Monthly Archives: November 2016

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Tour App

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts—the world’s leading performing arts center and home to some of the world’s most celebrated music, dance, film and theater organizations—launched today a suite of new digital platforms. The redesigned website and two new mobile apps, supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, will allow visitors to access information about performances, tickets and cultural history, experiencing the institution in new ways. The apps will also contain special tools, such as the ability to pre-order drinks during intermission, receive surprise seat upgrades, an on-the-go tour, and other benefits which enhance and improve the Lincoln Center experience. Lincoln Center’s newly redesigned website further centralizes information and access to the 11 world-class organizations that call Lincoln Center home, in addition to new content and videos that make the website a hub of cultural information. Together, these innovative digital tools and platforms make Lincoln Center’s world-class performing arts organizations, its iconic campus, and its famous history more accessible to culture lovers.

Lincoln Center’s website,, has been completely re-imagined and redeveloped for a better user experience. The site also features new curated content, articles, and videos to help users discover more about arts and culture. It also allows users to identify events, activities, and learn about artists performing. The site now allows users to browse and search through a comprehensive guide of events from Lincoln Center’s 11 resident organizations and more than 30 stages.

Key features of the website include:

– Full calendar of Lincoln Center performances and events, with filters to search and browse by date, price range, genre, venue, organization, and even off-campus locations. Streamlined ticket process for each of Lincoln Center’s resident organizations.

– Dive deeper into the arts and discover more through the new and engaging video portal (now available) featuring aggregated videos from across Lincoln Center’s 11 resident organizations, and excerpts from historic Live From Lincoln Center broadcasts.

– The Score, our new editorial portal and hub for publishing original content related to the performing arts field in general and to Lincoln Center activities in particular, will launch later this year).

– Help audiences find and follow their favorite artists and get notified when they will be performing next.

Lincoln Center has also developed two complementary mobile apps, which are currently available for free download in the Apple App Store for iPhones and the Google Play Store for Android devices.

  1. The Lincoln Center App: The core Lincoln Center mobile app is designed to enhance the on-campus and event experience through maps, upgrades and planning tools. Users will be able to access a calendar of events and purchase tickets easily. In the Showtime section of the app, users can access a digital ticket, pre-order intermission refreshments, and receive immediate information about the restrooms lines, to better avoid lines during intermission (in select venues). App users are also eligible for surprise day-of-event free seat upgrades (also in select venues).
  2. Lincoln Center Tour App: The Lincoln Center Tour app provides an interactive and personalized journey of the campus and its venues at your fingertips, in two forms: The Grand Tour, where visitors let the app guide them around Lincoln Center on a 16-stop tour of the iconic campus and its rich history of performance. Alternatively, the Touch + Go option allows users to create their own journey and experience individual sections of campus through customized self-guided tours.

The tour app provides uses with access and insights including:

– Narrated Stories about Lincoln Center’s performing arts centers by international stars of ballet, opera, jazz and the performing arts, providing the feel of a private tour and intimate guide. Participants include New York City Ballet principal ballerina Maria Kowroski, New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert, opera singer Joyce DiDonato, Artistic and Managing Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center Wynton Marsalis, and many more.

– Multi-media including video content, photos and recordings, providing glimpses of ballet exercises by famous dancers, Met Opera house traditions including the famous chandeliers rising before a performance, audio excerpts from archival recordings and performances such and treasures from the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts special collections, such as Thomas Edison testing a phonograph in 1870 and a video of Mikhail Baryshnikov warming up before a performance.

– Tips on iconic Lincoln Center locations, including the spots featured in countless movies, and other special areas of the campus perfect for photographs or social media posts — including the Revson Fountain’s daily waterworks show — making any visit memorable and sharable.

The Tour app is currently available in English, and will be available in six languages (Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish), later this year.

