Category Archives: City Secrets

New York City: Pulse [The City That Never Sleeps]

Curiosities City Secrets Behind the Scenes New York City Pulse by Hawk Films

In the middle of the Covid-19, a global pandemic, we decided to share a beautiful video we named New York City: Pulse [The City That Never Sleeps]. Let’s share and pray for New York City!

We’re posting this video in homage to our beautiful and always dynamic New York City! LET’S ALL SHARE IT?!

The city that never sleeps, is now asleep. But, hopefully not for long!

While everyone should be doing their part during this crucial moment, staying at home and helping those that need help, we should keep blessing daily the NYC and the world!

Check out our Covid-19 Instagram Highlight to see how to help small local NYC businesses and share with us any NY business you’d like us to feature!

Help those in need, donate, share information, help the elderly, the sick! Do everything you can! This is a test and one of the lessons is to learn how to be of service to those around you! So, BE OF SERVICE!

We are in this together and this too shall pass…and we will get stronger and more united. Let’s awake the city that never sleeps!


This is not at all intended to be a religious statement, but there is a powerful and famous Prayer by St. Francis of Assisi that states:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offense, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
O Master, let me not seek as much
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that one receives,
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.

During this global pandemic we should all join and say these words with the intention of healing every person and every being, and Mother Earth! It’s our home, let’s take care of it!

If you enjoyed this, take a look at A Wedding Vow To NYC: “I Take You, New York City…”, the the city that never sleeps.


Thank you to our friends from Hawk Films (Brasil) that put this together a while back! We just found it in our archives and wanted to share with the world!

Disclaimer: This video has never been shown or promoted before and it was simply made for the love for New York City!

Biggest NYC Wine Trends Of 2020

Curiosities City Secrets NYC Wine Trends Friends by

These will be the biggest NYC wine trends of 2020. So, if you’re a wine lover like we are, keep on reading! And…enjoy!

Curiosities City Secrets NYC Wine Trends by Kelsey ChancePeople in the United States are drinking more wine than ever before, and New Yorkers are among the top 5 wine drinkers in the country. That said, we’re here to share with you the biggest NYC wine trends of 2020!

Whether it’s a gathering with friends at a trendy tapas restobar or just a regular night watching “The Witcher” on Netflix, nothing can be more celebratory or relaxing than having a glass or two of vino.

In 2020, wine drinking is about to get even better as insiders predict the arrival of new wine trends to shake up your drinking experience.

From innovative packaging to a fun and fizzy drink, these are the biggest wine trends to look out for in 2020.


Canned red and white wine

The latest wine trends in Australia made their way to NYC in last September’s Wine Australia Tasting at Union West in Chelsea, and the new wines have been a part of the city’s diverse wine culture ever since.

A vacation in Australia is the trip of a lifetime for many New Yorkers, and many celebrate it with local wines – you can buy Shiraz wine from Qantas to celebrate your first flight to the country or pop open a bottle of Australian Merlot while camping with friends on the Outback.

Australian favorites are widely available in NYC since the Union West event, and the availability of canned wine makes reliving vacation memories even easier for New Yorkers.

Even more distributors are predicted to release canned versions of their best-selling wines. Canned rosé was the drink of choice among millennials in the summer of 2018 and 2019. But, in the new year, expect to see more people enjoying traditional red and white wines packaged in portable containers.

These new canned wines, along with other innovations in the wine industry, will likely be showcased at the Vinexpo New York 2020 from March 2nd to 3rd, at the Jacob K. Javits Center.


Orange wine

Curiosities City Secrets NYC Wine Trends by Court Cook

We’re all familiar with red, white and pink wine, but orange wine is about to be big in the new decade.

Wine takes on the sunny hue when grape juice is fermented with the skins of the white grape. This is why orange wine is also called a skin-contact wine.

It has a slightly different taste from traditional white or red wines, and goes well with beef or fish. So, it’s a good choice if you have yet to master food and wine pairings.

You can taste this type of wine at some New York wineries such as the Red Hook Winery, Channing Daughters, and Chamber Street Wines.

Oh, and have you heard of Green wine? Try them at the cool hotspot, Beco, located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn!


Fizzy and affordable Piquette

Sustainable wine is starting to become more popular nowadays, so make your wine drinking experience more eco-friendly by drinking Piquette.

