Tag Archives: Brooklyn

The Better Shop: Sustainable Store in Williamsburg

Shop Ladies and Gents The Better Shop Sustainable Store in Williamsburg

.We had a great experience at a relatively new and sustainable store in Williamsburg called The Better Shop! We had heard from countless friends how great their product curation was amazing. Plus, we were told about how they were working with sustainability, so we had to check it out.

Shop Ladies and Gents The Better Shop Sustainable Store in Williamsburg Front

As soon as we walked into, The Better Shop, a sustainable store in Williamsburg, Casey (the founder) approached.

We immediately started taking about the store, why she decided to open it, her shoe brand called Sylven New York, we learned about her background and specially her passions regarding sustainable fashion.

“Recycled, regenerated, and bio-based vegan and leather footwear, handcrafted in Italy.” ~ Sylven New York

“The Better Shop is an ethical and sustainable destination for mission-driven brands to share their products and stories. Never on a quest for perfection, we aim to spark conversations about finding ways to be ‘better’ about our fashion choices. Whether through better treatment of workers through fair wages, better materials and development techniques that consider product life cycle and end-life, better community engagement through service projects and giving back, and overall better quality goods that promote longevity and spark joy.” ~ The Better Shop

The entire story is amazing and the product curation too. And, when you mix this with the sustainable factor, it’s unbeatable.

Take a look at the interview with Casey Dworkin, the Founder of The Better Shop and Sylven New York:


Shop Ladies and Gents The Better Shop Sustainable Store in Williamsburg Casey Dworkin Andrea Zalkin

Tell us a bit about you! Where you were born, what you studied, what brought you to NYC, etc.

My name is Casey Dworkin and I was born in Cherry Hill, NJ just ten miles outside of Philadelphia.

As a teen, I become enamored with shoes and boots. I ended up going to school to study product design mixed with fashion merchandising.

I had my sights set on becoming a shoe designer. While I was still finishing my degree in Philly, I moved to New York City to pursue my first internship at Michael Kors in their footwear design department.

It was the first time I got to see the process of shoe design happening in real context, and I ended up finishing my degree, while still on my internship and made the move to NYC permanently.

That was almost eight years ago, and I haven’t stopped pursuing new roles in the footwear industry since.

How did Sylven New York come to life?

After tenure with a few small independent shoe brands learning about the landscape of the industry and helping to build, grow, and launch other peoples’ concepts and ideas, I ended up experiencing a few things in my personal life that made me stop in tracks and think – “what is it that I want to do with my life every day, what’s going to get me out of bed and excited to create?”

I am so passionate about shoes, but I hadn’t found a company that I felt really cared – about values, ethics, the environment, and putting out a truly beautiful and considered product.

And then I realized that I wanted to start something of my own rooted in all the things I cared about the most. And since I had that realization, not a day has gone by that I haven’t been working towards that goal in some way.

Shop Ladies and Gents The Better Shop Sustainable Store in Williamsburg Franey Miller

Can you share a bit more about the ethical and sustainable aspects of the brand?

Sustainability is such a buzzword right now, but to us, sustainability is a way of thinking through the environmental impact of everything we do. I’m super passionate about materials, so that’s a huge sustainable focus of the brand, and the one that’s probably the most visible.

When it comes to shoemaking, you can have upwards of 64 components for a single shoe – that’s a lot of room to innovate for materials! In standard shoe production, a lot of those components can be made from virgin plastics and harmful chemical products.

From heels to insoles, outer soles, vegan leathers, glues, and even the form used to make the shoe pattern called a ‘last’. I look at each of these components individually, and source some of the most cutting-edge technology available.

This season, I really wanted to focus on creating vegan shoes, but struggled to find vegan leathers that met my sustainable standards. I ended up sourcing a brand new material made of apples! We also use recycled plastics and fibers, natural rubbers, water-based glues, chrome-free leathers, natural wood, and components made from organic and renewable resources.

It’s all an ongoing process, but the goal is to make the world’s most sustainable luxury footwear.

Aside from our materials, we consider sustainability throughout our entire production process – how we ship our product, our packaging, the end life of our product, our carbon footprint and the emissions we produce, and how we give back.

As for ethics, we focus on how to carry our values through every aspect of what we do and to the people that we work with. Currently, we have a partnership with a community of fair-trade artisans in Kenya that we work with directly to create one of a kind custom hardware pieces for our shoes.

In addition to our direct contributions to the artisans and their families, it was important to us to setup a scholarship program. The purpose is to further develop the creative industries in the regions we work within. At the end of the day, we want to conduct business with integrity and mindfulness.

Shop Ladies and Gents The Better Shop Sustainable Store in Williamsburg Mens Shoe

Why Brooklyn? What are the challenges of starting a sustainable store in Williamsburg and business in a city like New York?

After a few initial years in Manhattan, I moved to Brooklyn and it just felt like home. I have been able to develop a true sense of community and carve out a little space that feels filled with inspiration, creativity, and support.

New York in general is a fantastic and difficult place full of opportunity – there are so many resources here! I think the mindset of New Yorkers is one of productivity. People are here for a reason, and whether it be to pursue their creative dreams, or work towards their given industry, the collective mindset of New York seems to be one that follows a current.

The difficult thing about it all is that there is so much saturation here. People are working and they’re working hard. There is always someone who is going to be harder working, more talented, ‘luckier’, or further along than you, and it breeds this sense of competition.

Sometimes it’s healthy, and other times it feels detrimental. But New York has this amazing energy, and I don’t think I would have been able to get to where I am if I started this anywhere else.

Shop Ladies and Gents The Better Shop Sustainable Store in Williamsburg Franey Miller

What are the top selling products? What are the most unique ones that people always enjoy? What’s the price range of products?

