Category Archives: Our Bucket Lists

25 Most Iconic and Instagrammable Movie Locations in NYC

Our Bucket Lists showing the 25 Most Iconic and Instagrammable Movie Locations in NYC

Can you name right away 3 movies that were filmed in New York City? I’m positive you can, since there is an infinite list for you to remember from. So, take a look at the 25 most iconic and Instagrammable movie locations in NYC for you to visit!

Myself and so many other people call New York “one of the best cities in the world”, and I think Hollywood thinks the same! Hahaha!

Besides, countless people come to NY in search of these places to take pictures at and share on their Instagram, right? At least, I get many messages of people asking for them!

So, with that in mind, I decided to start with a small list of the 25 most iconic and Instagrammable movie locations in NYC.

Take a look at video above to check some out. As well as the description of each below!


#1 Coyote Ugly – Coyote Ugly (2000)

Our Bucket Lists showing the 25 Most Iconic and Instagrammable Movie Locations in NYC Coyote Ugly
Piper Perabo (right), as Violet sings on the bar with Maria Bell, as Lil. Photo Credit: Coyote Ugly (2000)

Inspired by a famous Lower East Side bar, Coyote Ugly Saloon that opened it’s doors in January of 1993, the bar is where Violet Sanford (played by Piper Perabo) starts working when moving to NYC.

Closer to the end of the movie, Piper stand on top of the bar and starts singing to stop a massive fight that took over the entire place, because of her jealous boyfriend. What a mess!

The music she sings is “One Way or Another” by Blondie.

A bit more about its story:

On January 27th, 1993, the Coyote Ugly Saloon first opened its doors to the public.

A few years later, I had perfected my bar and Coyote Ugly Saloon quickly established itself in the hearts of New Yorkers as their preeminent drinking establishment. It gained national attention in early 1997 when a story called “The Muse of the Coyote Ugly Saloon” written by former Coyote bartender Elizabeth Gilbert for GQ magazine: shined a spotlight on the little bar in the East Village.

Shortly after that, Hollywood came knocking and the movie rights to Lil’s story were sold. “Coyote Ugly” opened in August 2000, starring Piper Perabo and Maria Bello. It has grossed over $100 million and a worldwide audience quickly learned what the phrase “We don’t serve water here!” meant.

Location: 153 1st Avenue


#2 Grand Central Terminal – Friends with Benefits (2011)

Our-Bucket-Lists-25-Most-Iconic-and-Instagrammable-Movie-Locations-in-NYC-Grand-Central-Terminal
Grand Central Terminal ©Behind the Scenes NYC

There are countless films featuring Grand Central Terminal. Popular films like Men in Black are well known.

As well as the romantic comedy, Friends with Benefits (2011), where Justin Timberlake sings, as an apology, for Mila Kunis with a huge flash mob. They also shoot at a window table at Pershing Square, just across the street, underneath the Pershing Bridge | Park Avenue Viaduct, on East 42nd Street.

Other movies date back to the 1940’s like the Alfred Hitchcock’s psychological thriller, Spellbound (1945).

Location: 89 East 42nd Street


#3 New York Public Library – Sex & The City (2008)

Our Bucket Lists showing the 25 Most Iconic and Instagrammable Movie Locations in NYC New York Public Library
New York Public Library ©Behind the Scenes NYC

Probably one of my favorite spots in the city!

The New York Public Library was the background of epic movies like Ghostbusters (1984) and even the Sex and the City (2008) scene, where Carrie Bradshaw (a.k.a. Sarah Jessica Parker) is left practically at the altar by Big. What a *beep*!

Location: 476 5th Avenue


#4 The Plaza Hotel – Home Alone 2 (1992)

Our Bucket Lists showing the 25 Most Iconic and Instagrammable Movie Locations in NYC The Plaza Hotel
The Plaza Hotel ©Behind the Scenes NYC

The Plaza Hotel is one of the most gorgeous and traditional hotels in New York City. It’s been featured in, for example, the 2nd Season of Sex and the City.

But, was surely highlighted on the 1992 film, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.

Who doesn’t remember of Macaulay Culkin walking into the hotel…and bumping to Donald Trump. Yikes!

A bit of history now:

Did you know that the hotel has a “first version” that started construction in 1883, the owners ran out of money, new ones took over the hotel opened in 1890.

BUT, the curious thing is: in 1905 other owners demolished the entire building to start a bigger project costing back then $12.5 million dollars.

In less that 2 years, The Plaza, as we know today, was ready! The hotel formally opened to guests in 1907 and boasted with almost 20 super luxurious floors with 282 breathtaking rooms.

Location: 768 5th Avenue


#5 Queensboro Bridge – Manhattan (1979)

Our Bucket Lists showing the 25 Most Iconic and Instagrammable Movie Locations in NYC Manhattan Woody Allen Queensboro Bridge
Mary, played by Diane Keaton, and Woody Allen, as Isaac. ©Manhattan (1979)

This is surely a classic!

Woody Allen made this secluded spot almost under the Queensboro Bridge, called Sutton Place Park North, one of the most romantic spots in town.

This memorable scene was shot with Mary (played by the talented Diane Keaton) and Woody Allen himself, as Isaac – on the waterfront of the East River, at a very late hour.

As Woody said: “Boy, this is really a great city. I don’t care what anyone says. It’s really a knockout, you know?”

And, don’t you agree!? We do!

Location: 12 Sutton Square


#6 Lexington Avenue – The Seven Year Itch (1955)

Our Bucket Lists showing the 25 Most Iconic and Instagrammable Movie Locations in NYC Seven Year Itch

One of the most photographed corners in Manhattan, is located on Lexington Avenue with 52nd Street. Why?

Well, here the beautiful Marilyn Monroe wow’ed the world, with that famous skirt-blowing scene! Remember? She’s walking on the subway grates, when….tchan tchan tchan, the air blew it up for the delight of every men around.

