CITYSIGHTS NY BLOG
There’s no better way to get the true feel for New York City than on foot. Whether you’ve come to shop, photograph, or simply to sample the many sights and flavors the city has to offer, there’s sure to be a walking tour to suit your taste. Here are just a few to help you take that first step…
New York City Walking Tour Audio Guide
Want to stretch your legs and tour New York City at your own pace? Expertly narrated audio tours let you learn about the places you visit as you stroll through the city. Prerecorded tours cover Manhattan’s Financial District, Central Park, Chinatown, Grand Central Station, and the Flatiron/Madison Square area. And a walking tour is the perfect complement to a hop-on, hop-off bus tour of the city.
Wall Street Insider Walking Tour
Regarded as the financial heart of the nation, Wall Street is home to the Federal Reserve, the New York Stock Exchange, and a wealth of history that stretches back centuries. From boom to bust and back again, seasoned tour guides share stories about the birth of the financial markets, the great market speculators, the Golden Age and its captains of industry, the Bulls, the Bears, and so much more!
Inside Broadway Walking Tour
Explore the Great White Way in this exciting 2-hour walking tour that covers Times Square, Hell’s Kitchen, and the theater district. Guides share great backstage tales from Broadway’s past and present. You’ll learn how Broadway was transformed from a hub for horse traders to a theatrical center, how radio and TV studios transformed the neighborhood after the Great Depression, and how Times Square was reborn.
Walk This Way through Harlem
From the famous Apollo Theater to the clubs of 125th Street, where jazz greats like Billie Holiday wowed audiences, Harlem has long been a center of African-American culture. Take an exciting and informative walking tour of Harlem and learn about the neighborhood’s history, the Great Migration, and the many celebrities who’ve walked these streets.
Slavery and Underground Railroad Walking Tour
New York City was a key destination for many African-Americans seeking to escape slavery in the South and a critical rallying point for abolitionists—both black and white—in the North. Learn about the Underground Railroad, a perilous path to freedom, and the people who escaped slavery to seek a better life for themselves and their children.
The Gospel Walking Tour
New York City has long been a center for spiritual music, and perhaps none more rousing or inspiring than Gospel. On this tour, you’ll learn about the history of Gospel music—and its journey from is roots in the South, to the churches of Manhattan and Brooklyn, to the world stage.
Brooklyn Bridge and DUMBO Tour
The Brooklyn Bridge is among the most famous and well recognized of New York City landmarks. On this exciting and informative tour, you’ll walk the bridge, learn about its history, and explore the neighborhood at its Brooklyn base, known as DUMBO (short for “Down under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass”).
Chelsea Night Club Tour
Get your dancing shoes on and tour the clubs and lounges that have made the Chelsea neighborhood a premiere party destination. You will visit a world-famous venue called Marquee, one of the hottest clubs in New York with a high-energy vibe. MUST BE 21 OR OLDER.
Central Park Walking Tour
Stroll one of the world’s most famous parks, right in the heart of Manhattan! You’ll visit some of the Park’s main attractions, including the Boathouse Café, Tavern on the Green, the Band Shell, the Bow Bridge, the Dakota (where John Lennon spent his last days), and the scenic locations where some of today’s best-loved films have been shot!
So come and take a walk with us—there’s always something to see in New York City!
For a quarter century Columbia University has honored the best in student filmmaking with the week-long the Columbia University Film Festival (CUFF)—an exciting and dynamic event that includes screenings, dramatic readings, panel discussions, and award presentations.
Each year the Festival premieres dozens of the best short films as well as screenplays and teleplays by MFA students in the Film Program at Columbia University School of the Arts. Many past Festival honorees have gone on to garner top awards both nationally and internationally.
This year’s Festival will open with a special celebration in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, featuring a selection of the best student short films from the past 25 years, presented by esteemed alumni of the program, including Adam Davidson, Joan Stein, Lisa Cholodenko, NIcole Holofcener, Kimberly Pierce, Greg Mottola and Courtney Hunt, and others.
Here’s just a sample of what you’ll find at CUFF…
Film Screenings / Various Venues
Seven programs of screenings highlight the festival, including Devil Deal Blues by Rob Brink, Canary by Marie Schlingmann, The Real American by Darya Zhuk, The First Men by Benjamin Kegan, Don’t Tell Anyone by Anna Gutto, Fish by Andrew Ruiz, The Mink Catcher by Samatha Buck, and many more!
