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New York for the Beginner

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).  

Day Three: Midtown
You’ve worked your calves, now work your mind with a tour through some important cultural sites.

10 a.m.: Meander through masterpieces. Spend the morning at either the sprawling Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Museum of Modern Art. At the Met, don’t miss the Temple of Dendur, the European paintings, and the views from the rooftop café; at MoMA, visit Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans on the second floor and van Gogh’s The Starry Night on the fifth floor, then wander into the Sculpture Garden, redesigned by Philip Johnson in 1953.

1 p.m.: Gorge yourself like an over-the-top Russian czar. Take a cab from the Met or walk from MoMA to the deliciously kitschy Russian Tea Room at 57th and Seventh, originally opened by members of the Russian Imperial Ballet in the ’20s. Slide into the trademark red leather banquettes and dig into caviar served on silver trays and beef Stroganoff topped with wild mushrooms and red-wine sauce.

3 p.m.: Commune with dinos. Enjoy the American Museum of Natural History, home to the world's largest collection of vertebrate fossils. Check out the famous dioramas, and chart the history of outer space in the glass-enclosed Rose Center for Earth and Space.

6:30 p.m.: Eat where the actors do. Have a preshow meal at Joe Allen, a Theater District favorite with both showgoers and cast members since 1965. The menu’s as eclectic as the cast of Rent: burgers, steak tartare, and vegetarian stew along with fresh guacamole, tostadas, and toothsome desserts.

8 p.m.: Experience the Great White Way. After purchasing Broadway tickets in advance (click here for tips), join the pre-curtain crowds on the sidewalk, and enjoy the show.

10:30 p.m.: Cap off the night with a cocktail. Wind down with a drink at Blue Fin in the W New York in Times Square.

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