Stuck at Penn Station waiting on a train? That’s not a bad thing. There’s plenty of ways to take a bite of the big apple that is New York City while you pass the time until your departure.
The station is centrally situated on 34th st and 8th avenue, so almost any direction – east, north or south – will lead to a neighborhood pulsing with that one of a kind New York attitude and ambiance. West takes you to the Hudson River, also worth an experience.
Shopping, snacking, shows and so much more await you just a few blocks away!
Chillin’ in Chelsea
The legendary and gorgeous Chelsea neighborhood starts roughly 6 blocks south of the station. Chelsea is a deliciously eclectic mix of upscale and gritty ambiances.
One of Chelsea’s main attractions takes you west to the Hudson River waterfront. It’s the High Line, which starts on 30th Street between 10th and 11th avenue. The High Line is a converted garden and park perched atop the streets on a former elevated railway track. It’s a very insta-ble stroll!
Get off around 23rd street and make your way to Chelsea Piers, a sports and entertainment complex with oh so many games to occupy you. Bowling. Boat rides. Rock climbing. It’s outdoor adventure in a natural oasis amongst the concrete.
Time for Times Square
If you want to hoof it a little farther in the other direction, the center of the world is just 8 blocks north! Times Square, probably the most-trafficked tourist hub on earth.
Suggesting just one thing to do, or even five is an impossible task. Best to just wander around after leaving your bags at Stasher right there in the station so you can easily retrieve them when it’s time to go.
If you’re one of those people who just must have a destination, and you have time, take in a show! Head to the TKTS booth for heavily discounted day-of seats to the hottest Broadway musicals. If they’re sold out, as they often are, try an off-broadway gem. You might be surprised and have a little more cash left in your pocket.
On Sunday afternoons or most evenings, you don’t even have to attend the show to get an autograph from one of the movie stars moonlighting on Broadway. They will often sign programs if you wait by the theater’s back door. Or grab a bite in an establishment on Restaurant Row, where you can sometimes catch them dining before or after the show.
Closer to the station – in fact, attached to it – is Madison Square Garden, the largest sports and music arena in New York City. Home to nationally recognized teams like the Rangers and the Knicks, sometimes you can catch musical legends like Billy Joel or Paul Simon performing in extended residencies there.
Save Some Money For Shopping
Not on shopping, for shopping. This is New York City. Sure, there’s plenty to do while you wait for the train, but do you have something to do on the train? Give your phone battery and data carrier a rest and pick up some genuine, hold it in your hands print literature.
New York City has always been the headquarters and lifeblood of the comics industry, with both DC and Marvel keeping home offices in this proverbial Gotham. Or Metropolis, if you prefer Superman. Pick up some funny books or serious graphic novels at one of the city’s flagship stores, Midtown Comics on 40th Street and Seventh Avenue. You might recognize it from the National Geographic Channel reality show, Comic Store Heroes.
Don’t like pictures with your stories? Try that old-fashioned antique market, the bookstore. Near the station is a unique kind of book store, The Drama Book Store. Here you can find specialty books from classic plays and current films to acting instruction, biographies and theatre history. It’s on the same block as Midtown Comics.
Need a stunning outfit to show off at home? Head east up 34th Street and you’ll hit ground zero for flagship stores, from Macy’s to Victoria’s Secret, in the historic Herald Square. You’ve seen Macy’s in movies like “Miracle on 34th Street” and “Annie”, now you can take home a stylish souvenir from any of their diverse departments, from chocolate to cologne to designer wear.
Or you could just…
Stay In The Station
Whether grabbing a quick bite after shopping or short on time to duck out before your trip, you can satisfy your appetite at Kabooz Bar and Grill, a restaurant serving American classics which was voted “Best of NY” in Village Voice.
Enjoy your adventures!