Tag Archives: Curiosities

The Perfect Girl’s Night Out in NYC with Holly Burt

Curiosities Insider Interviews Holly Burt Naked Cowboy NYC

“Legs bigger than your future!” as Holly Burt says on her Instagram bio! This New York-based lady has quite a story and has shared with us her 7 tips for the perfect girl’s night out in NYC!

Curiosities Insider Interviews Holly Burt Naked Cowboy NYC
Credit: Courtesy of William Foster (aka dubfoster)

This week we interviewed a great lady called Holly Burt! If you Google, one of the first things you’ll probably see about her is that she has the 2016 record for Longest Legs in America, measuring 49.5″ (126cm)!

Aside from having this beautiful natural gift, Holly is also a super talented designer and has a pretty funny and kind personality that just brightens your day!


My name is Holly Burt and I have been living in NYC since 2013.

I came up here for school where I attended Parsons School of Design and was so lucky to have experienced an unorthodox college experience where the city was my campus.

Now having graduated, I work in graphic product development for a huge childrenswear manufacturer working with brands like Nike, Converse, Jordan, Hurley, and Levi’s.

Although, you may know me from the internet or TV as having the record (obtained in 2016) for the Longest Legs in America (49.5 inches).

The past couple of years I was featured on shows like TLC- primetime documentary, Comedy Centrals – Tosh.0, The Travel Channel, the New York Post and much more!

Recently I have been working with tall women’s apparel companies which I am so passionate for standing at 6’5 (198cm), I’m hoping to start my own tall apparel company one day.

Now, 2020 has a lot in store! Shortly, I will be moving to London to accompany my boyfriend who just moved to start his job at Amazon. We’re now in the process of obtaining my Visa. For now, I am quickly checking off everything that’s been on my NY bucket list before the big move! 

Lastly, I also have a graphic design website and have worked with great brands like Nike, Converse, Levi’s, Snapchat and others!


Holly shared her 7 best spots for the perfect girl’s night out in New York City. And we have to confess…it’s a pretty cool list of places!

We were super excited to see that she chose spots in 3 neighborhoods that we are also super fond of: the East Village, the Lower East Side and Bushwick in Brooklyn.

So, take a look at Holly Burt’s 7 spots to enjoy the perfect girl’s night out in New York City:


Good Night Sonny

Curiosities Insider Interviews Holly Burt Good Night Sonny
Credit: Courtesy of Good Night Sonny

Located on the East Village border is a poppin, but not too poppin of a place to grab dinner and drinks with friends.

Good Night Sonny has a long bar and small tables aligned on a big window front. The acoustics are great so you can actually have a conversation.

A good friend, Chad Shaner is the head chef here and has a lot of awards under his belt like a 2-star review in the New York Times (critic’s pick), as well as a Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand.

I know you will be in good hands here – also the cocktails are BANGING!

Hours:
Daily, until 4am
Brunch: Saturday & Sunday: 12pm – 4pm

Location: 134 1st Avenue

https://www.goodnightsonnynyc.com


Souvlaki GR (LES)

Curiosities Insider Interviews Holly Burt Souvlaki GR LES Façade
Curiosities Insider Interviews Holly Burt Souvlaki GR LES Porch
Curiosities Insider Interviews Holly Burt Souvlaki GR LES Bar
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Love this place because you could spend hours on end here and not even know it. It’s Greek/Mediterranean vibes and I’ve been here a lot before I start my night out.

Really amazing food and the interior it’s very jammed packed but it feels like you’re in Santorini.

I highly recommend the lamb chops, shot of Mastika (literally tastes like an edible pine candle- in a good way) and a bottle of Ouzo.

If you come here in the summertime you can sit outside on the streets and watch all the bar goers go by since it’s conveniently located in a strip of amazing bars in the Lower East Side.

Hours:
Sunday – Thursday: 11am – 11pm
Friday – Saturday: 11am – 12:30am

Location: 116 Stanton Street

https://www.souvlakigr.com


Lovers of Today

Curiosities Insider Interviews Holly Burt Lovers of Today
©Behind the Scenes NYC

This lovechild-of-a-speakeasy-and-lounge right off Tompkins Square Park might be easy to walk past.

