A Taste Of The Big Apple
By Angela Ash
New York City truly has so much to offer that sometimes the idea of a visit can be completely overwhelming. You may be planning a weekend getaway, a week long stay, or perhaps a more extended vacation. Some potential “visits” have turned into a new home for many, not able to pull away from the many dreams that New York City can fulfill.
There are the things, as with any city, that can not be missed. A visit to the Statue of Liberty is a must, as well as spending an entire day lost within the American Museum of Natural History or the Metropolitan Art Museum.
However, we must not neglect an aspect of a city that will truly languish in our memories… and our taste buds… for years to come. Yup, you are exactly right. I am talking about FOOD!
When one thinks of New York City and food, many images come to mind. Myself, I picture eating a hot dog as I walk through Central Park, or gazing through the windows in Chinatown trying to decide which door to open. As with everything else in New York, this too can be extremely overwhelming.
Let’s try to take the guesswork out of what could turn into a regular Tuesday lunch, and do something a little more exciting, educational, and even more romantic. As I searched the city for such a thing, one fantastic, yet totally different, option emerged.
So, imagine the most romantic, elegant, exciting night possible… and you will be envisioning a dinner cruise on the Bateaux New York.
Pulling up to Chelsea Pier, the first glimpse of the ship is literally breathtaking. The European-inspired cruising vessel is unforgettable. Enclosed almost completely in glass, the reflections of the city lights offer a teasing preview into what will surely be a night to go down in the books.
This is like no other dinner cruise that I have ever experienced. The extent of luxury and first class service is unsurpassed. From the check in to the seating process, everyone was treated like visiting diplomats or royalty.
The Bateaux offers a diverse selection of cruises to fit any size party, celebration, budget, or time restriction. Brunch, lunch, dinner, cocktail, moonlight, and charter cruises are available, all with the same beautiful views and the same immaculate service... whatever your budget or party size.
Speaking of the views, the word that comes to mind is “Wow”! The ship sails along the Hudson and East Rivers, with the most breath-taking scenery imaginable. On any given cruise, you will see the following:
1. Chelsea Piers
Completed in 1910 as a passenger ship terminal, it was supposed to be the destination of the ill-fated oceanliner Titanic. After years of disrepair, it was turned into a sports and entertainment complex in the mid-1990s and serves as the New York dock for Spirit Cruises.
2. Empire State Building
This impressive 1,250-feet tower opened in 1923 and was the world’s tallest building for 30 years.
3. World Trade Center Site
Built between 1966 and 1976, the World Trade Center’s twin towers were once the tallest buildings in the world at 110 stories each. They were destroyed by an act of international terrorism on September 11, 2001.
4. Battery Park City
This office and apartment community was built on the landfill from the excavation of the World Trade Center in 1977.
5. Battery Park
Called “The Battery” by New Yorkers, This 20-acre park at the southern tip of Manhattan was originally the site of early Dutch fortifications in the 1600s. Its name originated from the battery of cannons installed there by the British during Colonial times.
6. South Street Seaport
Dating back to the 1600s, South Street and its Seaport District were once the world’s gateway to New York city and America. After nearly a century of decay, the district was redeveloped in the 1960s into a vibrant commercial area filled with shops, restaurants, offices and the popular South Street Seaport Museum.
7. Brooklyn Bridge
Regarded as one of the greatest architectural achievements of all time, it was designed by John Augustus Roebling and was constructed between 1869 and 1883.
8. Brooklyn Heights
Considered New York’s first suburb when it was developed in the 1820s, this charming residential section across the East River from Manhattan was originally accessible by steam ferry. It was declared New York’s first landmark district in 1963.
9. Governor's Island
These 203 acres were under military command from the 1700s through 1996, making it the oldest continuously operated military post in U.S. history.
10. Statue of Liberty
A gift to the people of America from the people of France, “Liberty Enlightening the World” stands 300 feet above New York Harbor. She was built by sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi.
11. Ellis Island
Nearly 17 million immigrants were processed here between 1892 and 1957.
12. Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal
Located at the north end of Liberty State Park, this beautiful 1892 structure was in operation until 1954. Over one half of the new arrivals at Ellis Island passed through this railroad terminal on their way to new lives across the United States.
13. Colgate Clock
This stately timepiece once graced the Colgate Palmolive plant. When the factory was demolished in the 1980s, the clock remained.
And wait... we haven’t even talked about the food!
