Archive for 02/28/2013

TriBeCa – The Venue for Culture

soul-foodFor anyone looking for a bit of extra culture, north of TriBeCa (which also is located right by one of Shimmie Horn’s luxurious hotels – the Cosmopolitan – Tribeca), they will find the bohemian West Village.  There, visitors will be treated to an intimate yet buzzing atmosphere.  The area boasts a variety of eateries, stores and nightlife to thrill even the most adventurous seeker, for hours.  More than that, Harlem has quite an impressive history and today offers something a bit different that has lovingly become known as “soul food restaurants.”

Soul food does not actually traditionally hail from New York.  It originates in the Deep South and arrived on the East Coast via waves of economic migration.  It dates back to slavery during the time African-American families were basically taking whatever food they had access to and then made something with it.  It was a bunch of anything no-one else wanted or stuff from the ground they found.  Since at that time pork scraps were left, today one of the traditional “soul food” dishes to be found in Harlem’s soul food restaurants is pork flavors imbuing collard greens.  For sides, candied yams are quite common too.  It’s definitely food with a difference so worth checking out.

The Return of Manilow

ManilowWhen it comes to music, some artists are one hit wonders. Others manage to grab hold of their audience for a year or two, but then fade out of memory. And then, there are those that are truly timeless. They continue to captivate their audiences, even as the decades march on.

He may be pushing 70, but he still has a dreamy voice.  And indeed, while in his prime, Barry Manilow was known for being able to “make the whole world sing.” He did this in larger venues some years ago but during the last few weeks he graced the audience at 246 West 44th Street at the 1,710 seat St. James Theatre.  For those who happen to be in the area – perhaps luxuriating in Shimmie Horn’s West 44th Street Iroquois Hotel, or the Sofitel – an evening with Manilow makes a wonderful trip down Memory Lane.

As for Manilow himself, he has been reeling from the experience, commenting on the venue’s intimacy and likening it to “going to somebody’s house.”  And while the songs are just like his old ones, they are not the same as he “update[s] them so that it never sounds like an oldies show. If you come to the shows, they’re full of muscle.”  Following Broadway, Manilow intends to continue doing weekend gigs on the road as well as two new albums.

Empire State Building Run Up

An associate from the Goldman Sachs Group Inc. ran up the Empire State Building in Midtown Manhattan, in order to raise money for charity.  Brian Kuritzky’s 320 meter feet climb from the lobby to observation deck raised $20, 000 for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation…and he did it twice! This was the second consecutive year Kuritzky got involved in this venture, having raised $85,000 last year. Organized by the New York Road Runners, this event has been happening since 1978 and has participants from a variety of countries such as New Guinea, Israel and Japan.

Culture in New York

At the end of last month, a culture program was organized by the Vietnamese Culture & Education (IVCE) in New York.  It was to mark the Asian Lunar New Year and took place at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH).  It formed part of the festival program for the Asian New Year.  So for anyone who wants to learn a bit about Asian culture, and find themselves in the area, this would have been quite a unique event.  Participants could enjoy the Ao Dai Fashion show, the Dong Ho Folk Painting & Calligraphy exhibition and more.  And they did since the event attracted more than 500 US and Vietnamese guests.