Tag Archives: Art

16 Things NO ONE EVER Tells You About NYC [PART 2/4]

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 2 Photo Sam Truong Dan

New York is a great city to visit and there is so much you can do! But, if you’ve never been, it can be a bit overwhelming. So, I decided to share 16 things NO ONE EVER tells you about NYC.

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 2
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Andre Benz

Yes, believe it or not, there are a few rules and tips to make your NYC experience seamless and memorable. This fast paced city certainly has its particularities. But, I can guarantee, that it’s what make this city so unique! You just need to learn a few tips and tricks, to survive in NYC!

We split this topic into 4 different posts, so see below Part 2!

And if you haven’t seen Part 1, go check it out!


#5 Why don’t yellow cabs just STOP when you signal!? And what are these green cabs?

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 2 Taxi
Photo Credit: Courtesy

Many tourists don’t know that the light on top of the cab helps identify if they are free or with a passenger. When the light is ON, they are free for you to try and stop them. So, when the light is off, they are in the middle of a trip and will pass straight by.

Ah! Have you ever seen the green cabs in Manhattan before!?

Well, these cabs will never stop to pick you up in Manhattan, even if they are free. They are only allowed to get passengers in the other boroughs (Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island), but they can commute anywhere, of course. So, you’ll only be able to grab a yellow cab, while in Manhattan.


#6 This is for the art lovers!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 2 Free Museums
©Behind the Scenes NYC

Even though the city is known for being a very expensive one, there are several ways to save money.

Some museums can have pretty high fees, but most have free entrances a few specific days a week, or a few free hours. And still, others might be “pay what you wish”.

NYC residents: If you have that City ID or another document proving you live in NYC, be sure to tell them. Many paid museums are free for us! WUHU!

The NYC Arts website has a detailed list of all of them to help you out!

And the art galleries? They are all free to enter and see the current art works!

New York also offers countless free events, by the way. You just need to stay tuned to our IG Page or other pretty great accounts too like FomoFeed! We love them!


#7 Always have money on you!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 2 Have Money Photo Jack Harner
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jack Harner

Why? Well, believe it or not there are countless places around New York that are “cash only” spots and will not accept any other payment method. For example, one of my all time favorite spots in Williamsburg, Brooklyn called Beco Bar, is a cash only bar/restaurant. Well, they JUST recently added Amex credit card machine, but many others, have no other option.

Regardless, having a bit of money in your pocket, is always advisable during a trip. You never know what might happen, so you might as well be prepared. But, if you do forget, most of the “cash only” spots or have an ATM inside or they are close to one that you can run to.

Now, don’t come with a $100 bill. You’ll have a pretty hard time exchanging them or getting change if you’re purchasing something cheap. Plus, banks aren’t allowed to give you change for them. Bummer! I guess everyone is just skeptic it might be a fake.


#8 Tipping is CRUCIAL!!!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 2 Photo Sam Truong Dan
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sam Truong Dan

This is something not all visitors agree with or feel comfortable, but it’s a reality! New York is a city where you tip for absolutely everything! You need to breathe? Tip! Just joking….but not joking.

So, let me give you the basics on how this goes. And of course, just be reasonable guys!!! I know many people are traveling on a budget, and that’s totally fine too, so just be mindful when you are at different places.

In general, restaurants vary with tips from 18% – 22%. I always end up tipping 20%, but you can feel free and pick what suits you best. For bigger groups, some restaurants will automatically include 25% in the bill, so be sure to see that.

At bars, I also just usually tip 20% to make it easier, but you can just consider at least $1 a drink, and for the pricier cocktails, at least $2. Guys, the tireless barmen and bar-women are working their asses off all-night-long to be sure you have a great time, so help them out too!

By the way, when the bar is super full, nicer tips might give you an extra attention when getting future drinks at the bar.

Now, as I mentioned, tipping is not limited to only restaurants and bars. If you’re getting an Uber/Lyft/Via/Juno, you can always tip the driver at the end of the ride through the APP, but yellow cabs also expect tips. Yes, even the lousy, dirty, smelly ones… You can tip 15% – 20% and if you’re paying with a card, you just pick the tipping amount on the screen.

