CITYSIGHTS NY BLOG
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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?
Given its standing as one of the world’s most popular cities, it’s no surprise that New York City has served as the backdrop for some of the most famous movies in the history of cinema. For modern movie lovers, the Big Apple also hosts one of the most exciting film festivals in the world. If you’re a movie buff, the NYLA Film Festival or TCM Classic Film Tour are definitely two events that should be at the top of your bucket list.
The NYLA International Film Festival
Just ask anyone within the movie business what the two most important cities are to their industry, and the most common responses will of course be New York and Los Angeles. Now contributors from both cities have come together to create the NYLA International Film Festival. Held twice a year in each city, the festival was created to offer burgeoning filmmakers a venue where they could screen their work for audiences eager for fresh filmmaking away from the mainstream. Fans will find film options here in every genre, from fantasy to horror, comedy to crime caper, and drama to documentary. Those who are drawn to foreign films will also find a number of viewing options to suit their fancy. The filmmakers themselves are often on-hand to interact with audiences and participate in live forums.
The TCM Classic Film Tour
If you happen to be a lover of classic movies, then you’ve come to right place. Some of the most memorable scenes ever recorded on film have happened right here in the Big Apple. Now, On Location Tours has partnered with Turner Classic Movies to offer the TCM Classic Film Tour, an experience that takes movie lovers right the spots where their favorite scenes were filmed. Stops along the tour route include:
• The Empire State Building
• Grand Central Terminal
• Central Park
Close your eyes, and you can picture Cary Grant waiting for Deborah Kerr at the observation deck of the Empire State Building, or Frank Sinatra fishing Lawrence Harvey out of the lake in Central Park. You’ll even see the same brownstone Audrey Hepburn called home in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, as well as the infamous subway grate that turned Marilyn Monroe into an icon in the Seven Year Itch. Your tour guide will come equipped with fun facts and trivia about each iconic movie, giving you a true “behind-the-scenes” glimpse at the many movies masterpieces filmed here.
Just take a walk around New York City, and you know you’re in place unlike anywhere else on Earth. No wonder so many filmmakers have used the unique magic that the city has to offer in their films. If you’re looking to immerse yourself in a cinematic experience, you can’t go wrong in NYC. Whether it’s touring iconic film locations or taking in some of the latest work from the film industry’s newest stars, you’ll find as much movie magic here as you would on any Hollywood backlot.
There truly is no other city in world quite like New York. Where else can you find such a combination of diverse cultural history and the frenetic, in-your-face pace of the modern world? Yet while certain NYC attractions can only truly be experienced at ground level, the best way to get a comprehensive view of the City That Never Sleeps may just be from the water. New York holds the unique distinction of being one of the few of the world’s metropolises that’s situated on an island. Thus, those looking to see all that the city has to offer can do it away from the hustle and bustle on any one of the brunch cruises offered on the Hudson or East Rivers .
Enjoy Breathtaking River Views
Both rivers figure prominently in New York City’s rich history. Therefore, it seems only appropriate that they be the pathways that take you around the city to give you a view that few are able to enjoy and even fewer truly appreciate. From the deck of your vessel, you’ll take in some of the city’s most important landmarks on the Hudson side, including:
• The George Washington bridge
• The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Governor’s Island
• The famous Upper West Side
• Battery Park and the South Street Seaport
A Hudson River cruise can also give you a great view of the fast-paced Financial District, without having to be swallowed up in all of the foot traffic.
Head on over to the East River, and you’ll see sights such as:
• The United Nations
• Historic Roosevelt Island
• The Manhattan, Williamsburg, and the world-famous Brooklyn bridges
An On-Deck Experience You’ll Never Forget
You’d think that the sights and sounds of the big city would be enough to enjoy in-and-of-themselves, right? Well, imagine taking them in while also feasting on a fine Sunday brunch. Any of the many brunch cruises you can find will feature some of the best baked goods that NYC has to offer. You and your family can enjoy everything from sweet treats such as waffles, pancakes, pastries and bagels, to savory options like stuffed quiche, ham and turkey sausages, and much more . Wash those down with a refreshing glass of orange or grapefruit juice, or take a Bloody Mary or glass of wine out to the deck to enjoy. Live jazz music by local artists serves as the perfect complement to this unique setting. Any way you choose to enjoy it, your brunch cruise will be event that you’re sure to remember.
Whether you’re an out-of-towner taking your first glimpse of the Big Apple, or are one of the city’s 8.4 million residents that’s simply looking for a relaxing weekend, a Sunday brunch cruise may be just what you’ve been searching for. Great food, good company, and some of the most breathtaking views in the world are here for you and your entire family to enjoy. Don’t miss this chance to fall in love with NYC all over again.
Your options for entertainment in the Big Apple are seemingly endless. The variety of fine dining and drinking establishments, parks, historical sites and museums the city has to offer can provide anyone with a perfect pastime. Of course, any discussion of New York City entertainment is not complete unless the world-renowned selection of concerts, theater and musical shows is mentioned. Catching a show is a great way to spend an afternoon or enjoy an elegant evening on the town. You can pick up a pair of Broadway tickets or get in line to see the Rockettes dance. Whatever kind of entertainment you like, New York City surely has a production that will show you a good time.
Concerts in the City
New York City attracts the best artists and musicians around the world, and this makes it likely that your favorite performer will be coming to the city sometime soon. The city’s parks host many outdoor concerts throughout the year, and Central Park’s largest shows entertain thousands of people at a time. Along with hundreds of intimate music venues, there are a variety of famous concert halls that provide musical enjoyment as well as historical and architectural interest, including:
• Lincoln Center, a complex of venues for dance, opera, jazz, symphonies and other performing arts
• Carnegie Hall, a historic building with excellent acoustics and architectural beauty
• Madison Square Garden, host to giant concerts and sports events
• Radio City Music Hall, a beautiful show venue that hosts singers and instrumental performances
Radio City Music Hall
Besides hosting concerts, Radio City is home to the Rockettes show, famous all over the world for their high kicks and seasonal shows. The Radio City Christmas Spectacular is a favorite activity for New Yorkers and tourists alike during the holiday season. The Rockettes continue their exciting performances that are enjoyable at any age all year, including the New York Spring Spectacular.
Radio City Music Hall is also known for its elegant architecture and inspiring décor. The venue encourages visitors to arrive at shows early to appreciate the magnificence of the building and also offers backstage tours.
Musical Theater and Broadway Shows
Whether you are interested in a play, a one-man show, or a musical, New York City’s theaters have a performance that you will enjoy. The theater district provides thousands of visitors with access to revivals of classics like “Chicago” and “Phantom of the Opera,” and introduces new, exciting theater and performers every year.
Finding Broadway tickets is easier than ever with the help of online vendors, and you can browse for the right show or learn about concert venues, Radio City Music Hall events or upcoming performances in the parks or at your favorite pub. New York City has so much to offer, and its love for the performing arts gives you enough options for entertainment to keep you busy all year long.