Tag Archives: Culture and Music

The Met Cloisters: A Medieval Experience in NYC

Culture Music The Met Cloisters Entrance

Are you ready to explore the The Met Cloisters and have a medieval experience in NYC? Located inside the beautiful Fort Tyron Park, this museum will keep you breathless all the way!

Culture Music The Met Cloisters
Culture Music The Met Cloisters Fort Tyron Park View
Culture Music The Met Cloisters Fort Tyron Park Trees
Culture Music The Met Cloisters Fort Tyron Park
Culture Music The Met Cloisters Hudson River
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I have to confess that I had never been to The Cloisters, until this past weekend when a good friend from my meditation group invited me to go! It had been on my must-see list since forever, but because it’s location is a bit distant, I was always postponing the visit.

So, this time I had agreed to go with her and there no way I would cancel it. So, after the Feeding Program we help coordinate o Saturday morning at Tompkins Square Park, I grabbed the subway and started heading North.

The best option to get up to Fort George, is to get the A Express train (blue line), up to Dyckman Street. It will be just steps from the entrance of Fort Tyron Park, where The Met Cloisters is located. In addition, the 1 train (red line), also passes through there, but it’s a local train, so it stops many more times along the way.


A bit of History:

To start, many people don’t know that The Cloister is actually part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The museum opened to the public in May of 1938 and is focused on art and architecture of medieval Europe.

It’s located at Fort Tyron Park with a priceless view of the Hudson River – and I have the say, the sunset there is amazing!

The museum has obviously medieval structures and might look as if it’s quite old, but during construction, the architects behind this project simply gathered beautiful inspirations and elements of medieval cloisters.

“Approximately 2,000 works of art from medieval Europe, largely dating from the 12th through the 15th century and including exquisite illuminated manuscripts, stained glass, metalwork, enamels, ivories, and tapestries, are exhibited in this unique context.”

But wait! What is a “cloister”?

“A covered walk in a convent, monastery, college, or cathedral, typically with a wall on one side and a colonnade open to a quadrangle on the other.”

See the video above for a great footage of The Met Cloisters during it’s construction!


What NOT to miss when going there:

It’s hard to even start listing what you can’t miss, since the entire collection is breathtaking, but I’ve listed below the main ones that people are always asking about.

Plus, they have beautiful gardens that you can enjoy with no rush and just take your time!

Culture Music The Met Cloisters Tapestry
Culture Music The Met Cloisters Garden
Culture Music The Met Cloisters Altar
Culture Music The Met Cloisters Glass Windows Ebreichsdorf
Culture Music The Met Cloisters Sarcophagus Room
Culture Music The Met Cloisters Scarcophagus
Culture Music The Met Cloisters Internal Garden
Culture Music The Met Cloisters Garden With Herbs
Culture Music The Met Cloisters Status
Culture Music The Met Cloisters The Treasury Ivory
Culture Music The Met Cloisters The Hours of Jeanne Devreux
Culture Music The Met Cloisters Christs Crucifiction
Culture Music The Met Cloisters The Treasury
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During a few months a year, you can actually enjoy a super nice café with outdoor seating! The Trie Café is open seasonally from April to October and offers light fare in a super nice outdoor setting.

Lastly, if you want to go home with a few gifts for your loved ones and yourself, the Met Store is located just off the Main Hall. You’ll be able to find jewelry, home gifts, publications, stationery, and more inspired by the art, architecture, and gardens of medieval Europe.

Oh, and don’t get lost! Be sure do download their Museum Map!

For visitors from outside New York State:
Adults: $25
Seniors (65 and over): $17
Students: $12
Members and Patrons: Free
Children (under 12): Free
For NY residents: Pay as you wish

General admission tickets include exhibitions. It’s valid for three consecutive days at The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer, and The Met Cloisters.

If you want us to help you organize your visit, or for corporate requests, contact our experts.

Hours:
Open 7 Days a Week
March – October: 10am – 5:15pm
November – February: 10am – 4:45pm
Closed Thanksgiving Day, December 25th and January 1st

Location: 99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tyron Park

https://www.metmuseum.org

Fê is our Founder & CEO! She’s Brazilian (Yup! Not a New Yorker!), but her indescribable passion and curiosity for NY makes her a New Yorker by heart. Fê worked in companies like Kimberly Clark, Quintessentially, Vogue Brazil and Iguatemi Group, and after 12 years of working for these fantastic companies, she decided to go solo and move to NYC!
She lives in Brooklyn since April of ’15 and has been tirelessly working on BTSNYC, working with huge companies on corporate projects, practicing her Arhatic Yoga meditations, finding time for gym and friends! Phiuf!

Candytopia: A Golden Ticket To A Sugar Rush Adventure

Culture Music Candytopia New York City Entrance

Candytopia is a multi-environment exhibit that will make your inner kid rejoice out of the perfect combination of colors and flavors from your favorites candies. Bring your sweet tooth for a journey like no other!

Culture Music Candytopia New York City Magdalena Concha

We asked our contributor, Magdalena Concha – also known as Mags – to check out what Candytopia was all about. She had a fantastic experience at a exhibit that has been attracting not only kids, but grown ups in New York!

Our Founder, , recently went to the Color Factory. Super worth going too! Both are similar, but yet so different! So, since it’s hard to pick one, just go to both!


Is there a better way to start your day than visiting a place that mixes art, candy and lots of imagination? Well, a few days back I went to check out Candytopia, aka, candy land, aka dream come true.

