Brooklyn, Queens Adding Restaurants of a Different Variety

Oct 31, 16 Brooklyn, Queens Adding Restaurants of a Different Variety

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Foodies have what to smile about this month with several new eateries opening in Brooklyn. Residents of Bushwick and Bay Ridge are in for a treat when Artichoke Basille’s Pizza opens not one, but two new locations. Home-grown in New York, this mini-chain offers some unique pizza offerings, like crab pizza, burnt anchovy pies and of course artichokes. Now Astoria denizens can have a wonderful Middle-Eastern experience at Café Istanbul, complete with belly dancing. Sonny Shaikh is the owner, hailing, not from Turkey, but from Mumbai. India. Shaikh has been in New York for 23 years and decided to walk on the wild side and give up his career in high tech and try his hand at serving Mediterranean, Egyptian and Turkish delights. In addition to gastronomic offerings such as baba ghanoush, hummus, rack of lamb and shrimp tagine, diners can whet their appetites with 30 flavors of Hookah available all day, and belly dancing shows on weekends at 11pm. The Hall is a permanent new restaurant housed in the spacious Union Fare food emporium at 6 East 18th Street. The food is inspired by state fair fare and proves to be quite creative. Comfort foods abound, of course, such as steak kebabs and a falafel dog with feta, tahini and tzatziki. If messy is more your style, then dip into the nachos, sweet chili wings and a BBQ pull pork sandwich adorned with waffle...

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Formula E Racing Coming to Brooklyn

Sep 26, 16 Formula E Racing Coming to Brooklyn

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New York City is on the map for many sports events: the third leg of the Triple Crown, The Belmont Stakes; the Knicks and the Yankees play here; even the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show has its home in New York. Until now car racing has been absent from the New York sports scene. Come next July New Yorkers will play host to the Formula E auto race, in which the cars can reach up to 180 mph on a straightaway, or average about 150 mph in the reality of twists and turns of a Red Hook race course. Yes, Red Hook in Brooklyn has been chosen as the venue. Fred Dixon, the president of NYC & Company, the city’s official tourism organization explains why: “It’s a phenomenal setting in terms of view. Governors Island, the Statue of Liberty, Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge. Very iconic,” Dixon explained. Don’t think this is just another car race. No. These cars are special. They are 100 percent fueled by electricity. So the race is promoting the development of the green technology of electric cars. Due to the present limitations of an electric car’s battery, each of the 20 drivers in the race will have two cars at his disposal, so that when the first car’s battery fades, a second car can be commissioned into the race. The importance of showcasing the technology was emphasized by the Mayor: “New York City is where technology, sustainability and commerce collide,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be the new home of the...

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Getting Ready for TEFAF New York

Sep 14, 16 Getting Ready for TEFAF New York

Posted by in Art, Entertainment

TEFAF New York is coming to the Park Avenue Armory soon and the exhibitors are getting ready. The opening night reception will be on October 21 to benefit the Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. TEFAF New York will feature 93 esteemed exhibitors from around the world and will take place from October 21-26. This inaugural edition of TEFAF New York Fall is a joint venture between TEFAF Maastricht and Artvest Partners. The application for participants was open to galleries around the world and TEFAF New York received multiple applications for each available spot. There was a selection committee and a review process to create a balanced and objective analysis of each of the galleries and to decide on participants. The selection committee consisted of four members of the Board of Trustees of TEFAAF Maastricht and four external experts from the United States. The exhibitor’s list for TEFAF New York includes, among many others, A La Vieille Russie, Agnews, Bernard Goldberg Fine Arts, Phoenix Ancient Art and Les Enluminures. Certainly, the exhibit will include some of the highe st quality items from around the world. Phoenix Ancient Art will bring such items as a two-handled cup of cobalt blue glass created by one of the most famous artists from the 1st century AD to have made such works of art, Ennion. They will also display a cameo with four portraits of Philip the Arab from the 3rd Century AD Roman period. These are but a few examples of the vast array of furniture, art, jewelry and other items that will be part of the exhibit coming...

