Exploring Astoria, Queens: 12 Must-Visit Spots in This Cool NYC Neighborhood

One of the most common misconceptions about New York City is that there’s no sense of community. But here’s the truth: the city is simply a collection of neighborhoods. Most New Yorkers are fiercely loyal to their part of town, declaring local coffee shops, bodegas and bars as the best around. The more time we’ve spent in Astoria, the more we find ourselves championing it the same way a local would.

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The Best 2019 Bushwick Collective Murals and Where to Find Them

When we started this blog, it was a rather impulsive decision. We thought it would be a fun way to catalog our memories, while sharing the things we love about New York City. It’s our third year covering the incredible murals at the Bushwick Collective, but it’s the first time we felt a tangible passing of time. Like pencil marks on a door jamb, our blog posts have become gentle reminders of years gone by. So how did this year compare to the rest?

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Street Art for Mankind: Murals with a Message in NYC

Let’s face it, street art has long graduated from the streets. Murals and tags now adorn office buildings, schools and public spaces, all with the blessing of owners and the larger community. It’s easy to forget that street art was once a product of necessity; it was the only way marginalized groups could have a voice. Even though bold murals now serve as backdrops for movies and television shows, street art can still be a great tool to call attention to important issues. The Freedom Murals and ILO100 Murals by Street Art for Mankind bring it all full circle.

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11 Exciting Places to Find the Best Street Art in NYC

Updated May 29, 2019

When it comes to hunting down the best street art in NYC, there’s more to it than just finding massive murals and famous street artists. It reflects New York City’s values and shines a spotlight on its diverse neighborhoods. Street art in NYC is mostly temporary by nature, with only a few iconic pieces preserved for posterity. So the best strategy is to visit a street art gallery instead, where the murals span multiple blocks and feature a number of street art styles and artists. Whether you’re looking to discover the newest talent or to simply locate a dramatic backdrop for an Instagram post, here’s a definitive list of the best graffiti locations in NYC.

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The Chocolate Addict’s Guide to New York City

Updated Aug 25, 2019

You don’t know what’s good and what’s bad until you try something better. Our first visits to France and Italy many, many moons ago taught us this lesson in spades. If you grew up in many parts of America before the tidal influx of imported chocolates and the explosion of craft chocolatiers, the only chocolate you may have known was Hershey’s. And Hershey’s, as it turns out, barely qualifies as chocolate. That’s not an exaggeration. In the US, the minimum cocoa solids that are required to constitute a milk chocolate instead of a what is ambiguously referred to as a “confection” is 10%, and Hershey’s is camped out right on that line. By comparison, Canada requires 15% and Europe 35%. Don’t you feel cheated?

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A Local’s Guide for Friends and Family Visiting New York City

We’re constantly asked for recommendations when friends and family are planning a visit to New York City. And let’s face it, bloggers have this particularly awful habit of simply shooting off a bunch of links. The truth is, we know that even if you’ve popped in from time to time (thank you!), you may not want to go on a deep dive through our blog before a trip. There are also some obvious and amazing things to do in New York City that we’ve never featured on the blog. So we thought we’d put together a guide of some of our favorite things. These are the very same suggestions we provide our friends and family. (Usually in a long-form email, with about 4-6 addenda over the following days. Sorry, guys!)

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In Living Color: The 2018 Kobra Street Art Occupation of New York City

Updated March 17, 2019

If you’re wandering around New York City you might come across these stickers that read “Are you addicted to street art? You’re not alone. There is help! 24/7 Street Art Addiction Hotline,” followed by a phone number. It’s just a clever street art campaign, but if your Instagram feed is anything like mine, you might wonder if this is a real thing. And for months, there was a LOT of street art around NYC, thanks to world-famous street artist Eduardo Kobra.

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5Pointz Resurrected: The Museum of Street Art (MoSA) in New York City

When we showed up at the new CitizenM Bowery Hotel for our tour of the Museum of Street Art, the chipper front desk clerk showing us the way asked, “Do you know about 5Pointz?” We excitedly proclaimed that we’d actually visited the original (which returned such a big WOW that we felt like we’d just confessed to being present when electricity was discovered). It shouldn’t be surprising. The walls of 5Pointz were whitewashed less than five years ago, but its loss was felt amongst street art lovers worldwide. It’s a local legend, and treated as such.

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More Than Meets The Eye: A Visit to the Museum of Illusions in New York City

There’s a saying that goes “Ask no questions, and you’ll hear no lies”. Being duped isn’t generally what one considers a positive experience, but the Museum of Illusions might be able to convince you otherwise. Optical illusions play with motion, color, patterns and space to create images that, when processed by the brain, create a perception that doesn’t match the true image in reality. Remember the viral phenomenon of 2015 where millions of people saw a black and blue dress as white and gold? (And if you do, have you made up with all the friends and family you disagreed with?) Well, that’s just one of many examples where the eyes can deceive.

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The Daily Grind: My Favorite Coffee Shops in Manhattan

I’m not a car guy. I don’t collect watches or chase the newest technology. I’m not a smoker and a rare drinker. I only have one significant vice–if it even qualifies–and that’s coffee. I have a deep, visceral, obsessive love for coffee.

“Back home we toss a horseshoe in the pot. Stands up straight, coffee’s ready”
-Frank Hopkins, Hidalgo

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