Action Painting Curiosities


Number 46 Carmine Street in New York City. This building was once home to the famous abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock. Pollock is most famous for his "drip paintings," (can been seen at The Met and MoMA) and he basically revolutionized painting be redefining what it meant to create art. Jackson lived in this building in the 1930's while he was studying at the Art Students League.

Although these paintings may look like Pollock just threw paint randomly (which he did) at the canvas, there was also a subconscious method he used where he saw himself "inside" the painting.  This is called "action painting," otherwise known as "abstract expressionism." This art is not mainly known for the process in which it's created, not so much the final product. 

If you'd like to learn more about this artist, you definitely should visit The Metropolitan Museum of Art or The Museum of Modern Art, both located in New York City.

The Arch


This magnificent arch was once just plaster and wood, erected in 1889 to celebrate the centennial of President George Washington's inauguration. The people who came up with this idea obviously did something right, as it became very popular and only three years later was replaced with a permanent marble arch designed by New York architect Stanford White.

Standing at 77 feet tall, this beautiful arch is focused around Washington's ideas of war and peace. It's hollow and contains a stairway up to the roof. Rumor has it that at one point a civil war veteran was living inside the arch! No one knew until one day someone spotted his laundry hanging up to dry!

The park is now a very popular spot now. Many people from all over nyc come to hang out in this park, along with many nyu students because it's practically on their campus.

One other cool thing about the park is a certain row of houses just outside of the park. They are actually known as "the row," and New York's elite moved here in 1820. Now, most of it is owned by New York University, but Artist Edward Hopper lived here for quite some time with his wife in #3 Washington Square North until he died in 1967. He lived there for about 54 years. Also, in the famous 2007 film, I Am Legend, Will Smith's character had the address , 11 Washington Square North. How cool!




Can  you believe that one of the many things Washington Square Park is known for is chess? Believe is or not, tons of chess playing legends have sat in these same seats before and after they became legends.

Being one of the two most known parks in our beloved city,  Washington Square Park is a little under just ten acres of beautiful green things. Living in the city, it's always nice to go into the park and remember what grass looks like, right? 

The park in named after President George Washington, who was actually inaugurated nearby at Wall St. in 1789, back when NYC was the capital of the United States. It wasn't always a park though, in fact, back when it was actually a cemetery it was home to over 20,000 New Yorkers who are still buried there to this day. Talk about creepy, right?!

If you're not totally creeped out, maybe this will do the trick. The park was also an execution site and houses the world's oldest tree ever. Standing for 340 years now, the elm tree AKA The Hanging Tree has been the last sight for many people. People would come from all over to see people hanged from this 110 ft tall Elm tree. The last hanging was done in 1820 and the limb from which the hangings took place was removed in 1992. 

Whose wondering now if this park is possible haunted?

ACBP, E, F, G...

Okay, so maybe that's not  how the alphabet goes, but who cares? 

Today we are talking about a bar where the owners are known as "the beer whisperers," the Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor.The thing that's so special about this bar is exactly what's in the name, great beer and great art. While it is a beer bar, it still has a far better selection of wines than most other beer bars. It also has great bar food! Who doesn't love a steaming hot soft pretzel? 

Now this beer is amazing, as we've already clarified, but why? Well,  Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor has a high tech subterranean beer cellar right under your feet!. This "Bugatti of beer taps," makes absolute sure that the beer you're drinking is always served at exactly 32 degrees. There's nothing more refreshing than a nice cold beer on a hot summer day.The cellar also features a custom-made chill room for their kegs and bottles to keep them at the perfect temperature.

Now for info on the beer! Don and Bob (our beer whisperers), always make sure their bar features 24 great tasting beers on tap and are always very knowledgeable and able to help you find the perfect beer for you, as is their great staff. If beer is your thing, go ahead and do the "run of the board." which is a tasting of all 24 beers on tap. If beer just isn't your thing however or you're too scared to try the run of the board,  try a tasting flight: your choice of either 6, 12, or 18 different beers. They also have growlers to go if you don't want the party to end when you head home.

They have up different art exhibits as well and they change every few months or so. So you should definitely hit up this bar and go try some beer!

Fridays Featured Cocktail: Kalimotxo

The Kalimotxo- red wine mixed with Coca-Cola or white wine mixed with Sprite. Best served on the rocks. We found this gem in the east village at a Basque inspired Spanish restaurant called Huertas. This drink is very popular in Basque culture. It has a very unique flavor, so if you're feeling adventurous or have to find a wine to drink red wine without it being too dry, this is your best bet.

