Saturday

Prince in the City



On a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon in Governor's Island New York, His Royal Highness Prince Harry of Wales displays his skills in Polo. It's the Manhattan Classic Polo Match sponsored by Veuve Clicquot Champagne and ladies and gentlemen from New York City have ferried in to watch the event. They sit picnicking on the sidelines, some setting up elaborate spreads and most wearing Spring appropriate attire and frilly hats.


Lady's in waiting get a good glimpse of the young, single Prince galloping by on his horse while rekindling their childhood memories of fairly tale dreams; but actually, they don't need to be rescued nor want to be bothered, they're New Yorkers! Prince Harry plays on the Sentebale team named after his charity whose mission is to transform the lives of orphans in Lesotho. On the opposing team Black Watch is Polo sensation Nacho Figueras. The match lasts for four chukkers, breaking for halftime when spectators enjoyed participating in the traditional divot stomp. The score tied with only a few minutes left in the match and Prince Harry sets up the winning point to win! Spectators cheering his victory!




On the way back to Manhattan, the Ferry is held-up by the water patrol, National Security, Secret Service, and machine gun holding swat as an announcement comes over the intercom stating the President was landing in his helicopter. The Prez and Mrs. Obama are in New York City for a hot date including dinner at Blue Hill restaurant then, taking-in the Tony nominated Broadway show Joe Turner's Come and Gone. Our tax dollars at work; God Bless America!

*For the Public: On Sunday June 27, 2010 The Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic with Prince Harry and Nacho Figueras returns to Governors Island. New Yorkers are welcome to come out and enjoy the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic at no cost! The west side of the playing field will feature bleachers for viewing of the match as well as Veuve Clicquot champagne bars and concessions by Danny Meyer's famed restaurant group, Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG). The concessions will include USHG's renowned barbecue restaurant Blue Smoke as well as Box Frites and El Verano Taqueria, which will mark the first time the restaurant, founded by Tabla Chef Floyd Cardoz, will be featured outside of its home at Citi Field. Regular ferry service to Governors Island is free and available from the Battery Maritime Building (10 South Street) in Lower Manhattan.

Friday

Saki Bar Hagi

Nearby is Hagi a Japanese Saki/Sports bar. It is rather difficult to find since it is located down a stairway which leads you to its' basement location where a primarily Japanese clientele congregates. And for good reason; you get delicious cheap Japanese small plates such as yakitori style skewers. I got the chicken skin, pork belly, calf liver, quail eggs, duck and ginko nuts. All good! Also, had the grilled yellow tail collar, the dumplings, the fried chicken and the Hijiki seaweed. Oh, and at the last minute, I ordered the corn dog (big mistake). I think by then, the two pitchers of Kirin had gone to my head and I was acting impulsively....it happens.
Saki Bar Hagi
152 W 49th St Btwn 6th & 7th Ave

Cool Art and Cool Food! (is the word cool still cool?)

The Museum of Modern Art is a haven for the New York art scene. It is visited and revisited by tourists and locals alike. Within its' ample exhibition spaces you'll find Contemporary Galleries, Drawings, Photography and Architecture & Design. The Special Exhibitions are fresh and innovative.

CURRENT EXHIBIT:
Ron Arad: No Discipline
August 2, 2009–October 19, 2009
Sixth floor
"One of the most influential designers of our time, Ron Arad (Israeli, b. 1951) stands out for his daredevil curiosity about technology and materials and for the versatile nature of his work." MOMA


There are many freebies in New York. MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) has Target FREE Fridays from 4pm-8pm. You just walk into MOMA and are given a ticket. It's great!

You'd think there would be massive crowds but, today I could walk around comfortably admiring the exhibits, no prob. At MOMA you get a little bit of everything, paintings, sculptures, furniture, the avant-garde, the surreal, the Pollock, the Warhol, the Picasso... Then, visit the Sculpture Garden followed by a bite at one of the Café's. For something more lavish, restaurant The Modern.
Sculpture Garden

Monday

Happy Memorial Day from New York City!


