Harlem Eat Up makes a Big League debut among NYC food festivals

Chefs had fun, too.
Marcus Samuelsson, Scott Conant, Alex Guarnaschelli, and Aaron Sanchez pictured.
Charles' Country Fried Chicken
Charles' Country Fried Chicken served a traditional soul food sampler, with Charles' signature chicken.
Co-Founder and host Marcus Samuelsson
Chef Marcus Samuelsson greeted guests arriving for the Harlem Stroll.
Sylvia's
Chicken and waffle, appetizer style, from Sylvia's.
Spring pea soup
Sweet spring pea soup by the Sylvia Center was one of the most memorable bites.
Co-host Bill Clinton
President Clinton poses with workers on his way out from the Harlem Stroll.
The Stroll
Part of Morningside Park was converted into the Harlem Stroll for two days.
Jerk Chicken, British Virgin Islands Style
Jerk chicken with sweet potato puree, promoting Caribbean travel.
Shaved asparagus salad
The Grange served an asparagus and prosciutto salad.
Texas beer Shiner Bock
Apparently Shiner Bock is popular in Harlem.
Crowds around chefs
The stars were out, and accessible at the Harlem Stroll.
Chefs had fun, too.
Marcus Samuelsson, Scott Conant, Alex Guarnaschelli, and Aaron Sanchez pictured.
Chefs had fun, too.
Marcus Samuelsson, Scott Conant, Al...
Charles' Country Fried Chicken
Charles' Country Fried Chicken served a traditional soul food sampler, with Charles' signature chicken.
Charles' Country Frie
Charles' Country Fried Chicken serv...
Co-Founder and host Marcus Samuelsson
Chef Marcus Samuelsson greeted guests arriving for the Harlem Stroll.
Co-Founder and host M
Chef Marcus Samuelsson greeted gues...
Sylvia's
Chicken and waffle, appetizer style, from Sylvia's.
Sylvia's
Chicken and waffle, appetizer style...
Spring pea soup
Sweet spring pea soup by the Sylvia Center was one of the most memorable bites.
Spring pea soup
Sweet spring pea soup by the Sylvia...
Co-host Bill Clinton
President Clinton poses with workers on his way out from the Harlem Stroll.
Co-host Bill Clinton
President Clinton poses with worker...
The Stroll
Part of Morningside Park was converted into the Harlem Stroll for two days.
The Stroll
Part of Morningside Park was conver...
Jerk Chicken, British Virgin Islands Style
Jerk chicken with sweet potato puree, promoting Caribbean travel.
Jerk Chicken, British
Jerk chicken with sweet potato pure...
Shaved asparagus salad
The Grange served an asparagus and prosciutto salad.
Shaved asparagus sala
The Grange served an asparagus and ...
Texas beer Shiner Bock
Apparently Shiner Bock is popular in Harlem.
Texas beer Shiner Boc
Apparently Shiner Bock is popular i...
Crowds around chefs
The stars were out, and accessible at the Harlem Stroll.
Crowds around chefs
The stars were out, and accessible ...

First attempts to produce major festivals rarely go this well. The inaugural Harlem Eat Up proved what is possible when committed chefs and the community come together and invest professional resources — and lots of their own time to make a big event happen.

Harlem Eat Up is a four-day series of special meals, workshops, chef talks, and tastings celebrating the renaissance of culinary arts in Harlem. In the years since Marcus Samuelsson opened Red Rooster on Malcolm X Boulevard near 125th Street, a long list of restaurants have followed.

The centerpiece, called the Harlem Stroll, consisted of tasting events on both weekend afternoons. Some of Harlem’s top-rated restaurants offered samples, along with dozens of beer and wine samples.

On the demonstration stage, chef Aaron Sanchez joked that he learned about herbs in Morningside Park when he was a teenager in the neighborhood. A lot has changed In those 20 or so years, including that Sanchez is a Food Network star, co-owner with John Besh of Johnny Sanchez in New Orleans and Baltimore, and chef/partner of Paloma, in Stamford, Ct.

Marcus Samuelsson and Aaron Sanchez having fun at Harlem Eat Up.
Marcus Samuelsson and Aaron Sanchez having fun at Harlem Eat Up.

Fans of television food shows had plenty to satisfy their cravings. Throughout the afternoon, some of the most familiar faces from television kitchens were visible and accessible. Daniel Bouloud walked around, while Scott Conant and Alex Guarnaschelli were part of the peanut gallery as Sanchez performed a cooking demonstration emceed by Samuelsson.

“Why does it always have to be white beans,” declared Samuelsson as Sanchez pureed beans with fish to make a version of brandade. The two bantered back and forth with good-natured jokes about each other’s ethnic and culinary background, but they saved their biggest barbs for chefs who weren’t there. Clearly, it was all in good fun.

Next year likely will be even better, but this was a fabulous start.

