NYC’s Finest Vegetarian Restaurants February 22 2018
When you think “vegetarian dining” you might picture cold tofu or boring salads, particularly if you’re a carnivore who would rather visit a good steak joint. But New York City, as a health conscious mecca of brilliant chefs with creative visions, offers an impressive array of vegetarian and vegan restaurants. The chefs at these restaurants know how to transform a few seemingly unremarkable vegetables into a beautiful plate of food, each bite bursting with flavors. Whether you’re a die-hard vegetarian or a burger fanatic, you’re certain to enjoy your experience at any one of these top-notch New York veggie-friendly establishments!
Herald Square Location: 134 W 37th St New York, NY
Union Square Location: 229 E 14th St, New York, NY
Chelsea Location: 75 9th Ave, New York, NY
Midtown Location: 62 W 56th St, New York, NY
Financial District Location: 70 Pine St, New York, NY
Vegetarian sushi is anything but boring at this wildly inventive restaurant, where famous chef Guy Vaknin has crafted a signature approach to creating sushi that looks like your typical raw fish concoction, but is actually made from colorful and locally-sourced vegetables. Ingredients include healthy grains, black-bean puree, lime chips, avocado and and more, all designed to create the appearance of your typical sushi dish. The menu has recently moved from solely focusing on sushi to crafting noodles and dumpling dishes that are equally creative and equally delicious. You’re certain to Instagram every beautiful plate full of food on your table!
25 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003
The New York Observer called Divya’s Kitchen “the healthiest restaurant in New York,” but the restaurant doesn’t sacrifice taste for nutrition: The menu is as inventive and creative as it is delicious! Everything in the restaurant is handmade, from the almond milk to the bread, and each dish is carefully built with a colorful taste palette. After your delicious dinner, try one of their calming teas, like “Heart Opening Rose or “Peace of Mind.” Try their “Spiced Coconut Chips” for a delicious appetizer, and feast on the “Carrot Risotto” for a meal full of robust flavors.
86 Allen St, New York, NY 10002
Dirt Candy isn’t just a mainstay of New York vegetarian dining -- it’s also a hotspot for celebrities like Leonardo diCaprio! There’s a reason famous foodies are drawn to the spot: It’s run by New York’s most renowned veggie chef, Amanda Cohen, a former vegetarian who has dedicated her life to making vegetable-based dishes that are anything but dull. The restaurant now offers two pre-fixe dinner meals: “The Vegetable Patch” ($57, tip included) which consists of five courses of the restaurant’s most famous dishes, and The Vegetable Garden ($83, tip included) which consists of nine to ten courses based on seasonal options, weekly deliveries, and whatever Cohen feels like cooking up that week! With inventions like carrot waffles and Brussel Sprout Tacos, Cohen never disappoints.
Nolita Location: 19 Kenmare St, New York, NY
West Village Location: 581 Hudson St, New York, NY
This restaurant calls itself a “vegetable slaughterhouse,” relying on seasonal vegetables to dictate their menu, which rotates every few months! Whether it’s winter or summer, rest assured that The Butcher's Daughter will be producing meals from the absolute finest local and organic farm produce. There’s nothing conventional about these veggie meals, which feature favorites like linguini made from “zucchini noodles,” and the Butcher’s Burger made from veggies and black beans. The Butcher’s Daughter is also renowned for its delicious juices concocted from fresh fruits and herbs.
Williamsburg Location: 171 N 3rd St, Brooklyn, NY
Flatiron Location: 60 W 22nd St, New York, NY
Soho Location: 240 Lafayette St, New York, NY
Greenwich Village Location: 185 Bleecker St, New York, NY
Now a bonafide New York City chain, the vegan By Chloe leaves its signature touch of thoughtful flavors and beautiful presentation on every plate. Passionate about making farm-to-table meals from locally-sourced ingredients, this restaurant handmakes every aspect of their dishes. What’s more, you can feel good about patroning this spot: The brand is committed to reducing their carbon footprint and partnering with sustainable ingredient sources. You’ll savor every bite of the mouthwatering Mushroom Avocado Toast and enjoy the unexpected crunchiness of the Toasted Cauliflower Chimichurri. If you visit the Williamsburg location, be sure and ask for the secret off-menu item, its original “‘Burg BLT,” made from By Chloe’s famous mushroom burger!
72 University Pl, New York, NY 10003
This restaurant just earned chef John Fraser his first Michelin Star and it’s easy to see why: Every meal there is an absolute celebration of the wonderful tastes of vegetables. Try the tofu-skin pockets, which come stuffed with sweet potato and salsa, or the pan-roasted potato gnocchi, garnished with a winning combination of jalapeno and mind. Complement your meal with one of Nix’s creative cocktails, homemade sodas or exciting wine options.
38 East 19th Street, New York, NY 10003
NYC’s fine dining hero Jean-Georges Vongerichten has launched an entirely plant-based, non-GMO, organic vegetarian restaurant, with every dish made from ingredients sourced from small and family farms. With noodles and rice based dishes, legume-based dishes, and delicious sandwiches, the restaurant has something for everybody. The restaurant also delivers on the good vibes: Like every “ABC” restaurant, it has a quirky-cool interior decorating scheme.
1084 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11237
This restaurant serves up delicious vegan Ethiopian fare that is as flavorful as it is healthy. These dishes, perfected over centuries, offer unique twists on your typical vegetable, served family style. Best of all, Bunna serves free Ethiopian coffee, and wll frequently perform the traditional coffee ceremony for guests. If you’re looking to relax, consider trying Bunna’s traditional Ethiopian alcohol, including the famous T’ej, which is fermented honey wine.
130 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009
Vegetarian cooking meets upscale dining at Avant Garden, located in the heart of the hip East Village. The restaurant’s ethos is that vegetarian cooking shouldn’t have to “imitate” the taste of chicken to be absolutely delicious. The restaurant’s chef, Tony Mongeluzzi serves up dishes that bring out the deep flavors of veggies, legumes, nuts and herbs to create an utterly delicious, one-of-a-kind dining experience.
317 Union Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Restaurant owner Isa Chandra Moskowitz describes Modern Love’s cuisine as “swanky vegan comfort food.” Of course, “comfort food” means something very different when, like Moskowitz, you’ve grown up in the New York City punk rock scene and honed your chops on a DIY public access cooking show, Post Punk Kitchen. The result is a completely unique menu of dishes like “Seitan Chops and Applesauce” and “Mac and Shews,” made with cashew-cream cheese.
430 E 9th St, New York, NY 10009
One of the perennial troubles for vegetarian eaters is finding anything on the menu at fast food restaurants. Superiority Burger opened to right that wrong, offering an entirely vegetarian fast-food menu with delicious burgers that will even win over your most die-hard Burger King fan.
Where to buy your Christmas decoration in NYC December 18 2017
This most festive time of year deserves some equally festive decorations! This season, don’t settle for flimsy drugstore wreaths. You’re in the best shopping city in the Unite States, so take advantage of it and treat yourself to some of New York City’s wide array of beautiful and whimsical Christmas decorations! Here are some of the best places to find the perfect topper to your tree:
151 W 34th St
New York, NY 10001
Consider Macy’s your one-stop-shop for all things Christmas. They offer everything from ornaments to outdoor decorations to Christmas dining ware and of course, stockings. As an added bonus, Macy’s also has arguably the city’s best Christmas windows, with six fabulous displays of holiday cheer!
Christmas in New York
730 7th Ave
New York, New York
Located in the heart of Time Square, this store promises “Christmas all year round.” Of course, it’s most exciting to visit as the December holiday approaches, when the store sets up its signature, life-size “Christmas Village,” complete with an animatronic Santa, Mrs. Claus and crew of elves! Offering every kind of nutcracker, Christmas ornament, and tinsel you could dream up, this store supplies everything you need for a truly festive holiday.
255 West 18th Street
New York, NY 10011
This year, why not decorate your tree with a touch of vintage flair? Authentiques has been supplying New York City’s creative community with the best film and theater props for over forty years, but insiders also know Authentique as the city’s best Christmas ornament store! Walking into the store is like entering a perfectly-preserved time capsule of America in the 1950s and 1960s, full of quirk and kitsch. It also has an impressive supply of antique and collectible ornaments that look unlike anything you’ll see in stores today. You’ll have fun finding out what Christmas used to look like, and you’re certain to fall in love with the retro fruit and vegetable-shaped ornaments.
More & More Antique
378 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10024
There’s more than one place to get your vintage fix of Christmas ornaments! More & More Antiques offers, well… More Christmas decorations than you could use in one lifetime! Selling beautiful new decorations, and incredible old-world Christmas ornaments, there’s certain to be something for everybody's taste. You’ll find Christmas ornaments shaped like Degas’ ballerinas, or glass jellyfish. You’ll even find ornaments commemorating famous Olympic athletes!
House of Holiday
90-2 Atlantic Avenue
Ozone Park, NY 11416
House of Holiday consists of two stories, and 35,000 square feet crammed with every kind of Christmas decoration you can imagine, and plenty you probably couldn’t! You’ll find ornaments of all shapes and sizes, twinkling lights of every variation, and Christmas trees, live and artificial. The kids will be entertained by the enormous Christmas train track and dancing Santa dolls. You’ll be entertained by the giant light-up reindeers!
Upper East Side
1000 Third Ave
New York, NY 10022
New York, NY 10012
Upper West Side
New York, NY 10023
With tons of exclusive Christmas ornaments depicting everything from hamburgers to dinosaurs to good old-fashioned nutcrackers, Bloomingdale's brings the holiday spirit, in spades! With plenty of other winter-time goodies, like Santa pillows, sterling silver wreaths and plaid Christmas stockings, you’re sure to find everything you need to deck the halls of your home.
185 Roebling Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
During the holidays, this hair salon/coffee shop/retail space is the most glamorous place to buy your Christmas decorations! The owner collaborates with other small businesses and designers to provide a selection of beautiful, handmade goods, so your Christmas tree looks unlike anyone else’s!
211 Elizabeth Street
New York, NY 10012
If you’re sick of the cliche nutcrackers and Santa ornaments, why not mix things up this year? Stop by Dinosaur Designs for the classy, totally unique Christmas decorations you never knew you needed! The store sells quirky Christmas wreaths, and ornaments shaped like dinosaurs and dinosaur eggs!
The Christmas Cottage
871 7th Avenue
New York, NY 10019
Billing itself as the “Oldest Christmas Shop in New York,” this family-run store has helped New Yorkers deck their halls with boughs of holly since 1985. While the store itself is small and cozy, it’s packed with enough ornaments, snow globes, santas, snowmen, lights, and wreaths to make your home more festive than the North Pole itself! If you don’t have time to stop by the physical store, you can now check out the store’s wares online and plan the perfect Christmas design scheme from your home!
