Harbor Cocktail Cruise Aboard the Zephyr

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After all the rain we have had in the month of June, we actually had some dry and sunny weather yesterday.  So, I happily agreed to go on a Harbor Cocktail Cruise after work where I could thoroughly enjoy the perfect weather.  I signed up for this particular cruise aboard the Zephyr through Outdoor Bound.  The Zephyr is run by Circle Line and is located off of Pier 16 right next to the South Street Seaport.  Having just been on the other side of the river at Brooklyn Promenade Park, it was nice to see the Brooklyn Bridge from the exact opposite viewpoint. 

Before embarking on our cruise, my friend and I enjoyed the happy hour specials at Skippers Pierside Cafe.  Skippers is entirely outdoors and offers $4 domestic beers and $5 imported beers during their happy hour.  They also have a menu of varied food options if you are hungry.  All the groups for our cruise met up at this spot for some drinks and appetizers which was a great way to begin the event.  Our cruise event was priced at $30 which included one drink on the boat and then drink specials offered afterwards at Skippers.

Our departure time was 6:30pm and the boat left promptly.  On the first level there is a an enclosed area with seating (this is also where the DJ was set up since there is a dance floor).  The second level has both indoor space and access to an outdoor deck.  Then one flight up there is a full sun deck with benches if you prefer to sit.  These benches were helpful for keeping balance and holding on when the water got a little choppy.  

Since the weather was so cooperative it was very refreshing to see the sunset behind the city skyline.  Our journey took us up towards Long Island City and then back south to a beautiful view of the sun setting behind the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  It was very relaxing to take all of these sights in while sipping on beverages from the bar.  Since I love boats and being on the water, the cruise ended way too soon for me.  We were back at Pier 16 by 8pm.  The groups were supposed to mingle with drink specials and food afterwards, however there was a music/dance event being held so it was way too loud.  So, my friend and I ordered some dinner at Skippers while some very talented New Yorkers danced the night away on the pier. 

All in all, I had a very pleasant evening.  I took lots of pictures and loved my time on the water.  There was not as much mingling aboard the ship as I had hoped, but it was still a great way to end a busy work day.

Not Just For Tourists!

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This past weekend, I had family visiting from out of town.  When people visit, it is a chance to get out and enjoy the city by breaking away from the everyday routine.  Especially in times when money might be a little tighter, it is always great to be able to have adventures right in your own backyard! 

Even though I have lived here in NY for many years now, I still always love a trip to Brooklyn Promenade Park.  Here is my recommended route to get there: Take the 2 or 3 Train to the Clark Street stop, walk all the way down Clark St. towards the water and it is always a breathtaking, scenic view of Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge once you get to the end.  Turn right and keep walking  along and past the promenade till you get to Old Fulton Street. 

Once you reach Old Fulton Street, you will have no trouble finding Grimaldi’s Pizzeriaas there is always a line of people patiently waiting outside.   I have heard it said from people passing by that they would never bother to wait in line for pizza, but personally I am happy to wait every time I go to Grimaldi’s because the pizza is definitely worth it.  It is my favorite in the area, although I love many of the pizza offerings throughout NYC.  When you are finally seated inside it will not be long until a mouthwatering pizza is in front of you ready to be devoured.   

After you have enjoyed your fill of pizza, walk over to the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory right near the waterfront for a tasty dessert.  Even if there is a line for ice cream, it usually goes pretty fast.  While you are enjoying your frozen treats, you can take in the majestic views of the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan skyline. 

If you have the energy after indulging in all that delicious food, I highly recommend walking over the Brooklyn Bridge to get back to Manhattan if that is where you are returning to.  Day or night, it is an exhilarating walk and something every New Yorker should do at least once if they get the chance.  The entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge walkway is only a short distance from Grimaldi’s.  Just beware of the bike lanes and stay on the walking path while you walk across!  Once back in Manhattan, there are a few nearby subway stops to help you get to your next destination wherever that may be.