Tipping at the hotel is also important. It’s always nice to tip the bellboy that helps bringing your luggage into the hotel and up to your room. Generally, it’s $1 per bag, but if you’re at a nicer hotel, be nicer too! Lol! When your leaving the hotel, and a staff grabs a taxi for you, yes, tip him like $1-$2. Oh, and most people most often forget: the cleaning lady! She was the one that kept your room super neat and clean during all these unforgettable days in New York. You might want to leave around $2/day for her at the end for your stay. I always also customize the tip with a smiley note!

So, as you can see….tipping is crucial and this is also one of the reasons you have to have cash on you!!! But, as I said, be mindful and reasonable within the budget you have too!


If you enjoyed our Part 2 of the 16 things NO ONE EVER tells you about NYC, be sure to check our Part 3 coming up next! There is still so much more to learn!

For any questions regarding travel or event planning for Corporate Groups, contact our experts to help you out!



Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC, Courtesy of Jack Harner, Sam Truong Dan and Andre Benz
*Last Update on March/2020.*

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
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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 espresso.

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.*

The Forgotten East​: 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:
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
*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.*

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.*

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!

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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

The Met Cloisters: A Medieval Experience in NYC

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Are you ready to explore the The Met Cloisters and have a medieval experience in NYC? Located inside the beautiful Fort Tyron Park, this museum will keep you breathless all the way!

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I have to confess that I had never been to The Cloisters, until this past weekend when a good friend from my meditation group invited me to go! It had been on my must-see list since forever, but because it’s location is a bit distant, I was always postponing the visit.

So, this time I had agreed to go with her and there no way I would cancel it. So, after the Feeding Program we help coordinate o Saturday morning at Tompkins Square Park, I grabbed the subway and started heading North.

The best option to get up to Fort George, is to get the A Express train (blue line), up to Dyckman Street. It will be just steps from the entrance of Fort Tyron Park, where The Met Cloisters is located.

In addition, the 1 train (red line), also passes through there, but it’s a local train, so it stops many more times along the way.


A bit of History:

To start, many people don’t know that The Cloister is actually part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The museum opened to the public in May of 1938 and is focused on art and architecture of medieval Europe.

It’s located at Fort Tyron Park with a priceless view of the Hudson River – and I have the say, the sunset there is amazing!

The museum has obviously medieval structures and might look as if it’s quite old, but during construction, the architects behind this project simply gathered beautiful inspirations and elements of medieval cloisters.

“Approximately 2,000 works of art from medieval Europe, largely dating from the 12th through the 15th century and including exquisite illuminated manuscripts, stained glass, metalwork, enamels, ivories, and tapestries, are exhibited in this unique context.”

But wait! What is a “cloister”?

“A covered walk in a convent, monastery, college, or cathedral, typically with a wall on one side and a colonnade open to a quadrangle on the other.”

See the video above for a great footage of The Met Cloisters during it’s construction!


What NOT to miss when going there:

It’s hard to even start listing what you can’t miss, since the entire collection is breathtaking, but I’ve listed below the main ones that people are always asking about.

Plus, they have beautiful gardens that you can enjoy with no rush and just take your time!

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During a few months a year, you can actually enjoy a super nice café with outdoor seating! The Trie Café is open seasonally from April to October and offers light fare in a super nice outdoor setting.

Lastly, if you want to go home with a few gifts for your loved ones and yourself, the Met Store is located just off the Main Hall. You’ll be able to find jewelry, home gifts, publications, stationery, and more inspired by the art, architecture, and gardens of medieval Europe.

Oh, and don’t get lost! Be sure do download their Museum Map!

For visitors from outside New York State:
Adults: $25
Seniors (65 and over): $17
Students: $12
Members and Patrons: Free
Children (under 12): Free
For NY residents: Pay as you wish

General admission tickets include exhibitions. It’s valid for three consecutive days at The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer, and The Met Cloisters.

If you want us to help you organize your visit, or for corporate requests, contact our experts.

Lastly, did you know The MET has a great store with some of the most unique products and gadgets?

The physical location is in SoHo, but thankfully you can find everything online as well! You can find anything from Prints & Posters, Books, Stationery & Art Supplies, Clothing & Accessories and even Home Decor. Have fun shopping!

