Where New York City loyalties lie

Angel Torres, Staff Writer
the yankees

New Yorkers love sports. Anyone who grew up in New York could probably tell you they spent their days playing basketball or baseball after school. Even if you aren’t a sports fan, New York’s teams have become so iconic, their names and their stadiums are recognizable by anyone — this includes people from out of state.

Although fans of one sport might argue that it’s relevance in New York is higher than another sport, it’s hard to argue about the unifying power that sports has on people. Even if fans of different teams or of different sports disagree, there still lies the fact that they had something to disagree on, something to talk to each other about. This feeling of unity — even if it’s unity through dissent — is palpable at every sporting event throughout New York. For this very reason, going to a sport’s event is a must when in the Big Apple.

Basketball

The New York Knicks

The Knicks

One of the most iconic teams is the New York Knicks. The Knicks’ name came from a name in the book “History of New York.” The author of the book published under a pseudonym with the last name Knickerbocker — a name that stuck and was shortened to its current nickname.

The Knicks play at Madison Square Garden in midtown Manhattan. The start for the 2018-2019 NBA season will be in October and will run through June. If you’re visiting New York during this time, a great idea would be to catch a game.

The Liberty

The New York Liberty

The New York Liberty is one of New York’s most underrated teams. This women’s basketball team plays at the Westchester County Center. The team has an iconic logo that features the statue of liberty with the flames as a basketball — a reminder of how hard this team plays.

Baseball

The Mets

The Mets

The long-standing argument about whether the Yankees or the Mets are New York’s main baseball team has yet to be left in the dust. Both teams have remained extremely relevant to New York culture up until now and it doesn’t seem as if they’ll be disappearing anytime soon.

The Mets play at CitiField located in Queens. The stadium is easily accessible via the 7 train and is a major attractions during baseball season. Tickets can go for cheap, so if you’re in the area, make sure to check them out!

The Yankees

the yankees

The Yankees are another team that is iconic to New York. The stripped uniform that this baseball team wears is recognizable anywhere you go. Like Mets’ games, tickets can go for cheap, if you don’t mind sitting in the bleachers. If you don’t like baseball, go for the experience. There is nothing like sitting back with a beer, a hot dog and some friends to watch a game.

The Yankees can be found playing at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

Hockey

The Rangers

the rangers

Hockey has been known for a long time as a violent sport. Many people would even argue that you watch a game just for the fights — these people aren’t true fans! Any fan of hockey knows that what makes the game great is the fast-paced gameplay that all the skilled players bring. The fast skating from one side of the rink to the other and the satisfaction of getting a complicated shot in the net.

The Rangers play at Madison Square Garden.

The Islanders

the islanders

Just like the Rangers, the Islanders are another team that shares the state of New York. New Yorkers may disagree on which team is better, but around the board, it’s still New York pride.

Catch the Islanders at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn.

Football

The Giants

the giants

Football has become a staple of American life. Almost every large university has its own football team, with players that get drafted to the NFL every year. Seeing a star rise and predicting how teams and players will do is one of the largest appeals to sports. People like to talk about the “what ifs.”

The Giants are one of New York’s two football teams. Through a unique arrangement both New York football teams play at the MetLife Stadium.

The Jets

the jets

Now that sports betting might become bigger in the future with legality laws changing, keeping a eye on how teams are doing might be a good idea, even if it’s just for your fantasy team.

The Jets are the other New York football team. They can also be found at the MetLife Stadium.

Even if you aren’t into football, or sports for that matter, going to a game can be exciting. The crowds go wild for the teams that they root for, and the SuperBowl is known around the world for its impressive halftime show. Fans are notorious for getting crazy for their teams, which can be messy at times, but is also one of the reasons that seeing a live game is so much fun. Especially with football games, tailgating before the game is almost a ritual done with friends. People come together for the sake of a common interest and to enjoy themselves. Next time you’re in New York, go check out one of the iconic New York teams and sports!

