Category Archives: Entertainment

Your Friend’s Kitchen: A Dining Experience At The Chef’s House

Events On Going Your Friends Kitchen NYC Dining Experience Table

New York is a gastronomy haven for those that love food! I want to share a different NYC dining experience that will take you on a journey around the world, called Your Friend’s Kitchen!

Events On Going Your Friends Kitchen NYC Dining Experience Table
Events On Going Your Friends Kitchen NYC Dining Experience Explanations
Events On Going Your Friends Kitchen NYC Dining Experience Menu Details
Events On Going Your Friends Kitchen NYC Dining Experience Conversations
Events On Going Your Friends Kitchen NYC Dining Experience Prepping
Events On Going Your Friends Kitchen NYC Dining Experience In The Kitchen
Events On Going Your Friends Kitchen NYC Dining Experience Decor
Events On Going Your Friends Kitchen NYC Dining Experience Fernanda Paronetto Chef Linda Meenakshi
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I was invited to enjoy a unique NYC dining experience, different from what I have already done around New York City. And believe me, I have done countless experiences around town.

But this time, I was called for a Vegan African Feast at Chef Linda’s home! I was intrigued from the start, considering that not only would Chef Linda cater a totally new menu, but she was going to open her home to host us for this super special night!

I was excited and extremely curious too!

Chef Linda (aka Linda Adria Sebisaho) is was born in the Eastern part of Congo, in Africa and moved to New York at the age of 15! Initially, she dreamt of getting into medical school, but totally changed her mind and became a math teacher! Her cooking talent  kicked in a bit later.

Today, she runs her own catering company. She loves these types of social dining experiences, having meals with strangers, that leaves as friends by the end of the night!

She says, “it’s a form of art”, and we couldn’t agree more!

That said, Chef Linda was thrilled to co-host this night with Your Friends Kitchen, created and founded by Meenakshi lala.

So, let me tell you a bit about how the night unraveled!

Chef Linda’s home is in Harlem, a neighborhood I love exploring with all its Jazz spots and amazing restaurants. I headed up with a friend, that was just as excited!

As we arrived, everyone there warmly greeted us! The table was decorated with colors inspired by the African culture, setting the mood of the night to come.

In addition, they printed a beautiful menu with what we were going to eat during the night! The menu had this beautiful illustration of an African woman wearing one of the gorgeous fabric head arrangements, already bringing us into the journey that was about to start!

Chef Linda introduced herself and in no time, the feast had started! The event is “B.Y.O.B. – Bring Your Own Bottle”, so be sure to bring any drink that makes you happy!


Here is what the menu looked like:

  • Starter #1: Yucca – Mashed Yucca stuffed with chickpeas or cheese
  • Starter #2: Sambusa – Fried dough filled with spiced carrots, peas and potatoes
  • Salad: Sachumbari – East African salad made from tomatoes, onions, cucumbers and lime
  • Main #1: Yassa Aubergine – Harissa spiced eggplants, pilau rice and ginger caramelized onions
  • Main #2 (a surprise!): Plantain with white beans, onions and tomato sauce
  • Dessert: Beignets – Savory fried African doughnut served with strawberries
Events On Going Your Friends Kitchen NYC Dining Experience Plantain
Events On Going Your Friends Kitchen NYC Dining Experience Sambusa
Events On Going Your Friends Kitchen NYC Dining Experience Salad Sachumbari
Events On Going Your Friends Kitchen NYC Dining Experience Yassa Aubergine
Events On Going Your Friends Kitchen NYC Dining Experience Beignets
Events On Going Your Friends Kitchen NYC Dining Experience Menu
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Each dish was explained by Chef Linda, where she would tell us a quick story of its meaning, influence and ingredients.

Portions were extremely generous, beautifully arranged and the best of it all: we had truly a great time, laughed all night long with the stories everyone shared and made some interesting business connections.

Chef Linda amazed us with her talent and we left having a new group of friends that we hope to stay in touch with and explore other dining experiences by Your Friend’s Kitchen!

Last, but definitely not least, I’d love to thank Meenakshi, for inviting us to be part of this special night! We are happy to be part of this new community she’s building and will definitely be back for more!


More information about Your Friend’s Kitchen:

How It Works:

Your Friend’s Kitchen is an authentic food experience, a new take on going out for a meal. Your Friend’s Kitchen aims to bring people together to share an experience that is comforting and familiar, yet not like any other.

Whether they are home cooks or food lovers, our hosts share a passion for bringing people together, one meal at a time!

The Founder:

Meenakshi is a passionate foodie, avid traveler and founder of Your Friends Kitchen. She discovered her love for cooking when she first moved to the United States from India. A foodie at heart, she has traveled to 25+ countries and explored street foods and fine dining alike.

Her passion for cooking food and hosting inspired her to create a platform for others to enjoy dining in the comfort of a warm, cozy, intimate setting and enjoy a delicious meal prepared with love and passion.

Her goal at your friend’s kitchen – Bring people together, one meal at a time!


For you to learn more about Your Friend’s Kitchen and also check out the upcoming events, be sure to go to their website where you can book everything directly!

In addition, if you have a corporate group coming to town and you need help organizing all the experiences, dinners, events, our experts can help you out!

www.yourfriendskitchen.com


Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC and Courtesy of Shir A.

Tour of the Remnants of Penn Station

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Tour Of The Remnants Of Penn Station Vintage McKim Mead White Train Station Credit Wikimedia Commons Library of Congress

Penn Station is the mais intercity railroad station and has a great story! Come explore with us the Tour of the Remnants of Penn Station!

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Tour Of The Remnants Of Penn Station Vintage McKim Mead White Train Station Credit Wikimedia Commons Library of Congress
Penn Station Vintage McKim Mead White Train Station – Credit: Wikimedia Commons Library of Congress

As they say “While Grand Central Terminal is majestic, for some reason Penn Station is worn down, ugly and universally hated.” But, the old beating heart and beautiful rich history of the station is still alive and worth sharing!

