Tag Archives: City Secrets

NYC Renting: Need-To-Know Facts In 2019

Curiosities City Secrets NYC Rent 2019 Daryan Shamkhali

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

Curiosities City Secrets NYC Rent 2019 Jose Alonson

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

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

More inclusivity in properties

Many NYC properties are very old and, resultantly, outdated.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

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

Changes in tax

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

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

Curiosities City Secrets NYC Rent 2019 Daryan Shamkhali

Landlords are settling down

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

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

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

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


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

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 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

Day 2: Siemens NYC’s Hidden Technology – A Behind the Scenes Tour

Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Arthur Ashe Stadium Retractable Ceiling

This was Day 2 with Siemens USA! We visited some of New York City’s major attractions to understand how Siemens actually helped build our beautiful city! So, tag along with me to explore what happened during the “Siemens NYC’s Hidden Technology – A Behind the Scenes Tour”!

Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Arthur Ashe Stadium Retractable Ceiling

As you’ve probably noticed, after reading our Day 1 experience with Siemens, I had a fantastic time! I always say that I’m not only extremely curious to learn historical facts about NYC, but I think it’s extremely amusing to understand how this amazing city operates and functions.

Siemens’ technology is literally scattered throughout the city of New York in places and world-famous landmark: from the Statue of Liberty, the subway system, the Amtrak and the beautiful World Trade Center Memorial Fountains, to the retractable ceilings at Arthur Ashe Stadium, the impeccable acoustics of Carnegie Hall and even, hidden within the top breweries in Brooklyn. The purpose? To make your NYC days eternally memorable and seamless experiences.

That said, let me start telling you about our Day 2 at Siemens “New York City’s Hidden Technology – A Behind the Scenes Tour”. If you thought that yesterday was cool, take a look below at where we went this time!

After a very early breakfast, starting at 7am at a hotel in FiDi, where me met the entire group, we hopped on the bus and headed to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, better known as the home of the US Open Tennis Championships that is actually happening now!


9am – USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

I’m a huge tennis fan and even played when I was younger for a couple of years.

If you follow tennis, you’ve probably seen how many matches have been cancelled or delayed during the years, due to bad weather, right? Such a bummer!

Not only is this a hassle if you’re there watching and enjoying the match, but specially for the athletes that end up cooling down and getting distracted, to then have to go back to court.

The Arthur Ashe Stadium is the largest tennis stadium in the world, with retractable ceilings that have ended the bad weather problems.

Siemens worked with Morgan Automation Systems, part of the Morgan Engineering family of companies, a world leader in automation of extreme large mechanization projects, to make this project become a breathtaking reality!

Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Arthur Ashe Stadium Retractable Ceiling
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Arthur Ashe Stadium
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Arthur Ashe Stadium Mark Sharamitaro
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Arthur Ashe Stadium Screen
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Arthur Ashe Stadium Monitoring
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Arthur Ashe Stadium Heat Sensors
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Arthur Ashe Stadium Control Room
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Arthur Ashe Stadium Inside
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I listed some of the most curious facts that you should know about it, and that I thought were particularly interesting:

  • This ceiling is the largest structure in the world, over a tennis court, installed just earlier this year
  • The retractable ceilings are controlled and powered by Siemens
  • Each half of the roof weighs around 1 million pounds
  • The roof has 250ft long, each one being 125ft
  • It moves at approximately 25ft / minute. It opens within approximately 6 minutes 10 seconds and closes in approximately 5 minutes, 35 seconds. Why does it close faster? Well, when a storm suddenly pops in, they have to be quick to preserve a dry court, so the game continues.
  • Everything happens through the push of 1 single touchscreen button
  • It has the power to resist winds that reach 125mi/h
  • There is a team that is exclusively monitoring and controlling the air temperature and moisture
  • They have to be careful for not 1 single drop to fall on court
  • The Stadium is regulated to have the same temperature as the outside weather, so every player is performing under the same conditions
  • The stadium is used only 3 weeks during the entire year, with 4 yearly maintenances

 Now, understand the Siemens cutting-edge automation technologies onsite:

  • The ceiling is powered and controlled by Siemens’ Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs)
  • The S120 Safety System is totally integrated
  • Easy to use with access comfort panels
  • These industrial equipment and systems can be seen not only in factories, but also throughout the entertainment world like: Cirque du Soleil stages, rides at Walt Disney World parks, shows in Las Vegas, the Orlando Eye 400-foot observation ferris wheel, and even Broadway shows.

