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A DAY IN NEW YORK: Active

Sunday, May 4, 2008

WHAT TO DO:

· Bite of the Apple Tours (212-541-8759, http://www.centralparkbiketour.com) runs daily, year-round bike tours in Central Park. I took the movie-themed tour, though it incorporated other sights and information about the park. The guided excursion costs $40 and includes bike rental; general tours cost $49.

· The 66-acre Fort Tryon, in northern Manhattan on the West Side, is the hilliest park in the city. It's a lovely place to hike, with blooming gardens, forested areas and a hearty trek up to the Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art featuring medieval art and architecture. Info: Southern entrance at Margaret Corbin Circle, 212-360-8111, http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/forttryonpark.

· The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (405 W. 55th St. at Ninth Avenue, 212-405-9000, http://www.alvinailey.org; $16) offers single-session classes, including Afro Cuban, Middle Eastern and Horton, a type of modern dance incorporated into many Ailey ballets. I worked my J-Lo moves during the 90-minute hip-hop class.

· The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (307 W. 26th St. between Eighth and Ninth avenues, 212-366-9176, http://www.ucbtheatre.com) is a top spot for improv and sketch comedy. The venue holds multiple shows per day, with tickets ranging from free to $8.

· The Museum at FIT, part of the Fashion Institute of Technology, holds stylish exhibits free to the public. The Christian Louboutin show I visited is now over, but "Arbiters of Style: Women at the Forefront of Fashion" will open May 21. Info: Seventh Avenue at 27th Street, 212-217-4558, http://www.fitnyc.edu.

· The Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex (23rd Street and the Hudson River, 212-336-6666, http://www.chelseapiers.com) is a veritable playground of activities, including bowling, ice skating and batting practice. For golf, players can practice on a 200-yard driving range (from $25), a covered putting green ($4 for club rental) or a simulator ($45 for an hour).

WHERE TO EAT: I mostly ate on the fly, popping into markets to refuel. However, I did sit down for a tasty Indian dinner at Bombay Eats (314 W. 52nd St. between Eighth and Ninth avenues, 212-265-7777). The box-size restaurant serves the classics, such as tandoori chicken ($12.95), mughalthawni soup ($5.50), yellow tadka dal ($10.95) and the essential breads (nan, roti, etc.), stuffed or flat.

-- A.S.

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