St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Midtown Manhattan just encountered its 256th annual parade in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day a couple of weeks ago.  The Upper East Side was transformed into bagpipe-playing, crazy-hat-wearing, drinking, flag-wearing, celebration of everything green…aka Irish.

The Parade was packed with excited spectators, alongside the more famous revelers, James O’Neill (NYPD Commissioner) and Mayor Bill de Blasio. And of course, East Village’s McSorley’s Old Ale House (NYC’s most famous and oldest Irish tavern) conducted a roaring trade.

So how come so many New Yorkers celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? In 1845, New York witnessed a slew of immigrants from Ireland. They came to escape their country’s potato famine. They didn’t have much when they came and thus many settled in poverty-stricken Five Points, neighboring Little Italy and Chinatown.

2017 Tribeca Film Festival

For a reunification of the cast of The Godfather, be sure not to miss the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival 2017, according to this report from ABC News’ Lara Spencer. This is just one of many events to be held at the Festival (which starts today) for the next two weeks.

Nordstrom Rack in Manhattan

Nordstrom Inc. will be opening a Nordstrom Rack in Manhattan. Located at 855 6th Avenue (at the Durst Organization, close to Herald Square), this will be relatively close by to Shimmie Horn’s The Evelyn hotel, set in Manhattan’s NoMad neighborhood. This marks the second Nordstrom store that will be in Manhattan.

According to Durst Organization President Jonathan Durst:

“We are proud to welcome Nordstrom Rack to 855 Sixth Avenue. With 375 rental units, 150,000 square feet of office space and now 46,500 square feet of retail, the building is a perfect reflection of the diversity, energy and connectivity of the NoMad neighborhood. We look forward to many years of success with Nordstrom Rack at 855.”

The off-price retail division of Nordstrom Inc. offers customers a savings of between 30 and 70% from the standard Nordstrom stores.

Men and Haircuts

Thanks to ‘Three Seat: Espresso and Barber men in the East Village no longer have to “go and get a haircut.”  Instead they can get a Cup O’Joe, and, while they’re at it, get their haircut.

Located on Avenue A, owner Aaron Cook explains that many people – on first entering the coffee shop – don’t realize it also doubles as a barber’s.  They’re like “oh look at that; it’s a barber shop,” which seems to be a great conversation starter.

So while they might not have necessarily been planning on having their haircut, they end up doing it for the convenience. Given that the coffee is included in the haircut price, they can certainly end up favorably comparing the price they paid for their new hairdo with their female partners!

Tribeca X Award

Launched last year, the Tribeca X Award is a result of a joint partnership between AT&T and The Atlantic, presented at the annual Tribeca Film Festival.  It was established in order to give today’s “finest artistic voices” a way to be honored.  All story-driven works that are original which have been developed by artist-brand collaborations are considered.  This includes anything used for digital, film, TV of either feature and short length, that have received funding of a brand working with artists and filmmakers.

All entries receive exposure in a special section on TheAtlantic.com and as Tribeca Enterprises CEO Andrew Essex pointed out, this makes it “the only film festival that honors the best work from these collaborations and bring them to the same stage as filmmakers and creators in the entertainment industry.”

In addition, Atlantic Re:think (which partners with The Atlantic) is providing the opportunity for people to enjoy the “best of the best across the industry,” engaging with brand storytelling.  The jury will award the winners at the 16th annual Tribeca Film Festival on April 29, 2017 at the Awards Night Ceremony.

Euro Cuisine Arrives in Yonkers

Le Moulin is its name, fresh is its game.  Yonkers restaurant owner Josyane Colwell does not believe in using food item from the freezer to prep for her catering company; she prefers aromas and fresh ingredients, something she learned while being raised by her grandparents in Cote d’Azur, near Cannes.

It seems very much like a back-to-basics kind of place as Colwell recalls her youth spent picking up olives and putting them in baskets.  It was a far cry from the iPads of today! The eatery – located at 1 Pier Pointe Street – opened in the summer for weekend business, just opening after 5pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.  With a chalkboard menu (which changes weekly), small menus are created by Colwell who “needs to make [herself] happy,” which means appealing to her sense of sight and smell, ensuring the dining experience she provides is “stimulating and not mindless.”

