Archive for the ‘Neighborhoods’ Category

Reasons why I say "No" to the UES

Yes, I live on the Upper East Side, but it’s rare to find me out and about in my own ‘hood and hitting a local bar on Saturday reminded me why.

At 11pm, a friend called to let me know that she was at Mustang Grill (on 85th & 2nd) drinking a margarita and convinced me to meet up with her and a friend. I would normally say no, but I figured it would be easy enough to ignore the crowd and focus on my friends. Wrong!

As soon as I arrived, I found my friends being chatted up by a group of boys in their 20’s. OK, if they’re fun I’ll play along. Not quite. This one kid approached me and his line was… so, let’s figure out a cool drinking game to play. Ha! Drinking game? Seriously? I didn’t play them in college and I wasn’t about to start now. Of course, I mentioned this, along with some other remarks that he didn’t like so instead of giving up he thought it would be cute to try and insult me. Oh yes, THIS is what works. Calling him a “prick” didn’t get him to walk away either, so he thought he’d push me. Last straw kiddo. He finally walked away after I threatened him. Too bad someone broke up my verbal assault. I was hoping to get him to cry.

Even if you took that experience away, I can’t hang where I have to yell to hear my friends talk, where people are trying so damn hard to hook up, where boys have no respect for women that just want to be left alone, and where girls dance on the bar. Actually, if these girls could actually dance, then I probably wouldn’t mind so much.

If you happen to be in your 30’s and can’t deal with the “college like” bar scene… stay away from my ‘hood. Unless you’re up for wine. If that’s the case, I suggest you stop by Caffe Notte, Bar Vespa and my absolute FAVORITE, Pudding Stones.

Brooklyn Flea Starts Today

Today was the first Sunday of the Brooklyn Flea for the year 2008. Brooklyn Flea is a flea market that meets every Sunday at Lafayette Avenue at the corner of Cleremont in Clinton Hill. From the pictures below you will see that the fair was packed today, the gusty winds not withstanding.

This is Brooklyn’s largest flea market in its hippest neighborhood. Its definitely worth a trip for all the non-brooklynites.



Check out more pics at Clintonhill

Tierra Sana– Wheatgrass and Fresh Juice Come to Rego Park

Woo hoo! There’s something new in Rego Park, and it’s not an Uzbeki club, Russian-language video/cellphone/drugstore/optician combo! Not that I have anything against our newest immigrants, but not since Starbucks opened here, have I seen any business catering to the ever-growing number of young and middle-aged professionals who are moving to Central Queens to own co-ops, priced out of Manhattan and sick of paying rent.

Tierra Sana is a vegan, funkily-furnished eatery with a juice and smoothie bar that looks as if it could be in the Flatiron. It’s only weakness during my visit, was spotty service, which they are going to have to iron out if they want to reman afloat. It’s a huge space, and rents along that part of Queens Blvd. are sky-high, so they have to serve up a lot of panini, smoothies, wraps, and veggie juice.

But I am committed to trying to become a regular customer, to lend my support. The felafel panini I had on my visit was just the nutritious lunch I needed. And I would just as soon let Tierra Sana juice me up a carrot-apple mix if it means avoiding cleaning out my own juicer. And the friendliness of the staff made up for a little disorganization; you could tell that they care to please.

50 Years of the Egg

No, not the one that you have for breakfast, the Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair.

After work, I headed over to the Design Within Reach Studio in Flatiron for the 50th Anniversary Event.

Before I go on, I should mention that I have this “thing” for furniture – especially chairs. If I had a choice, I think I’d get rid of my couch (since I don’t really sit on it) and just fill my room with Modern Retro chairs. Then, someone mentioned that if I ever decide to date again, I might want to lay on a couch with someone. Hm. Guess I wasn’t thinking ahead.

Anyway, I was really excited to see what DWR had planned for the event. When we arrived, they had about 4 Egg Chairs set up in the middle of the room with Swan Chairs in between and a few more Egg Chairs displayed in the windows. They served Deviled Eggs, Prosecco, Buffalo Wing and Chocolate Golden Eggs. Interesting Combination – but fun.

The excitement ended there and maybe I expected too much. I thought we’d be greeted at the door by someone welcoming us to the event, I thought the store would be a little more festive, I thought there would be more mingling, a give-away… nope. People walked into the store and didn’t realize they were at an event! An hour into the event, 3 people got up to speak very briefly about the history of the chair and that was it.

One hour, one glass of Prosecco and about 6 Deviled Eggs later, we left. We skipped the Buffalo Wings – not something you want to eat while sitting on an Egg Chair.

