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Thursday, January 31, 2013

UPDATED: 25 "First Time Visiting NYC" Rules

UPDATED January 31, 2013

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter to see what new and fun NYC experiences and restaurants are a MUST!

First Time Visiting NYC Rule #1:
Make sure you have a NYC night out! You better not come home before 4:00am!

FFU Recs
Dancing & Trouble: Von DownstairsHome Sweet Home & The Darkroom
Dangerous & Adventurous: The Box
4am Snack: Meatball Shop or Cafeteria
Wine Bars: Terroir & Anotheroom
Bars: Smith & MillsMaco Trading CompanyThe Campbell ApartmentMarshall Stack
Country: The Patriot

I highly recommend you get your one night out of the first night. There is so 
much to see and do in this city, if you wait until the end, you will find yourself 
in bed at 9:00pm on a Saturday night or falling asleep in Wicked (Not that I did 
both or anything). 

First Time Visiting NYC Rule #2:
Never ask for your bagel toasted. Unlike other places in the US, the bagels in NYC are real fresh bagels! Don't be the one to upset the bagel boss.

FFU Recs
Murray's has two locations, 6th Avenue between 12th and 13th Street 
(Greenwich Village) and 8th Avenue between 22nd and 23rd Street (Chelsea). 
I most frequent the 6th Avenue store. The most celebrity sightings I've seen
 is sitting outside on the bench with Oliver. I'm talking Emma Stone and 
Andrew Garfield celebrity. My favorite is the plain and simple plain with plain. 
You can't get much better than that. A true bagel taste and texture here guys!

First Time Visiting NYC Rule #3:
Check out cute local joints! If you don't know where to go here's a hint, stay away from the tourist spots!

FFU Recs
Hotdogs covered in Mac & Cheese: Ditch Plains
Spanish, Mexican & Latin: Oficina Latina, ComodoLa Esquina & Tacombi
Asian, European, African, South American, Indian and Caribbean: RiceVanessa's Dumplings, & Joe's Shanghai
Australian: Ruby'sBondi Road & The Sunburnt Cow
French, Middle Eastern, Mediterraine, Brazilian & Moroccan: Cafe GitanMoustacheBarbossa Balaboosta
Cuban: Cafe Habana
Sandwiches: Torissi & Alidoro
Korean: Mrs. Kim's

First Time Visiting NYC Rule #4: 
Hang with the college kids! They're very interesting and you'll definitely learn something cool!  If not, you're at least leave with a unique experience!

FFU Recs
Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park has recently undergone a complete face lift and is 
looking perkier than ever. Equip with free wifi, live music, dog parks, and 
some of the most interesting people watching, you cannot go wrong with a 
walk through this beautiful park. Not to mention all the local bakeries, 
chess stores, clothing stores and restaurants flanking all sides. 

First Time Visiting NYC Rule #5: 
Make sure you take full advantage of all the sweet treats! Splurge, you're walking and burning calories everywhere you go!

FFU Recs

There are way too many sweet treats in New York City to pass by. My all time 
favorite, if you haven't guessed yet are Levain's cookies and the oreo 
cheesecake at The Little Cupcake Bakeshop. Take my advice. Everyone I've 
brought there was very glad they trusted me. 

First Time Visiting NYC Rule #6: ,
Don't visit Times Square. New Yorkers avoid at all costs. But if it's a must, definitely see it at night.

Honestly the only reason to visit Times Square is to see a Broadway show. Go see a Broadway show, seriously. It's something you just got to do! Visit TKTS in Times Square to purchase discounted tickets instead of going to the shows box office. Remember, at TKTS, you have to buy the tickets the same day you want to see the show. Little tip: Visit the TKTS in the South Street Seaport. It's less crowded!

Book of MormonAnnieCat on a Hot Tin Roof 

(Until March 2013 with Scarlett Johansson), Jersey BoysNewsies 

If you want to pass on a Broadway show, you can now have a brand 

new kind of interactive experience in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Sleep No More,
 which is an interactive Macbeth haunted house and Then She Fell, an Alice 
in Wonderland experience. I hear you have a tea party with the cast during 
the show. My parents and I went to Sleep No More. You can read about it here, 
New York City: Parental Edition.

First Time Visiting NYC Rule #7: 
Make sure you find time to sleep. You're gonna need it!


I promise, if you don't get enough sleep, you will not enjoy this city as much as
 you could. You will find yourself becoming frustrated with tourists, the crowded streets, 
delayed subways, and the interesting smells of NYC.

First Time Visiting NYC Rule #8: 
Wake up bright and early to visit all the touristy attractions without the tourists! That 
is if you really want to visit all the touristy attractions.

Many New Yorkers, or people visiting New York really take advantage of New York 
City's night life. Because of this, the city that supposedly never sleeps, is still 
sleeping early in the morning.  You can use this to your advantage to sight see 
without the crazy crowded streets. I use it to walk my dog and ride my bike. 

First Time Visiting NYC Rule #9: 
Visit Ground Zero. It is a must.
I took this photo last weekend with my parents during our visit. 

