Murray Huberfeld Lists Five Historical Places to Visit Around Philadelphia

Murray HuberfeldPhiladelphia offers plenty of attractions for history lovers like Murray Huberfeld. Although the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall are the most well-known sites, you’ll find others that offer fascinating glimpses into life in the 18th and 19th centuries. Whether you’re in town for a day or a week, you’ll want to make time to visit one of these gems.

Eastern State Penitentiary (2027 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia)

A Murray Huberfeld favorite, Eastern State Penitentiary opened in 1829 in a rural area, although you’ll never believe that bustling Fairmount Avenue was ever farmland. Remember when your mother sent you to your room to think about what you’d done? That was actually the brainchild of the Quakers, who believed that criminals needed time in complete solitude to think about their crimes. Prisoners spoke to no one once they arrived at the prison. Meals were passed through slots in the cell doors and each cell in the original part of the prison had its own walled exercise area. Several wings of the penitentiary are open to visitors, as is the relatively lavish cell of the prison’s most famous inmate, Al Capone. During the fall, Eastern State Penitentiary offers “Terror Behind the Walls,” a popular haunted house experience.

Franklin Court (322 Market Street, Philadelphia)

Just a few blocks from busy Independence Mall is Franklin Court, the former home of Benjamin Franklin. Although Franklin’s 10-room home was long demolished, an open frame “ghost house” gives visitors an idea of its size. Tour the remains of a rental house built by Franklin and visit a replica of his printing shop and an actual U.S. Post Office. At the other end of the courtyard, you’ll find the Benjamin Franklin Museum, an underground museum that showcases Franklin’s inventions and depicts key moments in his life. If you’re traveling with kids, they’ll love picking up one of the telephone and listening to what other historical figures had to say about Franklin.

Christ Church (20 North American Street, Philadelphia)

Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, William Penn and Betsy Ross worshipped in this church, which is still going strong over 300 years later. Construction on the Georgian building began in 1727, and it’s thanks to Franklin that the church has its impressive steeple. He organized a lottery to pay for it. You’ll want to be sure to visit the burial ground, which serves as the final resting place for Franklin and several other signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Fairmount Park Houses (Fairmount Park, Philadelphia)

If old houses give you a thrill, you’ll be in heaven touring Fairmount Park, located just outside Center City Philadelphia. Fairmount Park was a popular site for summer homes for Philadelphia’s wealthy citizens in the 1800s. All of the homes aren’t open for tours, but you can visit Strawberry Mansion, Lemon Hill and Mount Pleasant mansions, depending on the time of year. The mansions have been restored and feature original or replica furnishings.

Washington Crossing Historic Park (Washington Crossing, PA)

Another Murray Huberfeld favorite is Washington Crossing Historic Park, located about 45 minutes north of Philadelphia. This marks the spot where George Washington crossed the Delaware River to battle the Hessians in Trenton, NJ on Christmas Day in 1776. Thirteen buildings, including homes and an inn are open to the public. Reenactments of the crossing are held every December 25. Located 4.5 miles away in the Upper Park is the Thompson-Neely House, which served as a hospital for the injured and sick soldiers in 1776.

These historic sites will gave Murray Huberfeld and will give you a comprehensive overview of life in the 18th and 19th century. And best of all, you’ll find them less crowded than some of the more popular historic sites.

Murray Huberfeld Lists Five Things To Do In Ashville, NC

Murray HuberfeldAt least to Murray Huberfeld, beer and art seem an unlikely mix but Ashville, North Carolina has earned top awards in both categories. The downtown includes ample numbers of art galleries and microbreweries. This has earned it the “Top 25 Small Cities for Art” and “Beer City USA” awards. This small city nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains does offer much more than beer and art. Visitors will also find gardens, history and architecture as well as many restaurants and shops. Ashville rewards its visitors with many pleasurable experiences.

