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Boozy Popsicles Atop Dream New York

Ava Lounge is home to a new alcoholic popsicle by Liquid Lab NYC.

May 30, 2013

Dream Pops served at Ava Lounge

Who doesn't love a good popsicle? Especially when said frozen treat has booze in it. Indeed, taking frozen cocktails to a whole new level are the newly invented white wine and St. Germain-spiked Dream Pops, served exclusively at Ava Lounge, the recently renovated rooftop lounge of the Dream New York hotel in Midtown. 

If you think this alcoholic popsicle concept is brilliant, and wonder why anyone hasn't thought of it before, the truth is that, well, they have, just not so much in New York City, explains Ric Addison, president and CEO of Addison Hospitality Group, the team behind Ava Lounge. "Dream Pops are a delicious housemade mixture developed by Liquid Lab NYC,” says Addison. “Frozen alcohol pops have been trending on the mixology scene for the last several years but haven’t hit huge on the New York scene just yet, so we are thrilled that this concept has come to fruition. Throughout the summer, we will be expanding on this concept with new flavors, colors, and fruit infusions.” Here's how to make Dream Pops at home:

Dream Pops

1 bottle dry white wine  
12 ounces St. Germain  
12 ounces fresh pineapple juice
12 ounces fresh orange juice
Angostura bitters
Fresh berries (try blueberries, raspberries, or kiwi)

In a large pitcher, combine ingredients and stir. Add six dashes of Angostura bitters to the tip of the popsicle molds, add assorted fresh fruit, and pour mixture into molds. Freeze for a minimum of six hours. Remove and serve in a rocks glass over prosecco or Champagne. For more vibrant pops, try adding food coloring to make a rainbow of colors.



Dispatch: MoMA Garden Magic

Two new film premieres and a fashion fête bookended MoMA's annual garden party last week.

May 30, 2013

Alexander Skarsgard at The East premiere; Jesse Eisenberg and Isla Fisher at the Now You See Me premiere

Monday, May 20: Sunshine Landmark Cinema and Piaget screened The East, an intriguing film about a band of corporate anarchist/terrorists headed by Alexander Skarsgard. Patricia Clarkson heads the corporate espionage firm which inadvertently infiltrates the group in the film. “I’m always playing touchy, feely, emotional people,” Clarkson told Dispatches on the way into the theater. “And this is a woman who is ice . . . very, very cut to the core.” While introducing the cast, the film's director and co-writer, Zal Batmanglij, noted that Skarsgard “went to college [in New York] for a heartbeat." He then asked Ellen Page, a key anarchist onscreen, about her New York cred. “I lived in Brooklyn for like 25 minutes,” she yelled out from the back of the theater.

Tuesday, May 21: Now You See Me also had a starry debut on the Upper West Side that included Jesse Eisenberg, Isla, Fisher, Michael Caine, and Woody Harrelson. In the film, a group of renegade magicians use their phenomenal talents to rob a bank and more. “Dave Franco was really throwing playing cards at Mark Ruffalo’s face at incredible speeds,” mentioned David Kwong, who consulted on the magic used. “He was very accurate, could slice a peeled banana in half across the room.” Meanwhile, director Louis Leterrier indicated that while they were filming, “Harrelson was out at bars hypnotizing people to practice.”

Eisenberg only had "four months" to prepare to play, as he described the character, the "greatest slight of hand magician in the world." Costar Morgan Freeman, who on account of “permanent nerve damage” was wearing a white glove on one limp hand, noted Eisenberg's talent for magic. "He was better than all of us," said Freeman.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Cindy Sherman, Ellsworth Kelly at MoMA's Party in the Garden

At MoMA that same night for the 2013 Party in the Garden (artists' big night out) Cindy Sherman wore the same Marc Jacobs dress as Rachel Feinstein. Apparently, Jacobs had told Feinstein ahead of time that Sherman also had the dress, but had indicated that she’d “worn it before.” Oops, she wore it gain. Also spotted: Ellsworth Kelly, John Currin, and Jeff Koons. 

Wednesday, May 22: Downtown at Pier 60 at Chelsea Piers on Wednesday, Parsons honored Proenza Schouler designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, among others, at its 2013 Fashion Benefit.  Dispatches did not expect the flood of significant designers: Prabal Gurung in a smart tux with peak lapels and a wide black tie; Christian Siriano in peg leg khaki pants, black tux shirt, and satiny two-button black jacket; Olivier Theyskens with a shawl collar and skinny black tie. (I must not have gotten the memo that bow ties are extinct.) The event raised an impressive $1.7 million. 

