The advocates of ocean-based travel at Above All Cruises unveil awe-inspiring views of New York City's sprawling skyline during weekly and holiday cruises that set sail out of Skyport Marina or World's Fair Marina. Rather than engaging in terra firma's exhausting recreational activities, such as hiking or the Running of the Taxis, visitors can while away the evening in one of three luxury ships: Lucille, Paddlewheel Queen, and Harbor Lights. Although each vessel flaunts its own personality and design, all three sport dance floors, flat-screen TVs, and hunger-quelling dinners. Experienced captains ensure that cruises always stay on course, and equally experienced DJs keep dance floors afloat with energetic songs.
NYC Gangster Tours walks crime-curious tour groups on expeditions to the stomping grounds of New York's most notorious gangsters, sharing stories of their illegal dealings and violent ends. Tours traverse the East Village, Little Italy, and Chinatown neighborhoods, stopping in at historic social clubs, cafés, and alleyways where deals and whackings took place. Along the way, groups learn the tales of infamous gangsters including Charlie “Lucky” Luciano, Meyer Lansky, and John "Teflon Don" Gotti, so named for his invention of the nonstick fedora.
Tour guide Susan Birnbaum steers tourists and locals alike through streets that contain even more history and life than appear on the surface. Over the course of about two hours, you'll explore the restaurants, cafés, and food stops that populate the Belmont section of the Bronx, known as New York's "real" Little Italy. Prep your palate for five or six visits to mom-and-pop establishments, where fresh-baked breads, pastas, and pizzas make regular appearances. A charming neighborhood that housed waves of twentieth-century Italian immigrants, Belmont still bustles with delightful cigar rollers at La Casa Grande Tobacco Co. and enticing aromas wafting from the Arthur Avenue Retail Market. Tour-takers can pull back the curd-colored curtain on the cheese-making process while witnessing a live cheese-making demonstration. Intrepid cultural seekers will also learn neighborhood facts along the way, stopping to pay homage to the corner where Dion and the Belmonts gave an a cappella voice to the woeful plight of teenagers in love.
The scuba pros at Village Divers get students off land and into the water with a catalogue of scuba classes and certifications and a cache of rental equipment. Their Open Water Diver scuba-certification course transforms guppies into scuba-certified guppies with classroom and onsite pool training. They can coordinate diving events for full Open Water certification, or they can issue referrals for students to complete their certification at another location. The instructors also delve further into the underwater arts with advanced courses in technical diving, underwater photography, and wreck diving—often taking trips out to the sunken ships of Wreck Alley and the abandoned castles of local fishbowls.
PishPoshPaints enlivens the walls of homes, restaurants, and hotels with hand-painted works executed by highly skilled, professional artists. Clients send in a picture of themselves, a family member, or a favorite landscape to a talented paintslinger who interprets the image through oil and canvas, leaving behind a one-of-a-kind piece suitable for hanging above a roaring fireplace or stuffing into a novelty-sized wallet. In addition to creating original masterpieces, PishPoshPaints' dedicated artists recreate public-domain works such as van Gogh and Monet landscapes, traditional Jewish artwork, and modern designs.