Monday, February 05, 2007

Coming to New York for SCBWI?

Here's my list of things I always recommend to visitors to the city; sorry I don't have time to post links as well. (New Yorkers, feel free to chime in with things I've forgotten.)

  • Take the subway -- after walking, the cheapest, fastest, and most enjoyable way to get around New York
  • Visit one of our fantastic art museums: MoMA (free on Friday nights after 5 p.m.), the Metropolitan Museum, the Guggenheim, the Frick Collection (this latter especially appropriate if you like Stately Homes as well)
  • Or other museums . . . The Lower East Side Tenement Museum is a terrific glimpse of "how the other half live[d]," and I particularly commend the Morgan Library for readers, as they have two terrific exhibits up right now -- one on Victorian bestsellers, featuring some of Charles Dickens's manuscripts and book contracts, and one on Saul Steinberg -- as well as the jaw-dropping heaven that is J. P. Morgan's library
  • Have authentic Chinese food in Chinatown (Goodie's, New York Noodle Town, Dim Sum-A-Go-Go), New York-style pizza (Lombardi's, Patsy's, John's of Bleecker Street, or Two Boots for funky toppings), a hot dog from a corner stand, and at least one ethnic cuisine you can't find in your hometown
  • Stand in the center of Grand Central Station and marvel at the ceiling; extra points if you can find the whispering corner on the floor below
  • Take the Staten Island Ferry past the Statue of Liberty and back again; best when the sun is setting on a sunny day
  • Visit Patience and Fortitude at the New York Public Library at 42nd St. and 5th Ave.; extra points if you go up to the Rose Reading Room, one of the most beautiful spaces in the city, IMHO. You can also visit Winnie-the-Pooh and Betsy, too, at the Donnell on 53rd St. between 5th and 6th, across the street from MoMA.
  • Stroll through Times Square and Central Park
  • Go to the top of a tall building -- probably the Empire State Building or Top of the Rock -- for a view of the whole city (probably not advisable in the cold)
  • Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge (ditto)
  • Visit Coney Island (ditto II)
  • Go to a taping of "Late Night with David Letterman," "The Daily Show," or a daytime talk show (probably a little late to get tickets now, but it's worth a try)
  • See a show, on Broadway or off (I love "Company," "The 21st Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," and "Avenue Q")

And have fun!


  1. Take the Circle Line tour around Manhattan - three hours, but a terrific way to get a marvelous overview of the city.

  2. What I'd give to be able to follow your list! I've never been to NY. Having just gone to the summer conference in LA, I can't swing it right now. But I'm saving up for next year and saving your list. Hoping I can follow it then!

    I'll be sure to pass it on to some AZ friends who are going!


  3. Report -so it's not too late!

  4. West Side Cottage II on 9th Ave. has great Chinese and free plum wine! Must see Broadway (non-musical) Vertical Hour with Bill Nighy. Juliannne Moore is in it, too, but Billy Nighy is one of the best actors on stage (or film) today.

    MUST DO ADVICE FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR: Wear good, waterproof boots, for those slushy Manhattan streets. Wet feet can ruin a day.

  5. Great list! I'd add trying standby tickets for the Colbert Report if one is around on Monday, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (and nearby Labyrinth and Bank Street bookshops); for used books, the Donnell and Mid-Manhattan libraries, The Strand , Brooklyn's Adam's Books and The Community Bookstore on Court Street (interesting selection, sometimes grouchy proprietor); a couple of fiber-ish exhibits: The Eye of the Artist at the Brooklyn Museum and Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting at the Museum of Arts and Design...Most of mine are food-related: Tea and Sympathy for a pretty good afternoon tea (or Lady Mendl's if you're feeling fancy); on the Lower East Side: Gertel's Bakery for linzer tarts, black and white cookies and challah bread, Russ and Daughters' for all kinds of foodstuffs, Katz' Delicatessen for pastrami, The Doughnut Plant, Kossar's Bialystock, and The Pickle Guys; Cafe Lalo or Cafe Mozart on the upper west side for light fare and feeling somewhat sophisticated; Sahadi's in Brooklyn for dried fruit, nuts, etc.; Charles' Southern Style Kitchen uptown for the best fried chicken ever; Wimp's Bakery on 125th street for giant cakes, cobblers, and banana pudding, Sweet n Tart Cafe on Mott Street in Chinatown for tasty and fresh Chinese, Jacques Torres chocolate factory under the Brooklyn Bridge (try the wicked hot chocolate), Christie's Jamaican Patties on Flatbush Ave in Brooklyn...Oh, I could go on.

  6. Gee Cheryl, that looks like our itinerary for last October! I can't stress enough the need for sturdy well-fitting walking shoes. We walked an average of 8 miles a day. We bought a pass for the Big Red Bus and found it to be an excellent source of info for NYC. However, all the guides think they're fantastic comedians & wonderful singers ...

    Aunt Carol

  7. Thanks for the great travel tips! I couldn't make it for the conference, but hope to be visiting NYC this summer, so I'll keep these suggestions handy!If anyone has special suggestions for authors, please share!

    PS We saw 25th Annual Putam County Spelling Bee on our visit last year - it is a must-see!

  8. I went in 2001 ... five months pregnant and not feeling too whippy. (Got all woozy on Ms. Dlouhy, hope I didn't freak her out too much). I did find the whispering corner at Grand Central Station, but other than that, I pretty much stayed in the hotel.

    One of these days I'll come for a proper visit. It'll be more fun now that the kid's old enough to appreciate the city.

  9. Looks like half of my comment cut off-anyway-I JUST got tix to Colbert Report-so it's not too late

  10. I love the Strand bookstore in Union Square. Miles and miles of books.