4 Fun Things to do with Kids near Penn Station in NYC

If you’re looking for your next great family adventure, or someplace different to take the kids, we have you covered. Spending a day out with the kids is a great way to recapture your own childlike curiosity and love of play, so we’ve included plenty of options that will make the adults as happy as the kids. Below are some of the best, most unique, and most beloved things to do with your kids near Penn Station in New York City.

OMEscape Room

Escape Rooms have become popular family night activities because it is outside the typical wheelhouse of ideas. At OMEscape, you’ll love solving the puzzles and challenges required to escape and have a chance to choose from several adventures. Try “The Penitentiary” and try to escape one of the most infamous military prisons in history or become a time traveler desperate to save your travel companions in “Room X”.

Tannen’s Magic

Everyone needs a little magic in their lives and at Tannen’s Magic Shop, you and the kids can find and buy every type of magic trick out there. The magicians in the shop will demonstrate the tricks for you and the kids, showing you around card tricks, close-up magic, illusions, and more. They also have books available to purchase so you and the kids can take the magic home with you and learn to become magicians yourselves. If you’re looking for something even more hands-on for the kids, sign up for Tannen’s Magic Camp, a weeklong camp of magic classes and performances. 

Dave & Buster’s

The perfect place to go play as a family and get in a little friendly competition is Dave & Buster’s. Dave & Buster’s is a famous New York City playground, with nearly every arcade game you can imagine as well as billiards and bowling. They have even added virtual reality games in recent years. Entering Dave & Buster’s, you might feel like you don’t know where to begin, but I suggest visiting on Wednesday when the games are half-priced. 

McCaffrey Playground

McCaffrey Playground is one of the neighborhood’s most beloved parks. Families, couples, and friends can often be seen picnicking and relaxing on the benches of the park. But it is also a great place to take the kids, because of the playground. The playground has everything you could want – slides, swings, plenty of equipment to climb, a handball court, and lots of shade.

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Aquariums and Aquatic Life Around Penn Station, NYC

Penn Station. At this dynamic hub of New York City and all of its action, there seems to be nothing you can’t find nearby. Thankfully, this is also the case for nature, the green spaces and animals reserved their own tranquil spots here in the Big Apple. Read on for some of our favorite aquariums, parks, and places to watch aquatic life around Penn Station. 

Central Park Zoo

For over a century, Central Park Zoo has been one of the premier attractions for generations of New Yorkers to see and learn about the wonders of animals, land, and sea. Here, famous faces like the chinstrap penguin, king penguin, macaroni penguin, gentoo penguin, California sea lion, grizzly bear, and snow monkey reside in a series of habitats, some of New York’s most interesting and eccentric residents. The California sea lions here have regular feeding shows, and love to show off their smarts to the crowds. The four species of penguin and the tufted puffins also have regular feeding shows, with their lovable antics above water and below for all to see. 

Aside from these close-up looks, there is also a 4-D theater, where groups can experience nature programming and family films. For a family-friendly experience with some of the most iconic and important species in a fun set of activities, the Central Park Zoo is a great option. 

https://centralparkzoo.com

The Pond and Hallett Nature Sanctuary

One of New York City’s most charming green spaces isn’t far, The Pond at Central Park and the Hallett Nature Sanctuary! These two connected features are the heart of Central Park’s southeastern edge, rich in hiking paths, enchanting streams, fields of flowers, birdwatching opportunities, and the colors of fall. Visiting aquatic fowl species enjoy The Pond, while hundreds of bird species (210 to be exact!) stop by this end of Central Park during their migrations. There are also resident populations of red-eared slider turtles, snapping turtles, rabbits, ducks, and woodchucks who can also be observed. Whether you want to see the waterfalls and streams, the leaves and flowers, or wildlife in a green corner of New York City, The Pond and Hallett Nature Sanctuary is a great choice. 