12pm – Other Half Brewery

Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Other Half Brewery Tasting
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Other Half Brewery Tanks
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Other Half Brewery Packaging
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Other Half Brewery
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It’s amazing how Siemens is literally spread throughout New York! What do I mean? Well, we had lunch and a great beer tasting experience at a brewery in Brooklyn called Other Half.

The place is amazing and the aroma of their beer is all over as soon as you walk in! They incentivize people to do the tour and learn about the entire brewing process.

In the case of breweries, Siemens’ technology is seen through different components that are inside other equipment. Their tech ranges from increasing efficiency in the overall process, to controlled bottling process and modeling & managing the complete workflow.

They have a few other breweries in Brooklyn using their systems, as well as most of the Coronas you’ll drink in the US! Cool right?


3pm – LO3 Energy

It’s literally hard to point out the highlight of these 2 amazing days, but I can say that LO3 was certainly a different experience.

What is LO3 Energy?  Well, they’re a pioneering blockchain startup that is changing the way we think about our electricity and how it works. Plus, we are seeing more and more, the importance of having our own data protected and encrypted, and with their program, by creating and applying a token, it creates a business model that gives value to data, so can buy a key to unlock and also secure your data while directly managing the purchase of power.

In addition, it’s also great to see that the big shark companies like Google and Facebook are also now going 100% renewable, with wind and solar tiles.

People are literally starting to care about energy!

Where does Siemens come in? LO3 Energy is working with Siemens Digital Grid and Siemens’ startup financier next47, on the Brooklyn Microgrid project.

“In an energy market that is becoming increasingly distributed – whether based on wind, sun, water or biomass – intelligent grids are becoming increasingly important. Siemens microgrid technology is helping communities pioneer the movement toward a self-sufficient energy future.” (Siemens)

But wait! What is a microgrid? The correct, dictionary definition is: “a small network of electricity users with a local source of supply that is usually attached to a centralized national grid but is able to function independently.”

The purpose of a grid is to balance electricity: not too much, not too little.

The idea is for a community to be able to produce, consume and purchase power from within their own community. And, the cool thing is that people will be able to consume from a distributed energy supply system that draws on renewable-generated sources for a more resilient, customer-driven economy.

Being able to choose where to buy your energy from and be sustainable is now a reality!

You can also read more about them.


And, this wrapped up these 2 amazing and truly surprising days that we explored New York through different lens.

It was extremely interesting to see and understand a bit of how the engine works “behind the scenes” to make our New York City function so properly and seamlessly, giving us locals – and also visitors – a priceless, memorable experience!

I can’t wait to see more about how Siemens technology is impacting our lives, without us even knowing!

Thank you Siemens, once again, for this breathtaking experience with endless interesting information!


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Day 1: Siemens NYC’s Hidden Technology – A Behind the Scenes Tour

Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Fernanda Paronetto

We had two priceless days with Siemens USA. We visited some of New York City’s major attractions to understand how Siemens actually helped build the city! So, tag along with me to see what “Siemens NYC’s Hidden Technology – A Behind the Scenes Tour” was all about!

Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour

It’s even hard to start writing about the amazing 2-day experience I had with Siemens a few weeks ago.

A couple of weeks back I was invited to participate in a priceless experience they had put together called “New York City’s Hidden Technology – A Behind the Scenes Tour”. I was immediately exited and curious, especially considering the name they chose for the project, ha!

We have millions of people visiting New York City during the year, over 60million to be more exact. Actually, in 2017 the number surpassed 62 million curious travelers and it keeps growing.

Most of you know about my indescribable passion for New York that I’ve clearly spoken about thousands of times before. And, the more I live here, the more I see the infinite stories and historical facts that together have built this tireless and sleepless city.

What people – not only travelers but also locals – don’t actually stop to think about, is “what is the real power that makes this perfect engine function throughout the city?” And, in obvious ways, enhances our experiences through the world-famous landmarks and historical attractions that symbolizes the Big Apple.

Siemen’s technology is literally scattered everywhere you can possibly think about. From the Statue of Liberty, the subway system, the Amtrak and the respected World Trade Center Memorial Fountains, to the ceilings at Arthur Ashe Stadium, the acoustics of Carnegie Hall and even, hidden within the top breweries that make your days eternally memorable experiences.

After all, in a digital area like the one we are living, people are craving these unforgettable moments to share with friends and family. Aren’t you?