To start, people don’t keep track, but New York Penn Station is the “main intercity railroad station in New York City and the busiest in the Western Hemisphere, serving more than 630,000 passengers per weekday as of 2018.” (Source: Wikipedia).

Amazing, right?

That said, there are two things most commuters don’t realize about Penn.

First, there used to be a gorgeous Beaux Arts station that was demolished in the mid-60’s. Second: Parts of that old station can still be found today. They’ve just been buried under the arena that landed on top of them.

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Tour Of The Remnants Of Penn Station Vintage Aerial View 1910s Credit Wikimedia Commons Library of Congress
Penn Station Vintage Aerial View 1910s – Credit: Wikimedia Commons Library of Congress

On the tour of “The Remnants of Penn Station”, you’ll be taken back inside this central transportation hub to discuss the past, present and future plans for the structure. Although Amtrak only acknowledges one remnant remaining, tour participants will learn about station history and discover remnants of the McKim, Mead & White building located in plain sight.

In addition, tours will continue to be supported by photographic presentations of the station by renown photographers Norman McGrath, Peter Moore, and Aaron Rose. Along with the work of railroad aficionados Alexander Hatos, an employee of Pennsylvania Railroad and Ron Ziel, a railroad historian.

BOOK NOW!


TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Get a comprehensive history of the past, present and future of Penn Station
  • See over a dozen indoor and outdoor old-station remnants hidden in plain sight
  • Learn insider navigation tips for one of the most cramped and complicated transit hubs in North America
  • See never-before-seen old station photos from the collections of three photographers who photo documented Penn’s life and demolition
  • Each guest will also receive a framable, reproduction ticket of the first commuter ride into Pennsylvania Station from 1910

DETAILS:
Price: $35 per person.
What to know: The tour is 2 hours long; please consult with the MTA for weekend subway schedules and routing changes. No cancellations or refunds.
What to bring: Comfortable walking shoes
Ticket Confirmation: After you book this experience, you will receive a confirmation email from our partner confirming you are attending the tour!

BOOK NOW!


Lastly, take a look at what the revamping of Penn Station looks like below!

It’s said that this renovation has been approved and will cost around $1.6 billion and that the new Moynihan Train Hall will have countless attractions and amenities. It’s estimated to be done by the end of 2020.

Let’s wait and see!

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Tour Of The Remnants Of Penn Station Renovation Moynihan Train Hall 2 Credit Governor Cuomo
BTSNYC Experiences On Going Tour Of The Remnants Of Penn Station Renovation Moynihan Train Hall Credit Governor Cuomo
BTSNYC Experiences On Going Tour Of The Remnants Of Penn Station Renovation Exterior View Credit Governor Cuomo
BTSNYC Experiences On Going Tour Of The Remnants Of Penn Station Renovation Moynihan Train Hall 5 Credit Governor Cuomo
BTSNYC Experiences On Going Tour Of The Remnants Of Penn Station Renovation Moynihan Train Hall 4 Credit Governor Cuomo
BTSNYC Experiences On Going Tour Of The Remnants Of Penn Station Renovation Moynihan Train Hall 3 Credit Governor Cuomo
BTSNYC Experiences On Going Tour Of The Remnants Of Penn Station Renovation Empire Station Complex 33rd Street Credit Governor Cuomo
BTSNYC Experiences On Going Tour Of The Remnants Of Penn Station Renovation Skylight Ceiling Credit Governor Cuomo
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To organize a private tour for your team or a special group of clients, contact our experts to learn more about our Corporate Tours & Experiences.
Moreover, if you enjoy this type of tour, be sure to check out these other tours: The Secrets Of Central Park Walking Tour and Underground New York Subway Tour, where we shot a pretty cool video!

Photo Credit: All renderings via office of the Governor Cuomo and via Wikimedia Commons, Library of Congress

The Forgotten East​: A Mystic Pop-Up Adventure Through Ancient China

Culture Music Forgotten East Pop Up Exhibition Ancient China The Silk Market

Chinatown, in downtown New York, is the home of a new pop-up exhibit! The Forgotten East​ is a mystic pop-up adventure that will take you through a journey back to ancient China.

Culture Music Forgotten East Pop Up Exhibition Ancient China Treasure Desert
Courtesy of The Forgotten East

You might remember from your History class back in school the story of the famous Silk Road that connected the regions of “East Asia and Southeast Asia with East Africa, West Asia and Southern Europe”. (source Wikipedia) If you don’t…let me refresh you memory!

It built the relationship between the East and the West from 206 B.C. to 220 A.D.

It’s well-known that the route was immensely prosperous from the silk trade along the way. But, other items were also traded in different time periods like glassware, spices, perfumes, nephrite, jade, other crafts and so much more.

It is also said that not only objects were traded, but there was an immense cultural exchange. Religions like Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism, etc were spread, but most prominently was Buddhism due to the monasteries found along the journey. They ended up being homes to foreigners that were introduced to this new religion and practices.

What ended up happening is that many of these foreigners, because of the vast influence of different schools, “mixed and matched” beliefs, resulting in syncretism. What is that? Well, it’s the “attempted reconciliation or union of different or opposing principles, practices, or parties, as in philosophy or religion”. (source Dictionary.com)

Now that you’ve refreshed your mind, let me get into the exhibition!

The journey is divided into 4 specific room called The Mountain, The Desert, The Cave and The Market. The artist behind it all is the young and talented, Masa Ma.

Culture Music Forgotten East Pop Up Exhibition Ancient China Masa Ma Artist
The artist, Masa Ma. ©Behind the Scenes NYC

She explains the idea behind it: “I wanted to represent not only the main street of ancient China, but also wanted to bring back the memories, relaxation and the beautiful natural society in ancient times, where industrialization does not exist.”

After all, we all know how crazy it can be to live in a city like New York and other big cities, right? She wanted to remind her audience that it’s time to slow down and enjoy their life in the river of history.


