Things to do and see in NYC?

February 27th, 2010 by Rebekka in Uncategorized

So, only about 10 days til I leave for Manhattan, (will be staying march 9th-17th)

Any and all suggestions welcome.  I’m busily knitting myself a wool dress and leg warmers and spending more time organizing what I’m going to wear, than actually plan what I’m going to do for 8 days .  How girly of me.  Anyway, if you’re familiar with the city, gimme some recommendations ;)

And btw, here’s the event page for the opening of the show (the reason I’m going to NY in the first place) if people are interested in showing up to say hi and see some of my work in large print format.

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36 comments for this post

Nice, I’d love to meet up for a shoot or a chat, let me know!

i love your photography so will try and check out your show.
for things to do in NYC, check out TimeOut New York, the Village Voice (either online or in their respective print formats). Look at and for more online things. Just going for a walk around NYC is pretty neat. Invest in a weekly pass Metrocard that will allow unlimited rides on subway and bus for a week. will have further information, including any service advisories.


Google What to do in New York City and found the website: (along with about 102,000,000 other websites;-)

The beach at Coney island is interesting. It will be pretty deserted. But interesting to see. :)

Here’s are two things:

Eat at Moim’s in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Party with Andrew W.K at his Santos Party House in downtown New York City, straddling Chinatown and Tribeca. He throws an epic party.

Something about the tourist attractions, as it sounds like you haven’t been in NYC before:
Rockefeller Center is better (less queues) than Empire State Building, the view is the same. The revolving bar “The View” at the Marriot Marquis hotel has a nice view in the night. Make sure you have enough time to spend in Central Park.

I’ve been to NY twice before, but only for a couple of days, and i was 8 the first time, 11 the second. So it doesn’t really count. But im very un-touristy by nature.. so i’m definitely interested in hearing about less obvious things that locals might be more familiar with .. but I’ll probably end up being very much the tourist anyway

I just returned from a fairly untouristic trip to NYC. I recommend to visit Brooklyn (Heights, Williamsburg) and especially Coney Island – at this time of the year the amusement park is closed down, and everything looks deserted. Also, many of the different ethnic groups live in the outer boroughs, in Coney Island for example you can find a huge russian neighbourhood, China Town in Queens is huge…

Be sure to visit as much photo galleries as possible, I particularly loved Soho Photo Gallery and the ICP.

If you’re into good food (who isn’t?) check out “Diner” (New American) in Williamsburg or “Les Halles” (French) in downtown Manhattan. I could rave about a dozen more restaurants and bars right now, but I’ll restrain myself from drooling to much – if you need more recommendations, just drop me an email. Have a nice trip!

I always recommend cross Brooklyn bridge by walk and then go to the Fulton Pier. It is also interesting take a walk around DUMBO area and eat something in the Diner 85 broadway which is under Williamsburg Bridge

if you like bagels you should try out Bergen Bagel ( in Brooklyn.

Theres is also a nice photo op at the tip of brooklyn heights close to the brooklyn bridge during the night ie when it’s dark. from there you have a view upon the south tip of manhattan.

and if you wanna see something ridiculous go to the american museum of natural history at 79 Street And Central Park West and see whats wrong with the statue of Roosevelt in front of it.

have fun!

congratulations on your first american exhibition!
when we went to ny we really liked the kitchen club

congrats on the exhibit!!! very cool!

know idea if its your cup of the but the ninja restaurant is actually quite fun and the food is very good.

its basically like a little japanese ninja village with ninjas running around showing some tricks, the signature dishes have some effects and all. we enjoyed the evening there a lot, as the food and sake were very good and the rest of the experience a lot of fun.

and if you are rockefeller centere anyway, downstairs in the middle of rock plaza they have some pretty damn good key lime pie! and the rest of the food is very nice too!

for now thats it, as I am way too tired, but hope there is at least one thing interesting for you.


Steve Gray wrote on March 1st, 2010

There are many, many things to see in NYC, and you might just do well to hop on one of the Gray Line tour buses.

Aside from the touristy things, once place I’ve always wanted to visit in NYC is…B&H Photo and Video. I’m a terrible gear head, I know.

From a photographer’s point of view (my wife is a professional) I’d second DUMBO (Brooklyn) as a great spot. When you are _in_ Manhattan you don’t really see Manhattan.

You don’t have to see “ground zero” (nobody here calls it that btw) other than to marvel at how large of a footprint the buildings had. It is pretty much just a construction site at this point.

Chinatown is pretty rich visually. Don’t bother with Little Italy which is essentially fake-tourist-trap at this point. Soho is great, especially West Broadway (different than regular Broadway). Times Square is chaotic, but worth seeing.

The East Village has some of the best food and nightlife going. Ippudo (sp?) the noodle place is devine.

Pizza is a must-have. Grimaldi’s in Dumbo is great, but can be a pain, especially because of the lines. I think Lombardi’s Pizza in Soho is in the top 5 and is pretty easy to get a table at.

Taxis: The light on top has to be on for it to be available. Get in, _then_ tell them where you want to go. They all take credit cards these days.

If you are going long distances North and South, the Subway is your best bet. East-West, take a cab or bus.

joejoejoe wrote on March 2nd, 2010

A walk across the Brooklyn Bridge is a wonderful thing to do. You can also walk on the Brooklyn Promenade and look back at the island of Manhattan and get the postcard view.

A visit to in Fort Tryon Park way up past Harlem is also fun. It would give you an idea of the size of Manhattan and it’s relationship to the other boroughs geographically and the view up in The Cloisters is phenomenal.

THanks all for the tips, i’m going to have to make a list ;)

I’ll be staying in the East Village and everyone keeps saying its one of the best areas for eating and night-life, so I’m glad to hear that ;)

Hi Rebekka, go and check out Katz’s Deli here, 205 East Houston Street, New York, NY 10002-1098. Really busy, fantastic food. Also, this is where they filmed the famous Orgasm scene in the movie ‘When Harry Met Sally’. Picture here

Wherever you go, HAVE FUN!

Rachel wrote on March 4th, 2010

Eat at Ninja!

Siggi wrote on March 5th, 2010

Just step out from behind whatever door you find yourself, and start walking. But avoid anything, or anywhere, people describe as trendy — as they’re generally shitheads and gentrifiers [sic] from out-of-town, and really don’t know the city all that well — and go to all the usual tourist attractions first. Reason: If you don’t, you’ll be consumed with remorse forever. That, and the world anxiously awaits a Rebekka Guðdleifsdóttir interpretation of all the tired old tourist traps. (BTW Coney Island has been soooooo over-exposed by every Lomo-cum-Holga shooting student whose mom and dad can afford the $62,000 a year it costs to “make them” photographers. Eventually, they will all say “fuck this” and get a real job fleecing pensioners on Wall Street — or open a gallery on Mulberry Street. Then, there’s always law school.) After you’ve survived a couple of days being a too-obvious tourist, hopefully some reasonably trustworthy person — man or woman — that you met at the opening will take you into their confidence and show you around. Avoid people with dreadlocks and/or foreign accents who just happen to be free all week to show you around, or skinny past-prime bohemians (fuck, that leaves me out)who know the city like only an urban anthropologist does. Alternately, most gay men should be a safe bet. But don’t buy anyone lunch! Ditto homely young women who think “You’re just great! I mean so pretty and talented, and all. I wanna be just like you!” (Yeah, provided it doesn’t entail moving to Iceland and raising two boys as a single parent, in an economy that make Greeks laugh.)

I really have absolutely no doubt you will have the time of your life, and that it would have been so much better about ten years ago. (Thanks, Bush.)If I can motivate (re: punish) myself to going south of 14th street on a “skool night”, I just might make the opening. In any case, enjoy! We’re all pulling for you to win, whatever it is one wins from all this. (I’ve already started taking bets on your taking the show by storm… or having your pockets picked by a greasy old gallery owner and his lawyer wife. LOL I’m sorry…I just had to add that.)

Siggi wrote on March 5th, 2010

I just wanted to add, I’m not accusing anyone connected with the gallery of anything. (For all I know, everyone concerned is “young” and decidedly “not greasy”.) That said, you’re about 25 years too late arriving in the East Village. But then again, 25 years hence you’d be fifty years too late. (And for what? History?) There’s no time like the present for getting things done, but the real magic died once and for all when the neighborhood became a haven for frat boys, and seriously spoiled students in general, shortly after the first wave of assholes from suburbia — armed with business and law degrees — got fed up (or married) and flipped their apartments on Avenue B to any brat who didn’t wanna live in dormitory housing at NYU anymore. (And I never thought I would be thinking back on the invasion of lawyers, brokers and bankers, in the late 80s as the good ol’ days.) Trust me on this: Everyone is going to want to take you to Brooklyn instead — like somehow that’s suppose to be an improvement. And actually, in a way it will be; like stepping back to DUMBO in 1995. But even that scene got tired — and fast! Now here’s the weird part. You’ll have fun!

thanks for that very refreshing and honest input ..

as for winning anything: i already won all I could win in this contest: the peoples choice award, and didn’t even win that by myself because I tied with another woman. So this trip and show is the reward of that (altho my reward money all goes to cover accomodation while I’m there)
I’m just hoping i manage to sell these 5 prints I get to show..

and as far as the “touristy” things go, i already did them with my parents when i was a kid, and could not be less interested in getting pictures of things everyone has taken pictures of already. Im not even sure I’m bringing my 5D with me. Was thinking of bringing a 35mm cam instead (simply to lessen the chance of anything happening to the 5D), and yes, i’ll probably take pictures in Coney Island. But at least I’ve already graduated art school, I payed for it myself, and I don’t own a lomo OR holga ;)

Siggi wrote on March 5th, 2010

The 35mm might be the way to go! But, in any event, do bring something. There is something of an analog Renaissance going on, in-so-far as “street photography” is concerned. (We use to call it “taking pictures” and living long enough to have them processed; now it’s “street”. And who in their sick minds actually buys a Holga? If I wanted to take lousy pictures I’d smear a ring of Vaseline™, or forehead grease, on the lens of an old Ansco TLR — and save myself $50 on eBay. Idiots!)It occurs to me you will be leaving NYC on St Pat’s Day. (You’re timing just may rival mine.)So along with the vomit and parade, you’ll be missing all the yearly I.L.G.O. fun, speak of street photography. BTW: I’ve already told everyone who doesn’t have an order of protection against my harassing them (that’s a joke, Rebekka)about the gallery show. Anything for the cause!

Very nice stuff here. Just stumbled upon you and your work this evening. No need to elaborate, just really nice work. Keep it up. Cheers,

I would definitely second Ippudo for ramen, best in NYC and say that you should NOT go to Ninja restaurant it is expensive and tired. A huge tourist trap.

St. Marks Place is a great place to go a night walk, it like little Tokyo with all of the yaki tori places. Lots of fun people there too.

I dare say you should go for a walk in Highline park near the meat packing district. Sunday Funday is always the best day. Go there for a bunch, it is something like $30/person for a delicious French breakfast and as many glasses of champagne you can consume. The champagne makes the park that much nicer. Also, there are loads of places to go late night too. Cheesy NY clubs abound.

For a better nightlife I would probably recommend the everlasting Webster Hall on a Friday night. The Lower East Side is good too though. Dumbo and Williamsburg Brooklyn are very popular now a days, lots of galleries and places to eat/party. Definitely walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.

Can’t wait to see the show!

Hi Rebekka,
When you’e done eating all that great food, come work it off.

