Monthly Archives: August 2014

Head over to Flushing, Queens and catch a match at the Arthur Ashe or Louis Armstrong Stadiums.

Tennis Fury: The U.S. Open is Here!

The U.S. Open has invaded New York so for the next two weeks, one can expect endless tennis talk across news providers, crowded sports bars, traffic, and A-list celebrity sightings in the city.

You may be inspired to pull out the old tennis racket or to watch Serena smash a tennis ball onto her opponent’s court. No matter the urge, New York has plenty to do during the U.S. Open which will be held every day until Monday, September 8.

If you feel so inclined (and can afford the tickets), why not attend the actual event?? Head over to Flushing, Queens and catch a match at the Arthur Ashe or Louis Armstrong Stadiums. American Express and Grey Goose have sponsored a few special on-site events for attendees including children’s activities and U.S. Open inspired cocktails.

For avid sports bar goers, events like these are yet another reason to cram into a small venue and yell in unison with strangers. Well, have no fear! Enjoy all-you-can-watch tennis matches on the best plasmas in the city at these hotspots:

  • Irish Rover This classic sports pub is located at 37-18 28th Avenue in Queens.
  • Rock McBride’s Also located in Queens, you can’t beat the most friendly neighborhood bar (with the best Happy Hour in Astoria). 27-01 23rd Avenue
  • Legends Heralded as best sports bar in Midtown, this casual bar is a must if you want to stay in the city. 6 West 33rd Street

No worries—there are a few family-friendly viewing options as well. Bryant Park will host U.S. Open watch parties daily 11AM to 1PM and 7PM to 9PM on the Southwest Porch. Brooklyn Bridge Park (Harbor View Lawn) will also host special viewing on a big projector screen daily at 11AM.

If you want to get more active, try hitting a tennis court! Take a lesson at Midtown Tennis Club or find some friendly competition on a public court in the city.

There are lots of ways to feel a part of this year’s U.S. Open! Be sure to use GO Airlink for your transportation needs to Queens during the next two weeks.

. Unicycle enthusiasts and spectators alike can enjoy races, competitions, exhibitions, and a variety of other unicycle sports like basketball and hockey!

Labor Day Week in New York City

Labor Day is important because it marks the end of summer, and essentially no work (not for everyone but you get the idea). In the late 1800s, New York hosted the first ever Labor Day celebration and now over 100 years later; the city continues to pay tribute to hard workers. This year, Labor Day falls on Monday, September 1st and will commence with a weekend-long celebration. Unsure of what to do? Here’s a list of must-go-to events to celebrate the holiday!

Friday, August 29th:

  • Coney Island Fireworks – Catch the last fireworks show of the summer at Coney Island! Don’t forget to get on a few rides and take a stroll on the boardwalk. Surf Ave. & Stillwell Ave. (Brooklyn, NY)

Saturday, August 30th:

  • Sweet Spot Festival Enjoy art, music, food and dance at this uptown festival fit for the entire family. The festival will feature food trucks, artisan and vintage marketplace, free kids arts workshops, fitness sessions and more! Pier I, W 70th St. in Riverside Park South
  • NYC Unicycle Festival The festival’s main events will be held on Governor’s Island for the duration of the weekend. Unicycle enthusiasts and spectators alike can enjoy races, competitions, exhibitions, and a variety of other unicycle sports like basketball and hockey!

Sunday, August 31st:

  • Brazilian Day Festival – Celebrating its 30th anniversary, this festival’s original purpose was to observe Brazil’s Independence Day in New York. Join people from all over the world for a day of Brazilian culture and pride in the heart of Little Brazil!  25 Blocks around West 46th Street
  • The Great NY State Fair – Who doesn’t love the fair?! The last days to enjoy sweet doughy goodness and enjoy the Ferris wheel at the state fair are through Labor Day weekend. There will be live concerts including Kellie Pickler, Brad Paisley and more. (*Note: This is drive out of town) 581 State Fair Blvd, Syracuse, NY

Monday, September 1st:

  • West Indian-American Day Carnival Parade – This annual celebration is held every year on Labor Day and features the popular parade to highlight West Indian and Caribbean culture. Head down to Brooklyn for an unbeatable festival featuring costume bands, masqueraders, decorated floats, food and more. Eastern Pkwy. & Schenectady Ave. to Flatbush Ext.

