Sleep In A Museum Under A 94-Foot Whale!

Spending the night in an empty museum under a giant blue whale and a T. Rex just a few floors above you? Sign us up! The American Museum of Natural History has always offered this for kids but now the adults are getting their turn.

AMNH Sleepover for Kids

About once a month the museum opens their doors after dark for kids 6-13 years old. The night consist of everything a 10 year old could dream of. After exploring the Age of the Dinosaurs you’ll head over to encounter some of the museums live animals. After exploring the museum with a small group of fellow campers you’ll get to sleep under the 94-foot-long blue wall or under a herd of African zebras.

Price is $145 per person includes an evening snack, light breakfast, cot and the experience of a lifetime.

AMNH Sleepover for Adults

Now onto the greatest news ever! Just this week the American Museum of Natural History announced their very first sleepover for grown-ups. August 1st a limited amount of guests will be able to enjoy a night of sophistication and exploration in the closed museum. If you thought this would just be the basics, think again. After you’re greeted with a champagne reception and jazz music, you’ll be served a three-course dinner. Spend the rest of the evening roaming the empty halls and view special presentations of certain exhibits. Bring your sleeping bag as you lay your head under the big blue whale! This first class experience will cost you $375 a person and we could basically guarantee it will be worth every dime.

 

Un italiano all’estero: An Italian Abroad, Part III

Wall_Street_-_New_York_Stock_Exchange

Lorenzo will be joining our team for the next few months, this is the first time he is in New York City and will be periodically checking in with us on his experience here in the States.

When you look what happens along the main avenues of Manhattan, certainly there are three things that remain imprinted in your mind: the neon billboards, huge buildings, and the buses that constantly populate the main areas of New York. So – after visiting Midtown – I decided it was time to discover Downtown. I bought a ticket for the City Sightseeing New York double decker bus, and headed down! The tour lasted around two and a half hours, but you can see a lot of beautiful things and different districts, allowing you to better plan your future activities centered around what attracted you the most! The tour starts with the sight of Times Square and continue to Madison Square Garden, the Empire State Building, Chelsea district and West Village. After that began the discovery of the most well-known districts of Downtown, Soho and the Financial District (for people like me that love economics), continuing into China Town and Little Italy, ending at the United Nations’ building. Amazing!

Always keep the camera in your hands because once you make it home and see the pictures again, you’ll want to start planning immediately the next days!

So it has been for me, waiting for see again those places lit by the moon.

 

———-

 

Quando osservi cosa ti gira intorno mentre cammini per le vie principali di Manhattan, sicuramente sono tre le cose che rimangono più impresse: i numerosi cartelloni pubblicitari, gli enormi edifici e i bus turistici che popolano costantemente tutte le zone principali di New York.

Così – dopo aver visitato Midtown – ho deciso che era il momento di farsi un tour per Downtown! Ho acquistato un biglietto per il bus City Sightseeing New York e sono partito! Il tour é durato circa 2 ore e mezzo, ma si riescono a vedere un sacco di cose belle, un sacco di quartieri diversi, così da poter pianificare al meglio i futuri spostamenti nei posti che più ci hanno colpito!

Si inizia con Times Square per continuare con Madison Square Garden, Empire State Building, Chelsea e il West Village. Comincia adesso la vera scoperta dei quartieri più noti e caratteristici di Downtown passando per Soho, fino al Financial District (per chi come me é appassionato di economia) per poi continuare visitando China Town e Little Italy, fino alla sede generale delle Nazioni Unite.

Tenete sempre in mano la macchina fotografica perché quando tornerete a casa e riguarderete tutti i posti che avete visitato, comincerete sicuramente a pianificare le prossime uscite.

Così é stato per me, in attesa di vederli nuovamente illuminati dalla luna.

A History of NYC Hockey Venues

via daily news

The Stadium Series comes to Yankee Stadium on Sunday

This Sunday, The Devils will host the Rangers in Yankee Stadium. For the first time in New York City history, the NHL is taking a game outdoors. With all of the transformation happening at Yankee Stadium, it got us thinking about all of the former and current homes of our beloved hockey teams. Here’s a brief history of hockey arenas in (and around) New York City.

Madison Square Garden (III): 1926

via turnontheknicks.com

The first NHL hockey played in NYC came at the host of Original Six franchise, the New York Rangers. On November 16, 1926, Madison Square Garden opened for Ranger hockey, but not the MSG you’re familiar with. The first ever hockey game was played at Madison Square Garden, Part III. Located on 8th Avenue, 16 blocks north of the current venue, MSG had a capacity of over 15,000 spectators for hockey.