1st room: The Mountain

Culture Music Forgotten East Pop Up Exhibition Ancient China Mountain Bird Poem

This room is beautifully painted and shows an Eastern mountain in a Chinese landscape. In addition, you can walk through some small installations as a continuation of these mountains with a happy surprise when a strong vapor is released to replicate the mountain’s mist. Pretty cool!

It’s also curious and interesting to see on one of the walls, a beautifully written Chinese poem that talks about nature.


2nd Room: The Cave

Culture Music Forgotten East Pop Up Exhibition Ancient China The Cave

When you enter this room, your eyes just can stop looking everywhere. It’s a translation of the Mogao Caves. It is also known as the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas uniting 492 temples located in Gansu province, China. It was used by Buddhists to warship their Gods and practice their endless meditations, as well as welcome foreigners that journeyed through the Silk Road.

Since the cave was the home to some of the most amazing Buddhist art up to 1,000-years old, Masa Ma created small Buddhist sculptures that were placed throughout the room.

Curiously, the holes on the cave’s walls were designed with a mirror, as a reminder to us not to destroy nature and be mindful of our actions.


3rd Room: The Desert

Culture Music Forgotten East Pop Up Exhibition Ancient China Dead End
©Behind the Scenes NYC

Throughout the exploration of this room, you’ll find a beautiful treasure trunk with jewelry, china, silk and other treasures inside (even skulls were found there, back in the day!). Treasures were actually left behind by the ones that passed through and experienced the brutal desert climate.

The fun thing of this room is to play around with the jewelry and take that Instagram-worthy shot! It’s the most explorative place throughout our adventure.


4th Room: The Market

Culture Music Forgotten East Pop Up Exhibition Ancient China The Market
Courtesy of The Forgotten East

Finally, you reach our destination! The Eastern Market was where the magic happened. Travelers and adventurers exchanged good and fostered this fast-growing economy, in such a distant time in history from us.

This last room had some delicious surprises for you to enjoy at the end of the journey with your friends/family.


“​The Forgotten East is not only an exhibit about eastern culture, but it is a journey that represents travelers and adventurers’ courage to conquer challenges and reach their final destination to the western world,” as states Fengyuan Zhong, another artist of the exhibit.

The pop-up exhibition will run daily through July 28th, 2019.

If you enjoyed, you might want to take a look at other exhibits like the Color Factory,  or you might want to explore  museum I love: The Cloister, that is part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Tickets (HERE):
Adults: $25
Kids (2-15 years-old): $15

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 11am – 9pm
Saturday: 10am – 9pm
Sunday: 10am – 8pm

Location: 310 Canal Street

Culture Music Forgotten East Pop Up Exhibition Ancient China Treasure
©Behind the Scenes NYC

Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC

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 brings so much creativity and life, so I decided to compile and share with you all 19 murals painted by Kobra in New York City, so you have 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. 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.

Read more about his work!

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 it’s 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 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

You can also find an older work from Kobra located in the neighborhood of Williamsburg, in Brooklyn of Warhol and Basquiat. 162 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. Now an ugly, sad grey paint covers it and no explanation was giving…

Eduardo Kobra currently lives in São Paulo, where his atelier is located, with his wife, Andressa, and baby boy, Pedro.

www.eduardokobra.com

Kobra Mural Grafitti New York Kobra Tour


Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC and Courtesy of Kobra Studio

Indoor Extreme Sports: The Adrenaline Rush You Never Imagined

Fitness Health Indoor Extreme Sports New York Sanatorium

Indoor Extreme Sports is one of the coolest indoor experiences in New York City! It will make your adrenaline rush in a way you never thought possible! Come see what I’m talking about!

Fitness Health Indoor Extreme Sports New York Clock

Wondering about what to do during the winter months especially when the weather doesn’t invite you to be outdoor? A couple of weeks ago, in the middle of a snow storm, I got to experience one of the most amazing indoor adventures ever!

Indoor Extreme Sports (IES) opened over 14 years ago when Chris Fermoselle felt the need to give New Yorkers a unique, innovative indoor experiences. Starting with only Paintball back then, they now have two locations – Long Island City and Staten Island – that offers more than 8 extreme indoor experiences that includes Lasertag, Archery Tag, Escape the Room, Virtual Reality, Arcade, Axe Throwing Lounge and Rock Climbing.

Being closer to home, I visited the LIC site and started my adventure with one activity I didn’t even know existed…Axe Throwing!

Fitness Health Indoor Extreme Sports New York Axe Throw

If you are wondering about how extreme the activities are, I must say they are pretty intense, but is important for me to share that I always felt safe and supported by all Indoor staff. They were all very dedicated, took the time to explain every activity in detail and gave me the space for questions and concerns.

Axe Throwing is the latest addition at Indoor Extreme Sports. In a bar-type lounge, there are 4 ranges where, after 10-15 minutes of instructions about safety and technique, you can start throwing your “axes”.

The best part is that there are different game modalities and axe sizes that can guarantee you hours of entertainment and competition. It is open for individual practice up to 12 people. And if axes are not your thing, in the same range you can change to arrow shooting.

IFitness Health Indoor Extreme Sports New York Bow and Arrowf you got excited about the archery, IES also has a 5,000sqft field where you can experience Archery Tag with real bows and safe arrows for the world’s first safe archery battle.

Archery Tag is best described as the game of dodgeball with a twist!

The twist is that they use safe foam-based arrow and protective equipment to play the game which allow up to 10 simultaneously players of mostly all ages to experience and participate in this fun, addictive, fast paced style game. No Archery experience necessary!

Now, lets me continue telling you about the other games!

The next activity on line was LaserTag. If you have never heard of that before, Lasertag is where two teams play each other and attempt to ‘’tag’’ each other out using air powered laser tag replica M4 Rifles. The idea is to shoot and “eliminate” the opposing team player wearing a Tactical Molle Vest.

