Lifestyle

Your foolproof guide to entertaining troublesome NYC visitors

Andrew Zimmer Published On 07/25/2013 Published On 07/25/2013

People love to visit New York. Which means, every so often, you're going to find yourself responsible for entertaining guests whose idea of a good time might not involve eating food and slamming Molson XXX until the wee hours. And so we present our inaugural Guide To Entertaining Troublesome NYC Visitors: a comprehensive rundown of where to take the people who are least like you, while still keeping yourself entertained. THE GUESTS: YOUR SISTER AND HER THREE-YEAR-OLD KID Your sis is dragging her whippersnapper to town, and she refuses to let you teach him how to do Fish Bowl races with Ecto Cooler, so here are some sister-approved, kid-friendly activities you'll love just enough: Discovery Times Square, 226 W 44th St; Midtown; 866.987.9692 NYC's first large-scale museum for "immersive exhibit experiences" features exhibits like amazing LEGO sculptures, Harry Potter everything, and rare looks at pirate treasure, providing the perfect opportunity to tell the kid about The Goonies.

High Line, 10th Ave & Gansevoort to 11th Ave & 34th; Meatpacking; 212.206.9922
Kids can play and run and work out some of that endless energy, while you sap yourself of yours by housing brisket at the Smokeline.

FAO Schwarz, 767 5th Ave; Midtown East; 212.644.9400
Do the Big thing, be pissed when the kid hasn't heard of Big, then buy him a toy.

Flickr user Tom Thai

A Yankee Game, 1 E 161th St; Bronx; 718.293.6000
… but not a Mets game, no child should be forced to endure that kind of sadness.

Economy Candy, 108 Rivington St; Lower East Side; 212.254.1531
All the candy and 1987 Topps baseball cards you the kid could ever want.


THE GUESTS: YOUR GRANDPARENTS
They're coming to town and, for whatever reason, they don't want to go to that bacon and high-ABV beer pairing you were looking forward to. Nerds. Here's how to keep them endlessly occupied:

TKTS Booth in Brooklyn, 1 Metrotech Ctr; Brooklyn; 212.912.9770
You know grandma loves Broadway, since science proves every grandma loves Broadway. Hit up the TKTS Booth, but make sure it's the downtown Brooklyn location, as grandma hates Times Square since Giuliani cleaned it up.

Gigino at Wagner Park, 20 Battery Place; Battery Park; 212.528.2228
There's a little spot down by the Battery that overlooks the Hudson and has prime Liberty Island scopage. The best part: you don't even need to take the time and effort to go over there. The other best part: there's wine.

City Reliquary Museum, 370 Metropolitan Ave; Williamsburg; 718.782.4842
It's tiny, it's in Williamsburg, and it has artifacts from the Worlds Fairs, plus ancient subway tokens, Jackie Robinson stuff, mad-old postcards people wrote to their families about their time in NYC, and other stuff grandparents just can't help but very quietly freak out about.

flickr user e_chaya

The Cloisters, 99 Margaret Corbin Dr, Fort Tryon Park; Midtown West; 212.923.3700
Art, history, flowers, monks! No brainer.

Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum, Pier 86, 12th Ave & 46th St; Midtown West; 212.245.0072
Old people love other old things. Bonus points if Gramps was in the war. Any of them. 


THE GUEST: YOUR FRAT BUDDY WHO CAN'T DRINK ANYMORE FOR VARIOUS REASONS
Ever since his wife was totally not cool about that time the two of you went to dinner and he came home smelling of coconut and had glitter in his beard, he's no longer able to hit the town heavily boozed up. So help him abide by his new domesticated rules by visiting the following instead of really great "dinners":

Comedy Cellar, 117 MacDougal St; Greenwich Village; 212.254.3480
You can handle both your two drink minimums, and chances are someone awesome is playing or will show up unannounced.

Top of the Rock, 45 Rockefeller Plaza; Midtown; 212.698.2000
This is actually awesome, and better than the Empire State Building. Mainly because you can SEE the Empire State Building.

Barcade, 388 Union Ave; Williamsburg; 718.302.6464
Distract him from the impressive craft beer selection with old-school video games ranging from Arkanoid to something called Zoo Keeper.

Rodeo Bar, 375 3rd Ave; Murray Hill; 212.683.6500
Totally underrated for its music.

Flushing, Queens
Hit up its Chinatown and destroy dumplings, noodles, and the most exotic eats you can find. It begins with live octopus. You won't want to drink after it either.

