Saturday, January 31, 2009

Flame Out

Fiamma's Osteria in SoHo just closed.

Fiamma was owned by BR Guest Restaurants, which also shuttered several of its other restaurants in January: Ruby Foo’s and Level V in Manhattan, and Blue Water Grill in Chicago.

Some of the best Italian in the city. Been a patron since its opening in 2002, coinciding with my relocation to Manhattan. I recommended to everyone, had dates there, great client meetings, happy hours. It typified the best of New York to me, its amber ambiance always a welcoming envelope.

I walked by its locked doors this past week, and the pilot light in my heart sputtered.

Might I now suggest L'Impero in Tudor City?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Arroz and Pollo and Frijoles, oh my!

Casa Havana. On 8th between 19th and 20th. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Take-out and delivery. Inexpensive, with plenty of "recession" specials. Top of my menu: roast chicken with yellow rice and black beans, $9.75. NOT good the next day, however, so forget leftovers. Waitresses call you "baby." Ignore the paint-by-numbers perspective-less murals. Just reopened, underwent renovations for months, was afraid they wouldn't come back.

Casa Havana
190 8th Avenue
NYC 10011

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Briski Business

WALTER BRISKI, JR. New Facebook Friend, neighbor, dog-lover, all-around good guy. Oh, and did I mention a Brazil-liant photographer of international renown? Formerly assisting such imaging luminaries as BRUCE WEBER, STEVEN KLEIN, ELLEN VON UNWERTH and ANNIE LEIBOVITZ, his independent work is poised to garner the same recognition as these lens legends.

I'm looking at my watch...any minute now, some bleeding-edge global luxury brand will hire him as a vision steward...or he'll be scooped up as a photography editor for a fashion magazine publisher. You heard it here first.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Chelsea Crime Wave

No doubt exacerbated by rising unemployment and the sky-is-falling economy, just this past week alone, two friends were mugged, one seriously injured with a broken wrist. Both times EARLY on a subway platform, one on 21st and 7th.

Common sense. Travel in pairs or groups. Avoid streets devoid of open businesses. Don't carry valuables if you can help it. 911, people...have the cellphone readily accessible. I'm thinkin' about taking some Tiger Shulmann martial arts classes. As they used to say on Hill Street Blues, be careful out there...

Friday, January 2, 2009

I live for (the) American Life

I'm back from holiday hiatus.

Flipping through the ENDLESS channels on Time Warner Cable NYC this evening, I came across the American Life's marketed as "the channel for baby boomers"...even though I'm just outside of that classification, I was immediately won over by their programming. Batman, Mary Tyler Moore, and Lost In Space (caught a great early B&W episode, "Ghost In Space").

SciFi Channel has a terrific Twilight Zone marathon running too.

Finally, something to justify that monthly $100+ tab...
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