Tag Archives: Coffee Shop

BK Block Party: The First Digital Block Party in Brooklyn

Brooklyn BK Block Party Support Local Sunday in Brooklyn

Stay home. Shop small. Support Brooklyn. The BK Block Party is Brooklyn’s first digital block party ever and we’re excited to be part of it!

Brooklyn BK Block Party Support Local Shop Small
Photo Credit: Courtesy

In times of Corona, it has become more important than ever to get together and help those in need. From friends, families and people around us, to the numerous small businesses that are struggling to keep the ball rolling.

So, with that in mind, Kirby Duncan, founder of KD & W Creative LLC started this amazing initiative.

This Saturday, May 23rd, from 10am – 1pm ONLINE, the BK Block Party will showcase Brooklyn’s first-ever digital live shopping event with some of the neighborhood’s favorite small local shops, restaurants, ice cream shops, chocolate and coffee shops, bookstores, liquors stores, independent designers, and community organizations.

You’ll be able to pop in and out of your favorite shops & restaurants to say hello and shop exclusive sales, menu items, and more to help the shops that make Brooklyn so great!

Brooklyn BK Block Party Support Local Bedford Avenue Williamsburg

Plus, you can expect seeing and learning the craft with artists, listen to great DJs, meet drag queens, and more.

Now, a little about the great line up!

Some of the local shops are Kahkow, Odd Fellows Ice Cream, King’s County Distillery, I Made That Bag, the restaurants Sunday in Brooklyn and Lemon & Olives and still, Maha Rose Healing Center, the artist Dan DiFerndinando and other surprises!

Check the full line up!

So, be sure to register to receive the link for the online event!

It’s totally FREE and the idea is really to join us online and support these fantastic small local businesses in Brooklyn that make the neighborhood so much more special!

Register here!

In addition, don’t forget to share this post with your friends and family to enjoy the BK Block Party with your loved ones!

See you all there!

Date: May 23rd, 2020
Time: 10am – 1pm
Location: ONLINE

https://bkblockparty.live


Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC and Courtesy
Art Work
: Mike de Angelis

3 Hidden Coffee Shops In New York City

Curiosities City Secrets 3 Hidden Coffee Shops In New York City Photo Toa Heftiba

New Yorkers are known for being great coffee lovers and it’s definitely part of their daily routine. That said, we also know that locals love going to hidden spots, far from tourists. So, we united both and explored 3 hidden coffee shops in New York City.

Curiosities City Secrets 3 Hidden Coffee Shops In New York City Photo Christian Koch

With over 3,400 coffee shops, New York City is surely the coffee capital of America. While other cities may claim better coffee, none can top NYC in sheer quantity.

A New Yorker who sets out to try a different coffee shop every day won’t be finished for over nine years – and likely longer that, since in nine years, another 1,000 cafés may have opened.

Yet, in knowing how many small, boutique coffee shops are tucked inside NYC, it’s inevitable that a New Yorker who attempts this coffee quest may miss a few.

Luckily, investigators have placed a pin in those shops whose hidden locations preclude them from fame.

So, take a look at 3 hidden coffee shops in New York City.


Swedish Seamen’s Church

Curiosities City Secrets 3 Hidden Coffee Shops In New York City Swedish Seamens Church
Photo Credit: Courtesy

If you think that this name is ironic – something that is young, hipster proprietors thought up – think again.

Inside the Swedish Church of New York is a coffee shop of the kind frequented by Scandinavian seamen and emigrants at the turn of the century.

Approximately 1.3 million Swedes settled in New York during the 19th and 20th centuries, churches and cafés were their oases in a foreign land.

Today, the coffee shop is connected to the church’s library on 5 East 48th Street. It would be concealed from passers-by if not for a small chalkboard sign. The clientele is still, for the most part, Swedish, and snacks and coffee are Swedish in origin and in name.

Smørrebrød sandwiches, lingonberry juice and aromatic, rich coffee are available and affordable.

Location: 5 East 48th Street

www.svenskakyrkan.se/newyork


Voyager Espresso

Curiosities City Secrets 3 Hidden Coffee Shops In New York City Voyager Expresso
Photo Credit: Courtesy

Voyager Espresso is underground – literally.

The shop is located underneath 110 William Street in a subway station hallway that is accessible via the John Street subway exit or the building’s lobby.

From both entrances, patrons must descend staircases before coming upon the rounded, austere space of Voyager Espresso, where staff roast their own beans and brew coffee and espressos with machines of the kind that Majesty Coffee ranks highly for small businesses.

The shop contains a Fetco batch brewer and a three-group Synesso Hydra machine.

In addition to delicious hot beverages that also include cappuccinos, lattes and hot chocolate, Voyager Espresso sells cold drinks, breakfast foods, salads, sandwiches and toast.

Location: 110 William Street

www.voyagerespresso.com


The Cobra Club

Curiosities City Secrets 3 Hidden Coffee Shops In New York City Thee Cobra Club Photo by 3 PHOTOGRAPHERS
Photo Credit: 3 PHOTOGRARHERS

The Cobra Club is part yoga studio, part bar and part café – a combination that you may only find in New York City

It’s located at 6 Wyckoff Ave in Bushwick and provides 2,500 square feet of room for yoga, partying and coffee drinking. However, you might actually have to enter the building to discover that it’s a coffee shop.

The coffee has been rated as excellent – as has the vibe. By day, patrons can get their yoga and coffee fix; by night, they can get their alcohol and entertainment fix.

Karaoke, self-defense classes, and heavy metal yoga are just some of the entertainment options offered by The Cobra Club.

Location: 6 Wyckoff Ave

www.facebook.com/cobraclubbk


Coffee shops are abundant in New York City, but some of the best and coolest cafés are easy to miss.

Swedish Seamen’s Church, Voyager Espresso and The Cobra Club are three coffee shops hidden from the hustle and bustle of NYC. Now that you know where they are, be sure to stop in and have a brew.

Finally, if you’re a coffee lover and an explorer that loves seeing other spots in town, take a look at our YouTube video on “The 5 Top Coffee Shops In Greenpoint Brooklyn”.


Photo Credit: Courtesy of 3 PHOTOGRAPHERS and courtesy of venues.