Asheville Botanic Garden
The Garden includes ten acres of plants that are native to the Southern Appalachian region of the United States. A half-mile loop trail passes through a wildflower cove, forest and meadows and crosses bridges over a stream. An authentic log cabin and spring house from pioneer times add a touch of history to the walk. There are picnic tables and benches scattered along the trail for visitors to picnic or just stop and relax. The garden includes over six hundred plant species with over fifty endangered ones. Peak bloom is during the months of April and May with summer providing a secondary bloom period in the sunnier areas of the gardens. There is no charge to visit the gardens, though they do appreciate donations from visitors.
Asheville Botanic Garden
151 W.T. Weaver Blvd.
Asheville, NC 28804-3414
828-252-5190

Biltmore
South of Asheville, located on an 8000 acre estate, the Biltmore Mansion serves to remind visitors of a bygone time. The Estate includes a botanical garden, winery, hotel, restaurant, picnic area, gift shop and conservatory. Visitors may tour the estate on their own or take a narrated tour. Several types of tours are available, led by friendly, knowledgeable guides. Visitors should plan a minimum of six to eight hours to tour the Biltmore.
Biltmore
One Lodge Street
Asheville, NC 28803
800-411-3812

Downtown Asheville Art District
Downtown Ashville contains a wonderful mix of local coffee shops, stores, and art galleries. Street musicians give open air concerts and many clubs offer live music, dancing and local cuisine. The buildings downtown are a mix of Beaux Arts and Neoclassical styles. They serve as reminders of an earlier time of urban architecture. The collection of Art Deco buildings is second only to Miami. The downtown is also home to the Pack Square Cultural District. This is a cultural district that includes the Asheville Art Museum and the Colburn Earth Science Museum. The District is also the home of the Diana Wortham Theatre and the YMI Cultural Center. The center also has meeting rooms and places for special events.

Also downtown are the Basilica of St. Lawrence, Grove Arcade and the Thomas Wolfe Memorial State Historic Site. Downtown also serves as the location for the Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center.

Downtown Asheville has dozens of microbreweries. Their presence helped Asheville top the BeerCity, USA poll from 2009 through 2012, earning it the title “Beer City USA.” American Style Magazine has also listed Asheville on its” Top 25 Small Cities for Art” annual lists from 2000 – 2012.

River Arts District
Close to downtown and accessible by car or trolley, the River Arts District is a collection of art and working studios. These businesses occupy a collection of old factories and historical buildings. The District spans an area along the French Broad River. There are several annual events during which there are demonstrations, tours and special exhibits.

River Arts District
Clingman Avenue at Lyman Street
Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 423-4567

Smith-McDowell House-Museum
Colonel Daniel Smith constructed the home in the 1840′s, making it the oldest remaining house in Asheville. Listed on the National Register, the home sits on a high summit, surrounded by mountainous terrain. The museum’s many exhibits include subjects on slavery, Native Americans and the Civil War.

Smith-McDowell House-Museum
Located on the Campus
A-B Tech Community College
283 Victoria Road
Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 253-9231

Take it from Murray Huberfeld – Asheville offers delicious food, interesting craft beers, art, history and beautiful gardens. Visitors can spend many pleasant hours wandering the streets of this wonderful city.

Murray Huberfeld Relives the Wild Wild West in Nevada

Murray HuberfeldIf you’re out West as much as Murray Huberfeld and family, you’ll need to look up Virginia City. Located about 35 miles outside of Reno amidst the winding roads of the western mountains in Northern Nevada, the ghost town of Virginia City is often thought of as the original mining boomtown from the 1800s. Today the ghost town presents much of the original presence, architecture and history of its era. Virginia City was often featured in the popular TV western series, Bonanza, in the mid-20th century.

Virginia City was an early settlement for miners moving west from San Francisco and other areas in the early 1800s looking to strike it rich in gold and silver. During the height of the mining boom, millions of dollars in gold and silver were taken from the hills and mountainsides surrounding Virginia City. Previously destitute miners became millionaires and built houses, schools, churches, hospitals, bars, restaurants, opera theatres and casinos making Virginia City an important city on the west coast. During the boom, Virginia City had over 20,000 residents which was essentially unheard of in other mining camps in the country at that time. The Civil War was substantially supported by Virginia City funding for the federal government.

Bonanza Days in Virginia City

John Mackay was one of those fortunate miners in the “Big Bonanza” days in 1873 who struck it rich virtually overnight. He was known as the “Comstock King” and he developed Nevada’s School of Mines. He also became a rich power player in the original field of telecommunications.

