Celebrities Pour Into NYC

Celebrities converged on New York City this weekend as there were many events taking place across the five boroughs. It was the NBA’s All-Star weekend the past three days as tributes to the game’s greats popped up all over the city. From the celebrity game to the skills competition NBA Stars took part in the festivities with smiles. Coinciding with fashion week in New York, the NBA put on its own fashion show with some of the games best current players at the center of the runway. Players could also be seen supporting their sponsors stores across town, driving a frenzy into the retailers’ spacesLeBron+James+Celebrity+Sightings+New+York+xrpOZa3t2sul.

Also this weekend was the SNL40 reunion, celebrating the 40 years that Saturday Night Live has been on the air. Comedic, musical, and acting royalty were seen flying into town in preparation for the big night. Names such as Paul McCartney, Kanye West, Kevin Hart, Paul Simon, Derek Jeter, Peyton Manning, and Justin Timberlake among others graced the stage at studio 8h.

Of most celebrities that were present in the city limits over the weekend, Kanye West seemed to be the most active throughout the festivities. On Thursday night Kanye released his clothing line, looking similar to the Dereliqued campaign from Zoolander. Along with the clothing line, a major shoe release took place as well. Limiting his first 1,500 pair of Yeezy Boosts to the New York city faithful, Kanye opened reservation on Thursday night to those who wanted to grab hold of the big sneakers. He later held a free concert in the Flatiron District for all the faithful who wished to brave the cold. Come Saturday Kanye was seen handing out sneakers to his fans at the Adidas store in Soho. Sunday Mr. West was present in the audience for SNL40 where he also performed.

Yes there were many famous faces to be seen in the city this weekend, far more than usual. Now that the holiday break is winding down many will leave to go back to their home cities, but you never know who will pop up in NYC when you are walking down the street so keep your head up when in the mecca.

NYC : Blizzard

The blizzard has come and gone in New York City and it has left most residents with an overwhelming feeling of being underwhelmed. What was being preached as the storm of the century, or “the worst in New York’s history” has turned out to be an unimpressive 6 inches of powder.JUNO

While the snowfall totals are lackluster, the city folks sure were not when it came to enjoying a day off, and a day of fun in the powdery white stuff that turns us all into children. Sledding, snowball fights, snowmen, even skiing and snowboarding were practiced as the precipitation fell. If one were to take a walk through Williamsburg Brooklyn you would have seen snowboarders jumping over cars, doing tricks and laughing as if they were at the terrain park on a Vermont mountain.

So what impact did Juno have other than selling out gas stations and grocery stores in the hours leading up to it? It gave all New York and New England a day of reflection, to remember the times that were much simpler in our lives and to spend a day away from the hustle of the city and enjoy the outdoors with our families.

Thank you Juno for being a constant reminder to for us to stay young at heart, and not to pay too much attention to the weather forecast. After all, remember all those barbeques that were ruined by a rouge rainstorm that passed under the radar of our local meteorologist? Juno served as a good test run in case the “big one” ever does come our way, or if the next ice age comes all at once. For this New Yorker, I enjoyed the day of relaxation across the city, and the comradely that is sometimes lost in this busy town. Until next snow storm, its back to the pavement for this city.

Best Brooklyn Eats

The best thing about loving finding new places to eat in New York City is that you can never stop finding new, interesting restaurants. This city is so big and diverse, it is the perfect place to expand your palate. This week I spent quite a bit of time in Brooklyn, and with the help of Freewilliamsburg.com, I found some great places to eat. For those who do not know, Brooklyn is the borough to the SouthEast of the city and to get there from Manhattan you need to cross the East River. Without further ado, here are my favorite places to eat in Brooklyn.Ari kellen

Bozu
This is a Japanese eatery that specializes in small plates, so more than one might be necessary to temper those strong appetites. The sushi is of course spectacular, as you would expect from a Japanese place. Their shrimp dumplings also left me wanting more by the end of the dish. As far as picking the right poison, Their strawberry vodka with at least 8 years of aging seems to be the go-to.

Radegast Hall & Biergarten
This German Style beer garden is best in the warmer months with a semi-outdoor auxiliary seating area with shared tables. The super long picnic look is perfect for large groups of friends or meeting new friends. Indulge in the decently priced sausage grill out back and drink german beer by the liter to get the Oktoberfest feel, all year long.

