Quiz: How Well Do You Know New York?

Quiz: How Well Do You Know New York?

Test your knowledge of Gotham City with this short and fun quiz to see if you know more the average New Yorker 🙂 Get all the answers right to receive a 10% discount on all our Harlem Spirituals/New York Visions tours!

It's a common fact that millions of visitors from all over the world flock to New York ever year. Yet only a happy few really get to truly experience the Real New York. Yes, Midtown Manhattan is stunning and we all love it. However it's only a tiny slice of the apple. The truth is, even some New Yorkers don’t know everything about this town. New York City is much more than just one neighborhood. In fact, each of its five boroughs and over 300 neighborhoods brings something to the table; Manhattan and Harlem, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island are all incredibly diverse communities that all add so much life to this city. New York City's diversity stretches across its five boroughs including Manhattan and is filled with adventures and off the beaten path destinations that only a few tourists venture to.

Join one of our guided NYC adventures to expand your knowledge of the city. Stroll through trendy Dumbo, Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights and more Brooklyn neighborhoods on the Brooklyn Walking Tour which also includes an all day pass to the ferry so you can cruise the New York harbor! Explore the Boogie-Down Bronx on both our Hidden Treasures of The Bronx with Lunch at City Island and the Bronx Tour with Bronx Zoo Experience. Or if you want to see it all, take our BBQ & BBQ tour - From HipHop to Hipsters, a Triboro tour that'll take you to the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens, and end on a tasty note with an authentic BBQ Lunch.

Which one of these neighborhoods is NOT in Queens, NY?

Where is the famously known New York Stock Exchange?

In which NYC borough can you find the neighborhood known as City Island?

Where did Soul Food originate in the United States?

Which NYC building is considered to be the tallest tower in the Western Hemisphere?

Which NYC Zoo is America's largest metropolitan zoo, and features more than 4,000 animals?

Which of these venues host the beloved and legendary “Amateur Night”?

What is the name of the most famous (baseball) stadium located in the Bronx?

The Statue of Liberty is clearly visible from Battery Park.

Where is the Soldiers and Sailor's Memorial Arch of Grand Army Plaza?

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We hope that you’ve had fun taking this Quiz! If you would like to know more about the Big Apple, join us on our tours; we’ll take you off the beaten path to explore the real New York!

Disclaimer: Participants of this quiz who answer all the questions correctly will be automatically eligible to get a 10%discount on our tours (including our brand new tours). To receive the discount, participants need to confirm to the following eligibility criteria:

1. You must be over 18 to qualify

2. You must have a valid Facebook ID/ Twitter handle (as applicable)

Winners will be notified via email on Friday, June 3rd 2016. All submissions must be sent before June 3rd.

Discount code will need to be redeemed  before July 31st, 2016. In the event of any questions, please contact: digitalmedia@harlemspirituals.com stating the name of this Quiz (“How Well Do You Know New York?”) in the subject line. 

NYC Neighborhood #7: Downtown Manhattan

NYC Neighborhood #7: Downtown Manhattan

Downtown Manhattan is more than just the city’s main business center and financial district. In and around this concrete jungle of bank towers and office buildings, there are some really important and beloved pieces of New York City’s history. Unlike any other areas of New York City, our picturesque Downtown (also known as Lower Manhattan), provides a spectacular backdrop for nearly any types of situation.

This neighborhood still radiates the old New York charm and it still has some sites dating back to when NYC was known as New Amsterdam. Downtown also hosts a number of iconic landmarks and attractions, museums, public artworks and performing arts centers. All can be best seen on our New York, NY tour, which really shows the many facets of Manhattan and the contrast between its various neighborhoods. But, if you want to see Downtown Manhattan when it comes alive at night, take the New York by Night with One World Observation Center (priority admission). On this NYC night tour, beside taking in sweeping views of Manhattan Skyline from different angles, you will also stop by the Meatpacking District, New York hottest and trendiest neighborhoods these days. You’ll also drive through many neighborhoods of Lower Manhattan such as SoHo, Nolita, West Village, and Chinatown. And there’s just so much more to do in this area that you can continue exploring Downtown on your own. This post can be used as your one-stop guide for everything to see and do in Lower Manhattan.

