The Best Songs About New York City: Folk and Rock Music About NYC For 9-11

The following is a post from Patrick G. Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick speaks about the best Folk and Rock songs which are very close to New Yorkers. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

New York City is a thriving, bustling town that beats with its own lifeblood, the subway beneath pounding out a rhythm that the citizens feel in their shoes. Eight years ago, on September 11th 2001, New York suffered a great tragedy, but the people united to bring the City back.

This playlist –coming from the Folk and Rock genres– focuses less on the attack on 9-11, but more on the spirit of the New Yorkers. Not every song is positive, not every song is even set after 9-11, but every song captures the heart of New York.

Positively 4th Street, Bob Dylan

It is usually assumed that this scathing attack on some member of Dylan’s circle of friends is referencing Greenwich Village’s 4th Street. 4th Street in Manhattan is the heart of Greenwich Village and was the center of the American Folk Revival of the late 50s and 60s. Situated on 4th Street is Washington Square Park, where aspiring musicians would sit and play for fun and profit, many still do today (Lankford, Ronald D. “Folk Music USA”).

However, there is another 4th Street in Bob Dylan’s life. Bob Dylan attended the University of Minnesota for a short time before moving to New York to join the Folk scene there (“Bob Dylan” 4th Street was a major road in the area of town where many college students lived, called Dinkytown (

Trying to analyze the mind of Bob Dylan is dangerous work, but it is possible that “Positively 4th Street” has a dual meaning, partially referring to false fellows in Minnesota, and partially to them in Manhattan.

Chelsea Hotel, Dan Bern

“New love is beautiful/ new love is sad/ new love means giving up all the old loves/ that you’ve ever had”

Set in New York City, “Chelsea Hotel” is one of the most bittersweet, uniquely touching, love songs of the modern Folk era. “Chelsea Hotel” is about the narrator trying to get over his old lover in order to pursue a future with his new one. In doing so, Dan Bern has mirrored a common situation among lovers, and he does so with trademark quirkiness.

The Chelsea Hotel (actually “the Hotel Chelsea”) is a hotel on W 23rd St in Manhattan, and has been a center of artistic activity in New York. Many musicians, writers, and artists have lived or stayed there, including (

  • Bob Dylan
  • Janis Joplin
  • Sid Vicious
  • Dylan Thomas
  • Jack Kerouac
  • Dee Dee Ramone
  • Tom Waits
  • Robert Mapplethorpe

“City of Immigrants,” “Down Here Below,” Steve Earle

Off of Americana rocker Steve Earle’s 2007 album Washington Square Serenade, “City of Immigrants” captures the sprit of New York City like few songs do. Since New York was founded as New Amsterdam, the City has been the final destination for people searching for a new life. New York continues to be a major– if not the major– port of entry in America.

Earle sings “My heart keepin’ time to a thousand beats/ Singin’ in languages I don’t speak,” and a thousand hearts ring out the same. The tapestry of colors, cultures, and flavors of NYC is what makes New York unique in America and the world.

Washington Square Serenade is an album dedicated to New York City. Earle recorded Washington Square Serenade in 2007 after moving to New York.

There are several songs about NYC on the album, including “Down Here Below,” which uses Manhattan’s famous red tail hawk Pale Male– the first red tail to ever nest in a high rise building instead of a tree, and patriarch of the blossoming red tail hawk population in Central Park (Schulman, Janet. “Pale Male: Citizen Hawk of New York City“)–as an allegory for living in New York after 9-11. Despite adversity, Pale Male lives on in NYC, just like the people.

New York, New York, Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams’ song “New York, New York” (not to be confused with Frank Sinatra’s song of the same name) has become an anthem of sorts after the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11th. Besides being a love song of sorts to a lost girlfriend and to New York City, “New York, New York” had the luck (good or bad) of filming the New York skyline just days before 9-11 (“New York, New York.” Since then it has been associated with the attack, and with the City.

More Songs About NYC

  • The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy), Simon and Garfunkle — No New York playlist would be complete without a Simon and Garfunkle folk song.
  • Downtown Train, Tom Waits — Captures the loneliness that only a city of 8 million can create.
  • Incident on 57th Street, Bruce Springsteen — A rock ballad about trying to find love in the darker parts of New York City.
  • New York’s Not My Home, Jim Croce
  • Rockaway Beach, The Ramones — The quintessential New York band, Rockaway Beach is a popular destination for New Yorkers looking to hit the beach.
  • New Amsterdam, Elvis Costello
  • Chelsea Hotel No. 2, Leonard Cohen — Another song about the Hotel Chelsea. According to Cohen it is about love affairs with Janis Joplin and Nico (
  • Angel of Harlem, U2

This September 11th, let us pay tribute to this great city, that suffered a great tragedy, not by focusing on the attack, but on what makes New York City so alive, a city that can withstand anything. These rock and folk songs get to the heart, the soul, and the indomitable spirit of New York. Enjoy.

Free Arts and Crafts for Kids in New York City

The following is a post from Patrick G. Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick wants to tell us about the eco friendly arts and crafts workshops in NYC.Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

Family Friday’s Crafting. For those that try to be green, there are even free eco friendly arts and crafts workshops at Sustainable NYC.

RePlayGround at Sustainable NYC

RePlayGround at Sustainable NYC Store offers a monthly eco friendly arts and crafts workshop. They use re-purposing materials and (clean) garbage to make unique things. Some examples include cereal box wallets, magazine bead jewelry, soda bottle candy dishes and much more. These arts and crafts are offered for kids ages seven and up, and the adults that accompany them are allowed to help out. This event is offered on the second Wednesday of each month from 6 pm until 7:30 pm.


  • RePlayGround, Sustainable NYC Store, 139 Avenue A at 9th Street, Manhattan, (347) 885-9368

MiniMax Toys and Cuts in New York City

MiniMax Toys and Cuts is a shop known for their haircuts and toys, and on the weekend the store offers free arts and crafts selection. This is not offered every weekend, but happens on most Saturdays starting at around 10 am. On Sundays they also are known for offering free puppet shows. The crafts are geared towards kids and there is no age limitation set.

  • MiniMax Toys and Cuts, (718) 222-8697

Family Friday’s Crafting at Central Park in New York City

Family Friday’s Crafting at Central Park is offered at the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center. This park in Manhattan offers great nature themed crafts, and sometimes offers live music as well. They offer this every Friday from January through March, at 2 pm until 4 pm. These arts and crafts projects are offered to kids of all ages.

Spend A Weekend in New York City Tips for a Quick (and Touristy) Trip to Manhattan

The following is a post from Patrick G. Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick wants to share some tips about How one can spend his/her weekend in NYC. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

While people may want to stretch their New York vacations for longer than a weekend, spending two to three days in the Big Apple still allows visitors plenty of time to have a good time.