This memorable scene was shot in front of a current restaurant called Le Relais de Venise l’Entrecote.

Location: Lexington Avenue with 52nd Street


And still, SO many other famous, blockbuster movies and series have been filmed in our beautiful New York City!

  • Feast of San Genaro – The Godfather Part II (1974)
  • Grand Central Terminal | Chrysler Building | Midtown – The Avengers (2012)
  • Café Lalo | Zabar’s | Riverside Park – You’ve got Mail (1998)
  • Verrazano Narrows Bridge | Bay Ridge, BK – Saturday Night Fever (1977)
  • Central Park | Tavern on the Green | The Dakota – New York, I Love You (2008)
  • Times Square – Birdman (2014)
  • Katz’s Delicatessen – When Harry met Sally (1989)
  • American Museum of Natural History | Central Park – Night at the Museum (2006)
  • The walking piano at FAO Schwarz (now with a new location) – Big (1988)
  • Tiffany 5th Avenue – Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
  • Park Slope, BK | Boathouse at Prospect Park – The Age of Innocence (1993)
  • Current Lincoln Center on Upper West Side – West Side Story (1961)

Phiuf! And the list goes on, and on!

If you know more movies, share with us on the comments below! We’d love to know!

Lastly, if you enjoyed this post about the 25 most iconic and Instagrammable movie locations in NYC, you might also want to take a look at “10 Top Secrets Of New York City That You Probably Don’t Know“.


Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC
VideographyRenata Meirelles
BeautyLeila Soldeira
StylingCamilla Adão

3 Perfect Photography Spots in New York City

Bucket Lists 3 Perfect Photography Spots in New York City Bethesda Terrace Credit NoelYC

New York is known for being a city photographers love to come and shoot. It’s the home of some of the most amazing attractions in the world, but knowing the perfect spot to capture that moment, is the real secret. Take a look at the 3 perfect photography spots in New York City.

Bucket Lists 3 Perfect Photography Spots in New York City Credit Behind the Scenes NYC
Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC

Last year over 65 million people visited NYC, armed with their cameras and smartphones. From the Empire State Building to Ground Zero, tourists in the city are a vital part of documenting the history of New York and its iconic locations.

When you are on vacation, rather than snapping the more obvious locations, such as the Flatiron Building and The Statue of Liberty, how about visiting somewhere more unusual?

You can use it as an opportunity to work on your composition skills, capturing beautiful images that you will be proud to take home and put on your walls.


Central Park – Bethesda Terrace

Bucket Lists 3 Perfect Photography Spots in New York City Bethesda Terrace Credit NoelYC
Bethesda Terrace – Photo Credit: Noel Y.C.

Bethesda Terrace (72nd Street, Cross Drive), situated in Central Park is a completely unique monument and you can take photos from many different perspectives.

You might want to capture the dramatic New Brunswick sandstone steps, that slope down either side of the upper and lower terrace. The lower level has a beautiful and intricate mosaic, constructed out of Roman brick.

The upper terrace runs side-by-side with 72nd street and has an incredible view of the both the park and the Bethesda Fountain below it. To create really atmospheric photos, try visiting Bethesda Terrace at sunset, when the light changes to russet and gold.

The long shadows emphasize the grandeur of the architecture in a visually striking way.


The High Line

Bucket Lists 3 Perfect Photography Spots in New York City High line Chelsea Credit Actionvance

The High Line is a community park with a difference. It is a performance space, an art gallery a nature garden all rolled into one. It is a place to connect with friends and family.

Created from an old freight railway line, this mile-and-a-half long park in the sky, runs from the Meatpacking

District right through to the Whitney museum (a must visit). It is an absolutely beautiful example of how a derelict, industrial infrastructure can be completely transformed into something that has meaning and purpose for a whole city.

There are so many different ways to capture The High Line, you could even make a picture collage of the park taken from different viewpoints. Experiment with taking shots from almost ground level, running parallel with the railway track.

Or, use your visit as an opportunity to take action shots of the people as they pass through.


Little Italy, Manhattan

Bucket Lists 3 Perfect Photography Spots in New York City Little Italy Feast of San Gennaro Credit Alex Haney
Little Italy

If you are interested in taking portraits, then Little Italy is pure heaven. One of the best times of the year to visit the area is during the Feast of San Gennaro, which happens every September.

The festival celebrates the patron Saint of Naples and has been running annually since 1926. Taking place in and around Mulberry Street, you will find street vendors galore, selling some of the most amazing and diverse food that New York has to offer.

The Beast of Feasts” runs for 11 days and attracts visitors from all over the world. If you are out and about with your camera, this is an excellent opportunity to take pictures of some local New York food legends and entertainers.

You can even turn your hand to capturing your lunch in close up, before posting it on Instagram.


New York is packed full of photogenic spots!

On your visit, you will have plenty of opportunity to hone your skills in taking landscape, portraiture and abstract pictures as you capture beautiful memories of the City That Never Sleeps.

If you need a few more additional tips on how to capture that perfect picture, take a look at the tips given by the photographer, Dani Diamond.

Enjoy and send us your shot, so it can be featured on our Instagram page!


Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC, Courtesy of Noel Y.C., Alex Haney and Actionvance

4 Unexpected Places You Can Visit In New York [NYC Secrets]

4 Unexpected places to visit in NYC FDR Track 61 Waldorf Astoria Fernanda Paronetto

Although NYC is one of the busiest cities in the world, it’s also the home of countless secrets. Take a look below to see 4 unexpected places you can visit in New York!

4 Unexpected places to visit in NYC FDR Track 61 Waldorf Astoria
Track 61, underneath the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – ©BehindTheScenesNYC

New York City, or the “Big Apple” as it is well known, is one of the busiest cities in the world. It is home to millions of people, as well as thousands of tourists who come to see the wonders and marvels of its huge economy and millions of businesses.