Madison Square Garden (IV): 1968

msg

via flickr / laverrue

In 1968, the Rangers moved to it’s current home, the Madison Square Garden which is currently standing. This was the second ice hockey arena in New York City, and also the most famous. The Garden, as it is affectionately known, is built above Penn Station and recently had a renovation project that lasted several years and cost over $1 billion. In 1995, the Stanley Cup was hoisted for the first, and only, time ever in MSG.

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum: 1972

via newsday

Four years after the Rangers moved to its 33rd Street home, the NHL brought a team to Long Island. Nassau Coliseum became the home of the Islanders in 1972 and brought four Stanley Cups to the area. This has been the Islanders only home in the teams existence, but that is soon to change

Brendan Byrne Arena/Continental Airlines Arena: 1982

continental airlines arena

via flickr / Joe Shlabotnik

The fourth home of hockey in the area actually brings us out to the Meadowlands in New Jersey. When the Colorado Rockies moved to New Jersey, they took home in the Brendan Byrne Arena. After winning the 1995 Stanley Cup, a naming rights deal was made with Continental Airlines, and thus the Devils became the first NYC area team to play home games in a sponsored arena. The arena is now known as the Izod Center, though the Devils moved away after winning two more Cups but before the name was changed for a second time.

Prudential Center: 2007

via nj.com

In 2007, the Devils moved from East Rutherford to Newark and the newly built Prudential Center. Known as “The Rock” among fans, the dynamic new arena was built with hockey in mind and is easily the nicest of the current area venues. While it doesn’t have the history of its Manhattan rival, it still plays host to some of the biggest events including NCAA Tournaments, Major concerts, and of course Stanley Cup Finals.

Yankee Stadium: 2014

The New Yankee Stadium Gate #4

On Sunday, Yankees Stadium becomes the 6th venue to host an NHL game in the NYC area. The Devils will be the home team versus the Rangers in part of the NHL’s Stadium Series, where they host hockey games in outdoor venues. A few days later, the Islanders will also take to Yankee Stadium to square off against the Rangers.

Barclays Center: 2015

via flickr / Jules Antonio

via flickr / Jules Antonio

In 2015, the Islanders will move to the Barclays Center, making it the 7th venue. Preseason games have already been played in the newly built arena, but no regular season games as of yet.

Tell us your favorite hockey arena on Twitter at @CitySightsNY

NYC Borough Series: The Bronx

When people think New York City, their minds often don’t wander past the island of Manhattan. The problem is, NYC consists of five boroughs and Manhattan is just one of them. Sure, Manhattan is the one with the famous skyline, the buildings with names you recognize, and the sights you recall from movies, but the other boroughs have quite a bit to offer on their own.

Of the five New York City boroughs, there’s only one so important that it needs “The” to preface its name: The Bronx. The borough that’s home to the Yankees and the city’s best zoo resides to the northeast of Manhattan, separated by the Harlem river. The Bronx is known for its beautiful open space, culturally diverse community and delicious food on Arthur Avenue, but has so much more to offer.

5 Fast Facts:

  • The Bronx is home to NYC’s largest Park – Pelham Bay Park
  • The Bronx was originally called Ranachqua by the Siwanoy Indians
  • From 1900-1930, population increased by over 1 million people
  • From 1930-2010, population only increased by about 100,000 people
  • The Bronx High School of Science is widely considered the premier science magnet school in the US

The Yankees

The New Yankee Stadium Gate #4

The New Yankee Stadium

The Bronx is home of the New York Yankees, the world’s most recognizable sports brand. The original Yankee Stadium was opened in 1923 and has been the home of some of the most famous baseball players of all time including Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Derek Jeter, and so many more. It was the scene of Lou Gehrig’s famous farewell speech in which he declared himself the “luckiest man on the face of the earth,” the Greatest Game Ever Played, and the record breaking 61st home run by Roger Maris. In 2008 it was torn down and the new Yankee Stadium was built, which still stands on the corner of 161 Ave and River Street.

Pop Culture

The Bronx is highlighted quite a bit in popular culture, though not nearly as much as some of its counterparts. Robert De Niro’s A Bronx Tale, as well as much of the novel Underworld, takes place on or around Arthur Avenue. The borough was also home to Edgar Allan Poe for a short time as well as one of the key starting places of hip hop music.

