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.

Bringing Beer to the East Village

The East Village is getting a new brewery.  Peace Tree Brewing opened a second location earlier this month and is set to be a very bike-friendly space.  Owned by Megan McKay, the brewery (that began in Knoxville) will have a ton of new drinks on its menu.

Since its opening in the new year, it’s been thriving.  According to McKay, the East Village is a fantastic spot for the brewery.  He said:

“I think people thought we were a little nuts trying to open on New Year’s Day, like everyone’s out late the night before, but we figured the people who really enjoy a good craft beer and were interested in what we were doing would just wanna show up and kind of help us ring in 2017. So we’re really excited to throw the doors open today,”

Welcoming in 2017 in New York

There is possibly  no better place to bring in the New Year than New York City.  And it looks like 2017 is going to follow suit.  With that in mind, we take a look at what fun things happened in the Big Apple a few days ago.

First, it’s a great time to travel.  CN Traveler noted that the week of New Year’s is possibly the cheapest vis-à-vis airfare, hotels and deals, as a kind of New Year’s Eve special.  Remember though, it’s best to walk around as a) getting a car rental can be tough and b) traffic during the holiday season is probably not the best way to get into the festive spirit! Uber makes a good alternative.

And, if you are privy to actually be in New York, on December 31st, you simply have to be at no other place than Times Square.  This year it was none other than US Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon who Dropped the Infamous Ball.  And, for those who have never been in New York at this time, to miss that is inexcusable!  Indeed, according to Jeff Straus, president of Countdown Entertainment and an executive producer for the annual production, “When you look at New Year’s Eve, it’s the one moment of the year where you have more than 175 million Americans all doing the same thing at the exact same time in unison as we count down those final seconds of the year with hope and optimism. But what’s amazing is they’re not watching one channel, they’re watching a multitude of channels who are all showing that magic moment.”

In the New Year itself, for the adventurous there is also Coney Island’s Polar Bear Club New Year’s Day Swim which definitely shocks the New Year’s Eve hangover out the system! For the more cultured, check out the 43rd Annual Poetry Project Marathon featuring mini readings and performances by approximately 150 poets, dancers and musicians.

When it comes to variety, there are very few competitors who could stand up against New York City.

Fun Eats in East Village

ribsAccording to The New York Eater, “the East Village has the most kinetic, rapidly evolving, and downright fun restaurant scene in the city.” Featuring originality with tastes from around the world, there is very little in the world of cuisine that one will be strapped to find in the area.

The east Village food scene really began gaining credence back in the 1980s.  And then by the year 2000, things really started moving up for the region.  But there are some timeless pieces too.

But if you want to experience a bit of history in an Italian way, check out John’s of 12th Street.  This traditional Italian eatery has been serving East Village customers for more than a century.  Having opened in 1908, it brags of being “rich in history, rich in food [but] easy on the wallet.”

And for traditional ribs (that are at the same time unique) Mighty Quinn’s goes back to basics by getting the best quality ingredients and leaving them to do their own thing…not complicating the matter just barbecuing old school with plenty of wood and time with “just the right amount of salt and spice to let that lovely marriage of process ad product evolve into something transcendent.”

Take in breakfast at the Black Seed Bagel, a Chinese dry hot pot from the Mala Project, a French bistro at Lucien, and one of the best schnitzels New York has to offer at Edi & The Wolf.

We know one thing for sure; if you leave the East Village hungry, you sure missed some boat or another.

Broadway News

broadwayIt seems like Broadway is getting Jake Gyllenhaal back. Next year he’s returning to the theatrical scene in a short revival of “Sunday in the Park With George.” This will mark the first show in almost 5 decades (40 years) that is being put back onto stage at Hudson Theatre.

In the concert performances Gyllenhaal anchored in October (within the context of a more fully developed version of a four-performance City Center benefit concert), critics were blown away and it was sold out. A New York Times reviewer referred to it as “one of those shows that seems destined to be forever spoken of with misty-eyed bragging rights by anyone who sees it.”

In the nearer future if one finds themselves near Broadway not-to-miss shows currently include: Fiddler on the Roof, The Best of Mormon, Something Rotten among others.