Tag Archives: Attractions

Making The Most Of NYC On A Budget

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Yes, New York is an expensive city, but there are things you can do to try and make the most of NYC on a budget. Let us tell you how!

Curiosities-City-Secrets-NYC-On-A-Budget

It’s no secret that NYC is an expensive city — the average cost of living is 129% more expensive than the national average. But, when it comes to career development, nightlife, culture, shopping, and food, there’s no beating the Big Apple. Regardless of your level of income, it’s possible to budget and minimize your expenses while taking advantage of all the city has to offer.

Let us tell you how!


Cut out unnecessary expenses

Cutting out unnecessary expenses will free up money to spend elsewhere.

For example, if you have a car, consider getting rid of it. Insurance in NYC is expensive and monthly payments, gas, and maintenance adds up fast.

Investing in a monthly MetroCard ($121) is a cost-effective way of commuting every day. You can save on taxi fares by walking as much as possible.

Also, consider eliminating subscription services you may not need, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, or the New York Times. Alternatively, look into sharing subscription costs with your friends.


Use credit

Make your purchases with a credit card, so you can take advantage of the rewards.

Most banks offer great deals on cash back at restaurants and stores, as well as travel points. Just make sure to track your spending and be in the habit of paying your card off every month.

If you have a debit card, belong to a bank with low ATM fees.

Moreover, if you have a larger purchase to make, consider using a personal loan. Personal loans have lower interest rates than credit cards. There’s also the opportunity for flexible repayment plans.


Free attractions

NYC has no shortage of free activities if you know where to go. Take a free yoga class at Bryant Park — free classes are held on Tuesday mornings at 10am, or Thursday evenings at 6pm.

Visit a free art gallery — there’s plenty in Chelsea (typically between West 14th Street and West 29th Street), such as, Milk Gallery, Gagosian, and David Zwirner. We can also help you to organize a Private Art Tour during your stay!

When you need some peace and quiet, escape to Brooklyn Botanic Garden by Prospect Park. Admission is free on Tuesdays and you can check out the zoo, the LeFrak Center, and Lefferts Historic House. Or, try exploring the New York Botanical Garden, in the Bronx! Such a beautiful place!

Even if you’re on a shoestring budget, NYC is brimming with things to do and see.

Try a cheaper restaurant you wouldn’t normally eat at or seek out a new store with bargain prices. With a little thought and planning, you can enjoy a fulfilling life in NYC without breaking the bank.

You might also want to check out our 4 part Series about “Things No One EVER Tells You About New York” or our 2 part “Cheap NYC Guide”.


Photo Credit: Courtesy

Madame Tussauds NY, Because A Little Wax Is Fun

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Madame Tussauds NY Priyanka Chopra

There are endless things to do in New York and countless NY attractions. Meeting celebrities can be hard, but you might enjoy Madame Tussauds NY, because a little wax is always fun!

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Yes, yes! We know…this is a super touristy place to go and not the typical place we’d write about. But, there are certain NY attractions that you’ve got to try at least once in your life like the wax museum: Madame Tussauds.

I’ve been to Madame Tussauds, not only in New York, but places like London. And, I have to say…it’s quite amazing. The reality of the wax figures are amazing…some, even a bit scary for being too realist! It’s also a great place to go with kids and teens!

But wait, what is Madame Tussauds?

“They are the world’s #1 wax museum attraction, offers visitors the ultimate celebrity experience, allowing them to interact with jaw-droppingly life-like wax figures of the most famous pop stars, Hollywood legends, sporting heroes and historical icons – all within one attraction. You can sit with Obama in the Oval Office, dance with Michael Jackson, pose for the paparazzi with Lady Gaga, have a romantic dinner with George Clooney or relive key moments in time with iconic historical figures like Abraham Lincoln (Note: figures vary by attraction).”

Super cool, right? They are spread all over major world destinations in the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia.

So, if you’d like to explore some major NYC Attractions, you should consider this!

In addition, we recently wrote about the advantages and differences of the tourist passes that give access to the most renowned NY attractions. This will definitely help you not only save money, but also have the convenience of going in and out of the places you’re interested in visiting.

You can see the NYC Prices to chose what suits you best! So, enjoy your experience, and share with us what your thoughts about it!