Currently, our Cassidy boot is our top-seller. It’s at that magic heel two-inch heel height and is available in both genuine vegetable-tanned leather and vegan options. It’s one of those every day go-to boots that is so versatile, you’re hard pressed to find something you can’t wear them with!

As far as uniqueness, people have been loving anything made out of our apple leather. It’s such a unique and new vegan material. And, the fact that we can make shoes out of apples is pretty astounding.

As for our price range, our fall/winter collection ranges from $395 for a bootie up to $595 for a knee-high boot.

We try to stay competitive but are selling a premium product made in the same factories as some of the world’s most expensive designer brands.

Do you have brand collaborations, if so, please tell us more!

My biggest collaboration to date is probably my multi-brand retail space in Williamsburg called The Better Shop.

It brings in a collective of about twenty brands all focused on sustainable and ethical values. All with amazing products spanning apparel, accessories, jewelry, skincare, candles, and vintage!

Shop Ladies and Gents The Better Shop Sustainable Store in Williamsburg Inside

Is there any new, exclusive collaboration about to come “out of the oven” that you can share first-hand?

I absolutely love to collaborate and have a really exciting collaboration dropping for Spring/Summer of 2020.

I can’t share too much. But, I can say that it involves using an amazing recycled and handmade textile blended with our current materials.

You offer custom items? Tell us about this.

I wish I could offer custom items!

Unfortunately, with the lead times it takes to create shoes and with my production all happening oversees in Italy, we just can’t create one off piece.

What’s your advice for anyone that dreams about starting a business in NYC?

I think you need to be equal parts passionate, focused, determined, patient and crazy!

There are a lot of long, hard days where you’re spending countless hours working towards something that may not feel tangible, and it can be extremely challenging.

It will also be incredibly rewarding. But, if you’re not working on something that you absolutely love, it will be that much harder. Also take breaks!!

I cannot stress the importance of listening to your body and taking care of yourself. While, of course, you focus on building something.

Shop Ladies and Gents The Better Shop Sustainable Store in Williamsburg Entrance


Now, it’s your turn to visit The Better Shop. Take a closer look at Sylven New York and the other wonderful brands curated to make this space unique!

Let us know what you though on the comments below!

If you enjoy sustainable stores and places, you might enjoy the kids brand The Little Red Planet, another sustainable store in Williamsburg. If you’re into sustainable traveling, check out what the 1Hotels are all about. Or, watch the super cool video we shot with Daniel, from Zero Waste Daniel.

Hours: Open 7 days: 11am – 7pm

Location: 155 Grand Street, Williamsburg

https://bettershopbk.com
https://sylvennewyork.com


Photo Credits: Courtesy of Casey Dworkin and Andrea Zalkin (portrait)

The Little Red Planet: A Sustainable Children’s Brand

Shop Kids Little Red Planet Sustainable Childrens Brand Pink Duo

Sustainable. Ethical. Adorable. This is how The Little Red Planet store is described in 3 simple but powerful words. This mindfully curated and sustainable children’s brand in Williamsburg is a must-go!

Shop Kids Little Red Planet Sustainable Childrens Brand Boy
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Shop Kids Little Red Planet Sustainable Childrens Brand Blue Party Dress
Shop Kids Little Red Planet Sustainable Childrens Brand Pink Duo
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Shop Kids Little Red Planet Sustainable Childrens Brand Flower Jumper
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Shop Kids Little Red Planet Sustainable Childrens Brand Red Denim Jumpsuit
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I’m not a mom (yet), but I always have a pretty hard time buying stylish, good quality clothes to my friend’s kids, that don’t cost a fortune!!! A sustainable children’s brand would be a dream come true too, right?

Those chain brands are great with prices, but after 1, 2 washes, it practically dissolves inside the washing machine, hahaha! Plus, you’ll probably see other kids wearing the same thing as your baby…that that’s just a “blah”!

That said, the other day I was walking around Williamsburg, in Brooklyn and bumped into a super cute store called The Little Red Planet. And I have to say, I fell in love with it!

Everything there was amazing, carefully though about, unique, fun, stylish and still, ethically curated! Since it’s an independently owned brand, like we love, they don’t have huge amounts of each piece.

Here is how Mindi Smith, the Founder, explains her brand:

“The Little Red Planet offers exceptional design, style and quality from over 30 global children’s designers. We want to introduce to you a new concept in ethical children’s fashion for the mindfully stylish.

Our goal is to hand-select designers who slow manufacture their apparel, give back to charity, and/or use organic and sustainable materials whenever possible.

I work creatively with our designers to bring awareness to and support global children’s causes. Let’s teach our children together that less is more, quality counts, and we can make a positive change in the world we live in.”

How amazing is this, right?

I really enjoyed everything they do and stand for! And now, I can finally buy kids gifts that I just really l-o-v-e and would buy for my own (future) kids!

Now, since you’re in Williamsburg, you might just want to head a few blocks North to the Artists & Flees Market. You’ll find some pretty cool stuff there too!

And lastly, you’ve never been to NYC because you have small kids, or you’re considering moving here, but you’re skeptic? Take a look at the many reasons why NYC is great for kids!

Hours: Monday – Sunday: 10am – 6pm

Location: 103 North 3rd Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

https://thelittleredplanet.com


Photo Credit: Courtesy of brand

ALL NEW YORK’S A STAGE: Celebrating NYC’s Small Theater Industry

Entertainment Culture All New Yorks A Stage Kiss Me Kate

ALL NEW YORK’S A STAGE – the First Campaign Celebrating NYC’s Small Theater Industry! New Yorkers invited to experience 200+ performances and events throughout the five boroughs.

Entertainment Culture All New Yorks A Stage Kiss Me Kate
Photo Credit: Show “Kiss Me, Kate!”

