CITYSIGHTS NY BLOG
The history of Scots in America dates back to the 17th century, and Scottish Americans continue to honor their heritage annually in New York City with a weeklong celebration known as Tartan Week (a reference to the plaid design of the Scottish garment that defined a person’s family, home region and heritage). The highlight of the week this year will be the 17th Annual Tartan Day Parade on Saturday, April 11 at 2pm.
Parade day begins with the “Kirkin o’ the Tartan” at St. Andrew’s Church in Lower Manhattan—sponsored by Saint Andrew’s Society of the State of New York. The service is followed by a pre-parade brunch (reservations required) at the Church. Buses will be provided to transport all to the Tartan Parade start site.
Get warmed up for the parade with a celebration of Scottish music at Bryant Park! The pipes and drums will be out in force prior to the parade, so bring your Scottish pride. The concert is FREE to all and family-friendly.
Tartan Day Parade
The culmination of the exciting Scottish events filling Tartan Week, this is every Scot’s and American-Scot’s chance to celebrate their heritage! Beginning from Sixth Avenue at 44th Street, hundreds of pipers and drummers from throughout the nation and representing various clans and societies will make their way up Sixth Avenue through Midtown Manhattan! The parade features dancers, floats, and of course lots of pipers!
If you go:
St. Andrew’s Church
20 Cardinal Hayes Plaza
Admission: $35 Adults; Children under ten $17.50; Children under five FREE.
New York City Tartan Day Parade
Sixth Avenue at 44th Street
Start time: 2pm
Now that the snow has melted and the mercury has begun to climb the thermometer, it’s time to get outside and have some fun! So if you’ve got kids and plan to be in New York City during April sure not to miss two very special weekends of fun and games at the Children’s Carnival at the Queens County Farm Museum!
About the Carnival
You may not think New York City would be the place to find an old-fashioned country carnival, but the Children’s Carnival will surprise you! Located in the Floral Park neighborhood of Queens, the Carnival features a classic midway, lined with food stands, games of skill, entertainers and of course rides! Everything at the Children’s Carnival is designed to put a smile on young faces—from sweet treats and games with prizes to cuddly farm animals. And it’s a great way for parents to take a break from the fast pace of the city and experience another side of New York.
About the Museum
Located on a 47-acre parcel of estate farmland that can trace its history to the 17th century, the farm features historic farm buildings, a greenhouse complex, livestock, farm equipment and tools, fields, an orchard, and an herb garden. The Museum is open 7 days a week, year-round from 10am to 5pm. Visit the sheep cows, and chickens, then grab some feed and give the goats and lamas a treat! Weekends feature guided tours of the farm buildings, and you can even enjoy a hayride through the grounds!
Come Back to the Farm in Autumn!
To celebrate the fall harvest season, the Farm Museum features another carnival in September—complete with hayrides, apple-picking, fun and games, and a corn maze that will challenge your path-finding skills.
If you go:
April 11 &1 2 and 18 & 19
73-50 Little Neck Pkwy
Floral Park, Queens
Admission: $12 (includes unlimited carnival rides!)
New York City has given the world of literature some of its most popular and iconic writers—from Herman Melville, Edith Wharton, and Washington Irving to Alan Ginsberg, Nora Ephron, James Baldwin, and Patti Smith. And New York remains home to some of the world’s largest publishing houses. So it’s no surprise that the city should celebrate the printed word in a big way. During Rare Book Week (April 7 –15), visitors can check out three major book fairs in the city!
The ABAA New York Antiquarian Book Fair
April 9–12, 2015
Park Avenue Armory,
Park Avenue, near 67th Street, Manhattan
Sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, this four-day event features over 200 rare book dealers exhibit some of the finest and most hard-to-find books, maps, manuscripts and illuminated manuscripts in the world. On the final day of the fair (Sunday, April 12, noon to 3pm), visitors may bring up to five items apiece for an informal evaluation by expert appraisers. While no dollar values are provided, appraisers are able to assess the condition and authenticity of each item. In previous years, Discovery Day has been the occasion of some remarkable finds—from Shakespeare to Kerouac—so bring your best and most unusual books!
