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New York City itineraries

When a man is tired of New York he is tired of work. And thought. And cheesecake.
- David Frost

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Traveling Solo

Traveling Solo in NYC

Photo: Danielle Lurie

There are plenty of upsides to being a party of one in a city like New York.

1. Hang out with a cool group. Indie tours beat generic sightseeing.

Scott's Pizza Tours (a young pizza-obsessed local takes you for slices in all the boroughs)
- Hip Hop tour of Harlem (Grandmaster Caz did this for his birthday party)
- Saxelby a Day A-Whey (beloved local cheesemonger leads foodie day trips to NY dairy farms)
- Accomplice interactive theater and walking tour (musical theater-types deliver kitsch on the street)
- Brooklyn Brewery's free tour (cool neighborhood where cool beer is served to cool people)

2. See a live show in a tight space.

- Joe's Pub (cabaret and bar)
- The Iridium (iconic jazz club)
- Grand Opening (ever-changing event and exhibition space)
- Cake Shop (basement indie music venue)

Minetta Tavern

Photo courtesy of Minetta Tavern.

3. Take a seat at a lively bar.

- DBGB (Daniel Boulud's downtown burger joint is spacious and hopping.)
- Minetta Tavern (Keith McNally's celeb-heavy restaurant is Old World and intimate.)
- Brooklyn Farmacy (Retro ice cream parlor has spinning stools at the soda fountain.)
- Diner (Good music and strong drinks packed with artists, musicians, hipsters.)
- Cafe Luxembourg (Uptown brasserie for well-heeled set, Ladies love to lunch.)

4. Eat at tiny, crowded places.

- Shopsins (There's always a line at this diner-style kiosk inside the Essex Street Market).
- Rai Rai Ken (Cheap, tasty ramen and only 14 bar stools.)
- Torrisi Italian Specialties (Delightful subs and sandwiches at lunch, special tasting menu dinners. Walk-ins only.)
- Prune (Wildly popular brunching spot with eclectic, artisanal menu.)

5. Have a home-cooked meal. Join an underground dining club.

- Whisk & Ladle
- The Sunday Night Dinner in Astoria
- Ted & Amy Supper Club

Bill's Gay Nineties

Photo courtesy of Bill's Gay Nineties.

6. Mix and mingle at a piano bar or karaoke lounge.

- Bill's Gay Nineties (Former speakeasy in Midtown East has loveable local crowd and time-warp vibe.)
- Marie's Crisis (West Village stalwart where you can expect a lot of Andrew Lloyd Weber.)
- Winnie's (Chinatown sing-a-longs.)
- The Rum House (Recently refurbished by fancy cocktail barkeeps, but they've kept the piano.)

7. Spend the day taking care of yourself.

- Great Jones (co-ed water lounge, treatment rooms, cafe)
- Townhouse Spa (men's and women's floors; communal dining room; poker room, barber shop, TVs for men)
- Cornelia Fifth Avenue (outdoor lounge, cafe, treatments)
- Aida Bicaj Institute de Beaute (inconspicuous Park Ave location, cult facial following)
- Exhale (exercise classes, cafe, treatments)
- Chelsea Piers (gym, pool, ice skating rink looking over the Hudson)

Pizza a Casa

Photo courtesy of Pizza a Casa.

8. Eat in a classroom setting.

- La Scuola, Eataly (nonna's secrets revealed)
- French Culinary Institute (serious foodies get serious instruction)
- Astor Wines (cocktail teachings and tastings)
- Murray's Cheese (dairy gets historical)
- Pizza a Casa (genuine tips for pizza making in a home oven)

Resources for Going It Alone

From food critic Frank Bruni 
From Frommer's Budget Travel editor Ellen Shapiro


When Parents Come to Visit NYC
It's My First Time
New York City Guide

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