New York From the 6 Train

by Gray Cargill on April 30, 2009

Today’s post is by guest blogger, Betsy, who offers her insider solo tips for New York City.  Enjoy!


New York City is one of my favorite places to explore solo. After five years of pounding the pavement, here are a few of my favorite activities no matter what kind of weather you encounter in the Big Apple. By the way, none of these suggestions will break the bank, so feel free to work them all into your itinerary!

Sunny and Beautiful Outside?

Central Park

Central Park

Stereotypes are there for a reason, people—head to Central Park! The place is HUGE, so bring your walking shoes; in fact, download one of the free walking tours here.

When you’ve worked up an appetite, grab a 6 train over to Spring Street for a meal at Lombardi’s Pizza. It may not look like much, but this will be the best pizza you’ve ever tasted. Lombardi’s considers itself the “first pizzeria” in America (est. 1905), and the ingredients are always fresh and delicious. Plus, the service is phenomenal. My suggestion: extra cheese and pepperoni. They open at around 11:30am, and lines can get long for seating (no reservations, of course); so either arrive at opening, or head over mid-afternoon.

Lombardi’s: 32 Spring Street, corner of Mott. 6 Train to Spring Street.

Doing Some Holiday Shopping?

Nutcrackers in NYC

Nutcrackers in NYC

My favorite time in New York is November/December, when everyone is rushing about putting up Christmas trees, lighting monstrously-sized Chanukah menorahs, and trying to finalize the numbers for their fiscal year budgets!

The best way to spend a day at this time of year is to visit one (or more) of the Holiday Fairs throughout the city. These are temporary tent shops set up all over the city where local artisans sell their wares. You’ll also find your typical Prada bag knock-offs, but what do you expect? This is New York!

If you choose to hit the Union Square holiday fair (4,5,6 trains at 14th Street), you can combine your visit with some taste-testing at the Union Square farmers’ market. And, from there, head across the street to Max Brenner’s for some genuine urban S’mores. (If you set the marshmallows on fire when you’re roasting them, don’t blame me!)

Max Brenner’s: 841 Broadway (between 13th and 14th Streets)

Max’s accepts reservations Monday through Thursday, 9am-4pm. At all other times (including all holidays), guests are welcome on a first come, first serve basis.  For reservations, call 212-388-0030 and press #2.

In for a Rainy Afternoon?

Rain can last for days in New York; take cover at one of the New York Public Library’s reading rooms. I could wander around this beautiful relic of New York for days, but settling in for an afternoon of reading or writing in such an historic building is bound to be inspirational.

New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, 212-930-0800

In the evening, pop over to the Public Theater for stage shows, or its sister venue, Joe’s Pub, for live music. Tickets are usually pretty cheap (book them online prior to your visit).

Public Theater and Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette Street,  212-539-8500
Ticket Sales:  212-967-7555

Ahh..New York. Just writing about it makes me want to book a flight. If you’re on your way, enjoy!

About the Author

Betsy is a proud (though, sadly, former) New Yorker, who always ends up burning her marshmallows. Her second favorite vacation spot is Walt Disney World, and she’s an administrator of the new Disney-focused Social Media site,

SoloFriendly May 4, 2009 at 11:02 am

Hi, Lara, welcome to my blog! My blogroll isn't called a blogroll–if you look over in the righthand column, you'll see links categorized by location or type. Your website appears under Other Travel Links.

SoloFriendly May 4, 2009 at 5:02 am

Hi, Lara, welcome to my blog! My blogroll isn't called a blogroll–if you look over in the righthand column, you'll see links categorized by location or type. Your website appears under Other Travel Links.

lara dunston May 3, 2009 at 8:23 pm

Haven't been to New York in about 15 years! Long overdue for a visit, I think, although it's certainly not at the top of my list.

Got your message in response to my tweet re travel blogs and have finally added you to my blogroll – sorry for the delay – so busy writing. But I don't see you have a blogroll anywhere? Am I not looking hard enough?

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