Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. Today, we hit the bigtime, New York. There’s so much going on in the Empire State that a lot of categories will be filled with options. So, let’s take a bite out of the Big Apple and see how it tastes:
Motto: “Excelsior (Ever upward)” – And spinning… constantly spinning!
Food: As far as the Sip Advisor is concerned, the complete meal of New York-created foods is a Club Sandwich with side Potato Chips, finished with a slice of New York Cheesecake for dessert. Other creations worth mentioning include Buffalo Wings, Eggs Benedict, Chicken and Waffles, Waldorf Salad, Red Velvet Cake, and even Jell-O.
Drink: There is a cocktail for each of the five boroughs that make up New York City. This includes The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island Ferry drinks. New York can also be credited with the Long Island Iced Tea, Penicillin, Cosmopolitan, Martini, Appletini, Bloody Mary, Tom Collins, and New York Sour beverages.
Site to See: When Mrs. Sip and I were in New York City for far too short of a visit, we tried to see as much as we could. Our stops included Times Square, the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Madison Square Garden, Central Park, and Grand Central Station. Outside of New York City, Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest state park in the country.
Street: Three industry hubs (financial, advertising, theatrical) can be found along New York City streets. First, Wall Street is home to the New York Stock Exchange, the largest in the world. Second, numerous ad agencies call Madison Avenue home, used as the setting for TV show Mad Men. Finally, Broadway is the epicenter of American theatre, with playhouses lining the route.
TV Show: The next time I’m in New York, I plan to take a TV show tour, given all the great shows that have been set in the state. These include Seinfeld, Friends, How I Met Your Mother, 30 Rock, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, All in the Family, The King of Queens, Taxi, Law & Order, Sex and the City, and I Love Lucy. Shows that can’t be toured, but deserve mention, include Futurama, Saturday Night Live, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Sesame Street.
Movie: Another tough category to narrow down, I have to go with one of my all-time favourites, It’s a Wonderful Life. Starring Jimmy Stewart, this story of truly appreciating what you have, has become a Christmas classic, shown every holiday season. Honourable mentions include the Ghostbusters and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchises, as well as The Warriors.
Book/Author: So many comic books are set in New York, including the likes of Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, Daredevil, and Dr. Strange. All of these entries share the common thread that each was created or co-created by New Yorker Stan Lee. Lee is also responsible for other popular characters, such as the X-Men, Thor, Hulk, Black Panther, and Ant-Man.
Fictional Character: As a child, the Sip Advisor loved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon and movies. The heroes in a half shell dwelled in the sewers of the New York City, being trained in martial arts by Splinter, before being required to save the city and world from evildoers. Associates of the Turtles, such as reporter April O’Neil and vigilante Casey Jones are also New Yorkers.
Fictional City: Riverdale, setting of the Archie Comics universe, is generally thought to be located in New York. This means the nearby towns of Greendale (Sabrina the Teenage Witch) and Midvale (Josie and the Pussycats) are also likely in the state. The earliest Archie Comics reference the real-life Bronx neighbourhood Riverdale, but this changed as the series progressed.
Actor/Actress: A number of today’s A-list stars were born in New York. Among them, are Tom Cruise, Robert De Niro, Robert Downey Jr., Anne Hathaway, Scarlet Johansson, Al Pacino, and Denzel Washington. A couple legends of the big and small screen also called the state home, including Lucille Ball, Humphrey Bogart, Kirk Douglas and Mickey Rooney.
Song: This category is down to two choices: New York, New York by Frank Sinatra and Empire State of Mind by Jay Z and Alicia Keys. Both are fitting anthems for New York City, as well as the rest of the state. I guess it all depends on your preferred style of music. If you don’t like either, artists such as Billy Joel and The Beastie Boys also have New York-based tracks.
Band/Musician: Another category filled with great options. I’ll go with The Ramones, as one of the first punk rock groups and revolutionaries for that style. Although not related, band members all adopted the last name Ramone. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.
People: Women’s rights icon, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was born in Brooklyn. After a lengthy legal career, she was appointed to U.S. Supreme Court, in 1993. Nicknamed The Notorious R.B.G., Ginsburg was the subject of the 2018 biographical film, On the Basis of Sex, starring Felicity Jones. There’s even been a Sam Adams beer released in her honour.
Animal: After a history of incidents, including killing a circus spectator, Topsy the Elephant was sentenced to death by hanging, as part of a publicity stunt. The ASPCA objected to the public event (with admission to be charged), but eventually allowed for Topsy to be hung, poisoned and electrocuted. Footage of the 1903 execution exists, recorded by the Thomas Edison’s film company.
