Category Archives: City Secrets

Day 2: Siemens NYC’s Hidden Technology – A Behind the Scenes Tour

Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Arthur Ashe Stadium Retractable Ceiling

This was Day 2 with Siemens USA! We visited some of New York City’s major attractions to understand how Siemens actually helped build our beautiful city! So, tag along with me to explore what happened during the “Siemens NYC’s Hidden Technology – A Behind the Scenes Tour”!

Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Arthur Ashe Stadium Retractable Ceiling

As you’ve probably noticed, after reading our Day 1 experience with Siemens, I had a fantastic time! I always say that I’m not only extremely curious to learn historical facts about NYC, but I think it’s extremely amusing to understand how this amazing city operates and functions.

Siemens’ technology is literally scattered throughout the city of New York in places and world-famous landmark: from the Statue of Liberty, the subway system, the Amtrak and the beautiful World Trade Center Memorial Fountains, to the retractable ceilings at Arthur Ashe Stadium, the impeccable acoustics of Carnegie Hall and even, hidden within the top breweries in Brooklyn. The purpose? To make your NYC days eternally memorable and seamless experiences.

That said, let me start telling you about our Day 2 at Siemens “New York City’s Hidden Technology – A Behind the Scenes Tour”. If you thought that yesterday was cool, take a look below at where we went this time!

After a very early breakfast, starting at 7am at a hotel in FiDi, where me met the entire group, we hopped on the bus and headed to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, better known as the home of the US Open Tennis Championships that is actually happening now!


9am – USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

I’m a huge tennis fan and even played when I was younger for a couple of years.

If you follow tennis, you’ve probably seen how many matches have been cancelled or delayed during the years, due to bad weather, right? Such a bummer!

Not only is this a hassle if you’re there watching and enjoying the match, but specially for the athletes that end up cooling down and getting distracted, to then have to go back to court.

The Arthur Ashe Stadium is the largest tennis stadium in the world, with retractable ceilings that have ended the bad weather problems.

Siemens worked with Morgan Automation Systems, part of the Morgan Engineering family of companies, a world leader in automation of extreme large mechanization projects, to make this project become a breathtaking reality!

Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Arthur Ashe Stadium Retractable Ceiling
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Arthur Ashe Stadium
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Arthur Ashe Stadium Mark Sharamitaro
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Arthur Ashe Stadium Screen
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Arthur Ashe Stadium Monitoring
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Arthur Ashe Stadium Heat Sensors
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Arthur Ashe Stadium Control Room
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Arthur Ashe Stadium Inside
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I listed some of the most curious facts that you should know about it, and that I thought were particularly interesting:

  • This ceiling is the largest structure in the world, over a tennis court, installed just earlier this year
  • The retractable ceilings are controlled and powered by Siemens
  • Each half of the roof weighs around 1 million pounds
  • The roof has 250ft long, each one being 125ft
  • It moves at approximately 25ft / minute. It opens within approximately 6 minutes 10 seconds and closes in approximately 5 minutes, 35 seconds. Why does it close faster? Well, when a storm suddenly pops in, they have to be quick to preserve a dry court, so the game continues.
  • Everything happens through the push of 1 single touchscreen button
  • It has the power to resist winds that reach 125mi/h
  • There is a team that is exclusively monitoring and controlling the air temperature and moisture
  • They have to be careful for not 1 single drop to fall on court
  • The Stadium is regulated to have the same temperature as the outside weather, so every player is performing under the same conditions
  • The stadium is used only 3 weeks during the entire year, with 4 yearly maintenances

 Now, understand the Siemens cutting-edge automation technologies onsite:

  • The ceiling is powered and controlled by Siemens’ Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs)
  • The S120 Safety System is totally integrated
  • Easy to use with access comfort panels
  • These industrial equipment and systems can be seen not only in factories, but also throughout the entertainment world like: Cirque du Soleil stages, rides at Walt Disney World parks, shows in Las Vegas, the Orlando Eye 400-foot observation ferris wheel, and even Broadway shows.

12pm – Other Half Brewery

Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Other Half Brewery Tasting
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Other Half Brewery Tanks
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Other Half Brewery Packaging
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Other Half Brewery
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It’s amazing how Siemens is literally spread throughout New York! What do I mean? Well, we had lunch and a great beer tasting experience at a brewery in Brooklyn called Other Half.

The place is amazing and the aroma of their beer is all over as soon as you walk in! They incentivize people to do the tour and learn about the entire brewing process.

In the case of breweries, Siemens’ technology is seen through different components that are inside other equipment. Their tech ranges from increasing efficiency in the overall process, to controlled bottling process and modeling & managing the complete workflow.

