Monthly Archives: March 2011

Lora’s Latest Eventure

The venue for New York Guest's most recent corporate event

We meet again, Blogworld!

As one of New York Guest’s premier NYC Event Planners, I get to plan and attend some beautiful events here in Manhattan. My latest Eventure was this past week. New York Guest has a very special corporate client who has been coming to us year after year for assistance with their annual VIP Investors Meeting. As their preferred meeting and event planner, New York Guest handles all the meeting and event details including:

  • Reservations for all attendees at a 5-star Manhattan Hotel
  • Fresh flowers for all meetings and events
  • Appropriate Music Selection
  • Brunch
  • Partners’ Dinner at  one of the NYC’s top restaurants
  • Gala Dinner for 100 guests

For the Gala Dinner, New York Guest arranged a beautiful venue at the Time Warner Center.  The space is very tres-chic and offers beautiful views of Columbus Circle and Central Park. The perfect place to show off beautiful New York City for our guests! We emptied the space of the furniture you see in the photo above and brought in beautiful “tablescapes” (as Sandra Lee would say) to highlight the design themes of the evening.

The food was delicious, the drinks were flowing and everyone had a great time– by all definitions this meeting and event was a great success!

The menu featured:

First Course

Mixed Baby Greens
Hearts of Palm, Fennell, Dried Cranberries, Champagne Vinaigrette

Second Course

Miso Glazed Sea Bass
Wilted Spinach, Shitake Mushrooms & Sticky Rice Cakes

OR

Pepper Crusted Filet Mignon
Roast Sun Chokes & Herbed Spaetzle

Third Course

Budapest
Hazelnut Meringue, Chocolate Chantilly & Mandarins

&

Cheesecake Lollipops

The cheesecake lollipops were in particular a huge hit! Everyone raved about the quality of the entire meal, the beauty of the venue and all the little details that made the event such a success.

I look forward to planning this client’s next event happening later this year in Washington, D.C.  Does your organization want to hold a corporate event in New York City? Learn more about New York Guest’s New York Event Planning and New York Meeting Planning or contact me for assistance at LGreen@newyorkguest.com

–Lora

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MoMA: New York’s Museum of Modern Art

Musem of Modern Art (Photo Credit: Terra Mrkulic)

Out of over 80 museums in New York City, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is undoubtedly my favorite. With such a diverse collection including 150,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, architectural models and drawings, and design objects, there’s always something new and interesting to see.  Even the building that houses the collection is a marvel! Though the collection was founded in 1929, the new building that houses it was just opened in 2004.

MoMA is a “Must-See” on your next trip to New York City, even if you have been before. That’s why I included it on our list of 12 essential things to do in New York City.

You know what they say, a picture is worth a thousand words so here are some of my pictures from recent visits to the museum.

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Let our team at New York Guest help you choose which activities and attractions are right for you on your next trip to New York City. We can even pre-arrange tickets for you! Just give New York Guest a call at (212) 302-4019 for advice and booking assistance.

— Terra

(all photos @ Terra Mrkulic)

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Filed under New York InSight, New York Sightseeing, NYC Icons, NYC News and Information

Best Day Trips from New York City

We asked the New York Guest team: what’s your favorite day trip from New York City?

Check out what these local New Yorkers like to do on their time off.  Do you have a favorite that’s not on our list? Tell us about your favorite day trips from NYC in the comments section!

Pepsico Gardens

Pepsico Gardens, Purchase NY– 45 Minutes from NYC
The site of Pepsi Co.’s main headquarters, this facility holds a wide open park that is completely accessible to the public. On a nice day, Pepsico Gardens is one of the prettiest places to visit just outside of New York– a perfect place to have a picnic. If you head in early enough, make sure to stop at Purchase Deli on Anderson Hill Road on your way, and grab one of the best breakfast sandwiches you can get for your dollar. After you arrive at the Garden, make sure to take advantage of the beautiful walking paths that lead you in and around the park. At the center of the Garden is a large pond with many different species of fish and bird. If picnicking is not your thing, the garden still holds a variety of modern sculptures (ranging from small to large) and wildlife to check out. Pepsico Gardens is a great place to start a day-trip out of the NYC to White Plains or if you’re headed up north to Woodbury Commons or Connecticut. Getting there is easy as well; a simple train ride to White Plains on the Hudson line of Metronorth from Grand Central, or a 45 minute drive up I-95 to the Hutchinson River Pkwy.  — Bryan, Concierge

