Tag Archives: New York City

Learn How To Get The Best NYC Shots With Dani Diamond

Curiosities Insider Interviews Dani Diamond Photography Dani Smiling

New York City is a paradise for photographers, but getting the best NYC shots is not always easy! Dani Diamond, a professional photographer gives us a few tips to make it right!

At 27 years old, Dani Diamond, born in Ohio, but currently based in Connecticut, is more of the introvert type, so photography focused on Weddings & Events was definitely not up his alley, since he’d need to worry about countless details and bigger groups of people interacting with him.

He started working in Fashion / Commercial photography, at the age of 23, because he always wanted to be able to take amazing photos and, as we know, models do know their way in front of a camera (with a bit of orientation from the photographer, of course). So Dani, being a confessed introvert, found his way in.

His photography style is based on natural lighting and it’s surely what makes him stand out in relation to other photographers today. His technique also helped him built strong social media presence which, only on Instagram, is over 114k.

How he started? “I started on my own, figured out how things worked looking at Youtube videos. I studied in Business School and even though I didn’t follow that path, I can definitely apply what I learned to my own business.

As he says: “I wasn’t born talented, I was born ambitious.” Awesome, right?

He now has clients not only in the US like New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Texas, but also over seas in England and other countries around the Globe.

For this Insider Interviews, we decided to shift a bit the focus. So, this time instead of “Top 7 Secret Tips in NY”, Dani will give us his “Top 7 tips for Photographers that want to shoot in NYC”.

Read and learn, Guys!


#1 – I love shooting in NYC mainly because I can work outdoors at anytime of the day and get that soft golden hour light.

The tall skyscrapers of Manhattan block the direct harsh sunlight from hitting the streets, so this really softens the light as its bounces off the buildings.

This does come with a price to pay though. Contrary to popular believe, shooting during Sunset hours in NY is not good because of this. The same way harsh sunlight is softened before it reaches the street during daylight hours, it also eliminates the much weaker sunset light.

Without much light at the golden hour it makes taking photographs very difficult. In the end, I’d take 10 hours of soft light over 1 hour of sunset light on any day.

#2 – Stay away from touristy areas, like Midtown, of course.

I prefer mainly places in quieter areas. Areas like the Financial District on a Sunday where you’ll find absolutely no tourists nor business man walking around. You’ll have 10 blocks of beautiful emptiness.

In Brooklyn, Dumbo is favorite area. Even though you can find lots of people walking around, there are several streets that people just don’t pass by and that have a very unique cobble street look. You can also find great alleys, gorgeous store fronts, plus you have a breathtaking background with the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge. You can find the Brooklyn Bridge Park with a great view of Manhattan’s skyline, all within a 5 minute walk, versus Manhattan, that doesn’t have all that in a small radius.

#3 The West Side Highway is great to shoot.

The best time is to shoot during the first half of the day, before the sun reaches that area. The first half of the day, the sun is on the FDR side (East).

Plus, you also have nice docks with boats in the back, giving it a cool background.

#4 If it’s a rainy day, go to Soho. You’ll find tons of bars.

You can shoot in the empty bars before 4-5pm, since people start showing up only after work for the endless Happy Hours.

They all have different looks and personalities. Just feel free to walk in and politely ask to take pictures, not more than 5-6, though. SoHo has only a “10 block radius” and each bar speaks in a different way.

#5 Go to the famous Highline!

Try shooting early in the morning, before people come around. It does get quite crazy during the day. This area will give you a unique nature type of vibe and lots of green.

#6 Hit-up bridges in NY to shoot.

Shoot at Sunset because you’re out in the open. The Brooklyn Bridge is #1, for sure, but it has the most number people too.

The Williamsburg Bridge is great, but keep in mind it is very ‘red’, so remember this detail when styling the wardrobe. My favorite bridge is the 59th Street Bridge that crosses Roosevelt Island – there are no tourists and only a few people biking to work or from work.

#7 The best place to buy your equipment is B&H.

They have any piece of gear you’ll probably need. And, the best is they are not forcing any things down your throat since they don’t get paid commission to sell.

The store has robots hanging from the ceiling that take care of your shopping cart. Therefore, you don’t need to carry anything around while shopping!

www.bhphotovideo.com


Here are a few other tips:

What is a hidden spot in NYC with a stunning view of the City?
As I said, Dumbo is great, and I also really like Hoboken, in Hudson County, New Jersey.

What piece of advise would you give someone that just moved to NYC?
Do not stay in the City. Get a place in Brooklyn or New Jersey, this way you’ll actually see the City’s beautiful skyline. It’s also cheeper and you’ll experience more things around it. If you stay in the City, you will likely stay o-n-l-y in the City. Plus, the ferries are cheep and pretty fun!