They have a few other breweries in Brooklyn using their systems, as well as most of the Coronas you’ll drink in the US! Cool right?


3pm – LO3 Energy

It’s literally hard to point out the highlight of these 2 amazing days, but I can say that LO3 was certainly a different experience.

What is LO3 Energy?  Well, they’re a pioneering blockchain startup that is changing the way we think about our electricity and how it works. Plus, we are seeing more and more, the importance of having our own data protected and encrypted, and with their program, by creating and applying a token, it creates a business model that gives value to data, so can buy a key to unlock and also secure your data while directly managing the purchase of power.

In addition, it’s also great to see that the big shark companies like Google and Facebook are also now going 100% renewable, with wind and solar tiles.

People are literally starting to care about energy!

Where does Siemens come in? LO3 Energy is working with Siemens Digital Grid and Siemens’ startup financier next47, on the Brooklyn Microgrid project.

“In an energy market that is becoming increasingly distributed – whether based on wind, sun, water or biomass – intelligent grids are becoming increasingly important. Siemens microgrid technology is helping communities pioneer the movement toward a self-sufficient energy future.” (Siemens)

But wait! What is a microgrid? The correct, dictionary definition is: “a small network of electricity users with a local source of supply that is usually attached to a centralized national grid but is able to function independently.”

The purpose of a grid is to balance electricity: not too much, not too little.

The idea is for a community to be able to produce, consume and purchase power from within their own community. And, the cool thing is that people will be able to consume from a distributed energy supply system that draws on renewable-generated sources for a more resilient, customer-driven economy.

Being able to choose where to buy your energy from and be sustainable is now a reality!

You can also read more about them.


And, this wrapped up these 2 amazing and truly surprising days that we explored New York through different lens.

It was extremely interesting to see and understand a bit of how the engine works “behind the scenes” to make our New York City function so properly and seamlessly, giving us locals – and also visitors – a priceless, memorable experience!

I can’t wait to see more about how Siemens technology is impacting our lives, without us even knowing!

Thank you Siemens, once again, for this breathtaking experience with endless interesting information!


Follow Siemens online:

Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
LinkedIn
Hashtag: #SiemensInnovates

#Sponsored

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!

Day 1: Siemens NYC’s Hidden Technology – A Behind the Scenes Tour

Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Fernanda Paronetto

We had two priceless days with Siemens USA. We visited some of New York City’s major attractions to understand how Siemens actually helped build the city! So, tag along with me to see what “Siemens NYC’s Hidden Technology – A Behind the Scenes Tour” was all about!

Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour

It’s even hard to start writing about the amazing 2-day experience I had with Siemens a few weeks ago.

A couple of weeks back I was invited to participate in a priceless experience they had put together called “New York City’s Hidden Technology – A Behind the Scenes Tour”. I was immediately exited and curious, especially considering the name they chose for the project, ha!

We have millions of people visiting New York City during the year, over 60million to be more exact. Actually, in 2017 the number surpassed 62 million curious travelers and it keeps growing.

Most of you know about my indescribable passion for New York that I’ve clearly spoken about thousands of times before. And, the more I live here, the more I see the infinite stories and historical facts that together have built this tireless and sleepless city.

What people – not only travelers but also locals – don’t actually stop to think about, is “what is the real power that makes this perfect engine function throughout the city?” And, in obvious ways, enhances our experiences through the world-famous landmarks and historical attractions that symbolizes the Big Apple.

Siemen’s technology is literally scattered everywhere you can possibly think about. From the Statue of Liberty, the subway system, the Amtrak and the respected World Trade Center Memorial Fountains, to the ceilings at Arthur Ashe Stadium, the acoustics of Carnegie Hall and even, hidden within the top breweries that make your days eternally memorable experiences.

After all, in a digital area like the one we are living, people are craving these unforgettable moments to share with friends and family. Aren’t you?

So, let me start telling you what where we went and what I saw!


11am – Kickoff Brunch at The Trading Post

Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour The Trading Post

We meet the entire group at a great spot I have never been to: The Trading Post.

It was great to meet the group, we all introduced ourselves, learned a bit more about Siemens and had a glimpse of what was about to happen during the day!

The itinerary sounded extremely exciting and up my alley, since I’m all about explore the “behind the scenes” spots and facts about New York!

Oh, and the food was fantastic!

I had the Aspargus Risotto with fava beans, English peas, goat cheese and soft poached hen’s egg, a refreshing salad and a trio of ice creams!

A great way to start the day!


