brooklyn

Summer Means Never Having to Wear a Jacket...
Unless you're riding the subway.

Summer Means Never Having to Wear a Jacket...<br>Unless you're riding the subway.

2 Months Left of Summer Eating Fun in NYC! Come get some good good grubbin'!

Food & Comedy:
Building a Brand

Food & Comedy: <br>Building a Brand

The business of building a brand isn't easy, but it can be fun. Especially when your brand is laughing and eating and laughing about eating.

Back to Sch--TOURING!! New Tours Posted!

Back to Sch--TOURING!! New Tours Posted!

New tours have gone, and more are to come! Get your tickets for all that's out there today! East Harlem to Carroll Gardens and much, much more!

Foodie Weekend #11: It's Beertember Ya'll

Annual Italian Festival for San Gennaro.

I know I've been quiet since Labor Day, but aside from the business of putting together the upcoming season's tours, I lost a friend and have been dealing with that for the last couple of weeks, but this is not the post for that. My buddy was an Upper West Sider, and by all accounts he was a foodie and a food professional, so he deserves his own tribute. Stay tuned for more on Gabe in the coming weeks. But until then we've got a weekend to cover! And with the change of seasons in the air, there's plenty to do in this great city!

Thursday:

I would have mentioned this last week, if I'd posted anything, but since I didn't I didn't want to leave off a favorite of mine every September, the annual excuse to go to touristy Little Italy, is The Feast of San Gennaro. Get out your cash and head to Mulberry for food, fun and one of the silliest freak shows around! The Feast ends this weekend so don't miss out!

Burgers & Whiskey go together like peanut butter and jelly, and when that whiskey is bourbon, well that's just what dreams are made of. And tonight you can get them both thanks to the New York Distilling Company, Go Burger and Thrillist! Because tonight is the Bourbon n Burgers Party to benefit The Little Warriors, which is a nonprofit organization that provides outdoor fun to children of our fallen Navy SEALS. And if you use the code "thrillist" at checkout, you'll get 50% off those tix!

Photoville Brooklyn brings together a few of my favorite things: Photography, Food, and Beer! All just a train ride away, or less if you're a neighbor to this pop-up. Starting this Thursday and going through the following Sunday, you can participate in this fun pop-up in a bunch of different ways! Head on over to the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge Park to simply vieweat and interact, or you can check out the schedule for daytime workshops and talks or evening screenings & events.

Beer. For. Days.

Friday:

If you've read my blog before, you know I like me some BEER! And this Friday we're getting another Beer week here in NYC, from Get Real Presents! To start things off, we have NY Beer Day, which is looking to be the largest tap takeover in the WORLD! From 5pm-4am NY Brews will be on offer at Bars and Restaurants throughout the city for a minor $4 a pop! Tickets are only $5 to participate so why miss it? But don't stop there! There's also the Lamb Jam Masters on Monday and Oystoberfest which will be next weekend--I said is was a weeklong event! Check out all of the events and keep in mind that a lot of these proceeds will be going to the NY Mayor's Fund for Sandy Relief and the Food Bank of NY.

Saturday:

Frustrated to be back at work? Well let it all out with a Hammer...by checking out this year's Hammer & Claws Blue Crab Festival with three seatings over Saturday and Sunday. Your ticket to this authentic Maryland Blue Crab Feast gets you unlimited crab and Abita beer at The Tunnel in Chelsea! Get ready to whack some crab!

Recently people around the world were participating in these color runs, but for me that's kind of boring--mostly cuz I don't run and there's no food. But this run my get me to gear up (if I weren't working out of town I'd totally be there!) and take the city by speeded foot! Why? Well it's the 4th annual NYC PIzza Run! You heard correct--the PIZZA RUN! I mean, it's our staple food, so it deserves the respect of a run, right?! Signing up for the run will get you 3 slices of pizza, a t-shirt, after party, and other cool things, but I had you at pizza! Plus, these guys are donating some of the proceeds to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (ironic? hypocritical? yeah, suppose so, but it's still a good cause and good pizza). and you can register for your spot today!

Beer here too! I know, I already mentioned that other Beer Week thing, but if you're looking for some island fun that's outside of Manhattan, then you'll wanna head over to Randall's. The first New York Beer Fest will be starting at noon, and ending at 4pm, so don't dawdle! Of course, there will be BEER, food and music at the Fest, and tickets are available with or without the ferry ride.

If Beer's not your thing, but shellfish is, then you can try out a more historic celebration at the Stone Street Oyster Festival in lower Manhattan. Cuz, well it's also Oyster Week in New York, which once was the #1 place to get those bivalves. There are a variety of events for you to chose from, but given the history of Stone Street's Oyster Shucking past, it seems the most relevant for me to mention on my site!

Fall for some means pumpkins, and for others...Oktoberfest! I like both. But this weekend you can kick off your German Beer-loving celebrations in Brooklyn at the Radegast Hall & Biergarten. They've technically started their holiday drinking this past Tuesday, but the big event that you want to get your bum to is the Pig Roast this weekend! There will be traditional live music, a mug holding competition, the aforementioned roasting of swine and of course, some keg tapping! Admission is free, just pay as you go!

You like Lobstah? How about electronic music? And Brooklyn? GREAT! Then I've got the perfect thing for your Saturday: it's the 1st ever Lobstah Palooza, taking place at The Well in Brooklyn. Not only does your ticket get you entry to this music fest, but you'll also be getting some fresh-as-heck Maine Lobster served up with some super-tasty sides. And that music I mentioned? Provided for your enjoyment from Chemicals of Creation. And of course, being at The Well...there will be BOOZE!

