Tag Archives: City Secrets

How to Take Stunning Photos of New York City

Curiosities City Secrets How to Take Stunning Photos of New York City

New York is atop many travelers’ bucket lists, and for many good reasons. Today we’re going to show you how to take stunning photos of New York City. You’ll not only capture memorable moments, but also make your social media channels overflow with likes!

Curiosities City Secrets How to Take Stunning Photos of New York City

NYC only is it one of the world’s leading metropolises for art, fashion, food and theater, but it’s also one of the greatest cities to photograph. So, we’re here to give you valuable tips on how to take stunning photos of New York City, find unique spots to shoot and use the right gear!

If you happen to be an avid photographer and are visiting NYC for the first time, you may be overwhelmed with the creative possibilities available when roaming around the city, right?

Whether for the simple pleasure of taking photos, or for a commercial venture, here are some tips for taking stunning shots of the Big Apple:


Do Your Research

There’s no doubt that winging it works during photo walks, but if you want to make the most out of your experience photographing New York City, it’s always best to plan ahead.

When planning your travel itinerary, take the time to do research on the spots you want to take pictures of. The biggest advantage of this is how much time you will save getting to different areas.

If you don’t research, you may end up backtracking a lot and reducing the number of scenic spots you get to visit. Commuting in New York is easy but can be very time consuming.

If you don’t know where to start, you start with popular spots that both tourists and photographers alike frequent.

Look at visiting the iconic Bethesda Terrace located in Central Park, or perhaps the High Line, which is an old abandoned rail trail on the west side of Manhattan that was renovated years ago into a fantastic spot to explore.

To optimize your time, try to divide your explorations per neighborhood, so you don’t keep bouncing from one end of the city to the other. From here you can easily plan your next move.


Bring the Right Gear

It goes without saying that you need the proper gear in order to take genuinely stunning shots.

While mobile photography is becoming more and more popular these days due to the increasingly advanced cameras built into smartphones, nothing beats the quality you get from using a professional camera such as a DSLR.

This is because there is wide array of accessories, especially lenses, for traditional cameras that will vary the type of photos you can take.

Adorama’s professional photography gear includes DSLR cameras and shows how lenses can range from 18mm to 200mm, which allow photographers to take photos from different distances.

You can also select specialist macro lenses that allows you to sharp, detailed, close-up photos of small subjects (think the various plants found in Central Park), while wide-angle ones are ideal for taking images of scenic landscapes like the Brooklyn Bridge.


Experiment with Angles

Post-production helps with elevating your shots from good to great, but you need to start with something that’s already beautiful to begin with.

When shooting, writer Anthony Andranik Moumjian recommends taking as many shots as you can of your subject at every angle you can creatively imagine (which is why it is best to bring a wide range of lenses).

Unless you live in the city, you will only have a limited time to photograph New York. So, taking many shots at enough angles and with enough volume raises your chances of achieving “the shot” at every place you visit.

New York City is a beauty on its own and is “easy” to photograph, but finding a unique angle will definitely set you apart from all other photographers.


Visit lesser-known spots

Popular destinations are popular for a reason. But, if you truly want a unique perspective in your photos, you may want to look into exploring lesser-known destinations in the city. And, that’s totally our expertise and up our alley…as you probably already know!

For example, seeking out hidden gems such as the 620 Loft and Gallery on the roof of the Rockefeller Center are some of the spots we love best! This will provide you will a skyline perspective that many visitors miss out on.

You can also visit hidden gems like Freeman Alley, where you can find a quaint restaurant with fairy lights and a relatively new speakeasy bar, or the Freedom Tunnel where you can come across some interesting graffiti.

There is no city like New York, and while you may think it is impossible to take unique photos of the Big Apple, with a little research, the right equipment, and the desire to seek out hidden gems you will take some truly stunning photos.

Be sure to share with us your findings on the comments below! We’d love to see the places you explored and what you thought about them!


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Image by Jeff Glovsky from Pixabay

So, Can You Afford to Move to NYC?

Curiosities City Secrets Can You Afford to Move to NYC Kat Maryschuk

Many people dream of packing up their life, getting out of that one-horse town, and starting anew in New York City, and why wouldn’t they? But, can you afford to move to NYC?!

Curiosities City Secrets Can You Afford to Move to NYC Matteo Catanese
View of Chinatown from the Manhattan Bridge. Photo: Courtesy of Matteo Catanese

As the cultural capital of the world, New York has something for everybody, but the question is: Can you afford to move to NYC?

