#Greenpoint #Brooklyn Pub Crawl

 

I existed the L train, looked out upon the horizon…then like Erik the Red, I headed off into uncharted territory looking for mead. I ventured into storied Greenpoint, the land beyond Wlliamsburg! After crossing McCarren Park we espied Spritzenhaus (33 Nassau Ave) a huge German Beer Hall with a large selection of beers on tap and in bottles(they also have a large Brat selection that I will have to sample another time). We bellied up to one of the bars and drank Founders Nitro and Simple Sour. We then headed back over to Bedford and hit Nights and Weekends (1 Bedford Avenue) a small quirky place with a Latin food menu and a rather large selection of beverages to concoct cocktails. I opted for a Raspberry Wheat Red Road. They keep it real here playing vinyl records.

Next up was a huge stumble…the Keg and Lantern Brewing Company (97 Nassau Avenue) a great pub with walls lined with beer cans  that brews their own beers, carries a large selections in bottles along with a full menu. We drank their tasty Sunset Saison while we cheered on with the locals drinking Polish beer for the US women’s soccer team as they played (and beat) China. Very close by is Torst,(615 Manhattan Avenue) the “Thinking Man’s” beer bar. They serve their beer here like wine in 3 pour size options($4/8/12). We drank Son of Berserker, I Love You(Stouts) and Ume Plum Salt…which was both a rather unique and delicious brew.

It was well past time to grab a bite and trying to decide where to go we saw suits of armor and a name we couldn’t pronounce Krolewskie Jadlo(694 Manhattan Avenue). Inside were pretty girls eating huge plates of hearty Polish fare while paintings of Polish Kings that all looked like Vlad the Impaler looked on… How could we not eat here? Bread with a “spread” and dill pickles came to the table. The spread was rather tasty and savory, it turned out to be pork fat…does a body good. I ordered the Stuffed Boar with Tarragon mashed potatoes with a Zywiee beer and my Cuz the Polish Sampler(sausage, stuffed cabbage, beef pierogies, and potatoes pancakes). Portions are large, the food tasty and the the prices gentle. Most entrees are $15 with appi’s in the $6-8 range.

We then headed on to Dirck the Norseman (7 N 15th Street at Franklin Street) a huge spot with a giant bar that takes up a large amount of the space. Tables inside and out, an in-house brewery, The Greenpoint Beer and Ale Company and they even get live bands. We ordered up When Life Hands You…a tasty brew. On the way to the L to call it a night we walked by The Gorbels (98 N 6th Street) and popped up to check it out. Six flights of stairs  later I needed a drink(of note, there is an elevator, which we found leaving of course)…after a night of beers for a nightcap I went frozen with their Jet Pilot, a blend of light and dark rum, cachaca, lime, lemon, grapefruit, cinnamon, and mint. Tasty…it crushed me. I wonder if Erik the Red felt this wonderful the next day. Though I’m guessing he too was up for further exploration….

Sleepy Jones PJ’s, Boxers, and Lounge-wear

Sleepy Jones Waves Sleepy Jones

Walking along Howard Street on a grey Fall day in June(it was one of those days that you look out your window and wonder “if I get out of bed…should I go any further then my couch”? ) I wandered into Sleepy Jones. They specialize in PJ’s for men and women with a growing line of under-garments. They also have tee’s and sweats…through I imagine these are more for lounging around with rather then pursuing anything that will make you sweat much.

I purchased a pair of their new Wave patterned boxers (also available as PJ ‘s). The cut of the boxers is European, meaning if you’re American Beef and Milk built, even if lean and mean you likely(Read: you will) need to buy a size up. Of note, they also carry some soaps and toiletries including Harry’s Shaving sets. The staff is friendly and couldn’t have been more appropriately attired, they were wearing PJ’s.

Sleepy Jones is located at 25 Howard Street

 

 

 

#MarilynMonroe Retrospective @ThePopGallery

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

The works of 7 Photographers celebrating Marilyn Monroe’s June Birthday are being featured at Pop International Galleries. They include the very early works by Andre de Dienes which are some of my favorites all the way up to what I believe are the very last taken by George Barris  just two weeks before her death. In addition there are some Warhol and Peters Mars pieces due to her iconic Pop Art star status.