Many famous people got their start in The Bronx, including Mary J. Blige, Carly Simon, Lou Gehrig, Vin Scully, Kemba Walker, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren. The borough was also the home the infamous crime boss, John Gotti.

Food

via flickr / Bob Jagendorf

via flickr / Bob Jagendorf

The Bronx’s Arthur Avenue located in the Fordham section of the borough is home to NYC’s “other” Little Italy, though many believe that it should be the other way around. While Manhattan’s Little Italy has gone the way of tourism in recent years, Arthur Avenue still has some of the best, original Italian food on all of NYC.

Parks

bronx botanical garden

New York Botanical Gardens

One-quarter of the land area in The Bronx is dedicated park land, including Pelham Bay Park, which is New York City’s biggest. Van Cortlandt Park, NYC’s fourth largest, is also considered one of the most beautiful green areas in the city. One of the most popular parks in New York City is Bronx Park, which is home to two my favorite places, the New York Botanical Gardens and the Bronx Zoo. While The Bronx may not be the most popular tourist destination in terms of boroughs, it is quite arguably the most beautiful. If you ever want to get out of the city without getting out of the city, you should take a trip to The Bronx.

So what’s your favorite part of The Bronx? We didn’t even touch on some of the more visited spots, like the Grand Concourse or the Bronx Museum. While the Borough does have a lot of negative connotations with it, we choose to think of The Bronx are the prettiest borough of them all. With all of the green land and open space, who wouldn’t want to spend more time there? Oh and Yankee Stadium. Nothing better than catching the Yanks form the bleachers.

What you need to explore NYC

harlem

Alright explorers, it’s time to pack your bags. Here are the essentials you will need to explore NYC

Comfortable Shoes

Do not wear heals.

Do not wear heals.

Don’t try to be a hero, leave those fancy shoes at home. If you’re going exploring, make sure you wear a pair of comfortable, sturdy shoes.

A Heavy Coat (or Not)

Another terrible idea.

Another terrible idea.

I don’t know if you’ve been outside lately, but it’s freezing! With the way Manhattan’s grid is set up, huge gusts have been known to whip down the streets making it extra frigid. Also make sure to bring that scarf and hat. Maybe mittens, too.

If your reading this during the summer months, no coat needed, shorts, sneakers and a t shirt is best. If you get chilly often, keep a light sweater with you as some of these museums keep the AC cranked up high.

MetroCard

This little guy will get you anywhere!

If we’re exploring, we’re going to lands unknown. Sure, our hop on, hop off buses can take you all around Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn, but what about the far reaches of the city, or Queens. You don’t want to forget to explore Queens.

Cash

Maybe not this much, but you get the idea.

NYC is still a very cash-heavy town. Many bars and bodegas and stores of all kinds will be cash-only on your journey, so be sure to carry some around. Not too much, though. We don’t want to attract the wrong crowd.

Smartphone Apps

HopStop

This will be difficult if you don’t have a smart phone, but key if you do. Make sure you have a good map app and also download HopStop, which makes finding out how to get from here to there much easier. Add on Urbanspoon (for when you get hungry), SitorSquat (for when you need to go), and Instagram (if you go on an exploration and don’t have filtered pictures to prove it, did you really go?), and you should be covered.

A Sense of Adventure

Have fun!

Have fun!

This is the most important thing you need when exploring NYC. Don’t get off the subway at a stop you know, get off at a stop you’ve never heard of. Adventure through neighborhoods you’ve never been to because chances are there’s something special about them. Ask strangers on the street for recommendations, try something you’ve never done before, and have some fun!

What else would you bring is you were exploring NYC? Let us know on Twitter at @CitySightsNY

NYC Bus Tour Options During the Cold Weather

motorcoach csny

It’s getting a little chilly outside, don’t you think? Maybe it’s time to take an escorted tour of NYC.

Sometimes people forget, we’re more than just open top double decker buses. When the weather gets frightful, you don’t want to sit out in the cold for a couple of hours, you want warmth. That’s why we offer fully escorted motorcoach tours of upper and lower Manhattan.

Our Best of Manhattan Experience Tour is a 6-hour, fully guided experience given with the personal feel. One of our best professional tour guides will take you through NYC to see Times Square, Greenwich Village, the Flatiron Building, the Empire State Building, Museum Mile, Fifth Avenue, Rockefeller Center and more! You will also enjoy lunch in Little Italy at Grotta Azzurra, one of the oldest restaurants in the city.

via flickr / dsearls

via flickr / dsearls

If the live, professional narration and the comfort of seeing NYC from inside of a warm motorcoach aren’t enough, you also get a ride over to the Statue of Liberty. If you’re looking to stay warm this winter, but still want to see New York, our motorcoach tours are the way to go.

