Friday, February 28, 2014

Bushwick Collective Update

PRVRT, Bushwick

New-to-us work at Bushwick Collective.

Icy & Sot, Buff Monster, Case, Bushwick Five Points

Bushwick Five Points

Bushwick Five Points

Bushwick Five Points

Bushwick Five Points

Bushwick Five Points

Bushwick Five Points

Bushwick Five Points

Bushwick Five Points

Bushwick Five Points

Bushwick Five Points

Bushwick Five Points

Bushwick Five Points

Bushwick Five Points
  

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Cascalote

Mata cuatro, Cascalote

"Family-run" like "locavore" is one of those designations that tend to get slapped onto a place with very little thought or even evidence. But Cascalote, a Latin bistro in East Harlem, really merits the first. On a recent frigid Saturday, we were served lunch by daughter #1 while dad manned the grill in the kitchen, coming into the dining area periodically to check on our progress through a monster plate of incredibly moist, Peruvian-style roasted chicken. Given the size of the thing, he made an awful lot of trips.

Mind you, this was after our server had brought us complimentary bowls of yogurt and granola. "My dad wants you to have this," she said as she put the plates down. Fine by us!

About halfway into our lunch, a construction crew wandered in. One guy had eaten at Cascalote the day before, served by daughter #2, and raved about it to his buddies. Like us, they got an overstuffed burrito, ours with shrimp, rice, beans, and tomatoes.

Family has been on our minds recently. And, at the risk of being hyperbolic, this lunch stuffed our bellies as well as our souls.

Shrimp burrito, Cascalote
  

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Maya Hayuk Mural at Bowery and Houston

Maya Hayuk, Bowery and Houston

At the corner of Bowery and Houston, Maya Hayuk has banished the dreary grays of winter.

Maya Hayuk, Bowery and Houston

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

CBS New York: Best Places for Pupusas

Hey everyone, we're also writing about New York for CBS New York. Periodically we'll link to content here that we produced there.


The traditional Salvadoran dish known as a pupusa is a thick corn tortilla that comes stuffed with cheese, pork, beans, or other fillings. On top of that goes tomato salsa and a spoonful of curtido (cabbage slaw with vinegar and chiles). Here are our five favorite pupusa makers in the city [read more].

CBS New York: Best Men's Spas

Hey everyone, we're also writing about New York for CBS New York. Periodically we'll link to content here that we produced there.


While several spas around the city welcome those with Y-chromosomes, some men might prefer to go to a spa specifically designed for guys. Herewith, our five favorites [read more].

Monday, February 24, 2014

Tina and Amy: Last Night in Paradise at Frigid New York




We're kind of in love with FRIGID New York, an annual festival of plays that runs until Sunday, and not just because the PR person gave us free tickets to Tina and Amy: Last Night in Paradise.

We like the festival's scrapiness, the way you might bump into one of the performers while waiting in line for the bathroom or the way the performers might incorporate cleaning up the stage for the next show into their own play. As for Tina and Amy, it had its moments. Like Matt and Ben, this play looks at two famous friends before they were famous. The jokes make or break a show like this, and Tina and Amy lands more than enough ("You know who else is blonde? Hillary goddamn Clinton." "It's pronounced Rodham!") to be worth applauding. We weren't quite as taken with the effort to underscore the real conflicts at the center of the story --- female friends being pulled apart by different life trajectories, ambition colliding with reality --- via a meta-theatrical turn in which the cast's own lives bubble to the surface, but that's a minor complaint when stacked against the show's elbow-grease charms.

photo: thanks

Friday, February 21, 2014

City as Canvas at the MCNY

City as Canvas at Museum of the City of New York

The City as Canvas exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York takes visitors back to a time when street art first emerged in a serious way in New York, amidst the disorder and desperation of the 1970s and 80s. It reminds us that although street artist is now a semi-reputable and occasionally even lucrative profession, it began with kids just trying to leave their mark on the world. 

