So What Do You Feel Like Doing This Weekend?

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There’s plenty to do here in the city!

The Jazz Age Lawn Party is a prohibition-era inspired gathering on Governor’s Island. Dance lessons, vintage portraits, a 1920′s motor car exhibition and a pie contest are just some of the activities offered. Listen to the various musical performances while you munch on everything from chop suey to grilled bratwurst. Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm. General admission is $35. If you miss it, there’s another party planned for August 16th and 17th.

The American Crafts Festival at Lincoln Center is a selective one, with 180 master artisans from every region of the United States chosen on the basis of quality of workmanship and uniqueness and design. Festival hours are 12 pm to 9 pm on Saturday and 10 am to 9 pm on Sunday. Admission is free and the show will go on rain or shine.

Seventh Heaven Festival Brooklyn takes place on Father’s Day every year. Over 500 vendors will be hawking food and crafts along 7th Avenue from Flatbush Avenue to 16th Street in Park Slope.

Special Edition NYC is a two-day comic con convention that focuses solely on comic books. It’s a mini-version of the larger Comic Con that is held in October. Top comic creators, artists and publishers will be attending. Get info and tickets ($30 pre-show) here.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dad’s out there. It looks like the weather will be nice, so get out and enjoy!

Image via Anna Fischer/Flickr


Music Tuesdays In The Park

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Summer brings a lot of great things: barbecues, flip-flops and picnics. And music…specifically, music under the stars. Even better, free music under the stars. And, lucky us, each year a wonderful festival happens right next door. The Washington Square Park Music Festival runs free concerts on several Tuesday evenings in June and August. This series of chamber orchestra, opera, vocals and jazz performances has been running since 1953, which make it one of the oldest in the city.

First up, on June 17th, is the Harmonica and Harp with the Washington Square Park Festival Orchestra. Guest soloist on the harmonica is Robert Bonfiglio (pictured above) who was been touted as “the Paganini of the harmonica” by the L.A. Times.

Tuesday the 24th brings Vocal Music/Baroque to Modern with the Festival Chamber Ensemble, which features soloists, soprano Lucia Hyunju Song and mezzo-soprano Laila Salins.

The third and final concert will be held on Friday, August 8th: A Partnership Concert with the International Double Reed Society/NYU, which will be hosted by oboist Matthew Sullivan

Shows start at 8 pm and seating is first come, first served. And again, there’s no charge! But while it’s true that these concerts are free and meant to be enjoyed by all, they do cost bucks to put on, and you can definitely give the Washington Square Association Music Fund a leg up for next year by sending them a tax-deductible donation.

Come by the restaurant and grab a drink and a nosh before (or after) the show and let us know what you think!

Image via Facebook

Movies In The Park

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The Bryant Park film festival starts this year on June 16th. Every Monday at 5:00 pm, New Yorkers gather with blankets and picnic supplies in the park, located behind the New York Public Library in Midtown Manhattan, between 40th and 42nd Streets and Fifth and Sixth Avenues. (I’d bet there even earlier–maybe 4:30–to get a prime spot.) Films begin at sunset (figure between 8 and 9). Dramas, comedies, classics..something for everyone will be screened. Best of all? It’s free.

June 16th: Saturday Night Fever
June 23rd: The Mark of Zorro
June 30th: A Soldier’s Story
July 7th: Blazing Saddles
July 14th: Suddenly Last Summer
July 21st: National Lampoon’s Vacation
July 28th: Key Largo
August 4th: The Karate Kid
August 11th: Lover Come Back
August 18th: The Shining

And the New York Public Library that you’ll be sitting next to? That’s the one that was featured in Ghostbusters!

Image via Wikipedia

It’s A Big Apple Barbecue Block Party!

