Pre Covid-19 we searched the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening, primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you didn’t have to.
We made it as easy as 1-2-3.
Covid-19 has required some changes for the time being.
For the month of July we are going to try a different format – on some days we will go visual and offer a selection of the very best NYCity Instagram photos or YouTube videos. Some days you will find “the Nifty Nine”, all the NYC news you need to start your day, or the Top Online Travel Forums with NYC info. On other days we will offer “Corona Culture,” updated info and video especially suited to these difficult times.
We hope you will come back often to see what’s cooking here.
Today it’s 6 Top Online Travel Forums.
Traditional travel guides and blogs, whether online or in paper format, give you a lot of content but still have their limitations. Chances are you’ll have specific questions and concerns that they didn’t cover.
Online travel forums (the original social media) are one of the best ways to find information you can’t find elsewhere, and to find answers to specific questions. These online communities of travelers are ready and willing to offer their insights and first-hand knowledge.
Which are the best travel forums – the forums with many informed and active members who will answer your questions promptly and accurately? with moderators who will ensure that discussions stay relevant and civil?
Here are my six favorites:
> Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree
An old timer (since 1996) – you can search by destination or interest, search for a travel buddy or just have a chat. 7.1M results for “everything ever.”
Search here for New York City
> Trip Advisor’s Travel Board
Their motto: ”Get the truth.Then go” Search by destination or interest. The New York City Travel Forum has 189K topics and the sidebar “Top questions about New York City” is very helpful.
Search here for New York City
> Fodor’s Travel Talk Forums
This is a big one with 2.1M posts for the USA and 3.9M posts for Europe and can be difficult to find what you are looking for. In order to use all the features of the forum, you will need to register.
Search here for New York City
> Flyer Talk Forums
Been around a long time. Heavy, of course, on air travel and airports. But the destinations section has a New York City forum with many posts. Unfortunately, browsing through the threads is time consuming, and the search engine is not very helpful.
Search here for New York City
> Rick Steve’s Travel Forum
This is a Euro-centric Forum, so it won’t be much help for NYCity. But Rick Steves and his travelers have so much good information on the site, including travel technology, I just had to list it. Be sure to use it when you travel to Europe.
Search here for technology tips
Of course, your FaceBook friends and Twitter world may be helpful too.
We hope you enjoy this change of pace, then please return here August 1, and every day for our daily, hot off the presses event guide with “Only the Best” NYCity event info.
Lower Manhattan – Did you know?
New York City, a city of neighborhoods, is filled with sights that every visitor should see. No neighborhood has more spectacular sights than Lower Manhattan. Today’s feature:
“Governors Island is a former military outpost—it played a role in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, and the Coast Guard used it until the mid-1990s. Today the 172-acre island has blossomed into a recreational oasis just off the Lower Manhattan shore. A free seven-minute ferry ride brings fun-seekers to an idyllic setting where they can cycle (with their own wheels or a rented pair from Bike and Roll), picnic with a great view or enjoy free programming including art exhibitions, concerts and sporting events. The Hills, a topographic installation on the island, comprises four mounds; each offers incredible views of Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. Meanwhile, much of the island’s military architecture lives on as the Governors Island National Monument. Visit govisland.com for more information.” (nycgo.com)
Now how about some other useful information during these trying times.
WFUV-FM 90.7 is my fave local radio station. Noncommercial, member-supported with a format of adult album alternative music, WFUV is doing it’s best to keep us connected to our music with a comprehensive, updated list of live music online.
WFUV Live Online (July 23 -July 29)
NYC-Arts Top Five Virtual Picks: July 24 – 30
Interesting. Unusual. Uniquely NYC. Highlights of this week’s top virtual events include Flushing Town Hall at Home, PTAMD’s Dancemaker, Art on the Grid and more. Get the NYC-ARTS Top Five in your inbox every Friday and follow @NYC_ARTS on Instagram or @NYCARTS on Twitter to stay abreast of events as they happen.