12:30pm – World Trade Center Memorial Fountains

Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour World Trade Memorial Fountains

Ok, so this place is quite special. We all know about the 9/11 event, how it impacted not only the lives of so many families out there that lost their loved ones, but also of an entire Nation.

It took years of very hard physical and emotional work to reconstruct that part of the city. And, World Trade Center Memorial Fountains, came out to be a beautiful homage to the lives that were lost.

Obviously the hardest part of it all, was not the physical exhaustion. It was being able to think and put together a project so beautifully and carefully thought for, that was able to truly and respectfully honor ever single life that was lost that day – from people in the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and the Stonycreek Township in Pennsylvania, to all passengers in the planes, the brave firefighters that fought through the smoke and law enforcement officers.

The project was led by Delta Fountains, experts in designing and manufacturing the most renowned fountains in the world. All the motorized pumps and totally integrated automation technology is by Siemens.

Joe Petry, President of Delta Fountains, talked to us about this monumental project.

Did you know that The World Trade Center Memorial Fountains are, today, the largest man-made waterfalls and reflecting pool in the entire world?

The fountains sit exactly where the towers were originally located and had phenomenal planning for it to be as perfect and precise as it is – mechanically and visually.

Here is the list of the most relevant and even curious facts that you should know about it:

  • Idea of the project was to reflect the absence of the lost souls
  • Fountains run 24h / day at a constant flow what is automated to monitor itself in an energy efficient way regardless of the weather
  • The recirculation systems are able to pump as much as 18,000 gallons of water at peak performance, every minute of every season
  • It’s intelligent enough to know the environmental conditions and understand if, for example, it needs to adjust the water in the system, not to over flow the pumps, in case it’s raining
  • The fall is 29-feet tall and had to be precisely planned to allow water to flow constantly, despite the weather conditions
  • The total drop – including the waterfall and the void in the center – add to 49-feet
  • The void is 40ft x 40ft
  • But, the water pool you can see, is only 1,5-foot deep
  • You can touch the sterilized water beneath the engraved names around the fountains
  • The stainless steel weir structure, designed by Delta Fountains was the most challenging. Through numerous testing, they found out that the weir structure needed to be exactly at 1/16th inch from each other, with an even water flow, over the entire 1,400 linear feet structure, to have the desired results
  • Water rises up peacefully, looks very still and fall perfectly into the fountain because of gaps in the stones
  • Sandy flowed in from the Hudson River, around the fountains, into the structure, causing over U$100 million in damages and flooding all the 9/11 artifacts in the Museum

Siemens cutting-edge automation technologies:

  • It offered high tech engineering, automation control and pump flow precision
  • 16 motorized pumps – controlled through Siemens VFD’s (Variable Frequency Drives) – regulates water passing through weirs. Their biggest challenge during the project was to figure out how to keep 600,000 gallons of water in each pool constantly flowing and crystal clear
  • The solution was the comprehensive Siemens SIMATIC S7-300 programmable controller solution, a first generation technology, that dramatically reduces energy consumption and CO2 emissions
  • It’s controlled daily and remotely from Jacksonville, Florida, through the WinCC Flexible, an engineering software
  • The weather station, with PLC’s (Programmable Logic Controllers) monitors the wind temperature, velocity and pressure to control and even shut down the system, in case of extreme necessity
  • Its fully integrated diagnostic system monitored with HMI (Human Machine Interface), with touch-screens make advanced graphics to detail and oversee all details with precision and operating cost-savings
  • The sensors on it and the ability to have preventative maintenance make it electronically sustainable
  • Siemens has the greatest equipment in the market to integrate with the computer system, with 3-year warranty, sustainable practices and was a company clearly not focused only on making money, hence the success!

3:30pm – Carnegie Hall

Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Fernanda Paronetto

The Carnegie Hall is one of the world’s most famous concert venue and in the words of many experts “It’s the #1.” It was founded back in April of 1891 – built by the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and designed by the architect William Burnet Tuthill.

How did the idea to build the Hall come to life? Andrew Carnegie’s wife, Louise Whitfield, sang at the Oratorio Society and during their honeymoon, she asked Mr. Carnegie to build her a music hall as a wedding gift. And voilá! In no time, it was up and running beautifully!

Here, we were hosted by Richard Malenka, the Chief Administrative Officer and an “unofficial historian.” He is known for having super valuable and curious stories of Carnegie Hall and a priceless knowledge too.

Oh! One of the highlights was actually being able to go on stage at the Isaac Stern Auditorium, also known as the Main Hall. It’s considered the most prestigious concert stage in the US. Why? Because of the mix of acoustical quality/warmth and visual experience. The totality of the experience makes it one of the best.

Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Guests on Stage
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Stage
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall History
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Performers
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Weill Music Room
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Weill Music Room Guests
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Vintage
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Rooftop
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Rooftop Guests
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Beatles 1st Show
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Archive Room
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Now, here are the top curiosities about the place that called my attention:

  • The fluke!!! Andrew Carnegie hired the architect William B. Tuthill to travel world and build a totally different music hall, from what he’d seen. It ended up being more an Opera house than concert hall. The Fluke: Tuthill never actually built a concert hall!
  • Carnegie Hall boasts its fantastic 165,000 square feet, 3 auditoriums and over 3,600 seats
  • They host up to 700 concerts and 700,000 visitors a year. WOW, right!?
  • Names like Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, The Beatles, Igor Stravinsky, Louis Armstrong, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Maria Callas, Caetano Veloso, Luciano Pavarotti and others have been on stage
  • The building was fully redesigned thinking about technology mixed with sustainability
  • The unique acoustics is a driving force and it’s important to maintain it and to keep the high levels and quality

Siemens was part of the project to modernize the building and is their technological partner, responsible for implementing fire safety, electronic security and building automation. The project not only modernized this historical landmark, but also make it more energy efficient.

Plus, Richard said something super important: “Tech is serving the institution well when it is invisible.” And this is exactly what Siemens has done!

Because of this brilliant partnership, Carnegie Hall has been awarded a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification, 1 point from Gold.

Siemens cutting-edge automation technologies at work here:

  • They’ve installed sensors outside to have a more responsive and immediate response and had to learn how to problem solve the reality of working on a landmark structure and implement a contemporary technology
  • The security system (Siemens SiPass access control), ensures the highest security for guests, staff and talent inside the building
  • The Fire and Life Safety System’s precision and velocity guarantee the emergency control system to immediately activate the fire door closure, elevator management and air handlers
  • The Centralized Control manages the ventilation, air conditioning and heating in one platform, permitting even being remotely controlled, if desired. The system keeps track and analyzes any necessary electrical repair and maintenance
  • The challenges revolved around working on a landmarked building, that restricts countless interventions
  • Now, the 125+ year old landmark is utilizing the next-gen tech found in brand new buildings throughout NYC!

Siemens was able to bring Carnegie Hall into the 21st Century!

Read more.


7pm – Bateaux New York Dining Cruise

Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Bateaux NY Dining Cruise Manhattan
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Bateaux NY Dining Cruise
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Bateaux NY Dining Cruise Statue of Liberty
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Bateaux NY Dining Cruise Menu
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Bateaux NY Dining Cruise Guests
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Bateaux NY Dining Cruise Tables
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To end this fantastic day, with some of the most amazing experiences and priceless knowledge, we headed to Chelsea Piers for a boat-dinner!

The Bateaux New York Dining Cruise was a great experience and way to end the day. But, the interesting information about it, is that the route passes very close to Lady Liberty! To be very honest, I always thought it was a bit too touristy, and it still is, but it’s worth experiencing it once in your life!

And, this is where Siemens comes into play again! They told us that back in 2012, Siemens technology was chosen as the perfect solution to be part of the Life Safety Upgrade Program, led by the U.S. National Park Service, for the Statue of Liberty.

The purpose was to upgrade not only the Statue of Liberty’s emergency rescue elevator, but also the engineering framework called Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) Portal software. In addition, they also used Siemens safety PLC’s – safety modules and comfort panels to ensure redundancy or operations!

As said above, the best type of tech, is the invisible one. And, once again, Siemens showed us how they are part of New York City’s engine!

Here is more on the TIA Portal, in case you’re still curious: 

The TIA Portal allows automation processes to be designed optimally and efficiently from a single computer screen. This ground-breaking innovation shortens the engineering cycle, saves commissioning time, and reduces maintenance costs and TCO (total cost of ownership).

The Life Safety project included the need to upgrade both the safety and function of the 30-year old obsolete rescue elevator which had reached the end of its useful life. The new rescue elevator is a special purpose personnel machine that uses innovative technology to enhance safety and reliability making the system more user friendly. The TIA portal brings efficiency and reliability to the project by allowing and integrated work platform to manage the world class Siemens Safety PLC and Comfort Panel hardware, which make up the heart of the safety rated elevator controller.

The elevator is designed and intended for emergency personnel, not public use, giving EMTs, firefighters, and other service personnel access to the Statue when someone in distress needs to be reached and retrieved. The system includes the Siemens Fail Safe Safety CPU, various digital inputs and outputs, and the Siemens’ HMI comfort panel, all of which were designed and commissioned using TIA Portal. The project also uses PROFIBUS communication protocols and PROFINET industrial Ethernet.

