Seattle-area Knitter Visiting Manhattan: What to Visit?

My husband and I are off to Manhattan in 2 weeks for a vacation and I’m wondering what shops or other things a knitter shouldn’t miss. We’ll be staying on the Upper West Side. My husband supports my knitting habit as it keeps him supplied with warm accessories against cold and damp Seattle. Plus he loves color and texture. It may be only a matter of time before he is a knitter too.

Suggestions? Much appreciated.

You have to go to Purl Soho. It’s a great shop!


You should definitely see the Chihuly show at the Bronx Botanical Gardens! It looks magnificent.

If you want to take a day trip up the Hudson, Tarrytown is a charming little town that has a lovely yarn shop, Flying Fingers and great little restaurants, shops, etc. Not sure who is playing at the Music Hall but they often have fantastic shows. You can take a commuter train.


Thanks so much for the info, as I and my family are from Australia and we will be staying in Manhattan for a week in September. Am also itching to visit some yarn stores.

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Purl Soho just because it is an icon. It’s the material that always amazes me.


Knitty City is on the Upper West Side! Purl Soho is nice and all, eye candy for sure and you should definitely drop in there, but I would count on Knitty City to be friendly and full of beautiful stuff. If you’re going all the way down to Purl, you might want to check out Downtown Yarns as well. If you love cashmere, seek out friendly priced and beautiful mill ends at School Products up a narrow staircase not too far from the 7th Avenue Fashion District where you might want to look into Mood Fabrics. You can also do worse than dropping into MJ Trim for buttons while you’re in that neighborhood. Kinokunia has Japanese knitting books galore, but since you’re from Seattle you probably don’t consider them the hen’s teeth that we East Coasters do. Museum shows going on at the moment you might enjoy as a knitter include the Georgia O’Keefe show at the Brooklyn Museum (open until the end of July) and the Rei Kawakubo of Comme de Garçons show at the MET. You can walk there from your UWS digs. Have fun!


Thank you all for the great suggestions!! I’ll put them on my list and we’all see what happens. We are both of the wake-up-and-decide-for-today school of traveling as opposed to the see-everything-on-the-list-no-matter-what school. Both have their strengths, of course. :slight_smile:

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Get a donut at Under West Donuts (it’s hidden in a car wash, or there’s a tiny one on the street level of Penn Station) and walk the High Line in the early morning when it first opens - 7:00 am – you’ll have the place to yourself, except for a few joggers. Pure urban oasis bliss.


That sounds wonderful! And I am a habitually early riser.

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Also some non-knitting things:

Katz’s Delicatessen on Houston Street

Arturo’s Pizza on Houston Street

The clock at the Central Park Zoo

Time Square at dusk when the lights are coming on is magical. There’s a good spot to grab a meal just off Times
Square (50th and Broadway) called Emmet O’Lunney’s. I really like their food and their prices are reasonable. A lot of the food in the area is over priced because of the tourists.

If you want a real slice of New York Pizza, don’t do it in Manhattan (except Arturo’s but they only sell pies). Go to Brooklyn. The real deal is in the outerboroughs.

Walk up Fifth Avenue from 42nd to 59th. Lot’s to see–Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Tiffany (try something on).

Any and all of the museums but I particularly like the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Egyptian Wing.

Eat a hot dog from a cart.

If you are brave, take the subway out to Coney Island and ride the cyclone. It’s a really scary roller coaster but so much fun!


IT’S LIKE JULIA IS IN MY HEAD! Her yarn shop recommendations are my top 3 in Manhattan as well. On the East Side, Annie’s has both needlepoint canvases and materials (and she does beautiful custom canvases if you find that sort of thing irresistible!) and a beautiful selection of knitting yarns, and a friendly atmosphere that even this West Sider doesn’t find “too East Side” (joking! not joking! what I’m saying is that Annie’s is friendly). Welcome to New York! Australians and New Yorkers recognize themselves in each other.


What a great collection of experiences! Can’t wait to see what we land on. Thank you so much!

Oooh, needlepoint! Why, yes, I am tempted! Thank you for the great suggestions. I am so looking forward to tis trip.

Thank you all for info, have my yarn and fabric destinations map pinned out, so excited. Can I also ask where to eat at a reasonable price? Don’t want to live on fast food but not after haute cuisine either!

Alas, inexpensive food is hard to come by in Manhattan but not impossible.

