New York: Not Just the Best, But the Safest, Too

New York CityNew Yorkers, tourists to this fair city, and hawkers of New York-themed merchandise now have another reason to gloat: New York is not simply the coolest big city in the country, but now it’s also the safest.
Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced yesterday that New York is the safest large city in the U.S. Their findings are based on the Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, released yesterday by the FBI. The report covers the first six months of 2009, and shows that the violent crime in New York fell by eight percent, a larger decline than the national average. In addition, property crime fell by six percent during the first six months of the year.
The news is not only encouraging, but somewhat surprising, considering the state of the economy and the almost-always rise in crime that occurs in a downturn.
Other safe cities out of the 25 largest cities in the country included in the index? Several in California made the list: Los Angeles (really?); San Jose, and San Diego, as well as Los Vegas, Dallas, Houston, and others.
Out of 253 cities in the United States with populations of more than 100,000 people, New York’s crime rate ranks it 241st-but when you consider that the city falls between Amherst, New York and Sunnyvale, California, that doesn’t seem so terrible.
Go forth into the Big Apple and celebrate!

Still Need Gifts? Pop Into These Pop Ups

Wired Holiday Pop Up StoreStill only halfway through your holiday shopping? Haven’t even started to think about it yet? Luckily, you’re in New York, and shopping options abound. If you’ve had your fill of cuter-than-a-button holiday markets and I-saw-it-first overwhelming department stores, check out the year’s hot shopping trend: The holiday pop-up store.
For your techno nephew Ed, go to the fifth annual holiday pop up sponsored by Wired Magazine (415 W. 13th Street; 212 645-0120). More than 150 gadgets galore are there for the browsing, from a home planetarium system to laptops laser-engraved by a local tattoo artist. Wouldn’t Aunt Sally like that?
For your oh-so-hip neighbor, cool British publisher Phaidon has opened a 2,500-foot space at 1100 Wooster Street (212 925-1900.) From hip coffee-table books about architecture to wow-factor cookbooks, this is the “it” bookstore.
Didn’t your sister say she was always cold? Trot along to the Under Amour shop at 3 West 57th Street. It boasts one of the largest selections of the brand’s signature athletic wear, as well as accessories and shoes.
And who doesn’t love a store that showcases both candy and Italian furniture? We certainly do. Drop in on Candy Shoppe at Capellini (152 Wooster Street; 212 620-7953) to feast on architectural hard candies by candy makers Papabubble–you can even fork over $150 for a limited-edition lollypop that resembles Dutch designer Marcel Wanders, should you care to.
And in the this-trend-has-reached-the-tipping-point category: Toys R Us has opened a Pop-Up Store at 692 Broadway, in the former Tower Records building. In addition to the usual mass of of-the-moment toys, New York souvenirs abound–and visitors can even get their picture taken with Santa.

Snow Doesn’t Slow Broadway Shows

Through rain, sleet or snow may be the credo of the U.S. postal service, but it applies to Broadway as well, where the show must always go on. Despite heavy snowfall and even blizzard-like conditions in New York City overnight on Saturday, Broadway shows are still running as usual. Fortunately the snow didn’t get heavy until after curtain last night, and it had ceased by morning, meaning that Sunday matinee-goers won’t have to brave a flurry of flakes. Of course, the accumulation on the ground is another story, so anybody traveling more than a few blocks to Times Square may want to give themselves plenty of time to get to their theater. For people outside the city who can’t get out of their driveway and want to cancel their tickets, they can try calling Ticketmaster or Telecharge to see if they would be willing to exchange the tickets for another date. However, please be aware that technically both of those services have a ‘no refunds or exchanges’ policy.

