What Would The Founding Fathers Do in NYC On July 4th?

By Dom Bewley

July 4th is fast approaching. A time when we all celebrate independence, and maybe re-watch a certain cheesy sci-film too. Thanks to the Founding Fathers, we have so much to be grateful for. It’s just a shame they couldn’t see what a great country America has become. But what if they could? What if we could somehow travel back to the 18th century, and bring some of the Founding Fathers to 2019? Who’d have the biggest Instagram following? Which would start their own reality show? And how would they be spending July 4th? Well, through the magic of time travel, we can tell you now. Here is a totally real list that we definitely didn’t make up. What would the Founding Fathers do in NYC this July 4th?

George Washington

How could we not start with the top dog himself? Hero of the War for Independence and our very first President, George Washington needs no introduction. Well known for his wooden teeth and hatred of cherry trees, he also famously crossed the Delaware River in order to land a humiliating blow against the nefarious British. And the first thing he said to us when we brought him to 2019 was “I want to see the city by sea”. Really. He really said that. That’s why we recommended he take a Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise! George marvelled at the iconic modern skyline and learnt a lot about his future (and our past) from one of the award-winning guides that accompanied us on our cruise. He loved it.

Thomas Jefferson

TJ was POTUS number 3, but what a lot of people don’t know about him is that he was something of a palaeontologist. He amassed a huge collection of fossils and was particularly obsessed with woolly mammoths. So after we brought him to 2019, we had a good chat, and the first thing he wanted to do was go to the American Museum of Natural History. He loved the 94-foot long blue whale and was in awe of the Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton.

Benjamin Franklin

Ben Franklin loved science, and is often considered the man who discovered electricity. Sadly, kite-flying isn’t as popular as it used to be, so he insisted on going to the New York Hall of Science. Ol’ Ben-Dog got his hands all over the 450+ interactive exhibits on offer, and even managed to confirm some of his 18th century hypotheses. When he goes back, he may even be able to change the course of human history. Because this is definitely real. We've mastered time travel pretty well, wouldn't you say?

Alexander Hamilton

Founder of the New York Post, and current Broadway star, Alexander Hamilton was humbled to see how far his renown had continued to rise over 200 years later. In disguise, we managed to sneak him onto the Hamilton Happy Hour Tour, a two-hour walking tour through New York’s oldest neighbourhood. Hamilton enjoyed how much his life and accomplishments still mean to people. And so will you.

John Hancock

Most famous for sporting the first, and largest, signature on the Declaration of Independence, John Hancock was also a hugely successful merchant with a thriving trade business. Secretly, though, he simply loved fireworks. That’s why he’s so looking forward to seeing Macys Fourth of July fireworks over the Brooklyn Bridge. He wouldn’t shut up about the 75,000 fireworks due to be set off, and he’s also hungry to flex his trading muscles with an 11% discount at Macy’s Herald Square.

James Madison

America’s tiniest president, James Madison stood at just 5’4”. So you can understand his delight when we took him on a Madison Square Garden All Access Tour. Though he didn’t know much about modern sports, he was understandably delighted that one of the most famous sporting arenas on the planet was named after him. He especially loved the VR experience showcasing some of The Garden’s biggest ever events.

John Adams

One of Americas greatest ever patriots, John Adams is also responsible for the country’s oldest band – the United States Marine Band. Who knew he was such a music lover? Well, we did. He told us in person when we brought him to 2019. That’s when we knew that we had to take him on a Harlem Gospel Tour. On the three hour tour, John learned a lot about the cultural roots of Gospel music, and got to see many of Harlem’s most famous landmarks like the Apollo Theater, Abyssinian Baptist Church and Striver’s Row.

So if you were wondering what the Founding Fathers would do in NYC this July 4th, now you know!

Want more inspiration on things to do this Independence Day weekend? Check out our blog on things to do in NY this summer.

