Cherry Blossoms Are (Almost) Here

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Little darlings, it’s been a long, cold lonely winner, but now the cherry blossom trees are thisclose to blooming in our parks. Hooray!

The Brooklyn Botanical Garden reports that its first tree is starting to blossom. The BBG updates a map on the buds’ progress regularly, so you can plan the best time to visit.

Central Park also reportedly has a few blooms. The trees are located by the Delacorte Theater, on the southeast edge of the Great Lawn, the Reservoir, the Ramble and Bethesda Terrace.

And the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx also plays host to the Spring beauties.

FYI, you can expect the season to last about five weeks, so start planning now!

 

Marching Forward…

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Buh-bye, February. It’s been real, but we’ve gotta go. Let’s take a look at what’s happening in the city in March:

The New York Botanical Garden’s Orchid Show focuses on Key West, FL this year. The exhibition is inspired by a modernist Key West estate–its architecture is featured along with reflecting pools and soaring pergolas. There will be lectures, guided tours, Q&As with experts and musical entertainment. Oh–and orchids. Thousands of beautiful orchids. Runs through April 21st.

The NYC Tattoo Convention takes place from March 7th to 9th at the Roseland Ballroom, and features tattoo artists from around the world, piercing professionals, live entertainment and contests. Prizes will be given for Best Back or Chest Tattoo, Best Colored Tattoo and Best Overall Tattooed Person, among others.

The Armory Show, located on Piers 92 and 94 in Manhattan is one of my favorites. The event showcases important artworks fo the 20th and 21st centuries. This year it looks to China, with a specially curated section devoted to Chinese contemporary art, featuring 16 galleries from Hong Kong and Mainland China. March 6th through 9th.

The New York International Children’s Film Festival helps answer the question, “So what exactly constitutes a kid’s movie?” Children and their parents can check out a host of unique and thought-provoking films geared towards young people. Workshops, short film programs and information sessions with the creators will round out the event. Runs March 7th through the 30th at various locations. For kids 3 to 18.

 

The New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show

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So, technically model train shows are geared towards children, but you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy them, do you? Remember Bobby Bacala on The Sopranos? (Okay, I know it didn’t end well, but still…)

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This yearly event is truly fun for everyone. There are more than a dozen large-scale model railway trains–from American steam engines and streetcars from the late 1800s to modern freight and high-speed passenger trains and trolleys.

The scenery that the trains pass through include waterfalls, rustic bridges and tunnels, plus local landmarks like the Empire State Building, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Oh–and Thomas the Tank Engine will be there. Score!! Who doesn’t love Thomas?

The show runs daily through January 12th (except for Christmas day) and it’s just a short train ride from Grand Central to get there. It’s probably smart to purchase your tickets ahead of time, due to its popularity.

So check this out. The attention to detail is mind-blowing. I mean, how amazing is this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQuPWWKfj6Q#t=21

Check Out Our Garden!

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We’re thrilled to let you know that the hotel’s vegetable and herb garden is even bigger, badder and greener this year. So what’s on the menu? Collard greens, cabbage, lettuce, acorn and patty pan squash, eggplant, tomatoes and pumpkins are just a few of the offerings.

Jake’s Rooftop Garden, named after owner Judy Paul’s grandpa, came to be in an interesting fashion. Tommy Benedict, an urban landscaper and the guy in charge of the whole shebang, took me though the beginnings. (You know those beautiful flower arrangements in the restaurant? The ones that you could never, ever fathom doing yourself? That’s Tommy.)

Judy had always wanted a rooftop garden, and last year finally decided to do something about it. As the building is a little um, long in the tooth, she checked with an engineer to see if it the roof could actually carry the weight.

And so an ingenious idea was born. To avoid putting any direct pressure on the roof itself, a kind of suspended railroad was created around the perimeter and secured with iron. Crates and window boxes carrying the actual produce are perched on the contraption, raised about a foot up along the edge of the ceiling.

