Thursday, July 28, 2016

Just Say Abracadabra!

Do you love when things just disappear? Or appear out of thin air? Are you a Harry Potter fan? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you should rush down to Tannen’s Magic Shop, the oldest magic store in New York City.

And just how old is old, you might ask? Well, it’s not quite as old as the city itself, but still, how many shops do you know of that will be having their 100th birthday in a mere ten years? That’s what I thought.
In its new location in Herald Square, a visit to this shop is a study in mind-bending beauty. The products are many and varied, such as invisible paint, “pure smoke,” multiplying billiard balls, and lots, lots more. For your convenience they are organized into intriguing categories, such as: cigarette magic, coin magic, dove magic, knife magic, and onward.

The shop has served the needs of every famous, and not so famous, New York magician for these past 90 years. You can count on the proprietors of Tannen’s to show you what you need to know about each trick- but only if you are a real, or at least in-training magician.

Want to learn the “tricks of the trade?” Tannen’s can arrange that via magic camp and classes. Located just down the hall from the Flosso-Hornman-Martinka store, where the great Harry Houdini used to reside as president, just a visit to Tannen’s will make you feel magical.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Explore the Secret New York

In a city of millions there are some off-the-beaten-track attractions to inflame the imagination. Here is a quite short list of some of the more fascinating, less known places worth visiting around New York.


This is barely big enough to be called a room, let alone a museum. Nevertheless, consider a visit to this freight elevator turned display case which houses the “overlooked, dismissed, or ignored” items of the world. Created by filmmakers Alex Kalman and Benny and Josh Safdie, and sponsored by Kate, Andy, and Bea Spade, the space, which can hold three bodies at a time, holds rotating and permanent collections. Expect to see such oddities as the shoe that was thrown at George W. Bush at the Minister’s Palace in Baghdad; a hot water coil heater from Kaunus in Lithuania, and a plastic glove from Paradise Valley in Montana.
The National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath), at 11 East 26th Street between Fifth and Madison Avenues, across from Madison Square Park in the NoMad neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, was chartered in 2009 and opened its doors in 2012. It is the only museum in North America dedicated solely to mathematics. Photo by Beyond My Ken.

Dream House

In 1993 modern composer La Monte Young created this work in collaboration with visual artist Marian Zazeela as the end result of 40 years of work together. (They are also married to each other.) You enter the Dream House through a black door on Church Street in Tribeca where you will experience constantly changing soundwaves accompanied by neon pink light reflections. Zazeela explains: “together, the sound and light can be experienced as a new form, or new media: the sound and light environment. The experience of the two mediums together as one requires a new, or at least different, mode of attention.”

Museum of Mathematics

Also known as MoMath, this museum is unique as it deals with a subject most people just talk about, but never really see. Opened in 2012 after the Long Island Goudreau Museum of Mathematics shut its doors, the goal is to give people a sensory experience of what mathematical abstractions might look like or behave like in the real world. The museum will open your eyes as to how math shapes our everyday lives, including architecture, technology and art.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Anchin Block & Anchin:Tips for Tax Savings

According to experts, including the professionals at New York accounting firm Anchin Block & Anchin, many people, perhaps most, do not take all the deductions that they are entitled to.

About two-thirds of all taxpayers do get a refund from the IRS, yet, that check could be bigger if some of the following easy-to-miss deductions are not taken.

Did you get a new job, and did it require you to relocate? If so, you may be entitled to a deduction. Here’s how it works: If you needed to move over 50 miles for your new job, you can get a deduction for the moving expenses, including the gasoline and moving van. Richard Baum of Anchin Block & Anchin says that even if you are just starting your career this rule applies.
“Moving expenses for someone’s first job are deductible,” says Anchin CPA and partner Baum.
Anchin experts also point to the Earned Income Credit. This credit is huge, but only about 20 percent of eligible taxpayers take it. It is for low to moderate income earners, but many of these families don’t realize that their income falls underneath the qualifying limit. In 2015 families with three children could earn up to $53,267 and claim the credit, while single parents with one child can earn up to $39,131 and claim the credit. Even better, the earned income credit is a refundable credit, meaning that you can get those big tax credit amounts even if you have no tax liability.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Spring Means Free Events in the Big Apple

Children watching the St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Photo by jpmpinmontreal
There is surely no shortage of great things to do this March, absolutely free! Here are just a few:

Head of Passes is the name of a contemporary drama based on the biblical Book of Job. The story concerns the difficulties of an African-American family in the South, and will be performed at the new Public Theater at 425 Lafayette Street in Manhattan, between East 4th Street and Astor Place. As part of the theater’s own initiative to make theater more accessible to the community, there will be a lottery to win free tickets to the opening performance of Head of Passes on March 15. Beginning on March 8 tickets to the show will be available.

