New York, any suggestions?

In the spirit of @azurga and this beloved London thread

I’m going to New York in a couple of weeks, any suggestions? Is there a geek den which I should visit?


In the spirit of answering my own question to get started, this is what I did last time…


The Whitney

Downtown Music Gallery

i would have suggested St. Marks but everything really neat is gone.



If you’re into the areas it covers (“ noise, jazz, avant-whatever, experiments & improvisations, “new music,” punks, sludge, radicals, queers, collectives, Nice Pals, prison abolition & palestinian liberation”), this list of concerts is fantastic:

This thread has lots of resources on NYC music events:


You might overlap with one of the upcoming NYMS events.

1 Like

Roulette is a music venue in Brooklyn. Bob ostertag has played there, and Robert Ashley operas have been performed there.

Le poisson rouge

And you have to visit the High Line.


Pro tip: go very early in the morning (7am–8am) or go ofter 6pm, or on a rainy day.

Also, the best free Hudson River views are not from Little Island (aka “Diller Island”) but next door on the rooftop park of Pier 57, which also enjoys the advantage of a lot fewer tourists.


The Metropolitan Museum of Art - a true classic.
Moshe’s Falafel - cart on 46th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues (not there on Saturdays, though :slight_smile: ).

4 Likes might be doing something while you’re visiting? they’re usually doing something

1 Like

I’m a fan of Mamoun’s for falafel, there are plenty in the city but I used to love going to the one in Greenwich Village before a movie at IFC or a dance performance at Judson Church, either that or go sit in Washington Square Park with a chicken shwarma and people watch. Such a great time.
Also the Staten Island Ferry is free and a lovely way to see Lady Liberty. Leaving Manhattan, make sure to be on the starboard (right) side of the ship, and go up the stairs and outside.
edit: thanks @alanza , it’s a good thing I’m not in charge of piloting any boats!


I’d say stay out of the subway for a few reasons. Uber is usually more expensive from the airport to Manhattan, but the same going to the airport from Manhattan. I was there a couple of weeks ago and was surprised how few restaurants etc were open late.

(right is starboard!)

I certainly wouldn’t say stay out of the subway.


NYC is big with many different neighborhood hangs so it depends where you’ll be. I don’t know much about “geek dens” haha (probably the geekiest den I can think of is Control in BK but their store front has been closed since Covid). So here’s just a few places I like to hang out or have in the past.

Lower East Side

For singer-songwriter stuff you can go to Rockwood Music Hall and if you want something a bit louder walk up to Houston, make a right and go to Mercury Lounge. I don’t eat meat but you can stop at Katz’s for the famous pastrami (or just get a potato Knish) - careful tho the line can be long. To complete the Jewish Deli circuit you can also go to Russ and Daughter’s. Or if you like Chinese food you can try Congee Village, which is right on Allen. Further East on Houston is Parkside Lounge for a dive bar hang (they also have music and used to have a great open Bluegrass Jam on Monday’s but idk if they do that anymore). Piano’s and Arlene’s Grocery are some other music venues in the area but are quite hit or miss so maybe save your time.

Alphabet City

Nublu is an awesome independent venue with diverse music. They have two locations both on Ave C. The older one (btwn 4th and 5th) is much more of a dive and I think has been closed since Covid. The newer one is btwn 9th and 10th. 11th St Bar by Tompkins Sq Pk is a few blocks away and is a great place to get a drink - occasionally they have a band playing (all acoustic). Mona’s is a little further north.

Upper West Side

When my spouse and I go to Lincoln Center (NY Phil, Ballet, Met Opera) or to Beacon Theatre (great seated music venue) we like to go to the Magnolia Bakery on 69th and Columbus. Vanguard Wine Bar is also decent tho it’s been awhile since I’ve been there.

Williamsburg (west of BQE)

National Sawdust is an awesome venue and they really spared no expense sound wise. Music Hall of Williamsburg is good for more popular stuff and is just up the block. If you’re further East on Bedford you can get Joe’s Pizza or Vinnie’s if you want vegan options. Mother of Junk on Driggs can be fun to wander into tho we hardly ever buy anything there haha. Further north is Brooklyn Bowl.

Williamsburg (east of BQE)

Meserole St is a cool hang and kind of a current day music row as there are a lot of rehearsal spaces, recording studios, equipment rental companies, and artist lofts on the block. Check out Human Head Records next to Saint’s Coffee Roasters then you can go around the corner to Newtown Vegetarian or The Anchored Inn for food and drink. During the summer there’s sometimes jazz bands in front of Newtown. There’s a ton of graffiti in this area and you’ll see some graffiti tours happening (they are quite tourist-y and I’ve never been). There’s also some popular after-hours spots and clubs here but I mostly just hear the sub coming out but don’t go in ha. Our Wicked Lady is over on Morgan and Elsewhere is not far. As is the brand new Brooklyn Made.

It’s true that since Covid many places (restaurants especially) now close earlier. One of our favorites - Veselka was famous for being 24hrs and now closes at 10 or 11pm. Idk why you wouldn’t get around by subway - any news about the subways being dangerous is vastly over emphasized.


This is such a great reply, thank you!

1 Like

Somewhat of a trek, but the Cloisters is wonderful. Across town, Industry City might have interesting spots for you (it’s not far from my favorite woodworking store), and it’s walkable from Green-wood Cemetery if you’re into that kind of thing.


once in a lifetime chance to see perhaps the world’s best card mechanic do his one man magic show currently running at the judson theater, my hero Asi Wind:


I always recommend doing one touristy thing- walk across the Brooklyn bridge, go to south st seaport, highline (as suggested), Lincoln center (even if you just go in the lobby to ogle the Chagalls), go to a rooftop bar, wall St, whatever!

On St Marks, Cafe Mogador is still serving amazing food. You can chat up some locals at nearby Tile Bar before or after too.

I may be alone but I find the Irish Hunger Memorial over by the water near tribeca to be deeply moving.

Brooklyn Bridge Park is also fun with a nice view of Manhattan from the promenade. Really almost any park in any neighborhood that you’ll likely be in is worth checking out IMO.


If you’re in the Chinatown neighborhood, I would highly recommend Time for fancy, but delicious sushi omakase, and Shu Jiao Fu Zhou for cheap, yet still the best peanut noodles (or any noodles tbh) in the neighborhood.

1 Like

Is there a good synth shop anywhere? Armen’s Music Shop sounds like a nightmare.

1 Like

Indeed Armen’s is a nightmare. You can walk down to Rogue Music on 30th st - they are not synth specific but sometimes have cool stuff and they have lots of used stuff. Also, it is just a smaller chiller place.

Main Drag in Williamsburg is pretty cool. Kinda pricey and also has both new and used. Also not synth specific.

It really is a shame that Control’s store front is still closed.