 

On a mission to save the city’s Art Deco mailboxes | Crain’s New York Business

Karen Greene has a passion for preserving these receptacles, according to an article in Crain’s New York Business about her photography of Art Deco mailbox masterpieces.

So glad to see my neighbor Karen Greene doing good work like this — and getting recognized for it.

A clinical psychologist, she is also an amateur photographer with a passion for documenting the city’s Art Deco mailboxes. Last year, Art Deco Mailboxes, the book she co-wrote featuring her pictures, was published by W.W. Norton, and she’s now speaking to New York art aficionados about the cultural importance of century-old letter receptacles.

‘Karen has done a marvelous thing by focusing attention on something we see all the time but don’t really think about anymore,’ said Roberta Nusim, president of the Art Deco Society of New York.

Source: She’s got mail: On a mission to save the city’s Art Deco mailboxes | Crain’s New York Business

Also check out the book that includes Karen’s photographs:

Directory: Where to find organic and healthy foods in Washington Heights and Inwood

After a neighbor complained that she could only find “five or six” organic foods in Washington Heights or Inwood, I started collecting data that shows otherwise. In fact, the selection of organic, local and natural items available in northern Manhattan has increased significantly just in the four months since started compiling this directory. Now, healthy and organic options continue to expand — throughout our diverse community. Please contribute to my list, below.

Update May 12, 2016: In addition to the stores on the list below, nearly every corner store or bodega in the area now has some organic items, and many have fresh fruits for sale.

Organic food and natural products in Washington Heights and Inwood

Fresh carrots and radishes by Hawthorne Valley Farm.

Fresh carrots and radishes by Hawthorne Valley Farm.

Hawthorne Valley Farms sells organics at Inwood Greenmarket.

Hawthorne Valley Farms sells organics at Inwood Greenmarket.

Organic canned goods.

Organic canned goods.

Organic goods at Frank's Market.

Organic goods at Frank's Market.

C-Town has a growing organic produce section.

C-Town has a growing organic produce section.

Organic beverages at Antillana.

Organic beverages at Antillana.

Shelves Filled With Organics At Fine Fare.

Shelves Filled With Organics At Fine Fare.

Fine Fare recently expanded organic produce.

Fine Fare recently expanded organic produce.

Inwood Greenmarket In Summer.

Inwood Greenmarket In Summer.

Natural Household Products At Dichter Pharmacy.

Natural Household Products At Dichter Pharmacy.

Purple Cauliflower At Inwood Greenmarket.

Purple Cauliflower At Inwood Greenmarket.

Organic Pasta Sauces At Pathmark.

Organic Pasta Sauces At Pathmark.

Organic Dairy Products At Pathmark.

Organic Dairy Products At Pathmark.

C-Town Has Signs That Guide To Healthier Choices.

C-Town Has Signs That Guide To Healthier Choices.

Organic Grains At Pathmark

Organic Grains At Pathmark

Organic Spices.

Organic Spices.

Frozen Organics At Pathmark.

Frozen Organics At Pathmark.


While much of the growth is spurred by customer requests, City Harvest’s Healthy Neighborhood Program works with corner stores and supermarkets in Washington Heights and Inwood to increase the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables. City Harvest aims to expand to more stores this year.

Here is a list of places that sell organic or natural products in our community. If you have information to add, please enter a comment, and the page will be updated periodically.

