Exploring New York City by delivering the info on the social, one-of-a-kind,
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Places to Go

Sunday, May 27, 2012

NYC’s High Line Park Trivia

As the weather gets nice, The Big Adventure wanted to drop some knowledge on you about arguably the most interesting, scenic and remarkably popular park in the New York City: The High Line. Built purely from community interest and some dedicated souls, we’re eager to get back down to the Chelsea/ West Village/ Meat Packing District sections of town to walk the walk this summer. 

We present seven facts about the High Line Park that we think you’ll find quite, er, elevating. Use this as High Line Park Trivia to stump and astonish your friends. Some High Line trivia for you: 

1)   Some area history, in 1847, NYC had street-level railroad tracks down Manhattan’s West Side. "West Side Cowboys" were put in place to ride horses and wave flags in front of the locomotives rolling heavy with Cargo.  Due to endless accidents between freight trains and street traffic, 10th Avenue became known as "Death Avenue”. Yikes. 

  2)  The High Line opened to trains in 1934 and ran from where Madison Square Garden stands today to Spring Street. It was designed to go through the center of blocks, rather than over the avenue and connected directly to factories and warehouses, allowing trains to roll right inside buildings.

   3)  When the park opened in June 2009, the park attracted more than 300,000 people during the first six weeks. Last year the High Line drew 3.7 million visitors with about half of the park's visitors being New Yorkers.

   4)  Leave the football at home: Rules prohibit “throwing or moving objects of any kind—Frisbees, balls, etc”. Most because one errant softball of the side may lead to a 12 car pile-up as your wayward ball shatters a taxi windshield. Dogs also are not allowed on the High Line, in part, because the path is quite very narrow and the concern is that pets on leashes would overcrowd.

  5)  One section has been opened, but two more stretches all the way up 34th street to complete a 1.4 mile loop are expected to be completed. We’re just about the celebrate the one year anniversary of the second phase that opened on June 8th, 2011.

6)   We might have stolen the idea from French: The city of Paris successfully converted a similar rail viaduct into an elevated park called the Promenade Plantée. However, the American version has been such a roaring success that projects similar to the High Line are in early development in St. Louis, Philadelphia, Jersey City and Chicago.

7)   (and most important) When one hears nature call when one happens to be on a 30 foot train trestle far from modern conveniences, it is good to know that restrooms are located at the 16th Street access point.

More info and details can be found here: High Line park official site 
And for all NYC Park Info, look here:New York City Department of Parks and Recreation

Friday, May 25, 2012

No shortage of insansity

The Big Adventure is officially tired of the endless chain of crazy people in New York City. This morning's example: insane shouting guy on our downtown 1 train.  Hey! Crazy Pants!  Attention Senor Loco Pantolones! You're not actually saying any discernible words. Plus, you’re ruining my quiet morning and scaring the tourists and children! Ah, it’s tiring.

Anyway, here is a link to a related site that we enjoy: Asleep on the Subway. Good for a few laughs and to kill some time at work on your Friday afternoon. This particular sleeping ninny is by far and away our favorite.

Free NYC Concerts Bright and Early every Friday this Summer

How do you know that summer is right around the corner in NYC?  All of sudden, outdoor and often free warm weather concert series start to pop up everywhere. Whether it’s the Today Show’s Toyota Summer Concert Series on the Plaza at Rockefeller Center, or something like the quintessential NYC gem Summerstage, there are shows just about every week.

One of the best (if not one of the earliest) NYC summer concert series is the Good Morning America free summer concert series in Central Park.  The series starts this very morning with Robin Thicke and continues every single Friday through August 31st. Not all artists have been announced yet, but it is a rather impressive list of those announced so far.

It all happens in Rumsey Field in Central Park. (Enter at 72nd street & 5th Avenue. Map to Rumsey Field here). Gates open at the near unholy hour of 6:00 AM and the bands usually perform between 7:00 AM and 9:00 AM, but with limited sets. Experience says you can expect most of the actions between 8:30 and 9:00 AM. Expect big crowds, but lots of excitement as well.   

