The best place in NYC to enjoy an Old Fashioned and look back towards central Manhattan.
The views are fantastic and unimpeded stretching from Central Park down to Wall St - well worth a trip out to West 48th to go and watch the city that never sleeps from one of its best vantage points.
Everyone knows the best thing about heartbreak, loneliness, and unrequited love is the music. Especially the Smiths. This Valentine's Day, February 14, you can celebrate your love, or lack thereof, with The Sons & Heirs, a Smiths and Morrissey cover band at The Bell House in Brooklyn. (Check out their songs here.) Doors open at 8 pm and the show starts at 9 pm with a Smiths-inspired cabaret. You can buy tickets in advance for $12 or $15 at the door. And yes, there will be lots of alcohol and singles there! The Bell House is located on 149 7th Street off the F and G trains.
149 7th St Brooklyn, NY 11215, United States
+1 718 643 6510
Google map: bit.ly/TNui8e
* Amanda is our Been there local for New York. You can check out her page here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/articles/new-york-local-amanda-green.jsp and her own NYC blog here: www.noisiestpassenger.com/. She's also on Twitter: @amandagreen
Based on an old-fashioned European apothecary shop, Apotheke is a cocktail bar like no other. The menu is eclectic and the bar is more of a chemistry lab than a drinks station, surrounded by medicinal jars from around the world. Great atmosphere, potent cocktails and attractive bar staff.
It's a cafe, restaurant and bar with a terrace with great views facing the Hudson.
West 79th Street, New York, NY, United States
+1 212 496 5542
Google map: bit.ly/Jr3mlC
It's where W79 St meets the Hudson. Take a 1 train to 79 St and walk west (downhill), or take the M79 bus a block or so. Walk under the West Side Highway and keep going. You don't see it till you're there.
Love going to the movies, but hate the gross concession stand? The new Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg, Brooklyn serves dinner and a movie at the same time. There are even specials in different theaters related to whatever movie's being shown. General admission is $11 and food and drinks (yes, they serve alcohol, too!) are extra. Arrive about a half-hour early, so you can find a seat and table and order your meal.
136 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11249, United States
+1 (718) 384 3980
Google map: bit.ly/ow9NVU
* Amanda is our Been there local for New York. You can check out her page here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/articles/new-york-local-amanda-green.jsp and her own NYC blog here: www.noisiestpassenger.com/
If you see stand-up comedy in NYC, you'll probably be stuck with an admission fee and a two drink minimum. The night won't be cheap, and there's no guarantee that the performances will be worth it. Especially at an open mic - believe me, I've performed in them. My favorite comedy in NYC is actually a $5 variety show in Brooklyn. "Hot Tub with Kurt and Kristen" is a weekly labor of love put together by Kristen Schaal of The Daily Show and Flight of the Conchords and Kurt Braunohler of various improv troupes. Every Monday night includes musical performances, comedy, general weirdness from up-and-coming funny people. (One recent guest was Jenny Slate, formerly of Saturday Night Live.) The show starts at 8pm at Littlefield in Park Slope, Brooklyn. If you've worried about venturing outside Manhattan, don't. It's an easy train ride over and so worth it.
Warm weekends in NYC call for two things: 1) comfortable shoes and 2) gelato. Or sorbet. Or ice cream. Or ices. NYC has a lot to choose from. But my favorite source is Cones NYC. This West Village sweet spot serves handmade Argentinean ice cream and sorbet. On a hot day, the line is out the door. You can still ask for a few samples, from the traditional raspberry sorbet to corn-flavored ice cream. (Try it in a cup with a scoop of dulce de leche on top - divine!) I'm a purist, so my favorite flavor is ... well, just about all of them. Cones is a great spot for night owls - it opens at 1 pm every day and closes at 11pm on weekdays and 1am on weekends. FYI: It's cash only.
272 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10014
+1 (212) 414-1795
Google map: bit.ly/luKKpI
You can't knock a New Yorker down easily. Especially when she's on rollerskates and goes by a name like "Bitch Cassidy." Gotham Girls Roller Derby brings together different teams from the city's five boroughs in sometimes bloody and always bawdy bouts. Events are held on weekends around the city. You can eat, drink, and be merry from the safety of bleachers, or opt for front row seats on the floor. Just don't bring your own skates - those roller derby chicks might make you use them.
