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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Meat Ball Shop Location- Brooklyn Style

Double The Meat Balls, Double the Fun

Recently, The Big Adventure posted an entry about the incredibly popular food find of 2010: The New York City Meatball Shop. We wanted to follow up with news this Holiday Weekend is that they are in talks to add to a second location beyond their Lower East Side Stanton Street home. Where would this expanding franchise plant its delicious new roots? On Bedford Avenue  In the Williamsburg section (where else?) of Brooklyn. But the good news is that this iteration appears to much larger with an outdoor section. Read more on this link to the lesser known Meat Ball section of The New York Times

Friday, November 26, 2010

Walk off That Turkey With New York City's Shore Walkers

Walk off That Turkey With New York City's Shore Walkers

Feeling a little rotund around the middle after yesterday's feast of Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Pumpkin Pie, Rolls, etc, etc? The always great non-profit group Shore Walkers hosts its annual "Walk Off The Turkey" Event this weekend on Saturday, November 27th. The WOTT event is special three times over as its a wonderful way to see a new part of the city, get some solid exercise and make some new friends while just enjoying a nice walk.

Shore Walkers has been a part of the NYC walking culture for almost thirty years and the WOTT is one of their signature annual events. We particularly enjoy the group's inspiring Mission Statement which pretty much sums it all up: "To improve your health and stamina, to have fun on your feet while enjoying great walks, to protect our shore areas, to explore and learn about the Hudson estuary and other shore areas, and to meet interesting people along the shore"

The Walk Of The Turkey begins at 10:00 AM at the Staten Island Ferry and continues along the Hudson all the way up Manhattan. Admittedly, the 12 miles trek may be a bit ambitious for some but the journey is almost all on level ground and the reward of stumbling across the Little Red Lighthouse at the foot of the George Washington Bridge (as well as other landmarks along the way) are well worth it. A donation of $10 is requested.

If your feet aren't feeling it tomorrow, Shore Walkers has walks through the city including a half-dozen more over weekends through the end of the year. Most vary between four and nine miles in length as they explore virtually every path in the city.  So, lace up the Adidas, kiss the cranberries bye-bye and enjoy a slow-paced walk!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Glory Of Smittens

Well, you just can’t have a Big Adventure on Ice without mentioning Smittens.  Smitten, you may ask? That’s right: Winter gloves for love birds. Adorable? Impractical? Cold Weather Wear? A Nauseatingly Display for Couples? Stop guessing because all of those are correct. Link to the website below where they could not have chosen a worse, non-winter, non-romantic picture….we need people in an outdoor cafĂ© sharing cocoa!


Bonus: We also love the Olympic Canadian Mittens from last year’s Winter Games. You can bet you’ll see those in action on 12/11.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

All About The Big Adventure


A Guide to the Holiday Display Windows at shops throughout New York City 
(Nov 21,2010)

Time Out New York is on the ball again - they recently posted this comprehensive list earlier this week. While perhaps not the definitive list, it should give you a solid overview of retail stores throughout Manhattan who are putting their backside into decking the halls to create amazing Holiday themed Display Windows. 

These windows have become as iconic for the NYC Holiday season as the Rockettes and Tree at Rockefeller Center. The Big Adventure's favorite? Without a doubt, Barney's outshines the others year after year. Although, we've already seen Dylan's first hand and the Penguins using Gummy worms to Ice fish for giant Swedish Fish is pretty dang cute.

If planning a visit, choose your route carefully - many are stores are close to one another and you can knock out half a dozen locations in under 45 minutes...

Dylan’s Candy Bar - 1011 Third Ave at 60th St (646-735-0078 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              646-735-0078      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, dylanscandybar.com). 

Henri Bendel - 712 Fifth Ave at 56th St (800-423-6335, henribendel.com).

Lord & Taylor - 424 Fifth Ave at 39th St (212-391-3344, lordandtaylor.com).

Barneys - 660 Madison Ave between 60th and 61st Sts (212-826-8900, barneys.com).

Bergdorf Goodman - 754 Fifth Ave at 58th Sts (212-753-7300, bergdorfgoodman.com).

Bloomingdale's - 59th St and Lexington Ave (212-705-2000, bloomingdales.com).

Macy's - 34th St and Sixth Ave (212-695-4400, macys.com). .

