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Gatsby-Themed Pursuits at The Plaza

The iconic hotel presents Gatsby-inspired food, drinks, and a new Fitzgerald Suite.

April 23, 2013

As anticipation builds for the latest film adaptation of The Great Gatsby, the 1920s feel alive and well in New York City—especially at The Plaza. After all, the iconic hotel plays a pivotal role in the story’s plot, not to mention the fact that, back in the day, author F. Scott Fitzgerald himself used to hang out there, oftentimes accompanied by his wife, Zelda.

To celebrate its illustrious Gatsby connections, the new film, and the bygone era it depicts, The Plaza is rolling out a flurry of 1920s-themed offerings. The highlight? A brand new Fitzgerald Suite to be unveiled on May 10, the film's opening night. Located on The Plaza's 18th floor, the 900-square foot suite is a fitting tribute to Fitzgerald. Art Deco design and period-inspired furnishings complement actual images of Fitzgerald and his wife, as well as film stills and inspiring coffee-table books—including, of course, Fitzgerald's complete works.

Meanwhile, in honor of the jazz age, The Rose Club presents a new live jazz series called Gatsby Hour, which takes place every Wednesday and Thursday evening and features a new speakeasy cocktail menu. Also within The Plaza, the Todd English Food Hall is offering Gatsby-inspired cocktails and a themed brunch menu. And ongoing in The Palm Court is the Fitzgerald Tea for the Ages, serving a menu of decadent 1920s delights like curried lobster salad, deviled quail egg salad, smoked salmon with wild sturgeon caviar, and a selection of miniature desserts.

Finally, to complete this nostalgic journey into New York's literary and cultural legacy, mixologist Jim Meehan has created the Moët Imperial Gatsby cocktail, available at The Champagne Bar. And should you have one too many, you can recuperate at the hotel’s Caudalie Vinothérapie Spa, where a Caudalie Grape Gatsby treatment is currently on offer. Fifth Avenue at Central Park South, 212-759-3000; theplazany.com

—Simona Rabinovitch


Daniel Boulud Launches Whiskey; New Spring Menu at Michael's

Tonight only, six of Boulud’s NYC restaurant’s will serve special menus in honor of the spirit.

April 23, 2013

Daniel Boulud and The Dalamore master distiller Richard Paterson

Daniel Boulud is celebrating his newly launched, exclusive whiskey, The Dalamore Selected by Daniel Boulud, with a one-day-only prix fixe menu at his six New York City restaurants. Menus are inspired by Scotland and the spring season, and will include a glass of Boulud’s bespoke whiskey, as well as a whiskey-infused dessert. Participating restaurants include Daniel, Café Boulud, DB Bistro Moderne, Boulud Sud, Bar Boulud, and DBGB Kitchen & Bar. Prices range from $75-$260.  

In other Boulud news, Ramones drummer Marky Ramone will be on hand for a whole hog, four-course dinner ($75) next Tuesday, April 30 at Boulud’s DBGB Kitchen & Bar. Diners will gather at a communal table for the feast of suckling pig and endless pours of beer and wine as Ramone provides the evening’s soundtrack. 299 Bowery,212-933-5300 [Tickets]

Celebrity sightings at Michael’s is enough to cause a case of whiplash, but the new spring menu will be competing for diners’ attention, too. Since owner Michael McCarty tapped chef Kyung Up Lim to revamp the menu and focus on small plates, this favorite media hangout has cultivated a younger vibe. Dishes such as a black sea bass with bok choy bathed in a ginger-chili-lime broth are spot on for spring. Another hallmark of the season is seen in the spring risotto mixed with leeks, peas, and asparagus topped with a fresh organic egg yolk. It’s just another reason to check out this power dining spot. 24 West 55th St., 212-767-0555

This Saturday, at The Dead Rabbit, mixologist Dale DeGroff and author and Ernest Hemingway enthusiast Philip Greene host “Hemingway in Havana,” ($60 per person) featuring four cocktails plucked from the writer’s oeuvre and a 90-minute talk by Greene. (7-9 p.m.) 30 Water St., 646-422-7906 [Tickets]

The most difficult part of attending the 2013 Taste of the Nation benefit could be deciding what to eat and drink. Taking place next Monday, April 29, the event will gather more than 75 of the most recognized chefs and bartenders in support of Share Our Strength, a non-profit working to end childhood hunger. V.I.P. ticket holders ($425) can enter at 6:30 p.m., while general admission ($225) allows guests access an hour later. 82 Mercer St. [Tickets]



Sun-Safe Spring Accessories

BCBGMAXAZRIA's new crop of hats and sunglasses shield skin in style.

