New York City

Make reservations at the Beacon Hotel, 74th & Broadway (212) 787-1100.  (All rooms have a kitchenette; suites easily sleep 3 or 4.)  Or try the Milburne Hotel, (800) 833-9622, near 76th and Broadway.  Take Amtrak or New Jersey Transit to Penn Station, then an easy subway ride on the #1, 2 or 3 line to 72nd Street.  Or ask me for driving directions.

Food:  Fairway (24 hours) gourmet grocers, and Citanella (Scottish Lox upstairs, open til 9), are across the street.  H&H Bagels is on 80th and Broadway – best bagels in town, made fresh in the back, open 24 hours.  Zabar’s gourmet grocery is also at 80th.  Manhattan Diner (24 hours) is a block uptown from the hotel – easy for breakfast.  For a fancier breakfast, Sarabeth’s (423 Amsterdam Ave. (bet. 80th & 81st Sts.) is an experience; it opens at 8 a.m., but get there before 8:30 to beat the crowds. 

For nearby dinner, we like Pasha (fancy but reasonable Turkish restaurant, 71st betw. Columbus & Central Park West), Pomodoro Rosso (family style Italian, Columbus Ave betw. 70th & 71st), Vinnie’s Pizza (Amsterdam between 73rd & 74th), or Penang (Malasian, tasty unusual food, 71st & Columbus).  Subscribe to for $4 for a month for more recommendations.

Sights:  The American Museum of Natural History is 5 blocks away.  Best and biggest dinosaur exhibit in the world!  Excellent planetarium shows – check out the one with Tom Hanks. 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is an easy bus ride away.  Walk to 79th & Broadway (southwest corner I think),  take the cross-town bus across Central Park and get off at the 1st stop.  Check out the Renaissance Art and the huge Egyptian collection, then find the Armor and Antique Gun collection.  Consider renting the Audio Guide – one CD covers the whole museum. 

Shows:  The Theatre District is a short subway ride away (# 1, 2, or 3 downtown to 42nd St/Times Square).  If you don’t mind standing in line, TKTS sells half-price same-day tickets for Broadway.  Check for good recommendations.  (Skip “Lion King,” folks.)  A great show for kids & adults is the “Blue Man Group” farther downtown.  Lincoln Center’s shows are spectacular but expensive; check the Metropolitan Opera and the New York City Opera.

A lovely thing to do on a warm evening after sundown (open until 11:30 pm) is the view of the city lights from the top of the Empire State Bldg. (34th & 5th, take subway to 34th/Penn Station & walk east).

I highly recommend the Lower East Side Tenement Museum on Orchard Street.  You can learn about life for new immigrants from Europe; maybe your ancestors were here! Perfect to do after you’ve seen Ellis Island.  Take the #1 (not 2 or 3) to 59th, then transfer to the B or D line to Grand Street.  It’s a “living museum,” interpreted by knowledgeable and entertaining guides.  It’s usually sold out, so buy tickets a week or two before you go for the tour you like.  Check to see the tour descriptions, then call 800-965-4827 (the web ticketing doesn’t work well).

Other fun things in NYC with kids:

·            Circle Line boat tour

·             Intrepid Museum (WW 2 fighter planes; tour a submarine)

·            Central Park Zoo (64th & 5th, but skip the “Tisch Children’s Zoo” adjacent)

·            Bronx Zoo (45-60’ subway ride on the #2 subway)

·            Carriage Ride through Central Park (59th & 5th Avenue, but bargain the driver’s price down!)

·            Buy a copy of The New Yorker or The Village Voice for good listings of art and music shows.

·             The Museum of Modern Art has all of their most fabulous 20th Century works on display on the 4th and 5th floor.

·            Chelsea Market:  A mall of gourmet food shops, inside the original Oreo® Factory!  Watch the bakers work!

·            Lincoln Center offers backstage tours

·            For an Italian dessert treat, try Veniero’s, in the East Village on 11th St. between 1st & 2nd Ave.

Copyright © David Epstein MD, 2007