New Years Day 2011 in New York City

by NYJ Team

This post has been written by a guest writer – Charlotte.

Forcing yourself out of bed after an excessive night of welcoming in the New Year may not be your idea of a fun way to spend New Year’s Day, however if you are fortunate enough to be in New York on 1st January 2011 there are just too many interesting things to do to spend the day feeling sorry for yourself and nursing a bad hangover. Instead wrap up warm and hit the quieter than usual streets of Manhattan for some great Big Apple experiences.

BB Kings Blues Club
For today, forget the breakfast at your New York hotel and instead head to BB Kings Blues club on West 42nd Street for their all-you-can-eat soul food buffet. This authentic all-American food is sure to get even the most delicate of hangover sufferers feeling better, with delights such as Cinnamon French toast, mini bagels and cream cheese and baked macaroni and cheese on the menu. BB Kings prides itself on its music, playing soul and blues classics from throughout the decades, on New Year’s day the club is host to Strawberry Fields, a Beatles tribute act who promise to deliver the next best thing to the Fab Four being there in person. The ticket price is $42.50 on the door and includes the all-you-can-eat buffet. A perfect way to begin 2011 with a leisurely morning of good food and great music.

Museums and Art Galleries
If expanding your knowledge and getting a bit of culture is high up on your list of New Year’s resolutions then head to the cities museums and art galleries. Many of the larger exhibitions close during January so New Year’s Day is a good opportunity to see them before they come to an end. With many visitors to the city still wrapped up in bed, sleeping off the night before it’s a good opportunity to see the exhibitions without having to fight your way through the crowds. Big names such as the Guggenheim and the Museum of Modern Art are open to the public although if you need warming up from the New York winter weather head to the American Museum of National History and enjoy the sights at The Butterfly Conservatory which is kept at a constant 80°F.

Top of the Rock
A visit to Top of the Rock, the observation deck on the top of the Rockefeller Centre offers panoramic views of the city. Although avoided by many New Yorkers due to the length of the queues to the attraction, a visit on New Year’s Day can mean a decrease in the time you are waiting. The centre opens at 8am so be there early to avoid the crowds and experience a view of New York like no other.  Once inside the elevators visitors experience light shows and the view from the glass top as the elevator claims the 70 floors to the top. To enhance your view on the observation decks there are binoculars to help you enjoy your 365° view of the New York skyline even more. Don’t forget your quarters!

Historic Times Square Walking Tours
For those who want to learn about New York’s rich and varied history whilst in the city, Big Onion Walking Tours are running their Historic Times Square walking tour on New Year’s Day. The tour begins at 1pm; meeting at the southeast corner of 42nd Street & Sixth Avenue at Bryant Park and the tour delves into the vast history, architecture and theatre of Times Square otherwise known as The Crossroads of the World. Stops on the tour include The New York Public Library, The Palace Theatre and The Astor hotel.  The tour is $15 per adult.

Charlotte writes for new travel site Simonseeks a community of travel experts, enthusiasts and celebrities sharing their tips on the best places to eat sleep and visit.

Christmas 2010 in New York City

by NYJ Team

This post has been written by a guest writer – Charlotte

Every year New York City is transformed into a winter wonderland, the freezing temperatures and often snow fall only add to the magic of this festive time of year, as long as you’re wrapped up that is. So get your scarf’s and gloves at the ready to explore some of the best New York has to offer at this enchanting time of year.

Window Displays
During the festive season New York’s biggest and most famous department stores decorate their windows with the most elaborate displays. Each year Macy’s bases theirs upon scenes from Miracle on 34th Street, the iconic Christmas movie set in the store itself, ideal for children or even the big kid in all of us. In 2009 the 2nd of the two window displays was based upon Letters to Santa where your own letters could be sent to the North Pole, along with colourful displays of letters from children all over the world. Barney’s window displays are the height of everything chic with a touch of humour thrown in, perfect for the fashionista out there; the displays are usually unveiled in late November and stay until the New Year. If you’re concerned you may miss out on some of the best displays, a walking tour is available covering approximately 2 miles of prime window display area and lasting around an hour and a half – obviously not including any time spent shopping after being drawn in by the beautifully enticing displays.

