Tag Archives: Curiosities

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

The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S.’ Tour in NYC

Curiosities City Secrets Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Friends Tour in NYC

So no one told you life was going to be this way…  That said, we decided to share with you the Ultimate Guide to Planning your ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S.’ Tour in NYC! Check it out!

Curiosities City Secrets Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Friends Tour in NYC
Little Owl restaurant in the West Village. Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC

Any fan of the hit sitcom Friends will immediately sing along to these lines and find themselves clapping reflexively.

Years after its ten-year run, Friends continues to strike a chord among old fans and generations of new ones.

Although the series was filmed on a sound stage in California, the show will forever be associated with New York, where all the misadventures took place.

If you are planning a trip to New York and want a one-of-a-kind tour, why not dedicate a day to crafting your itinerary around some famous Friends locations to experience the city through your favorite characters’ shoes.

Enjoy our tips below to the Ultimate Guide to Planning Your ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S.’ Tour in NYC and have fun!


The one with the fountain

While singing those lyrics, you might have pictured a certain fountain with the whole cast playfully splashing around in their coordinated black and white outfits in the opening credits.

Although this was also shot on the Warner Bros back lot, debates abound on whether it is based on the Cherry Hill Fountain in Central Park or the Pulitzer Fountain in Midtown West’s Grand Army Plaza.

While you can choose which of these locations you prefer, feel free to dance around as much as you want as it’s a public space, after all. Just be sure that you don’t jump in!

Although the memorable orange couch won’t be stationed in front of the fountain as in the credits, you can still sit around, people watch, and perhaps even whip a guitar out and belt out ‘Smelly Cat’ à la Phoebe Buffay.


The one with the apartment building

Much of the Friends action takes place on the corner of Grove and Bedford Street in the West Village. It’s better known as the destination of the kitschy Central Perk coffee shop as well as majority of the clique’s apartments.

This little corner destination is also a spot on the NYC TV & Movie Tour, but sadly, you’ll have to use your imagination to visualize the Central Perk logo.

Instead, you can actually walk into the Little Owl restaurant in its place and have a cup of coffee or even a full meal. Don’t expect Gunther to serve you – just pretend you’re at your own cozy little neighborhood joint and enjoy the distant chatter.


The one with the bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge and Friends have inevitably become intertwined because of how prominently it is featured on the show – including many scenes of the gang driving along it.

Just last year, fans of the series congregated on the Brooklyn Bridge for a special reunion called the “Friends 25th Vegas Takeover” with Lego replicas of its sets, live performances, and an appearance of Ross’s former pet monkey, Marcel.

The landmark is often used to promote merchandise from the series and has been featured on traditional games like Scene It! and Trivial Pursuit.

The iconic bridge is still being used to promote Friends across digital mediums with a dedicated title among the selection of slot games on Cheeky Bingo putting the Brooklyn Bridge front and center.

This not only shows how Friends is reaching new fans, but how the Brooklyn Bridge has come to symbolize the show. Fans who want a tangible memento of this image can look into the array of merchandise, as the collectible box sets feature the main cast in front of the iconic bridge.


Friends has become a pop culture phenomenon and its memory continues to live on 25 years later.

As a reunion is in the pipeline and the series and all related things are within arm’s reach, all you have to do is plan your trip. No matter when you schedule your visit, know that these places will be there for you!


Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC

Andre Vasconcelos: NYC’s Top Shelf Guitarist And His Studio Ghidrah Music

Curiosities Insider Interviews Andre Vasconcelos Ghidrah Music Studio Pronoun

We’re excited to share another exclusive interview with Andre Vasconcelos. He’s one of NYC’s top shelf guitarist and now founded his studio Ghidrah Music. His journey is brilliant and his skills in working both roles, are undeniably amazing.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Andre Vasconcelos Ghidrah Music Studio Pronoun
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Pronoun

Back in June of 2017, we featured an exclusive interview with the guitarist Andre Vasconcelos, where we talked about how we was shaking up New York with his music. Today, we’re going to talk about his thriving studio Ghidrah Music.

The word, love and appreciation for his talent and skills have spread through out New York, and certainly to other parts of the globe.