Review: ROM Friday Night Live: #FNLROM, November 25: Afterglow


The Royal Ontario Museum’s (ROM) Friday Night Live (#FNLROM) series, presented by Ford of Canada, delivers Toronto’s best Friday night destination with the hottest DJs, live performances, food and drink, and an opportunity to experience the Museum like never before. On Friday, November 25, 2016, bring season 10 of #FNLROM to a climax, and enjoy complementary access to the ROM’s spectacular CHIHULY exhibition.

Northside Hip Hop Archive celebrates its first honorary fellows, Toronto’s DJ Ron Nelson, and Hamilton’s Eklipz with special guest, the godfather of hip-hop, from the Bronx, New York, the legendary DJ Kool Herc. Northside DJs also spinning for this incredible night include Toronto’s very own DJ DTS, DJ Romeo and DJ Grumps.

Live Performances

Twin Rains

A Canadian dream pop group from Toronto/Vancouver. The band consists of locals Jay Merrow and Christine Stoesser, whose sound transforms the spaces they play – from thumping dance beats to synth drenched waltzes – pairing soft, ethereal vocals with atmospheric grooves.

Amanda Martinez

A Toronto-based singer/songwriter whose music exultingly blends her unique Mexican and South African roots with flamenco soul.

Other Performances: University of Toronto Faculty of Music featuring – U of T Jazz Stars

DJs: DJ Conor Cutz and DJ Sean Caff

ROM Gallery Activities

Destination – Mars: CBC’s The Nature of Things wants you to explore DESTINATION: MARS. Take a picture with your friends, complete with space inspired props and a chance to touch Mars. Learn more about the race to get humans to Mars, which today is a planet populated only by robots!

#FNLROM Tickets: $5 for ROM Members, $15 for Adults, and $13 for Students. New this season, get 20% off #FNLROM admission for groups of 20 or more! For details, email #FNLROM is a specially ticketed event for adults 19+.

Social Media

Like: ROM Facebook

Tweet: @ROMToronto

Instagram: romtoronto

Watch: ROM YouTube

Blog: ROMblog

Join the Conversation: #FNLROM


The last night of #FNLROM for 2016 was bound to be epic.  With a line up of guests that stretched past Museum Station at 7 p.m. – we knew that tonight was going to be special.

We were ready to be slayed by the likes of the Godfather of Hip Hop – DJ Kool Herc and the epic DJ Ron Nelson, but who was the mystery guest we wondered?  Dancing shoes were on, cute outfits in check and hair styled.  Work!

As we grabbed our drink and food tickets from Level One we made sure to sip a quick cocktail and then say a hello to the Chihuly exhibit which will close in 2017.  If you have yet to see his work, Dale Chihuly is a pioneer of the studio glass movement and considered to be one o the world’s foremost artists working in glass today. His ornate flowers, chandeliers and scene scapes is worth the price of ROM admission and some.

After our rendezvous with Chihuly we made our way to Level Three and grabbed a gorgeous Double from Young Animal in the Eaton Court and sipped our delish Perroni pints.  We shared a giggle or two and shimmied away to the U of T Faculty of Music house jazz crew.

Making our way to Level Two we swooned over Twin Rains the dream pop group who pairs ethereal vocals with atmospheric grooves in Bronfman Hall and then grabbed some Palabok from Tita Flips in the Biodiversity exhibit space.  Her Filipino street food never disappoints.

A hot tip, the bars on the higher floors especially in Earth’s Treasures tend to be quiet.  Grab your drinks there to get back to the party with your friends faster.

The mystery guest was the first lady of Canadian Hip Hop, Dancehall and Reggae – Michie Mee!  She kept things fresh by introducing DJ Kool Herc and reminding us that her appearance was not all abut nostalgia.  She has new music coming out soon she reassured the crowd.  Like DJ Kool Herc, Michie Mee was personable, took many a photo with her fans and was keen to remind us with her amazing smile why we continue to jump to ‘Jamaican Funk’.

