The Brian Lehrer Show Listener-Submitted “Leaving-New-York” Bucket List

Friday, April 13, 2012 - 04:43 PM

The tugboat Pegasus and the Lehigh Barge no. 79 passing the Statue of Liberty in the rain. The tugboat Pegasus and the Lehigh Barge no. 79 passing the Statue of Liberty in the rain. (Etienne Frossard)

Compiled by Wendy Sekimura and Mae Sussman

On Tuesday we asked listeners for conversation starters for the show and you sent us over 100 ideas and we put four of those up for a vote online. When a Brian Lehrer Show listener told us that he’s leaving New York City this summer  “possibly forever” and putting together a NYC bucket list, we thought it was a great idea for an open phones segment -- and so did you! Listeners voted to have this conversation today, although there was some resistance to the idea (“Make sure you get yourself a return ticket!” wrote Ken K.) we got great suggestions.

Here it is (in no particular order): The Brian Lehrer Show Listener-Submitted “Leaving-New-York” Bucket List!

“Last meal”

  • Pick some top-tier restaurant you've read about, and splurge. Eat Russian food out in the Coney Island-area Russian neighborhood. Have one last drink/refreshment in the restaurant at the top of some tall building. (Estelle)
  • Bleecker Street markets: Ottomanelli, Faicco's, and Murrays. Then head over to DiPalo's on Grand St. (DLar)
  • Difara's pizza, Brooklyn. Best in the world. Really. Grab a steamed lobster (picnic style) at Lobster Palace fish market, Chelsea Market, then go across the hall for a 'wicked' hot chocolate at Jacques Torres. (Howard from Carroll Gardens)
  • Strawberry Cheese Pie at Junior's - the real Junior's on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. Honey Dipped Fried Chicken at Amy Ruth's in Harlem. Lobster Tail dinner at Del Frisco's in Midtown ($96 for a tail the size of your head!). Fried Scallops at just about any spot on City Island. Bratwurst with sauerkraut & Czech Pilsner at Bohemian Beer Garden in Astoria. (Jem from Queens)
  • Take a walk around the Lower East Side, stop and visit the Tenement Museum, and grab something to eat at Katz's and/or Yonah Schimmel's (Andrea from Philadelphia)
  • Try a "Trini"(Trinidad) Roti from Ali's Roti shop on Fulton Street and Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn. (Michael from Cobble Hill)
  • Have a hot dog at Nathan's (Linda)
  • Union Square Farmer's Market and the original Shake Shack (Jenn)
  • Sylvia's brunch in Harlem and Economy Candy (Beth from Connecticut)
  • Dinner at Per Se, Daniel, or Le Bernardin with someone who has a lot of dough (Suzanne)
  • A pastrami on rye at Eisenbergs. (Tommy W.)
  • A self-organized Astoria walking food tour that ends at Bohemian Hall Beer Garden for some refreshments. (Isabel H.)
  • Enoteca Maria on Staten Island—Italian grandmas decide the rotating menu. Blue Hill—greatest meal I’ve ever had in my life. (Mara in Brooklyn)
  • Flushing Food Mall Crawl - Golden and New World. Gelato at OTTO. (Julie B.)
  • Katz's Deli at 2:00 am. Good food and great people watching. (Gary H.)
  • John's pizza. Second to friends, this is my most missed NYC thing. (Patti B.)
  • Try to get all the best foods in NYC: soup dumplings from "Joe's Shanghai," roast beef sandwiches from "This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef," french onion soup and crepes from "Café Triskell," pizza from "Artichoke Basille’s." NYC has the best of everything. Pick a food you love, go online and read reviews, and you can find the best version you have ever tasted of it. (Jennifer F.)
  • Dinner at Liman in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. Then cruise Emmons Avenue after dinner and take in the nightlife scene. (Inquisigal from Brooklyn)
  • Russ and Daughters for the real deal in smoked fish (Karen B.)

The Arts

  • Visit the Frick Museum to see the Piero della Francesca painting of a saint and then a last look at the Vermeers. (Avra M from White Plains)
  • The Morgan home/museum. Unique. (Howard from Carroll Gardens)
  • If you're still here in the summer, go to a performance at Celebrate Brooklyn or Summerstage (Andrea from Philadelphia)
  • Take in a performance at the Metropolitan Opera House (Gwen) - Allison I. adds, “Any opera with Anna Netrebko.”
  • Get lost in the huge galleries of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Renee R from Manhattan)
  • Go to a Christie's or Sotheby's auction. (Estelle)
  • Go to a performance by Alvin Ailey Dance or some other top-notch NYC dance company. (Estelle)
  • Browse the galleries in SOHO. Museum quality works with no entry fee. (Howard from Carroll Gardens)
  • go to a movie at the Film Forum (Andrea from Philadelphia)
  • Shakespeare in the Park -- wait in line and everything. It's a great day! (Hilary from New York City)
  • The "Picture Collection" at the 42nd street library is really great, check that out. (Jenne from UWS)
  • The Cloisters. It's amazing how many New Yorkers have never been there. (Tamar W., Julie B.)
  • Open mic night at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. (Ebun O.)
  • The NYC Ballet. (Alison I.)
  • Isamu Noguchi Museum (Jack A., Karen B.)
  • Rubin Museum. (Martha G.)
  • See a performance at BAM. (Sandra in Brooklyn)
  • Socrates Sculpture Park in LIC (Karen B.)
  • definitely book of Mormon tickets. They have last minute cancellation tickets at box office worth trying for. (@bugly91)
  • Bloomsday reading on June 16th (Bernadette J.)
  • Daily Show taping (Suzanne from Astoria)
  • See the Panorama of the City of New York at the Queens Museum of Art - Josh
  • a show at Town Hall (Suzanne from Astoria)
  • Go to Marie's Crisis on Grove St and sing Broadway tunes... (Terry D.)