Broadway Shows

Booking a Broadway show ahead of time is an excellent idea for the well-prepared traveler who wants to go to a show. Getting tickets before you go is also an imperative to ensure seats for incredibly popular shows, such as those with big name stars. Tickets to musicals are often hard to get day of, too.

If you choose not to get tickets before your trip, save some money and visit a discount ticket center, such as the Times Square TKTS Center, located at Broadway and 47th. They have day-of tickets to many shows, and offer discounts up to 50%. Tickets can still be pricey, but they are usually worth it.

In one weekend, assuming the trip is Friday afternoon to Sunday morning, can be used to see up to three shows – Friday evening, Saturday matinee and Saturday evening. Most of the theatres are centrally located around Times Square, giving visitors plenty of time to get from theatre to theatre. With the bevy of restaurants in the area, finding time for a meal should be no problem, either.

Museums NYC


Even if you choose to go to a show or two (or three) there is plenty of time to visit at least one of Manhattan’s museums. No matter your taste, there is a museum for everyone. Such as:

  • American Museum of Natural History
  • Guggenheim Museum
  • Paley Center for Media
  • International Center of Photography
  • The Morgan Library and Museum

Other New York City Fun

Though they may be considered cheesy, there are some things that everyone should do in New York at least once.

Go to the top of the Empire State Building or Top of the Rock – Get a view of the city from one of its highest buildings.

Visit Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty – The first thing many people ever saw as they entered the United States was Lady Liberty. Take a ferry tour of the sites from Battery Park.

Walk around Central Park – If you happen to be in the area on a beautiful day, take in the sights and sounds of Central Park. This expansive green, modeled after London’s Hyde Park, is quite scenic in the spring.

Take a picture in Times Square – This stretch between Broadway and 7th is always buzzing. See the place where the ball drops to mark the beginning of each year, or just sit on the big red bleachers and watch the other visitors take in the sights.

Free Movies in New York City

The following is a post from Patrick G. Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick will tell us about some places where we can enjoy free movies in NYC. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

McCarren Park Pool in New York City

McCarren Park Pool offers a popular film series that is every Tuesday night at 8 pm from July through August. The movie begins after free live music, which begins at 7 pm. This is one of the more popular places for free movies, especially due to the fact that they offer many popular movies. Some of the movies that have been played here include Bring It On, Bonne and Clyde and Purple Rain.


McCarren Park Pool, Lorimer Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn,,

Instituto Cervantes in New York City

Instituto Cervantes offers a great selection of both Latin American and Spanish films. They also sometimes offer English language films that deal with Spain or Latin America. They offer a weekly film series every Wednesday at 6:15 pm. They also offer free lectures and panel discussions, as well as a popular library. Throughout the year they will offer other activities as well, many of which are free and open to the public. Information on these events can be found on their website.

Instituto Cervantes, 211-15 East 49th Street, (212) 308-7720,

Monday Movies Series in New Jersey

Although the Monday Movie Series requires crossing the Hudson, this is a very popular film series for those that are in New York City, and is a great excuse to escape the heat of the city. They offer a series of classic Hollywood movies, which are played in their lovely air conditioned parish hall. They even offer free drinks and snacks, usually offering the guests free seltzer and popcorn.

Monday Movie Series, All Saints Parish Hall, 707 Washington Street, Hoboken, New Jersey,,

Fall Activities Near New York City: Apple Picking, Corn Mazes and Pumpkin Patches in the NY Metro Area

The following is a post from Patrick G. Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick will talk about some Fall activities that one can enjoy in NYC. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

As the air gets crisp and apples and pumpkins begin to ripen, area farmers and orchard owners pull out all the stops to create great wholesome outdoor fun for the whole family. Anyone who has never been in a corn maze is in for a treat navigating through 8 to 10-foot stalks – it is definitely not just for kids.

A Farm in the City

The Queens County Farm Museum is the only working historical farm in New York City. Located in Floral Park, it is accessible by car, Long Island Railroad trains or city subway and bus lines. In addition to the museum, historic farmhouse and various farm animals, starting around mid-September through Halloween, the Queens County Farm Museum offers a giant corn maze filled with interactive activities. There are also hayrides and, on select weekends, special fall-theme festivals, pumpkin picking and Halloween activities.

Orchards Outside NYC

Looking to leave the confines of the city? There are plenty of options all less than a two-hour drive from midtown Manhattan many along scenic routes great for viewing the fall foliage.

On Long Island, try Fink’s Country Farm in Manorville, NY. Fink’s offers a host of activities in including hayrides and a combine slide. For a real challenge try the 7-acre corn maze at night with just a flashlight for guidance. Fink’s has a fully stocked farm stand featuring local produce and a u-pick pumpkin patch.

Headed in a different direction to the Hudson Valley, Barton Orchards, in Dutchess County has many fun fall activities. The smell of freshly baked apple cider donuts fills the air of Barton’s large country store. A 5-acre corn maze and haunted house are among the many attractions offered during the fall harvest season. Barton’s has two admission package choices – spend a few hours or the whole day.

Billing itself as New Jersey’s largest corn maze and hayride event, the Field of Terror in East Windsor, NJ is certain to get guests in the Halloween spirit. The flashlight maze and other haunted attractions are frightful but there are also family friendly options for the faint of heart. Young children will enjoy the daytime hayrides and pumpkin picking.

Pumpkins as Art in Westchester County

The Great Jack-o-Lantern Blaze is held each year on the grounds of Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson, NY. Stroll through the paths of this grand estate after dark and view the thousands of extraordinary hand-carved pumpkin creations. In addition to standard Halloween witches, ghosts and goblins, the display also features intricately carved animals, flowers and scenery. Members of the Historic Hudson Valley receive free admission to the event with advance reservation. All others must purchase tickets at the gate. The Blaze normally runs through the whole month of October.

Exploring New York City’s Morningside Heights: A Walk Through a Lively, Historic NYC Neighborhood

The following is a post from Patrick G. Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick wants to speak about some places where we can take a morning walk Through in the Historic NYC. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

Outdoor Living on Manhattan’s Upper West Side

Riverside Park, with its sweeping views of the Hudson River, is one of the city’s great outdoor spaces and serves as the neighborhood’s much-loved back yard. Dog owners let their pets run free in its many dog runs, couples watch the setting sun color the Hudson, Columbia students park themselves on the grass to study, and small children run and climb in the many playgrounds known as “Tot Lots” on the upper boulevard.

