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Archive for the ‘New York’ Category

Global Cocktail: Brighton Beets at Bar 54

November 20th, 2015 Comments off
Brighton Beets, Photo via Edmund DeGuzman

Brighton Beets, Photo via Edmund DeGuzman

Talk about unlikely pairings. This beet-infused vodka cocktail is the creation of Master NYC mixologist (and out lesbian!) Julie Reiner. Part of the new seasonal cocktail menu at New York’s highest rooftop bar, the Brighton Beets is one of 17 libations offered this winter Bar 54 at the Hyatt Times Square. Sip it as you take in the unbeetable views from 54 stories above Manhattan.

Julie brings over 20 years of mixology experience to the Hyatt, and operates the Clover Club, her own gourmet cocktail lounge in Brooklyn.

Brighton Beets

1 oz Beet infused Vodka

1 oz Tanqueray gin

.5 oz lemon juice

.5 oz Cointreau

.5 oz Fonsecca ruby port

.5 simple syrup

Muddled Mint

Crushed Ice

Combine ingredients in a shaker and strain over crushed ice into tall glass. Garnish with a lemon twist and sprig of mint.

Ooviña Wine and Tapas Helms Hell’s Kitchen

October 1st, 2015 Comments off
Photo via Project Publicity

Photo via Project Publicity

Giovanni Morales and Stephen Hoover, head chefs and co-owners of Ooviña wine and tapas bar, are bringing “gluten-free” into the fold with top-notch small plates in Hell’s Kitchen. Brimming with Guatemalan flare, a wonderful assortment of wine and spirits has already situated the tapas bar, located at 496 9th Ave, as an upscale go-to for date night and drinks — but with cuisine that packs a punch, this tapas bar holds its own.

Hundreds of hand-painted white orchids line the silky vines that drape Ooviña’s ceilings, making for an elegant ambience that feels off the beaten path. Lights that line the bar change from lavender to soft pink so gradually that you may never notice.

At the top of our menu is pan-seared Mexican cow’s milk cheese, a subtle take on the classic queso frito, topped with a tangy mango pico de gallo. Bold, yet simple flavors punctuate our first tapas; the artichokes, sautéed in sweet Spanish herbs and seeping with kale pesto; the Brussels sprouts, pan roasted in champagne butter and savory, seasonal herbs.

The tricolor heirloom shrimp ceviche is poached to perfection and easy to share among us three. Plated in a bath of fresh lime juice with cilantro, cucumber, and red onion, the homemade corn tortilla chips become all the more difficult to part with. Lindsey, our wine sommelier, nails the pairing, introducing us to the Carrusin “Folari Corti,” a dulcet Italian Moscato.

Photo via Project Publicity

Shrimp Ceviche. Photo via Project Publicity

Pan-seared scallops arrive just shy of sizzling, a tender golden brown. Herbed butter, olives, and tiny bits of bacon all serve to coax out the scallop’s rich taste. The scallops are lovely, and only eclipsed by the pulled chicken tacos; green tomatillos, savory bell peppers, and onions, stewed for about an hour in a light chardonnay broth.

Photo via Project Publicity

Shrimp Ajillo. Photo via Project Publicity

Carne guisada, stewed beef in a cabernet broth, is served on a bed of saffron rice, bringing a cast of carrots and pearl onions to the main stage. Another group favorite is the shrimp ajillo, a crossroads between spice, kick, and textured corn masa that comes together with an unexpected sweetness. Both of our favorites are paired with a 2012 Hewitson “Baby Bush” Mourvèdre, native to Barossa Valley, Australia, and striking for its earthy, berried notes as well as its ruby-red hue.

Dessert was a dream, sweet brown plantains in a caramel-rum reduction, plated with a bright cinnamon black been puree. What truly took the cake on our final stretch, though, was Ooviña’s signature dulce de leche flan brûlée, infused with raspberry pomegranate St. Germain preserves. Our wine flight disembarks with Cidrerie du Vulcain “Trois Pepins,” an ethereal, earthly Swiss cider made of three heirloom apples.

