In Search of the Ultimate NYC Cheesecake

by Howard Clemens

Student travel groups headed to Broadway in NYC’s theater district do not want to miss the opportunity to sample some of New York City’s finest cheesecake after dinner. The cheesecake slices are so gigantic, that it is virtually impossible for one person to consume an entire slice in one sitting. Many students simply save their huge piece of cheesecake for a snack after the theater or eat it slowly over the course of a day or so. A slice of cheesecake is a surefire way to get the real New York City experience, when it comes to food.
Larger Cheesecake Portions in New York City
I’ve noticed over the years that portions of food served in New York are larger than other destinations– much larger. When Educational Travel Consultants conducts student tours of New York City, we always recommend a true, New York City delicatessen experience. For the ultimate cheesecake, I have a few recommendations that seem to please student travel groups immensely. These famous New York City delis are conveniently located right in Midtown Manhattan, in the heart of the theater district.
The Stage Deli: The Classic New York City Cheesecake Experience
The Stage Deli is not only famous for its one pound corned beef sandwich — but also some of the best cheesecake in Manhattan. The price is around $8. Expect the slices to be immense. This piece of cheesecake is really more like ¼ of an entire cake. Students have lots of comments about the Stage Deli cheesecake. “Monstrous mammoth size helpings,” is one comment. “I couldn’t eat it all,” is another common refrain.
The Blackout Cake as an Alternative to Cheesecake
If students are not particularly fond of cheesecake, they may opt for another popular favorite, the Blackout cake. This cake is made of rich chocolate. Pieces are huge, and similar in size to the cheesecake. Like the name implies, there could be some danger of ‘chocolate blackout’ — so proceed with caution. Finding a friend to share a slice of Blackout cake is one solution.
Try Carnegie Deli for a Wide Selection of Cheesecakes
Carnegie Deli is another famous place for New York City cheesecake. Slices of cheesecake here are just as enormous as The Stage Deli. The Carnegie Deli has the widest selection of types of cheesecake available. Visitors can choose pudding, strawberry, blueberry, Oreo cheesecake and more. The wide selection of cheesecakes is part of the appeal of Carnegie Deli that rivals the old Howard Johnson’s in their ice cream selections.
Other Great NYC Delis Where Cheesecake can be found
There are other great delis in New York City that serve some amazing cheesecake and they should not be overlooked. Lindy’s Deli and Junior’s Deli are just as excellent and if they are nearby the theater where the student travel group is due to see a show, these establishments should be considered. I don’t have time to review all of the great cheesecake places in New York City on this blog, but rest assured there are many. I decided to highlight some of my personal favorites that I have enjoyed over the years.
For student travel groups that are on their way to the Big Apple as their destination, don’t forget to include cheesecake and the New York deli experience on the itinerary. The deli dinner works best with a visit to Broadway, but it’s not necessary to include a visit to the theater if there is not sufficient time. Some advice for students that may be unused to the huge portions of food provided in New York: go on a diet before taking the trip. For more information about a travel itinerary for a student group destined for New York City, fill out a brief questionnaire and an educational travel professional will contact you.

Carnegie Hall: An Unforgettable destination for Educational Student Travel

Make Music History the Theme of Your Next New York City Student Tour

Opened in 1891, Carnegie Hall has hosted many of the world’s greatest soloists, conductors and ensembles. Premier classical performances, jazz events, historic lectures, educational forums and more have been featured for more than a century. Carnegie Hall actually consists of three separate music halls created specifically for acoustics, audience size and atmosphere. The Isaac Stern Auditorium is the largest hall with seating for 2,804 people. The hall’s design makes the stage the central focal point of five levels of seating and the acoustics are famous across the globe. Isaac Stern, the hall’s current namesake, was once quoted saying, “It has been said that the hall itself is an instrument, it takes what you do and makes it larger than life.” Carnegie Hall is also home to the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Recital Hall, an elegant, intimate space for approximately 268 people, as well as the Judy and Arthur Zankel Hall, which was recently reconstructed and seats 599.

A NYC Field Trip for Music Lovers

Sanford I. Weill, the Chairman of the Board for Carnegie Hall, once said, “For music lovers worldwide, Carnegie Hall is the ultimate musical destination, an international byword for excellence, and an institution whose rich history chronicles the defining moments of so many of the world’s most admired and beloved artists. For the leadership of this institution, this legacy provides an enjoyable yet formidable challenge, as we work each season to devise strategies that build upon the past in imaginative ways and create essential new pathways for growth.” The brilliance, imagination and talent Carnegie Hall nurtured and inspired over the years has changed the face of music and continues to touch audiences of all ages today.

Make Your Student Tour a Success: The 2008-2009 Season at Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall has created an exciting and unforgettable 2008-2009 season featuring over 200 events including:

–Almost 160 orchestral, chamber, and recital performances
–Over 40 pop, jazz, folk, and world music concerts
–Events presented by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute

The season also features 27 world premieres, 6 US premieres, 20 New York premieres and 2 festivals celebrating American music:
–30 events are part of Bernstein: The Best of All Possible Worlds
–Approximately 20 events will be held as part of Honor! A Celebration of the African American Cultural Legacy

NYC Student Tours Celebrate American Musical Heritage
Bernstein: The Best of All Possible Worlds
Bernstein: The Best of All Possible Worlds brings Michael Tilson Thomas, leading the San Francisco Symphony, and soloists Thomas Hampson, Yo-Yo Ma, and Dawn Upshaw together at Carnegie Hall in an all-Bernstein program. The Bernstein festival is presented in partnership with the New York Philharmonic and celebrates the extraordinary achievements of the late Leonard Bernstein. Bernstein was and still is one of the most important international musicians of the 20th century and was known to be ‘a quintessential New Yorker.’ Student travel and high school musical tours to this festival are encouraged, especially for students studying music.

