New York, New York and New York! The sentiments behind the words "I love New York" is one you'd certainly feel the moment you step out of the plane and see for yourself what the Big Apple has in store for you. With a population of over eight million people, thousands of high rise buildings dominating the scene and blinking lights all over, sometimes it's hard not to be overwhelmed when you first set your eyes on the city that never sleeps. Although a lot of people believe that New York is one of those big bad cities with crime rates that would make your heart palpitate in fear, official reports actually claim that New York is one of the safest places to be these days, with crime rates reaching an all time low since the 1960's. If it's your first time to travel to New York, here are a few tips for you to make your visit in New York safer, cheaper and more memorable. Where To Stay : If you don't have some friends with pads in New York that you could bunk in for a night or two then there are a wide range of hotels for you to choose from. Most of the hotels in New York are concentrated in Manhattan but if you're flying for business purposes then maybe you'd prefer to stay somewhere near Wall Street. If, on the other hand, you're looking for something quirky and fun, then maybe Chelsea and Greenwhich are good places to start. Where To Eat : One good thing about New York: the food is a fusion of a bit of everything from the four corners of the globe. If you desire lasagna, then Italian eateries are just around the corner. If you desire some good old fashioned beef stew and yangchow rice then there are a lot of Chinese delis that are willing to deliver food right on your doorstep. From ultra-posh, exorbitantly expensive first class restaurants to bohemian dining to fixed rates for eat all you can buffets, New York will have no problems in satisfying your gastronomical inclinations. Where to Go : New York has a lot of points of interest to boast of and the list just keeps getting longer and longer. Remember the animation movie, Madagascar? Well, that's Central Park in drawing but wait till you see the real one and all eight hundred acres of it. And then there's Madam Tussaud's Wax Museum. They say that a visit to New York isn't complete until you check out the lifelike "creatures" in that particular museum. And who can forget the Empire State Building, once the tallest among them all high rise buildings? And of course there's the Statue of Liberty, the very symbol of American welcome. Then there's the Rockefeller Center, with its famous Christmas tree right in the middle of all the action. How to Stay Safe : Although New York is considered as "safe", it wouldn't hurt to take the necessary precautions and avoid the attention of pickpockets on the lookout for out-of-towners. Don't make a fuss when going to the ATM and always go out in groups. How Not to Get Lost : New York is a very busy city so the bustling city may end up overwhelming first time visitors. Hence, it's advisable that you always carry your map and cellphone with you. If unsure of the destination, don't just board the subway but instead, spend extra cash for a cab ride. Lastly, enjoy your New York tour! New York City: Traveler's Paradise And that isn't an empty boast. New York City, hailed as the city that never sleeps, fondly known as the Big Apple, is home to approximately eight million people and with the population still expected to rise in the years to come. New York City is touted as the center of the world maybe because each part of the globe has left an indelible mark in this place. From food to works of art to culture exhibits to tourist spots, whatever it is you want your senses to take pleasure in, New York City most probably has it. Hotels : This is one of the common problems that travelers encounter when setting foot on foreign land. In New York City, however, you need not worry that you won't be provided with the kind of services you expect to receive. If you're the artsy type fond of bohemian living then you'll probably love to stay in New York City's Greenwich Village or downtown Soho. If you're a yuppy and you're attached to your PDA learning about the stock market, then you'll feel right at home in New York City's famous Wall Street. If posh places however are what takes your fancy then take a ride to downtown Manhattan and see for yourself what the Hilton or the Four Seasons Hotel has to offer. Dining : Whether it is sashimi, pesto pasta, kimchi, shawarma or paella that you're looking for, trust me when I say that New York City has everything that your taste buds may want to savor. Nightlife : The hottest places in the U.S. can no doubt be found in New York City. If you're fond of star-gazing and I'm not talking about those that you can find in the sky, then definitely, New York City is the place to be. Go club hopping and rub elbows with the rich and famous. Tourist Spots : With so many points of interest to visit in New York City, it's sometimes quite difficult to just know where to start. But of course, we'll try our very best. A visit to New York City wouldn't be complete without touring the following sites: Empire State Building : Need I explain? The Statue of Liberty : take a ferry ride to this gigantic statue, a gift to the United States from the French government some centuries ago. Madam Tussaud's Wax Museum : now, now, now, don't you start believing that what you saw in Paris Hilton's House of Wax is based on a true story. This particular site was even featured in Ripley's because of the uncanny resemblance of its: err: inhabitants. World Trade Center : Now, I know that technically speaking, this isn't a happy place but it would do all of us good to pay our respects to the victims of the September 11 bombing. This tragedy has at least proved that the people of New York City wouldn't let any terrorist attack faze them into cowering in terror. Hail, hail New York City! Now, remember that New York City, for all its bright lights, can't be compared to a bed of roses. So take the necessary precautions to avoid unnecessary accidents. It's also easy to get lost in NYC so be sure that you always have a map---and a cellphone preferably---handy, just in case. Happy sight-seeing! Tips To Find the Ideal Hotel in New York You've finally got the vacation you deserve after slaving on a desk for half a decade. You saw fit to reward yourself with a trip to the Big Apple; New York, New York, here you come: you've got the brochures ready, the traveling checks are in your hand bag and you're wearing your best Gucci shades to keep you from the harsh glare of the sun. But haven't you forgotten something? Like..maybe knowing what New York hotel you're going to stay? Touring New York would no doubt be something akin to paradise with all of the tourist spots it can boast of but no doubt at first glance, New York prices would make your eyebrows raise and possibly, gulp at the exorbitance of it. But remember, everything comes with a price and rent or living space is usually the hardest to tackle when it comes to New York. When choosing a hotel to stay in New York then, it's imperative that you ask yourself the following questions so you can determine what place is ideal. 1.) What part of New York do you plan to stay in? New York can divided into several districts and these districts usually determine the range of hotel fees you're going to encounter. Do you want your hotel to be situated in Manhattan, where most New York attractions can be found? If you want, however, to stay in a funky upbeat district then the hotels in Soho and Greenwich and the likes are probably what you're looking for. 2.) How much can you afford? Now that we've got a specific location in mind, the next step to take is to count our available dollars. Hotels in New York range from the exorbitant to the wonderfully cheap. Naturally, the features are somewhat dependent on the price. 3.) Who are you with? If you're bringing kids, then not all hotels in New York can of course, open their doors to welcome you. With children in tow, we can suggest hotels like the Doubletree Guest Suites and the Hilton Time Square, hotels that are both famous for reliable, warm and efficient service. And then there are the pets. If you're the type to bring around your Dalmatian or Siamese with you wherever you go then the lists of prospective hotels in New York that you can stay on would narrow further. For travelers accompanied by their furry friends, try checking out hotels like 70 Park Avenue Hotel and Carlyle Hotel, which even offers dog-walking services just in case you find yourself busy touring New York City. 4.) What features / services do you need? If you're on some sort of business trip, then definitely you'd prefer a hotel with Internet access. If you're planning to host some sort of gathering then you'll also be interested to check out hotel facilities and see what best suits the event you have in mind. Also, not all hotels in New York come with Olympic sized pools, Grade A spas and fitness centers so you must take all these things in consideration as you try hit upon the best place to stay in New York. If and when you do find a hotel to stay in New York then we will leave you with just one more tip: be wary of pickpockets, have fun and don't forget to take a picture of the Empire State Building! The Ultimate Hotel Guide To New York City New York City is the city that never sleeps, es verdad? Well, it's certainly no wonder with so many places and stuff that would please all the senses. There's the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, the Madison Square Garden and God knows what else. But the question is...where do you stay in New York City? Admittedly, the cost of living, especially rent expenses, is still rocketing sky high in New York City. If you know where to look, a lot of restaurants offer affordable yet tasty dishes so food's no problem. When it comes to shopping, don't think that New York City is just all about Macy's. Of course not! There are a lot of bazaars that are ongoing throughout New York City and all you need is an efficient guide to help you out. For tourist spots, you shouldn't believe either that everything in New York City comes with a ticket price. Nuh-uh! In fact, just walking in downtown New York is already a sight to behold. So the only problem is, yes, where to stay? Before I launch on a list of New York City hotels that could interest you, first, I have to warn you that what's termed as "affordable" in New York City may not be "affordable" in your vocabulary. So if you're cash strapped, better check first if you've got some friends living in New York City who'd lend you a room for a week or two as you go sight-seeing. New York is a city of high rise towers and a number of those are hotels that you can take your pick of. These buildings range from the five star hotels to the funky ones to hotels with "affordable" packages. Four Season Hotel : if you've got kids, then you should consider staying in this kid-friendly hotel because guests under 18 can stay for free. The tallest hotel in New York City, it also provides its family guests with coloring books, a video lending library and welcome gifts for kids. Soho Grand Hotel : if you're the type of traveler who can't bear to leave your behind, have no fear because there are several hotels in New York that can accommodate furry guests, just like the Soho Grand Hotel. Upon checkout, you'll even be given a goldfish to remember your New York holiday. Affinia 50 Suites : this particular hotel has no difficulties in landing a Top 10 spot in any survey when it comes to being the best hotel in New York City. Previously known as the Plaza 50 Suites, this is a no-fuss-comfort-zone for travelers who want basic accommodations that would also be easy on the pockets. Large suites equipped with kitchenettes are also available if you so prefer. Hilton Time Square : Never mind Paris Hilton and her notorious antics. At least her family still hasn't stopped in being one of the best when you're talking about hotel services. The Hilton Time Square is one of the poshest hotels in New York City, with a twenty-five-seater theater and even its own wax museum! And just because it's posh, don't assume that the staff would turn its nose up on noisy, bratty kids or dirty, scrambling house pets. Nuh-uh! The Hilton Time Square aims to please all forms of guests, human and non human, adult and kids. So now, all you need to do is choose which hotel you're going to stay, pay the bill, enjoy the scenery and of course, tour New York City! The Restaurant World of New York Whether you would like to have a taste of New York dining or build your own swanky restaurant, one fact remains: New York City is the place to be if you desire gastronomical pleasure. New York is a lot of things to a lot of people. Some consider New York, albeit a bit ethnocentrically, as the center of the world. To others, however, New York is just one of the most expensive cities to live in. For some, New York would always be a tragic reminder of the September 11 tragedy. But to food connoisseurs, New York would no doubt claim a place in their hearts forever. Whether you find yourself downtown or in one of the small unknown streets of New York City, there's no doubt that you'll be able to find whatever it is that you're looking for, may it be Japanese sashimi, Italian risotto, English pudding, Spanish paella, genuine larger than life American burgers: you name it, at least one restaurant in New York would definitely have it. The only worry you'd problem yourself with is which restaurant you think would best cater to your taste buds and of course, which restaurant can your pockets afford. But fortunately for you, New York truly has just about everything under the sun. From the amazingly cheap value meals to the downright expensive gourmet dishes, New York restaurants certainly can boast to have it all. But enough with the claims; this article aims to back up everything with proof. We've recently read reviews about the New York restaurant scene and came across with several delightful restaurant finds. So read on and we hope that you encounter a restaurant to your liking! Harlem Grill : this restaurant consistently grabs a spot in any Top 10 New York Restaurants survey. And certainly there'd be no doubts in your minds why the moment you a) catch a glimpse of the place and b) take a bite of any of the sumptuous feasts they offer. Owned by Tony Nominee and actor Keith David, Harlem Grill is making great waves in the restaurant scene and would no doubt continue to do so. The Harlem Grill is located at 2247 Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard, incidentally also where another famous restaurant, Wells, once stood. Michael Jordan's The Steakhouse NYC : If you're a great fan of the basketball legend then you surely must have heard of this place. And if you had but you still haven't taken time to check it out then you are certainly no fan of Michael Jordan. With an interior that practically has Michael Jordan's sense of style stamped all over it and a menu