Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New York Transit Museum

NY Transit Museum

Ah, the subway. On the one hand, you can't beat its convenience --- $2.25 puts you within walking distance of some of the world's greatest vistas, restaurants, art, theater, and all the other things that cities are for. On the other hand, oy. What a mess. In return for 24/7 service carrying 1.6 billion people a year across 230 miles of routes, we get creepy crawlies of all kinds running around the stations, which themselves are crumbling, full of peeling paint, exposed power lines, and worse.

NY Transit Museum

Needless to say, the New York Transit Museum focuses on the good stuff. Located in a former subway station in Brooklyn Heights, the museum has space to exhibit hundreds of artifacts. The preserved cars, complete with maps and ads, are enough to fill even the most cynical of riders with civic pride.

NY Transit Museum

NY Transit Museum

NY Transit Museum

NY Transit Museum

NY Transit Museum

NY Transit Museum

NY Transit Museum

NY Transit Museum

NY Transit Museum

NY Transit Museum

NY Transit Museum

NY Transit Museum

NY Transit Museum

NY Transit Museum

NY Transit Museum

NY Transit Museum

NY Transit Museum

NY Transit Museum

NY Transit Museum

NY Transit Museum

NY Transit Museum

Monday, August 30, 2010

Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain

Soda shop

Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain, a lavishly, lovingly refurbished apothecary in sleepy Carroll Gardens, wants to evoke the happy parts of the 1950s, when "jerk" was a compliment, poodles were skirts, and Elvis ruled. It specializes in floats, malteds, egg creams, sundaes, milkshakes and sodas made from seasonal ingredients, and other sweet, old-timey comfort food. What makes the place modern are the prices --- and the waitstaff's piercings and tattoos peaking out from short shorts and t-shirts.

Mint chocolate chip ice cream, Brooklyn Farmacy

Sundae of Broken Dreams, Brooklyn Farmacy

Sunday, August 29, 2010

William Castle at Film Forum

In the 1950s, with television wolfing its share of the entertainment market, Hollywood tried any number of stunts to get people into the theaters. The master of those stunts --- actually, King of the Gimmicks, as he was known --- was William Castle, who married cheesy scripts and low budgets to sideshow antics in a string of films that constitute an enjoyable little slice of the golden age of B-movies. Film Forum is currently highlighting this consummately American director with a 15-film retrospective, complete with all of Castle's effects: 3-D, buzzers under the seats, punishment polls, life insurance policies for audience members, and skeletons that fly through the theater.


Few of these movies are any good, and we'd wager that they'd be downright hard to sit through at home. But they are great fun to see in the theater, where their earnest attempts to amuse combine with their campy pleasures to ensure a lively and appreciative crowd. (The audience at House on Haunted Hill met the zipline skeleton with boisterous cheers.) They also bear watching to see how much they've filtered down to our own times --- Tim Burton and Stephen King blew their allowance on these movies, after all. And if you get scared, the Coward's Corner is set up in the lobby.

Photo: thanks

Oyster Locals: New York's Best Milkshakes

Hey everyone, we're also writing about New York for Oyster Locals, a web resource for travelers. Periodically we'll feature content on here that we produced there.

Mint chocolate chip ice cream, Brooklyn Farmacy

Take a few scoops of ice cream, add in some milk, maybe some syrup, and blend . . . the recipe for a milkshake couldn’t be any simpler. So why do so few places get them right?

We don’t know, but we’ll let you know as soon as we find out. In the meantime, the places listed below know their way around a scooper and a blender. They produce thick, frothy elixirs, perfect for sating thirst or filling you up when you’ve missed a meal.

And fear not: as New York tips into fall, temperatures hover around 60–70 degrees, perfect for wrapping a scarf around your throat and strolling about, milkshake in hand, straw in mouth, to admire the foliage.

brgr
Burgers and shakes go together like, well, burgers and fries. What brgr is missing in vowels, it makes up for in taste. All milkshakes use ingredients from the excellent Ronnybrook Dairy, a sustainable, family-owned farm upstate. In addition to vanilla and strawberry, brgr mixes up a black and white (half vanilla, half chocolate) and a blueberry-pomegranate. The Chelsea location is at 287 Seventh Avenue, close to the Eventi, while the recently opened Upper East Side location is at 1026 3rd Avenue. Both are open 11 am–11 pm, Monday–Thursday; 11 am–12 am, Friday–Saturday; and 11 am–9 pm, Sunday.

Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain
Capitalizing on nostalgia, Brooklyn Farmacy is a re-created mid-twentieth-century soda fountain on a quiet corner of Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Servers, proudly wearing paper hats and t-shirts that say “jerk” (as in “soda jerk”), will make shakes with any ice cream, including mint chocolate chip (pictured) or peach (available seasonally). In addition to a nice pour in a heavy, old-fashioned glass, you’ll get all the leftovers in an elegant silver container—that’s kind of like buying a motorcycle, and getting the sidecar for free. Also, you might recognize the space from the Discovery Channel’s Construction Intervention show. Located at 513 Henry Street, it’s open 12 pm–10 pm, Monday–Sunday. Stay at the Nu Hotel.

Lexington Candy Shop
In a city that changes faster than you can say “New York minute,” finding a restaurant that’s been doing things the same way for a long time is as refreshing as a big slurp of a malted. Get both authenticity and milkshakes, in classic flavors like coffee and vanilla, at the Lexington Candy Shop. Part of the pleasure comes from watching your treat get made on vintage equipment, some dating to 1925, when the restaurant first opened. Just remember: here they’re called “frosteds,” not “milkshakes.” The candy shop is old school like that. Located at 1226 Lexington Avenue, it’s open 7 am–7 pm, Monday–Saturday, and 8 am–6 pm, Sunday, and close to the Franklin NYC.

Momofuku Milk Bar
The creations at Milk Bar, the sweet sibling to David Chang’s other Momofuku restaurants, might sound like something dreamed up by college students, late at night, in a haze of pungent smoke. But they don’t taste that way. Chef Christina Tosi blends unconventional tastes and textures to produce goodies like crack pie™ (yup, that’s a trademark), kimchi-and-blue cheese croissants, and compost cookies, chockfull of oats, coffee, pretzels, and potato chips. The shakes are equally inventive. You choose a soft serve and a flavored milk from a rotating selection; these days offerings include bbq, creamed corn, cereal milk™, and purple drink. Milk Bar Midtown is open every day, 7 am–12 am, at 15 W 56th Street. Close to the Cooper Square Hotel, Milk Bar East Village is open every day, 9 am–12 am, at 207 Second Avenue.

Shake Shack
From a humble cart has sprung a vast empire, serving some of the city’s best burgers, with the lines to prove it. Shake Shack prepares a mean hand-spun shake, made with signature frozen custard, a top-secret blend of soft serve and ice cream. The wait --- and rest assured, you will have a wait --- is worth it. To replenish the calories you burn standing on line, try the vitamin creamsicle (vanilla custard and orange juice). With five locations around New York City, you’re likely pretty close no matter where you’re staying. We’re partial to the original shack, in Madison Square Park, at Madison Avenue and East 23rd Street (open 11 am–11 pm), near the Gramercy Park Hotel.

Stand
Shakes at Stand come in several separate setups (say that three times fast). First, you have to choose which type you want: classic, in flavors like blueberry pie and banana; gelato, including honey lavender chocolate and the beloved toasted marshmallow; or alcohol, which combines Campari with orange, or bourbon with fresh mint. Then you have to consider size: regular provides a satisfying heft of goodness, but the minis mean you can sample many, rather than just one. Decisions, decisions. Stand is located at 24 East 12th Street, close to the Union Square Inn, and open every day, 12 pm–12 am.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Late Summer Greenmarket Fruits

Greenmarket fruit salad

Grapes, plums, nectarines, pluots, cantaloupe, apples --- it's a great time to be hungry in New York.
i love my roybeart!

Friday, August 27, 2010

New Amsterdam Market

Sara Jenkins, Porchetta, New Amsterdam Market

Lower Manhattan has been home to public markets since the 17th century, but the rise of supermarkets and the transformation of the Financial District into a primarily commercial area drained away their customer base. Now, with the neighborhood rapidly growing in residents and the city still in the throes of the Great Foodie Awakening, the New Amsterdam Market seeks to restore food to its historic place in the public life of Lower Manhattan.

