Category Archives: City Secrets

How to Look Impossibly Chic in NYC at All Times

Shop Ladies Look Chic In NYC Chris Murray

We all know that New York City is known for being one of the top fashion capitals in the world. Ladies (and gents) from countless countries try to replicate the NYC style. So, we’ve decided to share how to you can look amazingly chic in NYC at all times!

Shop Ladies Look Chic In NYC Accessories Crystal Jo

Although the New York City look is well documented, defining it is still hard. New York women are known as some of the most stylish and sleek in the world. And, they always look impossibly chic in NYC day and night!

Their signature mark is being able to look fashionable and effortless at the same time.

Series like Sex and the City and Gossip Girl were shot in New York and shared priceless insights into the fashion scene and style!

If your goal is to look chic and polished, you are in the right place! With a couple of tips and tricks, it’s possible to pull off the NYC look without too much hassle.

This quick guide is designed to help you look impossibly chic in NYC at all times!


1. Invest in Wardrobe Classics and Pick Your Trend

NYC girls are not slaves to fashion trends. They would rather spend money on good quality basics and investment pieces and go with a high-low mix.

They manage to combine timeless, well-made coats, shoes, and bags with items from Topshop or H&M brands.

So, to start, you need to know what suits you and your body type and work the latest trend around that.

Load up on classics like fitted jackets, a great pair of jeans, cashmere sweaters, a couple of dresses, and a perfect pair of pumps.

These wardrobe staples will allow you to mix and match the garments and look fabulous in minutes. We love the Israeli designer, Nili Lotan, with all her simple sophistication or try exploring the vintage and thrift shops in NYC!

For instance, a leather jacket with some skinny jeans and a beanie will keep you looking chic while giving your outfit a certain edge.


2. Embrace a More Undone Look

Shop Ladies Look Chic In NYC Dusan Jovic

The key to looking effortlessly chic is in mastering the undone look.

This look is cool, classy, and relaxed at the same time. Dressing for comfort is what New Yorkers do, but they add a twist to it with a couple of nice touches.

For instance, relaxed clothing should be balanced with more structured pieces. Try combining slouchy trousers with a structured sweatshirt and a cocoon coat. UMA | Raquel Davidowicz has a timeless style and some truly amazing items.

When done right, a messy bun and smudged eyeliner will up your overall aesthetics level, with just a little bit of effort.


3. Add Statement Accessories to Elevate Your Style

Shop Ladies Look Chic In NYC Moon Magic Jewelry
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Moon Magic Jewelry

The key to a show-stopping look is in the specific details.

When you need something a little more unique, turn to statement pieces. They are perfect for dressing up a minimalistic outfit or elevating an already glamorous look.

You can easily take any look to the next level by simply adding statement earrings, oversized sunglasses, or a bejeweled bag to your ensemble.

If you are interested in learning more about jewelry, like how to determine whether your sterling silver pieces are genuine, take a look at Moon Magic’s blog for Inspiration.


4. Having the Right Shoes is a Must

Shop Ladies Look Chic In NYC Courtney Cook

The right pair of shoes will add the perfect amount of flair to any outfit.

When it comes to New York, try to strike a fine balance between practical but unstylish and stylish yet ultra-uncomfortable.

Don’t worry; it’s possible to be comfortable and chic.

Try mid-heeled booties, ankle boots, oxford lace-ups, smoking loafers, or low-heel sandals for summertime. They are versatile and comfortable enough to navigate the constant motion required in NYC.

A cool pair of sneakers can also do the trick, especially if you pair them with a graphic Tee and jeans, a printed wrap top, denim cutoff, or a feminine dress.

Also, keep in mind that people mostly walk and commute through the subways in NYC. Many times, it’s much faster than grabbing an Uber, specially during rush hours. If you’re exploring the New York City’s top attractions, be sure to get your comfortable shoes.

There are countless amazing brands, but you can start looking at some like Schutz, Alexander Birman or Josefina Portugal. Their sneakers are super trendy and extremely comfortable for walking.


5. Keep Your Grooming Habits on Point

New Yorkers are religious about their maintenance, so you need to nail it too.

Starting with the right foundation is the surefire way to look stylish at all times. Again, there is an infinity of brands at different price points, so you might want to swing by Sephora, for example, to see what suits you best!

In addition, regular visits to your hairdresser, neat brows, and a regular manicure will help you enhance your appearance and upgrade your look.

Not sure where to go to get your hair and nails done? Well, we love the Brazilian-born hair expert Rogerio Cavalcante and if you’re blond, or like to go blond, he’s the guy! Also, the duo behind Olivia Palermo’s amazing hair is another great option!

Don’t forget about your skin!

Quality skin products, along with enough sleep and a well-balanced diet, will keep it healthy and revitalized.


6. Hat Always Works in New York

Shop Ladies Look Chic In NYC Teressa Foglia Hats Fernanda Paronetto
Photo Credit: Black 3 Agency

A hat is the type of accessory that can take your outfit up a notch.

Whatever the gender or the season, covering your head in NYC is always in.

In the sun, go with fedoras and straw hats, and in the wintertime, beanies are an excellent choice. If you want to add a bit of chic French touch to your outfit, try a beret.

