Things Not to Miss in New York
City has just about everything one needs when it comes to sights and events, both indoors and out. Rather than just limiting your sightseeing to the typical museums and monuments, aim for some original, but nonetheless, must-see things in the Big Apple.
Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater
Harlem is the location of the landmark Apollo Theater. Amazingly, this theater, built in 1914, was used for burlesque shows and African-Americans were not allowed inside then. In 1934, this changed for good when Amateur Night started (with one of the guests being none other than Ella Fitzgerald). Others who started their careers off at the Apollo include Alicia Keys, Lauryn Hill, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Tony Bennett and Billie Holiday. Anyone can get on stage for up to 90 seconds. However, the crowd at this show is famous for saying, yelling, whistling and screaming exactly what they feel. The event is fun, good-natured (mostly) and always entertaining.
Bryant Park Summer Free Film Series
Monday nights in Manhattan, free movies are shown on a big screen. Head to Bryant Park, off 6th Avenue and 42nd Street, with a picnic and blanket and you can see older flicks under the lights of New York City's skyscrapers. The event can be crowded, so arrive early to ensure a spot. Past films shown include The Bride of Frankenstein, Dr. No, The Man who came to Dinner and The Candidate. Starting time is always at dusk.
Central Park SummerStage
Every summer, Central Park SummerStage produces free concerts for the public. Performances take place at Rumsey Playfield and tickets are available on a first-come first-serve basis (and go quickly). Alcohol and professional camera equipment are not allowed. If tickets to the show you want to see are gone, the best second choice is to bring a blanket and lie under the trees, where the performances will be clearly heard. Performances are professional and vary from rock bands to opera to dance, as well as crossing many genres. Past performers have included Sonny Rollins, DanceBrazil, Taj Mahal and Comedy Central Park.
Claire Taylor is a health, wellness and travel writer with credits in publications such as "Woman's Day," "Marie Claire," "Adirondack Life" and "Self." Taylor is also a seasoned independent traveler, as well as a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant.