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Legos Alive Festival at Pier 36 on Lower East Side Manhattan NYC | legos alive festival manhattan nyc legos alive festival lower east side nyc LES soho tribeca downtown nyc legos alive nyc
Legos Alive Festival at Pier 36 on Lower East Side Manhattan NYC

Legos Alive Festival in Manhattan NYC

The Legos Really did Come Alive This Weekend

February 19, 2018 / Lower East Side Neighborhood NYC / Kids Things To Do Manhattan NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

This past weekend I made my way down to Legos Alive at Pier 36 on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, little realizing what was in store for me. I thought I would be covering a kiddie toy event for ages 6 through 12, which it was … but also so much more.

Pier 36 on the Lower East Side

Pier 36 is located along the East River on the Manhattan side. It's just north of the South Street Seaport along the east side [passing under] the FDR at 299 South Street. I walked the half / mile from the #4/5/6 subway stop at Canal Street.

Upon entering the voluminous Pier 36 facility, I found before me, a hodgepodge of competitions, workshops, video stations and vendor booths – all focused on bringing alive, what I remember as a kids toy building blocks kit … but that was a remembrance of many, many years ago.

Legos, at their core, is still a portfolio of building blocks kit, but it is now so much more, as you’ll soon see.

Legos Alive - it Really Brings Alive the Legos Creative Experience

legos alive festival manhattan nycOne of the first things I noticed were life sized figures of action heroes – from Flash Gordon and Captain America to Wonder Woman and Superman. These life sized figures were all built using hundreds of Legos. And in the case of the small replica of a dinosaur, possibly even a thousand or more blocks. From a distance they looked almost real, but when I closed in on them, I could see the famous blocks of which they were comprised.

There was a competition in session, where teams of kids had five minutes to build the biggest bridge. They weighed the bridge to see which was the largest, as counting them would have taken quite some time. The winning one(s) weighed in at about ten pounds. Bravo.

Legos Alive Provided a Real & Virtual Experience

Workshops, Virtual Reality, Robotics & Design Software

I started to make my way through the exhibition space watching with interest as fathers and sons, mothers and daughters and all combinations thereof, huddled together in a creative effort examining, designing, building and then operating their Lego inspired creations. Using the photos I took of the crowd at the session I attended, and multiplying that crowd estimate by the five sessions they offered, I guestimated they may have had in the neighborhood of 10,000 visitors over the weekend, but a spokesperson estimated the attendance may have run as high as 16,000 or 17,000 visitors. The entrance fees started at $45 for a general session admission, which ran about four hours.

Is Singing Beach a Twilight Parallax?

Tina Howe's New Play at Here MainStage Theater in SoHo

July 25, 2017 / SoHo Neighborhood near Tribeca / Manhattan Theater & Summer Plays / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

manhattan things to do manhattanLast Thursday I had the opportunity to watch the dress rehearsal of Singing Beach written by American playwright Tina Howe.

Tina Howe has won numerous awards and honors as an American Playwright including placing as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 1983 [Painting Churches], the Drama Critic's Circle Award for Best Play in 1998 [Prides Crossing] and the Lilly Award Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.

Tina told me that the play, Singing Beach, was something she had started nearly a decade ago, but had put on hiatus after a couple of years of toil because she just couldn’t get it right ... until now.

In the photo at right we watch as granddaughter Piper, played by Elodie Lucinda Morss, segues into another dimension taking us aboard the S.S. United States in Singing Beach, a new play by Tina Howe.


Singing Beach - Modern Themes

The play, Singing Beach, explores a number of themes. One of them is how family members respond to the caring needs of an aging, non-functional family member. In the Singing Beach play, the near-comatose elder is the father of the mother character [Mary], and the grandfather of granddaughter character [Piper] – whom together represent the female axis around which the play revolves. In a more cosmic parallax sense, the play actually encompasses three generations of women, as the grandmother’s presence is felt by the void left when she passed away a year earlier.


Singing Beach - Director, Producer & Playwright

manhattan things to do manhattanTina Howe’s new play is directed by Ari Laura Kreith of Theatre 167 and produced by Jenny Lyn Bader. The play opens on a beautiful beach, Singing Beach, which is a reference to a small, exclusive half-mile stretch of beach near Manchester by the Sea, which is just north of Salem in Massachusetts. The beach is known for its unique sand, which periodically emits sounds, when the wind hits the beach sand in just the right way.

The ghostly sounds of Singing Beach appear to be a metaphor in the play. Shortly after the play opens, we’re told there’s a storm, with potentially lethal gale force winds approaching. Will the storm wreak havoc, misery and by virtue of its destructive force, shake up and change everyone’s reality?

Shortly after the first scene, we’re taken into the dreamy parallax stream of subconscious in granddaughter Piper’s mind - in a transition that is far more subtle than the windy transition taken by Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. After Piper takes us aboard a transatlantic steamer, she appears to have far more fun than Dorothy, but is traveling in an environment that might be more mortally dangerous.

In the photo at right are Director Ari Laura Kreith, Producer Jenny Lynn Bader and Playwright Tina Howe at the Here Theater in SoHo.


At Here MainStage Theater in SoHo thru 8/12

I’ll have more on this as the week progresses, but in the meantime Singing Beach is being performed at the Here MainStage Theater at 145 6th Avenue at Dominick Street in SoHo. The play runs through August 12, 2017, but seating is very limited.

You can purchase tickets online [$30 / $20] at the website by cutting and pasting this url into your browser box -

Tribeca Film Festival - Ellen Kuras at SVA Theater Chelsea | tribeca film festival 2017 ellen kuras lecture cinematography sva theater nyc tribeca film festival manhattan TFF school of visual arts theater chelsea
Tribeca Film Festival - Ellen Kuras at SVA Theater Chelsea

The Tribeca Film Festival & Cinematography

Cinematographer Ellen Kuras Talks about the Cinematic Arts

May 8, 2017 / Tribeca Neighborhood & Chelsea Neighborhood / Film in Manhattan / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

I attended the 16th Annual Tribeca Film Festival, which ran from April 19th through April 30th this year. Last year I visited and reported on some of the interactive storytelling exhibits, so this year I decided to attend one of the lectures. The one I chose, was given by Cinematographer and Director Ellen Kuras, who talked about the cinematic arts.