There’s a lot to plan when you visit New York, from deciding which attractions are absolute must-sees to getting all your tickets and travel insurance in order. (Oh! Did you know that one week in a US hospital can cost $30,000, for example? It’s definitely not something you want to forget!).

Most tourists flock to the famous sites such as the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. But, the experience in these places might not be as expected because of the huge crowds taking photos, walking around or just standing there idle.

There are, however, other lesser-known places where you can go and have a better, less tourist-centric experience.

Here are 4 unexpected places you can visit in New York:


Track 61

4 Unexpected places to visit in NYC FDR Track 61 Waldorf Astoria Fernanda Paronetto
Fernanda Paronetto on FRD’s subway cart, at Track 61, underneath the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – ©BehindTheScenesNYC

You may well not have known, but there was a secret presidential train platform deep under the Grand Central Terminal, called Track 61.

It was mostly used by the heads of state to secretly commute to the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, first in the late 1930’s by the then-president General John J. Pershing, and second by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the early 1940’s.

President Roosevelt hid from the public due to his physical condition, after he contracted polio at the age of 39 and was confined to a wheelchair.

The track has since stopped being used and is mostly abandoned. As of now, it’s currently completely closed to the public and the MTA doesn’t allow anyone to visit the location. But, there is an amazing tour of the Grand Central Terminal secrets that we love and you can explore too!

Location: Underneath the Waldorf Astoria Hotel


Brooklyn Heights’ Hidden Subway Ventilator

4 Unexpected places to visit in NYC Brooklyn Heights Joralemon Street Fake Subway Ventilator Credit: UntappedCities by Michelle Young
Fake Subway Ventilator at Joralemon Street in Brooklyn Heights – ©UntappedCities by Michelle Young

Joralemon Street; number 58, the faux facade, is in the middle. – ©UntappedCities by Michelle Young

A walk through Joralemon Street, in Brooklyn Heights, might seem like nothing out of the ordinary, from the beautiful brownstones to the relaxing environment and being steps from the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge Park.

However, what is unknown to many is that 58 Joralemon Street looks exactly like the rest of the houses, but is actually a subway ventilator used as an emergency exit. (OBS: In the picture above, the fake house is the one in the middle.)

It was a residential home before being converted in the 1800’s during the subway extension from Manhattan to Brooklyn. The house is heavily guarded by the NYPD, so getting close to it might be a problem. Yikes

Location: 58 Joralemon Street


The Blockhouse

4 Unexpected places to visit in NYC The Blockhouse. Credit: Central Park Conservancy
The Blockhouse in Central Park – ©Central Park Conservancy

Located in the northern part of the Central Park, right by lower Harlem, is The Blockhouse. It is said to be the second oldest thing in the park and dates back to the early 1800’s during the war with the British.

The Blockhouse was supposed to help the Americans defend themselves, but was never used, because the British never reached the city. The building is always locked, in time lost it’s wooden roof and is totally abandoned.

While visiting it, take your time to walk to the East side of the park and take a peek at other spots like: Fort Fish, Fort Clinton, Nutteere’s Battery and Charles A. Dana Discovery Center…all located around the Harlem Meer. Oh! Meer means “Lake” in Dutch!

Location: West Side at 109th Street and Central Park West.


Tribeca’s Dream House

4 Unexpected places to visit in NYC Dream House. Credit: IDK Tonight
Dream House – ©IDK Tonight

Established in the early 1990’s by La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela, the house is secretly located in Tribeca, just off Church Street. It acts a quiet peaceful space where anybody can go, sit, take a deep breath and just relax.

The incense, sound art and light installation in the room are therapeutic and will leave you calm and fresh. The mellow looped music changes depending on your position in the room, whether you are upright or relaxing on your back.

The place is currently under La Monte Young’s foundation known as MELA and is financed by the Dia Art Foundation.

Location: 275 Church Street

www.melafoundation.org/dream02.htm


If you want to explore other unique and unexpected places you can visit in New York, be sure to go to Industry City to see what this Brooklyn neighborhood is all about or plan to visit these 5 offbeat museums in NYC.

And,  of course, continue searching out website, since NYC secret spots away from the touristy scene, are totally up ou alley!


Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC, Central Park Conservancy, ©UntappedCities by Michelle Young and IDK Tonight

2nd Cheap NYC Guide: 30 Top Attractions

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Cheap NYC Guide Washington Square Park

Our 2nd cheap NYC guide features 30 top attractions that you must-see! Touristy or not, these are some the classics spots and neighborhoods that have changed New York’s history. Come uncover New York with us!

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Cheap NYC Guide The Cube Astor Place
The Cube at Astor Place. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Noel Y.C. (@NYCLovesNYC)

Today, for our 2nd Cheap NYC Guide, I’m going to take you through some of the best spots located in Lower Manhattan.

But wait! If you haven’t seen my 1st Cheap NYC Guide, take a look at it and see how you might want to start exploring our beautiful city!

I have created my own touristic route to take my friends and family around the most iconic highlights in the city. These are all entertaining, fun and CHEAP routes that I want to share with you.

Second Route: Lower Manhattan

Before I start, it is necessary to give you some tips. First, NYC food stores and restaurants are not required to offer restroom services, so I have included this item in my tour routes. Second, you can access the WIFI networks in all subway stations, NYC Parks and Starbucks for free (which also have restrooms. YAY!). Finally, if you like something you want to buy and you can afford it, just BUY IT. You probably won’t have time to go back or even remember where you saw that precious item.

This route explores 6 areas of Lower Manhattan: Union Square, Astor Place, Washington Square Park, SoHo, Chinatown and Little Italy. It starts off at Union Square – where our 1st guide ended – located between 17th and 14th Streets and Union Square West and East Avenues.