Bicyclists and walkers enjoy the waterfront esplanade that runs for four miles directly along the river from 158th Street to 59th Street, where it connects with another path that leads to Battery Park at Manhattan’s southern tip. Soccer and baseball fields, a skateboard park, a boat basin, kayak launches, and tennis courts are all found within Riverside Park. There is also a small wildlife area, “Forever Wild,” with footpaths for exploring. At the northern end of the area, just north of Grant’s Tomb, is the small and charming Amiable Child Monument.


Columbia University, New York’s Ivy League

Founded in 1754 by royal charter from King George III, Columbia University’s Morningside Heights campus covers more than 30 acres and six city blocks. The impressive wrought-iron gates at Broadway and 116th Street lead to a classic Ivy League campus filled with nineteenth century Beaux Arts buildings.

College Walk takes the visitor straight through the campus, from Broadway to Amsterdam Avenue. Notable sights along the way include Low Memorial Library, a National Historic Landmark, with its enormous bronze statue of a seated woman, Alma Mater.

The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, Also Called Saint John the Unfinished

A massive Gothic structure overlooking the cliffs of Morningside Park, Saint John the Divine is the seat of the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New York. Located on Amsterdam Avenue and 112th Street, Saint John’s was originally intended to be Romanesque in style. In 1909, the plans were altered to create the imposing High Gothic edifice that exists today.

Open to the public, the cathedral is an active participant in the life of the neighborhood with church services, outreach programs, a fine school, and a lively arts program. Its motto, “A House of Prayer for All People,” reflects the cathedral’s commitment to a diverse population.

The grounds of the cathedral are as fascinating as the interior. A large sculptural fountain to the east is ringed by small bronze sculptures created by Manhattan school children. Near the back of the cathedral is one of New York’s hidden treasures: a tiny Biblical Garden, tucked away from the hubbub of the city, where shady arbors offer an occasional glimpse of the Cathedral’s free-roving peacocks.

Eating Out in Morningside Heights

Eating is one of New York’s great recreational activities, and Morningside Heights offers many choices. The Hungarian Pastry Shop, directly across from the Cathedral, has served up coffee and cookies to generations of Columbia students and professors. Tom’s Restaurant, known to Seinfeld fans the world over, is on the corner of 112th Street and Broadway. Lime Leaf on 108th and Broadway is a fine and atmospheric Thai restaurant.

For world-class chocolate, step into Mondel’s Chocolates at 2913 Broadway, a tiny shop that has sold spectacularly delicious, hand-made chocolates of every variety since 1943.

Morningside Heights is a NYC neighborhood that richly repays an afternoon spent strolling its streets.

Top Restuarants in New York City: Best Places to Eat in The City That Never Sleeps

The following is a post from Patrick G. Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick will suggest some of the perfect restuarants, to have a wonderful meal. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

New York City offers a tasty escape from the doldrums of dining. A trip to the megalopolis is a perfect opportunity to sample its wares. With hundred of options know the best in three categories: Thai, Southern Style, and Italian.

THAI- Joya

215 Court St

Brooklyn, NY 11201

Phone: (718) 222-3484

Hours:Mon 5pm-11pm, Tue-Thu 12pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 1pm-12am, Sun 1pm-11pm

Thai food is the new black, hip and flavorful. For the best Thai food NYC has to offer go to Joya, located in the heart of Brooklyn Heights. Joya’s is small with low lighting, each table is candle lit. But do not be confused, this is no first date oasis or meet-the-parents diner. Esoteric avant-garde art litters the walls. The cooking is done in plain view so the popping of the flame and banging of the pans coupled with the music at nightclub volume makes normal conversation almost impossible. So make this a girl’s night out choice or rowdy friend retreat. During the warm months escape the bounce and eat on its outside patio.

Joya’s menu prices are reasonable to downright cheap. The food is delicious and well worth more. The menu offers dishes such as panang curry and pad see ew. If their ethnic variety confuses try the Thai staple pad thai with chicken or shrimp which is savory stir-fried rice noodles.


152 West 44th St.

New York, NY 10036


Hours: Sun-Mon 11am-11pm, Tue-Fri 11:30-12am, Sat 11am-12am

Virgil’s is the closest thing to true southern food found in the Big Apple. Conveniently located in Time Square, Virgil’s down to earth feel offers a comfortable ambience for serious eaters. The best of country music hovers over the air and the rich smell of the barbeque promises delectable dishes. The wait staff is professional and friendly. The prices are in the medium to high range; the highest menu item being the 16oz grilled sirloin steak.

The founders claim to have clocked ten thousand miles visiting over a hundred barbeque joints past the mason Dixie line to find the best of the region and the menu tells the tale. From Memphis ribs to Carolina pulled pork the restaurant’s food is delicious. Try the Train wreck Fries topped with cheddar cheese, smoked bacon, ranch dressing, and pickled jalapenos. In a carnival mood? Start the meal off with Okalahoma State Fair Corndogs which taste scrumptious.


154 West 45th St.

New York, NY 10036


Hours: Sun 1pm-9pm, Mon 11:30am-11pm, Tue-Sat 11:30am-midnight

Bond 45 is an exceptional throwback Italian restaurant located in the theatre district. It’s antipasto bar sits like decorative art at the entrance of the eatery and beckons the nightly show crowds. The concept behind the restaurant is simple: pretend you’re in New York, in the theatre district, eating Italian food. Ok, now imagine its sixty years ago. Bond 45 is all the drama of Broadway’s gilded age. The building was once the Hammerstein Theater and their website reminds us that the Ziegfield follies began on the roof.

The wait staff is every bit as charming as the set up and knows the menu backwards and forwards. The menu is extensive and offers the best of Italian dining options. From the antipasto bar chose the shrimp and scallop salad which is light and lemony. Gael Greene of “New York Magazine” declares their pizza the best in city. Whatever you might decide on for the main course be sure to settle on the canolli for dessert. This toothsome delight is the perfect way to bring the curtain down.

Choosing The Right Preschool In New York City Photos

The following is a post from Patrick G. Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick will share some important points that we should take care of, while choosing a Preschool in NYC. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

Choosing the right pre-school in New York City can be a real headache. Many families decide to move to the suburbs just for the sake of having their child in a better school. It is commonly assumed that schools in the suburbs provide a higher quality education than schools in the urban area. However, the reality is that there is no other place like New York City when it comes to offering children endless opportunities to develop academically, socially and culturally. So how to be absolutely certain that the only way for a child to end up in a decent preschool is for the whole family to move to the suburbs?

Leaving the city that never sleeps and moving to a quiet suburban area is a big decision. Parents need to be comfortable with this choice and know in their hearts that all viable options have been exhausted and that such move is the right step for the family. Some diligent research and basic understanding of the New York City school system is a must in order to determine the right pre-school options.

