Tag Archives: NYC

5 Scams You Should Look Out For When Visiting New York City

New York City is not only a magnet for people with a knack for success and penchant for audacious dreams, but also attracts tens of millions of tourists each year. For hundreds of years, entrepreneurs, capitalists and tourists have all played a part in making it arguably the most important city in the world.

Yet, the money-making reputation of NYC is simultaneously its greatest strength and its worst weakness. The Big Apple has no shortage of con artists who will zero in on visitors with shady, but seemingly irresistible offers.

Some tourists opt for hop on hop off bus tour specials as a way of keeping a safe distance between them and potential scammers. Whereas that is prudent, knowing the most common scams can go a long way in making sure you don’t lose your cash and possessions to persons with ill intent. The following are five of the most notorious scams in New York.

Tickets for the Staten Island Ferry

One of the best ways to see New York’s harbor and strike another borough off your bucket list is to board the Staten Island ferry. An iconic feature of daily New York life for years, many lifelong relationships have been established aboard the ferry. Sadly, there’s an elaborate and persistent scam operation that seeks to take advantage of tourists’ eagerness to ride the ferry.

Staten Island ferry has been free since 1997, but the majority of first-time visitors will not know that. Expect to meet street hawkers keen on selling you ferry tickets. They’ll claim that they had bought the tickets, but for some reason, no longer need to board. They’ll purport to sell you the tickets at an attractive discount. Do not pay any attention to them else you’ll end up with a worthless piece of paper.

‘Buy my Music’

This scam started elsewhere, but is now a source of anguish in many parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn. A ‘musician’ donning headphones approaches and persuades you to listen to his music. Since you want to be polite, you give in to his request. Shortly thereafter, the ‘musician’ will shove a CD in your hand and pressure you to buy it.

If you insists on not buying, the musician’s demeanor will quickly change and in certain cases, he’ll summon his colleagues to demand that you buy the CD. The end result is you walking away with a music CD you didn’t want and parting with your hard-earned cash in the process. Worse still, the CD might not have any music on it.

Costume Characters in Time Square

Costume characters are at Times Square for much of the day. They range from superheroes and cartoon characters to body-painted denudes. Costume characters can add to the fun of a New York visit and they’ll often ask tourists to pose for photos with them. They expect a tip afterwards, which is only fair.

The scam here is that some costume characters get loud and confrontational if they are dissatisfied with the tip. They know first-time visitors will cough up more cash just to avoid the embarrassment. Always remember that you are under no obligation to tip more unless you had agreed on the value of the tip beforehand.

Of course, not all costume characters are obnoxious extortionists. However, as a tourist, you do not know which ones are honest, so it’s best to stay away.

Subway Pickpockets

Whereas anyone riding the subway must always be on the lookout for pickpockets, this is especially important for visitors. Your dressing and disposition can give you away as a tourist and this will make you a prime target for thieves. It’s hard enough keeping an eye on subway pickpockets when you are sober. It’s much worse when you are inebriated.

If you are tipsy, not only will you be vulnerable to conventional pickpockets, but you’ll also be in the crosshairs of ‘lush workers’. Lush workers target sleepy or intoxicated passengers and use a razor blade to cut open pockets and bags. Avoid carrying valuables or significant amounts of cash when using the subway to minimize your losses just in case you fall victim.

Central Park Pedicabs

You’ve probably already seen New York pedicabs online or on television before you arrive. It’s a pretty enticing proposition to sit in a rear cab as a friendly driver pedals around Midtown Manhattan or Central Park explaining the different landmarks in the process. In theory, it’s an awesome way to soak in the sights and sounds of the city.

Unfortunately, this is a ride that can deplete your finances far faster than you had anticipated. It all comes down to the duration of the trip, unclear rates and the presence of extra fees. Pedicabs make exorbitant profits off of tourists.

The city has created certain rules to put a stop to this. This includes the requirement to have a clear sign on the pedicab showing the per minute charge (that’s right, per minute!). The pedicabs move very slowly, so your bill can accumulate rapidly. Stay away from pedicabs, but if you must use them, make sure it is licensed and the pricing is clearly indicated.

