Photo Of The Day: New York Pizza

There’s lots of good food to be had in New York City So much good food, in fact, that visitors must not forget to try one of NYC’s cheapest (and tastiest) culinary offerings: the pizza slice. Today’s photo, taken by Flickr user Mike GL, gives us a “behind the counter” look at your typical New York pizza joint. I liked the angle of the shot behind the glass, lending the shot a “slice of life” perspective. Wondering where to get some great pizza in New York? Check out this list of some of our favorites.

Taken any great travel photos lately? Why not add them to our Gadling group on Flickr? We might just pick one of yours as our Photo of the Day.

[Photo credit: Flickr user Mike GL]

The New York Comedy Festival comes to town this month

The 8th annual New York Comedy Festival will be coming to town from November 9-13, 2011. Comedians like Kathy Griffin, Sarah Silverman, Louis C.K., Tracy Morgan, Wanda Sykes, and more will be putting on hilarious shows for the public during this five day event. There will also be a collaborative tribute in honor of the late comedian, Mike DeStefano, on Wednesday, November 9th, with the proceeds going towards the Mike DeStefano Foundation.

Some other acts to watch for include:

These are just a few of the many acts the New York Comedy Festival has to offer. To see a full schedule and to purchase tickets, click here.

10 free things to do in New York

While New York can be an expensive place to live and visit, not everything costs an arm and a leg. In fact, some things in the city are completely free. Check out these classes, shows, parks, museums, and more at no charge.

Visit Central Park
Park borders include W. 110th, W.59th, Eighth Ave., and Fifth Ave.

Central Park is like a city of its own, with 843 acres of gardens, restaurants, lakes, rides, entertainment, sports, fishing, games, and more. Play on the adventure playground, take photos of the Alice in Wonderland sculpture, relax in the Arthur Ross Pinetum, visit Belvedere Castle, and more. Want someone to show you around? The Central Park Conservancy offers free guided tours.Ride the Staten Island Ferry
Battery Park runs from Battery Pl. to South St.

This commuter ferry runs from Battery Park to Staten Island and is completely free. Not only will you get a complimentary boat ride along the New York Harbor, you’ll also have the chance to see some big-name sites, such as the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, as well as photo-worthy city skyline views.

Experience contemporary art at the Swiss Institute
18 Wooster St., between Canal St. and Grand St.

While most of the museums and art galleries in New York have discounted and free days, the Swiss Institute of Contemporary Art is always free. While the original mission of the institute was to showcase Swiss art and artists for a predominantly Swiss audience, it has now become an “innovative international venue for art that provides a significant forum for cultural dialogue between Switzerland, Europe, and the United States”.

Also worth mentioning is that some of the best museums and art galleries in the city have a “suggested donation” as the admission, meaning you can pay what you can afford. Some of these include the American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Explore the New York Public Library
5th and 42nd St. in Midtown

If you’re thinking there is nothing worthwhile to see at a library, then you have never been to the New York Public Library. In addition to its extensive collections, ranging from Accents and Dialects to Women’s Studies to Immigration and beyond, the library also features music, movies, classes, and museum exhibits.

Visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Fifth Ave., between 50th and 51st

According to Heather Cross from, St. Patrick’s Cathedral first opened to the public in May of 1879. With the capacity to seat 2,200 people, it is the largest Gothic-style Cathedral in the United States. There are many opportunities to attend mass, as they are held at multiple times every day of the week.

Attend a live jazz performance at Rue B
188 Avenue B., East Village

Seven nights a week at 9PM, you can head over to Rue B for live jazz music. While the performers rotate, Thursday nights they feature their own in-house musician, Henry, a cabaret singing piano player who will perform standards, classics, and even pop covers.

Take pétanque lessons in Bryant Park
Between 40th and 42nd and 5th and 6th

For those who don’t know what pétanque is, it’s a French ball game that involves throwing metal balls as close as possible to the “cochonnet” (a smaller wooden ball). Most games are played in teams, and the New York City pétanque club, La Boule New Yorkaise, will teach you the tips and tricks you need to know to be successful at the game. Stop by Bryant Park Monday-Friday from 11AM-6PM for your free lesson.

Eat free food at The Mark Bar
1025 Manhattan Ave. at Green St., Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Dining doesn’t have to be expensive in New York anymore. Everyday from 6PM on enjoy free pizza at this laid back bar. On Sundays, The Mark Bar also offers free bagels and coffee, perfect for nursing a New York style hangover.

Tour the Chelsea Brewing Company
Chelsea Piers, Pier 59, W 19th St. at the Hudson River

Every Saturday, from 2PM-6PM, Manhattan’s only active brewery gives free tours. Not only that, but at the end of the tour visitors will get a free beer sample and will have the chance to ask questions to brew experts.

Learn the art of theater
254 W. 29th St., between 7th and 8th

A few times a month, the Magnet Theater hosts a free workshop lead by trained instructors called Intro to Improv. No experience is necessary and all are welcome to participate. Would you rather watch a show than actually perform in one? The Magnet Theater offers tickets from $5-$10, which many times will include multiple shows.

I (sometimes) love New York. New app invites New Yorkers to complain about their hometown

Tourists wear it, New Yorkers live it. Most Big Apple dwellers will tell you that they love New York – and if the choose to complain, well, it’s their city to complain about. But for the first time, New Yorkers are asked to weigh in on the question, “Does New York Love You Back?”

