CITYSIGHTS NY BLOG

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  • Fleet Week New York Parade of Sail

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    The Parade of Sail signals the official commencement of Fleet Week. A parade of ships enters the New York Harbor below the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and makes their way to Manhattan's west side. The Parade of Sail event often features U.S. Naval Academy Yard Patrol boats in the New York Harbor. The vessels can be viewed along the Hudson River from Battery Park to just south of the George Washington Bridge. The event is open to the public and free of charge. Visitors can also participate in one or more boat tours in the area in order to enjoy all of the sights during this exciting event.

    This year’s festivities will honor the War of 1812 and The Star Spangled Banner. Any stretch of the river will provide vantage points to view this year's fleet, which includes 10 warships and 17 tall ships from around the world as they cruise into the Harbor and set sail up the Hudson. The best areas to observe the entire Parade of Ships are along the New York Harbor, including Hudson River Park, Battery Park, Red Hook and Shore Road Park.

    Visit the Ships

    You can board the vessels after they dock for free tours in Manhattan, Staten Island and Brooklyn. Tours will be conducted daily, Thursday through Monday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lines may be capped at 3 p.m., so we suggest that you arrive early. Tickets for additional guided tours will be available at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    Day Sails on Schooner Adirondack

    There are also fascinating Parade of Ships cruises that offer a sweeping view of NYC Fleet Week's Parade of Sail, such as Day Sails on Schooner Adirondack and other fun Day Cruises. The two-hour sail provides a breathtaking adventure of NYC like you never imagined, aboard an 80-foot wooden clipper. Within minutes of departing the shore, the calm of the Hudson River replaces the busy Manhattan lifestyle, and you'll welcome the relaxing breeze off the New York Harbor. You'll take in the famous Manhattan skyline from the water with spectacular views of the following must-see attractions:

    • Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty
    • Governor’s Island
    • Financial District
    • Brooklyn Bridge

    We will shut off the engines and sail lazily through the harbor for as much of the tour as possible. This exciting tour is available daily at 3:30 p.m. starting May 1, 2015. Take a Day Sail on the Schooner Adirondack as we set sail on the New York Harbor during Fleet Week 2015.

  • Spend a Day at a Yankees Game and Picnic

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    Now you can maximize your NYC baseball adventure with additional exciting events before a New York Yankees game, such as fun places to eat at the stadium, the exciting Uptown Tour and things to do nearby after the game. Yankee Stadium is filled with history, and the Bronx's River Avenue and East 161st Street intersection is no exception. When you reach the neighborhood, the fans will overwhelm you with enthusiasm.

    Whether you're new to the game or are a diehard fan who can list a plethora of big games you’ve attended, a visit to Yankee Stadium is a must-see experience. From the moment you step inside, you will feel all the perfect games, no-hitters and World Series wins. Even though the old stadium housed about 56,000 seats, it seems like millions remember Reggie Jackson’s legendary three home runs in the World Series performance of 1977.

    The area surrounding Yankee Stadium before game time becomes a confusion of fans arriving from the crowded subway entrances and parking garages that circle the ballpark. There is always a fair amount of domestic and international tourists more interested in exploring and observing the legendary home of the Bronx Bombers than rushing to their seats to attend the game.

    Professional fans have learned to buy food and drinks before going into the stadium in the Concourse, the neighborhood surrounding Yankee Stadium. It’s a traditional Bronx community, with a busy strip of restaurants, bars and delis to the east and apartment buildings to the west.

    Mike and Ike Picnic Area

    Why not make your baseball experience complete with a picnic at The Mike and Ike Picnic Area, which features a pregame all-you-can-eat picnic? You can even purchase a package that includes field level seats. Here are a few of the inclusions:

    • 2-1/2 hour party before the gates open
    • Picnic continues for 30 minutes after the game starts
    • Semi-private picnic space
    • All-inclusive non-alcoholic beverages and food
    • Seats located in Sections 133 to 134
    • Private parties available for groups of up to 250 guests

    If you want something other than the Mike and Ike Picnic Area, the real advice from locals is to spend your money on food and drinks outside of the stadium. Make the short trek to Foodtown, a unique market and deli one block from the stadium. They are happy to make you a large sandwich on the cheap. You can also book the exciting Uptown Tour, which offers a little someone for everyone by providing a glimpse of the treasures of NYC’s Uptown and will get you up close and personal to Yankee Stadium.