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1. Discovery Times Square 226 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036 (Midtown West)

DTS has hosted countless art and historical exhibitions and events, including King Tut, Harry Potter, Terracotta Warriors, and Nathan Sawaya's The Art of Brick.

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2. High Line btwn Gansevoort & W 30th St, New York, NY 10011 (Chelsea)

Built on historic freight train tracks, the High Line is a public park on the Westside that spans from Gansevoort all the way up to 34th St, with a walkable path and gardens, seating to enjoy views of the Hudson, and shops along the way.

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3. FAO Schwarz Flagship Store 767 5th Ave, New York City, NY 10153 (Midtown East)

FAO Schwarz is probably the most famous toy store in the world. Despite the fact that they're loaded with newfangled toys you probably won't understand, they also continue to stock the classics (TMNT... Smurfs), and, of course, offer the opportunity to jump on giant piano keys and make jokes about how the Zoltar machine is going to finally make you grow up.

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4. Yankee Stadium 1 E 161st St, Bronx, NY 10451 (Bronx)

Perhaps you've heard of a little baseball team called the Yankees. Well, get this: YS is the stadium... where those Yankees play. ...Talk about a curveball!!!

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5. Economy Candy 108 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002 (Lower East Side)

Open since 1937 on the Lower East Side, the family-owned Economy Candy is a sugar lover’s dream stocked with some 2,000 candy varieties. Shelves overflowing with Pez dispensers, chunky Paydays, and Toblerones span the walls and nearly reach the 20ft-high tin ceilings. Economy Candy’s inventory includes mainstream packaged sweets like Red Vines and Now & Laters, home-made dipped orange peels, colored gummy bears by the pound, and vintage, hard-to-find bars like Abba-Zappa peanut butter taffy and the toasted coconut-covered Zagnut. Though a visit to this retail relic is a smart move to satiate any sugar craving, Halloween is an absolute must thanks to those oh-so-tempting words, “free candy.”

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6. TKTS Booth Brooklyn 1 Metrotech Ctr, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Whether you've got guests in town or just feel like getting in on that Broadway/Off Broadway theater action, get your tix at TKTS Booth for discounts off up to 50% off.

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7. Gigino at Wagner Park 20 Battery Pl, New York, NY 10004 (Financial District)

This sister restaurant to Tribeca's Gigino Trattoria, Gigino at Wagner Park has views of the Hudson, Positano-inspired eats with daily seasonal specials, and a solid wine list.

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8. The City Reliquary Museum 370 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

With block parties, concerts, and film events, the non-profit City Reliquary Museum honors the old and new New York through rotating exhibits and events.

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9. The Cloisters 99 Margaret Corbin Dr; , New York, NY 10033 (Upper West Side)

Part of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cloisters opened in 1938 and reflects medieval architecture and art, with over 2,000 works of art and stunning outdoor gardens that are not to be missed.

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10. Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Pier 86; , New York, NY 10036 (Midtown West)

Built in 1982, the Intrepid Museum sits on the Intrepid aircraft carrier at Pier 86 and's one of America's leading cultural & historical institutions, aiming to honor heroes and educate the public on American accomplishments in... sea, air, and space. The Museum also hosts Fleet Week.

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11. Comedy Cellar 117 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012 (Greenwich Village)

You may recognize it from the intro to FX's Louie, but, in case you don't (nerds), Comedy Cellar is a laid-back Greenwich Village comedy club that's hosted some exceptional comedians including, well, Louis CK, but also Chris Rock, Robin Williams, Wanda Sykes, Jon Stewart, Kevin James, and more.

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12. Rockefeller Center 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112 (Midtown)

Completed in 1933, RC was John D. Rockefeller Jr.'s gift to NYC residents and tourists alike -- a place where they could live, socialize, and embrace views of everyone's favorite city. Today, Rockefeller is home to NBC Studios, displays a giant Christmas tree and skating rink every Winter, shows off views from Top of the Rock, and more.

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13. Barcade 388 Union Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

This arcade-themed bar (the first outpost of four) offers a vintage lineup ranging from Donkey Kong to Asteroids to be played while sipping craft beers from countless taps. While there's no kitchen, there is a binder full of local restaurant menus, so you can get food delivered if you work up an appetite.

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14. Rodeo Bar 375 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016 (Murray Hill)

This honky tonk, Southern roadhouse, Tex-Mex barstaurant's got world famous 'ritas, a down-home country vibe, cheap happy hours, and bar eats to satisfy you after all those cheap drinks.

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