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Lovely photo my mom took in Central Park I am using to signify “Looking forward to new beginnings, while also looking back.”

Well, guys, this is it! In June, I’m moving to Los Angeles. I’ll spend way too much time writing a self-aware, verbose, seemingly contrived evaluation of my time here in the next month. But right now, I just want to post my “To Do In NYC Before I Move” lists and solicit recommendations from friends and colleagues in the comments field for what needs to be included! Because this list might seem a bit short, I’m also posting my “I accomplished this!” list of my last 14 months of culture, dining out, and nightlife.

So please, recommendations! I’m not leaving until I’ve done everything I want to do, and that you convince me I want to do, in this city. And contributions to my “To Do In LA” list are also welcome.

Lists after the jump!

To Do In NYC Before I Move
Ranking based on uniqueness of the experience to New York and feasibility with time/budget restraints, sort of. Actually, they’re not really in any order.

To See/Do
Coney Island and Brighton Beach
Phantom of the Opera on Broadway for cheap, somehow
Guggenheim
Palm reading in Central Park
Walk through Plaza and Waldorf-Astoria
Public event on Governor’s Island
Pass between moving subway trains
Attend Daily Show or Colbert Report taping
The Moth
Get massage from reflexology place across the street from my apt
Get published on a second NYC media outlet

To Eat
Little Owl
Joseph Leonard
St. Anselm
Korean Barbecue in Koreatown
Wo-Hop
Locanda Verde
Shake Shack
Meatball Shop
Croatian in Queens
Essex brunch

To Sip
Death & Co.
Mari Vanna
The Library

Just Missed the List
Burlesque
Niagara Falls if I brought my car up
Mama’s Bar
Lillie’s Victorian
Empire Hotel rooftop bar

I Accomplished This!

Seen
While I have not listed the specific location of the attractions and experiences below, I assure you all five boroughs are covered, and then some.

303 Grand film festival
Air guitar competition
All Points West Music Festival
Anne Apparu 18th dinner party
Apollo Theater/Harlem
Atlantic City
Bell House takedown
Bikram yoga
Broadway in Bryant Park
Brooklyn Bowl and Gutter Bar
Brooklyn Brewery
Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Flea
Bryant Park ice rink
Central Park ice rink
Chinatown dim sum
Chinese Scholars Garden
The Cloisters
CMJ Festival
Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens/Boerum Hill shopping
Columbia University campus
Comedy clubs
Dumpling Festival
Empire State Building
Essex Street Market
Fourth of July on the waterfront
Galleries on the west side
Greenpoint
Ground Zero
High Line
Jelly Pool Parties
Jersey Boys on Broadway
Jimmy Fallon taping
Karaoke
Koreatown spa
Little Italy brunch
Long Island City
Metropolitan Museum of Art
MoMA
MoMA Documentary Fortnight
Monday Night Magic
Museum of the City of New York
Music Hall of Williamsburg
National Memory Championship
New Yorker Festival
NYC Food Film Festival
NYC Wine & Food Festival
NYU campus
Opera at the Met
Philharmonic in Central Park
Prospect Park ice rink
PS1 Contemporary Art Center
PS1 Warm-Up
Public Library reading room
Red Hook
Royal Tenenbaums house
Run along Hudson and East Rivers
Russian Samovar
SCOPE Art Fair
Secret concert (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)
Socrates Sculpture Park
Street fairs
Tennis in East River Park
Terminal 5
TriBeCa Film Festival
Union Square Green Market
Upstate
UVaClub event at the Yale Club
Webster Hall
Whitney
Yankees win World Series at bars