This drink isn’t exactly classified as a type of wine, as it’s made by adding water to the pomace, which is the leftover stems, skins and seeds that the winemaker discards after extracting the juice from the grapes.

This means that you’re basically drinking a beverage made from the byproducts of the wine making process. And, what you get is a fizzy drink that has a slightly sweet flavor with a bit of a sour tang.

Insiders are predicting that Piquette will be a lot more popular in the new decade due to its low alcohol content. You can find this type of drink at wineries such as Henry’s in Brooklyn.

The NYC wine culture is about to experience some welcome changes in the new decade. Be on the lookout for these wine trends, and enjoy discovering new wines in 2020.


Curiosities City Secrets NYC Wine Trends by Renata Meirelles


Guest Writer: Cindy Trillo
Photo Credits: Courtesy of Renata Meirelles, Kelsey Chance and Court Cook

Secret Behind the Scenes Grand Central Terminal Tour

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Grand Central Terminal Secret Tour

Grand Central Terminal is one of New York City’s most amazing historical attractions. Even though it can be quite touristy, we always find a way to tweak it into a behind the scenes experience for you! Book your spot at our Secret Behind the Scenes Grand Central Terminal Tour!


BOOK NOW!

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Grand Central Terminal Secret Tour

If you’ve never been to New York, or if you’ve been here countless times, the city can be quite overwhelming with things to do and places to go!

Even though we are always covering the best hidden spots, events and upcoming brands, there are quite a few historical places that will never negate! The city is overflowing with history and our efforts in keeping it live are tireless and endless!

One of the most magnificent and monumental attractions is our beloved Grand Central Terminal! We always get lost in thoughts and emotions when we walk through it.

We definitely experience a timeless affair with it!

The story behind this grandiose landmark is more than amusing, but let’s starts with saying it’s name correctly, ok?

People have the habit of calling it “Grand Central Station”. But, the correct name is “Grand Central Terminal”! Why? Because a terminal is where train lines “terminate”. It’s the start and ending point for trains, hence, it’s a Terminal, not a Station. So, let’s start saying the name right!

BOOK NOW!

In the past, the Grand Central Terminal was seen as an embarrassment to the city of New York, and you can’t even imagine why!

This behind the scenes Grand Central Terminal tour will take you through the common areas. In addition, it will also give you so much rich, unpublished and private information of things people don’t quite notice while rushing by!

But wait, we want to tell you more! You’ll also finally be told where the 4 Whispering Arches are, if you haven’t found it yet.

Want something ultra top secret!? Ask about the M42, a secret sub-basement. Why it’s completely blocked by security and why its exact location is so closely guarded! The story is thrilling!

During the 2nd World War, even Hitler tried infiltration spies to gain access to destroy it, but was thankfully unsuccessful. It does not even show in the Terminal’s blueprints and maps, due to is secrecy.

So, expect not only to see many of the traditional spots – with secret information, but also experience some quite unique places within the building!

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Peek into the entrance of the glass walkways;
  • Locate its lost armchairs;
  • Learn about Grand Central Terminal’s backwards ceiling;
  • See its hidden tennis courts;
  • Learn many more of its secrets!

DETAILS:
Price: $35 / person
What to wear: Bring comfortable shoes.
What to know: The tour is 1.5 hours long; please consult with the MTA for weekend subway schedules and routing changes. Please note that due to enhanced security measures, Grand Central no longer allows access to places like the M-42 basement, FDR train car or glass walkways to non Metro-North or MTA employees.
Ticket Confirmation: After you book this experience, you will receive a confirmation email from our partner confirming you are attending the tour!

BOOK NOW!


To organize a behind the scenes tour for your team or a special group of clients, contact our experts to learn more about our Corporate Tours & Experiences.

If you enjoy this type of tour, be sure to check what the Underground New York Subway Tour is all about! Plus, for the music lovers, explore these secret music gigs that happen around town!


Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC
*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

Making The Most Of NYC On A Budget

Curiosities-City-Secrets-NYC-On-A-Budget Coins

Yes, New York is an expensive city, but there are things you can do to try and make the most of NYC on a budget. Let us tell you how!