Christmas Village in New York City
530 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10036
Christmas Village isn’t just a store, it’s an experience. With twenty-one beautifully decorated Christmas scenes, complete with audio-animatronic elves, Santas, and animals, the store’s Christmas exhibit is a must-see for families in New York. Best of all, each scene has a special “New York City” touch, like Santa hopping in a NYC Yellow Cab! After you feast your eyes on the Christmas displays, head upstairs to check out the store, where you can choose from hundreds of exclusive ornaments that the store will personalize for free! The store offers taxi-cab and NYPD badge ornaments, making it the one-stop-shop for your truly “New York” Christmas.
Grand Central Terminal Holiday Fair
89 E 42nd Street
New York, NY 10017
This year, don’t get lost in the crowd at the Grand Central Terminal Holiday Fair. Instead, head straight for the booth marked “Hut Studios.” There, you’ll find iconic New York ornaments for your tree. Artists Richard Hopper and Harold Gilstein are the brains behind these incredibly unique baubles. They photoshop images of iconic New York scenes, like the Flatiron Building or the Roosevelt Island Tramway, and turn them into one-of-a-kind 3D ornaments.
Union Square Holiday Market
West 14th St
New York, NY 10003
When you’re not sure exactly what you’re looking for, sometimes it helps to wander through a winter wonderland for inspiration! Look no further than the Union Square Holiday Market, where you’ll be surrounded by all things Christmas. The market offers good from 100+ vendors, meaning there is truly something for everyone! Christmas decorations you’ll find there include handmade wooden ornaments from Bali (BaliMade Crafts), clay figurine ornaments from Mexico (Mayan Dreams) and wool-felt doll ornaments handmade by women artists from Central Asia (Craftspring)
Renegade Craft Fair in NYC
125 W 18th Street
Manhattan, NY 10011
The best 200 artisans in all of New York City will be selling the most quirky, creative handmade goods you’ll find this holiday season! While the fair is chock-full of every kind of holiday gift you can think of, like jewelry, knick-knacks, pottery and more, plenty of vendors will also offer the perfect decorations to make your home a winter wonderland.
The Best NYC New Year’s Eve Parties November 13 2017
New Year’s Eve is the best party night of the year, and New York City is the best party city in the world! Combine the two, and you’re guaranteed to have a night to remember! Here’s how to brave Time’s Square for the largest NYE celebration in the world, and a few of the hippest party alternatives!
New Year’s Eve in Times Square: What You Need To Know
Join an estimated one-million people in the crowd for an event that approximately 1 billion people will watch worldwide on their televisions! Since 1904, partygoers have been gathering in Times Square to watch the ball drop, and now it’s an absolute staple of the holiday.
What exactly happens?
At 11:59PM on December 31st of each year, a giant, 12-foot geodesic sphere weighing 11,875 pounds descends from the flagpole above One Times Square, signalling the start of a new year.
What is the schedule of events?
The schedule of events will be available here in December 2017. It will include famous musical guests, and popular media personalities.
Where should you go for the best view?
The actual show takes place at One Times Square, but you’ll have the best view along Broadway Avenue, anywhere between 43rd Street and 50th Street, or along Seventh Avenue anywhere from 43rd Street to 59th Street!
Do I need to buy a ticket?
Nope! This event is as free as a trip to the public library, though it’s a lot more crowded. You don’t need any tickets to watch from the street, but some restaurants and hotels hold private parties overlooking the festivities, which may require tickets.
When should I arrive?
Experienced Times Square-goers know to arrive in the early afternoon to ensure a good view. The space crowds up FAST so don’t put it off until 11:30, or you’ll be staring at the back of a million tourist’s heads.
How do I get there?
The most convenient way to get there the day of is via public transportation. On the Subway, you can take the 1, 2, 3, 7, A, B, C, D, E, F, M, N, Q, R, W, and S shuttle trains to Times Square. The MTA advises party-goers NOT to use the 42nd Street Subway Station, as they tend to get very crowded. Instead, consider going to one of the nearby stations, such as Port Authority Bus Terminal at 42nd Street/8th Avenue.
How do I access Times Square?
Access to the square will be open at 6th Avenue and 8th Avenue. You will not be able to cross Broadway/7th Avenue once the streets are closed.
Is there security?
Yes. Every guest will be searched at one of the entrance points by a security guard. Large bags and backpacks will not be allowed, and all bags will be searched.
What should I wear?
Bust out your festive New Year’s Eve hats, but be sure and bring your winter parka. Chances are you’ll be spending hours out in the cold.
Can I bust open my bottle of champagne?
Public drinking is illegal in new York City, so a bottle of champagne or a beer could get you in trouble with the police. That said, be sure and hydrate with lots of water!
What if I have to eat/drink/use the restroom?
There will be no public vendors of food or drinks in the Square. There will also be no public restroom. However, there are hundreds of restaurants and hotels nearby, many of which are open on New Year’s Eve. Some include:
- Renaissance New York
- DoubleTree Guest Suites
- Marriott Marquis
- Bubba Gump Shrimp Company
- Olive Garden
- R Lounge
- Novotel New York Times Square
- The Knickerbocker
Alternatives to Time’s Square
Don’t want to join the most crowded New Year’s Eve celebration in the world? Consider one of these equally festive options:
New York Nightlife’s New Year’s Eve Cruise KLICK
Dec. 31st 9PM - Jan. 1st 1AM
Marco Polo Cruises
2430 FDR Drive Service Road East
New York, NY 10010
Come celebrate the New Year on a swanky cruise along New York Bay, where you’ll have a prime view of the beautiful Manhattan skyline. When the clock strikes midnight, you’ll be able to watch the city’s best fireworks burst over the Statue of Liberty. With a delicious buffet prepared by legendary San Matteo and a well as a well-stocked, reasonably-priced bar, you’ll be wined and dined like NYC royalty. The cruise will feature one of New York City’s very best DJs spinning beats all night long. Come dance through the last hours of 2017 and welcome 2018 in style!
How to get there:
You can take an Uber, Juno or Lyft to the dock or take the subway:
4, 5 or 6 Train to 23rd Street station
A Date with Fate: New Year's Eve in Brooklyn
Dec. 31st 9PM - Jan. 1st 2AM
213 North 8th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Tickets: $ 150.00
Brooklyn Winery is one of the borough’s hippest spots for a classy, elegant New Year’s Eve celebration, featuring a four and a half hour open bar with top shelf liquor and the Winery’s finest bottles, as well as truly delicious hors d'oeuvres. This party will transport you back to the 1940s, complete with elegant lanterns and old-school music. Pose for snapshots in a photobooth and toast with champagne in an intimate lounge. This is the perfect celebration for the romantic couple who still knows how to have fun!
How to get there:
L Train to Bedford Avenue
1 OAK Party
Dec. 31st 9PM - Jan. 1st 4AM
453 W 17th St , New York NY
New York, NY 10011
Table for 8- $3000
This New Year’s Eve, New York City’s illustrious 1-Of-A-Kind nightclub opens its ultra-exclusive doors for truly 1-of-a-kind NYE party that will inaugurate the New Year in extravagantly swanky style. 1 OAK is a reigning NYC nightlife VIP-spot and the favored playground for NYC’s high-living partiers, fashion and social glitterati and top-tier celebrities: Jay-Z, Beyonce, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kanye West, Bradley Cooper, Pharrell, 2 Chainz, Jamie Foxx, Nas, Chris Rock, LeBron James, Robin Thicke, Alex Rodriguez, Kate Hudson, Heidi Klum are just some of the luminaries that populate the luxurious, star-studded venue. Party with the elite and join the ranks of NYC’s rich and famous at 1 OAK’s crowning NYE party.
How to get there:
A, C or E Train to 14th Street Station.
For those under the American drinking age, a lot of fun New Year’s Eve activities may be off limits. Don’t despair! There are still plenty of fantastic ways to ring in the new year in NYC! Here are a few of the best:
Dec 31, 10PM
610 West 56th Street, west of 11th Avenue.
New York, NY 10019
Ages: 18 & Over
Tickets: $49.50 and up
One of NYC’s largest and most epic music venues, Terminal 5 is the ultimate spot to welcome the new year! With 5 distinct room environments and multiple stories to explore, you’ll be surrounded by up to 3,000 fellow party-goers as you watch an incredible show featuring performances by legendary Gramatik, and openers Big Wild and Ramzoid.
How to get there:
1, 2 or 5 Trains to 59 Street - Columbus Circle Station
Baby’s All Right
Dec. 31st, 8PM
Brooklyn, NY 11211
18 & Over
One of Brooklyn’s hippest music venues, generally considered to have the absolute best line-ups of artists just on the cusp of striking it big, Baby’s All Right is the perfect spot to usher in the New Year. Last year, they brought The Black Lips as their headliners, with additional performances by PMS and the Moodswings, and a DJ set from Chances With Wolves. This year, their show promises to be just as magical.
How to get there:
L Train to Bedford Avenue Station
M Train to Marcy Avenue Station
The Bowery Ballroom
6 Delancey Street
New York, NY 10002
Doors: 9PM, Show: 10PM
18 & Over
Tickets: $50.00 - $55.00
NYC punk legends Television are playing their first New York show in two years with opener Eleanor Friedberger, making this an event not to be missed! Since it first opened its doors in June of 1998, The Bowery Ballroom has been known for delivering excellent shows with a genuine, downtown ambiance.
How to get there:
J Train to Bowery Station
4 or 6 Trains to Spring Street Station
B or D Trains to Grand Street Station
Visiting The Empire State Building? Here’s Exactly What You Need To Know November 13 2017
The Empire State Building first lit up the New York City skyline on May 1, 1931. At the time, this 1,250-foot, 102-story building was the tallest in the world. It was built in traditional Art Deco style, and today it represents one of the best examples of this influential period in American architecture.
The Empire State Building is open to the public 365 days a year, so there’s no excuse not to incorporate this classic New York City landmark into your vacation! Here’s what you need to know to have an enjoyable visit:
The Empire State Building is located in Midtown Manhattan, at 350 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10118, between 33rd Street and 34th Street. There are five entrances on 33rd Street, Fifth Avenue and 34th Street
If you going directly form our concierge center please see below:
There are several different subway stations nearby:
- 1, 2, 3, A, C, E to 34th Street/Penn Station
- B, D, F, N, R, Q or PATH Train to 34th Street and 6th Avenue/Avenue of the Americas
- 4, 5, 6 Train to 33rd Street-Lexington Avenue
The three subway stations are circled in green on the map below:
New to the New York City subway system? The Metropolitan Transit Authority’s website has plenty of information to help you use the Subway and buy your Subway pass.
The Empire State Building is located smack-dab in the middle of Manhattan, so naturally it’s surrounded by loads of other amazing New York City landmarks. You may want to consider including one or two of these historic sites on your itinerary the day you visit the Empire State Building:
- New York Public Library - 476 Fifth Avenue (42nd St and Fifth Ave)
- The Morgan Library and Museum - 225 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016
- Herald Square - 1 Herald Sq, New York, NY 10001
Planning Your Visit
The Empire State Building is one of New York City’s most beloved tourist locations, attracting over 3.5 million visitors every single year! Visitors flock to the 86th floor observatory, where they can observe New York City from 1,050 feet in the air.
