New York City TV and Movie Sets

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Visit Your Favourite TV and Movie Sets in the Big Apple!

While you are on Comfort Tour’s New York City bus tour, make sure to visit the sets of your favourite movies and TV series during the allotted free time!
These are just some of our favourite spots:

Sex and the City – Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment:

New York City’s most fabulous lady lived in a brownstone on the Upper East Side – 245 East 73rd Street, between Park and Madison to be exact! Here, Carrie Bradshaw had many moments on the iconic front steps and at the window, where she is seen writing her column in many of the episodes of Sex and the City. If you get the chance to visit Carrie’s apartment on your trip to Manhattan, don’t expect to see Manolo Blahnik wearing, Cosmo sipping, single ladies. This brownstone is actually located in the heart of the West Village of Manhattan at 64 Perry Street, a tree-lined street in a quiet neighbourhood.

Friends – Monica Geller’s Apartment:

There is no way that this apartment could not make our favourites list! Monica Geller, who is played by actress Courtney Cox, lives in Apartment 20 of an apartment unit in Greenwich Village. The apartment was handed down to Monica from Grandma Geller and is the one of the main sets used in the show. Located on the corner of Grove and Bedford in Greenwich Village, you can go see this apartment with the iconic fire escape and fulfill your Friends fan dreams!

Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Holly Golightly’s apartment:

For all of the Audrey Hepburn fans out there, this is a definite spot to visit! See where Miss. Holly Golightly lived with the company of her pet cat and her neighbour, Paul. In the movie, Holly’s small apartment address is 167 East 71st Street located on the Upper East Side of a neighbourhood borough in Manhattan. However, in reality, the actual house number is 169! Holly’s apartment is now a multi-family home of 2,880 square feet, and the property is valued at around four million dollars. Make sure to bring your big, black sunhats when visiting!

Serendipity – Serendipity 3, Restaurant and General Store:

Serendipity (n): the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

That is exactly what happens to Sara and Jonathan played by Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack in the movie, Serendipity. In the film, Sara and Jonathan share a frozen hot chocolate at a little restaurant on the first night that they meet. This restaurant is called “Serendipity 3” and is located at 225 East 60th Street in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Since the film, the restaurant has been known for their frozen hot chocolate. Also, the table that Beckinsale and Cusack sat at while filming is now referred to as the “Star Table”. Established in 1954, this restaurant is a hot spot for locals, tourists, and celebrities. Stephen Bruce is the owner and even made an appearance in the movie itself! Bruce plays the staff member that Jonathan asks if it is okay to go back into the restaurant to look for his scarf. If you plan to stop for a bite at Serendipity 3, make sure to call ahead of time and make a reservation.

Comfort Tour Canada has bus tours departing from Toronto to New York City every weekend this summer! With a great mix of fully-guided tours and free time, you will be able to see all that New York City’s attractions have to offer. During your free time, why not go on a movie and TV set adventure to check out some of these places mentioned. Book a tour with Comfort Tour Canada today!

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Summer in the Big Apple!

Events in NYC: June 2014

Have you booked one of our New York City Tours for June and need some ideas on what to do for your free time? Look no further! Listed below are our top 5 picks for what to do in June while in NYC with Comfort Tour:

The Statue of Liberty and Manhattan Skyline

The Statue of Liberty and Manhattan Skyline

Big Apple Barbeque Block Party
Get the real experience of delicious New York grub at the Big Apple Barbeque Block Party in Madison Square Park! From June 7th-8th, come out and enjoy mouth watering food, free music, seminars and cooking demos. Admission is free.

Museum Mile Festival – Starting June 10th
The annual Museum Mile Festival offers free access to seven museums along Fifth Avenue starting at 5:45pm. The event spans 23 city blocks and some of the participating institutions include El Museo del Barrio, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Museum of the City of New York. Visitors can also take part in the outdoor festivities as well such as face painting, live music and a whole lot of block party–style fun!

