I returned recently from a week in New York City, a vacation planned largely around Broadway shows and museum visits (though we didn't get to either of those things for the first couple of days).
We arrived early Saturday afternoon at LaGuardia (which I mention specifically only to give those of you with strong LaGuardia/JFK/Newark preferences something to chew on). We stayed at a hotel technically in Kips Bay -- and sort of near other New York neighborhoods most non-New Yorkers haven't heard of either: Gramercy Park and Korea Town. It was about 3/4 of a mile from the Empire State Building; let's leave it at that.
Well, actually, let's start there, because that's what we did first. My husband had never been to New York before, and the Empire State Building was one of the few major tourist attractions on his list. So we headed there, got food and drinks from the Heartland Brewery on the ground floor (mostly decent beers all around, without real stand-outs), and then headed up.
The view had changed a little since last time I'd been to the ESB observation deck:
In other ways, it was decidedly unchanged -- my husband said he could tell instantly where Spider-Man lived from the recognizable establishing shot of Queens you always see in the movies.
More beer rounded out the night. We decided to head over to the Alphabet City Beer Company. This took longer than it should have, and was the moment we decided to stick to the subway and skip buses for the rest of the trip. First we watched the bus we wanted drive by as we were looking for the actual location of the stop. Then we found an alternative stop for a different bus line, only to watch that one drive by without actually stopping. (And that time, we knew it wasn't us, as somebody else waiting at the stop gave us a "what the hell just happened?" look.) Anyway, a subway to the nearest station and a longish walk finally brought us to our destination.
Alphabet City Beer Company had few offerings of its own. In fact, unless I missed something, they had just one on tap at the moment. (I tried it, and it was alright.) Instead, they filled out their taps with kegs from other mostly local breweries, and filled a few refrigerators at the front with bottles to go from other mostly non-local breweries. (We didn't fly all that way to get a Crooked Stave, but props to them for having it!)
Having spent much of the day traveling, that was more than enough for us to start with. We called it a night, with plans for a lot more walking the next day.