Looking for more of that Latin flavor in your cuisine? Then look no further than Queens, for the annual Viva La Comida! Festival. Jackson Heights is going to be on full display with food and local boutique vendors from the streets of this ethnically rich neighborhood! You have over 30 places to peruse and the majority of them do have food, so come hungry! There's no tickets to buy, just make your way to 82nd Street & Roosevelt between 4-10pm, and get your comida on!

The Tangled Vine specializes in wine and food together. And I'm not just saying that from an outsider's perspective, I know a few people who do and have worked for this great UWS spot. They've told me of their studious efforts to keep up with the evolving wine list. Well, this month they're offering weekly wine tastings to highlight the various wine regions around the world. September is France, and this weekend is all about the Rhone Valley (one of my faves!) The tasting is from 5-7pm and you can book your spot by calling: (646) 863.3896 or emailing: reservations@tangledvinebar.com

Sunday:

Photo Credit: Remember Forever

One of the many great companies that I've had the pleasure to work with is Remember Forever Photography. They offer a variety of courses in the art of capturing life's moments on...memory cards? Clearly I'm out of touch, cuz I wanted to say film. Anyway, this weekend they're delving into the world of FOOD! And because they love their foodies, they're extending a discount your way! If you're interested in signing up for this 3-hour course at Agozar, you can use the code YUMMYPHOTOS when you book online or over the phone: (646) 736-3231 for $10 off. Did I mention you'll get to eat the food you shoot after? Oh, yeah, you do! Spaces are limited so book ASAP!

That's a lot right? But wait...there's more! If you haven't given yourself the time to wander around the streets of Brooklyn's Northside (Williamsburg, Greenpoint), then you can hit it all up this Sunday at the Taste of the Northside event over at the East River State Park. You know enough about these Brooklyn hotspots to know there's gonna be food...REAL GOOD FOOD! Plus, proceeds from your tickets will go to the construction of the Northside Town Hall Community and Cultural Center. Now go get your block party on!

Foodie Weekend #9: BBQ End of Days

Get your final summer kicks in as we enjoy the last of August before LABOR DAY WEEKEND :( Still haven't been to a clambake or a crab boil or a lobster fest like me?! Well let's get this done together!!! Thursday:

O Live Brooklyn wants you to learn about olive oil, so tonight they're offering a 101 class on the subject for a mere $20! You will also walk away with your own bottle of the stuff included in the price. Check out their website for RSVP info.

Do you have a dark side? Well if so you should head to Greenwood Cemetery tonight as it's the last night of Drinks to Die For. The Beer Garden at Brooklyn Historical Society has been taking their brews to the landmarked graveyard to drink amongst the dead this summer and tonight's your final shot to join in on the spooky fun! Drink tickets are only $5, the event itself is free and when else can you drink alongside Boss Tweed, Basquiat, and Louis Comfort Tiffany?!

Today it's her birthday! Dorothy Parker, that is. And the Dorothy Parker Society is celebrating the 120 years of her at the New York Distilling Company. And if you get there from 6-8pm you'll find yourself a specially priced martini for $1.20! The rest of the evening will offer continued happy hour discounts, readings and raffles for your lush self!

Friday:

Before you head out of town for your last summer getaway try a tour of some food trucks by ditching work a little early! Food Truck Fridays will continue, but will your summer Fridays do the same?

Saturday:

The Arrogant Swine is bringing you authentic North Carolina Whole Hog BBQ in Greenpoint! These guys held similar events in the past and wanted to make sure you got your fill of pig before the summer's gone! There's also going to be live music, craft beer from Founders Brewery and a portion of the proceeds are going to good! There are noon and evening sessions as well as VIP tickets for both here!

Get your Margarita on! The first NYC Margarita March has arrived, with tickets still available for purchase! You'll get up to 8 margs at various venues as well as some food nibbles to keep your belly filled. All venues are in Lower Manhattan and you can pick up your pass at The Parkside Lounge between 12-2pm.

If you find yourself in Chelsea this afternoon, why not head west and check out the Blues BBQ taking place at Hudson River Park? The free event will be starting at 2pm, presenting a number of great musicians and some tasty food for your purchase from some of my favorite BBQ joints, like Dinosaur and Delaney!

Alphabet City Beer Co has teamed up with Ventura Sails and Narraganset to bring you beer on the water with their fourth Sunset Cruise to set sail out of lower Manhattan's harbor. Tickets are still available and there will be food available along with the beer on the cruise...in case you're worried about getting stranded for too long without sustenance! And if you'd like to meet your fellow sailing buddies before hitting the open waters, there's a gathering at ABC Beer starting at 4pm.

Pairing food & music is pretty common, and this year's Afropunk Fest is no different. Get your groove on so you can burn some of the calories you'll spend by gorging on some of the great vendors you have to choose from at the event. I mean I even include some of these guys on my tours! The festival take place over Saturday and Sunday, and will also feature Art, Yoga, Shopping and some tricked out bikes on display for you to envy! Admission is free, but if you'd like to skip the lines and donate to the good people that make these things happen then you should take care of it ahead of time.

Sunday:

The Annual Brighton Jubilee Festival is going down on Sunday and is considered one of Brooklyn's Biggest Summer Events. The Russians represent their history and culture and their ties to old Brighton with this celebration that's been going on along Brighton's streets for over 35 years! The event is free and there will be a range of food vendors available for you to buy street eats from. If you've yet to explore Brighton Beach, I'd say this is a great time to do it!

