Tag Archives: New York City

Citi Biking the Big Apple

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When one thinks of visiting New York City, one of the first things that come to mind is how to get around this populous urban centre, and how to do it in the most practical way so as to enjoy all the excitement the Big Apple is famous for.  One option is to ride the subway.  It is fast, affordable, convenient, and can get you pretty much anywhere worth seeing.  However, being underground prevents you from experiencing the hassle and bustle of the city.  Another option is to walk around the eclectic and exhilarating neighbourhoods often showcased in many hollywood films.  Walking around town you can people-watch, window-shop until you drop, and take as long as you feel it is necessary to discover its charm.  Although this is one of the most popular ways to venture around NYC, it is a bit time consuming and not very practical if you are in town for just a few days.

A third option which until recently seemed to be reserved for locals (…or daredevils), is biking.  At first, it might feel like a very risky proposition for a city like New York, but if you can get your head around biking along side hectic traffic, having the bike lane blocked by every imaginable obstacle (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzE-IMaegzQ), or sweating it up on your vacation, this is one of the most thrilling experiences that NYC has to offer and a very fun way to get around while basking in on the endless beauty. Biking around the wide streets of New York you will enjoy gazing at the historic buildings, being surrounded by the collage of skyscrapers, coming up close to the diversity of the people and the neighbourhoods.   While on a bike, you will be able to hop on and off easily, get lost in Central Park, and visit the Union Square farmers’ market along the way. Riding down the iconic 5th avenue or over the cobblestone streets, you will feel part of the city and its magic.

If you are sold on the idea, you should consider renting a “Citi Bike”…

Citi Bike is a bike sharing system that provides an easy and affordable option to get around the city.  Renting a Citi Bike for 24hrs will set you back $9.95 plus tax.  This fee includes an unlimited amount of 30-minute trips on a rugged and easy-to-use blue bike.  If you keep your rides within the time limit you will not pay a penny more, but if you take longer, overtime charges will apply.  You can pick-up and drop-off the Citi Bike at any of the 330 locations around the city;  definitely a very convenient service.

So next time you are in the Big Apple, why not let your wild side take over?  Hop on a bike and experience NYC like the locals do.  Many thrills await so enjoy…and share your experience, let me know what you think about biking in NYC.

For more information on the Citi Bike system you can visit  http://citibikenyc.com/how-it-works

Ramen Delight in New York City

I don’t know what it is but I’m definitely hooked on Ramen.  It could be the freshness of the ingredients, the perfect combination of pork (such a weakness), noodles and broth, or simply the whole experience of sitting right in front of the chef and following step-by-step the hypnotizing process of preparation.  Whatever it is, I’ve decided to go on a quest and try out the different varieties and styles of Ramen that I can find, be it here in Toronto, New York, Tokyo, or anywhere my travels may take me.

I recently got the chance to try out Totto Ramen;  a highly reviewed and visited Ramen Shop in Midtown Manhattan (366 W 52nd Street, NY).  Although I have never been to Japan, this is very close to what I imagine of a dining experience there.  A rustic small shop, with a lively atmosphere, sitting at the counter watching the chef (of course wearing a head scarve) tossing up noodles and stirring up the broth as if that was all he was meant to do in life. And of course…delicious food.  I highly recommend the Chicken Paitan Ramen: straight homemade noodles cooked al dente style in a whole chicken and premium soy sauce based soup topped with scallion, onion, char siu pork, and a nori.  For US$11, this is a very accessible delicacy that your taste buds will thank you for.  If you can overcome the long waiting time at the door (no reservations), then you are in for a treat.  Check out the menu (http://tottoramen.com/?page_id=50) for  more delicious treats available at Totto Ramen.

If you are visiting the Big Apple please follow my advise and go to Totto Ramen.  You will not be disappointed !

ITADAKIMASU!

Up in Brooklyn

I have to confess…it took me several visits to New York City to finally venture out to Brooklyn (if only I had known better…). Fortunately for me and thanks to my amazing guides (Moeko and Kaoruko Nitohbe), I got a taste of the best that Brooklyn has to offer.

A visit to Brooklyn has got to be on the top of anyone’s “to-see” list for a saturday in New York City.  After hopping on the Q Broadway Express  in Manhattan, we got off at the Atlantic-Pacific metro station.  The first thing that hit us was the new Barclays Centre, home of the new Brooklyn Nets, and a hard-to-miss black and modern structure that contrasts Brooklyn’s typical architectural style.  From here on, the day was full of excitement and beauty:  vintage hunting at the Brooklyn Flea Market (http://www.brooklynflea.com/markets/), delicious treats and beautiful panoramic views of Manhattan at the Smorgasburg at Williamsburg, a tasty pour over coffee at the Blue Bottle Café (http://www.bluebottlecoffee.com), an unexpected live band at Radegast Hall (http://www.radegasthall.com), and the overall eclecticism of the people, the places, and the things this very hip and trendy borough has to offer.

I am definitely looking forward to my next visit.

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High on the Line

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On my last 2 visits to the Big Apple, I have spent a lot of time wondering along a very unusual and amazing place.  The High Line Park, one of NYC’s most recent jewels, is a hideaway that swirls through the massive architecture of Manhattan’s Westside from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street.

Beautiful architecture, colourful gardens, cool resting areas, and interesting people, make this a must see attraction while visiting New York City.

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This urban oasis is the perfect example of what a great cosmopolitan city should be offering its citizens and visitors.  It is gems like this that bring NYC above the rest.

                BlueBottleBarista

If the weather is on your side, pick up some food, head over to the High Line, have a picnic, enjoy the great views of the city, have a coffee, and who knows, maybe you will meet someone and fall in love.

                 LoveontheHighLine

                         Photography and text by Diego Rojas