Showing posts with label New York. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New York. 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?


Where Does All the Garbage Go?

To any out-of-towner, the way NYC deals with its garbage can be deemed anything from disgusting to stinky to unsanitary. But if you've lived here long enough, you become immune to the sidewalks piled high with plastic trash bags. And if you're anything like me, you make up stories about the people behind the mounds of refuse you pass on your morning commute.

The trash collection process in any sprawling metropolis is a coordinated effort, but in NYC, the current system is built upon decades of learning what has worked, and what hasn't (anyone ever hear about the 1981 sanitation workers strike?). If you want to learn more about why the streets don't fill with garbage or who cleans your streets, join the Museum of the City of New York and the New York Academy of Medicine for the final talk in a series called Garbage and the City this Monday 8/17 at 6:30pm.

NYC Garbage Truck circa 1929; image credit: The New York Academy of Medicine Committee on Public Health archive

Robin Nagle, author of Picking Up: On the Streets and Behind the Trucks with the Sanitation Workers of New York City, is the anthropologist-in-residence with New York's Department of Sanitation. She will be giving a talk entitled Life Along the Curb: Inside the Department of Sanitation of New York at the Museum of the City of New York (1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street) covering what it takes for the city to deal with the 40,000 tons of garbage produced here every day.

At 8:00 pm, the 2015 short documentary film, "One Man's Trash" (17 mins), will be screened. NYU student Kelly Adams filmed NYC Department of Sanitation employee Nelson Molina, who develops a unique relationship to the objects that fill the garbage bags lining the streets. He has created a collection of found objects in a sanitation garage in East Harlem, which he refers to as a museum of “Treasures in the Trash.”

  • What: Life Along the Curb: Inside the Department of Sanitation of New York lecture
  • Where: Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street
  • When: Monday 8/17 6:30 to 8:30 pm
  • Cost: FREE, but register 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?


Your City By Drone

I came across this phenomenal drone-filmed video that captures all of NYC's 5 boroughs and just had to share. Not that I often forget, but it's great to be reminded of how awesome of a city we live in.

Note to self: I need to check out the graveyard of half-sunken ships in Staten Island featured around 2:40!


The Funnier Side of NYC Etiquette

Proper behavior in public always seems to be a no brainer, but how many times have you walked down the street in a hurry only to be blockaded by a couple taking up the entire sidewalk, leisurely strolling hand-in-hand? How many times have you wanted to hold a subway hold at shoulder level only to be forced to grab the ceiling handle because a selfish straphanger decided to drape his body like a Gumby doll all over the vertical pole? As a New Yorker, you are faced with bad behavior on a daily basis, so just to put it all out in the open, take a look at these helpful, but damn hilarious, GIFs from Nathan W. Pyle (author of NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette).

Click here to see more.


For the Person Who Has Everything...

Calendars always make nice gifts, and with the holiday season in full bloom, have I got a gift idea that will toot your coworker's/brother's/cousin's/funky uncle's horn. Presenting, the 2014 NYC Taxi Driver's Calendar.

These cabbies know how to properly hang an air freshener and are surprisingly easy to hail. A nice percentage of them will also go all the way to Brooklyn. All jokes aside, 100% of the proceeds from the calendar are going to University Settlement, a social services agency. So you're giving a laugh and giving back at the same time.

The calendar is selling for $14.99 (you don't even have to calculate tip!) and is available here.


AWESOME ALERT: Fashion's Night Out 9/10/10

Sometimes it's hard to know if something is going to be awesome before the actual event. The majority of my posts are post-event details with photos to oogle and stories that stir. However awesome people, I'm here to tell you about an event that you have 4 whole weeks to plan for and is sure to knock your Louis Vuitton socks off!

Last year, Fashion's Night Out was a fabulous night coordinated by Vogue and many of the fashion powerhouses in the city to promote, well, fashion and especially spark shopping in the midst of the recession. Not really knowing what to expect, my friend Rebecca and I mapped out our evening really according to who had the best giveaways and food. Tory Burch had great Champagne, Chanel was giving manicures and I received a freshwater pearl bracelet from Tous - all for free! Celebrities were everywhere and people were out having fun in full force. We did the majority of our frolicking in Soho, but stores are participating from the West Village to Soho and Midtown to the Upper East Side.

