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NYC News for the Travel Trade – July 2014

New in NYC
Central Park Conservancy Tours Return
Through the summer season, the Central Park Conservancy offers regularly scheduled guided tours of the park's highlights and history, including tours of The Ramble, the North Woods, Belvedere Castle and the park's many artworks. Tickets must be purchased in advance for some "premier tours"; others are free. Customized group tours, self-guided and audio tours are also available.

Tavern on the Green Is Back
A New York institution has made a grand return, complete with a makeover of the premises and a revamped New American menu that's been getting plenty of plaudits. The main dining room has been opened up, offering views of the action in the open kitchen on one side and the greenery of Central Park on the other, or patrons can dine alfresco in the courtyard, an inviting option on summer evenings.

Ellis Island Update
Ellis Island is open to visitors, though with some restrictions, as the National Park Service continues to repair the damage from Hurricane Sandy. The historic Baggage Room and Great Hall are both open, as are the American Family Immigration History Center and many of the museum exhibits. Visitors may take the self-guided audio tour, but guided school group tours are not available at this time.

9/11 Memorial Museum Now Open
The 9/11 Memorial Museum opened its doors this past May. Dedicated to documenting the events of September 11, 2001, the museum examines their significance as well as commemorates the nearly 3,000 people who died on 9/11 and in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. It is strongly recommended that tickets be purchased in advance.

Coney Island's Thunderbolt Roller Coaster Opens
Luna Park on Coney Island has a new roller coaster, the Thunderbolt. Located where the original ride of the same name once stood, the coaster whisks riders at speeds of up to 55 miles per hour, with a 100-foot loop and corkscrew turn along the way. The Thunderbolt joins Luna Park's full line-up of amusements, including thrill rides, eateries, carnival games and kiddie rides.

The SummerStage festival has expanded from its original digs—Rumsey Playfield in Central Park—to locations in parks in all five boroughs, cementing its preeminence among the many free outdoor concert and movie series the City has to offer. This season's performers include Conor Oberst, Sisqó, Beck, Mobb Deep and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.

Summer Concert and Movie Calendars
Check out our summer concert and summer movie series calendars for more free summer festivals and events.

Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine
The largest cathedral in the world, St. John the Divine is a soaring, awe-inspiring presence in Morningside Heights, renowned for its Gothic Revival architecture, stained-glass windows, gardens, sculptures and art exhibitions. Guided and self-guided tours explore its architecture, artwork and history; the adventurous can take a "vertical tour" to the very top of the church. Staff educators lead Common Core–aligned programs for school groups, engaging students in Visual Thinking Strategies and activities with thematic emphasis such as architecture and geometry. The Cathedral also serves as a public performance space for choir groups.

Upcoming Events and Exhibitions
So much is going on across the City, it's hard to keep track. Here is a small sample of what's coming up. View our summer guide, summer art preview and events calendar for more comprehensive listings.

Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks
July 4
A New York City tradition since 1976, Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks bash draws millions to the waterfront for an explosive extravaganza of lights, sound and music in honor of Independence Day. This year the fireworks return to the East River, with the Brooklyn Bridge serving as a backdrop and prime viewing locations along the Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn waterfronts.

Nathan's Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest
July 4
The crown jewel of competitive eating events is held outside the original Nathan's, right by the Boardwalk in Coney Island. Fans can catch legendary figures such as Joey "Jaws" Chestnut and Sonya "Black Widow" Thomas down scores of hot dogs at high noon. And after the battle, they can pick up a Nathan's frank and work on their own dog-downing technique.

Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival
August 9–10
More than 180 dragon-boat teams from around the globe come to Flushing Meadows Corona Park to compete on the water; while back on shore, there's plenty of food, live entertainment, martial arts demonstrations from the monks of Shaolin Temple, music, crafts and traditional Lion Dance performances.

US Open Tennis Championships
August 25–September 8
Fans can catch the world's best tennis players as they square off for the final Grand Slam tournament of the year at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, in Flushing Meadows Corona Park—and the early rounds provide plenty of chances to see star players ply their trade at close range.

West Indian American Day Carnival
September 1
More than a million spectators turn out along Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn for the City's massive, exuberant celebration of Caribbean culture, saturated with the sounds of reggae and calypso music and revelers in elaborate, colorful costumes. There's plenty of freshly cooked island delicacies, artwork, clothing and crafts offered by vendors along the parade route.

Madeline in New York: The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans
New-York Historical Society
July 4–October 13
The New-York Historical Society marks the 75th anniversary of the publication of the beloved children's book Madeline by honoring the character and her creator, Ludwig Bemelmans, with an exhibition of nearly 100 of the artist's works, including drawings from all six Madeline books.

Crossing Brooklyn
Brooklyn Museum
October 3–January 4, 2015
Surveying the length and breadth of its backyard, from Bay Ridge to Bushwick, the Brooklyn Museum has put together a major group show of the borough's artists, running the gamut from painting and drawing to video and performance—and even some nontraditional hybrid pieces.

Hotel Updates
Newly Opened
Home2 Suites by Hilton Long Island City/Manhattan View

Queens — Long Island City
115 rooms

The Lexington New York City

Manhattan — Midtown East
725 rooms

Radisson Hotel JFK Airport

Queens – Jamaica
385 rooms

Neighborhood x Neighborhood
NYC & Company's neighborhood guides are all about getting the most out of New York's many neighborhoods. Our most recent spotlight, Jamaica Bay and Rockaway Beach, helps visitors explore all the outdoor recreation and activities—not to mention food, arts and culture—that Queens' seaside parks, beaches and neighborhoods have to offer. Click through all of our neighborhoods to check out everything that makes NYC so diverse and exciting.

NYC & Company Signature Programs
NYC Restaurant Week℠
The original Restaurant Week returns for its annual summer engagement, with three-course prix-fixe lunch ($25) and dinner ($38) menus at more than 300 of the City's top restaurants. The program runs from July 21 to August 15, and reservations open on July 9.

NYC Retail on Pinterest
To help shoppers get a handle on New York City's endless retail opportunities, we've put together Pinterest boards highlighting our official guide to the best in shopping by neighborhood, as well as specialty themes, such as vintage clothing boutiques, department stores and one-of-kind shops with collections and selections you won't find anywhere else.

NYC & Company Resources for the Travel Trade
NYC & Company has all your travel trade needs covered. Visit our website at to access the NYC Travel Training Academy, browse neighborhood tool kits to help you sell select neighborhoods throughout the City, order collateral materials, find trip planning tips, download NYC videos and images and more.

For More Information
Should you have any questions or require additional information, feel free to contact us directly at or contact your local office. For general information, including a calendar of events and other essential information about New York City, please visit