In order to skip the ticket line get your tickets at our concierge center or on our homepage for the same price before.
The Empire State Building is open every single day, including holidays, 365 days a year, rain or shine. Hours are from 8AM to 2AM.
The last elevator ride up is at 1:15AM
Tips on Best Visiting Hours:
- Hoping for a little bit of elbow room? Visit during the light hours, between 8AM and 11AM.
- If you’re planning to pop the question atop the Empire State Building, visit on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night, (9PM to 12AM from September-May, 10PM to 1AM from May-September.) when a saxophonist plays romantic tunes.
- Visit the tower at night and watch it light up in LED lights that are constantly changing color.
There are several different ticket options to choose from. Factors to consider include which floors you want to visit, and whether you’re willing to wait in line. Some ticket package comes with a “VIP Express Pass” option, which allows you to skip all the lines during your visit.
All tickets are valid for any day within one year of their purchase.
Here are the options:
Main Deck (86th Floor)
This gets you a ride to the 86th Floor Observatory.
Prices start at:
Adult - $34
Child - $27
Senior - $31
Standard VIP Express Pass
Skip all lines on your way up to the 86th Floor.
PRICES START AT: $60 FOR ALL VISITORS
Top And Main Deck (102nd & 86th Floors)
Visit both of the famous observatories.
Prices start at:
Adult - $54
Child - $47
Senior - $51
VIP Express Pass
VIsit both observatories… without a single minute wasted in line!
Prices start at:
$80 for all visitors
Sunrise at the Empire State Building (86th Floor)
Watch the sun rise at the beautiful 86th Floor observatory
Prices start at:
$100 for all visitors
Premium Experience (102nd & 86th Floors)
Includes a 90-minute guided tour, VIP priority access, and a souvenir photo of you at the top of the building.
Prices start at:
$175 for all visitors
AM/PM Experience (86th Floor)
Look out at the city in the daylight, then come back and watch the skyline light up on the same night! (Night ticket redeemable after 9 PM)
Prices start at:
- Be warned: As you walk down 5th Avenue, you’ll pass dozens of salesmen with brochures offering you a cheap ride to the top of the ESB. Don’t be fooled! These people are not employed by the Empire State Building Authority.
- Visiting with a group? The tower offers discount tickets to groups of 20 or more.
- If you have questions, look for an Empire State Building employee. They’ll be dressed like this:
When You Arrive:
Going Through Security:
There is 24/7 security at the building, and every visitor must undergo a security screening. It will feel similar to your typical airport security ordeal. You’ll need to empty your pockets, remove your belt and any jewelry, and walk through a metal detector. Any bags or belongings that you bring with you must go through an x-ray machine.
What not to bring on your trip:
Any of the following items are prohibited from entering the building and will be confiscated. There are no lockers on the premises to store any prohibited items, so plan ahead by removing any of the following items from your backpack:
- All weapons (firearms, licensed firearms, knives, scissors, etc.)
- Glass items
- Alcoholic beverages
- Cans, bottles, flasks
- Professional cameras and camera stands
- Sports equipment
- Spray paint/Paint markers
- Musical instruments
- Large packages or suitcases
- Costumes or masks
Baby strollers are permitted, but must remain folded while on the observation decks.
Once You’re Inside:
Explore the lobby, which is one of the few interiors of a building in New York City to be designated a historic landmark. Look up and you’ll see the 24-karat gold and aluminum leaf ceiling murals.
Head up to the second floor to check out the Visitor’s Center, where you can buy tickets, go through security, and ask staff members any questions.
Located on the 2nd Floor
This installation teaches visitors about the innovative technology that went into the Empire State Building’s sustainability efforts, which have reduced its carbon emissions and saved in energy costs.
Dare to Dream Exhibit
Located on the 80th Floor
This exhibit documents the engineering and construction of the Empire State Building through archives like photographs, architectural designs, daily notes during construction, and mementos from the workers who build this incredible structure.
Located on the 86th Floor
There’s a reason this famous observatory has been a filming location for so many movies and TV shows: It’s absolutely stunning. From the observation deck, you’ll be able to spot Times Square, The Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and more. The Main Deck is equipped with a glass-enclosed pavilion and an open-air promenade.
Located on the 102nd Floor
This newer, Top Deck provides an even more dramatic view of New York City, with a particularly great perspective on Central Park.
Located on the 80th Floor
Stop by to check out the huge variety of memorabilia, most of which is exclusive to the store.
Shops & Restaurants
The Empire State Building if full of fun shops and restaurants to make your trip even more enjoyable, including:
State Grill and Bar
This is a modern American-style restaurant with a classy bar and three private dining rooms.
If you’re looking for delicious sushi on the go, this is the spot for you.
The classic women’s department store.
Visitors With Disabilities:
The Empire State Building is wheelchair accessible, with handicapped restrooms on the 86th Floor Observatory, and accessible viewing walls and binoculars for those in wheelchairs. The 86th Floor also has ramps to make maneuvering easier. Service dogs are permitted to enter the building.
Tips for your trip:
- Visitor restrooms are located on the 86th Floor only.
- Visitor binoculars are available across the 86th Floor Observatory.
- A free multimedia tour App is included with every ticket purchase to the building. You can download it on Apple Store or Google Pay.
Fun Facts about the Empire State Building:
- Thes 200-foot tower at the top was originally designed as a docking port for “airships,” according to the History Channel. At the time, scientists believed that transatlantic “airship” travel, aboard light-small vessels, was going to be the mode of transportation in the future. However, it quickly became clear that the high winds near the tower made it essentially impossible to realize this dream.
- When it first opened, the tower earned the nickname “Empty State Building” because only 25 percent of the building's retail space was being used when it first opened due to the economic collapse. The building owner’s launched tons of desperate publicity stunts to attract new renters, including a 1932 seance in which they tried to contact the ghost of Thomas Edison.
- Every year, the Empire State Building holds a Valentine’s Day Wedding Contest in which 14 lucky couples win the chance to get married on the Observation Deck on the 86th Floor!
20 Reasons You Must Visit Williamsburg, Brooklyn November 04 2017
Brooklyn’s neighborhood of Williamsburg has cultivated a worldwide reputation for its unique brand of cool, which mixes renovated warehouses, bizarre, yet delicious artisanal foods, and a sense of fashion and style deeply rooted in a love for all things quirky and retro. Some of New York City’s most creative minds have staked their claim on Williamsburg, opening offbeat, brilliant entertainment venues, restaurants, bars, and shops. Still, the neighborhood’s held on to its sense of history, and its diverse representation of cultures. Here are twenty reasons to visit Williamsburg, and the unmissable stops to check out while you’re there:
To Dance Until You Can’t Feel Your Face
74 Wythe Avenue
If you’re patient enough to deal with the long line, stern bouncers, and mandatory coat check, you’ll be rewarded with an incredible show from the hippest new DJ acts. Wander through the maze-like, multiple-story dance club and lose yourself in the music!
To See The Next Great Music Sensation
Baby’s All Right is basically universally acknowledged as the gold standard for booking music in Brooklyn. Come here to see the next big indie music star get discovered.
To Hear Some Real Cowboy Music
152 Metropolitan Avenue
Throw on your cowboy boots and head to Skinny Dennis, where you’ll hear the best genuine country music in all of New York! You’ll come for the honky tonk tunes, and stay for the seriously delicious coffee-and-whiskey slushie.
To Go Bowling With Questlove (kind of)
61 Wythe Avenue
Brooklyn Bowl is the restaurant, bar, music hall and bowling alley you didn’t know you’ve always wanted. They have a famous weekly show by DJ legend Questlove, and book everything from folk to jazz to hip-hop the rest of the week. If you need a one-stop encapsulation of the Williamsburg aesthetic, look no further than this joint.
To Stuff Your Face With Delicious Food
Williamsburg’s East River Park, 90 Kent Avenue
When: April through November, Saturdays from 10AM-6P
Join the 20,000-30,000 people who venture to Williamsburg’s waterfront park every Saturday from April through November. Featuring artisanal foods from over 100 local vendors selling everything from specialty pickles to gourmet churros, it’s no wonder The New York Times has called Smorgasburg “The Woodstock of Eating.”
To buy souvenirs from Brooklyn’s most talented artisans
70 North 7th Street
When: Saturdays and Sundays, 10AM-7PM
This weekend market is a gathering place for over 100 artists and designers to sell their wares. Wander the converted warehouse through aisles of hand-dyed kimonos, all-natural soap, and handmade watches.
For The Best Vintage Shopping Trip Of All Time
74 Guernsey Street
This store is technically in neighboring-Greenpoint but it’s worth the walk for the endless racks of modern and retro vintage wares at surprisingly reasonable prices. You can make a day of it by checking out Williamsburg’s other notable vintage stops including Armacord (22 Conselyea Street), Monk (496 Driggs Ave.) and Olly Oxen Free Vintage (137 Montrose Ave)
To Update Your Record Collection
64 N 9th Street
Scoop up your next vinyl obsession at this enormous record warehouse. They’ve got a music venue in back, and a hefty supply of new releases and a well-preserved oldies in front.
To Rifle Through Junk (Seriously.)
567 Driggs Avenue
Picture 10,000 square feet packed with vintage wonders, and Junk will still outdo your imagination. From racks of 1960s dresses to piles of quirky table lamps, there’s certain to be something for everyone in the family. You’ll have fun browsing for that perfect, classically-Williamsburg souvenir.
To See It’s Unique History
370 Metropolitan Avenue
Image: The City Reliquary
This quirky museum lets you experience the story of Williamsburg through unusual, fascinating ephemera, from cute postcards to subway tokens. Browse through historic photographs and precious artifacts for a view of the city unlike any other.
To Watch An Art-House Film Over Delicious Snacks
136 Metropolitan Avenue
Nitehawk is New York’s finest dine-in theater experience, screening hip repertoire films and old classics and midnight horror films alike. Nosh on delicious gourmet food and sip on specialty cocktails custom-designed to match the film you’re watching. Each screening begins with a house-made thirty-minute “pre-show” filled with amusing content inspired by the film.
To Find Your Perfect Scent
318 Maujer Street
This Williamsburg perfume store lets you design your very own perfume, with over 700 essential oils in stock that will inspire your nose and your creativity. After you’ve chosen your ingredients, watch your own signature scent be created right before your very eyes.
To Look At The Best Sketchbooks In The Entire World
28 Frost Street
When: Wed-Sun, 10AM-6PM
This isn’t your typical library: Instead of literary works, you’ll get to peruse more than 36,000 sketchbooks from 100+ countries. Home to tons of community art projects, this place is a true heart of Williamsburg’s creative energy. Get inspired by sketchings from their international coalition of artists, and maybe consider donating a sketchbook of your own!
