Tag: New York (page 1 of 2)

What You Didn’t Know About Prospect Park

what you didn't know about prospect park by ari kellenAlthough it isn’t as well-known as Central Park, as Brooklyn’s largest park, it’s got plenty to offer.  While you’re out exploring Prospect Park, you might want to know some trivia so you can look out for historical details you may have otherwise forgotten.  I recently read an article in TimeOut that shared some facts about the park that you may not have known.  They might surprise you:

It use to be a popular spot for farm animals: After Prospect Park first opened in 1867, it was a popular hangout spot for local livestock.  While they weren’t allowed on the land, it was a tough law to enforce, and dozens of stray farm animals were regularly found on the land.  

It was built on a battle site: During the American Revolution, the land on what is now Prospect Park was part of the Battle of Long Island, also known as the Battle of Brooklyn.  It marked a valiant stand by the soldiers of the 1st Maryland Regiment, who although vastly outnumbered by the British were able to cover for George Washington while the rest of the army retreated.  

It used to have a full replica of Mount Vernon: To commemorate George Washington’s 200th birthday, Robert Moses erected a full replica of his home.  Sadly, however, it was torn down after just two years.  

It was part of an Indian trail: In the 17th century and earlier, Brooklyn was home to Lenape Indians, who used a well-worn trail that later became the best route of travel between the Dutch towns of Brooklyn and Flatbush.  It even played a part in the Battle of Brooklyn!  When Prospect Park was established, it became East Drive.  

It’s the final resting place of some 2,000 people: Since at least the 1840s, Prospect Park served as a Quaker cemetery.  Since Quakers rejected headstones as a form of vanity, many of these graves were unmarked.  If you’re curious, you can always bring a ouija board to the park at night!

It was made by people paid $1.70 a day: The construction workers who helped build the park, mostly poor Irish immigrants, were paid on a daily salary that today couldn’t even buy a Starbucks coffee.  It’s hard to adjust for inflation (inflation didn’t start being properly recorded until 1913), this wasn’t a big sum by any means.  

It used to host “ice baseball”: In the 19th century, Prospect Park’s frozen lake hosted a unique winter game known as “ice baseball”.  It was much like regular baseball, except it was done with ice skates and a slightly different ball.  It attracted thousands of spectators and players from as far away at Baltimore.  

It has an historic statue of Lincoln: After Lincoln’s assassination, Henry Kirke Brown created a series of large bronze statues of the late President.  The one in Prospect Park was the first one to be dedicated, so it holds the honor of being the Union’s first Abraham Lincoln statue.  

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Queens

10 Things You didn't know about queens by Ari KellenWhen asked what the “hot” borough is, most New Yorkers will tell you it’s either Manhattan or Brooklyn.  And there’s plenty of great stuff to do in both, without a doubt.  But that’s not to discredit their eastern neighbor, Queens.  In a city as unique as New York, Queens still stands out.  It might not boast the brunches of neighboring boroughs, but it’s still got a whole lot to offer, and is rich in history.  Here are some facts you might not know about Queens:

It’s really big: With 2.3 million residents, Queens has just 400,000 less people than Chicago.  If it seceded from the rest of New York, it would be the fourth largest city in the US; the country’s current fourth-largest city, Houston, is a few thousand residents behind.  

It’s actually named after a Queen: Like many places in Colonial America, Queens is named after a British monarch: Catherine of Braganza, the Portuguese wife of Charles II.  When the British took the area from the Dutch in the 1660s, the region got some new anglophile names: “Nieuw Amsterdam” became “New York” in honor of the reigning monarch’s brother, the Duke of York, while the neighboring counties were renamed “Kings” and “Queens” in honor of the reigning monarchs.

It’s the final resting place of Harry Houdini: Located a good distance from any subway line, Machpaleh Jewish cemetery is fairly nondescript.  However, it’s the site of Houdini’s grave, a popular mecca for Halloween revelers and aspiring magicians.  It’s fastidiously looked after by The Society of American Magicians and the Houdini Museum in Scranton.  

