Posts Tagged ‘Central Park’

Say Goodbye to 2016 at Good Riddance Day on December 28

I’ve only done the “watch the ball drop” thing once in person, and I’ll never be that crazy again (although I do love the fireworks celebration in Central Park and the Midnight Run which leaves from Rumsey Playfield). But, if you’re determined to include Times Square in your New Year’s itinerary and you’re not just thinking about going to a Broadway show, Good Riddance Day and the Times Square Wishing Wall are two unique celebrations to consider.

On December 28, it will be out with the old, in with the new in Times Square as visitors shred their worst memories from 2016 by disposing of them in a giant shredder. After letting go of 2016 and the less-than-jolly news of this year, guests can record a wish for 2017 on a piece of paper that will be added to the confetti that accompanies the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop. Think Wishfetti!  Just stop by Duffy Square (47th Street and 7th Avenue, Manhattan) between 11am and 8pm to post your wish on the wall. You can also contribute online to the Virtual Wishing Wall. All online wishes will be turned into confetti as well.  Use the hashtag #confettiwish if you’re writing your wishes on Twitter or Instagram.

Feel free to toast early with a nice glass of bubbly or a hot apple cider (spiked with rum)!

October Events for a Good Cause: Peace, Music, and Parks

The city kicks off its October event schedule with three programs for good causes: peace, music, and parks.

On October 6, Yoko Ono, founder of Imagine Peace, invites you to help her create the world’s largest human peace sign in honor of John Lennon’s birthday on October 9 (he would have been 75). Near Strawberry Fields in Central Park, the attempt at the Guinness world record will happen in the East Meadow. Expect anywhere from 6000 to 10,000 people and wear your best rock ‘n roll colors. Be there by 12 Noon (you can register onsite, too) as the photo will be shot overhead at 12:30pm. The event is free, but donations will go to the John Lennon Education Tour Bus, a non-profit mobile Pro Audio and HD video recording facility that provides hands-on experiences for students. You can sign up online at Eventbrite.

Also, on October 6, the Bulgarian Concert Evenings program in New York has its Opening Night Gala at 7:30pm at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Tickets are $40, $30, and $20 and support the development of young and upcoming musicians as well as fund the ongoing free concert program at the library of the Bulgarian Consulate General. This year’s gala features a program of music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Dobrinka Tabakova, and Franz Schubert played on violin, viola, cello, double bass and piano.  For information and tickets, visit www.bceny.org.

Two days later, you can show your support for the city’s parks at a benefit supporting the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy’s miraculous transformation of the abandoned Dumbo waterfront into a beautiful park. It’s a Brooklyn-style “black tie” affair taking place on Pier 2, called, not surprisingly, the Brooklyn Black Tie Ball and After Party. The October 8 event is filled with great food, dancing, and music, all with an amazing view of Manhattan’s skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge. I can’t think of a more wonderful way to thank these folks for all they do like bringing us the Movies with a View series, Pilates classes in the park, and Kayak Camp. The honoree at the event is former mayor Michael Bloomberg who was the driving force in the creation of the park. Cocktails and dinners are 6-9, with the After Party from 9-11. Separate tickets are required for each. Information at http://www.brooklynbridgepark.org/events/bkblacktie .

Quiet New York City: Where to Go to Get Your Zen

We’ve had the Pope, the GA, Coldplay and Beyonce and their fans in Central Park. Road closures, subway shutdowns, and incessant helicopters.  Sometimes you just want some peace and quiet. Here’s where you can go to find some serenity in the city.

Arthur Ross Pinetum in Central Park

Immerse yourself in nature at the Arthur Ross Pinetum in Central Park. Located between 84th and 86th streets, this area of Central Park has 400 pine trees of 15 various species worldwide. Clear your mind at the Contemplation Circle and do some bird watching while gazing at the buds on the trees. Long-eared and northern saw-whet owls are known to sleep in the surrounding pines during the day, making the Pinetum a prime location for bird watchers.

(212) 310-6600, centralparknyc.org

Jacques-Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art

To truly take a step away from New York City, hop on the Staten Island Ferry for free and get a breath of fresh air as you sail away to the serenity of the Jacques-Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art. Admire the largest collection of Tibetan art in the West, located inside of the only Himalayan-temple-style building in the United States. Afterwards, take some time to wander around the beautiful meditation gardens outside. If you fall in love with the Tibetan culture by the end of your visit, then make sure to venture back to the museum in October for the annual Tibetan festival.  If you’re lucky, you’ll get to hear the monks ring the bells to break your silent reverie.

