Category Archives: Curiosities

Frevo: A Restaurant Hidden Behind An Art Work

Dining Frevo Restaurant Fernanda Paronetto

You all know how much we enjoy finding secret spots around New York, right? So, take a look at Frevo, a restaurant hidden behind an art work inside a tiny gallery in the Greenwich Village. It’s the new hot spot!

Dining Frevo Restaurant Photo Charissa Fay
Dining Frevo Restaurant Entrance Gallery
Dining Frevo Restaurant Salad
Dining Frevo Restaurant Lump Crab
Dining Frevo Restaurant Quinoa Salad
Dining Frevo Restaurant Aspargus
Dining Frevo Restaurant Halibut Fennel
Dining Frevo Restaurant Duck
Dining Frevo Restaurant Veggie Salad
Dining Frevo Restaurant Dessert
Dining Frevo Restaurant Lime Pie
Dining Frevo Restaurant Counter
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Yes, so this is exactly what you read: a restaurant hidden behind an art work!

Frevo is one of the newest restaurants in town that officially opened its doors on May 16th, but the fun thing is that it’s actually a hard to find spot. Just like we like it and how our story began!

The contemporary French restaurant is hidden behind a beautiful art work inside a tiny gallery in the Greenwich Village, in Manhattan.

Created by the talented Brazilian Chef Franco Sampogna and his Portuguese business partner and General Manager Bernardo Silva, the restaurant’s launch was far from being an “easy one”. What I mean is, we all know that many of the restaurants out there are backed up by these big money investors, making the entire endeavor easier.

But, Frevo went down another path and was self-funded by the duo. Certainly, a challenge that brought its own characteristics, the main one being the idea of being a secret spot.

The concept of it being discreet and offering a unique experience had been thought out. But, a restaurant hidden behind an art work, happened by occasion based on a challenge they had.

Bottom line: the place they found was amazing, but too big, too expensive and above their budget.

Dining Frevo Restaurant Fernanda Paronetto Franco Sampogna
Our Founder, Fê Paronetto with Chef Franco.

So, after analyzing and deciding exactly what size restaurant they’d actually need, the remaining space was offered to the French painter Toma-L, which draws inspiration from Joan Miró and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Voilá! There, he’d be able to show and sell his art pieces, while creating the beginning of, what they call, “a unique cultural and culinary dining experience”.

As soon as you arrive at the tiny gallery in the Greenwich Village, you’re greeting by a hostess. Note: If you’re early, you might have the pleasure of being greeted by Chef Sampogna himself!

When the time comes for your reservation, you get a bit curious to know exactly where the entrance is.

Then, the moment comes when you’re just in “awe”! The biggest painting in the gallery opens up like a door, and you’re taken inside to your seat. The staff is extremely friendly and welcoming, plus you’re able to actually meet and talk to the talented duo behind it all.

There are 18 counter seats where guests can enjoy and see their dishes being carefully prepared. In addition, there is also a more private table for up to 6 people as an option.

Frevo offers a 5-course pre-fixe menu with: 2 appetizers, 2 main courses and 1 dessert. Oh, and you do get an amuse-bouche to wake up your taste buds!

This tasting menu costs $148/person and is definitely worth every cent! You can also request wine pairing, at an additional cost, of $96/person, tip included! Frevo is a non-tipping restaurant.

I’m vegetarian and at the time of my reservation, I was asked for any dietary restrictions or allergies. So, they were able to perfectly accommodate my request. (Note: They are just not able to accommodate vegan diets, as of now.)

So, this is what we had:

  • Lump Crab with Broccoli and Curry
  • Green Asparagus with Pistachio and coconut
  • Halibut with Fennel, Mushroom Marmalade
  • Long Island Duck with Spinach, Raisins and Potatoes
  • Chocolate mousse with Oreo crumbs, ice cream with a side of dulce-de-leche (aka caramel)

For me, the dished slightly different:

  • Quinoa Salad
  • Green Asparagus with Pistachio and coconut
  • Fennel, Mushroom Marmalade with a small bread soaked in the marmalade
  • Onion, Pear and Carrot, on top of a Carrot cream
  • Lemon pie with Vodka, Lime and Almond

And, to finish it off in grand style, and to celebrate the Brazilian culture (since I had mentioned that Chef Sampogna is Brazilian), we had a good strong expresso.