Feed Projects: Feeding Children Around The Globe

BTSNYC Social Responsibility Feed Project Empire Stores in Dumbo

FEED is not a common accessories brand. With a beautiful store inside Empire Stores in Dumbo, their charitable mission certainly impresses and have provided over 110 million meals to date!

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The mission at FEED is simple: “We create good products that help feed children around the world.

With the start of every new day, we see people questioning everything that’s going on, from climate change and natural disasters, to the undeniable help that underprivileged communities need.

“It’s hard to believe that hunger is a daily reality for 795 million people around the world—limiting human flourishing, health and potential in far too many communities. The most vulnerable are often children, whose mental and physical growth, and ultimately potential to create a better future, is dependent on this most basic human need.”

It seems that world we once knew is now becoming a difficult place to live, but what gives us hope are the thousands of people spread across the planet spreading the good!

New York is one of the busiest cities in the world, but even so, we have special people working to improve the lives of others

FEED is a project idealized and led by Lauren Bush, niece of ex-President George W. Bush and Ellen Gustafson, who started her career working with Communication at the United Nations (UN).

FEED Projects LLC

Lauren was a model for Tommy Hilfiger for two years in her yearly years in college, but shortly after that she became a spokesperson for the UN World Food Program (WFP). This was the trigger for changing her career and her view on the world

After her first trip, where she faced the harsh reality of children on the verge of death in Guatemala, Lauren decided to do more than just be a “spokesperson”.

It was there that she joined Ellen, who was also looking to do something bigger.

Lauren’s passion for fashion and design and Ellen’s desire to do something different had finally merged. The project is simple: a reusable bag, only with the project’s logo, where all income collected is directed directly to the UN World Food Program.

In a short time, the logistics and procedures for the United Nations to sell this bag became so complex and bureaucratic that Lauren and Ellen decided to leave the WFP.

Voilá! FEED Projects was founded!

FEED Projects currently works with numerous organizations such as WFP, of course, and others like UNICEF. Sales are mostly made online, where you will see how your purchase will help these children.

You can literally buy a $60 scholarship and feed a child for an entire year! How incredible is that, right!?

In addition, FEED Shop & Café is their first physical location in New York, located inside the majestic Empire Stores in DUMBO, Brooklyn.

“The shop features an assortment of our newest products, special in-store exclusives and a rotating curation of other socially conscious finds. Our cafe serves the FEED Heritage coffee blend, roasted in partnership with La Colombe, and a delicious selection of pastries and nibbles.”

Most of the bags are made in China, but the most expensive leather items are produced by hand in Kenya and Guatemala.

The models are as diverse as backpacks, classic totes and some duffle bags. And yet, the girls made a line called “Feed NYC” in 2010, with more elaborate bags made by the local clothing industry (of course, to incentivize the local economy) and were sold at Bergdorf Goodman. Oh! Shop the new FEED arrivals!

The project has grown so much that now several brands have become FEED partners. Companies like: Target, Disney, Pottery Barn, Clarins, Whole Foods Market, Gap, Tory Burch, Rachel Roy, DKNY, Links of London, Godiva, TOMS and Nordstrom are part of it.

And also, you can do more!

You can host your own Feed Supper! Here is how it works:


Let’s come together to help our neighbors!

Today, in neighborhoods across the United States, there are over 40 million people who aren’t sure where they will find their next meal. By hosting a FEED Supper, you will join a community helping to change that.

Host a dinner party that provides meals for more than just your friends

Your FEED Supper can be as simple as a pizza party or as formal as a seated dinner. Just ask your guests to make a donation to help fight hunger in advance of the gathering. It’s that simple.

The money you raise will help provide much-needed meals to families across America, through our giving partner, Feeding America. Learn more about their work to end hunger.


Let’s collaborate as well?

Finally, if you live in New York and you’d like to actively volunteer in a feeding program, our Founder Fernanda coordinates one called Friend’s in Need that happens every Saturday morning, at Tompkins Square Park in the East Village.

We would love to have you there helping us!

Hours:
Monday – Saturday: 8am – 7pm
Sunday: 8am – 6pm

Location: 55 Water Street

https://feedprojects.com


Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC

Greenwich Village Coffee Tour & Tasting

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Greenwich Village Coffee Tour McNultys

New York is know for its countless coffee shops and we all know true New Yorkers love a great coffee cup. So, come explore the Greenwich Village Coffee Tour & Tasting experience.


BOOK NOW!

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Drink your way through the surprising history of coffee in NYC on the Greenwich Village Coffee Tour & Tasting.

Discover the surprising history of coffee in New York City while exploring Greenwich Village, its iconic birthplace.

On this unique walking tour we will learn how New York and coffee go hand-in-hand both in cultural and economic development. We will hear the story of one of the most successful coffee entrepreneurs of the early 20th century, who’s first shop was in Grand Central and who was a woman!

In between sampling coffee at some of the retailers that popularized America’s favorite beverage, you’ll get a crash course in coffee history from its ancient discovery in Africa to its sustainable farming movements of the past few years.

We will also highlight many of Greenwich Village’s hidden historical gems, like the Minetta Brook, and explain their connection to coffee.

By the end of this experience you will have tasted: an espresso, a drip coffee, chocolate covered coffee beans and a cappuccino… so you will be caffeinated!

BOOK NOW!


TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Drink a cappuccino from NYC’s oldest cafe
  • Discover the former cafe that became the unofficial birthplace of the off-off Broadway theatre movement
  • Taste coffee treats from New York City’s oldest whole bean retailers
  • See NYC’s first espresso machine
  • Learn how NYC coffee culture played host to the first Stock Exchange and was considered to be the world’s first internet

TOUR DETAILS:
Price: $40 / person
What to wear: Bring comfortable shoes. This tour is happening rain or shine so please dress appropriately for the weather.
What to know: The tour is 1.5 hours long; the group meets at the Minetta Triangle, N/e Corner of Ave. of Americas and, Minetta Ln
Ticket Confirmation: After you book this experience, you will receive a confirmation email from our partner confirming you are attending the tour!

BOOK NOW!


To organize a behind the scenes tour for your team or a special group of clients, contact our experts to learn more about our Corporate Tours & Experiences.

