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Trip List by dccab

When in NYC: Eclectic urban exploration

15 Nov 2007  Trips taken over past 10 years
3.5 of 5 stars based on 6 votes

It's hard to make a list of NYC places that aren't famous and well-trodden, unless you're a New Yorker (I'm not), but this is my list of personal favorites. An admittedly random list of some good, low-key places to eat, shop or just poke around in and around Manhattan, some of which are off the beaten path. Doesn't include Statue of Liberty or Empire State Building! For the repeat visitor.

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: New York City, Bronx
  • Category: Walking tour
  • Traveler type: Culture, Repeat visitors
  • Appeals to: Business travellers , Couples/romantics, Singles, Students
  • 1. E.A.T.
    E.A.T., New York City, New York

    The service is good, it's never too crowded and you get to walk through a well-stocked bakery/deli on your way to the dining room, to get you in the mood for food. Perfect place to go for quiet dinner; not too far from the Met.

  • 2. Lomzynianka Fine Polish Cuisine
    http://www.lomzynianka.com/

    Good, small Polish restaurant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. 646 Manhattan Avenue. (718) 389-9439. J.J.J. Grzelczak. "Home cooking in the heart of Greenpoint". G Train, Greenpoint.

  • 3. P.S. Bookshop

    GREAT used bookstore in DUMBO/Brooklyn. The store is well organized and books are accessible. 145A Front Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201. (718) 222-3340. Open 7 days a week. Take the F Train to York Street and once you emerge on the street, walk toward the water. You will be in the shadow of the Manhattan Bridge span.

  • 4. J J Hat Center
    http://www.jjhatcenter.com/

    Good hat stores are hard to find, especially for men (at least in the U.S.). This great store is at 310 5th Ave., at 32nd St. 212.971.0406. Be sure and peek down 32nd street for a colorful view of NYC's Koreatown.

  • 5. End of History - West Village's fantastic vintage glass gallery/shop
    http://theendofhistoryshop.blogspot.com/

    The End of History - a treasury of vintage glass! It's a small shop on Hudson Street, just south of Perry, in the West Village. I love this place. It's full of vintage hand-blown glass of all colors and shapes; a hand-picked inventory, amassed by someone with an expert eye. You'll find pieces made in Murano, Italy in the '50s (just an example). I'm not a connoisseur, and you don't need to be one either. The very kind lady who was at the shop when I visited, Lisa, was a vast source of information and made me feel welcome. What a great independent shop this is. 548 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014 (212) 647-7598. Call for hours.

  • 6. Red Flame
    Red Flame, New York City, New York

    Coffee shop on west 44th between 6th and 5th (closer to 6th), across the street from the Royalton. Good for a cup of joe or a short stack in the morning; great for lunch and dinner too if you don't have a lot of time on your hands.

  • 7. The Strand Bookstore
    The Strand Bookstore, New York City, New York

    Yes, it's crowded, but always a good way to shoot an entire afternoon browsing the books. You can really lose yourself in a store like this.

  • 8. Prague Kolektiv
    http://www.praguekolektiv.com

    Design showroom and collection of vintage Czech modern furniture in DUMBO. 143 Front Street, Brooklyn, NY. 11201. (718) 260-8013. Next to P.S. Books, another great spot. F train, York Street.
    UPDATE: Check website. Looks like they list a new address.

  • 9. Modernlink
    http://www.modernlink.com

    Furniture design showroom in the East Village. 35 Bond Street, NYC, NY 10012
    (212) 254-1300. William Lee. Very cool desk (the "Jimmy"), shelving, tables, chairs.

  • 10. Museum of American Finance
    http://www.financialhistory.org

    The old Wall Street. Small museum in Lower Manhattan with collection of artifacts from the world of finance, and educational exhibits. Currently closed (Dec. 2007) moving from 26 Broadway to 48 Wall Street. (212) 908-4110. Check their web site.

  • 11. Crosby Street Hotel
    Crosby Street Hotel, New York City, New York

    My new favorite hotel in NYC. A wonderful place to stay or to have a casual dinner. Still seems to be somewhat of a secret, tucked away on a quiet street between bustling Soho and Little Italy neighborhoods. Walking distance to much shopping, including a favorite of mine, McNally Jackson Bookstore.