According to their website, "The name Huertas translates to orchards, or small gardens. These orchards dominate the landscape of northern Spain". 

One of the things this restaurant is known best for though, is their hot dogs window. Hot dogs made with chistorra sausage, a variety of pork sausage seasoned with paprika. These things are mouth watering and delicious. So start your weekend right and go check out Huertas, grab a Kalimotxo and a dog and pig out. 

Macaron or Macaroon? The never ending debate

So... for all of you who guesses macaron, go grab yourself a cocktail and enjoy your reward while you read on! For those of you who guessed macaroon.... read on and educate yourself. Okay, you can grab a cocktail too. The actual way to pronounce macaron is "mah/kah/roh." These sweet little pastries often get confused for another because of the pronunciation and call them macaroons, but let's not get started on that rant.

Today we are talking about Bisous, Ciao Macarons!

As popular as the macaron is with the french, it was actually invented circa 1533 in Italy by a woman who ended up marrying the King of France and the rest is history.

Macarons are basically elegant sandwich cookies whereas macaroons are chewy and coconutty. Personally, the macaron is way better and anyone who says otherwise is wrong.

Anyway, back to these delicious treats! Anyone whose ever had one of these knows how amazing they are!  No other treat can compare. This store is so cute and  you can't miss it. The flavor they have range from the classics such as vanilla, salted caramel, and raspberry and to the seasonal flavors like cherry blossom and passion fruit. Mouth watering, right? Well go try some for yourself! Or if you're too lazy, admit it, we all are, they deliver! 

Blind Tiger Ale House: Cask Beer Vs. Regular Beer

The Blind Tiger Ale House is one of the best beers bars we've found in all of NYC with over 50 different bottled beers, 28 beers on tap, and some great wine. However, they're very known for their cask beers, which aren't easy to find in the city. Cask beer AKA 'real ale,' is unfiltered and unpasteurized, brewed from only traditional ingredients and is able to mature naturally, but it still contains live yeast. This is definitely not even close to your average beer. It's served nice and cool while being hand pumped into the glass instead of from a keg. Back to the bar,  it's spacious yet has a very cozy feeling. There's great options of drink and food, including the grilled cheese. The bartenders are all very friendly and are willing to help find that perfect tasting beer just for you. Located at 281 Bleeker St, it's open every day from 11:30am to 4am.

A Great Review from ART NERD NEW YORK!

"Art Nerd New York is a guide to cool, hidden, and unique New York City art and art history," and we're thrilled that Art Nerd New York is a fan of Cocktails & Curiosities self-guided walking tours of New York City's Greenwich Village.



Keith Haring's mural is a featured stop on Greenwich Village Walking Tour #2 available on both iTunes and Google Play

Friday's Featured Cocktail: Schöfferhofer Grapefruit

Schöfferhofer Grapefruit is the world's first Hefeweizen grapefruit beer.  Produced by the acclaimed Radeberger GruppeSchöfferhofer Grapefruit is the perfect summer beer.

As the name implies, the wheat beer is  a 50/50 blend of Hefeweizen and carbonated grapefruit juice, best served cold.  With an ABV of only 2.5%Schöfferhofer Grapefruit is the perfect choice when hot weather may lead to generous consumption.  

It's available in a bottle, can, or on draft.  Here in New York City, Schöfferhofer Grapefruit is currently on tap at Arts & Crafts Beer Parlor in Greenwich Village.  It's also available at Fairway.  

Friday's Featured Cocktail: Bronx Moonshine!


Friday's Featured Cocktail is Port Morris Distillery's delicious moonshine, make in The Bronx, New York.  

We sampled the 92 proof Shine at the FLUX Art Fair in Harlem.  It mixes well with just about anything.  From PMD's website: 

Our 92 proof Pitorro originates from The Lush Mountains of Guayama, Puerto Rico. “Pitorro” is puertorriqueños version of “Moonshine”. Our Master Distiller Tio has created this process making changes throughout the years perfecting it to his liking. With his ingredients and preparation he has created a clean version of Pitorro. What makes our Pitorro distinct is our preference to prolong the fermentation process & turn the mash into a beer/wine consistency giving it 14 to 21 days to cure. This process helps with preventing the hangover factor and gives our Pitorro a glassy look similar to perlas (pearls). The history behind Pitorro & its perlas for most Pitorreros (Moonshiners) on the island is that without the perlas the Pitorro is not of good quality.

