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    Seven Places to Visit While Attending RWA
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  • Published: Jun 22nd, 2011

nyc-cabRomance writers will be converging on NYC en masse next week for the annual Romance Writers of America Convention. Marisa and I would like to extend our welcome by offering seven sites to see that can fit any mood or budget.

Contrary to popular belief NYC doesn’t just comprise the island of Manhattan, it is in fact made up of five boroughs; Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx and Staten Island – each with its own unique flavor and all within a bus, train or ferry ride away. If you plan on visiting NYC, then you need to take one of the bus tours from Halifax to New York. They are so much fun and you get to see all the great sights of NYC.

1. If you’re interested in a behind-the-scenes look at New York City the Mayor’s Office for Film, Theater and Broadcasting offers free do-it-yourself tours that give you an interesting perspective of Manhattan and films that have been shot here.

One tour takes place in Tribeca and is narrated by actor Julianna Margulies. Tribeca is a triangular section of the city located below Canal Street – hence the name TriBeCa (TRIangleBElowCAnal.) The tour features the locations for Ghostbusters, Saturday Night Live, Law & Order, Kramer vs. Kramer, Sophie’s Choice, Annie Hall, Mo Better Blues, City Hall, Spin City and others. After the tour you can enjoy visiting art exhibitions, shopping, or just having a glass of something-something at any number of restaurants in the area.

These tours are fun, and easy to access. Simply go their website and download the podcast and the maps and you’re on your way, this is a fun way to spend an afternoon – and for goodness sakes it’s free.

CloistersInterior2. Interested in the medieval? Then The Cloisters is a must see – a treasure of art and architecture from the 12th – 15th century with a most remarkable garden. (Note: each plant, flower and herb is labeled indicating its specific use during medieval times.) While it’s located in the northern section of Manhattan, you feel as though you were hurled back through time and across the ocean. Created through an endowment grant by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. he also purchased the land across the river in NJ known as the Palisades so that no modern structures would be erected, giving visitors the feeling they are actually in medieval times.

3. Another free recommendation is a trip on the Staten Island Ferry. Say what? Staten Island? Why? Well in addition to being a free ride,  films such as Working Girl, A Beautiful Mind, Donnie Brasco and Splendor in the Grass were shot in Staten Island. You actually don’ t have to spend any time there – you just need to take the wonderful ferry ride giving you great views of the Statue of Liberty without having to pay large sums of money or having to stand in line with every other tourist that comes to New York that week. Besides, it’s a long climb to the top or the Statue, where as riding the ferry gives you a bird’s eye view with a front row seat and nice breeze. Bring a picnic lunch and spend an hour riding back and forth – it’s a NY experience.

Cosenza's Fish Market, Arthur Avenue4. If you’re a foodie (and really who isn’t?) might I suggest taking a trip to the Bronx. The Arthur Avenue Market in The Bronx features delectable food stores and restaurants – from meat, to fish, to pastries. It’s also happens to be a hop, skip and a jump away from The Bronx Zoo and the Botanical Gardens. You can eat at Umberto’s Sea Food restaurant, or just stop and have an espresso with fabulous pastries, or do what many do; stand outside Randazzo’s Seafood and eat freshly shucked raw clams. I love it, and it’s a wonderful experience listed on many culinary tour guides. Google Arthur Avenue restaurants and you’ll have your pick.

broadway-nyc5. So you want to see a Broadway show, but the tickets are priced in a range that could feed a family of four for the week. Try TKTS. Half priced tickets. If you don’t mind, not knowing what show you’ll see until the very last minute, it’s a great way to enjoy a New York only experience at half the price.

Here’s a sample of just a few of the shows that were available at TKTS last week: Anything Goes, Arcadia , Baby It’s You! ,Bengal Tiger At The Baghdad Zoo, Billy Elliot, Born Yesterday, Catch Me If You Can, Chicago, Cirque Du Soleil, Ghetto Klown, How To Succeed…, Jersey Boys, Jerusalem, Memphis, Sister Act, The Addams Family, The Normal Heart, Spider-Man

6. Cathedral of St. John The Divine. You really need to put this on your list if only for the fact that they’ve been working on building it for over 100 years. Amazing, no? It’s still not finished, yet the architecture is remarkable. If you take the Vertical tour you’ll climb 124 feet through spiral staircases to the top of the world’s largest cathedral. Get a close look at the magnificent stained glass windows and study the grand architecture while standing on a buttress. Personally, I think it’s worth the trip.

Lincoln_Center_Twilight7. Glee fans – if you watched the finale you’ll know they shot several scenes at Lincoln Center. Well, it looks better in person and as a Juilliard graduate, I’m partial to the place – but as a visitor to NYC, it’s a must see. It’s been recently redesigned and the space is impressive. Take the time, spend the money and get the tour, or at least take a look at the fabulous Chagall’s hanging in the Metropolitan Opera house.

We hope you have a fabulous conference and here’s to a great time in New York City!

3 Responses to “Seven Places to Visit While Attending RWA”

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  1. Elizabeth Boyle
    on Jun 22nd, 2011
    @ 10:09 am

    Thanks for the great suggestions! I am bringing my son and I think the film walking tour will be right up his alley. BTW, LOVE the Cloisters. Gorgeous place.


  2. Autumn Jordon
    on Jun 22nd, 2011
    @ 4:41 pm

    Thanks for posting these wonderful sites. I loved Working Girl so I think a ferry ride is going on my agenda. And the Cathedral looks amazing. I’m googling it now.


  3. Maria Lokken
    on Jun 23rd, 2011
    @ 5:34 pm

    Hi Elizabeth and Autumn – Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a wonderful conference!