Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Leaving a tourism short list for visiting friends and family

My sister and her family are coming to spend the weekend at our apt for Columbus Day. We won't be here (more about that tomorrow) so we wanted to leave them a few neighborhood spots to visit. Here's what's making the list:

  • Bagel Talk bagel shop
    It's not H&H, but it's not H&H's prices either. While a bit divey, the bagels are great (the ones that Zabar's buys even) and they have a huge selection of cream cheeses, including tofu.

  • American Museum of Natural History
    Yes, it's a huge tourist destination, but there's a reason for that. It's AWESOME! It's also close by. As a "suggested donation" entry, it's the perfect spot to stroll around and pass some time on the cheap. I've also found that if you're not careful, you might just learn something. Consider yourself warned.

  • Buttercup Bake Shop
    The cupcakes are delicious and reasonably sized at this West 72nd street cupcakery. We used to frequent Crumbs on Amsterdam, but you could choke a horse with their oversized $4 cupcakes. The cupcakes at Buttercup are about half the size, with a price that matches. Buttercup was a refreshing change, and they offer a 20% discount for teachers (which will come as a nice surprise to my bro-in-law).

  • Riverside Park, during sunset
    It's such a beautiful stroll when the weather is nice. It's probably getting too cold now. As a reformed Long Island boy, my heart will always have a soft spot for beaches and waterways and after summer the park's groupies make their exodus.

  • The playground at 77th and Amsterdam
    We've been itching to take Pumpkin here since before we were even expecting her! My 9 year old niece and 3 year old nephew are going to have such a good time!

  • Arties
    Arties pseudo-authentic Jewish deli, that has some eclectic foods, great soups and enormous onion rings. It's is a fun place to go and has a little something for everyone. Plus, it's fun to sit in their solarium and watch the passers-by.

  • Central Park
    Pack a picnic and find a patch of grass. Head over to the CP zoo, or just find yourself lost in this 843 acre oasis.

  • IMAX Movies
    Who doesn't want to see a movie on a 7-story tall screen? If the weather punks out, it might be just the thing to do. Head down to 67th and Broadway on a Friday morning or weekend morning and see that first-run IMAX movie at a discount.

  • Jeckyl and Hyde Club / Mars 2112 / Other theme restaurants
    While these aren't everyone's favorites (I think it's something New Yorkers or adults are too cool for) I would have killed to eat here as a kid! The closest I had to a theme restaurant as a child was Chuck E Cheese, a restaurant who's theme is "Mice"... Ummm, yeah, well we have some of rodent themed eateries too, I guess...

As I make this list, I realize there are so many more places to share and love in this great neighborhood and city! I'd love to hear what's on your short list for when company visits.

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