Tag Archives: Private Tours

Brooklyn Bridge: Story And Secrets Behind This Massive Landmark

Curiosities City Secrets Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge has an amazing story and secrets worth telling! The secrets behind this massive NY landmark are very interesting and some, even a bit hilarious!

Curiosities City Secrets Brooklyn Bridge

This is probably one of the three top touristy spots in New York City! We know…not “behind the scenes” at all but, then again, some attractions are just impossible to ignore.

We are completely in love with this Bridge! When we commute into Manhattan through the Q Line in the morning, that goes over the Manhattan Bridge, it’s usually the highlight of the trip! We are able to see the entire Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan’s skyline. Plus, at the very back, the State of liberty.

Yes! A perfect way to start the morning and to remember “Why” we once decided to live here! It just feels…perfect.

Any way, lets getting back on track! Let’s talk about the story and secrets behind this massive landmark in New York.

The Brooklyn Bridge was opened to the public on May 24, 1883 and connects Manhattan to Brooklyn, passing over the East River. Back then, it was a separate city from New York, and only in 1898 it was formally merged and New York City started growing into the different Boroughs.

It’s hard to even guess how many years to took, back in the late 1800’s to build it right? Well, it was a total of 14 years.

Over 600 workers were hired to be part of this massive construction and it costed a total of $15 million. Today, if we convert this cost to, it adds up to $320 million! It’s a lot of money, right?

The engineers and architects responsible for this landmark are John A. Roebling, his son, Washington Roebling and David B. Steinman.

John A. Roebling was a pioneer and a fantastic German engineer specialized in suspension bridges back in those days.

Unfortunately, Roebling had a fatal work injury and died of tetanus. His son, Washington Roebling, took over the project.

The entire process was quite challenging for the time. Specially regarding the air tubes that took workers deep under water. When then resurfaced (probably too quickly), their bodies had severe pains, many irreparable damages and sometimes, even death. Washington himself had a lifetime partial paralysis due to this process.

Today, it’s calculated that more than 120,000 vehicles, 4,000 pedestrians and 3,100 bicyclists cross the Brooklyn Bridge every single day.

Here are also a few secrets facts of the Brooklyn Bridge:

1. In 2006, a Fallout Shelter was discovered inside the masonry of the bridge, most likely created during the Cold War. They found an infinite number of paper blankets, water drums, lots of medical supplies and even canned food.

2. John A. Roebling made a conceptualization of a shopping arcade. It never came to life, but became a storage for several years and, in the beginning of the 2000’s, it was closed down due to security reasons.

3. To help counteract the costs of the bridge, a wine cellar was created inside the bridge and was rented out to store products at a stable temperature.

4. This is actually a bit funny. George C. Parker is known of having “sold” the bridge many times to different new prospect owners. He did a huge load of money out of this hoax and was eventually sent to jail for life. It’s said that he even negotiated and sold the Statue of Liberty and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET). Ha!

5. The was a terrible and fatal day where a few dozen people died due to a bluff that the bridge was going to collapse. This was only 6 days after its opening – a disaster, for sure. Due to this, a while later, it is know that the showman P.T. Barnum organized the crossover of 21 elephants, to secure the population that the bridge was safe. This was, in essence, to promote the coming of his new circus. Smart guy.

In addition, after crossing the bridge, you can take some time and explore the area close by!

So, you can start by simply heading down below the bridge to the  Brooklyn Bridge Park. There are great food vendors, a stunning skyline view of Manhattan, Jane’s Carousel is for all ages, the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory is a great pitstop.

As we said, yes, it is quite touristy. But, nonetheless, it’s definitely worth checking off your list! We still love crossing it sometimes, despite the touristy mess.

If you want to cross, but you’re interested in booking a tour guide telling you more in depth details of the se stories above, or even, if you want to cross biking, contact our experts to arrange it for you. It’s also a great activity to do with Corporate groups.

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

Experience Some Unique Photo Tours in New York

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Custom Photo Tour

Experience some fun and unique photo tours in New York! While exploring this fantastic city, you have a professional guide and photographer registering every moment!


(Use our PromoCode below!)

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Custom Photo Tour

Do you want the best pictures of you, while exploring the city?! Take a look at some unique photo tours in New York!

Well, New York definitely offers some of the best tours not only for visitor, but also for locals. It can get pretty overwhelming to chose the best one for you, so let us help you out!

We have curated the best partners that offer the most exclusive, secret and unique tours in New York!

