From airport:

see: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g60763-s301/New-York-City:New-York:Arriving.And.Departing.html

 The location:

Once you get to Manhattan, The Graduate Center is easy to find. It is housed in the historic B. Altman building. The building is located on Fifth Avenue between 34th and 35th Streets, the building is two blocks east of Penn Station, one block east of Herald Square, and two blocks west of the 33rd Street and Park Avenue station. The closest subway station, located at 34th Street and Avenue of the Americas, is served by the B, D, F, N, R, and Q trains.
Penn Station is served at Seventh Avenue by the 1, 2, 3, and 9 IRT trains, as well as the A, C, and E lines at the Eighth Avenue station one block west. Detailed information on bus and subway transport in New York City can be found at the website of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), see: http://www.mta.info

Food Options

–  The 8th floor cafeteria is a good option though usually it is only available for lunch

–  For coffee, there are multiple  Starbucks locations within one block

Ali Baba Turkish Cuisine  ( E 34th b/t Tunnel Exit St & 3rd Ave) – some of the best Doner kebab and Beyti kebab around

Cho Dang Gol Korean Restaurant (go up 5th ave to 35th street and walk West) – many other korean options are also available on 32nd st.

–  Heartland Brewery – (also in the Empire State Building across the street from the GC) – standard american fair (touristy)

–   Anjappar Chettinad  – 28th and lexington – more of a trek but very good Indian Cuisine here and elsewhere nearby on lexington ave

–   Ravagh Persian Grill – 30th between 5th and madison – excellent grilled meats, kebob, and vegetables, and other 

– Chipotle  – 34th street (near 5th ave) in the Empire State building –  for quick and reasonable mexican food

Stuff to do

 

New Music in Bryant Park
Monday, June 1, 2015
5:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
From NYCParks.gov, “Award-winning classical and jazz ensembles perform back to back each week, showcasing works commissioned by Chamber Music America.”
Location:  Upper Terrace in Bryant Park, 6th Avenue and 41st Street, Manhattan.

Dancing in Bryant Park
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
From NYCParks.gov, “This social dance party features popular dance instructors plus an incredible band each week, and is hosted and produced by Talia Castro-Pozo. From novices to experts, all are welcome. Lessons 6:00 – 7:00p.m., followed by dancing to live music 7:00 – 8:30p.m.
Location: Fountain Terrace in Bryant Park, 6th Avenue and 41st Street, Manhattan.

Bryant Park Yoga
Thursday, June 4, 2015
6:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.
From NYCParks.gov, “Perfect your downward dog under the trees at our 12th season of outdoor yoga classes, presented by Athleta with media support from Flavorpill. Mats are provided by Athleta – no need to bring your own!”
Location: Bryant Park Lawn in Bryant Park, 6th Avenue and 41st Street, Manhattan.
RSVP online at https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__yoga.bryantpark.org&d=AwIF-g&c=8v77JlHZOYsReeOxyYXDU39VUUzHxyfBUh7fw_ZfBDA&r=p-EhejnrqHISs7ZG9Q8WV25ls-1NS5exTcScoILenDM&m=vMlZWEB4sn_ivDG_afxk2GONzwhKRXSHfIorT19e7j0&s=SB6pm61DIOmZyIOecMSrk-7gkwDMtWDWExo68GcoGTo&e= . Walk-ins are also welcome.

Hudson Warehouse: Henry IV Part I
Thursday, June 4, 2015
6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
From NYCParks.gov, “The mission of Hudson Warehouse is to present the classics in exciting productions inspired by our past and relevant to our present day. We want to educate the novice and enthrall the well-versed.”
Location: Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument in Riverside Park, West 89th Street and Riverside Drive, Manhattan
https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.nycgovparks.org_events_2015_06_05_hudson-2Dwarehouse-2Dpresents&d=AwIF-g&c=8v77JlHZOYsReeOxyYXDU39VUUzHxyfBUh7fw_ZfBDA&r=p-EhejnrqHISs7ZG9Q8WV25ls-1NS5exTcScoILenDM&m=vMlZWEB4sn_ivDG_afxk2GONzwhKRXSHfIorT19e7j0&s=JruX8OJYe2JfVQeSbO0z2xSCjbMicaZroXdGeF6VuTo&e=