Hours:
Open 7 Days a Week
March – October: 10am – 5:15pm
November – February: 10am – 4:45pm
Closed Thanksgiving Day, December 25th and January 1st

Location: 99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tyron Park

www.metmuseum.org


Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC
*Last Upload on Feb/2020.*

Candytopia: A Golden Ticket To A Sugar Rush Adventure

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Candytopia is a multi-environment exhibit that will make your inner kid rejoice out of the perfect combination of colors and flavors from your favorites candies. Bring your sweet tooth for a journey like no other!

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We asked our contributor, Magdalena Concha – also known as Mags – to check out what Candytopia was all about. She had a fantastic experience at a exhibit that has been attracting not only kids, but grown ups in New York!

Our Founder, Fê Paronetto, recently went to the Color Factory. Super worth going too! Both are similar, but yet so different! So, since it’s hard to pick one, just go to both!


Is there a better way to start your day than visiting a place that mixes art, candy and lots of imagination? Well, a few days back I went to check out Candytopia, aka, candy land, aka dream come true.

Candytopia is a pop-up installation that shows the vision of Hollywood Candy Queen Jackie Sorkin, Candy Master Fabricator Zac Hartog, CEO of ZH Productions, and retail veteran John Goodman.

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Following a successful run in Santa Monica earlier this year, Candytopia comes for the first time to New York City to show a one-of-a-kind full sensory experience of a magic wonderland that combines colors and flavors using only sugary delights. Everything can be enjoyed through a series of interactive art installations. 

Welcome to Candytopia, where colossal candyfloss constructions meld with a tantalizing taffy twistedness! 

The “immersive candy-coated experiential adventure” is perfect for “anyone who’s ever dreamed of scoring a Golden Ticket or nibbling their way through Candyland.”

As a candy lover, I can guarantee you that this is as close as you can get to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory and Hansel & Gretel candy house – minus the witch of course. From the moment you cross Candytopia’s fence and enter their amazing world, you want to touch and try everything in the rooms.

The best part of all … that is actually a requirement! Touch! Taste! See! Smell! Listen!

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You will be able to try delicious sweet treats throughout the entire experience including gummies, chocolate, nostalgic favorites, and many sweet surprises! Just remember your Halloween manners and take only a few of them.

In addition, if you want to impress your social media followers and share your best candy-colored pictures, remember to get the QR code at the entrance of the installation. It will allow you to take pictures from the different cameras installed at the most iconic areas of the exhibit. So, pictures will be send directly to your email, don’t worry!

We won’t tell you everything you’ll see, but here is a short sneak peek to tickle your curiosity!

Culture Music Candytopia New York City Famous PaintingsThe experience starts with Zig Zog’s Clocks & Collectibles where the sound of clocks ticking will make you feel anxious, just like the White Rabbit of Alice in Wonderland, for being late to try all the candy that awaits.

Along the way you will also encounter a dive pool of (fake) marshmallows, a rendition of the most iconic pieces of art like the Mona Lisa and Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

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Be sure to take a picture with the recreated sculpture of our Lady Liberty. In addition, you’ll find an underwater-themed room filled with jewel-toned, candy covered sea creatures. And, of course, tons of opportunities to take the best pictures and selfies covered by colorful confetti.

Furthermore, the effort put into every piece is describe through “Candy Facts”. They tell you exactly the type of candy that was used, the candy count, construction time and amount of sugar in it. Super cool!

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I.e., the candy version of Warhol’s Marylyn portrait was made out of 3,800 candies including gummy bears and jelly beans, took more than 82 hours and it has 1,500kgs of sugar. Pretty amazing, isn’t it?

Sorkin won’t say what the base material is—she needs to keep some cards to herself—but some of the creations took upwards of 1,000 hours.

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So, be sure to use #Candytopia on your pictures! Your picture might be posted on Candytopia’s Instagram!

Tickets:
Adults admission: $38
Kids (4-12) : $26
Tickets must be purchased online, as there are no tickets available at the door. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Hours:
Monday: 10am – 8:30pm
Tuesday: closed
Wednesday – Saturday: 10am- 8:30pm
Sunday: 11am – 8:30pm

Location: Penn Plaza, 145 West 32nd Street

http://www.candytopia.com

 


Text Credit: Written by our contributor Magdalena Concha
Photo Credits: Courtesy of Joel Pitra for Candytopia and Magdalena Concha for BTSNYC

Justin Teodoro: Statue Of Liberty Illustration Gone Viral

Curiosities Insider Interviews Justin Teodoro Statue of Liberty Illustration

Justin Teodoro is the powerful  and creative name behind the Statue of Liberty’s illustration that went viral a few weeks back! We talked to him about his breathtaking career, his inspirations and discovered his 7 secret spots in NYC.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Justin Teodoro Statue of Liberty Illustration

A few weeks back, the social media universe went wild with a beautiful illustration created by the NY-based illustrator, Justin Teodoro.