After picking up my press pass at the Tribeca Film Festival hub at Spring Studios, I took the subway uptown to the School of Visual Arts in Chelsea on West 23rd Street. There was a line beginning to form, as the event was free to the public. My press pass didn’t provide me with any advantage vis a vis the general public, so I waited along with many of the early attendees who wanted to be sure not to miss the lecture.

Tribeca Film Festival Lecture: Ellen Kuras - Cinematographer

ellen kuras cinematographer photo tribeca film festival TFF NYCOnce inside the theater filled quickly. Ellen Kuras came out and took a seat on the stage. Kuras has a disarming demeanor and it wouldn’t have been difficult for me to believe that I was sitting there with her alone, with nobody else in the room.

Ellen Kuras is an accomplished Cinematographer and has a bit of her own story to tell … which she did, but which I also researched online after the lecture, because her personal story caught my interest.

Kuras Education & Directorial Debut

Kuras studied Anthropology & Semiotics in college at Brown University. Anthropology is the study of man from a cultural, institutional and normative perspective, while semiotics is the study of communication, specifically focusing on communicating meaning through allegories, symbolism, metaphor, analogies and other methods. After college Ellen went on to study photography at the Rhode Island School of Design and filmmaking in New York.

Kuras started her career working on a film about a Laotian who had immigrated to New York, after fleeing war torn Laos in the 1970’s. It’s a narrative with flashbacks that mix historic footage in with the narrative, providing the film with dramatic realism and moving force. Kuras began the film around 1985, but would not finish it until 2008.

Kuras’ Worked with Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese, Christine Vachon, Julian Schnabel & Many Other Top Names in the Film Making Industry

Ellen’s career includes numerous collaborations with Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese, Christine Vachon Julian Schnabel and many others. She’s a member of the contemporary film making avant-garde, pushing the envelope to bring real or important artistically told stories about contemporary issues - alive.

Click here to read more about Ellen Kuras at the Tribeca Film Festival talking about the art of cinematography.

Year of the Rooster in Manhattan

Chinatown Pulls out all Stops for the Year of the Fire Rooster

chinese new year celebration sara roosevelt park lower east side lesJanuary 31, 2017 / Chinatown Neighborhood near SoHo & Tribeca Manhattan NYC / Manhattan History & Culture / Manhattan NYC Holidays / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

On Saturday morning I headed down to Sara D. Roosevelt Park on the Lower East Side – LES – in Manhattan. The Chinese were planning a New Year Day Firecracker Ceremony & Cultural Festival that would run from 11 am to 3.30 pm, with the highlight being the lighting of the firecrackers at 12 noon to ring in the New Year.

I arrived a bit after 12 noon, but just in time to catch the tail end of the firecracker ceremony. It was loud and smoky and the park was full of people who came to enjoy the whole affair. In the photo at right you can see a huge crowd wandering the streets of Chinatown in Lower Manhattan along Elizabeth Street between Canal & Mott Streets.

Grandparents, children and everyone in between were there. And the Chinese celebrants were joined in attendance by thousands of people, many of whom represented numerous other ethnic groups. One of the things I love most about New York City is times like these where I get to join in seeing the world peacefully come together, to savor one another’s culture, in a shared communal learning experience.

chinese new year celebration sara roosevelt park lower east side lesTraffic along Chrystie Street was a bit backed up, as the teeming crowds spilled into the streets, and motorist caution was in order with so many people, young and old, around. I made my way along the perimeter of the park up to Grand Street where the entrance is located.

Along the way I would jump up along one of the rails to take some photos of the spectacle in the park. Once inside the park, which was no mean feat, given that literally thousands were making their way out, I found a spot on higher ground where I could listen and watch some of the cultural performances taking place on the main stage. We are beginning the year of the Fire Rooster.

The Chinese have twelve symbols, one of which they designate for each year, in a rotation. The symbols are comparable to those used in the Zodiac, and is likely from where the Zodiac originated.

The use of the twelve symbols likely came from the lunar [monthly] cycle of the Chinese calendar. This year in the western / modern world is 2017, while in the Chinese lunar calendar we have just entered the year 4714. As you can see by the count, the Chinese culture has a significant head start on the west.

In the photo at right you can see performers at Sara D. Roosevelt Park on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, ringing in the year of the Rooster. By Michael Wood.

Taste of the Seaport

South Street Seaport Showcases Tribeca & Lower East Side Restaurants

oct 17 2015 taste of the seaport nycOctober 2016 / South Street Seaport Tribeca Neighborhood / Tribeca Restaurants / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

I went to browse through the Taste of the Seaport, which was held at the South Street Seaport from 11 am to 4 pm. It was a cool sunny autumnal day in mid October as I made my way toward the East River downtown.

South Street Seaport Downtown NYC

The South Street Seaport is a popular destination that attracts both locals and tourists. It's location, just south of the Brooklyn Bridge, with its sweeping waterfront views, is also a docking destination for boat tours and ferries. And the South Street Seaport restaurants are both plentiful and varied.

Since I arrived early afternoon, I didn't have much time to do more than a quick sweep of the Taste of the Seaport and hence - unfortunately - didn't get much of a chance to converse much with the local restaurateurs. There were a lot of food booths - 37 in all - lining Front Street all the way up to Peck Slip.

El Luchador & Cedar Local - South Street Seaport Restaurants & Bars

south street seaport restaurants bars nycI did manage to stop and chat at a couple of food booths, one hosting the offerings of El Luchador Taqueria and the second providing a taste of Cedar Local. El Luchador is located at 87 South Street [646-398-7499 / 646-398-7652] and was serving Mexican fare including a beef taco which is shown to your right. El Luchador opened in 2014 and serves Mexican street fare.

