Tag Archives: New York

16 Things NO ONE EVER Tells You About NYC [PART 2/4]

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 2 Photo Sam Truong Dan

New York is a great city to visit and there is so much you can do! But, if you’ve never been, it can be a bit overwhelming. So, I decided to share 16 things NO ONE EVER tells you about NYC.

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 2
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Andre Benz

Yes, believe it or not, there are a few rules and tips to make your NYC experience seamless and memorable. This fast paced city certainly has its particularities. But, I can guarantee, that it’s what make this city so unique! You just need to learn a few tips and tricks, to survive in NYC!

We split this topic into 4 different posts, so see below Part 2!

And if you haven’t seen Part 1, go check it out!


#5 Why don’t yellow cabs just STOP when you signal!? And what are these green cabs?

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 2 Taxi
Photo Credit: Courtesy

Many tourists don’t know that the light on top of the cab helps identify if they are free or with a passenger. When the light is ON, they are free for you to try and stop them. So, when the light is off, they are in the middle of a trip and will pass straight by.

Ah! Have you ever seen the green cabs in Manhattan before!?

Well, these cabs will never stop to pick you up in Manhattan, even if they are free. They are only allowed to get passengers in the other boroughs (Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island), but they can commute anywhere, of course. So, you’ll only be able to grab a yellow cab, while in Manhattan.


#6 This is for the art lovers!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 2 Free Museums
©Behind the Scenes NYC

Even though the city is known for being a very expensive one, there are several ways to save money.

Some museums can have pretty high fees, but most have free entrances a few specific days a week, or a few free hours. And still, others might be “pay what you wish”.

NYC residents: If you have that City ID or another document proving you live in NYC, be sure to tell them. Many paid museums are free for us! WUHU!

The NYC Arts website has a detailed list of all of them to help you out!

And the art galleries? They are all free to enter and see the current art works!

New York also offers countless free events, by the way. You just need to stay tuned to our IG Page or other pretty great accounts too like FomoFeed! Love them!


#7 Always have money on you!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 2 Have Money Photo Jack Harner
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jack Harner

Why? Well, believe it or not there are countless places around New York that are “cash only” spots and will not accept any other payment method. For example, one of my all time favorite spots in Williamsburg, Brooklyn called Beco, is a cash only bar/restaurant. Well, they JUST recently added Amex credit card machine, but many others, have no other option.

Regardless, having a bit of money in your pocket, is always advisable during a trip. You never know what might happen, so you might as well be prepared. But, if you do forget, most of the “cash only” spots or have an ATM inside or they are close to one that you can run to.

Now, don’t come with a $100 bill. You’ll have a pretty hard time exchanging them or getting change if you’re purchasing something cheap. Plus, banks aren’t allowed to give you change for them. Bummer! I guess everyone is just skeptic it might be a fake.


#8 Tipping is CRUCIAL!!!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 2 Photo Sam Truong Dan
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sam Truong Dan

This is something not all visitors agree with or feel comfortable, but it’s a reality! New York is a city where you tip for absolutely everything! You need to breathe? Tip! Just joking….but not joking.

So, let me give you the basics on how this goes. And of course, just be reasonable guys!!! I know many people are traveling on a budget, and that’s totally fine too, so just be mindful when you are at different places.

In general, restaurants vary with tips from 18% – 22%. I always end up tipping 20%, but you can feel free and pick what suits you best. For bigger groups, some restaurants will automatically include 25% in the bill, so be sure to see that.

At bars, I also just usually tip 20% to make it easier, but you can just consider at least $1 a drink, and for the pricier cocktails, at least $2. Guys, the tireless barmen and bar-women are working their asses off all-night-long to be sure you have a great time, so help them out too!

By the way, when the bar is super full, nicer tips might give you an extra attention when getting future drinks at the bar.

Now, as I mentioned, tipping is not limited to only restaurants and bars. If you’re getting an Uber/Lyft/Via/Juno, you can always tip the driver at the end of the ride through the APP, but yellow cabs also expect tips. Yes, even the lousy, dirty, smelly ones… You can tip 15% – 20% and if you’re paying with a card, you just pick the tipping amount on the screen.

Tipping at the hotel is also important. It’s always nice to tip the bellboy that helps bringing your luggage into the hotel and up to your room. Generally, it’s $1 per bag, but if you’re at a nicer hotel, be nicer too! Lol! When your leaving the hotel, and a staff grabs a taxi for you, yes, tip him like $1-$2. Oh, and most people most often forget: the cleaning lady! She was the one that kept your room super neat and clean during all these unforgettable days in New York. You might want to leave around $2/day for her at the end for your stay. I always also customize the tip with a smiley note!

So, as you can see….tipping is crucial and this is also one of the reasons you have to have cash on you!!! But, as I said, be mindful and reasonable within the budget you have too!


If you enjoyed our Part 2 of the 16 things NO ONE EVER tells you about NYC, be sure to check our Part 3 coming up next! There is still so much more to learn!

For any questions regarding travel or event planning for Corporate Groups, contact our experts to help you out!


Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC, Courtesy of Jack Harner, Sam Truong Dan and Andre Benz

16 Things NO ONE EVER Tells You About NYC [PART 1/4]

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 1 Subway

You’ve never been to New York but now you’re days from arriving and started feeling a bit anxious about it? Well, that’s super normal, especially when we’re talking about a city like New York. So, I decided to share 16 things NO ONE EVER tells you about NYC, for the 1st timers.

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 1
©Behind the Scenes NYC

There are a few rules and tips to make your NY experience seamless and memorable. We split this topic into 4 different posts, so check out Part 1 with the first 4 things NO ONE EVER tells you about NYC!

Let’s start?!


#1 Yes! New York is safe!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 1 Safety
©Behind the Scenes NYC

Ok. Let’s start from the basics. We all know how dangerous New York was back in the 80’s and 90’s when the city was hit with a huge crack epidemic and we had the famous mobs roaming around.

Most of you have probably heard of the Zero Tolerance Policy, led by Mayor Rudy Giuliani when he was elected back in 1994. There is a lot to this topic and controversial statements, but let’s keep it simple. Bottom line, crime rates were drastically reduced.

It was published in The Economist, back in 2015, that New York was the 10th safest city in the world. Then, in 2017 it showed that we had fallen 11 places, today ranking 21st. But still, it continues a pretty safe place.

That said, like every other big city, there are pickpockets, you should be careful not to roam into some neighborhoods and be careful at night. If you’re in doubt, just ask a friend or talk to your hotel’s concierge.

In addition, most of the crimes in NY, happen in late night hours, so just stay alert, but enjoy the freedom that the city can offer us today!


#2 Use the Subway!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 1 Subway
©Behind the Scenes NYC

I’m from São Paulo, a city with over 20 million people, hence many time bigger than New York, but our subway system is very limited (even though it’s starting to super slowly improve).

But, when you have a “small” city like New York, where you can commute almost anywhere, it’s an indescribable joy! Hahaha!

It’s also a great way to feel like a true New Yorker and experience our crazy lifestyle!

The subway maps are pretty easy: most lines travel North – South and only a few East – West. You can download one of the APPs like NYC Subway or City Mapper to help you out! I’ve been here for 4 years, and still like to check on them, depending on where I’m commuting to!

Now, this is very, very, VERY important! When train arrives, always wait for e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e to come out, before you try to walk in. If you’re just randomly daydreaming and standing in front of the door when it opens, you’ll most likely be run over or called upon. Yikes! (I talk more about this on the topic below!)

Inside a crowded train try and put your backpack in front of you to make space for more people (even if you feel like a sardine in a can). If you’re sitting down, sit in a way that more people fit beside you. For the Manspreaders (men that sit with their legs widely spread out, occupying more that 1 seat), please be mindful! And please, don’t eat on the subway – it’s not a restaurant!

Another tip! Some people get so happy when all the other subway cars are full, and they walk “miraculously” into an empty one! It’s like feeling you’re the smartest one around, right? Well, New Yorkers are not stupid or blind, my dears, that’s for sure…so there’s likely something very wrong with that car. Be sure to check it out!

Oh! And girls, be sure to leave you heels at the hotel. You can use them to go out at night, when you might prefer just getting an Uber.


#3 Walk! But don’t EVER block the passage way!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 1 Walking
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Brendan Church

YOU might be on vacation, but many people around you are probably running to work!

Sidewalks are like freeways, in New York City! No joke…! So, when you’re walking down the streets and you feel it’s THAT time, where you want to take a selfie or an Instagram picture, be sure to step aside, out of the main passage. Otherwise you might hear a very loud “EXCUUUUSEE ME!”

People say that New Yorkers are rude and I strongly disagree! They are very solicitous if you’re lost and need help but, like every other busy human late for work, they won’t enjoy daydreamers blocking the streets. You can take a look at this post we did about “31 Curious Facts About New Yorkers We Just Love“, this way, you’ll get the hang of it!

Oh! This is also true for the subway escalators and stairs! If you’re walk up or down any stairs, but especially in the subway, be sure to follow the flow on the correct side, usually, your right side. On an escalator, if you don’t want to rush up, stay to your right side too, letting people that do.

And I forgot to mention. While walking on the streets, on the busiest ones especially, don’t just suddenly turn or stop. You have to look, and “kinda signal” your next move to avoid collision.

Lastly, if you’re waiting for the light to cross the street, but there’s absolutely no cars coming, even though it’s NOT the correct thing to do, many people just cross it. I mean, just be very careful if you do that or simply step aside for anyone that wants to go head!


#4 Understanding New York’s Map

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 1 Grid
©Behind the Scenes NYC

Ok, let’s start with first things first. Number one is maybe noticing that most streets are named through numbers, making it pretty easy to locate yourself or how to get to your destination.

The street numbers officially start at 1st Street on the East Side and 3rd Street on the West Side of Manhattan. From there, numbers go up, up, up to 220th, but that’s all the way up in Inwood, on the very North tip of Manhattan. That’s where The MET Cloisers museum is located!

