Information about the semi-regular Big Adventures in New York City that are designed to discover some of the best kept secrets in the city while enjoying some quality time with new and old friends.

Places to Go

Thursday, February 26, 2015

How to give back in NYC? Try New York Cares

New York City is a tremendous city and those who have spent time in the Big Apple knows that the people are the heart and soul of this town. Despite the stereotype of the surly, rushed New Yorker, most people who live in the five boroughs are warm and generous with both their time and their money.

But what's the best way to give back? There are thousands of deserving good causes spread near and far. Most are amazing, some are a bit sketchy and only a few are the right fit.

The NYC Big Adventure recommends checking out New York Cares. The organization was founded by a group of friends in 1987 who wanted to take action against some of the endless social issues in New York City. Today, the organization engages 59,000 volunteers in service each year, helping 400,000 New Yorkers in need.

But what we really dig about New York Cares is their superior interactive website that offers an amazing selection of opportunities. A highly searchable listing system with features such as a map and filters provides details and clearly indicates the number of spots left. In our opinion, it make determining how to spend your time giving and contributing!

NY Cares doesn't get enough love and it is one of best for showcasing 1000s of volunteer opportunities in NYC. Make a difference today, yo!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Our New Favorite Map of NYC

The Big Adventure is often on the lookout for quality New York City memorabilia that we can hang on the wall in our home or office. They is so much cheap garbage out there (sorry, Times Square vendors) that we let out a little of yelp of excitement when we discovered this.

Are you familiar with those large MTA neighborhood maps that provide detail about a specific set of blocks? They can be spotted in  just about every subway station in the system. Now, the MTA has put several of them up for sale in their only Transit Museum store!

Station Size: Unframed 44 x 49 inches $115
These Neighborhood Print Maps are available as custom-made unframed prints as large as 44 inches by 49 inches - the same size that are found in subway stations! It looks like there are 68 different maps available from Astoria to Union Square. A giant map with great detail that would look great on our office wall...if we didn't work in an cubicle the size of phone booth.
Station Size: Unframed 44 x 49 inches $115
Station Size: Unframed 44 x 49 inches $115
Neighborhood Map Print
Neighborhood Map Print
Neighborhood Map Print
Neighborhood Map Print
Neighborhood Map Print

The bad news? They run about $115 per print. Ooof!

Buy your MTA Neighborhood Print Maps Here

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Big Dog Show - 10 Facts about The Westminster Kennel Club 139th Annual Puppy Parade

Happening right this very moment at Madison Square Garden are royal grand finals or some such of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. A NYC tradition for pups, owners, fans and Christopher Guest.The Big Adventure thought we would supply some quality trivia and facts about the show lifted straight from their own site -
    Astonish your friends, amaze assorted dog owners and astound strangers with the following information: 
    1. The Westminster Kennel Club was established in 1877, making it America's oldest organization dedicated to the sport of purebred dogs. 
    2. First held in 1877, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is America's second-longest continuously held sporting event, behind only the Kentucky Derby.
    3.  The dog show has outlasted three previous versions of Madison Square Garden, and is currently being staged in MSG IV.
    4. The first telecast of Westminster was in 1948, three years before "I Love Lucy" premiered.
    5. A portion of the proceeds from Westminster's first show in 1877 was donated to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) to establish a home for stray and disabled animals.
    6. The Empire State Building first honored Westminster by lighting its tower in the Westminster colors of purple and gold in 2004 and will do so again in 2011.
    7. There have been over 300,000 dogs entered in Westminster's 138 shows through 2013
    8. Through the 2010 show, there have been 1,673 judges who have officiated at least once at Westminster, some as many as 23 times, at Westminster.
    9. Two Best In Show winners, Norwich Terriers, had the same sire: 1994's Ch. Chidley's Willum the Conqueror and 1998's Ch. Fairewood Frolic were offspring (half brother/sister) of Ch. Royal Rock Don of Chidley. We don’t even know what any of that means.
    10. In 1884, The Westminster Kennel Club became the first member of the American Kennel Club.
    For what it's worth, The Sporting, Working, Terrier, and Best In Show competition is going to be televised live on USA Network from 8-11 PM ET

Friday, February 6, 2015

Exploring the rare Track Geometry Car of the NYC Subway

If you're a frequent strap-hanger on the NYC subway, then you might have been lucky enough to once get a glimpse of the elusive MTA's Track Geometry Car. Making only sporadic appearances, the train rarely emerges from the underground tunnels like a mythical mechanical beast. A sighting is usually spoken about only in hushed tones late at night at local bars.

Okay, we're exaggerating a bit, but The Track Geometry Car is arguably the most unique car among the rolling stock in the MTA's line up. Of the entire 6,500 plus subway cars, there is only one incredibly cool Track Geometry Car.

The train uses a crew of seven and an endless array of sophisticated tools such as the "Ultrasonic Rail Flaw Measuring System" to carefully measure the track's alignment, curvature, rail gauge, vertical gap and more. Each and every section of the 637-miles track is manually checked six times a year by a trained crew of mechanics, analysts, and engineers.

