Chanel's Rebekah McCabe, surfer Laird Hamilton and me at Lever House

Well Blended

Of New York City, author Tom Wolfe once said, “Culture just seems to be in the air, like part of the weather.” You can’t walk a block in this city without experiencing the flavors of abroad—far-off cultures that make New York wholly its own and stand apart from any other city in this country. When I think of the mosaic that makes up New York City, I think of each person from a different part of the world who engenders a sense of patriotism. These are true Americans.

While the term “international” might be considered a euphemism for “foreign,” in this fair city it’s much closer to home than that—it’s in each of us. When our great-grandparents came through Ellis Island beginning at the turn of the century, they were seeking a place where they could live freely and be themselves— a place to practice their cultural traditions and pass down those experiences to future generations. New York City fast became their home; they defined their neighborhoods and continue to do so today.

For this reason we devote an issue to the city’s international flavor, covering cultures and cuisine and highlighting the best that each neighborhood has to offer. We’re also thrilled to have Jay-Z—an international star in his own right—on our cover. And check out our “Wits’ End” on actor/comedian Tracy Morgan, who told me his favorite NYC restaurant is Benihana. And his fitness regimen? “I do heavy fork-lifting,” he says. “You put a plate of food in front of me and I’ll do some heavy fork-lifting.” Enjoy!

 





CRISTINA GREEVEN CUOMO

Tweet me your favorite Jay-Z track from The Blueprint 3 at twitter.com/CristinaCuomo


FOOD CULTURE
A few of my favorite deliciously diverse restaurants (some of which are reviewed in our international feature, "World Within Reach")

Argentinean: Azul Argentine Bistro (152 Stanton St., 646-602-2004)

Asian: Spice Market (403 W. 13th St., 212-675-2322)

Austrian/German: Seäsonal Restaurant & Weinbar (132 W. 58th St., 212-957-5550)

Brazilian: Circus (132 E. 61st St., 212-223-2965)

Chinese: Philippe (33 E. 60th St., 212-644-8885)

French: Bouley (163 Duane St., 212-964-2525); DB Bistro Moderne (55 W. 44th St., 212-391-2400); Jean Georges (1 Central Park West, 212-299-3900); La Grenouille (3 E. 52nd St., 212-752-1495); Le Bernardin (155 W. 51st St., 212- 554-1515); Picholine (35 W. 64th St., 212-724-8585)

Greek: Estiatorio Milos (125 W. 55th St., 212-245-7400)

Indian: Café Spice (72 University Pl., 212-253-6999); Tabla (11 Madison Ave., 212-889-0667)

Italian: Babbo (110 Waverly Pl., 212-777-0303); Da Umberto (107 W. 17th St., 212-989-0303); Il Giglio (81 Warren St., 212-571-5555)

Japanese: Megu (845 United Nations Plaza, 212-964-7777)

Mediterranean: Ilili (236 Fifth Ave., 212-683-2929)

Nouveau American: Dovetail (103 W. 77th St., 212-362-3800); Ouest (2315 Broadway, 212-580-8700)

Thai: Vong’s Thai Kitchen (200 E. 54th St., 212-486-9592)

PHOTOGRAPH BY PATRICK MCMULLAN/PATRICKMCMULLAN.COM

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