From North to South, street blocks are shorter to walk through, while East to West, the blocks are significantly longer. Also East to West are only the Avenues – starting from York Avenue, through 11th Avenue (a.k.a. West End Avenue). On the very extremes, you’ll find the highways: 12th Avenue and the FRD Drive.

In between the numbered Avenues, you have some of the famous ones like Madison Avenue, Park Avenue and Lexington Avenue. Broadway also crosses the city diagonally, starting on the Upper West Side, all the way down to Battery Park.

Lastly, just for your reference, Central Park starts at 59th Street (a.k.a. Central Park South), up through 110th Street (a.k.a Central Park North), in Harlem. “The Secrets Of Central Park Walking Tour” will give you some more insights and secrets about the park!

Don’t freak out…it’s not as complicated as it sounds. Just grab a map or check Google Maps along the way, and you’ll be fine!


If you enjoyed these first 4 tips about things NO ONE EVER tells you about NYC, be sure to check our Part 2!

For any questions regarding travel or event planning for Corporate Groups, contact our experts to help you out!


Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC and courtesy of Brendan Church

3 Perfect Photography Spots in New York City

Bucket Lists 3 Perfect Photography Spots in New York City Bethesda Terrace Credit NoelYC

New York is known for being a city photographers love to come and shoot. It’s the home of some of the most amazing attractions in the world, but knowing the perfect spot to capture that moment, is the real secret. Take a look at the 3 perfect photography spots in New York City.

Bucket Lists 3 Perfect Photography Spots in New York City Credit Behind the Scenes NYC
Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC

Last year over 65 million people visited NYC, armed with their cameras and smartphones. From the Empire State Building to Ground Zero, tourists in the city are a vital part of documenting the history of New York and its iconic locations.

When you are on vacation, rather than snapping the more obvious locations, such as the Flatiron Building and The Statue of Liberty, how about visiting somewhere more unusual?

You can use it as an opportunity to work on your composition skills, capturing beautiful images that you will be proud to take home and put on your walls.


Central Park – Bethesda Terrace

Bucket Lists 3 Perfect Photography Spots in New York City Bethesda Terrace Credit NoelYC
Bethesda Terrace – Photo Credit: Noel Y.C.

Bethesda Terrace (72nd Street, Cross Drive), situated in Central Park is a completely unique monument and you can take photos from many different perspectives.

You might want to capture the dramatic New Brunswick sandstone steps, that slope down either side of the upper and lower terrace. The lower level has a beautiful and intricate mosaic, constructed out of Roman brick.

The upper terrace runs side-by-side with 72nd street and has an incredible view of the both the park and the Bethesda Fountain below it. To create really atmospheric photos, try visiting Bethesda Terrace at sunset, when the light changes to russet and gold.

The long shadows emphasize the grandeur of the architecture in a visually striking way.


The High Line

Bucket Lists 3 Perfect Photography Spots in New York City High line Chelsea Credit Actionvance

The High Line is a community park with a difference. It is a performance space, an art gallery a nature garden all rolled into one. It is a place to connect with friends and family.

Created from an old freight railway line, this mile-and-a-half long park in the sky, runs from the Meatpacking

District right through to the Whitney museum (a must visit). It is an absolutely beautiful example of how a derelict, industrial infrastructure can be completely transformed into something that has meaning and purpose for a whole city.

There are so many different ways to capture The High Line, you could even make a picture collage of the park taken from different viewpoints. Experiment with taking shots from almost ground level, running parallel with the railway track.

Or, use your visit as an opportunity to take action shots of the people as they pass through.


Little Italy, Manhattan

Bucket Lists 3 Perfect Photography Spots in New York City Little Italy Feast of San Gennaro Credit Alex Haney
Little Italy

If you are interested in taking portraits, then Little Italy is pure heaven. One of the best times of the year to visit the area is during the Feast of San Gennaro, which happens every September.

The festival celebrates the patron Saint of Naples and has been running annually since 1926. Taking place in and around Mulberry Street, you will find street vendors galore, selling some of the most amazing and diverse food that New York has to offer.

The Beast of Feasts” runs for 11 days and attracts visitors from all over the world. If you are out and about with your camera, this is an excellent opportunity to take pictures of some local New York food legends and entertainers.

You can even turn your hand to capturing your lunch in close up, before posting it on Instagram.


New York is packed full of photogenic spots!

On your visit, you will have plenty of opportunity to hone your skills in taking landscape, portraiture and abstract pictures as you capture beautiful memories of the City That Never Sleeps.

If you need a few more additional tips on how to capture that perfect picture, take a look at the tips given by the photographer, Dani Diamond.

Enjoy and send us your shot, so it can be featured on our Instagram page!


Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC, Courtesy of Noel Y.C., Alex Haney and Actionvance

Indoor Extreme Sports: The Adrenaline Rush You Never Imagined

Fitness Health Indoor Extreme Sports New York Sanatorium

Indoor Extreme Sports is one of the coolest indoor experiences in New York City! It will make your adrenaline rush in a way you never thought possible! Come see what I’m talking about!

