Working out in Tribeca

fitnessWhen one is in Tribeca, what is the best workout option? There are so many different possibilities; here we take a brief look at yoga and rowing.

First, Sky Ting Yoga (which opened in 2015 in Chinatown) became so popular that it now has an overflow; a loft-like Tribeca studio owned by the same founders: Krissy Jones and Chloe Kernaghan.  Designed by Nick Poe, the new studio in Tribeca features a tailor-made Smile to Go menu, beauty offerings (from Benshen, CAP Beauty and Moon Juice) as well as an infrared sauna, two sun-filled rooms and one small studio to be used for specialty classes.

At the studio one will soon be able to register for pre- and post-natal classes as well as those suitable for kids (which is good as Tribeca is known for being family-oriented – just check out the NY Kids Club in the area) restorative classes and a yoga teacher training course.

Also new in Tribeca at 333 Church Street, is Current Fitness, where one can work up sweat by rowing indoors. It is set to open early next year (February 1st) and is owned by co-founder of Brooklyn Crew, Josh Ozeri. One looking for a full-body calorie busting workout (which does not put pressure on one’s joints) should definitely check this out.

Enjoy a Relaxing Evening at Hotel Chandler

cocktailsFor those looking for some relaxation, amidst the hustle and bustle of New York’s Flatiron District, Shimmie Horn’s Hotel Chandler is the perfect choice. The building – constructed in the early 20th century in a Beaux Arts style – is right by Fifth Avenue but once inside one feels relaxed in the stately elegant décor which also features modern amenities.

While there, take time to spend a few hours at the Hotel Chandler Bar, and relax in its intimate and elegant setting. It has developed a reputation among locals in the Flatiron District as providing excellent service while offering a wide range of cocktails, fine wines and a rotating selection of beers. And, for some real food, the Hotel Chandler restaurant has some wonderful unique culinary creations using the freshest, seasonal ingredients.

What’s New to Eat in East Village

wrapsKati Roll Company is new. With the opening of its outpost in East Village’s Second Avenue five days ago, this popular street from Kolkata is offering traditional skewer-roasted kebab rolls, as well as more modern protein-filled ones with beef, chicken, shrimp and more. Customers can choose to have them wrapped in roti also.

Three days ago they were offering free stuff too, in the form of chicken and aloo rolls. And there are some added menu items including the Kosha Mangsho Roll (a slow-cooked pulled goat meat, with red onions, chilies and lime juice). For those who want to make their own, that is also an option. Located on Macdougal Street, the new eatery is larger than the previous location and can seat up to 18 people with further expansion planned in a third location some time in the not-too-distant future.

And then there is n’eat. Combining ‘neat’ with ‘eatery,’ Swedish chef Gabriel Hedlund together with Danish Mathias Kaer, the restaurant is serving up affordable Nordic food ($8 for snacks and $16 for other plates) such as their deep-fried sourdough bread with mushroom powder, chicken confit with carrots and burned garlic sauce, and rehydrated beets with goat-cheese ice cream.

New York Landmark Preservation

preservationThe Landmarks Preservation Commission is set to demolish a historic home in the East Village.  The light-blue-colored home – located on East Seventh Street – demolition protestors are arguing should be given building landmark status, or the row of houses between Avenues C and D should be preserved.

Protestors are arguing that this is part of a land preservation matter since it was built in the 19th century, but the Commission’s argument is that such structures do not “rise to the level” of a landmarks designation.  Still, in the past it has been home to various political figures as well as merchants who worked in the shipyards in the East River and thus has a story to tell.  Indeed, Green Village Society of Historic Preservation’s Andrew Berman argued that: “these houses really are the last piece of the old ‘Dry Dock District’ which was the heart of New York City’s working waterfront in the early 19th century, and in the late 19th century they were at the center of New York City’s political life.”

Moving over to the West Village, the plan for a mansion on Jane Street was approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission once the designer overturned his idea for tall glass and concrete towers with which Greenwich Village preservationists took issue.  Andrew Berman said that the revised plan was a vast improvement over the original plan, which would have been a woefully out-of-place and precedent-setting intrusion in the Greenwich Village Historic District.”