Screenwriting Night at the Miller Theater, Broadway at 116th Street
The evening of Monday, May 4, will be devoted to the art o screenwriting, with readings from various screenplays and the presentation of various awards. The Andrew Sarris Award. Named for the world-renowned critic, theorist, and Film Program professor, the Award was created by film students to honor outstanding artistic achievement of distinguished alumni. This year’s Award will be presented to James Ponsoldt.
Panel Discussions / Bunin Munroe Film Center,
144 West 65th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam
Attendees will enjoy an array of dynamic panel discussions on topics that include:
One Hundred Years: Film Studies in Past, Present & Future; Creative Producing Pitch Competition; and a Do-it-Yourself Comedy Panel.
Sherlock Holmes and the Internet of Things /Film Society of Lincoln Center,
The Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery, 165 West 65th Street, near Broadway
Discover a unique collaborative storytelling experience that re-imagines the world of Sherlock Holmes. Interactive and spontaneous, the event lets you create and solve an evolving mystery in a fun and playful setting that mixes story, gaming and design.
If you go:
May 1–7, 2015
Each year, on the first Sunday in May, tens of thousands of cyclists and cycling enthusiasts converge on New York City for one of the most popular events in the world of cycling—the TD Five Boro Bike Tour. During the two days leading up to the Tour, the city hosts Bike Expo New York, an annual celebration of urban cycling and all things bicycle related.
In 2014, the Expo drew more than 100 exhibitors and 50,000 attendees, ranking the event as the most well attended consumer bike expo in the United States! And this year’s Expo promises to be even bigger, with more exhibitors and attendees than ever!
If you love cycling, especially urban cycling, this is your chance to meet and greet this year’s TD Five Boro Bike Tour competitors, talk shop with both cyclists and exhibitors, check out the latest gear, and shop everything from helmets to breaks, pumps to pedals and cycling wear galore! Exhibitors at this year’s Expo include Albabici, Bicycle Adventures, Campagnolo, CitiBike, Feedback Sports, Five Borough Bicycle Club, Kryptonite, Lazer Sport, Momentum Magazine, Nth Degree, Polar, SEI, Spinlister, Zwift, and many more!
Indoor events on Friday include…a bike fitting demo, lock-up demo (sponsored by Kryptonite), a class on repairing flats on the go, fastest mechanic competition (Fix a Flat), a beginners guide to urban cycling, and everything you should know about the upcoming TD Five Boro Bike Tour!
Indoor events on Saturday include a youth bike school panel discussion, a show of this year’s cycling fashions presented by Momentum magazine, youth mechanics competition (Fix a Flat), A rousing game of “Jeopardy!” (TD Five Boro Bike Tour Edition) to test your cycling knowledge, and a workshop on “Cyclepreneurs”—ways you can earn a living by bike.
Plus both Expo days will feature outdoor bike riding and repair lessons for all age groups, young and old alike! So if you love cycling in the city, the Bike Expo New York is a must!
If you go:
Bike Expo New York
May 1, 2015, 10am–8pm
May 2, 2015, 9am–6pm
Pier 36 at Basketball City
299 South Street, Manhattan
There’s no better way to get into the spring spirit than with a family-friendly outdoor celebration at the Queens Botanical Gardens. An oasis of green in the city the Gardens deliver a full-on celebration of the season—complete with food and craft vendors, a beer tent, petting zoo, pony rides, and face painting!
Stroll the garden paths, attend a workshop on gardening or composting, take a bird walk with one f the Garden’s guides and see all the species of birds that rely on green spaces like this one for their habitat.
The Festival is also a great way to connect with nature and enjoy some old-fashioned low-tech games from the days before screen time occupied all our free moments. The kids can get their faces painted, create some art of their own, or test their skills at the beanbag toss.
And there’ll e plenty of food and beverage vendors on hand to provide delicious and healthy drinks and snacks! Grown-ups, you may want to check out the beer tent for a frosty cup of brew.