While discussing the Dienes works with one of the Art Consultants, Alexis I shared how I believed that Marilyn in her photos made you not only desire her, but also I’ve always felt looking at her pictures that you want to protect her as well. She was simultaneously oozing sensuality and vulnerability with as Alexis noted maybe just a bit of danger in her eyes as well…

Pop International Galleries is located at 473 West Broadway

City Sandwich’s “ItaLisboNyorker” Style Sandwiches

Roberto-City Sandwich

For what sounds like a typical corner Deli, City Sandwich, the  love child of Portuguese, Italian and NYC influences and ingredients makes some fairly awesome sandwiches. Like their mixed heritage these are like the Brazilian Supermodels of sandwiches, with enough meat(fish,eggs,veggies) to fill them out right and just the right balance of veggies, cheeses and condiments to round them out.

The sandwiches are split into three groups on the menu, those with meat(red), no meat(though many with seafood(green) and egg based sandwiches (white). Sandwiches are available as a salad if do desired. However, the bread here is phenomenal so if your going to eat bread, eat it here(plus they scoop the insides out anyhow). Also of note, they don’t use heavy condiments like mayo here, it’s either a splash of olive oil or a dash of yogurt  sauce.

I went on a Tuesday and had their special the Roberto, a combo of marinated Pig, Portuguese bacon, spinach, caramelized onions, jalapenos and a splash of olive oil. While not the lightest sandwich on the menu the balance of flavors made one awesome sandwich. Size wise it’s medium by NYC standards, though they are filling. Maybe get a soup or kale salad. The tomato is very good and I’m looking forward for their Gazpacho. For desert their Pastel De Crema(like Flan) are delicious and if you like cinnamon I highly recommend getting one.

City Sandwich is located at 649 9th Avenue

Caprices by Sophie, French Bakery

Caprices by Sophie

Caprices by Sophie

 

    On my way to the L to head back to NYC I noticed a new shop on North 6th. My waistline may not be so happy about this find but my taste buds are ecstatic. I had their Pistachio Eclair, one of the absolute best Eclairs I’ve ever had in my life! They come in multiple flavors and have a number of other puff and cream delights. The menu is broken down into primarily three sections…

 

  • Capriceux -flavored meringues with toppings. ie Caramel, Chocolate, Coconut
  • Magic Choux – Assorted flavored Cream puffs-PB and Chocolate to Rosewater Raspberry
  • Eclairs – Flavors include Pistachio, Raspberry, Caramel

In true Williamsburg style many of the Ingredients are locally sourced and organic. Seating  is available inside as well in the outdoor garden in the back to enjoy your sweets with Coffee and Tea. An awesome addition to the hood.

Caprices by Sophie is located at 136 N6th Street, Willliamsburg, Brooklyn

Letter J: Your Dream Casual Wear Closet

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While checking out some Art Galleries on West 23rnd I walked by Letter J, a Menswear store loaded with cool casual gear. It totally reminded me of a place I used to go back on Long Island when I was  in College for hip casual trendy yet at the same time classic clothing. The store is fairly large and very well organized with a great selection of Khaki’s, Chino’s, Shorts, Polo’s and Button Down shirts, Swimwear, etc for your weekends and evenings.

Letter J’s selection of brands include Save Khaki, Psycho Bunny, Orlebar Brown, John Varvatos, Hartford, Mason’s and many hard to find So-Cal labels like Aviator Nation, Sol Angeles, and Paperback. I picked up a great fitting pair of Midnight Blue chino’s from Paperback and a pair of 60’s square cut Psycho Bunny swim trunks with the namesake logo all over them.

This place quite simply is like the beach-house closet you wish you had. The staff is very friendly and both eager to answer questions and suggest some of their wares based upon what you’ve been looking at. A great place for some upcoming Father’s Day shopping, though good luck walking out without picking up something for yourself….



Letter J is located at 557 West 23rd Street

 

Summer Gear 2015/Skin Care Special

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Summer Gear 

I was blown away recently when I read a report that only 15% of men and only 30% of woman use any suntan lotion. Are you people crazy?!? Lizard skin is not in. I, in all fairness used to coat myself in oil, but those days are long gone. Plus I spend a lot of time in the water whether it be at the beach or pool so I need water resistant stuff. After the sun care is essential as well. Here are some Skin Care goods your body needs and some gear to help get you through the Summer of 2015

Skin Care Solutions

Kiehl’s SPF 50 Suntan lotion. I’ve found this to be one of the best because not only is it water resistant(good for 80 minutes or so, and as stated I’m in the pool and ocean water quite a bit), it has Vitamin E in it to keep the skin nourished as well. Re-apply regularly.

Nose Guard- My nose goes Rudolph like from the sun so I usually rock some Zinka on my snoggin either sky blue or lime green.