Read more.


As I mentioned, this was a 2-day experience, so take a look what Day 2 looked like!

We started at the Arthur Ashe Stadium where the US Open is currently happening. Then, we headed for tasting and lunch at the Other Half Brewery in Brooklyn. Finally, we finished our day at LO3, a young NY company working on the Brooklyn Microgrid project with a blockchain enabled transactive energy platform!


Follow Siemens online:

Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
LinkedIn
Hashtag: #SiemensInnovates

#Sponsored

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!

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

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

31 Curious Facts About New Yorkers We Just Love

Curiosities City Secrets 31 Curious Facts About New Yorkers

We all know that New Yorkers are very unique types of human beings and that we do have our peculiarities! Some might even say we’re a bit crazy but, then again, we don’t really care. See 31 curious facts about New Yorkers we just love!

Curiosities City Secrets 31 Curious Facts About New Yorkers
Photo Credit: Help us find out! Claim it if it’s yours!

As we said, New Yorkers are pretty interesting human being, with very unique, and weird habits.

So, we decided to put together a list of several pretty hilarious things New Yorkers commonly do. Some of these were extracted from an article we found by our friends at BuzzFeed! It’s short and sweet!

We have to emphasize that #31 is definitely the ultimate best one in our point of view. Or, at least in our Founder’s point of view. This is something that she mentions almost ever single day after commuting to work.


31 Curious Facts About New Yorkers:

1. Strategically jaywalk in zigzags so that not a second is wasted.

2. Craftily weave through the crowds to get on that fully packed 6 train.

3. If they’re not talking to someone, they have their earphones on. All. The. Time.

4. Lean over the yellow subway line to see if a train’s coming – as if it’ll make it come any faster.

5. Gets crazy mad at places that aren’t opened 24h a day. Why in the world would they ever even close? Specially a pharmacy or a pizza spot.

6. Ride bikes in traffic, during blizzards, with no helmet on.

7. Roll their eyes to people that can’t swipe in their metro card on the first try.

8. Listen to music while reading a book and standing up on the subway.

9. Ask how much you pay for rent and how big your apartment is, even if they’ve just met you 5 minutes ago.

10. Pretend like crazy stuff isn’t happening while it’s happening.

11. Talk about how you can’t wait for winter during the summer…and then how you wish it were summer in the winter.

12. Avoids eye contacts so that people don’t fee like you’re opened to talking to them. You need directions? They might not stop…

13. Considers every single park as a type of “urban beach”, and can simply strip down to get a sun tan.

14. Make fun of Williamsburg, especially if you live in Williamsburg.

15. Eat bagels as drunk food.

…and still…

16. Take random pictures of people on the train to show friends.

17. Love cursing. A lot. Like, really, a “shit load” of cursing.

18. Look up at night to see what color the Empire State Building is.

19. Jaywalk so that not a minute is wasted.

20. Get crazy mad that they encounter a line of 5 people walking side by side, blocking the entire sidewalk. Damn tourists…

21. And walk at super speeds to avoid anyone with a clipboard. And, would probably win the Power Walking marathons.

22. Squeeze into super-crowded (but free!) yoga classes, which sort of defeats the purpose.

23. Can eat pizza at any time of the day, specially at 3am.

24. Can’t understand why people literally walk into the subway, before people are able to step out. WTF!?

25. At every new year, reduces the radius in which they actually commute to and from. At some point, they’ll sleep, work and play in only 1 neighborhood.

26. Can see a snake wrapped around the subway’s bars, and just look away like there’s nothing there and continue reading.

27. Are probably the worst drivers on the planet…but are experts in ordering Ubers in a split second, or hailing a cab in the middle of 42nd Street.

28. Are considered rude and snobbish, but are actually very hot hearted people. Deep deeeeeep inside.

29. Although they all seam impatient, they’ll silently stand in massive lines at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, or simply to grab a coffee.

30. Complains about almost everything but, in the end, couldn’t see themselves living anywhere else on the planet.

31. Ride over a bridge on the subway or in a cab, look at the skyline, and remember why you live here in the first place! 

 

*Few excerpts extracted from BuzzFeed.*
Photo Credits: We’re not sure who’s picture is this! Please claim it, if it’s yours!

Alice Austen: An influential NY photographer born in 1866

Curiosities City Secrets Alice Austen Photography Staten Island Austen House Clear Comfort by Floto Warner

We are pretty fond of strong women that have changed or influenced certain periods in time. Alice Austen was one of America’s earliest and most prolific female photographers. She as an influential NY photographer born in 1866.