If a child is two to five years old and he or she is ready to start a pre-school, also known as Pre-K (pre-Kindergarten), the following should be considered:

New York City Department of Education Guarantees a Spot for Your Children in Public Schools

There are definitely some clear advantages in sending your children to New York City public schools. Besides the fact that public school education is free, the variety of the academic programs is quite impressive. The classroom size may be larger than desired, however children are exposed to the variety of different cultures and social backgrounds that makes their preschool experience priceless.

  • New York City public preschools are free.
  • For those who live in New York City, their residential address already falls under a specific pre-designated school for that residential zone. These zones are determined by the New York City Department of Education.
  • The NYC zoned system guarantees a spot for a child in a preschool as long as parents are able to present a proof of address.
  • Even though it may seem that the zoned system limits parents’ school choices, many NYC pre-school age children attend public schools.
  • Public schools in New York City can be further researched through the Public School Website: .

Information Regarding Rules fo Private Preschools in New York City is Not Available from the New York City School Board

The information about non-public New York City preschools and private academies should be obtained directly from the schools. Generally, the City of New York does not provide grants or vouchers for students to attend private schools. It’s a known fact that New York City Department of Education has a very minimal impact on the rules and regulations that are established internally in private preschools.

  • The first determination that parents in New York City have to make is whether they are budget ready for the private school tuition.
  • A careful consideration should be given to whether a child needs to attend a Pre-K all five days a week. Some families are only interested in a part-time schedule.
  • If there is a concern about the popularity and rating of the particular school, a proper research should be done.
  • Websites like provide lots of various and useful information on this subject.
  • Having a back-up plan is vital. The admission process is highly competitive. Unfortunately, some parents assume that because they are paying expensive tuition fees, their child will be automatically accepted to the school of their choice. They may be very disappointed to learn otherwise.

It’s important to remain open-minded and have faith in the New York City public schools system. New York City public schools have a standardized grading system and they must follow the Federal and State regulations. To make an informative decision, parents should use all avaiable research tools to understand their zoned pre-school rankings, various stats and programs offered at the school. Meeting with a parents’ co-ordinator at school may be a great idea. However, all children are different and, sometimes it’s important for a child to be in a smaller student to teacher ratio enviroment. Private schools also provide more oppotunities for the parents to voice their opinions and be more involved in their child school’s events and activities. In such case, the right decision may be to pursue a private school opportunity.

Nissan-powered Cabs in New York City

The following is a post from Patrick G. Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick wants to tell about the present condition of cabs in NYC. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

Recent news of American automakers experiencing economic difficultly over the past few years has inevitably sparked an interest in foreign transportation. The wealthy have gravitated toward these brands of vehicles as they have been considered “luxury,” considering their high-end features and sleek body designs. Among the aristocratic population are the taxi fleet owners of New York City, who arranged to have the auto industry giants present a new-and-improved taxi model for the future.

The final winner of the contest would receive a $1 billion contract from the mayor to begin supplying the city with new wheels. It turns out that the Japanese-based company Nissan won the vote of Michael Bloomberg after all.

Dates & Specifications

 Nissan beat out Ford Motor Company and Karsan to replace 13,000 old cabs in New York City over the next decade. The new model is valued at $29,000 per cab and has a gas mileage index of about 25 mpg, nearly twice that of the Crown Victoria that currently roams the streets looking for pedestrians in need of a lift.

The new Nissan van, which is handicap accessible and has the ability to convert to an all-electric engine, has almost 10 inches of extra leg room for a comfortable four passengers, separate temperature controls, anti-bacterial, nonstick seating and a variety of other technological upgrades. Cab riders will be able to charge their phones and laptops, along with USB port options, while the driver has the reliability of GPS navigation. Beginning in 2014, the current Crown Victoria by Ford will be phased out and every cab in New York City will be powered by Nissan by the year 2017.

This is where it gets interesting.

 “Ford offered the Transit Connect van, but city officials found the model problematic and uninspired. New York also thumbed down the Karsan model because of perception that the Turkish car manufacturing firm has little experience in the American transport market (Hernandez, 2011).” But it appears that the consultant who evaluated the designs, Ricardo Incorporated, has been previously employed by both Ford and Nissan! Some groups believe that this may have heavily impacted the voting process, and an investigation into the matter is currently underway.

Nonetheless, the contract will help Japan recover from the devastating natural disasters that are still causing some problems in their country. If it turns out that this influenced the final decision to choose Nissan, I’m sure that no one will complain, especially the fans who are very excited to see the new cabs in action.

Summer for free in New York City How to enjoy the city for no money during the summer

The following is a post from Patrick G. Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick will share some tips by which we can enjoy the city fun without spending money. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

Free movies

Bryant Park shows classic films every Monday starting mid-June through August. Bring your own blanket and picnic starting at 5 pm, the show starts after sunset between 8-9 pm.

RiverFlicks will show movies on Wednesday and Friday starting in July. The Wednesday movies are for kids and show at Pier 46 near Christopher Street on the Hudson River. The Friday movies are for adults and show at Pier 54 at 14th St.

Free concerts

Bryant Park also hosts free concerts every Friday that are broadcast on the morning program Good Morning America. The concerts are between 7-9 am. Show up early for popular acts.

Lincoln Center hosts Midsummer Night Swing going on during the week and weekends in the summer. To dance in the roped off area you need to purchase a ticket, but you can hear the music and enjoy it just as much for free on the outskirts like many others do.

Free plays

Shakespeare in the Park is put on every summer by the Public Theater in Central Park’s Delacorte Theater. Line up early to get free tickets because it’s very popular. Limit two tickets per person.

For those that prefer an easier free Shakespeare performance check out the free New York Classical performances every Thursday-Sunday nights at 7 pm in Central Park near 103rd Street.

Free kayaking

The Downtown Boathouse has free kayaking through August. Check them out at Pier 40 along the Hudson River near Houston St. Hours are 9 am – 6 pm

Getting there

Bryant Park is located at 42nd and 41st Streets between 5th and 6th Avenues. Take the B/D/F/V subway to 42nd stop.

Pier 46 is at the very west side of Manhattan near Christopher St. Take the 1 train to Christopher/Sheridan Sq. stop and walk west to the West Side Highway.

Pier 54 is across the West Side Highway near 14th St. Take the A/C train to 14th St. stop and walk west.

Pier 40 is located at Houston St. and across the West Side Highway. Take the 1 train to Houston St. and walk west.

The Delacorte Theater is at the south end of the Great Lawn of Central Park. Take the C/B train to 81st. St. Follow the path and signs to the theater.

