Looking for 26 cool and unusual things to do while you’re in the Big Apple? We’ve got you covered here in Alphabet City!
A: AIRE Ancient Baths Luxuriate in bath treatments, including aromatherapy, massages and more. 88 Franklin St., 212.274.3777
B: Beach, Dream Downtown The Beach at the Dream Downtown Hotel offers day passes: Visitors can escape the hot sun and pretend they’re on a tropical island. 355 W. 16th St., 212.229.2336
C: Clyde’s A classic apothecary, Clyde’s is much more than your neighborhood drugstore, offering a pharmacy, beauty services, cosmetics and giftables. 926 Madison Ave., 212.744.5050
D: Daisy May's BBQ Great barbecue, from Texas sliced brisket to Oklahoma jumbo beef ribs, served in a simple, homey setting. And don‘t forget to save room for the bourbon peaches! 623 11th Ave., 212.977.1500
E: The East Pole Yelp reviewers rave about this restaurant’s chicken Kiev: others love the fresh oysters and generously sized burger with duck-fat chips. Look for a small front terrace (no sign). 133 E. 65th St., 212.249.2222
F: New York City Fire Museum Check out the history of NYC firefighters and view historic fire vehicles like this 1901 horse-drawn steam engine. 278 Spring St., 212.691.1303
G: Green-Wood This 1838 cemetery has Revolutionary War sites, tours, events, plays and famous statues like Minerva (pictured), the Roman goddess of wisdom. 500 25th St., Brooklyn, 718.768.7300
H: Harlem The quickest way to Harlem? ”Take the ’A’ [subway] train,” says the song. Or you can take in the sites on a 4-to-5-hour bus tour with Harlem Spirituals. Gospel tours, with or without soul-food lunch or brunch, are especially popular. Looking for the next Ella Fitzgerald or Jackson 5? Amateur Night at the Apollo (253 W. 125th St.) is the place to go. Foodies pig out on full racks of pit-smoked pork ribs at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (700 W. 125th St., 212.694.1777), while jazz junkies jive at Showmans (375 W. 125th St., 212.864.8941).
I: Irish Hunger Memorial Food for thought: Sod, flora and stones from Ireland’s 32 counties raise awareness of that country’s devastating 19th-century famine. Vesey St. & North End Ave.
J: Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art Get your ”om” on at NYC’s Shangri-la, noted for its gardens, antique bronze sculptures and sheer bliss. 338 Lighthouse Ave., Staten Island, 718.987.3500
K: Kiehl’s Kiehl’s skin, hair and body products are universally available, so why go to the brand’s original (now flagship) store? Try a quirky interior, with crystal chandeliers, vintage motorcycles, skeletons and every Kiehl’s elixir under the sun and under one roof. 109 Third Ave., 212.677.3171
L: (Le) Poisson Rouge If there’s a more eclectic nightspot than this Village venue, we have yet to meet it. Classical music, indie rock, jazz, movies, burlesque—they’re all here. Retro fans should put on their dancing shoes for the weekly 1980s and 1990s parties. 158 Bleecker St., 212.505.3474
M: Municipal Art Society Tours Throughout the year, architects, urban historians, geographers, professors, authors and preservationists lead more than 600 informative walking tours of NYC’s diverse neighborhoods and treasured landmarks (pictured is the Flatiron Building). 212.935.2075, mas.org
N: New Amsterdam Theatre Hop a magic carpet to Disney’s musical Aladdin in Broadway’s exquisitely beautiful Art Nouveau masterpiece, and be swept off your feet. 214 W. 42nd St., 866.870.2717
O: Old City Hall Station Closed since 1945, you can still see the glorious architecture of this subway station. Just stay on a downtown-bound 6 train past the last stop, Brooklyn Bridge Station, as it turns around to go back uptown.
P: Pomander Walk With charming Tudor-style houses, this hidden street offers a quaint stroll like no other in Manhattan. Even if the gates are closed, it’s still worth peering in and daydreaming. Btw Broadway & W. End Ave. and W. 94th & W. 95th sts.
Q: Queens This outer borough, ranked by Lonely Planet as the best place to visit in the U.S. in 2015, invites visitors to a rich multicultural experience. Relics of the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs, like the Unisphere, still dot Flushing-Meadows Corona Park. Check out the Panorama of the City of New York at the nearby Queens Museum. In Astoria, you’ll find great restaurants, souvenir shops, Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden and a chance to learn about the history of film at the Museum of the Moving Image. We also love Flushing’s dumpling houses and Corona’s Louis Armstrong House Museum, the preserved home of the jazz great.
R: Rooftop Bars What can be better than cocktails with a view? At The Skylark (200 W. 39th St., 212.257.4577), visitors enjoy the lounge’s signature namesake cocktail (Hendrick’s gin, ZU vodka, St. Germain, blue curaçao, lemon and brandied cherry) and views of the Empire State Building from 30 stories up. It’s just one of many elevated nightspots in the city. Visitors can make a night of rooftop revelry with Take Me Out’s new rooftop bar tour, which includes limo transportation. Trust us, life is better on top.
S: Superhero Supply Co. This might just be the only store in the city to carry galactic blasters, secret identity glasses and crime-fighting gloves. Test out your new superhero cape at the in-store wind tunnel. All sales support a youth writing program. 372 Fifth Ave., Brooklyn, 718.499.9884
T: Tramway to Roosevelt Island A swipe of a Metrocard gets you an aerial ride over the East River to Roosevelt Island—along with incredible views of the city along the five-minute journey. E. 59th St. & Second Ave. station
U: Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre Laugh yourself out of your chair at this comedy club and improv school that hosts shows nightly and cast members of hilarous television hits, including SNL. (Chelsea) 307 W. 26th St., 212.366.9176; (East Village) 153 E. 3rd St., 212.366.9231
V: Van Brunt Stillhouse Make your way to this South Brooklyn-based still where you can take a tour of the facilities and sample a wide range of grappa, rum and whiskey, the house specialty. Perfect for a gift or souvenir, bottles or sets of the distillery's spirits are available for purchase. 6 Bay St., Brooklyn, 718.852.6405
W: The Whispering Gallery Deliver messages to your fellow visitors at this Grand Central Terminal spot that allows whispers to travel from one arch to another in front of the Oyster Bar & Restaurant. Grand Central Terminal, 89 E. 42nd St., 212.340.2583
X: Xi'an Famous Foods Dine with locals at this casual café and New York-based chain that serves succulent Chinese fare, such as tiger vegetable salad and spicy tingly beef noodles. 2675 Broadway, 212.786.2068
Y: Yonah Schimmel Bite into a true New York tradition, the knish, at this Lower East Side bakery, which serves a range of varieties, from sweet or savory to fried or baked. 137 E. Houston St., 212.477.2858
Z: David Zwirner Gallery This art gallery hosts must-see exhibitions of blue-chip artists, including Dan Flavin (pictured) and Yayoi Kusama. 519, 525 & 533 W. 19th St., 212.727.2070; 537 W. 20th St., 212.517.8677