Blast Off With the ‘Intrepid Space & Science Festival’ This Weekend!

 

Science

The Intrepid Space & Science Festival is under way and it’s time to plan your weekend so it’s ‘out of this world’! This festival is on its third year and the celebration just keeps on growing. It is the 45th anniversary of the moon landing so you can expect some extra special events throughout the festival.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Who wanted to be an astronaut when they were growing up? The truth of the matter is we aren’t all that lucky so how about meeting one instead? At 11:00 am and throughout the day you could meet Mario Runco, Jr., Ellen Baker, Joe Edwards (Commander, USN, Retired) and Karol Bobko (Colonel, USAF, Retired). After you get yourself some super-cool autographs, head over to the Space Shuttle Pavilion where you can watch a demonstration of what happens to the human body when exposed to the vacuum of space.

Friday night brings a special event on the Intrepid at 7:30 pm. Astronomy Night will feature local astronomers helping you guide high-powered telescopes then a special screening of CNN’s The Sixties. Space is limited for these night time events so make sure you RSVP.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Saturday has events throughout the day but one of the highlights is a 12:30 pm Tour Guide Talk about the 45th Anniversary of Apollo 11. Learn about how NASA got through the tragedy of Apollo 1 to reaching their goal of landing a man on the moon. If you’re not signed up for the space-themed Operation Slumber you need to give them a call immediately (1-646-381-5010)! This is a once in a lifetime experience as you enjoy a night of activities and a sleepover under the Enterprise.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sunday closes out the final day of the Space & Science Festival with a great inside look at Sally Ride. This Tour Guide Talk will celebrate her legacy she left for young people interested in science and technology. Finish your afternoon off and build a scale model of the Solar System with one of their Tour Guides.

 For all events and information head blast off to the official festival page.

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NYC Off The Beaten Path: Fort Tryon Park

Way up on the north end of the isle of Manhattan lays a beautiful little park along the Hudson River known as Fort Tryon Park. You may not have ever heard of it, and chances are even less likely that you’ve been there if you aren’t from NYC, but if you’re visiting our great city and looking to go off the beaten path for a bit, Fort Tryon Park is one of your best options.

Fort Tryon Park is a riverside park all the way up on 190th Street extending to Dyckman Street. It is far past the normal sightseeing venues of Manhattan and even further north geographically than most of the sights in The Bronx. The land on the Hudson was a key site during the Battle of Fort Washington during the American Revolution. Though the British ultimately won the battle and the fort was subsequently named after British Governor, Sir William Tryon, that’s still pretty cool stuff.

Now Fort Tryon Park is home to The Cloisters, one of the best, and often most overlooked, sights in NYC. The Cloisters are part of The Met and focus on architecture and artifacts from the Medieval European times. They actually have building on the site that were once European abbeys disassembled, shipped to NYC, then put back together. Why they would do this, I’m not entirely sure, but how cool is it to get a little of the old school European culture right here in NYC?

The Cloisters really do have an amazing collection of works, so it is definitely worth the visit.

cloisters

Fort Tryon Park also remains one of the best spots to view the beautiful New Jersey Palisades, directly cross the river. Visit Fort Tryon Park in the autumn and see some of the most awe-inspiring fall foliage New York has to offer. It’s truly beautiful.

Where do you go in NYC to get off the beaten path? Have you ever been to Fort Tryon Park? Tell us where you’d go and share some pictures with us Twitter at @CitysightsNY

Presidential Sites in NYC

Happy President’s Day! New York City, being the premiere city in the United States of America, has quite a few presidential sites to call its own. Here’s a list of our favorite places in NYC with presidential ties:

Teddy Roosevelt’s Birthplace

photo via flickr / terryballard

photo via flickr / terryballard

Did you know that the 26th President of the United States was born in an apartment in NYC? 28 East 20th Street to be exact. The brownstone is now a museum which you can visit.

Grant’s Tomb

via flickr / Sue Waters

via flickr / Sue Waters

General Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President of the United States, now resides at the north end of Riverside Park in a lovely little tomb on the Hudson River. It’s also stop #28 on our Uptown Tour.

Federal Hall

photo via flickr / (vincent desjardins)

photo via flickr / (vincent desjardins)

Remember when New York City was home of the US Capitol? Of course you don’t you weren’t born yet. But way back in the day, George Washington took the oath of office in Federal Hall on Wall Street.

Lincoln Center

photo via flickr / Wilson Rivera

photo via flickr / Wilson Rivera

Just kidding, NYC’s most extravagant home of the arts was not actually named after 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. In fact, no one really knows what it was named for.