Fitness Health Indoor Extreme Sports New York Clock

Wondering about what to do during the winter months especially when the weather doesn’t invite you to be outdoor? A couple of weeks ago, in the middle of a snow storm, I got to experience one of the most amazing indoor adventures ever!

Indoor Extreme Sports (IES) opened over 14 years ago when Chris Fermoselle felt the need to give New Yorkers a unique, innovative indoor experiences. Starting with only Paintball back then, they now have two locations – Long Island City and Staten Island – that offers more than 8 extreme indoor experiences that includes Lasertag, Archery Tag, Escape the Room, Virtual Reality, Arcade, Axe Throwing Lounge and Rock Climbing.

Being closer to home, I visited the LIC site and started my adventure with one activity I didn’t even know existed…Axe Throwing!

Fitness Health Indoor Extreme Sports New York Axe Throw

If you are wondering about how extreme the activities are, I must say they are pretty intense, but is important for me to share that I always felt safe and supported by all Indoor staff. They were all very dedicated, took the time to explain every activity in detail and gave me the space for questions and concerns.

Axe Throwing is the latest addition at Indoor Extreme Sports. In a bar-type lounge, there are 4 ranges where, after 10-15 minutes of instructions about safety and technique, you can start throwing your “axes”.

The best part is that there are different game modalities and axe sizes that can guarantee you hours of entertainment and competition. It is open for individual practice up to 12 people. And if axes are not your thing, in the same range you can change to arrow shooting.

IFitness Health Indoor Extreme Sports New York Bow and Arrowf you got excited about the archery, IES also has a 5,000sqft field where you can experience Archery Tag with real bows and safe arrows for the world’s first safe archery battle.

Archery Tag is best described as the game of dodgeball with a twist!

The twist is that they use safe foam-based arrow and protective equipment to play the game which allow up to 10 simultaneously players of mostly all ages to experience and participate in this fun, addictive, fast paced style game. No Archery experience necessary!

Now, lets me continue telling you about the other games!

The next activity on line was LaserTag. If you have never heard of that before, Lasertag is where two teams play each other and attempt to ‘’tag’’ each other out using air powered laser tag replica M4 Rifles. The idea is to shoot and “eliminate” the opposing team player wearing a Tactical Molle Vest.

Indoor Extreme Sports is equipped with the most advance software in the world today that tracks real time stats like your kills, deaths, ammo count, points, and more.

With more than 15,000 sqft of available space, there are three battlefields you can play in, “The Arena”, “Zombie” and “Black Ops”. Each of them allows different team sizes, starting with a minimum of 3×3 up to 12×12 players and modality games.

Expect fast paced nonstop action on all of the fields and become immersed with sound effects and real time stats that will have you thinking that you are really part of a video game! Plus, you could encounter some real-life zombies!!!

Fitness Health Indoor Extreme Sports New York Paintball Girl

I also got to experience Paintball/Reball. In this type of paintball the balls are made of rubber instead of paint so they do not explode but they still hurt the same as a normal Paintball. The best part is that you get UNLIMITED AMMO for each of your games as the balls are all reusable.

They provide you with a Paintball Gun, Mask, Ammo Belt, and unlimited ammo. The same as LaserTag, you have various game modalities and it can be played by teams up to 10×10 players.

Fitness Health Indoor Extreme Sports New York Virtual Reality

If you are a fan of video games, IES offers a full immersive Virtual Reality Lounge where you can play multiple live games, both individually or in teams.

Plus, they have two Project Cars that represent the most realistic driving simulation where you would be able get the latest most realistic car racing experience from Go-Karts to F1 Race Cars.

They have it all and no License or Insurance required! Just a warning, you might get dizzy during the game, so be aware of medical issues when you book this activity.

Even though I wasn’t able to experience The Augmented Rock Climbing Wall because in only at the Staten Island site, you can play VR games on a giant rock wall!

WHAT? Yes, you climb and play giant interactive games on a wall for a full hour while doing the funniest work-out ever!

At the same time, if you are more of a traditional video gamer, you can enjoy all classic Arcade Games like air Hockey and more!

IES also has joined the trendy of Escape Rooms, and they have 3 different rooms called “The Sanatorium, Zombie Experience and The Order”.

Fitness Health Indoor Extreme Sports New York Sanatorium Survival

I don’t want to spoil the activity but if you chose the Sanatorium Room, expect to have an hour-long adrenaline packed experience where you will be handcuffed, shackled, and locked inside of the asylum as the mad man’s clock begins to tick while you try to find the clues, live the story and escape the room – or risk becoming a patient there for all eternity!

After more than 3 hours at Indoor Extreme Sports, I can fully recommend this indoor activity not only for winter times but throughout the whole year.

Age and previous experience is not an issue and all members of your family and friends will be equally able to enjoy all their activities.

Also, IES offers the options of multiple activities packages with more convenient prices and is fully equipped to host Birthday parties, company retreats, non-profit events and bachelor(ette) parties among others.

