Posts Tagged ‘Staten Island’

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

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.

Summer and Spring Cruises around Manhattan Return via Classic Harbor Line

You may not afford a yacht in NYC but Classic Harbor Line can let you spend this spring and summer cruising around the islands of NYC on gorgeous, wooden Gatsby-era motor and sailing yachts, built in Albany, New York  with 100% all made-in-America materials. Classic Harbor Line — designer, builder and operator of classically inspired yachts — offers year-round tours, sails and cruises in New York Harbor. You can make a full day of it, too, starting your evening experience with a day visit to the High Line, a bite at Chelsea Market, or some time at the new Whitney Museum. http://www.sail-nyc.com/

One of my favorites of their cruises is the annual Architecture Tour, a natural in a city with a skyline like New York City’s. This year’s tour will include sneak previews of Staten Island’s Freshkills Park, the world’s largest sustainable park project and the city’s most exciting land reclamation project. Vegetation, wildlife and pristine wandering waterways now fill this once-active landfill area. http://www.nycgovparks.org/park-features/freshkills-park
A foodie lover cruise, Chef Morimoto’s Sushi and Sake Cruise happens on Monday nights.  Eat and drink with a fantastic menu from the master chef, all with a beautiful backdrop of the Statue of Liberty, Manhattan, and New Jersey (yes, New Jersey is growing up!).  http://www.morimotonyc.com
For families, the “Around Manhattan” brunch cruises run every Saturday and Sunday morning on the luxury yacht Manhattan. Food options happily include gluten-free choices, complimentary brunch cocktails, and selections for even the youngest guests.
Full-day cruises to Bear Mountain are a great way to escape the city and get physical as well. The program combines a stunning cruise up the Hudson River with hiking and exploring (or relaxing) in beautiful Bear Mountain Park and a cruise back to the city on a luxury yacht.  Breakfast is included on the outbound trip, with a picnic lunch on the return.
Specific dates for all cruises are listed online at  http://www.sail-nyc.com/

Foodie Events for Labor Day and the Weeks After

Labor Day weekend and the weeks beyond means all sort of fun foodie events in New York City.  Here is a compilation of some that you might want to sample:

Pig IslandPig Island, September 6, 11:30am-4:30pm; Showcasing the best of New York State local farmers, chefs, brewers and vintners all dedicated to bringing home the bacon, Pig Island returns to the Red Hook waterfront, a.k.a. home to exclusive beer provider, Sixpoint Craft Ales.

Pig Island pairs NY State hogs with NYC chefs to bring the best of New York State to NewYork City. http://www.eventbrite.com/e/pig-island-2014-tickets-11423697587 , Waterfront at Erie Basin Park, 1 Beard Street, Brooklyn

TASTE Williamsburg GreenpointTaste Williamsburg Greenpoint, September 7, 1pm-5pm,; TASTE Williamsburg Greenpoint is an outdoor celebration of North Brooklyn’s local flavor. Featuring more than 40 of the neighborhood’s best restaurants, bars, breweries and wineries, along with live music and more all with beautiful views of the Manhattan skyline as the backdrop. http://tastewg.com/ , East River State Park, Brooklyn

Vendy Awards, September 13, 12:39pm-5pm; The Vendy Awards presents the 10th annual Vendy Awards at Governors Island. Cheer on and sample from New York City’s best food trucks. http://www.vendyawards.streetvendor.org/newyorkcity

Beer for Beasts, September 13, The 4th annual Beer for Beasts charity event hosted by BeerAdvocate and Sixpoint Brewery will take place at the Bell House in Brooklyn, NY. The celebration will feature dozens of exclusive beers, some of New York City’s best food vendors, and creative entertainment to promote compassion toward animals. All net proceeds go to the Humane Society of New York. A day session and a night session are offered.  http://www.beeradvocate.com/b4b/ 149 7th Street, Brooklyn

Exploring Latin American Jewish Cuisine, September 14, 2:30pm-5pm; Latin American Jewish cuisine is heating up restaurants and kitchens throughout the Americas. Hear a lively and mouthwatering conversation about the cuisine’s journey from early Sephardic influences to the Jewish food landscape of today. Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, https://webformsrig01bo3.blackbaudhosting.com/898a/tickets?tab=2&txobjid=a5870498-401e-4ac7-a135-287ffbe9eb16

Nordic Hot Dog ChampionshipsNordic Hot Dog Championship (part of the North Food Festival), September 15, 6pm-10pm; This is your chance to have some of the best chefs in the world cook up delicious Hot Dogs for you in the comfort of the bar at Brooklyn Brewery. At this first ever Nordic Hot Dog Championships, Chefs battle it out for the prestigious title of Nordic Hot Dog Champion.

