The New York Botanical Garden’s annual Orchid Show for ended a couple of weeks ago, but if you weren’t able to make it all the way to the Bronx for the 2018 edition of this landmark event, you can now live through me with a selection of my favorite Orchid photos from the show. Enjoy!
The show takes place each year inside the beautiful Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, the garden’s climate controlled glass treehouse which is based on an Italian Renaissance design. I visited the show on a frigid Sunday in late April and, like these lovely tropical plants, I was very grateful for the warmth!
This years show featured installations by Belgian flora designer Daniel Ost.
Just inside the conservatory, you enter the Palms of the World Gallery, where Ost installed a monumental living sculpture of orchids entwined within a network of transparent tubing — which mimics the jungle vines on which orchids grow in their natural environment.
The show features hundreds of varieties of orchids, and while many of them may look similar, each plant has unique characteristics.
These look like little Ballerinas, don’t they? I think so.
Orchids live mostly in the air, attached to trees, rather than on the ground, rooted in the soil.
Its almost impossible to resist taking one photo after another after another.
Look, how beautiful is this one, which its bright crimson center?
You might this that this bright fuchsia bloom is identical to the ones at the top of this post. But if you go back and compare the two, you will see many differences, aside from the similar color.
I’m sure you can see how moving from room to room, being continously faced with so much breathtaking beauty, can be a bit overwhelming.
Here’s a reminder to look up!
About half way through conservatory, you come to a room with a fountain in the middle of a long reflecting pool , which runs through its center. This is the room where everyone stops to take all kinds selfies and posed photos, so it gets pretty congested. You have to indulge people though, because as you can see it is quite beautiful.
The fountain is draped by a curtain of hanging orchids.
As hard as it is to leave the fountain room, there are many more orchids to discover!
I hope you enjoyed a glimpse of this year’s Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden, and that if you live in NYC area you will add a reminder to visit to your calendar for next year!
Scott Putesky (aka Daisy Berkowitz): April 28, 1968 – October 22, 2017 (All Photos By Gail)
I believe that it is possible to live an entire lifetime in one day. I met Scott Putesky (sometimes better known as Daisy Berkowitz, founding member and original guitarist for the band called Marilyn Manson) in 2015 at mutual friend Mark Kostabi’s semi-annual Jazz Art Brunch. Mark, an accomplished musician himself, knows a ton of other musicians, and people always get up and jam with the band. At one point Scott played keyboards and sang a couple of cover songs. After he finished his set, I introduced myself, since I had written extensively about his band back in the day and I knew we had a few other mutual friends. Scott turned out to be very down-to-earth guy, and a terrific conversationalist, so we drank and laughed, talked about art and exchanged cards for a possible future meet up.
Mark Kostabi with Scott and Me at Frieze 2015
I already new from hearing it in the media that Scott had been diagnosed stage 4 colon cancer, and in one of our first conversations he told me how he was undergoing chemotherapy sessions every other week to keep it in check. He wasn’t shy about discussing his treatment because he wanted people to understand that he was fighting as hard as he could, and that he was also determined to live his life to the fullest. At this point, his prognosis did not include the probability of a cure and recovery. He was just trying to buy as much time as possible.
Scott did not want to pose with this relief sculpture of two sunflowers, but I made him do it. He loved the resulting photo so much he used it as his FaceBook Profile Photo for nearly a year.
Scott was not only a musician, he was also a fine artist who had a voracious curiosity about art history. The annual Frieze Art Fair (which takes place on New York’s Randall’s Island) was coming up and Scott had never been, so we made plans to attend together. I thought it was hilarious when he asked me what he should wear. “You’re a Rock Star,” I reminded him. “You don’t need me to tell you how to dress.” Scott showed up to the dock wearing a bespoke kilt made from Clan Scott Tartan along with the complete traditional accessories. It should not surprise anyone that once we arrived at Frieze, everyone asked “the guy wearing the kilt” to pose for photos. I took a few myself and will now share them with you, because I think they show a fun-loving side of Scott, and he would appreciate being remembered in this way.
One of the works that Scott most wanted to see at Frieze is this Red Plank by minimalist pioneer John McCracken.
Scott With John McCracken Sculpture Vibes
Scott Considers a Sculpture Called the Mood Machine
No Art Fair Experience is Complete Without at Least One Commemorative Mirror Selfie
Photo By Mark Kostabi
Sadly, I have neither any knowledge of the title of this work, nor the artist’s name.