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What are your favorite presidential stop in NYC? Tell us on Twitter at @CitySightsNY

Uptown NYC vs Downtown NYC

It’s the classic tale, which is better: Uptown NYC or Downtown NYC? Both have their bright spots, but how can you really decide? Well, we did and incredibly unscientific poll around the office and came up with the results.

The Arts: Uptown

via flickr / Fatbooo

via flickr / Fatbooo

Uptown NYC wins the arts in a landslide. Sure, there are some wonderful museums in lower Manhattan, but not even close to what you get on the north end of the island. The Met, Guggenheim, Museum of Natural History, and that doesn’t even touch on the performance venues like Lincoln Center and the historic Apollo Theater. This category isn’t even close.

Sports: Draw

via flickr / Charley Lhasa

via flickr / Charley Lhasa

This is definitely the trickiest of the categories. Downtown we have Madison Square Garden, the world’s most famous arena. It’s arguably the best sports venue in NYC (it’s a weak argument, but one can be made) and home to the Knicks and the Rangers. On the other hand, Uptown is literally a stone’s throw from Yankee Stadium. Also, Uptown has Central Park, the best place in Manhattan to actually play sports, and Rucker Park, the world’s most prolific street basketball court. After the votes were tallied, we came to a tie.

Food: Downtown

via flickr / star5112

via flickr / star5112

This one was a CLOSE vote, and I’ll be honest, I don’t know if I completely agree, but downtown got the win. It’s true, Downtown owns the pizza battle, which is NYC’s favorite food, and it also reigns supreme when it comes to brunch, another favorite among locals. Uptown has the soul food and some of the most fantastic restaurants in NYC, but we can’t argue with the votes. Downtown wins.

Skyline: Downtown

via flickr / gabrielkaplan

via flickr / gabrielkaplan

As arts is to Uptown, the Skyline is to Downtown. When people think of the Manhattan skyline, it’s of lower Manhattan. Even without the World Trade Center towers anymore, Downtown still absolutely dominates Uptown in the skyline vote. This was unanimous.

Traffic: Uptown

via flickr / TriggerHappyDave

via flickr / TriggerHappyDave

Downtown Manhattan can be brutal with the traffic from time to time. The tunnel crowd is enough to drive someone mad, and it all leads into lower Manhattan, the financial district. Uptown Manhattan doesn’t see these problems nearly as much as its southern counterpart. Sure, the George Washington Bridge will see some traffic during rush hour (*cough* Chris Christie *cough*), but more times than not traffic is no issue Uptown.

So there we have it. Our unscientific research has led us to a tie. It’s like we’re kissing our sister. Looks like you’re just going to have to take the All Around Town Tour and test both out on your own!

NYC Borough Series: Queens

Queens, New York. Home of the Mets, LL Cool J, and the best Greek food in NYC. Kevin James was the King and it’s where Run-DMC celebrated Christmas. Some people like to call it the new Brooklyn, but truth is this borough already has its own identity. It doesn’t need to borrow from anyone else. Of the five boroughs, I’d personally suggest that Queens is the most underrated. From Long Island City to Flushing Meadows, the home of the 7 train has so much to offer

5 Fast Facts:

  • Both of NYC’s major airports (JFK and LGA) are in Queens
  • The Unisphere in Flushing Meadows was left from the 1964 World’s Fair
  • Queens is the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world, with residents from over 100 different countries speaking 138 different languages
  • Queens hosts the greatest annual American tennis tournament every year, the US Open
  • On of Astoria’s main drags, Steinway Street, is named after the famed piano maker whose world headquarters are located in the neighborhood

Food

image via flickr / kthread

image via flickr / kthread

We start our food tour of Queens in Astoria, the neighborhood resting on the East River. In the 1970’s, an influx of Greek immigrants came from Cyprus to call the neighborhood home. The best Greek diners, deli’s, cafes and bakeries in all of NYC can be found in Astoria. The neighborhood also has developed a strong Arab population, so much so that the stretch of Steinway north of 28th street is sometimes referred to as Little Egypt.

As we venture east, we begin to find more and more eastern Indian restaurants. India, Bangladesh, Ethiopia- all of these cuisines are represented wholeheartedly in Queens.

Once we get to the end of the 7 Line, we hit Flushing. Much like Little Italy is to Arthur Avenue, Chinatown is to Flushing. The Asian population in Flushing is strong, and they have some of the best Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese and Korean food in the country.