April 22, 2013

As the sun heats up for spring, style-savvy New Yorkers know that sunscreen isn’t the only way to block harmful UV rays. Hats and sunglasses can go a long way in shielding your skin and accessorizing your look. As such, New York fashion house BCBGMAXAZRIA presents a selection of warm-weather accessories equally suited for a polo match in the Hamptons or Sunday brunch in the city. On-trend straw hats come in styles and shapes from fedora to asymmetrical to floppy, and hues are wardrobe friendly to go with just about anything. To protect your baby blues, greens, or browns, the brand has introduced a delicate variation of the classic aviator shape, with lenses tinted in shades of grey, brown, and black. Or, go for an angular twist on the sexy cat-eye with a bold 1970s feel. 

—Simona Rabinovitch


Solange Headlines Crossing Brooklyn Ferry Festival

Along with The Roots, TV on the Radio, and a lineup of short films set to original scores.

April 22, 2013


Solange, TV on the Radio, and The Roots will headline the Crossing Brooklyn Ferry festival, an annual music and film event that runs from April 25 to 27 at the Peter Sharp Building in the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Now in its second year, the festival is produced by BAM and curated by Bryce and Aaron Dessner of indie rock band The National.

Literature buffs will recognize the Walt Whitman poem reference in the festival's title. Certainly, Crossing Brooklyn Ferry aims to reflect the open, creative spirit represented by Whitman's classic work, and as such, features singers, songwriters, improvisers, composers, new music ensembles, and filmmakers spanning the spectrum of New York culture.

And speaking of New York culture, DJ and girl about town Solange’s latest EP, True, boasts a contagious pop sound that’s swiftly making her a star, street cred intact. TV On the Radio, one of the borough's most beloved bands, and The Roots, of course, need little introduction. Meanwhile, the festival's other musical performers include the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Antibalas, Clare and the Reasons, Eleanor Friedberger, and Japanther, to name a few.

Chock-full of original scores, the film shorts program includes pieces by Alex Braverman and Poppy de Villeneuve, Matt Wolf, and a film entitled Gowanus Canal by Sarah J Christman. On the art tip, Andrew Ondrejcak will be presenting a visual art installation. All in all, it’s definitely worth crossing the bridge, or ferry, for. 30 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn, 718-636-4100

—Simona Rabinovitch


Wylie Dufresne Opens Alder

Dufresne adapts the fun and whimsy of wd-50 for a more casual, tavern setting.

April 21, 2013

Rye pasta with shaved pastrami at Alder

New York's diverse food culture is among the culinary inspirations behind the East Village's new modern tavern, Alder. The second restaurant by chef Wylie Dufresne, of wd-50, which just celebrated its tenth birthday, this friendly, 56-seat pub focuses on casual yet creative food and cocktails, as well as an approachable and fun wine list.  

Located in the neighborhood Dufresne has called home for 15 years, Alder’s décor is full of personal touches, like door shingles inspired by the chef’s childhood bedroom and wood sourced from his business partner’s farm. To boot, “Alder” is the Old English analog of “Ellery,” Dufresne’s daughter’s name.

In the kitchen, Dufresne and executive chef Jon Bignelli use innovative ingredients and techniques to reinvent New York classics. For example, the Caesar Nigiri is made with Spanish mackerel and takes cues from the Caesar salad. Meanwhile, chicken liver toast is served on cornbread with marmalade and cracklings, and retro pigs in a blanket are made with Chinese sausage, Japanese mustard, and sweet chili sauce. A true house favorite is the rye pasta with shaved pastrami, created in collaboration with sous chef Ryan Henderson.

Alder also offers a unique, mouth-watering cocktail menu created by Kevin Denton. One standout drink is the Zereshk is History, a gin-optional libation made with a rare Iranian berry, which Denton poaches in vinegar and molasses. Another fun beverage is the Love Oolong Time, with tequila (again, optional) five spice powder, grapefruit, and Oolong tea. 157 Second Ave., 212-539-1900 

—Simona Rabinovitch
photography by Jaeger Sloan


Human Giants in Rockefeller Center Plaza

Ugo Rondinone's new public art show features nine colossal stone figures.

April 19, 2013

The giants are coming! Giant, human-shaped stone figures, that is. And to Rockefeller Center Plaza, no less. Next Tuesday, April 23, contemporary artist Ugo Rondinone will unveil his anticipated public installation consisting of nine gigantic granite sculptures.