Indoor Extreme Sports is equipped with the most advance software in the world today that tracks real time stats like your kills, deaths, ammo count, points, and more.

With more than 15,000 sqft of available space, there are three battlefields you can play in, “The Arena”, “Zombie” and “Black Ops”. Each of them allows different team sizes, starting with a minimum of 3×3 up to 12×12 players and modality games.

Expect fast paced nonstop action on all of the fields and become immersed with sound effects and real time stats that will have you thinking that you are really part of a video game! Plus, you could encounter some real-life zombies!!!

Fitness Health Indoor Extreme Sports New York Paintball Girl

I also got to experience Paintball/Reball. In this type of paintball the balls are made of rubber instead of paint so they do not explode but they still hurt the same as a normal Paintball. The best part is that you get UNLIMITED AMMO for each of your games as the balls are all reusable.

They provide you with a Paintball Gun, Mask, Ammo Belt, and unlimited ammo. The same as LaserTag, you have various game modalities and it can be played by teams up to 10×10 players.

Fitness Health Indoor Extreme Sports New York Virtual Reality

If you are a fan of video games, IES offers a full immersive Virtual Reality Lounge where you can play multiple live games, both individually or in teams.

Plus, they have two Project Cars that represent the most realistic driving simulation where you would be able get the latest most realistic car racing experience from Go-Karts to F1 Race Cars.

They have it all and no License or Insurance required! Just a warning, you might get dizzy during the game, so be aware of medical issues when you book this activity.

Even though I wasn’t able to experience The Augmented Rock Climbing Wall because in only at the Staten Island site, you can play VR games on a giant rock wall!

WHAT? Yes, you climb and play giant interactive games on a wall for a full hour while doing the funniest work-out ever!

At the same time, if you are more of a traditional video gamer, you can enjoy all classic Arcade Games like air Hockey and more!

IES also has joined the trendy of Escape Rooms, and they have 3 different rooms called “The Sanatorium, Zombie Experience and The Order”.

Fitness Health Indoor Extreme Sports New York Sanatorium Survival

I don’t want to spoil the activity but if you chose the Sanatorium Room, expect to have an hour-long adrenaline packed experience where you will be handcuffed, shackled, and locked inside of the asylum as the mad man’s clock begins to tick while you try to find the clues, live the story and escape the room – or risk becoming a patient there for all eternity!

After more than 3 hours at Indoor Extreme Sports, I can fully recommend this indoor activity not only for winter times but throughout the whole year.

Age and previous experience is not an issue and all members of your family and friends will be equally able to enjoy all their activities.

Also, IES offers the options of multiple activities packages with more convenient prices and is fully equipped to host Birthday parties, company retreats, non-profit events and bachelor(ette) parties among others.

Finally if you enjoy this type of activity, we have a few more to recommend! Try Brooklyn Boulders, that mixed adventure with technology, the famous Renzo Gracie Fight Academy to learn some Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai techniques and the hottest fitness classes in New York!

Hours: Please check their website since each location has different hours.

Locations:
47-11 Van Dam Street, Long Island City
501 Industry Rd, Staten Island

http://indoorextremesports.com


Text Credit: Written by our contributor Magdalena Concha
Photo Credit: Courtesy of IES

LGBTQ+ History, Neighborhood and Pub Tour of Greenwich Village

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Urban Adventure LGBTQ History Neighborhood Pub Tour

A NYC tour, not to be missed! The LGBTQ+ History, Neighborhood and Pub Tour of Greenwich Village is truly fantastic with countless stories that will amaze you!

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Urban Adventure LGBTQ History Neighborhood Pub Tour
BTSNYC Experiences On Going Urban Adventure LGBTQ History Neighborhood Pub Tour Stonewall Inn
BTSNYC Experiences On Going Urban Adventure LGBTQ History Neighborhood Pub Tour Washington Square Park
BTSNYC Experiences On Going Urban Adventure LGBTQ History Neighborhood Pub Tour Julius Bar
BTSNYC Experiences On Going Urban Adventure LGBTQ History Neighborhood Pub Tour Drinks
BTSNYC Experiences On Going Urban Adventure LGBTQ History Neighborhood Pub Tour Gay Street
BTSNYC Experiences On Going Urban Adventure LGBTQ History Neighborhood Pub Tour Cherry Lane Theatre
BTSNYC Experiences On Going Urban Adventure LGBTQ History Neighborhood Pub Tour Gay Liberation Monument
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I had a fantastic experience on a new tour we’re featuring! I mean, we always attend all tours we share with you guys, but this one is surely something special and different!

Why? Well, because it talks about one of the most amazing stories and moments in New York’s history: the LGBTQ+ movement!

So, come explore with us the famous LGBTQ+ history of Greenwich Village with a local NYC guide by your side.

See Stonewall Inn, the place where the gay rights movement kicked off in 1969 and let to an unexpected riot, enjoy a drink in the city’s oldest known gay bar and grab an ice-cream covered in rainbow sprinkles at the city’s sauciest ice-cream parlor!

I’m sure you will have a great time and have lots of fun learning more about this super important moment in the history of New York City!

BOOK NOW!

Tour Highlights:

  • Drink at the oldest gay bar in NYC and sing with the locals at a café where many Broadway stars go to croon at the piano
  • Visit the location where ‘the shot glass that was heard around the world’ was thrown: Stonewall Inn, the gay bar that launched the civil rights movement for LGBTQ+ people back in 1969
  • Tour the iconic West Village where celebrities, writers, provocateurs and social justice warriors used to call home (and see where they used to live and work)
  • Learn about renowned people that were gay and fighting for their rights in the 60’s and 70’s
  • Find out which First Lady dated a women and had a 3-decade-long love story
  • Celebrate gay history at Big Gay Ice Cream; a fancy cone is included in your tour!

