Taiwanese Bakeries Popping Up in New York

So this is interesting, if not a bit weird. Three celebrities from Taiwan have opened bakery chains in New York. Bake Culture, located at 160-06 Northern Blvd and at 48 Bowery Street, offer pineapple cake, egg tarts and croissants are hope to appeal to Asian millennials. Chun Wu, Vanness Wu and Calvin Chen also plan to open a spot in Midtown.

They already have locations in China, Taiwan and Brunei and are hoping to gain interest from those in New York who remember these boy band members who also acting in a number of movies.

Gilda Radner at the Tribeca Film Festival

If you live in Tribeca and loved Gilda Radner, you’ll want to be sure to make it to the Tribeca Film Festival this year. They are showing a feature-length documentary about her life entitled “Love, Gilda” which features interviews with Saturday Night Live stars who worked with Radner. The movie is directed by Lisa D’Apolito and includes many of Radner’s own words from audiotapes, diary entries and more.

The documentary will premiere on April 18th at the Beacon Theater and the festival runs until April 29.

Go Now to Learn the Art of Playing Go!

Old fashioned games are a great way to pass the time. They keep people engaged and they require thought and strategy that many activities today don’t require. They can also be a social outlet for those looking to engage with others and to interact more. For all of these reasons, some people might be interested to know that the China Institute at 100 Washington Street is offering two five-session courses in an amazingly interesting and complex game called Go.

This game is more than 4000 years old and originates in China. It requires the use of both analytics (left brain skills) and creativity (right brain skills). The classes will be on Fridays from 10-12:30 on:  Jan. 12, Jan. 19, Jan. 26,  Feb. 2 and  Feb 9. For those who prefer a weekend activity, they can take the class on Saturday mornings on  Jan. 13, Jan. 20, Jan. 2, Jan. 3 and Jan. 10.

Go and you’ll have a blast doing so!

The World’s Most Expensive Cheesecake

Just in case you have an extra $5000 in your pocket, you can now spend it on the cheesecake at the Rafele Ristorante in Greenwich Village. Chef Raffaele Ronca offers this crazy expensive cheesecake and Robert Frank from CNBC recently got to enjoy one.

So what’s in this cheesecake? The cheesecake starts with fresh formaggio from water buffalo in southern Italy which is flown in the day before it is to be used. Next, he includes 200-year old cognac that costs $2500 a bottle. He adds in vanilla beans from Madagascar and then white truffles from Alba in Italy.

Next, the cheesecake includes some more flavors and a sprinkling of gold flakes. And he tops it with other goodies that you can read about. The cake is actually in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most expensive cheesecake ever made. It takes five days to prepare.

Of course, if you want to indulge in something delicious that it priced at a regular price, you can enjoy their regular cheesecake for $9 per slice.

New SLT Location Coming to Tribeca

Get ready to rock out with the popular SLT workout. This is a strengthen, lengthen and tone workout that is coming to Tribeca at 93 Worth between Broadway and Church. They are opening the ground-floor studio with room for 12 people in a class and with new M3-SLT machines that are supposed to help to quickly change the body. They are hoping to open in February and it will be the 20th of the SLT locations. Get ready to get in great shape with them!

 

RA MA New York: A Great Experience

If you haven’t heard of RA MA New York, you may want to listen up. This is a Kundalini yoga studio led by Guru Jagat. So what is Kundalini? It’s a yoga style that focuses on mantra-based meditations and percussive breathwork. She started her flagship Venice location a number of years ago and only recently opened in New York.

The New York space includes morning and evening classes and she is currently piloting an idea called yogic coworking. Between 12 and 5pm, members can pull up a cushion to a low-Japanese style table and enjoy various opportunities. While people work they can enjoy a 7 minute hypnotherapy session or a quick brain-refresh.

And, of course, in addition to enjoying yoga in this space, people can enjoy shopping. You’ll find Moon Juice snacks by Amanda Chantal Bacon, skin care by Inne and Shiva Rose, clothing by Myrah Penaloza and so much more.