This year's event will be held on Friday September 10, 2010 in many cities throughout the world. You will be able to find great designer clothing in a fun setting with some discounts and The first participants have been posted to the website so check it out and start planning your adventure now!


It's a bird! No, a plane! No, it's awesome in a helicopter!

Through the awesomeness that is Postabon, Mike recently won a tour for two of Manhattan. Not by taxi, double-decker bus or by mule, but by chopper! I can't even tell you how excited I was when I found out because this isn't something normal people do. I mean for one, it's expensive, and two, well, who was the last person you knew who went on a helicopter?

We arrived at the Downtown Manhattan Heliport on a cloudy but warm Sunday abuzz with anticipation.  I had been on a helicopter once before on a family trip to Hawaii. There were at least eight passengers, but I ended up being one of two people who did not up-chuck lunch after some gnarly turbulence (and that was only because there were no more little baggies left for us). So I was careful not to eat a big lunch before this adventure, but truthfully I wasn't really worried about that this time.

The staff led us out onto the tarmac (is it still called a tarmac?) and boy was that baby loud and windy! They were taking touristy pictures of our co-passengers, a family from Mexico, while we tried as best as we could to get our own without paying the $20+ they charged for a take home souvenir. 

Once we were in the helicopter, the noise only gets louder, so they give you fancy dancy headphones equipped with microphones so you can talk to everyone and the pilot can give his tour. I'd have to say that the coolest part about the ride itself was the take-off. All of the sudden you are just up in the air and you don't even realize - no extra noise or thrust - and you can just sit back and enjoy the view as you get higher.

We swung around Lower Manhattan toward the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I decided then that I need to go revisit Ms. Liberty since she's now open on the inside again. Now I just need some out of town visitors to drag with me...

Mike with his fancy dancy headphones and Ms. Liberty

Next we came back to downtown and I caught a glimpse of my office (how cool!). It's in the Trinity Building (the two-towered turn-of-the-century building toward the center of the photograph) on the 13th floor. Nobody was there (duh, it was a Sunday), but I waved anyway.

Our chopper continued north and I couldn't believe the amazing perspective I was gaining on my city. It's one thing to see pictures that other people have taken, but to actually know that we were hovering at just above the height of some of the buildings below us was pretty awesome. I kept trying to point out landmarks and friends' apartments.

Times Square is in there somewhere.

Me with my fancy dancy headphones.

Central Park! This is the view I see every 
morning on the ABC7 weather report :)

The Jackie O. reservoir in Central Park with my favorite
two-towered UWS building in the foreground (also my
apartment is somewhere in the background).

We passed over Columbia, one of the most gorgeous urban campuses in my opinion, and looped around Yankee Stadium. It was interesting to see the empty lot that was the old stadium. I think they are turning it into parking.

Yankee Stadium and the Bronx

Coming back south, I was able to get a few better photos of some West Side landmarks.

The Intrepid (check out the submarine on the left!)

Downtown Manhattan

Overall, this was an awesome experience I won't soon forget. I am so in love with this city and I am ever grateful to Postabon for allowing us to do something most people never get to do.

Me and Mike


A Knack for New York

New York is a complex city. Complex in so many ways that you start to doubt how complex it really is. Some become frustrated and leave before ever getting the chance to really experience it. Some come and go, all the while knowing magic exists here. Some never leave, maybe not even knowing how they got here in the first place, but staying all the same. After two years, I can attest to the magic.

Have you ever done something so amazing that you have no words to describe it? No words except for that one.


It says so much without saying much at all. Maybe it’s the New York magic, but I seem to having a knack. A knack for finding awesome.

Whether you just moved into your 5th floor walk-up, or you’re on your 78th monthly Metrocard, do yourself a favor. Check back, read about my experiences, find and share your own awesome in this city. It only flourishes by being passed along.