Category Archives: Curiosities

So You’re Making The Switch To NYC – Are You Prepared? 

Curiosities City Secrets Making The Switch To NYC Redd Angelo Thumbnail

If you’re thinking of making the move to New York City, you’re in good company. But, if you’re ready to make this switch to NYC, you have to be truly prepared. So, here are a few considerations!

Curiosities City Secrets Making The Switch To NYC Redd Angelo
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Redd Angelo

The year of 2017 saw a huge population increase as NYC gained 447,000 new residents, according to the city’s latest available figures. The Big Apple still has the diversity and allure it’s always had, and it shows, whether that be from new workers, retirees or births.

That being said, the culture in New York City is like nowhere else on earth. Other big cities can lay claim to similar energy levels and vibrancy, but the city is unique. Before you start exploring what New York has to offer, it’s essential that you plan fully to ensure you’re ready before the leap.

The biggest consideration: money

The number one consideration you need to make before moving to NYC is money. New York is not a cheap city; NYC rent averages at $2,698 for a one-bed apartment, or $1,212 for a room. This is already higher than much of the USA and indeed the world, beating out even London’s property market.

This shouldn’t deter you, but should form part of your budgeting. A deposit is likely to be expensive, but if you have a good salary lined up, obtaining the right advice on proper credit options is a potential for giving you some wiggle room.

You will also need a comprehensive budget for your daily outgoings. Groceries can cost up to two times what they do on average in America, and going out is expensive; a mid range meal could charge $40 per head, according to CNBC. This shouldn’t deter you – like living anywhere else, saving money and getting by is a case of being frugal and choosing your luxuries.

Salaries should help, too – Slate have reported that the average Manhattan salary is $66,000, over $20,000 above the national average.

Understanding the scale of the city

Despite it’s ultra-high-rise, congested-looking nature, New York is also incredibly expansive.

New York’s southern tip, Staten Island, is only 30 miles from the most northerly point, Wakefield; yet traveling on public transport would take 2.5 hours at least.

As a result, it’s not always feasible to pick up a job in Manhattan but expect to commute from what seems like a close direction. Research NYC public transit and don’t overextend yourself – it’s a big city and it’s best to take it slow.

Engaging with the city’s culture

Finally, make sure you have a good idea of New York’s culture. The city reflects its enormous diversity  through demographics – 40% are foreign born today, according to World Cities Culture Forum. The result is that no neighborhood is the same and that can be seen on every street corner.

Enjoy the culture, but be aware that your behavior and actions might be different on one part of city to the next and there’s a lot of variety to be seen and enjoyed.

New York City is a place that 8.5million people call home, and hundreds of thousands add to every year. Understanding the cost of the city, the culture of its residents and its scale is crucial to doing well. For someone prepared to take their time, plan and absorb the city, you stand to gain a lot.

Finally, if you have children, see why NYC is a great city for kids. Also learn about some curious facts about New Yorkers before moving to help you settle in faster.


Guest Writer: Cindy Trillo
Photo Credit
: Courtesy of Redd Angelo

The 5 Top Coffee Shops in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 5 Top Coffee Shops Greenpoint Sweetleaf Coffee Roasters

I love coffee and exploring new spots and revisiting old ones is always a thrill! Today I share my 5 top coffee shops in Greenpoint, Brooklyn! If you are also a coffee fan, go check them out!

Yes, everyone that knows me, knows that I’m c-o-m-p-l-e-t-e-l-y addicted to coffee (good coffee!) and I drink it throughout my entire day! Being Brazilian, I think it’s just a natural part of me. Ha!

I have friends that tell me that if they drink coffee after lunch time, they can’t sleep at night. And, that just sounds so crazy… I can literally drink a gallon on coffee at night, roll over and sleep like a baby.

That said, I love exploring all the new coffee shops in New York. We also have some pretty amazing traditional ones that are still going strong. Those bigger chains are certainly not up my alley at all. I like the smaller ones, independently owned that roast their own coffee and the smell just fills up the entire place.

We’ve already shared the 5 best bars in Greenpoint I love. So, today I’m sharing my favorite and 5 top coffee shops, also in Greenpoint. After all, I do love everything about that neighborhood.


Maman

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 5 Top Coffee Shops Greenpoint Maman
Photo Credit: @thebrothersbuoy

If you enjoy good coffee and pastries, you’ve probably already heard of Maman.

The name means “mom” in French and the owners were inspired by their childhood memories of their mother’s recipes! They’ve got countless pretty tasty pastries, as well as savory options and healthy salads.

Besides this Greenpoint spot, they have a few other locations in the city, in the neighborhoods of Soho, Tribeca, Nomad and the Meatpacking District.

Each location is a bit different from the other and the one in Tribeca is also one of my favorites, for the have a great restaurant in the back!

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 7am – 6pm
Saturday – Sunday: 8am – 6pm
Brunch: Saturday – Sunday: 9am – 4pm

Location: 80 Kent Street

www.mamannyc.com


Búdin

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 5 Top Coffee Shops Greenpoint Budin

Búdin was founded back in 2013 and serves not only tasty Scandinavian specialty coffees, but it also has a craft beer and wine bar. The Nordic menu offers sandwiches, salads and delicious Swedish pancakes.

One of the dishes I love is the Portobello + Fennel Sandwich with portobello cap, caramelized onions, fennel, whole grain Dijon mustard on a baguette.

But wait! That’s not all! In the back, they have a small, but pretty awesome design shop and an opened patio! The design shop brings together a curation of Japanese brands selling t-shirts, accessories and even a few jewelry pieces.

NOTE: On June 12th, Búdin sent out a message saying: “Due to an ongoing dispute with our landlord we have been forced to shut down for a while. We thank you for all the good times and hope to have more soon. We are trying to resolve the issue and find a positive solution as quickly as possible, be it reopening at our current location or finding a new home in Brooklyn.”

So, we’ll keep our eyes open to share their new spot!

Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 7am – 12am
Friday: 7am – 1am
Saturday: 8am – 1am
Sunday: 8am – 12am

Location: New spot to be announced!

www.budin-nyc.com


Sweetleaf Coffee Roasters

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 5 Top Coffee Shops Greenpoint Sweetleaf Coffee Roasters

Probably the first thing you’ll notice while entering Sweetleaf, is the décor. It has beautiful brick walls, original wood beams, as well as a fantastic variety of antique furniture collected from all over the world!

Besides the amazing smell when you walk in, it’s also very laptop friendly if you need to pull it out and work a bit!

They have a few other locations, but this one is the one that actually houses the roastery in the back. Don’t forget to peek inside to see the coffee being done.

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 7am – 7pm
Saturday – Sunday: 8am – 7pm

Location: 159 Freeman Street

http://sweetleafcoffee.com


Homecoming

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 5 Top Coffee Shops Greenpoint Homecoming

Homecoming is certainly a different style coffee shop. Why? Because they have not only a charming flower shop inside, but they also sell accessories from amazing designers.

You’ll find everything from apparel, apothecary, objects for your home, jewelry, notebooks and planners, and even some creative gift cards!

It’s a great place to swing by for coffee and also check out the products if you’re looking for a special gift for a friend or loved one.

They also have a 2nd location in Williamsburg, at 92 Berry Street.

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 7:30am – 7pm
Saturday – Sunday: 9am – 7pm

Location: 107 Franklin Street

https://home-coming.com


Champion Coffee

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 5 Top Coffee Shops Greenpoint Champion Coffee

Even though Champion Coffee’s first location dates back to 2006, the North Greenpoint spot is kinda new and opened just a few years back in 2016.

You can also take their coffee home. They roast their beans in Maspeth, Queens and have 3 flavors: Decaf, Drip Blend and Espresso. The spot also serves a nice breakfast and lunch with a few options of sandwiches and salads.

They have 2 locations in Brooklyn with a 3rd one that just launched! Where? Inside the North 3rd Street Market, in Williamsburg, that opened a few weeks back and unites 25 fantastic vendors in one spot!

In Manhattan they have 2 locations and the 3rd one is on its way! 

Hours: See website for hours of specific locations

Location: 1107 Manhattan Avenue

www.championcoffee.com


Videography: Renata Meirelles
Photo Credits
: Renata Meirelles, courtesy of thebrothersbuoy and of the venues

Beauty
: Leila Soldeira

Fê is our Founder & CEO! She’s Brazilian (Yup! Not a New Yorker!), but her indescribable passion and curiosity for NY makes her a New Yorker by heart. Fê worked in companies like Kimberly Clark, Quintessentially, Vogue Brazil and Iguatemi Group, and after 12 years of working for these fantastic companies, she decided to go solo and move to NYC!
She lives in Brooklyn since April of ’15 and has been tirelessly working on BTSNYC, working with huge companies on corporate projects, practicing her Arhatic Yoga meditations, finding time for gym and friends! Phiuf!

