Tag Archives: Harlem

Seasoned Vegan: A Harlem Restaurant That Will Change Your Life

Dining Seasoned Vegan Harlem Raw Lasagna Featured Pic

We love Harlem and everything about it! Seasoned Vegan is Harlem’s very 1st full-service Vegan restaurant and is truly a hidden gem in the neighborhood.

Dining Seasoned Vegan Harlem Raw Lasagna
Dining Seasoned Vegan Harlem Mac N Cheese
Dining Seasoned Vegan Harlem Stuffed Avocado
Dining Seasoned Vegan Harlem Dishes
Dining Seasoned Vegan Harlem Chicken Nuggets
Dining Seasoned Vegan Harlem Red Velvet Cupcake
Dining Seasoned Vegan Harlem Brenda and Aaron Beener
Dining Seasoned Vegan Harlem Kitchen
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The food you love, veganized.

A while ago, we were invited by a dear friend of ours, to go up to Harlem and try this amazing local vegan restaurant.

Our answer immediately was “Yes! Of course!”. Our Founder is vegetarian, going on vegan and we just love everything we can learn about this growing lifestyle.

We really enjoy Harlem and everything about that neighborhood, from the restaurants, to the vibe, to the shops and nightlife. Everything there has a special taste. The uniqueness is hard to describe.

Getting there was, of course, super easy and in no time, we dropped off 110 Street Station Central Park North, on the 2/3 (red line).

Just a 5-minute walk from there, we arrived at Seasoned Vegan, Harlem’s very 1st full-service Vegan restaurant.

We were very lucky to be hosted exclusively by the owner, Brenda and her son Aaron Beener.

Our restaurant specializes in preparing a very unique type of cuisine: gourmet vegan soul food. We use the term “soul food” loosely because we are not referring exclusively to the typical cuisine of the Southern region of the United States.

This sounds great and extremely normal, right? Now, imagine back in the 1980’s, when Brenda decided to go vegan with her family! The entire community judged them and didn’t really get what they were doing, nor why.

In the beginning of this journey, during Thanksgiving celebrations, no one would invite them over after this dietary decision. Brenda even mentioned that they literally felt as if they were aliens.

But, as time went by, little by little people from their community started to open up, tried her dishes and now, every-single-person wants to be invited to her Thanksgiving parties! Haha!

The restaurant was finally founded in 2014 and is quite spacious, with great natural light that certainly give it more life! You can see through inside the kitchen and peek in to see how everything is prepared.

The dishes are organic and 100% vegan! If you’re the carnivore type, we truly recommend you to give it a chance and stop by. We are certain they won’t disappoint you.

It’s incredible how all the dishes we’ve tried are extremely flavorful and clearly made with love.

So, you might want to try:

  • Lemon Crusted “Chicken” Nuggets: fermented soy chicken nuggets breaded and fries
  • Stuffed Avocado: one avocado sliced, pitted and filled with almond meat and topped with cashew “cheese” and pico de gallo. Seasonal and Gluten free
  • Raw Lasagna: raw zucchini sliced and cashew “cheese” layered into shredded spinach, topped with homemade raw marinara. Gluten free

In addition, for dessert we ate one of the best Red Velvet cupcake of our lives!

And still, if you’re not able to go there, or if you need to schedule a quick pick-up, you can do it all online, though their website.

For the master chefs out there, stay tuned! Brenda has had plans of launching her own vegan cook book with yummy recipes. We hope it comes out soon!

Be sure to enjoy and explore the neighborhood before or after going to Seasoned Vegan!

Lastly, if you’re also a fan of Harlem, you might enjoy some of the places that the beauty Africa Miranda shared with us!

Hours:
Tuesday – Thursday: 5pm – 10pm
Friday: 5pm – 2am
Saturday: 11am – 2am
Sunday: 11am – 9pm

Location: 55 Saint Nicholas Avenue

www.seasonedvegan.com

 

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Kim-Julie Hansen

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.

Africa Miranda: A Multi-Talented Beautypreneur From Harlem

Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda NYC Streets

Africa Miranda, a multi-talented beautypreneur born in Harlem, shared with us her journey and her favorite secret 7 NYC spots! Be sure to add them to your list!

Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Street Style

Today we share a fantastic interview with a beautiful woman called Africa Miranda! Many of you probably know her already, but if you don’t, you should!

What are her talents? Countless! As she briefly states on her Instagram: “Beautypreneur. Performer. Travel Maven. Speaker. Host. Black Girl Magician.”

We love it!

Read below her journey and countless accomplishments throughout her career, as well as her 7 best secret places in New York!


Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Morning Sun

“Africa Miranda is a dynamic speaker, host and spokesmodel, with distinctive style and quick wit, that won the hearts of many across the US, and around the globe, as the breakout star of Bravo TV’s ‘The New Atlanta’.

Her unique personal style, sparkling personality, and glorious, attention-grabbing mane, have made Africa an in-demand beauty expert and event host.

Whether she is visiting exotic locales – #AfricasAdventures – representing major brands, or sharing her take on hair trends and celebrity style, Africa brings her brand of accessible glamour to any setting.

A sought after travel and lifestyle influencer, Africa was recently featured in Vanity Fair as one of the VF500 tastemakers to watch and has also been part of major campaigns for Macy’s, Coca-Cola, Revlon, and Kia Motors.

A rising star in the digital media world, she was a Shorty Award Finalist for “Periscoper of the Year,” host of the inaugural Periscope Summit, a keynote speaker at Summit Live, and is a regular podcast guest and panelist for various entertainment and tech platforms, marrying her knowledge of pop culture with her considerable tech savvy. Phiuf!

Africa can now add “beautypreneur” to her list of growing accomplishments.

Her newly launched beauty and lifestyle brand “Beauty by Africa Miranda” , marries her love of travel and her extensive beauty industry experience.

Her first two offerings, the Facial Elixir and Luminous Body Mist, have garnered rave reviews and are fast becoming cult beauty favorites.

“The first offering, the Facial Elixir, is born of Africa’s special connection to the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro. Lovingly called “Brazil in a bottle,” the Facial Elixir helps to recapture the vacation “glow” using Brazilian ingredients Maraca Oil and Cupuacu Butter.”

Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Facial Elixir
Facial Elixir from Beauty by Africa Miranda.

Some highlights:

“A trip last year to the south of France with Kia Motors was the inspiration for my latest product the Luminous Body Mist. Plus, I hosted a travel show pilot in Curacao called “From Soil to Shore.”

Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Kia Stinger
Africa Miranda at the Kia Motors America #StingerRunway.

In addition, my company ‘Beauty by Africa Miranda’ has been featured on Yahoo Beauty, Ebony.com, Bet.com, MadameNoire.com, HelloBeautiful.com.”

Current & Upcoming projects:

Just shot a campaign for Coca-Cola that will be in US, Mexico and Canada – I’m also a commercial model & actress.

I’m the co-host and co-executive producer of the digital series “Beautifully Driven” powered by Kia Motors and Harman Kardon.

This new interview series highlights “Women You Should Know” in the world of art, science, and entertainment.

Finally, I will host of Parlour Magazine’s Travel Fly Solo Weekend to Greece (June 2018).

And, I will be the host of Parlour Magazine’s annual solo trip – hosting over 50 women on an epic bucket list adventure to Mykonos.

Here are my secret 7 favorite NYC spots:


The Edge

Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Edge Harlem
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Edge Harlem Bagel
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Edge Harlem Pastry
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Edge Harlem Sandwich
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Edge Harlem Burger
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Edge Harlem Veggies
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Edge Harlem Seafood
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Edge Harlem Pasta
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Edge Harlem Jerk Chicken
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“The Edge is my go to spot in Harlem for brunch, lunch, and everything in between! I was turned onto this great little spot by a friend and fell in love. A great blend of Jamaican and American dishes.”

Located in Hamilton Heights, in Harlem, The Edge is a great spot to visit. Their kitchen opens Mondays through Fridays at 10am, and as they say, they serve “flavors of Jamaica and England, with a little New York attitude”.

Their menu is also divided by these locations. So, you can expect everything from Jamaican jerk chicken, to English grilled cheese sandwich and New Yorker bagels with smoked salmon.

