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Q: NYC Resources & Guides to ( Answered,   2 Comments )
Subject: NYC Resources & Guides to
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Restaurants and City Guides
Asked by: jmswilsn-ga
List Price: $109.00
Posted: 27 Dec 2003 16:09 PST
Expires: 26 Jan 2004 16:09 PST
Question ID: 290753

I'm planning to send my daughter to New York for the Winter vacation,
then a Summer vacation and eventually to attend a university there.
She is a very intelligent young lady, thus I want her to be able to
continue stimulating her mind with all of what the Big Apple has to

I am requesting a list of websites that will offer the resources to
the Great City (New York City) in a format thats not the usual kind
seen everywhere, such as those made for tourists (she can find the
Statue of Liberty or the WTC Site herself), nor the usual guides that
bore you with their "Current Events" that are meant to promote some
place that paid the site to be there in the first place.

What am I looking for is basically those "special" sites that offer a
GOOD insight of what the city has to offer. I would like especially
the following:

- Good/Free Deals: Examples of which may be something like "The
Metropolitan Museum is free of charge every Thursday" or "The
Riverside Theater offers a free admission to the 'Night's Passion'
opera on Monday, January 20th" and so on.

- Up to date reviews of theaters, restaurants, clubs, opera houses,
and so on. NOT sites which were paid to list restaurants and offer
"$10 off coupons". MORE like the sites which list a review of an
exlusive deal in a "Le Something" restaurant, such as a $20 Lunch
Special for the whole month of January, or a decent review of a
restaurant that offers something interesting.

This is a VERY broad request, but its also specific. Try to use your
own judgement about whether a site is just all fluff, or is of a good
use. Throw anything at me that you think would be good, but try to
separate them into different subjects, not just all links at once.

Thank you and I hope I can make my daughters experience in the city as
exciting as I wish it to be. Your help is greatly appreciated

Request for Question Clarification by boquinha-ga on 28 Dec 2003 18:38 PST
Hello again, jmswilsn-ga!

I'm finding quite a bit of information for this question--I'm in the
thick of researching and compiling. Quick clarification request for
you--are there any other "obvious tourist spots" you want to avoid
besides the Statue of Liberty and WTC site? Also, are you interested
in special events/offerings associated with these sites (similar to
the free deals at the museums)? Thanks in advance! I've also got
another RFC for you on the other question that I've answered for you
(on becoming a doctor). I hope to hear from you soon! Gosh, between
this question and the other question, I feel like I'm getting to know
your daughter! Again, I wish her great success.


Clarification of Question by jmswilsn-ga on 29 Dec 2003 19:27 PST
Free deals for tourist attractions are fine. I simply found too many
sites online that either advertise restaurants without really
providing a fair judgement of their quality, or basic sites that list
and talk about the Statue of Liberty and other sites of visit. I
prefer not to read about the "obvious" places, such as WTC, STatue of
Liberty, the Empire State Building, and so on. Places like Carnegie
Hall though are acceptable, since they are positively benefitial for
my daughter, not as much as the Times Square for example.

Thank you once again for answering another one of my questions. You
are one of THE greatest researchers on GoogleAnswers !

Request for Question Clarification by boquinha-ga on 29 Dec 2003 22:30 PST
Hi again!

Thank you SO much for your kind words! That's a very big compliment
and I appreciate it very much! I've also left a comment for you on the
"Becoming a Doctor" question thanking you very, very much!

Also, thanks for getting back to me. That helps me in my research. As
I find more information, I may be asking you for more clarification,
but I think I've got a good idea of what you're looking for. I'm not
sure where you're from exactly or how familiar you are with the city,
but New York City is a fantastic place! There is a *FEEL* about it
unlike any other. I think your daughter will enjoy it very much. I
know she's considering NYC for college, so enjoying 4 seasons (of
sometimes pretty extreme weather) is fairly important. I hope you get
a lot of comments on this question from NYC residents and
regulars--they can share their information on little-known spots and
secrets! Okay, off to do more research!

Subject: Re: NYC Resources & Guides to
Answered By: boquinha-ga on 30 Dec 2003 23:14 PST
Hello again, jmswilsn-ga!

What a pleasure it is for me to answer another one of your interesting
questions! Putting this information together for you has made me
nostalgic for New York City and excited to visit there soon! I believe
that the information that I?ve compiled here for you meet your
requests and will help your daughter enjoy herself immensely on her
trips to NYC as well as giving her a handy guide of information for
when she lives there as a college student! I?ve included the things
that you?ve requested and have added personal touches, colleague
recommendations, and extra interesting and helpful sites, resources,
and information to help your daughter enjoy great cultural exhibits,
tourist and local well-kept secret spots, and restaurants, avoid dirty
restaurants and bathrooms, and generally take advantage of a wonderful
city with a lot to offer!

