25 Spots That Capture the Heart of NYC’s Lower East Side

Here’s a little known secret about most New Yorkers: they have a neighborhood they call home, and a neighborhood they wish they called home. There are a few tells when they find themselves in the latter: they pause slightly when they see a “For Rent” sign in the window, they know the local bartenders and baristas by name, and their feet feel heavier than usual when it comes time to leave. The neighborhood we spend most of our time in is, by and far, the Lower East Side. It has an ideal location, exudes a cool-but-relaxed vibe, and is constantly evolving. It’s a fun mix of classic establishments and hip new places. If you’re looking for a NYC neighborhood to explore, these 25 spots get to the heart of the Lower East Side.

Continue reading 25 Spots That Capture the Heart of NYC’s Lower East Side

Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Tour

The famed Dyker Heights Christmas lights in Brooklyn, New York is the epitome of suburban neighborhood one-uppery–all in good fun, of course. Think of it as a whole community chock full of Clark Griswolds, with the will and the means to put up tens of thousands of lights in the hopes of keeping up with or outdoing “the Joneses”. The outcome of such competition is completely bananas and more than worthy of a visit to see for yourself.

Visiting the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights can be accomplished a number of ways. You can opt to drive, but expect traffic congestion and a parking nightmare during peak times. There’s also a public transportation option (the D Train to 79th St and New Utrecht Ave), but you’ll have two walk a good 15 minutes from the nearest station on fairly hilly terrain to get to the area with the lights. Based on our own experiences, the most enjoyable way to see the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights is to take a tour, and there are a plethora of options on that front.

Our recommendation is a tour company we’ve used and worked with twice before: A Slice of Brooklyn. They are well-organized, efficient, create a robust experience, and their buses are clean, modern, and comfortable. They also tend to have personal connections to the businesses and homes they interact with on the tour. In the case of their Dyker Heights Christmas Lights tours, they often know the homeowners in the neighborhood personally.

A Slice of Brooklyn is currently offering a 3.5 hour tour of the Dyker Heights Christmas lights every evening during the month of December, excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The tour start times generally run in 5:00pm, 6:00pm, 7:00pm, and 8:00pm time slots. The cost for adults (12 and above) is $55.00 and for children (under 12) is $45.00.

To avoid the hassle, it’s well worth shelling out the cash for a comfortable seat and a guided tour. Besides, when you need that perfect family Christmas photo or background information on that insane light display, having a well-versed tour guide is a godsend.

Get ticket info for A Slice of Brooklyn here.

Read about our experience on the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights tour in 2017 here.

Additionally, you can also read about our experience on the famed Brooklyn Pizza tour here.

– L. & J.

Queens International Night Market

The Queens International Night Market is a family-friendly event located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, directly behind the New York Hall of Science. The event boasts small-scale cultural performances, picnicking areas, and more than one hundred vendors selling merchandise, art, and food. The respective diversity of America, New York, and most importantly the borough of Queens is on full display nearly every Saturday night, Spring through Fall. From Jamaican Jerk to Peruvian Ceviche, Portuguese Egg Tarts to Burmese Palata, attendees will find a little bit of anything and everything at the market. Even better, the organizer of the market institutes an affordability cap, so your night out won’t break the bank. Vendors agree to offer their products between an affordable $5-$6 price point in exchange for subsidized vendor fees.

The first two Saturdays are Sneak Previews occurring on April 20th and 27th. The event is selling limited $5 tickets. 20% of the take is going to the charities, New York Immigration Coalition and City Harvest. Note: Outside of the previews, entry to the event every Saturday is free, but most vendors only accept cash payment.

Read about our visit to the 2018 addition of the international night market here.

Find more information, such as a list of the current vendors, here.

Queens International Night Market

The Queens International Night Market is a family-friendly event located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, directly behind the New York Hall of Science. The event boasts small-scale cultural performances, picnicking areas, and more than one hundred vendors selling merchandise, art, and food. The respective diversity of America, New York, and most importantly the borough of Queens is on full display nearly every Saturday night, Spring through Fall. From Jamaican Jerk to Peruvian Ceviche, Portuguese Egg Tarts to Burmese Palata, attendees will find a little bit of anything and everything at the market. Even better, the organizer of the market institutes an affordability cap, so your night out won’t break the bank. Vendors agree to offer their products between an affordable $5-$6 price point in exchange for subsidized vendor fees.

The first two Saturdays are Sneak Previews occurring on April 20th and 27th. The event is selling limited $5 tickets. 20% of the take is going to the charities, New York Immigration Coalition and City Harvest. Note: Outside of the previews, entry to the event every Saturday is free, but most vendors only accept cash payment.

Read about our visit to the 2018 addition of the international night market here.

Find more information, such as a list of the current vendors, here.

Open House New York Weekend

Every October, Open House New York Weekend offers extraordinary access to some of New York City’s most iconic buildings. Many of these sites are off-limits to the public throughout the year.

Open House New York (known by its acronym, OHNY) allows participants to meet the people who design, build, and preserve New York City. The focus is simple: deepen participants’ understanding and appreciation of architecture and urban design. Simultaneously, it seeks to open dialogue about planning, preservation, infrastructure, and contemporary design that will impact the city far into the future.

OHNY Weekend offers two types of access: open and reserved. Open access sites are available to everyone, though there may be hours restrictions. Reserved sites only offer access limited to only those with reservations. Sites range from historical to contemporary and residential to industrial across all five New York City boroughs.

Open House New York Weekend visits may include tours, talks, performances, and other special events throughout the weekend.

Mark your calendars for two very important dates. On October 1st 2019, during “The Big Reveal”, the full lineup of more than 300 sites is released to the public. Then, on October 7th, reservations are open to the public at 11:00 pm EST.

Remember, ten’s of thousands of visitors attend OHNY each year, so tickets can go very quick. Don’t miss your chance to get in on the fun and explore the city in a whole new way.

Check dates, times, and participating locations, as well as make reservations for limited access sites here.

For a comprehensive guide to Open House New York, check out our post here.

Queens International Night Market

The Queens International Night Market is a family-friendly event located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, directly behind the New York Hall of Science. The event boasts small-scale cultural performances, picnicking areas, and more than one hundred vendors selling merchandise, art, and food. The respective diversity of America, New York, and most importantly the borough of Queens is on full display nearly every Saturday night, Spring through Fall. From Jamaican Jerk to Peruvian Ceviche, Portuguese Egg Tarts to Burmese Palata, attendees will find a little bit of anything and everything at the market. Even better, the organizer of the market institutes an affordability cap, so your night out won’t break the bank. Vendors agree to offer their products between an affordable $5-$6 price point in exchange for subsidized vendor fees.

The first two Saturdays are Sneak Previews occurring on April 20th and 27th. The event is selling limited $5 tickets. 20% of the take is going to the charities, New York Immigration Coalition and City Harvest. Note: Outside of the previews, entry to the event every Saturday is free, but most vendors only accept cash payment.

Read about our visit to the 2018 addition of the international night market here.

Find more information, such as a list of the current vendors, here.

Queens International Night Market

The Queens International Night Market is a family-friendly event located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, directly behind the New York Hall of Science. The event boasts small-scale cultural performances, picnicking areas, and more than one hundred vendors selling merchandise, art, and food. The respective diversity of America, New York, and most importantly the borough of Queens is on full display nearly every Saturday night, Spring through Fall. From Jamaican Jerk to Peruvian Ceviche, Portuguese Egg Tarts to Burmese Palata, attendees will find a little bit of anything and everything at the market. Even better, the organizer of the market institutes an affordability cap, so your night out won’t break the bank. Vendors agree to offer their products between an affordable $5-$6 price point in exchange for subsidized vendor fees.

The first two Saturdays are Sneak Previews occurring on April 20th and 27th. The event is selling limited $5 tickets. 20% of the take is going to the charities, New York Immigration Coalition and City Harvest. Note: Outside of the previews, entry to the event every Saturday is free, but most vendors only accept cash payment.

Read about our visit to the 2018 addition of the international night market here.

Find more information, such as a list of the current vendors, here.

Unlock the Best NYC Secrets with Open House New York

Over the years, we’ve lived everywhere from Cleveland to Phoenix, and that’s just a shortlist of the most recent. Our move east can be boiled down to a very simple consideration: access. To be specific, it was access to New York City and everything that it encompasses. We’ve discovered over the years, however, that you don’t need to live in or near the city to get the inside scoop. We’ve also learned that your experience as a local isn’t limited to a surface-level transaction. It can be deepened, but only if you choose to engage. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or tried-and-true local, here’s how to unlock the best NYC secrets with one of New York’s most vibrant, beloved and essential institutions: Open House New York.

Continue reading Unlock the Best NYC Secrets with Open House New York

Queens International Night Market

The Queens International Night Market is a family-friendly event located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, directly behind the New York Hall of Science. The event boasts small-scale cultural performances, picnicking areas, and more than one hundred vendors selling merchandise, art, and food. The respective diversity of America, New York, and most importantly the borough of Queens is on full display nearly every Saturday night, Spring through Fall. From Jamaican Jerk to Peruvian Ceviche, Portuguese Egg Tarts to Burmese Palata, attendees will find a little bit of anything and everything at the market. Even better, the organizer of the market institutes an affordability cap, so your night out won’t break the bank. Vendors agree to offer their products between an affordable $5-$6 price point in exchange for subsidized vendor fees.

The first two Saturdays are Sneak Previews occurring on April 20th and 27th. The event is selling limited $5 tickets. 20% of the take is going to the charities, New York Immigration Coalition and City Harvest. Note: Outside of the previews, entry to the event every Saturday is free, but most vendors only accept cash payment.

Read about our visit to the 2018 addition of the international night market here.

Find more information, such as a list of the current vendors, here.

Queens International Night Market

The Queens International Night Market is a family-friendly event located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, directly behind the New York Hall of Science. The event boasts small-scale cultural performances, picnicking areas, and more than one hundred vendors selling merchandise, art, and food. The respective diversity of America, New York, and most importantly the borough of Queens is on full display nearly every Saturday night, Spring through Fall. From Jamaican Jerk to Peruvian Ceviche, Portuguese Egg Tarts to Burmese Palata, attendees will find a little bit of anything and everything at the market. Even better, the organizer of the market institutes an affordability cap, so your night out won’t break the bank. Vendors agree to offer their products between an affordable $5-$6 price point in exchange for subsidized vendor fees.

The first two Saturdays are Sneak Previews occurring on April 20th and 27th. The event is selling limited $5 tickets. 20% of the take is going to the charities, New York Immigration Coalition and City Harvest. Note: Outside of the previews, entry to the event every Saturday is free, but most vendors only accept cash payment.

Read about our visit to the 2018 addition of the international night market here.

Find more information, such as a list of the current vendors, here.