Eaten
This list omits all pizza by the slice, sandwich/salad counters, bodegas, and national chains (I love Chipotle), even though my choose-your-ingredients salad intake probably equals everything listed below. Asterisks* indicate I’m a repeat offender.
71 Irving Gramercy paninis
Allen and Delancey veal and sweetbreads, at its peak
Babouche Middle Eastern tapas and hookah in Park Slope
Baked By Melissa miniature cupcakes
Baked sweet and savory baked goods in Red Hook
Banc cure for the common hangover on 3rd Ave
Baoguette Banh Mi on Lexington
Baohaus Vietnamese buns with LES style
Bar Blanc trendy small plates in WV
*Bar Veloce wine bar with paninis in Chelsea/EV
Barrio Chino LES’ new Mexican, tacos and guac
Bayard’s Ale House WV pub fare, order the fish ‘n chips
*Billy’s Bakery cupcakes in Chelsea or TriBeCa
Blue Hill leader in farm-to-table movement, Village
Blue Ribbon a New York favorite; raw bar, tartare, sweetbreads in WV
Boqueria Spanish tapas in Chelsea and SoHo
Braeburn new American in WV
Brooklyn Fish mussels and raw bar in Park Slope
Butter Lane EV cupcakes
*Buttermilk Channel excellent New American in Carroll Gardens
*Cafe Select SoHo happy hour and brunch, order anything with polenta
Cafeteria comfort food with a wild streak in Chelsea
Candy Shop real egg creams on the UES
*Caracas Arepa Bar tinto de verano and arepas in the EV
*Carnegie Deli pastrami, cheesecake, pickles
Char No. 4 meat and bourbon in Carroll Gardens
City Winery interesting appetizers to pair with impressive wines
Colicchio & Sons three well-deserved stars for Tom Colicchio’s composed-plate concept
Cookshop organ meat elevated, along the High Line
Corner Bistro a fierce contender for New York’s best burger in WV
*Craft Tom Colicchio’s amazing original
Craftwich gourmet sandwiches, I like the meatloaf
Cupcake Stop cupcakes from a truck
Curry Express uptown side of the defining block of Curry Hill
Curry in a Hurry downtown side of the defining block of Curry Hill
*DBGB homemade sausage, mussels not to be overlooked, from Daniel Boulud on the Bowery
Deb’s gazpacho in SoHo
Dim Sum Go Go jellyfish, cuttlefish, conch, dumplings, all spectacular Chinatown dim sum
Dumont Williamsburg cafe
*Ed’s Chowder Manhattan chowder elevated, courtesy of Jeffrey Chodorow, UWS
El Nueo Amanecer LES Mexican with a fantastic tripe soup if you can stomach it
El Portal SoHo Mexican great for grazing
*Employees Only fun WV bar with a solid truffle grilled cheese sandwich
*Fat Hippo LES duck Cubano and spicy margs
Fatty Crab Asian-fusion lives up to the name
*Fish oyster and lobster deals in the WV
Five Points new American in NoHo
Flor de Sel TriBeCa tapas
Forge TriBeCa new American and interesting cocktails
*Fort Defiance serious cocktails and deviled eggs in Red Hook
*Frank hyped EV brunch spot
*Freemans LES scene
*Frying Pan floating restaurant, fried seafood
General Greene pork gets its due in Brooklyn
Gottino charcuterie and cheese to pair with wine
Gramercy Tavern well-loved three-star dining from Danny Meyer and formerly Tom Colicchio
Grand Sichuan quite authentic regional taste, with multiple locations
Hill Country not quite authentic Texas BBQ, but a fun atmosphere nonetheless
*Hundred Acres excellent sustainable/organic dining
*’Inoteca I have yet to move past the truffle egg toast on the menu
Insieme upscale Italian with pasta tasting menu in Times Square
Ippudo revered ramen in Union Square
*Iron Sushi my neighborhood sushi go-to
Isle Thai perky Thai in the Village
Izumi cozy neighborhood sushi
Jaiya spicy Thai in Curry Hill
*Je’Bon Noodle and Sushi House affordable Asian and fun vibe in EV
Jean-Georges JG fans alight, I do not
*Joe Doe anything cooked in porkfat
John Dory a thrilling way to experience seafood
*Juliette Williamsburg bistro with a pleasant atmosphere year-round
Kampuchea Cambodian num pang and spicy cocktails in LES
Kellogg’s Diner 24/7 Williamsburg diner
L’Express 24/7 Park Ave French
*La Esquina underground taco and margarita den
Les Halles popular French bistro does classics well in FiDi, Park Ave
Los Pollitos Park Slope Mexican
*Luke’s Lobster I like the EV shop’s shrimp roll as much as the lobster
*Lunasa EV fish and chips and beer
Lupa excellent Italian in bustling Village resto from Mario Battali and Denton brothers, save room for panna cotta
M&W Bakery Inc. sweet buns and a language barrier in Chinatown
*Macao Trading Co. scene is primary in TriBeCa, but food is also very good
Magnolia Bakery try the cheesecakes
Malatesta Trattoria WV neighborhood favorite, go with a group, get the spinach gnocchi
Market Table charcuterie in the WV
Mei Li Wah perfect steamed pork buns in Chinatown
Mishima sushi
*Momofuku Milk Bar creative desserts from Dave Chang empire
*Momofuku Ssam Bar pork at the heart of Dave Chang’s empire
Monkey Bar new addition to Graydon Carter’s empire
Monteleone’s Bakery Italian pastries in Brooklyn
*Mother’s homey burgers, veggie burgers, fries, beer in Williamsburg
*Motorino the city’s best pizza, in Williamsburg and the East Village
No. 7 Subs the Ace Hotel’s side project for snappy, salty sandwiches
Noodles 28 pan-Asian
Old Town Tavern old speakeasy with a famous hot dog
Oyster Bar pan roast and raw bar with publishing power lunchers and train travelers
*PDT top secret hot dogs in EV
*Penelope popular weekend brunches on Lexington
Pete’s Tavern Gramercy restaurant with long history, reliable food
Piccolo traditional Italian basics on 3rd Ave
Pickle Guys LES pickles everything
*Pinto Thai with good value in the WV
PJ Clarke’s huge burgers and a great waterfront view
Pony Bar charcuterie plate to go with the impressive beer list in Hell’s Kitchen
Port Royal Jamaican in Jamaica, Queens
Prof. Thom’s bar food from a fun EV dive
*Prune little EV restaurant with a lot of attitude, nice brunch
PS450 cocktails are the priority, and the small-plates menu is creative
Rabbit Hole good, simple food at good, simple prices in south Williamsburg
Red Cat charming Chelsea restaurant with a great skate
*Redhead a touching story of coming-to-be and a consistently pleasant experience in the EV
Republic Asian fusion in Union Square
*Resto domestic meat, imported beer off Lex
*Rice shuttered rice restaurant on Lex
*Risotteria all gluten-free, amazing risotto in WV
Russian Samovar red caviar platter and infused vodkas that smell fear, Midtown
Rusty Knot WV bar food, up a notch
Ruthy’s decorative cupcakes in Chelsea Market
*Rye meatloaf sandwich perfection in Brooklyn
Salt misleading name, fare is light and interesting, good wine list, SoHo
Serafina predictably good Italian in Midtown West
Spice Market setting’s sex appeal diverts attention from unspectacular fare from Jean Georges Vongerichten in Meat Packing
Spotted Pig pricy but perpetually trendy new American in WV from Friedman-Bloomfield duo
Stage Door Deli diner with impressive omelets in Chelsea
Stanton Social creative and delicious small-plates, love chicken and waffles
Sugarcane big flavor for big wallets with Park Ave sushi
*Sushi Bar Haji Times Square basement with Japanese noodle and seafood dishes, or spaghetti with ketchup
*Sushi Nobi a new neighborhood sushi spot on 3rd Ave
Sushi on Hudson good, no-frills sushi in WV
*Sweet Revenge best cupcakes in NYC hands-down
Sweetheart Bakery interesting empanadas in WV
SWNY Tex-Mex with a great riverside patio
Tabla Danny Meyer’s upscale Madison Square Park Indian/Mediterranean, small plates
Table 8 shuttered Govind Armstrong resto in the Cooper Square Hotel
Taj Indian lunch buffet in WV
Ten Bells good, eclectic small dishes on LES
*ThaiNY my favorite Curry Hill Thai, seitan transformed as vegetarian duck
*The Lodge substantial brunch in Williamsburg
Toloache fun upscale Mexican in Theater District, grasshopper tacos
Tortilla Flat great, cheap Mexican on West Side
*Txikito tapas with style in Chelsea
Umi Curry Hill neighborhood sushi
Union Square Cafe Danny Meyer’s understated home base
Vento Meatpacking Italian restaurant with excellent pasta, people-watching
Vespa UES Italian restaurant with beautiful courtyard patio
Vynl energetic local chain with huge menu
Wine:30 paninis to go with interesting wine list off Park Ave
Wombat Australian resto with great lobster special in Brooklyn
Yerba Bueno another great Cubano and fun atmosphere in EV
Zum Schneider German biergarten and sausagefest in Alphabet City
_____
Total: about 170

