• Dessert Goals Festival

    New York is Dessert Central, so it comes as no surprise that one of the city's famous food festivals is dedicated exclusively to this delicious course of (every) meal. The Dessert Goals Festival features Cruffins-a croissant baked like a muffin, chewy mochi, gigantic cotton candy and much more by many of New York's favorite vendors. Luckily the festival spreads over two weekends this time around, so the chances to score one of the desired tickets are twice as high.
    When: March 17/18 & 24/25
    Where: Sound River Studios, Long Island City (Queens)
    Tickets: dessertgoals.com

  • New York's streets are his canvas

    American artist Tom Bob has been transforming the streets of New York City, using the most ordinary objects-pipes, poles, sewers-as his canvas. His whimsical pieces interact with their surroundings and have frequently popped up all over New York City. Keep up with his latest creations via Instagram: @tombobnyc

  • Our birthday, your chance to win! #ThankYouNewYork

    We're celebrating 5 years of LOCALIKE New York and saying thank you with 5 attractive offers over the next 5 weeks. To win, follow us on:

    #ThankYouNewYork. Since 2013. 

  • The Grande Dame of New York: Grand Central Station

    More than 750,000 people step foot in Grand Central Terminal each day. Some are lured in by the shops, others by the restaurants. The train station is also a tourist magnet and attracts over 22 million visitors every year. New Yorkers, however, usually go straight to one of the 44 platforms that provide access to 67 different tracks – more than any other train station in the world.
    What is probably the world’s most famous train station and one of New York's biggest attractions is also filled with secrets and a rich history of interesting stories.
    Opened in 1913, Grand Central has become one of the most celebrated buildings in the city. However, it has been threatened with demolition several times, at first because it seemed old-fashioned, and later because people wanted to replace it with the tallest building in the world. In retrospect, it’s hard to believe that anyone would have taken these plans seriously.

    The Backwards Constellation
    The huge constellation depicted on the ceiling of the main hall (called the "Main Concourse") raises some issues. After the station opened, it took a while before someone alerted the Vanderbilt family, who built the station, that the entire ceiling had been painted from the wrong perspective. They quickly tried to come up with an explanation, saying that it was the so-called “divine” view of the stars, i.e. the impression from above. However, that only accounted for some of the zodiac signs – others weren’t backwards at all. To sum up, the painting is as much of a mess as it is a beauty.

    The Hidden Platform
    This extra train track was originally built for the transport of goods. Over time, though, it became a highly exclusive private track for those who were rich enough to commute via train between the station and the luxurious Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The most famous passenger was President Franklin D. Roosevelt. His private train wagon is still in the station today and available for viewing.

    Short Films While You Wait
    Between 1937 and 1967, there was a cinema with 242 seats right next to track 17. It showed short films, news, and cartoons. All of the productions were under 20 minutes – a perfect length for passing time between train rides.

    A Nicotine Patch on the Ceiling
    In 1998, the ceiling of the main hall was opulently restored – only a small black spot was left in its original state. Research shows that 70% of the pollution came from nicotine and tar rather than from train exhaust.

    The Jewel in the Jewel
    The clock above the information desk (also in the main hall) is said to be worth over $10 million. Each of its four faces was made from a separate piece of opal.

    The Whispering Gallery
    This special space is located next to the famous Grand Central Oyster Bar and consists of four arches connected by a curved ceiling. Its special characteristic: when a person speaks in a normal volume into one corner, the person in the opposite corner can hear the words clearly, despite the fact that the distance between them is over 15 meters. To this day, nobody is sure whether the gallery was planned this way or whether it is an architectural coincidence.
    This New York icon is far from just a train station – it has much more to offer than boarding and transferring. The Grand Central Terminal is deeply connected to New York at large and offers its own deep insight about the city. Take a look behind the scenes: LOCALIKE will help you organize an unforgettable tour of this magnificent landmark.

  • Tommy Hilfiger's penthouse overlooking Central Park

    New York's many celebrity residents tend to live a very secluded life. Just sometimes the public gets to catch a glimpse of their private quarters. Currently on sale is the designer Tommy Hilfiger's penthouse in the world-famous Plaza with stunning views of Central Park. If the reduced asking price of $50 million is a bit over your budget, the pictures of his decorating style might still be an inspiration.
    Check out the full listing here: sothebysrealty.com/eng/sales/detail/180-l-1182-3tkjnn/castle-in-the-sky-midtown-west-new-york-ny-10019

  • Lunar New Year in New York City

    The Lunar New Year takes place this Friday, and it’s a perfect opportunity to embrace New York’s vibrant Chinese culture. Check out these events taking place around this grand celebration in February:
    ∙ Starting things off is a great family-friendly event held at Brookfield Place on Feb 17 at 2:00pm with Shaolin Kung Fu demonstrations, Chinese drumming, and Chinese acrobatics!
    ∙The popular The Chinese New Year Parade follows on February 25 at 1:00pm with elaborate floats, marching bands, lion and dragon dances. For the best viewing location, head over to Allen St.

  • New Offer: SELECTION - Night Out and Entertainment

    New York comes alive at night. Our new product SELECTION - Night Out and Entertainment is full of carefully selected insider tips for music lovers, theatergoers, and night owls: classical concerts in unexpected venues; hidden live music clubs; immersive theater; or wild nights at warehouse parties or the eclectic bar scene. Fill your nights with the Best of New York!

    Now available! Click »here.

  • The Mayor

    How many mayors are there in the world? We don’t know, and neither does Google. However, Google does know the name of every single mayor New York has ever had, and that surely means the “Mayor of New York City” is a very significant one. He or she leads an organization that has a budget of over 70 billion dollars and employs 330,000 people. That’s a lot more than in your average city. Until today there have been 109 NYC mayors. Let’s take a look at a couple of exceptional ones from recent times.

    Fiorello La Guardia
    La Guardia’s nickname, “Little Flower,” is derived from his Italian first name and refers to his height of only about 5’2” (1.57 m). His legacy as mayor, however, is one of the most impressive. He was in office from 1934 to 1945. During his term, he primarily concentrated on the reconstruction and maintenance of the then-dilapidated infrastructure. Parks, highways, an airport, and countless apartment buildings for social housing were built from the ground up. At the same time, he was highly successful in fighting the then-notorious corruption and organized crime. His name and accomplishments are remembered with an airport, a street in Manhattan, and a sculpture on that street.

    Ed Koch
    Ed Koch was mayor from 1978 to 1989. His accomplishments were numerous. Like La Guardia, he was responsible for the construction of lots of housing for socially disadvantaged people. He was the first mayor to create laws against the discrimination of LGBTQ employees of the City of New York. However, he wasn’t always on the same wavelength as his citizens. For one, he was an ardent supporter of the death penalty, which repeatedly earned him violent criticism from New Yorkers. The eternal bachelor liked to ride the subway, and he’d often walk up to strangers on a crowded street corner and ask them how they were doing.

    Rudy Giuliani
    Giuliani was mayor of New York from 1994 to 2011. During his term, crime rates sunk at an unprecedented rate. New York City was suddenly one of the safest cities in the USA, which simultaneously made for a dramatic economic and touristic boom. Mayor Giuliani’s zero-tolerance politics, however, did not come without their price, and he certainly wasn’t loved by everyone. Some circles accused him of stifling the city’s spirit. All in all, however, even today most people seem to think he made the city more livable for everybody. In his last year of service, he had to act as a crisis manager in the largest catastrophe the city had ever seen—the attacks of September 11th.

    Michael Bloomberg
    After La Guardia and Giuliani, Michael Bloomberg was the third-ever Republican mayor in the history of the city to win the re-election. As in the case of his two predecessors, his views differed drastically from those of the mother party, especially on social issues. He was mayor from 2002 to 2013. During his time in office, he resigned from the Republican party and became an independent. As one of the richest men in the world, he renounced his salary and worked for a symbolic $1 per year. His time in office was characterized by economic upswing and great progress in quality of life. He has left a visible legacy in the city’s new car-free zones, bike paths, the bike-sharing program Citibike, and many other projects. However, he was often accused of being too closely associated with wealthy circles—it’s not quite clear if all New York citizens profited equally from the economic upturn. Bloomberg also created a law that secured him a third term in office, which earned him lots of criticism.

  • Cats don’t just rule the internet: they also rule thousands of New York shops.

    It’s midnight on a Friday night in New York. An elegantly-dressed couple in a black suit and evening gown, a group of raucus students, and a cat are all in the same room. This could only be one place: a bodega. Peoples’ reasons for visiting these shops may be quite different: the elegant couple may want to buy gum; the students may want beer. And the cat? The cat just lives there. But they’re all in the bodega on purpose.