We loved learning about the ALL NEW YORK’S A STAGE campaign to celebrate NYC’s small theater industry and this is totally up our alley!!! See what it’s all about and how you can get tickets to this huge list of performances and events around town!


The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, in partnership with SHOW-SCORE.COM, announced the launch of ALL NEW YORK’S A STAGE, the first-ever campaign dedicated to raising the visibility of our vibrant local theater industry, which is made up of small venues, companies and related organizations throughout the five boroughs.

Up through October 31st, New Yorkers and visitors can explore the ALL NEW YORK’S A STAGE website, localtheater.nyc, to discover an exciting array of more than 200 performances and events throughout the city.

ALL NEW YORK’S A STAGE offers New Yorkers an opportunity to learn about musicals and dramas, adaptations of classics, immersive and site-specific performances; staged readings, previews and special promotions –that may be right around the corner from where they live or work.

The site also offers reviews and recommendations from other theatergoers, as well as those by professional theatre reviewers.

“ALL NEW YORK’S A STAGE is the first citywide campaign to focus on connecting audiences to the amazing work of our small theaters, which are integral to the city’s creative culture, and where established and up-and-coming talent does some of their most creative work,” said Anne del Castillo, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.

“We hope that this campaign serves as a starting point for New Yorkers and visitors alike to explore local theater all year long!”

You can see the campaign will be featured on New York City subways and bus shelters, with dedicated print and digital ads in local publications; while theaters citywide will use the hashtag #localtheaternyc on their social media throughout the month of October.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be partnering with the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment on this important initiative,” said Show-Score CEO Deeksha Gaur.

“We created Show-Score four years ago to help audiences discover great theater, particularly beyond Broadway. That is where New Yorkers can experience – in the intimacy of a small venue and at an affordable price – some of the most exciting talent and ground-breaking work the city has to offer. In fact, the Tony winners for Best Musical for the last five years all performed Off-Broadway before making the move uptown.”

“The most ambitious, innovative and adventurous work isn’t just made inside the Broadway Box, it’s created in all 5 boroughs by hundreds of independent artists who are ready for the kind of exposure this campaign can bring,” said Aimee Todoroff, Acting Director of the League of Independent Theater.

“Congratulations to the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment for recognizing that, from traditional theaters to rooftops, and in site specific and found spaces, audiences are hungry for the diverse work made in Independent theaters all across NYC.”

If off-Broadway show is totally up your alley and you love exploring independent theaters, then you might also enjoy going to STOMP! Plus, take a look at Cherry Lane Theatre, the longest continuously Off-Broadway theatre in New York City!


Credits: nyc.gov

14 Best NYC Halloween Parties And Events In 2019

Events Up Coming NYC Halloween Parties Blood Manor Main Pic

Come see which are the best NYC Halloween parties and events in 2019! There is just so much going on for all styles and ages!

Events Up Coming NYC Halloween Parties Blood Manor Thumb
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Blood Manor.

If you’ve been to New York before, you know for a fact that the NYC Halloween parties are the most anticipated ones of the year, and is definitely when some of the best parties and events happen in town!

But, if you’ve never to been to NYC, or if you’re finally booking your ticket to come explore the city in October, you have to know that New Yorkers take this date e-x-t-r-e-m-e-l-y seriously!

I mean, believe it or not, people start putting together their costumes months in advance. Not to say, many know their next year costume as soon as the Halloween week is over!

The city gets a full make over with some of the most creative decorations beautifying home façades, as well as store windows. The countdown starts weeks in advance to this big day!

Many of the best parties happen every year, and the teams behind them definitely get creative and always surprise.

On the other hand, there are other events around town that are great for families and kids (for under 21 years).

Take a look at the 14 best NYC Halloween parties and events in 2019:


#1 Blood Manor

(Looks like Jimmy and Kevin Hart had a pretty fun time there…lol!)

This is definitely one of the best NYC Halloween events you could ever go to, but I have to confess… I honestly never had the courage to go to! I’ve heard SO much about this, had friends attend, but I never had the guts! This house of horror seems so real that I get palpitations just thinking about it.

It’s considered not only one of the most amazing haunted houses in New York, but it was recently voted the #2 best in the entire country!

Located inside a historic building Tribeca, you’ll experience 5,000 square feet of themed rooms, corridors, and a labyrinth of passageways that will challenge your deepest fears.

Now, a creepy and quite intersting story: Mathew Brady, the renowned Civil War-era photographer, was responsible for photographing President Abraham Lincoln’s portrait that today is used in our $5 bill. After a nasty accident and 2 broken legs, he got pretty ill and eventually died. Now, the curious part…some sources say that he actually committed suicide… WHERE? Inside the building where Blood Manor is located!! So, be sure to stay alert, because you might just “bump” into some real ghosts.

If you’re still curious, you can see more on this video.

As they say, “Go ahead and scream… it’s not going to matter.”

Dates: Multiple days available until November 9th.

www.bloodmanor.com


#2 Circo Loco

Events Up Coming NYC Halloween Parties Circo Loco
Photo Credit: Courtesy of the party.

This party is for the people who really enjoy electronic music, like me. I’ve actually been to this party twice!

This year’s event will take place on the 26th of October at the Brooklyn Navy Yard – a booming area in Brooklyn, right by the East River!

In the line-up, expect DJs like Seth Troxler, Honey Dijon, Rampa vs &ME, William Djoko and other great names!

Date: October 26th

www.tixr.com


#3 McKittrick Hotel

Events Up Coming NYC Halloween Parties McKittrick Hotel
Photo Credit: Courtesy of the party.

This year’s famous party at the McKittrick Hotel will be themed based on the classic horror movies by the incredible director, Alfred Hitchcock.

Explore all the different floors in the hotel, decorated in a Hitchcock-style filled with live performances, renowned DJs and complimentary drinks all night at the open bar!