For dinner:

If you are in the Times Square area and don’t want to eat at a chain, try Emmett O’Lunney’s on 50th just off Broadway. The food is good and, for the area, reasonable. But that still means a $15 burger. If you go there, tell Emmett that the Karen the knitter sent you. We always go there after Vogue Knitting.

One of the least known great deals in NYC is Becco’s Sinfonia di Pasta. $25 bucks for three different kinds of pasta, Caesar salad and antipasto. And they bring seconds. And thirds. They also have a $25 a bottle wine list. Considering that wine can easily run $12 a glass in Manhattan this is a fantastic deal. Becco is a Mario Batalli and Lidia Bastianich restaurant. The downstairs is always packed and lively. Upstairs is more serene. Make a reservation now if you want to go there.

Sylvia’s in Harlem is always fun. The food is good and the price is right. A real New York joint. Try for Gospel Sunday. I would make a reservation here too.

Take the subway out to Astoria for fantastic middle eastern food. If you don’t have an adventurous palate, don’t worry. There is something for everyone.

Chinatown. Always look for the restaurant with the most Chinese people eating in it. There’s a really good dim sum place under the Manhattan Bridge.

If you want to leave the city but not go too far, try X20 in Yonkers for the Dylan Lounge specials. It is literally steps from the Yonkers Metro North train. Under $30 for a three course meal. The restaurant is on the second floor of the Yonkers City Pier so the Hudson River experience is fantastic. Peter Kelly is an amazing chef (he kicked Bobby Flay’s ass on Iron Chef which made me very happy because I loathe Bobby Flay). He is also one of the few super high end chef’s who have made a deep commitment to front of the house diversity. The staff genuinely reflects the people who live in the area, he brings much needed wages into the area, and it is some of the finest service I’ve ever enjoyed. Call ahead 914-965-9100 to find out what’s on the menu. Plan it so you can have cocktails outside at The Dolphin’s outdoor bar. (And let me know if you are going there and I will meet you for a wine.) X20 also has a fantastic Sunday brunch. Three courses with hors d’oeuvres served between the courses. And all the bubbly you can drink. It comes in at about $50 per person but if you are of the school of m-more mimosas (or Bellinis or straight prosecco), you can’t beat it. They pour it like the Russian’s are marching on Yonkers.

If you want to spend some bucks (big bucks) for a really unique NYC experience, go for drinks at The Campbell Apartment at Grand Central. It will take you way back in time.

For breakfast just grab whatever your hotel offers and you can usually find a reasonable coffee shop for lunch. You can always just grab a slice (Manhattan pizza is fine–it’s just not really authentic NY pizza–you get that in the outerboroughs) or a hot dog. Perhaps some falafel from a food truck.


I second Becco, Sylvia’s, and Chinatown, and all the yarn shop recommendations.

Thank you so much for taking the time to post such an in depth reply. I have “googled” all your suggestions and discussed with family, we will definitely be visiting as many as we can. Your tip about Chinatown is also the one we use when visiting Melbourne. We are wanting to see as much of New York as possible so knowing where we can eat alleviates some angst and time wasting.

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Street food and lots of snacks are cheap options - A pretzel from a cart, a hot dog from the last Gray’s Papaya (72 and Amsterdam), Chicken and rice from one of the Halal Guys carts (get the white sauce and thank me later). Shake shack for a delicious burger. Graze your way through Eataly. Dumplings at Mimi Chengs. Cookies from Schmackerys. Gourmet pretzels from Sigmunds. Graze your way through Chelsea Market. Grand Central has great food halls. Eat inside a the Japanese supermarket- Sunrise Mart (get the fries, yes, the :fries:) And ice cream! It’s the golden age of frozen desserts in NYC - Van Leuwens (I think I’m spelling this wrong), Big Gay Ice Cream, Soft Swerve, Taiyaki, Ample Hills, Ice and Vice, a ton of shave ice places. Start following FoodBabyNY on instagram for lots of ice cream and pizza places.
Can you tell I wanted to be food critic when I grew up?


Thank you!! So much to experience, don’t think we will go hungry. :sunglasses:. :statue_of_liberty::dollar:

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I’ll just add that I took a new knitter to Purl Soho and we had excellent help and left with a lot. Knitty City, not so much. They had a better bag, which I love, but my friend and student didn’t end up buying anything there because she couldn’t get any real help.

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