Thursday, May 23: A stone’s throw from the Intrepid, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and DJ Pauly D hosted an evening at Hudson Terrace, serving REMIX cocktails (launched by DJ Pauly) and SK Energy drink (50’s company). DJ Pauly D had just been pictured on blogs with his hair combed flat like Leo in Gatsby.  “I had just watched Gatsby,” he explained to Dispatches.  “And I loved the hairstyle, thought it was dope.  And I thought, let me do it and see what the world says. It looked good in the movie. I just gelled it different. Everybody thought I cut it.”

That night, his hair had returned to the normal tall, hard flat top. And how long does the normal blow out take? “About 25 minutes,” he said.    


Weekend Recommender: May 30-June 2

Mick Jagger's Muse on stage, Terrace Fest at W New York Downtown, and more!

May 30, 2013

Don't miss Terrace Fest at W New York Downtown

Terrace Fest at W New York Downtown
May 30, from 6 to 8 p.m., May 31 and June 1 from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., June 2 from noon to 6 p.m.
A beautiful Manhattan terrace upon which to eat, drink, and soak up the city skyline deserves a celebration, at least, the W New York Downtown thinks so. As summer weather finally hits, the hotel is throwing a weeklong Terrace Fest on its fifth floor Living Room Bar & Terrace. Each night features a different guest DJ and party theme, as well as specialty cocktails and "savory light bites." 123 Washington St., 646-826-8641 for tickets

Mick Jagger's Muse at Susan Batson Studio Theatre
May 31, 9 p.m.
This one-woman play, written and acted in by Fiona Graham, depicts a young Marianne Faithfull when the British singer/songwriter was Mick Jagger's muse—and, consequently, England's target. Faithfull left her husband and child for Jagger and eventually found herself at the center of a very public downfall and drug scandal. Last chance to see this show! Tickets are $20. 300 West 43rd St., 212-226-4630

A Taste of Tuscany in Maremma Wine Dinner at Sirio Ristorante
May 31, 5:30 to 11 p.m.
Winemaker Alessandro Cellai of Rocca di Frassinello wines in Maremma, Italy is the star attraction of Sirio Ristorante's four-course wine dinner this Friday evening. Menu highlights include Maine sea scallops, risotto with prosciutto ragu and zucchini, and duck magret with white asparagus gratin. Advance tickets are $76, or $95 night of. The Pierre, 2 East 61st St., 212-838-8000



Shakespeare in the Park Taps 'Modern Family' Star

Jesse Tyler Ferguson stars in The Comedy of Errors through June 30.

May 29, 2013

Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Hamish Linklater star in The Comedy of Errors

Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors kicks off The Public's Shakespeare in the Park season this week. Starring Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Hamish Linklater (The New Adventures of Old Christine) as twins Dromio and Antipholus, this beloved Shakespeare comedy is a mayhem-filled romp about two sets of identical twins who were separated as children, and now live as master-servant pairs in rival cities. Directed by Daniel Sullivan, the show (currently in previews) continues through June 30, followed by a run of Love's Labour's Lost, A New Musical. These free-to-the-public shows run 90 minutes with no intermission. 

A New York summer tradition, The Public Theater's annual Shakespeare in the Park program is one of this iconic theater company's most renowned events, and one which truly illustrates the company's vision of "free theater for all." For more than 50 years and counting, New York theatergoers have been heading to Central Park's Delacorte Theatre to enjoy star-studded productions of Shakespearean plays, under the summer stars. 

Unlike previous years, though, this summer all performances of both The Comedy of Errors and Love's Labour's Lost, A New Musical begin at 8:30 p.m., and free tickets are distributed as of noon, day of show, at the Delacorte Theater. In true democratic theatrical fashion, tickets are limited to two free tickets to two performances for each production, per person, to encourage as many different people as possible to enjoy these anticipated shows. The bard would be proud! The Delacorte Theater is accessible via 81st St. and Central Park West, or 79th St. and Fifth Ave. Supporter donations can be made at The Public Theater Box Office at 425 Lafayette St., 212-967-7555



Q&A: Betsey and Lulu Johnson

The mother-daughter duo talk life on a reality show.

May 29, 2013

Betsey and Lulu Johnson 

Fresh off shooting their Style Network reality show, XOX Betsey Johnson, mother and daughter designers Betsey and Lulu Johnson share secrets on personal style, reinvention, and New York inspiration.