Book tickets online and save up to $5 off standard admission to Madame Tussauds New York!

Madame Tussauds NY is the only place with no ropes or barriers holding you back from your favorite stars. Pose “in a moment in time” with the world’s most iconic musicians, A-list stars, sports legends, world leaders and much more.

If you want to explore a bit more of the city, outside of museums, you’ll want to check out the 25 Most Iconic And Instagrammable Movie Locations In NYC.

Location: 234 West 42nd Street

www.madametussauds.com


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Madame Tussauds

Best New York City Passes To The Top NYC Attractions

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Best New York City Passes NYC Top Attractions

There is so much to see in New York City that it can get pretty overwhelming and expensive. See the best New York City Passes and differences between The Sightseeing Pass x CityPASS. Go to the top NYC attractions! Pick the one that serves you best!

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Best New York City Passes NYC Top Attractions
The Metropolitan Museum of Art ©Behind the Scenes NYC

Even though we are focused on talking about local spots, brand and events far from the touristy scene, we also understand that many of our readers and followers have never been to New York City.

And, we do agree that going to main attractions is a must! We’ve even written two great Guides: 1st Cheap NYC Guide: 40+ Top Attractions and the 2nd Cheap NYC Guide: 30 Top Attractions.

So, with that in mind, we wanted to share with you a bit about the two Pass options that offers access to these top attractions, making your trip easier, and definitely cheaper!

We know that many of the must-see attractions are quite expensive. When you add all them up, it can be a big investment, specially if you’re traveling on a budget. But, don’t worry! New York is known as a very expensive city, but there are amazing options for all pockets!

If you’ve never been to New York City, you do have to check off major attractions like The Statue of Liberty, museums like the wonderful Metropolitan Museum of Art (aka MET), the 9/11 Memorial, The Top of the Rock, etc…

Now, here is the 1st step to help you can decide: If you’re thinking about visiting at least 3 of these spots, it’s already worth purchasing these Passes!

Other factors to consider to help you decide to buy a pass:

  • #1: It’s cheaper! If you buy all attractions separately, depending on how many you’re visiting, it turns out much more expensive.
  • Optimizes your time. Specially if you have only a few days in the city, these passes are super convenient during the trip. Once you buy, you’re good to go!
  • They have different options to better suit your needs, so be sure to see what is best for you and your family/friends!
  • Many museums have free entrances in specific days/times, so check them before going, so you can go to more attractions with the Passes, and not “waste” them on the ones that can be free!
  • If you’re with a big group, or even traveling with family and kids, it might be a good option to expedite things during the day!

Below, we briefly explain the two great options when it comes to the Passes:


The Sightseeing Pass

Observation Decks, Museums, Bus Tours, Airport Transfer and other sightseeing costs can add up pretty quickly and take hours to plan! The Sightseeing Pass has 2 Pass options to best suit your needs:

  • Flex Pass: This is great if you don’t want to rush to see everything you want and if you’re still not sure. You can take your time to plan and pick up to 12 attractions, from a total of 100! Plus, the pass is valid for 30 days from purchase date.
  • Day Pass: You can buy as many days as you’d like and you have unlimited attractions within the days you purchased. It’s up to 10 consecutive days. Good for people that are going to really use it going to at least 2-3 attractions/day and have a shorter trip to NYC. It includes, NYC Hop on Hop off buses during the days you purchased!

You can save up to Save $200+ on 10 NYC Attractions!!!

NYC Sightseeing Pass

The Sightseeing Pass is great for exclusive NYC Attractions, transfers to the 3 airports and even to go to the famous Woodbury Outlet, if you’re into shopping! They have some very cool exclusive attractions – ex: They are the only pass for the One World Observatory!

  • Over 100 Attractions included
  • 6 Double-decker Bus Tours
  • Get Unlimited Hop on Hop off Buses in NYC
  • 2 Great Pass options for every budget
  • $40 Credit for additional tours, attractions, Broadway shows and dinner cruises

Here is an easy way to pick and choose:
BTSNYC Experiences On Going Sightseeing Pass New York

If you’re still not sure, take a look at their NYC Prices page, where you’ll be able to have a better idea of prices and how you’re saving money!

Another good thing, is that USA Sightseeing Pass is literally 1 ticket to over 250 Attractions in 10 USA Destinations, so if you’re traveling somewhere else, after NYC, be sure to check it out!