In this digital and online era, nothing is more rewarding as going back home with the best pictures you could ever have from your trip, right?

We offer, in partnership with one of our top partners, amazing tours exploring NY and other boroughs with local guides. Their difference? They are also fantastic professional photographers!

We love these unique photo tours in New York!

Do you want a customized tour? You can create with us your desired stops! Our partner guides will tell you the local stories and get the most amazing pictures of you and your family & friends! How about exploring Bushwick’s street art?

If you do not know which stops you want to visit, let us customize a route for you!!!

You’ll receive all of the photos your photographer-guide takes during your experience, which typically equates to 75+ professional pictures during a two-hour session.”


(Use our PromoCode below!)


  • Price: $130 per hour, per group of up to three people (not per person). To add more people there is a $50 flat fee per person (per day, if booking multiple days).
  • Our Promo-Code: BTSNYC for 10% off!
  • Photos: You’ll receive your digital folder of photos within 72 hours from the time the tour ends (excluding weekend days)
  • Duration: 2 hours minimum


  • Knowledgeable, local guide/photographer
  • Hotel pick-up via subway (upon request)
  • Unlimited photos of you and your group
  • Lunch – for those who book a guide for 6+ hours
  • New York taxes and fees


  • Subway transfers
  • Gratuities (optional, but appreciated!)


(Use our PromoCode!)

If you are looking for a special photo tour for your team or clients, contact our experts to learn more about our Corporate Services.

If you want to explore Bushwick Graffiti, Bites & Drinks Photo Tour, take a look and see what it’s all about!

Photo Credits: Courtesy of the photographer tour Guide
*Last Update on March/2020.*

A NY Cultural Day Trip to Dia:Beacon Contemporary Museum

Day Trips and Travels Dia Beacon Garden

Dia:Beacon contemporary museum is part of Dia Art Foundation’s constellation of sites. It’s one of our highly recommended NY cultural day trip for art lovers!

Day Trips and Travels Dia Beacon Room of Pillars
Day Trips and Travels Dia Beacon Robert Smithson Broken Glass
Day Trips and Travels Dia Beacon
Day Trips and Travels Dia Beacon Louise Bourgeois Spider
Day Trips and Travels Dia Beacon Richard Serra
Day Trips and Travels Dia Beacon Michael Heizer
Day Trips and Travels Dia Beacon Metal Installations
Day Trips and Travels Dia Beacon Garden
Day Trips and Travels Dia Beacon Entrance
Day Trips and Travels Dia Beacon Main Building
Day Trips and Travels Dia Beacon Bird Eye View
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Occupying a former Nabisco box printing factory on the banks of the Hudson River, Dia:Beacon presents Dia’s collection of art.

Expect everything from the 1960’s to the present days, as well as special exhibitions, new commissions, and public and education programs. Phiuf!

Since its opening in May 2003, Dia:Beacon has helped transform the city of Beacon into a vibrant arts destination for visitors from the region, New York City, and beyond.

Their mission is:

“Dia Art Foundation is committed to advancing, realizing, and preserving the vision of artists. Dia fulfills its mission by commissioning single artist projects, organizing exhibitions, realizing site-specific installations, and collecting in-depth the work of a focused group of artists of the 1960s and 1970s.”

Also, don’t forget to visit their bookstore and coffee shop before you head back!

Lastly, the car trip takes around 1,5h, so it’s quite close to run off and check the place out during a weekend. You may also go up by train. You can get the Metro-North Railroad trains from Grand Central Terminal.

We love exploring not only New York City, but the gorgeous state of New York.

Our interview with Juliette Hermant show some of the coolest places to explore in Narrowsburg.

In addition, if you are interested in a Guided Tour to Dia:Beacon, contact us so we can help you out! It’s also a great option for a corporate activity with your team or clients. Our guides are true experts and will show you a great time!

Enjoy this super cool NY cultural day trip and share your experience with your friends!

January – March: Friday – Monday : 11am – 4-pm
April – October: Thursday – Monday 11am – 6pm
November – December: Thursday – Monday: 11am – 4pm

Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays year-round, and on Thursdays in January, February, and March.

Location: 3 Beekman Street, Beacon, NY


Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC and Courtesy of Dia:Beacon
*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

New York City Historic East Village Food Tour

Events Up Coming Historic East Village Food Tour Untapped Cities

New York City has some of the most delicious food experiences on the planet. Come explore the New York City Historic East Village Food Tour through a tempting and delectable tour!

