"If you are bored of New York, its your own fault" - Myrna Loy

New York is not the capital of USA. It's not even the capital of NY state. New York is the capital of everything else imaginable. Welcome to the world's greatest metropolis. This page cannot be a guide/ travelogue to one of the most mesmerising cities in the world. This page is just a journal ... a diary of sorts ... of the things I loved in New York City.

If you are looking for a guide to New York, I would suggest you walk into a book store and pick up one of the several guide books available. It's always worthwhile to get a book and read about the place before you start exploring on your own. I love the Frommer's New York City Day by Day [$14] and the very handy and excellent Streetwise Manhattan map [$8].

40 Things To Do in New York

  1. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge
  2. Take the ferry ride from Manhattan to Staten Island. Enjoy the views of Statue of Liberty, Downtown and bridges to Brooklyn
  3. Pick up bagel cream-cheese before you head to work
  4. Take in some fine restaurants and pubs on cobbled and historic Stone St
  5. Enjoy people-watching on world's most famous street - the Wall St - with views of New York Stock Exchange and Federal Hall
  6. Enjoy a lazy Sunday morning brunch. I loved Esperanto on 9th St and Ave C! Yummy french toast, fine mimosas, breezy atmosphere and lovely waitresses
  7. Explore the Trinity Church near Wall St. It's pretty neat and Nicolas Cage found the National Treasure buried beneath this church in a movie with the same name ;-)
  8. Locate the Five Points intersection
  9. Visit the International Center for Photography (1114 6th Ave at 43rd St) and catch the current showing exhibition (I was lucky to see Martin Munkacsi's Think While You Shoot! and Henri Cartier-Bresson's Scrapbook on display) [$12]
  10. If you are a sucker for cameras, visit world's greatest photography equipment store - BnH (420 9th Ave at 33rd St)
  11. Enjoy Grand Central Terminal - a beautiful building by all means - and thank god they didn't pull it down in 1970. Sometimes they show nice exhibitions like Celluloid Skyline in the Vanderbilt Hall of GCT
  12. Madison Square Garden is great place to catch events (like Rod Stewart's concert, Rangers' hockey game, Knicks' NBA basketball game, Harlem Globetrotters' stunt show)
  13. New York Public Library - great hall on the top floor and some interesting exhibitions on the ground floor (Making the Scene: The Midtown Y Photography Gallery, 1972-1996)
  14. Don't miss Stomp, an off-broadway show at Orpheum Theatre (8th St, 2nd Ave) - highly recommended [$37]
  15. Catch Producers, a broadway play at St. James Theater (44th W St and Broadway) [$62]
  16. Get yourself arranged a dinner at the Waldorf=Astoria, a famously luxurious hotel in New York
  17. Gaze at the Flatiron Building on the intersection of 5th Ave and Broadway and go for some wine tasting at Punch, a wine bar on 913 Broadway
  18. St. Patricks Church on 50th St and 5th Ave. It is the largest decorated neo-gothic style Catholic cathedral in North America
  19. Try ice skating at Rockefeller Center in winter - this is where Serendipity scenes were filmed
  20. Splurge at the world's largest store Macys on 34th and 6th or find some bargains at Century 21 in downtown
  21. Choose a sip from the 66 taps of The Ginger Man (11 E 36th St)
  22. Window-shop on Fifth Avenue
  23. Spend an entire day at Metropolitan Museum of Art - it's a collection of many treasures under one roof. Tip: come early and leave late [suggested donation for admission is $20]
  24. Walk in Central Park (awesome!) and peep at the Dakota building where John Lennon was shot
  25. Dine in one of the many (expensive) street side restaurants on Amsterdam Ave between 60th St and 80th St
  26. Walk the Museum mile - there are several museums here - pick your favorite two
  27. Finish your work day at 8.30pm (days are long in this city), walk into a book store at 9.00pm (some are open till 11.00pm) and finish a book on the shelf. Try Here is New York by E. B. White. Five star
  28. Walk the Mount Morris Historic District in Harlem and marvel at the almost frozen in time brownstone townhouses
  29. Enjoy views of Manhattan from Hudson Walkway in Jersey City, NJ
  30. Taste some pastries and biscotti from the bakeries of Little Italy in Bronx
  31. At Dumbo, you can enjoy views of Manhattan downtown, Brooklyn bridge and Manhattan bridge
  32. Queue up for pizza at Grimaldi's Pizzeria under Brooklyn Bridge (no slice; recommended min. 2 people). Queue up again for icecream at Brooklyn Icecream Factory. Expect an hour to hour and a half in the queues. It's for a reason they call this the best food nexus.
  33. Feast on a dinosaur sized barbeque at 131st St and 12th
  34. Watch a baseball game (like New York Mets vs Oakland Atheletics at Shea Stadium)
  35. Walk in Williamsburg on a Saturday. An area with interesting mix of orthodox Jews, Dominicans and hipsters in just one mile.
  36. Get out of the city! Boston, Philadelphia and Washington are so close by! Don't forget to read the guide books before you get there. If you miss that, pick up some reading material from Tourist Information Centers in city squares.
  37. Hail a yellow cab - the quintessential New York experience for newbies
  38. Explore 50 different cuisines in 100 different restaurants
  39. Understand that the neighborhoods of New York City are cities within a city
  40. Walk walk walk. Every street, every avenue of New York City is capable of engrossing you