DOES NY LOVE U BACK? is a website and iPhone app where New Yorkers can submit praises or complaints about life in the Big Apple. These expressions are then plotted onto an interactive map of New York City.

“This app isn’t about namedropping places, like other services,” said creator Erik Trinidad, (no shock here) a Brooklyn resident. “The good or bad experiences of New York don’t always happen in specific places. They happen on the street or on the subway – anywhere. This project is merely an experimental interactive sounding board for New Yorkers wherever they are in the five boroughs.”

“It’s easy to love the city, but it’s also easy to hate this city. Being able to express any emotion at any time is necessary. And that’s what this app does. It’s the voice of NYC,” saids Jon Darren, an East Village resident.

The voice of NYC seems small so far – there are only a few dozen comments posted on the site, ranging from loving to only-in-nyc style moments such as Chris from Midtown who says “Gangstarr blasting at Num Pang and all the suits don’t know what to do,” and E from Brooklyn who “is watching an old man refuse to get out of the shot, as the neighborhood has turned into a film set yet again.” Another favorite comes from Judy from Gramercy who says that “Unattractive guys should not be wearing daisy dukes and flip flops.” We’re with you, Julie. Although we’re pretty sure no guy should ever sport daisy dukes.

The website also links to an on-line store where t-shirts, amongst other things, can be purchased. The t-shirts are modeled in a gallery section, which expresses thoughts from the five boroughs of NYC – the mostly cynical ones.

So feel free – tweet, shout or wear your love and hate with abandon. Or use the app to figure out where the love (or hate) propels you to visit (or not) on your next trip to the city.

The top creepiest statues in New York City

There are countless statues in New York City, each one put into place for a different reason. Many of these statues have been there for decades, often gifts and peace offerings from other countries. The Statue of Liberty, for example, was a peace offering from France, officially dedicated in the year 1886. Lady Liberty represents the Roman goddess of freedom, Libertas. While the word ‘creepy’ typically does not pop into anyone’s head when they think of this important statue, there are plenty of other monuments in good ol’ New York which can make the most fearless person’s skin crawl.

Listed here are the top creepiest statues in New York City. Understand that while some of these statues may seem like odd choices, there is always a rhyme and reason behind picking them. Fasten your safety belts and get ready for an interesting journey into the weirdest monuments the Big Apple has to offer.

1. Miguel de Cervantes (right) First on the list is the statue of famed Spanish writer and painter, Miguel de Cervantes. Cervantes was born on Sep. 29, 1547 and died April 23, 1616. He lived in Madrid for a large portion of his life and is most popularly known for writing the epic novel “Don Quixote.” A statue of him currently rests on the NYU campus near Fifth Avenue and has been in place since 1986. This particular statue is known for giving the viewer a solemn, lonely feeling. Plus, it does sort of look like he is watching everyone as they walk past him. At any rate, whether some people agree or not, the statue of Miguel de Cervates is pretty creepy.

2. Lin Ze Xu This is probably an odd choice, considering Lin Ze Xu was a widely respected Chinese scholar and member of the Qing Dynasty, advocating peace and moral high-ground during his tenure–but the selection stands. Xu was born Aug. 30, 1785 and died Nov. 22, 1850. A statue was erected by an unknown sculptor in 1999 and is now sitting on the busy intersection of East Broadway St. and Chatham Square. Xu was chosen to be on this list of creepy statues because of his grim expression and stature. Xu’s memorial has him dressed in ancient Chinese garb, looking as if he is lording over the many passerby of Broadway St.

3. Dolly Dimples Now it’s time to kick it into high gear. Dolly Dimples is an extremely odd example of New York statues, currently owned by a local candy shop called Valvo’s Candy. She is a giant 1950’s style little girl and can be seen in the distance waving at passersby, sporting a rather unscrupulous smile. She was originally part of a drive-in restaurant in the 1970s called Pat’s Diner. While Dolly Dimples is probably modeled after the idea of a sweet, innocent school-girl, she at least appears to have ulterior motives hidden somewhere behind that creepy grin of hers.

4.Big Leather Guy This statue resides off of Route 30 and used to belong to Alvord’s House of Leather. Alvord’s closed in late 1998 and now the statue has found a new home. He looks quite a lot like the fabled character Paul Bunyon and is totally retro, sporting his 1970s suede jacket and high-legged boots. Big Leather Guy is now positioned outside of the entry way at Adirondack Leather Shop, greeting customers with his all-too-warm smile.

5.The Long Island Sphinx Near the beaches of Long Island resides a strange, small-scale ‘replica’ of the mighty Sphinx. This one more than makes the list of creepy New York City statues, not only because of it’s decidedly lecherous expression, but because of an odd inscription carved into his midsection, which reads: “She Who Climbs To The Sphinx’s Head, A Millionaire Will Surely Wed.”

6.The Stoned Shores of Staten Island Finally, the time comes to mention the stone structures of Staten Island’s beaches. These strange monuments litter the shores, taking the viewer on a wild journey to what appears to be a very creepy alien landscape, full of towers, rooms and Stonehenge-like structures. These oddities were in fact built by Douglas Schwartz, who claims that his creations, spanning over a half-mile, are the product of an ecological art experiment. Regardless of their purpose, Schwartz gets awarded the official crown for ‘King of Creepiness.’