Foodie Weekend #7: Short & Sweet

Well I have a very limited time to post these weekend foodie activities, so I'm hoping I can get it all done without a lot of my fancy wordiness, so I can make it to jobs one and then two today! Oh, what I week! Thursday:

Harpoon Brewery and The House of Brews on Restaurant Row are celebrating the brewers anniversary with a Totally Rad Retro Night--tonight only! Check out what's brewing and buy your tickets before it's too late!

Friday:

PaperMag's 2nd Annual Super(Duper) Market will be starting on Friday and open through the weekend with food offerings to get you through all the other shopping there!

Saturday:

It's time for the 3rd Annual Ice Cream Bonanza from Smorgasburg/Brooklyn Flea. You can check out the Creme de la Creme on Saturday AND Sunday at the East River State Park! Stop Screaming Already!

The Kickstarter Flim Fest 2013 is taking place in Brooklyn, and not only will it feature films that were created using the crowdfunding site, but food will be provided by vendors who also got a kickstart through their campaigns!

Sunday:

Summer means Crab! So get to this Maryland-Style Steamed Crab Feast at the Drink on Sunday end get your fill of Blue Crustacean goodness for a mere $35!

Have a good weekend! And eat well!

Foodie Weekend #6: Chilling Out, FINALLY

Chillin in Cape May

Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of THOSE people--you know, the kind that gets all excited about Summer, freaks out when it's too hot and then cringes as soon as it starts cooling down at all...ok maybe I am a little. I mean I love the beach, when I can go, which I have yet to do this summer! Until THIS WEEKEND! YIPPEE! So, while I'm thrilled to give my AC a break for a few days and I was happy to do a tour today in much cooler climates than the 100 degrees of a week ago, I would be happier if the temps were a little higher given my final escape is now upon us. But I'm not freaking out about it, because either way I will be sitting on a beach, so screw you guys I'm leaving home! ;) BUT if you're not as lucky as I am, or stalking me out to Cape May, NJ...then perhaps you should look into some of the following activities and you can tell me all about it!

Thursday:

Obviously I must mention RESTAURANT WEEK Summer 2013 Edition! Yes, the prices have gone up, but you knew that was going to happen--I mean the monthly metrocard is now $112 so clearly good 'ol restaurant week is gonna change too! Alas it's still much cheaper than what you're usually going to spend for a three-course meal at one of these establishments. So, here's the lowdown: the deals started Monday and continue through at least August 16th (some will continue into September). Lunch is $25 and dinner is $38. While drinks, tax and gratuities are not included, there are usually pretty good pairing options or deals to be had on house wines, etc. Each restaurant can make their own drink options as they'd like. Most restaurants are Monday through Friday only, but some offer weekend menus as well. My advice is always lunch over dinner if they have it, but I would also just see what they offer, as some places are much better deals than others. You can check out the 293 restaurants that are participating at NYC & Co's site. From there most of the menus and online bookings can be accessed and you can narrow your search results by cuisine, neighborhood, meals served, etc. Happy EATING! :) Also keep an eye out around town for unofficial restaurant week deals they're usually better than the official ones, just from places that aren't members of NYC & Co.

restwksummer2013

Several tastes and one vote! Check out the Taste of Chinatown experience today and tomorrow! Several competitors will be duking it out an hour at a time as you make your way through to help celebrate Time Out New York's Chinatown Issue. Tell them who you think does it best--will it be the newbies or the old school? Also--your ticket gets you a comp beer to wash down that Dim Sum!

Friday:

absolut lunch break

If you're a fan of food & Hip Hop, then you're probably a fan of Questlove's, cuz he clearly loves them both (and no that's not a dig at his frame). This Friday you can extend your lunch hour and head over to Marquee for a little midday dance party. While the parties happen every week, for the masses of working stiffs looking for a little break from reality, this week you can shake your hips to the music stylings of famed DJ Questlove. You can read about these funky lunchtime jams in the NYT, or you can experience it yourself! I'd say go for the latter--and take pics!

Saturday:

For a little free daytime fun you can make your way over to Williams-Sonoma at the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle. Tasting Table has brought back it's live demo of the great Sous Chef Series, where you can to watch the masters make the food that you'll then get to taste. In the past menu cards have been provided. And as we're in tomato season, you'll be indulging in some great Tomato tastes from Anup Joshi of Tertulia.

01-Bushwick-Block-Party-2011

Where's Brooklyn at? Well, from me it's South East, but I don't know where you are, so Google it. You're already there you say? Or you wanted to try my Carroll Gardens food tour this weekend but I'm going to NJ for their beaches? OH, I see...well you should definitely check out the Bushwick Block Party then! This year's party includes performances from some of your favorite hipster and non-hipster bands, contests, skate demos, raffles, a photobooth, and lots of FOOD! Roberta's will be slinging pizzas, Yuji Ramen will also be providing pizza--I kid, they'll have ramen for ya! Crif Dogs will be there, Red Hook Lobster, and MORE! See and eat for yourself! Did I mention that 10% of all pizza sales go to charity? I did now!

If I was to pick ONE event to go to this weekend it would probably be this next one...you know, if I were going to be here. The first ever New York State Food and Beer Expo is going to be at the East River State Park in good ol Brooklyn! In addition to the over 20 microbreweries there will be food...of course, it's in the title I know! There will be local vendors represented AND a cheeseburger cookoff! If you get the VIP pass you'll get some food samplings from some greats, including Mrs. Dorsey's Kitchen(a stop on my holiday tour)! My mouth is watering just thinking about it. So let the BIBA of Williamsburg show you a good time and don't forget to take some pics for me!

