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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 -http://www.westminsterkennelclub.org
    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!