Every year it was the same thing: summer would come and I would see the people riding Jet Ski across the Hudson River here in New York and wondered how amazing that experience should be. Until the staff from Sea and the City contacted me in October last year inviting me to take a tour. But, I thought it would be something with a greater appeal for warm weather and that I would enjoy the experience more on a hot day. At the end of May, we finally booked our tour and, although I already posted a video on the channel, linked at the end of this post, I thought it would be interesting to talk about the experience also in a post and list important details that were left out.
1. Choose your tour
There are two available tours: 1 Hour – New York Harbor Tour e 2.5 Hour – Full Manhattan Circle Tour. We did the 1 Hour, that pass by Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty, One World Trade Center, Brooklyn Bridge, South Street Seaport and Governors Island. The 2.5 tour, obviously, includes mora places, like Williamsburg, Long Island City, Roosevelt Island and George Washington Bridge. Regardless of your choice, remember that you can operate the Jet Ski or you can go with someone (friend, boyfriend, family, etc.). In the middle of the tour, it is possible to change positions.
I think it’s good to explain the word “tour” in this case – it’s nothing more than a guided tour of Jet Ski. The group follows the instructions and directions of a guide – that is, you do not drive aimlessly by the river, you must follow the itinerary of the tour. But that’s all. You go at your pace and always have someone around to guide you. In my case, I was always one of the last of the group, and sometimes some guide signaled me to cut a path and find the group faster.
Monday – Thursday: 1 Hour – New York Harbor Tour U$159 + U$49 for an additional rider
Friday – Sunday: 1 Hour – New York Harbor Tour U$179 + U$49 for an additional rider
Monday – Thursday: 2.5 Hour – Full Manhattan Circle Tour U$299 + U$59 for an additional rider
Friday – Sunday:2.5 Hour – Full Manhattan Circle Tour U$339 + U$59 for an additional rider
3. Tours departure
Sea and the City is located at Liberty Landing Marina in Jersey City, and the most convenient way to get there is by taking the Liberty Landing Ferry which leaves from the World Financial Center Terminal (199 Vessey Street) in Downtown, adjacent to Brookfield Place, very close to One World Trade Center. Arriving at the terminal, just check the gate on the big screen – the ticket costs $7 (round trip is $14!) and the payment is done inside the Ferry – that is, you do not need to buy a ticket before. Check the website and see all the schedules so you can plan your trip and do not miss the last boat leaving the park! Once you exit the ferry, turn right, with Manhattan behind you, until you reach the Maritime Center Building. Around the building, Sea-City’s office is behind it. Important: you have to be there 30 minutes before your tour time! Due to the greater availability of ferry schedules, I think it best to take the tour on a weekday.
4. What do I need to bring?
Do not forget an ID – otherwise, you do not take the tour. And also bring the credit card used for the reservation. Yes, it is super necessary to make the reservation beforehand as there are not many spots available at each tour. Bring bathing suits (I wore a swimsuit) and also bring a bag to leave your belongings and make the change of clothes. Sea the City has free lockers for you to accommodate your belongings. Another very important thing: if you like your sunglasses, it is not a good idea to ride the Jet Ski with it. There are great chances of it falling into the water! Or you take cheap sunglasses, which you will not miss.
5. How can I make pictures/videos?
It is not allowed to take cell phones and cameras to the Jet Ski. There are two package options:
Photos + GoPro – $59 (when booked in advance) or $ 79 (if you decide on time);
Photo Package – $ 29 (when booked in advance) or $ 39 (if you decide on time).
But blog readers do not pay for the photo package! INSERT THE “PeruchiPics” CODE in the reservation comment space to get the photos package for FREE!
If you choose the GoPro package, a camera will be placed in front of your Jet Ski and will record the whole ride. It’s funny to see our reactions later! Soon after the tour, you already receive the memory card with the video. As for the photos, there are some stops during the one-hour tour and the guide herself takes the photos. On the one-hour tour, we took pictures at Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty and the city skyline. Photos are emailed until 24 hours after the tour!
6. I never ride a Jet Ski!
Nor did I! Incidentally, it was one of the first things I asked them about and guess what? Most people who do the tour have also never ridden Jet Ski before. It is not necessary to have the experience, or anything. You watch a safety video beforehand and the guide gives you several tips as well – here comes another important factor: you NEED to understand English and have your level should allow you to communicate! I was very excited to do the tour, but, I confess, I was worried too. I talked to some people who had already done it (also for the first time) and calmed down. Basically, you only use two Jet Ski functions: power on and accelerate. And that’s it! The more you accelerate, the more stability you have and, believe me, you will get it! Yes, I was nervous, tense, but I was concentrating on what I was doing (after all, it was my first time, right?) and it was much easier than I had imagined. Oh, everyone wears a lifejacket, obviously.
Plus, the experience is simply fantastic and unparalleled. It does not compare to anything I’ve ever done here – and I’ve seen NYC from Big Ferry, small Ferry, and sailing boat – but nothing, absolutely nothing compares to seeing the city from a Jet Ski! In fact, now that I know how it is, I feel more willing to repeat the experience! Oh, we did the 6:15 pm tour! Remember: you must be 18 to ride the Jet Ski!
7. But my trip to NYC is during Winter time…
No problem! There are tours almost all year round – the season starts in March and runs through the New Year. There are appropriate clothing provided by the company – I even wore a jacket over my bathing suit, because I was afraid of getting cold with the wind and water, which occasionally spills over you.
Andei de Jet Ski em Nova York! Tudo que você precisa saber sobre o passeio! - YouTube
If you, like me, watch Grey’s Anatomy, the award-winning ABC TV series that showcases everyday life in a hospital, you’ve probably wanted to get to know Seattle, the city where the series takes place. Right? I’m not even in the current season (I started to watch the show about yet two years ago), but it did not take many seasons to make me want to visit the city. So, we had this conference in Boise, Idaho, and without direct flight, we saw the opportunity to visit Seattle. And, I confess: although I wanted to know the place, I did not create many expectations – but, in the end, everything was a pleasant surprise. Seattle, in my point of view, can be summed up in a mix of San Francisco and Chicago. A beautiful, charming city. We spent two days there (which was not enough, I confess, I wish I could stay one more night!) And today I will list what we did there.