New York, like most cities, is best seen on foot. Too often, when you're fixed on seeing a specific attraction, you get there the quickest way possible and don't always notice everything else on the way. Take time out to explore a few neighbourhoods, with no specific aim other than to get a real feel of New York. Check out lower Manhattan, starting with SoHo, and stop for a drink in O'Nieal's Grand Street (the bar filmed as Scout in Sex and the City). Then wander further down Mulberry Street into Little Italy and scoff a bowl of pasta in an authentic local restaurant, before sampling the chaos and colour of Chinatown. Or head to the Village to queue with New Yorkers for a cupcake at the Magnolia Bakery, before wandering down the tree-lined streets of mega-bucks brownstones for a glimpse of how the other half lives.
This trashy rock bar is the home of punk rock karaoke (Mondays, 10pm) and it has gigs in the basement almost every night. It's free to go for a drink upstairs, where the beer is the cheapest in the area - around $3 per pint. Plus, if you're lucky the barman will also throw in a few New York Dolls stories for you.
59 Stanton Street, New York
This is a brand new theatre opening October 25, 2007 in beautiful Newark, NJ, just over the bridge from New York City.
Thur 10/25 & Fri 10/26 features My Chemical Romance opening for Bon Jovi. Check this out for a night of music enjoyment.
Tickets are available now at www.ticketmaster.com.
165 Mulberry Street
Newark, NJ 07102
Along Greenwich Avenue there's plenty of bars and food stops. Enjoyed a cheap Sam Adams during happy hour (forget the name but it was Irish!).
Bleecker Street seems to cater for every type of drinker so if you can't find a decent boozer there, something is wrong with you. Blind Tiger very popular and my sort of place with good range of ales.
The pace here is more laid back than midtown.
Greenwich Ave or Bleeker Street (between 8th Ave and 6th Ave)
Search out your own gem on any of the side streets
Notoriously it was once the most difficult velvet rope to negotiate in Manhattan and apparently they’ll soon be opening a sister venue in London. In it’s heyday, a key card was pre-requisite to gain entry. Whether this concept will work across the pond remains to be seen, and to be fair it’s the kind of place I’d usually avoid like the plague.
But when in New York, and when with a mate-who’s-mate’s-mate-knows-a-mate-of owner Amy Sacco, then why not.
Is it worth the effort? Well, the pretentious git in me did feel kind of smug at leaving the mere mortals behind on the sidewalk, but the place certainly didn’t blow me away.
Inside was “Beverly Hills themed” whatever that means. It was much smaller than expected, music was identikit hip-hop and R&B and there wasn’t a single celebrity du jour to gawp at. The only thing that blew me away was checking my Amex receipts in my wallet the following morning.
515 W. 27th St (between 10th & 11th Aves)
I've travelled a fair bit on my own and this is by far the safest and friendliest city I have ever been to.
Look at a map for less than a minute on any street corner and somebody will come and offer their help. I've never been one for going to restaurants on my own but sometimes it's necessary.
This city is the only place I have felt comfortable doing this, no matter what day it is or what time of day.
Most importantly I have never felt so safe walking around a city on my own at night. How can you not be safe in the city that never sleeps? If you are in any doubt there is always a shop open that you can duck into.
I've always stayed in Greenwich or Chelsea and have never had a problem walking around at any hour of the night.
Of course going on holiday is more fun with a friend, but if you are travelling on your own I would highly recommend a stopover in New York.
If you crave a night less ordinary in lower Manhattan, the Mehanata Bulgarian Cultural Club on Canal St and Broadway offers a wonderfully twisted and laidback alternative to Soho’s über-fashionable bars and clubs (you can smoke here for starters). The music is a seething hotchpotch of deep Balkan house and stomping folk beats while the bar serves up a strong Bulgarian punch and shows experimental eastern European cinema and Saturday night TV comedy straight from Sofia.
416 Broadway and Canal Street, www.mehanata.com
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