Anthropologie - 50 Rockefeller Plaza between 50th and 51st Sts (212-246-0386, anthropologie.com). Monday, November 22.

Tiffany & Co. - 727 Fifth Ave between 56th and 57th Sts (212-755-8000, tiffany.com). November 22 at 5pm.

Saks Fifth Avenue - 611 Fifth Ave between 49th and 50th Sts (212-753-4000, saks.com). November 22 at 6pm.

Steuben Glass - 667 Madison Ave at 61st St (212-752-1441, steuben.com). November 30.

Cartier - 653 Fifth Ave at 52nd St (212-446-3400). Opening TBD.

Fendi - 677 Fifth Ave between 53rd and 54th Sts (212-759-4646, fendi.com). Opening TBD.

Louis Vuitton -1 9 E 57th St at Fifth Ave (212-752-4835, louisvuitton.com). Opening TBD.

Enjoy the NYC Holiday Windows 2010!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Announcing:The Big Adventure on Ice!

Join us on Saturday, December 11th, 2010 for a day of frostbite & freeze as we celebrate the onset of Winter In New York City with The Big Adventure on Ice!  

As the weather starts to turn cold, we're going to mark the start of the season with the return of another Big Adventure...this time On Ice! Starting around 1:00 PM and continuing through the chilly wee hours, we'll be attending events, stopping at bars and visiting venues that all play into our frozen theme.  

Just like all of our Big Adventures, the day will a unique way to explore the city, incredibly social, relatively inexpensive and open to all who wish to join. If all goes according to plan, The Big Adventure on Ice will include some interesting, eyebrow raising and dare we say amazing stops as we raise our mittens to well...Ice. 

The Big Adventures thinks that some of the final stops may surprise you as we're being somewhat... liberal and creative. In short, we've got a few curve snowballs set. We're going to embrace the theme with some unexpected visits as we shy away from the more predictable winter fare. 

 We'll have the full itinerary posted by the week after Thanksgiving, but for now you can visit The Big Adventure Facebook Event Page through the link below for more information (and to let us know if you'll be accompanying us!)  Hope to see you on Saturday, December 11th when the net Big Adventure embarks... just be sure to bring your ear muffs.

The Big Adventure on Facebook

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Bottom of the List: Nastiest Station in the New York Subway System?

What is the most disgusting NYC Subway Station? We vote for 2nd Avenue.

The New York Subway System boasts over 450 individual stations. Many unique, blissfully old and charming, but, well, not all of them can be winners.

An unofficial Big Adventure survey found that the Lower East Side - Second Avenue station (F Line) is by far the nastiest and most disgusting station in the system. 

Without going into overly descriptive details for the benefit of those with tender tummies, we’ll just say that it is a sad, dingy, smelly location with seemingly random, aimless people and assorted homeless lurking about. Since the station no longer stop serving as the terminus to the V Line in June, you would think it might smell less like human excrement....but no. Particularly sad since it is such a busy and often used station. Our fear is that with all the subway cuts and fewer booth attendants system wide, this is going to become more and more of an issue.

A strong vote was also made from those who personally hate the 34th street/Herald square station. and found it "ridiculously hot and extra stinky"

What do YOU think is the worst station in the system?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Because, Well, Nearly Everyone Loves Meatballs

The Meatball Shop is going all big time....

One popular adage about New York City is that when you live in the city you can get anything you want at anytime of day. That's probably a bit of a stretch of a hyperbole. Except when it comes to food. This is the city where we've discovered Burek, Mousaka and the best Empanada this side of Buenos Aires. More importantly, there is a speciality restaurant for every taste you could ever conceive of. There is the Peanut Butter Sandwich and more restaurant,  The Pickle Guys and of course, the Meatball place.

This Lower East Side tiny hole at Stanton and Orchard has been making news since it opened back in February but recently the Daily News wrote a small piece on it and Yahoo! picked it up nationally. Its a quality place so we thought we'd pass along the article. It Although often packed and, yeah, admittedly a little scene-y, the quality and cost of the food along with the general experience makes up for it. 