OK, so I would also want to check out Tequila Fest at Tequila Park. Obviously. Also, as it's in Manhattan I'd probably be more likely to make it. Your ticket gets you 5 tequila tastings and 3 tacos. Tacos and Tequila?! What more could you ask for in the summer. Oh, you want a discount too? Well then you should head over to Urbandaddy. Ask yourself why you haven't been a perks member up until now and sign up! You won't regret it, unless you don't like good deals. Then definitely don't do it. Then, if you're lucky there will still be some discounted tix for Tequila Fest for you.

tp-background3

Actually I'm glad to be out of town for the weekend, because I wouldn't know what to choose...I didn't even get to the Pig Roast. That's right. Those crazy kids at 3rd Ward are having a Pig Roast starting at 2pm. There will be music, dancing, fun activities like double dutch and, of course, FOOD & BOOZE! Get your pork on! Not only will there be your standard slow-roasted pork, but Coolhaus will be there with their amazing ice cream sandwiches! It is summer after all!

Sunday:

Another Brooklyn event, but this one will transport you to the Middle East. A Persian Food Tasting Menu will make you believe you've left NYC and gone overseas. Andy Baraghani will cook for you in his own home, and share with you his Persian roots and the exotic flavors he left behind. You'll get to bring your own beverages to pair with the food form Andy's past. What better way to enjoy your own friends or make new ones than in the comforts of someone else's home?!

persian paradise3

Brunch always. So, go on and get out there. Do it for me! So I can live vicariously through you and then, hopefully I'll have some new tour photos and updates for you next week. And then we can spend the weekend together! :) TTFN

Foodie Weekend #5: HEATwave

HOLY HOTNESS!!!!! Guys, it is sweltering out there! Hence the delay in this post...my brain is not functioning at normal speed. With that said I'm not listing Thursday Activities. As far as I'm concerned you should be staying inside tonight, but that's your call! Hopefully the heat will break tomorrow and you can run around the city eating your way through it as intended by nature. Friday:

Don't worry, a grill you wouldn't have to bring to Queens Farm!

Don't just eat your food, camp with it! This weekend, Queens Farm is having their annual summer BBQ & campout! Grab your sleeping bag and your hungry bellies, and get your tickets for this unique event that will include food, drinks, and dancing! There will be a DJ there into the late night hours for you partying types to dance of the calories from your campfires s'mores! Don't miss out on this opportunity--make sure you purchase those tickets before head out to Queens. And don't worry--coffee will be served in the morning to get you going for the rest of your weekend.

Saturday:

beerandjazz

Beer & Jazz! How's about that combo for a Saturday? The Annual Craft Beer & Summer Jazz Festival will be taking place at Webster Hall on Saturday with two admission times. Depending on your ticket class, there's food available as well. There are some retail vendors that will be providing goods and FOOD for purchase as well. Of course with a craft beer festival the most important part is the beer, and this one includes around 150 different beers for you to taste. You can buy your tickets and find out more information on their site.

Friends and not-so-much, all covered in TOMATO

The Spanish are coming! And they're bringing their strange tradition of tomato-tossing with them! You too can join in on the drunk tomato battling this weekend without having to renew your passport! La Tomatina is the proper Spanish name for this bizarre practice of throwing overly-ripe tomatos at your friends and strangers alike. The good people of Tomato Battle, who've been around the country with this, have finally brought the boozy, messy, musical fun to Brooklyn NYC! Get your tickets and you can head out by noon to start your drinking before the biggest food fight you'll ever take part in begins!

Sunday:

The Gardens that make Carroll unique!

Cool Down on Court Street in Carroll Gardens this weekend! With the temperatures back under 90 degrees, what better way to celebrate than with a late afternoon stroll through one of the most beautiful parts of Brooklyn. For a limited time only I'm offering a huge discount on the tour! 50% off if you book with code 72113Half at checkout!

After the tour, I'll send you over to Dassara for some Danish comfort food! Revolving Dansk is made up of a Danish couple that's taken up the task of creating an underground communities of Danes and those interested in the type of Danish Street Food that's been gaining popularity in Europe and now in the US as well. They've been pairing with local Brooklyn restos to bring you a taste of their homeland, and this Sunday you can find them on Smith Street.

Famed Dane Dog.

Fatty 'Cue is braving the heat and smoking out their resto with Smoked Out Sundays! $35 gets you all you can consume beer, pulled pork, and brisket. You'll also have live music and DJs at the Brooklyn location from 12-6pm.

Foodie Weekend #3: Making Up for Lost Time!

OK, I know what you're thinking--this was supposed to be a weekly blog, but there's hasn't been a post since before Memorial Day Weekend! I know, and I'm sorry. I don't have great excuses...I mean it was my birthday just after that and then I was busy training interns and whatnot, but still, I slacked and I'm SORRY! Especially as there's been so much going on! But, here I am! Back to giving you the SCOOP of the city's foodie happenings. Speaking of SCOOP, there's a lot of ice cream fun going on...I know, it's cheesy, but still true.

I'm Screaming, can you hear me?!

Thursday:

First up, an ode to Game of Thrones, and a competition all powered by you! And foursquare. Basically you have until tomorrow to visit your favorite ice cream joint and when you check in on foursquare you're to hashtag--># the following, if it's your favorite ice cream joint: #gameofcones How do you know which one to go to? Well, like I said, it should be your favorite. Whether that's Big Gay Ice Cream, Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, Il Laboratorio del Gelato, or Coolhaus you should go get some and show your love!

