Who are the best associations & groups putting on events in the city

Spirikal‘s list of the best associations, groups and organizations around NYC that put on stuff worth checking out. If you find something you like, I’d suggest getting on their mailing list or becoming a member. As I discover more things, I’ll share them here with you.


Open house at the Alliance française


Some of the delights on offer at the Open House at FIAF

Alliance française (FIAF)- 60th between Madison and Park avenues.  Meet-and-greets like First Tuesdays, Open House and their lecture series on travel, food and fashion are just a couple of reasons to join. Some events are for members-only or they get special discounts. Plus for Francophiles like me, they’ve got an amazing reading room with books and mags from France and French-speaking countries. If you’re interested in learning why the French are awesome, take advantages of their summer discount promos which begin around Bastille Day on July 14.

Cocktails at the FIAF

Cocktails and wine at the FIAF

American Museum of Natural History I’m a natural history fan and absolutely adore this museum; however, even if you lack a nerdy side, the AMNH hosts really cool after-hours events.  Some member-only activities such as their exhibit previews back room tours and fossils digs are as cool for kids and grown-ups alike. Others include happy hours and Sci-cafe – which is a scientific-themed colloquium and cash bar. Sadly, the museum has concluded the 8th season of One Step Beyond Dance party, which included artists like Questlove. I pray that the museum starts it up again. I’ll update you  as soon as I know.

Asia Society 725 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10021 by Hunter College.  If your interested in experiencing diversity of Asian cultures, then this place is for you. I’ve attended various socials, concerts and art expos here, but I’ve got to say that the building is incredibly modern and beautiful. It’s got a fantastic bookshop, café with the Leo Bar. Highlights this coming fall include Philippine Gold reception and expo and the LBGT cocktail hour at the Leo Bar.


NY 2015 New York Wine tasting at the Astor Room


Good Eats NYC with Edible







Edible Manhattan / Edible Brooklyn magazines. Edible Magazine is one of our nation’s best foodie treasures available online and in print.

Scotch and cheese pairing class with Compass Box and Edible Manhattan.

Scotch and cheese pairing – Edible.

Both Manhattan and Brooklyn editions feature tastings, food expos, talks, classes and socials. Tickets are often available through  Eventbrite; however, sign up for the newsletter to get alerts on their activities. For their food expos, take advantage of their early bird promotions, which are well worth it. I just hope Edible Queens will make a comeback!!!

Vin du Maroc?

Edible Mag’s Escape, 2015



Eurocircle at the Ganesvoort Park Avenue NYC

Eurocircle NYC Locations vary depending on the event. With chapters in other major cities, this is one social group who likes to party. To some, this is nothing more than a glorified meetup.com, but their events are actually really cool and have a certain swankiness. What I like most is that their is no secret list, no dickhead bouncer at the door refusing people or general snobbery.


Rooftop DJ dance party with Maserati and Sky Vodka


Eurocircle Spring Into Action charity event

Either it’s ticketed or you say “Eurocircle” at the door. No member referrals needed. Events are sponsored by companies like Sky Vodka, Maserati and others, and they are mostly rooftop meet-and-greet soirées or DJ parties. Advice? Look the part, bring cash for the bar and don’t forget your cards. I’ve met a ton of people at these events.


Carving of aged mimolette at the French Cheese Board tasting and pop-up store


Mimolette is back and here to stay


French Cheese Board Pop up

French Cheese Board 26 West 39th Street (Between 5th and 6th Avenues) New York, NY 10018. Just south of Bryant Park, this pop up cheese store / PR promotional campaign is set to remind everyone why French cheese is simply awesome. They even do classes.  Dec. 2015 will be the last pop up shop. They will relocate to SoHo with an entirely new concept.

Dorothée Selz Food Art reception party

Dorothée Selz Food Art reception party


And wine too!

