Posts Tagged East Village
A research test was undertaken by Sue Fast to finally be able to answer the following question unequivocally: where is the best cheesecake in New York City? Fast came from Vancouver for five days, and recorded her findings in an article for a Vancouver online magazine. Her mission was “to find the ultimate piece of New York cheesecake” in as true to New York form as can be: classic.
Her first stop was Junior’s Cheesecake and Desserts. It doesn’t sound like she was too impressed, attacking it for being lined with a “thin layer of flavorless sponge cake.” Not so New York either, she argued, since most cheesecakes proud of their NYC heritage do not even have a crust. However, since clearly cheesecake testing is a matter of taste, it’s hard to tell if one should trust the criticisms of Fast. One might instead want to look at what tweeter Pacman Wale said about the cheesecake from Junior’s, “if you ever come to New York you need to come here [as in Junior’s] they have the best cheesecake in America.” Hmmm…Who to trust?
Moving on to the second day of Fast’s quest, she arrives at Rocco’s. That seemed to satisfy her palette. She described it as having “the perfect consistency: baked golden and slightly drier on top, creamy through the middle and down to its crustless base. The flavors are a divine blend of cream cheese, vanilla, and a hint of lemon that result in a cheesecake that’s neither too sweet nor too tart.” How close to perfection can one get, one starts to wonder at this luscious description?
Moving on to Vaniero’s Pasticceria and Caffe in the East Village, which has been around since 1894. Apart from the cheesecake experience, Fast senses that she has gone back in time with the eatery’s cluttered antiques on the shelves. And as for the cheesecake itself, it is hailed as being “absolutely delicious.” It is creamy, light and “exquisitely smooth.” It seems like she’s found a winner.
But does that really man that Vaniero’s in the East Village indeed does possess the best cheesecake in New York? Again, it really is subjective and ultimately depends on your personal style and taste. For example, for tweeter J. Leandra, it seems simple and inexpensive fit her bill, as she tweets quite unequivocally, “New York cheesecake from Walmart the best.”
And ultimately, really it doesn’t matter which one you decide to indulge in. As tweeter Shannon King concluded, New York is a great place to be when your favorite dessert is cheesecake.
Looking for that perfect performance art space that you have only dreamed of? Well you can make up and smell the stage lights; Performance Space 122 is just what you have been dreaming of. Located at 150 First Avenue at East 9th Street, PS 122 is a revamped public school now housing two performance spaces and one gallery space.
Expect the unexpected here, where the shows are inevitably innovative, avant garde and experimental. Presentations of theater, dance, music, film and video are all welcomed at PS 122.
Now in performance at PS 122 are “Newyorkland,” presented by Temporary Distortion; Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company’s presentation of the “Untitled Feminist Show;” and The Team’s performance of “Mission Drift. “
All shows are running now through February 4th. For more information call: (212) 477-5829 from 10am to 6pm.
Interested in architecture? Then the Center for Architecture at 536 LaGuardia Place is worth a visit. The Center for Architecture is the home to the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter, and is a lively nonprofit organization which prides itself on providing a large number of invaluable resources to the public and to professionals in the building industry.
The Center sponsors exhibitions, programs and other special events which strive to constantly improve the quality and increase the sustainability of the built environment. Goals of the Center include facilitating dialogue between design, construction and real estate communities while also encouraging collaboration all over the world.
Currently there are three exhibitions at the Center for Architecture. Building Connections 2011 will be shown until February 11, 2012, and brings to the public a selection of student work from the variety of communities served by the Center. The exhibit showcases the Center’s hands-on, project-based approach to teaching, including drawing, 2-D design and 3- model-making.
Until January 21st 2012 the exhibit Buildings = Energy will explore how it is possible to change our cities and out environment by taking a new, unconventional look at energy and its use.
Closing soon, on January 4th is the third exhibit at the Center, Building Back: 30 Years of Growth in New York City.
For more information on the Center for Architecture and any of these exhibits, call the center at: 212.683.0023
There is no shortage of great things to do, parties to go to, entertainment to see, while you are welcoming 2012 in the East Village this year.
• The Central Bar at 109 East 9th Street will be serving drinks for five hours at their open bar on two floors to celebrate the arrival of the New Year. Appetizers will be served, party favors distributed, and a live DJ will help you ease into 2012. Eight big screens and a champagne toast will add an exciting touch to the celebration. 212-525-5333.
• The Forum is at 127 4th Avenue and is planning an unforgettable party for the hippest New Yorkers, including models, financiers and many of New York’s upper crust residents. The Forum is designed as a nod to the great Roman Forum of Julius Ceaser, including Corinthian columns and other classic details. The premium bar will be open for five hours from 9pm until 2am and a performance by one of the world’s premier DJs will make this a New Year’s you won’t forget.