Saturday, September 6th:

  • Go celebrate at the official Labor Day Parade starting at 10AM on Fifth Avenue and 44th Street! (*The parade will continue up Fifth Avenue to 64th Street)
The Semiannual NY Broadway Week is here and better than ever!

“Send My Regards to Broadway” – Broadway Week 2014

The Semiannual NY Broadway Week is here and better than ever!

No one visits New York City without seeing at least one Broadway show and now’s the perfect time! The semi-annual Broadway Week is here and the lineup is incredible. Best thing about it? You can get two-for-one theater tickets for some of the most critically-acclaimed shows. According to the Broadway League, the average price of Broadway tickets this year was over $100, so the upcoming week (technically two weeks) of discounted shows is sure to be a hit!

Beginning Sept. 1 through Sept. 14, theatergoers can choose from 21 Broadway shows including all-time favorites “Lion King” and “the Phantom of the Opera”, and newcomers “This Is Our Youth” (featuring Michael Cera) and “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder”.

Tickets can be purchased at a “Two-for-One” price and with a “Buy With Upgrade” ($20 more) option. Get all of the details and purchase tickets here. Check out the list below for a quick view of the highlighted shows during this year’s Fall Broadway Week!

  • A Gentleman’s Guide to Love& Murder
  • Aladdin
  • Cabaret
  • Chicago
  • Cinderella
  • The Country House
  • If/Then
  • Jersey Boys
  • Kinky Boots
  • Les Misérables
  • The Lion King
  • Mamma Mia!
  • Matilda the Musical
  • Motown the Musical
  • Once
  • The Phantom of the Opera
  • Pippin
  • Rock of Ages
  • This Is Our Youth
  • Wicked
  • You Can’t Take It With You

All shows are subject to availability and blackout dates may apply. Don’t forget to use GO Airlink for all of your transportation needs in between shows—you wouldn’t want to be late for show time!

Sharing is Caring - Save Money!

Sharing is Caring (Airbnb)

The age old lesson of “sharing is caring” is true. It seems that the virtue has manifested itself into modernized ideas like Airbnb (sharing of residential space) and ride share companies (similar to carpooling).

Although there is no one pin-pointed reason these businesses are growing in popularity, it can be argued that one of the biggest motivations is the changing economy. Despite a recent 3% economic growth for the city of New York (according to city Comptroller Scott Stringer), it is still slower than the national average. Put that slow growth up against a steadily increasing cost of living and traveling in the city, and you get an overwhelming amount of residents and tourists who can’t afford the basic.

Coinciding almost perfectly with demands and increases in NYC, Airbnb began to gain traction. What originally was a “trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world” (Airbnb), quickly became a godsend for others.

The creators based the startup on the utopian idea that people could make their extra space in their home available short term which is supposedly a win-win-win: Airbnb collects a small fee, the hosts make a little money, and the users find a short-term solution. Simple, right?

Here how it works:

  • Create an account on Airbnb and search listings.
  • Reserve a room for a few days, a few weeks or even a month. You don’t ever have to contact the host directly because Airbnb acts as a mediator by collecting fees and setting you up.
  • Pay fees to Airbnb, and you’re on your way. Your host will contact you about details such as time and dates to pick up keys, house rules, etc.

The process is so smooth and painless—of course it attracts the likes of all sorts of people including tourists, city “gypsies”, and even people who don’t want to sign a long term lease and would prefer to move frequently (these people exist).

Airbnb isn’t the only company challenging traditions; ride-shares are becoming increasingly popular in New York.

What is a ride-share? Essentially, it is carpooling which is effective because it decreases each person’s traveling costs (i.e. tolls, fuel, etc.). Companies like GO Airlink have been capitalizing on densely populated New York to rake in thousands of customers who want to ditch yellow cab fares.

There are even ride-share services that allow people to connect socially through an app that is often times integrated with other networks like Facebook. Because drivers use their own cars, everything is more personalized (which has its ups and downs in itself). After creating an account, people can find a driver heading to the same destination and view prices per person. Every transaction is handled through these services, so if your driver is a no-show, your money is fully refunded.

Despite some people’s apprehension to this newfound sharing, many people are benefiting from it and it seems as if everyone is catching on to the trend!

Situated on the upper coast of Long Island, this collection of beaches and villages are the premier luxury hang out spot.

A Mini Vacation from NYC

There are endless amounts of things to do in the city, but many wonder what is beyond the high-rises, apartment buildings and packed streets of New York. Here are a few day or weekend trips, just a short distance outside of the Greater New York area.