Union Square

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Cheap NYC Guide Union Square Market
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Union Square Greenmarket

Here you can enjoy a year-round farmers market every Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays between 8am – 6pm, called Union Square Greenmarket. During the peak seasons you can find regional farmers selling their products like fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, award-winning farmstead cheeses, artisan breads, jams, pickles, teas and countless gifts, a profusion of cut flowers and plants, wine, ciders, maple syrup and much more. Shop early because the vendors sometimes leave, once they have sold out their products.

Around this area you can also find all type of stores including the largest Barnes & Noble store if you are looking for books, toys, music and more. A cereal store at Kellogg’s NYC where you can mix your favorites breakfast cereals for just $2 – milk not included. Also, a delicious Jewish Chocolate Rugelach pastry at Breads Bakery and Dylan’s Candy Bar, home to the largest selection of candies and candy-related gifts from around the world. And if you are into sports, your to-go spot is Paragon Sports.

If you’re traveling during the Winter holiday season, and you want to take home some unique gifts, visit Union Square’s Holiday Market that happens through December 24th. You’ll find local craftsmen and artists, open Monday to Friday from 11am – 8pm, Saturdays from 10am – 8pm and Sundays from 11am – 7pm.

*Restroom Spots: Around here you can find restrooms at Whole foods, Burlington, Best Buy, Starbucks, Barnes & Nobles, among others.

Astor Place & Washington Square

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Cheap NYC Guide Washington Square Park
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Noel Y.C. (@NYCLovesNYC)

If you are starting to feel hungry, I recommend you walk downtown through Broadway and at 8th Street, turn left (East) towards Astor Square until you hit St. Marks. Here you will find delicious cheap Asian food including Japanese BBQ, Thai Food and Ramen. During this trajectory, you will find one of New York City’s most iconic pieces of public art—and heck, one of its most iconic landmarks, period—The Astor Place Cube. I dare you to push it to make it turn around!

Just a few block from this iconic landmark, you’ll find the theatre where the Stomp has been performing for years. If you haven’t heard about them, it’s about time! Founded in the UK, back in 1991, today they are world famous, creating the most impressive percussion acts with unexpected objects and body parts!

Get ready to feel your bones shake!

After you are done, return to Broadway, walk to 4th Street and turn right (West), walking all the way to Washington Square Park. The park is dominated by the Washington Square Arch at the Northern gateway and the fountain. It’s one of the city’s popular spots for residents and tourists and you might recognize it form the movie August Rush.

Once a cemetery, now is a parade ground, a gathering spot for avant-garde artists, a battleground for chess enthusiasts and a playground for canines and children.

*Restroom Spot: Available public restrooms in the park.

If you were not temped by St. Marks food options, check MacDougal Street, located at the Southwest corner of the park. This area is NYU’s Students favorite food spot and therefore, very affordable. If you are into Italian food, Artichoke Basille’s Pizza offers huge pizza slices for less than $5. If you prefer Asian food, Saigon Shack has cheap Vietnamese food, but is a very popular spot so be prepared to wait. And if you prefer vegetarian food, try by Chloe.

SoHo & Chinatown

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Cheap NYC Guide Chinatown
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Noel Y.C. (@NYCLovesNYC)

By now, I’ pretty sure you’re full and in the need another good walk. Walk back to 4th Street towards (East) until you hit Broadway again and start walking downtown. After a few blocks, you will cross Houston Street and enter SoHo (a.k.a. South of Houston). This area is known for its designer boutiques, fancy chain stores and high-end art galleries, making it a trendy top shopping destination. I invite you to walk around the smaller streets and explore their uniqueness and secret little businesses.

Once you have absorbed all SoHo’s vibes, walk back to Broadway until you hit Canal Street, where you will be officially in Chinatown.

There is just so much to see here, that if after the tips below, you’re still curious to explore more of the food scene, book your tickets for the Tenements Tales and Taste Tour! You’ll enjoy the story of the millions of immigrants and taste several delicious dishes like pretzels, dumplings, potato knishes, waffles, homemade cheeses and even beer, of the many groups that have lived there.

At Canal Street turn left (East) and start walking through it. You will encounter several NY gift shops which are perfect to get some cheap souvenirs back home. While you’re walking you will be approach by several Chinese people offering “handbags and watches”.

Just be aware for they are all fake and illegal!

Among the treats I recommend around Chinatown are Taiyaki NYC, where you can try their fish-shaped waffle ice cream and Chinatown Ice Cream Factory where you will find my two favorite flavors: black sesame and lychee ice cream. If you like pastries, go to Taipan Bakery and try the delicious Coconut Bun for only $1.25, cash only. It is very popular, so hopefully you are lucky enough to get a warm one. And if you want to have an authentic Chinese meal, go to Great NY Noodletown on the corner of Bowery and Bayard Street. Remember that they’re cash only.

To find several food options in one place, there is a “hidden” food market called Canal Street Market. It’s located on the corner of Canal Street with Lafayette.

*Restroom Spot: The restaurant Great NY Noodletown has available restrooms as does Canal Street Market.

Little Italy

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Cheap NYC Guide Little Italy
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Noel Y.C. (@NYCLovesNYC)

In the middle of Chinatown, at Mulberry Street with Canal Street facing North, you will find the entrance to Little Italy. This couple of streets welcomes a heavily touristy crowd to its high concentration of souvenir shops and traditional Italian eateries and bakeries. Tenement buildings, once home to the immigrants who settled the area in the late 1800s, line the narrow streets. Mulberry Street, the main thoroughfare, turns into a pedestrian mall on summer weekends and each September they celebrate San Gennaro Festival.

One of the store that I love visiting every time I’m there is Mulberry & Grand, founded by Emily Guggino. There is always something new to tempt you into purchasing it! A lovely curated collection of inspired accessories.

By now, you have visit almost a third of the city, all the way from 59th Street at Central Park down to Canal Street, in Chinatown. And, the good news is: it has only taken you two days. YAY! And, there is still so much more to see!