So, tell us about this TV show project. Has it changed the way you see yourself, your relationship with one another, and/or fashion?
BETSEY JOHNSON: It has changed the way I saw myself because I went from fashion designer to potential reality TV star, but I love the idea of a dual career! It has changed our relationship with each other because it brought us closer together.
LULU JOHNSON: I feel like I am stronger going out than coming in, and that I can handle anything that comes my way! Doing this TV show was an intense, emotional process. It made us realize what we cherish about each other and also what we can do to make our relationship better.

How would you describe your sense of style?
BJ: Raunchy, ragged, and ridiculous. Our styles are complete opposites of each other.
LJ: Sexy, casual, chic.

Reinventing yourself. Discuss.
BJ: Working for someone else and keeping my brand's integrity alive . . . What I learned from the company f***ing up made me try to protect myself better.
LJ: I faced a lot of challenges, trying to make it on my own with starting a new business, proving myself to others outside of the Betsey Johnson company, and having a close yet independent relationship with my mom. My motivation has been my mother and her work ethic, but also trying to become my own person. 

How has New York inspired your designs?
BJ: The electric energy has always inspired me!
LJ: New York inspires you from when you lay in bed to as soon as you walk out of your apartment—the sounds, the people. 

How has New York style evolved over the past couple of decades?
BJ: New York is always at the top of trends, but the times set the trends: '60s minis, '70s maxi, '80s punk, '90s vintage, '00s all mixed up.
LJ: What’s amazing about New York is that you can be anyone you want to be. There is something for everyone. The hard part can be figuring out who you are, and what you want to be, and standing up for that—in any part of your life and career.

One piece of fashion advice for women?
BJ: Don't wear anything you don't love and feel good in. Have courage. Try new stuff out . . . Remember, your hair and makeup and lipstick color are your major accessories.
LJ: Wear what you love and what looks good on you, not what the trends of the moment are. You can be inspired by what others are wearing, but choose things that make you look and feel good.



Summer Fridays at DBGB; Paella Happy Hour at Barraca

Plus: New Taste of the Upper West Side and Broadway stars at Schmackary’s.

May 28, 2013

Drafts and plateaus at DBGB

Drafts and Plateaus at DBGB: If you’re lucky enough to have summer Fridays at your office, DBGB Kitchen & Bar is offering a “drafts and plateaus” special between 1 and 6 p.m. on Fridays, beginning this week. Two liters of draft beer (local and international selections) will be offered with three sizes of plateaus teeming with oysters, lobster tails, whelks, periwinkles, and more, starting at $55 for the petit plateau. You have all summer to take advantage of this deal. 299 Bowery, 212-933-5300

Paella Happy Hour at Barraca: Stop by Jesús Nunez' West Village restaurant Monday through Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. and enjoy a complimentary order of paella with each wine, house-infused sangria, or specialty cocktail purchase. Paella varieties range from seafood to pork belly and sangrias pack the flavors of spring: peaches, lemon grass, lavender, and more. Promotion continues through Labor Day. 81 Greenwich Ave., 212-462-0080    

Broadway Stars at Schmackary’s: The cookie flavor possibilities at Schmackary’s are virtually endless, and to celebrate its one-year anniversary, the Hell's Kitchen bakery will feature its best-sellers with a twist. Broadway stars will work behind the counter throughout this week (from 3 to 6 p.m.) and half of proceeds will go to Broadway Cares and Equity Fights AIDS. Eden Espinosa (Wicked), Laura Osnes (Cinderella), and Ryan Steele (Matilda and Newsies) are all slated to volunteer. 362 West 45th St., 646-801-9866

New Taste of the Upper West Side: There was a time when the Upper West Side didn't register on the restaurant radar. Those days are over, and if you don’t believe it, just check out the New Taste of the Upper West Side on May 31 and June 1. The best restaurants—from Jean-Georges to Dovetail—in the area will be offering samples of their award-winning dishes to benefit the Columbus Avenue Streetscape Project. Tickets start at $105 per guest. Columbus Ave. between West 76th and 77th Streets



New Perrier Bottles Nod Andy Warhol

Designs and quotes by the king of pop art grace the brand's latest limited edition bottles.

May 28, 2013

During the early 1980s, famed pop artist Andy Warhol created a series of colorful paint and silk-screen ink works on canvas, and accompanying screen prints, that featured the iconic Perrier bottle. In 1983, for example, he did more than 40 Perrier-inspired pieces. Since much of Warhol's work at that time dealt with everyday products and symbols of pop culture, Perrier, whose involvement in the arts is long and storied, proved to be ideal subject matter for the artist.

Fast forward to June, 2013. Perrier—which turns 150 this year—is introducing its own form of drinkable pop art: A limited-edition series of specially designed bottles with labels featuring one of four Warhol designs and seven Warhol inspirations, such as choice Warhol quotes. Some of our favorite sayings from the series are, "In the future everyone will be world famous for fifteen minutes," "Art is what you can get away with," and, "I have Social Disease. I have to go out every night."