Finally if you enjoy this type of activity, we have a few more to recommend! Try Brooklyn Boulders, that mixed adventure with technology, the famous Renzo Gracie Fight Academy to learn some Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai techniques and the hottest fitness classes in New York!

Hours: Please check their website since each location has different hours.

Locations:
47-11 Van Dam Street, Long Island City
501 Industry Rd, Staten Island

http://indoorextremesports.com


Text Credit: Written by our contributor Magdalena Concha
Photo Credit: Courtesy of IES

NYC Renting: Need-To-Know Facts In 2019

Curiosities City Secrets NYC Rent 2019 Daryan Shamkhali

If you’re considering moving to New York City, here are some need-to-know facts for 2019 about NYC Renting. We all know that rents can skyrocket, but we have some good news for you!

Curiosities City Secrets NYC Rent 2019 Jose Alonson

New York City has historically had relatively high rent, but there is good news for would-be citizens. According to the New York Times, there has been a 0.7% drop in rent prices on the average one-bedroom property. While modest, this is a welcome change to years of inflating prices.

It’s still a matter of careful planning for would-be NYC renters. With that in mind, a few changes are afoot that will change rental opportunities. Pay close attention if you’re looking to move to the Big Apple; it could save you a few dollars for the good things in life.

More inclusivity in properties

Many NYC properties are very old and, resultantly, outdated. Fortunately, many landlords are making efforts, along with city regulators, to make homes accessible. 2019 will see this fast tracked with the federal case against the MTA.

According to the New York Post, the United States Attorney sued MTA for their inaccessible subway stations and the outcome of this could have wide ranging consequences, including more housing inclusive of accessibility requirements.

Changes in tax

When you rent in New York City, make sure you know about your property tax. Homeowners can expect to pay up to 10%, according to Bloomberg. What Bloomberg also noted, however, is that the individual tax burden is reducing.

As years progress, you can expect the tax bill to be less cumbersome as other counties pick up the slack. This means that your overall rental outgoings may be lower in the next few years, especially when considered with the ongoing trend concerning landlords.

Curiosities City Secrets NYC Rent 2019 Daryan Shamkhali

Landlords are settling down

Whether it’s because of the political climate, or some other source of uncertainty, landlords are staying put. According to CNN Money, more and more landlords are aggressively pursuing rent negotiation, rather than simply putting prices up and letting the tenants make a choice.

This is a nod towards more stability, as a renter. You can expect that, if you look after your property and have good behavior, that your rent will reduce over the years. You will also benefit from a continued relationship with the landlord, which is advantageous for the likes of maintenance and security.

Renting in New York City can still be expensive, but it matches the high average income in the area. Making the most out of your rental will be easier in years to come, through enhanced levels of accessibility, lowered levels of tax returns and more consistent landlords.

Keep yourself aware of these trends and work around them to get your feet in the door in the grand old city.


Guest Writer: Cindy Trillo
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jose Alonso and Daryan Shamkhali

2nd Cheap NYC Guide: 30 Top Attractions

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Cheap NYC Guide Washington Square Park

Our 2nd cheap NYC guide features 30 top attractions that you must-see! Touristy or not, these are some the classics spots and neighborhoods that have changed New York’s history. Come uncover New York with us!

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Cheap NYC Guide The Cube Astor Place
The Cube at Astor Place. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Noel Y.C. (@NYCLovesNYC)

Today, for our 2nd Cheap NYC Guide, I’m going to take you through some of the best spots located in Lower Manhattan.

But wait! If you haven’t seen my 1st Cheap NYC Guide, take a look at it and see how you might want to start exploring our beautiful city!

I have created my own touristic route to take my friends and family around the most iconic highlights in the city. These are all entertaining, fun and CHEAP routes that I want to share with you.

Second Route: Lower Manhattan

Before I start, it is necessary to give you some tips. First, NYC food stores and restaurants are not required to offer restroom services, so I have included this item in my tour routes. Second, you can access the WIFI networks in all subway stations, NYC Parks and Starbucks for free (which also have restrooms. YAY!). Finally, if you like something you want to buy and you can afford it, just BUY IT. You probably won’t have time to go back or even remember where you saw that precious item.

This route explores 6 areas of Lower Manhattan: Union Square, Astor Place, Washington Square Park, SoHo, Chinatown and Little Italy. It starts off at Union Square – where our 1st guide ended – located between 17th and 14th Streets and Union Square West and East Avenues.

Union Square

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Cheap NYC Guide Union Square Market
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Union Square Greenmarket

Here you can enjoy a year-round farmers market every Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays between 8am – 6pm, called Union Square Greenmarket. During the peak seasons you can find regional farmers selling their products like fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, award-winning farmstead cheeses, artisan breads, jams, pickles, teas and countless gifts, a profusion of cut flowers and plants, wine, ciders, maple syrup and much more. Shop early because the vendors sometimes leave, once they have sold out their products.