  • City Sights and Activities During Fleet Week 2015 in New York City

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    NYC's Fleet Week began in 1984 to honor the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps and has continued to take place almost every year since then. Tourists who wish to take advantage of this incredible event can ride one of our double decker bus tours and hop off at their leisure to enjoy the various Fleet Week activities. Traditionally, it takes place in late May and spans Memorial Day weekend. The highlights of the week include widespread military exhibits and ceremonies, along with the chance for free tours of some of the visiting ships. The Memorial Day celebration is a focal point of the festivities, which features a military aircraft flyover and singing of Taps to honor those who gave their lives in service to the United States.

    Numerous performances take place at the USS Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. There are also a lot of free activities, including ship tours in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island, and performances, displays and exhibits in and around NYC, such as:

    • Parade of ships in the harbor
    • Free ship tours
    • Memorial Day Parade
    • Competitions such as tug of war and eating contest
    • Musical performances by military bands
    • U.S. Coast Guard Search and Rescue demonstrations

    All events are free, except those that are at the USS Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. You will need to purchase tickets to attend those events and enter the museum.

    The Best NYC Double-Decker All Around Town Tour

    Wrap up the perfect holiday to NYC during Fleet Week 2015 with our All Around Town Tour, which introduces you to everything the city has to offer. Celebrate NYC’s time-honored celebration of the sea services with the citizens of New York and the surrounding tri-state areas. It is an unparalleled opportunity to meet Marines, Sailors and Coast Guardsmen. You can also observe first hand the advanced abilities of today’s naval services.

    We help you maximize your time in NYC with our exciting Double-Decker Bus Tours and All Around Town Tour, which covers Uptown, Downtown and the Bronx. When you book the tour, you can hop on any of our double-decker buses. From there, you choose whether you want to experience the entire tour or hop off the bus at any point along the way. Because our buses stop almost every 25 to 30 minutes, you can hop off and take advantage of the myriad happenings during Fleet Week and then hop back on and resume your tour.

    Exploring the sights of NYC during Fleet Week 2015 from the comfort of a double-decker bus is one of the most fun and educational experiences you can have in The Big Apple. Book your front row seat for Fleet Week and the amazing NYC Double-Decker All Around Town Tour today.

  • Celebrate Brazilian Culture at DanceAfrica

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    For over 30 years, DanceAfrica has been delighting New York City residents and visitors with its African dance festival. This year is no different, and the focus is on Brazilian dance, with Afro-Brazilian dance troupe Bale Folclorico da Bahia headlining the event. This Brazil festival NYC is one to experience as part of your Downtown Tour. Hosted by the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), the event is full of music, dancing, food and fun for visitors of all ages who want to see the beauty and excitement of African song and dance. Any Memorial Day visit to NYC is incomplete without a stop at DanceAfrica.

    Event History

    DanceAfrica was started by BAM in 1977 and has been delighting attendees for nearly four decades now. Over the years, the festival has grown to include more and more dance companies and vendors. For many Brooklyn-ites, Memorial Day weekend is not complete without a stop to watch the dancers, grab a bite to eat and do a little shopping.

    Over the years, dance companies from around the world have participated in the event, including the following countries:

    • Congo
    • Kenya
    • Peru
    • Haiti
    • Cuba

    This year's Brazil festival NYC will explore the rich African history and ancestry present in Brazil, and will showcase the Afro-Brazilian music and dance that combines Brazilian rhythms with the country's African roots. In addition to Bale Folclorico da Bahia, the Bambara Drum and Dance Ensemble and other local dance troupes are slated to perform.

    How to Get the Full Experience

    In order to get a full DanceAfrica experience, visitors should plan to see and do all that the festival has to offer. Beyond the dancing, you can explore the DanceAfrica outdoor bazaar, where hundreds of vendors sell authentic African, African-American and Carribean goods, foods and fashions. Plan to take in a film at FilmAfrica, held at the BAM Rose Cinemas. Children will also enjoy crafts, face painting and plenty of fun in the children's village.

    The Details

    This annual festival is held on the streets surrounding the BAM Richard B. Fisher Building at 321 Ashland Place. If you are planning to participate in a Brooklyn tour, be sure to stop by the DanceAfrica event any time during Memorial Day weekend. The event is free and open to the public, making it a great low-cost experience to add to your New York City visit.

    No visit to New York City is complete without getting a taste for the ethnic diversity that the city has to offer. The DanceAfrica event provides an entertaining and educational glimpse into African ancestry from around the world.