The menu is seasonal, so you can be sure to go back and re-experience this delicious secret journey into a contemporary French cuisine.

They do not accept walk-ins and even if you pass by the gallery, you’re not able to give that sneak-peek inside. So, be sure to get your reservation done in advance to explore this restaurant hidden behind an art work!

To get a sneak peek inside our experience, take a look at this IGTV Video!


Dining Frevo Restaurant Chef Franco Sampogna Bernardo Silva

More about the Co-Founders:

Chef Franco Sampogna and Bernardo Silva met at the age of 17 in France, even though they are from Brazil and Portugal, respectively.

They spent most of their early years studying in France and working at renowned Michelin-star restaurants. This, eventually, built up great knowledge and experience of the hospitality industry, bringing them to explore New York and start their journey away from France.

They duo is well-known for their former Long Island based restaurant, Jema. It won Newsday’s Best New Restaurant 2016, was listed among Best Long Island Restaurants 2017, and won the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 2017.

Chef Franco Sampogna entered the international San Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 competition, along with another 3621 candidates. Selected amongst ten French Chefs for the semi-finals at only 24 years old, he went on to win second place on February 10, 2015.

“The James Beard Foundation featured Jema and honored the culinary talents of Chef Sampogna at the Beard House. Dining on his food is a real pleasure.” — Susan Ungaro, President of the James Beard Foundation.


Frevo is by reservation only, so be sure to get yours done: reservations@frevonyc.com.

And still, we work with corporate clients coming from all over the world that need local assistance in event planning and leisure experiences. If that is your case, contact us with your request! We are able to organize an amazing time for you and your team / clients in New York.

Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 6pm – 11pm

Location: 48 West 8th Street

www.frevonyc.com


Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC and courtesy of Charissa Fay for Frevo
*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

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, after all there are many photography spots in New York City.

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?

In addition, you can use it as an opportunity to work on your composition skills. Try 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 into 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 photo collage of the park taken from different viewpoints. Moreover, experiment 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. It 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.


There are countless photography spots in New York City worth exploring!

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

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

So, 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
*Last Update on March/2020.*

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. We love exploring unexpected places you can visit in New York.

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 and top attractions 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 secretive presidential train platform deep under the Grand Central Terminal, called Track 61 one of NYC’s subway secrets.

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!

Unfortunately today no one can access there anymore due to security reasons.

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 its 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, Nutter’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


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
*Last Update on March/2020.*

Find All 19 Murals Painted By Kobra in New York

Kobra Mural Grafitti New York Tolerance

It’s practically unanimous the feeling and respect people have for Eduardo Kobra. His murals bring so much creativity and life, so I decided to compile and share with you all 19 murals painted by Kobra in New York City for you to visit them yourself!

Kobra Mural Grafitti New York Tolerance
Tolerance (Madre Teresa & Mahatma Ghandi) – 130 10th Avenue

Last year I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing the Brazilian artist, Eduardo Kobra, better known as only Kobra. And, I decided to write about all 19 murals painted by Kobra in New York.

In addition, I was part of a small group that walked around New York City with him to learn, from his own words, what his murals are all about, the inspirations and stories! Priceless, for sure!

For years, Kobra has been a growing legend when the topic is: street art and graffiti.

In New York City alone he currently has 19 breathtaking murals, where in Brazil, he’s painted over 500! But, his work doesn’t stop there. He’s been traveling the four corners of the globe for years now and leaving his mark at every spot.

Amazingly, Kobra is self-taught and collects inspirations from big names like: Banksy, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring (1958-1990), Diego Rivera and the 1970’s group of New York street artists.

His recent project in New York, named Colors of Liberty, took place and was finalized by the end of 2018. The idea behind it was to portray and pay homage to great personalities that have and still are fighting against violence, with the goal of spreading peace.

Some of these names are: “the Indian activist Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948), the Holocaust victim Anne Frank (1929-1945), the Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai (1997-), and the German scientist Albert Einstein (1879-1955), among other examples like Mother Teresa, Andy Warhol, Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, Frida Kahlo, etc.