Like any big city, you need to be able to afford it, and while you’ve romanticized boho dreams of the struggling artist, there is nothing glamorous about struggling to make ends meet.

Our founder, Fernanda, did THE move almost 6 years ago and has quite an exciting story to share!

Before making your move to the Big Apple, here’s what you need to know.


Fix Your Finances

Fixing your finances is vital before you make any significant move. So, it’s not wise to make your move while still partying off debts, especially considering how expensive New York can be.

There are solutions to help you, though.

For example, the Debt to Success System is completely legitimate, and it can assist in fixing your finances and providing crucial debt relief to make you more confident before making your move.

Another idea is to start putting together a thorough spreadsheet where you can start listing all your future expenses to understand what your monthly cost would be. With that number in mind, it will be easier to start planning.


Know The Neighborhood

There are plenty of neighborhoods across New York. Some of them are hip and fun, whereas others have seen better days. This might be something that appeals to you, so it’s worth knowing where you want to live, and whether that’s even possible.

For families, Metropolitan New York is the best place to go, but if you want to be close to culture and the financial hub, there is nowhere more suitable than Manhattan.

However, you could also consider Brooklyn and Queens, while Staten Island and the Bronx are enjoying something of a regeneration, with plenty of low-income housing available to help mitigate the initial costs.


Finding a Job

There are plenty of jobs in New York, but this could depend on what you’re looking for.

Many people come to New York to live their dream. They want to get into TV, or they want to take Broadway by storm. While there’s nothing wrong with having these dreams, the competition can be fierce and brutal.

Don’t expect to be able to waltz in and have your pick of the jobs available unless you have arranged beforehand, whether you’re a US citizen or someone coming in on a working visa.

There are ways to supplement your income in the interim, with hospitality opportunities in abundance. Well,  it’s actually something to keep your eyes on and follow the post Covid scenario.


Making Concessions

As of last year, the average rent for a two-bed apartment in the city is $2,499, while studio and one-bedroom places are $1,889 and $2,098 for the month. This means, if you want to afford to live in NYC, you’ll need to make several concessions.

Apartment sharing is popular (and necessary), while you may also have to give up luxuries.

Some of these luxuries won’t matter, such as your car because of the wealth of transport options, but you may also need to give Netflix a miss too, at least until you find your footing.


The City So Nice

There are uncountable reasons why so many people flock to New York City every year with dreams of making it big or even experiencing one of the most exciting places in the world.

The city can be as expensive as you make it, but you’ll still need to have a decent backup of funds before you arrive.

So, start planning yourself and don’t forget to count on unexpected expenses…they always show up in New York City! Plan, plan and plan!


Photo Credit: Kat Maryschuk and Matteo Catanese on Unsplash

15 Spots In New York For Every Photographer to Explore

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 15 Spots In New York For Every Photographer To Explore DUMBO

Today, we’re going to share you a different content. We’ve selected 15 spots in New York for every photographer to explore! And, great ones for the first timers too! So, let’s start with #1 in grand style, in DUMBO!

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 15 Spots In New York For Every Photographer To Explore DUMBO
DUMBO – Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC

So, our 1st from the 15 spots in New York for every photographer to explore, is located in Brooklyn!

This photo above is at the intersection of Washington Street and Water Street and is easily classified as one of the most photogenic spots in New York. DUMBO, a neighborhood known for its cobbled streets, got its nickname because it is located right under the Manhattan Bridge (Down Under The Manhattan Bridge – aka DUMBO). Looking at the bridge from the crossroads you can easily see the Empire State Building under its arches. This is the New York that everyone wants to get a taste of

When we think of New York we are often wowed by its majestic value. It’s a place that excites us and a place many have grown up watching on TV. New York is full of areas that bring art to life and are a dream for both filmmakers and photographers alike.

Tourists too, often flock to many places in the city for the perfect Instagram post. If you are in New York, you will probably know of all the great spots to stay. Accommodation in the city is massive, there is something for everyone and if you are traveling and are carrying lots of bulky cases and equipment you may need somewhere to store it. You may want to look at baggage storage to ensure that you have somewhere to keep your things before your next flight.

So, what makes New York tick? Well, plenty!

A little tip: when you travel to New York, it’s important to always respect the daily life of the locals. New York is full of people who have lived here all their lives and tourism can get heavy. There are so many ways to enjoy the view of a point of interest without making tourism a nuisance

So, where are these places that are incredibly Instagram worthy? Let’s face it, in New York City, a subway station is an epic Instagram shot alone!

Here are some more of our top picks for novice New York travelers and for every photographer to explore.