Iron Cone

Speaking of Coolhaus...and free ice cream...we are now! They're running a promotion from now through the 23rd in conjunction with Showtime before the upcoming season of Dexter. FREE Coolhaus y'all! Check out their twitter: @CoolhausNY or in LA: @CoolhausLA for more details on the where and when...I went today, cuz I love Coolhaus and FREE things :) and the sammie is delicious! Vanilla Ice Cream with a Cherry sauce and the cookies represent the light and dark sides of Dexter, which means you get Double Chocolate AND Snickerdoodle, which is great for a person like me, who can't make up my mind when it comes to those awesome cookies!

[gallery type="rectangular" ids="795,796,797,798"]

Or you could check out a brand new Ice Cream shop, called Oddfellows Ice Cream Co. that opened in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and features some yums, like tequlia cream with pineapple!

Also for tonight is a CRAB BOIL! I know! Happening on the Upper West Side (yes, the West side IS the best side) at Ditch Plains tonight and then once a month the next couple of months. So check it out while you can!

Gotta love a good seafood boil!

Friday:

Well Friday brings us into summer as we have the longest day of the year! But, not to fret! The good people at Thrillist NY have compiled a list of activities for you to do on what they're calling the BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE! Download the itinerary and get in on some good and sometimes free eats!

Make the longest day your best with Thrillist!

"Friday Night Bites" is what the New York Historical Society is calling this series of talks and tastes at its home on the Upper West Side, and this one is going to be good! Reps from The Morris Kitchen will be demonstrating some cocktail recipes with historic flare and homemade syrups! Best of all? It's FREE! Just check out the link for information on reservations, etc.

Saturday:

Brewin' it and brewin' it and brewin' it WOW

Satur-DAY Drinking in Brooklyn! Check out Downtown Brooklyn's Homebrewer's challenge starting before noon! You can get your tickets and find out all of the details, like the vendors and which charities they're raising money for (oh did I forget to mention your drinking bucks do good deeds?!) all at the Rally Downtown HomeBrewklyn site.

As everyone knows already, Brooklyn is the place to be. And this Saturday you can pretend you're in Brooklyn by heading to Southern Manhattan, as there are several top BK vendors showing up downtown for a great block party! Smorgasbar at the South Street Seaport is hosting The Almost Annual Big Ten Block Party which will include Sixpoint beers, Marble Hill Ice Cream and many more. Buy your tickets today!

Proud to be a New Yorker during the month of June! It is Pride month after all! And yes, I know that the pride wee refer to is "Gay Pride" (I use quotations as there are a lot more members of the community at large that are in that group of people celebrating pride) With our annual Pride parade happening next weekend, there have been several events throughout the month to celebrate equality amongst all sexual persuasions, identifications, and preferences. And to kick off the biggest, gayest week of them all is a grand old brunch this Saturday at the Mercedes Club in Hell's Kitchen. I mention Big and Gay, as the owners of the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop are going to be judging the synchronized-swimming competition. There will also be some very tasty food offerings from some heavy hitting LGBTQ chef superstars, including the great Elizabeth Falkner! And what brunch would be complete without booze? There will be plenty of Marys...bloody and otherwise as there will be queens as well. And best of all? Proceeds go to charity! Get your tix today!

BIG GAY BRUNCH!

Since we're on the topic of pride, it wouldn't be June without the annual Mermaid Parade in Coney Island, which almost didn't happen this year, due to lack of funds!  Can you believe it?!  I can't! Thankfully, due to crowdfunding, we're back on track with this fantastical event taking place on Sunday. And after the show of Mermaid love, you can grab your tickets to the Mermaid Riverboat Ball, which will include free beer and pizza from one of our vendors, Two Boots! The parade starts at 1pm and the ball at 6pm. And of course, if you'd rather keep your flippers on the land you can also attend the Drunken Mermaid Gala at the Gowanas Ballroom, also starting at 6pm.

Merm-everything!

Sunday:

Tastes like Summer!

Didn't get enough Beer or BBQ this weekend?! Well have no fear the Knights of Bruklyn, Home Brewer's Sentry, 3rd Annual Home Brew Competition is going down at The Bell House & Union Hall! The event starts at noon and your ticket includes some of that BBQ! Get in on this!

If you can't make it out to Coney Island, but you'd like to shop outdoors, then you can head to South Street Seaport Sunday and enjoy the opening of the New Amsterdam Market. Then keep coming back all summer long!

We've got a great forecast coming up so GET OUT THERE and enjoy your weekend! And of course, if you need more help, I can always take you on one of my tours! There's three, 3 to choose from!

Your Foodie Weekend: 1st Edition!

I figured it's about time I start making some weekly posts. Obviously, this one addresses the end of the week...or, as commoners call it, THE WEEKEND! Now, for someone who's been in hospitality for years, the weekend doesn't always mean the same thing to me that it does to most. And being a small business owner, well...it means I have even less time that's just to myself. But I do often get to enjoy some good weekend fun--I am my own boss after all!

And this weekend there's SOO much going on in this city that it's going to be very difficult to get any work done! So what are your options?

First up is the one that everyone's talking about: The GREAT GOOGAMOOGA!

GoogaMess 2012

It sounds like something a child made up...and perhaps it is. It's a weekend full of events including music and lots of food and drinks all set in a big park. In Brooklyn. This is the second year for the (previously over-) ambitious festival, and here's hoping that the organizers and participants have all learned from mistakes of the past! Last year, the lines were unbearably long and vendors ran out of food rather early on, as they were oversold on the event, and so the hoards took to twitter and the critics and attendees revolted. Some lesser folks might be discouraged from attempting this feat once more...ever again, let alone just one year later. But not these guys! They apologized profusely for their mistakes, and those who were there, while they were likely not full at the end of the day, were happy with the selection of vendors, events and music that played. So the organizers have vowed that they've learned from the errors of last year and promise a much better weekend of fun for all who give them a second chance! The kickoff starts tomorrow, 5/17 and runs through Sunday, 5/19 in Prospect Park. You can get your tickets and see more information on the GoogaMooga website.

