Monday, April 29, 2013

Taste of Tribeca on Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Taste of Tribeca is coming up on Saturday, May 18, 2013 from 11:30 am to 3 pm.  We love going as it's one of the few food events featuring a steller all star lineup of the best restaurants you can find downtown.  Some of our favorite restaurants are participating this year, they include:

1. Macao Trading Company - delicious cocktails made with fresh herb and fruit infusions, unique asian fusion food inspired by chinese & portugese cuisines.  Macao Trading Company is also holding a cocktail & hors d'oeuvres party on May 1st to benefit Taste of Tribeca, tickets can be purchased here - they're $75 AND they include a ticket to the actual Taste of Tribeca event on May 18!

2. Blaue Gans - tasty gourmet Austrian food, with amazing desserts

3. Sarabeth's of Tribeca - their space downtown is huge, with high ceilings and delicious brunch as always

4. Landmarc - this rustic intimat eatery in Tribeca can take simple comfort dishes like lasagna and nicoise salads and make them extra comfortlicious!

5. Newcomer Aamanns Copenhagen - Danish cuisine, tasty and healthy.

A complete list of participating restaurants can be found here.  You can get a good idea of how the event is like from last year's menu.

Tickets can be purchased here for $40 before May 1st, and $45 thereafter if purchased online; tickets at the door the day of are $50.    Each ticket is good for six tastings at the event.  VIP reserved table seating are available for $175 per person, or $950 for a table of six.  

Proceeds benefit arts and enrichment programs for public schools PS 150 and PS 234.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Scenes from the Opening Ceremony Fall Collection Preview Party - April 25, 2013

It may be just spring but in the fashion world, you're always thinking two seasons ahead (or more)!  Tonight, we checked out the fall fashion preview party of our favorite clothing shop in all of New York City - Opening Ceremony.  What gets us excited about this shop is that it's just ... so much fun; the store is 4 stories of quirky, fun, artistic, experimental, and whimsical design - all with a sophisticated downtown edge.

At the party, Carol Lim, the owner and creative visionary behind this store was there to welcome everyone to the event.  It was a fabulous night of fashion, music, champagne, hors d'oeurvres, and people watching!
Guests looking cute in black and white
Chic cyclop manequinns at the front entrance
Carol Lim welcomes everyone to tonight's fall preview party with American Express, the sponsor of this event.
Guests having a fun fashion night out on the main floor
The Space Age Look
Mannequins line the front entrance of the shop in Opening Ceremony's fall collection.  We love how they look like they're wearing swim caps.
Check in at the front of the shop, guest start off with a choice of still or sparkling water
Founder Carol Lim poses next to an Ostrich jewelry display case!
Fancy hors d'oeurvres, these are beet with goat cheese and candied walnuts!
Imaginative store fixtures
 More pieces from the fall collection.  This violet skirt can glam up any evening outfit.
What happens when stage design meets clothing store: Showgirl legs in fishnet stockings.
Taken outside the shop, who knew feathers on a mens blazer can look so glamorous!
Opening Ceremony carries the Acne Studio line.  We love how the green and the pink colors on this bag remind us of summer - watermelons!
In this store, you get to climb up small flights of wooden stairs to get to the next level - it reminds us of a fancy tree house in a way
Zipper Dress - sporty and elegant, good enough for tennis or fancy night out
Black veil sewed to a pink headpiece = gothic romance
Dress with a lace and striped fabric contrast, as seen on the second floor of the shop
Look closely, this is a sheer semi see through skirt under a body suit, we're already daring ourselves to wear this!

There's even a children's section with Keith Haring inspired chairs
Fancy leather vests makes a cute pink dress much more exciting
American Express will make this event possible. Opening Ceremony is part of a program at American Express where they celebrate Cardmembers and their sources of inspiration and follow the creative process.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Culinary and Artistic Creativity at the New York Hot Sauce Festival

This past weekend (April 20 - 21, 2013), the New York Hot Sauce Expo brought over 50 vendors to Williamsburg, Brooklyn for two full days of gourmet foods, beer, and cocktails.  Hot sauce vendors from all across America showcased their sauces at the East River State Park with plenty of hot sauce samplings.

This was an event of culinary and artistic creativity dedicated to just hot sauce! We sampled unique hot sauce flavors and beautiful packaging that gave each bottle of sauce a life of its own.  Unlike supermarket hot sauces that are very much lacking in flavor, hot sauce makers here created complex flavor profiles that will jazz up any dish to gourmet status without a culinary degree.  We found hot sauces flavored with everything from honey to mangos to mustard seeds!