        

Oh! Dani told us that he uses a Nikon D800 and buys semi new cameras. His tip for buying a used camera is to check the shutter count to see how old it is. If it’s under 20k, it’s ok! Cameras are rated up to 200k.

Click on the images above to see further details of the camera and the lens! It will surely help you get the best NYC shots.

http://danidiamond.com


His YouTube page has great stuff and tells a bit more about his career and photography tips! Enjoy!

Take a look as some of his beautiful work:

Curiosities Insider Interviews Dani Diamond Photography Shooting
Curiosities Insider Interviews Dani Diamond Photography Blue Dress
Curiosities Insider Interviews Dani Diamond Photography Light Treatment
Curiosities Insider Interviews Dani Diamond Photography Sitting Street
Curiosities Insider Interviews Dani Diamond Photography Behind the Scenes
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And, a few portraits:

Curiosities Insider Interviews Dani Diamond Photography Winter Beanie
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Photo Credits: Courtesy of Dani Diamond
*Last Update on March/2020.*

Ray’s Candy Store Is A New York City Classic

Dining Ray's Candy Shop Fernanda Paronetto and Ray

Have you heard of Ray’s Candy Store, a New York City classic?! It’s one of New York’s neighborhood sweethearts, located in the East Village.

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The other night we walked into Ray’s Candy Store with a group of friends and we we were lucky enough to bump into Ray himself. It was not only a huge honor to meet him, but so much fun too!

As you pass by, you might not even pay attention to it, since it’s doesn’t have a gorgeous, new, fresh façade! It’s actually a small entrance, but the bright yellow colors might jump out at you! Don’t hesitate and step in! You’ll be warmly greeted!

“That is a superb egg cream.” ~ Anthony Bourdain

The store has been opened since 1974 and they surely make some of the best milkshakes, deep fried Oreos, ice creams, hotdogs and a bunch of other yummy stuff!

We also shot a super fun YouTube video there, about the Most Famous NYC Desserts, if you want to check it out!

It’s the perfect spot when you just want to splurge on your calories and have enjoy the good moments of life!

Not only everything there is to-die-for, but Ray and his beautiful wife are simply the best hosts ever. Believe it or not, they are opened 24h, since the day they opened the place. Amazing!

And, on the image below, is our Founder, Fernanda with Ray! She invaded the counter area the night she was there with friends and started doing funny Boomerangs with him.

You don’t believe us? Take a close look. That’s what happens after eating too much sugar! Kids…lol!

Dining Ray's Candy Shop Fernanda Paronetto and Ray
Yeah, just like we said above…Kids!

We really recommend you passing by to visit and try out this New York City gem! It will definitely be one of your highlights, specially if you have a sweet-tooth like Fernanda.

Enjoy this New York City classic!

Hours: Believe it or not, it’s been 24h since 1974!

Location: 113 Avenue A

www.facebook.com/RaysCandyStoreNYC


Photo Credits: Courtesy of Ray’s Candy Store, Brian Wennersten, Steven Sonnenblick and Peter Brownscombe
*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

Luxe APP: Parking In NYC Has Never Been So Easy

Curiosities City Secrets Luxe App Parking in NYC

Parking in NYC is one of the biggest hassles and only if you drive, you’ll know what we mean. Besides the astronomic prices, the time spent is irreparable. Luxe APP can be the solution to all your problems!

Curiosities City Secrets Luxe App Parking in NYC

We all know how hard it can be to find a spot to park your car in New York City, right? It can be very challenging and stressful, specially because New Yorkers are always on the rush!

In addition, the prices of parking in NYC can be, literally, ridiculously high!

In this overwhelming technological world, with so many apps being launched daily, we may have found the perfect solution for all your parking problems.

The team at Luxe APP has been doing a great job creating an extremely convenient solution for car parking in NYC and other main cities in the US!

Have you ever imagined having a Valet Service wherever you’re at? Sound like paradise, right?

It’s pretty simple: you just book through the app the location and time you’ll be at, and one of the valets from their team will be on spot waiting for you.

They park in the secured lots around the city. Plus, you can ask them to fuel it up and even wash it for you!

Just perfect and super convenient, right? When you’re ready to get your car back, just schedule the return 15 minutes in advance and, violá! They’ll be there in a few minutes and you’ll be able to head off to your next appointment.

This will certainly help us all be less stressed and in time for every single meeting and commitment we have for that day.

You can download the Luxe APP on the website below.

If you don’t have a car, but you’re looking for chauffeur services, contact our experts. Our partners have multilingual driver, armored cars, bodyguard services, or simply, a great driver to talk you to your destination.

