Tag Archives: New York City

The Road To New York City

Over the past several months, I have traveled quite a bit. The journeys often differ in time and in scenery, based on the mode of transportation I choose, but the destination always remains the same. I’ve traveled through snowstorms, rainstorms, and hailstorms– sometimes in the darkness of night, other times, when the sun hangs high in the sky.

By car, the road to my destination is often choked with other vehicles, arguing and pushing their way through wide lanes dotted with shallow potholes. The view–a littered edge of a vast highway flanked with bony trees and the occasional sight of a distant rest stop can become dreadfully monotonous.

By train, the busy towns beyond the tracks whiz by in a blur like the bold, smudged strokes of an abstract painting. The ride is smoother, and I am able to read a book, type the small keys of my Blackberry and daydream about the world afar. Sometimes I can even drape my legs on the seat opposite mine and catch-up on some zzz’s.

To view the full article on The Brooklyn Nomad click here.

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Le Bernardin Keeps its Three Michelin Stars

[Photo by: michaelpoley/Flickr]

New York’s iconic Le Bernardin will keep its coveted Michelin Stars –three to be exact– and hold on to its status as one of the best restaurants in the world. Executive Chef, Eric Ripert, has been recognized as a culinary mastermind for his exquisite seafood dishes, and continues to marvel loyal diners at his each of his four restaurants.

“Le Bernardin is a  seafood restaurant with French roots  known for its understated elegance. The mid-town Manhattan restaurant is beautifully and tastefully decorated: the restaurant reportedly spends $12,000 a month on fresh flowers. Its menu is extensive and includes such delectable dishes as warm lobster carpaccio, smoked yellow fin tuna, “prosciutto”, bread crusted red snapper, crispy black bass and whole red snapper baked in rosemary and thyme salt crust. There are several tasting menus from which to choose, including LeBernardin’s Tasting Menu, which costs $138 per person, or $225 with wine pairing, per person. The prix fixe dinner costs $112 per person,” as reported by Luxist.

I have yet to dine at Le Bernardin — I guess I am waiting for the right occasion,when I’m feeling like French in the heart of New York.

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New York City: The Essence of an Empire

Four boroughs –a network of intricate veins carrying superfluous life into the heart of a vibrant city.  Everyday vitality flows from these vessels flooding its streets, cramming its subways, inhabiting its shimmering skyscrapers and igniting the flame that is the essence of an empire. New York.  Perhaps, this city is a global icon because it represents the aspirations of all who wish for something more.  Similar to Rome in its heyday, New York‘s influence has shaped the world as we know it. From fashion to business, food to technology, nightlife to academia- the Big Apple is the mecca for innovation.

As a child of one of the boroughs, I would often venture to NY hanging onto my mother’s coat sleeve as we made the two-hour trek into Manhattan, circumventing through a sea of determined crowds, and pausing to help a hobo on the street afford his breakfast.

I remember walking with my mother, feeling so small and scared, yet so proud to be a part of her magical life in the bustling metropolis. As we approached the massive building with the words BEAR STEARNS etched in white among thousands of glass panels, I beamed at the thought of spending the day seated next to my mother watching her every move as she did “very important business” from her office in the sky.

Twenty years later, I still marvel at the vibrant chaos that never lulls or sleeps as I walk through the vivacious streets of the Meatpacking district. The city means something very different to me as a young woman than it did as a small child depending on her mother to show her the world. 

It became a symbol of inspiration-a figure of possibilities, an image of what life could offer, if pursued with fervor and commitment. A place of artists and lovers-those who create and those who explore with passion, coming together to keep the world turning at a quick and restless pace.

As I sit in Spice Market eating chicken samosas dipped in cilantro yogurt, I am blown away as the waitress tells me about the complex process in which the décor of the restaurant was pieced together.  She informs me that much of the furniture had been shipped from many different parts of Southeast Asia and Morocco. Everything from the soft glowing lanterns to the bold tapestries had been carefully chosen to make the dining experience as authentic as possible. Illuminated by hundreds of candles, the restaurant felt like the dwellings of a sacred temple. I sat fascinated by the artistic genius of Jean-Georges and the designers he worked with. It was a typical, yet exclusive encounter. 

