September 2010

The Yankees

The Red Sox

Most would agree that Yankees vs. Red Sox is one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports. For fans, every advantage their team can get is important — including the quality of its accommodations on the road. While neither team officially lists where they stay, our lovely fan fanatics on the internet have provided us with some pretty reliable intel on their favorite hotels. While in Boston, the Yankees stay at the modern and newly remodeled Ritz-Carlton Boston Common, and while in New York, the Red Sox stay at the Midtown East icon, The Waldorf Astoria.

So which team scored the nicest hotel? On, The Ritz earned 4.5 out 5 pearls, edging out The Waldorf’s 4 out of 5. But only with a comprehensive comparison can we settle this rivalry. The Yankees only have 10 games left in the regular season, and six of them are against their arch-rival Red Sox, so now is as good a time as any to settle the score. It’s a battle of old vs. new, classic vs. modern, New York vs. Boston.

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La Nuova Cucina

The written word almost cannot express how much you will enjoy your meal at La Nuova Cucina. But I’ll give it a try anyway.

The Checklist:  Not even open for a full year yet, this restaurant really has its act together and meets all of my requirements when looking at restaurants I’d recommend to others. Cool space? Check. Clean? Check. Good service? Check. Decent wine list? Check. Outstanding food? Double Check.

The Place:  La Nuova Cucina is located on Sand Lake Road and is pretty much an independently-owned shining gem stuck between a swarm of heavy hitting chain restaurants. My first feeling when I entered the restaurant was that it reminded me of what I envision modern bistros in Italy to look like. The space is small, but it gives more of an intimate feeling rather than a claustrophobic one. Exposed brick and simple art work adorn the walls, and the floor is a rather nice dark wood. Seating is comfortable with detached pillows on each chair. I also caught a glance into the kitchen on my way to the restroom and was impressed by its organization and clean environment. (And, for the record, I loved the wallpaper in the ladies room!)

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The Boston Children's Museum

If you are visiting the Boston area with your children, the Boston Children’s Museum should be on your must-do list. Located in the South Boston Seaport area of Boston (right on the Boston Harbor), this fun-for-all-ages museum allows your children to have some hands-on education and fun.

The Museum has three floors, so you could really spend the whole day there.  But if you only have a few hours, the Construction Zone, Science Playground, Arthur and Friends, and Kid Power exhibits are our favorites.  For lunch, head to the Au Bon Pain in the museum, or any of the nearby delis and restaurants.  You can also bring lunch and head to Boston Common for a picnic. Read More »


Food Parc opens today at the Eventi Hotel

Lunch in Chelsea just got a lot more exciting. The long-awaited FoodParc from restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow (of China Grill fame) opens today at the Eventi hotel on 30th and 6th, and we can almost hear the office workers in Flatiron and Chelsea rejoicing. Or maybe we’re just a little out of it, because we’re still recovering from our food comas; my colleague and I headed over to FoodParc yesterday for the press preview, and in the name of research, we chowed down on dishes from all of the dining venues at the upscale food court. Fornetti serves up sandwiches and soups, as well as salads and pastas on top of flat-bread pizzas; 3Bs (Bacon, Burgers, and Beer) serves, well, exactly what it promises, plus shakes, malts, and alcohol from a full-service bar; and RedFarm Stand serves egg rolls, buns, wontons, dumplings, salads, rice, and noodles. We skipped the La Colombe coffee at Press, because food comas and caffeine do not mix well. (Although you can also get fresh-squeezed juice, smoothies, pastries, and newspapers there, starting at 7 a.m, making this a great spot to hit up on the way to work).

In addition to the food, we were fans of the cool high-tech ordering screens, and the option to get a text message when your food is ready. Take a look at the space (and what we ate) after the jump. And stay tuned for the opening of the “park” part of FoodParc, which is currently under construction.

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The Rooftop Kitchen Garden at Crosby Street Hotel

In Manhattan, it can be tough to find a whole lot of green outside of Central Park (except for maybe the occasional desk plant). But a handful of hotels have begun to incorporate more green into their daily operations, and we found a hotel that has found a unique way to bring a little bit of nature to its hip downtown location.

The Crosby Street Hotel in the heart of SoHo recently started its Rooftop Kitchen Garden. And while plenty of hotels these days are using herbs and veggies from their own gardens, Crosby Street takes it a step further: Not only is its garden producing watermelons and chicken eggs, but it also serves the higher purpose of “green roof,” meaning it keeps heating and cooling costs down by absorbing heat from the sun.

What comes out of the garden

The garden at Crosby Street grows blueberries, tomatoes, flowers, herbs, and even watermelons (which they recently used in cocktails at the Crosby Street Terrace Bar). They also recently installed a chicken coop that has four chickens running around, aptly named Brooklyn, Manhattan, Bronx, and Queens (sorry, Staten Island). The chickens are still young but should be producing eggs (which the hotel plans to use in their kitchen) starting in October. Nice to know where your omelet began its journey, right?