New York Yankees game
Take me out to the ball game! While you’re in New York City, go see their 27 World Series champions, the New York Yankees, play a great game of baseball. Enjoy an afternoon or evening at the iconic Yankee Stadium, which holds about 50,000 Yankees’ fans! Buy yourself some peanuts and Cracker Jack and get the all-American baseball experience. Catch them playing the Boston Red Sox on June 27th or 28th!

9/11 Memorial & Museum
For an insightful experience, pay a visit to the 9/11 – a tribute to remember and honour the 3,000 brave and heroic lives that were lost in 2001. View the admirable work of architect Michael Arad and landscape architect Peter Walker who created the Memorial’s design based on a global design competition that included more than 5,200 entries from 63 nations. Later, visit the 9/11 Memorial Museum to read about the story of 9/11 through multimedia displays, archives, narratives, and a collection of monumental and authentic artifacts.

Shakespeare in the Park – Starting June 3rd
Shakespeare in the Park is one of New York City’s most treasured summertime traditions and has performing free, open-air theater in Central Park since 1962. This year’s productions are Much Ado About Nothing (June 3–July 6) and King Lear (July 22–August 17).

NYC: The Big Apple

New York Bus Tours from Toronto

Take a bite out of the Big Apple on this four day/three night bus tour of magical New York City. Our guided city bus tour includes round-trip transportation by coach, accommodations at a 4-star hotel and full daily breakfasts.

New York Bus Tours from Toronto-weekly departures-Comfort Tour CanadaNew York Bus Tours from Toronto-weekly departures-Comfort Tour Canada

One of our knowledgeable tour guides will accompany you on the New York bus tour and take you to visit major NYC attractions, including Central Park, Times Square, Fifth Avenue, Statue of Liberty and Rockefeller Centre. Our tour directors will guide you in exploring this diverse and historically-rich city, and they are sure to have answers to all of your questions!

Tour highlights include:

» Columbus Circle
» Metropolitan Opera
» Strawberry fields
» Central Park
» Museum Mile
» Fifth Avenue
» Plaza Hotel
» Trump Tower
» St. Patrick’s Cathedral
» Rockefeller Center
» Times Square
» Broadway Theaters
» Financial District
» Wall Street
» Winter Garden to see World Trade Center site
» 42nd St.
» Macy’s
» Flat Iron Building

COMFORT TOUR CANADA’S New York Bus Tours from Toronto are the perfect blend of guided excursions and free travel time as our itineraries allocate just enough time for our travellers to wander the streets of New York City on their own, while also enjoy being led our tour guides. There has never been a better time to find out why so many people are saying, “I love New York”. Join today and discover the magic of New York City with Comfort Tour Canada!

For more information about the tour itinerary, hotels and pricing, please visit: http://comforttour.ca/holiday/bus-tour-to-new-york-city-from-toronto/

Corning Glass Museum

On our way to New York on the NYC 4-Day Bus Tour, we pay a visit to the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York. The Corning Glass Museum, located in the heart of the Finger Lakes region of the New York State,  was founded in 1951 by Corning Glass Works. The museum is home to the world’s most comprehensive collection of art and history in glass and features a hands-on area detailing innovations in technology and scientific discoveries in glass. The collection currently consists of more than 45,000 glass objects, some over 3,500 years old. The museum’s campus also includes a state-of-the-art glass making school and the world’s library of record on glass and glass making.

IMG_0259At the museum you can experience the amazing properties of glass, see live and narrated hot glass-making demonstrations that run daily, and watch flame workers turn simple glass rods into delicate figurines at the torch at Flame working Demos. The galleries present art pieces that span over 35 centuries of glass art, history, and science. This includes ancient Egyptian pieces, delicate Venetian glass, and breathtaking contemporary pieces. You can also find a glass treasure for your home in the 18,000 square-foot Glass Market in the lobby of the museum, where you will find fantastic glass art pieces, jewelery, accessories, objects for home and much more!