The Rockaways is New York’s premier surfing spot: Located at the very end of the A train, the Rockaways is arguably New York’s best beach.  Hurricane Sandy hit it hard, but it’s been making a major comeback, and its beach is home to some great waves.  Even without a board, it’s well worth the trip.

It’s the most diverse neighborhood in the world: New York’s always been a diverse place; when it was a remote trading post with only 400 people living there, there were 18 different languages.  But Queens brings that to a whole new level; the 2000 Census counted 138 languages spoken in the borough, yet some experts estimate that number to be around 800.  Furthermore, a lot of these languages can’t be heard anywhere else in the world.  

The food is amazing: The brunch spots in Queens might not be as well-known as Brooklyn’s or Manhattan’s, but that’s not to discredit the food scene in Queens.  The neighborhood’s ethnic diversity means that you can get a whole lot of delicious and authentic food you can’t find anywhere else in the city.

Some of the world’s best pianos are made in Astoria: Although New York was historically a center of manufacturing, that’s changed recently due to high taxes and expensive real estate.  Yet the piano company Steinway & Sons, founded in Astoria in 1853, is staying just where it is, and has been using the same factory for 100 years.  

It’s the site of a major film studio: Kaufman Astoria Studios is an historic movie studio, and home to New York’s only backlot.  Classic films and TV shows such as “Animal Crackers”, “Goodfellas” and “Sesame Street” have all been filmed there.  It’s also the home to New York’s Museum of the Moving Image, a great museum chronicling film history.

There’s an abandoned Civil War fort in Queens: In 1862, the government built a fort to watch over the ships entering and leaving New York Harbor.  Although Fort Totten Park never saw battle, it had a long history as a base and training station for the US Army.  Some of it remains a training ground for the army reserves, but the public part is a great park.   

It’s the hometown of a lot of big names: The Ramones, Simon & Garfunkel, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Cyndi Lauper, Tony Bennett, Nicki Minaj, 50 Cent and Louis Armstrong are just a few famous musicians who come from or have lived in Queens over the years.  

NYC New Year’s Resolutions (We’ll Never Keep)

NYC New year's resolutions by Ari KellenThis is the time of year to make New Year’s resolutions.  2016 has been a long and rough year, and now it’s time to focus on how we can all make 2017 better.  Yet the sad fact of New Year’s resolutions is that they’re almost always doomed to fail.  That gym membership you started in the start of the year?  Probably won’t make it past February.  Your desire to cook more?  After a couple failed dinners you’ll start eating Kraft mac and cheese and then be back to Seamless in a month.  There are many great temptations surrounding us in New York City, which make for great New Year’s resolutions that are astoundingly hard to follow.  I recently read an article that shared some of them, and a lot of them struck a chord with me:

Take less cabs and Ubers: It’s the coldest time of the year, and even if you live close to the subway, you probably can’t afford to live close enough to make your ride home after a night hanging out with your friend across town any bit convenient.  So it’s time to call an Uber.

Eat out less and cook more: New York has some of the best food in the world, and I hate to break it to you, but the meals you make at home, good as they are, probably don’t even make the top 50 list.  And you want to take advantage of living in New York, don’t you?

Keep a detailed track of my finances: Did you know that one out of nineteen New Yorkers is a millionaire?  You can join their ranks by keeping track of your finances; get a spreadsheet set up on Google docs, but after a while it becomes a chore, and you realize you aren’t actually listening to what it has to say, so what’s the point?

Be nicer to strangers: This one make sense, and nobody likes to be part of the whole “rude New Yorker” stereotype.  But when you’re having a long day, it’s right before dinner and you’re full-on hangry, that Midwestern couple who can’t swipe their subway card the right way just pushes you over the edge.  

