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.

Bruce Springsteen Plans Solo Shows on Broadway this Fall

Bruce Springsteen is planning a number of small solo performances at the Walter Kerr Theater on Broadway this fall. He intends for the shows to be “as personal and intimate as possible,” featuring both his music as well as excerpts from his autobiography Born to Run. 

“My show is just me, the guitar, the piano and the words and music,” Springsteen explains. “Some of the show is spoken, some of it is sung. It loosely follows the arc of my life and my work.”

The shows will begin on October 12th and run five nights a week until November 26th. According to Jon Landua, Springsteen’s manager, “Bruce has had this specific idea in mind since last December. It came into focus slowly and then all at once last January.”

When asked about the choice of venue, Springsteen said “I chose Broadway for this project because it has the beautiful old theaters which seemed like the right setting for what I have in mind. In fact, with one or two exceptions, the 960 seats of the Walter Kerr Theater is probably the smallest venue I’ve played in the last 40 years.”

“All of it together is in pursuit of my constant goal to provide an entertaining evening and to communicate something of value,” he said.

Naomi Campbell & Egyptian Millionaire Louis Camilleri

What’s not to like? Incredibly handsome and fantastically rich, 62-year- old Louis C. Camilleri is reported to be the latest love interest of super-model Naomi Campbell, and why not? Born in Egypt to parents from the island country of Malta, Camilleri is CEO of the giant tobacco corporation Philip
Morris, as well as a director of the luxury sports car company Ferrari. Best of all, his net worth is said to be hovering in the stratosphere at the altitude of about £150 million ($197 million.)

Despite Naomi Campbell’s famous dislike of taking her dating habits to the public arena, it has been impossible not to notice the many dinner dates she has spent with Camilleri, not to mention a few trips on his private jet.

According to The Sun, “Naomi and Louis have been secretly dating for weeks. They’re all over each
other when they’re out.”

Some curious readers might be interested in how this cute couple met. Naomi Campbell and Louis Camilleri both happen to love Formula One racing, and saw each other at an event, and immediately caught each other’s eyes.

Camilleri spent his formative years in the United Kingdom, where he attended boarding school. He was once married, and has three children from the relationship, which ended in divorce in 2004. Camilleri attended University in Switzerland where he studied economics and business administration.

Campbell was never married, but she was once engaged to bassist Adam Clayton of the rock band U2 in 1993. After a year the relationship ended.

In 2012 Campbell was asked about one of her relationships, and her answer was: “I don’t discuss my private life.” She also refuses to discuss her friendships with such people as Carla Bruni and Nicolas Sarkozy, explaining:

“I don’t like to discuss private events or matters, because, naturally, I respect people’s privacy.”

Getting Classes for Glasses to the People

Tisha Gomez didn’t plan on becoming an educator. Born and raised in NYC and the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, Gomez graduated high school with the intention of becoming a computer programmer. Three years later she found herself entering the teaching world, and she hasn’t veered from her course since.

Gomez’s work as a teacher at the School of Cooperative Technical Education is unique, as she uses her technical side and personal experiences to run a creative class focused on creating prescription eyewear for fellow students in need. Gomez believes in providing her students with practical skills that will support future careers, and when she began working at the school she quickly discovered that many of her students needed glasses in order to succeed. Unfortunately, the majority of these kids couldn’t afford them. Gomez immediately took action, launching a project that would teach her students to make their own glasses by filling prescriptions, cutting lenses and styling frames to patients’ specifications. Her class offers free glasses to any student of the school, and provides as many as 400 students with eyeglasses each year.

“I’m immediately satisfied after I make a pair of glasses and put them on someone’s face and see the reaction on their face when they can see clearly,” Gomez explained.

She continued, “Everybody wants to be a doctor or a lawyer, but there’s one thing everyone needs at various times in their lives, and that’s eyeglasses.”

“My students come from the inner city and they need a career to support themselves. This class gives them a trade that’s needed,” she added.

Gomez was just nominated for a Hometown Heroes in Education award for her work.

Animal Haven Animal Shelter Celebrates 50 Years with Brand New Facility

Fifty years ago, a small group of women from Hollis, Queens, got together to rescue cats, and from that ambition Animal Haven was born. Later on the shelter moved to Flushing, and operated out of a small house for many years. Finally, the shelter arrived in Manhattan, where it was located at 251 Centre Street until the organization lost its lease in 2015.

Searching everywhere, Animal Haven got lucky and found a location only two blocks north, at 200 Centre Street. They hired architecture firm ARQ, the same group that designed New York’s ASPCA adoption center, as well as San Francisco’s SPCA and Chicago’s PAWS. ARQ created a beautiful, state-of-the-art adoption center, but it took a full year to build, and in the meantime Animal Haven was no longer able to stay at their old location.

Now the center for homeless animals was itself homeless, but they were able to rise to the occasion. The group put up 80 animals in foster care and rented office space right across the street. Then the Mayor’s Alliance for New York City’s Animals pitched in, lending Animal Haven their adoption van. During the week, the shelter held adoption events right outside the new facility’s construction site.

Now the shelter is open and running, and business is booming. More workers were hired to handle the increased work load. Director Tiffany Lacey described the new space:

“It’s very light and bright with lots of windows” Lacey said, “and the public that walks by can see them, like window shopping, but for adoption.”

 

Putting a Cute Face on Financial Markets

Tamogotchi by Tomasz Sienicki

Opened in 2012 in Montreal, Canada by art collectors Pierre and Anne-Marie Trahan, Arsenal Contemporary now has a branch in the Bowery.

Not a gallery, Arsenal is more correctly understood as a showcase for the Trahan’s private collection. The couple does also run a commercial gallery plus an artist residence program, as well as an additional Arsenal space in Toronto which they opened in 2014. Loreta Lamargese and Isabelle Kowal are co-directors of the Bowery branch, which opened in February 2017.

“Arsenal is not a gallery, so it gets to be a bit more experimental,” Lamargese said. She stated her wish to a collaborate with curators and local galleries on future programming. “We really want it to be an arts center where there’s always something happening.”

What’s happening now is a display of the latest art project from Ed Fornieles, digital creatures reminiscent of the cute Tamogotchi entities children were crazy for in the 90’s and beyond. At the Bowery’s Arsenal visitors will see three LED screens showing off the cute, blobby cartoon creatures Fornieles has dubbed Finiliar. The creatures change their expressions in concert with the rise and fall of a particular currency. For instance, when the British pound goes up, its very own Finiliar, whose name is Dunop, exudes happiness: he celebrates the pound’s success by raising up a champagne flute in pure joy. But if the pound should putter, as it mostly has since Brexit, we see little Dunop shaking and looking like he is about to burst into tears.

An interesting way to keep track of your favorite currencies.

What might seem a bit trivial, and even silly at first glance is actually an interesting social experiment to see if people might respond more empathetically to the troubles or successes of large financial systems if the fate of the currencies are portrayed by cute cartoons. The crash of a currency could actually lead to the death of a Finiliar. If that would happen, would be people care more?

Fornieles wants to see if giving this abstract financial concept a face in the form of a cute, round animated creature in the style of Japanese anime, will create an added incentive for the world to stand up and take notice of the continued health of things like currencies or companies.

Intrigued? Go check it out at the Bowery’s Arsenal Contemporary, from February 22 to April 23, 2017.