By 9:30 p.m. we were ready for DJ Kool Herc.  Drinks in hand, he gave it to us hard by puling some Rob Base from his record crate and Digital Underground to get the crowd moving.  Some B-boys took the floor immediately and kept the crowd intrigued of what was to come next.  DJ Kool Herc a true pioneer of the Rap movement coming out of the Bronx gave us a memorable night – brimming with dance off’s, laughter and epic tunes we had long forgotten.  The crowd was a wonderful mix of young and old.  Everyone came together and truly contributed to a wonderful night.

DJ Ron Nelson was also in fine form by bringing his special brand of spinning that was just as tight as when we would see him in our university days.  In the early 1980s, Toronto hip-hop was in its infancy, but it took the drive of Ron Nelson, who not only volunteered on the airwaves to introduce rap music to the city via the Fantastic Voyage show on CKLN, but also as a promoter, bringing several acts from New York to Toronto.

The laughter, singing and dancing was the most epic way to end 2016 with friends at FNLROM at the Royal Ontario Museum.  What better indication that a great night was had, that when my friends and I left for the evening we had noticed we had lost our voices and felt our whole body was given a proper work out.  Epic!  Till 2017!

The Frick Collection: Guido Cagnacci’s ‘Masterpiece the Repentant Magdalene’ (October 25, 2016, through January 22, 2017)


Often times we get lost in the glamour and beauty of the collections from the likes of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art that we forget about the off the beaten path works that are just down the street that can offer just as much creative inspiration when you are on holiday.

Have you ever heard of The Frick Collection?  The Frick is known for its distinguished Old Master paintings and outstanding examples of European sculpture and decorative arts.

The collection was assembled by the Pittsburgh industrialist Henry Clay Frick (1849–1919) and is housed in his former residence on Fifth Avenue. One of New York City’s few remaining Gilded Age mansions, it provides a tranquil environment for visitors to experience masterpieces by artists such as Bellini, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Gainsborough, Goya, and Whistler. The museum opened in 1935 and has continued to acquire works of art since Mr. Frick’s death.

A collection that inspired me during my visit to The Frick Collection was from Guido Cagnacci.  His ‘Masterpiece the Repentant Magdalene’ is swoon worthy and a true exhibition of a great master series.

Guido Cagnacci (1601–1663) is among the most eccentric painters who worked in seventeenth-century Italy. His works, mostly religious in subject, are known for their unashamed, often unsettling, eroticism. Even though his pictorial style was influenced by some of the greatest Italian baroque painters—the Carracci, Guercino, and Guido Reni—his figurative language always remained individual and highly recognizable. The unconventionality of his work led to his being almost entirely forgotten during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. After exhibitions in Rimini and Bologna in 1952 and 1959, respectively, Cagnacci was rediscovered by Italian art historians and writers, but he still remains unjustifiably little known outside of Italy. Cagnacci’s ambitious Repentant Magdalene, a large canvas acquired in 1982 by the Norton Simon Art Foundation in Pasadena, CA, is considered a masterpiece of seventeenth-century Italian art.   Accompanying the exhibition in the museum’s East Gallery will be the publication The Art of Guido Cagnacci by Xavier F. Salomon, Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator. Principal funding for the exhibition is generously provided by the Robert H. Smith Family Foundation.

Trained between Bologna and Rome, Cagnacci spent most of his life producing idiosyncratic pictures for religious and aristocratic patrons in his native Romagna, an area of northeastern Italy between the Apennine Mountains and the Adriatic Sea. He worked in different cities of the region, in particular, Rimini and Forlì. For nearly ten years, in the 1650s, he was based in Venice, after which, in 1658, he moved to Vienna, where he died in 1663. Cagnacci was known for his unconventional lifestyle. In 1628, he was caught after unlawfully eloping with an aristocratic woman, and he was often described as living with attractive young women disguised as male apprentices. 

