Monthly Archives: September 2014

The 88th Annual Feast of San Gennaro is held in Little Italy, NYC

88th Annual Feast of San Gennaro held in Little Italy

The 88th Annual Feast of San Gennaro is held in Little Italy, NYC and began on Thursday, September 11. No fear, fellow foodies and cultural connoisseurs; the event continues on through Sunday, September 21, so you still have time to experience all the great things the Italian culture has to offer.

The Feast of San Gennaro has been held on the streets of Little Italy every year since 1996. The lower Manhattan neighborhood has served as the first home in America for hundreds of thousands of Italian immigants who came here to improve their lives in the early 20th century. The event is presented by Figli di San Gennaro, Inc. (Children of San Gennaro), a not-for-profit community organization dedicated to keeping alive the spirit of the early Italian immigrants.

The Feast has attracted over one million people from all over the globe. Although this is a celebration of faith and a salute to the Patron Saint of Naples, the Feast is known for its festive atmosphere. The event spans over eleven days and features religious processions and parades, free musical entertainment, a wide variety of ethnic food, and even a cannoli-eating competition (if you want to see the world’s largest cannoli, make your way to Little Italy on Saturday, September 20)!

The event will also feature indoor and outdoor dining at 35 of Little Italy’s most famous Italian restaurants, more than 300 street vendors selling international foods, and several New York City and Little Italy souvenirs. Musical acts include Italian folk music and pop and rock artists.

On September 19, the official Saint Day, the central focus of the celebration takes places and a celebratory Mass is held in Most Precious Blood Church. Immediately following the Mass is a religious procession in which the Statue of San Gennaro is carried from the church through the streets of Little Italy.

September 21, the last day of the celebration, will be the Annual Feast of San Gennaro Blood Drive. If you would like to schedule a donation time, head over to the Red Cross website here. Added bonus for all donors, Caffe Palermo will provide free cannoli at the Youth Center and the Italian American Museum will give free admission to anyone who presents a donor card.

The Feast has been said to hold a special place in the hearts of Italian people everywhere. This is a special time to remember and celebrate the culture and heritage of Italian-Americans.

For more information on the Feast of San Gennaro and specific times for the events, head over to the official website here.

The city has become the epicenter of travel, making transportation as easy as it’s ever been.

Top 5 Cruises Departing from New York City

New York has it all. The city has become the epicenter of travel, making transportation as easy as it’s ever been. The location of the city makes visiting your destination quick and convenient. With ports sited right on the coast, boarding your cruise from places like Brooklyn or Manhattan will be smooth sailing. Not to mention departing with the view of the city’s skyline is a beautiful way to begin your vacation. While choosing the place of departure may be simple, determining when and where to go can be difficult. Here are some popular cruise options that can make the process less stressful, so you can spend less time planning and more time relaxing.

  1. Canada/New England: September & October

I know what you’re thinking. Most people don’t picture New England or Canada as ideal cruise vacations. However, once you get a glimpse of the beautiful foliage, you’ll fall in love with Fall. The pallet of oranges, fiery reds and glowing yellows of the trees will look like something straight out of a tour guide brochure and embody the essence of Autumn. I guarantee these leaves will leave you never wanting to leave. The neutral temperature is a refreshing escape from our humid summer yet not quite winter weather, making packing easier. A cruise line to consider is Crystal Cruises, which goes to less touristy places such as Halifax and Nova Scotia while cutting through Boston and Maine. This trip will make you look at cruises in a whole new way.

  1. Europe: June-August

Summer in northern Europe is warm and sunny; a perfect temperature for roaming the cobblestone streets and sipping on a latte at a quaint outdoor café. In addition, the days are longer with only a few hours of darkness. This period offers lower cruise fares, as well as many festivals and outdoor events to add to the itinerary. Holland America is a line that travels through Copenhagen, known for its lavish gardens and parks, as well as Helsinki’s beautiful waterfront. To end the trip, the cruise ventures to Tallinn, where the medieval architecture will make you feel like you’re living a life of royalty.

  1. Mediterranean: May -June

Traveling the Mediterranean may be all Greek to you, but it’s ranked one of the top cruise travels for a reason, and not only for the amazing baklava. Take a trip to Rome’s ruins, experience Athen’s nightlife, and climb the hilly streets of the blue-roofed Greek Isles you see in postcards. The Mediterranean’s crystal blue water, exotic cuisine and beautiful people make it a vacation must. Summer is a perfect time to go for its mild temperatures, sunny weather and calm sea breezes. Travel via Celebrity Cruises, the first cruise line that offers a ship in the world with a real grass lawn. It offers a luxurious 12 night cruise from Barcelona to the Greek Isles that’s still light on your wallet. Don’t pass up this opportunity–make this trip be your Big Fat Greek cruise.

