The Love for Country Music has hit New York.

“Miranda, who?”, “You mean the guy married to Nicole Kidman?”, “The only country I listen to is Taylor Swift.” – These are all responses that I have heard over the years when trying to explain my passion for country music. New Yorkers just don’t get it, which is currently changing for the better. I was born and raised in Staten Island, top 40 radio always on with Z100 being the only “cool” station to listen to. When I was around 13, I realized I was listening to the wrong type of music my whole life and my world got a little bit brighter. Not completely sure how, but I listened to Martina McBride’s ‘Concrete Angel’ and I immediately fell in love. The content of the song deals with a heavy topic of abuse but leaves you with as much sadness and awareness as it does hope. From this point on I realized music spanned much further then what I was listening too and that’s where it all began.

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Image via Fox

Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, George Straight, Dixie Chicks, Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, Reba, you name it, I was digging for the new stuff, the old stuff, anything I can get my hands on. At the time there was no radio station in New York City so I would sit and watch the music videos for hours on CMT. And thank God for the internet where I was able to start catching bands before they were anyone. The first time I heard Lady Antebellum, you just knew, that was it, they were on the brink of where country music was going, falling into that “Keith Urban” niche. The first time I heard the first chords of ‘Love Don’t Live Here Anymore’, I can’t even explain it. A few years later and Lady Antebellum is on the top of their game, headlining instead of opening. Country songs have life to them, every note, every word, you can feel it, you can relate to it, you can cry with it, laugh with it, party with it. I really could go on about the power of this genre but I suppose I should get back to my point.

That’s the other great thing about country music. Everyone is friends with each other and loves to go on tour together. You go see Brad Paisley and you’ll catch Chris Young, and Lee Brice who are headliners in their own rights – it’s like the greatest bargain ever! Speaking of Brad Paisley, go see him, now, I am not kidding – he is clever, brilliant and can just kill it on the guitar. At country concerts you realize how massive this community is, you make friends with people from all walks of life and really just get away from life for a few hours. Anyway I guess I should start getting to the point of this blog.

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Image via Michael Monaco

Luke Bryan and Keith Urban both headlined Madison Square Garden this month. The center of New York City has country concerts now; I don’t think I can explain how crazy this is to me. I used to have to drive at least an hour away to go see Brad Paisley or catch Luke Bryan at some small venue where he packed it out. Now a days, country music in New York is getting the attention it deserves. This is a huge thanks to the community who was always here but was never heard. Now country fans are getting recognized thanks to more shows coming here and Nash FM. The amount of phone calls I got the week Nash FM hit the airwaves, I can’t even count. Thanks to Nash FM, people who never heard a lick of country are now giving it a listen, even if it is just an accident because they caught it mid Taylor Swift or Lady A song.

Country is here to stay New York City, so hop on board.

2014 Super Bowl Parties and Events in NYC

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It’s beginning to feel a lot like the Super Bowl. This has been four years in the making, and it is now really here. On February 2, the Super Bowl is coming to New York. It feels weird saying it, but it’s true.

Along with the actual Super Bowl game itself comes all of the festivities. Sure, the two best teams in the NFL will duke it out at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands, but the entire week before the game New York City will be hosting what is expected to be the most exciting festivities in years. There will be parties for adults and kids alike, there will be celebrities and players all around the city, and there will be puppies! If you’re going to be in NYC the next couple of weeks, here are the Super Bowl activities you should look out for:

Super Bowl Boulevard (January 29-February 1)

image via nycgo.com

Broadway between 34th and 47th streets has officially been renamed Super Bowl Boulevard. From Wednesday the 29th to Saturday the 1st, this will be the hub of all things Super Bowl in NYC.

  • The Roman Numerals

The oversized XLVIII roman numerals can be found between 42nd and 43rd streets

  • Toboggan Run

This is a 60 foot tall, 180 foot long, 8-lane toboggan run which will got from 40th to 41st. With a $5 donation you you can get a ticket to take a ride!

  • Autograph Stage

By day, between 39th and 40th you will find the autograph stage where you can receive free autograph from current and former NFL stars.

  • Concert Stage

By night, the area between 39th and 40th will turn into a concert stage for awesome live performances

  • The Lombardi trophy

The Lombardi Trophy will be on display between 43rd and 44th every day

  • Super Bowl Virtual Theater

Macy’s at Herald Square is turning it’s façade into a virtual theater as one of the highlights of Super Bowl Boulevard.

Super Bowl Parties

Image via Joseph Okpako/Getty Images

Super models and Victoria’s Secret Angels. hosts include Brooklyn Decker, Bar Refaeli, Alessandra Ambrosio, and Adriana Lima. It’s only $950-$30,000 to get in, so if you have some extra money lying around, I don’t know. This might be fun…

This party runs $1,500 to $25,000 for admittance, but once you’re in you get performances from Mary J. Blige, John Legend, and Marc Anthony

Let’s not kid ourselves; this is the party to get into, if you can. There’s a celebrity free football game, open to the public, followed by a free concert by Paramore. Later that night it turns into a concert party headlined by Jay Z. Unfortunately, these tickets are invite only, so start making friends with your local DirecTV rep.

There will be 45 different “Flavors of Brooklyn” food stations, and the party supports hunger relief around the country. Party for a good cause

This party is a little more reasonable in price ($25) and is hosted by DJ Funkmaster Flex.

Other Super Bowl Events

Image via Barclays Center

Four days broken up into four quarters each, this is the ultimate party for foodies, which will feature food from some of the top chefs in NYC.

Presented by WFAN, headlined by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Tickets from $80-$300.

Amateur bowlers are paired with NFL players and Hall of Famers for some celebrity bowling. To bowl in the classic, it is $750 per bowler, $3,000 per team.

Which events are you going to? Do you know of any other events? Tell us on twitter at @CitySightsNY and we will continue to update this list as we learn of more, so stay close!

The Dalai Lama is Coming to NYC

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From October 18 – 20, welcome the holy of holiness, The Dalai Lama as he makes his return to New York City. Join The Gere Foundations and The Tibet Center as they host the event in one of New York City’s biggest landmark theaters, The Beacon Theatre. Come see His Holiness explain the texts and philosophical views of The Heart Sutra, The Sutra of Truly Remembering the Sublime Three Jewels and The Wisdom Chapter of A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life.

Tickets for event will go on sale on September 12 and will be available for purchase through Ticketmaster. For more information be sure to go to the official website http://dalailamany.org/.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Yancho Sabev

NYC Festivals in August

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Festivals, food, fun, and free! End the summer right by an unusual sight of festivals in New York City. Whether you prefer dancing to music, eating good, races and competitions, or enjoying sports outside there’s a couple of events this summer that we suggest you shouldn’t miss. If you think you spent too much so far, save some money and bring the family or friends to one of these free events.

Jazz Age Lawn Party

If your trip is coming to an end, this will be the icing on the cake! Head to Governors Island August 17 or the 18th, take a seat on the lawn and listen to some jazz that will make you feel like your in the 1920’s and 30’s! Whether you’re a jazz lover or not the family will enjoy the live music, dance instruction, games, and more at the Jazz Age Lawn Party.

Rumble on the River               

If you are a boxer lover then you will enjoy this outdoor boxing event that features Muay Thai, an ancient Thai fighting style. Rumble on the River will be at the Hudson River Park on August 1st.

Harlem Week

Harlem Week is definitely something not to miss especially not with over 100 events to attend through August. There’s so much to choose from whether it’s the outdoor concerts, film festivals, clothing vendors, or fun youth activities that the kids will love! Did I mention the delicious food?

Summer Streets

Park Avenue will be shut down and open just for you to have fun in the streets. Summer Streets will be held on 3 consecutive Saturdays in August — the 3rd, 10th, and 17th — from 7am to 1pm. This festival is one not to miss with free activities from fitness classes, mini golf, rock climbing, yoga, and even football.

New York International Fringe Festival

The Fringe Fest will run for 17 days with unique stage performances, including comedies, Hip Hop musicals, social commentaries, and more! Grab a friend and choose as many shows as you want. No need to rush the Fringe Fest lasts from August 9th to August 25th.

Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival

If you like Chinese foods and performances keep August 10th and 11th in mind and are ready to celebrate the fifth moon of the lunar calendar at The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival.  The event will be held in Corona Park in Queens. This multicultural event is the largest boat festival in the United States!

NYC Unicycle Festival

From August 30th to September 1st the NYC Unicycle will take place on Governor’s Island from 12pm to 5pm. If you never seen anyone on a unicycle be prepared to see hundreds of riders and performers! Make sure to check out the races, competitions, exhibitions, unicycle basketball and hockey.

New York International Salsa Dance & Music Festival

Are you ready to salsa? For four days and five nights you can enjoy the dance workshops, performances, competitions, and live concerts! Bring your date and salsa the night away with DJ’s blasting music into the early morning hours. The New York International Salsa Dance & Music Festival will be held on August 28th to September 2nd in Midtown.

We want to make sure your summer in the Big Apple is unforgettable! Tell us how you will be ending your summer in New York City?

Photo Credit: Flickr/ PaulSteinJC

Harlem Week in NYC!

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One word, Harlem! If you never been, be ready to be amazed with the unique and diverse essence that you will experience during Harlem Week. People all over the world in all ages and cultures can’t wait until July and August just to see what Harlem has to offer. Harlem Week is definitely something not to miss especially not with over 100 events to attend! There’s so much to choose from whether it’s the outdoor and indoor music concerts or the adult and children’s fashion shows.

Harlem Week has events for everyone! You will love the film festivals, The Upper Manhattan Auto Show, sporting events, career fairs, and more. But Harlem Week wouldn’t be as fun if you don’t stop at any of their vendors which are my favorite! Even if you don’t attend any of these events you will be in awe by Harlem’s uniqueness of the history, culture, arts, entertainment, and sports.

Oh, and not to worry the kids will be having their own fun at the youth programs and activities such as storytelling, performances showcasing tap dancers, dance troupes, hip hop, theater, poetry, arts & crafts, and more. It will definitely make your summer complete; after all, what’s New York City without the great Harlem?

This year’s Harlem Week begins on July 28 and runs until August 24

Photo Credit: Flickr/ dantekgeek

Contest: Take the Inaugural Imminent Ride with The Mowgli’s

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Do you enjoy spreading the love? We do here at the Ride of Fame, and so do The Mowgli’s, who in two weeks will be taking the inaugural imminent ride with us.

We want to know how you spread the love. Tell us how and you will be entered for the chance to join The Mowgli’s on their imminent ride around New York City on July 9th, with tickets to their show later that evening at the Bowery Ballroom!

How to enter
• Tell us how you spread the love through a picture, video, or writing and tweet it out using the hashtag #LoveROF
• Five (5) of the band’s favorite tweets will be selected to join us (each to bring one (1) guest) on the imminent ride with The Mowgli’s and the Ride of Fame.
• Winners will also receive tickets to The Mowgli’s show that evening at the Bowery Ballroom
• You must follow @themowglis and @RideOfFame to be eligible

Contest Timeline
• June 25: Contest opens up for entries on Twitter
• July 2: Contest closes for entries on Twitter
• July 3: The Mowgli’s will announce the 5 winners
• July 9: The Mowgli’s will take their imminent ride to their show at the Bowery Ballroom that night

There you have it; we want you to #BeAMowgli. The contest is now officially open so get out there, follow @RideofFame and @themowglis, use #LoveROF, and show us HOW YOU SPREAD THE LOVE!

You must be in the NYC area the night of July 9 to take part in the imminent ride. Please read all Terms and Conditions for the contest before entering.

Ryan Cabrera Bus Tour Winners!

Congratulations to the winning entries of the #RyanCabreraCoverPhoto contest! You will all be joining Ryan on a double decker bus tour through NYC! Ryan will announce the Grand prize winner on Saturday by updating his official Facebook cover photo!

@TastyKisses:

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@alyssarose_xo:

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@BearJules:

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@brittany_s_m:

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@cindyng2468:

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@gibbonsdesigns:

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@heathersayhey:

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@TheeJorleny:

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@THEmichelaa:

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@Miss_AngieLove:

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Having your entry posted on this page, favorited, or retweeted does not indicate that your artwork was selected to win any prizes. Winners were announced on May 30 via this page. Grand Prize winner announced June 1.