New York is not much different from many large cities around the world. Criminals and scam artists will always look for an opportunity to make a quick buck off an unsuspecting tourist. Those visitors who do not take necessary precautions may end up leaving the city without their money and/or personal items. Knowing the most common tricks scammers use will help make your NYC vacation one whose memories you’ll treasure for years to come.

This is a sponsored guest post. The views and ideals expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Mommy Ramblings.

4 Comments

Filed under Attractions, sponsored guest post, Travel

Red & Lulu Book Is Sure To Be A New Christmas Classic #Giveaway

I want to share a very special book with you, that I find just amazing. It is a children’s book, one that is sure to become a traditional favorite in our home. One of my favorite books as a child was one about the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center and where it came from.

Over the years, I have shared books with similar tones with my children. This year, we were introduced to Red & Lulu by Matt Tavares. From the first time I opened and read the large, hardcover book with my kids,we were hooked.

For me, it had much to do with the bonded pair of cardinals, Red and Lulu. Cardinals are very special to me and if you have been reading this blog for a while, you may remember my post about the significance of them in The Cardinals’ Kiss.

Beyond the cardinals, we live in Upstate NY where many of the trees that have graced Rockefeller Center have come from. Put the two together and add the magic of the Christmas season, and you have a recipe for a new holiday classic. I know we will read this book many times this season.

Red and Lulu lived happily in the tree that was going to be cut down and transported to New York City. The problem was not that they were going to lose their beloved home, it was bigger than that!

The morning the tree was cut and loaded on the truck, Lulu was in the inner branches. Lulu was in trouble because Red was not with her at the time and now she was on her way to The Big Apple.

Red caught sight of what had happened and  flew as fast as he could to catch up to Lulu, but before long, he lost sight of the truck. Red did not give up, he flew all the way to NYC and eventually found Lulu and their tree. Reunited, they happily explored this big, bustling city and made many friends in beautiful Central Park.

Red and Lulu were so happy to be together again. They would sit in the branches of their tree and admire the lights and the people who came from all over the world to see the majestic evergreen.

When the season was over, Red and Lulu made a new home with their new friends in Central Park. One of the perks of their new location, was that every year they could return to Rockefeller Center and sit on the branches of a new Christmas tree. The whole season long, they could happily enjoy, the sights and sounds of the city that never sleeps, during the most wonderful time of the year. This book shows there is no distance too far to keep a determined cardinal from his loved one in an ode to serendipity and belief that is destined to be a new Christmas classic.

This book pulls at my heartstrings in so many ways. That is why I have added it to Mommy Ramblings’ 2017 Holiday Gift Guide. 

Candlewick Press is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings. One lucky blog reader will win their own hardcover copy of Red & Lulu! Thank you to Candlewick Press for the review book and for sponsoring this amazing giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!! Open to US residents.

Red & Lulu Book Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Enter for your chance to win using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good Luck!!!

Continue reading

18 Comments

Filed under Books, Christmas, Gift, Giveaway, Review

The Perfect Gift For The New Baby! #HolidayGiftGuide

If you have a baby on your Holiday Gift List, I have an adorable gift suggestion for you! I recently connected with a company called Estella in NYC that has the sweetest organic gifts for baby. Sets that include a hat, lovey security blanket and soft rattle are available in a number of different designs.

I really like the MTA Set since my daughter works with the MTA and this is adorable for any MTA baby!

organic-mta-metrocard-baby-blanket-gift-set

I also like the Whale Set. See my video unboxing of this great set below:

 

baby-gifts-estella-whale-gift

This set is organic and perfect for summer or water-loving babies. The whale rattle is a winner of the Mom’s Choice Award and The National Parenting Seal of Approval. Everything is handmade n Peru with GOTS certified organic cotton. The rattle is stuffed with polyester filling.

estella

estella-4

Blanket measures 14″ X 14″. Rattle measure 4”l X 2”w. Hat fits 0-6 months. All machine washable on gentle, dry flat. Gift giving is easy because these sets ship in a gift box.