Adult Learning Center Celebrations

educationHaving been in existence now for five decades Manhattan’s Adult Learning Center is marking this milestone with an event at the Chic-Fil-A.  The school that was established for adult and alternative education back in 1966 is, according to the Director of the ALC, Vickie Turkowski, “still benefiting students and community” today. It is continuing to grow and this celebration is to thank those who have helped the organization thrive all these years.

One example of how the school has thrived is marked by the event’s attendance of 65+ year old students Leon Havens and Sandra Hobbs who graduated with their high school diplomas thanks to ALC.  Hobbs pointed out that when she first came to the school she couldn’t even read or understand what she’d read.  now she has a high school diploma. Her next step is to learn how to sew.

There are a variety of programs on offer at the center as well as specialized classes for adults to gain a vocation.  For example: the Open Door Diploma Completion Program, English as a Second Language, computer literacy classes and more.  In addition the ALC works together with the Manhattan Area Technical College giving students the opportunity to obtain a certification as a Certified Nurse Assistant, Allied Health Field, or Building Trades and Welding.

What’s New in NYC’s Financial District

wtcThe oculus building officially opened this month, hope to the World Trade Center’s new Apple Store. The two-level store features a large, open space with minimalist design and has the oak tables (which Apple is known for) in a tall, large room that encourages the purchase of iPhone7! The store is the seventh of its kind in New York that was designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, the most famous of which is the one of Fifth Avenue that appears like a glass cube.

Meanwhile, there are plans for a large Liberty Island museum, with plans for the design of this 26,000 building having been displayed at a recent groundbreaking ceremony. This museum is to take the place of the much smaller one that currently is located at Lady Liberty’s pedestal and will be constructed in order to blend into the parkland’s nature.

Museum construction will utilize sustainable best practices. Initially – according to FXFOWLE (the company that designed the space) partner and project designer Nicholas Garrison – the idea was to make the museum an extension of the park, with the aim of working with “the park’s formal, axial plan and respond to its spectacular setting. The island’s landscape is lifted and merged with the architecture to create space for the museum in a new geology.”

And talking of museums, a new – permanent – exhibition (New York at Its Core) is being set up at the Museum of the City of New York (MCNY). The exhibition will be a testament to New York City’s worldwide position as the Big Apple. The 6,600 sq. ft. space will be open to the public on November 18.

Get a Great Night’s Sleep at The Iroquois

iroquoisOne of Shimmie Horn’s hotels is Midtown Manhattan’s Iroquois. This boutique hotel is not only elegant and centrally-located, it also makes comfort a top priority with each room featuring Comfy Simmons Beautyrest mattresses, comfortable work stations and Jacuzzi tubs. Talking of Beautyrest mattresses, that was one of the big sales that took place in New York on Columbus Day Weekend. For those looking for the comfort of the Iroquois at home, 1800Mattresses had a special a couple of weeks ago offering a 65 percent discount as well as a free Beautyrest air mattress for anyone making a purchase of more than $799.

In addition to its comfort, at the hotel you can enjoy dining at a true gem of a French restaurant – the exquisite Triomphe Restaurant & Lounge, as well as Midtown’s best French restaurant. Or take in the classic, historical ambience as you sip a cocktail at the Lantern’s Keep.

The Iroquois truly is a mark of comfort and style within the bustling New York City. And for those who want to be right in the center of it as well, Shimmie Horn’s boutique hotel is the perfect location.

New York Comic Con

comicsLast week saw the New York Comic Con event.  This year it got even bigger, in its attempt to wow pop-culture fans with even more interactive features and a new registration system.  There was also room for 5,500 fans.  In the 10 years it has been taking place, it has really stepped up its game, putting it in the same league as San Diego’s International Comic Con.  Indeed, last year, there were 167,000 people who attended, even more than last year’s San Diego one which only attracted 130,000.

But now given the added feature of the NYCC Presents, there were even more attendees. Programs included: “Game Grumps Live Episode,” “A Shipwreck Fan Fiction Competition,” “Stuff You Missed in History Class Live,” “Doctor Who Costume Contest and Trivia,” “Tales From the Toybox,” “Rock Comic Con,” and “One Trek Mind Live.”