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?Traditional? Things to do in New York City

There are obviously a number of things that many, if not most tourists
elect to do on a trip to New York City. While you are most interested
in sights and information that may be considered more ?unique,? I have
included brief references to a few of the more common tourist
destinations for your own information.

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The Empire State Building

This popular attraction usually has long lines to board the elevators
to the observatory, but if you wait until evening the lines are much
shorter, and the views of the New York City nightlife are spectacular.
The last elevator departs at 11:15 pm and the observatory is open
until midnight most nights. There is an attraction called the Skyride
that is a poor simulation of a jet ride through New York City. My
husband and I elected to try it on our trip there and were
disappointed. I have read more than one review that discourages
wasting the money on Skyride.

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United Nations

Along with the informational tours available at the United Nations?
Headquarters, there are also exhibits by various organizations with
worldwide agendas. Currently the World Food Programme is presenting an
exhibit entitled ?Food for Life? aimed at raising awareness regarding
world hunger. It runs through January 31, 2004.

?WFP and United Colors of Benetton have launched a global
communication campaign which aims to put hunger back at the top of the
international agenda. The food for Life campaign uses a series of
images by Benetton photographer James Mollison to tell the true
stories of women, children, and men whose only chance of escaping
crisis and poverty lies with WFP?s food aid.?

Information about guided tours

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Central Park

More than just an oasis within the hustle and bustle of a busy city,
Central Park also features a variety of activities and exhibits. Here
are two links describing some of those activities.

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Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall has been open since the late 1800s and has been an
important venue for many performances. ?Throughout its century-plus
history, it has . . . hosted important jazz events, historic lectures,
noted educational forums, and much more.? It is also home to family
concerts, neighborhood performances, and global musical experiences.

Here is a direct link to the box office with information on current events.

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The Statue of Liberty

Currently this sight is closed due to construction and renovation, but
you can still visit Ellis Island if you so desire.

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As you probably recognize, there are literally hundreds of museums
with exhibits ranging from classical paintings to exotic buttons to
biology and chemistry. I?ve listed some of the more interesting links
I found below.

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Here is a list of 11 museums that offer free admission on specific
days during the week.

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Asia Society and Museum
Free on Fridays from 6 pm to 9 pm (usually $7) 

?The Asia Society is America's leading institution dedicated to
fostering under-standing of Asia and communication between Americans
and the peoples of Asia and the Pacific.

A national nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization, the
Society provides a forum for building awareness of the more than
thirty countries broadly defined as the Asia-Pacific region - the area
from Japan to Iran, and from Central Asia to New Zealand, Australia
and the Pacific Islands.

Through art exhibitions and performances, films, lectures, seminars
and conferences, publications and assistance to the media, and
materials and programs for students and teachers, the Asia Society
presents the uniqueness and diversity of Asia to the American people.?

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American Craft Museum
Pay what you wish on Thursdays from 6 pm to 8 pm (usually $7.50) 

This museum displays mostly crafts created by American artist. Some of
the exhibits feature home furnishings, glass art, and jewelry

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Bronx Museum of the Arts
Free on Wednesdays (usually $3) 

?The Bronx Museum of the Arts is a twentieth-century and contemporary
art museum, founded in 1971, to serve the culturally diverse
populations of the Bronx and the greater New York metropolitan area.
The Museum has a long-standing commitment to increasing and
stimulating audience participation in the visual arts through its
Permanent Collection, special exhibitions, and education programs.?

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Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum
Free on Tuesdays from 5 pm to 9 pm (usually $8) 

?Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution is the
only museum in the United States devoted exclusively to historic and
contemporary design. The Museum believes that design shapes our
objects, environments, and communications, making them more desirable,
functional, and accessible. The Museum celebrates the nature of design
and explores its impact on the quality of our lives.?

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El Museo del Barrio
Free on Thursdays from 5 pm to 9 pm (usually $7) 

?Heralded by The New York Times as ?an institution in its ascendancy,?
El Museo del Barrio was founded in 1969 by a group of Puerto Rican
educators, artists, parents and community activists in East Harlem?s
Spanish-speaking El Barrio. Since then, El Museo del Barrio has
evolved into New York?s leading Latino cultural institution, having
expanded its mission to represent the diversity of art and culture in
all of the Caribbean and Latin America.
As the only museum in New York City that specializes in representing
these cultures, El Museo del Barrio continues to have a significant
impact on the cultural life of New York City and is now a major stop
on Manhattan?s Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue. El Museo del Barrio
thrives on the sustained excellence of its collections, exhibitions
and public programming.?
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International Center of Photography
Pay-what-you-wish on Tuesdays from 6 pm to 8 pm (usually $6) 

?The International Center of Photography is a museum, a school and a
center for photographers and photography. ICP?s mission is to present
photography?s vital and central place in contemporary culture, and to
lead in interpretation of issues central to its development. ICP
celebrates photography?s diversity in many roles: as an agent of
social change, a medium of aesthetic expression, a tool for scientific
or historical research, and a repository for personal experience and
memory. Like the changing photographic medium itself, ICP?s mission is
expanding to encompass the new electronic imaging media that will
shape the twenty-first century just as photography did the twentieth.?

