March NYC events + Top online travel forums (03/16)

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. First of all, some very important information:

There are multiple websites, disappearing slots and even attempts to game the system. Here’s our guide to what you have to do to get a dose in your arm.


For March we are going to try a different format – “Top 10 Corona Culture” – updated info and video especially suited to these difficult times OR NYC related visual info (Instagram and YouTube) OR all the NYC news you need to start your day.

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

> Frommer’s Community Forums Not as active as some other forums, but archived topics can be helpful. Search by destinations, trip ideas, tips&tools. 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 much won’t be of 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, Instagram and Twitter world may be helpful too.

We hope you enjoy this change of pace, then please return here March 1, and every day for our daily, hot off the presses event guide with “Only the Best” NYCity event info. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

These special interest NYC links should be helpful, too.

The best things to do in NYC this week TONY

“If you’re looking for the best things to do in NYC this week or even today, there are tons of fun options (so long as you can social distance and wear a mask). Start by checking out the Met Musem’s new Goya exhibit or taking a meditative sound walk at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Then, catch a free performance of Romeo + Juliet in a storefront.” Here are just a few:

m. Black Seed Pizza
News Eating

Having secured their place among the top bagel shops in NYC, Black Seed Bagels is now venturing into making another iconic food—pizza. Black Seed Pizza, a culinary collab with chef Bobby Hellen (formerly of GG’s), launched on February 11 at Black Seed’s East Village location (176 First Avenue) with five different Sicilian-style pan pizzas: cheese, tomato, and white, alongside signature pies including a Green Pie and Bob’s Pie. Pizzas are available in two sizes: square (12” x 12”, which feeds two to three people) for $21-28 and round (9” diameter, which feeds one person) for $12-15 . The organic Hudson Valley dough, which is also offered in a gluten-free option, made with 100-year-old sourdough starter is fermented for 36 hours before it’s baked. The sauce comes from organic Bianco DiNapoli San Marzano-style tomatoes from California. All of it is baked in a wood-fired oven.

n. Spotlight on Orchids at NYBG
Things to do New York Botanical Garden, The Bronx Until Apr 4 2021

The New York Botanical Garden is forgoing its Orchid Show this year but is doing a limited Spotlight on Orchids across select galleries of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, including intimate displays of orchids in brilliant white and striking colors set against the foliage of aroids, ferns, and bromeliads—planted as they might be found in nature and blending gracefully with their surroundings, NYBG says. You’ll get to discover unusual orchids and artful floral creations by Botanical Garden horticulturists that combine expressive orchids with rocks, tree trunks, vines, and other found materials.

NYBG’s Orchid Show will return in 2022. Until then, you can purchase a Garden Pass + Conservatory ticket, which includes access to the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory and outdoor gardens and collections.

o. The House Our Families Built
News Art

Art lovers will be delighted to know that a new moving art installation has landed on the New York scene less than a week ago. The House Our Families Built is an installation by Brooklyn-based artist Caledonia Curry (you probably know her as Swoon) that debuted last weekend at Brooklyn Bridge Park as part of a larger PBS initiative called “American Portrait.” The installation is a visually striking one: built on a 14-foot box truck, the diorama-style outdoor sculpture features pantings, cutouts and some live performances that dissect “the legacy of ancestral histories—whether through traditions, trauma or repeated narratives—and the ways in which they inform how we understand and talk about ourselves.” Swoon enlisted the help of her longtime collaborator Jeff Stark to come up with the work, which features stories found within the PBS American Portrait archives. Specifically, passerby can expect 15-minute live performances that “transition through emotions from humor to fear, tenderness to confrontation, encouraging people to ask where they’ve come from and what they can leave behind,” according to the installation’s official website. Folks walking by the installation while a live performance isn’t in session will instead be treated to an audio of the happening. The roving exhibit will take up residence at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park this weekend (February 6-7), followed by a stint in Flushing Meadows Corona Park on February 13 and 14, eventually landing on the North Plaza of Union Square at 17th Street in Manhattan on February 21.

p. The Metropolitan Opera streams
News Theater & Performance

The Metropolitan Opera has closed its doors though at least September 2021, but the great New York opera house continues to lift the spirits of opera lovers around the world with free nightly streams of complete productions from its archives. Most of the offerings were originally recorded with multiple cameras in high definition to be shown in movie theaters as part of the company’s popular Live in HD series.