Whether you choose a fancier hat or a plain one, it gives off an urban city girl’s vibe.

To help you out, we love these two talented hat designers: Teressa Foglia and Satya Twena. If you want something exclusive, ask about their custom-made pieces!

In the end, it’s not that hard to look impossibly chic in NYC at all times. Whatever you choose to put on, make sure to wear it with confidence, ‘cause that’s what New York is all about!


Photo Credits: Black 3 Agency and courtesy of Courtney Cook, Crystal Jo, Chris Murray, Dusan Jovic on Unsplash
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How to Take Stunning Photos of New York City

Curiosities City Secrets How to Take Stunning Photos of New York City

New York is atop many travelers’ bucket lists, and for many good reasons. Today we’re going to show you how to take stunning photos of New York City. You’ll not only capture memorable moments, but also make your social media channels overflow with likes!

Curiosities City Secrets How to Take Stunning Photos of New York City

NYC only is it one of the world’s leading metropolises for art, fashion, food and theater, but it’s also one of the greatest cities to photograph. So, we’re here to give you valuable tips on how to take stunning photos of New York City, find unique spots to shoot and use the right gear!

If you happen to be an avid photographer and are visiting NYC for the first time, you may be overwhelmed with the creative possibilities available when roaming around the city, right?

Whether for the simple pleasure of taking photos, or for a commercial venture, here are some tips for taking stunning shots of the Big Apple:


Do Your Research

There’s no doubt that winging it works during photo walks, but if you want to make the most out of your experience photographing New York City, it’s always best to plan ahead.

When planning your travel itinerary, take the time to do research on the spots you want to take pictures of. The biggest advantage of this is how much time you will save getting to different areas.

If you don’t research, you may end up backtracking a lot and reducing the number of scenic spots you get to visit. Commuting in New York is easy but can be very time consuming.

If you don’t know where to start, you start with popular spots that both tourists and photographers alike frequent.

Look at visiting the iconic Bethesda Terrace located in Central Park, or perhaps the High Line, which is an old abandoned rail trail on the west side of Manhattan that was renovated years ago into a fantastic spot to explore.

To optimize your time, try to divide your explorations per neighborhood, so you don’t keep bouncing from one end of the city to the other. From here you can easily plan your next move.


Bring the Right Gear

It goes without saying that you need the proper gear in order to take genuinely stunning shots.

While mobile photography is becoming more and more popular these days due to the increasingly advanced cameras built into smartphones, nothing beats the quality you get from using a professional camera such as a DSLR.

This is because there is wide array of accessories, especially lenses, for traditional cameras that will vary the type of photos you can take.

Adorama’s professional photography gear includes DSLR cameras and shows how lenses can range from 18mm to 200mm, which allow photographers to take photos from different distances.

You can also select specialist macro lenses that allows you to sharp, detailed, close-up photos of small subjects (think the various plants found in Central Park), while wide-angle ones are ideal for taking images of scenic landscapes like the Brooklyn Bridge.


Experiment with Angles

Post-production helps with elevating your shots from good to great, but you need to start with something that’s already beautiful to begin with.

When shooting, writer Anthony Andranik Moumjian recommends taking as many shots as you can of your subject at every angle you can creatively imagine (which is why it is best to bring a wide range of lenses).

Unless you live in the city, you will only have a limited time to photograph New York. So, taking many shots at enough angles and with enough volume raises your chances of achieving “the shot” at every place you visit.

New York City is a beauty on its own and is “easy” to photograph, but finding a unique angle will definitely set you apart from all other photographers.


Visit lesser-known spots

Popular destinations are popular for a reason. But, if you truly want a unique perspective in your photos, you may want to look into exploring lesser-known destinations in the city. And, that’s totally our expertise and up our alley…as you probably already know!

For example, seeking out hidden gems such as the 620 Loft and Gallery on the roof of the Rockefeller Center are some of the spots we love best! This will provide you will a skyline perspective that many visitors miss out on.

You can also visit hidden gems like Freeman Alley, where you can find a quaint restaurant with fairy lights and a relatively new speakeasy bar, or the Freedom Tunnel where you can come across some interesting graffiti.

There is no city like New York, and while you may think it is impossible to take unique photos of the Big Apple, with a little research, the right equipment, and the desire to seek out hidden gems you will take some truly stunning photos.

Be sure to share with us your findings on the comments below! We’d love to see the places you explored and what you thought about them!


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Image by Jeff Glovsky from Pixabay

So, Can You Afford to Move to NYC?

Curiosities City Secrets Can You Afford to Move to NYC Kat Maryschuk

Many people dream of packing up their life, getting out of that one-horse town, and starting anew in New York City, and why wouldn’t they? But, can you afford to move to NYC?!

Curiosities City Secrets Can You Afford to Move to NYC Matteo Catanese
View of Chinatown from the Manhattan Bridge. Photo: Courtesy of Matteo Catanese

As the cultural capital of the world, New York has something for everybody, but the question is: Can you afford to move to NYC?

Like any big city, you need to be able to afford it, and while you’ve romanticized boho dreams of the struggling artist, there is nothing glamorous about struggling to make ends meet.

Our founder, Fernanda, did THE move almost 6 years ago and has quite an exciting story to share!

