Forget Times Square, Throw Your Own New Year's Party in The Bronx

If you've been in Manhattan on New Year's Eve, you know how chaotic things can get. Thousands of people come together to watch the ball drop at Times Square and to commemorate the event with a kiss. It might seem fun and exciting, but it can be quite overwhelming for those who don't like crowds. This year, your local self storage experts at Safeguard Self Storage suggest hosting your own New Year's Eve party, where you can stay comfy at home in Concourse Village and bring the festivities to you.

5 Tips for Hosting a New Year's Eve Party in the Bronx, NY

Keep the invites to a minimum.

One of the reasons to host a party at home is to avoid a huge crowd. Keep the party cozy by only inviting a handful of your closest friends. You'll connect with everyone more easily and enjoy the night yourself.

It all starts with the snacks.

You can't have a party without snacks. Although you could get by with chips and salsa, you'd make a better impression by having a variety of hearty bites for your guests, such as pizza-stuffed mushrooms and bacon skewers. Having some brownie bites, cupcakes or chocolates available will satisfy everyone's sweet tooth.

Pick a worthy soundtrack.

The right music will get the party started and keep it going until the ball drops. Let your friends pick out some songs to make them feel included in the selection. You can also ring in the New Year by singing "Auld Lang Syne."

In the words of John Lennon & Paul McCartney - Get by with a little help from your friends.

You don't have to foot the bill for everything. Ask your guest to bring their favorite drinks or foods that they enjoy. You'll drastically reduce the cost of your party if everyone pitches in and helps. It's also a good way to try new things by having your friends share their favorite cocktails or appetizers with everyone who attends.

Nothing beats some fun party favors. 

You'll make a great impression if you give party favors to everyone when they arrive or before they leave. These small gifts could be anything from shot glasses to funny "Happy New Year" hats. Handing out party favors is a great way to give thanks to everyone for coming and to make people remember your party long after it ends.

Plan Ahead for Your New Year's Eve Bash

It's important to plan ahead if you want everything to go smoothly. Write down a list of all the supplies that you'll need for the party, including who you'll want to invite. If you're planning a huge New Year's Eve party, you may want to use self storage as a way to keep all of your supplies in one place and to reduce clutter in your home before the event. 

Safeguard Self Storage has convenient storage units located in Concourse Village, Wakefield, and throughout the Bronx, NY, giving you a convenient place to store your party supplies. You can rent storage units as small or as large as you need and have everything ready to go on New Year's Eve.

Celebrate Brooklyn's Basketball Heritage This Month in Flatlands

For those who have waited patiently for the NBA season to start, the moment has finally arrived. With the season just tipping off, it's time to reflect on our favorite sport and admire how it has spread across the entire world, from the Flatlands area in Brooklyn, NY to places like China and beyond. The NBA played its first game on November 1, 1946, when the N.Y. Knickerbockers faced the Toronto Huskies on Canadian soil. Today, Safeguard Self Storage talks about what basketball means to our area and the best places to play a game with friends.

Basketball in Brooklyn, NY

The Brooklyn Nets weren't always a Brooklyn-based team. In fact, the Nets were called the Americans when the team was founded in 1967. The Americans moved to Long Island a year later and adopted New York Nets as the name. The team moved back to New Jersey in 1977 and evolved into the New Jersey Nets. After 35 seasons, the Nets moved back to New York, changed the team name once again and are now the Brooklyn Nets you know and love.

Famous NBA Players from the Area

Chris Mullin, an All-Star who played for both the Golden State Warriors and the Indiana Pacers, was born and raised in the Flatlands area. His plaque stands proudly in the prestigious College Basketball Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Mullen now coaches St. John's in the NCAA, a position he gladly accepted in 2015.

Local Courts in the Brooklyn Area

Want to play a game in Brooklyn? You have more than 170 courts to choose from throughout the area. Of course, some are better than others. Our picks for the best basketball courts to play on include:

  • Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 2, in Brooklyn Heights
  • J.J. Byrne Playground in Park Slope
  • Dean Playground/Conrad McRae Playground in Prospect Heights
  • St. John's Recreation Center in Crown Heights
  • Parkside Playground in Prospect Lefferts Gardens

Safeguard Self Storage Tips Off the NBA Season

Celebrate the 2016-2017 NBA season by getting out to play, or by watching your favorite team at home in Barclays Center. If you need a place to store your basketball equipment and gear, our local storage units make the ideal place. We have the perfect storage unit for your equipment while saving you space at home.

