Photo Of The Day: New York City From Staten Island Ferry

I had the privilege of escorting photographer Keith Pennington around New York City last week. During his trip, we embarked on a short journey to Staten Island via the free ferry. As it turns out, this ride provides panoramic views of iconic New York City fixtures, like the Statue of Liberty. I could see the park near my house raising its head above the rest of Brooklyn while we were on the boat. The Verrazano Bridge and the beautiful walkway beneath it were in clear view. The buildings in lower Manhattan and on Governors Island were all visible on this bright and sunny day. Pennington managed to capture much of what was to see in this single shot. If you have a photo you would like to contribute to Photo of The Day, upload it to the Gadling Flickr pool or connect with us on Instagram.

[Photo Credit: Keith Pennington]

Citi Pond at Bryant Park in New York officially opens for the season

On Friday, October 28, 2011, Citi Pond at Bryant Park celebrated it’s 7th season grand opening, featuring Manhattan‘s only free-admission ice skating rink, the Holiday Shops, and Celsius Restaurant Lounge & Event Space. The grand opening event included Broadway musical performances like “Sister Act” and “Rock of Ages” and live drum line numbers by Hillside Elementary School’s “Drums of Thunder”. Professional ice skating routines were the highlight of the event, as performers included:

  • The Haydenettes- the U.S. National synchronized skating champions
  • Kimmie Meissner- a former World and U.S. National Champion Figure Skater
  • Isabella Tobias and Deividas Stagniünas, two figure skaters representing Lithuania

After the performances, the public was allowed to go on to the ice to skate for the first time this season. Media representatives were taken to preview the Columbia Freezer Tour, which will take place from October 29-November 29, 2011. Participants put on a Columbia coat and go into a freezer (yes, a freezer!) to sing karaoke while being videotaped and photographed. The idea is to show the public how warm the jackets really are. While they certainly keep your upper body very warm, remember to bring socks and gloves, as the rest of your body will still be chilly.

5 places that offer free classes in New York

Think you need to pay a fortune to learn something new or gain a little knowledge in New York? Think again. The Big Apple is actually full of free opportunities to take classes and hone your skills in dance, art, computers, comedy, acting, meditation, and more. Check out this list of fun, interesting, and free options.

Check out the New York Public Library class schedule
Locations vary

The New York Public Library is not your average library. In fact, the collections in this library are on par with those of the British Library, the Library of Congress, and the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Music, film, art, and history exhibits are also part of the library’s regular programming, as are myriad of free classes. Everyday, the library hosts free classes that anyone can attend on an array of usual and unusual topics. Create beaded bookmarks, build your own periscope, bend and stretch during a Yoga session, become a better parent, or write a personal essay under the direction of a successful freelancer. Check their full schedule for a complete list of classes.Learn improv comedy at the Magnet Theater
254 W. 29th between 7th and 8th Ave.

If you’ve never taken an improv class, the Magnet Theater gives people a chance to try it out for free. No experience is required and the class is open to all. The instructors are professionals in the business and include Rick Andrews, who has taught at improv festivals across the country, Mark Grenier, who has studied both film and acting and has taught improv at various institutions and schools, and Megan Gray, who is the Artistic Director of the Magnet Theater and has a performed on cruise ships and written for major networks like MTV2 and Comedy Central.

Learn to Salsa with the NYC Salsa Fiesta Meetup
Locations vary

Whether you’ve never danced before or you hit the club every weekend, the NYC Salsa Fiesta Meetup & Dance Group is a great way to improve your technique and moves…for free. Free salsa lessons can be found every Wednesday at 8:15PM at Honey Lounge and every 4th Sunday at 8:45PM at Abigail’s Cafe.

Learn photography with PhotoManhattan
51 W. 14th St., between 5th & Avenue of the Americas

A few times each month, PhotoManhattan offers a free introductory photography seminar. Participants will learn about aperture, shutter-speed, film speeds, focal length, and light-meter for both digital and film cameras. Click here to check class times and sign up for yourself.

Learn to Meditate at NYC Meditation
Locations vary

In Manhattan and Queens, NYC Meditation offers free meditation classes multiple times each month. The class will go over posture, breathing and concentration techniques, and how create your own mediation space at home. Contact the center to find out when their upcoming free meditation classes are.

Celebrate fall with Cider Week in New York

What better way to celebrate the changing of the seasons than with a week full of cider-related events. From October 16-October 24, 2011, New York will host it’s first ever Cider Week, which will include tastings, demonstrations, pairings, classes and more. Here are some of the events to check out (for the full schedule, click here):

October 16– A Cider Revival, 11AM-4PM
New Amsterdam Market

This celebration of hard cider will include cider tastings paired with tapas, sampling of both common and rare varieties of apples, cider purchasing opportunities, and the chance to buy delicious apple pies and desserts. Admission into the market is free, although you will have to purchase a ticket if you want to do the tastings.October 17– Mele and Maiale in the Meatpacking, 6PM-8PM

The event will include cider and porchetta tasting, with special guest Ezra Sherman from Eve’s Cidery. The cost is $10 and reservations should be made in advance to secure a spot. If interested in attending, click here.

October 18– Meet the Cider Maker: Original Sin, 6:30PM-9PM
Good Beer

Want to learn more about cider as well as sample new varieties? Come to this event to speak with Gidon Coll from Original Sin Cider, learn the history of Newtown Pippin apple, and taste some new Heirloom ciders. Price is $10.

October 19– Prix Fixe Dinner Menu with Cider Pairings, 7PM-10PM
Jimmy’s No.43

Enjoy a 3-course meal, each paired with a different cider. There will also be live music in the back room from 8:30PM-11PM. The menu includes:

  • A caramelized apple, walnut, and blue cheese salad paired with Dupont “Cidre Bouche Brut” sparkling cider
  • 24-hour pork braised in cider vinegar and molasses, with roasted parsnips paired with Dupont “Triple” sparkling wine cider
  • Apple cobbler paired with Dupont “Pommeau”

There will also be rare French cider products from New York, Vermont, New Hamshire and France being served all night long. The cost of the event is $45 per person.

October 20– A Cider and Cheese Tour of the Northeast, 6:30PM
Brooklyn Kitchen

Enjoy a guided tasting of regional hard and ice ciders, each paired with artisanal cheeses. Expect at least 5 pairings, as well as science, recipes, and history. The cost for the event is $50.

October 21– Cider Pairing and Cooking Demonstration, 11AM-1PM
Union Square Greenmarket

Learn how to cook with hard cider as well as how to cook dishes that pair well with the drink. This is a free event.

October 22– Tasting of Basque Ciders, 4PM-7PM
Tinto Vino

Sample ciders from North Spain as well as the moutainous region of Asturias. This is a free event.

October 23– Cider Pairing Dinner, 7PM
The Queens Kickshaw

While the specifics for this event are still being determined, attendees can expect delicious cuisine paired with unique ciders. There will be a special guest, as well. The price of this event has not yet been announced.

October 24– Cider Party, 6PM-8:15PM

This closing event will celebrate the winners of the Glywood’s Harvest Awards as they talk about their success supporting local food efforts in their community. A reception with appetizers and Hudson Valley ciders will follow. While this is a free event, RSVP is required.