Tag Archives | new york

5 Great Cities for Couples

As you know, 1000 Fights is all about encouraging couples to get out and see the world together.   We have put together our 5 favorite couple travel cities.  These are not the “most” romantic cities for couples…look for that post next month!  What we have put together is five great cities to travel as a couple with something for both of you.  Its no secret that we strongly recommend that when couples travel, you spend some “alone” time seeing things that interest you “sans” your mate.  While some folks frown on this, it really works for us.

How did we select these cities?  First of all, it is a bit limited, we only picked cities that we have been to and are very familiar with.  Have you been to a great couple city?  Zing us a comment below.  Besides that, we picked cities that appealed to us individually and collectively.  Cities that could do it both, entertain us on our own and together and do it with panache!

fountain rome italyRome for Couples

For the Gals:

Let us help you plan your “girls” day in Rome.  Start off in the morning at the Villa Borghese.  The Villa is surrounded by a huge central park right smack dab in the middle of Rome.  The villa houses the newly renovated Borghese Gallery.  The Gallery itself is a work of art, not to mention the works of art displayed inside.  Don’t miss Bernini’s famed Apollow and Dahne.  In a word: stunning. (galleriaborghese.it).

After you have taken in the majesty of Borghese, why not hit a famed roman bath/day spa?

For the Guys:

What is more manly than standing in the colosseum and shouting to the world, “ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!?”  Channel your inner Russell Crowe.  Besides Pamela Anderson’s chest….the colosseum is likely one of the most photographed structures that man has ever made.  With that said, both of them are much more impressive in person.  Throw down the extra euros and take a real tour.  The little details on the colosseum are so impressive.  The stadium could seat 50,000 people!

To mark the grand opening of the sporting complex, a hundred-day games were held by Emperor Titus in AD 80. In the process, some 9,000 wild animals were slaughtered!  The entire floor was flooded on occasions and great sea battles were staged!  How cool is that?

Together time:

Rome is a great walking town.  We recommend the Trevi Fountain.  Toss a coin into the fountain and you will return to Rome.  Two coins and a new romance will blossom. (hopefully with the one you are with?)  Three coins a happy marriage.  Four coins?  That just means you don’t have enough for gelato.  Don’t make this mistake.

 

London for Couples

Jane austin London EnglandFor the Gals:

Simple!  Leave the guy behind and rent a car and head to Jane Austen’s house!

For the Guys:

We highly, highly recommend the Imperial War Museum:  http://www.iwm.org.uk/.  For starters the entire museum is free!!!  Save the cash, we won’t tell!

Together time:

We have two really good ideas for you.  The first is to catch a play in the West End.  Dress up to the nines and have a great dinner right on the West End and see some incredible theatre.

For those on  a budget, grab some curry at one of the many little street shops and ride the London Eye together.  The views are to die for!

 

New York for Couples

For the Gals:

New York, New York

Shopping! On you marks… get set… GO!  New York is also a great place to take and do some personal pampering.  There are an endless supply of amazing spas, and salons.

For the Guys:

New York is all about the food and the sports!  There is nothing in the world better than a fat slice of Brooklyn pizza, just dripping with cheese and pepperoni!  BoooYa!  Then take in a game-pick your pleasure:  Yankees, Mets, Knicks, Rangers, Islanders, Giants or Jets!  So much to choose from!

Together time:

The Big Apple is a very special place for couples.  Our fave couple experience is take the elevator to the top of the Empire State Building.   We picked the perfect evening recently, the building was in the clouds and lit up blue!  It was so beautiful.  The view from the top is not to be missed.

 

Vancouver, CanadaVancouver BC for Couples

For the Gals:

Ditch the guy and take a ferry over to Victoria Island for the day!  It is well worth the trip.  Candidly if you pull maps up on google, Victoria is a hop, skip and a jump away from Vancouver.  In reality it is a bit further.  It will take all of a day to get there and back and see a few of the better sites.  The ferry terminal from the mainland is a bit out of Vancouver.  The ferry across the drink will take 90 mins or so.  Bring a girlfriend and chat it up while taking in some truly amazing scenery.  Arriving in Victoria you can take high tea at The Fairmont Empress, then you can hit Butchart Gardens or do some antique shopping in the antique district.

For the Guys:

Vancouver BC is loaded with outdoor adventures.  Take out a kayak, rent a bike or just head for the hills.

We also hear they have a pretty good hockey team.  Watching hockey with a bunch of Canadians is an experience every man should have.

Together time:

Vancouver is a great couples town.  For the best in couple time we suggest a few ideas:  First you must dive into the food scene.  We did a post on some of our faves to give you a head start.  Then we highly recommend taking a stroll down by the waterfront or in one of the many parks in town.

paris franceParis for Couples

For the Gals:

Just go here and thank us later:  http://www.girlsguidetoparis.com/

For the Guys:

France does have something to offer the Hommes.  We recommend taking in the Military Museum aka Les Invalids.  I know what you are thinking…France has one of those?  Yep, and its pretty cool.  See Napoleons tomb as well as tributes to French generals when they knew how to fight wars.

