Staycation: The big apple is your playground

(Credit: Urbanite)

Economy Candy is a must-see spot on a Lower East tour

By Emily Mathis

Special to amNewYork

With the current state of the economy, you may be planning to spend some of your vacation days at home. Rather than spend hundreds on travel, you can reintroduce yourself with the city at your feet — a dream destination for many —with this weekend itinerary.

Friday: Get cultured

4 p.m.- 8 p.m: Drop whatever you’re doing and make it over to MoMA to take advantage of free admission.

Dinner: Dorothy Parker and “New Yorker” founder Harold Ross were frequent patrons of the Oak Room Supper Club inside the Algonquin Hotel. Emulate the literati — Dinner seating is at 6:30 p.m. and features a $50 prix-fixe menu. Or you can just opt for the 8:30 or 11:00 cabaret performances, Thursday through Sunday., 59 W. 44th Street, btwn Fifth and Sixth aves., 212-840-6800Saturday: Learn some history, do some shopping

Breakfast: Like a true New Yorker, sleep in a bit, and then head over to New York’ oldest delicatessen, Katz’s Deli on the Lower East Side (205 E. Houston Street) or grab a bagel with a shmear at Russ & Daughters (179 E. Houston St.)

The Tenement Museum: A few blocks away, the walls at 97 Orchard Street can talk - telling generations worth of the city’s immigrants.

Call ahead to reserve 212-982-8420 open until 6:30 p.m.

Essex Street Market: A slew of gourmet treats available prove street vending has certainly evolved since 1940 — the year of the market’s birth. Open till 7 p.m. at 120 Essex Street

Economy Candy: This well-stocked, old-fashioned family owned candy store is perfect for any sweet tooth. Open till 5 p.m. on Saturdays

108 Rivington St., (212) 254-1531.

Chelsea shopping: Christopher Totten, Park Avenue Hotel’s concierge, recommends Chelsea and assures there are still great bargains to be found. He recommends indoor flea market The Garage (112 West 25th Street). Don’t forget: The stretch of art galleries from West 13th to 29th sts. and Tenth Avenue to W. Side Highway.

Have some dinner: If you spend $15 on food, you’ll get two rounds of sake or wine at Azuki Sushi.

239 Park Avenue South btwn 19th & 20th sts., 212-228-3611

See a spectacle: With women suspended in a watery world above the audience and a man running through a series of walls, Argentinean spectacle Fuerzabruta claims to invent nothing and have no purpose. It just is.

Saturday show times: 7 and 10 p.m. $75, day of $25 rush seats when available

212-239-6200 or

Sunday: Relax

Rest up after your busy weekend at Clinton Hill’s Body by Brooklyn Spa and Lounge weekend brunch, where dining in bathrobes is the norm. For $54 per person, you’ll receive breakfast, a choice of Bloody Mary or Mimosa, unlimited tea and coffee, and full day (10 a.m. – 9 p.m.) access to the Wet Lounge – complete with a Turkish steam room, Swedish and Russian saunas, Jacuzzi, and an Artic Cold Plunge pool.

275 Park Avenue, corner of Washington and Waverly Ave in Clinton Hill, 718-923-9400,


The Algonquin Hotel – The city’s oldest operating hotel has been the epicenter of New York’s literary and theatrical life for more than a century. Rates begin at $249/night. 59 West 44th btwn Fifth and Sixth aves., 212-840-6800,

Hotel Chelsea: Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg and Janis Joplin are just some of artists who have laid their heads here. It’s also where Sid Vicious allegedly killed Nancy Spungen and Dylan Thomas died. A room with two double beds and a kitchen is $169/night, and if you don’t mind sharing a bathroom is just $109/night.

222 west 23rd street 212-243-3700,

The Gershwin: This Midtown hotel’s exterior is the pinnacle of modernity although the hotel itself is around a hundred years old. With bunk beds in the low-fare traveler’s second floor, the upscale ‘Fourth Floor Fabuloso’, and a special family floor there is something for everyone. Prices range from $45 to $405 night.

7 East 27th St, 212-545-8000,

Abingdon Guest House РThe cozy d̩cor of a country bed and breakfast and the best of the West Village at your feet. Rates range from $279/night to $169.

21 Eighth Avenue, 212-243-5384,

Read up:

Fun on Foot New York (April 2009) by Warwick and Nola Ford $16.95,

Warwick Ford is an Australian-raised Canadian-American who grew up to be a Massachusetts-based executive of a California company. He’s covered a lot of ground in his day, but was always faced with the same problem: finding the time and trails to keep up his passion for fitness. Out of this gripe, the Fun on Foot series was born. Known in fitness circles as THE book for runners, joggers, or walkers who travel, Fun on Foot features over 90 maps the book is great for visitors and locals alike looking to familiarize themselves with undiscovered trails.

Blue Guide New York by Carol von Pressentin Wright, $24.95,

Since being bought by Somerset Books five years ago this almost century-old series has reestablished itself as the guide for what the Sunday Times called “the cultural high ground.” Staten-Island born author, Carol von Pressentin Wright’s fourth edition of the New York Version is packed with 584 pages of full-color maps, floors plans, photos, architectural drawings, expert essays on New York’s architecture and geology, and do-it-yourself walking tours. From South Street Seaport to Inwood, the book is broken up by neighborhood with scholarly descriptions of parks, museums, landmarks, and relevant history.

Inside the Apple: A Streetwise History of New York City Michelle and James Nevius, $16.95

For the chronically wandering walkers out there married couple, Michelle and James Nevius, would like to enrich you - taking on the gargantiuous task of organizing and relaying relevantly the city’s history from the sidewalk up. From colonial New Amsterdam to post-9/11 the book is broken up into mini-chapters focusing on a particular event, person, or place and features 14 self-guided walking tours, maps, and directions.

Tags: staycation , lower east side , chelsea , moma , spa , travel

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