His style is certainly one of a kind. The geometrical colors of his murals are distinct and unmistakable, having become his trademark.

He’s painted in countries such as Spain, Italy, Norway, England, Malawi, India, Japan, United Arab Emirates, and several North American cities besides, of course, around Brazil.

Brazilians L-O-V-E New York and when they come across one of Kobra’s murals, the reaction is always the same: they feel SO proud and happy to have a Brazilian artist beautifying the streets of one of the most important cities on our planet. Well, I do think New York one of the most amazing places on Earth, if you read my story.

That said, I decided to compile and share with you all the current 19 art works around the city with all the names and addresses. This way, you can visit them yourself and be sure to take that Instagram-worthy shot to share with your friends!


Kobra’s Murals in New York City:

Kobra Mural Grafitti New York Liberty
Liberty – 519 Broome Street
Kobra Mural Grafitti New York The Braves of 9/11
The Braves of 9/11 – 780 3rd Avenue
Kobra Mural Grafitti New York The Braves of 9/11 Fireman 2018 Celebration
Fireman 2018 celebration in front of The Braves of 9/11 mural – 780 3rd Avenue
Kobra Mural Grafitti New York SoulPhia
SoulPhia – 16 Clarkson Street
Kobra Mural Grafitti New York War is Hell
Kobra finishing up War is Hell – 219 Bedford Avenue
Kobra Mural Grafitti New York Black or White Michael Jackson
Black or White (Michael Jackson) – 180 1st Avenue
Kobra Mural Grafitti New York Walk This Way Run D.M.C.
Walk This Way Run-D.M.C. – Corner of 12th Street and 191 Avenue A
Kobra Mural Grafitti New York Genial É Andar de Bike Fernanda Paronetto
Genial é Andar de Bike – 776 3rd Avenue
Kobra Mural Grafitti New York Stop Wars
Stop Wars – 391 West Street & Christopher Street
Kobra Mural Grafitti New York Clube 27
Clube 27 – 36 Rivington Street
Kobra Mural Grafitti New York Christ the Redeemer
Christ the Redeemer – 833 Dekalb Avenue
Kobra Mural Grafitti New York Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore – 10th Avenue and 22nd Street (Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo, Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat)
Kobra Mural Grafitti New York Ellis Immigrants
Ellis Immigrants – 16 Clarkson Street
Kobra Mural Grafitti New York American Dreamers Boy with Balloon
American Dreamers – 14 Watts Street
Kobra Mural Grafitti New York Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo – 360 Prospect Place
Kobra Mural Grafitti New York We Love NYC
We Love NY – 212 8th Avenue
Kobra Mural Grafitti New York Tolerance CloseUp
Tolerance (Madre Teresa & Mahatma Ghandi) – 130 10th Avenue
Kobra Mural Grafitti New York Stop Guns
Stop Guns – 231 Eldridge Street
Kobra Mural Grafitti New York Roy Lichenstein Peace Through Liberty
Roy Lichtenstein: Peace Through Liberty – 221 East 44th Street

Here is the full of list:

  • Liberty – 519 Broome Street
  • The Braves of 9/11 – 780 3rd Avenue
  • SoulPhia – 16 Clarkson Street
  • War is Hell – 219 Bedford Avenue
  • Black or White (Michael Jackson) – 180 1st Avenue
  • Walk This Way Run-D.M.C. – Corner of 12th Street and 191 Avenue A
  • Genial é Andar de Bike – 776 3rd Avenue
  • Stop Wars – 391 West Street & Christopher Street
  • Clube 27 – 36 Rivington Street
  • Christ the Redeemer – 833 Dekalb Avenue
  • Mount Rushmore – 10th Avenue and 22nd Street
  • Ellis Immigrants – 16 Clarkson Street
  • American Dreamers – 14 Watts Street
  • Frida Kahlo – 360 Prospect Place
  • We Love NY – 212 8th Avenue
  • Tolerance (Madre Teresa & Mahatma Ghandi) – 130 10th Avenue, Manhattan
  • Stop Guns – 231 Eldridge Street
  • Roy Lichtenstein: Peace Through Liberty – 221 East 44th Street

In addition, you can also find an older work from Kobra located in the neighborhood of Williamsburg, in Brooklyn of Warhol and Basquiat. It’s located at North 9th Street & Bedford Avenue.