Ditch Your Luggage and Go Have Fun in NYC: LuggageHero

Curiosities City Secrets LuggageHero NYC

Having long hours between connecting flights or arrive hours prior to check-in in your hotel, is surely a hassle! Plus, carrying your luggage around NYC is certainly a challenge, but LuggageHero is the perfect solution to all your problems!

Curiosities City Secrets LuggageHero NYC Girls Walking

Having long wait hours between flights during a trip is certainly annoying, but having to carry your luggage with you everywhere go is even worse, right?

Plus, the best way to commute in New York City is on the subway, but these massive stairs are a challenge on their own…imagine with your heavy bags.

So, we have the perfect, safe and convenient solution for all your problems: LuggageHero! And the name says it all!

Jannik Lawaetz founded the company in Copenhagen, back in 2016. From there, he quickly expanded in 2017 to London and, lucky us, to New York City!

The idea was to use local stores, pubs, coffee shops, dry cleaners and even hotels as a temporary storage place for people with long connecting flights or even for those who have arrived earlier than the check-in time or were “kicked out” of the hotel long before the flight home.

So, how it works? Easy!

  • Check in when arriving at the shop
  • Attach security seal that is provided for free, found in the shop, through the zippers of your bag
  • Check-out upon pick-up

And voilá! You’re ready to adventure yourself for a few hours in our beautiful concrete jungle!

BOOK NOW!

Curiosities City Secrets LuggageHero NYC Janni Copenhagen
Janni Lawaetz, Founder of LuggageHero.

“I founded LuggageHero as I got tired of not having enough convenient places to store my luggage. As I am a frequent traveler, I couldn’t believe that anyone had not solved a problem so obvious to many people.

I decided to create a concept that was simple to use, trustworthy and where you would always only pay for the hours you spend.” ~ Jannik Lawaetz, Creator & CEO

Everything is stored far from any public access in safe locations, that are also inspected by the team at Luggage Hero. So, don’t worry. It’ll be safe when you go out to have fun!

Oh, it is good to say that the location you’re dropping your back at might request to open your luggage before storing, to guarantee you don’t have any illegal item in it like weapons, etc.

Curiosities City Secrets LuggageHero NYC Girl Subway

They offer over 250 super convenient locations and are spread across Manhattan and Brooklyn, making it quite easy for you, regardless of where you’re at or where you want to spend your time exploring.

The cost in New York?

Amazingly reasonable! It’s only $2/hour per bag and the price already includes insurance with coverage up to $3,000 for each bag, against damage, loss, and theft.

But wait! You don’t pay more than $12 per bag for the first 24 hours, so don’t worry.

They do not accept money, which is actually more convenient since you don’t need to worry with having the right currency!

So, just submit your credit card information for swift drop-off and pick-up at a LuggageHero location.

If you decide along to way, not to drop it off, don’t worry! You’re only charged when you actually drop off your bags, so you won’t be charged if you changed your mind.

And last, another great thing is that you don’t need to download any app for this. You can just go online and book everything through their website.

Seamless, fast and safe, the way New Yorkers like it!

If you’re not sure what to do in NYC while you wait for your connecting flight, or to check into you hotel, take a look at all of our amazing BTSNYC Experiences! We’re sure you’ll have a great time!

Book luggage storage in New York.

Curiosities City Secrets LuggageHero NYC Yellow Cab


Photo Credit: Courtesy of LuggageHero.com

Why Launching Your Startup in NYC is a Good Idea

Curiosities City Secrets Why Launching You Startup In NYC Is A Good Idea Rob Bye

The tech industry in New York City is booming and there are many reasons why launching your startup in NYC is a good idea!

Curiosities City Secrets Why Launching You Startup In NYC Is A Good Idea Taton Moise

The tech industry in New York City is booming with Silicon Alley currently ranking at number 2 in the country behind Silicon Valley.

During 2016, a mere 421 New York-based tech companies managed to raise $9.5 billion in funding with many NYC startups becoming extremely successful. In terms of net dollars, Silicon Valley may still be ahead but the NYC tech ecosystem is actually expanding at a faster rate.

As far as the availability of investment sources are concerned, NYC enjoyed a 36% of the total US start-up funding in 2017 with an excess of 290 investors backing 1333 business initiatives.

If you are looking for a place for your tech startup NYC should, without a doubt, be on the top of your list for a myriad of reasons such as the following.


New York City has an energy unlike any other

There is no denying that, despite relatively high living-costs, NYC is simply a great place to work and live.

The vibe in and around NYC is unlike any other in the world, bursting with the possibility of everyone seeking to fulfill the American Dream. The city is home to a number of key industry players, something a tech start-up can only benefit from.

It is also easy to find good co-working spaces, such as those rented out by WeWork, which are ideal for entrepreneurs, startups and community groups alike.

Thanks to the advancements in cloud technology, most startups don’t require immediate server specialization, making working from a co-working space or even an internet café a completely viable option.


The tech ecosystem is exceedingly healthy

NYC is home to a large number of venture capitalists such as Erik H. Gordon (CEO of ErGo Ventures LLC), and many more who have strong ties to the city.

Angel investors and angel groups are also commonplace, as are the more than 30 start-up incubators and accelerators that will provide your company with funding, mentorship maintenance as well as invaluable access to possible investors and consumers.

Over recent years a number of tech start-ups, of which Zocdoc is a prime example, have flourished in the city. Zocdoc is an online platform that is dedicated to providing users with an improved all-around healthcare experience.

Currently valued at approximately $1.8 billion, Zocdoc makes use of technology to facilitate everything from diagnosis to treatments and payments – a concept that has made them one of the highest-ranked NYC tech startups ever.


The city boasts exceptional diversity in terms of talent

When compared to Silicon Valley-based companies, the NYC tech scene is far more diverse with up to 40% of the city’s tech employees being female and a fifth being individuals of color.

The general talent pool in New York is extremely diverse with engineers and economists casually rubbing shoulders with designers, medical technicians, and trendy creatives.

According to renowned US businessman Michael Bloomberg, New York’s engineering school is projected to produce up to 400 new companies in its first 30 years. He highlights the immense potential the diverse student population of NYC possesses.


While you are by no means limited to two choices (Silicon Valley vs Silicon Alley), when it comes to finding the right location for your tech startup, the benefits of picking NYC speaks for itself.

All you need is a great idea, a bit of ingenuity and a whole lot of determination to have as good a chance as any to make it in one of the most prolific cities of the world.


Guest Writer: Cindy Trillo
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Rob Bye and Taton Moise

7 Secret NYC Spots by Kelley Louise, A Travel Entrepreneur

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise

Kelley Louise is a travel entrepreneur, Founder of Impact Travel Alliance and passionate about storytelling and social good! Come explore her favorite 7 secret NYC spots!

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Streets

I’ve known Kelley Louise probably for as long as I’ve been in New York City. I was introduced to her through a friend in common somewhere back in 2015.

Throughout these past years, I’ve been following her work and how she’s also changing the travel industry across the globe!

A travel entrepreneur passionate about storytelling and social good, Kelley specializes in creative marketing and social media management for clients in the travel and impact space. She is also the Founder and Executive Director of Impact Travel Alliance – the world’s largest community for socially conscious travelers.

Kelley has built her career through carefully selected opportunities in the United States and abroad, including leadership roles in entrepreneurial endeavors, social good projects, marketing and media strategy.

A content creator herself, Kelley is an avid photographer and writer, and runs a travel and lifestyle blog, The Culture Collective – focused on travel & lifestyle, she showcases local gems and off-the-beaten-path adventures, and covers social good, empowerment and entrepreneurship.

A passionate connector, Kelley has an innate ability to build loyal and diverse communities.

Kelley has a bachelor’s degree in Media & Culture from The New School. She lives in Brooklyn, and you can follow her adventures on social media Kelley Travels.

Now, take a look below and see her favorite 7 secret NYC spots!


League of Kitchens

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise League of Kitchens Sweets
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise League of Kitchens Rosbeef
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise League of Kitchens Rice
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise League of Kitchens Appetizers
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise League of Kitchens
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“Hands down, my favorite experience to recommend to New Yorkers and newcomers alike. League of Kitchens is an Airbnb-style format that offers you the opportunity to take a cooking class in an immigrant’s home. Nothing beats breaking bread and learning about someone’s culture through food.”