You might bump into quite a few tourists, which we are typically running away from, but for the 1st timer, these are the must-see spots:


Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 15 Spots In New York For Every Photographer To Explore NYPL
NYPL (New York Public Library) – Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC

#2 New York Public Library

Also known as the Stephen A. Schwarzman building, has been not only the scene of countless blockbuster movies but, on the other hand, it’s a sacred refuge for New Yorkers that need time off from the noise.

#3 The Empire State Building

It’s great and definitely a place to visit if you never have before. But, we do love the Top of the Rock Observation Deck at the Rockefeller Center. Its 360º view is unbeatable.

#4 NY City Hall

Getting married in New York City is the dream of countless brides and brides-to-be out there, right? Well, to make it right – if you do make your dream come true – is go get your Marriage License at New York’s City Hall! So Carrie Bradshaw style…!

#5  Carry Bradshaw’s Apartment

…Which, we can’t forget when talking about the City of Dreams (and fashion, and art, and gastronomy…and…)! Well, it’s the best city. So, you must visit Carry Bradshaw’s apartment in the West Village – or just Village for the locals! 66 Perry Street.

#6 Foley Square

Located right in front of the famous New York County Supreme Court. Remember Harvey Spector and Mike Ross in the series Suits? We miss these guys…

#7 East Village

One of our favorite neighborhoods! It’s crazy (but we’re thankful), how tourists have not yet discovered how awesome the East Village area is! If you’re a food enthusiast, this area a great area to explore countless local gems!

#8 Little Italy

Mangia Che Ti Fa Benne! Literally, it translates to “Eat that it will make you well!”. Italians believe in the power of food and in the beauty of the entire food experience! And, Little Italy will welcome you into this mind set! Be sure to stop at any of the famous restaurants to enjoy pasta or pizza, with a nice glass of wine!

#9 Chinatown

Probably one of the most underrated areas in Manhattan. I guess, people just don’t know their way around the neighborhood, but those that do have a great time exploring speakeasy bars, amazing local restaurants like Buddha Bodai, creative cuisines…and some even venture into those small underground “spas” for a good foot massage.

#10 Soho

Not on the top of our list, but if you’re an Influencer, or aspiring Influencer, the area is the mecca for Instagram Fashion Photography. But yes, SoHo’s cobblestone streets are truly a beautiful background.

#11 Brooklyn Bridge

Probably the most famous Bridge in the world, and also one of the most unique for sure! It’s definitely a touristy attraction overflowing with visitors, locals bike riding their way across the bridge for work, local merchants selling small gifts…it’s a real confusion, hahaha! But, crossing the Brooklyn Bridge always gives me some of the most amazing feelings and you’re really able to experience New York City’s energy.

#12 Flatiron Building

Another great spot for photographers and visitors is the Flatiron Building. Its architecture is amazing, and it has a big history. Built in 1902, this magnificent building is located between 5th Avenue and Broadway. The neighborhood has become very popular and the pedestrian paths in front of the building as well as the nearby Madison Square Park are ideal scenery for photos.

#13 Brooklyn Wall Art

Graffiti is a huge deal in New York and has been relatively European, but not anymore. Lots of areas of Brooklyn have artistic walls, which make for great photography. Williamsburg, for example, has plenty of vivid graffiti murals that are unique and signed by famous names like Eduardo Kobra, or just Kobra! It’s time to discover the real New York. If you have time, go get lost in Bushwick (only a few subway stops from Williamsburg, also in Brooklyn), also known for The Bushwick Collective with its graffiti and street arts.

#14 Greenwich Village

One of the most beautiful places, the Greenwich Village, is known for its beautiful buildings, its red bricks or brownstones, and the different shades of green that exist in every corner of the area. Also, it boasts plenty of peace and quiet from the bustling city. The area is known for being a historic place in the fight for the LGBTQ+ rights and where the famous Stonewall Riot happened in 1969, kickstarting this movement.

#15 Liberty Island

Now this is surely a photographer’s dream location (but not a paradise for locals running away from the flocking tourists. Liberty Island is a small, uninhabited island, which hosts our beautiful and powerful Lady Liberty (aka Statue of Liberty).

The statue is 93 meters high and the seven rays of the crown represent the seven seas and seven continents. It takes about an hour to see it all and to take all the photos you’ll want – a bit longer if you really want to capture the hum of the city.

The view of Manhattan’s skyline, from the island, is unique and truly unforgettable – it’s a must for any new tourist to the city. If you do not want to get off the ferry boat, you might want to take the Staten Island Ferry that is a free option and you can see the Statue. Unless…you want to go inside the statue where it costs around $18.