Start a gym membership: This sounds good in theory, then you think of logistics.  You often have things to do after work, and by the time you get ready to gym, nine times out of ten you’re in no mood to do so.  You can of course hit the gym in the morning, but who wants to wake up a whole hour earlier?  That’s awful.

Call and visit home more often: Unless your family lives off the Metro North, visiting them is going to be tough.  And even if they do, it’s hard to find the time to visit with all of the crazy things happening in New York.

Explore outside your neighborhood: I love to explore outside of my neighborhood, but thinking of all the times I’ve tried to get my friends to go on New York City explorations with me, I know that I’m well in the minority.  Even if Ben’s Best does better pastrami than Katz’s, few friends will want to join you on the trek out to Rego Park.  

Wash your own clothes: Once you realize that you don’t have enough quarters for a full wash and dry, and the nearby ATM is one of those sketchy ones that charges fees, you’ll just pay somebody to do your laundry for you.

Eat healthier: What are some of the more popular (and delicious) food options in New York?  Names like pizza, bagels, pastrami and bottomless brunch will most likely come to mind.  You notice how none of those are healthy.  Going to Just Salad is a great idea, and they make great salads, but then you realize that the amount you spend on one salad can get you eight dollar slices.  

Stop drinking as much: Few people have cars in New York, meaning that you can drink all you want at company happy hour and not have to pay for a cab.  Sure, drinks are expensive when you break them down, but it’s such a major part of New York’s social culture that giving up drinking is easier said than done.  


Santacon & New York’s Heritage

Santacon & New York's Heritage by Ari KellenHalloween’s over, and that means it’s time to start thinking about the next big holiday coming up: Thanksgiving Christmas.  While many American Christmas traditions remain the same, new ones have started to catch on in recent years: Krampus has become popular for its dark absurdity, parents love the elf on the shelf because it’s a fun way to convince your kids to behave, and Santacon has taken off because it offers people an excuse to wander around the street drunk.  In this annual mass gathering, which originated in San Francisco, people dressed in Santa costumes go on a parade, often accompanied by copious amounts of alcohol.  With various bars sponsoring the event, it’s evolved into a messy city-wide bar crawl, which has particularly caught on in New York City.  

Many New Yorkers hate the event, and there’s plenty to hate about unruly drunks crowding up your city.  In the Free Williamsburg blog, one post wrote with palpable disdain about it starting off in their backyard this year.  Yet even if it didn’t originate in New York, and even if many New Yorkers wish it didn’t exist, Santacon is actually the most New York event possible.  As an event that attracts people from all sorts of backgrounds who dress up like Santa and drink to excess, it incorporates several major aspects of early New York’s culture.  Don’t believe me?  Let’s take a look at the early history of New York, or more appropriately New Amsterdam.  

Even as Santa Claus has become a symbol of American consumerism (his modern-day appearance actually owes much to Coca-Cola ads meant to sell soda in the winter months), it’s a tradition that goes far beyond that.  St. Nicholas as a Christmas tradition originates with the Dutch, who brought it over with them when they colonized New York in the early 17th century (the name “Santa Claus” is actually a corruption of the Dutch name for St. Nicholas, “Sinterklaas”).  At that time, the English settlers in New England didn’t celebrate Christmas, and while those further south in the Chesapeake did, it was more a giant feast than anything else, and St. Nicholas was nowhere to be found.  Even though the Netherlands lost control of “New Netherland” not even 40 years after founding it, the settlers they brought over remained, incorporating aspects of their culture that extend far beyond hard-to-pronounce subway stations.  Among other things, the Dutch gave us banking, sledding, donuts, easter eggs, cookies, coleslaw, the word “boss”, ice skating and Santa Claus.  