Lobster roll, Luke's Lobster, New Amsterdam Market

Braised beef slider, Jimmy's No. 43, New Amsterdam Market

The market mixes produce, cheese, meat, and wine vendors with stands selling prepared foods. We concentrated on the latter. Our favorite bites of the day: the forget-you-aren't-in-Maine freshness of the lobster roll from Luke's Lobster; the tang of the braised beef, creme fraiche, and arugula slider from Jimmy's No. 43; the peasant-y crunch of the Norwegian ruis bread from Nordic Breads; the seasonal simplicity of the tomuto stecca from Sullivan St. Bakery; and the mix of crisp cracklings and tender pork in Porchetta's eponymous sandwich.

Finnish ruis, Nordic Breads, New Amsterdam Market

Tomuto stecca, Sullivan Street Bakery, New Amsterdam Market

Porchetta sandwich, Porchetta, New Amsterdam Market

Our sweet teeth got a workout as well, courtesy of the Ice Cream Fair taking place. (Before sampling the frozen treats, we cleansed our palates with a bar of dark chocolate with almonds from Mast Brothers. We maintain professional standards, after all.) The sweet corn ice cream from Marlow and Daughters and the currants and cream from Van Leeuwen had us licking our fingers, but the top cone was Roberta's duck egg, lusciously mellow and soft with subtle citrus flavor. We couldn't resist going back for seconds.

Mast Brothers Chocolate, New Amsterdam Market

Sweet corn ice cream, Marlow and Daughters, New Amsterdam Market

Currants and cream ice cream, Van Leeuwen, New Amsterdam Market

Duck egg ice cream, Roberta's, New Amsterdam Market

Braised beef slider, Jimmy's No. 43, New Amsterdam Market

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Heartbreaker at BAM

At the Brooklyn Academy of Music last night, we learned two very important lessons: first, despite what Hollywood leads us to believe, the romantic comedy is not dead, dumb, or skewed too young to be palatable to those old enough to vote. Heartbreaker (L'Arnacoeur) stars Romain Duris as a professional breakup artist named Alex. He seduces women who "don't know they're unhappy" in their relationships --- he won't sleep with them, and he does extensive research to make sure they are in fact unhappy. (He's a man of principles, as he says.) Aided by his sister and her husband, Alex does whatever he has to do to get the ladies to fall for him, including learning Japanese and creating a fake Berber village in Morocco, bringing us to the second lesson of the evening: Alex/Romain doesn't have to work too hard to reel in the ladies. In his skinny Paul Smith suits, with an off-kilter smile and tussled hair, he wowed women onscreen as well as off, during the Q&A that followed. Plenty of men, too.

Alex is hired by a shady but wealthy businessman who wants to break up his daughter's imminent wedding to a seemingly perfect man. The tension intentionally resembles that found in a spy movie or thriller, as well as any number of Billy Wilder films in which the hero and heroine have to extensively test each other before falling in love. Aided by a great soundtrack, Heartbreaker is wonderfully silly (Dirty Dancing plays a pivotal role) and surprisingly dramatic. It's the best romantic comedy we've seen in some time.

In person, Duris, here in town to kick off BAM's series devoted just to him, appeared as charming as his character . On stage with director Pascal Chaumeil and critic Charles Taylor, Duris gamely fielded a string of bizarre man-crush questions, winning the audience with his jokes. (At one point, when the translator tried to help him form an English word he appeared to be struggling with, he admitted that he didn't know the French word either.) With time for only one more question, a young woman in the very back of the sold-out theater threw up her arm. "What's your favorite restaurant in New York?" Duris laughed. "I know this," he said. "Blue Ribbon. It's amazing." He flapped his hand back and forth at the wrist, as if to say 'hot stuff.' As everyone laughed, another woman shouted, "Will you be there tonight?"

Photo: thanks

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Red Hook Street Art

Red Hook Street Art

Red Hook Street Art

Red Hook Street Art

Red Hook Street Art

Red Hook Street Art

Red Hook Street Art

Red Hook Street Art

Red Hook Street Art

Red Hook Street Art

Red Hook Street Art

Red Hook Street Art

Red Hook Street Art

Red Hook Street Art

Red Hook Street Art

Red Hook Street Art

Red Hook Street Art

Red Hook Street Art

Red Hook Street Art

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