Before making your move to the Big Apple, here’s what you need to know.


Fix Your Finances

Fixing your finances is vital before you make any significant move. So, it’s not wise to make your move while still partying off debts, especially considering how expensive New York can be.

There are solutions to help you, though.

For example, the Debt to Success System is completely legitimate, and it can assist in fixing your finances and providing crucial debt relief to make you more confident before making your move.

Another idea is to start putting together a thorough spreadsheet where you can start listing all your future expenses to understand what your monthly cost would be. With that number in mind, it will be easier to start planning.


Know The Neighborhood

There are plenty of neighborhoods across New York. Some of them are hip and fun, whereas others have seen better days. This might be something that appeals to you, so it’s worth knowing where you want to live, and whether that’s even possible.

For families, Metropolitan New York is the best place to go, but if you want to be close to culture and the financial hub, there is nowhere more suitable than Manhattan.

However, you could also consider Brooklyn and Queens, while Staten Island and the Bronx are enjoying something of a regeneration, with plenty of low-income housing available to help mitigate the initial costs.


Finding a Job

There are plenty of jobs in New York, but this could depend on what you’re looking for.

Many people come to New York to live their dream. They want to get into TV, or they want to take Broadway by storm. While there’s nothing wrong with having these dreams, the competition can be fierce and brutal.

Don’t expect to be able to waltz in and have your pick of the jobs available unless you have arranged beforehand, whether you’re a US citizen or someone coming in on a working visa.

There are ways to supplement your income in the interim, with hospitality opportunities in abundance. Well,  it’s actually something to keep your eyes on and follow the post Covid scenario.


Making Concessions

As of last year, the average rent for a two-bed apartment in the city is $2,499, while studio and one-bedroom places are $1,889 and $2,098 for the month. This means, if you want to afford to live in NYC, you’ll need to make several concessions.

Apartment sharing is popular (and necessary), while you may also have to give up luxuries.

Some of these luxuries won’t matter, such as your car because of the wealth of transport options, but you may also need to give Netflix a miss too, at least until you find your footing.


The City So Nice

There are uncountable reasons why so many people flock to New York City every year with dreams of making it big or even experiencing one of the most exciting places in the world.

The city can be as expensive as you make it, but you’ll still need to have a decent backup of funds before you arrive.

So, start planning yourself and don’t forget to count on unexpected expenses…they always show up in New York City! Plan, plan and plan!


Photo Credit: Kat Maryschuk and Matteo Catanese on Unsplash

The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S.’ Tour in NYC

Curiosities City Secrets Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Friends Tour in NYC

So no one told you life was going to be this way…  That said, we decided to share with you the Ultimate Guide to Planning your ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S.’ Tour in NYC! Check it out!

Curiosities City Secrets Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Friends Tour in NYC
Little Owl restaurant in the West Village. Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC

Any fan of the hit sitcom Friends will immediately sing along to these lines and find themselves clapping reflexively.

Years after its ten-year run, Friends continues to strike a chord among old fans and generations of new ones.

Although the series was filmed on a sound stage in California, the show will forever be associated with New York, where all the misadventures took place.

If you are planning a trip to New York and want a one-of-a-kind tour, why not dedicate a day to crafting your itinerary around some famous Friends locations to experience the city through your favorite characters’ shoes.

Enjoy our tips below to the Ultimate Guide to Planning Your ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S.’ Tour in NYC and have fun!


The one with the fountain

While singing those lyrics, you might have pictured a certain fountain with the whole cast playfully splashing around in their coordinated black and white outfits in the opening credits.

Although this was also shot on the Warner Bros back lot, debates abound on whether it is based on the Cherry Hill Fountain in Central Park or the Pulitzer Fountain in Midtown West’s Grand Army Plaza.

While you can choose which of these locations you prefer, feel free to dance around as much as you want as it’s a public space, after all. Just be sure that you don’t jump in!

Although the memorable orange couch won’t be stationed in front of the fountain as in the credits, you can still sit around, people watch, and perhaps even whip a guitar out and belt out ‘Smelly Cat’ à la Phoebe Buffay.


The one with the apartment building

Much of the Friends action takes place on the corner of Grove and Bedford Street in the West Village. It’s better known as the destination of the kitschy Central Perk coffee shop as well as majority of the clique’s apartments.

This little corner destination is also a spot on the NYC TV & Movie Tour, but sadly, you’ll have to use your imagination to visualize the Central Perk logo.

Instead, you can actually walk into the Little Owl restaurant in its place and have a cup of coffee or even a full meal. Don’t expect Gunther to serve you – just pretend you’re at your own cozy little neighborhood joint and enjoy the distant chatter.


The one with the bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge and Friends have inevitably become intertwined because of how prominently it is featured on the show – including many scenes of the gang driving along it.

Just last year, fans of the series congregated on the Brooklyn Bridge for a special reunion called the “Friends 25th Vegas Takeover” with Lego replicas of its sets, live performances, and an appearance of Ross’s former pet monkey, Marcel.

The landmark is often used to promote merchandise from the series and has been featured on traditional games like Scene It! and Trivial Pursuit.