To be part of their community, be sure to add #thesightseeingpass to your IG posts, and tag them


CityPASS

As they say: “Spend Less and Experience More at Top Attractions”.

We really do want you to “leave with more than you came with”—whether that’s more money to spend on other parts of your vacation (or to save), more time to spend with the people you’re traveling with (or yourself), an enriched vacation experience, or some combination of all of those things. The concept remains as vital and relevant today as it did back then, as we recognize the increasing value that experiences bring to all of our lives.


So, what does it include:

  • One simple purchase
  • 9 consecutive days of validity, including the 1st day of use
  • Expedited entry at many attractions
  • Instant delivery with convenient mobile or printable ticket options

Two Options:

  • CityPass: 6 attractions (3 fix + 3 to choose from)
  • Any 3 that you decide

Save 43% or more on New York’s 6 best attractions with CityPASS – Shop Now!

BTSNYC Experiences On Going CityPASS New York

If you’re into sharing your adventures on Instagram, you might want to tag #CityPASS. You might be featured as our #CPTraveler of the week! So exciting!

Oh, and in addition, they also have these packages in other 11 destinations. From Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco and Denver, to Orlando, Tampa and more!


There are still other Passes available, so if you’re still not convinced, be sure to research the other options below:

These are the best New York City Passes and we’re sure they will help you out during your adventure in New York City!

For some of the top Tours & Experiences, check out what we have to offer too!

Last, but no least, if you are coming with a corporate group to NYC and need assistance in planning the entire trip, contact our experts to help you out!

From breakfast, dinners, cocktail receptions, to event planning, leisure experiences, we can make it happen.


Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC

25 Most Iconic and Instagrammable Movie Locations in NYC

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

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

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

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

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

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


#1 Coyote Ugly – Coyote Ugly (2000)

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

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

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

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

A bit more about its story:

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

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

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

Location: 153 1st Avenue


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

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Grand Central Terminal ©Behind the Scenes NYC

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

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

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

Location: 89 East 42nd Street


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

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

Probably one of my favorite spots in the city!

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

Location: 476 5th Avenue


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

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

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

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

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

A bit of history now:

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

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

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

Location: 768 5th Avenue


#5 Queensboro Bridge – Manhattan (1979)

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

This is surely a classic!

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

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

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

And, don’t you agree!? We do!

Location: 12 Sutton Square


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

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

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

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

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

Location: Lexington Avenue with 52nd Street


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

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

Phiuf! And the list goes on, and on!

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

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


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

16 Things NO ONE EVER tells you about NYC [PART 4/4]

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 4 Rats

I compiled the 16 things NO ONE EVER tells you about NYC! New York City is super friendly city and pretty easy to find you way around. But, there are a few things you should know before visiting!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 4
©Behind the Scenes NYC

New York City is super friendly city and pretty easy to find you way around. But, it also has a few particularities you should know before visiting!

So, I decided to share 16 things NO ONE ever tells you about NYC, for the 1st timers in NYC. There are a few rules and tips to make your NY experience seamless and memorable.

We split this topic into 4 different posts, so see below the final, Part 4! And check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3, if you haven’t already!


#13 Don’t yell if you see a rat or a cockroach!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 4 Rats
Photo Credit: Courtesy

This had to be #13! Hahaha! This will certainly identify you as a “tourist”.

Why? Well, let’s start from the basics! Did you know that there are more rats in New York, than there are people?

Ok, let’s do the math! It’s estimated that within the 5 boroughs (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island), there are around 8.5 million residents. The number of rats is around 5:1, adding up to over 42 million rats below our very own feet!

Now, let me tell you something about cockroaches. They are smart little bastards! I was LITERALLY chased by a human-eater-roach back in 2014 when I came to visit New York before moving, in the middle of a subway station. I was running away from it in circles (no lie!) and the roach was running after me in circles too!

It was comic not to say, ridiculous! I was screaming and laughing desperately – as were all my friends – instead of helping me out. So, don’t do as I did. Try to chill and act as if nothing is wrong! That is…if you can!


#14 Shoot! I need to “pee” and can’t find a bathroom!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 4 Bathroom
©Behind the Scenes NYC

The story of our lives! Manhattan is definitely not a bathroom-friendly place and you might get into some trouble if you don’t know where to run to in an emergency.