This work is entitled It’s the Buzz, Cock by artist Linder Sterling. The image was famously used as the sleeve artwork for the Buzzcocks‘ 1977 45 RPM single release, Orgasm Addict.
This piece is by an artist whose work I know, and whose name I should remember, but I just can’t recall it right now. Scott’s expression is hilarious to me.
Scott and I wore ourselves out at Frieze and took the ferry back into Manhattan around 5:00 pm to attend another hyped-up-the-ass exhibit opening, which turned out to be a bust. Not to be deterred from continuing our Art Safari into the night, we moved on to another exhibit just up the block, and then took the party to a place that was once the home of Manhattan’s longest bar for snacks and drinks, and more conversation. Later, we walked in a light rain from Houston to Union Square, stopping in at the occasional curiosity shop like this place (where Scott purchased a large bag of assorted Gummy Candies) before I finally dropped him off at the subway on 14th Street and then continued on to my home.
We had an entire lifetime in one day.
Even above all of the times I saw him onstage with Marilyn Manson, my favorite memories of Scott are of the day we spent at Frieze and then prowling downtown Manhattan like two friends who just loved art and NYC. Now, you have those memories as well. RIP Scott. You are very much missed.
Do you like to Snack? I sure do. For many of us, snacking choices are all about convenience — something that’s made to ‘grab and go’ around a busy schedule — but we also want a healthier snack that still feels like an indulgence. Sound challenging? It isn’t at all. Just a couple of weeks ago, I attended the Editor Showcase Snack Attack edition of their quarterly brand showcase, held at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square, and had the chance to snack my way around the room, discovering all sorts of delicious and better-for-you snacks along the way. From Chips and Crackers to Candy and Nuts, here are some the brands we think you’ll soon be craving.
Farmer’s Pantry is one of the hottest new companies to pioneer wholesome, substantial and irresistibly delicious snacks all grown on American Farms using original American Recipes. Like the name suggests, Farmer’s Pantry is passionate about creating scrumptious, hearty snacks using the kind of authentic, identifiable ingredients you would find in a farmer’s pantry! Every snack is lovingly crafted from some combination of meats, grains and vegetables.
At Snack Attack, Farmer’s Pantry debuted two new snack lines. Farmers Pantry Cornbread Crisps, available in Original, Jalapeno, Honey-Butter and new BBQ flavors, are a crispy, savory baked snack made from fresh corn and other whole grains. Farmers Pantry Meal Snacks are the only snacks on the market that combine protein-packed meat plus a side dish of vegetables, cornbread crisps or fries in one innovative package. Pictured above are the Chicken & Waffle Crisps, made with Chicken Jerky and maple waffles, and Steak’N Fries variety, made with Beef Jerky and french fries. It’s a snack revolution!
With a history dating back to 1885, G.H. Cretors Popped Corn is a line of obsessively delicious popcorn in flavors that include bold, uniquely crave-able favorites like Chile Jalapeno White Cheddar and Dill Pickle!
My favorite is The Mix, a one-of-a-kind blend of rich, buttery caramel corn and premium, aged cheddar cheese corn together in one bag, for a mouth-watering mix of sweet and salty — the taste is truly crave-able! Crafted in small batches in Waukegan, Illinois, all G.H. Cretors popcorn varieties are made with real, high-quality ingredients, using Non-GMO popcorn, and no artificial colors or flavors. Available in 9 different flavors, snackers can enjoy G.H. Cretors at home, on-the-go, or anywhere else when the craving strikes.
If you are a lover of chips, but grow tired of the same old potato or tortilla chips brands, Snack Attack had many alternative options to tempt your taste buds. Good Health Natural Products, Inc. is the creator of crunchy, crave-worthy snacks that make it easy to make better choices. A trailblazer in common sense snacking, Good Health’s robust portfolio of snacks are made with better-for-you ingredients, like olive and avocado oils, whole grains, sweet potatoes and vegetables – all so you can Enjoy Being Good (as their slogan implores) without sacrificing great taste!
Good Health Black Bean & Rice Organic Tortillas are dynamite with dips, guacamole and salsa, and they’re absolutely unbeatable with cheese! Serve them proudly alongside all of your homemade Mexican favorites! Their Gluten Free Pretzels are also a must-have party snack!
