Author Archives: ar097536

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Live Music Theatre @ 92Y Tribeca

Thank God It’s Friday. One of the most overplayed, yet classic sayings that truly defines a person’s emotions and experiences from the current week. Whether it’s yelled in the subway station or overheard in a nearby stranger’s phone conversation, this phrase resonates the feelings of working class people and their unashamed, honest excitement that it’s finally the end of the week and the coveted weekend can begin once again.

So picture this- It’s Friday night, you’re hanging out with the girls, filled with happiness and laughter from indulging in way too many cupcakes and coffee, and distracted with your friend’s favorite retelling of the funny adventures you had together last weekend. It’s after 7 p.m. and the next activity of the night continues as you travel to the café for a causal-style seating show to hear live music.  

Friday night should become the optimal day to meet up and have an extreme girl’s night out. Thankfully 92Y Tribeca provides patrons with a versatile, yet fresh option for a fun evening activity and destination. Over the years, 92Y Tribeca has swiftly transformed into a well-known, community platform and arts center that regularly host several engaging author panels and ticketed social events. Since its first event in 2009, the establishment has provided their monthly Live at the Café series which has been very positive and beneficial for various young, up and coming musicians residing in the city.

Some of the past live music events included performances by local artists such as Brooke Campbell, JP Schlegelmilch and Jason Myles Goss. As a previous attendant of the past live audience event featuring Brooke Campbell; I can say that the event delivered on its promise, it was certainly a very engaging and energetic musical night. What I enjoyed most about the event, was sitting up close and personal and listening to Brooke Campbell’s original songs. She truly is a class act performer.

Surprisingly, the café is comprised of an intimate, yet coffee-house style audience setting and has friendly customer service at the food counter. For newcomers, this event may feel similar to attending a movie screening at your local theatre except here you can enjoy a performance filled with enticing beats accompanied with a personal pan pizza, a glass of wine or espresso. 

“After attending one of our events at the café, people have visited again with friends,” says Patty. Patty is a current staff member and works with the customer service team at 92y Tribeca’s downtown location. During our discussion, she gossips about their upcoming events in the café.  She says, “Along with the Live at the café series, the center consistently welcomes a large crowd for their popular ticketed musician events that are held each month. There is a wide, growing list of independent singers and bands that perform at the café, and further event details are listed for public view on our website”.  

92Y Tribeca has definitely become an animated local spot for music and entertainment. I completely admire and appreciate their grand mission statement that states their need “To bring together and inspire a diverse community of people from New York City and beyond by providing exceptional programs across the spectrum—in the arts and culture, Jewish life and education, health and fitness and personal growth and travel”.     

This year, the center offered numerous affordable, family-friendly interactive events for the younger children. For instance, the center provides great kids and adult workshops where you can sign up and join one of several hands-on, instructional sessions for beginners who have an interest in playing a sensational instrument.  “92Y Tribeca has successfully implemented a productive, yet comfortable venue for many local New York natives to visit and enjoy with friends and family,” said Patty. Furthermore, with the economy at its increasing level of improvement more events like this should be offered for New York residents and music lovers alike.

To find out more information for upcoming events at the café, you can view the calendar inclusive of a list of all upcoming artists’ performances on the center’s website. Or call their number, 212-601-1000. Be sure to look out for local urban blogs in your area to learn about some of the live events offered to the public.

Posted in Independent Film | 19 Comments

We had a time, at 92Y Tribeca

92Y Tribeca CafeShops, outdoor dining, cigarette smoke and pavement were all the sights which made a constant appearance during the destination trip. Late evening was swiftly approaching as Alex and I traveled to the cafe event at 92Y Tribeca. I was filled with regret after my earlier mishap of forgetting to print out visual aids to pair with my poor hop stop directions. Surprisingly, it was not the subway that failed us this time around; however our trip to the establishment was prolonged by the neglect and narrow-minded walking instructions given to us by several supposed NY natives. Alex dressed to impress in a fierce blazer and dazzling accessories kept us at bay as we walked despite the evident time bearing its mocking face as we continued without progress in reaching the location on 200 W Hudson Street. 

