Thursday, 13 August 2009

Night Club Spotlight: Marquee

It's hard to talk about NYC nightlife and not bring up Marquee, where stars like P. Diddy, Scarlett Johannson, and Michael Phelps have partied. The West Chelsea hot spot has been ranked #32 on the 2009 Night Club & Bar Top 100 according to and appeals to those who want the high-energy of a large club while still maintaining the intimacy of a smaller one. The firm of Philip Johnson/Alan Ritchie Archiects along with nightlife designer Steve Lewis, created the ultra-lounge that opened in December of 2003. Johnson is known as the dean of 20th century American architecture, creating Manhattan landmarks such as the Lipstick Building and the Seagram Building. He finished up his designs for Marquee shortly before his death, but there is no doubt that his fine work will continue to be praised.Marquee is set apart from other venues by it's architectural originality but some connect it's style with that of a classic gentlemen's club. The main cabaret space was created by carving out the original roof and replacing it with a 24-foot vaulted ceiling and decorated with lighting fixtures to highlight the signature 35-foot wishbone staircase. The night club features three distinct areas; the main room which tends to play house/techno, the second level where one hears hip/hop, and the Red Room which is tucked in the rear of the main room (ideal for intimate interaction). Each of the rooms come with a full-service bar where one can enjoy a cocktail for a steep $18 on a busy night.
Natural woods, glistening brass, glass accents, and the plush, leathery banquettes add to the luxurious ambiance of Marquee, which entertains thousands of guests weekly. The club uses its own chic tableware and top of the line audio and lighting technology. It has a capacity of 600 people so don't surprised if you don't get in if you're only decently dressed, with a group of guys, or refuse to shell out the average cover of $25. The crowd tends to comprise of many Europeans due to its international praise, which may or may not be what you're looking for. It is also a wise idea not to bring too much into the Marquee because the coat check will charge you for each item you wish them to hold. Hit up Marquee if you're looking for a luxurious night in NYC and you're not on a budget. Play your cards right and you may just bump into one of your favorite celebrities! Check out a video of Marquee during New Year's Eve 2007 to get a better feel of what you'll be experiencing inside.

Get more info on one of Chelsea's hottest night club's at Marquee's official website here.

To skip the lines, get free drinks, meet new people, and go home with a story in clubs like Marquee, be sure to reserve your spot on the Chelsea Night Club Tour operating Friday and Saturday nights.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Neighborhood Focus: Hell's Kitchen

Hell's Kitchen refers to the area between 34th Street and 59th Street from 8th Avenue to the Hudson River. The neighborhood has been home to gangs and violence in the past but has transformed into a lively area frequented by actors and some of NYC's best bars. Irish immigrants settled in Hell's Kitchen in the mid-19th Century, falling victim of the Great Famine in their home country. These immigrants found work on the docks and railroads, but soon overpopulated this "land of opportunity" and the increasing poverty led to gang formation. It was around this time that the neighborhood was coined the name "Hell's Kitchen" even though it's exact origins are not known. Some claim Davey Crockett started the term when he used it to describe the Five Points slum, while others claim the name is traced back to particular tenements in the area. One thing is for certain, it did not have a positive connotation.
Gangs were on the rise through the next several few decades, with increased violence during Prohibition and the arrival of Puerto Rican immigrants in the 1950s. The hostility among the Puerto Rican, Irish, and Italian immigrants in the area is highlighted in the film West Side Story. The Irish-American gang, the Westies, who had violent tendencies and ties with the Gambino family, controlled Hell's Kitchen from the mid-1960's through the 1980's. In 1986, convictions under the Rackateer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act haltered the gang activity in Hell's Kitchen, and by the early 1990's, the neighborhood was in full swing of a gentrification.
With the prominent Midtown as its neighbor, Hell's Kitchen started to become more elite as Midtown continued to prosper. Young professionals and actors moved into this area and continue to enjoy the close proximity to the business district and Broadway theaters alike. Some celebrities that have lived in Hell's Kitchen include Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stalone, Jerry Seinfeld, Madonna, and Alicia Keys. Despite the increasing prominence of the neighborhood, we will never forget the famous gangsters like Owney Madden and James Coonan that dominated Hell's Kitchen before all that. The municipality, gentrifies, and real estate agents tend to refer to the area as "Clinton" to erase the reputation of the neighborhood's past, but Hell's Kitchen will always be Hell's Kitchen.To get a more in-depth and interactive history of Hell's Kitchen as well as enjoy a few beers at historic bars in the area, check out the Hell's Kitchen Pub Crawl offered Wednesdays at 7:30 pm.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Fraunces Tavern Welcomes The Magna Carta