Flight + hotel
Seattle is in the state of Washington (do not confuse Washington with Washington DC!) Is in the West Coast, that is, in the opposite direction of New York. A flight out of New York takes about 5:30 – it’s not too long, but it’s not short either. We left New York on Wednesday at 6:15 am and got there around 9:30 am. We left Seattle on Friday, around 3 pm.
We stayed at the Belltown Inn, which is in the Belltown neighborhood, close to Downtown and also within easy access to the city’s most famous attractions. I found the accommodation expensive overall – but you can find rooms by Airbnb for cheaper prices. The hotel was great, we have nothing to complain about – we were able to get our room at 1 pm, which was great. They do not serve breakfast – but that’s kind of pretty much all over the United States hotels.
Leaving the airport
If you are staying in Belltown or Downtown, it may be a good alternative to use public transportation. Link Light Rail costs only $ 2.75 and is an option for those who do not want to spend too much. It’s about 45 minutes to Downtown and you can see the details on Google Maps. We were tired and decided to take an Uber! And it is very important to know that in the case of ride applications or even taxis, the meeting point is on the third floor of the parking lot, connected to the airport terminal.
After leaving the bags at the hotel, we went to lunch at Dahlia Lounge, a recommendation from a friend who told us to go there just for dessert. This restaurant has a more natural food menu, so to speak, and I chose a salad with falafel and Thiago chose a salad with tomato soup (one of the house specialties). Prices are, on average, $ 15 to $ 20. The famous dessert is the Coconut Cream Pie, popular in the city and simply delicious! Seriously, I just wanted a piece of it now. Oh, one thing worth remembering: if you want to try the pie you can buy it from the side of the restaurant at Dahlia Bakery.
The restaurant was a 5-minute walk from the hotel – so we went back to the hotel, we were able to check in and rested! We woke up at 4 in the morning to catch the flight to Seattle and we were pretty tired and this nap was necessary and invigorating.
Duly rested, we set out to explore the city! Our first stop was the Pike Place Market Historical District, which is around the public market, the Pike Place Market. We spent a lot of time walking around, since the public market is simply huge and I do not know about you, but I love public markets. Fruits, vegetables, flowers, seafood (many!). It is in the same area that there is also the oldest Starbucks in the US (which, it seems, always has a queue).
We stop by Piroshki Piroshki, a Russian bakery specializing in piroshki. We did not get any queues. The bad thing is that there is no place to sit, but the attendant recommended us a coffee at the market, the Sound View Cafe. Arriving there, we asked the waitress if there was a problem to consume what we brought from the bakery and she was very friendly and said that it was ok. We ordered two coffees, obviously. This cafe has a very good view of the bay.
After walking through the public market, we walked to Westlake Station to take the Monorail ($ 2.25 each ticket). Destination? Space Needle, one of the symbols of the city – is an observatory. We bought the tickets $32.50 each), without queues. By this time, it was already the end of the day, which I consider perfect for this type of program. The experience at the Space Needle is fantastic, from the elevator, which has glass walls, to the observatory itself, which has a breathtaking view of the city. It has an enclosed area and an open area – and this open area has glass protection, which provides a wonderful panoramic view! We loved it!
But our experience in Seattle would not be complete without enjoying the city skyline! And for that, we took a Uber Pool and went to Kerry Park, which, as I researched, has one of the most beautiful views in the city. It is nothing more than a gazebo, let’s say, that is in a super charming residential neighborhood. The view from here is simply breathtaking and, with the light was especially wonderful. Do not forget to walk to the end of the street and check out the Parsons Gardens, a small and super charming garden.
Dali, já era praticamente hora de jantar e, no caminho do Uber para o parque, pedimos dicas de restaurantes para comer frutos do mar para o motorista e para o outro passageiro. Eu simplesmente adoro conselhos de pessoas que moram na cidade! Fomos (de Uber novamente) ao Rock Creek, um restaurante maravilhoso, especializado em peixes e frutos do mar. No menu, há vários pratos pequenos para serem divididos bem como uma variedade de peixes (muitos servidos inteiros). Pedimos as Oysters ‘Brock-a-Fella,’ que são ostras gratinadas, cobertas com bacon (U$17), simplesmente fantásticas! Também pedimos Barbecued Spanish Octopus, polvo delicioso (U$20), e Whole Roasted Grecian Branzino (U$30), peixe assado, servido inteiro. Além disso, o pão da casa, com manteiga temperada, é sensacional. Foi uma experiência maravilhosa!
It was almost dinner time and, on the way to the park, we asked for restaurant tips to eat seafood for the driver and the other passenger. I just love advice from people who live in the city! We went (Uber again) to Rock Creek, a wonderful restaurant, specializing in fish and seafood. On the menu, there are several small dishes to share as well as a variety of fish (many served whole). We ordered the Oysters ‘Brock-a-Fella, which are oysters au gratin, topped with bacon ($17), just fantastic! We also ordered Barbecued Spanish Octopus, delicious ($20), and Whole Roasted Grecian Branzino ($ 30), a roasted whole fish. Also, the house bread, with seasoned butter, is sensational. It was a wonderful experience!
We started the day with breakfast at Biscuit Bitch Belltown, which literally stood next to our hotel. This place specializes in Biscuit. They serve assorted biscuit with toppings – I ordered one with bacon and cheddar and Thiago ordered one with sausage and eggs. The price is between $ 7 and $ 12. It is a very popular place. Oh, and they have two more locations in the city. From there, we walked to the Seattle Public Library, whose building has a fantastic architecture! We also walked into the library to take a look. We left the library heading to the Waterfront, which I would explain as a pier. It is super charming, with restaurants overlooking the bay and shops. That’s where the Ferris wheel is. We sat there and watched the bay – and the iconic ferry that always appears in Gray’s Anatomy, which departs from this area.
The idea, after that, was to visit Lake Union Park, a park that overlooks Lake Union. For this, we rented a Lime bike. This bicycle system is different from the CitiBike – it has no fixed stations, you can leave the bike wherever you want. You unlock the bike by the app and they are electrical, which makes it much easier to ride! We loved the experience. When we got to the park, unfortunately, it started to rain (and I also had to work out some things). So, we expect the rain to pass in the Flatstick Pub, a bar with games, lots of beer and pizza! I confess that we lost a lot of time that day because of the rain and also because, after the weather improved, we were looking for Lime bikes and all we encountered were bikes with problems.
