Month: January 2014

The Best Delis in NYC

Katz’s Deli

flickr / TheGirlsNY

flickr / TheGirlsNY

It’s where Harry met Sally and Sally got a little excited eating that pastrami sandwich. That being said, Katz’s Deli will sometimes make you feel that way. It may be a little touristy because of all of its fame, but it hold up.

Carnegie Deli 

via carnegieseli.com

via carnegieseli.com

The only Deli with a larger crowd than Katz’s is probably the Carnegie Deli, and it’s because of the location. Right on 7th Avenue in Midtown, Carnegie Deli is, again, maybe a little touristy, but it holds up.

2nd Avenue Deli 

via thereelsd.com

via thereelsd.com

The 2nd Avenue Deli has moved to 3rd avenue at 33rd, but it hasn’t lost its touch. It’s another great spot and this one doesn’t have the tourism pull of Katz’s and Carnegie.

Fine & Schapiro 

via mns.com

via mns.com

If you’re uptown, you may want to stop in Fine & Shapiro on 72nd between Columbus and Amsterdam. For my money, it’s the best Kosher delicatessen you’ll find north of 59th street.

But hey, this list is all arbitrary. Who am I to tell you what the best Delis are in NYC? There are what, a couple hundred deli’s spread across this town? I haven’t been to them all so you tell me, what’s your favorite deli? Let us know on twitter at @GrayLineNewYork!

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The Puppy Bowl X Experience

puppies

With the Super Bowl in to NYC this week, Times Square has been turned into every football fans dream theme park. We’ve talked about the toboggan and the parties, but there’s something we haven’t mentioned that has become a staple of Super Bowl Sunday in the greatest way: The Puppy Bowl

If you’re unfamiliar, the Puppy Bowl is an Animal Planet special that airs during the day on Super Bowl Sunday is pretty much what you’d expect. There’s a bunch of puppies on a football field playing with toys and it’s adorable. This year is Puppy Bowl X, and to celebrate Discovery Times Square has opened the ultimate Puppy Bowl Exhibit, which includes the Puppy Bowl Hall of Fame and real live puppies.

Yesterday we took the journey and here are the highlights of the experience:

You enter the exhibition through the Puppy Locker Room

At this point there are no live puppies, just their lockers and uniforms, along with an introductory video. Everybody in the locker room is smiling with excitement.

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Stage 2 brings you to the game area

They have a bunch of puppy themed games set up including cornhole, ladder golf, Frisbee tossing, and paper football field goal kicking. This is a great area for the kids to have some fun before getting into the puppies.

Mo the carpet puppy

There’s one puppy in the game area sitting on a table who is a celebrity. Mo starred in a carpet commercial and is posing for pictures with people. As of now, the website with the pictures isn’t working, but hopefully it comes back soon so I can make a new Facebook profile picture.

Adopt a puppy

As we transition from the game room to the Puppy Bowl Hall of Fame, there are several puppies hanging out with trainers hoping to be adopted. They are all adorable and if I had an apartment bigger than a closet, there’s a 100% chance I would have taken one.

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The Hall of Fame is really awesome

So the Puppy Bowl Hall of Fame is about the coolest thing I’ve seen in a long time. There are giant pictures on the walls of puppies who have been inducted, their names, which Puppy Bowl they played in, and what they did to make it into the hall. Eli scored the most TDs ever in a Puppy Bowl. They also have equipment from Puppy Bowls past such as the ‘Favorite Football’

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They have a full size playing field with actual puppies playing a pickup football game

It’s just like the real life Puppy Bowl, except I’m a spectator. Last week I went to the Stadium Series hockey game between the Rangers and Devils which was played outdoors in Yankee Stadium while it snowed, and this is the coolest sporting event I’ve seen this year.

I obviously hung out here for an extended period of time watching the puppies play, as did most of the people who were there in the experience. If you’re coming to town for Super Bowl XLVIII, the Puppy Bowl Experience has to be on your list of things to do. Oh, and it’s FREE!

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Super Bowl XLVIII on a Budget

Hotel:

This may take a large chunk of your budget up, even for a night or two. There are a few ways you can play your card.

Stay in another borough: You can stay a fast 35 minutes from the stadium by staying at the Hilton Garden Inn located in Staten Island. It is very conveniently located if you have rented a car or used one to get here. You can stay there this weekend for just under $200 a night. Bargain!

Last minute city deals: New York City is probably known as much for the Empire State Building as their overpriced hotel rooms. Last minute deals are your way to score a deal here, just keep checking back. Not ideal if you’re already on your way in but the app Hotel Tonight could help you sort through your options.

Entertainment:

via flickr / benzado

via flickr / benzado

Super Bowl activities are by the masses here. Super Bowl Boulevard will take a big chunk of your time up while waiting for the big game and the best part is it is all basically FREE! You can check out exactly what’s going to be going on there and when here.

Looking for something other than being wrapped up in the Super Bowl? Luckily you’ve found yourself right in the middle of Broadway Week where you can get play tickets 2 for 1, now that’s a touchdown!

Getting Around:

You have two options here. Rent a car or mass transportation. We can’t stress enough how much time and money taking the MTA or NJTransit is going to be. Head into any subway station and pick up a Metrocard, if you are lucky it will be a limited edition Super Bowl designed one and then you also have a authentic Super Bowl XLVII souvenir!