Sharing booth space with Good Health, we found the Snikiddy snack line; delicious snacks created by two moms and made from simple, wholesome, real-food ingredients. The brand recently underwent a product line upgrade and now offers organic Grilled Cheese Baked Puffs and Mac N’ Cheese Baked Puffs (both so crunchy and cheese-e-licious), plus whole grain Purple Corn Puffs, and Baked Fries, made with organic corn and sunflower oil. All Snikiddy snacks are certified Gluten Free, Kosher, Non-GMO and contain only healthful, natural ingredients.
Hain Celestial, a leading organic and natural products company, offers a selection of delicious snack options, including: Garden of Eatin’ tortilla chips made with organic corn; family-friendly Sensible Portions Garden Veggie straws and chips; and TERRA real vegetable chips.
I don’t know about you, but if I’m at a party and I see a bowl of TERRA chips, I will pick out all of the sweet potato chips and eat them myself. New at Snack Attack were two flavors of TERRA chips: Sweet Plantains and regular Plantains! Yummy!
Crunchmaster Crackers are a sturdy, bold-flavored cracker made with whole grains, seeds, and . . . that’s about it.
Showcasing at Snack Attack were several new Crunchmaster varieties: Protein Snack Crackers with five grams of plant-based protein per serving, Tuscan Peasant Crackers (perfect for topping with your favorite cheeses, spreads or tapenades), and a new seasonal flavor, Pumpkin Harvest, with a savory pumpkin flavor, which will be available in the fall — just in time for the holiday entertaining season!
Never fear: there were plenty of sweet snacks to give the crackers and chips a run for the money! If you’re not already familiar with Sheila G’sBrownie Brittle, the crispy brownie snack, then you have some catching up to do! The Brownie Brittle family continues to expand to include new gluten free Brownie Brittle in two varieties: Dark Chocolate Sea Salt, and Chocolate Chip!
We were also introduced to (I can’t even believe I am about to type this) Brownie Brittle Cookie Bites: crisp morsels of chocolate chip cookies covered in creamy Milk Chocolate. Insane!
It may have all started with the Teddy Graham, but the Teddy brand of baked treats is about so much more. Brand new on the shelf are Teddy Soft Bakes, fluffy, soft-baked filled treats in the fun shape of a bear. Teddy Soft Bakes are individually-wrapped, snack-size cakes with a hidden flavored filling that kids will love to discover. They can be an ideal snacking option that helps spark playful moments of discovery and natural curiosity. Teddy Soft Bakes come in two varieties: Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Filling, and Chocolate Cake with Vanilla filling.
A perfect treat for the Back-to-School lunch box, Teddy Soft Bakes are the Bomb.
If I had to choose just one item as my Favorite Thing of Snack Attack 2017, it would be Bakerly Crepes Snacks. Bakerly Crepes are made from an authentic French recipe using simple, pure ingredients like milk, eggs wheat flour, chocolate, real fruit and other natural flavors, and they are baked by artisan bakers! Once you taste them, you will have no doubt as to why Bakerly Crepes are the #1 snack in France! C’est si bon!
Here, we see a variety of delicious Bakerly Crepes held in the loving hands of Brand Ambassador Franck, who gave me a most generous amount of samples — including the flavors Chocolate, Strawberry, and Crunchy, featuring Crispy Rice Cereal and Chocolate Hazelnut filling — to snack on at home. Merci, Franck!
Bakerly Crepes, Everyone!
National S’Mores Day was just celebrated on August 10th, but in case you missed it, Snack Attack reminds us that all of the ingredient in everyone’s favorite campfire treat — a warm, toasted marshmallow and piece of milk chocolate sandwiched between to graham crackers — can be made right in your own home, or even your own backyard! The brand trio of Honey Maid Grahams, Hershey’s Milk Chocolate and Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows has named S’Mores as the Official Dessert of the BBQ! In addition to receiving one of every item pictured on the table above, Editor Showcase attendees learned about fun and easy recipes for making S’Mores Skillet Pizza, and . . .
S’Mores on a Stick, which is a delicious, no-bake treat! Find those, and other summer recipes, at This Link!
You may have grown accustom to seeing Bahlsen cookies around the Christmas holidays, but did you know that over 125 years, generations of the Bahlsen family have baked European cookies to be enjoyed across the globe? From their crisp butter biscuits to the indulgent chocolate selection, there is something delicious for every occasion. All Bahlsen cookie recipes are made with love, using only the very highest quality ingredients, for a truly exceptional cookie.
