Happy New Year! I haven’t meant to be away so long, 2015 has not been kind to my electronics – both my phone broke AND my computer charger gave out within the first two weeks of this year! Needless to say I really needed a pick me up (that didn’t include me angrily playing Wii Boxing). So when I received the invitation to a preview of Henri on Fifth in Brooklyn, I gladly accepted.
Now, I can already hear it – “Brooklyn?! Traitor!” cue the angry mob. But I promise, if there’s a restaurant in Brooklyn you should make a field trip to, it’s this place.
Its cozy ambiance and plethora of board games are the key ingredients that make Henri on Fifth a great place to catch up with friends (and beat them at all the games!) Combine this with an amazing menu consisting of classic American and internationally-inspired fare such as Sriracha deviled eggs, Banh mini tacos, and The Classic grilled cheese with a tomato bisque shooter and you’ve got yourself a winner.
If you enjoy boozing it up as much as I do (which is a lot), be sure to try the Rhubarb 1969 and Whiskey Games, which feature fresh lime and fruity liquor.
Best of all, most Bronxites can take the train straight down to the Barclay’s Center stop without having to transfer. Field trip made easy.
Since graduating from grad school in May, it feels like I gained back a huge part of my social life, which is an unbelievable feeling. During my new found freedom, I have actually been able to read for fun again. Though I won’t meet my Goodreads goal of 50 books read in 2014, I have been slowly chipping away at it.
I recently had the chance to check out a new book titled Under the Bridge: The East 238th Street Graffiti Hall of Fame . The book features photography of Paul “Cavs” Cavalieri, which documents decades of graffiti underneath the 238th Street bridge which connects Woodlawn and Wakefield.
Cavalieri’s photographs are so vibrant and give readers insight to a world of art many of us who are not part of the scene have never been exposed to before. It’s also great to see through the perspective of a graffiti artist himself. Further, not only do they show a vast variety of tags and artwork representative of the diverse artists who frequented the area, but brief anecdotes throughout the book provide background knowledge that really puts the photographs into context.
The one that struck me most was the story of Michael (Mars) Dugan, who at 14, was walking along with his friends atop a wooden fence above the Metro North tracks, when he slipped and tried to save himself by grabbing wires, which ended up electrocuting him. Reading this tragic story and seeing his tag on the very next page struck a chord with me, because I often find myself marveling, particularly at graffiti that’s on high locations or in subways, but sometimes forgetting how dangerous and risky it can be.
If you couldn’t tell, I definitely recommend checking out the book, available wherever it is you buy your books.
Note: This book was given to me by the awesome people at Schiffer Publishing to review and all views expressed are entirely mine.
More stores are opening in the Mall at Bay Plaza just in time for the holiday shopping season! (but remember to support our small businesses, too!) Famous Footwear is one of the latest to open up at the mall and they’re throwing a pretty cool grand opening event.
Read below for information:
To celebrate the openings, both Famous Footwear locations are hosting an all-day grand opening event on December 6 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Shoppers are invited to experience fun activities including:
· Special in-store promotions every two hours.
· A local shoe artist customizing shoes for customers from noon to 6 p.m.
· Drawings every hour from noon to 6 p.m. for a chance to win free shoes.
· A DJ spinning live music.
“We strive to deliver easy victories to families who are looking for brand names at affordable prices,” continued Ausick. “Our in-store experience will prove you don’t have to compromise style or amazing customer service when shopping for great values.
Famous Footwear is a leading, easy-to-shop footwear destination, featuring brand name merchandise for women, men and children, making it a one-stop-shop for the entire family. Shoppers can access Famous Footwear’s loyalty Rewards program and vast style selection in-store to meet their family’s footwear needs.
Famous Footwear recently launched their new mobile app which gives Rewards members 15 bonus points just for downloading, makes redeeming Rewards points even easier and gives shoppers access to exclusive mobile offers. The Famous Footwear app is available for download today on Google Play and iTunes or simply by texting APP to FAMOUS (326687) to get a mobile link.
Famous Footwear has more than 1,200 stores nationwide as well as an e-commerce site, Famous.com. The chain offers consumers more than 100 nationally recognized brands through its retail stores and website, including Nike, Vans, Converse, Sperry, Skechers, Naturalizer, Steve Madden, madden girl, Franco Sarto, adidas, New Balance, Roxy, Circus by Sam Edelman and Carlos by Carlos Santana. Famous Footwear is also a proud national partner of the March of Dimes.