Dirty Dick Hot Sauce - Hot sauce with a tropical twist of bananas and mangoes for a nice subtle sweet tast profile

NW Elixirs won second place at this Hot Sauce Expo.  Their hot sauce is tastefully packaged in old fashioned elixir bottles, making them the perfect gift for spice lovers.
Torchbearer Sauces has a different comic personality created for each flavor, and we love that it's all NATURAL and preservative FREE.
The Sultry Flavor is a medium all purpose spicy sauce - very tasty, this one has won 18 hot sauce awards!

Their Zombie Apocalypse sauce is made with Ghost Chilis, the hottest pepper of them all!
Four Roses Bourbon, a small batch distillery in Kentucky served these refreshing cocktails - recipe included in this picture.
Empire Biscuits served their artisanal southern biscuits with berry preserves and goat cheese.  They will be opening this summer in the Lower East Side, serving up biscuits with herbed butter and gourmet jams.
Brewla serves up their guilt free all natural tea infusion popsicles.  Our favorite flavors were the Root Beer Float and Peach Ginger White Tea (actually we like them all but if we wanted to devour a box in one afternoon, we'd pick these two).  These popsicles were a perfect way to take a break from the hot sauce tasting!

Global Fund for Women 25th Anniversary Gala - April 17, 2013

Last Wednesday, April 17 2013 marked the 25th anniversary gala of the Global Women's Fund, a foundation that invests in women's right groups all around the world.  This international event was held at the grand venue of Cipriani, New York City.  

Many accomplished women in the fields of women's rights, poltics, journalist, activists, and philanthropy attended the gala in beautiful modern and traditional ethnic gowns.  Christiane Amanpour hosted the event and Hillary Clinton gave a keynote speech about the importance of women's right activism.  

President of Planned Parenthood Cecile Richards and filmaker/philanthropist Abigail Disney also spoke and inspired the audience about the important advancements made for women abroad with the help of the Global Women's Fund.  You can stay apply for grants or support the Global Women's Fund by clicking here.
The night starts out with guests arriving for photo shoots.  Filmaker/philanthopist Abigail Disney (left) dons an elegantly hand-embroidered floral wrap. Photogenic philanthropist, Electra Toub Preston glows beautifully in front of the camera (great grandaughter of the founder of the Pulitzer Prize, Joseph Pulitzer)
 Pop Star Andra Day (center) poses with CEO of Global Women's Fund Musimbi Kanyoro (left) and Board Chair (right) Leila Hessini
Group picture - Cecile Richards (right) of President of Planned Parenthood arrives in an elegant bright shimmering mini dress
Colorful dinner table set ups at Cipriani.  Appetizers started off with plates of Proscuitto and fresh Mozarella
Christiane Amanpour welcomes the audience to an extraordinary night of fundraising for the advancement of women's rights
Hillary Clinton tells us to think about the huge difference we can make in the lives of all the oppressed women around the world by supporting nonprofit women's groups
Very inspiring to see a sold out event for such a noble cause.
Cocktail hour involved a shopping bazaar where guests can purchase handmade accessories to benefit the Global Women's Fund
The night ended with a dessert bar of delicious cakes, tarts, eclairs and meringue

Friday, April 19, 2013

2013 Assembled Food Conference at General Assembly

General Assembly hosted Assembled Food - a technology in food conference on April 13, 2013.  General Assembly is a tech focused co-working space, school, and event space all rolled into one.  It is designed to attract, and bring together people who are already working on internet related projects/businesses, or those who are looking to break into it.

Conferences at General Assembly bring together start up founders, aspiring founders, and people who work in the internet field.  The Assembled Food conference was no different - talks were given by founders of innovative food related start-ups with speakers such as the founders of Tasting Table (foodie discovery site), Food Curated (videos of local food makers), CaterCow (food catering finder), Undergound Eats (food events, themed parties), and Farmingo (connecting consumers to farmers).  

 Founder of Tasting Table Geoff Bartakovics
Founder of Tasting Table spoke about the key things to have for a good online food publishing site.  Key takeaways: 1. investment in good VISUAL and UX design and 2. good systems in place for managing your email subscribers and social media interaction (facebook and twitter is important, but find a solution like HootSuite that'll enable you to spend less time on social media efforts).

