Tuesday, March 26, 2019

5 Tips and Tricks for Visiting the Hudson Yards and the Vessel

On Friday, March 15, 2019, a huge centerpiece installation, the Vessel, was opened in the Hudson Yards, the hottest new neighborhood in town. Hudson Yards, located on the west side of Manhattan (34th and 11th Street), is estimated at $25 billion. And it's one of the world's most expensive projects. The heart of Hudson Yards is the $150 million Vessel. The Vessel, which is now looking for a new name,  is a public structure covered with copper and designed by a British designer Thomas Heaterwick. The structure is similar to a beehive, surrounded by gardens and rises to a height of 150 feet. It consists of 16 floors, 154 staircases, 80 terraces, and 2,500 steps. A visit to the building feels like stepping into an Escher painting, which depicts fantastic structures of staircases that seem to rise and fall at the same time. The Vessel is also accessible to people with disabilities; inside the Vessel, there is an elevator that will take you all the way to the top.

1. Online Tickets

Although it is a public sculpture, tickets are required to climb the Vessel. The tickets are free and can be obtained in one of two ways. The first, which is also the most effective, is to reserve tickets in advance. Every day at 8:00 a.m. tickets are being released on the website for that day and two weeks later. You can reserve your place on this site, which is also the official site of the Hudson Yards: www.hudsonyardsnewyork.com/discover/vessel


2. Walk-in Tickets

Your second option is to get to the Vessel and stand in line for the walk-in tickets. Every day, they distribute 5,000 tickets on a first-come, first served basis. The three times I visited the place during the opening week (during the middle of the week) the waiting time for the walk-in tickets did not exceed 10 minutes. By the end of the week, on Saturday around 3:00 p.m. there were no tickets left.

Try to avoid visiting during the weekends, especially now when it's the newest and hottest attraction in town. If you do end up visiting the place during the weekend, try to arrive as early as possible to avoid the crowd. As for the weather, try to avoid windy days. The wind around the Vessel, which is located next to the river, is significantly stronger than the wind you encounter within the city. Also, try to aim your tickets for sunset as it will give you the perfect view.   

4. The Edge, Hudson Yards Observation Deck

The Edge is a 65 feet viewing platform on the edge of one of the tallest skyscrapers in the city. This attraction, soon to be New York highest public balcony, is still under construction and will be officially open only in 2020. Group bookings for events can be arranged by contacting groups@hudsonyardsnewyork.com or sales@edgeny.com. All other interested in visiting the Edge can get on the list here.

5. 3den Lounge

Across from the Vessel is the Hudson Yards Mall, where you can find a variety of activities, luxury brands, restaurants, galleries, and observation decks. One of the mall's most refreshing attractions is the Eden Lounge, located on the fourth floor. The lounge has a large observation window overlooking the Vessel, armchairs and sitting areas, swings, yoga room, free Wi-Fi, loading stands, mini conference rooms, showers, pampering soaps and drinks. It's a place where people mostly stop for refreshments and work meetings. Payment is made based on the amount of time you spend there. To access the lounge, download their app. The app reads 3DEN and you will get 30 free minutes in the lounge if you add my special 3DENMICK coupon code.

Click here for the Hebrew Version

Sunday, January 6, 2019

5 Free Awesome Activities in New York City

Visiting NYC can be quite expensive so I've collected for you here some of the best free activities you can experience during your visit.


Parades

Whether it's the Macy's Thanksgiving, Halloween, Dance, Pride or the Mermaid Parade, as long as you don't mind the crowd, these parades are an amazing experience for people of all ages.


Christmas lights, decorations, and window displays

You can enjoy most Christmas activities in NYC for free. These include the Saks Fifth Avenue light show, Dyker Heights Christmas Lights, all the decorations at Rockafeller Center and Sixth Avenue, Macy's holiday windows display, and much more. The only two exceptions I can think of are the Christmas Spectacular and ice skating (actually, if you have your own skates you can skate for free at Bryant Park).


Bird Watching

Bird watching at Central Park or Prospect Park. You can find birds of prey, owls, woodpeckers, herons and even some rare visitors like these beautiful Painted Bunting and Mandarin Duck:

Street Art

Explore the wonders of NYC's street art. Go to Bushwick Collective in Brooklyn or to Astoria, Queens or follow the footsteps of a specific artist such as Eduardo Kobra:


Rooftops

While going to the top of the Empire State Building, Rockafeller Center and WTC can cost a small fortune, you can visit many of the city's gorgeous rooftops for free. Places like 230 Fifth, Mr. Purle, Broadway Lounge & Terrace and Bar 65 are free to enter, although you should consider buying a drink.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Tips and tricks for watching the Christmas Spectacular

After hearing all your warm recommendations about the Rockettes and the Christmas Spectacular show at Radio City, I finally got tickets! We went to the show last night, on Saturday, November 17th, 2018 and I've collected some tips and tricks for you to use before you purchase tickets for this event. Your Christmas overdose is right here and it's spectacular.