Around this area you can also find all type of stores including the largest Barnes & Noble store if you are looking for books, toys, music and more. A cereal store at Kellogg’s NYC where you can mix your favorites breakfast cereals for just $2 – milk not included. Also, a delicious Jewish Chocolate Rugelach pastry at Breads Bakery and Dylan’s Candy Bar, home to the largest selection of candies and candy-related gifts from around the world. And if you are into sports, your to-go spot is Paragon Sports.

If you’re traveling during the Winter holiday season, and you want to take home some unique gifts, visit Union Square’s Holiday Market that happens through December 24th. You’ll find local craftsmen and artists, open Monday to Friday from 11am – 8pm, Saturdays from 10am – 8pm and Sundays from 11am – 7pm.

*Restroom Spots: Around here you can find restrooms at Whole foods, Burlington, Best Buy, Starbucks, Barnes & Nobles, among others.

Astor Place & Washington Square

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Cheap NYC Guide Washington Square Park
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Noel Y.C. (@NYCLovesNYC)

If you are starting to feel hungry, I recommend you walk downtown through Broadway and at 8th Street, turn left (East) towards Astor Square until you hit St. Marks. Here you will find delicious cheap Asian food including Japanese BBQ, Thai Food and Ramen. During this trajectory, you will find one of New York City’s most iconic pieces of public art—and heck, one of its most iconic landmarks, period—The Astor Place Cube. I dare you to push it to make it turn around!

Just a few block from this iconic landmark, you’ll find the theatre where the Stomp has been performing for years. If you haven’t heard about them, it’s about time! Founded in the UK, back in 1991, today they are world famous, creating the most impressive percussion acts with unexpected objects and body parts!

Get ready to feel your bones shake!

After you are done, return to Broadway, walk to 4th Street and turn right (West), walking all the way to Washington Square Park. The park is dominated by the Washington Square Arch at the Northern gateway and the fountain. It’s one of the city’s popular spots for residents and tourists and you might recognize it form the movie August Rush.

Once a cemetery, now is a parade ground, a gathering spot for avant-garde artists, a battleground for chess enthusiasts and a playground for canines and children.

*Restroom Spot: Available public restrooms in the park.

If you were not temped by St. Marks food options, check MacDougal Street, located at the Southwest corner of the park. This area is NYU’s Students favorite food spot and therefore, very affordable. If you are into Italian food, Artichoke Basille’s Pizza offers huge pizza slices for less than $5. If you prefer Asian food, Saigon Shack has cheap Vietnamese food, but is a very popular spot so be prepared to wait. And if you prefer vegetarian food, try by Chloe.

SoHo & Chinatown

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Cheap NYC Guide Chinatown
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Noel Y.C. (@NYCLovesNYC)

By now, I’ pretty sure you’re full and in the need another good walk. Walk back to 4th Street towards (East) until you hit Broadway again and start walking downtown. After a few blocks, you will cross Houston Street and enter SoHo (a.k.a. South of Houston). This area is known for its designer boutiques, fancy chain stores and high-end art galleries, making it a trendy top shopping destination. I invite you to walk around the smaller streets and explore their uniqueness and secret little businesses.

Once you have absorbed all SoHo’s vibes, walk back to Broadway until you hit Canal Street, where you will be officially in Chinatown.

There is just so much to see here, that if after the tips below, you’re still curious to explore more of the food scene, book your tickets for the Tenements Tales and Taste Tour! You’ll enjoy the story of the millions of immigrants and taste several delicious dishes like pretzels, dumplings, potato knishes, waffles, homemade cheeses and even beer, of the many groups that have lived there.

At Canal Street turn left (East) and start walking through it. You will encounter several NY gift shops which are perfect to get some cheap souvenirs back home. While you’re walking you will be approach by several Chinese people offering “handbags and watches”.

Just be aware for they are all fake and illegal!

Among the treats I recommend around Chinatown are Taiyaki NYC, where you can try their fish-shaped waffle ice cream and Chinatown Ice Cream Factory where you will find my two favorite flavors: black sesame and lychee ice cream. If you like pastries, go to Taipan Bakery and try the delicious Coconut Bun for only $1.25, cash only. It is very popular, so hopefully you are lucky enough to get a warm one. And if you want to have an authentic Chinese meal, go to Great NY Noodletown on the corner of Bowery and Bayard Street. Remember that they’re cash only.

To find several food options in one place, there is a “hidden” food market called Canal Street Market. It’s located on the corner of Canal Street with Lafayette.

*Restroom Spot: The restaurant Great NY Noodletown has available restrooms as does Canal Street Market.

Little Italy

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Cheap NYC Guide Little Italy
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Noel Y.C. (@NYCLovesNYC)

In the middle of Chinatown, at Mulberry Street with Canal Street facing North, you will find the entrance to Little Italy. This couple of streets welcomes a heavily touristy crowd to its high concentration of souvenir shops and traditional Italian eateries and bakeries. Tenement buildings, once home to the immigrants who settled the area in the late 1800s, line the narrow streets. Mulberry Street, the main thoroughfare, turns into a pedestrian mall on summer weekends and each September they celebrate San Gennaro Festival.