https://www.centralparknyc.org/locations/hallett-nature-sanctuary

Madison Square Park

Famously urban and vibrant Madison Square Park seems like an unlikely addition to our list, but we have a good reason. Its combination of public events, proximity to the creative arts and shopping options, and the noteworthy diversity of bird species make it a truly varied location. In fact, in the trees above the open spaces of Madison Square Park, over 112 species have been spotted passing through, including the Canada goose, rock dove, cedar waxwing, American goldfinch, grey catbird, and the chipping sparrow. For over a century, New York City’s birdwatchers have diligently logged and watched birds of all origin make their urban stop during migratory journeys right here at Madison Square Park. Aside from the abundance of birds to watch, Madison Square Park also lends itself well to the alternate hobby of people-watching, drawing people from every walk of life to share the space of Madison Square Park. 

https://madisonsquarepark.org

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5 Quirky Date Night Destinations near Penn Station, NYC

Date night doesn’t have to be the same each time. While we all love cuddling up at the movies or trying new restaurants or embracing a bit of high culture at museums, every once in a while, date night needs to be shaken up. Each city has a hidden world of strange, quirky, and delightful things to do. Try any one of these on your next date night and embrace the weird, whimsical part of life.

The Drama Book Shop

Feel like embracing the New York City theatre scene while also unleashing your inner reading nerd? If so, then head to The Drama Book Shop, a staple for all artists and theatre enthusiasts. It has recently been renovated to resemble 20th century European cafes, so now you and your date can peruse the book racks after stopping at their full service café. Make a scavenger hunt out of your visit (who can find the most unusual, wackiest play?) or read to each other from the poetic language of drama. 

OMEscape Room

Escape Rooms have become popular date night activities because it is outside the typical wheelhouse of date night ideas. At OMEscape, you’ll love solving the puzzles and challenges required to escape and have a chance to choose from several adventures. Try “The Penitentiary” and try to escape one of the most infamous military prisons in history or become a time traveler desperate to save your travel companions in “Room X”. 

The McKittrick Hotel

What was once a warehouse is now a 5-story pseudo hotel, home to one of the strangest collections of interactive performances in New York. On one floor, the famous “Sleep No More” show takes place (where Shakespeare’s Macbeth is told through a film noir lens) while on another floor you’ll discover Gallow Green (a forest in the hotel). Everywhere you turn in The McKittrick Hotel, you’ll see some oddball setting or performance happening. Part of the fun is the way that The McKittrick Hotel is unapologetically itself.

Frames Bowling Lounge

Only New York City would have a classy, slightly upscale bowling alley like this, where not only can you go bowling but you can also play ping-pong, billiards, shuffleboard, or any number of classic date night activities. But what really sets Frames Bowling Lounge apart though is the atmosphere. Each activity has its own themed room. You can walk from the sleek, modern bowling lanes to the rustic, dimly lit billiards lounge to a “summer seascape” with palm trees, Adirondack chairs, and ping-pong.  

Koreatown

New York City is famously one of the most diverse cities in the United States. There is Little Italy, Chinatown, Harlem, and more. So why not take a spin through a lesser known ethnic enclave for date night and throw in a lot of delicious food? There are plenty of places to buy Korean BBQ, colorful rice cakes for dessert, Korean groceries, books, tchotchkes, and more. The heart of Koreatown, on W 32nd St between Fifth and Sixth Avenue, has the ambience of the city of Seoul itself. A visit to Koreatown is like taking a mini vacation to Korea.

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Our favourite ways to spend summer around Penn Station

Summertime around Penn Station is an exciting prospect, with all the action and events happening in this lively part of the Big Apple. If you will be spending the summer around Penn Station and are searching for travel ideas, read on for some of our favourite things to do.

Madame Tussauds New York

With all of the major personalities that live and frequent New York, some visitors might keep their eyes peeled, for the rare opportunity to take a selfie with their favourite actor or catch a famous singer taking the subway. Fortunately, we can say with Madame Tussauds, there is no need for that. Visitors can instead see a huge number of celebrities here at Madame Tussauds, just a ten-minute walk from Penn Station. Well…. their incredibly lifelike wax sculptures, but to a camera and certainly to your eyes, there might not be much of a difference! The startlingly realistic celebrities resident at Madame Tussauds include Rihanna, Jimmy Fallon, Barack Obama, Lionel Messi, Leonardo DiCaprio and Pharell Williams just to name a few.

