Baseball Trip 2012; New York/New England -- What to see and do?

Yep, here it is again, my annual thread asking for suggestions regarding what to do when we’re not watching baseball. The trip begins 3 weeks from today, and Dopers have steered me right in the past.

This year’s trip is a little different, as we’ll be starting out in New York City for four nights and using public transportation to get around. Seeing games in Brooklyn (Cyclones), Queens (NY Mets), Staten Island (Yankees), and the Bronx (NY Yankees), in that order. I don’t think we’ll be lacking activities to fill our days and nights in NYC, but I’ll still welcome any advice on the coolest neighborhoods, the best bar districts, fun non-touristy stuff to do, etc. Given the game schedule, there won’t really be time for sit-down restaurant meals or Broadway shows or anything like that. We’re staying near the Queensboro Plaza station and will be buying multi-day transit passes.

After New York, we’ll rent a car and head off to

Lowell, MA
Manchester, NH
Pawtucket, RI
New Britain, CT
and Bridgeport, CT

for one night each. We may stop in Boston for lunch and to gawk at Fenway Park (Red Sox are out of town) on the way from Manchester to Pawtucket.

So what I’m looking for are the best bars, diners, local color, and so forth in these towns on on the drives between them. We’re 2 guys, ages 49 and 50, both married. We prefer local hole-in-the-wall taverns over dance clubs any day, independent establishments over chains. But again, any and all suggestions are welcome. No drinking and driving, so watering holes near the ballpark are a plus.


I don’t know much in the area of the ballparks (and in the case of Citi Field, I don’t think there is much), but if you happen to wind up in the East Village, Standings is an excellent divey hole-in-the-wall sports bar. Audio is always on whatever sporting event happens to be on the main screen (currently the Olympics, natch), nice selection of American microbrews (plus Bud Light) on tap. You can also step next door to Burp Castle if you want a rather different experience–(mostly) Belgian beers, an occasionally monk-robed bartendress, and a “quiet bar” atmosphere. The 'tendress will shush you if you get too loud. :slight_smile: Both owned by the same guy, who’s usually hanging out in Standings.

Missed the edit window, but be sure to take advantage of the whole Coney Island area while you’re visiting the Cyclones. Ride the Cyclone if you’re a coaster fan, eat at Nathans, etc.

For Pawtucket RI you could try the Roast House (176 Columbus Avenue). It’s a restaurant-with-a-bar, not a tavern, but the food is decent and it’s only about a quarter mile up Columbus Ave. to McCoy Stadium.

Skip the hotdogs and go for the Russian food down the boardwalk in Brighton beach (Little Odessa). I’ve heard good things about the Cherry hill Market (pics in this article). If you have the time and inclination, consider dining at one of the Russian supper clubs. For a fixed price, you sit down to a 4 hour meal, interrupted only by a slightly hallucinogenic floor show with dancing girls.

Tatiana has both the sit-down supper club, and a simple boardwalk cafe, whatever your pleasure.

Edited to add: if You’re at Citi Fierld, the 7 subway is there (Mets - Willets Point station). If you stay on the 7 to Main St - Flushing, you’ll be in Queens Chinatown. Joe’s Shanghai is a short walk from the subway and always reliable, famous for their soup dumplings (dumpling containing soup, not dumplings IN soup).

Also go over to the bar that used to be called the Indian lounge and tell Nat I said hi.

Hey UncleMoose, where you from?

Also, anybody, are there two of these threads?

As you’re traveling through New Britain and Bridgeport, you might also want to visit New Haven, where you can see Yale Field, home of the Yale baseball team. You can eat at Louis’ Lunch, where the first hamburger was served (this is somewhat controversial, of course), or eat pizza at Pepe’s, Sally’s or Modern Apizza. These are some of the oldest and best pizza places in the US.

I will definitely check this out!

Way ahead of you there. We’ve pretty much got the whole afternoon set aside to hang around Coney Island before the game.

I saw that on Yahoo maps! I’ll definitely put it on the list.

Interesting ideas. My friend is not a very adventurous eater, so Chinese and Russian meals may not be in the cards… We’ll see.

What’s it called now?

There’s another soliciting music choices for the trip. I thought that was different enough to warrant a separate thread, but if a mod wants to merge them, that’s fine I guess.

Your not from Rhode Island are you?

Lowell Beer Works is right outside the stadium. There’s also excellent Vietnamese and Laotian restaurants in Lowell, but I don’t have a specific suggestion.

In Manchester try Strange Brew.

No, and there seems to be a joke I’m not getting here…

What’s the opposite of obsolete? I don’t mean current, I mean what name won’t get used until sometime in the future. That’s the way things work round here.

Anyway, I think it’s the Triple PPP Lounge. So I guess that makes it the PPPPPPPPP Lounge. Anyway, just ask anyone where the Indian Lounge is if you want to find it. There’s another bar near the stadium. It’s really a Chinese food restaurant called We Deliver Cocktails. Nat works there some nights.

Rhode Island sounds awesome!

All great suggestions, but don’t make the mistake I did and go to Louis’ Lunch in August. They’re closed for the whole month.

It is, and seeing a Paw Sox game at McCoy is a great thing to do while there!

I’ve been to a few Fisher Cats games in Manchester, but have failed to find any good local color. There is, however, a bar within the stadium that has a patio overlooking the left field wall. Most of the centerfield wall is the patio for the restaurant of the Hilton. The food is okay.

I’m sorry the American Defenders of New Hampshire aren’t still around for me to recommend.

Careful, sometimes they run really late.

Both Standings (where I am right now!) and Burp Castle are on E 7th, just off 2nd Ave. While in the area, you could do worse than to visit the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop, which is also on 7th. Lines will be pretty rough this time of year, though.