Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

New York City comes alive during the holiday season with lights, music and bustling sidewalks.

To celebrate the fast-approaching holidays, FF put together a quick round-up of affordable winter-themed events and activities taking place in our own backyard:
  • Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade: Staying in New York for Turkey Day? Why not check out the giant balloons and elaborate floats at the 85th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade? The parade kicks off at 9am, but get there early for optimal viewing. 
  • Holiday Markets: Take your pick: Columbus Circle, Union Square and Dekalb all play host to dozens of food and craft vendors selling an array of unique and affordable gifts. The markets are open through Dec. 24. Visit urbanspacenyc.com for more information.
  • Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting: The towering pine has made its way to midtown, and will be lit on Wed., Nov. 30 at 7pm. Bundle up and head over to Rockefeller Plaza for the celebration.
  • Ice Skating: This cold weather tradition carries on at a number of rinks all over the city. Choose from Citi Pond at Bryant Park, Rockefeller Center, Wollman Rink and Lasker rinks in Central Park, and the Standard Hotel Ice Rink -- all open now through the winter.
  • Holiday Windows: It may just be the best time of the year to window shop. From Barneys to Saks to Bloomingdale's to Bergdorf's, every major department store adorns their windows with festive scenes.
Send us your favorite holiday-themed events: fabulouslyfrugalnyc@gmail.com

Friday, October 21, 2011

Dogs on Parade

There's nothing quite like dogs all dolled up. I'm not talking about rhinestone collars and four-legged designer sweaters. I mean all-out All Hallow's Eve attire. 

Some of my favorite dog costumes can be found on parade every year at the Tompkins Square Park Dog Parade. Proud dog owners will once again infiltrate the park tomorrow (Oct. 22) from noon to 3pm to give their canines a shot at the coveted Halloween costume crown. 
It's challenging enough to come up with a human Halloween costume, but these pooches work it in their creative get-ups. Last year brought out Cleopatra, a lobster in a pot and a rabbi, to name a few.

Get there early for the best view. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Paying Tribute

Most New Yorkers steered clear of the Financial District on 9/11, opting to share their remembrances in other ways. For me, it was hanging a handmade sign as part of the makeshift memorial on the side of the old St. Vincent’s Hospital, which took in many of the victims on that tragic day, and chalking condolences as part of a public art project on Fifth Avenue.  For others, it was watching the stories of those most impacted that day unfold on television specials or attending services in memoriam.

Wherever we were, whatever we did that day, the 10-year anniversary was never far from the minds of New Yorkers. 

Now, with the completion of the 9/11Memorial, everyone who steps foot in Manhattan has the opportunity to pay tribute to those whose lives were unjustly cut short. 

The memorial honors the lives of the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center site, near Shanksville, Pa., and at the Pentagon, as well as the six people killed in the World Trade Center bombing in February 1993. After years of blueprints and debates, architects Michael Arad and Peter Walker and Partners have created a serene space surrounded by green and set to the soundtrack of silence. The names of those lost are inscribed into bronze panels surrounding the Memorial pools. 

Admission is free to the public, but guests must reserve a visitor pass in advance. The Memorial is open seven days a week year-round.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sitting With Friends Doesn't Have to Be a Privilege

One of the biggest obstacles to enjoying live entertainment is financial: tickets often cost a lot, and few people want to take the risk of paying up front for a whole package of tickets so friends can sit together at an event. I just found out that Goldstar.com now has a solution for both those problems.

The site, which I've written about several times before, offers half-price (and free) tickets to popular live entertainment events in more than 20 major U.S. cities for sports lovers, theater goers, and performing arts fans to enjoy.

And now it also has a ‘Sit with Friends’ feature that lets people buy their half-price Goldstar tickets separately from the group but still be automatically seated together…eliminating the days of buying big expensive packages of tickets for a girls night out or a trip with your friends to see your favorite sports team, not knowing if you’ll ever be paid back.

The Sit with Friends feature is easy to use. After members (registration is free) purchase a ticket to an event they get a personalized URL to share on Facebook or via email. When the URL is used to buy other tickets, Goldstar automatically groups all the seats together— great news for people who are eager to go out more often and socialize with friends, but don’t want to spend a fortune to do it.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Piano Break

New Yorkers are the type of people who need a good excuse to leave the office during lunch. I should know, I'm one of the worst offenders. But getting some fresh air and a little bit of mid-day exercise does a body (and mind) good.
Next time you're feeling cooped up in the office, eyes glazed over from staring at the computer for too long, grab a sandwich and stop by Bryant Park for some free jazz piano. Every weekday, local pianists like Daryl Sherman and Kuni Mikami tickle those ivories for park goers. Concerts are always free and never overcrowded.

Classical tunes abound now through October 14, Mon-Wed, 12:30-2pm; Thurs, 2-4pm.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fourth Annual Summer Streets Festival Comes to Park Ave.

This Saturday kicks off New York's annual Summer Streets. Taking place three consecutive Saturdays through August 20, from 7am-1pm, Summer Streets temporarily shuts down Park Avenue from Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park and offers myriad free activities along the way to get New Yorkers outside and enjoying the city. 

Tai Chi, improv workshops, bike rides, salsa lessons, yoga, and dance performances are just a few of the ways New Yorkers can participate. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Brooklyn's New Ride

Soon you will be able to travel back in time to those childhood carousel rides that seemed so innocently thrilling.

Jane's Carousel, a newly restored attraction originally built in 1922 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, will open to visitors at Brooklyn Bridge Park's Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park. The historic carousel will be housed in a new riverside pavilion designed by architect Jean Nouvel. 

Named for DUMBO artist Jane Walentas, who -- along with her husband -- purchased the carousel at an auction in Ohio in 1984 and gifted it to the park, the carousel features 48 carved wooden horses with meticulous detailing, including mirrored bridles, feather plumes and 24-carat gold gilding. Look for the Lady Liberty chariot.  

Jane's Carousel will be open six days a week (closed Tuesdays) from 11am-8pm.