Archive for the ‘Neighborhoods’ Category

2nd Avenue UES

As most people know, especially those living and playing on the Upper East Side, 2nd Avenue is a total disaster right now and will probably only get worse. But this is for a VERY GOOD reason, so I’m not complaining. The construction of the 2nd Avenue subway line, which still has a long way to go before it is even operational, is currently underway.

But what is even more important right now is supporting the businesses that are suffering because of the construction. Many 2nd avenue restaurants & retailers have been put out of business because foot traffic has come to a crashing halt. Restaurants have lost their sidewalk space so there goes their summer crowd. Often there is no indication a business exist anymore. So, if you happen to live or play on the UES, I urge you to support your 2nd Avenue Business.

Sunday Yoga in Times Square

I saw the OM symbol on a few banner ads while at Times Square earlier this week. Curious, I went to learn more about it and it was the summer solstice program.

Yes, people, get your faux bamboo mats ready for free yoga in the heart of the city. Below is a video from the same event in 2007.

The classes will go throughout the day cycling through Bikram, intro, prenatal and postnatal. As of right now, the 6:30 pm spot is the only one open for registration. The 3:30 pm one is open for waiting list. So get your acts together if you plan on yoga’ing it up. Click here for more info.

Om – Yoga in Times Square from hotpotato on Vimeo.

NYC Parks & Recreation this Spring

Watch movies at the Park

NYC parks always have great things to offer. As May approaches and the floral landscape of the city changes from barren wasteland to allergen-heavy blooms, wildflowers take center stage.

But for those who have no interest in botany can still enjoy the parks.

Central Park is a year round treat, but as the weather gets nicer, look for more activities happening there too.

Bryant Park has laid out benches on its lush green lawn for picnicking locals and stress free work time lunches. Did you know Bryant Park offers Tai Chi & Yoga classes on a regular basis?!

And for those of you too lazy to partake in physical activities. Great News! You can watch movies in the park for free. Brooklyn Bridge Park is holding a free series of flicks throughout the summer to keep a smile on your face too.

And finally just because I don’t want to leave out Queens. You can always check out some of the finest parks in the city in the more domestic and cozier of the boroughs. Your choices are Alley Pond, Botanical Gardens or even Flushing Meadows.

Possible Boycott of Israeli Food at Park Slope Food Co-Op

It will be interesting to see if the proposed boycott of Israeli products goes through at the Park Slope Food Co-Op. Read this article in CrownHeights.info for the full story. New York City’s largest and longest-established food co-op is frequented by various segments of the population, both Jewish and non-Jewish. And among Jews, shoppers run the gamut from Orthodox and Hasidic to Reform and even non-observant secular Jews.

It is not unusual for the co-op to take a political stand, reflecting the tradition of the community in which it is situated. This latest proposal would be in protest of Israel’s recent activities in Gaza. Persimmons are one of the products from Israel sold at the Park Slope Food Co-opA local Brooklyn rabbi believes that the proposal will not pass but, if it does, it will seriously impact the co-op’s membership.

Become a Tourist again – before it’s too late!

I was always worried that half the places that were attractive to me as a young person weren’t going to last. Initially I thought it would be due to warfare and terrorism and now I see that it may be as a result of that and the dwindling economy.

So, my suggestion to all of you New Yorkers is revisit the greatest city in the world before it is too late. . . as in before it becomes a disheveled mess and you have nothing worth seeing left.

I went to the Statue of Liberty the other day but not from Staten Island, instead I entered through Liberty Park which comes right before the Holland Tunnel while traveling through New Jersey. This park is beautiful and also holds less lines than its NYC counterpart. Several hours will be spent on just waiting on the line if you are not careful.

Rockefeller Center’s Observation deck offers a spectacular view of the city but at nearly half the wait time of Empire State Building. But King Kong only climbed one of them, so you pick.

I think some of these monumental landmarks are worth visiting now and seeing them from a new perspective. There was a street hustler who was selling the Wall Street bronze bull statue. He said “Everyone is buying these right now man, everyone. People from Italy, England, China and all over the United States too.” Apparently we’re still hopeful and want to feed our imaginations the comfort of a bullish market.

If you have a day or two to spare, it might not be a bad idea to hit up one of those tour buses that take you all around town. A lot of the stuff that they tell you about is very interesting and I bet you didn’t know half the things they talk about.

