Long lines at the Empire State Building
New to New York? Time limited and you want to see as much as you can while still getting a real flavor for the city? Then there are a few activities and sites worth avoiding.
- Neither take a yellow cab or a “pedi-cab.” Only tourists take the price gauging pedal-pushing, wallet-emptying gimmicky form of New York transportation; while taxis in New York may seem convenient, but in order to get through the insane New York traffic, they may give you a heart attack. Therefore, get underground and take the beloved subway. Get there fast, get there safe, and still have some money left to actually have some fun on the other end of the ride.
- Did someone suggest visiting the Empire State Building? Well, don’t. Not unless you find long lines-five to be exact-and hard sells of stupid products like a “3-D ride over the city or an “express ticket” as some kind of fun. Consider going to the Rainbow Room instead. Trek on over to Rockefeller Plaza, 65th floor, order a drink, sit back, and for the same $20 you would have spent waiting on line at the Empire State Building, admire the exact same view.
- Dreaming of a romantic ride on one of those lovely horse-drawn carriages through Central Park? Well, you better dream of something else. The rides are nothing like what you might imagine. The horse will have no get up and go, you will travel on the same well-worn paths with little interest, the driver will talk about things of little interest, and you will spend most of the time staring at the back of the carriage in front of you.
We recommend waking up with the sun and strolling through the beautiful Central Park with your bestest friend for a real, romantic moment. Forget the overpriced horse and get real.
It is never too late to reignite love with an old – or even a current – flame. The case of Stan and Elaine Ostapiak proves that clearly enough. More than 40 years ago, the couple started dating. Early on in their courtship, Stan gave Elaine his high school ring. But when they got married two years later, the ring disappeared from her purse and the couple was very disappointed.
Around a month ago, a Greek young man in the island of Naxos found the ring while going through his late father’s belongings. He had no idea how it got there. ‘Seward Park High School’ – the school Stan attended – was engraved inside. Following a web search for the school alumni, the owners were reached.
President of the alumni association called Elaine and Stan and told them about the finding. Earlier this month the polished ring came by mail, all gleaming and in a new box. Sender Vasilis Polykretis mailed it with a postcard that read “I hope this ring brings you joy and happiness, and maybe some old memories.” They were delighted.
Maybe it’s time for the couple to have a second honeymoon with the new-old ring and reignite the excitement of those teen years. They don’t even need to go to Greece as New York hotels have some of the best packages for romantic getaways. For example, Shimmie Horn’s Washington Jefferson offers an “I Do Celebration,” featuring a Superior King room which has a Jacuzzi with just enough room for two.
Now that sounds like a perfect way for Stan and Elaine to travel back in time to over four decades ago when he first gave her his high school ring.
Its summer, yea!! Summer means the beach, the pool, air-conditioned museums, but best of all, fantastic festivals. Here is a short list of some of the city’s most exciting outdoor parties.
* In the “free department” is the Madison Square Park Kids Concerts. Beginning already in June, these high-quality, high entertainment value shows will continue throughout July every Tuesday and Thursday until August 5th. Well worth the effort, and not to mention the price.
* In Central Park, at the band-shell, kids and their families can experience the fun of the great outdoors without leaving town. Kayaking, fishing lessons and a rock climbing zone will enthrall kids of all ages. There will also be an opportunity to meet the NY Liberty basketball team. Live music free bike rentals and bike helmet giveaways make Adventures NYC an amazing activity for families. Even more amazing, it’s all absolutely free.
* Bryant Park Summer Film Festival is another free activity which presents movies on a weekly basis every Monday all summer long. See flicks like the 1940 “The Mark of Zorro,” “Karate Kid,” and “Lover Come Back.” The lawn opens up at 5pm and the film begins as the sun sets.
Ever wonder what women wore under those huge dresses of the 18th and 19th centuries? The Fashion Institute of Technology has put together an exhibit which will cure your curiosity, as well as educate you on a previously little revealed subject.
Exposed: A History of Lingerie will take you on a tour of the development of women’s intimate apparel featuring more than 70 undergarments tracing their development from the 18th century until modern times.
Silk, cotton and lacey lingerie from designers such as Patricia Fieldwalker, Valerie Porr and Christian Dior will reveal the hidden secret of women’s intimate dressing world. From corsets made with whalebone to silky little nothings, come explore the wonderful world of women’s underwear.
This exhibit is free and runs from June 3rd to November 15th. FIT is at Seventh Avenue and West 27th Street. For more information contact: 212.217.4558
Late Night Basement’s Chris Rose
Did you know that Late Night Basement in Brooklyn hosts a free show once a month? Well now that you know, you still have time to check out this month’s addition on Friday night, May 9th. Chris Rose will host four fabulous comics: Jon Benjamin, Walter Martin, Michelle Wolf, and Jared Logan.
In case you missed who Chris Rose is, well, he’s the guy that interviewed Williamsburg residents about their opinion of Guy Fieri opening a new restaurant right in the nabe. (It was just a joke, so calm down.) The video of this prank went viral, and now Chris is famous. Sort of. Well, at least we know he’s funny.
While supplies last there will be a two-for-one beer offer thanks to local brewer HEAVY SEAS. DJ TREATZ will also be playing a unique mixture of indie pop and Beyonce. Late Night Basement happens at Pine Box Rock Shop at 12 Grattan Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Who can visit New York and not want to explore some of the best shopping found anywhere in the world? And where is the “best of the best?” The famous names come easily, such as Fifth Avenue, the Lower East Side’s garment district, the Upper West Side for antiques. But what do you know about one of the “World’s Top Ten Shopping Streets” according to National Geographic? That is, of course, the Flea Market in Hell’s Kitchen.