The iconic bridge is still being used to promote Friends across digital mediums with a dedicated title among the selection of slot games on Cheeky Bingo putting the Brooklyn Bridge front and center.

This not only shows how Friends is reaching new fans, but how the Brooklyn Bridge has come to symbolize the show. Fans who want a tangible memento of this image can look into the array of merchandise, as the collectible box sets feature the main cast in front of the iconic bridge.


Friends has become a pop culture phenomenon and its memory continues to live on 25 years later.

As a reunion is in the pipeline and the series and all related things are within arm’s reach, all you have to do is plan your trip. No matter when you schedule your visit, know that these places will be there for you!


Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC

3 Neat Ways To Make Your Trip To NYC A Little More Comfy

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 3 Ways To Make Your Trip To NYC More Comfy Matias Difabio

Traveling to New York City is always exciting and definitely on so many Bucket Lists around the globe. But, it can also be quite overwhelming. To help you out, take a look at 3 neat ways to make your trip to NYC a little more comfy.

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 3 Ways To Make Your Trip To NYC More Comfy Matias Difabio

Whether you see yourself as a globe-trotting individual or not, you can’t say that New York City has never interested you. How about organizing that trip to NYC?

The fame, the glitz, the glamour, the opportunities – the big apple is known by pretty much every single human being on the planet and is somewhere that temps all.

Whenever a person writes out a bucket list of places they’ve like to visit, NYC is always near the top of the list.

Let’s say you’ve made the decision to get out of your natural habitat and enter the city that never sleeps. You’ve decided to bite the bullet and visit one of the most legendary places the world has ever seen (and will ever see).

How can one make the trip a little easier themselves? As a newbie to a big city, you might feel a little intimidated by the prospect of being among it all.

Well, when the city reopens and we’re able to travel again, here are just a few things you can do to make things a little easier:


Create A Plan For Your Trip To NYC

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 3 Ways To Make Your Trip To NYC More Comfy Element5 Digital

If you have an idea of what you’re doing, then things will be a lot smoother.

On the other hand, if you are all over the place in terms of deciding what to do during your trip to NYC, the furor of the city might catch up with you. And, you may become completely overwhelmed by everything going on during the day.

If you create a plan or an itinerary of some sort, then you’re going to have a better chance of seeing what you want. You’ll also feel a lot better mentally as you head out into the wild and fast-paced nature of it all.

An idea we typically give to our clients is organizing an itinerary where you split the city is sections. The day you’re going to explore Central Park, you might just want to stick around the Upper East and Upper West Sides and enjoy everything in that area. The day you go to SoHo, you’ll get a chance to explore Lower Manhattan.

Don’t jump around too much. Commuting in New York City is easy, but can take some time.

Trains can be delayed and packed, especially during rush hours. Plus, exploring NYC by foot is so much better and more exciting! So, stick to the area you picked and create an itinerary around it.

If you’re the adventurous type, which most likely you are if you’re on our website, and want to explore more than only Manhattan, you might want to check out these 7 Best Places In Long Island City For Art Lovers.

Oh! To organize everything, you might want to by the best New York City Moleskine notebook. It contains the city map and spaces to write down your findings, organize the list of places you want to go, etc. And, it’s a pocket size, so don’t worry!


Look At The Area Beforehand

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 3 Ways To Make Your Trip To NYC More Comfy Courtney Cook

If you know where you’re going during your trip to NYC, then you’re going to be a lot more comfortable.

Nobody likes heading out into a perilous environment. While NYC will give you all the signs telling you where you are able to go, it can still confuse you if you’re a little new to this way of living.

Before evening embarking on your travels, you should hop online and look at a map of the area.

A map is obviously nothing like the real thing, but it can give you a small idea and can put your mind at ease. For example, if you’re an influencer looking to sit down in a comfortable coffee shop or library, then you might want to check out where the best places are.

Many people like heading out into the unknown, but it’s not the wisest thing to do if you’re a little uneasy about the whole thing.

Need help? One of our Series called “16 Things NO ONE EVER Tells You About NYC“, you can check out PART 1/4 and read #4 Understanding New York’s Map, to help you out! Once you get this, you’ll feel like a true New Yorker!


Find A Place To Store Your Things

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 3 Ways To Make Your Trip To NYC More Comfy Gianandrea Villa

If you’re in NYC for a short stay and have a lot of luggage to carry around, then you’re going to be in a bit of trouble physically, aren’t you?

Nobody likes hauling lots of things around. And, it’s especially annoying when you’re around so many others in a crowded city like New York, right?

Fortunately, you can find places like Stasher, who will be able to take your belongings off you for a short while so you can walk around freely and unencumbered.

Let us know if you need any assistance during your trip to NYC!


Photo Credits: Matias Difabio, Element5 Digital, Courtney Cook and Gianandrea Villa on Unsplash

New York City Before And After The Coronavirus [Part 2/2]

Curiosities City Secrets New York City Before and After the Coronavirus Fifth Avenue Vlad Hilitanu Dalia Maidi Thumbnail

“The City That Never Sleeps”, our New York City, is now resting. We’ve compiled an amazing 2nd selection of photos of New York City before and after the Coronavirus.