Oh! And we happened to be in the downtown area near Wall St. when Trinity Church was having services. The beautiful organ along with the fascinating structure made for a nice peaceful meditation break during the day’s busy planning.

Oh and before I forget, go on a super cold day – freezing preferable – to Central Park. Walk along Literary Path and visit the frozen over lake. Be sure to take vegan energetic snacks from home as the food in the Park is not all that great and overpriced (read: $2 for honey roasted peanuts).

Once it’s dark, head on over to Times Square and magically all that fatigue you experienced while touring your own city will disappear.

So take some time out and revisit your favorite city before Metrocard prices go up!

Find your way around NYC more easily

I’ve lived in NYC now for practically my entire adult life and sometimes it’s difficult to find my way. While Google maps makes things a bit easier with its new features, I still find that by following directions, I’ll get lost.

As an example, it took me 1 year to find 9th street Espresso. I know, how hard could it be to find an espresso shop whose name itself tells you the location? I have no idea. I’m slow and I looked in every single direction except for the right one when trying to find the shop.

I accidentally bumped into mondomaps yesterday while trying to find the name of a restaurant in Curry Hill. We were search for Tiffin Wallah—but their Web site is not listed on mondomaps. But a bunch of others are and the way it is linked up is very helpful. I don’t know if they update the site and if so, how often…I definitely see some missing information. But I’m always looking for new tools to find my way around the city, so I thought I’d share. Here’s a link to all of Chelsea’s art galleries. This one particularly excited me because I rarely know where all the great art in NYC is and I’m definitely going to check them out now using the data from the map.

Enjoy discovering.

Queens as seen in Hollywood and on the season finale of Entourage

McDowell's from "Coming to America"

Queens is where I grew up. It is the school of hard knocks if you grew up in the 90s—not because it was rough—but as a hip hop fashion statement in the form of a t-shirt.

My favorite pizza place was Gino’s on Grand Avenue right next to Queens Boulevard. It was actually the same intersection where McDowell’s is shown to be in the movie Coming to America.

In last night’s episode of Entourage which I consider to be one of the best season finale’s of a show ever, we saw some of the neighborhoods in Queens showcased in recent films.

The part where Vince and the guys live was a combination of Forest Hills a la Spider-Man and Kew Gardens as seen in Boiler Room.

The place where Johnny Drama opens up his new bar is exactly like a scene in Glengarry Glen Ross and also in the lesser known and sometimes forgotten George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez starring Out of Sight. And the scene in which they have a picnic looked very much like a scene from Goodfellas…though the latter took place in Brooklyn—Queens’ worst enemy.

But it was interesting to see how Queens always has certain elements of simplicity associated with it. Queens is never the place you see opulence go down or anything crazy happen. But Queens is also so picturesque and unique that an editor friend of mine tells me that when he was cutting a short film I directed at a major (not to be named) studio in Hollywood as a favor, someone walked by and immediately recognized her hometown of Queens on the television screen.

Though simple, Queens rules. That’s sort of the point.

Evening Light

Now that the time has changed we are heading straight on to the end of the year. I find the light to be absolutely beautiful this time of year.

Village Halloween Parade Pics

If you want to see a great picture gallery of this year’s Village Halloween Parade, click here.

Photo credit: Jeanne Fleming/Wikimedia Commons. Picture from the 1998 Village Halloween Parade. Notice the Twin Towers lit up in the background.
Jeanne Fleming/Wikimedia Commons.  Picture from the 1998 Village Halloween Parade.  Notice the Twin Towers lit up in the background..
Thank you Pamela Skillings, About.com’s Manhattan guide.

NYC Marathon This Sunday November 2nd

martineric/wikimedia commonsAs almost everyone knows, the NYC Marathon is on for this coming Sunday, November 2. I always watch it on TV, but it’s very exciting to watch it in person! However, you have to be familiar with the route and schedule of the runners in order to catch it in any of the five boroughs. The best website is : the official website of the ING NYC Marathon/NY Road Runners
Especially for newcomers to the city, visitors, or anyone otherwise new to Marathon viewing, you want to check out the website so you don’t go to the wrong place at the wrong time [or the right place at the wrong time]

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