Hours:
Monday – Wednesday: 9am – 10pm
Thursday & Friday: 9am – 11pm
Saturday: 11am – 11pm
Sunday: 11am – 10pm

Location: 101 Edgecombe Avenue

www.theedgeharlem.com


The Back Room

Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Back Room
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Back Room Entrance
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Back Room Inside
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Back Room Seating
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Back Room Teacups
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Back Room Fireplace
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Back Room Drinks
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“The Back Room is speakeasy that takes you back to “old New York.” Once you get past walking underground and through a tunnel you will find this hidden gem. Perfect for a late night drink or a get together with friends. My favorite touch is that all of the drinks are served in teacups!”

Located in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, this speakeasy is certainly a secret spot we love. It’s known to be one of the only two speakeasies in New York City that actually operated during Prohibition Era, in the 1920’s, and is still in existence today.

You’re wondering “Why teacups?” Well, back in the Prohibition Era, that was how alcohol was served, so no one suspected and people could enjoy their drinks.

Monday’s are known to host great live Jazz music, while during weekends, they bring in DJs to entertain the night.

Hours:
Mondays – Thursday: 7:30pm – 3am
Friday & Saturday: 7:30 – 4am
Sunday: 7:30pm – 3am

Location: 102 Norfolk Street

http://backroomnyc.com


Champs Diner

Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Champs Diner BBQ Burger
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Champs Diner
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Champs Diner Menu
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Champs Diner Full Table
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Champs Diner Veggies
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Champs Diner Burgers
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Champs Diner Pancakes Sandwiches
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Champs Diner Sandwich
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Champs Diner Waffles
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Champs Diner Donuts
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“Champs Diner is off the beaten path in Brooklyn, but if you make the trek you will get some of the best Vegan comfort food ever! My faves: The Cubano, The Soltero Bowl, and the Girl Scout Milkshake.”

Oh! We l-o-v-e this place. It’s located at the very tip of East Williamsburg, and it’s always pretty packed. They definitely serve some of the best and tastiest vegan American comfort food in New York, hence the huge success.

We recommend not arriving there too hungry, since the waiting time can be crazy.

Hours: Monday – Sunday: 9am – 12am

Location: 197 Meserole Street

www.champsdiner.com


The Crabby Shack

Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Crabby Shack Appetizer
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Crabby Shack Hot Dog
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Crabby Shack Sandwich
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Crabby Shack Cheesy
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Crabby Shack Balls
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Crabby Shack
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“My go to for a seafood fix is The Crabby Shack. This family owned business serves up some of the best crab dishes I’ve ever had. The stand out – the crab roll (of course!) and the crab grilled cheese. The IG-worthy decor is a plus.”

Located in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, this is one of the to-go spots if you enjoy seafood. They are well-known for their tacos, rolls and sliders, besides, of course, their different crab dishes.

Don’t forget to try their dessert of the day!

Hours:
Monday: 3pm – 10pm
Wednesday – Thursday: 3pm – 10pm
Friday: 3pm – 11pm
Saturday: 1pm – 11pm
Sunday: 1pm – 9pm

Location: 613 Franklin Avenue

http://thecrabbyshack.com


The Groove

Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Groove Façade
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Groove Inside
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Groove Band
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Groove Live Music
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda The Groove Illustration
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“Long standing live music spot: The Groove. Great place to get turned on to new soul and jazz artists. Fun fact – my first NYC live performance was here!”

Have you ever wanted a place that played live R&B, Funk and Soul music 7 nights a week? Well, this is the place! Located in the Greenwich Village, in Manhattan, The Groove started back in the 1990’s and showcases some of the best musicians and performers in the city.

They serve a few appetizers like nachos, quesadillas, mozzarella cheese sticks. Plus, you’ll also find buffalo chicken wings, salads & veggies, sandwiches, a few side dishes like French fries and onion rings. And still, bigger entrées like the chicken kebab and the steak frites.

If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll love the hot fudge brownie sundae or their vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Perfect place to splurge on your diet-day-off!

Hours: Monday – Sunday: 4pm – 3am

Location: 125 Macdougal Street

http://clubgroovenyc.com


Vin Sur Vingt

Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Vin Sur Vingt Bar
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Vin Sur Vingt Guests
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Vin Sur Vingt Cheese Platter
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Vin Sur Vingt Tables
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Vin Sur Vingt Bartender
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Vin Sur Vingt Wine
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“Very cozy. Very Romantic. V-e-r-y French. Order escargot and champagne and fall in love with Vin Sur Vingt.”

