The Dramatic Work of Rich and Joyce Swingle

Things to do in NYC

02.02.11 08:29 PM Comment(s) By Rich

We've lived in New York City for 30 years, and here are some of our favorite things to do, but we hope you'll add to the list in the comments...

TKTS: Half price Broadway and Off-Broadway tickets on Times Square. Rush tickets and electronic lotteries. It's an app for phones and tablets. They claim to offer the cheapest tickets anywhere, and the only exception to that might be rush or lottery tickets. (See the next line for info.) If you buy a ticket on TodayTix and use our code (BVGVW) you'll get $10 off and we'll receive a $10 credit once you've seen your show. Be sure to enter our referral code BVGVW at checkout. If you go to the box office, you can often get standing room, rush, lottery and/or obstructed view seats for less than the half-price tickets for good seats. Our friend Fritz told us that is a way to find what's offered in those categories.

Playbill DiscountsPlaybill publishes programs for all Broadway shows, and they also post discounts.

Pray Over Broadway Live: I pray with a friend over Broadway theatres every week, so let us know if you'd like to join us. We're flexible on the day and usually start at 9 a.m., but that can be flexible, too. If you'd like, you can make a guest appearance on my webcast:

The Met, Natural History Museum, Museum of Modern Art, The Guggenheim, etc., etc. Most have a suggested donation, and they really don't give you a hard time if you pay less than the recommendation. And they will be happy for you to pay more. Bank of America card-holders can get in free on certain weekends. 

One you might not think to look for is the Tenement Museum: "Visitors can take building tours of the recreated homes of our former residents between the 1860s and the 1980s as well as walking tours of the neighborhood they lived in."

9/11 Memorial and Museum, Freedom Tower Observatory: I perform a play about 9/11 (, and the widow of one of the characters I portray gives tours of the grounds. If you're interested I can see if she's available. 

Tall Buildings
The Empire State Building: Go near sunset so you can see the day and night views.

Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Plaza): There is an expensive restaurant up there, where you can watch The Empire State Building as the sun sets.

Freedom Tower: See the city from 1776 feet in the air, directly over the 9/11 Memorial.

The EdgeThe highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere.

Staten Island Ferry: You can ride it for free and come close to The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. You can also pay for the ferry which will take you there, and the tour is quite interesting.

Tram to Roosevelt Island: You could take the subway there, but the tram gives you quite a great view before your arrival. Joyce and I took a walk around the island when we were first falling in love, so we're quite partial to it. It has a phenomenal view of Manhattan.

Bryant Park: Ice skating in the winter, free movies Monday nights in the summer.

Central Park: Skating in the winter, beautiful walks in the spring and summer, leaf peeping in the fall, and carriage rides all year round. The Boat House (this is where I proposed) closed in October of '22, another casualty of the lockdowns, but our gondolier had high hopes that someone would buy it, so it's definitely worth checking out. 

The bike path: It circumnavigates most of Manhattan, but the west side is the most continuous. You can rent bikes where 43rd Street meets the Hudson. There's a great little restaurant there, where you can watch dancing fountains. Here are highlights of us cycling around the island:

The Brooklyn Bridge: Walk it from the Brooklyn side at sunset, or from Manhattan into "DUMBO" (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass), or after a service at Brooklyn Tabernacle.

Brooklyn Tabernacle: Hear their world-famous choir.

Times Square Church, which meets in a Broadway theatre: Pastor David Wilkerson's story The Cross and the Switchblade was one of the inspirations for my move to NYC in 1993. There's a service almost every night of the week.

Redeemer Presbyterian Church: The founding pastor, Tim Keller, was a coveted speaker around the world and author of books such as The Reason for God.

Hillsong NYC: The Australian worshippers have landed in Manhattan.

Liberty Church: We've heard good things.

Calvary Baptist: The brother of Kathy Lee Gifford preaches at this beautiful, historic church...under renovation, but expected to return to that space soon.

Westchester Chapel: It's north of the city, but it's where my beloved bride, Joyce is an associate pastor.

Unique Neighborhoods
Little Italy: Have a canoli or a full meal.

China Town: Real Chinese food and shopping.

Korea Town: Superb Korean BBQ.


Chelsea Piers: Go rock climbing, play basketball or tennis, or practice your golf swing.

Rock climbing: We have a climbing gym right in our building:

Professional Sports: US Open, Yankees, Mets, Giants, Jets, Rangers, Islanders, Devils, Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, Red Bulls, NY Liberty, NY Football Club (Soccer), Sky Blue Football Club (soccer), Lizards, Rattlers, Cosmos.

The New York Public Research Library: Right next to Bryant Park, the building is worth touring even if you don't want to do research. There's often a museum-quality exhibit on the first floor, and the Reading Room on the top floor should not be missed.

Gracie Mansion: The mayor's abode. We've never been inside, but it's a lovely walk in that neighborhood, steps from the East River.

The Financial District: See the bull, watch the market open and/or close, and visit Fraunces Tavern, a working restaurant where our founding fathers gathered.

Macy's: It's the largest department store in the US, and they still have a couple of wooden escalators running. It was the largest in the world until it was surpassed in 2009 by a Korean store, Shinsegae.

The UN: You can arrange for tours.

Post something else below, or if you think of something later, come back to  
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