It’s a fairly nondescript bar, but as soon as you walk through the mini alley and enter the dark basement, you’ll be ready to set the scene for a sultry rendezvous with a special someone, be it a lover or a friend.

There are hints of red neon lights to brighten up the dark corners and a disco ball glimmering to the 2000’s hip hop music.

They have a pretty awesome happy hour- goes until 8PM!

Hours: Daily: 5pm – 4am

Location: 132 1/2 East 7th Street

https://www.facebook.com/loversoftoday


Mr. Purple

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It’s happy hour and my friends and I tend to get thirsty before 5pm. We always like to start a night out at a bougie rooftop if the weather permits.

A favorite rooftop of mine is Mr. Purple. I personally think it has the best views of the city because I prefer a Downtown backdrop of the city as opposed to Midtown/Uptown.

Oh, and it does have a pool on the rooftop, so in the summertime you can jump in with an Aperol Spritz in your hand.

But this place also holds a special place in my heart because this is where my boyfriend and I had our first date!

Hours:
Monday – Wednesday: 4pm – 2am
Thursday & Friday: 4pm – 4am
Saturday: 11am – 4am
Sunday: 11am – 2am

Location: 180 Orchard Street, 15th Floor

https://www.mrpurplenyc.com


Double Down Saloon

Curiosities Insider Interviews Holly Burt Double Down Saloon
Credit: Courtesy of Double Down Saloon

If you are looking for a gritty and disgusting dive bar, Double Down Saloon is your place! Super cheap drinks and you have to try their signature shot “Ass Juice”.

I still can’t figure out what it is, but it sits in a warm jug under the bar. The bartenders are super mean, but it goes with the ambience – I’m pretty sure most of them are ex-dominatrix’s.

There is an ancient myth that when the bartender does “last call” she hops on top of the bar and screams “LAST CALL” with a whip in her hand, and everyone must respond simultaneously “YES MA’AM”.

They also have a pool table and 80’s porn going on the big screen.

This may not be for you, but if you’re looking for an experience, this is your place.

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 12pm – 4am
Saturday: 10am – 4am
Sunday: 11am – 4am

Location: 14 Avenue A

https://doubledownsaloon.com/nyc


Turks Inn

Curiosities Insider Interviews Holly Burt Turks Inn Bushwick Egg Plant
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Off to Bushwick! ​Turks Inn is whimsical and has crazy decorations.

Everywhere you look has something outrageous, including clowns, various birds and old photos.

The outside does stand out a little for the strip, but it does nothing to prepare you for inside.

First thing you notice when entering is the low light with a red cast. Then your eyes just go all over and are overwhelmed in a good way. So many layers of whatever all over the place.

They have pretty good Turkish food, but having a Turkish boyfriend and going to Istanbul has ruined me for American Turkish food.

I would say: go to this place for the experience, they also have a dance club right next door with a live DJ called Sultan Room.

Hours:
Sunday – Thursday: 6pm – 10pm
Friday & Saturday: 6pm – 11pm

Location: 234 Starr Street

https://turksnyc.com


House of Yes

Curiosities Insider Interviews Holly Burt House of Yes Dance Floor
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Right down the street from Turks Inn is the grand finale, House of Yes in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

This is the perfect place to dance your heart away until 4am. ​Most events are themed, and people tend to wear amazing costumes.

I’ve been here for several parties and always had a blast.

The scene here is LGBTQ friendly and you won’t run into anyone that doesn’t have a smile on their face, it truly is magical.

If it’s a themed night, be prepared. They will not let you in if you aren’t dressed to the theme, but no worries – they have a thrift like costume shop out front that comes equipped with everything you need to dress to theme.

House of yes has a live DJ set, cage dancers, and acrobatics, don’t be surprised if you see people dancing from ropes 20ft up!

Hours: May vary. Please check their website.

Location: 2 Wyckoff Avenue

https://houseofyes.org


Thank you, Holly, we loved your girl’s night out list and we wish you all the best in your future home, London! We’re sure you’ll all have a pretty good time at all these carefully curated spots, so let us know what you thought!

