Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Best of Japan in Midtown Manhattan

For those looking for an elegant and well-priced meal before the theater, there is a gem in the Washington Jefferson Hotel. Shimizu, a sushi and shochu restaurant, sits inside the regal hotel owned by hotelier Shimmie Horn.  With its menu of seasonal specials, sushi rolls, appetizers and more, it’s the perfect place for a pre-show meal or for a late dinner after the entertainment.

For those who like to attend the show on a full stomach, Shimizu has the perfect solution. They offer a prix fixe meal from 5:30-7:30 Monday through Saturday and it’s the perfect way to begin the evening. It includes miso soup or salad, an appetizer, the choice of entrĂ©e, and a dessert. For less than $30 for the entire meal, it’s an outstanding choice prior to a night on the town.

For people looking for a nightcap, Shimizu offers the authentic Japanese experience with their extensive list of shochu and sake choices. Shochu is a Japanese distilled beverage that is usually distilled from barley, sweet potatoes or rice. With an alcohol content of 25%, it has a higher concentration of alcohol than sake. Sake is made from fermented rice and typically contains anywhere from 9-15% alcohol, depending on how it is made and served.  Both are available in an extensive beverage menu at Shimizu.

Moving off of the beaten path and finding an out-of-the-ordinary eatery can certainly enhance anyone’s experience in New York City. Shimmie Horn’s Washington Jefferson Hotel, and the Shimizu restaurant offer travelers, businesspeople and locals the chance to enjoy a refreshing taste of Japan right in the heart of the city.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Horse Freaks Out on Tourist Ride

It’s one thing to quit a job, but it’s quite another to quit while on the job. That’s what Oreo – a horse which had seemingly had enough did when he was meant to be leading a tour by Columbus Circle last week.  While the driver tried to keep his “employee” under control, it seemed the horse was too strong for him – both in body and mind – leading to him being dragged too! And it wasn’t only the driver and tourists who were affected.  A few cars were struck by the carriage that spiraled out of control too.  Finally some police officers caught the horse and managed to get it into an NYPD trailer and by early evening Oreo was back in its stable.

This event brings into question the safety and responsibility of the horse and carriage. Indeed, the group New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets (NYCLASS) argued that what happened is proof that the time has now arrived for there to be a ban on horse-drawn carriages in New York City.

Advantages of Horse-Drawn Carriages

However, it would be such a shame for tourists – and residents who have the time – to no longer able to see the wonder of the city through the fun, traditional method of horse-drawn carriages. It truly is a spectacular way of experiencing Central Park’s glory and being exposed to a fun view of life in the Big Apple.

Indeed, given that Midtown Manhattan is one of the world’s busiest and most crowded areas, surely there must be alternatives to this way of experiencing it. There is so much to see and a whole slew of fascinating stories to hear, wouldn’t it thus perhaps be better to go on foot? That is what Free Tours by Foot would have one believe.    The company offers a two hour tour for those wanting to get a taste of Times Square, Grand Central Terminal, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and lots of other stops in between.

Another way of seeing Manhattan in style is via the hop-on, hop-off bus tours with top-deck only seating offering awesome views of the city, its attractions and neighborhoods. Indeed, given that today there are so many great, innovative and exciting ways to really experience Midtown Manhattan, the question is, is it really necessary for the horse-drawn carriages to continue operating?  There are guided tours of New York, cruises in New York, helicopter rides, the Woodbury Common bus from New York shopping day trip and more. For those looking for a somewhat darker view of the city, they can check out the Night Tours where they will be privy to an illuminated view of Manhattan’s skyline.  There are clearly thus a lot of pros and cons to bidding farewell to the likes of Oreo and his four-legged friends in the business of leading tours around Midtown Manhattan.