Get Charged Up About Science at the Argonne National Laboratory

It's the largest of its kind in the Midwest. It has an amazing history, and it's surrounded by a remarkable urban forest. Argonne National Laboratory sits just a few miles south of Darien, IL. Safeguard Self Storage’s local storage units have a lot in common with this 1500-acre site, so it's easy to get charged up about science and research right here in our backyard.

Nationally Designated, World-Renown

Driving along Interstate 55, you might not see the laboratory for the trees. Argonne blends in beautifully with its setting in Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve. The first buildings were erected in the 1940s as part of national security work on the Manhattan Project. In 1946, Argonne was officially designated as a national laboratory. Over the years, the site has become world-renown as a premier research facility focused on developing solutions to a wide range of challenges, including renewable energy and environmental sustainability.

Expanding Energy Storage

So, what does self storage have in common with the Argonne National Laboratory? They both make the most of affordable solutions that deal with limited space. Imagine long-term battery storage for the wind and solar energy that powers our nation's electric grid. Think about the environmental impact of technologies that make renewable energy an affordable staple for heavy industry. The dedicated research teams at Argonne are currently working on a battery that stores five times more energy than a traditional model for about 20 percent of the current cost.

Charging Up the Community

Like the best research facilities, Argonne Lab recognizes its role as a member of the surrounding community. You're always welcome to enjoy a guided tour of the site or join locals who follow the Argonne OutLoud public lecture series. Area teachers inspire students by inviting guest speakers from the lab to introduce young minds to the exciting world of science. Argonne sponsors middle school science bowls, recruits high school research teams, and thrills grade school scholars with kid-friendly workshops and field trips.

We tip our hats to the dedicated folks at Argonne Lab who contribute to our great community in so many ways. They're the kind of neighbors who make this part of Chicagoland a wonderful place to live, work and play. When you need to conquer your own storage challenges here in Darien, IL, Safeguard Self Storage stands ready to serve. We're always charged up about helping you expand your space at home, school and work.

Hoof It to Chicago for Horse Racing Action This November

Chicago, IL is known for many things, like pizza, the Bears and the Cubs. Those who love horse racing also know Chicago for its legendary tracks and rich racing history. Since the 1830s, Chicagoans have sat in the stands and watched some of the best thoroughbred racing of all time. The Breeders' Cup is held on November 4 and 5 this year in California, but people everywhere from Uptown and Beverly to Lake View and West Rogers Park will drag their good luck charms out of their Safeguard self storage units before watching and placing bets on the race.

A Brief History of Horse Racing in Chicago, IL

In the early 1830s, horse racing came to the Chicago metropolitan area. One hundred years later, the city had six racing tracks, more than any other city in the country. Legendary tracks such as Brighton Park and Dexter Park opened in the 1860s, paving the way for the illustrious Washington Park in 1883; it hosted many racing events until it closed in 1977.

Today, horse racing is still alive and well in Chicago. In fact, the Hawthorne Race Course opened in 1891 and still operates every spring and fall. Arlington Park, which opened in 1927, has hosted, and continues to host numerous races, including the Breeders' Cup in 2002. Racing fans from the Chicago suburbs, such as Lake View and Beverly, piled into Arlington Park to watch this prestigious event.

2016 Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita Park

The Breeders' Cup may not be in Chicago this year, but it doesn't mean that you can't still enjoy the fun from your couch in Uptown or West Rogers Park. Sports bars across the area will televise the event, or you can tune in to NBC and watch at home. You can also log on to the Breeders' Cup website and place bets without leaving your house.

Safeguard Self Storage Welcomes Horse Racing Fans

When you're in town for the races, store your items at a nearby Safeguard Self Storage facility. We have short-term storage units available to house your belongings while you're at the track. We also provide long-term storage units for those who fall in love with the area and want to make the Windy City their home.