Buying tickets:

1. Tickets around Christmas time will be significantly more expensive. So my first advice is: "the sooner the better". Try to get your tickets around mid-November, you can get them for as low as $36 per ticket.
2. If you are buying via Ticketmaster, they will charge about $15 extra per tickets. Buying the tickets directly from the box office will save you all these extra Ticketmaster fees.
3. Go to Ticketmaster, choose your dates and look at open seating options that best fit your price. Write down 3 or 4 options for each date and when you go to the box office ask specifically for the seats you choose online.

Choosing seats:

1. Avoid orchestra 1 and 7. You can hardly see the stage from there.
2. Don't seat too close to the stage. They use a lot of space during the show so the best viewing points start around row KK.
3. During November tickets for the show are usually not sold out. If you buy a few days before the show, look for empty rows. If no one shows up when the Rockettes are up on the stage, you can upgrade your seat.
4. Middle seats have the best view, so aim for Orchestra 3, 4 or 5.
5. First rows of the mezzanines also have a great view, you can see the whole stage from up there.
6. Obstructed seats are usually not a good option, get them only if you think you'll be able to upgrade yourself once the show starts. Otherwise, it's a waste of money.
7. These videos were taken from row RR, seat 206.

Attending the show:

1. Arrive early so you'll have time to enjoy the venue. The show gives you an excellent opportunity to explore Radio City from the inside. It's a gorgeous venue and it looks extra fancy around Christmas time.
2. Don't forget to take the 3D glasses when you enter the theater. The people directing you to your seat should also provide you with these glasses.
3. There is no flash photography, but you are allowed to use your phone and capture memories. Just be considerate of your fellow viewers.

What to expect:
Enjoy the show! It's a great show and I've got very sentimental seeing them riding the bus around the Christmas decorated NYC. Also, the use of drones during the show and the Rockettes are absolutely Spectacular :)



Monday, November 12, 2018

Your complete guide to Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

On Thursday, November 22, 2018, at 9:00am, the 92nd annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will start marching.
The Parade will march south on Central Park West, starting from 77th street. At Columbus Circle, the Parade will then turn east and march down on 6th Avenue all the way down to the Macy's store at Harald Square. You can view the parade route on the map here.
Best viewing points will be at Central Park West (60 - 77th Street and Central Park West). You should get to your designated spot early. Early birds start to show up around 6:00am on the west side of Central Park. Please note that while there are no public viewing spots at Columbus Circle you can view the parade from the Time Warner Mall. The Mall will be open at 9:00am so you'll be able to watch the parade from the second and third toasty warm floors - be there early.
Avoid viewing the parade between West 34th and West 38th street, it's reserved for the national television broadcast. Also, there is no public viewing on Macy's Herald Square. It is going to be very, very crowded. 3.5 million people are expected to attend this event, so be prepared to be squashed around. And get yourself some good warm clothes to keep you from freezing while you wait. To get a sneak peek at the balloons you can attend the balloon inflation on Wednesday, November 21, 2018, between 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm ET. The line to see the balloons starts at West 73rd Street and Columbus Avenue. And the balloons will be on view outside of the Natural History Museum (between West 77 and West 81st Street).  You can view the balloon inflation map here.


Friday, November 9, 2018

Christmas in New York City

Are you coming to NYC for the holidays? Awesome! Here is a collection of Christmas events, trees and decorations landmarks in the city. Please note that all of these are completely free and you don't need to pay for a special tour to see them. You can visit the famous Dyker Heights Christmas Lights, for example, by simply taking the subway. The address is holiday lights displays from 82nd to 85th Street, between 10th and 13th Avenues, Brooklyn. How to get here from Manhattan: Take the subway, D train to 79 Street Station in Brooklyn and then walk about 15 minutes to 82nd Street and 10th Avenue. Before you go: This is an outdoor activity, so check the weather forecast, and look for a day with the warmest weather for this trip. Price: $5.50 for the subway, roundtrip, everything else is FREE of charge. Here is a live video from this beautiful neighborhood:

