Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #17:: Top Ten Favorite Things to do in NYC when you come for BEA or just to visit

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

I thought I would share some of my favorite things to do in NYC.  I know many of you will be here for 2015 BEA or just visiting at some point in the summer.  Either way, I hope this is a helpful list for you. Some of these suggestions are free, some only cost a minimal amount of money, but all are fun ways to enjoy NYC besides the typical touristy things.

1- Walk the Highline - the Highline is a repurposed railway turned linear park that runs for almost 1.5 miles above ground.  You can just walk and appreciate the gardens, but there are also all kinds of fun things happening on it, too - art, performances, tours, storytelling, stargazing.  Check the Highline website to see if any will fit your schedule.

The Highline runs from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street, some of the access points have elevators and are wheelchair accessible.  And here's a bonus - the new Whitney Museum of American Art has just moved to 99 Gavsevoort Street, right by the Highline.

2- Visit the NYPL on 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue.  This the is research library, but there are interesting exhibits and there are free one hour tours at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM.  And you can drop by the the Children's Center and have a lovely visit with the real Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends.

3- Ride the Cyclone - you can easily take a subway ride to Coney Island for this.  The Cyclone isn't the world's biggest roller coaster, but it is an old wooden coaster, so you feel every bump and jiggle and it continues to be voted among the best.

Go for a ride on the Cyclone, stay for a real Nathan's Hot Dog just down the street on Surf Avenue.

4- Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit - head down to Greenwich Village for this unusual art show May 30th and May 31st if you are still in NYC.  Begun in 1931 by Jackson Pollack and Willem DeKooning who set up some of their painting to sell on the sidewalk when they were desperately in need of money.  They were soon joined by other artists needing money and it jsut grew from there.  My dad used to exhibit some of his painting there when we were kids, so I have a soft spot for this particular art show.

5- Shakespeare in the Park - You'll have to get up really early to snag 2 free ticket per person for this year's production of The Tempest beginning May 27th, but it's worth it. This production stars Sam Waterston and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, among others.  If you decide to do this, get to the line about 6-7 AM, tickets are given out around noon, first come, first served.  There are bathrooms, and food, but bring your own food it you can, and something to sit on.  And your linemates are usually pretty friendly, or you can read a new gotten book from BEA, either way, it itmakes the time go faster.

6- See a Mets Game - the Mets are playing home games during this year's BEA and you can get inexpensive tickets HERE, then take a subway out to Citi Field.  Friday nights are free t-shirt night for everyone in attendance, and Saturday, May 30th, it's free beach towel day to the first 15,000 people.

7- See a Broadway show - drop by the TKTS booth in Times Square to see what up on the boards - you might just snap some cheap tickets to a great show, same day tickets are usually 50% off.

8- Visit the Strand Book Store - I know, you're here for Book Expo, but you might want to go visit this iconic book store even if it is only to walk among the miles of books you will find there.  You might also want to check their calendar of events to see if there is anything of interest while you are here.

9- Do check out the Food Trucks - you will find food trucks almost anywhere in NYC, probably outside the Javits Center now, or you can download a mobile app called NYCFoodTruck to help you find what you want and where they are.  Food Trucks are different from sidewalk vendors, which are also good, but the trucks tend to have more upscale food and there is a great variety to choose from.

10- Visit the Bronx Botanical Garden - you can take a subway there or get a MetroNorth train at Grand Central.  The Botanical Garden is beautiful in the summer and they have a wonderful Frdia Kahlo exhibition at the moment.  During the warm weather, every Saturday, you can enjoy a Frida Al Fresco Evening, a evening of art, gardens, music, performance art and the price of admission, $25.00, includes a complimentary Modelo Especial draft cerveza or Jose Cuervo Tradicional margarita.

So grab a subway map, buy a Metro Card and have some NYC fun while you are at 2015 BEA!


  1. I'm so jealous - I hope I can go to BEA someday! :)

    Check out my TTT.

    1. It's fun and tiring, but I hope you get there someday, too.

  2. I so much want to walk the Highline! An yes, Coney Island too. The Strand Bookstore would overwhelm me in seconds but I'd love to check it out.

    Maybe someday I will actually get to BEA. Thanks, Alex for the lovely post!

    1. I know you have been wanting to walk the Highline for a while now. It has become quite a lovely place to be. It's over by the Hudson River, and I live by the East River, so I tend to walk Carl Schulz Park more.

      The Strand overwhelms me so I only go there when I have to, but it is a place everyone should get to when they visit NYC at least once. Since I am involved with children's literature, I'm partial to the Bank Street Bookstore up on W.107th Street.

      BEA - it's a trip, all right. Sometimes I just sit and watch the action. But I have met some pretty nice book people there.

      Coney Island - I love the beach! When I was a kid, and there was no height requirement then, my sister and I talked my dad into taking up on the Cyclone when my mom was in the hospital have my brother. We rode it 5 times and I have never been back on it since, but my brother proposed to his wife at the very top of the largest drop - she said yes!

  3. Yes please, to all of that, except the roller coaster! We’ve only visited New York once but would love to visit again. Our trip was for our 25th wedding Anniversary. We booked a cruise on the Silver Wind, but unfortunately we were intercepted by Hurricane Marilyn! It was a very uncomfortable crossing, and our days in New York were shortened because the captain of the ship spent a day trying to avoid the hurricane – scary stuff but certainly a trip we will never forget. We should have spent two nights in the Waldorf Astoria but in the event, we had just one night. One of these days we will make a return trip (perhaps for our 50th anniversary).

    1. Oh, I'm so sorry your trip was cut short by a hurricane. I would never forget that trip either. When I was a kid, my dad took me to England and Wales to meet his family. We sailed home on the next to the last trip the Queen Mary made. Unfortunately, I was too young to appreciate the history behind her.

      But two nights in the Waldorf Astoria sounds very nice. That was always the height of swankiness to us city kids. It is a really beautiful hotel and I believe it is where our presidents stay when they come here.

      Well, I remember Hurricane Marilyn, so you aren't too far from your 50th anniversary. I really do hope you make it back someday, but I can understand returning to Australia to see your family, instead.