It’s the true heart of NYC and a place that you will always remember visiting. The city itself is home to so much beauty so it’s always best to get around walking and exploring all neighborhoods. Leave the Ubers for nighttime when you decide to slip into those heals (or pretty shoes)!


Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC

New York City Before And After The Coronavirus [Part 1/2]

Curiosities City Secrets New York City Before and After the Coronavirus Madison Avenue John Arano Clara Kesser

Known as “The City That Never Sleeps”, New York City is now at rest. Come take a look at an amazing compilation of photos of New York City before and after the Coronavirus.

Curiosities City Secrets New York City Before and After the Coronavirus Madison Avenue John Arano Clara Kesser
Madison Avenue. Before: John Arano; After: Clara Kesser

The other day, I read: “For a city like New York, this is just a nap.” I have to agree.

Manhattan’s streets are practically deserted. Neighborhoods like SoHo, Chelsea, the Meatpacking District, large avenues like Park Avenue and areas close to Central Park remind us of that movie with Will Smith, I Am Legend.

The heart of New York, Times Square, continues beating with its countless electronic panels and thousands of colorful lights. However, the streets and avenues are simply empty. Nobody is there to look.

In such a fantastic city, loved worldwide, photographers have not stopped their work and their captures. The result is surprising, but also heartbreaking.

But, as everyone knows, New Yorkers are resilient and are more united than ever! Soon, the city will again pulsing in its “new normal”!

Before we start, thank you to ALL these talented eyes behind each lens, spread throughout our city!

Take a look at these shots of New York City before and after the Coronavirus:


Grand Central Terminal

Curiosities City Secrets New York City Before and After the Coronavirus Grand Central Terminal Behind The Scenes NYC Clara Kesser
Grand Central Terminal. Before: Behind The Scenes NYC; After: Clara Kesser

We love Grand Central Terminal, yes, Terminal! Not Station. It’s definitely one of our favorite top NYC attractions. Every so often, we change our itinerary, just to pass through it.

Now, the cool part is actually the Secret Behind The Scenes Grand Central Terminal Tour that we offer in collaboration with a fantastic partner! Once the city reopens, be sure to check it out!

Brooklyn Bridge

Curiosities City Secrets New York City Before and After the Coronavirus Brooklyn Bridge Dalia Maidi LittleKidNYC
Brooklyn Bridge. Before: Dalia Maidi; After: LittleKidNYC

The Brooklyn Bridge is certainly one of New York’s timeless attractions. Open to the public on May of 1883, it became one of the world’s most famous – and gorgeous – bridges! Similar to the Grand Central Terminal, we have a super cool Secrets Of The Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour.

Did you know that a guy called George C. Parker was known of having “sold” the bridge many times to different new prospect owners? He did a huge load of money out of this hoax and was eventually sent to jail for life. You’ll listen to this story and other pretty cool ones during the tour!

The Oculus (WTC)

Curiosities City Secrets New York City Before and After the Coronavirus World Trade Center Emmanuel Kontokalos Noel Y Calingasan
World Trade Center. Before: Emmanuel Kontokalos; After: Noel Y Calingasan

Santiago Calatrava’s World Trade Center Transportation Hub, also known as The Oculus, is certainly a spot not to miss! Now, can you guess how much this massive construction costed?

No? Let us “wow” you then! The Oculus, in addition to the PATH station, costed $3.9 billion. The thing is, not everyone was happy with the outrageous cost.

Washington Square Park

Curiosities City Secrets New York City Before and After the Coronavirus Washington Square Park Behind the Scenes NYC Alex Carvalho
Washington Square Park. Before: Behind the Scenes NYC; After: Alex Carvalho

Washington Square Park is located in lower Manhattan and has a really great story! It’s the burial ground of thousands and thousands of bodies, was a farm land back when the Dutch had colonized NYC and was called New Amsterdam. Today, it hosts countless artists and creatives, has been the location of riots and important moments in history and yet…it’s a super important spot for the LGBTQ movement!

42nd Street

Curiosities City Secrets New York City Before and After the Coronavirus Tudor City Noel Y Calingasan Alex Carvalho
Tudor City. Before: Noel Y Calingasan; After: Alex Carvalho

One of the spots photographers love shooting and being creative, is 42nd Street. It’s been captured from all different angles and definitely has a unique view, starting with the beautiful Chrysler Building in the back!