Kobra Mural Grafitti New York Warhol Basquiat Williamsburg
Warhol and Basquiat – 162 North 9th Street & Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn

Sadly, the very famous iconic kiss mural that could be seen from the High Line is now gone!

I have not been able to find the reason why, as many other people too, but it’s such a huge loss t to the city. So, now an ugly, sad grey paint covers it and no explanation was giving…

Lastly, Eduardo Kobra currently lives in São Paulo, with his wife, Andressa, baby boy, Pedro.

www.eduardokobra.com

Kobra Mural Grafitti New York Kobra Tour

Picture: Kobra led a group we were invited to work on around New York. He explained the meaning of many of his murals to us through out the day. Such a priceless experience hearing about these murals from Kobra himself!


Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC and Courtesy of Kobra Studio
*Last Update on March/2020.*

NYC Renting: Need-To-Know Facts In 2019

Curiosities City Secrets NYC Rent 2019 Daryan Shamkhali

If you’re considering moving to New York City, here are some need-to-know facts for 2019 about NYC Renting. We all know that rents can skyrocket, but we have some good news for you!

Curiosities City Secrets NYC Rent 2019 Jose Alonson

New York City has historically had relatively high rent, but there is good news for would-be citizens. According to the New York Times, there has been a 0.7% drop in rent prices on the average one-bedroom property. While modest, this is a welcome change to years of inflating prices.

It’s still a matter of careful planning for would-be NYC renters. With that in mind, a few changes are afoot that will change rental opportunities. Pay close attention if you’re looking to move to the Big Apple; it could save you a few dollars for the good things in life like eating outt.

More inclusivity in properties

Many NYC properties are very old and, resultantly, outdated. Fortunately, many landlords are making efforts, along with city regulators, to make homes accessible. 2019 will see this fast tracked with the federal case against the MTA.

According to the New York Post, the United States Attorney sued MTA for their inaccessible subway stations and the outcome of this could have wide ranging consequences, including more housing inclusive of accessibility requirements.

Changes in tax

When you rent in New York City, make sure you know about your property tax. Homeowners can expect to pay up to 10%, according to Bloomberg. What Bloomberg also noted, however, is that the individual tax burden is reducing.

As years progress, you can expect the tax bill to be less cumbersome as other counties pick up the slack. This means that your overall rental outgoings may be lower in the next few years, especially when considered with the ongoing trend concerning landlords.

Curiosities City Secrets NYC Rent 2019 Daryan Shamkhali

Landlords are settling down

Whether it’s because of the political climate, or some other source of uncertainty, landlords are staying put. According to CNN Money, more and more landlords are aggressively pursuing rent negotiation, rather than simply putting prices up and letting the tenants make a choice.

This is a nod towards more stability, as a renter. You can expect that, if you look after your property and have good behavior, that your rent will reduce over the years. You will also benefit from a continued relationship with the landlord, which is advantageous for the likes of maintenance and security.

Renting in New York City can still be expensive, but it matches the high average income in the area. Making the most out of your rental will be easier in years to come, through enhanced levels of accessibility, lowered levels of tax returns and more consistent landlords.

Keep yourself aware of these trends and work around them to get your feet in the door in the grand old city.


Guest Writer: Cindy Trillo
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jose Alonso and Daryan Shamkhali

*Last Update on March/2020.*

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, lavender 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 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 High Line, 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
*Last Update on March/2020.*

Immersing Yourself In The Rich History Of Greenwich Village

Curiosities City Secrets Greenwich Village 1900 Wiki Commons

Among New York City’s many fascinating sites, Greenwich Village is arguably the most storied. Come immerse yourself in the rich history of Greenwich Village!

Curiosities City Secrets Greenwich Village Sixth Avenue Wiki Commons
Greenwich Village’s Sixth Avenue. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Wikimedia

Among New York City’s many fascinating sites, Greenwich Village is arguably the most storied. Albeit usually remembered as a haven for artists, its historic roots actually run deeper. Before it was anything else, Greenwich Village in the 1630’s was a marshland where Dutch settlers fed their livestock. It was initially developed into a village separate from New York City.

