5/22/15

Buy a Cookie from Your Favorite Broadway Star

Disclosure: I LOVE Schmakary's. I've tried at least half of their cookie flavors and merely walking into their shop and inhaling the aromas of fresh-baked cookies makes me smile. I also love their strong ties to the local Broadway community.

Schmackary's Logo

So it only makes sense that if they were going to do a fundraiser, it would be for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS--a wonderful organization that practically all of the Broadway productions get behind twice a year to raise money for people afflicted with the terrible disease.

Join them for the third annual BROADWAY BAKES 2015, and come watch your favorite Broadway stars play cookie peddlers just for you! From May 25-29, 2015, from 3-7pm, over 20 of the biggest names on Broadway (Audra McDonald came last year!) will join together to work behind the counter at Schmackary’s selling delicious cookies.

Half the proceeds from cookies sales and 100-percent of the tips generated while the Broadway stars are working at Schmackary’s will go directly to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Over the last 2 years, this event has helped raise more than $25,000 for the organization.

Here are some photos from last year:

Schmakary's Broadway Bakes 2014


Schmakary's Broadway Bakes 2014



Schmackary's on Urbanspoon

5/15/15

Sneak a Peek into the New 190 Bowery Tomorrow

I'm a sucker for NYC architecture, especially when talking about old-timey buildings with substantial, and often grungy history. If you have lived in the city over the past decade, at least, and EVER walked down the Bowery, you will have undoubtedly noticed 190 Bowery in all its graffitied glory.

Photo credit: Gothamist
But if you have walked down NYC's old skid row lately, you will also stumbled over the fact that this building has been buffed of all of its colorful vandalism. The gorgeous old 190 Bowery, formerly Germania Bank, has been a private residence of photographer Jay Maisel for the past 5 decades. But it was recently sold to a developer and is being converted into an office space.

For those curious lookie-loos and architecture appreciators alike, this Saturday from 5-8pm, the new owner, developer/art collector Aby Rosen, will open the doors of the historic building to the public. So sneak a peek and let us know what you think!

5/14/15

Party with DoNYC and Jack Daniel's Tonight!

DoNYC and Jack Daniel’s have teamed up to host some awesome events lately and their last and 4th one is tonight, Thursday, May 14th!

DoNYC and Jack Daniels Event Flyer

Doors open at 8pm for live performances by SKATERS, Team Spirit, and The Bergamot, plus a DJ set by Justin Miller, amazing custom video-mapped art installation by Rhizome NYC, and photo booth by the Self-Portrait Project.

Must be 21+ with valid ID for entry. RSVP here for location details.


5/13/15

Posh Up Your Closet at the Lighthouse Guild's Annual Posh Sale

Is your Spring wardrobe looking a little sparse? If so (or even if it's bulging at the seams), check out the Lighthouse Guild's annual POSH Sale this week for some amazing deals on fashionable finds.

Lighthouse Guild Posh Sale

Kicking off on today, Wednesday, May 13the POSH Sale, is a 4-day event featuring thousands of new and gently worn couture and ready-to-wear designer clothing, shoes and accessories at unbelievable prices! (We’re talking Louboutin stilettos, vintage Chanel coats, brand new dresses from M Missoni and couture Oscar de la Renta gowns for just a fraction of the cost!). I've personally scored some great deals here over the years (disclosure: my office is in the Lighthouse Guild building), and recommend this sale to all of my friends.




All items are donated by stylish New Yorkers, celebrities and top designers themselves, and all proceeds benefit Lighthouse Guild; the leading not-for-profit vision and health care organization.

The sale starts with a not-to-be-missed special preview event today (tickets are $200, which include a 4-day pass and a $50 gift card), with public hours on Thursday, May 14th through Sunday, May 17th ($30 for a 4-day pass or $10 per daily ticket). All items are available at 110 E. 60th Street on a first come, first serve basis, so it’s highly recommended that you go early.
                       
To purchase tickets and view a selection of sale items, visit poshsale.org or call (212) 821-9445.

5/12/15

Recap: Art Strut 2015 Brought Together Soho Galleries and I Won Art!

I don't really need an excuse to wander around SoHo looking at art and drinking wine, but Art Strut 2015 gave me a reason to do just that last week.

Sponsored by lifestyle website Soho Strut, Art Strut reminded me of the once-upon-a-time community event Fashion's Night Out, but swapping fine arts for fashion and in a smaller sect of the city. My friend and I began at LUMAS (362 West Broadway), where we were greeted with refreshingly chilled white wine and a rocking performance by La La Lush. I loved the art at LUMAS because it was seemingly affordable and all pieces required no framing and were ready to hang.

