A Great Day in Manhattan for $20

I had a great day on Friday in Manhattan for the price of a $20 subway pass.  I did a lot of wandering around and people-watching, but here are three great free activities:

1.  Central Park.  Probably the greatest urban park in the world.  It is gorgeous, and everyone overlooks it.  If you have never strolled the Ramble, you will not believe you are in the middle of Manhattan.

2.  Walk the high-line park.  Another fabulous piece of landscape architecture, an old elevated rail line running north from about 14th street (just a bit south of the Chelsea Market) along the West Side that has been turned into a park and an amazing escape.  You can stroll the waterfront and urban New York without encountering a single car.  It is also incredibly quiet.  And train-lovers will appreciate that the architects kept a lot of the complex track-work as part of the landscape, almost like industrial art.

3.  Walk the Brooklyn Bridge.   I don't know that there is any similar experience anywhere else.  Something New Yorkers and tourists have enjoyed for over a hundred years.

I couldn't stay until magic hour but the view was still tremendous.

In the evening, I did whip out the wallet again and took my daughter to Ellen's Stardust Diner, near 51st and Broadway.  Total tourist trap.  Terrible food.  But an absolute blast every time.  All the waiters are out-of-work Broadway singers and they take turns singing show tunes for the restaurant as they serve.  We have walked out smiling and feeling good every time we have gone.



  1. mark2:

    Walking the Brooklyn Bridge is fun. In the center of the bridge there are several plaques describing how it was built.

    If you go to San Francisco you can walk the golden Gate bridge from the vista point (on either side of 101) all the way to Fort Point and back.

    Kinda wish I could have seen the high-line park when I lived in NY. Didn't even know it existed.

  2. obloodyhell:


    Personally, I utterly refuse to go to someplace where they think they can dictate "drink sizes".

    Those Neonazi mother f***ers can osculate my posterior.

    The smoking thing was bad enough (and look how that crap spread -- mind you, I don't smoke) and now this...

    Time to put your foot down and say "F*** YOU!!!... no. wait, instead, FOAD!!!" to Mrs. Grundy.

    The only proper way to properly respond to the busybody tin pot dictators of the world is to spit in their faces.



  3. Will:

    I loved High Line park the last time I was in NYC, especially as a bit of a train geek.

  4. James Howe:

    I've been to New York a few times over the past few years and I've always enjoyed it. The subway certainly works well for getting around and the city is also quite walkable. I agree with you completely about the High Line, the Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park.

  5. irandom:

    Cool, so in 30 years or so we could have one in Portland when the light rail tracks wear out.

  6. John David Galt:

    Agree, but the practice of "stop and frisk" deters me even more.

    And the place is infested with New Yorkers. :-)