New York hotel encouraged guests to have sex – with the curtains open

The New York Standard Hotel has a history of showing off – back in January, they introduced their staff in a hip Youtube clip, but their latest gimmick has residents and tourists in the Meatpacking district up in arms.

On their Facebook page, the hotel invited guests to “exercise your inner exhibitionist. Please share your intimate, and explicit photos with us — those floor to ceiling windows aren’t just for the views”.

Some guests took that a little too serious, and decided that it was an open invitation to have sex in front of the open windows.

People walking in the area have witnessed a porn movie shoot, masturbating guests and couples having sex.

Of course, hotel management “is embarrassed by all of this”, and have vowed to make an effort to remind guests that it may not be the best idea to give free shows to onlookers.

Whether the whole thing is indeed a reason for management to act, or just a really slick PR stunt remains unknown. Either way, sex always makes for an interesting story, and I’m willing to bet that more than just a couple of people made their way to the area this afternoon to see if they could catch a glimpse of a show in progress.%Gallery-67351%

Undiscovered New York: Top 5 breakfasts

To truly experience New York during your next visit, you need to start your day with a good breakfast. No meal better epitomizes the different attitudes and moods of the city’s residents then this first (and sometimes last) meal of the day. Whether we’re talking about the quintessential lazy weekend brunch, a bacon egg & cheese from a deli or a strong cup of joe from the street cart, New Yorkers’ breakfast choices are about as diverse as the city itself.

You’re probably already familiar with the old standbys – New York bagels are legendary the world over. And New York’s iconic paper coffee cup never seems to go out of style. But for everything you think you already know about what New York likes to eat for breakfast, there’s plenty of surprises. Breakfast here includes everything from your standard omelette to Chinese Dim Sum to Dominican Mangu and Italian breakfast panini.

With all these choices, where exactly does a breakfast-lover get started? Breakfast is, after all, the most important meal of the day, and who can stomach such an essential daily ritual becoming something bland or boring? This week Undiscovered New York is here to get your New York morning off on the right foot. We’ve compiled a list of our top five breakfasts from across the city. Step away from that yogurt and see what we picked…
Breakfast Five – Barney Greengrass
It would be downright sacrilegious to leave the classic lox and bagel off a New York breakfast list, and Barney Greengrass is arguably one of the best places to get it. Located well off the beaten path on New York’s Upper West Side, this delightfully old-school institution has been slinging some of the city’s best cream cheese, bagels, smoked salmon and whitefish since way back in 1908. Enjoy your bagel with some schmear and the Sunday New York Times in the restaurant’s old-school wood-panelled interior.

Breakfast Four – Joe Art of Coffee
New York could not function without caffeine. The self-proclaimed “city that never sleeps” seems to be mainlining a constant IV drip of the brown stuff. The problem is most of it sucks. The scalded, bitter excuse for caffeine you’ll find at most delis simply won’t do. Instead head to Joe the Art of Coffee, one of the city’s growing range of quality coffeeshops. In addition to a zealous dedication to a quality cup, Joe also offers in-store classes to help take your appreciation and coffee brewing skills to the next level.

Breakfast Three – Chinese Dim Sum
Consider this while you’re crunching that morning bowl of Special K – breakfast around the world is as different as the people that eat it. And in many countries, the typical yogurt, fruit and cereal is not on the menu. New York’s large population of Chinese residents happen to enjoy Dim Sum for their weekend breakfast, a leisurely meal that consists of many small plates chosen from constantly moving food carts. Though there’s no one typical dish served at Dim Sum, the meal usually includes staples like dumplings, spare ribs and sweets filled with bean paste. Try Chinatown spots like Jin Fong, the Golden Unicorn or Flushing’s Ocean Jewel.

Breakfast Two – Alpha Donuts
Way out in the Sunnyside section of Queens, they take their breakfast seriously. That is to say, they don’t mess around with fancy-pants breakfast food like brioche french toast or omelettes filled with goat cheese. What they are serious about is donuts – the ultimate sugary breakfast favorite. That’s why Alpha Donuts leads the pack. In a city filled with fancy breakfasts, Alpha Donuts stands out for its simplicity and commitment to this classic American staple, which they’ve been making since World War II.

Breakfast One – Shopsins
There’s no easy way to explain what to order at Shopsins, a hilariously quirky breakfast establishment located in Manhattan’s Essex Street Market. The correct answer is probably “What do you want to eat?” Not only does Shopsins serve all the classic breakfast favorites like skillets, sausage and cereal – they’ve also got plenty of one-of-a-kind morning meals prepared by the surly owner Kenny Shopsin. How about some “Slutty Cakes” made with pumpkin, pistachio and peanut butter? You also can’t go wrong with the “Jihadboy Sandwich” topped with beef, pomegranate, olives, sheep feta and tahini.