Curiosities City Secrets Alice Austen Photography Staten Island Austen House Clear Comfort by Floto Warner
Curiosities City Secrets Alice Austen Photography Staten Island Night
Curiosities City Secrets Alice Austen Photography Staten Island
Curiosities City Secrets Alice Austen Photography Staten Island Film Screening
Curiosities City Secrets Alice Austen Photography Staten Island
Curiosities City Secrets Alice Austen Photography Staten Island Sunset
Curiosities City Secrets Alice Austen Photography Staten Island Statue of Liberty
Curiosities City Secrets Alice Austen Photography Staten Island Prints
Curiosities City Secrets Alice Austen Photography Staten Island Frames
Curiosities City Secrets Alice Austen Photography Staten Island Garden
Curiosities City Secrets Alice Austen Photography Staten Island Façade
Curiosities City Secrets Alice Austen Photography Staten Island Festivities
Curiosities City Secrets Alice Austen Photography Staten Island Kids
Curiosities City Secrets Alice Austen Photography Staten Island
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Curiosities City Secrets Alice Austen Photography Staten Island NYC
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Photography is one of our biggest passions and we are proud to say that New York is the home of the most groundbreaking and influential photographers on the planet.

Alice Austen was born in 1866 in Staten Island and her life was certainly an exciting journey, specially considering the time in history she was born.

She is well-known for her documentary work, but she was also passionate about landscape designing. Austen was a pioneer in many things, from being a women photographer, to being the first women to purchase a car. And still, to have a ‘forbidden’ relationship with Gertrude Tate. Wow, we just love her! Powerful, independent, strong, willful, devoted, driven!

Her quest into the photography universe started at the age of 10, when her uncle, Oswald Müller, brought home a camera from one of his trips. He was a sea captain. She was completely enchanted and hypnotized by that wooden box and, in no time, she got pretty familiar with it.

So, at 18, she was already a professional photographer. Some of the earliest works found date back to this time.

Her photographs demonstrate her interest in America’s social challenges as well as her aesthetic sensibility.

Clear Comfort, as the Austen House is known, dates back to a 1690’s one-room Dutch farmhouse.

It is one of the oldest homes in New York and it is considered a National Historic Landmark. The house has an amazing panoramic view of New York City. Today, they offer around 3 exhibitions every years with historic images and also more contemporary ones.

The Staten Island Historical Society, at Historic Richmond, owns over 7,000 original items by Alice Austen. From glass plate negatives, film base negatives to countless original prints. Note: Her career compiled actually over 8,000 images.

If you are interested to head that way and explore more the life of his extraordinary woman, contact our experts to set up this experience for you! We are also able to arrange this for Corporate groups.

Also, take a look to see what are the current exhibitions.

Location: 2 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island

www.aliceausten.org

 

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Floto-Warner and Alice Austen

We Love Uncovering the NYC Subway Secrets

Curiosities City Secrets NYC Secret Subway FDR Tracks Waldorf Astoria

One of the things we love the most in New York City, is uncovering the NYC subway secrets. We compiled a few of what we most enjoyed!

Curiosities City Secrets NYC Secret Subway FDR Tracks Waldorf Astoria
Secret FDR Tracks beneath the Waldorf Astoria Hotel

There is just so much to talk about when the subject is: NYC subway secrets. It’s hard even to know where to start from.

To start, maybe we should go back and see how it all began:


“At 2:35 on the afternoon of October 27, 1904, New York City Mayor George McClellan takes the controls on the inaugural run of the city’s innovative new rapid transit system: the subway.

At 7 p.m. that evening, the subway opened to the general public, and more than 100,000 people paid a nickel each to take their first ride under Manhattan.

IRT service expanded to the Bronx in 1905, to Brooklyn in 1908 and to Queens in 1915.

Since 1968, the subway has been controlled by the Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA). The system now has 26 lines and 468 stations in operation; the longest line, the 8th Avenue “A” Express train, stretches more than 32 miles, from the northern tip of Manhattan to the far southeast corner of Queens.

Every day, some 4.5 million passengers take the subway in New York.”

~ via History.com


That said, we can still list some other peculiarities that we love:

1. Did you know that there are many abandoned platforms, like the one underneath 42nd street on the A/C/E line?

2.  The FDR Subway Track (picture above!), beneath the Waldorf Astoria Hotel is one of the most protected sites. FDR, stands for Franklin Delano Roosevelt and was designed exclusively for him during his Presidency.