Curiosities City Secrets Greenwich Village 1900 Wiki Commons
Greenwich Village, 1900. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Wikimedia

But as the urban sprawl consumed the area, Greenwich Village took on a new identity in 1857 at the founding of the Tenth Street Studio Building. It housed the first architecture school in the US and attracted artists from all over the world.

It was also the place where the so-called “bohemian” movement began, a subculture which was described in an 1858 article on The New York Times as “either an artist or an author, whose special aversion is work, and whose ambition is to excel in some particular walk.” The Village’s affinity to bohemians of all sorts has since defined its identity.

Curiosities City Secrets The Albert Hotel Wiki Commons
The Albert Hotel. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Wikimedia

Decades later, the Hotel Albert opened in 1880 and attracted the best artists and writers of that particular time. A long list of creative people stayed here including Mark Twain, Anais Nin, Walt Whitman, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, and Jackson Pollock.

In addition, the Village also saw the birth of American experimental theater pushed by Eugene O’Neil and Edna St. Vincent Millay, and it was integral in the transition of the global art capital from Paris to New York in the mid-20th century.

Various American art movements including Abstract Expressionism, emerged out of the Village.

Curiosities City Secrets Stonewall Inn NY 2008 Wiki Commons
The Stonewall Inn. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Wikimedia

The Village has significant contributions to music and self-expression, too. It’s the place where the first desegregated nightclub in the country, Cafe Society, was built. The venue dedicated itself to the cutting-edge music of its time, bebop jazz. Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, and other jazz giants graced it with their presence during its heyday.

The ferocious sound of bebop and Jazz also lured the Beat Generation artists to the Village, with writers Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and others gaining the literary spotlight. In the 1960s, the Beats became an inspiration for different forms of counterculture. The progressive ideas of the Beats and the hippies informed the eventual rise of the LGBT movement and other civil rights groups. The LGBT movement found expression in the 1969 Stonewall Riot, which also happened in Greenwich Village.

Curiosities City Secrets Grace Church from the North
Grace Church. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Grace Church

Popular structures such as Grace Church and the Jefferson Market Library tower over the Village as reminders of the place’s creative tradition.

Another structure, The Westbeth, which was a former Bell Telephone Labs office, also became a popular residence for artists. It eventually housed the studios of choreographer Merce Cunningham, musical arranger Gil Evans, Robert De Niro Sr., and Vin Diesel.

Curiosities City Secrets Jefferson Market Library Greenwich Village NY Wiki Commons
Jefferson Market Library. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Wikimedia

While the Greenwich Village of today has none of the rustic and bohemian charm of its past, it remains one of the most renowned places in New York, thanks to the preservation of its iconic buildings.

Greenwich Village’s longevity can be attributed mainly to local laws that help maintain its historic buildings.

In fact, a section of the Village made up of more than 50 blocks has been established as part of a Historic District, thanks to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Development in this area follows very strict rules, such as the requirement to preserve a historic building’s main facade if it is to be renovated.

NYC also implements Local Law 11, which indirectly contributes to the Village’s preservation. Local Law 11 is explained by real estate expert James McGrath in an article on Yoreevo. He states that the law mandates regular facade inspections of buildings higher than six stories to ensure their structural integrity. Although it’s primary purpose is for safety, the law also helps ensure that old buildings in the city are maintained. The excellent condition of most structures in Greenwich Village is a good example of how a bustling metropolis should take care of its historic buildings.

Just knowing the history of Greenwich Village and the people who have called it home are enough reasons to give this neighborhood a visit. To explore other interesting places in the Big Apple, check out our previous post about Astoria, a commercial neighborhood in Queens.


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

Where Are Famous People Buried in NYC Cemeteries?

Curiosities City Secrets Famous People Buried in NYC Cemeteries Greenwood Brooklyn

New York is not only the home of famous celebrities and world-wide renowned names, but also the home of these people, after they pass away! So, where are famous people buried in NYC cemeteries?


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New York has countless cemeteries ranging from huge one that you need a map to walk around, to smaller graveyards spread throughout Manhattan. And, I want to show which are the pretty famous people buried in NYC!

Today, I decided to show you two NYC cemeteries, one in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn, that I think are not only beautiful, but that have some interesting people buried.

