Tag Archives: Midtown

Natural Gourmet Institute: NYC Cooking Classes And Friday Night Dinners

Events On Going National Gourmet Institute NYC Cooking Classes Small Appetizer

If you are a mess in the kitchen, like us, but would love to learn your way around cooking, the Natural Gourmet Institute offers quite a few interesting NYC cooking classes and experiences.

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The Natural Gourmet Institute was founded on the principle that what we eat significantly affects our physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Of course, we couldn’t agree more with this statement, since we are huge believers of “we are what we eat”.

They’ve created a framework for healthy food selection. It’s based on high quality ingredients, concepts of Eastern & Western nutrition and a variety of dietary paradigms.

They offer different types of courses, like the ones below:

  • Summer Immersions: A summer course where you learn not only the theory, but also have hands-on classes;
  • Certificate Programs: Students work and meet accomplished chefs, industry experts and partners;
  • Classes: Some last 5+ days, other 3 days, others only a couple of hours. Student go home ready to experiment in their own kitchen;
  • Professional Training: You’ll master the art of healthy cooking through 600 hours of rigorous, life-changing culinary education.

Furthermore, most of the products used are organic, which we particularly enjoy, since we only shop organic.

Plus, they offer a super unique Friday Night Dinner. This three-course vegetarian dinner is both innovative and beautifully presented. Something New Yorkers love! They charge $45/person, which is a super reasonable price for a NY dinner. And last, it’s a BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle), so feel free to bring in which ever drink makes you smile!

And don’t forget to check out their book store. You’ll find amazing books that are actually pretty hard to find out there.

Alternatively, to organize an experience with friends with true NYC cooking classes or to put together a corporate activity for your clients or team, contact our experts to learn more. It will be an amusing activity for everyone!

Location: 48 West 21st Street, 2nd floor

https://naturalgourmetinstitute.com


Photo Credit: Courtesy of National Gourmet Institute
*Last Update on March/2020.*

The Wayfarer Restaurant Is The New Gem In Midtown

Dining The Wayfarer Restaurant Meat

The Wayfarer restaurant is an artisanal American seafood and steakhouse located in the heart of midtown. Crafted by chef Chris Chea, it is one of the must-see – or better yet, “must-taste” – in the city!

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The restaurant is relatively new, but it has been doing a fantastic job! On of our friends went there for cocktails and dinner and had a fantastic time.

Their menu based on a classic American dishes and is heavy on meat.

To start off your day, you can try their breakfast menu that is pretty diverse and has some fantastic options like the Belgian waffle, buttermilk pancakes, the smoked salmon platter, eggs florentine and the avocado toast! You can still order same good from the bakery selection and cereals!

Two of the amazing dishes you can try for lunch or dinner is the oysters tempura with cilantro and a chili dipping sauce, and the braised berkshire bacon glazed with maple syrup and xeres vinegar.

If you’re not into meat, their latest addition to the menu, was sushi!

The menu is complimented by custom cocktails created by award-winning mixologist Christian Sanders of Evelyn Drinkery.

The Wayfarer restaurant can be a bit touristy location, but you’ll definitely find a great, beautiful, local crowd. Well, our true New Yorkers friends are always there.

Before or after your visit to the restaurant, you can cross the street to visit the 1 Hotel, one of Manhattan’s new additions! Plus, the hotels is just so beautiful, it’s worth just to take a look and maybe you’ll stay there on your next trip to NYC!

Hours:
Breakfast: Monday – Friday: 6:30am – 11am
Lunch: Monday – Friday: 11am – 5pm
Dinner: Monday – Thursday & Sunday: 5pm – 11pm

Weekends:
Dinner: Friday & Saturday: 5pm – 12am
Brunch: Saturday & Sunday: 11am – 5pm

Location: 101 West 57th Street

http://thewayfarernyc.com


Photo Credit: Courtesy of The Wayfarer
*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

Curiosities of Grand Central Terminal, A New York Landmark

Curiosities City Secrets Curiosities of Grand Central Terminal New York Landmark by Anu Mahendran

Grand Central Terminal is a New York landmark that we just can’t ignore. This is actually one of our favorite spots in the city and the secret stories behind this monumental place is incredible. Below are some curiosities you will enjoy!