Be prepared to experience a wonderful, plated dinner, offering several selections from appetizers all the way through to the dessert. And let me tell you from experience, the lobster bisque is fantastic! While I am not typically a lobster fan, this definitely changed my mind. Blended with Crème Fraiche and a snip of Sherry, this could actually cause one to forget the views! Of course, the entrees are fierce competition, ranging from a wonderful oven roasted salmon to tangy beef short ribs and several tantalizing options in between.
Sigh… and then the dessert arrives. The Bateaux truly knows the meaning of New York style cheesecake, garnished with fruit, daring each lucky guest to devour every bite. However, the warm valrhona chocolate torte provides noteworthy competition, and should not be underestimated.
The brunch and lunch menus also offer plated service, boasting other delectable offerings, with the same views and the same unparalleled views.
And what lovely cruise would be complete without entertainment? Once again, the Bateaux delivers. The stirring sounds of jazz, blues, and other classical melodies add to the already perfect ambience, whether dancing the night away, or choosing to linger table side with a glass of wine.
Yes… and the wine! The Bateaux offers a vast wine list, perfectly paired with a nice choice of high standard liquors. I would definitely suggest the bar package that is available, offering beer, wine, juice, soda, and premium brand liquors.
Other dining enhancements are also offered, covering everything from roses to keepsake souvenirs. The Bateaux truly thinks of everything!
Speaking of everything, the Bateaux New York can also host your special function or occasion. Imagine the wedding of your dreams, sailing down the Hudson, with every detail executed to perfection!
The Bateaux New York pays more attention to detail than any river cruise I have ever experienced. From booking a reservation to sadly bidding farewell upon debarkation, this is a wonderful experience that should not be missed.
You can find additional information about Bateaux New York at www.bateauxnewyork.com, or by calling a friendly representative at 1-866-817-3463.
The next time your travels take you to New York City, do something different! Dine in elegance on the Bateaux New York, and see and experience Manhattan in a beautiful, new way!
Speaking of "different", do not leave new York without experiencing Sleep No More.
I am not really sure how to begin this. I am not really sure how to end this. I am even perplexed by the pieces that fall in between. The enigma that is Sleep No More can not be personified with mere words... but I will tell you this: it is brilliant.
Housed in the eccentric McKittrick Hotel at 530 W. 27th Street, in New York City's neighborhood of Chelsea, the building itself is foreboding, to say the least. Rising into the night, whispered promises of the macabre float through the air like autumn leaves.
And then... you enter. You are immediately ushered to something eerily reminescent of a hotel check-in, at which point you are given a playing card to symbolize your "room key". The "hotel guests" are then sent into the now famous Manderley Bar, where a beautifully re-created lounge scene is in full swing, with libations available for purchse, before your numbered card is called, and you begin, well... the most intoxicating night imaginable.
What comes next is a myriad of forbidden fantasies, spread as deliciously as any buffet, with temptations around every corner, down every darkened hallway, and hidden in every night stand drawer. Sleep No More takes each visitor on his own private journey through nearly one hundred rooms and scenes, all offering choices and scenarios that can either be followed, or discarded for a more interesting development in the next hidden space.
Try as one might to make this a group effort, it is nearly impossible, as each guest must don a mask upon entering, as well as stumble through this massive labyrinth... in absolute silence. This proves much more difficult than it seems, for in each new zig and zag in this plot based on a twisted Macbeth, it is often almost painful not to ask questions, or to share a secret that was whispered in the forest maze. However, do not fear, because all other forms of communication and investigative methods are highly encouraged, including touching props, digging through file cabinets, or sampling gumdrops in the candy store.
The scenes that may be viewed are completely invigorating... ranging from an elegant dance in a ballroom, to bizarre rituals and bloody baths. One never knows what to expect at the McKittrick Hotel... culminating in what can only be described as the most surreal moment ever offered by the performing arts.
So what exactly is Sleep No More? That answer is quite complicated, because it can mean so many things to so many different people, quite dependent on the paths chosen and the mindset possessed during the experience itself. However, if pressed, I believe that it is equal parts art at its most tragically beautiful, terrror within its strongest and wildest grip, and absolute pure, unadulterated imagination.
Experience it for yourself. Or are you afraid of the dark?
If your taste runs to something a bit milder, New York City will not disappoint.
If anyone has ever been to New York City, you are fully aware that you will walk more than you have ever walked in your entire life. Even if you purchase that nifty subway pass, you will walk to the stop, go down the stairs, to go back up the stairs to... guess what... go back down them again.