  1. South America: November-March

Discover Chile’s snow-capped volcanoes and go sightseeing in Buenos Aires, the London of South America. Club it up in Rio de Janeiro or navigate through the world’s 2nd largest river, the Amazon, where you can see much of the continent’s lush vegetation and wildlife. South America is so vast and diverse, there are endless possibilities. Because it’s so immense, planning based on temperature can be challenging. Ecuador is colder due to its high altitude but better to go during our summer. Brazil is humid and hot all year round, Chile can be a bit chilly, and Argentina’s climate varies but is typically cold during November through March. February is packed with festivals, such as the Festival of the Virgen de la Candelaria in Peru or the Festival de la Cancion in Chile. Try the Royal Carribbean cruise line—it offers authentic South American food on the cruise, for those who want the full experience throughout the entirety of the trip. Take a trip to the South and discover the infinite travelling opportunities.

  1. Caribbean: Late June-August / February-Mid-April

If your idea of a cruise is sipping on a fruity cocktail under the sun or warm white sand beneath your feet, this is the cruise for you. Any time is a perfect time for a Caribbean cruise because it is temperate all year round. If your inner frat bro wants to get wild, you’re in luck. February through March is when college students raid the cruise ships during their spring break. However, if you want to dodge rowdy teenagers, consider going during the summer. The Caribbean makes up hundreds of tiny islands, all perfect for water activities like snorkeling, scuba diving and sailing. The line Princess offers a basic five day cruise that includes sightseeing at the Mayan ruins in Mexico, scuba diving off the Grand Cayman, and climbing a waterfall in Jamaica that will Jamaica you never want to go back home.

If you’re looking to get an escape from the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple or just need a vacation, these are some of the top 5 cruises to try. Even though New York may be the city that never sleeps, that doesn’t mean you don’t need your time to relax. Pack your bags, choose one of these trips and your vacation will be a cruise.

he count down to the 2014 New York Comic Con is nearing its end with only a month to go, being held at Javits Center from October 9th-12th.

2014 New York Comic Con

Calling all Consters! The count down to the 2014 New York Comic Con is nearing its end with only a month to go, being held at Javits Center from October 9th-12th. This year’s Con is sure to dazzle its attendees, with fabulous panels and special guests such as actress Lucy Liu and director Brad Bird to name a few. In addition, this year marks the anniversary of the creation of comic legend Batman, celebrating 75 years of the Caped Crusader.

For those of you who are new to the event, Comic Con is a pop culture convention that presents genres from Si-Fi films and comic books to animation. In simpler terms, it’s kind of like an early Halloween for comic-groupies. The annual event draws thousands of superhero, fantasy and movie junkies with a hunger for entertainment. To some, the convention may seem comical, but to Con-goers it’s no Joker. Nearly 125,000 people attended last year, making it the second largest nerd-fest in the US with San Diego being the first. This year’s Comic Con is estimated to have even more attendees and even better events.

The 2014 NYCC lineup will send you running to buy tickets faster than Flash. With directors such as Don Hall and Chris William, producer Roy Conli, and actors like Natalia Tena of Game of Thrones, you’ll feel like saving the world. Fly on over to the Main Stage and Empire Stage to see the hilarious cast and producers of Emmy-award winning animated series Bob’s Burgers, or view an exclusive discussion with Walt Disney Studios producers presenting the award-winning film, Frozen. Check out the screening of the season three premiere of the drama Elementary, followed by a panel discussion with cast members such as Johnny Lee Miller and Ophelia Lovibond. In addition, writer-comedian Dan Harmon’s panel on his new film Harmontown will get your Spidy senses tingling.

For all you heroes and villains who haven’t purchased tickets yet, the NYCC is offering contests to win free tickets. Sport your best character costume and take part of the Heroes Costume Contest for a chance to win. If tights aren’t exactly flattering on you, bring a pencil and sketchpad to participate in the hero-themed drawing competition, with prizes provided by special NYCC comic guests. Get your tights ready and iron that cape, folks. This year’s Comic Con isn’t something you want to miss. To learn more, visit www.newyorkcomiccon.com.

The Dumbo Arts Festival is held over 3 days, from Friday, September 26 to Sunday, September 28.

Dumbo Arts Festival

The great thing about New York City is the never-ending supply of talent. On top of that, you can even attend several of these showcases and events for free! The Dumbo Arts Festival, now in its eighteenth year, is a free public event that highlights the Brooklyn arts community and displays local, national, and international art.

The Dumbo Arts Festival is held over 3 days, from Friday, September 26 to Sunday, September 28. The official hours are Friday 6-9pm, Saturday noon-9pm, and Sunday noon-6pm.

The festival displays an impressive number of over 400 artists, 100 studios, and 50 galleries and stages. Here are some of the scheduled exhibits you shouldn’t miss.