And, before I take you to these spots, be sure to subscribe to our channel, like the video and help spread the love our lovely, New York City!


Green-Wood Cemetery

Curiosities City Secrets Famous People Buried in NYC Cemeteries Greenwood Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein’s grave at Green-Wood Cemetery, in Brooklyn. © Behind the Scenes NYC

The Green-Wood Cemetery was founded in 1838, and is one of New York’s National Historic Landmarks because of its beautiful landscape, architecture, art and history!

Years before it became a cemetery, it was even e revolutionary war historic site, where the Battle of Long Island was fought in 1776.

In it’s almost 500 acres, you can find largest outdoor collections of 19th and 20th century statuary and mausoleums. Today, it has over 560,000 permanent residents, and I’m going to show you, a few of the famous ones here!

The cemetery is so big that you can actually grab a map at the entrance to help you walk around inside.

Oh! And depending on the day of the week you go, you might bump into Lou. I met him on a Tuesday! He’s been volunteering for years at the small bookstand right by the entrance, and he’s the one to give you the maps. His knowledge of the cemetery’s history is amazing, all the stories, plus he can suggest how you might want to start your tour inside and point out some of the famous gravestones too! Lou is super polite, so do look for him!

If you’re still not sure about visiting, I highly encourage you to, especially because they have great self-guided tours, as well as public and private tours.

Here are some of the names of the famous gravestones I visited and some others that you might want to check out too:

  • Leonard Bernstein: Composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist. He led the New York Philharmonic in more than 1,200 performances and is very well-known for being the composer of the musical, ‘West Side Story’. That might ring a bell!
  • Samuel Morse: Creator of telegraph system, known as the Morse Code. There is a small replica by his grave;
  • Jean-Michel Basquiat: A super renowned contemporary artist that at a very young age, became internationally known. Unfortunately, he died of a heroin overdose at his art studio at the age of 27;
  • William Poole: AKA Bill the Butcher that was portrayed in Martin Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York” by Daniel Day-Lewis;
  • William Colgate: Yup! The founder of the Colgate empire. I’m sure you’ve already use at least one of his products.
  • DeWitt Clinton: Former US Senator, former Mayor of New York City and 6th Governor of New York. Was largely responsible for the construction of the Erie Canal. Remember your history class?

This is maybe one of my favorite must-go spots in Brooklyn that you’d never think about visiting. It’s a gorgeous cemetery, super peaceful and extremely well maintained. Truly a beauty!

In addition, as I said above, they do have and private tours, but let us know if you need any help!

IMPORTANT: Just remember, be extremely respectful as soon as you walk inside, ok? There might be funeral services happening, as well as people visiting loved ones they’ve lost.

Hours: Green-Wood welcomes visitors at four entrances. Hours vary by season and by entrance. See details below.

Main Entrance (Fifth Avenue and 25th Street)
8am – 5pm – October 1st to March 31st, every day
7am – 7pm – April 1st to September 30th, every day

Sunset Park Entrance (Fourth Avenue and 35th Street)
8am – 4pm, every day

Fort Hamilton Parkway Entrance (Fort Hamilton Parkway and Micieli Place)
and Prospect Park West Entrance (9th Avenue and 20th Street)
8am – 4pm, on weekends and days of remembrance only*

*Good Friday, Memorial Day, September 11th, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving, All Soul’s Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Location: 500 25th Street, Greenwood Heights in Brooklyn

www.green-wood.com


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Trinity Church

Curiosities City Secrets Famous People Buried in NYC Cemeteries
Alexander Hamilton’s grave, right beside his wife, Elizabeth, at the Trinity Church Cemetery. © Behind the Scenes NYC

Trinity Church is one of the most well-known churches in New York, maybe because of it’s location, since it’s just steps from the World Trade Center.

As soon as you exit Wall Street’s 4 and 5 subway line (green line), you’ll immediately see people photographing the location. There’s no way to miss it!

It’s a historic Episcopal church & cemetery, dating back to 1697 and is the “home” of several very powerful names.