 

Astoria: Home of Ingenious Food Combinations

astoria food
For people who grew up being told to eat their vegetables comes a haven of delicious an odd food combinations that will satisfy all of the junk food cravings you had as a kid. Chicken fingers encrusted with your favorite breakfast cereal and donuts in every favor imaginable are just some of the foods that are found in one of New York City’s most diverse neighborhoods. There is no shortage of obscure restaurants found in Astoria that offer creative and fun takes on old classics that are good for cheat days where your diet is the last thing on your mind.

queens comfort chicken and waffles
Whether its the ET figurines in the window at Queens Comfort, or the playful action figures that are laced throughout the restaurant that draw your attention to it, chances are, you’ve never had a Capt’n Crunch chicken sandwich, deep-fried french toast balls,  or Cornflake chicken & waffles before. These creative culinary concoctions are just some of the things that draw crowds of people to wait outside for a chance to taste them.
sugar freak
Fans of the vibrantly decorated New Orleans style restaurant Sugar Freak rave about the beignet sliders and the untraditional hushpuppies, deep fried cornbread served with a sweet condensed milk dipping sauce. With elaborate cocktails that compliment the unconventional comfort food,friendly wait staff, and eye-catching decor.

Have you ever had a craving for both pizza and Chinese food at the same time and couldn’t decide which one to get? Have no fear, Flattopps can satisfy those cravings with their deliciously unique pizza eggrolls. Try their “Terminator X”, a fitting name for a sandwich with fortune cookie crusted fried chicken, the perfect combination of sweet and salty. This 90’s themed burger joint has a disco ball and a DJ, who wouldn’t enjoy that while eating delicious food?

A Look at the Outdoor Concerts Coming to NYC this Summer

concert nyc forest hills stadium
With the warmer months right around the corner, it’s time to bust out your best swim trunks and flip flops and prepare to crowd-surf at some of the most entertaining concerts that New York City has to offer this summer. Make sure you get your tickets ahead of time because these amazing concerts will sell out fast.

If you are looking for a free concert in NYC, Grammy award-winner Common will be preforming for BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn at the Prospect Park Bandshell on June 5th.  Common, who is notorious for his work as an influencer and an activist is sure to wow you with his inspirational raps and creative expression.

arctic monkeys nyc concert

Get ready to rock on July 24 with the Arctic Monkeys at Forest Hills Stadium. This English rock group is returning to the music scene after a brief hiatus and will wow you with their unique sound and meaningful song lyrics.  This former tennis stadium has hosted some of the best concerts the city has ever seen, with thousands of people continuously coming back for more every year.

zac brown band
Come join the Zac Brown Band in a celebration for their eighth headlining North American Tour at Citi Field on July 28th. Watch as they bring fantastic country music to the heart of New York City with special guests One Republic for just $40, a steal for modern concert tickets.

beyonce and jay z

What’s a summer concert series without Queen B herself? Beyonce and Jay Z will be performing at MetLife Stadium on August 2nd, and are guaranteed to put on a stunning performance for a crowd full of their most diehard fans. Get your tickets quickly for a concert that no one is going to want to miss.

jason mraz nyc

If you are looking to go to a laid-back concert filled with good vibes and soothing music, then Jason Mraz at the Prospect Park Bandshell on August 7th is the concert for you! Mraz’s catchy melodies and unique fusion of pop and indie style music will send smiles through the crowd.

Least Crowded Places for an Instagram-Worthy Photo Op in NYC

taking photos in nyc

Some of New York’s busiest areas are the site of photographs that are posted all over social media and kept in everyone’s photo albums for years to come. However, sometimes you may want to get away from the crowd and experience some of the more calm and serene areas in New York that provide breathtaking backdrops to your photos.
wave hill
Wave Hill

Wave Hill is a 28-acre public garden and cultural center in the Bronx overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades. Its mission is to celebrate the artistry and legacy of its gardens and landscapes, to preserve its magnificent views, and to explore human connections to the natural world through programs in horticulture, education and the arts. It provides several charming photo-ops with the greenery and blossoming flowers that are sure to be an unexpected highlight during your NYC trip.
doyers street
Doyers Street

Doyers Street in Chinatown is notoriously known as the “The Bloody Angle” because the curvilinear street enabled gangs to creep up on one another unseen. It is one block in length and has a sharp bend in the middle in which most people do not know even exists. This makes the street look incredibly long, allowing for a photo-op that is sure to leave your followers in awe at the length of the street and the surrounding emblems of Chinese culture that line the sidewalk.
the unisphere
The Unisphere