  • Like to Eat? The NYC International Food Fest Is for You

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    For many visitors to New York City, the food scene is one of the main reasons to experience the city in the first place. NYC has certainly become well known for innovative and exciting new restaurants, as well as the unique and varied street food, and the Ninth Avenue International Food Fest NYC may be the mecca for foodies, bringing all of the best foods around to one place. If you're planning a trip to New York in May, these Dinner Cruises at the festival shouldn't be missed.

    About the Festival

    The Ninth Avenue International Food Festival is the oldest of its kind in the city, with over 40 years of fun and food. Each year, hundreds of food vendors line Ninth Avenue, giving attendees the chance to taste and try a huge range of foods. The event is put on by the Ninth Avenue Association, which strives to help all of the participating businesses by increasing traffic and fostering the sense of community. The team works tirelessly to put together a successful event, and they do a good job, since each year about 1 million people attend the two-day gathering.

    When and Where

    If you want to experience the international food festival, plan to stop anywhere on Ninth Avenue between 42nd and 57th Streets in Manhattan on May 16 or May 17. It is best to plan to ride the subway, then walk to get to Ninth Avenue, since there will likely be crowds of like-minded foodies attempting to hit up the street fair.

    What to Do

    Unlike other street festivals in NYC, the Ninth Avenue International Food Festival has a huge range of food vendors to choose from. International options, including Greek, Polish or Indian foods, are fun to try out, or you can stick with the traditional street fair foods like funnel cakes or hot dogs. Regardless of what you want to eat, you should plan to spend the day walking up and down the festival to see and smell the full experience. Stop at 55th Street for the live entertainment, and if you have kids tagging along, they will love the children's pavilion on 53rd and 54th Streets. Do not forget to bring your cash for the hundreds of retail vendors selling jewelry, clothes, crafts and other goods along the way as well.

    New York City is home to many different festivals throughout the year, but if you are in town during the month of May, the Ninth Avenue International Food Festival is a must-see event that is like no other. Book one of the fun Dinner Cruises available while you are there and experience some of the best food that New York has to offer.

  • Experience the Soho Film Festival

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    New York City, the city that never sleeps, is the ultimate travel destination for people who love art, beauty and the hustle and bustle of city life. Planning a trip during the spring is one of the best ways to see New York at its best, with blooming trees, street festivals galore and opportunities to rub shoulders with the film industry's top creative geniuses at the SoHo film festival.

    The film festival is one stop that must be added to any NYC itinerary that takes place during mid-May. The week-long event gives ticket-holders the chance to view a lineup of extraordinary new cinematic pieces crafted by filmmakers from across the country and around the globe.

    About the Event

    Now in its sixth year, the SoHo film festival is held at the Village East Cinemas. Films from every genre are represented, with submissions including the following:

    • Full-length dramas
    • Short films
    • Documentaries

    Visitors can purchase tickets for the many screenings that are held throughout the week, offering plenty of chances to see the highly anticipated films that have made the cut. In addition to the screenings, workshops, panels and social events are held to encourage audience interaction with the filmmakers.

    Promoting Art

    This film festival is one that attracts young and up-and-coming filmmakers, since its main goal is to promote the art and provide a platform for new names and faces in an industry that can be very competitive. In 2013, the festival broke its own record of receiving the most submissions from young directors, women and different countries. The variety of films available to view are created by a wide range of filmmakers, making it the ideal choice for anyone who enjoys all genres of film.

    What to Do in SoHo

    While in the neighborhood for the festival, there are many other things to do and see. The area is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Manhattan, with many shopping and dining options that are not available anywhere else. Art galleries dot nearly every block in SoHo, so make sure to stop in to view some of the innovative pieces that are created by fresh, new artists. SoHo is even home to the New York City Fire Museum, which could be a great stop to check out between film screenings.

    The restaurant scene in SoHo is also not to be missed when visiting the neighborhood. There are long standing favorites mixed in with brand new establishments that offer fresh, adventurous fare for any palate.

    When planning a spring-time trip to NYC, don't forget to include the SoHo film festival as part of the experience.

  • Experience Unique Performances and Exciting Nearby Attractions at the Queens New Music Festival

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    Queens has emerged as more than just a residential section of New York City. The borough can now boast a variety of entertainment options that make it an exciting place to visit, too. You can find museums, clubs, fine dining and music venues that cater to whatever mood strikes you. The music scene has taken an important turn in recent years, and Queens is now a hotspot for music and performing arts. The Queens New Music Festival has offered music fans an eclectic mix of artists and shows since its first series of performances in 2012. You can check out Queens and the diverse set of artists that make up the festival each spring with a quick trip on the subway.