Invention: George Eastman, founder of the Eastman Kodak Company, patented the first film roll in 1884, which was eventually used with his Kodak Black camera, developed in 1888. His film also became the standard used for early motion pictures. The George Eastman Museum, in Rochester, is the oldest photography museum in the world, with an extensive film archive.
Crime: A few significant assassinations have taken place in New York, including the murders of U.S. President William McKinley, civil rights activist Malcolm X and musician John Lennon. McKinley was shot as he appeared at the 1901 Pan-American Expo. Malcolm X was swarmed by three members of the Nation of Islam, wounded 21 times. Lennon was killed outside his home by a man he had earlier signed an autograph for.
Law: In New York, it’s illegal to talk to a stranger in an elevator. There goes all that awkward small talk with people. I kind of hope this law has legs and spread outside the state.
Sports Team: New York City is a busy sporting hub with teams such as the Yankees and Mets (MLB), Knicks and Nets (NBA) and Islanders and Rangers (NHL). Buffalo also has a couple teams in the Bills (NFL) and Sabres (NHL). Although named New York, both the Jets and Giants (NFL) play in New Jersey. There’s also a ton of NCAA sports going on across the state.
Athlete: Two of basketballs greatest players of all-time were born in New York City boroughs. Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar were dominant athletes, winning six NBA Championships each. There’s also controversial boxer and ‘Baddest Man on the Planet’, Mike Tyson, the youngest fighter to ever win a heavyweight title.
Famous Home: There are a number of New York landmarks related to former U.S. Presidents Teddy Roosevelt and his cousin, Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Teddy Roosevelt Birthplace and Sagamore Hill estate were homes to Teddy at opposite ends of his life. Meanwhile, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, in Hyde Park, is where FDR hosted his famous fireside chats.
Urban Legend: In 1974, Ronald DeFeo Jr. murdered six of his family members, in their Amityville home. A year later, the Lutz family moved into the home and began experiencing paranormal activity. These events inspired The Amity Horror franchise, with much debate over the authenticity of the Lutz’s accounts. The home still stands, although the address was changed to discourage visitors.
Museum: The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, in Cooperstown, is a mecca for baseball lovers. Built in 1939, by the heir to the Singer Sewing Machine fortune, exhibits today include Baseball at the Movies, One for the Books (about records set by players and teams), a walkthrough history of the sport, the Hall of Fame plaque gallery, and many others.
Firsts: The first pizzeria in the U.S. opened in New York City, in 1905. Lombardi’s Pizza still operates today, but was closed at one point for 10 years, before moving a block away from the original location. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the pizzeria first opening, pizzas were sold for only 5 cents, the price of a pie (they don’t sell slices) in 1905.
Company: All the major TV networks are headquartered in New York City, including ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox. Top cable channels, such as HBO and Comedy Central also call NYC home. This, along with the city having some of the top newspapers, publishing houses and record companies, has led to it being called the media capital of the world.
Events: When two planes were flown into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, the world stood still. Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for what was later dubbed the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which also included a plane crashing into the Pentagon and another into a field in Pennsylvania. All tolled, 2,977 people were killed, with a further 25,000 injured.
Miscellaneous: The ‘I Love New York’ (I ❤ NY) campaign, was launched in 1977, to bring attention to the state’s tourism industry. It included the famous slogan, logo and a song. ‘I Love New York’ has become the State Slogan and the logo – created by graphic designed, Milton Glaser, using a red crayon, while riding in a taxi – can be seen on all matters of souvenirs.
- 2 oz Gin
- 0.25 oz Sweet Vermouth
- 0.25 oz Dry Vermouth
- Top with Orange Juice
- Garnish with an Orange Twist
- 1 oz Whiskey
- 0.5 oz Dry Vermouth
- 0.25 oz Maraschino Liqueur
- Dash of Angostura Bitters
- Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry
- 2 oz Whiskey
- 0.5 oz Sweet Vermouth
- Dashes of Angostura Bitters
- Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry
- 1 oz Gin
- 1 oz Dry Vermouth
- 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
- Top with Pineapple Juice
- Garnish with a Lime Wheel
Staten Island Ferry
- 2 oz Coconut Rum
- Top with Pineapple Juice
- Garnish with a Pineapple Wedge/Coconut Shavings
There are so many cocktail options from the state of New York and I felt doing all five New York City boroughs cocktails was the best solution. For those keeping track, that meant 12 ounces of booze needed to be consumed, so you can bet the Sip Advisor enjoyed the experiment.