I do recommend going to every bathroom you pass by, just in case you don’t at some point! Also, I’ll give you a tip, there is a great APP called SitOrSquat that shares all the public bathrooms in New York. Might be good to downloaded to your phone, right?

Hint, hint! Some places that you’ll find bathrooms: Starbucks, Barnes & Nobel and department stores!


#15 New York is NOT synonymous to Manhattan!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 4 Brooklyn
©Behind the Scenes NYC

And I’m tired of telling people this! I mean, most tourist are stuck between Central Park South and SoHo – which I call “the comfort zone”. But, all the other boroughs in New York are growing and you have just so much to see! It’s just great when you free yourself from Manhattan, and dive into exploring other corners of NYC!

We all know that Brooklyn is now the new “hot spot” with so much going on. So, you might want to start from there. The trendy neighborhood now, is Williamsburg and I love Greenpoint that is close to it. Queens is a paradise for foodies and each borough has its own charm.

And still, there are countless amazing places to visit upstate, as well and breathtaking destinations in Long Island, from wineries to beaches.

Ok, so let’s start slowly just by crossing the bridge into Williamsburg or DUMBO? I guarantee you’ll be amazed at what you’ll find!


#16 Last by not least: When in doubt, just walk in!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 4 Secret Restaurant
Secret Japanese restaurant hidden behind these doors. ©Behind the Scenes NYC

What I mean is, if you pass by a weird looking door, but apparently people are discretely walking in and out…you might just want to walk in too. I know…the first thought that comes to mind is: “This is part of a horror movie, and if I walk in, I’ll never walk out…” Hahaha!

You never know what you can expect and 99% of the time, you’re not crashing into anyone’s home. On the other side of that door, there might be something extraordinary happening for you to check out or a delicious secret restaurant.

What I mean? Well, secret speakeasy bars are spread all over town, like Patent Pending – that I always love going to, or high-end hidden restaurants with a hidden door tucked behind a hanging art work in a gallery, like Frevo. Regardless, these spots will create some of the most memorable moments of your New York experience!

Be brave…and walk in!


And that’s a wrap for our list of the 16 things NO ONE ever tells you about NYC, for the 1st timers in NYC! There are so many other tips, but I guess that starting through these 16, you’ll be fine!

There are just a few things that we remembered along the way, that we just have to share, and that are FREE:

  • Water in NYC is FREE! Yes, NYC’s tap water is known for being some of the best in the country, and there is even the rumor that our bagel is one of the best, because of the water! So, when you arrive at a bar or restaurant you might automatically receive cups with water that will be refilled all the time, or you can ask for still or sparking water, that comes in a bottle – and these are paid for!
  • Condoms in NYC are FREE! Yup, that’s what you heard! They are Free, so check out where to find them here.
  • Fitness classes for FREE! The City of New York created the “Shape Up NYC Classes“, where you can find everything from Yoga in the Park and Hip Hop Fitness, to Zumba and Aerobics classes!

If you want a post about all the FREE things to do in NYC, leave your comment below and we’ll get right on it for you!

I hope we were able to help a bit more on your understanding of how the city functions!

Also, as mentioned, feel free to use the information we gave that makes more sense for YOUR trip! When we talk about tipping for example, we know that many people are traveling on a budget, so lets just be reasonable, right? The idea was just to share a bit how things work!

And, if you’re looking for assistance for a corporate group coming to New York, don’t hesitate to contact our experts! We organize everything from dinners, cocktails to corporate events and unique experiences.


Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC

Seeing The Best Of New York City By Motorcycle

Curiosities City Secrets Seeing the Best of New York City By Motorcycle Sandra Frey

Have you ever thought of seeing the best of New York City by motorcycle? Let us give you a few pointers on how this could be an amazing experience!

Curiosities City Secrets Seeing the Best of New York City By Motorcycle Sandra Frey Cropped

New York City is one of the most popular tourist destinations in America, attracting more than 60 million guests each year. This, thanks to its world-famous landmarks, eclectic cuisine, and unique culture.

If you’re looking for something other than the typical take on the NYC experience, ditch the buses and walking tours! They are quite touristy anyway… Instead experience the best of New York City by motorcycle.

