Archive for Entertainment

Kids in New York City

With the summer fast approaching, what is on the calendars now for kids in the Big Apple?

At New York’s Central Park Zoo from May 13-27, the Drawing Center put on Saturday workshops engaging kids with all sorts of art materials to engage in a half hour science and drawing program.  Presented together with the current exhibition, ‘Exploratory Works: Drawings from the Department of Tropical Research Field Expeditions,’ Wildlife Theater Troupe artists guide participants on the program.

Kids can also go to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum to enjoy an exhibition featuring Tattfoo Tan’s art.  In an interactive manner, kids are then able to gather up things needed for camping trips, put them in their backpacks, learn to tie knots and tell stories around a fake campfire.  As well, each Saturday different workshops are held, such as the Trail Blazers coming to help the youngsters engage in floral creations, enjoy nature through their senses and partake in an orienteering scavenger hunt. Then there is the map-reading journey leading to Brower Park where the children can get help pitching a tent.

And let’s not forget about all the regular attractions New York holds for kids, such as the Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Sakura Matsuri and the Astoria Park Pool to name but a few.

Martin Meets Manhattan

Thanks to the Austrian Cultural Forum New York, New York-based artist Martin Roth came back with a new exhibit, entitled, I cultivated a piece of land in Midtown Manhattan nurtured by tweets.

Roth, born in Austria, has provided visitors a Zen sanctuary, enabling them to descend into the subterranean gallery and thereafter emerge into a simulated forest clearing.  He does this through a room that is made to feel like a forest with trees covering all the walls and seven tons of soil supporting 200+ lavender plants under fluorescent light.

But what makes it quite unique is the fact that its sources are none other than…Tweets. The way it works is the grow lights on top of the lavender plants escalate in conjunction with the tweets of powerful public opinion shapers.  While the statements are re-tweeted with greater frequency, the lights become brighter, turning the lavender plants into a kind of index of the political cultural climate.

Martin has definitely bought something quite manifest to Manhattan.

Manhattan Moods: From Veggie to Meatloaf

What is there to do and eat in Manhattan these days? From veggie to carnivore it seems like there’s everything…and a lot of it. Here we take a review of just a couple of exciting additions to the scene.

On 22nd of this month, the Manhattan Friendship Garden is hosting a “Veggie Bowl” at the Laraway Lanes (1009 Laraway Rd. New Lenox) for lunch. Tickets for the 1pm event are $20 for ages 16 and over, $10 from ages 7-15 and children 6 go for free. As well as the food there is bowling, raffles and family-friendly fun and any monies raised will go toward the Manhattan Friendship Garden. With the funds, fresh vegetables will be grown for this year and next for those in need via local pantries and group homes. So as well as heat-healthy veggie delights, the yummy delicious will feel good for one’s emotional heart too.

But for those more carnivore lovers, there is something just as exciting. With specialty items from chef Michael White from his Nicoletta restaurant, the debut menu in Queens features a jumbo mozzarella stick wrapped with pepperoni, breaded and fried, served with a side of marinara sauce, plus “classica” and Calabrese stromboli rollups. The chicken Parmesan on a sesame roll is totally yummy too. Prices range from $9.50 to $14.

Likewise, Eddie Huang has his jumbo mozzarella stick served at Big Mozz with a hand-breaded and -seasoned, served with house-made sauce, for a similar price of $10. He is bringing inspiration from his Bauhaus menu, and is also offering a braised Berkshire pork belly inside a cloud-like bao bun, with a relish, crushed peanuts, Taiwanese red sugar and cilantro topping.

And not to miss out on dessert there is Kristen Tomlan’s Greenwhich Village Shop with her cookie-dough-flavored offerings in the following flavors: sugar cookie, chocolate chip and cake batter.

Clearly it is unlikely that Manhattaners will go hungry this spring.

Things to do in NYC

For those who find themselves in the New York City area and want to take in the area’s landscape and major monuments, this video is good place to start.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Midtown Manhattan just encountered its 256th annual parade in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day a couple of weeks ago.  The Upper East Side was transformed into bagpipe-playing, crazy-hat-wearing, drinking, flag-wearing, celebration of everything green…aka Irish.

The Parade was packed with excited spectators, alongside the more famous revelers, James O’Neill (NYPD Commissioner) and Mayor Bill de Blasio. And of course, East Village’s McSorley’s Old Ale House (NYC’s most famous and oldest Irish tavern) conducted a roaring trade.

So how come so many New Yorkers celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? In 1845, New York witnessed a slew of immigrants from Ireland. They came to escape their country’s potato famine. They didn’t have much when they came and thus many settled in poverty-stricken Five Points, neighboring Little Italy and Chinatown.

2017 Tribeca Film Festival

For a reunification of the cast of The Godfather, be sure not to miss the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival 2017, according to this report from ABC News’ Lara Spencer. This is just one of many events to be held at the Festival (which starts today) for the next two weeks.

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 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.

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.

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.