Wash down the delicious dogs with equally delicious craft beer courtesy of Brooklyn Brewery and their Swedish sister brewery Nya Carnegiebryggeriet – and vote for your favorite creation. May the most creative, delicious and exciting dog prevail! 1 Brewer’s Row, 79 N 11th St., Brooklyn, http://www.eventbrite.com/e/north-festival-hot-dog-championships-at-brooklyn-brewery-tickets-12434009457 Tickets include sampling of all participating hot dogs and open beer bar.

September Street Fairs, Parades and Concerts in NYC

Fall weather means the return of street fairs, outdoor music, and parades to the city.  Here, in one place, we compile a listing of some of the most interesting ones happening throughout the city this month.  Plan your travels accordingly as street closures mean slow going in places.

92 Street Y Lexington Avenue Festival – food, music, activities and family entertainment, along one mile of Lexington Avenue on the Upper East Side.  Try rock climbing courtesy of Brooklyn Boulders (86th Street), food offerings from around the world, dance and entertainment at the main stage (85th Street), activities for the younger ones at the 92Y KidCentral area (84th Street), and much more.

Sunday, September 15, 12pm-5pm
Lexington Avenue from 96th to 79th Street, Manhattan

www.92y.org/streetfest

87th Annual Feast of San GennaroItalian specialties, parades, music in Little Italy, Manhattan

Through Sunday September 22, 2013, into the late hours

Mulberry Street between Canal and Houston St
www.sangennaro.org

A spate of localized neighborhood fairs pop up over the next two weeks.  All basically offer American and international merchandise and food, art, crafts, antiques, merchandise, crowds and entertainment. Bring cash and a spirit of fun as you meander through the streets and enjoy the roasted corn, fried dough, sock stands, street art, and more.

  • Broadway Autumn Fair, Manhattan
    Saturday, September 21, 10am-6pm
    on Broadway from Waverly Place – 14th St.
  • Jerome Avenue Festival, Bronx
    Saturday, September 21, 12Noon -6pm
    on Jerome Avenue from Moshulu Parkway to Gun Hill Road
  • Bleecker Street Festival, Manhattan
    Saturday, September 21, until 6pm
    on Bleecker Street from 8th to 7th Avenues
  • Broadway Astoria Festival, Queens
    Sunday, September 22, until 6pm
    on Broadway from Steinway Street to Crescent Street
  • Grand Central Fall Fest, Manhattan
    Friday, September 27, until 6pm
    on 41st Street from Lexington Ave. – 3rd Ave.
  • Sixth Avenue Fair, Manhattan
    Saturday, September 28, until 6pm
    on 6th Avenue from 42nd St.- 56th St.
  • Forest Hills Austin Street Festival, Queens
    Sunday, September 29, until 6pm
    on Austin Street from 69th to 72nd Road

Two slightly different events in Staten Island will appeal to art and music lovers:

Staten Island Museum’s 63rd Annual Fence Show – a neighborhood art exhibition and sale.

Saturday, September 21, 11am – 5pm
Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden (Front Lawn)

The St. Luke’s Subway Series presents a free outdoor music concert by the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble.

Saturday, September 28, 2pm
Snug Harbor, Richmond County Savings Foundations’ Tuscan Garden, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island

Also not to be missed is the colorful oompah-ness of the Steuben Day Parade in Manhattan, with its music, dance, costumes and floats celebrating more than three centuries of German–American friendship.  Tickets available for $15 for Grand Stand seats, www.SteubenGrandStand.eventbrite.com.

German-American Steuben Parade of New York

Saturday, September 21 – 12 Noon
Fifth Avenue, 68th Street to 86th Street
Grand Stand at 79th Street

As part of the celebration, kick off Oktoberfest in Central Park at 1:30pm at Rumsey Playfield, entrance at 72nd Street. Enjoy brews and entertainment featuring “Die Schlauberger,” “Spitze!” and other bands.  Tickets: $20 at www.SteubenOktoberfest.eventbrite.com.