that could please even the snobbiest of food critics, a visit to New York wouldn't be complete without grabbing a bite in this restaurant. The Steakhouse NYC can be found on the North and West balconies of the Grand Central Terminal. Teodora : If you're out to impress your date with a beautiful romantic dinner in New York then you must be looking for a place exactly like Teodora. After all, Italians are renowned for their passion, ardor and pasta so it's no surprise that when it comes to building restaurants with heartbreakingly romantic ambience, it's also Italian restaurants that set the bar. Teodora is located at 141 East 57th Street, New York City. The Blessings Of Vacations There are so many wonderful things to do and see in New York City. It's hard to imagine that in a lifetime someone could possibly manage to get to them all. The problem is that many of them sound like so much fun it's hard to choose between the men and select the few. The best solution for me is to stick with things that can't be done at home. Playing in parks for the most part can be done at home. While none of our parks compare to the many available here, it can still be done at home without traveling thousands of miles in order to do so. The same can be said for watching movies, fishing, hiking, riding bikes, and roller-blading. While getting exercise is great, there will be plenty of walking while in New York and I can actually roller blade when I get home, right? But if you like doing those things, why on earth would you deprive yourself of doing them simply because the locale has changed? If anything you will have a new shot of scenery to enjoy, new sights and sounds, and perhaps you can get your family, up, out, and active right along with you. In addition to the physical activities there are so many wonderful shows that can be seen on and off Broadway, there are also some wonderful opportunities to dance yourself as well as to watch others dancing. You can make music and listen to the beautiful sounds that others have made. You also have the wonderful and unique ability to choose from so many bookstore and antique shops. There are literally thousands of things you can choose to do and see within the course of a day in New York City, many of them free and some of them are actually freeing. It is so important that we remember when vacationing what the actual purpose of a vacation is-to renew ourselves in our commitments to our families, our mates, and our work. In doing this we are supposed to come back refreshed and renewed ready to face the challenges that await us. Find something freeing to do while on vacation. Let your hair down and enjoy the ability to dance without worrying about who might see. Sing karaoke in a tavern, act silly with your kids and go walking barefoot on the beach with flowers in your hair. Remember what it was like to be young and have fun for the sake of having fun and most importantly, remember how to smile. Your New York Vacation should remind you, if nothing else how fleeting life is. The skyline of this great city has forever been changed and that is something we can never forget, it is not something we need to dwell on, but it is something that should really make us think when we remember it. We should seize each moment with our friends and families for the opportunity it is to not only be blessed but also to be a blessing in return. Use your vacation as an opportunity to read to your children, sing to your mate, hold hands in the rain, and fall in love with each other all over again. Be romantic and sweet and hold the door open for him. Be silly and make up rhyming songs and tell your children often just how much you are enjoying playing with them and remember all of these things when you return home. That is when you will find that you are truly blessed. New York Fun Freebies for the Family New York City, other than being the city that never sleeps is also an excellent vacation destination. If you're considering a New York Vacation but worried about the selection or availability of great family activities in which to participate, let me put your mind to rest. There are many family activities in New York City that will appeal to all ages from toddlers to teens. Some of these great activities are surprisingly easy on the pocketbook despite New York City's reputation for being an expensive place to live and/or visit. There are many ways the careful planner can enjoy many of this great cities attractions for little or no cost. Most museums offer free admission one night or day each week. Check around and plan your trip to that particular museum on the free days and evenings. Additionally, several of the museums offer a 'pay what you wish' policy, which allows you to offer a donation for entrance rather than having a set price that would exclude many from visiting. Visiting museums are a great way for everyone in your family to gain some cultural insight from their New York City visit while the free nights make this experience rather easy on the pocketbook. In addition to these museums you can also experience the technology of tomorrow at the Sony Wonder Technology Lab at no cost or take a stroll down the boardwalk of Coney Island. In the winter, try ice-skating in Rockefeller Center. If you have the time and inclination Queens County Farm Museum offers free admission (with the exception of special events so be sure to check) and provides the family with a step back in time. To really take a bite out of the Big Apple try the market at Union Square Green Market. In addition to fresh fruits and vegetables you will find all kinds of yummy goodies to eat and drink. There are also many walking tours some guided (these tend to cost money) and many self guided tours you can take through the neighborhoods of New York as well as some historic walking tours. For a truly historical experience visit Federal Hall National Memorial. Admission is free and you will be able to view American History at its core. This is the place where George Washington took the oath of office and our form of democracy was born. For any American history buff or school aged child this is one of the must see freebies available in New York City. Other national parks in New York City that are of interest historically include Ellis Isle, the Statue of Liberty, Grant's Tomb, and Fort Wadsworth. Each of these parks offer free admission to the general public and make a great place for the entire family to not only visit and enjoy but also to learn about our history. Wave Hill is another great place to visit. This tour is free during the week otherwise is it $4 for adults and $2 for children. Regardless of whether you go during the week or on the weekend it is still an excellent value for the price of your visit. Of course this is only a small sample of the many free and low priced things to do in this great city. You will definitely want to wear comfortable walking shoes for the many miles your feet will take you in this fascinating city. In addition to the many family activities mentioned above, New York City is home to some of the world's finest parks, which also offer free recreational and cultural experiences to their visitors. I highly recommend that you pay careful attention to try and plan activities that are free and activities that cost little money with those other can't miss activities in similar areas. This will save time (a very big commodity when traveling around New York City) and the money you would pay in transportation fees. Planning your trip ahead of time is one of the most economical decisions you can make. This doesn't mean that you can't be flexible if you see something when you get there, just that you have a pretty good idea of the things you really want to do balanced with the reality of the budget with which you have to do them all. The most important thing to do is have fun! New York for Youngsters If you're vacationing in New York City with children you may find that doing all outdoor activities can be quite tiresome for all involved but going through museum after museum might not do the trick for all of your children. Children enjoy doing hands on activities that all museums simply don't readily allow for. This is where planning creative outlets for your children during your vacation can have a wonderful impact on everyone's enjoyment of the time spent in New York. In addition you may discover a talent your child has that you'd have never known about otherwise. Some of the most interesting crafting types of opportunities in New York City will be mentioned here. I'm sure there are more that won't make the list but there are only so many hours in any given day. The first store to make my list is based upon a creative outlet that has shown a rapid rise in popularity over the last few years, painting your own pottery. The name of the store is The Painted Pot and you are allowed to select and paint your own pottery. You can even take pottery wheel classes with your little one if you are brave enough but it is quite likely that you will have a wonderful time and be able to bring your artwork home with you upon your return for vacation. Remember that there is firing time involved so do this early during the week if it's going to be on your list of things to do. Otherwise you'll need to arrange shipping to have your child's creations sent home to you. For those of you who have promising musicians, how about a day at Triple Z Music Recording Workshops? This is a rather costly excursion but your child will gain actual studio experience and bring home a CD of their music at the end of the day. Kids will learn about life on both sides of the booth and this is a great idea for older children who have indicated a sincere interest in music. If you'd like to really impress your youngsters take them to the Cloisters, which is a branch of the Metropolitan Museum that centers on the art and architecture of medieval Europe. Your kids will feel as though they've stepped into a fairy tale. It is also a good idea to check out the works of art at the Met as well as this is one of the more kid friendly museums that wasn't designed specifically for children. You should also be aware of stores like Toys R Us in Times Square and FAO Schwarz, which each have unique offerings designed to enchant and entertain children. You'll have a ball watching your children have fun in these neat stores and you may find yourself having fun right along with them. Just make sure no one is watching of course. There are many other stores that have something to offer children of all ages, be sure to check it out and see which stores you find appealing and which stores your children might find fascinating. Keep in mind that New York City has many wonderful parks that present excellent opportunities for your youngsters to get out, about, and run off some pent up energy. I think it's very important that you schedule some serious park time for your children while you're visiting New York in order to keep you all sane through the times that they are not fully entertained and prone to wondering minds. It is also important when traveling with very small children that you schedule some sort of quiet time for them during the day. Children are so prone to sensory overload if they aren't provided with some sort of quiet place in which to unwind for a bit. Mid afternoon is a great time to go back to your room, freshen up, allow the little kids a bit of a break and the parents and older kids a little break from the noise and the crowds as well. Everyone will be much happier if your remember to schedule this vitally important rest time when planning your day. New York for the Adrenaline Junkie For the fun loving thrill seeker New York City is one giant playground. Whether you are into extreme sports, extreme movies, or simply watching others go to extremes you should get a healthy dose of it all in this great city. From reading to gaming and extreme sports and every extremity in between you have come to the right city to fill all of your extreme needs in entertainment and art. Web2Zone Cyber Center has all of your extreme gaming and computing needs. They offer regular tournaments for the serious games while also offering simple Internet access for those who'd like to socialize while they spend time in cyber space. They are not your typical Internet Cafe. Not only do they offer a place to log in, they also offer one of the fastest Internet connections around. They do not offer wireless service but will be glad to loan you an Ethernet card or port for your laptop with proper collateral. For the gamers, events and tournaments are hosted regularly and plenty of opportunities abound to flex your gaming muscles. For those of you looking for cooler extreme entertainment, how about checking out the Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers? This is a great way to keep things cool any time of the year while getting the great kind of workout you won't find in a traditional gym. This is definitely worth checking out and while you are here you can check out all of the other great things that Chelsea Piers has to offer its visitors. Among those neat things are bowling, the golf club, the field house, and the Spa. This is definitely a great place to spend the day in order to work out any excess energy you may have or to get your blood pumping and your day off to a fabulous start. If you like the feeling of wind in your hair then perhaps a trip by ferry will fill that need. Really you don't need a specific destination in order to take a ride on the Ferry and enjoy the scenery. You can also elect to take specific tours on your ferry ride; check to see what's available during you stay and you might even find that you can combine two great activities with one trip. There are many different cruises available some last ninety minutes and take place during the day and others offer a view of the city at night as your spend two hours enjoying mixed drinks and city lights. If the ferry ride doesn't fill your need for the wind in your hair, then perhaps you should stroll on over to Coney Island (strolling might not be the best option but get there somehow) and check out Astroland Amusements Park's The Cyclone. This ride is super intense and often replicated but never quite duplicated. This ride is famous around the world and should satisfy even the biggest roller coaster geek and/or adrenaline junkie out there. Skeptical? The only way you'll ever know is to see for yourself. Of course there are other things that this park has to offer those who seek smaller, less intense thrills as well. It really doesn't matter what specific thrills you seek, being in New York City, enjoying the smells, the sights, and the sounds are enough for many adrenaline junkies and many find that being in this city is like being nowhere else on earth. Take the time to see what activities you might find interesting and go for it. Seize the moments you have in this city and enjoy every activity you try during your visit. The purpose of a vacation is both to have fun and to relax. Be sure you don't spend