And there you have it…a rooftop garden that doesn’t actually touch the roof:

 

Tommy feels that vertical growing in containers as opposed to sideways ultimately produces a higher yield, as herbs and vegetables are continuously harvested and thus constantly replenish themselves. (Farmers with a vast acreage can usually only harvest once a year.) Another advantage to using crates is that individual boxes of veggies can be moved around so that each gets the proper amount of sun…micro-management at its best.

Last year, the garden yielded almost enough herbs to fuel the entire restaurant and bar. (Yes, we grow our own mint for our mojitos–don’t you?)  So this year, Chef Yoel Cruz presented Tommy with a detailed wish list of what he could use in the kitchen–and Tommy came through. Almost a dozen different types of peppers, three types of basil, leeks, chives, zucchini…you get the picture. Our herbs and vegetables are mostly sourced from local farmers and Tommy expects to keep the garden going through October, or at least until the first frost.

Jake’s is a true city garden. New Yorkers are geniuses in space utilization and the hotel is no exception. Tommy explained to me that pfizer viagra cheepest prices horticulture may be a science, but you still have to experiment and make it your own. He’s committed to looking at different ways to feed us and we’re equally committed to eating it up.

 

Take a Stroll Down Greenwich Avenue

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Greenwich Avenue is most definitely one of the city’s shorter streets–it runs for only a few blocks from 6th Ave. and West 8th to 8th Ave. and West 13th at Jackson Square. (Got that? Good.)  But apparently good things can come in short packages.

Check out the Jefferson Market Garden on Greenwich between 6th Ave. and West 10th–a true oasis in the middle of the bustling Village. A selection of children’s activities and community events are held throughout the summer. (The rose garden should be blooming right about now.)

The Meatball Shop at #64 sells seriously delicious meatballs of all sorts: beef, pork, veggie or chicken. Pick your protein, pair it with one of their yummy sauces and you’ll be singing the praises of whoever dreamed up the idea to make these little meat and cheese laden globs of goodness. (She or he was a genius, I tell you!)

At #121, Otte sells hip clothing and accessories from the biggest designers du jour like Rag & Bone, Alexander Wang and Vanessa Bruno. It’s a wee expensive for my taste. I’m more apt to go to Star Struck Vintage at #47 for used, vintage and consignment duds. There are lots of gently used pieces from fancypants designers like Gucci and Christian Dior, but you can also pick up cheap stuff like men’s Hawaiian and bowling shirts. I’m not suggesting that you should, mind you, but it’s nice to know that you can.

Save Khaki at #112 is a New York-based company that, “brings new life to menswear basics through fit, feel, and color, with a streamlined, contemporary touch.” The clothes look basic but tasteful, and I didn’t blanch at the prices.

Here’s one you won’t see outside of the city: the NYC Firestore at #17, is a shop that carries anything and everything, at least apparel-wise, that NYC firefighters–and the people who admire them–could possibly want: T-shirts, patches, Christmas ornaments–all emblazoned with the FDNY logo. And of course firemen calendars!

If you’re feeling like some British grub, hit Tea & Sympathy at #108. Bangers and mash, roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, Shepherd’s pie, treacle pudding–all the basics. And get this–the owners have refurbished a black viagra usa pharmacy London cab that they rent out for weddings, photo shoots and the like. Sadly, the oh-so-knowledgeable British cab driver does not come with the rental.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Happy Wildflower Week

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It’s Wildflower Week in New York City. (Who knew?) Apparently, it runs through the 19th and there are over 30 events highlighting the beauties throughout all five boroughs.

To celebrate, here’s a lovely poem, “The Wild Flower’s Song,” penned by William Blake (1757-1827):

As I wander’d the forest,
The green leaves among,
I heard a wild flower Singing a song.

I slept in the Earth In the silent night,
I murmur’d my fears
And I felt delight.

In the morning I went
As rosy as morn,
To seek for new joy;
But O! met with scorn.

So to celebrate this week, be sure buy viagra fed ex to bring some flowers to someone you love.

The Spring Menu Is Here

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Chef Yoel Cruz brings us lighter fare featuring delicious seasonal produce like carrots, spring onions and radishes.