New York Classical performances inside Central Park near 103rd St. Take the C/B train to 103rd, cross over into Central Park. Plays are informally performed on the lawn near the pond inside the park.

More NYC: Free sights

Transportation info: How to buy and use a MetroCard

Neighborhood info

-NoLIta: Mulberry Street

-Upper West Side: Historic Upper Manhattan

-West Village: Greenwich Avenue

New York City Travel and Tourism Rates Set to Break Record

The following is a post from Patrick G. Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick will speak about the NYC Travel and Tourism that is breaking all the records. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

Take New York City, for example. New York City is the most popular travel destination in the United States, (Forbes) hence, has the most to lose by a precipitous drop in travel and its related expenditures. Restaurants, hotels, and cultural attractions alike would all suffer a blow with a loss of tourists. Fortunately — and to some, surprisingly — this summer is turning out to be a record-breaker for New York City travel.

New York City Tourism Industry

On August 11, 2010, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that New York City was on track for new highs and record-breaking tourism levels in 2010. The mid-year travel rates are tracking higher than for the same period in 2009: New York City had 23.5 million tourists in the first half of the year, an 8.75 percent increase over the same period in the previous year. What with the popularity of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and Christmas in New York City, NYC is projected to meet (if not exceed) its goal 47 million visitors by the end of 2010, and of 50 million annual visitors by 2012.


New York City Hotel Occupancy Rates

No other sector is as valid a measure of travel rates to NYC than is hotel occupancy. After all, residents see Broadway shows and eat at restaurants frequently — those are two of the benefits of living in the Big Apple.

NYC & Company sent me a 5-year trend report of hotel occupancy rates, as determined by its Research and Analysis Department. The breakdown clearly shows that hotel occupancy rates are the highest at midyear in 2010 than any of the past five years: July 2010 shows hotel occupancy at 86.9%, with the matching months of 2009, 2008, 2007, and 2006 all being somewhat lower (with 2009 rate of 84.8% being the lowest of the past five years).

Average daily rates (ADR) tell a somewhat different story. The ADR for July 2010 is $220, higher than July 2009’s ADR of $198, but lower than those of 2008, 2007, and 2006. Perhaps this represents an adjustment to “the new normal” for New York City daily hotel rates, or perhaps this shows that hotel value packages and deals are enticing more people to spend their vacation dollars in the city.

Other New York City Tourism Sectors

All sectors are showing a rebound from 2009’s low travel rates. The first two quarters of 2010 had a 9.4 percent increase in non-commuter travelers coming to Penn Station on Amtrak, bringing over 1.8 non-commuter passengers in the city. In-bound passenger traffic at the three major airports servicing New York City also increased in the first half of the year, by 1.2% domestic and 4.8% international arrivals. In the first half of the year, Broadway shows had an increase of 3.7% over January-June 2009, selling more than 6 million tickets.

The travel and tourism industry, with its leisure and hospitality sectors, is New York City’s fifth largest industry. In 2010, more than 320,000 people are employed in some way in the travel industry and leisure markets. Hotel tax revenues contributed $178 million to the city’s coffers in the first half of 2010, up a whopping 25% over the same time period in 2009. Clearly, things are looking up for NYC’s travel and tourism industry. One can only assume — and hope — that the rest of the country follows suit.

New York City’s Harlem Book Fair: Books and Literary Reading Entertainment

The following is a post from Patrick G. Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick will tell us about the Harlem Book fair, a great place for Book lovers.Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

Max Rodriguez, founder of the Quarterly Black Book Review (QBR), started the Harlem Book Fair in 1999. The annual event that is usually held in July takes place at West 135th Street between and Malcolm X and Frederick Douglass Boulevard.

The Harlem Book Fair Begins

During its first year, the fair was a small community event that mainly spotlighted books. The crowds were not what they have become. However, books sold in large quantities, testament to the passion that African Americans have for memorable storytelling.

Ten years since its inception, the numbers of people who attend the celebration of African American writers and books has swelled by the hundreds. Representatives from major book publishers and local magazines and newspapers set up booths at the fair. The fact that independent authors and publishers are afforded the same consideration as are large imprints makes the fair a welcomed experience.

C-SPAN, Media and the Harlem Book Fair

C-SPAN’s “Book TV” covers the event live. Sponsors for the 2009 Harlem Book Fair included the Dallas County Community College District, C-SPAN, the African American Literature Book Club, Parle, Magazine, radio station KISS 98.7, Urbintel, American Legacy Magazine, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and Kenworth Consulting.

As soon as book lovers enter the fair, they are met with tables of new and classic books. Getting an autograph copy of a favorite book is as easy as shaking a good friend’s hand. All readers have to do is request an autographed copy of a featured title.

Throughout the day bestselling writers take the stage that is placed near the fair’s entrance. The writers read excerpts from their latest books from the stage. Previous years have seen writers like the National Basketball Association’s Kareem Abdul Jabaar, Zane, Tracy Price Thompson, Carl Weber and Denise Turney featured at the main stage. Book and media businesswoman, Heather Covington, owner of New York City’s Disigold Soul, served as co-emcee for the 2006 Harlem Book Fair.

Discussion Panels and Entertainment at the Fair

Across the street from the Harlem Book Fair at the Schomburg Center author book discussions and talks are held. The discussions are open to the public. Prior featured author talks include Life is Short and Wide: Memoir and Biography in the Diaspora, The Politics and Legacy of Ama Ata Aidoo and They Lived Before Adam.

The fair has also hosted live stage performances at the Schomburg Center like the one man play, Growing Up Daddy. Writers hoping to break into print can attend panel discussions led by published authors to learn how to land an agent, find an editor and market and promote their books.

Poetry, children’s books, photograph, non-fiction and fiction titles line the many tables at the fair. It is not hard to find great price deals. The event that generally starts about 10:00 a.m. does not wind down until 6:00 p.m. Crowds remain steady until the last event wraps up.

The night before The Harlem Book Fair, the QBR holds an honoree’s banquet to pay tribute to talented African American writers, literary pioneers and activists. Previous banquets have honored people such as Carla Ranger, Dr. Jerrie Scott, Catherine Achonolu, Sekou Sundiata and Abiodun Oyewole. Attending the event that is free to the public upon reservation is an excellent way for book lovers to spend an intimate evening with their favorite writers and other literary front runners.

New York City’s Official Tourist Center Interactive Google Maps, Brochures and Helpers at NYC & Company

The following is a post from Patrick G. Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick will share some tips for the tourists, so that they can enjoy there tour without getting intimidated in NYC. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

New York City’s size and non-stop energy can often intimidate its visitors. And without the right itinerary before arriving or for those who plan while in the city, good information is key. More important is how to put an itinerary together while trusting the source. Otherwise, any trip can sour quickly.