My favorites are the Choco Leibniz (above, right) — with a lavish layer of European Milk Chocolate atop the original Leibniz butter biscuit — and the Waffletten (above, left) made from a crunchy wafer rolled into fine, crisp layers, and then dipped into rich European chocolate (these are so great with ice cream). Don’t wait for a special occasion to serve these excellent baked goods; treat yourself and your family to a box (or two) of Bahlsen cookies right now!
Do you like chocolate? I got yer chocolate right here. merci’s Finest Selection offers fine European chocolates especially chosen and packaged to give as Thank You gifts or as any gesture of sincere appreciation. Known as Europe’s famous gift-giving chocolate, merci offers something for every taste. What a great idea!!
Each slim, stylish box contains eight unique, individually wrapped flavors including Milk Chocolate, Coffee and Cream, Hazelnut-Almond, Hazelnut-Creme, Marzipan, Dark Creme, Dark Mouse and Praline-Creme.
merci is available in grocery stores nationwide, and can also be ordered online with your own custom packaging if desired (shipping domestically or internationally) at This Link.
HI-CHEW Candy has long been the #1 soft candy in Japan, but it also has a large fan following in America. Sometimes, I even make a special run to my favorite Asian Import Store downtown, just to stock up on my most-addicted-to HI-CHEW flavors! Similar to a Starburst in texture (but far superior in taste), HI-CHEW is made with real fruit juice and purees, and comes in Strawberry, Green Apple, Mango, Grape, Cherry, Banana (the best!), and Melon. HI-CHEW Sours come in Lemon, Lime and Grapefruit, while new HI-CHEW Bites, offered in Grape, Strawberry, Mango, and Orange, provide your favorite HI-CHEW chewiness with a hard candy shell. Excellent!
Speaking of fruit, it is still a popular thing to snack on! If you are like me — loving fruit, but hating to have to take the time to peel it and cut it up, then Naturipe Fruit Snacks are going to make you very happy!
Healthy and convenient Naturipe Snacks pair fresh strawberries, blueberries, and grapes with creamy cheeses and crunchy nuts in one portable package. This better-for-you snack satisfies hunger while offering protein, fiber, Vitamin C, and calcium. Available in a six tastefully curated fruit, cheese, and nut combinations ranging from sweet to savory and mild to spicy, Naturipe Snacks are a perfect pick for nutritionally balanced ready-to-eat snacking at home and on-the-go — with no preparation time required! Yay! Naturipe Snacks offers simplified snacking for health-conscious foodies. And it makes a great, healthy After-School treat for the kids as well!
Del Monte is a trusted brand name that’s also introducing a new fruit snack. Del Monte Fruit & Chia is a Fruit Cup snack for adults that kids may just love also. Packed with luscious chunks of real fruit and wholesome chia seeds, this is a delicious snack that will leave you feeling satisfied on-the-go.
Del Monte Fruit Refreshers combine exciting fruits with slightly sweetened Fruit Waters to create enticing flavor combinations for a refreshing pick-me-up any time of the day!
Cute brand mascots on the table always get my attention: the GoGo squeeZ brand had two of them! First, check out this adorable little bean-shaped Cow, representing for GoGo squeeZ YogurtZ, which brings together scrumptious real yogurt and fruit, with protein, calcium and Vitamin D. Conveniently, it’s all packaged in the iconic GoGo squeeZ pouch. But wait there’s more: GoGo squeeZ YogurtZ needs absolutely no refrigeration! Mind blown!
Also part of the GoGo squeeZ family is Applesauce On The Go, the leading squeezable, 100 percent fruit applesauce in a pouch. Look at that Little Green Apple: it’s killing me with the cuteness. With over 30 varieties of squeezable yogurt, fruit and vegetable snacks, GoGo squeeZ is a brand you need to know!
When I was a small child back in the stone age, my Mom would give me and my brother cottage cheese mixed with fruit as a snack, and we just loved it. Guess what: now those two things come already mixed together!
Muuna is on a mission to change the way consumers think about cottage cheese, having re-imagined it with a new line of melt-in-your-mouth creamy, single-serve cups with delicious pieces of fruit, including Strawberry, Blueberry, Pineapple, Peach and Mango. Kill me! Each 5.3oz cup has 15 grams of protein and only 130 calories. Muuna also offers its single-serve cup in Lowfat Plain, which contains 19 grams of protein and 120 calories.