Honor! A Celebration of the African American Cultural Legacy

Opening in the spring of 2009 and curated by world-renowned soprano Jessye Norman, Carnegie Hall calls Honor! A Celebration of the African American Cultural Legacy a salute to, “the enduring vitality, influence, and creativity of African American music.” This festival explores gospel, jazz, classical, rhythm and blues and spiritual music and pays tribute to music pioneers in venues throughout New York City. Educational and community programs are also part of the festival. The Carnegie Hall National High School Choral Festival will be presented and a curriculum for middle school students teaches about the connections between African American music and U.S. History. Carnegie Hall’s Rose Museum hosts an exhibition about the captivating history of African American artists and socio-political figures that have appeared at Carnegie Hall over the last 118 years.

Additional New York City Student Tour Opportunities
In addition to this season’s festivals, students will have the chance to see a variety of other important performances and attend a multitude of workshops on an NYC educational travel tour to Carnegie Hall. Acclaimed conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim holds a series of 15 events. Tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain is showcased in 5 events. Legendary composer Gyorgy Kyrtag visits NYC as part of a two-week celebration of Hungarian music.

If NYC field trips are part of your 2008-2009 school year, see music history first hand on a student tour to Carnegie Hall.

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The Art of the Possible: Explore the Magic of Broadway on a New York City Student Tour

by Howard Clemens
American history includes many great stories. Every metropolitan city across the country has its own rich history and contributions to society. One of the great cultural contributions made by New York City is the creative tradition of Broadway. Since Broadway’s humble beginnings in 1900 it has been a hotbed for music, humor, art and excitement that inspires and touches the hearts and minds of people across the country. Any school or organization planning a field trip or student travel tour should consider making a visit to New York City for a performance tour of Broadway, an integral piece of America’s artistic and musical past.

Educational Student Tours on Broadway: Experience a Century Old Tradition of American Performance
In the beginning, over one hundred years ago, Broadway consisted of a simple, charming theater district that originated on 13th Street. Theaters like the Star Theater, New York Theater, Madison Square Theater and Broadway Theater provided audiences with music, excitement, romance and sometimes scandal. It was during Broadway’s very start that an emotional connection was made between the theaters and their patrons and this relationship has been passed down through generations. Since the turn of the century Broadway has survived success in the 2000’s, depression in the 30’s,conservatism in the 40’s and 50’s, and wild freedom in the 60’s and 70’s.

Plan a NYC Field Trip to a Modern Cultural Phenomenon
Today, Broadway is a beloved part of any New York City student trip, especially for high school musical tours and performing arts student trips. The musicals and plays found in Broadway theaters attract national and international visitors every year. According to The Stage News during the 2005-2006 seasons over twelve million people purchased Broadway tickets. Broadway has become a cultural phenomenon people of all ages can enjoy.

Add These Broadway Shows to Your New York City Student Tour Itinerary
The Broadway experience requires all theatergoers to make a choice about which show to see. Sometimes the choice is difficult but every musical and play offers the audience its own rewards. Here are some suggestions to get you started. Also consider including a Broadway Classroom workshop during your NYC student tour for student trips highlighting the music, performance, and stage industries.

Jersey Boys
Jersey Boys is a musical based on the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, one of the few American bands to survive during the 1960’s British Invasion. Showing at the August Wilson Theatre on 245 West 52nd Street, Jersey Boys tells the story of the singers and songwriters responsible for songs like “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Walk Like a Man.” Directed by Des Manful, Jersey Boys was the third highest ticket selling musical for 2007 in the category of Top New York Theater based on a report by TicketNews.com.

Hairspray
Based on the hilarious John Waters film of the same name released in 1988, Hairspray is the winner of eight Tony Awards including: Best Musical, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Original Score, Best Director and Best Costume Design. Directed by Jack O’Brien and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, Hairspray is set in Baltimore, Maryland and highlights the universal teen themes of peer pressure, body image, popularity and self-individuation with humor and great music. This musical performance is fun and a wonderful experience for any educational travel tour.

Mama Mia!
Owen Lieberman of Entertainment Weekly reported that Mamma Mia! is, “Perhaps the single most ecstatic musical to open on Broadway since A Chorus Line. Mamma Mia! Leaves you uplifted, enraptured and feeling like number one!” It’s not surprising since this musical features the upbeat, electrifying songs of ABBA. Directed by Payload Lloyd, written by Catherine Johnson and produced by Judy Cramer and Richard East, Mamma Mia has been called “a global smash hit.” Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, the founding members of ABBA are also part of the creative team. The story, a funny tale of a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father on the eve of her wedding, has captured the hearts of millions.

Young Frankenstein
Like Jersey Boys, The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein was one of the top grossing musicals in 2007. Ranked at number seven, Young Frankenstein achieved this success just six weeks after the show’s official opening according to TicketNews.com. Ben Brantley at the New York Times stated, “A high density of talent, the hardest-working supersize ensemble and the largest number of gags per scene.” Directed by Susan Stroman and produced, composed and lyrically written by Mel Brooks, Young Frankenstein shows at the Hilton Theatre at 213 West 42nd Street.

For more information about the performance tour, art tour, or standard tour of New York City, follow the links to the page.

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