Monthly Archives: November 2014

Don’t Be a Traffic Turkey This Thanksgiving

It is no secret that the Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest holiday travel time of the year. In fact, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving in New York is notorious for frustratingly long delays as millions of travelers start their journeys on the roads, in the skies, or on trains. This year, make travel safety the first thing you check off your packing list.

Flexibility Reduces Stress

Choose the days that you travel wisely. For example, the two days to avoid driving in New York are the Wednesday before and the Sunday after Thanksgiving. In fact, Wednesday is known as Gridlock Alert Day. We suggest that you take mass transit whenever possible since streets will be at or over capacity.

Stick to Your Departure Plan

Plan your departure early, especially if you are traveling on Wednesday. Traffic tends to become more congested as the day progresses. Packing your car the night before and planning to be on the road by morning rush hour will enable you to be well on your way before the majority of holiday traffic hits the road. If you are returning home on Friday, be sure to avoid shopping areas.

Safety First

Keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Slow down and let someone else in the vehicle navigate for you. With lower gas prices, more drivers than usual will be on the roadways. Take your time and pay attention to weather alerts. Above all, we recommend that you keep an emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle. It should contain useful items, such as water, snacks, first aid kit, a flashlight, and blankets.

Travel Safety and Your Health

The holidays also mark the beginning of cold and flu season. Exposure to someone who is sick and not catching the illness does not always mean you are in the clear. In fact, you are contagious up to a week prior to symptoms appearing. Keep in mind that others have touched everything you touch. Make sure you cleanse your hands regularly with soap and hot water, and carry hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes to clean surfaces such as doorknobs, armrests, and toilet seats.

Unlike the most recent years when the economy kept people closer to home for Thanksgiving, the attractive prices at the pump and a steady economy have more people making plans to travel on the road this year. The rush hour in New York is anticipated to start about two hours earlier than normal, meaning it could take up to 25 percent longer to get to your final destination this year. The two most useful pieces of advice are to buckle up and remain patient.

Body Worlds is a multimedia exhibition about health and wellness

Discover the Body Like Never Before at Body Worlds: Pulse Exhibition

Experience a truly incredible scientific marvel that embodies the beauty of the human body. Gunther von Hagen’s “Body Worlds: Pulse” presents the epic form of the human anatomy, answering all of your curiosities and wonders about our scientific composition. The exhibit will be sure to change your perspective on your own body and life itself, and perhaps even alter the way you live. Be forewarned: if you are the squeamish type, this exhibit isn’t for you.

Body Worlds is a multimedia exhibition about health and wellness. It presents actual bodies from donors who willed their cadavers after death in order to educate the world of the human makeup. Scientists discontinue the decomposing process by replacing the natural body fluids with plastics. When the plastics harden, the bodies are permanently molded into active positions that express movement.

The showing begins with an eloquent animated video about our society’s constant progressing technology and its pressure to speed the pace of our daily lives. Further along in other rooms, there are exhibits of hundreds of body parts; including bones, arteries, nerves and muscles.

Some of the magnificent bodies are sculpted into positions that portray every-day movement. For example, the “Jumping Dancer” is a body formed into an exquisite position whose spine and back muscles are winged opened and exposed. “Woman Bearing Child” presents an actual fetus in the woman’s womb, showing the miraculous splendor of pregnancy. The crowd favorite, “The Rearing Horse with Rider” is an exhibition that stands more than ten feet tall, presenting the anatomy of a horse kicked up on its hind legs as well as a male human majestically riding on top of it.

A more disturbing part of the exhibit was the presentation of a tobacco smoker’s body parts. The lungs are black with tar and were hardened with a thick, murky-colored crust. To put it in perspective, the lung’s owner had smoked 20 cigarettes a day, producing an annual five fluid ounces of tar—that’s around the volume of a coffee cup. Needless to say, the exhibit will make you never want to put a cigarette to your lips again.