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Jewish Museum
Pay-what-you-wish on Thursdays from 5 pm to 8 pm (usually $8) 

?In 2004, The Jewish Museum celebrates its Centennial year, marking
the gift, in 1904, of 26 Jewish ceremonial art objects to The Jewish
Theological Seminary by Judge Mayer Sulzberger. Over the past 100
years, the Museum has assumed its role as a major cultural institution
for New York City and the world. The Jewish Museum is an art museum
exploring Jewish culture. It is both a source of inspiration and
knowledge for an audience of visitors of all cultural backgrounds, and
a special touchstone of identity for a diverse population of Jewish
people. As we begin the Museum's second century, we invite you to a
?virtual? exploration of an institution in which past and present meet
to pose questions and foster dialogue about the future. ?

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Museum of Modern Art
Voluntary donation on Thursdays and Fridays from 4:30 pm to 8:15 pm (usually $10) 

?The Museum of Modern Art seeks to create a dialogue between the
established and the experimental, the past and the present, in an
environment that is responsive to the issues of modern and
contemporary art, while being accessible to a public that ranges from
scholars to young children. The ultimate purpose of the Museum
declared at its founding was to acquire the best modern works of art.
While quality remains the primary criterion, the Museum acknowledges
and pursues a broader educational purpose: to build a collection which
is more than an assemblage of masterworks, which provides a uniquely
comprehensive survey of the unfolding modern movement in all visual

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New York Hall of Science
Free on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 2 pm to 5 pm (usually $7.50) 

?The New York Hall of Science is New York?s only hands-on science and
technology center. The hall features more than 225 hands-on exhibits.
Visit us and explore the wonder and excitement of biology, chemistry,
and physics.?
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Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Voluntary donation on Fridays from 6 pm to 8 pm (usually $12) 

?The museum is housed in Frank Lloyd Wright's world-famous spiral
design, which itself is considered one of the greatest masterpieces of
the Guggenheim collection. This collection of modern and contemporary
works was inspired by such non-representational artists as Kandinsky
and Mondrian.

Each of our visits to the Guggenheim has been a completely different
experience, a result, we suppose, of the museum's habit of totally
reconfiguring the main gallery space for each new exhibit.

Quite frankly, we are fond of many of the works in the Guggenheim's
core collection, particularly Vasily Kandinsky's emotion-filled,
color-infused canvases, and wish that we could count of viewing them
each time we stop by. But missing a few old favorites is probably a
small price to pay in return for the constantly changing, frequently
thought-provoking, and sometimes controversial shows at the
Guggenheim. ?

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Whitney Museum of American Art
"Pay-what-you-wish" on Fridays from 6 pm to 9 pm (usually $10) 

?It is a great joy to be back among many long-standing, good friends
at the Whitney. As some of you know, I worked at the Whitney for eight
years in the 1990s, before assuming the directorship of the Addison
Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts.
I have returned to the Whitney because of my deep passion for the
Museum?s special character, its unwavering commitment to the creative
pursuits of artists and to twentieth- and twenty-first century
American art. I admire the Whitney?s great history and progressive
vision, and I ardently believe in its unique public mission. To
paraphrase one of the early directors of the Museum, Hermon More,
?Where the artist goes, the museum must follow.??

Adam D. Weinberg, Director

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Here is a list of some museums that offer free admission all the time.

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American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters 
For contact information and directions see:

?The National Institute of Arts and Letters, founded in 1898, served
as the parent body for the American Academy of Arts and Letters,
founded in 1904, until the two were amalgamated in 1976. Membership is
limited to 250 native or naturalized U.S. citizens, of which 50 are
elected to the Academy for notable achievements in art, literature, or
music. The Academy-Institute also has an honorary membership of 75
foreign artists, writers, and composers to strengthen cultural ties
with other countries. The Academy-Institute offers a number of prizes
annually, including the Brunner Memorial Award in Architecture and the
Gold Medal for excellence in the arts. The members of the Academy
confer the Howells Medal, given every five years for a work of
American fiction, and the Award of Merit Medal, given in five
categories of the arts to a person not affiliated with the Academy.
Located in New York City, it maintains a museum and a library (23,000
volumes), and holds exhibitions of works of art, manuscripts, books,
and scores. It also purchases paintings by American artists for
distribution to museums.?

