Are you looking for some after-institute fun? I have some of my favorites listed here for all of you.
Casual dinner with a great view?
Take the 1 train to 59th street and enter the Shops at Columbus Circle. Then take the escalator up to the third floor for Bouchon Bakery. This will be close to Times Square (walk down Broadway after dinner for good Times Square at night photos) and provide some time for shopping too.
Going down to SoHo?
I have a few favorite places in this neighborhood.
My new FAVORITE NYC restaurant is The Dutch. It is on the corner of Sullivan and Spring Streets. You can take the downtown A,C, or E train to Spring Street. Get there at 5:00 if you don't want to wait. This restaurant is close to The Angelika, a small movie theatre that plays limited released films. It might be a great after dinner, air-conditioned treat.
Dinner and a show in midtown or Times Square fun and an inexpensive place to eat:
I love Memphis. This musical is inspiring and filled with great music. Before or after the show, you can get dinner in one of may great restaurants on 8th and 9th avenue. Here are some good bets:
Vynl on 9th ave and 51st street
Eatery on 9th and 53rd street
Toloache on 8th and 50th street
El Centro on 9th and 54th street
Are you looking for something a little sweet after school or after dinner? Try some of my favorite bakeries:
Crumbs for cupcakes. Various locations. There is one on Columbus Ave near 98th Street, another on 75th and Amsterdam, another on 52nd and Broadway, and several other locations in NYC.
Levain Bakery Hands down, my favorite cookies in NYC. This bakery is tiny so be careful to look for the little sign. You'll find them on 74th street just off the corner of Amsterdam Ave. (right around the corner from a market)
Magnolia Bakery I love the banana pudding from Magnolia. And the ice box cake too... Yum. Go here if you are headed to Rockefeller Center (see the plaza, the Today show, the Top of the Rock, etc.). There are other locations, but this location on 49th street and Avenue of the Americas is a good one. You can also find them on Columbus and 69th Street.
Check back throughout this week for more fun NYC ideas!