Exploring by bike makes it easy to see parts of the city that other tourists rarely get to enjoy, and it also makes it easy to snap pictures, grab some street food, or simply take in the view.


Exploring Landmarks Downtown

Downtown, you can find many of the major landmarks of Manhattan, including the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, and Freedom Tower. You can also explore more hole-in-the-wall places, including small restaurants and specialty shops in Chinatown, Little Italy and the up and coming, South Seaport.

You can also see the filming locations of certain famous movies, including the Ghostbuster Firehouse, the Tiffany & Co. flagship store from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and many more. For a thrilling ride, you can cruise through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, the longest continuous underwater road in the U.S.


Experience Uptown Scenery

Uptown is known for its stadiums, like the famous Yankee Stadium, and museums through out the artsy Museum Mile. But, primarily tourists head up to see the scenery.

From the perspective of an automatic motorcycle, you can get some of the best possible views driving up the West Side Highway along the Hudson River. You might also see the palisades that rise over five hundred feet above, cross the George Washington Bridge, head up to the Medieval inspired MET Cloisters and wander through the less well known northern areas of Central Park.


Tour Midtown Monuments

Midtown Manhattan is home to the Empire State Building, Times Square, Grand Central Terminal, and other impressive bastions of culture and architecture.

Are you looking for something a little bit more out of the ordinary? You can visit sites such as the mysterious Rose Hill Historic House, the historic C.O. Bigelow Apothecary, or the quirky Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Masonic Library.

You’re looking to avoid the crowds and experience New York City from a unique angle? So, simply tour the city by motorcycle. Traveling by bike makes it easy to get around. You’ll be able to find all of the hidden gems that NYC has to offer.

Whether you’re riding through the streets of downtown New York, enjoying the sights of midtown, or exploring the refined uptown area, touring New York City by motorbike gives you a unique and exhilarating look at the city.


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sandra Frey

16 Things NO ONE EVER tells you about NYC [PART 3/4]

16-Things-No-One-Ever-Tells-You-About-NYC-Part-3 Cover

Ahh! New York City, I love you! But, there are a few secrets you must know before coming here. So, I decided to share 16 things NO ONE EVER tells you about NYC.

16-Things-No-One-Ever-Tells-You-About-NYC-Part-3
©Behind the Scenes NYC

There are a few rules and tips to make your NY experience seamless and memorable, and we decided to share a bunch of them with you!

We split this topic into 4 different posts, so see below Part 3 of 16 things NO ONE EVER tells you about NYC! And check out Part 1 and Part 2, if you haven’t already!


#9 Yes, yes, we are “behind the scenes”, but certain attractions are must-sees!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 3 The Pond
©Behind the Scenes NYC

Guys, I’m all about exploring the off-the-beaten-path spots and staying away from the touristy scene, BUT this is New York City. What this means is that there are countless attractions that you HAVE TO go see at least once in your life, after all it’s culture, right?

So, yes, you have to walk through once (or twice) the crazy streets of Times Square to see the infinite sea of lights, bump into the Naked Cowboy and Cowgirl, hear the never ending symphony of cars honking their loud, annoying horns, be in the middle of crazy people walking up and down and pushing you to the side, etc! Phiuf! I got stressed just talking about it!

But, after that, if you’re not actually going to a Broadway show or going to our Behind the Scenes Dining with the Broadway Stars Experience, then I wouldn’t recommend going back there too often.

To see which are the touristy locations we recommend in NY, take a look at our lists: 1st Cheap NYC Guide: 40+ Top Attractions and the 2nd Cheap NYC Guide: 30 Top Attractions.


#10 NEVER IN YOUR LIFE hop on a Central Park carriage ride!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 3 Horse Carriages
Photo Credit: Courtesy

And I’ll tell you why! It can seem like a nice activity to do, right? But, the reality is that most of these horses are super badly treated of over-worked during the day.

They barely rest, don’t eat enough, and many don’t have good hoof pads protecting their hoofs from the concrete streets. It’s not unusual to suddenly see a horse collapsing in the middle of the streets from exhaustion.

We need help from the tourists to stop with these silly horse carriage rides and spare these animals of being mistreated.

In addition, there is just SO much to do in Central Park, that you can surely skip this carriage ride. We can help you book bike rides around the main spots, or even explore the Secrets Of Central Park Walking Tour.