Whether you need a work-from-home break or are looking for ways to connect with loved ones, “Encores! Archives Project” is your song-a-day video series on social media, curated by Encores! Artistic Director Jack Viertel. The show must go on…online that is, and NYCC wants to make sure you can still reminisce about your favorite musical, sing along to a Stephen Sondheim tune in your PJs, and even rediscover a forgotten gem from Rodgers & Hart …
“Art on the Grid” is a multi-platform exhibition of new work by a group of 50 New York-based, emerging artists. The exhibition was conceived in the spring of 2020 in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As it developed, the parallel epidemic of systemic racism came into sharp and painful focus. Both crises now set the backdrop for the exhibition. The city, country, and world will emerge changed by these events, and the exhibition’s focus on …
Flushing Town Hall continues to entertain and engage with its virtual series, “Flushing Town Hall At Home!” Which includes a twice-weekly FTH at Home: Facebook Watch Party Live!, an FTH at Home: Zoom Community Hang, and a daily activity for families through FTH at Home: Global Arts for Global Kids.Every Tuesday and Friday at 7:00 PM, the cultural organization’s FTH at Home: Facebook Watch Party Live! stream a prior live performances that were held at the venue. Viewers can tune …
The Academy Award-nominated documentary “Dancemaker” is streaming on PTAMD’s website and Youtube channels. Other historic and contemporary repertory and footage never shared before will follow. The Taylor Company is partnering with Jacob Jonas and the dance community at large on #adigitaldance project. On Mondays and Fridays, a “task” is issued to encourage movement while we are all socially distancing: http://jacobjonas.com/adigitaldance/.
Through an initiative called “New Victory Arts Break,” New Victory Theater is inspiring families to learn performing arts skills from the comfort of their own home. A free online series, each week explores a particular art form and invites kids and parents to incorporate the arts into their homeschool learning through a series of videos and instructions. Featuring demonstrations by New Victory Teaching Artists, New Victory Arts Break is also a part of the theater’s …
In the age of Covid-19 this info from City Guide is one of the best sources of info on What’s Happening, even if some are only available in your home, and not in your favorite venue.
(7/20-7/26) New York City has entered Phase 4 of its cautious reopening and there’s more to do in NYC than there’s been since the mid-March lockdown. This detailed map of open restaurants shows nearly nine-thousand venues now serving; included in that number are 4,700 places where you can eat outside. One hundred and sixty-seven streets have been closed to traffic and opened to expanded outdoor dining plans. Read on for more reopenings and other things to do in NYC this week!
Photo: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS
Friday, July 24th will see the return of New York’s zoos—the Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, and the most famous of all, the Bronx Zoo. If you want to visit, you’ll need to get your ticket in advance (no tickets will be sold at the gates). A touchless entry will let you in, but you must have a face covering, and follow spacing markers to ensure social distancing. Capacity will be limited so make sure you reserve well in advance. bronxzoo.com
Photo: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS
Thousands of exotic aquatic creatures reside in naturalistic habitats beside the ocean on Brooklyn’s Coney Island at the New York Aquarium. The newest draw here is Ocean Wonders: Sharks!, which shows off 100 shark species, teeth bared for all to see. You can also expect sea turtles and cownose rays, in addition to a variety of fish, and even a touch tank. As of Friday, July 24th, the aquarium is back open, although you must book a ticket for a specific date of arrival in advance. Face coverings and social distancing will be required; the 4-D Theater is temporarily closed and there will be limited seating at the Aquatheater. Visit nyaquarium.com/today to see daily available exhibits and amenities. 602 Surf Ave., 718-265-FISH, nyaquarium.com
Governors Island, a short ferry ride from Brooklyn or downtown Manhattan, is New York’s summer playground. A former strategic battle site in the Revolutionary War, the island now hosts visitors during the warm months for outdoor activities. After several weeks of coronavirus shut down, the island is back open for visitors as of Wednesday, July 15th. Hours will be 10am-6pm on the weekdays, extended to 7pm on the weekends. Manhattan ferries run daily from the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South St. There will be Brooklyn access as well, leaving from Atlantic Basin in Red Hook, although they’ll be available on the weekends only. (A third way of travel will be a dedicated weekend shuttle from Wall Street/Pier 11 that will run roughly every 30 minutes beginning July 18, ferry.nyc.) Social distancing should be observed on all ferries and the island, with face coverings required for travel. govisland.org
The west side’s beloved elevated park, The High Line, will reopen on Thursday, July 16th. To accommodate our new normal, capacity at the park will be greatly reduced. Free timed-entry tickets are opened every two weeks on Mondays. A limited number of walk-up passes will also be available at the entrance, but advance planning is recommended. Traffic will only flow in one direction, starting at Gansevoort Street. All visitors must enter at the southern end of the High Line, at Gansevoort Street and Washington Street, and move northwards. In this first reopening phase, the High Line will be open only to 23rd Street. Citywide safety protocols will also apply here, including the requirement of wearing a mask or face covering and maintaining 6-foot social distancing. thehighline.org