Expect a crowd because the place is small and the secrete is already out. But on the plus suide, they are open oh-so-late. Its like the new Criff Dog! Worth reading the article (if you ignore the excessive sophomoric genital themed comments from users and definitely worth visiting. Daily News Article on NYC Delicious Meatballs

And here is a link to The Meatball Shop Yelp Page (because people seem to enjoy like Yelp almost as much as they enjoy meatballs)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Some Shots from The Coney Island and Carnival Big Adventure

So, we are more than just a little bit delayed in getting these up and online, but wanted to pick the perfect images from the oh-so-many that were gathered on our most recent Big Adventure which was nothing short of a truly awesome day.

Below are a few pictures from our Coney Island and Carnival Adventure this past August. After gathering at Ace Bar, The Big Adventure embarked on a Carnival theme throughout New York City. The day involved A Skee-Ball Tournament, The Freak Show, The finest Zeppole in NYC, a visit to the best Tiki Bar this side of Tahiti and, of course, a nice visit to Coney Island. You can read more about the day from an old post by clicking here. 

If you would like to see the entire collection of photos from the day, feel free to swoop over and view them on Flickr

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Big Adventure Recommends: Pulsd NYC

The Big Adventure Recommends: Pulsd NYC

Pulsd is a relatively new offering in the endless world of online NYC deals that’s core purpose seems to be to sift through the endless garbage of doings and loop you into quality last minute and free deals throughout New York City. Yes, Online Services like these are becoming more ubiquitous than the annoying phrase “Going Viral” recently, but this one is worth making a short list of must visits.

What makes ‘em stand out? In short, a higher-caliber list of events and offers, constant update of listings (more than 30 a day) and an easy-to-navigate site that doesn’t bombard you with duds of listing that are clearly paid for (and clearly no one wants).

A few listings on Pulsd. that caught our eye just this morning was Free Coffee at 7-11 till the end of the year, a legitimate Open Bar this evening in Midtown, and 30% off at Bloomingdale’s. Granted, some of the listings (lighting of the tree at Rockefeller center) is news to no one. And one downside is that some offers are list minute or too far in advance, but there are really some solid opportunities revealed for all to see.

In short, Pulsd is one of those sites you can bookmark and scan regularly for some (seemingly) great opportunities. Other similar services require a nominal fee or registration  but there appears to be nothing like that (for now) on Pulsd. And like any quality deal offering web service, there is a twitter feed because we all love that Twitter.Our only complaint is that the lack of an E in their name is really driving the grammerian in us crazy.

Bonus: A San Fran option for those on the left coast.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Chapter One of the Big Adventure Winter Guide

Starting to look a lot like…The Big Adventure Winter Guide

With the arrival of the giant 62-foot-tall Tree into Rockefeller Center this morning (and for some reason an A.M. concert by Bon Jovi), It is starting to look a lot like Christmas in New York City! Decorations are going up all over town and The 77th Annual Radio City Christmas Spectacular is seducing spectators thrice daily and even a new Broadway Musical based on the movie Elf (we’re skeptical). 

Aside from the cold and forthcoming snow slush, it certainly is one of the most wonderful times of year in the Big Apples (and, of course, one of the most tourist heavy). Over the next few weeks, The Big Adventure will be occasionally sharing some of the best Holiday Season To-Dos in New York City.

Thought we would start with a blast from the past by recounting our past Winter Big Adventure from a couple of years back. The stops still hold and this would make a tis-The-Season great self-guided Adventure:

 The NYC Big Winter Adventure

Lunch at Havana Central at the West End  Up at 116th and Broadway -one of the most amazing restaurants in the city. Don’t settle for the other two locations. 

See A College Basketball Game at Columbia University-  Right across the street. You don't get a chance to witness true Division 1A College B-ball often without paying through the nose. Tickets are as little as $10. Cheer on the exciting Columbia Lions and their mascot Roar-ee (sad) 

Grand Central Model Train Display - At the Transit Museum Annex in Grand Central. For the kid in all of us. In this year’s festive display, model trains start off in a living room on Christmas morning, shuttle through a miniature NYC and assorted pastoral tableaux before arriving at Santa’s workshop in the North Pole. Fun! Maybe there will be a NJ Transit train that stops and shuts down periodically with little angry passengers inside.  
Grand Central Kaleidoscope Light Show- How do you make practical use of the busiest and largest train station in America? By illuminating the walls with a spectacular Holiday light show throughout the concourse. This is quickly becoming one of the New York’s premiere holiday “Must Sees”

Delicious Holiday Drinks and Food at Maggie’s Place -Across from Grand Central at Madison Avenue at 47th Street–Maggie’s is often voted as a top stop for holiday drinks which range from their Famous Irish Coffees that use rare whiskey to Hot Ciders and a legendary Peppermint Paddy -a flirty hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps that’s served with a candy cane. More Holiday treats abound.

