Your earliest train is 9:40 am next Sunday; you arrive at Penn at 10:59am
Then there's: 10:05am = 11:30
10:40am = 11:59
11:05am = 12:30pm
Return schedule: 7:12pm > 8:31; 8:12 > 9:32; 9:12pm > 10:32.
You'll pull in to Penn Station, which is sort of bang in the middle of stuff. So you could
I wouldn't waste time at a yarn store; NYC has them, but they're scattered around, and I don't know that they're phenomenally better than good yarn shops elsewhere.
I do think Times Square is worth seeing (but it's best when it's getting dark--bring a book to read, LOL!). There's something really energizing about it.
With only one day, I don't really recommend stuff like 1 World Trade Center Observatory (too far downtown, takes up too much time--though I'll be honest, I don't truly know what the lines are like there, even if I do work in the same building). Though I do love the Empire State Bldg--but again, it will just gobble up hours standing in line.
My vote, since you haven't been here before, is to do a walking tour through the middle of the city. You can see some of the big sights.
Here's a DIY version from the NYTimes.
Here's a walking tour that starts at 34th St.
It covers Macy's, the Empire State Building, Lord & Taylor, NYPublic Library (w/ the lions), Bryant Park, Grant Central Terminal, Chrysler Building, Rockefeller Center, a few buildings by famous architects, Tiffany & Bergdorf Goodman (the folks in B.G. are really nice to browsing tourists; it was worth it to walk through a floor and look at how the clothes are made--now I get why they're so expensive), the Plaza Hotel, and Central Park.
That would be my suggestion for you.
(and I don't think there's that much exciting for out-of-towners on Long Island, but maybe that's rude and provincial of me)
I think the bolded is a really lovely afternoon stroll and will give you a nice taste of the city. My favorite food in the city is the passionfruit sorbet (sorbetto?) at Jacques Torres in Grand Central Terminal.
A walking tour sounds awesome! I've gotten "permission" from my boss to not go to the hotel right from the airport (aka I told him I'm not going with him and got his phone number in case something terrible happens), so I'm going to head to Penn Station directly from JFK. That should shorten the time and lessen the cost needed to get me there, so hopefully I can do more! I'd like to do one of the sightseeing cruises, as well. I think a sightseeing cruise plus a walking tour will take pretty much a full day, so then I can go check into my hotel and start my conference feeling like I've gotten to see a little bit of the city as well. Thank you all!
that's better! take the LIRR from JFK - it's the fastest way (I think there is a weekend fare which is less expensive). You take the air train and then transfer t the LIRR. Make sure you buy your ticket before you get on the LIRR. otherwise you have to pay an extra five or something dollars.
Wear good walking shoes! NY women wear sneakers/walking shoes with their beautiful work clothes. even if you take the subway, there is always a lot of walking.
Speaking as one who used to be a tourist and now lives in NJ and works in NY, I think toots' suggestions are great. Of course in the old days when i would have a day to spend in NY i would more than likely spend the day at the MET and/or Museum of Natural History, but I'm weird that way.
personally I wouldn't devote more than ten minutes to Times square. it's really crowded and noisy and touristy , but it's fun o see the ginormous screens and all the lights.
Macy's is very very (very) big and touristy. there's a lot of walking to get anywhere. it's cutesy (e.g., the old fashioned wooden escalator) but in the end, in the words of my 13 YO niece, "oh, it looks like the macy's in the mall".
NY Public library is great, there is always some interesting exhibition there, it's free and there are bathroms. Bryant park is beautiful.If you are interested in Japanese stuff, there is a marvelous (albeit expensive) store on bryant park (http://www.kinokuniya.com/us/), central park is wonderful.
Walking down fifth is a lot of fun. the area around 34th is more cheesy and touristy, but the more north you go, the nicer it gets.
Trump towers is beautiful, there's a bathroom and alittle starbucks in side.
food isn't cheap but there are plenty of options which aren't too expensive and food is good: loads of bagel places, BRGR NYC (http://www.brgr.com/), Just Salads, and of course starbucks on every corner.
On food options, if I have just a bit of time in the city, I try to hit good "fast casual" options. If you like Indian food, Indikitch is great - http://indikitch.com/
(I'm glad I looked it up, they have a new location since I've been and they're delivering.) Also, Chelsea Markets has great food - lobster rolls, gelato, great farm to table options.
It's great that your boss gave you permission to take off into the city - will he take your bags with him too?
If you're landing at JFK or LGA, you can take Uber, Lyft, or a taxi to get to midtown for a fairly reasonable amount. As long as Uber isn't surging, it's usually the cheapest. I think I paid $20 to go the financial district from LGA the last time I was there. If you don't have bags you can take the bus to the subway.