In Manhattan it is not unusual to be blown away by inventive experiences yet each time you discover something beautifully ingenious you feel privileged to have access to some of the most exquisite examples of what the human mind is capable of when tempted, stirred, challenged, and exposed.

Strolling past the Gansevoort Hotel, I stare as model-like people sway from its doors dressed in expensive clothing made by designers from all over the world.  The streets are screaming with life in so many languages I can barely decipher who is American and who has come to explore.  The warm breeze is soft and aromas of fine food cooking overwhelm the air.  I pass a small factory -looking building labeled “David’s Veal” as a silver Mercedes CLK rolls in front and parks.  The stark contrasts of past and present meet at the corner.  I walk with my husband up several flights of steel stairs to “The High Line” a glamorous overpass overlooking the bright lights of the city that once served as a rail line used for transporting meat and goods for processing in the 1930’s .  A work in progress, the overpass has been transformed into a secret garden leading to the future location of the Whitney Museum of American Art facility.  Teak benches and chaises sporadically line the garden where soft lighting highlights flora sprouting from concrete flower beds.  Steel lines of railroad tracks jut slightly from the ground turning the story of what once was into a timeless architectural tribute to the beauty of change.

As I leave New York through the Holland Tunnel I journey through another artery though no longer a child of the boroughs.   Even from the New Jersey Turnpike I can see the brilliant lights stretch from all ends-east, west, uptown, downtown-the city that never sleeps.  I think of the past thirty years and how they have shaped this sassy island.  Recession, war, renaissance, the naked cowboy, the fall of iconic Wall Street names, recession-rebuilding.  In many ways the city represents the human spirit at its best and worst.  A compilation of passion, avarice , and vision, where life thrives in chaos, and change lies in each new layer of concrete.

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The Sensuality of Chocolate

On Valentine’s Day the world seems to be painted in black in white with touches of red elegantly stroked among a collage of enchantment, infatuation, and seduction.  Men roam in search of the perfect gift that says: “I love you” or “I lust you”, whatever it may be, and women await the coveted box.  Ladies, you know what box I am speaking of.  If he gets it right, this gift will make you feel sexy, sensual, and satisfied.  It is just the pleasure you need before saying “yes” to more. One taste of this magical aphrodisiac and the guilt from this reckless pleasure subsides.  Shall I say its name?  I better not–it may cause an unwanted eruption for many of you.

So let’s get down to business on the topic of hinting the right choice of choc–( “oops! I almost slipped!”) to your man.  I only go for the platinum of this breed, a purebred of dark that exudes a smooth, luscious, velvety sensation on the palate– I am speaking of Jaques Torres.  Yes, the home of this creation is in NYC, but you can order any object of your affection online and it can be delivered right to your sweetie’s doorstep.  Unfortunately, not visiting this house of cacao results in the atrocity of never experiencing Mr. Torres’s “wicked” hot chocolate (yep I said the C word—deep breaths!).  It is difficult to describe the scandalous ecstasy one feels when sipping this devilish drink.  Spices seduce the pure dark powder as they embrace in a dance of allurement, persuasion, and temptation.  The warm liquefied chocolate slides down your throat pulsating tingles throughout your body gyrating a sensational release of all tension.  When you have finished with your experience you feel contented, relaxed, and ready for more.

So much of my life revolves around this magical bean and I must suggest sticking to organic, fair trade -it is responsible hedonism and promises the finest of ingredients.  And ladies– if you don’t have a man, take some time for YOU and the PEOPLE that make your life sparkle–oh and don’t forget the chocolate!  Happy Valentine’s Day to all; I hope you revel in this day of love as it should be celebrated, appreciated, and filled with life’s simple pleasures.

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