Curiosities-City-Secrets-NYC-On-A-Budget

It’s no secret that NYC is an expensive city — the average cost of living is 129% more expensive than the national average. But, when it comes to career development, nightlife, culture, shopping, and food, there’s no beating the Big Apple. Regardless of your level of income, it’s possible to budget and minimize your expenses while taking advantage of all the city has to offer.

Let us tell you how!


Cut out unnecessary expenses

Cutting out unnecessary expenses will free up money to spend elsewhere.

For example, if you have a car, consider getting rid of it. Insurance in NYC is expensive and monthly payments, gas, and maintenance adds up fast.

Investing in a monthly MetroCard ($127) is a cost-effective way of commuting every day. You can save on taxi fares by walking as much as possible.

Also, consider eliminating subscription services you may not need, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, or the New York Times. Alternatively, look into sharing subscription costs with your friends.


Use credit

Make your purchases with a credit card, so you can take advantage of the rewards.

Most banks offer great deals on cash back at restaurants and stores, as well as travel points. Just make sure to track your spending and be in the habit of paying your card off every month.

If you have a debit card, belong to a bank with low ATM fees.

Moreover, if you have a larger purchase to make, consider using a personal loan. Personal loans have lower interest rates than credit cards. There’s also the opportunity for flexible repayment plans.


Free attractions

NYC has no shortage of free activities if you know where to go. Take a free yoga class at Bryant Park — free classes are held on Tuesday mornings at 10am, or Thursday evenings at 6pm.

Visit a free art gallery — there’s plenty in Chelsea (typically between West 14th Street and West 29th Street), such as, Milk Gallery, Gagosian, and David Zwirner. We can also help you to organize a Private Art Tour during your stay!

When you need some peace and quiet, escape to Brooklyn Botanic Garden by Prospect Park. Admission is free on Tuesdays and you can check out the zoo, the LeFrak Center, and Lefferts Historic House. Or, try exploring the New York Botanical Garden, in the Bronx! Such a beautiful place!

Even if you’re on a shoestring budget, NYC is brimming with things to do and see.

Try a cheaper restaurant you wouldn’t normally eat at or seek out a new store with bargain prices. With a little thought and planning, you can enjoy a fulfilling life in NYC without breaking the bank.

You might also want to check out our 4 part Series about “Things No One EVER Tells You About New York” or our 2 part “Cheap NYC Guide”.


Photo Credit: Courtesy
*Last Update on March/2020.*

Louis Mendes: Renowned NYC Street Photographer

City Secrets Louis Mendes NYC Street Photographer Fernanda Paronetto Thumnbnail

If you’ve walked attentively through New York, you’ve probably crossed paths with Louis Mendes, one of the most renowned NYC street photographer. I have a cool story to tell you about the day I wrote about him for the first time.

City Secrets Louis Mendes NYC Street Photographer Fernanda Paronetto
Fernanda Paronetto with Louis Mendes, a renowned NYC Street Photographer. Clicked by Bruce Byers.

A little over 5 years ago, when I started Behind the Scenes NYC (BTSNYC) from my room, in my mom’s house in São Paulo, Brazil my idea (which still remains strong!) was to write about and help spread the love for small, independently owned businesses around New York that have some of the best products and services, far away from the touristy scene!

I also wanted to share the story of New Yorkers that have been leaving their mark around town!

My love for New York has always been something inexplicable that I myself can’t really describe.

Hence my decision of leaving a great job, a 3 year long relationship, my home and move to New York City alone, unemployed but super happy to start a new phase!

Before moving I worked 1 year on BTSNYC from (shocker!!!!) my room in Brazil late hours at night, that was the only time I had free.

With, of course, the help of a bunch on NY-based friends that were my “eyes” – until I was actually able to move!

The Queens-born, Harlem-based photographer, Louis Mendes always called my attention not only because of his flawless style and amazingly cool vintage camera. But, because of his passion to register people in public places and freeze a special moment in time!

I NEVER ask to take pictures with famous people, and New Yorkers know what I’m talking about, hahaha, but I really could not NOT take a picture with him, 5 years after writing about him on my Instagram, when I was still in Brazil!

Louis, it was SO NICE to officially meet you!! Such an honor and I love your work!

