Labor Day in Lower Manhattan

Labor Day in Lower Manhattan

The end of summer is finally here. For those who didn’t make arrangements to get out of New York City for Labor Day Weekend, there are plenty of exciting things to do around town. Why stress over the traffic when you can stay where you are and enjoy Lower Manhattan? Best of all, many locals leave the area for the holiday so it tends to be a quiet weekend in the city. Here are four things to do in and around Lower Manhattan over the long weekend. Have a Picnic Battery Park is the perfect place to host a picnic. Grab your best lawn blanket, snacks, beverages and good company for an afternoon in the sun. With unmatched views of the Statue of Liberty, plus the Brooklyn and Jersey City skylines, there’s no better place for such an outing than along the water in Lower Manhattan. Head to Governors Island Don’t forget about Governors Island, just a quick ferry ride away from Lower Manhattan. In celebration of summer, the Island stays open to the public until 10pm on Fridays. Head over to watch the sunset and enjoy food and drinks from local vendors into the night. Also worth checking out is the NYC Unicycle Festival, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5pm. For other fun activities and things to do on the Island, check out our recent blog on visiting Governors Island. Museum Hop A majority of museums in NYC are open on Labor Day and may even host special events. Head over to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum and take a ride up One World Trade for 360-degree...
5 Carry-On Essentials for Your Next Flight

5 Carry-On Essentials for Your Next Flight

Traveling can be stressful, and packing for a trip can be equally as stressful. You may have your itinerary laid out, hotels booked and flights purchased, but you’ve saved the most tedious step for last. While packing clothes, toiletries, shoes and work-related items is important, you may forget to fill your carry-on with crucial items you’ll want to have access to during your flight. In the face of long flights, layovers and potential delays, we suggest packing these five carry-on essentials to get you through your next trip safely and happily. Cellphone Charger Now that many airports and airplanes are outfitted with USB charging ports, make sure you have a charging cord handy in your carry-on and that it’s accessible to you during your flight. You may want to contact the airline or check their website ahead of time to see if your flight offers this amenity. If not, or you’re unsure, a portable power bank provides a foolproof backup. Headphones It’s no secret that airline-provided headphones are the worst. You can barely hear anything over the engine noise, and depending on the airline, you may incur a fee to use their one-time-only headphones. Even if you’re not planning on watching a movie or listening to music, noise-cancelling headphones will help you achieve some peace and quiet during the flight. ID/Passport This may be a no-brainer, but bringing your ID and/or passport is an absolute essential when flying. Make sure your form of identification is valid and not expired. If you’re traveling close to its expiration date, call your airline carrier to determine if it’s safe to travel. Also,...
Discovering NYC Series: Shopping in Lower Manhattan

Discovering NYC Series: Shopping in Lower Manhattan

While New York City is full of clothing retailers scattered across Manhattan, most believe Fifth Avenue is where to find the best shopping on the island. We’d like to challenge this notion. Fifth Ave is wonderful for those whose disposable income is without limits, but for the everyday shopper, Downtown NYC is the place to go. Here are our four top shopping destinations in the neighborhood: Century 21 Who needs the latest Max Mara blazer when you can shop last season’s classics at Century 21? Outfitted for those with champagne taste, Century 21 is the best way to purchase designer clothing at a reasonable cost. Westfield World Trade Center We’re still not sure if a mall surrounded by a major transportation hub is a good or bad thing, but hey, it’s certainly convenient! Whether you’re on your way home from work or looking for something to do over the weekend, Westfield World Trade Center’s impressive vendor list is vast and ever-growing. If you’ve worked up an appetite, stop by Eataly’s newest NYC location in Downtown Manhattan. Brookfield Place Brookfield Place is definitely a high-end shopping experience. From Burberry to Vince, Theory to Gucci, it’s one of New York City’s newest and most elegant luxury malls. Our favorite Brookfield Place attraction is their sophisticated food court. Say goodbye to dodgy Chinese food vendors and say hello to Chop’t. Seaport District As the South Street Seaport rebuilds itself, more local clothing vendors are moving in and creating a unique shopping destination. Stop by Rialto Jean Project, specializing in hand-painted vintage jeans, or Christian Benner, a local fashion designer who’s worked with...
New York’s apartment-like hotels that are a great alternative to Airbnb

New York’s apartment-like hotels that are a great alternative to Airbnb

Last year was a busy year for Airbnb’s lawyers. In September, they filed a lawsuit against Santa Monica, arguing that a new law making unsupervised short-term rentals illegal violated the United States Constitution’s First and Fourth Amendments. In July, they sued Anaheim, challenging a law that fines short-term rental sites. And in June, they sued the company’s hometown of San Francisco over a law that penalises websites for posting properties by owners who don’t have a city permit. And that’s just in California. The company has hit similar opposition outside the US. Iceland has a new law that means apartments rented out for more than 90 days need a special licence, Berliners can’t rent out their entire flat (only a room), and Amsterdam has banned apartment rentals for more than 60 days a year. AKA Sutton Place Hotel, New York.  Arguably the biggest blow came in October, when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law making it illegal to rent out apartments for fewer than 30 days. If you’re someone who likes the convenience of having a kitchen and the savings that come from self-catering, your options in the Big Apple just dwindled. Or did they? It turns out that several New York hotels already offer apartment-like facilities and many more are jumping on the bandwagon. Here are some worth checking out. AKA AKA has five luxury long-term residences in Manhattan. Its flagship property is AKA Central Park, nestled behind The Plaza Hotel and just one block from the park. The property’s entrance on 58th Street is surprisingly discreet – perhaps because of the many celebrities and high-profile...
City Acres Market Now Open

City Acres Market Now Open

The much anticipated organic market and food hall, City Acres Market, has finally opened its doors for business beneath Q&A Hotel in Lower Manhattan. Situated on the corner of Pearl and Cedar Streets within the 70 Pine building, this establishment will be your first stop on your way to work and the last on your way home. Outfitted to serve the needs of everyday grocery shoppers as well as the hungry business lunch crowd, City Acres offers both brand-name products as well as local goods. As you pass through the front entrance you’ll notice that every square inch is neatly occupied with either refrigerated beverages or mouth-watering food vendors. Here you can find popular New York-native restaurants such as Vanessa’s Dumplings or Artichoke Basille’s Pizza. There’s something for everyone at any time of day: grab breakfast at JuiceBrothers accompanied by a vegan donut from Cinnamon Snail; lunch from the City Acres deli counter with a side salad; and pick up dinner options at Vanessa’s Dumplings or grab a slice of the famous Artichoke Pizza. For those who are a little more daring, try the all-vegan sushi bar, Beyond Sushi. If you’re not in the mood to wait in line, you can also grab fare from a selection of City Acres’ hot or cold prepared foods. After you’ve indulged at the food hall, head downstairs to an expansive market to complete your grocery order. There’s a butcher, cheese shop, fresh produce section and aisles full of everyday household goods from familiar and local brands. The produce is locally sourced and reasonably priced. The cheese selection, curated by an in-house cheesemonger,...