New York City Travel Tips

HBO’s Gilded Age: The Astor Family (B3:1)

It’s impossible to discuss The Gilded Age (both the show and the era) without mentioning the Astor Family. Founded in the 1780’s by John Jacob Astor, he made his fortune in fur and Manhattan real estate. The Mrs. Astor we keep hearing about in The Gilded Age was the wife of John Jacob’s grandson. Broadway great Donna Murphy is doing a great job of portraying Mrs. Astor and I’m becoming a fan of Amy Forsyth who plays her daughter Carrie. Carolyn Holding and Andy Taken make cameos as Helen Astor and James ‘Rosy’ Roosevelt in the first episode. Caroline Astor...

HBO’s The Gilded Age: The Van Rhijn Household (B:1-2)

Just like the Russell Family, I discussed in my previous blog (check out the link here), both the Brook and Van Rhijn Families are fictional. The Brook family is most likely of English descent and the name Van Rhijn is clearly a nod to the early Dutch arrivals to New York. I haven’t been able to figure out who (if any at all) this family is based off, there aren’t such obvious inspirations like the Russells. I thought in this blog, I’ll comment on the characters themselves and highlight some of my favorite Gilded Age New York Families. Marion Brook...

HBO’s The Gilded Age: Who Are the Russells? (B:1-1)

When I first heard Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey, was writing a show about The Gilded Age in New York City, I was excited — extremely excited. Then I found out it would be full of some of Broadway’s brightest stars and I felt, Fellowes, had created a show for me personally. Like he reached into my mind and pulled this show out of all the places that give me joy. The Gilded Age has always fascinated me and the time period is one of my personal favorites in American History. Many of my colleagues and friends who aren’t...

10 Instagram Worthy Spots This Holiday Season

NYC during the holidays presents an overwhelming amount of places that make for amazing picture backdrops. With so much to do and so little time, we’ve compiled our 10 favorite holiday picture spots (5 of which can be seen on our Holiday Tour)! 1. Pulitzer Fountain Donated to the city by Joseph Pulitzer’s estate and installed in 1916, this beautiful fountain sits right across the street from the famed Plaza Hotel in Grand Army Plaza (right next to Central Park). This year’s decorations feature handcrafted animal sculptures, icebergs, and 5,000 feet of lights. Bonus: You can walk down 5th Avenue...

Broadway is Back! After a hiatus of 18 months, Broadway shows are reopening on the Great White Way.

There were quite a few shows that closed during previews that are now getting the chance for a real run, and a few that we are excited to see open next year. As a Musical Theatre major, I’m a little biased and am very excited about the 5 musicals I’ve listed below. Mrs. Doubtfire I had the pleasure of seeing this show in tryouts in Seattle in January of 2020 before Covid. I immediately fell in love with this re-imagined version of the 1993 classic which starred Robin Williams as a divorced Father dressing up as a Scottish nanny to...

TopDog Tours Holiday Tour is Featured by Travel + Leasure

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSs6KqX42ns 0:00 Introduction to New York Holiday Landmarks 0:23 St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Historical Origins of Christmas 1:34 New York Christmas Firsts 1:54 St. Patrick’s Cathedral Midnight Mass History 2:35 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree History 4:27 Radio City Music Hall History 4:48 The Rockettes History 5:56 Bryant Park History 6:30 Bryant Park Winter Village 6:57 Macy’s Store History 8:02 Macy’s Day Parade History 9:08 Macy’s Holiday Window Display  

The Other Booth Brother: Exploring America’s Strangest Theatrical Family

To understand why John Wilkes Booth decided to gather a group of conspirators together on Good Friday 1865 to undermine the nation – killing the president alongside the failed assassinations of other members of his cabinet – one must look towards his life on the stage. John Wilkes Booth was beloved by all, especially women, as a strikingly handsome figure with a face audience members would drop money just to look at, regardless of what show was on the playbill. He was also a bigot who considered African-Americans less than human and was furious that Lincoln would grant freed slaves...

A Look Inside the Exclusive Players Club and Gramercy Park

New York’s wealthy elite took to the charming area just North-East of Union Square in the 1880s. During what is now known as the Gilded Age, the wealthy top tier of NYC society lived in lavish mansions and brownstones while a large percentage of the population lived in abject poverty. Constantly trying to carve a piece of the city for themselves out of sight from the poor, the neighborhood of Gramercy came to be a permanent home for wealthy and powerful individuals. Today the area is still full of well-to-do residents but now is also known for its cultural centers...

Five Broadway Shows we are Excited for this Winter

The weather outside may be cold, but what could be a better way to spend a winter evening than at the theater? Broadway has some amazing shows entering previews in the next two months and we could not be more thrilled! What is especially neat about this round of shows is that most are original musicals and plays. We have seen a lot of jukebox musicals and revivals this past year and it is always a treat to see something new. Up first, a show that has been taking the British theatre scene by storm the past few years: Six-...

Making the Most of Your Winter Visit to NYC

Many tourists avoid NYC in the winter months because they think it won’t be any fun in the cold. But NYC is always a good time and there are a lot of benefits to visiting in February and March. Even if the temperatures are frigid, there is still plenty to do. Here are some ideas for your next winter trip! 1. Visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island It seems like the activity you would want to do least this season but winter is one of the best times to go to the Statue. It can be very cold...

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