National Museum of Mathematics

A more educational and family-friendly experience can be found at the National Museum of Mathematics, an award-winning museum dedicated to giving the public an interactive and memorable introduction to how math impacts everything around us. Some of these exhibits at the National Museum of Mathematics include a smooth ride on a bicycle with square wheels, deciphering messages with an encryption machine from World War Two and driving down a Mobius strip! Here at the National Museum of Mathematics, friends, family and solo travellers alike can all explore the limits of mathematics in fun and creative new ways.

Broadway at Bryant Park

A short walk to Bryant Park, and visitors can experience the talent and wonder of Broadway- outdoors! All summer long, it is a tradition from a number of Broadway productions to perform, dancing, singing and acting the biggest hits from beloved musicals in the park, for the public to see. Some of these hits include favourites such as Beetlejuice, Aladdin, Frankenstein, Jersey Boys and Mean Girls. This series occurs throughout the summer, and admission is free- but better to line up in advance, as spots to watch the performances are first-come-first-serve. Grab a towel, some sunblock and enjoy this moment to share theatre with the people of New York. 

New York Asian Film Festival

With the recent explosion in popularity of Asian cinema, New York and the SVA theatre have benefitted immensely, hosting the New York Asian Film Festival. Directors such as Oxide Pang, Yuen Woo-Peng, Kim Yoon Seok, Sammo Hung have screened their works at this festival, a great moment to see many films before they release in American cinemas. (Or more likely, before their release on streaming platforms.) Major titles from the past and recent releases at the New York Asian Film Festival include the God of Cookery, Furie, Merantau and Rurooni Kenshin. 

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5 Great Places to Have a Picnic Near Penn Station (NYC)

When the weather cooperates, we all love to get outside and explore the world around us. There is nothing more refreshing and soothing to the soul than a picnic in the sun, surrounded by the beauty of nature. Every city in the United States has incredible locations for picnicking. Below are 5 Great Places to Picnic near Penn Station in New York City.

Bella Abzug Park

Bella Abzug is a unique, paved urban park with sculptures, fountains, and a kids’ play area. It is directly below The Vessel, a popular, one-of-a-kind architectural structure that visitors can climb to the top for wonderful views of the city. Bella Abzug Park itself is great for relaxed picnicking within the hustle and bustle of NYC. Adults can enjoy the tables or benches, taking an opportunity to read over lunch, or to feed the birds that gather in the park.

The High Line

In a city filled with famous parks and famous sites, The High Line is a relatively new one, but is hands-down one of the most unique. This 1.45-mile park was built on an old subway rail line. It lives 30 feet above the street, making it a special oasis in the sky. Much of the park follows a boardwalk with trees and small gardens on each side of the walkway. These parts of the park can be crowded but scattered throughout the 1.45-miles are pockets of seating areas, tree covered benches, and alcoves with glass railings that look out over the city and the Hudson River.

Greeley Square Park

On 6th Avenue, between 32nd and 33rd St, is this urban oasis. Greeley Square is a true New York City picnic spot. There is no vast expanse of green space, but instead several small gardens of flowers and sections of greenery. Plenty of trees offer shade and a hint of privacy, but ultimately this park is made for city-style picnicking. And that is its charm. There are tables and chairs throughout the entire square and several food vendors to try.

Madison Square Park

Admittedly, this park is a bit of a walk from Penn Station, but it is absolutely worth the extra steps. Madison Square Park has everything you could want in a New York City Park. There are iconic views (the Flatiron Building and Plaza), and it is surrounded by city skyscrapers. Within the park itself there are fountains to sit by, benches and tables, and open lawns with large, shady trees. 

Bryant Park

Bryant Park is also some distance from Penn Station, but is definitely within walking distance at 6th Ave and 40th St. It is also a beloved, historic New York City Park. Bryant Park is home to the NY Public Library’s main branch (a stunningly beautiful building worth visiting). But behind the library is the reason this park makes the Top 5 Picnic Spots – 4 acres of open green space perfect for a picnic on the grass. However, if you don’t feel like taking a picnic blanket along there are also plenty of small tables and chairs on the walkways at the edges of the park. No matter what picnicking mood you’re in, Bryant Park has you covered. And I always recommend stopping in the library first for some excellent reading material while you lounge in the sun.

