Showing posts with label NYC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NYC. Show all posts


What Book Does Your Neighborhood Say You Should Read?

New York City has been the backdrop of many a famous novel. But from the Upper East Side of The Goldfinch to the Ditmas Park of Sophie's Choice, it's hard to keep track of the street corners from our favorite pages to the ones in real life. That's why I was really intrigued when the New York Public Library posted their "Best NYC Novels By Neighborhood" list.

As an Astorian, I was a bit disappointed in the lack of Queens books, but this is a great start (check out Awesome Reads for some additional suggestions!). What is your favorite NYC book and how many of these have you read?


Say Buh-Bye to Cars on Park Avenue for the Next 2 Saturdays

While walking around Union Square post-yoga on Saturday, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Park Avenue was closed to cars. And then I remembered...IT'S AUGUST! Summer Streets!

Summer Streets

Summer Streets is one of my favorite city programs because it opens up the streets to people wanting to truly enjoy the city sans cars. Walkers, joggers, cyclists, and even skaters have full use of the avenue from Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park from 7am until 1pm. That's about 7 whole miles with nary a yellow cab in sight! The program will run for 2 more Saturdays: August 8 and August 15.

Summer Streets Map

All activities are free and open to anyone. I stumbled upon the Midtown rest stop where you could rent free skates and get fitted for a bicycle helmet. NYC Water was also on hand with drinking fountains so you could refill your bottle and keep hydrated on a hot day. If you want to get involved, you can apply to volunteer here.


Free Memberships at 33 NYC Cultural Institutions with IDNYC

Joining museums in NYC can run you hundred of dollars. Heck, just paying admission to a few can cost you half a paycheck. So what if I told you that there's a way to not only get free admission but a full-fledged free membership to 33 cultural institutions throughout the 5 boroughs as well as receive discounts for Mets and Yankees tickets and even grocery stores?

IDNYC is a new program sponsored by the city of New York to provide a new form of identification for all New York City residents. Using it will give you access to city services, allow you to enter public buildings, and enable you to open a checking account. You can also link it to your Brooklyn, New York, or Queens library account--the first time one card has ever been recognized by all 3 systems.

As an incentive for people to sign up, you will be able to apply for free memberships at museums, zoos, botanic gardens, and concert halls throughout the city. All you do is present your card at the box office of your desired institution by 12/31/15, and you receive a gratis one-year membership. Examples of membership options include, but are not limited to:
  • Wildlife Conservation Society/Bronx Zoo: Free general admission for one adult to the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and Queens Zoo with discounts at select gift shops and restaurants. Invitations to Members' Evenings and free e-newsletters.
  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden: Unlimited free admission for 1 and 2 single-time-use guest passes. Admission for member plus 1 guest to all members-only summer events and 10% discount at Garden Shop and Cafe. Library borrowing privileges.
  • Carnegie Hall: "Friends Membership" includes 4 complimentary rehearsal passes; early access to the best seats available; half-price ticket offers on select Carnegie Hall presentations; and invitations to cocktail parties, discussions, & member-appreciation events.
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art: Free admission for 1 to the Main Building and The Cloisters museum and gardens; members-only emails with advance notice of exhibitions, programs, events, classes, and festivals; special offers on select ticketed programs; discount on Audio Guide rentals in nine languages; and complimentary guided tours of the collection in 10 languages.
  • MoMA PS1: Unlimited free admission; exhibition opening invitations; special offers for select ticketed events; conversations with MoMA PS1 curators and artists; private receptions at MoMA PS1; and a 10% discount at the M. Wells Dinette and the ARTBOOK @ MoMA PS1 Book Store.

IDNYC card

As you can imagine, demand for IDNYC is pretty high. I signed up for an appointment in January, and had to wait until April to snag an appointment. My shiny new ID came in the mail just this week.

To get your IDNYC, check here that you possess the right qualifying documents, and schedule an appointment at one of the several appointment centers throughout the 5 boroughs. You might have to wait a while, but that's ok--you will be able to claim your free memberships through the end of the year and they will begin the day you claim them. Then you go in and go through a short and sweet interview (just like at the DMV), they take your picture (but oddly you can't smile with teeth), and you should receive your new ID within 2-3 weeks.

The IDNYC website has a thorough list of helpful FAQs that I'd highly recommend you check out if you have any specific questions. So what do you think, will you apply?


Want an Extra Fifty Bucks?

Buy your groceries at Citarella? Frequent the make-up counters at Bloomingdale's or Macy's? Fancy a bagel with lox from Russ and Daughters? If you do any of these things and/or enjoy Broadway shows, shop at H&M, visit The Museum of the City of New York or The Met, dine at Dos Caminos or Plein Sud, you best pay attention.

American Express has launched their Get More NYC statement credit promotion and it's pretty simple. You spend $200 at at least 2 participating NYC merchants during the month of February and you get a $50 statement credit! They have limited the promotion to only 20,000 registrations so I'd highly recommend registering today. Once that's done, you can start planning what damage you are going to do at Banana Republic, Anthropologie, Ricky's NYC, etcetra, etcetra. Now the only question is, what will you do with that extra $50 in your pocket?


BOGO Off-Broadway Bonanza

Cheap theater is good. BOGO theater + BOGO drinks is even better! You're in luck because the city is sponsoring just that from Jan. 24 - Feb. 13 this year. Take your pick from more than 30 different Off-Broadway shows, from big names like Avenue Q and Love, Loss and What I Wore, the critically acclaimed children's show Freckleface Strawberry and a retro celebration The Awesome 80s Prom (I like it because it's awesome of course!). You will get a free ticket for every ticket purchased.

When the show's over, the party doesn't stop. Your ticket will get you 2 for 1 drinks after the show. This is a great deal and I'm thinking the city is brilliant for sponsoring an opportunity to encourage higher attendance at Off-Broadway shows. There are truly some gems out there that don't get a whole lot of attention. You can view a listing of all available shows here. Come back and let us know what you saw and how you liked it!