Of course, attending the lighting ceremony of the Rockafeller Center Christmas tree is very high on the "to-do list" of many people. Please note that is you want to attend the ceremony you should arrive early. Otherwise, this is what you should expect:

You can also go see the Christmas tree when it arrives at Rockefeller Center. It's much less crowded and you might even get some souvenirs from the famous tree:

Whether you decide to join the ceremony or not, you should definitely save a spot in your schedule to visit this place. Rockafeller Center is wonderful throughout the year and a pure magic during Christmas time:

And, while you are at Rockafeller Center, be sure to join the Winter Palace light show at the east end of the Channel Gardens projected on Saks Fifth Avenue:


If it's snowing you should take it as a cue to put on your warmest coat, go out and explore the city, because there is nothing more spectacular than seeing NYC with all her Christmas decorations covered in white:

Actually, sometimes, it is so cold in here that even the famous Bryant Park Fountain freezes over:

There is a Christmas hub between Radio City, Rockafeller Center, Fifth Avenue, and Bryant Park and you can include them all in the same walk. You can start at the red ornaments and Radio City Christmas tree, walk to Rockafeller Center, Saks and south on Fifth Avenue to the NYPL and end your tour with a cup of hot chocolate at Bryant Park:


Here are some more Christmas landmarks and events in NYC:
Tavern on the Green in Central Park

Macy’s Holiday Windows

Empire State Building

Columbus Circle Stars

Wall Street Christmas Tree

Washington Square Park Christmas Tree

Secret Pet Christmas Tree at Central Park
Every year people from the community choose a tree in Central Park and decorate it with photos of their beloved pets that passed away. The location is kept secret. When the holidays are over, all the decorations are removed from the tree and stored until next year. You can find more details about this tree on the internet, but you can’t find it’s location there. As a respect for the community, I also am not disclosing it’s location.

Christmas Carols at Gramercy Park

Tuba Christmas at Rockefeller Center

Union Square Winter Market

Madison Square Park Christmas Tree

Lotte Palace Christmas Tree and a Christmas recommended walk

Christmas at Bloomingdales

If you are looking for more Christmas suggestions, you are very welcome to join the Facebook groups: 'My Christmas in New York' and 'What to do in New York'.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Best Haunted Houses in NYC

October and especially Halloween in NYC are like no other place in the world; the atmosphere, decorations, and costumes are mind-blowing. If you are in NYC on the night of Halloween, October 31, the Village Halloween Parade is only one of many spooky options in the city. If you'll go visit some of the best-haunted houses in the city you are in for a treat. Usually, the show at the haunted houses will start around 6:00pm. At the end of this blog post, you can find a google map with all the locations. So without further ado, here are NYC's spookiest houses:

Upper West Side - 44 W 94th Street 



Upper East Side - 10 E 67th Street


Upper East Side - 10 E 67th Street



Chelsea  Chelsea Market



Chelsea  - West 22nd Street

Brooklyn  - Dyker Frights



Brooklyn - Bergan Street


I've made a Google map to make it easier for you to find all these outstanding haunted houses:


If you are looking for more suggestions, you are very welcome to join the Facebook groups: 'My Christmas in New York' and 'What to do in New York'.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Eduardo Kobra in NYC - 2018

The Brazilian street artist, Eduardo Kobra, came to NYC during the summer of 2018. Ever since the beginning of August, we have been seeing his beautiful murals popping up all over the city. This time he is followed by a filming crew as they are filming a documentary about his street art. During this visit, he is scheduled to paint 21 new murals across the city. Here I share with you my personal Kobra mural treasure hunt with photos, videos and live Facebook walks. At the end of this blog post, you can find a google map with all the locations. Also, if you are looking for more NYC tips, you are very welcome to join my Facebook groups and follow my Instagram account:
212 8th Avenue, 8 Avenue and 21st Street, Chelsea, Manhattan.

Michael Jackson

180 E 11th Street, 1st Avenue and 11th Street

The Braves of 9/11 - A 9/11 tribute
150 E 49th Street on the corner of 49th Street and 3rd Avenue.

Mother Teresa and Gandhi
Tolerance
18th Street and 10th Avenue

Lady Liberty and Balloon Boy

49 Thompson Street


Roy Lichtenstein

EVEN Hotels New York - Midtown East
221 E 44th St, New York, NY 10017

War is Hell
Elvis Presley 
142 N 5th Street, Bedford Avenue Between N 5 and N 4 Street. 

‘The 27 Club’
A tribute to Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, and Amy Winehouse.
170 Forsyth Street, Rivington and Forsyth Street.


I made a Google map to make it easier for you to find these murals: