There’s nothing New Yorkers love better than talking about their city, except perhaps giving tourists directions on the subway. So while we had NYC band fun. in the CBS Local studios, we asked them for their best tips of things to do when you visit the city. Their answers weren’t the usual tourist must-see tips.
“Go to the part of Grand Central where you can talk 20 feet away from each other against the wall and hear it,” guitarist Jack Antonoff suggests. “That’s something to do.”
He’s talking about the Grand Central Terminal Whispering Gallery— you’ll find it in front of the Oyster Bar & Restaurant. It’s unmarked, but if you go to separate corners, in a diagonal under the arches, you can whisper from across the room to someone and they’ll hear it as if you were standing right next to them.
“Central Park,” said singer Nate Reuss. “Central Park is pretty sweet. I live right next to it and I’ve found myself just wandering through it lately.”
There are 843 acres of things to do in Central Park at any given time. One of them is certainly wander through it, but you can also go on a free guided tour, see the Obelisk (the oldest public monument in North America), check out the children’s zoo, rent a boat or gondola and go for a ride in the lake, and about a million other things. You could literally plan an entire trip to New York City doing nothing but visiting various attractions in Central Park.
“Grab a steak at the Knickerbocker,” offers Antonoff.
Down in Greenwich Village, this jazz and steak house is a favorite of Ben Stiller and Alec Baldwin. A great and recommended New York dining experience.
“Andrew [Dost]’s got a weird impression of New York because his favorite part of New York is like 25th to 41st [Streets] between 10th and 11th Avenues…It’s a wasteland of metal and steel and garbage,” jokes Antonoff.
“There’s the High Line [Park],” interrupts Dost. “The High Line’s amazing.”
The High Line is a recently renovated park on an old, abandoned freight train line that runs along the West Side. It has been converted in a garden wonderland that’s lovely for just taking a walk on, but they also show movies, have family activities, and a beer garden. And on Tuesday nights you can go star gazing on the High Line.
“I would say, just to cap it off, go explore the different areas of New York. Don’t take one of those bus tours with the red, double-decker situation things,” Antonoff says, referring to the tourist-centric bus tours that can take you up and down the streets of New York City.
“We don’t want any beef with the bus tour industry though,” jokes Dost.
“No bus tours suck. I’ve taken them,” replied Antonoff.
New Yorker pro-tip: if you really want to take a bus tour, ride the M1 public bus from Central Park down 5th Avenue. It will take you past everything you want to see in the city. Tiffany’s, all the 5th Avenue department stores, the Empire State Building, and the Flatiron building all in one go.
-Courtney E. Smith, CBS Local