To See the Manhattan Skyline
162 North 12th Street
Sip fancy cocktails at this bar atop the Wythe Hotel, one of Williamsburg’s trendiest spots. The open expansive space overlooks the beautiful East River, and offers a stunning, panoramic view of the Midtown skyline.
You can join your rooftop Tour, we visit Rooftops in Brooklyn and Queens KLICK
For Beach Culture in the Heart of Brooklyn
64 Frost Street
If you don’t have time to travel down to New York’s beach, The Rockaways, stop by Battery Harris for a taste of its breezy, laid-back culture. Enjoy fun, Caribbean-inspired drinks and scrumptious burgers beneath brightly-colored umbrellas as Island tunes play in the background.
To stock up on one-of-a-kind comic books
540 Metropolitan Avenue
Desert Island is a one-stop-shop for comic book lovers and graphic novel snobs alike! Offering an unparalleled collection of illustrated wonders from all over the world, this shop is certain to have your next big obsession on its shelves. With decorations right out of a whimsical children’s books, this place is certain to capture your imagination.
To Drink a James Murphy-Approved Bottle of Wine
295 Grand Street
A must-see for LCD Soundsystem fanatics, this wine bar was dreamt up by the frontman himself. The Four Horseman offers an unparalleled menu of 250 natural and biodynamic wines in a homey atmosphere decorated by cedar-wood planks and burlap bags.
For the best meal in New York
81 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Marlow & Son’s is the original Williamsburg fine dining establishment, a trailblazer in the farm-to-table, rustic vibe that has become ubiquitous in this foodie-haven of a neighborhood. A coffee shop by day, it transforms into a delicious gourmet restaurant by night. With it’s constantly-changing seasonal menu, you’re sure to feast on inventive new concoctions made from the freshest, local ingredients.
For the beautiful Classical Revival Architecture
834 Driggs Avenue
This historic landmark and former bank dates back to 1875, when it was built as part of the Classical Revival movement. It’s worth a peek during the day, but is a particularly stunning view at night, when its facade is illuminated by colorful lights.
To See The One-of-a-Kind Hasidic Jewish Community
Where: Area bounded by Division Avenue, Broadway Avenue, Heyward Street and the Brooklyn Navy Yard
Explore Williamsburg’s cultural diversity on a walk through its Orthodox Hasidic community, where you’ll feel as if you’ve travelled back in time. The street signs are written in Yiddish and Hebrew, and residents dress in traditional garb, complete with yarmulkes and hats. As you walk around, be aware that this is an isolated community that abides by strict, religious rules, particularly those governing public interactions between men and women. Be respectful, and don’t expect a particularly warm welcome. Still, it’s a fascinating, unique place to wander through. Here are a few stops to make:
Go on a walk past the yellow-bricked main synagogue for the Satmar sect of Judaism (150 Rodney Street) and take a quick peek inside the windows. Stop by the Oneg Heimishe Bakery (188 Lee Avenue) and sample the scrumptious chocolate babka. Then, finish your tour with a hearty meal at Gottlieb’s (352 Roebling Street) where you can nosh on delicious kosher, Hungarian delicacies like pastrami egg rolls or goulash.
Williamsburg is a place unlike any other, an endless adult playground filled with with quirky, one-of-a-kind venues. Have fun exploring!
Things to do in New York: Visit Brooklyn Brewery October 27 2017
It doesn’t need to be Oktoberfest to enjoy a tasty beer. Since 1988 the Brooklyn Brewery has been making some good beer at a reasonable price in Brooklyn, NY. While sipping on a great IPA is a great way to spend some time, some people really enjoy going on site and learning how the beer is made by going on a tour.
Brooklyn Brewery has a wide variety of perennials including Brooklyn Lager, Defender IPA, Brooklyn Sorachi Ace Saison, Brooklyn Pilsner, Brooklyn Easy IPA, American Ale, Scorcher IPA and more. And their seasonal and small batch options are even more broad.
While they allow delivery and have a bunch of delivery options, there is no food on the premises, though they do sell soft drinks and water.
Tours can be free if you go on Friday nights, or Saturdays or Sundays and are available at the Company Store about an hour before the preferred tour time. Unfortunately, tickets go fast and once they are gone, they are gone. You can buy tickets in advance Monday-Thursday from 5-7pm ($18, Advance Reservation Required) if you want to make sure you can get in. You must be 21 or over to participate in a tour, but children and dogs are welcome on the premises in Tasting Rooms, though not on tours.
The brewery was the brainchild of Steve Hindy and Tom Potter. In 1996, they acquired a factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and converted it into a real brewery. In 2005 the owners published Beer School: Bottling Success At The Brooklyn Brewery from John Wiley & Sons. There are talks that they may soon relocate to Staten Island.
Here is some information directly from the Brooklyn Brewery website.
We are open to the public:
+ Monday-Thursday from 5-7pm for reservation-only Small Batch Brewery Tours ($18)
+ Friday nights from 6-11pm for Happy Hour, with tours at 7 and 8 PM (free- 40 tickets available)
+ Saturday from noon-8pm, with tours on the hour from 1-5pm (free- 40 tickets available)
+ Sunday from noon-6pm, with tours on the hour from 1-4pm (free- 40 tickets available)
SMALL BATCH BREWERY TOURS
+ Monday-Thursday, 5-7pm
+ Reservation Only
+ 30 people max
+ Guided tasting of 4 different Brooklyn beers
+ 30-45 minute tour of our facilities
+ Afterwards, one is welcome to get a couple of pints (beers are $5 each, or 5 for $20) or purchase dry goods and souvenirs at The Company Store
+ All participants leave with a complimentary souvenir Brooklyn Brewery stemware glass
+ Guests must be over 21 or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian
+ Dogs are welcome
+ One can order food delivered to The Brewery or can bring their own
+ Reservations are accepted 30 days prior to the requested date. Dates fill up very quickly! For reservations, click here
+When you arrive at the Eventbrite Reservation link, use the drop down box "Please select a date to attend" to choose your date. If the date is not listed, either it is not available yet (the date is 30+ days prior to the requested tour) or the date is sold out with no additional availability. All guests must have a ticket to join the Small Batch Tour. Due to the limited space in our brewhouse, we are not able to accept walk-ins and do not have a waitist available for the tours.
+If you have a New York Pass, please make reservations as normal. Your discount will not apply until you arrive at the brewery on the date of the tour and present your New York Pass. Each guest that presents a valid New York Pass upon entrance to the Small Batch Tour, will be issued a $2 refund.
FRIDAY HAPPY HOUR
+ 6-11pm every Friday
+ Free Tours at 7 & 8 pm - 40 guests per tour
+ Beer tokens are $5 each, or 5 for $20
+ Free Tours at 1, 1:30, 2, 2:30, 3, 3:30, 4, 4:30 and 5pm - 40 guests per tour
+ Beer tokens are $5 each, or 5 for $20
+ Outside food is allowed to be delivered or brought in
+ Children are welcome with the accompaniment of an adult
+ Free Tours at 1, 1:30, 2, 2:30, 3, 3:30 and 4pm - 40 guests per tour
+ Beer tokens are $5 each, or 5 for $20
+ Outside food is allowed to be delivered or brought in
+ Children are welcome with the accompaniment of an adult
Brooklyn Brewery is located at 79 N 11th St. Brooklyn, NY 11249 and more information may be found here!
Eat Like a New Yorker: What's the Best Burger in New York? October 25 2017
Every carnivorous New Yorker has their favorite burger. Everyone has their favorites. Fights have and will continue to happen whenever this discussion comes up. But there is one place that isn’t talked about as often that may just be better than the rest…Shush…It’s a secret.
Some burger joints are classic, some are gourmet, others trendy, heck, some people swear by their favorite fast food option. You will often hear the names Corner Bistro, Five Napkin Burger, Island Burgers, anything from April Broomfield’s restaurants (and her lamb burger from the Breslin could possibly take first place overall, but this judgement call is based on traditional beef burgers), Shake Shack, JG Mellon, the Spaniard, Whitmans (Go Minnesota! The Juicy Lucy is pretty awesome), Grindhaus, The Happiest Hour, Five Guys, P.J. Clarke’s, Minetta and more. These are all good and worth trying, but the humble bacon cheeseburger from Harriet’s Kitchen may be the best.
Harriet’s Kitchen? Never heard of it, well mostly only people on the Upper West Side, and those brought into the fold know this gem. One would have thought that the arrival of Shake Shack would have disrupted things, and maybe it did, but true burger lovers know where it’s at.
The Grilled 8 oz. Applewood Smoked Bacon Cheeseburger at Harriet’s Kitchen runs about $12 and it comes with a sesame seed bun, well-cooked juicy burger to your liking, sautéed onions (yum), cheese of your choice, but traditional American is really good, and tomatoes, lettuce and fresh onions too. Condiments are on the side, but they will give you mustard, mayo and ketchup if you ask them.
Know that eating at Harriet’s Kitchen may be a challenge. The space is small. There are around six table set ups there. However, you can easily take them with you. Grab the burger of your dreams, go to a park or find an appropriate bench, eat and enjoy the day, as well as the knowledge that you may have just experienced the best burger in NYC.
Harriet's Kitchen has from the Hudson River to CPW, From 66th St to 100th St. 502 Amsterdam Ave., New York City, NY 10024 check out their website here.
What to do in New York City for Halloween: The Best Party in the City at PHD Terrace and More October 23 2017
If you haven’t made plans for Halloween in New York City yet, you are in luck as there are a few spaces available to the best party in town: That 70's Show Halloween at PHD Terrace on Saturday, October 28. This awesome event will have people wearing all sorts of great costumes ranging from bell bottoms, disco divas, flower child dresses, popular icons from film, tv and music, scary staples, platform shoes and don’t forget about Daisy Dukes.
This party has four popular DJ’s playing music for a variety of tastes including the greatest selection of today’s hip hop, house music, mix format, and it wouldn’t be a 70s party without hits from The 70’s. The two levels feature many dance floors and all sorts of music. Pair the music with the innovative lighting system, and beautiful people in fabulous costumes and you will have a night you will never forget.
PHD Terrace Dream Hotel in Midtown is in the middle of Times Square and has the largest and most impressive enclosed rooftop bar in the city. So you have amazing views and can celebrate Halloween in style.
Their parties are always legendary, but a Halloween party is even better.
Doors open at 9 PM and there are multiple options of packages you can choose to have the Halloween of your dreams. General admission starts at $35 and then there are premium and deluxe options to suit everyone’s interest and budget. Get your tickets from NightOut.com here.
Doors open at 9 PM and the party goes until 4 AM. There are multiple options of packages you can choose to have the Halloween of your dreams. General admission starts at $35 and then there are premium and deluxe options to suit everyone’s interest and budget. Get your tickets from NightOut.com here.