Sometime within 8:40p.m. -8:55p.m., we had finally arrived at the coveted venue for an evening of sophistication and entertainment. At first glance, the wide building held no glamour or welcome sign fit for a social event, but once inside, an intimate setting was in play for a live audience set. The café was furnished with window seating, medium-sized communal tables and countertop refreshments matching the usual coffee- house standard menu. With the exception of  a kosher-coated menu that included bagels, oatmeal cookies, house-made pan pizza, flat-bread hummus sandwiches and the usual brewed pot of coffee & tea. Tonight was one of many scheduled live musical performances hosted in the center’s cafe, known as the Live at Cafe 92Y Tribeca.

Singer and Songwriter Brooke Campbell

 Independent singer Brooke Campbell was the chosen, spirited artist who stood center stage appearing at ease playing her guitar and songs for the audience. At times, she would begin a song with her eyes closed, voice put into drive and lyrics ringing out at will. With each song, she held her guitar closely while strumming the chords with an old- fashioned pick. Despite the small crowd, Brooke was an excellent singer, during the performance her voice never waivers but was consistently soft, and strong. Throughout the night, she proceeded to cater to the audience by singing the heartbroken tunes of her original written songs as well as a few cover songs by beloved country artists.

However, I overly enjoyed her original songs because they appeared to be inspired by her own experiences of  love, loss and happiness. Overall, her songs were sweet and simple which reminded me of the work of one of my favorite artist Norah Jones. After she finished her final set of the night,  Brooke came over to our table and greeted us. I found her to be so down-to earth, and a nice country girl next door. We both happen to have family in South Carolina and personally it gave way to a pleasant feeling that life and music is one big party, and it’s pretty great to be invited. 

Posted in Music, music reviews | 5 Comments

Grand Scale Voice: Female British Soul Artist rising off the charts

Adele, leading Female British Artist

British accents are one of my favorite; in fact my dream year is to backpack through Europe visiting all of the amazing cities like London and Spain. Recently, I have developed an appreciation for great music that derives from the fierce melodies and ballads sung by many talented British female singers. For example, my top three artists would be Adele, Leona Lewis and last but not least Jessie J. These ladies are simply outstanding, bona fide starlets. Immediately, after listening to a few tracks from their debut albums, I was impressed. They have successfully built a fan base in the United States by radiating a soulful, confidence outlook on life and through their passion for music which is truly inspiring.

What I like most about their songs in particular would be the range of versatility presented in their albums. I can select a song that’s upbeat, lively and easy to dance to. Or choose a soft, low ballad that’s filled with a nice harmony that is great to sing along to. With the large variety of up and coming young artist today, it’s actually wonderful to find a set or style of music that you enjoy. Personally, I love the song, “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele, it has quickly become the most played song on my IPod this year.

Universally, it’s pretty phenomenal that Adele and so many other female singers in London represent the rising, fantastic talent that will be setting the course and introducing folks to new, equally fun music material. These artists have cultivated a massive following of fans over a short period of time, and I am happy to say that I’m a part of that category. You may be a casual listener of the usual suspects in the music industry such as Kanye, Jay Z, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga or Brittany Spears. There is nothing wrong with that, my only worth-while suggestion would be to try something different by stepping into some new rooms that will introduce you to some diverse, unique music talents.     


Posted in Music Rant/ love song | 5 Comments

Where for art thou nose rings?

loud. boisterous. weird. interesting. bizarre piercings. These are the words that come to mind when I think of this video showing a lead singer, compelling the onlookers below with her powerful voice and ballad which was slightly irritable. The whole concept of the video escapes me: three woman, one plain, to embracing the nose piercing style trend. One woman wears plain make-up and the other two piles on the bright, funky accessories to build their look! their finally on the roof together and dancing the night away.  She sings and sings and sings some more. overall, I thought it was intriguing to watch.

Posted in Independent Film | Comments Off on Where for art thou nose rings?

Eccentric Delivery

This video expressed the visual elements of the artist and his love for the song. Many people dance to music but this person was jamming to the song. he had his own rhythm. he was filed with excitement,and the song seemed to only heighten his enthusiasm. The song was strong, with a very loud tempo followed by powerful drum tones. The backdrop of the Radiohead video, was still and eccentric. The song and beat was catchy and the perfect sounds to listen to when running on the treadmill. Radiohead is a headliner and their song is justified.