If you go:
Admission: Adults $25, Students $10, Special Early Admission VIP Tickets $50
New York City Book & Ephemera Fair
April 11, 2015
Wallace Hall, Church of St. Ignatius Loyola
Park Avenue near 83rd Street, Manhattan
Here’s your chance to browse and buy some of the most unusual items in literary history—from rare first editions and signed copies to personal correspondence, photographs, sheet music, and items of literary and historical importance. Nearly 50 vendors will exhibit their unique and unusual items. Dome of the items on display are a signed personal letter by Susan B. Anthony, a Union soldier’s hand-written Civil War journal, a copy of the Declaration of Independence printed in 1818, and a rare illustrated copy of Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass.” The fair is a must for lovers of the printed word.
If you go:
Admission: $15 at the door, $10 online
Free shuttle provided between Armory parking (at 67th St.) and the Fair (at 83rd St.)
The Food and Book Fair
April 10–12, 2015
80 Wythe Avenue (at North 11th Street), Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Celebrating the intersection of food and literature, the Food Book Fair is now in its fourth year and going strong. The only fair of its kind, the FBF embraces the new and emerging ideas in food and writing that spans the realms of art, science, education, activism, technology, politics, and entrepreneurship. The Fair features a wide array of events and panel discussions on topics that range from vegetarian cooking to advice on self-publishing. Over 50 chefs, writers, and publishers will be in attendance, and a wide range of independent food-related magazines and their makers will be on site as well. A must for those who care about what they eat!
If you go:
Friday Festival Pass, $149
Saturday Festival Pass, $149
Sunday Festival Pass, $129
3-Day Complete Festival Pass, $349
New York City has long been a prime location for both filmmaking and movie premieres, with many noted starts and directors either getting their start in the Big Apple or maintaining a residence three. The city is also home to some of cinema’s most dynamic and unique film festivals. So if you’re a film lover who’s planning to be in New York this April, you won’t want to miss these exciting events!
16th Havana Film Festival New York (HFFNY)
April 9–17, 2015
Celebrating Hispanic filmmaking since 2000, the HFFNY opens its 16th festival on April 9 at the Directors Guild Theatre (DGA) with the New York premiere of Boccaccerias Habaneras (Boccaccio in Havana) by Cuban filmmaker Arturo Sotto. This year’s festival delivers a total of 40 films—from full-length features, documentaries, and shorts, to animation, and classics from Latin America. On the program this year are several U.S. premieres, including Abecé by Diana Montero, Conversando con García Márquez sobre su Amigo Fidel by Estela Bravo, Mientéme Bien Jackie Chan by Grethel Castillo and Adolfo Mena, The Troublemaker: Behind the Scenes of the United Nations by Roberto Salinas, and Un Asunto de Tioerras by Patricia Ayala. The HFFNY also features a juried competition for the Havana Star Prize in the categories of fiction and documentary filmmaking.
Take Two Film Festival
April 10–12, 2015
Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Avenue (near 2nd Street), Greenwich Village, Manhattan
The Take Two Film Festival, now in its fourth year, promises a dynamic roster of films showcasing new artists who are pushing the frontiers of artistry and technology. This year’ entries include films from Israel, Denmark, China, India and many other countries.
The Festival also is known for fostering a special relationship with a number of art and film schools in New York City, which has given us access to many generations of talented and creative filmmakers. The venue, Anthology Film Archives, is a pioneering film museum in a historic building that’s been renovated to include a 187-seat theater with a superb sound system. There will be two evening shows each day. Filmmakers from around the world will be attending the festival and there will be Q&A sessions moderated by prominent film figures. The Festival’s award, the Manny, resembles a NYC manhole cover is awarded to the best filmmakers who “take the lid off” independent film.
Make this April your film-lover’s paradise in New York City!
Imagine a live improvised comedy performance that’s not only kid-friendly but performed by today’s top kid comics! From inventive skits and original characters to songs and dances that are certain to delight, Improv4Kids presents weekly daytime shows for the whole family from their conveniently located Midtown West location.
Each performance is energy-packed and unpredictable, because in the world of improve you never know what’s going to happen next. The cast of kids and adults engages the audience to help them create their act—so no two performances are the same. That’s right, you the audience members can suggest the themes and props for the performance—anything from a favorite book or movie to a color or song. Audience volunteers are even featured in the performances!
Best of all, each performance is not only entertaining, but also educational. The players are able to spark young imaginations and introduce kids to the wonders of language, music, performance, pantomime, and the art of storytelling! The engagement provided by shows like Improv4Kids has even been shown to boost concentration and improve mental agility.
