New York

Hanging Out in Harlem: 12 Hours Above W. 120th Street with Historian Kathleen Hulser

Kathleen Hulser is an urban historian, adjunct professor at both Parsons and the New School and a SideTour host. Although she spends a lot of her professional time downtown, she lives in Harlem on the street where HBO’s Boardwalk Empire is shot. Along with her Springer Spaniel, Nikki, she peruses the architecture and green spaces of Harlem while sampling tasty bites of the newest eateries that are springing up.

8:00AM Wake and Walk In doggie world, 8am is late, so Nikki is raring to go. We pass through the nine-foot tall, carved double doors of my brownstone in Harlem. Many people around the community have asked, “Is that a bird dog?”—a testimony to the Southern origins of many Harlemites who had hunting dogs in their youth.

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Photo: Kathleen Hulser

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Philadelphia

Hot in Philly: Taxidermy in the City

If you’ve already spent afternoons strolling down Market Street and people-watching at the Gallery, then you’re probably looking for something a bit more unique this summer. Take a walk in someone else’s shoes and dip your toes into something new with this offbeat weekend option.

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Take on Taxidermy This Saturday afternoon, join SideTour for a taxidermy workshop in Kensington. Spend over two hours with Beth Beverly, an artist, fashion designer and licensed taxidermist, and participate in an interactive demonstration of the preservation and mounting of a recently deceased chicken.

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Chicago

Recipe for Savory Pancakes: Spinach Artichoke Melt

SideTour host and Babycakes Truck pancake purveyor Leah Wilcox knows that the pancake is much more than just a vehicle for maple syrup. To prove it, she invented over 200 original pancake recipes, both sweet and savory. This cheesy, veggie-laden creation is perfect for a gourmet lunch or dinner entrée.

Spinach Artichoke Melt

(Makes 6-8 servings)

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New York

Best Bike Routes in New York City

Whether you’re a devout Citi Bike member or have your own wheels, there’s more to biking in New York City than just cruising around the Central Park loop. These (mostly) traffic-free rides will get your heart and legs pumping as you check out the sights along the way.

Manhattan’s Greenway North One of the most well-known biking routes lies along the 11-mile Hudson Greenway, which extends from Battery Park to the George Washington Bridge. But with a little bit of street riding, the journey continues up to the northern tip of the island. And one perk is that the traffic—both cars and bikes—is considerably lighter north of 179th street. There’s also a pleasant stretch along the Harlem River on the East Side, which takes you over the Macombs Dam Bridge. Journey into the Bronx and finish just a few blocks west of Yankee Stadium.

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Washington, D.C.

This Weekend in DC: International Food Experiences with SideTour

Ever wish you could travel to a far-flung locale without the tedious airport lines? At these SideTour experiences, you’ll enjoy one of our favorite aspects to traveling—eating delicious exotic foods—while staying close to home in the DC metro area.

Savor the Flavors of Little Ethiopia Saturday afternoon’s SideTour takes you on a stroll through the Ethiopian enclave of U Street through 9th Street, which boasts the largest Ethiopian community outside of Africa. Along the way, you’ll taste delicacies like fried lentil appetizers, traditional spicy meats and Ethiopian honey wine.

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Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C.

Celebrate the 4th of July Spirit with SideTour

Enjoying our country’s independence with your family and friends doesn’t have to end at the fireworks. Keep the spirit going at a SideTour that ups your grilling game, boosts your bartending skills or even teaches you a thing or two about the American Revolution itself.

Chicago

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Become a Grill Master Expand your repertoire beyond hotdogs and hamburgers in this upcoming SideTour, where you’ll prep and grill impressive recipes including grilled guacamole, Chimichurri steak, whiskey pineapple and bacon-wrapped shrimp.

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Chicago

Make Delicious Gluten-Free Herb Crackers

Self-taught chef and SideTour host Charis Chia is passionate about cooking with the freshest local ingredients, especially when she’s crafting her signature gluten-free dishes. Like most gluten-free recipes, this is an adaptation of a non-GF cracker recipe, and Charis was drawn to this one in particular for its use of flavorful herbs. She developed this recipe knowing that she wanted something a bit heftier and heartier than your typical gluten-free cracker. Serve these with any of your favorite cracker toppings like cheese, spreads, dips, etc. 

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Philadelphia

Hidden in Philadelphia: America’s Oldest Botanical Garden

Philly is rich with early American landmarks, but here’s one you may be less familiar with: Bartram’s Garden on 54th Street and Lindbergh Boulevard is the oldest surviving botanical garden in the U.S. John Bartram, who was anointed “Royal Botanist” by King George III, officially founded it in 1728. But its history can be traced back much further. Artifacts found on this fertile ground—which you can see by appointment—indicate that Native Americans as far back as 3,000 BCE used it seasonally.

What You’ll See Despite its long history, the garden is far from stuck in the past. Today you can wander through its 45 acres and admiring flora like Franklinia, the garden’s signature flowering tree named for good ol’ Ben Franklin himself. You can also seek out a photo op with the oldest Ginkgo biloba tree in America. Be sure to spend some time in the meadow and soak up the view of Philly’s skyline.

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Photo: All rights reserved by Toc and Barbara

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New York

Three Great Day Trips Outside New York City

Some of the best NYC weekends are the ones spent just outside the city. Even if you don’t have a home in the Hamptons or a Jersey Shore share awaiting you, it’s easy to join in the fun: these fantastic SideTour experiences get you off Manhattan for a blissful day away.

Join a Clam Bake on City Island with a Food Network Chef Nestled just across the water from the Bronx sits City Island. It’s a mere subway ride away from Manhattan, yet it feels like it’s a world away. This weekend, head on up to the City Island home of Chopped All Stars chef Michael Proietti, and enjoy a New England-style clam bake. Once you’re stuffed to the gills with delicious seafood, spend the afternoon wandering the quaint antique shops and art galleries that speckle the island.

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New York

Ryan Domingo: 12 Hours of Food in NYC with a Restaurant Pro

On rare occasions, SideTour friend and New York restaurant manager Ryan Domingo finds himself with a spate of free time. A West Coast native, he’s managed to open three restaurants during his two years in NYC, including the Brooklyn installment of Andy Ricker’s Northern Thai empire, Pok Pok NY. So what would Ryan do with an entire day to himself? Check out his itinerary that’s oozing with good taste. 

As told to SideTour:

12:00PM Quality Coffee My mornings off are strictly committed to sleeping and hangovers. So noon is my normal start time, and I always begin my day with a cup of coffee. With so many good coffee options these days, you really shouldn’t be walking into a Starbucks, unless you’re dead-set on a Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino. My go-to coffee joint is Blue Bottle on Berry Street in Williamsburg. It’s a beautiful space near the waterfront with a rotating list of single origin pour-overs. And there’s a good chance you’ll get to pet some cool dogs on the sidewalk outside. Win-win.

Coffee

Photo: Ryan Domingo

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