I recently enjoyed my first official cocktail-in-a-bar of the Covid summer and, fittingly, it was a Pink Drink! Pictured above is an enticing, frosty glass of Frosé (frozen rosé wine), which I procured at Versa; a cool ‘rooftop’ restaurant located on the fifth floor of the Renaissance hotel in midtown. While Versa is not literally on the hotel’s roof, which is maybe 20 stories higher up, its spacious patio emulates a rooftop experience, while also allowing for pandemic-compliant social distancing and other important safety guidelines. While enjoying the restaurant’s chill vibe, I happily discovered that if Frosé melts before you can suck it all down, it simply turns into chilled rose wine, as there is no diluting from added ice! Win win!
David Bowie from the Aladdin Sane tour, 1973. Photographed by Masatoshi Sukita. Zelouf+Bell’s Stones in a Pond Cocktail Cabinet Optical illusion. Photo by Roland Paschhoff. (All Post Photos By Gail)
ZELOUF+BELL’s new season Stones in a Pond Cocktail Cabinet is the third in their cocktail cabinet series with a signature motif; its doors inlaid with patinated solid brass in an optical pattern inspired by the ripple-effect of stones dropped into a pond.
Patinated hinges allow the glistening doors to completely fold back to reveal an ivory ripple sycamore interior, shagreen work surface and leather-lined drawers with handmade ivory figured sycamore pulls.
The top of the cabinet’s oil-filled rotary damper allows it to fall slowly, closed. The cabinet sits on a patinated brass base. Created in a limited edition of 6, plus 1 AP. Visit This Link for more information.
Photographed at the Architectural Digest Design Show at Pier 94, NYC, March 2016.
Gerald Clery Murphy (1888 – 1964) and his wife, Sara Sherman Wiborg were wealthy, expatriate Americans who moved to the French Riviera in the early 20th century and who, with their generous hospitality and flair for parties, created a vibrant social circle, particularly in the 1920s, that included a great number of artists and writers including Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, Fernand Léger, Jean Cocteau, Pablo Picasso, Archibald MacLeish, John O’Hara, Cole Porter, Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley.
While Murphy only painted from 1921 until 1929; he is known for his hard-edged still life paintings in a Precisionist, Cubist style. During the 1920s Gerald Murphy, along with other American modernist painters in Europe, notably Charles Demuth and Stuart Davis created paintings prefiguring the pop art movement that contained pop culture imagery, such as mundane objects culled from American commercial products and advertising design.
During his short career as an artist, Gerald Murphy produced only about fourteen paintings. Key among them is Cocktail, a bold, stylized still life comprised of flattened geometric shapes, overlapping forms, and spatially illogical juxtapositions. A poignant memento of the urban, sophisticated lifestyle of the Jazz Age, the painting’s formal qualities are reminiscent of French Cubism as well as the industrial aesthetic of the American Precisionists. Yet Cocktail is also distinguished by its uniquely autobiographical approach.
The depicted accoutrements of a typical 1920s bar tray were based on Murphy’s memory of his father’s bar accessories, and the five cigars represent the artist, his wife, and their three children. The illusionistic depiction of the box cover, which alone took four months to complete, shows a robed woman surrounded by items that allude to Murphy himself and an artist’s palette. By celebrating a ritual that was forbidden during Prohibition in America, but which became a distinctive feature of European life during the 1920s, the painting also affirms Murphy’s status as a stylish and worldly expatriate.
Photographed in the Whitney Museum of American Art in NYC.
NoMa Social is bringing in the holiday season with a Candy Cane Cooler that just screams Christmas spirit! Not only does this concoction look wildly festive, but it decks the halls of your taste buds as well. Here’s how to make it:
• 1 tbs crushed soft peppermint candy
• 1½ fl oz vodka
• Splash of white creme de menthe
• ¼ fl oz brandy
• ½ fl oz half-and-half
• Crushed ice
• Peppermint stick for garnish
• Mint sprig for garnish
Combine the vodka and crushed peppermint. Stir to dissolve. Add the remaining ingredients, stir and garnish.
Oh MLK Day, I took myself out to the “Weekend Brunch” at 7A — my favorite local Brunch spot and a restaurant I’ve frequented for the twenty years that I’ve lived in this neigborhood. The word is out now that 7A — cleverly named for its location on the corner of Seventh Street and Avenue A — will shut its doors for good at the end of January. My waitress told me that the owner is moving to California and just wants to sell the property off and be done with it. And that’s just shame, because 7A was the best.
When I first moved to the East Village and didn’t know many people, I hung out a lot by myself. One of my favorite things to do in those years was to visit 7A on the weekends for their delicious brunch, sit at a table by one of the windows and just watch people walk by. You could not buy better entertainment than that. But 7A has always been about so much more that good Freak Watching. The prices were always very reasonable, the food excellent (their guacamole-laden Mexican Burgers featured better ground beef than you find in most steak houses) and plentiful (I never left hungry) and the service friendly and efficient. 7A was a colorful local hangout where you could just be yourself.
7A was, out of necessity, renovated and redesigned a couple of times over the past two decades, but it never lost its character.
This is the massive meal I had for Brunch on my recent, and perhaps final, visit. A California Omelet stuffed with refried beans, cheese and tomatoes and topped with their delicious homemade guacamole, accompanied by Green Salad, Crispy Home-fried Potatoes and Seven Grain Toast. Brunch also included Coffee or Tea and a Cocktail (In this photo, I am about to enjoy a Screwdriver, which, as you can see, is tall enough to get you buzzed). This feast costs only $14.95, which means that with tax and generous tip you get more food than you can barely stuff in your face for about $20. What a bargain!
With the way things come and go in NYC and the rate at which landmarks and beloved establishments are being swept aside to be replaced by another fucking Starbucks, sentimentality is, perhaps not surprisingly, in short supply around here. Because you just can’t afford to get too attached to anything anymore. And while the loss of 7A is hardly as emotionally and culturally devastating as the closing of The Kiev, I will miss it.
I’m not sure what 7A’s final day of business will be (the 31st is a Thursday) but you might have time to grab one more famous Weekend Brunch if you step on it. Goodbye 7A and thanks for all the memories. I hope your staff finds good new employment!
The Last Brunch
6 oz Cascade Ice Orange Mango
1 oz of Orange Vodka
2 oz of Whipped Cream flavored Vodka
Red or Black Liquorice (Optional)
Mix 6oz Cascade Ice Orange Mango with 1oz of Orange Vodka and 2oz of Whipped Cream flavored vodka in a glass with ice. Garnish your drink with a vine of red or black liquorice, if desired. Sip and Enjoy!