I’ve been totally overwhelmed.
Lots of freelance work (no complaints), a few catering gigs, a couple of mini-crises in my life, and my car broke down.
And now I’m in a quandary: I desperately need a vacation, but I don’t have the time.
Isn’t that typical, you’re the busiest the week before you start your vacation? That could be truer for me as I scramble to finish three freelance stories, update a website I’ve been working on, edit a couple of videos and get in as much surf time as possible by Monday.
Because on Tuesday I’m jumping on a Hawaiian Airlines flight — direct! — to New York City!
Here’s the backstory: I have a habit of plugging in random cities in sites like Orbitz or Travelocity, just to see if I can score super cheap flights to places like Paris or Seoul or Reykjavík. It just so happened I found a ridiculously cheap fare to NYC. It was $376. Round-trip. Direct flight. No exaggeration. That’s cheaper than going to Maui for the weekend.
So I booked it. And now I’m struggling to get everything done before I get on that plane.
One of the things I haven’t been able to do is research where to go, what to see and, especially, where to eat.
So I’m throwing it out there for everyone who’s been to New York City, who lives in New York City, or who dreams about it: tell me what I should do or see. I haven’t been back in 12 years. I need advice STAT.
Shake Shack. The In-N-Out burger of the east coast.
I don’t know if you know this blogger: https://sunbrockie.net/
She’s from Hawaii but lives in NYC. I noticed in her Flickr pictures she takes a lot of foodie pictures. It seems like she goes to a lot of great places. Maybe you could contact her for advice? I have seen her talk about places like Baltazar’s for breakfast, Shake Shack, Big Gay Ice Cream Shop, Momofuku fried chicken dinner, etc.
Cool places to go in NYC include MOMA and the Metropolitan for amazing works of art. The Natural History museum is excellent. But the cream of things to do in NYC now are Pippin or Lucky Guy. In the sporting world the Knicks play Wednesday night at the Garden. The Yankees play on the 17th. The Knicks are super hot right now.
A walk through Little Italy where you can sample some great cuisine and a lot of truly excellent desserts is always good. The original Rays if you can figure out which one it is. And one of my favorite places at the boat pond in Central Park. My ex’s dad’s co-op overlooked the boat pond at the corner of 74th and 5th. Love Central park in the spring time. Good place to go for a run.
And definitely hit up tea time at the Plaza… bring your retirement account funds…
If you are visiting the Metropolitan Museum, just down from the corner of 79th & Madison is Serafina (upstairs) – most reasonable prices in the area for good Italian fare and people watching. If you can hold off dessert, walk 1block South (next to HSBC bank) for great gelato – very fancy so I eat out on the street.
I’m an artist from Hawaii and I really enjoy you blog.
Should you be in Chelsea today or tomorrow am, I am showing paintings at Crozier Fine Art, 525 w 20th st.
Keep up the good work!
Chelsea Piers – lots of great foods to sample there. Friedman’s Lunch is one of my faves. If you’re downtown, Joe’s Pizza is one of the best places to get a slice.
That Mario Batelli place that’s half market and half restaurant. It’s like the big markets in Spain
Eataly. great place. you can find almost any Mediterranean ingredient you want, eat at some awesome food stands (the salumi platter was really really good) or people watch (I’ve seen a couple of food celebs there, doing their daily shopping. people, eating and eating (and eating)…perfect CatDish destination
Smorgasburg in Brooklyn – my faves are Yuji Ramen, Dough, Pizza Moto, McClure’s Pickles, Buttermilk Channel, Thirstea, and Bon Chovie.
It’s in Williamsburg on Saturdays and DUMBO on Sundays.
Go early – like around 12 pm. It’s less crowded and nothing will be sold out yet.
Haven’t been to NY but it’s on my bucket list. Have a great time!
September 11 Memorial. You need a pass (free), reservations can be made online ($2 service fee). Or you can go to the preview site and get a same day, first-come, first-served pass (no fee) at the Memorial’s preview site. https://www.911memorial.org/visit
The Met Museum is “pay what you wish” at the door. If you get a ticket online, the recommended admission is charged. https://www.metmuseum.org/visit/hours-and-admission
A favorite restaurant is Hangawi. Vegetarian Korean food. This space offers a brief escape from the noise and chaos of the city. https://www.hangawirestaurant.com/
Murray’s Cheese Bar. Their Melt: Grilled cheese and a creamy tomato soup…yeah. I swear that one of my friends who lives in the neighborhood is here twice a week. They have cheese flights, etc… and Bleecker Street has other food offerings for you (Amy’s Bread, DAVIDsTEA, Bleecker Street Pizza and of course, Murray’s Cheese Shop).