So, you want other options that will take you through Halloween? Well, you are in luck. While you still can follow the suggestions listed in our blog from October 2, titled “What to do in New York City for Halloween--Part 1--Events that Require Reservations” we have a few more suggestions for you.
As reported in TheCelebrityCafe.com other unique options for Halloween include booking tickets for the hot interactive theater experiences Then She Fell and The Visitation, a new exhibition at the Met called Delirious: Art at the Edge of Reason, GWAR and more.
Also, most bars and clubs are doing something for Halloween, so be sure to call one of your favorites to have additional plans that will take you further on your Halloween adventure in NYC.
In the meantime, book your tickets for That 70's Show Halloween at PHD Terrace on Saturday, October 28.
Happy Halloween from the team at New York NightLife!
[Images from PHD Terrace]
Drink Like a New Yorker: Glam It Up at The Campbell Bar in Grand Central Terminal October 20 2017
Just reopened last spring after extensive, yet authentic renovations, The Campbell is a part of New York history that is worth a visit. The place feels expensive and when you are in it, you feel like a million dollars. Heck, maybe a billion…
This iconic Art Deco New York bar, known as the Campbell Apartment is almost a secret. People have enjoyed it for about a hundred years, and while it was originally for a select few, the word quickly spread and for a long time it was a quiet place to go and see and be seen. Then it was still a cool place to go and hide out with a martini for a while, but it fell into disrepair and some of the luster had worn off.
It wasn’t long ago that the Gerber Group restored it to its original opulence that includes 25-foot high hand painting ceilings.
While the dress code isn’t as strict as it would have been in days gone by, especially not at nighttime, however, there is something magical about showing up to this secret gem in party clothes, and sipping on a classic cocktail or a new concoction from one of their mixologists in front of the huge, stone fire place as either a great beginning or end to a fabulous evening on the town.
The team at New York NightLife has many tours and parties available for every interest, but having a Manhattan or classic martini in this place situated within Grand Central Terminal is a cool way to begin or end a night exploring some of the best nightlife New York City has to offer.
This club, er, bar was named after John W. Campbell, a financier who turned this space into a private work and party space in 1923. Plenty of history abounds, but the young, yet professional staff and modern accouterments make it a worthwhile place for anyone who likes blending the old and the new.
While this space is technically available from noon til 2AM, and lunchtime is popular, the after work and after midnight scene is what we are celebrating for now. In addition to plenty of drink options, they do have a modern kitchen full of interesting snacks and small bites.
The Campbell is located at Grand Central Terminal at 15 Vanderbilt Avenue (off 43rd Street), New York, NY 10017. You can find more information here.
Check it out.
Things to do in New York: See 'The Band's Visit' on Broadway October 18 2017
A new musical opened up in previews on Oct. 7 on Broadway that is already the talk of the town. The Band's Visit stars Tony Shaloub (of TVs popular Monk and Wings), Katrina Lenk (of TV's The Good Fight and Blacklist), Johnny Cariani (Tony nominee for Fiddler on the Roof) and Ari'el Satchel (Netflix hit Jessica Jones) and many more familiar faces of film, TV and theater. The music and lyrics are by David Yazbek, the book is by Itmar Moses, it is directed by David Cromer and it is choreographed by Patrick McCullom.
The Band's Visit is a funny and touching show about an Egyptian Police Band, who after a mix-up at the border are sent to a remote village in the heart of the Israeli desert. Their bus will not arrive until morning and they are surprised that there is not only no hotel in the area, but the friendly townspeople take them in and everyone's lives change because of this charming, unexpected adventure.
Ben Brantley of the New York Times said of The Band's Visit that this, “My favorite musical of the season by far.”
The show has already won Best Musical for NY Drama Critics' Circle Award, Best Musical for Outer Critics Circle Award (Off-Broadway), Best Musical for the Lucille Lortel Award and the Best Musical Obie Award.
Not only is the story compelling, but also the music is exceptionally good. Bradley added, “The music takes on a transcendent harmonic shimmer
that stops the heart.”
This musical is based on a 2007 Israeli film directed by Eran Kolirin.
The Band's Visit is playing at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre 243 W 47th Street and tickets may be purchased through Telecharge or other places online. Ticket Prices range from $49-upwards of $175. The show runs for 90 minutes--there is no intermission,
nor late seating for this show.
Catch the next best thing on Broadway as soon as you can. Shows are already sold out, so plan ahead.
[Featured image The Band's Visit from Ahron R. Foster from official website.]
Beat the Chill with the Best Hot Chocolate in New York City at Jacques Torres October 16 2017
With the temperatures dropping, the popularity of hot beverages sky rockets. Every coffee shop has a version of hot chocolate that may do in a pinch, but if you are in New York, you need to plan a destination trip to experience some of the best hot chocolate in the world by world famous chocolatier Jacques Torres.
Jacques Torres is actually called “Mr. Chocolate” and is considered to be one of the world’s biggest authorities of chocolate. In fact, he was the first artisan chocolatier to start from cocoa beans to make his own chocolate. This is one of the reasons why his hot chocolate is so much better than the other options out there.
There are two options that you can try depending on your flavor preference: Classic and their signature Wicked Hot Chocolate. The consistency of these decadent beverages is similar to hot melted pudding. With the addition of their fresh whipped cream, you have an experience that will not soon be forgotten. This hot chocolate coats the tongue and just makes you feel so good.
Now the Classic hot chocolate is rich, chocolaty goodness. It is sweet, but not cloyingly so, but they have something special for those with an adventurous palate: Wicked Hot Chocolate.
What is Wicked Hot Chocolate? This proprietary blend of 60-70 percent dark chocolate is mixed with allspice, cinnamon, ground ancho chili peppers, and smoked, ground chipotle chili peppers for that perfect kick.
While you are at the chocolate shop, you might want to indulge in one or more of their many confections. The Jacques Torres truffles are especially popular.
If you fall in love with these items and don’t know how you will live without them, you are in luck as they sell mixes and chocolates that you can take with you.
There are multiple locations for your chocolate drinking pleasure. The flagship store, Jacques Torres Chocolate, is located in downtown New York City on 350 Hudson Street. Find the location nearest here.
[Featured and additional images from Mr. Chocolate, Jacques Torres]
Celebrate Thanksgiving in New York City, Even If You Have No Plans Yet October 13 2017
Thanksgiving is a favorite American tradition. This year it takes place on November 23. It is a great blend of good food, family and friends and lots of fun for the whole family. However, what happens if you will be in New York City over Thanksgiving, but don’t know anyone who can take you in or you are just not sure what you should do? Well, there are plenty of options of activity and meal options that can make you part of this great holiday. Also, since many people do not have to go to work on the following Friday, you can first enjoy an activity and/or relish a delicious meal and if you feel like getting your party on, you still can take part in one of the great offerings from New York NightLife. Just be sure to make your plans as soon as possible as reservations fill up quickly. Now is not too early to make your plans. But first, we need to talk about the parade…
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Should you go or not? Well, 3.5 million people fill the streets of New York to see this happening that has taken place since 1924 and features giant character balloon, thousands of dancers, cheerleaders, band members and is considered a worthwhile once-in-a-lifetime experience. If you know you like parades, or you have kids who would love the spectacle of it, then be sure to go. But, if you aren’t a big fan of these kinds of events, then you may opt out. However, if you are lucky enough to have a friend who lives along the parade route and invites you over to watch from a balcony or you decide to splurge and get a Parade view room at a hotel along the route, then definitely go those routes. If you decide to go, get up early, and plan to get your spot before 6AM, even though the Parade doesn’t start until 9AM. Check the weather report, but wear lots of layers. Bring water and snacks.
Something worthwhile is watching the balloons getting inflated the night before from 3PM-10PM. More than a dozen giant character balloons are filled up the neighborhood surrounding the Museum of Natural History between 77th and 81st Streets between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West. Now this is something everyone should experience at least once.
A Homestyle Thanksgiving
What happens if you want to enjoy a traditional American Thanksgiving in New York, but you don’t have family or friends in the area? Well, there are so many people who have the more-the-merrier philosophy in regards to this holiday, so colleagues and acquaintances are often happy to invite more people, so keep your ears open for those kinds of invitations.
However, if you don’t want to wait for an invitation, but you know you want something that feels very homey, there are options. Meetup.com is a social connection site—no this isn’t a dating app (even though they do have some single events) you can look around for events on or around Thanksgiving to join. Many groups host Orphan Thanksgiving parties for people who for some reason don’t have somewhere they want to go to celebrate. Check out the site, enter your zipcode and see if there is an event that suits your interests and needs. Just know for these events, you often need to tell the group about yourself and why you want to take part in this activity.
Thanksgiving Dinner Out
Some people like to avoid the hassle of cooking, so they choose to go out to eat. Most fast food and some smaller restaurants do close for Thanksgiving so their employees can spend the time with their families, but that usually isn’t the case with diners and higher end restaurants. So, depending on your budget and your interests, you can have a great Thanksgiving meal while at a NYC restaurant. Diners typically do not take reservations, but most offer a so-so option of a traditional turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and veggie side meal that will do in a pinch. But, with some planning, you can make reservations at a high end spot and enjoy a multi-course meal that will still get you in a thankful mood.
While many places offer a special Thanksgiving meal, not every meal involves turkey and such. Restaurants featuring regional cuisine usually have options that go with their culinary point of view.
Here are a few suggestions of restaurants that offer exciting Thanksgiving dinner options, Balthazar, Café Luxembourg, Gotham Bar and Grill, Maialino, Boulud Sud, Craft, Locande Verde, Morton’s, Eleven Madison Park, Union Square Café, The Breslin, Le Coq Rico, Bubby's and more.
And, if you have a favorite restaurant, call them up and see if they are doing something special.
Planning for Black Friday deals
One typical American tradition is to plan a shopping trip for Black Friday, the day after, and sometimes, landing on Thanksgiving itself. Even though more people are opting to skip the crowds associated with going shopping to get some great deals on gift options by getting things online, getting up early (or heading out right after dinner) is something many people like to do. If shopping is your thing, take a look at the circulars and ads online for your favorite stores and create a game plan.
One more thing…Movies
As many people are off work and there are usually some popular films planned for release around Thanksgiving, be sure to plan ahead and get your tickets in advance. The entire weekend is usually packed and it is often worth the extra fees attached with getting tickets in advance to ensure that you will be able to see what you want to see when you want to see it.
[Featured Image Destination 360]
Things to do in New York: Visit the Tenement Museum October 11 2017
Do you ever wonder what life was like for people about 150 years ago? What about even more recently, say WWII era? Well, many people do. And NYC has its own museum dedicated to the people who lived in the Lower East Side during many key moments in American History. The building, 97 Orchard Street was built in 1863 and housed more than 7000 working class immigrants from many different cultures. What challenges did these people face? What were their goals? What did they spend their money on? What did they do for fun? This unique, interactive experience that is the Tenement Museum endeavors to answer those questions and more.