Each opera goes live on the Met’s website at 7:30pm EST (12:30am GMT) and remains there until 6:30pm EST the next evening. The operas can also be viewed with the Met Opera on Demand app on various devices. Click through for a full schedule for upcoming weeks of the Met’s streaming series. In addition to these free nightly operas, the Met now also offers pay-per-view virtual concerts on select Saturdays at 1pm EST. The schedule for January and February currently includes performances by Piotr Beczała and Sondra Radvanovsky, Anna Netrebko and Sonya Yoncheva. The concerts cost $20 and remain viewable for two weeks after their live premieres.

q. Augmented reality versions of Met masterpieces
News Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) just launched a new interactive virtual art exhibit in partnership with Verizon featuring augmented reality versions of some of the most iconic masterpieces to ever be displayed at the museum. In total, The Met Unframed features a dozen one-of-a-kind digitally rendered galleries and almost 50 works of art from across the museum’s collection. “At a time when access to one of the world’s greatest art collections is limited, [this experience] brings a creatively reimagined Met experience to people wherever they are,” reads the destination’s official press release. “Visitors” will first be treated to an intricately detailed rendering of the Met’s famous Great Hall and will then be able to proceed to admiring works that include Jackson Pollock’s Autumn Rhythm, Margareta Haverman’s Vase of Flowers, Vincent Van Gogh’s Wheatfield with Cypresses and Rembrandt van Rijn’s Self Portrait, among others.

r. Winter Village at Westlight
News Eating

The William Vale’s new Winter Village at Westlight is a seasonal pop-up is located on the hotel’s 23rd floor outdoor rooftop and features private heated chalets surrounding their rooftop ice skating rink, Vale Rink. It’s perfect for a cozy night out. Each chalet is available to book for 90 minutes with a $45 fee for small chalets (parties of 2) and a $75 fee for large chalets (parties of 3–6). Inside, you can enjoy items from Westlight’s a la carte menu as well as an Alpine-style fondue with fingerling potatoes, sourdough bread, gherkins, apples and endives for $30. (Something else to enjoy? Those stunning views of the Manhattan skyline twinkling in the distance.) Seasonal cocktails from Andrew Carmellini’s NoHo Hospitality are also served at the rinkside hideaways, including the Frostbite (Glenlivet, Lillet Blanc, Banana, Walnut, Honey) and the Snowbird (Mount Gay Black Barrel, Aperol, Lime, Coconut.) To round out the hygge ambiance, the sky-high chalets come stocked with soft pillows, flameless candles and—in a truly inspired touch—a spritz of Santal 26 by Le Labo. Now that’s an off-menu item we can get behind.

s. Queens Museum exhibitions
Museums Art and design Queens

Head to the Queens Museum to check out newly extended exhibitions and permanent showcases like the Panorama, World’s Fair Collection, and The Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass as well as the following exhibits:

Bruce Davidson: Outsider on the Inside (through February 28, 2021): See more than a hundred photographs by legendary Magnum Photos member and Henri Cartier-Bresson mentee, Bruce Davidson. Ranging from study prints to rare vintage items, the exhibited works showcase Davidson’s singular ability to chronicle unmediated instances of candor and emotion activated by New York urban space.

Ulrike Müller and Amy Zion: The Conference of the Animals (through January 31, 2021): The Conference of the Animals consists of a mural by artist Ulrike Müller and an exhibition of children’s drawings by independent curator Amy Zion. This project takes its title from German writer Erich Kästner’s children’s book “The Animal’s Conference” (1949) written in the aftermath of World War II. The story is a political satire about a group of animals who, frustrated by the inefficacy of human international conferences, convene to save the planet.

After the Plaster Foundation, or, ‘Where can we live? (through February 28, 2021): 12 artists and artist groups with roots in New York City ask critical questions about home, property, and the Earth, and who has access to these things under capitalism.

Ridgewood Reservoir for the 21st Century (through July 30, 2021): In 1858, The Ridgewood Reservoir was built on the Brooklyn-Queens border to hold the freshwater supply for the once independent City of Brooklyn. Ridgewood Reservoir for the 21st Century traces the 160-year transformation of the site from the construction of its three water basins to its invaluable role today as a 50-acre open space in Highland Park, a green oasis allowing for close encounters with nature.

Many more things to do this week in NYC right HERE at Time Out New York


The Macy’s Flower Show is back and better than ever this year – TONY

In Pictures: See the Highlights of the Frick Collection’s Suave Takeover of the Old Whitney Museum Building | Artnet News

Explore the All-New Moynihan Train Hall with Penn Station Expert, Justin Rivers – Untapped New York

Top NYC Restaurant Meals of 2020 – Eater NY

13 Of The Most Beautiful Subway Stations In New York City – Secretnyc

These Three Tech Companies Are Locked in a Bitter Battle to Capture Your Wallet With the World’s Best Immersive Van Gogh Experience –

28 Amazing Art Exhibits Coming To New York City Between 2020 & 2021 – Secretnyc

Outdoor dining should be a permanent exercise in NYC – TONY

NYC Isn’t Dead: 10 Reasons Why There’s Still So Much to Love About NYC – Thrillist

10 Extraordinary Places You Won’t Believe Are In New York City – Secretnyc

9 New Public Art Installations in NYC March 2021 – Untapped New York

Where to Find Things From All 50 States in NYC – TONY



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