Fort Tilden Formerly a military installation, Fort Tilden is located in Far Rockaway, Queens. The location offers historical military structures and reclaimed natural areas.

THE thing to do: Visit the beach! Whether simply enjoying the sun or building sand castles, Fort Tilden’s location along the Atlantic and freshwater pond offers visitors all the water they can take!

What to eat: Bring food! There are not many restaurants here except maybe for the one you spotted a few miles back. This is a perfect place for picnic on the beach. Pack cold cuts, some fruit and your other favorite snacks.

How to get there: The recommended means of transportation are by bike or car. If you don’t own either, you can always rent or hire a private car service.

The Hamptons Situated on the upper coast of Long Island, this collection of beaches and villages are the premier luxury hang out spot.

THE thing to do: People go to the Hamptons to beach, but recently, there has been an increasing presence of luxury boutiques and restaurants. Hang out at the harbor or shop at any number of shops!

Where to eat: First, go to Rumba for a variety of island inspired cuisine including Ahi tuna, duck empanadas, and jerk chicken tacos. They also have a rum bar (clever name, right?). Don’t leave before heading over to Scoop du Jour for an irresistible waffle cone.

How to get there: Visitors have the option to use the LIRR, a personal car, or a transportation service like GO Airlink NYC.

Sal J. Prezioso Mountain Lakes This gem rests in Westchester County, New York and provides unprecedented views of nature.

THE thing to do: If camping and hiking are your ‘things’, you belong here! In addition to being the highest point in Westchester, Sal J. Prezioso Mt. Lakes gives visitors a chance to enjoy zip lining, ropes challenge courses and more.

Where to eat: Don’t forget your fishing rods! This site has row boots available, so get in tune with your inner fisherman and catch tonight’s dinner.  (Reminder: It wouldn’t be camping if you didn’t bring ingredients for s’mores.)

How to get there: You should definitely rent a car for this trip, and plan to stay for at least two days.

Sometimes it’s necessary to escape the hustle and bustle of the city! The best part about being in a central location like New York City is that there are a ton of choices within reach. What are your favorite just-out-of-the-city mini vacations?

Zoom Ziplines is open year round and the session lasts 1.5-2 hours.

Alternatives to the Typical Beach Day

When you think summer, you think beach getaways with a bright colored drink in hand. But soaking up the sun and laughter of a summer day doesn’t necessarily need to be on sandy grounds. Family bonding happens best when you’re exploring and stepping out of your comfort zone together. That’s why we’ve compiled a list overwhelmingly exhilarating activities to do when visiting New York.

Zipline at Mountain Creek Only a little over an hour from New York City, this adventure filled activity will heighten your adrenaline to a whole other level. Zoom Ziplines is open year round and the session lasts 1.5-2 hours. The tour includes well trained guides who offer training before you take that first jump. The tour is comprised of 4 dual ziplines and you’re able to buy a picture CD afterwards of all your still shots. Safety is the main concern, so all ages will be in great hands. Try to go on a cooler day where you can feel the breeze as you hover over the beautiful and serene sights of Mountain Creek.

Bronx Zoo There’s no better family activity then a visit to the zoo. For animal lovers, this 265 acre nature park of wildlife habitats and attractions is the perfect destination. It’s almost impossible to conquer the whole area in one day, so you’re going to want to pick and choose the exhibits that most interest you. Common favorites are the Wild Asia Monorail, Bug Carousel, and the Butterfly Garden.

Learn the Trapeze Experience something you never thought you would. This unique and extreme activity challenges you beyond your sense of abilities. A series of classes and workshops are offered in order to teach you the art of this activity, with classes ranging from first timers to advanced flyers. The outdoor locations are at Pier 40 and South Street Seaport so you’re able to see ample views while you’re soaring through the sky.

Sunset Sail Experience the New York City sunset directly on the water. Sunset Sail aboard the Schooner Adirondack gives you the ultimate vantage point including views of Battery Park, Ellis Island, and The Statue of Liberty. Complimentary soda, beer, wine, and champagne is served during your sail. Spending your evening on a boat will be a true treat to your eyes especially once the sun starts to set.

Sure, a beach day is relaxing, but spending a day trying new things and feasting your eyes on true beauty is rejuvenating. New York is full of fun activities for the family that’ll leave everyone thrilled with how the day went.

