February 26, 2019

New York City: Your Best Ever Advice and Recommendations

Two Vancouver urbanistas – Michael Gordon and Gordon Price – have decided to celebrate their birthdays in New York City.  Help us out.

  • What off-the-beaten-tourist-tracks should we hike?  (And remember, we’ve seen a lot of NYC.)
  • What’s new in the boroughs?  Even Jersey.
  • Shows, performances, galleries, museums?  (Middle of March through April.)
  • Restaurants, of course.  (Food carts too.)
  • Your favourite book about, set in or metaphorically referencing the Apple.  (Video series, movies or print articles included.  Even policy reports.)

Are you in New York?  Would you like to meet?  Would you buy us a beer or a cupcake with a candle?

And yes, of course we’ll use Citibike.





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  1. Of the smaller museums, I’d recommend the Morgan Library (currently has a Tolkien exhibit, if you’re a fan) and the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum, which fortuitously has an exhibit called “The Road Ahead: Re-imagining Mobility”, on to March 31 ! If you’re looking for musicals (that won’t come to Vancouver in some form), try “The Band’s Visit” for something new or the revivial “My Fair Lady” for a good old-fashioned Broadway show. For plays, “To Kill a Mockingbird”adapted by Aaron Sorkin (West Wing).

  2. My favourite museum is the tenement museum. It seems especially fitting as Vancouver runs out space and has to build up. New York dealt with many of the same issues we have one hundred years ago. It’s a guided tour museum and they do a great job of capturing the stories of tenants of the time. For plays, the Ferryman on Broadway was absolutely fantastic.

  3. I’m currently house sitting in Union City New Jersey, on a good day 15 minutes from the Port Authority Bus Terminal on the chicken bus. The largest Warhol retrospective in NYC since 1989 is currently on at the Whitney until March 31st. The Whitney is located at the south end of the Highline, the famous walkway that has been extended north and west into the Hudson rail yards, finishing at 34th street. It’s a great walk to get on at the northern end, and check out all the development in that Hudson neighborhood and walk south on the Highland ending up at the Whitney museum at Gansevoort street. Friends of the Highline do a free walking tour on Saturdays at noon to tell the story, it’s certainly worth the 45 minutes. Fact from the tour: the Highline gets 7.5 million visits per year, in the zone of Central Park and the Met, so be ready for crowds at the time of year you are there.

    There is a great website called club free.com which offers a comprehensive guide to free tours, free lectures, free concerts, free talks and occasional tickets to performances where the admission was as much as 20 – 30 dollars but they want to fill the room. There is a very modest membership fee which gets you access to the events, although some you just literally show up.

    Cheapest deal/best value for lunch so far is my brother in law recommended Shnippers deli. Counter service but the grilled chicken sandwich and a water is $9.25, and the sandwich is very good. Best burger is 5 napkins (not 5 guys). On Saturdays famous rock club The Bitter End at 147 Bleeker street has free to attend open mike acoustic performances starting at 1:00, I’ll be checking it out this week.

    Spring is a fantastic time of year to be in New York as you know, have a wonderful time. If the crowds get to be too much, Paley Park on, or perhaps in 53rd street is a welcome respite, with a much better waterfall than the one in Trump Tower.

  4. Like Vancouver, Manhattan exists as it is a deep harbor city, on an ocean with active ports and an area with many beaches.

    As such do a few harbour tours

    do a search on

    cruise around manhattan
    harbour tours manhattan

    If you like boat rides, of course, which not everyone does. And, since Manhattan is an island, you can go all the way around !

    Go to Coney Island (by subway/train, of course) .. a totally different, ocean orientated, sandy beaches + boardwalk life style ..

    Enjoy !!

  5. Jacques Torres chocolate in Brooklyn, also in Manhattan. Sahadi’s grocery/deli in Brooklyn. Russ and Daughters, either the home place or the outpost in the Jewish Museum. It must be time for supper because I can only think of food. Oh wait, never mind, I’m coming along to NY, too.

  6. Hop aboard the new (and only) ferry service between Manhattan and the Bronx – https://www.ferry.nyc/routes-and-schedules/route/soundview/

    Takes you from multiple stops in Manhattan to Clason Point, a place you probably wouldn’t otherwise get to in the swiftly changing South Bronx. Depending on your time/mood, bring a citibike aboard from Manhattan and take a spin around Soundview park, and head a little north to Concrete Plant Park to see how this heavily industrialized residential neighborhood is changing. If you’re really looking for a nice bike ride, continue on the Bronx River Greenway up to the botanical gardens and Bronx Zoo!

  7. I grew up in NYC (Queens), but left 20 years ago.

    For museums interesting to people in this forum, I’d recommend the Tenement museum https://www.tenement.org/. It’s a buildingless museum. All visits revolve around walking tours showing some reconstructed tenements in the Lower East Side. It’s such an amazing way to see what life was like 100-150 years ago. And there’s also the excellent transit museum in Brooklyn. https://www.nytransitmuseum.org/

  8. Update from the ground: Do not skip the Donut Pub, 203 w. 14th street at 7th avenue for coffee and a donut. Warning, seriously addictive taste and authentic atmosphere.

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