The "House of Speakeasy" made me talk again

I’ve hibernated for, ohgosh… two years. Almost three. I even took the date stamps out of the blog not to embarrass myself even further… 
That’s a long sleep and I’m looking the farthest of a bear that I ever had (as a Brazilian, I finally decided to get a total  “Brazilian” after my divorce. Ok, that might be too much information... but it does maybe help explain my disappearance from the blogosphere.)

So, what prompted my sudden awakening?

A writers salon on a Monday evening.

Simply inspirational. It jolted me out of the writing funk, what else can I say. I’m so grateful to these remarkable professionals (and my new writer friend and Flybarre work-out-buddy Lucy who invited me!). 
The line up of monologues around tonight's “No Satisfaction” theme were:
Ruby Wax, Graham Moore, Dan Povenmire, Hooman Majd and Philip Gourevitch.

 Hooman Majd

What a pleasure!
I can’t quote the brilliant lines that made me laugh and think (I was not in my reporter mode, I had no idea I would actually post this), but what I share with you is this: please, please, if you are in NYC around their next gathering: just go.
Lucky for me , what's saving me from being such a bad note-taker tonight, they film the presentations, which will be online soon.

Bookmark and Share

ACME is hip - but comfy and delicious too

What’s all the fuss about ACME? The facade is exactly the same as it was during it’s many years as an “Authentic Southern and Cajun Cookin” bar and grill… But the interior has been completely redone, well, to look old. Danish chef Mads Refslund brings a modern, and somewhat revolutionary cuisine to the spot, not disappointing his legacy of being an apprentice of the world-renowned restaurant Noma in Copenhagen. 

The doorman with the list at the door is obviously intimidating to passers by and completely discourages walk-ins. The place has a super buzzed scene, but once you score a resie (really simple, try opentable in advance), and after you pass the lizard handles on its shiny red doors, service is friendly, the mixologist kind, and the atmosphere  quite welcoming, emulating a Parisian café.
Downstairs is a funky basement bar, for aperitifs or an après-dinner cocktail. Perfect place if you want a hip vibe, with innovative and interesting dishes. 

For more information go here.
Bookmark and Share

The NoMad Hotel (movie)

After years wrapped in renovation, the NoMad is finally unveiled. Located on the in the historic district North of Madison Square Park (hence the neighborhood’s nickname NoMad) the hotel is a homage to Paris in the twenties, taking advantage of the 100+ year-old building’s original opulence. The overall feeling is warm and charming, striving for romantic.   
The hood is still a bit shabby, but that’s also slowly changing. WIth block the ultra hip Ace Hotel just one block away, that area is bound to become a destination.

I love the concept for curating the books in the library. According to Andrew Zobler, the owner of the hotel, the idea was to recreate the reading taste of a well-educated twenty something French educated woman who moves to NYC in the quest for romance and adventure.

The restaurant’s team couldn’t be better: Daniel Humm and Will Guidara, of Michelin-three-starred Eleven Madison Park.
The elegant setting and the direct sunrays that shine through the enormous skylight in the building’s courtyard is stunning and ensures a bright atmosphere for a breakfast meeting, or leisurely brunch.

The meticulously restored copper cupola will house the bar of a rooftop restaurant, opening this summer.

This is a movie I made about my recent visit and tour of a couple of rooms.

Still operating under soft opening rates, but not for long. When booked in advance you can get a small discount. (328 for a basic “classic” room instead of 345).
For more the NoMad's website and to make reservations, go here.

Bookmark and Share

Macy's turns Brazilian

 Samba dancers opened up the the catwalk before the runway shows by designers such as Rachel Roy and INC

Since last night, Brazil is now also spelled with an S in NYC, thanks to Macy’s. BraSil, as in its written in its native Portuguese, is the latest theme endorsed by the mega department store, which is paying tribute to its design and culture with the campaign “Brasil: a Magical Journey”. The launch party was last night, filled with clichés, such as semi-naked samba dancers wearing feathers on tiaras, overly sweet caipirinhas, and even parrot clad ladies prancing about on stilts. Yes, stuff you see “everyday” in real Brasil… In any case, the vibe was fun and positive. Especially because all funds raised by the silent auction went towards BrazilFoundation. Bebel Gilberto ad Sergio Mendez sang a couple of classic tunes, which set the party mode and lifted the spirits of the 500 or so guests hanging around store’s the 9th floor.