Ode to Andy Warhol on a Sliding Wall.  Warhol once said being good at business is the most fascinating type of art, and in the startup world, it's all about business.
The main lounge area of General Assembly is used for talks and panel discussions
Jen Pelka (left) moderates a discussion about how the internet is changing the way people eat out. Harris Damashek (far right) is founder of Underground Eats, offering consumers themed dining events as an alternative to restaurants (such as Big Gay Brunch with famous gay chefs, coming up on June 1st, 2013).
Adam Salomone moderates a discussion about using technology to distribute and publicize healthier local foods. Jared Koch of Clean Plates runs a site to help people find healthier restaurants by location, Benzi Ronen of Farmingo runs a site that helps connect consumers to farms and CSAs, Danielle Gould of Food Tech Connect specialized in research on new applications of technology to food distribution, marketing, and sales.
The main theme behind a lot of discussion at the Assembled Food Conference is that for all the new possibilities that technology can bring to improve the way we distribute, sell, and consume food - changing peole's existing habits and behaviors is HARD.  If this is what your startup is trying to do, then you'll have to really believe in your vision because change is Slow and you'll have to work long and hard to see results.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Up Close with Andre Leon Talley at FIAF - April 15, 2013

Andre Leon Talley spoke to a sold out crowd at the FIAF ( French Institute ) in New York City on April 15, 2013 about his life and new book Little Black Dress. Andre treated the audience to his vast knowledge of the art, history, and design in fashion while weaving in stories of his humble upbringing in Durham North Carolina.  It was an intellectual and reflective side of Andre rarely shown on his cameo appearances in pop culture.
Andre guides the audience through notable black dresses from his new book
Skilled at making fashion lectures entertaining with his unique point of view.
Andre spoke extensively about the two main influences of his life - Diana Vreeland, and his grandmother - Bennie Francis Davis, both who could not be more similar and different.  
 Diana Vreeland
Vreeland was a renowned fashion editor in contrast to his grandmother - a domestic maid who lived very well and orderly on modest means.  She had rituals of dressing her best for church, keeping fresh smelling linen sheets at home, and making decadent fruit cake in Thanksgiving for Christmas (cheesecloth is draped over the cake and liquor would be poured over the cake every day for weeks).

Andre's grandmother Bennie Francis Davis
Andre presented fascinating stories and observations of over two dozen black couture dresses from a fashion exhibit he curated for the SCAD Museum of Art (Savannah College of Art & Design).  To curate this exhibit, Andre had his network of designer and celebrity friends donate a dress - and many of these dresses were black, hence the title his latest book, appropriately named - Little Black Dress.  

For the book cover, Andre chose a modern black dress by Karl Lagerfeld - made of boucle with silk trimmings.
Little Black Dress
Caroline Herrera's resort 2013 collection - this elegant gown is made of organza - printed to look like lace!
Caroline Herrera's resort 2013 collection
This Pierre Cardin dress has a firm yet elegant composition of a blooming upside-down flower
Pierre Cardin

If Chanel had a way with metal chains on leather handbags, Ghesquiere adorned them just as well on a dress.
This dress with exquisite ribbon work from Rodarte's 2006 collection has a life of it's own.
Rodarte's 2006 collection
For dresses with futuristic elements, Andre showed several black dresses made from the scuba diving suit material Neoprene.  
Et Ochs 2013 dress is draped in scuba diving suit material Neoprene photo: Adam Kuehl, SCAD
Ending with an audience Q&A, Andre reminisces about his formative years of growing up companionship from extended family and a church founded by his late great grandmother.  This experience taught him to learn about life by observing and taking good mental notes from his elders.  

Andre credits where he is today to learning from great talents like Andy Warhol (whom he met while working at Warhol's Interview Magazine), Karl Lagerfeld (whom he was introduced to by Warhol), and Diana Vreeland (whom he worked with at the Costume Institute at the MET).  He encouraged the audience to do the same - to seek and learn directly from the best people around you.  We should not rely on Googling things up is not a substitute for knowledge.

The audience came dressed their best for this event!
And to an audience member who inquired for advice on how to succeed with a fashion line, he encouraged her to go to Paris.  New York may be everyone is trying to succeed but Paris is where fashion inspiration is to be found.

Andre sports an African chief priest look with a horn amulet and a black dress!