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Manhattanhenge

29.05.2015

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When I first moved to New York City for a summer internship back in 2006, I don’t think I was quite prepared for all of the “firsts” that I would experience…. first time working a corporate job, first time seeing someone expose himself to me on the subway, first time getting tricked into taking a $25 black car service 10 blocks… That summer, it was also the first time I experienced Manhattanhenge, before I knew that this was even a "thing". I remember walking downtown to my quaint apartment after work one hot & sticky evening - it was one of those nights where there was virtually no wind sweeping the streets and the heat radiating off the concrete masses that line the blocks of Manhattan sinks into your pores, making you feel like you can hardly breath - yep, one of those nights. I was crossing the street and when I looked to the West, I saw it. The sun was literally in the middle of the street - it was almost as if I could touch it. It stopped me right in my tracks & I could not look away. I don’t know why but something about seeing that, it made me so happy to be in New York City. Manhattanhenge, also referred to as the Manhattan Solstice, is the phenomenon that occurs when the sun lines up with the East-West streets of the Manhattan grid. In the next few weeks, this will occur 4 times - late in May, and then also in the second week of June. This year, Manhattanhenge is set for Friday, May 29th at 8:12PM and also on Saturday evening around the same time. It will also occur on June 12th & 13th! So, if you’re in the city this weekend and find yourself out and about around 8:12PM, take a minute to glance West. I can only speak for myself but it truly is a spectacle to be seen! And by the way, if you’re going to take a photo, please make sure there aren’t a bunch of crazy cab drivers heading your way. I promise you, they don't care.

Earth Day 2015

22.04.2015

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5 Very Simple Ways to Help Our Planet:

  1. Open your blinds or curtains instead of turning on the lights!
  2. Use a tote bag when you shop instead of plastic!
  3. Disconnect - take a walk, meditate, hang with friends… just do it without your phone!
  4. Wash your hair every other day (it’s better for your hair too)!
  5. Turn off your computer at night!

April Showers bring...

01.04.2015

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In a city where greenery is mostly limited to city parks and rooftop gardens, it can be hard to look forward to those “May flowers”… Luckily, New York City can always give residents and visitors an array of activities to participate in, no matter what the weather is doing outside!
During the month of April, when rain is inevitable, don’t get stuck inside! Check out the different activities below and hopefully you can complete the stick figure’s face with a smile :)

Entertainment

Chelsea Piers
23rd Street & Hudson River Park
New York, NY 10011
212.336.6666
Activities: Sports Center, Golf Club, Field House, Sky Rink, Bowling, Dining, Shopping, etc.

Brooklyn Boulders
575 Degraw St
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Activities: This 22,000 square foot facility offers a variety of climbing options for all ages!

Sports Games

Madison Square Garden - New York Knicks, New York Rangers
The New York Yankees
The New York Mets
MetLife Stadium - New York Giants, New York Jets

Theatre
Locations Vary
Please visit the TKTS booth in Times Square for discounted tickets!

Museums

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10128
212.423.3575

The American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 100124
212.769.5100

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met)
1000 Fifth Avenue (at 82nd Street)
New York, NY 10028
212.535.7710

Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
11 West 53rd Street
New York, NY 10019
212.708.9400

Brooklyn Museum of Arts
200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11238
718.638.5000

Shopping

Manhattan Mall
100 W. Broadway (at 53rd Street)
New York, NY 10001
212.465.0500
This mall features about 25 different retailers for men, women, children & more!

Chelsea Market
75 9th Avenue (between 15th & 16th Streets)
New York, NY 10011
212.652.2110
The market has more than 35 vendors, live music events & more!

The Shops at Columbus Circle
10 Columbus Circle
New York, NY 10019
212.823.6300
Located near Central Park, you can find food, shops, events, etc!

Grand Central Shopping
89 East 42nd Street
New York, NY 10017
212.340.2583
Retail stores, dining concourse, fine restaurants & market!

Spring? Hello!

09.03.2015

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"If you’re like me, over the past few months, your life has consisted of 2, maybe 3 things…

Work.
Home.
Work. Home.
Work. Home.
Work.
Hot Toddies (so good… so dangerous…)
Work.
Home.
Home.
Home.

You get the point."

"Like last winter, once again mother nature has waived her evil wand & made all of us her b*tches! She’s shed no mercy on New York City and it’s really starting to tick me off! Honestly, the time I’ve spent outdoors has consisted solely of my walk to and from the subways each day… you know, on my way to Work. Home. Work. Home. Not only has this started to have an impact on my derriere (it’s called “seat butt!”), but I’m pretty sure that it’s started to make me go (even more) crazy! My friends can attest to that!"

However, I think I see the light!