And, thank you Bruce Byers, another fantastic photographer, for taking the shot!! It was great to meet you and I’m looking forward to see more of your work!

If you guys are ever in New York, be sure to keep your eyes open! Maybe, you’ll be lucky enough to cross paths with Louis Mendes!


Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC, clicked by Bruce Byers
*Last Update on March/2020.*

16 Things NO ONE EVER tells you about NYC [PART 4/4]

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 4 Rats

I compiled the 16 things NO ONE EVER tells you about NYC! New York City is super friendly city and pretty easy to find you way around. But, there are a few things you should know before visiting!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 4
©Behind the Scenes NYC

New York City is super friendly city and pretty easy to find you way around. But, it also has a few particularities you should know before visiting!

So, I decided to share 16 things NO ONE ever tells you about NYC, for the 1st timers in NYC. There are a few rules and tips to make your NY experience seamless and memorable.

We split this topic into 4 different posts, so see below the final, Part 4! And check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3, if you haven’t already!


#13 Don’t yell if you see a rat or a cockroach!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 4 Rats
Photo Credit: Courtesy

This had to be #13! Hahaha! This will certainly identify you as a “tourist”.

Why? Well, let’s start from the basics! Did you know that there are more rats in New York, than there are people?

Ok, let’s do the math! It’s estimated that within the 5 boroughs (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island), there are around 8.5 million residents. The number of rats is around 5:1, adding up to over 42 million rats below our very own feet!

Now, let me tell you something about cockroaches. They are smart little bastards! I was LITERALLY chased by a human-eater-roach back in 2014 when I came to visit New York before moving, in the middle of a subway station. I was running away from it in circles (no lie!) and the roach was running after me in circles too!

It was comic not to say, ridiculous! I was screaming and laughing desperately – as were all my friends – instead of helping me out. So, don’t do as I did. Try to chill and act as if nothing is wrong! That is…if you can!


#14 Shoot! I need to “pee” and can’t find a bathroom!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 4 Bathroom
©Behind the Scenes NYC

The story of our lives! Manhattan is definitely not a bathroom-friendly place and you might get into some trouble if you don’t know where to run to in an emergency.

I do recommend going to every bathroom you pass by, just in case you don’t at some point! Also, I’ll give you a tip, there is a great APP called SitOrSquat that shares all the public bathrooms in New York. Might be good to downloaded to your phone, right?

Hint, hint! Some places that you’ll find bathrooms: Starbucks, Barnes & Nobel and department stores!


#15 New York is NOT synonymous to Manhattan!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 4 Brooklyn
©Behind the Scenes NYC

And I’m tired of telling people this! I mean, most tourist are stuck between Central Park South and SoHo – which I call “the comfort zone”. But, all the other boroughs in New York are growing and you have just so much to see! It’s just great when you free yourself from Manhattan, and dive into exploring other corners of NYC!

We all know that Brooklyn is now the new “hot spot” with so much going on. So, you might want to start from there. The trendy neighborhood now, is Williamsburg and I love Greenpoint that is close to it. Queens is a paradise for foodies and each borough has its own charm.

And still, there are countless amazing day trips upstate, as well and breathtaking destinations in Long Island, from wineries to beach resorts.

Ok, so let’s start slowly just by crossing the bridge into Williamsburg or DUMBO? I guarantee you’ll be amazed at what you’ll find!


#16 Last by not least: When in doubt, just walk in!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 4 Secret Restaurant
Secret Japanese restaurant hidden behind these doors. ©Behind the Scenes NYC

What I mean is, if you pass by a weird looking door, but apparently people are discretely walking in and out…you might just want to walk in too. I know…the first thought that comes to mind is: “This is part of a horror movie, and if I walk in, I’ll never walk out…” Hahaha!

You never know what you can expect and 99% of the time, you’re not crashing into anyone’s home. On the other side of that door, there might be something extraordinary happening for you to check out or some delicious secret restaurants.

What I mean? Well, secret speakeasy bars are spread all over town, like Patent Pending – that I always love going to, or high-end hidden restaurants with a hidden door tucked behind a hanging art work in a gallery, like Frevo. Regardless, these spots will create some of the most memorable moments of your New York experience!

Be brave…and walk in!