The 17th-century Netherlands was the center of a major trade network that extended from Indonesia to the Baltic to Brazil.  It was also one of the few places in Europe at that time to uphold religious freedom, which attracted people of various backgrounds from around the world.  While the New Amsterdam colony was Dutch, only half of the settlers were actually of Dutch origin, and within 20 years of its founding 18 different languages were spoken there.  New Amsterdam was also the only free port in the region, which attracted visitors and settlers from the Americas and beyond who wanted to avoid tariffs.  The only other places in the New World at that time to promise religious freedom were Maryland and Rhode Island, neither of which ever reached that level of diversity; Maryland was mostly just a place for wealthy English Catholics to practice their religion without being bothered, and Rhode Island primarily served as a dumping ground for New Englanders who didn’t fit in with the Puritans of Massachusetts and Connecticut.  

Yet as outstandingly cosmopolitan as it was, New Amsterdam was still just a fur trading post in a remote corner of the world.  The Dutch have always liked to drink, and there was little else to do to pass the time in the North American wilderness.  There was roughly one tavern for every 20 people in New Amsterdam, ensuring that anybody could get a drink.  The majority of court cases in New Amsterdam were related to drunkenness in one way or another, whether it had to do with simple public drunkenness or a booze-fueled brawl that turned into a sword fight (yes, those happened quite a bit).  Even one of the colony’s first men of the cloth, Everardus Bogardus, was described as being seldom sober, and only got the funds to build a new church for the colony by convincing the its richest citizens to pledge money and building materials while they were blackout drunk.  New York’s drinking culture has remained alive and well in the past 390 years, facilitated in the modern era by a subway system that lets New Yorkers get home after a bender without having to get behind the wheel.

Now that we’ve looked at New York’s historic Dutch legacy, let’s look at the modern Santacon.  This is an event where people from throughout the New York Metropolitan area and beyond descend upon the five boroughs.  As one of the only free ports in the Western Hemisphere, New Amsterdam had a long history of attracting a diverse array of visitors from just about everywhere in the world.  The people who attend Santacon dress up, as the name implies, in Santa suits, honoring a tradition that’s delighted New Yorkers big and small since the Dutch brought it over 390 years ago.  And when these revelers get drunk, they’re honoring one of the oldest aspects of New York’s culture: its drinking culture.  It can be easy to hate on Santacon, and many complaints against it are completely valid (nobody wants a horde of red-and-white-clad fratboys drunkenly disrupting their Saturdays).  Yet even as you hate on it, it’s important to not forget the legacy to which it unwittingly pays homage.

NYC’s Secret Places

NYC's Secret Places by Ari KellenThere’s no shortage of amazing things to see and do in New York City.  Most of these places are pretty out in the open, but plenty of other ones are hidden away, available only to those who are willing to look for them.  Here are a few of them, taken from an article I found online:

City Hall Station: If you’re riding the 6 subway downtown, don’t get off at the final stop (Brooklyn Bridge).  Rather, stay on the train, and you’ll pass through the now closed City Hall Station.  This small station is one of the most beautifully-designed in the city, with Guastavino tile vaults, skylights and Romanesque Revival architecture.  Very rarely, the New York Transit Museum offers free tours of the station, but you need to sign up quickly.

The Henry C. Frick bowling alley: Housed in the former home of millionaire Henry Clay Frick is one of the best European art museums in the city.  The cellar of the mansion is home to a private bowling alley that Frick added in 1914.  Unfortunately, getting to see it is nearly impossible if you aren’t a member of the museum.

NYPL book vault: Attached to the NYPL is a two-story, underground vault holding some of the rarest books in the library’s collection.  Although it isn’t open on a regular basis, it does host a handful of annual tours.

Harlem’s High Bridge: Built in the mid-19th century as an aqueduct, this once carried water from Westchester to Manhattan.  It now serves as an attraction for walkers and park-goers.  To get there, take the 1 train up to 168th and walk east to Highbridge Park.  

Rockefeller Center’s Rooftop Gardens: Hidden at the top of Rockefeller Center is a beautiful rooftop garden filled with well-tended flowers and a reflective pool and garden.  If you’ve got a lot of money lying around, you can rent the space for a private event.  