So, let me start telling you what where we went and what I saw!


11am – Kickoff Brunch at The Trading Post

Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour The Trading Post

We meet the entire group at a great spot I have never been to: The Trading Post.

It was great to meet the group, we all introduced ourselves, learned a bit more about Siemens and had a glimpse of what was about to happen during the day!

The itinerary sounded extremely exciting and up my alley, since I’m all about explore the “behind the scenes” spots and facts about New York!

Oh, and the food was fantastic!

I had the Aspargus Risotto with fava beans, English peas, goat cheese and soft poached hen’s egg, a refreshing salad and a trio of ice creams!

A great way to start the day!


12:30pm – World Trade Center Memorial Fountains

Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour World Trade Memorial Fountains

Ok, so this place is quite special. We all know about the 9/11 event, how it impacted not only the lives of so many families out there that lost their loved ones, but also of an entire Nation.

It took years of very hard physical and emotional work to reconstruct that part of the city. And, World Trade Center Memorial Fountains, came out to be a beautiful homage to the lives that were lost.

Obviously the hardest part of it all, was not the physical exhaustion. It was being able to think and put together a project so beautifully and carefully thought for, that was able to truly and respectfully honor ever single life that was lost that day – from people in the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and the Stonycreek Township in Pennsylvania, to all passengers in the planes, the brave firefighters that fought through the smoke and law enforcement officers.

The project was led by Delta Fountains, experts in designing and manufacturing the most renowned fountains in the world. All the motorized pumps and totally integrated automation technology is by Siemens.

Joe Petry, President of Delta Fountains, talked to us about this monumental project.

Did you know that The World Trade Center Memorial Fountains are, today, the largest man-made waterfalls and reflecting pool in the entire world?

The fountains sit exactly where the towers were originally located and had phenomenal planning for it to be as perfect and precise as it is – mechanically and visually.

Here is the list of the most relevant and even curious facts that you should know about it:

  • Idea of the project was to reflect the absence of the lost souls
  • Fountains run 24h / day at a constant flow what is automated to monitor itself in an energy efficient way regardless of the weather
  • The recirculation systems are able to pump as much as 18,000 gallons of water at peak performance, every minute of every season
  • It’s intelligent enough to know the environmental conditions and understand if, for example, it needs to adjust the water in the system, not to over flow the pumps, in case it’s raining
  • The fall is 29-feet tall and had to be precisely planned to allow water to flow constantly, despite the weather conditions
  • The total drop – including the waterfall and the void in the center – add to 49-feet
  • The void is 40ft x 40ft
  • But, the water pool you can see, is only 1,5-foot deep
  • You can touch the sterilized water beneath the engraved names around the fountains
  • The stainless steel weir structure, designed by Delta Fountains was the most challenging. Through numerous testing, they found out that the weir structure needed to be exactly at 1/16th inch from each other, with an even water flow, over the entire 1,400 linear feet structure, to have the desired results
  • Water rises up peacefully, looks very still and fall perfectly into the fountain because of gaps in the stones
  • Sandy flowed in from the Hudson River, around the fountains, into the structure, causing over U$100 million in damages and flooding all the 9/11 artifacts in the Museum

Siemens cutting-edge automation technologies:

  • It offered high tech engineering, automation control and pump flow precision
  • 16 motorized pumps – controlled through Siemens VFD’s (Variable Frequency Drives) – regulates water passing through weirs. Their biggest challenge during the project was to figure out how to keep 600,000 gallons of water in each pool constantly flowing and crystal clear
  • The solution was the comprehensive Siemens SIMATIC S7-300 programmable controller solution, a first generation technology, that dramatically reduces energy consumption and CO2 emissions
  • It’s controlled daily and remotely from Jacksonville, Florida, through the WinCC Flexible, an engineering software
  • The weather station, with PLC’s (Programmable Logic Controllers) monitors the wind temperature, velocity and pressure to control and even shut down the system, in case of extreme necessity
  • Its fully integrated diagnostic system monitored with HMI (Human Machine Interface), with touch-screens make advanced graphics to detail and oversee all details with precision and operating cost-savings
  • The sensors on it and the ability to have preventative maintenance make it electronically sustainable
  • Siemens has the greatest equipment in the market to integrate with the computer system, with 3-year warranty, sustainable practices and was a company clearly not focused only on making money, hence the success!