LUMAS Art Gallery
LUMAS Gallery

La La Lush at LUMAS Art Gallery
La La Lush

Next stop was LIK Gallery (419 West Broadway) where we were enthralled with the travel and landscape photography of Peter Lik. I seriously wanted to head straight home, pack my bag, and grab a passport after being inspired by some of Lik's pieces. We also enjoyed the musical stylings of Jana Pelle and sipped on oaky chardonnay.

LIK Gallery SoHo
LIK Gallery

Jana Pelle at LIK Gallery SoHo
Jana Pelle

Stop number three was Martin-Lawrence Galleries (457 West Broadway) where we closed down the show--gallery hopping ended at 8--and listened to Benny Oyama sing some tunes.


Martin Lawrence Galleries
Martin Lawrence Galleries

Benny Oyama at Martin Lawrence Galleries
Benny Oyama

Then it was time to pick up our tickets in the form of limited-edition Moleskine notebooks...don't mind if I do!

Limited-edition Moleskine Art Strut Notebooks
Limited-edition Art Strut Moleskine Notebook

The party continued over at the pop-up gallery featuring local artists Barbara Thomas, Zuzanna Kozlowska, Linda Mason, Zigi Ben Haim and Laura Kaplan and live music by Cat, Cat, Cat, KT Mulholland and Lily Lane. Wine and whiskey was provided by The Handy Liquor Bar (where we also hung out at the after party).

Pop-up Art Gallery

Pop-up Art Gallery

There was also a silent auction benefitting ACE Programs for the Homeless, and I absolutely LOVE silent auctions--something about the rush, winning, and benefitting a good cause I guess.

Silent Auction (I loved the rose!)

I got in a bit of a bidding war over Rüdiger J. Vogel's Jetty, but ended up winning! I can't wait to hang it up at home and have a fun reminder of an "Awesome in New York" night.

Rüdiger J. Vogel's Jetty
Rüdiger J. Vogel's Jetty
I won the silent auction!
I won the silent auction!
Stay tuned for more Soho Strut events--on Thursday, May 14th from 7-9pm, they are hosting 'Cocktails & Conversations' at The Handy Liquor Bar. Tickets are $20 are and include a cocktail.

5/11/15

AWESOME ALERT: Free Coffee from CUPS All Week Long!

Attention coffee fanatics: NYC coffee app CUPS is celebrating its first anniversary in the city and giving away free java all week long!

Free coffee in NYC with Cups this week

Check their Facebook page all week for details on which coffee shoppes around the city will fuel your caffeine addiction (20 each day!) and click here to download the app and top yourself off with a $10 credit to be used after this promotion ends.

AWESOME GIVEAWAY: 2 Tickets to Sway: A Dance Trilogy

I'll admit to not watching Dancing With the Stars religiously since I was in high school, but every now and again I'll catch an episode and am always blown away by the professionals' routines. This June, you will be able to experience ballroom dancing live, on-stage at Dance With Me presents “SWAY:  A Dance Trilogy.”

SWAY: A Dance Trilogy

TV dance personalities including Maksim and Val Chmerkovskiy, Tony Dovolani, Peta Murgatroyd, Emma Slater, Artem Chigvintsev, Henry Byalikov, Jenna Johnson, and Serge Onik will perform with guest stars Olympic gold medalist Meryl Davis and world-class snowboarder Amy Purdy for 3 performances only at the Hammerstein Ballroom (311 W 34th St) on June 5 and 6, 2015.

Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Meryl Davis
Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Meryl Davis

SWAY is divided into three parts, each anchored by one of the stars of the show. You will be whisked through the timeless elegance of ballroom’s golden era, to modern dance fusion of today’s urban youth, climaxing with the heart pounding rhythms of the Latin night club scene. The show also features innovative choreography from two of ballrooms’ emerging standout artists: Joao Tiago Fernandes and David Thomas Moore.

VIP ticket holders will meet the entire cast and mingle with the celebrity performers at the exclusive post-show meet & greet, and Saturday night’s official afterparty.

All tickets can be purchased here.

Good news! I'm giving away a pair of tickets to the Friday June 5th performance at 7:30 pm. To enter, please use the rafflecopter giveaway form below. Be sure to follow all instructions, as those who do not leave the required comment on this blog will be disqualified.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

5/8/15

Mommy & Me Mani/Pedis are the Way to Go This Sunday

Nothing goes with Mother's Day more than manicures and pink lemonade, and UES spa Milk and Cookies (1196 1st Ave at 64th Street) knows that.

Mother's Day Mommy and Me Manicures at Milk and Cookies Kids Spa

Join them for mommy and me pink lemonade spa manicures and pedicures this Sunday May 10 from 11am - 5pm for $44 a person. You and your little mini me deserve some downtime after all!

5/7/15

Turn Up for Tone House

If you've ever worked out at Tone House, you know they mean business! So one can only expect that their 1-year anniversary party will also unleash your inner party beast.