the entire time seeking one adrenaline high after another or you'll find yourself needing a vacation in order to recover from your vacation. Seriously, with all the fun there is to be had most people forget the importance of scheduling some down time during their vacations, don't let this happen to you. New York Dining on a Dime Dining on the cheap in New York City isn't nearly as hard as you may thing it is. New York is a city of many nations in that there are probably more nations represented in the dining options of New York than any other city in the world. You can find wonderful food options that represent these many nations and won't break your wallet. What a wonderful way to literally enjoy the flavors of the world while on vacation! Rainbow Falafel is the first place I recommend. This may very well be the best falafel shop (if you can call it that) in New York City. If you've never tried falafel you are definitely in for a tasty treat. Falafel is essentially a ball of veggies and spices (chick peas, onions, garlic, and other goodies) that has been fried and placed into a pita along with tomato, hummus, lettuce, and yogurt. Getting hungry? We've only just begun. Gray's Papaya offers the best hot dogs in the city, particularly when you consider the fact that it is hard to mess up hot dogs, especially when that's all you do for the price. The price in fact is what keeps packing the clientele in by the droves. Where else in New York can you get two hot dogs and a drink for two dollars? Be warned however that the decor and atmosphere are about what you'd expect in a restaurant that charged two bucks for the average meal and don't expect a Jimmy Buffet type of atmosphere with umbrella drinks and neon colors. For hoagies of heroic or would that be epic proportions you really must try Tony Luke's. The decor is simple and the service is quick. You won't find a huge menu or massive variety of specialty breads or carb friendly diet options here (there are some items but not a massive selection). What you will get are mammoth sandwiches with lots of meat and perhaps a side of cheese fries and a soda to wash it down with. The food is good and the price is right making this one of the best cheap places to eat in the city. Whether you refer to it as southern fare or soul food, the Soul Spot has it going on. They offer many of the traditional Sunday dinner types of foods such as fried catfish, fried chicken, and vegetables dripping in 'drippings' for those willing to risk the impending heart attack. This food is certainly and fabulous example of the culinary delights one would experience in the south while also being offered at a price that is comparable to what you would pay on a Mississippi Sunday afternoon. They do offer a lunch menu that is a little bit less expensive than the dinner menu and either offers a great value for the money. Schnack is another institution of inexpensive dining excellence in the great big city of New York. If you have a Krystal's or a White Castle in your area then you'll get the concept of "Schnackies" which are very much like the burgers you'll find in the joints I've mentioned above. Be assured however that you also have other choices if the cheap little burgers aren't really your thing. If you make it in before 5 PM you can have eggs almost anyway you can think of having them and if you have the time and the room you really should try Harry's Famous Warm Chocolate and Banana Bread Pudding. My mouth is watering from just thinking about it. The point to all of this, other than getting you good and hungry was to let you know that despite its reputation for being an expensive place to visit, if you know where to look you can not only find cheap entertainment but also cheap food. You can enjoy the best that New York City has to offer without breaking your budget. And cheap isn't necessarily a bad thing. New York City on a Budget: It Can be Done! Despite common misconceptions, it is quite possible to enjoy many of the great things that New York City has to offer even on a rather modest vacation budget. It is important to remember when planning your vacation that your budget is often the most important deciding factor as far as which activities should or should not be included in your families plans. The beauty is that you can still present many fun and wonderful options to your family while following a rather strictest of budgets. First of all, if you pay for your lodging ahead of time that is one worry you won't have during your stay. Finding a hotel room that has microwaves and refrigerators can go a long way towards limiting expenses. You can also save money by filling your bottles with waters at your hotel rather than purchasing new water bottles, bringing snacks from home for the kiddies, and eating at nice restaurants that offer lunch menus at lunchtime and hitting less expensive or fast food restaurants in the evening. Another thing to remember is that you do not need to purchase every photograph that is taken of your children while in New York. Consider carefully which photograph will be the most meaningful to your child years from now and let that be the photograph you purchase. Use your camera to record other memories of your time in New York for a fraction of the cost. Be sure to bring plenty of extra film (if you're still using a camera that requires film) and batteries with you from home, as these are likely to be more expensive to replace in New York. Other great money saving ideas for your time in New York would be to purchase The New York Pass. It may seem rather expensive but you can purchase a 3 or 7-day pass that will actually grant you free admission to many area attractions. You will easily make up your investment if you were planning to visit the attractions that this provides free admission to. You will find wide selections of museums and zoos are offered as well as discounts in some of the gift stores. New York is a great city in which to shop. It's not such a great city in which to shop on a budget. If shopping presents too great of a temptation for you avoid it. While there are some wonderful and interesting shops to see and experience if you can't go in and out without spending money, then it would be in the best interest of your vacation budget to skip them all together. If you can resist the temptation there are many malls and stores that offer not only delightful merchandise but are also a sight to behold in and of themselves. If you have children there are many activities for children that are available for free in and around the city. Search the Internet while in the planning phases and I'm sure you'll find many activities that you can all enjoy as a family that fit into the fabulous freebie category. Many of the museums in the city also offer free admission on certain days of the week or at certain times. Other museums offer a pay what you will type of admission so that no one is actually turned away from the wonderful experience that awaits them inside. New York City also has many national parks, some of which have profound historical significance. The admission to these national parks, including the Statue of Liberty is absolutely free and the family can enjoy their time there as well as gaining a profound sense of history in the process. No matter what your budget, you can afford to have a good time in New York City if you take the time to carefully plan the events you will and will not participate in based on your budget. Keep in mind to allow for a few really nice events and reward yourself for being so budget conscious throughout your trip. It is a vacation after all, even if you are limited to expenses. New York: City of Diversity If you've never been to New York City, you may be surprised to know that there is so much more to this great city than skyscrapers, lots of people, and really fantastic parades. While it is in fact the wonderful people of this city that make it the exciting place to visit that it has become, there is so much more to this city than what you'll see on the television shows and in the news. New York City is a city full of exciting people from all kinds of backgrounds with all kinds of hopes and dreams of the future and experiences of the past. You will find artwork here like few other places in the world, you will see more nature here than in most big cities around the world, and you will enjoy seeing more cultures and nationalities represented in the space of an hour in this city than most people who live elsewhere experience in their entire lives. New York City is the true melting pot of the world and the rest of America is simply trying to catch up. You will find music and art that is representative of the many cultures that call this grand city home. You will experience the sights, sounds, and scents of worlds that are exotic and foreign simply by walking down neighborhood streets where people are cooking dinner at night. You will hear more languages in one day than you probably ever dreamed imagine and while you may stand around with sensory overload thinking anyone would be crazy to live like this, most of them are looking at you thinking you'd be crazy to live anywhere else. This is perhaps the greatest thing about visiting New York City. You get to experience for a moment the excitement that comes from living in this fascinating city. You get to understand what it is like for those living there. And you get to understand first hand what it is like to be alone in a city of millions and yet by being there, being one of them, belonging somehow to this giant community of strangers from different cultures, different pasts, and different futures. Most people visit New York with certain preconceived ideas and certain goals for their visits. Hopefully the preconceived ideas will all be challenged and the plans that you have made are flexible. There is so much to do and see that you could go one block each way from your hotel and probably notice something new each and every single time you went by. My point in this is that you need to leave time to experience the wonderful things you won't discover in the guidebooks. There is only so much of this city that any one person could possibly find to write about. I can imagine that there are New Yorkers that could eat in a different restaurant each and every day without eating in the same one twice in five or ten years. I find it hard to believe that a guide book is going to be able to hold everything you might find interesting in this city and if you spend your entire visit with your head in the book you might miss something truly worthwhile. That being said, it is a good idea to make plans according to your budget and the things you wish to see, I'm just urging you to leave room in that schedule for change. The Statue of Liberty is great, but it takes a while to get there and back. Could it be that you take some photos, buy some post cards and do two or three other activities that you could have enjoyed in the space of time it takes to get there and back? Plans are made to change whenever possible-especially while on vacation. I seriously recommend that you reserve two hours minimum each day to do something that you discovered rather than something you planned. New York City is a Shopper's Paradise New York is a treasure trove of so many things that it is quite difficult to select one thing to mention when discussing this wonderful city. If you are a natural born shopper and bargain hunter though you would be remiss not to head out to New York with the idea of finding some fabulous bargains in mind. I can't imagine many places in the world that have quite the number of shopping options that are available to New Yorkers on a daily basis. It's hard to imagine that there are people who actually have never felt the thrill of getting that little extra percent off or finding a perfectly good second hand piece for less than a quarter of what that item would have cost new. At the same time, there are very few things that I can mentally justify paying full price for. Perhaps this is why New York represents shopper's heaven to me. There are so many consignment stores, used clothes stores, vintage clothes stores, and the bargains don't end at clothing. There is consignment furniture, house wares, even tools can be found at bargain prices in very specialized consignment and second hand stores. Electronics and appliances can be found in these types of stores as well. It's truly amazing all the wonderful things that can be found at bargain basement prices by those who are truly willing to look for them. In addition to the many consignment, second hand, and goodwill type stores that you can find in New York City, there are also plenty of outlet stores that offer lower prices for last years overstock or slightly flawed patterns. It's amazing the bargains you can find when these stores have sales. Of course shopping your regular shopping malls just after Christmas or a couple of weeks after school has started can also net some very similar values. The real beauty lies in the fact that you can actually go to these stores while these sales are going on and have wardrobes for your kids for the next school year (provided some unholy sort of abnormal growth spurt doesn't occur in the meantime). If shopping for you is more like a calling than an adventure then you should have a great time just wandering around the many malls and shopping centers of New York trying to get into your head the close proximity of so many wonderful bargains and how everyone in that city isn't either filing for bankruptcy or in serious hoc due to credit cards that are spent well beyond their limits. Of course my kryptonite is shoes. I have a very difficult time walking by a sale on shoes even when I know the price isn't as good as it could or should be. I love shoes, particularly Birkenstock's. You simply cannot buy Birkenstock's second hand and even the sales prices on these shoes are more than you'd pay for many at full retail. I once thought they were the ugliest shoes on the planet and while I'll agree they aren't the cutest they are quite arguably the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn. If you ever notice a really good sale on shoes and a brunette whirlwind rushing by, it's probably me chanting 'see no evil, speak no evil, do no evil' and trying to convince myself that there really is nothing to see here. New York City is a Gold Mine for the Nature Lover You probably don't realize that New York City is in fact the greenest city in America. Of nearly 200,000 total acres, more than 50,000 of those acres are of park or open space. While Central Park is the most famous of green spaces in New York City it is only number five of the top 10 largest parks in the city. For those who love nature, New York City may not seem to be the oasis for wildlife that it actually is. There is plenty to do in New York City that will enhance your appreciation of nature and/or allow you opportunities to educate yourself about nature or simply be out and about enjoying it. New York is home to some 1,700 parks and playgrounds where you can enjoy activities such as bike riding, inline skating, ice skating (seasonally), row boating, basketball, skate boarding, softball, soccer, tennis, Frisbee, or even a rousing game of tag with the little one that lights your eyes. Be sure to bring a blanket so that you can lie on your back and watch the clouds roll by. While you're at it, see if there's a stray bird or two that you can identify. For those who love nature there are plenty of places to get close to it in New York City. For those who are interested in bird watching New York Botanical Garden offers guided tours. Blue Heron Park is another great place to watch birds. Some of the varieties you'll see her include: Woodpeckers and Warblers. Clove Lakes Park not only offers bird watching but also fishing, row boating, paddle boating, and outdoor ice skating when the weather permits. For those who prefer nature activities that require a little more action than bird watching (well sometimes), there are plenty of excellent opportunities to go fishing in and around New York City. Central Park's Charles A. Dana Discovery Center is a great place to go 'catch and release' fishing. They'll even lend you a pole. You can also go fishing in Willowbrook Park. While you're there be sure to let the little ones ride the Carousel, it will net you a tremendous amount of smiles for the small price (in today's world) of $1. Other activities available at Willowbrook park include: archery, ice-skating, an archery range, football, soccer, horseshoes, tennis, and horseshoes. If plant life is more your speed or you just enjoy seeing the more obvious signs of nature, then there are plenty of chances for your to observe the amazing wealth of plant life and greenery in and around New York City. Central Park Conservatory Garden offers six acres of beautiful plant life to enjoy. You can see three distinctive patterns in the gardens here. The North Garden is meant to be a formal French inspired garden, the central garden is meant to lend an Italian atmosphere, while the south garden is styled after a traditional English garden. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden offers another opportunity for enthusiasts to enjoy the finest in greenery that New York has to offer. This garden even has a special club designed to help youngsters bring out their inner green thumbs. Be sure to check it out. Another area of Central Park that bears mentioning is Belvedere Castle and the turtle pond that runs below it. Belvedere castles is a great place for bird watching and the other wildlife surrounding it only magnifies its appeal. Be sure to stop by the Central Park Conservatory at Belvedere Castle in order to borrow a backpack that contains binoculars, a sketchpad, and a map of the park to help you bird watch like a pro. You must provide ID and children under the age of 6 cannot borrow. If you love nature, don't fret, there's plenty of nature to be shared and enjoyed in New York City. Make sure that you take the time to enjoy several of the parks that are available to your during your stay in this wonderful and exciting city. Great Places to Play in New York New York actually has a great deal to offer young and old kids alike who enjoy very little better than playing a great game, video or otherwise. For those of you who enjoy this particular pastime, there are many unique opportunities in New York City in which you can participate in the games you enjoy so much while spending time with friends and family. Astroland Amusement Park at Coney Island has much to offer the adventurous gamer. From thrills and chills on the midway to the Cyclone Roller Coaster and many wonderful rides in between, this park also offers arcade game rooms along the way where you can play video games of all kinds. This is great for those rainy days when you can't ride the rides or simply when it's just too hot to stand in line. It's also a great bonding experience for father and sun to play the games together and see who has the edge at any given moment. Dave and Busters is a unique dining experience while offering a wide selection of gaming options. This is not your average arcade food by any means. In fact, this isn't your kids arcade or their arcade games. Dave and Busters offers good food and great fun under one roof and if you have the chance I recommend you take the big kid in you to try it out. The ESPN Zone is a great place to spend the day with the family. They offer food, fun, and 200 televisions. Who could ask for more? The food is American grill type food and the entertainment is for the most part sports themed and interactive. If you're looking for a great way to bond with the kids this is definitely better than Chuck E. Cheese, especially for the slightly older kids. The Nintendo World Store is another wonderful attraction that is located at 10 Rockefeller Plaza. This neat store will have your kids thinking you're the coolest parent on the planet just for bringing them. That of course will not stop them from asking for everything they see but it will buy you a few minutes of coolness before they grow tired of hearing the word no. You may want to relent at some point however as there is some merchandise offered that is exclusive to this store and cannot be found elsewhere. Even if you must order it and have it shipped home for a later surprise it is better not to always wait until too late to find out you can't get something (at least not without a costly trip to New York). Perhaps one of the coolest things about this particular store is that your kids can try out games that haven't been released yet so they can go back to school with the inside scoop on the latest Nintendo games and you are once again world's coolest mom. Even for the technologically challenged parents among us it is often a good idea just to enjoy playing games with your kids. Even if they win or maybe, especially if they win, let's hope they are better winners than we were when we were kids. I think we all need to take the time to play with our little ones every chance we get. They grow up so fast and one day they will stop asking us to play with them. Finding Bargain Basement Accommodations One of the things I've noticed through my many travels is that people often give up on the possibility of a good deal before even trying to get one. The art of bartering seems to be a lost art as is the art of comparison-shopping. When it comes to travel and vacation, every penny that you save on accommodations, food, and transportation is one more penny you have to spend on entertainment and adventure. There are certainly plenty of both to be had in the wonderful city of New York and a vacation here is much like Alice's adventures in wonderland. There is just so much to do and see that it is almost impossible to know where to begin. I recommend making arrangements to save money before ever arriving in the city. One of the ways you can do that is by investing a little time each evening and making copious notes about whom you've talked to where and what they've had to offer you as far as price and perks for accommodations. Most hotels today are quite willing to offer incentives to their guests in order to have warm bodies filling their beds. All good managers know that a filled bed earns them more money than empty beds under their care and the more money earned under their care, the more secure their positions. That being said, if you take wonderful notes about the other hotels you've discussed tentative arrangements with you are very likely to be able to strike a deal with one or more of them that is far more favorable then the original deal offered. This of course, will not work if you are trying for a weekend that is likely to be a popular travel weekend so if you're considering a popular holiday or extended weekend for your trip this is probably not the best idea and you should probably be glad for any offer you can find. That being said almost any other weekend on the planet is fair game unless there are some very large and popular local events that may be drawing a sell out crowd for the local hotel industry. Back to what I was saying, you can often not only get a better price by going between two competing hotels, but also added perks like tickets to shows, free meals, spa packages at the hotels spa, gift certificates to the hotel gift store. There are often little things a manager is willing to do in order to get your business with the assumption (often correct I might add) that he will make up the differences in add-ons and other purchases. Some managers may get annoyed and confuse being frugal with being cheap. Please remember to tip properly. It's one thing to save money by being frugal and another thing to do so by simply being cheap. If you do not treat the staff well they will remember you long after you're gone. But that's another story all together. The trick is in always being polite when dealing with managers on the phone and going with your best deal. It is also important that you realize the best deal may not be in the cheapest room. If you're getting one or two meals each day of your staying and only paying $5 0r $10 more a day for the privilege then you are very well coming out ahead in the bargain, particularly if one of those meals is dinner. Family Friendly New York City Many people forget that New York is a town full of families and plan their vacations without providing much thought to the entertainment possibilities that abound for children in New York City. It only makes sense that with so many families living in this city that there would be very many family oriented things to do and sights to see. For instance, there are 5 zoos in New York City; some of them better known than others. The five zoos are Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, Bronx Zoo, and Staten Island Zoo. Each zoo has something slightly different to offer than the others and if you have a true animal lover in your family there really is no harm in stopping by all of them. Also if you purchase the New York Pass you will find that most of the zoos mentioned above offer free admission to card holder. For the child who loves drama, New York City offers many theatrical productions that might suit him or her just fine. The first is geared towards girls and is American Girl Place. You can enjoy dining, shopping, and theatre while spending a day with your special little girl. This is a great bonding experience for mothers and daughters. The Manhattan Children's Theatre produces several high quality shows for children and families throughout the year at quite reasonable prices (season tickets are also available for those who live nearby). The New Victory Theater offers a different type of theater experience for families to enjoy. The Paper Bag Players are a must see experience. They offer a different type of theatre for children that encourages audience participation that gets your children involved in the dramatic process. If you have the time you should also check out TADA! Youth Theater in order to show your children that even children have talents that need to be explored and can make a difference not only in their own lives but also in the lives of others. In addition to the great activities mentioned above, there are several children's museums located in New York in addition to other museums that offer exhibitions that may be of interest to your children. The following museums are well worth checking out even if you decide to seek entertainment elsewhere: Brooklyn Children's Museum, Staten Island Children's Museum, Children's Museum of Manhattan, FDNY Fire Zone, Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, New York Hall of Science, Sony Wonder Technology Lab, Queens Country Farm Museum, and Ripley's Believe it or Not! Times Square. There are many more museums in the city that may provide plenty of family entertainment and education but these are some of the most kid-friendly museums in the city. Shopping is a fun and often educational process that often gets overlooked or even ignored when it comes to children. However, it would be remiss to mention great family things to do in New York without mentioning some of the wonderful children's retailers that abound in this city. Books of Wonder is aptly named as it brings back those books that held such wonder for us as children and gives us the chance to share those books with our children. They have old and rare books as well as many excellent current book selections. New York is also home to the largest Build-A-Bear store in the world, which will make the bear lover in your family's eyes light up with glee. There's FAO Schwarz, which is a toy store unto itself and almost worth the price of the trip to NYC alone. Old and young kids alike will enjoy spending an afternoon here. Toys R Us Times Square is offering up a Dinosaur portion of competition however by brining in great attraction to get families in the door and buying toys. Be sure that you let your little ones ride the Ferris wheel and that you get a copy of the photograph as a keepsake. New York City is gaining a reputation for a much softer far more family oriented side. Don't let the past reputation of this city prevent you from making this the family vacation destination it could be ideally suited to be.
