A Football Fanatic’s Weekend Itinerary in New York CityBy Stacey Lastoe
On any given Sunday, the New York Jets take on one of their opponents, and fans all across the region cheer for the Green and White and — win or lose — have a blast doing it. The options for a Jets-inspired weekend in New York City are really enough to fill a week, but this itinerary whittles down the fun to three football-focused days.
But what do real football pros recommend? Marriott Bonvoy Traveler spoke to New York Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson, who shared his thoughts on how to enjoy game days in the city.
Featuring a healthy dose of good eats, wellness activities and good old-fashioned sports entertainment, here is a weekend itinerary in New York City for football fanatics.
As always, check for travel guidelines and closures before planning your trip.
The Friday Before Game Day
As you gear up for Sunday’s big game, you’ll want to make sure you have the right gear. Thankfully, the New York Jets team store has you covered, whether it’s a jersey, baseball cap or new hoodie you’re after.
After you’ve loaded up on Jets attire and accessories, grab a late-afternoon coffee or chai from Ground Central Coffee Company, where the sea-salted chocolate chip cookie will get you through your first busy NYC day.
If you’re a casual (or even a serious) runner, the NYC Hash is a fantastic way to kick off a weekend that’s sure to involve a good amount of eating and drinking. What is NYC Hash, you ask? It’s a running club, involving beer, that regularly makes its way through Manhattan on Friday evenings. There’s a good chance you’ll meet like-minded Jets fans while “hashing.” Plus, the 3- to 5-mile run ends at a local watering hole, where songs are sung, beer is swilled and pizza is devoured.
Non-runners might want to opt for a yoga class — if you wind up on your feet at the game on Sunday or in a bar that’s standing room only, you’ll be grateful for Kula Yoga’s hip-opening exercises.
The Saturday Before Game Day
If you’re not brunching in the West Village, you’re missing out. There’s a reason this Manhattan neighborhood is popping on Saturdays cme brunch time — there are just that many destination-worthy eateries.
Take Market Table on Carmine Street, for example. One of the city’s first true farm-to-table restaurants, Market Table offers seasonally rotating brunch options. You might start off with a lox plate or go big with a chicken and scallion waffle. The latter is best washed down with a glass of orange wine or perhaps a seasonal favorite, the “‘Mad’hattan” (cinnamon and vanilla infused rum, cherry liqueur and sweet vermouth).
After brunch, a leisurely stroll and maybe some window-shopping, head uptown to Central Park.
Although there’s never really a bad time to visit Central Park, the best time to throw a ball around and play some touch football is on a Saturday afternoon in autumn. Peep leaves while you take on the position of your favorite Jets player. Chill out with snacks and sodas on the Great Lawn when you’ve had enough of tossing the ball.
Head to 82 Stanton, one of the bars in the Jets network, for dinner and the game du jour as you continue to practice patience for tomorrow’s big game. The food menu here is a bit limited, but with wings this good, you won’t want anything else. Except for maybe garlic knots. And onion rings. Oh, and a can of whatever seasonal Montauk beer is available.
Game Day Sunday
Sleep late to save your energy for shouting “J-E-T-S Jets, Jets, Jets!” with fellow fans at the game; instead of a big, belly-busting brunch, hit up a bagel shop like Murray’s Bagels or Russ & Daughters. Lines move quickly with a New York sense of urgency, so don’t let them stop you from getting your bacon, egg and cheese on an everything bagel at the former or scallion cream cheese and belly lox on a garlic bagel at the latter.
If you don’t have tickets for the game in East Rutherford, New Jersey, wide receiver Garrett Wilson has a couple of suggestions. Want to be close to the action? Wilson told Marriott Bonvoy Traveler: “I would say you find the best tailgate outside of [the stadium] and, you know, tag along with some of the fans and still feel the energy of the game.”
Alternatively, you can hang with other Jets fans at one of the many bars in the Jets network in New York City. “There’s some specific bars within Manhattan that have a lot of Jets fans, where they all come together, watch the game, and they stay after, you know, depending on the outcome,” according to Wilson. “And I would say if we finish the way we’re supposed to, you go to one of those bars and have a good night.”
In Manhattan, snag a spot at Irish pub Féile to watch the game. There’s a special game day menu, so when you’ve exhausted yourself cheering and are in need of refueling, you can take your pick from Féile’s loaded fries or the beef and chorizo chili nachos.
If you haven’t crossed one of the bridges into Brooklyn yet, now’s your chance. The best place to catch a Jets game amid fellow fans is Roebling Sporting Club in Williamsburg. The welcoming vibe, comfort food favorites (the fried mac and cheese balls are especially comforting on a chilly fall day), and large HD TVs make this gastropub a choice spot for viewing the game.
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