Events Up Coming Historic East Village Food Tour Untapped Cities

“Join James and Karla Murray, authors and photographers of the critically acclaimed books, “Store Front II – A History Preserved: The Disappearing Face of New York”, on this walking and tasting tour: New York City Historic East Village Food Tour.

Explore some of their favorite East Village food establishments.

In other words, discover the food, history and diverse culture of the East Village while tasting delicious specialties from at least 6 different tasting stops.

Many family-run businesses started out as traditional mom-and-pop stores passed down from generation to generation, and defined their neighborhoods.

These modest small businesses are falling away in the face of modernization, gentrification, and conformity. The once unique appearance and character of New York City’s colorful streets suffers in the process.

On this tour, you will learn about the diverse German, Italian, Jewish and Ukrainian history of the East Village. You’ll try some fresh homemade Italian mozzarella, drink an authentic New York City egg cream or have a freshly roasted cup of coffee.

Also, taste a hot Ukrainian potato pierogi with toppings, sample a freshly baked Jewish sugar cookie and enjoy an authentic New York hot dog and tropical drink. Lastly, taste a freshly baked Italian cannoli.

Enough food will be sampled so that, for most people, lunch afterwards is not needed.”

Date: Sunday, August 21st
Time: 12pm

Sponsored by our friends from Untapped New York!

For private tours or corporate tours, contact our experts and learn more. Also, take a look at our BTSNYC Tours & Experiences to book your next adventure!

We’ve also selected some of the best NYC Gifts within books, movies and more!

Photo Credits: Courtesy of James and Karla Murray
*Last Update on March/2020.*

Thom Browne Debates The Concept Of Individuality At Cooper Hewitt Museum

Culture Music Thom Browne Selects Cooper Hewitt

The men’s wear designer, Thom Browne, was the guest curator of #ThomBrowneSelects hosted inside Cooper Hewitt Museum. His work was certainly intriguing and discussed the concept of individuality.

Culture Music Thom Browne Selects Cooper Hewitt

“If you’re going into design, you should be in it only because you want to design things that are provocative and new. Be true to yourself and have the confidence to design according to what you think and not what other people are trying to tell you.” – Thom Browne

In a world where we see everyone copying everyone else and that individuality and being unique is so rare, Thom Browne challenges this topic in a recent project.

Hosted inside the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, his installation gathered over 50 contemporary mirrors and frames that are part of they museum’s historic collection.

He explored the “ideas of reflection and individuality”. On the other hand of being the same, he shows the beauty and simplicity of working with a beautiful design.

Ok? You didn’t get it? He explains:

“Uniformity in the fashion world is almost a four-letter word, especially for women, who don’t want to wear the same thing every day. In actuality, it would be so refreshing and simplify things. If it’s beautifully made and fits really well, there’s nothing boring about that. It’s just beautiful.”

In an ongoing series, Thom Browne is the 13th exhibition where over 210,000 objects from Cooper Hewitt’s collection is used and interpreted by different outstanding designers, architects and artists.

The exhibition on view through October 23, 2016 at the Cooper Hewitt – The Smithsonian Design Museum. It’s located in landmark Carnegie Mansion.

Simply gorgeous! But, do keep posted on their upcoming exhibitions. They are always fantastic!

You can walk down 5th Avenue at stop at the both, super famous Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Or, just enjoy all the museums and galleries down the Museum Mile. It starts at the famous The MET Museum and goes all the way up to 105th Street.

Location: 2 East 91st Street (with 5th Avenue)


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Cooper Hewitt
*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

The Beauty Of Jane’s Carousel At The Brooklyn Bridge Park

Curiosities City Secrets Janes Carousel Brooklyn Bridge Park by BeHappyNYC

A nostalgic moment everyone should experience! Jane’s Carousel at the Brooklyn Bridge Park is an experience for all ages, with a breathtaking skyline of New York City!

Curiosities City Secrets Janes Carousel Brooklyn Bridge Park by BeHappyNYC
Curiosities City Secrets Janes Carousel Brooklyn Bridge Park by Vincent Mournier
Curiosities City Secrets Janes Carousel Brooklyn Bridge Park
Curiosities City Secrets Janes Carousel Brooklyn Bridge Park Mila Kunis by Harpers Bazaar
Curiosities City Secrets Janes Carousel Brooklyn Bridge Park by Zen And The Art Of Travel
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I believe that everyone, at least once, has ridden a carousel! Kids, teenagers, adults and even the most experienced ones would probably want to try a 2nd, 3rd and even 4th time! It’s just so nostalgic, right?

