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Newcomer’s Handbook for Moving to and Living in New York City, Updated for 2015!

23rd Edition Now Available

Newcomer's Handbook for Moving to and Living in New York City, 23rd Ed.The twenty-third edition of the Newcomer’s Handbook® for Moving to and Living in New York City: Including Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, and Northern New Jersey, about 415 pages long, contains detailed information on neighborhoods, getting settled, helpful services, child care and education, cultural life, green living, and much more. Updated by Julie Schwietert Collazo, who has lived in New York City since 1999, this book, designed especially for individuals who are planning to move to New York City or for those who have just arrived in the Big Apple is the essential guide to the New York boroughs and the surrounding communities.

In detailing New York City neighborhoods from Inwood to Battery Park, or Riverdale to Bayside to DUMBO to Grymes Hill, this volume delineates the character and features of each area as well as the types and availability of housing, plus a list of convenient addresses and web sites. It then goes further afield to describe suburbs in New Jersey, Long Island and Westchester, and Connecticut. This edition also includes photographs illustrating what the neighborhoods and communities actually look like.

Updates to the twenty-third edition include amended neighborhood maps, new and updated website addresses for quick access to additional information, and new sections, including Pregnancy, Labor & Delivery, and Postpartum Services in the Helpful Services chapter and Charter Schools in the Childcare and Education chapter.

Here is an excerpt from our Cultural Life chapter:

The incredible diversity and depth of the city’s cultural, intellectual, and artistic life is a magnet for many of the people who move here. Nowhere else can such an enormous range of interests and avocations be accommodated on so many levels. While it is impossible to cover all the opportunities New York offers, we can help the newcomer, young and old alike, access this cultural variety by providing a compilation of ticket, subscription, and membership information for leading opera companies, symphony orchestras, dance companies, theatrical repertory groups, and museums. We’ve also included cultural opportunities for children, as well as a section called Literary Life that focuses on libraries and bookstores. Addresses provided are in Manhattan unless otherwise noted. For more cultural life and opportunities, see the community resources listed at the end of each neighborhood profile at the beginning of the book. And while it’s easy to forget that New York is a college town, don’t forget to check out the many offerings of colleges and universities around the city,
including Columbia, CUNY, and NYU (see Higher Education at the end of the Childcare and Education chapter).

MLK Day Activities

Celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin-Luther-King-Jr-dMartin Luther King Jr.’s birthday is January 15th, but is officially observed on the 3rd Monday of January. Not everyone has this day off, but for those that do, there are many things in your city that you can do to celebrate the life and memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this Monday and over the weekend.

The new movie Selma was released last week and chronicles a three-month period of the life of Martin Luther King Jr. The New Yorker’s David Denby writes about Selma: “This is cinema, more rhetorical, spectacular, and stirring than cable-TV drama…” He goes on to point out that “DuVernay’s timing couldn’t be more relevant. Next year marks the fiftieth anniversary of both the Selma marches and the passage of the Voting Rights Act.” If you are interested in seeing this movie and learning about this inspiring leader check your latest theater listing for show times.

Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, GA, so it is fitting that the MLK Civil and Human Rights Conference is held there from January 15-19. The conference was established to commemorate the life of Dr. King and the civil rights movement, but is inclusive of all people and aims to focus its efforts on community service and education. It is not too late to attend and registration can be done at the event.

If you live in Oregon, there are many activities going on. OregonLive.com chronicles some of the many options that you have from a Prayer Breakfast to a week-long celebration in Salem: Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2015: Celebrations, services and events around Portland.

San Francisco hosts an annual parade and festival in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Beginning at 11:00 AM on January 19th, the 1.5 mile parade starts at Caltrain Station and ends at Willie Mays Plaza. The Northern California Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Foundation has put together a list of events in and around San Francisco: http://norcalmlkfoundation.org/index.html. From January 16-19 there will be a children’s discovery hunt, music festival, health & wellness festival, and free admission at some of the city’s museums.

Interested in volunteering? A lot of people, from federal workers to private business employees, have Monday off work. With the upcoming three-day weekend, Time magazine encourages you to turn your day off into a day on. They have listed some volunteer organizations for major cities across the U.S.: http://time.com/money/3668231/volunteer-martin-luther-king-jr-day-of-service/.