American Numismatic Society

?The mission of the American Numismatic Society is to be the
preeminent national institution advancing the study and appreciation
of coins, medals and related objects of all cultures as historical and
artistic documents, by maintaining the foremost numismatic collection
and library, by supporting scholarly research and publications, and by
sponsoring educational and interpretive programs for diverse

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Forbes Magazine Galleries 

?Located in the Forbes Magazine building at 60 Fifth Avenue, this free
museum displays an intriguing assortment of goodies that the late
Malcolm S. Forbes, Sr. began collecting back in the 1930's. The
impressive collection features over 12,000 toy soldiers, 500 toy
boats, 12 Fabergé Imperial Easter Eggs (only Queen Elizabeth has more)
and objets d'art, Presidential papers and historical documents. The
gallery also displays other memorabilia including as antique trophies
and several original versions of the game Monopoly.?

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Hispanic Society

?A free museum and reference library for the study of the arts and
cultures of Spain, Portugal, and Latin America?

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Museum of American Illustration

?Welcome to the National Museum of American Illustration, where
artworks from the ?Golden Age of American Illustration? are presented
in the ?Gilded Age? architectural frame of Vernon Court (1898).
Visitors can appreciate the American Imagist Collection as a medley of
beautiful pictures, but also as an historical overview of our unique
culture. These works are our visual history, indeed they are American
civilization illustrated. The original drawings and paintings in the
Collection were specifically created for reproduction in books,
advertisements, art prints, and periodicals. In the process,
illustrators created iconic images, a mythology of our history, and a
virtual catalog of bygone styles and desires. We cordially invite you
to take The Grand Tour of the Museum.?

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National Museum of the American Indian

?The National Museum of the American Indian is the sixteenth museum of
the Smithsonian Institution. It is the first national museum dedicated
to the preservation, study, and exhibition of the life, languages,
literature, history, and arts of Native Americans. Established by an
act of Congress in 1989, the museum works in collaboration with the
Native peoples of the Western Hemisphere to protect and foster their
cultures by reaffirming traditions and beliefs, encouraging
contemporary artistic expression, and empowering the Indian voice.?

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New York City Police Museum

?The NYPD has protected our City for over 150 years. Its period of
development to its modern-day structure dates back to the 17th
Century. The New York City Police Museum captures the history of the
NYPD as well as a present-day look at the world of law enforcement
through the eyes of its officers.?

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Sony Wonder Technology Lab
? Sony Wonder Technology Lab is four floors of gizmos, gadgets, and
information. Whether you?re eight or eighty, there?s plenty to see and
do! The Lab is a highly interactive place where everyone can find the
latest in technology and digital entertainment. Discover everything
from CD clips to computer chips. Check out HDTV in our
state-of-the-art 73-seat theater. And experience NEW one-of-a-kind
exhibits where you can jam with music artists, produce your own movie
preview, and even create a video game. Best of all you?ll have tons of
fun, so be certain to pick up your graduation certificate!?

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The following is a list of museums that have what they call
?recommended? admission prices. Basically, you are not obligated to
pay the price to gain admission to the museum, but are encouraged to
do so. Here is a quote from about that very

?A number of museums do not have a defined admission price. Instead,
they recommend that visitors make a contribution, usually suggesting a
specific amount. Do you have to pay the recommended amount to get in?
In a word, no, although most people do. While we do not advocate that
everyone ignore the suggested admission fee, it is O.K. to pass on
paying if your financial circumstances require it. You may get a funny
look from the guards if you don't pay (especially if you don't make
any contribution at all or if you are wearing a Rolex), but just
promise yourself that you will pay double the amount some day when you
can afford it.?

I?ll let you decide how you feel about it, and list the museums for you.

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American Museum of Natural History

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The Cloisters

?The Cloisters?described by Germain Bazin, former director of the
Musée du Louvre in Paris, as "the crowning achievement of American
museology"?is the branch of the Metropolitan Museum devoted to the art
and architecture of medieval Europe.?

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Metropolitan Museum of Art

This is arguably the most famous of all of New York City?s museums.
Home to a huge variety of exhibits you could lose yourself inside for
the better portion a lifetime trying to take it all in.

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Museum of the City of New York

?The Museum of the City of New York is a private, not-for-profit
educational corporation founded in 1923 for the purpose of presenting
the history of New York City and its people as a significant learning
resource. The Museum advances its mission through exhibitions,
educational activities, and publications and by acquiring, preserving,
and documenting original cultural materials which reflect New York
City?s history. In fulfilling its mission, the Museum provides New
Yorkers and visitors an understanding of the individual and shared
heritages that have traditionally characterized New York City and the
sense of time, place, and self that is essential for the well being of
all communities.?