The museum is open Thursday through Sunday from 1pm-5pm.

Admission:

Adults- $6

Seniors/Students- $4

(718) 987-3500,  338 Lighthouse Ave., Staten Island,   http://www.tibetanmuseum.org/index.htm

YeloSpa

For the ultimate power nap, visit YeloSpain Manhattan and try out a YeloCabTM. After a nap in one of these cocoon-like cabins, you will feel rejuvenated and ready to get back to work in no time. Choose from a traditional massage while napping or a reclining YeloChair TM to sleep in for a weightless feeling. Customize the lighting and music in the YeloCab to your liking, and fill the cabin with your favorite aromatherapy scent. Snuggle up with a soft cashmere blanket and sleep that stress away at YeloSpa.

(212) 245.8235,  315 West 57th St., http://www.yelonyc.com/spa/

Zen Buddhist Temple

Awaken your heart and mind with a public meditation service at the Zen Buddhist Temple on the Upper East Side. Join other people looking to find their Zen and learn techniques that will help you let go of the stresses of living in New York City. The temple’s public meditation service is a great way to prepare for the work week ahead, as it is offered on Sundays at 10:30 am. The session lasts one and a half hours and is completely donation-based. The suggested contribution is $10 per visit.

(212) 888-6262,  206 East 63rd St.,  http://zenbuddhisttemple.org/locations/newyork/index.html

Highlights of New York City Parks: Manhattan and Brooklyn

Belvedere Castle at Central Park

The enormity of Central Park can be daunting. To get the most beautiful and highest views of the park and its cityscape, venture up the hill behind the Delacorte Theater to Belvedere Castle, set in the middle of the park near 79th street.  An old Victorian folly transformed to measure today’s weather patterns, the castle provides spectacular lookout points to the reservoir to the north and the Ramble to the south.  The architectural landmark is open Tuesdays through Sundays from April to October and Wednesdays through Sundays from November to March.  For hours of operation call 212-772-0210 or visit http://www.centralparknyc.org/visit/things-to-see/great-lawn/belvedere-castle.html

Central Park Conservancy, 14 E. 60th St, Manhattan

Carousels at Brooklyn Bridge Park and Battery Park

Within another park known for its striking views of Manhattan, the renovated Jane’s Carousel is a tribute to early 20th century design genius. Lovingly restored according to 1922 plans, the Carousel was re-installed in September 2011 in a grand pavilion designed by award-winning architect Jean Nouvel. The 48-horse carousel and its magical setting are magnets for families, wedding parties and history buffs. Operating year-round, the carousel spins from 11am-7pm daily for $2 a person (with the exception of Tuesdays).  Further information can be obtained by phone at 718-222-2502, or at www.janescarousel.com

Jane’s Carousel, 45 Main Street Suite 602, Brooklyn

Just opened, the SeaGlass Carousel in Battery Park takes the concept of a carousel and spins it on its head: a nautilus-type structure puts riders into 30 fish illuminated with LED lighting and accompanied by integrated audio throughout. Open 10am-10pm. Rides are $5 per person. http://www.seaglasscarousel.nyc/

Sea Glass Carousel, State Street at Pearl Street, Manhattan

Dog Runs at Carl Schurz Park

While Central Park allows dogs off leash before 9am and after 9pm, Carl Schurz Park offers exercise options all day long. Taking into account the differences in a dog’s size, this East River park has two separate dog runs: one for small dogs and one for large dogs.  Located at East End Avenue to the East River from Gracie Square (East 84th St.) to 89th Street. www.carlschurzparknyc.org.

Carl Schurz Park, 217 East 85th Street, Manhattan

Free Things to Do This Summer

If you think everything in New York costs too much, well, you’re right—almost. In fact, the city has tons of free attractions and activities; here are some summer faves.

Brooklyn BridgeWalk across the Brooklyn Bridge (or part of it) for a spectacular view of the Financial District and One World Trade Center, Brooklyn, the seaport, and Manhattan. If you’re still energized, you can visit Brooklyn Bridge Park, a beautiful setting blessed with unobstructed city views.

Grab a distinctively different park experience by hiking the High Line. Where else but in New York could you smell the flowers, admire art and score some superb people watching along a former railroad track? If you happen to be there on Friday between 7 and 9:30pm, stop by the new Whitney Museum. Admission is free (you can pay what you wish).

Ride the Staten Island ferry (and back) to see the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the southern tip of Manhattan from the water.

Catch a free outdoor movie screening in Soundview Park (Bronx), Bryant Park (Manhattan), on Pier 1 in Riverside Park (Manhattan), Brooklyn Bridge Park, Sunset Park (Brooklyn), Willowbrook Park (Staten Island), Simeone Park (Queens) or at the Socrates Sculpture Garden (Queens). Schedules are posted weekly.

FishingGo catch-and-release fishing at Harlem Meer with free poles and bait to borrow from the Dana Discovery Center.

Wander Battery Park City’s waterfront promenade. The breeze, occasional concerts, fun parks and playgrounds, and passing boats will make you forget you’re in the gritty city, although the view of the Statue of Liberty will remind you that you couldn’t be anywhere but New York.

TrapeseWatch wannabe trapeze artists swing and soar at the New York Trapeze School along the Hudson River at Pier 40 in Manhattan, or at 3029 Stillwell Ave. in Coney Island

Island Hop to Governors Island by ferry. In this historic and expansive park setting you can bike, take a tram ride, and absorb the great views of the city.

Taste the treats at the Union Square greenmarket (Mon., Wed., Fri., Sat.), where farmers offer samples of organically grown produce, hand-pressed juices, artisanal cheeses, and fresh bread.

Stroll the Coney Island boardwalk and play on the beach for some old-school kitsch. Although the outrageous Mermaid Parade and the gluttonous Fourth of July hot-dog-eating contest have passed, there’s plenty to see to keep you entertained.

Check out the street performers around New York’s parks: break-dancers in Union Square and by Central Park’s Bethesda Fountain, nutty unicyclists in Washington Square, and Statue of Liberty clones in Battery Park and Times Square along the pedestrian-only Broadway promenade. The entertainers situated near the subway (or in the subway – enter for only $2.75) are better than you’d expect—to perform, they must first be vetted by committee.

Conservatory GardensStroll among the paths in the Central Park Conservatory Garden for gorgeous, gorgeous flowers, and idyllic formal gardens.

Attend a storytelling hour or author talk at Barnes & Noble. You can check schedules and store locations online.

Visit a museum. Many, many of New York City’s best collections offer hours, days, or nights when admission is free for all. You can view the complete schedule here.

New York City Fireworks for New Year’s Eve (not Times Square)

Times Square isn’t the only place to watch the fireworks on New Year’s Eve. If you’re in Brooklyn, you might want to head to Prospect Park. http://www.prospectpark.org/news-events/events/2014/12/31#new-years-eve-fireworks. Live entertainment, hot chocolate, and fireworks at Grand Army Plaza set the stage for a fun night, sponsored by the Prospect Park Alliance and Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams.

In Manhattan Cherry Hill in Central Park is the place to be…. without the crowds.  It’s a fun party, with music, cider toasts, fireworks and, of course, the annual Midnight Run. This year’s pre- and post-race festival takes place from 10pm until 1am with a dance party featuring a DJ and live performers at Central Park’s Naumburg Bandshell. Runners and spectators alike can take a stroll down NYRR’s special blue carpet and commemorate their experience at the end of the runway at the Resolution Photobooth. The pre- and post-race festival is free and open to the public, and all are welcome to view the fireworks display just south of the 72nd Street Transverse.

As 2014 comes to a close, thousands of New Yorkers and runners from across the country will dash into 2015 at the stroke of midnight at the 36th annual NYRR Midnight Run in Central Park on New Year’s Eve, sponsored by New York Road Runners, www.nyrr.org. American road-racing power couple Cole Atkins, the defending champion, and Esther Erb, the 2014 USA Marathon champion representing the local New York Athletic Club team, lead the pack of runners.  A new addition to this year’s race is the New Year’s Resolution Bib, a back bib for runners to write what they will be running for in 2015.

Planning a trip to NYC?