Candytopia is a pop-up installation that shows the vision of Hollywood Candy Queen Jackie Sorkin, Candy Master Fabricator Zac Hartog, CEO of ZH Productions, and retail veteran John Goodman.

Culture Music Candytopia New York City

Following a successful run in Santa Monica earlier this year, Candytopia comes for the first time to New York City to show a one-of-a-kind full sensory experience of a magic wonderland that combines colors and flavors using only sugary delights. Everything can be enjoyed through a series of interactive art installations. 

Welcome to Candytopia, where colossal candyfloss constructions meld with a tantalizing taffy twistedness! 

The “immersive candy-coated experiential adventure” is perfect for “anyone who’s ever dreamed of scoring a Golden Ticket or nibbling their way through Candyland.”

As a candy lover, I can guarantee you that this is as close as you can get to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory and Hansel & Gretel candy house – minus the witch of course. From the moment you cross Candytopia’s fence and enter their amazing world, you want to touch and try everything in the rooms.

The best part of all … that is actually a requirement! Touch! Taste! See! Smell! Listen!

Culture Music Candytopia New York City Dragon

You will be able to try delicious sweet treats throughout the entire experience including gummies, chocolate, nostalgic favorites, and many sweet surprises! Just remember your Halloween manners and take only a few of them.

In addition, if you want to impress your social media followers and share your best candy-colored pictures, remember to get the QR code at the entrance of the installation. It will allow you to take pictures from the different cameras installed at the most iconic areas of the exhibit. So, pictures will be send directly to your email, don’t worry!

We won’t tell you everything you’ll see, but here is a short sneak peek to tickle your curiosity!

Culture Music Candytopia New York City Famous PaintingsThe experience starts with Zig Zog’s Clocks & Collectibles where the sound of clocks ticking will make you feel anxious, just like the White Rabbit of Alice in Wonderland, for being late to try all the candy that awaits.

Along the way you will also encounter a dive pool of (fake) marshmallows, a rendition of the most iconic pieces of art like the Mona Lisa and Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

Culture Music Candytopia New York City Magdalena in Pool

Be sure to take a picture with the recreated sculpture of our Lady Liberty. In addition, you’ll find an underwater-themed room filled with jewel-toned, candy covered sea creatures. And, of course, tons of opportunities to take the best pictures and selfies covered by colorful confetti.

Furthermore, the effort put into every piece is describe through “Candy Facts”. They tell you exactly the type of candy that was used, the candy count, construction time and amount of sugar in it. Super cool!

Culture Music Candytopia New York City Under the Sea

I.e., the candy version of Warhol’s Marylyn portrait was made out of 3,800 candies including gummy bears and jelly beans, took more than 82 hours and it has 1,500kgs of sugar. Pretty amazing, isn’t it?

Sorkin won’t say what the base material is—she needs to keep some cards to herself—but some of the creations took upwards of 1,000 hours.

Culture Music Candytopia New York City Marilyn Monroe

So, be sure to use #Candytopia on your pictures! Your picture might be posted on Candytopia’s Instagram!

Tickets:
Adults admission: $38
Kids (4-12) : $26
Tickets must be purchased online, as there are no tickets available at the door. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Hours:
Monday: 10am – 8:30pm
Tuesday: closed
Wednesday – Saturday: 10am- 8:30pm
Sunday: 11am – 8:30pm

Location: Penn Plaza, 145 West 32nd Street

http://www.candytopia.com

 


Text Credit: Written by our contributor Magdalena Concha
Photo Credits: Courtesy of Joel Pitra for Candytopia and Magdalena Concha for BTSNYC

Zé Luis Oliveira: A Grammy Nominated Multi-Talented Musician

Culture Music Ze Luis Oliveira Saxaphone Thumbnail

Zé Luis Oliveira is a Grammy nominated multi-talented musician that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and becoming friends with! His journey is amazing and we’re now working on some pretty awesome projects together!

Culture Music Ze Luis Oliveira Saxaphone

A while back, I was invited by Zé Luis Oliveira to visit the Atelier Music Studio in LIC (Long Island City) – his music studio!

What!?!? You’ve never heard of Zé Luis? Well, you should! Let us help you out!

Zé is a renowned Brazilian composer, saxophonist, flutist, producer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist. His career is fantastic for he’s performed and recorded with some of the biggest names in the Brazilian music scene known worldwide like Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa, Cazuza, Bebel Gilberto and Tania Maria.

I recently told him that I participated in a super cool tour with Siemens, showing how they helped build our NYC and that I had gone on stage at the Carnegie Hall (empty, of course), he said, “Super cool, Fê! I’ve actually played there around 5 times!” Hahaha! How cool is that!?

He moved to NYC in 1990 and never moved back to Rio de Janeiro, his hometown. Furthermore, Zé received his Masters in Composition and Arranging from the super famous Juilliard School, in NYC.

Then, in 2013, Zé Luis started producing and recording an amazing project called Trade Winds. It’s a series of music collaborations with NYC bassist and composer Matt Geraghty, that travel along the historic triangle trade route, exploring the history and evolution of music through improvised compositions. In addition, Trade Winds builds collectives of premier musicians in coastal cities looking to reveal a common footprint of music, rhythm and culture.

In 2015, he launched The Atelier Music Studio, in Long Island City, a highly effective multipurpose workspace.