On March 17 the traditional, yearly, St. Patrick’s DayParade will take place. Whether you are Irish or not, it is great fun to participate in what is likely the oldest (launched in 1762) and largest parade of its kind in the world. Marchers begin their foray through the city at 44th Street and Fifth Avenue at 11am. It’s all over at 79th Street, at between 4:30 and 5:00pm.

Ever wonder what role women played in the development of blues, rock ‘n’ roll, and pop culture in general? Now is your chance to learn about this fascinating subject absolutely free at the Apollo Theater on March 24th. Tamar-kali will host the discussion which will focus on Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith and others. RSVP is required.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Central Park Hosting Ice Festival and Silent Disco Party

Naumberg Bandshell in Central Park
This is one of those very special events that helps give New York City is reputation as an outlandish/anything goes avant garde place. In honor of Valentine’s Day, the Park has organized for the past five years a way for New Yorkers to celebrate their love of Central Park.

Come to the Naumberg Bandshell and Mall, mid-park, from 66th to 72nd Streets, and watch the most incredible expert artists brandish chainsaws, chisels, and ice picks and carve out of 3 tons of blocks of ice temporary sculptures evoking one of Central Parks iconic images.

By the time the sun sets the sculptures will be completed. Colored lights will be lit, and another, even more amazing party will begin. DJs will start playing their and your favorite songs, while the party-goers are listening only via headphones. This activity is one you will not forget for a long time to come.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Sculpture of Picasso: A Must See at MoMA

Winter is a great time to re-acquaint yourselves with the treasures that are New York's museums. If you haven't been to MoMA for a while, now would be the perfect time for a visit.

On exhibit until February 7 is a fabulous collection of some of Picasso's pivotal works in three dimensions. The exhibit is the first such museum showing in almost 50 years.

During Picasso's long career as an artist who changed the history of art, he constantly devoted himself to working in three dimensions. He experimented with unconventional materials and techniques, while also turning to more traditional styles.

Goat Sculpture by Picasso. Photo by  Dan McKay
Picasso's relationship to sculpture was different than his relationship to painting. He was formally trained as a painter, and made his living as one, and he spent much of his time in this pursuit. Sculpture was much more personal for Picasso. He was less afraid to experiment in this medium, and in many ways could express a more personal side of himself through his sculpture.

In 1966 Picasso displayed a huge sampling of his artwork through his grand retrospective held in Paris, Hommage à Picasso. Only during that showing was the public made fully aware of his connection to three dimensional art. One year later the Museum of Modern Art put together "The Sculpture of Picasso, which until the current show, was the only exhibition in North America which displayed such a large amount of this artist's sculptures.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

NYBG is Great in Winter, Too!

Entrance of the New York Botanic Garden, Bronx, New York City; Photo by Anthony22 
The New York Botanical Garden is getting ready for their 125th anniversary, and you won’t want to miss it! Here is a short list of the upcoming events the NYBG is planning to make this year better than ever.
  • Holiday Train Show- This event has been underway since November 21st, but you still have plenty of time to enjoy the model trains as they travel through a beautiful reproduction of the New York City landscape with over 150 landmarks to astound you. This year the show features 3,000 square feet of additional exhibition space with almost a half mile of track. You have until January 18 to enjoy this very special display.
  • Bar Car Nights-Enjoy exclusive evenings of cocktails and holiday entertainment for the over 21 crowd. There will be ten events held between November and January, with live performances, ice sculpting, and fire spinning, as well as the train display, and more.
  • Celebrating the NYBG: 125 Years- Enjoy the photographs of Larry Lederman in the Ross Gallery from November to July 31, 2016. Lederman has been photographing the Garden for 13 years. His photos will astound you, taken in all seasons and all times of day and night.
  • Winter Wonderland Ball- On December 11, 2015, at 7:30 pm until midnight, you can participate in the most “Anticipated Night of the Gala Season.” Come to the 17th annual WWB, the most fashionable event of its kind during the holiday season. Enjoy gourmet dining, beautiful gowns, and great music. The ball helps to support the Garden’s Children’s Education Programs. Be a part of the energy!

For more information, call: 718.817.8700
The New York Botanical Garden
2900 Southern Boulevard
Bronx, NY 10458-5126