This blog entry features information from an article by Annaline Dinkelmann in Guidelines, the Guides' Association of New York City newsletter, Matthew Baker - editor. For more info on GANYC, visit

Fraunces Tavern has earned its title as a New York City landmark considered to be Manhattan's oldest surviving building. It was also the site where General George Washington bade farewell to his officers at the end of the Revolution before returning to his home in Virginia. This historic bar will again go down in the history books this Fall when it hosts the Magna Carta. The Magna Carta was drawn up in 1215 to limit the powers of King John of England, which also served as a catalyst for the pursuit of liberty. It played a critical role in history of democracy and still has a huge impact on human rights. The document will be on display in an exhibit from September 15th - December 15th, 2009, which will reveal how the roots of the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and Bill of Rights all trace back to the Magna Carta. The Magna Carta has voyaged overseas from its home at Lincoln Cathedral in England to New York just twice, making this a truly rare event.

Tickets available NOW
Order tickets online:

Order tickets by phone: 1-866-468-7619

Exhibit Hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 12 Noon - 6:00 PM
Closed Monday

School group tours:
10:30 AM - 12 Noon
Call 212-425-1778

After-hour group tours can be arranged.
Contact Visitor Services at 212-425-1776, ext. 18
Or 212-425-1778

Adults ................................ $10.00
Seniors [65 and over] ............ $5.00
Children [6 to 18] ................. $5.00
Children [5 and under] .......... FREE

Your admission to the exhibit will also gain you entrance to our Dunsmore Gallery with its magnificent paintings depicting Revolutionary War scenes, the historic Long Room where George Washington bade farewell to his officers, and the elegant Clinton Dining Room. The exhibit will be an experience rich with stories of American patriotism and the history of liberty itself. You don't want to miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity!

For additional information on this exhibit click here.

To learn more about the history of Fraunces Tavern as well as other NYC landmarks in the area, be sure to book your spot on the Alexander Hamilton Financial District Tour.

Monday, 3 August 2009

"Uncle Sam's New York Creates A Gateway for Tourists"

The July/August 2009 edition of Packaged Travel Insider features Uncle Sam's New York as one of the must-do events in the state of New York. The magazine is the only publication servicing all the needs of packaged travel planners, including group and packaged travel planning. With over 10,000 active readers passionate about travel, Packaged Travel Insider makes sure everything they recommend is an enjoyable experience for all types of travelers. They capture what our company is all about in just a few short paragraphs, letting those traveling to the NYC know what they are in for.Packaged Travel Insider stresses the importance of learning the city from an insightful native and confirms that Uncle Sam's can live up to this. To quote the article directly "They [Uncle Sam's New York] create a gateway for tourists, helping them navigate the streets, showing them some fun places to eat, drink, and see the locals. It's a formula that's part education, part entertainment, and part social experiment." The brief article also highlights the uniqueness of our certified tour guides who all have different backgrounds with a different story to tell. "Some are writers, others are enthusiastic history buffs, and others just enjoy introducing new people to the city they love."

To read the article in its entirety, check out an online version of the issue here.

For more reviews, be sure to visit TripAdvisor where you'll get the run-down from tourists and locals who already experienced our tours.