New Addition for East Village Bar Scene

New York’s east village is getting a new addition to its bar scene – Fifty Paces. Located at 413 E. 12th St. between First Avenue and Avenue A, the bar is quite a trendy get up. Offering a vast wine list and swank menu, it replaces Paul Grieco and Marco Canora’s Terroir – a wine bar franchise who recently parted. Canora took over and rebranded the location, with something completely new.

And what’s with the name? A spin off from the now infamous Fifty Shades of Grey perhaps? According to Canora, no. The name followed the location since he had to keep telling people how to get there – 50 paces up the street from Hearth.

So for those seeking out something a bit different, go get a classy glass of wine, sunflower-seed hummus with crispy toast and an upscale sloppy Joe. It’s a nice place and has two happy hours throughout the evening-night. A true welcome addition to the east village.

Drinking up Manhattan

Of course, there is the traditional Manhattan cocktail; something that is easy enough to DIY…it’s just pretty much a mixture of sweet vermouth, bourbon whiskey, bitters, topped with a maraschino cherry and an umbrella! It’s not all that pricey either.

But for those who want to go a little bit more out of the box, there is now the GG Manhattan. Served up at the Irvington, on Park Avenue, north of Union Square, as well as offering this rather pricey cocktail ($30 a pop), there are some great food options too.

In actuality, the GG Manhattan is not really all that expensive as it is actually designed for two. It is a sharing drink so can also create and build intimacy. It comes with a couple of rocks glasses, brimming with ice and a flask, that comes very cold and labeled GG Manhattan – but the label just uses a magic marker and piece of masking tape!

For those hungry after their drink, enjoy what has been hailed as “New American [cuisine] with Mediterranean influences.”

Beauty in Manhattan

gherkinThere is so much concealed beauty in Manhattan. The city is not necessarily known for this – more4 spoken about is the happenings in the center of New York. But thanks to filmmakers Danny Jacobs and Darren Grodsky – who actually set out to do something quite different – this could be changing.
What the twosome did was walk the entire length of Manhattan from top to bottom, noting their discoveries of pockets of beauty for others to enjoy.
Beginning at 225th Street’s Broadway Bridgek, walking through Inwood, Harlem, Hell’s Kitchen, Gramercy, the West Village and more, the filmmakers completed their journey at Battery Park.
Here is their advice for those looking for beauty in Manhattan: A walk through Fort Tryon Park offers a great escape from busy urban life; United Palace Theatre which has a sign saying “come in, or smile as you pass” was “hopping with an incredibly diverse group of people” the day they arrived there. They feel like it is New York at its truest!
Next up Washington Heights that turns to Harlem that has 30-40 blocks sporting a very “interesting island [with] an elevated train… wide blocks, wide sidewalks and really lovely trees.” Then there is the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine on Amsterdam Avenue and West 12th Street – one of the world’s largest cathedrals. If you’re getting hungry at this point, Koronet Pizza serves “ridiculously giant slices” and Jacob’s Pickles at West 84th Street is the pickle-lover’s haven.
There are a few other places on their list. But this makes a great start.

See ‘The Nomad’ when in Nomad!


For those who happen to be visiting one of Shimmie Horn’s luxurious hotels – like The Evelyn (located in Nomad, Manhattan) or the Tribeca Grand Hotel, it could be a good time to take in a show that is appropriate for the area.

“The Nomad” is currently showing at Manhattan’s Flea Theater (located in the TriBeCa neighborhood on 41 White Street) and has to date received rave reviews.

The musical – with book and lyrics and Erin Courtney and Elizabeth Swados – is not for the slow-paced. The production is quite quick and has a lot going on. It combines both musical theater tradition and Middle Eastern sounds, telling the tale of Isabelle Eberhardt, a romantic and Swiss writer who meets her premature death before reaching the age of 30.

Check it out. It’s definitely something different.

Bussing Around the City, Via VIA!

busWhile it can be somewhat inefficient and time consuming to use the New York bus system, thanks to a new app called Via, there is now another option.  The user friendly app has been described as “a smarter way to get around New York,” and compared to other transportation services is cheaper, charging the traveler a mere $5 a ride.