If you want to explore a few other cool New York secret places, you might want to check out the 9 best speakeasies in New York City.


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Holly Burt, ©Behind the Scenes NYC, William Foster (aka dubfoster) and all the venues

6 Under The Radar Museums In Manhattan

Curiosities Our Bucket Lisits 6 Under The Radar Museums Manhattan Spyscape Thumbnail

There is nothing better than exploring unusual spots around New York. So, we decided to share with you 6 under the radar museums in Manhattan! Have fun!

Curiosities Our Bucket Lisits 6 Under The Radar Museums Manhattan Spyscape Main
Photo: Courtesy of Spyscape

Yes, we know that New York City’s world-famous museums are definitely places to visit, but they aren’t the only ones around. There are some quite amazing under the radar museums in Manhattan.

Indeed, it’s now estimated there are about 100 first-rate museums spread throughout the Big Apple’s five boroughs.

If you have just checked out of your Airbnb, you’re not ready to check out some of New York’s hidden gems before heading out. So, be sure to read our guide.

Below, we share six under the radar museums in Manhattan with amazing experiences but that you can easily find.

So, fire up your Google Maps, store your luggage, and go explore!


1. Travel Back in Time at the Tenement Museum

Curiosities Our Bucket Lisits 6 Under The Radar Museums Manhattan Tenement Museum
Photo: Courtesy of The Tenement Museum

To get a feel for New York’s gritty past, definitely stop by the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, at 103 Orchard Street.

In addition to touring an authentic 19th century tenement house, this museum hosts highly interactive neighborhood tours with guides dressed in period costume.

All of the Tenement Museum’s exhibits are designed to illuminate the realities of American immigration from the 1800s onwards.

Oh! And before visiting the Tenement Museum, feel free to drop your heavy bags at one of the convenient Stasher locations in nearby SoHo or Chinatown.

Location: 103 Orchard Street

https://www.tenement.org


2. Tour the Teensy-Tiny Mmuseumm

Curiosities Our Bucket Lisits 6 Under The Radar Museums Manhattan Mmuseumm
Photo: Courtesy of Mmuseumm

Only large enough for three people, Lower Manhattan’s Mmuseumm won’t win any accolades for its extensive collection.

Despite the Mmuseumm’s amusingly small size, visitors rave about the constantly rotating selection of newsworthy artifacts.

We can’t promise you’ll feel overwhelmed by the Mmuseumm’s offerings, but you certainly won’t forget your visit.

The Mmuseumm’s is located close to the Canal Street Metro.

Location: 4 Cortlandt Alley

http://www.mmuseumm.com


3. See the Original “Winnie The Pooh” Plush

Curiosities Our Bucket Lisits 6 Under The Radar Museums Manhattan New York Public Library
Photo: Courtesy of New York Public Library

Despite protestations from British leaders, the stuffed animals that inspired A. A. Milne’s “Winnie The Pooh” remains in the New York Public Library.

In addition to Pooh Bear, visitors will get to see the original Kanga, Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet dolls that Christopher Robin once played with.

Note: the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building is the library branch that holds these treasured toys.

You can easily find this building near the 5th Avenue/Bryant Park Metro.

Location: 476 5th Avenue

https://www.nypl.org/schwarzman


4. Explore the Himalayas at the Rubin Museum of Art

Curiosities Our Bucket Lisits 6 Under The Radar Museums Manhattan Rubin Museum
Photo: Courtesy of Rubin Museum of Art

Looking for some Buddhist serenity in the Big Apple? Consider visiting the underrated Chelsea’s Rubin Museum of Art. We truly love exploring it!

This easy-to-miss museum houses thousands of ornate art objects from the mystifying Himalayas.

From Tibet and India to Nepal and Pakistan, you’ll need a few reincarnations to appreciate all the art on display here.

The Rubin Museum of Art is less than a mile’s walk south of Penn Station near the 18th Street Metro. Bag storage is limited, so be sure to check out Stasher’s convenient luggage storage options in Penn Station before your visit.