    All About the Queens New Music Festival

    The festival promotes the electrifying new music scene in Queens and the country. Live music and incredible performances have been the center of the festival experience since its inception. The performers include new music artists made up of emerging ensembles and individual performers from the New York area and around the country.

    The music festival takes place over several days, and you can enjoy at least one out-of-the-ordinary performance on weekdays and multiple performances over the weekend. This performance series offers you a unique musical experience:

    • All genres are welcome in the festival, but the music is usually concert hall ensembles.
    • Artists perform new music from within the last 50 years or by composers who are still living.
    • Musicians are expected to transcend the strict definitions of jazz or improvisational styles and offer a performance that interacts with the new music world.
    • The festival series also includes art installments at the venues.

    You can check out this unusual music series with festival passes, one-day passes, or performance passes.

    Other Artistic Experiences in Queens

    During performance breaks in the music festival, you can find other exciting art installations and performances to experience in Queens. Nearby venues to visit include:

    • Fisher Landau Center for Art, displaying contemporary pieces from artists such as Twombly and Warhol
    • The Noguchi Museum, a showplace for the sculptor’s art, architectural designs, furniture and drawings
    • SculptureCenter, a museum dedicated to innovation in sculpture and contemporary art
    • Dorsky Gallery, exhibitions of contemporary visual arts

    You can also experience some of Queens’ attractions during the festival’s breaks. Gantry Plaza State Park is located on the East River and offers incredible views of the city. Queensbridge Park allows you to enjoy the outdoors in the presence of the historic Queensboro Bridge.

    There are also plenty of great places to eat and drink in the area, so you will never find yourself without something to do. A trip to the Queens New Music Festival will not only expose you to exciting new music, you also will be able to experience some of the great sites Queens has to offer.

  • Great Ways to Treat Your Mom to Sightseeing, Food and Fun in NYC This Mother’s Day

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    Sightseeing in New York City is a wonderful way to spend a weekend, but it can involve a lot of planning and walking. If you are treating your mom to a sightseeing trip of the city for Mother’s Day, you will want to make sure the tour is relaxing and fun. Take advantage of the Big Apple’s lunch and dinner specials to give your mother a delicious break on her special day. You can even treat your mom to one of New York City’s brunch cruises or dinner cruises to make sightseeing as easy as possible.

    Mother’s Day Dining

    New York City has no shortage of restaurants, so you should easily find a place perfect for celebrating your mom and her tastes. No matter what foods your mother loves, there is a NYC eatery that will provide her with a delicious meal that shows your appreciation. You can look for interesting spots in areas you plan to tour, such as the Financial District’s pubs and grills or the bistros and pasta places near Times Square.

    Many NYC restaurants offer Mother’s Day lunch and dinner specials or unique menu items to celebrate the holiday. Check out the city’s steakhouses and seafood restaurants for specials that will give your mom an elegant dining experience and a relaxing break from sightseeing.

    Sightseeing on a Cruise

    Another great way to treat your mom on her special day is to combine the thrill of touring the Big Apple and the relaxing gift of a special meal. You can take your mom on a Mother’s Day brunch or dinner cruise. Cruises allow you to see the sights of the city and experience fine dining without extensive planning or walking.

    Cruises typically leave from the piers on Manhattan’s west side, travel down the Hudson River to the harbor and continue up the East River. This route gives you an excellent way to view some major city attractions without walking or coordinating bus and subway routes:

    • The New Jersey Palisades and the George Washington Bridge connecting New York and New Jersey
    • Historic Battery Park, the Financial District, the South Street Seaport and the Brooklyn promenade
    • The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Governor’s Island
    • The Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge and the United Nations Building

    These relaxing cruises provide you with more than a gorgeous river view of these major attractions. You and your mom will enjoy outstanding cuisine and service while taking in the famous New York City skyline.

    Plan Ahead for Mother’s Day Dining and Attractions

    Be sure to get reservations for dining before Mother’s Day, a popular day for eating out. Both brunch cruises and dinner cruises require vouchers that are purchased ahead of time. With a little planning, you will be able to treat your mom to a tour of the attractions and tastes of the Big Apple, and give her a Mother’s Day gift she will never forget.

  • Great Ideas for Mother’s Day in the Big Apple

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    There are so many ways to give your mom something special this May, especially if you are in the New York City area. Spending time with your mother is a wonderful gift on its own, and in the Big Apple, you can spend the day with mom while taking advantage of the city’s first-rate options for treating someone special. You can pamper mom with a shopping trip to Woodbury Common Outlets or a spa for treatment, take her to a delicious brunch at one of the city’s fine dining spots, or give her a night on the town with dinner and tickets to a Broadway show.

