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.


East Village Pizza Pie

pizzaPizza, pizza and more pizza. You can never have too much pizza.  Well that seems to be the sentiment in New York City at least.  With the recent opening of Baker’s Pizza on Avenue A, there is something new happening in the world of NY pizza.  It is hoped by owner-chef Jordan Baker-Jamie Cacace that “the power of the New York-style pie [will] become a destination stop of any pizza journeyman’s map.”

So what actually goes in to making these pizzas different?  First, the pies are very filling with an extremely generous base and exploding with toppings. Second, there are funky toppings such as brussels sprouts, bacon and white truffle oil (the B&B) or speck, broccoli rabe, roasted red peppers and parmesan (the Speck-tacular).  It is these ingredients which set the pizza place apart from Muzzarella Pizza which is just down the block.

New York City certainly has quite a history with pizza.  According to a blog post referring to Ed Levine’s book, ‘Pizza – A Slice of Heaven,’ “The story of pizza in America starts in New York City, on Spring Street in lower Manhattan, in 1905 when Gennaro Lombardi, a baker and pizzaiolo from Naples is granted the first license in the United States to sell pizza. Lombardi had come to America at the age of 14. He was already a baker by trade, and soon found work in a Brooklyn bakery and a grocery store on Spring Street in Manhattan. He had the idea of baking pizzas at the bakery and selling them the next morning at the grocery. It was a very good idea.  [and then it spread around America]… A year after Antonio Pero opened Totonno’s in Brooklyn, another Neapolitan immigrant pizzaiolo named Frank Pepe opened Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana (1925), the first pizzeria
in New Haven, CT.”

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Business Travelers to Lower Manhattan

lower-manhattanIt seems that lower Manhattan is becoming an increasingly popular location among tourists.  While it used to be the case that travelers to New York City would automatically head for Midtown, since lower Manhattan has been encountering a transformation as of late, that has become a hot spot with tourists, especially business travelers it seems.

According to Downtown Alliance’s President, Jessica Lappin, it seems this move is “only natural” given that the area has undergone a “massive redevelopment [transforming it] into a bustling cultural and business destination.” This has led to increased hotel options, many new eateries with an array of cuisines as well as a retail revolution.

Thus it should come as no surprise that NYC company reported figures for 2015 at 12.3 million business travelers to New York City, many of whom stayed south of Chambers Street.  This trend was confirmed by which noted how in 2015 and this year, over 20% of its business travel reservations were for the lower Manhattan area.

Meanwhile there are plenty of varied activities to do in the region.  There’s the interactive theater experience through via Accomplice; the bi-weekly farmers market (put on by Bowling Green Greenmarket) and the Children’s Museum of the Arts (which provides young artists with a hands-on workshop as well as skill development in visual and performing arts). Take advantage of the free ferry rides and free walking tours as well as the Federal Reserve tours that are also without a fee.

The “Taste” of Tribeca

food-festivalFor more than two decades, Tribecans have been privy to sample a wide variety of treats from the Taste of Tribeca Festival.  Tribeca’s top eateries are participating in this program which not only helps people enjoy the fun flavors from around the city, but also raises funds for local public schools’ enrichment programs.

Now in its 22nd year, this “foodie fund-raiser” provides locals with the opportunity to “taste their way” through 65+ top restaurants in the hood.  According to co-chair of the program Claude Arpels, this thus gives everyone a chance “to come and sample the neighborhood – you pay 45 bucks and you get to try food from so many restaurants. It would certainly cost you a lot more to go and eat a full meal at every one.”

This really is financially a great deal – to pay a mere $45 to enjoy 700 “tastes” is phenomenal.  And then to know that you are doing your bit for the community – kids benefiting from food-funded arts programs in the area – really makes it even tastier.  If you think about each item of food costing around $5-10, it doesn’t take a genius to realize how worth it with the Math.

As well as the Taste of Tribeca, locals can enjoy the much newer beer and cider tour that started last year by Arpels which is coming back again this year.

Musical News

musicEast Village’s Third Street Music School Settlement is celebrating 121 years at its yearly Spring Gala.  Having opened in 1894, this makes it the longest-running community music school in the US.   Today, over 5,000 students receive musical instruction and it’s not just restricted to kids.  Indeed, pre-school up to adults aged 93 years old, have been the recipient of musical instruction over the years.   And talking of inclusivity, the school really tries to accept everyone, especially those of disadvantaged financial means, catering to all types of musical loves.  One can even just come in for a singular lesson in the oboe!  With ensembles, the variety runs from rock band to orchestral. According to Brandon Tesh, Department Chair for Wind, Brass and Percussion, this makes it “like being in a toy store. There’s just all these instruments, drum sets, pianos everywhere, it’s filled with music. It’s really a great space.”

Meanwhile for those looking for concerts in the neighborhood check out The Voice for a comprehensive listing in NYC.