The second stop was Cedar Local located at 25 Cedar Street [212.344.3467] which serves spirits and bites. Cedar Local is essentially an after hours happy hour place that also serves 'bites' late into the evening.

After the event I walked over to the docks to take in the panoramic view of the East River and Brooklyn Bridge. There's a small South Street Seaport Museum there, but it wasn't open at the time.

Taste of the Seaport NYC - Organizers & Sponsors

This was the 6th annual Taste of the Seaport [it started in 2010] and the event was organized by and sponsored by a number of downtown NYC organizations and businesses serving the Downtown NYC & Tribeca neighborhoods.

Click here to browse through a mix of Downtown NYC food festivals & Tribeca restaurants reviewed.

Queens Library 'Scandal' - Where was the Beef?

Galante Seeks to Clear his Name as well as the Reputations of the Queens Library & Former Sacked Trustees

How Did Katz's, Stringer's & NY Daily News' Full Year of Accusations & Innuendo Fall So Far Short in Court?

thomas galante wins corruption case queens library scandal thomas galanteSeptember 6, 2016 / Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Politics & Media / News Analysis & Opinion / Manhattan Buzz NYC.


Throughout 2014, we witnessed Billionaire Mortimer Zuckerman's NY Daily News, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz publicly attack President Thomas Galante and the Board of Trustees of the Queens Library. They appeared to individually and collectively insinuate that there was unforgivable malfeasance going on at the Queens Library.


In late January of 2014, only a day after Juan Gonzales published an EXCLUSIVE muckraking story about the Queens Library President's renovations to his office, in Mortimer Zuckerman's NY Daily News, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer announced an audit of the Queens Library.

Juan Gonzales included in the story what I believe was leaked CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION of the Queens Library, such as the Queens Library President's salary and other confidential employment agreements. Former trustee(s) told me they believed that this information was leaked by Queens Borough President Melinda Katz's ex-Officio Board of Trustees representative on the board, in violation of their fiduciary obligation to the Queens Library [to date this is an unproven allegation].


Katz, Stringer & Zuckerman's NY Daily News Accusations - Appear to Damage Queens Library Reputation - with a Year Long Barrage of, as yet Unproven, Allegations


Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer and Mortimer Zuckerman's NY Daily News then regaled us for the rest of the year [2014] with all kinds of incredible detail about alleged wrongdoing at nyc comptroller scott stringer scandals corruption nycthe Queens Library. Mortimer Zuckerman's NY Daily News published several editorials during the course of the year rousing Queens residents into a frenzy against Galante and the Queens Library trustees, while encouraging these two politicians / government officials to unleash their fury against the Queens Library President and Board of Trustees.


Queens Borough President Melinda Katz obliged by initiating legislation to change a state covenant with the library drafted by Andrew Carnegie over a century ago. Andrew Carnegie founded the library as part of his great philanthropic works. And NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer filed a lawsuit seeking complete access to the records of the private non-profit segment of the library, because he must not have found what he was looking for in the public portion representing 85% of the organizational budget. They appear to have done such a good job of damaging the reputation of the Queens Library, that in the following year [2015/ 2016] donations to the non-profit library fell by almost 40% or nearly $2 million.


Did NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer Break the Law & Slander Thomas Galante & the Former Queens Library Trustees?


NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer made a number of harsh statements during the course of the audit of the Queens Library alleging lies and theft. In a May 22, 2014 story published by the Queens Tribune, Stringer said,

queens library corruption scandal queens library"For them [Queens Library Board of Trustees] to mislead the public and tell the public that they are, in fact, cooperating, is nothing more than a bold-faced lie.”

In a July 8, 2015 story published in Newsday, Stringer charged Queens Library executives with using public funds as their

"personal piggy bank" ...

And later in the same story NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer says,

"As they were scaling back access to books, the Internet and vital programs and services, they were lining their own pockets."

These statements, if untrue, might constitute slander, particularly given the fact that many of the people NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer attacked are private citizens - not public officials like himself.

The title of his final audit report seems to negate his previously made assertions, as the title of the final NYC Comptroller's report is,


The operative word is possible and this is after likely one of the most intense, year and a half long audits, of any library in the city, ever.

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer referred his findings to the IRS and other legal entities for follow up. This is following an investigation by the FBI, the NYC Department of Investigations, Scott Stringer's own office of the NYC Comptroller, and following the initiation of legislation by Queens Borough President Melinda Katz to change a 118 year old covenant between the Queens Library and the State of New York.

Lots of Smoke, but Still No Fire

As of this writing, nearly three years later, the allegations of wrongdoing by Thomas Galante have been all smoke and no fire.

So far, we've still heard nothing more than allegations and innuendo and possibly libelous and slanderous accusations by public officials and a billionaire NYC real estate developer's paper.


thomas galante queens library corruption scandalUnder Galante the Queens Library was a Top Rated Library in the Nation with an Unblemished Financial Record


Each of the accusers rarely, if ever, mentioned that the Queens Library was considered by its peers to be one of the finest libraries in the nation. That the Queens Library had won national awards which confirmed the library's national standing. And the accusers never mentioned that in all the years that Thomas Galante had been President of the jeweled Queens Library, that it had been run fiscally responsibly with a balanced budget and never a hint of scandal ... until they came along, in their newly elected positions, ALLEGING one.


The accusers accounts did not jibe with what I personally knew about the Queens Library, so I set about drafting an alternative narrative to what appeared to be biased accounts provided by Juan Gonzales and other writers of Mortimer Zuckerman's NY Daily News.