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What: Seventeen of the country’s best pitmasters will assemble right her in our fair city. Barbecue pros are traveling from Texas, Tennessee, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama and both Carolinas to join our NYC stars for this huge cookout. And yes–of course there will be music! Bands of multiple genres will perform. This ain’t your mama’s weenie roast.

he 12th annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party and 17 of the country’s best pitmasters are coming back to Madison Square Park on Saturday and Sunday, June 7 & 8, from 11:00am to 6:00pm. The Park will be bustling and bursting with guests from all over the country looking to indulge in an amazing assortment of authentic American barbecue.

Event admission is free for this weekend long event – and FastPasses and the new Big Piggin’ Pass are now on sale: get them here! We hope to see you in the park in June for some award-winning barbecue and Southern-inspired fare, and live performances from emerging and established musical artists.

- See more at: http://www.madisonsquarepark.org/things-to-do/calendar/big-apple-barbecue-2014#sthash.nqvdcDJa.dpuf

When: Saturday & Sunday, June 7th and 8th from 11 am to 6 pm.

Where: Madison Square Park, 23rd to 26th Street between Fifth and Madison.

How much: Zero to get in, though the ‘cue will cost you. Various special passes are for sale that enable attendees to skip the lines, sit in a VIP area and/or get unlimited beer, wine, cocktails or non-alcoholic beverages.

Prepare to pig out!

he 12th annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party and 17 of the country’s best pitmasters are coming back to Madison Square Park on Saturday and Sunday, June 7 & 8, from 11:00am to 6:00pm. The Park will be bustling and bursting with guests from all over the country looking to indulge in an amazing assortment of authentic American barbecue.

Event admission is free for this weekend long event – and FastPasses and the new Big Piggin’ Pass are now on sale: get them here! We hope to see you in the park in June for some award-winning barbecue and Southern-inspired fare, and live performances from emerging and established musical artists.

- See more at: http://www.madisonsquarepark.org/things-to-do/calendar/big-apple-barbecue-2014#sthash.nqvdcDJa.dpuf

The 12th annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party and 17 of the country’s best pitmasters are coming back to Madison Square Park on Saturday and Sunday, June 7 & 8, from 11:00am to 6:00pm. The Park will be bustling and bursting with guests from all over the country looking to indulge in an amazing assortment of authentic American barbecue.

Event admission is free for this weekend long event – and FastPasses and the new Big Piggin’ Pass are now on sale: get them here! We hope to see you in the park in June for some award-winning barbecue and Southern-inspired fare, and live performances from emerging and established musical artist

- See more at: http://www.madisonsquarepark.org/things-to-do/calendar/big-apple-barbecue-2014#sthash.nqvdcDJa.dpuf

12th annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party and 17 of the country’s best pitmasters are coming back to Madison Square Park on Saturday and Sunday, June 7 & 8, from 11:00am to 6:00pm. The Park will be bustling and bursting with guests from all over the country looking to indulge in an amazing assortment of authentic American barbecue.

Event admission is free for this weekend long event – and FastPasses and the new Big Piggin’ Pass are now on sale: get them here! We hope to see you in the park in June for some award-winning barbecue and Southern-inspired fare, and live performances from emerging and established musical artists.

- See more at: http://www.madisonsquarepark.org/things-to-do/calendar/big-apple-barbecue-2014#sthash.nqvdcDJa.dpuf

‘Ello Guvnah!

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In a prior post on Memorial Day happenings, I mentioned that Governors Island will be opening for the season that weekend. Here’s a little whowhatwhenwherewhy on this cool place:

First of all, what is it? GI is a 172-acre island in the heart of New York Harbor, right in between Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. For almost two centuries it was a military base. In 2003, the feds sold the bulk of the island to New York and voila, we have yet another big, beautiful park.

It’s open weekdays from 10 am to 6 pm and weekends from 10 to 7. Ferries run from Lower Manhattan daily, and from Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6 on Saturdays, Sundays, Memorial Day and Labor Day. A mere $2 can get you a round trip; kids under 12 pay zilch and seniors just have to fork over a buck.