Times Square

Curiosities City Secrets New York City Before and After the Coronavirus Times Square Noel Y Calingasan Dalia Maidi
Times Square. Before: Noel Y Calingasan; After: Dalia Maidi

If some asked if they’d ever imagine seeing Times Square completely empty, the universal answer would most likely be a big fat “No!”. Well, then again, I guess no one ever expected Covid-19, right? Many Broadway shows, that have been running continuously for decades, in addition to all the newest ones, have been cancelled until further notice.

Now, we have a pretty cool experience that you can look forward to! Have you ever imagined having a Private Diner and a Post Show Meet & Greet with the Broadway Stars? Surely a memorable experience to go home with, right!?

The Subway

Curiosities City Secrets New York City Before and After the Coronavirus Subway Victor Rodriguez Jenna Day
Subway. Before: Victor Rodriguez; After: Jenna Day

Ah, the New York subway. Home to all our friendly rats and roaches, but also so much loved, as hated by us New Yorkers. I have to confess that I’m personally pretty fond of it and aways enjoy me ride, regardless of the awkward odors and clear discomfort many times.

And, I love it so much, that we decided to offer a few different tours to share more about its story. So, check out the Underground New York Subway Tour and the Underground Art In The NYC Subway Tour, and let us know what you loved the most!

Now wait! The pictures of New York City before and after the Coronavirus are not yet finished!!

Take a look our Part 2 and what places like St. Patricks Cathedral, the Rockefeller Center, the famous and luxurious 5th Avenue, Radio City look like! Oh, and don’t forget about the East Village, Dumbo in Brooklyn and one of the most beautiful parks, Bryant Park!



(This piece was originally written for and published on Glamour Brazil Online.)

Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC, Courtesy of Clara Kesser (@PommePommeNYC), John Arano, Noel Y. Calingasan (@NycLovesNyc),  Dalia Maidi (@nyc.from.my.eyes),  Alex Carvalho (@AlexCarvalhoNY), @LittleKidNYC, Leo Macias (@LeoMacias) and Unsplash photographers

How New Yorkers Can Come Together During The Pandemic

Curiosities City Secrets New Yorkers During The Pandemic Grand Central Terminal

New York City, much like the rest of the world, is experiencing all of the stresses and strain of the coronavirus pandemic. Take a look at how New Yorkers can come together during the Pandemic.

Curiosities City Secrets New Yorkers During The Pandemic Statue of Liberty

In fact, the city has become an epicenter for the virus, and considerable efforts are being made to slow the spread.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, everyone will be affected in one way or another. Whether that is due to catching the virus or having to deal with the financial or emotional problems caused by the social distancing and restrictions put in place.

However, some people will feel the effects more than others.

It is essential that as a community, we all stop and think about others around us that may be experiencing financial, or mental health problems. And then, if possible, we all try and do something for those around us.

Here’s how New Yorkers can come together during the pandemic:


Look Out For Your Neighbors

Curiosities City Secrets New Yorkers During The Pandemic Help Elderly

In a city with over 8 million people, it is easy to overlook our neighbors. But during these testing times, we need to come together as a city more than ever.

Check-in on your neighbors regularly. If you’re able to phone them, do so. You may not see them or be able to talk to them face-to-face, however, you could always drop a note through their door and start communications that way.

There are lots of things that you can do for your neighbors, especially those that may be elderly or at risk. They might need your help with groceries and the basic healthcare products! They don’t have the technology to buy these things online, so be sure to knock on their door and ask if they need anything!

Offer to find out about the government stimulus for retirees, run to the store and get them some groceries, or just be someone that they can talk to when they’re lonely or feeling low.


Follow Social Distancing Measures

Curiosities City Secrets New Yorkers During The Pandemic Empire State

In a big busy city like New York, it can be hard to come to your distance from everyone else. However, during the pandemic, it is essential to curb the spread. To do this, everyone needs to play their part.

To help others who may be more vulnerable and at risk from the virus than you, limit your exposure to others by staying at home. We’ve seen that New Yorkers have been great with this which is, after all, respect for other people’s lives and well-being.

If you do need to go out, keep your distance from others, and make sure that you wash your hands often and avoid touching your face. Oh, and don’t forget to use your mask and take your portable hand sanitizer with you!


Take Care of Local Businesses

Curiosities City Secrets New Yorkers During The Pandemic Neighbors

During the Covid-19 pandemic and over the coming months, local and independent businesses will come under considerable economic pressure. A looming global recession will mean that people will be more mindful of what they are spending their money on.

During these times, it may be tempting to spend all of your money in the major chains that offer cut-price produce. But, in the best interests of your own city, it is time to make sure that you shop local and support the New York businesses.

