4 Must-Have Interior Car Cleaners

Cleaning the interior of your favorite vehicle doesn’t have to be complicated! There is a sea of products out there, but these are some of the best rated. Don’t hesitate, pick them up at your local Walmart or at Amazon.com. They also make great Christmas gifts for the upcoming season!

1. Leather Honey Conditioner

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Photo Credit: Leather Honey

Does your car have leather interior? There is simply no better product to care for your leather than the cult classic Leather Honey Conditioner. Recognized as the number one leather cleaner seller on Amazon, this product has been transforming worn out, stiff leather for years.

Leather Honey Conditioner has been around since 1968 and is super easy to use on the inside of your vehicle. Once you’ve cleaned your leather of grime and dirt, you can apply the product all over your leather seats and interior. According to the Leather Honey experts, “Let it absorb for a minimum of two hours – preferably overnight — then wipe off any excess using another dry lint-free cloth.”

One Amazon reviewer was fascinated at the outcome of using this effective product.

“Conditioning the cars’ seats took some time and plenty of effort, and I wish it were warmer so the Honey may be better absorbed into the leather, but I’ll tell you what, the difference in feel is amazing! The seats in my wife’s 9 year old Lexus weren’t this soft when the car was two years old! They didn’t ‘moo’, but it was close.”

You can pick up Leather Honey Conditioner on Amazon for under $18. For more information on the product line, visit their site here.

2. Armor All Carpet & Upholstery Foam Cleaner

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Photo Credit: CARiD.com

When you jump into a brand new car, the smell is intoxicating. It just smells…new. There are no random stains on the upholstery and other unwanted smells haunting the interior. You can recreate this experience in your own car with Armor All.

Photo Credit: Raising Memories
Photo Credit: Raising Memories

Although there are a bunch of different Armor All products, one of our favorites is the Carpet & Upholstery Foam Cleaner. You can use this product on fabrics in your car. This product won’t discolor your upholstery and removes dirt, grease, and odors! You can buy this up for less than $6 at most stores like Walmart.

One reviewer explains, “I just received an older car with a very light colored fabric interior. I used this Armor All Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner on all the seats to get rid of the build up they received over the years and it did better than expected. It got rid of all the set in stains and the car looks much brighter! I used one entire can on the whole backseat, two front seats and most the carpet on floor in the back. I recommend this cleaner and will be ordering it again :)”

3. Car Vacuum Kit

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Photo Credit: Autoanything.com

Have you ever tried to clean the dirt between the seats of your car and not been able to reach it? How frustrating! Instead of hauling your own home vacuum outside and cleaning your car, why not invest in a car vacuum kit? One of the best is the Metro Vac N’ Blo 500 Car Vacuum. Considered one of the greatest by Best.com, this product comes with different attachments so you can get your car spotless.

Light at only 3.5lbs, you can easily maneuver this product around the interior of your vehicle. You have the option to use your cigarette lighter for power or a standard outlet plug. The 500 watt motor keeps the product working beautifully and the suction is guaranteed for up to five years.

One very happy truck owner offered up a great review on Autoanything.com

“Very portable and can easily be stored in vehicle for routine cleaning of interior. Has great suction and helps keep the inside of my truck spotless. A must for any neat freak.”

4. Meguiar’s Ultimate Interior Detailer

Photo Credit: http://www.meguiars.com/en/automotive/products/g13616-quik-interior-detailer%E2%84%A2/#3tOCs549Ir0bZql0.97
Photo Credit: http://www.meguiars.com

Looking for a product to wipe down your interior surfaces quickly? Meguiar’s G16216 Ultimate Interior Detailer is the perfect solution! Known as the “quick interior detailer,” this product safely cleans ALL surfaces of your car, even the LCD displays!

According to AutoDeets.com, all you need to do is spray and wipe. If you want to keep your vehicle looking sharp, keep a bottle of this spray and a roll of paper towels in your trunk. Whenever you car is looking less than fresh, grab it and go at it! The cleaning only takes about five minutes and Meguiars wipes away dust efficiently. The smell is also great.

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, order it online for less than $5 and get free shipping. One reviewer on the site said this,

This is a great product. Doesn’t leave a glossy and slippery residue so it can be used throughout the entire interior of the car including the steering wheel. This is a hard-to-find product as this is usually only found in higher end auto parts stores. Definitely will buy again.”

What are you waiting for? Treat your car right now!

 

8 Songs To Groove To When On A Road Trip

There’s just something about jamming with the windows down. Whether you’re headed a few blocks or a few states, you’ll want to turn these beats up!

1. Shut Up and Drive, Rihanna

Isn’t it obvious this tune is perfect for driving? Instead of chatting it up, Rihanna encourages everyone to just “shut up and drive.” Released in 2007, this song was on her third album titled Good Girl Gone Bad. Fun lyrics like,

Cause it’s zero to sixty in three point five

Baby you got the keys

Now shut up and drive, drive, drive”

Make this song perfect for driving on an open road and try not to talk.

 

2. Send Me On My Way, Rusted Root

Depending on your age, you may recognize this song from the children’s movie, Matilda. Matilda is a little girl who has magic powers. Her family doesn’t appreciate her and she’s passionate about reading and education. When her parents leave her home alone, this song comes on as she makes her own pancakes and gets herself ready for the day on her own. This upbeat song will remind you of Summer weather and fun times with friends.