Take a day to give your feet a rest, and spend the best three and a half hours you will ever experience on a bus on the New York TV & Movie Sites Tour.
This will be an afternoon that you will not soon forget, as you find yourself in the exact locations where Friends, Smash, Ghostbusters, I Am Legend, Gossip Girl, Serendipity, Breakfast At Tiffany's, and hundreds more were actually filmed. You will see clips shown on monitors inside the bus, from television series or motion pictures that used these locations for scenes that you have grown to love.
Not only will you see these locations, but several times during the tour you will be invited to disembark from the bus and actually pose for pictures, explore the area, or grab a snack around the corner from where Heath Ledger lived.
And... who knows when you will be surprised by actual filming in progress, all of which your tour guide will explain and point out... in a very excited manner. Our guide for this tour was Roseanne, and she was just a wealth of knowledge about the industry, and even made us privy to a few television shows that were filming across the city that very day. She also gave us black and white cookies. She is my new best friend.
This will be one of the most exciting days you will ever spend in New York City! Take the tour, and imagine yourself in the movies! You may visit online to book today!
Now, On Location Tours also offers a host of other tours for you to choose from. I had to indulge my guiltiest pleasure, and sign up for one.
With Gossip Girl in its final season, this is definitely the time to take this tour, and find yourself in the exact places where your favorite GG moments have transpired.
On Location Tours, the world's largest television and movie site tour company, has put together an amazing trek across Manhattan, in a comfortable tour bus that shows memory-jogging clips from Gossip Girl, right before you pull up to the actual filming locale.
See the Met steps where Blair held reign over her minions, visit the Empire Hotel where Chuck Bass was king, or see where it all started at the Constance Billiard School for girls.
This is an expert tour, and not just for females. Our tour had people of all ages present, watching the clips and snapping pictures through the huge bus windows. Our guide, Paige, was knowledgeable about all things Upper East Side, and was an expert storyteller. I truly felt immersed into the lives of the elite, ready at any minute to be whisked away to a high society gala.
And there is not only "window gazing" going on from the bus, but the tour actually stops at several locations so that the attendees can get out, stretch their legs, realign their headbands, and have their photos taken just like Blair and Serena. One of the stops was at the Empire Hotel, where a reality show was being filmed at that exact moment in the lobby bar.
Spontaneity is one of the wonderful things about this tour, where our guide was poised and ready at any moment to point out any filmings that may have been in progress. After one stop, she even passed out macaroons, Blair's favorite.
I would definitely recommend taking this tour if you are even remotely interested in the world of Gossip Girl. It was fun, fascinating, and full of information on your favorite characters.
Visit online to book your tour today.
(I couldn't resist.)
While a person could live in New York City for a thousand years and never run out of things to do, sometimes a little getaway, or a day or weekend trip is in order.
I think that one of the most popular getaways from the Big Apple is to Atlantic City. There is just something about skipping away for a weekend to hit the slots, walk the infamous Boardwalk, or just relax by the pool. Atlantic City has even become more popular with HBO's hit series, "Boardwalk Empire".
The idea of a getaway to the gambler's paradise seems like a fantastic idea... but how will you get there? There are a few ideas for transportation from New York City, but you have probably heard the saying that "it's all about the journey", so make sure that you choose wisely. Even if you are with a car in the city, the trip may often run into traffic, and a lot of tolls. I would, hands down, take a bus... but not just any bus.
Greyhound's Lucky Streak departs conveniently from the Port Authority Bus Terminal, who recently erected a statue out front in tribute to the character Ralph Kramden from The Honeymooners. I stated that this is just not any bus, and this is correct. This is one great way to travel. Not only are the seats comfortable and roomy, but there's a lot of space to stretch out your legs. Free Wi-Fi is available, as well as outlets to keep all of your devices powered. This makes the trip to AC a breeze.
Besides the already low price, the great deals do not stop there. When you arrive at the casino of your choice, you will be presented with free play to use at that property. And don't worry about doing the guesswork as to your departure time, because the tickets are roundtrip and open-ended, meaning you can check the schedule and leave when it is convenient for you. With so many stops and pick up locations, the possibilities are endless!
You may visit Greyhound's Lucky Streak online for additional information. Plan your getaway today!
There is no way to even attempt to include everything there is to do in New York City. With so many options, I have tried to include a few well known, some hidden gems, and some absolutely "do not miss" tours and attractions. Whatever your taste, New York City awaits!