Book your tour now on our website.

NYC Borough Series: Brooklyn

shutterstock_149720567

When people think New York City, their minds often don’t wander past the island of Manhattan. The problem is, NYC consists of five boroughs and Manhattan is just one of them. Sure, Manhattan is the one with the famous skyline, the buildings with names you recognize, and the sights you recall from movies, but the other boroughs have quite a bit to offer on their own.

Brooklyn on its own would be the fourth most populous city in the United States, behind Chicago, Los Angeles and the remaining boroughs of New York. That means every other city in the country has fewer people living in it than just this one borough. It’s crazy to think that the residents of Brooklyn make up about 2.5 of the 8.3 million New Yorkers, but it does, making the borough the largest of the five.

Neighborhoods of Brooklyn, via wikipedia

Neighborhoods of Brooklyn, via wikipedia

5 Fast Facts:

  • Brooklyn is located in Kings County
  • Brooklyn is 71 square miles (91 if you include water)
  • Brooklyn was its own city until it merged with the rest of NYC in 1898
  • Depending on whom you ask, Brooklyn has up to 78 different neighborhoods.
  • There are 7 major bridges in, or connecting Brooklyn to the other boroughs

Tourism

bb park

The areas of Brooklyn that most lend itself to tourism can be found right on the other side of the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, and the surrounding areas are typically the most visited by out-of-towners. Here are some key spots to see if you’re just visiting, or you can just hop on our Brooklyn tour that runs through this area:

  • Brooklyn Bridge
  • Brooklyn Bridge Park
  • Prospect Park
  • Brooklyn Museum
  • Grand Army Arch
  • Barclays Center
  • Brooklyn Public Library
  • Brooklyn Botanic Gardens
  • Brooklyn Academy of Music
  • Brooklyn Borough Hall

It’s worth noting, this isn’t the only area you should visit in Brooklyn, just the most popular. There are other sections of Brooklyn with phenomenal food and arts and culture and sights that you should go see, too.

Food

bk ponyf

Despite what big brother Manhattan would want you to believe, Brooklyn is known for having some of the best food in NYC. Greenpoint is known as one of the top Polish cuisine neighborhoods in America. The “best pizza in NYC” debate is one that will never end, but Grimaldi’s, Fornino, and Roberta’s can all make a case for the top spot. There are some great steakhouses all around the world, but are any of them really as good as Peter Luger’s? And let’s not forget about our favorite weekend market, Smorgasburg.

Gentrification

williamsburg bridge

In recent years, Brooklyn has become increasingly gentrified. This is a topic of great debate among the locals who feel as though they are being pushed out of their homes, however with perceived increasing charm (it’s always been a charming borough, people are just now finally realizing it), the gentrification is unlikely to stop. Neighborhoods like Bed-Stuy and Clinton Hill, which come across as extremely dangerous places in the early 90s rap songs of Notorious BIG, now are the prime destination of 20-somethings from Missouri looking to make it in the big city.

Pop Culture

Jay Z at Barclays Center, via rollingstone

You know those 20-somethings from Missouri I was just talking about? It’s TV shows like Girls and Gossip Girl and Two Broke Girls that give the borough its “ah shucks, we-don’t-have-any-money-but-that’s-fine” charm on a national level.  On the other end of the spectrum, Brooklyn is the subject of many rappers from the borough, often citing the drug deals, violence, and murder that takes place on the streets. What’s kind of funny is that the rappers and the girls on TV seem to highlight the same few neighborhoods in northern Brooklyn in their contradicting depictions of the borough.

Brooklyn isn’t just the subject of songs and shows, though. It is also the real life home of many famous people, including authors (Truman Capote), actors (Steve Buscemi), gangsters (Al Capone), rappers (Jay Z), comedians (Jimmy Fallon), TV hosts (Larry King), athletes (Mike Tyson), and hundreds more.

bk fence small

Brooklyn is a place of great history, culture, nightlife, and is regularly considered NYC’s most “up and coming” borough. Truth be told, calling Brooklyn “up and coming” is does an extreme disservice to the borough’s wonderful past. There is so much special illuminating from Brooklyn that we couldn’t even fit it all into one blog post. You’ll have to visit and take it in for yourself.