Did you enjoy the 1st and 2nd Cheap NYC guides with the top NYC attractions? If so, stay tuned for our 3rd Route, where we’ll explore the West Side. Spots like the famous Highline, the delicious Chelsea Market, the Meatpacking District and one of the coolest neighborhoods in Manhattan, the West Village.

See soon!


Text Credit: Written by our contributor Magdalena Concha
Photo Credits: Courtesy of Noel. Y. C. (@NYCLovesNYC) and Union Square Greenmarket

1st Cheap NYC Guide: 40+ Top Attractions

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Cheap NYC Guide Central Park The Pond

Our 1st cheap NYC guide features 40+ top attractions that you must-see! Touristy or not, these are the classics spots that have changed New York’s history. Come explore New York with us!

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Cheap NYC Guide Central Park The Lake San Remo
The Lake and The San Remo towers at Central Park © Behind the Scenes NYC

I have been living in NYC for more than two years now and considering that I always have friends and family visiting me, I’ve created my own touristic route to take them through the most iconic highlights of the city. They are entertaining, fun and best of all, CHEAP routes that I want to share with you.

First Route: From Central Park down to Union Square

Before I start, it is necessary to give you some tips. First, NYC food stores and restaurants are not required to offer restroom services, so I have included this item in my tour routes. Second, you can access the WIFI networks in all subway stations, NYC Parks and Starbucks for free (which also have restrooms. YAY!). Finally, if you like something you want to buy and you can afford it, just BUY IT. You probably won’t have time to go back or even remember where you saw that precious item.

I recommend you start with this route, since it’ll give you a broad view of the city and Midtown. The first day is always the most intense day of all. Or, at least it’s what I tell my friends to give them the illusion they won’t walk “that much” for the rest of the trip. By the way it’s a total lie. Hahaha!

Central Park & Plaza Hotel

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Cheap NYC Guide Central Park The Pond
The Pond at Central Park © Behind the Scenes NYC

This route starts at Central Park, on the corner of 5th Ave and 59th Street. Here you can access one of the most iconic areas of Central Park featured in several movies like Home Alone 2 or Enchanted. You will see the amazing contrast between nature and the city, giving you incredible pictures at The Pond and the famous Gapstow Bridge. If you’re lucky, you can even take a picture of the most famous bachelor of NYC today: the gorgeous Mandarin Duck who is living at The Pond! Also, close to this area you can walk around the Hallett Nature Sanctuary (be aware of the Raccoons that lives in a tree there), skate at the Wollmann Rink Ice and visit the Central Park Zoo.

For those that have more time to spend around Central Park, walk up to The Lake, to cross another famous bridge – Bow Bridge. Be sure to snap a picture with The San Remo towers at the back! You might also want to get a row boat at The Loeb Boathouse.

Now, if you are in a hurry, just walk around and keep going down 5th Avenue, heading South (downtown direction). How do you know you’re heading South if you’re in the middle of the 5th Avenue? Cars are moving South too, so just follow the flow!

*Restroom Spot: go inside the beautiful Plaza Hotel and down to the food court located at -1 level. They have restrooms you can use at the end of the left alley.

5th Avenue, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral & Rockefeller Center

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Cheap NYC Guide Top of the Rock
Top of the Rock © Behind the Scenes NYC

Between 59th Street and 42nd Street, when you walk through 5th Avenue, you’ll find the biggest and most fashionable stores in NYC. Be sure to check the 4th floor of Victoria Secret’s store, where you can see a small exhibit of the costumes used at their world-famous shows. Walk into the Neo-Gothic Saint Patrick’s Cathedral dating back to 187 and, of course, the Rockefeller Center. If by this time you are getting a little hungry, pass by the Lindt Chocolate, on 5th Avenue store where they will always welcome you with a delicious chocolate truffle. And La Maison du Chocolate at the on 49th also offers tastings. Yum!

If you are coming to New York for the Christmas holiday season, don’t forget to take pictures of the Christmas Tree at the Rockefeller and enjoy the Saks’ light show every night starting at 5pm to 11pm. It happens every 10 minutes. These shows gets really crowed, so try to come early to see it all. If you have time and have to pick one of the buildings to walk up – Empire State Building or Top of the Rock, go up the latter. It will give you the best 360º view of downtown, stretching to our Lady Liberty, and also Central Park. Plus, lines are much shorter compared to the Empire State.

Bryant Park & Food

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Cheap NYC Guide Bryant Park
Bryant Park © Behind the Scenes NYC

By the time you hit 42nd Street and 5th Avenue, I can guarantee you’ll be quite hungry. What I usually do is turn right at 42nd Street and walk to 6th Avenue to grab some food inside Whole Foods. They have a delicious food buffet with tons of vegetarian, vegan and organic food, if you enjoy, besides other options too. And, the best part is that they have a sitting area, where you can eat and admire Bryant Park. If the weather allows, I recommend you enjoy your lunch at Bryant Park, where they have several tables and chairs available. It might be a bit hard to find a spot during the warmer months though…

Now, during the winter season, you can also visit Winter Wonderland Village at the park that offers over 150 stores, surrounding the Ice Skating Rink. Skating and lockers are free if you own your skates and have a padlock, but you will have to pay if you need to rent skates, want to check bags, or need to buy a lock for your locker. By the way, this is the cheapest place to skate in the city, if you want to experience it.

*Restroom Spot: the Le Pain Quotidien, by Bryant Park is an easy spot to.

New York Public Library

When you’re done, head back to 5th Avenue and visit the New York Public Library (NYPL). They offer free guided tours at 11a and 2pm, Monday through Saturdays, and at 2pm on Sundays. Tours are available on a first come basis and are limited to 25 people, so try to be there early. It’s definitely a place to spend some time in and, of course, don’t forget to pass by the famous reading room. It was renovated a while back and is stunning. Do remember be absolutely silent in there! Oh! The Public Library was featured in the Sex and the City movie, when Big left Carrie practically at the alter, remember?