Being a miner in those days was a rough, dangerous and exhausting profession. Temperatures exceeded 100 degrees many times in the summer and hit below freezing in the winter with frequent snow storms and bad weather. Miners would descend over 2500 feet into the mines via manual elevators. Many miners died through falls, explosions, and avalanches.

Famous literary expert Mark Twain spent many years in Virginia City writing for the local newspaper then called the Territorial Enterprise.

Virginia City today is a “live ghost town” and thriving from tourism to the area. While mining no longer takes place, many of the original structures have been preserved including wooden sidewalks, signage, old churches, the railroad, casinos and Victorian homes. The original cemetery is visited often by history buffs to learn via tombstone messages about the people buried there and see the structure as it was in the 1800′s. Museums along the main street present a great authentic visual display of the history of this famous mining town. Restaurants, stores and casinos are open and in business during the peak season which is generally from April to November. One of the most popular spots is ‘The Bucket of Blood Saloon’ and contains original slot machines, furnishings and entertainment.

Many annual special events are held in Virginia City including the camel races, dirt bike competitions, Virginia City Civil War Days, 4th of July Fireworks show, World Championship Outhouse Races, along with many parades and gatherings. Many group events center around these activities with people coming from across the world to participate.

The Wild, Wild West is preserved in Virginia City allowing visitors to let their imaginations run wild as they get an idea of what it was like in a rough yet successful mining boomtown in the 1800s.

Murray Huberfeld’s Advice on Travelling Around New York City

Murray HuberfeldMurray Huberfeld and family have been to Manhattan many times in the past. When I’m talking travel with colleagues and friends, New York City almost always comes up as a destination. However, many folks are not familiar with the workings of the city and getting around can sometimes get complicated. Here is some Murray Huberfeld advice for getting around the Big Apple:

You’re taking a trip to New York City, but do you know how to get around? You probably know not to bring your car, but you may be wondering how to survive without one. Here is everything you need to know about your transportation options to and within New York City.

Getting There

Most travelers will arrive by air. While flight booking sites will generally have an option to search for flights into all local airports, JFK is by far the most convenient option due to the ease of navigating the airport and its transportation options. LaGuardia is outdated and is only accessible by taxi or local bus. Newark offers public transportation options to match JFK, but they all head to New Jersey and a long train ride with multiple transfers or an expensive taxi ride is needed to reach New York City.

Train travelers will find themselves right in the middle of the city at either Penn Station or Grand Central Station. These are major transportation hubs with easy access to the rest of the city. Many bus travelers will arrive at the Port Authority Bus Terminal near Times Square, another important transportation hub, but should double check this because low-cost operators often maintain stops far away from any local transportation options.

From the Airport

Not surprisingly, the three major airports are located well outside the city center. Plan on a trip to or from the airport taking at least an hour when travel conditions are good, and know that delays are the norm.

Traveling by rail is the most reliable option because it doesn’t depend on the city’s roads not being clogged. This places JFK at the top of the list because its AirTrain provides access to the city’s subway system and the Long Island Railroad. The subway provides cheap access to most parts of the city while the Long Island Railroad provides a fast ride to either Atlantic Terminal near Brooklyn Heights and Prospect Park or Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan. Newark also has rail access, but the travel time just to get into Manhattan is much longer.

Buses are the only public transportation option to LaGuardia and are also available to JFK. They should be avoided because they are slow even without heavy traffic and they have no provisions for luggage; anything more than a carry on will be extremely difficult to deal with.

Taxis are a decent option outside of rush hour. While they won’t be much faster than taking a train, they are much more convenient, especially when traveling with heavy luggage. The only downside is there are multiple bottlenecks on the way to all airports that can greatly increase the travel time. The cost is high, but not prohibitive, and is a flat rate going from JFK or LaGuardia to Manhattan. Trips to the airport or from the airport to other locations are based on time and mileage. Newark trips add expensive surcharges for leaving or entering the city.

Subways

Inside the city, the subway is a cheap, mostly reliable way to get just about anywhere. No matter how far you go, the fare is a flat $2.50 paid by a fare card called MetroCard, and there are discounts for adding higher amounts to your MetroCard at once as well as discounted unlimited weekly and monthly passes. MetroCards are available at all station entrances. Unlike in the past, subway travel today is very safe as long you remain aware of your surroundings. This is true well into the night as trains stay filled with club goers and night-shift workers.