3:30pm – Carnegie Hall

Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Fernanda Paronetto

The Carnegie Hall is one of the world’s most famous concert venue and in the words of many experts “It’s the #1.” It was founded back in April of 1891 – built by the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and designed by the architect William Burnet Tuthill.

How did the idea to build the Hall come to life? Andrew Carnegie’s wife, Louise Whitfield, sang at the Oratorio Society and during their honeymoon, she asked Mr. Carnegie to build her a music hall as a wedding gift. And voilá! In no time, it was up and running beautifully!

Here, we were hosted by Richard Malenka, the Chief Administrative Officer and an “unofficial historian.” He is known for having super valuable and curious stories of Carnegie Hall and a priceless knowledge too.

Oh! One of the highlights was actually being able to go on stage at the Isaac Stern Auditorium, also known as the Main Hall. It’s considered the most prestigious concert stage in the US. Why? Because of the mix of acoustical quality/warmth and visual experience. The totality of the experience makes it one of the best.

Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Guests on Stage
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Stage
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall History
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Performers
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Weill Music Room
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Weill Music Room Guests
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Vintage
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Rooftop
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Rooftop Guests
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Beatles 1st Show
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Archive Room
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Now, here are the top curiosities about the place that called my attention:

  • The fluke!!! Andrew Carnegie hired the architect William B. Tuthill to travel world and build a totally different music hall, from what he’d seen. It ended up being more an Opera house than concert hall. The Fluke: Tuthill never actually built a concert hall!
  • Carnegie Hall boasts its fantastic 165,000 square feet, 3 auditoriums and over 3,600 seats
  • They host up to 700 concerts and 700,000 visitors a year. WOW, right!?
  • Names like Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, The Beatles, Igor Stravinsky, Louis Armstrong, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Maria Callas, Caetano Veloso, Luciano Pavarotti and others have been on stage
  • The building was fully redesigned thinking about technology mixed with sustainability
  • The unique acoustics is a driving force and it’s important to maintain it and to keep the high levels and quality

Siemens was part of the project to modernize the building and is their technological partner, responsible for implementing fire safety, electronic security and building automation. The project not only modernized this historical landmark, but also make it more energy efficient.

Plus, Richard said something super important: “Tech is serving the institution well when it is invisible.” And this is exactly what Siemens has done!

Because of this brilliant partnership, Carnegie Hall has been awarded a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification, 1 point from Gold.

Siemens cutting-edge automation technologies at work here:

  • They’ve installed sensors outside to have a more responsive and immediate response and had to learn how to problem solve the reality of working on a landmark structure and implement a contemporary technology
  • The security system (Siemens SiPass access control), ensures the highest security for guests, staff and talent inside the building
  • The Fire and Life Safety System’s precision and velocity guarantee the emergency control system to immediately activate the fire door closure, elevator management and air handlers
  • The Centralized Control manages the ventilation, air conditioning and heating in one platform, permitting even being remotely controlled, if desired. The system keeps track and analyzes any necessary electrical repair and maintenance
  • The challenges revolved around working on a landmarked building, that restricts countless interventions
  • Now, the 125+ year old landmark is utilizing the next-gen tech found in brand new buildings throughout NYC!

Siemens was able to bring Carnegie Hall into the 21st Century!

Read more.


7pm – Bateaux New York Dining Cruise

Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Bateaux NY Dining Cruise Manhattan
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Bateaux NY Dining Cruise
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Bateaux NY Dining Cruise Statue of Liberty
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To end this fantastic day, with some of the most amazing experiences and priceless knowledge, we headed to Chelsea Piers for a boat-dinner!

The Bateaux New York Dining Cruise was a great experience and way to end the day. But, the interesting information about it, is that the route passes very close to Lady Liberty! To be very honest, I always thought it was a bit too touristy, and it still is, but it’s worth experiencing it once in your life!

And, this is where Siemens comes into play again! They told us that back in 2012, Siemens technology was chosen as the perfect solution to be part of the Life Safety Upgrade Program, led by the U.S. National Park Service, for the Statue of Liberty.

The purpose was to upgrade not only the Statue of Liberty’s emergency rescue elevator, but also the engineering framework called Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) Portal software. In addition, they also used Siemens safety PLC’s – safety modules and comfort panels to ensure redundancy or operations!

As said above, the best type of tech, is the invisible one. And, once again, Siemens showed us how they are part of New York City’s engine!

