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Caribbean Week in New York 2012

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by Cristina Dimen (subscribe)
Cristina crafts pieces on travel, parenting and lifestyle. Connect with her at or and @CristinaDimen on Twitter. WN mentor link:
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If you dream of escaping your hectic daily routines, but can't hop on a plane and jet off in time for the next sunset at your favorite tropical island, perhaps this next best thing will keep you inspired enough until you can go. Enjoy Caribbean Week in New York 2012 from June 4 to 9, 2012. Learn more about your favorite islands, dance to the music and satisfy your palate.

The sun sets over the Caribbean.

During the week-long celebration, head over to various sites in New York City, and take part in programs, conferences and festivities that will keep your senses happy and your dreams of an island vacation alive. There are many options in terms of activities, so don't forget to check out the list of consumer events.

For an overall experience, take a train to Grand Central Terminal at 42nd Street and Park Avenue. Booths for tourism partners, travel agents and tour operators will grace Vanderbilt Hall at the Caribbean Travel & Cultural Fair, Wedding & Vacation Mart on Wednesday, June 6 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Arrive early for this free event.

If the rhythmic drumbeats, bright colors and the bold flavors of the islands' culinary offerings beckonódrop by the Rum & Rhythm Benefit, to be held at Tribeca 360 at 10 Debrosses Street.

Carnival-clad representatives of Barbados.

Since the event takes place on Friday, June 8 from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m., why not unwind after a day at work with a few rounds of rum and tasty island fare? Leave your career tasks for the next week. Place the winning bid, and you may even snag a vacation package through the live auction.

For the fashionista and lovers of the arts, don't miss out on the Caribbean Fashion, Trade & Arts Expo at "XL" at the OUT NYC on 42nd Street in Manhattan, held on the 9th from 11:00 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Now that you've surrounded yourself in a bit of island spirit and culture, which one should it be?

Dance along with the folks from Puerto Rico.

Spend some time at St. Kitts.

How about a trip to Curacao?

Aruba, anyone?

Or Anguilla...

In the end, no matter which island you decide upon, once you get there, you can finally sink your toes in the warm sands of Caribbean beaches and then cool them off as ocean waves wash over them.

Ah, leisurely strolls along the shoreline.

And if you haven't made up your mind yet, that's okay. There's no rush. Enjoy yourself at Caribbean Week, get lots of information, and decide later. After all, there are many possibilities.

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Why? Enjoy the Caribbean without leaving NYC.
When: Monday to Friday, June 4 to 9, 2012; Hours vary.
Where: Various locations throughout New York City.
Cost: Ticket prices vary. Caribbean Travel & Cultural Fair, Wedding & Vacation Mart is free.
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