The most important thing to be aware of is that schedules are different based on the day and time. Some trains don’t run or have a different route on nights and weekends. Remember that the map hanging in stations is for weekdays, and be sure to double check the schedule to make sure a train is running at other times as well as construction reroutes. Also try to avoid the trains during rush hour as they get uncomfortably crowded.

Buses

Buses cover nearly the entire city and also run on the MetroCard system, but most local residents avoid them. This is because a combination of traffic and many stops makes them painfully slow. They can be a decent way to go crosstown in Manhattan, but always take the subway to go uptown or downtown unless you want a slow ride to take in more of the city. There are some express and limited stop buses, but most of these will only be helpful to resident commuters.

Taxis

The yellow cab is one of the most recognizable features of the city. Taxi travel is relatively quick within boroughs, but travel between boroughs and in certain parts of Manhattan where bottlenecks are unavoidable can be slow. Be as specific as you can in your directions to avoid being taken for a ride. Many drivers are honest and will take the fastest route, which is sometimes a few blocks out of the way to avoid traffic, but many will either take tourists on a lengthy trip or pick a route where they will be sitting in traffic to run up the fare.

Remember, the meter counts both distance traveled and time spent stuck in traffic. Taxi travel is expensive, but not unreasonable compared to other prices in the city. It’s a good idea late at night when you feel uncomfortable taking the subway or when returning to your hotel after a long day of shopping. Don’t even try to get a cab during rush hour — not only will it be nearly impossible to find one that’s available (with its numbers lit up), but the ride will be slow. The best thing to do is to head to one more shop or cafe for an hour or to take the subway if you really need to get somewhere.

Walking

Manhattan is only about two miles wide and very compact. This makes walking a great way to take in a large portion of the city at once. Just remember to bring a good pair of shoes. If you’re sticking to the tourist areas of Manhattan, you have nothing to worry about except getting run into if you’re walking slow and taking up most of the sidewalk. If you’re feeling more adventurous, most of Manhattan is safe except for sections above 100th Street and in the Lower East Side.

Any New York City travel questions for Murray Huberfeld? Feel free to ask them in the comments below…

Murray Huberfeld Visits Some Iconic Movie Locations Around New York City

Murray HuberfeldWhile Hollywood may be the heart of the American entertainment industry, many of your favorite movies are also filmed in New York City. Whether you’re like Murray Huberfeld and and frequent visitor to the Big Apple or you’re a lifetime resident, it can be a fun (and occasionally eerie) experience to walk around the city and see some of the locations that have been prominently featured in major blockbusters. Here is a look at several spots you can visit to get a taste of film history.

When Harry Met Sally – Katz’s Deli (205 East Houston Street)

Head to Manhattan’s Lower East Side to grab a pastrami sandwich and discover where Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan shot the famous “orgasm scene” from When Harry Met Sally. Once inside, you’ll have no problem spotting the exact table where the two lovebirds sat, as there is a giant sign hanging above it that reads, “I’ll have what she’s having.” You may not know that this iconic line wasn’t originally in the script, but filmmakers decided to try it out on the day of filming. The deadpan actress who says those famous words is actually director Rob Reiner’s mother.

Ghostbusters – Hook and Ladder Company 8 (14 North Moore Street)

The Ghostbusters films are some of the most memorable comedies of the 1980s, and the elite team had their headquarters at a real NYC fire station. Located in the Manhattan neighborhood of Tribeca, Hook and Ladder Company 8 is still a working station for the FDNY today, and movie fans will have no trouble spotting its famous façade. If you happen to pass the station when its doors are open, you might be able to see the Ghostbusters II sign hanging inside. There is also a logo painted on the sidewalk out front that somewhat resembles the classic Ghostbusters insignia.

