Sunday, January 29, 2012

Millionaires' Magician at the Waldorf -Astoria

Steve Cohen

New York City is a place where magic is in the air and just about anything is possible. There is no place where this is truer than at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel where Steve Cohen “The Millionaires’ Magician” plies is special art for royalty, celebrities, government officials and a huge assortment of other VIPs.

Calling his performances “Chamber Magic” Cohen recreates the intimate atmosphere of the popular parlor performances which were all the rage in the 19th century. The number of participants is limited, no children are allowed, and while Cohen wears a tux his guests come attired in formal cocktail party garb, keeping the atmosphere sophisticated, lively and intriguing.

Cohen uses the conjurers of the past who entertained only the members of the grand aristocracy, as his model, and chooses the more subtle tricks of the mind to the flashy “lights and whistles” magic of venues such as found in Vegas.

“I don’t do big, flashy magic,” he told The New York Times. “My magic is more of a thinking man’s magic. Most of it happens in your head.”

Cohen often flies from coast to coast on private jets in order to astound the likes of people such as the Queen of Morocco, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, and even Martha Stewart. Woody Allen once said Cohen’s performance is “a religious experience.”

Performances take place at 7pm and 9pm on Friday and Saturday evenings and 2pm on Saturday afternoons. General admission is $75 and front row seating is $100.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Take the Ferry to Snug Harbor in Staten Island

Snug Harbor Hedge Maze
Looking for something completely different to do in New York City? How about a trip to Staten Island? Take a 25 minute ferry ride-worth the trip just for this- and go take a look at Snug Harbor. This out-of-the-way New York destination was the former home to elderly sailors.

Today the sprawling 83 acres of Snug Harbor is the home to a wonderful collection of 19th century Greek revival buildings.  Visit art museums here and a relaxing, well-tended botanical garden.

Have fun getting lost, and found, in a traditional hedge maze, and enjoy a visit to a rare, but exquisite, Chinese garden. Not to mention the wonderful, panoramic views of New York Harbor and some of Manhattan’s most iconic skyscrapers in an unforgettable view of New York’s skyline from a less well-known point of view.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Bit of Ancient Egypt in Central Park

Right behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Central Park is the oldest man-made object in New York. Known as Cleopatra’s Needle, it was presented as a gift to the United States in 1877 by Ismail Pasha the Khedive of Egypt, and placed in its present position in the park, and unveiled, in 1881.

The obelisk, which is part of a pair whose partner stands along the River Thames in London, was created in 1450 BCE by Pharaoh Thutmosis III for Heliopolis. Ramses the Great added the inscriptions in hieroglyphics 200 years later.  In 12 BC the Romans moved the obelisks from Heliopolis to Alexandria to be decorations for the temple that Cleopatra built in honor of her beloved Marc Antony.  (This is the reason the obelisks are referred to as “Cleopatra’s Needles.”)

Cleopatra’s Needle sits atop Greywacke Knoll in Central Park, where it is surrounded by benches and a landscaped plaza. Stop and rest there; enjoy the scenery while you take in the 180-ton, 68-foot tall, 3,500-year-old obelisk.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Kid Friendly New York

Looking for a fun outing in New York City with kids in tow?  Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. Here are a few events that should not only engage your kids, but you’ll have a blast, too.
Happy Chinese New Year!

•    Happy Chinese New Year: At 1pm on January 29 you and your family are invited to celebrate the beginning of the Chinese Year of the Dragon at a parade traveling from Little Italy down into Chinatown. Marching bands, floats, and lion and dragon dancers will entertain the crowds, beginning at Mott and Hester Streets. Before the parade begins go down to Sara Roosevelt Park at Canal and Forsyth Streets for demonstrations and performances to help ring in the New Year right. For more information contact 917-660-2402.

•    The History Mystery is a musical theater production which takes children six years old and up on a journey to meet some of history’s most fascinating figures, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt and the Wright Brothers, when they were still kids.  At the TADA! Theater at 15 West 28th Street between Fifth Avenue and Broadway on the second floor. Performances will begin on January 20 and ending on February 19. Call for more info: 212-252-1619.

•    Brooklyn’s premier film venue, the BAM Rose Cinemas is worth checking-out for events especially geared to the younger among us. Call them for more information: 718-636-4100.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Gluten-Free Heaven at Rissotteria

Whether you are suffering from celiac disease or just don’t want the gluten, the Rissotteria is the place to go to get your fix of amazing breads, cakes and pizza, all 100% free of gluten. Owner Joseph Pace has worked hard and long to make his restaurant a refuge from the world of glutenous bread products.

The prices are reasonable, but the experience for people suffering from celiac disease is invaluable. There is Italian grilled cheese sandwiches called panini, thick and thin-crusted pizza, and the house specialty, a creamy Italian rice served in northern Italy called “risotto.”

There are also available dry mixes and frozen gluten-free foods to bring home and prepare there. There are pizzas, ciabatta, chocolate chip cookie dough, soups, sauces, and pies for the holidays.  You can be served at a table, pick-up take out, or have the Rissoterria’s special food delivered to your door.

Rissoterria is located at 270 Bleecker Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues in Manhattan. Call for more information at 212-924-6664.