Tone House Anniversary Party

Join them on Thursday May 14th for an open bar, passed hors d'oeuvres, and an awesome raffle at the Ainsworth Chelsea (122 W. 26th Street) to celebrate 1 full year of unleashing inner athletes on the turf! Tickets are $25/person, and will be available for purchase at the door, with proceeds benefitting Memorial Sloan Kettering. RSVP to rsvp@tonehousenyc.com by Saturday May 9.

5/6/15

Skip Around SoHo with Art Strut 2015

Missing some art in your life? The folks at Soho Strut want to change that with some razzle dazzle.


Tomorrow night (5/7) from 6-10pm is the first annual Art Strut. From 6-8pm, over 20 galleries will be open to the public for free, many with live music and wine from The Handy Liquor Bar. Main galleries include AFA, Peter LIK, LUMAS, Martin Lawrence, and Michael Ingbar, but the full list can be found here.


Then the fun begins. From 7-10pm, there will be a pop-up gallery featuring local artists and a silent art auction to benefit ACE Programs for the Homeless. Pick up your ticket at Moleskine (436 West Broadway) or 28 Wooster Street, which includes a commemorative Art Strut notebook!


Tickets for the pop-up gallery are $35 and are available here. The live music schedule for the event is as follows:
7-8pm – Cat Cat Cat
8:15-9:15pm – KT Mulholland
9:30-10pm – Lily Lane
I'll be there bopping around. Anyone else planning on joining? Tell me what your favorite galleries are!

5/5/15

AWESOME ALERT: Win 2 Very Important Eater Tickets to Harlem Eatup!

Head's up food lovers! I just got an alert for a ticket giveaway for Harlem Eatup

Win Tickets for Harlem Eat Up

This event takes place over May 14-17 and will include chefs like Marcus Samuelsson of The Red Rooster in Harlem as well as Jonathan Barbuto and Ken Oringer. The giveaway is for 2 VIE (Very Important Eater) tickets (valued at $175 each) and includes the following:

  • One(1) ticket to The Experience at The Stroll on Sat, May 16, 12pm (access to the tasting tents for unlimited sampling, culinary demonstrations, and food carts, PLUS Meet & Greet photo moments with visiting celebrity chefs and TV personalities)
  • One (1) EATS package for Sunday Afternoon In Harlem on Sun, May 17, 12pm (includes ten (10) tickets for food and non-alcoholic beverages only)
Enter here! (Note: this giveaway is in no way sponsored or affiliated with Awesome in New York)

What You Missed at Thrillist's 2015 Taco Knockout

Remember when I told you about an epic taco event taking place this past weekend? Well, it was flipping fantastic and indeed epic.

Thrillist Taco Knockout pinataThrillist Taco Knockout event


Thrillist's 2015 Taco Knockout drew more than 600 people to the Hudson Hotel's Tequila Park Taqueria on Saturday May 2. There were pinatas and sombreros and tons to eat with 10 different tacos from NYC restaurants all competing for the acclaimed Taco Knockout belt. 

The 2014 Taco Knockout belt
Armed with empty stomaches, my pals and I had a mission to try all 10 in the 4 hours we were allotted and we felt the mission was more than doable. We were given our cocktail tickets and a fancy blue chip in which to vote for our favorite.


First things first...Milagro cocktails! I tried the "Freshest Margarita" while my friends sipped on the "Paloma Milagrosa."

Milagro cocktails at the Thrillist Taco Knockout event

Margarita at the Thrillist Taco Knockout event

Then we got right down to it. Here's the listing of tacos in the order we tried them and our thoughts on their merits:

Chef Alfonso Ruiz & Chef Tom Casatelli’s Sunset Pork with chipotle pineapple pork, pickled jalapeno corn tortilla, picked red onion & chipotle crema: This creation from Ho'Brah was a fairly standard taco, but delicious nonetheless. The meat was cooked nicely but the flavor combination was nothing special.

Sunset Pork Taco from Ho'Brah
Sunset Pork Taco from Ho'Brah
Chef Robert Cho’s Cho Nut Taco with smoked brisket, bacon, smoked kimchi, bourbon chipotle sauce, cheddar cheese, fried ramen crumble on a buttered fried tortilla with powdered sugar: This was a real flavor explosion from the chefs at Kimchi Smoke. They combined traditional Korean flavors with downhome-style BBQ deliciousness. The powdered sugar and fried ramen crumbles were unexpected yet welcome.

Cho Nut Taco from Kimchi Smoke
Cho Nut Taco from Kimchi Smoke
Tequila Park Taqueria Executive Chef Geoff Rudaw’s Chicken Vindaloo Taco with mango chutney, raita & crispy mee krob noodles: This was my favorite hands down and the one I voted for. I love it when flavor combinations from different ends of the world meet and this taco epitomized that concept. The only thing we wanted was a bit more heat.

