Tag Archive | Macy’s

TMZ Tour NYC!

TMZ Bus Exterior Detail 2
All Photos By Gail

I’m going to go ahead and own the fact that on weeknights when I am at home, and also coherent, I’ll turn on TMZ and watch their low rent “news” on celebrity has-beens and wannabes that I’ve either never heard of before, or wish I hadn’t. I’m probably the least Star Struck blogger on the planet, but I consider TMZ to be my primary source of worthless celebrity pandering so that I can stay in the loop about what is “popular” – you know, for the kids. TMZ is also completely hilarious and boasts the least self-aware staff of any celebrity news program, so in that way it seems very down to earth and makes you feel like you’re hearing these crazy stories from people you know pretty well. That’s probably why the show is so popular.

TMZ Bus Exterior Detail

Fans of the show will be excited to find out that TMZ, in association with On Location Tours, now has a daily, two-hour bus tour you can sign up for that will take you all around the city from midtown to the tip of the island and back again, and point out dozens of places where celebrities hangout, pass out, get wasted, film their shows, actually live, used to live, got beat up, or were deeply embarrassed about something or other. It’s pretty fun!

You’ll board your luxury, air conditioned coach at the corner of 51st St. and Broadway, across the street from this diner:

Ellen's Stardust Diner

Our awesome tour guide was Matt Chadwick, an extremely friendly and equally hilarious and knowledgeable young man who cracked jokes incessantly but also revealed fascinating information such as:

  • Jim Carrey has an art Studio on Perry Street
  • Ed Burns is married to Christie Turlington
  • Macy’s not only has the oldest working escalators in the country (I’ve seen them!) but also the largest collection of shoes under one roof
  • Chris Brown beat up Drake at some club near the Holland Tunnel that I already forgot the name of, because I could care less about those two. Seriously who cares?
  • Columbus Circle is the spot from which all distances to NYC are measured

Matt Chadwick Tour Guide
Matt: Our Tour Guide and Former Australian Idol Finalist

What I enjoyed most about the tour was getting to see neighborhoods in Manhattan that I honestly never go to and driving down streets that I’ve never seen before in my life. And I’ve lived in Manhattan over 20 years! But, while I was on the TMZ Tour, I felt like I was visiting a foreign land, and it made me want to go to these neighborhoods on my own, and explore.

TMZ Bus Interior
Bus Interior with Video Monitors

The entire time that the bus is cruising around and your tour guide, who will be Matt if you’re very lucky, is pointing out places where Lady Gaga used to do burlesque, the loft where Beyoncé and Jay Z live, the apartment above the now closed Daffy’s (RIP) where Heath Ledger overdosed, and most recently, the park on lower 6th Ave. where Jonah Hill was recently spotted taking a photograph of a placenta (don’t ask), you will be entertained by hilarious and clever TMZ-produced video clips, that will further the action with additional graphics, interviews and explanations of what you’re seeing. It seems like the whole TMZ staff gets involved, so you will get to see all of your favorites, including Harvey.

During our tour, Matt hosted few rounds of fun trivia guessing games such as “Celebrity or Homeless Person?” and “The Finger or a Wave?” where the correct answer was awarded with a rare TMZ T-Shirt. So, Free Stuff! Matt really kept things rolling, and our driver was exceptionally skilled at taking very tight corners, and not killing anyone – because you know that pedestrians in New York City don’t stop crossing the street for anyone! The TMZ Tour is a fun way to spend two hours for locals who just want to get out of the house and also a good thing to take your out-of-town friends to. Despite the fact that we saw no celebrities, I had a great time!

Details
Where: 51st St & Broadway (exact location given upon purchase)
When: Weekdays & Sundays at 10:00 AM & 1:00 PM, Saturdays at 1:00 PM & 4:00 PM.
Cost: $49 + $3 ticket fee (Adult), $39 + $3 ticket fee (Children 11 & under)
Duration: Approximately 2 hours
Advance Ticket Purchase is Required so buy tickets at This Link!

TMZ Disclaimer

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Desmond’s Steak House Offers a Tailored Dining Experience

Desmonds Globe Lighting Front Entrance
Interior Photos By Gail. Food Photos By Anne Raso.

A steak house might be described as Manly, Elegant or Down Home, depending on its location, target clientele and the type of image it wants to project. Open for under a month and centrally located just a few blocks west of Macy’s or east of Times Square, Desmond’s Steak House seems to indicate that one Steak House can be all things to all people, within reason of course. Occupying an 8,000 square-foot space (formerly the site an OTB) at 513 Seventh Avenue, Desmond’s is a welcome dining addition to a neighborhood that’s somewhat calling out for a renaissance. Before you even open a menu, the interior of Desmond’s offers you a choice of rooms and dining spaces in which to enjoy your meal, each with subtly different décor to suit your mood, or the size of your party.