Court Rules Against Accusers Katz & Stringer - but You'd Never Know it by Reading Mortimer Zuckerman's NY Daily News


On August 31, 2016, in the ruling of United States District Judge Allyne R. Ross, Thomas Galante got a first taste of what seemed to be a fair hearing. Judge Ross' ruling requires the Queens Library to pay Thomas juan gonzales ny daily news journalistGalante's legal fees to defend himself against accusations by the Queens Library regarding his stewardship of the non-profit.

The newly reconstituted Queens Library Board of Trustees had filed a suit against Galante after he had filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the library. One might interpret this as an intimidation tactic by the newly reconstituted Queens Library, as legal fees are very expensive and it will cost Galante hundreds of thousands (if not more) to enforce his rights. Galante will have to reimburse the Queens Library if the Queens Library's assertions against him hold up in court.

I wonder if the current members of the Queens Library Board of Trustees have to meet the same standard, in order to have the library pay for their legal fees.

It's worth mentioning that Mortimer Zuckerman's NY Daily News took the lead in most or all of the stories to date about the Queens Library - crafting the storyline narrative about Queens Library 'corruption'. And yet, when I did a search for award-winning journalist Juan Gonzales' & Mortimer Zuckerman's NY Daily News follow on story announcing Thomas Galante's recent court victory against Katz's & Stringer's Queens Library - there was none to be found. This sort of information omission / biased reporting by one of NYC's three daily newspapers is more akin to self-serving propaganda than American journalism.


If Galante Succeeds He Will Clear Not Only His Own Name, but also the Queens Library's & its Former Trustees'


melinda katz queens library reform billIf Galante succeeds in clearing his own name, he will also succeed in restoring the stellar reputation of the Queens Library and the reputations of the former trustees sacked by current Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. QBLINK.


Did the Queens Library Reform Act Enable Pols to Morph the Queens Library into a Political Patronage Parking Lot?


It's also worth mentioning that a couple of years ago interested observers expressed concern that the Queens Library would be morphed into a Political Patronage Parking Palace for under-employed or unemployed party apparatchiks. It's been just over two years since Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Katz-inspired legislation, entitled the Queens Library Reform Act, and it appears that this may already be happening.

Earlier this year, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz's newly reconstituted Board of Trustees appointed former NYC Schools Chancellor, Dennis Walcott, as the Queens Library President. Based on my research into Dennis Walcott's background, it appears that he has no formal higher education in library science, nor does he have any professional experience in it.

Quelle suprise.

Click here to view our complete coverage of the Queens Library 'corruption & scandals' accusing Thomas Galante of wrongdoing.

4th Of July Fireworks In Manhattan

Tale & Photos Of My Trip On Independence Day

Friday 2014 _ 4th of july fireworks manhattan nycJuly 4th / SoHo Neighborhood NYC / Holidays in Manhattan NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

I went to see the Macy's 4th of July fireworks in the East River on the Manhattan side on Monday night. Official reports told everyone that the fireworks would begin around 9 pm, but I knew from experience that they generally began closer to 9.30 pm.

I took the subway down the east side of Manhattan sometime after 8.30 pm but still a bit before 9 pm and it was as packed as it usually is during rush hour on a weekday morning.

I decided to go 'all in' and get off at the Court House / Brooklyn Bridge stop. Tonight it was the last stop on the train and many others had opted to get off a couple of stops earlier.

At a later date we'll post the rest of the story including photos of the 4th of July fireworks in Manhattan NYC. A photo from 2014 is shown to your right.

Tribeca Film Festival NYC | tribeca film festival 2016 nyc tribeca film festival manhattan TFF
Tribeca Film Festival NYC

Tribeca Film Festival & 21st Century Storytelling

Film Festival Explores the Science & Technology of Entertainment

April 17, 2016 / Tribeca Neighborhood / Manhattan Film /

I spent a Sunday afternoon at Spring Studios in Tribeca, attending the Tribeca Film Festival. The festival was founded by Robert de Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in 2002, in part to bring people back to the Tribeca neighborhood in the wake of the 911 tragedy in the Fall of 2001.


Through the years the Tribeca Film Festival has grown in size and stature, and over the past few years, has begun to introduce, if not fully embrace, the new, rapidly-evolving technologies being used to advance storytelling.


Spring Studios - Hub of Tribeca Film Fest

film festivals nyc tribeca film festThe hub of the Tribeca Film Festival continues to be at Spring Studios in Tribeca. Spring Studios is a sparkling new, spanking clean facility that was completed in the summer of 2013, and first put into use in the Fall of that year. Spring Studios is home to five studios, a rooftop patio, a gallery, a mezzanine and a cinema theater. Spring Studios overlooks the Holland Tunnel, and has entrances on Varick Street and exits on St. John’s Lane.


The Tribeca Film Festival was hosted at eight venues throughout New York City, including one in Queens at PS1 MoMa in Long Island City and the hub at Spring Studios in Tribeca. The film viewing venues and addresses include: 1) Regal Cinemas Battery Park Stadium 11 at 102 North End Ave [btwn Vesey & Murray St], 2) BMCC Tribeca PAC at 199 Chambers Street [btwn Greenwich & West St], 3) SpringStudios at 50 Varick St, 4) New York Academy of Art at 111 Franklin St [btwn West Broadway & Church St], 5) Tribeca Film Center at 375 Greenwich St on 2nd Flr [btwn N. Moore & Franklin St], 6) Bow Tie Cinemas Chelsea 9 at 260 West 23rd Street [btwn 7th & 8th Aves], 7) SVA Theatre at 333 West 23rd Street [btwn 8th & 9th Aves], and 8) MoMA PS1 at 22-25 Jackson Avenue in Queens.

Click here to read the rest of our report on the Tribeca Film Festival.