3. Wanderlust Projects, know for their illegal parties, that trespasses authorized areas, has organized an illegal party in an abandoned Subway Station. We love these guys!

4. Up through 2006, the New York City transit system operated an armored Money Train that took all money collected from fairs to a safe place at 370 Jay Street, Brooklyn. (You can see more at the New York Transit Museum).

5.  Joralemon Street, in Brooklyn Heights, has a fake townhouse, in the middle of several others colored ones, that hides a ventilation shaft for the Subway.

6. MTA Arts for Transit invited the sculpture Tom Otterness, in 2004, to create those beautiful little bronze creature spread through out the 14th Station and 8th Avenue. See more about his project below:

…and still:

7. The Knickerbocker Hotel was once a very acclaimed hotel, here names like F.Scott Fitzgerald and John D. Rockefeller used to “hang”. The forgotten white door at Track 1 on Times Square/42nd Street station.

8. When you get the Q Line from Dekalb into Manhattan (the abandoned Myrtle Ave station), you will be able to whitness the Masstransiscope artwork by Bill Brand, installed in the year of 1980. This was once the is located in the abandoned Myrtle Ave station. Facing the front of the train, you need to sit on the left side seats.

9. We loooove the Underbelly Project, dating back a few years to 2009. See below where some of the most amazing works of art are secretly hidden.

10. Decommissioned in 1945, the famous City Hall Subway Station has maybe the most amazing architectural designs of all. How to see it? Stay on the 6 train after its last stop, at Brooklyn Bridge. It will continue running, and you’ll be able to see a bit from this station, when you pass by. Beware: it might get a little dark, since lights might go out at some point. Just, stay cool.

11. The Woolworth Building had an exclusive and direct access into the subway, for all the tenants. For an exclusive tour into the building, contact our experts!

12. The wierd “finger-pointing” moment that every conductor does before opening the train’s doors, is simply for safety reasons, indicating that the train is completely stopped.

…finally:

13. Famous people have done fantastic works of “art” in the subway. Take a look at what Aaron from Underground_NYC has created through the dance moves of the famous Brazilian ballerina, Ingrid Silva:

Curiosities City Secrets NYC Secret Subway Ingrid Silva by Underground NYC
Ingrid Silva by Underground_NYC.

…there is just so much more, but we’ll leave it for a second article about the NYC subway secrets!

So, with all this, there are a few books and gadgets we’d like to recommend, if you’re into these secret subway stories and adventures like us:

1. Beneath the Streets: The Hidden Relics of New York’s Subway System
2. The City Beneath Us: Building the New York Subway
3. Lost in NYC: A Subway Adventure: A TOON Graphic (Toon Graphics) (for Kids)
4. Helvetica and the New York City Subway System: The True (Maybe) Story
5. The New York City Subway: The History of America’s Largest and Most Famous Subway System
6. My Subway Ride (for Kids)
7. The Race Underground: Boston, New York, and the Incredible Rivalry That Built America’s First Subway
8. Estella Nursery Decor Pillow, NY Metro Card (for Kids)
9. Sterling Industries 138-094 Double Sided Wall Clock with Map of New York Subway
10. New York Puzzle Company – New York City Transit MTA Subway Kids – 36 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle (for Kids)
11. Glossy Paper Subway Gift Bags
12. and still, a New York City Subway Map Poster Print

And last, we hope you enjoyed this post, as much as we enjoyed doing it!

Yup, we are fascinated with uncovering the NYC subway secrets!

 

Text Excerpts: History.com

We have infinite reasons why NYC is great for Kids

Curiosities City Secrets NYC for Kids by Polina Bulman

There are so many reasons why NYC is great for kids! We are tired of telling people that it’s an excellent city to raise their little ones. See below why we think so!

Curiosities City Secrets NYC for Kids by Polina Bulman
Photo Credit: Polina Bulman

We are literally exhausted of telling friends and other people that New York City is great for kids!

There are so many countless reasons why and kids that are born here do have that special “extra thing” in them. It eventually makes them different and highlights them in the middle of other kids.

So, see below, just a few reasons why New York City is great for Kids:

1. We have the best pizzas! Ok, we could stop here actually! Ha!

2. We live in a multi-cultural city!

3. Oh, and we are able to try food from all over the world with only a few steps here and there!

4. Our toddlers and kids wear the cutest clothes and are super stylish!

5. Our museums have exhibitions and attractions for kids all year long!

6. Plus, we have theaters with amazing plays too!

7. We have one the most amazing carrousels in the world, for example Jane’s Carrousel at the Brooklyn Bridge Park!

8. Our summer time is full of free family events!

9. The kids’ menus are awesome — even adults want to try it!

10. The city is tough and helps shape strong individuals for the future! The eventually exceed within their groups.

11. The subway lines take us everywhere and they are free for the tiny ones – below 44 inches!

12. But, we can walk to almost any place!

13. Everyone is super connected to art, design, culture, etc, giving them the opportunity of engaging with this ludic universe.