If you enjoy the Greenwich Village Coffee Tour & Tasting, be sure to check what the Secret Behind The Scenes Grand Central Terminal Tour is all about!


Photo Credit: Courtesy of our partner

Sweet Corner Bakeshop: A 2 Pound Chocolate Nutella Heart

Shop Specialties Sweet Corner Bakeshop 2 Pound Chocolate Nutella Heart

I cracked open New York’s most famous 2 pound chocolate Nutella heart at Sweet Corner Bakeshop, in the West Village, and got chocolate all over me. But, then again, it’s Nutella!


Subscribe You Tube Behind the Scenes NYC

Even before I moved to New York in April of 2015, I already had a favorite spot in the West Village I visited every time I visited to NYC. It’s not only loved by visitors, but also certainly, by locals.

So, today I have a surprise for you, so you might as well continue reading and watch the video above. Why? I cracked open their famous 2 pound chocolate Nutella heart.

The result? I had Nutella all over me. Hahaha!

Before we start, if you love New York, want to be posted and in tune with all the hidden secrets, new spots and the coolest brands, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

Located on a street corner in the super trendy West Village, Sweet Corner Bakeshop is known for their Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookie.

I don’t need to prove how good it is, because everyone who’s tried it, will agree!

Shop Specialties Sweet Corner Bakeshop 2 Pound Chocolate Nutella Heart West Village
Sweet Corner Bakeshop, in the West Village. ©Behind the Scenes NYC

But, in case you’ve never been to Sweet Corner Bakeshop, I want to tell you that it’s even won the title of “Best Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookie” in town. It’s hard to properly describe and put into words, but I can guarantee that it’s definitely worth ALL the calories, lol!

Plus, it’s made with 4 kinds of chocolate and Sea Salt directly from France, perfectly balanced per cookie!

To pair the cookie, you might want to order their coffee made with beans from Honduras, Brazil and Columbia. The killer combo for any time of the year.

Oh! And that’s not the only highlight. This neighborhood gem is also known for having countless desserts overflowing with a super delicious and rich Nutella filling, like their red velvet Nutella cookie.

Shop Specialties Sweet Corner Bakeshop 2 Pound Chocolate Nutella Heart Red Velvet
Photo Credit: Courtesy

And, come on, who in the world does not like Nutella?

Sweet Corner’s founder, Rodolfo Gonçalves, is also known for being a spectacular cake designer, with a creativity many other professionals might envy. Since he was a very young boy, he was always drawing and expressing his artistic gift in school.

The result? Well, you might want to pass by sometime and check out their cake boutique window at the store. You’ll certainly be amazed with what he’s been creating with his team of experts. Some cakes can even take up to 2-3 days to be completely finished!

Plus, as we know, every man has a powerful partner beside him, right? In Rodolfo’s case, his wife, Patricia, is his right and left arm. Such a beautiful, kind, smart and determined woman that is responsible for big part of their well-deserved success.

I told Rodolfo that I’d heard him saying that his mom thinks he’s a super star, and I found that adorable! I mean, moms are moms, but I told him…that maybe she’s right! I heard a few rumors of a quite exciting project coming in early 2019 that might prove her statement! I can’t it share now…but do keep your antennas on! This will be pretty amazing!


Subscribe You Tube Behind the Scenes NYC

Shop Specialties Sweet Corner Bakeshop Mini Chocolate Nutella Hearts
Mini Chocolate Nutella Hearts. ©Behind the Scenes NYC

I also asked him about a “big dream” he’s always had! Something about a F1 car!?

Well, it appears that, as a huge fan of Formula 1 race car driving, Rodolfo dreams to one day be able to design and bake a life sized replica cake of a Formula 1 race car. And….tchan tchan tchan tchan…this might happen earlier than we expect! So exciting!

Now, straight to the point! I had seen this surreal 2 pound chocolate Nutella heart they were selling during the 2018 Valentine’s Day. Oh, and it’s painted with this super beautiful edible gold paint! It’s went viral on Social Media, especially because only 300 special hearts were produced. Apparently, people were calling and begging to get at least one for them. Quite a commotion! So, I decided to head there, invade their kitchen and help create this huge piece of delicious art. And, of course, crack it open! As Rodolfo said:

“It’s the only heart you can break!”

I was able to do it all, get in action in the kitchen, but I had a bit of a hard time cracking it properly. And, it ends up that I got Nutella all over me and, with the help of Rodolfo, I even had it on my face! But then again, it’s Nutella, so it’s ok!

Shop Specialties Sweet Corner Bakeshop 2 Pound Chocolate Nutella Heart Fernanda Paronetto
Fê Paronetto preparing the 2 Pound Chocolate Nutella Heart – or trying. Photo Credit: Black3 Agency for BTSNYC

I’m a chocoholic and I do believe that chocolate is love, and so is Nutella. So, there’s no better gift, in my opinion, regardless of the time of the year. After all, Nutella needs no reason!

Keep your eyes open for the upcoming super star moment and also for the next Valentine’s Day, where they told me, they’ll have another big, viral surprise!

If you need any help to cater your private event, or if you need assistance for a corporate gathering, let your experts help you!

Subscribe You Tube Behind the Scenes NYC

Finally, if you like our video give us some love subscribing to our YouTube channel and be ready to be part of our Behind the Scenes NYC World! Come explore and uncover New York in a different way!

Hours:
Monday – Wednesday: 8am –7pm
Thursday – Friday: 8am – 8pm
Saturday: 8am – 8pm
Sunday: 8:30am – 8pm

Location: 535 Hudson Street

www.sweetcorner.com


VideographyBlack3 Agency
Photography
: Black3 Agency and ©Behind the Scenes NYC

BeautyLeila Soldeira

Justin Teodoro: Statue Of Liberty Illustration Gone Viral

Curiosities Insider Interviews Justin Teodoro Statue of Liberty Illustration

Justin Teodoro is the powerful  and creative name behind the Statue of Liberty’s illustration that went viral a few weeks back! We talked to him about his breathtaking career, his inspirations and discovered his 7 secret spots in NYC.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Justin Teodoro Statue of Liberty Illustration

A few weeks back, the social media universe went wild with a beautiful illustration created by the NY-based illustrator, Justin Teodoro.