New York Classical Theatre: The Taming of the Shrew
Thursdays – Sundays, June 4 – June 28
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
From NewYorkClassical.org, “New York Classical Theatre creates and reinvigorates audiences for the theatre by presenting free and accessible productions of popular classics and forgotten masterpieces in non-traditional public spaces throughout New York City.”
This group does a fantastic job!  They are unconventional in that the audience must follow the actors as they move around to incorporate the scenery of the park into their performances.
Location: Central Park (Enter at West 103rd Street & Central Park West)
https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.newyorkclassical.org_&d=AwIF-g&c=8v77JlHZOYsReeOxyYXDU39VUUzHxyfBUh7fw_ZfBDA&r=p-EhejnrqHISs7ZG9Q8WV25ls-1NS5exTcScoILenDM&m=vMlZWEB4sn_ivDG_afxk2GONzwhKRXSHfIorT19e7j0&s=tLseYndxz1KcniAUEnUaBwgU1K9h5hKb1780WPAg0H4&e=

Friday, May 29th: NYC Event: Opening Day of the One World Trade Center Observatory
From the 4-08-15 Metro newspaper: “The spectacular One World Observatory will open May 29, officials said Tuesday.  On May 29, One World Observatory will officially open its doors to the public – – offering visitors an inspiring and unparalleled opportunity to experience New York City…
One World Trade Center, at 1,792 feet and 104 floors, is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and was constructed on the site where the Twin Towers, destroyed in the 9/11 attacks, once stood.  The observatory is on three levels, on floors 100, 101, and 103.  Open seven days/week.  Tickets run $32 for adults, $30 for seniors, and $26 for kids.  Tickets are on sale at https://oneworldobservatory.com.

*Central Park, Empire State building, World Trade Center, Statue of Liberty
http://www.citysightsny.com/
* Grand Central Terminal is nearby and nice to see
* And there are the museums: http://www.ny.com/museums/all.museums.html
One that’s not on the list is The Musuem of Mathematics, momath.org
*There’s also Grant’s Tomb: http://www.nps.gov/gegr/index.htm
* New York Classical Theatre: http://www.newyorkclassical.org/
* The Staten Island Ferry is free  gives a great view of the city skyline and statue of liberty.
* The Brooklyn Bridge is nice to walk/bike across and offers a great view of lower manhattan.
* Bryant Park and Union Square often host events during the summer
* Free Kayaking: http://www.downtownboathouse.org/calendar/
* Check the NYC Parks website for things to do: http://www.nycgovparks.org/events
* McSorely’s Old Ale House is very cool.  It’s the oldest Irish pub in NYC.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McSorley%27s_Old_Ale_House

The metropolitan museum is a good idea for some who like art. The Cloisters is an interesting place for someone who likes medieval architecture. More options for art include the MoMa, the Guggenheim, and the Frick collection.

More science-related exhibits can be found at the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Mathematics (MoMath).

For those who enjoy walking outdoors, the High Line is an enjoyable walk that stretches for a large part of the south-western part of Manhattan. To get away from the crowds and noise of the city, central park, the Brooklyn botanical garden, and the Bronx botanical garden are options (though central park is typically crowded in the summer).

Certain neighborhoods are also interesting to simply check out, eat good food, or browse through interesting shops. These include Manhattan Chinatown (mostly Cantonese-speaking), St. Marks (Eastern European and Japanese), Flushing Chinatown (mostly Mandarin-speaking), Soho and Bleecker street (shopping), Harlem, Dumbo, Bedford and Williamsburg (large congregation of hipsters), Greenpoint (Polish neighborhood), Astoria (large Brazilian and Greek community), Coney Island, Jackson Heights (large Hispanic and Indian community), Elmhurst (large Thai population), Forest Hills (a slightly old-fashioned area with private neighborhoods). Places that have large ethnic communities tend to have excellent food.