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54 Hours in New York – In the City
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54 Hours in New York – In the City

by jeffreyAugust 5, 2013
This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series 54 Hours in New York

Fresh off our 14-hour overnight train journey, we hit the ground running. Places we visited on this journey:


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With the clock ticking, we hit the ground running by grabbing a cab to the [highlight color=”grey/color”]THE WESTIN GRAND CENTRAL[/highlight] (previously The New York Helmsley Hotel).

No trip to the Big Apple would be complete without a trip to Times Square, no matter how many times you’ve been before:

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We grabbed a quick lunch on Rockefeller Plaza with some family at [highlight color=”grey/color”]BRASSERIE RUHLMANN[/highlight]

REVIEW OF BRASSERIE RUHLMANN: This restaurant is the epitome of a New York City cafe. Located in Rockefeller Plaza, the outdoor seating puts you in the perfect place to people watch. There’s plenty of activity all around, with the added bonus of the Rockefeller Center looming right over you. The food is good, although pricey– but you’re really just paying for the location.
Brasserie Ruhlmann on Urbanspoon

Brasserie Ruhlmann

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After an insider tip, we headed to [highlight color=”grey/color”]THE MET[/highlight]–The Metropolitan Museum of Art. If you go to any museum in New York, please make it this one. You won’t find any of those pansy attractions that museums are mostly known for–only man shit around here. I mean, no self-respecting man will pay money to go and look at soup cans or anything “abstract.” Here, you won’t have to waste time on any of that– only the most badass of badass things here: Egyptian pyramids, full sets of armor from 16th-century knights and Roman sculptures.

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What did we see on this visit? Turns out there’s a [highlight color=”grey/color”]ROOFTOP BAR.[/highlight] A-ding ding ding. Sign me up, the Egyptians can wait.

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While enjoying the amazing view over Central Park, we heard some music from below.

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After a bit of swift Googling, I learned that the we were in the act of missing a free concert just feet away featuring The Black Keys, The Foo Fighters and Neil Young & Crazy Horse! The only thing I love more than live music is free stuff. It turned out that the tickets were distributed by a lottery weeks before our arrival (what the hell were they thinking?!) and that the best bet would be forking over cash to a scalper. Ok, worth a shot. We darted out of The Met and looped around back to join in queue for the concert, walking against traffic, asking for any extra tickets. It soon became apparent that we were among dozens and dozens of buyers with not a single seller seen yet–bad odds for us. After a solid 30 to 45 mins of searching (with our hope diminishing), we had officially given up and started our trek across the street when an Australian couple approached us muttering something about  tickets. I waived them on, saying that we don’t have any either, sorry. They then repeated, more clearly, “Would you like our tickets? We can’t go in.” Seriously?!?! What a crazy awesome turn of events. With my jaw still dropped in disbelief, we thanked them profusely and headed on into the show.

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The place was packed and we were fortunate to have caught nearly all of the acts — and The Foo Fighters and Neil Young put on a solid performance that was worth all of the effort of getting in.

Already getting a bit late, we rushed towards the Subway to head back downtown to one of our favorite restaurants in the city: [highlight color=”grey/color”]PIPA[/highlight]. NOTE: We just found out this restaurant has recently switched names, food and atmosphere.

REVIEW OF PIPA: This was, hands-down, the best restaurant in NYC. The Spanish tapas paired with authentic sangria was only topped by the unique atmosphere of hundreds of low-lit chandeliers. The restaurant turned into a bar late-night, and was the perfect place to meet up with friends at either 7pm or 1am. Unfortunately, the restaurant has recently changed names (now a much more boring sounding name: ABC Kitchen).
Pipa on Urbanspoon

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We made the 20+ block walk north to our hotel but not before stopping at the relatively new [highlight color=”grey/color”]HOFBRAU BIERHAUS[/highlight] that caught our eye earlier in the day.

REVIEW OF HOFBRAU BIERHAUSThis bar makes you feel like you’re in Germany. The waitresses are dressed like German waitresses and they serve you beer in huge glass mugs. Cheers to being just like an authentic beer garden, Hofbrau Bierhaus. Although we went late-night, I’d imagine it’s a perfect place to meet your friends to watch any sort of game. Just a very open space with plenty of community tables.
Hofbrau Bierhaus on Urbanspoon

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As a sucker for any bar offering an authentic German beer haus or beer garden feel, I just knew I’d like it. It turned out to be just as expected–a great place to grab a beer  many, many beers with people, with plenty of tables to accommodate groups.

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The next morning, we took a cab to the west side to check out [highlight color=”grey/color”]THE HIGH LINE[/highlight]–a new park I’d heard a lot about recently. Just like many other places in New York, it was unlike any other place in the world–a raised “park” above the city on an old railroad trestle. Pretty cool and definitely worth the trip.

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As a final celebration of McCown’s birthday, I knew it wouldn’t be complete without a visit to an Italian restaurant. Well, I really outdid myself by walking us straight to an entire multi-story mecca of Italian food–both grocery and restaurants–at [highlight color=”grey/color”]EATALY.[/highlight]

REVIEW OF EATALY: If you like Italian food, this is the place for you. Dozens – hundreds? – of vendors and store fronts all in one huge building selling cheeses, meats, breads and, most importantly, serving up samples of just about everything. Before you get too full from the samples, though, stop in at one of the many restaurants and try some homemade pasta. These guys really know Italian food. And, you can purchase pasta, sauces, cheeses – you name it, they’re selling it – for gifts or just for yourself.
Eataly on Urbanspoon

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We wrapped up and headed out on foot back to the hotel to check out and grab a cab back to [highlight color=”grey/color”]PENN STATION.[/highlight] And that’s how you do 54 hours in New York.
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