Photo via Project Publicity

Photo via Project Publicity

Our waiter Mateusz was an absolute delight, and the service was superb from beginning to end. All in all, Ooviña enchants from the moment you step in, and with no plate over $20, it packs a serious bang for your buck. A lot of love goes into this place, and the writing is on the wall, and on the ceilings. For a gem that brings bright flavors to an intimate, inviting atmosphere, think Ooviña.

New York’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade to Allow Irish LGBT Group to March for the First Time

September 29th, 2015 Comments off
Image via littleny

Image via littleny

The St. Patrick’s Day committee has agreed to allow an Irish LGBT group to march in New York City’s 2016 parade while carrying a banner after a vote to grant Lavender and Green Alliance, an LGBT Irish group from Queens, NY, a permit. Allowing the group to march marks the first time in an Irish LGBT group is able to openly march. The committee, last year, decided to end the ban on parade participants from marching as openly gay under a banner, when they allowed Out@NBCUniversal to march. But, this will  be the city’s first gay Irish group participating and a signal that more LGBT groups will be allowed to participate this year.

The group’s cofounder Brendan Fay said: “We have been on a long and winding road to equality, a road marked by painful exclusion and years of protests and arrests. With this decision, we are transformed from cultural outsiders to insiders who can share in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, a vital expression of our heritage and culture.”

In recent years, the parade’s organizers have come under heavy fire from politicians from both the United States and Ireland as well as sponsorship.

Last year, Outvets became the first LGBT group to march in Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day after a two-decade ban. []


New York’s Underground Fashion on Display at FIT

September 21st, 2015 Comments off


by Chris Roney

Being showcased now at the Museum of FIT is the exhibition Fashion Underground: The World of Susanne Bartsch. From relatively routine to runway-ready, the collection will include the fashions of designers Rachel Auburn, The Blondes, John Galliano, and More. Bartsch has been the queen of the club scene since the 1980s, when her lavish parties became the new-age nexus between cutting-edge haute couture and the demi monde Harlem ball scene, affixing uptown to downtown, gay  to straight, and black to white. The exhibition will begin with an open-air gallery of mixed media images and videos cataloguing Bartsch’s career and couture. The main exhibition gallery will examine the cornerstone influence of Britain’s New Romantics on American fashion, and the vanguard role Bartsch played in propelling designers like Vivienne Westwood to the forefront with her famed boutique in SoHo and through international runways shows like the new legendary “New London in New York.” The exhibit will also showcase fashions adorned on Bartsch herself, as well as on her decorated pals at Savage, Copacabana, and Le Bain. In addition, Bartsch’s contribution to global fashion at large will chronicled, as well as her AIDS advocacy through Love Ball and her accruement of over $2.5 million for AIDS research in the course of a few short years. From September 18-December 5.

Gay Travel: Globetrotting in New York, New York

September 21st, 2015 Comments off
Image via Passport Magazine

Image via Passport Magazine

I’m seesawing on a sloop in New York Harbor, its white sail waving like freshly hung linen. Down: the sparkling water laps up on the boat and my mimosa, the color of the early-morning sun, feverishly sloshes. Up: One World Trade Center pokes its silver top above the large sail and an endless blue sky makes Downtown Manhattan look like a professionally painted cityscape sold in a Times Square souvenir shop. A salt-filled ocean breeze whips between the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and swirls with the fresh orange juice smell from the Champagne flutes of a dozen brunch guests aboard Manhattan by Sails Shearwater ( The boat’s sail turns slightly against the wind, and grants me a full view of the City. From this vantage point, New York seems different and that’s what I’ve been searching for during a whirlwind one-week trip as a New York tourist.

Keep reading over at Passport magazine online…

Cheer on Cycle for the Cause Participants this Weekend in the Northeast

September 16th, 2015 Comments off
Image via Cycle for the Cause.

Image via Cycle for the Cause.