The City’s marketing and tourism officials, along with Mayor Bloomberg, set out to dispel visitors’ fears and to soften their welcome. The official tourism Web site was updated, and the visitors’ center was closed for six months while a $1.8 million uplift took place. The result is a hi-tech, sleek and one-stop place located in Midtown at 810 Seventh Avenue and between West 52nd and West 53rd Streets. The extra-large room is a virtual storefront of tourism information powered by interactive map tables, a wall-size Google map, free brochures and cheerful personnel with all the right answers.

How to Create a Personalized Itinerary at NYC & Company

Upon entering the tourist center, a visitor takes an orange disk labeled “You Are Here.” When placed on a four-foot-by-five-foot-wide map table, the disk automatically programs to respond to the visitor’s choices. On screen categories are labeled hotels, tours, restaurants, museums, etc. Also onscreen is a map of the five boroughs, which moves beneath the disk when a finger is drawn across the screen.

Click on a category and individual venues appear on the map. Click again and the venue enlarges with a brief description. Like the choice? Click again and it’s saved to the visitor’s individualized itinerary that’s stored on the system until complete.

NYC & Company’s members appear as first selections. Later suggestions are a feed from Time Out New York, the international magazine for entertainment and for travelers.


Here’s the fun part. Take the disk to a simple, white stand and place it on its glass top. Click print and the personalized itinerary is ready in seconds. On its colored map are all the marked attractions the visitor made. On the back of the sheet are addresses, telephone numbers and URLs. Itineraries can also be emailed or sent as text to a phone. Unfortunately, transportation routes are not shown.

Use the Google Map with the Personalized Itinerary

Along the tourist center’s back wall is a huge screen with revolving photos, often seasonal, that show NYC’s tourist attractions. But putting the disk on the small stand in front of the screen turns the wall into a Google map where a red line highlights the the visitor’s personalized itinerary, both with an overview route and one with 3-D images.

Brochures and Touchscreens at the NYC & Company’s Tourist Center

Not all visitors need a planned itinerary. Some only want brochures. Hundreds are available here, all elegantly displayed in one long line on a side wall. They are grouped by category, which minimizes the confusion and clutter factors. Also available is the free and seasonal “Official Visitor Guide,” which has multiple coupons, listings and a map.

Several touchscreen wall panels list attractions by category. Touch one and individual venues appear with general information and in nine languages. Choices can be emailed but not printed.

Tour Tickets and the Metro Card are Sold at the Tourist Center

Despite the hi-tech appeal and the convenience of interacting with a machine, many visitors need a helping hand. Well-trained personnel — all New Yorkers — are available. If NYC’s five top jazz clubs are needed, the helper prints out an informational sheet. Want the private addresses of stars living in New York City? That’s not possible.

Tickets for many attractions can be purchased at the center: Grey Line Sightseeing Bus; Statue of Liberty; Empire State Building; New York Pass; Top of the Rock and more. Buying tickets at the center helps to cut down wait time at the attractions.

Once a month a venue is highlighted, such as the recent two-for-one-admission tickets for the Intrepid. Individual discount coupons for some theatre performances and for other events are on hand. The selection changes daily. An ATM-like machine dispenses the Metro Card.

Hours of Operation at NYC & Company’s Tourist Center

Open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m to 6:00 p.m. Weekends 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Telephone is 212-484-1200.

Free Gourmet Food Samples in New York City

The following is a post from Patrick G. Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick will list some places where we can get free Gourmet food samples in NYC. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

Black Hound New York in New York City

Black Hound New York is a gourmet bakery that is very popular in New York City. Throughout the store they tend to place rather generous sized samples of many of their baked goods. These tend to change regularly, so lots of people will stop by here to see what new treats are being offered for sampling.


  • Black Hound New York, 170 Second Avenue, (212) 979-9505

Agata & Valentina in New York City

Agata & Valentina is one of the most well established gourmet markets in New York City. They often have a great selection of samples, offering everything from gourmet cheese and bread plates to smoothies or even pizza. They have samples put out throughout the weekend, but their best samples tend to be put out during the weekend.

  • Agata & Valentina, 1505 First Avenue, (212) 452-0690

Chelsea Market in New York City

Chelsea Market is a popular, large marketplace that is filled with many gourmet shops. This market used to be the former home of the Nabisco Company, and they offer a great selection of nearly everything. They offer samples of everything from bread and fruit, to gourmet brownies and cookies. The weekends seem to have more samples, but samples are available throughout the week as well. On Friday and Saturday they even offer some samples of fine wines. They also offer free high speed internet to those with a laptop throughout the week, so it’s a popular stop for students and business people.

New York City Travel on a Budget

The following is a post from Patrick G. Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick will share his views on how one can plan a NYC tour even with a small budget. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

New York is a fabulous place to visit even on a budget. There are many ways to make this an inexpensive trip that is nonstop fun.

At first glance, the words budget and New York City would not seem to go together but with the seemingly endless amount of things to do and see in New York you would be amazed at how little it can cost.

Getting To New York City

Of course getting to New York depends a great deal on where you live. If you are already on or near the East Coast you could consider the option of either flying or taking the Amtrak. If you are traveling from the West Coast you will likely want to fly unless you are not restricted as to length of time. Airlines are always offering airfare sales. One good option is to see who has the best rates by checking a travel site such as Expedia or Travelocity. You can search for flights on the dates you want to travel and see which airlines are offering the best deals.

 Accomodations in New York

If you are thinking Manhattan on a budget then you might want to think again. Hotels in New York can be very pricey but if you look in New Jersey, Brooklyn or Queens you can find much better deals and still be close enough to explore New York.

Getting Around New York

The subway system in New York is a great way to get around. You can purchase a one day Metropass for $8.25 and ride the subway as much as you want. There are subway maps available for free and once you get the hang of it you will be amazed at how quickly and easily you can get around the city. Of course, you will want to wear comfortable walking shoes! When you need to take a rest from walking take a few minutes to stop in at one of the many cafe’s around town and enjoy a wonderful piece of cheesecake or whatever type of pastry catches your eye.

Historic sites are everywhere in New York

Whether you decide to take a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge or stroll through the shops in Greenwich Village, visit Ground Zero – the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks or go to Central Park, the possibilities are virtually endless and inexpensive. Make sure you check out the sights and sounds of Times Square at night. There is so much activity going on – every night of the week feels like a carnival atmosphere.