For Corporate requests for an executive, or even minibus and bus rentals for a bigger team, we have it all!

http://luxe.com


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Luxe App
*Last Update on March/2020.*

14 NYC Hot Spots By The Personal Style Blogger, Raquel Paiva

Curiosities Insider Interviews Raquel Paiva

New York City is surely an overwhelming place to not only visit, but also live. Raquel Paiva, a Personal Style Blogger from Brazil, currently living in Brooklyn, share 14 top spots to prevent you from FOMO.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Raquel Paiva

We all know how New York City can be overwhelming with places to go, things to do, interesting people to meet.

This might give you the constant feeling of “Am I missing out on something today?!”

Hence, the expression “FOMO”, or Fear Of Missing Out.

Our Contributor Laura Peruchi interviewed Raquel Paiva, a Personal Style Blogger from Brazil that is currently living in Brooklyn.

She moved here 3 years ago to attend Fashion school and ended up creating a blog to share a little bit about everything she was experiencing in this amazing city.

I’m not sure if you all know, but New York is always ranked as the Top 3 Destinations for Brazilians, so talking about New York (with style), is surely a definite success!

Take a look at Raquel’s great list of hot spots in the city:


Barraca

Curiosities Insider Interviews Raquel Paiva Barraca Façade
Curiosities Insider Interviews Raquel Paiva Barraca Bar
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Curiosities Insider Interviews Raquel Paiva Barraca Prosciutto
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UNFORTUNATELY THIS RESTAURANT IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED!

“I love Barraca, in the West Village, because they have amazing tapas and sangria! Their happy hour is also a must-go.”

If you love an authentic Spanish Cuisine, Barraca is surely a place for you to visit.

They have a “Sangria Lab” that features 8 regional sangrias. Their Paella is to-die-for and the environment is very relaxed and welcoming.

Plus, come on, they’re located in the West Village – one of our favorite neighborhoods in Manhattan.

Just the perfect combination!

Oh! They are opened until 1am, so it’s a great spot for the night owls.

Location: 81 Greenwich Avenue, West Village


Simple Café

Curiosities Insider Interviews Raquel Paiva Simple Cafe Façade
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“Simple Café serves super fresh and delicious French Algerian food, and they also have an option of breakfast buffet, which I love to eat on Sundays when I wake up starving Haha.”

This coffee shop is located in Williamsburg.

They offer amazing French-Algerian lunches, brunches and French-Algerian dinners.

Chef Samia Behaya founded the place in 2006 and it became a neighborhood gem.

They bake daily all their delicious breads and all ingredients are locally sources from the Hudson Valley Harvest.

Location: 346 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg

http://simplecafenyc.com


10 Degrees Bar

Curiosities Insider Interviews Raquel Paiva 10 Degrees Bar

“Why I love 10 Degrees Bar? Just because they have the BEST Mojitos, plus their Happy Hour is also amazing!”

We love the Lower East Side of Manhattan. It’s a neighborhood that is growing so much and we love to explore and #uncover.

10 Degrees Bar is a cool place to go, with delicious cocktails and a great crowd! They are open 7 days a week, from 12pm – 4am and it’s a great place to meet friends for drinks in the City!

Super low profile, chill place with beautiful people.

Location: 121 Saint Marks Place, Lower East Side


The Jane Hotel

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“The Jane Hotel usually has great DJs and the atmosphere is super fun.”

The nightlife in New York City can be very overwhelming, specially if you’re not from around.

There is just so much going on and new places opening, that knowing what’s trending now and hot, hot can be a hard task.

The Jane Hotel was inaugurated in 1908 and was originally built to host sailors, hence the tiny cabin-like rooms. Lastly, the hotel hosts great events, so it’s a place to always check what’s going on.

Location: 113 Jane Street, Greenwich Village

www.thejanenyc.com


Beauty & Essex

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“I love Beauty & Essex, even though I am not a big fan of fancy places! The decoration is gorgeous, cool crowd, and their BBQ fries are so tasty!”

A restaurant, a lounge and a pawn shop.

That’s Beauty & Essex, located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

The place has 2 floors, dining and lounge areas, delicious tapas and small bits that are perfect for sharing. All created by the talented chef and owner Chris Santos.

And the cocktails? Outstanding cocktails. All of this in a 10,000 square foot space.

Location: 146 Essex Street, Lower East Side

http://beautyandessex.com


Troupe Fit

Curiosities Insider Interviews Raquel Paiva Troupe Fit Outdoor Yoga
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UNFORTUNATELY THIS APP IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE!

“Troupe Fit is like an Uber, but instead of cars they offer personal trainers to go to you, so do your workout wherever you want.”

Sometimes it’s hard to schedule fixed hours with a personal trainer.

Work hours can get quite crazy and when you noticed, it’s Friday and you didn’t exercise or cancelled every class you had previously booked at your neighborhood gym.

If you’re never certain of your schedule, this is a great tip!

