Finally! Cirque De Soleil is Coming to New York

theaterAre you on vacation in New York? Perhaps you have taken your partner to luxuriate for a few days in one of Shimmie Horn’s top Triumph hotels? Or maybe you are just visiting New York for a few business meetings and find yourself with a window between executive pow-wows.

Either way you might be excited to learn that Cirque du Soleil “is ready to flip over the Big Apple.” But there’s no need to book your tickets just yet. The plan is for two traveling shows to come to New York by next fall. Yet in the spring, there will also be a visit. It is anticipated that the event Cirque de Soleil designed for Broadway theater – Paramour – will come to New York first.

Of the fact that the show has never been in New York, President and CEO of Cirque, Daniel Lamarre pointed out, “for us, New York is an underdeveloped market and it’s surprising because it’s still the world capital of entertainment. We are a strong player worldwide with a worldwide brand and we have spent a lot of time developing the Las Vegas market and not enough focus on developing the New York market,” he said.

Insights into the New York Marathon

marathonThe 2015 New York City Marathon has come a long way since its humble beginnings back in 1970 where only 55 men finished the run. At that point, women weren’t allowed to participate and the following year if they did, they had to start 10 minutes ahead of the men. Probably because when the NYC marathon first began it was deemed “too dangerous” by the Amateur Athletic Union for women. Today though, female participants make up 40 percent of the 50,000 runners; this figure has increased every year since 1971.

Here are some interesting facts about the race that has raised millions of dollars for various charities and gotten people training for months, over the last 45 years. In 1986, a Vietnam War veteran finished the race in 98+ hours…on his hands. Also, it seems that those from Brooklyn run the fastest, possibly because when they practice it is mainly on flat terrain. Thus Brooklynites run at an average speed of 8:14 per mile.

Out of this year’s 50,000 NYC marathon participants, more than half are actually not Americans. That is split between France (making up the largest majority of non-Americans at 7 percent), Italy, the UK, Netherlands, Japan, Australia, South Africa, China, South America, Spain and Sweden. The fastest runners are around 30 years old, mainly from outside of America and on average, are running about two hours faster than everyone else.

When OfficeWear Became Fun

women-fashionJust last week, Of Mercer opened its doors in New York’s Flatiron District. Home to upscale hotels such as Shimmie Horn’s The Chandler and The Wyndham Garden Manhattan Chelsea West, the area makes for a great hangout. And now, with this new addition, it’s a perfect place for women looking for “work-appropriate dresses made of Italian wool for under $200.”

The store was founded by Emelyn Northway and Dorie Smith. The two first met on a day that they were wearing the exact same dress. They are both graduates of Wharton Business School. The reason behind the store was because the two “found that [women’s workwear] was either oversized or kind of masculine, or brands would call something workwear and it would be miniature and tight…[Thus] the options were either really frumpy and ugly or super sexy.”

Of Mercer provided a solution to this and now the store in Flatiron – as well as offering clothes for purchase – will be “a kind of satellite office space for its core customers,” almost like a hub, catering toward freelancers and those who are stuck in between two meetings.

Future plans for the space include workshops and networking events.

Artists in the East Village

art galleryAn art gallery in New York’s East Village that seeks to boost local artists was just opened by Carly Zuendel. Named Moxie in Des Moines’, it is located at 505 E. Grand Avenue which is also home to Raygun, Domestica, Thelma’s Treats and Mars Cafe.

At the gallery, 10 artists display their work – the majority of whom live locally. There are different prints and paintings as well jewelry, 3D sculptures and pieces for the home. It is aiming to become a great place to both buy and sell cutting edge art.

The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm.

Blink and You’ll Miss it

manhattan-mapThe map of Manhattan that is. This eight-and-a-half map that dates back to 1811, drafted by John Randel Jr. to organize the future city.

Today it’s very washed out and one cannot see identify so well the “erratic character of the rural hilly island.” Between 1818 and 1820, Randel and his wife Matilda created a new map – the total antithesis of the original planned one of 1811. It is full of color and vibrancy, animated and easy to see the fascinating landscape.

This map – the Randel farm map – is today one of NYC’s “most beautiful and important – and one of the world’s most unusual,” measuring 50 feet long and 11 feet wide, it comprises 92 individual maps at a scale of 100 feet to one inch.

But most New Yorkers are not familiar with this piece of work at all. The maps are located at the office of the Manhattan Borough President. Occasionally they are looked at by an historian or surveyor. They have been digitized in recent times so that they can be looked at online but they’ve never been officially shown to the public.

….Until last week. On 17 October, the Open House New York showcased the maps in mylar covers, set on black-clothed tables and arrayed contiguously across a brightly sun-lit mezzanine at 1 Center Street, enabling New Yorkers to view them between 10am and 4pm.

This enabled New Yorkers to take a journey in a time travel back to the 19th century and see how their block used to be, topped with a marsh or the Hudson River waters….much has gone, but much remains.

The Pope’s Pizza

pizzaIt was recently revealed that Pope Francis wanted a slice of pizza in New York City. Greenwich Village’s Bleecker Street Pizza decided to go all out following that request (as relayed by Father Hernan Peredes) and made a pizza pie with a portrait of the Pope on it. It is being displayed in the store.

The pizza is a classic mozzarella and tomato flavored one (with some toppings) and on the portrait, Pope Francis is clad in a robe that is made out of ricotta cheese. The cross with Jesus is made from anchovies and pineapples are the yellow part of his hat. Red peppers and cucumbers are the red and green parts of his garments. Raspberries and ricotta cheese attempt to make his skin color – which, according to manager Tony Salihaj was the toughest part to create to accuracy.

The pizza pie took five hours to make.

Hispanic Day Parade

Last week New York streets were packed as thousands marched up Fifth Avenue for the yearly Hispanic Day Parade that has been taking place for more than half a century. Today New York City is home to around 2.4 million Hispanics. Last year – because it was the fiftieth year of the parade – close to 1 million took place in the march.

The annual march is timed to coincide with Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 to October 15. It is not just individuals who march but also those associations connected to the Hispanic community as well as the NYC Police and Fire Department.

It is a fun event too. People enjoy standing up for their nationality and it is most colorful since each country that is represented shows up in their colorful native clothing.

Special guest at the parade of 2015 was Miss Universe Paulina Vega who hails from Colombia.

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.