Dates: October 25th, 26th and 31st

http://events.mckittrickhotel.com


#4 Queen of Hearts: Mad Masquerades

Events Up Coming NYC Halloween Parties CompanyXIV
Photo Credit: Courtesy of the party.

Company XIV is known for its burlesque attractions that have attracted a huge crowd throughout the year! And, I have to say, New Yorkers love a burlesque show that mixes circus performances, sensuality, comedy, dance and more!

This year, the theme was inspired by the famous story “Alice in Wonderland” by the English writer, Lewis Carroll.

In addition, expect lots of magic, opera and cocktails inspired by your favorite character!

Datas: October 31st, November 1st and 2nd

http://companyxiv.com


#5 Masque of Red Death Halloween Ball

Events Up Coming NYC Halloween Parties Dance of Vice
Photo Credit: Courtesy of the party.

The venue, Capitale, will feature the Masque of Red Death Halloween Ball, bringing everything from talented dancers to a special room for those who have the courage to explore the pleasures of slavery, domination, submission and masochism. Wow…

Will you dare!?

Dates: October 26th and 27th

www.dancesofvice.com


#6 City of Gods by House of Yes & ZERO

Events Up Coming NYC Halloween Parties House of Yes City of Gods
Photo Credit: Courtesy of the party.

This year the party is called “City of Gods by House of Yes & ZERO” and, for those who don’t know, House of Yes is one of the coolest spots in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

The party will be at another event venue, but organized by the folks at House of Yes and I can say … this party promises to be amazing! I already guaranteed my ticket, since it runs out super fast and I’m sure it will be one of the top NYC Halloween parties!

They invite by saying, “We salute all deities, demigods and demons, gods and goddesses, creatures of creation and those dedicated to hedonism beyond the human realm.” WUHU!

More about the event:

City of Gods is hosted at the absolutely magnificent Grand Prospect Hall in South Brooklyn, a 4-floor venetian hall with 15+ rooms of music, dancing, performance, and discovery. The event features some of the biggest and best Burning Man camps – Comfort & Joy, Disco Knights, DISTRIKT, GlamCocks, Mayan Warrior, Pink Mammoth, and Tierra Bomba – and notoriously, we do not release the music lineup before the party.

The whole vibe is to invite people to experience the event with open hearts and minds, not to chase any specific activity, but rather to come ready to explore and connect. Saturday tickets will be sold out by this weekend and Friday tickets are moving fast as well.

Dates: October 25th and 26th

https://cityofgodshalloween.com


#7 BangOn!NYC: Warehouse of Horrors

Events Up Coming NYC Halloween Parties BangOn!NYC
Photo Credit: Courtesy of the party.

This supernatural celebration will invite not only you, but ancient spirits to join in this party night! This warehouse, of over 100 years old, will have unexpected and bizarre appearances, so get ready!

But what to expect? A trio of stages, otherworldly performances, warehouse scale art installation, opulent lounges, silent disco, and more!

Dates: October 25th and 26th

www.bangon-nyc.com


#8 Bane Haunted House

Events Up Coming NYC Halloween Parties Bane Haunted House
Photo Credit: Courtesy of the party.

Those who like haunted houses have-to-go to the Bane Haunted House. They do an amazing job of working and picking on some of people’s most common fears: claustrophobia, separation anxiety, clowns …

There are over 100 actors spread around almost 40,000 square feet and this year the participants will have an experience where they are part of it all. You “may have to climb up, jump over, crawl through, and spin around what lurks inside the haunted house for a spine-chilling, interactive experience.”

Are you brave enough?

Dates: Multiple days available until November 10th.

https://banehauntedhouse.com


#9 Nightfall Greenwood Cemetery

Events Up Coming NYC Halloween Parties Greenwood Cemetery
Photo Credit: Courtesy of the party.

The Greenwood Cemetery, located in Greenwood Heights, right next to Industry City, an area that is expanding and worth a visit, is wonderful!

In addition to being a really beautiful and super well-maintained graveyard, it’s the “home” of big names like the famous Brooklyn-born artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, Samuel Morse creator of the Morse Code, William Colgate – yes, the founder of Colgate and even Leonard Bernstein a famous conductor, composer, and pianist.

Well, all this to say that there is no better place to spend Halloween than inside a cemetery, right? I’ve been to this even before and recommend it!

Dates: October 25th and 26th

www.green-wood.com


#10 Bartow-Hell Haunted Mansion Tour

Events Up Coming NYC Halloween Parties Bartow Pell Mansion
Photo Credit: Courtesy of the venue.

Located in the Bronx, Bartow-Hell Haunted Mansion offers tours for $ 10.

On October 26th, this tour inside this haunted old mansion, will be at night.

Watch out for spirits and other creatures as you navigate the spaces within the mansion and on the property grounds.

Dates: October 26th

www.bartowpellmansionmuseum.org


Now, if you still want to enjoy Halloween, but have kids or young adults less that 21 year old in the group, here are some fun options:

#11 Harvest Fest and Pumpkin Patch

Events Up Coming NYC Halloween Parties Queens Botanical Garden
Photo Credit: Courtesy of the festival.

The Queens Botanical Garden features, once again, the famous Harvest Fest and Pumpkin Patch festival.

From 11am to 5pm, enjoy lots of live music, inflatables, petting zoo, face painting, tours, garden and composting demonstrations, craft and food vendors, beer & wine garden, and more.

Date: October 13th

https://queensbotanical.org


#12 Village Halloween Parade

Events Up Coming NYC Halloween Parties Village Halloween Parade
Photo Credit: Courtesy of the party.

Of course, the traditional Village Halloween Parade could not be left out!

Every year, this costume parade packs the streets of the West Village, where we can barely walk through. It gets super, super busy to go prepared to face the sea on people.

