See NYC by Boat


See NYC by Boat

Take a ferry boat in New York City on the East River from Manhattan to Williamsburg, Brooklyn or the Rockaways for the price of a metro ride!


New York City East River Ferry boats are a wonderful way to see the spectacular city skyline and visit different neighborhoods. The ferry service has 6 routes!

To see the routes and map click here for the official NYC Ferry website – click here.

You can go from Astoria to Wall Street, Roosevelt Island to Wall Street and on to Dumbo, Williamsburg to Governors Island, and Wall Street to the Rockaways. BUT those are just a few options – you can transfer to another route within 90 minutes of activating your ticket.


Suggested ferry route:

1 – Take the tram to Roosevelt Island (also the price of a metro ride, just $2.75 as of June 2018). The tram offers wonderful views of the city from above and runs parallel to the Queensborough Bridge

*You can go on an audio walking tour of the neighborhood and learn more about the Queensborough Bridge and Roosevelt Island by clicking here.


2 – Take the ferry to Long Island City. After you get off of the tram, the ferry stop is a 5-minute walk away. Once in Long Island City, walk through the park, admire the views, look at the Pepsi Cola sign and make your way to the Southern end of the park to Hunters Point South.

3 – Take the ferry from Hunters Point South (This is a different ferry route, and remember transfers are free within 90 minutes!) and get off at Dumbo. This route takes you along the East side of the river where you will see Williamsburg.

4 – Dumbo – get off at Dumbo and explore Brooklyn. Start at Brooklyn Bridge Park and make your way to the Squibb Park and Bridge which leads up to Brooklyn Heights. OR as an alternative route you can go under the Brooklyn Bridge and visit Dumbo!


Ferry Tickets can be purchased for a single-ride, round-trip or a 30-day pass (For commuters! What a fun way to get to work!). For all ticket info, click here.

And the easiest way to purchase tickets is via the app – easy to use, activate and it’s fast if you are running to catch a ferry! For all of the info about the NYC Ferry app, click here for the official website:


Since the ferry routes opened up in the summer of 2017, I have taken many boat rides. Click here to see travel photos of NYC from the East River Ferry and elsewhere in the city!


Guastavino Architecture and New York City


Guastavino Architecture and New York City

New York City is brimming with stunning architecture, new and old. But did you know there is a fascinating story behind the famous Oyster Bar at Grand Central, the Ellis Island registry room, and over 200 other buildings? These sites and others are unique in that they feature Guastavino tiles – an intricate tile vault system with a distinctive pattern and remarkable because it is not only beautiful but lightweight, low-maintenance, fireproof and able to support heavy loads.

Rafael Guastavino, a Spanish immigrant, created an ingenious engineering marvel that no one has since been able to replicate!


A few key places to see the tiles and some Fun Facts:

A major tourist attraction in New York City is the Brooklyn Bridge, but make sure you take the 4/5/6 metro to BrooklynBridge/CityHall and exit via Chambers Street, from which you can walk right over to the bridge. If you get off the metro at Chambers Street you will come up right under the Municipal Building and see the impressive vaults and open-air arcade of Guastavino tiles. The columns you see in this arcade hold the weight of the building in an elegant and beautiful way.

Another popular tourist destination is Ellis Island, and did you know the ceiling in the Registry Room (also known as the Great Hall) is the work of Gaustavino. Originally the ceiling was actually plaster, brick, and limestone until it was destroyed in 1916. Guastavino and his Company built the replacement ceiling. Guastavino’s work was affordable, quick to build, didn’t need additional structures, and has the added bonus of being fireproof (it really is a shame no one has replicated his artistry and engineering!). –Fun Fact – When Ellis Island was being restored and refurbished starting in 1984, only 17 of the 30,000 some tiles needed replacing!

Grand Central and the famous Oyster Bar are truly ideal for viewing Guastavino’s vaults and tiles. – Fun Fact – The Oyster Bar suffered a fire in 1997 but due to the engineering of Guastavino’s vaults, load tests, and fire tests, the vaults remained uncompromised and the restaurant opened less than three months after the fire.


Visit the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on the West Side of Manhattan to see more Guastavino work. – Fun Facts – The dome of St. John the Divine is one of the largest masonry domes in the world, just behind the Pantheon, the Duomo in Florence, and St. Peter’s in Rome! The St. John Cathedral dome is just a mere 4.5 inches thick at the top, self-supporting with the concentric circles of tiles, and only took 15 weeks to construct; thus another engineering marvel. Make sure to see the identical spiral staircases on each side of the altar.