The Queens Botanical Gardens are a great place to enjoy a spot of nature in the heart of the city all year round. From the Winter Bird Count and the Easter Egg Hunt to nature photography workshops, craft shows, summer concerts, and spectacular fall foliage — there’s always something happening at the Queens Botanical Gardens!
Looking for more? Check out some of the other great attractions in New York City!
If you go:
April 26, 2015
Queens Botanical Garden
43-50 Main Street
Flushing, Queens, NY
Admission: Adults $4, Seniors $3, Students $2
Anyone who grew up in or around a city remembers the classic childhood street games—like stickball, street hockey, hopscotch, and jump rope—that were popular before the tech revolution tied us all to our screens. Well now you can relive those great days and give your kids a chance to experience those great games too! New York City Parks has teamed with Disney Corporation to sponsor the 8th annual NYC Street Games at Thomas Jefferson Park in Harlem. The event is a celebration of childhood street games and offers families a great opportunity to get outside, exercise, and experience some low-tech fun!
Street Games is an all-ages event, so parents can show off their moves, and kids can test their Hula Hoop and skateboard skills! Featured games include…
• Pogo Sticks
• Hula Hoops
• Hippity Hop
• Four Square
• Street Hockey
• Ultimate Disc
• Roller Blading
There’s even a soapbox derby behind the main stage, plus skateboarding clinics and bike riding lessons if you bring your wheels with you! A fitness-agility ladder lets young and old test their climbing skills, and there’ll be wheelchair basketball for those who refuse to let a disability slow their game.
You’ll find more than just games at this year’s event. Local radio stations will be providing the music all day, with selected live broadcasts from the event. Plus, there’ll be plenty of live music, and dance performances by the Dance Theater of Harlem. There will be lots of vendors with delicious food and drink to keep you hydrated and energized.
Tips to Enhance Your Visit
When you arrive, be sure to stop at the NYC Parks booth and get your Street Games Passport. Attendees who complete 7 out of 10 of the activities on the passport will receive a prize! Bring your own helmet for the soapbox derby, bike riding lessons, skateboarding, and roller blade events. Participants must sign a waiver to participate in some activities. The waivers will be provided at the event. Participants under the age of 18 must have a legal guardian present with photo identification to sign the waiver.
If you go:
April 25, 2015
Thomas Jefferson Park
114th Street and First Avenue, Manhattan
The Tribeca neighborhood in Lower Manhattan is well known for its art galleries, restaurants, and of course the Tribeca Film Festival. But what you may not know is that once each spring it plays host to one of New York’s biggest street fairs! The Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair is an extravaganza of food, entertainment, shopping and kid-friendly fun the whole family can enjoy.
A selected array of Tribeca’s best chefs will demonstrate how they create their signature dishes is a specially designed kitchen, so you can learn from the masters! Presenters on the “show kitchen” stage will share their culinary secrets and offer a limited number of participants the chance to sample their creations! Participants include Baked Tribeca, Bubby’s Pie Co., Duane Park Patisserie, Grandaisy Bakery, Tribeca Treats, and Blue Marble Ice Cream.There will also be an ample supply of menus, recipes, and discount premiums so you can visit these fine dining establishments at your leisure. Some of the city’s best rolling restaurants will also be on hand to provide a delicious selection of hot and cold food!
There’s no shortage of talent at the Festival—with featured performances from magician/juggler Max Darwin, dancers from the Broadway Dreams Foundation and the Downtown Dance Factory, and cast members of Broadway shows including It Shoulda Been You, Phantom of the Opera, On the Town, Kinky Boots, Wicked, and more!
FOR THE KIDS
Kid-friendly events abound, including audience participation group Yo Re Mi, whose members use music and dance to get kids to exercise, learn about nature, appreciate other languages and cultures, and just have fun! Writopia Lab will be on hand to help aspiring writers to create their own screenplays—anyone ages 2 to 21 is welcome. There’ll also be puppetry from Puppetworks, Shadowbox Theater, Marcia the Musical Moose. Bill Gordh will tell stories and sing songs, Larissa will provide face painting, and the Children’s Museum of the Arts will feature its pop-up Clay Bart to teach you hoe to make your own clay creature! The Games for Change Public Arcade will provide a fun way to promote health and encourage positive social change, using the power of play!
So come out and bring your smiles and your appetites!
