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Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center 2007
November 29, 2007, 7:19.58 pm ET

Rockfeller's new "green" tree is being lit this year by thousands of energy efficient bulbs powered by solar panels.

                                                                           Photos: Cititour

Los Dados by Andrea Strong
November 25, 2007, 2:40.15 pm ET

Every semester, as some of you know, I teach an introduction to food writing class at mediabistro, an eight-week course where we cover the ins and outs of feature food writing, restaurant reviewing, and the (sometimes frustrating) dance between writer and editor. I like to celebrate the end of our eight weeks together with dinner, usually at a new place, with a chef whose food I like, that will be able to seat about 10-12 of us. Last week we decided to try Los Dados, the new Mexican restaurant from chef Sue Torres (Sueños) and partners Will Regan and David Rabin (Lotus, Double Seven).  more

                                                Photo: Los Dados

Thanksgiving Eve by Thomas Rafael
November 25, 2007, 2:37.42 pm ET

While Thanksgiving is traditionally spent with family, Thanksgiving Eve is a night to spend with friends who are back in town to just catch up. Here are five new places to catch up in before or after Thanksgiving.  more

                                                                              Photo: Cititour

Posteritati by Pamela Grossman
November 25, 2007, 2:33.53 pm ET

You don't need me to tell you, but the holidays are approaching. And with the bustle and the celebration comes...the holiday shopping. Overwhelmed by what to get for whom? Over the next few weeks, I'll be offering some beyond-the-obvious gift suggestions. After all, everyone on your list knows you can find your way to the Gap; but do they know you might offer up, say, original art from their favorite film?  more

                                      Photo: Posteritati

XaiXai by Thomas Rafael
November 25, 2007, 2:29.39 pm ET

Fresh from South Africa is Xai Xai. This new wine bar on West 51st Street in Hell's Kitchen is situated just off Ninth Avenue. On a recent visit the place was buzzing. And with good reason. It has a great vibe and a sleek design, with lots of exposed brick and huge timbers as beams. Candlelit tables provide the romance. Not to mention the nearly 100 wines and nibbles from South Africa!  more

                                                                              Photo: Cititour

Bahoo-Doray! Bahoo-Doray!
November 23, 2007, 10:13.12 am ET

The Grinch is back!  The Grinch returning even as a stagehand strike threatens to scrap the holiday season for the rest of Broadway. 

                                                                              Photo: Cititour

Macy's Great American Marching Band
November 23, 2007, 10:09.24 am ET

                                                                               Photo: Cititour

Saks Holiday Window 2007
November 23, 2007, 10:05.59 am ET

                                                                            Photos: Cititour

Bun by Andrea Strong
November 18, 2007, 6:30.50 pm ET

What Momofuku did for ramen (turn it into a cult favorite capable of inciting frequent foodie riots), Bun (say BOONE!) clearly hopes to do for vermicelli rice noodles. This sleek new Vietnamese restaurant—a lean wood-paneled space decorated with sleeping Buddhas located on a dark stretch of Grand Street, is named for these thin silky alabaster threads (vermicelli rice noodles are called Bun in Vietnam), and they show up in almost every dish served on this “small plates” menu.  more

                                                                                    Photo: Bun

Patricia Field by Pamela Grossman
November 18, 2007, 6:28.39 pm ET

For years, designer/stylist Patricia Field was a star of the groovy-outsider crowd. With hair dyed a changing array of not-found-in-nature shades and an equally unconventional, in-your-face style sense, she seemed unlikely to hit it big in the mainstream. But that’s exactly what she did, via her stylist work on “Sex and the City.” For the shows four main gals, Field created looks and outfits so distinctive that, several years after the end of the series, they are still regularly referenced. I was shopping with a friend recently and asked her opinion of a pair of heels. “Very Samantha Jones,” my friend replied, referring to the show’s guru of sex and PR. And she was right.  more

                       Photo: Patricia Field

Rock n Roll by Lesley Alexander
November 18, 2007, 6:26.03 pm ET

According to the playwright, Tom Stoppard, his new play, "Rock ‘n Roll", newly imported from England, is “partly about Communism, partly about consciousness, slightly about Sappho, and mainly about Czechoslovakia between 1968 and 1990.”  more

                                                                       Photo: Joan Marcus

Working Class
November 18, 2007, 6:21.54 pm ET

With toys tainted with lead paint from China putting the fear of God into parents and shoppers, we thought we'd steer you to this lovely collection of handmade soaps from France that would make a lovely gift for any small child, without the fear. They come in rabbit, elephant and teddy bear shapes with a fresh rose scent. You'll find them at Working Class in Tribeca.  more

Film Center Cafe by Thomas Rafael
November 18, 2007, 6:19.29 pm ET

It was raining and around midnight on a week night. We had just seen a show and began looking for a spot for a late night meal. Kitchens at some of the nearby restaurants had already stopped serving. That's when we spotted the Film Center Cafe. Food is served late here, and lucky for us, it was also Happy Hour with Manhattans going for 5 bucks a piece, a great deal for this part of town.  more

                                                                               Photo: Cititour

The Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center
November 11, 2007, 9:00.56 pm ET

The Rockefeller Christmas Tree has arrived.  It's an 84 foot Norway Spruce from Connecticut.  The tree will be surrounded by scaffolding until the lighting ceremony on November 28th. 