We are happy to offer our readers a special discount code that will allow you to get 35% off your orders when you shop at Estella now through December 30th. Use Promo Code MR35Off when you checkout! We are also adding these Estella Baby Gift Sets to our 2016 Holiday Gift Guide at Mommy Ramblings!

estella-logo

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think of these adorable sets!

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Baby, Baby Gear, Holiday Gift Guide, Review

Enjoy Cocoa, Cookies & Christmas Carols As You Cruise Through The City The Never Sleeps!

classic harbor line

If you are looking for a fun way to take in the sites of New York City and celebrate the holidays, you have to hear this! How does a warm and cozy cruise tailored for friends and family sound? Step inside Manhattan’s toasty solarium which is decked out in holiday decor for a 90 minute cruise to see the lights of New York City! Of course delicious hot cocoa, cookies and treats for all guests are included. Then join in on 20 to 30 minutes of live holiday carols or enjoy 2 live Jazz Trio Sets!

classicharborcocaandcarol1

Aboard the 1920’s style yacht, you can relax on the heated back deck salon to enjoy the gorgeous view of the island. Take in picturesque views from the glassed-in observatory.

classicharborcocaandcarol2

classicharborcocaandcarol3

Along the way you will see:

The Yacht Manhattan in Full Holiday Decor!
Cocoa, Cookies & some sing-along Holiday Carols or live Holiday Jazz!
Battery Park, South Street Seaport & the Financial District
Governor’s Island, The Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
Parts of Brooklyn & Queens & the NYC skyline
The Williamsburg, Manhattan & Brooklyn Bridges of the East River

A complimentary beer, wine, spiked hot cocoa or champagne from the bar is offered on all trips. Mixed drinks are available for purchase. For more information to see cruise schedule please click HERE!  Receive 15% off each ticket purchased at www.sail-nyc.com using ONLINE promo code 15COCOA – Valid for any Cocoa & Carols Cruise aboard Yacht Manhattan II!

6 Comments

Filed under Holiday, Review, Special Offers, Travel

HGTV Magazine Blogger Block Party Highlights! #BloggerBlockParty

Who doesn’t love a great summer block party? Especially one held in the Big Apple! Over 500 people attended the second HGTV Magazine Blogger Block Party on August 17th. The event was timed to align with NY NOW, the fashion-forward, design-driven home and lifestyle show in New York City attended by the hottest lifestyle, entertaining, food and home bloggers.

HGTV Block Party Sign

The friendly neighborhood format of this summer celebration featured engaging demonstrations including:

  • Editor vs. Blogger Flea Market Flips Challenge featuring Brooklyn Craft Company’s Brett Bara and HGTV Magazine’s Lifestyle Editor Jodi Kahn, presented by Benjamin Moore
  • DIY Art as seen in the DIY Network Blog Cabin with lifestyle expert, Laurie March
  • Easy Paint Fixes with licensed contractor Jason Cameron, presented by Wagner
  • Upcycle & You with green lifestyle expert Danny Seo, presented by Wilsonart
  • Designer Downloads with designer Danielle Colding, presented by Stanton Carpet
  • Design Trends for 2016 with designer Genevieve Gorder

HGTV Block Party Benjamin Moore

HGTV Blogger Block Party Totes

 

HGTV Block Party personality

 

HGTV Block Party

There were great interactive activities for the attendees to engage in like:

  • A Chinet Place Setting Challenge
  • Gold Peak Iced Tea throughout the day
  • The Delta “HappiMess” Terrerium Station
  • The Overstock.com sharable shopping board and lounge
  • Wagner Spray Booth
  • The Benjamin Moore Paint Party
  • A chance to win at the Snuggle ‘Guess the Flower’ wheel and Cuisinart giveaway
  • Products directly such as the Tempur-Pedic day bed, Stanton Carpet, Wilsonart countertop samples, Secret samples and the Nutrish ‘Cat Tent’
  • A socially-enabled step-and-repeat with Instaprint social photo booth

HGTV Camp Meow

HGTV Blogger Block Party  Overstock

HGTV Block Party Tempur-Pedic

HGTV Block Party Delta

 

HGTV Block Party Snuggle

“HGTV Magazine’s Blogger Block Party is such a fun event!  It’s the perfect opportunity to connect with influential bloggers, show them some great products and let them get hands-on with them! Did you attend? I would love to hear all about it if you did. Share it in the comments.