Since I participated in #BlackoutFriday, I thought about how not spending any money at these mega corporations was great and all, but was really just a short-term solution.
Today being Small Business Saturday, I thought about how much more impact it’d have to simply shop local and support small businesses. To maximize this impact, we need to make a conscious decision to do this. While the opening of the Bay Plaza Mall is great and all, we must remember that small businesses are what give character to our neighborhoods (in addition of course to jobs and being an integral part of our economy) and make them communities.
So, check out this list I compiled of some Bronx small businesses you can support year round:
Brew Coffeehouse – Their chai lattes and s’more cookies are to die for! Plus, they carry soy milk which is awesome for the lactose intolerant folks out there like myself.
Whoopies Miniature Desserts – I sampled some of their desserts during Bronx Fashion Week. Delicious and cute!
Conti’s Pastry Shoppe – Serving up handmade pastries and desserts since 1921!
Bronx Baking Co. – You guys, they have bacon pretzels! Among other varieties, of course.
Bronx Beer Hall – Beer. Karaoke.Trivia nights. Awesome food. Awesome crowd. It’s in a food market for christ’s sake! It doesn’t get much better than this.
Wonder Lee – Creative and stylish bow ties made from materials like Legos and comics.
What businesses would you add to this list? Comment below with the links and I’ll add them!
For this year’s Savor the Bronx, my friends and I headed east to try out Cabo, a new Mexican restaurant in Throggs Neck. (but we missed the fact that Cabo was only participating for lunch. Oops!) A sleek, modern exterior coupled with vibrant colors greets you giving off more of a lounge vibe than of what you’d expect of a Mexican restaurant, but this it not necessarily a bad thing. I think it’s part of the larger movement of new bars and eateries opening up in Throggs Neck trying to attract the growing thirty-something crowd that wants to go out and have a good time without traveling too far from home. However, for the record, I do prefer the decor of places like Taqueria Tlaxicalli in Castle Hill.
When we arrived, we were still waiting for the rest of our party, so we opted to try some of the drinks during happy hour at the bar (which was packed!). I decided to try what I believe was called a Cabo margarita (should’ve written it down!) which was nice, the tequila didn’t overpower it whatsoever, so it had a sweet, pleasant taste, but was still potent enough. I also tried a pina colada, which I liked more than the margarita. It leaned more toward the coconut-y side, which I’m usually not a fan of, but they pulled it off.
For dinner, I decided to try a chicken burrito, while my friends ordered the special of the night – a seafood dish with mole sauce. I’m “allergic” to shellfish (long story), so I couldn’t try it, but the chicken burrito was good. Not great, but a solid burrito nonetheless. I would have preferred a stronger cilantro flavor or something to make the flavors really stand out.
I will say though, that the salsa verde and chips that are given to the table gratis, was really good. The chips were fresh and the flavors in the salsa verde really blended together well.
Our waitress was very friendly, attentive without being overbearing, and was knowledgeable about the menu, which we appreciated. They’re supposed to have a really great brunch menu, so I’d definitely be curious to check it out and try some other menu offerings.
There’s just something about the cold weather that makes me want to cozy up with a good drink. Okay…so maybe that’s all four seasons, but how often can you do that surrounded by beautiful plants and a train show circling miniature versions of NYC landmarks made out of plants? This year, there will be spiked hot chocolate (!), roasted chestnuts, and an “intimate jazz set” which all sounds like an awesome way to kickstart your holiday season. Obviously, all Bar Car Nights are 21 and up (keep the youngins at home!)
Read below for more information:
This year’s Bar Car Nights series kicks off with The New York Botanical Garden’s inaugural
LGBT @ NYBG event. On Friday, November 21, the Bar Car Night will celebrate the LGBT
community and its allies alongside the spectacular glow of the Garden’s enchanting holiday
Listen to live music at The Pine Tree Café each night with cabaret and jazz sets at 7:15, 8:15, &
9 p.m. The rotating musicians include:
Myriam Phiro & the Cavaliers of Swing (November 21 & 22; December 5 & 6;
January 9 & 10)
Myriam Phiro’s musical style ranges from a seductive and elegant jazz singer to an
energetic swing dancer. Brought together by a mutual love of French cuisine and French
music, she began a musical partnership with trombonist Robbie Klein. Robbie has a
decade of education in American Jazz yet found himself captivated by French music at
Les Chauds Lapins (December 19 & 20; January 2 & 3)
Les Chauds Lapins (“the hot rabbits”), lead by New York’s Kurt Hoffman and Meg
Reichardt, rearranges long-forgotten French classics, mixing the rootsiness of early
American jazz with the lushness of a Bernard Herrmann film soundtrack.
