What to Do in NYC This Fall

What to do in NYC this fall by Ari KellenFall in New York can feel nothing short of magical.  The weather is cooling down, the leaves are changing color and the cultural scene is gearing up.  There are all sorts of fun activities you can do, and here are just a few of them, based off an article that I found on Timeout New York:

Oktoberfest: There are Oktoberfests going down all over the city in late September and early October; Central Park, East River, not to mention all of the bars and restaurants hosting their own celebrations.  They’re jam-packed with generous pitchers of beer, cheerful German tunes and live music.  A lot of the events require you to purchase tickets, and some of the events have already happened, so act fast!

Go out to Queens: While the classic tropes of fall (corn mazes, pumpkin patches, stacks of hay) aren’t typically found in New York, the Queens County Farm Museum hosts all of this and more on the weekend of September 24th.  Live music, cider, corn mazes, livestock competitions, pie-eating contests, pig races, corn husking contests are just some of the events going on.

Cider Week: From October 21 to Halloween, various locations around the city pay homage to hard cider.  More than 50 bars and restaurants host free tastings, events and workshops at popular venues.

Ghost tours: Around Halloween, Urban Park Rangers hosts lantern tours that explore the Water Battery Gate at Fort Totten Park, with guides sharing stories about the haunted grounds.  

Giant Pumpkin Weekend: In the second to last weekend of October, the New York Botanical Garden hosts a pumpkin  garden, displaying gigantic pumpkins (weighing up to 1,800 pounds).

Photoville: In late September, United Photo Industries takes over the Brooklyn Bridge Plaza to create a pop-up village based around photo taking.  The Smorgasburg Beer Garden will be returning as well, with more than 100 vendors selling all sorts of food and drinks.

Atlantic Antic: On September 25th, more than 500 food and craft vendors and 15 stages will close down 10 blocks in Brooklyn.  Billed as New York’s largest street fair, it’s got plenty to offer, from live music to clothes to food.  

from Ari Kellen | New York City Exploration http://ift.tt/2d27NwY

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7 Great Parks in Manhattan

7 great parks in Manhattan by Ari KellenCentral Park is probably one of the most iconic parks in the world, and not without good reason.  People travel to New York specifically to visit it, and it’s one of those touristy spots that’s worth a visit.  But that’s not to take away from some of the other fantastic parks across the city.  In Manhattan alone, there are dozens; catch some jazz musicians playing at Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village, or maybe take a stroll on the water at Carl Schurz Park on the Upper East Side.  Maybe pack a picnic lunch and find a quiet spot when it’s warm, catch the fall foliage in October or build a snowman in the winter.  You can find just about anything in New York City, including serenity (hard to believe, I know!).  Here are seven must-see parks in Manhattan, excluding Central Park, taken from an article by New York blogger Tracy Kaler:

Madison Square Park: Easily accessible to residents of Chelsea, Flatiron, Kips Bay and NoMad all have easy access to this park.  It not only provides a spot to relax and recoup, but also features a Shake Shack outpost.  Across the street on the eastern side of the park is the Michelin star-rated Eleven Madison Park.  

Tompkins Square Park: Alphabet City, once a no-zone in Manhattan, has changed dramatically over the past 20 years, and its main park, Tompkins Square, has plenty to offer, particularly for dog lovers.  The oversized dog run here has three dog swimming pools, a tree deck and bathing areas.  In Halloween there’s a dog parade, and every summer the park hosts both the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival and a French film festival.

City Hall Park: This park in the financial district makes for terrific people watching, in addition to a great escape from the surrounding area’s hustle and bustle.  In many ways, it feels more like a public garden than a city park, with monuments and fountains gracing the well-manicured space.

Bryant Park: Conveniently located within walking distance from the Theater District, the New York Public Library and Grand Central, Bryant park hosts such events as group yoga classes, Broadway performances, free summer movies and more.  It also happens to have some of the cleanest public restrooms in the city.  

Ruppert Park: If you’re ever passing through the East 90s, this is absolutely worth a visit.  Although it belongs to the high-rise development Rupper Towers, it’s free for all who want some peace and quiet.  