Africa’s preferred location is the one in the West Village, in Manhattan, but they have other 3 spots around the city, besides having a place inside The Plaza Hotel’s famous Food Hall.

Vin Sur Vingt is a classy, French bistro bar perfect for all wine lovers that live or come visit New York City. Their wine list is pretty extensive and the ambience will take you to Paris in a blink of an eye!

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 4pm – 1am
Saturday & Sunday: 4pm – 2am

Locations: 201 West 11th Street
They have other 4 locations – Nomad District, Upper West Side, TriBeCa and inside The Plaza Hotel Food Hall. See website for locations and hours.

http://vsvwinebars.com


Sugar Hill Market

Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Sugar Hill Market
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Sugar Hill Market Robes
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Sugar Hill Market Pottery
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Sugar Hill Market Hats
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Sugar Hill Market Fashion
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Sugar Hill Market Candles
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Sugar Hill Market Jewelry
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Sugar Hill Market Boybeads
Curiosities Insider Interviews Africa Miranda Sugar Hill Market Indoors
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“The Sugar Hill Market is a great monthly market that showcases local designers and artisans. I live in Harlem and it is a great way to learn about and support my fellow local entrepreneurs.”

We also love exploring local markets around the city and seeing what local vendors are selling.

You are able to find some of the most unique and one-of-a-kind items at these spots, so be sure to go there will enough time.

Hours: 12pm – 5pm

Location: 259 West 132nd Street

www.sugarhillmarket.com


Thank you, Africa, for sharing with us your fantastic journey and your 7 favorite NYC spots! Cheers!

If you enjoyed this interview, you might want to check out some other spots in Harlem, recommended by Kevin Herson, founder of the absinthe, Doc Hersons!

 

Photo Credits: Courtesy of all the venues

Doc Hersons: Story Behind a Harlem-born Absinthe Brand

Curiosities Insider Interviews Doc Hersons Absinthe Kevin Herson Stacey Luckow

New York City is known for many things, from being the #1 Fashion Capital in the world, to its tireless nightlife, but did you know it’s also the home of the 1st and very special, all natural, small batch absinthe producer named Doc Hersons?!

Curiosities Insider Interviews Doc Hersons Absinthe
Curiosities Insider Interviews Doc Hersons Absinthe White
Curiosities Insider Interviews Doc Hersons Absinthe White with Sparkling
Curiosities Insider Interviews Doc Hersons Absinthe White Root Beer
Curiosities Insider Interviews Doc Hersons Absinthe Bloody Mary
Curiosities Insider Interviews Doc Hersons Absinthe Cocktail
Curiosities Insider Interviews Doc Hersons Absinthe Green Ginger Beer
Curiosities Insider Interviews Doc Hersons Absinthe Green Ice
Curiosities Insider Interviews Doc Hersons Absinthe Green
Curiosities Insider Interviews Doc Hersons Absinthe 3 Flavors
Curiosities Insider Interviews Doc Hersons Absinthe Decor
Curiosities Insider Interviews Doc Hersons Absinthe WeWork BTSNYC Experience
Curiosities Insider Interviews Doc Hersons Absinthe Kevin Herson Stacey Luckow
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New York City is known for many things, from being the #1 Fashion Capital in the world, to its tireless nightlife, countless fantastic restaurants and yet a priceless art scene. Of course, there is much more to this list!

But, maybe something you didn’t know: It’s also the home of the 1st and very special, all natural, small batch absinthe producer named Doc Hersons.

A while ago, we hosted a great tasting event, paired with fantastic acoustic music, at one of Williamsburg’s coolest rooftops. Doc Hersons was the brand we brought in to offer the tasting and share a bit of his journey.

We were so intrigued with the product and their story, that we decided to interview Kevin Herson that founded the brand with his wife, Stacey Luckow.


1) Tell us a bit about your background and what lead you two to start Doc Hersons? Is it a family tradition, or a personal passion?

We started the distillery in 2012 in our basement in Harlem. My day job as a commodity broker ended around 3pm each day, while Stacey would only return home from working at our vintage clothing store in the East Village around 9pm.