Curiosities City Secrets New York City Before and After the Coronavirus Fifth Avenue Vlad Hilitanu Dalia Maidi
Fifth Avenue. Before: Vlad Hilitanu; After: Dalia Maidi

I’m sure that after seeing our post “New York City Before And After The Coronavirus [Part 1/2]“, you got curious to continue exploring NYC streets during this unique time in history, right? Or am I wrong?

Well, like we mentioned, photographers have been doing a fantastic job reporting different corners of the city. Now, as most of us know, the city’s reopening will be done in phases, and slowly the city will awake.

Until then, let’s take a look at a few more extraordinary shot with scenes of New York we’d never imagine even in our craziest dreams.

And again, thank you to ALL these talented eyes behind each lens, that are sharing us us this great work!

Take a look at more shots of New York City Before and After the Coronavirus:


St. Patricks Cathedral

Curiosities City Secrets New York City Before and After the Coronavirus St Patricks Cathedral Miltiadis Fragkidis Alex Carvalho
St. Patricks Cathedral. Before: Miltiadis Fragkidis; After: Alex Carvalho

One of the most famous Cathedrals in the world is nestled right in the heart of Manhattan, on 5th Avenue! St. Patricks Cathedral is a neo-gothic Catholic cathedral dating back to 1879.

“The story of New York’s great cathedral mirrors the story of the city itself. Created to affirm the ascendance of religious freedom and tolerance, St. Patrick’s Cathedral was built in the democratic spirit, paid for not only by the contributions of thousands of poor immigrants but also by the largesse of 103 prominent citizens who pledged $1,000 each.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral proves the maxim that no generation builds a cathedral. It is rather, a kind of ongoing conversation linking generations past, present and future.” ~ St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Rockefeller Center

Curiosities City Secrets New York City Before and After the Coronavirus Rockefeller Center Noel Y Calingasan Alex Carvalho
Rockefeller Center. Before: Noel Y Calingasan; After: Alex Carvalho

Maybe one of the first places people ask to visit when they come to New York City, is the Rockefeller Center. In our opinion the Top of the Rock has the best observatory in the city. Why? Well, you’ll have a 360º view where you can spot the Statue of Liberty looking South, as well as gaze at the see of trees at Central Park, to the North. And, of course, you can see New Jersey on one side and Brooklyn / Queens on the other.

Also, the Rockefeller Center is the home of New York’s famous Christmas Tree that people anxiously wait for every year! It’s truly a beauty and kicks off the holiday season in style, once the tree is lit up!

Oh, and it’s part of our post: 10 Top Secrets Of New York City That You Probably Don’t Know! There’s always a little secret behind these famous attractions, so go take a look!

Radio City Music Hall

Curiosities City Secrets New York City Before and After the Coronavirus Radio City Goh Rhy Yan Alex Carvalho
Radio City. Before: Goh Rhy Yan; After: Alex Carvalho

Completed and open to the public in December 27th, 1932, Radio City Music Hall is an important piece in New York’s entertainment history.

“More than 300 million people have come to the Music Hall to enjoy stage shows, movies, concerts and special events. There’s no place like it to see a show or stage a show. Everything about it is larger than life. Radio City Music Hall is the largest indoor theatre in the world.

The popular movie-and-stage-show format remained a Radio City signature until 1979, when the mass showcasing of new films called for a new focus. Today, the Music Hall still premieres selected films, but is best known as the country’s leading hall for popular concerts, stage shows, special attractions and media events.” ~ MSG

Read more about Radio City Music Hall’s history, if you’re curious!

5th Avenue

Curiosities City Secrets New York City Before and After the Coronavirus Fifth Avenue Vlad Hilitanu Dalia Maidi
Fifth Avenue. Before: Vlad Hilitanu; After: Dalia Maidi

Did you know that 5th Avenue starts at the North end of Washington Square Park and stretches all the way up to West 143rd Street, in Harlem? It’s quite a stretch, right?

But, many people crave the walk up and down 5th Avenue starting at 59th Street, where The Plaza Hotel and the iconic Apple’s Fifth Avenue “Cube” store are located – and heading South!

The biggest retailers in the world from the top luxury brands like Harry Winston, Bulgari and Valentino, to more accessible fashion brands like Gap, Nike and Uniqlo are spread throughout the blocks. Now, the streets are as silent as you can imagine.

East Village

Curiosities City Secrets New York City Before and After the Coronavirus East Village Noel Y Calingasan Alex Carvalho
East Village. Before: Noel Y Calingasan; After: Alex Carvalho

The East Village is certainly one of our favorite neighborhood in Manhattan. It’s the home of countless fantastic local businesses, while still not attracting a huge touristy crowd. Good for us! While tourists are crazy exploring and fighting their way through Times Square and Midtown, the more niche tourists are uncovering the beauties of this neighborhood.

It’s also the home of some pretty amazing graffiti works, like this one called Black or White (featuring Michael Jackson) – on 180 1st Avenue. The artist is the world-known Brazilian artist, Kobra. New York currently has a total of 19 murals by Kobra spread throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Bryant Park

Curiosities City Secrets New York City Before and After the Coronavirus Bryant Park Noel Y Calingasan Clara Kesser
Bryant Park. Before: Noel Y Calingasan; After: Clara Kesser

New York City has so many amazing, and well cared for parks, but Bryant Park has something special. It’s located between West 40th and West 42nd Streets, and 6th and 5th Avenue.