The train has one main purpose: spot track defects before they become dangerous. After all, some of these tracks are over 100 years old and endure the stress of hundreds of heavy trains each day. In the past, track inspection was painstakingly completed by track inspectors walking the tracks and visually inspecting every section of track.

If you find yourself standing on a NYC subway platform, keep your eyes peeled and you just might spot the Track Geometry Car!

Friday, January 23, 2015

The NYC Big Adventure Recommends: The Redhead Bar

Following up on our recent post regarding delicious Hot Chocolates throughout NYC, the Big Adventure highly recommends The Redhead bar and restaurant in the East Village at 13th Street & 1st Avenue. Come for the deliciousness of the Hot Chocolate Car Bomb, stay for Bacon Peanut Brittle (amazing and...unexpected), a full and unique dinner menu and friendly, fastidious bartenders.


Friday, January 9, 2015

Another great Free NYC attraction - The Museum at F.I.T.

So, cold, cold January has arrived but not the fun part of January. The part where the calendar reads just after New Year's and the city has come to a frozen stop. All of your friends are suddenly broke and no one wants to leave their apartment because they have soup belly. Plus, with the sun setting at like a quarter after four in the afternoon, it feels dark all the time.

The worst part about this is that all the traditionally great free things to do in NYC- Walk the High Line, Bike Ride through Central Park, Run along Riverside Park - are suddenly terrible, terrible ideas. What to do? How about a visit to the Free Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology.(227 W 27th Street at 7th Avenue)

The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology is the only museum in New York City dedicated solely to the art of fashion, and features innovative and award-winning exhibitions. The museum's Fashion Culture special programs run year-round and include exhibition talk and tours, fashion conversations with leading designers, lectures and book signings. Admission to the exhibitions is always free year-round. We've been impressed with our visits in the past and always a unique place to hit.

With a mix of permanent and rotating exhibits, the museum houses work from designers such as Dior, Chanel, and Balenciaga. With more than 4,000 pairs of shoes, 50,000 clothing pieces and accessories (dating back to the 18th century), and 30,000 textiles (dating back to the 5th century), there is plenty to see here. Be sure to stop by the Gallery FIT to view work from up-and-coming students and faculty members as well.

Hey and if you still need some Free middle of winter entertainment when you're done, go for a spin on The Staten Island ferry and have a contest to find the saddest Staten Islanders on the boat.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Frequently Asked Questions we get about NYC!

Combing through the ole e-mail inbox, we get a ton of questions from travelers, visitor and others just seeking something specific in a NYC experience that is inexpensive, unique, and a little bit off the beaten path. We thought that we would post some of those here!

What Times Do the Lights Go On at The Empire State Building?

Since The Big Adventure is often asking "Why is the Empire State Building this particular color tonight?” we’ve always found this handy: The official daily lighting schedule for the Empire State Building. You can preview the ESB color scheme for upcoming weeks and check out the lighting occasions over the course of the last year. Of course, the standard colors of white, white and more white make up the lighting pattern about half of the time. But the ESB can also accommodate blue, red, green, yellow, orange, pink and purple as well.

Want to take it a step further and become a "Lighting Partner" with your own private colors? The application is right there on the site. Who knows? Maybe you can have it the building lit in your favorite colors on your birthday. 

Where can I find The Best Guinness in NYC?

Who has the Best Pint of Guinness in New York City? Well, we've enjoyed enough of Ireland's best stout in enough bars to be smart enough not to get tangled up in this debate: There are too many great bars, great bartenders and just amazing locales in the city to coin on as "The Best." 

Is there gold in the New York City federal reserve?

Are you planning a heist? In fact, there is! More so than in Ft. Knox and almost anywhere else in the world!

You probably didn't know that the NYC's Fed Bank is one of 12 regional banks in the Federal Reserve system.  Mostly because that's not very interesting. You also probably didn't know that downtown New York City is home to the largest gold deposit in the world. The vaults at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York holds more than 200 billion dollars of gold most of being held for foreign countries. Well, you might have known that if you saw Die Hard III. 

The best part about it all is that you can actually visit the vaults where all of the gold is tightly guarded and kept safe. The Federal Reserve offers free tours daily of the bank.

What was the last movie to run at Radio City Music Hall?

Strange that multiple people asked this, but who are we to judge the knowledge that others seeks. The answer is Caravans starring Anthony Quinn in 1978. There have been some special exceptions since then, but it has be 35+ years since the venue was used as a part-time movie house. 

Your Adventures look like a lot of fun! Can you help me plan a day in NYC that is exciting, unique, inexpensive and custom for me and my crew?

Yes! We'd be happy to take our encyclopedic knowledge of NYC and help give you pointers and tips. We've spent years combing the streets and digging up countless gems. 

E-mail us at or send us a message on Facebook at and we'll make it happen, Cap'n!