September in New York City

by NYJ Team

The kids are going back to school, the weather is still warm and the sun is still shining – making New York City in September an ideal destination. Check out a ball game at Yankee Stadium, have dinner in Little Italy during the San Gennaro Festival, or grab a water bottle and explore the city with one of the many walking tours available.

New York Yankees & Mets Baseball Games
Sports fans visiting the city in September should take themselves out to a Yankee or Mets game, particularly because both teams have moved into brand new state-of-the-art stadiums. Baseball aficionados wanting to delve into the rich history of the game will enjoy the behind-the-scenes tours available at Yankee Stadium, which includes a visit to the dugout, the New York Yankees Museum, and Monument Park which showcases the greatest baseball icons including Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle. New York Mets fans can take in a game at Citi Field which has replaced Shea Stadium. Yankee Stadium is located in the Bronx at East 161st Street at River Avenue (across from the original stadium) and Citi Field is situated at 126th Street and Roosevelt in Queens. For game schedules and information on how to buy tickets, visit the Yankees and Mets official sites at: http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com or http://newyork.mets.mlb.com.

San Gennaro Festival – The Feast of San Gennaro
With its vibrant parades, delicious food and the renowned cannoli-eating competition, this event draws more than a million people from around the world to the streets of Lower Manhattan’s Little Italy every September. Mulberry Street is closed for this colourful festival, which begins the second Thursday of September and celebrates San Gennaro, the Patron Saint of Naples. The event has a long-running history, having first been celebrated in 1926 by immigrants from Naples. A mass is held at Most Precious Blood Church on Mulberry Street, which houses the shrine of San Gennaro, and then a religious procession carries his statue through the streets of Little Italy. The festival runs along Mulberry Street between Canal and Houston Streets. A performance stage hosts live entertainment and street vendors offers delicious delicacies at every turn. For a festival map, event schedule and a list of recommended Little Italy restaurants and cafes, visit http://www.sangennaro.org.

Walking Tours of New York City
The best way to truly experience the sights and sounds of New York City is to simply walk its streets. September is an excellent month to sign up for a walking tour since it’s still quite sunny and warm, but typically less humid than July and August.  Guided walking tours are a particularly good way to view Ground Zero, the memorial grounds for those who died in the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. The Ground Zero/Lower Manhattan walking tour offered by New York City Vacation Packages takes you to the site of the former World Trade Center as well as the FDNY 9-11 Memorial Wall with a licensed tour guide. For tour prices and a complete itinerary visit www.nycvp.com/ground_zero1.html.

Walking tours are great activities for travellers wanting to learn more about neighbourhoods like the famous East Village or the Lower East side but don’t know where to start. New York City neighbourhoods are packed with history that a guide can provide as you stroll through the streets and take in the sights. Visit http://eastvillagevisitorscenter.com for a complete schedule of walking tours that include Alphabet City, Five Points/Chinatown and even the Gangsters, Murderers and Weirdos walking tour which covers the escapades of characters like Al Capone and Bugsy Siegel.

 For a list of tours and attractions, head to NewYorkJourney.com.

Harlem Week 2009

by NYJ Team

Harlem Week is a two month long celebration of the diversity and culture of one of the world’s most famous neighborhoods – Harlem in New York City. In 1974, the idea of Harlem Day was created to pay tribute to the fascinating past and present of the neighborhood. A group of activists were intent on putting Harlem back on the map when it came to the cultural, religious and social development in the city. The one-day festivity soon gave way to Harlem Week – an event that slowly came to spread over the months of July and August each year. Today, this festival attracts over a million visitors who come to celebrate with locals.

This year’s Harlem Week will concentrate on the theme, “Historic Celebrations”. Visitors can join in the festivities and pay tribute to Harlem-inspired cultural events. Other exciting events include the New York City Children’s Festival that offers music, games, pony rides and petting zoos for the benefit of the neighborhood’s children. Senior citizens are also given their place of honor at the festival at the N.Y.C. Senior Citizen’s Day on August 11th. For a true experience of this wonderful, diverse New York location, the Harlem Week festival is definitely worth a visit in July and August! Check out NewYorkJourney.com for more on Harlem and the city’s history.

Click for the official site of Harlem Week.

New York City in August

by NYJ Team

It’s more than just the weather that’s hot in the Big Apple in August. From free film screenings to colourful street parades, the city’s culture comes to life during the beautiful summer season. In addition to the summer-long schedule of free concerts and productions such as Central Park’s Summerstage and Shakespeare in the Park, here are some other activities to consider checking out during an August trip to New York City.

New York International Fringe Festival
Prepare to be amazed by the energy and excitement surrounding the creative and innovative productions at the New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC.) Every summer, North America’s largest multi-arts festival hosts over 200 performance companies from around the globe. The festival runs for 16 days in August and showcases over a thousand performances in several venues. For a list of all shows, a guide to the various venues and information on how to buy tickets online, visit the FringeNYC official website at www.fringenyc.org.

Central Park Film Festival
What better place to watch a film than Central Park, which has served as the cinematic backdrop for many Hollywood hits. The annual Central Park Film Festival is a must for movie lovers, featuring free outdoor screenings of film favourites at Rumsey Playfield. Screenings take place rain or shine and are all closed-captioned. The shows begin at 8p.m. with the gates opening at 6p.m. To get to the venue, movie goers should enter Central Park at Fifth Avenue and 69th Street, bring a blanket, then sit back and enjoy the show! Head over to the Central Park official website at www.centralparknyc.org for a handy monthly calendar of events that includes the scheduled film screenings for August.

Harlem Week
The celebration of this vibrant community in Upper Manhattan began in 1974 as a one-day event. Now Harlem Week has a busy schedule of activities all summer including the New York City Children’s Festival. Home of one of the most famous entertainment venues in the United States, the Apollo Theater, Harlem Week emphasizes the importance of this neighbourhood as a key center of creativity, arts and culture in the U.S. More details on the Harlem Week events taking place in August can be found at www.harlemweek.com/august.

The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Mostly Mozart Festival
The long-running Mostly Mozart Festival offers the magic of Mozart and more. This annual summer celebration of music, art, dance and film showcases an incredible array of programming that will dazzle and delight culture vultures. The festival debuts up-and-coming performers as well as world-renowned master musicians like Yo-Yo Ma.  From opera singers to string quartets to pianists, the festival features dozens of concerts and events and takes place at various venues of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, which is situated in Upper West side of Manhattan.

Lincoln Center Out of Doors
Throughout the month of August, the Lincoln Center also hosts the Out of Doors performance arts series, which features free music, theater and dance productions at Damrosch Park. The open-air stage is located at the southwest corner of the Lincoln Center Plaza, at 62nd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues. Visit http://www.lincolncenter.org for a complete calendar of events.

Summer also brings numerous street fairs, parades and festivals to New York that celebrate the colourful mosaic of cultures that make up the city. The Dominican Day parade runs along Sixth Avenue from 36th to 62nd Streets on the second Sunday of August, and the India Independence Day parade takes place on Madison Avenue from 41st to 23rd Streets the third weekend of August.

For more details on other great New York City attractions, go to NewYorkJourney.com.