In a powerful response to the first lady, Melania Trump’s Zara jacket, which had “I really don’t care. Do you?”, written on the back, Justin’s creative, powerful and positive reply, moved the world.

The outrageous act that has been moving people to stand up against the zero tolerance policy of family separations at the boarder, led by President Trump, was spread through out the internet.

Even those that chose to be isolated for the political scene, were touched.

Like us, countless other media platforms and Instagram users, reposted Justin’s illustration, supporting the cause.

Our interview below, will show you more about Justin’s story, career, conquests, inspirations, finishing off with 7 of his secret spots in NYC!

Curiosities Insider Interviews Justin Teodoro Kevin Lamarque Reuters
Photo Credit: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

1. Can you tell me a bit about your background? Where you’re from? What you studied? Where you’ve worked?

I’m from Vancouver, BC Canada – born and raised there. I did my undergrad at University of Toronto and after I graduated in 2003 I moved back to Vancouver to figure out what to do for a career.

I’ve always drawn and loved art, but never knew how to make that happen as a “job”. I was always into fashion but, that seemed so far away to me as a career.

I then found about the Associates Fashion program at Parsons and with the support of my family applied and got in. So, I moved to NYC in 2005 to pursue a career in fashion.

I worked as a womenswear designer for 8 years for brands as Tuleh, Cynthia Steffe and Kenneth Cole, before I made a career change to focus on my own illustrations and art.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Justin Teodoro Installation

2. Was the Barney’s window in NY your first major fashion project? Tell us a bit about this project! Or, tell us about your first major project that boosted your career.

My first big project as an illustrator was probably working with Lorenzo Martone and his brand Martone Cycling – we met through mutual friends and I began doing illustrations for him.

That led to us working together on a small capsule range of illustrated tees for Martone Cycling, then a pop up in NYC and finally an artwork for a window display when Martone Cycling was sold at Colette in Paris. That was a major first for me.

I’ve worked with Barneys NY a few times – first on their website doing a few illustrations stories. Those projects led me to working with Barneys New York Japan in 2015 for their holiday campaign. Another major milestone in my career – I created artwork for their holiday campaign and was invited to Tokyo for the holiday launch.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Justin Teodoro Colette Lorenzo Martone3. You’ve done so many amazing works around the world like Colette in Paris, the subways in Tokyo! I believe you obviously enjoyed them all, but is there one that you’re exceptionally proud of and would love to relive it? Why?

I’ve been lucky to have worked on some pretty amazing projects with really great brands, so it is hard to choose.

I guess though I would always cherish the projects that allowed not only my work to travel internationally but me as well!

So, my project with Barneys in Tokyo and recently doing artwork for Six Senses in Kaplankaya, Turkey was amazing. It’s been great to expose yourself and your eyes to what is out there.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Justin Teodoro Tokyo Subway Barneys New York

4. The entire Social Media universe saw your latest illustration of the Statue of Liberty with the child. We were one of the hundreds of accounts that share it. Can you give us a taste of how the idea can about and how the creation process was? Did you expect this amazing repercussion?

Curiosities Insider Interviews Justin Teodoro

It really came about from me just reacting to all the news that week – I remember it being so hard to hear all the stories of these families being separated and then seeing all those images in the news.

It was hard not to react.

I think I tried to do something that felt true to what I wanted to say, but also to my art and I think I just wanted to put something out there that was perhaps positive, a sense of hope in all of this sadness, anger and messiness.

So, it kind of just came naturally – I don’t remember exactly what the process was but putting the jacket with what I think we all wanted it to say on the statue of Liberty seemed to be my creative reply.

The reaction was pretty amazing to see – definitely all the viral attention was amazing.

But, it was much more amazing to me to have people email/message me to say thank you for doing this artwork, that it gave them a sense of hope and light in all this darkness.

That really touched me and made me realize that the work had taken on a more powerful meaning that I ever anticipated.

5. Is there any exciting upcoming project you can share with us first hand?!

A few projects in work, so stay tuned!

6. Can people find your work in NY and also to purchase online?

I have a few t-shirts/prints available on my website. Below an image of the gorgeous Jane’s Carousel.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Justin Teodoro Janes Carousel Dumbo

7. What are you +7 top secret spots in NY you love to go with friends, or for work inspiration?

  • Communitea Café – A neighborhood coffee spot in LIC;
  • FIT Museum – For fashion inspiration;
  • Lucky Strike – A classic NYC happy hour in SoHo;
  • Tuffet – A great bar in Brooklyn for cocktails and drinks;
  • McNally Jackson – A great local bookstore/magazines and coffee spot in SoHo;
  • Strand Bookstore – A classic and has an amazing vintage book collection;
  • Blick Arts – I’m a sucker for an art store and I’m always here getting more paint or pens.

Take a look at a few cultural activities in New York, if you’re into arts, music, museums, etc!


Thank you Justin, for the amazing work, your strong voice and talent, and for sharing with us a bit of your life!

Keep up the amazing work!


Photo Credits: Justin Teodoro and Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
*Last Update on April/2020.*

The 5 Top Coffee Shops in Greenpoint Brooklyn

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 5 Top Coffee Shops Greenpoint Sweetleaf Coffee Roasters

I love coffee and exploring new spots and revisiting old ones is always a thrill! Today I share my 5 top coffee shops in Greenpoint, Brooklyn! If you are also a coffee fan, go check them out!

Yes, everyone that knows me, knows that I’m c-o-m-p-l-e-t-e-l-y addicted to coffee (good coffee!) and I drink it throughout my entire day! Being Brazilian, I think it’s just a natural part of me. Ha!

I have friends that tell me that if they drink coffee after lunch time, they can’t sleep at night. And, that just sounds so crazy… I can literally drink a gallon on coffee at night, roll over and sleep like a baby.

That said, I love exploring all the new coffee shops in New York. We also have some pretty amazing traditional ones that are still going strong. Those bigger chains are certainly not up my alley at all. I like the smaller ones, independently owned that roast their own coffee and the smell just fills up the entire place.

We’ve already shared the 5 best bars in Greenpoint I love.

So, today I’m sharing my favorite and 5 top coffee shops in Greenpoint. After all, I do love everything about that neighborhood.