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Fun Summer Things To Do In Penn Station

Summer is finally here!  The kids are out of school, and backyard barbecues are taking place all over the nation.  After the year we had in 2020, and most people having chosen not to take a vacation, you can almost rest assured that families will be out in full force this year.

With this in mind, we thought we would offer a few great vacation ideas to help you plan, as well as some places that would be great for just a few days away.  We all need time to recharge and some well-deserved play in the sunshine.

Here are some of the best places to check out this summer!

Madison Square Garden

4 Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10121

Madison Square Garden is a multi-purpose indoor arena situated above Pennsylvania (Penn) Station.  The arena is used for professional ice hockey and basketball, in addition to boxing, concerts, circuses, and a wide range of other sports and entertainment.  Originally called Madison Square Garden Center, the Garden opened on February 11, 1968, and is the oldest central sporting facility in the New York metropolitan area. It is the oldest arena in the National Hockey League and the National Basketball Association. In 2016, MSG was the second-busiest music arena in the world in terms of ticket sales.

Houdini Museum of New York at Fantasma Magic

213 W 35th St Suite 401, New York, NY 10001

The Houdini Museum of New York has several hundred of the rarest and most essential pieces that were used and personally belonged to Harry Houdini on display.  In the museum’s archives are over 1500 pieces of Houdini memorabilia that allow for ever-changing displays.  The Houdini Museum of New York also offers magic classes in private as in a group, lectures featuring top historians, authors, and magicians; performers from throughout the world who are considered the top magicians of today and the opportunity to host your private event at the museum.

Magnet Theater

254 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001

Magnet offers a variety of comedy shows every day of the week. The shows are consistently recommended by critics, tourists, locals, comedy snobs, and people looking for a great cheap date. Beer and wine are also available. The theater features talented and experienced (and exceptionally funny) improvisers doing some of the best comedy you’ll see anywhere. The schedule is loaded with shows ranging from long-form improv, musical improv, duos, scripted sketch comedy, storytelling, free jams open to anyone, and one-offs featuring special guest stars. Plus, free student performances take place all weekend at the Training Center Studio. We also provide some of the finest instruction in Improv, Sketch Writing, and Storytelling. Group and corporate training are also available via the Magnet Genius Machine, and our phenomenal improvisers are also available to do private shows (we can travel to your city/country!)

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Things to Do for the Fourth of July near Pennsylvania Station

Everyone’s favorite summer holiday is quickly approaching! Nothing says July 4th like BBQs, pool days, parades, and fireworks! But with the country beginning to emerge from the worst of it, some celebrations are returning in the area. Read on to see what’s happening around Penn Station this Independence Day and gather up some ideas for your Fourth of July weekend.

Boozy Brunch

If you want to keep your evening free for other plans, here’s an awesome early activity! The Dueling Pianos Bar in Union Square (just a couple of stops from Penn Station/Herald Square) is hosting a boozy brunch. The event is taking place on July 4th from 12:30 to 3:30 pm. The concert portion will feature dueling pianos playing all your rock and roll favorites like Bon Jovi and Billy Joel.

It’s going to be rowdy, interactive, and most of all FUN. Make sure you get your tickets soon since it’s a small space and will sell out quickly. You can choose a ticket for table seating with bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys or one that has that plus one brunch item included. Booking tables in the first row is also an option for an additional fee.

Asbury Park

Feel like getting out of the city for the holiday weekend, but don’t want to go all the way upstate? Hop on an NJ Transit train from Penn Station and ride out to Asbury Park for the ultimate weekend getaway. This adorable beach town is only about two hours from Manhattan by train, but you’ll feel like you’re on vacation.

Asbury Park has a huge beach (there is a fee to access it) as well as a fun boardwalk with lots of shops and places to eat. It’s not yet confirmed if the fireworks will be back this year, but the town typically has one of the best displays on the Jersey Shore. Besides, by visiting Asbury Park on the Fourth of July, you’ll be earning major New Jersey points by channeling Bruce Springsteen’s song, 4TH of July, Asbury Park (Sandy).