And that’s a wrap for our list of the 16 things NO ONE ever tells you about NYC, for the 1st timers in NYC! There are so many other tips, but I guess that starting through these 16, you’ll be fine!

There are just a few things that we remembered along the way, that we just have to share, and that are FREE:

  • Water in NYC is FREE! Yes, NYC’s tap water is known for being some of the best in the country, and there is even the rumor that our bagel is one of the best, because of the water! So, when you arrive at a bar or restaurant you might automatically receive cups with water that will be refilled all the time, or you can ask for still or sparking water, that comes in a bottle – and these are paid for!
  • Condoms in NYC are FREE! Yup, that’s what you heard! They are Free, so check out where to find Free NYC Condoms.
  • Fitness classes for FREE! The City of New York created the “Shape Up NYC Classes“, where you can find everything from Yoga in the Park and Hip Hop Fitness, to Zumba and Aerobics classes!

If you want a post about all the FREE things to do in NYC, leave your comment below and we’ll get right on it for you!

I hope we were able to help a bit more on your understanding of how the city functions!

Also, as mentioned, feel free to use the information we gave that makes more sense for YOUR trip! When we talk about tipping for example, we know that many people are traveling on a budget, so let’s just be reasonable, right? The idea was just to share a bit how things work!

And, if you’re looking for assistance for a corporate group coming to New York, don’t hesitate to contact our experts! We organize everything from dinners, cocktails to corporate events and unique experiences.


Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC
*Last Update on March/2020.*

Resorts World Casino NYC & City Casinos

Curiosity City Secrets Resort World Casino NYC City Casinos

Resorts World Casino NYC if a high-end casino venue, in Queens, with countless hospitality and entertainment options. So, if you enjoy this nightlife style, be sure to visit!

Curiosity City Secrets Resort World Casino NYC City Casinos

Ask the average New Yorker if there are any casinos in town, and the response will probably be a no. New York as a whole isn’t known for legal casino gaming, save for in a few select places well outside the city. One would imagine that if the city did have a venue of this sort, it would be heavily publicized (not to mention visibly noticeable).

The truth, though, is that New York City actually does have a high-end casino venue – even if it’s out on Rockaway Blvd. in Queens. It’s called Resorts World Casino New York City, and it offers up to 6,000 games and a variety of hospitality and entertainment options.

Resorts World Casino New York may not be as easy or accessible as more traditional nightlife options when you’re just looking to walk a few blocks or take a quick subway ride to meet friends. With that said though, it offers a completely different type of evening entertainment, for those interested – not to mention it’s still more convenient, for most, than a jaunt to Atlantic City.

In addition to the aforementioned 6,000 games, which include both slots and table games, Resorts World Casino New York City has multiple dining venues. RW Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar is a must if you’re heading out for dinner before games.

There are shops that are open late, adding to the resort-like feel of the place. And, maybe best of all for a long night out, there’s also Bar 360. It’s a massive cocktail bar that can showcase sporting events on big screens one hour and morph into a live DJ-driven club the next. Plus, it’s a great place to spend an hour or two in between gaming sessions.

All in all, a trip to Resorts World Casino New York City can expose you to something of a hidden gem on the outskirts of the city. But, it will also make you wonder why, exactly, there aren’t more venues like it in the city, and perhaps closer to popular neighborhoods in Manhattan or Brooklyn.

We can’t answer that definitively, but if Resorts World NYC piques your interest, we should note that recent trends might in fact be hinting at expanding casino activity.

Curiosity City Secrets Resort World Casino NYC City Casinos Inside

For the most part this is because of how things are going just south and west of the city, in New Jersey. Recently, the state has made a major push to augment its somewhat-stagnant casino culture with the introduction of online games.

New Jersey now has its own casino platforms online, and some of the best mobile casinos operating internationally are, as a result, being enjoyed by American players. These online and mobile casinos have reportedly generated a great deal of revenue. And, some argue, have also helped to bring attention back to live casino tourism in the state (and primarily Atlantic City).

The thinking here is that this at least creates an incentive for New York legislators to explore their options.

The state is already in the process of following New Jersey’s lead on legalized sports betting. In a roundabout sort of way, could open the door to online casino activity. In addition, if significant revenue in this area becomes apparent, it’s conceivable that New York would look to capitalize on more in-person gaming venues as well.