St Pat's Day Bars Irish Pubs & Restaurants Manhattan - UES, UWS, Midtown, East Village St Patrick's Day Bars & Irish Pubs & Restaurants Manhattan NYC | st pat's day bars irish pubs restaurants manhattan nyc irish pubs restaurants upper east side ues irish bars upper west side uws irish pubs bars restaurants east village manhattan nyc
St Pat's Day Bars Irish Pubs & Restaurants Manhattan - UES, UWS, Midtown, East Village St Patrick's Day Bars & Irish Pubs & Restaurants Manhattan NYC

Manhattan St Pat's Day Irish Pubs, Restaurants & Historic Bars in NYC 2022

Historic Manhattan St Pat's Day Pubs, Irish Bars & Restaurants On St. Patrick's Day In NYC, UES, UWS, Midtown & Village

March 11, 2022 / Manhattan Neighborhoods NYC / Manhattan Restaurants NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

St. Patrick’s Day is upon us once again and it’s time for one and all, regardless of genetic history, to don their green clothing and head out to the Irish bars for a pint of ale or to the Irish restaurants for some down home Irish fare … or something like that.

This report is about some of the Manhattan Irish bars and restaurants that have survived the test of time, and likely a might bit … more. The Irish pubs include Irish bars and restaurants from the Upper East Side [UES], the Upper West Side [UWS], Midtown Manhattan as well as the East Village, as McSorley's remains not just a pub, but a good piece of history.

St Patrick's Day is on a Thursday this year.

While St. Patrick's Day is one big party, it's important to keep in mind, that like New Years Eve, all the amateurs come out to play [it's not just the Irish who are out drinking on St. Patrick's Day]. So some measure of caution is advised and you have to be careful.

At a later date we'll add a bit of history of St. Patrick's Day.

Click here to read our report about the St Pat's Day Bars, Irish Pubs & Restaurants in Manhattan NYC. We'll begin our journey on the Upper East Side UES where the Manhattan St. Patrick's Day Parade ends and then work our way around the rest of Manhattan.

Chinatown History NYC & Chinese New Year Parade Manhattan | chinatown manhattan nyc chinese new year parade manhattan nyc tribeca downtown nyc
Chinatown History NYC & Chinese New Year Parade Manhattan

Manhattan: Chinese New Year of the Monkey

Chinese New Year Parade & Brief NYC Chinatown History

February 15, 2016 / Chinatown Manhattan NYC / Things To Do Manhattan / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

Ancient Chinese Calendar Based on Chinese Zodiac & Study of Planets

This past week Manhattan celebrated the Chinese New Year of the Monkey. The Monkey is fun-loving, curious, clever and mischievous. Those born this year, or five Chinese calendar cycles ago in 1944, are born under the influence of the Fire element. There are five elements, and each influences a 12 year / Chinese calendar cycle. We are currently in a Chinese calendrical cycle that is influenced by the Fire sign. It is believed the 12 years corresponds to the 11.86 years it takes Jupiter to revolve around the sun.

Chinese Five Elements Influence 12 Years of the Calendar Cycle

Every calendar cycle is influenced by one of the five elements: metal, water, wood, fire and earth. And each of these natural elements signifies something. The five elements are associated with the five planets nearest to earth which are: Mercury [water], Mars [fire], Venus [metal], Saturn [earth] and Jupiter [wood]. The five elements are all natural and have transformative influences on each other. For instance water can extinguish a fire, a fire can be created with wood, and fire can melt metal. If you study these transformations you will see that they are all connected, like nature itself, a part of a whole. Thus an entire cycle encompasses the five elements times each calendrical [or zodiac] sign for a total of 60 years.

Click here for a brief history of NYC Chinatown in Manhattan and the NYC Chinese New Year Parade in Manhattan.

Tribeca: Crane Falls Kills One

Mayor de Blasio Responds with Increase in Oversight

tribeca crane crash hudson st church st worth st nyc manhattanFebruary 15 , 2016 / Tribeca Neighborhood / NYC Government & Politics / Manhattan Buzz NYC / by Michael Wood.

On Friday February 5th at around 8 am, crane operators began lowering a very long extended steel arm [565 feet according to the Mayor's Office], to reduce its exposure to high winds. Instead of a controlled descent, the crane arm fell to the ground, killing one and injuring three others. This occurred on Worth Street between Hudson Street and Church Street in Tribeca.

The crane was located between Hudson and West Broadway and the winds were estimated to be in the neighborhood of 20 - 25 mph at the time of the crash. This is a mobile crane, and various cranes have different specifications for being secured at certain wind speeds. The last time there was a crane accident in New York City was in 2008, when there were two building crane accidents.

The crane was put in place only a week earlier, on January 30th, and a few days earlier had been inspected by the NYC Department of Buildings. The crane was authorized or designed to go to the 565 feet to which it had recently been extended. The crane was owned by Bay Crane Company and it was being operated by Galasso Trucking and Rigging.

tribeca crane crash hudson st church st worth st nyc manhattanI went down to the site on the Saturday after occurrence to take photos and while there talked to a few bystanders. You could see that the stationary crane, which was based on the street level, had toppled the length of Worth Street. The crane was put in place to install generators and air conditioning units atop the building at 60 Hudson Street which was the former Western Union Building.

It appeared that the crane just fell and in its wake crashed upon a few cars and pedestrians who fled. The one who was killed was an Upper West Sider. The area was secured in the aftermath, but Con Ed reported that their infrastructure appeared to be ok. One of the subway lines (#1) skipped a couple stops in the vicinity over the weekend and pedestrian and street traffic around Worth Street between Church and Hudson was blocked off. Overall the scene appeared relatively peaceful, although there were police tapes up and rerouted traffic as the police and the Department of Buildings conducted their investigations and follow up.

On Sunday, February 7th, the Mayor made a statement announcing several new policies. The first is with respect to mandates for the securing of mobile cranes, which is to be whenever winds are forecast to be 20 mph or above and for gusts of 30 mph or above. Secondly the Mayor said that there will be stricter guidelines for enforcing and ensuring pedestrian compliance and safety while cranes are being secured, and there may be some additional assistance / oversight from the NY City police [NYPD], NY City Fire Department [FDNY], the NY City Department of Transportation [NYCDOT], NY City Department of Buildings [NYCDOB]. Now when a crane is being secured or to be secured, the operators will be required to notify the community in advance. And lastly, a task force is being assembled to see what can be learned from this accident so that best practices may be learned and put in place so that this doesn't happen again.

