New York City Hoops Day: Spend a Day in NYC Taking In Basketball Culture

The following is a post to from Patrick Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post , Patrick  speaks about spending a day in New York City. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

A trip to New York City is a must for any passionate basketball fan at least once in their lifetime. The city has a rich history of roundball and offers basketball tourists ample sights and events to build an overall visit to the city around.

New York Knicks Game

The first place to start is by visiting the ‘World’s Most Famous Arena’, Madison Square Garden. The Garden plays host to the NBA’s New York Knicks as well as the WNBA’s New York Liberty and the NCAA’s St John’s Red Storm. Attending a Knick home game is without a doubt a truly enthralling experience. Even in this, perhaps the franchise’s darkest times, the arena regularly sells out. Tickets are best booked early to avoid disappointment and this can be done through the official website of the team. Prices start at $50 and the NBA season runs from late October through to the playoffs in April/June.

Madison Square Garden All Access Tour

A nice supplement to attending a game at the Garden is to take the All Access Tour. The tour costs $17 (adults) and runs approximately every 30 minutes from 11:00am – 3:00pm. The tour is very extensive, including a lot of the history of the arena professionally presented to you by your guide. The tour takes in the following plus more:

  • the arena itself (including a great explanation of how the arena floor is switched from a basketball court to an ice hockey rink or a concert venue all in a matter of hours);
  • the skyboxes where the big corporate clients sit in luxury;
  • the WaMu theatre underneath the main arena which plays host to musicals, plays, live comedy and the annual NBA Draft;
  • several members only restaurants; and
  • the Knicks locker room.

It is a not to be missed experience for a Knick fan but also extremely good value for anyone interested in state of the art sports architecture.

New York Streetball

New York is also home to two of the most famous streetball venues in the world: Rucker Park and The Cage.

Taking the subway uptown to Harlem is a great experience in itself but to disembark and wander along to Rucker Park is truly an exciting moment for a hoops fan. The court is located at 155th St and Frederick Douglass Boulevard and during the summer months, crowds flock here to watch amazing basketball played by streetball legends. Several former players such as Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Julius Erving, as well as current players such as Rafer Alston and Jamal Tinsley made names for themselves here before plying their trade in the NBA. The games are quite well organised and although a streetball court at heart, the facilities are fantastic with an electronic scoreboard and perspex backboards. The picture below does not show the court in its true glory as, in mid-December, ice on the surface makes playing impossible.

The West 4th Street Courts, commonly referred to as ‘The Cage’ are located in Greenwich Village. Though perhaps not as internationally famous as Rucker Park, the courts also play host to some amazing streetball in the warmer months.

The NBA Store on 5th Avenue

No basketball trip to NYC would be complete without a stop at the flagship NBA Store on 5th Avenue. The store takes up two floors of prime shopping real estate and contains merchandise for every NBA and WNBA team. If you can think of something you would like in your team’s colours or with their logo, chances are the store has it stocked. It is a truly magnificent shrine to the NBA and well worth wrestling the 5th Avenue crowds to visit.

Suggested Itinerary for a Day of NYC Basketball

  • Start by heading uptown on the subway to visit Rucker Park in Harlem and, if the season is right, take in some of the best streetball seen anywhere in the world.
  • From Harlem, head back downtown to the Garden for the All Access Tour. If you are lucky, you may get to see either the Knicks or their opponent for the night at their shoot around session.
  • From the Garden, head back uptown to 5th Avenue and visit the NBA Store foran hour or two. Make sure the wallet is full or the credit card empty before you go!!!
  • In the afternoon, take the subway to West 4th Street and marvel at the second shining example of big city streetball that New York has to offer.
  • A few hours before tip off at the Knicks game, head to a restaurant or bar for some dinner. Many establishments around the Garden cater for sports fans and you can start taking in the atmosphere for the big game.
  • Make sure you enter the Garden an hour before tip off. This will ensure that no matter where your seats are located, you can make your way courtside for the teams’ warm up sessions. This is a great way to see just how immense NBA athletes really are and also allows for some sensational photos to be taken.