Fabulous Fun for the Little Ones in NYC If you're looking for great off the wall fun things to do with your children while visiting New York, there are a great many ways to enjoy your visit that you won't read about in most guidebooks. These are things that are a little off the beaten path but a great deal of fun for you and your child. Baby Loves Disco is offered in Cielo and Southpaw once a month at each club allows a chance for parents and kids to enjoy a 'night on the town' of disco dancing, bubble making, juice boxing, and having a great time dancing the night away. You'll need to check with the clubs to find out when they are offered and plan to get there early as the popularity of this event is growing and there is generally a long line waiting to get in. Moms and dads love this almost as much as babies and it's a new enough concept that it is not something you'll see in just any large city. It is still a fairly new idea that is beginning to grow around the country. Jazz-A-Ma-Tazz is a fun jazz show that gets the entire family involved and participating in the making of the music that is played. It is important to remember that jazz music isn't as structured as other forms of music and this makes it much more enjoyable and fun for the kids who participate and you get to watch your little darlings develop a deep appreciation for this wonderful music genre. The tickets for this are $8 at The Bowery Poetry Club. Whether you are hoping to cultivate a serious love of jazz music in your children or simply want to encourage them to explore music and the world around them, this is a great way to spend a part of your New York Vacation with your children. In addition to these great activities that are a little off the beaten path there are many opportunities for your children to explore the arts by watching the wonderful musicals that are available on Broadway or in the many children's theatres around town as well as through programs that offer performances throughout the year at the many city parks in New York. It is never too early to teach your children to love and respect the arts, as these will be lessons that will last their entire lifetimes. It is also a wonderful idea anytime you can get your children involved in activities that get them up and moving around. If the weather outside doesn't invite playtime it might be a good idea to check out the many indoor play areas that New York has to offer just to give them an outlet for their energy and get some much needed exercise that disguises itself as play. The many parks that can be found in New York City make this a great place to visit for many reasons. One of those reasons, very simply, is the abundance of free entertainment that is available. The parks offer infinite opportunities during nice weather for children to get out, socialize, and exercise. This is something that many other cities around the U.S. would do well to take to heart. Find the activities and events that your child will enjoy most and seize the opportunity to enjoy those moments together. Coney Island a New York Must If you've never been to New York City, you can't claim to have gone unless you trek on out to the infamous boardwalks of Coney Island. It is important to understand first of all that Coney Island is only open seasonally so you have to plan your journey accordingly. The second thing that is important to understand about Coney Island is that it isn't one centrally owned operation. The vast majority of attractions at Coney Island close either immediately or very soon after Labor Day. The beach and the actual boardwalk are open to the public year round, some times are simply lonelier than others. Nathan's Hot Dogs and the New York Aquarium remain open after the summer season has ended and operate most days throughout the year. The Coney Island Museum is Open on the weekend from 12:00 PM until 5:00 PM year-round. During the summer season when tourism is high along the boardwalk the two major theme parks: Astroland and Deno's Wonder Wheel Park sponsor firework shows on Fridays at 9:30. The amusement parks of Coney Island are only part of the attraction but they work to bring many people to this very unique entertainment venue each and every year. Astroland Amusement Park is the largest amusement park in New York City. The Cyclone is the most famous ride in this particular park and this is a ride that is well known by roller coaster enthusiasts around the world. It is a wooden roller coaster that offers quite a thrilling ride. Other great rides at this park include the Astroflume, The Break Dancer, the Astroland Carousel, The Swings, Top Spin, Dante's Inferno, Power Surge, and Astro Tower. For the little ones there is a very nice selection of kiddie rides that will keep them entertained while older children enjoy some of the more thrill-oriented rides. If you're looking for a day of great food and great fun in the sun Astroland is a great place to be. Deno's Wonder Wheel Park is most famous for its Wonder Wheel. The cars on this magnificent ride are red, white, and blue (rather patriotic of them wasn't it?) with swinging red and blue cards and stationary white cars. The Spook-A-Rama is another popular if not frightening ride that is offered at Deno's Wonder Wheel Park. If you need a shot of thrills and spills try the Super Shot but only if you're 52" or more or the Thunderbolt, which has a 48" height requirement. And what day at Coney Island wouldn't be complete without a taste of bumper cars? There are also plenty of rides for the little ones to choose from on their outing as well. For something a little more sedate than thrills and chills at the amusement parks, Coney Island is also home to the New York Aquarium at Coney Island. This is a great way to learn about marine life and enjoy watching your children watching fascinating sea creatures they would be unlikely to see in other circumstances. There are more than 8,000 animals represented at the New York aquarium. Not only is this a fascinating adventure of its own, you won't have to sacrifice your hairstyle in order to enjoy it. The Coney Island Museum is also well worth taking a peek. You will find relics of old rides and memorabilia of days gone by in the museum as well as incredible views of the rides available today. The admission price is rather affordable at 99 cents and it's a fun place to visit and get out of the sun for a bit. No trip to Coney Island is really complete without at least stopping into the Museum. Besides, these might be the cleanest restrooms on the island. Coney Island is one of the greatest things about a visit to New York. If you can schedule your trip to New York when the Parks are open and the boardwalk is bustling I highly recommend you spend a weekend night out on the boardwalk. Planning your NYC Vacation Makes all the Difference Whether you realize it or not, planning is the key to any successful vacation. You do not have to be a vacation tyrant that makes your family dread vacations and the boot camp they entail but by having some sort of plan of action for each day of your vacation you can much better stick to a budget as well as assuring you will get the rest and relaxation that is so very important to the renewal of mind and body before returning to work. Vacations do not have to cost a vast fortune, even vacations in cities that are known for being expensive such as New York City. Most people fail to realize that people of all economic backgrounds live in these cities as well and there are some forms of entertainment that offer a little something for everyone and many of these are free. If you plan carefully you can have two or three activities that are low or no cost in one area of the city each day followed by a restful hour or two in your room during the afternoon and a very nice event for each evening. This gives you budget control, down time each day for you and your kids and (if planned right) activities in one general area each day rather than spending a lot of time and money on transportation. Most cities have city guides that can be found easily online. New York City is no different. In fact there are several city guides. It would be a good idea to find out the activities you can do for little or no cost, choose several of those activities that interest you or may interest other members of your family and see where they are all located in reference to each other. Try to bunch the several that are geographically central to each other for one day's activities and doing the same for subsequent days. Keep in mind that you aren't marrying the plan and shouldn't overlook things you happen upon that may not have been in the guide or may not have seemed as appealing in the guide as they do in person. Some of the best trips we'll ever make in life are detours. Not only that, but if you allowed yourself the cushion of time each day I recommended earlier you have the option of adjusting your schedule slightly and enjoying less rest or skipping one of the less appealing items on your itinerary in favor of this new attraction you found. Vacations are meant to be fun for the entire family. We often forget that and make plans without getting the input of the family. If you do not allow for open dialog and at least get some input from all family members no one is going to enjoy the vacation. The kids are going to be fussy and irritated, the spouse is going to feel neglected and overlooked, and you are going to feel that no one is sticking to the plan. This is why getting everyone to look over the plan, sign off on the plan, and to compromise is by far the best way to go about things. This way everyone has input, everyone gets something that is important to them out of the vacation experience, and there are no major surprises or upsets involved. Everyone knows what to expect along the way. It is better by far when you can build happy vacation memories rather than of hours spend in the hot sun with cranky children who feel as though no one is taking their input seriously or spending a day with cranky spouses in desperate need of some downtime themselves. So plan for these times as well as the activities (particularly the more costly activities) in which you will participate. No ahead of time where the bulk of your money will be spent and make it clear that there is only so much money to be spent. Many people don't keep close enough track of vacation spending and find they've spent far more than they anticipated. NYC National Parks Offer Glimpse of History If you are considering a vacation in New York, planning ahead is the only way to go. There are simply so many things to see and do that you must have at least a general idea of how you want to spend your days before you can even begin to get started. New York is one of the greatest cities in the world, it didn't get that way without a reason and it has a long history that is part of its greatness. If I were to choose how to spend my time in New York and what wonderful things about New York City to introduce my children to, I would choose to introduce them to those things that bore the most historical significance first in order for that to really sink in and not be competing with the Nintendo Store or the really cool keyboard at FAO Schwarz. I would want my children to understand the history of our country good and bad and I want them to someday instill in their own children the importance of that history. By visiting the national parks first, I will have enjoyed the benefits of the price tag (free is good almost anyway you slice it, particularly when you and your children are getting an education) in addition to fresh minds on which to impart this crucial knowledge about the birth of our democracy. Ellis Island is a great place to visit, but I think I will show them the statue from afar rather than taking the ferry ride out there. There is just so much to do in New York and every second counts. I want them to have a wonderful time as much as I want them to gain some wonderful insights that they can share with their friends at school as well (something other than the latest and greatest new Game Cube game that is coming out soon). Some of the important national parks I'd like to take my children include: Federal Hall, where Washington was inaugurated, Grant's Tomb, Theodore Roosevelt's Birthplace, and Castle Clinton, which was designed in order to keep invaders out. I would also like to take them to Saint Paul's Church. Not for religious reasons but for Religious freedom issues. I think there is an important lesson to be learned here even today, perhaps especially today. I think the lessons that can be learned about the history of our nation in New York City are just as important as the lessons that can learned in Washington or Philadelphia. This country has taken many steps along the road to democracy and we've stumbled a few times along the way. There would have never been the Salem Witch Trials, the Civil War, or the Civil Rights Movement if he hadn't but we've come so far and still have so far to go. I want my children to learn from our past and to look forward to our future. I think these are the lessons we can learn from our state parks and those are much more valuable than the lessons we can learn in toy stores and throwing Frisbee in Central Park. I want my children to visit museums and toy stores and see new cultures, I also want them to take home with them a deep sense of the history of our great nation. NYC Educational Entertainment Learning opportunities abound in New York City. These opportunities are not all in boring atmospheres or hallowed halls of learning but in interactive experiences that are widely available to young and old alike in many brightly lit and fun to explore corners of this great city. We are never too old for learning and we can never have too much fun. Whether you are young, have youngsters of your own, or are simply young at heart, New York City has a lot of entertaining ways to educate you. Perhaps one of the neatest things to do in New York City is to pay a visit to the FDNY Fire Zone. General admission is free but if you wish to experience a Fire-Simulation presentation there are nominal fees involved (currently under $5 per person). The Fire Zone is a state of the art facility where fire safety is taught. Kids, big and little alike, enjoy the fact that they can actually put their hands the equipment, try on the gear, and work with parents to establish an escape plan for their homes. Most importantly children to can learn what to do in this situation rather than being paralyzed by fear. This is one place that really should be on your list of places to visit while in New York City, the price is certainly nice and it could save a life. The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art is another great place to spend a few hours and learn about the many different aspects of art, comics, and cartoons and what kind of role they have played in recording the history of our world. They offer different exhibitions at different times so this is a place you could definitely visit often in order to get the maximum enjoyment from the process. The hours for this particular museum are different than the average so be sure to make sure they will open to the public on the day and time you wish to visit. Current admission rates are $3 for children and adults over the age of 12. Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden is another great place to learn, this time it's about history. This building is steeped in history and was once the home of the daughter of President Adams. Take a walk through history inside this lovely home turned hotel and then stroll around in the gardens outside. If you feel a need to get away from the big city while remaining in the big city this is a great place to visit and feel the air around you and forget about the fact that the nearest mall is actually very close by. The Brooklyn Children's Museum is great fun for kids of all ages, shapes, sizes, and nationalities. Fun after all, is a universal language and you will find plenty of that here. The good news is that this particular fun is actually well disguised education. The Brooklyn Children's Museum was the very first museum of its kind, by that I mean the first museum that was dedicated to entertaining and educating children. It was a wildly successful experiment that is responsible for the 300 children's museums now located around the world. The admission is very reasonable at $5 per person and children under the age of 1 are free. The museum is closed on Mondays during July and August and on Mondays and Tuesdays for the remainder of the year with the exception of certain public school recesses. It is best to check with the Museum if you are uncertain and hoping for a Tuesday visit. The New York Hall of Science is another great learning experience that is available here. There is so much to do and see here and most importantly you get to play with many exciting new toys and such. Enjoy activities and exhibits that bring the science to magic and prove that they are not exactly mutually exclusive. Magic is after all, in the eye of the beholder. Exhibitions change frequently and always offer something fun for everyone. There are age appropriate activities for children and the science playground ($3 per person admission fee above the museum admission fee of $11 per adult and $8 per child is required for the playground) is always a big hit. Now you're off to an excellent educational experience that everyone in your family will think was simply fun. New York Sports New York City is most definitely a city that loves its sports and cheers for the home team. New York is probably the best represented city and state in this country when it comes to major league teams. I've never quite seen anything like it but I honestly can't imagine a night when there isn't some sort of major sporting event taking place somewhere in this great city. The National Hockey League that almost wasn't is back and going strong. New York is represented well by the Ranger's who have made a wonderful deal this year to woo Shanahan away from the Red Wings. They play their home games at Madison Square Garden and have some of the most loyal fans. Even if you're say from Detroit and visiting, and if the Rangers are playing at home then it's the perfect opportunity (assuming you can get a ticket) to drop in and see how Shanahan is adjusting to life in the Big Apple and if he misses life back at the Joe. Putting hockey aside for now, there are many other professional sports you can enjoy watching while you're visiting New York City. I think there are a few baseball fans in this city somewhere. I say a few because it seems that they had to create two baseball teams in order to contain all the fans. I will say though that these fans are loyal to a fault to the teams they support. The New York Mets and the New York Yankees represent this great city in Major League Baseball and both teams draw loyal support from all their fans. The amazing thing to me is that the double-teaming didn't end with baseball. It seems that New York City also has two National Football League teams as well. The New York Giants and the New York Jets both represent this fair city to football fans across the country. While I have no favorite or even preference for all these teams and really have no idea how a city can survive with this sort of heated division. Obviously they aren't as rabid as some hockey fans can tend to be or there would be civil war within the streets. All joking aside, it seems that so far there is only one NBA team and they are the New York Knicks. I won't go into how unfair it is to so improperly represent hockey and basketball because these guys might actually be getting the better end of the bargain-the entire city roots for them, not just half. With so many major sporting opportunities it's amazing that men in this city get anything at all accomplished without carrying a portable pocket television with them at all times. I don't know about your house, but in my house it's difficult enough to schedule important events in our family lives around one local team for each sport (and we don't even have a baseball team). I can't imagine how women in New York do it. But to all of you women and the men you love, I have to say kudos for supporting your great teams and giving your many visitors such wonderful opportunities to watch our sports when we're away from home too. It's hard to identify one thing about this city that is the greatest but that just may be it. New York Nightlife and Changing Directions The nightlife is a big part of the New York culture, there's no reason if you are able, willing, and have no children to keep you in the room at night that you are your date for your New York City vacation can't get out and hit the town while checking out some of the wonders of New York nights. The problem is that there is no one size fits all when it comes to nightclubs, bars, and lounges. Each of these is well represented in almost any New York neighborhood and it really is up to each individual to find the bar or club that works best for them. The best recommendation I can give anyone is to check out the acts that are headlining and find an act that you think will suit your style and tastes. If you're in the mood for laughter, then a comedy club might be the best for you. If you're looking for a nice quiet place where you and your date or mate can converse quietly and contemplate life and love then a piano or jazz lounge might be the best option for you. Trying to suggest a bar in New York is almost as difficult as trying to recommend one on Bourbon Street, they are all somewhat alike and yet they are all very different. The trick is in finding the one that suits you best. Now, if you want to get terribly sloshed and have a rousing good time, then I will suggest a karaoke bar. What could be better than an off key sing-along to bad eighties music? Not much, but laughing at someone else for doing it is much better than getting up there and doing it yourself. There is so much potential for fun to be had and only you are the one that can decide if you would even consider enjoying certain moments. We all have music we prefer, crowds we prefer, and more importantly music and crowds we'd rather avoid. The good news is that within New York City there are bars that represent almost any musical tastes in history, and then a few more. Chances are that there's a bar somewhere that offers the kind of music you prefer or are in the mood for tonight. Some of these bars will have live bands or one man/woman shows and some will have DJs spinning tunes till last call or the sun comes up. There's Jazz, Hip Hop, The best and worst of the 80's, the 90's, alternative, country, techno, pop, smooth jazz, R&B, Manilow and Streisand, the 70's, Classic Rock, and so many more my head spins trying to think of them all. Somewhere in the mix there has to be something that works for you, or perhaps silence or simple piano ballads are the way to go. Whatever your music and whatever your mood there is a bar or a club in New York that has something that will speak to you. And if you are in a particularly dark mood, they have clubs for that too. Many of us use our vacation time to explore other aspects of our nature, if you are interested in trying out new music or a new crowd; New York City is a big anonymous city in which to try new things. Just don't have so much fun that you decide to stay. New York Wildlife New York City might be a jungle according to many but the animals can be found in its many zoos. If you'd like to check out one or more of the many zoos in New York City I highly recommend purchasing a city pass that will allow you free admission to many of the area zoos. Keep in mind that some of the attractions inside the zoo will cost extra so you should expect to pay something for your day at the zoo(s) but every little bit you can save along the way helps and you will be surprised at how quickly you can recover the cost of your pass. Bronx Zoo The Bronx Zoo is the largest urban zoo in the U. S. and is open 365 days a year. Those that have city passes can enjoy free admission to this zoo. Once you've had your fill of the award winning exhibits the Bronx Zoo has to offer you should check out the New York Botanical Garden, which is located nearby and offers great fun and many activities for children to avoid (this experience is another that can be enjoyed for no additional charge with the New York pass). Also nearby are Wave Hill, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and Van Cortlandt House Museum. All of these activities are free with the New York pass and are all very much suited for family members of all ages. Central Park Zoo The Central Park Zoo offers a view of animals in their natural habitat rather than in cages. While this is becoming more and more of the norm as far as American zoos are concerned the Central Park Zoo was a relative pioneer in this particular process. Today the Central Park Zoo boasts an indoor rain forest; a chilled penguin house along with a pool for the polar bears while also being home to breeding programs for certain endangered species. While you're there be sure to have lunch in the Leaping Frog Cafe, which offers kid friendly fare that is surprisingly health oriented (such as trans-fat-free French fries). If your walk through this 6.5-acre zoo wasn't enough exercise for your day be sure to stop by the bike rental area of Central Park, which is located nearby. New York Aquarium The New York Aquarium while not exactly a zoo is another great place for the family to experience animal life. This happens to be one of the highlights of many trips to New York. Young and old alike will enjoy watching the marine animals play and frolic while learning important lessons about our marine friends. The aquarium is located at Coney Island and is near Astroland Amusement park if you want to make a day of it. The New York Aquarium offers free admission to holders of the New York Pass and Astroland offers discounts for these holders as well. Prospect Park Zoo Prospect Park Zoo offers a unique experience for children to have interactive contact with more animals. This increased interaction makes the trip much more enjoyable for youngsters than many larger zoos which allow little interaction with animals or a very limited number of animals to interact with. The Prospect Park Zoo hosts more than 400 animals representing over 80 species. This zoo is located near the Brooklyn Children's Museum, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the Brooklyn Museum of Art-all of which allow free admission for The New York Pass holders. Queens Zoo The Queens Zoo offers a unique experience for visitors in that it is less lake a zoo and more like a prairie home for the animals it houses. This 12-acre park is home to 70 animals that live in very authentic habitats. If you choose to visit this particular zoo, be sure that you take the time to visit the barnyard area so that your little ones can feed some of the friendlier creatures. This zoo is located fairly near the Queens Museum of Art, the New York Hall of Science, and the American Museum of the Moving Image. These attractions are all free with the New York Pass. If you are a true animal lover, then New York City has you covered for opportunities to get your fill. Who would have thought that a city this full of skyscrapers and commerce was also the home to some of the most beautiful and exotic wildlife in the world? The Incredible Value of the New York Pass If you're planning to visit New York City it really pays to make the investment in The New York Pass. This pass will allow you free entrance into some of the biggest attractions that New York has to offer in addition to discounts to many more attraction and a 140 page guide book that gives you information about many of the places you won't want to miss while you're visiting this great city. Some of the places that you are allowed free admission by way of your New York Pass include the following: The Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Isle with a free round-trip ferry ticket and gives you skip ahead privileges for the ticket line, free admission to the Guggenheim Museum (though you may need to pay additional fees for special exhibitions), the New York Skyride, and the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum. These are just a few of the many places you can go for no additional fees. If you're planning to fit many activities into your time in New York, this is by far the best way to go. There are often offers for discounts if you are purchasing multiple days of The New York Pass, the fact remains however that if you are choosing more than two events on any given day you'll probably be saving money on admission alone by purchasing the pass. If you're only planning on one paid activity per day then you're better off not making the purchase of a pass. With all vacations there are simple matters of economics involved. There are two forms of economics that come into play on a vacation-money and time. Time is often the most carefully guarded of the two while vacationing and people forget to pay attention to cast budgets as a result feeling it is better to waste money than to waste time. I personally like to waste neither. I enjoy the skip ahead privileges that having city passes often allow as well as the knowledge that I've already paid for the days activities and can keep a better eye on where the remainder of my funds are being spent. In addition to the many freebies that are involved as a result of the New York Pass there are also invaluable discounts that you can get on dining, souvenirs, even tours such as the New York Helicopter Sightseeing Tours. And then there are some tours that having a New York Pass will allow you to experience for free as well. Among those are: the United Nations Tour, The NBC Studio Tour, the Radio City Music Hall Stage Door Tour, the Rockefeller Center Tour, and the Tour at Lincoln Center. The pass will introduce you to museums and zoos with free admission that you may not have otherwise considered and open the doors to extra entertainment for the entire family. If you're going to be in New York for an extended period of time, 3 days or more, and plan to take a lot of tours and do a lot of sight seeing on your trip, I seriously recommend that you buy the New York Pass and use it every chance you get for free entrance fees and merchandise or food discounts and freebies. This is by far one of the best tips anyone can give you about your visit to New York and your budget. I also recommend tailoring your experience to the free things offered as much as possible and save your money for gifts, mementos, and the wonderful food and shows that abound in this fabulous city. Be sure to pay close attention when ordering tickets and checking to see if you are entitled to a discount because of your New York Pass. Do your best to enjoy your time and try not to fit too many things into one day. There are only so many hours in a day and while New York may be the City that Never Sleeps, we all need to sleep sometime. Teens in the City New York City offers a virtual treasure chest of fun things to do for teenagers. This age group is generally the most difficult to please and appease while vacationing. They are too old for the kid stuff and too young to appreciate some of the more 'grown up' entertainment and of course, they don't want to look like they're having too much fun. From amusement parks to cyber cafes, from bookstores to malls and video arcades, to sporting events and sporting complexes New York City is a city that was almost made for teens to enjoy. The trick to enjoying your New York City vacation while ensuring that your teen enjoys his or her time in the city is compromise. Agree to go watch the skateboarding in the park if he or she will suffer through a museum with you. You just might find that you each find something to enjoy about the other's activities. There are so many wonderful things to do and see in New York. You don't have to pay a lot of money in order to have a good time as many of these wonderful events are offered free or for very little cost. You can also purchase passes that allow free entrance to certain city attractions for one low fee. You will find that of the freebie offerings there is usually something that will appeal to various members of your family including your teens. Compromise is a good idea on any vacation with friends or family and it teaches your teens an important lesson-their opinion matters to you. They also learn to compromise, to share time and experiences, and to think critically. They are forced to weight all the things they would like to do and select the things that matter most to them to do. This is a very good thing for people to learn as early as possible and will be an invaluable lesson, as they grow older and eventually begin making their own decisions in life as well. I even try to offer the younger children a voice in what's going on. I offer age appropriate choices and allow them to select the one that matters most to them. Teens are often very hard to please or predict and their wants can change between the time it takes to open a pack of pop tarts and the time it takes to actually drop them in the toaster. Be aware of this when making plans with teens and go with the flow. You do not have to let your teen rule your vacation but by allowing him or her a voice in the decision making process you might all learn some important and interesting things about each other. Girl teens are often easily distracted by shopping-while New York City has some of the trendiest boutiques you may want to see if you can talk her into some of them any consignment or secondhand stores that abound. You can call it 'vintage clothing' if you must in order to get her in the doors but you can score some awesome deals on clothes that look barely worn if that and she'll have some nice additions to her wardrobe for a fraction of their costs if new. There are also some wonderful outlet malls in NYC as well. The trick with shopping any of these stores is to know the prices of things. Some things are excellent bargains while others are not so much. Teen boys will have a grand time at places such as Game Time Nation where they can play video games for endless hours. You can even try playing games together if you're brave enough. Fair warning offered here, teens are brutal in their victories and you will never live down your failures in the video game arena with them so study up before hand. The most important thing to remember about vacationing with your teen is that you'd like them to have some fond memories of your time together, even during their teen years. Take care that you are including them in your plans rather than making their plans for them. It is time they are let into the decision making process to some degree even if it's allowing either or options or asking them to list a few things they'd like to do and you selecting from those. If you're having fun it is quite likely that they will eventually join in. Shop for Art off the Beaten Path Art is one of many cultural draws in New York City. There are art galleries in abundance in this great city and almost certainly an artist to fit almost any taste. Art has always been to some degree in the eyes of the beholder and beauty in the city of New York is in abundant supply. Whether you consider yourself an enthusiastic supporter of art and the arts, it's hard to deny the fact that New York has a great deal of art to offer those who are willing to seek it. From the graffiti that is so artfully rendered along bridges, buildings, busses, and signs throughout the city to murals and store windows that are so wonderfully made art comes in this city in many forms. You will find artists, sketchers, painters, and those seeking muses wandering around various parts of the city that may be particularly lovely, inspiring, or even forlorn. The art doesn't end with sketches, drawings, or paintings. It goes well beyond that. In this great city you will see sculptors with magnificent works that might be inspiring to you and might be utterly and completely unintelligible and you might find art that touches your heart and simply won't let go. For whatever reason, art for most of us is purely emotional. This isn't only true for the painter but also for those who witness the beauty of the art that has been created. There is also pottery, blown glass, metal works, wood works, and literally dozens of other works of art within this city. You can stroll through the many galleries of the city or walk along the streets and through the parks seeking art and the artists that create these wonderful works. You might find the grandest work of art in the hands of the slightest of creatures or in the most unlikely of places. New York is full of surprises that go far beyond the beaten paths. If you are truly seeking art to bring home from your trip to New York, the best place to look is in second hand or consignment shops. You can generally find nice pieces of art at unbelievably low prices. This is one of the best ways to begin building your collection and there are some second hand shops that specialize in artwork or 'junk art'. Of course there are galleries that deal with rare second hand art and it is highly unlikely that you'll find a discount there. Stick to the consignment shops, flea markets and used furniture stores if you are truly seeking some nice pieces that are seriously undervalued. Keep in mind that the art you choose only needs to speak to you (and hopefully match your decor to some degree, unless of course you are searching for an excuse to redecorate) and doesn't have to really mean anything at all. When you do find a piece of art that you feel you must own, price is often not a consideration. This makes the fact that you're looking in a second hand store a much better way to shop. At least in this instance you won't have to deal with sticker shock from the massively over inflated price tags you will find in most galleries. Of course that is because they are recovering their commissions off the top so you're automatically knocking off that much of a discount by shopping second hand and off the beaten path. Relaxation New York City Style New York City is perhaps the busiest city in the world. The people here are always running to and fro from work to home to meeting to school functions for their children to dinner you name it and most people in this city are constantly on the move. New Yorkers work hard and they play hard and for the most part you will not find a city full of couch potatoes. As a result of the constant movement and often constant stress of keeping pace in the city that never sleeps there is a huge demand for spas, massages, and a service industry that is devoted to helping these over worked, over played, and over stressed people learn to relax. Of course there are other industries in New York City that are equally dedicated to keeping them awake and alert. If relaxation is the order of the day you will be glad to know that there is a spa on almost every corner in New York City and if your vacation is one in which you wish to have a relaxing time of things then you may want to select a hotel with a spa on the premises and never walk outside. I can't imagine being in New York City and staying in my hotel the entire time but for some getting away is the only way they'll be able to leave work and responsibilities behind in order to truly relax and receive the full benefits of a spa treatment. In addition to the many spas that are available there are also gyms and sports complexes that will allow you to work out your frustrations or aggressions through physical exertion in addition to the many parks scattered throughout the city that offer places to walk, run, jog, ride bikes, roller blade, and participate in dozens of other physical activities as well. If the physical activity and the spa treatment don't help you reach your relaxation goals, then perhaps an evening out is in order. You will find all kinds of ways to spend your evenings in New York City. There are bars, lounges, comedy clubs, dance clubs, and simple hotel bars where you can have a nice drink or two to lighten your mood and then head back up to your room without the worry of how you're going to get back to your room. Of course, many believe that laughter without a doubt is the best medicine for whatever might ail you so the many comedy clubs around New York might be the best place to look for a night of fun and relaxation. Chances are if you're standing in New York City, pretty much anywhere you are kind of near a comedy club. If there's doubt I can almost guarantee that a bellhop or concierge might be able to help you find one close by and rather quickly. Then of course, there's the last resort. Well for some, for me it's the first thought that comes to mind for relaxation: hot tub and massage. Not necessarily in that order but either or both is a great way to spend the evening. If you are fortunate enough to have a loved one along with you it is a great idea to share both the hot tub and the massage. While giving massages to each other is nice, there is something deliciously sinful about lying beside each other while receiving the royal treatment. You know you will be heading back to reality soon so enjoy this while you can. Broadway Makes New York Sing Whenever I think of a trip to New York City whether for a vacation or just a short one or two-day visit I can't help but think of Broadway and the delightful shows that await in these hallowed halls of entertainment delight. Broadway is the essence of New York to me. It can in turns be bawdy, brawling, loud, rowdy, soft, romantic, comedic, and rip-roaringly hilarious. Broadway has it all for those who are willing to look for their perfect fit. The problem with Broadway is that there are so many wonderful shows to see and such limited time (for most of us) in which to see them. I don't even believe those who live in New York City have enough time in which to appreciate the artistic treasure trove that is represented within this wonderful city that never sleeps. The truth of the matter is that in order to properly enjoy all the theatrical offerings available to you, you'd almost have to never sleep yourself. Musicals It is important to remember that all shows are not available at all times. Check to see if the show you wish to see will be playing during your visit before getting your hopes up. On to the musicals, which are, by the way, my favorite types of Broadway entertainment. Chicago the Musical, Forbidden Broadway (this one offers an hilarious 'spoof' of Broadway), Jersey Boys, Naked Boys Singing (yes, they are!), Phantom of the Opera, Rent, Wicked, and Mama Mia! Comedies Broadway is well known for thumbing its nose at convention as well as for letting it's hair down and having a good ole time. The same holds true for the Broadway theatre of today. Comedies and musicals on Broadway are not mutually exclusive so some of the hilarity mentioned below will have some degree of song and dance (well most likely quite a bit of both but you will definitely laugh). Let the comedies begin! I Love You, Your Perfect, Now Change (seriously, that's the name we're already off to a great start on the road to laughter). Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead (I think someone's been peeking in my kids windows at night-this one is actually off Broadway but I thought it bore mentioning with such a catchy title and all). Spamalot. This one is rising star with rave reviews by critics and a fairly good attendance rate so buy your tickets early! The Producers, which was recently made as a motion picture and The Little Dog Laughed round up my list of comedies. I hope you've seen something here that looks like a good laugh; I know I've seen a few! Drama While many people think of the happy go lucky song and dance that is often associated with Broadway there is a deep dramatic flare to the offerings as well. Particularly some of the musicals that carry with them profound messages about music, life and love-among these wonderful icons of Broadway are the following: Rent- a very La Boheme meets modern life musical that is probably one of the best Broadway musicals I've ever seen and I'm a huge fan of Phantom. Les Miserables is another Broadway drama that really needs no introduction, Grey Gardens is perfect for anyone who fears becoming a cat lady or spinster, A Chorus Line, Chicago, The Color Purple, Phantom of the Opera (my personal favorite), and The Vertical Hour (this is a new one let's hope it lasts). There are a few family friendly musicals and plays that bear mentioning among them are the following: Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera (may be a little frightening for younger children during certain scenes), Tarzan, The Lion King, Mary Poppins, Momma Mia!, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Beauty and the Beast. You know your child best and what will or will not be frightening for them or possibly lead to uncomfortable questions for you, view most Broadway plays with that in mind. Broadway is a great way to really enjoy what New York has to offer its visitors for entertainment. While it would hardly be possible to see each and every show that might attract your attention it is quite possible to make the time to view the one that is most appealing to you and it will be quite an experience for the entire family. The New York Times: The Almost Omniscient Media Reporter Where do you go if you want to know what's the latest news about Paris and Paris? What do you do if you need to see what happened to Maria Sharapova after this year's Wimbledon? Who do you ask if you want to know if the storm is still raging dangerously in Taiwan? How can you find out about the latest news regarding George Bush's fight against international terrorism? For those questions and just about everything else that you may find yourself curious about, we only have one answer: check out the New York Times. The New York Times is one of the most read dailies in the United States and there's really no surprise why it's so. People have come to rely on the New York Times to provide them with updated news round the clock, online or through the written word, regarding everything under the sun. You can read about the films being shown this week, the current bestsellers in the publishing industry, the latest stock market quotes, the newest trend in summer fashion and a whole lot more. The New York Times has arguably one of the most credible reputations in the country and so it's unsurprising that people have become curious about what type of management is behind such a thriving media company. Hence, our article, which tackles the company profile of the New York Times Company, owner of the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Boston Globe and sixteen other newspapers. Last year, the New York Times Company reached the three billion mark in their revenues. Besides the aforementioned newspapers, the New York Times Company also owns eight TV networks and two radio stations. The New York Times Co. is also house to several Pulitzer Prize writers. A short history of the New York Times Company is provided below: April 27, 1967 : Class A stock of the New York Times Company has finally landed a spot in the listing of over-the-counter trades. January 12, 1973 : Adding on to their assets, the New York Times Company has acquired Marco Island Eagle. January 11, 1977 : The New York Times Company divests several of its business ventures by selling its professional magazine and music publishing business. February 12, 1980 : The Madison Paper Industries was born, a joint venture between the New York Times Co. and Myllykoski Oy, a Finnish paper manufacturing company. March 6, 1980 : The New York Times Company decides to sell its Us magazine. April 10, 1981 : The Australian magazine operations of the New York Times Co. were also sold. 1983 : The New York Times sold times Books, its book publishing operation, and license to its information retrieval service and micro-publishing operations. In return, the company got to acquire several TV stations, launch new magazines and relaunch old ones that it has acquired. 