Chelsea Market

Located on 9th Ave. between 15th and 16th St., Chelsea Market has been created in a building with a pretty famous history: the former National Biscuit Co. dating since 1890’s, and that operated until half a century ago. It might impress you more to know that this is where the first Oreo was created and manufactured – in addition to Fig Newtons, Saltines, Barnum animal crackers and Vanilla Wafers.

In an area that 15 years ago had almost no commercial appeal, almost no pedestrian traffic, was pretty desolate and left to the Hudson River winds, it was bought and reinvented by a visionary businessman in the 1990’s.
While the upper floors have been rented for company offices, the ground floor has been remodeled in such way that the original character of the building not only has been preserved as much as possible, but also enhanced by showcasing it’s character. The result is a an enchanting space that opened in 1997 as a gathering of specialty stores mostly food related, and although it evolved over the years it hasn’t changed much. The wholesale flower shop left and made way for an Anthropology store, a couple of other stores replaced by the others, some fantastic restaurants opened… all in all, evolving is not a bad thing.

There are bakeries where you’ll find bread or cookies, there’s a wine store, there’s a fish market and an Italian market, and much, much more. Wander around and be enchanted – by either the industrialist art so beautifully blended with the original building, or by the little pleasures you’ll find in any of the stores. There is a Jacques Torres counter, there’s a L’arte del Gelato counter, there are Fat Witch brownies or Eleni’s exquisite cookies.

The pictures were taken quite a while ago, but I hope they still show why I love Chelsea Market.

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Spot Dessert Bar

Fab dessert place on St. Marks. In pictures, the green tea lava cake and the yuzu eskimo. Loved the eskimo.


Salt & Fat – Sunnyside

Salt&Fat is a new-ish restaurant on Queens Boulevard. It received pretty good reviews from the beginning and every time I passed by, I found it quite busy. Although it took us a year to try it – I have no idea why we waited so long! – it will definitely be a place we’ll return to.
Don’t let the name of the restaurant fool you: although there’s the occasional bacon in a couple of dishes, there’s no excessive fat or salt in the food. I thought I’d mention…
The food is very tasty, beautifully seasoned and harmonious in textures. It was 4 of us and we got a lot of food, some of the dishes were doubled (the scallops, the oxtail terrine, the shrimp and grits)

Loved:
Yellowtail tartare – yuzu gel, scallions, cassava chips;
Scallops – roasted carrot puree, truffled corn salsa, capers;
Shrimp and grits – slow cooked egg, bacon;
Crispy pig trotter – spicy mayo, slow cooked egg, scallion;
Korean BBQ wraps – marinated hanger steak, pickled daikon, miso;
Fried chicken – pickled daikon, herb ranch dressing

That makes it almost everything, the only disappointment being the oxtail terrine – I don’t know if we expected more, but it was kind of flat. It wasn’t bad by any means, just not fulfilling I guess.

The star of the show, as the entire internet is buzzing about it: the complimentary bacon popcorn in the beginning. I know someone who had about 3 bags of it. (Not me, I swear LOL)

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New World Mall Food Court – Flushing

Full food court, with countless stalls serving food and desserts from different regions of China, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. Pictures of some excellent open dumplings, pig ear, shrimp & fish combo platter among others. I need to take another trip or 5 and gather more pictures.


New York Easter Parade ’12


Jane’s Carousel

Just opened on Friday, Sept. 16th, Jane’s Carousel has become one of my favorite spots in the city already. It’s hidden in plain view in Brooklyn Bridge Park in Dumbo and I expect it will draw crowds faster than a carousel ride.

Made by Philadelphia Toboggan Company in 1922 and originally installed in a park in Ohio, it’s the long time work of Jane and David Walentas who purchased the carousel at auction in 1984. Jane painstakingly removed 62 years of over-paint jobs to reach the original carvings, design and color palette, made carpentry repairs, repainted, re-leafed, replaced missing jewels, mirrors and whatever bits were lost.
Same went for the carousel’s panels, decorative panels and structural pieces. The mechanical system has been updated with a new motor and gear. The result is vibrant and new as well as is retro and nostalgic.

The carousel is housed in a simple yet stunning glass pavilion designed by Frech architect Jean Nouvel. Note in the pictures the (intentional) distortion of the outside world while inside – it’s like a parallel world or a magic cube. I couldn’t stop taking pictures, and believe me – I wasn’t the only one. It’s enchanting, it’s magical, happy, wondrous. Please do yourself a favor and go visit, I’m sure you’ll love it. Young and old, everybody enjoyed the ride with an almost incredulous face.

Meanwhile, enlarge the slideshow and enjoy.


Parked! event – part III (and last)

Part I and Part II

Rickshaw Dumpling Truck started as a physical store (now they have two) and the truck was only natural to follow.

Rickshaw Dumpling

Wafels & Dinges is one of the oldest “new wave” trucks on the streets of NYC (if I’m not mistaken I think they started in 2005?) and they’ve been a success since the beginning.

Wafels & DingesWafels & Dinges
Wafels & DingesWafels & Dinges
Wafels & DingesWafles&Dinges

Sigmund Pretzel started with a physical store at 29 Ave. B and soon their cart has become a traveling presence at diverse food events in the city.