You can go to simply watch and take pictures, or you can be part of the parade wearing your own costume. If so, check out their website to see how to register!

Date: October 31st, starting at 7pm

http://halloween-nyc.com


#13 Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade

THE BIG WINNERS • The 26th Annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade #villagedogworks #eastvillagedogs #eastvillagenyc #nycdogs #dogsofnyc #dogsofnewyork #dogsofig #eastvillage #LES #alphabetcity #halloween #halloweencostume #howloween #tompkinssquaredogrun #tompkinssquaredogparade #tompkinssquarepark #nyc #dog #dogs #puppy #puppylove #dogsofinstagram

Posted by Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade on Saturday, October 22, 2016

Guys, seriously… when I went to watch this Halloween Dog Parade at Tompkins Square Park in the East Village, I almost died of so much love for puppies.

I was enchanted with every creative costume that dressed the most diverse dog breeds! I remember this tiny pup dressed as a pumpkin….he definitely got all eyes that day!

So, if you are a dog lover, it worth to pass by!

Date: October 20th

www.tompkinssquaredogrun.com


#14 The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze Guide

Events Up Coming NYC Halloween Parties Great Jack OLantern Blaze
Photo Credit: Courtesy of the event.

And lastly, anyone who isn’t into staying in town in the midst of the Halloween madness, can get a car and head up to enjoy Hudson Valley’s nature, beauty and tranquility. The trip up takes a little over an hour, so it’s very close.

You’ll see a breathtaking display of more than 7,000 illuminated jack o’lanterns—all designed and hand-carved on site by our team of artisans.

Certainly a different attraction and great if you’re not really into NYC Halloween parties!

Dates: Multiple days available until November 30th.

https://hudsonvalley.org


*This content about the Best NYC Halloween Parties was originally created for Glamour Brazil’s online magazine, where we are collaborators sharing content on New York City.


Photo Credits: Courtesy of all venues and parties

Beyond the Streets: Celebrating Graffiti And Street Art

Experts Recaps Beyond The Streets NYC Hollow

This is probably one of the most amazing exhibitions I’ve been since David Bowie earlier this year! Beyond the Streets not only is an extraordinary exhibition but celebrates street art in monumental proportions.

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I believe that most of you know, or at least have heard about the importance of graffiti and street art in New York’s history and how it is part of the city’s essence and culture.

Beyond The Streets is located in one of Williamsburg newest locations called Twenty Five Kent. It was beautifully curated by Roger Gastman and takes over a space of 100,000 square feet, spread within 2 massive floors.

This traveling art exhibition is attracting viewers of all ages and nationalities. They all spend a few hours emerged in learning how graffiti and street art has, and still is, transforming society. In addition to how these “mark makers” express themselves and share, within their work, crucial messages and where “art activism” has created and conquered its space.

The curation of the exhibition is fantastic, and it unites over 150 names from all over the world like:  C.R. Stecyk III, Cey Adams, John Ahearn, Felipe Pantone, Kennt Shcarf, Maya Hayuk, Martha Cooper and Lady Pink (that I talked about in our IGTV video). And still, others like Patrick Martinez, Obey, Mark Gonzales, Lee Quiñones and so many other amazing creators that are truly disrupting this industry!

We were able to see art works, videos, massive installations, sculptures and so much more. Not to mention, the building has a priceless view of Manhattan’s skyline!

Experts Recaps Beyond The Streets NYC Beastie Boys Objects
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A bit more about them:

“BEYOND THE STREETS celebrates society’s most pervasive mark makers and rule breakers with unprecedented purpose and scale. The exhibition explores the collective urgency of using the street as a canvas for expression. People have long taken to the streets to share a name, phrase, image or cause with the world around them to force a public discourse.

Streets act as the symbolically important public stage that is both local and universal, the bedrock for both public protest and anonymous action. While the subject matter varies and the mediums are many, it is in the public sphere where these messages find a home.”

Unfortunately, they only passed by New York during a few Summer months. Yesterday was the last day in New York, as their travel now continues…

Be sure to stay tuned to their website. Or, sign up to their newsletter to know where they’re headed next!

I promise, you won’t be disappointed! They truly are doing an extraordinary work!

I can’t forget to mention their store! They have a selection of over 150 products and even some great original work, if you’re into collecting art! From the common t-shirts, hats, magnets and keychains, to puzzels, art, decoration items and so much more! Oh! They do sell online, if you missed it!

Lastly, if you’re into graffiti, you might want to check out all 19 murals painted by Kobra in New York or read an exclusive Insider Interview with Jayson Naylor!

www.beyondthestreets.com


Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC

The Water Tower Bar: Hidden NYC Cocktail Bar High Up In The Sky

Nightlife Bars The Water Tower Williamsburg Hotel NYC Cocktail Bar

There are so many speakeasy bars in New York, but today we came to talk about a NYC Cocktail Bar called The Water Tower Bar. These guys are hidden high up in the sky!

Nightlife Bars The Water Tower Williamsburg Hotel NYC Cocktail Bar
Nightlife Bars The Water Tower Williamsburg Hotel NYC Cocktail Bar Skyline
Nightlife Bars The Water Tower Williamsburg Hotel NYC Cocktail Bar Inside
Nightlife Bars The Water Tower Williamsburg Hotel NYC Cocktail Bar Big Poppa
Nightlife Bars The Water Tower Williamsburg Hotel NYC Cocktail Bar Message in the Bottle
Nightlife Bars The Water Tower Williamsburg Hotel NYC Cocktail Bar Sunset
Nightlife Bars The Water Tower Williamsburg Hotel NYC Cocktail Bar Decor
Nightlife Bars The Water Tower Williamsburg Hotel NYC Cocktail Bar Lights
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New Yorkers are all about creativity and searching for unique things to do in the city. We all know that summertime in New York is the best time of the year where businesses get creative to attract you into their “homes”.

