Tag Archives: NYC

La Hoja Announces Cigar Dinners at Florio’s Ristorante (New York)

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Smoke gets in your eyes, not really this is every cigar afficionado & foodie dream come true!

FineTobaccoNYC

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The immensely popular Hoja de Flores announced recently that it will be throwing a number of cigar events at the famed Florio’s Ristorante, which was closed for some time but has now reopened. For those of you who haven’t smoked Hoja de Flores cigars, they are fantastic Dominican puros with exceptional smoothness and fantastic construction – we reviewed them for you here. The cigar events are every 1st and 3rd Tuesday from 7-10pm. All of the event specifics are below:

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Where I’ve Been

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Where I’ve Been

This isn’t some stuffy essay (er…blog) about How I Spent My Christmas Vacation, on the contrary, it will be a very honest account of how many times I went up and down Fifth Ave in NYC, looking at all the Christmas window displays!  Let’s not forget how many times I stared at Rockefeller Plaza, gawking at the ice skaters, amazed at the Christmas Tree. Never mind all the lights on the tree, but all the tourists whose smiles were brighter than the season itself.  Spectacular. The break-dancers amazed, and were extra sweet, hugging me when I joyfully shouted, “Merry Christmas from New York”!

I couldn’t get enough, I was like….well a kid at Christmas!

St Patrick’s Cathedral captured my heart as well, with as many visits as possible, and visiting the famous crèche, albeit, the Baby Jesus was in its cradle Christmas Day (not before).  I visited every Saint, and marveled at all the prayer candles lit by the faithful, and the curious; then there was the Virgin of Guadalupe brimming with so many flowers, that the mere aroma intoxicated the alter with at least a thousand fragrance.  The special chapel devoted to Miraculous Mary, allows no pictures, and is almost silent with reverence when the Rosary is not taking place.  Every one had a special request at this  church, a Cathedral, but my presence was only to say one thing.

Thank You for letting me see another Christmas, and Holiday Season, in the craziest, most dynamic, diversified, beautiful city that I called home for most of my life!  Gratitude.  Total respect.  Organic?  Yes, organic.  The reason I shout out about organic was a trip to the hospital, after finding out that I had renal failure; not one kidney failed, but two (of course NYers have to go all the way)!

No one knows how my disease came about, except that stress is a killer, and at times silently catching up to all our hard work, and efforts.  So, I say to you that seeing NYC at Christmas was as marvelous, as being given a second chance at life, especially to shout out about organics, everything that you eat, drink, and stress out about.

Of course, I was with many helpful friends this past year (what I call my recovery year); people came out of no where, as though guided by my very Angels to speak to me, and teach me about my best approach to health.  If you didn’t know, kidney disease doesn’t just go away, it’s something that hangs around to remind you of your new limitations.  Eventually, if you get the right doses of rest, relax, and more, you will start to feel better; and those whopping episodes of fatigue will in themselves, perhaps become a memory of the past.

My Doctors,  who I owe so many thanks, an incredible team that will always be in my heart (I hope to inspire them about meditating, and the values of  organics),  and who are still part of my well care health regimen.  I learned so much from those guys, and what a humble bunch they are!

Whether I was at Bryant Park, Brooklyn, my old college, having a reunion with my BFF from high school, at every single moment I was at a very special place, called gratitude.

The Soda Jerk vs The Barista

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Back in the day, when drug stores occupied the neighborhood corners, as staples of the landscape and the need of the community, there was a job vacancy known as the Soda Jerk. Not so much that the neighbor’s kid applying was a jerk, but more like they would need a strong arm to jerk the soda machine, you see! It was the landscape that Edward Hopper painted about, the neighborhood that we came to know as home.

The Corner Drug Store was indeed a diner as well, where you could meet up with friends, or go for a bit of solitude when reading the Sunday paper you just bought, sound familiar?  If so, you probably have caught on to my catchy title.  Really many things could be said, but  the importance of coffee in our society, has replaced the Soda Jerk with The Barista!  When was an egg cream replaced by a capuccino mocha? I don’t know, but it’s worth finding out.  How did our needs change so drastically?  Wasn’t coffee considered something to drink at meetings, business conferences, other serious stuff, and not much fun!  After all, the soda jerk was not only responsible for jerking the soda arm to pour the fountain drink, he (I’ve never seen a woman soda jerk) was to make it look like fun, creating a show in the process.  People went to the counter to get an Italian Soda, but also to see a show!  And if Hopper didn’t do it for you, check out Norman Rockwell‘s rendition in the Saturday Evening Post!