Chicken Vindaloo Taco from Tequila Park Taqueria
Chicken Vindaloo Taco from Tequila Park Taqueria
Executive Chef Jesús Nuñez’s Taco y Olé with beef oxtail, fried egg cream, piquillo pepper, crispy jamon Serrano, herbs and pickled veggies: This taco, from Socarrat Paella Bar was another flavor fusion. We also appreciated how colorful it was, and I was a big fan of how the sauces mixed well in each individual bite.

Taco y Olé
Taco y Olé from Socarrat Paella Bar
Chefs & Owners Eduard Fraundeer & Wolfgang Ben’s Crispy Chicken Schnitzel Taco with ramp remoulade, radish and Austrian pumpkinseed salsa: "I love ramps," my friend exclaimed as she took a bite into this taco. The chefs from Edi & The Wolf really threw a curve ball with this taco, both because it was the first hard shell we had tasted and also because...schnitzel!?! It was much enjoyed, especially because of the ramps.

Crispy Chicken Schnitzel Taco from Edi & The Wolf
Crispy Chicken Schnitzel Taco from Edi & The Wolf
Chef Thomas Kelly’s Smoky Carnitas Tacos with manchego, crispy tortilla strips, corn salsa & creamy chipotle: Food truck cum storefront Mexicue went all-out comfort food with their taco. All together I thought it tasted reminiscent of a cheeseburger, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. My only complaint about this taco was how much liquid spilled out whenever I tried to take a bite. Definitely not something to eat on a first date.

Smoky Carnitas Tacos from Mexicue
Smoky Carnitas Taco from Mexicue
Chef Barry Frish​’s Buffalo Chicken Taquitos with family secret buffalo sauce and bleu cheese/ranch dip: When we first saw these creations from Taquitoria, a conversation was instantly sparked on the glories of Costco taquitos my friends and I apparently both devoured in middle school (those were the days). These babies were served with a combination sauce that had a bit of a big kick. The glory of the dipping sauce was though that you could control how much you wanted. Thanks for the walk down memory lane Taquitoria!

Buffalo Chicken Taquitos from Taquitoria
Buffalo Chicken Taquitos from Taquitoria
Executive Chef Adrian Ramirez’s Mahi Mahi BLT Taco with grilled mahi mahi, chipotle-piloncillo bacon, shredded lettuce, lime pico de gallo, agave cilantro aioli: Frankly, I'm surprised we didn't see more fish tacos. This version from La Esquina was perfect for me and almost earned my vote although my friends thought it was a bit too spicy. The thing that most impressed me about this taco was that the chefs were making the tortillas right in front of us. Talk about fresh!

Mahi Mahi BLT Taco from La Equina
Mahi Mahi BLT Taco from La Equina
Executive Chef Sasha Shor’s House-Cured Smoked Pork Belly Taco with poblano lime ranch and hot pink pickled onions: Talk about flavor! This taco from Tres Carnes was the ultimate in mega-rich taco with homemade pork belly that melted in your mouth. I also got a kick out of the hot pink onions.

House-Cured Pork Belly Taco from Tres Carnes
House-Cured Pork Belly Taco from Tres Carnes
Executive Chef Brian Tsao’s Beef Bulgogi Tacos with wonton skins, Asian pear, kimchi slaw, toasted sesame & scallion: Last but not least, this taco from Mira Sushi & Izakaya wins the award for most likely not a taco, but it was still good anyway. The crispy wonton shell gave it an interesting flair and the beef was flavorful.

Beef Bulgogi Taco from Mira Sushi & Izakaya
Beef Bulgogi Taco from Mira Sushi & Izakaya
Other scrumptious food items available throughout the event were super-creamy guacamole from Rosa Mexicano and all sorts of churros (some with bacon bits and dulce de leche and there was even a chocolate fountain!).
Guacamole from Rosa Mexicano
Guacamole from Rosa Mexicano
Churros
Churros!
There was also fantastic entertainment by DJ Dirty Digits, percussionist Jimmy Lopez and flash mob performances by the Northeast’s finest mariachi band, Mariachi Tapatio de Alvaro Paulino and folkloric dance group Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Nueva York. 

Mariachi Tapatio de Alvaro Paulino
Mariachi Tapatio de Alvaro Paulino
Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Nueva York
Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Nueva York
Where can I get one of those dresses?

As the event wrapped up and everyone yearned for their stretch pants, Mexicue was awarded the 2015 Thrillist Taco Knockout belt for their Smoky Carnitas Taco.


Chef Barry Frish from Mexicue wins the Taco Knockout
Chef Barry Frish from Mexicue wins the Taco Knockout
And lastly, here are some snaps of my and my friends with our taco-eating hats on...literally :)

Friends at Thrillist's Taco Knockout

Friends at Thrillist's Taco Knockout

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone! Celebrate responsibly, please!