New York City has a website specifically devoted to volunteer opportunities on MLK day: https://www.newyorkcares.org/mlk. There are also many opportunities for kids in New York City to get involved and learn about Dr. King’s life via interactive peace marches and various free museums. The Apollo Theater is hosting a free event, which includes musical performances, readings, panelists and moderators to encourage an engaging conversation about Dr. King. This event will be held on Sunday, January 18th, and is such a popular event that reservations are no longer available. Those still interested in attending can standby the day of the event in case space opens up (https://www.apollotheater.org/mlkuptownhall).  The Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, is New York City’s largest public celebration. Also free to attend, this event brings together artists, activists, civic leaders, and community member to honor his legacy (http://www.bam.org/program/annual-brooklyn-tribute-to-dr-martin-luther-king).

No matter where you live, there are many activities to celebrate the life and legacy of this impactful historical figure. This list just touches on a few of the many celebrations around the U.S. but is a good starting point to deciding how you choose to celebrate the life of Dr. King on Monday.

New York Pizza

Must Try Pizza Restaurants in New York

BuzzFeed’s recent article on 18 Pizza Joints You Must Try Before You Die, covers many pizza restaurants in the New York City area. Therefore, if you are moving to (or already live in) New York, we have a list of suggestions for your next pizza craving.

Di Farra PizzaOur first recommendation is Di Fara Pizza. Some people wait up to three hours to eat their delicious pizza; it is that good! Di Fara opened in 1964 by Domenico DeMarco, an Italian immigrant who came to the US in 1959. The pizzeria holds the number one spot for pizza in the New York Zagat for eight years straight and received excellent reviews and features in The New York Times and on the Food Network. Di Fara keeps its pizza authentic by importing tomatoes from Italy!

GoodfellasSecondly, Goodfellas in Staten Island is world renowned for their tequila pizza, made with coconut, mango, tomato, shrimp, lime, tequila, bacon, and white sauce; it won best pizza at the 2012 International Pizza Expo. Goodfellas was established in 1992 by Scot Cosentino. Cosentino only uses fresh ingredients for his pizzas and cooks them all at 800 degrees in traditional wood-fire brick ovens. The famous food has attracted famous actors such as Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz.

Joe's PizzaAnd last but not least is Joe’s Pizza, which was opened in 1975 by Joe Pozzuoli, another Italian-born chef. Joe’s pizza is called “the quintessential New York slice” by New York Magazine and GQ listed it as one of the “Best 25 Pizzas on Earth.” The restaurant was also featured in Spider Man 2; Toby McGuire, as Peter Parker, worked as a delivery boy for Joe’s. This Hollywood highlight inspired other celebrities to stop on by and try a piece, including big names like Leonardo DiCaprio, Anne Hathaway, and more. Even Kevin Bacon said to Maxim Magazine that “for his last meal he’d want a slice of Joe’s Pizza.”

Newcomer's Handbook for New York CityThis is far from a complete list of the excellent pizza joints in New York, but these three should give you a good introduction to the New York pizza scene. And, as always, if you want to know more about what to do in the city after you have your slice of pizza, check out our Newcomer’s Handbook to Moving to and Living in New York City.

Written by: Kristin Monteith

Musicians and Their Hometowns

Famous Musicians' Home Cities

Do you know of any great musicians from your hometown? Newcomer’s Handbooks can name a few, and we want to share them with you!

Cee-Lo GreenCeeLo Green (born Thomas DeCarlo Calloway) reigns from Atlanta, GA. The five-time Grammy winner is best known for his song “Forget You,” released in 2010. After being a judge on The Voice, Green started his own show called The Good Life, where he and a group of friends, Big Gipp, Khujo and T-Mo, work together. Green also works with The Greenhouse Foundationin Atlanta, which he and his sister founded to help educate children in disadvantaged areas as well as to follow a family tradition of philanthropy.

Fall Out BoyFall Out Boy, the band consisting of Patrick Stump, Pete Wentz, Joe Trohman, and Andy Hurley, formed in Chicago in 2001. Songs like “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark,” “Thks fr th Mmrs,” and “Dance, Dance” have helped to maintain the band’s popularity even after a hiatus from 2010 to 2012. After releasing their comeback album Save Rock and Roll in 2013, the band conducted an expansive tour and performed with the other popular rock bands such as New Politics and Panic! At the Disco.

Sara BareillesSara Bareilles, whom you probably recognize from one of her big hit’s “Love Song,” hails from Los Angeles, where she went to the University of California. The five-time Grammy nominee taught herself to play the piano, and she started her career with Epic Records in 2005 after years of singing for acapella groups. Bareilles is currently in the midst of her “Little Black Dress” tour to promote her most recent album, The Blessed Unrest, released in 2013.

Fun.Many musicians call New York City home, but Fun. has been one particularly-popular band. The band consists of Nate Ruess, Andrew Dost, and Jack Antonoff, and they made it big in 2012 with their songs “Some Nights” and “We Are Young.” Besides creating catchy music, the band takes on a variety of charity projects: Andrew paints pies with all profits going to animal shelters in Detroit, and the band as a whole supports a variety of LGBT organizations such as Free & Equal and The Ally Coalition.

Macklemore & Ryan LewisLastly, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis call Seattle home. Macklemore, whose given name is Ben Haggerty, released the top-hit song “Thrift Shop,” which won two Grammys for best rap performance and song. During the 2014 Grammys, Macklemore preformed his song “Same Love” while the host, Queen Latifah, read out marriage vows from a mix of couples in support of equal marriage rights. Macklemore is also a big sports fan, and he dedicates songs to his Seattle teams; for instance, “My Oh My” is dedicated to the Seattle Mariners.

Written by: Kristin Monteith

Bookstores to Visit

World's Coolest Bookstores

On July 24, 2014 CNN released their list of World’s Coolest Bookstores, and we can confirm the coolness of five that are located in cities we know well from our handbooks.

The Last Bookstore 1

To start, The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles started as an online store but is now located in an old bank, vaults included. On the top floor, there is a section called the Labyrinth with over 100,000 books all priced at a dollar. The Last Bookstore 2Along with their wide collection of books (making them the largest independent bookstore in California), Last Bookstore also sells records and holds book signings/readings. If that isn’t enticing enough, the book structures (such as the desk and tunnel to the Labyrinth) will make the visit worth your while.

StanfordsThe next couple of shops are Stanfords and Foyles Flagship, both of which are in London. Stanfords carries the world’s largest stock of maps and travel bFoyles Flagshipooks, which comes as no surprise since the store initially opened as a map shop in 1853. If you are traveling through London and need assistance with your next excursion, the attentive staff at Stanfords can help with your research. Foyles Flagship, on the other hand, originated in 1903 when brothers William and Gilbert Foyles started selling textbooks based on an exam they had failed. Now the store is thriving with five locations, one of which is where the Sex Pistols first performed.

The StrandAnother of CNN’s coolest bookstores is The Strand in New York City. The Strand was started by Ben Bass on 4th Avenue in book row amongst 48 other bookstores and is the only one left standing today. Currently on 12th and Broadway, The Strand carries over 2.5 million new, used, and rare books. According to their website, the store is still kept in the Bass family, and they expect to continue this tradition, not seeing online stores like Amazon as a threat.

PowellsAnd last, but certainly not least, is Powell’s City of Books in Portland, OR. It might be a little biased to say this, but Powell’s is a book-lover’s paradise. The store takes up a whole city block and is packed up to three levels with books. Powell’s carries 122 subjects and 3,500 subsections, making it hard to not find a book on their shelves. If you do find something they don’t carry (because it has been self-published), Powell’s can print it right in the store with their Espresso Book Maker.

Those are the bookstores from CNN’s list we know from our Newcomer’s Handbooks. And if you’re moving to any of these cities, we suggest checking these stores out.

Written by: Kristin Monteith

Super Bowl 2014

Heading to MetLife Stadium

It is that time of year, when the football season is coming to a close and the excitement of the Super Bowl looms. This year the game will be held at the famous MetLife Stadium, home to the New York Giants and New York Jets.

For those that have never been to New York City before and may be moving to or visiting during the coming months, you may be curious as to where to go and what to do while visiting the Big Apple. Here is an excerpt from our “Newcomer’s Handbook for Moving to and Living in New York City,” that lists the yearly festivals and holidays in the coming months:

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Pages from NCHB_NYC22_bookblock_Page_2For more information about New York City, be sure to check out our Newcomer’s Handbook for Moving to and Living in New York City.