FFU Recs

From Battery Park walk up the West Side of Manhattan along the Hudson 
River Park. Many movies were filmed along here including Hitch. Enter the 
World Financial Center from the West and walk up the stairs to the large 
glass window overlooking Ground Zero. You can get a better view from above. 

As the 9/11 Memorial is now open, I highly request taking a tour. If you go early, 
it is easy, short and a quick stop you can add into your daily itinerary. I recently 
went with my parents and you can read about our experience here, 
New York City: Parental Edition. You must visit the 9/11 Memorial office on 
Vessey Street or Reserve a Pass Online before you line up to enter the memorial. 

First Time Visiting NYC Rule #10:
If you're going to visit the touristy places, at least learn 
the history behind it!

There are so many museums and tours explaining the history behind this 
amazing city. I recommend when visiting, if you can, purchase or use the 
free headsets. You can easily select which pieces you want to learn about 
and it really does help with experience. Even taking time just to read a sign 
can really help you understand what you are looking at. 

First Time Visiting NYC Rule #11: 
Skip Wall Street, visit the South Street Seaport then walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to Dumbo! Better yet, use the free Ikea water taxi from SSSP to Red Hook and test out all the delicious food trucks!

FFU Recs
Browse the piers at the South Street Seaport and capture the great views of Dumbo and Brooklyn Heights.
Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.
Lounge around in the new Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Grab a pie at the famous Grimaldi's Pizzeria (Personally, I've had better pizza's, but it is a fun Brooklyn experience people love and it's famous!)
Grab a cone at The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory at the Fulton Ferry.
Walk around and puruse the shops in Dumbo.
Take a stroll along the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.
Make a reservation at the River Cafe and watch the sunset (Warning: Expensive).  

Ditch Plains opened up a little stand. I recommend stopping by to grab a 
hot dog covered in mac & cheese! 

First Time Visiting NYC Rule #12: 
NYC is all about the museums so if you're going to go, find out their free day!  Most museums have a free day or night!

FFU Recs
I recently visiting MoMA, The MET and The Guggenheim. You can read about 
my adventures here, Museum Mayhem. I even went back the next week and 
took my parents. You can read about that adventure here,
New York City: Parental Edition.

First Time Visiting NYC Rule #13: 
Learn to kill two five birds with one stone.

FFU Recs
Take the free Staten Island Ferry to Staten Island. Great views of the 
Southern tip of Manhattan including Battery Park, the Statue of Liberty, 
Ellis Island, and Brooklyn. Hop off the ferry and get lost in Staten Island. 
If you don't feel like getting lost, then go grab a pie at Goodfella's or Denino's

First Time Visiting NYC Rule #14: 
EAT a slice. Or in our case a whole LARGE pizza! More points if you eat a slice from a different boroughHell, why not one from each borough!

FFU Recs
Brooklyn: Grimaldi's 
Queens: Rosa's Pizza
Staten Island: Goodfella's or Denino's

First Time Visiting NYC Rule #15: 
Ask locals their secret, favorite places to hang and restaurantsI promise this is the way to go. P.S. DON'T EAT IN LITTLE ITALY! There are so many better Italian restaurants on this island!

FFU Recs

I've been to all the above restaurants. All are terribly good. Bianca, River Deli
 and Piadina are your homemade, old fashioned, feels like you're in the 
Italian country side, cash only kind of place. All delicious and very very 
affordable. Plus, the lasagna at Bianca is my favorite meal. I mean, look at 
that amazing lasagna. 

Ballato's, Lupa and Apizz are a little more high end, and with that a little

more pricy.

Then you have Locanda Verde and Scarpetta, affordable but defiantly more 

expensive than the others. Just not as crazy expensive as Del Posto. The Spaghetti 
with a tomato and basil sauce from Scarpetta is one of the best pastas I've ever 
had in my life. I believe they even give the recipe on their website. 

First Time Visiting NYC Rule #16: 
Two words: The Highline.

Nothing can explain the Highline experience better than the old rail road tracks,
 that used to bring the meat into the Meatpacking district, made into a brand
 new park elevated above the streets of Manhattan. I've been multiple times 
with multiple people, all have fell in love with the idea, experience and the 
views. You can read a little about The Highline, and my first visit 
Walking The Highline.  

First Time Visiting NYC Rule #17: 
Visit Chelsea Market when hungry peruse all the little shops. Splurge on a cupcake or brownie! Sterling Sound, who masters just about every CD you listen to, and The Food Network are located above your head! My brother got a kick out of that!

FFU Recs
Chelsea Market holds a variety of stores on the first floor which consist 
of Fat Witch Bakery, Eleni's Cupcakes and Cookies, Amy's Bread, Dickson's
 Farmstand Meats, The Lobster PlaceSarabeth's KitchenJacques Torres 
Chocolates and many many more delicious treats including Anthropologie! 
Every time I visit Chelsea Market, there is a new shop, boutique  bakery,
 store or fresh market. I am never disappointed. 

First Time Visiting NYC Rule #18:
 Take a stroll through Central Park. Send the men to the Ritz Carlton bar to drink while you and the ladies ice skate! Then meet them there for post skating drinks! Once the men are nice and tipsy, walk down Fifth Avenue! The men are more willing to buy you pretty things.

Men don't really want to ice skate. So, let them hang out in the posh Star
 Lounge in the Ritz Carlton on Central Park South while you and the ladies
 have a holding hands (only two at a time, three people will get you yelled 
at) laughing good time in Central Park at the Woolman Rink. 

Once you've had your fun, join the men at the bar for a post skating drink then 
take the happy men, who love their significant others so much for not making
 them ice skate, for a stroll down Fifth Avenue. Pop into Tiffany's while you're 
at it! Hey, it worked for me!

This was still one of my favorite visits with my parents. 

First Time Visiting NYC Rule #19:
Don't visit Fifth Avenue. It's a waste of time and money. Instead, shop in the West Village, Meat Packing, NoHo, or Lower East Side! Cuter areas with many less tourists!

First Time Visiting NYC Rule #20: 
Legit museum goers, visit MOMA, MET, The New Museum, Whitney and 
Guggenheim. But, if you're more interested in galleries, visit the Galleries 
in Chelsea! Twenties between 9th and 11th Avenues!

FFU Recs
Visit the Chelsea Gallery Map for more information on which galleries are 
currently on and up and coming exhibits.

First Time Visiting NYC Rule #21: 
Top of the Rock. Cheaper with better views than the Empire State Building.

FFU Recs 
I haven't actually been to the Empire State Building or Top of the Rock. 
This information is just based on evidence I've been told. But, you don't get 
a great view of the Empire State Building from the Empire State Building
 now do you?!

If you buy a City Pass, you can visit the most prominent museums in New York 
City which include MoMA, The Met, The Guttenheim, and the Natural History 
Museum along with the Top of the Empire State Building and coupons to visit 
the Top of the Rock and other NYC attractions. I highly recommend this pass 
for $89. Just beware that Ellis Island and The Statue of Liberty are also included
 in this pass and because of Superstorm Sandy, they are closed until further notice. 
Please check the City Pass website for more info. 

First Time Visiting NYC Rule #22: 
Indulge. Dine at a fancy expensive restaurant in the Meatpacking District. Buddha Bar and Spice Market are great but Buddakan is unbelieved! Two words: Edamame Dumplings.

FFU Recs
No reservation needed for Buddakan. However, if you want one, make sure 
you put a reminder in your phone for one month to the day to ensure you
 get that reservation. The upstairs lounge at Buddakan serves the full menu. 
If you get their fairly early the bar tables are first come first serve. 

The whole restaurant is loud so if you're hard of hearing, you have just been 
warned. It's not a place to take people who don't like a scene or noise no 
matter how good the food is. The upstairs lounge is more social than the 
dining areas. If you're out with your girlfriends, eat in the lounge. Order 
some dim sum, one entrée to share, a veggie dish, and one noodle or rice dish. 
Take your time and dine. Enjoy the scene, architecture, interior design and 
most of all, the food! 

FFU Food Recs

Dim Sum:
Edmame Dumplings
Chili Rock Shrimp
Cantonese Spring Rolls
General Tso's Dumplings
Pork Potstickers

Charred Filet of Beef

Rice or Noodle:
Chinese Sausage Fried Rice
Minced Pork Lo Mein

Charred Asparagus
Califlower Stir Fry

Crying Chocolate
Bread Pudding (NEW and Fabulous)

First Time Visiting NYC Rule #23: 
Go get drunk. Celebrate your last night in NYC like a ROCKSTAR!

FFU Recs

 See First Time Visiting NYC Rule #1
I also recommend visiting the Meat Packing District including The 
Standard Biergarten, Boom Boom Room, Abe & Arthur's SL or if you really 
want to go all out, the rooftop bar at the Ganesvoort Hotel. Be prepared to
spend some dough there! A Vodka and Cranberry is $20. 

First Time Visiting NYC Rule #24: 
Make new friends, but keep the old, some are silver and the others gold! Well, at least the new ones you meet even if they're just gold for that one night! Follow them around. No doubt they will take you to some great places!

Talk to everyone and anyone. You don't live here. Who cares what they think? 
You'll never have to see them ever again! Take it all in and enjoy!

First Time Visiting NYC Rule #25: 
BRUNCH. You can't visit NYC and not indulge in the one ritual NYC has to offer. It would be a sin.

Proof that New Yorkers are addicted to their brunch more than any 
other city. I love brunch and brunch loves me. You can eat brunch all 
throughout the day. There is no excuse for you not to have brunch so, just 
live a little and do what New Yorkers do best, Brunch! 

Balthazar, Blue Ribbon, Pulino's, Freeman's, Extra Virgin, Jane, Essex, 
Hundred Acres, Salt, Cafe Gitan, Comodo, Kitchenette and Clinton Street 
Baking Company. That's all you need to know. Now go eat brunch!   

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