*Restroom Spot: the Public Library has several restrooms in almost every floor.

Grand Central Terminal & It’s Secrets

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Cheap NYC Guide Grande Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal © Behind the Scenes NYC

The next stop is Grand Central Terminal. To get there, just walk two blocks East on 42nd Street and you’ll find it. Atop the Grand Central Terminal is the world’s largest Tiffany Clock and the iron eagles. The best shots from the outside is on the corner of at 42nd Street and Park Avenue. When you walk inside the terminal, look for the Main Concourse where another Tiffany Clock is located right at the middle. Take time to look straight up and admire the massive painting of the constellations on the ceiling and try to find a small, dark patch of brick next to Cancer, the crab. This brick reveals what the terminal’s ceiling looked like before it was cleaned during the restoration project in 1998. Yup, this place was the former home of homeless people and was even dangerous to walk in. Can you imagine?

Nestled between the Main Concourse and the Vanderbilt Hall is an acoustical architectural anomaly called Whispering Gallery. Here, sound is thrown clear across the 2,000-square-foot chamber, “telegraphing” across the surface of the vault and landing in faraway corners. Feel free to try it out!

*Restroom Spot: Grand Central Terminal also has restrooms located at the food court, on the -1 level.

Again, walk back to 5th Avenue and keep walking downtown. Between 33rd and 34th Streets you will spot the Empire State Building. To get the perfect picture of the building, I recommend to walk to 28th St x 5th Avenue. In addition, close by at 32nd Street, you will hit Koreatown. There are great places offering delicious food like Jongro BBQ, karaoke spots and countless beauty stores.

Flatiron District & Food

When you arrive at 26th Street, you’ll walk into the Flatiron District by Madison Square Park. Here, for the best picture of the complete Flatiron Building, go to the intersection of 5th Avenue and Broadway – right in front of the sculpture placed in the middle. It’s the General William Jenkins Worth Monument. Walk into Eataly to visit! It’s the most famous Italian market in the city that offers several restaurants and all sort of food to buy. Its deliciously beautiful. If you’re not hungry, you can just order some appetizers and a glass of wine at an area with bar tables. There aren’t even stools there, since people are in an out pretty quickly.

* Restroom Spot: Eataly has restrooms next to the fresh pasta section.

On the other hand, if you are hungry already but don’t want to spend tons of money, try a traditional NYC hamburger at Shake Shack, located in the middle of Madison Square Park. They have vegetarian options that are pretty good too!

Down Through Broadway & Union Square

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Cheap NYC Guide Union Square
Union Square © Behind the Scenes NYC

Once again, keep walking downtown, but this time lets change and take Broadway instead of 5th Avenue. Broadway is the only avenue that crosses the entire city from West to East. By the time you hit 17th Street, you will be close to our final destination for the day: Union Square! Here you can enjoy a year-round Farmer Market every Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday, between 8am – 6pm. If you do intend in going there to shop, head there early morning, since vendors sometimes leave, once they have sold out).

Around this area you can find several stores and lots of restrooms: Whole foods, Burlington, Best Buy and Starbucks to name a few. If you are traveling on a budget, but still want to buy clothing and shoes, I recommend you go to Burlington and DWS located in 14th Street. They have great deals with amazing brands. To finish the day with another food spot for a quick bite, try Maoz Vegetarian, serving Middle Eastern vegetarian food, with some of the best falafels in town!

So, our 1st Route has come to an end. And, believe or not, you have walked around 13km, or 8miles. Not bad for your first day, right!?

If you enjoyed the 1st cheap NYC guide featuring 40+ top attractions in the city, stay tuned for next week! I will share my 2nd Cheap NYC Guide starting at Union Square and ending at Chinatown. Oh, and take a look at 10 Top Secrets about New York too!

See you then!


Text Credit: Written by our contributor Magdalena Concha

How To Enjoy NYC With Kids, Outdoors!

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists How To Enjoy NYC With Kids Outdoors Hudson River

Yes, New York is a great city for kids, so don’t worry! See below how to enjoy NYC with kids, outdoors seamlessly and have tons of fun and stories to tell!

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists How To Enjoy NYC With Kids Outdoors Hudson River
© Behind the Scenes NYC

Don’t believe people that say differently. The city is full of amazing attractions and activities for kids of all ages and we will show you what we mean!

Before we became parents, we spent countless weekends in New York City, staying out late, enjoying nice dinners, and partying at the best bars and nightclubs.

After our son was born, we realized that traveling to the Big Apple needed to change. We replaced our original itinerary with activities that were fun for the whole family.

Despite the skyscrapers, congested traffic and throngs of tourists, New York City has secluded pockets that give the kids room to play. It is possible to enjoy the great outdoors in Manhattan.


Park It

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists How To Enjoy NYC With Kids Outdoors Central Park
Central Park [Photo Credit: Courtesy of The 2 Idiots Travel Blog]
At 840 acres, Central Park is the hub for outdoor-loving families. You can rent bicycles and explore the paved trails, enjoy rides on the carousel, and try horseback riding through the park’s highlights.

This is not a just a stop for tourists – the entire park is also teaming with New Yorkers who appreciate the best of New York’s great outdoors!

We love Sheep Meadow, near the famed Tavern on the Green restaurant. It’s great for kids because of its wide open space (15 acres), kite flying, room to play catch, and loads of families.

Shop a local market and bring a picnic, or let experts cater one for you, and make a full day of sitting under the trees; the museums will still be there tomorrow. Even in the winter, you can use the park for ice skating, cross country skiing and sledding.

You can also visit waterfront parks along the Hudson and the East River, providing great views, cool breezes and lots of fresh air. We love Hudson River Park for its play areas with water features on hot, summer days.

