Due to circumstances forcing me to make whirlwind travel plans today, I find myself in the position of having overnight layovers in New York this coming Sunday (2/9) and the following Saturday (2/15), from about 9:00 PM to 7:00 AM. I’m both an incorrigible night-owl and the sort who always sleeps on planes/trains, so these seem like ripe conditions to make the City That Never Sleeps live up to its name.
I’m on Amtrak, so I’ll be arriving at Penn Station. I’ve booked a room both nights at the Hotel Pennsylvania, which reviews indicate is a dump, but it’s an enormously convenient dump that offers a place to drop my luggage and a bed to flop onto should I eventually crap out. This is all I require, and for 90 bucks a night in the heart of midtown Manhattan, I figure there’s no complaining unless the housekeeping staff actually mugs me.
Anyhow, on to the actual point. I’m not usually one for itineraries, but given the time constraints, my usual strategy of “meander aimlessly until you stumble upon something interesting” probably won’t be effective.*
So, I’m here to fish for ideas. Late-night entertainment is the name of the game. Food, drinks, activities, shows, museums, theaters, weird shit to just go and gawk at; it’s all on the table as long as it’s open while I am. Location’s not much of an issue either — if it’s anywhere remotely near a subway stop, consider it fair game. I have just two specific requests, those being:
No club suggestions (dance, strip, or otherwise), if you please. For a longer trip, sure, but I don’t relish traveling with a hangover. That said, interesting bars where I can nip in and have a quick one are welcome.
As a native upstater, I miss me some poutine, and I know it can be had in NYC. Somebody here knows where the best example of our fine French-Canadian friends’ fare is found; of this I am certain…so please do enlighten me. (And if all the good places are closed at night, a canned-gravy facsimile will do in a pinch.)
As always, all advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
*I did employ this method the first night I visited New York, leading to a festive overnight jaunt from Battery Park to Chinatown to Greenwich Village to Times Square to Rockefeller Center, but there was a whole lot of nothing and no one in between the highlights. I’d like to shoot for a little more efficiency, if only just.