Where to buy PMD Shine?  CLICK HERE 




PRLog - April 21, 2015 - NEW YORK -- Icebreaker Entertainment, LLC, a multi-brand consumer products company based in New York City, today announces the release of its first Cocktails and Curiosities app for iPhone and Android.  More...

Friday's Featured Cocktail: Mario Batali's "Red Beer"

Mario Batali
Mario Batali

Today's featured cocktail is one of Mario Batali's favorite "hydration beverages," as he recently described it in the New York Times Magazine. The Red Beer:

Two more great quotes from Mario:

"Although the skills aren't hard to learn, finding the happiness and finding the satisfaction and finding fulfillment in continuously serving somebody else something good to eat, is what makes a really good restaurant."  -- Mario Batali

"I really want to be a rock star."  -- Mario Batali

Friday's Featured Cocktail: Gallia Paris

Gallia Paris Logo
Gallia Paris Logo

Brewed in Paris from 1890 until 1968, Parisians mourned when the Gallia brewery closed. After all, Gallia Paris was once the city's ubiquitous brew.  It won the gold medal at the Paris World Fair in 1900 and its brewery in the 14th arrondissement was the largest in the capital.

Enter two 20-something entrepreneurs, who, with the backing of the original brewer's family, resurrected Gallia Paris in 2010.   Today, Gallia is once again available across Paris, on draft at bars and from retailers like Monoprix, Lafayette Gourmet and LaGrand Épicerie du Bon Marché.

Gallia Paris is a lager-style beer, 5.5% ABV and well-balanced.   We look forward to its arrival in the US, but for now we must be content to enjoy it France and the U.K.

Friday's Featured Cocktail: Moonshine!

Today's featured cocktail comes to us from Wisconsin, where a Cocktails & Curiosities fan spotted Junior Johnson's Midnight Moonshine at a local liquor store. We admit we haven't tasted the 'shine, but we're fascinated nonetheless.  We hope a C & C  fan who has tried the concoction will send us a review.

Here's what we know from the website:

"Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moon follows the Johnson family’s moonshine recipe. Every batch is handcrafted in very small batches, made from corn and born in a copper still. Midnight Moon is triple distilled to deliver an ultra-smooth, clean-tasting spirit that is often preferred over the world’s best vodkas."

In addition to plain 'shine, the Johnson family also infuses their moonshine with fruit:  "Apple Pie, Cherry, Strawberry, Blueberry & Cranberry age in the mason jar for several weeks, to ensure each bottle reaches the peak of all-natural fruit flavor before it leaves the distillery."

If you've sampled Junior Johnson's Midnight Moonshine, please drop us a line.  We'd love to hear your opinion.  You can comment below or on our Cocktails & Curiosities Facebook page.

Midnight Moonshine
Midnight Moonshine

McNulty's Tea & Coffee Co.


Open since 1895, McNulty's Tea & Coffee Co. on Christopher Street has an amazing selection of eclectic teas and coffees from around the world.   Without a doubt, McNulty's is old school.  When you step inside you feel like you've stepped back in time. Much of what you see inside - bins, chests and scales - date back to the 19th century and the people who work at McNulty's actually know something about their product.  Over the years we've tried several of the teas and coffees and we've never been disappointed.

If you like your coffee super-strong but not bitter, don't miss the French Roast Java Mountain Supreme.  As my grandfather used to say, "It'll put hair on your chest."

If you are a coffee or tea fan, we definitely suggest a visit to McNulty’s, and it's a featured stop on Cocktails & Curiosities Tour No. 1 of Greenwich Village.

Friday's Featured Cocktail: The Spotted Pig Bitter

Made exclusively for the Spotted Pig and the Breslin by the Brooklyn Brewery, the Spotted Pig Bitter is a cask-conditioned ale hand-pumped from the cellar up to the bar. The Spotted Pig Bitter tastes like a classic English bitter, grainy and very drinkable.   Because it's a cask ale, its carbonation is very light and natural (unlike keg beer, which is pressurized and forcefully carbonated with CO2).

Cask ales, also known as "real ales," are neither pasteurized nor filtered.  They must be served fresh and, therefore, are usually found close to the brewery from which they originate.

Like most all real ales, the Spotted Pig Bitter is best enjoyed at cellar temperature, and it's a perfect complement to the delicious burgers served at both the Breslin and the Spotted Pig in Manhattan, just a few miles from the Brooklyn Brewery.