Rates & Details:

  • $71.10 – $79/person
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Meeting point: Washington Square Arch in Washington Square, NYC
  • Ending point: Marie’s Crisis Café, 59 Grove Street
  • Language: English
  • Advanced Purchase Required

Other info:

  • Inclusions: Local, English-speaking guide, one drink at an iconic gay bar (beer, wine or cocktail), Ice-cream cone.
  • Exclusions: Additional food and drinks, souvenirs and personal shopping, tips/gratuities for your guide.
  • Dress standard: Comfortable walking clothes. Please check weather on the day.
  • Confirmation of booking: If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We’ll see you at the start point. Get in touch if you have any concerns or require more information via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher.
  • Child Policy: Travelers under 21 years of age are not permitted to join this tour.
  • Dietary Notes: We can accommodate vegetarians and other dietary restrictions. Please notify us in advance if you have any dietary requests.

BOOK NOW!

If you are looking to book a private tour of the LGBTQ+ History, Neighborhood and Pub Tour of Greenwich Village, please submit a request. Furthermore, for corporate requests, let our experts help you out.

Don’t forget to explore all our other Tours & Experiences! We’re sure you’ll enjoy them all! 


Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC and courtesy of our partner

15 Best Parties In New York For New Year’s Eve 2019

15 Best Parties in New York for New Years Eve 2019

New Year’s Eve in New York is certainly one of the best on the planet! Take a look at our selection of the 15 best parties in New York for New Year’s Eve 2019!

15 Best Parties in New York for New Years Eve 2019
Photo Credit: Courtesy

New Year’s Eve in New York is just around the corner and we’re listing below a few of the best parties in town, like we did last year.

From Manhattan to Brooklyn, from classic music, to electronic and funk, we’ll show it all to you!

Take a look below to see the 15 best parties in New York for New Year’s Eve 2019.

Decide which party suits you best and rush to guarantee your ticket, since they’re selling out fast, as we have just a few days to go till New Years Eve!


McKittrick Hotel Winter Masquerade

15 Best Parties in New York for New Years Eve 2019 McKittrick Hotel
Photo Credit: Courtesy

The McKittrick Hotel is known for throwing some of the best parties year-round. And, of course, their New Year’s Eve party is on the top of the list!

The King’s Winter Masquerade will have live performances, a glamorous feast, live bands, guys DJs and an open bar all night long.

Dress Code: It is asked that you come masked and costumed in shades of gold, silver, and black as befits a King. Their dress code will be strictly enforced.

Tickets: $225 – $995

Day/Time: Dec 31st, 7pm – 2am

Location: The McKittrick Hotel – 530 West 27th Street

https://mckittrickhotel.com


New Year’s Eve at The Westlight

15 Best Parties in New York for New Years Eve 2019 Westlight William Vale Brooklyn
Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC

Ring in 2019 at Westlight, the 22nd-floor rooftop bar overlooking the Manhattan skyline. Festivities include open bar, specialty cocktails, passed canapés, live music, and a Champagne toast at midnight.

Don your most festive attire and be prepared to cut a rug on the dance floor in the sky as we welcome 2019!

General admission tickets guarantee access to Westlight, open bar, food, and champagne toast.

Dress Code: Festive cocktail attire suggested.

Tickets: $250

Day/Time: Dec 31st, 9pm – 4am

Location: Westlight – 111 North 12th Street (Rooftop)

www.thewilliamvale.com


“Metropolis – The City Of Tomorrow” Immersive Party

15 Best Parties in New York for New Years Eve 2019 Metropolis City of Tomorrow
Photo Credit: Courtesy

If you enjoy a premium open bar party, then this is the right spot for you. Metropolis – The City of Tomorrow, will take you into an immersive experience.

A mixture of a fantasy world and a nightlife adventure inspired by 1927 science fiction film with the same name will take place! Expect live DJ, immersive performances, themed theatrics and live performances.

Tickets: $119 – $3,570

Day/Time: Dec 31st, 9pm – 4am

Location: Sony Hall – 235 West 46th Street

www.metropolisnye.com


Dances of Vice: The Celestial Ball

15 Best Parties in New York for New Years Eve 2019 Dance of Vices Celestial Ball
Photo Credit: Courtesy

What a celestial theme party! Gods, goddesses and immortals great and small convene at India House, a landmarked private manse built in the style of a Renaissance palazzo, to welcome the new year amidst a sea of glowing constellations.

The night will be filled with divine music, delicious libations, and dazzling live performances that will sparkle with the same intensity as the bubbles in your glass. Hello, 2019!

Dress Code: Starry-eyed vintage glamour. Olympian opulence. It’s your time to shine.

Tickets: $75

Day/Time: Dec 31st, 9pm – 2am

Location: India House – 1 Hanover Square

www.dancesofvice.com


Masterworks New Year’s Eve Concert

15 Best Parties in New York for New Years Eve 2019 Bargemusic Masterworks
Photo Credit: Courtesy

New York’s floating concert hall music in motion, all year long! An actual barge located on the East River will host the Masterworks New Year’s Eve Concert.

Be prepared to enjoy some of the best classic music pieces of all times from great composers like Vivaldi and Bach…while floating on the East River!

Tickets: $150

Day/Time: Dec 31st, 7pm – 11pm

Location: Bargemusic – Fulton Ferry Landing, Brooklyn

www.bargemusic.org


New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace

15 Best Parties in New York for New Years Eve 2019 St John of the Divine Concert for Peace
Photo Credit: Courtesy

Start off your night in one of the most amazing concerts, hosted inside a beautiful cathedral named The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine.

Founded by Leonard Bernstein in 1984, the annual New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace is a signature Cathedral event. There is also music by Mozart, J.S. Bach, and special guests throughout the evening. And of course, the Cathedral Choir’s own Jamet Pittman leads the audience and invites them to join in with This little light of mine as we light candles to welcome the new year with hope, joy, and affirmation.

Project love, peace, happiness, kindness, spirituality, gratitude, abundance and prosperity for the entire planet for the upcoming New Year!