It's a sunny and hot day in Times Square's new pedestrian plaza which opens today. NYC Mayor Bloomberg, in an attempt to reduce traffic at the popular tourist attraction approved a plan to permanently block vehicle traffic, allowing pedestrians to stroll freely down Broadway, 47th to 42nd street. However, there is something else... Are those lawn chairs? The kind you would see in an old movie where people sit in a desolate impoverished scene with no hope? This will never do! But, it turns out it's only temporary until permanent more suitable and modern seating areas will be placed so people can lazy-it-up surrounded by the marketing frenzy of lights that are the wonder of Times Square (but, I'm still skeptical). On the corner of 45ST Hebrew National is giving away 45,000 hot dogs in celebration of the plaza's opening and what's Memorial day without a hot dog? People sure seem to be enjoying them. Earlier, Virgil's barbecue was giving away free BBQ ribs too. Yummy! A few avenues down, on Madison Avenue there is a street fair. These pop-up all over the city this time of year and people tend to flock to them enjoying the different kiosks and booths selling everything from jewelry, to t-shirts and bed sheets. And, lets not forget the lemonade and arepas. Afterwards, hungry but to tired to walk another step, I flag down a pedicab (bicycled Rickshaw) at Central Park to take me across the park to the Upper West Side to have dinner at Cafe Con Leche, a Cuban restaurant where I enjoyed a Bistec Empanizado (breaded and fried steak) with white rice, black beans and tostones (fried green plantains). The food is not as authentic as I am accustomed to eating in Miami but, It'll do for now. Memorial Day is a wrap and it was not bad at all.

Sunday

Coney Island and Brighton Beach



How much further to Coney Island? It took an hour to reach Stillwell, the last stop on the D line from Midtown Manhattan but when I exited, I found myself directly in front of Coney Island's Nathan's Famous hot dog shop. The order lines are ridiculously long but, I had to have a dog with onions and sauerkraut, fries and a coke. Then, a stroll down the boardwalk on the beach showed tons of people frolicking in the sand and sea. It was GREAT!
Then, you find yourself at what's left of Astroland, where there are many kiddie rides and kiosks where you can win a “big ass prize” or "shoot the freak". Also remaining is the ferris wheel and the famous Cyclone. America's best old wooden roller coaster that still brings thrills. An hour into my fun it began to rain; so, I sought shelter at Ruby's Bar and Grill on the boardwalk, where the beer was cold and I was entertained by the jutbox and a dancing gypsy woman serenading a ray of sunlight. It worked, the rain stopped!
Afterwards, a ten minute walk down the boardwalk and I arrived at Brighton Beach, a Russian neighborhood known as Little Odessa. This place is like traveling back to 1986. Briefs style swimsuits on volleyball playing men, Russian rap, and “fancy” restaurants that cover their tables and chairs in white linens and colorful bows. Tatiana, the well known Russian restaurant on the boardwalk was my restaurant of choice, we drank wodka and tried the bland borsch, but never got to have dinner since words were exchanged with the arrogant, dismissive, eye rolling waiter, that when asked what he recommended answered, “order what you know, this is not a Russian restaurant” and “I don't see very well, I couldn't tell you what they are having at the next table” and shushed us when the conversation got heated. I wasn't surprised, I've been to Russia. Nevertheless, it was a great day!

Friday

The Peninsula Hotel

Memorial weekend in New York City started out with drinks at the Peninsula Hotel rooftop bar. The space is well appointed, there's an indoor bar and two terraces with beautiful views of 5th Avenue and even a peek of Central Park. The drinks are very expensive $16.00 for a glass of wine and cocktails are around $22.00. No, the drinks are nothing special but, they are well executed. It's the location that you're paying for. After all, the Peninsula is a 5 star hotel with a 5th Avenue address and a very cache place to meet after work or for a leisure drink on a beautiful day.
A few avenues over, five to be precise, is Puttanesca Italian restaurant. I started with the carpaccio with arugula which, the weird waiter felt the need to disclose to me "is raw meat" (thanks dude, very informative). Then, for my entree I enjoyed the seafood pasta with half a lobster. This was one of the specials this evening for $20.00. A crisp bottle of Rose wine complemented the meal nicely.