    Bodegas, also called delis or green grocers, are New York’s independent grocery stores. There are about 12,000 of them in the city, so you’ll find one (or two) on almost every street block. Most of these tiny stores are stuffed to the brim with groceries, soft drinks, beer, cigarettes, umbrellas, cleaning products, toilet paper, light bulbs, cash machines, and many other things that are often needed urgently but don’t in themselves justify a trip to the supermarket.

    Interestingly, bodegas are all comparable in appearance. The aisles are so narrow that there’s hardly room for two people to pass each other; the light flickers; the air is stuffy; the cashier yells down at you from a raised counter, surrounded by more products on display. With a little luck, he (rarely she) is the friendly or quiet type. The chances that he’s grumpy, however, are high. Bodegas have a long tradition behind them, which is probably one of the reasons that national giants like 7 Eleven have long since cleared out of New York.

    The stores, and even more their owners, are symbols of the city’s constant state of flux. Two centuries ago they were all called ‘delis’ and were mostly owned by Jewish immigrants. The word deli is still often used to describe the few of these shops that also sell prepared food. In the first half of the last century, most of them were taken over by Latin American immigrants. Accordingly, people began to call them ‘bodegas.’ A couple of decades later, the Koreans took over the shops and the term ‘Korean groceries’ became popular (though it has since been abandoned due to its inaccuracy and political incorrectness). This variety was best known for its wide selection of fresh vegetables and fruit. At a certain point, both the names of these shops and the wares they sell have been diversified to the point that easy classification is nearly impossible. Recently it’s become clear that small businesses in New York face an uphill battle. Steep rent prices and the sudden interest of international chains in New York real estate have led to a consistent decrease in the number of the city’s bodegas.

    And what do New Yorkers who are otherwise no strangers to change or gentrification think about this trend? They hate it! They notice that the new chains sell neither alcohol nor cigarettes nor lottery tickets. Or they notice that there’s no place to leave the apartment keys for a couple of hours for guests arriving from out of town. Or they miss the skinny, hungry cats that saunter around and lend many of the bodegas a distinctive atmosphere—perhaps because these cats are reminders of the charming fact that New York often sees basic rules broken in broad daylight. Or perhaps because most New Yorkers just don’t like rodents.

  • The Really-Important Packing List for New York

    Optimal Weight
    At LOCALIKE, we generally maintain a very relaxed relationship to calories—after all, we only recommend restaurants that we’ve already tried out ourselves. Considering the city has a good 25,000 restaurants, you should plan to arrive hungry. The variety is difficult to believe. From delicious tacos for $3 to a feast in a world-class restaurant, there’s no cuisine in the world that isn’t represented here. Last year, 99 Michelin stars were awarded in New York. If, on your visit, you like the Big Apple so much that you decide to stay, you could eat at a different restaurant every day for 68 years.

    No matter which time of year you come to New York, it never hurts to bring a scarf along in your suitcase. Our limited knowledge of meteorology prevents an accurate explanation of why this happens, but a large collection of very high buildings seems to create the conditions for spontaneous gusts of wind, even on a mild spring day. And then there are the countless air conditioning systems that can make a room feel positively arctic.

    Dog Treats
    The fact that there are so many people in a limited amount of space in New York doesn’t mean there’s no room for loyal four-legged friends. On the contrary: about 600,000 dogs live in the city. Especially for singles, the “Oh, he’s sooo cute!” line could come in handy. By the way, there are also about a half-million cats in the city. But who has time to win over a cat on their vacation?

    You’re better off leaving this at home. No umbrella survives for longer than 30 minutes in a real New York storm, and in case you end up in need, you’ll find one for very little money on any corner. No one quite understands how it is that all the umbrella merchants manage to show up within a few minutes of the rain beginning. But it’s very practical.

    This tip goes especially for our European friends: a credit card makes life in New York a thousand times easier.

    Sun Protection
    New York is at about the same latitude as Rome, so the risk of getting a sunburned nose begins as early as April. What’s more, New York has even more hours of sun than Rome does—a whopping 2,535 hours on 269 days, to be exact.

    Bring along as much of this as you can. Nowhere else on earth has quite as much to discover.

    This won’t hurt, either—especially not in New York.

    An Almost Empty Suitcase
    Since we’re on the subject of packing: sure, it’s good to be prepared for everything. At the same time, though, we’d recommend traveling as lightly as possible. In New York there’s no shortage of opportunities to fill up your suitcase for the way home. Some of you may catch the famous/infamous shopping fever; others will just need room to store all the experiences…

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