Pretty awesome, right? These amazing cooks host you + 5 people at their home and teach everything about their traditional cuisine from back home. Plus, you are able to go home with a detailed shopping list of what to buy and the recipes, so you can also cook at your own home.

Oh, it’s also a great opportunity to meet like-minded people!

https://www.leagueofkitchens.com


Nowadays

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Nowadays

“I’ve been a part of the Mister Sunday crowd since it’s early days in Gowanus Park, and it’s been amazing watching how Eamon and Justin have grown this community. Nowadays is their permanent outpost, which opened in 2017. Go for the music, stay for the good vibes and crowd.”

And I love it too! I’ve been there a few times and it just gets better and better!

The music is fantastic, there are a few food trucks so you won’t get hungry, drinks have super reasonable prices, you can be sure you’ll have a fantastic time and even get to meet a few new friends!

They’re located in Ridgewood, Queens, but it’s an easy commute through the L train to Halsey station.

Hours:
Monday – Wednesday: 4pm – 12am
Thursday – 4pm – 2am
Friday – 4pm – Late
Saturday – 12pm – Late
Sunday – 3pm – 12am

Location: 56-06 Cooper Avenue

Other Infos:

  • Nowadays is always free except for indoors on Friday and Saturday nights, and indoors and outdoors every Sunday until 9pm.
  • The kitchen closes at 11pm Sunday through Thursday, and 1am on Friday and Saturday.
  • 2-for-1 happy hour runs from 4pm to 8pm Monday to Friday.

https://nowadays.nyc


LIC Landing

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise LIC Landing Queens

“The magic of the NYC skyline never gets old, and LIC Landing is one of my favorite places to soak in the view. Bring friends and grab a drink – take some time to enjoy the slow(er) life in NYC.”

This beautiful, brand-new waterfront park at Hunters Point South, offers a 2000 sq-ft outdoor event space and a high-quality outdoor café.

It definitely has a priceless view of the city!

Try going before sunset and you’ll be able to witness Manhattan’s lights lighting up.

After all, we all know how beautiful this experience can be! While you’re around the neighborhood, be sure to explore close by spots like The Standing Room, a great bar and comedy bar!

Hours: Every day – 7am – 10pm (Summer Hours)!

Location: Center Blvd. between 50 Avenue and 54 Avenue

http://www.liclanding.com


Beer Street

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Beer Street

Beer Street is the bar that ruined all other beer bars for me — other bars just don’t compare. Somehow, all other menus just don’t compete with Cory (the owner’s) exceptional taste and attention to detail. Pro-tip: If you’re indecisive on what you want to order, follow Beer Street’s golden rule — Trust your bartender.”

Well, to start, they were chosen as “America’s 100 Best Beer Bars by Draft Mag” for the years of 2014 and 2015.

Located in Williamsburg, they have 10 taps with amazing draft beer, plus great wine, cider and other drinks.

Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 5pm – 1am
Friday: 5pm – 2am
Saturday & Sunday: 12pm – 2am

Location: 413 Graham Avenue

https://www.beerstreetny.com


Furnish Green

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Furnish Green Beach Chair
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Furnish Green Vintage Phone
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Furnish Green
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Furnish Green Orange Chair
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“From the conventional to the quirky, Furnish Green has it all. My favorite vintage furniture store in the city, Furnish Green is great for finding anything from a well-designed dresser for your bedroom to a vintage carousel house (the latter of which I have).”

These guys are vintage experts! Every week you can expect 5-15 new items in the store. As they say, their philosophy is:

“To provide creative local consumers with unique, well-made, long-lasting and reasonably priced pieces of furniture.”

Pretty cool right!? Plus, in a city where most people buy at the same stores, you’ll be sure to have different items decorating your beautiful home!

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 10am – 8pm
Saturday: 10am – 6pm

Location: 1261 Broadway, Suite 309

http://furnishgreen.com


Bistro Petit

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Petit Bistro Oysters
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Petit Bistro Eggs
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Petit Bistro Brussels
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Petit Bistro Pasta
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Petit Bistro Risotto
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Petit Bistro Pan
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Petit Bistro Fries
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Petit Bistro Dish
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Petit Bistro Chicken
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“This is a big statement, but I stand by it: Bistro Petit is the best restaurant I’ve ever been to. It’s a charming little spot – only fitting about a dozen or so people into the entire space – and you can’t help but to fall in love. The cuisine is French/Korean fusion, and BYOB. For the perfect date night, bring a bottle of red, and sit on the bar stools for a view of the kitchen and sit side by side with your date.”

The owner and chef, Sung Park, is truly an artist, in the kitchen. His bold and innovative cooking style is surely what makes the difference for his guests, and obviously, what makes them come back.

Located in South Williamsburg, they explain that they only use only use the freshest seasonal ingredients, local produce, natural organics, grass fed beef, local fish, and free-range chicken.

Plus, for vegetarians, they have great options, so don’t worry about it! You can go and be sure to have a great time!

Hours:
Wednesday – Saturday: 6pm – 12am
Sunday: 6pm – 11pm

Location: 774 Driggs Avenue

http://www.bistropetit.com


Erie Basin

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Erie Basin Jewelry Antiques

“An exceptionally well-curated collection of jewelry (both vintage and new pieces that were crafted using antique stones), pretty much everything you see at Erie Basin is one of a kind. Even if you’re not ready to invest in your next piece of fine jewelry, they’re worth the follow on Instagram for some daydreaming.”

Launched in 2006, the store is located in the far end of Brooklyn in a neighborhood we adore called Red Hook! They are “specialized in antique and vintage jewelry, but also have a selection of furniture, art, and objects dating from the 18th to mid 20th century.”

The brand is, up to date, basically a one-man show, and was founded by Russell Whitmore. An avid collector and antique lover, Whitmore launched in 2014 a fantastic collection around antique gemstones he has collected and many are exclusive, one-of-a-kind pieces.

Hours: Wednesday – Saturday: 12pm – 6pm

Location: 388 Van Brunt Street

http://eriebasin.com


Thank you to my dearest friend, Kelley Louise, for these truly amazing 7 secret NYC spots! I loved them all and will surely visit the ones I haven’t been to yet!

You should too, after all, exploring New York, through the eyes of true New Yorkers, is definitely the best way to do it!


Photo Credits: Courtesy of Tutti del Monte, Clay Williams for The James Beard Foundation and all the venues.

Fê is our Founder & CEO! She’s Brazilian (Yup! Not a New Yorker!), but her indescribable passion and curiosity for NY makes her a New Yorker by heart. Fê worked in companies like Kimberly Clark, Quintessentially, Vogue Brazil and Iguatemi Group, and after 12 years of working for these fantastic companies, she decided to go solo and move to NYC!
She lives in Brooklyn since April of ’15 and has been tirelessly working on BTSNYC, working with huge companies on corporate projects, practicing her Arhatic Yoga meditations, finding time for gym and friends! Phiuf!

Top 8 Spots In NYC By Andrew Chen, An Experience Curator

Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project TriBeCa

This week we talked to the handsome Andrew Chen from My Inspire Project. He told us a little about his fantastic career, his adventures across the globe and, of course, his top 8 spots in NYC!

Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Williamsburg
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project East Hamptons
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Arlo Hotel
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project TriBeCa
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Riverside
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Andrew Y. Chen was born in Taipei, Taiwan. He has lived and studied in major international cities between Taipei, Shanghai, Paris, London, before moving to New York.

He has built a solid background in luxury and fashion throughout his career in LVMH, Bergdorf Goodman, Gilt Groupe and Issey Miyake before he founded “My Inspire Project”, a platform specialized in Experiential Marketing, Digital Strategy and Content Generation, in February 2017.

Known as the trendsetter, living expert and unique character among his circles, Andrew started sharing his discovery across fashion, art, entertainment, design, travel, hospitality and real estate categories on his platform and has established a network and community of global elites, celebrities, press/editors, travel enthusiast and creative minds across North America, Asia and Western Europe.

He also partners with renowned organizations and businesses to curate special events and create one-of-a-kind experience throughout exclusive venues in the world. He believes Authenticity, Exclusivity and Individuality are the core values of the new luxurious experience.

This summer, Andrew and his team are preparing to launch their online lifestyle channel and take their story and journey into the next level.