P.S. – I have talked to a company that does horseback riding inside Central Park. These guys told me that their horse have a max limit of hours or rides per day. They are securely transported in and out of the city and have a specific treatment. You can read more here. Aside of them, I don’t know any other company that has this type of careful approach with the animals.


#11 Never make eye contact! LOL!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 3 No Eye Contact
Photo Credit: Nirosha Methananda

Do you know these guys that are mostly around touristy locations like Times Square, Central Park, etc…calling you? They are trying to sell you on a tour or an activity! Unless it’s your life’s last craving going on top of that crowded 2-story touristy bus that roams around town, I’d just walk away.

If you do look, be sure they WILL approach you to try and sell something!

Also, if anyone is just randomly standing in the street, looking at people with an iPad in their hand…they are also going to ask for 2 minutes, that actually add up to 10minutes, to try and sell something else. In addition to getting your email and spamming you with promo emails.

The real New Yorker flies by these folks as if they were in the middle of that Olympic Speed Walking modality! Hahaha!

But, on the other hand, it’s an amazing feeling to walk around town – in non touristy areas – and just make eye contact with people! You’ll be surprise in how many will literally smile back!


#12 Holding the door can be polite, but….

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 3 Times Square
Photo Credit: Courtesy

Sure! I do super recommend you being polite and helping out someone by opening the door but, be smart about it. You might be holding the door all-day-long with an endless river of people flowing in and out, if you’re not smart, specially in places like Times Square!

I always encourage you to help moms with strollers, elderly folks, kids, someone carrying something super heavy with no spare hands or anyone that apparently needs help. Otherwise, be mindful and kind with anyone walking in and out, but just go with the flow.

Ah! And in the winter, don’t think about holding the door open for too long. The people inside will surely start starting at you with fierce eyes!


So, this was our Part 3 of the 16 things NO ONE EVER tells you about NYC.

But wait!

There is still a few last tips: Part 4! If you haven’t seen Part 1 and Part 2, you might want to check them out before heading to the last post.

There is just so much to know when coming to New York for the 1st time, that you might as well get ready to have the best time of your life!!!

And finally, if you need any type of assistance for big parties and specially for corporate groups, contact our team.


Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC and Courtesy of Nirosha Methananda

16 Things NO ONE EVER Tells You About NYC [PART 1/4]

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 1 Subway

You’ve never been to New York but now you’re days from arriving and started feeling a bit anxious about it? Well, that’s super normal, especially when we’re talking about a city like New York. So, I decided to share 16 things NO ONE EVER tells you about NYC, for the 1st timers.

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 1
©Behind the Scenes NYC

There are a few rules and tips to make your NY experience seamless and memorable. We split this topic into 4 different posts, so check out Part 1 with the first 4 things NO ONE EVER tells you about NYC!

Let’s start?!


#1 Yes! New York is safe!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 1 Safety
©Behind the Scenes NYC

Ok. Let’s start from the basics. We all know how dangerous New York was back in the 80’s and 90’s when the city was hit with a huge crack epidemic and we had the famous mobs roaming around.

Most of you have probably heard of the Zero Tolerance Policy, led by Mayor Rudy Giuliani when he was elected back in 1994. There is a lot to this topic and controversial statements, but let’s keep it simple. Bottom line, crime rates were drastically reduced.

It was published in The Economist, back in 2015, that New York was the 10th safest city in the world. Then, in 2017 it showed that we had fallen 11 places, today ranking 21st. But still, it continues a pretty safe place.

That said, like every other big city, there are pickpockets, you should be careful not to roam into some neighborhoods and be careful at night. If you’re in doubt, just ask a friend or talk to your hotel’s concierge.

In addition, most of the crimes in NY, happen in late night hours, so just stay alert, but enjoy the freedom that the city can offer us today!


#2 Use the Subway!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 1 Subway
©Behind the Scenes NYC

I’m from São Paulo, a city with over 20 million people, hence many time bigger than New York, but our subway system is very limited (even though it’s starting to super slowly improve).

But, when you have a “small” city like New York, where you can commute almost anywhere, it’s an indescribable joy! Hahaha!

It’s also a great way to feel like a true New Yorker and experience our crazy lifestyle!