The Unisphere, located at the center of the radial pathways in the northern half of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, was commissioned for the New York World’s Fair of 1964-65.  The sphere features representations of the continents and major mountain ranges in relief, and is encircled by three giant orbital rings that represent the tracks of early satellites.  The capital cities of the world are marked by lenses which, during the fair, were illuminated by flashing lights.  This beloved symbol of Queens will provide a great background to your photo as its beautiful architecture is sure to draw everyone’s attention to it.
valentino pier
Valentino Pier

Now surrounded by industrial, residential, and historic buildings, Valentino Pier was once the site of an active shipping industry that once occupied the waters of the Buttermilk Channel and the Upper New York Harbor. Come here to capture a beautiful sunset with the silhouette of the Statue of Liberty in the background, as well as the scenic city scape.
chinese flower garden
New York Chinese Scholars Garden

The New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden adds new dimension to our understanding of life in ancient China and serves as the perfect setting for a quiet photo-op. It features magnificent architecture that resemble mountains that inspired the poetry and paintings of Confucian, Buddhist and Taoist monks and other scholars. Visitors can explore eight pavilions, a bamboo forest path, waterfalls, a Koi-filled pond, Chinese calligraphy, and a variety of Ghongshi scholar’s rocks including a 15-foot formation that towers over the central courtyard.
fdr four freedoms park
FDR Four Freedoms Park

Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park is the first memorial dedicated to the former President in his home state of New York. Located on the southern tip of Roosevelt Island in New York City, the Park celebrates the Four Freedoms, as pronounced in President Roosevelt’s famous January 6, 1941 State of the Union speech. Take a picture of the surrounded skyscrapers illuminated by the sun or capture the Empire State Building across the water at night, and enjoy the serenity of this picturesque park.

brooklyn botannical garden
Brooklyn Botanical Garden

This display of gardening and horticulture can serve as a beautiful backdrop to your photos. Enjoy the peace and serenity that the blooming flowers and chirping birds provide while snapping photos of some of the rarest types of flowers in the world.
gantry state plaza
Gantry Plaza State Park

Gantry Plaza State Park is a 12-acre riverside oasis that boasts spectacular views of the midtown Manhattan skyline, including the Empire State Building and the United Nations. Enjoy a relaxing stroll along the park’s four piers or through the park’s manicured gardens and unique mist fountain. Along the way take pictures of the rugged beauty of the park’s centerpieces – restored gantries. These industrial monuments were once used to load and unload rail car floats and barges; today they are striking reminders of our waterfront’s past. With the city skyline as a backdrop and the gantries as a stage, the park’s plaza is a wonderful place to enjoy a Spring day in New York and capture it in photos.

Vesta Trattoria and Wine Bar in Queens

Italian pizza and comfort food with a seasonal twist
Vesta trattoria and wine bar - New York
Vesta Trattoria and Wine Bar is a neighborhood restaurant inspired by Italy, the local green market and a commitment to a menu without boundaries. The restaurant offers a simple and Italian based dishes. Here you can enjoy wine by the shot, the glass or the bottle.

The combined passion for Italian food and the Astoria neighborhood led Leo Sacco and Giuseppe Falco to open Vesta Trattoria and Wine bar. They are dedicated to serving the local community and has lead them to partner up with several artists from the area to create artwork and woodwork. The chef Michelle Vido was trained at the Culinary Institute of America and has worked throughout New York City.

On the desert menu you can find the Baby Jesus Cake, warm and topped with a crunchy caramel film with vanilla ice cream.

Casa Enrique

Casual cantina serving classic Mexican cuisine and cocktails
Casa Enrique - New York
Casa Enrique - New York
www.henrinyc.com/casa-enrique

This Long Island City Mexican restaurant is packed every night with loyal neighborhood regulars and smart destination eaters. This is one of the best Mexican restaurants New York City has to offer. Here you will find quality food, authenticity, and simplicity.

Casa Enrique offers daily specials highlighting fresh, seasonal ingredients together with bar specials that will keep you coming back again and again for new adventures.
The passion for food started in the owner’s hometown Chipas, a Mexico southern state. The childhood’s flavors remain an inspiration as he brings a taste of home-cooked food to New York where guests can experience his family’s traditional recipes.
In 2014 Casa Enrique was awarded its first ever Michelin star and has since been in the Michelin Guide.