Here is more on the TIA Portal, in case you’re still curious: 

The TIA Portal allows automation processes to be designed optimally and efficiently from a single computer screen. This ground-breaking innovation shortens the engineering cycle, saves commissioning time, and reduces maintenance costs and TCO (total cost of ownership).

The Life Safety project included the need to upgrade both the safety and function of the 30-year old obsolete rescue elevator which had reached the end of its useful life. The new rescue elevator is a special purpose personnel machine that uses innovative technology to enhance safety and reliability making the system more user friendly. The TIA portal brings efficiency and reliability to the project by allowing and integrated work platform to manage the world class Siemens Safety PLC and Comfort Panel hardware, which make up the heart of the safety rated elevator controller.

The elevator is designed and intended for emergency personnel, not public use, giving EMTs, firefighters, and other service personnel access to the Statue when someone in distress needs to be reached and retrieved. The system includes the Siemens Fail Safe Safety CPU, various digital inputs and outputs, and the Siemens’ HMI comfort panel, all of which were designed and commissioned using TIA Portal. The project also uses PROFIBUS communication protocols and PROFINET industrial Ethernet.

Read more.


As I mentioned, this was a 2-day experience, so take a look what Day 2 looked like!

We started at the Arthur Ashe Stadium where the US Open is currently happening. Then, we headed for tasting and lunch at the Other Half Brewery in Brooklyn. Finally, we finished our day at LO3, a young NY company working on the Brooklyn Microgrid project with a blockchain enabled transactive energy platform!


Follow Siemens online:

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Hashtag: #SiemensInnovates

#Sponsored

So You’re Making The Switch To NYC – Are You Prepared? 

Curiosities City Secrets Making The Switch To NYC Redd Angelo Thumbnail

If you’re thinking of making the move to New York City, you’re in good company. But, if you’re ready to make this switch to NYC, you have to be truly prepared. So, here are a few considerations!

Curiosities City Secrets Making The Switch To NYC Redd Angelo
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Redd Angelo

The year of 2017 saw a huge population increase as NYC gained 447,000 new residents, according to the city’s latest available figures. The Big Apple still has the diversity and allure it’s always had, and it shows, whether that be from new workers, retirees or births.

That being said, the culture in New York City is like nowhere else on earth. Other big cities can lay claim to similar energy levels and vibrancy, but the city is unique. Before you start exploring what New York has to offer, it’s essential that you plan fully to ensure you’re ready before the leap.

The biggest consideration: money

The number one consideration you need to make before moving to NYC is money. New York is not a cheap city; NYC rent averages at $2,698 for a one-bed apartment, or $1,212 for a room. This is already higher than much of the USA and indeed the world, beating out even London’s property market.

This shouldn’t deter you, but should form part of your budgeting. A deposit is likely to be expensive, but if you have a good salary lined up, obtaining the right advice on proper credit options is a potential for giving you some wiggle room.

You will also need a comprehensive budget for your daily outgoings. Groceries can cost up to two times what they do on average in America, and going out is expensive; a mid range meal could charge $40 per head, according to CNBC. This shouldn’t deter you – like living anywhere else, saving money and getting by is a case of being frugal and choosing your luxuries.

Salaries should help, too – Slate have reported that the average Manhattan salary is $66,000, over $20,000 above the national average.

Understanding the scale of the city

Despite it’s ultra-high-rise, congested-looking nature, New York is also incredibly expansive.

New York’s southern tip, Staten Island, is only 30 miles from the most northerly point, Wakefield; yet traveling on public transport would take 2.5 hours at least.

As a result, it’s not always feasible to pick up a job in Manhattan but expect to commute from what seems like a close direction. Research NYC public transit and don’t overextend yourself – it’s a big city and it’s best to take it slow.

Engaging with the city’s culture

Finally, make sure you have a good idea of New York’s culture. The city reflects its enormous diversity  through demographics – 40% are foreign born today, according to World Cities Culture Forum. The result is that no neighborhood is the same and that can be seen on every street corner.

Enjoy the culture, but be aware that your behavior and actions might be different on one part of city to the next and there’s a lot of variety to be seen and enjoyed.

New York City is a place that 8.5million people call home, and hundreds of thousands add to every year. Understanding the cost of the city, the culture of its residents and its scale is crucial to doing well. For someone prepared to take their time, plan and absorb the city, you stand to gain a lot.

Finally, if you have children, see why NYC is a great city for kids. Also learn about some curious facts about New Yorkers before moving to help you settle in faster.