Among the highlights are The Beach Boys, No Doubt and Neon Trees. We love that LMFAO is playing just two weeks after The Beach Boys. Talk about nothing in common. Really wish they were both playing on the same day just for the awkward conversation that would flow between the two bands.

More info and details can be found here and here too

Line Up:

May 25: Robin Thicke & Ellie Goulding
June 1: Brad Paisley
June 8: Counting Crows
June 15: Beach Boys
June 22: Mary J. Blige
June 29: LMFAO
July 6: Demi Lovato
July 13: TBA
July 20: TBA
July 27: No Doubt
August 3: TBA
August 10: TBA
August 17: Neon Trees
August 24: The Wanted
August 31: TBA

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Best Outdoor Drinking in New York City? This Spring, it is definitely the famed Astoria Beer Garden

It’s a wonderful time of year in New York City. Memorial Day is just around the corner. Beautiful, warm weather awaits. And it seems in the last year that the number of places to drink outside has doubled. With several new openings in Midtown and classic staples dotting the city, one has endless options in which to soak up some rays whilst enjoying a cold drink.

Some of the more notable locales include Rare Bar and Grill rooftop’s location on 38th, the high-end biergarten and rooftop bars at the Standard Hotel,  the always chill Heights Bar  in Washington Heights. We also mourn the loss of Mé Bar in K-Town that was replaced by the VU Bar.

But what is the best place to drink outside in NYC? After almost one hundred years, the Big Adventure strongly believes that title still belongs to Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden – Astoria’s original beer garden.   The NY Daily News hit the nail on the head when they published  this review .

The perfect day involves taking the N Train to the Astoria Blvd Stop and following the foot traffic to the 24th Avenue destinations that is as filled with history as it is with spiffy looking glassware. Show up early to claim your spot on the picnic table – you’ll want to beat the crowds. If you’ve got the space in your bag, make sure to bring some cards or a game (Connect 4 will always make you some new friends) and enjoy some pitchers of fine Czech Beer on a warm afternoon.

Full pitchers run in the neighborhood of $15 or so. However, if you're not so much into beer in general this might not be the place for you (beware the sneers from the bartenders inside when you order your double Vodka Stoli). There is legit, affordable bohemian food on the grill and always an easy going vibe. Live music is often on hand which really helps compliment the scene.

Great for large groups (if you can find space) as well as a small tight crew.  If things get too crazy, hop across the street to the dimly lit Sparrow Tavern. In a city where outdoor space is as valuable as gold, The Bohemian Beer Garden manages to constantly be a hip destination without even trying. 

Read the Daily News review of The Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden (as well as a couple of other outdoor bar hot spots) right here

Opens at Noon on Weekends, 5:00 PM During the Week
24th Avenue and 29th Street
Astoria, NY

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How much would YOU pay for a parking space in NYC?

The Big Adventure is tired of the stereotypes that everything in NYC is overly expensive and costly. Oh, wait. Just read this article. We take that back. Stereotype is completely true.

Pretty sure this is mostly to get this high-end condo publicity, but absurd nonetheless. We particularly like that condo plans on charging an additional maintenance fee. For a parking space.

Speaking of parking, here is an old favorite from the only in NYC files from last year: Optimus Prime Gets a Parking Ticket

Announcing the NEXT New York City Big Adventure!

We're back again! After a quiet hiatus, The NYC Big Adventure is returning to full force! Thrilled to announced that we'll be hosting our next New York City Big Adventure on Saturday, June 30th! Our day will start around 1:00 PM and continue late, late into the evening.

More information and details forthcoming in the next few weeks, but we plan on deliver such a bang, that you won't even be interested in real fireworks a few days later.

 In the meantime, you can always track what we're up to by becoming our fan at https://www.facebook.com/TheBigAdventure or follow us on Twitter @NYCBigAdventure.