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.

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2014 New Year’s Eve Cruise in NYC

Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks

Fireworks Cruise

Christmas music is playing and the weather is turning. It’s time for the holidays! This year, we’re bringing back one of our most exciting offers, the 2014 New Year’s Eve Fireworks Cruise! Here are the details of how you should spend your New Year’s in NYC:

Tickets are on sale now for only $150 and include:

  • 3 hour open bar
  • Live DJ entertainment & dancing
  • Champagne toast at midnight
  • Desserts and coffee
  • Light meal options available for purchase on board

During your ride you will pass some of the most beautiful sights New York City has to offer such as the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge. Reservations are required and the ships will be running on a tight schedule

  • Boarding begins at 9 p.m.
  • Departure is at 10:00 p.m. from Pier 78 on the Hudson River
  • Champaign toast at midnight
  • Boats return at 1 a.m.

So what are you waiting for? This ticket sell out fast, so don’t wait or it may be too late! Buy your pass here.

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Let’s Go To The Ballet!

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The New York City Ballet Fall Season has begun! Swing by Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater this week to catch some performances of Swan Lake, or head uptown next week for Balachine Black & White, one of the company’s signature works. The whole schedule is out if you are looking to make plans for your visit later this year.

Most importantly, tickets for George Blanchine’s The Nutcracker go on sale Monday, September 23 at 10 a.m. Performance will be running between November 29-January 4, and as always this will be one of the premiere events of the holiday season. Mark your calendars, and let’s go to the Ballet!

Photo Credit: Flickr / rdenubila

The 10th Annual NYC Fall For Dance Festival Begins With Shows at Delacorte Theater

dance festival

This September we will celebrate the 10th annual Fall for Dance Festival when 24 different dance companies will perform at New York City Center from September 25 through October 5. Some of the headliners of the festival include the Royal Ballet and Ballet Hispanico, who will both be giving world premieres of works commissioned by the festival.

For the first time ever, the Fall for Dance Festival will be preluded by a kickoff event at the Delacorte Theater on September 16 and 17 presented be the Public Theater. Performing on both nights are the New York City Ballet, the Paul Taylor Dance Company, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, and Elizabeth Streb’s Streb Extreme Action Company.

To top it all off, these two nights are completely free. So if you’re in town this September, Swing by Central Park and get excited for some dancing.

Photo Credit: Flickr / NazarethCollege

NYC Festivals in August

festival

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

Urban Lawn Party This Saturday in Greenwich Village

via urbanlawnparty.com

via urbanlawnparty.com

This Saturday we will be heading downtown with one of our CitySights NY double-decker buses to hang out with the businesses of the Greenwich Village Chelsea Chamber of Commerce at their Urban Lawn Party, and you should come, too!

Whether you’re coming to the city for the first time or just want to get to know the local small businesses a little better, the Urban Lawn Party will be the perfect afternoon. There will be food, music, performances, puppies, yoga classes and much more. We will be opening the doors to the top deck to serve as an Instagram station since we are firm believers in “pics or it didn’t happen.” This way you can brag to your internet friends about how awesome of a day you’re having while they sit inside at their computers wondering what they’re doing with their lives.

So come on out this Saturday from 11-5 on Charlton Street between 6th and Varick, bring your cameras, and don’t forget to always use the hashtag #UrbanLawnParty!

Free Things for the Kids to do This Summer in NYC

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Make your kids day and take them out to see what New York City has to offer for free this summer! No need to take out your wallet, we came up with a few activities that will be entertaining and fun for the whole family.

Fun in the Water

Typical but still exciting! We all know it’s too hot to not make any plans to head the pool this summer. This weekend why not hop-off at Brooklyn Bridge Park, John Jay Park, or Lasker Pool on 110th and Lenox Ave. Just remember to bring a combination lock for your belongings.

Get Creative!

Try something new and take the kids to Ancient Playground, it’s Egyptian-style with stone pyramids, tunnels, sandbox, and water features great for the heat. Catch-and-Release Fishing is fun too, and the best part is all of this is free when you hop-off in Central Park.

Expand their imagination and go to Kids Create! This is another free activity that will be exciting on weekends at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Sweet Music to the Ears

If you want to keep the kids entertained all summer long take them to the music festivals and concerts this year. Pick any Wednesday in July through August, and check out the Music in the Grove at Fort Greene Park. For even more excitement, hop-off with the kids at our flatiron stop for Madison Square Kids Summer Concert Series. Just remember to bring the blanket to sit on, and get ready to dance and sing-a-along!

Where do you plan on taking the kids in NYC before the summer is over?

Photo Credit: Flickr / juhansonin