've been told to only hire minorities.''"

ricpic said...

That's a good list by FLS but how about walking Broadway from 96th Street to 14th Street: Upper West Side, Lincoln Center, Columbus Circle, Times Square, Herald Square, Madison Square (Triangle Building), Union Square. If you're not tuckered out keep on south to SOHO and finally Chinatown.

ricpic said...

Black on white discrimination is not racism, Lisa, all withit people know that.

Lem said...

Indian/Pakistani food , E 6 st btwg 2nd and 1st ave .
There are well over a dozen restaurant in that one block.

tim maguire said...

Typically, in a week in New York City, I wake up, feed the baby, walk the dog, feed myself if I'm lucky, go to work, go home, eat dinner, watch 30 minutes of TV and read or write for 45 mintues and go to bed.

tim maguire said...

Five times. Weekends depends heavily on whether we get a sitter.

former law student said...

tim maguire suggests why I would never live in New York -- you're too busy in the daily grind to take advantage of what makes it special. Further, in my experience, the urban grind wears you down more than living in a less dense area.

In fact, college towns like Madison offer an excellent balance of amenities and low density living.

Jason (the commenter) said...

-eat at an Ethiopian restaurant: Queen of Sheba
-stop at a Chinese bakery (to get a real egg roll)
-visit my friends at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
-get off at random subway stops and walk around
-avoid the horrid Museum of Natural History (full of dead animals, dioramas, and too much text)

MadisonMan said...

Pogo nails it! LeeLee's Valise!

al said...

The only thing I'd add/tweak is Times Square on a Saturday night. Good time. The performers and artists were great, got some interesting art for cheap.

Lower Manhattan was worth the time to wander. Ellis Island/Liberty Island are great. Not sure I'd wait in line again to get in the Statue of Liberty again. I wish I had more time for walking in Central Park.

Kirby Olson said...

I spent a lot of the last month in NYC and environs. Just behind Washington Sq. Park is NYU that had a World Science Foundation event with Edward O. Wilson and many others giving free talks. Union Park is another nice park to sit in. They had some crazy bum there who was extremely entertaining, talking very loud, and throwing talcum powder all over his body. There is a new museum of Chinese that opened in Chinatown, but I didn't go there. I did hear an interview with Maya Lin who designed part of the lobby. She said it should be called Museum of THE Chinese, to distinguish it from the language, but they goofed that up. I also saw the Bacon show at the Met. It's much better work in person.

Two other very nice things to visit but you need to go north about a half hour by car is the Dia Foundation in Beacon which has a huge selection of gigantic minimalist works by Richard Serra, Robert Smithson, and others. You need to go on a tour to get much out of it, but the tours are free on Saturdays at 1 pm. We had a guide named Charlotte Schultz, who was marvelous. the building itself is spectacularly huge, it was a former train station for the New York city trains on Metro North. It was bought up by Leonard Riggio, who runs Barnes and Nobles (all narratives) to pay for this totally non-narrative work. One whole room of Warhols as big as a football field. And another room full of white paintings by Reiman, or Ryman. Neat stuff!

About forty minutes north of there you can go to FDR's house, which has nice grounds, and you can see the car he drove without legs (polio made his legs inert after 1921 but he had two levers installed, one was a brake and one was the accelerator) and then there's lots of stuff about Eleanor too. She was so ugly, but she had a beautiful soul. She wrote up something called The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is fun to read, and think about.

Next door practically is the Vanderbilt Mansion right on the Hudson.

I didn't know about the Woolverton. Thanks for the tip.

The big food treat over all of NYC now is a fruit parfait. It's big, and has granola, and on the bottom you get caramel or sometimes blueberries. It's about 3.25 in most of the corner groceries. They have this everywhere you go, and it's sustaining and not too expensive.

Kirby Olson said...

Best thing I did: free Shakespeare in the park. I saw Anne Hathway in 12th Night.

The tickets are free but you have to line up at 9 am in Central Park at 81st Street West, by the Delacorte theatre. You can only have two tickets, and you have to wait four hours til the box office opens at 1 pm. It's the best Shakespeare I'd ever seen. The only bad part in the whole play was the Duke, but there were no contemporary political allusions lobbed in. What a treat!

Paul said...

What would I do?

Go to Chinatown to eat Szechuan Food. Listen to jazz. Go to Little Italy for some pasta. Wander around SoHo. Hit the Guggenheim. Eat bagels and cream cheese and lox. Hang out all morning in Central Park with coffee and the Times Crossword Puzzle. Eat breakfast in a Greek diner on upper Broadway. Slum around Columbia. Check out the bookstores. See if there are any good shows for cheap. Mostly, not sleep enough.

KLDAVIS said...

Let's see...

Pomme Frites
Milk & Honey
Crif Dog
Pomme Frites
Death & Company
Pomme Frites
Dutch Kills
Little Branch
Pegu Club

And, if time, on the way to the airport, Pomme Frites.

Baron Zemo said...

Dear lady.

There are trolls and then there are trolls.

Some trolls are more equal than others.


chickelit said...

Pogo called it first.

I'd first go to Brooklyn and meet up with Trooper York. He's got cannoli and espresso waiting: link.

I'd bring the family so we'd do all the touristy stuff after that.

Darcy said...

Yep, Trooper York would be a must see. And Palladian!

Lem, aren't you in NY? And ricpic?

Anonymous said...

Trooper York's place, the Cloisters, a cab ride, Shea stadium, a pretzel from a street vendor, and a visit with my former brother-in-law.