 Highly theatrical in composition, The Repentant Magdalene is based on contemporary literary sources and religious plays. It depicts an event from the life of Mary Magdalene, the courtesan who converted to Christianity and gave up her sinful life after her encounter with Christ. Shown in her room after meeting with Jesus in the Temple, Mary is on the floor at the center of the composition, her long blonde hair cascading down her side, her face reddened by high emotion, her body barely covered by a white sheet around her waist. She has discarded her worldly possessions, throwing away her luxurious clothes and jewels, which are scattered all over the floor, creating an astonishing still life. Her sister Martha has found her in this state. Simply dressed, Martha sits on one of the cushions on the floor, consoling Mary. Behind them, two servants are leaving the room after having found their mistress in such a state. To the left, two allegorical figures are depicted: a standing angel, its hair blown by the divine wind that ruffles its evanescent wings, banishes a levitating devil, complete with horns and tail, who approaches the window in an attempt to flee the room. These fighting figures represent Virtue and Vice locked in combat as Mary chooses to follow her virtuous new Christian life.

The Repentant Magdalene was probably painted in the early 1660s in Vienna for Emperor Leopold I. By 1665, however, the canvas was in Italy, in the collection of Carlo II Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, at La Favorita, his villa outside of Mantua. The Gonzagas were closely related to the imperial family, so this may have been a diplomatic gift to them, or an acquisition from Leopold I. In 1711, it entered the possession of the Bentinck family in England, first at Bulstrode House and then at Welbeck Abbey, where it remained until 1981, when it was sold at auction.

The next time you are in New York, make some time to check out The Frick Collection.  Its boutique beautifully curated works will give you a lot to reflect upon in the days that follow.

Review: National Museum of the American Indian in New York

Like the U.S., Canada has it’s own historical connections with our First Nations roots. But there is also a history that is so dark and painful that even now deacdes later our First Nations people are experiencing the grief, loss and devastation inflicted upon them by Canada’s first European settlers.

When I visited the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian I was wary of what I may see and experience.  Instead, I immediately felt an instant emotional connection.  The beauty of the arts, costume and honour of America Indian culture is a beautifully curated in an inclusive and diverse manner.  The space also serves to kindly educate the public locally and abroad about what it means to be an American Indian and how important it is to dwell upon as one of America’s own First Nations.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Lower Manhattan, the George Gustav Heye (pronounced “high”) Center, opened in 1994 in the historic Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, one of the most splendid Beaux-Arts buildings in New York. The museum features year-round exhibitions, dance and music performances, children’s workshops, family and school programs and film screenings that present the diversity of the Native peoples of the Americas and the strength of their cultures from the earliest times to the present.

The museum is a branch of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The National Museum of the American Indian was established by Congress in 1989. The Heye Center in New York opened in 1994; the Cultural Resources Center, six miles from the National Mall building in Suitland, Md., opened in 1999; and the National Museum of the American Indian opened in September 2004.


The museum’s permanent exhibition “Infinity of Nations: Art and History from the Collections of the National Museum of the American Indian” showcases some 700 objects from Native North, Central and South America. Objects include an exquisite Olmec jade head, a rare Anishinaabe man’s outfit and a remarkable Charles and Isabelle Edenshaw (Haida) spruce root hat. This unparalleled assemblage of American Indian cultural material represents the tremendous breadth of the collections and the richness of Native art.

In addition, the museum hosts a selection of changing exhibitions that present and reaffirm the Native voice. The schedule includes exhibitions developed by the museum from its collections, installations of contemporary Native art and significant traveling exhibitions from other institutions.


Cultural Arts

The museum hosts Native musicians, dancers, artists and elders in presentations of their art and cultural heritage and in informal programs that invite them to share directly with museum visitors the life ways and world views of Native peoples. Programs include dance presentations, hands-on workshops, storytelling programs and annual events, including the Children’s Festival and the Native Sounds Downtown concert series.

Film and Video Center

The Film + Video Center of the National Museum of the American Indian is dedicated to presenting the works of Native Americans in media. An international leader in the support and presentation of indigenous film and video projects, the Heye Center hosts the Native Cinema Showcase, an annual presentation of films held at the Santa Fe Indian Market in New Mexico. Screenings and discussions with filmmakers are also periodically held in the museum’s auditorium.


