New York: Financial District
SEE American Family Immigration History Center
Inside the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, 212/561-4500, ellisislandrecords.org
Find out how deep your family roots grow, and search the manifests of ships that brought more than 22 million immigrants to Ellis Island between 1892 and 1924. Open daily, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; $5 for half-hour genealogical searches. Ferry from Battery Park, $10.
SEE Skyscraper Museum
39 Battery Pl., on the ground floor of the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park Hotel, 212/968-1961, skyscraper.org
Fittingly, this museum's new space was designed by one of the forefathers of modern architecture, the firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Take a virtual tour of Lower Manhattan on the museum's website, and learn everything you ever wanted to know about tall buildings. Open Wed.-Sun., noon-6 p.m.; $5 for adults, free for kids under 12. Pop into the Ritz-Carlton's Rise bar afterward for drinks and stellar harbor views.
SEE Tribute Visitors' Center (opening spring 2006)
120 Liberty St., 911wvfa.org, projectrebirth.org
The official visitors' center for Ground Zero. The multimillion-dollar, 6,000-square-foot space will feature guided tours, multimedia kiosks, and a range of exhibits related to the terrorist attacks and their victims.
8 Maiden Ln., 212/528-4669, alfanoose.com
An impeccable no-frills Lebanese-Syrian joint that has, quite possibly, the best falafel in town. The spicy veggie moussaka and kibbeh (made with Swiss chard and mint) are nothing to sniff at either. Be forewarned: The shop has literally three stools. Closed Sun.
EAT Bridge Café
279 Water St., 212/227-3344, bridgecafe.citysearch.com
This red clapboard building is not only the city's oldest drinking establishment (open since 1794), but it also houses an excellent restaurant. Soak up the history (and beer) while you nibble on corn-and-red-onion fritters or crispy fried oysters.
EAT Niko Niko
80 Wall St., 212/232-0152, nikonikony.com
Forget the California rolls: It's all about the over-rice (don) dishes. For less than $5, you get a heaping plate of rice with your choice of delicious toppings, such as teriyaki-glazed eel, succulent pork, and Korean bibim bop. Closed Sat. and Sun.
1 Hanover Sq., 212/514-9454, bayards.com
Seasonal cuisine from lauded French-trained chefs is served amid Old World luxe inside the 1851 India House (formerly the New York Cotton Exchange). Even with a stellar wine list, it remains under the radar. Closed Sun.
58 Stone St., 212/482-0400, ulyssesbarnyc.com
A stylish, book-themed boîte where you can take your pick of quiet corners to enjoy a pint or two-except after 5 p.m. on Thursday nights, when the bar is packed wall-to-wall with suited traders.
SHOP Bowne & Co. Stationers
211 Water St., 212/748-8651
A charming gas-lit stationer that has been in the printing business since 1775. Its specialty is custom letterpress work, but you can also pick up old-fashioned notecards and postcards printed on Victorian presses. Closed Mon.
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