CITYSIGHTS NY BLOG
June is here and a step closer to hot and humid weather. The normal temperatures for this time of year are
- Average High: 79°F (26°C)
- Average Low: 64°F (18°C)
June also brings the start of the film festival at Bryant Park... Check out the schedule
So bring a blanket and cozy up with a loved one and enjoy a free movie!
This Thursday & Friday (29th /30th), a semi- annual celestial occurrence in which the streets of New York get bathed by the sunset called "Manhattanhenge" will fall upon us once again.
This solar event sometimes referred to as Manhattan Solstice causes the the sun to set in alignment with the Manhattan street grid, which makes for some awesome picture taking like the one here. Make sure you are looking East to west so you don't miss it, the farther east you are the better.
Seems like Friday may be the best day to view this spectacle. So, battery up those cameras and wait for the sunset :)
Music + Free Concerts + Summer = Summer Stage in Central Park!
This years lineup includes a must see reunion of the 80's alternative bands Sonic Youth and The Feelies. For the old school and Afro beat heads like moi, performances by Hip Hop Pioeneer Afrika Bambaataa, and Seun Kuti, son of the infamous Afro-beat master Fela Kuti, light up the stage on July 6th. And a special soul/disco performance by Issac Hayes ( We miss you chef!)
Since its inception back in 1986, Summerstage has given the park back to New Yorkers; back from a time when many feared even strolling into the park during the day, much less at night. Summerstage not only was started to revive the dismal park, but it was the start of a New City. Though New York may have lost its essence and grimy underground, it made up for it by being a safe place to live in. Though we miss the New York of old, one has to wonder, did we actually expect the big apple to rot away for ever?
For more info go to summerstage.org. Great way to spend a weekend while touring New York City!
If you catch the Super New York Tour, you'll get free admission to one of the best Museums New York City has to offer, The Museum of the City of New York. If you don't hop on this tour then you must visit the Museum regardless to learn a bit more about the city you live in or are visiting.
The current exhibitions consist of "Manhattan Noon", Photographs by Gus Powell, "Catholics in New York 1808-1946", "Campaigning for President: New York and The America Election", New York Fast forward" an architectural exhibition, and many more.
I plan a trip myself soon, you know me, I LOVE NEW YORK!
The Brooklyn Bridge turns 125 years old this month and to commemorate its born day, fesitivities have been announced!
The city is getting ready to celebrate with an array of goodies including special bridge lighting, concerts and film series. The 5 day celebration kicks off May 22nd with a performance by none other than the Brooklyn Philharmonic (yeah we got one too!) at the Empire-Fulton Ferry State park in Brooklyn and a fire works show.
The Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park is a nine-acre waterfront park along the East River in Brooklyn located between the historic Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. You can just walk over the Great bridge and walk down to the park; matter of fact, you can see the park from the bridge on your left side (walking towards BK).
It's a great area also known as DUMBO, full of old late 19th century warehouses and cool cobble stone streets. Well known for its artist spaces but the area is being transformed into condos and higher rent spaces for upper middle class.
Cool art galleries and chic boutiques are situated just around the bridge and one of my favorite record shops called Halcyon is a must see for cool music and vinyl heads.
It's getting warmer in the Big Apple, temperatures are slowly rising and reaching mid 70s :)
Great time to visit New York City if you're planning a vacation. Soho was so packed this past weekend due to an unexpected street fair on Broadway.
If you love bicycling or roller blading, 2 great places to hit the pavement are Central Park and the west side bike lane, right next to the West Side highway. The west side highway lanes feature a great view of the water and New Jersey with a nice cool breeze. Lots of places to chill and relax in Battery park and the riverside park near Christopher street.
Central Park is great for enjoying the grass and park attractions. Looking forward to busting out the roller blades this summer and hitting the disco circle. A closed off circle area with a DJ and the sweet sounds of Disco in Central Park for skaters.