Since then, we’ve been to countless shows where he’s performed with his own band, RANN, and we’ve followed his steps when performing beside other great musicians.

It’s been an amazing journey to see Andre thrive from (still) being one of New York City’s top shelf guitarists to now additionally starting his new business, a music studio: Ghidrah Music.

Check out the inspiring interview below and learn more about Ghidrah Music:


1. After our 1st interview a while back, so much has happened, and we’re curious to have an update on what you’ve been up to in NYC.

I’m glad to be back here on this amazing platform of yours Fernanda! I meet lots of people on a regular basis and your platform has made a big name for itself. People constant refer to it and one can easily spot the success it’s been garnering! I’m happy for you both on a professional and on a personal level! Congrats!

Life has been very busy, challenging and productive on the creative world for me. Me and the RANN boys instituted a plan for 2020 “A Song a Month” and we’ve been at it since last December really. With 6 songs out now, a 7th to come on June 26th and a lot of added Spotify traction (we got placed in 2 editorial playlists and increased our fanbase to everywhere in the world, places like Stockholm, Lithuania, Korea are jamming to RANN now!) we’re happy to have made that plan as it proves itself quite the fun challenge. We’re excited to feed both our old and new fans more music every month!

I’ve also been performing a lot as a sideman with some really cool pop artists. Last year I was invited to perform at Zara Larrson’s (Massive Europop star) intimate set at Billboard and Buzzfeed, toured North America with EZI (opening for Top 40 artists MAX, Bryce Vine and Nina Nesbitt), played a bunch of festival dates in both the US and Europe and was supposed to be going on another North America run with Kat Cunning and Allie X before the whole world got shutdown over COVID. So life’s busy and chaotic as usual over here in my camp.

A lot of what I’ve been doing lately as well is more on the songwriting side of the art as well.

Me and my music house-mates of Ghidrah Music, are writing tons and tons of music for/with a bunch of different artists all over the world like Loren Allred, Marcus Paul James, Marta Galuszewska, Maria Mathea, Tom Martin, Cathy Richardson (from Jefferson Starship) and many more.

We’ve written theme songs for TV shows, movies, trailers, video games and many many more.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Andre Vasconcelos Ghidrah Music Studio RANN
Andre Vasconcelos with RANN Band – Photo Credit: Courtesy

2. So, what is Ghidrah Music? What type of services are you offering and lastly, how are you guys distancing ourselves from others in the same industry?

Ghidrah Music is the production outfit of RANN. Composed by the same team as the indie rock band, Ghidrah is a Studio Team that meets over at the wonderful production room that we have at Studio G, in Williamsburg.

Our work is mostly dedicated to writing music and placing songs via sync licensing. We are partnered up with vocalists and writers from everywhere on the planet that are interested in doing the same thing. We write these songs, produce, mix and master them, then we send them out to the various pipelines. Finally, we have in the hopes to sell these licenses to tv shows, movies, video games and such.

Some songs that made their way into big productions are RANN’s “Childish Ways” that was featured in the mega movie “Tudo por um Pop Star” in Brasil and “Cellophane” also placed in a Brazilian blockbuster movie named “Entrando Numa Roubada”.

Other examples are MR VVOLF’s “Never Look Back” that got placed on the movie “All For Nikki” and a parody song we did in for Axe’s North American Campaign “Don’t Overthink It”.

We are currently working with at least 20 different artists trying to diversify and populate our song catalog for placement and we are truly excited about it.

As far as social distancing and pandemic rules go, our Studio got shut down when the Governor gave the order. We split our gear into 3, creating individual “home stations” for each of us and we tackled the work that could be done from home.

It was a challenging time but we adapted correctly and we made the best we could with what we had. This is truly a historic and defining time in all our lives and the main choice here is to not lose focus of what’s important, our health. Being responsible and considerate is paramount. So for now, we’re minimizing our in person sessions very close to 0%. And, we’ll loosen the grip on that restriction as the weeks of successful reopening go by.

3. How was this transition from being on stage, to going behind the scenes and starting Ghidrah Music?

Honestly, you can hardly say it’s been a transition. This is just the natural growth of both paths of my life that were always present. I’ve been on the road and on stage for a long time, but those activities typically happen later during the day.