    Presents That Pamper

    A spa treatment is a relaxing treat, and spending time with your mom while enjoying a New York City spa will make the treatment relaxing and special. Many of the city’s hotels have in-house spa treatments. Whether you think mom would like a massage, facial, foot treatment or any other pampering, you will be able to find a place that will treat her right.

    If your mom thinks of pampering as more of a lavish shopping spree than a spa day, there are plenty of options in NYC. For a special shopping experience, catch a quick shuttle to the Woodbury Common luxury outlet shopping center. Shuttles depart from Port Authority throughout the day.

    • The center includes outlets for premium brands such as Burberry, Armani, Prada and many others.
    • Treating your mom to premium shopping at the outlet offers savings from 25 to 65 percent.
    • The shuttle returns to Port Authority many times a day.

    Start the Day With Brunch

    To spend some personal time with mom while treating her to a delicious meal, find a Mother’s Day brunch at one of the city’s top eateries. Make sure you get a reservation so that you two can enjoy your special meal and a traditional mimosa without a wait.

    After an early meal, there is time to take a NYC walking tour or visit the Botanical Gardens. Springtime in the city is the perfect time to give mothers the uplifting gift of blooming flowers in perfect weather.

    A Night on the Town

    A dinner and theater outing amongst the lights and excitement of Times Square is the perfect way to give your mom a thrilling Mother’s Day. You can choose from long-running shows like the electrifying “Stomp” or moving “Phantom of the Opera,” or make her laugh with tickets to “Avenue Q” or “Wicked.”

    Whether you spend Mother’s Day treating your mom to fine dining and an evening at a Broadway show, pamper her with a spa or shopping day at Woodbury Common Outlets, or enjoy a relaxing brunch and quiet day in the city, both of you will have a wonderful Sunday. With a little planning, you can make sure you give your mom the gift of time and the treat of fun in the Big Apple.

  • A World-Class Wine Event in a World-Class City

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    For those wine connoisseurs out there, New York City may not seem as though it would be one of the premier destinations for a unique wine-tasting experience. After all, what sort of vineyards could you hope to cultivate outside of apartment windows? Yet for all that the Big Apple may lack in agricultural space, it makes up for in exciting venues to which wine lovers from all around the world flock every year to participate the in renowned NYC Spring Wine Festival. If you’re a lover of fine wines and enjoy the company of those who have an equal appreciation for them, this event is not to be missed.

    The NYC Spring Wine Festival

    Held at the breathtaking Broad Street Ballroom right across the street from the NY Stock Exchange, The NYC Spring Wine Festival brings connoisseurs from all over the world together under one roof. You’ll find a number of different palate-pleasing options, including wines from the world’s most famous sourcing regions, including:

    • Champagne
    • Burgundy
    • Bordeaux
    • Italy
    • Argentina
    • California

    Brands such as Dom Perignon, Domaine de Chevalier, Joseph Phelps, Ornellaia, and Chateau Pichon Longueville will be well-represented. In all, Vintry Fine Wines will curate over 200 brands. If you’re looking for a truly immersive experience, be one of the 50 lucky guests to enjoy the VIP Suite, where you’ll enjoy exclusive access to the highest-quality selections as the event.

    To complement the many different varieties of spirits, event organizers will also offer gourmet hors d’oeuvres and cheese options, as well as samples from local artisans. As you walk around the event, you’ll enjoy the music of popular jazz saxophonist Art Sherrod Jr. When it’s all over, your custom etched tasting glass is yours to keep to help you remember the event.

    Come for the Wine, Stay For the Sights

    While in town for the festival, why not consider indulging yourself in one of the many great activities that New York City has to offer. If you’re unfamiliar with the city, an evening dinner cruise along the Hudson and East River can be the ultimate way to get a comprehensive view of its many breathtaking sights. You and the rest of your party can continue your wine indulgence by enjoying a complimentary glass on deck as you gaze upon the majesty that is the Big Apple.

    Come see for yourself the many opportunities that New York City offers to those searching for spirits (and not the kind the Ghostbuster were after). You’ll find the NYC Spring Wine Festival to be one of the more well-organized and well-attended in the world. The city’s many other must-see destinations make this a trip that wine lovers the world over shouldn’t miss. Isn’t it time you saw the sophisticated side of the City That Never Sleeps?