Even though it’s literally steps from Times Square, it has a totally different vibe. It’s also the home of one of our favorite “getaways” in the City: the New York Public Library. We do tend to go a lot there and just chill for a few hours in The Rose Main Reading Room.

During the warmer months, the park hosts open air movie sessions on their lawn, and in the winter, they have a skiing rink with great vendors in their Holiday Shops, selling winter apparel and delicious hot chocolates.

DUMBO

Curiosities City Secrets New York City Before and After the Coronavirus Dumbo Dalia Maidi Leo Macias
Dumbo. Before: Dalia Maidi; After: Leo Macias

Many people don’t know that DUMBO is actually short for: Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. It’s on the very tip of Brooklyn, right on the East River.

This area has immensely grown not only with businesses like Burrow and Foragers City Grocer, but with new high-end residential renovated apartments and modern office spaces. Yes, rent there is crazy expensive and a 1-bedroom can cost over $4,000/month in rent. Only in New York City, right?

In addition, one our favorite hotels, the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, is just “around the corner”.

This view you see in the picture above is one of the most sought-after corners that not only tourists, but influencers and photographers come to shoot. It’s the intersection of Washington Street and Water Street, in case you’re curious.


New York is a strong city, and New Yorkers are one of the most resilient people on this Earth.

That said, we know that we’re passing through really, really tough times. The world is changing, we are surely changing and we CAN’T go back to normal….after all the normal was not working!

Together, we are stronger and we will get out of this with more clarity and hopefully the whole of humanity will come out of this with more compassion, empathy and love for each other!

Stay safe, guys! Stay strong!



(This piece was originally written for and published on Glamour Brazil Online.)

Photo Credits: Courtesy of Clara Kesser (@PommePommeNYC), Noel Y. Calingasan (@NycLovesNyc), Dalia Maidi (@nyc.from.my.eyes),  Alex Carvalho (@AlexCarvalhoNY), Leo Macias (@LeoMacias) and Unsplash photographers

New York City Before And After The Coronavirus [Part 1/2]

Curiosities City Secrets New York City Before and After the Coronavirus Madison Avenue John Arano Clara Kesser

Known as “The City That Never Sleeps”, New York City is now at rest. Come take a look at an amazing compilation of photos of New York City before and after the Coronavirus.

Curiosities City Secrets New York City Before and After the Coronavirus Madison Avenue John Arano Clara Kesser
Madison Avenue. Before: John Arano; After: Clara Kesser

The other day, I read: “For a city like New York, this is just a nap.” I have to agree.

Manhattan’s streets are practically deserted. Neighborhoods like SoHo, Chelsea, the Meatpacking District, large avenues like Park Avenue and areas close to Central Park remind us of that movie with Will Smith, I Am Legend.

The heart of New York, Times Square, continues beating with its countless electronic panels and thousands of colorful lights. However, the streets and avenues are simply empty. Nobody is there to look.

In such a fantastic city, loved worldwide, photographers have not stopped their work and their captures. The result is surprising, but also heartbreaking.

But, as everyone knows, New Yorkers are resilient and are more united than ever! Soon, the city will again pulsing in its “new normal”!

Before we start, thank you to ALL these talented eyes behind each lens, spread throughout our city!

Take a look at these shots of New York City before and after the Coronavirus:


Grand Central Terminal

Curiosities City Secrets New York City Before and After the Coronavirus Grand Central Terminal Behind The Scenes NYC Clara Kesser
Grand Central Terminal. Before: Behind The Scenes NYC; After: Clara Kesser

We love Grand Central Terminal, yes, Terminal! Not Station. It’s definitely one of our favorite top NYC attractions. Every so often, we change our itinerary, just to pass through it.

Now, the cool part is actually the Secret Behind The Scenes Grand Central Terminal Tour that we offer in collaboration with a fantastic partner! Once the city reopens, be sure to check it out!

Brooklyn Bridge

Curiosities City Secrets New York City Before and After the Coronavirus Brooklyn Bridge Dalia Maidi LittleKidNYC
Brooklyn Bridge. Before: Dalia Maidi; After: LittleKidNYC

The Brooklyn Bridge is certainly one of New York’s timeless attractions. Open to the public on May of 1883, it became one of the world’s most famous – and gorgeous – bridges! Similar to the Grand Central Terminal, we have a super cool Secrets Of The Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour.

Did you know that a guy called George C. Parker was known of having “sold” the bridge many times to different new prospect owners? He did a huge load of money out of this hoax and was eventually sent to jail for life. You’ll listen to this story and other pretty cool ones during the tour!

The Oculus (WTC)

Curiosities City Secrets New York City Before and After the Coronavirus World Trade Center Emmanuel Kontokalos Noel Y Calingasan
World Trade Center. Before: Emmanuel Kontokalos; After: Noel Y Calingasan

Santiago Calatrava’s World Trade Center Transportation Hub, also known as The Oculus, is certainly a spot not to miss! Now, can you guess how much this massive construction costed?