Location: 150 West 17th Street

http://rubinmuseum.org


5. Get Your James Bond on at SPYSCAPE

Curiosities Our Bucket Lisits 6 Under The Radar Museums Manhattan Spyscape
Photo: Courtesy of Spyscape

Get ready to live out your own James Bond adventure in the SPYSCAPE museum, launched back in 2018. It’s a pretty new addition to New York’s list of attractions.

After viewing dozens of espionage-related artifacts, visitors can test their spy skills through a series of highly immersive challenges, like solving encrypted codes and walking through laser sensors.

You might even be able to talk with resident hackers about the importance of Internet Privacy.

You can find this exhilarating museum on 8th Avenue, which is less than a mile from Carnegie Hall.

Location: 928 8th Avenue

https://spyscape.com


6. Soar to New Heights at the Skyscraper Museum

Curiosities Our Bucket Lisits 6 Under The Radar Museums Manhattan Skyscraper Museum
Photo: Courtesy of Skyscraper Museum

Honestly, what other city is more deserving of having a Skyscraper Museum?

Sure, the art of skyscrapers has now gone global, but New York City’s skyline will always remain the world’s most iconic.

Inside Battery Park’s Skyscraper Museum, you can learn the engineering behind all of New York’s famous buildings.

This museum also works hard to present the stories of the countless engineers and investors who made New York City what it is today.

Oh, a while back we experienced an amazing 2-day tour with Siemens where they showed us how their technology also helped build NYC! You might find this pretty cool as well!

You can easily reach the Skyscraper Museum on foot from the Wall Street Metro. Before visiting, please take a peek at Stasher’s convenient storage destinations in the Financial District.

Location: 39 Battery Place

https://skyscraper.org


If you enjoyed reading this post about the under the radar museums in Manhattan, you might want to see a few more hidden museums around the city!

Check out the 5 Offbeat Museums In NYC You Should Visit or read about the Most Different Museum In New York Of All Times.

If you’re looking for custom tours or need to put together a corporate experience, let our experts help you out!


Photo Credits: Courtesy of all the Museums
#Sponsored
*Last Update on March/2020.*

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.*

The Best Of Vegan With Kim-Julie Hansen

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From a meat-eater to being one of the most renowned Vegan experts in the world, Kim-Julie Hansen shared with us how she started Best of Vegan, as well as her Vegan Reset blog and most recently launched a fantastic 28-Day Vegan Plan book!

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kim Julie Hansen Best of Vegan by Edward Gebel
Photo Credit: Edward Gebel

Tell me a bit about you! Where you’re from, what you studied, where you’ve worked, how you ended up in NYC…

I’m Kim-Julie, I’m 32 years old and originally from Brussels, Belgium, although that’s only partially true. I was actually born in West Berlin (two years before the Berlin Wall fell) and have lived in many places throughout my life.

I studied modern languages and comparative literature (BA and MA) in Brussels and I’ve worked all over the world in tourism and hospitality before starting my own business.

Five years ago I came to New York for an event and stayed with a friend for 5 days. On the fifth day, I knew that I needed to move here.

Luckily, my online business’s audience was located mostly in the US, so I got my Visa thanks to that (and the advice and support of amazing friends who had undergone the process before me!).

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kim Julie Hansen Best of Vegan Creamy Mushroom Penne
Creamy Mushroom Pasta – Photo Credit: Best of Vegan LLC

You have countless different platforms and social channels. I’d love if you could share a bit about each of them!

My two main platforms are Best of Vegan and Vegan Reset.

Best of Vegan is a digital culinary publication focused on crowd-sourced and crowd-pleasing recipes for every occasion and showcasing the best the vegan culinary scene has to offer.

Vegan Reset is my health conscious blog within Best of Vegan. It’s where I share meal prep and plant-based lifestyle tips, as well as my own quick and easy recipes. It’s also the name of my book and online program.

In addition to those, I also share the things that inspire me on my personal page and blog, @KimJulieHansen and I have two additional vegan Instagram accounts: @VeganChallenge based on the free 7-day vegan challenges I host and @IDontWantSalad, an ode to vegan comfort food, which I created to show that vegans can eat much more than just salad.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kim Julie Hansen Best of Vegan Green Smoothies
Green Smoothies – Photo Credit: Best of Vegan LLC

How was your journey into the Vegan lifestyle?

