SITE Northeast celebrates NYC

Hundreds of SITE members and friends will be descending on New York City shortly for the 2023 SITE Global Conference. We’ve gone straight to our in-association experts who know the city best for their tips and tricks on what’s worth your time, in a city with so much on offer, and with so much to celebrate.

Discover what members of SITE Northeast past and present suggest to help you make the most of your time in NYC.

Megan McHale, Director of Global Sales, East Coast — Rocco Forte Hotels

If you're looking for the perfect celebratory activity in New York City, my recommendation is to head down to the West Village to Marie’s Crisis Cafe, a 184-year-old piano bar that hosts nightly show tune sing-a-longs. I guarantee it is the most fun you will ever have and if you’re lucky, Broadway-level talent might show up to belt out a couple of tunes.

Refuel down the block at John’s of Bleecker Street — the very best pizza in New York City (ahem, the world). And if the night still feels young, walk over to Arthur’s Tavern for the best live jazz turned dance party.

And you can’t come to New York without visiting a museum or two. Here are my favorite ones, with nearby spots for lunch:

  • Tenement Museum and Katz’s Deli (Lower East Side)
  • Neue Galerie and Café Sabarsky (Upper East Side)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art and JG Melon (Upper East Side)
  • The Whitney and Chelsea Market (Chelsea)
  • Museum of the City of New York and Archer & Goat (Upper East Side/Harlem)

Michaela Foley, CMP, CITP — Director of Sales, 360 Destination Group New York

Welcome to New York, we are excited to have you!

Did you know there’s currently an indoor ice-skating experience high in the sky? You can glide above New York City at Sky Skate, a 1,024 square foot rink.

If skating isn’t your thing try to squeeze in some time on Broadway. Current shows I’m loving are SIX, & Juliet, and Funny Girl. I’m also looking forward to Bad Cinderella, which starts February 17th.

If you don’t have time for a show then check out the Broadway Museum, which is walking distance from the Marriott Marquis and is perfectly curated for every type of Broadway fan.

Staying after the conference? Check out the Rangers taking on the Winnipeg Jets on Monday night or see Carrie Underwood belt it out on her Denim and Rhinestones Tour Tuesday Night. An event at MSG [Madison Square Garden] is one you’re not soon to forget. LET’s GO RANGERS!

Andrea Puizina, CITP, HMCC — Director of Global Accounts MICE, NH Hotel Group (part of MINOR Hotels)

Speakeasy NYC! One of my favorite things to do in the city that never sleeps is to discover speakeasies: bars that came into prominence in the United States during the Prohibition era, and received their name “speak easy” from police officers who had trouble locating the bars since people inside them spoke quietly (Editor’s note: stay tuned for something the Global Conference team is brewing up behind the scenes for Saturday night of Global Conference, too…).

My favorite one is The Back Room, one of only two speakeasies that operated during Prohibition and is still in existence today. Also don’t forget to check out Bathtub Gin — hidden behind a nondescript coffee shop (yes, there is huge bathtub in the middle). And for a completely distinctive experience, visit Apotheke Chinatown. Their holistic approach to drinking well is unique and you will be tasting cocktails with signature house-made ingredients; local and organic botanicals and ancient healing herbal combinations.

Have fun, and drink responsibly!

Amy Somer, CMP — Senior Event Manager, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company

Pizza! NYC has THE BEST pizza! Grabbing a slice is usually the first thing I do when I get to the city. Of course there’s an age-old debate of who has the best pizza — ask any New Yorker for their favorite!

Near Times Squares, two of mine are:

  • John’s Pizzeria at 260 W. 44th Street - no slices, but they do have gluten free options
  • Joe’s Pizza at 1435 Broadway.

Oh, and bagels! Try Zucker’s at 1065 Sixth Avenue. It really must be in the water, enjoy!

Stella Cruz Ortiz — B2B Marketing Manager, NYC & Company

If you have some extra days before or after the conference, I'd recommend venturing outside Manhattan to…

  • The Bronx: There’s plenty of options for foodies here. I love Café 787 and Chocobar Cortés in Mott Haven. Arthur Avenue is also cool if you want to experience another version of Little Italy.
  • Brooklyn: Head over to DUMBO and the Time Out Market, where you can take in amazing views of downtown Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge from the Market's upper level.
  • Staten Island: Take the free ferry to Staten Island, a great way to see the City and Lady Liberty. Just a short drive from the ferry station, Snug Harbor Cultural Center boasts an art museum and a beautiful Chinese Scholar Garden.
  • Queens: Check out some amazing museums in Queens. MoMa PS1, Socrates Sculpture Park, and The Noguchi Museum are all a short ways away from Astoria, where the restaurant options are endless.