Nissequogue River Canoeing

Nissequogue River in Smithtown, NY – 1.5 Hours from NYC
One of my favorite side trips is to Long Island to Nissequogue River in Smithtown, It’s about 90 minutes From Penn Station and then a quick walk or cab ride over the start of the river. The river goes about 6 miles and there are some sandy beaches at the mouth of the river where you can have swim or a picnic lunch. It is kid friendly and a great way to escape from the hustle of the city — Jeannette, Director of International Sales

Stony Brook Village Green

Stony Brook, NY – 1.5 Hours from NYC
Stony Brook, NY, is located on the north shore of Long Island and is easily accessible by Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) or by car. It is about an hour and a half drive from Manhattan. Stony Brook has many attractions and activities for the entire family. It would also make for a lovely romantic getaway for two! The main Village Green, which looks out onto Old Stony Brook Harbor, includes a historic post office and several quaint little shops and restaurants to explore. Across the street, is the Three Village Inn, a perfect spot for an afternoon brunch. Other sites to visit while in Stony Brook include the William Sydney Mount House, Stony Brook Grist Mill and the historic St. James Chapel. The town is also home to the Long Island Museum of American Art, History and Carriages, which is a quick walk from the Village shops. In the summer months, the “Village Green” is host to many festivals and free evening concerts. The local residents gather on the main lawn with their chairs and blankets to enjoy the live music and watch the beautiful sunset over the harbor. Of course, one cannot mention the summer concerts without mentioning the Brook House Restaurant, which serves delicious ice cream cones! This is the perfect place to place to get away from the busy sidewalks of NYC! While you have made the trip out east to visit Stony Brook . . . you might also want to take a quick drive over to Lower Port Jefferson and walk around that harbor as well!  — Alicia, Concierge

Lora and her family at Hunter Mountain

Hunter Mountain – 2 Hours from NYC
I love adventure. Ever since I was little my family has gone camping every year. It’s a great tradition and we have the best time. I also love to snowboard. Hunter Mountain which is located just 2 hours north of New York City has both! They just launched a new zip lining course which can be done year round and you can ski or snowboard in the winter! I went zip lining and camping with my family last September, but you can certainly make it a day trip with buses running directly to Hunter Mountain from Port Authority. And in the winter you can take the same bus for a day filled with fun on the slopes!  — Lora,  Associate Manager

Providence, RI

Providence, Rhode Island – 3 Hours from NYC
My favorite city to escape to is Providence Rhode Island – although I always drive you can easily hop on a bus from Port Authority and be there in just 3 hours. The best place to visit while in Providence, besides their awesome mall, is their water front park right in downtown Providence – They have the Providence River that runs right through the city with multiple benches to sit and enjoy the views, drink some coffee and people watch.  There are multiple colleges in the area including Johnson and Wales, Brown University, and Rhode Island School of Design so there are always things happening in the city. A few other places of interest are Thayer Street which is booming with college students roaming the streets and hanging with friends. Thayer street is full of cute little boutiques and some shopping and used bookstores and also has the Rhode Island School of Design Museum near by. Another point of interest is Federal Hill which is equivalent to a “Little Italy” in New York but with nice upscale Italian Restaurants.  I love to visit Providence, Rhode Island because it’s a nice small quaint city that will allow you to see plenty of attractions in a small amount of time.  — Karissa, Reservations Manager

The Hamptons

The Hamptons, NY – 2 Hours from NYC
One of my absolute favorite day trips outside of New York City is the Hamptons. Known for its great beaches, restaurants, and shopping, it’s a fantastic place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of the City. And it’s not just for the summer season! I recently went out to the Wolfford Estate wineries with friends in January and had a great time sampling some of the East Hamptons’ finest wines. The best way to get there from NYC is with the Hampton Jitney bus service– at just $24 it’s a real bargain and it takes a little more than 2 hours. While in New York City a trip to the Hamptons is a must and bring your camera since it’s possible you might see a celebrity or two while you are there!  — Beth, Travel Advisor

Christmas 2007 in Mystic, CT

Mystic, CT – 2.5 Hours from NYC
A quick a beautiful train ride from NYC takes you to Mystic, Connecticut. New England is very close to my heart, so I love to travel to the small towns of coastal Connecticut to take in the sights and have some great seafood. Mystic is a perfect little gem of a town. A sweet Main Street lined with shops, a beautiful harbor area, great restaurants (hello steamer clams!) and attractions like the Mystic Aquarium make it a very worthy break from New York City during any season of the year. Go with a car in the summer and you can also check out the nearby beach areas as well.  — Terra, Director – Client Services