To stock up on Brazilian goods or Brasil-inspired fashion, visit Macy's The Magic of Brasil site

 Guarana is a typical Brazilian soda, that tastes like gummybear juice (if there were such a thing!).

The store has a Brazilian corner called "O Mercado", which brings traditional arts and crafts to the Macy's shoppers

Window at Herald Square

Bebel Gilberto poses in front of her portrait made by artist Marcos Marin, who graciously donated the painting for the silent auction, benefiting BrazilFoundation.

The first floor was partly turned into a slice of Ipanema's sidewalk

Bookmark and Share

Red Farm: Chinese barn

A dim sum barn in the West Village? Sounds odd, and it is. But deliciously so. The food is healthy, less greasy than your typical Chinese, with a fresh twist on Asian classics such as crispy beef (a must have!) and dumplings.

Red Farm opened end of last year, and has quickly turned into a classic for New Yorkers in the know craving some American-Cantonese. The atmosphere is lively, and the crowd very mixed. The long communal table in the center of the small, cozy restaurant, summons a relaxed vibe, while the red checkered booth cushions evoke a leisurely picnic. 
Chef Ed Schoenfeld’s whimsical creativity is reflected in his creations: eyes on dumplings and crispy noodles that look like oysters clutching a vegetable salad. 
We sat at the 4-seat bar counter and were very well served by a beautiful and friendly Asian-American mixologist.No reservations accepted.

Red Farm529 Hudson Street by Charles Street    Bookmark and Share

Cindy Sherman at the MoMA

If you haven’t done so, you’ve got to go see Cindy Sherman’s show at the MoMA. Thirty years of self-transformation captured on film and printed in large prints, reveal the artist exposing strong ideologies, or just plain fun ideas, throughout times.

Some personas may look uncannily similar to some visitors around you, especially in the room that portrays “high society ladies” with obvious “work” done…

It is extremely forbidden to take photos of the exhibit, but my courageous friend MZ took a few shots with her iphone and let me share them here…

If you haven’t made a reservation at The Modern (MoMA’s classy delicious restaurant), I suggest the Café 2 on the second floor for delicious italian Panini, salumi and artisanal cheeses. Wine also available…

February 26–June 11, 2012

More info

Bookmark and Share

Pulqueria - charming "mexicano secreto" in Chinatown

Pulqueria is on my favorites to-go to places. It has all those ingredients that make a bar and restaurant alluring. It’s located in an improbable neighborhood (Chinatown), on a desert street (Doyers), and has no sign (I know, typical New Yorker hot spot, but I fell for it nonetheless). It’s in a basement, but doesn’t feel stuffy. In the contrary: the ambiance has a genuine tropical flair with its thatch roof, colorful tiled floor and spacious dining room. I like the bar area the best, where the DJ turns alternative tunes on his mac from the corner of the counter, while patrons sip a Sol beer, fresh margueritas, or fancy concoctions of jicama and mezcal (Pulqueria is owned by the same owners of the mixologists haven Apotheke, - which is pretty much next door.) The food is really good.

The ubiquitous guacamole at this Mexican joint is an indication of what comes next: spicy and garlicky, not for the mild taste buds. Viva Pulqueria!

FYI, Pulque = the sap of the agave plant when distilled is called mezcal, and if fermented its called pulque.

Here’s a super well edited video (by GloboMaestro), where the The Bowery Hotel’s concierge, Laura Cooper Brown, tours the “secret” Mexican bar/restaurant.!

11 Doyers Street


For more info

Bookmark and Share