‘Circle of Dance’ exhibit (October 6, 2012–October 8, 2017) Consistent across time and cultures is the use of the body to communicate and express—to tell stories, participate in the cycles of nature, mourn, pray, and celebrate. Throughout the Americas music and dance have always been an essential part of the spiritual, cultural, and social lives of Native peoples.

During your time at the National Museum of the American Indian, please check out their amazing and informative tours.  Specifically the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House Tour.  Tour highlights include a discussion of the history of the site, architect Cass Gilbert, and sculptor Daniel Chester French; viewing the Collectors Office with Tiffany woodwork; Reginald Marsh murals; and the 140-ton Rotunda dome by Rafael Gustavino.  It is a free tour and a great way to go a little bit deeper into what the museum has to offer on site.

Calendar of Tours:

Review: The Brooklyn Museum’s ‘Iggy Pop Life Class’ (November 4, 2016, to March 26, 2017)


At the Brooklyn Museum you can explore an extensive and comprehensive permanent collection that includes ancient Egyptian masterpieces, African art, European painting, decorative arts, period rooms, and contemporary art. You’ll also experience intelligent, cutting-edge exhibitions and programs that reflect a fresh view of traditional and historical works as well as engagement with today’s most important artists and artistic practices and ideas.

This was my second time to the Brooklyn Museum.  I love that I can navigate the space within a few hours, dwell on works that that I want to see without hovering over people and also be guaranteed with some interesting pieces I can take away with me in my memory bank.

An exhibit worth checking out before March of 2017 is the ‘Iggy Pop Life Class’.

In Iggy Pop Life Class, Turner Prize–winning artist Jeremy Deller uses the traditional life-model drawing class to stage a performative event with Iggy Pop as model and subject. The resulting drawings, created by twenty-two participating artists, will be shown at the Brooklyn Museum from November 4, 2016, to March 26, 2017. Along with works depicting the male body selected from the Museum’s historical collections, the exhibition examines shifting cultural representations of masculinity across history.

Deller’s collaboration with Iggy Pop as a nude model is essential to his concept. A pioneer rock musician—as a singer, songwriter, musician, and actor—Pop began performing in the 1960s, becoming known for strenuous and unpredictable stage performances—highly physical, deliberately aggressive events that often left his body battered and cut. These corporeally charged acts radically confronted the rock and roll trope of male sexual appeal. As Deller notes, “Iggy Pop has one of the most recognizable bodies in popular culture. A body that is key to an understanding of rock music, and that has been paraded, celebrated, and scrutinized through the years in a way that is unusual for a man. It is also fair to say that it has witnessed a lot. It was for these reasons that I wanted him to sit for a life class.” For Deller, the life drawing class offered the opportunity to study his body in direct and palpable terms.

On Sunday, February 21, 2016, the twenty-two participating artists gathered at the New York Academy of Art, where Pop was the unexpected model. The artists represent New York’s diverse community, ranging from 19 to 80 years of age with varying backgrounds, and include undergraduate and graduate students, practicing artists, and retirees.

Iggy Pop Life Class expands on the ways in which different cultures have traditionally considered the male body by including objects from the Brooklyn Museum’s collection, chosen by Deller, that represent male figures from different cultures and periods around the world. Works include sculptures from ancient Egypt, Africa, India, Japan, and Mexico; prints and drawings by Egon Schiele, Max Beckmann, and Daniel Huntington; and photographs by Eadweard Muybridge, Horace Bristol, Jim Steinhardt, Robert Mapplethorpe, and John Coplans. “Pop’s use of his body in his performances, and Deller’s multifaceted approach to examining it through this project, offers the opportunity to discuss maleness, and to consider how feminism has expanded to apply not only to women, but  to all genders on the spectrum,” said Sharon Matt Atkins.

