Life in the big city, and everything in between.

Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

Roohi Photography

In Entertainment on March 9, 2012 at 11:01 am

Not only is Rana's photography so special and unique, but she makes you feel that way too!

Hey guys! My sister Rana, who’s a professional photographer in Florida, is planning a trip to New York and wanted to offer a few great specials for the following sessions: family, high school senior, engagement and kids’ photography.

If you are interested, she’s planning on being in town from April 9-12 (leaving Friday the 13th). You may check out her work here:
www.roohiphotography.com/blog. Beautiful work !!!

If you’ve been thinking of having family photos (or if you just got engaged – engagement photos!!), then I’d definitely reach out to her (or you may email me!). Her email is rana@roohiphotography.com and you can find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/roohiphotography

Rana photographs the moments that mean the most to you and your family.

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Zipcar

In Entertainment, Travel on February 1, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Join Zipcar and get $25 in free driving!

Living in NYC, it’s nearly impossible and very expensive to own a car. The parking alone can cost more than a monthly car payment.
I’ve had a Zipcar membership for the last year and it’s been super convenient. You rent the car by the hour or by the day. You can run your errands, explore other places outside of your city, do what you need to do and drop it back at its stop. No maintenance, no paying for gas or insurance, and up to 180 miles free per day.

They even have a Zipcar app for your iPhone.

Click below to receive $25 dollars in free driving credit (:

Join Zipcar and get $25 in free driving!

Johnny Depp Rocks Out

In Entertainment on October 30, 2011 at 8:57 pm

At the Playboy after party for “The Rum Diary” movie at Hiro Ballroom, Johnny Depp and Keith Richards joined Depp’s band, JD Band, on stage where Johnny was on guitar and Keith was on guitar and vocals for a 6 minute set. It was such an iconic moment and I was lucky to catch it on video. Before rocking out on stage, Depp and Richards spent most of the night drinking and chatting at the bar. Other pals who attended the premiere after-party were Paul Bettany  and Jennifer Connelly, Amber Heard, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Twiggy!

 

 

Mary J Blige At Paper Magazine’s Nightlife Awards

In Entertainment on September 28, 2011 at 1:21 pm

The beautiful Ms. Mary J Blige performed at Paper Magazine’s seventh annual Nightlife Awards at Hiro Ballroom at The Maritime Hotel last night. She rocked it out in a white studded jumpsuit and her signature blonde do while performing some of her classics like “Real Love” and “Be Without You” and her current single “25/8”. I can only describe the night as perfect because of the show stopping performance by Mary J. Check out some videos I captured of the songstress doing her thing like she does best.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crystal Castles at Hiro Ballroom

In Entertainment on September 16, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Wednesday night DeLeon Tequila and Nur Khan hosted a party at Hiro Ballroom with a special performance by Crystal Castles. They are an electronic band from Canada who are known for their chaotic live shows. Check out this video of the band performing at the DeLeon Rocks private party.

 

Courtney Love at Hiro Ballroom

In Entertainment on September 8, 2011 at 10:31 am

Held at Hiro Ballroom in the Maritime Hotel, One Model Management celebrated their 10 year Birthday Bash. Courtney Love was there to play the private fashion party which brought out tall, skinny girls in barely there outfits, guys in leather jackets, and oh yeah, Adrian Grenier who was sitting next to Russell Simmons for most of the night.

One of the first things that Love asked for when she got on stage was for a guitar and “some red wine” but “just half a cup”.

Courtney Love performed for over an hour, although it seemed like eternity.  She not only entertained us by singing her classics, as well as two Rolling Stones covers, but her banter kept my attention throughout her set. Especially when she started talking about her daughter.  “How beautiful is my daughter?” she asked the crowd. “Did you see that photo shoot from, like, last week? I’m so glad she never got that nose job.”

Sushi Seki on Miss A

In Entertainment, Fashion, Food on August 8, 2011 at 11:21 am

Hey Guys and Gals!

If you want to get the scoop on some great restaurants in NYC check out Miss A where you can read my reviews on some amazing places like Sushi Seki in the Upper East Side.  You can also get the latest info on great shopping, restaurant and nightlife, salons and spas, and so much more.