Fireworks Cruise

New York City has some of the best and biggest fireworks displays in the country. But it also has a HUGE population, which means the well-known firework viewing spots get really crowded. To escape the crowds and feel like a VIP, book yourself on the 4th of July IndepenDANCE Fireworks Cruise aboard the Harmony Yacht by NY Party Cruise.

Dance the night away on this awesome East River cruise with music by some of NYC’s top DJs. Enjoy views of the skyline, Statue of Liberty, and fireworks while you dance!

The cruise is taking place from 6 to 10 pm and leaves from SkyPort Marina. Your ticket will include access to buffet foods. The dress code is casual and you must be 21 or over to attend.

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Arboretums and Botanical Gardens to Visit in Penn Station

When considering a vacation, or even just a day out with the family, why not consider visiting a local arboretum or botanical garden?  You can enjoy a delightful getaway with a visit to one of these beautiful gateways to all that nature has to offer.

Arboretums and botanical gardens work to promote common respect and educate with a drive towards an appreciation of the world of gardening and the insects that work to pollinate our plants and flowers. 

These nature monuments are just waiting to be discovered and welcome all visitors for a day of tranquility, enjoying their peaceful beauty.  Make sure to check out one of the arboretums or botanical gardens listed below.

New York Botanical Garden

2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10458

Home of a National Historic Landmark site on the northern half of Bronx Park, the New York Botanical Garden was established in 1891 and is one of the most extensive gardens in the U.S., containing more than 1 million plants. One of its most incredible jewels is the Enid. A. Haupt Conservatory, a Victorian-style glasshouse, or the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden, or the Native Plant Garden. The NYBG was inspired by a visit from husband, wife, and botanists Nathanial and Elizabeth Britton to the Royal Botanic Gardens near London. The trip made the Brittons feel New York should have its own botanical garden to conduct original research in botanical science.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

990 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225

Established in 1910.  When Brooklyn Botanic Garden was founded more than a century ago, New York City area was quickly being developed into a cityscape of buildings and paved roads. Creating a public garden was one way to ensure that some green space remained. Today, the garden has come to represent the very best in urban gardening and horticultural display.

Creative Little Garden

530 E 6th St, New York, NY 10009

The garden is usually open to the public April-October, nearly every day from 11 am until dusk. During the off-season, you may find us open on weekends. We specialize in peace and quiet. Although we have many visitors due to our many open hours, the garden is always calming. We are gradually becoming a woodland garden of NYC native plants. We can almost guarantee birds singing and have earned National Wildlife Federation status.

Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden

1000 Richmond Ter, Staten Island, NY 10301

Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden is the result of more than four decades of restoration and development to convert a 19th-century charitable rest home for sailors to a regional arts center, botanical gardens, and public park. It is a place where history, architecture, gardens, agriculture, visual and performing arts, and education come together to provide a dynamic experience for all ages. Snug Harbor consists of 28 buildings, fourteen distinctive botanical gardens, a two-acre urban farm, wetlands, and parkland on a unique, free, open campus.

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Things to Do for Mother’s Day Near Pennsylvania Station

Mother’s Day is coming up next month! The moms in our lives work so hard and give so much, so it’s important to take a day to make them feel special. Whether you’re celebrating your own mother, a step-mother, the mother of your children, or a friend who is a mom, here are some ideas of wonderful things to do with her.

Juniper Bar

Since Mother’s Day always falls on a Sunday, it’s traditional for many people to take their mom out for brunch. This is always a winning idea, and near Pennsylvania Station, there’s no better place for brunch than Juniper Bar. This upscale eatery just a couple blocks from Penn Station serves creative dishes and hosts a brunch every weekend from 11 am to 3 pm. They recommend you try their omelets, lobster benedict, and famous red velvet waffles! Reservations are recommended.

NYC Paint N Sip

If you want a unique way to celebrate Mother’s Day, how about getting in touch with your creative side? At NYC Paint N Sip, just seven blocks south of Penn Station, you can book a private party for you and your mom to paint while you enjoy snacks and beverages. The studio will provide materials and instructions. Get a quote online to book your party!