In a powerful response to the first lady, Melania Trump’s Zara jacket, which had “I really don’t care. Do you?”, written on the back, Justin’s creative, powerful and positive reply, moved the world.

The outrageous act that has been moving people to stand up against the zero tolerance policy of family separations at the boarder, led by President Trump, was spread through out the internet.

Even those that chose to be isolated for the political scene, were touched.

Like us, countless other media platforms and Instagram users, reposted Justin’s illustration, supporting the cause.

Our interview below, will show you more about Justin’s story, career, conquests, inspirations, finishing off with 7 of his secret spots in NYC!

Curiosities Insider Interviews Justin Teodoro Kevin Lamarque Reuters
Photo Credit: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

1. Can you tell me a bit about your background? Where you’re from? What you studied? Where you’ve worked?

I’m from Vancouver, BC Canada – born and raised there. I did my undergrad at University of Toronto and after I graduated in 2003 I moved back to Vancouver to figure out what to do for a career.

I’ve always drawn and loved art, but never knew how to make that happen as a “job”. I was always into fashion but, that seemed so far away to me as a career.

I then found about the Associates Fashion program at Parsons and with the support of my family applied and got in. So, I moved to NYC in 2005 to pursue a career in fashion.

I worked as a womenswear designer for 8 years for brands as Tuleh, Cynthia Steffe and Kenneth Cole, before I made a career change to focus on my own illustrations and art.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Justin Teodoro Installation

2. Was the Barney’s window in NY your first major fashion project? Tell us a bit about this project! Or, tell us about your first major project that boosted your career.

My first big project as an illustrator was probably working with Lorenzo Martone and his brand Martone Cycling – we met through mutual friends and I began doing illustrations for him.

That led to us working together on a small capsule range of illustrated tees for Martone Cycling, then a pop up in NYC and finally an artwork for a window display when Martone Cycling was sold at Colette in Paris. That was a major first for me.

I’ve worked with Barneys NY a few times – first on their website doing a few illustrations stories. Those projects led me to working with Barneys New York Japan in 2015 for their holiday campaign. Another major milestone in my career – I created artwork for their holiday campaign and was invited to Tokyo for the holiday launch.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Justin Teodoro Colette Lorenzo Martone3. You’ve done so many amazing works around the world like Colette in Paris, the subways in Tokyo! I believe you obviously enjoyed them all, but is there one that you’re exceptionally proud of and would love to relive it? Why?

I’ve been lucky to have worked on some pretty amazing projects with really great brands, so it is hard to choose.

I guess though I would always cherish the projects that allowed not only my work to travel internationally but me as well!

So, my project with Barneys in Tokyo and recently doing artwork for Six Senses in Kaplankaya, Turkey was amazing. It’s been great to expose yourself and your eyes to what is out there.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Justin Teodoro Tokyo Subway Barneys New York

4. The entire Social Media universe saw your latest illustration of the Statue of Liberty with the child. We were one of the hundreds of accounts that share it. Can you give us a taste of how the idea can about and how the creation process was? Did you expect this amazing repercussion?

Curiosities Insider Interviews Justin Teodoro

It really came about from me just reacting to all the news that week – I remember it being so hard to hear all the stories of these families being separated and then seeing all those images in the news.

It was hard not to react.

I think I tried to do something that felt true to what I wanted to say, but also to my art and I think I just wanted to put something out there that was perhaps positive, a sense of hope in all of this sadness, anger and messiness.

So, it kind of just came naturally – I don’t remember exactly what the process was but putting the jacket with what I think we all wanted it to say on the statue of Liberty seemed to be my creative reply.

The reaction was pretty amazing to see – definitely all the viral attention was amazing.

But, it was much more amazing to me to have people email/message me to say thank you for doing this artwork, that it gave them a sense of hope and light in all this darkness.

