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.
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 todayedies 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. 730
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. 673
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. 567
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. 702
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. 583
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. 571
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. 676
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. 571
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. 665
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. 694
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.
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 dйcor 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 dйcor 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. 666
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 Cafй. 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. 678
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. 697