TA Away Game Travel Guide to New York

19 Sep 2011 1:25 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

—by Andrew Brawley

New York is one of my all-time favorite cities…to VISIT. For about four days. Then it's time to bail. As a former (post-college) resident of Los Angeles, and having grown up with the inability to simultaneously touch opposite walls within any bedroom I was raised in, I have the ultimate fascination with New York City, a place so compact and efficient that one must marvel such complexity. Me? I need my space and quiet time, and prefer a lot of both. That’s why I live in the suburbs, much to the chagrin of my hipster east-side co-workers.

Seeing as almost everyone knows more than just one person in NYC, I decided that rather than have a single contributor, I’d change it up and ask for simpler input from multiple sources. Besides, the feedback from locals in recent entries has also really helped out with these travel guides, and that certainly makes my job a lot easier. Here we go!

Note: most of these places are in Manhattan, but some are out in Brooklyn. If this is your first time going to NYC, do yourself a favor and study a map of the five boroughs and the subway system.

Name: Chuck

Age: 33

Best fancy bar: Flatiron Lounge

Best dive bar: Saint Vitus

Best place for meat: Old Homestead Steakhouse

Best place for veggies/vegans: VP2 aka Vegetarian Paradise 2

Travel tip: Don't be afraid to take the train, it is normally the quickest and safest way around the city

Name: Rachael

Age: 27

Best fancy bar: 230 Fifth Ave (when it’s nice out) or Schillers

Best dive bar: Mona’s

Best place for meat: Meatball Shoppe

Best place for veggies/vegans: Mole or Sticky Rice (plus, it’s BYOB)

All tourists must: ride the Staten Island Ferry! (I may be partial…but it’s free, there’s cheap beer and you get a great view of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty)

Travel tip: don’t go to midtown but DO go to Brooklyn!

Name: Wendy

Age: 29

Best fancy bar: Death + Company

Best dive bar: Cherry Tavern

Best place for meat: Peter Luger's

Best place for veggies/vegans: Vegetarian Palace 2

All tourists must: go to the MoMA to see Starry Night in person

Travel tip: Don't take the subway after midnight and don't take a taxi during rush hour.

Name: Barry

Age: 44

Best fancy bar: Bar at the Soho Grand Hotel

Best dive bar: The Ear Inn in the South Village, or Great Lakes Bar in Park Slope, Brooklyn

Best place for meat: Peter Luger's

Best place for veggies/vegans: Portland, OR

All tourists must: take a stroll or horse-drawn carriage ride through Central Park

Travel tip: Manhattan is a huge grid and easy to get around...

  • "Avenues" go North/South. "Streets" go East/West
  • Even # streets are usually one-way, heading East
  • Odd numbered streets are usually one-way, heading West.
  • Address numbers get HIGHER, the farther away you get from 5th Ave.

 

Name: Peter

Age: 32

Best fancy bar: The Oak Room

Best dive bar: The Library (Ave A & Houston)

Best place for meat: Dinosaur BBQ

Best place for veggies/vegans: I've heard good things about the Organic Grill but have never been.

All tourists must: walk across the Brooklyn Bridge

Travel tip: When exiting a Subway, just keep walking. Do not stop at the top of the stairs. If you discover you're walking in the wrong direction, you can always turn around at the corner.  Above all, do not stop walking on a NYC sidewalk.

Name:  Sheehan

Age:  36

Best fancy bar:  The new bar at ‘21’ Club

Best dive bar:  Down the Hatch

Best place for meat:  BLT Prime

Best place for veggies/vegans: I have no idea

All tourists must: visit The High Line Park

Travel tip:  Don’t be afraid of the Subway…it’s the quickest and easiest way to get around the city.


Comments

  • 05 Jul 2016 8:34 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    I love it! Former Portlander turned New Yorker (about 1 year) here. People visiting should also consider taking the East River Ferry from Wall St. to 34th St after a stop in BK and Queens. Also, Sheehan’s Highline Park rec is my go-to for taking out of town friends. Must see.

    I agree with almost every other post here, except Wendy who said not to take the subway after midnight. Malarky!

    RCTID!
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  • 05 Jul 2016 8:35 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Submitted on 2011/09/19 at 9:38 am
    Just a word about the “fancy” bars–drinks are guaranteed to cost two digits, easily. There are plenty of regular bars that are just plain expensive; no need to seek out the crazy expensive ones unless someone else is paying for your trip.

    I know the ESC pre-games at a place called El Pastor in Harrison, walking distance from the arena. I have written to some of the ESC mucketymucks asking if it would be a good plan for TA to go there. The traveling ESC were welcomed at the BE this year, but I don’t know what the El Pastor scene is like for outsiders.