Jeremy Deller is a London-based conceptual artist Jeremy Deller (English, born 1966) is known for orchestrating large-scale collaborative projects. In 2001, Deller worked with former miners and members of re-enactment societies to restage a violent confrontation between the police and striking miners that had occurred in 1984 during the yearlong miners’ strike in the United Kingdom. For It Is What It Is, commissioned by The Three M Project and Creative Time in 2009, Deller toured the United States with a car destroyed in a 2007 bomb attack in Baghdad, inviting journalists, Iraqi refugees, soldiers, and scholars to share their experiences. He has developed several music projects including Acid Brass (1997), a brass band performance of acid house music. More recently, he created Sacrilege (2012), a life-size inflatable Stonehenge, and we’re here because we’re here (2016), a modern memorial to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. Winner of the 2004 Turner Prize, Deller represented Great Britain at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013. His appreciation of academic drawing can be traced to his art history studies at the Courtauld Institute of Art and the University of Sussex.

Iggy Pop is a pioneer of rock music, Iggy Pop (American, born James Newell Osterberg, Jr., 1947) is a singersongwriter, musician, and actor. Born and raised in Michigan, Pop began performing in the 1960s. In 1967, he formed The Stooges, a band that significantly influenced the trajectory of rock music in the 1970s and 1980s. Pop became known for dynamic and unpredictable stage performances, a trademark throughout his career. His music has encompassed a number of styles over the decades, with well-known albums such as The Idiot (1977), Lust for Life (1977), Blah Blah Blah (1986), Brick by Brick (1990), and Skull Ring (2003). In 2010, The Stooges were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. March 2016 marked the release of Pop’s seventeenth album, Post Pop Depression, a collaboration with Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age.

Iggy Pop Life Class is organized by Sharon Matt Atkins, Vice Director, Exhibitions and Collections Management, Brooklyn Museum.

Review: The New York Botanical Garden and the Holiday Train Show®

The New York Botanical Garden is an iconic living museum and, since its founding in 1891, has served as an oasis in this busy metropolis.

As a National Historic Landmark, this 250-acre site’s verdant landscape supports over one million living plants in extensive collections. Each year more than one million visitors enjoy the Garden not only for its remarkable diversity of tropical, temperate, and desert flora, but also for programming that ranges from renowned exhibitions in the Haupt Conservatory to festivals on Daffodil Hill.

The Garden is also a major educational institution. More than 300,000 people annually—among them Bronx families, school children, and teachers—learn about plant science, ecology, and healthful eating through NYBG’s hands-on, curriculum-based programming. Nearly 90,000 of those visitors are children from underserved neighboring communities, while more than 3,000 are teachers from New York City’s public school system participating in professional development programs that train them to teach science courses at all grade levels.

NYBG operates one of the world’s largest plant research and conservation programs, with nearly 200 staff members—including 80 Ph.D. scientists—working in the Garden’s state-of-the-art molecular labs as well as in the field, where they lead programs in 49 countries.

The year 2016 marks the 125th Anniversary of the founding of The New York Botanical Garden.



After hustling it all over New York during my first week, I decided to have a quiet Sunday and grab the Metro North train from Grand Central station and check out the New York Botanical Garden.  It was the perfect way to spend a Sunday away from a busy city and some relaxed time in nature.

I made a point to inhale the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory which houses tropical and desert plants.  I took my time walking through the space which was humid, damp and laden with a quilt of chirpy plants all dewy in their presentation.  The space is beautifully laid out and perfect for the whole family.  There are quiet nooks for you to sit down and take everything and friendly staff to answer questions.

I sipped my tea as I made my way over to the forest on the property.  This experience proved to be the most therapeutic experience on my trip.  Resembling that of Kew Gardens in England – the sleepy trees, a well maintained path, a rose garden, streams, a bridge and quiet respites made me feel at ease and welcoming of the peaceful quiet.  I took a moment to stand in a pile of fallen Fall leaves and make a memory for when my work week get’s me down.  NYBG is brimming with memory postcards and I was sure to snap them all up like collector cards.