Location: 1047 Amsterdam Avenue between 112 and 113 streets.

Take the 1 metro to Cathedral Parkway.

Open daily 9-5.


Take a look at the above photos and take note; you will then see this pattern all over New York City. Unexpected places will reveal this engineering wonder. A few of those unexpected places are: side entrances to Lord & Taylor (just look up before going up the stairs), the Food Emporium under the Queensboro Bridge, Carnegie Hall entrance ceilings, Columbia University’s St. Paul’s Chapel and Earl Hall and Teachers College Library passage to courtyard, the Boathouse in Prospect Park, to name a few.

So make sure to keep your eyes open, and point out the “Guastavino tiles” that date back to the 1885 to your friends, impress them with your architectural knowledge!

The Museum of the City of New York held an exhibition on Guastavino in 2014; you can read about it here:


See more photographs of New York City by clicking here for Monica Goslin Photography where you can also buy prints and canvas prints


Beyond New York City

Rafael Guastavino actually contributed to many locations throughout the United States. You can see his famous arches and tiles at the Biltmore Estate in Ashville, North Carolina. The tiles can also be seen in the Boston Public Library, the U.S. Supreme Court Building in DC along with the National Museum of Natural History, the dome of St. Francis Roman Catholic Church in Philadelphia, and Union Station in Pittsburgh. Plus see the distinctive tiles that decorate the Nebraska State Capitol.


Merchant House Museum NYC


Looking to visit a historical house museum while in New York City?

One of the great historical house museums to visit in Manhattan is the Merchant’s House Museum. You can visit the museum on your own or with a guided tour. This museum is great for those interested in learning about how people lived in the city during the mid/late 19th century.


History: The house was built in 1832, bought by Seabury Tredwell in 1835, and the family lived in the house for almost 100 years! FUN FACT – The Merchant’s house was one of the first buildings to be designated a landmark in 1965 and it is the only historical house museum in the East Village/SoHo/Greenwich Village area.

Location: 29 East Fourth Street



-Take the N or R train to 8th Street, walk down to 4th Street and cross Lafayette Street, the house is on the next block

– Take the 6 train to Astor Place, walk down Lafayette Street and turn left on 4th Street

– Take the F or B to Broadway/Lafayette, walk up Lafayette St and turn right on 4th Street


Admission/Tickets: General 10 dollars, Students/Seniors 5 dollars, Children under 12 are free

Hours: Noon to 5pm, closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays


Tours: Guided tours are at 2pm (45 minutes long) and self-guided tours are available but not as fun or informative as a guided tour.


Visit The Hispanic Society of America

Hispanis Society Of America

Visit The Hispanic Society of America

The Hispanic Society of America in New York City is a wonderful museum that should really be on your list of places to visit. The Hispanic Society of America is both a museum and reference library and is FREE!

What can you see at this museum?

-The museum has an extensive collection of Spanish art, tiles, pottery, textiles, ironwork, jewelry, and also includes art from Portugal and Latin America. You will find a large plaza in the middle of the two museum buildings filled with wonderful sculptures (see images above for some examples). However the most prized pieces in the museum are murals by the Spanish artist Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida. The paintings by Sorolla depict each region of Spain, showing key architectural sights and also focusing on the traditional regional costumes. The paintings by Sorolla cover the walls in the main museum room and are truly something to admire!

For more information on other museums to visit in New York City, and to find out when to visit them for FREE, click here for my previous blog post.


The Hispanic Society of America HOURS:

Sunday 10-4

Monday Closed

Tuesday to Saturday 10-4:30


Location and How to Get There:

-Located on Broadway between West 155th and 156th streets

-It is easiest to take the metro – take the 1 train to Broadway and 157th or you can also take the C train to 155th street


Click here to visit the official Hispanic Society of America website at

Click here to view more photography of New York City on Monica Goslin Photography, where you can also buy prints.

Click here to see images from the annual Hispanic Parade in New York City on Monica Goslin Photography, where you can also buy prints.


