All Things New York City

Entertainment

New Yorkers Choose Their Favorite Tourist Sites

By on Apr 11, 2014 in Entertainment

Full confession: New Yorkers hate Times Square.  You are also hard pressed to find a Native New Yorker skating on the Ice at Rockefeller Center.  What do New Yorkers like?  Here are a few spots: Central Park There’s nothing like Central Park on a Saturday afternoon.  The open air and sense of camaraderie make if feel like a family gathering.  If you haven’t taken part in a pick-up softball game at Central Park than you have no clue what you are missing.  For many New Yorkers this was their backyard growing up, and they like to revisit it as much as they can. Empire State Building Nothing symbolizes The Big Apple better than this big building.  Owned by New Yorker Anthony Malkin and his Empire State Realty Trust – ESRT, this building is both a tourist attraction and for office use.  It completes the skyline and has some of the best views of the city, if not the best.  Even hard-nosed New Yorkers can’t resist this art-deco masterpieces’ charms. Statue of Liberty A symbol of something greater than any one man or city.  The Statue of Liberty is there to remind us of Americans, and is a sign of the American Dream, and being able to achieve it.  Many new immigrants saw this on their way to the New World, and it’s only fitting that their ancestors visit it, and remember who they are.  Also, it’s a really great picnic spot in the Summer and Fall. Yankee Stadium Because no New Yorker really likes the Mets.  Whatever team you root for, there is a respect for the hallowed halls where the Bronx Bombers play during baseball season.  It may be the new stadium and does not have the history of its predecessor, but that just means history is to be made.  Visit while you can, before Derek Jeter retires. 24 Hour Apple Store Because, where else can a coffee addled New Yorker get their laptop repaired at...

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The Empire State Building: A Classic in Its Own Right

By on Jul 9, 2013 in Entertainment

This blog post was originally posted by Titania Plant on Classic Flick Chick – Thanks Titania for collaborating with us!  New York City has played a pivotal role in cinema from its inception nearly a century ago. Many actors found their way from Broadway to Hollywood. Performers who would be famous the world over grew up in its burroughs, composed in Tin Pan Alley, and idolized the Times Square as the mecca for becoming a star on the stage. Certainly New York City has remained an important landmark and tourist attraction in and of itself, but when tourists come from all corners of the world to see the Big Apple, they are drawn to the architecture. The iconography of New York City is readily identifiable with such remarkable buildings as the Rockefeller Center, the Statue of Liberty, the Woolworth Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Chrysler Building, but most significantly, The Empire State Building. Deborah Kerr describes it as “the closest thing to heaven”, the world’s largest ape climbs to its apex in a spectacular moment, and Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra as sailors on leave hide their fellow shipmate from some angry NYPD officers. King Kong and An Affair to Remember are two films which feature the Empire State Building on a large scale. Within these films, the building becomes almost like a character. The Empire State Building becomes something which acts as a catalyst or even a metaphor for the grandiose scale of the issues at hand. It can help establish the scene as New York City (since most Hollywood films were primarily shot on back lots in California), or become an important setting for characters. While not a film, the Empire State Building deserves the title of classic nonetheless, having served as the backdrop for some of Hollywood’s most iconic cinematic moments. Featured in more than 250 films throughout the years, filmmakers have expanded the building’s impact beyond just New York, impressing it upon the consciousness of the entire world. Perhaps the most famous of its popular cultural representations came just two years after the building was completed in 1931. The original King Kong (1933) featured an image of the Empire State Building not easily forgotten – a giant ape holding a tiny blonde actress...

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Yeah Yeah Yeahs Record Music Video Atop Empire State Building

By on Jul 1, 2013 in Entertainment

Since its completion in 1931, the Empire State Building has been a popular tourist destination, a romantic proposal spot, and the site of multiple famous movie scenes.  However, for the first time in its 82-year history, it was recently home to an indie rock performance when the Yeah Yeah Yeahs recorded a video for their single, “Despair.” From 2 a.m. to just past sunrise on a windy night in April, the New York trio performed 86 floors up as a crew of only two dozen looked on.  The shoot was kept secret for logistical and creative reasons, but also included a pre-shoot at a nearby Irish pub and ended with a helicopter buzzing the skyline. Anthony Malkin, president of Malkin Holdings and operator of the Empire State Building, says that it’s about time a music video was shot on the observation deck. “The way I look at it is, why hadn’t this been done before?” he said. “Credit to them for having the gumption to ask.” He also believes that agreeing to the shoot will keep the iconic building fresh in the public consciousness, thereby avoiding a static image.  He agreed to the video “to make sure that the Empire State Building isn’t frozen in people’s minds in ‘An Affair to Remember’ and ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ — we’re live, we’re vibrant, we’re 82 years young.” Although the Yeah Yeah Yeahs weren’t the first group to have approached the building’s managers about shooting there, they were the first to meet the strict requirements for production.  Malkin stated that the song content had to be approved and considered appropriate for the building, which “Despair” was found to be.  Despite its title, he considered the song uplifting with its message about overcoming despair and therefore appropriate to be singing in the wind on the observation deck. The band’s lead singer, Karen O, couldn’t help but feel that the iconic moment was a symbolic representation of everything the band had achieved.  Despite never having been atop the building before, it really hit home for her that 10 years ago the trio had been sitting in an NYC dive bar thinking of what to name their band and now they were performing at the...

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Tribeca Film Festival

By on May 10, 2013 in Entertainment

Since it began in 2002, the Tribeca Film Festival has emerged as a premier space to highlight the power of film, help independent filmmakers reach wide audiences, and celebrate filmmaking in New York City. Over the past decade, the festival has screened over 1,400 films from more than 80 countries, and attracted over four million attendees. Every year, the festival becomes more and more popular, and the range of film submissions grows in number and diversity. The 2013 festival featured a diverse range of films including narratives, documentaries, features, and shorts. One of the festival’s top honors for best narrative went to “The Rocket,” a film about a young, impoverished boy from Laos who enters a rocket festival to help save his uprooted family. The film’s main actor, 10-year-old Sitthiphon Disamoe, also won the award for best actor in a narrative feature film. Another stunning film, “The Kill Team,” which examined a group of U.S. soldiers charged with brutally killing Afghani civilians, won the award for best documentary. Best new narrative feature went to Lucy Mulloy, for her drama thriller set in Cuba, titled Una Noche. Some films have larger goals and hope to inspire public action, such as “Gasland Part II,” which aims to bring an end to the fracking of natural gas from shale plays across the country. The fracking movement has generated a lot of buzz from both sides of the debate. Some farmers who waited in line for hours to see the film at the festival were prevented from doing so because they attempted to ask tough questions to the film’s director, Josh Fox, who was with anti-fracking advocate Yoko Ono. The film festival was founded and backed by prominent film producer Jane Rosenthal (“Meet the Fockers”, “Rent”, “Analyze That”), her husband, real estate investor Craig M. Hatkoff , and actor, director, and producer Robert De Niro (“Raging Bull”, “Taxi Driver,” “Meet the Parents”). The trio was named number 14 on Barron’s list of the top philanthropists in the world for their work with the Tribeca Film Festival. It is estimated to have generated over $750 million in economic activity for the...

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