This left plenty of time for me to experiment in the basement of our Harlem apartment. I started buying distilling equipment and experimented with making Whiskey and Moonshine.

Then I decided to try make some Absinthe, since I had always enjoyed drinking it.

My Chemistry background and knowledge supplied the baseline for which soon became a full functioning Absinthe distillery on 142nd and Broadway, the 1st Absinthe distillery in NYC.

2) We love Harlem! What is it about this neighborhood that relates to the brand and being there during the journey to bring this product to life?

I feel that starting a distillery in a Harlem basement just seems sort of a natural beginning for an Absinthe distillery. Harlem has many great stories and an amazing history, as does the Absinthe.

3) Why absinthe? I feel that not many people know how to drink it, so what are the challenges when trying to introduce this spirit into people’s lifestyle?

Absinthe has an interesting history and many myths associated with it.

I think the spirit is very misunderstood, and the controversy surrounding it was intentionally made well know through the efforts of the French wine industry – read the “History” paragraph on Wikipedia).

Our Absinthe is very unique and we simply enjoy it over ice or in the various different cocktails that call for Absinthe as an ingredient.

I feel the biggest challenge regarding Absinthe is dispelling all the myth’s surrounding it. This will take time, for almost 100 years Absinthe was illegal in the USA so we have some truthful storytelling to do to educate people that Absinthe can be enjoyed just like all the other wonderful categories of spirits out there.

4) So, what’s the biggest myths about absinthe?

Absinthe doesn’t make you hallucinate, it never did and it never will.  It’s a unique spirit and the truth is it’s delicious!

5) Tell us a bit about how absinthe is made.

We start by fermenting grains from upstate New York. We then run that ferment through a stripping still to get a raw alcohol, raw meaning all the good and the bad alcohol mixed together.

Then, we take that raw alcohol and transfer it into our pot still, add a bunch of different botanicals from fennel, anise, Grand Wormwood, mint, lemons… etc. That concoction is boiled and fractionally distilled to collect all the good alcohol infused with the flavors and essential oils from all the herbs.

Once we collect the good stuff, we proof it and then add additional herbs for color and flavor, all 100{c8399be91965ff06a5fa23750b49beaf0bc09e4b1c94b50d52f75c5d1635bbfd} natural. Finally, we strain off the spirit from the botanicals, let it settle and then bottle it all up to enjoy.

6) Do you know a few curious historical facts about the spirit that you can share?

Wikipedia does a good job of this. However, most people don’t know that Absinthe was originally developed as a Malaria prevention. This was way back when it was first produced, in 1792.

7) What are the main characteristics of each of the 3 products by Doc Hersons?

  • Green Absinthe: Notes of licorice, mint and slightly bitter
  • Red Absinthe: Floral Hibiscus, licorice and citrus notes
  • White Absinthe: Poppy seed, licorice and vanilla woody spice

8) Besides having the drink neat or with ice, when you teach people about how to consume it, what are the best easy mixes with each of the 3 flavors?

Each of our different styles of Absinthe can simply be enjoyed over ice or in the various traditional cocktails that call for Absinthe as an ingredient.

Or, one can enjoy them in the following simple cocktails:

  • Green Absinthe (1/2 oz) over ice, fill the glass with ginger beer and garnish with a mint leaf
  • Green Absinthe (1/2 oz) over ice, fill the glass with club soda and garnish with a lemon wedge
  • Red Absinthe (1/2 oz) over ice, fill the glass with ginger ale and garnish with an orange wedge
  • White Absinthe (1 oz) over ice and garnish with a jalapeño slice

Or even add 1/2 oz White Absinthe to your favorite Bloody Mary cocktail for an extra note of flavor and fun.

9) Are there any upcoming flavors we can expect to see in the near future?

We are working on some other spirits projects, but as for Absinthe we just produce the three styles traditionally know, Green, Red and White.

10) The bottles and the labels are very unique and give us a delicious, nostalgic feeling. What’s the idea behind the visual communication?

Branding and aesthetics are all centered around classy, simply, elegant and intriguing. Visual representations of what one can expect when they enjoy sipping on our Absinthe.

11) Do you offer any catering service and experience, for people interested in learning more?