Tickets: $0 – $100

Day/Time: Dec 31st, 7pm – 9pm

Location: The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine – 1047 Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street

www.stjohndivine.org


New Year’s Eve at Output | John Digweed

15 Best Parties in New York for New Years Eve 2019 Output John Digweed
Photo Credit: Courtesy

If you enjoy electronic music and enjoy spending endless hours dancing to that sound that shakes your bones from the inside out, then Output is the place for you!

Continuing a beloved holiday tradition, Brooklyn’s award-winning nightclub and premier dance music destination, proudly presents New Year’s Eve with world renowned DJ/producer John Digweed.

Setting the vibe for the gold-themed special occasion, Listed’s Tara Brooks will soundtrack the final moments of 2018 before the clock strikes midnight for the New Year.

In addition to the festivities in the main room, ticket holders will also be granted entry to the adjoining Panther Room. Helming the decks, local party purveyors Risky Business will present their ‘At Dusk’ techno-focused event with residents DESNA, Chilly Mox and Alex Raouf.

Tickets: $66 – $87

Day/Time: Dec 31st, 10pm – 8am

Location: Output – 74 Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

https://www.eventbrite.com/output


KNOWER with Ghost-Note

15 Best Parties in New York for New Years Eve 2019 Irving Plaza Knower Ghost Note
Photo Credit: Courtesy

Let’s get it “funky”!

The Jazz-Funk Youtubers, Knower, an American independent electronic music duo who have gained success releasing music online will play with special guests Ghost-Note, a percussion duo.

Tickets: $26 – $55

Day/Time: Dec 31st, 8pm – 12am

Location: Irving Plaza – 17 Irving Place

www.mercuryeastpresents.com/irvingplaza


Oteil & Friends 2019

15 Best Parties in New York for New Years Eve 2019 Brooklyn Bowl Oteil
Photo Credit: Courtesy

Two-time Grammy winning bassist Oteil Burbridge has been in the music business touring and recording for over three decades.

Over the years, Oteil has shared the stage with rock and blues legends such as Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Levon Helm, Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy, Hubert Sumlin, Billy Gibbons, Bob Weir, Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow, Trey Anastasio and so many others!

Get ready to enjoy a great night with him at the renowned Brooklyn Bowl.

Tickets: $65 – 75

Day/Time: Dec 31st, 6pm – 12am

Location: Brooklyn Bowl – 61 Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

www.brooklynbowl.com


Margo Price at Music Hall of Williamsburg

Far from overnight, Margo Price’s recent meteoric rise is the product of more than a decade of hard work and sacrifice. While she’d long been one of East Nashville’s best-kept-secrets, she burst onto the international scene with the 2016 release of her first solo album, ‘Midwest Farmer’s Daughter.’

For the New Year’s Eve party at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, Nashville-based Lilly Hiatt will start the nigh an open it for Margo Price!

Tickets: $65

Day/Time: Dec 31st, 10pm – 12am

Location: Music Hall of Williamsburg – 66 North 6th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

www.axs.com/music-hall-of-williamsburg


Prohibition Disco at the House of Yes

15 Best Parties in New York for New Years Eve 2019 House of Yes Prohibition Disco
Photo Credit: Courtesy

Ah! One of the most amazing venues in Brooklyn is promising an unforgettable night!

Quench your thirst for illicit entertainment at this very special New Year’s Eve edition of Prohibition Disco. Get gussied up in glamour, gamble the night away with wise guys and wild women.

Move to the grooves of our speakeasy selectors, alongside Gangsters and Goons, Daddies and Dolls, Bootleggers and Broads.

What more to expect? Champagne Toasts, Burlesque Broads, Glitz & Glamour Makeup Station , Prohibited Punch & Bathtub Gin Specials, Hooch Hound Hooligans, Flappers and Fellas, Women of Ill Repute , Coppers and Cronies and Swindlers & Sweet talkers.

Dress Code: Dress to the nines in vintage looks.

Tickets: $40 – $100

Day/Time: Dec 31st, 9pm – 5am

Location: House of Yes – 2 Wyckoff Avenue, Bushwick, Brooklyn

https://houseofyes.org/calendar


New Year’s Eve at The Wren

15 Best Parties in New York for New Years Eve 2019 The Wren
Photo Credit: Courtesy

One of Bowery’s best bars, The Wren, will have an upscale celebration. This hearty, upscale pub with craft cocktails, beer,  lots of spirits in a rustic, happening space will feature live burlesque performances.

In addition, an open bar, celebratory cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a champagne toast at mid night!

Tickets: $120

Day/Time: Dec 31st, 9pm – 12am

Location: The Wren – 344 Bowery

www.thewrennyc.com


Elsewhere NYE with Mano Le Tough and Tensnake

15 Best Parties in New York for New Years Eve 2019 Elsewhere Mano Le Tough
Photo Credit: Courtesy

Another spot for the night owls that want to celebrate all night long.

Elsewhere, located in East Williamsburg, in Brooklyn, will celebrate in style! They are featuring the Irish DJ/Producer and head of Maeve imprint, Mano Le Tough who’s guaranteed to bring his vibrant House sound to the Hall.

Joining him is Permanent Vacation alum, Tensnake whose break out single “Coma Cat” propelled him around the world spinning Soul, Boogie, Funk, 80s Pop, and elevating him as an in-demand remixer and producer.

Also on the night, regular DJ for parties like Kunst, PAT, and more, Amber Valentine lays down sweet and infectious disco plus resident ReSolute selector Connie Yin joins in with dark and seductive techno…and so much more!

Wait for the champagne toast at midnight!

Tickets: $45 – $75

Day/Time: Dec 31st, 9pm – 6am

Location: Elsewhere – 599 Johnson Avenue, East Williamsburg, Brooklyn

www.elsewherebrooklyn.com/events


Blue Man Group

15 Best Parties in New York for New Years Eve 2019 Blue Man Group
Photo Credit: Courtesy

Ring in the New Year with the Blue Man Group, performing for over 30 years! Pre-show activities will take place prior to the show, including a face painting station and photo booth fun will take place in our theatre lobby.