It was late in the day and we decided to have lunch/dinner and, as we were in Seattle, we wanted more seafood. We took a long walk to the Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar, which is close to the Space Needle (you could see that we were crazy and did not plan our trip a lot, right?). This was, without a doubt, the best restaurant of the trip. We sat at the bar, which gave us a different experience because we saw the kitchen show happening in front of us. We ordered oysters, clam chowder, mussels, and shishito peppers. Here prices range from $ 10 to $ 20. Do yourself a favor and go to this restaurant when you’re in Seattle!
From there, we took a Uber and headed back to the Waterfront to catch a ferry (Water Taxi) to West Seattle. The idea was to see the city from the water and also from Aiki Beach. Well, the plans did not go as we expected, because we arrived after the last ferry. Check the times on the website. In spite of that, we did not give up on going to Aiki Beach and asked for a Uber up there. There, we took a bike and rode to the other end, Luna Park, to enjoy the Seattle skyline. It was..
Spring is one of the most beautiful seasons in New York – begins on March 21st and ends June 20th. And while New York offers countless activities and attractions year-round, you can still take advantage of the city’s seasonal programming. Today, I’m going to give 30 tips on things to do during this season in the city. Before anything else, it is worth a general overview of this period, which is the famous half-season: it starts cold and ends warm. That means you still have to wear warmer clothes at the end of March and during the month of April, but in May the scenario tends to improve a lot – I consider May and June two great months for those who do not like extreme temperatures. But, remember: check the weather forecast before your trip to decide what to pack. The first half of spring is very unstable, hence the importance of you checking the forecast days before boarding.
1. Cherry Blossom – First of all, it’s worth remembering: there’s a specific (and short!) period to see the cherry blossom in New York. They start appearing at the end of March. The peak bloom begins in the second half of April and runs until the first week of May. Obvious that these are predictions. Spring weather is kind of crazy and the higher the temperatures, the faster the blooming. But overall, this is the average. On the Brooklyn Botanical Garden website, you can follow the status of bloom through CherryWatch.
2. Smorgasburg –One of the coolest outdoor things to do in New York is undoubtedly Smorgasburg. It is a unique opportunity for those who are foodies, besides being a super cool and local thing to do. Smorgasburg is seasonal, meaning it does not go all year round – it starts at the beginning of April and runs until October, featuring 100 flame-grilling, live-torching, head-spinning, and lip-smacking entrepreneurs pursuing their dreams for crowds of 20,000 people in the most exciting food environment anywhere.
3. Frieze New York – it is one of the most famous art fairs in the city and happens every year in early May in a giant tent on Randalls Island. This fair lasts two days and brings together the most important art galleries in the world, which represent more than 1000 important artists. Click here to check details, dates and buy your tickets.
4. Rooftop do Met – few people know, but in addition to the amazing collection of art works, sculptures, and other artifacts, the Metropilitan Museum of Art has a seasonal rooftop – which is only open during the warm months. Every season, the rooftop has some exhibition. Besides that, the rooftop has a good open area with beautiful views of Central Park and also a bar serving drinks. A delight! Remember that the ticket to the Met $25.
5. Tribeca Film Festival –is probably the most important film festival in the city and runs from the end of April to the beginning of May, and features not only movies, but also panels and talks with special guests.
6. Highline Park – this park is one of the most well-known tourist spots in the city and it is special because it is a park built on an old elevated train line, and now is a public space for residents and tourists to enjoy. From April to October, there are free tours offered by the park’s management. Click here for more details.
7. Rooftops – we know spring is here when rooftop season starts! It is one of the best things to do in New York: having a drink at the end of the day in a place like this. The energy is so good!
8. Picnic – Few simple things in life are as great as sitting in a park to relax, read a book, and eat delicious foods. And I always recommend this kind of thing to anyone visiting the city during the warm weather period. It’s a very New Yorker thing.
9. Luna Park / Coney Island – in early April, Luna Park, in Coney Island, Brooklyn, opens its season, which runs until late October. Even if you are not the person that loves amusement parks, it’s worth visiting the place, which has a very different vibe from Manhattan. Eat a hot dog, go for a walk on the beach, enjoy the late afternoon … it’s delicious!
10. Dance Party Bryant Park – Dance Party includes live bands and expert dance instruction for a memorable night of dancing on select Wednesday evenings. All ages are welcome to explore a different dance genre each week. “Notable instructors plus amazing live music” (TimeOut New York) makes Dance Party a can’t miss event.. More info!
11. North River Lobster Co – this boat is located on Pier 81 and has a lobster and seafood menu as well as drinks and cocktails. There are three decks, and the boat has an open rooftop. Every 45 minutes, the boat leaves the Pier northwards, providing beautiful views of the city. Admission costs only $10 per person, and you can stay as long as you want. The menu has food and beverage options starting at $10. It is worth remembering that the boat begins its season in April and continues until the end of fall. Check the schedule.
12. Tulip Time! Experience spring with a visit to Queens Botanical Garden during TULIP TIME! Celebrate spring bulb flowers during the peak of tulip season. See over 16,000 tulips and tens of thousands of daffodils, and take part in the festivities. Check details.
13. Rooftop –one rooftop is not enough – I guarantee that after going to the first one, you will want to repeat the experience. Then, add to the list Mr. Purple, who is usually super busy on weekends.
14. Grand Banks – it is a bar and restaurant that sits on a … boat! Hand-built and christened in 1942, the F/V Sherman Zwicker is the last original saltbank fishing vessel in existence. It is always moored – more precisely at the Hudson River Park, at Pier 25 – but it tends to shake a little. As it is an open boat, the place only opens for a period of the year – from mid-April to mid-October. You can either get a drink and hang out, near the bar, or see the host to get a table.
15. Ride a bike – with the warm temperatures, change a day on the subway for a day riding a bike. There are several spots for you to enjoy a ride, but I’ll leave a tip less obvious than Central Park: the Hudson River Park, which is in West side of Manhattan, on the edge of the Hudson River, and is spectacular at the end of the day.
16. Boat ride at Central Park – Another cool idea is to rent a boat in Central Park – it costs $ 15 an hour and each boat holds up to four people. But, if you want an upgrade on the tour, how about experiencing the gondola? Yes, you can take a gondola ride in Central Park.
