Sunday, August 19, 2012

Blogging & the City 2.0 (Part 7): My FREE Walking Tour of NYC #StumbleUponNYC #blogher12

Me at Rockefeller Center during the StumbleUpon walking tour of NYC
Have you tried touring NYC on foot?

If you have been keeping up with my "Blogging and the City 2.0" series, then you know that one of the reasons that I love going to the BlogHer conference each year is because of the FREE events that bloggers are invited to by many of the brands.

The StumbleUpon team at Hilton Starbucks
One of the events that I was part of was a walking tour of Manhattan sponsored by StumbleUpon, the company that helps you easily discover new and interesting stuff on the Web. About 20 bloggers met at the Starbucks at the Hilton where the team at StumbleUpon treated us all to any drink that we wanted on the menu for FREE - That's the way to start off an event on a good foot.

Our tour guide knew of few things about saving money in NYC
Saving some green in NYC...
Our tour guide was a southern transport (he had definite Southern charm) turned New Yorker who knew all the ins and outs of New York City. Besides showing us the main attractions of the city, he also gave us some money saving tips. One tip involved the museums in NYC - but he swore us to secrecy.

Top of the Rock viewing is cheaper than the Empire State Building
But the tip that I can tell you is that the NBC Studios Observation deck is cheaper ($10 per person) and has a much better view of the city than going to the top of the Empire State building.

I'm glad we were walking downtown and not uptown on our tour...
I also found out on the tour that "Uptown" literally is uphill. So if you are walking uptown in NYC toward Central Park you will be getting some good exercise whether you know it or not.  No wonder New Yorkers are in such good shape.

Rockefeller Center has some beautiful architecture
We made a stop in Rockefeller Center where we learned it was constructed in the middle of the Great Depression and how that one project put tens of thousands of men back to work. Rockefeller Center was one of the biggest gambles John D. Rockefeller made in his career, one that definitely paid off - for him and the City of New York. And if you love to shop, there are plenty of beautiful designer stores in Rockefeller Center that would love to take your money.

Our last stop was at St. Patrick's Cathedral which was undergoing a million dollar restoration. Even surrounded by scaffolding the building is beautiful.

One interesting fact that we learned is that when this church was built, it was out in the middle of no where with nothing around it for miles. Now its totally land locked by hundreds of millions of dollars in high rent buildings.

As we entered, we had to keep our voices down since there were people inside kneeling in afternoon prayer.

Our guide informed us that everything in St. Patrick's Cathedral is handmade and that a generation of artisans literally spent their lives erecting this building as an offering to God. As a looked around at the all the beauty contained within the edifice, I felt this somehow seemed the perfect way to end our tour.

Thanks StumbleUpon!

Only one more to go...
There is now only one post left for me to write in my Blogging and the City 2.0 series. And in that post I will tell you how I got 26.5 pounds in unexpected swag shipped home for only $20. I bet you cannot wait to read that story :)

UPDATE: Blogging & the City 2.0 (Part 8): @Staples & @UPS are your Swag's Best Friends 


Disclosure: StumbleUpon sponsored our complementary walking tour of Manhattan. All my trip photos were taken with the Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone loaned to me for my trip to BlogHer by Verizon Wireless. All opinions are my own.

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