Maman

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 5 Top Coffee Shops Greenpoint Maman
Photo Credit: @thebrothersbuoy

If you enjoy good coffee and pastries, you’ve probably already heard of Maman.

The name means “mom” in French and the owners were inspired by their childhood memories of their mother’s recipes! They’ve got countless pretty tasty pastries, as well as savory options and healthy salads.

Besides this Greenpoint spot, they have a few other locations in the city, in the neighborhoods of Soho, Tribeca, Nomad and the Meatpacking District.

Each location is a bit different from the other and the one in Tribeca is also one of my favorites, for the have a great restaurant in the back!

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 7am – 6pm
Saturday – Sunday: 8am – 6pm
Brunch: Saturday – Sunday: 9am – 4pm

Location: 80 Kent Street

www.mamannyc.com


Búdin

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 5 Top Coffee Shops Greenpoint Budin

Búdin was founded back in 2013 and serves not only tasty Scandinavian specialty coffees, but it also has a craft beer and wine bar. The Nordic menu offers sandwiches, salads and delicious Swedish pancakes.

One of the dishes I love is the Portobello + Fennel Sandwich with portobello cap, caramelized onions, fennel, whole grain Dijon mustard on a baguette.

But wait! That’s not all! In the back, they have a small, but pretty awesome design shop and an opened patio! The design shop brings together a curation of Japanese brands selling t-shirts, accessories and even a few jewelry pieces.

NOTE: On June 12th, Búdin sent out a message saying: “Due to an ongoing dispute with our landlord we have been forced to shut down for a while. We thank you for all the good times and hope to have more soon. We are trying to resolve the issue and find a positive solution as quickly as possible, be it reopening at our current location or finding a new home in Brooklyn.”

So, we’ll keep our eyes open to share their new spot!

Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 7am – 12am
Friday: 7am – 1am
Saturday: 8am – 1am
Sunday: 8am – 12am

Location: New spot to be announced!

www.budin-nyc.com


Sweetleaf Coffee Roasters

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 5 Top Coffee Shops Greenpoint Sweetleaf Coffee Roasters

Probably the first thing you’ll notice while entering Sweetleaf, is the décor. It has beautiful brick walls, original wood beams, as well as a fantastic variety of antique furniture collected from all over the world!

Besides the amazing smell when you walk in, it’s also very laptop friendly if you need to pull it out and work a bit!

They have a few other locations, but this one is the one that actually houses the roastery in the back. Don’t forget to peek inside to see the coffee being done.

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 7am – 7pm
Saturday – Sunday: 8am – 7pm

Location: 159 Freeman Street

http://sweetleafcoffee.com


Homecoming

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 5 Top Coffee Shops Greenpoint Homecoming

Homecoming is certainly a different style coffee shop. Why? Because they have not only a charming flower shop inside, but they also sell accessories from amazing designers.

You’ll find everything from apparel, apothecary, objects for your home, jewelry, notebooks and planners, and even some creative gift cards!

It’s a great place to swing by for coffee and also check out the products if you’re looking for a special gift for a friend or loved one.

They also have a 2nd location in Williamsburg, at 92 Berry Street.

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 7:30am – 7pm
Saturday – Sunday: 9am – 7pm

Location: 107 Franklin Street

https://home-coming.com


Champion Coffee

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 5 Top Coffee Shops Greenpoint Champion Coffee

Even though Champion Coffee’s first location dates back to 2006, the North Greenpoint spot is kinda new and opened just a few years back in 2016.

You can also take their coffee home. They roast their beans in Maspeth, Queens and have 3 flavors: Decaf, Drip Blend and Espresso. The spot also serves a nice breakfast and lunch with a few options of sandwiches and salads.

They have 2 locations in Brooklyn with a 3rd one that just launched! Where? Inside the North 3rd Street Market, in Williamsburg, that opened a few weeks back and unites 25 fantastic vendors in one spot!

In Manhattan they have 2 locations and the 3rd one is on its way! 

Hours: See website for hours of specific locations

Location: 1107 Manhattan Avenue

www.championcoffee.com


Videography: Black3 Agency
Photo Credits
: Black3 Agency, courtesy of thebrothersbuoy and of the venues

Beauty
: Leila Soldeira

Fine & Raw: The Secret Behind This Chocolate Factory In Bushwick

Shop Specialties Fine and Raw Chocolate Fernanda Paronetto with Daniel Sklaar

If you are a confessed chocoholic, this is the place for you! Fine & Raw Chocolate has a gorgeous factory in Bushwick with a beautiful coffee bar, never ending chocolate options and still, you can peek inside to see how everything is done!

We love exploring secret spots and that’s no news, right? Duh! But who would have thought of exploring a chocolate factory in the neighborhood of Bushwick, in Brooklyn!?

It’s been a while since I’ve known about Fine & Raw Chocolate. Not only are they sold in several places around New York, but I was luckily introduced to the Founder, Daniel Sklaar, a few years back through friends in common.

I had just recently moved to NY and a group of friends invited me to this “Waffle Party”. I had no idea what that was about, but come on, who turns down a waffle party!? Not me!

So, years went by and I finally decided to interview Daniel and share with our readers what Fine & Raw Chocolate is all about. The story is amazing!

Daniel moved to NY in early 2000’s to work as a Financial Analyst, but…in no time, he found out that he had another bigger passion: Cooking! He was living in an artist loft / commune in Williamsburg, where quite a few people lived together.

So, he decided to take it seriously and become a chef. He instantly fell in love with chocolate and the art of making them. From that point on, he started experimenting and trying out different things with chocolate at the loft. Of course, all of his friends living there tried were the guinea pigs and “had to” try them all. The new good is that they all actually loved it. That was when Daniel decided to take it to another level and really focus on this craft.

I asked him what was the secret behind his chocolate, because I just knew there was someone more into what he was doing.

Daniel laughed and explained that “yes!” there are a few secrets in his production.

First, we research all over the world to be able to bring together the best and healthiest ingredients available. Second, instead of doing a regular roast of the chocolate itself, what we do is low temperature for a very long time. It’s similar to the idea of slow-cooking and it draws out this amazing flavor!

I also asked to have a tasting with him. I mean, what are the odds of NOT asking for one!? Hahaha!