For other classic old school restaurants in New York, you can try: McSorleys Old Ale House at 15 East 7th Street, Patsy’s Italian Restaurant at 236 West 56th Street and Fraunces Tavern at 54 Pearl Street, the latter of which has been in business since 1762.

The Enigma of the East Village

How is it that while so much of New York has become somewhat pretentious, there is a little pocket that has remained true to its core?  The East Village is something else and a place where you can really find old-school New Yorkness at its best.

Liz Boulter wrote on article on this recently in The Guardian, attesting to the area’s top funky bars and eateries including: Black Market (which has a killer cheeseburger and cool band guys hanging out) as well as Cabin Down Below (underneath Black Market, with the same owners and great indie music).  For those who want to find some picklebacks [whiskey followed by a shot of brine from a jar of pickled cucumbers], there is Sophie’s which is a cool pool bar and then right across the street is an offering of Jamaican-style jerk chicken at Miss Lily’s.

In addition to food items, there are the old old-school record stores and great parks (such as Tompkins Square Park), vintage clothing stores, Garret East’s BYOV (where you can Bring Your Own Vinyl to ensure a  perfect music selection) as well as a whole slew of theatrical performances including the weird and wonderful Snowkus Pocus at the Theater at the 14th Street Y.

East Village continues to be an enigma for those looking for some culture in NYC.

Flaky Pastry Comes to East Village

Actually it is Patisserie Florentine that is making its way to New York for the first time. Originating from New Jersey, this bakery is best-known for its flaky almond croissant and now New Yorkers will be able to purchase fresh-baked pastries locally.

The bakery – to be located at 280 E. 10th Street – is being run by Itay and Tomer Zilkha who are hoping that New Yorkers will love their sweets as much as New Jersey counterparts have done until now. In particular, their almond croissant is extremely popular, having been its strongest product, being a major draw.
What is interesting about the patisserie is that its kitchens have ovens from New Zealand which use steam and a bi-directional fan system. Through this particular concept, a very specific desired flakiness is created. This is what the video in this article, shows.

Hidden NY Treasures?

Or tunnels at least…

It seems like almost every other week something is being discovered in NYC.  And now, it is tunnels.  Well, it is not exactly like they are being discovered but perchance they are being rebranded to make them more well-known.

One example is NYC’s postal tunnel.  From 9th Avenue (from under the east side), this runs between the Morgan mail sorting facility and the James A. Farley Post Office basement.  It is a very well-secured road tunnel which historically was utilized to transport mail via Amtrak trains which a specially-designated “mail only” train” to and from a Penn Station “secret” platform.  It was only in the early part of the 21st century that this process stopped, sealing shut the stairs and elevators leading to the platform.  Today though for those interested, the loading area and lookout gallery can be seen at the Post Office on special occasions (such as Fashion Week).  The gallery is now used for a Storefront for Art and Architecture installation.

And in other New York City tunnel news, it seems that those motorists who do not own an E-ZPass will no longer have to stress about having cash on them when they approach the Hugh L. Carey/Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel toll.  Instead, they’ll be charged via license-plate readers, with the registered vehicle owner receiving a bill in the mail.  Cashless tolls will certainly improve tunnel riding experience for New Yorkers!

Getting in Some Culture in Tribeca

Shimmie Horn’s Cosmopolitan Hotel is located in the trendy, culturally-rich neighborhood of TriBeCa.  Known predominantly for its Film Festival offering a rich, diverse offerings helping the “general public to experience the power of cinema and promote New York City as a major filmmaking center,” this neighborhood is also quiet, charming and very close to the Hudson River Parks.

Currently there are some interesting exhibitions in the area.  The Apexart TriBeCa gallery is hosting ‘Animal Intent,’ which, as Emily Falvey curator explains is an “interspecies collaboration” between human and animal creation.  One example is the honeybees and Aganetha Dyck who worked with William Eakin (photographer and apiarist) to place random objects inside bee hives enabling the bees to cover the pieces in their wax lattices.  This transformed them into what looked like “honeycomb” sculptures.

Then there is The Dietz Lantern Building where David Bonavita is leading an apartment staging. Seeking local artists who are willing to loan artwork temporarily.  This is to be displayed in the apartment while it is on the market and will give Tribeca-based artists some exposure.

So, for art, culture and some quiet luxuriation, TriBeCa with its museums, exhibitions and Shimmie Horn hotels could make the perfect vacation venue.