At Snack Attack, the Muuna booth offered a selection of chopped fruit and other toppings that you could mix in with your already-mixed-together cottage cheese and fruit, but I didn’t need any of that, because I am a purist. Here is the tasty cup of Peaches and Cottage Cheese — Just Like Mom Used to Make — that I enjoyed very much! Nostalgia!
Hey do you like cheese? I sure do. How cool do you think it would be to make sandwich where two slices of cheese were substituted for the bread? No carbs, no gluten – just a delicious slice of hard salami between two slices of all natural Wisconsin cheese – a Cheesewich, if you will. That’s right: somebody already thought of it, and they were at Snack Attack.
There are a few different varieties of Cheesewich — with Provolone, Mild Cheddar or Colby Jack Cheese — so you can change it up. You could even use the Cheesewich as a filling to make a regular sandwich, if you just absolutely had to have the bread. I would never judge you.
Cheesewich is also growing its snack product line to include other high protein, grab-and-go snacks like Mozzarella and Smoked Mozzarella String Cheeses, and a ready-to-eat Bacon N Eggs Breakfast snack, with two hard boiled eggs and two slices of turkey bacon inside an easy open pouch. Eggs-cellent!
At Cucina & Amore: Kitchen of Love, they create an old world cuisine with a modern twist. Cucina & Amore’s new ready-to-eat Quinoa Meals leave a busy person with no excuse to skip lunch, because each healthy and tasty meal is fully cooked and ready to eat! Gluten, preservative and GMO-free, these meals are jam packed with nutrients to keep you energized during your long day. Available in four different flavors like Spicy Jalapeno and Roasted Peppers,Basil Pesto, Mango & Jalapeno and Artichoke with Roasted Peppers, co-workers will think you’re eating a dish that you cooked and brought from home. Each prepackaged quinoa meal comes in a microwave-safe container, but they can also be enjoyed cold, or at room temperature, which means they are perfect to take on-the-go, or if you only have a short lunch break. Delicious, healthy and so easy! Kitchen of Love products are available at grocery stores nationwide.
Farm Rich is one of the nation’s bestselling frozen snacks and appetizers brands, offering easy-to-prepare products made with wholesome, great-tasting ingredients. I’ve been a fan for years! At Snack Attack, they introduced four new products: two sweet and two savory! (I picked up a new oven mitt as well!)
Farm Rich Bakery Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes offer fresh-baked taste, going directly from the freezer to the oven or microwave. They make a fun breakfast treat, served up fresh and warm, or they can be part of these fancy fruit and donut hole skewer! Also from Farm Rich are Blue Bakery Scones that can be on your family table in minutes! This ready-to-bake frozen scone dough is made with the finest ingredients and freshest blueberries, and it bakes into moist, tender scones, giving you fresh bakery quality in the comfort of your own home!
Two new hot appetizers from Farm Rich include Avocado Slices, cut from premium Hass avocados and coated with an ancho chile pepper breading. These are perfect alone, or in addition to your recipes that include avocado. Try them with the included Jalapeño Ranch dipping sauce and add a little kick! This new snack that your family will love is now available in the freezer section!
Also new in the freezer section are their Pimento Cheese Bites, made with real Palmetto Pimento Cheese, cheddar and ripe pimentos. You can enjoy these crispy coated bites right from the oven, or dunk them in the spicy Red Pepper Jelly dipping sauce, which his included. Be sure to stock up on these special treats for when company stops by!
Are you nuts about nuts? Then check out what’s going on over at the The American Pecan Council (APC), who had a Pecan Buffet ready for Snack Attack attendees to sample. The pecan is one of my favorite nuts since my Mom used to put them in her home baked chocolate chip cookies! Roasted, toasted, seasoned, spiced, or sweetened with chocolate, there is no wrong add a naturally sweet and crunchy Pecan into your meals, snacks and desserts.
This Pecan Granola Bar Recipe is easy and family-pleasing — we got to sample the results!
Now that you’ve seen lots and lots of ideas of what to snack on, you need a cool-looking, portable container in which to store and carry your snacks. May I present Snack in the Box, designed by Precidio, a trusted name in food storage. Snack in the Box is a must-have for school lunches, car rides, bicycling, taking the kids shopping, going for walks, picnicing or anywhere you may want to bring along a treat. Just fill it with a couple of your favorite snacks and throw in it your bag!
