NEW YORK CITY
DISCOVER MY 3 DAY ITINERARY
In May 2018, two of my best friends came to NYC to visit me for Memorial Day weekend. Here's our itinerary with my recommendations:
Day 1 - Arrive in Astoria
Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden
As soon as Allie arrived, Caitlyn and I took her to a well-known location in Astoria, perfect for hot summer nights--the beer garden! We ate a hearty Czech dinner
and drank beer with some new found friends.
Recommendation: Go for it! This is a must do in Astoria (if
you're here when the whether is warm).
Drinks at Madam Marie's
After the beer garden, we walked to our favorite neighborhood bar, Madam Marie's. This is a great townie spot, themed like a circus, filled with young professionals--just like Astoria.
Recommendation: Go for it! Kara joined us later in the night and our NYC weekend officially began.
Day 2 - Central Park and Midtown
This is a bagel shop across from my apartment in Astoria, perfect for starting your day. You can't leave New York without grabbing some bagels.
Recommendation: Go for it! Wherever you're staying in
New York there's bound to be a bagel shop nearby.
Breakfast at Lots O Bagels
We hopped on the N train and arrived at Central Park in ten minutes. Allie and Kara both had never been to New York before, so I knew there were a couple must-dos on the list, like checking out Central Park. It was an unseasonably scorching day, but we grabbed some ice cream and strolled through the park.
Recommendation: Go for it! I highly suggest hiring a bike tour, they're great!
After exploring the park, we leisurely walked down 5th Avenue on our way to 30 Rock. None of us were keen on shopping, but it's nice to see all the iconic shops.
Recommendation: Go for it! It's a short walk from Central park to Rockefeller Plaza and perfect for getting more of the sites in without stopping too much.
5th Avenue Window Shopping
Walk Through Rockefellar Plaza
We stopped by to check out the historic 30 Rock and the iconic flags. We stopped for coffee and a quick snack nearby and were ready to tackle more walking!
Recommendation: Go for it! If you have time, I would also suggest doing Top of the Rock. It has excellent views of the city--better than the Empire State Building.
Dinner at Cafe Gandhi
It's a short walk from Rockefeller to Times Square, and we had to go there for the obligatory picture! Times Square is an interesting place--tons of tourists, surprisingly clean, beautiful lights. Is it annoying to walk around Times Square? Yes. Is it still a spectacle worthy of being seen? Yes, especially at night. If you can make it, I suggest going to Times Square around 4am. It's nearly empty (emphasis on nearly, there will still be some people there), but it is quiet and the lights make it feel like you're on a stage in the middle of the night.
Recommendation: Go for it!
We took the train down to the West Village for an early dinner/late lunch. This is one of my favorite Indian places in the city. It's got incredible food and prices you can't find anywhere else in the city. The location is perfect--right along Bleecker Street. This is one of my favorite areas in New York.
Recommendation: Go for it! And do what we did, we took a stroll through Washington Square Park first. Also, one of my favorite parks in the city--it's filled with young people and artists. You never know what you'll find there!
Beer at McSoreley's
We walked over to the East Village for a pint at the oldest pub in New York. So old in fact, that women were only recently allowed entrance. (By recently, I mean like since the 80s). Still, pretty recent.
Recommendation: Go for it! With the wooden chips on the floor and the ancient decor, you'll be taken back in time. You get two options: light or dark beer. And I highly suggest ordering the Irish crackers (that's saltines, onions, and cheese).
We ended our night at a fun spot in the East Village called Yuca. It's always crowded and it always has the best DJs. Recommendation: Go for it! Don't forget to order a mojito--it comes with your own sugar cane.
Dancing at Yuca
Day 3 - Downtown
Cannolis at Cannoli King
Today was all about downtown Manhattan. We started off the day in Little Italy to try the famous cannolis. Recommendation: Go for it! This is such a cute part of town and why not get a sweet treat along the way?
Lunch in Little Italy
We wandered around more and found a spot (that I can't recall) and had an authentic New York Italian lunch. My suggestion is to roam around and look at all the menus and get a feel for the owners before picking a spot. There are a ton of good Italian places in Little Italy, so take your pick! Recommendation: Go for it! It's incredibly fun to spot the sheer volume of old men in track suits alone, not to mention the food and atmosphere is great.
We walked from Little Italy through Chinatown and made our way further down Manhattan. We found an old cemetery in the middle of Wall Street where Alexander Hamilton was buried. It was amazing to see our countries forefathers in a small plot of land in the middle of the busiest city on earth. Recommendation: Go for it! This area truly is a beautiful part of town; it's quiet on the weekend as it's mostly a place for businesses, but the serene, historic quality makes this a nice change of pace.
Visit to the Brave Girl
Nearby, we found the Brave Girl and Charging Bull. Truthfully, I don't care much about grabbing the bull's man bits... but standing with the Brave Girl was something I've wanted to do as soon as I moved to the city. It was originally only supposed to be temporary, but the popularity and symbolism of the fearless girl garnered a petition from the people of New York to keep her there.
Recommendation: Go for it! She's a feminist icon!
Statue of Liberty
We walked from the Brave Girl to Battery Park. It's a lovely park with lively squirrels and not much else to see or do other than look out over to New Jersey. We hopped on the free Staten Island Ferry and got to see the Statue of Liberty at her cheapest. Well, not her cheapest... but our cheapest.
Recommendation: Go for it! This is an easy way to see the Statue of Liberty without having to buy a separate day tour. Touring Ellis Island is never the highlight of anyone's trip and it's quite a time suck. If you insist on seeing the statue up close, I would do as we did!
Dinner at Gaonurri
After a quick rest at home in Astoria, we headed to Koreatown to start our evening. I love this restaurant, it's one of my favorites in the city. It's on the 34th floor of building in midtown with huge windows all around. This makes for some of the best city views while you dine in style. The food is great--who doesn't like Korean barbeque--but the view is what keeps me coming back. Recommendation: Go for it! This is affordable fine dining at it's best. Try to get a reservation early though, so you can get a table right next to one of the windows.
Karaoke at Duet 35
After dinner, we decided on a bit of karaoke. You can't leave KTown without singing some karaoke, after all. We grabbed a sleeve of Oreos from the nearby Duane Reade and popped into Duet 35. I love this company, they have karaoke places all over the city. They have really great rates and nice equipment.
Recommendation: Go for it! Private karaoke rooms are the only way to do karaoke in New York. They're fun and a great way to start off your night.
Beer at The Standard Beer Garden
After karaoke, we headed to Meatpacking for a beer at the Standard Beer Garden. This place has great beer and fun atmosphere.
Recommendation: Go for it! This is a perfect location for starting your night out in Meatpacking.
Dancing at The Jane
After our beer, we headed to The Jane. Oh, The Jane. Let's just say, we had a blast. Normally, there are lines a block long to get in, but because it was Sunday night during a holiday weekend, we got in immediately no problem. The Jane has an old creepy theme, like you're stepping into the Hollywood Tower Hotel, and I love it. Even the disco ball had a derelict look to it. The DJ was bringing it and we danced so long, we closed out the club. The sleeve of oreos came back out and was a big hit on the dance floor. I don't think any of us even had a drink because we were too busy dancing.
Recommendation: Go for it. Be prepared for long lines and a crowded club... I don't think it's usually as amazing as it was for us that night. What a perfect way to end the trip.
Day 4 - Flight Home
Brunch at Mom's
Before saying goodbye to Allie, we stopped for brunch in Astoria. No, not my mom's... just Mom's. Incredible good, hearty food with next level milkshakes and boozy drinks. This is the ultimate brunch spot.
Recommendation: Go for it! Even decor inside is made to look like a 1960s home kitchen. This place is great!
Kara's flight was a bit later, so hopped across the east river and explored the Met. One could easily spend hours and hours in here, so we tried to hit the highlights. Don't forget to make it to the rooftop for a glass of champagne and a great view of the city.
Recommendation: Go for it! The Met is amazing and iconic and if you have a New York State license, you can decide your own entrance fee.