Curiosities City Secrets Curiosities of Grand Central Terminal New York Landmark by Anu Mahendran
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Anu Mahendran

We have to confess: we are a little obsessed with the Grand Central Terminal and its story.  There is just so many behind the scenes secret stories to share…

Everything is thrilling, from all the secrets it holds, to the uncovered mysterious places in it, to the breathtaking architecture and the startling number of people that passed by it daily – 750,000!

That is to say, our friends at Untapped New York have put together a sensational post with 10 quick curiosities about the Grand Central Terminal. We decided to share it with you!

So, did you know that:

  1. You can play tennis in Grand Central;
  2. There is a top secret room that doesn’t even appear on maps or blueprints;
  3. A hidden brick is an effective, if unintentional, anti-smoking ad;
  4. Some of the iron eagles have gone missing;
  5. No one knows if the “whispering gallery” was built to whisper on purpose;
  6. Grand Central houses a hidden bar;
  7. The sculptor who designed the statue in front of the building was kind of a snob;
  8. Track 61 still serves as a means of clandestine transportation;
  9. Grand Central has the largest basement of any building in New York City;
  10. And last, the ceiling is backwards!

If you enjoy uncovering these types of spots when you travel, we offer a fantastic Secret Behind The Scenes Grand Central Terminal Tour that will blow your mind. You will have an experience that not everyone is able to have. Plus, we visit many of the spots that we mentioned on the list above!

Super cool, right?

Lastly, if you are looking for corporate concierge services and need help organizing a unique experience for your executives or clients, we are also able to assist you. For private tours & experiences, contact us.

Location: 89 East 42nd Street

www.grandcentralterminal.com


Text Excerpts: Originally by Untapped New York
Photo Credit: Anu Mahendran from anoomaggie.blogspot.com
*Last Update on March/2020.*

10 Top Secrets Of New York City That You Probably Don’t Know

Curiosities City Secrets 10 Top Secrets in New York City Underbelly Project Installation by Jeff Stark Credit Katherine Lorimer

New York City is a place full of secrets and with some the most intriguing hidden stories in the world. The more we learn, the more curious we become! Here are 10 top secrets of New York City that you probably don’t know!

Curiosities City Secrets 10 Top Secrets in New York City Collage

We just love exploring the city and all the hidden secrets that are super well-kept! Many of these have been shared before, but every time we tell a friend about them, they always reply: “Wow! I never knew about that!”.

Well, this made us think that, even though many of these places have been shared before, there is still a whole bunch of people that still have never heard about them. So, we decided to share the 10 top secrets of New York City that we think are the coolest ones!

Check them out below:


#1 Pomander Walk

Curiosities City Secrets 10 Top Secrets in New York City City Pomander Walk by Sonja Stark
Photo Credit: Sonja Stark

The Pomander Walk was built back in the early 1920’s, specifically in year of 1921. It was built as an homage to the famous English romantic comedy that has the same name. It was written by Louis N. Parker and was famous back then, in London.

It’s located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, between Broadway and West End Avenue.

Several famous names are known for having been residents there. Names like Humphrey Bogart, Rosalind Russel, and Lilian Gish. Unfortunately you can’t walk inside this special street anymore. They have closed the entrance and you’re only allowed in if you have a key, or if any of the residents there invites you in.

Nonetheless, you can still peek through the gate and get a slight view of this little Manhattan haven.

Location: 265 West 94th Street


#2 Tunnel below Columbia University’s Morningside Campus

Curiosities City Secrets 10 Top Secrets in New York City Tunnels Under Columbia University by Miru Kim
Photo Credit: Miru Kim

Back in the beginning of the 1900’s, this tunnel was a passage way to and from the Bloomingdale’s Insane Asylum. It ran from 1821–1889, when it was renamed to New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester and relocated to White Planes.

Then, it served as a meeting place for scientists during the beginning states of the famous Manhattan Project. From there, the 1st nuclear weapons were created.

Today, they are the tunnel right below Columbia University’s Morningside campus. This curious network of underground tunnels connects several school building.

A few tunnels are still open to faculty and students to pass between buildings, but most are closed down for safety purposes. Some of them are located under the Buell Hall and the Pupin Hall.

Spooky, hidden, but amazing!

Oh! You must be questioning about this naked girl on the picture! Well, that’s the super brave and bold, Miru Kim! Yup! She accesses some insane out of bound spots, and shoots..naked!

Location: 3022 Broadway


#3 Hidden bomb shelter in the Brooklyn Bridge

Curiosities City Secrets 10 Top Secrets in New York City Brooklyn Bridge Hidden Bomb Shelter by Reuters
Photo Credit: Reuters

Discovered in 2006, this hidden bomb shelter in the Brooklyn Bridge, was one of the most amazing discoveries of the city. At least, in our humble opinion!

