Review: Sip Smoky Scotch Cocktails & Limited Release Single Malt Whisky at Flatiron Room-November 6

Cover image: Scottish Tea Time © Alyssa Tognetti for WhereNYC

The Flatiron Room, known with their extensive collection of brown spirits—whiskeys, bourbons, single malts—you name it, hosted a very private, exclusive event for media a week ago that yours truly got to try some delicious libations.  This was a night to celebrate GlenDronach and BenRiach, two delicious smokey single malt whiskies from Scotland. Some of the best drink writers in New York City dropped in to reminisce and sip the classics, but the reality for them was to try the rarity.

GlenDronach and BenRiach © Alyssa Tognetti for WhereNYC

Spoiled for choice, you could go either neat or mixed cocktail depending on the mood. Owner Tommy Tardie of Flatiron Room guided me through the GlenDronach portfolio. including the 12-year-old and the peatier 18-year old. Then, I tried the BenRiach 10-year-old, which according  to Tommy was the blue cheese of the brand. Each one was tasty in its own right,

Having had my “neat” introduction, it was time to dive in straight for the whisky cocktails. The bartenders at the Flatiron Room showcased three signature drinks. First up, was the Smoky Star. I’m quite the sucker for a pretty drink in a coupe glass, especially garnished properly. For fans of smoky cocktails, the name would not disappoint; however, in need of a little more sweet tasting drink, the Scottish Tea really hit the spot.  The hands-down favorite was the Allardice Elixer that was also sweet.

GlenFronach’s Kingsman Edition 1991 being poured © Alyssa Tognetti for WhereNYC

Towards the end of the night, BenRiach’s Ambassador Stewart Buchanan said a few words to commemorate the brand, while we sipped our suds. He showed us to the GlenFronach’s limited Kingsman Edition 1991 that salutes the new blockbuster Kingsman: The Golden Crown. From the 2,000 bottles produced, only 200 bottles actually reached the American shores. The guest raced to the corner where it was being poured to get a few drops of this exclusive dram.

The night was good laughs, great people and wonderful drinks. While not everyone one can experience this VIP sort of event, so for our readers, here is the recipe to make the Smoky Star for your next adult beverage.

Smoky Star by Young Kim

Smoky Star @ Alyssa Tognetti for WhereNYC

Smoky Star

1.5 oz BenRiach 10 Year Old Peated Curiositas

.5 oz Dry Vermouth

.25 oz Maraschino Liqueur

.25 oz Benedictine

1 Cinnamon stick

2 Star Anise

Add all ingredients including 1 cinnamon stick and 1 star anise in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with star anise.  

GlenDronach and BenRiach is the perfect gift for your whisky lover this holiday season. But if you’re going to try a brown tasty drink, head over to the Flatiron Room.

Review: Edible Magazine’s Food Loves Tech Expo 2017

Cover image © Sarah Monahan for WhereNYC

Panel discussions included “What’s Old is New” in the food industry. © Sarah Monahan for WhereNYC

Foodies, inventors, and entrepreneurs alike gathered November 3rd and 4th for Edible Magazine’s Food Loves Tech (FLT) expo at Brooklyn’s Industry City. Over a hundred different exhibitors were featured throughout the event, showcasing groundbreaking technologies in and around the food industry, as well as educational entertainment concerning important issues around food supply.

Guests enjoy alcoholic drinks and well as non-alcohol drink with @CuriousElixirs.© Sarah Monahan for WhereNYC

From selfies printed onto whipped cream foam, to suppliers of locally sourced produce, FLT proved that the advances that are being made in the industry can and should be accessible to everyone.

Located on the waterfront of Sunset Park,Industry City’s innovative location, bringing together industrial architecture with chic, modern amenities, was a perfectly suited environment for the nature of the events.

Crowds of people gathered around the KabaQ 3D Food table in anticipation of seeing the augmented reality cookie come to life. It was hard to get a sample at the popular Oatly booth this year, serving oat based milk and quirky packaging. The genuine excitement and intrigue of both the vendors and the guest was overwhelming and intoxicating. Each table offered something new to learn and experience. With reluctance, I even tried cricket granola for the first time, from Seek Food, and it was delicious.

