My Chelsea Market Favorites


The Chelsea Market, located in the Meatpacking District, is a favorite destination for food-happy New Yorkers. Not only is it the headquarters of the Food Network Channel, but it’s home to dozens of restaurants and food-centric retail stores.

Bowery Kitchen Supply: You don’t have to be a professional chef to appreciate this store (although many do shop here). They carry everything from half sheet pans to stainless steel work tables to stock pots to smoking guns. They sell tons of gadgets and chef tools that at the very least will make you feel like you know what you’re doing in the kitchen.

Buon Italia is for all things Italian: cheese, pasta, charcuterie, olive oils, polenta…anything you could possibly think of. Everything is of high quality; I’ve never been disappointed with anything I’ve purchased here. If you’re starving while looking at all the goodies, they’ve got ready-made snacks and pastries for sale to tide you over.

Dickson’s Farmstand sells artisanal lamb, poultry, beef, pork and goat that are all sourced from local farms. Again–the quality is high and the staff can speak knowledgeably on how and where each animal was raised. I drool every time I visit this store. (You can order on-line too.)

Friedman’s Lunch serves the most amazing grilled cheese sandwich with gruyere and white cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and bacon on a grilled ciabbata in the world. Cheat on your diet good. Kill your mama good. So good that I would consider requesting it for my final meal on death row. Yep, that good.

Chelsea Wine Vault sells an impressive array of wines, plus employs a knowledgeable staff that can steer you to the vino of your dreams  in any price point. They also have fun (and reasonably priced) wine tasting classes.

Check it out!


Y? Because It’s Awesome


I want to let anyone coming to the city know about the 92nd Street Y, or as it’s officially known, the 92nd Street Young Men’s and Young Women’s Hebrew Association, or the YM-YWHA. (Got that?).

Its proper name may be a mouthful, but this Y is the Bentley of Y’s. New Yorkers in the know regularly attend classes, lectures, concerts, dance performances and literary readings. We in the city are bargain hunters; we appreciate when we can get a big dollop of culture for a reasonable cost. The Y is a non-profit and its prices reflect that.

But visitors can also take advantage of the programs and events! Here’s just a little taste of what’s on deck in the next few weeks alone:

  • Literary readings by Elizabeth Gilbert and Isabel Allende.
  • A class on how to really make it in voice-over work.
  • An evening concert featuring the music of Russia.
  • A lecture by America’s doctor, Dr. Oz.
  • A performance by the American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company, formerly ABT II, a classical ensemble made up of 12 up-and-coming dancers of outstanding potential.
  • A class on the world of Sicilian wine.
  • Plus It was 50 Years Ago Today…Celebrating 50 Years of The Beatles in the USA, an intimate conversation with some of The Beatles’ closest pals.

See? A little something for everyone. Check it out!



Taste Of The Village


On next Thursday (September 26th), North Square will be present and accounted for at the 11th Annual Taste of the Village Festival.

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The event is a fundraiser for the Washington Square Park; we want to maintain its renovated loveliness, right? Over 30 food and wine purveyors will be hawking their wares alongside us. 50 bucks gets you all the nibbles you can eat between 6 and 8 p.m.

Chef Yoel Cruz is outdoing himself this year with this offering: tuna tartare with a sesame cracker and heirloom gazpacho soup with basil oil. Yuh-mee.

Other vendors include Sushi purchase viagra canada Samba, Otto Enoteca Pizzeria, Burger Joint, Citarella and Curry Kitchen.

Tickets can purchased in person (cash or check only) at the Village Alliance office, 8 East 8th Street (btw 5th Ave./University Pl.) Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Or make your life easier and buy them online here.

See you there!

Take A Stroll Down Perry Street


Perry Street has a few one-of-a-kind retail shops and restaurants nestled in among the online canadian pharmacy brownstones on this lovely, tree-lined road in the heart of the Village.

Geminola at #41 is the place to go to get that perfect, stand-out frock for a special occasion. Re-worked vintage dresses and skirts and dip-dyed silks crowd the racks with other unique looks.