Here are some of these names:

  • Alexander Hamilton: Maybe the most famous name there. Hamilton is one of the 7 Founding Fathers of the United States. The other 6 are: John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington. He’s buried right beside his wife Elizabeth and yes, the Broadway musical is about him!
  • Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton: Alexander Hamilton’s wife. Her sister, Angelica, is also buried there.
  • John Jacob Astor IV: Remember we talked about him on our video about a super cool Underground Subway Tour? He’s part of renowned Astor family and was one of the passengers aboard the Titanic. During the tragedy, he remained behind after helping his pregnant wife board one of the lifeboats. His body was recovered a few weeks after the ship sank.
  • Robert Fulton: He was a great engineer and the creator of the 1st commercial steamboat, named The North River Steamboat of Clermonts, in 1807. That obviously gave birth to a new transportation modality, revolutionizing river traffic. This 1st boat’s trip started at the Hudson River, traveling a total of 300 miles to Albany and back. It took over 60 hours. He is also responsible for inventing the 1st submarine in history, the Nautilus and other great creations.

Hours:
Chapel of All Saints: Open daily, 7am – 6pm
Churchyard: Open daily, 7am – 6pm

Location: 75 Broadway

www.trinitywallstreet.org


New York has countless other cemeteries that, as we mentioned, are the home of some of the most powerful names in history, arts, music, politics, etc!

Below are a few more famous people buried in NYC cemeteries, you might want to take time to visit:

  • Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx: Celia Cruz, the Queen of Salsa; Miles Davis, American jazz trumpeter, bandleader and composer; Irving Berlin, composer of music like God Bless America; Duke Ellington, legendary jazz composer; Mark Twin, author and humorist
  • Flushing Cemetery, Queens: Louis Armstrong, famous jazz trumpeter; Dizzy Gillespie, another king of the jazz trumpet, that we talk about during our video about vinyl and record stores in New York
  • Quaker Cemetery, Brooklyn: Hollywood actor Montgomery Clift buried at a private and secret spot
  • St. Raymond New Cemetery, Bronx: Billie Holiday, American jazz singer
  • Machpelah Cemetery, Queens: The one and only, Harry Houdini, the world-famous Magician
  • Moravian Cemetery, Staten Island: Martin Scorsese, the Hollywood film director, already has a family mausoleum waiting for him!
  • Fort Hill Cemetery, Auburn: Harriet Tubman, an American abolitionist, political activist and social reformer
  • Sleepy Hallow Cemetery, Sleepy Hallow: Andrew Carnegie, the renowned businessman, philanthropist and industrialist, founder of the Carnegie Hall
  • Salem Fields Cemetery, Brooklyn: Harry Winston, the talented American jeweler

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As I said above, if you enjoyed this video about famous people buried in NYC cemeteries, subscribe to our Youtube channel, like the video and share it with your friends and family!

Since you’re just a few steps from Industry City, be sure to visit in that area. From a sake-on-tap bar and chocolate stores, to design shops, hat designers and outdoor events, it’s a great spot to go.

Have fun!


Videography: Black3 Agency
Photography: Black3 Agency and ©Behind the Scenes NYC
BeautyLeila Soldeira
StylingCamilla Adão

*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

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 & Its 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 let’s 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 S. Concha
*Last Update on March/2020.*

The Must-Try Italian Restaurants In NYC

Dining Italian Restaurants In NYC Gnoccheria by Luzzos Pasta

In this YouTube episode, we show you which are the must-try Italian restaurants in NYC! So, lets do it how Italians say: “Mangia Che Te Fa Bene!”


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“Mangia Che Te Fa Bene!” or… “Eat, that it’s good for you!”…as Italian love to say before starting a delicious meal at Italian Restaurants in NYC and around the globe!

Welcome to our last food episode of the Season! I invited, of course, my dear friend Jared Zuckerman, one of NYC’s top food and travel influencers that tirelessly explored with me the local NYC food scene! We had a fantastic time uncovering some of the top food spots in town, like the best desserts, cocktail spots and vegan restaurants for meat eaters!

So, to finish in grand style and because of our Italian roots, we selected 3 Italian spots to share with you!

To start, we headed towards one of Joe’s Pizza spots, where his pizza is loved not only by all locals, but also countless celebrities. Then, we went to Gnoccheria by Luzzo’s – the 1st spot serving only gnocchis . Last, but certainly not least, the relatively new Scriptum Brooklyn, serving food by passionate Italians in a pretty cool place!