New York Midtown Holiday Window Gazing  -Finally, Walk up 5th Avenue to see the best holiday storefronts in the world from Saks Fifth Avenue to Henri Bendel to Bergdorf Goodman to Barney’s and more. You can try and guess just how much that 34 carat diamond in the window of Tiffany’s costs. End at FAO Schwarz or take a load of at the shady but fun Subway Inn Bar. 

Nothing on that list tickle your fancy? More Holiday Big Adventuring to follow...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Next Big Adventure is coming!

What do The NYC Institute of Culinary Education, NYC Actor Tracy Marrow and the Diamond District of Manhattan all have in common? Once you’ve figured out that riddle, you’re well on your way to determining the theme of the next Big Adventure on December 11th….

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

And while we're on the topic of the NYC Subway...

This is making big news on Yahoo! and some other major web portals:  A “Secret” Subway Stop. Before you grab your flashlight and make plans to explore the unknown, prepare for a bit of disappointment.

While compelling, the news is a bit misleading and really romanticizes a relatively empty shell of a station. The City Hall station has been a well-known closed station to locals for years. Right in the heart of downtown, it is kinda hard to miss. In fact, they open the station on a regular basis for tours and they even held a gala there when the NYC Subway System turned 100 year. While a nice station, The Big Adventure would not classify it as the "most gorgeous gems in the world of Mass Transit". 

Granted, it is a nice treat that you can now ride through the station as the 6 Train terminates and goes back into services, but the cars don't stop, the station is not lit up and you'll probably see more rats than archways. 

Instead, we recommend bringing your camera and checking out the unique art exhibit "Life Underground" installed at the A-C-E 14th Street Station at Eighth Avenue. Much more interesting. http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/artwork_show?21

But, if you're still interesting, here is more information than you'll even need on the abandoned City Hall station: http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/stations?5:979

Visit NYC's Most Secret Art Gallery via Subway...sorta.

Send to us by Friend-Of-The-Big-Adventure Dan, this seems to be the ultimate hidden Big Adventure: A Secret Art Gallery in an abandoned NYC Subway Station.

Dubbed “The Underbelly Project”, this giant make-shift galley features stunning work by several talented graffiti artists in a giant empty space. Created over an 18 month period, these pieces stretch from ground to ceiling. Completely free and open 24 hours a day. The catch? No one knows where the secret gallery actually is. And you have to travel down the tracks from an active Subway Station to get there. Hey, unsafe AND slightly illegal!

But they pay off is supposedly worth it – huge untouched canvases of over 100 pieces in untouched splendor. Ah, wacky artists. On this one, getting there alone might be the reward.  We don't want to spoil the quest, but finding the station doesn't take a lot of work with some online digging and a subway pass. We like these final thoughts from our friends at the Second Avenue Subway Blog:

"It is a dangerous thought about a morbid project that somehow captures both the recklessness of a bygone era, the foolhardiness of this undertaking and the mystery of an abandoned aspect of the New York City subway system. I don’t think Arts for Transit will approve."

Read more at Gizmodoo and check out the amazing images from The NY Times:

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

NYC November "Must Do" Event #2: Be part of a Live TV Studio Audience in NYC

The Big Adventure Presents NYC November "Must Do" Event #2: Attend a Live Television Taping in NYC

While watching the debut of Conan O’Brien’s new show last night and digging into the late night snacks, The Big Adventure starting counting all of the television shows that tape in New York City. People tend to forget that of all the unique, media oriented events that happen in the city the opportunity to see their favorite shows taped live is one of them. We know first hand what a fun experience it is ; something that we really recommend.

And here is the dirty secret: All of the tickets are free. The producers tend to need the audience more than the audience needs them. Letterman probably wouldn’t be the same without 500 cheering, laughing fans each night. Universally, all TV tapings are the price of e-mail and it is relatively easy to procure tickets. On the downside, most tapings are in the middle of the day during the week and you have to be at the studio about three times the length of the actual show.

Shows that tape in NYC include the iconic Saturday Night live, Live with Regis and Kelly, Martha Stuart, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Rachel Ray, The View, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report,  and, of course, Late Night with David Letterman. Plus a NUMBER of different pilots, limited run, comedy specials and more. 

Getting tickets is relatively easy – as long as you manage your expectations.  Step 1, visit the website of the show you want to see. Some have tickets only four to six weeks in advance others take your request six months ahead of time. Shows tend to post tickets and tape at different times.  Each show does it a little bit differently. Step 2,  skip the big guns with hard to secure seats like SNL and Live with Regis. Instead opt for shows with big crowds that tape nightly like The Daily Show, Late Night and Letterman.  Step 3, get there early and show enthusiasm. They offer more tickets than they have seats and they tend to put the really excited folks in the front row to get on camera,
The best part? It’s a tie between realizing how different things are when you’re not watching on a 32” screen or DVRing the show and seeing if you can see yourself in the audience. 

Bonus: We know for a fact that Who Wants to be a Millionaire with Meredith Viera has open spaces for tickets throughout November.Plus, you can audition while you are there.Check it: http://www.dadt.com/millionaire/tickets/

Also, these sites will give you a solid overview of all shows…

Monday, November 8, 2010

Trip Advisor digsThe NYC Big Adventure!

The Big Adventure made Trip Advisor! We're going to big time now. Well sorta. Trip Advisor's editors posted a link to us on their page of  “New York City Useful Websites" waaayy down at the bottom under “Homages, afficionados and obsessed fans of NYC”. Great. We made the obsessed fans category. Hey, maybe we’ll get some legit European Tourists on December 11th.

Trip Advisor NYC Websites


Friday, November 5, 2010

The Next Big Adventure is Coming!

It's coming...and we're starting to get the engines in gear for another amazing Big Adventure! 

Mark your Calendar for Saturday, December 11th and get ready to join us for an entire day (and a good portion of the evening) of an inexpensive, social, incredibly unique and unbelievably fun way to explore New York City. 

More details are forthcoming as our staff, various interns and contracted minions are putting everything in place. We'll be providing all of the sorted details in the next couple of weeks well in advance of the day, but we like to keep a lid on thing until all is in place. Let's just say, we'll be celebrating the winter season with one cool theme on December 11th.

Let us know if you'll be joining us by reserving your space on our Facebook Event Page. Hope you can join as this is already shaping up to our biggest and best event yet!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

NYC November "Must Do" Event #1: Hand Out Water at the New York City Marathon

The Big Adventure Presents NYC November "Must Do" Event #1: Volunteer at the ING New York City Marathon

This Saturday brings back an annual Autumn tradition as the ING New York City Marathon hits 26.2 Miles of pavement throughout the five boroughs. To be a part of it, you could cram the sidewalks with an estimated crowd of two million of your closest friends. Perhaps you’ll get lucky and land a choice viewing point from a packed corner. 

However, the Big Adventure has a better option: Volunteering at an Aid Station or as a Course Marshall for 41st running of the ING New York City Marathon.

Speaking from experience, volunteering is an incredibly exciting and fun option for getting involved with the race. For the true “part of the race” experience, try to volunteer on the course either as an Aid Station attendant or a Course Marshall in charge of guiding runners in the right direction. A Course Marshall! Think of the prestige with a title like that. At the Aid Stations, your charge is to be part of a fifty-plus person team that prepares and hands out water to each runner from the elite race-leaders to your office co-worker struggling through their first ever marathon.

When handing out water and Gatorade, don’t be surprised if you find you’ve suddenly become the most beloved and desired person in NYC. Grateful runners – fast and slow – will snatch cups from your hand and throw them down mercilessly at your feet. And, yes, you’ll even see a few cases of the dreaded, infamous bloody nipple caused to shirt chafing. You may have a choice of mile markers, but the stations in Central Park towards the end of the course are usually regarded as the best. In short: it is a rare and unique volunteering experience that allows you to see an amazing race up close and personable.

But the best part? Volunteering tends to be much easier on the legs than actually, you know, running the marathon. You must by 18, work the requested hours (a few hours) and you’ll even get some official gear out of the gig. For more information and to sign up, visit this page on the office ING NYC Marathon site. Sign up soon as the race is this Saturday: