How to Get Your Poetry Fix in New York

By Go City Expert

February 25, 2020

Into every life a little poetry should fall. If you're looking to write it, hear it, discuss it, or even look at art exhibits about it, New York is the place to be. We've got the ways for you to get your poetry fix in New York.

The Poetry Society of New York

First, if you’ve participated in a poetry-themed event in New York, chances are the Poetry Society had something to do with it. Dedicated to promoting poetry within the culture, they offer numerous poetry-themed events. These include a poetry festival on Governor’s Island the last weekend in July and The Poetry Brothel, an immersive literary cabaret. They also offer student workshops and micro-residencies, which give working poets small blocks of time to write.

Plus, there's the Typewriter Project, which installs vintage typewriters at different sites around the city. Participants can write, read, and comment upon online poetry.

They also have their own press, dedicated to publishing both poems and visual art. And they’re perhaps best known for Poetry in Motion—a partnership with MTA Arts and Design. It combines poetry with visual art in posters in subways cars and digital screen in subway platforms.

If you see or participate in some form of poetry in New York, you’ve probably been involved with the Poetry Society. One way to get your poetry fix in New York!

[caption id="attachment_3953" align="alignnone" width="649"]

Credit: MTA Arts and Design[/caption]

Poets House

Next, if you want more of a library-type feel, Poets House is a national poetry library and literary center. It offers one of the most comprehensive independent poetry collections in the country.

Poets House houses more than 70,000 poetry books and related collections. They also offer workshops, conversations, and exhibitions. Workshops range from the straightforward: “Dream Work/Poem Work,” to the more complicated: “Poetics of Terror: Visceral Performance & Cyborg/Trans Poetics.”

Exhibits tend to focus on books, manuscripts, and artwork that illuminate the relationship between poetry and visual arts. And if you want to listen and not necessarily write, upcoming workshops include “Tuesday Talk: Nature in Poetry with Bob Holman" (April 21). It celebrates Earth Day with a screening, discussions, and readings that look at endangered languages and endangered species.

Nuyorican Poets Café

Another way to get your poetry fix in New York? A multicultural, multi arts institution, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe is best known for its open mic events. Those events are mostly known for poetry and music--often jazz and hip hop. However, comics and storytellers also appear.

The Café offers a voice for rising poets, musicians, actors and filmmakers. Founded in 1973 by Miguel Algarin as a salon in the East Village, it gave a voice to artists who weren't being represented by mainstream industries.

The cafe is also known for its poetry slam. It offered the first one in New York in 1989, and two slam events are now held each week. And huzzah! Those who advance far enough get to participate in the National Poetry Slam.

Bowery Poetry

Bowery Poetry also offers poetry open mic nights, which include some bilingual nights. They also offer workshops like “Writing with Attitude,” a free creative writing workshop that operates like a college workshop. It includes discussions and participants commenting on each other’s work.

At the end of the year, LUNA, a themed literary magazine of the participants' work, is published. And musicians--they also offer songwriting and a musical showcase.

The Poetry Project

And finally, founded more than 50 years ago, The Poetry Project was an offshoot of coffeehouses that held readings on New York’s Lower East Side. Today, it promotes contemporary poetry through readings, workshops, a newsletter, and a literary magazine. It also offers internships, fellowships and archives.

They’re well-known for their annual New Year’s Day marathon reading. Luminaries such as Philip Glass, Allen Ginsberg, Patti Smith and Yoko Ono all appeared there. Before literary fame flashes though your mind: It’s invitation only. But don't despair: They always need volunteers.