Disappointing, but any opportunity to spend quality time with my favorite chairs is still worth it.

Everybody’s a Little Irish Today

As a kid growng up in Long Beach, Long Island, I dressed in green every March 17, and my name on classwork headings was Fern O’Cohen. My very Jewish mom made corned beef and cabbage for dinner every St. Patrick’s Day. Yes, everybody is a little Irish today!

After the big parade this morning down Fifth Avenue, the real hard-core partying begins. Irish neighborhoods from Riverdale to Woodside, Queens will be full of green beer, Irish music and Irish food.

So, to all my Irish neighbors and Irish wannabees like myself, I would like to wish everybody a very Happy St. Patricks Day!


St. Patrick’s Day Starts Early in Queens

For those of you want to start wearing the green, drinking green beer, and hear the bagpipes, and can’t wait until March 17, you can head to the Rockaways this Saturday, March 1 at 1pm. The parade starts at Beach 129th St and Newport Avenue and ends at Beach 94th St. The Rockaways was once known as the “Irish Riviera”, and if the weather is nice, this parade can get up to 50,000 spectators.

Expected to march are Mayor Bloomberg, Senator Chuck Schumer, and NY City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. More details on John Roleke’s Queens blog

Ethnic Eats in Elmhurst

Dave Cook, whose blog Eating in Translation, is subtitled “Fascinating Food in New York and Occasionally Farther Afield”, has written a great column in’s Queens newsletter. In it, he reviews Thai, Argentinean, and Indonesian restaurants. Elmhurst is the home of the recently renovated Queens Center Mall. But walk a few blocks west down Queens Blvd and turn right on Broadway, and you enter arguably the most ethnically diverse neighborhood in NYC’s most diverse borough. Along Broadway, you see traditional Chinese [ducks in the window], Thai, Indonesian, Argentinean, Indian and Pakistani eateries. Continue walking into Jackson Heights, and you come into streets lined with bakeries and restaurants from every country in Latin America, along with another Indian sub-continent stronghold on 74th St. [with my alltime favorite Indian spot, the Jackson Diner]

Anyway check out Dave Cook’s column here.

Life As An Artist In NYC Part Two

Here is part two of my rant that I am re-posting.

Things got really quiet. I mean really and I could tell that there were a lot of other birds that were listening now.

Teeny Bird: We didn’t get too much to eat. I am hungry.

Greeny Bird : This guy is a nut. I have an MFA fro

Middle Aged Bird: Yeh, We know. Why don’t we all admit it. A lot of us have thought about this. A lot of the birds I know moved upstate.Another Young Bird: Some of the birds from Tyler are staying in Philly. They say it’s pretty great and they get to spen..

Greeny Bird: I am from Philly and a lot of it just so dangerous and nasty and

Me: Like Brooklyn was? ( This seems to strike some kind of cord and I can see a lot of birds thinking )

Black Bird: I am from Pittsburgh and I hear that some birds a–

Other Birds: He’s a nut.

Greeny Bird: The fact is that we can’t leave and that is just a fact that we all have to face. The galleries and clubs and theaters and writers and curators and critics are all here.

Me: Arn’t they here because you are here?

Old Bird: ( really loud ) He is just right and you all know it. I remember when it seemed like the scene revolved around us and seemed to be about the work. I remember when I could do work.

Why don’t you all just look around. How many of you think you might lose your nests soon.

Pink Bird: Well we are in court and I think I am OK for a few months.

Black Bird: I gotta move out in two weeks.

Other Birds: We can help ( one say’s he has some space on the floor of his place since his roomate moved to L.A. )

Black Bird: Didn’t you move to Pittsburgh?

Me: Yes. I came there because I want to help make scene that revolved around the artists.

Same Old Song For Artists In London

This video about a squater eviction in London indicates it’s the same over there if not worse. The particular symbiotic relationship between these squaters shows they were in fact doing some good for the neighborhood by maintaining the building, keeping out vandals and helping keep the area safe, things it’s unlikely the city was prepared to do. Of course, a number of them may have also worked in and patronised local businesses.

Who is Hernado de Soto???

Food Co-Op in the Bronx

I’m really encouraged by news of a food co-op in the Bronx. I’ve felt for a long time that the next hip neighborhood would be in the Bronx, and it sounds like there are some really forward-thinking people in that borough that see the value of organic food and local produce in that borough.

According to today’s New York Times, Agraduate business svhool student at Baruch, Zena Nelson, is credited for conceiving this co-op, which is the newest of five in the city. Ms. Nelson is also a member of the Green Party. At 30 members, the co-op is still small, but maybe that’s a good thing for now.

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