We’ve created a Instagram Social Media campaign where we post about 4-5 small local NYC businesses every day and what you can do to support them. It can be help donate for a fundraiser, sign a petition or even just continue requesting their services and products through home delivery or pick-ups.

You may spend slightly more, however, you will be doing your bit to help local businesses stay open. That’ll mean that New York gets to retain its character, and you get to keep the options of different choices.


Photo Credits: Courtesy of Alexandra_Koch, Omni Matryx, Quinton Delmar, Gerd Altmann and Jon Tyson

3 Hidden Coffee Shops In New York City

Curiosities City Secrets 3 Hidden Coffee Shops In New York City Photo Toa Heftiba

New Yorkers are known for being great coffee lovers and it’s definitely part of their daily routine. That said, we also know that locals love going to hidden spots, far from tourists. So, we united both and explored 3 hidden coffee shops in New York City.

Curiosities City Secrets 3 Hidden Coffee Shops In New York City Photo Christian Koch

With over 3,400 coffee shops, New York City is surely the coffee capital of America. While other cities may claim better coffee, none can top NYC in sheer quantity.

A New Yorker who sets out to try a different coffee shop every day won’t be finished for over nine years – and likely longer that, since in nine years, another 1,000 cafés may have opened.

Yet, in knowing how many small, boutique coffee shops are tucked inside NYC, it’s inevitable that a New Yorker who attempts this coffee quest may miss a few.

Luckily, investigators have placed a pin in those shops whose hidden locations preclude them from fame.

So, take a look at 3 hidden coffee shops in New York City.


Swedish Seamen’s Church

Curiosities City Secrets 3 Hidden Coffee Shops In New York City Swedish Seamens Church
Photo Credit: Courtesy

If you think that this name is ironic – something that is young, hipster proprietors thought up – think again.

Inside the Swedish Church of New York is a coffee shop of the kind frequented by Scandinavian seamen and emigrants at the turn of the century.

Approximately 1.3 million Swedes settled in New York during the 19th and 20th centuries, churches and cafés were their oases in a foreign land.

Today, the coffee shop is connected to the church’s library on 5 East 48th Street. It would be concealed from passers-by if not for a small chalkboard sign. The clientele is still, for the most part, Swedish, and snacks and coffee are Swedish in origin and in name.

Smørrebrød sandwiches, lingonberry juice and aromatic, rich coffee are available and affordable.

Location: 5 East 48th Street

www.svenskakyrkan.se/newyork


Voyager Espresso

Curiosities City Secrets 3 Hidden Coffee Shops In New York City Voyager Expresso
Photo Credit: Courtesy

Voyager Espresso is underground – literally.

The shop is located underneath 110 William Street in a subway station hallway that is accessible via the John Street subway exit or the building’s lobby.

From both entrances, patrons must descend staircases before coming upon the rounded, austere space of Voyager Espresso, where staff roast their own beans and brew coffee and espressos with machines of the kind that Majesty Coffee ranks highly for small businesses.

The shop contains a Fetco batch brewer and a three-group Synesso Hydra machine.

In addition to delicious hot beverages that also include cappuccinos, lattes and hot chocolate, Voyager Espresso sells cold drinks, breakfast foods, salads, sandwiches and toast.

Location: 110 William Street

www.voyagerespresso.com


The Cobra Club

Curiosities City Secrets 3 Hidden Coffee Shops In New York City Thee Cobra Club Photo by 3 PHOTOGRAPHERS
Photo Credit: 3 PHOTOGRARHERS

The Cobra Club is part yoga studio, part bar and part café – a combination that you may only find in New York City

It’s located at 6 Wyckoff Ave in Bushwick and provides 2,500 square feet of room for yoga, partying and coffee drinking. However, you might actually have to enter the building to discover that it’s a coffee shop.

The coffee has been rated as excellent – as has the vibe. By day, patrons can get their yoga and coffee fix; by night, they can get their alcohol and entertainment fix.

Karaoke, self-defense classes, and heavy metal yoga are just some of the entertainment options offered by The Cobra Club.

Location: 6 Wyckoff Ave

www.facebook.com/cobraclubbk


Coffee shops are abundant in New York City, but some of the best and coolest cafés are easy to miss.

Swedish Seamen’s Church, Voyager Espresso and The Cobra Club are three coffee shops hidden from the hustle and bustle of NYC. Now that you know where they are, be sure to stop in and have a brew.

Finally, if you’re a coffee lover and an explorer that loves seeing other spots in town, take a look at our YouTube video on “The 5 Top Coffee Shops In Greenpoint Brooklyn”.


Photo Credit: Courtesy of 3 PHOTOGRAPHERS and courtesy of venues.