The production and writing stuff is often occurring during morning of weekdays so, between these two roles you can imagine my schedule gets pretty hectic. A good example of how this works can be be illustrated by last December.

In the morning the Ghidrah boys and I finalized an instrumental cue that we sold the publishing off to NBC, for the show “Making It” with Nick Offerman and Amy Poehler. Right after that I had to get to a rehearsal, so I left the studio, did the rehearsal and made my way to the Bowery Ballroom, where we played a sold-out show with Pop Star songstress Kat Cunning.

Typically my days work like that, mornings and early evenings for Ghidrah, the rest of the evening and nights for side man or RANN live performances.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Andre Vasconcelos Ghidrah Music Studio Apoena Frota
Andre Vasconcelos with Apoena Frota, RANN Band – Photo Credit: Courtesy

4. I’ve seen that in a super short time, you’ve worked with major brands in Brazil and other corners of the globe. Can you share a bit about some of these great projects?

Having discovered that what we truly wanted to do was also our strongest asset was incredibly lucky and fortunate.

We are a group of originally 3 producers. Our company was even called 3P, for 3 Productions. We did the entire debut record by the Brazilian artist Rachell Luz under that alias. We eventually decided to change the name to Ghidrah Music, to honor our ridiculous tendencies. With the name change also came a change of focus, we wanted to use our time and our talents to write music together instead of working as producers for artists. We still do that, but it isn’t the main focus of the company anymore.

What started happening was, the people that knew us as producers and now as songwriters started using us to write songs for their business campaigns. Sometimes it would be a big advertisement campaign, such as the Claro “Novo” campaign we did last year for South America’s biggest phone and internet company.

Sometimes it’d be for an intro for a podcast, or for Call of Duty professional e-sports team Twitter teaser trailer. The point being is that we took our one stop approach for audio solutions from before and we added something even more rare and hard to come across: the ability to write good songs.

That expanded the horizon for us and let us work with a ton of different companies and entities everywhere in the world.

5. A question, maybe hard to answer at this time, but with the global situation of Covid-19, have you been able to identify any new trend or opportunities in the music industry? How severely did the Pandemic affect the industry?

The pandemic has been extremely harsh to the music industry. With shows and events cancelled for the foreseeable future, a lot of my music professional peers are suffering greatly.

I know so many people that have been living exclusively on the road, whether they are side man like me, or road crew, lighting tech, tour managers, day-to-day managers, FoH engineers, etc. Every single one of these guys have had their futures cancelled for an undetermined amount of time. And, that is a very scary thought.

Hopefully the world will arrive at a solution for this horrible virus problem and we’ll be able to return to some form of normalcy soon. Personally, I’ve lost so many concerts, rehearsals and recordings, frankly too many to count.

From a main stage festival slot at Central Park to two mini tours in Mexico and Japan, to a RANN + Jefferson Starship throw down at the Westhampton Theatre, the losses are actually incalculable.

But, what isn’t is the fact that I am alive, well and healthy. We can always regain opportunities and earn back money lost, but we can’t always recover people from the damage caused by this brutal virus.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Andre Vasconcelos Ghidrah Music Studio Stage Pronoun
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Pronoun

6. Do you have any upcoming projects that you can share with us? We’d love a sneak peek!

Too many upcoming projects!

We’re working on a songwriting competition with the awesome Marcus Paul James, that’ll be happening on Friday. We wrote a song together for it and we’re super excited to support our amazing friend belting his beautiful voice in favor of positive change.

We are also expecting to receive Cathy Richardson’s vocals on a song we wrote for a big feature film to be produced in Los Angeles once production re-opens.

And, last but not least, RANN is releasing our newest and most exciting song to date named “When I’m Lucky”. We are so thrilled to share the song with the world, we did an amazing quarantine collaboration video with Brad Wagner and it’ll reach all streaming platforms and Youtube on June 26th, so stay tuned for it!


Thank you, Andre, for this amazing and inspiring interview.

It’s been an amazing journey to see you thrive from (still) being one of New York City’s top shelf guitarists to now additionally starting your new business venture, your studio Ghidrah Music! It’s truly inspirational and amazing to see all you’ve achieved.

No doubt your career in New York City, and across the globe, only continues to skyrocket!

