sleep by night, dance by morning

dybrkTypically in NYC, when a group of people are dancing at 7am it’s at a party that has carried over from the night before and they have yet to get to sleep.  That wasn’t the case this past Tuesday.  My husband had a good 7 hours of solid sleep and woke up early, refreshed and ready to dance at DAYBREAKER – which as the founders describe very accurately “is a morning movement that will start your day off unlike anything else. It is about being in the here and now, surrounded by amazing people, beautiful music, and an incredible vibe. It is about dancing your face off before work and feeling gloriously healthy while doing so.” – and that it was.

Tuesday was the perfect summer morning, warm bright and The DL was great spot for this summer dance party.  I forgot that I had to go to work, and instead let my mind take me away to the likeness of being in a Caribbean bar with the positive energy of worry free people and sipping on healthy fruity refreshing drinks.

The picture below captures it all: the hot dancers, the crowd getting into the music, the DJ is off to the left and of course the juices on the bar.

daybreaker

DAYBREAKER’s next party is July 1st. Tickets are $25 and sold through Eventbrite. Keep checking back as tickets will go on sale this week.

Happy Summer!

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sugar and the sphinx ….

updated 6/1/14 – and now for my review

Taking advantage of a gorgeous Saturday morning, I arrived at the Domino Sugar Factory at 11am, 1 hour before it was supposed to open, still to be the 10th person in line. SPF on, I was able to catch up on phone calls as Jayson biked to get bagels and lox from the hot new Black Seed Bagel spot in LES (think perfect sized bagel, not too big, slightly doughy, slightly crispy with Ben’s cream cheese and the perfect amount of tender perfectly sliced salmon).

At exactly 12 noon, after signing a waiver, we were free to roam a not only iconic branded visual of our East River skyline but also aniconic staple of our NY’s economic history.  Upon walking in, you can smell the residue of molasses and cooked sugar that remain on the columns and in the grains of the wood on the walls.  Supposedly the building that we were in housed the sugar which I’d like to believe what we are seeing on the top of the planks near the ceiling.

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You knew being here in this building was a once in a lifetime opportunity and were honored to share a piece of NY history.

But the piece de resistance was Kara Walker’sSubtlety” and from the back it was anything but.  The picture below conveniently covers up the brilliant detail that makes no mistake this sphinx is a female.  An object that is yelling out to all females that it is possible to be powerful and that you should be proud of who you are.

sphinx

Riding back over the Williamsburg Bridge later in the afternoon, I took this last photo..

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The exhibit will be here until July 6th, you should definitely check it out.  By the time we left, the line had extended 4 blocks down the street, but I agree that “the early bird catches the worm”.  Not only did we have less people to rub elbows with inside, but by 12:30 we had the afternoon to explore the Bushwick Open Studios. However long  you have to wait, it is well worth it.

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posted 5/26/14

I’m dying to check out the last of the domino sugar factory before its completely destroyed AND Kara Walker’s installation.  Knowing NYers the way I know them, if you’re not some where when it first opens that be prepared to wait … and wait …. in line.  I haven’t had the opportunity to do so and therefore haven’t made the trek over there. BUT next Saturday my husband are going to strap on our skates and roll our way to Williamsburg. This is a must see. In the meantime, check out the Curbed article that does this story justice and check back for some of my own personal touches to this story. sugar and the sphinx

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Kidney for Kinsey

Delighted to be walking in honor of Kinsey on her 6th birthday.

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Her biggest present is the selflessness of her donor.  Kinsey was diagnosed out of the blue in January with end-stage kidney failure, a rare and fatal disease.  She has been kept alive by dialysis three times a week, injections and pills.  Read her full story here: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/queens-5-year-old-kidney-end-stage-diagnosis-article-1.1790697#ixzz32MUP6v4T

The love and support of her friends and family on Kinsey’s FaceBook page prompted a person inquiring about being a donor for Kinsey to contact the hospital and start a donor chain, which will begin soon! This person has selflessly decided to initiate saving the lives of many on the waiting list!

Thank you to all for providing this amazing little girl the life that she deserves.  xoxo

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Sakura Matsuri

This gallery contains 7 photos.

Is anyone going? With the weather predictors forecasting a very hot and very rainy summer and hearing that there is nice weather ahead for the weekend, why not spend the a day among cherry blossom trees at the height of … Continue reading

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Candy makes everyone smile

Around 10pm Tuesday night, my husband and I hailed a taxi. I went around the back to enter on the right side and noticed a ton of candy spewed across the back console of car. I thought, “oh, that was mean of someone to trash this taxi” and surprised that the driver hadn’t cleaned it up.