Dessert Tasting

We know – there’s no one sweeter than your mom. Celebrate that sweetness by taking her out for an indulgent afternoon of dessert tasting! At Patisserie Chanson, you can try seasonal desserts from the dessert bar with suggested drink pairings that include coffee, tea, and unique cocktails. And if you need something to balance out all that sugar, their tastings menu includes charcuterie and cheeses.

Mother’s Day Cruise

Is your mom always down for an adventure? Then you should take her on a cruise of the East River to celebrate Mother’s Day in style! Event Cruises NYC is hosting a Mother’s Day Brunch Cruise on Sunday, May 9 from 12 pm to 2 pm. A delicious four-course brunch and bottomless mimosas are included in the price of admission. Additional drinks will be available for purchase and coffee, tea, and juice are complimentary. After brunch, you and your family will have the opportunity to go to the upper deck for photos in front of the Manhattan skyline. It will be a Mother’s Day to remember!

Eleven Madison Park

If your mom is more of the traditional type, you might want to treat her to a night of fine dining. Consider Eleven Madison Park, one of the most accoladed restaurants near Pennsylvania Station. This high-end restaurant has earned 3 Michelin Stars! You can’t currently eat inside due to the pandemic, but they’ve rolled out “Eleven Madison Park at Home”, a program where you can schedule dinner for a pickup! So, host your Mother’s Day soiree at your apartment and feed your guests some of the best food in the city. Pro tip: give your home a quick makeover to make it feel like a night out a classy restaurant with a white tablecloth, some tea lights, a bouquet of flowers, and a jazzy playlist!

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Best Car Washes in Penn Station, New York

If you’re looking for a place to wash your car and get the best service for your money, we have a few great suggestions for you in the city of Penn Station, New York. It doesn’t matter if it’s your own car or a rental car, clean or dirty, old or new, whether you’re on vacation or close to home, these car washes and detailers are guaranteed to make your vehicle look like a million bucks. These guys have seen it all. Don’t be afraid to show up with your cookie crumbs, your beach sand, or your toddler’s fast-food mess into the shop. You’ll be amazed at your car’s transformation! Let’s take a closer look at what car washes Penn Station has to offer.

First, we suggest the Empire Auto Spa. This shop offers a full detail with pricing that corresponds to the size of your vehicle. If your car is standard size, your package may start from $250, however, larger SUV’s and minivans can be around $290 and up. Services include a hand wash and wax, as well as an entire vacuum of the interior and trunk. The vents are cleaned, and all leather surfaces are wiped down. Price is determined upon the condition of the car upon washing. Call or go online to book your appointment today.

Second, we suggest Majestic Detail Spa. This shop takes pride in washing your vehicle by hand. They offer packages of all kinds, from the Basic Wash to the Showroom Package. Packages include services such as shampooing the carpets and offer NanoWax Spray Sealant. You’ll want to come on down to get an evaluation on what you’d like to have done. From there, you can book your appointment. Majestic Detail Spa services cars of all sizes, from sedans to SUV’s, from minivans to full-sized vans, and from trucks to sports cars. Come on down and let them make your car look majestic.

Finally, Mr. B Hand Detailing might just be what you’re looking for. This shop services cars of all sizes, from sedans to SUV’s, from minivans to full-sized vans, and from trucks to sports cars. Mr. B offers a disinfectant wash, tire glaze, and ceramic glaze. He is also mobile, so if you’re at home or work and cannot come to him, then he’ll come to you! Call or go online to receive your quote depending on the work you need done for your car and you can book your appointment when you’re ready to go!

If you’re on a time crunch and looking for a quick drive through car wash in Atlanta, you’ll find what you’re looking for at the Queensboro Car Wash on 21st St., Alpha Car Wash on 11th Ave., or 10th Ave. Car Wash on 10th Ave. In a pinch, these drive through car washes will help keep you looking good until you can get that detailing done.

Wherever you decide to go, your car will be well taken care of. In the great city of Penn Station, New York, you’ll find detailers who truly care about their work and, most importantly, your car. With our recommendations, you’ll be in excellent hands.

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