As of Thursday, July 16th, lobster boat rides are back! The North River Lobster Company is NYC’s only floating lobster shack and this week it returns to summer cruising form. You’ll find all kinds of rolls (see above), from the classic signature to specialty rolls like the Lower East Side everything bagel option. There’s also clam chowder, a full raw bar, and sangria, frozé, buckets of cold beer, and fishbowl cocktails to match. For safety, the boat will be thoroughly cleaned multiple times a day, all staff and guests will wear face coverings, and admission will be at half capacity to ensure social distancing. Departures from Pier 81 will run 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, 7pm, and 9pm, every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. northriverlobsterco.com
Rockefeller Center is back this week as well, with a return of retail shopping and great open-air dining courtesy of Summer at The Rink. The world-famous skate spot has shifted to warm weather duty, with oversized tables making social distancing easy. Enjoy decadent summer bites and specialty drinks to-go from favorites like Rainbow Room, Alidoro, City Winery, and Ethiopian standout Makina. rockefellercenter.com
Monday-Friday, 11:30am-3pm (The Rink) | See the menu
Monday-Friday, 11am-3pm (The Rink) | See the menu
Monday-Friday, 1pm-9pm (North Plaza)
Monday-Sunday, 11am-7pm (North Plaza) | See the menu
Although the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island remain temporarily closed, Statue Cruises is once again out and about in New York Harbor. Sixty-minute tours, complete with history and stunning views, can now be booked, with a focus on safety. Tours run four times daily out of the Battery Park departure point in Lower Manhattan at 10am, 11:30am, 1pm, and 2:30pm. These tours will continue until Liberty Island and Ellis Island reopen (Statue Cruises is the exclusive provider of ferry service for the National Park Service to the two landmarks). Tickets are $26/adult, $19/seniors, $14/child and free for children three years and under. Tickets may be purchased in advance (strongly encouraged) from the Statue Cruises website or at Gangway 5 in Battery Park. statuecruises.com
NEW: STREET FEAST
The Village Alliance is partnering with the New York City Department of Transportation to bring Street Feast: 8th Street and Street Feast: St. Marks Place starting this Friday. Dozens of small-scale downtown venues will be serving open air bites and more on West 8th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues and St. Marks Place between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. These stretches will be closed to traffic Fridays at 5p-11pm and Saturdays noon-11pm. Street Feast will run through Saturday, September 5th.
Outdoor live shows and open mics are back on at favorite Astoria performance venue Q.E.D. Enjoy it all safely and socially distant in the back yard, complete with frozen margaritas and frosé to stay or to go. Hours Friday 5-10pm, Saturday noon-10pm, and Sunday noon-5pm. qedastoria.com
PIANO IN BRYANT PARK
One of Bryant Park’s most popular programs, “Piano in Bryant Park,” is back again. Audiences are encouraged to wear masks and practice social distancing while seated in the park’s iconic moveable bistro chairs. Piano in Bryant Park, which showcases the finest ragtime, stride, and jazz pianists, takes place Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 12:30 to 2:30pm through August. bryantpark.org/programs/piano
The Metropolitan Opera is streaming operas FREE nightly.
The New York Public Library provides access to more than 300,000 FREE e-books and e-audio books.
The New York City Ballet presents a spring digital season.
Virtual programming will keep you connected to the York Theatre Company.
One World Observatory has made One World Explorer, the attraction’s Digital Skyline Guide, available for remote watching. Virtual helicopter tours of the city’s most iconic sites are available now.
The Top of the Rock launches a brief virtual tour on YouTube.
Discover the best of New York, from hidden gems to iconic landmarks, through The New York Landmarks Conservancy’s “Tourist in your own Town” Video Series.
You can take a virtual tour of the Tibetan Buddhist Shrine Room at the Rubin Museum of Art. (You can find two hours of meditative chanting as well, if you’re searching out some respite.) The Rubin has also, for the first time, launched a digital assemblage of more than 300 items from the museum’s collection.
VIRTUAL TALKS, LECTURES, AND EVENTS
Thought Gallery has hundreds of livestream talks, lectures, performances, and more. Check out sessions with celebs, live concerts, and opportunities to learn the latest on everything from science to philosophy to social justice.
“WHY I LOVE NYC” PROFILES
Conrad New York Downtown has launched a series of profiles of New Yorkers, including Bedside Reading New York authors. The new digital series is called “Why I Love NYC” and includes nearly 20 real testimonials from New Yorkers on why the city is the greatest place to live or visit. Interspersed between the interviews, the hotel features videos of iconic landmarks, neighborhoods, and hidden gems from around the city. The highlight videos appear on the hotel’s Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, while the interviews are featured on LinkedIn in addition to the other three platforms. Interviews feature select Bedside Reading Authors, including Susan Silver, Lee Mathew Goldberg, Seymour Ubell, Kim Akhtar, and Sweta Vikram. instagram.com/p/CCUivePFjWl/
STAY HOME FOR A BIT LONGER – MASK UP AND STAY SAFE.