The show, Human Nature, will be built over the course of four nights and remain on display to the public, free of charge, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for seven weeks (through June 7). Organized by Public Art Fund and Tishman Speyer, the exhibition intends to bring ancient sensibility (think Stonehenge) to Manhattan's modern urban center, where millions of passersby can check out the unexpected artwork and experience the culture clash and connection between present day New York and humanity's ancient roots. After all, nine 16- to 20-foot tall giants are kind of hard to miss—especially considering the contrast between New York's architecture and the more raw, rugged, and archaic aesthetic exuded by the giants.  

If bigger is better, then Rondinone is on a roll: The Human Nature project will expand into other galleries and cities. Next up is New York's Gladstone Gallery, which will show a whopping 37 granite figures next month. In June, 60 other figures will be exhibited at Galerie Eva Presenhuber in Zurich, Switzerland. Other planned exhibits include MoMA PS1, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Nasher Sculpture Center.

Born in Switzerland and now based in New York, Ronodine's illustrious career to date has included many public art projects, as well as paintings, sculptures, and immersive video installations. His neon sign piece proclaiming, "Hell, Yes!" is well known to New Yorkers, as it adorned the New Museum's façade for three years. Human Nature is the latest in a series of public art installations at Rockefeller Center, which have also featured artists like Jeff Koons, Louise Bourgeois, and Takashi Murakami. 49th St., between Fifth and Sixth Ave. 


What We're Reading

Tilda Swinton in wonderland, Hedi Slimane’s first year at Yves Saint Laurent…

April 19, 2013

Yves Saint Laurent creative director Hedi Slimane

Eric Wilson analyzes menswear designer Hedi Slimane's first year as creative director of Yves Saint Laurent. If you like skinny suits, you'll love this read. [The New York Times]

Grubstreet features a fascinating chat between Adam Platt and Michael Pollan, known for his ethical approach to food. Pollan's new book Cooked comes out soon. [ New  York]

In The New York Times Magazine, Jonathan Van Meter meets with "power couple" Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin for this sweeping post-scandal profile piece that explores what the future might hold. [The New York Times]

magazine's May issue has a fantastic photo shoot with the one and only Tilda Swinton, shot in Mexico by Tim Walker and accompanied by a piece by written by Diane Solway. [W Magazine

Curious about median income at each New York subway stop? This Fast Company CoExist graphic spells out "median income for census fact surrounding each subway stop." Super interesting way to see our city. [Fastcoexist

Image VIA


Cherry Launches Cabaret Supper Club

New entertainment program pairs downtown's best DJs with izakaya-style cuisine.

April 18, 2013

New restaurant Cherry has launched a late-night supper club and music program inspired by 1920s Parisian cabaret every Thursday through Saturday night. "A new modern cabaret, I call it," says Tommy Saleh, who curates the talent roster in collaboration with the restaurant’s owner, Jonathan Morr (of APT and BONDST).

Also the creative director of downtown club Le Baron, Saleh looks to the golden age of Paris and New York for inspiration. (A time, he feels, when people were surrounded by amazing music.) The lineup has already featured some of downtown's finest DJs, such as Andrew and Andrew, who, says Saleh, are “a great powerhouse in the art community.” The duo's weekly Friday night event is called Diner’s Club. Other names on the revolving DJ cast include JPatt of The Knocks, Lindsey Caldwell, and Paris-born Olivier Stark, who has a penchant for rare 45-inch records (yes, on vinyl) and great tunes from the 1960s and ’70s. The Rapture will also be on the decks sometime soon.

The music starts at 11 p.m., at which point chef Andy Choi (formerly of Bouley and Má Pêche) will begin serving a special late-night izakaya menu, with many small plates great for sharing. There's even a sake sommelier. Dream Downtown, 355 W 16th St., 212-929-5800

—Simona Rabinovitch


Weekend Recommender: April 18-21

Find the perfect pair of sunglasses, indulge an Italian wine dinner, and toast Elvis Costello.