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Kaas Glassworks, at #117 sells beautiful pieces of decoupage under glass, put together by hand using reprinted images that the artists have collected from scouring flea markets, antique shows and estate sales. It has a great collection of trays, plates, coasters or paperweights, like a beautifully decorated tray decorated with sunflowers or owls for $142. Plus customers  can request custom made-to-order items.

A.P.C. Specials, at #92, is a surplus store for the A.P.C. brand–a preppy look for downtown hipsters. In this location you’ll find overstocks, novelties and discounts.

Saturdays Surf NYC at #17, is an espresso bar, a surf shop and a beauty products distributor all rolled into one. Where else can you sip coffee, window shop for surfboards and stock up on bathing suits and hair pomade all at the same time?

Duck into Aria Wine Bar at #117 for a cozy snack and glass of vino. Lots of small plates of nibbles (sauteed artichokes, baked clams) and pastas plus a wide selection of Italian wines by the glass.

If you love Latin food, head to Yerba Buena at #1. Arroz con pollo, ceviches, empanadas and tacos. Si, all yummy.

Oh–and fans of modern architecture should know that those gleaming apartment towers at #173 and #176 were designed by none other than Richard Meier.


Take A Wine Tasting Class!


Looking for a fun place to sample different wines and learn a thing or two without breaking the bank? Me, too. Here are a few establishments that conduct one-off tasting courses for the vine-curious:

Otto Pizzeria: Mario Batali’s casual restaurant hosts classes every weekend afternoon at 2 pm and Tuesday evenings at 6:30 pm. Sessions cost around $45, run 90 minutes and include tastings of five different Italian wines–usually regional or buy viagra online varietal groupings, such as “Coastal Italy” or “Southern Italy” or “Discover Sangiovese.”

Corkbuzz Wine Studio on E. 13th St. groups courses under the classifications of recreational, introductory, intermediate and advanced. Classes are further organized by regions (a tour of Australia or Greece, for instance), wine pairings (cheese, pizza or BBQ) or blind tastings. Each seminar lasts 90 minutes and will run you about $50-$75.

NYC Wine Class in Chelsea offers various two-hour classes at $90, which often include Murray’s cheese (worth the price of admission alone) or other scrumptious foods that pair nicely with vino. Regional (“Napa vs. Bordeaux”), unusual varietals (“Exotic Whites To Remember”) or one I really want to take: “France: Making Sense Of It All”.

Whichever class you take, let’s hope that it doesn’t turn out like this, okay?

Vino For Margherita


I’m a pizza fan…one of the biggest. And while an ice cold beer tastes perfect with a pie on an 80 degree day…well, in the cooler months, a official canadian pharmacy pint of brew does nothing for me but fill me up and leave less room for gooey cheese. I’m first and foremost a wine gal, so I set out to find a few reasonably priced wines that would be compatible with pizza.

I asked a sommelier pal for pairings with your basic tomato, mozzarella and basil pie and he came up with a wallet-friendly list. Here you go:

For reds, three words say it all:  Barbera, Sangiovese (the grape of Chianti) and Primitivo. My buddy remarked that while all three of these are not overly fruity, they do have just enough fruit to make the natural sweetness of the tomato and cheese pop, plus enough tannin and acid to keep the palate fresh.

To be specific, get a Barbera d’Asti. Its round fruit favors and mild tannins will only set you back about $16 a bottle.

Or Apollonio Primitivo: $12-$18 will buy a bottle of the intense, richly-flavored full-bodied Primitivo from southern Italy. (FYI Primitivo is the likely origin of California’s Zinfandel, so think zin–but a little earthier.) This particular wine has lots of black cherry, coffee and cedar flavors.

And yes, whites pair well with a tomato-sauce based pizza, too. An un-oaked Chardonnay would be a good bet. Or Tocai Fruiliano. Or Soave.

Scubla Tocai Friuliano, from the Friuli region, sells for about $20 a bottle.

Pieropan Soave Classico is a young, fresh and vibrant wine with soft fruit flavors and orange blossoms and almonds on the finish.

(Don’t I sound knowledgeable? I actually think that even though wine tasting terms can tend to sound precious, they really are a good description when you’re actually tasting the wine.)

Remember, folks, that this is just a guide for a basic pizza–as you add various toppings to your pizza the pairings can change!

Hope you learned a little more about wine today. I know I did!