Showtime at The Apollo!

Well folks, Harlem Week is here! Never mind that it lasts a month instead of an actual week... but anyway! It originally was "Harlem Day," in 1974 and was just one day to celebrate this neighborhood and all it has to offer. Harlem may not have the best reputation, but those who swear to never venture into these parts are not adventurous and need to be taught some things.

First of all, it has the famous Apollo Theater! Back when it first came around in 1914, it was known as Hurtig and Seamon's New Burlesque Theater. However, African-Americans at first were not allowed to attend or perform in these shows. In 1933, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia began a campaign against burlesque, and this was one of many theaters shut down. Sidney Cohen opened it again as the 125th Street Apollo Theater in 1934. They took away the burlesque parts of the show and made it a variety review and redirected their marketing towards the African-Americans who lived in Harlem.

The Apollo was then taken over by new management the following year in 1935 and they ran it for many years until yet again new management took over in 1978 and closed again in November of 1979. Finally, in 1981, it was purchased by Percy Sutton who happened to be a lawyer, politician, media and technology executive, and part of a private investors group. He then added a recording and television studio. 

After becoming popular under the new management of Mr. Sutton, The Apollo Theater received state and city landmark status and in 1991 it was established as a private, not-for-profit organization to manage, fund, and oversee all of their programming. Today, the Apollo is known for its concerts, performing arts, education and community outreach programs, and also its amateur night in which aspiring performers can present on a real stage in front of an audience and get a feel for what it's really like to be in the industry.


 

Action Painting Curiosities

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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.

Friday's Feature Cocktail: Pale Belgian Amber Ale

PALM Ale! Found at Arts and Crafts Bar , the same one we reviewed this week! What a perfect drink to celebrate National Belgian day with (Well, it was on Tuesday... but shh!)! PALM ale has been one of the top selling beers in Europe for a long, long time. The moment you take your first sip, you'll completely understand why! It's made with English hops, French barley, and Belgian yeast, representing only the best of European beer making traditions. Surprisingly, it's not a heavy beer, which one would assume based off of the color, but it's actually very light. PALM Ale is a great alternative to traditional pilsners and lagers if you're looking to try something new. So finish that stack of paperwork and head out to Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor and have a taste!

The Arch

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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!

 

Checkmate

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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!

Ten Movies You Probably Didn't Know had a scene in Washington Square Park

Let's face it... we New Yorkers love our city. One thing we do not love though, is the price of some things. For example, $15 for a movie ticket in Manhattan? You're kidding me, right? For being in an apartment with no AC on what is the hottest day of the year.... I think I would still rather sweat it out here than to go to the movies. So instead, let's talk about some NYC movies that have filmed scenes in Washington Square Park.

10) Hackers (1995)

A young boy is arrested by the U.S. Secret Service for writing a computer virus and is banned from using a computer until his 18th birthday. Years later, he and his new-found friends discover a plot to unleash a dangerous computer virus, but they must use their computer skills to find the evidence while being pursued by the Secret Service and the evil computer genius behind the virus. 

A young boy is arrested by the U.S. Secret Service for writing a computer virus and is banned from using a computer until his 18th birthday. Years later, he and his new-found friends discover a plot to unleash a dangerous computer virus, but they must use their computer skills to find the evidence while being pursued by the Secret Service and the evil computer genius behind the virus. 

9) Kids (1995)

   A day in the life of a group of teens as they travel around New York City skating, drinking, smoking, and deflowering virgins.

 

A day in the life of a group of teens as they travel around New York City skating, drinking, smoking, and deflowering virgins.

8) Searching For Bobby Fischer (1993)

A prepubescent chess prodigy refuses to harden himself in order to become a champion like the famous but unlikable Bobby Fischer.

A prepubescent chess prodigy refuses to harden himself in order to become a champion like the famous but unlikable Bobby Fischer.

7) My Sassy Girl (2008)

A sweet Midwestern guy with his life planned out for himself is wooed, groomed, and ultimately dumped by a complicated, elusive gal.

A sweet Midwestern guy with his life planned out for himself is wooed, groomed, and ultimately dumped by a complicated, elusive gal.

6) Fresh (1994)

Michael (or Fresh as he's well known) is a 12-year-old drug pusher who lives in a crowded housing project with his cousins and aunt. His father has become a street bum, but still meets with Fresh on occasion to play chess. Fresh is rather quiet in a crazy world. Fresh's sister is a junkie who sleeps with the dealers who Fresh sells for. As the story progresses Fresh realizes that he doesn't want to sell drugs anymore, he wants out. 

Michael (or Fresh as he's well known) is a 12-year-old drug pusher who lives in a crowded housing project with his cousins and aunt. His father has become a street bum, but still meets with Fresh on occasion to play chess. Fresh is rather quiet in a crazy world. Fresh's sister is a junkie who sleeps with the dealers who Fresh sells for. As the story progresses Fresh realizes that he doesn't want to sell drugs anymore, he wants out. 

5) The Visitor (2007)

A college professor travels to New York City to attend a conference and finds a young couple living in his apartment.

A college professor travels to New York City to attend a conference and finds a young couple living in his apartment.

4) When Harry Met Sally (1989)

Harry and Sally have known each other for years, and are very good friends, but they fear sex would ruin the friendship.

Harry and Sally have known each other for years, and are very good friends, but they fear sex would ruin the friendship.

3) Bad Company (2002) 

When a Harvard-educated CIA agent is killed during an operation, the secret agency recruits his twin brother.

When a Harvard-educated CIA agent is killed during an operation, the secret agency recruits his twin brother.

2) Ghostbusters II (1989)

The discovery of a massive river of ectoplasm and a resurgence of spectral activity allows the staff of Ghostbusters to revive the business.

The discovery of a massive river of ectoplasm and a resurgence of spectral activity allows the staff of Ghostbusters to revive the business.

1) I Am Legend (2007)

Years after a plague kills most of humanity and transforms the rest into monsters, the sole survivor in New York City struggles valiantly to find a cure.

Years after a plague kills most of humanity and transforms the rest into monsters, the sole survivor in New York City struggles valiantly to find a cure.

All bios, links, and posters courtesy of IMDb.com

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. 

Cubism at Its Finest

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Well look at this adorable...thing.

Calling all artists: first one to name this gets bragging rights!

...give up?

This sculpture, located right in between two gorgeous NYU dorm buildings, is a large Picasso statue made of stone using cubism. Considered one of the most influential art movements of the 20th century, cubism artwork is when objects are analyzed, broken up, and then reassembled in a very unique and abstract form.

This statue however, is a reinterpretation of Picasso's original work, "Portrait of Sylvette" and the whole thing, dorms and sculpture included, have now been considered a landmark and has achieved many architecture awards as well.

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.

Is This Tea or Is This...?

Happy Tipsy Tuesday! Thirsty? Just imagine how the people during the Prohibition felt! They were probably desperate for some libations. So much so that along with the Prohibition came the introduction of Speakeasies.  If you've downloaded our app, hopefully you'll understand why we're giving you this little history lesson.

The Tea Room in the village, owned by Henry and June Miller was one of the many speakeasies found in New York City. This one in particular was located in the basement of their home at 106 Perry St. in what is now known as the west village. It opened in September of 1925 but was out of business around December of that same year. Unfortunately, the not-so-happy couple drank all their profits. Seems they were pretty thirsty as well.

Cool, right? Well if you're itching to learn more about tea rooms or have worked up a thirst yourself, download our app from iTunes! We all know that there's tons of stuff to learn about NYC, but learning is always better with a few drinks along the way!

Download our app here: http://tinyurl.com/onzsscs