The New York Guest team would love to help you plan your NYC vacation! We’ll help you see the many sites of New York City and can help arrange some of our favorite day trips. Just give us a call at (212) 302-4019 or email us at info@newyorkguest.com

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Filed under Further Afield, NYC News and Information

Million Dollar Quartet – Broadway Review

By Jana

As an actress I love all things related to Broadway. Although Million Dollar Quartet is a show that is predominately male (meaning I would most likely not be cast in it), it was one of the most enjoyable shows I have ever seen! It dramatizes the Million Dollar Quartet recording session of 1956, among early rock and roll stars: Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins, and newcomer Jerry Lee Lewis

The Real Million Dollar Quartet - 1956

The Real Million Dollar Quartet - 1956

A brief synopsis: The Show takes place during the year 1956. Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley assemble at the Sun Record recording studio in Memphis, Tennessee. Established performer Carl Perkins was to record songs with a new performer, Jerry Lee Lewis. Elvis Presley stops by the studio along with his girlfriend Dyanne.  Johnny Cash has stopped by to talk to recording impresario Sam Philips. They soon have a jam session together during which they produce some pretty amazing music. Philips attempts to sign Johnny Cash to a contract, unaware he has already signed elsewhere.

Million Dollar Quartet on Broadway

I absolutely loved Million Dollar Quartet–  from the upbeat music to the wonderful costumes. The actors really portrayed these characters very well! I particularly liked the portrayal of Elvis Presley; actor Eddie Clendening certainly looks like the real deal. It felt like Elvis was really in the building! The actors are wonderful musicians in their own right as they play their own instruments as well. During the show, I was surprised and delighted that people were actually getting up and dancing in their seats! The vibe was extremely laid back and was a whole lot of fun.

Eddie Clendening as Elvis

Since I am a Broadway guru, I tend to analyze performances to the minute detail. I was very impressed by the actors/musicians that were consistently onstage throughout the ENTIRE performance. From experience, it really takes a lot of discipline and hard work to be on stage for that long!

The Music is the number one highlight of the Million Dollar Quartet. I loved it so much  that I purchased the cast recording album. Some of my favorite numbers were:

Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On

Fever

I Walk the Line

Blue Suede Shoes (of course!)

And yes, I was one of the people dancing in their seats; I admit it!

I recommend this Show for those that enjoy concerts and who want a more laid back/unstuffy Broadway experience.

Please let me know if this sounds like a Show you would like to see! I am happy to check on availability and obtain the best available seating for you or you can check ticket availability for Million Dollar Quartet right on our website. We even have a video preview available to watch! You can contact me at Jurban@newyorkguest.com for ticket availability as well as information on any other Broadway Performances.

Have you seen this show? Tell us about your experience in the comments!

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How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Broadway Review)

Greetings from Manhattan! My name is Danielle, I am another one of New York Guest’s hotel concierges. I have been a hotel concierge for 3 years and love helping people discover exciting New York City! When it comes to seeing shows, I’m the best audience member and I’m always pulling for the cast like a stage mom. Now if a show’s a stinker then there’s only so much I can like about it, but normally there’s some redeeming quality or something that I can appreciate.  Like The Pirate Queen. That show was a hot mess but they had FANTASTIC costumes!! And the interaction amongst the queens was wonderful. Great elements of the show they just didn’t go all together.

Also, I’m a straight shooter. I’m great at prescribing shows for anyone’s interest even if they’ve never seen a Broadway show. There are so many choices and interests– Broadway and Off-Broadway are really for everyone.

I was lucky enough to see a preview of the brand new Broadway show How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying on Tuesday, March 8 2011.  I loved it!!

You might have heard of this show before since this is the third time the show has played on Broadway. The original run was back in 1961-1965 when it ran for a whopping 1,417 performances during which the show won 7 Tony Awards and the 1962 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Then in 1995 How To Succeed… came back to rave reviews with Broadway favorite Matthew Broderick, who also won a Tony for his performance. And now the show is back! In the role J. Pierrepont Finch is Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe who plays opposite Emmy Award winning actor, John Laroquette in the role of J.B. Biggley.  Radcliffe did an exceptional job in the show Equus last year, so I was really glad to see him back on stage.