If you live in New York, or want to relax and decompress while visiting, this is the place to be:

RA MA New York, 125 Stanton Street; ramayogainstitute.com

Financial Planning for College In NYC

Preparing to set off for college in New York is an adventure of itself. Transitioning out of your parents’ home, learning to deal with your own finances and managing your daily expenses can be extremely challenging. Before you begin spending on your new life, here are some pro tips to consider:

  1. Budget. The number 1 step for financial planning is creating a good budget and sticking with it. Draw up a list of your fixed expenses, including rent, utilities, food, tuition and loan payments, car and gas payments and whatever other regular expenses you have, and then create a second list of expenses such as clothes, dining out, entertainment etc. Once you have your lists set up, you can create a budget to suit.
  2. Cut back. Sometimes, financial obligations demand a large portion, or all of, your budget. Living within your means is crucial, and will allow you to avoid accumulating debt as well as to adopt healthy financial habits for the future. College students are usually tight for cash, so accepting that some sacrifices may be necessary and planning ahead for bigger events will spare you a significant amount of stress.
  3. Avoid debt. Though tempting, credit cards can leave you with overwhelming debt. What happens in college doesn’t always stay in college, so prepare for your financial future by actively avoiding debt. You may want to keep a credit card for emergencies, but be sure to think carefully before each use.
  4. Save. Saving money during college may feel like an impossible task, but proper planning and budgeting may allow you to save even a small amount each month. This will provide a valuable cushion if unexpected expenses come up, as well as an extra account to use later in life.

Later this week, an Essex Financial Services advisor will be hosting a free college planning seminar at Cyrenius H. Booth Library, 25 Main Street. Essex Financial’s Sean Flynn is a financial advisor who specializes in college planning.

6th Annual LUNGS Harvest Arts Festival

If you’ve never been part of the LUNGS Harvest Arts Festival, now is your chance. This is a great weekend of local entertainment and craftsmanship that is spread out across Lower Manhattan at more than 50 community gardens. There will be fairy tale puppetry by the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre, the viewing of the film “FILM TOMORROW” by Cyril Dion and Melanie Laurent, dance performances, poetry readings and more.

It’s a lovely opportunity to see the area and to engage with your fellow New Yorkers. It takes place this weekend, September 23 and 24th and the full schedule of events is here.

 

London’s Bluebird Coming to Manhattan

Bluebird, a D&D London restaurant, is coming to Manhattan next spring. The NYC venue will be the brand’s first international branch, finding its home in the prime Time Warner Centre in Columbus Circle. Expected to open in 2018, NYC’s Bluebird will be joined by a second D&D London restaurant in the Hudson Yards development in 2019.

Des Gunewardena, CEO and chairman of the brand, explained that the new Manhattan location is part of the company’s plans to “expand the Bluebird brand and further strengthen D&D’s overseas presence.”

“I am incredibly excited about us opening Bluebird in New York- we could not have picked a more prime location. The Time Warner Centre at Columbus Circle, with its views over Central Park, is about as good as it gets for a Midtown Manhattan restaurant venue. We think that Bluebird encapsulates much of the buzz and glamour of the London restaurant scene today and will also bring to New York the quintessential style of London’s Chelsea. We hope New Yorkers like it!”

The New York chef has not yet been announced, but Yannis Stanisiere will head the business efforts in the US as the new D&D USA operations director.

 

Marble Art Exhibition Open in NYC

Summer is the time to explore local exhibits, and art and antiquities have been taking center stage this year. Phoenix Ancient Art’s Marble Mania exhibition is currently open in the collector’s NYC gallery, and features a range of fascinating pieces from Rome and Greece as well as from the Early Bronze Age.

Hicham Aboutaam, co-founder of Phoenix Ancient Art, explains: “The supremacy of marble is fabulously evidenced throughout ancient history, from the Sarcophagus of Alexander in Istanbul, to the Venus of Milos at the Louvre, to the statue of Augustus Prima Porta at the Vatican.”

From July 5th through August 25th, the exhibition will showcase 60 marble pieces including depictions of Zeus, Aphrodite, Commodus and other Roman figures.

Ali Aboutaam, co-founder of Phoenix Ancient Art, shared some previews of marble art on Twitter:

Marble Mania will be open to the public from July 5 th – August 25th at 47 East 66th street, NYC.