I stumbled upon this association by accident while reading the Times Front Burner in the Food & Dining section and decided to give it a try. From time to time, usually once a month, the French Cheese Board does their pop-up shop selling delicious cheeses and butters for super cheap. They give you a glass or two of wine, and you set out tasting everything in sight. When you’ve bought your cheeses, you can stroll over to Eric Kayser on 40th street between 5th and 6th avenues, south of Bryant Park for a baguette to go with your delicious cheese.


French District Online guide and social network. Primarily geared to the French-speaking community, you don’t have to speak the language to attend French District’s activities and events which include: meet ups, art receptions, in-store promotions and receptions.

Soho art reception, Dec. 2015

Soho art reception, Dec. 2015

Many of the members are Americans, who like their French counterparts, are confirmed metronauts in search of things going on the city. Advice? Get on their mailing list for upcoming cool stuff.

Marie-Lou&D salon w/ French District, wine & canapé reception

Marie-Lou&D salon w/ French District, wine & canapé reception

French Morning and French Morning in English online magazine And you thought the French don’t exist in the US. Well, they’re here and put on some cool stuff for everyone. Whether you’re a bored-out-of-your-skull-from-work-metronaut like me or want to meet people from different walks of life, then get on French Morning’s mailing list. They collaborate with most other French groups in New York, including the Alliance Française FIAF, French Consulate, French Tuesdays and more. Events include the annual bilingual education conference and the monthly, traveling ‘speak easy‘, a meet-and-drink French-English exchange.

with Fabrice Jaumont @ the annual bilingual education expo, Hunter College

with Fabrice Jaumont @ the annual bilingual education expo, Hunter College

934 Conference series at French Consulate NYC  / 934 Conférence au Consulat Général de la France 934 Fifth Avenue (between 74th et 75th Street), New York, NY 10021.


934 Conférence at the elegant, French consulate

French expats, Francophiles, foreign dignitaries, intellectuals and more flock to this lecture series, which starts in the fall and finishes around May.  Most events are followed by mingling reception of champagne and hors d’œuvres.  All events are in English, but there’s plenty of opportunity to practice your French.2015-08-27-00-05-17_deco Some events are invite-only, but all are free with RSVP. Dress always respectably, exude charm and bring your business cards. Whatever your day is, you are a diplomat the moment you enter those elegant doors.


The Box burlesque club

The Box

French Tuesdays, Locations vary depending on the occasion. French Tuesdays have chapters in several major cities both here and abroad.  I often hear how French Tuesdays “used to be cool” before all the swanky people showed up. Funnily, I can’t recall FT ever being a workers’ movement. And who am I to complain about swanky girls? You must be referred by a current FT member in order to join, but members can usually bring their friends. Most of their events are cocktails, rooftops, and posh lounge meet-and-greets. Although I gave their wear-only-white party ‘cos that’s not my thing,
we checked out the Bastille Day celebration at the burlesque and cabaret at The Box. Pity, I couldn’t post pics of the naughty entertainment, but this is family website.

German Consulate 871 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017 (opposite the UN). Perhaps having learnt from the French, the Germans have also beefed up their outreach program to bring outsiders to their events which include art receptions, discussions and small concerts.  In contrast to that of the French, the German consulate is incredibly minimalist and modern.



Art reception at the German Consulate


Art reception at the German Consulate


East German-inspired art and wine

Non-concert events feature a beer / wine and pretzel mingling portion, where you can interact with the guests and consulate personnel. Security is a lot more visible here with metal detectors and armed guards. Don’t be intimidated because the staff are really welcoming.


Otafuku okonomiyaki talk and tasting – presented by Chef Morimoto


Japanese art installation – members preview and reception


with David Bouley at the Japan Society


Shinenkai Reception at the Japan Society







Japan Society 333 East 47th Street (Between 1st and 2nd avenues) New York, NY 10017  Interested in Japanese language, art, cuisine and culture? I’ve been taking language classes at JS Toyota Language Center and attending many events here over the years. 
Things not to miss include: the annual sake expo, Shinnenkai (after new year party), Nihongo Chat or Japanese language meet-and-greet and their beer lecture and tasting. Notable chefs such as Morimoto and David Bouley have come here to showcase their interpretation of Japanese classic cookery. Membership gets you into art receptions and discounted tickets for events.