Troupe Fit has a great team of personal trainers focused on general training, yoga and pilates that you can book when you want and where you want.

Individual classes start at $49. #JoinTheTroupe.

Take a look and download the app.


Joanna Vargas Skin Care

Curiosities Insider Interviews Raquel Paiva Joanna Vargas Beauty
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“Joanna Vargas Skin Care offers great facials using natural products that make your face feel so clean and healthier. Plus, you have a chance of running into Karlie Kloss while there.”

Known for being the Esthetician of countless gorgeous celebrities, super models and New York’s most breathtaking women, Joanna Vargas is a beauty guru in New York.

She works with non-invasive techniques and has her own all natural and organic skin care products.

Totally up our alley of treatments we enjoy exploring.

Location: 501 5th Avenue, Midtown

https://joannavargas.com


RPZL

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“You can go to RPZL to get extensions, blow dry, or even just a cool braid.”

We love braids, but it’s just so hard to make a cool one of your own! If you do have the coordination, congrats! It’s amazing!

But, if you don’t, RPZL will change your life.

You don’t like braids? That’s fine too. You’ll be able to get a great natural blow dry with soft waves, a very strait and smooth one or anything in between.

Plus you can even get some extensions on, to wave around and show off in the streets of New York!

Location: 27 West 20th Street, Midtown

www.rpzl.com


Pop Physique

Curiosities Insider Interviews Raquel Paiva Pop Physique Gym

“I am a fitness enthusiast and I went a class at Pop Physique thinking it would be easy for me, and it turned out to be a great workout…and even a bit challenging. Their instructors are super nice and the class works with muscles that I didn’t even know existed.”

An Artistic Approach to Exercise.

Pop Physique was founded in Los Angeles by Jennifer Williams, a former ballet dancer (very good professional one!) and pilates instructor and her husband.

The workout is a one hour ballet barre-based class.

It’s an “all in one” workout since it burns fat, strengthens, stretches and works on the importance of the correct breathing techniques.

Location: 31 West 26th Street, Midtown

www.popphysique.com


Brooklyn Bowl

Curiosities Insider Interviews Raquel Paiva Brooklyn Bowl
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“Brooklyn Bowl is not just a place to see cool live bands and listen to great music, but you can also play bowling at the same time.”

Yeah, you all do know that we love Williamsburg, even though tourists are now migrating more to this side of the Bridge.

There is just so much to do and explore, and news spots open all the time.

But, some of the oldies, continue strong and are on the top of our list.

If you’re looking for a fun, low key, neighborhood vibe place to go with a little of rock’n’roll, you’ll love Brooklyn Bowl.

Location: 61 Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg

www.brooklynbowl.com


McCarren Park

Curiosities Insider Interviews Raquel Paiva McCarren Park Williamsburg Sun
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“McCarren Park is super clean and has a nice running track. I’m there almost every day.”

For some indescribable reason, our Founder is completely in love with McCarren Park, in Williamsburg.

When she’s working from Williamsburg, she walks to a further subway station, just to walk through this Park.

Over the weekends it’s super lively, with baseball games, families having picnics, friends playing frisbee games and talking for hours.

You can also find countless people just laying, alone, on the grass having some down time. But, everyone is doing one thing: having fun!

Location: 776 Lorimer Street, Williamsburg

www.nycgovparks.org


Bedford Avenue

Curiosities Insider Interviews Raquel Paiva Williamsburg Brooklyn

“No matter what direction you walk on Bedford Avenue, you will always find good options of places to eat, drink and shop.”

The main street that crosses through the neighborhood of Williamsburg is a bit touristy, we have to confess.

Specially during weekends when visitors migrate from Manhattan into Brooklyn, but they do have great places to go.

Remember our Founder, Fernanda’s, story of how “Behind the Scenes NYC” started and how she left everything to move to NY?

Well, the restaurant where she decided she was really going to go for it and move to New York City, is also on Bedford Avenue.

Location: The first stop off the “L” line when you arrive in Brooklyn is already Bedford Avenue.


Pioneer Works

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“Located in Red Hook, Pioneer Works is a huge space where they always hosts beautiful and interesting exhibitions.”

Pioneer Works is a beautiful art and music space in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

As they explain it (better than we do):

It is a center for research and experimentation in contemporary culture. Through a broad range of exhibitions, performances, arts and science residencies, and educational programs, Pioneer Works seeks to transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries, foster community, and provide a space where alternative modes of thought are supported and activated in tangible ways.

We’ve also written about them before in a post by a NYC art expert, so you can see more pictures.

Location: 159 Pioneer Street, Red Hook

http://pioneerworks.org


“Home Cooking with Jean-Georges”

Curiosities Insider Interviews Raquel Paiva Home Cooking with Jean Georges

“Home Cooking with Jean-Georges has simple and vibrant foods that you can find at his restaurant ABC Kitchen.”