Five or 10 years from now, that could mean more casino-related nightlife options in the city. For now though, Resorts World Casino is worth a look!

Location: 110-00 Rockaway Blvd, Jamaica, NY

www.rwnewyork.com


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Resorts World Casino NYC
*Last Update on March/2020.*

Seeing The Best Of New York City By Motorcycle

Curiosities City Secrets Seeing the Best of New York City By Motorcycle Sandra Frey

Have you ever thought of seeing the best of New York City by motorcycle? Let us give you a few pointers on how this could be an amazing experience!

Curiosities City Secrets Seeing the Best of New York City By Motorcycle Sandra Frey Cropped

New York City is one of the most popular tourist destinations in America, attracting more than 60 million guests each year. This, thanks to its world-famous landmarks, eclectic cuisine, and unique culture.

If you’re looking for something other than the typical take on the NYC experience, ditch the buses and walking tours! They are quite touristy anyway… Instead experience the best of New York City by motorcycle.

Exploring by bike makes it easy to see parts of the city secrets that other tourists rarely get to enjoy, and it also makes it easy to snap pictures, grab some street food, or simply take in the view.


Exploring Landmarks Downtown

Downtown, you can find many of the major landmarks of Manhattan, including the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, and Freedom Tower. You can also explore more hole-in-the-wall places, including small restaurants and specialty shops in Chinatown, Little Italy and the up and coming, South Seaport.

You can also see the filming locations of certain famous movies, including the Ghostbuster Firehouse, the Tiffany & Co. flagship store from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and many more. For a thrilling ride, you can cruise through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, the longest continuous underwater road in the U.S.


Experience Uptown Scenery

Uptown is known for its stadiums, like the famous Yankee Stadium, and museums through out the artsy Museum Mile. But, primarily tourists head up to see the scenery.

From the perspective of an automatic motorcycle, you can get some of the best possible views driving up the West Side Highway along the Hudson River. You might also see the palisades that rise over five hundred feet above, cross the George Washington Bridge, head up to the Medieval inspired MET Cloisters and wander through the less well known northern areas of Central Park.


Tour Midtown Monuments

Midtown Manhattan is home to the Empire State Building, Times Square, Grand Central Terminal, and other impressive bastions of culture and architecture.

Are you looking for something a little bit more out of the ordinary? You can visit sites such as the mysterious Rose Hill Historic House, the historic C.O. Bigelow Apothecary, or the quirky Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Masonic Library.

You’re looking to avoid the crowds and experience New York City from a unique angle? So, simply tour the city by motorcycle. Traveling by bike makes it easy to get around. You’ll be able to find all of the hidden gems that NYC has to offer.

Whether you’re riding through the streets of downtown New York, enjoying the sights of midtown, or exploring the refined uptown area, touring New York City by motorbike gives you a unique and exhilarating look at the city.


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sandra Frey
*Last Update on March/2020.*

16 Things NO ONE EVER tells you about NYC [PART 3/4]

16-Things-No-One-Ever-Tells-You-About-NYC-Part-3 Cover

Ahh! New York City, I love you! But, there are a few secrets you must know before coming here. So, I decided to share 16 things NO ONE EVER tells you about NYC.

16-Things-No-One-Ever-Tells-You-About-NYC-Part-3
©Behind the Scenes NYC

There are a few rules and tips to make your NY experience seamless and memorable, and we decided to share a bunch of them with you!

We split this topic into 4 different posts, so see below Part 3 of 16 things NO ONE EVER tells you about NYC! And check out Part 1 and Part 2, if you haven’t already!


#9 Yes, yes, we are “behind the scenes”, but certain attractions are must-sees!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 3 The Pond
©Behind the Scenes NYC

Guys, I’m all about exploring the off-the-beaten-path spots and staying away from the touristy scene, BUT this is New York City. What this means is that there are countless attractions that you HAVE TO go see at least once in your life, after all it’s culture, right?

So, yes, you have to walk through once (or twice) the crazy streets of Times Square to see the infinite sea of lights, bump into the Naked Cowboy and Cowgirl, hear the never ending symphony of cars honking their loud, annoying horns, be in the middle of crazy people walking up and down and pushing you to the side, etc! Phiuf! I got stressed just talking about it!

