Yes, It’s Pride Weekend, Folks

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We’ve already told you about the official events, so let’s take a look at a couple of the unofficial (yet no less wonderful) ones:

The fifth annual Harlem Pride Day celebration will be held at Jackie Robinson Park (Bradhurst Ave. and West 148th St.) tomorrow from noon to 6 pm. The festival’s theme this year, There’s No Place Like Home, marks the 40th anniversary of the premiere of The Wiz on Broadway. (I know, can you believe it’s been forty years???) After a day filled with fun, food and family entertainment, head over to St. Nicholas Park for a free outdoor screening of the movie version.

Check out the windows on Christopher Street. To mark the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, Stonewall 45 is a series of images posted on windows along Christopher Street. Everything from newspaper clippings from The Advocate and The New York Times to writings of the Daughters of Bilitis, an anti-lesbian organization, to photographs of early demonstrations against U.S. military policies against homosexuals are featured.

In addition, restaurants and bars all over the city (especially the West Village) will be celebrating equality. Including us! Stop in and have a drink!

Image via Atomische/Tom Giebe/Flickr


 

 


Pride Week 2014

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It’s almost that time of year again–Pride Week–in which we celebrate our LGBT brothers and sisters and the people who love them. (Which includes us!)

Here are a few highlights:

June 24th is a free Family Night at Hudson Park’s Pier 46. Doors will open at 7:30 for a screening of The Wizard of Oz at dusk. Bring the kids and definitely come early, as seating, blankets and treats will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Ruby slippers optional, although presumably would be very much appreciated.

June 27th brings The Rally, the first of which occurred one month after the Stonewall Riots in June 1969. A police raid that took place in the early morning hours at the Stonewall Inn here in Greenwich Village begat a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay community. That year, the rally consisted of about 500 people gathered for a “Gay Power” demonstration in Washington Square Park followed by a Candelight Vigil in Sheridan Square.

The 2014 Rally will be held at Pier 26 in Tribeca and will be a lot lighter. A whole lot. Emcee Michelle Visage (Rupaul’s Drag Race) will host performances by Sharon Needles and Betty Who. Be prepared to party.

Line-up for The March begins on the 29th at 11 am at 37th St. & Fifth Ave. (The parade ends at Christopher and Greenwich Streets, by the Stonewall Inn, which still stands today.) A lavender line down the middle of the street will trace the entire route.

Grand Marshals will be Laverne Cox (Orange Is The New Black), Rea Carey (Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force) and Jonathan Groff (HBO’s Looking). If you want to actually march, you must be part of an official group, but many are welcoming new members. Here’s a list. (A small $4 donation is requested of participants.)

PrideFest, on the afternoon of the 29th, is the annual LGBT street fair that combines vendors, entertainers and activities for a day of fun and celebration in the name of equality. Musical performances run from 12:30 to 5 pm. And it’s also free, people!

And finally, that night there’s the Dance on the Pier, (Pier 26 in Tribeca) which is not free, but all proceeds will benefit New York’s Official Pride Events and LGBT community organizations. Demi Lovato will perform and music will be provided by DJ Pagano and DJ Grind.

Of course, there are other events official and not, associated with Pride Week. Head here to find some of them.

Have a blast at Pride Week. Stop in at North Square and say hi!

Image via Facebook

 

 

Viva, Guacamole!

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Cinqo De Mayo will be next Monday, and you know what that means, everyone…guacamole! Here are a couple of places around town that won’t let you down when you order the green stuff:

Tehuitzingo on 10th Avenue and 48th Street is not the fanciest joint, but its traditional guacamole is out of this world.

Toloache, with three locations throughout the city, is more of an upscale place. They actually have a guacamole tasting, with three styles: mild (avocado, onion, tomato, cilantro and serrano), medium (avocado plus pomegranate, vidalia onion, mango, apple, habanero and thai basil) and spicy (with added chipotle and queso fresco).

Rosa Mexicano has two locations: one in Union Square and one by Lincoln Center. They whip up their yummy guac right in front of you.

If you’re looking for a snack right by the hotel, Empellon Taqueria is right on West 4th St. Their version is a neighborhood favorite.

Poetry Friday

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Yup, I just declared today Poetry Friday, because, well, I’m the blogger here and what I say goes!

P.G. Wodehouse was a 20th century English humorist whose writing encompassed novels, short stories, plays, song lyrics and journalism. From penning articles in the Saturday Evening Post to working with Cole Porter on the songbook of the show Anything Goes, Wodehouse left his mark in many formats, including poetry.

Here’s one called Greenwich Village, where he lived in 1909:

Way down in Greenwich Village
There’s something, ‘twould appear,
Demoralizing in the atmosphere.
Quite ordinary people,
Who come to live down here,
Get changed to perfect nuts within a year.
They learn to eat spaghetti
(That’s hard enough, as you know)
They leave off frocks
And wear Greek smocks
And study Guido Bruno.
For there’s something in the air
Down here in Greenwich Village
That makes a fellow feel he doesn’t care:
And as soon as he is in it, he
Gets hold of an affinity
Who’s long on modern
Art but short on hair.
Though he may have been a model,
Ever since he learned to toddle,
To his relatives and neighbours everywhere,
When he hits our Latin Quarter
He does things he shouldn’t oughter:
It’s a sort of,
Sort of kind of,
It’s a sort of kind of something in the air.

It is a sort of kind of something in the air around here, don’t you think?

Have a great weekend, everyone!

NYC’s Best Flea Markets

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Well, who knows if they’re the best, but this blogger likes them! Take a look at where you can treasure hunt in the city:

Artists & Fleas in Williamsburg, Brooklyn showcases both vintage and contemporary wear designed by local artists and designers. Aside from clothing, you’ll find jewelry, accessories and even furniture. Open Saturday and Sunday, 10 am to 7 pm.