Feel the Miniature Magic at the Botanical Gardens Holiday Train Show

New York Botanical Garden Holiday ShowYes, it’s far uptown; it can be a pain to get to; and it’s off the beaten track–but trust us, a visit to the New York Botanical Gardens around the holidays is seriously not to be missed.
For starters, there’s the annual Holiday Train Show with Gingerbread Adventures–and you’ve honestly never seen anything like it.
The little model trains zip around a kind of idealized New York City, where everything is crafted entirely out of natural materials. That Brooklyn Bridge? Sugar pine cones. The torch on the Statue of Liberty? A pomegranate. Bark, leaves, seeds, fungi–it all goes into the incredible replicas of New York landmarks, from the original Yankee Stadium and Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, to the Brooks Brothers store flagship. New this year: A miniature, meticulously detailed version of the original Pennsylvania Station. The details on the replicas are mesmerizing, and everything is lit by holiday lights.
While you’re there, check out the Gingerbread Adventures in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden. Ooh and aah at the display of handcrafted gingerbread houses—then tour a display of the spices that are used to make them. Nibble on cinnamon and ginger, and keep a field diary of your favorite finds.
The Garden’s 250 acres are done up for the holidays—plus there’s the “Little Engine That Could” puppet show and, coming in January, the “Thomas the Tank Engine” display.
For hours and more information, check out their website at nybg.org, or call (718) 817-8700.

The 39 Steps To Move Off-Broadway

The Alfred Hitchcockian comedy The 39 Steps, scheduled to conclude its lengthy Broadway run in January, appears to have its eye on Off-Broadway. Earlier this year, Avenue Q raised eyebrows when, immediately following its Broadway closing at the John Golden Theatre, it announced that the production would be re-opening at New World Stages for another Off-Broadway run. It looks like the producers of The 39 Steps were inspired to try the same strategy, as they are now posting casting notices for a new Off-Broadway production of the show. Like Avenue Q, The 39 Steps is a small show (it only has a four-person cast) that could work quite well Off-Broadway. The fact that it survived two years on Broadway – a major feat for a play – indicates that there is a good audience for the show, so Off-Broadway may be the perfect place for it. There will not be pressure to sell as many tickets to a smaller theater, and the running costs will be lower.

The 39 Steps Pulls An Avenue Q

The 39 Steps Broadway ShowThe Alfred Hitchcockian comedy The 39 Steps, scheduled to conclude its lengthy Broadway run in January, appears to have its eye on Off-Broadway. Earlier this year, Avenue Q raised eyebrows when, immediately following its Broadway closing at the John Golden Theatre, it announced that the production would be re-opening at New World Stages for another Off-Broadway run. It looks like the producers of The 39 Steps were inspired to try the same strategy, as they are now posting casting notices for a new Off-Broadway production of the show. Like Avenue Q, The 39 Steps is a small show (it only has a four-person cast) that could work quite well Off-Broadway. The fact that it survived two years on Broadway – a major feat for a play – indicates that there is a good audience for the show, so Off-Broadway may be the perfect place for it. There will not be pressure to sell as many tickets to a smaller theater, and the running costs will be lower.

Feeling Green? So is Times Square This New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve in New York City has gone green.
This year, the numbers in the giant “2010” sign in Times Square will be lit by light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs) instead of halogen bulbs. The one and the zero for the sign arrived by pedicab–also green, thank you very much–this past week.
The new bulbs are nine watts instead of 40 watts, as they were in the past; they will use about 80 percent less energy.
The 2010 sign is on display at the Duracell Smart Power Lab for one week, through next Wednesday, December 23. (It’s at 1540 Broadway, in Times Square; check out their website, powerlab.com, for more information.) Visitors can have a wow-look-at-that experience while they’re there; they can push pedals that will create energy that’s converted to battery power that will light the numbers as the ball drops. (Yes, it sounds like a nursery rhyme.) The lab is open Sunday-Wednesday from 10 am to 9 pm; and Thursday-Saturday, from 10 am to 11 pm, with special hours on holidays, so be sure to check.
Got all that? What it means is that the energy created by people pedaling a series of “Rovers” will be stored in the batteries to power the sign–approximately 32,000-watt hours are needed.
When you’re done, you can have your picture taken with a replica of the 2010 numbers. The real numbers will be placed atop the ball at One Times Square to await the massive New Year’s Eve celebration.
Considering the rush in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, this may be a better alternative than waiting in the cold for hours–and you can go green at the same time.