That said, take a look below and see his Top 8 Spots in NYC:


Favorite Restaurants: La Mercerie and Agern

Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Le Mercerie Bakery
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Le Mercerie
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Le Mercerie Details
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Le Mercerie Appetizer
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Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Le Mercerie Flowers
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La Mercerie is my favorite new hotspot by Chef Marie-Aude Rose, the wife of renown chef and my dear friend, Daniel Rose from Spring & Le Coucou. It is a perfect place with incredible and curated decor – inside the beautiful new Roman & Williams Guild, also my favorite furniture store – that brings French cuisine into an everyday experience. I love the buckwheat crepe and the amazing dessert selections there.”

Yes, this place is the talk of the town! All foodies, influencers, food connoisseurs, travel experts and curious folks are stopping by to check the place out!

Besides the restaurant, if you’re passing by for a quick bit or you’re in a rush, they have a grab-and-go counter with delicious pastries and coffee!

Hours:
Open every day!
Breakfast Menu: 9am – 12pm
All Day Menu: 12pm – 10pm

Location: 53 Howard Street

www.lamerceriecafe.com


Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Agern
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Agern Beet
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Agern Appetizer
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Agern Salad
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Agern Prepping
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project AgernPotato Dip
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Agern Entree
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Agern Pork
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Agern Dessert
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Agern Small Room
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Agern is a Michelin starred delight hidden in the business Grand Central Terminal. It is quite an experience just to discover this beautiful place for the first time visitor. It is by far my favorite Nordic cuisine in town and I loved their focus on pairing the season driven menu with local American wine.”

We love it too! Our experience there has been certainly priceless. Service is fantastic, food is to-die-for and ambiance is very comforting and dim lighting.

The price is a bit high, but worth every dollar, especially if you’re looking for a special night out with your loved one or with friends & family.

Hours:
Lunch: Monday – Friday: 11:30am – 2:30pm
Dinner: Monday – Saturday: 5:30pm – 10pm
Closed Sundays

Location: 89 East 42nd Street

http://agernrestaurant.com


Favorite Bars: The UES and The Office

Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project The UES

The UES is a new speakeasy bar behind the ice cream shop storage, you would need the right dress code and people in order to enter and enjoy the swanky cocktails. The concept is unique for the uptight neighborhood. Since we live in the area, this is our new go-to spot for a chic but casual night.”

Yes, we are lovers of all speakeasies around the city and this is a place you should certainly visit! Oh yes, and the dress code! They ask to:

“Kindly refrain from wearing t-shirts, collarless shirts, torn or baggy jeans, flip flops, sandals, tennis shoes or athletic wear of any kind.”

Hours: Storage open Monday – Saturday: 5pm

Location: 1707 2nd Avenue

www.theuesnyc.com


Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project The Office Mandarine Oriental NYC Bar
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project The Office Mandarine Oriental NYC Drinks
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project The Office Mandarine Oriental NYC
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The Office is probably the most fabulous and luxurious speakeasy bar in NYC, and possibly around the world. Inside the Mandarin Oriental at Time Warner Center, this reservation only bar is only accessible through a hidden passageway. It is my favorite place to take my special guests, celebs and visitors for meetings and drinks. Their truffle cocktail and truffle pairing menu is surely a different level.”

New York is certainly the home of some of the most luxurious spots on Earth. If you’re into art, they feature some amazing collectors’ art and artefacts.

In addition, if you enjoy learning and tasting spirits, they have an “extinction” collection of some of the rarest spirits in the world! So, it’ would be obvious to say that their signature cocktail list is fantastic, right!?

Hours:
Sunday – Wednesday: 5:30pm – 11:30pm
Thursday – Saturday: 5:30pm – 12:30am

Location: 80 Columbus Circle at 60th Street

www.mandarinoriental.com


Favorite Club: Jia Lounge

Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Jia Lounge

“I would go to LES, not for the vibrant bar scene, but the beautiful 1930’s Shanghai-themed lounge club, Jia Lounge. Hidden in the back of Rivington Hotel, Jia Lounge is a new nightlife experience in New York City with curate cocktail, music and selective crowd. It has the best deep house night in town and caters to the many tastemakers and international jetsetters in the city.”

This place is really something! Besides what Andrew mentioned about cocktails, music and a great crowd…the décor is certainly a highlight.

Everything was meticulously cared for and details are everywhere to be noticed! Plus, if you love being part of the super late-night New York Scene, this is the place for you! It’s open until 4am!

Hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 11pm – 4pm

Location: 105 Rivington Street

www.hotelonrivington.com


Favorite Gallery: David Lewis Gallery

Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project David Lewis Gallery

David Lewis Gallery, located in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, is one of my favorite contemporary art galleries in NYC that presents most promising upcoming artists and their works. Their unique vision and direction has drawn attention from major international art collectors, art fairs and museums including Whitney Museum in New York and Tate Modern in London.”

If you love art, but don’t really enjoy going alone, since your not necessarily a super savvy about it, let our fantastic art expert lead the way!

After all, there is nothing like having a specialist with you!

Hours: Wednesday – Sunday: 11am – 6pm

Location: 88 Eldridge Street

http://davidlewisgallery.com


Favorite Store: The Apartment by The Line

Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project The Apartment by The Line
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project The Apartment by The Line Home
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project The Apartment by The Line Fashion
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When the retail industry is upside down, the well-curated boutique The Apartment by The Line, offers a new way of shopping. Hiding in the loft space in SoHo, The Apartment offers a full lifestyle selection that you could enjoy and shop from. It constantly brings in different designers and objects for the customers to learn and explore.”

They offer everything from fashion and home, to beauty. So, expect to find some of the most amazing brands like Kiki de Montparnasse, Lemaire, Eres, Marni, Le Labo, The Nue, Rodin Olio Lusso, Esker, and even Taschen Books, Atelier De Troupe lamps, Harlow Henry throws and Skagerak furnishing.

Hours:
Monday – Saturday: 11am – 7pm
Sunday: 12pm – 5pm

Location: 76 Greene Street, 3rd Floor

https://theline.com


Favorite Park: Fort Tyron Park

Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Fort Tyron Park

Fort Tyron Park is indeed quite a ride from the heart of Manhattan, but it would never disappoint you. Once you arrive at the Remnants of Billings Estate and the massively arched structure known as the Billings Arcade, you feel like you are in Europe already. This park is surely one of the city’s most beautiful outdoor pieces of art.”

We love it too! Previously owned by no one less than John D. Rockefeller, Jr., in the year of 1931, he gifted the property to the City of New York. What a gift, right?

Construction started and 4 years later, in 1935, Rockefeller and Robert Moses – the “master builder” of mid-20th century, officialized the park as a public space for everyone to be able to visit! Lucky us!

Location: Riverside Drive to Broadway, W 192 Street to Dyckman Street

https://www.nycgovparks.org


Thank you,  Andrew, for this fantastic interview and sharing all these true NY gems!

If you are coming to New York, be sure to explore the other amazing Insider Interviews. For any type of corporate assistance, contact our experts!


Photo Credits: Courtesy of Andrew Chen, @thirdness, @a_gaut, @robertwright, @evansungnyc and the venues.

10 Lifesaving Hacks to Travel Around NYC

Curiosities Our Bucket List 10 Life Saving Hacks To Travel Around NYC

There is just so much we want to do and explore when we come to New York, right? Check out these 10 lifesaving hacks to travel around NYC!

Curiosities Our Bucket List 10 Life Saving Hacks To Travel Around NYC Uber

These 10 lifesaving hacks to travel around NYC will help you better navigate the city and make your visit memorable!

Check them out below and keep them in mind when you get here!


#1 Drop your luggage off, so you can focus on having fun

Curiosities Our Bucket List 10 Life Saving Hacks To Travel Around NYC Steven Meisel Vogue 1999
Photo Credit: Winona Ryder by Steven Meisel, Vogue 1999.

For only $6/day you can drop off your bags at over 50+ locations in the city so you can free your arms and not worry about dragging your luggage around during the day.

Book here for a 10% discount or use code “BEHINDTHESCENES”.

https://usebounce.com


#2 Screenshot the subway map before you get onto the subway

Curiosities Our Bucket List 10 Life Saving Hacks To Travel Around NYC Subway APP Joshua Newton

Some subway cars aren’t yet updated to show the next upcoming stops/transfers so use your phone to navigate where to get off.

You can catch a cellphone signal in between some stops, but play it safe with having it already on your phone. This way, you don’t get lost or have to hover over someone to check the subway car map.

And still, if you’re more into tech-hacks, just download an APP called “New York Subway MTA MAP”. It’s works with no wifi too!


#3 Bring a selfie stick

Curiosities Our Bucket List 10 Life Saving Hacks To Travel Around NYC DJI Osmo Mobile

It may seem like such a tourist thing to do, but if you don’t want to bother a busy New Yorker to take your picture, then this is the best way to snap a quick pic!

