Zen Spots

  • Chinese garden, The Metropolitan Museum

  • Biblical Garden, St. John the Divine

  • Courtyard, Union Theological Seminary

  • Overlooking the Hudson, Fort Tryon Park


  • High 5 is a site for $5 for teenagers and their companions. Amazing offerings!

  • New Victory Theater, less expensive than going to the movies! International and imaginative young people’s theater in Times Square.

GREAT Free Theater

New York Classical Theater

Clothes Shopping


Two locations, Herald Square 34th Street and Broadway in Soho. Japanese department store.


Japanese department stores.

Thrift Stores

Beacon’s Closet - 5 locations, great stuff. My favorite is the one in Greenpoint.

Goodwill - many located throughout the city. The one on the Upper East Side, 88th street and Second Avenue, is the best.

Housing Works - many in NYC. A little expensive. The one in Hell’s Kitchen is especially good.

23rd Street near Second Avenue - around 5 thrift shops near each other including the Opera Thrift Shop, the best in the city

St. Lukes, 487 Hudson Street in the West Village

Ina, many locations, high end consignment, pricey.

If I have one day in NYC and the weather is going to be cold, this is what I'd do, once I was bundled up with lots of layers:

9-10am: Take the 7 train to the (new & cool!) last stop at the Hudson Yards. Get on the northern end of the High Line. Walk to the southern end. Go to Chelsea Market, between 15th and 16th on 9th Avenue (http://chelseamarket.com/). Walk through the entire place and then walk back and choose some good snacks. You can't lose.

OR eat at Artichoke Basille pizza spot. Opens at noon. 114 10th Avenue

Walk to 14th Street and 8th Avenue. Take the A or C to Chambers Street. Walk West to Hudson River Park. Once at the river, walk south. Check out the Tom Otterness sculptures. Continue walking south. Check out the Irish Hunger Memorial.


Walk to the Skyscraper Museum


The Museum of the American Indian

Both are small collections and in really cool spaces. If you go to the American Indian Museum, point out the racist statues of the women representing the 4 continents in the front. They were created by William Chester French, the designer of the Lincoln Memorial.

Lunch Option:

'wichcraft at 325 Broadway

I LOVE 'wichcrafts. There are a few around NYC. It's owned by an incredibly good chef. It's inexpensive, high quality fast food.

After Lunch

Take the 4 or 5 train to 86th Street. Walk to the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in Andrew Carnegie Mansion. The collection and the building are a knock out!


Take the 4, 5 or 6 to 103rd. Walk to the Museum of the City of New York. Don't miss Rockefeller's bedroom and the 13 minute film about NYC. Across the street is the Conservatory Garden

Coffee & Cake possibilities on the Upper East Side:

Lady M (78th, near Madison Avenue)


Cafe Sabarasky (86th and Fifth, inside the Neue Gallery). There will be a line. Bypass it by going to the identical cafe down the stairs.

Summer Fun!

Midsummer Night’s Swing

Dance lesson followed by a great band and dance party at Lincoln Center


Brooklyn Brainery - a huge variety of fun and interesting classes

Urban Glass - a glassblowing studio in Brooklyn. They have great classes and open workshop days. I made a paperweight. Very fun!

Used Home Supplies for DIY Projects

Big Reuse in Gowanus, Brooklyn

Great Beaches


Brighton Beach - From Manhattan, take the Q train and check out the river view as you cross to Brooklyn. Get off at any subway stop and explore! Or go to the last stop and check out Brighton Beach.You can walk to Coney Island. The three Russian restaurants on the boardwalk have ocean views. You can also get great takeout from Gastronome Europe and have a picnic.

At Brighton Beach, you can eat at Volna on the Boardwalk or Varichnaya for the best Uzbeki food.

Coney Island - next to the aquarium, lively and fun

The ISI presenter Chia-Ti teaches sunset, donation-based yoga on the beach in Coney Island every Monday, 7-8pm, from June 5, 2017 through August or early September, weather permitting.  Meet at the Lola Star Surf Ave Shop in Stillwell Terminal at 6:45-6:55.

Rockaway Beach - very popular, tends to be crowded. ferry is dreamy to & from Southern Manhattan.

Riis Beach - good Smorgasburg food spots, live music on weekends

You can take a ferry for the price of a subway ride to Riis beach.

Here’s more information.


Orchard Beach

City Island is not a beach but offers many restaurants and a fun atmosphere

Swimming Pools

Hamilton Fish Pool - Lower East Side

Riverbank State Park - 20 blocks north of TC


Conservatory Gardens in Central Park - Stunning all year ‘round

New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx - orchid show, train show, rose festival, all year, worth visiting (free on Wednesdays)
Brooklyn Botanical - great

Hallett Nature Sanctuary -  (Tues - Sun 10:00 am - 5:00 pm)  In southern Central Park. Lovely!


Free Museum Days



Free on Fridays


Skyscraper Museum

Cooper Hewitt - design museum in Carnegie’s mansion. Amazing!

American Indian Museum - Smithsonian run, always free, check out the statues in the front by Daniel Chester French, the designer of the Lincoln Memorial

Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace

Alexander Hamilton House - Watch the films, see if you can go upstairs

Grant’s Tomb - interesting & a few blocks away from TC

The Museum of Mathematics

Museum of Art and Design near Columbus Circle (free on Thursday evenings)

Neue Galerie - stylish, turn of the century German & Austrian art in an incredible mansion, free 6-8pm, first Friday of the month)

Metropolitan Museum of Art - pay what you wish.
Natural History Museum - pay what you wish.
Museum of Modern Art - free on Fridays from 4-8pm

New York Historical Society

Museum of the City of New York

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Museum of the Moving Image - super cool movie museum, free on Friday evenings

Science Museum, New York Hall of Science - super great

Fun with Children

Children’s Museum of Manhattan - 83rd between Bway and Amsterdam. I have been more times than I can count. Changing exhibits, great fun.

Children’s Museum of the Arts - My Favorite! In Soho. Full of natural light and beauty. Kids have opportunities to paint, draw, compose music, work with clay, do stop motion animation. Amazing!

The Brooklyn Children’s Museum - I have never visited but it has a great reputation.

The Staten Island Children’s Museum - part of a large, very interesting complex including an Asian garden. You need to take the ferry and then a short bus ride. Very active and fun.

New York Hall of Science in Queens - Amazing hands-on experiences

Most of the major museums have great children’s programming including the Met, Cooper Hewitt, Whitney and the NY Historical Society.

Best Playgrounds:

Billy Johnson in Central Park at East 67th Street. Check out the giant slide!

Teardrop Park on Warren Street in Battery Park. Shaded with a cool slide!

Hudson River Park - give your ID and then have access to all kinds of great toys including hippity-hops!

Upper Riverside Park from 96th Street to 113th Street

96th and Central Park West

Elaine PerlmanComment