Visit the Hamptons while you are in New York !

If you appreciate the contrast between new and old, you will love Long Island. It’s a little paraide located in the North-East of the United States, extending off the coasts from the State of Connecticut to the south towards the Hudson. Long Island is known to be the theater of a real New York melting pot. Indeed, here, old buildings mix with the last trendy clubs, the young people and the less young share the beach in harmony.

Credits: nytimes
Credits: nytimes

The Hamptons, the St tropez of New York

Some History… It’s a simple part of the island where virgin nature and fishermen were immortalized under the brush of some great painters, The Hamptons quickly became a dynamic destination. In the early 70s, this heaven on earth becomes the new place with the visit of the biggest celebrities. This area is now visited every year by the New Yorker socialites and VIP who are looking for a little escape under the perfect breeze from May to September ! (Like Sarah Jessica Parker and her husband Matthew Broderick)

credits:people
credits:people

Visit the Hamptons with Harlem Spirituals

Begin your trip with a stop at Riverhead, for a warm and typical country breakfast, then continue east as you pass the Long Island Duck, before arriving to the famous Southampton where residents such as Jerry Seinfeld, Paris Hilton, David Letterman, Steven Spielberg, and others have made it their home.

Credits: nytimes
Credits: nytimes

Start the tour strolling down the picturesque main street, before heading down through the historical area, the harbor and along ocean drive, passing by the homes of the rich and famous along the way. You will then continue to Sag Harbor a picturesque and quaint town that invites its visitors to enjoy it’s unique atmosphere. Take your time to tour the harbor and see the yachts, then stop at the antique stores or the old world shops for some real bargains.

Credits: Harlem Spirituals
Credits: Harlem Spirituals

After lunch head west towards the Tanger Outlets where you’ll pick up your mall goodies and then explore the stores. Find your own bargain with brand name stores for less! You’ll conclude your visit in the late afternoon, and depart west for an evening arrival in New York.

If you want to book this trip with us, CLICK HERE

If you have any question, feel free to send me a message on Facebook !

Salvatore

Where to celebrate Bastille Day in New York?

Celebrated on July, 14, Bastille Day is the French national day and the most important bank holiday in France! Setting the storming of the Bastille in 1789 as an essential part of the French History. The 14th July has become a major public holiday, traditionally considered as the symbol of the French Revolution. There’s no shortage of parties to attend in honor of France’s National Day on July 14, which commemorates the Storming of the Bastille a turning point in the French Revolution.

Credits: Nicole Stalinsky
Credits: Nicole Stalinsky

Starting this weekend, several French restaurants will hold pétanque tournaments and block parties will fill East 60th Street, Carroll Gardens’ Smith Street and Harlem’s Saint Nicholas Avenue.

Where is Bastille Day in New York?

While the most popular Bastille Day celebration takes place on 60th Street between Lexington Avenue and Fifth Avenue on Sunday, July 9th, there are multiple events happening all over the city until Sunday, July 16th.

Credits: nypost
Credits: nypost

July 13

  • Bastille Day Ball 2017
  • Where: Club 404, 404 10th Ave. Midtown
  • When: 6 p.m. to midnight

The Committee of French Speaking Societies is hosting its annual Bastille Day Ball, featuring Chloe Perrier and the French Heart Jazz Band and DJ Olivier Meiji. There will be a raffle for two round-trip tickets to Paris with Air France, as well. Tickets start at $30.

July 14

  • Bastille Day Pétanque
  • Where: Cafe du Soleil, 2723 Broadway, Upper West Side
  • When: 6 p.m. to midnight

Cafe du Soleil is hosting a pétanque tournament on its terrace with live music and food and drink specials.

July 16

  • Carroll Gardens Bastille Day Celebration & Pétanque Tournament
  • Where: Smith Street, Carroll Gardens
  • When: Noon to 10 p.m.

Bar Tabac is back again this year with its annual Bastille Day celebration and pétanque tournament, with raffles, live music, food and drink by local businesses. Roughly 20,000 people are expected to turn out for this free event.

  • Bastille Day Block Party
  • Where: Maison Harlem, 341 Saint Nicholas Ave., Harlem
  • When: Noon

Maison Harlem and Bang Tidy, a Brooklyn antique and clothing market, are hosting a Bastille Day block party with live DJs, food, cotton candy, face painting and pétanque.

Credits: deviantart
Credits: deviantart

You can also go on any French bar or restaurant, I am pretty sure, you will have fun ! If you have any question, don’t hesitate to write me a message !

Salvatore

What’s the best way to get from JFK Airport to Manhattan?

JFK, is the primary international airport serving New York City. It is the busiest international air passenger gateway into North America, the fifth busiest airport in the United States and the busiest airport in the New York City airport system, handling just under 59 million passengers in 2016. Over ninety airlines operate out of the airport, with non-stop or direct flights to destinations in all six inhabited continents.

Credits: Harlem Spirituals
Credits: Harlem Spirituals

If you want to start your visit to New York City off on the right foot, you’ll want to make your arrival to the Big Apple as easy possible. So, how do you plan on getting from JFK Airport to your hotel in Manhattan?

Well, here are five ways you can travel from JFK to anywhere in Manhattan. What’s best for you depends on your budget and any time constraints you may have.

The Train

If you want to save some money traveling back and forth to JFK Airport, then the Airtrain to the subway, and the subway to your hotel is the best way to go. It will only cost you a very economical $7.25 per person.

Credits: Wikimedia
Credits: Wikimedia

But be forewarned, you’ll have to drag your luggage up and down a lot of stairs, and then you still have to get from the subway station to your hotel.

You can board the Airtrain in the airport and travel to either the Howard Beach Station, where you can catch the A Train, or Sutphan Boulevard Station, where you can catch the E, J or Z Train. The Airtrain costs $5.00 and entrance to the subway system costs $2.75 totally $7.75.

The Yellow Cab

This is by far the easiest way to get from JFK to anywhere in Manhattan (anywhere in the entire city really) for up to a party of four, but of course it’s not the cheapest.

Credits: Wikimedia
Credits: Wikimedia

According to rules set out by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, for trips between (to and from) Manhattan and JFK International Airport, the flat fare is $52.00 plus any tolls and a NYS Tax of $.50. There are signs that will direct you to the taxi stands outside ever terminal in the airport. There will be queues/lines of taxis waiting to take you where you want to go. An attendant should be there to answer any questions

How Long Should it Take? That depends on the traffic. If you fly into JFK at 5:00 PM (rush hour), you’ll be luck if it only takes you two hours to get to your destination. Typically it should take an hour or so. Beware of gypsy cabs, if someone offers to give you a ride. It’s probably a scam. Some of them son’t hesitate to charge you $200!

The Shuffle

There are several Airport Shuttle companies to choose from and truthfully, if you have a large party traveling with you (more than 4 adults), this might be the best way to go unless you hire a private transportation.

Credits: Harlem Spirituals
Credits: Harlem Spirituals

Once you reach the airport, you can proceed to the Ground Transportation desk to get information on where you catch your shuttle, or you can use one of the courtesy phones in the baggage claim area. Keep in mind that you may not be the only passenger in the van, and you may have to go along for the ride while other passengers are dropped off at their destination first.

If you want to book your ticket with us, CLICK HERE

Book a comfortable SUV

Begin your New York City vacation with peace of mind! Skip the waiting lines and the frequent stops, and enjoy a comfortable and convenient luxury sedan ride to your hotel from JFK Airport. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from JFK Airport to any hotel in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.

Credits: Harlem Spitituals
Credits: Harlem Spitituals

Once you arrive, you will be met by one of our representatives at the airport. For domestic arrivals, your driver will be waiting at the bottom of the escalators leading from the gates to the baggage claim area. For international arrivals, your driver will be waiting outside customs by the door leading from the customs area to the terminal. Your driver will be wearing a dark suit and a tie, and will be holding a sign with your name, or party’s name, on it.

We take pride in providing you total satisfaction along the way, through excellent service, professionalism and dedication. If you want to book it with us, CLICK HERE

The Limo Transfer

Begin your New York City vacation in style! Skip the waiting lines and the frequent stops, and enjoy a comfortable and luxurious stretch limo ride to your hotel from JFK Airport. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from JFK Airport to any hotel in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.

Credits: Jeff Murphy
Credits: Jeff Murphy

Once you arrive, you will be met by your driver at the airport. For domestic arrivals, your driver will be waiting at the bottom of the escalators leading from the gates to the baggage claim area. For international arrivals, your driver will be waiting outside customs by the door leading from the customs area to the terminal.

Your driver will be wearing a dark suit and a tie, and will be holding a sign with your name, or party’s name, on it.

If you want to book it with us, CLICK HERE

For more information on the Airtrain, go to The MTA’s Website.

If you have questions, write me on Facebook or come at our office located near Times Square! Salvatore

How to celebrate Fourth of July in New York?

What is this it is?

Independence Day referred to as the Fourth of July or July Fourth, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence 241 years ago on July 4, 1776. The Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation: the United States of America, and were no longer part of the British Empire.

Credits: Michael Dyers
Credits: Michael Dyers

Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, political speeches and ceremonies (in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States). Independence Day is the National Day of the United States.

What Can I expect from that day?

Independence Day is a national holiday marked by patriotic displays. Similar to other summer-themed events, Independence Day celebrations often take place outdoors. Independence Day is a federal holiday, so all non-essential federal institutions (such as the postal service and federal courts) are closed that day. Many politicians make it a point to appear at a public event as well, in order to praise the nation’s heritage, laws, history, society, and its people.

Families often celebrate Independence Day by hosting or attending a picnic or barbecue; many take advantage of the day off and, in some may take a long weekend away to gather with relatives or friends. Decorations are generally colored red, white, and blue, the colors of the American flag. Parades are often held in the morning, before family get-togethers, while fireworks displays occur in the evening after dark at such places as parks, fairgrounds, or town squares.

How to celebrate this exceptional day in New York?

As mentionned above, the majority of New Yorkers will be enjoying the day outside: Central Park is one of the destination for an impromptu picnic with family and friends to later meet again in the evening to see the fireworks. The show starts around 9:00pm on the East River. Brooklyn Bridge and Williamsburg Bridge offer the best view of Manhattan. Also, keep in mind nearly 3 million of spectators are expected so make sure you arrive around 11:00am to score the best spot. If you do not want to wait, I invite you to explore other options to admire the fireworks below.

Credits: centralpark.com
Credits: centralpark.com

A wonderful cruise to admire the fireworks !

Credits: Harlem Spirituals
Credits: Harlem Spirituals

The 4th of July cruises are very trendy right now in New York. Indeed more and more people embark on board of a small boat to be near the fireworks and celebrate this national event with friends and family, while remaining away from the hurly-burly of New York. The cruise lasts for 5 hours during which you will be able to witness the best perspective of Manhattan and its skyline. To top it all, this escape includes the magic of one of the best DJs of New York. It is one wonderful moment which will remain engraved forever in your memory. If you are hungry or you wish to have a drink, there is a service bar/restaurant available in the boat. To book it, CLICK HERE

An helicopter tour

Credits: lovingnewyork
Credits: lovingnewyork

If sailing is not your thing, maybe you have the heart of a bird and air is for you!? If that’s the case, you will be thrilled by this tour which will enable you to enjoy the most exceptional sights of the city. After a takeoff above the Hudson River, you will move right towards the mythical Statue of Liberty and will be able to admire the Empire State Building and other iconic buildings of New York! If you want to make a success of your trip in New York, I strongly advise you o take this tour. To book it, CLICK HERE

If you have any question, do no hesitate to write me on Facebook!

Salvatore

How to avoid scammers in New York?

How to avoid scammers in New York?

How I always say a successful trip is a well organized trip! Scammers are everywhere and I hate to be taken for an idiot. I now know New York very well and it’s my pleasure to tell you what you should avoid while enjoying your trip !

At the airport

Credits: Gary Busio
Credits: Gary Busio

Don’t get into a gipsy cab (black car), those drivers are expecting the perfect fool. Some of them are indeed without scruples and will not hesitate to ask you $200 to $400 once arrived at your destination!Yellow cabs respect the official city rate which is approximately $75, tip included). For your information, Harlem Spirituals offers a large range of transportation service. Some of them include a private driver that will wait for you outside the airport : no stress, no wait, no inconvenience ! To book this service with us, CLICK HERE

Buy and walk in touristic places

Credits: Angel Chevrestt
Credits: Angel Chevrestt

Do not buy electronic products or cellphones in stores located toward Times Square. Very often, they are poor quality products and when you realize it, it’s too late, you are already back in your city/country.

Some shops, most of them near Broadway, sell national phone cards at the price of international cards. They are obviously much expensive and useless for you if you want to call your family and friends from your country.

When you pay with your credit card in a restaurant or any other business dealing with the service aspect, don’t forget to write the tip you want to leave. If you let it empty, the server or any other employee can fill it for you …

In Times Square or Soho, while you ll be walking around, you ll certainly meet young musicians acting with you like you guys have been friends forever. They will try to put on your hands their last CD/album. Don’t forget they expect money from you. So if you feel charitable that day, feel free to give them whatever you can, otherwise do not pay attention to them !

In the High Line and other touristic places, you may meet false buddhist monks. Basically, they offer “piece of paper full of wisdom”. They smile and look inoffensive, but they ask you for money. This phenomenon have obliged the town hall to set up information boards everywhere to inform tourists of these scammers.

Hotel, housing and public behavior

Credits: Harlem Spirituals
Credits: Harlem Spirituals

If you are staying in an hotel and your booking does not include breakfast, don’t order it on the spot. Most of the time, it’s more expensive than having breakfast outisde the hotel and on the top of bit you get to try different meals.

In New York, drinking booze in public is formally prohibited. If you get caught by the police, they will make sure you’ll regret it, not even talking about the huge fine you will get.

In a less glamour note, if you feel like you need to pee, my advice to you is do not do it in public nor against a wall, it’s consider like a degradation of public goods. The police officers will be pitiless.

Do not get Pedicabs randomly in the streets of New York, the rates which they give to tourists are excessively expensive. Harlem Spirituals offers similar activities like biking on the Brooklyn Bridge! To book it with us, CLICK HERE

If you have a drink in a bar, the tip is not included and as I already said, therefore do not hesitate to ask your change and leave a tip by yourself (for a beer or a soda or a cocktail, leave between 1 and 2 dollars).

In Times Square, if you decide to take a picture with Batman or Mickey Mouse, don’t forget that the guy behind this costume expects a tip… Some of them can become very aggressive if you forget to pay them…

If you rent a house or an apartment, do not send money or at least be very careful, there are a lot of scammers online. Choose a well-known website like Airbnb or Vrbo or Homeaway.

If you have questions, do not hesitate to comment on this article or to write me on Facebook.

Salvatore