And, before we start showing you all these Italian gems, be sure to subscribe to our channel, like the video and help spread the love for our beautiful New York City!


Joe’s Pizza

Dining Italian Restaurants in NYC Joes Pizza Façade
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Joe’s Pizza is one of the most famous pizza spots in town, loved by locals and countless celebrities. The business was born in the Greenwich Village in 1975, and today has 4 locations, so it’s easy to find one close to you…

Today Joe is 75 years old and is still running the business! It’s certainly a place with no b*llshit, plus it’s not fancy, not uptight…just right, for the perfect slice of pizza.

Do you know which celebrities you can bump into?

Lucy Liu, Bradley Cooper, Lenny Kravitz, Leo DiCaprio, Selena Gomez, Kevin Bacon, Steven Tyler, Trey Burke basketball player from the NY Knicks, and even the Kardashians love it!

This time, I ordered a slice of the spinach and ricotta pizza, while Jared got a traditional pepperoni slice!

So, let’s go to our next spot: Gnoccheria by Luzzo’s!

Hours: Check website for different hours.

Locations:
7 Carmine Street, Greenwich Village (The original spot!)
150 East 14th Street, Midtown
1435 Broadway, Midtown
216 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

http://www.joespizzanyc.com


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Gnoccheria by Luzzo’s

Dining Italian Restaurants In NYC Gnoccheria by Luzzos
Dining Italian Restaurants In NYC Gnoccheria by Luzzos Signature Trio Pasta
Dining Italian Restaurants In NYC Gnoccheria by Luzzos Pasta
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Gnoccheria by Luzzo’s is the 1st gnocchi only spot  in the city and is relatively new too!

The Luzzo family is known for being in the restaurant business for years and years and having truly authentic Italian food!

So, what to expect? Delicious, home made gnocchis perfect to pair with your favorite wine!

“Having already mastered the fine art of the perfect pizza dough the next logical step for Executive Chef Michele Iuliano was to master the art of perfect gnocchi. Every style of gnocchi served at Gnoccheria is inspired by Chef Michele’s upbringing and home cooking, and is freshly made by hand every day. From the spinach gnocchi to the amazing stuffed gnocchi all of the dishes are prepared with tremendous variety, taste, and love.”

I had their signature dish: Tris Signature Dish (for 2), made with the classic potato gnocchi and 3 different sauces – pesto genovese, quattro formaggi and sorentina. No joke, I think this one of the best gnocchis in my life. Super light, incredibly fresh, the 3 sauces are extremely tasty and well balanced!

Jared had a green ravioli pasta with tomato sauce, spinach, filled with fresh burrata! He loved it too and said that the burrata, that usually is a bit on the saltier side, was just perfect. In addition, the spinach was amazing!

And of course, we paired it with a red wine. Their wine list is truly impressive and you can see all their tables decorating the restaurant’s walls. Very unique cellar!

I can’t wait to go back there! Really! It’s truly one of my favorite Italian Restaurants in NYC!

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 5pm – 11pm
Saturday & Sunday: 12pm – 11pm

Location: 234 East 4th Street

http://www.gnoccherianyc.com 


Scriptum Brooklyn

UNFORTUNATELY THIS AMAZING PLACE CLOSED DOWN JUST A FEW DAYS AGO!

Just a few days before posting our video, we were told that the restaurant unfortunately had permanently closed down on November 17th.

Their food was truly amazing, the decoration of the place was fantastic and super cozy, the service and staff were all very nice and attentive…

We wish the entire team the best and that they hopefully decide to reopen at another location to make all our Italian cravings go away!


Subscribe You Tube Behind the Scenes NYCAnd, it’s a wrap! We hope you really enjoyed these fantastic places. And if you did, like our video and subscribe to our channel!

I’m sure you’ll love being part of our behind the scenes NYC, world!

If you enjoyed these Italian restaurants in NYC, take a look at our Dining selection for more fantastic restaurants like Palma in the West Village and Lilia Ristorante in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.


Videography: Black3 Agency
Photography: Courtesy of venues
Beauty
Leila Soldeira
Styling
Camilla Adão

*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

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