GCT “whispering spot”: In front of the famous Oyster Bar in Grand Central is an archway.  If two people stand at opposite ends of the arch, they can talk into the wall and have their partner hear what they’re saying on the other side.  

Roosevelt Island Smallpox Hospital Ruins: Crowded as New York is, there remain plenty of abandoned buildings, including this 19th-century building on Roosevelt Island.  Population density and a steady arrival of immigrants from Europe meant that New York suffered from smallpox for a long time, and the building served as a quarantine for those infected.  

Fragment of the Berlin Wall: Around the corner from the MoMA is a section of the Berlin Wall, specifically in the lobby of 520 Madison Ave.  This five-section wall is one of the largest sections still intact.  Although it’s inside a building, the lobby is open to the public, so come and visit.

Loew’s Theater: Although it was once a thriving theater in earlier years, Loew’s on Canal Street is now vacant, awaiting restoration.  It was one of the biggest movie theaters in the country when it opened in 1927, but fell into disuse in the 1960s.  Although it’s vacant, its designation as an official New York City Landmark means that it can’t be torn down.  Luckily, developers are in talks to get it renovated.  

Speakeasies: Although speakeasies are now obsolete after the repeal of Prohibition, that doesn’t make the gimmick of a hidden bar any less appealing.  In the past decade, a new wave of speakeasies, most of them cocktail-centric, have been springing up everywhere from Harlem to Brooklyn.  Their entrances are seldom marked, and you often need to know where to look if you want to find them, but they’re a whole lot of fun if you can.  

New York’s Best Museums (That Aren’t the Met)

The Met.  The Museum of Natural History.  The MoMA.  Those are all iconic New York City museums.  But what about those that are lesser-known?  Even if they don’t have the brand of the bigger names out there, these smaller museums, often devoted to niche subjects or local interests, are no less amazing.  I recently came across an article that mentioned a few of these off-beat museums.  Here are a couple of these:

The tenement museum

The Tenement Museum: In the early 20th century, over one million immigrants a year landed in New York City and were processed through Ellis Island.  Many immigrants stayed in New York, living in crowded tenement buildings.  The Tenement Museum in the Lower East Side exists in one of these former buildings, a living testament to the working-class culture that once characterized the region.  The museum offers tours and costumed actors, who teach visitors about the lives of these immigrants.

the noguchi museum

The Noguchi Museum: The 12 galleries of the Noguchi are dedicated to the life work of celebrated artist Isamu Noguchi, serving as a break from the chaos of New York.  Alluding to his Japanese heritage, Noguchi’s work captures the harmony of modern sculpture with natural elements.  It’s located in a part of Queens where there are plenty of other great museums, including the Socrates Sculpture Park, MoMA PS1 and the Museum of the Moving Image.  

Torah animal world

The Torah Animal World: Apart from sounding like the title of a Wes Anderson film, the Torah Animal World is the largest “Hasidic taxidermy museum” in the world.  It was built by a rabbi in his Brooklyn brownstone, it was meant to bring the stories of the Torah to life with an immersive real-life diorama.  In addition to ancient Jewish artifacts, the museum more famously features taxidermied specimens of over 350 different animals mentioned in the Torah and Talmud.  

museum of the american gangster

The Museum of the American Gangster: Thanks to Hollywood, the gangsters of the 20th century have captured the imagination of Americans.  Yet the true story of organized crime in America, as told by this museum in the East Village, is a lot more complex and darker than what Martin Scorsese has shown us.  Visitors get a look at life for these criminals in Prohibition, with help from photos, newspapers and original documents from that time period.  


Museum of Mathematics: Even if you hate math (and there are plenty of people out there who do), this place makes it fun.  Here, interactive exhibits make the formulas you learned in school suddenly come to life.  It’s as much of a visual experience as it is educational, and might just make you enjoy math in a way your tenth grade algebra teacher couldn’t.  