You’ve Got Mail – La Mode Cleaners (106 West 69th Street)

You probably don’t remember a dry cleaner’s in the hit romantic comedy You’ve Got Mail, but the movie’s Shop Around the Corner probably rings a bell. The small children’s bookstore owned by Kathleen (Meg Ryan) was actually Maya Shaper’s Cheese and Antique Shop when the movie filmed, but that original location has since shuttered. Today, you can see the same façade, but the building is currently occupied by La Mode Cleaners. Somewhat ironically, the children’s bookstore that inspired screenwriter Nora Ephron to create the movie’s Shop Around the Corner is still in business. You can visit Books of Wonder at 18 West 18th Street.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Tiffany and Co. (200 5th Avenue)
The title of the Audrey Hepburn classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s indicates that its leading lady, Holly Golightly, eats her breakfast standing outside the windows of the classy jewelry store. Fans of this romance can get all dolled up, grab a pastry and coffee, and then head to the corner of 57th Street and 5th Avenue. Stand facing the Tiffany’s window with The Crown Building across the street behind you, and you will perfectly recreate Hepburn’s classic scene.

The Seven Year Itch – East 52nd Street and Lexington Avenue

Picture Marilyn Monroe, and one of the images that will immediately spring to mind is likely to be the actress standing atop a subway grate and attempting to hold her dress as it threatens to blow upward. This iconic scene was filmed at the corner of East 52nd Street and Lexington Avenue on the night of September 15th, 1954. Filmmakers invited every prominent member of the New York press to come witness the filming, and it drew a crowd of more than 2,000 bystanders. You’ll find the exact subway grate in front of the main entrance for a restaurant called Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecote.

Spider-Man – The Flatiron Building (175 Fifth Avenue)

When you see the Flatiron Building in real life, it won’t be emblazoned with letters denoting “The Daily Bugle,” but you will certainly recognize its façade as being the headquarters of the Spider-Man newspaper. One of NYC’s most interesting buildings, the “skyscraper” was originally one of the tallest in the city (today it barely measures up to most of the buildings surrounding it). The Flatiron’s wedge shape is what makes it most notable, and it has often been used in establishing shots on TV shows like Friends and Spin City to remind viewers that those series are supposed to take place in New York.

The Big Apple has been so widely photographed that you might recognize almost any location you walk past as having been featured in a memorable movie or television scene. This list gives you several places to begin your tour, but you can always look up your favorite movies to find out where they were filmed and visit those locations as well. Once you have been to famous spots like these in real life, like Murray Huberfeld you’ll be amazed how much it alters the experience of seeing them on screen.

The Murray Huberfeld List of the Best Zoos in America

Murray HuberfeldAmericans are fascinated by seeing the majestic animals that live around the world. We flock to zoological parks around the nation just to get a glimpse of the creatures that are commonplace in other countries. While many of the nation’s zoos are pretty similar, however, some of them stand out above the rest. Either for their exhibits, their collections of animals, or their contributions to research and conservation efforts, here is a look at Murray Huberfeld’s favorites and in my humble opinion – (in no particular order) some of the best zoos in the country.

San Diego Zoo (San Diego, CA) – Renowned worldwide as one of the best zoos ever created, San Diego Zoo has more than 4,000 different animals representing almost 900 distinct species. This tourist attraction covers 100 acres and brings in more than 5 million visitors every year. Officially founded in 1916, the zoo has been the innovator of “cageless” exhibits since 1922. Plan to spend an entire day exploring this massive zoo, especially since it’s set amongst the hills and takes quite a bit of energy to get around. It’s almost impossible to highlight an exhibit or attraction that stands out because they are all fantastic. Make sure not to miss the Giant Pandas, however, because this zoo is one of only four in the U.S. to feature these incredible animals.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (Colorado Springs, CO) – Nestled along the face of Cheyenne Mountain, you can’t beat the views that you get from this zoo. The beautiful setting is complemented by several great exhibits, which display more than 100 species of animals. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo features the largest herd of reticulated giraffes anywhere in the U.S., and visitors are able to hand feed them romaine lettuce that can be purchased outside the enclosure. The zoo also has a historic carousel from 1937 and a chairlift-style Sky Ride that leads even further up the mountain. Wear sturdy walking shoes when you visit, as the slope of the zoo is equal to climbing up 10 stories.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium (Columbus, OH) – Another of America’s most renowned zoos–and possibly the “best” in the nation–Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has been welcoming guests since 1927. Under the direction of famed wildlife expert Jack Hanna, the zoo set the standard that most other zoos aspire to. Today it features over 7,000 animals (almost 800 different species) and attracts millions of visitors annually. Over the last 10 years, the zoo has undergone a major expansion, and now it also includes an amusement park, water park, and golf resort in addition to showcasing its many animals. The zoo itself is divided into regions including North America, Polar Frontier, Pachyderms, Asia Quest, and more.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom (Orlando, FL) – Don’t let any hardcore Disney fans hear you referring to the fourth Walt Disney World theme park as a “zoo”–even if it is, on some level. Since its 1998 opening, Animal Kingdom has struggled to make a name for itself among tourists seeking thrills, but the one area it has consistently excelled is in its care and treatment of animals. The park is divided into sections such as Africa and Asia, and it features more than 250 species of animals that you can discover
through exciting attractions. Don’t miss the crowning jewel of the park–the 20-minute ride through an expansive wildlife preserve, known as Kilimanjaro Safaris.