Teaching with Tunes: How Music Expands the Minds of Students

In your role as a teacher, there's nothing more satisfying and joyful than knowing that you're really connecting with the kids. Take a cue from the Brooklyn Center of Performing Arts, and put the power of music to work in your classroom. Add a collection of tunes to your teaching supplies at a Safeguard Self Storage facility here in Brooklyn, NY, and join the chorus of educators expanding young minds with a little music.

Local Resources for Teachers

Children and music have always been natural partners. Educators recognize that bringing songs into the classroom plays on that wonderful relationship. This isn't a new concept, but it's quickly moving from performing arts classes to campuses all across the city. Local teachers embrace tips from diverse programs like the Brooklyn Center's Target Family Fun program and SchoolTime series. The school's downloadable Performance Study Guides are excellent resources for connecting music to classroom time.

Why Tunes Work

From controlling a room of noisy kids to building a sense of community, music can be one of your best teaching aids. Children and adults respond to a good song with the same sense of enjoyment that opens up minds to creativity and critical thinking. It simply puts everyone in a good mood, and that fires up neurons that turn on the learning process. Used correctly, tunes in the classroom raise energy levels, increase attention and improve memory.

Music as Your Teaching Tool

Today's digital world makes it easy to introduce your students to sounds from around the globe. If you want a half hour of classical to quiet things down, selections are at your fingertips. Music for kids in the classroom today has become a compact, inexpensive and very effective teaching tool. Instead of storing vinyl and bulky record players in self storage, you can fill your unit with textbooks, notebooks and binders. Whether you use songs to teach vocabulary, explore poetry or set the mood for creative writing, a good tune makes the classroom experience more enjoyable.

The sound of happy kids learning and having fun creates a beautiful melody that never grows old. Our Flatlands storage facility is just down the street from the Brooklyn Center of Performing Arts and supports local educators with affordable, convenient options. You do a great job every day, and our teams here at Safeguard Self Storage applaud your dedication to inspiring young minds all across the city.

There's So Much Happening in Chicago This Halloween It's Spooky

A glowing jack o'lantern sitting next to a lit candelabra in a home's dark dining room.

Zombies, ghouls and ghosts – oh my! It's Halloween once again in Chicago, IL. It's a time for vampires to prey on greedy trick-or-treaters and witches to cross the moonlit skies from West Rogers Park to Beverly. For those who thirst for excitement and fun, Safeguard Self Storage has some spooky suggestions of festivities happening in Chicago and the surrounding areas leading up to All Hallows' Eve. 

5 Can’t-Miss Events in Chicago This Halloween

Halloween Festival in the Chicago Botanic Garden

Don't miss the Night of 1,000 Jack-o'-Lanterns starting on October 20. This festival takes place at the Chicago Botanic Garden and features everything from 1,000 hand-carved pumpkins to food and drinks. It ends on October 23, so put on your best costume and come join the fun.

Downtown Halloween Festival & Parade

The Halloween Gathering Festival & Parade takes place on October 22 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. You can watch live performances, take part in family-friendly crafts and view an amazing parade to close the event.

Halloween Flea Market

Put on your favorite costume, and head out to the Wheaton Haunted Halloween Flea Market on October 22. This event starts at 3 p.m. and lasts until midnight, giving you plenty of time to watch live performances or to take a hayride with your family. You can also play games and get autographs from various celebrities.

Boo! at the Zoo

Treat your kids to an early Halloween party at the Brookfield Zoo on October 22-23 or 29-30. The festivities, which include zoo chats, costume parades, haunted hayrides and more, start at 10 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. This spooky event welcomes kids and adults of all ages.

Halloween Costume Party in Schiller Park

Be one of over 400 people to attend the annual Halloween Costume Party at the Galaxy Banquets across from O'Hare on October 28. If you're over 21, you're invited to attend the party and meet, mingle and dance with everyone in attendance. This entertaining party starts at 8 p.m. and lasts until 2 a.m. and features everything from food and drinks to music and contests.

Store Your Halloween Decorations with Safeguard

Once Halloween has come and gone, don't cram your costumes, decorations and supplies in the closet. Make more room in your home while keeping your belongings safe in a Safeguard storage facility. Whether you're in Uptown or in Lake View, we have self storage available to keep your supplies protected and as good as new

Cast Your Net in the Massapequa Area for National Seafood Month

A man casts a fishing line off of a rocky northeastern beach under cloudy skies.

If you're daydreaming about a plate of stuffed fresh flounder, take a look at the calendar. October is officially National Seafood Month, so your appetite is on the mark for delicious dining this time of year. You can head for the local fish market and stock up, or you can really get out there and celebrate. Retrieve your rods and reels from a nearby Safeguard self storage unit, fish the Massapequa, NY area waters, and enjoy cool-weather angling fun here on our beautiful south shores.

Long Island's Favorite Fishing Pond

Whether you're setting a hook for stocked trout or native carp, you can always find plenty of action at Massapequa Reservoir. Anchoring the southern portion of the Nassau County Preserve, this fishing spot is a year-round favorite. The reservoir's outlet dam earns its reputation as a productive perch for catching crappie, catfish and bullheads. Leave your bass boat at the storage facility because waters here are reserved for bank fishing only.

The Best Docks on the Shore

Head south from the reservoir to the shores between Biltmore and Alhambra beaches. Bait your hook for carp, trout and largemouth bass. Cast into the waters of Massapequa Cove, and take in a bayside view that extends south all the way to Jones Beach. Hit the dock at sunrise, and tease up blues with your best lures. Stretch out the day with serious striper action, and wind down with a bounce off the bottom for big, hungry flounder. You can always find a fisherman-friendly dock around this scenic cove.

Boat Fishing on the Bay

Celebrate National Seafood Month by launching your luck on the open water. Get that boat out of your storage unit one more time before winter sets in, and head out for some fishing on South Oyster Bay. This time of year always sees a big increase in bass, bluefish and albacore. Be prepared for big pickerel too, but be willing to stretch out your day. Boat fishing on the bay always picks up when the sun starts going down.

With so many hot spots here in southeast Nassau County, you can make fishing daydreams come true year-round. With our Massapequa, NY storage facility east of the reservoir, you can make it out on the water every day. Just stash your gear with us here at Safeguard Self Storage, and you're always ready to cast your net for the big ones.

You Can Get Fighting Fit by Training Like a UFC Champion

Do it to get in shape, or do it for fun. Get into it because you're a fan, or jump in to change up your routine. You have more reasons to train as a mixed martial arts athlete than there are stars in the MMA world. With an official UFC gym right here in New Hyde Park, NY and nearby storage units for your gear, this exciting sport is yours to master.

A Foundation of Philosophy and Style

While MMA enjoys a global following today, it didn't really catch on here in the States until Bruce Lee kicked his way across movie screens in the '60s and '70s. Unlike most movie celebrities, Lee was the real thing and won over fans with both his philosophy and fighting style. His dedication and attitude laid the foundation for today's mixed martial arts success. Attendance at Ultimate Fighting Championship events grows every year as people enjoy the sport and the workout discipline that inspires it all.

One Attitude, Many Paths

Getting ripped doesn't have to be your goal because MMA stresses personal strength more than winning competitions. That healthy attitude keeps the sport accessible to anyone with determination, room for gear in self storage and a few spare hours each week. Training begins with classes that teach the basics from proper breathing techniques and dieting regimens to moves specific to your discipline. Judo, boxing, karate and jujitsu are just a few of the paths you can take when you train like a UFC pro.

Teaching Body and Mind

While it's thrilling to imagine knocking off an Ultimate Fighting Championship win, keep your eye on the real prize. MMA gives you the power to maintain maximum health by developing new levels of self-discipline. Workouts increase strength and energy, and gym matches build confidence. When you train to get fit like a UFC champion, you coach your body into maximum shape. When you finally reach an MMA level that satisfies your inner warrior, you've taught your mind to be prepared for any challenge.