1993 : The New York Times Company announces a $100 million share repurchase authorization. For more details regarding the New York Times Company and all its affiliations, its website can provide you with contact details and FAQs. The New York Times accept ads, notices, announcements of weddings, obituaries, special events, and the likes. They can also be delivered right on your doorstep, wherever you are, and further information regarding this can still be found in their website. The History behind the New York Post New York is known for many things, the Statue of Liberty, New York fashion week and among other things, HBO's Sex and the City. But before we forget, oftentimes overshadowed by the immensely popular the New York Times, there's another popular New York daily newspaper that has actually been around as far back as in the 1800s. The New York Evening Post or the New York Post, was actually founded by Alexander Hamilton, who then chose William Coleman to be its first editor-in-chief way back in the New York Post's humble beginnings. After William Coleman's short reign as the New York Post's editor-in-chief, he was then replaced by another William, a William Cullen Bryant, way back in 1829. A fruitful 50 year reign as the New York Post's editor-in chief, William Cullent Bryant was a staunch believer of defending the rights of those who are being enslaved, William Cullent Bryant also showed strong support for the emerging trade union back then. He even went as far as defending the strike of the Society of Journeyman Tailors by trying to link their strike with slavery back in June 1836. The year 1881 had the New York Post welcoming Henry Villard at its helm. Henry Villard was a German immigrant possessing strong political views, had a profound influence on the New York Post. He then tapped Carl Schurz who was another German radical thinker to be the new managing editor of the New York Post. But Carl Schurz career with the New York Post was short-lived, he was actually replaced by the former editor of the Nation (another publication that was owned by Henry Villard), a man named Edwin Godkin stepped up to manage the New York Post.Henry Villard's death back in the 1900s brought the New York Post to the hands of Villard's son, Oswald Garrison Villard, who, like his father, also had radical views and opinions concerning politics, women's suffrage, reform in the trade union and (like his father) fighting for equal rights African Americans. A true advocate for human rights, Oswald Garrison Villard was one of the founding members of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People or NAACP as well as the American Civil Liberties Union or ACTU. In spite of being headstrong with his advocacies, Oswald Garrison Villard was also a popular pacifist, he highly opposed for the American's participation in the first World War. But this proved to backfire on him as his readers were strong supporters of patriotism so Oswald Garrison Villard, due to the protests of his readers and the pulling out of his advertisers, was forced to sell the New York Post in the year 1918.1939 saw the New York Post with Dorothy Schiff at its helm. Schiff then asked Ted Thackrey as its new editor-in-chief, who actually turned the daily into a streamlined tabloid. Still its politics driven format was still being incorporated by the New York Post's new editor-in-chief, it highly supported progressive politics and was actually the only newspaper in New York City who openly supported the campaign of the democratic party's presidential bet, Adlai Stevenson. But Schiff's stay with the New York Post ended with Australian Rupert Murdoch acquiring the newspaper back in 1977. The Thespian's Guide to Acting Schools in New York These are the facts and myths that most know or believe of the city: New York is the city that never sleeps. New York is one of the costliest places to live in. New York is the center of the whole world. New York is inhabited by people who love to love, hate, argue and haggle. Now being a peace loving writer, I certainly shan't argue about which one of those is true and which one isn't. But if you're a thespian in search for good acting schools, then you certainly won't care about that. But you'd naturally care about the list that I'm about to provide below. New York is a cosmopolitan city where a lot of good acting schools abound. In fact, if you truly are in search for excellent thespian education, New York isn't a bad place to start. Naturally, the tuition fees of these acting schools are comparatively more expensive than the acting schools in your local state but they're worth it. And if you're looking for more proof, all you need is to do a little research work and I assure you that a lot of Hollywood big stars owe their talents to the very acting schools I'm about to enumerate. Assuming that finances are not a problem for you, there's just only other thing then to tackle: admissions. Several acting schools in New York are quite choosy when it comes to the students they'd let in their hallowed halls so to improve your chances of getting accepted, make sure that your school or the proper figures of authority furnish you with glowing recommendations. Neither does it hurt to have high GPAs to back you up. With those two warnings then, here are some New York acting schools that you can try applying to. ACTeen: Acting For Teen: Operating for almost three decades already, the ACTeen is the pioneering on-camera acting academy for teens, particularly those aged between thirteen to nineteen years old. If you or your child is serious about pursuing acting for a profession then you should consider contacting this particular acting school and view their curriculum. Besides learning everything about film and theater, students are also provided with a choice of over fifteen electives. Ted Bardy Studio Inc. : To echo their tagline, this acting school provides their students with intense and personalized acting instruction. Everyone's welcome to be a part of their workshop (limited to a small number to ensure personalized instruction), may it be amateurs, intermediate actors or professionals out to seek to improve their craft. The Ted Bardy Studio Inc. uses the Stanislavski / Meisner approach in guiding their students through their uniquely designed 3 phase program. Ted Bardy Studio Inc. is located in the Union Square section of New York City. Actor Theater Workshop : ATW is a professional, non-profit theater company and under it, the Scott Acting Conservatory operates to train professional actors and have them realize original creative techniques to further improve their craft. Lee Strasberg Theater Institute : this acting school hopes that the techniques of the acting legend, Lee Strasberg, continue to live on through their students. East End Ensemble : A school that started two years ago as a local acting workshop set up in a private home and meant to improve the communication skills of their adult students. If you want to have fun while learning, this funky acting school may be what you're looking for. East End Ensemble can be found in Brooklyn, New York. The story behind the New York Daily Post Rich and just basically brimming with culture and history, New York CIty actually has a million or more stories to tell about its decadent past and how things around this cosmopolitan city all came to be. Considered to be as one of the United States' biggest newspapers, whose circulation is actually well more over 700,000 copies. The New York Daily News, a newspaper printed using a tabloid format has actually started its newspaper journey way back in the year 1919. Mortimer Zuckerman was actually the founder of the New York Daily News while also having the catch phrase, "New York's Picture Newspaper" (which has over the years, was changed to "New York's Hometown Newspaper"). Still, in spite of the various changes, the New York Daily News has continued on printing their tabloid format newspaper still with a lot of photographs. Of course, the whole point of being a newspaper just simply means that the New York Daily News also contains lots of news (obviously, it's not called New York Daily NEWS for nothing). Gossip about celebrities and other famous people also abound in the New York Daily News Page 6 columns, it is where people often turn to just to read about the hottest, freshest and juiciest gossips about the who's-who in the industry. As like with other newspapers, the New York Daily News also contain a classified ads section, a popular comics section as well as an equally well-read sports section and an opinion section. New York Daily News really packs in the punch with its varied features and scopes of interest. Here's a fun fact about the New York Daily News: Bill Gallo is actually the much celebrated sports cartoonist of the New York Daily News. The New York Daily News was actually founded by Joseph Medill Patterson who's family were actually the publishers of The Chicago Tribune, the New York Daily News has also been able to establish WPIX-TV and WPIX-FM. During the whole history of the New York Daily News, there was actually a time, during the early part of the 1990s that the New York Daily News almost went to bankruptcy. Fortunately for the New York Daily News however, was the financial assistance that was brought about by Robert Maxwell, a millionaire who offered to help the New York Daily News stay in the media business. However, due to Robert Maxwell's death, his company didn't any more felt the need to continue on publishing the New York Daily News.When it comes to their opinions section however, the New York Daily News try to set its self apart from its various competitors. The well-respected New York Times have actually set very liberal standards for their newspaper's opinions column, while fellow tabloid, the New York Post differs from the New York Daily News' opinions pages by being a staunch rightist. However, the New York Daily News has actually been able to acquire ten Pulitzer prizes since it was first established but due to its fierce competition with fellow tabloid, the New York Post, the New York Daily News has actually resorted to some sensationalism as a counter-tactic against the New York Post wherein the New York Daily News has been touted as the newspaper with the most creative headlines and captions for its photos in all of journalism. Looking back at the New York Yankees This popular All-American baseball team was actually known as the Highlanders during its humble beginnings, but apparently the nickname Highlanders couldn't really catch on fast with the local sportswriters which is why they often used the monicker Yankees or Yanks (the nickname Yankees were actually coined from the fact that the New York Yankees were an All-American team while American locals are actually referred to as Yanks mostly by the British), since people obviously liked this nickname more, they decided to change their name in to the New York Yankees and they didn't change it ever since. The New York Yankees official logo was actually written in script form using the color red with a complementing red bat serving as the background of the k while it hangs down. The two other letters in the logo are actually just a k and an s which helps form a complete circle and actually give the logo the look of a baseball with matching baseball stitching. As a finishing touch, the logo is topped with Uncle Sam's hat that conveniently rests on the top of the bat. The most famous insignia in sports is actually the interlocking NY which actually made its first appearance on the New York Yankees' (known then as the Highlanders) sleeves and caps way back in the year 1909. As the interlocking NY insignia gained more and more popularity, the New York Yankees decided to incorporate it at the front part of their uniforms while having matching navy blue baseball caps. The immensely popular interlocking NY insignia was actually designed way back in 1877 by a fellow named Louis B. Tiffany who originally designed the popular insignia for a NYPD officer named John McDowell who was highly regarded at that time for his bravery and dedication to his work. Mr. McDowell was actually the first New York police officer who was shot during the time of duty. Bill Devery, who was a former police chief as well as one of the New York Yankees original owners chose the popular insignia for the New York Yankees' uniforms, he made the insignia a permanent fixture on the baseball players' uniforms. The official team colors of the New York Yankees are Navy Blue, Red and White. While the New York Yankees team motto is courage, tradition and heart. While there are actually two New York Yankees songs, the official song being "Here Comes the Yankees" while the unofficial song is "New York, New York". From 1903 up to the present, the New York Yankees had several managers, 41 all in all, starting with Clark Griffith to Joe Torre (the current New York Yankees manager from the year 1996 up to the present). The New York Yankees has a total of 26 world champions to date while a World Series appearance totalling to 39 all in all. The New York Yankees also boasts of 40 Hall of Fame awardees, including the ever popular Joe DiMaggio (1936-1942, 1946-1951) and Mickey Mantle (1951-1969) -- he was even able to acquire three Most Valuable Awards during his career with the New York Yankees, while Joe DiMaggio had three as well and everyone's favorite, Babe Ruth received just one. Since the establishment of their baseball team, the Highlanders (better known as the New York Yankees) had their worst season way back in 1908 wherein the New York Yankees, for he very first time in franchise history, actually dropped to last place with a horrible record of 51-103.
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