One of the store that I love visiting every time I’m there is Mulberry & Grand, founded by Emily Guggino. There is always something new to tempt you into purchasing it! A lovely curated collection of inspired accessories.

By now, you have visit almost a third of the city, all the way from 59th Street at Central Park down to Canal Street, in Chinatown. And, the good news is: it has only taken you two days. YAY! And, there is still so much more to see!

Did you enjoy the 1st and 2nd Cheap NYC guides with the top NYC attractions? If so, stay tuned for our 3rd Route, where we’ll explore the West Side. Spots like the famous Highline, the delicious Chelsea Market, the Meatpacking District and one of the coolest neighborhoods in Manhattan, the West Village.

See soon!


Text Credit: Written by our contributor Magdalena Concha
Photo Credits: Courtesy of Noel. Y. C. (@NYCLovesNYC) and Union Square Greenmarket

Why Launching Your Startup in NYC is a Good Idea

Curiosities City Secrets Why Launching You Startup In NYC Is A Good Idea Rob Bye

The tech industry in New York City is booming and there are many reasons why launching your startup in NYC is a good idea!

Curiosities City Secrets Why Launching You Startup In NYC Is A Good Idea Taton Moise

The tech industry in New York City is booming with Silicon Alley currently ranking at number 2 in the country behind Silicon Valley.

During 2016, a mere 421 New York-based tech companies managed to raise $9.5 billion in funding with many NYC startups becoming extremely successful. In terms of net dollars, Silicon Valley may still be ahead but the NYC tech ecosystem is actually expanding at a faster rate.

As far as the availability of investment sources are concerned, NYC enjoyed a 36% of the total US start-up funding in 2017 with an excess of 290 investors backing 1333 business initiatives.

If you are looking for a place for your tech startup NYC should, without a doubt, be on the top of your list for a myriad of reasons such as the following.


New York City has an energy unlike any other

There is no denying that, despite relatively high living-costs, NYC is simply a great place to work and live.

The vibe in and around NYC is unlike any other in the world, bursting with the possibility of everyone seeking to fulfill the American Dream. The city is home to a number of key industry players, something a tech start-up can only benefit from.

It is also easy to find good co-working spaces, such as those rented out by WeWork, which are ideal for entrepreneurs, startups and community groups alike.

Thanks to the advancements in cloud technology, most startups don’t require immediate server specialization, making working from a co-working space or even an internet café a completely viable option.


The tech ecosystem is exceedingly healthy

NYC is home to a large number of venture capitalists such as Erik H. Gordon (CEO of ErGo Ventures LLC), and many more who have strong ties to the city.

Angel investors and angel groups are also commonplace, as are the more than 30 start-up incubators and accelerators that will provide your company with funding, mentorship maintenance as well as invaluable access to possible investors and consumers.

Over recent years a number of tech start-ups, of which Zocdoc is a prime example, have flourished in the city. Zocdoc is an online platform that is dedicated to providing users with an improved all-around healthcare experience.

Currently valued at approximately $1.8 billion, Zocdoc makes use of technology to facilitate everything from diagnosis to treatments and payments – a concept that has made them one of the highest-ranked NYC tech startups ever.


The city boasts exceptional diversity in terms of talent

When compared to Silicon Valley-based companies, the NYC tech scene is far more diverse with up to 40% of the city’s tech employees being female and a fifth being individuals of color.

The general talent pool in New York is extremely diverse with engineers and economists casually rubbing shoulders with designers, medical technicians, and trendy creatives.

According to renowned US businessman Michael Bloomberg, New York’s engineering school is projected to produce up to 400 new companies in its first 30 years. He highlights the immense potential the diverse student population of NYC possesses.


While you are by no means limited to two choices (Silicon Valley vs Silicon Alley), when it comes to finding the right location for your tech startup, the benefits of picking NYC speaks for itself.

All you need is a great idea, a bit of ingenuity and a whole lot of determination to have as good a chance as any to make it in one of the most prolific cities of the world.


Guest Writer: Cindy Trillo
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Rob Bye and Taton Moise

A Wedding Vow to NYC: “I take you, New York City…”

Shop NYC Wedding Vow to New York City

Wedding Vow to NYC: I take you, New York City, to be my lawful partner in crime, to have and to hold from this day forward. I promise to always cherish you; and if I do that, you’ll surely do the same for me…

Shop NYC Wedding Vow to New York City

We invited our followers to write a Wedding Vow to New York City.

Charles Dorneles’ Wedding Vow was the one selected to be featured! It portrays our deepest love and respect for this amazing city called New York City!


I take you, New York City, to be my lawful partner in crime, to have and to hold from this day forward.

I promise to always cherish you; and if I do that, you’ll surely do the same for me, even though every year you still put me through hell during winter (with bitter cold) and summer (with excruciating, humid heat) time.

I accept you in good and bad times; actually, worse times, considering the fact you have one of the world’s worst traffics ever and I will spend a lot of time just commuting. But, I’ll just take this time to be present and thankful for everything!

