Let’s Explore NY: Riverside Park and Sushi Yasaka

Let’s go to the Upper West Side for a picnic in Riverside Park. You can take the 1,2,3 to 72nd St and Broadway and walk west a couple of blocks.
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Photo Essay: July 4th on Coney Island

Cyclone Coney Island
The World Famous Cyclone

Coney Island is always a great place for photos. I wandered around here on July 4th, trying to take it all in.
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Let’s Explore NY: Governor’s Island

Let’s explore Governor’s Island. You can take the 4,5 to Bowling Green, the R to Whitehall St, or the 1 to the South Ferry Terminal to catch the ferry out of Battery Maritime Terminal to Governor’s Island. It leaves every hour on weekdays and every 30 minutes on weekends and costs $2. The ferry ride is a quick 10 minutes but go to the top if you want to snap some nice pictures of Brooklyn and New York
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Let’s Explore NY: Mu Ramen and Gantry Plaza State Park

Let’s explore Long Island City for this date by going to Mu Ramen (12-09 Jackson Avenue), stopping by Gantry Plaza State Park, and ending the night at LIC Bar (45-58 Vernon Boulevard). You can take the 7 to Vernon Blvd-Jackson Av or the G to 21st St.
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Let’s Explore NY: Fort Tryon Park and the Cloisters

Let’s explore Washington Heights and go to Fort Tryon Park and the Cloisters (99 Margaret Corbin Drive in Fort Tryon Park). You can take the A to Dyckman St or the 1 to 190th St to get here.
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Let’s Explore NY: Flex Mussels and Joyce Theater

Let’s go to Chelsea (ish) and eat at Flex Mussels (154 W. 13th St) before watching dance at the Joyce Theater (175 8th Ave). You can take the 1,2,3 to 14th St to get here.
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Let’s Explore NY: Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and the Brooklyn Museum

Let’s go to Park Slope and have a picnic in Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and then visit the Brooklyn Museum. You can take the 2, 3 at Eastern Parkway-Brooklyn Museum.
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Let’s Explore NY: Old Tbilisi Garden and Terra Blues

Let’s go to the NYU area and have dinner at Old Tbilisi Garden (174 Bleecker St) and listen to some blues at Terra Blues (149 Bleecker St., 2nd fl). You can get here by taking the A,B,C,D,E,F,M to W 4th St.
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Let’s Explore NY: Meme Mediterranean and the Barrow Street Theatre

Let’s explore the West Village: have dinner or lunch at Meme Mediterranean (581 Hudson St) and then catch a show at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow St). Both of these places are located in the West Village and you can get there by taking the 1 to Christopher St or the A,C,E to 14th St.
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Let’s Explore NY: Lasker Rink and Zoma

Let’s head uptown to Lasker Rink (north side of Central Park) and Zoma (2084 Frederick Douglass Boulevard). Both are these places are located in South Harlem and can be easily reached by taking the 2,3 to 110th and Lenox Ave or the B,C to 110th and Central Park.
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Chinese New Year in NYC

Chinese New Year is one of my favorite holidays. I get to spend time with family, eat delicious food, and make homemade dumplings! New York City is a great place to be during Chinese New Year because there are lots of fun events to attend and many restaurants will have specials featuring some of the dishes that are integral to any Chinese New Year’s feast (see the Grub Street list here!).
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Let’s Explore NY: Leo’s Latticini and the New York Hall of Science

New York City is one of the best places in the world with many many neighborhoods to explore. This is the start of a series exploring each neighborhood. I’ll note one activity and one meal that I love in the neighborhood to start and hopefully, you’ll discover more!
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Finding my favorite book in NYC

Call me old-fashioned but I still love going to bookstores and browsing the shelves to discover new titles. A friend once said that if she could choose a superpower, it would be to put her hand on the spine of a book and instantly read its contents. Even without this superpower, there’s something magical about running your hand over rows of books. Here are some of the best places in NYC to find a good book:
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Yummy Food Stores in NYC

New York is well-known for its shopping but the shops that I find myself frequenting the most are the food shops in NYC. I love that you can find a shop that specializes in pretty much anything you feel like eating. Here are some of the best:

Pickle Guys (49 Essex St) – this place has been around since I was a little kid. I loved running around the corner and picking a freshly pickled pickle from one of the giant vats. They have salty or garlicky or spicy and the owners are so friendly!

The Pickle Guys
photo by Jay Mandel

Murray’s Cheese Shop (254 Bleecker St) – so much cheese and they have their famous cave for aging the cheeses. You can get soft cheese, bleu cheese, French cheese, Spanish cheese, all kinds of cheese! Continue reading “Yummy Food Stores in NYC”

Cheap Ways to Experience World Class Culture in New York (Part 2)

This is the second post detailing how to experience world class culture in NYC. In this post I’ll list my favorite museums and galleries, which are either free or have a suggested donation as well as museums that have cheap nights.

Free/Recommended Admission (I recommend paying this if you can afford it but just know that you don’t have to):

The Met (1000 5th Ave) is one of the best art museums in the world. I especially love the sculpture gallery at the Met. It is just astonishing how realistic and emotive a piece of marble can be. 

The American Museum of Natural History (Central Park West and 79th St) is one of my favorite museums. I remember coming here on many school trips and being amazed by the life-like exhibits. The best thing about this place remains the giant full-size blue whale that hangs above the main gallery.

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Cheap Ways to Experience World Class Culture in New York (Part 1)

New York has some of the best cultural institutions in the world but they can be very expensive. But did you know that many of these institutions have programs that allow you to buy great tickets cheaply? Many museums are donation-based and pretty much all concerts and shows have either rush tickets or cheap tickets for young people. In this post, I’ll go through the many ways to get tickets to performances on the cheap. The next post will be about going to museums and galleries cheaply.

The New York Philharmonic offers students rush tickets up to 10 days in advance online, which is an awesome deal. My favorite program, however, is the 35 under 35 program. This program allows you to buy as many $35 tickets as you like for 3 or more concerts (you have to attend at least 3 concerts) as long as you prove that you are under 35 years old. The tickets can be in any section (hello Orchestra and First Tier!) and you can choose from almost any concert at the Philharmonic. I’ve been able to see Joshua Bell, Gil Shaham, and will be going to a Yo-Yo Ma concert in the spring.

The Met Opera offers rush tickets for $25 for anyone Monday – Saturday at noon and 4 hours before the performance for Matinees. You can buy two tickets and the seats are in the Orchestra or First Tier. You have to buy them online via the Met website Continue reading “Cheap Ways to Experience World Class Culture in New York (Part 1)”

Favorite Food Mainstays in New York

I grew up in New York and it’s always held a special place in my heart so I thought it might be fun to do a small series of NYC posts. One of my favorite things about NYC is how easy it is to find delicious food. I’ve seen a lot of places come and go but here are some of my favorite places that have been around for a while. The service in all of these places is really warm and makes you feel extremely comfortable. If you get the chance to visit any of these places, you’ll immediately see why they’ve been around for so long.  Continue reading “Favorite Food Mainstays in New York”