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5 Gourmet Coffee Houses You've Never Heard Of

Coffee and New York go together like you and this blog. A match made in heaven. The most bleary-eyed of us seek coffee's sweet, soothing sensation every Monday morning. It makes your job bearable, let's be honest. But if you want a more authentic experience than the high-street offerings, where do you go? Where's the best? Well, whether you're visiting New York, or simply don't have time to go to every coffee house, you'll find the sweet, soothing sensation of this blog hits the spot. Here are 5 gourmet coffee houses you've never heard of. Sweetleaf Jackson Avenue, Queens The original Sweetleaf opened way back in 2008. Their goal? To create the best espresso bar imaginable. Their humble shop has tripled in size since then, and they've added three additional locations too. Still, it's a hidden treat that many New Yorkers aren't familiar with. With a focus on the perfect espresso spot, expect real top gourmet coffee across the board. Sugar-loaded milkshakes masquerading as coffees are off the menu. Their beans are roasted right here in the Big Apple, so expect some bite to your brew. Those who are looking for a break from the office, or travelers planning their next stop can also benefit from the free wi-fi. And for all you call analog kids, they've got a record room replete with turntable and a collection bigger than yours. Go check them out before they grow further and become a mainstay of the NYC coffee scene. They even have their own merch, if you wanna show off to your less-learned friends. Image courtesy of coffesphere.com Happy Bones Broome Street, Little Italy Happy Bones have a burgeoning reputation for the best coffee you've never had. This stems from the owners, both from New Zealand. See, NZ has nearly 20 years of growing espresso culture behind them. They had to bring their excellent coffee to New York, and here we are. Happy Bones had an explosion on Instagram thanks to their uniquely designed leopard-print spoons. So much so, that people started stealing them to sell on eBay. The lengths we go to for gram. Taking this newfound fame in its stride, Happy Bones have started to sell these spoons, and an assortment of other HB merch, on their website. But good luck getting any, because they sell out fast. Enough of the gram. What of the coffee? Expect excellent espresso poured by the best baristas. What more do you need? Sweatshop Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn Another coffee house with a foreign twist, this time from Down Under. But what does that mean? Well, it means that alongside some great gourmet coffee and a design studio out the back, you can purchase a supremely Australian Vegemite and cheese toastie. That's...well, it's certainly something. But you aren't likely to find many more places in New York with that on the menu. So gram away, you social media slave. They even have a citric twist on the iced coffee. Their 'Sparky', gotta love the name, pairs a delicious iced coffee with tonic water and lime. That's two gin shots away from being a late-night pick-me-up. It'll also surely hit the spot during the warmer, sunnier days. And if you're feeling generous, there's also merch on offer. Because of course there is. Blind Barber 10th Street, East Village Fusion shops are all the rage these days. On your way to pick up groceries? How about a shop that sells pianos too. Head over to Gin and Tents (G&T's see what we did there so clever) to get drunk and then sleep it off. Blind Barber goes for a more efficient combo. They're a barbershop, as the name suggests, that also sell coffee. Get there early to look and feel fly before you roll into work. Even as the tasks in your inbox add up, you'll catch reflections of your new-fly-self every so often. And that's what the working day is all about. So go grab a coffee, get a trim, and take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. It never sleeps, after all. Weekends are a no-laptop zone, and they also sell beer and cocktails. So your new coffee spot might become your new weekend hang-out spot. Delightful. Two Hands Mott Street, Nolita Another Australian run joint in New York. This charming, community-focused cafe has an interesting menu, and laid-back atmosphere similar to the Aussie beachside. You'll come for the coffee but likely stay for the mouth-watering menu. Croissants and acai bowls are complemented by bigger dishes like burgers, and even a build-your-own breakfast bar. No matter what time of day you stop by, Two Hands has got enough to fill your two hands. And your mouth. And your stomach. What more could you want? And that there is 5 gourmet coffee houses you've never heard of. Probably. We miss any? Let us know in the comments below. And if you want the perfect partner to your gourmet coffee experience, why not ponder some thought-provoking art at the best museums in NYC?
Dom Bewley
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NYC Labor Day 2019: Everything You Need To Know