Visit the MoMI in Queens, NY


Visit the MoMI in Queens, NY

You’ve heard of the MoMA and the Met, and if you read my earlier blog post on some of the top museums to visit in New York City, you have heard of many more. BUT, have you heard of the MoMI, which is the amazingly fun, very quirky, kid-friendly, and inspiration guaranteed: “Museum of the Moving Image” in Queens, NY?

If you live in New York this should be on your list of museums to go to. If you are a tourist, and you have an extra day, at least an extra half day, add this to your schedule. If you love movies, like seeing behind-the-scenes magic, and want to test your cinema knowledge… this is a museum for you.

The MoMI has a permanent exhibition called “Behind the Screen” that incorporates the history of film, artifacts, old Hollywood photos, costumes, and more. There are also a lot of interactive exhibitions with a voice-over booth, music and sound exercises, and my favorite, making your own movie with cut out pieces of paper.

The temporary exhibits have been marvelous. Make sure not to miss the current Chuck Jones exhibition, which actually ends on January 19th, 2015!

*MAKE A NOTE: With your admissions ticket you get a movie ticket (no extra price) for the daily film. So with your museum visit you can see a movie. Check the movie schedule at the MoMI here:


The MoMI is located in Astoria – easy to get to I promise:

-Take the N or Q train (yellow line) towards Astoria/DitmarsBlvd and get off at 36 Avenue.

-Walk on 36th Avenue and turn left on 36th Street

-The museum is right on 35th Avenue between 36th and 37th streets.

NOTE this train goes above ground after going under the East River, so expect spectacular skyline views of Manhattan!


MoMI admissions ticket prices:

$12 adults (18+)

$9 senior citizens (65+)

$9 students with valid ID

$6 children (3-12)

Free for Museum members and children under 3



Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

Wednesday – Thursday 10:30AM to 5:00PM

Friday 10:30AM to 8:00PM (FREE from 4:00PM to 8:00PM EVERY Friday)

Saturday – Sunday 11:30AM to 7:00PM


** To see more photographs of New York City, like the one above, click here to visit my travel photography website where you can also buy prints!


Art Museums to visit in NYC


Art Museums to visit in NYC

 Happy 2015! To start the New Year with a new travel blog series, I decided to write about fabulous New York City that I live in, starting with some insider tips!

Having lived in New York for a few years now and being a “culture vulture” as an aunt of mine likes to say, people are always asking me what museums to go to and which ones are free. So… here is the scoop on free museums in New York City and I will make sure to refer my friends and family to this post when asked again, and you can feel free to as well!

People are actually always surprised at the number of free days or hours for museums in Manhattan. So while you can spend a small fortune on your hotel room and food, you can spend very little money while in NYC, especially if you like art!

Below is a list of 11 top museums in New York City that you can visit for a dollar or less!

Really! Plus read on for insider tips and notes.


The Museum of Modern Art (the MoMA)

-FREE every Friday from 4pm to 8pm.

TIP – Get there before 4pm to stand in line – for popular exhibits the line can wrap around the block, so be prepared and dress appropriately if visiting the city in the winter/autumn months. By going on FREE Fridays, you save 25 dollars, which is the admission fee for ONE adult! Gasp!

-Located on 53rd street between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue.


————From here I list some top museums on “Museum Mile” which basically run along 5th Avenue.


The Metropolitan Museum (called “the Met” by New Yorkers) is FREE

-Many tourists see the admissions fee sign and think they have to pay over one-hundred dollars for their family to get into the Met. No! It’s “pay what you wish” which means you can give a dollar if you want to, and don’t feel bad if you do because the Met has big donors. Give a few dollars and enjoy the museum!

TIP-The museum is open late on Friday and Saturday, until 9pm, so you can certainly get it in with your other tourist activities!

-Located on 5th Avenue and 82nd Street


The Frick Collection

-Pay what you wish (give any dollar amount that you choose) EVERY Sunday from 11am to 1pm

For popular exhibits there can be a line.

The Frick is one of the jewels of New York City with a unique history, gorgeous interior and covetable gardens that can only be admired and not stepped into.

TIP – Remember to watch the movie about the building and history of the museum!

TIP 2 – For an after museum snack, head over to Laduree on Madison between 70th and 71st for a fresh, yet pricey, macaroon (there can be a line, but it moves pretty quickly).