Lumi Hilchey — Regional Director USA/Canada, German Convention Bureau

The Bean!

If you’re familiar with the Chicago Bean, you can now see its sibling in NYC. It’s something you can visit while enjoying a walk in Tribeca.

The sculpture (created by the same British artist Anish Kapoor who created the Chicago one) was recently unveiled, so you are just in time!

Unlike the Chicago sculpture, which occupies a prominent public plaza in Millennium Park, the Tribeca bean is wedged beneath the canopy of 56 Leonard Street, a luxury condominium building (between Church Street and W Broadway). The piece weighs 40 tons and is 48 feet long by 19 feet high.


Brenda L. Davis — EA to CEO and Travel Manager, Americas

If you want to keep it simple but treat yourself to some really good comfort food that is also affordable, you must visit Jackson Hole Burgers. They have several saloons setup all over New York City and New Jersey.  However, my favorite Saloon is located on East 64th Street.  It is the original, with lots of personality and really good burgers! Please come with a good appetite — the burgers are huge!! 

Greg Byrnes, CIS — Senior Regional Sales Manager, PRA

I know it’s winter; however, grab your jacket, bundle up and head outside to discover our public parks.

First, Central Park is undoubtedly our best asset in New York City. Even if it's for a quick 20-minute walk, jump into our 842-acre park and you will feel like you left the concrete jungle behind.

If you are on the West Side, be sure to walk our High Line and stop by the brand-new Little Island. This elevated oasis sits on an old abandoned pier and there are often musicians, a coffee truck and spaces to run around for the entire gang. The views aren’t too shabby either!

Finally, back near the Flatiron Building sits Madison Square Park — a true NYC staple. Often manicured with rotating art displays, this park is a true retreat for locals and workers needing those moments of reprise. The original Shake Shack also has its home in this park (we love our food!).

Sophia Lin Kanno, CITP — Regional Creative Director, PRA

There is so much to do in NYC, and while it’s no secret that you can get into the nicest restaurants and experience the coolest museums, there is still a lot to do in NYC that is also free! Here are some of my most favorite free experiences in NYC.

  • Love's h|Edge @ Duffy Square at 46th & Broadway: Journey through four heart-shaped hedge rows designed by @almostudio, winner of the 15th annual Love & Design Competition.  Try to catch one of the Daily Rose Dedications at 1 OM every day!
  • Governors Island: You’ll need to take a public ferry from 10 South Street ($4 for round-trip fare), but once you are there, the panoramic views of New York City from the island are some of the best in the Big Apple! Tons of bike and walking paths, public art, hammocks for lounging, playgrounds and slide down Slide Hill that houses the 57 foot-long, three story-high slide — the longest in NYC. Try to catch the one-day Governors Island Winter Ice Sculpture Show (February 18) if you can!
  • High Line @ 30th Street and 10th Avenue (southeast side entrance closest access point from Times Square): Take a walk on the High Line and immerse yourself in the concrete jungle. The High Line is a Public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. Saved from demolition by neighborhood residents and the City of New York, the High Line opened in 2009 as a hybrid public space where visitors experience nature, art, and design. Grab a pair of sneakers, a hot coffee and take a brisk walk to capture those urban vibes of NYC.
  • Yayoi Kusama X Louis Vuitton Pop-Up @ 70 Gansevoort Street: Famous illusion and polka dot artist Yayoi Kusama has collaborated with Louis Vuitton for an amazing immersive experience in NYC. This free exhibit that is dizzying and inspirational all at the same time. Be sure not to miss the very lifelike Yayoi Kusama robot in the window as well.
  • “Havah.….to breathe, air, life” Multi-Media Exhibition at Madison Square Park and on the courthouse rooftop on Madison Avenue and 25th Street: Created by Artist Shahzia Sikander, “the multimedia project focuses on women and justice and includes two golden female figures, a video projection, and an AR experience.”  Be sure to not only enjoy the physical sculpture, but also open the Snapchat app on your device to scan a Snapcode and unlock an augmented reality experience to enhance the exhibition.

Written by

SITE Staff


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