What Would You Do With One Day In New York City?

I’ve been given a really outstanding gift. I was invited to New York City next week for the sole purpose of having a good time on Wednesday night, and my flight is being paid for by someone other than me. I may talk about the actual reason later, but what’s important for now is that when I told Emily about this invitation she said, immediately, and despite my own abandoning-the-family feelings, “You should go.” And then, since the event itself is on Wednesday, Emily followed up with “Why not stay until Friday?”

I love that woman.

Traveling Tuesday night and Friday afternoon leaves me with all of Thursday open to do whatever I want to do. We have a friend in the city I’ll be staying with (so, hooray for a trip without hotel bills) but who works during the day. So I find myself in possession of a Day in New York and no itinerary. (Really it’s all of Wednesday until the evening and most of Friday until my flight home, but I definitely have Thursday entirely open.)

What should I do?

Some of you who have been reading for a while might remember that I’ve been to New York before, back in my modeling days. (It’s hard to convey in text precisely how sardonically I pronounced “modeling” in my head just now). Emily went with me that time, so we did all the standard things, I think: Empire State Building, Time Square, Central Park, Rockefeller Center. But this will be a different kind of visit. Just me, walking around.

I don’t really want to go to someplace romantic by myself. And I don’t want to go to the Statue of Liberty by myself: I feel like these are things I ought to save for the next time Emily and I go together. But what about everyday New York stuff? Or sorta touristy but maybe not first-run touristy?

It’s a day in New York. What should I do with it?

And, hey locals: Do you want to hang out?

24 thoughts on “What Would You Do With One Day In New York City?”

  1. You should get together with Neil and show him how a Canadian rocks a toque.

  2. Walk around Soho in the morning, Little Italy for lunch, hit MOMA, Central Park in the afternoon, dinner in Hell's Kitchen, see Next 2 Normal on Broadway, hit Fig + Olive for after-theater dessert, then bar-crawl down the meatpacking district from the swanky Standard down to Hogs + Heiffers. Throw your bra on the ceiling, drunk tweet from the bathroom, take a taxi back to your hotel room at 4am and call it a day.

    Hypothetically.

    1. Apart from throwing my bra on the ceiling (and really, if anybody's bra gets

      thrown on the ceiling on this trip I think I'm in trouble) that sounds like

      a pretty damned good day. There will be drunk-tweeting.

  3. MoMA. Definitely. I LURVE that place but I never get to meander through at my own pace, sit around for all the films.

    Other than that, I'd go skating again in Central Park at Wollman Rink, just around twilight.

    Or, I might just start down and one end and spend the entire day walking up to the other end. Or vice versa. Bring some moleskin for blisters.

    Also, yes, Neil should buy me dinner or lunch.

    1. I feel like, while MoMA is a "What have you been doing your whole life if

      you haven't gone to MoMA" kind of place and a real visit to New York ought

      to include it….I'm just not that into art as a primary attraction. So I

      feel like I will definitely disappoint you with what I do end up doing :}

      The walk is a great idea, and one that was already on my list. However, it

      is apparently winter in many parts of the country that I don't live in. I

      don't know if a long walk in cold weather would be advisable. I'm going to

      keep checking the weather and hoping for a nice day on Thursday.

  4. It's Christmas, and no city does Christmas like New York, so one night you absolutely must hit up some of the Christmas stuff. My favorite way is to do one of the bus tours, but if you want to walk, hit Central Park @ the corner of 5th & 59th, and walk down 5th–make sure you check out the Bergdorf Goodman windows, which are more art than holiday. Walk south on 5th until you get to Rockefeller Center–stop and catch the light/music show @ Sax. Head west to see the tree @ Rock Center (don't try to get too close, it's crowded), then continue on to Radio Center Music Hall. (there are a million other places, but that's my favorite. And yes, it'll be crowded, but so festive).

    Then, as a reward for dealing with the crowds, walk back north on 6th avenue until you get to 55th, make a right and go to my favorite restaurant, La Bonne Soupe. Have the french onion soup for me.

  5. It's going to be cold. You can't just walk around outside all day. Actually MOMA is right by Rockefeller Center, Fifth Avenue, etc. You can go there for an hour or so just to get warm. I prefer the Met, or the Museum of Natural History.

  6. Briefcase? Dude, I think your biggest concern would be hiring a crew to build a 90 foot wall around Manhattan island, but whatevs.

  7. It's going to be an absolute zoo! I went to NYC for my first time the first Saturday in December and you cannot move. Good luck with that.

  8. I saw that you visited one of the libraries in Tribeca (in 2008), but you should definitely check out the central library. The architecture is amazing — and, being the intellectual that you are, you will likely love the feeling of being surrounded by books and marble.
    Oh, and Christie's auction house has the nicest bathrooms in town…just sayin'.

  9. You should go to Macy's and kick it with the real Santa. I'm sure he'll be pretty busy though. But I hear he knows where to get a good deal on ice skates.

  10. If you don't want to go to the Statue of Liberty alone and the day is clear, take a ride on the Staten Island Ferry. Hit up Continental Bar in St. Marks for some no frills, cheap drinks and a screen on the back wall that is likely to be playing Easy Rider.

  11. I'd go to Rock and probably hit a couple of the big museums. Also, there's a place you can go to get Broadway tickets for events that day and they're half price. Someone else will know it. But my wife and I saw 3 Penny Opera that way. Just walked up, looked at the marque and ended up seeing a great show with Cyndi Lauper, Alan Cumming and Anna Gasteyer an hour later.

    Anyway, it will be firkin' cold so you are smart setting this up now. The last thing you want to do is find yourself just wandering around, freezing you arse off, jumping in to Starbucks ever couple of blocks to warm up.

    Have fun. My wife are returning after five years. It's our 15th in June. Can't wait.

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