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New York City Fire Museum

?The New York City Fire Museum houses one of the nation's most
important collections of fire related art and artifacts from the late
18th century to the present. Among its holdings are painted leather
buckets, helmets, parade hats and belts, lanterns and tools, pre Civil
War hand pumped fire engines, horse drawn vehicles and early motorized

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In this section, I am providing you with some recommendations from
websites and individuals (this will also give you a feel for the
websites/reviews from which I have compiled this information) and then
I will give you websites for your reference to assist you in your
quest for finding reviews of good eats in the city. I?ve tried to
provide a variety of ethnicities and both fine and casual levels of

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1. Afghan (Afghan Kebab House)
1345 Second Avenue (between 70th and 71st Streets)
(212) 517-2776

From ?The New York Insider: The Ethnic Alphabet?:

This restaurant ?offers consistently satisfying food at a reasonable price.?

After explaining that the starters are worth it for the yummy sauce
that accompanies the appetizers, the review goes on to rave about the
(you guessed it) kebabs.

More from the review:

?The price for a filling feast for two, including an appetizer, entree
and dessert for each, runs just under $30 (excluding tax and tip).
This may be more than we paid on our first visit many years ago, but
it is still an excellent value.?

The details section includes this information:

?Afghan Kebab House is open for dinner daily from 3 pm to 10:30 pm.
While they do not have a liquor license, you are welcome to bring your
own bottle. Afghan Kebab House accepts American Express cards with a
$10 minimum.

The same restaurateurs also operate an Afghan Kebab House on the West
Side, at 764 Ninth Avenue between 51 Street and 52nd Street. The
telephone number is (212) 307-1612.?

And now, I?m hungry and having cravings! We?ve recently moved from a
big city (for medical school) to a small town (for residency) and oh,
how I miss the great Greek food we could get in a more metropolitan
area. Thankfully, we?re not that far from NYC and this place sounds
like a deal, so I?m especially glad to be learning along with you as I
conduct research for you.

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2. Brazilian (Cabana Carioca)
123 W. 45th St. (bet. 6th & 7th Avenues)
(212) 581-8088 

From ?The New York Insider: The Ethnic Alphabet?:

This restaurant is ?conveniently located near the theater district.? 

The review continues:

?The lunch buffet (served upstairs) offers an especially good value,
but given the huge portions (more on this later) and the tasty dishes,
you can't go wrong with Caban Carioca anytime.

Top Entree Choices
The cuisine at Cabana Carioca is Brazilian, with an emphasis on
seafood and steaks. Try Mariscada, a traditional Brazilian dish, which
is essentially a seafood stew including mussels, clams, and calimari
in a fragrant, tomato-based sauce. This meal is not served on fine
china instead, the Mariscada is delivered to your table still
simmering in the caldron in which it was cooked.

Feijoada, which is billed as the Brazilian national dish, is also
recommended. Feijoada is a black bean and sausage stew served with
rice. It is especially good with the salsa-like garnish you'll find at
your table. If you're a steak lover, don't hesitate to order one here
(with or without the egg on top). It comes with tasty deep-fried
potato slices which are not to be missed.?

The review gives an idea of cost in ?The Bill? section:

?Dinner for two, including one drink each, ran us about $40 plus tip.
Not bad considering the quality and the quantity our meal. The
portions are huge: you can load up your plate and still have plenty of
food to share with your companions. And don't be shy about doggie bags
everyone seems to leave with one. We were able to make a full meal
from ours!

Cabana Carioca takes all major credit cards and will accept
reservations for parties of four or more.?

Okay, I, being 100% Portuguese, HAD to include this as part of my
answer. I can assure you that Portuguese and Brazilian food is both
tasty and hearty and an adventure in eating! This type of dining
should most definitely be experienced.

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3. East (Japanese)
251 West 55th Street (between Broadway and 8th Avenue), 212-581-2240
354 East 66th Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenue), 212-734-5270
137 East 47th Street (between 3rd and Lexington Avenue), 212-980-7909
210 East 44th Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenue), 212-687-5075
9 East 38th Street (between 5th and Madison Avenue), 212-685-5205
366 Third Avenue (between 26th and 27th Street), 212-889-2326
all in Manhattan 

From ?The New York Insider: The Ethnic Alphabet?:

?With outposts of this restaurant all over town, we find that we never
have to go out of our way to find a reliable place for fresh and
reasonably-priced sushi.?

The review speaks of both the sushi bar and the restaurant sections of
the establishment, where you will surrender your shoes before being
seated on the floor, Japanese-style.