When it was found, they saw it was fully stocked with basic life necessities, in case of a nuclear attack. Everything from water supplies and medicine, to thousands of cracker boxes and blankets. These boxes were ink-stamped with the dates of 1957 – launch of the Sputnik satellite, and 1962 – the Cuban missile crisis.

That’s not the only secret space inside the belly of the bridge. Located within its base, a series of vast rooms known as the Brooklyn Anchorage were used for music and theater performances, readings and art exhibitions for nearly 20 years.

We would have loved going there for any of these gatherings!

Location: No need for it, right?


#4 Staten Island Boat Graveyard

Curiosities City Secrets 10 Top Secrets in New York City Staten Island Boat Graveyard by Gordon Donovan Cater News
Photo Credit: Gordon Donovan/Cater News

Have you ever heard of a boat graveyard? Sounds interesting, right? In the past, the Staten Island Boat Graveyard housed a collection of over 400 decomposing and rusting steam vessels, warships, ferries and fireboats. Today, there are only a remaining 20-40 wrecks spread through out the place.

Furthermore, the graveyard was originally called Witte Marine Scrap Yard or Arthur Kill Boat Yard. In time, it earned the reputation of “a mecca for artists and photographers”.

Go to this spooky place while you can! It’s definitely worth it!

Location: Rossville, Staten Island


#5 New York Marble Cemetery

Curiosities City Secrets 10 Top Secrets in New York City Marble Cemetery Courtesy
Photo Credit: Courtesy

The New York Marble Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in NYC and dates back to 1831. We believe that today it might probably be one of the hardest burial grounds to find in New York City. Maybe, that’s why we love it so much!

Located in the East Village, right behind the Bowery Hotel, the cemetery gate can be found at the end of a narrow alley leading from 2nd Avenue. By the way, this gate is beautifully designed and worth the attention!

The cemetery is marked by plaques instead of tombstones. In addition, it can be visited for only a few hours on the 4th Sunday of each month, and during the months of April through October.

Location: 41 1/2 2nd Avenue

www.marblecemetery.org


#6 Berlin Wall Remnants in Paley Park

Curiosities City Secrets 10 Top Secrets in New York City Berlin Wall Remnants in Paley Park by Naked Apartments
Photo Credit: Naked Apartments

The Berlin Wall Remnants in Paley Park is found inside a small Midtown plaza. It’s right at 520 Madison Avenue, and most of the time is unnoticed by the passersby.

I mean, New Yorkers are always in a rush, and passing straight by this monumental wall. So, it’s not a surprise people don’t even notice it.

The West side of this amazing piece of history is the work of German artists Kiddy Citny and Thierry Noir. It was put on display in 1990. On the other hand, the East side is pure concrete. It is meant to remember the oppressive political regimes of East Germany, back in the days.

Pretty cool, right?

Location: 520 Madison Avenue


#7 Rockefeller Center 620 Loft & Gardens

Curiosities City Secrets 10 Top Secrets in New York City Rooftop Gardens Rockefeller Center by Naked Apartments
Photo Credit: Naked Apartments

Ah! We love hidden gardens, specially if they’re located high up, up, up in the sky!

The Rockefeller Center 620 Loft & Gardens is secluded, and therefore, made invisible, a few hundred feet above the ground.

Well, other taller buildings can see it, so they are the lucky ones! Or, if you decide to host your wedding there, since it’s available to rent for private events and corporate events!

The garden was designed by Ralph Hancock, an English landscaper born in 1893. It came to life during the early/mid 1930’s and only three of the five gardens are able to be seen today.

So, be sure to head to the top of 610 and 620 Fifth Avenue!

The Rockefeller Center Channel Gardens are the ones on the ground floor, which people can walk by and photograph!

www.rockefellercenter.com

Location: 45 Rockefeller Plaza


#8 Whispering Gallery in Grand Central Terminal

Curiosities City Secrets 10 Top Secrets in New York City Whispering Gallery Grand Central Terminal by Staycay
Photo Credit: Stacay

The Whispering Gallery inside the Grand Central Terminal is located in front of the Oyster Bar & Restaurant.

Just a quick history: The Grand Central Terminal was build in 1913 and is the world’s largest train station. Plus, it’s definitely one of the most famous landmarks, being featured in countless movies.