Cirque du Soleil: Wintuk – Discount Code 50EM15 – Buy One Get One Free

Buy 1 and Get 1 Free on Cirque du Soleil WINTUK Tickets CODE IS: 50EM15
WINTUK Cirque du Soleil Discount Ticket Code in New York City

Buy One Ticket and Get One Free to select performances
These prices apply to performances through December 24th 2009
and are available on select orchestra and mezzanine seats.

CODE IS: 50EM15

Tickets available by clicking HERE or calling 877-250-2929 and using code 50EM15

Offer valid on Front/Center Orch and Side Orch/Center Mezz seats on the select performances through December 24, 2009. Not valid premium or mezzanine seating. Force a 2-ticket purchase. 8 ticket limit per order. Service charges apply to phone and Internet orders. Offer subject to availability and not valid on previously purchased tickets. All sales are final – no refunds or exchanges. Offer may be revoked or modified at any time without notice. Offer expires December 24, 2009.

Discount Broadway Ticket Code supplied by http://www.nytix.com/

Egads! It’s the Red Baron at the Intrepid Air and Space Museum

The Intrepid Air and Space MuseumNothing says the holidays like the Red Baron.
This week, “Snoopy as the World War I Flying Ace” opened at the Intrepid Air and Space Museum (Pier 86; 12th Avenue and 46th Street; 877-957-SHIP), where it will be on view through mid-April.
Organized by the Charles M. Schulz Museum, the traveling exhibition features 29 iris prints of Charles Schulz’s original designs of the iconic beagle Snoopy in his incarnation as a World War I flying ace.
Fact-that-makes-the-exhibit-seem-even-more appropriate: Crew members in the 1960s were known to sketch Peanuts characters on the walls of the ship. Some of this “sailor art” still survives, and can be seen in the exhibition.
In addition, weekend hands-on activities centering on the show will be held each Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 PM. A digitized copy of the cruise book from 1961-62 can also be perused; it shows Peanuts characters at work on the ship. Charlie Brown, swab the decks.
While you’re at the Museum, you can also take part in the 2009 Intrepid Holiday Salute. Visitors can sign giant holiday cards to be sent to various military facilities across the country to wish the troops and their families happy holidays.
The Intrepid is also accepting donations of certain essential items, which will be shipped overseas to Marines serving in Afghanistan. The items include food (gum, trail mix, tuna); toiletries (toothpaste; shampoo) and other items like blankets, playing cards, and batteries. (For a complete list, go to intrepidmuseum.org).
All together now: Curse you, Red Baron!

Radio City Christmas Spectacular Discount Code

Buy 1 Ticket Get 1 Free on Radio City Christmas Spectacular Tickets CODE IS: TIX50
Radio City Christmas Show Discount Ticket Code at Radio City Music Hall in New York City

Buy One Ticket and Get One Ticket Free for select performances
These prices apply to performances through December 27th 2009
and are available on select orchestra and 1st mezzanine seats.

CODE IS: TIX50

Tickets available by clicking HERE or calling 866-858-0007 and using code TIX50

Offer valid on select shows thru Dec. 27 only. Valid on Orchestra / 1ST Mezz seating only. Not valid for select peak performances or on premium, 2nd or 3rd Mezz seats. 8 ticket limit per order. Offer subject to availability and not valid on previously purchased tickets. All sales are final – no refunds or exchanges. Offer may be revoked or modified at any time without notice. Offer expires Dec. 27, 2009.

Discount Broadway Ticket Code supplied by http://www.nytix.com/