The review then goes on to discuss the menu:

?As soon as you are seated, you will be handed an over-sized menu with
photos and detailed descriptions of the various appetizers and
entrees. You can order sushi (raw fish on vinegared rice) by the piece
or in an assortment as an entree. There are plenty of other choices as
well, including chicken, beef and salmon teriyaki; vegetable or shrimp
tempura (lightly battered and deep fried vegetables or shrimp); or
soba (buckwheat noodle) or udon (white, thick noodle) soup.?

The review then makes recommendations:

?Our favorite appetizer at East is Gyouza, a pan-fried dumpling
stuffed with a spicy ground meat and vegetable mixture and served with
an excellent dipping sauce. For your entree, we recommend the assorted
platters of sushi, such as the sushi deluxe, which comes with ten
pieces of sushi and your choice of California (crab, avocado and
cucumber) or Tekkamaki (raw tuna) rolls.
If you want to ease your way into trying sushi, consider the Maki
combination platter, which includes California rolls, Boston rolls
(filled with shrimp, Boston lettuce and avocado) and East rolls
(filled with shrimp, caviar, egg, cucumber and avocado). If you plan
to avoid sushi completely, try the chicken teriyaki combination box,
which includes a mixed green salad (with a delicious dressing),
several pieces of vegetable and shrimp tempura, hijiki (cooked
seaweed) and, of course, pieces of chicken teriyaki. We find that the
combination platters are not only a great way to sample several
different items, but they offer generous portions at a reasonable
price, too.?
The review then discusses beverages and dessert and then addresses the
issue of cost.

?We love the value that East offers: dinner for two including a drink,
appetizer and entree each runs only about $40 (excluding tax and tip).
With a deal like this, it is no wonder that these restaurants have
been popular for as long as we can remember!?

Okay, yes, I mentioned this one for personal reasons as well. Japanese
culture and food is big in our house! My husband lived there for a
couple of years and majored in it in college (yes, a non-traditional
bachelor?s degree for going to medical school, which I think is so
great!?More on that in my other answer for you . . . ). Japanese food
is more than nourishment; it is an experience. The ambience,
presentation, atmosphere, and courses all combine, adding to the
amazing taste to give you a wonderful dining experience. I strongly
recommend trying this place as well!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

All of the above reviews, as mentioned, come from ?The New York
Insider? from ?The Ethnic Alphabet? section. You can find these and
other reviews here:

The list, at the time of posting this answer, contains the following
restaurant reviews (and they regularly add more):

Afghan Kebab House (Afghan)
Al Bustan (Lebanese)
Cabana Carioca (Brazilian)
East (Japanese)
Ecco-La (Italian)
Fraunces Tavern (American)
Heidelberg Restaurant (German)
Karyatis (Greek)
Mocca Hungarian (Hungarian)
New Pasteur (Vietnamese)
Osso Buco (Italian)
Penang (Malaysian)
Smith & Wollensky (Steakhouse)
The Argentine Pavillion (Argentinean)
The Kinsale Tavern (Irish)
Woo Chon (Korean)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

And for a personal touch, I am also including a review by one of our
own Google Answers Researchers, my colleague Mother911-ga (again,
thank you so much to him for this comment):

?Il Vagabondo 
351 E. 62nd St 
Tel: 212-832-9221 

No special deals, just really, really good Italian food, reasonable
prices, and I recommend the tables next to the indoor bocce court.
Very old school Italian. No menus here, just wait for your waiter to
tell you the specials of the day, or just ask for anything you would
like. I have never ever been turned down. Wednesday and Saturday is
veal osso buco nite, and my favorite Gnocchi bolognese sauce is worth
the hour drive to Manhattan for me. Some great pictures here:

You mentioned in your question wanting something special?well, eating
while watching a bocce game is pretty unique, I think!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

More Restaurant Review Websites for you:

Citysearch Reviews

?In a city that typically sees anywhere from three to five new
restaurant openings each week, staying on top of New York's culinary
destinations might seem like a hopelessly difficult enterprise.
Luckily, Citysearch does the work for you with this regularly updated
roundup of new reviews and first-word previews.?

This site offers reviews, ratings, and customer feedback as well.
People can go on and offer their own opinions, helping you have the
review as a part of a variety of opinions on which to make your dining
decisions. As noted above, this website is regularly updated, so it?s
a great place to check often! And you can click on each restaurant for
more tips, at-a-glance features, explanations, and information!

And the part that?s especially important here:

?Editorial content is independent of paid advertisers. Visits are made
anonymously, and expenses are paid for by Citysearch.?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
This link will direct you to the best late-night dining as judged by
site editors and audience. Notice that some overlap, so that?s a good

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
This link gives you some insider tips! 

?Want to get preferential treatment, sit at the fanciest table or
throw your own private barbecue? We've got the inside scoop on some of
New York's best-kept dining secrets.?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
This link sends you to reviews on some good ?cheap eats,? including
American, Chinese, Mexican, and Italian restaurants!