Good luck and keep up posted!


Photo Credits: Courtesy Andre Vasconcelos / Ghidrah and Pronoun

3 Neat Ways To Make Your Trip To NYC A Little More Comfy

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 3 Ways To Make Your Trip To NYC More Comfy Matias Difabio

Traveling to New York City is always exciting and definitely on so many Bucket Lists around the globe. But, it can also be quite overwhelming. To help you out, take a look at 3 neat ways to make your trip to NYC a little more comfy.

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 3 Ways To Make Your Trip To NYC More Comfy Matias Difabio

Whether you see yourself as a globe-trotting individual or not, you can’t say that New York City has never interested you. How about organizing that trip to NYC?

The fame, the glitz, the glamour, the opportunities – the big apple is known by pretty much every single human being on the planet and is somewhere that temps all.

Whenever a person writes out a bucket list of places they’ve like to visit, NYC is always near the top of the list.

Let’s say you’ve made the decision to get out of your natural habitat and enter the city that never sleeps. You’ve decided to bite the bullet and visit one of the most legendary places the world has ever seen (and will ever see).

How can one make the trip a little easier themselves? As a newbie to a big city, you might feel a little intimidated by the prospect of being among it all.

Well, when the city reopens and we’re able to travel again, here are just a few things you can do to make things a little easier:


Create A Plan For Your Trip To NYC

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 3 Ways To Make Your Trip To NYC More Comfy Element5 Digital

If you have an idea of what you’re doing, then things will be a lot smoother.

On the other hand, if you are all over the place in terms of deciding what to do during your trip to NYC, the furor of the city might catch up with you. And, you may become completely overwhelmed by everything going on during the day.

If you create a plan or an itinerary of some sort, then you’re going to have a better chance of seeing what you want. You’ll also feel a lot better mentally as you head out into the wild and fast-paced nature of it all.

An idea we typically give to our clients is organizing an itinerary where you split the city is sections. The day you’re going to explore Central Park, you might just want to stick around the Upper East and Upper West Sides and enjoy everything in that area. The day you go to SoHo, you’ll get a chance to explore Lower Manhattan.

Don’t jump around too much. Commuting in New York City is easy, but can take some time.

Trains can be delayed and packed, especially during rush hours. Plus, exploring NYC by foot is so much better and more exciting! So, stick to the area you picked and create an itinerary around it.

If you’re the adventurous type, which most likely you are if you’re on our website, and want to explore more than only Manhattan, you might want to check out these 7 Best Places In Long Island City For Art Lovers.

Oh! To organize everything, you might want to by the best New York City Moleskine notebook. It contains the city map and spaces to write down your findings, organize the list of places you want to go, etc. And, it’s a pocket size, so don’t worry!


Look At The Area Beforehand

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 3 Ways To Make Your Trip To NYC More Comfy Courtney Cook

If you know where you’re going during your trip to NYC, then you’re going to be a lot more comfortable.

Nobody likes heading out into a perilous environment. While NYC will give you all the signs telling you where you are able to go, it can still confuse you if you’re a little new to this way of living.

Before evening embarking on your travels, you should hop online and look at a map of the area.

A map is obviously nothing like the real thing, but it can give you a small idea and can put your mind at ease. For example, if you’re an influencer looking to sit down in a comfortable coffee shop or library, then you might want to check out where the best places are.

Many people like heading out into the unknown, but it’s not the wisest thing to do if you’re a little uneasy about the whole thing.

Need help? One of our Series called “16 Things NO ONE EVER Tells You About NYC“, you can check out PART 1/4 and read #4 Understanding New York’s Map, to help you out! Once you get this, you’ll feel like a true New Yorker!


Find A Place To Store Your Things

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 3 Ways To Make Your Trip To NYC More Comfy Gianandrea Villa

If you’re in NYC for a short stay and have a lot of luggage to carry around, then you’re going to be in a bit of trouble physically, aren’t you?

Nobody likes hauling lots of things around. And, it’s especially annoying when you’re around so many others in a crowded city like New York, right?

Fortunately, you can find places like Stasher, who will be able to take your belongings off you for a short while so you can walk around freely and unencumbered.

Let us know if you need any assistance during your trip to NYC!