What's the history behind Labor Day in NYC? Why should you celebrate Labor Day? How can I celebrate Labor Day in NYC? Why not celebrate Labor Day in style with the New York Pass? Labor Day is nearly upon us. Raise your glasses, and switch off your alarm clocks. Hopefully you're one of the millions of people celebrating Labor Day this weekend. If you'll be in New York over the holiday, then congrats. You might want some tips on what to do. You may even want to know more about the day itself. Never fear, read on. Here's everything you need to know about Labor Day in NYC. What's the history behind Labor Day? The first Labor Day was observed over 130 years ago, way back in 1882. The ultimate goal - to celebrate the achievements of the American workers who helped the US become one of the most prosperous nations on Earth. To this day, we still don't know who suggested it. Some say it was conjured from the mind of Peter J McGuire, co-founder of the American Federation of Labor. Others posit that one Matthew Maguire, secretary of New York's Central Labor Union at the time, willed it into being. Either way, don't look a gift holiday in the mouth - most of us still get a long weekend. Why should you celebrate Labor Day? Well, you probably work really hard and definitely never call in sick when you want to binge awful reality shows. Right? While you're out gallivanting, spare a thought, and pour a beer out for those of us who sadly find themselves working. Likely the same person who sold you said beer in the first place. Never mind. How can you celebrate Labor Day in NYC? We're glad you asked. Thankfully, this being the greatest city on earth, you're simply spoiled for choice. Here are the 10 best things to do on Labor Day in NYC: Labor Day Parade What better way to spend Labor Day than to go to the parade, aka the West Indian Carnival. It’s back in Brooklyn, so if you’re looking for a good time and want to celebrate Caribbean culture with some authentic jerk chicken and cocktails, go. Millions of people stop by every year, so why not join them? You can even dance to some reggae, if you’re the sort that likes ‘having fun’. Werk: Labor Day White Party If you’ve never been to a white party, it’s a little complex so we’ll try and break it down for you in layman's terms. You wear white, and you go to a party. What better way to celebrate all that hard work you definitely do every day than getting to work on the dancefloor at House of Yes’ free party. DJ Dirtyfinger will be ripping up the decks. With any luck, he’ll play Will Smith for the entire day. Electric Zoo Festival Randalls Island again plays host to New York’s biggest EDM night with the Electric Zoo Festival. For those of you who don’t have your finger on the pulse like we do, EDM stands for Electronic Dance Music. So put your dancing shoes on and go throw some shapes. Tiesto is playing, and he’s widely considered as the Godfather of EDM. That makes Electric Zoo an offer your cannot refuse. The U.S. Open It’s back. Tennis’ biggest competition is finally here. Prepare your body as people in shorts hit a yellow ball over a net. That’s right, it’s TENNIS TIME. Catch some of the world’s biggest tennis athletes as they do their best to take the prize. Who will win? Who knows, but it’ll probably be the most tennis that any human could possibly handle in the history of ever. Nowadays BBQ How does a barbecue in Brooklyn sound? Walk in to Nowadays for absolutely free this Labor Day, and put your money toward some sweet chargrilled goodness and refreshing craft beer. It’s all outdoors, so you might as well make the most of the sun while it’s out. Plus there’s live music to fill the awkward gaps in conversation between you and your friends. It’s OK, we all have them. Statue of Liberty Tour Go back in time and explore the humble beginnings and history of the Statue of Liberty. The Statue of Liberty Museum recently opened its doors to the huddled masses. There’s lots to see inside, including a model by the French artist who designed it, and even a copper model of the statue’s face you can creepily stroke with your fingers. Just don’t let anyone see you doing it. The shame. And on Labor Day of all days. New York Unicycle Festival Millennials unite, moustaches firmly waxed and shorts extra tight. It’s time for four days of ONE WHEEL MADNESS at this definitely real festival. Not only will you be able to weird flex your unicycle skills/gear with all of your unicycling peers, but there’s also public performances (people doing tricks), unicycle hockey, unicycle basketball, and unicycle SUMO. We can only begin to imagine how amazing that last one must be. And hey, if you’re a uni-virgin then never fear, they even have Learn-to-Ride area. So you can learn to ride a unicycle. Very cool. Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit Fancy a bit of culture? How about a trip to the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit? On Labor Day you even get the chance to chat to the artists about their work, and there’s prints and other goods you can pick up. Whether you’re buying or browsing, backflip into Washington Square Park and get arty. Summer HD Festival Opera lovers rejoice! Totally free screenings of opera productions are being held every night a the Metropolitan Opera’s Summer HD Festival. Rain or shine, you can expect some of opera’s biggest classics to be shown, like... Madam Butterfly? But if there’s any lightning, run as fast as you can. Not really, just leave in an orderly fashion. Showings start at 8pm, but get there early to ensure you get a seat. No one stands at the opera. Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise Finally, Cap’n, you could take to the seas on a Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise. You’ll get to see the city’s skyline in all its glory, without any of the car horns or death-wish cyclists. Every cruise is about an hour long, so make sure your phone’s charged up and 'gram like there's no tomorrow. Why not celebrate Labor Day in style with the New York Pass? Whether you call the Big Apple home, or you're visiting from afar, why not make the most of Labor Day with the New York Pass? You'll get free entry to the Statue of Liberty Museum, the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise, and over 100 top New York attractions like the Empire State Building! That's everything you need to know about Labor Day in NYC. What are your plans this weekend? Let us know below!
Dom Bewley

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