Gatsby Summer!

Now, if the sound of the sunshine, sweat, and the great Brooklyn outdoors don't seem up your alley there's plenty more going on! Let's bring it up a notch in the class-factor and look to the annual Manhattan Cocktail Classic.

Opening Night Gala. Photo Credit: Belathée Photography

Food and drink outdoors?! Unless you're in the Hamptons, you're NOT interested! And with all of the Great Gatsby hoopla, you'd be a fool to spend your time any other way than the way of the uppercrust, right?! Well celebrate the libations of today, yesterday AND tomorrow, all concocted by some truly masterful bartenders! There are so many events going on for the Manhattan Cocktail Classic that they couldn't fit it all into one weekend! Opening Night Gala will take place tomorrow evening, with various events around the city to take place through Tuesday, the 21st! Take that Googa! But seriously, folks go to their site and check out all the events and information on how to get tickets, and if you wanna bring me along...well you know how to reach me!

Tribeca's FOOD festival

Now, in between, before and during all of that drinking you're going to want some food to fill your belly. Do those other events have that, sure! But so does this one...and plus you know there's rich and famous people with children who will probably not be at the Cocktail Classic, BUT they'll be pounding the pavement of Tribeca!

Tribecan Street Fair

Did I mention there's only ONE day that you can enjoy the Taste of Tribeca? How about the fact that it's all to raise money for Tribeca's public schools? Ah. OK, well now you know--those things are both true! The event takes place on Saturday, from 11:30am to 3pm. You will find it on Duane Street (between Greenwich & Hudson). There's several events for kids to enjoy while you're busy stuffing your face with food from some of the 70 participating restaurants from the area! Check out the schedule and various ticket options at the Taste of Tribeca site. For this one, you should get there early, but I wouldn't imagine that there will be any time that it's empty...we're talking about Tribeca during the brunch rush! There will be strollers!

9th Ave

So you wanna keep it to the street, but you were thinking even more casual and a little further north? We can totally do that...it's the annual 9th Avenue International Food Festival after all!

Block and blocks of food!

That picture looks VERY dramatic, but that's not even a mile of food guys! Not even a mile! On BOTH Saturday & Sunday, the 18th and 19th you can make your way north or south along 9th Ave, from 42nd to 57th Streets and you will be accosted by a variety of worldly scents! The festival opens up at 12 noon and ends at 5pm, both days. And the best part? It's just a big ol street fair, guys, so it's FREE to enter and the food is nice and cheap! YAY! We love that, right?! With so many choices you might feel overwhelmed, but remember you can walk up and down those blocks as many times as you need to burn those extra calories! I wouldn't miss it, but you might be stuck in Brooklyn, so I get it if you do!

And now, I must admit, I've run past my time and I have to run off...but there's still more events to speak of, so quickly we'll pop over to Queens for Smoke 2013: Whiskey, Cigar & BBQ Festival on Saturday, and The Momo Crawl 2013 on Sunday.

Books to Feed...

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I know that we have CINCO De MAYO coming up this weekend, which is one of my favorites! But I have a catering job, so I'm not celebrating! :P So, for anyone else that's not partaking in Tequila drinking, OR you are just interested in checking out things on days that aren't Sunday as well...you might want to check out the Food Book Fair, happening this weekend in Brooklyn. DUH. Rundown NYC made a mention in a recent email about this "comi-con for foodies" and I knew I should pass the info along. I myself am looking for some novels that will take me places outside of a kitchen my that's neither here nor there. If my head was in another place right now I'd definitely be scouring the streets of ol BK for foodie fun and brain eats...in book form. It looks like there's gonna be a bunch of fun events as well, that would be worth checking out for sure. So if you're looking for something different to do this first weekend in May, check it out!

Sum(mer) Upcoming Foodievents in NYC!

I say summer since it's 80 degrees out today, but it's still spring and surely we'll feel it again in a couple days! But until then I will enjoy this outdoor weather, perhaps with a sangria in hand? Either way, Spring in NYC is sooo filled with great offerings that I wanted to point some things out that perhaps you're missing!

citymeals ypc

Drink well, feel good & do good with Citymeals on-wheels Young Professionals Committee. They're having an event on April 18th, to raise money for the great organization that gets food to our New Yorkers that aren't as able to get it for themselves. So schmooze and network all while raising funds for a good cause! You might not physically feel better in the morning, but your soul will at least! The event takes place at Brother Jimmy's on Lexington and 31st from 6:30-8:30pm, and you can find out more, as well as the RSVP info by checking out their Facebook Page.

hot sauce expo logo

What's that you say? 80 degrees still isn't hot enough for you? Oh well then you should definitely head on over to the 1st Annual NYC Hot Sauce Expo! Mark your calendars for April 21st and/or 22nd from 10am - 6pm in beautiful Brooklyn's East River Park! There are VIP tickets available, events of all kinds, including a variety of competitions, but probably the most exciting will be the Screaming Mi Mi Awards! There are dozen of vendors all ready to get you hot & sweaty! Surprise yourself and your tastebuds with a great spring day activity!

googamooga

May's Messy GoogaMooga! I know that it sounds like gibberish, but it's a big ol' music and food festival that happens in Brooklyn. Last year was year one and it turned out to be quite the cray cray experience...or so I read from the tweets, I figured I would give them a year or so to figure things out, but I'm sure they've learned a lot from past mistakes! There will be lots of food, beer & wine to indulge in...I'd just recommend getting there early! So if you're interested, you can buy your tickets online now, for any or all days: May 17, 18, 19. Me? We'll see...perhaps I'll be creating my own food festival in a more reserved tour on the UWS feel free to join me if that's more your speed.