Not only did the expo provide an insight into the unimaginable capabilities of food, but it also emphasized a major theme: the basic fundamentals of food being apart of everyone’s future.

“[FLT] unites food and drink innovators,thought-leaders and enthusiasts to experience the future of food and drink,” (foodlovestech.com).

Oatly booth @FoodLovesTech. © Sarah Monahan for WhereNYC

Standing alongside reputable companies like Gotham Greens, establishing urban farms since 2009, were first year businesses, ready to take localized produce and make worldly changes. A notable entrepreneur was 17-year-old Priya Mittal. Mittal’s business, GroGreen Tech, supplies unwanted or “ugly” produce, that is often wasted, to businesses and people who can repurpose them. Even her business card, which can be planted into a basil plant, doesn’t go to waste.

Packed crowd at FoodLovesTech. © Sarah Monahan for WhereNYC

Normalizing modernized eating and farming are the primary goals for a lot of these businesses, especially for food delivery services, such as HelloFresh, and alternative greenhouses, like AeroFarms.

“I’m really excited about people adopting [HelloFresh] as a lifestyle change where they are able to learn from us… implementing it into their daily routine,” said HelloFresh’s Sales Manager, Andrew Lombardi.

Convenience is no longer the sole priority when it comes to the innovation aspect of the consumer. The future doesn’t inherently imply futuristic. The revolution, however, is a result of the habits being made from how we choose to take part in the food industry.

“[Here] we are able to tell our story. We are able to be very transparent with how we do things and why we believe it’s the right thing to do,” said Julie Qiu, Marketing Director for Australis BarramundiThe Sustainable Seabass. Aiming to enlightening their consumers, Australis Barramundi provides insight into the vast world of seafood and “climate-smart ocean farming.”

Priya Mittal, Founder and CEO of GroGreen Tech. © Sarah Monahan for WhereNYC

A common word that came up for entrepreneurs, concerning products getting into the hands of the consumers, was transparency. What is old is in fact new again, and in the eyes of this years innovators, the “fad” of going organic and green isn’t just appealing; it is necessary.

It seems so painfully obvious, and perhaps even ironic that the food industry in America has gotten to the point of us needing to backtrack in order to make a better future. Food Loves Tech is not just an event establishing the compatibility between food and technology, however expansive and cohesive. FLT strives towards food and technology loving the environment and leaves everyone to question, if everyone made these changes, what would the future look like?

For more information on upcoming events, visit Food Loves Tech.

Review: New York City Craft Beer Festival on November 4, 2017

Cover image: © Tatsuya Aoki for WhereNYC

It was an afternoon of absolute beer-filled bliss at the New York City Craft Beer Festival event on Saturday. After arriving, I was immediately mesmerized by the beer tastings and more (They had a million flavors of beef jerky for sale and even candles made from beer bottles!).

Lit Up candles for sale at Beer Fest (c) Meg for WhereNYC

Upon entering, each patron received a complementary beer-tasting shot glass. Tables stacked with different beers made it difficult to choose where to start. While the afternoon had a slightly low-key crowd, both sessions were full of people who were prepared to go par-tay after they were done enjoying their beer tastings.

Happily, many of the brews were local, along with others from different states and countries (even one from Nicaragua!). Most breweries displayed their flagship beers and new flavors.

Panga Drops beer, brewed in Nicaragua, one of the most unique displays (c) Meg for WhereNYC

There were several highlights of the beers we tried, including the Caramel Porter by Saranac (brewed in Utica, New York). According to the Saranac representative, this beer is a fall/winter beer due to its “darker, sweeter flavor.” On the contrary, the summer and spring flavors are “lighter and more bitter.” The caramel taste of the Caramel Porter was something unexpected. It was not too sweet, and the caramel taste gradually appeared in your mouth, leading to a, “Yep, that’s definitely caramel,” comment that my friend and I both made after we sipped the beer from our shot glasses.