Now let’s jump back to Astoria for a second. Though it’s technically not ‘food’ per se, Astoria is home to the two best beer gardens in NYC, Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden and Studio Square Beer Garden. Definitely worth making a stop at these places during a summer Queens food tour.

Tourism

Jump on the R train in Manhattan going uptown and you will find yourself on your way to one of the coolest museums in NYC. The Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria highlights television and film among other things in its beautiful Queens space. They recently had a Breaking Bad exhibition (which was awesome) and regularly host Q&A events with some of the top people in entertainment. They also have a theater with screening of classic such as Pulp Fiction and Saturday night fever, both coming up as part of their Soundtrack Series.

Sports

shutterstock_56011279

Mr. Met

Flushing is the Queens home of all things sports. First you have Citi Filed where the New York Mets play 81 games each season. In 2013, Citi Field also hosted the MLB All-Star Game.

Right across the street from Citi Field is Flushing Meadows Park, which is also home to the US Open Tennis Tournament. Arthur Ashe Stadium is the focal point of the US Open grounds holding over 22,000 spectators.

In 2013, there was also a push to build a new soccer stadium for the MLS expansion team, NYC FC, but it looks like that idea has been shot down.

Parks

Queens is home to some of the most beautiful parks in all of NYC, though I suppose so is every other borough. NYC is really good at parks. But Queens Flushing Meadows Corona Park might just take the cake. The park was the host of both the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs, the second of which left behind one of NYC’s coolest monuments, the Unisphere. The park was actually built on the area known as the “valley of ashes” from Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, and is now a flourishing space of green.

Just outside of Flushing Meadows Corona Park, you will find the Queens Botanical Garden as well as Kissena Park and Golf Course. You can’t play a round of 18 in Manhattan, can you?

Pop Culture

Queens doesn’t have the iconic pop culture history of Manhattan or Brooklyn, but you’d be surprised where you might find it in the entertainment world. Did you know A Bronx Tale was largely shot in Astoria? How about that scene in Men in Black where the alien spaceship crashes through the Unisphere.

Ride of Fame alum LL Cool J grew up in Queens, as did rappers Ja Rule, 50 Cent, and Nicki Minaj. Donald Trump has roots going back to Queens just like Simon & Garfunkel and Adrien Brody.

So what’s your favorite of Queens? Tell is on twitter at @CitySightNY!

Taking Advantage of the Long Weekend in NYC

You have a long weekend, NYC. Here’s how you can take advantage of it.

Tropical Paradise

image via NYBG / Barbara Reiner

image via NYBG / Barbara Reiner

The New York Botanical Gardens opens up its wonderful winter exhibit to make you feel like it’s summer again. Head up to The Bronx to see some of the most beautiful tropical plants in the world. (There’s a sentence I never thought I’d write.)

Mike Kelly

image via PS1

Mike Kelly’s exhibition at MoMA PS1 is coming down soon, so use this long weekend to get out to Long Island City and see it before it’s too late

Super Bowl Fashion

image via bloomingdales

Shopping? Fashion? Head over to Bloomingdale’s to see their Super Bowl Fashion exhibition, which features 48 really cool looking helmets.

What are you up to this weekend? Tell us at @CitySightsNY

3 Must-See Underrated Places in NYC

nuyorican poets cafe

Whether you live in New York or not there are many places that even New Yorkers aren’t aware about. Tired of hearing about the same destinations in NYC? Well, we came up with a few under the radar places that you might find interesting especially if you are into the arts, international food, and fun!

Nuyorican Café

Lyrics. Literature. Hip Hop. Jazz. Poetry. Diversity.

This is one of my favorite places to listen to spoken word! This cozy café is perfect for any date or random night out with your friends or family. It’s only $7, and you can watch anyone recite a poem for competition every Wednesday. If you like poetry you will love this place and even walk out being inspired to come back and share some of your own!

Amy Ruth’s

If you never had soul food before, or want to get experience a typical night in Harlem, check out the heaven of soul food on 116th Street! You might even see a celebrity walk in, because it is known for its great food with decent prices to match and meals named after notable leaders. Listen to some great music while eating style southern cuisine in Harlem!

5 Pointz Aerosol Art Center

Who said graffiti wasn’t art? If you always liked catching spray painted walls and love pictures of meaningful art what better place is there to go to than an outdoor graffiti museum for free! Come to Queens and check it out from artists all over the world.

Photo Credit: Flickr / celebdu