Improv4Kids made its off-Broadway debut at the Lambs Theatre in 2005, and since that time has played hundreds of performances to delighted audiences of all ages. In 2007 the show became the official outreach program at the former Laugh Factory and the current Times Square Arts Center. Improv4Kids has been featured on ABC News and recently has begun hosting weekday shows for private school groups. The show also tours nationally and has brought its unique brand of laughter to schools, military bases, regional theatres, libraries, camps, charity fundraisers, festivals, and special events across the country.
So don’t miss a minute of the fun, get your tickets now and bring the whole family out for an afternoon of laughter!
If you go:
Saturdays at 3pm through June 27
Broadway Comedy Club
318 West 53rd Street (near 8th Ave), Manhattan
Tickets start at $25.
When New York City celebrates it’s never in a small way. So if you’re planning to be in town for Easter Sunday, be sure to check out the Easter Parade!
The earliest Easter Parades in New York City date to the mid-1800s, when the city’s wealthiest residents would stroll along 5th Avenue following Easter services at the St. Patrick’s and other churches in the area. Back then the parade was more of a fashion show, where people gathered to see the latest in luxury attire. Over the years, the Parade
Evolved from fashion to costume as participation grew. In 1948, composer Irving Berlin immortalized the event in song, and it’s been a landmark event ever since.
The 2015 Parade
Unlike the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, New York’s Easter Parade won’t feature floats or house-sized balloons—but it won’t be any less of a spectacle! Thousands come out each year to march in their Easter finest, including bonnets that range from the nostalgic to the outrageous. Even the pets get into the act—as owners love to dress their dogs for the occasion! There’ll be quite a few of the Easter Bunny’s friends in attendance as well. You can grab a seat in the viewing stands, stand curbside, or join in the stroll to catch all the action. The Easter Parade is a FREE family-friendly event, so bring the kids.
The Parade begins at 10:00 a.m. at 49th and 5th Avenue, near St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and continues north on 5th Avenue to 57th Street. Fifth Avenue between 49th and 57th will be closed to all vehicular traffic during the parade. The Parade is a “fair weather only” event, so check local news or online for word of cancellation due to inclement weather.
For those planning to attend a religious observance of the Easter holiday, St. Patrick’s Cathedral will celebrate Mass throughout the day (at 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, ad 10:15 a.m., and at noon, 1:00, 4:00, and 5:30 p.m.). St Thomas (at 5th Avenue and 53rd Street) will hold services at 18:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. with Solemn Eucharist at 2:30 p.m. Fifth Avenue Presbyterian (5th Avenue at 55th Street) will hold services at 8:00 a.m. (Communion) and at 9:15 and 11:15 a.m.
Other Easter Sunday Events in NYC
Most of 5th Avenue’s shops, department stores, and boutiques will remain open throughout Easter Sunday, so if you get the urge to purchase a bonnet of your own, there’ll be ample opportunity to do so. And if the kids want a full-scale Easter egg hunt, check out Easter Egg Hunt Weekend at Floyd Bennett Field, 3159 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, April 2 through April 6, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. This 5-day event is a must-not-miss. After the Easter egg hunt, enjoy the slide or visit the parakeet enclosure. For added fees, you can experience a hayride, visit the petting zoo, or ride a pony! Admission: $6 per person.
Whether you’re looking for a cozy brunch or a complete Easter dinner, finding a delicious holiday meal that won’t break your budget shouldn’t be as challenging as an Easter egg hunt. Fortunately Manhattan offers a full basket of choices to make your holiday dining experience exceptional.
Here are just a few delectable (and affordable) Easter dining options in Manhattan….
106 West 73rd Street, Manhattan
Check out the Sunday brunch featuring $18 carafes of Bellini or Bloody Mary’s. Or stop by in the evening for a $29.95 three-course dinner.
Bailey Pub & Brasserie
52 William Street (near Wall Street), Manhattan
Choose from thee delectable traditional Easter dinner offerings: roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, roasted chicken with brioche bread pudding, or roast pork loin with applesauce. $24 per person, served noon–9pm on Easter Sunday.
47 8th Avenue, (near 14th Street transit stops), Manhattan
A foodie favorite, you can’t beat the $25 Easter special of maple glazed country ham with Yukon gold potatoes au gratin, butternut squash & chestnut hash. Served all day!
Garage Restaurant & Café
99 7th Avenue South (near 9th Street), Greenwich Village, Manhattan
Enjoy a three-course jazz ($29.95) and kids menu ($19.95) or stop by later for a traditional four-course Easter dinner for just $69.95 per person. And while you’re in town, check out SoHo and Greenwich Village!