In addition, we also know how quick summer can pass by, so you should definitely take advantage of everything that’s going on: from unique experiences like jet skiing in the Hudson River, the best rooftop screenings and open door helicopter tours to get pictures of NY from above!

All of that is truly amazing, but today we want to talk about New York’s nightlife! We aren’t the biggest party peeps around, I have to confess, but we do enjoy exploring some of the best hidden cocktail bars in New York.

You’ll find great bars in so many different parts of New York but, have you ever been to a hidden cocktail bar high up in the sky? Yup, that’s exactly what you read!

The Water Tower Bar, located on the very top of The Williamsburg Hotel has one of the coolest bars you can visit. Why? Well, they literally built an intimate space inside a water tower with probably one of the most amazing skylines views of Manhattan!

Just to start off, it’s a pretty interesting walk up! You have to climb quite a few steps…up and up and up, until you get there.

The bar is not a big, making every night an opportunity to actually meet new people and interact with everyone there. The super high ceiling gives us air to breath, combined with the huge floor-to-ceiling windows offering the priceless view I spoke about!

Rael Petit, the expert mixologist of the house, has done some serious work on these cocktails. And, we can say, he really knows what he’s doing! So, lucky us to have found this spot! Actually, lucky everyone!

We decided to try 3 of their most famous drinks to share with you our thoughts! And, bottom line, they were all AMAZING! Plus, the names are all pretty cool too!

This is what we had:

  • Message in the Bottle: Bacardi 4yr, Clarified Milk Punch, Chinese Cinnamon Cordial, Blue Majik Pineapple Juice and Lemon
  • Big Poppa: Hendricks, St. Germain, Thyme Corial, Egg White, Lemon Juice and Angostura Bitters
  • Blue Jeans: Empress Gin, Salers, Velvet Falernum and Dolin Blanc

And, if we could, we’d just continue on tasting the entire cocktail menu!

We just ordered a small dish with mozzarella cheese to eat before. They do have a few options if you get a bit hungry.

The night we visited was on a Thursday. We had the pleasure of listening to a great reggae Brooklyn-based band that got everyone on the dance floor. The band is called Sundub and the singer is called Joanna Teters. Her voice is really fantastic!! Other nights, they have some of the top DJs in town doing some serious music too!

So, now it your turn to go there, try their cocktails and dance a bit! Don’t forget to get some priceless pictures of Manhattan’s skyline!

If you enjoy these posts and finding the next best NYC Cocktail Bar, take a look at some speakeasies we love.

Hours: Wednesday – Saturday: 6pm – 4am

Location: 96 Wythe Avenue

https://www.thewilliamsburghotel.com/bars-restaurants


Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC

NYC Food Trends Taking The City By Storm

Dining NYC Food Trends Insects Black Ant

Yes, New York has every possible cuisine you can desire or imagine on Earth. That said, take a look at the NYC food trends taking the city by storm. Some are not super new, but probably came to stay!

Dining NYC Food Trends Insects Black Ant
How about a pair of crunchy insects in your dish? Lol! ©BlackAntNYC

New York is the restaurant capital of the world – just consider there are 24,000 eating establishments in Manhattan alone.

In fact it has been estimated that you if you ate at a different restaurant every day, it would take you over 22 years to dine at them all.

One of the reasons that NYC is so diverse for dining, is that there are influences and cultures from all around the globe. This means that there are always great new NYC food trends, which you can even try cooking at home.

Take a look at a few of the food trends below and let’s see how adventurous you are when trying new cuisines! Lol!


Glorious Grasshoppers

Dining NYC Food Trends Grasshopper Croquetes Black Ant
Croquetas de Chapulin: yucca-manchego Grasshopper croquetes with avocado and Chapulín salsa. ©BlackAntNYC

As we think more about sustainability and food ethics, insects are hitting restaurant tables in a big way. They are actually an excellent source of protein and delicious with a little spice.

If you head to Toloache, the Mexican restaurant headed up by Julian Medina, you can sample them in tacos, hot with chili and cooked with crunch.

The Black Ant, in the East Village, is another great eatery that is embracing grasshoppers. In fact, almost every item on their menu uses insects. The grasshopper-crusted shrimp however are a triumph.

If you want to have a taste at home you can easily buy grasshoppers online, they may even become a household staple.

Locations:
205 Thompson Street, Greenwich Village
166 East 82nd Street, Upper East Side
251 West 50th Street, Midtown

www.toloachenyc.com

Location: 60 2nd Avenue, East Village

www.theblackantnyc.com


Beautiful Baogels

Dining NYC Food Trends Baogel Black Seed Bagels
Baogel at Black Seed Bagels. ©BlackSeedBagel

The baogel is another wonderful cultural hybrid, featuring a soft pork belly filling, usually found in a bao bun, and of course combined with a soft, bagel.

It is the creation of Black Seed Bagels and Chinese restaurant Nom Wah Kuai, and usually served with a chili cream cheese on the side for ultimate dipping.

To try this at home, the pork belly cooks best in a sous vide machine, a beautifully gentle slow cook that will leave the pork tender and succulent, ready to be folded into bagel dough.

You can then return the bagel into the machine, to make a really soft baogel. This trend just goes to show how versatile water bath cooking is.

Locations: Several locations, see their websites!

https://www.blackseedbagels.com
https://nomwah.com


Raindrop Cake

Dining NYC Food Trends Raindrop Cake
The peculiar Raindrop Cake. ©RaindropCake

The raindrop cake is a thing of simplistic beauty. Originating from Japan, it is a beautiful dessert that is made from water, agar and sugar.