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NY Transit Museum

New York Transit Museum

Together, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney, and the Guggenheim possess some of the world’s most stunning (and priciest) works: Monet landscapes, hooded figures by Rodin, nightscapes by van Gogh, a plethora of Picassos — the list of art worth seeing goes on and on.

But none of these illustrious museums has salt-and-pepper shakers resembling condoms. To see that, you have to go to the Museum of Sex. And if you want to see a hilarious send-up of modern mores by Roz Chast, you need to stop into the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art. In other words, what the offbeat and unique museums listed below lack in canonical paintings, they make up for in charm and coolness.

The City Reliquary

This miniscule museum in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, initially appears to be just another store along a block that boasts bodegas and hair salons. Inside the City Reliquary, however, are various ancient artifacts from the five boroughs, such as coasters from long-gone bars, matchbooks from the 1940 World’s Fair, naked lady pens, jelly molds, and postcards of the Statue of Liberty — the kind of stuff that gets tossed into a drawer or buried in a basement. Taken out and lovingly showcased, the musty objects form a monument to New York kitsch. Open Thursdays, 7–10 pm, and Saturday–Sunday, 12–6 pm. The museum is located at 370 Metropolitan Avenue. Stay at the Cooper Square Hotel in Manhattan, close to the L train that will take you to Brooklyn.

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Peppers at the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market

If you’ve never been to San Francisco, you need to know — our summer starts NOW. Yes, in September. Not only is it pretty and warm and sunny but summer produce — tomatoes, corn, pepper, and peaches — is ripe and delicious at the moment. It’s easy to roll your eyes at our “sustainable, local, organic” mantra, but while you’re here, be sure to try some of these bites of summer.

Heirloom tomato salad at Scala’s Bistro
Around this time of year, just about everyone makes a tomato salad. But the heirloom tomato salad with mozzarella di bufala and olive oil croutons at Scala’s Bistro, attached to the Sir Francis Drake Hotel, is particularly fabulous. The tomatoes are the star of the show, but they share the stage with the milky, creamy and moist mozzarella. The olive oil croutons add crunch and body to the salad. Scala’s Bistro, 432 Powell Street, 415-395-8555 Read More »


Hard Rock Hotel and Casino's iconic entrance

Like the brilliant Jersey Shore cast before them, the miscreants of the next Real World season are hunkered down in a hotel for several months — during which they’ll stop being polite and start being real. News broke on Friday that the 25th season of the MTV reality show is being filmed in Las Vegas’ Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, where the cast members are living it up in one of the hotel’s high roller suites. Not that they’re the first reality stars to take up residence in a hotel: Real World’s last Las Vegas season took place at The Palms Casino Resort, and the Jersey Shore season currently airing was filmed at the Metropole Hotel in Miami.

The 25th season of Real World doesn’t air until the first quarter of 2011, but we love this hotel — we consider it the best party hotel in Las Vegas — so we thought we’d show you around and give you a sneak peek of what to expect. Below, see where the cast will partying, tanning, pampering, eating, and gambling.

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Schrager's ultra-luxe Gramercy Park Hotel

Ian Schrager knows how to make something out of nothing — and quite a something. The son of a garment worker, Schrager stepped onto the scene in 1977, when he and partner Steve Rubell (whom he met because both men were dating the same woman) opened the infamous New York nightclub Studio 54, frequented by the likes of Mick Jagger, Andy Warhol, and Truman Capote. He made headlines again in 1979, when a whistler-blower tipped off the police that Schrager and Rubell were skimming $2.5 million. But if anyone can bounce back, it’s Ian Schrager. After spending 13 months in prison, Schrager set his sights on the hotel business (doing time made it hard for him to acquire anymore liquor licenses for nightclubs.) In 1984, he revamped the Executive Hotel in New York, reopening it as the Morgans Hotel. Since then, Schrager has become known as the creator of the boutique hotel genre, and is the largest private hotelier in New York City (though he left the Morgans Hotel Group in 2005 to start the Ian Schrager Company). Check out his NYC hotels after the jump to decide which side of Ian Schrager best fits your style.

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Central Florida Zoo

While in Orlando your children may want to visit a zoo. You can always stay at the  Animal Kingdom Lodge but if you’d like a bit more “up close and personal” time with a greater array of animals, The Central Florida Zoo is a great inexpensive bet for some family entertainment.

The Central Florida Zoo is located in Sanford, FL, about 35 minutes away from the theme park attractions. It boasts more than 400 animals and includes a children’s petting zoo, a Herpetarium (reptiles and amphibians), and the Tropical Splash Ground to cool off at the end of a long day.  Offering free parking and an entrance ticket of only $11.95 for adults and $9.95 for children 2 and over, the zoo provides a fun-packed day.

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