Mark your calendars for the weekend of September 25-27: square dancing is coming back to Bryant Park! It’s on their calendar so it must be true, and since unlike most of the things I post about, this is a time-sensitive activity, I figured three weeks notice was only fair. That’s plenty of time to get excited, and to figure out which of your friends you might be able to convince to go with you. There are three nights of dancing — Friday 9/25, Saturday 9/26, and Sunday 9/27, all from 6 till 9.
First posted April 25, 2014.
Tourist season is upon us. If you live in NYC, that means you’ll soon have friends and relatives coming in for the weekend and sleeping on your couch. Some of them have spent time in New York and just want to see you, but I guarantee you’ll have at least one visitor per year who hasn’t visited before – and if you don’t live in New York and are reading this, that visitor might be you.
You can always go back through back entries of this blog when looking for ideas (check out my “things to do” tag!). But in this post and a few others, I’ll outline some sample itineraries for a day with friends who want to explore the city. Because most of my visitors are twenty-somethings on a budget, most of my suggestions are free – though there are a lot of stores are on this itinerary, so remember to bring enough money for some small souvenirs! If you’re looking for something to do on a Friday evening, swing by the free hours at the Morgan Library & Museum. Grab some finger food at their café or have some sandwiches at the Pret around the corner before heading to bed early to rest up for a busy Saturday!
I love parks – I write about them enough, don’t I? – but Bryant Park is a very special kind of park. As my friend said on Friday when we ate our pizza there before seeing a show, in Bryant Park you are still very much in the city. It’s ringed with tall buildings that you can see above the tree line, and it’s filled with people at all times, people who are sitting and reading or sunbathing or talking or doing yoga or doing nothing. There’s food to eat and a carousel to ride and an outdoor bar and ping pong tables and a library space – and space to just be, even in the midst of hundreds of other people. It’s only been that way for a little over twenty years, after a renovation that turned it from an unsafe space to a celebrated public asset – with public bathrooms worth raving about.
I am something of an expert on NYC restrooms.
Okay, that is probably not true. But I am very good at finding restrooms, and I am very good at remembering where they are for future moments of need. You laugh, but when you live in Brooklyn and you’re wandering Manhattan, out-of-town friends in tow, knowing where to find a restroom can be pretty important. This means, of course, that I have a few favorite restrooms scattered across the city, and today I’m going to share two of them.
I am fairly certain that I have taken almost every person who has visited me since I moved to NYC to the main branch New York Public Library, also known as the Stephen A. Schwarzman building. My reasons are simple: It’s in a great location near other tourist outings (Bryant Park, Grand Central, Rockefeller Center, and Times Square are all nearby), I love libraries and this is a particularly beautiful one, and, of course, it’s free.