Pop Rally at Moma, Moma in Manhattan and PS1 in Long Island City created Pop Rally to attract a younger and more diverse crowd. This has become a fantastic party series, which includes art installations, DJ dance parties, indie art film screenings and the essential open wine bar.

Pop Rally at Moma

Pop Rally at Moma

2015-08-28-10-37-53_decoEvents vary depending on venue and theme, but there are a lot of fun. Moma members have access to discounted tix, but events are open to the public.  Events include Sat. Sept 12, 2015, Gentleman’s party at Moma in Manhattan.


Pølse – yummy!



Revolving Dansk, locations vary depending on event.  What is a pølse?
It is a Danish style hot dog with some delicious but unorthodox condiments to go with. Revolving Dansk held their succesful launch party in the LES and sent off a hundred tongues wagging.  The have also collaborated with whisky distributor in Brooklyn.

Savoring the delights at the Copenhagen Street Dog launch party

Savoring the delights at the Copenhagen Street Dog launch party


Free gøødies!

Their events are casual, fun and most importantly delicious.  And who’s going to argue with a hot dog, unless you’re vegetarian of course! Events not to miss include the Scandanvian Festival, Sept.6 2015.


Rinsed.It party at Le Bain, Standard Hotel, MPD



Rinsed NYC locations vary. My chum, who is a house music fiend, introduced me to Rinsed last year. cropped-cropped-IMAG1145.jpg It was one of the coolest dance parties because they always are spinning house, disco, funk and more. And none of it sounds like Z100 or what I hear at the gym. Most of their parties are in warehouses in secret TBA locations and tickets are available on Resident Advisor. Tips? Always buy your tickets as early as possible because the cheapies sell out quickly. Be careful of their parties at Le Bain at the Standard Hotel. There’s this awful Asian bouncer who dresses like the dude in The Crow with a weird god complex who won’t let you in, regardless if you’re on the list.

TAP-NY, locations vary depending on event.  My fascination with Taiwan and all things Taiwanese led to me to the Taiwanese-American Professionals NYC, while at an event on Taiwanese cuisine at the WNYC Greene Space.

Taiwanese cuisine at the Greene Space

Taiwanese cuisine at the Greene Space

They have chapters in several major cities and have plenty of activities for young people to do. Some of their events have gotten mixed reviews, but I’m really impressed on how active they are. I only wish the Indians were as enthusiastic. Events include: March Madness pub crawls, cooking demonstrations and the annual Taipei Night Market.



TPECC / Taiwanese Consulate office in New York. For a country fighting for greater international recognition, its NY consulate is overdrive hosting loads receptions, film screenings, art & technology expos and classical concerts.

With the Taiwanese ambassador

With the Taiwanese ambassador

Meeting the composer of the avant-garde nightmare. Gosh she's cute!

Classical concert & reception @ TPECC

In terms of the number and variety of activities, the Taiwanese truly rival both the French & German consulates hands down. The TPECC building is truly spectacular with a film screening area downstairs.

WNYC Greene Space, 44 Charlton Street at Varick, Soho, New York, NY 10013. I’m an avid NPR & WNYC listener and absolutely adore going to events here, especially the ones about food. Over the past couple years I’ve met Michelin star-studded chefs like Bill Telepan and celebrities such as Madhur Jaffrey and have sampled the exotic delights of Taiwanese cuisine. Its location across from City Winery makes this an ideal place for a after work date or meetup with friends.

Meeting Madhur Jaffrey at the Greene Space

Meeting Madhur Jaffrey at the Greene Space

Events include: Leonard Lopate and Locavore series with famous chefs including Madhur Jaffrey and Marcus Samuelsson this fall.


WNYC Greene Space / Taiwanese Taste and Talk