“You Put Your Snacks In It”
Snack in the Box is made from BPA-free plastic in an assortment bright colors, and the twin pop-up lids let you easily flip them open and pour out your favorite snacks. Now you can bring a healthy and a fun snack like fresh berries, crackers, nuts, cheese cubes or any type of dry snacks anywhere you go. And remember that you are being earth-conscious by reducing plastic bag waste!
That wraps up this years’ Snack Attack. Happy Snacking Everyone!
All Photos By Gail. All Text By The Guggenheim Museum
László Moholy-Nagy (b. 1895, Borsód, Austria-Hungary; d. 1946, Chicago) believed in the potential of art as a vehicle for social transformation, working hand in hand with technology for the betterment of humanity. A restless innovator, Moholy-Nagy experimented with a wide variety of mediums, moving fluidly between the fine and applied arts in pursuit of his quest to illuminate the interrelatedness of life, art, and technology. An artist, educator, and writer who defied categorization, he expressed his theories in numerous influential writings that continue to inspire artists and designers today.
Walter Gropius invited him to join the faculty at the Bauhaus school of art and design, where Moholy-Nagy taught in Weimar and Dessau in the 1920s. In 1937, he was appointed to head the New Bauhaus in Chicago; he later opened his own School of Design there (subsequently renamed the Institute of Design), which today is part of the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Among Moholy-Nagy’s radical innovations were his experiments with camera-less photographs (which he dubbed photograms); his unconventional use of industrial materials in painting and sculpture; experiments with light, transparency, space, and motion across mediums; and his work at the forefront of abstraction, as he strove to reshape the role of the artist in the modern world. Moholy-Nagy: Future Present features paintings, sculptures, collages, drawings, prints, films, photograms, photographs, photomontages, projections, documentation, and examples of graphic, advertising, and stage design drawn from public and private collections across Europe and the United States.
On display in the museum’s High Gallery is Room of the Present (Raum der Gegenwart), a contemporary fabrication of an exhibition space conceived of by Moholy-Nagy in 1930, but not realized in his lifetime.
Light Prop for an Electric Stage
On view for the first time in the United States, the large-scale work contains photographic reproductions and design replicas as well as his kinetic Light Prop for an Electric Stage (Lichtrequisit einer elektrischen Bühne, 1930; recreated 2006). Room of the Present illustrates Moholy-Nagy’s belief in the power of images and the significance of the various means with which to view and disseminate them — a highly relevant paradigm in today’s constantly shifting and evolving technological world.
This is a massive retrospective with lots to see and learn about the genius of László Moholy-Nagy. Here are a few more photos from this must-see show!
Ad For The London Underground Circa 1936 – 37
Detail from Above Work
László Moholy-Nagy is a central figure in the history of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. In 1929, Solomon R. Guggenheim and his advisor, German-born artist Hilla Rebay, began collecting his paintings, works on paper, and sculpture in depth for the Guggenheim’s growing collection of nonobjective art. His work held a special place at the Museum of Non-Objective Painting — the forerunner of the Guggenheim Museum — where a memorial exhibition was presented shortly after his untimely death in 1946.
Moholy-Nagy: Future Present Runs Through September 7th, 2016 at the Guggenheim Museum, Located at 1071 Fifth Ave at 89th Street, NYC.
For fans of authentic Indian food, New York City is blessed with several key neighborhoods where an abundant selection of terrific restaurants are available for your choosing. 6th Street in the East Village and Curry Hill (East 20s at Lexington Avenue) are convenient destinations for downtown residents who don’t want to travel outside Manhattan to get their fix of favorites like Chicken Tikka Masala and Lamb Vindaloo. But the Upper West Side also boasts its share of excellent Indian restaurants, and one of those is Saffron, located at 75th Street right on Columbus Avenue — one of the best locales for prime people-watching in the city!
The Gig was recently invited to dine at Saffron as part of a media dinner, where we had the opportunity to savor many of Saffron’s excellent, multi-regional dishes, be pampered by friendly, attentive service, and enjoy the great street views! Owned and operated by Raju Brahmbhatt, who is already an established successful restaurateur, each menu item at Saffron was personally developed by him to showcase the depth and breadth of authentic and diverse Indian cuisine, characterized by the use of exquisite spices, herbs, vegetables and exotic fruits. Here are a few of the dishes we enjoyed!
Saffron features an extensive selection of Indian breads, including this still-warm-from-the-oven Onion Kulcha; a soft white bread stuffed with fragrant chopped onion.
