Month: April 2012

A Great Cause

CitySightseeing New York Blog

Tuesday, May 8th 2012 is going to be a special night.  One of our brand new cruise ships will gather the contestants for the Miss USA pageant as well as Alyssa Campanella, the reigning Miss USA.  The boat will head out into the enchanting New York Harbor for a scenic ride as the sun sets over Manhattan, and all of this is being done in the name of charity.

That’s what makes next Tuesday so great.  Yeah, it will be fun to host America’s greatest pageant queens, but the fact thousands of dollars will be raised for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation makes this such and incredible event.

Would you like to join us on this magical cruise next Tuesday?  Well, this is your chance.  With limited availability remaining, we are offering an invitation to the general public to join Miss USA on her cruise.  For $100, all of…

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What is Cinco de Mayo a Celebration of?

image via Wikipedia

This weekend, cities all around the United States will participate in the celebration of Cinco de Mayo.  There will be parades, fireworks, fairs and of course, great specials on Corona no matter where you go.  I myself have reservations for a Mexican restaurant where I will partake in Saturday’s festivities, but unlike most people, I will also know what I’m celebrating.

If you think that Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of the Mexican Independence Day, you are wrong.  Don’t feel bad, most Americans believe this as truth.  In fact, Mexico’s Independence Day is celebrated on September 16th and is widely considered the nation’s most important holiday.  So then what is Cinco de Mayo and why is it so popular you ask?  Let’s take a look at history to answer that question:

image via Wikipedia

In 1861, amid financial desperation, Mexican President Benito Juarez announced that Mexico was suspending payment on all foreign debt for the next two years.   France didn’t like this.  They were so angered by this declaration that they were going to take Mexico by force and appoint a new leader.  On May 5, 1862, the French army was marching to Mexico City when they hit the State of Puebla.  It was here that the Mexican army led by General Ignacio Zaragoza defeated the much larger French army.

When word of this victory got to Mexican miners in California, they were so overjoyed with the news that they began firing weapons in the air and singing songs.  Since then, every year in California there has been some sort of celebration of Cinco de Mayo and the Battle of Puebla.

Cinco de Mayo may not be the celebration of the Mexican Independence, but it is still a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.  While celebrations in the United States have grown over the years, there are not many fiestas to be had in Mexico itself.  Outside of the State of Puebla in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is not celebrated much at all.

In the 1980’s the holiday became very commercialized by advertisers, which is why there is so much confusion about it today.  Beer companies in particular began pushing for celebrations and now, they have their wish.  Last year, Time Magazine ranked Cinco de Mayo #4 on their “Top 10 Drunkest Holidays” list.  So this year, after you take your shot of Cuervo and chase it with a Dos Equis, try to remember what the holiday is actually about.  Happy Cinco de Mayo!

The Space Shuttle Enterprise Flew Over Manhattan Today

What an awesome sight this was!

The Enterprise, on route to JFK Airport from Washington DC, decided to fly over Manhattan before landing.  The shuttle flew up around the Intrepid on the Hudson River and then over to the Airport.  This video was captured by our friends at New York Waterways!

Also, check out these photo’s this photo (some photos have been removed from the original post) from NASA (Click the images for the full gallery. Really, do it, all the shots are incredible!):

This Weekend in NYC

Well, another week has passed us by and another weekend is set to begin.  Let’s take a look at what NYC has on the agenda:

NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall

Most people would argue that the first pick in the draft is the one that you want to have, but I’m a firm believer that there is nothing better than the 32nd spot.  Yeah, other teams may get better players, but they won’t get to hear Commissioner Roger Goodell say this:

“With the 32nd pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants select…”

The Colts will get Andrew Luck, but the Giants are still the champs!

The line at Radio City last night
image via @sohodutch

If you want to get ticket to watch the first round of the draft live from Radio City, you’re too late.  Sorry.  The line started forming last night for tonight’s event, and at this point there is no doubt that tickets are all gone.  But, you can still get in line tonight for tickets to Day 2 of the draft on Friday.  Head over to the Radio City Music Hall website for more details.

To get to Radio City Music Hall, hop off the Downtown Loop tour at Rockefeller Center

Tribeca’s Final Weekend

In last week’s TWiN, we mentioned that it was Tribeca Film Fest’s opening weekend.  Well, this week we’re talking about it again since it’s closing weekend.  On Sunday, The festival will close with The Avengers staring quite the cast.  If you’re a normal person like me, you won’t be able to get tickets to that event, but that doesn’t mean you’re completely out of luck.  Remember my story from earlier this week?  You never know what will happen in this crazy city.  So look at the schedule since this is your last few days to catch a screening until next year.

There are screenings all around lower Manhattan, so don’t just hop-off the bus when you hit TriBeCa.  Check out their theater map and compare the theater that you want to go to with our hop-on hop-off map so you don’t get caught walking across half the city.

Go to a Market!

Ok, this sounds a little demanding, but really, you should check out a market this weekend.  The weather is getting nice and the weekend markets are hitting full stride again.  This past Saturday I accidently stumbled upon a market and had a blast.  Great, homemade food for a fraction of the regular NYC price?  You can’t go wrong with that combo.

Like Tribeca, there are markets all around Manhattan.  Check out this handy NYC Market website and compare it with our hop-on hop-off map.

So, that’s what the weekend looks like.  One more day of work tomorrow and you’re home free!

The Tourist’s Guide to Taking Pictures in NYC

Have you ever wanted to take a picture but worried about looking “too much like a tourist?”  One of the most common fears that many tourists have is in regards taking pictures.  Is it appropriate to take that picture?  Will the locals look at me with disgust and judge me?  I don’t want to be a walking cliché, but that I really want to take that picture.  What should I do?

Does this sound like you?  Don’t worry, almost all tourists face photographer’s anxiety in some form.  The following flowchart will serve as a way to check yourself.  When you want to take a picture in New York City, but don’t know if it’s appropriate, go to the chart.  If the chart says that it is ok to take the picture, then take the picture! (Click to enlarge)

Tourist Picture Flowchart

click to enlarge image

Whatever you’re comfortable with, take it!  Don’t let other people’s dirty looks deter you.  Take as many photos as you can and make this vacation one that you’ll never forget!