IMG_0258The museum also presents the opportunity to get hands-on experience with glass at the Innovation Center with interactive exhibits that tell the story of the science and technology of glass. There, you have the opportunity to meet the inventors whose ideas changed the world, as well as dabble with glass chemistry, experience the power of optical fiber and see yourself in the strange reflection of a flight simulator mirror. The Innovation Center galleries currently on display include the Optics Gallery, Vessels Gallery and Windows Gallery. A 300-foot bridge connects three floating pavilions.

IMG_0255If you have enough time, you also have the opportunity to make Your Own Glass souvenir to take home! From hot glass working, to flame working, to fusing, to sandblasting—you can do just about anything with glass, with the help of experienced glass workers. During our stop-over a the Corning Museum, you will have the chance to experience just about all of these exciting features and make your New York Bus trip that much more fulfilling.

One World Trade Center in NYC

The new, One World Trade Center in New York has become the world’s third-tallest building after topping a height of 541 meters. A 124-metre steel spire was installed, pushing the skyscraper’s height to 1776 feet – a number commemorating the year of America’s independence. Previously known as the Freedom Tower, the building is located in the northwest corner of the site where the former World Trade Center towers were destroyed in the 11 September 2001 attacks.

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There have been several visions for the new World Trade Center, as it is formally known, beginning with Daniel Libeskind’s master plan in 2003, followed by a controversial redesign by David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill—a redesign that for the most part survived two years. The next redesign took place in 2005 after the New York Police Department weighed in and suggested the glass tower be further modified for safety. Since 2008, New Yorkers have seen an erector set–like spectacle when they look to the bottom of Manhattan Island: concrete follows the ascension of steel, at the pace of a floor a week.

One World Trade Center is something like a large sloping block with the corners carved off, so it appears that the entire building twists as it gets higher. The building’s faces will be huge triangles that taper toward the top and the bottom. At the center of the building, they will form an octagon. The skyscraper is symmetrical.

That square base is a safety measure, not just an engineering method. Though it will be clad in glass prisms, the 186-foot-tall base will be a windowless concrete wall, intended to absorb and deflect the blast from car or truck bombs. The glass prisms will be coated with plastic like automobile safety glass to help absorb the impact. It is hoped that the prisms will refract light into color and make the monolithic security measure an eye-pleasing curiosity.

One World Trade Center will be one of the world’s ‘greenest’ because much of the materials used in its construction come from postindustrial recycled materials. More than three-quarters of its waste will be recycled! Typically, glass walls are designed with iron in them, for structural stability, but the iron has been reduced to increase visibility and allow as much daylight in as possible, thus reducing the need for electric illumination.

Several memorials will be installed in the 16-acre complex. One of those memorials is the slurry wall, more commonly known as “the bathtub.” This structure was the basement of the World Trade Center and served to hold back the Hudson River to keep it from flooding the complex. It was here that the remains of thousands of dead were found and hundreds more who were never found. People will be able to walk down a ramp from ground level all the way down to bedrock along the edge of this wall, the last original remaining piece of the twin towers.

Already now people in and around New York are at last getting a glimpse of what will be of the One World Trade Center by 2014. When finally completed, it will offer 241,000 square meters of commercial office space as well as observation decks, TV broadcasting facilities and restaurants.

“The Big Apple”


“There’s only one Big Apple. That’s New York.” John FitzGerald

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New York City has been called many things: “The Great American Melting Pot,” “Gotham,” “The City that Never Sleeps” but its most famous nickname, without a doubt, is “The Big Apple”. Why? What connects New York with an apple? New York City is not the shape of an apple and the city does not contain any apple orchards…so where did that nickname come from?

Here are some theories about the origin of this nickname “The Big Apple”!