I remember back in 1988-1989, my late night excursions with friends into club land would take us deep into an area filled with warehouses, dark alleyways and cobbled stoned streets. You could hear the music pounding through large garage/factory doors with no signs of a legit establishment, but inside was another world filled with music, dancers and nightlife! This area is known as Tribeca.
Tribeca was a haven for short run parties and clubs; one of which closed in recent years known as vinyl. Vinyl held the best house parties in its 15 yr or so span like Shelter, body & Soul, NASA and many more. Unfortunately. like the rest of Tribeca, all these warehouses were converted into condo lofts. Goodbyeeeeee New York Night life!!! :(
Tribeca still reflects much of old New York. You can see many of these old warehouses fully restored along side cobble stone streets. In the 60's and 70's just like Soho, it was home to striving and hungry artists due to the cheap rents in abandoned lofts and seclusion of lower Manhattan.
Now Tribeca has flourished with many new businesses though there are still lots of commercial spaces available. Even though its a highly residential area now, its still a trek to the nearest public transportation like subways; which means not too much street traffic just below Canal street. Tribeca is home to lots of great restaurants like Nobu for all the sushi lovers and many others. A nice hotel to stay at in the area is the Tribeca Grand which holds a great restaurant and bar with DJ's. But for me, the best Tribeca has to offer are the many loft buildings built in the late 19th century. You can still catch a few loft buildings which haven't been touched in ages and still embody the grand splendor of the 1960s and 70s when artists used to occupy them..old and rusty...I love'em :) I always like to walk my dog around Tribeca and just look at the buildings.
For all the movie buffs, the Tribeca Film festival is currently happening, a yearly event since the 2002. This festival was started by none other than Robert Deniro who is a local resident and the purpose was to bring back vitality to the neighborhood after the 9/11 attacks. The festival is gaining in popularity year after year and is now an attraction for tourists and the local yokels.
So hop on the Downtown Tour bus, and hop off stop # 12 and walk west! Just get lost and wonder around Tribeca's many cobbled stoned streets and views of beautiful loft buildings and warehouses.
One of the latest neighborhoods to undergo transformations within the retail, fashion boom (and condo homes) is Nolita, short for North of Little Italy. In the mid 90s, fashion designers headed to this area and boutiques sprang all over the place. Most of the boutiques are cute and small but high turnover is common in this area. One minute a new boutique pops up, then 6 months later it closes and a new one moves in.
High commercial rents make it almost impossible for small businesses to strive and profit. Let's not even speak of rental apts, they are sky rocketing, though in the current "recession", a drop down in rents has been taking place throughout the city. New condos are under construction as well. The building on the corner of Spring & Mott has a penthouse for $19million (thats right NINETEEN MILLION, pictured here before renovation). It's a beautiful 19th century building under recent renovation to make way for the people with deep pockets.
If you love pizza as I do, then you must stop by Rays Pizzeria, located on Prince street between Elizabeth and Mott. It's the O.G. (original) Rays pizzeria, and they've been there since the 1959.
Other great restaurants include my favorites Cafe Habana, for Cuban food, Mediterranean cuisine from Cafe Gitane and Mexican from La Esquina.
A popular attraction is Old St. Patrick's Church. Construction for the church began in 1809 and the current church stands since 1879! The wall surrounding the church is a sight; brick wall that actually leans it's so old and the gate doors located on Mulberry street are the originals and worthy of pictures. On Saturdays and Sundays and on warm days, you will catch vendors along this wall selling fine pieces of jewelry, art, clothing and more.
Just 1 block east of Elizabeth & Prince street is the Bowery. The newly constructed NEW MUSEUM (http://www.newmuseum.org/) opened this past December 2007. Odd boxed shaped building with unique art and worthy of a quick visit.
Nearby on Mulberry Street was the Ravenite Social Club. The hang out spot for John Gotti and friends. It's now a shoe store but I believe it still has the original floors. We won't dabble into Italian heritage though ;)
So if you're visiting Soho, just walk east on Prince street and enjoy the boutiques, restaurants and more on the streets known as Mulberry, Mott, and Elizabeth. Take the downtown bus tour
stop # 11, and have fun!