No? Let us “wow” you then! The Oculus, in addition to the PATH station, costed $3.9 billion. The thing is, not everyone was happy with the outrageous cost.

Washington Square Park

Curiosities City Secrets New York City Before and After the Coronavirus Washington Square Park Behind the Scenes NYC Alex Carvalho
Washington Square Park. Before: Behind the Scenes NYC; After: Alex Carvalho

Washington Square Park is located in lower Manhattan and has a really great story! It’s the burial ground of thousands and thousands of bodies, was a farm land back when the Dutch had colonized NYC and was called New Amsterdam. Today, it hosts countless artists and creatives, has been the location of riots and important moments in history and yet…it’s a super important spot for the LGBTQ movement!

42nd Street

Curiosities City Secrets New York City Before and After the Coronavirus Tudor City Noel Y Calingasan Alex Carvalho
Tudor City. Before: Noel Y Calingasan; After: Alex Carvalho

One of the spots photographers love shooting and being creative, is 42nd Street. It’s been captured from all different angles and definitely has a unique view, starting with the beautiful Chrysler Building in the back!

Times Square

Curiosities City Secrets New York City Before and After the Coronavirus Times Square Noel Y Calingasan Dalia Maidi
Times Square. Before: Noel Y Calingasan; After: Dalia Maidi

If some asked if they’d ever imagine seeing Times Square completely empty, the universal answer would most likely be a big fat “No!”. Well, then again, I guess no one ever expected Covid-19, right? Many Broadway shows, that have been running continuously for decades, in addition to all the newest ones, have been cancelled until further notice.

Now, we have a pretty cool experience that you can look forward to! Have you ever imagined having a Private Diner and a Post Show Meet & Greet with the Broadway Stars? Surely a memorable experience to go home with, right!?

The Subway

Curiosities City Secrets New York City Before and After the Coronavirus Subway Victor Rodriguez Jenna Day
Subway. Before: Victor Rodriguez; After: Jenna Day

Ah, the New York subway. Home to all our friendly rats and roaches, but also so much loved, as hated by us New Yorkers. I have to confess that I’m personally pretty fond of it and aways enjoy me ride, regardless of the awkward odors and clear discomfort many times.

And, I love it so much, that we decided to offer a few different tours to share more about its story. So, check out the Underground New York Subway Tour and the Underground Art In The NYC Subway Tour, and let us know what you loved the most!

Now wait! The pictures of New York City before and after the Coronavirus are not yet finished!!

Take a look our Part 2 and what places like St. Patricks Cathedral, the Rockefeller Center, the famous and luxurious 5th Avenue, Radio City look like! Oh, and don’t forget about the East Village, Dumbo in Brooklyn and one of the most beautiful parks, Bryant Park!



(This piece was originally written for and published on Glamour Brazil Online.)

Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC, Courtesy of Clara Kesser (@PommePommeNYC), John Arano, Noel Y. Calingasan (@NycLovesNyc),  Dalia Maidi (@nyc.from.my.eyes),  Alex Carvalho (@AlexCarvalhoNY), @LittleKidNYC, Leo Macias (@LeoMacias) and Unsplash photographers

How New Yorkers Can Come Together During The Pandemic

Curiosities City Secrets New Yorkers During The Pandemic Grand Central Terminal

New York City, much like the rest of the world, is experiencing all of the stresses and strain of the coronavirus pandemic. Take a look at how New Yorkers can come together during the Pandemic.

Curiosities City Secrets New Yorkers During The Pandemic Statue of Liberty

In fact, the city has become an epicenter for the virus, and considerable efforts are being made to slow the spread.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, everyone will be affected in one way or another. Whether that is due to catching the virus or having to deal with the financial or emotional problems caused by the social distancing and restrictions put in place.

However, some people will feel the effects more than others.

It is essential that as a community, we all stop and think about others around us that may be experiencing financial, or mental health problems. And then, if possible, we all try and do something for those around us.

Here’s how New Yorkers can come together during the pandemic:


Look Out For Your Neighbors

Curiosities City Secrets New Yorkers During The Pandemic Help Elderly

In a city with over 8 million people, it is easy to overlook our neighbors. But during these testing times, we need to come together as a city more than ever.

Check-in on your neighbors regularly. If you’re able to phone them, do so. You may not see them or be able to talk to them face-to-face, however, you could always drop a note through their door and start communications that way.

There are lots of things that you can do for your neighbors, especially those that may be elderly or at risk. They might need your help with groceries and the basic healthcare products! They don’t have the technology to buy these things online, so be sure to knock on their door and ask if they need anything!

Offer to find out about the government stimulus for retirees, run to the store and get them some groceries, or just be someone that they can talk to when they’re lonely or feeling low.


Follow Social Distancing Measures

Curiosities City Secrets New Yorkers During The Pandemic Empire State

In a big busy city like New York, it can be hard to come to your distance from everyone else. However, during the pandemic, it is essential to curb the spread. To do this, everyone needs to play their part.

To help others who may be more vulnerable and at risk from the virus than you, limit your exposure to others by staying at home. We’ve seen that New Yorkers have been great with this which is, after all, respect for other people’s lives and well-being.

If you do need to go out, keep your distance from others, and make sure that you wash your hands often and avoid touching your face. Oh, and don’t forget to use your mask and take your portable hand sanitizer with you!