Caramel Porter by Saranac © Meg for WhereNYC

Others were funky yet with delicious flavors, such as Westbrook’s Key Lime Pie flavored beer (brewed in South Carolina), and Golden Road’s Mango Cart beer (brewed in California). These are year round flavors due to their brewing locations. Golden Road’s Mango Cart is inspired by California’s beach weather, and beer fest customers each got a Golden Road cap, which certainly matched the brewery’s Southern California image.

Golden Road’s Cali style beers (c) Meg for WhereNYC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As my friend and I did our rounds, we learned about beer trivia, including the basics. For example, did you know that IPA stands for Indian Pale Ale? Also, apparently IPAs, which tend to be bitter, are more “West Coast style” than “East Coast style.” According to the folks at Five Boroughs Brewing Company, East Coast style tends to be more “juicy” and less bitter. Hence, the Gose was their “East Coast style” beer. (I did not even know that Gose was a beer style, so this was all new to me.) I guess, for East Coasters, we experience enough daily bitterness from our stressful, uptight lifestyles, so an IPA would not be our go-to beer?

West Coast Style vs. East Coast Style beers by Five Boroughs Brewing Co. (c) Meg for WhereNYC

The festival also featured spirits, such as brandy (e.g. Western Grace), cognac (e.g. Camus), and even tequila (e.g. Blue Nectar). They had beer cocktail tastings that included these spirits, and my favorite mix was the Caramel Porter and Camus mix, naturally. For whiskey lovers, I recommend the Blue Nectar Arejo. If you did not know it was tequila, you would think it was whiskey. It was that whiskey-licious.

Camus Cognac x Caramel Porter = Oh la la… (c) Meg for WhereNYC

Blue Nectar Tequila (c) Meg for WhereNYC

Furthermore, Kombucha was also poppin’ at the event. As a Japanese person, I thought of Kombucha as “kelp tea,” which is what kombucha is in Japan. Here, however, it is actually a “fermented tea” with many health benefits (such as energy gain, improved digestion, etc.) which can have alcohol content. There were many kombucha beers (?), such as Kombrewcha from Patchogue, Long Island. My confused self felt rewarded by the health benefits and did not feel like I was drinking alcohol at all when I tried these “kombucha” beers.

Kombrewcha (Is this beer?) (c) Meg for WhereNYC

Needless to say, the beer festival was an excellent event, even for ones who may not be self-proclaimed beer lovers (like myself).

For more information on upcoming events, please visit New York City Craft Beer Festival.

 

 

Review Edible Escape 2017 October 19, 2017

Cover image: Edible Escape 2017 © Lise for WhereNYC

New York City Brewer and Restaurant Paulaner on Bowery was also a huge hit. © Lise for WhereNYC

Fall was indeed in the air at Edible Escape’s tasting event hosted by Edible Manhattan. Tastings offered city-dwellers an escape through globally inspired food and drink from around the world with an abundance of fall flavors and seasonal goodies. Pier A Harbor House was an amazing setting for the occasion as attendees were treated with a view overlooking the Statue of Liberty, plenty of room to mix and mingle around the tasting tables, and even the opportunity try their dance moves with a tango lesson. The many notable tastings were presented from restaurants, tea houses, wineries, breweries, and catering joints in the city, as well as in Long Island and the Hudson Valley.

The buzz this year at Edible Escape was incredible. © Lise for WhereNYC

Upon entering the top floor of the Harbor House, attendees had no problem jumping right into dessert. First stop for this taster was from the Vienna Calling Catering table, with its hard-to-pass apple strudel. With the fall fruit also on the menu, Brooklyn Cider House offered a flight of ciders made from apples in their own Hudson Valley orchard.

 

 

Pier A Harbor House © Lise for WhereNYC

Another fan favorite was the butter chicken dish presented by the chef from Badshah, a modern Indian restaurant located in Hell’s Kitchen. The chef graciously replenished tasters’ bowls with seconds, as the dish was too good to be satisfied with just one bite!

