The Sailors are coming to town and this year—for the first time ever—they can be openly gay.
From May 23 to 30, thousands of men and women serving on U.S. Navy and U.S. Coastguard ships will debark onto the streets of Manhattan for the annual Fleet Week New York. According to the event’s website “Fleet Week New York is the City’s celebration of the sea services… [providing] an opportunity for the citizens of New York City and the surrounding Tri-State area to meet Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, as well as witness first hand the latest capabilities of today’s Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Team.”
This year will also mark the first Fleet Week since the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the U.S. policy that kept gay and lesbian troops from serving openly in the military until September 20, 2011.
To help celebrate, THE OUT NYC, the city’s first gay urban resort, is unveiling its Served with Pride package for any guest with a valid military ID. This package will continue indefinitely, offering our service men and women:
30% off the best available rate
Complimentary Served with Pride t-shirt or tank top
Complimentary continental breakfast
So let’s welcome our troops to fully–and openly–explore New York City this Fleet Week.
New York City is often considered a concrete jungle, herding humans and sprouting skyscrapers through its densely overgrown streets. Yet approximately one-quarter of the city is occupied by public parks, playgrounds and nature preserves. The grande dame, of course, is Central Park. But there’s a new kid in town who grows bigger every year and demands your attention.
The Hudson River Park is the largest park to undergo construction in Manhattan since Central Park. It spans 550 acres along the west side of Manhattan, between Battery Place and 59th Street. Since its establishment in 1998, the park has unveiled new piers, playgrounds and facilities every year. This week, Piers 62 and 63 have officially opened to reveal 9 fresh acres of gardens, lawns and a newly designed skate park in Chelsea. From sun worshiper to thrill seeker, there is something for everyone.
If you are craving a little relaxation, the lawns and piers provide beautiful views of the Hudson River by which to sunbathe and picnic. For the more active visitor, Hudson River Park offers an amazing variety of sports activities. Bicycling, running, kayaking and sailing are but a few. And if you lean toward more extreme sports, a visit to the skate park or trapeze school will send your heart soaring, quite literally.
So whether you are king of the jungle or a lazy house cat, explore the Hudson River Park this summer. And do the outdoors—NYC style!
And while you’re at it, enjoy a 7-course meal and expand your knowledge of one of New York City’s most exciting neighborhoods.
3 hours. 7 courses. 2 miles. Rum & Blackbird Tasting Tours will guide your palate (and feet) through the Hell’s Kitchen of yesterday and today. Once home to speakeasies and mobsters, this West side neighborhood enjoys a rich and gritty past. Throughout history it has provided New York with a pot for melting cultures (sometimes to a boil). More of a tasty simmer these days, the neighborhood manages to honor its seedy heritage, embrace its more reputable future, and still maintain its own complex identity.
From the hood’s colorful backdrop emerge the varied culinary options available in The Kitchen: a little Latin, a little Greek, a little Italian, a little American… a lot of flavor. With chain restaurants increasing their presence in New York, this tasting tour recognizes the value of patronizing the smaller eateries of Hell’s Kitchen. From empanadas to phyllo-dough pastries, you will sample handmade food unique to the neighborhood.
Rum & Blackbird was created by Moira Campbell to fuse her favorite past times: food and travel. And Moira knows food. Her training includes the Culinary Institute of America and the Graduate Food Studies program at New York University.
So take a walk on the West side and see what’s cookin’ in Hell’s Kitchen.
The tour is offered Thursday-Sunday and costs $49 (all major credit cards accepted). To book your tasting tour or find out more information, visit www.rumandblackbird.com
On the Street Where You Live is a pretty fantastic place if you live in New York City. New Yorkers have access to food from every culture and region imaginable. But with 18,696 eating establishments at our disposal, how do we begin to explore dishes ranging from the mundane to the exotic? Try walking out the front door.
Every block in New York is unique, and Tenth Avenue between 44th and 45th Street is no exception. On the southeast corner you’ll find “A Little Bit of Heaven in Hell’s Kitchen,” the motto of 44&X (44th and 10th) restaurant. This first gleam of glamour arrived in the hood in 2000, a time before Tenth Avenue was trendy and Hell’s Kitchen was commonly christened Clinton. With its modern yet warm design and reimagined classic American dishes, 44&X quickly became a pre- and post-theatre staple for those pioneers brave enough to explore the West(side). Start your meal with the Maine Lobster Taco and its charred tomato salsa, cilantro, and herb salad ($15) — a light and refreshing beginning to a hardy downhome meal. Hopefully, you are dining with a group who likes to share because it ain’t easy choosing between the Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Collard Greens ($23), Vermont Cheddar Mac & Cheese ($16), or the Pan Seared Filet Mignon ($32).
Just a few feet up the block is 44&X’s slightly less expensive younger sister, 44 ½. Blessed with a private garden, it’s a perfect spot for summer dining (though the garden is enclosed and available for private events in the winter). On the weekends, enjoy traditional brunch fare with added American favorites such as grits and applewood-smoked bacon. Unless you are on your way to church – or, perhaps, especially if you are – enjoy a devilish Bloody Mary. Have one, have two, and don’t forget to pee. The restaurant is impeccably designed…down to the mirrored bathrooms.
If you are in the mood for something grittier and greasier, literally sandwiched between these two biscuits of restaurants, is an award winning German sausage. At Hallo Berlin you can decide which wurst is best by choosing from a selection of eight different sausages, while enjoying an imported German draft beer. The indoor beer garden is open year round, while the sidewalk café is seasonal. (Most lunch and dinner platters are under $20.)
Unable to move after your eating extravaganza? Not to worry. Across the street is a Hess gas station, buzzing with refueling cabs just waiting to take you up the block.