Every Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 5pm, all year long, excited shoppers converge on one of New York’s most fun places to go, the HKFM. The West 25th Street Market is an amazing place to find great bargains; the best antiques anywhere in town will be for sale in The Garage; and for furniture, there is nowhere else that can match the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market.
Come and see for yourself. 112 Wst 25th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues. For more information contact 800.780.7330
Harvey Finkelstein MD runs the Pain Care Medicine of Long Island clinic
Pain management is a specialty in which doctors, such as Harvey Finkelstein MD, use a large variety of techniques, procedures and medications if needed, to help alleviate pain so patients can better cope with their conditions and with their lives.
First it is important to understand whether the source of the pain is considered complex or simple. Such an assessment would be made in a clinic, such as the Pain Care Medicine of Long Island clinic which Dr. Finkelstein heads. One example of a less complex type of pain is when a nerve root becomes irritated, such as the result of a herniated disc causing pain to radiate down the leg. Treatment can be relatively straightforward in such a case, utilizing physical therapy and epidural steroid injection, for example.
Sometimes, unfortunately even with treatment the pain might not be alleviated. This is the time when the expert skills of the pain management doctor are called into action. There are a wide number and variety of interventions that can be tried which are at the doctor’s disposal, including:
- Management with pharmaceuticals
- Counseling and psychological support
It is important for someone with chronic pain to treat it, because pain can interfere with the ordinary functioning of normal life. People with constant pain will often be relieved of their discomfort with the help of a pain management doctor, his expertise, and the many tools at his disposal.
During the past ten years, and especially the last two, restaurants have been popping up like mushrooms along Frederick Douglass Boulevard between 110th and 120th Streets in Harlem. This strip of real estate has been proclaimed recently as the spot to watch as the entire neighborhood begins its inevitable transformation into a gentrified high-rent district.
Yvette Leeper-Bueno, owner of newly opened Vinateria restaurant, commented on the changing feel of the neighborhood.
“My husband Adrian [Bueno] and I have been in the neighborhood for 11 years,” she explains. “And we re-did a brownstone that’s been in the family since the 1980s. My father used to rent the rooms out on a weekly basis, and he would talk about these characters who’d stay there. At that time, the neighborhood was quite downtrodden. There were syringes in the streets, all kinds of crime, drugs, squatters, tons of problems with this specific building. Everything you can imagine.”
The restaurant renaissance began with baby steps with the opening of Melba’s in 2005, and Zoma, a wonderful Eithiopian eatery which opened in 2006. Leeper-Bueno says the real explosion began in 2010.
“One of the first restaurants to be of the new wave of restaurants was 5 and Diamond on 112th and Frederick Douglass,” she explains. “Then Bier International opened, and then it kind of caught like wild fire.”
Since then more restaurants have opened on the trendy street, including Cedric, Lido, a new branch of Levain Bakery, and a bar and cocktails joint, 67 Orange Street. Come visit and become a part of this trendy, up and coming, destination.
The New Museum
The New Museum was founded 37 years ago by Marcia Tucker, who had served as a curator of the Whitney Museum of American Art from 1967 to 1976.Tucker was inspired to create a new space when she realized how difficult it was for new work by living artists to be absorbed into the conventional exhibition and collection structure of a traditional-style museum.
As a result of that insight the New Museum was born. Tucker “imagined an institution devoted to presenting, studying, and interpreting contemporary art.”
Among the New Museum’s past exhibitions was “NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star.” This show displayed works of art which were created during the tumultuous 1990s, specifically, during the year 1993. The exhibition was created as a kind of a “time capsule;” “an experiment in collective memory that “attempts to capture a specific moment at the intersection of art, pop culture, and politics.”
The name of the show came from a music album produced by the New York-based rock band Sonic Youth, which was recorded in 1993. The title was meant to signal the complex relationships between mainstream culture and the underground counter-culture which was flourishing at the time. That cross-pollination through cultural barriers and across artistic genres is what came to eventually define the artistic impulses of that time.
NYC:1993 was a journey to the past which became a defining moment in artistic development, leading directly to the artistic milieu of today.
Native Plant Garden
A relative newcomer in New York City, The Native Plant Garden of the New York Botanical Garden only just opened in the spring of 2013. In actuality, however, there has been a native plant display since the 1930s on the same 3.5 acre site where a newly landscaped and redesigned habitat has been created to better showcase the wide assortment of plants that grow in a variety of habitats throughout the northeastern part of North America.
The garden does more than just display native plant life, but also exhibits a sustainable and environmentally friendly landscape created with local, recycled materials. The centerpiece of the garden is a lovely pool which is fed from recycled storm-water collected on site and filtered naturally by aquatic plants. The buildings and benches in the garden are made from salvaged, recycled, and sustainably harvested materials. The wood for the boardwalks comes from the black locust tree, a native hardwood.
The Native Plant Garden holds within its small secluded paths, shaded woodland, dry open meadow and lush wetlands close to 100,000 plants, heritage oak trees, shrubs, wild flowers, ferns and meadow grasses.
The garden is truly an oasis in the middle of the bustling metropolis of New York. Visitors will no doubt find a few moments of peace and tranquility to reboot their nervous systems before they get back into the crazy pace of life in the Big Apple.
For more information call: 718.817.8700