17. Governors Island – this island was as a military base for nearly 200 years and is only half a mile south of Manhattan. It has amazing views! The island is open from May to October. You will find a lot of parks, playgrounds, food trucks, and more!
18. Free Summer Movies -Noir, romance, action, sci-fi, and comedy–Parks has movie screenings for all types of film buffs during spring – and summer. Bring your blanket to sit, something to eat and enjoy your New York time! Check the schedule!
19. Trapeze classes- Anyone who has watched Sex and the City will remember that in one of the episodes Carrie appears practicing trapeze. The place is the New York Trapeze School, with locations at Pier 40 (Manhattan) and Brooklyn. The season at Pier 40 runs from April to October
20. Rooftop – another one, why not? Arlo SoHo always has a special spring decoration! Worth checking out!
21. Five Boro Craft Beer Fest – an open bar beer festival with local and out of state brewers serving over 100+ Craft Beers, with live music. Check out tickets and dates.
22. Manhattan By Sail – Manhattan by Sail operates with two boats: Shearwater and Clipper City. Each of these boats makes several tours, at different times, with different proposals. I suggest Sunset Sail, for obvious reasons.
23. Wolrd’s Fare – The World’s Fare is a grand celebration of equality and the diversity of New York City paying homage to the great Fair of 1964. Over 100 vendors from over 100 cultures will come together again to unite through authentic food, drink and music curated by New York City’s leading taste makers. Discover the World this Spring at Citi Field.Check out more details!
24. Spring Fling – Prospect Park Alliance celebrates spring in Prospect Park with a full weekend of special events and activities that brings together the entire community! – check the calendar.
25. Fleet Week – is the city’s time-honored celebration of the sea services. It is an unparalleled opportunity for the citizens of New York and the surrounding tri-state area to meet Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, as well as witness firsthand the latest capabilities of today’s maritime services. The weeklong celebration has been held nearly every year since 1984.. Check the schedule.
26. Shakespeare in the Park – a New York classic. Produced by The Public Theater, it happens every year at Delacorte Theater, Central Park and admission is free. As the name suggests, these are theatrical productions based on Shakespeare. They are always two plays a year, and the first one happens from the end of May to the middle of June. Check the schedule by clicking here. Free tickets are distributed on each day of the performance at noon (but the queues start well before!). You can also try your luck with the lottery through the TodayTix application.
27. Mad Sq eats -Mad. Sq. Eats brings the diverse flavors of the city’s best restaurants and food entrepreneurs to Worth Square, a prime location in the heart of New York’s historic Flatiron District. The highly anticipated bi-annual event draws hungry crowds of neighborhood residents, workers, and tourists who enjoy this unique opportunity to savor offerings from buzzworthy eateries. Check out the dates.
28. Rosas – June is the month of the roses. The New York Botanical Garden and the Brooklyn Botanical Garden feature gardens with several roses varieties. The bloom usually happens between the 8th and 10th of June. The two gardens usually promote a special event on a weekend to celebrate. Check details by clicking here.
29. Roosevelt Island – this residential island located between Manhattan and Queens provides a great tour – and is a good place to get away from the crazyness of Manhattan. The good thing about visiting the place in the spring is that it is not so cold!
30.Brooklyn Flea Record Fair – this event takes place next to Smorgasburg in East River State Park. The 50+ vendors include record labels, vintage collectors, and cool shops, plus DJs. Check the dates.
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that between the end of April and the beginning of May I have been in Europe – more precisely in Paris and Amsterdam. Many of you know that my sister lives in Paris and I went to spend a few days with her. Taking advantage of the fact that we were already on the European continent, we included a new city on our route and we choose Amsterdam. I am still going to share some tips from the French capital, but today I will tell you what we did in Amsterdam. I begin this post saying that Amsterdam has never been on my travel wish list – but the city has something to do with one of my dreams: see the tulip fields in Holland. So the push that we had to get to know Amsterdam had to do with that dream since when I went to research on it, I discovered that it would be the tulip season there. Sorry to disappoint you if you thought you could see the tulips year-round, lol. I’ll share the post on some topics, okay?
After some research, we go to Amsterdam departing from Paris by train, using Thalys trains. We had already used the train service in Europe – on the London-Paris route, but I must say that this route was easier! I explain: since London is outside the Schengen area, you need to consider extra time to get to the train station, go through Passport control, etc. In the case of Amsterdam, it’s like taking a domestic trip. It was literally arriving at Gare du Nord, from where the trains leave, look for your carriage, show the voucher to the attendant, find your seat and you’re done! The trip was super comfortable and the train stops three times before arriving at Amsterdam Central station. The trip lasts, in total, 3 hours and 30 minutes. The train is comfortable, has a bathroom and space for suitcases – my voucher said two suitcases per person, plus a handbag. Just to situate you: we left Paris on Monday at 11.15 am and arrived in Amsterdam at 2:45 pm.
Upon arriving at the station, we got the Tram to get to our hotel. Remember that to leave the station you use the QR code from your Thalys ticket. To use Tram, we bought a pass on one of the self-service machines (with English option). Can not remember accurately the price, but they were about € 3 for a pass that lasted an hour (you buy per amount of time). All of this we decided simply by opening Google Maps and simulating the route to see what it would suggest. We followed the app by the stops and went got off near our hotel.
The rest of the days, we walked a lot on foot. The city is a delight to walk around and, a 20-25 minute walk did not intimidate us. Also, it’s super easy to locate and follow Google Map.
We used the subway just once day because it was raining – and again, it was very easy, we just followed the Google Map instructions.
On the last day, to go again until the station, we ordered a Uber and everything ran smoothly!
I didn’t hear this from only one person: accommodation in Amsterdam is expensive! After a search, Thiago booked us the AMS Suites, which is not really a hotel, but rather a complex of rooms. There is no reception – one week before your reservation, you receive a code and use this code to enter the property and also to access your room (there are no keys). The location is great, the room is giant, there is cleanliness every day – and there was TV, coffee maker, electric pot, hair dryer, clean towels, etc. One detail worth remembering is that there is no lift and the stairs are quite steep.
Things to do
I researched some activities in Amsterdam – for those who like museums (it’s not my case), the city has several. I confess that at one point I was feeling FOMO. But then I met a friend who lives there and she told me that Amsterdam is a very chill city for tourism – it’s not a place full of attractions. The idea is to walk, enjoy, sit and drink something, you know?
