If you have twenty-four hours to spend in New York City, here's what you do. You get me as your tour guide, or at least as the voice in the back of your head keeping you on track. I hope you slept before you landed because you're not going to sleep now!
We're going to assume it's summer the weather is perfect! We're also going to pretend that there is no travel time and you can instantly materialize at your next location. You'd be discouraged if you knew what crosstown traffic was really like. There are songs written about just how slow it is!
We arrive into the city at 6am and immediately head down to catch the Staten Island Ferry at the southern tip on Manhattan. The ferry passes right by the Statue of Liberty. You really don't need to get on that island, it's not worth it. Doing a free drive-by is much easier. Take a quick pic of the bronze statue of the bull on Wall Street. Don't worry, you won't be the first one to touch its private parts for luck.
Next we head up to Central Park and watch the morning joggers do their thing while I let you wander around, totally lose your sense of direction, and get lost. We'll find our way to the Met right when it opens at 9:30am and see as much of it as you can before your next appointment, Empire State Building at Noon. This is a short one, just take pics from all four sides and vocalize that you can see five states from there (New York being one of them.) Bam! You're done!
Our magic carpet is now dropping us off at Coney Island. I'm giving us three hours to check out the boardwalk, eat some junk food, ride the Cyclone, and watch some freaks while the nasea from the Cyclone wears off. Sad side-note, the giant mural of The Warriors is gone, so don't go looking for that.
The F Train will get you back to the city and we're going to get off at 23rd Street and head into Chelsea. Hit as many art galleries as you can in two hours and go up and enjoy the new and improved High Line park which used to be an elevated train track. Have a leisurely coffee or tea and take a breather.
From there we'll head to the East Village and get a glass (or two half-filled mugs) of beer at McSorley's Ale House. If you don't have time for a quick beer then don't worry about it, McSorley's isn't going anywhere, it's been there since 1854 and the dust on the light fixtures proves it!
At 6pm we'll head downtown and peruse the knock offs on Canal Street. You can get watches, purses, software, perfume, and electronics. We can knock out both Little Italy and Chinatown in one swoop down here. They're practically on top of each other. Pick an Italian restaurant based on the least annoying person trying to herd you in and have a great meal for a very low price. Warning girls- you WILL get groped on your way to the bathroom by the staff!
The sun is starting to set so let's find a nice rooftop to watch it go down. There are dozens to chose from but the Hudson Terrace is one of the best. Have a drink and catch your breath but don't get too comfortable, you can't afford to stay there- monetarily or time-wise.
So now we're going to bar hop from the West side to the East side and notice how the drinks get cheaper and cheaper as you leave the Meatpacking District and get into Alphabet City. We'll start with whatever hot spot is happening this month (just look for the velvet rope and long lines) and after our one drink just so we can say we were there, we'll get the hell out.
First we'll stop at Marie's Crisis in the West Village to hear some show tunes being played brilliantly by the pianist and sung by everyone else in the bar. Quickly now! Don't dawdle!
After short stops for shots and snaps at The Slaughtered Lamb, Peculiar Pub, and KGB, we'll be ready for a little snack at Stromboli Pizza or Crif Dogs, both on St. Mark's Place. Don't forget to spin the famous cube statue called The Alamo! We can head down to the Mercury Lounge on Houston Street and hear a local band play for a few minutes but don't get too comfortable, we still have to catch a train to Brooklyn!
From Houston we're going to walk up to 14th Street to catch the L Train, but not before stopping in at 7B which has been used in many productions, from The Godfather Part 2 to Sex and the City. HiFi on Avenue A has arguably the best jukebox on the planet though many people hate the place because it used to be a great live music spot, Brownies. We won't go in there out of respect to the death of live music in Manhattan. Tear.
After only one measly stop on the train we're out of Manhattan and into the heart of hipster-rific Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Who would have thought it was so close and easy?! It's nearly 3am but we're still good. We're going to have a massive domestic beer in a 32 ounce styrofoam cup for just $4 at Greenpoint Tavern, play some video games at Barcade and then check the scene at Black Betty.
Sometime around 5am they may or may not kick us out but we're probably ready for one last greasy meal and there are diners all over the place. By the time we pick our heads out of our waffles and homefries we see that it's now 6am again and our day in New York City is over.
We didn't hit all the Must-Sees but for 24 hours we did a pretty good job.
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