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He explained that the best way is to always start from the darkest one, then work your way down to the sweetest. So, from the chocolates we tried, this was the order of what we had:

  • Sea Salt: a classic chocolate, with the salt opening up your pallet allowing the flavors to come through
  • Raspberry: organic dried raspberry, that brings out the fruity flavors in the chocolate
  • Hazelnut Butter: the hazelnuts come from Portland, Oregon and we grind them, so it becomes a butter
  • Coconut & Cacao: one of the most popular ones. When you bite it, the texture is insane!

During the hot months, Fine & Raw also hosts quite a few interesting events, gathering old friends and making new ones! You can stay tuned through their Instagram account: @FineAndRaw.

They also have, year round, art exhibitions on their walls made by fantastic local artists. Everything hanging can be purchased, so be sure to take a look!

While you’re in Bushwick, you might want to have lunch a guiltless lunch at Roberta’s Pizza, then head to the House of Yes for an unforgettable night!

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 10am – 6pm
Saturday: 12pm – 6pm

Location: 288 Seigel Street, Brooklyn

http://fineandraw.com


Videography: Black3 Agency
Photo Credits: Black3 Agency and courtesy of Fine & Raw Chocolate
Beauty
: Leila Soldeira

*Last Update on March/2020.*

The NYC Rock’n’Roll World Of The Wanderlust Girls

Curiosities Insider Interviews Wanderlust Girls Pop Art

Come explore the NYC rock’n’roll world of Emily and Abigail, creators of Wanderlust Girls! Enjoy their 9 best behind the scenes spots in New York City!

Curiosities Insider Interviews Wanderlust Girls Manhattan Bridge

Emily and Abigail (the Wanderlust Girls) met in middle school many eons ago (18 years to be exact), in a small town just outside of Boston.

They grew up sharing a love for fashion, rock’n’roll and adventure. These shared interested morphed into a blog, WanderLust Girls back in 2010, which has since grown into the fashion, lifestyle, travel brand they run today.

The girls recently expanded their business down in Nashville, which you will be seeing more of on their social media soon.

If they are not in Nashville hanging with rock stars or repping their black clad closets on the New York City streets, they are likely in the air jetting to a new location for their next travel piece.

Take a look below to see their 9 best behind the scenes spots in New York City:


I NEED MORE

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“I NEED MORE is a clothing store with all the spikes and studs you can dream of. (Yes, we dream about spikes and studs.) The owner, Jimmy Webb is a rock’n’roll legend in the city who we are lucky enough to call a friend. Every piece in the shop is unique, bold, and badass.”

As they say, this is literally a “A Rock’N’Roll clothing store for everybody”! The store is true a labor of love and dedication. You’ll certainly love it all: from the goo goo muck chandelier to the hand pained zebra stripe dressing rooms and painting on the walls!

They are a multi-label store in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and always have big names coming by! A few famous friends in their list are: the one and only Ewan McGregor, Slash, Alice Cooper and Duff McKagan!

Pass by to see what they are up to!

Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 12pm – 8pm
Friday & Saturday: 12pm – 9pm
Sunday: 1pm – 7pm

Location: 75A Orchard Street

http://ixneedxmore.com


Duff’s Brooklyn

Curiosities Insider Interviews Wanderlust Girls Duffs Brooklyn

“If you ever wanted to sit in an electric chair, look no further! Duff’s Brooklyn has its very own, as well as some of the creepiest, yet amazing decor we’ve ever seen. Enjoy some metal music and don’t forget to spin the wheel to win various prizes. Keep spinning until you get the Jesus juice.”

Founded in 1999 back in the neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen, in Manhattan, this metal mecca finally moved into Brooklyn in 2004 and is the place to go if you a heavy metal lover. If you’re not part of this lifestyle, it’s still a fantastic place to go explore and broaden your horizons.

The spot, now located in South Williamsburg, is certainly a true metal place. Names like Pantera, Iron Maiden, Kerry King of Slayer, Exodus, Machine Head, The Sword, and many others have visited it.

Let’s rock!

Hours: Monday – Sunday: 6pm – 4am

Location: 168 Marcy Avenue

www.duffsbrooklyn.com


Jane Motorcycles

“Jane Motorcycles is our favorite place to go scope for beautiful bearded motorcycle riding men… I mean they have great coffee, that’s why we go. This beautifully curated moto gear shop surrounds the actually really great coffee shop. It’s amazing in the nice weather when they open the garage style door and you can enjoy your latté will gazing at all the motorcycles lined up outside.”

This is the ultimate NYC’s custom motorcycles, apparel, gear, art, books, and espresso shop, and we love it too! Alexander DiMattio and Adam Kallen started Jane with the objective of putting a new take on a motorcycle shop. And…they did it flawlessly!

These guys are from Brooklyn and everything in their store translates the vibe of the neighborhood and the lifestyle they personally enjoy.

They literally created this store out of scratch – actually it’s not their original location, since they were forced to move out of their other place. But, a blessing in disguise, for sure. At this spot, they were able to transform into reality all their dreams of what their store should looks like, such as the huge coffee counter and the garage door roll-up.

We are also huge coffee lovers, and their coffee partner is delicious, with ethically source coffee from all over the world – totally up our alley, since we work with and support sustainable traveling!

Definitely a must-go spot!

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 7am – 7pm
Saturday: 8am – 7pm
Sunday: 9am – 7pm

Location: 396 Wythe Avenue

https://janemotorcycles.com


Pinks

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“Pinks a fun hot rod style bar with motorcycle chain chandeliers and random car parts throughout the watering hole. Make sure you stop by for rock n’ roll bingo. Lots of fun prizes and great tunes!”

This is also a place we enjoy a lot!

Pink, in the Lower East Side, is a great spot to go for drinks, good music, a great crowd and even to celebrate your birthday.

They have a pretty cool private room in the back, if you prefer having your guests all together and more comfortable.

As they explain: “Pinks is what happens when a musician & a motorcycle enthusiast come together & build a bar around their love of Kustom Kulture.”

Hours:
Monday – Wednesday: 5pm – 2am
Thursday – Friday: 5pm – 4am
Saturday: 12pm – 4am
Sunday: 12pm – 2am

Location: 242 East 10th Street

http://pinks.nyc


Grit N Glory

Curiosities Insider Interviews Wanderlust Girls Grit N Glory

“Grit N Glory is a rock’n’roll one-stop-shop, located in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Whether you are looking for a shirt with a satanic cat on it, some new ink (they have their own tattoo shop) or a tea cup for your vodka, they have it!”