When Via first got to New York (from Tel Aviv, Israel, where the app was launched) it was only in operation between the Upper East Side and Midtown between the morning and evening rush hours. Now it has extended its timing and its locations, from 6.45 am to 9 pm and between 32nd and 110th Streets. The first five rides cost a flat rate of $5 if the rides are pre-purchased (when they are not, the fee increases to $7).

While to date it has not been as successful as competitor Uber, this could be because it requires multiple passengers. Still, to date, many people need rides in these neighborhoods and thus the SUVs and vans that are offered through the service is doing quite well.

Is Manhattan Bidding Bye-Bye to Homework?

homeworkHistorically, homework has been a burden on parents as much as children. But now, if a school in Manhattan has anything to do with it, “homework” will take on a whole new meaning and become something both kids and parents enjoy and may even take benefit from.

PS 116 Elementary in Kips Bay is creating new homework options for its kids that include reading and family time. One parent says she thinks it’s “a great idea.” Others have said that it’s difficult for kids to study for eight hours at school and then come home to do homework for three more. This sentiment was echoed by Principal Jane Hsu who explained that this policy was:

creating opportunities for students and their families to engage in activities that research has proven to benefit academics and social-emotional success.

The only concern is that kids won’t be able to do this. One parent for example explained that her kids are so hooked on video games, getting them to read or engage in family time, just wouldn’t be realistic.

Still, it’s a nice idea.


taxiNew York City’s taxi app Uber is currently on the lookout for 10 employees to join its team. The firm would like to hire: a marketing manager, operations and logistics manager, recruiter and four software engineers.

The firm is trying to “become an integral part of the transportation infrastructure of every city around the world. To help make this vision a reality, we’re rapidly growing our local engineering and operations teams right here in NYC.”

At the present time, Uber has approximately 60 employees in New York City (as well as a new office in Chelsea), rendering it a key player in the yellow taxi market.

UK Cows Return to NY

cowAfter all the years of talk of mad cows disease hailing from the UK, a fancy restaurant in the Upper West Side is basically saying ‘enough is enough.’ The owners of Daniel Monday have brought in Irish beef for the first time since the 1998 ban was implemented.

According to Simon Coveney, Agriculture Minister in Ireland, there are no health concerns with such high quality beef from Ireland since it is grass-fed.

America is not alone in welcoming back the best of British beef. At the Dubai Food Festival, the Desert Chill team is to be serving gourmet burgers and other meat-based items that hail form the UK. Indeed, ten food trucks came from the UK to join in its Street Feast event, bringing in British offal and more.

Texan-Indian Cuisine comes to Flatiron District

chickenA Texan-Indian style restaurant – Pondicheri – is making its way to New York. Leasing a 3,363 square foot ground floor space in the Flatiron District, close to Shimmie Horn’s Triumph hotels, this eatery will be the first retail tenant using space from the Madison Square portfolio. A 15-year lease has been signed and the restaurant will take possession in April or May.

Featuring an updated skylight and storefront, high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling casement windows, Pondicheri will serve its clients a whole array of foods, from the Hopper (a Sri Lankan inspired, crisp coconut, chia seed & rice shell filled with masala eggs / coconut salad / kerala sauce) for a mere $5, to the Fried Chicken Tuesday (Half of a Bryan Farm chicken marinated in a spicy yogurt masala then dusted in chickpea flour, served with curried fingerling potatoes, arugula & blueberry salad, chutney and pumpkin buns) for $25.

However, the owners are not committing to the menu staying the same all the time, claiming that it “might change due to seasonally available ingredients, relentless experimentation, and musing moods.” Don’t forget to leave room for dessert though, and hope that the powers-that-be will always make the Café Annie Brownie (moist brownie from the legendary restaurant with Valrhona cocoa & walnuts) and Ginger Cloud Cookie available.

Maille Makes it to Manhattan

mustardFrench Dijon mustard Maille has just arrived in the Upper West Side. There are over 20 varieties showcased here, at the Columbus Avenue/68th Street location. And for those non-experts who want to know more, Pierette Huttner is there to help.

The mustard sommelier enjoys describing the various flavors that range from truffle-type to nutty-type and everything in between. She’ll also suggest pairings such as mashed potatoes with black truffle and Chablis. For those who want to go all out there is the black truffle that retails at $45 for a 4.4 ounce jar.

Perhaps this mustard was just what midtown Manhattan was missing!