Design student, first time in NYC - what to see?

So I’ve been studying industrial design for 3 years now, and I’ve never been to NYC. The horror! I am going to rectify that in a little over a week.

I’ll be in NYC from Feb 12-16. Besides the obvious ones, can anyone suggest any hidden gems (related to art, architecture, design, technology, sociology, urbanism) that I might otherwise overlook?


check out

You can’t go wrong visiting MoMA, PS1, and the Noguchi Museum.

I imagine those are all pretty obvious though.

Grand Central Station

Morimoto (sushi)
88 10th Ave
New York, NY 10011
(212) 989-8883

Artisanal Cheese (not designerly but great grilled cheese)
500 W 37th St
New York, NY 10018
(212) 239-1200

Grimaldi’s in Brooklyn(best in NYC) or Lombardis in Little Italy if you want Pizza.

I see your Grimaldi’s, and raise you a DiFara.

If you mention sushi, I say Sasabune would be one of the most amazing meals you could ever have. Upper West Side I believe. I don’t exaggerate when I say it’s a rapturous experience!

Never been there but since you saw my Grimaldi’s and raised me a DiFara it must be good. Where is it in Brooklyn?

It’s in South Brooklyn. I think on J st. right off the R train. Don’t go during rush times. You’ll wait 2 + hours. Grimaldi’s and DiFara are both amazing though. DiFara is just as much about the experience… 1 guy making every pizza from open to close. Dominic is the Mr Miyagi of pizza making. The dude has a permanent hunchback from bending over the counter. People scalping slices outside on weekend nights. A zoo at rush, but totally worth the trip.

Seriously though… Go at 2:30 on a weekday afternoon.

I recently went to New York for the first time… it was pretty amazing.

This may be a bit cheesy to some… but I always take the “Big Red Bus” tour when I go to a major city for the first time. (did it in Barcelona last year) It gives you a quick overview of the city to get your bearings and the ability to decide if you want to go back for a more in-depth experience.

Our hotel had a free guidebook that listed all of the designers and studios in SoHo, TriBeca, and The Meatpacking District. It was prett handy.
(Hotel Mela if you want to drop in and ask for one)

The Muji Store was pretty cool - I’d certainly add it to your list.


NYC went though a huge building boom in the '20s that continued into the '30s. So, its a big art deco architectural extravaganza! There are literally dozens of landmark art deco buildings in NYC. Many with their interiors intact.

See: New York Architecture Images- Art Deco / Art Moderne

The Chrysler and Empire State buildings are virtually the symbols of NYC. Also, don’t miss Rockefeller Center See Prometheus giving Fire to Man (yeah, touristy, but so what). The Woolworth building is also impressive. And the American Standard building which you can see when you’re in Bryant park.

I’m an enormous fan of deco. I consider it the pinnacle of design. (We are just in mop up mode after the fact) :slight_smile:

+1 on Lombardi’s
spinach and ricotta

Flight 001
The Guggenheim
The Chrysler Building
Madison Ave
The rooftop bar at the Ganservoort

and go through this:

+1 on Moss and Soho for shopping/inspiration.

I never made it to the Guggenheim or The Chrysler Building while I lived there. :frowning:

the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum has cool shows sometimes

I haven’t been to NYC in a long while and would probably check out where the WTC had stood, though there might not be anything to see at the moment - Have they started on the new building yet?

thanks everyone - very helpful

+1 on SoHo… tons of design studios

If you can head over the bridge and check out DUMBO really hip and up and coming area… Very big and up and coming art and design scene

Yes. Totally forgot about Cooper Hewitt. They have some great shows there.

Moss is mandatory. The Conran Shop is also cool and has a mix of high end design stuff and more affordable items. Aslo : DWR: Tools for Living
Highly recommended: the trippy zoetrope animation thing by Bill Brand on the B and Q train. Read the article below to get the explanation. They never announced this, the first time I saw it, it took 10 seconds to realize what was happening. No one else on the train saw it, and afterwards, I kept thinking I imagined it…Genius.

Rosenthal (superstar designer porcelain)

If your near Union Square pop into ABC carpt and home – an old retail behemoth. There is a colossal seasonal display on the first floor. It can be a bit silly sometimes, and it usually looks like the whole thing is cribbed from some house wares/design/furniture trend and color forecasting service… but it has tons of eyecandy

The Cathedral of St. John The Divine is a pretty wild architectural project –
largest Cathedral and Anglican church and fourth largest Christian church in the world … Very traditional and gothic from a distance, but what church do you know of with labia and atoms represented on the exterior?

Moss and Moma are musts. Then look for other design exhibits that may be going on at cooper hewett or guggenheim or whitney