South Street Seaport Neighborhood Real Estate Development | south st seaport neighborhood south street seaport real estate development
South Street Seaport Neighborhood Real Estate Development

South Street Seaport Neighborhood & Real Estate Development

An Historical Site and Shopping, Dining & Tourist Destination in NYC

January 28, 2016 / Tribeca Neighborhood & Downtown NYC / Manhattan History / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

I have visited the South Street Seaport several times over the past year and I have found it to have enough of the blend of old and new to merit several or more visits. In this report I will take you on a brief tour of the South Street Seaport to show you what you can find along the East River, looking up at the Brooklyn Bridge from the southern downtown neighborhood in Manhattan.

South Street Seaport Neighborhood

south street seaport real estate development downtown nycMany subway lines traverse the downtown area, so it’s not hard to get to from most other parts of Manhattan. And many subway lines from the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn traverse or terminate in lower Manhattan, where the South Street Seaport is located.

The South Street Seaport neighborhood has a number of dimensions to it. To be sure it’s a tourist destination as one can sit along the East River wining or dining while looking out at the Brooklyn Bridge. There are plenty of shops and restaurants in the neighborhood, so it’s not hard to find ways to feed or amuse oneself.

A new real estate development of the South Street Seaport is currently in process. The planning for it was decided upon in 2013 and it is expected to be completed in 2017. The renovation is expected to free up the East River waterfront to more pedestrian activity.

Click here to read about the history of the South Street Seaport neighborhood & real estate development.

Manhattan Holiday Events - Kwanzaa, Hanukkah & Christmas Events in Manhattan NYC | manhattan tree lightings holiday lightings nyc menorah lightings upper east side UES upper west side uws midtown soho tribeca tree lightings holiday celebrations xmas bowery manhattan nyc
Manhattan Holiday Events - Kwanzaa, Hanukkah & Christmas Events in Manhattan NYC

Manhattan Holiday Events - Manhattan NYC

Christmas Tree Lightings, Hanukkah Menorah Lightings, & Kwanzaa Candle Lightings in Manhattan & Holiday Markets & Events NYC

December 18, 2021 / Upper East Side UES / Upper West Side UWS / Midtown NYC / East Village & West Village / Tribeca SoHo Bowery / Holiday Events & Holiday Markets - Kwanzaa, Hanukkah & Christmas Holidays in Manhattan / Manhattan Buzz NYC.


*** Be sure to visit our Manhattan holiday markets NYC page, as it contains related holiday events with a shopping element to them.

*** For links to holiday events and markets in all five boroughs of NYC scroll down to the bottom of this page.


EDITOR NOTE. While it seems we've turned the corner on the CoVid pandemic, it's after effects still linger. Hence a number of holiday events we saw in 2019 may not yet return in 2021 for reasons related to CoVid, or possibly finances. So while they may not return this year, they might make a comeback next year.


How The Manhattan Holiday Events Page on this Page are Organized

These holiday events in Manhattan are organized as follows:



Watch carefully as some locales have multiple dates, and all dates for a given locale are shown at the time the venue is first listed.



Manhattan Holiday Lights, Christmas Tree Lightings, Hanukkah Menorah Lightings, Kwanzaa Candle Lightings Background

The holidays are a special time of the year. In ancient times there were harvest celebrations to give thanks and enjoy the bounty after a long growing and harvesting season aka a year of work.

Holiday lighting festivals and ceremonies have been on the rise in Manhattan in recent years. While some date back many years, some are fairly new.

Attending holiday lightings alone, with friends or with the kids gives folks a chance to enjoy their own cultural heritage and provides an opportunity to learn a bit more about and share in the cultural heritage of others.

Each lighting is a bit different, as some are orginated by the community, some by businesses, some by religious organizations, and a few have arts organizations behind them. Please feel free to send us a notice of your holiday lighting event if it's not posted herein.


Manhattan Holiday Events & Holiday Markets Now Underway

This is not meant to be a complete list, but rather a list of the holiday lighting events. The holiday lighting events are organized individually by each Manhattan neighborhood including the Upper East Side UES, the Upper West Side UWS, Midtown NYC, the East Village, the West Village, the Bowery, SoHo, Tribeca and more to come. Many include the serving of some beverage like hot chocolate and generally some snack like cookies.

Taste of the Seaport - Taste of South St Seaport | taste south st seaport taste of south street seaport nyc  food fests festivals s st seaport
Taste of the Seaport - Taste of South St Seaport

Taste of the Seaport

South Street Seaport Showcases Tribeca & Lower East Side Restaurants

October 17, 2015 / South Street Seaport Tribeca Neighborhood / Tribeca Restaurants / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

I went to browse through the Taste of the Seaport, which was held at the South Street Seaport from 11 am to 4 pm. It was a cool sunny autumnal day in mid October as I made my way toward the East River downtown.

South Street Seaport Downtown NYC

The South Street Seaport is a popular destination that attracts both locals and tourists. It's location, just south of the Brooklyn Bridge, with its sweeping waterfront views, is also a docking destination for boat tours and ferries. And the South Street Seaport restaurants are both plentiful and varied.

Since I arrived early afternoon, I didn't have much time to do more than a quick sweep of the Taste of the Seaport and hence - unfortunately - didn't get much of a chance to converse much with the local restaurateurs. There were a lot of food booths - 37 in all - lining Front Street all the way up to Peck Slip.

Click here to read the rest of our report on the Taste of the South Street Seaport.