Culture Music Ze Luis Oliveira Band

Plus, Zé wrote and produced music featured in the Cannes Film Festival, TriBeCa Film Festival and in films like Rio, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past starring Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner, Monster-in-Law with Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda and A Raisin in the Sun with Sean Combs, Audra McDonald, Phylicia Rashad and Sanaa Lathan.

And still, he holds 4 Grammy nominations: 3 for Best Contemporary World Music Album and 1 for Best Latin Pop Album.

Phiuf!!! What a journey right? But, believe it or not, that’s not even 10% of what he’s actually done! You can take a look at his website below to know more!

In addition, he’s partnered up with us at Behind the Scenes NYC, so stay tuned to see how we’ll be shaking the streets of NY with him! Oh! He is also the creative mind behind the music featured on our YouTube intro video!!!! It was an honor, since he produced it exclusively for us!!!

And, if you haven’t SUBSCRIBED to our channel yet, what are ou waiting for!? So, come explore New York off the beaten path with me!

Plus, take a look to see a few pictures of secret music gig curated by us, called Sofar Sounds, where Zé Luis performed! By the end of his shows, guests were going crazy and clapping loudly!!!

Culture Music Ze Luis Oliveira The Atelier Music Studio

Studio’s Location: 27-28 Thomson Av. Suite WS2

Follow him on:

Facebook: /TheAtelierMusicStudio
Instagram: @ZeLuisMusic
Search his Hashtag: #TheAtelierMusicStudio

www.zeluis.com


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Rebecca Michelson for Sofar Sounds NYC and The Atelier Music Studio

Fê is our Founder & CEO! She’s Brazilian (Yup! Not a New Yorker!), but her indescribable passion and curiosity for NY makes her a New Yorker by heart. Fê worked in companies like Kimberly Clark, Quintessentially, Vogue Brazil and Iguatemi Group, and after 12 years of working for these fantastic companies, she decided to go solo and move to NYC!
She lives in Brooklyn since April of ’15 and has been tirelessly working on BTSNYC, working with huge companies on corporate projects, practicing her Arhatic Yoga meditations, finding time for gym and friends! Phiuf!

Color Factory: A Collaborative Interactive Exhibit To Brighten Our Lives

Culture Music Color Factory Ball Pit

The Color Factory is a collaborative interactive exhibit that stimulates all of your senses throughout your journey into their fantastic, playful world! Open up your mind, let go of the rules and enjoy how good it is to be a kid again!

I’m so excited to share this with you guys!

This morning I went to check out the Color Factory that has finally arrived in New York City! But, what the heck is the Color Factory, right?

Well, they are a collaborative interactive exhibit that stimulates all of your senses throughout your journey into their world! These guys launched back in August of 2017 in San Francisco and what was supposed to be a 1-month project, turned out to be a huge success with 8 consecutive months of sold-out tickets!

I mean, now that I visited it, I can certainly understand why! As soon as you arrive at their 20,000 square feet space, located in SoHo, you feel excited just by seeing the amazing color stripped façade! It prepares you and sets the mood for you to enter their world!

“We will feature brand-new participatory installations of colors we’ve collected around the city— hues that invite curiosity, discovery and play. Some of our favorite artists, creatives, designers and makers are teaming up with us to tell their unique color stories and engage all of your senses in unexpected ways.”

Plus, you’ll be able to try some goodies by fantastic local food vendors and see the work of non-profits.

And, of course, we can’t forget to mention that this is a true haven for everyone that loves social media. The countless rooms are designed in the most fantastic, camera-friendly way, giving you great pictures throughout the way. In addition, they have a few cameras installed in strategic spots that takes pictures for you, and sends it directly to your email.

But, we won’t tell you everything about what you’ll see there, so we can keep it all a bit mysterious, but here is a short simple list to tickle your curiosity!


Culture Music Color Factory Button Wall

Poems for the City: Won McIntosh, a Queens-based writer, was invited to translate the color palette into special poems that portrays our daily New York lives, into words.

The colors have been given words to describe them like: Subway Tile, Asphalt, Scaffolding, Pretzels, Brownstone, Bodega Mums, F Train and others.

Pick a Color, Any Flavor: Get ready to taste some yummy colorful French treats by Mille Feuille. But, beware! You might have to run after them!

Button, Buttons and More Buttons: I love buttons and I collect them myself. This colorful tunnel, with thousands of hanging buttons has a present for you… (picture)

Complementary Compliments: Christine Wong Yap, another Queen-based artist, brings you back to the present moment and the beauty of human connection and observation. Now, pay attention, use your creativity and follow the voice in your head.

Perfect Pairing: Unusual shapes, flavors and colors….get ready to stimulate your taste buds with Sockerbit. Yummmm!

Wait…there’s more!

Sing Me High, Sing Me Low, Bring Me Back, Let Me Go: This amazing collaborative installation by the musician Abimaro and the artist Lakwena, will let you show the world your musical talents. Let the vibration take over you!

Culture Music Color Factory Ballon Wishes

Balloon Wishes: I’m always happy around balloons, especially when huge versions of them are flying all over you during New York’s sunrise and sunset! What???

This room brings together the support of Gymboree and the valuable work behind 826NYC, a non-profit that empowers students from 6-18 years old with skills to write their own paths forward.

Secret Colors: A huge live-action flowchart will take you on a voyage of self-discovery, giving you a scientific result of your secret color.

Will you make this color part of your life? Will it be another well-kept secret of yours? The space was created by Molly Young.