Which one we recommend? Try the one from DJI, named Osmo Mobile 2.

Also, for inspiration, follow Fomofeed to find all the cool free NYC instagram-worthy shots.


#4 Pack comfortable walking shoes

10 Life Saving Hacks To Travel Around NYC Fort Tyron Park

With so many great walking spots in NYC, you will need a good pair of shoes that won’t hurt your feet after a few miles.

Some favorite (and free) walking spots include Fort Tyron Park, FDR Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island, and the gorgeous pink Williamsburg Bridge, that has been featured in countless movies!

If you’re into adventure, you might want to explore the beauty of upstate New York or our Behind the Scenes Tour of the Abandoned Ellis Island Hospital! So scary and curious!


#5 Use travel APPs to make your life easier and save some cash

Curiosities Our Bucket List 10 Life Saving Hacks To Travel Around NYC Bike Chris Barbalis

Here’s a list that may come in handy when traveling around NYC.

  1. Check out Yelp for check in discounts to restaurants around the city and Open Table to make a quick reservation.
  2. Use Juno, Lyft or Uber to share rides and get around the city, or the Citibike APP if you prefer biking around.
  3. Download Splitwise to make it easier to track and split expenses amongst your travel party.
  4. Check out the HotelTonight APP for exclusive hotel deals.

#6 Carry a portable phone charger

10 Life Saving Hacks To Travel Around NYC Mophie External Battery

This is crucial, especially because with pictures and social media, your battery will drain in no time. You’ll be out and about all day in New York, so be sure you buy a phone charger so you stay plugged in all day – most will be under $30 and well worth it!

But we love the Mophie products, even though they are a bit more expensive. They have a (RED) Collection where “a portion of the proceeds from every (PRODUCT)RED™ purchase will go to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa”.


#7 Beware of street food

10 Life Saving Hacks To Travel Around NYC The Halal Guys

NYC is well-known for their delicious hot dog stands and roasted peanuts, but be careful with where you choose to eat! You might have a bad time during your trip if you pick the wrong one!

Find a food cart that has a long line or keep an eye out for the most trusted food cart, like the traditional “The Halal Guys”. We love them, and so does every other New Yorker in town.

You can find them at West 53rd Street corner with 6th Avenue, and a few other spots in the city!


#8 Save money on Broadway tickets

Curiosities Our Bucket List 10 Life Saving Hacks To Travel Around NYC Hamilton Broadway

If you have time to spare, you can find steeply discounted Broadway show tickets the day of at the big red TKTS booth in Times Square, South Street Seaport, Lincoln Center and Downtown Brooklyn. Check their website for queue hours.

Want another secret to the currently most coveted show on Broadway: Hamilton!? They have an APP called “Hamilton – The Official App” where, twice a day, they have a lottery giving out tickets for $10/each and you can buy up to 2! Note: Tickets for the show starts at $199, and skyrocket to over $800 for the premium seats.

Oh! And if you want the true “behind the scenes experience”, you might want to have dinner with 2 cast members from Hamilton before the show, watch the show from the best seats, then go back stage to meet the entire cast! How? See here!

Not a fan of Hamilton? Don’t worry! We have this experience for all Broadway show!


#9 – Don’t fall for street scammers/hustlers

Curiosities Our Bucket List 10 Life Saving Hacks To Travel Around NYC Matteo Catanese

NYC will always have people hustling outside on the streets so beware of the scam! You may wind up with fake tickets, blank DVDS or something else counterfeit that you just paid for.

Just go straight to the official website or authorized resellers to purchase and be safe.


#10 Research pay what you wish museum days

Curiosities Our Bucket List 10 Life Saving Hacks To Travel Around NYC Free Museums Frick Collection

Some of the major museums in NYC have donation based nights that can save you some serious cash!

The 9/11 Museum, Bronx Zoo, New Museum, and the Frick Collection all have weekly donation based entrance fee hours to name a few.

Plus, many have specific days/hours with FREE entrance.


The list can go on, but these are probably the top 10 lifesaving hacks to travel around NYC!

If you are looking for any type of help during your travel, let us help you out. But, if you’re a company looking for assistance for your team or your valuable clients, contact our experts.

Have fun and welcome to our Behind the Scenes NYC world!


Text Credit: In collaboration with UseBounce
Photo Credit
: Courtesy of Joan Marcus, © flickr user Gorbould. Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, Pexels, Joshua Newton, Chris Barbalis and Matteo Catanese.

Jason Naylor: 7 Best NYC Secret Spots By A Multitalented Artist

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jason Naylor Live Life Colorfully

We interviewed the multitalented artist, Jason Naylor, and learned about his journey, his upcoming projects and also his 7 best NYC secret spots! Check it all out below!

Today we bring you a fantastic interview with Jason Naylor! We’re sure many of you are already huge fans – as we are – and, have seen his work throughout New York City.

But, did you know that Jason is a multitalented artist? He is not only the Creative Director at his design company, but also a brand consultant, an artist, a designer and also, an illustrator. Phiuf!

He told us a bit about his journey:

“Well, I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. My mother is an artist, and so I spent my youth making art and entering art contests.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jason Naylor Ice Cream

I always did well in art class and that evolved into going to Design School and studying Communication & Graphic Design. This sort of led to the designs I now use in my art, which are very typographic and design heavy.

My work ranges from graphic designs and paintings as well as illustration, to video and digital graphics. I currently am in a very colorful kick and love holographic colors and rich blacks.

I just finished a collaboration with COACH, where I used their logo to create a massive, colorful LOVE mural. The bright colors and blacks came together nicely to shape that piece, and the colors really fortify the message of love.

What better to explain love in a piece of art than bright colors, right?

In addition, I have a pretty cool series of projects coming up this spring, where I’ll work with schools to develop messages of empowerment and then paint the messages as murals on the walls of the playgrounds.

This will start to come together hopefully in the next few weeks, so I’m pretty stoked on that!”

Check out his breathtaking work on his website: http://jasonnaylorcreative.com

Now, take a look at his 7 best NYC secret spots:


Best unexpected date spot – LGA Airport

“Watching the planes land at LGA. Ok, if you don’t know about this, its SPECTACULAR.

Across the street from the Enterprise car rental at LGA, there’s a small park that overlooks both the freeway and the runway… and it’s the closest place you can get to the planes landing.

It’s literally like 100ft from where they land, and you can sit on the bench and watch / listen to the planes come in. It’s riveting. Great date spot too!”


Best hotdog – Anchored Inn

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jason Naylor Anchored Inn

The Anchored Inn is in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Little divey metal bar with a great kitchen. Amazing hotdog – a must try. Get the cheese fries too, you won’t be bummed.”

Their menu serves Mexican-American food, the décor is pretty cool, they have a few pool tables (FYI, we LOVE playing pool) and pinball machines.

As they say, it’s “a place to get fed and drunk”.

Who’s in!?

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 12pm – 4am
Saturday & Sunday: 11 am – 4 am

Location: 54 Waterbury Street

www.theanchoredinn.com


Best inspiring lunch – Carthage Must Be Destroyed

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jason Naylor Carthage Must Be Destroyed Communal Steading by HeyDavina
Curiosities Insider Interviews Jason Naylor Carthage Must Be Destroyed Inside
Curiosities Insider Interviews Jason Naylor Carthage Must Be Destroyed Full Table by SheraStClair
Curiosities Insider Interviews Jason Naylor Carthage Must Be Destroyed Fruits
Curiosities Insider Interviews Jason Naylor Carthage Must Be Destroyed Details
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“I am not even going to say anything about Carthage Must Be Destroyed. You just have to go with at most one other person, or maybe just by yourself, and have lunch. It will change your perspective on the word beautiful.

This place doesn’t have a street sign, so pay attention when you’re looking for it. It’s really something! From the outside you’d never expect to see what’s inside.

As Jason said, we’ll let you go and experience it yourself!

Hours: Open 7 days a week and holidays: 9am – 4pm

Location: 222 Bogart Street

http://carthagemustbedestroyed.com


Best place to people watch – SoHo Park

“This is an obvious one, but this a place I like to go to sit and get fashion inspiration. Good place to sit and hang and soak in the beautiful people of SoHo.”

We have to agree! SoHo is one of the best neighborhood in New York City to people watch. You’ll be able to experience every style in only one place.

So, grab your coffee, sit back and enjoy!

Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 12pm – 10:30pm
Friday & Saturday: 12pm – 11pm
Sunday: 12pm – 9:30pm

Location: 62 Prince Street


Best dinner – Beco Bar

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jason Naylor Beco Bar

“I always order the Brazilian Steak at Beco, in Greenpoint. Bring cash, for it’s cash-only. Put plenty of salt on your meat and be sure to order their famous Pão de Queijo too!”

We’ve written about them and posted about Beco countless times, and our Founder, , is also literally always there.

They have been chosen by locals as one of the neighborhood’s favorite to-go spots and it can get quite busy! Besides the fantastic food and specialty Brazilian cocktail drinks – like the Caipirinha and the Batida de Coco, they still have awesome live music performances.

One of our favorites bands is Regional de Nova York that plays the traditional Brazilian “Chorinho” music. This happens every other Sunday afternoon!

Hours:
Monday – Friday 8am – 12am
Saturday 10am – 12am
Sunday 10am – 11pm

Location: 45 Richardson Street

www.becobar.com


Best secret place to watch NYC fireworks – Parking lot at Western Beef

“At the edge of Ridgewood there’s a grocery wholesaler called Western Beef. The parking lot sits on a hill and has a view of the entire city.

You can see ALL the fireworks that happen just by parking in the parking lot and hanging by the fence. It’s not the closest view, but you can see them all, as well as the NYC skyline, and it’s pretty quiet.”

Location: 47-05 Metropolitan Avenue


Best Bar – Boobie Trap

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jason Naylor Boobie Trap Nicole Dissier Bedford Bowery
Photo Credit: Nicole Dissier for Bedford + Bowery

“My friend owns this bar called Boobie Trap, and I designed a lot of the stuff in the place including the logo, which has boobs!!! You can also sit in my chair which is covered in art!!!”

Yes, this place is quite something!

Be sure to observe the details around the bar…you’ll certainly have a great time uncovering each one of them!

Have fun!

Hours:
Monday – Saturday: 12pm – 4am
Sunday: 12pm – 12am

Location: 308 Bleecker Street

www.boobietrapbrooklyn.com


We also uncovered a few other curiosities about Jason:

Read below to get deeper into Jason’s journey. He shared more about his murals, his inspirations, what he enjoys working on the most, where we can find his murals around New York, which are his favorite artists and still, his passion with tattoos!

***

How did you start working with painting murals and what was the first one you did?

“The first mural I did was in 2013 – a producer friend called me in panic with an event for Microsoft at SXSW and their graphics for the event fell through.

She asked if I could get graphics up on the wall for the space as I had done that a lot before for brands – you know, design graphics to be printed on vinyl and wrapped on to walls.

But there was no time to have them printed so I offered to paint a mural on the wall during the event. I assumed it couldn’t be that hard? Get the right supplies and get to work?

So, I did, and it was a huge success, and they brought be back the next year to do it again! Meanwhile, I was hooked on large scale. Never looked back.”

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jason Naylor Studio

What are your inspirations to create these fantastic art works? Does your hometown of Salt Lake City have a part in it?

“Well, I’m inspired by anything uplifting. I like a ‘feel good’ vibe, and I like to brighten things with color and positivity. So quotes, motivational speaking, self help… these things inspire me, as well as anything colorful.

My upbringing I’m sure plays a big part, but that is a very long story, LOL. Suffice it say that I am happy about where I came from and happy about where I am now, and I feel inspired by anything that is optimistic or positive.”

You are gifted with so many expertise, from doodles, logos, typography, design, etc…what do you most enjoy doing?

“First of all, thank you! I honestly enjoy the range of things I do. The variety enables me to put all my love into each project, as it keeps things fresh and never feeling tiresome or old.

I think diversity in mediums and tools and projects keeps me on my toes, as well.”

Where can people find your murals around New York?

“On 16th Street with 6th Avenue, 60th Street with 2nd Avenye, Houston with 1st – 2nd  Avenues (in the park), Orchard & Houston (the ice cream shop gate), Bowery & Hester, Suffolk & Delancey,  (collaboration with HekTad).

Also, in Queens, on Queens Blvd with 46th Street and in Brooklyn, across from Kings Plaza.”

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jason Naylor Live Life Colorfully
Curiosities Insider Interviews Jason Naylor All You Need Is Love
Curiosities Insider Interviews Jason Naylor Love Comes In Every Color
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This is tough, but what are some of your favorites works?

“Ohhh. Well. I love Tristan Eaton murals. Insanely cool and well planned. I love the photography of Nick Knight. I love Kaws, so smart and James Jean, his magical illustrations make me swoon.”

How about your tattoos? Are they all your drawings? If not, how do you choose the tattoo artist to be part how these drawing come to life?

“The only tattoo that I drew is the first one. I drew and re drew it 100 times before getting it tattooed.

Now, I’ve learned that you have to enable the tattoo artist some creative liberty, if you want a good tattoo. So, I try to selects artists based on their portfolio, style etc…and talk it through with them.

They know how your ideas will come out on the 3D surface of your body. Sometimes flat art doesn’t translate, and its best to let the artist do his/her thing!”


Jason, we had a great time interviewing you and learning more about your journey, your work, your 7 best NYC secret spots and all the upcoming exciting news!

Keep up this fantastic work and continue leaving your mark throughout our beloved New York City!

If you want to know who else is talking about Jason Naylor, read this interview with the Foodie Influencer, Cheryl Wat. And still, if you’re into street art, check out this tour around Bushwick and last, for the curious ones out there, take a look at a few more city secrets.

 

Video Credits: FreshNewYorkers and Test Truck by NotBeAfraid2Fail
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Nicole Dissier for Bedford + Bowery, HeyDavina, SheraStClair and all venues

The 7 Best Cocktail Places In NY By Rachel And Kyle Ford

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Rachel Kyle Ford The Rum House Iced

Rachel and Kyle Ford, from Ford Media Lab, know cocktails. They shared with us their 7 best cocktail places in NY and we can’t wait to check them all out!

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Rachel and Kyle Ford

This week we bring you a super talented duo!

Named two of Saveur Magazine’s 15 Cocktail Instagrams to Follow in 2017, Rachel and Kyle Ford of Ford Media Lab know cocktails.

Formerly cocktail bartenders and brand ambassadors for top spirit brands, Rachel and Kyle used their insider knowledge when creating 1806 Magazine.

To discover more of their favorite spots and behind-the-scenes stories of the people behind cocktail culture in New York City – including more about those listed below– pick up a copy of 1806 Magazine, Volume 1: New York City at Ford Media Lab (FML). 


Rachel Ford:

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Rachel Ford

After attending OTIS College of Art and Design for Fashion, Rachel earned a degree in Business, merging her creative talents with a keen understanding of brand marketing and strategy.

A love of creating a unique consumer experience led Rachel to the hospitality industry, where she made a name for herself internationally.

Rachel went on to represent Tanqueray gin as the National Ambassador, demonstrating unparalleled influence and strategic vision.

Her inimitable story-telling ability served as a basis for FML’s expansion into creative brand consulting and independent publications.

She is known as a figure in the world of media, appearing on Bar Rescue, and within the pages of Chilled, Cocktail Lovers, and The Daily Beast.


Kyle Ford:

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Kyle Ford

With a degree in Economics and Philosophy, Kyle began his professional life in
Finance. Creative energies eventually prompted him to quit his job and pursue his keen interest in craft cocktails and photography.

Kyle became the resident cocktail and spirits expert for Rémy Cointreau and managed their international brand advocacy initiative.

During this time, his strategic use of social media and photography inspired a business opportunity.

The combination of these two worlds served as a basis for the formation of FML and its first creative partnerships with international spirits companies.

Kyle’s work and personality has been featured such places as Fox & Friends, VH1, Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Wine Enthusiast, and Nylon Magazine.

 

Take a look below to see their 7 Best Cocktail Places in NY:


Lighthouse – Williamsburg

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Rachel Kyle Ford Lighthouse Façade
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Rachel Kyle Ford Lighthouse Bar
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Rachel Kyle Ford Lighthouse Inside
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Rachel Kyle Ford Lighthouse Cocktail
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Rachel Kyle Ford Lighthouse Burger
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Rachel Kyle Ford Lighthouse Salad
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“Have you ever walked into a space and felt a positive energy that you couldn’t quite put your finger on? For us, that place is Lighthouse. Run by the kindest brother/sister team on the planet with a passion for sustainability, Lighthouse serves great food that you can feel good about eating. Be sure to visit for brunch; the chilequiles are a favorite and the house-baked bread is some of the best around. The cocktails are not to be missed either!”

The siblings, Assaf and Namma Tamir, truly do a great job at this neighborhood spot. Their entire business model revolves around sustainable values that we definitely support.