But, after that, if you’re not actually going to a Broadway show or going to our Behind the Scenes Dining with the Broadway Stars Experience, then I wouldn’t recommend going back there too often.

To see which are the touristy locations we recommend in NY, take a look at our lists: 1st Cheap NYC Guide: 40+ Top Attractions and the 2nd Cheap NYC Guide: 30 Top Attractions.


#10 NEVER IN YOUR LIFE hop on a Central Park carriage ride! Why?

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 3 Horse Carriages
Photo Credit: Courtesy

And I’ll tell you why! It can seem like a nice activity to do, right? But, the reality is that most of these horses are super badly treated of over-worked during the day.

They barely rest, don’t eat enough, and many don’t have good hoof pads protecting their hoofs from the concrete streets. It’s not unusual to suddenly see a horse collapsing in the middle of the streets from exhaustion.

We need help from the tourists to stop with these silly horse carriage rides and spare these animals of being mistreated.

In addition, there is just SO much to do in Central Park, that you can surely skip this carriage ride. We can help you book bike rides around the main spots, or even explore the Secrets Of Central Park Walking Tour.

P.S. – I have talked to a company that does horseback riding inside Central Park. These guys told me that their horse have a max limit of hours or rides per day. They are securely transported in and out of the city and have a specific treatment. You can read more here. Aside of them, I don’t know any other company that has this type of careful approach with the animals.


#11 Never make eye contact! LOL!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 3 No Eye Contact
Photo Credit: Nirosha Methananda

Do you know these guys that are mostly around touristy locations like Times Square, Central Park, etc…calling you? They are trying to sell you on a tour or an activity! Unless it’s your life’s last craving going on top of that crowded 2-story touristy bus that roams around town, I’d just walk away.

If you do look, be sure they WILL approach you to try and sell something!

Also, if anyone is just randomly standing in the street, looking at people with an iPad in their hand…they are also going to ask for 2 minutes, that actually add up to 10minutes, to try and sell something else. In addition to getting your email and spamming you with promo emails.

The real New Yorker flies by these folks as if they were in the middle of that Olympic Speed Walking modality! Hahaha!

But, on the other hand, it’s an amazing feeling to walk around town – in non touristy areas – and just make eye contact with people! You’ll be surprise in how many will literally smile back!


#12 Holding the door can be polite, but….

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 3 Times Square
Photo Credit: Courtesy

Sure! I do super recommend you being polite and helping out someone by opening the door but, be smart about it. You might be holding the door all-day-long with an endless river of people flowing in and out, if you’re not smart, specially in places like Times Square!

I always encourage you to help moms with strollers, elderly folks, kids, someone carrying something super heavy with no spare hands or anyone that apparently needs help. Otherwise, be mindful and kind with anyone walking in and out, but just go with the flow.

Ah! And in the winter, don’t think about holding the door open for too long. The people inside will surely start starting at you with fierce eyes!


So, this was our Part 3 of the 16 things NO ONE EVER tells you about NYC.

But wait! There is still a few last tips: Part 4!

There is just so much to know when coming to New York for the 1st time, that you might as well get ready to have the best time of your life!!!

And finally, if you need any type of assistance for large groups and specially for corporate groups, contact our team.


Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC and Courtesy of Nirosha Methananda
*Last Update on March/2020.*

16 Things NO ONE EVER Tells You About NYC [PART 2/4]

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 2 Photo Sam Truong Dan

New York is a great city to visit and there is so much you can do! But, if you’ve never been, it can be a bit overwhelming. So, I decided to share 16 things NO ONE EVER tells you about NYC.

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 2
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Andre Benz

Yes, believe it or not, there are a few rules and tips to make your NYC experience seamless and memorable. This fast paced city certainly has its particularities. But, I can guarantee, that it’s what make this city so unique! You just need to learn a few tips and tricks, to survive in NYC!

We split this topic into 4 different posts, so see below Part 2!

And if you haven’t seen Part 1, go check it out!


#5 Why don’t yellow cabs just STOP when you signal!? And what are these green cabs?

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 2 Taxi
Photo Credit: Courtesy

Many tourists don’t know that the light on top of the cab helps identify if they are free or with a passenger. When the light is ON, they are free for you to try and stop them. So, when the light is off, they are in the middle of a trip and will pass straight by.