  1. In the early 1920s, “apple” was used in reference to the many racing courses in and around New York City. Apple referred to the prizes being awarded for the races as these were important races, the rewards were substantial. Based on the research of Barry Popik, the use of “Big Apple” to refer to New York City became clearer. A writer for the New York Morning Telegraph, John Fitzgerald, referred to New York City’s races “Around the Big Apple.” It is rumored that Fitzgerald got the term from jockeys and trainers in New Orleans who aspired to race on New York City tracks, referring to the “Big Apple.” In recognition of Fitzgerald, the corner of 54th & Broadway, where Fitzgerald lived for 30 years, was renamed “Big Apple Corner” in 1997.
  2. Rumor has it that the “Big Apple” is so named because during the depression many former financiers would travel from their suburban cottages in full suits in order to sell apples on the streets of New York. Several well-to-do families had to make ends-meet by selling apples and the charade became known to many as the “Big Apple” scam of New York. Since apples have always been a big part of the New York economy, the name simply stuck and was eventually promoted by local government.
  3. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, “Big Apple” was the name both of a popular night club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem and a jazz band that originated in the South, became a huge phenomenon at Harlem’s great Savoy Ballroom and rapidly spread across the country. An old saying in show business was “There are many apples on the tree, but only one Big Apple.” New York City being the premier place to perform was referred to as the Big Apple.
  4. A film short called The Big Apple came out in 1938, with an all- Black cast featuring Herbert “Whitey” White’s Lindy Hoppers, Harlem’s top ballroom dancers in the Swing Era.
  5. The Big Apple nickname appeared during campaign of Charles Gillett, head of the New York Convention & Visitors Bureau to attract tourists to the town. Mayor John Lindsay had dubbed “Fun City” but which had become better-known for its blackouts, strikes, street crime and occasional riots. What could be a more wholesome symbol of renewal than a plump red apple? It was hoped that the red apples would serve as a bright and cheery image of New York City.

Anyway since then, New York City has officially been “The Big Apple”. Truth or fiction? It’s hard to say, but it makes for a good story! Travel with Comfort Tour Canada on our bus tours to New York and leave us your impression about “The Big Apple”!

NYC Times Square. Did you know….?

Times Square, the most bustling square of New York, is known for its many Broadway theatres, cinemas and electronic billboards. It is one of those places that make New York a city that truly never sleeps. At the end of the 19th century, New York City had expanded up to 42nd street, and the area was becoming the center of the city’s social scene. In 1904, the New York Times built the Times Tower on 43rd street just off Broadway to replace its downtown premises. The square in front of the building was called Longacre square but was soon renamed to the well-recognized Times Square.

NYC Tour - Times Square

We would like to share with you some interesting facts about Times Square:

  • Times Square has achieved the status of an iconic world landmark and has become a symbol of New York City.
  • Times Square is a major intersection in Manhattan, New York City at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue and stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Streets.
  • Its nicknames include ‘The Crossroads of the World’ and ‘The Great White Way’, and reportedly ‘The Tenderloin’ because it was supposedly the most desirable location in Manhattan in the 1920s.
  • New York City began a slow but steady push to clean up Times Square in the 1990s led by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani – the process was referred to as the ‘Disneyfication’.
  • In February of 2011, Times Square became smoke free.
  • The 1929 stock market crash took its toll on the area, with many businesses moving out of the area and replaced with seedier forms of entertainment, including pornographic “peep shows”.
  • Bill Clinton eulogized the Times Square, recalling the old mix of prostitutes and colorful characters as “romantic” and “fascinating”.
  • The nights are brighter in Times Square more than anywhere in New York City.
  • Before and after the American Revolution, the area belonged to John Morin Scott, a general of the New York militia where he served under George Washington.
  • Times Square is the only zone in New York City where tenants are required to display bright signs.
  • Thanks to an exterior elevator, you can view all of 42nd Street while visiting statues of your favorite celebrities and historical figures at Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum.
  • The Times Square Armed Forces Recruiting Station, nicknamed “The Booth”, has been a fixture on the Great White Way since 1946. Air force, army, navy and Marine Corps recruiters were greatly relieved when a bathroom was finally installed during a 1998 renovation.
  • In 1915, D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation premiered in Times Square. The film heralded the rise of the movies from lowly sideshows to pop culture juggernauts
  • The most famous building at the square is undoubtedly the iconic Paramount Building. Another former theater, the Embassy Theater, is now the home of Times Square’s own visitors’ center
  • .On New Year’s Eve, close to a million people congregate to celebrate the ‘Dropping of the Ball’..