14. We are called The City that Never Sleeps…and that can come in handy with kids, if you know what I mean!

15. The lighting of the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center is breathtaking! Kid’s jaws always drop and it’s so cute to observe them staring up.

16. Lastly, we have the best sights in the world to look at…every…single…day!

So, do you still need more? We could continue…but we could have stopped at #1 too! Ha!

 

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Polina Bulman

Brooklyn Bridge: Story And Secrets Behind This Massive Landmark

Curiosities City Secrets Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge has an amazing story and secrets worth telling! The secrets behind this massive NY landmark are very interesting and some, even a bit hilarious!

Curiosities City Secrets Brooklyn Bridge

This is probably one of the three top touristy spots in New York City! We know…not “behind the scenes” at all but, then again, some attractions are just impossible to ignore.

We are completely in love with this Bridge! When we commute into Manhattan through the Q Line in the morning, that goes over the Manhattan Bridge, it’s usually the highlight of the trip! We are able to see the entire Brooklny Bridge and Manhattan’s skyline. Plus, at the very back, the State of liberty.

Yes! A perfect way to start the morning and to remember “Why” we once decided to live here! It just feels…perfect.

Any way, lets getting back on track! Lets talk about the story and secrets behind this massive landmark in New York.

The Brooklyn Bridge was opened to the public on May 24, 1883 and connects Manhattan to Brooklyn, passing over the East River. Back then, it was a separate city from New York, and only in 1898 it was formally merged and New York City started growing into the different Boroughs.

It’s hard to even guess how many years to took, back in the late 1800’s to build it right? Well, it was a total of 14 years.

Over 600 workers were hired to be part of this massive construction and it costed a total of $15 million. Today, if we convert this cost to, it adds up to $320 million! Quite it’s a lot of money, right?

The engineers and architects responsible for this landmark are John A. Roebling, his son, Washington Roebling and David B. Steinman.

John A. Roebling was a pioneer and a fantastic German engineer specialized in suspension bridges back in those days.

Unfortunately, Roebling had a fatal work injury and died of tetanus. His son, Washington Roebling, took over the project.

The entire process was quite challenging for the time. Specially regarding the air tubes that took workers deep under water. When then resurfaced (probably too quickly), their bodies had severe pains, many irreparable damages and sometimes, even death. Washington himself had a lifetime parcial paralysis due to this process.

Today, it’s calculated that more than 120,000 vehicles, 4,000 pedestrians and 3,100 bicyclists cross the Brooklyn Bridge every single day.

Here are also a few secrets facts of the Brooklyn Bridge:

1. In 2006, a Fallout Shelter was discovered inside the masonry of the bridge, most likely created during the Cold War. They found an infinite number of paper blankets, water drums, lots of medical supplies and even canned food.

2. John A. Roebling made a conceptualization of a shopping arcade. It never came to life, but became a storage for several years and, in the beginning of the 2000’s, it was closed down due to security reasons.

3. To help counteract the costs of the bridge, a wine celler was created inside the bridge and was rented out to store products at a stable temperature.

4. This is actually a bit funny. George C. Parker is 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. It’s said that he even negotiated and sold the Statue of Liberty and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET). Ha!

5. The was a terrible and fatal day where a few dozen people died due to a bluff that the bridge was going to collapse. This was only 6 days after it’s opening – a disaster, for sure. Due to this, a while later, it is know that the showman P.T. Barnum organized the crossover of 21 elephants, to secure the population that the bridge was safe. This was, in essence, to promote the coming of his new circus. Smart guy.


In addition, after crossing the bridge, you can take some time and explore the area close by!

So, you can start by simply heading down below the bridge to the  Brooklyn Bridge Park. There are great food vendors, a stunning skyline view of Manhattan, Jane’s Carousel is for all ages, the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory is a great pitstop.

As we said, yes, it is quite touristy. But, nonetheless, it’s definitely worth checking off your list! We still love crossing it sometimes, despite the touristy mess.

If you want to cross, but you’re interested in booking a guide telling you more in depth details of the se stories above, or even, if you want to cross biking, contact our experts to arrange it for you. It’s also a great activity to do with Corporate groups.

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