My sister used to go to Tea and Sympathy in West Village.
Smorgasburg in Brooklyn. Two locations every weekend. I’ve only been to this event at DUMBO. It can get crowded and some of the more popular food items sell out.
Chocolate fans like Jacques Torres.
Grimaldi’s Pizza has a location in the city (Limelight Market, also a place to wander around) if you don’t have time to hit Brooklyn.
Clinton Street Baking Company. It’s popular, there might be a line at peak times.
Haven’t been to Sullivan Street Bakery yet, but have been told to check it out.
The same with Cafe Grumpy’s coffee, though I’m not sure if it was just because of the name. Hmmph.
Chelsea Market for more easy access food wanderings.
https://doughnutplant.com/ they have a tres leches one that I’ve been told to try…it was sold out the times I went.
I live in NYC and its so exciting that you’re coming here to visit!
Food places to eat include:
-Shake Shack (as mentioned above because its popular). There is one on
366 Columbus Ave (Upper West Side) and one on 691 8th Ave (Midtown). It’s moderately expensive.
-Rickshaw Dumpling Bar: 61 W 23rd St. This is the best and cheapest place to find great dumplings! Its super easy to get to and one of Martha Stewart’s favorites. Cheap!
-Cafe Lalo: 201 W 83rd St. If you have ever seen You’ve Got Mail, this is the adorable little cafe Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan eat at. Expensively priced.
Places to Visit:
-Belvedere Castle in Central Park
-Museum of Natural History: Pay what you wish (say you’re a student on a school assignment)
-Rockerfeller Center: “The Top of the Rock” is the best view of the city, much better than The Empire State building.
Favorite Place in the City: Strand Bookstore 828 Broadway. This place has 18 miles of book shelving and truly a magical experience<3
Try Iroha restaurant near Times Square (weird, eh going all the way to NYC for Japanese food! Good stuff).
Watch out for aggressive gypsy cabs (look for the medallion on the hood).
My wife refused to eat at street carts, but the dogs looked really good!
Walk the Brooklyn Bridge from DUMBO in the morning before it gets hot & crowded.
oh yeah, if you’re around Central Park check out Strawberry Field across the way from
the Dakota, where John Lennon lived. quite a moving memorial
53rd & 6th Halal Cart
Sake Bar Hagi is a cool little izakaya near the theater district. very…inventive. some of the dishes work and some get an A for effort (most are pretty good). if they have it, the pork and garlic scapes stir fry was really really good. the tempura pizza was surprisingly good, too.
Yakitori Totto is a cool little yakitori joint. first come first served until 6 (I think) then it’s reservations only. pretty cool to sit at the bar and watch your food being grilled.
I’m a pastrami fiend, so Carnegie Deli is an automatic stop for me (try the french toast if you feel like breakfast…it’s deep fried and very crispy/tender). I actually prefer the pastrami at Katz Deli (and, name-wise a natural for you to go to) but katz is kind of hard to get to via public transportation.
Pearl’s oyster bar has a very Cat Dish feel to it. the chowder, lobster rolls and fried oysters are all good. very popular, though so go early.
Oh! You are going to have so much fun. I saw your tweet about the Empire State Building. You must check out Uncle Louie G. It is on the ground floor. They have all kinds of fun flavors of Italian ice and ice cream.
And if you love brownies, you must get some at Fat Witch Bakery in Chelsea Market. They are individually wrapped and perfect for omiyage. And if you’re going to be at Chelsea Market, grab a lunch of lobster roll at The Lobster Place and cup of hot soup at Hale and Hearty Soups.
And if you are craving good Korean food at 1 am in the morning, you can’t beat Han Bat in midtown. They are open 24 hours and are located on 35th street behind Empire State Building (between 33rd and 34th).
Have a fun safe, trip and will be looking forward to the pics.
If I were to go to NY I would get ideas from Kathy’s site https://www.kathyylchan.com/ . She is from HNL (and is actually there now).
As a local and an ex-NYer, I second Makiki’s suggestion. You can’t go wrong with Kathy’s blog! https://www.kathyylchan.com/
Besides Shake Shack, try Parm in the Lower East Side. After shopping in Soho, their sandwiches (chicken parm is the namesake) are delicious. You can then go walk around Chinatown to work off your lunch or dinner.
DEFINITELY spend some time walking the Highline Park and be sure to explore both Eataly and the Chelsea Market which are food emporiums.
Side note: If you decide to go to the 9/11 Memorial, I suggest booking tickets in advance and for late in the day. That way the crowds thin out as people go home rather than becoming increasingly crowded.