The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival is Here!

The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival is Here!

The 24th Annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival is commencing this weekend, with two full days of free events! This year there will be a record number of 188 teams participating in the traditional dragon boat races. In addition to the 2500 participants, festival organizers are preparing for more than twice the amount of attendees over the weekend.  Here’s a rundown of everything to ensure you have all your ducks in order for a fun weekend.

When: August 9 – 10, 2014

Where: Meadow Lake, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens

Event Schedule

August 9:

  • 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM: Chinese Music Ensemble of New York
  • 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM: Opening Ceremonies
  • 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM: American Tap Dance Foundation
  • 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM: CASYM Steel Orchestra
  • 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Shaolin Masters and students from the Flushing, NY Temple perform martial arts

August 10:

  • 10:30 AM – 11:45AM: Tamika Lawrence and band.
  • Noon – 12:45 PM: Wing Tsun martial art performance
  • 12:45 PM – 1:30 PM: Rectifist and friends- a New York City Band
  • 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM: Rob Lok International Purveyor of Comic Visual Action & Ocular Business
  • 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM: Mawuena Kodjovi West African melodies and dances
  • 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM: Shaolin Masters and students from the Flushing, NY Temple perform martial arts.

Other Important Details

Food: There will be a food court with a host of vendors at the festival. Attendees will have the opportunity to indulge in traditional Chinese cuisine including fish balls, edamame, dumplings and an assortment of noodles with different sauces.

How to get there: It is okay to drive but be aware that there is NO parking available unless you have a parking pass. If traveling by train, take the train to Mets-Willets Point station, where you will be able to transfer to the special event bus. You can also take the , , or trains to the train.

For more information about the festival, visit http://www.hkdbf-ny.org/!

Rainy Day Dates in New York City

Rainy Day Dates in New York City

Rainy days have a bad reputation. They’re notorious for ruining plans and even changing people’s moods. What happens when you have made dinner plans with your partner or planned a nice picnic in Central Park? Here are a few rainy day date ideas to save the day!

Bowling

Bowling almost always guarantees a fun-filled date! Not only do you get to show off your awesome skills, but you get to trash talk and brag. Try your luck at these bowling alleys.

  • The Gutter – This is the perfect “grown up” bowling alley; exposed brick and authentic wooden lanes line the interiors. Have a blast and be sure to grab a drink from the Gutter Bar (P.S. They also have happy hour where you can get 2 games or hours for the price of one.) 200 N. 14th St (Brooklyn)
  • Bowlmor Chelsea Piers – This alley has a few locations in New York, but this one offers more space and big everything! After bowling a turkey, head into the arcade and have a dance off. 11th Ave. (at 23rd St.)

Rock Wall Climbing

Rock wall climbing is a great way to stay inside and stay dry. Make a bet on who can climb to the top in the fastest time to create some friendly competition! Try Aviator Sports and Events Center in Brooklyn. Passes go for $18 for an all-day pass or $10 for two runs. 3159 Flatbush Ave.

Museums

Museums are a good way to learn about each other’s interests. Pick an exhibition to view and walk around with your date. If you’re a bit awkward, this is a good option to sort of break up the silence. Plus they’ll be tons of things around to strike a conversation about! Try these:

  • Sony Wonder Technology Lab, 56th St. & Madison Ave. : A free technology and entertainment museum that allows visitors to explore technology and creativity in one setting.
  • Museum of Modern Art, 11 W. 53rd St.: One of the most influential museums in the world, MoMA offers modern and contemporary design, architecture, painting and more.
  • The Cloisters Museum, 1000 Fifth Ave.: Dive into Medieval European history at this museum that offers medieval works of art.

Craft Class

If you enjoy talking and creating a more intimate environment with your date, try a craft class. Thankfully, New York offers a wide range of choices.

  • Any sort of crafts – If you’re in the mood for perfume blending, floral design, or sewing, try 92Y. The cultural institution and community center has been serving the community for over 100 years. Find it at Kaufman Concert Hall or 1395 Lexington Ave.
  • Take a pottery class at Painted Pot in Brooklyn. With three locations, you can create your own funky pottery shapes, and then paint them! Bay Ridge, Carroll Garden and Park Slope
  • Culinary classes are a fun and easy way to connect with people! Who doesn’t enjoy food? Try Appetite for Seduction (4 East 1st Street) or Natural Gourmet Institute (48 West 21st Street).