Plus, rinding a gorgeous, vintage one is even more exciting! Pair that with a perfect skyline of Manhattan and voilá! It becomes an urban fairy tail! Well, it’s certainly OUR urban fairy tail and our hearts do beat faster when we see it.

That is to say that, one of the most amazing carousels you’ll ever see is called Jane’s Carousel. This magnificent art work located inside the Brooklyn Bridge Park, right below the Brooklyn Bridge.

It’s a huge, beautifully restored piece of art with 48 racing hand-carved horses. This classic 3 row beauty was built in 1922 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company and is opened year-round.

A bit more of history:

The carousel was originally located at Idora Park in Youngstown, Ohio in the early 1920’s. Then, in mid 1980’s, specifically in 1984, the duo Jane and David Walentas purchased it. They prevented it from being completely dismantled and having it’s pieces separately sold off. Lucky us!

That same year, Jane started the restoration with her own hands, at her studio in DUMBO, Brooklyn. It was amazing to see the original coloring of each piece surfacing back.

After documenting every color and every detail was faithfully done, so when the time came to replicate it all on the final pieces, the end result was breathtaking.

Moreover, all the electrical parts and machinery were updated with the latest technologies. And still, over 1200 lights were installed to give the final touch, bringing it to life.

It was finally shown to the public, at the Brooklyn Bridge Park on September 16th, 2011. It surely transformed the this area of Brooklyn’s skyline and has become a dear location in our heart.

It’s definitely something to experience in New York City. So, if you are interested in seeing what it’s all about, but would prefer help of an expert tour guide, contact us.

We’ve done some pretty amazing itineraries for big (and small) Corporate groups and delegations, so if you need help in organizing a special experience for your team or your clients, let us cater it for you.

Hours: Thursday – Sunday: 11am – 6pm

Location: Brooklyn Bridge Park, Dock Street


Photo Credits: Courtesy of Jane’s Carousel, Harper’s Bazaar (Mila Kunis), Vincent Mounier, Zen and the Art of Travel and BeHappyNYC (Featured image)
*Last Update on March/2020.*

FIT DUMBO Tour: Fun Course That Will Open Your Mind

Culture & Music FIT Tour DUMBO Park Lawn

If you haven’t been to DUMBO – Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass – or haven’t been going regularly, you are missing out on one of the most important hot spots for art, furnishing, food and culture trends. Try the FIT DUMBO Tour!

Culture & Music FIT Tour DUMBO Manhattan Skyline
Culture & Music FIT Tour DUMBO Park Lawn
Culture & Music FIT Tour DUMBO
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You all have probably noticed by now that we’re all about hidden and unique spots. Plus, we are huge fans of everything related to food and culture. That said, this is surely a tour we recommend: the FIT DUMBO Tour!

Dumbo is a small neighborhood located in Brooklyn, right below the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s on the water front and has a fabulous view of Manhattan’s skyline.

In addition, the emerging art and culture scene is very fantastic and attracts a huge number of people through out the year that go to experience unique activities and events.

This is what to expect:

Nestled between two bridges and flanked by the illustrious Brooklyn Navy Yard, this re-emerging Brooklyn neighborhood has become a critical destination for fashion professionals and exudes a culture and atmosphere all its own.

The programs introduces you to boutiques, beauty spots, art galleries, lifestyle brand stores, and sources for great food, all in a architectural setting with fabulous view of the Eastside skyline. This one is named “DUMBO: Brooklyn’s Latest Hipster Haven“.

After a brief introduction at FIT, attendees travel by subway to DUMBO. No same-day registration.”

It costs $45/person. Food and subway cost not included in course fee. Seminar Leader: Trina Morris, publicist, Style Root PR.

While in the neighborhood, you might want to explore a bit!

Be sure to pass by Burr0w to recharge with a coffee and a delicious pastry. If you want to shop for locally source products, go to Foragers! Their selection is literally impressive and it will be hard not want to buy it all.

And lastly, learn with a photography expert how to get the best shots!

For private and custom-made fashion tours, or even corporate experiences focused on trend research and technical visits, contact our experts. We also offer a fantastic Personal Shopper & Styling service for visitor and New Yorkers!


Text Excerpts: FIT NYC
Photo Credits: Courtesy 
*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

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