NYC Off the Beaten Path

By the Editorial Staff

Photo courtesy of Anthony Quintano.

As any resident or local will tell you, New York City around the holidays can be a bit of a headache. You can especially see that factor in areas of the city known to be tourist attractions: Times Square, Herald Square, Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park, Central Park, Battery Park, the High-Line, etc.

This holiday season, try visiting these locations for a more unique NYC experience. From around the boroughs and into New Jersey, here are the BTR staff picks for must-see attractions in and around the city.

The Storehouse – Flatiron District, Manhattan

Photo courtesy of Molly Freeman.

Since the BTR offices are located in Chelsea near the Flatiron District, many of the staffers have had a chance to try various local lunch spots. For the Editorial Staff, The Storehouse is a regular haunt–so much so that Dish + Drink columnist Dane Feldman has reviewed the restaurant not once, but twice.

Located on West 23rd Street between 5th and 6th in a recognizable yellow building, The Storehouse is an authentic Irish pub/sports bar. It offers a fantastic lunch special: a meal plus a glass of soda, beer, or wine for under $14.

Although The Storehouse may not be particularly festive this time of year (despite some decorations), it’s certainly worth checking out for lunch or a happy hour drink if you’re in the neighborhood.

The Garabedian Christmas House – Pelham Parkway, The Bronx

If you’re looking for an out of bounds Christmas wonderland, then be sure to check out the Garabedian family’s Christmas House. The building is located on 1605 Pelham Parkway North and Westervelt Ave in The Bronx.

Open until Jan 6, this house is exceptional at giving visitors a full Christmas experience. It is full of mannequins dressed as famous celebs or cartoons in traditional Christmas garb. From Michael Jackson to Alvin and the Chipmunks you won’t be disappointed in what or who you may see. Be sure that you visit the Garabedian family Christmas House on a night when the weather is right so that none of the mannequins are covered up.

You can’t miss the house either. It’s the pink one on the corner!

Queens Museum – Flushing Meadows Park, Queens

Photo courtesy of Tanya Silverman.

Lonely Planet just announced Queens as the #1 travel destination of the United States. As such, Queens is, by size, the largest NYC borough, so how do you go about navigating such a vast, diverse place?

One adventure you can embark on is riding out to the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Park via the 7 train. As it’s a long ride (to the Mets-Willets Point stop), and the train is above ground, you get to view a lot of cityscape on the way there. The Queens Museum permanently hosts the famous Panorama of the City of New York, a miniature version of the five boroughs you can easily get look at for hours. The epic World’s Fair Unisphere also sits right outside the museum, a grandiose structure that makes for worthy photo-ops.

If you work up an appetite on your cultural outing, that’s fortunate, because you can take advantage of the fine variety of Queens’ many ethnic cuisines. Want Chinese or Korean? Hop back on the Flushing-bound 7 and get off at the last stop. Want Indian? Hop back on the 7, Manhattan-bound, and get off in Jackson Heights at 74th St Broadway. Jackson Diner has lots of savory, spicy, and sweet options.

The Way Station – Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

The Way Station may be most known for its steampunk-themed decor and nerdy clientele, but this bar also serves up some genuinely tasty libations as well. Known for its quirky and sci-fi themed cocktails, the bartenders can either serve up something from their award-winning menu or make you a classic per request.

Besides cocktails, The Way Station also offers a rotating menu of a few beers on tap and a small selection of wines. Per their nerdy reputation, they do have geek-related events like Monster Movie Screenings on Mondays and Nerd Karaoke on Sundays. In addition, you can sit down and listen to an eclectic list of bands almost any night of the week without a cover charge.

Whether you are one of the geeks looking for your type of crowd or are simply a drinker who enjoys a unique cocktail, this place is a perfect Brooklyn destination.

Manhattan Skyline – Hoboken, New Jersey

Photo courtesy of Dane Feldman.

Many New Yorkers may not be so happy to see this on the list, but no trip to New York City would be complete without catching a view of the skyline from outside of Manhattan. Of course, you can do this in any of the other boroughs, but if you’re looking for something more adhered to the locals, head to Hoboken.

New Jersey? Really? Yes, really. Hoboken has tons of hip bars and they aren’t overcrowded with tourists.

You can ride the PATH from Manhattan to Hoboken Terminal using a disposable one-trip MetroCard for an unbeatable view of lower Manhattan. While locals are bustling to and from the trains, you’ll be all by yourself at the edge of the Hudson River staring right at the Freedom Tower. To return to the city, you can catch the ferry or hop back on the PATH, but not before venturing into downtown Hoboken at least to look around.