New York City: Pulse [The City That Never Sleeps]

Curiosities City Secrets Behind the Scenes New York City Pulse by Hawk Films

In the middle of the Covid-19, a global pandemic, we decided to share a beautiful video we named New York City: Pulse [The City That Never Sleeps]. Let’s share and pray for New York City!

We’re posting this video in homage to our beautiful and always dynamic New York City! LET’S ALL SHARE IT?!

The city that never sleeps, is now asleep. But, hopefully not for long!

While everyone should be doing their part during this crucial moment, staying at home and helping those that need help, we should keep blessing daily the NYC and the world!

Check out our Covid-19 Instagram Highlight to see how to help small local NYC businesses and share with us any NY business you’d like us to feature!

Help those in need, donate, share information, help the elderly, the sick! Do everything you can! This is a test and one of the lessons is to learn how to be of service to those around you! So, BE OF SERVICE!

We are in this together and this too shall pass…and we will get stronger and more united. Let’s awake the city that never sleeps!


This is not at all intended to be a religious statement, but there is a powerful and famous Prayer by St. Francis of Assisi that states:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offense, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
O Master, let me not seek as much
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that one receives,
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.

During this global pandemic we should all join and say these words with the intention of healing every person and every being, and Mother Earth! It’s our home, let’s take care of it!

If you enjoyed this, take a look at A Wedding Vow To NYC: “I Take You, New York City…”, the the city that never sleeps.


Thank you to our friends from Hawk Films (Brasil) that put this together a while back! We just found it in our archives and wanted to share with the world!

Disclaimer: This video has never been shown or promoted before and it was simply made for the love for New York City!

Biggest NYC Wine Trends Of 2020

Curiosities City Secrets NYC Wine Trends Friends by

These will be the biggest NYC wine trends of 2020. So, if you’re a wine lover like we are, keep on reading! And…enjoy!

Curiosities City Secrets NYC Wine Trends by Kelsey ChancePeople in the United States are drinking more wine than ever before, and New Yorkers are among the top 5 wine drinkers in the country. That said, we’re here to share with you the biggest NYC wine trends of 2020!

Whether it’s a gathering with friends at a trendy tapas restobar or just a regular night watching “The Witcher” on Netflix, nothing can be more celebratory or relaxing than having a glass or two of vino.

In 2020, wine drinking is about to get even better as insiders predict the arrival of new wine trends to shake up your drinking experience.

From innovative packaging to a fun and fizzy drink, these are the biggest wine trends to look out for in 2020.


Canned red and white wine

The latest wine trends in Australia made their way to NYC in last September’s Wine Australia Tasting at Union West in Chelsea, and the new wines have been a part of the city’s diverse wine culture ever since.

A vacation in Australia is the trip of a lifetime for many New Yorkers, and many celebrate it with local wines – you can buy Shiraz wine from Qantas to celebrate your first flight to the country or pop open a bottle of Australian Merlot while camping with friends on the Outback.

Australian favorites are widely available in NYC since the Union West event, and the availability of canned wine makes reliving vacation memories even easier for New Yorkers.

Even more distributors are predicted to release canned versions of their best-selling wines. Canned rosé was the drink of choice among millennials in the summer of 2018 and 2019. But, in the new year, expect to see more people enjoying traditional red and white wines packaged in portable containers.

These new canned wines, along with other innovations in the wine industry, will likely be showcased at the Vinexpo New York 2020 from March 2nd to 3rd, at the Jacob K. Javits Center.


Orange wine

Curiosities City Secrets NYC Wine Trends by Court Cook

We’re all familiar with red, white and pink wine, but orange wine is about to be big in the new decade.

Wine takes on the sunny hue when grape juice is fermented with the skins of the white grape. This is why orange wine is also called a skin-contact wine.

It has a slightly different taste from traditional white or red wines, and goes well with beef or fish. So, it’s a good choice if you have yet to master food and wine pairings.

You can taste this type of wine at some New York wineries such as the Red Hook Winery, Channing Daughters, and Chamber Street Wines.

Oh, and have you heard of Green wine? Try them at the cool hotspot, Beco, located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn!


Fizzy and affordable Piquette

Sustainable wine is starting to become more popular nowadays, so make your wine drinking experience more eco-friendly by drinking Piquette.

This drink isn’t exactly classified as a type of wine, as it’s made by adding water to the pomace, which is the leftover stems, skins and seeds that the winemaker discards after extracting the juice from the grapes.

This means that you’re basically drinking a beverage made from the byproducts of the wine making process. And, what you get is a fizzy drink that has a slightly sweet flavor with a bit of a sour tang.