1- Art 
Whitney Museum

(Photo by Shinya S. – Flick)

With its art-centric communities like Chelsea, Lower East Side, Soho and the West Village, Downtown Manhattan boasts quite a few galleries. Starting with Milk Studios and Gallery, a place where the world of fashion, art and nightlife all mingle together. At the Manhattan Art & Antiques Center, and the Ivy Brown Gallery things vary in nature, with exhibitions encompassing photography, paintings and sculptures from both well-known and up-and-coming artists. Then, there is the White Columns, which claims to be the New York City’s oldest alternative non-profit space and was established in 1970. The Whitney Museum of American Art, and the New Museum of Contemporary Art both curates modern American art and are definitely must-sees when you are in the area. Additionally, there is a Children’s Museum of the Arts, which is a fantastic establishment for parents who want to introduce their kids to art early on.

2- History

1200px-Nyc_city_hall_july2006b(Photo By Aude – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5)

So much of New York’s history still lives Downtown. It was here on Wall Street that President George Washington took his inaugural oath of office (more specifically at the Federal Hall). Lower Manhattan hosts lots of significant sites such as City Hall, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Woolworth Building, One World Trade Center, and the National September 11th Museum; which – by the way – you can explore at night on our New York by Night with One World Observation Center tour that includes a ticket and express entrance to the One World Observatory. Beside the historical spots, there are several other important NYC landmarks that can be found in this area including: Battery Park, Castle Clinton, the Charging Bull, the Museum of Chinese in America (located in Chinatown), the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, the African Burial Ground, and the South Street Seaport that encompass a maritime museum where visitors can stroll past eighteenth and nineteenth century buildings located alongside its cobblestone streets. There are even art galleries related to Manhattan’s importance as an island and a port city. Downtown also has many religious institutions with really beautiful architectural details like the Trinity Church and St. Paul’s Chapel.

3- Food

South_street_seaport_(Photo By Jan Ainali)

Describing Downtown Manhattan as a fun “hot spot” is still an understatement. If anything, Downtown Manhattan’s abundance of restaurants, boutiques, lounges and bars is the most concentrated in the entire city. With practically countless possibilities for late night dining, drinking, and socializing. In terms of eateries, there is a diverse mix of restaurants in Downtown among them you can count Mediterranean, Italian, French, Chinese, Mexican, Japanese, Indian and traditional American cuisine. Some of the most popular restaurants choices are: Cipriani, Beauty & Essex, STK Downtown, Nobu, Morimoto, Toro NYC, Catch, Dos Caminos, and TAO Downtown. Other Downtown food destinations that are worthy of a visit include the Spice Market and the Chelsea Market. South Street Seaport, known as the place that used to be America’s busiest port, also provides some great places for shopping and dining. For sugary treats, you can wander into the nearby shops or go straight to the areas’ most famous joints like Duane Park Patisserie, Magnolia Bakery, or to Dominique Ansel Bakery for their famous Cronuts! For those looking to enjoy a little casual meal and drinks with spectacular views, you are already in the fun zone 🙂

4- Entertainment 

Downtown Manhattan(Photo by Gigi NYC)

While Downtown is known for its energy and its reputation as the New York City’s “playground”, there are few places more enjoyable than this portion of the Big Apple especially at night, regardless of the season. Our New York by Night with One World Observation Center tour is especially a great place to start uncovering Downtown. This area has practically endless options of restaurants, nightclubs, lounges and bars, many of them with accessible rooftops offering amazing views of the Hudson River, downtown Manhattan and its surroundings. There are also plenty of choices if you are looking for concerts, live shows including Off-Broadway productions, standup comedy and more! Le Poisson Rouge, Pianos, the Highline Ballroom, and the Comedy Cellar are all great entertainment destinations in Downtown Manhattan. Metrograph, a newly opened indie movie theater, offers a unique experience accompanied by drinks & food. If you’re in the mood for some shopping instead, there’s the remarkable Brookfield Place, a mall where designer labels can be found under one roof alongside with glorious Hudson River and skyline views. Although this neighborhood seem too small to have gardens, you can still embrace nature in places like Zuccotti Park, Tompkins Square Park, Washington Square Park and the Downtown portion of the High Line Park. Already been on the Staten Island Ferry? Get an overview of Manhattan Island by cruising the harbor aboard one of these NYC cruises. Some of the best choices, we recommend the Clipper City Twilight Sailing Cruise, the Shearwater Champagne Brunch Sailing Cruise, and the Dinner Cruise with Live Jazz Music.