These activities will end 15 minutes prior to the performance time. Guests will receive party favors upon entering the theater. Stick around after the show to take part in a countdown to “midnight” with the Blue Men and Blue Man Group Band.

Tickets: $99 – $245

Day/Time: Dec 31st, 8pm – 10pm

Location: The Astor Place Theatre – 434 Lafayette Street

www.ticketmaster.com/blue-man-group


New Year’s Eve 2019 at Red Rabbit Club

15 Best Parties in New York for New Years Eve 2019 Red Rabbit Club
Photo Credit: Courtesy

Make it an unforgettable night as you dance the night away to the tunes of famous DJs, rub shoulders with Manhattan socialites and stars, enjoy the decadent 5-hours Premium Open Bar…get your Champagne toasts ready and count down the clock to 2019 in style!

Red Rabbit Club is the newest New York City nightlife hot spot located in the heart of the Meatpacking District. Once inside, patrons will embark on a surreal journey through a series of stairs leading them down the rabbit hole and into the subterranean club.

Tickets: $110 – $3,000

Day/Time: Dec 31st, 9pm – 4am

Location: Red Rabbit Club – 408 West 15th Street

www.redrabbitclub.com


Photo Credit: Courtesy of the venues

Most Different Museum in New York Of All Times: Museum of Illusions

Entertainment Culture Music Museum of Illusions Fernanda Paronetto

I recently visited maybe the most different museum in New York of all times, the Museum of Illusions! The eye-tricking illusions were super fun and extremely curious!

When we think about museums, most people immediately think about the big, famous ones like the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET), MoMA, the Whitney and so many others. If you’ve been with us for a while, some other off-the-beaten-track museums might also come to your mind!

But, a few weeks back, I found one maybe the most different museum in New York of all times: the Museum of Illusions.

Originally from Zagreb, Croatia, they are quite famous is other corners of the world, like in Austria and Slovenia. On September 20th, they finally landed in town and are creating quite a buzz, after all, optical illusions are quite fun to experience, don’t you agree?

That same week, I met with René Gjoni, the CEO of the museum, that was super kind to walk me through the all the installments and illusions. After that, I just HAD to go back and get it on camera for your guys to see!

“Visitors can learn a lot about vision, perception, the human brain and science through our attractive and fun exhibits. In that way, they also learn why our eyes see things that our brain does not understand.”

This fantastic interactive museum, located one of 14th Street’s busy corners, offers over 70 different activities visitors can experience. They are all based on science, math, biology and phycology, but in real life, they are extremely fun and curious! Many are quite simple after we find how they work but, I have to agree that creating them can be certainly challenging.

I passed through absolutely all the illusion and love them all, but the ones that I probably enjoyed the most were:

  • Rotated Room – Are you ready to radically change your view of the world? How about for 90 degrees? In this room you can walk on the ceiling. Your imagination is the limit!
  • Tricky Stick – This exhibit plays with your sense of space. The human brain will automatically suppose that the stick will not fit through the hole;
  • Moving Picture – As you move, the image seems to swivel and follow you. Three-dimensional paintings when viewed from the front initially give the impression of viewing a painted flat surface that shows a perspective view;
  • Swap Noses – You can switch different parts of your faces if both of you, at the same me, move up and down;
  • True Mirror –  We might think we see ourselves in traditional mirrors, but although they appear to show us how we look, in fact they reflect images that are sign significantly altered by being backwards. Step towards the True Mirror, which enables us to see ourselves as others see us!
  • Tilted Room – Try to walk slowly in the ‘Tilted Room’. Can you do it well? It may feel wobbly and difficult to walk in here.

In addition, there are a few exclusive illusions that are only seen in New York City:

  • Thermal Grill – The thermal grill illusion is a sensory illusion. When someone presses a hand against the grill, he or she experiences the illusion of burning heat;
  • Following Eyes – The following eyes are an optical illusion in which the perception of hollow concave eyes look like normal convex eyes. If you stare at them and walk left and right – they seem to follow you around;
  • Zoetrope – A zoetrope is a device that produces the illusion of motion from a rapid succession of static pictures.  This variation uses a rapidly flashing strobe light to illuminate the models, producing an illusion of motion.

So, I can say it’s a place to visit with kids, friends of all ages, family! It’s really entertaining, fun and that will give you countless reasons to laugh! And, you’ll be able to take some of the coolest pictures, and share them on all your Social Channels for your friends to see! I guarantee, it’s will go viral!

Have fun in the Museum of Illusions and share your experience with us: #BehindTheScenesNYC and #MuseumOfIllusionsNewYork!

Oh! And don’t forget to subscribe to our channel, like the video and help spread the love for our gorgeous New York City!


Tickets:
$19 Adults
$17 Students with valid ID (age 14-22), Senior citizens (age 62+) with valid ID, Military Personnel
$15 Children (6-13 age)
$53 Family Ticket Package (two adults & two children)
Children under age of 6 are free
*Group Rates Available*

Hours: Monday – Sunday: 9am – 10pm

Location: 77 8th Avenue – located on the corner of 8th Avenue and 14th Street

https://museumofillusions.us


Videography: Renata Meirelles
Photography
: Renata Meirelles & Courtesy of Kenroy Lumsden
Beauty
Leila Soldeira
Styling
Camilla Adão

NYC’s 1st Winter Lantern Festival

Events Up Coming NYC 1st Winter Lantern Festival Light Tunnel

NYC’s 1st Winter Lantern Festival has started and is creating a hug buzz around town! Be sure to guarantee your tickets and get ready for a gorgeous light spectacle!