This museum was created by people who wanted to show what life was really like for people in very different circumstances. Many cultures are represented including immigrants from Europe, Asia and the Americas during different periods of time.
This tour isn’t just looking at old apartments, it also involves a walking tour with a knowledgeable tour guide who can answer most questions. There are many kinds of tours available that can serve a variety of interests.
As this museum is meant to challenge the traditional notion of museums, it has a few quirks.
- Reservations are required.
- Tours are only permitted via guided tour.
- Large bags, backpacks, or luggage is not permitted inside 97 Orchard Street. Lockers are provided in the Visitors Center.
- Photography is not permitted inside the museum. While water is allowed, no food, other beverages or gum is allowed in the museum.
- Electronic devices are required to be turned off before embarking on the tour
- Reservations are not available until after 1 PM as the morning is reserved for school children and students.
- Some of the rooms are not air conditioned.
According to the Tenement Museum website, there are three ways to visit, but all require reservations.
Tour the building and visit the restored apartments and businesses of past residents and merchants from different time periods.
Meet the residents (played by costumed interpreters) who lived at 97 Orchard Street.
Walk the neighborhood and discover the Lower East Side and the way immigrants helped shaped the area and its culture.
Combine a building tour with a walking tour for a comprehensive museum experience.
Tickets generally cost $25 per person, with $5 off for seniors and students and can be purchased online here.
People who love history will enjoy this thoughtful experience.
[Images from TenementMuseum.org]
Eat Like a New Yorker: Get Your Cheese Fix at Murray's Cheese Shop October 09 2017
For many people, cheese is considered to be a perfect food. The varieties of cheese are vast and include cheddar, brie, feta, Camembert, Manchego, Fontina, gouda, Havarti, ricotta, mozzarella and so many more. They come in different textures and flavors and hail from every corner of the world. New York staple Murray’s Cheese Shop is one of the best places to go to get your cheese, or even specialty foods such as candies, cured meats and other delicacies fix. Not only is Murray's Cheese shop one of the best things to eat in New York City it is also one of the best things to do in NYC.
Since 1940, Murray’s Cheese, with the flagship located in Greenwich Village (254 Bleecker St., between 6TH & 7TH Ave.) has been supplying New Yorkers with the best and most interesting cheeses available from all around the world. In 2000, a second location opened in Grand Central Market in NYC’s Grand Central Terminal. In 2012, they added a restaurant to bring cheesy goodness to the masses. And as of 2017, there are more than 350 locations that sell Murray’s Cheese across the United States.
While visiting their robust cheese counter is always experience, thanks to their friendly and knowledgeable staff. The cheese moves quickly, so nothing is on the shelf too long. Murray’s sells baskets and gift sets for every occasion and has special features based on holidays and location. Their Valentine’s Day box and their Irish and Dolce Vita (Italian Cheese and specialty foods) are especially good, but the MVP may be the best.
However, Murray’s offer something that other respected cheese mongers in NYC do not have: in-person or web cheese classes. Their Cheese 101 is especially magical. Here’s what Murray’s says about this class opportunity:
“For the first time ever, we are thrilled to offer the deliciously informative fun of our Cheese 101 Class in the comfort of your own home! Just like in class, our Cheese 101 at Home includes a random selection of five cheese selected by our expert cheese mongers. The monger-selection will represent all the styles of cheese you'll be learning about. Our apologies in advance, but the selection cannot be customized.
You will receive one cheese from all five categories below:
1. Bloomy Rind: Fromager D'Affinois • Chèvre D'Aregental • Moses Sleeper • Bonne Bouche
2. Washed Rind: Taleggio • Dorset • Epoisses • Greensward
3. Cheddar Cheese:Cabot Clothbound • Flory's Truckle • Montgomery's • Bleu Mont
4. Alpine Cheese: Comté • Pyrénées Brebis • Challerhocker • Pleasant Ridge Reserve
5. Blue Cheese: Fourme D'Ambert • Roquefort • Stilton • Bayley Hazen.”
Yes, you can order a class, receive a box of high quality cheeses of different flavors and from different, yet compatible regions, gather a group of friends or even choose not to share and have a wonderful time.
And, if a class isn’t your thing, go to the shop, taste a few varieties, find something you love, get a baguette and have an impromptu snack, before going on one of the awesome tours available from New York NightLife.
Learn more about Murray’s Cheese Shop here.
[Featured and additional images by Murray's Cheese Shop]
Plan Ahead: Experience Christmas in New York October 06 2017
Christmas talk already? We know. Halloween hasn’t even arrived yet. However, many people are planning to venture to the winter wonderland that is New York City from November to early January. The Christmas lights and beautifully decorated store windows exist at every corner of the city. Most restaurants and bars offer special seasonal items. Even the offices at New York NightLife will feature festive decorations and most of our tour options will have elements of the holiday season. While there is no lack of amazing activities and sites to behold, some items need to be planned in advance, especially if tickets are needed or if you know you will be visiting something during an abnormally busy time. The team at New York NightLife has pulled a few lists of places for the best lights, must-see holiday shows and a few extra bonus activities.
The Best Christmas Lights and Decorations in New York
Now, almost every area of New York City has beautiful lights and festive holiday decorations during the holidays. You can stumble into any neighborhood and you will feel holiday spirit. The Walk at Columbia University is lit with twinkle lights on their trees, Columbus Circle/Time Warner has special silver lights that look like diamonds and LED snowflake displays, and South Street Seaport is all lit up as are many of the pockets in Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx and Staten Island. Every New Yorker or visitor has their favorite spot for Christmas lights, but there are some that are consistently the most popular.
As reported in USA Today, here are the best holiday light destinations in NYC.
- Rockefeller Center, Manhattan.
- New York Botanical Garden, The Bronx.
- Dyker Heights Christmas Lights, Brooklyn.
- Fifth Avenue, Manhattan.
- Bank of America Winter Village, Bryant Park. Note: The Christmas Shops here are especially delightful.
- World's Largest Menorah, Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn.
- Holiday Under the Stars, The Shops at Columbus Circle.
- Macy's, Manhattan.
- Historic Richmond Town, Staten Island.
- Park Avenue, Manhattan.
Christmas shows in NYC vary from the classy and traditional, to the kind of new, and maybe a little tacky, but no less fun for those who know what they like.
Here’s the top list of the most popular holiday and Christmas shows in NYC according to New York City Theatre.
- NYCB: The Nutcracker. David H Koch Theater.
- Elf. Theater at Madison Square Garden.
- Metropolitan Opera: The Magic Flute. Metropolitan Opera House.
- A Christmas Carol. Beckett Theatre.
- Kris Kringle The Musical. Town Hall Theater.
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Count Basie Theatre.
- Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
The Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular Starring the Rockettes
This New York Christmas tradition is worth seeing once. While each year varies a bit, the general themes tend to be similar. However, the dancing is great and they now incorporate multimedia events. This holiday staple features more than 140 performers including the world famous Rockettes, original music, has real animals on stage and lasts 90 minutes. The show runs from the second week of November through early January. The closer it is to Christmas, the more likely the show is to sell out. Tickets range from $35 to $700. Group rates and coupon codes are available.
The Mariah Carey Christmas
Mariah Carey is one of Christmas’ most popular divas with 1994’s hit “'All I Want for Christmas Is You” still being a modern favorite. This concert takes place at the Beacon Theater for a limited run from November 27 through December 5. This show will mostly consist of songs from Mariah's two holiday albums, Merry Christmas and Merry Christmas II You, as well as some classic seasonal favorites. Tickets are available and start at $87.
Tickets for all of these shows are available online and should be purchased in advance.
Tips for Other Christmas Adventures and Treats
- Most artisanal bakeries have special holiday treats that are only available for a few months. Be sure to ask about them.
- Unless ice skating at Rockefeller Center has been a lifetime dream: skip it. Avoid this tiny pool and skate instead at either Bryant Park or Central Park. It is much more pleasant experience.
- The night boat cruise or Sunset Jazz Cruise from New York NightLife are especially magically during the holiday season. The beautiful New York Skyline is even more lovely with the addition of other festive lighting and positive energy.
- Make time to see the holiday window displays around the city. Some of the most popular are at Saks Fifth Avenue, Macys, Lord & Taylor, Tiffany's and Bloomingdales.
Enjoy your time in New York over the holidays!
Relax Like a New Yorker: Enjoy a Fall Picnic October 04 2017
There is something especially magical about New York City in the fall. Yes, some may say that the lights and festive mood make winter the best. Others love the pretty flowers and break from bad weather that is spring. And there are a few who prefer summer. Given that New York tends to be hot and humid for about three months per year, there tends to be fewer fans of the summer itself, even though the parties, events, barbecues, concerts, etc. make many people very happy.
But in the fall, especially in October through Mid-November, there is something extra special about this time of year. The city is active and alive. The weather is crisp, but not too cold. The trees are changing, but aren’t quite naked. It is the perfect time for a picnic.
Now, it is possible to go to just about any restaurant, stand or coffee shop, grab some goodies, find a bench and enjoy an al fresco snack or lunch, but making an actual plan and setting up a special meal outside, and ideally on a blanket and savoring the meal as well as the company is a worthwhile experience. There are many places such as Dean & Deluca and even some hotels that supply great picnic baskets, but the team at New York NightLife has picked a couple of places that make delicious packed outdoor options for your enjoyment.
Located just a block away from Central Park, the popular Upper West Side eatery offers delicious gourmet Italian picnic options for parties of two or four. You can order your picnic bag with as little as 24 hours in advance, seven days a week from 12:30 PM to 6 PM. Their standard picnic bag includes paninis, antipasto, salads and dessert options, as well as a picnic tablecloth, napkins and utensils, but you can check out their menu and order additional items. Note, coupons sites such as Groupon and Living Social often have special deals on these picnics. If you are looking to save money, you may want to look into those options. Pappardella is located at 316 Columbus Avenue at 75th Street, New York, NY 10023.
Something that makes Perfect Picnic special is that they deliver their special picnics all around Manhattan for fees ranging between $10-30, however, you can also stop by 81 Allen Street in the Lower East Side and pick up your feast. Also, you can choose whether you want to feed one, seven or hundreds with either their American, Classic, Family and Deluxe Picnic options. They have many varieties of picnic lunches available and they also have the Kids Picnic, that has a small meal prepared that is perfect for kids under 10. Now, if you want something more extravagant, you can choose to have a “picnic experience” which comes with everything you need for a picnic, including someone to wait on you and clean up the mess when you are done. The price for these starts at $350 for two for a period of two hours and tip isn’t included, but this is a great romantic option for people who want to enjoy a great memory without the extra hassle. Learn more here.
For more suggestions, check out this article on packed picnic options in New York from CBS News and this piece from Time Out New York on best premade picnic baskets in NYC.
General Tips for Picnicking in New York
- Check the weather in advance, while moving a picnic indoors can be fun in a pinch, it can lose a bit of its magic. So unless you are only in time for a short period of time, try to get a sense of what the weather will be to ensure the best conditions for this experience.