This floor was make for dancin’ and that’s just what you’ll do: It’s time to shake, shake, shake! In a city that never sleeps, dancing is surely part of the long, never ending nights.

This color-kissed ode to NYC nightlife by Maybelline, has moving colors and lights all over it, giving you the opportunity of showing your dance moves!

Oh! And after dancing, there is nothing better than having a refreshment created by the famous Stanley’s Pharmacy, right?

Culture Music Color Factory Dance Floor

And still…

Mmuseumm: As they say: “Now is always weird. Now must have been weird for the Neanderthals. Now was certainly weird during the Middle Ages. And now is definitely weird now.” Yup! So, expect to see some pretty weird and unusual things you never imagined at the Mmuseumm’s installation!

From Absinthe to Zephyr – An Alternative Alphabet of Unusual Colors: Kassia St. Clair, a London-based writer, will show you the modern notion of colors. Wait! You’ll have to use a special element, that everyone will have in common, to find out which one suits you!

Ring-a-round the rosie, A pocket full of posies, Ashes! Ashes! We all fall down: See the mixture of rotating color pallets, that might get you quite woozy, that will portray 3 NYC scenarios – For The Best New York Like (the one I was automatically drawn to before even reading about it), Thoughts On A Subway on 7/30/2018 and last, To Consider When Eating in New York City.

Into The Blue: An eternal sea of blue! I mean, this one, for me, was one of my favorite rooms. This room is no surprise, since it’s been all over Social Media. This gigantic ball-pit, of baby blue color plastic balls, brought me back to my childhood days! When I looked at it for the 1st time, my eyes blew open and were immediately hypnotized by its magnitude. I couldn’t wait to, literally, jump in! You’ll see creative graphics by the multi-talented Tamara Shopsin throughout the space. But, take a closer look, things might have double meanings… And still, some another yummy treat and a special gift awaits you!

Culture Music Color Factory Ball Pit

Be sure to use #colorfactoryco on your pictures! Your picture might be posted on Color Factory’s Instagram!


Wow! How fantastic does this all sound?!

And wait! Even the restroom area was carefully designed with 3 beautiful art works by Kendra Dandy. Every detail is meticulously cared for and thought out! There is always something unexpected in each room, with a different sensorial experience!

As they say: “We hope that the palette and projects offered within Color Factory will connect you to the colorful moments around New York and in your own daily life.”

Surely did in mine!

It’s truly a celebration of colors and creativity, bringing out the lively, happy kid inside you and remembering how fun it was to enjoy the simple things in life!

If you got excited, you should definitely go! Plus, if after visiting the Color Factory you’re still craving for a bit more laughter, the Color continues with a neighborhood map you can get and explore another 23 surprises they’ve hidden throughout the city!

“An ATM that dispenses art, a scratch-off lotto ticket where everyone’s a winner, a bubblegum challenge at our favorite candy store…”

So, let the hunt begin! We can’t wait to explore them all!

Have lots of fun and leave your comments below sharing your experience with us!

If you are into cultural activities across the city you’d probably love to have a guided tour to the best galleries in New York City. For corporate groups, let out experts help you out!

Tickets:
General admission: $38
Children age 2 and under are free.
Tickets must be purchased online, as there are no tickets available at the door. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Hours:
Monday – Tuesday: 10am-11pm
Wednesday: closed
Thursday – Sunday: 10am-11pm

Location: 251 Spring Street

www.colorfactory.co

Fê is our Founder & CEO! She’s Brazilian (Yup! Not a New Yorker!), but her indescribable passion and curiosity for NY makes her a New Yorker by heart. Fê worked in companies like Kimberly Clark, Quintessentially, Vogue Brazil and Iguatemi Group, and after 12 years of working for these fantastic companies, she decided to go solo and move to NYC!
She lives in Brooklyn since April of ’15 and has been tirelessly working on BTSNYC, working with huge companies on corporate projects, practicing her Arhatic Yoga meditations, finding time for gym and friends! Phiuf!

Narcissus Garden Installation by Yayoi Kusama at Fort Tilden

Yayoi Kusama Narcissus Garden Fort Tilden Rockaways Credit Rachel Hoat

Yayoi Kusama is known worldwide for her impactful installations and art works! She now brings a fantastic work called Narcissus Garden to the Rockaways, at Fort Tilden, New York!

Yayoi Kusama Narcissus Garden Fort Tilden Rockaways Credit Rachel Hoat
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Rachel Hoat

I love everything Yayoi creates and her avant-garde spirit is truly inspiring!

Starting tomorrow, July 1st, the Rockaways will be bustling this summer with people coming to visit the famous Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama’s new installation.

Narcissus Garden has 1,500 silver stainless reflective spheres installed inside a former train garage.

This is part of MoMA’s PS1 series named “Rockaways”, a yearly arts festival with the goal of recovering the area after the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, back in 2012.

The installation will be live up through September 3rd!

Location: Studio 7 Gallery, Fort Tilden, Gateway National Recreation Area, Far Rockaway, NY (Map below)


More about the installation:

MoMA PS1 presents Yayoi Kusama’s (Japan, b. 1929) site-specific installation of Narcissus Garden (1966–present) as the third iteration of Rockaway!, a free public art festival presented with Rockaway Artists Alliance, Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, National Park Service, and Bloomberg Philanthropies in the Gateway National Recreation Area at Fort Tilden.

Comprised of 1,500 mirrored stainless steel spheres, Narcissus Garden is on view in a former train garage that dates to the time when Fort Tilden was an active US military base.