    If nothing else, there should be plenty of other places near the stadium that will be happy to have the business, and they’ll tend to be cheaper than NYC bars.
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  • 05 Jul 2016 8:35 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Submitted on 2011/09/19 at 9:52 am
    I grew up in Portland but (regrettably) live in New York. A good addendum to these guides would a short list of good soccer bars for people to catch European games on Saturday and Sunday morning.

    For partisans:
    The Blind Pig (East Village) (Arsenal)
    11th St. Bar (East Village / Alphabet City) (Liverpool)

    Others:
    Banter (in Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
    Woodwork (in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn)
    Football Factory at Legends (Midtown)
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  • 05 Jul 2016 8:36 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Submitted on 2011/09/19 at 11:16 am
    I grew up in Ny, worked at dive bars in the West Village, and know the Village scene quite well. My favorite dives are:
    Macdougal Ale House
    Down The Hatch
    The Four Faced Liar
    Bar on A
    all have cheap drinks that can compare to Pdx.
    Before heading to Mulligans, walk down First in Hoboken to the waterfront for an amazing view of the NYC skyline. Avoid midtown unless you are doing touristy things. All in all, there is something for everyone’s taste, but if you are short on cash, stick to the dive bars!
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  • 05 Jul 2016 8:36 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Submitted on 2011/09/19 at 10:27 pm
    Just spent 19 days in NYC for work – and to echo the above statements – use the subway. It’s amazingly efficient, easy and dare I say fun!
    If you want a fast-food burger but not from a national chain, hit Shake Shack (45th & 8th). Yum yum.
    Have an awesome trip everyone!
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  • 05 Jul 2016 8:36 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Submitted on 2011/09/19 at 11:31 pm
    One more note: besides learning about the subway system, you need to know about the very simple PATH system. That’s the one that takes you to Red Bull Arena. You can use the same MetroPass that you use on the NYC subway, as long as it’s pay-per ride and not a daily/weekly pass. http://www.panynj.gov/path/

    I heard back from the ESC official who was out here in June. He had asked how many TA were coming and I told him over 100. I guess he thought I meant that many would all be looking for a bar to pre-game at.

    “I heard back from the board members. They said that if it was just a handful, El Pastor wouldn’t have been a problem. But since there’s a good amount of TA coming, there might be a concern with the space. It may also be difficult to keep an eye out for potential problems from immature non ESCers*. Also it was mentioned from them that depending on when we play next year, maybe we can plan an event for that particular match (we did something similar with LA last season at El Pastor).

    There are two unofficial away bars that supporters hang out at. Green Room is smaller, but closer. O’Donnell’s is better, but it’s a bit of a walk. Here’s some links. Green Room has no official site:
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-greenroom-harrison
    http://www.odonnellspub.com/

    We love Timber’s Army! My girlfriend and I still talk about how friendly you all were. What a great time that was!”

    *I think he meant immature NY/NJ people, not TA, here!
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  • 05 Jul 2016 8:37 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Submitted on 2011/09/21 at 10:10 am
    Grew up in Princeton NJ, in a staunchly Manhattan-oriented family. Spent thousands of hours in the city, mostly at my brother’s apartment (first in the west Village, then over on 11th and 2nd.) For me, the best thing about the area is the glut of soccer bars. Sure, we have our fair share, but in NY, teams have their own bars. In addition to 11th St (as a non-Liverpool supporter, I have a major crush on that bar) and Blind Pig, there’s Nevada Smiths (3rd ave and 11th st), Mr Dennehy’s (Everton bar on Carmine and 7th ave in the west vill), Floyd in Brooklyn (Spurs) and The Celtic House on 4279 Katonah Avenue, The Bronx (Celtic FC, home of the Bronx Bhoys). Also, Mulligans, over in Hoboken on 1st and Bloomfield (very close to the Hoboken PATH station is an excellent soccer bar. Spent many a Saturday morning in that fine (despite it being a Chelsea bar) establishment.

    However, the big myth here is that the NYRB play in NY. They don’t even come close to. Harrison, NJ is a firm 9 miles from the western-most part of Manhattan, and you can only get there by PATH, followed by a long walk. They didn’t do this well at all and, as nice as Red Bull Arena is, we should all be so thankful for what we have here. Anyway, on to my suggestions:

    Best fancy bar:
    1. Saka Gura. 211 East 43rd Street, between 3rd and 2nd. Unmarked, unassuming building on a dead-at-night office building row of a street. Look for the sandwich board with a japanese character. Inside a plain white lobby, you’ll see another sign, next to an industrial looking door. Down what looks like the fire-escape or the fallout shelter stairs, you’ll enter f-ing Tokyo. Dizzying list of sakes, incredible tokyo-style latenight snacks.

    2. Little Branch. 211 East 43rd Street, between LeRoy and Carmine, West Village. Another speakeasy, another unmarked door (we’re developing a theme, huh). As Rabbit Club is a beer bar, this is a straight-up cocktail bar. With no actual lighting, just candles. And rules for talking to women.