As thirst set in, Wines of Argentina’s table graciously filled glasses with a variety of wines from the Mendoza region, its standout being the Trinita Grand Reserve, a blend of Malbec, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Wine in hand, one could easily mistake themselves for Buenos Aires as tango music filled the air and aroma from Balvanera’s empanadas and steak tartines with homemade chimichurri sauce drifted.

Loire Valley Wines also appeared at Edible Escape 2016 © WhereNYC

 

An exceptional stop was at Ghost & Grits, where the Indian born chef fused a ghost pepper jam from his Indian roots with southern-style grits, a nod to his stay in Tennessee for a period of time before settling in New York. Although they do not yet have a brick and mortar restaurant, foodies can try his grits at Smorgasburg.

The event also hosted tables with Kombucha beverages, wines from the Loire Valley in France, German style beer and a beer cake dessert, hot and cold tea tastings, cheese plates, seafood dishes, and sake. Attendees left Pier A Harbor House, after a world tour of gastronomy and a pallet full of global flavors.

For more information on upcoming events, visit Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn.

Review: The Big Chocolate Show at the Waterfront Oct 6, 2017

Cover image: © Alyssa Tognetti for WhereNYC

Imagine a room full of chocolate… Sounds amazing right? This might seem like a fantasy, but the weekend of October 6th was a dream come true. Over 50 notable chocolate makers and vendors of the industry came together to show off amazing chocolates.

The Big Chocolate Show © Alyssa Tognetti for WhereNYC

Since its inception in 2016, The Big Chocolate Show has attracted over 5,000 attendees over the three-day expo, with professional experts, foodies, food editors and fans enjoying up-close-and-personal live demos, tasting and pairing classes and of course, a plethora of samples from chocolatiers around the globe at The Terminal Stores on the city’s bustling waterfront.  A notable component to the weekend included the ”Legends” award that honors some of the chocolatey best. This year’s honorees included Sophie and Michael Coe, Ed Seguine, John Scharffenberger and Juan Carlos Motamayor.

Chocolatier Jacques Torres © Vicha Saravay for The Big Chocolate Show 2016

Chocolatier Jacques Torres at the Big Chocolate Show 2016 © Vicha Saravay for The Big Chocolate Show

So I know what you are thinking… Just spill the chocolate beans, Alyssa… what kind of chocolate did you have? Well, I was like a kid in a candy shop! It ranged from all the usual suspects (white, milk, and dark) to drinking chocolate to chocolate with quinoa — you can’t say I did not have anything healthy that night! Soft chocolate with beautiful designs from Chocolate Moonshine was irresistible. Fun political chocolate from DC-based Harper Macaw al la Flip-Flopper (chocolate with huge chunks of toffee). Hoja Verde Had a sweet rose and lemon bar that opened my palate in so many ways.

Chocolate Moonshine © Alyssa Tognetti for WhereNYC

One of the most decorated chocolates was William Dean Chocolates, which follows the artisan tradition of creating every truffle, confection, and piece of chocolate by hand, in small batches. The beautifully crafted treats are truly works of art, exciting the eye and intriguing the palate with interesting flavor combinations and vibrant designs.

Both delicious and a treasure to the eye, some of the presentation of some of the chocolate was an eye-popping experience. There were LAZOR engraved chocolates, which were perfect for corporate gifting and party favors. Also, chocolate shape as shoes was totally cute.

I attended the date night portion of the show on Friday night which paired chocolatey desserts with a boozy counterpart.  Before entering the choco-boozy room, I met Celebrity chef, Mary Giuliani who was promoting her new book The Cocktail Party, which was right up my alley!

Chocolate hearts © Alyssa Tognetti for WhereNYC

An interesting read, it got me amped up to enter the section of the show dedicated to desserts and spirits.  I soon discovered a lot of local sweet shops paired with some of the most delicious spirits in the industry— and of course, there was chocolate. Spirits like the sweet Indian liquors like Somrus to dessert vodkas like Van Gogh paired up with boozy cupcakes and bacon mousse tarts… YUM!

Truly an unforgettable experience. The Big Chocolate show was truly a sweet experience.