Front Bar

Entering on 38th Street just east of Seventh Avenue, you’ll notice the restaurant’s ground floor meat locker, stuffed with cuts from Strassburger Meats (which also supplies steaks to Keen’s and Sparks) before ascending a glass block-encircled staircase featuring suspended deco globe lighting – very lovely and unique! At the top of the stairs a gorgeous, marble-topped wraparound bar welcomes you.

Desmond's Bar Area Seating

The front of the restaurant features tufted-leather booths that separate the bar from a private dining area – done in lighter finishes with distinctive architectural features like brick arches, fieldstone and porthole-like faux windows – that’s ideal for hosting a special event.

Private Dining Area

Private Booths

Follow the bar around to the right and you’ll pass a row of private booths perfect for a romantic dinner for two, before entering the massive, clubhouse-like dining room overlooking Seventh Ave – an open setting suited for anything from a family get together to a business dinner. No matter what the occasion, you’ll feel comfortable at Desmond’s.

Main Dining Area

Grilled Slab Bacon

To start our meal, we selected the Grilled Slab Bacon appetizer ($15), which was noticeably less fatty than the usual steakhouse pork belly, and the edges had a tasty crispiness. This dish is served with a smooth applesauce whose sweetness makes an excellent accompaniment to the tender, smokey meat.

The menu says that all meats are grain fed and aged 50 days, and as far as selection of prime cuts, all bases are covered. Red meat fans can choose from a NY Sirloin (which is their strip, available in 12oz and 16oz cuts), a T-bone (20oz), a Porterhouse (48oz, portioned for two), a Boneless Ribeye (20oz), a Cowboy Ribeye (bone in, 24oz) and a Filet (in 8 or 14oz portions). If steak is not your thing, they also have selection of delicious-sounding seafood entrees as well as a raw bar that we heard patrons seated near us raving about.

My dining companion and I chose to share the 14-ounce filet ($50). Served with a choice of five specialty sauces, we selected the Horseradish Cream. The generous portion of meat arrived with a perfectly pink interior, and was buttery tender with a flavorful, crispy sear, but we had a bit of an issue with the (unexpected) bone-in presentation.

 Filet with Sauce

It’s no secret that cooking meat on the bone enhances flavor, and while this is generally preferred with, say, a pork chop or fried chicken, on a filet it was just a distraction. I doubt anyone would argue the point that a filet is among the most consistently tasty cuts of beef available, and a fully trimmed cut would certainly not suffer for having the bone removed. Being as Desmond’s has an on-site butcher, perhaps they could consider offering a trimmed version of their filet in addition to the bone-in presentation. Since it is considered inappropriate to gnaw on a bone in a fancy restaurant, much of the delicious meat was lost to us – definitely the only disappointment of the evening.

Grilled Veal Chop

As a second entrée, we selected the Grilled Veal Chop ($40) served with Horseradish Potato Puree and topped with sautéed Chanterelle Mushrooms. This grilled-to-perfection chop was thick, juicy, lean and scrumptious – qualifying as possibly the best veal chop in the city. My dining companion especially loved the Horseradish Potato Puree, declaring it to be the best she’d ever tasted.

Creamed SpinachMashed PotatoesExotic Mushrooms

For sides to share we chose the naturally sweet Creamed Spinach ($11), Mashed Potatoes ($9) and the sautéed Exotic Mushrooms ($11). I would say that each side serves 2 – 4 persons, depending on how many sides you order and individual appetites. The portions are definitely very generous!

Vanilla Panna Cotta

We finished off a hearty meal with couple of small but satisfying sweet treats from Desmond’s enticing Dessert Menu. Vanilla Panna Cotta with Raspberries Three Ways ($8) was sweet and light with the best fresh raspberries I’ve ever tasted. The Warm Chocolate Cake ($9) has a delicious milk chocolate flavor but it virtually dissolved when we tried to divide it between us, so I’d advise you not to do, that unless you don’t mind the mess, which we did not.

Service at Desmond’s is top shelf and our server, David, was especially friendly, knowledgeable and accommodating. We look forward to exploring the menu further on a future return trip.

Warm Chocolate Cake

Desmond’s is located at 513 Seventh Avenue (enter on 38th Street), New York, NY 10018. Phone (212) 391-6900 for Reservations or visit their website at Desmond’s Steakhouse and Grill.com.