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Having an everlasting sweet tooth, of course I was tempted to grab a piece but remembered rule #1 – You don’t go around taking candy from strangers!?

Inside the taxi, there were decals and signs on the window and the divider, it was further supporting my theory that the taxi had been trashed.  However, reading deeper into it, I’m seeing that the decals were positive and uplifting. .. Live Laugh Love – and the signs were encouraging you to take a piece of candy, that the candy will make you happy – I then NEEDED to know what was going on.

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(Keep in mind, the red hue that you see in the picture above wasn’t there when we jumped in.) Eventually we asked the driver and found out that we were picked up by the Candy Cab NYC.  Mansoor Khalid, the owner and driver of this taxi, provides his patrons with an array of candy and that his taxi is equipped with a built-in karaoke machine and microphone which is hooked up to an amazing sound system allowing his riders to sing their way to their destination.

The video that the NY Times did about Mansoor can be found on the home page of his site which gives the brief, sad background and the how the idea transpired.  As devastating as the loss of his son was, Mansoor was able to transform his tragedy into a more positive environment for his daily life, spreading Life, Laughter and Love to everyone he picks up.

If you find yourself in need of a taxi and some happiness, you can reserve the CandyCabNYC.com for a trip well worth taking 🙂

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“this land is your land” or shall I say water

On the first gorgeous day in Manhattan, having no where to be after work, I did what every New Yorker does during the first week of Daylight Savings Time – WALK and loved it!

water towers

On my journey home, I passed by Madison Square Park and was immediately drawn to the three 16 foot water towers – well, sculptures – anchoring the northwest corner of the park.  We typically see these barrels living on rooftops, but here, in this park, they are at the base of tall buildings of which we wouldn’t normally be able to see them.

This dichotomy of urban landscape and a historical “symbol of available employment” is exactly what Ivan Navarro wanted to depict in the creation of this exhibit.

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Although these structures only stand 16 feet tall, Ivan has used a series of neon lights and mirrors to showcase a different perception.  Standing at the base and looking up into them, it appears that the towers can continue to provide this essential in life as they rise high above their historical heights.

neon

Check them out before they are removed April 13th.  Saturday should be another great day for a walk and a journey.

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gotham west market

billboard

With the first inkling of reprieve from the brutally cold weather, it was time to get out and check out something new and different.  First, it was heading to the 17th Street and 10th Avenue Equinox location for a TRX class that I wanted to see what it was all about and then, since we were already so far on the west side, we walked up to 11th Avenue and 45th street to check out our second new adventure – Gotham West Market.

GWM was a destination for us as we were eager to check out the Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop and had the intent to not spend as much as we would in a traditional restaurant.  We had been reading that this amazing ramen is the first outpost in the U.S. to open up from its residency in Japan and that it was – AMAZING.

ivan ramen

My husband had the Classic Shio that is in the upper left hand corner of the picture.  The anchor bowl was my dish, the Smoked Whitefish Donburi.  Both had a great balance of sweet (from the dashi) and salty with a hint of smokiness (probably more so with mine due to the whitefish).  The rye noodles in the ramen had a good texture which gave it a nice change to the normal ramen.

Gotham West Market is a retail and dining destination reminding me of the “markets” that we found in Spain and even Toronto particularly La Boqueria in Barcelona.  Navigating through the aisles, a variety of consumption items are available for take out and for sale.

GWM aisle

I recently read that Saks 5th Ave’s new strategy for their Off Saks outlet stores is to design the store to look and feel messy, recognizing that customer’s love that Nordstrom Rack appeal of this very aesthetic.  Now the article doesn’t exactly say what about this aesthetic is appealing to the consumers but my belief is that they feel they are getting a better deal or a good “buy” when the store feels and looks less like the department store.

When my husband and I were in Barcelona, we made our way to the markets as a way to save money on our meals; and of course to experience all things local; however, exiting Gotham West Market probably a good 45 minutes later and very satiated stomachs, I can’t say that our stateside dining was equally frugal.

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Referring back to the article that I read about Off Saks’ strategy, I believe GWM and other “markets” have similar strategies.  My husband and I fell victim to the belief that serving ourselves and sitting at community tables would allow for a less expensive meal. Although a “buy” is not what we garnered, make no mistake, we know “you get what you pay for” and we sure did!  Our ramen, wine, coffee and dessert were well worth venturing to 11th ave and up to Midtown for.  See you again soon!

