Archive for 06/25/2016

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 Booking.com 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.