Photo Credits: Matias Difabio, Element5 Digital, Courtney Cook and Gianandrea Villa on Unsplash

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

Fun Things To Do In NYC This Fall

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Fun Things To Do In NYC This Fall Central Park The Lake

New York, New York is a fabled city of dreams. Considered the epicenter of American multiculturalism, New York City brings together the best of tourism, scenery, and choice. Today we will share with you some pretty fun things to do in NYC this Fall!

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Fun Things To Do In NYC This Fall Broadway Shows Andrae Ricketts
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Andrae Ricketts

Unfortunately, since New York City has taken a considerable hit since COVID-19 infiltrated its borders, most of its iconic spots and activities have been suspended through the summer. However, it’s still possible to plan a fall trip for this year that blends the timelessness of tourist spots with the eclectic spirit of its hidden gems. We’re gonna show you some fun things to do in NYC this Fall!

Formerly known as New Amsterdam, the city we now know as New York was initially settled on the Hudson River by the Dutch in 1624. Forty years later, the English took over and gave the city the name we know and love today: New York.

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Fun Things To Do In NYC This Fall Central Park The Lake
Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC

It is perhaps most famously known as the “gateway to America,” as the city saw a massive influx of immigrants between 1892 and 1954.

Because of this fact, it’s estimated that up to 40% of Americans can trace their lineage back to this group of immigrants who entered the country via Ellis Island, which could arguably be America’s most famous border stop.

New York’s rich cultural history has cemented its status as one of America’s must-see cities.

But for those unfamiliar with its geographical and social landscape, it might be overwhelming to dive in and navigate.

Fortunately, we’re here today to provide you with a list of sites you’ll visit during your time in ‘The Big Apple.’

These might look like pretty touristy spots to go, far from a “behind the scenes” experience at first glance, but we always tweak the experience into a memorable and unique one!

So, keep on reading and check out a few fun things to do in NYC this fall, with our “behind the scenes NYC juice” to top it off:


Taking Broadway to another level with a Meet & Greet experience!

There’s no business, like show business, baby!

Any American who can carry a tune has heard of Broadway; its world-class theater productions draw millions of international visitors each year.

Many of its iconic shows and songs have woven their way into the cultural fabric and lexicon. Broadway itself is the name of the street where most of those theater companies made their home in the early 1900’s, a time when the height of the Industrial Revolution ushered in massive public transportation shifts.

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Fun Things To Do In NYC This Fall Broadway Shows Lion King Meet & Greet
Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC

New York’s new subway system made getting around the city far easier, and with it came the popularization of live theater entertainment.

Nowadays, Broadway’s definition has expanded to include all streets between 42nd Street and 53rd Street in Midtown and is appropriately named the Theater District.

While there was a downturn in demand for theater productions during the Great Depression, Broadway would soon rise again.

There’s several acclaimed Broadway shows in production this fall, and anyone who wants to get an authentic taste of the city would be wise to buy a ticket to see one of these shows.

If you’re new to the theater world, consider The Lion King.

Not only is the story familiar thanks to Disney’s hit 1994 animated film, but it’s also the highest-grossing Broadway show of all time, raking in over $2 million every week.

That’s $1.4 billion in total since the beginning of its run! If you’re looking for a brief account of American history with a modern-day twist, then we recommend Hamilton, one of the most popular shows to hit Broadway in years.

If you’d like to see this show but aren’t too keen on shelling out $150 for a ticket, you can enter a digital lottery to win one for $10.

Now, for our “behind the scenes NYC juice”! Watching a Broadway show is definitely an amazing experience, but we can make it priceless with a pre-dinner with the stars and a backstage meet & greet after the show!

How about that for a memorable experience, huh?! Definitely one of the highlights of fun thing to do in NYC next Fall!


Central Park and all its secrets!

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Fun Things To Do In NYC This Fall Central Park Walking Tour
Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC

If New York is America’s most famous city, then Central Park is America’s most famous park.

The New York State Legislature set aside 750 acres of central land on Manhattan Island for park development on July 21, 1853. Central Park would become America’s first and largest public park and kicked off the urban park movement that would continue to spread throughout the country in the coming decades.