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it’s never too late for christmas lights

{written in 2014, however all info is still very much valid} My husband found an article in the Industry Magazine about a “Christmas Lights Tour” through Dyker Heights and put it in his back pocket to surprise me at a later date.  Last night being the 26th, with a lull in the holiday plans, he figured it was a good day to execute.  All I knew was that I had to dress warm and wear comfortable shoes.

A quick side note, before leaving for our big walk, we had some Chinese for dinner.  Check out my fortune that was inside my cookie……

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I really had no idea where we were going.  I thought maybe we were doing one of those scavenger hunts but after taking the R train all of the way out to 86th Street in Bay Ridge I figured that wasn’t what we were up to.  If you’ve never been, 86th street is a main commercial drag with stores and restaurants so what we actually embarked on totally threw me for a loop.

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Within a 4 block and 3 avenue radius, we were swallowed up by lights upon lights on the most gorgeous homes.  It was a magical and romantic setting, like an enchanted forest of Christmas decorations.

The Industry Magazine line offers an organized tour.  No need for that.  For just cost of a roundtrip subway ride, you can take your own tour.  See the advice here provided by “Free Tours by Foot

We weren’t the only ones to do the tour on our own; policemen were needed to control the congestion of the onlookers that flocked by foot and by vehicle.

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I don’t want to give too much away because you really need to see this magnitude for yourself, but I think the picture really captures the lollapalooza of the holiday season.

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view of times square

Last Friday, my husband and I had a reason to celebrate.  (No Mom, I’m not pregnant). I had read about this bar that overlooked times square and it didn’t scream “impossible to get into” to me.  We had some Midtown errands to run so I figured we should give it a try.

The R Lounge is located in the Renaissance hotel on the 2nd floor.  We arrived on the early side with our only competition being tourists so I figured “we got this”.  We scored a window table and the review was right – this bar is very much worth the view – even for a local the view mesmerizing.

wpid-20131213_182042.jpgThe service left so much to be desired and the prices of course are exactly what you’d expect of a tourist trap, except for one item; the fried chicken on the menu is from Blue Ribbon which is always worth the money.

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pig roast at the breslin

I’ll say it again, I don’t know where the time went!  Let’s rewind and go back to the beginning of November. A few posts back, I was telling you that my husband and I were busy with birthday parties and marathon running.  As I mentioned, my husband turned 40 and chose to celebrate with a small group of friends over a pig roast at The Breslin.

In the past we’ve organized a pig roast at Daisy May’s on 11th Avenue, which is exactly what you see below – a butchered pig while sitting on picnic tables and eating off of paper goods.

daisy may's

The BBQ is VERY good and we’ve been back many times – particularly for the pork ribs and the creamed spinach. Daisy May’s BBQ has a Latin flare to it with the rice and beans sides.

This past summer we attended Pig Island – a pig roast of sorts near the Ikea in Red Hook, Brooklyn, put on by Food Karma Projects.  One ticket bought you a sample of pig used in all different ways created by 25 different chefs throughout the 5 boroughs and free 6 point beers.  Pig Island wouldn’t be complete without the whole hog slicing …..

pig island

Aside from the pulled pork sandwiches and pork tacos, 2 of the most memorable creative dishes were 1 – pig rolled within a sweet bread with a sweet jam and coleslaw on top

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and 2 -the crispy pig ear lettuce wraps with pork pate and a fermented cabbage….

lettuce wraps

But back to the main focus of this post, we celebrated my husband’s 40th birthday at the Chef’s Table Whole Roasted Sucking Pig at The Breslin located in the Ace Hotel.  I had never been to the Ace Hotel so of course, being that it’s a birthday party, my biggest worry was what to wear!  It’s a pig roast in the Ace Hotel!  The 2 ended up meeting somewhere in the middle. The lobby of the hotel has a bar and is designed as a casual living room to encourage conversation. The Breslin, adjacent to the lobby, is a casual yet upscale pub and the pig roast was as classy as a pig roast can get.

The presentation and the quality of the “pig roast” met all expectations of that of April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman. The pig was presented to us whole before it was delicately carved just as the restaurants do with whole fish.

the breslin pig

The pig was accompanied by most delicious sides that balanced out the meal just as Thanksgiving sides do with the turkey.  Our party was a party of 8 and we had way more than any of us could.  We enjoyed our leftovers for days.  My husband was extremely happy with his 40th birthday dinner – very satisfied with the service and with the meal.   Whether it’s for a drink or for a full meal, the Ace Hotel should be on your list.

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