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Grimaldi’s Pizzeria: Family-owned with orginal pies!

Fresh mozzarella cheese over a rich, bittersweet and hearty tomato sauce on a crispy but soft, smoky crust are the reasons why the pizza at Grimaldi’s Pizzeria are insanely delicious and always satisfying. Fortunately for loyal pizza-lovers, the famous restaurant has finally set up a shop at a closer, new location in the recently renovated Limelight Marketplace on Sixth Avenue.

 Despite numerous delays, the restaurant’s staff finalized the preparations and quickly conducted their official grand opening in February. With years of family-owned tradition, service, and dining, Grimaldi’s Pizzeria has become recognized for making “the pizza that made the Brooklyn Bridge famous,” and has since expanded throughout the United States. The renowned menu offers several types of pizza with an assortment of savory toppings, hearty calzones, and a few house salads. Drinks vary from an assortment of non-alcoholic beverages and a list of select beers and wine.

Grimaldi’s Sixth Avenue location has a casual, family-style setting with an undeniably welcoming atmosphere that accents the brimming Limelight Marketplace that is full of colorful and enticing shops. After just three weeks at the new location, the line of customers has grown consistently. The wait time for dining-in varies from 20 minutes to over an hour, but customers can save time by opting to order a pie to-go instead. Taking the meal to go doesn’t take away from the experience at all. It’s still great pizza no matter where you eat it.

Grimaldi’s has sustained their customary tradition of serving pizza by the pie, no exception. So, for those interested in a single slice, you’re out of luck. You’ll have to place an order for their small original pizza, a serving size of three. The small pie is cut in six large portion slices that can satisfy most hungry pizza contenders.

Filled with a layer of fresh mozzarella and tomato sauce, then topped with basil and olive oil, one bite is enough to convince a single patron to happily devour the rest of the cheese pizza. The counter attendant was quick to provide me with suggestions, recommending this pie, he says “It’ a popular item on the menu and it’s the best. No toppings are needed”. I took is word for it and came back 15 minutes later for my take-out order.   

The thin crust is crisp with a nice, dough-like middle. With a combination of fresh, salty mozzarella and Grimaldi’s addictive rich sauce, this might be the best pizza a patron could ever have. Each bite is savory and sweet, made complete by the undeniable, smoky flavor from the oven, which places this pizza over the top. Truly, you haven’t experienced a grand, well-made slice of pizza until you visited Grimaldi’s Pizzeria.

Initially, loyal customers may have sought out this place for the hype surrounding it as a result form the oncoming press streaming from exposure on food network and in print publications. However, they became satisfied and amazed by their well-made original pies and consistently keep coming back. “It’s a great place to come with a group of friends, the pie here is one of my favorites in the city,” said nearby patron.        

Furthermore, now that the traveling time from Brooklyn is cut in half, there are abundant chances for Baruch students and pizza fans to stop by to indulge in a pan of Grimaldi’s famous pies. With their signature coal-brick oven style, inviting atmosphere and swift service, Grimaldi’s Pizzeria is a great family-run restaurant that gets your fix of mouth-watering pizza.

Posted in Food | 3 Comments

Belgium Eats lures Baruch students

For those who have never been to Belgium, take an afternoon and head on over to Petite Abeille.  Located on 1st Ave and in the center of Stuyvesant Town, this restaurant has established a cultural dining spot for patrons to sample cuisines from Belgium.

Immediately, patrons will be at ease as they step inside and view the wide, charming space made complete by its country-side décor and bright checkered table cloths draped over the dining tables.  With several chalk menus posted along the walls of the restaurant, patrons can view the weekly food and drink specials. The printed menu includes an assortment of fine dishes ranging from sweet items for breakfast such as their customer-favorite, Gaufre Chantilly, a liege waffle with strawberry sauce. To a more savory lunch selection for patrons that’s inclusive of fresh mesculin salads, classic Belgian sand-whiches, soups and stews.  With a glance at the menu, patrons will be delighted and eager to try several of the Belgian dishes.  