The store offers a full collection for men, women and even a collection for the cool kids, besides accessories and housewares!

You’ll also be able to see some pretty crazy shots signed by Mark Weiss where he featured Alice Cooper, Boy George, Metallica, Guns’N’Roses, Mick Jagger and Ozzy in the 1980’s.

Hours: Daily from 12pm – 8pm

Location: 186 Orchard Street

www.gritnglory.com


Three of Cups

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UNFORTUNATELY THIS RESTAURANT IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED!

“Three of Cups, if you’re are in the mood for a delicious Italian meal and some light death metal you are in the right spot. On street level Three of Cups is a beautiful restaurant with drool-worthy pizzas and pasta dishes. Meanwhile, the basement has pretty heavy metal music playing, leopard print poles, and a badass crowd.”

Who doesn’t love Italian food made from these old family recipes and pizzas, right?

Located in the East Village, Three of Cups was founded back in 1992 and they really know the essence in making good pizza.

If you’re not that into pizza – if this even exists, lol – their food menu comes from recipes from the Southern Italian regions like Sicily, Naples and Bari.

And still, if you’re into pizza and pasta but keep track of all the calories you eat, don’t worry…they have delicious gluten-free options on the menu.

Location: 83 1st Avenue


Gutter Bar

Curiosities Insider Interviews Wanderlust Girls The Gutter
Our Founder, Fê, with her friends at The Gutter, in Williamsburg.

“Gutter Bar Brooklyn, has great cheap whiskey and a retro style bowling alley in the back. Equipped with 8 lanes to show off your skills. They also have a pool table. It’s a really great place to go with a group of friends on a cold winter day.”

We were so excited to see the Gutter Bar as part of Emily’s and Abigail’s list! This is a spot that we go a lot to and always have a great time!

Now, don’t expect a super fancy bowling alley because, as the girls mentioned, it’s a retro style one. But, then again, who need fancy to have fun, right?

They have a full bar, a pool table (be sure to place your Quarter on the table to get in line) and the bowling alley. Oh! And after passing by the restrooms, you’ll see another room! Walk in! They have a stage with live music and a dance floor!

It can be a while – a few hours – until you play, so you can arrive early, or just get your number and enjoy the bar until your time comes.

Hours Williamsburg:
Monday – Thursday: 5pm – 4am
Friday: 2pm – 4am
Saturday & Sunday: 12pm – 4am

Hours Long Island City:
Monday – Thursday: 5pm – 2am
Friday: 2pm – 2am
Saturday & Sunday: 12pm – 2am

Locations:
200 North 14th Street, Williamsburg
10-22 46th Avenue, Long Island City

www.thegutterbrooklyn.com/williamsburg


Enchantments

Curiosities Insider Interviews Wanderlust Girls Enchantment Store

“Enchantments is the oldest occult store in NYC. This space is filled with wonderfully witchy items from candles to bring love into your life, herbs and oils to rid yourself of ex boyfriends, books like ‘The Witches Bible’ and of course, tarot cards. Literally all you could ever need.”

The store is located in the East Village and opened back in 1982! Their mission is: Our mission is to help people empower themselves, heal and grow through spiritual practice. We believe in the principle “harm none,” and do not endorse items that hurt others.

Their Apothecary has over 100 recipes and can be mixed and matched according to what you are looking for.

Their incenses, oils, baths and other products are hand-made. They still have numerous other products like hand-carved candles, holders, statues, books, jewelry, talismans, cards and so many other super cool magical tools!

Be sure to go with time, since you’ll certainly be drawn to many different products!

Hours:
Wednesday – Monday: 1pm – 8:45pm
Closed Tuesday

Location: 424 East 9th Street

www.enchantmentsincnyc.com


Obscura Antiques

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“Obscura Antiques, a small antique and oddities shop located in the East Village. We once got a bat skeleton there! So, if you’re in the market for bones, taxidermy, or even a Romanian AK-47 Bayonet, you hit the jackpot! Give yourself at least an hour to look through everything. You’ll find some gems for sure.”

Looking through these old antiques and oddities is certainly a journey into the past and can be quite amusing if you let your mind fly.

They are the oldest shop in this category in NYC and they ‘carry medical, scientific, natural history, fraternal, circus/sideshow, and all things unusual’.

Plus, as they mentioned, we also believe it’s a great place to find a unique gift. Well, it will certainly be a gift your loved one will remember forever!

Enjoy your exploration!

Hours:
Monday – Saturday: 12pm – 8pm
Sunday: 12pm – 7pm

Location: 207 Avenue A

http://www.obscuraantiques.com


Thank you Emily and Abigail (the Wanderlust Girls), for sharing with us your 9 best behind the scenes spots in New York City!

If you enjoy rock’n’roll, you will also enjoy Saint Vitus Bar in Greenpoint. They’ve already hosted small, unexpected gigs with Nirvana!

Also, take a look at this interview with Andre Vasconcellos, one of the most amazing NY-based guitarists we know!


Photo Credits: Courtesy of all the venues
*Last Update on April/2020.*

Cheryl Wat: From Marketing & Finance To A NYC Food Influencer

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat

Cheryl Wat went from Marketing & Finance to becoming a NYC Food Influencer! Take a look at her 7 secret New York City tips and be sure to add them to your To-Go spots!

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat

Cheryl Wat was born and raised on Long Island, but now lives in Queens. She graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in Marketing and Finance and has 10 years of marketing experience working in the Finance industry as an Analyst in Marketing Research and Product Management.

During this time, Cheryl’s boyfriend wanted to open a restaurant. She became interested in learning about influencer marketing and using social media as a means to build his restaurant’s brand awareness and anticipation of its opening. To do this, she realized that she had to open up her own Instagram food account.

In July 2016, Cheryl established Book of Eats on Instagram and as a site, with the initial focus being restaurants, food, and beverages primarily in NYC area.

As she shared her dining experiences, she realized a community of people was being built who share the same interests. Since then, Book of Eats has expanded to travel, food around the world, and interesting food/travel related news.