Women's World Cup Champions

Ticker Tape Parade & Celebration Of 3rd USA Win

womens world cup champion ticker tape parade nyc 2015July 13, 2015 / Tribeca Neighborhood / Manhattan Parades / Manhattan Buzz NYC / by Michael Wood.

It's not every day that the reigning Women's World Cup Team visits Manhattan enmasse. But so it was, that on Friday, July 10th, 2015 that the three-time World Cup winning USA women's team visited the Big Apple, to be honored in the first ticker tape parade for women in New York City.

The USA team won their first World Cup in 1991, their second in 1999 and their third this year. Only one player from the 1999 team was still playing for the USA team in 2015 - team captain Christie Rampone.

The parade was set up on very short notice, with a significant push by Mayor de Blasio to celebrate the Women's World Cup Champions' victory in NYC with an historic parade and celebration.

I heard from some parade-goers that they saw NYS Governor womens world cup champion ticker tape parade nyc 2015Andrew Cuomo riding on one of the parade floats, but we did not see him on the dais following the parade.

I believe about 1,600 people were in attendance at the celebration following the parade. Many were given free tickets in an online lottery wherein they had a couple hours Wednesday to apply for the tickets and the winners were notified about 24 hours later on Thursday. As I understand it they printed the tickets off an online ticket site.

Most of the people in the crowd were females. Mothers, daughters, sisters and friends. Many dressed up and painted their faces to celebrate the three-time winning women's soccer team. Unfortunately, the USA men's World Cup soccer team has yet to win a World Cup.

SoHo Neighborhood / Tribeca Manhattan in NYC

Welcome To The SoHo & Tribeca Neighborhoods of Manhattan NYC

On Site Directory


soho things to do soho nyc tribeca things to do tribeca manhattan

Taste of Tribeca Restaurants NYC | taste of tribeca restaurants restaurants in tribeca
Taste of Tribeca Restaurants NYC

Taste of Tribeca

Tribeca Restaurants Support PS 150 and PS 234

Mid May / Tribeca Neighborhood / SoHo Tribeca Restaurants / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

I had the opportunity to attend the 21st Annual Taste of Tribeca on Saturday afternoon. It was a warm, mostly sunny day, with temperatures hovering around 80. In the morning there were clouds and a light misty rain, so it didn’t get too hot and the misty rain left little humidity in the air.

The Taste of Tribeca is a fundraiser for two of Tribeca’s public schools – PS 150 which is also referred to as the Tribeca Learning Center and PS 234 which is also called the Independence School. The additional funds are used to provide programs and equipment that are used to enhance learning for the K through 5th grade students of the two elementary schools. Both schools are public non-charter schools that are highly rated and whose students perform well on standardized tests.

In recent years the demand for enrollment in these two Tribeca public schools has grown rapidly with the growing population of the neighborhood. A couple of years ago the Department of Education had proposed moving PS 150 up to Chelsea to provide more space for students, but the effort was defeated by the Tribeca neighborhood. And about five years ago, the school district for PS 234 was the focus of a school district zoning battle, as the increased growth in residential housing and population had strained the demand for PS 234 school facilities. So there's a bit of history about the public schools for which the funds were raised, but I digress.

Let us begin our journey through the Taste of Tribeca restaurants, where we will become a little more familiar with a few Tribeca restaurants and bars.

Chinese New Year Firecracker Festival

At 11 AM Thursday In Chinatown

san gennaro festival parade little italy nycFebruary 16, 2015 / Little Italy Neighborhood NYC / Manhattan Restaurants / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

The Chinese New Year begins this week and the firecracker festival is the first of a sequence of celebrations to mark this event.

We'll post more a bit later in the week.

San Gennaro Festival Marches Thru Rain

While Little Italy Serves Visitors Authentic NYC Italian

san gennaro festival parade little italy nycSeptember 15, 2014 / Little Italy Neighborhood NYC / Soho Restaurants / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

It certainly wasn't ideal weather as I made my way into Little Italy early Saturday afternoon. The clouds above were dark grey, and an on-and-off drizzle dampened the sky.

I arrived shortly before the parade was to pass so I made my way along Mulberry Street photographing the food and clothing carts as I passed. Soon the police and Governor's secret service men arrived, clearing the way.

Mulberry is an old narrow street, allowing just enough room for a vehicle to pass, as the carts filled the streets on either side. Hence there were only a few floats in this parade. And several tightly choreographed local marching bands brought up the rear of the parade. All in all, it was, an old fashioned parade and those of us who had braved the inclement weather greatly enjoyed it.

But the San Gennaro Parade was just the beginning of my adventure in the Little Italy neighborhood of NYC. You'll be able to click here later this week to view the rest of the report along with a photo slide show. The San Gennaro Festival honors the Patron Saint of Naples and continues through next weekend. There's another parade too [see our things to do calendar].

Fashion Week In Manhattan

fashion week manhattan nycSeptember 2, 2014 / Manhattan Neighborhoods / Fashion NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

The summer has unofficially ended, school has started and Fall Fashion Week has arrived in NYC. There will be fashion events all over the city beginning Wednesday and running until Thursday September 11th.

New York Fashion Week is a collection of many independent events, but the showcase venue is at Lincoln Center where the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week occurs. The Mercedes Benz Fashion Week moved to Lincoln Center from Bryant Park in 2010. It had been held in tents in Bryant Park beginning in 1994.

So look around you this week at what folks are wearing. Temperatures will be in the mid to low 80's and the lows will be in the 60's, so you're not likely to see many fur coats.

Events start mid morning and run into the evening. You can buy tickets at or by searching for the designers you wish to see. Several of them have begun to branch out onto their own, sponsoring their own events.

There will also be a number of parties and social gatherings. So wear your best for Manhattan's fashionista fest. Enjoy.

Fringe Festival NYC

Step Into The World Of The Newly Created

fringe festival nyc 2014August 17, 2014 / East Village NYC & SoHo Neighborhood NYC / Off Broadway Theater NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

The three week long Fringe Festival continues through this coming weekend. The Fringe Festival is a curated performing arts festival that includes music, dance and theater performances at various venues throughout various sections of the Village in Manhattan.

