CITYSIGHTS NY BLOG
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.
Springtime is glorious in the Big Apple, bringing warm, bright weather and the return of green trees along the sidewalks and in the parks. It is time to enjoy the outdoors, great food and refreshing cocktails. That is why the NYC Cinco de Mayo celebrations are perfect for this time of year. The parties across the city will bring you out into the streets to partake in this Mexican fiesta of fun gatherings, delicious foods and excellent drinks.
Get Out and Enjoy Mexican Culture
Use the warm weather and Cinco de Mayo as excuses to join people from all cultures to commemorate a piece of Mexican history. The May 5, 1862 Battle of Puebla victory for the Mexican army is now observed as the Cinco de Mayo holiday in Mexico and parts of the United States today. New York City offers you a variety of events that will get you out into the spring air.
A great place to start is the Cinco de Mayo street fair. NYC street fairs are known for shutting down traffic for several blocks in order to bring a variety of vendors and attractions to the public. The Cinco de Mayo street fair will offer colorful booths to visit and fun foods and drinks to sample.
You can continue to enjoy the city streets by catching the city’s Cinco de Mayo parade. This parade brings Mexican music, dance and culture to the crowds with colorful costumes and floats perfect for an exciting day in New York City.
Get Out and Enjoy Mexican Flavors
Cinco de Mayo can also be enjoyed with a stroll to the city’s establishments that offer flavors of Mexico. New York City favorites like Rosa Mexicano and Dos Caminos are great choices to sample authentic Mexican foods and drink.
Other fun Cinco de Mayo events in bars and restaurants across the city include:
•Pub crawls: Join other partygoers on a holiday-themed trip through the city’s bars to have fun and try a variety of margaritas, beers and liquors from south of the border.
•Brunches: New York City’s brunches do not just involve favorite breakfast and lunch items. They also offer an excuse to enjoy a cocktail early in the day. Look for restaurants with Cinco de Mayo themes that will give you the opportunity to try a Mexican twist on the NYC brunch.
•Music: If you enjoyed the sounds of the parade or street fair, look for bars and restaurants hosting bands that will continue the Cinco de Mayo music for you while you dine and drink.
Plan Your Celebration
Cinco de Mayo is a great reason to celebrate Mexican culture, venture out into the warm weather and enjoy the events and dining experiences New York City has to offer. Plan your Cinco de Mayo celebration today and join the party this May 5.
More than ever, cyclists are able to take advantage of the fun and interesting places to visit lining New York City’s streets. Enthusiasts can take advantage of the emergence of bicycle lanes, along with the bike share program and a larger community of bike riders. Avid and novice riders both have the option to bike tour NYC and visit conventions aimed at those who love to cycle and those interested in learning more about it. Whether you want to see the famous sights of the Big Apple or you are a serious cyclist who rides daily, New York City has something for you to do.
The abundant, wide bike lanes that cover many parts of the city give you options to enjoy exercising, the outdoors, your bike and whatever interests you about the Big Apple. Cycling is a great way to experience New York City’s architecture, historic sites and parks. Wherever you end your ride, there will surely be an option for entertainment, a refreshing drink or excellent dining nearby.
Guided tours are also available for both skilled and novice riders. You can take advantage of excursions such as the Central Park bike tour that takes you through the heart of the city. The park is so large that tours are full of a variety of great sights and provide many benefits that a solo ride would not include, such as:
• An established set of routes that will allow you to see more of the park than you would if you were to try to navigate alone
• A knowledgeable tour guide that can tailor locations to your interests, such as history, architecture, film locations or nature
• Bikes, helmets and other gear that novice riders or tourists may not have
• A quick way to meet some other riders while seeing the sights
Big Apple Conventions and Rides
The New York City Bike Expo is one of the most exciting yearly events for avid cyclists and those hoping to learn more about bike riding. Hundreds of exhibitions, events and classes are available to cater to all interests, including fun options such as:
• Fashion shows
• Bike trivia
• Learn to ride programs
• Guides to urban cycling
You can also join fellow cyclists on organized bike rides. These events are a great way to meet and mingle with other riders while bringing attention to cycling. You can choose rides for specific groups such as women’s rides or activist rides, or just have fun with theme rides for holidays or costume events.
You can bike tour NYC, join cyclists on rides for entertainment or for causes, and learn more and have fun at gatherings such as conventions all within the city limits. Get out into the Big Apple with your bike and have fun today!
Beer lovers, this event is a rare and outstanding opportunity to experience some of the most carefully brewed and uniquely flavored craft beers available! For the second year in a row, the Five Boro Craft Beer Festival celebrates the brewer’s art with 45 brewers presenting their best products. Over 100 craft beers will be available for tasting—including many never before tasted brews, and special small-batch craft beer has been brewed especially for this event.
The event offers beer enthusiasts a rare chance to meet and greet many luminaries who continue to propel innovation in the craft beer world. There’ll even be a Home Brewer’s Contest in which home brew makers can see how their beers stack up against the competition.
Breweries represented at the Festival include Other Half, Big Alice, Gun Hill, Finback, Grimm, Queens Brewery, Bridge and Tunnel, Flagship, Radiant Pig, Rushing Duck, Point Jeff, Threes Brewing, Southern Tier, Dyckman Beer, Third Rail, Brooklyn Brewery, Moody Tongue, Captain Lawrence, Cigar City, and many more!
To dazzle the taste buds and complement the flavors of the features brews, local vendors will prepare delicious foods to suit every taste. (Yes, vegetarians are welcome!) Musical entertainment will be provided by two bands, Stolen Rhodes and Lions on the Moon. All guests will receive a commemorative tasting glass and gift. The Five Boro Craft Beer Festival is an indoor-outdoor event, so come and take in the view from the wrap-around terrace overlooking Beer Garden!
Proceeds from the event go to benefit Grow NYC, a nonprofit group founded in 1970 to develop and implement community environmental programs to help New Yorkers secure a healthy and sustainable environment for future generations. The organization operates the world famous Union Square Greenmarket, helps to build community gardens, teaches young people about the environment, and improves recycling awareness
If you go:
2ND Annual Five Boro Craft Beer Fest
May 1, 2015, 7pm–11pm
Studio Square NYC
35-44 37th Street, Long Island City, Queens
MUST BE 21 OR OLDER
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!