Free Television Tapings in New York City

The following is a post to from Patrick Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post , Patrick speaks about the free television tapings in the New York City. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart in New York City

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart tapes Monday through Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, but they require people to arrive by 4 pm. It’s necessary to reserve tickets months ahead through the website, and they have a requirement of being 18 years of age or older to attend a taping of the show. Usually at each taping there are at least a couple of people that do not show up, so arriving early before a taping can sometimes allow you to take up a no shows seat.


  • The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. 733 Eleventh Avenue, (212) 586-2477,

The Colbert Report in New York City

The Colbert Report tapes from Monday through Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 pm but it’s necessary to show up before 4 pm. Tickets need to be reserved months in advance through the website, but sometimes people will not show up. When people don’t show up, those that arrive early for the taping that do not have reservations can sometimes take the place of a no show. They require anyone to be 18 years or older to attend a taping.

  • The Colbert Report, 513 West 54th Street, (212) 586-2477,

Late Night with Conan O’Brien in New York City

Late Night with Conan O’Brien tapes from Tuesday through Friday from 5:30 to 6:30 pm. Call the ticket request line to make reservations between two and three months in advance. Standby tickets are also available at 9 am at the NBC studio lobby and are given on a first come first served basis. These standby tickets do not guarantee a seat at the taping but allow you to be a stand in for the people that do not show up for their reservation.

  • Late Night with Conan O’Brien, NBC Studio, 30 Rockefellar Plaza, (212) 664-3056,

Things to Do in New York City’s Koreatown

The following is a post to from Patrick Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post , Patrick speaks about things you can do in city’s Korea town.Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

New York City’s Koreatown lies in the middle of midtown Manhattan, right near major tourist sites such as the Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden and Times Square. Koreatown’s heart lies on West 32nd Street between Fifth Avenue and Broadway. With its frenetic energy and unique offerings, Koreatown is one of many neighborhoods that provide an authentic taste of life in this city that never sleeps. As the neighborhood caters to an immigrant and working class population, prices are cheap and won’t put a dent on the wallet.

Kimchi, mandoo and bulgogi

On each block of Koreatown are numerous Korean restaurants serving up different specialties. Two cheap places to eat at are Mandoo Bar and Woorijip. There are only a few tables at Mandoo Bar so there’s often a wait, which customers are willing to do for a taste of their hand-formed dumplings. The dumplings, which are made in front of patrons behind a window, come with regular fillings such as pork and chicken as well as more exotic ones like kimchi (fermented cabbage). Busy workers and students strapped for cash routinely drop into Woorijip for their buffet and prepackaged meals. Options include standard Korean dishes such as beef bulgogi (barbecued beef), japchae (stir fried noodles) and kimbap (Korean sushi).


Pinkberry and Red Mango: two rivaling frozen yogurt shops

After lunch or dinner, head to one of two frozen yogurt shops just yards away from each other. Pinkberry has quickly expanded since it opened its first location in West Hollywood, California in 2005. Their frozen yogurt, made from high quality nonfat yogurt and milk, not only tastes good but is good for you. Each cup contains active cultures for digestive health. Customers have about fresh fruits, three liquid toppings and dry toppings to choose from. While Pinkberry is more known in the U.S., Red Mango has a longer history in Korea and calls themselves the pioneer of all natural frozen yogurt. Red Mango has three basic flavors, original, pomegranate and Madagascar vanilla, and various toppings to choose from. Smoothies, iced chocolate and iced teas round out their menu.

Korean karaoke

Koreans love to karaoke and there’s no shortage of karaoke bars to fill their desire. As private rooms are rented by the hour, Korean karaoke bars are good for those who would rather not belt out their favorite tunes in front of a packed house. Inside each room are books of songs, usually one book for Korean songs and one for English, from which customers make their selections. Grand Music Studio and Chorus Karaoke Bar & Room are just two of Koreatown’s karaoke bars. On a typical weekend night, groups of friends can be seen packed inside the rooms singing and drinking away the night.