NYC fire museum

New York City Fire Museum: New York’s fire department is arguably the most famous in the world, and this museum is dedicated to its history.  It offers an in-depth look at how New York’s fire department has evolved over the years since its beginnings in the colonial era.  It boasts a collection of various artifacts, including alarms, tools and vehicles from every era.  They also boast a memorial dedicated to the 343 members of the FDNY who died on 9/11.  

morbid anatomy museum

The Morbid Anatomy Museum: Like the Torah Animal World, this one’s a little out there.  The main theme here is centered around death, funeral ceremonies and medicine; the perfect place for anybody interested in the morbid details of daily life and the cultural practices around death.

Hamilton grange national memorial

Hamilton Grange National Memorial: Can’t get tickets to see “Hamilton”?  That’s okay, you can still visit his house and see how he lived!  Before his death, the founding father built a home in what is now aptly named “Hamilton Heights”.  The home has been preserved over the years, and now serves as a museum to Hamilton’s legacy.

City Reliquary

The City Reliquary: A small non-profit museum, the City Reliquary serves as a reminder of New York’s history in a neighborhood that has undergone rapid and shameless gentrification.  With old souvenirs of the past, it offers a unique snapshot of the daily life of New Yorkers of the past.  It might be small, but this is a museum that has a whole lot to show off.  

NY transit museum

New York Transit Museum: For over 100 years now, New York’s metro system has connected all five boroughs to each other with a complex system of underground tunnels.  The MTA’s museum celebrates this heritage, commemorating the subway with educational exhibits, old artifacts and subway cars from various eras of New York history (including contemporary advertisements and subway maps).  

NYC and Wine

NYC is, among many things, the cultural hub of the United States. As a hotbed of artistic and creative energy, it’s no wonder that New York’s culinary achievements follow suit. But what enabled The City That Never Sleeps to become the wine capital of the Country? With sommeliers flown in from the world over, The Big Apple is the destination for an enterprising wine enthusiast.

Before the recession hit Las Vegas’ restaurant scene in 2008, it was the top spot for the discerning diner. Rivaling Manhattan for those looking for four-star cuisine, Vegas had been hit hard by the economy, and forced to shift their focus away from fine dining. With no competition to draw sommeliers away, New York reclaimed their position at the top of the list for dining destinations. Now, experts are turning down work overseas in London and Asia, once considered the opportunity of a lifetime, to stay in New York.

The expanded size of NYC restaurants, allowing for 150 seats as opposed to the traditional 50, was initially viewed as a recipe for failure. The increase in size was Ari Kellenprimarily considered a negative because it would detract from the personal, close-quarters dining experience expected of a four-star restaurant. However, the larger floor space allowed for room to be used more efficiently, and the employ of several wine stewards thanks to the ample resources afforded by the increase in guest capacity. The more wine enthusiasts enjoying a night out, the more opportunities for trained professionals to ensure their needs are met.

While wine is considered to be the cornerstone of a good meal, it can often lead to rather high prices when acquiring quality bottles en mass. The NYC sommeliers have taken this into account, and oftentimes vary their selection to run the gamut from top shelf brands to more affordable, but still quality bottles. While a sommeliers services are still valuable to the private collector looking to bolster their own collection, you can still enjoy a quality night out in New York that meets your refined taste.

Too Brave and Too Young

It’s rare that we find ourselves in the company of heroes. This year, freshly turned, has already witnessed an act of bravery. Last Thursday, in New York’s Lower East Side, an elevator malfunctioned. Swinging perilously above ground, dozens of floors in the air, 25-year-old Stephen Hewett-Brown made a choice to think of others rather than himself. Along his journey through 25 short years of life, Stephen found something many of us will go our whole lives without.

The problem made itself known late at night. Stephen, along with several other tenants were using the elevator as usual. Among them, Manuel Coronado, 23, was home visiting his grandmother. He, along with Erude Sanchez were waiting placidly until the car halted. Freezing along the cable, the doors opened and the car stuttered. There was little time, and the span between the occupied car and the rapidly closing exit seemed like an impassable gulf. Stephen Hewett-Brown’s reaction, made within the span of moments, showed just how caring this man was.

