If you happen to be vacationing in the Upper West Side, and are staying at Shimmie Horn’s Hotel Belleclaire, the Lucerne, the Excelsior Hotel, or any other luxurious accommodation in the area, you might want to take a stroll down 81st Street to check out the Museum of Natural History. This is a great visit for the whole family – kids will love it – and there is just so much to see and explore for all ages. Some people have even compared it to NYC’s MET.
The museum boasts special exhibitions, an IMAX theatre; space shows; planetarium and more. For any kid (or adult) who has just seen dinosaurs in books, this is the place to go; it’s simply outstanding. And ultimately, for any adult who is tired of doing the grown-up thing, go to this museum – again and again – and let the child in you come out and say hi to the Journey of the Stars and the Butterfly Conservatory.
Next time you find yourself luxuriating in a top boutique New York hotel like the Hilton or Shimmie Horn’s Washington Jefferson Hotel on West 51st Street, you might want to take some time out from high class dining and take in a lesson on hummusology at the local Hummus Kitchen. Located on Ninth Avenue, here you can check out different ways of consuming the traditional Middle Eastern chickpea-based spread or trying other popular dishes from the culture including: Babaganush; The Falafel; Bureka and Couscous Tabule, to name but a few.
For a fuller meal enjoy the Moroccan Laffa (made with roasted chicken, hummus – of course! – mild Harisa sauce, cucumbers and parsley) or the popular Seni’ya Platter (a traditional stew of ground beef and lamb, seasoned with onion, parsley and spices, topped with white Tahini and pine nuts).
Whatever dish you choose from the Hummus Kitchen, you won’t return to your hotel hungry or disappointed by the cultural dining experience.
Visit the Jazz Standard for Great Music
Music is the message at the Jazz Standard, located at 116 East 27th Street, a short walk from Shimmie Horn’s Chandler Hotel. Directed to a large spectrum of music lovers, the Jazz Standard has something for everyone. With two shows each evening, the first set is a bit earlier for people coming back from business meetings, or on their way home after work, making it easy and convenient to relax with some great sounds to finish off the day.
Shows are seven days a week, at 7:30pm and 9:30pm, with a third set on Friday and Saturday nights at 11:30pm.
The music is varied from show to show. The comfortable, intimate setting lets listeners enjoy anything from classic jazz to funk, R&B, blues and more. On hand can be well-known veterans of the music scene or not-yet-famous musicians ready to toot their horns to please their audience. Along with the music patrons can enjoy a delicious meal of perfectly smoked barbecue from the award-winning Blue Smoke BBQ.
Call the Jazz Standard for more information: 212-576-2232.
DeWitt Clinton Park War Memorial
Snuggled among the businesses and residences on the Manhattan’s West Side, between 54th and 52nd Streets and 12th and 11th Avenues, is a lovely bit of green known as DeWitt Clinton Park.
Named after ten-term New York City mayor, and New York State Governor of eight years, the park memorializes this visionary and life-long politician. Perhaps Clinton’s most inspired idea was to implement the innovative Manhattan grid-system in 1811; but what he is best known for is his planning and promotion of the great, State-funded, Erie Canal.
Park facilities include a dog run, baseball fields, a garden of perennials, basketball and handball courts and the Erie Canal playground which was newly renovated in 1996.
DeWitt Clinton Park is a great oasis of green to visit if you happen to be staying at Shimmie Horn’s Washington Jefferson Hotel, which is just a short distance away on 51st Street between 8th and 9th Avenues.