Guest Writer: Cindy Trillo
Photo Credit
: Courtesy of Redd Angelo

Ditch Your Luggage and Go Have Fun in NYC: LuggageHero

Curiosities City Secrets LuggageHero NYC

Having long hours between connecting flights or arrive hours prior to check-in in your hotel, is surely a hassle! Plus, carrying your luggage around NYC is certainly a challenge, but LuggageHero is the perfect solution to all your problems!

Curiosities City Secrets LuggageHero NYC Girls Walking

Having long wait hours between flights during a trip is certainly annoying, but having to carry your luggage with you everywhere go is even worse, right?

Plus, the best way to commute in New York City is on the subway, but these massive stairs are a challenge on their own…imagine with your heavy bags.

So, we have the perfect, safe and convenient solution for all your problems: LuggageHero! And the name says it all!

Jannik Lawaetz founded the company in Copenhagen, back in 2016. From there, he quickly expanded in 2017 to London and, lucky us, to New York City!

The idea was to use local stores, pubs, coffee shops, dry cleaners and even hotels as a temporary storage place for people with long connecting flights or even for those who have arrived earlier than the check-in time or were “kicked out” of the hotel long before the flight home.

So, how it works? Easy!

  • Check in when arriving at the shop
  • Attach security seal that is provided for free, found in the shop, through the zippers of your bag
  • Check-out upon pick-up

And voilá! You’re ready to adventure yourself for a few hours in our beautiful concrete jungle!

BOOK NOW!

Curiosities City Secrets LuggageHero NYC Janni Copenhagen
Janni Lawaetz, Founder of LuggageHero.

“I founded LuggageHero as I got tired of not having enough convenient places to store my luggage. As I am a frequent traveler, I couldn’t believe that anyone had not solved a problem so obvious to many people.

I decided to create a concept that was simple to use, trustworthy and where you would always only pay for the hours you spend.” ~ Jannik Lawaetz, Creator & CEO

Everything is stored far from any public access in safe locations, that are also inspected by the team at Luggage Hero. So, don’t worry. It’ll be safe when you go out to have fun!

Oh, it is good to say that the location you’re dropping your back at might request to open your luggage before storing, to guarantee you don’t have any illegal item in it like weapons, etc.

Curiosities City Secrets LuggageHero NYC Girl Subway

They offer over 250 super convenient locations and are spread across Manhattan and Brooklyn, making it quite easy for you, regardless of where you’re at or where you want to spend your time exploring.

The cost in New York?

Amazingly reasonable! It’s only $2/hour per bag and the price already includes insurance with coverage up to $3,000 for each bag, against damage, loss, and theft.

But wait! You don’t pay more than $12 per bag for the first 24 hours, so don’t worry.

They do not accept money, which is actually more convenient since you don’t need to worry with having the right currency!

So, just submit your credit card information for swift drop-off and pick-up at a LuggageHero location.

If you decide along to way, not to drop it off, don’t worry! You’re only charged when you actually drop off your bags, so you won’t be charged if you changed your mind.

And last, another great thing is that you don’t need to download any app for this. You can just go online and book everything through their website.

Seamless, fast and safe, the way New Yorkers like it!

If you’re not sure what to do in NYC while you wait for your connecting flight, or to check into you hotel, take a look at all of our amazing BTSNYC Experiences! We’re sure you’ll have a great time!

Book luggage storage in New York.

Curiosities City Secrets LuggageHero NYC Yellow Cab


Photo Credit: Courtesy of LuggageHero.com

Why Launching Your Startup in NYC is a Good Idea

Curiosities City Secrets Why Launching You Startup In NYC Is A Good Idea Rob Bye

The tech industry in New York City is booming and there are many reasons why launching your startup in NYC is a good idea!

Curiosities City Secrets Why Launching You Startup In NYC Is A Good Idea Taton Moise

The tech industry in New York City is booming with Silicon Alley currently ranking at number 2 in the country behind Silicon Valley.

During 2016, a mere 421 New York-based tech companies managed to raise $9.5 billion in funding with many NYC startups becoming extremely successful. In terms of net dollars, Silicon Valley may still be ahead but the NYC tech ecosystem is actually expanding at a faster rate.

As far as the availability of investment sources are concerned, NYC enjoyed a 36% of the total US start-up funding in 2017 with an excess of 290 investors backing 1333 business initiatives.