The mirrored metal surfaces reflect the industrial surroundings of the now-abandoned building, drawing attention to Fort Tilden’s history as well as the devastating damage inflicted on many buildings in the area by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Narcissus Garden was first presented in 1966, when Kusama staged an unofficial installation and performance at the 33rd Venice Biennale.

The silver spheres, originally made from plastic, were installed on the lawn in front of the Italian Pavilion, reflecting the landscape of the exhibition grounds.

Kusama herself stood among them, barefoot and dressed in a gold kimono, alongside yard signs inscribed with the words “Narcissus Garden, Kusama” and “Your Narcissism for Sale.” Throughout the opening day of the exhibition, Kusama remained in the installation, tossing the spheres in the air and offering to sell them to visitors for 1,200 lire (approximately $2) each.

The action, which was viewed both as self-promotion and a critique on the commercialization of contemporary art, would later be seen as a pivotal moment in Kusama’s career as she transitioned from installation toward the radical, politically charged public performances that would be the focus of her work in the late 1960s in New York City.”

For more infos, see MoMA’s website!


You might also want to see a video about Yayoi’s life! She is know for having quick a journey with a few mental health issues. But, what keeps her alive is surely her beautiful work!

So, if you also adore everything that Yayoi Kusama creates, than this is a must-go exhibition, so don’t waste your time and plan your day trip to the Rockaways!


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Rachel Hoat
Text Experts: MoMA’s website

Top 8 Spots In NYC By Andrew Chen, An Experience Curator

Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project TriBeCa

This week we talked to the handsome Andrew Chen from My Inspire Project. He told us a little about his fantastic career, his adventures across the globe and, of course, his top 8 spots in NYC!

Andrew Y. Chen was born in Taipei, Taiwan. He has lived and studied in major international cities between Taipei, Shanghai, Paris, London, before moving to New York.

He has built a solid background in luxury and fashion throughout his career in LVMH, Bergdorf Goodman, Gilt Groupe and Issey Miyake before he founded “My Inspire Project”, a platform specialized in Experiential Marketing, Digital Strategy and Content Generation, in February 2017.

Known as the trendsetter, living expert and unique character among his circles, Andrew started sharing his discovery across fashion, art, entertainment, design, travel, hospitality and real estate categories on his platform and has established a network and community of global elites, celebrities, press/editors, travel enthusiast and creative minds across North America, Asia and Western Europe.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Williamsburg
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project East Hamptons
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Arlo Hotel
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project TriBeCa
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Riverside
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He also partners with renowned organizations and businesses to curate special events and create one-of-a-kind experience throughout exclusive venues in the world. He believes Authenticity, Exclusivity and Individuality are the core values of the new luxurious experience.

This summer, Andrew and his team are preparing to launch their online lifestyle channel and take their story and journey into the next level.

That said, take a look below and see his Top 8 Spots in NYC:


Favorite Restaurants: La Mercerie and Agern

Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Le Mercerie Bakery
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Le Mercerie
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Le Mercerie Details
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Le Mercerie Appetizer
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Le Mercerie Salad
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Le Mercerie Flowers
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La Mercerie is my favorite new hotspot by Chef Marie-Aude Rose, the wife of renown chef and my dear friend, Daniel Rose from Spring & Le Coucou. It is a perfect place with incredible and curated decor – inside the beautiful new Roman & Williams Guild, also my favorite furniture store – that brings French cuisine into an everyday experience. I love the buckwheat crepe and the amazing dessert selections there.”

Yes, this place is the talk of the town! All foodies, influencers, food connoisseurs, travel experts and curious folks are stopping by to check the place out!

Besides the restaurant, if you’re passing by for a quick bit or you’re in a rush, they have a grab-and-go counter with delicious pastries and coffee!

Hours:
Open every day!
Breakfast Menu: 9am – 12pm
All Day Menu: 12pm – 10pm

Location: 53 Howard Street

www.lamerceriecafe.com


Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Agern
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Agern Beet
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Agern Appetizer
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Agern Salad
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Agern Prepping
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project AgernPotato Dip
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Agern Entree
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Agern Pork
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Agern Dessert
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Agern Small Room
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Agern is a Michelin starred delight hidden in the business Grand Central Terminal. It is quite an experience just to discover this beautiful place for the first time visitor. It is by far my favorite Nordic cuisine in town and I loved their focus on pairing the season driven menu with local American wine.”

We love it too! Our experience there has been certainly priceless. Service is fantastic, food is to-die-for and ambiance is very comforting and dim lighting.

The price is a bit high, but worth every dollar, especially if you’re looking for a special night out with your loved one or with friends & family.

Hours:
Lunch: Monday – Friday: 11:30am – 2:30pm
Dinner: Monday – Saturday: 5:30pm – 10pm
Closed Sundays

Location: 89 East 42nd Street

http://agernrestaurant.com


Favorite Bars: The UES and The Office

Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project The UES

The UES is a new speakeasy bar behind the ice cream shop storage, you would need the right dress code and people in order to enter and enjoy the swanky cocktails. The concept is unique for the uptight neighborhood. Since we live in the area, this is our new go-to spot for a chic but casual night.”

Yes, we are lovers of all speakeasies around the city and this is a place you should certainly visit! Oh yes, and the dress code! They ask to:

“Kindly refrain from wearing t-shirts, collarless shirts, torn or baggy jeans, flip flops, sandals, tennis shoes or athletic wear of any kind.”