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Cab Etiquette In NYC: All You Need to Know

We’ve all been there. You stayed out a little later than you planned, and you’re a little worse for wear. You need to go to bed, but the city’s unfamiliar to you. The public transport maps might as well be Jackson Pollock paintings. So you do what every single person does in films and TV shows based in New York. You raise your hand, and within seconds a yellow cab’s pulled up beside you. Hopefully you’re on your way in seconds and home safe and sound, but if anything seems off or you need help and advice, read on. Here’s what you need to know about cab etiquette in NYC. Can a cab driver ever refuse me service? Yes, but only if the trip is more than 12 hours long, or if their ‘taxi’ light is off. 12 hour+ journeys are against the law in the US, and only taxis with their lights on are currently working. If you’re staying far out of the city centre, perhaps get in the cab before telling them where you’re going. It might seem sneaky, but once you’re in their cab they are legally obligated to take you to your destination. Crazy, right? My taxi is loud and uncomfortable. What can I do? A lot, thankfully. Riders have rights too, after all. If your driver is on a call or using their phone, they’re being super illegal. Feel free to remind them. If the cab is too hot or cold, depending on the time of year, you can also request they put the air con/heating on. And if their music is too loud, by all means, politely ask them to turn it down or off. Just don’t berate their choice of genre. However, if the driver refuses these, or any reasonable requests, you have the right to get out at any time. And remember to take down their medallion number if you want to make a complaint. It’s on their licence plate, the hood of the taxi, and on your receipt if you request one. What if I’m being loud, and making the driver uncomfortable? Firstly, why...would you... do that? Secondly, while drivers have no legal grounds to ask you to keep it down, have some respect for them. And for yourself. Driving a taxi all day is exhausting, and navigating the hectic streets that never sleep requires concentration. Cab etiquette in NYC, or anywhere works both ways. Be respectful, and you’ll likely earn their respect. And a safer and quicker journey home, too. Should I stare at them creepily through the rear-view mirror? No. No, don’t. Why would you even...? How much should I tip? Tips are big business in New York, as they are in the rest of the US. But sadly you’ll be expected to pay over the odds in the Big Apple. 20% of the fee is the recommended amount. If you’re paying with card instead of cold hard cash, the amount of gratuity will automatically be added to the charge. It could go as high as 30%, so keep that in mind if you’re squeezing pennies. Of course, if you’re an out-of-towner and they’ve been helpful with info or recommendations, why not be a nice little human and show them your gratitude with money? Tipping’s the best way to thank them, but if you want to go above and beyond because they did, hop on the nyc.gov website and leave a glowing review, you selfless beauty. If the driver asks for cash, is it OK to use my card instead? Yes. Every taxi in NYC is required by law to take card, so if your driver says they don’t have a machine or that it’s broken, it’s a ruse. Persist, and victory will be yours. Drivers may also mention they’ve selected ‘Cash’ instead of ‘Card’ and that they can’t reverse the decision. This, too, is a ruse. Stay strong, and wait for the card machine. It’s simply a case of them pressing a single button to make it happen. Also get your receipt - it contains lots of vital information like their medallion number which you’ll need if you lose something in the cab, or want to make a complaint. That’s what you need to know about taxi etiquette in NYC. We hope these tips help. Of course, we’re always open to suggestions, so if you have any other top tips you’d like to add, let us know in the comments below! Stay safe, travelers. Has this cab etiquette in NYC blog satisfied your itch for all things New York? No? Still prefer public transportation? Sure thing, here's more about the metro system in NYC.
Dom Bewley
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Best Things To Do In NYC In Summer 2019

