Entries in new york city (5)


Who Killed the Park Avenue Car?

Honking taxis were nowhere to be found on Park Avenue this morning. Nor were delivery trucks or town cars. Much in evidence, though, were bikers, runners, bladers, skateboarders, walkers and even members of the so-called Kangoo Nation (wearers of a very cool jumping shoe). As part of the city's Summer Streets program, today was the third and final August Saturday where, from East 72nd Street down Park Avenue and all the way past Union Square to the Brooklyn Bridge, closures gave active New Yorkers a rare glimpse of the cityscape from the middle of our roadways. 

I had the opportunity to run a full loop--from the Upper East Side to the Brooklyn Bridge and back, and was duly impressed by the courtesy extended between cyclists and runners, most of whom shared the streets graciously and without incident. Along the way, my fellow outdoor adventurers and I enjoyed music, giveaways and even stretching classes.

Of course, August being a huge month for vacations, traffic in the city was lighter than normal anyway. But still, how nice would it be if New York streets could be car-less for one Saturday every month? When that petition is drafted, count me in. Until then, all I can do is mark my calendar for Summer Streets 2012. (And who knows....I might even try it wearing a pair of Kangoos.) —THOMAS P. FARLEY

Photo courtesy of @inspiredcyclist


When the Night Falls...

Would you challenge American Idol alum Jordin Sparks in karaoke? Here's what she sang at last night's wrap party at the Bryant Park Hotel for her star turn in In the Heights.

Have YOU Got a Ticket to Ride?

If you've been wondering about those overly large buses that have been navigating the crowded streets of Times Square and Columbus Circle, here's a peek at what goes on both inside and outside The Ride.

The Ride of Your Life

Like most New Yorkers, I avoid Times Square like the plague. Even with the Bloomberg-mandated closure of Broadway, the area is a traffic-snarled den of caricature artists, slack-jawed tourists and bad chain restaurants. Were it not for theatre, I wonder whether I'd ever visit this part of town. And yet, it was not always so. I remember my early fascination with Times Square, its bright lights and 24/7 excitement. To me, it represented the pulsing heartbeat of New York, the energy epicenter that gave the city life.

Last night, for 90 minutes, I found myself in love with Times Square all over again.

As a passenger on a new attraction called The Ride, I got to see the city from an atypical vantage point--sideways. The Ride is a coach bus with outward-facing stadium seating for 50. With a floor-to-ceiling view of the cityscape outside, The Ride is deliciously voyeuristic. But what's good for the goose is good for the gander. Literally, because pedestrians get to gander right back in at you.

With a tight-looped route that that sticks primarly to the West 40s and 50s, The Ride is conducted by two perky, New York-savvy guides. For sardonic comic relief, their commentary aided and abetted by input from the bus, who is given a Knight Rider-style voice and personality.

But the real treat to be experienced aboard The Ride are the pop-up street performances that unfold before passengers' eyes. A UPS delivery guy who drops his packages to do a spontaneous break dance and a sailor and nurse who perfectly recreate Alfred Eisenstaedt's iconic image of a couple locked in a never-ending kiss are among the surprise attractions viewers will get to see on their journey. As delightful, if not more, are the stunned reactions of passersby, who have no clue as to what is happening, but who whip out their cameras to film the action faster than you can say iPhone.

It's a great addition to the Great White Way, a wonderful experience for tourists--and believe it or not--locals, too. Tickets from $59. For more info, click here.


Pop Goes the Treat Store!

Gospel Uptown
From the Naked Cowboy to the studios of Good Morning America, Times Square has just about everything. (Except locals, of course.) But you now have one more reason to make the trek to the Theater District...a pop-up store dedicated to...Pop-Tarts!

If you thought the Hershey's Store was fun, just imagine the trouble you can get into while sinking your teeth into one of these wholly unhealthy, but wholly yummy breakfast treats. The store opened this week and will remain in business as a guilty pleasure at least through January.

Insider Tip: Try the Pop-Tarts Sushi. (Yep. You read that right.) Good news: There is no fish in Pop-Tarts sushi. To Visit: Head to 42nd Street, between Avenue of the Americas and Broadway -- though not on an empty stomach. (Don't say you weren't warned.)