Fun Facts About NYC

New York City is one of the most amazing cities in the world that Comfort Tour Canada welcomes you to visit! Millions of visitors come to NYC for the culture, numerous attractions, world class cuisine and exciting nightlife and to make their mark on the city that never sleeps. The Big Apple is the most populated city in the US and a major influence around the world in commerce, finance, media, culture, art, fashion and entertainment.

Here are some interesting facts about this great city!

1. New York City has 4,000 street food vendors.
2. The average temperature of New York City’s pavement on a hot summer day is 150 degrees.
3. 100 million Chinese food cartons are used annually in New York City.
4. New Yorkers travel an average of 40 minutes to work each day.
5. More than 47 percent of New York City’s residents over the age of 5 speak a language other than English at home.
6. More than 250 feature films are shot on location in New York City each year.
7. An average of 4.9 million people rides the New York City subway each weekday.
8. The musicians who perform in the NYC Subway system go through a competitive audition process. Some of the subway musicians have also played at Carnegie Hall.
9. Manhattan doesn’t have a Main Street. Each of the other boroughs and Roosevelt Island has Main Streets.
10. The Brooklyn Bridge was the first bridge to be lit using electricity.
11. Hong Kong is the only city in the world with more completed skyscrapers than New York City.
12. 36% of the current population of New York City was born outside the United States.
13. Brooklyn was an independent city rivaling NY until 1898.
14. In the 1660s New York City’s “skyline” was dominated by a two-story-high windmill.
15. Cleopatra’s Needle, a 3,000-year-old Egyptian ruin, can actually be found in New York’s Central Park. In 1879 it was given to the city as a gift by the Khedive of Egypt. The 220-ton, 66-foot-high monument took a decade to be fully transported.
16. Over 6 million people visit Niagara Falls each year to watch over 200,000 cubic feet of water splash over 167-foot-high cliffs—some even have gone over in barrels.
17. The first railroad in America ran a distance of 11 miles between Albany and Schenectady.
18. The term “The Big Apple” was coined by touring jazz musicians of the 1930s who used the slang expression “apple” for any town or city. Therefore, to play New York City is to play the big time—The Big Apple.
19. It takes 75,000 trees to print a Sunday edition of the New York Times.
20. New York City was home to the United State of America’s first-ever pizzeria, founded in 1905 by Italian immigrant Gennaro Lombardi. The pizzeria is still open today.
21. The Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan is the only school in the world offering a Bachelor of Science Degree with a Major in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing.
22. The first capital of the United States was New York City. In 1789 George Washington took his oath as president on the balcony at Federal Hall.
23. On July 28, 1945 an Army Air Corps B-25 crashed into the Empire State Building at the 79th floor level.
24. The first Boy’s Club was established in New York City in 1876.
25. New York was the first state to require license plates on cars.

To discover NYC yourself, join us on our bus tour to New York!

Yellow Taxi Cab

Most likely everyone has seen a yellow taxi cab least once in his or her lifetime! If you’ve been to New York, you see hundreds of these yellow taxi cabs daily! Have you ever thought whether there is something special about the taxi cabs or perhaps wondered about the history and why they are yellow?

Let’s find out!