April 18, 2013


Oliver Peoples will help New Yorkers find the perfect pair of sunglasses this afternoon at Bergdorf Goodman

Oliver Peoples Event at Bergdorf Goodman
Thursday, April 18, 3–6 p.m.
Oliver Peoples founder and creative director Larry Leight is at your service tonight at Bergdorf Goodman. The sunglasses aficionado will help you find the perfect pair for your face shape and personal style at the debut of Oliver Peoples’ new summer 2013 collection. Expect plenty of cat-eye and wayfarer options, as well as a special gift with purchase. Appointments are recommended. Main Floor, 754 Fifth Ave., 212-872-2544

An Evening with the Wines of Salcheto at Il Ristorante
April 18, reception at 7:30 p.m., dinner at 8 p.m.
II Ristorante's inaugural winemaker dinner takes place this evening, with the exciting collaboration of Salcheto winery's Michele Manelli. Considered to be one of the finest wine producers of Italy’s Montepulciano region, Salcheto wines are produced using traditional Sangiovese methods, which, by the way, are also sustainable. Chef Cesare Casella of Il Ristorante has created an unforgettable tasting menu, featuring a surprise lamb dish prepared by the winemaker himself. 903 Madison Ave., 212-517-7700

Tribute to Elvis Costello at Joe's Pub
April 18 at 7 p.m., April 19 at 7 and 9:30 p.m., April 20 at 6:30 and 9 p.m
Pop music tribute show The Loser's Lounge brings its irreverent alchemy of songs, antics, special guests, and showmanship to Joe's Pub this weekend for a three-night stand. Since 1993, session keyboardist Joe McGinty (who has worked with the Psychedelic Furs and the Ramones) and his talented motley crew have been packing houses with enthusiastic fans. The bespectacled subject of this performance’s tribute? Elvis Costello. 425 Lafayette St., 212-967-7555



Sophia Banks-Coloma on Styling New Movie ‘Syrup’

The stylist talks dressing Kellan Lutz and Amber Heard to the tune of $2.5 million in designer duds.

April 17, 2013


Stylist Sophia Banks-Coloma


Stylist turned costume designer Sophia Banks-Coloma has dressed celebrities like Kristin Chenoweth, Amber Heard, and Shay Mitchell. Her latest coup? Costume designer of upcoming indie film Syrup, starring Heard and Twilight star Kellan Lutz. Based on Max Barry's novel of the same name, the “sexy thriller” explores the concept of image versus morality, and features $2.5 million in wardrobe, with ensembles and accessories from the likes of Dior, Givenchy, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Celine, to name a few. We chatted with the Australian-born fashion expert about the film, spring trends, and sex appeal.

What drew you to this project?
SOPHIA BANKS-COLOMA: We started filming in July and I met with the director in February and pitched what I wanted to do. I loved the script when I read it, because I really only do fashion projects. I'm not necessarily going to do Gladiator or something—it's not my skill set. 

Tell us about the film and the characters’ obsession with fashion.
SBC: This movie is sort of about the world of marketing and creating an image. On the surface, [Amber Heard’s character] is a young executive who's making a fair bit of money . . . She lives in a small apartment because she wants to spend all her money on clothes, so I knew it was a woman who cared about her image.  

In many ways, Syrup is a fashion film. Do you think audiences will want to wear what the characters are wearing?
SBC: I hope so! I had the time of my life. I was in heaven every second. It was really hard work, I mean, sometimes we were up till 3 a.m., and then call time at 6 a.m., but I enjoyed every second of it. Working with the cast was amazing.

And the multimillion-dollar wardrobe must have been amazing, too.
SBC: A week before we started shooting, we were waiting and three boxes of Dior arrived, then two boxes of Chloe, and then five boxes of Dolce & Gabbana, and Michael Kors. It just went on and on and on. If you’re into fashion, it was heaven. I didn't have to shop for a few months because I was totally satisfied.

Scenes from Syrup:  

What’s the fashion take-away, as far as outfit inspiration, in Syrup?
SBC: I learned that women can dress for a work environment and also look fashionable. And it is possible to do that day–to-night look without looking too sexy.  

Can you give us an example of this sort of “appropriately sexy” day-to-night style?
SBC: For work things, keep [clothes] serious and tailored but still fitting your body, because we're women and we're in the workplace and we're allowed to own that. I love accessorizing and throwing color and fun things in with the accessories.

So in your expert stylist opinion, what's a key fashion trend for spring?
SBC: Black and white. It's really easy to pull together from your own wardrobe. Grab a black pair of jeans, a black T-shirt, buy a white blazer from Zara, and a white sandal or a black shoe, and you're done. That's such a great, easy trend. It's really slimming and it's very chic. By itself, the blazer trend is really in. Throwing a colored blazer on is a really great thing to do. And all-white is fun, and it looks really chic: white jeans, a basic white T-shirt, then you can throw on a colored shoe.


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