- Should you find a ready-made picnic lunch that you love, but don’t have the proper equipment, visit a dollar or discount store and pick up a few items that will make the experience complete such as tablecloths, napkins and serving items. Of course you can go fancier if you wish.
- Pick your location in advance. In case you want some ideas of where to go on your picnic, check out this top ten list of great picnic spots from CBS news.
- Technically, drinking alcohol is not legal in New York parks, but the laws have recently become more relaxed, so please be discreet with your choice of container. Bring any necessary tools such as openers with you. Most ready-made picnics do not supply alcohol, and those that do may not be specifically what you want, so think about bringing your own.
What to do in New York City for Halloween--Part 1--Events that require reservations October 02 2017
There is never a lack of things to do in New York City for Halloween. Almost every bar has some sort of activity, and there are plenty of private parties and happenings that people can choose to do closer to October 31. Soon we will tell you more of the best options out there for people who haven’t made reservations, however for now, the team at New York NightLife have pulled some ideas for you that require a little planning ahead or that you can do earlier in the month of October to get your Halloween fix.
A few general notes:
- Not all Halloween-themed events only take place on October 31, though most events expecting costumes are limited to the 31, or have specific costume mentions.
- Scary Haunted Houses and Horror inspired Escape Room opportunities take place for the entire month of October, and some even into early November. Google haunted houses NYC or escape rooms NYC to find ones that best suit your interests and needs. It is likely that you will need to book these at least a couple of weeks in advance for a Halloween or near-Halloween time.
- The closer to Halloween, the more advance time you probably need to make reservations for specific events.
- Many restaurants offer Halloween Prix Fixe Meals. If you have a favorite restaurant, checkout their website to see if they are doing something special for Halloween and book as soon as you make up your mind on where you want to go.
- If there is a place you know you want to be at or near for Halloween festivities, such as the New York Village Halloween Parade or a bar with a ghostly reputation or scary theme such as Beetle House, the Headless Horseman or the Slaughtered Lamb, then plan to arrive as early as possible and hang out all day. If one of these bars is your desired location, plan to get there as early as you can and be prepared to spend a lot of money. More on non-reservation Halloween plans again soon.
- Also, the publication Time Out New York typically keeps an updated list of Halloween events going on in and around NYC. Check out their website for new ideas here.
The Jekyll and Hyde Club
This spooky bar located features special effects and live entertainment. While the Jekyll and Hyde Club is open year round, and is usually a popular spot with tourists, this time of year is extremely busy for them. This place offers reservations for their Premium Reserved Seating for the dates October 26 through October 31 for $79 per person for a select period of time. While they also have a standard reservation available for $59 per person at other dates and times, this option is not available the closer we get to Halloween. The admission price does not count food and drink, so be prepared to spend more money in order to have a the full Halloween experience.
Haunted Lantern Tours at Fort Totten Park
People who enjoy being scared, but also like historical information will likely enjoy this tour at Fort Totten Park in Queens at Cross Island Parkway with the entrance at Shore and Abbott Roads. These tours only take place on October 27-28 at 6:30 PM and are free. They are said to be very dark and supposedly very scary. Guests are not allowed to use their phones for light. For more information visit the New York Parks website here.
The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze
The tri-states most magical light display of all things Halloween and fall takes place in the Hudson Valley and is now in its 13th year. This event has activities for the entire family and some haunted house events more suited to adults. This event is known to sell out, so get your tickets early.
According to the HudsonValley.org website:
Tickets cost : Adults: $20 (Fri-Sat $25) Children 3-17: $16 (Fri-Sat $20)
Blaze takes place on 40 evenings! Visit Friday through Sunday, Sept. 29-Oct. 1; Thursday through Monday, Oct. 5-9 (Columbus Day weekend); Thursday through Tuesday, Oct. 12-31; Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 2-5; Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 9-12, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 17-18, and Friday and Saturday, Nov. 24-25 (Thanksgiving weekend).
Van Cortlandt Manor is located on South Riverside Avenue off Route 9 in the village of Croton-on-Hudson.
Tip: For GPS: Use 525 S Riverside, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520
Hope you enjoy these suggestions of things to do for Halloween in NYC. And don’t forget, you can always engage in one the great tours or bar packages available from New York NightLife. The rooftop bars and many of the locales that are passed during these tours will be decorated for Halloween, so you you will be able to enjoy fully enjoy the festivities.
[Featured Image Ollies]
Things to do in NYC: Stargazing at the High Line September 29 2017
Who said you can’t see the stars in New York City? There are a few locations where you can enjoy the autumn sky with less light pollution, while still in the city limits. One of the best things to do in NYC is check out Stargazing at the High Line. What makes this even more special is that telescopes are provided so you can see much more of the night’s sky. And to make things even better…this event is free with no reservation necessary.
Now, this happens at the High Line on Tuesdays from April through October 31st from sundown until around 930 PM, but visiting this lovely spot in early fall can be a magical experience.
Note: Stargazing at High Line is cancelled in the event of rain or snow. Updates are available on Tuesdays by 3 PM @highlinenyc on Twitter.
Stargazers are joined by people from the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York who are there to help you work with the telescopes, distinguish some of our neighboring planets, generally navigate the night’s sky and answer some basic and some more complicated questions about the power of the universe.
Walking the High Line on its own is fun, but going up there to enjoy the cosmos, the brisk fall air and watching all the interesting people is a real happening.
There are a few interesting food carts to grab a snack while on the High Line, but there are many worthwhile bars and restaurants in the area to visit when you have finished your walk and starry adventure.
This activity takes place at the Diller-von Furstenberg Sundeck on the High Line at 14th Street.
[Featured Image Credit Stargazing at the High Line]
Live Like a New Yorker: Eat, Drink and Listen to Jazz at Blue Smoke September 27 2017
Some people would say that a night of good food and drinks topped off with some great jazz music at makes for a perfect evening. Blue Smoke is a favorite for New Yorkers and their guests who want a memorable, classy but informal evening that has the warm air of Southern Hospitality and delicious barbecue, followed by a trip next door to the internationally celebrated club, Jazz Standard.
The name Blue Smoke comes from what you get when you have perfectly smoked meat. And that is just one of the things you have to look forward to when you visit. Executive Chef Jean-Paul Bourgeois has created a menu with so many options that it is hard to choose, but the team at New York NightLife is confident that you will enjoy whatever you choose as long as you enjoy great barbecue flavors and having a good time. Something notable about the drink bar is that all of the spirits, beer and wines (especially their impressive selection of whiskey) are made in the USA.
Jazz Standard has been popular for more than a decade and features legendary established artists as well as some of today’s best and brightest. This club has two sets every night at 7:30 PM and 9:30 PM with an extra set often added on Fridays and Saturdays at 1130 PM to accommodate demand. Tickets are recommended to be purchased in advance on the website here. Most of the Blue Smoke menu is also available at the Jazz Standard.
Note: Jazz Standard is family friendly. Well-behaved kids are allowed. However, they do have a Sunday “Jazz for Kids”performance which may be better for families with younger children.
Choosing between all of the delicious items takes some serious effort. Hopefully, you will have a companion or more who enjoys sharing their food as this is a place where you really want to try a little of everything. While the meats and sides are terrific, the snacks are what really have you begging for more.
What are some must try food items at Blue Smoke (most are from their snack section):
- Warm Barbecue Potato Chips: these are nothing like you have had before in a bag. They are spicy and sweet and go perfectly with their special blue cheese and bacon dipping sauce.
- Deviled Eggs: many places in New York have good deviled eggs on the menu, but very few places have great ones. These are tangy and creamy bite-fulls of happiness are worth trying, especially if you are always trying to find the best deviled eggs out there. These will certainly make your list.
- Cornbread Madelines: These are as beautiful as they are filled with corny goodness. Perfect consistency and even better with their homemade compound butter and some honey.
- Their famous Barbecue Pit Stop has you choose one meat From the Pit which included Baby Back Ribs, Dry Rubbed Smoke Chicken, Spare Ribs, Chopped, Pork Shoulder, 7 Pepper Beef Brisket, Link of the Week and Barbecue Salmon. But which to choose? With Barbecue, everyone tends to have a favorite, but the Baby Back Ribs and the 7 Pepper Beef Brisket may be just a little better. Two sides are also included. Again, all are good, but the Mac & Cheese is incredibly popular.
- Leave room for dessert. They have fresh baked goods and some staple items that are sure to tempt a sweet tooth.
There are two traditional locations, but the music via Jazz Standard is only present at the flagship location that is located at 116 E. 27th Street (between Park and Lexington) and the secondary location is in Battery Park at 255 Vessey St. (West Street & North End Ave.)
But there are a few other options…Two Blue Smoke concession stands are available at New York Mets home Citi Field, and Blue Smoke on the Road opened in 2013 in Terminal Four of the John F. Kennedy Airport.
While the strongest recommendation is to make a trifecta night of food, drink and music, however visiting Blue Smoke at lunchtime, for brunch or for a dinner when you have other plans later on is a worthwhile trip too. Visiting these places are some of the best things to do in NYC.
[Featured Image of Blue Smoke by Marissa Vicario MWAH]
Eat Like a New Yorker: Extend Your Night with a Trip to Veselka September 25 2017
While the Ukranian dinner Veselka has been an East Village staple since 1954 and serves its terrific food 24 hours a day, the best time to enjoy this place may be in the wee morning hours after enjoying a night out on the town. This restaurant has served stars, students, socialites and more. At one time or another, almost anyone who lives in or frequently visits New York City knows that a trip to this eatery should be on everyone’s bucket list. And it is important to note that Veselka does not disappoint, regardless of the hour. This is one of the best things to do in New York City.
The food is consistently good. The service is professional, but not saccharine sweet. And the crowd is as diverse as New York City itself. The wait can be long on at many times, especially on weekends when the clubs close, but the lines seems to go by pretty quickly and the experience of waiting isn’t unpleasant.
So, when you are done touring around for the day, or are craving some memorable Ukranian dishes or if you want to make one more stop after going on one of the amazing tours from New York Nightlife, be sure to plan a visit to Veselka.
What to get at Veselka:
Velselka isn’t a typical casual dining place. Just going there presents the opportunity to make a memory. Many common items could possibly be elevated by the clever team at Veselka. A simple grilled cheese sandwich may be improved upon with the addition of a specialty cheese and some splendid fig jam. While their typical diner fare is tasty and will indulge a specific craving, it is almost a travesty to not enjoy some of the Ukranian specialties that have helped make Veselka famous.
- Pierogi: multiple options of flavors exhibit with this savory dumpling with stuffing options that include potato, cheese, meat, spinach & cream cheese, sauerkraut & mushroom, arugula and goat cheese and their special short rib and seasonal broccoli cheese varieties.
- Ukrainian Meatballs: made from pork and beef with a savory mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes and one of their sides.