**NOTE that children under 10 years old are not permitted, and that’s any everyday rule.

-Located on 70th Street between 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue


Neue Galerie

-FREE first Friday of every month from 6pm to 8pm

An exquisite museum of German and Austrian art and design.

TIP-for an authentic Austrian pastry and superb coffee, visit the Café Sabarsky or Café Fledermaus (open later on first Fridays, until 9pm). Sitting in Café Sabarsky will make you feel like you are in Europe!

NOTE – Children under 12 are not permitted into the museum

NOTE 2 – The gallery is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays, BUT you can still eat cake because the café Sabarsky is open on those days.

-Located on 86th street and 5th Avenue


The Guggenheim

-Pay what you wish (give any dollar amount that you choose) EVERY Saturday from 5:45 to 7:45

There is always a long line, so get there early early early!

TIP – This museum is for those who truly appreciate modern and abstract art.

-By going on Saturday evening you save 22 dollars, which is the admissions fee for ONE adult!


The Jewish Museum

-FREE every Saturday from 11am to 5:45pm

This museum never disappoints!

TIP – After visiting the Jewish Museum, you can stop by Ciao Bella, right down the same block on 92nd street, for a delicious gelato.

-Located on 92nd street and 5th Avenue


The Cooper Hewitt Museum

-Pay what you wish (give any dollar amount that you choose) EVERY Saturday from 6pm to 9pm

NOTE – The garden and café are now FREE for all to access (before you had to pay to get into the museum AND gardens. There are now two entrances, one on 91st street and 90th street.

NOTE 2 – A bonus for families regarding general admission, children under 18 are FREE (something you don’t see very often).

In the newly renovated building, which now includes galleries on the 3rd floor and many interactive displays, the Cooper Hewitt is a great stop for kids and aspiring designers.

-Located on 91st street and 5th Avenue


The Museum of the City of New York

-Pay what you wish (give any dollar amount that you choose) EVERY DAY! Open 10am to 6pm every day!

-An amazing museum that is beautifully designed and focuses on New York City history, artists, and more.

-Located on 103rd street and 5th Avenue. –TIP – the museum is across from the lovely Central Park Conservatory Garden, entrance gate closer to 105th street, so make sure to pop in especially during the Spring.


——————-A few extra museums that are really worth visiting!

The Morgan Library & Museum

-FREE every Friday from 7pm to 9pm

This museum is located in another jewel of a building with access to the original residence of J. Pierpont Morgan and the stunning library.

TIP – The Museum Dining room has an excellent brunch, I suggest making a reservation. And as with most museum stores, the store is marvelous!

TIP 2 – While visiting the Morgan Library, if you have a question about the building, just ask one of the guards who always prove to be extremely knowledgeable. AND make sure to ask about how the second and third floor bookcases are accessed in a library without any stairs?

-Located on 36th street and Madison Avenue


The New York Historical Society

-Pay what you wish (give any dollar amount that you choose) EVERY Friday from 6pm to 8pm

A wonderful museum with a great movie about New York City history and interesting exhibits like the recent “Madeline in New York” exhibit.

TIP – This museum café is another fabulous location for brunch.

-Located on Central Park West at 77th Street


The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology– or as I say FIT museum

-FREE every day! Well it is closed Sundays and Mondays. But Open Saturday 10-5 and Tuesday to Friday Noon to 8pm.

*** I have loved every exhibit I have seen at FIT. They are stunning, informative, and inspiring. Plus, as the motto says, it’s “the most fashionable museum in New York City.”

-Located on West 27th Street and 7th Avenue


So there you have it, 11 museums you can visit in New York City for a dollar or less!

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Easter Parade in New York City


The New York City Easter Parade

The Easter Day Parade in New York City is an informal parade where people wear their Sunday Best and elaborate hats. Between 49th and 57th Streets on Fifth Avenue you can walk in the street or stand on the side and watch. If you dress up, be prepared to stop often for photographs.

There seem to be more and more parade goers each year with the Fifth Avenue getting more and more crowded. But the Easter Parade is still fun to go to, dressed up or not, it’s fun to see the people. Many people have hats covered in flowers, candy, birds, and so much more. There are also groups of people in mid 19th century clothes, or perhaps their Sunday best clothes. In any event the people watching is great fun, don’t miss out next year!

** See photos of the Easter Parade in New York City by clicking here for Monica Goslin Photography where you can also order prints.