I also pledge to be with you in richness and in poorness. In fact, I’ve got plenty of money now, but, if I’m not careful, I can go bankrupt with all your expensive clothing, restaurants and your fancy lifestyle.

And, above all, I will always love and honor you, simply because I know there’s no other city like you. You have all I need to have a long, extraordinary and fulfilled life – from your breathtaking skyline that makes my eyes sparkle to your glorious green parks. You are the most intriguing city in the world and you offer me not only different cultural backgrounds with secret Off-Broadway shows and the underground music scene, but you also give me to-die-for food from all over the world.

Living with you is a unique and priceless experience and, yes, I admit, you have some “many” issues, but none of them can overcome your superiority and grandioseness.

You inspire me and I intend to live with you until death do us part. In truth, until death do “me” part, once you will live forever. Thankfully, to all human race!

I. Love. You.


For Wedding inspiration, take a look at these fantastic celebrations.

 

Guest Writer: Charles Dorneles
Photo Credit: Featured image

We have infinite reasons why NYC is great for Kids

Curiosities City Secrets NYC for Kids by Polina Bulman

There are so many reasons why NYC is great for kids! We are tired of telling people that it’s an excellent city to raise their little ones. See below why we think so!

Curiosities City Secrets NYC for Kids by Polina Bulman
Photo Credit: Polina Bulman

We are literally exhausted of telling friends and other people that New York City is great for kids!

There are so many countless reasons why and kids that are born here do have that special “extra thing” in them. It eventually makes them different and highlights them in the middle of other kids.

So, see below, just a few reasons why New York City is great for Kids:

1. We have the best pizzas! Ok, we could stop here actually! Ha!

2. We live in a multi-cultural city!

3. Oh, and we are able to try food from all over the world with only a few steps here and there!

4. Our toddlers and kids wear the cutest clothes and are super stylish!

5. Our museums have exhibitions and attractions for kids all year long!

6. Plus, we have theaters with amazing plays too!

7. We have one the most amazing carrousels in the world, for example Jane’s Carrousel at the Brooklyn Bridge Park!

8. Our summer time is full of free family events!

9. The kids’ menus are awesome — even adults want to try it!

10. The city is tough and helps shape strong individuals for the future! The eventually exceed within their groups.

11. The subway lines take us everywhere and they are free for the tiny ones – below 44 inches!

12. But, we can walk to almost any place!

13. Everyone is super connected to art, design, culture, etc, giving them the opportunity of engaging with this ludic universe.

14. We are called The City that Never Sleeps…and that can come in handy with kids, if you know what I mean!

15. The lighting of the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center is breathtaking! Kid’s jaws always drop and it’s so cute to observe them staring up.

16. Lastly, we have the best sights in the world to look at…every…single…day!

So, do you still need more? We could continue…but we could have stopped at #1 too! Ha!


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Polina Bulman

Creative & Cultural Trendsetters Meet at the Northside Festival in Williamsburg

Culture Music Northside Festival Bedford Street

We love the Northside Festival in Williamsburg that happens every month of June! These guys really know how to curate an outstanding cultural and creative event.

Culture Music Northside Festival Bedford Street
Culture Music Northside Festival Williamsburg
Culture Music Northside Festival Kid Dancing
Culture Music Northside Festival Miguel Singer
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I think that by this point you all know how we love Brooklyn and all the super cool neighborhoods that are part of this Borough.

Williamsburg has changed tremendously in the past few years and is still in contant change. They are pioneers in bringing some of the coolest events in town related to music, art, food and new ideas!

The Northside Music Festival happens once a year, during the month of June, for 5 days. The event bring in some of the best, upcoming and established bands, great food, a beautiful crowd and a fantastic vibe!

Not only their line up is great, but you should plan on attending the Block Parties too. On June 10th and 11th, you’ll find beautiful installations, sculptures, are works and countless other activities.

More about them and their upcoming show with the R&B superstar Miguel:

For one week every June, over 100,000 creative and cultural trendsetters meet in Brooklyn to uncover the future of music, innovation and content.
With over 300 bands, 100 speakers and 100 content creators, attendees venture to Northside to say – I saw it here first.
We’re excited to present Miguel + special guests for Northside Festival on Saturday, June 10th at 5pm, in McCarren Park!
This is a benefit show for the Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn (OSA), a nonprofit dedicated to building a stronger North Brooklyn by improving 45 parks and playgrounds and getting neighbors involved in their community parks.

We’re sure you will enjoy the Northside Festival in Williamsburg!

If you’d like to explore more of what Brooklyn is about, take a look at our unique experiences like the Bushwick Graffiti, Bites & Drinks Photo Tour, or contact our experts to help you (our your company), out.

Date: June 7th – 11th, but Miguel’s show is on the 10th!

Location: McCarren Park – Bedford Avenue and N12th

To purchase tickets, click here.

 

 

Photo and Text Credits: Northside Festival and Brooklyn Vegan

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