New York on a Budget

So if you have always had a dream to see New York city, don’t delay any longer. Go ahead and start planning it now. No matter how much time you have to spend there you can fill it up with great things to do and see! Make sure you plan your trip in advance to get the best deals on travel and accommodations. Also, make a plan for each day you are there so you are able to see and do all of the things you want to. Once you’ve made that first trip to New York City you will find yourself planning the next one in no time!

Free Entertainment in New York City

The following is a post from Patrick G. Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick will list some of the places where one can get entertained without spending money. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

Shakespeare in Central Park

Shakespeare in Central Park is the most well known Shakespeare in the Park festivals and has been offering free performances in Central Park in New York City for over 60 years. Each summer they offer productions, usually with some very well known actors. They begin handing out tickets at 1 pm and tickets tend to run out rather quickly. Sometimes they will hold reservations for tickets that can be picked up at the Delacorte box office at around 7 pm, so people will often call in advance and ask them to hold tickets, especially if they are unable to get to the box office during the time they hand out their tickets.


  • New York Shakespeare Festival at The Public Theater, Delacorte Theater, Turtle Pond, (212) 539-8750,

Circus Amok in New York City

Circus Amok offers circus performances that are politically minded. They offer many performances in public parks throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The performances are done throughout June and further information is available on their website.

  • Circus Amok, (718) 486-7432,

Gorilla Rep in New York City

Gorilla Rep is a group thats puts on Shakespeare plays. They’re known for changing locations for each scene of the plays. They have many followers and are one of the more popular groups that does Shakespeare in the parks throughout the boroughs of New York City.

  • Gorilla Rep, Riverside Park (North of 79th Street),

Hudson Warehouse in New York City

Hudson Warehouse is a group that is known for taking classic productions and offering them in a more modern twist. The group likes to change the classics so that they are more relevant to modern day and so people can relate to them more easily.

  • Hudson Warehouse, Riverside Park, (212) 560-6579,

US Festivals: New York City Events: Restaurant Week, Mermaid Parade, Tribeca Film Fest & Marathon

The following is a post from Patrick G. Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick will list some of the festivals/events that took place in NYC. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

Whether it’s cheap eats during Restaurant Week, Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Film Festival, Coney Island’s fancy-dress Mermaid Parade or the public lining the streets of the five boroughs for the New York Marathon, New York City events cover a broad range. Some of the best US festivals are in America’s biggest city, and these are just some of them…

US Festivals: New York City Events – Restaurant Week

The principle of Restaurant Week is quite simple – prices at many of New York’s top restaurants are slashed in order to give residents a taste for the very best food, but at affordable prices. This means that meals in New York’s top restaurants can cost between $20 and $30 – a bargain cheap eat in anyone’s book. Obviously the idea is to get people to eat out more and come back again, but to a tourist arriving in town during Restaurant Week – which is held both in February and June – it’s a food bonanza.

US Festivals: New York Events – Tribeca Film Festival

Whilst not quite up there with the Cannes Film Festival or Venice Film Festival, the Tribeca Film Festival is gaining gravitas very quickly. Part of this is due to its somewhat famous organiser; Robert De Niro set it up in the downtown area of Manhattan that had lost a lot of character since the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Centre. Whilst De Niro adds a fame factor, there are other reasons for the festival’s success – there is usually an excellent line-up of films and big name premieres. The Tribeca Film Festival takes place every May.

US Festivals: New York City Events – Coney Island Mermaid Parade

One of the more surreal US festivals takes place on New York’s fun-packed Coney Island on the last Saturday in June. For no real reason (other than ‘because they can’), groups of revellers get together in mermaid outfits and then put on a mighty fine fancy-dress parade. Or should that be a mighty fin fancy-dress parade? Either way, for bizarreness value, it’s off the scale(s).

US Festivals: New York Events – New York Marathon

In terms of road-racing spectacles, only the London Marathon can compete with the New York Marathon. Held on the first weekend of every November, the marathon route takes in all five boroughs, and the public line the streets to cheer on the competitors. Over the years, the New York Marathon has become less of a race and more of a public party – although don’t tell that to the hardy souls slugging it out for 26 miles.

Water Taxi Beaches Open In New York City: South Street Seaport, Long Island City and Governors Island locales

The following is a post from Patrick G. Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick will share a list of places where one can enjoy skyline water view in NYC. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

Ingenious New Yorkers always turn the improbable into reality. And that’s what the Water Taxi group did to convert three outdoor spaces on their route with drop-dead gorgeous water views into no-swimming “beaches.” They imported sand, added plastic palm trees, created tasty and inexpensive menus and watched New Yorkers and visitors flock to their faux shores.

South Street Seaport Beach, Long Island City Beach and the upcoming (July 4) Governors Island Beach are reachable by Water Taxi and/or by public transportation. But don’t expect a dip in the East River since that’s not possible. Each beach is unique and appeals to distinctly different groups so choose carefully. And do read Water Taxi’s beach site or call 877-974-6998 should there be a last-minute dock change or an expensive cover charge added for a popular DJ.

South Street Seaport Beach

Located on Pier 17 at the Seaport, this beach is heavily family-friendly during the day with its soft beach sand, picnic benches and a large open area for children and their sand castles. The beach is directly beside the Seaport complex where there’s ample seating on its wooden steps — perfect to watch the activities without getting sand in one’s shoes. Popular games such as ping-pong ($5 per person for one hour) and skee ball are under a large white tent. A nine-hole miniature golf course ($5 per person) is on site. Plus, the food court serves beach food ($3 roasted corn). And there’s the ever-present breezes off the nearby East River that’s teeming with private boats, tugs, ocean liners and the occasional kayak. Nighttime, expect the 21+ crowd to ascend onto the beach that features rotating DJs all week long. Access to the beach is free. Public transportation to the Seaport can be used as well as the Water Taxi.

Long Island City Beach

There’s more of a fenced-in feel to this beach, located across from the Seaport in Long Island City and beside the Water Taxi dock. About 980 tons of coarse sand was imported from New Jersey and Long Island to cover its 44,000 square feet of land. Entrance security is tight; belongings are searched; food or alcohol removed and a valid state-issued ID or passport must show the bearer is 21 or older. “We’re a club scene,” said manager Andy Towler who runs a tight operation. A large tent is for DJs, dancing or for shade. To keep patrons cool, a misting system runs along the beach’s perimeter. Spreading a blanket for sun-worshiping is a challenge in a limited space. Long benches soon fill with a crowd eager to meet up. And once the music begins, the place can rock. Food shacks sell the Motz burger ($6), once voted the Best Burger of the Boroughs, plus alcohol selections ($6 beer). A free sandy area is available; however, any skyline view is limited. Regular admission is usually $5 but call ahead to see if a special event has raised the price. Water Taxi is the best way to get here. Free shuttles operate from the East 35th Street dock from 8pm-2am (Fridays) and 8pm-3am (Saturdays).