They offer a menu with New American fare, working with super fresh and seasonal ingredients, sourced locally from local growers and farmers. There is also a Pre-Fix Family-style option that is great for bigger groups and they can accommodate diet restrictions too!

Their drink options range from their signature cocktails, to a great selection of organic, biodynamic and natural wines.

“We recycle, compost, and collaborate with other green minded organizations to grow, improve and educate ourselves, our staff, our guests.”

It’s a great spot for brunch or dinner, so be sure to add them to your To-Go List! Oh! And still, they offer spaces for private events and catering services,

Hours:
Tuesday – Thursday: 6pm – 11pm
Friday: 6pm – 12pm
Saturday: 12pm – 4pm | 6pm – 12pm
Sunday: 12pm – 4pm | 6pm – 11pm

Location: 145 Borinquen Place

http://lighthousebk.com


Long Island Bar – Cobble Hill

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Rachel Kyle Ford Long Island Bar Boulevadier
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Rachel Kyle Ford Long Island Bar Cocktail
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Rachel Kyle Ford Long Island Bar
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“Imagine enjoying a Cosmopolitan cocktail – made by the man who created the recipe we know today – in a bar that feels both modern and preserved in time. With a team of bartenders formerly behind bars like Death and Company and Flatiron Lounge, at Long Island Bar you’re in good hands – even if Toby Cecchini himself isn’t around to make you feel like Carrie Bradshaw.”

The story of this place starts back in 1951, when it was family owned by Emma Sullivan and her husband, in partnership with her cousins. Then, in 2013, it was renovated and relaunched by Joel Tompkins and Toby Cecchini.

Today, they’ve been chosen and featured by food experts for having the best burgers, French fries and cocktails.

As Tompkins said to Grub Street: “It’s a fifties bar, it’s near the water, and it’s the most gorgeous, warm place you’d want to have a drink in.”

Go check it out!

Hours:
Sunday – Thursday: 5:30pm – 12am
Friday & Saturday: 5:30pm – 2am

Location: 110 Atlantic Avenue

http://thelongislandbar.com


The Rum House – Times Square

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Rachel Kyle Ford The Rum House Serving Cocktail
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Rachel Kyle Ford The Rum House Menu
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Rachel Kyle Ford The Rum House Iced
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Rachel Kyle Ford The Rum House Orange
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Rachel Kyle Ford The Rum House Lime Cocktail
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Rachel Kyle Ford The Rum House Band
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The Rum House is literally the best place to get a drink in the worst place on earth. Once a seedy bar with an honor-system beer cooler and clouds of cigarette smoke, The Rum House has transformed the space into a magical cocktail haven with nightly live music and old New York nostalgia. Word has it they make a mean Daiquiri.”

Times Square is definitely not a place in our radar, but we have to confess that there is a hand full of great hidden spots there. This one is a great option if you’re into run and cocktails in general.

If you’re into good live music, be sure to see their website and see which bands are lined up for the week!

Hours: Daily, 12pm – 4am

Location: 228 West 47th Street

http://therumhousenyc.com


Amor y Amargo – East Village

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Rachel Kyle Ford Amor y Amargo

“The name of this beloved thirteen-seat bar and bitters shop, Amor Y Amargo, literally translates to “love and bitters.” Responsible for turning those in-the-know on to the world of Italian amaro, at this intimate East Village bar you’ll find a carefully curated menu of stirred and spirituous cocktails – but first you need to find a seat. Go early!”

Founded in 2011, this is a great spot to go if you’re into tasting. Plus, it’s a small space, just like we enjoy.

They have a bit of everything and you’ll be surprise by their cocktail options. If you’re not really an expert, even better! They’ll be able to recommend their best drinks, catered to what you like.

We’re positive you won’t leave disappointed!

Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 5pm – 1am
Friday: 5pm – 3am
Saturday: 3pm – 3am
Sunday: 3pm – 1am

Location: 443 East 6th Street

www.amoryamargony.com


Bar Goto – Lower East Side

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Rachel Kyle Ford Bar Goto
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Rachel Kyle Ford Bar Goto Sake
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Rachel Kyle Ford Bar Goto Miso Wings
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Rachel Kyle Ford Bar Goto Dish
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“When the former Head Bartender of the famed Pegu Club decided to open his own bar on the Lower East Side, Bar Goto, he paid homage to his Japanese heritage. From the meticulously-crafted cocktails, to the delicious okonomiyaki, to his grandmother’s obe belt hanging on the wall, he did just that. Standout items include the Sakura Martini and the celery (trust us, you’ll love it – even if you’d never pair “love” and “celery” together).”

Ahhh, the Lower East Side of Manhattan is definitely one of the neighborhoods we enjoy exploring the most!

This place is a “first come, first serve”, so depending on the day, you might wait a while. But, it’s surely worth the wait.

Bar Goto opened in 2015 and from the day they launched, they have collected countless nominations from “Best NYC Bars” to “Top 15 Cocktails” and more!

They offer everything from wine, sake, beer and champaign. Their menus is based on Japanese comfort food from curry ramen and miso wings, to spicy cod roe spaghetti with squid and other delicious options.

Hours:
Tuesday – Thursday: 5pm – 12am
Friday & Saturday: 5pm – 2am
Sunday: 5pm – 12am

Location: 245 Eldridge Street

www.bargoto.com


Cocktail Kingdom – Flatiron District

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Rachel Kyle Ford Cocktail Kingdom by Alice Gao
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Alice Gao

“Where do all the top bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts buy their barware? Cocktail Kingdom. While you can order online, it’s much more fun to visit in person – but you have to know where to look. Tucked inside an office building on 25th Street is a treasure-trove of everything from copper-hued bar spoons to etched glassware and cocktail books filled with mouth-watering recipes. If you’re lucky, owner and cocktail savant Greg Boehm may show you his vintage book library.”

Yup, they have it all! It’s surely an experience to go there and see everything they offer.

Make your list and go crazy with everything from bar spoons, strainers, jiggers, mixing glasses, to bitters bottles, trays, bags, cases and shakers!

Hours: Monday – Friday 10:30am – 5pm

Location: 36 West 25th Street, 5th Floor

www.cocktailkingdom.com


Jupiter Disco – Bushwick

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Rachel Kyle Ford Jupiter Disco

“If you weren’t looking for Jupiter Disco, you’d probably never know it’s there. Marked by a single red light, it feels like you’ve discovered a super cool secret when you walk through the unmarked door to find a dark cocktail bar and a DJ spinning for a hip industry crowd. The cocktail menu is displayed on screens on either side of the bar amongst the neon lights; remember to look up!”

Looking for a hidden, sci-fi inspired spot with fantastic cocktails and DJs playing all night long for a hype crowd? This is the place for you!

They have only a few food options: the empanadas, but their drinks are awesome! Plus, it’s divided in the menu into some fun topics like: “Introduction to Orbit”, “When the Kite String Pops…”and “Generation Ship”.

Get ready for take off!

Hours: Monday – Sunday: 6pm – 4am

Location: 1237 Flushing Avenue

www.jupiterdisco.com


Thank you Rachel and Kyle for sharing your 7 best cocktail places in NY, and keep up the amazing work at Ford Media Lab!

If you enjoyed these tips, you might also enjoy reading out other places to enjoy New York’s nightlife!

To organize Corporate Events with tastings and the best mixologists in town, contact our experts.

 

Photo Credits: Courtesy of Rachel and Kyle Ford,  Alice Gao, and all the venues.

The 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues To Have Fun

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Midsummer Night Swing

New York City certainly has it all! The recognized ballroom dancer, Olga Kochnova, shared with us the 7 best NYC social dance venues. We are sure to get you on your feet in no time!

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Olga Kochnova
Olga Kochnova inside Central Park. Photo Credit: MagNat Photography.

Olga Kochanova is a prominent, internationally recognized ballroom dancer from Saint-Petersburg, Russia. She is the founder of Brooklyn Dance Lessons – a NYC-based dance company that offers private lessons of ballroom, social, and wedding dance.

Olga has been a practicing ballroom dancer for over 20 years. She has studied all major styles of ballroom dance as well as rhythmic gymnastics. Olga is proficient in the International Standard, Latin styles as well as in American Rhythm and Smooth.

Having participated in over 200 prestigious competitions, Olga has garnered many awards along the way. Among these trophies are two first place awards from the Saint-Petersburg Ballroom Competition and first place in the Petrozavodsk City Ballroom Competition.

In 2001, she joined the Professional Ballroom School, Esperanza – the number one school in Saint-Petersburg. There she studied under Radik and Eve Bagautinova, two professional Latin-style Ballroom dancers.