Dranken
Two notes: Several of these are restaurants where I just had wine, and this list is definitely incomplete. Given the nature of wine, I don’t always remember where I drank it.
230 5th Flatiron
675 Bar MePa
The Abbey Wburg
The Ace Hotel NoMad
Aces and Eights EV
Angels and Demons EV
Arctica 3rdAve
Arlo and Esme NoHo
Back Fence WV
Back Forty EV
Back Room LES
Bar Centrale Theater
Barbuto MePa
Barcade Wburg
Beauty Bar UnionSq
Blue Owl EV
Bobs LES
Boss Tweeds LES
Botanica LES
Bowery Hotel EV
Brooklyn Ale House Wburg
Burp Castle EV
Cafe Select SoHo
Daddy-O WV
Delicatessen SoHo
Dove Parlor WV
Dutch Plains WV
The Eldridge LES
Employees Only WV
Emporio SoHo
Entwine WV
Fiddlesticks WV
Forge Tribeca
Fort Defiance RedHook
Frying Pan WestSide
Hairy Monk 3rdAve
Half Pint WV
Heathers EV
Horseshoe Bar EV
Hotel Delmano Wburg
Hudson Hotel ColumbusCir
‘inoteca LES
Jane Hotel MePa
Janis WV
Jimmy’s No. 43 EV
Joshua Tree 3rdAve
Madame Geneva EV
Mansion WestSide
Marquee WestSide
Mason Dixon LES
McSorley’s EV
Motor City LES
N SoHo
Park Chelsea
Pencil Factory Gpoint
Pravda SoHo
Radegast Wburg
Randolph LES
Roc Tribeca
Rodeo Bar 3rdAve
Rose Bar Gramercy
Rusty Knot WV
Speakeasy UES
Standard Hotel beer garden MePa
Summit Bar EV
Sweetups Wburg
Ten Degrees EV
The Hill 3rdAve
Tom and Jerry NoHo
Tonic 3rdAve
Triple Crown EV
Trophy Bar Wburg
Turks and Frogs WV
Union Pool Wburg
Upholstery Store WV
Van Diemens 3rdAve
Vino Vino Tribeca
Von NoHo
W Union Square
Walter Foods Wburg
Whiskey Rebel 3rdAve
White Horse Tavern WV
White Slab Palace LES
The Woods Wburg
WXOU Radio Bar WV
Xai Xai HellsKitchen
XII 3rdAve
Zombie Bar CarrollGarden
Zumi Chelsea
_____
Total: about 90

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