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Photo Credit: Flixster

The lyrics of Send Me On My Way include,

“Well, I would like to hold my little hand

And we will run, we will, we will crawl, we will

I would like to hold my little hand

And we will run, we will, we will crawl”

The song doesn’t hint where they are headed, but the song’s about moving! The lyrics were written by Rusted Root’s Michael Glabicki. The song is from the album When I Woke.

3. I’ve Been Everywhere, Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash is a traditional road trip pick. Covering blues, country, and folk, Cash could easily be the backdrop of an entire trip. If you’re not keen on playing Johnny the entire time you’re traveling, add the single song, I’ve Been Everywhere.

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Photo Credit: Pinterest

This classic song, which was covered by Cash in 1996, was written by Geoff Mack, an Australian country singer. The American version was switched up to include American cities like “Boston” and “Nashville.”

4. Highway To Hell, AC/DC

Let’s hope you’re not driving straight into Hades…but this song is catchy. Highway To Hell is a rock ballad from AC/DC. Perfect for the hardcore rockers at heart and a group of girl besties, this song has lyrics that fit driving perfectly.

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Photo Credit: Nuclear Blast

The song was released on the 27th of July, 1979. The title of the song also was the title of album. The lyrics explain that the singer is driving to Hell. There’s not a lot of room for interpretation with the words like,

No stop signs, speed limit

Nobody’s gonna slow me down

Like a wheel, gonna spin it

Nobody’s gonna mess me around

Hey Satan, paid my dues

Playing in a rocking band

Hey mama, look at me

I’m on my way to the promised land, whoo!”

Don’t be tempted to speed while listening to this track, but do imagine joining AC/DC and rocking out.

5. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), The Proclaimers

Walking five hundred miles is very different than driving five hundred miles, but this song from The Proclaimers sets the mood for a road trip anyway. A song most pals will know and will want to sing along with, I’m Gonna Be, is an energetic song about a man that will walk five hundred miles to be near his lover. When the chorus begins, singing,

“But I would walk five hundred miles

And I would walk five hundred more

Just to be the man who walked a thousand miles

To fall down at your door”

…it’ll be hard to not yell out the lyrics. Whether you’re driving for business or are celebrating a bachelorette party, this song will hit the spot.

6. Homecoming, Kanye West

Rapping about Chi-city, his hometown, Kanye West wrote Homecoming. This song is all about him coming home to his city. If you’ve ever been far from home, you know the emotions that come when you’re driving back. Memories flood back and sometimes it’s comforting to be nostalgic.

Even though you may be driving from or to NYC, this song may hit a nerve. Some of the lyrics that reflect coming home say,

“I’m coming home again

Do you think about me now and then?

Do you think about me now and then?

Cause I’m coming home again”

7. Mud On the Tires, Brad Paisley

Have you ever felt the excitement of driving a new car? Even if you’re driving a rental, you will still feel the energy of a different vehicle. As our friend Brad Paisley says in Mud On the Tires,

“And I’m holdin’ the keys to a brand new Chevrolet

Have you been outside, it sure is a nice night

How about a little test drive

Down by the lake?”

The song highlights the romantic thought of driving out into the sunset and spending time in the back of a truck bed. Even if you’re not behind a four wheel drive vehicle, you may still appreciate the idea of getting away. Mud On the Tires was released in 2003 and was also the name of the album. Sometimes a little bit of country fits a driving afternoon perfectly.

8. A Thousand Miles, Vanessa Carlton

If you’ve seen the 2004 movie, White Chicks, you have probably sung this song a time or two while driving. A Thousand Miles by Vanessa Carlton is the girl’s “song” in the movie and they sing it obnoxiously in the car. Later, another actor, Terry Crews, sings the song to one of the men posing as a woman. As hilarious as the movie is that highlights the song, there is something about A Thousand Miles that makes you want to get behind the wheel.

The lyrics highlight the singer walking 1000 miles just to be by their lover’s side. Some of the words hit close to home for those who are traveling to be near friends or family.

“Making my way downtown

Walking fast

Faces pass

And I’m home-bound

Staring blankly ahead

Just making my way

Making a way

Through the crowd”

The song was released in 2004 and was nominated for a Grammy.

Stop What You’re Doing Right Now & Purchase These Car Accessories

Resqme’s Quick Car Escape Tool

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This safety accessory was originally created for first responders. Now, the company, Resqme (pronounced rescue me), has sold over 3 million Quick Car Escape Tools.

The small keychain comes in a number of different bright colors and is designed to cut seat belts and break windows. This is needed if you’re in a car accident where your seatbelt is jammed or if you are stuck in a vehicle and need to break a window to get out to safety.

Recognized as the “most affordable and reliable car escape tool,” this little keychain comes out of it’s holster to cut seat belts and a small steel spike will break glass instantly.

Phone Mount

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Photo Credit: wired.com

It might not seem very important, but once you have a phone mount in your car, you won’t be able to imagine your life without one. Instead of looking at your screen while holding the steering wheel and your phone, all you have to do is look up to where you phone is nicely mounted on your dash.

BEST suggests the Lifeproof Suction Mount with Quick Mount. For $35, this car accessory makes it easy to mount and unmount your phone quickly. The suction cup on the back can be attached and unattached from your phone.

If you’d rather skip the suction cup, try the USA Gear Car Vent Phone Holder. This can be purchased from Amazon for only $13.


