Cool Down for Free in Manhattan

kayakingIt’s true that New York is not the cheapest city for entertainment but on the other hand, there are many activities that can be enjoyed for free. One doesn’t need to buy a yacht to enjoy the Hudson River since the Downtown Boathouse provides a way for people to cruise city waterways along the Hudson River…and doesn’t charge for the experience!
There is also the North River Lobster Company offering something similar as well at the 25 minute trip of the Staten Island Ferry. Don’t forget the Governors Island Ferry that is free between 10 and 11.30am on weekends.
So one can cool off in Manhattan without spending a dime!

Spiderman: Times Square Everyday Hero

If you happen to be staying at Shimmie Horn’s Washington Jefferson Hotel, right now there is some extra protection in the nearby vicinity. “Spiderman” (aka the guy dressed up as Spiderman for the kids) actually engaged in quite a heroic act, somewhat akin to his real life character.

A guy on the street at Broadway and West 44th, was harassing street performers and in stepped the Times Square Spiderman to the rescue! Of course it was videoed so see for yourself. And remember, Times Square is protected by superheroes!

East Village Pizza

pizzaWhen it comes to pizza there is good, better and great. Bruno Pizza at 204 East 13th Street in East Village probably doesn’t even fit into the top category. Indeed, it is THAT good. One of the newest pizza parlors in the hood, it is also extremely fancy. Not only are the toppings something to talk about but the entire process of making the dough is something out of this world. Indeed chefs Dave Gulino and Justin Slojkowski – in conjunction with Demian Repucci (the owner) spent many months trying to create the perfect recipe for their 00 pizza flour. So much so that they used their very own mill to grind the whole wheat berries to their specific desires!

Was it worth it? Oh yes, the end result most certainly was. And the tasting menu that it is now offering is something out of this world! Added to that is the fact that Bruno Pizza has instituted an up-and-coming trendy no tipping policy. What more could one ask for? Great prepared dough, fabulous toppings and no tips!

So what are these great toppings? Well you really should go to the tasting menu one day but until then tantalize your taste buds with this: the $16 Bucatini (corn, squash blossoms, scallions and squash) or pea green with gorgonzola-made butter. But what Repucci is really pushing is interaction between chefs and diners – an idea he got from Box Kite wherein there were no servers “so they just talked to the diners.”

He sees the restaurant as a “kind of a hybrid, where there’ll be walk-ins for pasta and pizza, and then there’ll be tasting menu people.” What fun. And certainly not one’s run-of-the-mill pizza place!

Manhattan’s Green Green Hill

greenThat would be Inwood Hill. Right at the tip of Manhattan sits the stunning Inwood Hill along the Harlem River. What’s wonderful about this unspoiled area is that while the rest of New York (and in particular Manhattan) was just built up and changed and modified, this was quite nicely left alone. Indeed, some even say that it hasn’t been touched since the American Revolution. That’s quite something for anything in New York!

What’s fascinating about this place is that it has not gotten pulled into the growth of NYC’s “most famous metropolis,” but instead has remained in sync with nature. This stunning 196-acre forest can offer the millions of New Yorkers a vacation, some Zen time, an escape, and more while still being in the heart of The City That Never Sleeps.

Inwood Hill brings New York a sense of serenity. Greenery is always needed no matter how metropolitan a city becomes.

Manhattan’s Mobile Movements

busManhattan is currently encountering a battle of the different mobile transportation options. This war began in San Francisco and has now migrated across state lines.

Price slashes were announced by Uber and Lyft, in an attempt to get more customers. It is therefore wise for those looking to get around Manhattan for cheap, to check up on current offers from the different companies.

It seems that right now, the three main competitors are: Gett, Uber Pool and Lyft Line. Prices average out at around $5-10 depending on when, where and how many people are in the vehicle at the same time.

Kids, New Yorkers and Their Art

art-workshopMadison Square Park is hosting an art workshop – for families – on two days’ time. It’s free and is suitable for the entire family. It recommended if there is parental supervision for the workshop.

The Fata Morgana Family Art Workshop will educate participants about Fata Morgana – the monumental outdoor sculpture with “500 feet of golden, mirror-polished discs that create canopies above the pathways around the park’s central Oval Lawn.”

For kids looking for something less artsy and more animal based, Madison Square Park still has something to offer: the free activities in the park throughout the summer, such as Spirit Animals and Pinch Pot Pet (both on July 20).

Apartment ‘Pop-Up’ in New York CitySeinf

For those who always used to look forward to their weekly Seinfeld installment, they can now enjoy the apartment in which most episodes took place right in New York City.

A pop-up of the apartment rented by Jerry in the show in the Upper West Side is now open to the public for viewing. Fans can play an interactive part like Costanza’s Valentine’s Day photo shoot, or Kramer’s infamous “barge in” entrance that used to take place in most of the shows.

Although the show was said to have taken place in the Upper West Side, this pop up replica is situated in actuality at 451 West 14th Street, a few miles south of the area.

Dining in Style

foodFor those staying in the center of the world – aka the Flatiron District which exemplifies all that New York City is about – take some time out for fine dining. At Shimmie Horn’s Hotel Chandler, sits a stunning, boutique flatiron restaurant. Juni provides an intimate setting, with space for just 50 people and offers fresh, seasonal foods to its customers. The name comes from the Latin word for June and each season the food changes, reflecting “the best local harvests.”

Get out of the crowded, fast-paced atmosphere for a while and enjoy the delicacies prepared by Chef Hergatt, who trained as an apprentice at Crystal Twig and won the AHA’s Best Young Chef award in 2000.

As well, the Juni Bar offers “custom fruit- and vegetable-inspired cocktails, fine wines and a rotating selection of beers,” and is a must-visit for locals and tourists alike.

Mamma Mia! Makes its Midtown Farewell

Having been performing in Midtown for nearly a decade-and-a-half – making it the eighth longest-running show in the history of Broadway – Mamma Mia! is taking its last bow. According to producer of the show, Judy Craymer, the last of its performances at Broadhurst Theatre (located close to Shimmie Horn’s Iroquois New York hotel) will be on September 5 of this year.

Craymer explained:

“Mamma Mia! has celebrated a passionate 14-year love affair with New York City. I am thrilled that Mamma Mia! has brought the music of ABBA to Broadway and so grateful to the hundreds of wonderful actors, musicians, stage managers, crew, front of house staff and the other people of the theatre who have given their professional lives and souls to be part of the Mamma Mia! family and adventure on Broadway. And a huge thank you to our fans who have come from all over the world to see the show. It’s an honour to be recognised as one of the most popular shows in Broadway history and we’re looking forward to celebrating our last summer at the Broadhurst Theatre.”

So if you’re in the area over the next two months, don’t miss it!

Midler in Manhattan

Divine Intervention is coming to Manhattan. Or, more precisely, Bette Midler and her tour. Featuring material from It’s the Girls (her new album) as well as other parts of her long-term career, this show has fun costume changes and sets, classics she is known for including Wind Beneath My Wings (from the famed Thelma and Louise movie) as well as her risqué bath house humor.

In addition, since her latest album – It’s the Girls – is a tribute to girl power, this would make a perfect trip for a true girl’s night out (such as a bachelorette party) at Madison Square Garden. Manhattan is a great place to see Bette Midler given her duet, ‘Manhattan’ with Rod Stewart.

For those who miss the Manhattan shows, they can catch it in Brooklyn at the Barclay Center.