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Deno’s Wonder Wheel Celebrates 95 Years of Continuous Use

Aug 02, 16 Deno’s Wonder Wheel Celebrates 95 Years of Continuous Use

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The Wonder Wheel is truly a wonder. It is in the heart of the world famous Coney Island Amusement Park, and has enjoyed a place on the National Register of Historic Places since 1984. In 1989, together with the neighboring Parachute Jump, it was given the status of an official New York city Landmark. The ride opened to the public on Memorial Day in 1920. It was created by a Romanian-born ride engineer called Charles Herman. Herman wanted to make a ride which had the combined characteristics of a Ferris wheel, scenic railway, and a Chute-the-Chutes, which he accomplished. Herman’s son Fred took the ride over when Herman passed away, but by 1980 he was ready to sell. Constantinos Dionysios “Deno” Vourderis became the third owner of the Wonder Wheel. Born in Aigion, Greece the same year the Wonder Wheel opened, he was the eighth child of 22 in his family. He came to the US in 1934, and started selling hot dogs from a pushcart in Manhattan. The story goes that Deno proposed to his not-yet wife in front of the Wonder Wheel in 1948. He promised her that one day he would not only own the Wonder Wheel, but he would also give her “a ring so big, everyone in the world would see how much he loved her – a ring that would never be lost.” Because of this story, and the subsequent countless marriage proposals and newlywed rides at the Wonder Wheel, the ride is known as “the most romantic ride in the world.” Deno took a job repairing the kiddie rides in Coney Island at the end of the 1970s. On June 7, 1983 Deno realized his dream and purchased the Wonder Wheel for $250,000. The ride did not come with a “user’s manual,” but instead with a handwritten note on the back of a carton of cigarettes wishing Deno, “Good Luck!” At that moment the ride became known as “Deno’s Wonder Wheel.” The Wheel is still run by...

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Hip Hop Hall of Fame Seeking Funds to Bring Bust Home

Jun 21, 16 Hip Hop Hall of Fame Seeking Funds to Bring Bust Home

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A six-foot-tall bust of Brooklyn-born rapper The Notorious B.I.G. could end up installed at Putnam Triangle Plaza in Clinton Hill, if organizers can gather together the necessary funding. Behind the project is the Hip Hop Hall Of Fame Museum, which is a organizing a crowd-funding campaign on GoFundMe to raise the $33,000 needed for the sculpture’s design, bronzing and getting approval for its installation from the community board and City Council. B.I.G., whose name is Christopher George Latore Wallace, grew up in Bedford-Stuyvesant and was killed in Los Angeles in 1997 in a drive-by shooting at the height of his career. The sculpture was created by Brooklyn-based artist Tanda Francis and was recently on display at a Brooklyn gallery. There are very few official monuments attesting to the history and popularity of this particular music genre despite its international popularity. If the funding campaign succeeds we can look forward to seeing The Notorious B.I.G. in a bigger-than-life rendition not far from where his most dedicated fans...

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Child Graffiti Artist Makes Her Mark on Walls

Jun 15, 16 Child Graffiti Artist Makes Her Mark on Walls

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Lola Depraetere is only seven-years-old, but that has not stopped her from brightening up a few walls around Bushwick in Brooklyn, and Miami, Florida. Lola began drawing when she was only three, but now that she is already in second grade, she is ready for projects much bigger than she is. What does she like about painting murals with spray paint? Let her explain in her own words: “I thought it would be cooler than just drawing on paper. Spray-paint fills up more space than colored pencils,” she said. She was discovered by Joe Ficalora, the founder of the outdoor gallery Bushwick Collective, in a most appropriate way: while she was drawing on an intricate mural of a church painted by street artist Beau Stanton last May. The Collective invites artists from around the world to paint outdoor murals in Brooklyn. Lola’s mother Cécile, a teacher at a French pre-school, explained what happened: “We heard someone yell ‘What are you doing to my wall!’” she said. “The next thing we knew, he gave Lola her own wall, shook her hand and said, ‘Welcome to the Bushwick...

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