You know the Highline...what about the Lowline? Well this is a fun project that's looking to create some great park space underground in the Lower East Side...yep UNDERground! I think it's all pretty cool and so do a bunch of other people out there, and you can learn more at one of their upcoming April events! Check out the details for April 12, 22nd or 25th at their website and feel free to look around while you're there and make a contribution if it's a project you can get behind as well!

One of the things that I wanted to direct your attention to comes from one of my fave foodie charities, Hot Bread Kitchen. Along with the great programs they have to teach the underprivileged culinary and business skills that they can bring with them into a career to support themselves and their families, they've also got programs to help good food upstarts. It's called HBK Incubates, and they're accepting applications until May 31st.

So there you have some spring activities to put into your calendar and in the meantime you can try sneaking into Whisky Live tomorrow, or just wander around the park--remember the beach may be calling your name, but they're not open for you yet! And as always, you can check out one of my tours for a very fun way to spend your day outdoors!

Spring & Summer Pretty Please!!!

A view from the top, of the Upper West Side.

While the thermometer still isn't quite where we'd like it to be, I'd say we're getting there! And with the dawn of the more happy-making seasons it's time for some new tours!! Plan your days and make some of mine by joining me on my newest food tours!

First up is the Spring Tour!

I'm bringing you to the neighborhood that brought me up, the Upper West Side. Long dubbed a "culinary wasteland", it was always a place of family and beauty, even during the city's darker days. But the food finds have finally caught up to its culturally sophisticated inhabitants! With some of the most expensive addresses on the island, we could ponder for hours why it took so long for restauranteurs to realize the built-in customers they'd have if only they took to opening a location uptown. To our benefit though, whatever the reason is, it's peeled away as we welcome merchant upon merchant into this lovely, homey and historical neighborhood! So let's explore some of this new cuisine that's representative of nearly every continent! And while we taste what there is to offer, we'll also see some of that history I mentioned and if you don't know from your own experiences, let me enlighten you on what it was like to grow up in this town. This used to be my playground, but today it's yours as well!

Next I've got a Friday Tour that'll cover three seasons!

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When I worked in the corporate world it was still in hospitality, which basically meant that "Summer Fridays" were never something I was able to enjoy. :( Now that I run my own company, I'm responsible for my own schedule and I'm forcing myself to work for you and for the greater good of the foodie community! OK, so it's nice work if you can get it! Why don't you join me while you skip he rest of your Friday afternoon and we can enjoy some of the goods fresh of the various trucks and vans and carts that want to feed you in lower Manhattan? Our truckin' culture has evolved to produce some of the best food that you can find in the city...all available from the back (or center really) of someone's oversized vehicle! Food carts started out of necessity, but they've turned into mini-restaurants created out of passionate entrepreneurs with good taste and smart business sense! Forget that "TPS report" and join me for a more fun Friday activity! I'll tell you about that summer that I worked in the heat of my friend's own Feed Your Hole Truck...you know, while we feed our own...mouths!

Lastly, for now is the Summertime Tour!

Glorious Green in Carroll Gardens!

Shortly after St Patrick's Day I was challenged by a former schoolmate to try his corned beef...literally. I'd said it was gross on a friend's Facebook page and he said he could change my mind. When I discovered that he was one of the owners of Court Street Grocers, I decided to take the trip out to Brooklyn and try his house-cured meat (I know, it sounds a lot dirtier than it was)! "Would you like a Reuben?" he asked..."Yes, please!" And sure enough, it was THE best one I'd ever tried! To top it all off I finally had perspective on a neighborhood I knew of, but wasn't at all familiar with and as soon as I walked out of the subway I was inspired. I was originally considering a more midtown neighborhood for the summer tour, but then it hit me that Brooklyn would be a much cooler place to be--in all senses of the word! Not only is it a pretty and quiet neighborhood, perfect for a summer walking tour, but it's rich in immigrant history, culture and a variety of foodstuffs that range from your local corner store to some high-end dinner hot spots. So on this tour we'll explore it all...and just think--without Facebook, it would never have been possible!

Certified Spring!

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  Originally I was going to just re-post this list from Eater NY, which only arrived in my mailbox a couple weeks ago: 50 Reasons to Love New York Dining in the Wintertime Yes, it would have been with irony, since today's the first day of spring according to the calendar. But instead I had the type of day that one wants to share with people, so now that Fun Foodie NYC Tours is officially registered with the City of New York, you can read about the whole experience as recapped on the Subway ride to my next adventure and eventually home.

It's not even noon and it's already been an interesting day. And exciting day to say the least. Just over three months ago I built my website and started my own company; Fun Foodie NYC Tours. However, as a Sole Proprietor, there's little ceremony involved for a tour company that requires little but your own brain. Now that I'm moving forward, I realized it was time to make it official. Official so I don't have  any hiccups with insurance, if I want to open up a bank account or credit card, or perhaps I'll one day grow large enough that I'll want to become incorporated. Either way, after a successful Indiegogo campaign, I decided I needed that stupid expensive paperwork that made it true, that I was in fact operating a business called Fun Foodie NYC Tours.