Rockefeller Center
The first thing I think of when I think of Christmas in New York is the tree at the Rockefeller Center, a worldwide symbol synonymous with the festive season in the Big Apple. The tree, a perfect 84 foot Norway Spruce chosen from a selection of thousands, will have its 30,000 lights and Swarovski crystal star top switched on to tens of thousands of spectators and the millions watching at home on Tuesday 30th November 2010. The switch-on is accompanied by musical performances from current artists with the ceremony itself running from 7pm to 9pm. If you aren’t lucky enough to be there to watch the switch-on, the tree will be illuminated until 2nd January 2011 daily from 5:30am to 11:30pm daily and for 24 hours over Christmas Day.

Ice Skating in Central Park
One of the most romantic and picturesque ways to spend an evening in the city over the holidays has to be Ice Skating in Central Park. The Manhattan skyline provides the perfect back drop to a truly enchanting winter activity. The first of 2 ice rinks in the park, the famous 30,000 square foot Wollman Rink, situated on the East side of the park and very close to Central Park Zoo, opening to the public in 1950, has since become a holiday tradition for many of all ages and abilities enjoying skating with a back drop of both trees and parkland and towering skyscrapers. At night fall the twinkling lights of the nearby buildings make the experience all the more romantic. And for those feeling the cold the nearby 8,000-square ft. skate house and heated tent provide an ideal place for people to warm up with a hot drink. The Lasker Rink, located in the Northern area of the park, a swimming pool during the summer months is transformed into an ice rink for the winter and is host to many ice hockey events.

Meeting Santa
If you’re visiting the city with children, there is surely no more magical way to spend the day than a visit to see Santa. And he certainly is a busy man, with many of the top attractions offering you the chance to meet St. Nick himself. Macy’s Santaland is open daily from 9am to 9pm from 25th November 2010 up until Christmas Eve, admission is free and the digital photographs of your children meeting Santa are available to purchase. For the children firmly on the nice list this year, parents can treat then to breakfast with Santa at the Rockefeller Center. The experience includes a family breakfast at the Rock Center Cafe, a visit from Santa and his Elves, a gift for each child and a VIP skating session on the famous Rockefeller Ice Rink. Meeting Santa is a magical and fantastic experience for any child although explaining why the main man isn’t in the North Pole is something I’ll leave up to you!

Christmas Cottage
After a memorable trip to New York, a keep-sake to associate with your time there is often bought, and what better way to remember a Christmas trip to the city than with a Christmas decoration bought from The Christmas Cottage. The store, located between 55th and 56th Street, is the oldest Christmas shop in New York City, selling designer themed trees and unique New York inspired decorations all year round since 1985. The decorations, ranging from glittery baubles adorned with Manhattans skyline to fascinating snow globes are sure to provide the owner with not only a vast choice of souvenirs but also the perfect gift for many of their family are friends keen to own their own part of Christmas in the city that never sleeps.

Charlotte writes for new travel site and if you are looking to visit New York this Christmas, you might want to also look at the top rated recommended New York hotels on Simonseeks, where you can find inspirational travel guides and expert advice.

November 7, 2010  |  Posted in: Uncategorized  |  Comments Closed

I LOVE NEW YORK unveils 4 new short films

by NYJ Team

I LOVE NEW YORK recently unveiled four new short films to promote tourism for New York State. In partnership with ProMotion Pictures, New York State’s iconic tourism campaign worked with teams of students at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Graduate School of Film to create the films. The project had two goals: to support the arts in New York in recognition of the 50th anniversary of state funding for the arts and to create unique, branded entertainment for New York State tourism.

Each team was tasked with creating a short film that entertained the viewer and highlighted New York State’s various assets. Resulting were four pieces, each demonstrating another reason to love New York:

Crush – Highlighting the Greater Niagara and Chautauqua-Allegheny regions 

Nuts for New York – Highlighting Central New York, The Catskills, Hudson Valley, Finger Lakes, The Adirondacks, New York City and Long Island regions 

Nation in Crisis – Highlighting Greater Niagara, Capital-Saratoga and Finger Lakes regions 

Love In NY – A series of vignettes, highlighting Greater Niagara, Long Island, and New York City regions

As part of a larger partnership between JetBlue and the State of New York, the films will be shown on JetBlue’s in-flight seatback program. I LOVE NEW YORK will also be working with NYSCA to hold free public screenings at local art institutions statewide, film festivals (most recently, Syracuse International Film Festival) and may enter the films into the student category at upcoming film festivals for 2011.

The films will live on and can also be seen on I LOVE NEW YORK’S Facebook and Youtube pages. This week, I LOVE NEW YORK is encouraging everyone to check out the films and vote for your favorite by “liking” it on Facebook.