This post is spon

Leave a Comment

Filed under Main Page Post

If You Are Visiting NYC, Don’t Miss This “Must See” Family Attraction

mt photo 3

In a few short weeks, school will be out for summer and if you’re like us, you are probably thinking and planning vacations and day trips for the family.  One great attraction for folks in the NYC area or those that will be visiting is Madame Tussauds. Located in the heart of Times Square, you will find over 85, 000 square feet of interactive entertainment for the whole family. Get up close and personal with over 200 incredible wax figures of celebrities, historical icons, sports legends and more. From Lady Gaga to Marilyn Monroe to Carmelo Anthony to the Marvel Super Heroes. The check out the 4D Theater featuring these legendary super heroes.  mt photo
photo_2313

We are planning our trip to Madame Tussauds and I know my little ones are going to freak out when they see the Marvel Super Heroes. It will be such fun and thankfully not in the bone chilling winter cold like our last excursion to NYC.  So have you been to Madame Tussauds or will you be visiting soon?  If you are planning a trip to NYC, check it out, I am sure it will be worth the trip. Visit nycwax.com for more information.

mt photo 2

We will update with our trip soon and be holding a giveaway for at least 6 tickets to Madame Tussauds then as well.  Let me know what you are planning for this summer in the comments, I love to see what everyone is doing.

 

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Attractions, Family, Main Page Post, Travel, USFG

How To Save Big & See The Sights of New York City With Your Family

Want to know one of the best ways to see the unique wonders of The Big Apple with your family?  I thought you would. The  Classic Harbor Line provides family-friendly boat tours of Manhattan dedicated to helping locals and visitors alike enjoy the unique wonders of New York City.  When you travel the Classic Harbor Line, they will escort you and your family  on a relaxing, inspiring and breathtaking sightseeing cruise through the waters they proudly call home.

Statue of Liberty, NYC

 

Their classic yachts – the Schooner Adirondack & Adirondack III and the Schooner America 2.0 ( sailboats), and the Luxury Yacht Manhattan (motorized yacht) are reminiscent of the classic boats that cruised New York Harbor a hundred years ago.

manhattan_top

SAVE NOW
My Readers receive 15% off each ticket purchased at HERE using ONLINE promo code Mom2015 – Valid for any Day Sail, Sunset Sail, City Lights Sail aboard Schooner Adirondack, Schooner America 2.0 OR any Cruise aboard our 1920’s style motor yacht: Yacht Manhattan!

manhattanobservatoryempty

Let me know if you have ever traveled the Classic Harbor Line or plan to take advantage of the big savings and book your tour.  We are going as a family, maybe we will see you there.

 

classic harbor line image

1 Comment

Filed under Attractions, Family, Sale, Travel

Brand-Blogger Relations Focus of NYC Type-A Bootcamp-Will You Be There? #typeacon

 

I am making it a point to attend more conferences and network with other bloggers this year.  One of the conferences I am excited about is the Type-A Parent New York City Bootcamp which is going to focus on brand-blogger relations.  Not only is NYC super convenient for me, the focus of the bootcamp is perfect!

Type-A Parent was founded in 2007 and hosts the world’s top conferences for mom and dad bloggers.  In addition to the New York City bootcamp, there will be the 7th annual conference in Atlanta.  Type-A Parent conferences are packed with powerful networking with the best and brightest parent bloggers along with major brands and firms who want to engage with them.

Influential digital parents like myself will be attending  Type-A Parent New York City Bootcamp (Focus: Brand-Blogger Relations) and Type-A Parent 7th Annual Conference (Atlanta, October 8-10, 2015) this year.  Will we see you there?  Register at Type-A Parent Conferences, the premier events for mom and dad bloggers. Use CODEPARTNERSPECIAL to get 20% off for one day only!  Hope to see you there!