Take Care of Local Businesses

Curiosities City Secrets New Yorkers During The Pandemic Neighbors

During the Covid-19 pandemic and over the coming months, local and independent businesses will come under considerable economic pressure. A looming global recession will mean that people will be more mindful of what they are spending their money on.

During these times, it may be tempting to spend all of your money in the major chains that offer cut-price produce. But, in the best interests of your own city, it is time to make sure that you shop local and support the New York businesses.

We’ve created a Instagram Social Media campaign where we post about 4-5 small local NYC businesses every day and what you can do to support them. It can be help donate for a fundraiser, sign a petition or even just continue requesting their services and products through home delivery or pick-ups.

You may spend slightly more, however, you will be doing your bit to help local businesses stay open. That’ll mean that New York gets to retain its character, and you get to keep the options of different choices.


Photo Credits: Courtesy of Alexandra_Koch, Omni Matryx, Quinton Delmar, Gerd Altmann and Jon Tyson

3 Hidden Coffee Shops In New York City

Curiosities City Secrets 3 Hidden Coffee Shops In New York City Photo Toa Heftiba

New Yorkers are known for being great coffee lovers and it’s definitely part of their daily routine. That said, we also know that locals love going to hidden spots, far from tourists. So, we united both and explored 3 hidden coffee shops in New York City.

Curiosities City Secrets 3 Hidden Coffee Shops In New York City Photo Christian Koch

With over 3,400 coffee shops, New York City is surely the coffee capital of America. While other cities may claim better coffee, none can top NYC in sheer quantity.

A New Yorker who sets out to try a different coffee shop every day won’t be finished for over nine years – and likely longer that, since in nine years, another 1,000 cafés may have opened.

Yet, in knowing how many small, boutique coffee shops are tucked inside NYC, it’s inevitable that a New Yorker who attempts this coffee quest may miss a few.

Luckily, investigators have placed a pin in those shops whose hidden locations preclude them from fame.

So, take a look at 3 hidden coffee shops in New York City.


Swedish Seamen’s Church

Curiosities City Secrets 3 Hidden Coffee Shops In New York City Swedish Seamens Church
Photo Credit: Courtesy

If you think that this name is ironic – something that is young, hipster proprietors thought up – think again.

Inside the Swedish Church of New York is a coffee shop of the kind frequented by Scandinavian seamen and emigrants at the turn of the century.

Approximately 1.3 million Swedes settled in New York during the 19th and 20th centuries, churches and cafés were their oases in a foreign land.

Today, the coffee shop is connected to the church’s library on 5 East 48th Street. It would be concealed from passers-by if not for a small chalkboard sign. The clientele is still, for the most part, Swedish, and snacks and coffee are Swedish in origin and in name.

Smørrebrød sandwiches, lingonberry juice and aromatic, rich coffee are available and affordable.

Location: 5 East 48th Street

www.svenskakyrkan.se/newyork


Voyager Espresso

Curiosities City Secrets 3 Hidden Coffee Shops In New York City Voyager Expresso
Photo Credit: Courtesy

Voyager Espresso is underground – literally.

The shop is located underneath 110 William Street in a subway station hallway that is accessible via the John Street subway exit or the building’s lobby.

From both entrances, patrons must descend staircases before coming upon the rounded, austere space of Voyager Espresso, where staff roast their own beans and brew coffee and espressos with machines of the kind that Majesty Coffee ranks highly for small businesses.

The shop contains a Fetco batch brewer and a three-group Synesso Hydra machine.

In addition to delicious hot beverages that also include cappuccinos, lattes and hot chocolate, Voyager Espresso sells cold drinks, breakfast foods, salads, sandwiches and toast.

Location: 110 William Street

www.voyagerespresso.com


The Cobra Club

Curiosities City Secrets 3 Hidden Coffee Shops In New York City Thee Cobra Club Photo by 3 PHOTOGRAPHERS
Photo Credit: 3 PHOTOGRARHERS

The Cobra Club is part yoga studio, part bar and part café – a combination that you may only find in New York City

It’s located at 6 Wyckoff Ave in Bushwick and provides 2,500 square feet of room for yoga, partying and coffee drinking. However, you might actually have to enter the building to discover that it’s a coffee shop.

The coffee has been rated as excellent – as has the vibe. By day, patrons can get their yoga and coffee fix; by night, they can get their alcohol and entertainment fix.

Karaoke, self-defense classes, and heavy metal yoga are just some of the entertainment options offered by The Cobra Club.

Location: 6 Wyckoff Ave

www.facebook.com/cobraclubbk


Coffee shops are abundant in New York City, but some of the best and coolest cafés are easy to miss.

Swedish Seamen’s Church, Voyager Espresso and The Cobra Club are three coffee shops hidden from the hustle and bustle of NYC. Now that you know where they are, be sure to stop in and have a brew.

Finally, if you’re a coffee lover and an explorer that loves seeing other spots in town, take a look at our YouTube video on “The 5 Top Coffee Shops In Greenpoint Brooklyn”.


Photo Credit: Courtesy of 3 PHOTOGRAPHERS and courtesy of venues.

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!

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