Bronx Zoo (New York, NY) – A trip to New York City doesn’t typically involve going up to The Bronx, but both visitors and locals should carve out some time to check out the beautiful Bronx Zoo. The word’s biggest metropolitan zoo, it spans about 265 acres and is home to 650 different species (more than 6,000 animals). The zoo was founded in 1899 and has grown exponentially over more than a century. The Bronx Zoo is also the headquarters for the Wildlife Conservation Society–an international organization that manages four NYC zoos as well as promoting animal conservation efforts around the world. If you visit during the summer, make sure to ride the Wild Asia Monorail, which transports you above hundreds of Asian animals, including tigers, rhinos, and elephants.

Saint Louis Zoo (St. Louis, MO) – Founded in 1904, Saint Louis Zoo is located in the middle of the city’s massive Forest Park. The zoo spans more than 90 acres and displays more than 19,000 animals–655 species. It also holds the distinction of being one of the nation’s only free zoos. Recognized for its contributions to the science, research, and conservation, the zoo is dedicated to keeping its animals happy and features naturalistic enclosures. It is known in particular for its penguin display, which is designed to look like the shoreline of Peru and features a 22-foot waterfall.

Murray Huberfeld and the Top Five Locations in Austin, Texas

Murray HuberfeldTraveling to Austin doesn’t have to mean concrete and traffic. The city is surrounded by beautiful parks, lakes, and wildlife preserves. There are many locations all around the city that are perfect for the traveling nature lover like Murray Huberfeld.

Zilker Park

Zilker Park is contained within approximately 350 acres of land that were donated to the city in 1917. The park is brimming with wonderful spots to sunbathe, picnic, and take long walks. Barton Springs Pool is located in the Southern part of Zilker Park. It is an enormous man-made pool that is filled by natural water sources. Zilker Park is also home to the Zilker Botanical Garden, which is known to locals as the Jewel in The Heart of Austin. A non-profit organization, the Zilker Botanical Garden has been proving the city with beauty since 1955.

Lady Bird Lake

Located near Zilker Park, Lady Bird Lake is a fantastic location for fishing, boating, and swimming. Motorized boats are generally not allowed on the lake, and this has made it a favored spot for canoes, kayaks, and paddle boats. Those who enjoy fishing will find the lake is kept well-stocked with several species of fish. Visitors who don’t seek time in the water can enjoy the hiking and biking trails that surround the lake.

Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve

The Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve was established in the 1970s in hopes of preserving a piece of untouched nature as Austin expanded. The preserve is home to miles of hiking trails, gorgeous Texas flora and fauna, and numerous interesting rock formations. The trails lead hikers to a beautiful 15 foot waterfall and multiple scenic overlooks. There are several organized activities provided by the preserve, such as guided hikes. Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve accepts donations to their cause.

Mount Bonnell

The view from the top of Mount Bonnell is considered the absolute best view of Austin. Those who make the trek to the top can enjoy a picnic while looking out over the city and Lake Austin. The top can be reached by car or by foot. There are hiking trails available, but there are also stairs that lead less adventurous people to the peak. There is no better place in the city of Austin to watch the sun set, and the view of Austin after dark is breathtaking.

McKinney Falls State Park

McKinney Falls State Park is comprised of nearly 750 acres of Texas nature. Hiking and camping are typical activities that draw visitors to the park. There are several hiking and biking trails, and multiple camp sites. Creeks provide ample fishing opportunities, and wildlife observation is at its best near the creeks. The falls created by the convergence of Onion Creek and Williamson Creek are a spot frequented by nature lovers all over the city. Visitors should not miss out on what locals consider the most beautiful park in Austin.