Lip Balm- I luckily don’t suffer from chapped lips, but still good to keep some on hand for myself or someone special lip’s that I want to keep moist . Not to be a Kiehl’s Ad  but I simply write about what I myself use/wear/experience

After Tanning

Aloe- this is key for after Sun care. Even when I didn’t use lotion I used Panama Jack’s bright green gel and still do. This year I read an article on oatmeal lotions and purchased Kiehl’s Oatmeal lotion. Since I spend some time in the sun I’m trying this stuff out. So far, I’m liking it.

Warm and Wet Clothing

Swimsuits- My current faves in no particular order are Onia, Faherty, Saturdays, Orlebar Brown and I just picked up a sweet pair of 60’s cut trunks by Psycho Bunny with little Psycho-bunnies all over it:)

Rash Guards – I wear them for snorkeling and surfing. If your skin burns easy or you have kids they are great protection from the sun and elements. Patagonia and Quicksilver my faves.

Sweatshirts – choose you style from Hoodie w/without a zipper or pullover. I like Vince’s, Saturday’s(my Bowery is maybe the greatest crew-neck sweatshirt ever) American Apparel,Patagonia(the zip neck’s) and Icebreaker(their lightweight zippered hoodies are very light yet very warm)

White Jeans- Of note, these work best if you’re fit or slim, better yet you’re female. Choose the brand that best fits you. I rock a pair of Gap 1969’s that are cut like 501’s.

Gear

Beach chair- for the beach, park or pool. I like the Rio brand, strong but light with a cup holder. I get mine in Long Beach.

Backpack- You need something to carry your stuff. I rock a Dakine that has multiple pockets including one for a wet swimsuit. I like Patagonia’s as well.

Tote- For the pool the backpack is overkill. The basic tote from Baggu carries my books, mags, keys, iPhone, sketch pad etc. If you want something fancier look at the ones from Jack Spade.

Camera- Your phone’s camera is only so good. I’m using an Olympus Tough that’s waterproof to 30 ft. So simple a child can use it. Just ask my brother, I have his kids taking pics of me diving into their pool all Summer long:)

Sunglasses – Cheap sunglasses are crap and bad for your eyes and skin around them. Get a real pair. I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to get Warby Parker’s with prescription lens. Mine are kinda like Wayfarers but a bit bigger and Blue. Sweet! Oakley makes great ones for sports and Persol, Oliver Peoples and RayBan’s are always styling.

A good Book. I still like paper, feel free to go with an app. Here’s my list of Summer reads for 2015

Beer- My go to Summer beer has become without a doubt 21st Amendments Watermelon Wheat which comes in a can making it perfect for rooftops that frown on glass. I also really like Sixpoint’s Apollo(wheat) and Jammer(a Gose with Coriander and Sea Salt)as well as Ballast Point Sculpin(IPA with peach, mango and lemon). All available in roof and beach friendly cans. Wondering why Beer is on a gear list…well it is a Summer-time essential…is it not?:)

Rock Center Lunch and Coffee Spots

The Little Beet

The Little Beet

  I recently started working on a number of projects in the Rock Center area. While there are plenty of great restaurants in the area, many are pretty pricey and are full sit down meals which I don’t have as much time for lately. However, after some exploration I have found a number of great spots that include healthy Salad spots, Korean, Indian and West Chinese food along with awesome Grilled Cheese sandwiches and Bagels with Lox.

Breakfast and Coffee

Simon Sips–  Counter Culture Coffee and a great selection of baked goods that include Half bagels with Lox from Russ & Daughters, Croissants, Muffins, and Rugelach .1185 Ave of Am via the courtyard

Pret a Manger- Good cup of coffee and large variety of breakfast items to choose from. They added egg sandwiches and burritos recently which was huge. Of course, great selection of fresh and tasty sandwiches for lunch…though of note, these are Euro sized not typical American Deli. 1350 Avenue of the Americas

Bouchon Bakery– I need this by my office like a whole in the head. Very good coffee and phenomenal baked goods. I break down for their rather large sized cookies…though eat them in 2-3 sittings. 1 Rockefeller Plaza

Magnolia Bakery  – ditto on this one. I really like their Magic Bars in addition to their Cupcakes. Good coffee…lines here can get crazy and they need another register.
1240 Avenue of the Americas

Lunch

Chop’t – One of my fave Salad spots with locations around the city. The Cobb is epic. Awesome selection of dressings. 145 W 51st St

The Little Beet – This has become one of my new go to spots. One of the best combos of Healthy, nutritious and delicious I know. You choose a protein(chicken, steak, salmon , tofu) and have it over sides(Quinoa w/beets, Grilled Kale. Lentils w/pecans and avocado ,Greek salad, Broccoli, Soba Noodles with cabbage and mint, for example) salad or brown rice. Seating available. 12-2 this place gets packed.Pressed juices, Coffee, Strawberry Lime Mint Spa water to drink.135 West 50th Street

New York Kimchi– Very good Korean, I really like their spicy and sour Kimchi Jigae(kimchi stew soup with pork.) Bibimbap in bowls to go. 16 W 48th Street

Kum Gang San– Kimchi’s sister restaurant located downstairs with service and table eating. The Seafood Jigae is very good. Down here the lunch special includes the usual Korean little multitude of sides plates. 16 W 48th Street

Graso Grill – Burgers my buds meant Picante , I went Wasabi (radish, Parmesan, arugula, Wasabi cream, side of  onion rings. 16 E 48th Street (Street Level)

Kitto– located upstairs. Noodle soups, Rice Bowls, Bibimbap, Buns(Pork Belly, Short Rib, etc). I like their spicy Ramen. Seating available. 16 E 48th Street

Emporium Brazil – On 46th street just off Rock Center. Large menu that averages in the $15-20 range.  Feijoada the national dish available every day(normally eaten for Brunch). I like their Moqueca available with Fish or Shrimp. 15 W 46th Street

Melt Shop– Delish melted cheese sandwiches. You can go classic and basic but I love the Fried Chicken and the Chicken Club.They have Tator Tots and Milkshakes that are popular…but I love their Tomato soup. 135 W 50th Street

Cafe Metro – Rock solid spot right by NYSC down the stairs on 48th for big breakfast sandwiches, fresh salads, sandwiches and soups. 1221 Avenue of the Americas

 Taki Sushi – Good spot to grab some fairly priced Sushi Rolls and Bento box lunches, etc. The Wasabi Shumai are my favorite item on the menu.  60 W 48th St #2.

Ustav – Huge Indian spot, feels like your at a business convention or wedding. Great selection of high quality Indian usual suspects on a buffet. 1185 Avenue of the Americas

Xi’an Famous– just off Rock Center on 45th. Awesome if you like it hot. Western Chinese pulled noodles, soups and Lamb burgers. Even if you don’t  like hot you  Gwilo just ask for it not spicy and you’ll love it. If you like hot…beware HOT here is Asian hot not American I think Tabasco is hot. 24 West 45th Street

These should keep you busy as I continue to explore the neighborhood…

#SHAG “All My Bones” @JonathanLevineGallery

SHAG - False Idols

SHAG – False Idols

Josh Agle aka Shag’s latest show “All My Bones” tells the classic stories from the Old Testament in his signature bright eye popping ascetically pleasing Retro 50-60’s Pop Art style. Many of the works feature his lovely, leggy, doe eyed Femme Fatales with felines representing false idols in opulent settings. Check out the pics or better yet check them out for yourself, they are on display till June 13, 2015.



Jonathan Levine Gallery is located at 557C West 23rd Street

Macondo West: Village Latin Fusion Brunch

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A short while ago I had a great dinner at Barraca so when I needed a spot for Brunch in the WV/MPD I figured I’d give their Latin hermano next store a whirl. The menu is broken into Entrees, Eggs, Sides, Burgers, Ceviches, a large selection of Tapas and a nice selection of Cocktails along with a number of Sangria’s. I went with the Valencia comprised of a Rose base with Vodka, Grapefruit, some Ginger and fruit while my dining companion opted for a Lemonade. Much like at Barraca, the Sangria’s here are a bit more like well crafted cocktails then your usual version.

Since there was so much to choose from we decided to share a number of items from the menu. We both enjoy seafood and I love Ceviche so we planned on ordering a couple but they were not serving them during our visit for some reason…so we adapted, improvised and overcame by ordering the Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon topped with a lemon aioli over Arepas (of note I think sweet corn Arepas make a superior Benedict) a side of Guacamole that was very fresh and seasoned just right. You have a choice of 2 out of 4 Salsas. We choose the Guajillo (smokey) and the Tomatillo (fresh and vibrant). The Guac portion is small, the chips portion large. Since Summer is coming we ordered the Kale Salad with dulce de membrillo(quince) and pumpkin seeds topped with Manchego cheese in a lemon chipoltel vinaigrette that was absolutely delish,  When stuff tastes this good why not go healthy? The only other seafood choice available was the Shrimp Empanada’s, while good, not great, but did the job of filling us up.

Inside Macondo is a bright airy space with lots of turquoise and in their backyard is a beautiful wall sized Day of the Dead painting. Of note, it does get a little loud inside during brunch likely due to those who choose the unlimited Mimosa’s(2hour limit). We didn’t get a chance to check out the desert menu, it was just too nice out and we opted for some sunshine…

Macondo West is located at 2 Bank Street