60 Centre Street
60 centre svu

Using the additional funds raised from earlier-mentioned campaign, I got my paperwork together (one of which I needed in the end of course), and hopped on the train down to 60 Centre Street. The Supreme Court Building--you know it, because it's always the one they use in Law & Order, and every other courthouse exterior shot, because it's so old and grand that it screams to be filmed, it says: "Important things happen here! Take notice!" I thought I had been inside before, but when I was inside it didn't look familiar at all. It's quite a spectacle inside. Not just because of the security (I'm a jaded NYer...I expect nothing less), but mostly because it's such a representative of our crazy mixed up government. So great in scope that it's somewhat intimidating, yet at the core, it's comprised merely of everyday citizens surrounded by old books. And, that last part is actually pretty literal. Not to mention the disconnect from what you're told one day and what you actually have to do the next.

Let's explore the end of that, shall we? So, on the helpful nyc.gov website there are all these tools for small businesses...including a survey or two you can take that will compile a checklist of forms and steps you may want or need to complete in order to get set up. The #1 item on my list is the Doing Business As, or Certificate of an Assumed Name paperwork. This is what led me to the messy Supreme Court site, where the offices of the county clerk are held. Of course, on this screen I'm told that the office is room 161. After I go through security, I have to check my camera, that I even forgot I had on me...damn it, now I just remembered I had it walking around Brooklyn and didn't even use it! What a waste! But getting back to the civic district...I ask the nice armed guard where to go for room 161 and he points me in the direction, where I find out that it's not the right place and I'm to go to the basement for room 109B. Sounds ominous...and it kind of was. When I got out of the elevator, I thought it would only be more appropriate if I the lights were flickering as they were already dimmer than just one floor above. I walk passed some other gated room and find the proper hallway to my left. I enter a room that greets you with copiers and very old, dust-covered books that probably hold the business certificates for City Hall itself! At first I'm excited by the romanticism in the history of the place, but then I meet my (less-than-happy) civil servant who will guide be through the rest of this process, and I'm brought back to reality, with our monotonous, I'm sure, exchange.

This is what the interior of the building looks like...supposedly, it was a lot more grimm when I was there.

Eager New Business Owner (Me): I'm here to register my business. Civil Servant: Located in Manhattan? Me: Yes. CS: Do you have the form filled out? Me: Um...(begin pulling out my paperwork) CS: Is is a corporation? Me: No, sole proprietor. I have something, uh (find what I'm talking about) CS: No, that's not it. (hands me a pc of scrap paper) Write down the name of your business here (as I do so her hands me another pc of paper) and go up to the first floor coffee shop where you can buy this form, then bring it back here without filling it out. Me: OK, thanks.

More of what it felt like inside 60 Centre Street...especially down, in the basement, where the records are kept.
paper pusher

Of course, I think to myself, this is all apart of the game. While there was mention online about a coffee shop on the 1st floor, I didn't see it when I came in so I figured it wasn't real. But when I got back up to 1, I simply asked my old friend in the Kevlar where I could find such a place and he pointed me to the direction of the tucked away shop,, and assured me I would not have to go through all those scanners again....although that could possibly be illegal and if you think too much about it, rather worrisome. But seeing as how I wouldn't be spending too much time there, nor did I have any evil plans, I figured what the hell. Inside the shop the legal forms are advertised, but not displayed. I tell the grayed gentleman which one I need and take note of the signs that snarkily ask you to please pay the cashier for your goods before leaving "let's pretend I'm in business to make money" or something like that. Once I have my form I head back to the elevator rotunda for my lift to the ground floor records room, and my own personal civil servant (too far?) is there to guide me through the complex process of filling out my company name, given name, and address for both. And as he goes to get the paper notarized by a colleague and make copies, I take a moment to absorb my surroundings. I realize that I'm standing in what is the prototype office for caged up government employees. I watch the man who's dressed in jeans and some sort of print-screened shirt as he goes through the motions of pushing my papers through the system so that I may continue to live my life the way I choose to live it, with freedom, flexibility, and joy. I'm obviously drawn into the world of "I wonder". I remember that one of my fellow interns at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater works as a Court Marshall, and I wonder what it is that this guy does on his free time--maybe he's an artist? In a band? Fellow comic of sorts? Either way, this is not his happiness. And I see the pictures around the room of co-workers that pretend to enjoy one another to pass the days by, and as I'm moved to the cashiers cage to pay $120 for a couple pieces of paper, I notice the family photos she has to serve as reminders of the life beyond these walls. Now, I know that I'm making a lot of assumptions here. I know that there are plenty of people out there that don't care about the same things I do...but that's why most of those people tend to live in the suburbs. Seeing these things in, what I believe to be, the greatest city in the world, is like stepping into an alternate universe. Now, this is not my first time being confronted by government employees or government in general, but given the circumstances and location everything was just that much more heightened. Making my gratitude truly sincere when I was handed my receipt and told "Good luck" by a professional money-taker/well-wisher.  The words were appropriate for so many reasons, but most importantly as the whole experience reminded me of just how lucky I am.

On the way out I shared the elevator with my CS man and a few other characters in the building as they politely laughed at one of their stale jokes that I'd say could be heard at any office...but it was about bullet-proof vests, so maybe not. I watched him go to the little coffee shop as I walked out the door and thought how much I wanted him to at least get a coffee outside so he could get some of that mood-lifting vitamin k. But then I figured for all I know he could actually hate the sun...so maybe he's happier to work in a dungeon of records. After documenting my accomplishment, I moved on to my next stop--Carroll Gardens, where I was fed and inspired and further sure that I had just spent a very important $120.

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I hope you've Enjoyed the reading as I now get ready to leave my apartment, that's apparently above a sound studio, to attend a networking event in Chelsea.

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