Insiders are predicting that Piquette will be a lot more popular in the new decade due to its low alcohol content. You can find this type of drink at wineries such as Henry’s in Brooklyn.

The NYC wine culture is about to experience some welcome changes in the new decade. Be on the lookout for these wine trends, and enjoy discovering new wines in 2020.


Curiosities City Secrets NYC Wine Trends by Renata Meirelles


Guest Writer: Cindy Trillo
Photo Credits: Courtesy of Renata Meirelles, Kelsey Chance and Court Cook

Open House New York Weekend: Exploring NYC’s Best Secrets

Events Up Coming Open House New York Weekend Brooklyn Army Terminal by Nicolas Lemery Nantel

Open House New York Weekend is just a few days away! You’ll be able to explore NYC’s best secrets in a weekend filled with excitement and access to out of bound spots!

Events Up Coming Open House New York Weekend Ford Foundation Center by Garrett Rowland Gensler
Ford Foundation Center – Photo Credit: Garrett Rowland, Gensler

By now, you guys probably have noticed that we are all about uncovering NYC’s best secrets and sharing it with you! So, today we will tell you a bit more about the Open House New York Weekend!

There is just so much history and hidden gems in the city that it’s almost impossible not to suffer from the dreaded FOMO syndrome (Fear of Missing Out).

Some of the secrets we love the most range from exploring the Secrets of Grand Central Terminal Tour, and attending a VIP tour of the famous Woolworth Building, to even walking through the grounds of Green-Wood Cemetery.

There is just SO MUCH to see and these secrets are certainly a big part of why New York is seen as one of the best places in the world to live and visit!

The upcoming weekend of October 18th – 20th, Open House New York Weekend opens up 300+ sites for you to explore, tour, photograph, and visit!

“Open House New York provides broad audiences with unparalleled access to the extraordinary architecture of New York and to the people who help design, build, and preserve the city.”

During this weekend, you’ll be able to access some of these top city gems!


More about Open House New York:

Open House New York, founded by Scott Lauer in August 2001, engages New Yorkers in the city’s architecture, public space, and the future of urban life.

With the help of a dedicated board and volunteers, OHNY became an important platform for celebrating New York at a critical moment in its history.

Following the events of September 11th, when much of the city was closing itself off through increased security measures, OHNY offered a countervailing force, one that advocated for openness and access as key components of an enlightened and vibrant civic life.

The first Open House New York Weekend in 2003 was part of the city’s first Architecture Week. With the help of three hundred volunteers, that event included 84 sites in all five boroughs.

Events Up Coming Open House New York Weekend Morgan Library Museum by Graham S Haber
Morgan Library Museum – Photo Credit: Graham S. Haber

Since the inaugural year, the event has grown exponentially, increasing its outreach and audience participation; the number of sites, talks and tours; and developing additional thematic and interpretive programming. The 2017 OHNY Weekend had more than 250 participating sites and tours. It’s estimated around 80,000 visitors and more than 1,000 registered volunteers were part of it.

Through its year-round programs and the annual OHNY Weekend, Open House New York celebrates the best examples of design and planning throughout the five boroughs.

From historic to contemporary, it helps foster a more informed conversation about how architecture and urban design sustain New York as a vibrant place to live, work, and learn. Open House New York is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

In addition to OHNY Weekend, Open House New York organizes year-round programs. These extend the conversation that begins during the two days of the Weekend.

Programs include Projects in Planning, an ongoing series of presentations that explore the design and development of major new projects in the early stages of their development.

In addition, Making Place is an annual event that opens a range of architecturally and culturally significant sites in one neighborhood to look at neighborhoods in the midst of change. Lastly, Urban Systems Series, a year-long thematic series, explores important issues in New York City’s built environment, from manufacturing, to food, to waste.

Open House New York’s year-round programs are a significant platform for fostering discussion about how the city might take shape in the years ahead. Plus, it addresses issues including planning, preservation, infrastructure, and contemporary design.


Be sure to book your ticket asap, since many of them sell out in just a few hours! Plus, you can always sign up to their newsletter and stay in the loop of what happens throughout the year!

In addition, if you’d like to support this cause and help them continue their work, see what you can do and how you can be part of their year round events, meet ups, tours and more!

https://ohny.org


Photo Credits: Courtesy of OHNY, Nicolas Lemery Nantel, Garrett Rowland, Gensler and Graham S. Haber

Making The Most Of NYC On A Budget

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

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 ($127) 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
*Last Update on March/2020.*

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