Bring your bike! And if you don’t have one, you can rent one there. Free Bike Mornings, a new program this year, allows visitors to borrow a bike for free for up to one hour every weekday between 10 AM and noon.

You can bring your own picnic from the mainland, but frankly, I’d just buy your snacks there because there are plenty of options: picnic food places, Carribean food joints, Philly cheese steaks, ice cream and even a beer garden.

There are special events all summer long, including a Jazz Lawn Party, a badminton competition and musical performances. Check for more info here.

 

5 Reasons To Spend Memorial Day In NYC

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1. Fleet Week is back. Last year the event was called off due to the government sequester. This celebration of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps includes military demonstrations and tours of the visiting ships. It’s particularly fun to watch our service women and men explore the city in their military-issued finest.

2. It’s the 19th annual Lower East Side Festival of the Arts. This event highlights the rich artistry and culturally diversity of the area.  Highlights include a street fair on Saturday afternoon, poetry readings, films, music and performance art.

3. You can attend a concert in a graveyard. The Green-Wood Cemetary in Brooklyn holds a Memorial Day concert from 2:30-5:00 pm by the student-manned ISO Symphonic Band, a wind, brass and percussion ensemble. Works penned by permanent cemetary residents Leonard Bernstein, Louis Moreau Gottschalk and Fred Ebb are featured. Just bring a blanket; admission is free and food is available for purchase. Zombies are most welcome.

4. Opening day for Governor’s Island is on Saturday, the 24th. A Family Festival will kick off the season from noon to 4 pm. Music, face painting, compost lessons, carnival games and a chicken tractor (?) will be just some of the activities offered. (I looked it up–it’s a movable chicken coop.)

5. And lastly, New Yorkers love Memorial Day weekend, because all those people flocking to the Hamptons clear out tables for us at in-demand restaurants, shorten lines at museums and other attractions and gives us much-needed personal space on the subways. That, in turn, entitles us to feel smug and in-the-know. And you can, too!

 

 

 

 

Five Reasons To Visit New York City In April

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April brings a little something for everyone. Here’s why you should come and stay with us next month:

1. In just a few weeks, the cherry blossoms will be in bloom. Central Park and the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens are key viewing spots, but our own Washington Square Park has its fair share of the springtime-announcing buds.

2. The Tribeca Film Festival. This year it runs from April 16th through the 27th and includes free community events like the Tribeca Drive-In, which screens family-friendly movies like Mary Poppins and Splash outdoor at Waterfront Plaza.

3. It’s opening season for baseball fans! The Yankees toss out the first ball on April 1, while the Mets get a head start on March 31st.

4. Car lovers can check out the New York International Auto Show from the 18th through the 27th. Visitors can drool over the fancy cars with no alternate side of the street parking issues to worry about.

5. The average daily temperature is about 60 degrees….oh-so-perfect for exploring the city.

Take A Stroll Down West 4th Street

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Let’s take a walk along West 4th Street, long the center of bohemian culture in the Village. Check it out:

The Washington Square Methodist Church stands at #135, an early Romanesque Revival that was built in1859. Its nickname was the “Peace Church”, as it became a neighborhood base for activist groups such as Vietnam War protesters, Black Panthers and Gay Men’s Health Crisis. Sadly, the building was gutted inside and renovated into apartments, but the facade had attained landmark status and remains untouched.

The Pink Pussycat, at #167, should be able to fulfill all of your sex shop needs.

In an area known for its smoke shops, Shisha International, at #171, seems to have a devoted following. Hookahs, rolling papers, vaporizers…they’ve got it all.

At #184, The Silversmith is touted as the Village’s smallest shop. Tons of beautiful jewelry, with an emphasis on Native American pieces.

Vol de Nuit is a cool Belgian beer bar at #148. Dozens of brews, plus mussels and fries with homemade sauces.

At #169 Music Inn World Instruments sells what seems like any musical instrument from all over the world. In a market for a didgeridoo? A kalimba? They’ve got them plus more.

