Tuesday, March 31, 2015


An alley in the Beacon Hill area of Boston, Masachusetts

You might say, "There's a garbage can up my alley," or "There's a bunch of trash up my alley." Alleys or alleyways are tiny, narrow paths or passages between buildings. They're usually dark and dirty although once in a while you'll run into a clean one like this alley in the historic Beacon Hill neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • ONCE IN A WHILE - sometimes
  • RUN INTO - find; meet; come across

The idiomatic expression "UP YOUR ALLEY," however, has nothing to do with a physical alleyway; it has more to do with someone's interest or expertise. For example, if you're a web designer, then designing web pages is UP YOUR ALLEY. If you're a car mechanic, fixing cars is UP YOUR ALLEY. If you're studying film, then perhaps acting or directing or film editing is UP YOUR ALLEY. You get the picture.
  • YOU GET THE PICTURE - You get the idea; you understand

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Some ideas for a fantastic spring in NYC!

Spring has finally arrived in New York City after one of the longest and coldest winters in NYC history! Some days are still a bit chilly, but the weather is gradually warming up and the flowers are starting to bloom. Are you excited?

Some may say that NYC is at its best in the spring due to its endless events and flower shows. Here are a few that we think you should check out.

Image credit: NY Post
The Macy's Flower Show is the department store's second largest event of the year (after the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade) The Macy's in Herald Square on 34th street dresses its store with beautiful flowers -Yes, real flowers!- And has events going through April 3 inside the store, where guests can conveniently go shopping after checking out the flower exhibits!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Everyone's Irish on St. Patty's Day!

Photo Credit: Crazy-Frankenstein.com
March 17th commemorates Saint Patrick's Day, the Irish celebration of Ireland's beloved patron saint. This is the oldest Irish tradition in the United States, dating back to 1762 before the U.S. Declaration of Independence. 

The parade in New York City was started by Irish immigrants centuries ago who felt homesick and wanted to keep their traditions alive. The parade this year celebrates 253 years of Irish merrymaking. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Getting Around & Getting Around To

When you're very busy and don't have a lot of extra time, GETTING AROUND TO buying your groceries can be challenging. On the other hand, some people find ways to GET AROUND going to the supermarket by shopping online and having their groceries delivered. 

GET AROUND and GET AROUND TO look very similar but these phrasal verbs actually have very different meanings that are kind of opposite from each other. One means to avoid doing something, while the other means to manage to do something.

GETTING AROUND means to stay away from a requirement or something annoying or unpleasant. We usually use this phrasal verb when we talk about avoiding a necessary activity that we don't like. If we say, "We can't GET AROUND taking that exam," or "There's no GETTING AROUND that exam," we mean that the exam is a requirement and that everyone has to take it. We can't avoid it if we want to get a certificate or receive a degree or apply to college.

Monday, March 2, 2015

March Student Activities at NYLC

March has arrived! March 20 marks the beginning of Spring, hopefully the warm weather will start approaching soon. This month's activities start off with our popular Nets game on Wednesday, March 4th. Get your tickets before they sell out!

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Photo Credit: chinesenewyear2015card.com

This year, the Lunar New Year celebrates the year of the sheep. (If your birthday year is a multiple of 12, then your Chinese zodiac is the sheep.) The Lunar New Year is celebrated widely throughout Asia and in predominantly large Asian communities all over the world.

The Lunar New Year celebrates the beginning of spring. As legend has it, the Lunar New Year celebration began out of fear of a monster called Nien (Chinese word for year). It is said that Nien was terrorizing a small community by eating their crops, cattle, and even children. To fight this monster off, the Chinese began decorating their windows and doors in red and gold colors and lighting up fires in front of their homes. This tradition still stands today; people adorn their homes in red, and everyone wears red to celebrate the beginning of the lunar calendar year and the passing of Nien.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Writing a Love Letter for that Special Someone

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

ICYMI (In Case You Missed It): Here's Ryan's latest video lesson perfect for today's special occasion. Watch, learn some English idioms, and enjoy!