Together time:

If we have to give you ideas for this, you have bigger problems!  For those romantically challenged here is our sure fire recipe for a perfect evening in the City of Love.  In the early evening, hop on hte metro to the Basilique du Sacre Coeur in Montmartre.  Watch the sun set over Paris holding the hands of your lover.  Then experience the delicious cuisine of Montmartre.  Then ????

So that is our humble list of great couple cities.  Do you agree?  Disagree?  Did we miss a city?  Just click below, we would love to hear from you.

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The Ghost Towns of New York City

So what makes for a good ghost town? Tumbleweeds and shanty buildings? Dusty and deserted roads?

A ghost town is the remnants of a place that is a shadow of its former vibrant self. A place that once gleamed with the sparkle of humanity only to find itself deserted and isolated. If we follow this definition, there are three really captivating ghost towns smack dab in the middle of one of the busiest cities in the world, New York City! Join us as we explore these modern day ghost towns.

Immigrants Landing at Ellis Island

Ellis Island

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
 I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”-Emma Lazarus  

Perhaps one of the most recognized statues in the world, Lady Liberty stands with her lamp extended, welcoming the world. At her foot rests our first stop in our quest to find the ghost towns of New York.

Ellis Island was a sight to behold in its hay-day. The Island housed the largest and most prolific immigration station in the world from 1892 till 1954. The Island has had a number of nicknames in its storied history: “Heartbreak Island” and “the Island of Tears.” Heart break references the fact that a small number of immigrants were not allowed entry into the US after their treacherous ocean voyage.

A number of interesting characters graced the halls of Ellis Island including: Composer Irving Berlin, Make up guru Max Factor, Comedian Bob Hope, Coach Knute Rockne, and Actress Claudette Colbert to name a few.

Visiting the island is truly an experience not to be missed. Take in the Statue of Liberty of course, but more importantly wander the Ellis Island Museum. Contemplate what it would have been like to enter these halls, the air filled with dozens of different languages. Take in the dreams and hopes of immigrants seeking a better life. Then wander outside to the “Kissing Post” where families long separated were once again united. Powerful! Don’t miss the holding cells. A somber remembrance of what must have been a terrifying experience for the small number of people that were detained here for a number of different reasons.

 

Hart Island

One of the most interesting and disturbing places in all of New York City is Hart Island. Modern history of the island begins in 1869 when the city of New York purchased the island for $75K. The Island has served as a Civil War Prison camp, a boy’s workcamp, a Nike Missile bunker, and currently serves as a potter’s field for the entire city. If you are looking for a spooky place, look no further.

At the midpoint of the Civil War, the Island was built up as a union prison for captured confederate soldiers. Over 3,400 Rebel soldiers where confined here. In the 1870s the Island was used as a place to quarantine people with Yellow Fever. The Island subsequently was used as a women’s insane asylum.

Today the Island is a cemetery. According to Hart Island Project, a group that is working to document the internments: The City Cemetery occupies 101 acres in the Long Island Sound on the eastern edge of New York City. It is the largest tax funded cemetery in the world. Prison labor is used to perform the daily mass burials that number over 850,000. Citizens must contact the prison system to visit Hart Island. There is no map of the burials and no one is permitted to visit a specific grave. The Department of Correction restricts visitation to those who can document the burial of a family member buried on Hart Island. Records at this location consist of intact mass graves since 1980.

New York city“Prison labor from Rikers Island is used for burial details, paid at 50 cents an hour. Inmates stack the pine coffins in two rows, three high and 25 across, and each plot is marked with a single concrete marker. The first pediatric AIDS victim to die in New York City is buried in the only single grave on Hart Island with a concrete marker that reads SP (special child) B1 (Baby 1) 1985.” Wikipedia.

The New York City Department of Transportation runs a single ferry to the island from the Fordham Street Pier on City Island. The only people allowed to visit the Island are those who have family members buried there, or get a permit for educational or research purposes.

The Lower East Side Tenement Museum

The Tenement Museum

One of the most moving and interesting museums in NYC is the Tenement Museum. It is located at 108 Orchard on the Lower East Side. The museum is a window of what life was like for NYC immigrants from 1850’s through the Depression Era. NYC, during the hay day of the tenements, could truly be called a melting pot. Immigrants from all across the globe, were living in close quarters.,

An estimated 7,000 people lived in 97 Orchard Street between 1863 and 1935. Working with genealogists and volunteers, the Museum has identified 1,300 people who owned, lived, or worked in 97 Orchard Street. As you walk solemnly between rooms in the building you read of the desperate plight of its one time residents. Stories of single mothers that raised a dozen children. You learn of entire families that lived and worked in one tiny room. During our recent visit, we walkedthrough the narrow hallways and rooms walking through the experience of a German family whose husband left his wife to fend for herself and an Italian immigrant family.

One cannot help but be moved by the humble circumstances that those who occupied the tenements faced. The building lacked indoor plumbing and electricity. Electric light was not installed in 97 Orchard until 1924. Crime and poverty ran rampant. A host of different illnesses ravaged the tenements on several occasions. If you want to get a good idea of what immigrants faced in NYC, see the movie, “The Gangs of New York.”

Visiting the museum will take you at least two  hours. You must take a guided tour. Sign up ahead of time. You can pick between three tours and then walk back in time into the living rooms and kitchens of the past.  Once your complete the tour, cross the street and take in the visitor’s center. There are some great books and memorabilia.

New York City has so much to offer the couples that travel together. It’s one of 1000 Fights favorite places!   Book your flight and see ghost towns in NYC.  Have you been to anyone of these sites?

Please leave a comment below and let us know what you thought.  We love a good fight.

 

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101 “Other” Things to to in Holland

One of our fave European cities is the “AMS” (Amsterdam, Netherlands).  Amsterdam is a collage of different feels-old and young.  After our first visit, Luci commented:  “this is the youngest oldest city I have ever been.”  She could not be more right.  Despite the fact that the architecture is so historic, the population of the city is decidedly dominated by the 25-35 set.  AMS loads of fun at all hours.  We recently did a post on great layover plans for the city.

Many travelers today taint their view of the country based on two vices: Pot and Prostitution.   Unlike other “escape” locales like Las Vegas, with AMS take away the “SIN” and you are left with an amazing “CITY”.  Holland has depth.   Holland has a multicultural, vibrant and rich history and tradition.

In part to counter the unsavory image being projected to the world, legislation was introduced recently to prevent foreigners from patronizing the “coffee” shops.  To counter the notion that all  the Netherlands is good for is a “weed-cation”, the Netherlands Board of Tourism enlisted  New York comedian/filmmaker, Mark Malkoff to show Americans that there’s way more to do in Holland than smoking pot in coffee shops!

Here a four short clips from youtube  that are hilarious!!!  Watch every one, they are sooo funny!



 

 

 

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World’$ Richest Dessert!

Sweet Indulgence at Serendipity 3 New York

Serendipity 3 is more than just a coffee shop; this boutique eatery situated in Manhattans Upper East Side is a tourist destination in its own right.  This kitsch ice cream parlour is a treat for both adults and children alike and with the wait for a table sometimes being a little on the long side the interesting decor and memorabilia on the walls

of Serendipity’s rich history should provide some entertainment whilst you wait.

Once inside the marble topped ice cream parlour tables and opulent Victorian decoration adds to the sense that this really is no ordinary coffee shop, open since 1954 this Upper East Side townhouse just a few steps from Bloomingdales has welcomed visitors from Andy Warhol to Beyonce to the cast of High School Musical.

Children are kept happy here with the fun food on offer, giant foot long hotdogs, gargantuan cheese burgers and meatloaf with mash and gravy is sure to fill them up and keep them quiet for at least a little while. Serendipity 3 though is not about the main courses, instead they are a mere obstacle you must get through, due to the restaurants policy on a minimum spend per person, this is the place for sweet indulgence with some of the most delicious desserts in New York City.

The most famous of which is the Frozen Hot Chocolate, big enough to share – or get your own to avoid any arguments, this is one sweet treat that must be tried on a visit to Serendipity 3.  This large dessert is a foodie’s heaven, providing you have a sweet tooth of course, a mountain of frozen hot chocolate, whipped cream, chocolate chunks and plenty of sugar.  And if you love it as much as many that visit the ice-cream parlour have before, you can even buy specially prepared mixes to help you make the treat from the Serendipity 3 website, if you are a little more adventurous in the kitchen you can even have a go at recreating the dessert with the recipe that has been a secret for over 50 years recently been made available to the public.

The most exuberant of the Serendipity 3 menu has to be The Golden Opulence Sundae, causing I’m sure its fair share of fights when choosing dessert. This dessert consisting of ice cream made from Madagascar vanilla beans and chunks of rare chocolate from Venezuela drizzled with Amedei Porcelena, some of the world’s most expensive chocolates and covered with marzipan cherries, gold covered almonds and chocolate truffles. If that wasn’t opulent enough the dessert is finished with a serving of sweet Grande Passion Caviar, 23 carat gold leaf and this is all served in a Baccarat Crystal goblet, that is yours to keep and an 18 carat spoon to eat it all with! Coming in at a grand total of $1000, this dessert holds the Guinness World Record title as the most expensive sundae in the world.  Just hope your other half isn’t in the mood for some caviar with their ice cream otherwise you could be in for an expensive meal out!

Charlotte writes for new travel site Simonseeks.com and if you are looking to visit Serendipity 3 or New York, you might want to also look at the top rated recommended New York hotels on Simonseeks, where you can find inspirational travel guides and expert advice.

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5

The Oak Room

Oak Room (at the Plaza Hotel) on Urbanspoon

The food highlight of our NYC weekend!!  Brace yourself for the price.  It is a true four star establishment in every sense of the word.  Dinner is served in American dim sum manner: they have a cart that comes around, you pick out the dishes you would like.  For the main course, I went with the New York steak.  Luci had the lobster pot pie.   Waiter makes your salad at your table: Choice of greens, veggies and other interesting toppings.  For dessert I had one of the strangest banana splits.  Pics will be forthcoming.  It looked like a great big wafer…very good!  Beautiful decor.  Waitstaff were knowledgeable and competent.

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