If you are looking for a place for your tech startup NYC should, without a doubt, be on the top of your list for a myriad of reasons such as the following.


New York City has an energy unlike any other

There is no denying that, despite relatively high living-costs, NYC is simply a great place to work and live.

The vibe in and around NYC is unlike any other in the world, bursting with the possibility of everyone seeking to fulfill the American Dream. The city is home to a number of key industry players, something a tech start-up can only benefit from.

It is also easy to find good co-working spaces, such as those rented out by WeWork, which are ideal for entrepreneurs, startups and community groups alike.

Thanks to the advancements in cloud technology, most startups don’t require immediate server specialization, making working from a co-working space or even an internet café a completely viable option.


The tech ecosystem is exceedingly healthy

NYC is home to a large number of venture capitalists such as Erik H. Gordon (CEO of ErGo Ventures LLC), and many more who have strong ties to the city.

Angel investors and angel groups are also commonplace, as are the more than 30 start-up incubators and accelerators that will provide your company with funding, mentorship maintenance as well as invaluable access to possible investors and consumers.

Over recent years a number of tech start-ups, of which Zocdoc is a prime example, have flourished in the city. Zocdoc is an online platform that is dedicated to providing users with an improved all-around healthcare experience.

Currently valued at approximately $1.8 billion, Zocdoc makes use of technology to facilitate everything from diagnosis to treatments and payments – a concept that has made them one of the highest-ranked NYC tech startups ever.


The city boasts exceptional diversity in terms of talent

When compared to Silicon Valley-based companies, the NYC tech scene is far more diverse with up to 40% of the city’s tech employees being female and a fifth being individuals of color.

The general talent pool in New York is extremely diverse with engineers and economists casually rubbing shoulders with designers, medical technicians, and trendy creatives.

According to renowned US businessman Michael Bloomberg, New York’s engineering school is projected to produce up to 400 new companies in its first 30 years. He highlights the immense potential the diverse student population of NYC possesses.


While you are by no means limited to two choices (Silicon Valley vs Silicon Alley), when it comes to finding the right location for your tech startup, the benefits of picking NYC speaks for itself.

All you need is a great idea, a bit of ingenuity and a whole lot of determination to have as good a chance as any to make it in one of the most prolific cities of the world.


Guest Writer: Cindy Trillo
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Rob Bye and Taton Moise

VIP Tour Of The Historic Woolworth Building

BTSNYC Experiences On Going VIP Tour Historic Woolworth Building View

This is one of the most exclusive tours in New York! Why? Because no one else offers it, besides BTSNYC and our partner! Be part of the VIP Tour of the historic Woolworth Building!

BTSNYC Experiences On Going VIP Tour Historic Woolworth Building

Never heard of the building? We are sure you have! You’ve certainly seen the criminology expert, Lincoln Rhyme, played by Denzel Washington in the film The Bone Collector, find a clue to the crimes related to the building!

Well, the Woolworth Building, in TriBeCa, is privately owned and operated, and is not open to the public.It was appointed as the tallest building in the world, back in 1913!

Plus, their completely renovated Penthouse is on sale for astounding price of $110million!

BOOK NOW!

We are excited to offer this new, Untapped Cities-exclusive tour of the normally off-limits Woolworth Building led by building architect Cass Gilbert’s great granddaughter, Helen Post Curry – who runs the Woolworth Building tours.

Cass Gilbert was Curry’s paternal great grandfather and she began running tours in the Woolworth Building on the 100th anniversary of the landmark.

And, as Curry says herself, “there are so many behind-the-scenes secrets about the Woolworth Building”! It’s so exciting to share them with you on this special, insiders tour.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Special access to the gorgeous mezzanine level;
  • The tour will include a guided visit through the spectacular “cathedral-esque” lobby;
  • Visit the cellar level where the bank vault is located and where the former entrances to the subway are.

DETAILS:
Price: $45 / person
What to know: 
The tour is one-hour long and is happening rain or shine! Please do not enter the Woolworth Building without our tour guide. So, wait outside until the tour guide arrives. They allow photographs but no flashes or videos permitted. In addition, there are no public restroom facilities available, and no food or drink or pets allowed in the building. Children under 10 years old are not permitted.
What to wear: 
Bring comfortable 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!

BTSNYC Experiences On Going VIP Tour Historic Woolworth Building Penthouse


Moreover, if you’re into architecture and art, we are sure you’ll love other Art Tours in New York and upstate! Plus, this a look at this super cool post where you can see the 7 Best Places in Long Island City for Art Lovers.