Grub:

One piece of advice for this category – stay away from Times Square. Use the Metrocard you just bought and head downtown or uptown, and then let your nose guide you. A lot of great pubs and bars will be having specials, especially around lunch time you could drink and eat for a fraction of the price. Check their chalk board menus they usually keep outside and see if they interest you. Eat a heavy lunch and keep it simple for dinner.

5 Can’t Miss Events This Week in NYC

These are the top 5 events going on in NYC this week:

It’s been four years in the making. Welcome to Super Bowl Week, New York!

The Puppy Bowl Experience comes to Discovery Times Square January 27-February 1

Super Bowl Boulevard takes over Times Square January 29-February 1

sb boulevard

Rangers play the Islanders at Yankee Stadium January 29

DirecTV Celebrity Beack Bowl at Pier 40 February 1

The Super Bowl Comes to MetLife Stadium February 2

Best Movie Theaters in NYC

movie theater

Where is the best place to see a movie in NYC?

Sometimes you need to take a break from the hustle and bustle of sightseeing in NYC. We get it, we live here. We know how crazy it can be and we know that sometimes if you’re visiting NYC, the best way to get away from it all is at the movies. Take a couple of hours, buy a jumbo popcorn, and relax. It will be just like home. After all, once you’ve been to one movie theater, you’ve been to all of them, right?

Wrong.

New York City, as it does to many other thing, takes movie theaters to a whole new level. These are the best movie theaters in NYC:

AMC 84th Street 6

  • Worried about getting to the theatre early to find seats? Not here! Buy in advance so you can show up during the previews and not worry about a thing.
  • This is on the top of our list for one reason – lazy boy recliners. It’s like you’re at home, except you have a bunch of strangers lounging next to you.
  • Thirsty during the movie and don’t want to walk all the way back to the counter? No worries, just head outside of your theater where you will find refill machines for your Coke Zero.
  • Popcorn is a solid A-, they lose points because they use bags not buckets. (Believe me, it’s a game changer!)

Regal Union Square Stadium 14

  • This place is massive, so if you’re looking for a place with a lot of options and floors this is it.
  • Advance screenings – want to see the Hunger Games the day before it comes out? This theater is privy to advance screen certain films.
  • Like extra butter on your popcorn? Do it yourself here!
  • Location, location, location. Easy to get to no matter what part of the city you’re coming from.

Chelsea Bow Tie Cinema

  • Want a theater that doesn’t follow the standard rules? This theater thinks a little out of the box.
  • The design of this place makes you feel like you are going to a Broadway show more than a movie, makes the experience extra special.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show – every Friday AND Saturday night.
  • $6 tickets on Super Tuesday!

Regal Battery Park Stadium 11

  • Not a fan of people? This is your theater.
  • If you are living or working in the downtown area, this is definitely your best option for theaters.
  • Solid popcorn time after time, may not rank number one but consistently counts!

Do you have a favorite theater in NYC? Tell us about it on Twitter at @GrayLineNewYork

So, What is ‘Hop on, Hop off’ Anyway?

hoho bus

What is a Hop on, Hop off bus tour?

We get a lot of questions from our visitors all about our bus tours and how they work. One of the most common questions we get is about our top products, the hop on, hop off double decker bus tours. As people who work with these buses every single day, sometime take for granted the fact that not everyone has been exposed to this type of tour previously.

ESBThe Hop on, hop off bus tour is becoming more and more popular throughout the world. Here in New York City, this is how it works

  • When you redeem your ticket, it is valid for 24 hours, 48 hours, or another pre-determined amount of time.
  • We have 50 spots throughout the city where our bus makes stops on our various tours. You can check out our map online here.
  • You can ‘hop on’ the bus at any of these stops you purchased a ticket for. For example:
      • If your ticket is for the downtown tour, you can hop on at stops 1-22
      • If your ticket is for the uptown tour, you can hop on at stops 23-39
      • If you have an All Loops ticket, you can hop on at any of the 50 stops
  • Once on the bus, you can ride for as long as the bus remains in service and on its loop. The bus will continue to make stops at each of the pre-marked destinations.
  • Any time the bus makes a stop, you can ‘hop off’ and further explore the area on your own. Maybe you want to grab some lunch, maybe you want to use your Empire State Building tickets; you can hop off for as long as you like.
  • When you hop off, you hang onto your tickets. You will need them next time you want to hop on again.
  • Buses come through each stop every 15-20 minutes, so if you find yourself waiting at one of our bus stops, be patient because another bus will be there soon!

So, are you still confused about what “Hop on, Hop off” means? Do you have other questions you would like to see answered? Let us know on Twitter at @GrayLineNewYork. 

5 Can’t Miss Events This Week in NYC

These are the top 5 events going on in NYC this week:

The New York City Ballet begins its Winter Season at Lincoln Center (Tuesday, 21)

Image via twitter / @nycballet

The American Songbook Series kicks off with a free show at Lincoln Center (Wednesday, 22)

Image via americansongbook

Disney on Ice Celebrates 100 Years of Magic at Barclays Center (Wednesday, 22-Sunday 26)

Image via Barclays Center

Masters of Ceremony Hip Hop Reunion featuring DMX at Radio City Music Hall (Friday, 24)

Image via radio city

Luke Bryan Plays MSG (Saturday, 25)

Image via buzznet

Bonus pick!

The Devils play The Rangers outside in Yankee Stadium (Sunday, 26)

Image via daily news

Are you going to one of these events this week? Doing something else we didn’t list? Tell us all about it on Twitter at @GrayLineNewYork