Re: Going to NYC!
Of course empire state building, though I think the chrysler building is nicer. For arch., the flatiron building is neat. It's on 27th and 5th I believe. Walk around chelsea as there are a lot of nice homes to check out. You'll see a lot of little faces above doorways. They're sculptures of the old owners from a very long time ago.
Bar Piti - GREAT italian food. Portions aren't big, but the food is great, and there are frequently celebrity sightings.
Five points - Get a pitcher of Sangria, and have a really nice dinner. check them out online to see their cuisine.
Little Italy - can't really go wrong with anything there.
China Town - Wo Hop is all the rage, though I don't care for it. It's REAL chinese though, so don't expect americanized food. Also- there are two wo-hops. Go to the DOWNSTAIRS one.
If you're a vegetarian, check out Red Bamboo on West 4th Street just off Ave. of the Americas.
Vinyl is really good, and has a great vibe, and young crowd. There is one in Chelsea on 8th ave, and one in Midtown.
If you're seeing any shows, Vintage is a good before and after show place for food and drinks...though it's pricey. it's on 8th around 52nd I believe.
My favorite Thai food is at Yum Yum aound the 49th street area.
I didn't know which of those places if any you'd want to try..that's why I didn't get you exact addresses and links. they should all be on citysearch.com
You missed the days of all the cool clubs. :-(
As far as hookah bars go, there are a lot in Astoria. You can take the R train to 46th street in queens and there is one on 43rd & broadway. Make sure it's still there before you go. Also, on Steinway, there are a whole strip of hookah bars near 29th Ave. Best way to get there would prob. be R train to Steinway, then walk so the Aves go DOWN. you'll hit them all after about 3 blocks.
Manhattan, I don't really know the hookah bars.
Let me know if you have any other questions.