Throughout the years, she has trained under professional dancers and world champions like Karen Hardy, Andrew Sinkinson, Goran Nordin, Gherman Mustuc, Iveta Lukosiute, Daniel Heroux, Patty Contenta, and Gennadiy Gunko.

Amazing, right?

Currently living in New York, we invited her to share the 7 best NYC social dance venues:


Swing 46

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Swing 46 Sax
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Swing 46 Dance Floor
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Swing 46 Drummer
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Swing 46 Stage
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Swing 46 Waitress
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Swing 46 Mojito
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Swing 46 Bar Snacks
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Swing 46 Seating Area
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Swing 46 Bar
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Swing 46
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Swing 46 is one of the oldest restaurants in NY that plays live music and has a dance floor for its guests. It is not a big dance floor, but you can show off your basic moves or watch amazing swing dancers making their performances.

Here, live bands usually play a mix of some ballroom music, like Foxtrot, Rumba and Swing, as well as some hits from Lindy Hop and Jitterbug Era. They are open every evening for dancing and lessons start at 9pm. To get in you need to pay music charge of $15 – $20, depending on the day of the week.

I would recommend to go in the beginning of the week if you would like to dance, and Thursday to Saturday if you would like to watch.”

This Jazz and Swing Dance Club was founded in June of 1997 in Hell’s Kitchen. They offer a good menu with American Fare dishes prepared with the carefully sourced ingredients. Their sauces and dressings are homemade, as well as their freshly baked bread.

If you’re in the mood for Happy Hour, they have it daily from 5pm to 7pm, with half price drink specials at the bar.

Hours: Daily from 5pm – 1am

Band starts playing:
Sunday – Thursday: 8:30pm
Friday & Saturday: 9:30pm

Location: 349 West 46th Street

http://swing46.com


Rainbow Room

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Rainbow Room

“Hidden on top of Rockefeller Center, the Rainbow Room is an absolute NYC favorite spot.

This fancy restaurant with Manhattan’s skyscrapers view on 65th floor, has a dance floor in the center area. They started organizing social dance events since mid 20th century!

On Monday evenings you can enjoy your date night with Empire State Building view, 3 course dinner, live music and your favorite cocktail. It is definitely not the cheapest option in New York, but it’s well worth it!”

Their grand opened dates back to 1934 and was one of the best late night destination spots in town. Famous of their charity events, they attracted the biggest names to attend their gatherings.

It’s a great place to go for dinner, drinks and even to celebrate a special date or host a corporate event.

But, definitely try their nights with world-class dining and dancing with live music!

Hours: Check their website for the different hours in each of their spaces.

Location: 30 Rockefeller Plaza, 65th Floor

https://rainbowroom.com


Midsummer Night Swing

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Midsummer Night Swing

“It’s been 30 years since Midsummer Night Swing started and yet it is still one of the most popular places to dance in New York. Every summer, the Lincoln Center organizes the “Midsummer Night Swing” – 3 weeks of unforgettable evenings with popular bands and a big dance floor, under the open sky.

Events start at 6:30pm with a dance lesson for people of all levels, conducted by some of the leading instructors in New York City. Lessons are included in the ticket price. Live music starts at 7:30pm and lasts until 10pm.

The organizers present a large selection of artists, reflecting the different musical styles of New York. Jazz, disco, ballroom dancing, rhythm and blues, salsa, tango and west cost swing are among the most popular one.”

Schedule:
6:00 pm – Dance floor opens
6:30 – 7:15 pm – Group dance lesson
7:30 – 8:30 pm – First live set (unless otherwise noted)
9:00 – 10:00 pm – Second live set (unless otherwise noted)
10:00 – 11:30 pm – Silent Disco (June 29 and July 8 only)

Single Tickets:
In advance – $17
Day-of – $20

www.lincolncenter.org


Tatiana Restaurant & Nightclub

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Tatiana Women Dancing
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Tatiana Russian Dancers
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Tatiana Performance
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Tatiana Opened Seating
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Tatiana Lobsters
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Tatiana Dessert
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Tatiana Salmon
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Tatiana Meat Dish
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Tatiana Coney Island
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“If you want to see something more original and authentic, you can visit one of the oldest Russian restaurants in New York: Tatiana Restaurant & Nightclub.

It became very popular for its colorful dance performances on Saturday nights, that presents traditional Russian dances.

You can also try Russian food and, since it happens to be located at Coney Island’s boardwalk, you can combine the visit with nice day at the ocean, during the hotter months.”

So, what to expect? As they explain:

“The scene that opens up is something out of a James Bond movie “From Russia with Love”. Its Sex in the City mixed in Sleepless on Brighton Beach. Vodka and Cognac pours like fountain Di Trevi in Rome.

Ladies hang on to your husbands and guys don’t forget to shave, because there are plenty of people to impress. You do not need a red carpet invitation to see city’s top fashion worn in style and such sex appeal that is even desired by many celebrities.”

Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 10am – 10pm
Friday: 10am – 11pm
Saturday & Sunday: 10am – 1am

Location: 3152 Brighton 6th Street, Brooklyn

http://tatianarestaurant.com/nyc


Plus, for salsa lovers, there are plenty of places to go. Some of them are:

Taj II

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Taj Entrance
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Taj Seating
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Taj Bar
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Taj Bar Area
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Taj Private Table
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Taj Performance
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Taj Waiters
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“Every Monday evening Taj II has salsa parties that are popular amongst both beginners and professional dancers. With live music and sometimes professional performances in between, this event is very popular between New Yorkers.

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been dancing, people are very friendly here and will invite everyone who wants to join them on the dance floor – even if you are an absolute beginner.

You can also book a table and just enjoy your food watching impressive dancers. The entrance is $12.”

Located in the Flatiron District, this spot impresses from the start with its opulent and majestic décor. If you’re still a bit shy to go to the floor and dance, feel free to just watch!

Hours:
Monday & Tuesday: 5 pm – 1 am
Wednesday – Saturday: 5pm – 4am
First Sunday monthly: 12pm – 7pm for Brunch

Location: 48 West 21st Street

www.tajlounge.com


Sunset Salsa

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Sunset Salsa

“On Tuesdays, during the months of July and August, everyone can enjoy the most scenic dance event in New York: Sunset Salsa.

Located in the Hudson River Park on Pier 45, in the Greenwich Village, you’ll find best Latin DJs and hundreds of dancers. The view of New Jersey and Manhattan itself is already worth the trip.

Music and amazing vibes from salsa dancers will make you want to learn a couple of moves yourself. In my opinion, it’s one of the best NYC events. The party starts around 7:15pm and is free to everyone!”

There is nothing like a sunset party in New York right? Well, this one will certainly get you on your feet! The beginner’s salsa dance lessons are from 6:30om – 7:15pm and the DJs start the party at 7:15pm!

Have fun!

Location: Pier 45

https://hudsonriverpark.org


Salsa Brunch

Salsa Brunch is one of the newest additions to the dancing scene in New York City. Organized by two amazing salsa dancers, its a good event where you can enjoy brunch and kill some calories the same time! Ha!

You will find a DJ, photographers, as well as some pretty good dancers. Table reservation is necessary if you would like to eat.

Sometimes they organize special editions like ‘Salsa meets Hip Hop’, so you can enjoy two different cultures at the same time.

Currently, it happens only once a month on Saturdays, in Harlem.”

Since location changes every now and then, every time they offer a different type of food and drink, so be sure to check online what’s up next!

www.salsabrunch.com


Finally, there are a few other events and restaurants that might be interesting and worth the visit:

Latin Cruise – Vamos A Bailar! From April through November, join NY Party Cruises on a Midnight Cruise this season! They transform the 1st floor of the Harbor Lights Yacht into a Latin Lounge complete with the best of Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Reggaeton and Latin House.

Salsa at the Brooklyn Museum – Their season of salsa continues with a Salsa Party hosted by Balmir Latin Dance Studio. Start the evening with a class led by professional dancers at 6pm, followed by live music, social dancing, and performances by Brooklyn’s best Latin dance teams.

Iguana – One of the most spectacular Mexican Restaurant in New York. Iguana offers 3 floors of dining and dancing. Unwind with one of their famous 28 flavors of Margaritas or Mojitos. Follow that up with a truly exquisite dinner experience.


And, if you loved all of these unique social dance venues and you’d like to organize a special and customized corporate event with this theme, contact our experts to assist you.

 

Photo Credits: Courtesy of MagNat Photography and all the venues.

All the images used on this website are the property of BTSNYC or used with proper credit.
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