Rockwell even got the dog, and it seems mesmerized too.   Admiration!   The Soda Jerk had admiration,  meaning he probably had to work his way up, to that coveted position of ample clout.  Lets remember that the soda machine itself represented uncharted territories, it was new, and few had seen drinks being made this way before.  Importantly, the soda machine was to embody what our Nation represented; a forward thinking, innovative place, where we could all flourish (and enjoy it)!  There was comfort, in knowing we could be home, and be excited about it because we could expect the best there.

Let’s come all the way to todays Coffee Shops.  Obviously, the Corner Drug store had to separate its services.  New laws, stipulations, and mandatory guidelines required different, and changing roles of the once corner (and counter) hang out.  Our neighborhoods were changing too.  Moms went to work, kids went to day care, Grandma and Grandpa became nudists (they even joined a colony)!  With the movement of society into the “me” individualistic age, the need to socialize at a level of conformity became obselete.  Jane didn’t want to run, and Jack had to climb his own hills (all by himself).  Jill was getting a mani & pedi!

That had to be it, the change in our habits to more individualized focus!  The “I’m ok, You’re ok” mindset had prevailed, created out of a need to grow.

Poor Soda Jerk! Gone just like that! Out of a job! Never to look back seeing the same landscape, in their own heighborhood. Ouch, that hurt!  With time, all things must change, and change they did, sort of!

Today we have a Happy Barista, a throw back to the days of behind the counter services, but autonomously individualisticly pouring great coffee, with a flair.  Once again, can we confine ourselves to our neighborhood cafes, mingling with neighbors, and friends.

The role of The Barista has become one of not “just” service but one that provides knowledge about coffee; becoming a professional in his/her own realm of creativity as well.  With an apron tied around, one can’t help but feel that this is serious business, enjoyment is inevitable when you taste the finely brewed cup (or glass) of perhaps flavor infused cafe!  Enjoying as many varieties as possible, everyday is a new discovery; whether your everyday cup of joe is

organic, blended, cappuccino, espresso, or maybe even tea! There is also a show of sorts, a pretty one.  Oh yes, pretty!  Coffee is pretty, when out of the froth pictures are created!

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There is the wi-fi service which keep you connected, conferencing, or tweeting (actually you could do all at the same time), while reading the paper you just got emailed.  Good thing is, you can stay as long as you want, maybe things haven’t changed that much!

Images Courtesy of : Bing Images (LarryFresch, Hospitality Connections, Miss Wangy /Underground)

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July 4th, NYC Style

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“Hot Time In The City” HAPPY JULY 4TH 2012!!!

A Touch of Yellow in NYC

Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays.  “Summer in the city…”

It is also the day that I kick back and see the world in a different way.  It’s a day I seriously “people watch” as you will find many wonderful things going on all around you.

Children acting without a care in the world-just relishing the  joy of being a child.  Families laughing, playing games, having picnics together.

It is also a day for hot dog lovers.  Enter Nathan’s International Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island.

Last 4th of July, I braved the beaches and crowds of Coney Island.  Little did I know what lie ahead.  I parked myself on a bench and watched through my camera lens.  Fascinating. But then again, people watching always is….

I then ventured down to the waters edge.  And walked toward the main beach.  As I got closer and…

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Regina Spektor — “What We Saw From the Cheap Seats”

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I feel the energy by reading the first paragrah, Who Wants More Coffee?

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Blooming Spektor
By Eric Webb

A brief, inarguable list of the best things from or tangentially related to Russia:

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5. Laika

4. Vodka tonics

3. Glasnost

2. Zangief from Street Fighter

1. Regina Spektor

Born in Russia and transplanted to New York as a kid, Miss Spektor is a force of nature. There is no point in denying this. I’ve been hooked since she was just a VH1 Artist You Oughta Know; I played “Fidelity” and “Us” on loop in the ice cream shop I worked at in college; at 18, I listened to “Samson” in the car late at night, engrossed. How do you draw up a comparison to describe her? She’s virtuosic on the piano, her voice glides effortlessly from “sweet pixie” to “sonic equivalent of Ivan Drago” to “onomatopoeia,” and her lyrics contain breathtaking storytelling. In live shows, she often uses a wooden chair as…

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