Do you need to go to Stamford Bridge to watch football in London? No, and you don't need to go to Yankee Stadium, packed with rude suburbanites, to see baseball in New York.
Shea Stadium is out in Flushing, Queens and is the home of the New York Mets. It’s also witnessed two World Series, the birth of Joe Namath as an American football star, papal masses and the Beatles’ most famous concert.
It's cheaper than Yankee Stadium, much more family oriented, and has an interesting feature - jets taking off from LaGuardia airport fly directly over the stadium. Don't expect to hear much except for the loudest yells.
In Flushing Meadow Park on the Number 7 train (from Times Square and Grand Central Station), the station is Willet's Point/Shea Stadium
The Cherry Lawn, the Rose House, Daffodil Hill, the Bonsai Collection, and the Japanese Garden are just some of the highlights of this element of Brooklyn's Culture Park across Flatbush Avenue from the massive Prospect Park (designer Olmstead, annoyed by the Metropolitan Museum in his Central Park, wanted Prospect Park uncompromised by huge buildings). The Brooklyn Museum and Brooklyn Public Library are adjoining. This is a fantastic visit, incredible in the spring. Admission is $5, students $3, kids under 16 get in free.
1000 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn - B or Q train to Prospect Park station. (The B train does not run on weekends.) 2 or 3 train to Eastern Parkway
A fantastic restaurant, which despite being critically acclaimed, is reasonably priced due to the exchange rate. Great service, great ambience and an excellent choice of food and wine. Best to book in advance, which is simple to do online.
42 East 20th Street, Flatiron District; tel: (212) 477-0777;
Nestled in the gritty streets of Hell's Kitchen, Cupcake Bakery is a haven for all sweet tooths. The magic these people make with a bit of butter icing and cake is a sight to be seen. Expect to find trays of cupcakes topped with a colourful array of flowers, served up with a dose of old-time music and Hell's Kitchen charm.
522 9th Avenue (at 39th Street)
Fantastic New York experience - amazing food, everything you can think of and full of locals! Breakfast special to recommend is bagel with smoked salmon and cream cheese, orange juice and coffee for $4.50 - it's a bargain! They do lovely cakes too.
80th & Broadway (nearest station 79th street)
The younger, hipper sister gallery of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), PS1 showcases the best of cutting-edge contemporary art. Even if you don't "get it", you're bound to find something entertaining in this old school building. A recent exhibition included a video of a family kitted out in back-to-front Bernie Clifton-style ostrich outfits played backwards, & a mouse-eye view of a toy train ride through the bowels of houses & offices. Guaranteed to wind up Daily Mail readers & Jack Vettriano lovers, which is never a bad thing. Entry is free with a MoMA ticket.
It's on Long Island. Take the E or V train to 23 St/Ely Ave. Exit onto 44th to Jackson Ave. Walk two blocks south on Jackson to 46th Ave.
Like Los Angeles (not just Hollywood) NYC is teaming with familiar film locations-hundreds of movies have had scenes shot in Central Park for example. Many parts of Manhattan and the adjoining boroughs have seen action in film productions from the likes of Woody Allen or Martin Scorsese and films like The Godfather, Ghostbusters or Spiderman are just a few of very many box office hits that have been shot here.
As for jazz it may well have been born in New Orleans was nurtured in Chicago but this was where it came of age. Jazz clubs abound some of the finest (and most expensive)like Birdland, Bluenote and the Village Vanguard are in or near Midtown Manhattan whereas the less pricy but very good clubs like The Cotton Club, Lenox Lounge and St Nicks are in Harlem a reasonable taxi ride from Midtown.
Movies, Music & Science-Places & Events www.buffguides.com
Hidden away on Clinton Street, which at first doesn't seem the greatest location. This is THE place for blueberry pancakes in NYC. They are light fluffy and come with delicious maple butter syrup. The other delicacy here is their buttermilk biscuits. American biscuits are more like scones and these were lovely with scrambled eggs or jam. It's the perfect place for brunch on a Saturday or Sunday but get there before 10am as it fills up really quickly.