The days of 20-degree highs and frigid forecasts on the weather channel are behind us! (woop! woop!)
I will take a high of 40 & sunny any day of the week right now!

If you’re a resident or visitor and want to spend some time outdoors in the coming weeks, you should check out these parks outside of Manhattan (because let’s be honest, Central Park is a little too basic):

Fort Greene Park
Fort Greene, Brooklyn
Activities: film festivals, live music, sports, bbq pits

McCarren Park
Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Activities: running track, swimming pool, sports, skate parks

Prospect Park
Park Slope, Brooklyn
Activities: 3.35-mile running loop, horseback riding, live music, bbq pits, sports, fishing, etc.

Astoria Park
Astoria, Queens
Activities: running track, swimming pool, free yoga, tennis courts

Hoboken Parks - Pier A, Pier C, Maxwell Place Park Hoboken, NJ
Activities: beach area, fishing, great lawns, concerts, views of Manhattan skyline

So grab your friends, grab your boo, grab your dog - let’s get outside & put an end to this Vitamin D deficiency we’ve all been suffering from for far too long!

Spring? Hello!

14.12.2014

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If you’re like me, you’re just getting around to buying your first Christmas presents… Luckily, I know exactly what I am looking for but last minute shopping is always stressful! With only 10 days left until everything needs to be wrapped up, under the tree & ready for Christmas morning, you don’t have that much time left to pick up your final items! Luckily, there are many holiday fairs throughout the NYC area and each one has a lot to offer during this Christmas season:

Manhattan:

Columbus Circle Holiday Market
December 2nd - December 24th
Monday - Saturday 10AM - 8PM
Sunday 10AM - 7PM

Grand Central Holiday Fair
November 17th - December 24th
Monday - Saturday 10AM - 8PM
Sunday 11AM - 7PM
*closing at 6PM on Christmas Eve

Union Square Holiday Market
November 20th - December 24th
Monday - Friday 11AM - 8PM
Saturday 10AM - 8PM
Sunday 11AM - 7PM

Winter Village at Bryant Park
October 21st - January 4th
Monday - Friday 11AM - 8PM
Saturday 10AM - 9PM
Sunday 10AM - 6PM

Brooklyn:

Brooklyn Pop-Up Market
Open through December 21st
Saturdays & Sundays 11AM - 7PM

Holiday Market Village in Columbus Park
Open through December 24th
Monday - Saturday 8AM - 8PM
*no website available

Winter Flea & Holiday Market
Open through December 21st
Saturday & Sunday 10AM - 6PM

Queens:

Astoria Market
Open through December 21st
Sunday 12PM - 6PM

LIC Flea Holiday Market
Open through December 21st
Saturday & Sunday 11AM - 6PM

I’m still hoping my gifts are going to make it down to North Carolina in time for Christmas! Fingers crossed!
Good Luck & Happy Shopping!


New York Festival of Light

05.11.2014

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Are you in NYC this weekend & looking for something fun (and did I mention free?) to do? This year, New York Festival of Light (NYFOL) will come to DUMBO in Brooklyn! If you’re not familiar, DUMBO is an acronym for “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass” and this area has gone through a lot of changes the past few years, making it one of the newest fun spots for tourists and residents to spend their time!

The New York Festival of Light Organization is a non profit group dedicated to creating & providing unique experiences while enhancing NYC’s architecture through interactive, social and projected lighting installations. This year, in its first annual NYC festival, the organization will feature the works of 16+ local & international artists, featuring a laser show, a light show for the visually impaired, performance artists & more!

The show starts November 6 (after dark!) and will continue through the weekend! It’s free, open to all ages, and will also feature food trucks & several DJs — all of which will contribute to make this a fantastic show and one that is sure to become a recurring annual event in NYC!

More information can be found at - www.nyfol.org
Photo Credit: Production Design International Inc.

It's Already September??

01.09.2014

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If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking… “where did summer 2014 go?”

Luckily, NYC experienced a pretty mild summer with only a few scorching days of heat (does this mean the winter is going to be brutal??) and we can't help but feel a little sad that summer has officially come to a close. With schools back in session, summer work Fridays over and Halloween costumers already taking over your local Duane Reade, you, too, might be dreading the coming changes and hoping to really enjoy the few weeks (hopefully months) that we call Fall!

There are a lot of exciting things happening in NYC in September and I’m looking forward to those perfect nights where it’s not bitterly cold, yet cool enough for a light jacket : )

I’ve included some highlights below:

U.S. Open Tennis Championships
September 1 - 8
Arthur Ash Stadium in Flushing Meadows

Fashion Week - Spring Fashion Show
September 4 - 11
Lincoln Center

Official Start of the NFL 2014 Season
September 4, 2014
Packers at Seahawks (okay, this isn't in NYC… but there are tons of cool bars to enjoy the game!)