The Marquis at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre

The costumes were fantastic very vibrant, beautiful color palette of teals, lavender, rose, mint green and so 60’s!!
The Costume Designer must have been inspired by the choreography which is just as fun, poppy and vibrant.

Daniel Radcliffe really holds his own a corporate ladder climbing J. Pierpont Finch, F-I-N-C-H. The role isn’t an easy one as it requires just the right about of charm which he has in spades. The comic timing is very refreshing as well. So nice to see him in a fun light hearted show and to see another side of this talented actor.

Daniel Radcliffe by Annie Lebovitz for Vogue Magazine

Also surprising was John Laroquette. Although, this man is very talented and a total veteran performer so I don’t know why I was surprised. His comic timing is impeccable and where his character could easily be seen as a no-good louse, he actually comes across as charming and forgivable. And by the end, we definitely do forgive his extracurricular.

John Laroquette in How to Succeed Without Really Trying

No shortage of audience interaction with guffaws to applause to our right whooping from some of the younger fans.
Some of the songs were a bit slow because it was left in it’s original style where someone will sing a line, pause pause pause, and then someone else will sing a line, pause pause pause.  But I have no doubt that this talented cast will work out the kinks and have the audiences in the palm of their hands through those quiet moments by the time of the show’s official opening scheduled for March 27th. There are some definite show stopping numbers are contained in this gem. Most notably a numbers toward the end of both acts.

The first act is quite long, clocking in at about an hour and 40 minutes. But the second act is definitely shorter making the show 2.45 hours including intermission.

Oh– and look out for celebrities! Katie Holmes was in attendance at my show with little Suri in tow. And they stayed for the whole show! So even a 5 year old enjoyed the show!! (Although this is really more recommended for audiences 10 and up)

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

I would definitely recommend this show for those who are also fans of Promises, Promises, The Producers, Hairspray, Sweet Charity (yes, I just brought up that amazing musical that should still be running)!

Contact my colleagues in the office to get your tickets– and don’t wait! This show is sure to be sold out more nights than not. You can inquire about tickets by calling New York Guest at (212) 302-4019 or e-mail info@newyorkguest.com

— Danielle

I’m all over How to Succeed.
I was lucky enough to see a preview on Tuesday, March 8 2011.
I loved it!!
Great classic 60’s Broadway Musical.
The costumes were fantastic very vibrant, beautiful color palette of teals, lavender, rose, mint green and so 60’s!!
The Costume Designer must have been inspired by the choreography which is just as fun, poppy and vibrant.
Daniel Radcliffe really holds his own a corporate ladder climbing J. Pierpont Finch, F-I-N-C-H. The role isn’t an easy one as it requires just the right about of charm which he has in spades. The comic timing is very refreshing as well. So nice to see him in a fun light hearted show and to see another side of this talented actor.
Also surprising was John Laroquette. Although, this man is very talented and a total veteran performer so I don’t know why I was surprised. His comic timing is impeccable and where his character could easily be seen as a no-good louse, he actually comes across as charming and forgivable. And by the end, we definitely do forgive his extracurricular.
No shortage of audience interaction with guffaws to applause to our right whooping from some of the younger fans.
Some of the songs were a bit slow b/c it was left in it’s original style where someone will sing a line, pause pause pause, and then someone else will sing a line, pause pause pause. But I have no doubt that this talented cast will work out the kinks and have the audiences in the palm of their hands through those quiet moments by the time of opening.
Some definite show stopping numbers are contained in this gem. Most notably a numbers toward the end of both acts.
The first act is quite long, clocking in at about an hour and 40 minutes. But the second act is definitely shorter making the show 2.45 including intermission.
Oh! and look out for celebrities. Katie Holmes was in attendance at my show with little Suri in tow. And they stayed for the whole show! So even a 5 year old enjoyed the show!! (Although this is really more recommended for audiences 10 and up)
I would definitely recommend this for fans of Promises, Promises, The Producers, Hairspray, Sweet Charity (yes, I just brought up that amazing musical that should still be running)

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Filed under Broadway Review, NYC News and Information, Staff Intro

Terra: Visit Ellis Island on Your Next Trip to New York City

Everyone has their favorite places to visit in New York City. For some, it’s a shady spot in Central Park or standing at the top of the Empire State Building. For others, it’s a favorite bench, a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge or perhaps a favorite museum. In my book, no visit is complete to New York City without a visit to Ellis Island.