How far will you go to combat HIV and AIDS? Every September, hundreds of riders band together to embark on a 275-mile voyage by bicycle unlike any other from September 18-20. This year’s Cycle for the Cause will last for three days as veteran and novice riders dedicate themselves to the cause. So, how does it work? Train and prepare during Cycle for the Cause training rides, meeting your fellow riders in the process, make a personal fundraising goal, and take your friends and family along for the ride in support of the fight against HIV/AIDS.

It may be too late to ride this year, but the hundreds of participants need some love and encouragement to make it through the three days. Check out the map on the official website and bring signs, water, love, and a to clap-ready hands.

Three to See: September

September 2nd, 2015 Comments off

“Try to remember the kind of September
When life was slow and oh
so mellow.” – The Fantasticks

New York’s theater scene is anything but slow and mellow this fall, as the season gears up with some innovative new productions that have us on the edge of our seats. Here are the Broadway Blog’s top picks for the month.


(l to r) Keith_Nobbs, Matt McGrath, and Wayne Duvall in 'The Legend of Georgia McBride.' (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

(l to r) Keith Nobbs, Matt McGrath, and Wayne Duvall in ‘The Legend of Georgia McBride.’ (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

What happens when an Elvis impersonator becomes a winning drag queen in the Florida Panhandle? Playwright Matthew Lopez (The Whipping Man) dishes up a southern comedy starring Matt McGrath (Boys Don’t Cry) and directed by Mike Donahue.

MCC Theater and the Lucille Lortel
121 Christopher Street, NYC
Opening night: September 9

Find out what else to see in New York this theatre season. 

Feds Arrest 7 Employees at for Money Laundering and Prostitution

August 25th, 2015 Comments off
Screen Cap via

Screen Cap via

Federal agents raided the New York offices of as part of a money laundering and prostitution sting. Earlier this afternoon, seven employees including the CEO, Jeffrey Hurant, were taken into custody. Department of Homeland Security and New York Police Department officers, raided the offices and removed boxes with unknown contents.

The website is famous for its massive database of over 10,500 men from cities worldwide who pay to be listed on the website. Men can search the database to find a rent boy or masseur that fits their particular needs. The big-money business has brought in nearly $10 million in proceeds between 2010-2015.

Feds have seized some $1.4 million from six bank accounts, but primarily prostitution between state lines has been cited as the reason for the raid.

“As alleged, attempted to present a veneer of legality, when in fact this Internet brothel made millions of dollars from the promotion of illegal prostitution,” Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Kelly Currie said in a statement.

“The facilitation and promotion of prostitution offenses across state lines and international borders is a federal crime made even more egregious when it’s blatantly advertised by a global criminal enterprise,” Glenn Sorge, acting special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New York, said in a statement.




‘Rent’ to Return to New York for 20th Anniversary

August 25th, 2015 Comments off
Image via 5th Floor

Image via 5th Floor

This year, the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award–winning musical Rent will mark its 20th birthday by returning to where it began—New York. The story about love and loss among a group of friends in 90’s New York will begin showing Sep. 23 at Long Island City’s Secret Theater. Presented by 5th Floor Theatre Company (Debbie Does Dallas, Urinetown, Assasins) and directed by Nick Brennan, the musical is expected to draw heavy crowds.

The musical originally opened on January 25, 1996 at New York Theatre Workshop before hitting the Great White Way in April that same year.

Tickets can be purchased here. 

Sutton Foster, New York Pops, and a Season to Remember

August 11th, 2015 Comments off
Sutton Foster, Steven Reineke, and The New York Pops (photo: Richard Termine via The Broadway Blog.)

Sutton Foster, Steven Reineke, and The New York Pops (photo: Richard Termine via The Broadway Blog.)

The New York Pops celebrated its new summer home at Forest Hills Stadium with two-time Tony Award winner Sutton Foster. The program was similar to her Carnegie Hall performance earlier this spring—which isn’t a bad thing. Foster, who currently stars in the TV Land show Younger, was in great voice and sounded tremendous thanks to impeccable sound design by Dan Gerhard.

Keep reading over at our sister site, The Broadway Blog…