Check out these appetizers:

Grilled marinated shrimp with lemon orzo, roasted tomato and saffron broth.

Shrimp!

A spring barley risotto with pearl barley (not Bailey–sorry, couldn’t resist), carrots, fresh green peas, fennel and spring onions, ricotta and parmesan cheeses purchase cheapest viagra and fresh basil.

New dinner apps feature the additions of an organic kale salad with organic gala apples, roasted baby carrots and manchego cheese, toasted almond and buttermilk dressing.  Plus a seafood salad with shrimp, scallops, grilled calamari, New Zealand mussels, Boston lettuce, radishes, red onion, meyer lemon vinaigrette.

There are a few new entrees at dinner:

Roasted lobster with creamed corn, shiitake mushrooms, escarole and shellfish chili broth.  Another dish from the sea is pan-seared halibut with roasted tomato and eggplant, amaranth (a super-healthy, gluten-free grain) and a mustard cream sauce.

Meat eaters like me are looking forward to the braised short ribs with wild rice, ancho chili sauce and a spring vegetable timbale.

Finally, there’s a grilled pork ribeye with fingerling potatoes with ladrons, morels, fresh peas and spring onions with a shallot au jus.

Pork and Peas, please!

Welcome to spring, everyone. I’ll update you on what’s happening with the rooftop garden shortly!

Have a great weekend!

 

 

Orchids and Sexy Ladies and Stinky Cheese

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There’s lots of stuff going on in the viagra sales online city this week….listen up!

The Armory Arts Week: The Armory Show at Piers 92 and 94 (which features important artwork from the 20th and 21st centuries) is the main attraction, but there are art-related events all week long all over the city, from the Bronx to the Lower East Side to Brooklyn. (3/5 through 3/10)

The Orchid Show begins at the New York Botanical Gardens. The event provides demonstrations on how to care for orchids, Q&As with experts (or as I like to call them, orchid whisperers) plus lectures, guided tours and musical entertainment. If you can’t make it this week, the show runs though April, 22nd.

Fusion Film Festival: Students run this festival at our neighbor, NYU’s, Tisch School of the Arts. Fusion is a multi-day festival with the mission of encouraging, promoting and inspiring women filmmakers and the collaboration between the sexes. (Go, sisters!) You can find screeenings, industry panels, master-classes, retrospectives and student showcases. Runs 3/7 through 3/9.

ADAA Arts Show: This show is one of the best, showcasing some of the greatest art dealers and galleries. Meet the dealers, discuss and perhaps purchase the works on view. Or just browse, like I do. Through 3/10.

Strip Strip Hooray with Dita Von Teese:  The burlesque queen headlines at The Gramercy Theater from Wednesday through Sunday.  I mean, it’s called “Strip Strip Hooray”, people. Seriously, don’t you want to go?

The Winter Stinky Cheese Festival: (3/5 through 3/12)  Chefs at nine French eateries will prepare special dishes highlighting the stinkiest of the stinkiest fromage.  Sigh…I can’t wait.

 

Five Things You Really Need to Know About the Rooftop Garden

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1.  We’ve got heirloom tomatoes and chillies and herbs, oh my!

2.  It’s a family thing. The garden, dubbed Jake’s Rooftop Garden, was named after owner Judy Paul‘s granddad, Jacob.

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3.  It’s an herb thing.  Seventeen of them to be exact, including three varieties of thyme (English, silver and lemon) and two each of sage (garden green and golden) and oregano (Mexican and Italian).  They’re  used both in the restaurant (Thai basil in the lobster and crab cakes) and the lounge (mint

juleps, because we’re in Southern Manhattan y’all.)

4.  It’s a local thing. All the chillies, herbs and tomatoes are locally sourced from Oak Grove Plantation in New Jersey and Binder Farm and Atlantic Nursery, both in Long Island.

5.  If you thought Chef Cruz’s food was yummy before….well, you ain’t tasted nothing yet.  Farm-to-table scrumptious.