If you go:
Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair
April 25, 10am
Greenwich Street (from Hubert to Chambers Streets), Manhattan
Admission: This is a FREE event!
From Sustainable Agriculture To Investing In A Green Economy - Let The New York Green Festival Expo Show You How You Can Make A Difference
The largest expo of its kind in the world, the Green Festival in New York draws over 21,000 attendees annually from the city, state, and around the world—all eager to learn about the ways green tech, green living, and green investment are helping to create a sustainable and renewable future!
The three-day event at the Jacob Javits Center on Manhattan’s West Side features dozens of forums, speakers, events, and demonstrations addressing a broad range of topics relevant to environmentally conscious living. You’ll learn about the latest green transportation, sustainable and urban farming, how to built and maintain a green business, green diet and health, and more.
From the global to the personal, the Green Festival shows how you can integrate green concepts into every aspect of your life. Here’s just a sample of what the Green Festival offers…
• Entrepreneurship, Leadership, and Investment topics include Big Green Opportunities in the Sharing Economy; Big Money, Clean Power, and PR; Creating and Expanding a Bulletpoof Business; and more!
• Green Global Community topics include Sustainable Travel; Sustainability and Human Rights; Saving Humanity from Itself; Achieving the Non-GMO Tipping Point, and more!
• Green Living topics include Personal Orcharding; Kumbucha Fermentation; Health and Fashion; The Greenest of Foods; plus workshops in Yoga and Vinyasa, and the Green Festival Saves Lives program will allow attendees to adopt homeless pets on site.
Exhibitors at this year’s festival include Arcadia Power, Blue Orange Games, Buchi Kombucha, Element Snacks, Green America, Hope Foods, Om Factory, Stromer cars and ebikes, and more! Whether you’re an entrepreneur, investor, or just someone looking to ways toward a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle, now’s your chance to get involved.
If you go:
New York Green Festival Expo
Jacob Javits Center
655 West 34th Street (near the High Line), Manhattan
April 24–26, 2015
Hours: Friday noon–6pm, Saturday 10am–6pm, Sunday 10am–5pm
Admission: Day pass $12; 3-day Festival admission $32
Traveling to New York City but looking for an event away from the bustle of Manhattan? Check out the New Jersey Spring Wine Festival in Short Hills, NJ. From rich and full-bodied reds and crisp whites to specialty wines, the New Jersey Spring Wine Festival is a seasonal event that offers 150 fine wines sure to delight the palate of any oenophile! Carefully curated by the Wine Library, the selection of wines showcases some of the best vineyards around the globe.
Fine Food and Drink
Admission to the even t includes 3 hours of tasting 150 wines and delicious foods (including Farmstead artisan cheeses, crostini, ficelles, baguettes, crudite/dips, a selection of hot pastas, and a Chef’s Choice of desserts) prepared by the Hilton’s AAA Four Diamond award-winning culinary experts. Your tasting glass is yours to keep, complements of the event.
Live jazz by Elan Trotman sets the mood for an exquisite evening of fine food and drink! A native of Barbados and a rising star in the galaxy of jazz, Trotman was names Jazz Artist of the Year by both the New England Urban Music Awards and the Barbados Music Awards. Trotman is not only a seasoned performer, but also a composer and music educator.
The VIP Suite
A limited number of tickets to the VIP Suite are available by reservation only. VIP guests will enjoy 12 high-end wines chosen from a worldwide selection specifically for the event and ranging in price from $85 to $150. VIP wines include Caymus Special Select Cabernet Sauvignon, Quintessa, Chateau Leoville Poyferre, Louis Roederer Cristal, Arietta H Block Hudson Vineyard, Lindstrom Cabernet Sauvignon Stag’s Leap, Beringer Private Reserve, Clarendon Hills, Sassicaia, and Antinori Tignanello. A special selection of hors d’oeuvres accompanies the wines.
The Event’s Charity Partner
The New Jersey Spring Wine Festival has partnered with Family Promise of Bergen County and will donate net proceeds from the event to the organization dedicated to alleviating the plight of the homeless in Bergen County.