• Percy’s Tavern at 210 Avenue A is offering three options to celebrate the New Year. General admission is $10 which gives you an entrance to the bar where you can hear the Itinerants play, live. For $40 guests have access to a four hour open bar, and for $65 revelers can have the open bar and also a delicious dinner. (212) 228-4885
Happy New Year to all our friends in Lower Manhattan and the East Village.
In the heart of the East Village, directly across the street from Tompkins Square Park, is a wonderful little club called the Lakeside Lounge.
Found at 162 Avenue B, they feature just one band each night, and are determined to always start the show on time. The venue is unique, and a great opportunity for new bands just getting heard. The bands are not paid, and the listeners are not charged a cover. Noise is a problem, and the club says the next fine they will pay will cost them $9,000, so they do not book overly loud bands, and do not turn up the volume. That might suit many listeners just fine.
Bands who have played at the Lakeside include:
- Andre Williams
- Graham Parker & the Rumor Steve Earle & the Dukes
- Rudy Ray Moore (aka Dolomite)
- Hasil Adkins
- Dee Dee Ramone
- Go To Blazes
- Martins Folly
- Waco Brothers
- Freedy Johnston
- Spanking Charlene
- Chip Robinson
It is always free to get in to the Lakeside Lounge, and they are open from 4pm to 4am every day. You must be 21 or over to get in. Call 212.529.8463 for more information.
Not far from the East Village is the newly renovated Hotel 17, a chic place to stay which will not break the bank. Located at 225 East 17th Street, its centralized location puts you within a short walk of some of lower Manhattan’s hottest places, such as Gramercy Park, Greenwich Village and Washington Square Park.
Hotel 17 has been visited by a long list of celebrities, models, actors and actresses, including Madonna who actually lived at the hotel before she hit stardom. Woody Allen shot the film Manhattan Murder Mystery at Hotel 17.
Today there are 30 full-time tenants in the hotel, leaving the other 90 rooms available for temporary stays. Most rooms require guests to share the bathroom, but this inconvenience is made up by the fact that the communal bathrooms are all new, renovated with bright tiles, and kept immaculately clean by a 24/7 clean-up crew. Most rooms do have their own sink and hairdryer, though.
There is no restaurant or room service; no business or fitness center. Hotel 17 screams, “Get out and see New York!” Staying at Hotel 17 lets you keep some of your money to do all the great things you came to New York to do.
Looking for a bit of nostalgia in the nostalgia capital of the world? You need look no farther than a cozy little shop in the East Village called Amarcord Vintage Fashion.
Owners Patti Bordoni and Marco Liotta hail from the fashion center of the world, Italy, the main focus of their seasonal travels in search of the perfect vintage goods from the 1940s to the 1980s with which to stock their shop.
Specializing in handbags, watches, jewelry, shoes and other vintage women’s items and accessories, Amarcord opened its doors in 2000.
New York Magazine and The Village Voice showered kudos on Bordoni and Liotta, voting Amarcord Vintage Fashion the “best vintage store” almost immediately upon their opening eleven years ago, as well as last year on the occasion of their tenth anniversary.
Stop by Amarcord and pick up some Gucci, YSL and Alaia from days gone by and indulge in a little nostalgia yourself.
Near Lafayette Street on Great Jones Street, at number 9, is a wonderful little night spot called the Ace of Clubs. This underground, dimly lit space with worn wooden floors and an authentic attitude appears to have captured the raw vitality of the heyday of rock and the birthplace of punk.
Yet this apparent sleaze joint has been lifted a notch or two by the clients the Ace of Clubs is trying to attract. Using wine and single-malt whiskey as the enticement, a classier patronage is clearly longed for, and acquired.
Expect to hear some old style rock on most nights, with an occasional tip of the hat to country sounds. There are also comedy nights and drama evenings where the excitement of encountering something new and promising pervades the atmosphere. The Ace of Clubs is worth a visit, you may need a calendar when you emerge to check you are still in the 21st century and haven’t been transported back to a crazier time.
Life in the East Village will definitely not be the same without the iconic Life Café around to sit a while and watch the people go by. After thirty years on Avenue B and East 10th Street right across the street from Tompkins Square Park.
The reason for the closure was posted on the restaurant’s web site, explaining that repairs which were promised by the landlord a year ago, which were never carried out, is forcing the closure until the crucial repairs are completed. The website posted that: “On this auspicious day of 9/11/11, after 30 years in business, I am closing Life Cafe East Village this evening ‘until further notice.”
It is expected that after the repairs are finished the café will re-open:
“We anticipate a rebirth of Life Cafe sometime in the near future. Thank you for your loyal patronage over the years.”
Jonathan Larson wrote parts of his Broadway hit “RENT” while sitting at a table in the Life Café, and the restaurant itself was also a feature of the action in the show.
“Life Cafe became a space for artists to meet, talk, exchange ideas and perform,” read a passage from the restaurant’s website. “On cold winter days, people came to keep warm because their apartments were freezing cold.”