It is served in bamboo, alongside a flour that is made from roasted soybeans. The dessert is vegan, has very few calories, but it a textural delight in the mouth.

It’s all about feeling that sweet burst of liquid on the tongue. Darren Wong, who originally brought this cake to Smorgasborg food fair said that he wanted the raindrop cake to be reminiscent of the Asian jelly desserts he ate as a child.

You can now buy kits to have a go at making the raindrop cake at home. They are delicious with a little syrup and some fresh mint on the side.

Locations: Smorgasburg has 4 locations.
Thursdays: BK Bridge Park, 6pm
Fridays: WTC, 11am – 7pm
Saturdays: 90 Kent Avenue, 11am – 6pm
Sundays: Breeze Hill, Prospect Park, 11am – 6pm

https://www.smorgasburg.com


New York is a special place for dining – if you can imagine it, the likelihood is that there is a restaurant serving it. These fresh, new ideas and NYC food trends are also changing the way that we consider our home cooking.

So, come explore New York with us and don’t forget to share your discoveries in the comments below! We’d love to hear about them, so we can also check them out!


Guest Writer: Cindy Trillo
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Black Ant, Black Seed Bagels and Raindrop Cake

Citrico: Mexican Restaurant In Brooklyn

Dining Citrico Mexican Restaurant Brooklyn Doll

It’s taco time! Citrico is a Mexican restaurant in Prospect Heights, in Brooklyn! We went there for a night filled with traditional tacos and cocktails and had a great time!

Dining Citrico Mexican Restaurant Brooklyn Food Drinks
Dining Citrico Mexican Restaurant Brooklyn Cocktails
Dining Citrico Mexican Restaurant Brooklyn Vegetable Blue Taco
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Dining Citrico Mexican Restaurant Brooklyn Full Table
Dining Citrico Mexican Restaurant Brooklyn Chocolate Mousse
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Who likes Mexican food!? I definitely do!

I don’t know about your guys, but I certainly do!!! So, that said, I decided to explore a bit a neighborhood in Brooklyn called Prospect Heights and try a restaurant called Citrico!

They are a traditional Mexican restaurant in Brooklyn that you should try any time you’re around!

Well, to start off Noor, the owner, is Mexican so obviously the food, authentic Southern Mexican, is super traditional. The restaurant’s décor is simple, but very inviting and low-key with some typical Mexican objects and frames that set the mood to the place.

When we got there, I always like to ask what are the bestsellers and what are the most unique and different dishes on the menu.

So, take a look at what we had:

  • Guacamole (of course): Served with chips and topped with fresh pomegranate
  • Tostada de Betabel en Mole: beets cooked in homemade mole made from scratch, over rice and a crispy corn tortilla and then topped with crema, queso fresco and lettuce
  • Agucate Frito: Fried avocado with shrimp ceviche
  • Taco Gordita Combo: vegetable taco on a blue corn tortilla topped with avocado and queso fresco + a handmade corn gordita stuffed with black beans, crema, queso fresco and lettuce. Comes with pickled habaneros and homemade salsa roja.
Obviously, we’d never miss dessert:
  • Chocolate Mousse: Homemade semi-sweet chocolate mouse garnished with a strawberry and a Mexican cookie
And finally, the cocktails we ordered:
  • Passion Fruit Margarita
  • Tropical: Bruxo mezcal, coconut purée, and pineapple topped with toasted coconut flakes

Plus, Prospect Heights is a neighborhood with exploring. It’s just a few blocks from Fort Greene, Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill, that are also super charming areas in Brooklyn!

Have fun exploring and eating tacos!

Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 4pm – 11pm
Friday: 4pm – 12am
Saturday & Sunday: 9am – 12am

Location: 681 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn

http://citricobrooklyn.com


Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC

16 Things NO ONE EVER tells you about NYC [PART 4/4]

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 4 Rats

I compiled the 16 things NO ONE EVER tells you about NYC! New York City is super friendly city and pretty easy to find you way around. But, there are a few things you should know before visiting!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 4
©Behind the Scenes NYC

New York City is super friendly city and pretty easy to find you way around. But, it also has a few particularities you should know before visiting!

So, I decided to share 16 things NO ONE ever tells you about NYC, for the 1st timers in NYC. There are a few rules and tips to make your NY experience seamless and memorable.

We split this topic into 4 different posts, so see below the final, Part 4! And check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3, if you haven’t already!


#13 Don’t yell if you see a rat or a cockroach!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 4 Rats
Photo Credit: Courtesy

This had to be #13! Hahaha! This will certainly identify you as a “tourist”.

Why? Well, let’s start from the basics! Did you know that there are more rats in New York, than there are people?

Ok, let’s do the math! It’s estimated that within the 5 boroughs (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island), there are around 8.5 million residents. The number of rats is around 5:1, adding up to over 42 million rats below our very own feet!

Now, let me tell you something about cockroaches. They are smart little bastards! I was LITERALLY chased by a human-eater-roach back in 2014 when I came to visit New York before moving, in the middle of a subway station. I was running away from it in circles (no lie!) and the roach was running after me in circles too!

It was comic not to say, ridiculous! I was screaming and laughing desperately – as were all my friends – instead of helping me out. So, don’t do as I did. Try to chill and act as if nothing is wrong! That is…if you can!


#14 Shoot! I need to “pee” and can’t find a bathroom!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 4 Bathroom
©Behind the Scenes NYC

The story of our lives! Manhattan is definitely not a bathroom-friendly place and you might get into some trouble if you don’t know where to run to in an emergency.

I do recommend going to every bathroom you pass by, just in case you don’t at some point! Also, I’ll give you a tip, there is a great APP called SitOrSquat that shares all the public bathrooms in New York. Might be good to downloaded to your phone, right?

Hint, hint! Some places that you’ll find bathrooms: Starbucks, Barnes & Nobel and department stores!