?Dollars and sense: Cheap restaurants are everywhere. Great ones are
not. Let our critics do the legwork for you.?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - guide Heather Klein has an A-Z list of restaurant reviews
that she?s written herself along with website, contact, and other
information about the restaurants she discusses.

Her bio on the site states, ?Heather Klein is a New Yorker who loves
writing, traveling and planning trips online. She especially loves New
York City and everything it has to offer both residents and travelers.
Nowhere in the world compares to New York City. After college, Heather
moved to New York City where she has been learning the ins and outs of
life in the big city. Growing up an hour outside of New York City, she
spent many weekends with her family and friends visiting the Big
Apple, and her insider point of view gives her the ability to make
your next visit to New York City a little less touristy and a whole
lot more fun!?

Find her ?Guide Pick? reviews here:
?Looking for some ideas of where to dine when you visit New York City?
Check out this alphabetical list of our New York restaurant reviews;
there's sure to be something to please your palate. New reviews are
being added all the time, so be sure to check back!?

Aside from her alphabetical list, you can find a list of restaurants
by neighborhood here:

(As a note, don?t bother with reviews, as these are the
paid for reviews you are seeking to avoid.)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
This link will help you avoid ?the filthiest restaurants in New York City.?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The Manhattan guide, Reginald James, has a bunch of links
available with restaurant reviews written by objective reviewers (just
what you?re looking for!)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I think this site is fantastic, though it doesn?t have formal reviews
(it does have customer reviews that can be done online)--
This site lets you search restaurants by neighborhood and look at
their menus for yourself! This is a virtual treasure chest of dining
information! After you?ve researched the review sites to help decide
on where to eat, you can view the menus beforehand! Wow! (I think
every city should have one of these!)

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Walking Tour

Here is an excellent walking tour put together by the authors at, which is described in three parts. The three links
are followed by a description from Part I of the tour.

?What follows is a tour that will lead you through some of the city?s
most historic places and through the center of its commercial soul.
Lower Manhattan is both the oldest and the newest neighborhood in New
York: contemporary architecture and modern technology mix with
Revolutionary-era buildings and 19th century monuments. Embellishing
this imposing, beautiful, and sometimes surprisingly quaint part of
the city are statues and sculptures that encapsulate the feeling of
civic life in New York over the last 300 years.?

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

New York City?s ?Hidden Treasures?

Here is a list compiled at, of what they consider
to be hidden gems in the vast metropolis of New York City:

Conservatory Garden and the Harlem Meer 
Forbes Magazine Gallery 
Indoor Oases: New York, Take Me Away... 
Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art 
New York's Three Statues of Liberty 
Oases in the Urban Desert 
Tender Buttons 
The Night Before Thanksgiving 
Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace 
Ukrainian Institute of America 

There are links to each one of these at:

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Broadway Tickets

There is a great resource for obtaining discount tickets to Broadway
shows. Its most well-known location is in the heart of Times? Square,
but here is a link to an article discussing its lesser known Lower
Manhattan booth, along with a short excerpt from the site. Thank you
to my colleague mother911-ga for his assistance on this portion of the

?TKTS, established by the Theater Development Fund in 1973, sells
last-minute tickets to Broadway plays at 25 to 50 percent less than
box offices prices. Though better known for its midtown booth at 47th
and Broadway, TKTS has long had a home in Lower Manhattan, too. The
original downtown booth, located in 2 World Trade Center, was
destroyed on 9/11. In August 2002, after operating from a temporary
trailer at Bowling Green Park Plaza for almost a year, TKTS found a
new, permanent downtown home, at the corner of John and Front Streets
in the South Street Seaport.?

The Theater Development Fund

More information regarding saving on Broadway shows, including TKTS.

Another source for discount tickets purchased in advance

Yet another site offering discount tickets

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

More New York City Reviews

I?ve listed a couple of sites and review dealing with things to do in
New York City. Some of the information can be repetitive, but all of
it contains potentially useful resources to the tourist and resident

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

A New Yorker?s Perspective

?Heather Klein is a New Yorker who loves writing, traveling and
planning trips online. She especially loves New York City and
everything it has to offer both residents and travelers.?

This set of websites at is excellent! It lists
everything from restaurants to museums, clubs to day trips, and much,
much more. It is worth the time to read them.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

New York City Guide

This is a site specifically aimed toward tourists and emphasizes many
of the more commonly visited sights. It also presents a brief history
of the city and includes tips on getting around the city?a task that
may appear more daunting than it actually is.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Theater Reviews
Lots of reviews and listings for current shows on Broadway
This site has reviews, coupons, and other information for much of
what?s happening on the stage in New York: plays, musicals, dance,
Reviews and listings of many Off-Broadway shows
Lots of reviews of theater, dance, and film in New York City

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Club Reviews
More from Heather Klein
Reviews on many of New York?s Jazz Clubs
Reviews and information on the ?hottest clubs in New York City?