    Best dive bar: 1. Manitoba’s (6th and Ave B, East Village). Owned and operated by the frontman and former mascot of The Dictators, Handsome Dick Manitoba. The dude is THE SHIZZ. Manitoba’s is unpretentious, rough around the edges, and fun as hell. Game room in the basement has bubble hockey, air hockey, pinball, and videogames. Like EastBurn with a 70’s punk vibe. And it’s one of the few places in the city where a shot of Powers + a can of PBR is still only $5.

    2. 124 Rabbit Club (124 Macdougal, between W3rd and Bleecker). If you can find it among the bro-tastic beerpong joints on Macdougal, it’s an unmarked black door with a doorbell. Inside, it’s the ultimate beer bar and speakeasy.

    3. (For late-night only) Sullivan Room (218 Sullivan St, btwn w4 and Bleecker). Best night club in the city. Unmarked (duh), and not nearly as pretentious as the meatpacking district BnT (Bridge and Tunnel) / Yuppie clubs with one word names.

    Best place for meat: 1. Keen’s Chophouse, hands down. (72 West 36th Street, New York, NY). THE authentic, no tourists (I’m looking at you, Luger), hard-line steaks and scotch establishment that’ll take you back 50+ years.

    2. Criff Dog (St. Mark’s Place, just before Ave A. You can’t miss their hotdog shaped sign). It’s Zach’s Shack on steroids. Oh, and the phone booth is a portal to a speakeasy. Pick up the phone, and a door opens. Kinda rad, though since some TV show heard about it, it’s gotten a bit touristy).

    Best place for veggies/vegans: The Sacred Chow (218 Sullivan Street, between W4th and Bleecker). It’s the only vegan place I know, and it happens to be quite good.

    All tourists must: 1. Avoid Times Square, 2. Eat at Lombardi’s. You know how people wait on line to eat at Apizza Scholls? Yeah, f that. Lombardi’s is THE pizza shop in this country. It’s the first, and it’s the best.

    Travel tip: The lore is that NY is complicated, but in reality, it’s not at all, especially Manhattan. Manhattan is a long skinny island, and most traffic flows North-South. The city is as tourist-friendly as ever, and there are subway maps everywhere. Also, don’t be afraid to take a cab. The myth of cabbies long-hauling tourists is only sort of true. Give a cross street (“Hey…Sullivan and West 4th) instead of “umm…could you please take me to Lombardi’s pizza please”. But you all know that. Cabs all take credit cards now, too.

    Have fun! And fly into Newark and take the train to Penn Station. LaGuardia and Kennedy suck.
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  • 05 Jul 2016 8:37 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Submitted on 2011/09/21 at 10:14 am | In reply to Mike.
    Mike, thanks for the great feedback. You can write next year’s travel guide.
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  • 05 Jul 2016 8:38 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Submitted on 2011/09/21 at 10:21 am | In reply to Mike.
    Mistake/Update: I accidentally listed Little Branch at Sakagura’s address. Little Branch is at 22 7th Ave S btwn LeRoy and Carmine. Two or so blocks north of the Houston St (1,2) station.
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  • 05 Jul 2016 8:38 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Submitted on 2011/09/21 at 10:22 am | In reply to Andrew Brawley.
    Heh, sure. I have a 10-page guide to Montreal, too. Grew up in the NY area, but love Montreal. Also happy to help lead the expedition to Stade Saputo.
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  • 05 Jul 2016 8:38 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Submitted on 2011/09/21 at 11:41 am | In reply to Holly.
    Hi Holly, Thanks for researching this, but we’re actually all set up with our pre-game bar. With so many of us heading out there we thought it best to avoid home supporters bars (we’d expect the same from our visitors if they came in large numbers). The info is here: http://timbersarmy.org/ta-tickets/away-tickets-travel/new-york-red-bulls
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  • 05 Jul 2016 8:39 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Submitted on 2011/09/21 at 12:04 pm
    My number one piece of advice is Citymaps. It’s a virtual and interactive map of the city and can tell you anything from parking prices to happy hour specials. It’s a wonderful tool, particularly for a visitor.
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  • 05 Jul 2016 8:39 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Submitted on 2011/09/23 at 6:57 am | In reply to Mike.
    Of course a former Princetonian would consider the walk from the Harrison PATH station to the stadium a long walk. Doesn’t your butler carry you to your seats anyway?
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  • 05 Jul 2016 8:39 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Submitted on 2011/09/23 at 12:55 pm | In reply to Eric.
    If your a NewCastle Fan, the NYC Toon Army will be at Legends in Manhatten Saturday morning for the Newcastle game. Kick off is 10am I do believe.

    6 W 33rd St
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