Ah, New York, my adopted town. There’s plenty to do here, particularly if you’ve got money to blow. Listed below are five of my favorite hangouts, in no particular order.
1. Yankee Stadium- my home away from home. The Reds are my National League team, but the Yanks are my American League team, and the big stadium in the Bronx is the Temple of Yankee baseball. (Actually, I don’t go to the Bronx for any other reason I can think of!) When I’m there, I’m at peace, like a Catholic at Mass. I’m surrounded by my fellow fanatics, and as long as I’m wearing my pinstripes, they know that I’m one of them. I was only able to get to one game at the old Stadium, but I’ll always cherish the experience. And with my eleven game season ticket plan this year, it has been a true pleasure getting to know the new ballpark. If there’s a home game happening, there’s a good chance you can find me there.
2. Rub, at 208 West 23rd St- sounds like a sleazy massage parlor, but Rub is actually righteous urban barbecue. I’ve been sampling my way through the best barbecue joints in the city, and I think this is the best I’ve had yet. Blue Smoke deserves a mention, but it’s a little on the fancy and expensive side. Dinosaur Barbecue in Harlem is also good, but it’s way the hell out there, pretty out of the way. And Dallas BBQ has several locations throughout the city, and their stuff is perfectly serviceable, but Rub is just a cut above. The ribs are the traditional standby, but if you feel like taking a couple months off your life, I recommend The Baron, the sampler platter. We couldn’t finish it with three people!
3. Halloween Adventure, at 104 4th Ave., near Union Square- simply the best costume and accessories shop I’ve ever been in. I like to just go in there and wander around. Whether you’re looking for sexy costumes, scary costumes, period costumes, or movie character costumes, this is the spot. There’s a full size, exquisitely detailed Egyptian sarcophagus I’ve had my eye on for a few years, and I’ll get it some day, too! It also adjoins a very cool goth store that features some fine jewelry, cloaks, leather and bondage gear. I could easily drop a thousand dollars between the two of them…a dangerous place to go when you’re being frugal.
4.Midtown Comics, at 200 West 40th St., also one other location- this is the finest comic book store I’ve found in the city. There are other good ones…Forbidden Planet deserves a mention, as does Jim Hanley’s Universe, but Midtown has not only all the new comics as they’re released, but an impressive selection of back issues. You can always spot it from blocks away, by the corner of 7th Avenue, from the big Spiderman cutout that juts out over the sidewalk. I use it as a landmark if I’m lost. The only reason I might choose to go to Forbidden Planet instead is that it’s within a couple block radius of Halloween Adventure, and my fifth and final favorite hangout spot…
5. The Strand, at 828 Broadway, by Union Square- this is the biggest and best bookstore in New York. They have rare books, first editions, best sellers, occult books, graphic novels…basically everything you could want, and all at the best prices you’re likely to find. Another place that I could literally spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars with no difficulty at all. Like I said, with this, Forbidden Planet, and Halloween Adventure all within one or two blocks of one another, I could do all my holiday shopping for myself all in the same area, right around Union Square. Actually, with a movie theater and a pool hall right around there too, that might be my favorite part of town…
…but there’s plenty of other places I like to visit regularly too. These were just the top five off the top of my head, but if anyone would like to tell me about their favorites, I’m happy to hear, especially favorite bookstores and comic book stores, goth stores, and restaurants. Check these spots out, if you’re in the city, and tell me what you think. Tell them Steve sent you!