Are you into cooking?

Many people we know in New York are, and so are we!

Sometime it can be hard to vary dishes daily and be creative, if it’s not a natural gift you have, right?!

Well, Home Cooking with Jean-Georges is a great book to test your culinary abilities.

You can buy the book and see a great list of other outstanding NYC Gifts too.

And, if you go to his restaurant, ABC Kitchen, they also sell it there.

Location: 35 East 18th Street, Midtown

www.abchome.com/abc-kitchen


To finish off the interview, here are a few quick fun questions we asked Raquel:

What does NYC mean to you?
“As it was already said: Concrete Jungle, where dreams are made of.”

What would you tell someone that is in NY for the 1st time?
“Congratulations! You are in an incredible city, so go enjoy every minute of it.”

Tell us a thing that proves that somebody is a true a New Yorker?
“Ordering coffee at Starbucks super fast. When I see people taking a while to order their drinks, making questions, and then still looking for their money to pay, I know that they are from out of town. We are always in a very fast pace here.”


Thank you Raquel, for sharing with us this fantastic list of spots around New York.


Photo Credits: Courtesy of https://guillaumegaudet.photoshelter.com and all the venues
*Last Update on March/2020.*

Van Le: A Bronx-Born Fashion & Food Blogger’s NYC Tips

Curiosities Insider Interviews Van Le Forever Vanny Subway

Bronx-born fashion & food blogger, Van Le, shares her best NYC tips! She talks about spots in the Bronx, SoHo, Lower East Side and other hip neighborhoods.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Van Le Forever Vanny Stairs

This week, we interviewed Van Le, a New York + Tokyo Fashion and Food Blogger. This Bronx-born influencer shared some of the her top spots in some pretty awesome neighborhoods!

“Long story short, I was born in Vietnam and raised in the Bronx for the past 15 years. I can confidently say that my experience in New York has truly been something that I’m forever grateful for.

Growing up in one of the roughest parts of the State has given me a lot of insights and perspective on the diversities here in New York, not just in different ethnicities and races. It also allowed me to grow out of my traditional expectations from my parents, as well, in a sense.

I currently work in Fashion and am huge food enthusiast.”

Here are Vanny’s Top 7 NYC Tips:


Antonio’s Trattoria

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“I went to Fordham University for my Bachelor. The campus was in the Bronx, so it didn’t seem like there was much around, but I discovered my all time favorite Italian place Antonio’s Trattoria. It’s a restaurant that’s hidden in what most people overlooked as the original Little Italy, but it’s a restaurant that not only feels like home, but the food is also made with tons of love. The owner, Uncle Joe, will make sure to give you a kiss on the way out too!”

It all started when a group of friends, that grew up on Arthur Avenue, decided to open a traditional Italian Trattoria. The idea was to offer Nonna’s (Grandma, in Italian) recipes and cooking style.

They are very well known for their brick-oven Margherita pies!

As they say: “Welcome home! Let’s eat!”

Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 11:30am – 9pm
Friday & Saturday: 11:30am – 10pm
Sunday: 12pm – 9pm

Location: 2370 Belmont Avenue, Belmont, Bronx

www.antoniostrattoria.com


Devoción

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“Devoción is my favorite coffee shop. It’s super out of the way, but the coffee there makes the trip so worth it. Plus, I usually go with the intention of spending a long period of time there, because it’s just that lovely.”

They are based in Williamsburg and are freelance-friendly, so be prepared to maybe drink your coffee standing up. There is always tons of freelancers working and occupying the tables.

If you like good coffee, this is the place for you, since they have around 17 different types to try!

They have a gorgeous green wall that everyone adores and a ceiling with a skylight, allowing natural light to flow in. It surely makes the entire experience more pleasant.

We are always there too….working!

Their slogan? “Grown in Columbia. Roasted in Brooklyn.”

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 7am – 7pm
Saturday – Sunday: 8am – 7pm

Location: 69 Grand Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

http://devocion.com


Dudley’s

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“If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that Dudley’s is by far my favorite brunch spot. It’s really small and gets pretty crazy on the weekends, but I go there religiously for my mocha and fries (and everything else on the menu).”

This neighborhood gem is a great place to find fresh local produce, new seasonal cocktails and a delicious espresso coffee we love!

It’s located in the trendy Lower East Side part of Manhattan.

If you’re into sharing food, this is the spot for you, since their dishes are perfect for sharing. Plus, this way you can definitely try more stuff! Yum!

Hours:
Sunday & Monday: 9am – 2am (kitchen closes at 11pm)
Tuesday & Wednesday: 9am – 2am (kitchen closes at 12pm)
Thursday – Saturday: 9am – 4am (kitchen closes at 12pm)

Location: 85 Orchard Street, Lower East Side

www.dudleysnyc.com


Serendipity

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“One of my favorite date night ideas for New York is still grabbing dessert at Serendipity close to midnight to avoid tourists (that’s when they close). Most people go for the original Frozen Hot Chocolate, but the Strawberry Fields is my personal preference. If there’s still a wait, just walk over and take the tram to Roosevelt Island for the view and come right back!”

It’s 1954, in the heart of Little Italy, and Serendipity “comes into the world four tables, sixteen chairs and a towering espresso machine strong.”

They were New York City’s 1st coffee house boutique and Andy Warhol claimed his love for it in no time! Now, they’re currently located on the Upper East Side.

The place was founded by Calvin L. Holt – that passed away in 1991 at the age of 66, and his friend & partner Stephen Bruce.

It was the scene of several films and series based in NYC, like the famous movie that was actually also called “Serendipity”. If you don’t remember, this is the place where Jonathan (John Cusack) meets Sara (Kate Beckinsale) and they fall in love…

Oh! And keep your eyes open, maybe you’ll bump into some big celebrity that’s just coincidently passing by there too.

Hours:
Sunday – Thursday: 11:30am – midnight
Friday – Saturday: 11:30am – 1am

Location: 225 East 60th Street, Upper East Side

www.serendipity3.com


Eileen’s Special Cheesecake

Curiosities Insider Interviews Van Le Eileen's Special Cheesecake Store
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“I’m hesitant a sharing this one, but Eileen’s Special Cheesecake is the best you can get in New York.”

With over 25 years of baking experience, Eileen is considered one of the city’s cheesecake gurus. She opened her business in 1975. Here’s her story:

“It was a “ghost town” when I first arrived, but that didn’t bother me because the rent was low and I desperately needed a place to bake for my growing wholesale business. I hadn’t considered the retail aspects of the business until people started knocking on the door of the bakery wanting to buy cheesecake. With that encouragement, I purchased a bakery case and began to conduct retail business.

Soon after our cheesecake attracted the press and we were listed in “Best Bites” in New York Magazine. Radio station WOR rated us “Number One Cheesecake” and we appeared on television quite often whipping up batters of cheesecake. Time passed, and now Cleveland Place is in a popular area where the mix of people and restaurants and shops are so unique.

Downtown is becoming the “place to be”, and we are actually on most maps now. We survived difficult times, and now “let the good times roll”!” ~ Excerpt from her website.

Opening Hours:
Monday – Friday: 9am – 9pm
Saturday & Sunday: 10am – 7pm

Location: 17 Cleveland Place, NoLita

www.eileenscheesecake.com


Sixty LES Hotel

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“I often treat myself to staycations and one of my favorite hotels is the Sixty LES. Tons of restaurants and bars around for a really relaxing, yet eventful time.”

With 3 different locations: 3 in New York, 1 in L.A. and 1 in Miami, the Sixty Hotels are definitely a great pick if you’re into luxury lodging.

“Our guests are true “artists-in-residence,” at home to make their experience their own canvas. In our carefully curated inns, lodgers-in-residence can expect a distinguished palette, artful service and comfort in every way. The result is a hospitality group that assures a stay in a SIXTY Hotel will remain with guests long after they’ve checked out.”

Their upcoming new location will be in Montreal, so stay tuned!

Locations:
190 Allen Street, Lower East Side (LES)
60 Thompson Street, SoHo
308 West 58th Street, Hell’s Kitchen

www.sixtyhotels.com/LES


Top of the Rock

Curiosities Insider Interviews Van Le Top of the Rock

“If you live in New York, you probably don’t go to the Top Of The Rock often. I don’t either. But when I do, I would splurge on the sunset ticket just to get up there and have a moment of complete silence. While everyone squirms to catch the sunset on one side, I look for a quiet place on the opposite side and wait to gaze the view as all of the lights in the city turn on. It’s so therapeutic, you have no idea.”

Yes, the Top of the Rock is definitely one of our Top Picks to chose from if you want to see the entire city and catch the breathtaking sunset.

It is definitely a touristy spot and we usually don’t write about those, but it’s the only place you’ll have a 360º view of the New York’s 5 boroughs.

Plus, it’s got a great price ($30/adults) and we never faced any huge lines to go up – versus other touristy spots that can take a couple of hours, at peek moments.

You obviously can book everything online!

Location: 30 Rockefeller Plaza

www.topoftherocknyc.com


…and a few fun questions to finish the interview:

What does NYC mean to you? 
“NYC is always changing. No one day in New York is ever the same. People say if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere. That’s true because New York is rough even on a really good day.”

What can someone expect when coming to NY? 
“Everything you’ve imagined or heard about New York City is probably true. Even rude New Yorkers, haha!”

What is the best NY slang? 
“Not really a slang, but ETA (estimate time of arrival) is a crucial meet-up question. It’s either the MTA or traffic.”


Thank you Van Le, for sharing these great spots that are so dear to your heart! Take a look at her website to learn more about her work: www.forevervanny.com.

If you enjoyed her post, you’ll most surely love Tamara Peterson’s Brooklyn tips!


Photo Credits: Courtesy of the venues, Van Le, Jetsettimes and Arty Pomerantz/New York Post Archives/(c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty Images
*Last Update on March/2020.*

Manhattan By Woody Allen Is A Definite Must-See

Curiosities City Secrets Manhattan by Woody Allen

Manhattan has been scene of so many films, series and the theme in countless songs and poetries. One of the most famous films is Manhattan by Woody Allen. Definitely a must-see!

Curiosities City Secrets Manhattan by Woody Allen
Manhattan (1979) – Photo Credit: STF/AFP/Getty Images

One of the most famous pictures in the history of New York, is the one you see above.

In short, it’s a “picture taken in 1979 during the shooting of the movie ‘Manhattan‘ showing American director and actor Woody Allen with the American actress Diane Keaton in front of Queensborough Bridge, in New York.”

We shot a YouTube video of the Most Iconic And Instagrammable Movie Locations in NYC, and we show you how to get to this spot!


Below is a more detailed description:

“Manhattan is a 1979 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Woody Allen from his screenplay co-written with Marshall Brickman and produced by Charles H. Joffe.

Allen co-stars as a twice-divorced 42-year-old comedy writer dating a 17-year-old girl (Mariel Hemingway) before eventually falling in love with his best friend’s (Michael Murphy) mistress (Diane Keaton). Meryl Streep and Anne Byrne also star in the film.

Manhattan was filmed in black-and-white and 2.35:1 widescreen. The decision to shoot in black and white was to give New York City a “great look.”

The film also features music composed by George Gershwin, including Rhapsody in Blue, which inspired the idea behind the film. Allen described the film as a combination of his previous two films, Annie Hall and Interiors.

The film was met with widespread critical acclaim and was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actress for Hemingway and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen for Allen and Brickman.”

~ Wikipedia


In addition, see below the official trailer of the movie:

If you enjoy these super iconic movies that have revolutionized the film industry and even an entire generation, you will love the TriBeCa Film Festival. So, stay tuned to see the line up for the upcoming year!

And last, you might also love these outdoor movie screening that happen during the summer in New York! One of them is called Summer Screen!

Have fun!


Text Excerpts: Courtesy of Wikipedia
Photo Credits: Courtesy of STF/AFP/Getty Images
*Last Update on March/2020.*

Little Treats NYC: Tradicional Brazilian Brigadeiros In Town

Shop Specialties Little Treats Brigadeiro Fall

If you’ve been to Brazil, you have probably tried one of their amazing tradicional chocolate sweets named Brigadeiro. To our happiness, Little Treats NYC offers some very exclusive flavors!

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UNFORTUNATELY THIS COMPANY PERMANENTLY CLOSED!

What are brigadeiros? They are basically a small, handcrafted truffle-sized sweet ball made with condensed milk, chocolate and butter.

Sounds simply delicious, we know! And they are! This is the #1 Brazilian traditional sweet that is part of the amazing culture. Probably, one of the reasons Brazilians are so happy! Ha!

Well, the sweet itself seams relatively simple to make. Moreover, it’s actually hard to compare to anything we know around here, since it’s looks like a truffle, but the taste is completely different! So much better, we have to confess!

Well, the chocolate flavored are the original ones. In time, due to the sweet’s huge popularity – being the top “sweetheart sweet” in the country – there are today infinite variations and flavors. Plus, even sizes! We find some very tiny ones and, on the other hand, some massive ones! To be honest, we just think the normal sized ones are perfect for any type of craving.

In addition, if they are smaller, the action of eating more of the small ones, for some weird reason, is so much more fun! Go figure…

Now, if you’ve never been to Brazil or tried one of these beauties, you can try them here in New York City!!!

A few years ago, Cinthia and Andreza – two super polite and dear Brazilians girls we met – opened they own Brigadeiro company called Little Treats NYC! Every time we ordered with them, or bumped into their kiosk at a market place, the sweets were amazingly fresh! They always seamed to be super recently baked.

Little Treats NYC has a few special flavors like: capuccino, coconut, Oreo, lemon and pistachio.

You can buy the online, which is great, and they also offer catering services for every type of event. After all, Brigadeiros are the perfect sweet for any occasion!

Lastly, if you want to adventure yourself and bake them, search online for the recipe and follow it precisely. The BEST part of it all is: scraping the pan at the end, with that chocolate leftovers still hot! OMG…

Enjoy and save some of us!


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Little Treats

Daybreaker: Starting Off Your Day With A Morning Dance Party

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This is simply fantastic!!! Have you ever thought about starting off your day with an early morning dance party? If you replied yes, you need to try Daybreaker.

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These guys are amazing.

With a community of over 300,000 people world wide, Daybreaker recreated the entire concept of day parties, mixing it up with a fitness and healthy lifestyle.

It is a morning party with yoga, fresh juice, heavy beats, spoken word poetry, a live band and mascots. But…no alcohol or mind-altering drugs.

The founders, Matt Brimer and Radha Agrawal, says:

“It is about love, it is about mindfulness and it is about mischief. It’s a 100% sober rave, where the only thing people get high on is life.”

This is definitely our party-style! Daybreaker lasts 2 hours, starting with Yoga and different fitness experiences. Their mission is to make guests release Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin and Endorphins in their system. The feeling in simply delicious and hard to put into words.

Then, after everyone is energized and has sweat the stress off, the party starts! Be ready to emerge into some of the best live music beats. The bands are great, the musicians are super talented and the crowd unites some of the happiest people on Earth!

Each morning dance party is announced to guests that sign up by e-mail. So, sign up to receive the information for the event you are interested in.

Oh, it doesn’t happen only in New York City! There are other places like: Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington DC, London, Berlin, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, São Paulo and a many more.

In addition, if you enjoy these different fitness practices you will definitely have fun exploring the Brooklyn Boulders. Also, take a look at a few other modalities you’ll find around the city.

For fun group activities or custom corporate experiences, our experts can help you out.

www.daybreaker.com


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

Olivia Palermo, a Maasai Project Ambassador with Pikolinos

Shop Ladies Pikolinos Maasai Project Charity Olivia Palermo and Tribe

We are extremely fond of sustainable fashion brands and this project really got my attention. Pikolinos, has joined forces with Olivia Palermo for a fantastic project with the ethnic group called: Massai.

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The shoe brand, Pikolinos has partnered up with the internationally renowned socialite, Olivia Palermo. They’ve joined interests and strength to put together the beautiful Pikolinos’ Maasai Project.

Living in the middle of the African savannah, the Maasai people are known for their amazing, colorful cultural identity. People form all over the world admire their customs and dresses.

Women can be seen sewing underneath some gorgeous trees working amazing hand-embroidered pieces. Today all their garments are make out of cotton, but until the 1960’s they used different animal skin.

The community is extremely passionate about strong colors, and stripped patterns.

Adornments like necklaces, bracelets and earrings can be seen though out the entire village. The accessories are mainly made out of beads and wood, woven together to create unique pieces.

This project helps numerous families to access and receive the most basic of needs such as education, food, and medicine.

The shoes ranges from $99 – $305. On the other hand, accessories range from $45-$89 and bags are $225. You can buy online, so be sure to guarantee your pieces and help contribute to this heart-filling cause.

In addition, New York City has countless community projects that you can engage with and help. We closely support the National Multiple Scleroris Society and also coordinate a weekly Feeding Program by Friends in Need.

So, contact us to learn more about them!

And still, if you are a company looking for corporate concierge services, and would like to work with local communities to support education, health and more, contact us. We’ll put you in touch with some of the most credible organizations in New York City.

A little about Pikolinos:

The three main values behind the brand are authenticity, originality and naturalness.

“Pikolinos is a lifestyle, a way of seeing the world. It is the search for happiness that always begins with the comfort of our creations. Make yourself comfortable and let happiness begin at your feet.”

www.pikolinos.com


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Pikolinos and Olivia Palermo
*Last Update on March/2020.*

TooNightAPP: Making Your Night “Legendary”

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We always receive several requests of readers and clients asking us where to go out at night in NYC. Plus, we also get requests for infos about cool NYC apps to download. We discovered the amazing TooNightAPP that takes care of both requests!

Nightlife Bars Toonight App

UNFORTUNATELY THIS APP NO LONGER EXISTS!

If you are a frequent night owl or simply love to go out and have an extraordinary experience, you can download TOONIGHTAPP!

We all know how overwhelming it can be to decide where to go out in New York City and we just hate having FOMO (Fear.Of.Missing.Out).

TooNight is an app that will allow you to see where your friends are going out at night.

You can not only join them, but also, if none of your friends are out you can ask to join new groups of people! New York City is certainly the right place for this.

If you are the type that usually leads the gang and organizes everything, you may also create an event and invite your friends to come!

Now, if you travel a lot, it’s also great because it tracks friends that could be in the same city as you!

We’re sure it’s going to be fun!!!

If you wanter personalized help and an expert tailoring to your needs, contact us and see how our Concierge Services work. For companies and corporate groups, we can certainly accommodate any of your requests.


Photo Credit: TooNightAPP

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