In Vino Wine Bar
215 East 4th Street, East Village, Manhattan
Delight in a three-course Sunday prix fixe leg-of-lamb dinner for just $25. Add a bottle of wine for $15.
65 2nd Avenue, East Village, Manhattan
Known for its tapas (small Latin-American dishes), La Cerveceria offers one brunch entrée plus bottomless 90-minute brunch for $29.95. And if you’re looking to work up an appetite, try a walking tour of Central Park!
130 West 57th Street, Midtown
Conveniently located near many of Manhattan’s best hotels and attractions, Opia offers a three-course prix fixe Easter brunch for $35 (just $20 for kids). Bring the family for an Easter egg hunt, face painting, and live music! While you’re in town, take a walking tour of Broadway!
Pera Mediterranean Brasserie
303 Madison Avenue (near 42nd Street)
The Easter Sunday special features a $29 brunch, including cocktail, appetizer, and main course, or a $38 dinner including appetizer, main course and dessert, plus half-off all wine by the bottle. Staying in Midtown Manhattan, take a tour of the famous Lincoln Center!
If you’re in New York City for Easter weekend and you’re in search of a quirky, outlandish, and hilariously entertaining way to spend the holiday, check out Full Bunny Contact (or FBC for short). This is not your grandma’s Easter celebration, and it’s grown-ups-only, so be prepared.
The main event of FBC is the game itself. Here’s how it works— two contestants at a time (each with an Easter basket) are placed in a caged-in area and are given 40 seconds to gather as many eggs as they can. Here’d the catch: the arena is filled with bunnies (no, not real bunnies), who will try to keep the eggs away from the contestants. The most agile and intelligent will be able to outsmart the bunnies and collect the most eggs (and no, hitting or shoving the bunnies is NOT allowed). The more eggs you collect, the more spins you’ll earn at the Prize Wheel.
If you want other entertainment choices, FBC delivers. You can shoot a giant Peep with a paintball gun, play putt-putt golf with an egg (harder than it sounds), or try a round of Bunny Ball (it’s like half-court basketball but your opponent is a very skilled bunny).
Want more? The thick-skinned among you can try having a photo taken with Insult Bunny or face the dark predictions of the Psychotic Bunny Fortune Teller. There’s even a bucking mechanical rabbit you can ride—and that’s no bull!
Each day of the 5-day FBC event includes something special…
• April Fool’s Day will feature special big prizes—you’ll have to attend to find out hat they are.
• April 2 is the night of the Bunny Beauty Pageant (8pm)
• April 3 features a timed egg-decorating contest for big prizes (5pm).
• April 4 is the day of the Temper Tantrum Easter Candy Contest (one for kids and one for adults)
• Easter Sunday rounds out the festival wit the less than spherical Masters of Egg Putt event.
If you go:
The Clemente Theater
107 Suffolk St. (between Rivington and Delancey Streets), Manhattan
April 1–5 (times and events vary)
Admission: $10 general admission; $20 general admission plus one round of Full Bunny Contact (the main event); $60 VIP pass lets you skip the admission line, and includes one free round of Psychotic Bunny Fortune Teller, one picture with the Insult Bunny, one round of Shoot the Peep, plus one round of Bunny Ball, ESPster Island, & the dunk tank. And a pair of bunny ears!
Easter is almost here! And at this time of year there are few things more fun for kids than an Easter egg hunt. If you’re taking a family holiday in New York City this Easter weekend, be sure to check out the city’s best egg hunts—they’re entertaining, challenging, and of course delicious!
Children’s Museum of Manhattan Easer Egg Hunt
Saturday, April 4, 10am–4:45pm
The Tisch Building, 212 West 83rd Street
FREE with Museum Admission of $11
Grab your scavenger hunt booklets and keep your eyes peeled for one of the city’s most challenging Easter egg hunts! Search for egg icons throughout the Children’s Museum, log your finds in your book, and collect your prize!
Saturday, April 4, Noon–3pm
Target East Harlem Garden, 417 East 117th Street
Join the Easter Bunny for a traditional egg hunt, egg decorating, and crafts in East Harlem. Sponsored by New York State of Mind.
NYC Fire Museum Easter Egg Hunt
Saturday, April 4, Noon–1pm
New York City Fire Museum 278 Spring Street, SoHo
Adults $8, Kids $5
Prowl the Fire Museum for delicious treats you can collect in the Easter bag you make and decorate yourself! And don’t forget to have your photo taken with Hot Dog, the Fire Museum mascot!