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Blogging

Our Trip To The Big Apple Circus In Lincoln Center To See Metamorphosis

Big Apple Circus Metamorposis

A couple of weeks ago, on Saturday, we went to New York City for the last Saturday performance of The Big Apple Circus in Lincoln Center.  The theme of the show was Metamorphosis and it was a spectacular show.  It was an entirely different show than 2 years ago when we saw them in Lincoln Center and it was filled with fun, death-defying acts and adorable animals.  My kids were wide-eyed during the entire performance and my husband and I were just as amazed.

 

circus 4

 

circus8

circus 5

The Big Apple Circus not only impresses with their stupendous performers, but in the way they treat their animals, the way they give back to the community and how they help bring laughter to sick children and the elderly.  They even have Autism Friendly shows.

circus

circus 1

 

circus 2

circus 3

Francesco, The Musical Clown is the first performer to see and he gets right in the audience supposedly searching for his seat.  He keeps us entertained throughout the circus and is absolutely hysterical.  The quick change Smirnov Duo still has my husband and I shaking our heads with how they do what they did.  We saw it but it does not seem possible.  There were many performances that had us asking, “How did they do that?”  Trapeze artists, contortionists, jugglers and amazing feats of all kinds has us still talking. Ringmaster, John Kennedy Kane keeps us on top of everything under the big top.  If you get a chance to attend, you should, it will make memories for a lifetime.

Big-Apple-Circus-Animals-Mommy-Ramblings

circs 4

Check out the cities and dates to see if there is a performance near you.  You can buy tickets HERE and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.  You can check out more pictures from our trip to the circus on  Instagram

BRIDGEWATER, NJ

 

circus 6

circus 7

Circus 9

Circus 10

Did you see Metamorphosis from The Big Apple Circus?  If so, I would love to hear where and what you thought.  Please let me know in the comments.

 

Disclosure: As a USFG Blogger I was provided with complimentary tickets to the performance but as always my views and words are 100% my own.

big apple circus metamorphosis, curtain

Leave a Comment

Filed under Attractions, Entertainment, Family Fun, Main Page Post, Mommy Ramblings, Review, USFG

Sunset Yoga Workshop in Brooklyn Bridge Park With Miz Mooz Shoes!!! #MizMoozMoves

Well, I am very proud to introduce my daughter Alexandra as a new guest blogger for Mommy Ramblings. Alexandra graduated with her Masters in Public Administration in May and is working full time with NJ Transit as a Transportation GIS Analyst.  She lives in the NYC area and will be covering local events and happenings in the city that never sleeps.  Her first event post is one I knew she would love.  She is a very active young woman and after work can be found jumping on a train to a yoga studio.  So the September 16th Sunset Yoga Workshop sponsored by Miz Mooz Shoes in Brooklyn Bridge Park had her name all over it.   For all the details read her post below:

Miz_Mooz_Logo

 

The weather was breezy but nice in the Harbor Side Park in DUMBO. The bright orange yoga mats were set up directly across the Manhattan skyline with a perfect view of the Statue of Liberty.

I am used to taking power yoga at my home studio but have been craving a slower flow and the teacher, Kelly, absolutely delivered. The poses she recommended were perfect to completely stretch out the body no matter if you were a novice or a very practiced yogi.

 

mizmoozmoves yoga 1

The class was very welcoming and provided a nice retreat from the chaos of the city. Miz Mooz showcased some very fashionable styles for fall and each blogger was sent home with a very comfortable espadrille style flat which I have been using for commuting on the PATH.
miz mooves shoes alexandra labeled

 

mizmoozmoves yoga 2

 

miz mooz shoe circle

 

miz mooz yoga class label

 

The shoes are comfortable  and fashionably perfect for the city.  I had an absolutely amazing experience sharing this class with all of the awesome bloggers and want to thank Miz Mooz for their hospitality and the great shoes and goodies we all got to take with us!  To see all the gorgeous Miz Mooz fall shoe styles visit their website and connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

 

alexandra signature

2 Comments

Filed under Entertainment, Exclusive, Fashion, Health