Our main purpose in visiting NYC is always to eat, drink, and see friends. So when we have some free time to spare we are at a loss of what to do. Which makes no sense being that it’s NYC and there’s ALWAYS something to do. But really there’s only so many times that a person can go to the top of the Empire State Building.
So I consulted a recently-discovered blog I have been obsessed with lately and we decided to go to the Harry Houdini Museum / Fantasma Magic Shop. Walking by the building that houses the museum you would hardly notice that there was anything of significance inside. We entered the narrow foyer, told the guard we wanted to visit the museum, and then went up the old tiny elevator to the museum. It’s a bit awkward but also adds to the sense of mystery.
The museum/magic shop itself was super tiny but chock-full of Houdini memorabilia including all kinds of locks and coffins and grainy videos of his tricks. I was totally obsessed with Houdini as a kid so for me, this museum was pretty cool. However if you’re not into Houdini or you are not in the market for some magic tricks, then this museum would probably not be on the top of your ‘things to see in nyc” list.
On the way out we tried to have our fortune told by one of those creepy dollar-operated fortune teller machines but disappointingly, it was out of order.
Since we were in the area with some time to kill we walked to Times Square for a bit, then to Penn Station which we stupidly realized was not the correct train station we wanted to visit. So we continued on to Grand Central Terminal, stopping to look at the some amazing window displays along the way. Once at Grand Central we watched an indoor squash tournament, took a billion photos, and had ourselves a couple slices of pizza and some Magnolia cupcakes at the train station food court while inadvertently watching the couple at the table next to us break up and make up (?) about a zillion times.
Harry Houdini Museum / Fantasma Magic Shop // As mentioned before, this is a very small shop that is part magic store, part museum. If you do not like either of those things then this is probably not the place for you.
Times Square // Probably one of the most touristy places in all of NYC (maybe the world), but it has its merits: no matter how many times I visit, the blinking lights always amaze me. We ended up talking to a few of those guys that hand out flyers for things like the wax museum — they are actually chock-full of info and fun to talk to. PS, they make great photo-takers too.
Grand Central Terminal Food Court // Despite the lines being ridiculously long for Shake Shack and the lack of seating (there’s a lot of seating, just a lot more people), this was a great place to hang out and have lunch. The food vendors here are way better than typical mall food so it’s kind of nice, especially when it’s freezing cold outside, to just go from food stall to food stall and get a bite here and there. Plus, Grand Central is an exquisitely beautiful building. It almost seems wrong to be eating pizza and cupcakes in such a grand space.
Previously documented trips to NYC can be found here.