Once I felt the Zen washing over me, I made my way over to the piece de resistance for the holiday season, The New York Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show®.  It is a beloved New York City tradition and it enters its 25th year with the exhibition’s first roller coaster. The Coney Island Cyclone will join NYBG’s collection of more than 150 replicas of New York buildings that are all made out of plant parts and enlivened by large-scale model trains. The Holiday Train Show opens to the public on Saturday, November 19, 2016 and runs through Monday, January 16, 2017.

In addition to the famous Cyclone, new this year are Coney Island’s Wonder Wheel (complete with LED sign) and the Elephantine Colossus, a gigantic elephant-shaped hotel from the 1890s. The Holiday Train Show already features several Coney Island structures, including the Galveston Flood Building, the Luna Park Arch, the Luna Park Central Tower, and the Luna Park Ticket Booth. All of the collection’s Coney Island models will be displayed in the Reflecting Pool of the Palms of the World Gallery in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. This year the 30-foot-long Brooklyn Bridge will be relocated to the Palms Gallery, completing the Brooklyn scene. The Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge will also make its exhibition debut.

In the Holiday Train Show, more than 25 G-scale model trains and trolleys will hum along nearly a half mile of track past re-creations of iconic sites such as the Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Terminal, The New York Public Library, and Radio City Music Hall. Artistically crafted by Paul Busse’s team at Applied Imagination, all of the New York landmarks—which include Hudson River Valley houses and other buildings from New York State as well—are made of natural materials such as bark, twigs, stems, fruits, seeds, and pine cones. American steam engines, streetcars from the late 1800s, and modern freight and passenger trains ride underneath overhead trestles, through tunnels, and across rustic bridges and past waterfalls that cascade into flowing creeks. Thomas the Tank Engine™ and other beloved trains disguised as large colorful insects delight children as they zoom by.

The next time you are in New York – push yourself to get outside of the bubble of the city and take the trip to the Bronx.  The New York Botanical Garden will make everything right in one visit.

Hotel Review: Holiday Inn Manhattan View Long Island City


Did you know that Queens is now the new Brooklyn? Well, whilst I was in New York I wanted to stay outside the city, save some money, be close enough to the subway and still feel safe as a single girl travelling on her own. I stayed for 11 days at the Holiday Inn Manhattan View Long Island City and it was a perfect fit to my needs.

Holiday Inn Manhattan View sets the bar high for Manhattan area hotels. With views of the unmistakable New York City skyline,  the hotel is an exceptional backdrop for both business and pleasure.  This Queens hotel is just minutes from Manhattan, New York City’s legendary landmarks.  Explore the Empire State Building, Central Park, the Museum of the Moving Image, and the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Broadway, and Madison Square Garden. Holiday Inn Manhattan View is a nearby neighbor to many Fortune 500 companies, offering easy access to Citibank, MetLife, the United Nations, JetBlue, Delta, and Mount Sinai Medical Center.  The hotel is conveniently located within a short drive of all the major New York airports: LaGuardia, JFK and Newark.  I was at the Holiday Inn Manhattan View within 45 minutes of arriving at LaGuardia Airport.

I loved being able to get into the city in ten minutes in the morning.  Even during those long days in the city – I would roll back to the hotel around 11 p.m. and walk the two minutes back to the Holiday Inn Manhattan View.  I never had any issues in regards to safety.  The street was quiet but the hotel is in a sleepy neighbourhood alongside a few other hotels nestled within the same block.

The Holiday Inn Manhattan View offers free high-speed Internet access. Ideal for international travelers and vacationers, this Astoria, Queens hotel is located just one block from the N and Q subway lines and just a few blocks from the E and R subway lines. Start planning today and enjoy the great room rates and deals at Holiday Inn Manhattan View.

I’m never going to hesitate to book another with the Holiday Inn Manhattan View Long Island City the next time I am in New York.  I hope you consider them as well!