This arch possesses a mystifying acoustic property. When two people stand at diagonal arches and whisper, they are able to hear each other’s voices. It seams to be “telegraphed” from across the 2,000 sqft chamber.

It is certainly a unique experience!

But the question still remains: “Was it constructed with the intention of producing the acoustic effect, or was it only an architectural mistake?”

It you are interested in exploring more the Grand Central Terminal, take a look at this secret tour.

Location: 87 East 42nd Street


#9 Underbelly Project

Curiosities City Secrets 10 Top Secrets in New York City Underbelly Project Installation by Jeff Stark Credit Katherine Lorimer
Photo Credit: Katherine Lorimer

This is maybe our top favorite NYC secret! It’s probably because we not only love graffiti art, but also because it lives several meters underground, in mysterious and secluded subway stations!

Underbelly Project: Street Art Way Below the Street unites the intriguing work of 103 street artists from around the world.

But, collectors can’t buy the art. People can’t really see it, since it’s been done illegally, in an old long-abandoned subway station.

“Though rumors have circulated that the station is above the G train’s Broadway stop in Williamsburg, don’t try to see for yourself — not only is it dark and dangerous, but it is also illegal. Plus, there have been at least 20 arrests of trespassers trying to visit the space.” ~ Erin O’Hara

www.theunderbellyproject.com


#10 Hidden Subway Station Beneath City Hall

Curiosities City Secrets 10 Top Secrets in New York City Hidden Subway Station Beneath City Hall by Michael Freeman
Photo Credit: Michael Freeman

Last spot part of our 10 Top Secrets Of New York City is another hidden subway!

This hidden subway station beneath City Hall is way deep in the belly of New York’s subway system. It’s a beautiful untouched station that has been forgotten for years. Today, only a limited few lucky ones know of its existence.

It opened in 1904 and remained open through December 31st of 1945. Some people explain that “it sounds like something straight out of Harry Potter”. What? Wait! We LOVE Harry Potter!

So, to see this amazing spot, just stay inside the 6 train that is headed to the Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall Station. When you reach the last station, don’t get off!

If you stay inside the train, it makes a turnaround – and that’s where the magic happens. Then, from inside the train you’ll be able to see this beautiful location with an amazing architecture. It has some gorgeous Roman bricks, tiled vaults, arches, stained glass and brass chandeliers.

Certainly a spot not to be missed! If you’re not sure how to do this, come with us to our Underground New York Subway Tour.

Location: Brooklyn Bridge City Hall Station


If you enjoyed these 10 top secrets of New York City, but is now curious to learn more, contact our exerts! We have some very cool tours to share with you. In addition, we work with customized concierge and corporate tours too!

So, come explore a little of this secret part of New York that just a hand full of people know about! Plus, you’ll certainly have some Instagram-worthy shots!!!


Photo Credits: Courtesy of Sonja Stark, Miru Kim, Reuters, Gordon Donovan/Cater News, Naked Apartments, Staycay.net, Katherine Lorimer (featured image) and courtesy of the locations.
*Last Update on March/2020.*

Grand Central Terminal Market Is A NYC Gourmet Experience

Shop Specialties Grand Central Terminal Market

This is not necessarily a secret, but it’s certainly forgotten by most people. The Grand Central Terminal Market is a great place to browse for unique food, spices and more! Certainly a gourmet experience!

Shop Specialties Grand Central Terminal Market

This it not a secret at all, but many times the Grand Central Terminal Market is forgotten by most people.

From tourist to locals, we believe this market is underrated and deserves more attention!

It’s an amazing place to stop by once in a while to check out what’s new!

To start, the market offers a vast variety of products like meat, bread & pastry.

Plus, you can still find chocolates, cheeses, sea food, spices, teas, cakes, muffins, bagels and much more.

So, it’s easy to spend a few hours just checking out everything there, but it’s hard to leave empty handed!

We are sure you will enjoy it! Take a look at the Instagram Stories we did there as well!


Check out some of the amazing vendors:

Bien Cuit: They are experts in creating artisanal pastries, breads and desserts, with special grains! They offer signature breads, delicious cakes and tarts! Plus, try their éclairs!

Ceriello Fine Foods: If you’re part of the carnivore team, they work with only Prime Aged Beef!

Dishes at Home: Are you into healthy diets? Well, Dishes is an experts in preparing a diet with fresh vegetable, whole grain, with a focus on high proteins. They have a variety of freshly prepared food and a great selection of marinated, seasoned poultry products!