  • C-Town 4918 Broadway  sells a growing variety of organic fresh vegetables and fruits, Bob’s Red Mill grain products, household products by Seventh Generation, Mrs. Meyers, and others, and meats and poultry raised without antibiotics, including some organic meats (check the freezer case.) Carries large selection of organic spices and packaged foods, including multiple brands of organic beans and other staples. Very good about ordering items on request.
  • Bravo 4261 Broadway carries organic dairy products, frozen vegetables and some organic produce.
  • Food Universe (formerly Associated) 5069 Broadway has a selection of organic produce and multiple brands of dairy, natural and antibiotic-free meats, and environmentally sensitive household products. Has organic baby food, spices and both canned and frozen foods, and organic grains. Major brands carried include: Amy’s, Kashi, Bob’s Red Mill, Cascadian Farms, Stonyfield Farms, Spice Hunter.
  • Associated 592 Fort Washington Ave., has multiple brands of organic dairy products, some organic produce, and natural household items. Store is scheduled for renovation and upgrade in 2016.
  • Frank’s Market 807 W. 187th St.,  has an extensive selection of organic produce, canned and other packaged food items, organic meats and poultry, frozen foods, and dairy. Wide selection of organic groceries, including Bob’s Red Mill and other brands of grains and baking products.
  • Jin’s Superette, 804 W. 181st St., has organic produce, dairy, frozen foods and canned goods, plus an array of organic snacks.
  • Dichter Pharmacy, 4953 Broadway, , has variety of organic and natural health and beauty products and some household items, including cleaning products. Very good about ordering items on request. Also sells Ronnybrook dairy products, including milk and ice cream.
  • All About Green, Sherman Ave between 10th Ave. and Isham St., has hundreds of organic and natural cleaning and household products, primarily in large sizes for commercial use. Store hours seem somewhat unpredictable.
  • Saturdays: Most of the products sold at the Inwood Greenmarket are raised naturally and some are certified organic. All are local. See http://www.grownyc.org/greenmarket/manhattan/inwood for details and a list of the vendors. Hawthorne Valley Farm is a year-round vendor of vegetables, fruit, cheese, yogurt, pastries and sauerkraut that is certified organic. Bread Alone sells organic breads and pastries.
  • Tuesdays: Fort Washington Greenmarket on Fort Washington Ave., at 168th Street (Columbia University Medical Center) has several organic vendors. See  http://www.grownyc.org/greenmarket/manhattan/fort-washington. (Market closed during winter months.)
  • Thursdays: The 175th Street Greenmarket has natural products and farmers selling specialty produce of Mexican and other Latino origins, all from local growers. See http://www.grownyc.org/greenmarket/manhattan/175th-street
  • Park Terrace Deli, 510 W. 218th St., has more than 200 organic products, including frozen vegetables and prepared foods, canned groceries, snacks, multiple brands of organic dairy and beverages, and a limited selection of organic fresh fruits.
  • Fine Fare, 4776 Broadway near Dyckman, has over 300 organic grocery items, including spices, grains, cereals, multiple brands of organic dairy, and produce. No organic meats or chicken.

The following stores (supermarkets and “corner stores” or bodegas) participate in City Harvest’s Healthy Neighborhood Program to increase produce availability and offer healthy shopping tours and in-store cooking demonstrations:

  • Bravo supermarkets at 1331 St. Nicholas Ave., 4138 Broadway, and 4261 Broadway.
  • C-Town, 1016 St. Nicholas Ave.
  • C-Town, 4918 Broadway
  • La Mina Supermarket, 553 W. 157th St.
  • 119 AR Grocery Corp., 119 Ellwood St.
  • 128 P&L Grocery Corp., 128 Audubon Ave.
  • Bello Deli Food, 5009 Broadway.
  • Diaz Deli Grocery, 2143 Amsterdam Ave.
  • Frutera El Buen Camino, 3888 Broadway.
  • M.D.K. Grocery Corp., 100 Audubon Ave.
  • My Deli Grocery, 670 W. Academy St.
  • My Sweet Deli, 187 Sherman Ave.
  • Red Apple Deli Market Corp., 134 Hamilton Pl.
  • The New Generation, 242 Sherman Ave.

 

 

 

Forecasters rarely use “historic” to describe pending storm

The storm on its way to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast has the makings of a major snow and weather event. The National Weather Service rarely uses language like this, which was included in the forecast Sunday afternoon:

"...CRIPPLING AND POTENTIALLY HISTORIC BLIZZARD TO IMPACT THE AREA
FROM LATE MONDAY INTO TUESDAY..."

Here’s some detail from NYNJPAWEATHER.com, a private forecaster who has been helpful and reliable during past major weather events. While the amount of the snowfall in the New York City area could be anywhere from a few inches up to two feet, the bigger concern has to do with wind and “thunder snow.” Also, surrounding areas look like they will get well more than a foot of snow. If the storm duration is greater than 24 hours, as the current forecast indicates, there will be much disruption, especially on Tuesday.

Click on any area on the map below for details of the projected storm impact.

#GoodRiddanceDay: Start 2015 with a clean slate

Here’s a fun idea from Times Square Alliance that is also good for the environment and probably your mental health, too, as a way of starting 2015 with a clean slate. Good Riddance Day is a designated time to close the chapter on 2014 so that 2015 starts fresh. Everyone has thoughts or issues they want to leave behind, right?

Times Square is the site of New York's Good Riddance Day, a time to seal the books on 2014.
Times Square is the site of New York’s Good Riddance Day, a time to seal the books on 2014.

The official event is Sunday, December 28 at noon in Times Square in New York City, but you can mark the occasion from anywhere. From the business group’s website:

Have a picture of a significant other who’s proven less significant, a mortgage document that’s now history, or a medical bill that signifies a triumphant defeat?  Shred-it and forget it!

Good Riddance Day is inspired by a Latin American tradition in which New Year’s revelers stuffed dolls with objects representing bad memories before setting them on fire.  There will be no bonfire in Times Square, but we invite you to shed and shred your forgettable memories from 2014 for a fresh start in 2015.

Can’t make it to Times Square?   Submit your unwanted memories here or tweet at @TimesSquareNYC using #GoodRiddanceDay and we’ll help you forget it by shredding it.

Cleverly sponsored by a shredding company, this seems like a tradition worth adopting.