Review: How to Eat Like a Samurai Event on September 26, 2017

Cover image: Discussion with Kanna Himiya at the Japan Society © Meg for WhereNYC

“In order to conquer the world, we need to live a long life. And in order to live a long life, we need to eat properly, having the best food at the proper time.”

From the moment Ms. Kanna Himiya stood up from her seat, I was mesmerized by her pure elegance.

Mr. Romano introducing Ms. Himiya © Meg for WhereNYC

After New York City-based executive chef and restaurant owner in Japan, Mr. Michael Romano, presented Ms. Himiya, she stood up perfectly from her seat without moving her back, which was already formed in perfect posture. Then, before she climbed up the steps to the stage, she faced the audience, revealing her beautiful blue kimono, and bowed in a perfect 45-degree angle. I heard gasps and various “Wow” whispers from people sitting around me. As an American-born Japanese person, I, too, felt the urge to straighten my back in my seat.

For the Japanese, eating is a “Godly act” (i.e. shinji), because one shows grace to honor life, earth, peace and love. The term “Itadakimasu” used before eating, roughly translates as, “I will gratefully have your food.” “Gochiso-samadeshita,” said after eating, means, “I have finished your food and I thank you for giving me this food.” Ms. Himiya adds through an interpreter, “Even though Japan is a tiny island, I believe that it has the best cuisine, full of the most profound history and culture.”

Samurai Cuisine Introduction © Meg for WhereNYC

For Ms. Himiya, Kanazawa, in the Ishikawa prefecture of Japan, has the “healthiest cuisine” and is  the “birth place of samurai cuisine.”

What is the samurai diet?

Essentially, it consists of healthy, well-balanced food with the freshest and most seasonal ingredients. It served both to entertain and represent the samurai’s land and power. The origins of the “samurai diet” started in the Sengoku Period, which directly translates to the “Period of Battle Country.” During this period, the samurais held miso shiru (i.e. miso soup) parties, or shirukou, allowing them to forge alliances. The samurai regimen featured “ritual foods for good luck” before they went to battle. This led to “Kyouoh” (i.e. banquets) during the following long, peaceful Edo Period in Japan, led by Lord Tokugawa Ieyasu. Under Tokugawa, the daimyos had to entertain each other, and they did this through Kyouohs, which were full of the “spirit of thanks,” or omotenashi  as they honored each other.

Beer from the Ishikawa Prefecture was also a hit. © Meg for WhereNYC

The samurai’s philosophy of a healthy diet contributed to the betterment of Japanese culture during the Edo period. The samurai regarded fresh, seasonal ingredients as “medicinal.” Staples such as miso, soy sauce, vinegar, salt, and umeboshi (i.e. pickled plums) were key to “umami,” which “can only be expressed in Japanese food,” explained Ms. Himiya, who believes that naturally delicious food made with the “spirit of thanks” (i.e. omotenashi) can help achieve world peace.

Soy sauce and dried soy sauce.. along with dressing. Soy-yummy! © Meg for WhereNYC

“I believe [cultural exchange] is the key to having a better world,” said Ms. Himiya through her interpreter. Perhaps a reference to today’s political climate, Mr. Romano, bluntly remarked, “If only our government could see that…” followed by rapturous applause in the audience.

The reception following the talk showcased an array of delicious food and sake samples from Ishikawa prefecture. One could feel like a true samurai in Edo Japan. The exchange of good food, sake, and conversation was almost therapeutic, making me feel very peaceful.

Sake tasting- tastic! © Meg for WhereNYC

The talk by Ms. Himiya was truly sublime, and the sake and food tasting from the Ishikawa prefecture added to the whole experience. It was so enjoyable that I unfortunately missed my chance to receive a signed copy of Ms. Himiya’s book, The Samurai Gourmet. Ah, well… Gochiso-samadeshita.

For more information on upcoming events including Escape East @ 333, Fri. Oct 20, please visit the Japan Society.