We also enjoyed this freshly prepared Poori, a puffed, quick-fried whole wheat bread. This one is always greeted with smiles when it arrives at the table.
Ginger Tikka is made with boneless chicken marinated with fresh ginger, garlic and spices, and cooked in a clay oven. A tender and juicy people-pleasing dish!
For seafood lovers, Shrimp Balchao is a classic Goan dish with succulent shrimp in a spicy chili sauce.
Lasuni Gobi is a dish of battered and fried Cauliflower, served in a garlic sauce. Saffron has seemingly endless varieties of creative, vegetarian-friendly dishes.
Aloo Gobi Mutter is another popular Indian vegetable medley of lightly spiced potatoes, cauliflower and green peas, cooked in a ginger and tomato sauce. All of these dishes are ideally portioned for sharing, so a small group of friends can enjoy an eclectic feast by ordering just a few items!
Peas and Carrot Pulao is the favorite Basmati Rice dish with Saffron’s special touch of, well, saffron!
Another standout entree, for Salmon lovers especially, is the Fish Tikka Jalfrezi; tandoori Salmon Tikka sauteed with onion, bell pepper and special seasonings in a tangy tomato sauce — the best salmon dish I’ve yet tasted in any Indian restaurant. Highly recommended!
No Indian feast is complete without Paneer; a traditional Indian Cheese that is one of our favorites. The Palak Paneer pictured above combines cubes of this delcious homemade cheese with spinach, garlic and herbs.
Although we were all surely stuffed and satisfied by the end of the meal, Saffron did not skimp on serving two excellent Indian Desserts. The Indian Ice Cream Cake is light and luscious, with its three flavors of ice cream including pistachio, cherry and vanilla, layered on top of a moist, spongecake base. So good!
Gulab Jamun is a light pastry dumpling (not unlike a doughnut) served with a honey syrup. Sweet and a little decadent! What a fantastic evening!
In addition to its full dinner menu, Saffron also offers a variety of lunch options. Monday through Thursday, enjoy a special $9.95 lunch menu (Noon – 3 PM), or pick up a boxed lunch to-go for just $8.95. A weekend buffet lunch (Friday through Sunday, 11:30 AM – 3:30 PM) offers a fifteen course, all-you-can-eat entree selection for only $14.95 — a unique alternative to the usual Sunday Brunch!
Saffron Indian Cuisine is Located at 320 Columbus Avenue, at the corner of West 75th Street, in Manhattan. Take the 2 or 3 Train to 72nd and Broadway, or the C Train to 72nd and Central Park West. Order online or make a reservation for dinner at Saffron NYC Dot Com.
Ziegfeld Theater Exterior the Morning after Winter Storm Jonas (All Photos By Gail)
The legendary Ziegfeld Theater closed its doors for good on Thursday, January 28th with a 10 PM sold-out showing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. What a way to go!
We’d heard the rumor for just over a week that the place would be shutting down to be renovated into an event space, so Geoffrey wisely suggested we head over for a matinee of Star Warson the day after Winter Storm Jonas dumped two feet of snow on the city. It proved to be a good call, because I had, for whatever reaosn, never been there before. Better late than never, you aren’t kidding.
I took a few photos of the interior of the lobby spaces, but they didn’t turn out that great because I never like to use my flash. The thing I love about these photos though is that their darkness really does accurately reflect the glamour of the red velvet walls, and ornate brass and crystal light fixtures. Brightly lit photos would just ruin the mood.
Lobby staircase to the second floor.
This is the reflection of a chandelier shot into an oval mirror.
We had a great afternoon because The Force Awakens is just fantastic (Adam Driver as Kylo Ren: swoon), even though there was a tinge of melancholia in the experience, understanding that this beautiful movie palace would s0on join entertainment venues from Roseland Ballroom to CBGB that get closed down the name of the almighty dollar. They aren’t very sentimental in New York City. Read more about the final night at the Ziegfeld at This Link!
Winter Storm Jonas dumped Two Feet of white, fluffy snow on NYC on Saturday, January 23rd, and the aftermath is fairly Instagram worthy. This public phone booth, which appears to be “occupied,” stands near the corner of West 53rd Street and 6th Avenue.
Have you been over to the Whitney Museum yet, to see the massive Frank Stella Retrospective? Geoffrey and I went a couple of weeks ago and it was absolutely packed, so maybe you want go sooner rather than later. Because it is super cool and there is so much art to look at that you may want to go twice.
