Museum of Reclaimed Urban Spaces

recyclingNow in its fourth consecutive year, the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Spaces – in NYC’s East Village — once again came to teach its visitors how to protect the environment and efficiently utilize recycling materials.

Short movies and documentaries on this year’s ‘People and the Planet,’ theme recognizing the staunch sustainable and environmental efforts of various communities nationwide, were featured at the four-day event (from August 18 til August 21).   Events included: ‘Community Garden Racing to Zero,’ ‘Orchard Alley: Racing Extinction,’ ‘Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective’ and ‘Bringing it home.’

Dragon Boat Family Festival

dragon-boatFor those in Tribeca looking for a family-fun activity, a few days ago the Museum of China in America hosted  the Dragon Boat Family Festival.  One of the workshops – entitled Calligraphy Corner – had I-Hsuan Chao demonstrate this skill by painting festive messages on traditional rice paper.  Participants were able to learn basic brushstroke techniques and how to write the word ‘boat’ with a Chinese character.

For food lovers the Sticky, Savory Snacks – Zongzi Wrapping and Tasting must have been extremely enjoyable.  Also at that tasting – apart from eating – participants were able to learn why zongzi are traditionally consumed during the Dragon Boat Festival.  These pyramid-shaped rice balls in bamboo leaves are a cool thing to learn how to make too.

And then of course, a Dragon Festival would not be complete without actually trying to Awaken the Dragon! A special reading of ‘Gung Ho! A Dragon Boat Story’ by Susan Hughes was enjoyed through an interactive activity.

Those activities and many more were all part of the fun at the Dragon Family Festival in Tribeca last week.

Art at The Edison

skylineBuilt in 1931, Shimmie Horn’s Hotel Edison makes for a perfect place for those who love art.  Set in New York City – minutes away from Times Square – the interior Art Deco features both elegance and boldness.  Its exterior – comprised of curved edges clashing with bold lines – likewise makes a fantastically artistic impression along Manhattan’s skyline.

And of course, being right in the center of global art, visitors to the hotel can take advantage of so many museums in the area and countless exhibitions.  One of these is the one at PACE gallery (until August 19th) featuring “works made in glass and the unique use of glass objects by each artist.”  Artists displaying their works are:  Maya Lin, Kiki Smith and Fred Wilson.  Check out the huge glass marbled wall piece, 11-part floor piece that looks like water droplets, red glass stars and glass items sporadically installed and placed on tableware.

If you miss that, be sure next month to check out the artistic element that is coming to the National September 11 Memorial Museum.  Originally built to “reflect the moments of horror and heroism 15 years ago when terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center,” the upcoming show ‘Rendering the Unthinkable: Artists Respond to 9/11,’ begins in timely fashion on September 12 in the special exhibits gallery. The development of this exhibition is said to be a testament to the interest the museum is showing in “complementing its collection of artifacts and archives and an acknowledgment that expanding its scope could add visitors.”

Summer Happenings in NYC

sunshineSummertime and the livin’ is easy…at least in New York City it has the potential of being…

What’s better in the summer than ice-cream?  Learning how to make it yourself from the experts and thanks to Sarah Lohman, historic gastronome and Laura Weiss, ice cream historian (who even knew such professions existed?) one can now learn about the history and mechanics and ice cream and making the yummy cold stuff first hand. Last week, Brooklynites were invited to the Brooklyn Historical Society, located at 128 Pierrepont Street from 7-9pm on July 28th to learn all about that.

And then tomorrow for food lovers who are looking for something on the savory side that is a bit hotter, the Brooklyn Historical Society hosted Scott Wiener, a pizza historian, together with a panel of Brooklyn pizza-makers on The Search for Authenticity will be discussing who makes the most authentic pizza in New York City. The event will boast a classic old-school slice shop, alongside an historic coal-fired pizza parlor, a traditional Neapolitan pizzeria, and a new-school pie innovator. What more could food connoisseurs ask for?

Staying cool and keeping hot in New York is what it’s all about this summer.

Hospital Themed Bar

syringeLooking for a bar with a difference in New York?  Something that you’ve possibly never seen before?  Well, look no further than Lower East Side’s Sanatorium – a hospital-themed cocktail bar which looks a bit like “the waiting room of a debauched doctor.”

Rather than the interior being made up of typical mahogany and hanging glasses, in here you will find operating-room style lamps affixed above a marble bar.  There is no ‘Saloon’ sign but instead, Venetian plaster covers the walls in a green scrub color.  You don’t get your shots in classic shot glasses but rather syringes and the cocktails are prepped on operating-room trays.