Developed in collaboration with The Andy Warhol Foundation, the series pays tribute to the influential late artist, while also resulting in an endowment to the foundation and its grants supporting the visual arts.  



Comme des Garçons for Converse

The PLAY Pro Leather collection has both swagger and pizzazz.

May 28, 2013

In certain New York circles, the sneakers you wear say everything about who you are. Check out the brand new Comme des Garçons PLAY for Converse Pro Leather collection ($130-$140), a casually playful, fashion-forward collaboration that illustrates the lively creative spirit shared by each of these two iconic brands.

The stars of this collection are four new styles of the Converse Pro Leather sneaker, each showcasing a unique PLAY pattern. The shoe is available in Milk, Black Mid, and Ox silhouettes, and the fun PLAY prints add both Japanese pizzazz and NYC swagger to this classic Converse lifestyle sneaker, which made its grand debut in 1976 as a performance basketball shoe.

Randomly placed on each shoe in an all-over pattern, PLAY's unique heart-with-eyes logo is as quirky as the brand itself; PLAY, of course, is the Japanese streetwear-influenced line from Rei Kawakubo's Comme des Garçons.

"Collaborations are most meaningful when brands merge the individual histories, taking note of what each brand does best, while continuing to innovate and harbor a common creative spirit," says Adrian Joffe, CEO of Comme des Garçons International. “Rei Kawakubo’s new all-over heart design on the iconic Converse Pro Leather silhouette captures the essence of our third collaboration." The collection is available as of today at Commes des Garçons in New York and on doverstreetmarket.comComme des Garçons, 520 W. 22nd St., 212-604-9200



DLB Doris Leslie Blau x ABC Carpet & Home

The new shop-in-shop showcases curated collections of vintage and contemporary rugs.

May 28, 2013

A rotating cast of vintage and contemporary rugs are the star attractions at the new DLB Doris Leslie Blau ABC Carpet & Home shop-in-shop, which rolls out its wares June 4 on the sixth floor of ABC Carpet & Home. When it comes to the finest antique, vintage, and custom rugs, New York designers and decorators have long relied upon Doris Leslie Blau. This anticipated, 1600-square-foot retail space shop-in-shop is the very first time the coveted brand will be available directly to the public, as well as to the trade. 

While Doris Leslie Blau owner and president Nader Bolour says that the new shop aims to continue the brand's tradition of catering to the design community, the expansion into retail certainly marks an exciting development for any New Yorker in the market for gorgeous custom rugs. As such, rugs on parade will be showcased as part of carefully-curated collections, with the themes and merchandise changing every few months. The inaugural theme is a unique, mid-century Scandinavian collection from the 1930s to 1950s.

Doris Leslie Blau's storied New York history began in 1965, when the brand was founded by Doris Leslie Blau, herself a design icon at 82-years-old. At auction, DLB's rare antique pieces have garnered sales totaling $2.2 million dollars. 888 Broadway, 646-602-3332



New Bloody Mary Bar at Lexington Brass

Ring in the holiday weekend with your own perfect Bloody Mary.

May 24, 2013

The Bloody Mary bar at Lexington Brass 

Nothing spices up brunch like a good Bloody Mary. That's why new American bistro Lexington Brass has introduced a new DIY Bloody Mary Bar that invites you to choose your own adventure in terms of spices, rim, and spirit.

Using a card provided by your server and accompanying pencil, you check off the options you'd like. Start with your choice of spirit: vodka, gin, or tequila. Then choose a rim salt (citrus, celery, Kaffir lime and chili) and hot sauce preference—Cholula Hot Sauce, Frank's Red Hot Sauce, worcestershire and/or tabasco. Other custom additions include basil cilantro, dill, green olives, cornichons, pickled okra, marinated onions, pepperoncini, celery, and horseradish. And for a few extra bucks, you can throw in some jumbo shrimp, prosciuitto, an oyster, or bacon.

It all starts, however, with Lexington Brass' homemade Bloody Mary mix, prepared with fresh tomato, carrot and cucumber juice. "The Bloody Mary is the quintessential brunch cocktail," says EMM Group director of operations Todd Enany on the new program. "It's continuously evolving with endless variations. We wanted to offer something fun and interactive, with minimal effort on the guest's part. At Lexington Brass, the guest becomes the creator by choosing fresh herbs, spices, and of course, alcohol." 517 Lexington Ave., 212-392-5976


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