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

More Links and Resources

Clean bathrooms in NYC
This could quite possibly be the most important information you will ever read!

30 free things to do in NYC
Some are obvious, and some are not!

Getting into Museums for Free

Photos of NYC

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

I hope that your daughter has a wonderful time both on her holiday
vacations and as a college student! There is much to enjoy in New York
City. Reading through this with her will have you excited to visit her
to have her show you around ?the city that doesn?t sleep.? There?s
something about summertime in New York. And there?s something about
Christmastime in New York. Well, I guess what I?m trying to say is,
there?s something about New York and you?ll feel it as you visit
there. It has a feel all its own. It?s unlike any other city I know.

Again, it is a pleasure for me to assist you and your daughter on your
cultural and educative journey together. Should you need any further
clarification, please do not hesitate to let me know. Happy New Year
to you and yours!


Search Terms Used:
Personal experience 
?things to do? New York City
New York City restaurant reviews
?New York City? theater reviews
?New York City? club reviews
Subject: Re: NYC Resources & Guides to
From: cryptica-ga on 31 Dec 2003 11:27 PST
In addition to all the thorough info/leads that Boquinha has given
you, I suggest several "must use" websites that in the know young New
Yorkers swear by (and most of us older ones, too).  If your daughter
wants to feel like a "real" New Yorker, she probably will want to
check out:

Every day a hot new tip --insider info on New York sample sales, new
make-up products, gift items, hairdressers, secret hideaways,
undiscovered finds and services.  Your daughter can subscribe for free
and have it in her e-mailbox every day.  Every smart New York woman I
know, young or old, reads Daily Candy.

Most big cities have a Craigs List, but the New York one is often
one-stop shopping for young people in the city.  It's free listings
that update by the minute.  People log on many times a day.  Job
postings, apartment listings (I know a zillion people who found their
apartments via craigslist rather than thru a broker), activities,
events, personal ads, for sale, barter, instruction. . .you name it. 
People post all kinds of public messages and it can be a way to get
sold out theatre tix or concert tix.  Because the site is updated so
often,it's real time and is like a living/breathing community
marketplace.  Kind of a heartbeat of New York life.

If your daughter likes theater, this is the most debated/feared chatroom in NY.
Again, it's free.  No-holds barred forum for opinion, gossip, rumor
and debate about the New York theatre scene.  Producers, directors,
actors confess they regularly log on to read the dish about their
shows and critics go there, too.  allthatchat opinions have literally
influenced changes in stage productions.
Some people post on the forum during INTERMISSION of a first night of
previews, vying to be the first one on record with an opinon.

"The" guide for young people, along with the Village Voice, to what's
happening weekly in New York: art, music, film, theater, events,
shopping, restaurants, culture.  A gift subscription to the magazine
would be a perfect "Welcome to NY" present.  But she can also buy it
on the newsstand every week.

For restaurant reviews, Boquinha has already given you CITY SEARCH, but I'd like to second that as a good one. 
It's a must, as is the ZAGAT RESTAURANT GUIDE, which can be accessed
online. (or for about 12 bucks thru or bookstores).  I
think there's a fee for Zagat online now, though -- not sure how much.
 CITYSEARCH is free and very good, but ZAGAT is the one with the

Another online source like TIME OUT, is NEW YORK MAGAZINE'S website.    Great for arts, museums, theatre, film,
shopping, events, etc.  But the average user is slightly older than
the Time Out'er.
Plus, NY Magazine has just been sold -- so nobody knows yet how or if
it will change.

And finally, two BLOGS. . . those trendy weblogs full of sass and opinon.

If your daughter wants a real look at New York celebrity, gossip,
media, movers and shakers, seen thru a cynical but wildly entertaining
lens, I suggest
It's another one of those daily "must reads" -- but only if you like "dish."

THE KICKER  and then look for the link on the right that says "Kicker."
The former editor of GAWKER, Elizabeth Spiers, was hired away to do a
blog for New York Magazine and it's another great, delicious take on
our town.

There are so many specialized websites and chatrooms and links for
every interest in New York.  You name it, it's here.  
There are Craigs lists in most major cities, but the New York one is
an essential part of living in the city.  It's free-listings of
everything:  jobs, apartments, events, activities
Subject: Re: NYC Resources & Guides to
From: boquinha-ga on 31 Dec 2003 12:36 PST
Fantastic, cryptica-ga! Thank you so much!! I've been hoping that New
York City regulars would add great stuff like this to the answer.
Hurrah! Thank you!! These are great!!


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