Fav 5 Travel Guides are a short list of the best things I've found to do, see, eat, or drink in a particular location. This guide is the second of two parts for New York City, New York.
Look no further for the first New York City Fav 5 and more posts about Travel in the USA.
Last week I created a Fav 5 Travel Guide for New York City based on our visit in December.
There is SO SO SO much to see in NYC. You can never do or see it all. We didn't have time for a broadway show and we opted to skip the World Trade Center and 9-11 memorial this time to keep our visit cheerful!
The original New York City Fav 5 Travel Guide is great but it left so many places and things unmentioned. I'd been thinking about a Part II for NYC and here it is, my traveling friends. It's got some of the most famous sites in the city, a few classic NYC food items, and more.
1. Speedy Sightseeing
Learning your way around NYC is serious business. We kept an eye on nearby sights and attractions every time we ventured into a new neighborhood to make the most of our time in the City.
We ran, literally, through Times Square and Rockefeller Center one night before a dinner reservation! I dragged Bryce to
These landmark sites won't make or break your visit to NYC but they were fun to see, even if just for a moment! Times Square and Rockefeller Center were so very crowded, just a few days before Christmas. Carrie's apartment is almost unrecognizable. It comes up on Google Maps but once you're there you'll have to keep an eye out for the sign on the porch instructing visitors to keep quiet, be polite, etc.
2. Comedy Cellar
We had a night filled with laughs at the Comedy Cellar. (The MacDougal Street location is just a few doors away from the place we found artichoke pizza.) Everyone we spoke to seemed to know about the Comedy Cellar!
We bought tickets in advance and the whole operation of holding a comedy show in a tiny cellar was impressive. You're provided a bubble wrap mailing envelope when you arrive that you seal your phone and Apple Watch into for the show so that nobody can record the show. The venue is teeny tiny and we humans are packed in like sardines. They've got the SMALLEST ladies room I've ever seen! Regardless of the crammed quarters, the drink service is speedy and the show begins right on time. You're instructed not to talk during the show so you just sit back, sip your cocktail, and laugh.
There were 6 (or more?) comedians on the little stage, back to back to back. Most of them have written for TV shows, Saturday Night Live, or have their own Netflix Special. Bryce googled every single comedian after the show!
The jokes were particularly raunchy, all hilarious, and many involved crowd participation from the front row guests! We were still remembering and laughing about some of jokes 3 and 4 days later. Rumor has it that the BIG comedy stars will drop into the Comedy Cellar on the weekends but I wasn't willing to go to the midnight show to find out!
3. Tenement Museum
We visited the Tenement Museum in the Lower East Side. The building on Orchard Street is a historical gem. The many different tours of the building and the neighborhood bring the immigrant experience of a newly American family to life. This is what happens in the years after you've come through Ellis Island and you begin to make your way in America.
We took the Sweatshop Workers Tour and LOVED it. The tour guide was exceptional and brought to life the two families whose apartments we visited. Each three room apartment (living room, kitchen, and bedroom) housed an entire family and often times served as a factory by day as we learned via the Garment District History. You'll learn how they ate, slept, worked, the requirements for kids to attend school, and so much more.
It's a real time travel experience to the early days of the American Dream and so interesting to see how these brave families made a life in America while weighing the quality of life with what they left behind. I'd love to take a dozen more tours at the Tenement Museum!
4. Bagel with Lox & Black and White Cookie
During our day on the Lower East Side we set out to grab a few NYC foods that were recommended by our friends. We were told to try two places for a proper bagel with lox and cream cheese: Kossar's and Russ & Daughter's. We were also on the lookout for a black and white cookie.
I grabbed a number to secure my place in line at Russ & Daughter's while Bryce journeyed onward to Kossar's for a bagel to bagel comparison. Bryce returned from Kossar's, bagel in hand, while I was still more than 100 numbers away for Russ and Daughter's!
I love, love, LOVED the salt bagel with lox and cream cheese from Kossar's. The bagel was covered in TONS of huge salt kernels and the lox and cream cheese were just perfect. Bryce isn't a big fan of a salt bagel and said it was too salty! Did I mention that I loved it? There are, of course, many types of bagel to chose from.
We were at Russ & Daughter's, a Jewish food institution, on the morning on the first day of Haukknah. Not the best timing for a single bagel request in a hurry. The tiny store was JAM PACKED with people, both inside and spilling out onto the sidewalk. We waited as long as we could but eventually left without a bagel. We did, however, grab coffee and sweets from the other side of the store that didn't require a number. We snagged a black and white cookie!
I didn't know what to expect of the color-less cookie. Bryce and I were both pleasantly surprised by the very soft cookie and lemon and lime flavors throughout! New Yorkers are always talking about these cookies (thanks, Seinfeld) but they never tell you why they're so good! It's citrus and it's delicious.
5. Moxy Hotel East Village
Finally I'd like to tell you about our hotel, the Moxy East Village. We used Marriott points to book our room at this new and trendy hotel in the East Village. We loved it!
Our room was small, very clean, cute, and comfortable. We had a big window and a good view of the surrounding area. The bathroom was huge and the shower was great, especially in the hot water category which was so appreciated after long and cold days outside!
Most importantly we were able to check-in early after our red-eye flight! We were in the room by 10 am, thankfully.
Moxy took great care of us. They give you a token for a free Prosecco at the onsite bar when you arrive. Don't miss your free drink and exploring the bar. There are swings in the bar, free skeeball games, and a shelf of free books!
The Moxy hotel was a great option for us. We never did take the trains during our stay but the hotel's location was great for walking exploration and simple for Uber drop off and pickup.
Well I think we're finally done with all of the best sights and eats of NYC. Until next time, travel buddies!
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A blog fueled by food and travel, Figs and Flights is a resource for curious travelers, foodies, yogis & book worms
Hello, I'm Angela
I'm a food obsessed blogger and world traveler
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