So, my first would be this: walk a lot, so you’ll see the city. Especially by the canals area, a postcard of the city. Amsterdam is so beautiful, so charming, that in the first moments I saw its architecture I felt like I was in a movie. It’s all very cute!
Van Gogh Museum is a classic of the city. Yes, I’m not the biggest fan of museums, but Thiago likes it and I got to check it out. I confess that I thought it would be small, seeing from the outside, but the collection is insane. There’s a lot to see. The tip I give to people who do not like museums as much as I am: get an audio guide. This helps me stay focused and not lose interest so fast. Set aside at least three hours for the museum and buy the ticket early on the internet, as it runs out at various times.
This museum is in an area where there are other museums – such as the Rijksmuseum, one of the most important in the city and the Moco, of modern art.
Totally without planning, when we leave the Van Gogh Museum, we discover Albert Heijn, a supermarket chain, (there is a unit very close to the museums). It was raining and we went in to make time and, also, why not say, such as supermarket tourism. We bought many things, like Stroopwafels, chocolates, pastries, and spices.
Another super beautiful place is Begijnhof. They are historic buildings, now private residences. Think of it as a private courtyard. It has two churches, the Catholic Houten Huys, and the English Reformed Church.
Something that we loved to do was a canal cruise. There are several companies, various types of cruises, at various times. We did at sunset and it was amazing. It is very interesting to see the city of canals. In addition, we learned a lot about the history of Amsterdam. I believe that most offer audio guides, and there are several language options.
We also visited the Museum of Prostitution. For those who do not know, prostitution is a legalized activity in the country and this museum has little behind the scenes and stories. We found the museum small and the ticket a bit expensive for what it is.
Incidentally, speaking of this, I could not fail to mention the Red Light District, recommended as a point of interest in various blogs and websites I read about Amsterdam. The Red Light District is nothing more than the neighborhood of prostitutes. They rent windows and are available to guests. My verdict? Do not waste your time. Honestly, I did not find interesting, and in a way, I think this further reinforces the stereotype of the woman object in the view of macho men.
We did not go to the Anne Frank House because the online tickets were sold out (they open new dates every day, months in advance). To get tickets, you had to go to the museum and get a queue, and since our time in the city was short, we chose to leave that aside.
Van Stapele Koekmakerij
I confess: I travel to eat. I love searching for cafes, restaurants, and bars to get to know during the trips and it was no different in Amsterdam.
Pancake Bakery: we saw this tip on a Youtube video and we were super curious. The specialty here is savory pancakes and there is a large variety of toppings. We share a bacon, cheese, and pineapple one and seriously: if you go to Amsterdam, try it! We also ordered a sweet one, but honestly, it was ok. The savory is a must and huge! The pancakes are gigantic and cost from € 13 to € 16.
Cafe Bern: Swiss restaurant specializing in fondue. It was a tip from my friend who lives in the city and, I confess, would never catch my attention if it wasn’t by her. There is no English menu – but the attendants spoke English and were super helpful in explaining the options. We ordered the cheese fondue and the entrecote. You cook the meat in a delicious sauce. Each cost about €19 and we ate a lot! According to my friend, it’s the best fondue in town.
Bocca Coffee: charming coffee place. Everything we tried was delicious – especially a mashed pumpkin toast with nuts.
Hasje Claes: for Dutch food! This restaurant is huge and was also my friend’s tip. They have menus in several languages. For the appetizer, we got Salted Herring with onion and pickles € 7. This appetizer comes with potato and cucumber salad. In addition, the bread of the house, courtesy, is so delicious! I swear to you that when we finish the appetizer Thiago said he was already satisfied. He chose a classic dish: Hutspot-Hodgepodge (€ 17), with meatballs, cabbage, sausage.
Van Stapele Koekmakerij: simply one of the best cookies I’ve ever eaten in my life – and I live in New York City with dozens of varieties of cookies. This cookie has a white chocolate filling, seriously, do yourself a favor and eat this cookie!
De Laatste Kruimel: bakery/cafe with a lot of savory pies, pastries, bread. Ideal for a morning coffee or afternoon snack. Everything we ate there was very tasty.
Mama Makan Indonesian Kitchen: this restaurant serves Indonesian food. Incidentally, you will see many restaurants like this in the city, blame for the colonization of the Netherlands in Indonesia. It has an incredible view of the city and the ideal here is to order several dishes to share. The food is delicious and well worth it! Each dish we ordered to split cost about € 9 and we also ordered a meat skewer which cost €19.
The Butcher: gourmet burger with multiple locations in the city. It’s simply delicious! I ordered the truffle one, so good! They have vegetarian / vegan versions and prices range from € 9 to € 12.
Marijuana is legalized and it is not uncommon for you to smell the streets. In addition, there are several bars and cafes to consume. The famous spacecakes are well-known in the city and one of the places that is making more success is the Boerejongens Coffeeshop, which sells chocolate and red velvet cake – € 9 each.
The official language in Amsterdam is Dutch – but we had no problem in the city since everyone speaks English.
You remember my dream, from the beginning of the post, right? Yeah. Our itinerary in Amsterdam included a visit to Keukenhof Park, the famous tulip park in Lisse, about 45 minutes drive from Amsterdam. This is an overview and all the tips you need to know. Let’s go to our experience:
For more flexibility with schedules, we decided to rent a car. We did this on the Enterprise website, we paid about €49. We got the car at around 3:00 p.m. and returned at 8:00 p.m., with a full tank. The process was easy.
To get to Keukenhof, we only put the destination on Google Maps. The trip was quick and easy.
We bought the Keukenhof ticket online, in advance. The ticket has no date, no timetable – it is valid during the season, which runs from mid-March to mid-May.
The park is large and beautiful, with many, many tulips scattered! Unfortunately, part of my dream was incomplete, since I wanted to visit the tulip fieldt – which you can do by renting a bike at Keukenhof, but by that time all the tulips from the adjacent fields had already been cut.
If you follow my blog for a while, you know that one of the highlights here is related to explore the city on a budget. New York is considered one of the most expensive cities in the world – to live and to visit – but my mantra is: with research and information, you can save a lot! Of course, this will require more planning, but if the budget is tight, know that you can save money in many ways. And today I bring 10 tips that will help you in this mission!