People are always welcome to reach out personally to find out more about our Absinthe. They can even email or call to schedule a special distillery tasting/tour. We do both public and private events to promote our brand on a regular basis. Each event is coordinated on a case by case basis.

12) Where can people purchase your products, besides online?

Besides online, there are a number of liquor stores listed on our website DocHersons.com under our “buy” tab. There are also many bar and restaurants throughout NYC and NY State that serve our Absinthe.

13) Any new upcoming project that you’d like to share with us, as a “teaser”?

We are working on a new spirit to be released in February of 2018. Keep an eye out but it’s a surprise!

14) Since you’re a Harlem-expert, we’re curious to know what are your favorite “behind the scenes” spots!

Regarding a couple cool spots in Harlem, I can suggest our favorite spot, Harlem Public. You can ask for Roni the bartender, he is awesome and makes some of the best cocktails in the city.

There’s also a great liquor store there called Pompette Wine. When you get there, ask for Mozel. He owns the store and knows a lot about great local wines and spirits.

We don’t live in Harlem anymore and haven’t for about 5 years, so we are not really current with some of the newer happening spots.

We live in Brooklyn now, so some of the cool spots we like to visit are Le Boudoir and Chez Moi, both in Brooklyn Heights!


Thank you Kevin, and Stacey for sharing your beautiful story with us. It’s certainly an exciting journey, and we will stay tuned for the new spirit launching soon!

If you want to learn more about Doc Hersons, this small batch absinthe producer, take a look at their website.

When you decide to visit the neighborhood, you might want to start by visiting a park we love called Morningside Park. Plus, stop for lunch at Seasoned Vegan, even if you’re not Vegan. We promise, you’ll be amazed with their dishes!

Lastly, if you’d like to be put in touch with them, we can connect you! As Kevin mentioned, they offer very exclusive tasting tours, so let our experts organize it for you! For Corporate requests, for catering or tours, talk to our team.

http://dochersons.com

Secrets and fun facts about Morningside Park in Harlem

Curiosities City Secrets Morningside Park in Harlem by Untapped Cities

A bit a culture and history with our friends from Untapped Cities! We love exploring Harlem, so here are som secrets and fun facts about Morningside Park worth sharing!

Curiosities City Secrets Morningside Park in Harlem by Untapped Cities
Photo Credit: Benjamin Waldman

Every time we’ve been to Harlem, it’s been a fantastic experience. From the art and fashion scene, to all the delicious restaurants, the neighborhood is so rich and with so much to share!

Furthermore, one of their most famous parks is call Morningside Park and our friends from Untapped Cities shared a few secrets and fun facts about it!

So, come and check it out!


“Morningside Park is experiencing something of a renaissance in recent years, with booming real estate in Morningside Heights and Harlem surrounding it.

The picturesque park seems to have it all – grand landscapes, practical outdoor amenities, landmarked architecture, and commanding views.

Today, we’ll go through some of the most fun secrets and fun facts we came across while researching for a talk we gave with the Design Trust for Public Space inside Morningside Park last week.

10. Morningside Heights is Built Atop Manhattan Schist Up to 30 Million Years Old

9. Morningside Park Was Not Part of the Manhattan Street Grid

8. There Has Only Been One Road to Ever Go through Morningside Park, And It’s Long Been Lost

7. Until a Few Decades Ago, There Was a Blockhouse from 1812 in Morningside Park

6. Morningside Park Had a Vastly Different Original Plan

5. Some of NYC’s Most Famous Architects Worked on Morningside Park

4. There Used to be an Elevated Railway Next to Morningside Park

3. There Was a Massive Columbia University Protest Over a Gym in Morningside Park

2. The Remnants of the Gym Were Converted into a Pond and Waterfall

1. The Saga of the Statue of Lafayette and Washington in Morningside Park


See the original post, with many other pictures and infos!

Many of you love and are always craving for more secrets and fun facts about New York, right?

Well, to explore the area in style, contact our experts to cater a customized tour for you and your family & friends. For Corporate groups and experiences, let our experts assist you and make the experience memorable!

Curiosities City Secrets Morningside Park in Harlem by Untapped Cities Benjamin Waldman
Photo Credit: Benjamin Waldman

Text: Michelle Young from UntappedCities
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Benjamin Waldman

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