Green Flea, on the Upper West Side, is a favorite for antiques enthusiasts. Vintage clothing, jewelry and furniture are the stars of the market. There are dozens of vendors outdoors, but don’t overlook the many that have a space inside the building. As a bonus, there’s a terrific farmer’s market located right across Columbus Ave. Open Sundays, 10 am to 5:30 pm.

More antiques can be found at the West 25th Street Market. Yeah, it’s a bit disorganized and you’ve definitely got to be in the mood for digging in order to find that deco ashtray that until today you didn’t know you couldn’t live without–but that can be half the fun. Lots of vintage clothing, housewares, jewelry and furniture. Open Saturday and Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm.

The Market NYC, located right next to The Bitter End on Bleecker St., is dedicated to young designers. One-of-a-kind clothing, jewelry and decorative items are the focus. Open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday from noon to 8 pm; Saturday from 11 am to 9 pm.

Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Flea & Smorgasburg (get it?) is probably the city’s biggest market with over 120 goods and 60 food vendors. As you stroll through, you’ll find vintage clothing and records, handmade crafts, beauty products and jewelry, plus antique and handmade furniture. Chow down on tacos, ice pops, chocolates or porchetta sandwiches. Open Saturday and Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Snow? What Snow?

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Nothing stops an intrepid New Yorker…not even a sloppy pile of the wet, white stuff. This weekend in Washington Square Park almost felt like a spring day (well, almost being the key word). Villagers suffering from cabin fever burst out of their homes to take a stroll:

Or feed the pigeons:

Some were checking out the local music:

Or simply getting a head start on that summer tan:

It’s true that we’re itching for spring, but in the end, the cold weather can’t stop us…because we’re New Yorkers, right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrating Black History All Month Long

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New York is a great place to explore in February, particularly because it’s Black History Month and we’re rich with African-American culture and history.

Some of our most accomplished African-American residents, past and present include: Louis Armstrong, W.E.B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Lena Horne, Count Basie, Zora Neal Hurston, Althea Gibson, Jay-Z and Malcolm X.

Billie Holiday first performed the Civil Rights anthem Strange Fruit in 1939 at the now-defunct Greenwich Village Cafe Society (which, by the way, was the city’s first integrated nightclub.) Jackie Robinson was the first African-American to break the color barrier in baseball when he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Shirley Chisholm was the first black woman to be elected to Congress in 1969; Marian Anderson was the first to become a member of the Metropolitan opera in 1954. The list goes on and on.

Point being, we are proud of our African-American community and its accomplishments. Here are a few of the best events happening here in the city this Black History Month:

Central Park’s Arsenal Gallery exhibit The March is a collection of works from 17 different artists reflecting on the Civil Rights Movement past, present and future, as well as those individuals who have advanced the cause.

Voices of Freedom, at the Winter Garden downtown, is a lunchtime jazz concert series that take place every Wednesday featuring exciting pairings with a pianist and some of our most revered NYC musicians.

On Thursday, February 20th, the Queens Botanical Gardens celebrates scientist, botanist and inventor George Washington Carver and introduces kids to his contributions to the world of botany. The workshop focuses on the role plants played in Dr. Carver’s life, lets the little ones actually paint with greenery and sends them home with a planted peanut to monitor its growth. Cost is $6 per kid.

And finally, the famed Apollo Theater will transform itself into one of the many Harlem nightclubs in the 30s and 40s for four evenings in February (20th-23rd). Maurice Hines, Boardwalk Empire star Margot B and Kevin Mahogany will perform a 90-minute revue that sounds amazing.

Come celebrate with us!

 

 

Take A Stroll Down Thompson Street

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Thompson Street runs from Washington Square South through the Village and Soho and is a lovely and active route to amble down on a sunny day. Previous residents include the late Frank Zappa at #180, plus various Bonnano and Genovese family members. (I’d tell you where they lived, but…)

Start at Kee’s Chocolates at #80. Their incredible handmade chocolates and macaroons will give you energy for your journey.

INA, at #101, is a designer consignment store. Drop in and see if you’re interested in someone else’s hand-me-downs, or bring our own older designer duds. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. (Isn’t that the saying?) But the trash here is high-class trash, got it? Plus INA recently produced its own line of women and men’s clothing.

The Hat Shop at #120 sells chapeaus both fancy and functional.

ZZ’s Clam Bar, at #169, is for all things seafood: a raw bar, ceviches, carpaccio… think of a way you like your fish prepared and I’m sure they do it.

Beer fans will love The Malt House gastropub at #206. They’ll help you pair their extensive brands of micro-brews on tap with their yummy comfort food.

Generations Records at #210 sells…records. (Remember them?) They have an extensive metal and punk collection and frequent live in-store performances.

The Chess Forum at #219 sells beautiful chess sets at all price points, plus chess-related items, like clocks and tournament supplies.

Speaking of games,The Uncommons at #230, describes itself as, “Manhattan’s first and only play cafe.” Sip a warm cup of coffee or tea while you obliterate your opponent at Checkers, Clue, Backgammon, Monopoly, Pictionary or practically any other game you can think of.

And for the kids? Vesuvio Playground, formerly known as Thompson Playground (the new moniker was taken from the popular Italian bakery on nearby Prince Street) is between Spring and Prince.

Happy strolling!

 

 

 

Inside Llewyn Davis

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Have you seen the new movie Inside Llewyn Davis yet?  The film chronicles a week in the life of a folk singer in the Greenwich Village folk scene in 1961.

The movie shines a spotlight on the rich musical history of our beloved neighborhood. Take a look at T-Bone Burnett and the Coen Brothers strolling through the Village and talking about its rich musical history in this piece on CBS Sunday Morning:

Have a great weekend everyone!