Events Up Coming NYC 1st Winter Lantern Festival Entrance
Events Up Coming NYC 1st Winter Lantern Festival Light Tunnel
Events Up Coming NYC 1st Winter Lantern Festival Dragon
Events Up Coming NYC 1st Winter Lantern Festival Vases
Events Up Coming NYC 1st Winter Lantern Festival Performance
Events Up Coming NYC 1st Winter Lantern Festival Peacock
Events Up Coming NYC 1st Winter Lantern Festival Animal Kingdom
Events Up Coming NYC 1st Winter Lantern Festival Elephant
Events Up Coming NYC 1st Winter Lantern Festival Dance
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New York City is known for its beautiful night lights year round and, of course, for its abundant Christmas decorations! People travel from all over the globe to visit NYC during this time of the year, as well as New Yorkers also have a great time!

NYC’s 1st Winter Lantern Festival will happen through January 6, at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, Staten Island!

What to expect?

To start, you’ll see around 40 LED installations that can be as tall at 30 feet up, spread throughout 7 acres of land and over 30,000 Chinese lanterns.

It’s a fantastic experience for all ages that shows the beauty of the Chinese culture, with art works, dances and so much more!

The thematic lanterns installations have curious names: Light Tunnel, Wonderland, Sea World, Animal Kingdom, Chinese lights, Panda Paradise (ha! cute!) and Holiday Zone!

Oh! There is also a huge dragon!

“In Chinese culture, dragons are used to symbolize power and strength. They are often depicted in the colors red and gold, which represent good fortune and neutrality.”

In addition, entertainments are varied! Face changing, martial arts shows and lion dance. The water sleeve dances can be traced all the way back to 221 B.C., when dancers used clothing and other techniques to elongate their arms, creating an eye-catching performance. Plus, there is still sugar painting and a fun zone!

Oh! And the process of creating these lanterns is crazy! Take a look at the video below!

So, be sure to purchase your ticket and get your phone ready for we’re sure you’ll be able to get some pretty awesome pictures to share on social media.

If you need any type of assistance for your upcoming NYC trip, or you have a corporate request, contact our experts!


Tickets: $15 – $23

Location: 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island

Hours:
Wednesday, Thursday & Sunday: 5pm-10pm
Friday & Saturday: 5pm-11pm

https://nycwinterlanternfestival.com


Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Winter Lantern Festival

Spice Up Your Life With Salsa Classes in NYC

Fitness Health Salsa Classes in NYC Joel Salsa Instructors

After researching Salsa classes in NYC, I came across Joel Salsa Company. They were offering a cool bootcamp package for beginners and I didn’t need to take a partner with me! Yes, this can be a setback when signing up for Salsa classes.

🎵 Ay, no hay que llorar
Que la vida es un carnaval
Que es más bello vivir cantando…” 🎵

…sings Celia Cruz, the Queen of Salsa, in one of my favorite songs.

Dancing, as we already know, is great for our physical and mental health. I grew up taking dancing classes, but Salsa is definitely taking it to another level and I always wanted to learn it. Ahhh, my Latin blood…

Some people say original Salsa was created in NYC instead of a Hispanic country, after the influx of Latin and Caribbean immigrants in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The immigrants mixed bits of other ballroom and club dances into a new style. So yes, there are different styles of Salsa. Since I was in NYC, I chose this new style over Cuban or others out there.

After researching a little bit, I came across Joel Salsa Company. They were offering a cool bootcamp package for beginners and I didn’t need to take a partner with me! Yes, this can be a setback when signing up for Salsa classes.

I was not sure if I would have the “hips” that it takes to dance, so I signed up for just one class to try it out. After the 1st class I loved it so much that I registered for the full package: 8 classes, once a week.

I confess I wore sneakers in my first class! As soon as the instructors saw them, they asked me to come with a flat, ballerina or ballroom shoes for the next classes. So, now you know that sneakers are not good for dancing Salsa! Hahaha!

Fitness Health Salsa Classes in NYC Joel Salsa Instructors
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Pablo Tapia Photography

About the instructors:

My instructors were actually the founders of the company: Joel Dominguez and the co-owner, Maria Palmieri. But, they do have a great team that really knows their moves, so don’t worry!

Joel has been part of the dance world for more than twenty years, competing, teaching and performing throughout various parts of the US and Mexico.

Maria, on the other hand, is certified as a professional dance teacher by DVIDA® – Dance Vision International Dancers Association. She’s won dance competitions like the Manhattan Latin Championships, where she actually got 1st place as a newcomer.

Both instructors taught class together. Maria taught the steps to us girls, while Joel taught the guys.

First we practiced the steps alone. By the end of each class we put all the steps and movements together and danced with a partner. A rotation system was used so everyone had the chance to dance with a someone.

Every week we could see visible improvements in our “Salsa skills”, but new and more difficult steps were being taught too. The speed we danced got faster each week, and do prepare yourself to spin a lot during this Salsa bootcamp.

Fitness Health Salsa Classes in NYC Joel Salsa Company

The company has plenty of events happening in other venues around town, where students are welcome to join. Most of them are at different Salsa clubs throughout Manhattan. It’s extremely restorative, funny and fun.

I just felt that Salsa was my thing, from day 1!

I “graduated” from my beginner salsa classes in NYC and I couldn’t wait to start the advanced classes. At that time they didn’t offer online classes, but now they do. Hooray! So, if you can’t attend it in person, you can still register for the online classes.

Are you excited? I want to do it all over again!

Joel Salsa also offers Bachata and Cha Cha Cha. For more info about dates, prices and other information, check their website.

Get inspired by the Latin rhythms and dance your hips off. It’s truly contagious, so just have fun!

Don’t forget to share your first steps with us! And if you enjoyed these salsa classes in NYC, you might want to test your limits at a fitness dance by Body Conceptions or just try the hottest fitness classes you need you know in NYC!

Location: 519 8th Avenue – 12th floor

https://joelsalsa.com


Text by our ContributorRafaela Azevedo
Photo Credit
: Courtesy of Pablo Tapia Photography and Joel Salsa

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