If you go:
April 24, 2015
New Jersey Spring Wine Festival
Short Hills Hilton
41 John F. Kennedy Parkway
Short Hills, NJ
Digital game designers have earned a reputation among the most innovative and forward-thinking minds in the Information Age. And while one might not immediately think of gaming as an instrument for social change, the virtual worlds of game design exert a powerful influence on the way we view the material world. So it’s no surprise that industry leaders, CEOs, designers, and innovators should come together in New York City to discuss and celebrate the ways in which digital games can help yield a more stable and productive future—both economically and environmentally.
Part of the famous Tribeca Film Festival, the 12th Annual Games for Change Festival is a four-day event that draws thousands from not only the tech and gaming communities but also from those interested in promoting messages of social change through gaming innovation. The festival’s broad array of panels, workshops, and seminars features something to spike the interests every gamer. Topics include choosing your own hybrid platform, cross-platform interaction, the Arab world and its digital now, reclaiming culture through game design, culture war and video games, games and social interaction, and many more!
You’ll also find a wealth of mini-talks on topics from designing games with scientists to post-Colonial thought in games. Plus, festival demos will include some of the more exotic and little-known digital games from around the world to spark your imagination. And don’t worry, there will be plenty of chances to network with others in the field.
Presenters include Morgan Spurlock (of Supersize Me), Colleen Macklin (Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Design and Technology at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City), Karen Helmerson (Program Director for Electronic Media, Film & Visual Art at the New York State Council on the Arts), Philip Tan (research scientist at MIT Game Lab), Peter Vesterbacka (brand ambassador for Rovio, creator of Angry Birds), Dan White (co-founder, Filament Games), Jesse Schell and Jake Witherell (of Schell Games), and many more!
The annual Games for Change Awards will also be presented at the festival, honoring the year's best digital games for change. The finalist games will all be available to play at the Festival, and the official Awards presentation will occur on April 22nd.
If you go:
Games for Change Festival
April 21–25, 2015
The Center for Architecture (main festival space)
536 LaGuardia Place, Manhattan
The Uncommons Game Café (networking, games, sessions)
230 Thompson Street, Manhattan
NYU Kimmel Center (networking, sessions, topic tables)
60 Washington Square South, Manhattan
1-day pass $299
2-day pass $399
All-access pass $550
Celebrate The Blooms Of Spring At "Sakura Matsuri" - The Cherry Blossom Festival At Brooklyn Botanic Gardens!
An appreciation for the beauty of the cherry blossom is deeply embedded in Japanese culture, and the annual return of these breathtaking blooms is an eagerly anticipated event throughout Japan. “Hanami”—the Japanese term for the viewing of the blossoms— rests at the heart of long-honored customs and traditions that include dance, music, and trapping fallen petals in cups of sake.
Each year the Brooklyn Botanic Garden kicks off cherry blossom season with a grand celebration called Sakura Matsuri (the Japanese term for Cherry Blossom Festival). Each spring the Garden’s unmatched collection of cherry trees—the largest and most diverse outside Japan—-displays a stunning canopy of blossoms that form the centerpiece for the celebration.
While cherry blossom season extends from late March though late April, Sakura Matsuri is a two-day event, occurring this year on the weekend of April 25–26. Here are just a few of the events scheduled for the festival…
Music and Dance
Music and dance takes to the Main Stage with thunderous taiko drumming, elegant Kabuki Buyo dance, the Awa Odori dance and narimono drum ensemble from Shikoku, Japan, and much more!
Comedy, Cosplay and Games
You’ll also find stand-up comedy, cosplay crafting, illustration demonstrations, and more on the J-Lounge Stage at Osborn Garden. Traditional arts and games will feature tea ceremonies, doll displays, Shogi Chess and the game of Go.
Learn to Draw Like the Manga Masters!
The popular art of Japanese comic illustration (or Manga) will be a big part of the celebration, with illustration workshops and demonstration for both adults and kids!
Bonsai and Ikebana
Discover the world of traditional Japanese Bonsai, as well as the art of flower arranging with tours and demonstrations.
There will be plenty to keep the kids entertained—with workshops in Manga illustration, origami, and tea-making. Kids can even get their photo taken posed in Samurai warrior cutouts!
If you go:
Annual Cherry Blossom Festival
Brooklyn Botanical Garden
990 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn
April 25 and 26, 2015
Admission: Adults $25, Students and Seniors $20, kids under 12 FREE