Review: Taste of NY Experience Craft Beverage Week – September 12th, 2017

Cover image: Beet Cider © Alyssa Tognetti for WhereNYC

As New Yorkers, we are spoiled to have an abundance of fresh ingredients in our food, only matched by our selection of tasty spirits, beer, wine, and cider – we have it all!  Well, it’s no doubt that the local movement is here to stay and one of our great state initiatives in New York is to promote local food and especially the beverage scene. The Taste of NY Experience is a celebration in honor of the first-ever New York Craft Beverage Week started by Governor Andrew Cuomo, which is coming up November 5-11, 2017. The week is designed to promote local artisanal beverage producers from the five boroughs of NYC and reinforce the city as an incomparable travel destination for epicures and drinks enthusiasts.  Over 50 local craft spirits, wines, beers, and ciders artisans came out to the landmark Pier A Harbor House to show off their finest liquid gems.

Taste of New York Sign (C) Alyssa Tognetti

One of the major standouts to me personally was how many great ciders there are in New York State, and now with apple season in full force, it’s a no-brainer that this would be the choice ingredient. Some of the cideries featured were Brooklyn Cider, Doc’s Draft Cider, Bad Seed, and of course, Angry Orchard, which brought some of their unique ghost bottles to wow guests! The most eye-popping and tastebud gamechangers of this category that I tasted was actually not made from apples but beets. If you are not afraid of beets, Pennings Farm Ginger Beet Cider is worth the taste – plus the pinkish-purple is quite mesmerizing! If you are not a cider traditionalist, then Doc’s Draft Hard Pumpkin is a refreshing change guaranteed to get your proper pumpkin spice fix for this year.

Nahmias et Fils Distillery Mahia (C) Alyssa Tognetti

If beer is your vice, then there are no shortage of breweries in New York State. My latest beer obsession was Greenport Brewing was there with two of their finest beer. I found my newest favorite IPA from War Horse Brewing called Lieutenant Dan. Yes, named after Lieutenant Dan from Forrest Gump.

Angry Orchard Ghost Bottles (C) Alyssa Tognetti

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For wine lovers, there was a wonderful selection: including Stoutridge Vineyard which has no sulfates. It was incredibly fresh. The take the whole farm to table movement to heart. Other amazing wineries that should be noted for their deliciousness are Sheldrake Point and Enlightenment Wines.

Sheldrake Point (C) Alyssa Tognetti

But if you’re after something stronger, New York State does have a fine share of spirits. One of the most intriguing spirits happened to be called Mahia from Morocco and made from figs from Nahmias et Fils Distillery in Yonkers. They are the only local Mahia spirit in the US. Another notable spirit producer is Hudson Valley’s Denning’s Point in Beacon with their award-winning Maid of the Meadow, herbs and wild honey infused in a wheat-based spirit, which mixes quite well in cocktails or is quite lovely to just sip.

If any of these amazing New York State spirits intrigue you, then run to your nearest Taste of NY store.  Learn more at taste.ny.gov 

Review: Eurocircle Annual White Party at the Ganesvoort Park Rooftop, July 25, 2017

Cover image: © Mike Bas for Eurocircle

View from the rooftop of the Gansevoort Park Hotel. © Sarah Monahan for WhereNYC

Meeting people in the city can be daunting, especially when options are often limited to an app or a poorly lit bar with a sticky flooring. But, if you’re new to the New York area or even to the country, that task can feel even more isolating in an already unfamiliar place.

Last Tuesday night, July 25th, the congested summer air of the city decided to take a break and cool the evening for Eurocircle’s Annual White Party on the rooftop of Gansevoort  Park Rooftop.

© Mike Das for Eurocircle

People gathered the venue dressed head-to-toe in all white attire, including a wide range of creative accessories. From fedoras, fascinators, and even fluorescent lights, partygoers sported some really outrageous  were decorated and fully committed to the festivities.

Eurocircle’s other events the Masquerade Ball at the Empire © WhereNYC

Eurocircle, founded in 1999, is a global community for individuals to network and meet up with Europeans, expats, and other travelers in their city. Groups currently reside in 48 major cities around the world, and their circle is continuously growing. Annual trips are organized for members, as well as wine tastings, concerts, and other exciting excursions. Currently, they are planning a trip to Australia and New Zealand later this year.

