Holiday Gift Hunting

Holiday Season can be very stressful. There are so much to do and always not enough time.

You have to find a right outfit, come up with a menu, in case you are hosting a Holiday Party and on top of all that you have to find gifts for all the members of your family and friends.

To make your Holiday preparations less time consuming and more enjoyable we explored few Holiday Markets in the city, and found plenty of cool, affordable gift options.  You really don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on gifts, just walk around the city and get inspired by beautiful holiday lights, decorations and pop-up holiday markets with great selection of creative unique items.

One of the most popular Holiday Markets in New York City is the one in Bryant Park. Whatever you’re looking for, the Winter Village has you covered, with crafts and goods from over 125 retailers. You will find there hand-made candles, high-end teas, Christmas Tree ornaments, plenty of cute wardrobe pieces for cold winter days, hand-made interior decorations, and even unique hand-made  skin care products. Plus free ice-skating, and a pop-up restaurant overlooking the rink will make it even more enjoyable shopping experience. Winter Village at Bryant Park is going to be open until January 4 2015.

Christmas Market bryant park

 

Another big Holiday Market located in Grand Central is hosting 15th annual Holiday Fair with 76 vendors, from the New York Times to artisanal hat and jewelry makers. Who can turn down a break from the cold in Vanderbilt Hall? This Market will be open until December 24.

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One of our favorite Markets is The Union Square Holiday Market . When the red-and-white-striped tents go up, you know it’s time to start gift hunting. Sip on steaming hot apple cider as you wander through rows of stalls filled with ornaments, spices, and practically anything that can be handmade. This Holiday Market heaven is open until December 24.

holiday union square market

For the residents of Upper West Side  Columbus Circle Holiday Market will be open until December 24. After a winter stroll through Central Park, stop off at this annual market to grab some top-notch chocolate, hot cider, or comfort food. Then check out the locally made wares, including jewelry and homemade wooden puzzles. Plenty of cute gift options can be found there.

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Holiday Handmade Cavalcade is another Holiday pop-up market in Chelsea, open only for 1 weekend December 13 – 14. Here you will definitely find a gift for everyone on your list. Etsy.com brings its online crafts bonanza to life with a weekend in Chelsea Market. Over the weekend, 60 different vendors will sell their one-of-a-kind goods, including handmade clothing, toys, home wares, and stationery. Plus, the first hundred shoppers each day will receive a swag bag.

Happy Holiday Shopping Everyone :)

Statue of Liberty – “Liberty Enlightening the World”

skyline

The Statue of Liberty is one of the most recognizable attractions in the U.S., and since the 19th century it is the first welcome symbol for visitors, immigrants and citizens when entering New York’s harbor. Travelers from all around the world go every day to get a close glimpse of this Memorial Monument with its significant green color while visiting New York. It is not a surprise that the tickets sell out quickly and need to be ordered months in advance.

Reserve your tickets here: http://www.statuecruises.com/

As a gift from France to the U.S. in recognition of friendship, it stands as a symbol of liberty and democracy. The female figure is holding a torch in her raised right hand and a tablet with the adoption date of Independence Day July, 4th 1776 in her left hand.

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A crown completes the meaningful character. There are 25 windows in the crown which comprise the jewels beneath the seven rays of the diadem.

crown

 

Lady Liberty is 305’ feet high in total and there are 354 steps to climb up.

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Sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi designed the icon with Eugene-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc and Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel. The construction started in September 1875 and after the statue was finished in 1885, it was shipped to New York City in 350 individual pieces and packed in 214 crates. The pedestal was created by American architect Richard Morris Hunt and built on Bedloe’s Island which is now known as Liberty Island. President Grover Cleveland accepted the gift in the name of America on October 28th, 1886 with his speech “we will not forget that liberty here made her home; nor shall her chosen altar be neglected”. More than one million spectators were watching the ceremony with parades and fireworks.

Construction

Visitors can find out more about the history at the Liberty Island Museum which is located in the pedestal of the Statue. A free guided audio tour tells how it was conceived, constructed and restored.

museum

“How high can you make it so that it won’t fall down?”

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empire10empire6empireThis gigantic icon of New York doesn’t need a long description. The name itself explains everything.

Millions of tourists visit New York every year just to be at the top of the Empire State Building. With its Art Deco Style, this National Historic Landmark is the worlds’ most famous attraction. It is not a surprise that it has been pictured in many films and television productions.

It all started when John Jakob Raskob decided to compete with the Chrysler Building and assemble a higher building. By holding a pencil up to the architect firm Shreve, Lamb, and Harmon he just asked one question “How high can you make it so that it won’t fall down?” in order to fulfill his dream.  The 1454 feet and 103 story building was constructed in just 410 days and was officially opened on May 1, 1931.

For the next 4o years it was the tallest building in the world. The name is inspired from New York’s nickname The Empire State. The Empire State Building is open 365 days per year from 8:00AM to 2:00AM. Visitors can get amazing views over New York either from the main observatory deck on 86th floor or from the top deck which is on the 103 floor. Self-guided audio tours, powerful binoculars, showtime pictures and a live saxophonist on weekend evenings make this experience even more enchanting.

The Skyride on the second floor with its big screen thrill ride offers a virtual tour of New York.

An exhibit about the history on the 80th floor displays important facts, photos and mementos of 3400 workers, architectural sketches and renderings, notes and daily bookkeeping documents.

It doesn’t matter where in New York you are located, the tower lights let the beauty shine. The Lights are changing occasionally and even include a light show with a synchronized soundtrack.

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It has 1860 steps and is served by 73 elevators

 

 

Their own zip code is 10118

 

 

The Tower Lights get switched off at 2.00 AM every day

 

 

The antenna is broadcasting various television and radio channels

 

 

The Empire State Building Run-Up is a foot race which has been taking place since 1978. The participants run 1576 steps from the bottom to the 86th observation deck

 

 

A live saxophonist performs every week Thursdays to Saturdays from 10.00PM until 1.00AM. Visitors can ask for special song requests.

 

 

Every year a Facebook contest allows selected couples to get married at the Empire State Building on Valentine’s Day.

 

 

http://www.esbnyc.com/

The New York City Hall

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The New York City Hall is the oldest City Hall in United States and is designated a New York City Landmark. This National Historic Landmark is a part of the National Register of Historic Places. It was built between 1803 and 1812 by the architects John McComb Jr. and Joseph-Francois Mangin. The French Renaissance Revival architecture in Manhattan’s Civic Center is surrounded by the City Hall Park.

City Hall2City Hall

The significant rotunda and grand marble staircase represents the American Georgian Style which is part of the interior design.

On the second floor is the famous Governor’s Room which contains a huge collection of 19th century American portraiture with paintings of US presidents, New York State governors and New York City mayors. This French green wall room with historic furnishing featuring George Washington’s desk is still used for official public meetings, receptions and events.

The City Hall offers free tours for visitors with a glimpse at City Council Chamber, the City Hall portrait collection and the Governor’s room on weekdays.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/artcom/html/tours/city_hall.shtml

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Take a tour at the Tweed Courthouse

The Old New York County Courthouse is the second oldest City Government building after City Hall. It is known as the Tweed Courthouse and become famous when William M. Tweed “Boss” and his political cronies were using funds which they burglarized from the state government and the citizens.

It was Constructed between 1861 and 1881 by architects John Kellum (1861-1871) and Leopold Eidlitz (1876-1881). The significance on this American-Victorian Style building is that the interior is made of cast iron and plaster. The Brick and Stone details add a Romanesque Revival Style to it.

In it’s early years it was occupied by a poorhouse. Later it was used by NY County Supreme Court until 1929 and then by City Court. Since 1961 it is a municipal office building.

The Tweed Courthouse is designated as New York City landmark and is part of the National Register of Historic Places.

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The Tip of Manhattan: Battery Park

Battery Park is one of the oldest parks in New York. Enjoy the view of the Statue of Liberty and leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind you.Explore the Castle Garden which was the first U.S. emigration center before Ellis Island. Take the Ferry to escape to Staten Island or Governors Island.

Battery Park

The Battery Park

View of Statue of Liberty

View of Statue of Liberty

The Battery Park

The Battery Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wall Street

Wall Street is famous for being one of the busiest streets of the World. This 0,7 Miles stretch combines history with a hectic and fast paced daily routine.

Anchored by the Stock Exchange, it is one of the world’s principal financial centers.

Among with Trinity Church and Federal Hall you will find a unique style.

The Stock Exchange

The Stock Exchange

Trinity Church

Trinity Church

Explore Hudson River Park

Known as the longest waterfront park in United States, the Hudson River Park offers plenty activities.

Explore the park by feet or by renting a bicycle.

You also can do boat excursions, kayaking, rock climbing, playing Golf and Mini Golf, baseball, basketball, swimming, sunbathing and many many more.

Yes, there is a lot to explore but it is absolutely worth it and not to mention the amazing view at Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Jersey City!

Hudson River Park sunset

Hudson River Park sunset

Hudson River Park

Hudson River Park

Free workout classes

Free workout classes

View at Statue of Liberty

View at Statue of Liberty

http://riversideparknyc.org/

Staten Island Ferry

The Staten Island Ferry is one of the famous Things To Do when visiting New York.

The Ferry runs between Manhattan and Staten Island around the clock, every day of the year.
It is a great way to see the Statue of Liberty, Battery Park, Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, Governor’s Island and Ellis Island.

And it’s free.

Do not forget your camera!

Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry

http://www.siferry.com/

Visit the 9/11 Memorial Museum

The 9/11 Memorial Museum is just 5 minutes walking distance from our hotel.

You can skip the long waiting lines for tickets and order the passes with us. Please contact our Concierge Service for the passes to secure a day and time that is most convenient.

http://www.cosmohotel.com/default.aspx?pg=request-guest-passes

911 Memorial Service

911 Memorial Service

Freedom Tower

Freedom Tower

 http://www.911memorial.org/