It used to be you had to leave the Jacob Javits Center neighborhood for post-show drinks or food. But of late, the area, dubbed by various names (including "Hell's Kitchen," "Midtown West," "Clinton" and--best of all--"Hudson Yards"), offers many more options. Here, thanks to Lonely Planet and U.S. editor Robert Reid, are a handful of the best things to do to break from BookExpo America (June 3-7), all within a five- or 10-minute walk.
Best café/pub: Hudson Yards Cafe
If you can't handle the pre-made sandwiches at Javits one more time, the best place for a bite (or a beer) is Hudson Yards Cafe, a slick spot with lots of natural light, a full eating area, and a bar filled with locals watching a muted Yankees game. Pub grub is far better than average. It's one quick block east, via W. 35th St. on Tenth Avenue.
Best riverside drinks: Frying Pan
Pier 66, at 26th St (eight blocks south of the center), transforms into a fun, lively open-air bar on a former "lightship" anchored to an old railroad barge. It's usually standing room only on nice afternoons. There's some food, but the focus is on drinks. It's open May to October only.
Best space shuttle: Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
By far the best space shuttle in the neighborhood will be the Enterprise, which is temporarily at JFK Airport and is scheduled to take up permanent residence at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on Pier 86 (46th St.) during BEA. The shuttle should float by barge up the Hudson on Wednesday, June 6. Assuming there are no delays, this could make for a once-in-a-lifetime view from the back of the Javits Center or nearby. The shuttle exhibition will open to the public in July.
Best place to clear your head: The High Line
More praised than any urban park in recent memory, the elevated and artsy High Line is a must-walk experience for anyone visiting the west side of Manhattan. Two of the three planned sections of the elevated train tracks turned modern park are now complete, and will eventually reach very near the southern side of the Javits Center. Cutouts frame the streets below like moving urban artscapes, vendors provide much high-end coffee and gelato, and art installations and creative neighbors turn the walk into one of New Yorks most inspiring galleries.
Best biking: Enoch's Bicycles
If the weather's nice, the best way to recharge yourself amidst (or after) a day at a trade show, is an hour or two loop by bike. This bike shop rents bikes for an hour ($10) or by hour ($8). You could ride up and take the Central Park loop in a leisurely 90 minutes, or head west to the Hudson River, and ride up, past sculpture parks and tucked-away basketball courts, to the surprise under the George Washington Bridge: the little red lighthouse that inspired a classic children's book. Enoch's Bicycles is one block east of Javits Center via W. 37th St.
Best shopping: B&H and Hell's Kitchen Flea Market
The New York icon, B&H Photo & Video, is where any electronic junkie local goes to for a new digital camera or tote bag. Run by observant Hasidic Jews, B&H is closed on Saturdays and Jewish holidays--otherwise it's worth a look to talk with specialists about purchases and to take in the surreal, highly efficient scene of conveyor belts transporting items to customers past the cashier line. It's at the corner of W. 34th St and Ninth Avenue.
On weekends all year, W. 39th St between Ninth and Tenth Avenues transforms into one of the city's best (remaining) open-air flea markets. It's held 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and is only a five- to 10-minute walk away.
Best art: Exit Art
Around since 1982, Exit Art is an experimental local gallery with an ambitious, frequently political, lineup of exhibits.
Best bowling: Lucky Strike Lanes
Had it with the debates over the digital future? Bowl, dammit, bowl! A few blocks north, at the corner of W. 42nd St. and 12th Avenue, Lucky Strike Lanes is a Midtown classic bowling alley/bar. It offers a half-off happy hour on cocktails from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, and an all-you-can-bowl deal is $22 on Mondays (8 p.m. to 2 a.m.).
Best view: Yes, New Jersey!
Honestly, there's something empowering about skipping the taxi line at the end of a convention day and just going to Jersey. More specifically, to Hoboken by boat (the short trip to Hoboken is $9 one way) and grants you one of New York's greatest views few locals know about.
Hoboken, Frank Sinatra's hometown, gets a broader look at the long Manhattan skyline (mainly from Midtown south) than any vantage point in New York's outer boroughs. The waterfront is gorgeous, with piers, grassy island parks and eating spots with outside seats off the shady promenade. And a weird cave linked to Edgar Allan Poe.
Afterward, you can take a PATH train back into Manhattan from Hoboken's historic train station, or boat back to Javits or points in southern Manhattan. N.Y. Waterway ferries leave from the pier at 39th St. for Hoboken's 14th Street stop (don't get out at Weehawken by mistake) every 20 minutes through the day. Check schedules here. The pier is one block northwest of Javits.