The subway maps are pretty easy: most lines travel North – South and only a few East – West. You can download one of the APPs like NYC Subway or City Mapper to help you out! I’ve been here for 4 years, and still like to check on them, depending on where I’m commuting to!

Now, this is very, very, VERY important! When train arrives, always wait for e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e to come out, before you try to walk in. If you’re just randomly daydreaming and standing in front of the door when it opens, you’ll most likely be run over or called upon. Yikes! (I talk more about this on the topic below!)

Inside a crowded train try and put your backpack in front of you to make space for more people (even if you feel like a sardine in a can). If you’re sitting down, sit in a way that more people fit beside you. For the Manspreaders (men that sit with their legs widely spread out, occupying more that 1 seat), please be mindful! And please, don’t eat on the subway – it’s not a restaurant!

Another tip! Some people get so happy when all the other subway cars are full, and they walk “miraculously” into an empty one! It’s like feeling you’re the smartest one around, right? Well, New Yorkers are not stupid or blind, my dears, that’s for sure…so there’s likely something very wrong with that car. Be sure to check it out!

Oh! And girls, be sure to leave you heels at the hotel. You can use them to go out at night, when you might prefer just getting an Uber.


#3 Walk! But don’t EVER block the passage way!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 1 Walking
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Brendan Church

YOU might be on vacation, but many people around you are probably running to work!

Sidewalks are like freeways, in New York City! No joke…! So, when you’re walking down the streets and you feel it’s THAT time, where you want to take a selfie or an Instagram picture, be sure to step aside, out of the main passage. Otherwise you might hear a very loud “EXCUUUUSEE ME!”

People say that New Yorkers are rude and I strongly disagree! They are very solicitous if you’re lost and need help but, like every other busy human late for work, they won’t enjoy daydreamers blocking the streets. You can take a look at this post we did about “31 Curious Facts About New Yorkers We Just Love“, this way, you’ll get the hang of it!

Oh! This is also true for the subway escalators and stairs! If you’re walk up or down any stairs, but especially in the subway, be sure to follow the flow on the correct side, usually, your right side. On an escalator, if you don’t want to rush up, stay to your right side too, letting people that do.

And I forgot to mention. While walking on the streets, on the busiest ones especially, don’t just suddenly turn or stop. You have to look, and “kinda signal” your next move to avoid collision.

Lastly, if you’re waiting for the light to cross the street, but there’s absolutely no cars coming, even though it’s NOT the correct thing to do, many people just cross it. I mean, just be very careful if you do that or simply step aside for anyone that wants to go head!


#4 Understanding New York’s Map

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 1 Grid
©Behind the Scenes NYC

Ok, let’s start with first things first. Number one is maybe noticing that most streets are named through numbers, making it pretty easy to locate yourself or how to get to your destination.

The street numbers officially start at 1st Street on the East Side and 3rd Street on the West Side of Manhattan. From there, numbers go up, up, up to 220th, but that’s all the way up in Inwood, on the very North tip of Manhattan. That’s where The MET Cloisers museum is located!

From North to South, street blocks are shorter to walk through, while East to West, the blocks are significantly longer. Also East to West are only the Avenues – starting from York Avenue, through 11th Avenue (a.k.a. West End Avenue). On the very extremes, you’ll find the highways: 12th Avenue and the FRD Drive.

In between the numbered Avenues, you have some of the famous ones like Madison Avenue, Park Avenue and Lexington Avenue. Broadway also crosses the city diagonally, starting on the Upper West Side, all the way down to Battery Park.

Lastly, just for your reference, Central Park starts at 59th Street (a.k.a. Central Park South), up through 110th Street (a.k.a Central Park North), in Harlem. “The Secrets Of Central Park Walking Tour” will give you some more insights and secrets about the park!

Don’t freak out…it’s not as complicated as it sounds. Just grab a map or check Google Maps along the way, and you’ll be fine!


If you enjoyed these first 4 tips about things NO ONE EVER tells you about NYC, be sure to check our Part 2!

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


Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC and courtesy of Brendan Church

3 Perfect Photography Spots in New York City

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

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

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

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

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

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


Central Park – Bethesda Terrace

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

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

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

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

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


The High Line

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

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

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

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

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

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


Little Italy, Manhattan

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

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

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

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

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


New York is packed full of photogenic spots!

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

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

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


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

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

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