That really touched me and made me realize that the work had taken on a more powerful meaning that I ever anticipated.

5. Is there any exciting upcoming project you can share with us first hand?!

A few projects in work, so stay tuned!

6. Can people find your work in NY and also to purchase online?

I have a few t-shirts/prints available on my website. Below an image of the gorgeous Jane’s Carousel.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Justin Teodoro Janes Carousel Dumbo

7. What are you +7 top secret spots in NY you love to go with friends, or for work inspiration?

  • Communitea Café – A neighborhood coffee spot in LIC;
  • FIT Museum – For fashion inspiration;
  • Lucky Strike – A classic NYC happy hour in SoHo;
  • Tuffet – A great bar in Brooklyn for cocktails and drinks;
  • McNally Jackson – A great local bookstore/magazines and coffee spot in SoHo;
  • Strand Bookstore – A classic and has an amazing vintage book collection;
  • Blick Arts – I’m a sucker for an art store and I’m always here getting more paint or pens.

Take a look at a few cultural activities in New York, if you’re into arts, music, museums, etc!


Thank you Justin, for the amazing work, your strong voice and talent, and for sharing with us a bit of your life!

Keep up the amazing work!


Photo Credits: Justin Teodoro and Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
*Last Update on April/2020.*

Narcissus Garden Installation by Yayoi Kusama at Fort Tilden

Yayoi Kusama Narcissus Garden Fort Tilden Rockaways Credit Rachel Hoat

Yayoi Kusama is known worldwide for her impactful installations and art works! She now brings a fantastic work called Narcissus Garden to the Rockaways, at Fort Tilden, New York!

Yayoi Kusama Narcissus Garden Fort Tilden Rockaways Credit Rachel Hoat
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Rachel Hoat

I love everything Yayoi creates and her avant-garde spirit is truly inspiring!

Starting tomorrow, July 1st, the Rockaways will be bustling this summer with people coming to visit the famous Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama’s new installation.

Narcissus Garden has 1,500 silver stainless reflective spheres installed inside a former train garage.

This is part of MoMA’s PS1 series named “Rockaways”, a yearly arts festival with the goal of recovering the area after the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, back in 2012.

The installation will be live up through September 3rd!

Location: Studio 7 Gallery, Fort Tilden, Gateway National Recreation Area, Far Rockaway, NY (Map below)


More about the installation:

MoMA PS1 presents Yayoi Kusama’s (Japan, b. 1929) site-specific installation of Narcissus Garden (1966–present) as the third iteration of Rockaway!, a free public art festival presented with Rockaway Artists Alliance, Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, National Park Service, and Bloomberg Philanthropies in the Gateway National Recreation Area at Fort Tilden.

Comprised of 1,500 mirrored stainless steel spheres, Narcissus Garden is on view in a former train garage that dates to the time when Fort Tilden was an active US military base.

The mirrored metal surfaces reflect the industrial surroundings of the now-abandoned building, drawing attention to Fort Tilden’s history as well as the devastating damage inflicted on many buildings in the area by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Narcissus Garden was first presented in 1966, when Kusama staged an unofficial installation and performance at the 33rd Venice Biennale.

The silver spheres, originally made from plastic, were installed on the lawn in front of the Italian Pavilion, reflecting the landscape of the exhibition grounds.

Kusama herself stood among them, barefoot and dressed in a gold kimono, alongside yard signs inscribed with the words “Narcissus Garden, Kusama” and “Your Narcissism for Sale.” Throughout the opening day of the exhibition, Kusama remained in the installation, tossing the spheres in the air and offering to sell them to visitors for 1,200 lire (approximately $2) each.

The action, which was viewed both as self-promotion and a critique on the commercialization of contemporary art, would later be seen as a pivotal moment in Kusama’s career as she transitioned from installation toward the radical, politically charged public performances that would be the focus of her work in the late 1960s in New York City.”

For more infos, see MoMA’s website!


Yayoi’s life has been quite a journey! She is know for having quick a journey with a few mental health issues. But, what keeps her alive is surely her beautiful work!

So, if you also adore everything that Yayoi Kusama creates, than this is a must-go exhibition, so don’t waste your time and plan your day trip to the Rockaways!


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Rachel Hoat
Text Experts: MoMA’s website
*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

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