Sigmund Pretzel cartSigmund  salt Pretzel
Sigmund Pretzel cartSigmund Pretzel cart

Wooly’s Ice is yet another shaved ice dessert cart with a physical store at 79 Elizabeth St.
Wooly's IceWooly's Ice

Grillo’s Pickles sells at Whole Foods across 5 states in Northeast, from N.Y. to Maine. The cart is based in Boston, MA.

Grillo's pickles

Mimi & Coco teriyaki balls are a spin on the classic Japanese takoyaki. Their version comes stuffed with shrimp, potato or sausage and get brushed with teriyaki sauce, hence the name or their product.

Mimi&Coco teriyaki ballsMimi&Coco teriyaki balls

And although the lines were long, a good time was had by all.

Wafles&DingesEating, drinking and being merry


Parked! event – part II

In case your missed it, see part I here.

The Cupcake Crew is about ten months old and comes from Brooklyn, rolling on the streets of Manhattan. It has a strong following, as proved by the solid line. Maple bacon cupcake, anyone?

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The Frying Dutchmen sell fries, both potato and sweet potato, and a myriad of sauces (they take suggestions for new ones). On Sunday they also had chicken tenders and chicken wings and the crowds loved it.

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Kimchi Taco is another yet-to-be-one-year-old truck and they will soon open a brick & mortar restaurant in Brooklyn. They sell Korean tacos (Korean BBQ topped with a family recipe kimchi ), vegetarian tacos (tofu-edemame-falafel) and kimchi cheesesteaks, and their line of fans was probably the longest.

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Fojol Bros. of Merlindia (or Benethiopia? as the truck is inscribed, a bit confusing that we’re not clear where they’re from) – for real came from D.C. and they entitled themselves “a traveling culinary carnival”. The menu seems to be inspired by Ethiopian food.

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Mexicue is another truck founded by Brooklynites in 2010 (soon to have a twin) with a physical store at 345 Seventh Avenue in Midtown West (soon to have a twin on LES). They sell “re-invented” tacos and sliders and it’s pretty obvious that they have a huge fan base.

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Parked! food truck event at South Street Seaport

Parked! event at South Street Seaport The Parked! event brought together more than 30 food trucks that are on the beat on the streets of NYC daily. A trend that started a few years back, nowadays creates a bit of controversy: they sell fresh, excellent food at reasonable prices – thus creating quite a drop in revenues for the regular hot dog/pretzel/grilled kabobs cart vendors. Restaurants and chain lunch places are complaining, too. It didn’t take long for the police to start ticketing the new trucks on the block (if parking is a bitch in Manhattan generally speaking, is even more so for trucks that have to adhere to very restrictive rules), or even ban them in the last few weeks.

Here I’ll show you some of the street-food trucks that you’ll find around the city; most of them are really well-known and have a cult-following – twitter is a great tool to find out where your favorite truck is parked, and when. In a couple of instances we’ll see vendors that don’t sell from a truck but from a cart or table and I’m guessing that they were invited at the event because their popularity. I’ll keep it short as so not to bore you, but if you’re interested in details please click the links provided for each company.

The lines for most of the trucks were tens of people deep, to what we estimated it would be at least a half an hour wait. I tried to take pictures of the menus and when possible, of the product. Click on the picture for a larger size.

The next Parked! truck fest will take place on Governors Island on Sept. 5th

Schnitzel & Things launched in 2009. Early 2011 they opened a brick & mortar shop at 723 3rd Ave. (between 45th & 46th streets). See the website for menu, daily location and the schedule of the truck. At the Parked! event they were sold out by 5 pm.

Schnitzel & Things

Gorilla Cheese

The (barely) one year old Kelvin Natural Slush has half an hour lines for the “not your 7-11” slush – flavors like basil (sold out at around 5 pm) and mint, as well as fruit puree slush, made this truck a very popular one from day 1.

Kelvin Natural Slush

Kelvin Natural Slush

The Shaved Ice Shop doesn’t have a truck – they sell at Hester Street fair and other street food markets (see website for locations and dates). Inspired by the Taiwanese street treat, they bring new toppings as granola and charred marshmallows with caramelized corn.

The Shaved Ice ShopThe Shaved Ice Shop

The Shaved Ice ShopThe Shaved Ice Shop

Taim Falafel has been famous for quite a few years as having the best falafel in NYC, since they opened at 222 Waverly Pl. in the Village. Now they also have a truck and tour Manhattan at lunch hour tp the delight of their many, many fans.

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The Cinnamon Snail
heads from New Jersey and sells vegan organic treats. Don’t we all want to be beings of pure light and to serve all creatures simultaneously and eternally? 🙂
If you don’t, many others do – and they lined up to empty their shelves.

The Cinnamon SnailThe Cinnamon Snail
The Cinnamon Snail

More to come…


South Street Seaport – Pier 17

A beautiful August Saturday at South Street Seaport where the Parked! event has happened today. More details and many pictures a.s.a.p. For now, just a few pictures of boats, people, Anais Mitchell and a gentle sunset.

South Street Seaport, Pier 17Music @ Pier17South Street Seaport, Pier 17South Street Seaport, Pier 17South Street Seaport, Pier 17South Street Seaport, Pier 17


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