The sun is out, and the only snow you'll see will be dolloped on cones. Yes, summer is finally, finally upon us — time to hang up your windbreakers, hip shakers. If you're looking for something wild to do this weekend, or taking a vacation to the Big Apple, we've got some suggestions that should keep you more than occupied. Here are some of the best things to do in NYC this summer. Starting with... Central Park Bike Tour There's never a better time to take a ride around NYC's most famous park than in summertime. Bring your own bike or rent one onsite, and take a tour around the park's most famous landmarks like the Cherry Hill Fountain, and Strawberry Fields. Ride with a guide for a more educational experience, or go your own way. Whichever you choose, you're bound to have a blast. Gay Pride Celebrate diversity and equality by attending Gay Pride. While events are happening all throughout June, the climax is the NYC Pride March on Sunday, June 30. This year is special as it marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, a huge turning point for queer rights, so you can be sure it'll be unmissable. Expect performances from LGBTQ icons like Madonna, a huge parade, and plenty to eat and drink. Bryant Park Movie Nights Make the most of the sunshine, grab a few friends, and find the perfect spot in Bryant Park to watch some classic movies. Bryant Park Movie Nights is back, and if you've ever been before you know what to expect. If you've not, don't miss out. There's lots to eat and drink, and you'll have the chance to watch award winners like Goodfellas, as well as cult comedies like Anchorman and Coming To America. Macy's Independence Day Fireworks What better way to get lit this Fourth of July than attending one of the greatest fireworks displays in the country? Macy's annual bang bonanza returns to the Brooklyn Bridge this year. Nothing screams freedom like 75,000 fireworks being set off over the course of a half hour. And while you're there, make the most of your 11% discount at Macy's Herald Square. Coney Island Why not add a little sand and sea to your summer by heading over to Coney Island? Over two and a half miles of beach are at your disposal, so you should definitely find a spot for you and some friends to lay some towels and relax. Go for a swim, or simply soak up some rays under the sun. It's a convenient alternative to an expensive beach holiday, and it's only a train ride away. And if you want to make an evening of it, Brooklyn boardwalk's got restaurants and bars to keep you busy, and then of course there's Luna Park if you fancy some exhilarating rides. Definitely one of the best things to do in NYC this summer! Shakespeare In The Park If you fancy getting a bit of culture, stop by the Delacorte Theater in Central Park for a show. It's open-air, so it's the perfect place to watch some of the world's most famous plays, courtesy of the world's most famous playwright. And you might even catch performances by some of the world's most talented stars! Acting juggernauts like Al Pacino, Denzel Washington, and Meryl Streep have all graced the stage in the past. Summer Streets NYC If you've had a little too much to eat and drink this summer, and you're feeling a little soft around the edges, try your hand at lots of free activities at this year's Summer Streets event. Get your blood pumping with a spot of rock climbing, or ride the huge, breathtaking zipline. You'll also find walking tours, pop-up shops, and plenty more to do once you've burnt off some of those calories. And best of all, seven miles of the city are car-free, so you don't need to worry about breathing in fumes or back-flipping into traffic. US Open Sorry golf fans, this is the other US Open. But in that case, tennis fans - rejoice! The greatest stars in the ball-hitting world will be congregating at Corona Park this August for the US Open. Nets will be skimmed, grunts will echo, and eyes will dart back and forward. As usual, expect plenty of choices when it comes to food and drinks, and music performances too. Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise Get a different view of the city's beautiful skyline while making the most of the dwindling summer months by taking a Downtown Sightseeing Cruise. You'll glimpse all of NYC's most iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, and during the hour-long cruise, your tour guide will keep you entertained and educated. 29Rooms Ever wanted to enter the mind of your favorite celebrities and artists? You won't want to miss 29Rooms. As you will gather from the name, 29Rooms is a collection of 29 interactive exhibits designed by celebrities, creatives, and brands for you to get lost in. This year, the theme is 'human connection', so expect politically charged and thought-provoking experiences. Taste Of New York at Brooklyn Brewery If you're out and about, why not stop by the Brooklyn Brewery for a beer to quench your thirst? Brooklyn is world-renowned as the birthplace of the craft beer revolution. And where better to take shelter from the beating sun, and enjoy a nice, refreshing beer than in the establishment that started it all? And if you want, stay for a few more? No judgments here! Diner En Blanc Fancy a colossal picnic where everyone's wearing white? Strangely, we actually have you covered. Diner En Blanc is a little elusive. It takes place in different areas every year, but if you find it, you'll be treated to great food, refreshing drinks, and a night under the stars. A great way to end the summer with a bang. These are just some of the best things to do in NYC this summer!
Dom Bewley

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