Hours: Storage open Monday – Saturday: 5pm

Location: 1707 2nd Avenue

www.theuesnyc.com


Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project The Office Mandarine Oriental NYC Bar
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project The Office Mandarine Oriental NYC Drinks
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project The Office Mandarine Oriental NYC
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The Office is probably the most fabulous and luxurious speakeasy bar in NYC, and possibly around the world. Inside the Mandarin Oriental at Time Warner Center, this reservation only bar is only accessible through a hidden passageway. It is my favorite place to take my special guests, celebs and visitors for meetings and drinks. Their truffle cocktail and truffle pairing menu is surely a different level.”

New York is certainly the home of some of the most luxurious spots on Earth. If you’re into art, they feature some amazing collectors’ art and artefacts.

In addition, if you enjoy learning and tasting spirits, they have an “extinction” collection of some of the rarest spirits in the world! So, it’ would be obvious to say that their signature cocktail list is fantastic, right!?

Hours:
Sunday – Wednesday: 5:30pm – 11:30pm
Thursday – Saturday: 5:30pm – 12:30am

Location: 80 Columbus Circle at 60th Street

www.mandarinoriental.com


Favorite Club: Jia Lounge

Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Jia Lounge

“I would go to LES, not for the vibrant bar scene, but the beautiful 1930’s Shanghai-themed lounge club, Jia Lounge. Hidden in the back of Rivington Hotel, Jia Lounge is a new nightlife experience in New York City with curate cocktail, music and selective crowd. It has the best deep house night in town and caters to the many tastemakers and international jetsetters in the city.”

This place is really something! Besides what Andrew mentioned about cocktails, music and a great crowd…the décor is certainly a highlight.

Everything was meticulously cared for and details are everywhere to be noticed! Plus, if you love being part of the super late-night New York Scene, this is the place for you! It’s open until 4am!

In the video, we talked a bit about Café Medi, also inside the Rivington Hotel – great spot for brunch!

Hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 11pm – 4pm

Location: 105 Rivington Street

www.hotelonrivington.com


Favorite Gallery: David Lewis Gallery

Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project David Lewis Gallery

David Lewis Gallery, located in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, is one of my favorite contemporary art galleries in NYC that presents most promising upcoming artists and their works. Their unique vision and direction has drawn attention from major international art collectors, art fairs and museums including Whitney Museum in New York and Tate Modern in London.”

If you love art, but don’t really enjoy going alone, since your not necessarily a super savvy about it, let our fantastic art expert lead the way!

After all, there is nothing like having a specialist with you!

Hours: Wednesday – Sunday: 11am – 6pm

Location: 88 Eldridge Street

http://davidlewisgallery.com


Favorite Store: The Apartment by The Line

Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project The Apartment by The Line
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project The Apartment by The Line Home
Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project The Apartment by The Line Fashion
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When the retail industry is upside down, the well-curated boutique The Apartment by The Line, offers a new way of shopping. Hiding in the loft space in SoHo, The Apartment offers a full lifestyle selection that you could enjoy and shop from. It constantly brings in different designers and objects for the customers to learn and explore.”

They offer everything from fashion and home, to beauty. So, expect to find some of the most amazing brands like Kiki de Montparnasse, Lemaire, Eres, Marni, Le Labo, The Nue, Rodin Olio Lusso, Esker, and even Taschen Books, Atelier De Troupe lamps, Harlow Henry throws and Skagerak furnishing.

Hours:
Monday – Saturday: 11am – 7pm
Sunday: 12pm – 5pm

Location: 76 Greene Street, 3rd Floor

https://theline.com


Favorite Park: Fort Tyron Park

Curiosities Insider Interviews Andrew Chen My Inspire Project Fort Tyron Park

Fort Tyron Park is indeed quite a ride from the heart of Manhattan, but it would never disappoint you. Once you arrive at the Remnants of Billings Estate and the massively arched structure known as the Billings Arcade, you feel like you are in Europe already. This park is surely one of the city’s most beautiful outdoor pieces of art.”

We love it too! Previously owned by no one less than John D. Rockefeller, Jr., in the year of 1931, he gifted the property to the City of New York. What a gift, right?

Construction started and 4 years later, in 1935, Rockefeller and Robert Moses – the “master builder” of mid-20th century, officialized the park as a public space for everyone to be able to visit! Lucky us!

Location: Riverside Drive to Broadway, W 192 Street to Dyckman Street

https://www.nycgovparks.org


Thank you,  Andrew, for this fantastic interview and sharing all these true NY gems!

If you are coming to New York, be sure to explore the other amazing Insider Interviews. For any type of corporate assistance, contact our experts!


Photo Credits: Courtesy of Andrew Chen, @thirdness, @a_gaut, @robertwright, @evansungnyc and the venues.

The 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues To Have Fun

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Midsummer Night Swing

New York City certainly has it all! The recognized ballroom dancer, Olga Kochnova, shared with us the 7 best NYC social dance venues. We are sure to get you on your feet in no time!

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Olga Kochnova
Olga Kochnova inside Central Park. Photo Credit: MagNat Photography.

Olga Kochanova is a prominent, internationally recognized ballroom dancer from Saint-Petersburg, Russia. She is the founder of Brooklyn Dance Lessons – a NYC-based dance company that offers private lessons of ballroom, social, and wedding dance.

Olga has been a practicing ballroom dancer for over 20 years. She has studied all major styles of ballroom dance as well as rhythmic gymnastics. Olga is proficient in the International Standard, Latin styles as well as in American Rhythm and Smooth.