This list is roughly arranged like this: downtown activities at the top, followed by midtown, uptown, outside Manhattan and everywhere. This is by no means an exhaustive list. This is just a list of things I enjoyed in New York.

60 Places I Enjoyed Eating At
(in no particular order)

  1. Adriennes Pizzabar, Stone St, Downtown - Italian
  2. Guiness, Stone St, Downtown - American
  3. Josephs, Pearl St, Downtown - North Italian
  4. Trotters, 175 Main St, White Plains - Mediterranean
  5. Handi, 28th and Lex - Pakistani / Indian
  6. Chinese Mirch, 29th and Lex - Indian Chinese
  7. Dos Caminos, 26th and Park - Mexican
  8. Taksim, 6th and 2nd Ave - Turkish
  9. Kanvas, 23rd and 9th - Pub [+]
  10. Ghenet, Mulberry St, Downtown - Ethiopian
  11. Zerza Bar, 6th and 2nd Ave - Moroccan
  12. Sarvana Bhavan, 26th and Lex - South Indian
  13. Baluchi, Downtown - Indian
  14. Bukhara Grill, 49th and 3rd Ave - Indian
  15. Al Bustan, 51st and 3rd Ave - Lebanese
  16. Grappola, Chappaqua - Italian
  17. Alfanoose, Maiden St, Downtown - Middle Eastern
  18. Meskerem, MacDougal St, West Village - Ethiopian
  19. Montes Trattoria, MacDougal St, West Village - Italian
  20. Punch, 913 Broadway - Wine
  21. Wu Liang Ye, 39th and Lex - Chinese
  22. Karavas Place, 4th and 6th Ave - Mediterranean
  23. Wetbar, 39th and Lex - Pub
  24. Molyvos, 55th and 7th - Greek
  25. Caravela, Tarrytown - Brazilian and Portugese
  26. Esperanto, 9th and Ave C - Mexican
  27. Stone Street Tavern (since 1656), Stone St - Tavern
  28. Queen of Sheeba, 56th and 10th - Ethiopian
  29. Off the Wagon, MacDougal and Bleecker - Pub
  30. Monaco, 80th and Amsterdam - Meditarranean
  31. Le Vela, 78th and Amsterdam - Italian
  32. Wasabi, Sleepy Hollow - Japanese
  33. Benihana, 55th and 6th - Japanese
  34. Delmonicos 1837, Beaver and William - Fine dining
  35. Delancey, 168 Delancey - Pub
  36. Naples 45, 45th and Park - Italian
  37. Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, Brooklyn - Ice cream
  38. Luna Park, 50 E 17th st - Pub
  39. Grimaldi's Pizzeria, Old Fulton St, Brooklyn - Pizza
  40. California Pizza Kitchen, 30th and Park - Pizza
  41. Pershing Square, 42nd and Park - American
  42. Bogarts, 40th and Park - Pub
  43. Bamiyan, 26th and 3rd Ave - Afghani
  44. Ravagh, 30th and 5th - Irani
  45. Curry in a Hurry, 28th and Lex - Indian
  46. Kettle Place, Chappaqua - Grill
  47. Cafe Colonial, Houston and Elizabeth - Brazilian
  48. BXL, 43rd and 6th - Belgian Pub
  49. Gobo, 8th St and 6th Ave - Vegan
  50. The Blazer Pub, Somers - Pub
  51. Ollies, 116th St and Broadway - Noodle bar
  52. Bryant Park grill, 42nd and 5th - Grill
  53. Gingerman, 36th and Madison - Pub
  54. Acqua Santa, N 7th St and Driggs St, Brooklyn - Italian
  55. Industria Argentina, Greenwich St and Duane St - Argentinian
  56. Bello Squardo, 79th and Amsterdam - Mediterranean
  57. Dinosaur Bar-b-que, 131st St and 12th - BBQ
  58. Harvest on Hudson, Hastings on Hudson - Spanish Mediterranean
  59. Joshua Tree, 33 and 3rd - Pub
  60. Tonic, 29th & 3rd and 43rd & 7th - Indian Pub

