The ban that was set to go into effect a couple of weeks ago on large sugary drinks being served in New York restaurants, was overturn, at the eleventh hour. For anyone living – or vacationing – in New York this is likely to be welcome news. Even if one does not regularly consume a large soda, to be told they are not allowed to, is somewhat disconcerting.
Last year, the NY City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene decided to ban sugary drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces. But New York Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling interceded at the eleventh hour, and ruled that this ban was “capricious” and “arbitrary.” He added that bans like these were beyond the scope of the Health Department and that it “would not only violate the separate of powers doctrine, it would eviscerate it.”
On May 31 and June 1, for those in the upper west side – perhaps vacationing in Shimmie Horn’s Belleclaire Hotel – the Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District is hosting the ‘New Taste of the Upper West Side.’
In its sixth year, this festival is set to benefit the Wellness in the Schools program at the O’Shea School complex and P.S. 87 and the Columbus Avenue Streetscape Project. The goal of the latter is to enhance the avenue between West 76th and West 77th streets. Approximately 1,500 people attend the event each night which is usually sold out. Every year those involved in the project try to improve it from the year before. Tickets are on sale for $105 for Friday night and $135 for Saturday or $250 for Saturday VIP tickets.
The west side of New York City is home to much culture, including upscale restaurants, recreational parks, theaters and more. For those who happen to be vacationing in the area, perhaps at Shimmie Horn’s Washington Jefferson Hotel, Marriott Downtown or Hilton Garden, it is probably worth checking the theater schedule ahead of time.
Previews have already started for the upcoming show ‘The Last Five Years,’ a two-character musical by Jason Robert Brown showing at the Second Stage Theater, West 43rd Street. Or, Broadhurst Theater at 235 West 44th Street is soon to be home to ‘Lucky Guy,’ set in the mid-80s in NYC with Mike McAlary and Nora Ephron. Whatever your taste in culture, New York City sure does have something for everyone.
For anyone looking for a bit of extra culture, north of TriBeCa (which also is located right by one of Shimmie Horn’s luxurious hotels – the Cosmopolitan – Tribeca), they will find the bohemian West Village. There, visitors will be treated to an intimate yet buzzing atmosphere. The area boasts a variety of eateries, stores and nightlife to thrill even the most adventurous seeker, for hours. More than that, Harlem has quite an impressive history and today offers something a bit different that has lovingly become known as “soul food restaurants.”
Soul food does not actually traditionally hail from New York. It originates in the Deep South and arrived on the East Coast via waves of economic migration. It dates back to slavery during the time African-American families were basically taking whatever food they had access to and then made something with it. It was a bunch of anything no-one else wanted or stuff from the ground they found. Since at that time pork scraps were left, today one of the traditional “soul food” dishes to be found in Harlem’s soul food restaurants is pork flavors imbuing collard greens. For sides, candied yams are quite common too. It’s definitely food with a difference so worth checking out.
He may be pushing 70, but he still has a dreamy voice. And indeed, while in his prime, Barry Manilow was known for being able to “make the whole world sing.” He did this in larger venues some years ago but during the last few weeks he graced the audience at 246 West 44th Street at the 1,710 seat St. James Theatre. For those who happen to be in the area – perhaps luxuriating in Shimmie Horn’s West 44th Street Iroquois Hotel, or the Sofitel – an evening with Manilow makes a wonderful trip down Memory Lane.
As for Manilow himself, he has been reeling from the experience, commenting on the venue’s intimacy and likening it to “going to somebody’s house.” And while the songs are just like his old ones, they are not the same as he “update[s] them so that it never sounds like an oldies show. If you come to the shows, they’re full of muscle.” Following Broadway, Manilow intends to continue doing weekend gigs on the road as well as two new albums.
An associate from the Goldman Sachs Group Inc. ran up the Empire State Building in Midtown Manhattan, in order to raise money for charity. Brian Kuritzky’s 320 meter feet climb from the lobby to observation deck raised $20,000 for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation…and he did it twice! This was the second consecutive year Kuritzky got involved in this venture, having raised $85,000 last year. Organized by the New York Road Runners, this event has been happening since 1978 and has participants from a variety of countries such as New Guinea, Israel and Japan.
At the end of last month, a culture program was organized by the Vietnamese Culture & Education (IVCE) in New York. It was to mark the Asian Lunar New Year and took place at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). It formed part of the festival program for the Asian New Year. So for anyone who wants to learn a bit about Asian culture, and find themselves in the area, this would have been quite a unique event. Participants could enjoy the Ao Dai Fashion show, the Dong Ho Folk Painting & Calligraphy exhibition and more. And they did since the event attracted more than 500 US and Vietnamese guests.
Pasta is usually a relatively cheap way to eat. But it can also be surprisingly expensive. Especially if one chooses the special pasta dish on offer at Midtown Manhattan’s BiCE restaurant, close to Shimmie Horn’s Iroquois Hotel. Indeed, ordering one of their pasta dishes can set one back $2,013! Apparently it is made from mixed wild mushrooms, 2 pound lobster, shaved seasonal black truffles. It arrives on a Limited Edition Gianni Versace Bice plate, which was made specifically for Bice 7 months before the death of Gianni Versace and is signed and numbered. The guest even gets to take it home.
Given that the place is worth a mere$350, this means the guest is still paying a staggering $1,663 for the food. Quite pricey for a bit of pasta.
For those who want to partake in a bit of culture on their next trip to New York, they should pay a visit to the Portico Gallery. Situated at 1 East 70th Street, close to some of the city’s most luxurious hotels including The Iroquois, The Pierre, or the Surrey Hotel, the museum and library have a lot to offer to both the tourist and veteran New Yorker. Currently on display until January 27th, is the “Frick Collection: Mantegna to Matisse: Master Drawings from the Courtauld Gallery.” This is a display of 58 pieces from a London museum and art history institute, covering the Renaissance, Baroque as well as modern periods. Also enjoy Pontormo, Michaelangelo, Rubens, Rembrandt and more.
A new book published by the University of Illinois Press sheds light on riveting NYC architecture and more. Authored by Professor Wallace, “Media Capital: Architecture and Communications in New York City,” examines the few remaining landmarks in the area constructed by media moguls for the express purpose of validating their dominance. This book might be of interest to those with a fascination for New York City, its buildings, architecture and how things have changed. Indeed, for those who frequent modern, luxurious places such as Shimmie Horn’s Cosmopolitan Hotel – Tribeca, the book provides an interesting comparison to what was then versus what is now. Wallace points out in the book how architecture “has served in no small capacity to shore up legitimacy in moments of doubt.” She also believes that the pattern is coming full circle – near the old Newspaper Row, in downtown New York, there is now a resurgence with moves by The Daily News and Condé Nast along with new media in old media space.