The “What the World Eats” exhibit includes a series of photos taken around the world that portray the diet of different countries. The average family in Italy eats mainly pasta and sauces, while Japan eats rice and fish. Not surprisingly, the United States diet primarily contained soda, pizza and preserved food.

Overall, the Body Worlds museum exhibit is a fascinating event that educates us of our phenomenal body structure in an artistic way. The exhibition also promotes good health and wellness so that we do not end up like some of the sculptures ourselves. If you’d like to experience such an epic marvel, check out the “Body Worlds: Pulse” exhibit at Discovery Times Square, located on 226 West 44th Street in New York.

Sylvia’s Down Home Fried Chicken and Sylvia’s World Famous Talked About Bar-B-Que Ribs

Global Cuisine in New York City

The Big Apple is known for a few things, and mouthwatering grub is definitely one of them—food is even in its nickname! Although one can find a never-ending list of ethnic eateries in all four corners of this sprawling metropolis, there are still a few Manhattan neighborhoods that are known for housing tons of restaurants that offer one particular type of cuisine. Here are a few below.

Harlem: Soul Food – Known as “the area above 125 Street,” historically, Harlem is an African-American enclave, as many people migrated to this section of Manhattan from the south during the early 20th century. They brought with them a love for regional southern cuisine, commonly called soul food. Today, the area is still teeming with several eateries that offer hearty fare of the fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, collard greens and cornbread variety, including the neighborhood mainstay Sylvia’s, where diners feast on favorites like Sylvia’s Down Home Fried Chicken and Sylvia’s World Famous Talked About Bar-B-Que Ribs. A new kid on the block comes in the form of Red Rooster Harlem, celebrity chef/owner Marcus Samuelsson’s Lenox Avenue outpost where fancy fare meets down-home cooking.

Chinatown: Chinese – In downtown Manhattan, Chinatown is home to the largest number of Chinese people in the Western Hemisphere—possibly only rivaled by its San Francisco counterpart. In the area, visitors will find smaller eateries with appetizing roasted meats, normally duck, hanging in storefront windows, and signs for different types of Chinese cuisine around every corner. One place to definitely check out is Nom Wah Tea Parlor, where diners can choose from a wide variety of Dumplings (think vegetarian, shrimp and even soup), plus daring items like Chicken Feet—all for a reasonable price. The ‘hood is also home to Bo Ky Restaurant, the perfect place for Egg Noodle Soup, Wonton Flat Noodles and even Pig Intestines.

Hill: Indian – Located in Midtown Manhattan and bordered by East 34th St. to the south, East 40th Street to the north, Madison Avenue to the west, and Third Avenue to the east, Murray Hill—aptly nicknamed Curry Hill—is home to numerous Indian restaurants, many of which are vegetarian kosher. One such place is Madras Mahal, where items such as Iddly, Cheese Uttappam and Samosa Chaat grace the menu. Omnivores can head to Roomali, where veggie options like Aloo Roll and protein-packed items like Chutney Chicken are popular picks.

Washington Heights and Inwood: Latin – Northern Manhattan, or Uptown as it’s known to locals, is home to a large population of people that hail from the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and other Latin countries, and food like tostones, yucca and mangu are found on most restaurant menus. For the best Roast Chicken in town, head to Malecon Restaurant, where crispy, crackly skin covers moist meat. Guadalupe is great for Enchiladas, Burritos and Tacos.

Koreatown: Korean – Koreatown, located on West 32nd Street between Fifth & Sixth avenues, is bustling with several Korean-owned businesses, including plenty of restaurants. A great spot for a quick lunch is Woorijip. Best described as a Korean diner, the establishment has a buffet area, packed with everything from Korean staples—like Beef Bulgogi and Kimchi—to chicken wings and salad. Food Gallery 32 offers an assortment of rolls, as well as the popular dish Bibimbop.

Of course, when those hunger pangs hit and you aren’t necessarily near one of the ‘hoods mentioned above, you can’t go wrong with NYC’s staples—including pizza bagels and even pickles—with plenty of worthwhile options all over town.