I attended one such performance on Norfolk Street this past Sunday where the stage was fastened alongside a large box truck which was parked in a parking / play lot that was furnished with lawn chairs which were placed under a canopy to shelter the audience from the sun or inclement weather.

All of the works are original and the mix provides an adventurous dive into the performing arts. We hear that some of the works should receive accolades while others are said to need a bit of work. But all in all attending the Fringe Festival in NYC makes for a fun afternoon or evening; and the ticket prices range from $0 to $18. For more info about what's playing the rest of this week and weekend, check out

We'll post more info and a photo slide show at a later date.

Summer Streets Arrive In Manhattan

Summer In The City

summer streets manhattan nycAugust 4, 2014 / East Side Neighborhood NYC / Manhattan Neighborhoods / Biking Manhattan / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

On Saturday from 7 am - 1 pm vast sections of Park Avenue and Lafayette were closed to traffic. It wasn't a street fair per se, as no vendors were set up, but rather an opportunity for New Yorkers to bike and stroll and photograph this seven mile stretch of Manhattan without automobiles streaming up and down the avenue.

I started at Park Avenue in the high 40's and made my way down to the mid 30's before the event ended. The Park Avenue Tunnel, which begins at 33rd Street contained a Norweigan sound installation which I unfortunately missed because they closed the several block long tunnel art / sound installation to new visitors at 12.30 pm.

But it will be back next week and the week after as Summer Streets continue. We'll post a photo slide show at a later date.

5 Boro Bike Ride In Manhattan

Next Sunday 32,000 Bikers Descend On Manhattan

5 boro bike ride manhattan nycApril 28, 2014 / Manhattan Neighborhoods / Biking Manhattan / Things To Do In Manhattan / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

Next weekend the 5 Boro Bike Ride will come streaming through all five boroughs of NYC. It's a fun bike ride with about 32,000 bikers who come from all around the nation and some from other parts of the world.


The ride goes all day long, so if you're planning on doing any travel on the roadways, you'd best plan ahead and avoid the crowds and blocked streets. We'll post more about the event, including maps, times and viewing locations later this week.

Crossing Delancey Street

There are plenty of other things to do besides go to the movies and eat out at restaurants in SoHo. The adventurous still like exploring the lower east side for old buildings and tenacious shops and shopkeepers.

But the area is currently in the process of being morphed by real estate developers, so enjoy the old stuff while it's still there.

soho restaurants tribeca reslaurants nyc

SoHo Restaurants & Tribeca Restaurants Bowery Restaurants NYC | SoHo restaurants soho tribeca restaurants tribeca nyc manhattan restaurants
SoHo Restaurants & Tribeca Restaurants Bowery Restaurants NYC

SoHo Restaurants / Tribeca Restaurants / Bowery Restaurants

December 2017 / SoHo / Tribeca Neighborhood / Manhattan Restaurants NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC. 

This section contains information about the SoHo and Tribecas restaurants in Manhattan NYC.  The SoHo and Tribeca neighborhoods have some of the finest restaurants in New York City.  

Click here to enter the SoHo Restaurants / Tribeca Restaurants / Bowery Restaurants section of the site.

Manhattan Farmers Markets & Street Fairs in Manhattan

manhattan farmers markets manhattanMarch 6, 2014 / Manhattan Farmers Markets / Manhattan Street Fairs / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

Many Manhattan farmers markets are open year round, but there are also a number of them that are seasonal. Some of the seasonal Manhattan farmers markets begin opening in the Spring, with the rest of them opening no later than the first couple of weeks in July.

Click here to view the schedules of many of the farmers markets in Manhattan. Manhattan street fairs are entirely seasonal, with some of them hitting the streets as early as March. Manhattan street fairs rise markedly during the spring and lighten up during the dog days of summer [July / August], returning in the fall. Click here to view a full schedule of Manhattan street fairs.

SoHo Restaurants & Diners

One of SoHo's main attractions is that it is home to a number of fine restaurants.

Balthazar and Boulet are there and we'll have more later.

tribeca shopping soho tribeca shops soho nyc

SoHo - Shops & Shopping

Food & shopping SoHo NYC. SoHo has a mix of national chain stores and high end boutiques.

You can also venture east to the Bowery for less expensive shopping and south into Chinatown as well.

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Real Estate Market Conditions In Manhattan

Expo Highlights Opportunities, Risks & Other Considerations

nyc finance expo 2014May 28, 2014 / Manhattan Real Estate NYC / Midtown Manhattan NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

I attended the 2014 NYC Finance Expo at the Roosevelt Hotel on May 14th. The expo was well attended by Manhattan real estate professionals and Manhattan real estate lenders and banks.

The organizers had at least three seminars going simultaneously throughout the day. Most sessions ran between 20 minutes and an hour.

The topics of the seminars cut through a cross section of interests of those in the industry, from social marketing to real estate finance to real estate planning. We sat through a couple of sessions and I will post some of what we learned about where we are in the current economic cycle vis a vis Manhattan and NYC real esate prices.

A slide show of some of the sessions, a number of the exhibits and many of the attendees is also included.

Click here to view a web presence, if you're looking to rent apts on the upper east side nyc.

SoHo Real Estate - Buying & Renting Apts SoHo

SoHo / Tribeca Real estate has cache because of the art galleries, restaurants and shopping.

Transportation / Access. It's accessible via both the FDR and West Side Highway and not too far from the Holland Tunnel into New Jersey as well as the Battery Tunnel into Brooklyn.

And the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 subway lines provide easy public transit to destinations north and south within Manhattan. And there are stops for the E, F and M to and from Brooklyn Queens.

More later.

SoHo & Tribeca Neighbohood - Movie Theaters

movie theaters upper east side nycComing in the near future.

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