1. Think outside the box when choosing where to stay! I think the biggest mistake people make is to think that the only possibility of accommodation in the city is limited to hotels in Times Square. And that’s not true. If you arethe kind of person that does not give up staying in a hotel, the tip is to search other areas of the city. Long Island City, located in Queens, is just a few subway stops from Manhattan and about 10 minutes from Midtown. The area is full of hotels with cheaper rates than Manhattan – and more convenience, such as larger rooms and even breakfast. Check out some options:
In addition, still talking about thinking outside the box, the tip is to use Airbnb and rent a room or an apartment. The advantage of Airbnb is usually the price and also the experience of living a more local vibe. When you rent a room you will be sharing space with the host and one of the cool things is the exchange of experiences and the different tips that your host can give you.
To conclude, another idea to save money is to consider a hostel. This is often the choice for those traveling alone, for the possibility of interacting with people from all over the world. Many people do not like the idea because they like privacy – but, it’s good to remember that there are hostels that offer private rooms!
2. Use public transportation! It seems obvious, but a lot of people have no idea how convenient is the public transportation in New York – and I think it is important to emphasize and reinforce this since there are those who only stay in Midtown simply because they are afraid to use the subway! Contrary to what happens in cities like Miami and Orlando, Florida, in New York, you do not need to rent a car. Aside from the city’s traffic being tricky at different times of the day, parking can be quite expensive. The truth is that in New York, you have to walk a lot and explore every corner of the city. Organize your script into large areas and use the subway to get to them. Do not forget that the city also has a very good bus system.
3. Quer subir num observatório, mas a grana tá curta? Às terças-feiras, o One World Observatory oferece duas entradas pelo preço de uma. Faça a compra com seu Mastecard, clicando aqui. Remember that the ticket is $37. This deal is valid only for online purchase through the website.
4. Esqueça o táxi – use aplicativos – Nova York conta com uma frota gigantesca de carros que operam no sistema dos aplicativos. Além do Uber, o mais popular de todos, há também o Lyft e o Juno. Mas se você quiser economizar mais ainda com esse tipo de serviço, a dica é usar o Via! É um plicativo de corridas compartilhadas, que faz trajetos inteligentes e rápidos. Vale lembrar que todos esses aplicativos aceitam pagamento somente via cartão de crédito. E para você que já quer chorar a cobrança do iof, lembre-se: ao usar táxi, é necessário deixar gorjeta de, no mínimo, 15%. Considerando que a alíquota do IOF é de pouco mais de 6%, ainda vale a pena usar os aplicativos!
Forget yellow cabs – use apps – New York has a lot of options besides yellow cabs. You can use Uber, the most popular of all, and also Lyft and Juno. But if you want to save even more with this type of service, the tip is to use Via! Via offers shared rides through smart and fast paths. It is worth remembering that all these apps accept payment only by credit card. Remember: when using a taxi, you must leave a tip of at least 15%.
5. Group tours are cheaper than private tours – exploring the city with certified tour guides is a great way to get to know the city and have a richer experience of local knowledge. If the idea is to have this experience without compromising your budget, look for group tours – try Free Tours by Foot (don’t forget to tip your guide!).
6. Take a ride on the Staten Island Ferry and enjoy views of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline. It is totally free. This Ferry connects Staten Island and Manhattan – up to 1415 passengers. Obviously, the distance is not the same as the tours on paid boats, but I’d say it’s a pretty satisfying view. Maybe you can not get that classic photo with the Statue close to you, but I guarantee it’s worth it. Also, we must not forget the incredible view to the Manhattan skyline. Even if you go visit the Statue of Liberty – take advantage of this free opportunity to see the city during other times of day – at sunset, for example.
7. Try your luck on the Broadway lottery. The online lottery for Broadway shows is a great way to get tickets for amazing musicals and plays for about $30 per ticket – which is very cheap for this kind of show. As the name suggests, this is a lottery, and, as you know, depends on luck, that is, there are no guarantees. This is a great choice for anyone who is open to any musical option – the trick is to try every possible lottery. Visit Broadway for Broke People website and see the options that show Digital Lottery and click for details and fill your entry. Remember: the important thing about lottery is consistency! Put reminders every day on your cell phone so you do not forget to try.
8. It is not just about fast food – Here on the blog, there are several posts with tips for affordable restaurants. Click here and explore the content. Save the ones that interest you on a list, to have options when you are hungry. Also, download apps like Yelp and do a search by filtering through price range ($$$). Want another tip? Many restaurants in the city have special prices for lunch on weekdays. Search Yelp for Lunch Special to find restaurants with special prices.
9. Tax-free for clothing and shoes – There is no tax for clothing or footwear priced at less than $110 in New York. It is worth noting that rates are calculated per item. That is if you buy $700 in clothing and shoes and no item costs more than $ 110, your purchase will have no tax. If there are any items whose price is more than $110, only that item will be subject to tax.
If you are looking for a hotel in New York City who has researched a little knows that a large portion of hotels in New York does not offer breakfast included in the rate. And if you choose a hotel like that, you end up having an extra worry during the trip: where to eat breakfast in the city? As this is a recurring doubt of my readers, I decided to elaborate this little guide, with several tips, for the most diverse profiles. After all, there are plenty of nice places to have coffee in the city.
If you are traveling on a budget – if you cant’ spend a lot of money, check out these tips:
Shop for breakfast items at the grocery store – check if your hotel room has a minibar and coffee maker. These conveniences facilitate breakfast ritual in your room. To buy the items – like fruits, juices, bread – I suggest looking for a supermarket. My favorite chain is Trader Joe’s and there are several locations scattered throughout the city. But obviously, there are other places like Whole Foods, Fairway, Key Food, among others. Also, it is worth remembering that there are several fruit stalls scattered around the streets of the city and they usually have great prices. Drugstores also sell food – but beware of those located in Times Square, as prices there are expensive.
Breakfast carts – on the sidewalks of the avenues and busiest streets in the city, close to the subway stations, you’ll see breakfasts carts. You canbuy black coffee – for $ 1 to $ 1.50 – and also muffins, donuts, and bagels priced between $ 1 and $ 2. These are certainly the cheapest options in the city.