Unexpected, overnight and life changing. I was the furthest thing from a vegan you could possibly imagine.

I loved meat, dairy and eggs and had them every day. Then, in 2011, I read two books that made me change my eating and lifestyle habits instantly: Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer and Slaughterhouse by Gail A. Eisnitz.

It was a strictly ethical decision for me at first and I didn’t even know that veganism could be healthy. I ended up researching and trying to find out everything I could for months.

That’s how I ended up learning more about whole foods and cooking with unprocessed ingredients, incorporating more fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds. I had never liked any of these foods, so no one was more surprised than me.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kim Julie Hansen Best of Vegan Muffins
Blueberry Muffins – Photo Credit: Best of Vegan LLC

What are some myths about Vegan cuisine that people believe?

That it’s bland, boring, not nutritionally adequate, hard to adapt to and impractical.

I believed all of that too before going vegan myself, so as you can imagine, I wasn’t thrilled to give up so much of what I enjoyed, but I soon found out that you can actually veganize practically anything.

Latte? Make it a soy or oat latte. Sushi? Make it a sweet potato or avocado roll. Pizza? Add some vegan cheese and pepperoni. It obviously doesn’t taste exactly the same, but it’s close enough and, given the ethical implications, definitely worth the sacrifice.

What I at first feared would be restrictive ended up opening the doors to a whole new world for me. I enjoy cooking and eating out so much more now. Vegan cuisine is also neither boring nor deficient. You can get all the same nutrients from plants and whenever they’re harder to get, you can take a vegan supplement for convenience.

I do want to note that vegan foods and products aren’t readily available to everyone equally, so I think that as someone who does have access to the lifestyle, it’s important to simultaneously educate and motivate those who are in the same position while also actively working on making access easier for those who do not without ever judging them.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kim Julie Hansen Best of Vegan Salad
Smoky Tempeh & Vegan Cheese Salad – Photo Credit: Best of Vegan LLC

What are your favorite NYC Vegan spots? Sorry for this tough question, Kim… 🙂

There are far too many to list!

I love using the app “Vegan NYC” to discover new spots, but my all time favorites are Seasoned Vegan, Avant Garden, Adelina’s, Little Choc Apothecary, Bar Velo, Jungle Cafe and Délice & Sarrasin.

I’m probably forgetting half the list…!

How about your top Vegan brands that are really disrupting the industry, in New York?

I love brands that emphasize quality and/or community and are based right out of New York. Some of them include Egunsi Foods, Raaka Chocolate and Foreal Foods.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kim Julie Hansen Best of Vegan Yogurt
Vegan Breakfast Idea: granola, fresh fruit & plant-based yogurt with toppings – Photo Credit: Best of Vegan LLC

Ah! And you have a gorgeous life changing book and I was lucky enough to follow closely it coming to life! So tell our readers what it’s all about and what they can expect.

Thank you for the kind words!

My book, Vegan Reset (called The 28-Day Vegan Plan in the U.K.), is a practical guide, a cookbook and a 28-day meal plan. It’s an introduction to ethical veganism, plant-based living and a holistic approach to health.

It’s not a diet in the sense that the goal is feeling good physically and mentally, not weight loss.

While it teaches you how to incorporate more fresh produce and unprocessed foods, there are no strict guidelines and you can adapt everything as you see fit. The main motivation is ethical rather than dietary.

Do you have any super cool upcoming project you can share? Anything exclusive no one knows yet!? Lol!

I may or may not be planning my second book! 🙂

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kim Julie Hansen Best of Vegan Rice Pudding
Cinnamon Rice Pudding – Photo Credit: Best of Vegan LLC

More about her Book!

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kim Julie Hansen Best of Vegan Book Vegan Reset
©Behind the Scenes NYC

Vegan Reset: The 28-Day Plan to Kickstart Your Healthy Lifestyle is a 28-day plan for new vegans or anyone looking to get their diet back on track, from the wildly popular creator of Best of Vegan!

No matter what diet you practice, a reset is a way to jump-start or refocus healthy habits and get your body to a state of optimum health. Here, NYC-based blogger and Instagrammer Kim-Julie Hansen of Best of Vegan offers a practical and easy-to-follow program, laid out day by day with meal plans, prep, shopping lists, recipes, and personal tips and inspiration.