MMA works for amateur athletes because the discipline stresses staying in shape instead of competing. Our Safeguard self storage facility in New Hyde Park, NY works because we're just a few blocks southwest of Long Island's official UFC Gym. Whether you work out for fun or train to turn pro, we're always here to cheer you on.

A Toast to Elmsford, Legendary Birthplace of the Cocktail

Are those spirited stories true? Did the original Happy Hour start right here during the Revolutionary War? The answers remain as elusive and intriguing as ghosts from the past, but it's fun to speculate. Liberate your vintage highball glasses from self storage here in Elmsford NY, and prepare to toast the truth about the birthplace of cocktails.

Stirred, Not Shaken

The truth is simple in this case: No one really knows. However, the best story probably comes closest to historical fact. If you were a solider fighting for American independence back in the late 1700s, you knew the nearest taverns for enjoying favorite drinks. One of the most popular libations was a concoction of spirits, bitters, sugar and water. It wasn't shaken. It was stirred with a feathery quill plucked from the tail of a rooster. It was called a cocktail.

Based on True Tales

Some early references to the original highball credit a shortage of wooden spoons for this mixology innovation. However, author James Fenimore Cooper laid out an intriguing hypothesis in his 1821 novel "The Spy: A Tale of the Neutral Ground." He drew his characters from true tales told by Revolutionary War veterans and referenced the Ledger House tavern. Betty Flanagan owned and operated this well-known watering hole where she served up classic cocktails stirred with rooster tail feathers.

Located at a Familiar Intersection

Betty's tavern was the place to unwind in the village of Elmsford. Local mythology notes Betty's habit of pilfering her British neighbor's chickens to feed her fellow patriots. After plucking and baking dinner, she used tail feathers to stir and garnish the drinks that roused revolutionary spirits. Oral histories placed Betty's bar at the corners of Saw Mill River Road and Tarrytown Road. Today, Tarrytown Road becomes Main Street as it travels northwest across town, but it still intersects Saw Mill at the location of what may have been Betty's place. That's part of the lore that you can explore at the Westchester County Historical Society, which just happens to be located on Saw Mill River Road.

Like fine wine, some mysteries become better with age. Betty's cocktail legacy will always hold a place in our hearts if not our history books. When you need a place for extra Happy Hour tools and supplies, put everything away in a nearby climate-controlled storage facility. Safeguard Self Storage always has room for spirited organizing here in Elmsford and all across Westchester County.

It's Easy to Celebrate International Literacy Day in Garfield

You love reading a good book. You love that great feeling you get when you help out other folks. Put the two together, and you have plenty of inspiration for celebrating International Literacy Day. This September 28, join your friends raiding those boxes of old books in their storage units. Garfield, NJ can be an exciting launch pad for spreading the printed word and giving back to our community.

Start a Bookstore Club

If you build a book exchange club, fellow readers will come. If you designate one of the 10 bookstores here in town as official headquarters, you can build a following. Speak with store managers about your ideas. Chances are good that you'll get invitations from several locations, so consider meeting at different stores on a rotating basis. That classic volume stashed in your self storage is destined to become a fellow club member's latest page-turner.

Support Your Local Librarian

Have you lost your library card? Just apply for a new one online. Our Garfield Public Library knows all the high-tech tricks that keep patrons happy, and they always welcome helping hands. This International Literacy Day, drop by and volunteer to assist the hardworking folks on Midland Avenue. Share your love of books with kids as one of the library's Reading Buddies, or get involved in fundraising through used book sales. Whether you help out with Family Story Hour or just put books back on the shelves, your efforts are very much appreciated.

Build a Free Book Exchange

They're small, they're free and they're open to everyone. The Little Free Library program provides everything you need to set up a book exchange wherever you like. The program offers online advice on finding the best location, ideas for building your Little Free Library and access to resources and support. Once you've established your literary outpost, register with the site to become an official member with your own charter number. You even get to add your Little Free Library to the program's world map.

The fun of reading a good book just gets better when you share. The satisfaction in contributing to our City of Champions just gets better when you know that you're making a positive difference. We congratulate everyone for spreading the printed word, and we're happy to do our part here in Garfield, NJ. Safeguard Self Storage stands ready to support your literary accomplishments all across Bergen County.