                                                                              Photo: Cititour

T-Bar Steak and Lounge by Andrea Strong
November 11, 2007, 3:45.48 pm ET

This is the story of “When Shameless met Cutlets.” It’s not exactly a love story, but it’s definitely one of two meat-loving souls who I thought needed to find each other. Allow me to explain. Shameless is actually The Shameless Carnivore, a food writer and a friend of Craig’s who’s just written a book (to be released in March) called The Shameless Carnivore—a Manifesto for Meat Lovers. It’s his tale of crossing the country while eating, cooking (and in some cases hunting) 31 animals in 30 days (from elk to squirrel, and rattlesnake), plus eating every part of the bull (Yes, every part. That too. No, he said it was not good.)  more

                                                          Photo: T-Bar Steak & Lounge

Prune by Thomas Rafael
November 11, 2007, 3:42.14 pm ET

 I've always had a strong desire to dine at Prune, but never had the opportunity. That is until the other evening. I was with some friends heading for an after-party at Marion's Lounge when we decided to stop in for a late dinner. It was almost eleven o'clock and the place was still buzzing. Food is served until midnight. You can choose a snack at the bar or a full-fledged dinner. We opted for the latter.  more

                                                                             Photo: Cititour

Pygmalian by Diane Snyder
November 11, 2007, 3:32.29 pm ET

To many, George Bernard Shaw's fabled study of social class in early 20th-century London is My Fair Lady without the songs. And indeed, some scenes in this handsome Roundabout Theatre revival so closely resemble the ones in Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's musical masterpiece that at times you expect characters to burst into song.  more

                      Photo: Joan Marcus


Spoonbill and Sugartown by Pamela Grossman
November 11, 2007, 3:29.58 pm ET

You'd think the Bedford Avenue area of Williamsburg would be filled with independent bookstores. The area (for now at least, though a complete takeover by Condoland might be imminent) is populated mostly by young people in the arts, most of whom live in close quarters in shared apartments and many of whom walk the streets with guitars on their backs. It has the feel of a just-post-college campus; and what's such a spot without books? But there aren't that many bookstores around, independent or otherwise; which makes the existence of Spoonbill and Sugartown somewhat important.  more

         Photo: Spoonbill & Sugartown

Park Slope Farmer's Market
November 4, 2007, 7:37.01 pm ET

Every Sunday through the end of November you'll find some delicious treats at the Park Slope Farmer's Market.  The vendors can vary from week to week.  On our visit we spotted some great wildflowers, crunchy pickles from Dr. Pickle, spicy chutneys from the Bombay Emerald Chutney Company, delicious cakes from Amy's Bread, lots of fruits and veggies, and even some gourmet doggy biscuits from the Bubba Rose Biscuit Company.  The market is located at 3rd Street and Fifth Avenue.

                                                                             Photos: Cititour

A Bronx Tale by Lesley Alexander
November 4, 2007, 7:28.32 pm ET

What kind of a gangster quotes Machiavelli? The kind invented by film star Chazz Palminteri for the revival of his play, "A Bronx Tale". In 1989 the then out-of-work actor wrote this one-man-show to get noticed and it eventually landed him a film adaptation of his off- Broadway play. This time around it's being given a Broadway gloss, with the help of director Jerry Zaks, but the humor and pathos of the story and the extraordinary performance by the actor/playwright still make the show a viable destination.   more    

                                               Photo: Joan Marcus

November 4, 2007, 7:24.28 pm ET

Frankenstein, the new musical adapted from Mary Shelley’s novel, begins performances Off-Broadway this fall starring Tony Award nominee Hunter Foster (Little Shop of Horrors, Urinetown, The Producers) as Victor Frankenstein, Christiane Noll (Witches of Eastwick, Jekyll & Hyde) as Elizabeth and Steve Blanchard (Beauty and the Beast, A Christmas Carol) as The Creature.  more

                    Photo: Carol Rosegg

BarFry By Andrea Strong
November 4, 2007, 4:39.26 pm ET

The writing was on the walls. Literally. In dusty white chalk scratched on the slate gray blackboard: “I love this place!” “Josh rocks!” “Call me at 917-349-XXXX” Let’s get it on!” With all that’s been written about Barfry, chef-partner Josh DeChellis’ cool new temple of tempura, I’ve yet to find mention of the bathroom walls and the wild writing on them. Maybe other writers don’t visit the bathrooms?  more

                                                                               Photos: Barfry

The DRV-IN By Thomas Rafael
November 4, 2007, 4:35.46 pm ET

I remember when you could still find drive-ins around the city, if not in the city proper. In the early '80s, some friends were in from Switzerland and we decided to take them to the Paramus Drive-In. The movie showing at the time was "The Terminator," starring now Governor Arnold Scwarzeneggar. They had a blast, as did I. A few years later the Paramus Drive-In closed and that's really the last time I've been to one. I guess they do exist, if you're willing to travel far outside the city.  more

                                                               Photo: John-Floyd Pardieu

Poppy By Pamela Grossman
November 4, 2007, 4:33.00 pm ET

We knew it would happen eventually, and now it has. The mild weather is gone for the year. No more lounging for hours on lawns; no more cool drinks at an outdoor table. We've got to wear jackets again; sweaters; socks. Even with them, we're going to shiver sometimes. OK, let's be honest: We're gonna freeze our tushies off.  more

                                                      Photo: Cititour

Willie's Dawgs By Thomas Rafael
November 4, 2007, 4:30.26 pm ET

Craving a hot dog? You might want to make a dash for Willie's Dawgs in Park Slope, Brooklyn. The grilled beef dogs are plump and juicy, and have a real good snap to them. My favorite is the "Carlos," slathered with cheddar, salsa and chunks of jalapeno peppers on a homemade challah roll. It's huge, hot and hits the spot every time, although it's so packed that it can be a bit hard to handle.  more

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