Our son can spend hours playing in the splash park, and you’ll find mini golf and sports fields and courts for older kids to get their play on.


See the City from the Water

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists How To Enjoy NYC With Kids Outdoors Statue of Liberty
© Behind the Scenes NYC

Surrounded by water – Manhattan is an island, after all – spend time on the rivers. Kayak rentals are available for the families with older kids, and you can set sail on leisure ships for an hour or two of sightseeing.

There are also some pretty cool jet ski rides up and down the Hudson, as well as around the entire island!

The Staten Island Ferry is a great way to see New York’s skyline from the Hudson – and it’s FREE!

Or, if you want to splurge, you can charter a private cruise on a small sailboat.

You can also catch the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. She stands on an island that is a national park. No need to climb to the top, just enjoy the views while your toddler plays. (This is also another great picnic spot!).

If you’ve never been to Ellis Island, it’s also a great spot, with some pretty exclusive tours.

If you’re willing to travel further, cross into New Jersey to Liberty State Park and you’ll find even more space to enjoy. Playgrounds, a boardwalk with viewfinders, and picnic tables all overlook Manhattan.


Enjoy Outdoor Attractions

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists How To Enjoy NYC With Kids Outdoors Highline
Walking the Highline [Photo Credit: Courtesy of The 2 Idiots Travel Blog]
Many of New York’s best attractions will get you outdoors, such as the Central Park Zoo and the New York Botanical Garden. The Gardens offer special activities and event for young kids and is a special treat – NY Botanical Garden and the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.

Or, grab your stroller and take a walk along the High Line, which stretches over a mile on an old rail line. You can take a trip to Roosevelt Island with a ride on the Roosevelt Tram providing a fun ride and cool views before you take in the skyline from the East River-based island.

Even grabbing a bite under the sun is easy to do in New York. Take advantage of the many restaurants that have rooftop dining or secret patios. You’ll be surprised how much of the city can be enjoyed in the open air. Try Birreria, the rooftop of Eataly’s grocery and market or ‘wichcraft for sandwiches, both in the Flatiron District.

And, because New York’s diverse neighborhoods offer safe playgrounds for the kids whho live close by, seek out AirBnBs or boutique hotels near a small park. It makes for a good start to your day to grab coffee and muffins for breakfast in a nearby park, as well as a relaxing end to a long day of sightseeing.

When you leave New York and download all of your photos, we bet you’ll be surprised by how many of them were taken outdoors and away from crowds. You might not even think they were taken in the city!

Oh! Wait! You’re they type that doesn’t take pictures, but always regret it after?

You might want a professional photographer that will seamlessly be with you during the day, capturing the most amazing, spontaneous moments! You’ll not even notice!

Have fun and be sure to tell your other friends how to enjoy NYC with kids! We are sure you’ll be back for more!


Our Contributors:

AJ Ratani and Natasha Sandhir traveled around the world with their son Aarav. Visiting 31 countries and 6 continents as a family, they documented their year-long travel and trips on their family travel blog. Visit their website for more tips and also follow the couple on their Instagram account.


Photo Credits: Courtesy of The 2 Idiots Travel Blog and © Behind the Scenes NYC

Exploring The Coolest Spots In Industry City, Sunset Park

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Frying Pan BK Outdoor Area

Some of New York’s coolest spots are located in Industry City. This area of Brooklyn has been completely transformed from old warehouses, into a fantastic center with thriving local Brooklyn-based businesses!

Back in the 1890’s Sunset Park, in Brooklyn, was full of warehouses and distribution centers.

Industry City was called Bush Terminal and in no time, had over 25,000 daily workers, transforming it into one of the world’s major international seaports.

By the 1960’s businesses started to close down and the area was practically abandoned for over 40 years.

Finally, in 2013, a new group started to renovate and redevelop the area. Today, they’ve created over 2,000 jobs and have leased over 2million square feet to new local businesses that are now thriving!

We came here today to show you a few of the coolest spots to visit, while you in the neighborhood!


Extraction Lab

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Extraction Lab
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Extraction Lab Interior
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Extraction Lab Macaron
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Extraction Lab Coffee
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Extraction Lab Recipes
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Extraction Lab Pastries
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Extraction Lab Barista
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Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Extraction Lab Capuccino
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This is a very special place for the coffee and tea lovers! I’m certainly part of the list!

Alpha Dominche Extraction Lab is famous for brewing their own coffee and tea, in Brooklyn! You can actually choose your drink based on origin, variety, brand, roaster and other specifications.

They work with 50 world-class roasters and tea producers for all over the world.

Here, you also learn the details of the drink you’re ordering and can even pair them with delicious pastries.

Get ready to explore and uncover their world with me!

Hours: Monday – Friday: 9am – 5pm

Location: 51 35th Street

www.adextractionlab.com


Li-Lac Chocolates

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Lilac Chocolate Smores
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Lilac Chocolate
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Lilac Chocolate Products
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Lilac Chocolate Production
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Hey chocoholics! Li-Lac Chocolates is one of NY’s oldest chocolate houses with a 4 spots in Manhattan and 1 in Brooklyn – where we came to personally explore.

This Brooklyn location is not only a store, but it’s also their factory. The smell is truly indescribably and amazing. As soon as you walk in, you’re wrapped into this fantastic aroma that fills the air.

Some recipes are still the original ones and some production techniques still date back to the 1920’s! Oh! They do offer tasting tours in the factory!

We spoke to Anthony Cirone, Co-Owner and President at Li-Lac Chocolates, so check it out in the video!

Hours: See website for hours based on their different locations.