Maybe you don’t know who Frank Stella is, and that’s OK. It is impossible to know every great artist. I’m not going to spend a lot of time giving you background information or discussing why Frank Stella (b. 1936) is one of the most important living American artists, because in this case I think the pictures should do all the talking.
And if you are moved by the art, then you should be compelled to seek out more information on the man who created it. The Whitney Museum retrospective is the most comprehensive presentation of Stella’s career to date, showcasing his prolific output from the mid-1950s to the present through approximately 100 works, including paintings, reliefs, maquettes, sculptures and drawings.
The exhibition features Stella’s best-known works alongside rarely seen examples drawn from collections around the world. It fills the Whitney’s entire fifth floor, an 18,000-square-foot gallery that is the Museum’s largest space for temporary exhibitions.
The works are not in chronological order. They are just placed where Frank Stella felt they would fit best.
There are a lot of works that look similar to the piece pictured above, and they are sort of painting/sculpture hybrids. I love all of them.
Here’s another one. It is so fantastic and gorgeous. Kids probably love these.
The four small pieces above are called Maquettes, which are studies for some of his larger pieces. I love that he used soda cans and other household items to create them. Click on the photo to enlarge for greater detail.
Between 1985 and 1993, Stella produced a number of works that were inspired by Herman Mellville’s Moby Dick. As a sort of homage to that, on the day we visited, the museum sponsored a “marathon reading” of the novel, Moby Dick, which is being conducted by the man standing on the far left in the above photo. The three large works on the wall behind him are from the Moby Dick series.
This one is a good background for the selfies.
I want you to appreciate how difficult it was to get pictures without people in them, which is my thing.
Here’s a cool detail of the piece in the photo right above it.
This one is maybe my favorite.
Don’t you want to see all of this stuff in person? Sure you do.
On the fifth floor’s outdoor patio there are two gigantic star sculptures, Black Star (above) and Wooden Star (below). These photos were taken from the exterior staircase on the 6th floor.
Frank Stella: A Retrospective will be on Exhibit Through February 7th, 2016. Visit Whitney Dot Org for more information including museum hours and address, and special events associated with exhibit!
It is true that New York State is one of the best places to live if you really want to see the fall change of colors in nature. But here in Manhattan, the reality is that the leaves change from green to brown to dead without much color spectrum in between. Fortunately, I had the chance to spend a few days in the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts over the Columbus Day weekend and snapped many fantastic photos just as all of the leaves were approaching full fiery glory. Please enjoy!
This one was taken near a big lake.
This row of bright red bushes was near the main road walking up from the lake.
From a distance, these looked like huge pot leaves to me. But they were not.
I realize that these are blooming flowers and not leaves, but aren’t they gorgeous?
I took this one on the grounds near the house where I was staying. With all of those pine needles on the ground, the air smelled just amazing.
I love this one, lone red tree among all the green.
This Clock Tower, officially called the Dudley Field Memorial Tower, is right across the road from the Stockbridge Cemetery.
This one was taken at place called Naumkeag, the family estate of Joseph Choate, a leading 19th-century attorney, and a co-founder of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
And last, but not least, this one was taken in the parking lot of a Stop and Shop. Happy Fall Everyone!
Marilyn Monroe Red Velvet Series By Tom Kelley, 1949 (All Post Photos By Gail)
There would probably be little argument that Marilyn Monroe is the most legendary and iconic Hollywood Movie Star to have ever lived. Countless contemporary artists — from Andy Warhol to Ron English, Ad Infinitum — have captured and re-appropriated her likeness into their own works, and her image still turns heads wherever it appears. While she did not have a long life, she certainly has achieved immortality in a sense. Limited Runs, a company that specializes in Classic Hollywood and other Fine Art Photography has just released the Marilyn Monroe Red Velvet Collection, which features her famous nude shots circa 1949 that originally appeared on promotional calendars. Now you can all own prints of these gorgeous photographs that were at one time so controversial, they had to be “dressed” in superimposed lingerie in order to be sent through the mail.
Above is an example one of these calendars, where Monroe’s breasts have been blocked out to avoid being labeled as pornography — pretty hilarious when you consider the types of fashion photography and figure modeling that has become acceptable, and even mainstream, in the past 70 or so years. One of the Red Velvet poses made her the first Playboy Sweetheart — the prototype for the centerfold-featured Playmates who would follow in years to come.