Undiscovered New York: All things TV in NYC

The television screen is a strangely natural way to view New York City. In fact, even if you’ve never visited New York, your perception of the city most likely stems from NYC TV icons like Bill Cosby, the cast of Friends or Jerry Seinfeld. In fact, television and New York tend to go hand in hand. Ever since NBC started broadcasting its signal here in the 1940’s the city has been dominated by all things related to the small screen.

Television’s presence in New York is fairly obvious. Anyone who’s ever wanted to check out a taping of The Daily Show or the Colbert Report, David Letterman or Saturday Night Live, knows where to find the tapings. But for every Jon Stewart appearance or Tony Soprano reference, there’s a world of strange TV history that lies waiting to be discovered. This is a city, after all, that has been in love with TV from the very beginning, with a history that dates back over 60 years.

Ever wanted your own private screening of a vintage TV classic from the 1940’s? Curious to discover some of the most famous facades and settings in New York City TV history? Don’t touch that dial, this week Undiscovered New York is covering all things TV. Click below to read more.
Famous Settings
When you picture the filming of a television show, it often brings to mind a giant studio lot decked with lights. Yet many of New York’s most famous TV moments and vignettes are played out right before our eyes as we walk the city’s many side streets and avenues. Ever wanted to check out the real life homes and businesses from your favorite TV shows?

Make your first stop in New York’s West Village, where 10 Leroy Street is the site of the Cosby family’s famous facade. And who knew Bill Cosby was neighbors with Monica, Joey and Ross? The building used as the apartment building for Friends is just around the corner at the corner of Bedford and Grove. Hungry for more TV locations? Why not stop by Monk’s Diner, site of so many meals on Seinfeld? It’s located at 112th Street and Broadway.

Making TV History
Ever since NBC began the first continuous TV broadcast in 1944, New York has been hooked on the small screen. Yet for all the show’s we’ve come to know and love in recent years, there’s more than 60 years of TV history waiting to be explored. A good place to start is Manhattan’s Paley Center for Media, formerly The Museum of Television and Radio, on 52nd Street. The museum is dedicated to exploring the “cultural, creative and social significance of television.” The way they accomplish this goal is quite a feat – in addition to ongoing exhibitions on some of TV’s greatest moments, visitors are free to explore more than 120,000 archived TV shows, commercials and radio programs at their leisure using individual consoles. It’s an interesting way to explore the evolution and and history of this influential medium.

TV Today
Although many of our fondest TV memories are behind us, it would be incorrect to assume television is dead. In fact, New York is also a great place to investigate the future of the medium. A good place to start would be the annual New York Television Festival, held each fall. The event was designed to showcase the work of those “creating for the small screen” and as a venue to discuss such topics as the future of advertising, sitcoms and broadcast journalism.

Undiscovered New York: Top 5 Beaches

The USA has some fantastic urban beaches. In the Summer, Chicagoans are spoiled by happening North Avenue Beach on Lake Michigan. Miami has South Beach, littered with plenty of palm trees, fake tans and toned bodies. In L.A. there’s Santa Monica and Malibu. But what about New York City? For a metropolis surrounded on all sides by water, you’d think there would be some more obvious beach options, right? The truth is New York does have surprisingly decent sun, sand and surf – you just need to know where to look.

Believe it or not, New York has enough sandy, swimmable beach options to make your head spin. From happening urban beach parties and hidden unspoiled sands within the limits of the Five Boroughs, to some truly great wild beaches within an easy day trip of Manhattan, there’s enough oceanfront out there to please even some of the most die-hard of beach-lovers.

With Summer weather in full swing, there’s no better time for Undiscovered New York to count down the city’s top 5 best beaches, all either within city limits or close enough for a day trip. Think you’re a New York beach veteran? We bet there’s at least one great waterfront on this list you’ve never visited. Click below for our picks!
Beach #5 – Water Taxi Beach(es)

A trip to the New York City beach might seem like it involves trains or boats, but did you know there are beaches you can get to with no more than a taxi ride? We’re talking about New York’s three Water Taxi Beaches, which feature over 1,000 tons of sand, food, frequent live music and some killer views of New York City (see left).

Want to check it out? Just hop in a taxi, get on the subway or grab a water taxi and head one of their three locations at Long Island City, South Street Seaport or Governor’s Island.

Beach #4 – Long Beach
Just an hour from New York on the Long Island Railroad is Long Beach, a surprisingly happening Summer beach town and favorite beach day trip for claustrophobic New Yorkers looking to beat the heat. Grab one of the daily express trains from Manhattan’s Penn Station and you’ll be laying on a towel near the ocean in no time. Play some frisbee or volleyball, have a swim and then be back in the city in time for happy hour cocktails.