#15 New York is NOT synonymous to Manhattan!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 4 Brooklyn
©Behind the Scenes NYC

And I’m tired of telling people this! I mean, most tourist are stuck between Central Park South and SoHo – which I call “the comfort zone”. But, all the other boroughs in New York are growing and you have just so much to see! It’s just great when you free yourself from Manhattan, and dive into exploring other corners of NYC!

We all know that Brooklyn is now the new “hot spot” with so much going on. So, you might want to start from there. The trendy neighborhood now, is Williamsburg and I love Greenpoint that is close to it. Queens is a paradise for foodies and each borough has its own charm.

And still, there are countless amazing places to visit upstate, as well and breathtaking destinations in Long Island, from wineries to beaches.

Ok, so let’s start slowly just by crossing the bridge into Williamsburg or DUMBO? I guarantee you’ll be amazed at what you’ll find!


#16 Last by not least: When in doubt, just walk in!

16 Things No One Ever Tells You About NYC Part 4 Secret Restaurant
Secret Japanese restaurant hidden behind these doors. ©Behind the Scenes NYC

What I mean is, if you pass by a weird looking door, but apparently people are discretely walking in and out…you might just want to walk in too. I know…the first thought that comes to mind is: “This is part of a horror movie, and if I walk in, I’ll never walk out…” Hahaha!

You never know what you can expect and 99% of the time, you’re not crashing into anyone’s home. On the other side of that door, there might be something extraordinary happening for you to check out or a delicious secret restaurant.

What I mean? Well, secret speakeasy bars are spread all over town, like Patent Pending – that I always love going to, or high-end hidden restaurants with a hidden door tucked behind a hanging art work in a gallery, like Frevo. Regardless, these spots will create some of the most memorable moments of your New York experience!

Be brave…and walk in!


And that’s a wrap for our list of the 16 things NO ONE ever tells you about NYC, for the 1st timers in NYC! There are so many other tips, but I guess that starting through these 16, you’ll be fine!

There are just a few things that we remembered along the way, that we just have to share, and that are FREE:

  • Water in NYC is FREE! Yes, NYC’s tap water is known for being some of the best in the country, and there is even the rumor that our bagel is one of the best, because of the water! So, when you arrive at a bar or restaurant you might automatically receive cups with water that will be refilled all the time, or you can ask for still or sparking water, that comes in a bottle – and these are paid for!
  • Condoms in NYC are FREE! Yup, that’s what you heard! They are Free, so check out where to find them here.
  • Fitness classes for FREE! The City of New York created the “Shape Up NYC Classes“, where you can find everything from Yoga in the Park and Hip Hop Fitness, to Zumba and Aerobics classes!

If you want a post about all the FREE things to do in NYC, leave your comment below and we’ll get right on it for you!

I hope we were able to help a bit more on your understanding of how the city functions!

Also, as mentioned, feel free to use the information we gave that makes more sense for YOUR trip! When we talk about tipping for example, we know that many people are traveling on a budget, so lets just be reasonable, right? The idea was just to share a bit how things work!

And, if you’re looking for assistance for a corporate group coming to New York, don’t hesitate to contact our experts! We organize everything from dinners, cocktails to corporate events and unique experiences.


Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC

Seeing The Best Of New York City By Motorcycle

Curiosities City Secrets Seeing the Best of New York City By Motorcycle Sandra Frey

Have you ever thought of seeing the best of New York City by motorcycle? Let us give you a few pointers on how this could be an amazing experience!

Curiosities City Secrets Seeing the Best of New York City By Motorcycle Sandra Frey Cropped

New York City is one of the most popular tourist destinations in America, attracting more than 60 million guests each year. This, thanks to its world-famous landmarks, eclectic cuisine, and unique culture.

If you’re looking for something other than the typical take on the NYC experience, ditch the buses and walking tours! They are quite touristy anyway… Instead experience the best of New York City by motorcycle.

Exploring by bike makes it easy to see parts of the city that other tourists rarely get to enjoy, and it also makes it easy to snap pictures, grab some street food, or simply take in the view.


Exploring Landmarks Downtown

Downtown, you can find many of the major landmarks of Manhattan, including the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, and Freedom Tower. You can also explore more hole-in-the-wall places, including small restaurants and specialty shops in Chinatown, Little Italy and the up and coming, South Seaport.

You can also see the filming locations of certain famous movies, including the Ghostbuster Firehouse, the Tiffany & Co. flagship store from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and many more. For a thrilling ride, you can cruise through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, the longest continuous underwater road in the U.S.


Experience Uptown Scenery

Uptown is known for its stadiums, like the famous Yankee Stadium, and museums through out the artsy Museum Mile. But, primarily tourists head up to see the scenery.

From the perspective of an automatic motorcycle, you can get some of the best possible views driving up the West Side Highway along the Hudson River. You might also see the palisades that rise over five hundred feet above, cross the George Washington Bridge, head up to the Medieval inspired MET Cloisters and wander through the less well known northern areas of Central Park.


Tour Midtown Monuments

Midtown Manhattan is home to the Empire State Building, Times Square, Grand Central Terminal, and other impressive bastions of culture and architecture.

Are you looking for something a little bit more out of the ordinary? You can visit sites such as the mysterious Rose Hill Historic House, the historic C.O. Bigelow Apothecary, or the quirky Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Masonic Library.

You’re looking to avoid the crowds and experience New York City from a unique angle? So, simply tour the city by motorcycle. Traveling by bike makes it easy to get around. You’ll be able to find all of the hidden gems that NYC has to offer.

Whether you’re riding through the streets of downtown New York, enjoying the sights of midtown, or exploring the refined uptown area, touring New York City by motorbike gives you a unique and exhilarating look at the city.


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sandra Frey

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