Friday, September 26:

By Day, By Night
What:
By Day, By Night highlights the work that people do to both survive and stay true to the things they love. The photographers involved have been wandering the city talking to strangers and getting their insight on life and how they live it.
When:
6pm- 9pm
Where:
Plymouth Street Park Perimeter Fence

Degrees of Freedom
What:
A series of geometric structures (3D drawings) which allude to portals or paths the audience must physically navigate. Each participant is invited to engage with the installation, making their own decisions within the piece – such as moving left, turning right or going back to where they started.
When:
6PM – 9PM
Where:
29 Jay Street, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Brooklyn, NY

Cosmos
What:
An HD video installation that depicts a hyper-chaotic landscape of fractal dimension, infinitely regenerating as a side-scrolling video.
When:
6PM – 9PM
Where:
29 Jay Street, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Brooklyn, NY

 

Saturday, September 27:

The Imaginary Truck
What: Performers will blindfold participants and guide them through The Imaginary Truck. This experience will include live portrait drawings, games, dancing, stories, and much more.
When:  Noon – 6pm
Where:  Corner of Plymouth and Adams Street, Brooklyn NY

I ____ A Dollar
What:
A public intervention that invites people to question the value and meaning of a dollar. The goal is to engage the audience to consider whether or not having a free dollar makes a difference in their day or if the money should be given to someone who needs it more.
When: Noon – 6pm
Where:  Main Street, Brooklyn, NY

Submerged!
What:
A seven piece combination of video and sound art. Artists from Italy, Israel, Germany, USA, Brazil and Hungary worked together to create a multi-layered program that explores the collective subconscious in stunning visual and sonic detail.
When: Noon – 6pm
Where: 30 John Street Brooklyn, NY

 

Sunday, September 28:

Dreams For Free
What: 
An ongoing, social interaction, which began in 2012. The artist is collecting dreams from people in exchange for a lottery ticket. For every ticket that Jody distributes, she asks the recipient to write down his or her desires for what they would do if they won millions of dollars.
When:
Noon – 6pm
Where: 
Main Street Brooklyn, NY

Beauty
What:
A performance art series curated by Shelly Bahl and Sunita Mukhi for the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective (SAWCC). The SAWCC invites you to revel in and reveal your own uplifting and complex notions of BEAUTY in this series of vibrant interactive performances.
When: Noon – 6pm
Where:
Main Street Brooklyn, NY

The Imaginary App
What:
World-renowned artist, DJ, and visionary Paul D. Miller and Svitlana Matviyenko celebrate the release of THE IMAGINARY APP, a provocative new anthology of writers, theorists, and artists exploring the cultural and technological shifts that have accompanied the emergence of the mobile app.
When:
5pm – 7pm
Where:
37 Main Street, powerhouse Arena Brooklyn, NY

For the full schedule and more information about the exhibits, head over to dumboartsfestival.com

Here are a few air travel etiquette tips. Leave your Knee Defender at home.

Travel Etiquette: Airplane Edition

Everyone’s been going on and on about the recent United Airlines incident where two passengers got into an altercation during a flight from Newark, NJ to Denver, CO.

What caused it? Presumably airplane etiquette.

Courteousness on airplanes has been long debated and the age old question of “Do I recline my seat?” has not vanished. There’s no doubt that the passenger aboard Flight 1462 must have pondered that before attempting to recline her seat. Little did she know, the passenger behind her was using a Knee Defender—two small hinge-link clips that attach to the back of a seat as to not allow someone to recline. As one could imagine, this caused quite a ruckus; so much that the plane diverted to Chicago to drop off the two arguing passengers.

Who was wrong—the lady reclining her seat (and subsequently crowding someone’s leg space) or the man using a prohibited (on some aircrafts) device?

Both sides could be argued, but the incident raises an important issue—air travel etiquette. Although it changes depending on flight length and other factors, it’s smart to be polite when flying from point A to point B. After all, you’d want someone to be considerate of you during a flight.

Here are a few air travel etiquette tips. Leave your Knee Defender at home.

Hungry? Avoid loud potato chips and stinky cheese. No one wants to hear every bite, or smell the cheese curds on your breath (especially on a long flight).

Sleepy? Bring an eye mask! This is essential if you plan on catching some shut eye—whether you are on a day or red eye flight. It’s also smart to bring a neck pillow. It’ll keep you from nodding off on your neighbor, and help you avoid neck kinks upon your arrival. Also, if you insist on reclining your seat, at least ask the person behind you if their legs have enough space. The last thing anyone wants is sore knees.

Bored? Bring along a book and your favorite playlist. Refrain from playing your music too loudly though, because you wouldn’t want to bother your seat mate with the latest hard rock album (and your eardrums will thank you).

Can’t sit still? Perhaps one of the most annoying things on a tight small aircraft is a passenger who gets up a million times to do stuff. Be sure to grab everything you need for your flight from the cabin before takeoff. Hopefully you chose the aisle seat to avoid having to use the restroom frequently but if you didn’t, try to avoid chugging tons of water.

Big Arms? Well. You can’t do anything about that… but just don’t hog the entire armrest.

All of this commotion could be solved by larger aircrafts but because they seem to be getting smaller by the minute, heeding to the aforementioned tips could help you enjoy a smoother flight. Hopefully there won’t be more Knee Defender cases anytime soon. Happy travels!