Kenneth wrote on March 12th, 2010

Eat at Le Petite Abielle (belgian) on west 17th and 6th.
Eat at Kenka (japanese) on st marks with blue sign and cotton candy machine out front.
Eat at wonjo (Korean bbq) on 32nd near herald square.
Eat at Shanghai Joes (get soup dumplings) on bowery in Chinatown.
Eat at Grimaldi’s Pizza in Dumbo, under bridge in Brooklyn.
(Lombardi’s Pizza on Mulberry in Little Italy will suffice if the line is too long at grimaldi’s, which it will be.)
Drink at Loreili Beer Garden on Rivington and Chrystie – les.
Drink at Home Sweet Home on Chrystie and Broom – les.

oh! and there is a free photo exhibit tonight on mulberry!

ps – you rule.
pps – anything I should do when I go to Reykjavík?

Kenneth wrote on March 12th, 2010

and the chinatown ice cream factory…!

and the Jeff Koons curateship at the New Museum…!


foo-foo: Public in SOHO. Trendy, crowded, a little expensive; great for breakfast. It’s amazing what a good chef can do with a soft-boiled egg!

- Cheap, satisfying and good:
- Veselka- Ukrainian. Open late. ~2d ave and 5th st., East Village
- also in that neighborhood, and all good:
Kiev, open 24 hours
B and H Dairy Bar. Complete with grumpy old Jewish men who have been there forever. Good photo opportunities? ;-)

- Check out the new park on the West side, build on an old elevated railway bridge.
- Central Park! Olmsted’s masterpiece.
- The Apple store on 5th ave, of course. ;-)

This Ukrainian boy could desperately use a bowl of mushroom barley soup from B&H, right about now. I could also use a roll — of black and white film that is, from B&H Photo. Cold and rainy days in New York, camera in hand, old Yiddish speaking gentlemen, and a slosh uptown through the park to dry-off at the Met before closing time. Ah, life is good — if I don’t die of pneumonia! And who wants that, if it means missing another opportunity to crash the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, tomorrow night, by sneaking in through the kitchen door at the Waldorf. [hint: Rebekka, get to know as many gay and Puerto Rican kitchen staff as you can. They'll get you into any venue imaginable -- like a real native New Yorker.]

Shit, I am tired. It’s still only Saturday — so B&H Photo is most definitely NOT open today! Also, Hall of Fame gig is on Monday. Time to shoot the ducks!

I wish I could go there. Just hanging about in the East Village and Williamsburg would be cool enough. I think I could spend many weeks taking photos in Union Square too. You’ll probably find you don’t get to see half the things you want to, but I’m sure you’ll have a great time.
It seems they put on quite a show for the opening of the exhibition. Have a safe journey home when you’re done.

And come to England when you can!

“First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin!” Or was that Birmingham. Or London! And what is going on with the Metro Police? Have they completely lost their minds? Here, just as has been the case throughout the UK, the so-called “war on photographers” is seeing casualties in New York, indeed all over the US, at an alarming rate. (I’ve been detained and/or threatened six times, to date, over laws that don’t actually exist regarding photography.)I intentionally avoided mentioning to Rebekka the real possibility of being questioned — even detained — by police for aiming a camera at bridges, tunnels, or anything/anyone defined “federal”, or wearing a uniform. I chose not to do so for fear of tossing yet another wet blanket on what should otherwise have been her productive, and enjoyable, visit to New York City. Odds were with her in any case. But there was always the what-if, looming. (But good people were watching her back.) So, Rebekka, you know London and, in any case, what to expect — right? And Arty, I hope you’re up to a bit of civil disobedience in the name of photographers’ rights, and civil liberties in general. I’m working on it here, and have the police reports to prove it!

Up the rebels! First we take (back) Manhattan — then we take (back) Brooklyn!

I’ve only discovered your work today!! I know! Ridiculous. Anyway, I’ll be sure to follow you and your work from now on. I have to catch up on your previous work first. I’m such a fan already. Good luck with all your future endeavors, and your trip to New York. Can’t wait to have see what you produce in the coming year(s).

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