City as Canvas at Museum of the City of New York

City as Canvas at Museum of the City of New York

City as Canvas at Museum of the City of New York

City as Canvas at Museum of the City of New York

City as Canvas at Museum of the City of New York

City as Canvas at Museum of the City of New York

City as Canvas at Museum of the City of New York

City as Canvas at Museum of the City of New York

City as Canvas at Museum of the City of New York

City as Canvas at Museum of the City of New York

City as Canvas at Museum of the City of New York
  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Umami Burger

Original burger, Umami Burger

Much fuss was made when beloved West Coast flavor emporium Umami Burger flung open its doors in Greenwich Village last year. There were lines, there was hand-wringing, there were thousands of stamped buns

Aside from a hint of umami, the burgers tasted like pretty good versions of burgers --- that is, not that special. The original (top) benefited from a lacy circle of fried Parmesan and a sweet, umami-soaked roasted tomato, while the truffle (bottom) had garlic aioli and truffle cheese. But hey, a pretty good burger is always worth celebrating. 

Trüffel burger, Umami Burger
  

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

R.I.P. Philip Seymour Hoffman


Friday, February 14, 2014

CBS New York: 5 Best Spots for Arepas

Hey everyone, we're also writing about New York for CBS New York. Periodically we'll link to content here that we produced there.


At the heart of Venezuelan cooking is the humble arepa, a dense cornmeal cake that can be filled or topped or dipped or eaten plain. The restaurants listed below serve some of the best arepas in the city. Make sure to order a cocada too, a coconut milkshake topped with cinnamon all but guaranteed to banish winter blues [read more].

Thursday, February 13, 2014

REKA Mural in Bushwick

REKA
 
Any brave souls roaming around Bushwick today probably wouldn't see this Reka mural, given that it's snowing, like, 6 inches per minute for what feels like the 20th time this year. But we digress: there is a mural out there that looks like this, and a sky that will eventually look like that again.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Hot Chocolate Festival at City Bakery

Hot chocolate, Cafe Savoy, Prague
 
Every February, City Bakery ups its drinking chocolate ante (which was already pretty great) by offering a special second option as part of its Hot Chocolate Festival. Last weekend we had the caramel, which was like drinking the top half of a Milky Way, and today we just might pop over for a pistachio hot chocolate. No matter what, we'll get a homemade marshmallow on the side and a major sugar rush all over.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Human Relations Books

Human Relations Books

The recent news reports about the resurgence of independent bookstores have warmed our hearts, as has the latest example of the trend, Human Relations Books in Bushwick. The prices are low, the shelves lining the cozy space strain and creak under an ample and diverse selection that rewards patient browsing (an illustrated pocket edition of Call of the Wild from 1949, anyone?), and, during our visit, the shoeless clerk seemed to be listening to Derry Murbles. What more could you ask for?
  

Friday, February 07, 2014

Lucky Cat Ramen

Nagoya ramen, Lucky Cat Ramen

Whatever else you might say about midtown, it offers no shortage of places to get ramen, perhaps the ultimate winter comfort food. Newly opened Lucky Cat Ramen features a ginormous lucky cat in the window, steaming bowls of noodles, and sweet-spicy edamame, along with other izakaya treats. (The owners also run beloved HinoMaru in Astoria.)

The nagoya ramen (top photo) mixes ground chicken, thin nooldles, and cilantro in a chili oil-inflected broth, while the lucky cat ramen offers pork slices in pork broth, a carnivore's delight. Few things feel as elemental as putting meat in liquid, and we're happy to welcome another such restaurant to the fray.

Spicy edamame, Lucky Cat Ramen

Lucky cat ramen, Lucky Cat Ramen
  

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Nychos Mural in Bushwick

Nychos

A year that showed us the inner workings of the human mistreatment of orcas also shows us the inner workings of an orca itself, thanks to Nychos.

Monday, February 03, 2014

CBS New York: Best Skating Rinks

Hey everyone, we're also writing about New York for CBS New York. Periodically we'll link to content here that we produced there.  



Ice skating is easy: you strap on some skates, and just go. OK, OK, so maybe ice skating is harder than it sounds. At the rinks below, you’ll join native and non-native New Yorkers as they glide, spin, jump, and, yes, even wipe out [read more].

CBS New York: Best Sledding in NYC

Hey everyone, we're also writing about New York for CBS New York. Periodically we'll link to content here that we produced there.  


Earlier this month, WNYC put together a crowdsourced map of the best sledding spots in New York City. Anyone with a camera and a computer could tag a hill for the benefit of all. In that spirit, we offer our five favorite sledding areas throughout the five boroughs [read more].

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