Desired Taste International

The Biggest Lamb Skewer in New York
Chinatown Flushing - New York
Desired Taste International
Chinatown Flushing New York

Desired Taste International located in Flushing’s Chinatown in Queens, serves the biggest lamb skewer in New York. This dish feeds 5 people. The restaurant is placed on Farrington Street above a beer bar where their famous lamb leg is served with utensils long as a forearm.

The owners of Desired Taste International comes from the Northeast region of China Dongbei, and their restaurant has been called a Dongbei-style izakaya.
Their famous dish is placed on a rotisserie at the center of the table, and eating it is a group effort as the leg will spin around unless a person holds it still. It is flavored with salt, cumin and sesame-encrusted exterior. Ask your server for some extra cumin and ground red pepper to use as a dip for some extra flavor.
For dessert, their specialty is the te se liu lien or durian, a special fruit that comes from the durio tree species.

While in Kathmandu

The restaurant that is shrine to Nepal's capital
While in Kathmandu
While in Kathmandu

The cafe and restaurant While in Kathmandu focuses on authentic Nepalese food and its space resembles the one of the city’s markets. Some of their most well-known dishes are the chicken choila, millet pancakes and pork dumplings with soybean tomato sauce.

The restaurant located in Ridgewood in Queens focuses on Nepali cuisine. The owner, Bikash Kharel who spent half of his childhood in Nepal, and the other half here in Queens, was not new to the restaurant business. While in Kathmandu, is a sequel to his parents’ Nepalese Indian restaurant located just down the street. An inspiring trip to Nepal lead him to open this spot, which he hopes will be a hub for young Nepali-Americans and local musicians and artist.

When visiting this restaurant, you can choose if you want to sit indoor or in the yard. In the yard you will find picnic tables and lanterns where several live music events and pop-up Nepali-American designer markets have taken place.

Taverna Kyclades

Top Greek Restaurant in Astoria
Greek flag - New York taverna
Taverna Kyclades

Taverna Kyclades located in the heart of Astoria, Queens is one of the top Greek restaurants in the city.They serve fresh food based on original Greek recipes. The dedicated team provide a unique combination of great service and a very tasteful experience.

This restaurant is most well-known for their delicious, excellent prepared seafood. It is seen as one of the primary locations for high-quality Greek food which serves dishes made with natural ingredients from mother nature. Their specialty is the Greek-style grilled octopus and lemony potatoes, a visit here is not complete without ordering these two dishes.

The restaurant has hosted celebrities such as Bill Murray, George Clooney and countless other big stars. Taverna Kyclades also has a second location in the East Village (Manhattan).
Unfortunately, you cannot make any reservations at these restaurants, but the food is definitely worth the wait.

Louis Armstrong House Museum

Inside The Life And Work Of A Jazz Legend
Louis Armstrong House Museum - New York
Louis Armstrong House Museum - New York
The legacy of the legendary jazz legend Louis Armstrong, is preserved at this Queens museum.

Louis Armstrong, arguably the most famous jazz musician of all time, had a 50 year long career. He appeared in film and television, wrote books and letters, and wooed music lovers one performance at a time. In 1943, he moved to quiet Corona, Queens with his wife, Lucille. Having already achieved international fame, Armstrong could have lived anywhere in the world; still, he chose the modest brick house.

After his death in 1971, his home became The Louis Armstrong House Museum. The house and furnishing remains almost exactly as they were. Through its preservation, it sustains and promotes his cultural, historical, and humanitarian impact.

Today, the Louis Armstrong House Museum is open to the public as a museum that documents Armstrong’s life and legacy. Visitors can experience concerts, listen to lectures, view film screenings, and explore archival materials. Additionally, guest can take guided tours of the house, while listening to Louis’s homemade recordings; this includes his trumpet practice, chatting over a meal, or relaxing with friends. On the grounds, visitors can also enjoy the Armstrong’s beautiful Japanese-inspired garden.

On July 17th, 2017, The Louis Armstrong Education Center had its groundbreaking across the street from the house of the New Orleans native. The Education Center will house 1600 recording, 5,000 photographs, manuscripts, awards, and five of his trumpets, in addition to a 68 seat jazz club for concerts.

Whether or not you are a fan, the Louis Armstrong House Museum seeks to educate and inspire people of all ages, origins, and locations, just as Louis did.