Locations: 68 35th Street, Brooklyn

And, in Manhattan:
40 8th Avenue, West Village
162 Bleecker Street, Greenwich Village
43rd Street & Lexington Avenue, Grand Central Market
75 9th Avenue, Chelsea Market

www.li-lacchocolates.com


Avocaderia

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Avocaderia Toast
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Avocaderia Avo Burger
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Avocaderia Colors Avo
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Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Avocaderia Potato
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Avocaderia Poached Eggs
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Avocaderia 6 Dishes
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Avocaderia Raspberry Smoothie
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Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Avocaderia Avocado Scrub
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This is one of the best ideas ever launched in New York! Why? Well, if you live here, you’re probably a huge fan of avocados too!

Avocaderia has so many variations in how to prepare this unique single-seeded fruit, from savory dishes to sweet ones. They are the first avocado-bar with a menu filled with different toasts, salads and bowls, smoothies, sweets and some special creations, like the Avo Burger.

To kill your curiosity about what an Avo Burger is, here you go: avocado, smoked salmon, arugula, pico de gallo, herb yogurt dressing, everything bagel seasoning, quinoa, watermelon radish and lime citronette, served with baked pita chips. Oh. My. God. Right!? I’m salivating just  writing about it!

Francesco Brachetti, one of the 3 Co-Owners, shared with us which are the best sellers, so be sure to go try it out, asap! Yum!

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 9am – 4pm
Weekends: 11am – 5pm

Location: 238 36th Street

www.avocaderia.com


Industry City Store by Wanted Design

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Wanted Design Interior
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Industry City Store by WantedDesign is another great place to stop by.

They have a fantastic curation of works by several emerging designers, as well as products created by some the best local designers in Industry City.

What you’ll find? Countless accessories, candles, pillows, furniture, books and so much more!

See what it looks like in our video and check out their website to read about their upcoming exhibitions, talks, workshops and other curious happenings that they host.

Hours: Wednesday – Saturday: 12pm – 6pm

Location: 274 36th Street

www.wanteddesignnyc.com


Frying Pan BK

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Industry City Frying Pan BK Façade
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Have you heard of Frying Pan, a great vessel on the Hudson River, right on 26th Street? It’s open from May through October and is known for being an unusual type of bar that you should certainly explore!

More recently they opened Wheel House by Frying Pan as a great alternative for those that enjoy them, but are based in Brooklyn.

And, wanna know something cool too? You can also order bar service outside and even rent Ping Pong rackets and balls to play a bit and enjoy the day.

Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 12pm – 8pm; Kitchen closes 7:45pm; Bar will extend ‘till 10pm when busy
Friday & Saturday: 12pm – 9pm; Kitchen closes 8:45pm; Bar will extend ‘till 11pm when busy
Sunday: 12pm – 6pm; Kitchen closes at 5:45pm; Bar will extend 8pm when busy

Location: 51 35th Street

http://fryingpanbk.com


If you enjoy exploring different neighborhoods that are far from the crowded touristy areas, you might also want to check out these amazing restaurants and cocktail spots in Greenpoint; as well as the places where I did a drink and food crawl with a foodie friend!

Have fun!


VideographyRenata Meirelles
Photo Credits: All the venues

The 5 Top Coffee Shops in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

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

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

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

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

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

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


Maman

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

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

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

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

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

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

Location: 80 Kent Street

www.mamannyc.com


Búdin

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 5 Top Coffee Shops Greenpoint Budin

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

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

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

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

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

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

Location: New spot to be announced!

www.budin-nyc.com


Sweetleaf Coffee Roasters

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

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

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

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

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

Location: 159 Freeman Street

http://sweetleafcoffee.com


Homecoming

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 5 Top Coffee Shops Greenpoint Homecoming

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

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

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

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

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

Location: 107 Franklin Street

https://home-coming.com


Champion Coffee

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 5 Top Coffee Shops Greenpoint Champion Coffee

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

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

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

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

Hours: See website for hours of specific locations

Location: 1107 Manhattan Avenue

www.championcoffee.com


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

Beauty
: Leila Soldeira

10 Lifesaving Hacks to Travel Around NYC

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

https://usebounce.com


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

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

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

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

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


#3 Bring a selfie stick

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

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

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

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


#4 Pack comfortable walking shoes

10 Life Saving Hacks To Travel Around NYC Fort Tyron Park

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

#6 Carry a portable phone charger

10 Life Saving Hacks To Travel Around NYC Mophie External Battery

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

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


#7 Beware of street food

10 Life Saving Hacks To Travel Around NYC The Halal Guys

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

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

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


#8 Save money on Broadway tickets

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


#10 Research pay what you wish museum days

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Rachel Kyle Ford The Rum House Iced

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

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Rachel and Kyle Ford

This week we bring you a super talented duo!

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

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

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


Rachel Ford:

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Rachel Ford

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

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

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

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

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


Kyle Ford:

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Kyle Ford

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

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

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

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

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

 

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


Lighthouse – Williamsburg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Location: 145 Borinquen Place

http://lighthousebk.com


Long Island Bar – Cobble Hill

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

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

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

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

Go check it out!

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

Location: 110 Atlantic Avenue

http://thelongislandbar.com


The Rum House – Times Square

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

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

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

Hours: Daily, 12pm – 4am

Location: 228 West 47th Street

http://therumhousenyc.com


Amor y Amargo – East Village

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Rachel Kyle Ford Amor y Amargo

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

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

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

We’re positive you won’t leave disappointed!

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

Location: 443 East 6th Street

www.amoryamargony.com


Bar Goto – Lower East Side

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

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

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

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

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

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

Location: 245 Eldridge Street

www.bargoto.com


Cocktail Kingdom – Flatiron District

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

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

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

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

Hours: Monday – Friday 10:30am – 5pm

Location: 36 West 25th Street, 5th Floor

www.cocktailkingdom.com


Jupiter Disco – Bushwick

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Rachel Kyle Ford Jupiter Disco

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

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

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

Get ready for take off!

Hours: Monday – Sunday: 6pm – 4am

Location: 1237 Flushing Avenue

www.jupiterdisco.com


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

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

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

 

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

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