The Yellow Cab Company of Chicago was founded by John Hertz in 1914 with surplus used cars from his car dealership and is now the oldest and largest continuously operating cab company in North America. Hertz had experts determine that yellow was the most visible colour, so he painted all of his taxicabs yellow starting a tradition that continues today. When Hertz left the cab business in 1929 to start his rental car company, he incorporated the colour yellow into his signage which remains a part of the Hertz Car Rental logo today. Color choice was only one of Hertz’s accomplishments as a cab owner. He installed the first traffic lights in the City of Chicago on Michigan Avenue. The city was so enamored with the resulting improvement in traffic conditions that they expanded the program and repaid Yellow for the expense of installing the original lights.

NYC Tour - NYC traffic yellow cabs

In 1920 the Yellow Cab Manufacturing Company was formed to manufacture taxicabs and Manufacturing Company was sold to General Motors in 1925. During the 1910s and 1920s the company was involved in considerable illegal activity relating to mobsters and in particular to the Chicago Outfit. Yellow Cab was involved in a bitter rivalry with Checker Taxi at the time which led to a number of shootings, deaths and firebombing.

In 1929 he sold his remaining share of Yellow Cab to concentrate on car rental (Hertz Rent-a-Car which incidentally still uses a yellow logo). Yellow changed corporate hands a few times over the years and then in 2005, Michael Levine, a taxicab operator from New York City, purchased controlling interest in Yellow Cab. Since 2005, Yellow and its sister companies have grown to the over 2600 vehicle fleet they are today expanding into the Chicago suburbs and across state lines. Today Yellow continues its long tradition of innovation. In addition to stoplights and wipers, Yellow was the first cab company to install seat belts in the back of its cabs and the first to utilize anti-lock brake systems. Yellow Cab is involved in numerous civic and charitable organizations in Chicago providing scholarships for drivers, their spouses and children, and supported numerous other charities in the Chicago land area.

Well, you probably had never considered that these taxi cabs had quite the historical background, did you? Now when you are on our bus tour to New York, you can share this knowledge with your fellow travellers and surprise everyone with your knowledge of interesting facts!

A Race to the Sky

More than any other building in the world, the Empire State Building represents the ambition of humans to build towers that reach for the skies. This skyscraper is probably New York’s best known building and can be seen on many postcards.

Building of skyscrapers started from a race of two people! John Jakob Raskob (previously a vice president of General Motors) hired Shreve, Lamb & Harmon to be the architects for his new building. It is said that Raskob pulled a thick pencil out of a drawer and held it up to William Lamb and asked, “Bill, how high can you make it so that it won’t fall down?” The race was getting very competitive. With the thought of wanting to make the Empire State Building higher, Raskob himself came up with the solution. After examining a scale model of the proposed building, Raskob said, “It needs a hat!” Looking toward the future, Raskob decided that the “hat” would be used as a docking station for dirigibles. The new design for the Empire State Building, including the dirigible mooring mast, would make the building 1,250 tall. Planning the tallest building in the world was only half the battle: they still had to build the towering structure and the quicker the better.

NYC Tour - NYC skyline

When the Empire State Building opened on May 1, 1931, it was the tallest building in the world standing at 1,250 feet in height. This building not only became an icon of New York City, it became a symbol of twentieth century man’s attempts to achieve the impossible. It took just one year and 45 days to build the Empire State Building, and that was an amazing feat! The Empire State Building came in on time and under budget.

Most people visit the Empire State Building’s observation deck on the 86th floor from where it is possible to see a magnificent view over the city of New York. NY Skyride is the premier New York Sightseeing tourist attraction and offers New York’s one and only virtual tour simulator. It is an exciting adventure tour of New York City located on the second floor of the Empire State Building. Narrated by actor Kevin Bacon, the NY Skyride is a unique experience that takes guests on a virtual tour of New York City.

The Empire State Building had become not only the tallest building in the world but also keep that record until the completion of the World Trade Center in New York City in 1972.