Thanks for reading!

xo

Helya

Island Buzz at Painkiller…

In Entertainment, Food on June 7, 2011 at 1:25 am

On the island that is Manhattan is a place that will make you feel like you’re in a tropical paradise. A place where you will leave smiling and full of happiness. I’m talking about Painkiller, an exceptional New York tiki bar where you get cocktails decorated with stuffed pink flamingos and palm trees.

I had to take this little guy home with me.

The history of the “tiki” bar is quite interesting. I never knew that the tiki culture originated in the United States back in the 1930s. Of course it was inspired by the Tiki carvings and mythology. The mid 1990s saw the beginning of a revival of the Tiki culture. Restaurants and bars would feature exotic rum punches like the Mai Tai and decorate with flaming torches, rattan furniture, and flower leis. You may even get a history lesson from some of the staff at Painkiller. I did and I found it very refreshing.

The Daiquiri is the mother of all rum cocktails and they take it a few steps further.

Pina Colada: The standard by which Painkiller measures all their frozen drinks. And so yummy!

Each cocktail is carefully crafted from the best ingredients available. Like the piña coloda that’s made with fresh pineapple juice, not the crap in a can, and their house cream of coconut. They take this drink very seriously. It’s even served in a carved out pineapple.  Yeah the bar-back actually carves each and every pineapple. The entire staff is unbelievably friendly. I recommend engaging them in conversation because they have some pretty interesting stories. The bartender is incredibly knowledgeable and will customize each cocktail to your liking. Be careful what you wish for though. If you ask for a strong drink you will most likely get one that will really knock you on your ass (limit to one per person that is).

If you go with a group of people get a Scorpion, which collectively intoxicates between 2-4 people sipping from a giant bowl with colorful straws. Apparently the Zombie Punch is the one that will really “kill the pain”. It has the alcoholic equivalent of almost one full bottle of rum and  becomes smoother and more complex over time.

Painkiller: The bar's namesake and one of my favorites. A blend of Virgin Islands rum, fresh juices of pineapple and orange, house cream of coconut, and a dusting of nutmeg.

You really feel like you have escaped Manhattan from the minute you enter Painkiller. Besides the staff being so charming and welcoming, the vibe of the place just makes you feel happy. Luckily I got to try what felt like every drink on the menu. Ok, that’s a bit exaggerated but there were a lot of drinks flowing…

 

49 Essex St
(between Hester St & Grand St)
New York, NY 10002
Neighborhood: Lower East Side

(212) 777-8454

 

Wine & Spirits Magazine: The 3rd Annual Top of the List Tasting

In Entertainment, Food on May 11, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Last night’s Wine & Spirits Top of the List Tasting was held at the Metropolitan Pavilion to commend America’s most popular restaurant wines by region and varietal category. The wines were chosen by the top restaurateurs as well as wine directors. This sold out tasting event celebrated the featured wineries as well as the chef and sommeliers who contributed to the ongoing success.

This first-rate walk about wine and food tasting not only featured many wineries and their vino, but also delicious bites from 10 of New York’s hottest restaurants, including ABC Kitchen, Lani Kai, Ai Fiori, and of course my favorite, Porsena. Plus local artisan purveyors including oysters from Grand Central Oyster Bar, cheese from Artisanal, chocolate from La Maison du Chocolat, and so much more!

I enjoyed some great Napa Valley Cabernet from these friendly gentlemen. Thanks guys!

Setting up for the Wine & Spirits tasting event.

And if you were among the lucky VIP ticket holders you were greeted with a caviar and champagne reception. I’m aiming for that next year.

I have to mention one of my favorite wines from last night’s event. With so much to choose from it can be hard to decipher, however, some wine really stood out from the rest. I loved the Domaine Spiropoulos Greek wine. The grapes are hand-picked and taken under climate controlled conditions to their modern winery facilities in ancient Mantinia. There, the grapes are crushed and vinified under strictly controlled conditions. The wines are then aged and matured in underground cellars in stainless steel tanks or French oak barrels. A final quality control takes place during the bottling stage guaranteeing the release of the highest quality products to the market. This white wine has a youthful and dry citrus flavor with medium acidity that cleanses the palate. Overall, it is balanced with a pleasant medium finish.

What I loved most about the set up at this tasting was the arrangement of wines to restaurants. For example, the oysters were near the whites wines, the chocolate and cheese was near the port wines, and the heavier, meatier dishes were near the red wines.

The guys from Grand Central Oyster Bar didn't skimp out on the oysters.

The oysters were flowing all night!

Porsena's celery heart, grape tomato, and shaved bottarga on a crostini was a huge hit!

I probably had a dozen of these delectable crostini bites myself!

Michael White a no-show? Yes, but Ai Fiori still represented.

I loved all the rustic breads from Grandaisy Bakery, especially this one made of cauliflower.

I must admit, Lani Kai outdid themselves with their poi pancake. Absolute heaven! Lani Kai is known for their surplus of rum, inventive drinks, and mouth-watering food!

What's better than pork on a pancake?

This was one of the booths I frequented all night, Hudson Valley Foie Gras.

Spasso is tucked away in a cozy corner spot in the West Village. Known for their simple preparations and quality ingredients.

Valdeón is a rich and creamy, full-flavored cow and goat's milk blue cheese, stronger than Stilton but less intense than Cabrales.

I also have to give a shout out to Edi & The Wolf. One of the partners of the restaurant, Edi Frauneder, is friends with Sara so he made his way the Porsena table a few times throughout the night. Their east village restaurant is known for being warm and inviting with the friendliest staff. I can’t wait to try some of the Austrian wines from Vienna and maybe a schnitzel or two.

All of these restaurants have done something right to gain so much notoriety around town. They all deliver more than just your average, everyday place, from their food to their wine. In New York there are plenty of places to grab a drink and a bite. But why wouldn’t you have the best of both worlds under one roof? These restaurants and wineries are experts of serving up guilty pleasures in your glass or on your plate.

Check out these new and notable restaurants:

Porsena

Lani Kai

Edi & The Wolf

Spasso

ABC Kitchen

TFI Special Legacy Celebration Quincy Jones Tribute

In Entertainment on April 29, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Robert de Niro, Grace Hightower, and Quincy Jones at Hiro Ballroom (photo courtesy of seattlepi.com)

Last night the Tribeca Film Festival held a special tribute at the Maritime Hotel’s Hiro Ballroom to honor the legendary Academy Award and Grammy Award winner Quincy Jones. He was celebrated for his contributions to cinema, music, and his philanthropic efforts across the globe. I was lucky enough to not only be there but have a rare opportunity to speak with Mr. Jones. Here is how the brief but memorable conversation went…

QJ: Excuse me. Can I ask where you are from?

ME: Well I was raised in Louisiana.

QJ: No, where were you born?

ME: Originally I am from Iran.

QJ: I knew that.

ME: (already in shock) Really?!

QJ: Yes, you know I have been to Tehran many years ago probably before your parents were even born.

ME: Wow you could tell I was Persian!  That’s amazing! (at this point I am gasping)

QJ: Kheyli mamnoon (this means “thank you very much in Farsi)

ME: You said that perfectly!

Then he gave me a fist dap (really!) and I was on my way. What a nice man. I know I am probably making a bigger deal out of this than it is but come on he is a legend! Just the fact that I was a pure stranger to him and he took the time to acknowledge me was something else. Every kind word anyone has said about him is true, he is the most admirable, passionate, and humane person. Mr. Jones is quite a legend and I am so fortunate to have met him.

Okay now that I have rambled on here is a clip from his speech last night:

Multi-platinum singer, songwriter and producer Al B. Sure (Albert Jason Brown III) made his mark as one of New Jack Swing’s most romantic singers and producers. Last night he paid special tribute to Quincy Jones by performing for him. In 1987, Quincy selected Brown as the first winner of the Sony Innovators Talent Search. Subsequently, Brown went on to work with Jones on several projects. Here is a clip from his performance last night:

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