Friday, November 6, 2015

Brooklyn Brewery Small Batch Tours Hits the Spot

Not long ago the north side of Brooklyn was not a place people would consider worthy of a visit. It’s old warehouses and intimating streets were more of a deterrent to people not already well-familiar with the neighborhood.

Since those days a lot has happened in Brooklyn. Crumbling, almost deserted areas have burst forth with new life. Brooklyn’s northern corridor is a perfect example, and at the center of this new growth is the Brooklyn Brewery.

The Brewery is at the hub of enormous activity in this revitalized neighborhood. Visitors to the Brewery itself can partake in small batch tours on Mondays through Thursdays at 5 PM sharp. A tour costs $12 and must be booked up to one month in advance, and has only room for the first 30 people that sign up.

The two hour tour offers tastes of four of the Breweries world-class beers; an engrossing history of the establishment; a souvenir glass; and of course and excursion around the Brewery.

Outside the Brewery the neighborhood is exploding with beer bars, music venues, and all kinds of other destinations for a great time.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Russ & Daughters: A Little Bissel of New York City History

Russ & Daughters Appetizers. Photo by Jeffrey Bary
Last year Russ & Daughters celebrated 100 years of supplying high-end smoked fish to its loyal customers. According to Condé Nast Traveler, visiting Russ & Daughters is one of 25 Things You Absolutely, Positively Have to Do in New York City.

Since last May there are now two ways to visit: either check out their shop at 179 East Houston Street, or go for a sit-down dining experience at the newly opened café at 127 Orchard Street.
At the shop customers can purchase fishy favorites such as caviar, smoked/cured salmon, herring and specialty smoked fish like sable and yellow fin tuna. They will deliver anywhere in NYC, and will ship their wares all over the United States.

There is a wonderful history behind the store which follows the path of the more general history of the Jewish experience immigrating to New York and contributing to the exciting development of the city. One tidbit of history is the fact that Russ & Daughters is said to be the first business to incorporate the word “daughters” into its title, in 1933, when it changed its name from J. Russ National Appetizing Store.

According to a New York Times review of the café:
“…Niki Russ Federman and her cousin Josh Russ Tupper, the fourth-generation owners of the family business, have added to, elaborated on and deviated from the store in ways that make the cafe a three-dimensional restaurant, not just a theme-park homage designed to cash in on the original’s popularity.”
See for yourself is this shop and sister restaurant, are not a microcosmic example of what makes New York City a fantastic place to visit.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Let’s Go Fly a Kite!

Flying High!
Catch the breeze and some soaring kites at the celebrated Brooklyn Kite Festival. The beautiful grassy knoll known as the Harbor View Lawn in the Brooklyn Bridge Park in Brooklyn Heights is the central location for this exciting family event.

Kids of every age will have an opportunity to show off their kite creations and send them heavenward. Those without their own need not feel left out. There will be kites available for purchase in every shape and size and price range.

For an inexpensive and yet absolutely enjoyable weekend activity for families, the Brooklyn Kite Festival is hard to beat.
The festival begins at 11am on Saturday, September 19.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Talk Shows are the Talk of the Town

Photo credit: Hey Paul from State College, PA, USA
Not only is New York the place to see and be seen, but it is also the place to hear and be heard. The Big Apple has loads of opportunities to get close and personal with some of the entertainment world’s most dynamic and fascinating stars, and talk shows are one of them. There is little that can compare with the excitement and exuberance of a live performance and interview, where surprises abound. Treat yourself to this uniquely New York variety of entertainment.

Here are some of the more popular shows which film or broadcast in front of live audiences. Pay attention to the minimum age for some of the shows, which can range between 16 and 18.

Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show tapes Monday through Thursdays at 513 West 54th Street, doors opening at 5:45pm. Eighteen years old and up, only.

Not exactly a talk show, Saturday Night Live is a beloved comedy show in which nothing is sacred. The show is so popular that only lucky winners of a lottery may attend. If you are older than 16 just send a postcard to Saturday Night Live, NBC Tickets, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112 stating how many tickets you would like, with your name address and phone number. Good-luck.

The Late Show is almost as old as television itself. Its newest host is the incomparable David Letterman. The show is taped Monday through Thursdays at 5:30 pm with an additional taping on Thursday at 8pm. Audiences are asked to arrive 75 minutes before the show begins at the Ed Sullivan Theater at 54th Street and Broadway.

Monday, July 6, 2015

The New York Transit Museum is Worth a Visit

Many people do not know that the New York Transit Museum is the largest museum in the United States solely devoted to the history of urban public transportation. It is no wonder that this museum is one of the world’s premier museums of its kind, given that New York’s public transportation system is one of the world’s best.

Using tours, exhibitions, educational programs and workshops the museum is able to present the development of New York’s incredible system, which in many ways is the circulatory system of the living city.

The museum was first opened 40 years ago in downtown Brooklyn in an historic 1936 IND subway station. Since then the museum has continued to grow both in its scope and popularity. Visitors will be treated to amazing and informative exhibits such as “Steel, Stone, and Backbone,” which takes visitors on a tour of how New York’s 100 year-old subway system was built. “On the Streets” takes an in-depth look at the City’s system of busses and trolleys.

The New York Transit Museum is open Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 4pm; Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 5pm and closed on Mondays and major holidays and sometimes for special events. For more information visit their website.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Tour Museum Mile for Free

It is an astounding fact that along one 23-block stretch of Manhattan real estate there are some of the world’s greatest museums. Along Fifth Avenue, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the south, to The Africa Center in the north, are eight institutions offering a wide range of cultural treasures.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Photo by Stevenuccia
On June 9, beginning at 5:45pm, those world-class museums will be open to the public for free for extended evening hours. To add to the special nature of the event a variety of entertainment venues will be open along the mile, as well as art-in-the-street.

At the Museo del Barrio the Calpulli Mexican Dance Company will perform while people can experience Mexican nostalgia and the making of art.

At the Museum of the City of New York there will be Hp Hop Dancing from Hush Tours’.

At the Jewish Museum Paul Miller, better known as DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid will entertain. The family activity is making an accordion book using collage and drawing.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Child Friendly Activities for You and Your Kids

Ann Frank Center USA
That long, long winter is finally letting up. Grab the kids and run to some, or all, of these fun-tastic events. It’s a sure cure for cabin fever and, hopefully another way to reconnect with your darling little ones.

Cinco de Mayo: At Kidville ViDi the ninos and ninas can eat some themed snacks, play in the gym, and rock to a Rockin’ Railroad concert. Art projects and a fiesta photobooth will be enjoyed by all. Tuesday May 5, 40 Gold Street, between Fulton and John Streets.

The Helpers of the Secret Annex: The Ann Frank Center USA is commemorating the 70th anniversary of the conclusion of World War II with family programming. The goal of the center is to help visitors of all ages to better understand the meaning and significance of the events of those days. This particular exhibit will focus on the personal stories of the brave people who brought food, clothing and more to the eight individuals, including Ann Frank, who were forced to hide from the Nazis in the Secret Annex. Recommended for ages 8 and up. The exhibit opens on May 6, and runs until December 30. 44 Park Place at Church Street.

New York Children’s Theater Festival:  This project brings new and creative plays and musicals to children. Two productions have already had their runs, but there are two more shows in May; Help Save the Monkey! (May 8-10); and The Meanest Birthday Girl (May 15-17). Each child receives a free coloring book with crayons, and after the show there is a free crafts project, refreshments, a Magic Wand parade and a chance to meet the members of the cast. For children ages 3 and up. 115 MacDougal Street, at Minetta Lane.