Unsilent Night in New York City

Unsilent Night, now in its 27th year, is the broadcast of composer Phil Kline’s electronic holiday composition in public by the public. Think of it as a modern take on caroling.

For the flagship New York City presentation of Unsilent Night, participants gather at the arch in Washington Square Park. Phil Kline loans out a few vintage boomboxes from his personal collection, and cassette tapes and CDs of the tracks are offered for those bringing their own. Of course, for those with a penchant for modern devices, Mp3 tracks can be downloaded in advance.

Once everything is organized, the procession sets off on an hour-long trek through the East Village. Each participant plays one of four distinct tracks simultaneously to create the layered, ambient score. The event concludes under the giant elm in Tompkins Square Park.

One of the best things about this event is that many participants opt to dress up. Sporting santa hats and reindeer antlers, draped in battery-powered holiday lights, or just wearing crazy hats–the mood is festive and the outfits match at this unique holiday event.

Unsilent night has also grown in popularity over the years. Versions of the event have been held in 124 cities and on 5 continents and counting.

If you are looking for general information, alternate locations and dates, or are interested in hosting your own Unsilent Night, you can find that here.

You can also read about our experience at 2017’s Unsilent Night here.

– L. & J.

Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Tour

The famed Christmas lights of Dyker Heights 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 light displays 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 every evening during the month of December, excluding Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s 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.

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

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. I’m sure 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. Because right now, there’s a LOT of street art, thanks to world-famous street artist Eduardo Kobra.

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

Puppy Love: Photos from the 2018 Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade

There’s always something new going on in New York City, so it takes a special event to keep the locals coming back again and again. The Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade is just such an event. Attending the parade has become one of our favorite Halloween rituals, so we were pretty brokenhearted to hear it had been canceled. Long story short, the event had become so popular that the park was requiring insurance to cover its many attendees, and the financial burden was just too great to bear.

Continue reading Puppy Love: Photos from the 2018 Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade

Queens International Night Market – CANCELED DUE TO WEATHER

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. Note: Entry to the event is free, but most vendors only accept cash payment.

Read about our recent visit to the 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. Note: Entry to the event is free, but most vendors only accept cash payment.

Read about our recent visit to the market here.

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

A Playdate with Alpacas at Faraway Farm

You may be wondering how it was, exactly, that we ended up at an alpaca farm on a hilltop in Westchester County, smack-dab in the historic Hudson Valley region of New York State. Well, we’d tell you, but we know you wouldn’t hear a word. Your eyes have likely already jumped to those cute alpaca faces. We get it, we really do.

Continue reading A Playdate with Alpacas at Faraway Farm

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. Note: Entry to the event is free, but most vendors only accept cash payment.

Read about our recent visit to the market here.

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

Open House New York Weekend

Open House New York Weekend is an annual event in which doors are unlocked to some of New York’s most important buildings. The event provides extraordinary access to iconic sites, allowing participants to meet the people who design, build, and preserve New York. The focus is simple: to deepen the understanding and appreciation of architecture and urban design, while opening dialogue about planning, preservation, infrastructure, and contemporary design and how these issues will impact the future of New York.

Open House New York Weekend offers open access at certain sites (available to all, though some may have access restricted to specific timeframes), and limited access at others (by advance reservation only). Sites range from historical to contemporary and residential to industrial and count in the hundreds across all five boroughs.

Open House New York Weekend visits may include tours, talks, performances, and other special events throughout the weekend. Don’t miss your chance to explore the city in a whole new way.

The 2018 OHNY Weekend lineup will be released on September 18. Check dates, times, and participating locations, as well as make reservations for limited access sites (beginning September 25th), if necessary, here.

For a preview of the event, check out our posts from last year at Fulton Center, Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, and Jefferson Market Library.

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.

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