New York: Tribeca & City Hall
SEE African Burial Ground
290 Broadway at Duane St., 212/491-2200, nypl.org/research/sc/afb/shell.html
The largest known intact colonial African cemetery in the U.S. Uncovered just over a decade ago, it spans five city blocks. Construction workers, and then archaeologists, dug up everything from decorated coffin remnants to copper cuff links to infant skeletons.
SEE The Lobby of the Woolworth Building
233 Broadway, between Barclay St. and Park Pl.
It was the tallest building in the world until 1929, but don't limit your gawking to the facade. Pop inside and check out the ornate reliefs in the lobby (open regular business hours), one of which depicts Frank Woolworth counting his store's fortune in nickels and dimes. He paid for his grand "Cathedral of Commerce" in cash. For more history, walk north and over to the triangle at Baxter St. and Park Row to see Foley Square-formerly the site of Five Points, the corrupt, hardscrabble 19th-century neighborhood that inspired Martin Scorsese's film Gangs of New York.
SEE R 20th Century
82 Franklin St., 212/343-7979, r20thcentury.com
A pioneering showroom for mid-century modern furniture and homewares. Can't afford an original Eames chair? Browse and pretend that you can.
EAT Casse-Croûte Tribeca Café
73 W. Broadway, 212/693-2212
The name means "breaking of bread." French-accented sandwiches on crusty baguettes, and more. If you're hoofing it around the neighborhood, call in your order to this très tiny, très Provençal food shop ahead of time, so you don't have to wait in line.
EAT Pakistan Tea House
176 Church St., 212/240-9800
An ultrabusy spot that's best experienced after hours. Go for a late-night nosh (it's open till 4 a.m.), and order a combo plate of chicken masala and rice with spice-flecked spinach, lentils, or cauliflower. There's a generous selection of vegetable entrées, too.
345 Greenwich St., 212/431-5888, viet-cafe.com
Wonderful native Vietnamese cuisine served under silk lanterns in a glossy feng shui dining room. Dishes, such as rice crepes, lemongrass beef burgers, and banana flan, start at around $5.
179 W. Broadway, 212/343-3883, landmarc-restaurant.com
The star of the Italian-influenced American menu is the hanger steak. Also try the goat cheese profiteroles. There's little markup on the wine, so you can get some rare half and full bottles almost at cost. Warning: Be prepared to wait, unless you're in a party of six or more, in which case you can make a reservation and go to the head of the line.
DRINK James Duane
185 Duane St., 212/925-5558
Named after the first post-American Revolution mayor of NYC and owned, curiously, by a history-obsessed Rome transplant. The walls are lined with portraits of dead U.S. presidents. There's a full bar (and food, too), but the thoughtful selection of beer and wine is the real standout. Closed Sun.
DRINK Puffy's Tavern
81 Hudson St., 212/227-3912, puffystavern.com
A totally unpretentious and well-loved neighborhood bar.
100 Lafayette St., 212/343-8088, loftworkslafayette.com
Fashionistas short on funds will want to check out this massive three-tiered designer-clothing store. Discounts, even on such sniffy labels as Prada, can reach as high as 80 percent. The staff's friendly to boot.
SHOP Pearl Paint
308 Canal St., 212/431-7932, pearlpaint.com
Every arts and crafts supply under the Gotham sun, and at smart prices, too.
PLAY The Flea Theater
41 White St., 212/226-2407, theflea.org
An award-winning performance space founded by director Jim Simpson, husband of Sigourney Weaver. The venue is intimate and the shows consistently engaging and provocative. The theater's mission? To create "a joyful hell in a small space."
PLAY Pussycat Lounge
96 Greenwich St., 212/349-4800, pussycatloungenyc.com
Leave the scantily clad ladies on level one and venture to the second floor for the real fun-great music and a beautiful crowd. The Saturday dance parties are especially hot. Warning: There's no cover, but some thimble-size drinks can be pricey.
PLAY Trapeze School New York
Hudson River Park below Canal St., between Piers 34 and 26, 917/797-1872, newyork.trapezeschool.com
At this outdoor facility you can face your fears and learn how to fly high like a circus performer. Or just stop by to watch. Experts guide you through every swing, and the company has an excellent safety record. Classes from $47.