Having participated in over 200 prestigious competitions, Olga has garnered many awards along the way. Among these trophies are two first place awards from the Saint-Petersburg Ballroom Competition and first place in the Petrozavodsk City Ballroom Competition.

In 2001, she joined the Professional Ballroom School, Esperanza – the number one school in Saint-Petersburg. There she studied under Radik and Eve Bagautinova, two professional Latin-style Ballroom dancers.

Throughout the years, she has trained under professional dancers and world champions like Karen Hardy, Andrew Sinkinson, Goran Nordin, Gherman Mustuc, Iveta Lukosiute, Daniel Heroux, Patty Contenta, and Gennadiy Gunko.

Amazing, right?

Currently living in New York, we invited her to share the 7 best NYC social dance venues:


Swing 46

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Swing 46 Sax
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Swing 46 Dance Floor
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Swing 46 Drummer
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Swing 46 Stage
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Swing 46 Waitress
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Swing 46 Mojito
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Swing 46 Bar Snacks
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Swing 46 Seating Area
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Swing 46 Bar
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Swing 46
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Swing 46 is one of the oldest restaurants in NY that plays live music and has a dance floor for its guests. It is not a big dance floor, but you can show off your basic moves or watch amazing swing dancers making their performances.

Here, live bands usually play a mix of some ballroom music, like Foxtrot, Rumba and Swing, as well as some hits from Lindy Hop and Jitterbug Era. They are open every evening for dancing and lessons start at 9pm. To get in you need to pay music charge of $15 – $20, depending on the day of the week.

I would recommend to go in the beginning of the week if you would like to dance, and Thursday to Saturday if you would like to watch.”

This Jazz and Swing Dance Club was founded in June of 1997 in Hell’s Kitchen. They offer a good menu with American Fare dishes prepared with the carefully sourced ingredients. Their sauces and dressings are homemade, as well as their freshly baked bread.

If you’re in the mood for Happy Hour, they have it daily from 5pm to 7pm, with half price drink specials at the bar.

Hours: Daily from 5pm – 1am

Band starts playing:
Sunday – Thursday: 8:30pm
Friday & Saturday: 9:30pm

Location: 349 West 46th Street

http://swing46.com


Rainbow Room

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Rainbow Room

“Hidden on top of Rockefeller Center, the Rainbow Room is an absolute NYC favorite spot.

This fancy restaurant with Manhattan’s skyscrapers view on 65th floor, has a dance floor in the center area. They started organizing social dance events since mid 20th century!

On Monday evenings you can enjoy your date night with Empire State Building view, 3 course dinner, live music and your favorite cocktail. It is definitely not the cheapest option in New York, but it’s well worth it!”

Their grand opened dates back to 1934 and was one of the best late night destination spots in town. Famous of their charity events, they attracted the biggest names to attend their gatherings.

It’s a great place to go for dinner, drinks and even to celebrate a special date or host a corporate event.

But, definitely try their nights with world-class dining and dancing with live music!

Hours: Check their website for the different hours in each of their spaces.

Location: 30 Rockefeller Plaza, 65th Floor

https://rainbowroom.com


Midsummer Night Swing

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Midsummer Night Swing

“It’s been 30 years since Midsummer Night Swing started and yet it is still one of the most popular places to dance in New York. Every summer, the Lincoln Center organizes the “Midsummer Night Swing” – 3 weeks of unforgettable evenings with popular bands and a big dance floor, under the open sky.

Events start at 6:30pm with a dance lesson for people of all levels, conducted by some of the leading instructors in New York City. Lessons are included in the ticket price. Live music starts at 7:30pm and lasts until 10pm.

The organizers present a large selection of artists, reflecting the different musical styles of New York. Jazz, disco, ballroom dancing, rhythm and blues, salsa, tango and west cost swing are among the most popular one.”

Schedule:
6:00 pm – Dance floor opens
6:30 – 7:15 pm – Group dance lesson
7:30 – 8:30 pm – First live set (unless otherwise noted)
9:00 – 10:00 pm – Second live set (unless otherwise noted)
10:00 – 11:30 pm – Silent Disco (June 29 and July 8 only)

Single Tickets:
In advance – $17
Day-of – $20

www.lincolncenter.org


Tatiana Restaurant & Nightclub

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Tatiana Women Dancing
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Tatiana Russian Dancers
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Tatiana Performance
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Tatiana Opened Seating
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Tatiana Lobsters
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Tatiana Dessert
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Tatiana Salmon
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Tatiana Meat Dish
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Tatiana Coney Island
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“If you want to see something more original and authentic, you can visit one of the oldest Russian restaurants in New York: Tatiana Restaurant & Nightclub.

It became very popular for its colorful dance performances on Saturday nights, that presents traditional Russian dances.

You can also try Russian food and, since it happens to be located at Coney Island’s boardwalk, you can combine the visit with nice day at the ocean, during the hotter months.”

So, what to expect? As they explain:

“The scene that opens up is something out of a James Bond movie “From Russia with Love”. Its Sex in the City mixed in Sleepless on Brighton Beach. Vodka and Cognac pours like fountain Di Trevi in Rome.

Ladies hang on to your husbands and guys don’t forget to shave, because there are plenty of people to impress. You do not need a red carpet invitation to see city’s top fashion worn in style and such sex appeal that is even desired by many celebrities.”

Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 10am – 10pm
Friday: 10am – 11pm
Saturday & Sunday: 10am – 1am

Location: 3152 Brighton 6th Street, Brooklyn

http://tatianarestaurant.com/nyc


Plus, for salsa lovers, there are plenty of places to go. Some of them are:

Taj II

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Taj Entrance
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Taj Seating
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Taj Bar
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Taj Bar Area
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Taj Private Table
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Taj Performance
Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Taj Waiters
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“Every Monday evening Taj II has salsa parties that are popular amongst both beginners and professional dancers. With live music and sometimes professional performances in between, this event is very popular between New Yorkers.

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been dancing, people are very friendly here and will invite everyone who wants to join them on the dance floor – even if you are an absolute beginner.

You can also book a table and just enjoy your food watching impressive dancers. The entrance is $12.”

Located in the Flatiron District, this spot impresses from the start with its opulent and majestic décor. If you’re still a bit shy to go to the floor and dance, feel free to just watch!

Hours:
Monday & Tuesday: 5 pm – 1 am
Wednesday – Saturday: 5pm – 4am
First Sunday monthly: 12pm – 7pm for Brunch

Location: 48 West 21st Street

www.tajlounge.com


Sunset Salsa

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best NYC Social Dance Venues Sunset Salsa

“On Tuesdays, during the months of July and August, everyone can enjoy the most scenic dance event in New York: Sunset Salsa.

Located in the Hudson River Park on Pier 45, in the Greenwich Village, you’ll find best Latin DJs and hundreds of dancers. The view of New Jersey and Manhattan itself is already worth the trip.

Music and amazing vibes from salsa dancers will make you want to learn a couple of moves yourself. In my opinion, it’s one of the best NYC events. The party starts around 7:15pm and is free to everyone!”

There is nothing like a sunset party in New York right? Well, this one will certainly get you on your feet! The beginner’s salsa dance lessons are from 6:30om – 7:15pm and the DJs start the party at 7:15pm!

Have fun!

Location: Pier 45

https://hudsonriverpark.org


Salsa Brunch

Salsa Brunch is one of the newest additions to the dancing scene in New York City. Organized by two amazing salsa dancers, its a good event where you can enjoy brunch and kill some calories the same time! Ha!

You will find a DJ, photographers, as well as some pretty good dancers. Table reservation is necessary if you would like to eat.

Sometimes they organize special editions like ‘Salsa meets Hip Hop’, so you can enjoy two different cultures at the same time.

Currently, it happens only once a month on Saturdays, in Harlem.”

Since location changes every now and then, every time they offer a different type of food and drink, so be sure to check online what’s up next!

www.salsabrunch.com


Finally, there are a few other events and restaurants that might be interesting and worth the visit:

Latin Cruise – Vamos A Bailar! From April through November, join NY Party Cruises on a Midnight Cruise this season! They transform the 1st floor of the Harbor Lights Yacht into a Latin Lounge complete with the best of Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Reggaeton and Latin House.

Salsa at the Brooklyn Museum – Their season of salsa continues with a Salsa Party hosted by Balmir Latin Dance Studio. Start the evening with a class led by professional dancers at 6pm, followed by live music, social dancing, and performances by Brooklyn’s best Latin dance teams.

Iguana – One of the most spectacular Mexican Restaurant in New York. Iguana offers 3 floors of dining and dancing. Unwind with one of their famous 28 flavors of Margaritas or Mojitos. Follow that up with a truly exquisite dinner experience.


And, if you loved all of these unique social dance venues and you’d like to organize a special and customized corporate event with this theme, contact our experts to assist you.

 

Photo Credits: Courtesy of MagNat Photography and all the venues.

Funky Beats With Tali Ratzon And Her Band Tali & The Grind

Insider Interview Tali Ratzon Singer Tali and the Grind Performing

The singer Tali Ratzon came to New York City in 2009 to live in Brooklyn. After a while, she started to work with different music professionals she met around town, and created Tali & The Grind.

Insider Interview Tali Ratzon Singer Tali and the Grind Performing

In no time, she started rockin’ around the city!

Tali Ratzon eventually found herself mingling with some of the most talented Berklee School of Music alumni, like Michel Nasrallah – vocalist and lead guitar of The Brazilian Johnsons.

Together, they started to put together a couple of pretty cool musics and started singing in multiple spots and cities across the US.

The band, called “Tali & The Grind“, is a mixture of Pop and Funk with a clear influence of Latin rhythms and reggae music! In other words…World Pop!

Tali’s voice is hypnotizing and the way she dances these latin, sexy rhythms, really makes you feel the song! Plus, they are always having the best time on stage. Nothing is more exciting during a show to see the band jamming off each other! And, these guys do exactly that!

We love all their musics, but “About to Pop” is our favorite one! The album is available at the iTunes Apple Store!

See of Official Video Clip, it’s amazing!

Plus, if you want to see more, take a look at their You Tube Page.

What she’s up to today? She says:

“I’m a part time musician and full time dreamer. Singing and writing songs is my passion. Bringing my music to millions of listeners all over the world is my ultimate career goal.

I aspire to get my music in commercials and movies, on the radio and travel the world playing it for people everywhere.

Today, I continue to write and develop my skills as I cross paths with musicians, producers, music supervisors, fellow dreamers and people in general.

I have released two albums and two music videos. I’m working on a third album. While I am embarking on a solo musical path, I am always open to collaborations.”

We’ll be sure to share any of her up coming shows, so do keep your eyes opened!

 

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Tali Ratzon

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