Saturday

South Street Seaport and Aborigines

South Street Seaport is a great place to spend a Saturday afternoon. There are happy families walking around with their children, indoor/outdoor shops and restaurants that serve cheap frozen drinks, all while overlooking the East River and the Brooklyn Bridge...what's not to like? I sure liked my $5 Miami Vice, a half Piña Colada, half Strawberry Daiquiri concoction. But even better was watching everyone around me fall victim to the brain freeze! Afterwards, I ventured along the side streets and came upon Nelson Blue, the New Zealand Bar and Grill that was celebrating their 2nd Anniversary in a big way! With $4 pints of Steinlager and Speights New Zealand beer, free appetizer plates of mini meat pies and fried fish nuggets, and most notably a performance by the Kahurangi Maori Dance Theater of New Zealand. It was a lot of fun and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Friday

Roof Tops and Drinks

Friday, happy hour, cool weather, clear skies, a beautiful view is everything! So, it's time for all the roof tops in New York City to open and serve drinks to thirsty guests. I went to 230 5 AVE where the space is ample and service adequate. I found a spot right away although it was crowded as most roof tops seem to be. The drinks are reasonably priced for Manhattan, a scotch $14.00 and a pinot grigio $10.00 and are served in high quality plastic glass wear, in case you get the urge to go throw it over the side. Smoking is allowed since it is outside and many seem to take advantage of that perk. But, the real draw are the views from day till night when it really lights-up to show off the beautiful Empire State Building and the rest of this great city.

Tuesday

Hola Señorita!

Did someone say tequila? A bottle of Corralejo Tequila Reposada was conveniently waiting for me with two shot glasses next to it, in my kitchen when I woke. So, SALUD-CHEERS! Happy Cinco de Mayo to Mexicans and Mexican wannabees alike! Today is a fun day all around. I mean, what's not to like? Chips-n-Salsa, Chorizo Nachos de la Casa, Huitlacoche (mushroom) Tamal with salsa roja & crema fresca and a Grilled Flank Steak Soft Taco with red rice & chile de arbol sauce and, to drink a Jarritos tutti-frutti pop. All of which I had at El Centro Mexican restaurant. It was crowded with a 20 minutes wait at 6:00pm. But every Mexican restaurant is bound to be packed on Cinco de Mayo. I have often also been to Arriba Arriba which, has great drinks, music, and hosts many gay birthday parties I've noticed. Rosa Mexicano at Lincoln Center is also good if you're looking for a higher-end Mexican meal and a fancy sipping tequila. How can you go wrong?

Saturday

Bom Dia!

A $7.00 round trip train ride from Penn Station NYC and your in Newark, N.J. on Ferry street, a little Portuguese Street where you can get a taste of the old country. You'll find craft stores, kitchen shops, bakeries and restaurants that are as
authentically Portuguese as one can get around here. Having been to Portugal, the tradition is eat early, take your time, eat well and enjoy. Seabras Marisqueira was the restaurant of choice for our late lunch, early dinner and it did not disappoint. As wine goes, the vino verde, which is a traditional Portuguese light green wine is the best bet. We started with the cold sea snails picked from their shell with the tip of a paper clip. Then, the flaming chorizo was brought to the counter where we sat on cushy stools; the chorizo was slightly charred in grapa then, thickly sliced up. Entrees were the pork and clams alentejana and, what's a Portuguese meal without bacalua (cod fish)? So, the second entree was just that, prepared with onions and peppers on top of a very dense piece of bread they called corn bread (not to be confused with the southern muffin type) and served with potatoes. It was all very well prepared. This entire meal could feed four adults comfortably. Left-overs were unashamedly taken home. The all Portuguese staff were cordial, respectful and serious about their food, as they should be. Conveniently across the street is Riviera Bakery, where Portuguese favorites Pastels De Nata which can be explained as mini baked custard tarts can be bought. NOTE: Buying any less than half a dozen would be wrong on every level. And, taking home a portuguese is a bonus!

Friday

MARDI GRAS ON RESTAURANT ROW


Friday and raining in the city, happy hour isn't cancelled, it's just taken indoors. Bourbon Street in Manhattan's Restaurant Row (46 ST btw 8 & 9 AVE) is a festive N'orleans themed sports bar and restaurant with great drinks and Creole/Cajun inspired food.


The large space was packed Friday night, the dozen or so plasmas were playing the games while, the DJ played non-annoying pop-music. The over-all feel is laid back. Their Happy Hour runs from 4PM to 8PM where you get $5 cocktails that pack a punch. The French 75, the Dark & Stormy, and Hurricane are good.


For an appetizer, enjoy the Frog Legs. Entree, the Alligator Burger is excellent! Spiced double gator patties (yes, gator) with cheese comes with all the trimmins'. Welcome to the Bayou! (now show me your beads)