St. Luke’s Easter Egg Hunt
Sunday, April 5, 10:30am
Church of St. Luke in the Fields 487 Hudson Street, Greenwich Village
Following the 9:15 Easter Service at St. Luke in the Fields, join the Easter Bunny for a traditional egg hunt in the church garden. While all are welcome to attend the service, the hunt is open to the public, so service attendance is not mandatory.
Easter Egg Hunt Weekend at Floyd Bennett Field
April 2 through April 6, 11am–4pm
Aviator Sports And Events Center Floyd Bennett Field, 3159 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn
$6 per person
This 5-day event is a must-not-miss. After the Easter egg hunt, enjoy the slide or visit the parakeet enclosure. For added fees, you can experience a hayride, visit the petting zoo, or ride a pony!
Shore Road Park Easter Egg Hunt
Shore Road Park Shore Road and 79th Street, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
Enjoy the feel of one of Brooklyn’s oldest neighborhoods with a traditional outdoor egg hunt hosted by Senator Marty Golden at Shore Road Park in Brooklyn.
Barnyard Egg Hunt
Queens County Farm Museum, 73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Queens
Enjoy a country-style Easter egg hunt in the heart of the city! In addition to the barnyard egg hunt, there’ll be games, hayrides, and a chance to meet Whiskers the Bunny and his friends!
Some of New York City’s best-known and most important landmarks lie within an area encompassing only a few square miles in the heart of Manhattan. Now imagine a sightseeing tour that could let you see all of them from the comfort of a London-style double-decker bus. From the world’s financial nerve center and the site of the new Freedom Tower to exciting Times Square and the theater district, you’ll experience the history and excitement of New York City with an experienced tour guide to make sure you capture al the highlights!
The history of New York City as a financial center goes all the way back to the 1790s, when local businessmen gathered in a hotel on Wall Street, agreeing to trade shares of their companies only among an elect group. So was born what is now the New York Stock Exchange, where each day millions of shares from publicly traded companies spanning the globe are bought and sold. At Wall Street and Broadway you’ll also discover Trinity Church, whose spire is an instantly recognized symbol of New York’s history. The current structure is actually the third Trinity to stand on the site and was completed in 1846, making it at the time the tallest structure in the city. A more recent attraction in the financial district is the bronze “Charging Bull” sculpture by Arturo Di Modica. The bull, a symbol of financial prosperity and optimism, was presented by the artist as a gift to the city in 1989.
Freedom Tower and the 9-11 Memorial
The September 11 Memorial, opened in 2011, stands on the footprint of north and south towers of the original World Trade Center. The memorial's waterfalls and twin reflecting pools are set deep in the twin towers' footprints. The names of every person who died in the 2001 and 1993 attacks are inscribed into bronze panels that surround the Memorial pools, serving as a powerful reminder of the largest loss of life resulting from a foreign attack on American soil and the greatest single loss of first responders and rescue workers in American history. The memorial has been visited by 15 million people and the number continues to grow daily. As New York continues to recover from the events of September 11, 2001, work continues on the single tower (dubbed “Freedom Tower”) that now holds the address of One World Trade Center. The building, when complete, will feature an observatory that will be open for public tours
Once known as Long acre Square, the area we recognize today as the heart of New York City’s theater district began to take shape in 1904 when the first subway stop in the area opened at 42nd Street and Broadway. That same year, the first electric advertisement was placed on the side of a building at 46th Street. By the 1920s, the New York Times Building had become the centerpiece of the Square and was responsible for the name change. Up and down Broadway from its intersection with 7th Avenue, theaters began to spring up. By the late 1920s there were 76 theaters thriving in the area, and the river of electric theater marquees and other signs gave Broadway the nickname “The Great White Way.” By World War 2, the Square was a constant crowd favorite—from theaters and movie houses, to arcades, bars, restaurants, and the annual New Year’s Eve celebration in which a globe bejeweled with lights descends slowly from the tower of the Times Building at midnight. The district went through many changes after the war, and descended into a center for prostitution, pornographic theaters, and crime by the 1970s. Subsequent revitalization and redevelopment efforts by Mayors Ed Koch and Rudy Giuliani in the 1980s and ‘90s redrew the face of Times Square, placing many of its most historic theaters under city control, encouraging new business development, and dramatically reducing crime. Today the area thrives as it did in the 1940s and draws millions of theatergoers and tourists annually.
No trip to New York City is complete without seeing Manhattan’s financial and theater districts. So plan your adventure today and reserve your tickets now!