Peter’s Since 1969
The best, and most comfort food for the money you spend. It is a dream to walk in and grab some meatloaf and an irresponsible amount of sides and only pay under $10. This place is good for a night in, or a pre-night out foundation. Beer and wine are on deck for those looking to wash down some heavy food with a little spirit. The best part, they deliver.

Hidden Gems of NYC – Restaurant Style

Mulberry ProjectNew York is home to millions of restaurants situated between bright lights and skyscrapers, under bridges and near famous landmarks, but there are also those restaurants that not many people know about. They are the hidden gems that offer an escape from the big city life that comes to us when we think of New York. These hidden restaurants are usually deceiving from their outer-appearances, which are sometimes just doors with no sign, or even down small, uninviting alley ways you wouldn’t normally think to approach.  Sound enticing? Well, here’s a list of some of New York City’s hidden restaurants that’ll astonish you (if you can find them):

 

First comes Freemans, located between Bowery and Chrystie right off of Rivington Street.  Here, you’ll find a sign for “Freeman Alley,” which at first glance looks a bit deserted.  But, at the end of this alley way you’ll find this cozy American-style restaurant, interiorly decorated like an old hunting lodge.  While the taxidermy on the walls may be somewhat intimidating to hear about, don’t be scared – it goes with the whole environment of the restaurant (whose food, by the way, is sure to make you drool).

The next hidden restaurant that should be on your list to find is Bohemian, which is arguably the most coveted restaurant to find in all of New York City.  Located on Great Jones Street in NoHo, this restaurant is kept tightly hidden behind a Japanese butcher shop.  But once you find it, you’ll feel you’ve discovered buried treasure, with a $55 dollar six-course tasting menu, the Japanese cuisine that Bohemian is known for is truly out of this world.

Another Japanese restaurant on this list of hidden gems is Sakagura, which serves authentic Tokyo-inspired meals, including soba noodles (handmade) and artistically displayed salmon roe.  Sakagura is located on 211 E 43rd Street underneath an office building, where you’ll definitely be seeing some high-class business folk.

Last on this list is Mulberry Project, located at 149 Mulberry Street in Little Italy, well-equipped with an invigorating list of mixed drinks.  You may second guess the location of Mulberry Project, as it is situated beneath a small souvenir shop for those touring through Little Italy.  But don’t be shy, because once you’ve had their signature Project Burger, you’ll think of every souvenir shop you pass in a whole different demeanor.

If this list just isn’t enough to fulfill your quest to find delicious, hidden restaurants in New York City, check out Guest of a Guest’s reveal of ten secret restaurants in New York City.  Bon appetite (and bon chance)!

Things to do in NYC for the Holidays

Holiday time is here in New York City and yours truly, Ari Kellen is home for the holidays having just finished finals. I got a chance to visit the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center as well as the one at Bryant Park and it was just as magical as it was last year. The Rockefeller tree is easily the most visited in the city, it attracts millions each year to take pictures, ice Ari kellenskate below it, and to share in the holiday spirit no matter religious denomination. I managed to take some pictures of the tree while passing through and attempted to try out a time lapse, check it out below!

Besides the tree, here are some other activities to explore in the greatest city in the world during the holiday season.

Holiday market at Chelsea Market and Bryant Park:
Its chilly outside but Bryant Park fills you with holiday warmth and it offers great opportunities to pick up some straggling holiday gifts at their outdoor market. Remember, theres great hot chocolate and coffee there too! Chelsea Market offers the popup holiday sale inside for those less inclined to brave the elements this December. Both of these markets will remain open until December 24, 2014

Macy’s Holiday Windows:
An amazing light show will be projected onto the Broadway side of the super-department store from December 10th to 31st to keep boyfriends attentions while their ladies shop till they drop inside.

Prospect Park Fireworks:
On New Years Eve if you are looking for a reprieve from the drinking festivities, talk a walk down to Prospect Park for fireworks. They will be serving hot beverages and have live music all night in nearby Grand Army Plaza.

Christmas Lights and Cannoli Tour:
My personal favorite is the Xmas lights and cannolis that takes place one of the tourist busses. It runs through Brooklyn, NY and bring the patrons on a tour that takes them by the most decorated neighborhoods in the city. The Brooklynites show off their lighting prowess and stops at Bella Luna Pizza for hot chocolate and cannolis to cap the night off.

To see more, click here.


 

Check out my picture of the tree as well as a hyper lapse of my walk through Rockefeller, don’t blink or you might miss it!

Click here for the video–Ari Kellen

Ari Kellen Xmas Tree