Downtown Manhattan, for anyone who isn’t familiar, is a world of exploration and adventure that is waiting for you to enjoy endless shopping, dining and entertainment. Plus, our New York by night and New York NY tour are both perfect for wandering the streets of Downtown after exploring the in-and-out of this area with a local expert. Where would you rather be, Downtown, Midtown or Uptown Manhattan?

5 Must-See Neighborhoods in Brooklyn

5 Must-See Neighborhoods in Brooklyn

Brooklyn is huge! And contrary to popular beliefs this borough is not just all about artists and hipsters. Like many parts of New York City, Brooklyn is very diverse and culturally vibrant. While Manhattan gets the most attention, people tend to forget that right across the East River is a very exciting world of its own.

Although more and more people are now going to Brooklyn when visiting NYC, it’s still far from being a tourist hub. If you want to be ahead of the curve on this one, you can experience Brooklyn now in a whole new way with Harlem Spirituals – NY Visions’ tours. Besides, Brooklyn is home to many trendy spots, charming neighborhoods, some of the finest landmarks and attractions in NYC, and even the hippest New Yorkers; All of which are covered in both our Brooklyn Walking tour with an all day Ferry Pass and on the BBQ & BBQ – Bronx, Brooklyn & Queens Tour with BBQ Lunch.

Without further ado, here is a quick tour of the five (5) must-see neighborhoods in Brooklyn.

1. Park Slope

A photo posted by Nawapan (@nawapan01) on

If you already have plans to go to Brooklyn, be sure to not miss this area because this residential neighborhood with its charming tree-lined streets and brownstones is perfect the perfect scenery for a nice walk. Other reasons to see Park Slope include all the cute boutiques, parks, concert venues, bookstores, historic landmarks, and beautiful architecture of course! Park Slope is also notably very child-friendly. Sure, there are strollers and a lot of vintage shops, but that’s all part of what makes it so special. Some of the hotspots in this area are Union Hall, the popular bar with bocce courts, the Barclays Center, and The Bell House.


  A photo posted by Joshua Neyhart (@maniacmiler) on

As the neighborhood right of the Brooklyn Bridge, DUMBO spreads only about 20 blocks. But, this tiny cobble-stoned area under the Manhattan Bridge has gone from an “artists only” territory to an exciting hub for everyone. Our Brooklyn walking tour is especially fantastic when it comes to checking out all that DUMBO has to offer because nearly every block in this neighborhood offers something captivating to see and they are all within walking distance! It’s also in Dumbo where you can find popular sites such as The River CafĂ©, Superfine, Pianos lounge, Brooklyn Bridge Park and the famous Jane’s Carrousel, Rockwood Music Hall (which made our list of top NYC nightlife spots), St. Ann’s Warehouse, and arguably two of the best pizzerias in Brooklyn: Grimaldi’s and Juliana’s.

3. Williamsburg

A photo posted by danieladisnan (@danieladisnan) on

This neighborhood is not just home to a prospering art community. It’s also a hub where anyone can enjoy a slice of authentic Neapolitean brick oven thin crust pizza accompanied with a freshly made cannoli for dessert. Besides being a pop-culture darling, Williamsburg also host Smorgasburg, a food festival that is made up of local vendors who set up their shops weekly in East River State Park. Other notable places that you should also check out after taking a tour of this neighborhood is the Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn Winery, Union Pool, Brooklyn Bowl, and the Knitting Factory (which is definitely not a place where you knit).

4. Brooklyn Heights

As the country’s very first suburb with distinctive brownstones, Brooklyn Heights also claim a promenade where you can catch a sight of the best view of Manhattan’s skyline from Brooklyn. Considering the fact that all of Brooklyn Heights has been officially labeled as a historic district, there is a lot of interesting Brooklyn Heights factoids that you can learn of on our tours in Brooklyn.