Those lobbying for the construction of the park argued that a big public park would contribute to the collective benefit of both society and public health. Their reasoning struck a chord, as nowadays America boasts over 53 national parks and 6600 state parks. Smaller public parks are estimated to double or triple the last number.

If you think all there is to do in Central Park is walk around, think again. You can fish for bass, explore Belvedere Castle, take in the floral scenery at the Conservatory Garden, and catch some Shakespearean theater if you’re so inclined.

What makes Central Park so amazing is that there’s something for everyone here.

Want to spread a blanket out on the Big Lawn and bask in the sun? You can do that–just don’t forget your prescription sunglasses (it gets pretty bright out there!).

Would you rather experience all the romance of a gondola ride without making a trip to Venice, Italy? Well, you can do that too on Central Park’s lake. If you’re new to the city, you have to make your way to America’s most beautiful and most memorable park before you go.

And still, let us organize a beautiful full picnic for you and your friend’s or loved ones! We’ll take care of everything from setting it up, to cleaning it all, when you’re done! It’s one of the fun outdoor activities you never thought about doing in New York.

Last, but not least, you can also sign up and experience the Secret of Central Park Walking Tour! So fun and you’ll learn even more, and explore a couple more off-the-beaten-path areas.


The Secret NYC Underground!

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Fun Things To Do In NYC This Fall Doyers Street Chinatown
Doyers Street, Chinatown. Photo Credit: Noel Y. Calingasan (@NYCLovesNYC)

Perhaps, though, these tourist destinations aren’t your cup of tea – even though we added our unique twist. So here are some secret and fun things to do in NYC this Fall.

If this is the case, rest assured you’re in the right place to explore and discover a trove of establishments that generally fly under the radar.

New York City is teeming with cocktail bars and live music hubs that can give you a taste of the undercurrent of the city’s culture.

Peachy’s Cocktail Bar has an impressive set of house rules that accosts every visitor before entry: NO FIGHTING, NO PHOTOS. Indeed, in today’s picture-perfect world, a bar like Peachy’s is an excellent place to relax with a drink and unplug. Located at 5 Doyers Street in Chinatown, this chic speakeasy-like lounge is under Chinese Tuxedo – a restaurant we love!!

But the phone-free element is not the only part of its unique vibe. Peachy’s cocktail bar dons some seriously fresh tiger-print wallpaper, intricate floral arrangements, and myriad flickering candles that all work together to create a funky yet beautifully understated mood.

Its most famous drink comes with complementary blue algae, but don’t worry. Not only are these algae safe for consumption, but it’s flavored with pineapple to conjure up childhood memories of blue Fun Dip. Talk about a sweet spot!

Are you looking for a laugh? Then, check out Live @ The Apt.

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Fun Things To Do In NYC This Fall Live Apt
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Live @ The Apt

What began as a three-person venture out of a 5th floor apartment has evolved into a comedy club with multiple locations across the city. Known as one of the hottest modern comedy clubs, Live @ The Apt has featured some of today’s most prominent, up-and-coming comedians, including Hannibal Buress, Hasan Minhaj, and Phoebe Robinson.

Live @ The Apt also partners with Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels’ Above Average Network to bring you the best on comedy production. They’ve also expanded their shows to national tours and branded content campaigns.

You won’t be disappointed if you make a trip to Live at The Apt. Just remember to bring your funny bone with you.


The list of things to do in NYC this Fall doesn’t stop here. But, we’d be here all day if we wanted to dig into all the uniquely incredible activities you could do in New York City.

However, know that it’s always good to keep your street smarts about you while you’re navigating the city.

We also have some travel recommendations for out-of-towners, and you can see the 16 Things NO ONE EVER Tells You About NYC.

Some additional tips include:

  • never getting into an unmarked cab (all yellow NYC cabs feature their driver’s medallion number on their taxi light),
  • sticking to well-lit, populated streets,
  • offering to panhandlers valuables like subway cards or food instead of money,
  • and keeping your wallet on you and within reach at all times (gotta watch out for those pickpockets).

So, we hope you’ve learned a little bit about our beautiful city today. We hope that you’ll get the chance to see it for yourself someday.


Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC and courtesy of Andrae Ricketts on Unsplash

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!

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