Korean gifts and souvenirs

For gifts and souvenirs beyond the typical New York monogrammed mugs and t-shirts, Koreatown is full of shops selling items straight from Korea. Koryo Books has been selling Korean books and magazines for more than three decades. There’s also a small selection of English books and a traditional Korean tearoom on the second floor. Han Ah Reum is a Korean grocery chain. Its multilevel location in Koreatown is filled with Korean delicacies such as Korean cookies, kimchi and Korean pears.

Koreatown is often bypassed by the millions of tourists heading to some of New York City’s major tourist attractions. For a taste of the real New York that its residents live and play in though, Koreatown is one neighborhood that should be placed firmly on the itinerary.

Free Theaters in New York City

The following is a post to from Patrick Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post , Patrick speaks about Free Theatres in New York City.Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

Most of these places do not offer reservations or tickets, but they can fill up fairly quickly at times, especially for the more popular productions. It’s often a good idea to call in advance to find out any information about tickets or reservations, or check their websites to look at their schedule and any available information.

 The American Academy of Dramatic Arts

The American Academy of Dramatic Arts is an institution that has trained many of the most legendary stars like Grace Kelly, Danny DeVito and Kirk Douglas. The academy alumni have received a total of over 72 nominatons for an Oscar, over 211 nominations for Emmys and over 60 nominations for a Tony. From September until February the Academy Company, which consists of the third year students at the academy, offer a free season of productions.

  • American Academy of Dramatic Arts, 120 Madison Avenue, (212) 453-5340,

The Boomerang Theatre Company

The Boomerang Theatre Company is a fairly new off off Broadway company that presents a series of new plays and readings throughout the year. They also offer a season of free Shakespeare in the park during the summer and do some plays in public places around New York City throughout the year as well.

  • Boomerang Theatre Company, 48 West 21st Street Fourth Floor, (212) 501-4069,

The 52nd Street Project

The 52nd Street Project is a program through Ensemble Studio Theater that offers short theater pieces for the children of Hell’s Kitchen, working with professional theater artists. The theater pieces are usually known for being well put together and the shows usually offer a lot of talent and original music.

  • 52nd Street Project, 500 West 52nd Street, (212) 333-5252

Free Meditation Classes in New York City

The following is a post to from Patrick Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post , Patrick speaks about free meditation clasees in the city of New York. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

Fortunately, there are some places that offer frequent meditation classes for free. These locations include the Shambhala Center, which offers a full schedule of classes and lectures on Eastern and Buddhish practices, which includes many forms of meditation.

Another option is The Asian Classics Institute which is located at the Three Jewels Community Center, which offers lots of general courses as well as teacher training in meditation and Tibetan Buddhism. The last option is Falun Dafa, which is a practice that combines exercises and meditation.

 Shambhala Center of New York

The Shambhala Center of New York offers a full schedule that offers lectures and classes on both Eastern and Buddhist practices. This includes many forms of meditation, as well as yoga. They offer two learn to meditate classes on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. and Sunday at 12:00 p.m., as well as an open gathering on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.

The Open gathering offers lectures by teachers, as well as guided meditation. All of these are based on donations, though they do not require donations to be made. They also offer a work study program where every hour of work equates to an earning of $10, which is used towards classes.

The Asian Classics Institute at Three Jewels Community Center

The Asian Classics Institute at Three Jewels Community Center offers both teacher training and general courses in meditation, as well as Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan language. All of these courses are completely free, and the general courses are offered to the general public, allowing people to just drop in as they please. The Community Center even offers free coffee and tea and has internet access and a free library.

St. Paul’s Chapel in New York City Volunteer Ministry and Memorials after the Fall of the Twin Towers

The following is a post to from Patrick Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post , Patrick speaks about Volunteerism in New York City. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

In the days immediately following September 11, 2001, New Yorkers and people around the world responded with an outpouring of volunteerism, donations, and good wishes. That desire to help manifested most profoundly at St. Paul’s Chapel, the oldest continuously occupied public building in Manhattan, located immediately adjacent to the site of the former World Trade Towers.

The History of St. Paul’s Chapel in New York

Built by Andrew Gauthier in 1766, the chapel is unassuming by today’s standards. An example of Georgian Classic revival architecture, it was considered a country church when first built. Constructed of Manhattan mica-schist, its woodwork, carving, and door hinges are handmade. The steeple was added in 1794.

George Washington chose to worship at St. Paul’s on the day of his Inauguration, and it houses both George Washington’s pew as well as the Governor’s pew. The chapel was saved from the Great Fire of 1776, which destroyed most of the city, by a citizen’s bucket brigade stretching from the Hudson River. Though an ancient sycamore in the churchyard fell, the chapel survived the attacks of 9/11, blanketed by a thick layer of ash.

Volunteers Rush to Assist at Ground Zero

Immediately after it was pronounced safe for occupancy, staff and volunteers began arriving at St. Paul’s. The wrought iron fence enclosing the churchyard became an impromptu memorial, with survivors coming to search for missing loved ones and leaving offerings and good wishes of every kind. The staff at St. Paul’s decided to erect 15-foot canvas panels for people to write their prayers and thoughts. They originally estimated a need for 15-30 panels, but well-wishers eventually filled over 700!

The staff of St. Paul’s, an Episcopal church, and thousands of volunteers mounted what was to become the principal ministry for the rescuers and firefighters at Ground Zero. Transformed inside to provide sleeping cots, food, medical attention, and counseling, it was visited by more than 3000 workers in the first three months of recovery.

Thousands of ordinary people immediately came to help: podiatrists, massage therapists, chiropractors, chefs, and counselors. Greater than 500 musicians played at St. Paul’s in the nine months after the attack, and they made certain that Amazing Grace and Danny Boy were each played at least once every day.

Ministry to the Recovery Ends

From September 2001 to May 2002, more than 14,000 volunteer signatures would be entered into the sign-in books of St. Paul’s ministry. Volunteers report that in the first weeks after the attacks the atmosphere was subdued. With time, the mood grew more uplifting as people focused on the positives of what they were accomplishing.

On May 30, 2002, a ceremony was held to mark the end of months of cleanup in “the pit.” The last shift of St. Paul’s volunteers worked from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, May 31. An exhibit entitled “Out of the Dust: A Year of Ministry at Ground Zero” was opened to the public on the first anniversary of September 11th. By Christmas of 2002, visitors from around the world had viewed the exhibit, and by March 7, 2004 the exhibit drew its one-millionth visitor.

The St. Paul’s Chapel adjacent to Ground Zero in New York City is a historic building with a rich history, open to the public. Clergy and volunteers alike played a pivotal role in ministering to recovery workers in the aftermath of the 9-11 attacks.

New York City to Montreal Fall 2009 Cruises Crystal Cruises Offers NYC and New England Fall Cruises to Montreal

The following is a post to from Patrick Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick Crystal cruises. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

Crystal Cruises makes the seafaring trek from New York City or Boston to Montreal with stops that include, among others, Newport, R.I.; Bar Harbor, Maine; Saint John, New Brunswick; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Quebec City and Montreal in the province of Quebec.

The Crystal Cruises ship Crystal Symphony embarks on four theme cruises to the region beginning October 2009. The cruises last 7 or 11 days. The Crystal Symphony can accommodate 922 guests with amenities that include casino and gym.

  • Visit Crystal Cruises
  • Call 1-888-722-0021
  • Remember to shop around. Don’t take the price quote that’s shown. A phone call or online e-mail inquiry often leads to better deals!

Cruise from Boston to Montreal

The Quaint Canadian Classics cruise offers a quick New England and Maritime fall getaway and departs Boston aboard the Crystal Symphony Oct. 1. The seven-day cruise stops in Bar Harbor, Saint John, cruises the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the St. Lawrence River, and again stops in Halifax and Quebec City. It arrives in Montreal Oct. 8.

  • Cruise: 7-day Quaint Canadian Classics
  • Departs: Boston Oct. 1
  • Arrives: Montreal Oct. 8Fares: Start at $2,575
  • Extra info: Check the Web site for special deals

Take a Little Longer

More Maritime ports of call can be had aboard the 11-day Autumn Adventure cruise, which departs Montreal Oct. 8 and arrives in New York City early Monday morning Oct. 19. Ports of call aboard Autumn Adventures include Quebec City, Halifax, Saint John, Bar Harbor, Boston, and Newport.

  • Cruise: 11-day Autumn Adventure
  • Departs: Montreal Oct. 8
  • Arrives: New York Oct. 19
  • Fares: Start at $4,050
  • Extra info: Cruise features a full day in Quebec City
  • Extra info: Autumn Adventure overnights in Boston

Learn While Cruising the St. Lawrence

The 11-day Fall Jubilee Smithsonian Journeys-theme cruise offers a mix of cruise ship fun and expert advice as it keeps the renowned Smithsonian Institute near and dear. An expert from the Smithsonian travels aboard to offer unique insight to the region.

  • Cruise: 11-day Fall Jubilee
  • Departs: New York Oct. 19
  • Arrives: Montreal Oct. 30
  • Fares: Start at $4,050
  • Extra info: Cruise features two days of cruising the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the St. Lawrence River
  • Extra info: Fall Jubilee overnights in Boston and Montreal

Cruise New England Then Head South

The 11-day New England Celebrations promises blazing fall colors with stops that include Newport and Halifax. Any cruise compliments/complaints can be directed to the Crystal Cruises president himself as cruise line president Gregg L. Michel accompanies the trip.

  • Cruise: 11-day New England Celebration
  • Departs: Montreal Oct. 30
  • Arrives: New York Nov. 10
  • Fares: Start at $3,835
  • Extra info: Cruise enjoys a full day in Quebec City
  • Extra info: Cruise stops at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, the birthplace of the Canadian Confederation
  • Extra info: New England Celebration overnights in Boston
  • Extra info: For an extra $4,185, remain onboard and venture south as the cruise continues as the Caribbean Connoisseur from New York to six Caribbean ports.

Free Stand Up Comedy Shows in New York City

The following is a post to from Patrick Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post , Patrick Speaks about free stand up comdey shows in NY city.Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

The New York International Youth Hostel

The New York International Youth Hostel offers a stand up comedy show every Wednesday at 8:30 pm. This show is free and open to the public, offering a variety of up and coming stand up comedians from New York City. This stand up comedy shown is known for attracting many comedians that end up gaining popularity not long after practicing in locations like this. This location also offers other types of free events and shows that they host on occasion. Further information can usually be found on their website.


New York International Youth Hostel, 891 Amsterdam Avenue, (212) 932-2300,

The Magnet Theater

The Magnet Theater offers a free stand up comedy show every Saturday at midnight. They also offer free improv classes once per months, as well as other free shows. The other free shows are offered randomly, so it’s always best to check their website to see their schedule and find out any further information. Their Saturday stand up comedy offers improv with a mixture of veterans as well as many students, or anyone in the audience who would like to participate.

Magnet Theater, 254 West 29th Street, (212) 244-8824,

The People’s Improv Theater

The People’s Improv Theater is one of the most popular spots in New York City for improv and sketch comedy. They offer a show known as the jackpot of jollies every Wednesday night, which offers four free comedy shows, starting at 7 pm. The show offers many guest comedians as well as their improv teams, ending in a competition between the improv teams. They also offer other free comedy shows on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday night at 11 pm, offering more improv as well as stand up open mic. Their Wednesday night shows are the most popular, and tend to fill up very quickly.

The Peopl

Find Low Rent No Fee Apartments in New York City

The following is a post to from Patrick Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post , Patrick speaks about finding low rent apartments .Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

Mitchell-Lama Housing Program in New York City

 Mitchell-Lama Housing program was started in 1955 to help provide affordable rentals to moderate and middle income families in New York City. They have over 97 City sponsored, moderate and middle income rentals that offer over 44,600 units total.

  • Department of Housing Preservation and Development, 100 Gold Street, (212) 863-6500 (city sponsored Mitchell-Lama), (212) 863-5610 (affordable housing hotline),

New York City Housing Development Corporation in New York City

New York City Housing Development Corporation has many programs that help people get into many of the buildings in New York City, most of which are very difficult to get into. This company offers developers tax breaks and low interest loans if they make a portion of their apartments, in some of the swanky new buildings in New York City, available to low income and middle income people and families at rent prices that they can afford. Each of these buildings has its own program and income restrictions, but this income often is quite high (sometimes over $150,000 for families of four and more) acknowledging the fact that even high incomes sometimes don’t go far in New York City. There is a lot of paperwork and interviews involved to get in, but after that it does not matter what your income is because you do not need to maintain your low or middle level income to keep your apartment. On their official website you can find information about the buildings currently taking applications as well as those that will begin taking applications in the near future.

Bars With Trivia Nights in New York City: Drinking and Playing Trivia Games in Manhattan

The following is a post to from Patrick Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick  speaks about playing a game of trivia.Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

Playing trivia after a hard day at work is a great way to unwind with friends and in New York City its possible to play trivia just about every night of the week. Trivia nights in Manhattan’s bars and pubs are a great way to show off that specialized knowledge and many places offer prizes for the night’s trivia winner.

Monday Night Trivia in New York City

Johnny Foxes NYC at 1546 Second Ave between East 80th and 81st Street has a game every Monday at 8PM. Stop by beforehand for happy hour which runs from 11AM-8PM and offers $3 domestic drafts as well as $4 well drinks.

Tuesday Bar Games in NYC

Joshua Tree is a sports bar and restaurant at 366 W 46th between 8th and 9th Avenue. They offer trivia every Tuesday at 8PM with prizes. Go early for happy hour which runs from 4PM to 8PM.

Keats at 842 Second Avenue between 44th and 45th Streets has a Quiz Night every Tuesday starting at 8:42 PM. Questions cover sports, history, literature, and music. Burgers are less than $10 and are served on an English muffin.

Play Trivia on Wednesdays in Manhattan

Common Ground is a bar and restaurant located at 206 Avenue A between 12th and 13th Street. Their Wednesday night game starts at 9PM with various prizes for the winners. Specialty cocktails and paninis run about $10 each.


Corner Stone Tavern at 961 Second Avenue and 51st Street offers trivia every Wednesday from 8PM-10PM with $1 Bud Light drafts from 8PM to midnight. Compete in teams of two to six for prizes. Questions can range from anatomy to movies to literature and history.

The Crocodile Lounge at 325 East 14th Street has Skeeball and offers a free personal pizza with every drink bought. Their Wednesday night trivia starts at 8:30PM and awards free drinks to the winners

The Banshee Pub is an Irish pub at 1373 First Avenue and 74nd Street. The pub quiz is every Wednesday night at 9PM.

Playing Trivia in NYC Thursday Nights

Timeout magazine says Flight 151 on Eighth Avenue between 17th and 18th has a game every Thursday night.

The Village Pourhouse at 64 Third Avenue and 11th Street has trivia every Thursday before its late night beer pong game.

Finding Trivia in New York City

Manhattan isn’t the only happening place in New York City, the City’s other boroughs offer fun game nights as well. It’s also important to keep in mind that New York changes often with restaurants closing, opening, or changing their schedules. It maybe best to call or check the bar’s website before heading out, if trivia is the main event of the night. Also check websites such as Stump Trivia which organizes events throughout the nation including weekly events at pubs. TimeoutNY also stays up to date on New York happenings and a search on their website could turn up good