So, contact us to learn more about them. For Corporate Requests, let our experts know what you need!


Photo Credits: Courtesy of Williams New York and Wikimedia Commons

Secrets Of The Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Secrets Of The Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour Details

The Brooklyn Bridge is certainly one of New York’s timeless attractions. Opened to the public on May of 1883, it became one of the world’s most famous – and gorgeous – bridges! Come experience the “Secrets Of The Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour”!

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Secrets Of The Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour Details

Beyond the Brooklyn Bridge’s stately exterior lies an epic origin story. Now, over 130 years old, the granite and limestone structure has dazzled both tourists and residents alike.

BOOK NOW!

On this newest tour author, playwright and tour guide, Justin Rivers, will not only unpack the history behind the Brooklyn Bridge, but also explore its many hidden secrets. And there are countless!

For a brief teaser, take a look at the story and secrets behind this massive landmark.

This unique walking tour will give you a whole new appreciation for one of New York’s most iconic landmarks. Plus, you’ll have a change of capturing some of the most Instagrammable pictures ever!

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Explore the perimeter of the Manhattan and Brooklyn anchorages of the bridge;
  • Discover Brooklyn Bridge’s various secrets, including its old Cold War fall out shelter, the love locks, the Russian fur vaults, the bridge jumper survivor’s support group and so many others;
  • Cross the bridge span, which offers one of the best vantage points in New York City.

DETAILS:
Price: $35 / person
What to bring: Comfortable walking shoes.
What to know: The tour is 2-hours. Please consult with the MTA for weekend subway schedules and routing changes. NOTE: While this tour will cover the history of the bank vaults and Cold War shelter, we will not be going inside.
Ticket Confirmation: After you book this experience, you will receive a confirmation email from our partner confirming you are attending the tour!

BOOK NOW!


We’re normally pretty modest, but when it comes to our countless tours, we have to say that we offer some of the coolest, and most exclusive ones in New York City!

Take a look at the “Behind The Scenes Tour At The Abandoned Ellis Island Hospital“, another option for walking tours, for some out-of-bound access, into historical, creepy and abandoned areas.

If you’re into Food Tours, you’ll love the “Bushwick Graffiti, Bites & Drinks Photo Tour” that happens in the super hype Bushwick neighborhood, in Brooklyn.

Lastly, go on your own to the 5 Offbeat Museums in NYC you should visit.

For Corporate Groups, let our experts take care of it for you!

 

Photo Credit: Courtesy

Tour Of The Underground Art In The NYC Subway

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Underground Art NYC Subway

New York is a haven for art lovers! You’ll not only see great exhibitions at the top museums and breathtaking street arts, but you can also explore the underground art in the NYC subway! Take a look at our NYC tours!

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Underground Art NYC Subway

The New York City subway system is the largest in the world and with hundreds of art installations scattered throughout its 430 stations.

It’s also one of the world’s largest public art galleries. Yeah! We bet you didn’t know this, right?!

BOOK NOW!

Join the tour guide, Justin Rivers, as he takes you on an in-depth tour of the subway art tapestry, weaved together to tell the complete history of the NYC commuter from Fulton’s first steamboat to the newly minted Second Avenue subway riders.

Co-conceptualized by artist Aaron Asis, it’s a perfect compliment to the popular Underground New York Subway Tour or a fun stand alone for art, history and subway lovers alike.

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Underground Art NYC Subway Police

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Explore the hidden terra cotta tiles in Fulton Center;
  • Explore two interactive art pieces hidden in plain sight and the often unseen art of TimesSquare;
  • Learn about the highly anticipated new art in the Second Avenue subway stations;
  • Learn about how an artist framed the 14th Street Union Square station to preserve its history.

DETAILS:
Price: $35 / person
What to know:
 The tour is approximately 2-hours long; please consult with the MTA for weekend subway schedules and routing changes.
What to wear: 
Bring comfortable shoes, as the tour requires walking up and down stairs.
Ticket Confirmation: After you book this experience, you will receive a confirmation email from our partner confirming you are attending the tour!

BOOK NOW!


If you’re one of the incurably curious people that loves everything about the NYC’s subway stories and off-the-beat access, you’ll most likely enjoy reading why we love uncovering the NYC subway secrets!

For Corporate Groups or request for Private Tours, contact our experts!

 

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Noel Y. C. (aka NYCLovesNYC)

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