Hudson River Park: This 550-acre waterside park connects Hell’s Kitchen to Battery Park City, starting at 59th street and extending all the way to Manhattan’s ede on the West Side.  It offers everything from dog parks to on-the-water activities, making it a favorite among New Yorkers.

FDR Four Freedoms Park: Not many New Yorkers visit Roosevelt Island, but if you do, the park at the southern tip of the island, FDR Four Freedoms, is absolutely worth the visit.  Dedicated to the legacy of FDR, it was designed by famed architect Louis I Kahn and offers sweeping views of Manhattan and the East River.  

from Ari Kellen| Travel Page http://ift.tt/2cjG3i5

Goodbye Jersey Boys

Goodbye Jersey Boys by Ari KellenJersey Boys, the smash hit Broadway musical that tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, has been entertaining audiences since it first opened on November 5, 2006 to critical acclaim.  It’s won the Tony Award, adapted into an underwhelming film and weathered more than 40 seasons on Broadway.  Like Wicked, Lion King or Phantom of the Opera, it didn’t seem to be going anywhere.  But it has since announced its closing date: January 15, 2017.  There’s still some time until then for those who haven’t yet seen the show, but that ending date reminds us that even the most popular shows don’t last on Broadway forever.  

By the time it ends, Jersey Boys will have played 4,462 performances, making it the 12th longest-running Broadway show of all time.  Although four longer-running Broadway shows are still playing – The Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, The Lion King and Wicked – that’s still pretty impressive, especially when you consider that Jersey Boys has seen more than 400 Broadway shows open and close during its tenure.  Arguably the best of the so-called “Jukebox musicals”, which use modern pop hits instead of original scores, Jersey Boys is able to to use a biographical structure to avoid the problems faced jukebox musicals before it.  Presented as though the Four Seasons were singing in concert, the songs don’t express inner thoughts of the characters singing them, like songs are “supposed” to in traditional musical theater.  Yet despite breaking such rules, the show worked, setting the standard for other jukebox musicals since.  

Before the Beatles hit the shores of America, the Four Seasons were the most popular rock band in the US.  Featuring Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi, they took the country by storm when founded in 1960, and are one of the best-selling musical groups of all time.  Jersey Boys tells their story, from obscurity to superstardom.  It’s a great story and a great show, filled with great songs and wonderful pageantry.  

from Ari Kellen | Musical Minded http://ift.tt/2ch2vsr

Green Living in NYC

Green Living in NYC by Ari KellenContrary to popular belief, New York is hardly the antithesis of eco-friendly living (that honor goes to Los Angeles).  More than half of the city’s residents don’t own cars, reducing fuel emissions.  Even if you don’t want a lifestyle of veganism and coconut oil deodorant, it’s still a good idea to be more aware of your personal impact on the environment.  Here are seven easy tips New Yorkers can use to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, based off an article I found online:

Recycle: Even if you don’t live in a “green” apartment building, New York Department of Sanitation still requires residents to recycle their waste.  For many, this simply means tossing your mixed papers and plastics into a communal bin, so there really isn’t any excuse to be lazy about recycling.

Use a glass or BPA-free bottle: Rather than spend money on bottled water, get a glass or BPA-free water bottle and fill it up with tap water throughout the day.  If people stopped using plastic bottles, it would make a huge impact on the environment.

Rethink Seamless: New Yorkers love their takeout and delivery, but takeout containers are a hindrance on eco-friendly living.  New Yorkers won’t stop ordering in delivery, but they can be smarter with their to go choices.  Reuse plastic containers for make-ahead meals to store leftovers.  Before paying on Seamless, check the box that says “no plastic utensils or napkins”, and use your own silverware and napkins.

Bring your own bag: Plastic shopping bags are wasteful, so bring a large canvas or jute tote when you go grocery shopping.  Not only are they stronger than plastic bags, but Whole Foods takes up to ten cents off your grocery bill when you bring your own bag.

Frequent eco-friendly places: New York has taken sustainable, eco-friendly dining and shopping and made it chic.  Shop at green boutiques and eat at environmentally conscious restaurants.  

Support local brands: Importing goods is not only expensive, but also leaves a huge carbon footprint.  You’ll find plenty of quality food produced in New York or nearby.

from Ari Kellen | New York City Exploration http://ift.tt/2bW5OVr