But the music remains pretty conventional for a bar.  With D.J. Xavier Herit, you’ll enjoy Euro house music and then once a week though – again with a taste of something different – there is a performance by chamber ensemble New Vintage Baroque.  Another thing that is not typical is the fact that you actually have to make an appointment to go there.  However, if the jolly bouncer is around, walk-ins are usually accepted.  So enjoy a Waiting Room shot made from tequila, cherry tomato, basil, balsamic vinegar, lime and habanero elixir, topped with a slice of ibérico ham, carved from a leg hanging over the bar and you’ll want to make this place your regular.


Shimmie Horn’s Washington Jefferson Hotel


If you love the theater and are looking for a relaxing vacation, there is no better location than the Washington Jefferson Hotel.  Check out what is going on at New York’s Theater District a 10 minute walk away from the hotel.

New York: New Cocktails

cocktailNew Yorkers can become their own cocktail makers.  In fact, everyone who buys The Liquor Cabinet app – designed by Award-winning New York bartender James Beard – can enjoy the feeling of being their own cocktail concoctor.

The history of The Liquor Cabinet dates back a couple of years when winner of the CFDA’s first Fashion Instagrammer of the Year Award Patrick Janelle set out with his brothers to crate a creative agency with a focus on cocktails.

A recent Brooklyn project saw Britten spring a twist on the Paloma cocktail summer classic by using a somewhat unconventional ingredient – Gordy’s Fine Cocktail Brine.  What resulted was a merger of that ingredient alongside Curaçao, grapefruit and watermelon, and voila, the La Capilla in Jalisco was born.  Janelle explains that: the strong, heavy acid flavor of the brine seems very of the moment, as food and cocktails are not so even and well-balanced right now, but are tending toward stronger, bolder flavors,” and the drink is served with sliced watermelon on the glass, topped with zested lime and sprinkled over Maldon salt.

And now, in other good news, according to a document from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control earlier this year seven bars located on this street just got licenses to sell alcoholic beverages until 4 am.  So New Yorkers really have their summer funs mapped out for them!

Manhattan: Some of the Best

If you want to see some of Manhattan in its glory, enjoy this short video clip made by Helen Lee.

Lower East Side Film Fest

film-festivalNow in its sixth year, the opening feature of 2016’s Lower East Side Film Fest – Art of the Prank – went off with a bang, followed by the event’s largest party.  Featuring music from Shareef Keyes and the Groove, it was hard to tell what attendees enjoyed more: that, or the open beer & wine bar that was open throughout the night.

The week-long event – that was held between June 9 and June 16, included screenings ranging from ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze’ to ‘Streit’s: Matzo and the American Dream.’  Shorts included: ‘Bad at Dancing,’ ‘Jolly Boy Friday,’ ‘Napoleon in Exile,’ and ‘Nuts.’

There is no attempt by this festival to “be like TriBeCa,” but what it does seek to do is “support really great independent filmmakers,” according to one of the co-founders, Roxy Hunt.  Indeed, according to its website, it seeks to: “create a special experience for both filmmaker and audience through amazing events, neighborhood engagement, free industry panels, and film screenings of the best and brightest up and coming filmmaking talent.”

TriBeCa’s Trinity Church

churchTriBeCa’s Trinity Church – close to Shimmie Horn’s luxurious Cosmopolitan hotel – was recently home to a celebration of Broadway history. Both these locations – Shimmie Horn’s hotel and the Church – perfectly mesh with New York City and all it has to offer: art, shopping and eateries.

Trinity Church (which sits along Broadway at Wall Street) is where Alexander Hamilton was buried. It was Hamilton who actually was one of America’s Founding Fathers and a parishioner at Trinity Church in the late 1700s. It was Hamilton who brought real fame to pop culture and the Hamilton Broadway musical was all for him.

So now, as a mark of recognition and honor of 16 TONY award nominations, on June 10th, Trinity Church gave light to the archives with Hamilton’s name on them, in a one-day only pop-up display of some rare documents that related to his years connected to the church. As Anne Petrimoulx, church archivist said: “Alexander Hamilton has always been someone near and dear to our hearts at Trinity Church. And we’re thrilled to celebrate him and the musical.”

If you missed it while staying at Shimmie Horn’s TriBeCa, there is always the Swedish Midsummer Festival on the 24th of this month which is sure to delight the whole family.