Finding the right mount for you may take a bit of time, but it’s worth it.

Dashboard Video Recorder

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Photo Credit: www.engadget.com

It helps to be able to record on your dash cam in case you were ever in an accident. Many people may think this is crazy expensive, but it’s not. You can invest in a dashboard video recorder and avoid thousands in legal fees if you have recorded evidence.

Jon Jacobi of PC World explains that “Dash cams are already essential in many countries because of scam artists who try to create accidents so they can sue you. They’ve also proven useful for catching the occasional meteor, as just happened in Thailand (and in Russia a few years ago).”

Many dash cameras work with GPS, which is great if you have to drive professionally and would like to use a camera to settle disputes. Buzzfeed’s favorite is the CTS 2.5-Inch HD Rotatable LED IR DVR Video Camcorder with Camera Holder Brand: Lingstar. For only $12.83, you really can’t go wrong. The car accessory doesn’t have GPS, but for a beginner, it’s perfect. It has a suction cup for the windshield and a charger.

Apple CarPlay

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Photo Credit: arstechnica.com

Apple has a new interactive application out for specific cars called Apple CarPlay. With this accessory, you can hook up your iPhone and it will show up on your car’s dashboard. From there, you can select different things and listen to music without looking down at your phone.

Apple CarPlay is voice controlled and works with Siri. If your vehicle has a touchscreen, you can use it with your iPhone and Apple CarPlay. Different knobs and controls in your car will also sync with the application.

Apple says, “make calls, return missed calls, and listen to voicemail. Siri can help you do all of these things. All you have to do is ask.”

Different models that work with Apple CarPlay include: Audi, Dodge, Ford, Land Rover, Mercedes Benz, and more.

 

5 Vehicles You’ll Instantly Recognize From Movies

1. Little Miss Sunshine, 1973 Volkswagen Transporter (Type 2)

Photo Credit: blogs.artinfo.com
Photo Credit: blogs.artinfo.com

The Hoover family in the cult-classic Little Miss Sunshine piles into a bright yellow 1973 Volkswagen Transporter. The film was introduced at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and became increasingly popular. ImBd outlines the plot by saying it’s about “A family determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant” by taking “a cross-country trip in their VW bus.”

A unique fact about Little Miss Sunshine and the recognizable 1973 Volkswagen Transporter: Fox Searchlight hosted a screening of the movie at the Vineland Drive-In movie theater for VW bus owners.

2. Tommy Boy, 1967 Plymouth Belvedere GTX

Photo Credit: communitylaw.org
Photo Credit: communitylaw.org

If you’re like us, you laughed until you cried when you watched Tommy Boy for the first time…and then for the fifth time. Tommy Boy features comedic legends Chris Farley and David Spade. Together, they try to save the auto parts factory that Chris, who plays Tommy, is inheriting.

The vehicle they drive throughout the movie is very familiar. You can’t forget the scene where the deer, which they believe to be dead, comes to life in the back seat of their 1967 Plymouth Belvedere GTX. The vehicle gets trashed throughout the movie and even has a child gate in place of a door!

#tommyboy #moviescene #moviequote #tommycallahan #chrisfarleyRIP #90smovies

A photo posted by @andywbrown on

On Screen Cars makes a great observation, “ This isn’t the last movie David Spade drives a 1967 Plymouth GTX. Mater of fact, Spade drives one later in Joe Dirt.”

3. Jurassic Park, Ford Explorer

Photo Credit: jurassicpark.wikia.com
Photo Credit: jurassicpark.wikia.com

The first Jurassic Park movie made the Ford Explorer a car celebrity. Throughout the thriller, John Hammond and his crew try to keep the dinosaurs he’s created from taking over the earth! As dinosaurs and the feared T-Rex attacked the team, the Ford Explorers made multiple scenes and were even crushed or flipped over.

In the final scene, the Jurassic Park logo on the jeep is covered in mud and spells out “UR ASS PARK,” a subtle joke that “you’re lucky to get out with your ass in one piece,” highlights The Chive.

4. Dumb and Dumber, Mutt Cutts Van

Photo Credit: www.today.com
Photo Credit: www.today.com

How can you not fall in love with the dumb co-stars Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels? Their slapstick comedy and outrageous outfits will have you laughing throughout the entire 1994 flick Dumb and Dumber.

One of the most iconic vehicles in movies is their Mutt Cutts Van. In the movie, Lloyd and Harry, the characters Jim and Jeff play, pick up the Mutt Cutts Van and nickname it the Shaggin Wagon. One of the most famous scenes in the car is when Lloyd pees in the front seat and hands Harry multiple bottles of urine.

Surprisingly, the vehicle, under all the hair, is a simple 1984 Ford Econoline.

5. The Love Bug, 1962 Volkswagen Beetle

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This 1968 flick surrounds the iconic 1962 Volkswagen Beetle driven throughout the entire movie. From Walt Disney, The Love Bug, is all about “a race car driver who becomes a champion with a Volkswagen Beetle with a mind of its own.” Later, the movie was rebooted in 2005 with Lindsay Lohan.

Throughout the movie, the Love Bug, also named Herbie, has its own personality and even drives on it’s own. It can squirt oil as well as open it’s own doors.

A unique fact about the movie comes from IMBD, “When beginning production of the film, Disney set up a casting call for about a dozen cars, and kept them outside the studios for the crew to examine during their breaks. Among the lineup were Toyotas, Volvos, and of course, the pearl white Volkswagen Beetle. When the crew walked by to inspect the cars, they would kick the tires and grab the steering wheel to see how it handled. However, when they came across the Volkswagen, they began to pet it, and so the Beetle got the job, on Sunday, March 23rd, 1969.”

You Have To Check Out These 4 Bucket-List Experiences In NYC This Summer!

Summer isn’t over until you’ve been able to strike one item off of your bucket list. Luckily, you’re in the city that never sleeps and can get a few of these in while you’re staying just a weekend or a week. From watching a silver screen movie on a rooftop, to visiting a memorial that will stay in the hearts of Americans for centuries, all of these activities will leave an impression!

1. Rooftop Cinema Club

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Photo Credit: Rooftop Film Club

One of the most magnificent things about New York City is the skyscrapers. This beautiful city has some of the best architecture in the world. There’s simply no better way to experience it than to be on a rooftop. Sure, you can grab a drink and relax with friends, but wouldn’t it be neat to watch a movie on a rooftop?

Those at the Rooftop Cinema Club though so! Known as the “kings of outdoor cinema,” according to Time Out, this “club” is one you need to join, if only for one night! Movies are shown on rooftops across the city. Currently the two places they take place regularly at YOTEL, Manhattan and Bushwick, Brooklyn. Popular classics like Rocky, Roman Holiday, and Casablanca are shown. There are also newer movies shown that have received great ratings.

Surely the best way to watch Pulp Fiction? #rooftopfilmclub

A photo posted by Rooftop Film Club (@rooftopfilmclub) on


So, what does a night out with Rooftop Cinema Club look like? You’ll purchase tickets online for the movie of your choice. Included in your ticket is entrance to the movie, bubbles, and popcorn! Each ticket is $33 and can be purchased online. You’ll receive a set of individual wireless headphones to adjust the sound to your liking. At YOTEL you can order food from Green Fig, their urban eatery. In Brooklyn, there is no restaurant on the premises. You can bring your own alcohol as well as order food directly to the venue to enjoy.

2. Thunderbolt Roller Coaster On Coney Island

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Photo Credit: http://www.nycedc.com/blog-entry/10-things-you-should-know-about-new-thunderbolt-roller-coaster

You know Coney Island is popular stop for tourists to ride the carousel and eat hot dogs. Did you know there is now a new roller coaster in the historic park? The Thunderbolt was opened in 2014 and has been welcomed greatly by New Yorkers. Along with the coasters like the Soaring Eagle and the Cyclone, this coaster is situated in Luna Park.

The Thunderbolt has many interesting facts about it. According to NYCEDC, “The massive steel parts were fabricated in Italy at Zamperla Company, the Italian amusement ride designer and manufacturer. The ride was later assembled on site at Coney Island.” This coaster is one of the longest and skinniest coasters in the world! It also reaches 55 miles per hour and has five inversions.

Phil, a rider, puts it like this, “This is awesome! A  brand new roller coaster as you would find at Great Adventure and it does not disappoint. Full of high speed thrills, rolling hills, inverted loops, and really fast. The initial 90 degree ascent up the first hill to the starting point is crazy! You almost feel as if you are going to slip out of your seat! People were screaming from start to finish. I almost lost that Nathan’s hot dog I ate after the second loop!”

If you’d like to be brave and ride Thunderbolt, get tickets online or at Luna Park. To ride the coaster once you’ll pay $10. You can also invest in a platinum wristband for $70. This allows you to ride all rides unlimited for four hours.

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Photo Credit: Luna Park

 

3. 9/11 Memorial

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Photo Credit: blog.cleveland.com

Do you remember where you were on September 11th 2001? Chances are, you do. While in New York, you can visit the site of the World Trade Center towers. Whether you knew someone who passed away in the terrorist attacks or simply mourn with those who did, this is a special opportunity to pay your respects. The memorial is free of charge and is open every day from 7:30am until 9:00pm to the public. Designed by Michael Arad, the memorial is of a large green space filled with trees. In the center are two large square pools that are located where the two towers stood.

The rose speaks of love silently in a language known only to the heart. #911Memorial #NeverForget

A photo posted by 911 Memorial & Museum (@911memorial) on

Popular things to see at the memorial include the Survivor Tree and the 9/11 Museum. The Survivor Tree is a Callery pear tree which was on site when the terrorist attacks occurred. Years later, the tree was returned to Ground Zero healthier and rehabilitated. It stands in the park now.


The museum is dedicated to the events on September 11th 2001. This isn’t a free cultural institution but is a wonderful place to learn more about the unfortunate tragedy. If you’d like to locate a name on the memorial, you can do so by visiting the memorial website. This site has the pictures of victims and information about where their names are located.

4. Attend The U.S. Open

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Photo Credit: www.hollywoodreporter.com

If you have always wanted to go to the U.S. Open, you may be able to if you’re in New York from August 29th to September 11th this year. Held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, in Flushings Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, this tennis tournament is the place to be! Players have not yet been announced and neither has a schedule. The schedule will be officially published on August 22nd.


Tickets can be purchased on the U.S. Open website. Tickets for the the US Open Day Session begin at $68 each and go up to about $800. Keep checking the organization’s social media and website for more updated information.

We’re serving notice: It’s almost time to crown another champion. #usopen #NYisOpen

A video posted by @usopen on

Get Your Shopping On At These 4 Interesting NYC Shops

Planning on going shopping while in New York City? You’re in luck because The Big Apple has some of the most interesting stores in the world! From a store that sells superhero supplies to a shop that changes their look on a regular basis, you won’t ever run out of things to spend your money on!

1. Global Table

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Photo Credit: Global Table

Since 1996, the Global Table has been a popular stop for design lovers in New York. The store showcases table-top accessories and decor accents for the home. You can find items from all over the world in the store ranging from bowls to candles.

New rhino TP holder in my new yellow bathroom #daltilelemonpopsicle #tozairhino

A photo posted by Global Table (@globaltablesohonyc) on

The main style focus of Global Table is “simple lines and vivid finishes.” You may recognize the shop from popular magazines such as Oprah, Elle Decor, and Bon Appetit.

Fun products include the Sperm Whale Platter, a beautiful serving tray which has a large sperm whale on the front, and a Seagrass Pitcher, which is made of seagrass and glass. This past November, Global Table was voted “best tabletop accessories” in the ONE STOP SHOP Guide from Real Simple magazine.

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One shopper, Charles, reviews on Yelp saying,

Tiny store packed to the gills with cool housewares. We have been to this place half a dozen times and have always find things we “really need”. On our last visit we purchased one of the large faux snakeskin rectangular trays…Their selection is constantly changing and their prices appear to be moderate for the ultra cool designs.”

2. CityStore

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Photo Credit: CityStore

So, you’re visiting New York City? It may be time for indulging in some “I heart New York” items. Sure, there are hundreds of shops everywhere you look selling mementos, but there is one that sticks out from the rest. CityStore is known as “the official store of the city of New York.” This shop has anything and everything you’re looking for that falls under the theme New York City.

Some of the categories of gifts at CityStore include: magnets, jewelry, home accents, books, and much more. The shop is a licensed store that sells NYPD, FDNY, and DSNY items. Unique and quirky items are to be found at this fun location. A popular item is the NYC Manhole Cover Floor Mat. This mat looks like a real manhole and says “NYC Sewer” on it.

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Of course you can’t forget the kids in your life while away on a business trip or vacation. At the CityStore you can pick up a Wooden Taxi Teether, onesies in a number of different designs, and map playing cards. Another hot item is the FDNY Mini Ladder Truck, which is part of the NYC toy fleet available at the store.

CityStore is operated by the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services. 100% of sales benefit the city of New York and the shop is located in the David N. Dinkins Municipal Building.

3. Brooklyn Superhero Company

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Photo Credit: parkslopestoop.com

At one time or another everyone wanted to be a superhero, right? Well, if you’re even remotely interested in saving the world in a single bound, you may want to visit the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. The shop isn’t a myth, it’s a real brick-and-mortar storefront in NYC. The coolest part is that when you purchase items, the proceeds go to the nonprofit which supports students ages 6-18 with their writing skills.

In fact, Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. explains it in their own words saying, “826NYC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Our services are structured around our belief that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.”

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Photo Credit: http://www.superherosupplies.com/

The shop sells capes, masks, maps, books, posters, and mugs. Stranger items that are more for the novelty include cans of “doom” and “gloom,” muscle massive strength enhancer, and secret identity kits. One of the best purchases from Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co? Pick up a Make Your Own Superhero Cape Kit From Seedling. This adorably DIY kit comes with a base cape, glitter glue, and felt squares to design your own costume!


A tip about visiting? Call ahead to make sure they’re open! They have irregular hours since they are ran by volunteers.

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4. Story

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Photo Credit: Story

Chances are, you’ve never visited a store quite like Story. “Point of view like a magazine, changes like a gallery, sells things like a store,” is this NYC establishment’s motto. Basically, this means that the store takes a 180 degrees every four to eight weeks. The merchandise and the style inside the 2,000 square foot space changes.

Time Out NY has placed Story on the list “15 Top NY Shops.” Founder Rachel Shechtman is the brains behind the operation and has received accolades from other top entrepreneurs. Each shop is called a “story.”

Different stories have included: Have Fun! Home For the Holidays 2015, Well Being, His, and more. Until July 24th the current story at Story is called Disrupt. This “shop” looks like you’re in a garage. There are tube lighting and even a skee-ball machine between shelves.

Story explains, “The word “Disruption” has become a startup mantra, but what does it actually mean to disrupt culture and alter the status quo? From June 6th through July 24th STORY is joining forces with USA’s award-winning series MR. ROBOT to highlight a blend of disruptive creatives, technologists, and entrepreneurs and explore the people, objects, and ideas that will ultimately give shape to our future.”

 

4 Strange Bites To Give A Taste in NYC

1. Live Octopus, Sik Gaek

Photo Credit: newyork.seriouseats.com
Photo Credit: newyork.seriouseats.com

Have you ever eaten an animal uncooked? What about still wiggling? At Sik Gaek, a Queens restaurant, you can dine on their fresh octopus hot pot. The dish has been featured on No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain and has been written about by many many food writers. When the dish is brought to the table, the sea creatures inside it are still alive. They cook in front of you as the pot is heated up.

Sannakji, or young octopus—dispatched within minutes of consumption, with a cephalopodan nervous system too spirited to calmly accept its demise—arrives at the table still thrashing about. The facial expressions around the table say it all.” explains New York Serious Eats writer Chris Hansen.

The dish is pricey, but comes with enough to feed a big family. For $99.99 the experience is worth every dime. Don’t worry about trying to cut through all of the different seafood items that are included. Staff will come out at after every item is done moving and cut it up for you to consume. Now, which crazy friends can you talk into joining you?

Photo Credit: Yelp
Photo Credit: Yelp

 

2. Cookie Shots, Dominique Ansel Bakery

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Photo Credit: www.glenwoodnyc.com

Do you enjoy doing shots? What if we told you there was such a thing as a “cookie” shot? If you’d rather stay home in your PJ’s and down some milk and homemade cookies you may want to visit Dominique Ansel Bakery. Since 2014, the shop has been offering New Yorkers a chocolate chip cookie that is shaped like a shot glass filled with milk.

This fun and sugary concoction is a little over $4. The shop begins selling them every day after 3pm. If you enjoy the shot at the bakery they will fill it up with more milk.

According to Serious Eats New York writer Niko Triantafillou, “the superb base cookie, similar to the bakery’s standard version, uses high-end 66% Valrhona chocolate. Our shot was served warm with soft, gooey chocolate chips, a buttery crumb, and a fresh-out-of-the-oven aroma (despite being reheated). Five Acre Farms whole milk infused with Tahitian vanilla fills the shot, offering its own powerful fragrance.

Photo Credit: Serious Eats
Photo Credit: Serious Eats

Other items to try while at Dominique Ansel Bakery include cronuts (croissant donuts) and s’mores on a stick.

3. Calf’s Brain Cream with Blinis & Caviar, Takashi

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Photo Credit: http://chopsticksandmarrow.com/2014/09/takashis-caviar-and-calf-brain-elevates-offal/

Moving away from something sweet like a chocolate chip cookie, the restaurant Takashi serves a dish that’s almost out of a Goosebumps book! If you love beef, or love anything outside of the boring culinary box, order the Calf’s Brain Cream with Blinis & Caviar.

This dish will immediately remind you of…toothpaste! For this shareable appetizer your plate will include blinis, which are like thin pancakes, a small dish with caviar, and a tub of white liquid. The tube has a red image of a brain on it. Inside the tube is calf’s brain cream! The way to eat it is to place the caviar on the pancake and then top it off with the cream.

In an interview with Bravo’s writer Marcey De Luna, Chef Takashi explains, “I was inspired to make this dish because I’m crazy, … I wanted to use (leftover) bits and parts of the cow not typically used, but didn’t want to show them in plain shape because they can look unappealing. So I came up with the idea to boil them in vegetable stock with olive oil and spices, and blend it all into a paste with butter and heavy cream. It tastes sort of like foie gras.”

For $28, it’s quite an interesting dish.

4. Fois Gras Ice Cream, Oddfellows

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Photo Credit: Yahoo

Ice cream is always a great thing, right? Always, if you like fois gras. We didn’t know what fois gras was until we recently went on a trip to Europe. It seems much more popular there. This dish is made of the liver of a duck or goose. It’s usually fattened and then served raw. Kind of gross, if you’re not into that kind of thing.

Well, Oddfellows (properly named), is offering a fois gras ice cream on its menu. Oddfellows is an ice cream shop located in New York. There are two different branches. One is in the East Village and the other is in Brooklyn.

The shop is popular and known for its unique ice cream flavors. Some of them include S’mores, Grapefruit Jalapeno, and Honey & Salted Sunflower. Another item on the list has people freaking out. It’s the Fois Gras Ice Cream. The item is on their secret menu and guests are limited to one scoop per person. You can call ahead to see when it will be available and ask in person.

????????. It's lit. Lemon Meringue Pie + Cornbread. #merica???????? ????: @cjenks609

A photo posted by OddFellows Ice Cream Co. (@oddfellowsnyc) on

The duck or goose ingredient is meaty and is balanced with peanut butter and caramel. One taster from Thrillest explained, ““It basically tastes like vanilla ice cream, and you definitely get the peanut butter and caramel, plus a hint of rich, meaty flavor that’s not too aggressive.” 

Would you try it? We think we’ll pass.

Posted in NYC

Make the Most of the Sunny Weather by Grabbing a Table at These 3 Restaurant Patios in NYC

This summer enjoy a drink outside while people-watching or catching up with a friend. These three restaurants have the best patios in all of New York City!

1. The Farm on Adderley

 

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Photo Credit: Yelp

Located in Brooklyn, this New American restaurant is the place to go for evening cocktails and delicious food. The eatery has all different types of menus, from brunch to dessert, and specializes in farm fresh cuisine. Some of the most popular dishes include the Roasted Chicken and Farm Burger. The Farm Burger is made of pasture-raised beef on a homemade english muffin.

Join #thefarmanimals for lunch in the sunny garden!! #gorgeousday #ditmaspark #garden

A photo posted by The Farm On Adderley (@farmonadderley) on

One of the best things about The Farm on Adderley is its lovely garden space. The inside of the restaurant opens up to the back which has a fenced in patio. Trees, overgrown vines, and hanging twinkle lights make you want to spend the entire night here. New dishes on the menu are written with chalkboard paint and when you receive your check a small plastic farm animal will be placed on top.


“Best burgers in the hood. Staff is great for the most part. Love their back patio. We always try to go during off-peak hours as it gets packed really quickly. And for good reason.” one regular explains.

Keith and the tree are ready for lunch in The Farm's garden! #gorgeousday #gardenlunch #ditmaspark #sunny

A photo posted by The Farm On Adderley (@farmonadderley) on

2. Forest Point

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Photo Credit: gothamist.com

Mis-matched furniture and a creative urban feel characterize Forest Point. Located in Bushwick, this restaurant embraces what it called “ambitious creativity.” The cuisine is a modern take on Middle Eastern food. You can enjoy lunch and dinner everyday and a decadent brunch on the weekends.

Brunch times in the garden. ✨????✨ #ForrestPoint ???? @alison_fischer

A photo posted by Forrest Point (@forrestpoint) on

At Forest Point, some of the more popular dishes for lunch include Steak Tacos and their Cast Iron Cheeseburger. Dinner consists of similar choices but with items like their Shawarma Style Chicken Flatbread mixed in. On an evening out with friends, don’t hesitate to order the Forest Point Cast Iron S’mores. This perfect summer dessert can be shared and is made with a buttery graham cracker crust, Valrhona chocolate ganache, and marshmallow.

One reviewer from Brooklyn described the space, “Located on Flushing Avenue, this restaurant is a classic. Their huge inside allows you to think about a big party dinner or lunch with all your friends and their beautiful garden to a romantic or chill moment in the forest. Nature you said ? Of course. A gorgeous outdoor totally out of time, like a tiny jungle in the middle of the streets.”


Hanging baskets with flowers and a brick patio make Forest Point a great place to sit back outside. Rustic seating and hanging chandeliers make for a cozy evening. When the sun sets, waiters place mason jars with tea lights in them to make the atmosphere even more cozy. Bright colored murals cover the outside and inside wall of this restaurant and makes it a NYC favorite.

Shotzy is holding down the fort. ????❤️ #ForrestLunch ???? @shotzy_time

A photo posted by Forrest Point (@forrestpoint) on

3. Mulberry Project

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Photo Credit: Yelp

Who knew speakeasies could have such awesome back patios? At the Mulberry Project you’ll find a hip restaurant as well as a backyard space that’s begging for you to bust a move in. Street art, a live DJ, hanging flower beds, and ample seating make this one of the best places to enjoy the outdoors while dining.

In the front of the Mulberry Project you’ll find a speakeasy that’s inspired by “the popular renegade culture of New York City.” There’s small bites like guacamole and chips and skirt steak skewers. The main highlight of the Mulberry Project is it’s cocktails. All you need to do is tell the bartender your favorite ingredients and they’ll whip up the perfect drink for you.

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Photo Credit: midtowngirl.com

The backyard experience at the Mulberry Project is referred to as the La Isla Escondida pop-up. There’s art hanging outside from artists like Bass and Faile. Groups dance to a live DJ and enjoy some of the best cocktails in the city.


A big fan of the Mulberry Project offered tips on Yelp saying, “Great spot to hang out after work! Showed up around 8PM on a Thursday night and the place got filled up pretty quickly. After standing around for a bit we managed to score 3 seats at the bar.  There were a few tables in the place, but unless you are with a big group, I would strongly suggest you try getting a bar stool.  Lots of great ingredients here and a good amount of creativity.  The food here is a nice touch as well.  The buttermilk chicken sandwich and fries were awesome! You can also order food from next door as well if the bar snacks don’t do it for you.”

4 Mouth-Watering Hot Dogs Shops in The Big Apple

Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs

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Photo Credit: www.inetours.com

Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs began in 1916 with a $300 loan and 5 cent hot dogs. Nathan Handwerker began his stand on Coney Island in New York City. Today, the brand is the most famous hot dogs brand in the world and you can buy all their products at grocery stores. There are many different Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs restaurants in New York City.

The most iconic Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs is the original located on Coney Island, although you can visit any of the locations in NYC and enjoy a great meal. Found at 1310 Surf Ave, many just call it Nathan’s Famous. The menu is simple, yet delicious and the atmosphere is a piece of New York history.

One fan says it like this, “Don’t get crazy with your order here. Keep it simple, timeless, and classic. Grab a dog with onions and kraut, a small order of fries (okay, splurge and toss on some cheese), and a fresh lemon or orangeade. Just shut up and do it. Enjoy this little piece of American iconography for what it is.”

An original hot dog is $3.95, but worth every single penny. If you’re around in July, make sure to look up Nathan’s hot dog eating competition. It’s one of the largest in the world.

Shake Shack

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Photo Credit: burgerbeast.com

Shake Shack doesn’t have the rich history as Nathan’s Famous, but the restaurant is making waves in New York. It all began as a hot dog cart to support Madison Square Park. The cart was such a success that more were added in 2002 and 2003. Today, the Shake Shack is a permanent fixture at the park and has many other branches. There are 17 just in New York and it’s branched out to other states.

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Photo Credit: www.shakeshack.com

The Shake Shack menu is vast but one thing is for sure, their hot dogs are a favorite!

The Flat-Top Dogs are made with 100% all natural Vienna beef with no hormones and no antibiotics. Then the beef is placed on a non-GMO Martin’s Potato Roll. You can choose from a Shack-Cago Dog, which has lots of veggies, or a plain Hot Dog with cheese sauce.