If you want to become a vegan and don’t know where to start, this is the ultimate guide. But it’s also invaluable for anyone (vegan or not) looking to kick-start healthier habits, whether to lose weight, become fitter, or simply cultivate a more balanced lifestyle.

Kim-Julie introduces you to the benefits of a reset; guides you through the 28-day meal plan; and finishes with additional recipes to carry you beyond the reset—all brought to life with her gorgeous photography throughout. With its emphasis on satisfying plant-based foods and its achievable 28-day plan, this program is a great way to meet your goals of health and well-being.

Buy here!


Thank you Kim, my dear friend, for sharing your amazing story with everyone and congratulations on all that you have built during these amazing years in New York City!

I’ve had the opportunity of seeing it from close and I couldn’t be more proud of you!

Plus, I can’t wait to see more of your work and continue trying out all of your food (yes, please continue inviting me over for dinner, lol!) and following your tips!

And finally, if you want to uncover more Vegan spots in New York, be sure to explore our website!


Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC, Best of Vegan LLC and portraits by Edward Gebel

Louis Mendes: Renowned NYC Street Photographer

City Secrets Louis Mendes NYC Street Photographer Fernanda Paronetto Thumnbnail

If you’ve walked attentively through New York, you’ve probably crossed paths with Louis Mendes, one of the most renowned NYC street photographer. I have a cool story to tell you about the day I wrote about him for the first time.

City Secrets Louis Mendes NYC Street Photographer Fernanda Paronetto
Fernanda Paronetto with Louis Mendes, a renowned NYC Street Photographer. Clicked by Bruce Byers.

A little over 5 years ago, when I started Behind the Scenes NYC (BTSNYC) from my room, in my mom’s house in São Paulo, Brazil my idea (which still remains strong!) was to write about and help spread the love for small, independently owned businesses around New York that have some of the best products and services, far away from the touristy scene!

I also wanted to share the story of New Yorkers that have been leaving their mark around town!

My love for New York has always been something inexplicable that I myself can’t really describe.

Hence my decision of leaving a great job, a 3 year long relationship, my home and move to New York City alone, unemployed but super happy to start a new phase!

Before moving I worked 1 year on BTSNYC from (shocker!!!!) my room in Brazil late hours at night, that was the only time I had free.

With, of course, the help of a bunch on NY-based friends that were my “eyes” – until I was actually able to move!

The Queens-born, Harlem-based photographer, Louis Mendes always called my attention not only because of his flawless style and amazingly cool vintage camera. But, because of his passion to register people in public places and freeze a special moment in time!

I NEVER ask to take pictures with famous people, and New Yorkers know what I’m talking about, hahaha, but I really could not NOT take a picture with him, 5 years after writing about him on my Instagram, when I was still in Brazil!

Louis, it was SO NICE to officially meet you!! Such an honor and I love your work!

And, thank you Bruce Byers, another fantastic photographer, for taking the shot!! It was great to meet you and I’m looking forward to see more of your work!

If you guys are ever in New York, be sure to keep your eyes open! Maybe, you’ll be lucky enough to cross paths with Louis Mendes!


Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC, clicked by Bruce Byers
*Last Update on March/2020.*

25 Most Iconic And Instagrammable Movie Locations In NYC

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

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

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

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

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

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


#1 Coyote Ugly – Coyote Ugly (2000)

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

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

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

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

A bit more about its story:

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

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

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

Location: 153 1st Avenue


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

Our-Bucket-Lists-25-Most-Iconic-and-Instagrammable-Movie-Locations-in-NYC-Grand-Central-Terminal
Grand Central Terminal ©Behind the Scenes NYC

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

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

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

Location: 89 East 42nd Street


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

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

Probably one of my favorite spots in the city!

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

Location: 476 5th Avenue


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

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

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

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

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

A bit of history now:

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

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

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

Location: 768 5th Avenue


#5 Queensboro Bridge – Manhattan (1979)

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

This is surely a classic!

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

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

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

And, don’t you agree!? We do!

Location: 12 Sutton Square


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

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

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

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

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

Location: Lexington Avenue with 52nd Street


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

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

Phiuf! And the list goes on, and on!

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

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


Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC
VideographyBlack3 Agency
BeautyLeila Soldeira
StylingCamilla Adão

*Last Update on March/2020.*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


#15 New York is NOT synonymous to Manhattan!

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

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

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

And still, there are countless amazing day trips upstate, as well and breathtaking destinations in Long Island, from wineries to beach resorts.

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


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

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

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

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

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

Be brave…and walk in!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC
*Last Update on March/2020.*

Resorts World Casino NYC & City Casinos

Curiosity City Secrets Resort World Casino NYC City Casinos

Resorts World Casino NYC if a high-end casino venue, in Queens, with countless hospitality and entertainment options. So, if you enjoy this nightlife style, be sure to visit!

Curiosity City Secrets Resort World Casino NYC City Casinos

Ask the average New Yorker if there are any casinos in town, and the response will probably be a no. New York as a whole isn’t known for legal casino gaming, save for in a few select places well outside the city. One would imagine that if the city did have a venue of this sort, it would be heavily publicized (not to mention visibly noticeable).

The truth, though, is that New York City actually does have a high-end casino venue – even if it’s out on Rockaway Blvd. in Queens. It’s called Resorts World Casino New York City, and it offers up to 6,000 games and a variety of hospitality and entertainment options.

Resorts World Casino New York may not be as easy or accessible as more traditional nightlife options when you’re just looking to walk a few blocks or take a quick subway ride to meet friends. With that said though, it offers a completely different type of evening entertainment, for those interested – not to mention it’s still more convenient, for most, than a jaunt to Atlantic City.

In addition to the aforementioned 6,000 games, which include both slots and table games, Resorts World Casino New York City has multiple dining venues. RW Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar is a must if you’re heading out for dinner before games.

There are shops that are open late, adding to the resort-like feel of the place. And, maybe best of all for a long night out, there’s also Bar 360. It’s a massive cocktail bar that can showcase sporting events on big screens one hour and morph into a live DJ-driven club the next. Plus, it’s a great place to spend an hour or two in between gaming sessions.

All in all, a trip to Resorts World Casino New York City can expose you to something of a hidden gem on the outskirts of the city. But, it will also make you wonder why, exactly, there aren’t more venues like it in the city, and perhaps closer to popular neighborhoods in Manhattan or Brooklyn.

We can’t answer that definitively, but if Resorts World NYC piques your interest, we should note that recent trends might in fact be hinting at expanding casino activity.

Curiosity City Secrets Resort World Casino NYC City Casinos Inside

For the most part this is because of how things are going just south and west of the city, in New Jersey. Recently, the state has made a major push to augment its somewhat-stagnant casino culture with the introduction of online games.

New Jersey now has its own casino platforms online, and some of the best mobile casinos operating internationally are, as a result, being enjoyed by American players. These online and mobile casinos have reportedly generated a great deal of revenue. And, some argue, have also helped to bring attention back to live casino tourism in the state (and primarily Atlantic City).

The thinking here is that this at least creates an incentive for New York legislators to explore their options.

The state is already in the process of following New Jersey’s lead on legalized sports betting. In a roundabout sort of way, could open the door to online casino activity. In addition, if significant revenue in this area becomes apparent, it’s conceivable that New York would look to capitalize on more in-person gaming venues as well.

Five or 10 years from now, that could mean more casino-related nightlife options in the city. For now though, Resorts World Casino is worth a look!

Location: 110-00 Rockaway Blvd, Jamaica, NY

www.rwnewyork.com


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Resorts World Casino NYC
*Last Update on March/2020.*

Seeing The Best Of New York City By Motorcycle

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

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

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

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

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

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


Exploring Landmarks Downtown

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

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


Experience Uptown Scenery

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

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


Tour Midtown Monuments

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

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

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

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


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sandra Frey
*Last Update on March/2020.*

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


#11 Never make eye contact! LOL!

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

But wait! There is still a few last tips: Part 4!

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

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


Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC and Courtesy of Nirosha Methananda
*Last Update on March/2020.*

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