At both visits, the waiters were attentive and prompt taking our orders; however the food was not delivered to the table swiftly. With light conversations and eager appetites, patrons will be reluctant to wait for long periods of time. Shortly after, the waiters arrived with the plates of food and almost immediately every diner at the table began eating. Overall, all of our plates looked visually pleasing and colorful.

For Breakfast, ordering the Gaufre aux fraises was the right choice; it was plated and served warm topped with a nice helping of whipped cream. Additionally, the waffles were paired with a side of home-made strawberry sauce. These waffles were delicious; it had a soft, fluffy yet doughy interior which made each bite enjoyable. The sauce was overly sweet and sticky but when drizzled lightly over the dish, it really stood out and provided a tasty finish. Patrons should request for a bowl of their maple syrup, it was very bitter-sweet and complimented the waffles nicely.

Croque Monsieur (Grilled ham and Gruyère)

For lunch, ordering the Croque Monsieur, Grilled ham and Gruyère cheese sandwich, proved to be  one more grand choice. The dish was plated and served piping hot, with a side of mesculin salad and crispy Belgian fries. First, the sand-which was flavorful and memorable. Each bite was filled with gooey cheese complete with a nice crunch from the baguette. Patrons who favor a well-made grilled cheese sand-which will be overly satisfied with this savory dish. The salad portion was forgettable, flavorless and lacked fresh vegetables except for one golden ripe tomato that adorned the plate. The fries were crisp, golden- brown and salty, everything you could want from a side-dish. A larger portion would have been appreciated but overall it was a welcomed addition.

To the right of the dining room, the restaurant created a medium-sized gelato station  complete with imported Italian gelato flavors, waffle cones and home-made liege waffles for to-go dessert orders. For a simple, sweet breakfast with a friend, or a simple lunch for one; try dining at Petite Abeille for a courteous restaurant experience.

Posted in Independent Film | 5 Comments

All-time favorite food: Blueberry Pancakes!

Mouth-watering Blueberry pancakes!!!!!!

Pancakes are my dream dish. Why you make ask? Because pancakes are the sweetest welcome, and reward I treat myself to on the weekends. I absolutely love blueberry pancakes, they are my all time favorite.  Every time, whether I’m dining out or whipping up of  plate full of hot cakes at home, I fall head over heels for their golden brown crust and soft, doughy mouth-water center  covered with a massive layer of sweet maple syrup. With an overwhelming school schedule, making a batch of fluffy, delicious blueberry pancakes over the weekend is a lot of fun and my mom loves them. On Saturday morning, you will find me on the stove, flipping pancakes like a pro on the griddle, and enjoying a plate full with my mom while watching another addictive episode of CSI: Miami. For many people, the weekend is the only time slot to enjoy the desired things we are too busy for during the weekdays. It has got to stop. Wake up and grab your mojo cup of coffee and enjoy your fine luxuries during the week.

Pancakes may not be your coveted luxury item, but we all have one. Whether it’s enjoying a bowl of double chocolate ice cream or pasta, playing video games or guitar, hanging out with best friends or shopping, or even the all- time favorite pastime; doing nothing but sleeping, these activities and food items are important and should be an addition to our week. Okay folks, it may seem like I am dishing out alot of talk, but I’m girl that transforms her rambunctious talk into action. Monday, March 21st, I woke up early and went to school but not before going on a hunt around the area for a restaurant/food place that has pancakes on the menu. To my surprise and disappointment, there were very few establishments that made pancakes for breakfast-loving customers like me. Of course, there were the usual Gramercy café, Bagel Express and Papous that dished up mediocre plates of my beloved pancakes but they couldn’t win me over.

Instead, I did what every food-lover with a decent kitchen would do-  I made a container of pancake batter and the next morning I treated myself to a plate of pancakes and enjoyed every bite. What can I say; I love pancakes, and couldn’t live with- out them. And surprisingly, I found Clinton Street bakery, a wonderful restaurant in the city that have expert chefs who make a breath-taking plate of mouth-watering, fluffy blueberry pancakes with a side of creamy maple butter. A Breakfast for Champions!!!!