Given that the space is so much bigger, this means that many more will be able to be accommodated.  ReedPop event director Michael Armstrong.  He explained that: “With this addition, we’ve been able to bring way more TV and film content to NYCC than we’ve ever been able to. In years past, our largest panel room was around 3,000 seats. With the Theater at Madison Square Garden we’ve been able to almost double that. More people than ever before will be able to see our largest panels.”

Lower Manhattan Continues to Thrive

9-11Lower Manhattan has encountered substantial changes during the decade-and-a-half following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which saw the loss of 2,753 lives.  According to a recent State Attorney General Report released by Thomas P. DiNapoli (New York State Comptroller) what happened after the attacks that resulted in an “unspeakable tragedy,” was that partnerships emerged “between the local community, government, and the private and not-for-profit sectors — that made Lower Manhattan’s renaissance possible.”  Today the area has earned itself a reputation for having “a diversified employment base and strong annual job growth.”  He added that “Lower Manhattan is doing more than rebuilding, it is transforming and moving forward with resilience and hope.”

In commemoration of the day, a memorial procession was led by the NYPD Emerald Society Pipes & Drums.  Participants included Mayor de Blasio and Bill Bratton (who is leaving his post as Police Commissioner).  They marched from Cedar Street to the NYC Police Memorial in Battery Park City, down Broadway. They were joined by police bands nationwide.

And then there is the Irish Pub O’Haras.  Owned by Mike Keane, this has become a kind of shrine to the tragedy.  At the time of the event, co-owner of the pub Mike Keane watched the first tower fall from the bar’s roof.  He managed to get to safety but the bar was badly damaged and at its reopening seven months thereafter, it was transformed into “a haven for locals and Ground Zero workers.” The next year, a gathering was held at the pub in which Big John (a construction worker) ripped off a patch from a fireman’s uniform, stapling it to the wall which thereafter became a tradition.  Today there are over a thousand patches from various ambulance services, fire departments and more around the world, at the pub.  Indeed one day they even received a framed frag flown over from the Pentagon in the mail.  Another owner of the Irish Pub, Paul Mackin explained ““We get locals in their p.j.s, sometimes, because they can’t sleep.”  He himself was “changed” following 9/11 and now each weekend meets people “who come in here from all over the world. They enter as strangers and leave as friends.”

Yes, a lot has changed in downtown Manhattan over the last decade-and-a-half with some incredible developments and transformations in the region.  But 9/11 will never be forgotten and no matter how different the city may look, for those people who had a direct connection to it, things will always stay the same.

Helping the Students of Manhattan

rowboatThere are many ways to help students with different needs and this article looks at two things happening right now in Manhattan.  Both are more than just the basic money giving to help those students with different in needs.

First there is Rocking the Boat in which nine teams participated in the 30-mile row around Manhattan to raise monies for the organization.  As part of the Rocking Manhattan Fundraiser and to aid and empower South Bronx students, $300,000 is needed.  This enables the students, notes Adam Green, founder and executive director of the non-profit Rocking the Boat to select either the “boat building track, environmental science track or sailing track [where] they learn very intensive technical skills in each of those tracks which give them all sorts of future opportunities.”

Participants have gained a lot from the program, as they were inspired for the future and able to move ahead with skills they picked up.  From boat building one student noted, they learned to become more open with others as they had to get themselves “out there and overall becom[e] more friendly and more involved.”

Second, as a way of dealing with the expansion of public schools in Manhattan in a positive way, school officials chose to “embrace” the fact that the educational institution was turning into a construction site “teeming with workers, tools and building materials.”  In other words they took what could have been negative and disruptive and transformed it into “an educational supplement for students.”

Furthermore, Karen Hedglin, representative for the project from McKinstry Construction, this expansion could be a really good STEM opportunity for Manhattan over the next couple of years.  It could indeed be used as a way of exposing students to “a unique side of the increasingly popular science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.”

For students interested in technology or those who experience challenges with Math, this project could really make the subjects “come alive” for them and help them thrive.