Try spending some time admiring the great outdoors in and around Austin. Take it from Murray Huberfeld – Texas is a beautiful state with a lot to offer. Hit the trails. Take in a sunset. Enjoy a swim. Don’t miss out on the beauty that nature provides.

Murray Huberfeld and the Top Three Attractions in Canada

Murray HuberfeldOne does not have to embark on a plane in order to enter a different world. Our neighbor Canada offers a unique cultural experience that is only a drive away. A land of natural wonder and French heritage, Canada is at once comfortingly familiar and a world apart. Canada’s greatest attractions are up to debate since Canada contains so many points of interest that it is hard to select just a few. To get a taste of what Canada has to offer, here are Murray Huberfeld‘s choices of Canada’s top three attractions.

Murray Huberfeld Choice One: Niagara Falls

Undoubtedly the most powerful and perhaps even the best-known waterfall, Niagara Falls is a global symbol that many have come to associate with Canada. A honeymoon destination and gambling hotspot, Niagara Falls attracts an array of visitors from across the globe. When visiting Niagara Falls, be sure to embark upon the Maid of the Mist, a double decker boat that takes you so close to the falls that you can feel the spray of this natural wonder showering your face and eyelids. One tidbit from the almanac that will enhance your experience of the falls: Sam Patch, otherwise known as “The Yankee Leapster” jumped from a high tower and plummeted into the depths of the gorge at the base of the falls in the 1800s. Miraculously, he survived and has ever since inspired a legacy of adrenaline seekers to plunge into the mysteries of this showering cascade.

Murray Huberfeld Choice Two: Banff National Park

Banff National Park was the pioneer of Canada’s National Parks. From its Glaciers to its meadows, Banff spreads out like a natural blanket before the feet of the nature lover. While exploring the park, don’t forget to visit Banff and Lake Louise. Both of these cultural enclaves are brimming with galleries, museums, and other cultural attractions that offer another dimension to the wilderness of Banff. Banff is also the home to the Banff International Film Festival. This eventis an international film competition and an annual presentation of short films and documentaries. It features aesthetic and absorbing vignettes about mountain culture, athletics, and the environment.

Murray Huberfeld Choice Three: Old Quebec City

For a taste of French culture, be sure to visit the city of Quebec. Quebec is the­­ only Canadian province that features a French-speaking population. Furthermore, it is the only Canadian province that features French as its sole provincial official language. Much like the Medieval fortified towns of St. Malo, Dinan and Carcassonne in France,the English began to fortify the existing walls of Quebec after seizing it from the French in the Battle of the­­­­ Plains of Abraham in 1759. The old town of Quebec is, in fact, the only fortified city north of Mexico. In addition to possessing Medieval charm, Quebec is also the biggest producer of maple syrup. If you visit Quebec during the months of March and April you can revel in a maple syrup wonderland. Experience the magic of creating this sweet substance while you are given a passport to observe and participate in the syrup making process.

Whether you seek a sweet treat, a window into Medieval history, or a chance to experience the beautiful scenes that inspired the great painter Albert Bierstadt, Canada has something for everyone.

Murray Huberfeld and Culture, Football and Finance in New York City

Murray HuberfeldOne thing that Murray Huberfeld and family absolutely love about New York City is its ability to transform itself for just about any cultural event. Apart from being the undisputed financial capital of the world with stock markets, bond markets, option markets and traders from every large bank on this planet, New York City still finds the time to devote the necessary effort build institutions that are devoted to cultural ideas and events. I met a friend for lunch this week and he was telling that he had just returned from a trip to Manhattan. He had gone to New York for business, but he was telling me that Times Square in midtown Manhattan had transformed itself in preparation for today’s big game. Not only was my colleague able to take care of business, visit a few museums and indulge in fine dining while he was in town, he was also able to take in a whole boulevard of football themed events while walking through the center of Manhattan. Now I know you’re probably saying that the game just happens to be in New Jersey – and therefore New York happens to be in the right place at the right time. However, in my mind it’s more than that. The fact is the whatever event comes NYC’s way, they’re always able to showcase it in a big way – even if the teams are not NY teams but visitors to the area.

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