Beach #3 – Sandy Hook
We first mentioned Sandy Hook during our exploration of New Jersey back in April, and in terms of New York area beaches, it’s one of the best. Just a 30 minute ferry ride from Manhattan’s South Street Seaport is one of the more unspoiled stretches of sand in the Tri-State Region boasting wild beach grasses and some interesting history to boot. When you arrive at the Sandy Hook landing, be sure to check out historic Fort Hancock, which at one time played an important role in the defense of New York Harbor.

Beach #2 – Robert Moses State Park
Finding the best spots in New York sometimes takes effort, and the beaches at Robert Moses State Park are no exception. Although this pristine sandy stretch along New York’s Fire Island is not really accessible by public transportation, it’s worth the car trip to get here. And because Robert Moses is located on a barrier island well off Long Island proper, it’s home to some coastline that could hold its own with some of the best beaches anywhere in the U.S. All within about an hour’s drive of New York.

Beach #1 – Fort Tilden
As far as “undiscovered” New York City finds, Fort Tilden’s unspoiled beach has to be one of the best. This little-known beach, located near the site of an abandoned military installation in the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens, is one of the more remote and serene stretches of sand you’ll find anywhere in the city limits.

Forget Coney Island – on Fort Tilden’s beach you’ll have plenty of sand all to yourself. The hard part is getting there – you’ll either need to take a car or 12 mile bike ride from Manhattan. Check out this piece for advice. Good luck!

Undiscovered New York: The best beer

Getting some beer in New York City would seem like a simple task. You walk into one of the city’s thousands of bars, grocery stores or bodegas and you’ll have a frosty beverage in your hand within seconds. But if you’re a true beer lover, any old lukewarm can of Pabst just isn’t going to cut it. Would you go out of your way for a great Belgian, a crazy-good craft beer or marvelous microbrew? Then New York’s the beer city for you.

New York City residents have been brewing beer for over 300 years, ever since the city was flooded with the stuff by beer-loving Dutch, Irish and German settlers. By the 19th Century the industry was thriving – Brooklyn alone had 45 beer makers and produced one fifth of all the nation’s beer. Remarkably by the 1970’s, the industry had all but dried up. Yet something is once again brewing in the Big Apple. The once dormant brewery industry is in the midst of a remarkable resurgence, and along with it has come a renewed passion among the city’s residents for the art of making and drinking truly great beer.

Whether you’re on the hunt for an exotic Belgian brew or your favorite American lager, in search of something local or thirsting for a taste of lands far away, you’ll find a beer for you in New York. Ready to visit some of the city’s most unique beer bars? Interested in taking a tour of Brooklyn brewing history? Grab yourself a glass – this week, Undiscovered New York is headed in search of New York’s best beer.
The Best Bars
When you’re thirsting for a really great beer, not just any old bar with a Bud in the cooler is going to cut it. You want a place that takes its beers seriously, perhaps with a little local culture thrown in for good measure. A good example would be the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden in Queens.This former Czech and Slovak social club oozes with local charm, great beer and a great summer beer garden to boot.

Meanwhile, Manhattan beer-lovers favor such spots as Vol de Nuit, a Belgian beer bar, Jimmy’s No. 43 in the East Village and The Room, a non-descript spot with a killer selection of suds. If you’re out in Brooklyn, head to bars like the rowdy Radegast, or the British-beer favorite Chip Shop on Atlantic Avenue.

Beer Breweries + Tours
Perhaps the idea of just drinking a few high-quality beers isn’t good enough? Fear not, New York also has some great beer tours that will take you inside the city’s most famous breweries, offer tastings and teach you about the New York’s illustrious beer history.

The first place to start is the Brooklyn Brewery – the now famous beer maker runs part of its operation in the Borough’s Greenpoint neighborhood. They offer 4 tours each Saturday and Sunday, tastings included. For a more in-depth look at Brooklyn’s brewing history, check out the team at Urban Oyster, who run the Brewed in Brooklyn Walking Tour. In addition to visiting the old Brewers’ Row in East Williamsburg, the tour also makes a stop at the Brooklyn Brewery. Sixpoint Craft Ales is another well-known Brooklyn brewer based in Red Hook. Though the brewers don’t have any formalized tour schedule, rumor has it passionate beer-lovers can email the company to inquire about brewery visits.

Beer Groups + Events
Not only is New York a great place to drink and learn about beer, it’s also host to plenty of beer focused events and tastings. Beer organizations like the New York City Beer Guide provide listings of some of the city’s best beer bars and breweries. They’ve also got a rundown of upcoming beer events.

If you happen to be coming to New York City this September, make sure to check out the 2nd annual NY Craft Beer Week, beer walks, special food and beer pairing menus and a beer speaker series.