Even though it might put a few more people in line, I definitely wanted to share one of my favorite ways to enjoy the Brooklyn waterfront.  After all, visitors should not be the only ones experiencing all that our great city has to offer!

Free Summer Movies Aboard the Intrepid!

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While I was visiting the Intrepid, I discovered that they host movie nights once a month during the summer.  On Friday, June 19th they will be showing Top Gun at 8:30pm (doors open at 7:30pm).  I can’t think of a better place to watch Top Gun than aboard an actual aircraft carrier!  Lawn chairs, blankets, food and drinks are allowed but no alcohol.  Jaws and Apollo 13 are the movies being shown in the coming months.   www.intrepidmuseum.org has the summer movie schedule and more details.  The Intrepid is located at Pier 86 (46 St. and 12 Ave.) in Manhattan.

Experience History at The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum

S1052218Visiting the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum was a very different experience for me.  When I stepped onto Hangar 1 of the Intrepid, I felt the significance of where I was.  People lived, fought for our country and even died aboard this immense aircraft carrier.  For those who worked on board the Intrepid, the everyday comforts that most of us often take for granted are an afterthought to the mission at hand and the efforts to make extremely dangerous tasks go on without a hitch.  I could sense the blood, sweat and tears of the past inhabitants throughout my tour of the historical vessels I was able to explore firsthand with my admission ticket.

I went with a group and was very thankful for the private tour we had signed up for.  I learned quite a bit from our knowledgeable tour guide and I feel like I would have missed a lot of information had I not gone through the tour first.  There is so much to see that you most likely need more than one visit in order to really look at everything in depth.  After our guided tour, I walked past the many magnificent planes and helicopters that are on view on the upper deck.  Then I ventured up to explore the control tower.  The museum really allows you to immerse yourself in the areas where people performed their daily tasks to make this immense vessel run.  You can climb the narrow stairs to see different levels of the rooms of operation and see all of the original controls.  It was quite impressive.

Also included in your admission ticket is a visit inside the U.S.S. Growler, which is the only intact strategic submarine that could fire nuclear missiles that is open to the public – anywhere in the world.  It was worth the wait to walk through the tight quarters of the sub and see the space people lived in as well as how the dangerous weapons were stored.   When I found out that people stayed in this vessel, often for 60 days at a time, without showers, I had immense appreciation for those who worked on this submarine to defend our country.

Also on view is the British Airways Concorde.  No longer in use, this jetliner has the capability to fly across the ocean in record time.   It has crossed the Atlantic in just under 3 hours.

Since this was my first visit to the Intrepid, I do not know how much has changed since the recent renovations were completed.  There was a kamikaze video show with lights, sound effects and real footage which I was told was one of the new improvements.   Everything is extremely well presented and ready for visitors to explore and learn.  There is a hands-on section of the museum that is a wonderful way to experience what it might have been like if you worked on the Intrepid.  I can definitely say that the Intrepid is worth the visit and will provide an eye opening view into history.  You can go to www.intrepidmuseum.org for all the details on getting tickets and planning your own visit.  The Intrepid is located at Pier 86 (46 St. and 12 Ave.) in Manhattan.

Exit 44 – This Saturday!

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One of my readers informed me about a fantastic event coming up this Saturday, June 13th in AstoriaExit 44 is an all-day independent music festival that will feature some up and coming local NYC artists. Headlined by Tigercity and Project Jenny Project Jan, the lineup also includes Action Painters, The Shondes, My Teenage Stride, Schwervon!, and many more.  You van view the full lineup and hear some tunes at www.myspace.com/exit44festival.  The fun starts at 3pm and will continue into the night.

Tickets are $10 in advance and can be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets. If tickets are still available on the day of, they will be $13 at the door.  This event is 18+ to enter, 21+ to drink so bring your IDs.

Wonderland is located at 38-01 23rd Ave (at 38th St), in Astoria.  It is a quick walk from the N Train (you can exit at Astoria Blvd. or the Ditmars Blvd. stop).  It is a really cool space and from what I hear there will an area open on the roof as well as cheap drink specials during the festival.  Sounds like a great way to spend a Saturday to me!