Crif Dogs

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Photo Credit: nycfoodguy.com

A unique option in NYC for a hot dog is the newer Crif Dogs. Born out of a love for classic hot dogs, Crif Dogs has one-of-a-kind options. Each dog is made from beef and pork and is smoked or deep fried to order. Crif Dog’s claims to have “NYC’s #1 Weiner.”

The shop has about sixteen different hot dogs one the menu and you can also customize your own. The Spicy Redneck is a popular option and is made with a house dog, wrapped in bacon, with chili, cole slaw, and jalapeños.

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Photo Credit: www.newyork.com

If you’re adventurous, try the Good Morning dog which has a dog smothered in melted cheese and laid on a fried egg.

Owners Brian Shebairo and Chris Antista founded Crif Dogs in 1999. The name Crif Dogs was given when Brian tried to say Chris’s name with a hot dog in his mouth and it came out “Crif.”

Gray’s Papaya

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Photo Credit: roadtrippers.com

Where do you go to grab a bite to eat at 4:00am? Gray’s Papaya of course! This hot dog restaurant is located at 2090 Broadway, between 71rst and 72nd street. You can purchase a single hot dog or the recession special, which includes two franks and a drink.

For years this 24 hour establishment has been an iconic part of New York. You may see it in movies and referenced even in books. The location doesn’t have seating, just a bar. The “papaya” in Gray’s Papaya is referring to the shop’s yummy fruit juice, which includes a papaya creation.

On reviewer confirms the special NYC connection, saying, “for those who wants to experience the NY hot dog~ this is the go-to place.”

Many claim that this hole-the-wall restaurant has better quality hot dogs than carts on the street. If you’re preparing to go, make sure you have cash.

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Photo Credit: www.trekearth.com

 

 

5 Apps to Download When Visiting NYC

When visiting NYC you can benefit from downloading some of these Big Apple-specific apps on your smartphone. From learning about the best restaurants to finding a parking place, these apps are your trick to having a great visit!

ParkMe

Photo Credit: tech.co
Photo Credit: tech.co

ParkMe is the world’s largest and most accurate parking application! It’s free and works on all major phone platforms. With this app, you can find parking spots all around NYC. You’ll also be able to see in real time how many parking spots are available in specific garages. At a glance, you can make an informative choice on the cheapest parking spots in the area you want to park. There are also great maps of NYC and parking options.

Included in the free app is a timer so you don’t ever over-pay for staying longer in a parking spot. If you’re renting a car in New York City, this is a must-have application!

TripIt

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It can be hard to get all of your travel plans organized. That’s where TripIt comes into play! This creative application makes planning a tip and organizing all of your documents a breeze. For free you can send all of your confirmation emails to plans@tripit.com. From there, the application will automatically transform your emails into a comprehensive itinerary. You’ll be able to see all of your trip plans in one place and you can access it from anywhere.


There are two different versions of TripIt. The first is free and the second is TripIt Pro and it’s a set amount every month. (Currently $4.09 per month.) With the free app, you can organize your travel plans all in one place, access them on a smartphone or tablet, sync travel plans with your calendar, share your travel plans with others, and store all of your travel documents in one place! Some of the travel reservations that TripIt accepts includes dinner plans, hotel stays, and flights. This application works with almost all phones, tablets, and laptops.

New York Pass Travel Guide

Photo Credit: play.google.com
Photo Credit: play.google.com

With the New York Pass, you’ll have information on all the best attractions in the New York at your fingertips. This popular application has been rated 5 stars and is free. The program is updated automatically on all the best things to do in New York City.

There’s information in the app about over seventy different attractions and a new feature which allows you to budget for your trip. Depending on which phone you use, there is also six pre-set sightseeing itineraries and an itinerary sections which lets you plan each day. Another cool aspect of the app is that it works without an internet connection.

Flavour

Photo Credit: Tasting Table
Photo Credit: Tasting Table

There are so many wonderful dining options in New York. Unfortunately, you may choose a less-than-great place to grab dinner or drinks if you don’t do your homework. If you don’t have the time to look up different tasty options, download the Flavour app! This application has been suggested by The Tasting Table and other notable foodie authorities. The application is sleek and easy to use. All you do is put in your location and then choose your restaurant based on neighborhood and cuisine. You can also make special requests. Flavour will do all the hard work and present you with plenty of delicious destinations.

Along with finding places near you, Falvour also has collections of destinations to browse. Notable chefs and other foodies create their collections and you can follow along.

Each destination has the location, how far away it is from you, a price range, and special dish suggestions. While driving around NYC, you can pull out this app and know you’re headed to a fabulous dining destination.

Central Park

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Photo Credit: www.purewow.com

The Central Park Conservatory offers a great free app for Central Park! This free app includes a full, interactive map of Central Park. Considered the perfect app for first time visitors and native New Yorkers alike, this free resource has the answer to plenty of your questions about NYC’s green space.

Central Park has GPS technology which tells you where you are. It also has a celebrity audio guide and a list of iconic locations. While using this app, you’ll learn where the nearest bathroom is to you and where you can buy food for a picnic. There’s also a list of the 21 parks in Central Park. If you want, you can see all the latest events taking place in the park and sync them to your calendar.

Photo Credit: befluentnyc.tumblr.com
Photo Credit: befluentnyc.tumblr.com

Central Park says,

“It’s the most comprehensive app for Central Park from the people who made the Park the world-renowned landmark it is today. Now you can be more Central to the Park than ever, compliments of our members and staff, who know Central Park inside and out. “