The winter wonderland comes to life with Ice Sculpture Carving Demonstrations in the
Garden’s Leon Levy Visitor Center. Watch an expert New York-based ice carver from Okamoto
Studio transform blocks of ice into holiday works of arts. The sculptures’ magnificence
progresses throughout the night while portraits are taken under the twinkling lights of the holiday
Light up the Night Performances provide a magical atmosphere and set the tone for a
memorable evening of glowing light. Cirque de Light performers, with their variety of props,
including staffs, hula hoops, and poi, charm audiences along Perennial Garden Way with their wit
BAR CAR NIGHTS PRICING:
Non-Member $35/Member $25 (Adults 21 and over); Special Event ticket required.
Advance tickets recommended; includes one complimentary beer, wine, or cocktail of your
Although your ticket provides access to the entire event between 7–10 p.m., when purchasing tickets you will need to select an entrance time for the Holiday Train Show in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.
HOLIDAY TRAIN SHOW HOURS:
During the Holiday Train Show, November 15, 2014–January 19, 2015, The New York
Botanical Garden is open Tuesday–Friday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Extended hours, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.,
Saturdays, November 15– January 17; Friday, November 28 (day after Thanksgiving); and
December 20–January 1. The Garden is closed all day on November 27 (Thanksgiving) and
December 25 (Christmas); it closes at 3 p.m. on December 12 and 24 (Christmas Eve).
The longest running film festival in the Bronx returns this weekend at Lehman College’s Lovinger Theatre and Studio Theatre! I was a film history minor in college and have found that international films are the ones that stick with me the most for their unique perspectives and ability toprovide insight into a little slice of life thousands of miles away (my personal favorites are Run Lola Run, Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, and M.). Check out below for all the details and films that will be showing:
The 11th Bronx International Film Festival will screen short and feature narrative and documentary films from local filmmakers as well as filmmakers from across the US and the world including World, US and New York premieres, November 7 – 9 at Lovinger Theatre and Studio Theatre at Lehman College, 250 Bedford Park Blvd West, Bronx. Limited quantity of $10 festival passes for the three day festival are now available, daily passes are $5. Visit bronxfilm.com for film details, trailers, schedule and to purchase tickets.
Screenings begin on Friday, November 7 in the Studio Theatre at Lehman College at 5:45 – 9:00 pm with Zack and Addie (USA), Lapsus (France), Bergmans Granchild (Sweden) and Rye Coalition: The Story of the Hard Luck 5 (USA)
Saturday, November 8screenings are in the Lovinger Theatre and Studio Theatre. Lovinger Theatre screenings begin at 1:00 pm – 7:15 with Salbusa (South Korea), Frankie & The Ant (USA), A New You (Australia), Thursday (Spain), Concrete Night (France), Pieces of Boredom (France), Just Living (Canada), Padre & Hijo (Argentina), Joey (Australia), Nighthawks (China), Undressed (UK), Here with Me (UK), Transcending Surgeon (USA), Plan Perfect (USA), Come Back Hailey (USA), Bodies in Irreversible Detriment (USA), Bliss (Bronx), Destiny Jones (Bronx), Hypothetically (USA) and That One Day (Bronx).
Saturday, November 8screening in Studio Theatre open with 1:45 – 9:00 pm with A Russian Fairytale (UK), A Brand New you (Canada), Sound and Chaos: The Story of BC Studio (USA), How Guys’ Thought Ruin Perfect Relationships (USA), Neighborhoods (USA), Jet Pack (USA), Sacha (USA), Love out of Mind (USA), Severo (Brazil), and The Fix (USA)
Sunday, November 9screenings open at 1:00 – 6:00 pm with Sound of Belgium (Belgium), Shotgun (USA), The Last One (Azerbaijan), A Man on the Edge (Australia), Cairo Year Zero, Revolve (UK) and Time Lapse (USA).
The Bronx International Film Festival is the longest running film festival in the Bronx growing from a festival of local and US filmmakers to screening films from every continent adding to our motto “Films from around the corner and around the world”.