See below her 7 secret New York City tips:


Trademark Taste & Grind

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“I love how this Midtown restaurant, called Trademark Taste & Grind is hidden behind a coffee shop. It’s one of the few places near Penn Station that I can think of with good food, isn’t touristy, and that I would want to bring someone.”

Yup! They are known for their delicious food, coffee and cocktails. The front area of the restaurant – Trademark Grind – is a coffee shop with a great selection of pastries and coffees. Walking towards the back area, you’ll find Trademark Taste serving new American comfort food.

It’s located in the Hotel Le Soleil.

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 7am – 11pm
Saturday & Sunday: 8am – 11pm

Location: 38 West 36th Street

www.trademarktaste.com


Fry Guys

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UNFORTUNATELY THIS RESTAURANT IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED!

“Fry Guys is a super cool retro looking French fry spot in the East Village with vinyl records all around the floors, walls, and ceiling. There’s even disco balls hanging from the ceilings. If you come here get the Drunk Guy, its fries are loaded with guacamole, bacon and cheese.”

These guys are really experts when the subject is “fries”. Their food is gluten-free fries and made from delicious Idaho Russet potatoes. How do they make it? They hand-cut everything, season it and perfectly fry it to get that crunchy texture.

The décor of the place is also fantastic and it’s vintage kinda look will take you back decades. It’s most certainly a nostalgic feeling.

This is the place to splurge and forget your diet! Forget about calories and just be happy! Ha! After all, as they say ‘Every day is FryDay!’.

Location: 150 East 2nd Street


Gaijin, now Koyo

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“Gaijin is the only place in Astoria that I know of with a legit omakase sushi menu. I love the whole experience of sitting at the counter, interacting with the Chef, and being told the preferred way of eating the sushi is with my hands like in Japan. I can’t think of any other restaurants like this in Astoria, but in the city I definitely can.”

Chef Mark, a Chicago-native, is the artist behind it all. His outstanding culinary career gave him enough experience to open Gaijin – the result of his take on modern Japanese food.

Moreover, he blends his traditional Japanese cooking technique with a personal touch and inspiration. It’s known that his signature nigrizushi toppings are outstanding!

Nigirizushi (“hand-pressed sushi”) consists of an oblong mound of sushi rice that the chef presses between the palms of the hands to form an oval-shaped ball, and a topping (the neta) draped over the ball.” ~ Wikipedia

Gaijin has been rebranded to Koyo.

” The restaurant was originally opened as Gaijin which was a very popular local establishment that offers Omakase dining and robata grill a la carte menu fares. In the summer of August 2018, the team of Gaijin decided to refine what they do best, a modern omakase establishment and undergone a full update along with a new brand, Koyo.

Koyo means “Autumnal Foliage” which refers to the changing of Japanese maple tree leaves which signals the change of a seasonal. Koyo has a strong focus on seasonality and uses ingredients at its peak during that season to create a Kaiseki inspired multi-sensory dining experience.”

Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 5pm – 10pm
Friday – Saturday: 5pm – 11pm

Location: 37-12 31st Avenue

www.koyonewyork.com


Vaccaro’s Bakery & Café

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UNFORTUNATELY THIS FAMOUS NYC BAKERY IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED!

“Vaccaro’s Bakery & Café is a bakery in Astoria, Queens, that has the most delicious “donnolis”. It’s basically a cannoli wrapped in a donut. It’s the best thing ever.”

This authentic Italian bakery was founded in 1981 and has been one of Astoria’s to-go spots. Loved by locals, they sell everything from delicious cakes, desserts and pastries, to breads and breakfast specials!

It will be hard to pick only a few things to try. But, remember you call always buy more and take home!

Location: 28-05 Steinway Street


The Last Word

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UNFORTUNATELY THIS SPEAKEASY IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED!

“A speakeasy in Astoria, called The Last Word, serves really good cocktails and is hidden behind a hardware store. I know in Astoria it’s well known, but I’m not sure about the general public.”

So, if you enjoy oysters paired with a good cocktail, this is the place for you! They still have a great menu with beer, wine and a few bites to nibble on.

They explain that: “Our name comes from the gin-based prohibition-era cocktail called, The Last Word.”

And still, if you enjoy Soul, Rhythm and Blues, they have it live, every Thursday night. It’s definitely a place to got more than once! You’ll love it!

Location: 31-30 Ditmars Blvd


Shuraku

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Shuraku NYC Fried Lotus Root

“Of course I have to mention my boyfriend’s restaurant on here. I’d be a terrible girlfriend if I didn’t, I’m also a bit biased, but read his Yelp reviews if you don’t believe me! Shuraku is a hidden Japanese Grilling restaurant without a sign on the building. You would only know it exists if you walk up close to the building and see a menu hanging from the window. This is the only place that I know of in NY that serves gyu-katsu (deep fried breaded steak).”

We love Shuraku too and we’ve recently visited and written about them.

They are certainly a new place to have in your To-Go places in New York, especially if you’re into high-end Japanese spots with unique tasting menus!

Hours:
Wednesday: 5:30pm – 10pm
Thursday – Saturday: 5:30pm – 11pm
Sunday: 5:30pm – 10pm 

Location: 47 8th Avenue

www.shurakunyc.com


Jason Naylor’s murals

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Jason Naylor Murals
Jason Naylor, in action!

“The murals all around the city by Jason Naylor. Offhand, I can only think of the one on 60th and 2nd Ave and the one on 16th and 6th Ave. I’m amazed by his graffiti work. The colors he uses are so vibrant. It’s so distinct that you don’t even need to see that it’s his work, you’ll just know.”

Jason is not only an artist, but he’s also a designer, writer and creative director. In addition, his colorful art works certainly make the city look even more beautiful and the quotes are very inspiring!

He was born in Salt Lake City, but fell in love the NY at an early age. His works can be seen in the fashion industry, as well as magazine, footwear and even in tattoos. We personally love the Statue of Liberty in his left arm!

http://jasonnaylorcreative.com


Thank you, Cheryl, for participating in our Insider Interviews and sharing with us these 7 amazing secret New York City tips!

Stay tuned for more upcoming interviews!


Photo Credits: Courtesy of the venues
*Last Update on April/2020.*

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