Make a pit stop for a cannoli: Sant Ambroeus is a lovely Italian pastry cafe at #259.

At #267, check out A.P.C. for the latest in euro-hipster looks. The designs are clean and customers are devoted to their great-fitting jeans.

Designer Marc Jacobs’ store, at #301, hawks his women’s accessories and shoes.

Bookleaves is a small, independent book sore at #304. (Yes, they do still exist.)

The Corner Bistro at #331 is a relic of the past. Great burgers, cheap beer and a soulful jukebox–the three key ingredients of a memorable, inexpensive night out.

And finally, around the corner on 6th Avenue, between West 3rd and West 4th, check out the West 4th Street Courts, also know as “The Cage”, a smaller-than-regulation basketball court that regularly hosts fierce pick-up games.

Have a great day!

 

NYC’s Best Flea Markets

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Well, who knows if they’re the best, but this blogger likes them! Take a look at where you can treasure hunt in the city:

Artists & Fleas in Williamsburg, Brooklyn showcases both vintage and contemporary wear designed by local artists and designers. Aside from clothing, you’ll find jewelry, accessories and even furniture. Open Saturday and Sunday, 10 am to 7 pm.

Green Flea, on the Upper West Side, is a favorite for antiques enthusiasts. Vintage clothing, jewelry and furniture are the stars of the market. There are dozens of vendors outdoors, but don’t overlook the many that have a space inside the building. As a bonus, there’s a terrific farmer’s market located right across Columbus Ave. Open Sundays, 10 am to 5:30 pm.

More antiques can be found at the West 25th Street Market. Yeah, it’s a bit disorganized and you’ve definitely got to be in the mood for digging in order to find that deco ashtray that until today you didn’t know you couldn’t live without–but that can be half the fun. Lots of vintage clothing, housewares, jewelry and furniture. Open Saturday and Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm.

The Market NYC, located right next to The Bitter End on Bleecker St., is dedicated to young designers. One-of-a-kind clothing, jewelry and decorative items are the focus. Open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday from noon to 8 pm; Saturday from 11 am to 9 pm.

Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Flea & Smorgasburg (get it?) is probably the city’s biggest market with over 120 goods and 60 food vendors. As you stroll through, you’ll find vintage clothing and records, handmade crafts, beauty products and jewelry, plus antique and handmade furniture. Chow down on tacos, ice pops, chocolates or porchetta sandwiches. Open Saturday and Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Happy First Day Of Spring!

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It’s finally here, and this is–hands down–the best season to visit New York City. The locals are slowly emerging from their apartment caves. You’re not stuffing yourself and that bulky down coat into 10 inches of subway seat. Those boxy wind fortresses are slowly coming down from store fronts; gloves and scarves are being thrown into storage.

It’s going to be 54 degrees today in the city, people. I feel like Mother Nature is wagging a finger at us, saying, “See? I told you it was going to come!”

So shed a few layers and make a beeline out of your apartment or hotel. Here are a few tips on experiencing the best of what the city has to offer at this time of year:

Ride a bike up the Hudson River to the Little Red Lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge. The lighthouse was made famous by the 1942 children’s book The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge, by Hildegarde Swift. Stop at the 79th Street Boat Basin Cafe for a beer and a burger along the way.

Head to a farmer’s market, a flea market or a street fair. Who cares if you buy anything? That’s not the point.

Check out the spring blooms on the High Line. Cherry blossoms, geraniums, tulips, and crocuses, oh my! Grab a Mexican chocolate ice pop from La Newyorkina or a brisket sandwich from Delaney Barbecue’s Smokeline to nosh on during your stroll.

Savor these extra hours of sunlight by sipping a cocktail outdoors at sunset.

Have a picnic!  Really, any park will do. Just grab a sandwich and people-watch, like all New Yorkers do. In fact, North Square can provide handy to-go picnic lunches to nibble across the street in Washington Square Park.

And finally, come visit us! We’re looking forward to seeing you!