E.A.T. Gifts: Curated by the Head Buyer, Kim Staller, they offer a fantastic selection of food-themed gifts.

Eli Zabar’s Bread & Pastry: This artisanal bakery is specialized in sourdough, with grain, organic and traditional European style country breads. The also offer Kosher and holiday goods for the special dates throughout the year – Passover, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, etc!

Eli Zabar’s Farm to Table: With only seasonal, organic and sustainable practices with fruits and vegetables, they are supplied by farmers in the tristate area. Plus, some products come for other vendors across the US, South America and other parts of the globe!

…but wait! There is more!

Li-Lac Chocolates: This is the oldest chocolate house in Manhattan, founded in 1923. They use only the best and finest ingredients. Plus, their original recipes are all handmade.

Murray’s Cheese: Another super traditional brand, founded back in 2940! They offer over 250 types of cheeses sourced from the 4 corners of the globe. Plus, they also have a great selection of prosciuttos, salamis, gourmet pantry, such as nuts, honey and olive oils.

Oren’s Daily Roast: They offer a great selection of specialty coffee beans. With freshly roasted and amazing quality, it is a paradise for the coffee lovers. In addition, they have different type of teas. Plus, accessories like coffee makers, mugs, tea pots and more!

Pescatore Seafood: Everyday, Pescatore has different seafood varieties and 20+ fresh fishes. In fact, they also offer freshly prepared food, appetizers and side dishes. Are you a Caviar lover? They have a great selection of the best.

Sushi by Pescatore: Great spots for quick, to-go sushi. Super fresh and made daily my sushi chef experts.

Spices & Tease: Offering 70+ original spices and seeds, 30 homemade spice blends, 35 herbs and botanical plants, 180 exotic teas imported from all over the world and still, 18 types of peppers and 13 gourmet salts, this is a must go! Specially, if you’re a spice and tea aficionado.

Wow! This list is endless, right?!

We are sure you will have a great time exploring the Grand Central Terminal Market.

Plus you’ll be able to go home ready and experiment with your newly bought items!

If you want some help exploring it, and even want to pair this experience with a customized tour & experiences, contact our experts. We also offer a pretty unique behind the scenes tour of Grand Central Terminal.

For Corporate tours and experiences, let us cater something to your team or clients.

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 7am – 9pm
Saturday: 10am – 7pm
Sunday: 11am – 6pm

Location: 89 East 42nd Street


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

Ernest Alexander Design Shop: A Unique Menswear in NYC

Shop Ladies and Gents Ernest Alexander Street Style

Ernest Alexander, a great menswear in New York, launched a few weeks back, his design shop in New York City that is opened to the public!

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UNFORTUNATELY THEY CLOSED THEIR NYC STORE, BUT SELL ONLINE!

In the end of 2014 the city received a gift! Ernest Alexander opened his design shop for the public, in Lower Midtown.

The current flagship store, in SoHo, works exclusively with ready-to-wear menswear and accessories.

Going back in time:

The brand exists for over 5 years now and Earnest started from the desire of creating the perfect men’s messenger bag.

The idea was to create a messenger bag with “clean lines, functionality, traditional materials blended with a slightly modern aesthetic, something durable and good-looking”.

It took time, work and long exhausting hours of planning and testing, but around a year later, voilá! The Hudson Messenger was born!

One of the most special aspects in the brand is the choice of manufacturing everything around the New York City area and supporting NYC’s Garment District. There they offer the possibility for new designers to challenge their ideas and start their own clothing lines!

Cool right? We just love it!

Well, Ernest took another big step in 2014 opening his Design Store for the public to get a glimpse of their amazing work.

Ernest explained to WWD:

“I want people to walk into my showroom store and get the full experience of the brand. From seeing all we have to offer in accessories and ready-to-wear, customers will also get the opportunity to see where I work and where I get my inspirations.”

The Ernest Alexander: Design Shop opens by appointment only.  You can schedule Tuesdays through Thursdays and for walk-ins on Friday.

If you are not the type that is excited to shop and you just want to get things done, you might want to consider consulting our private Personal Shopping services.

Our experts pre select everything before hand, based on your style and budget. So, when you arrive at the store(s), it’s pretty seamless and painless.

Come explore the more unique menswear in NYC.

www.ernestalexander.com


Photo Credits: Courtesy of Ernest Alexander and WWD
*Last Update on March/2020.*

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