Clinton Street (btw. East Houston & Stanton), New York, NY 10002
Great oysters and clams, open late and fabulous service - ask for Sam Ehrlich, the manager. If you are going to Brooklyn then it is worth spending a bit of time in Fifth Avenue as it is a great place to just wander along. It has a LOT of good restaurants and cool little shops of all kinds.
The nearest subway station is Union Street, on the R/M line; walk one
block uphill along Union St. to Fifth Avenue, turn right and walk three
and a half blocks along Fifth Avenue. Blue Ribbon is closer to First St.
Here's a link to a good site:
A little shop tucked away in Nolita that sells jeans, jeans, and more jeans. We're talking all the latest brands (Seven for all Mankind, Citizens of Humanity, Earl, etc). It's a great little shop with friendly staff who don't overwhelm you and who can also recommend styles to you. (You'll need the help as there are so many models on offer.)
You have the time to try on whatever you want as the shop is quiet. They also have a lovely range of vintage belts. However, it's not the cheapest place for jeans (expect to pay $100 average).
9 Prince St
New York, NY 10012-3506
Directions: B, D, F, Q at Broadway/Lafayette; 6 at Spring St, Bleecker St; N, R at Prince St
On a bright autumn morning when you need a bit of a breeze, take the subway to Brighton Beach and Coney Island. BB is like a weird time warp and a very different country as it's been colonised by Russians, some a bit gangsterish! Walking along the fabulous boardwalk under that clear wide sky, you are miles from Manhattan. Coney Island was closed for the season (end of Oct) - thankfully -but my 2 streetwise sons were still interested to spot 'old' rides etc and strange signs/names in the desolate site.
At Brighton Beach subway
Free movies in Bryant Park next door to the NYC public library every Monday. It's over for the season, but it'll be back next year. Go early, take a blanket, grab some wine and smoke and enjoy classic movies with like-minded people.
www.bryantpark.org/calendar/film-festival.php. It's on 40th and 42nd Streets & Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Subway station 42nd Street/Bryant Park (F,V,B,D)
When people mock the old towers' design, I disagree and remember one beautiful aspect in particular: the observation deck used to be open in the evenings but very few people seemed to know that. So, if you took a train downtown to WTC and walked through the (by then almost deserted) subway past the closed shops, you could take a lift ride up the South Tower and be one of the handful of visitors.
In the heatwave of August 1999, this was the only place in the whole of Manhattan with breeze and bearable temperatures. Standing on top of the world looking at the millions of moving little lights below, taking photographs which are now history and feeling my dress flap in the wind while the city sweltered, I was in paradise. When the building died, a big part of me died with it. This is for those of you who have not experienced it.
Amazing bagels, fresh and hot. Not those doughy bricks that they sell in the carts. www.ess-a-bagel.com/ there are two queues, one for bagels only and one for bagels with stuff. Make sure you get in the right line and be know sure you know what you want before you get to the counter!
359 1st Avenue New York, NY 10010 Phone: 212-260-225
Two pizza joints worth seeking out. In my opinion Lombardis is for tourists - you queue for hours for what can often be a very underwhelming pie. Look at www.sliceny.com/ for more in depth debate on this important topic.
Di Fara Pizza 1424 Avenue J, Midwood, Brooklyn 718-258-1367 or Una Pizza Napoletana 349 E. 12th St. (East Village) between First and Second Aves. 212-477-995
Big Onion does thematic walking tours in the city. I've done their immigrant New York, Lower East Side and Central Park walks in the last couple of years, and they are not to be missed if you want to learn about the history and culture of the city. The tours are led by specialists in New York City history and travelers can check the schedule online. you should really try to squeeze one in when you are there.
schedule and tour descriptions at bigonion.com
A quintessential Lower East Side bar. Cool but not in a too-cool-for-school sense. Trashy but in a retro suburban American living room way. A top mixture of locals, visitors, workers and hipsters all quenching their thirst on $1.50 cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon at the tiny bar. Very fond memories of working downtown during a harsh New York winter and venturing out in a balaclava to brave the elements in search of a drink. This bar was always the first port of call. Great jukebox, great characters.
123 Rivington Street (between Essex and Norfolk St)
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