- Apple Cider: available seasonally in Fall and Winter and shouldn’t be missed
- Blintzes: award-winning Ukrainian-style crepes filled with lightly sweetened Farmer's Cheese.
- Kutya: a tasty Ukranian pudding of wheat berries, raisins, walnuts, poppy seeds and honey.
- And, of course… Borsht: Ok, not everyone loves beets, but if you do or are open to trying something new, the beefy, earthy hot soup is truly delicious. Give it a try.
Fun Facts from the Veselka Website:
- Many of their ingredients are locally sourced from some of the best farms
- 3,000 pierogi is about how many they make every day.
- 5,000 gallons of borscht is made by Velselka per year
- 2500 potato pancakes are made each week.
Veselka is located at 144 2nd Ave., New York, NY 10003 and tends to be open every day.
[Featured Image Global City, Rebekah Mintzer]
Things To Do In New York: Ripley's Believe It Or Not Times Square September 22 2017
OK, there aren’t too many things in New York City that scream “tourist” more than going to the Ripley's Believe It or Not Odditorium (museum of sorts) that is conveniently located in the heart of Time’s Square. While this is not a classy hub of art and culture; it doesn’t pretend to be. It is clean and strange and it is entertaining for anyone who is open to spending an hour or two exploring some of the unusual aspects of humanity, genetic mutations, the animal kingdom, natural phenomena, interesting art created by unique means, lots of optical illusions and more.
There are more than 30 locations of the Ripley’s Believe It or Not located throughout the world. Most of them are in areas with a strong tourist industry. While many of the “Oddotoriums” as they are called, contain similar elements, every location is a little different and showcases something unique to the city. This one features more than 500 artifacts in 20 galleries on a wide variety of any imaginable (and a few not easily imagined) subjects. These are family-friendly, but can also make an interesting date night on your way to or from a great nighttime adventure with the team at New York Nightlife.
Some people may be offended by the showcasing of some people who were regarded as “freaks,” however learning some specifics concerning the world’s tallest, smallest, fattest, most-limber, most-resistant to pain is worthwhile. This is especially true if we take from it that the world is made of all sorts of people.
Something that makes this experience special is that this is an interactive experience. Visitors are encouraged to take photos and play with some of the objects. Of course there are a few items that are not to be handled, but those are clearly marked.
Some things to look out for (not that you can really miss them):
- Tunnel of Light--Also known as "The Black Hole"
- Ancient medical paraphernalia
- New York's Only Laser Race
- Optical illusion spots to take fun photos
- Creative art inspired by Darth Vader perfect for Star Wars fans
- The history of inspiration for the museum, cartoonist and explorer Robert L. Ripley
- Vampire Hunting Kit
- And more
The Ripley's Believe It or Not Odditrium is located at 234 West 42nd St., New York, NY 10036. It is usually open from 9 Am until 1 AM.
Things to Eat in NYC: Sweet Treat Fans Must Try Chocolate Works September 20 2017
Whether it is chocolate, ice cream sundaes, gummy candies, taffy, licorice, dipped fruit, truffles, nut clusters, peanut butter cups, cinnamon discs, nostalgic candy brands from childhood, toffee, baked goods, fudge, divinity, sour treats and salty, sweet caramels, a chocolate fountain, perfect for dipping fruit and marshmallows and more, Chocolate Works has something for every palate. And much of their candy is made fresh by only the best chocolatiers and artisanal candy makers.
While NYC has many great shops devoted to bulk candy, ice cream and chocolates, there aren’t too many places that have a little bit of everything.
There are 19 stores throughout many states. You may be wondering, why go to a chain when there are so many specialty candy or ice cream shops all around New York City? There are many reasons, but here are the four most important courtesy of your team at New York Nightlife.
- Chocolate Works has something for almost everyone, so you can enjoy the vast variety (they have vegan, sugar free and frozen options) of sweet treats.
- The customer service at Chocolate Works is abnormally good. The skilled staff are quick to come to your aid, but they don’t hover. They usually even have samples for their guests to try.
- Chocolate Works is a family friendly location. While visitors to New York City may not have the time to book one of their extraordinary family or adult parties, it is a worthwhile trip to visit and spend 30 minutes looking around and if you have the time, you can make your own candy or some edible art.
- The eleven Manhattan, Brooklyn and New Jersey locations are convenient to get to, with the Brooklyn Heights, Upper East Side and Upper West Side locations being most popular for tourists. Find the location nearest to you here.
So, what is the must try item at Chocolate Works?
Everything is good and everyone has their favorites, but you’ve got to try the...
Truffles. There is an abundance of chocolate truffles in a variety of flavors that are beautifully decorated. By all means, try those but if you want something really special, you may choose to ignore the beautiful ones and splurge on the Chocolate Works’ Signature Truffles. These are not beautiful. They look like tiny bricks covered in a burnt-looking brown powder. The smooth taste and perfect creamy consistency are surprising. A box of these doesn’t come cheap, but they are worth it.
So if you find yourself in the in New York City and are craving something sweet, find a reason to check out #ChocolateWorks.
Things to do in New York City: Experience Oktoberfest in NYC September 18 2017
Just because you aren’t in Munich, it doesn’t mean that you can’t join in the autumn fun that is Oktoberfest. Whether you live in New York City or are just visiting, finding a place to celebrate Oktoberfest during late September/early October is one of the best things to do in NYC. While all of the German restaurants and bars in NYC do something in celebration of this boozy, brat-filled festival, there are some events that just might be a little better than others. The team at New York Nightlife has compiled information on two of the most popular activities and food and drink experiences related to Oktoberfest that include beer, pretzels, beautiful women in Dirndl costumes, men in Lederhosen, festive music and more in New York City that you may want to try.
Oktoberfest NY—Watermark Bar
One of the most-popular events for Oktoberfest isn’t your typical restaurant or bar experience. It is an actual festival called OktoberFest NYC that takes place on weekends from Friday, September 15 through Monday, October 2. This annual event is sponsored by the Watermark Bar and people may enjoy steins of beer, traditional German music and food, games and fun activities for the entire family, though drinking activities are limited to adults 21 years-old and up. One of the events that is popular at this event is the heavy stein holding competition for strong people. This festival takes place on Pier 15 at 78th South Street, New York, NY 10038. Tickets are available online and these events are known to sell out, so you will want to get your tickets in advance. Some tickets are free or you can prepay for all-you-can-drink specials, but you are still advised to reserve your space. Also the views are spectacular. Check it out.
Zum Schneider—Munich on the East River
Zum Schneider is a popular Bavarian Bierhaus and German restaurant with two locations. One in the East Village in NYC ( 24-20 FDR Drive Service Road East New York, NY 10010) and the other is a road trip away in Montauk—both have Oktoberfest activities, however the tented festival in Manhattan is considered by some to be the only traditional Oktoberfest in New York City. It is called Munich on the East River. The team at Zum Schneider hosts a warm up party that takes place from 1pm on Saturday, September 23 and goes through the following Sunday until midnight. Admission is free and they feature many Oktoberfest imported beers on tap.
And then from Friday September 29 through Sunday October 8 is the big event. Weekday festivities begin at 5 PM and go until 10 PM in the tent, but there is an after party that is only a ten-minute walk away at the actual restaurant. Weekend events begin at noon, with Sunday events going until 8 PM and Saturday events going until 10 PM. These events are not free. The music is one of the main draws of this annual event. Tickets are already sold out for popular weekend days. The prices vary from $28-100, not counting extra money needed for food and beer. As a restaurant/bar, Zum Schneider is known for being cash only, but this event accepts credit cards. Tickets are available online, with a few general admission tickets available at the door. Dressing up in German-inspired costumes is encouraged. Oompah!
Here's a video of the fun you can have at Zum Schneider's Oktoberfest:
- No backpacks or large bags allowed
- On weekends, reserved seating is separated into two sessions 12-4:45 PM and 5:15-10 PM. Early reservations are expected to vacate their seats in time for the evening guests to be settled.
- All Exits are final
- No smoking in the tents
Tip: If you want to find a local place in New York doing something for Oktoberfest or your chosen activity ends up being sold out, Google or Yelp "German Bar" pr "Oktoberfest" and your zip code some good options will come up. Check out their websites or give them a call for more information. One way or another, you will be able to celebrate Oktoberfest in New York City if you want to.
[Featured Image Zum Schneider NYC German Restaurant & Biergarten]
Drink (and Eat) Like a New Yorker: Happy Hour at The Mermaid Inn September 15 2017
The words “Happy Hour” fill many people with glee. However, the Happy Hour at The Mermaid Inn in NYC is not only one of the best deals in town, but it is one of the tastiest options for food and cocktails. Happy Hour, actually the happy hours, at the Mermaid Inn are from 5 PM to 7 PM every night of the week.
The ambiance is rich, dark and tactfully nautical. When the weather is fair, you will want to sit outside in their outdoor seating, but even with a reservation, those are first come first serve for Happy Hour, so do plan ahead. In fact, reservations, while not required are strongly recommended as they fill up very quickly. You can make reservations by visiting their website or Open Table. When it comes to things to drink and eat when in New York City, the Happy Hour at Mermaid Inn is a brilliant combination of appetizers, snacks, shellfish, drinks and a special treat that comes at the end of the experience.
The Mermaid Inn is conveniently located in three distinct neighborhoods.
- Upper West Side
570 Amsterdam Ave
NY, NY 10024
- East Village
96 Second Ave
NY, NY 10003
79 Macdougal Street
NY, NY 10012
Note: This location is actually called The Mermaid Oyster Bar has a slightly different Happy Hour menu, but they offer a special of Happy Hour all night on Mondays.
If you want to make a full meal out of it, you will not be disappointed, but this post is about the wonderful Happy Hour. What makes it so special?
Now, the Mermaid Inn has a full bar so you are free to get whatever libation calls to you, but their specials are worth a try.
House wine is $7 per glass
Draught beer is $5
And the specialty cocktails are tasty and there is a decent amount of alcohol in them.
Happy Hour specialty cocktails at the Mermaid Inn include: Dark & Stormy, Mermaid Mary, the Pink Flamingo (so refreshing), Hot & Dirty and an Aperol Spritz.
Any good NYC seafood place has some fresh shellfish, but the quality and the value you receive at the Mermaid Inn’s Happy Hour is worth the visit.
- Chef’s Choice Oyster
- Littleneck clams
There are quite a few great options including Fried Oysters, Avocado and Shrimp Sliders, and Clam Sliders.
But here are some must try items:
- Fried Calamari
- Mini Chilled Corn Soup/Clam Chowder (and others depending on the season)
- Mini Mermaid Fish Taco
- Old Bay French Fries (OK, this last item isn’t on the happy hour menu, but they are flavored well and fried to perfection, so add them to your order.)
And there's free chocolate pudding
The team at New York Nightlife hopes that you enjoy your Happy Hour experience at the Mermaid Inn.
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