Labor Day Parade
September 6, 2014
5th Avenue from 44th St to 64th St

Citizen Cope
September 17 & 18, 2014
Terminal 5

Oktoberfest
September 20, 2014
Central Park

Hoboken Fall Arts & Music Festival
September 28, 2014
Hoboken, NJ

4-Hour NYC Itinerary

06.05.2014

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Did you just arrive for your first day in New York City but are too early to check into your hotel? Perhaps you are on your way out but have a few hours to spare before you head to the airport to catch your flight home. The weather has finally taken a turn for the better and it is the perfect time to get outside & enjoy the many wonders that NYC has to offer!

If you’re looking for a good way to spend your time in NYC, I’ve included a 4-hour itinerary below that I think you will enjoy:

• 5 minutes: Drop bags at Short-Term Stow so that you can enjoy your day hands free!
• 20 minutes: Walk to the High Line entrance at 30th Street & 11th Avenue
• 60 minutes: Spend experiencing the High Line

The High Line is a 1-mile public park built on a section of an elevated train rail on Manhattan’s lower west side, extending from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street, between 10th & 11th Avenues. Maintained by the non-profit group Friends of the High Line, this organization seeks to preserve the space as one of New York City’s historic structures and create an opportunity to promote art, innovative design, agriculture and more!

Be sure to stop & check out some of the highlights I’ve included below (High Line Map):

• 5 minutes: Walk to Bakehouse for brunch, located on Horatio Street & West Street

• 60 minutes: Enjoy brunch and the view of Hudson River & Park

• 10 minutes: Walk to Chelsea Market, located on 9th Avenue between 15th & 16th Streets

• 60 minutes: Explore all of the food/clothing/art shops in the market

• 5 minutes: Walk to the A/C/E subway at 14th Street & 8th Avenue

• 10 minutes: Ride the subway back to Short-Term Stow (Penn Station stop)

• 5 minutes: Grab your bags & head to the airport!

April 22, 2014: Let's Celebrate Earth Day!

22.04.2014

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In 1970, over 20 million people from universities, schools and communities from around the US came together to celebrate the first official Earth Day. Today, over 192 countries participate in this special day to observe and raise awareness on how we can better serve our planet.

In the past few months in New York City, I have noticed more and more recycling cans being added to street corners around the city. Perhaps you too have noticed these new green & blue bins. These bins are part of NYC Department of Sanitation’s “Public Space Recycling” program, a way to increase recycling in our city.

Green Recycling Can: Paper & Cardboard

• newspapers, magazines, catalogs
• white & colored paper
• mail & envelopes
• paper bags
• wrapping paper
• soft-cover books, telephone books
• cardboard egg cartons/trays
• smooth cardboard
• paper cups
• corrugated cardboard boxes

Blue Recycling Can: Metal, Glass, Plastic & Cartons

• metal cans
• aluminum foil wrap & trays
• metals caps & lids
• household metal
• bulk metal
• glass bottles & jars
• plastic bottles, jugs & jars
• rigid plastic cups & lids
• rigid plastic food containers
• rigid plastic non-food containers
• rigid plastic packaging
• rigid plastic housewares
• bulk rigid plastics
• food & beverage cartons & drink boxes

By simply depositing items into the correct bins, we can all contribute to bettering the condition of our planet each day!

Word Above the Street: The Water Tank Project

09.04.2014

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While we should thank Mother Nature for all she provides each day of our lives, April is commemorated as the official “Earth Month” throughout the world.

One of the things that many of us take for granted each day is water. We wake each morning, hop in the shower, brush our teeth, fix our coffee and do not give a second thought as to when, where & how we will source our next sip of water. However, for over 1 billion people all over the world, the luxury of clean water is often a major issue leading to illness, poor education, unsanitary conditions, and even death. With the aim of raising awareness of the global water crisis, artist & activist Mary Jordan has enlisted the help of hundreds of artists from across the country to transform 100 of New York City’s water tanks into physical reminders that water is a major problem for many people in the world.

Have you walked the High Line recently? Or taken a trip on the B/D train into Brooklyn? Perhaps you saw them on your flight into the city. On the rooftops of buildings throughout the NYC area, there are some 17,000 tanks that act as the main source of water for residents, visitors, animals, businesses, etc. These towers provide the vital ingredient that makes daily life sustainable: safe water.

If you have a chance to visit NYC in the Summer of 2014, take a few minutes, get somewhere you can rise above the chaos that floods the city’s streets each day & take a little time to appreciate this movement and how each one of us can do a little each day to improve water conditions both in our city & across the world.