5. Downtown Brooklyn

A photo posted by αdαm αref (@adamaref) on

If there is one word that would perfectly describe Downtown Brooklyn it is transformation. This Brooklyn neighborhood, known for being the 3rd largest business district in the city, is now boasting with a mounting list of residential buildings and is also rapidly becoming a lively 24/7 hub. This part of Brooklyn claims many cultural offerings such as the Brooklyn Museum, BLDG 92, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and for history buffs, the Brooklyn Historical Society. Asides from the ever-growing list of new restaurants, Junior’s (cheesecake & desserts), a shrine to the old Brooklyn, is also still located here.

Despite everyone having an opinion on Brooklyn, it’s truly a diverse and incredible place to visit. Furthermore, there’s a whole world of awesomeness waiting for you right across the River if you know where to go. Whether you are in the Big Apple on a short stay or live in New York City, but haven’t gotten the time to explore Brooklyn, book a tour today to get to know this borough a little bit more. Did we leave out a neighborhood you were hoping to see on this list? Share it with us in the comments below!

9 Most Hipster Things That Have Ever Happened in Brooklyn

9 Most Hipster Things That Have Ever Happened in Brooklyn

Nowadays when you hear Brooklyn, you’re probably thinking hipsters, street art, coffee shops, yoga studios, etc … While these do not apply to every parts of Brooklyn, they surely are all over Williamsburg, and have been for at least the past decade. While the word “hipster” itself is a term mostly used to describe people who represent a certain subculture, New Yorkers are also using it to describe all the unusual matters that they encounter in Brooklyn.

No doubt that by now you must have heard millions of things about Brooklyn. But to separate fact from fiction, we invite you to experience this borough for yourself. Our Brooklyn Walking tour will not only show you the trendy side of Brooklyn but also take you off the beaten path so you can soak in all the borough’s flavor. It even includes an all-day Ferry pass so you can explore the New York Harbor afterwards. Another great option is our BBQ & BBQ- Bronx, Brooklyn & Queens tour w. BBQ Lunch which allow you to get a glimpse of the real New York by visiting 3 major NYC boroughs in one day, complete with a BBQ lunch in Brooklyn! This is especially ideal for those who are short on time but still looking to see all the New York greatness.

Now, before you join us to see Brooklyn’s hipster magic with your own eyes, here’s our list of the 9 most hipster things to ever have happened in Brooklyn:

1. The Baby DJ school 

Yes, you read that right; parents in Brooklyn are so concerned about making sure that their little ones become very productive members of our society that they send them to vocational schools very early on 🙂 Do you want your baby spinning at Coachella or other music festivals in a couple of years? No need to panic, Brooklyn Baby DJ School has got your back and will help coach your little super star as early as three months after birth!

2. The morning raves
I mean, who else but the creative and energetic hipsters of Brooklyn can work up the audacity to come up with something as genius as partying early in the morning? These types of parties are nothing new in Williamsburg, but they have become so much of “a thing” that early morning gatherings are now popular in Manhattan and other cities. You may be wondering, what does one wear to a 6 a.m. turn up on a weekday? They recommend that you “dress to sweat” since some of these bashes include exercising and doing some yoga. To get your morning groove on, check out Daybreaker and Morning Gloryville.

3. Halloween or Williamsburg

Halloween or Williamsburg(IMG from Halloween or Williamsburg)

Oh boy, where do we even start…. The blog may be called Halloween or Williamsburg, but the truth is that the same joke can be applied to several other neighborhoods in the Big Apple. As you may know by now, New Yorkers LOVE fashion but they also enjoy expressing individuality through clothes; even though some of the outfit can often leave us all wondering about the day of the year *Is it October already or is it Comic-Con week? * This answer can be found in a calendar but for now, let’s just agree that everyday is Halloween in Williamsburg.

4. The Pizza Box made out of Pizza

(Photo by Vinnie’s Pizzeria)

This one won’t surprise those who know how serious New Yorkers are about their pizzas. But, this place in Brooklyn just took it to a whole new level with their new *Wait for it* … Pizza Box pizza! That’s right, the makers of the famous “pizza on pizza” in Brooklyn have done it again with their newest extreme pizza.

5. When they made rainbow bagels a thing
Not long ago, people on the Internet lost their mind over some colorful and photogenic bagels because rainbow foods are all the rage these days. The multicolored bagels are brought to us by a place fittingly called The Bagel Store located in Williamsburg. It’s safe to say that the rainbow bagels are still selling out every day. So if you want to get a taste, be sure to call and place an order the day before.

6. Dumpster Dining

salvage-supper-club- brooklyn(IMG courtesy of Salvage Supper Club)

You know about dumpster diving… But have you tried Dumpster dining in Brooklyn yet? Yeah we know that you are currently asking yourself what the rest of us have been wondering about for a while – is there anything the hipsters of Brooklyn won’t try as long as it looks cool on the surface? The answer is no 🙂 However, in this particular instance they are doing it for charity. So while seeing Brooklynites leave their lovely brownstones to go dine in a Dumpster may look pretentious, the Salvage Superclub was actually doing it for a good cause.

7. When there was a real dumpster for rent
If you are familiar with apartment hunting in this city, you know that things are not always what they sounds like. But, if someone describes a place as “art deco hipster retro mini apartment from a converted dumpster” for rent, believe them and run away! Because this is not a joke and it will even cost you a pretty penny to rent it. For those who are into unique homes, this one may be right up your alley and you too can have the home of your Instagram dreams in Williamsburg.

8. The Adult “Preschool”

Adult Preschool-Brooklyn(Photo courtesy of Preschool Mastermind)

This one of a kind “school” in Brooklyn, is also branded the Preschool Mastermind. Even though it’s just for adults, the school offers a realistic day care experience that includes non-age-appropriate activities like finger painting, Play-Doh and Crayola arts and crafts, field trips, and most importantly nap-time! If you agree that the best way to cope with stress is to reconnect with your inner child, then this may just be your best option. Besides, nothing ain’t cool unless Brooklyn says it is!

9. Williamsburg Hipsters’ New Year’s resolutions
When Buzzfeed asked hipsters in Brooklyn about their New Year’s resolutions, they brought it, I mean they kept it 100 percent REAL and blew everyone’s mind with their amazingly organized, logical and thoughtful resolutions. Check it out.

Yes hipsters have left their marks on Brooklyn but, don’t stop yourself at reading these wild stories; come and see for yourself on our new Brooklyn walking tour, an ever-expanding tour through Brooklyn’s must-see neighborhoods that will introduce you to the rich diversity of its historic districts. 

5 Reasons To Visit The Bronx

5 Reasons To Visit The Bronx

Today the Bronx is on everyone’s lips. Though its shadowy past seems to linger around and still gives it an imbalanced reputation, the Bronx has long left the past behind to become one of New York City’s most exciting boroughs. If you are not already acquainted with its history, beside the fact that it’s the famous birthplace of the Hip Hop culture, please allow us to school you on why you should visit the Bronx 🙂

We at Harlem Spirituals-New York Visions have been pioneers in creating off the beaten path guided visits to showcase the multiple facets of Big Apple. Long overshadowed by other boroughs, the Bronx remains one of our favorite places in the City and we are very proud and happy to offer our guests a glimpse of all the wonders the Bronx has to offer. Join one of our 3 tours of the Bronx to explore the borough and see for yourself what the hype is all about. Our tours are an ideal option if you are a bit short on time or if you are not keen on getting there by yourself… You’ll get to see all the Bronx’s most famous landmarks, its most exciting neighborhoods and attractions, as well some hidden gems only New Yorkers know about. Click the links below to find out more:

Hidden Treasure of the Bronx w/ Lunch on City Island
Bronx Tour and Bronx Zoo Experience
Bronx, Brooklyn & Queens Tour w. BBQ Lunch

Need more convincing? Check our list of the 5 reasons why you should visit the Bronx!

1- The Architecture 

Art Deco - Bronx(Photo by Henry C Flickr) Read more