Posted in Independent Film | 4 Comments

Readings Aloud: event starring Adrian Nicole LaBlanc

As an audience member at the author event on Tuesday evening, I was not anticipating the large welcome that greeted the author and guest lecturer, Adrian Nicole LaBlanc. She stood humble and tall at the podium, reciting brief and long passages from her well acclaimed debut novel, Random Family, a captivating tale about two couples and their true life story. 

Despite, the two-hour long running time, the event was enriching and it gave students and attendants a more realistic capture of the LaBlanc’s thoughts, goals, and vision for her upcoming book which surrounds comedy. Overall, the event was fun-filled, and inspiring!

Posted in LeBlanc Talk | 5 Comments

Subway arrival: Film-maker living the dream!!

Thank God it’s Friday. On Friday, March 4th, this statement floated in my mind and most likely was acknowledged by every other commuter on the 4 Train that morning. Riding the subway car at 7:55 am is a common activity for residents of New York; including a few other comings and goings such as high-pitched music blasted, rude and immature children carrying large backpacks and loud-mouths to match, overcrowded subway cars and homeless natives begging for rider’s attention and money. Except, on that morning’s trip, many commuters got a taste of something original and uncommon; a loud, personal yet persuasive pitch delivered by Mr. Mark Stansberry, an independent short-film maker.

As commuters on the train received his direct and enthusiastic speech; it was clear that his sale approach was both personable and effective. Consistently, he promotes his work by selling DVD copies on the subway for a dollar with the aim of raising money that will fund his upcoming feature short-films. Additionally, Stansberry views his promotion method as an extra benefit, “It will attract more people who will become conscious of local filmmakers in the city and hopefully they will share with others about my work”. Surprisingly, despite a few flaws contributed by many distressed panhandlers the subway cars have proved to be a great platform that provides people with samples of works made by small-time artists/filmmakers.

Independent film-maker Mark Stansberry and his family

Stansberry is a working artist, film-maker and father of eight children. He currently resides in Brooklyn, where he manages his studio, Screen Arts Animation, which has provided him the necessary workspace and platform to create original short-film animations. With over 15 years of experience in the animation and film production industry, he has faced many career challenges and financial difficulties. With determination, he has completely invested time and money to finance his dream. As a self-taught artist, Stansberry took his passion for animations and transferred it into acquiring skills for creating short-films.

In 1994, he went to work and created an original short-film animation series starring the unique leading character “Puddin”, inspired by the imagination and personality of his four girls. With a staff of three inclusive of his oldest daughter and son, he dutifully creates free-style, sketches which are transformed into live short-film animations. Today, many children are discouraged and influenced to pursue careers that will support them financially. Unfortunately, the result following is countless, scattered inventive dreams of being a fireman, baseball player, ballerina, singer, etc. Initially, his interest in film began during his childhood after viewing the time-honored, Disney movie, “Sleeping Beauty”.

Stansberry held onto his childhood dreams and aspirations; he has remained passionate about films. He says, “If you love it, no matter what you have to take the risk”. Currently, his inspiration is derived from the perseverance of legendary Walt Disney and raw talent from well-known filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki. He has always admired their mutual hard-work ethic, motivation and passion for making films. “Both men are relatable and inspiring; they are masters at creating true storylines that captivate audiences,” said Stansberry.

In regards to being an independent film-maker, Stansberry validates that there are positive and rewarding aspects of being your own boss; with a small staff unit and a successful creative outlet, it provides a wholesome production process for his work. Truly, within the city that never sleeps and the millions of residents flowing in and out of the boroughs; there needs to be a highlight of the collective talent and creativity that resides in Brooklyn. He says, “Brooklyn is affordable; its places that artist search for that will provide a platform for work”.  Despite the current economy, Stansberry continues to strive and work towards his dream of creating more sensational, family-friendly short-film animations.

He is a true representation of the rewarding act of doing what you love instead of following the norm of the regular nine to five job. Stansberry believes that people should hold on the one thing their passionate about and stick with it. When asked about the advice he would give to college students and folks in general who are stuck and unhappy with their jobs, he said, “You should always do what makes you happy. “Yes, it has been a lot of years struggling but in the end it’s really worth it!”.

Posted in Independent Film | 1 Comment