Ah! Have you ever seen the green cabs in Manhattan before!?

Well, these cabs will never stop to pick you up in Manhattan, even if they are free. They are only allowed to get passengers in the other boroughs (Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island), but they can commute anywhere, of course. So, you’ll only be able to grab a yellow cab, while in Manhattan.


#6 This is for the art lovers!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 2 Free Museums
©Behind the Scenes NYC

Even though the city is known for being a very expensive one, there are several ways to save money.

Some museums can have pretty high fees, but most have free entrances a few specific days a week, or a few free hours. And still, others might be “pay what you wish”.

NYC residents: If you have that City ID or another document proving you live in NYC, be sure to tell them. Many paid museums are free for us! WUHU!

The NYC Arts website has a detailed list of all of them to help you out!

And the art galleries? They are all free to enter and see the current art works!

New York also offers countless free events, by the way. You just need to stay tuned to our IG Page or other pretty great accounts too like FomoFeed! We love them!


#7 Always have money on you!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 2 Have Money Photo Jack Harner
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jack Harner

Why? Well, believe it or not there are countless places around New York that are “cash only” spots and will not accept any other payment method. For example, one of my all time favorite spots in Williamsburg, Brooklyn called Beco Bar, is a cash only bar/restaurant. Well, they JUST recently added Amex credit card machine, but many others, have no other option.

Regardless, having a bit of money in your pocket, is always advisable during a trip. You never know what might happen, so you might as well be prepared. But, if you do forget, most of the “cash only” spots or have an ATM inside or they are close to one that you can run to.

Now, don’t come with a $100 bill. You’ll have a pretty hard time exchanging them or getting change if you’re purchasing something cheap. Plus, banks aren’t allowed to give you change for them. Bummer! I guess everyone is just skeptic it might be a fake.


#8 Tipping is CRUCIAL!!!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 2 Photo Sam Truong Dan
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sam Truong Dan

This is something not all visitors agree with or feel comfortable, but it’s a reality! New York is a city where you tip for absolutely everything! You need to breathe? Tip! Just joking….but not joking.

So, let me give you the basics on how this goes. And of course, just be reasonable guys!!! I know many people are traveling on a budget, and that’s totally fine too, so just be mindful when you are at different places.

In general, restaurants vary with tips from 18% – 22%. I always end up tipping 20%, but you can feel free and pick what suits you best. For bigger groups, some restaurants will automatically include 25% in the bill, so be sure to see that.

At bars, I also just usually tip 20% to make it easier, but you can just consider at least $1 a drink, and for the pricier cocktails, at least $2. Guys, the tireless barmen and bar-women are working their asses off all-night-long to be sure you have a great time, so help them out too!

By the way, when the bar is super full, nicer tips might give you an extra attention when getting future drinks at the bar.

Now, as I mentioned, tipping is not limited to only restaurants and bars. If you’re getting an Uber/Lyft/Via/Juno, you can always tip the driver at the end of the ride through the APP, but yellow cabs also expect tips. Yes, even the lousy, dirty, smelly ones… You can tip 15% – 20% and if you’re paying with a card, you just pick the tipping amount on the screen.

Tipping at the hotel is also important. It’s always nice to tip the bellboy that helps bringing your luggage into the hotel and up to your room. Generally, it’s $1 per bag, but if you’re at a nicer hotel, be nicer too! Lol! When your leaving the hotel, and a staff grabs a taxi for you, yes, tip him like $1-$2. Oh, and most people most often forget: the cleaning lady! She was the one that kept your room super neat and clean during all these unforgettable days in New York. You might want to leave around $2/day for her at the end for your stay. I always also customize the tip with a smiley note!

So, as you can see….tipping is crucial and this is also one of the reasons you have to have cash on you!!! But, as I said, be mindful and reasonable within the budget you have too!


If you enjoyed our Part 2 of the 16 things NO ONE EVER tells you about NYC, be sure to check our Part 3 coming up next! There is still so much more to learn!

For any questions regarding travel or event planning for Corporate Groups, contact our experts to help you out!


Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC, Courtesy of Jack Harner, Sam Truong Dan and Andre Benz
*Last Update on March/2020.*

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