Some Walks in the City

  1. Columbia University (RK)
  2. Brooklyn Bridge and City Hall (RK)
  3. Downtown to 12th via Greenwich (RK)
  4. Downtown to Central Park and 82nd and back to 42nd via Broadway and 5th(RK)
  5. Downtown to 34th via East River side (RK) and Soho (VP et al)
  6. 28th and Lex to Downtown via China Town (JA)
  7. China Town to Downtown (JA)
  8. Tribeca, Soho and Midtown (RK)
  9. West Village, Soho and East Village
  10. Union Square, Midtown 5th Ave NY and Hudson Walkway NJ
  11. Upper East Side
  12. Downtown and Staten Island
  13. Tompkins Square - Washington Square - Union Square - Bryant Park - Central Park (RK)
  14. Upper West Side and Central Park (RK)
  15. Little Italy in Bronx, Harlem (RK) and Central Park, Hells Kitchen (PS)
  16. Lower East, historic districts of Greenwich, Gansevoort (or Meatpacking), Chelsea, across Brooklyn bridge and historic district of Fulton Ferry (RK)
  17. 5th Ave and Museum Mile (RK)
  18. Williamsburg in Brooklyn (PR)

A traveller. Not a tourist.

The street scenes below are 1/250th of a second freezes from the cities of Calcutta and New York. Calcutta and New York - arguably the cultural capitals of India and United States. And what makes me enjoy these scenes is the fact that they pack so much of what that city is. A hand-pulled rick, light green kurta and dhoti, father and child, typical yellow Ambassador Calcutta taxi, a fan inside it, relaxing driver, rolled down shutter of a pan shop, Coca Cola painted over it, decaying wall that needs a coat of paint, Communist political party symbol painted over it - all of which, in way or the other, is Calcutta.

The New York picture again captures the yellow Ford NY cab that I hail almost everyday, 'I love NY' poly-bag in which I get my food everyday, trash cans (which somehow remind me of Italian mafia), street photographer in a jeans and jacket (yes, that's me in the mirror), bazaar on streets of SoHo, narrow homes/studios and tight parking.

1/250th of a second. Imagine what one can see in an hour, day, or perhaps a lifetime.

Tags: North America

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  1. You write really well. Just read your piece on New York and remembered the time Snehal and I had spent there :) - Tejas Jog
  2. Love your post so much that I'm considering taking a print and striking off places - Himanshu Nema