City History

  • The Transit Museum in Brooklyn. (Estelle)
  • Go on one of those abandoned-subway-tunnel tours. (Estelle)
  • -Tenement Museum (Suzanne from Astoria, Beth from Connecticut, Jacqueline R.)
  • -Louis Armstrong's house (Suzanne from Astoria)
  • -Gracie Mansion (Suzanne from Astoria)
  • Visit Ground Zero (Gabe)
  • Tugboat graveyard in Staten Island. (Jason D.)
  • Take a ride in NY harbor on one of the great historic ships that are here- Fireboat John J. Harvey, or Schooner Pioneer, or Tugboat Pegasus or one of the many other vessels, and be reminded what a beautiful island New York is! (Renee L.)
  • If you really haven't seen Grant's Tomb, please go see it. It is especially beautiful on a sunny Sunday morning. (Terence M.)


  • Explore Brooklyn's Bottle Beach, where 100 years of bottles and other interesting junk have washed up. (Ben)
  • Go on a Water Taxi trip (the cheaper commuter one). (Estelle)
  • Kayak to Statue of Liberty (Anne C from Kew Gardens) / Visit the Statue of Liberty (Gabe)
  • Swim around the Statue of Liberty. It’s a 5 mile swim—you literally go underneath the George Washington bridge. (Raul in East Elmhurst)
  • Take a bike tour to each borough. Coney Island, Hudson Pier, and across the Brooklyn Bridge. (Bonnie in Brooklyn)
  • Get lost in Chinatown. (Estelle)
  • Go fishing on Valentino Pier by all the artist spaces. (Sandra in Brooklyn)
  • Visiting nature reserves, especially Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Take the A train that goes above ground and right above the refuge. (Marie in Cobble Hill)
  • Lying down on the lawn under the Cherry Blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens (@thebrooklynapt) / The New York Botanical Garden. (Rosaleen O. & Karen B.)
  • Check out Roosevelt Island. (Estelle)
  • Cyclones game. (Mara in Brooklyn)
  • Bike Fort Tilden, part of the Gateway National Park System, with real sand dunes and trails and then hang on the beach (Anne C from Kew Gardens)
  • Kayaking in the Hudson/Pier 40 (dlar)
  • Wave Hill, overlooking the Hudson, a special gem in the city (dlar)
  • Sit in an outdoor restaurant or cafe and just people watch (Sandra from NYC)
  • Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge (Andrea from Philadelphia)
  • Ride The Cyclone in Coney Island  (LindaLee & @Bx19713h)
  • Take the Staten Island Ferry (Andrea from Philadelphia & Gabe)
  • Walking or running the major bridges (I only have the GW and Manhattan Bridge left) (Suzanne from Astoria)
  • Bronx Zoo (Gabe)
  • Check out Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. (Saul from South Park Slope and Debbie K.)
  • Red Hook Ball Fields (Suzanne from Astoria)
  • Visit the East River State Park (hjs11211)
  • Start somewhere in Manhattan and just walk for an hour or two. Walking as a significant way to get around. (Lee Ann in Manhattan)
  • Take a Hudson River "midnight" sail (Matt A)
  • Chelsea trapeze school at Chelsea Piers. (Mara in Brooklyn)
  • Take the ferry from Manhattan to Redhook and hit the ball fields for Mexican food (Julie B.)
  • Take a walking tour of musical landmarks with John Joseph of Cro-Mags. (Julie B.)
  • Walk the entire length of Broadway. (Charlotte)
  • Polar Bear Plunge on Coney Island on New Year's Day. :) (Charlotte)
  • Hit all the boroughs in one day - the famed Five Borough Blitz!! (David from Brooklyn)
  • Don't leave ever! But if you MUST, a walk along the Brooklyn Promenade. (Peggy S.)

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Comments [1]

Ben Martinez from Scottsdale, AZ.

You'll be sorry,there's no place like N.Y.,you wont find pizza that tastes as good, forget about good Chinese food you wont find it.Right now I feel like a fish out of water. Better get a round trip ticket!!

Apr. 14 2012 09:06 PM

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