  • 12. Rivington Hotel
    Hotel on Rivington, New York City, New York
    CHECK RATES!
    Avg price: $373

    Restaurant is reliably good and set in a wonderfully minimalist lobby. Dinner is busy but mornings and afternoons are low key.

  • 13. International Center of Photography
    International Center of Photography Museum, New York City, New York

    Check web site for current exhibits. Easy access at Sixth Avenue & 43rd Street; small museum so you won't be overwhelmed and exhausted.

  • 14. Green Farms Supermarket

    Polish market in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, 918 Manhattan Ave., corner of Kent St., Brooklyn. (718) 389-4114. Subway stop: Greenpoint (G - B'lyn-Queens crosstown). This is a great example of one of NYC's truly ethnic food stores. Keep expectations realistic, though; it's just a grocery store. But stop in if you're strolling Manhattan Avenue (see below).

  • 15. Fishs Eddy - Flatiron District
    Fishs Eddy - Flatiron District, New York City, New York

    Where else can you buy overstock of airline china and silverware? Always fun to stop in and see what they've got. 899 Broadway at 19th. 212.420.9020.

  • 16. Greenpoint, Brooklyn's Polish neighborhood

    The stretch of Manhattan Avenue from (roughly) Nassau Avenue to around Kent Street is the heart of Greenpoint's Polish community. Although some say the Polish population is in decline, restaurants and shops still abound - I counted 3 Polish bakeries.There could be more. Side streets seem worth exploring too, although I didn't have time. Take G Train (B'lyn-Queens crosstown doesn't go into Manhattan) and get off at Greenpoint or Nassau Ave.

  • 17. Flushing, Queens -an alternative to Manhattan's Chinatown

    Lots of the same flavors as are found in the Manhattan chinatown, but in the outer boroughs. It's near Corona Park and the Queens Museum of Art, so make an afternoon of it. Take the Long Island R.R. to Flushing/Main Street.

  • 18. Jackson Heights, Queens - another great NYC ethnic neighborhood

    Take the 7 train out of Manhattan and get off at 82nd Street/Jackson Hts. or nearby stop, and walk along Roosevelt Avenue. It's jumbled, chaotic, cramped and has a lot of seemingly identical shops (shoes, stereos, appliances, one after the other) but enough variety and good food to make it worth the trip. And you get a much better flavor for NYC than if you never left Manhattan. Bonus: the view of Manhattan and Queens from the elevated 7 train can be a real plus if you're seated in the right place and there are no elbows or shopping bags in your face.

  • 19. Mandarin Court Restaurant INC
    Mandarin Court Restaurant, New York City, New York

    As long as you're in Chinatown, stop here for dimsum.
    Near the "Chinatown Bus" stop under the Manhattan Bridge (buses from Chinatown/Washington DC, Boston and Philadelphia to Chinatown/NY).

  • 20. New York Botanical Garden
    New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York

    Nice side trip from Manhattan- take the Metro North from Grand Central, Harlem line, to Botanical Garden stop.

  • 21. New York Water Taxi
    http://www.nywatertaxi.com

    Water taxis are still not fully "discovered" by the general touring public. Popular with families during the good weather, but not overwhelmed. Boats stop at various points around Manhattan and Brooklyn. Good way to get around and sightsee at the same time. Catch a boat from the West side piers (near Battery Park City, Greenwich Village, Chelsea) and go to Red Hook/Brooklyn, Wall Street or DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) or up to the east side near U.N. Great views, not much hassle. NOTE: service on East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn has been suspended for the winter. Newspapers say service will resume May 1. Service continues on the Hudson River year round. (Jan. 4, 2008)

  • 22. Ksiegurnia Polonia (Polonia Bookstore, Polish) Greenpoint, Brooklyn

    Small bookshop on Manhattan Ave. in the heart of Greenpoint, a Polish enclave in Brooklyn. Has a great newsstand with scores of newspapers and magazines.
    882 Manhattan Ave., Brooklyn, NY. (718) 389-1684