Ellis Island

Between 1892 and 1954 over 12 Million immigrants entered the United States through the gateway of Ellis Island, a small island in New York harbor close to the Statue of Liberty. Included in that 12 million were several members of my family, such as Agostino Arado, my great-grandfather from Genoa, Italy who we believe arrived on the SS Karl Wilhelm II in 1900 at the age of 20.

Agostino Arado and Family - First Generation Americans

To get to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum you take the same ferry that goes to the Statue of Liberty. I recommend carving out at least a few hours to visit both islands. If you have school-aged children, this is a wonderful way to bring American History alive; walking the hallways of the old Main Building you get a real sense of what our ancestors went through to become American citizens. In my opinion, Ellis Island is one of the most important historical sites in the United States.

Ellis Island Registry Room

In more recent years, starting in 1984, Ellis Island underwent a major restoration, the largest historic restoration in U.S. history. The $160 million dollar project was funded by donations made to The Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. in partnership with the National Park Service. The Main Building was reopened to the public on September 10, 1990 as the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. Today, the museum receives almost 2 million visitors annually.

Tickets to the museum are free though a 45-minute audio tour (available in several languages) costs $8.00 for adults (worth it!).  Free public tours of Ellis Island given daily by the National Park Service. Times are posted at the Information Desk.  Make sure to take time to visit the American Immigrant Wall of Honor where the names of over 700,000 immigrates are inscribed in a memorial overlooking the New York Harbor. 

**Tip: bring a blank sheet of paper and pencil/crayon and you can bring home an etching of meaningful family names– a wonderful souvenir!

American Immigrant Wall of Honor

Over half of today’s American population can trace back to ancestors who crossed through Ellis Island. The Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. is also a major genealogical center for research. While visiting the museum you can utilize the American Family Immigration History Center where you can further investigate immigration history, family documentation and genealogical exploration.  Alternatively, on their website there are a variety of free documents and records that can be obtained including passenger manifests for the ships that docked here.

Let me help you plan a New York sightseeing itinerary that includes plenty of time at my favorite place, Ellis Island. Feel free to call me at (212) 302-4019 or e-mail TMrkulic@newyorkguest.com for advice and assistance! Visit NewYorkGuest.com for more suggestions on must-do activities in New York City!

— Terra

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Melba: Fuerza Bruta Review

Hello! My name is Melba Guerrero and I am a New York Guest Hotel Concierge. I was born in New York, raised in Dominican Republic and moved to New Jersey as a teenager. Even though I’m just across the Hudson River, my heart is always in the city which is why I like to stay really close to it. I’ve been working in the hotel business for over 4 years and I love it– even more so now that I am a concierge because I have the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and help them appreciate New York City as much as I do.

I’m a singer/musician, aiming to get my Music Education degree, and I’m also the musical director for my sorority, which I now do part-time. In school and in other areas, I’ve had the opportunity to perform musically, however, I didn’t experience seeing a professional performance on Broadway and off Broadway until becoming a part of New York Guest. Seeing the shows is part of my job since it helps me learn about the current shows and the great ones from the past.

Last week my mom, my sister and I went to see Fuerza Bruta, an avant-garde off-Broadway show. Prior to arriving, I was not aware that this show does not have chairs and that we were going to have to move around during the performance. I thought it would be fun for me and my sister, but my poor mother can’t stand for too long (luckily they had a couple of benches on the sides) and she didn’t want to miss anything, so she remained standing for the whole show.  In Spanish, Fuerza Bruta means ‘brute force’.   I wondered what I should expect from a “brute force”.  I did see some previews from the website to see how it is, and I thought it was cool and was really looking forward to it. The preview is only a glimpse of what you’re going to see– meaning there is so much more to see than what you expect.

In the beginning of the show I felt as though I was in a 20th century version of a silent film, where the audience is sucked in to it to see it live! I was moving to the beat of the music; at some points it felt like I was in a Brazilian dance club. It was crowded, and the more rhythmic parts can catch you unexpectedly but I didn’t mind. I don’t want to give away too much, but you might get a little wet on purpose from the performers. It was so much fun; I was so happy with the outcome and understood what Fuerza Bruta finally means. The energy of the performers and dancers, the dynamics of the music, the tempo of the rhythm would make that a Fuerza Bruta!  I will definitely go again with close friends and dance dance dance!

Look up!

Let New York Guest help you find some of New York City’s off Broadway treasures like Fuerza Bruta. Just give my colleagues a call at (212) 302-4019 for advice and assistance!

— Melba

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