“It’s all about having fun…Come with us and mingle for a night with Europeans and Europhiles,” the Eurocircle website states. “Moving in the right circles!”

Dressed in whites © Mike Das for Eurocircle

Despite the allure of the evening, and the exclusivity of being apart of “a free for members only” event, there was a crowded sense of being constantly observed, of people guessing ethnicities and backgrounds. Even though Eurocircle offers an opportunity to meet people in a new environment, there is an apparent awareness that European people are the obsession amongst everyone’s narrative. If you aren’t European you love European people, is the understanding. Additionally, even though anyone can become a member of Eurocircle, there is a price tag for certain events.

Admittedly, I am neither European nor am I particular about associating within specific circles, so the recognition that this party was not meant for me, a 26-year-old graduate student from California, is very apparent. Both the bar and the outdoor spaces were overly compacted with people ranging from their late thirties and older, perhaps a bracket of people that is slightly out of reach in relatability to my preferred dollar beers and interpretive millennial dance moves. The ambience was hard to appreciate when trying to get past the poorly executed bar. The drink special for the night was $10 Absolute drinks, but these were difficult to acquire unless you were willing to wait.

Crowded bar at Eurocircle event. © Sarah Monahan for WhereNYC

I took my $15 cocktail, in a deceiving four ounce glass, out to the terrace. I enjoyed the views of the lights overlooking Park Avenue and appreciated the structure of the evening, regardless of being squished up against a bench that already had too many people. I watched the newest members meandering to different countries around the bar until they found new friends they were comfortable connecting with.
Meeting people as an adult is difficult, and having outlets to do so is relieving in a city that can be overwhelming for anyone. If you are interested in connecting with Europeans all over the world and participating in the events that are available, check out Eurocircle, and become a member for free.

Review: The Beer-Changing Magic of Brewing with Hops at The Greene Space, July 19, 2017

I found myself on a Thursday night out and drinking a few hoppy beers but not at a bar but at the radio WNYC Greene Space.  Like they say Thursday is the new Friday.

© Alyssa Tognetti for WhereNYC

This was The Beer-Changing Magic of Brewing with Hops talk and tasting emceed by owner Jimmy’s No. 43, host of Beer Sessions Radio and beer aficionado Jimmy Carbone, who kicked off a serious beer talk and brought some of his beer buddies to discuss the popularity of hoppy, sudsy thirst quenchers.

© Alyssa Tognetti for WhereNYC

Before entering the Greene Space main doors, I received a full bottle of Lagunitas IPA — it was that or the Pilsner, but I was here for the IPAs. I walked in holding a check list of beers featured on the tasting menu. Before taking my seat, I swooped in for some delicious cheese and bread topped with roast beef. Then, I headed straight to the tasting tables lined, which included Two Juicy Unfiltered from Two Roads Brewing Co., Tools of the Trade Extra Pale Ale and Power Tools IPA from Industrial Arts Brewing Co., and Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing. I tasted one before realizing it would be better to sample the brews during each presentation.

Jimmy Carbone (right) at the Breakfestival 2016 © Kaori Mahajan for WhereNYC

Jimmy’s line-up included many well-known beer experts ranging from various industries: Jeff O’Neil, founder and proprietor of Industrial Arts Brewing Company in Garnerville, New York, which focuses on using the best ingredients available to make “fresh, clean, hoppy beers”; John Segal, co-owner of Segal Ranch a third-generation, family hop farm widely known among craft brewers for estate-quality hops and a commitment to innovation in hop growing; Katherine Kyle, a managing partner at New York City’s Blind Tiger Ale House; and John Holl, writer, author of American Craft Beer Cookbook, co-host of Steal This Beer podcast and senior editor of Craft Beer and Brewing Magazine.  Each person brought a different perspective and story to the table.

© Alyssa Tognetti for WhereNYC

“Did anyone think IPAs would become so popular?” Jimmy asked his fellow panelists. This opened up the discussion with the history of the IPA, beers like Liberty, dating back 40 years ago, that introduced pale ales  to the public. Although the initial reaction was mixed, eventually beer drinkers grew to like the bitterness, which at the time was the major shock appeal. Still more people were drawn to light lagers at the time. That has changed, according to Hall, who said people are asking “what IPAs do you have on tap?” Likewise, Katherine Kyle of Blind Tiger discussed how of her 28 her beer lines, 5-9 of them are IPAs. She can’t keep an IPA on very long since it’s always in demand- more than anything else.

@Alyssa Tognetti for WhereNYC

The discussion was an eye opener to beer industry as a whole. It was both informative and interactive with the audience by passing around different types of hops and the pellets.

After schmoozing with the panelists, I grabbed some more cheese and brews before heading home.

To learn more about upcoming events or WNYC, please visit the Greene Space and catch Jimmy Carbone’s Beer Sessions Radio show here.

Review: The Rubin Museum of Art’s 2017 Block Party and Sound of the Street

Cover image: Crowd at Kirtan with the Bhakti Center. © Sarah Monahan for WhereNYC

Inside The World of Sound. © Sarah Monahan for WhereNYC

When first walking into The Rubin Museum of Art to enter the newest exhibition, The World Is Sound, visitors are immediately asked to take part in the imagination of sound. Before entering the elevator onto the sixth floor, one question establishes our expectations for the exhibit: What is the first sound you remember?

An odd sense of nostalgia overcame me as I tried to search for my own personal answer to that question, an answer that I wasn’t sure I could articulate as definite. How does one remember sound when they have no concept of what those sounds mean?

When thinking about my experience, it wasn’t something I instinctually heard, but rather something seen and felt. The soothing vibrations of my mother’s voice as I fell asleep on her chest, the light from under the doorframe flickering to the footsteps and muffled hums of voices outside, while I curiously listened from a crib in a dark room.

Tibetan Community of NY/NJ © Sarah Monahan for WhereNYC

The World Is Sound asks us to interact with sound as a universal, multisensory experience. Touching the walls of the gallery to listen to mantras sung by monks visitors got lost in the chanting of the collective Om in an immersive sound installation room. Tibetan culture colored the rituals of sound while a scientific explanation behind resonant sound in our universe, maintained a tangible understanding of it. The exhibit itself poses a new question when leaving: What is the lasting effect or sound of the universe’s creation?

The exhibit was the perfect foundation for entering the annual block party, Sounds of the Street, which took place in front of the museum last Sunday, July 16th.
From the tranquil submersion of the sounds inside the museum to the energetic vibe of the streets, a universal vibration carried over. Children made their own music with pots and pans while artists on the sidewalks drew the sounds they were making.

Learning new instruments.© Sarah Monahan for WhereNYC

Visitors of all ages and backgrounds enjoyed both exhibit and block party, thanks to the interactive nature of the event including various craft tables, meant to appeal to both children and adults.

Participants made art pieces from bubbles and constructed their own instruments from ordinary appliances. That inclusiveness was even available at the food trucks, like Van Leeuwen artisan ice cream, serving both classic and vegan options. Various flavors of food were available like Korilla Korean BBQ as well as the museum’s Café Serai dishing up Himalayan specialties along with wine and beer.

Beef and kimchi tacos from Korilla.© Sarah Monahan for WhereNYC

The day was full with plenty of food and constant entertainment. Performances by The Blue Angels Drumline and girls from the Tibetan Community of NY/NJ, kept the crowd actively listening during the event. Meditation spaces were available along with a silent disco booth, providing individuals with isolation amongst the street.

In the final unifying moments of the event, a kirtan concert with the Bhakti Center perfectly emphasized the purpose of participating in sound.
“A kirtan is never performed alone,” Bhakti Center told the crowd as they collectively reached towards the sky, thanking the street and New York City for the constant vibrations of the day.

Live art painting on stage © Sarah Monahan for WhereNYC

Regardless of belief or perspective in one’s awareness of listening, many understood that sounds are most certainly felt by all.

For more information on exhibits and upcoming events, please visit the Rubin Museum of Art.