NEW YORK – You worked hard all day — or at least from 9:30 a.m. til 3 p.m. Don't go back to your hotel room. There's plenty of time to consume the city. Here's what to do if:
It's Your First Time in NYC
- We have an itinerary just for that. Check it out.
You Want to Ditch Your Colleagues
Plan A: Unwind with a drink at a great bar frequented by locals.
Royalton in Midtown (black Prada suits)
The Dutch in SoHo (look-at-me scensters; Escalade congestion)
Freemans on the Lower East Side (hipster sneakers; artisanal facial hair)
The Bowery Hotel in the East Village (sexy Eurotrash; Abercrombie and Fitch servers)
The Breslin in Chelsea (new media elite; in-the-know tourists)
Smith & Mills in Tribeca (discreet rendezvous in shadowed corners)
The Oak Room at the Plaza in midtown (somewhat cliché but also a classic)
Plan B: Eat dinner at the bar and get a contact high from the scene around you.
Marea on Central Park South (Italian seafood; bring someone else's expense account)
The Odeon in Tribeca (a perennially cool American classic; Balthazar before Balthazar)
Balthazar in SoHo (brasserie fare for beautiful people)
Locanda Verde in Tribeca (comfort Italian in high-octane downtown setting)
Eataly in the Flatiron (tourists and foodies at single-theme food counters)
Marlow and Sons in Williamsburg (the epicenter of haute butcher culture)
Momofuko Ko in the East Village (insanely popular nouveau Korean with elusive online reservation system)
You Want Colleagues to Think You're a Local
Make reservations at any of the restaurants listed above or snag a table (wait time optional) at a local haunt.
Market Table in the West Village (seasonal, classic American)
Co. in Chelsea (cult-like pizza)
Torrisi Italian Specialities in Nolita (no reservations, beloved nouveau Italian-American)
Supper in the East Village (bustling, home-style cheap Italian)
Keens in Midtown (a NY steakhouse straight out of central casting)
Devi in Union Square (modern, pretty Indian)
Great NY Noodletown (reliable, cheap Chinatown haunt)
You Want to Impress Clients
You Want a Shot of Culture
Buy a singleton ticket for whatever is on at Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center if you're feeling classic. For newer music venues, the best bets are Joe's Pub, City Winery, and Le Poisson Rouge downtown, and Galapagos Art Space and Knitting Factory in Brooklyn.
The big museums stay open until 8 or 9 at least once a week and ensure lighter and livelier crowds.
- On Thursdays: Museum of Arts and Design, New Museum of Contemporary Art, Studio Museum in Harlem, and Jewish Museum.
- On Fridays: Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Morgan Library and Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and Asia Society.
- On the first Saturdays of every month, Brooklyn Museum parties till 11.
- On Tuesday-Saturday until 6 p.m., you can gallery-hop the scores of spaces in Chelsea from 16th to 27th Streets between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues.
New York is no longer the cinema haven it used to be. What remains of its indie film and documentary culture can be found at Sunshine Cinema, Film Forum, Angelika, Anthology Film Archives, and IFC Center.
You Want to Spend What You Earned (a.k.a. Souvenirs)
For kitschy souvenirs, don't underestimate the appeal of street vendor fare like I Heart NY tees and Yankees caps. But for convenient one-stop shopping, hit the department stores: Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Barneys in Midtown and Chinatown emporium Pearl River in SoHo.
For expensive Euro-heavy boutiques, stroll Madison Avenue from 57th Street to 79th.
For indie shops, head to Nolita, and specifically Elizabeth and Mulberry Streets between Houston and Delancey Streets.
You Want to Stretch Your Legs
Join the runners at the Central Park Reservoir and along the West Side Highway.
SoulCycle has a variety of high-energy spin classes at locations throughout the city.
You Want an Easy Escape
Ride the Staten Island Ferry from the tip of Manhattan across the harbor and back. Bring a novel, an iPod, and stare at the city passing quietly by.
For a faster thrill, pop into one of jillions of mani-pedi salons on every corner for a fast, efficient manicure or quickie a shouler rub.
After all, you worked hard today.