Think Sex & the City. Think uber-trendy Tribeca restaurant with a ridiculous scene and amazing decor. Combine those and you have the ambience and atmosphere for mega-trendy Megu, a giant Japanese and sushi restaurant and bar/lounge in downtown Manhattan. The centerpiece is a huge ice sculpture Buddha surrounded by a rose petal water garden. The whole space -- from the ornate entry to the massive dining room -- is breath-taking. After the sensory overload of the environment, the food can't help but seem like second-fiddle. Still, the on-the-stem unique servings of edadame (watch out for the $20 price tag) and the sushi are both terrific. Their specialty drinks are also very good. Overall, a great restaurant with an amazing decor and mood.
PROS: Space, mood, lighting, and decor are truly awe-inspiring.
CONS: Location -- it's way down in Tribeca on a quiet street at night.
The former headwaiter at Peter Luger's (the world famous steakhouse in Williamsburg area of Brooklyn, New York) left and began this Luger's outpost in Manhattan. And now, you'll never have to leave the island again to get the same massive slabs of bacon, soft-as-butter porterhouse sliced for 2-4 people, and delectable cream of spinach. This place is top-notch. Avoid filling up with too many salads, appetizers, etc because that's all prologue to the main act -- the dry-aged, amazing cut of porterhouse meat that is the entree. This place is truly awesome and the steaks and service are outstanding.
This place is a massive electronics store that has a very, very wide selection of appliances, TV's, etc. But my sense is that some of their best deals are on air conditioners -- particularly useful when NYC becomes so sweltering that you'd rather kill yourself than try to sleep another night without A/C. I bought my first air conditioner here, and you can carry it out of the store and install it yourself same-day. Done and done. They have almost everything in stock and tons of sales. Also, their selection of TV's and stereos is also pretty darn good. Helpful -- if a little pushy -- sales staff will guide you around if you need it.
This may sound kind of random, but finding a solid gym to play pick-up or organized basketball games in New York City can be a huge pain. Friends Seminary school has one of the best gyms in the Union Square area, and there are often rec league and NYC Lawyers, Bankers, Consultants League games there on weeknights. The court is in great shape and well-maintained. If you're in a basketball league and looking for a place to play, get in touch with the Friends School.
This NYSC opened around 2002 and has one of the nicest, cleanest, most convenient locations of any of the gyms in the NYSC system. The first floor's cardio machines are up-to-date and great, and the second floor weight room is also nicely stocked and features great views out over Irving Place. If you live anywhere near Union Square, this should be your gym. Watch out for the 5 - 7 pm post-work rush on weekdays (M-Thurs especially); you may have to wait for a cardio machine at that time.
You'll know you're in the right place for mind-blowing breakfast burritos when you see local high-schoolers and the police and fire departments lined up outside this tiny, inconspicuous eatery also known as "Beef Bowl" (oddly enough, they serve Asian-style broth and noodle dishes for lunch). From 6 -am 10:30 am or so, the largest flour tortillas you've ever seen are meticulously wrapped around fresh eggs, potatoes, and your choice of fixings (my rec: bacon, extra cheese, no sauce) to make for an awesome, filling sandwich. This place is almost worth going back to Burbank for high school again. Burritos $4-6.
PROS: Call ahead -- avoid the wait and the line by calling your order in.
CONS: The coffee -- it's awful. Bring your own coffee with you.