Matto – There is a chain in New York called Matto which offers a variety of coffees, espresso, teas, cakes, muffins, cookies, sandwiches, and other snacks. Do you know the best part of this? Everything costs $2. Yes, that’s right. Matto has more than ten locations in the city and can also be a great place for that afternoon snack. Click here to check all addresses in the city.
If you want convenience – if the idea is to have maximum convenience and not spend any trouble at breakfast time, the tip is to look for the famous breakfast chains. In addition to the famous Starbucks – which has, let’s say, thousands of locations in the city, it’s worth looking at the units of Pret A Manger and Dunkin Donuts as well. I would say that the chances of having a location of one of these chains near your hotel are 98%. All of them offer coffee, sandwiches, muffins, among other options. Among these chains, Dunkin Donuts is usually the cheapest – but the options are a bit more restricted. At Pret A Manger and at Starbucks, you’ll spend an average of $8 to $10 for a coffee and a muffin/cake/ sandwich.
Tip: If you just want the classic black coffee, just ask for Black Coffee in any of these chains. If you want to add milk, there is always a counter with bottles of milk, cream, sugar, etc.
If you want convenience – but you don’t want the obvious – believe me, the coffee shops options in the city go beyond those mentioned in the previous topic and if you are looking for something different, I have some suggestions of other different chains and as or more delicious as:
Juan Valdez it is a brand from Colombia. In New York, there is only one location, but it is well located. In fact, Juan Valdez has only four locations in the United States. In addition to the diversity of coffee (cappuccino, espresso and the Filtered Coffee) the place also has other special drinks like frappes and milkshakes and delights from Latin cuisine as arepas and empanadas! 140 E 57th St
Caffé bene – Korean coffee chain and is strongly present in New York. I’ve been to multiple locations, and the atmosphere is very warm and cozy. The menu includes 12 coffee varieties – among them, Espresso, Macchiato, and Cappuccino – plus frappes and smoothies. Another highlight of Caffé bene is due to the delights like waffles, served with ice cream, cream or yogurt, and also the macarons, delicious! There is also a wide variety of bread and cookies. Check out the locations.
Irving Farm – Irving Farm was established in 1996 here in New York. One of its highlights is that the chain itself is responsible for coffee roasting process. Another highlight is that the locations also sell beer! That’s right! In addition to the varieties of coffee, there is also lemonade, tea, hot chocolate and hot cider. Speaking about pastries, there is a special variety of bagels and also brownie, cookies, and tarts. Check out the locations.
Gregorys Coffee – this chain began in 2006 and is known for its excellent customer service. There is also a loyalty program – every $ 50 spent, you earn $ 5 in credits to spend – which is great for those who drink too much coffee, right? There are also pastries such as muffins, cookies, and donuts! Check out the locations.
Blue Bottle – in 2000’s, in Oakland, California, a slightly disaffected freelance musician, and coffee lunatic, weary of the commercial coffee enterprise and stale, overly roasted beans, decided to open a roaster for people who were clamoring for the actual taste of fresh coffee. Using a minuscule six-pound batch roaster, he made a historic vow: “I will only sell coffee less than 48 hours out of the roaster to my guests, so they may enjoy coffee at peak flavor. I will only use the finest, most delicious, and responsibly sourced beans.”. Check out the locations.
Bluestone Lane – it is an Australian coffee shop chain that I love! The Avocado Toast is the best so far that I’ve tried. There are a lot of locations here in the city, but you definitely should visit the one in the Upper East Side, in front of Central Park, in a church (yes!) and also the one in the West Village, super charming. Also, try the Banana Toast as well, delicious! Check out the locations.
If you want a typical American breakfast – pancakes, waffles, bacon, eggs, jam – this is what you are looking for in order to have a classic American breakfast. Food is also culture and is part of the travel experience, so nothing better than trying, is not it?
Diners – if you are American, you don’t need this explanation, of course. But, if you are not, diners are fairly common in the northeast and midwest of the United States. The diners are famous for the endless menus – yes, they offer everything – and many are open 24 hours. The breakfast options include all the classic dishes such as eggs, bacon, pancakes, waffles, oatmeal and more. The dishes are generous and the prices are good – $ 8 to $ 15. To find the diner closest to you, just browse Maps by diner or use the Yelp app and do the same search. There are dozens of diners in the city – look for the nearest one to you.
Clinton Baking – it is a highly recommended place in the city – and its pancakes were rated the best in NYC by New York Magazine. The restaurant is located in the East Village neighborhood, trendy place in the city.The breakfast/brunch menu includes several classic brunch options, such as omelet, eggs benedict and of course pancakes. Prices range from $12 to $17. Bonus: the menu with typical brunch dishes is served every day – including at night! To check all the menus, just click here. Clinton Baking is open every day – at 8am on weekends and at 9am at weekends. If your itinerary is flexible and you do not want to wait, I suggest going during the week. 4 Clinton Street.
If you want an special experience – let’s say you want to have a special breakfast in a special place. After all, you’re in New York, right? In this case, I have some suggestions:
Asiate – It is located on the 35th floor of the Mandarin Oriental, a hotel located in Columbus Circle, a super charming area of the city, in an outstanding location, close to Central Park. You can imagine why this restaurant is so special, right? The view of the park, of course! Few places in the city have such a privileged view of Central Park, that is one of the postcards of New York For Breakfast (served every day from 7 a.m. to 10.30 a.m.), they offer egg dishes, which cost $25 on average, plus combos that include a plate + juice/ coffee/tea for $40 on average. Among the cheaper options, there are oats, granola, and avocado toast – prices from $15 to $30. Check out more information.
The Blue Box Cafe – Tiffany’s restaurant, located on the fourth floor at Tiffany’s, Fifth Ave. The restaurant menu has a fixed price option: breakfast, which costs $29, and includes tea or coffee + fruit or croissant + waffle, eggs, avocado toast or bagel with smoked salmon; lunch, which is $39, Check out more info and pics.
One of the developments in New York is the revitalization of South Street Seaport and Pier 17 – an area that was badly hit by Hurricane Sandy. I already talked a bit about the South Street Seaport region here on the blog and I think it’s a really nice area to visit, explore and eat. The streets are quiet and charming – it does not look like we are in New York, it even has a certain European atmosphere. Click here to check out more details. Another important development in the area is the Pier 17 building, which features contemporary design and includes open spaces, a rooftop, and several shops and restaurants. The Pier has been open for almost a year – but it is not in full operation yet. Several shops and restaurants should open soon – but the whole area can already be explored, including a great spot for beautiful photos.
Speaking of Pier 17 itself, one of the new spots is the R17 – bar and restaurant that sits on the rooftop of the Pier. We were there a few weeks ago – we were invited – to have the experience and it was so cool that I decided to share a post about it with you.
The R17 opened in November last year and is a 70-seat bar and lounge designed by the Rockwell Group, furnished with two fireplaces, pillows and blankets to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere for guests. The place has a super sophisticated vibe. The highlight is the cocktails and the tapas menu. Remember: it is not a restaurant itself, but much more a bar with snack options. And talking about snacks – amazing! The menu was created by Chef Cassidy Hallman and includes options with ingredients such as vegetables, scallops, chicken, potatoes – and prices are between $12 and $18. I would say that for two people, it is good to order at least three portions. You can click here and check the complete menu. We tried the Cauliflower & Mushrooms, the Crispy Sweetbreads, and the Potato & Caviar and I have no words to describe how tasty these plates were. Seriously people, an explosion of flavors – we love both the Crispy Sweetbreads so much that we order one more portion.
The drinks menu is another highlight. There are several cocktail options – which cost between $14 and $19 – and we love Pamplemousse Spritz and San Luis Swizzle. The R17 is an enclosed rooftop – runs year-round. In summer, from June, R17 will also feature an open area – and overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge, with different decor and different menu.
R17 opens from Tuesday to Saturday, from 4pm to 11pm.
Among the musicals that recently debuted on Broadway here in New York, I was quite curious to check out King Kong. All because of the very positive comments I heard about the production. King Kong debuted on Broadway in October 2018 and a few weeks ago I was invited by the production to check out the show up close. As I know a lot of people are curious about this musical, I decided to write my review for you.
As you can imagine, the musical is inspired by the classic movie with the same name – which had three versions, one in 1933, one in 1976 and another in 2005. I confess: I do not remember if I watched the movie, but if I watched, it reminded me of little or virtually nothing of the plot. It is 1931 in New York (a plus for those in the city – I love to see stories that have the Big Apple as the background). It is the time of the Great Depression and New York is a place of pressure, of despair, but also of hope. The protagonist is Ann Darrow. Ann is an actress, super fearless, dreamy and determined. She goes through a lot of things to stay in the city looking for some work as an actress, always without success. Until she meets Carl Denham. Cark is a director with a lot of ambition and invites Ann to work on his new adventure movie – and he promises to make her a star. Without thinking much, Ann falls into Carl’s conversation and embarks on a trip to the mysterious Skull Island. There, they find a six-and-a-half-meter monkey, known as Kong. Many things are out of control – Kong catches Ann and takes her to his cave, and Ann learns that the monkey has an incredible sense of protection. But since her plans included being a star – and not being held hostage by an animal, she escapes. But by now, Carl had one more wonderful idea: take the animal to New York and show it to the public. And the rest is history.
Well, we talk about a lot of facts about King Kong – starting by the creature itself. I mean: to tell such a story in the cinema, when you have a thousand technological devices to give life to such an animal is easy. But how do you do it on stage in a theater, for live performances? Yeah. King Kong already deserves all the honorable mention just for bringing a monkey on the stage that you know that it is not real – but that makes you believe that you’re seeing something for real. The “puppet” is actually a 20-foot-tall, 2,000-pound gorilla. It contains 16 microprocessors that give life-like emotions and movements. Yes, Kong has emotions, screams, grunts, wiggle eyes, mouth … His chest and abs are made of airbag-like materials and his limbs are made of high-pressure inflatable tubes. To give life to the star of the musical, there is a team of 13 talented artists – 10 on stage and three creating the biggest moves, facial expressions, and voice of the colossal puppet from a glass booth at the back of the theater. The 10 artists on stage take synchronized turns and perfect movements to give life to Kong’s body. And even though you see them onstage, that did not take away the spell – I felt from seeing that animal come to life. If you need only one incentive to watch King Kong, this should probably be the reason.
But the technology in King Kong is not restricted only to the monkey but also appears in different scenarios. The trip to Skull Island is made on a ship, and to simulate it, the stage rises to imitate the bow of a ship. It leaves from the East River and we are transported under the Manhattan Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge, passing by the Statue of Liberty. The feeling we have is that we are actually following a boat on the high seas. Later, the public is transported to a jungle where we meet Kong. And here it is already rolling one of the coolest scenes, with him running through the forest and the technological effects giving this effect, even without the puppet leave the place. In New York, we are taken to the Big Apple of the 1930s. The iconic scene of Kong climbing the Empire State Building is also breathtaking.
Another highlight of the musical is that the actress that was chosen to play the protagonist Ann is not the obvious stereotype of the films – white and blonde. Christiani Pitts, a black actress, was cast to play the girl who is much more than a pretty face. And when I say that Ann is more than a pretty face, it’s because of the way the story takes and that it made me question a few things. Ann creates a strong connection with Kong and when she gets what she wants and the success came through the exploitation of the animal, internal conflict is created. Is the success worth it at any cost? The incredible animal combo coupled with the technological effects and talent of an incredible cast makes King Kong a great musical choice for anyone who wants to get away from other famous musical options – such as Disney titles, considered more “childish” by many people. To be honest, I do not find the story itself so interesting – it’s a matter of opinion – but the production, the songs, and the cast are excellent and impeccable.
What the readers of the blog say – comments left in the photo I posted there on my Instagram about the musical:
“I LOVED the show, it was my first time on Broadway.We were delighted! “. (Natalia Lemos)
“I found the whole production fantastic, I was shocked from start to finish! No doubt worth every penny, and I would pay for everything again and even more if I had to.” (Caroline Teixeira)
“I saw the show and I found it AMAZING! I think it’s difficult for the other Broadway classics to overcome the immensity of the fantastic effects of this production, whoever is in doubt, super advise, is unforgettable.” (Adalgisa Martins)
“For sure it was worth every penny for the ticket, Broadway is money that you pay and leave with the impression that you could have paid more. Whoever is an art fan and likes well-made productions, you’re not going to be disappointed with King Kong. (Nataiza)