Governors Island Beach

Opening July 4th weekend, Governors Island Beach is a laid-back, waterfront experience with truly wonderful views of the lower Manhattan skyline and the East River bridges. Beach activities are volleyball and basketball. Devotees of organic food should try the Backstage Cafe and its salads, wraps and grilled chicken. The Governors Grill offers hot dogs and Motz burgers. Live concerts are at the Highline Ballroom every weekend with DJs in the evening, plus free concerts on weekend afternoons. City officials claim the public can access more areas than ever before on Governors Island, including a 2.2 mile promenade, perfect for walking or bike riding (rentals available and free on Fridays). Additionally, an eight-acre picnic area has a Statue of Liberty backdrop. Governors Island is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday until October 11. Access is by a seven-minute (free) city ferry and by Water Taxi.

Water Taxi offers a $20, all-day, Hop-On, Hop Off fare that’s one of Manhattan’s best buys to see the city’s water-view skyline, to stop at major neighborhoods and to visit the summer beaches. The boats are well-manned and have upholstered seats on the main level with access to the upper deck.

Radio City Music Hall, New York An Art Deco theater in Manhattan

The following is a post from Patrick G. Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick will tell us about the Radio City Music Hall,Manhattan in the NYC. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

New York has many Art Deco buildings and the Radio City Music Hall is a favorite which can be toured. This is the theater with the fabulous leggy Rockette dancers.

Radio City Music Hall

This Art Deco theater was created in the 1930s by S.L. Rothafel (Roxy). The auditorium has an oval ceiling that curves gently down to the floor, reaches a height of 83ft. and is open all the way to the back of the house. There are more than 6,000 seats and, as there aren’t any pillars, there are no obstructions.

The decor includes a back wall with theatrical scenes on it, mezzanine soffits with gold leaf, and choral staircases (a series of platforms which rise towards the back wall). Each platform has a draped entrance allowing performers to reach them from backstage, which makes for some great special effects.

The elegant Grand Foyer has long crystal lights which illuminate forest scenes on the walls.

There are three beautiful statues including The Dancing Girl, made of aluminum. She kneels gracefully on a plinth perfectly complementing the black walls and a wonderful mural depicting entertainers through the ages. Off the Grand Foyer is an aluminum statue of Eve. Here the base of the walls are red marble from Africa and the ceiling is sumptuous with golf leaf. The third statue – a nude – is on the First Mezzanine; this one is called The Girl and the Goose.

The theater was named Radio City Music Hall in honor of NBC (National Broadcasting Company) whose studios and offices are at the Rockefeller Center.

The Rockettes

The man responsible for the Rockettes was Russell Markert. Having seen England’s Tiller Girls in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1922, he wanted to have a similar troupe of dancers. In 1923 he went to St. Louis, as a producer for the Missouri Theater, and acquired his troupe. They made their debut in St. Louis in 1925 as the Missouri Rockets.

They were a smash hit and within months their fame was such that they began touring the USA. Now Markert expanded the troupe and renamed them The Sixteen American Rockets.

New York was next. By now there were two troupes. They were a sensation in two different theaters. For an Easter show at his Roxy Theater, Rothafel suggested putting the two troups together. The thirty-two became a permanent troupe renamed the Roxyettes.

When Markert became a producer at Radio City Music Hall he changed the name back to its original – more or less. The Rockettes.

The Tour

The guided tour of Radio City Music Hall begins with a ride in an elegant elevator. The Wardrobe is a large room where all of the costumes used to be made but now displays an exhibit of sparkling top hats, colorful costumes in silks and satins, sequins, feathers and lace; wigs, fans and various other accessories.

Following a quick visit to the Sound Box – a glassed in room overlooking the auditorium and stage and from where you get the best view of the auditorium – there is a visit to the Executive Suite. This consists of an Art Deco lounge and dining room where almost all famous theatrical names have been entertained.

The icing on the cake for this tour is to meet a Rockette – a tall, leggy, dancer who is very happy to meet her audience. And, of course, there is the opportunity to go into the magical auditorium.

Radio City Music Hall is on 6th Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets in Manhattan.

Moving to New York City: Rent, Home Sales Cost High for Relocating to the Big Apple

The following is a post from Patrick G. Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick will share some tips if you are moving to the NYC. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

Anyone who relocates to New York City learns about the sticker shock that comes with sky-high apartment and home rental prices. On the flip side, newcomers, especially seniors, also learn they can live comfortably without a car and thus save huge sums that would go for gas, parking and garages.

With over 8.3 million people, New York is the largest U.S. city. It is divided into five “boroughs.” Manhattan is the smallest borough in acreage but has the highest density of any metropolitan area in the U.S. The largest population is in Brooklyn, followed by Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island.

New York Has City and State Income Taxes

Those who come to New York to start a high-paying job may be shocked at where their paychecks get spent. For starters, New York has a city and state income tax deducted from paychecks. Newcomers can also expect to pay as much as $1,500 to rent a studio or small one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan or parts of Brooklyn.

New York City has confusing rent guidelines. The rent stabilization and rent control laws govern how much money a landlord may collect, especially longtime tenants. These people wind up with great deals on large apartments that they sometimes sub-let to others at a profit, although such deals may be illegal. Meanwhile, those who sign a lease for a new house or an apartment in a new or almost-new and unregulated rental building pay much higher amounts.

Even more confusing are the buying opportunities for those who would rather own a home. New York, especially Manhattan, is a landscape of apartments that are either familiar condos or much less familiar “co-ops.” The difference is crucial: condo regulations are similar to anywhere else, where buyers own their interior space but share common corridors and amenities such as lawns.

Co-ops involve buying shares in a corporation that owns and runs a building. Members of the co-op have the right to decide who they will and will not allow to buy, and typically demand personal recommendations, detailed financial statements, tax returns, and personal interviews.

The 2008 economic crisis increased the inventory of available homes for sale in New York, and prices as of March 2009 had dropped as much as 25%. Nevertheless, the sale prices and rental rates of homes in the most desirable neighborhoods, such as Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Greenwich Village, Tribeca, Chelsea and the Upper West Side are comparable to prices in London rather than to another U.S. city.

Some Manhattan Residents Walk to Work

On the bright side, moving to New York often means living within a 15- to 40-minute subway commute to a Manhattan office job from an apartment in Manhattan or many parts of Brooklyn and Queens, or even within walking distance. The subway fare is now $2.25 per ride, but dips when riders buy the 30-day unlimited Metro card for $89. Transfers are generally free. Cheap public transport is available to area airports.

In summary: New York is an expensive place to live but cheap to get around.