Get a CitiBike!
There is literally no better way to get around. As a cyclist, you can bypass stopped traffic, see the most amazing sights, and get excellent exercise—all for only $10 per day or $25 for a week.
Here are some things to consider before you embark: You must be a reasonably confident cyclist. Your balance has to be excellent and your judgment impeccable.
If you are not an expert cyclist but still want to try out biking in NYC, come along on my CitiBike DUMO expedition (Sundays at 11:00 a.m.) and learn how to use the excellent Citibike (sharing economy) bike service in New York and ride safely with me while enjoying the stunning beauty of the two bridges that define the borders of the amazing neighborhood on the other side of the river.
Take in an Indie Film!
I realize when you’re traveling, you don’t want to do something as basic as take in a film–after all–you can do that anywhere. But I would argue that art film houses are at their best in NYC and a taste for the real New York–including some great popcorn–can be found there.
My favorite art houses include: BAM Cinemas (Atlantic Terminal/Barclay Center, Brooklyn), Angelika Film Center (Central Houston Street, Manhattan), IFC (Sixth Avenue and West 4th, Manhattan), the Quad (13th Street between Sixth and Broadway, Manhattan) and Film Forum (Houston and Seventh Avenue South).
Ride the East River Ferry!
Instead of the subway, take the East River Ferry from 34th Street to Wall Street or to Queens and Brooklyn stops in between. The ride is phenomenal for photos and the city/borough and bridge vistas can’t be beat.
If you are missing your dog or just need a canine fix, you have to come to Brooklyn.
Prospect Park in Brooklyn (2 or 3 train to Grand Army Plaza or Q Train to Seventh Avenue) has an amazing off leash policy. The entire Long Meadow is off leash before 9:00 a.m. and after 5:00 pm in the winter (10:00 pm in the summer). We are talking hundreds of romping, playing, yelping, wagging, body-checking, stick carrying, ball chasing off leash dogs. It’s like Seurat’s Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte, except it’s all dogs (and a few people).
Best Iced Coffee!
For my money the best iced coffee in New York will be had at any Gregory’s Coffee. I find the coffee and the service to be excellent! The iced coffee is a cold brew, but it’s a solid medium roast and not over-roasted to bitterness. Gregory’s Coffee also has by far the cutest logo on the block. The image reminds me of the art in Alison Bechdel’s book FUN HOME, now turned into a must-see musical on Broadway!