A Peek into Tribeca Lofts

atticIf you happen to be visiting New York’s Tribeca neighborhood – perhaps enjoying the relaxing environs at Shimmie Horn’s Cosmopolitan Hotel, try to coordinate your visit with the 16th Annual Inside Loft Tour to be held next month. Get in quick though as there are only 400 tickets. They’re a bit pricey ($60 pre-booking, $65 Day Of), but it’s worth it as it is something quite different. In addition, the proceeds go Friends of Duane Park and Friends of Bogardus Plaza

On 19th October, tour participants will be able to walk around some really cool (and super expensive) interestingly designed TriBeCa apartments. It’s a lot of fun and a great way to raise funds. Two of the architects who have designed one apartment this year are Michaela Deiss and Stephen Corelli, two principals of TRIARCH who have been working together in the field of architecture since 1987.

The Village Goes Vegan

veganThe East Village is getting a vegan wine bar…whatever that may be. Just three days ago, the bar opened up on East 7th Street. It will also be serving food…vegan of course.

Named Avant Garden, it is being opened by Ravi DeRossi, who has become quite well-known for his cocktail inventions. In addition, DeRossi has just set up a non-profit organization to fundraise for charitable groups whose goal it is to end animal cruelty.

The restaurant aims to serve quality, upscale food and has been a dream of DeRossi for many years. Indeed, DeRossi himself refers to it as a “a ‘passion project’ … having grown up vegan himself, and stayed vegan most of his life.” His “biggest obstacle” – over the last decade or so since he has dreamed up this idea – has been finding a “good vegan chef” and now, with Andrew D’Ambrosi (who has been head chef at his seafood restaurant in Bergen Hill), has found the right guy.

DeRossi came to that discovery after tasting D’Ambrosi’s hen of the woods mushroom dish. Given that DeRossi has always hated mushrooms he was shocked at how much he loved this. He then discovered it was vegan so put D’Ambrossi to the challenge to make more vegan dishes. He completely rose to this challenge making a variety of dishes for that seafood restaurant to try them out and the rest, as they say, was history.

Pope Francis in Central Park

PopeThose in the New York area may be able to see Pope Francis later this month. Well, actually the citizens of the state, not tourists. The Pope will be appearing in a papal processing in Central Park later this month and a lottery giving out tens of thousands of tickets is being organized by the city together with the New York Archdiocese.

Actually the draw has already been conducted and the winners are being announced today!

Papal procession is scheduled for September 25 and will go along Central Park West Drive. Those with tickets will be able to see the pope in his Popemobile.

Lower East Side Gets Cinema

digital-filmsManhattan’s Lower East Side will soon be privy to a two-screen movie theater, with the capacity of playing 35 millimiter and digital films. The idea behind Metrograph came from film director and menswear accessory designer, Alexander Olch who has a boutique right near the location of the new theater, which will be found on Ludlow Street at Canal Street, in an old warehouse.

The plan is also to build a bookstore, restaurant and lounge in the warehouse.

Cool Down for Free in Manhattan

kayakingIt’s true that New York is not the cheapest city for entertainment but on the other hand, there are many activities that can be enjoyed for free. One doesn’t need to buy a yacht to enjoy the Hudson River since the Downtown Boathouse provides a way for people to cruise city waterways along the Hudson River…and doesn’t charge for the experience!
There is also the North River Lobster Company offering something similar as well at the 25 minute trip of the Staten Island Ferry. Don’t forget the Governors Island Ferry that is free between 10 and 11.30am on weekends.
So one can cool off in Manhattan without spending a dime!

Spiderman: Times Square Everyday Hero

If you happen to be staying at Shimmie Horn’s Washington Jefferson Hotel, right now there is some extra protection in the nearby vicinity. “Spiderman” (aka the guy dressed up as Spiderman for the kids) actually engaged in quite a heroic act, somewhat akin to his real life character.

A guy on the street at Broadway and West 44th, was harassing street performers and in stepped the Times Square Spiderman to the rescue! Of course it was videoed so see for yourself. And remember, Times Square is protected by superheroes!

East Village Pizza

pizzaWhen it comes to pizza there is good, better and great. Bruno Pizza at 204 East 13th Street in East Village probably doesn’t even fit into the top category. Indeed, it is THAT good. One of the newest pizza parlors in the hood, it is also extremely fancy. Not only are the toppings something to talk about but the entire process of making the dough is something out of this world. Indeed chefs Dave Gulino and Justin Slojkowski – in conjunction with Demian Repucci (the owner) spent many months trying to create the perfect recipe for their 00 pizza flour. So much so that they used their very own mill to grind the whole wheat berries to their specific desires!

Was it worth it? Oh yes, the end result most certainly was. And the tasting menu that it is now offering is something out of this world! Added to that is the fact that Bruno Pizza has instituted an up-and-coming trendy no tipping policy. What more could one ask for? Great prepared dough, fabulous toppings and no tips!

So what are these great toppings? Well you really should go to the tasting menu one day but until then tantalize your taste buds with this: the $16 Bucatini (corn, squash blossoms, scallions and squash) or pea green with gorgonzola-made butter. But what Repucci is really pushing is interaction between chefs and diners – an idea he got from Box Kite wherein there were no servers “so they just talked to the diners.”

He sees the restaurant as a “kind of a hybrid, where there’ll be walk-ins for pasta and pizza, and then there’ll be tasting menu people.” What fun. And certainly not one’s run-of-the-mill pizza place!

Manhattan’s Green Green Hill

greenThat would be Inwood Hill. Right at the tip of Manhattan sits the stunning Inwood Hill along the Harlem River. What’s wonderful about this unspoiled area is that while the rest of New York (and in particular Manhattan) was just built up and changed and modified, this was quite nicely left alone. Indeed, some even say that it hasn’t been touched since the American Revolution. That’s quite something for anything in New York!

What’s fascinating about this place is that it has not gotten pulled into the growth of NYC’s “most famous metropolis,” but instead has remained in sync with nature. This stunning 196-acre forest can offer the millions of New Yorkers a vacation, some Zen time, an escape, and more while still being in the heart of The City That Never Sleeps.

Inwood Hill brings New York a sense of serenity. Greenery is always needed no matter how metropolitan a city becomes.

Manhattan’s Mobile Movements

busManhattan is currently encountering a battle of the different mobile transportation options. This war began in San Francisco and has now migrated across state lines.

Price slashes were announced by Uber and Lyft, in an attempt to get more customers. It is therefore wise for those looking to get around Manhattan for cheap, to check up on current offers from the different companies.

It seems that right now, the three main competitors are: Gett, Uber Pool and Lyft Line. Prices average out at around $5-10 depending on when, where and how many people are in the vehicle at the same time.

Kids, New Yorkers and Their Art

art-workshopMadison Square Park is hosting an art workshop – for families – on two days’ time. It’s free and is suitable for the entire family. It recommended if there is parental supervision for the workshop.

The Fata Morgana Family Art Workshop will educate participants about Fata Morgana – the monumental outdoor sculpture with “500 feet of golden, mirror-polished discs that create canopies above the pathways around the park’s central Oval Lawn.”

For kids looking for something less artsy and more animal based, Madison Square Park still has something to offer: the free activities in the park throughout the summer, such as Spirit Animals and Pinch Pot Pet (both on July 20).