“Happy New Year, he said” Manuel Coronado translated for Erude Sanchez between sobs “Happy New Year, and pushed me out of the car.” The weight came down, crushing Stephen between the car and elevator shaft. Unable to move, unable to breath, Stephen plead with Manual to take Erude away, she didn’t need to watch him die. Though resistant at first, attempting several times to pull him free, Manuel was just one man.

Ari KellenWhen reached for comment, Stephen’s family was understandably distraught. Though his actions were heroic, his family is still left with an empty seat at the dinner table, and we can only hope that the lives he saved offer some solace. Stephen Hewett-Brown chose be a hero late one night, and sadly, paid the hero’s price.

A Cut Above: The Best Steak in NYC

A well-known and successful steakhouse is about to attempt its east coast debut in the biggest city in the east, New York. Mastro’s, a chain that started in Scottsdale, Arizona has enjoyed success in sunny California and is ready to expand to hungry parts of the country. With their sites set on one of the most competitive markets in the world, Mastro’s will have to compete with a number of other institutions. Steak staples like Morton’s, Del Friscos, Bobby Van’s, and Shula’s make up a fraction of the Michelin-rated competitioAri kellenn waiting for Mastro’s in NYC.

With unique interiors that differ from city to city, you can expect a new experience in each Mastro’s. New York’s decadent restaurant is filled with dark wood furniture and low lighting. Echoing the image of a 50’s New York City steakhouse, the calm and dark demeanor sets this location apart; proving Mastro’s understands how to feed the Big Apple. With a stylistic flair to set itself above the competition, how does Mastro’s meat measure up to the test? Are they serious business, or more sizzle than steak?

Each strip of beautifully cut steak comes from naturally raised, grass fed cows. Though this place is sure to cost a pretty penny, each bite is well worth the hit to your wallet and waistline. Starting at just over $50 and ending around $150, these steaks are for those who know what they want. Additionally, to keep your gorgeous steak company on the plate are sides cooked to perfection. Whether you prefer mashed potatoes with just the right amount of garlic or steamed vegetables, Mastro’s has you covered. For steak connoisseurs looking to taste some of the best in New York City, look no further than the charming Mastro’s for your next meal.

For more information, follow the link! 

The Hidden Bars of NYC

Everyone enjoys a good meal and something to drink. In the capital of what some would consider the greatest food city in the United States, you have more choice in the Big Apple than most. But what if you wanted something a little different from your average restaurant? What if you were looking for a piece of adventure with your meal? Below are some of the best places to get a drink that are hidden from the public eye. So the next time you’re in New York, look up one of these locations and you’ll surely enjoy yourself.

Lantern’s Keep: Dating back to the turn of the century, the Lantern’s Keep is the place to be for those looking to dive into times past. Tucked in the heart of the Iroquois hotel, this quaint cocktail bar is known to only the initiated. A small lantern on the facade of the building is all that marks its, and when the lantern is burning the bar is open. With over 40 unique cocktails designed for the discerning businessmen or businesswoman, anyone looking for a calm night on the town should surely follow the lantern.

No Name Bar: In keeping with its namesake, the No Name Bar is well-hidden behind a wall of burnt-wood. Nothing, not a sign nor a signal, denotes the location of this mysterious bar. If you’re looking for a drink, first you must find the door knocker in the shape of a dragon, and push. Inside you’ll be greeted by a thin, almost traincar like appearance. Small benches and tables line the walls of one of the few bars left in NYC to remain open until 4 am.

Sakagura: In the basement of a seemingly ordinary Midtown office building, Sakagura is waiting for you to come find it. Stepping into this bar willAri Kellen feel like going back into a Japanese village. The main body of the bar is meant to feel like you are sitting outside in an ancient Japanese village. Traditional food and drinks echoing the taste of the Edo period are available for any weary traveler looking to hang up their sword and relax.