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Upper West Side

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Bedford-Stuyvesant Not So Sold on the ‘Hope’ and ‘Change’ Parts of This Election

Bedford-Stuyvesant: Some folks are skeptical that anything will change here, no matter who's elected in November. And they're employing their mailboxes to say so. [Newyorkshitty] Greenwich Village: After renovations of Washington Square Park found human remains there, folks will protest there tonight, saying the city should merely "repair" the park and not upset buried bones with a full-scale redo. [Metro] Jackson Heights: This is the home of the largest of 47 rent-stabilized apartment buildings throughout Queens just purchased for $300 million by Vantage Properties. Housing advocates fear the new owner will systematically push out low-rent-paying tenants in the nearly 2,000 units. [The Real Deal]

Beware Midtown Fortune-Tellers! (As If You Weren't Wary Before)

Chelsea: All the fabulous old Chelsea freaks and bohos partied at Cindy Gallop's wacky loft in the old YMCA building, but this time, sadly, the waiters kept their pants on. [Living with Legends] Midtown: It's funny/sad that a fortune-teller here duped an entrepreneur out of nearly half a million by telling him he was cursed, but it's just plain funny that the Post said the guy was from "tony Wilson, Wyoming." Bitchy! [NYP] Red Hook Guess which "degentrifying" hood had the distinct honor of producing confetti for today's Super Bowl–victory parade? Local hearts were "aflutter" with pride…get it? [The Real Deal]

Every Day Would Be Better With a Seal in It

A Seal

This picture was taken today near West 79th Street. Okay, a seal on the Upper West Side? Adorable. Look at his little face! Look at that fuzzy-wuzzy wittle face. OMG, he's rolling around! Hello there. Hello. Who's a good boy? Who's a good boy? What could be a cuter, more uplifting surprise on a cold, rainy winter day? Mmmm. Maybe a seal rolling around in something other than decades' worth of goose poop. A Seal Pays a Visit to The Upper West Side [City Room/NYT]

Bar Boulud's Wine-Tasting Table, Chop Suey's Dining Room Both Half-Full

Spot Check
The first time we dropped in on a batch of new restaurants to take head counts, we hit the East Side. Then we threw it over to the West Side. Last Friday we took it uptown to see what’s doing above 42nd Street. It wasn’t easy hitting half a dozen spots between the hours of 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., but luckily we were navigating familiar territory — Mermaid Inn? Magnolia Bakery? Blue Ribbon Sushi? Zak Pelaccio’s new spot? It’s like we never left downtown.

Condos Eating Up Ethnic Restaurants; Eleven Madison Park Chef Bringing Some Bling to the UWS

Astoria: The café Oleput at 31-13 Ditmars has reopened, and they might have a liquor license. [Joey in Astoria] Clinton Hill: Krumbs (or whatever the bakery will soon be called) is now open at 154 Vanderbilt between Willoughby and Myrtle, and mini–carrot cakes seem like a hit. [Clinton Hill Blog] Flushing: The legendary Chinese food court at J & L mall may be closed for good after a brief shutter this summer. The condo curse strikes again. [Eat for Victory/VV] Hell's Kitchen: Kyotofu’s hosting a winter sake pairing Monday with the theme "An Evening at an Izakaya, a traditional Japanese Pub.” It includes real food like miso-grilled ten-grain yaki-onigiri rice balls and shiitake-and-pork-yuba dumplings. [Grub Street] Park Slope: A new reason to join the CSA: Find a tiny frog in your lettuce and get a hilarious feature in the Daily News. [Gothamist] Upper East Side: A San Francisco restaurant critic goes to Park Avenue Winter and other top-billed New York restaurants and admits being "struck by a trend that seems to be taking root [here]: Market-driven menus. Of course, this is common to the Bay Area." [Between Meals/San Francisco Chronicle] Upper West Side: Eleven Madison Park chef Kerry Heffernan has outfitted the old Cafe Botanica with mirrors and glass to prepare for the opening of South Gate, his new restaurant slated for a mid-February opening. [Restaurant Girl]

Abrams Brothers Have Always Loved the UWS; Gay Talese Will Eat BBQ on the UES

Chelsea: The owner of the Cuban restaurant that replaced Havana Chelsea says he’s not trying to copy the former tenant: "It took years of grease to get on those walls and the smell of rotten wood and mice and stale water and dirt. We gutted the entire place, not even a tooth pick was worth saving." [Eat for Victory/VV] Clinton Hill: Greene Grape Provisions has opened with fresh fish and meats, and if you bring a receipt to their nearby wine store, the owners will take 5 percent off your purchase of their recommended pairings. [Clinton Hill Blog] Midtown East: Chocolatier Charbonnel Et Walker on the eighth floor of Saks sells a rich chocolate cupcake drenched in sticky toffee, which is well worth its $6 price tag and still "way cheaper than a pair of Chanel pumps" sold nearby. [NewYorkology] Midtown West: Brasserie Cognac is coming to 55th Street and Broadway. [Grub Street] Tribeca: Dekk seems closed indefinitely. [Grub Street] Union Square: In an unsurprising conclusion, Bruni finds that Indian and Italian restaurants are better equipped to satisfy vegetarians. Dévi is one example where even meat eaters may want to eat those vegetable-based dishes. [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Upper East Side: Barbejew Steven Levy hopes his new BBQ joint, Smokin’ Q, which opens this week at 206 East 63rd Street, will succeed where twelve restaurants have failed since 1977. Levy may have an edge against predecessors, however, since writer Gay Talese, who included the doomed space in his memoir, plans to be the writer-in-residence. [NYT] Upper West Side: The Magnolia and Mermaid Inn uptown aren’t the first companies the Abrams brothers have introduced to the nabe; cupcake guru Steve owns "a construction company, high-end residential construction, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous sort of stuff. My clients are Samuel Jackson, Annie Leibovitz, Jeff Gordon." [NYO]

Crosby Connection Will Rise Again; Los Dados the Last Breath of Meatpacking

Meatpacking District: With the wave of recent restaurant and nightlife closings, this area seems doomed, but Los Dados and long-delayed Merkato 55 might be able to salvage the hip destination, at least "on its western perimeter." [Zagat] Midtown East: Midtown Lunch finagled a sneak peak of Sakae Sushi’s conveyor belt and loses his cool: "If you’ve been to an outlet overseas, you may end up disappointed by the first US location which lacks some of the uniqueness or ‘cool’ factor of the locations in Asia. That’s because they felt a more subdued location would be more appealing to the clientele of Midtown.… Even when we get something cool, we get screwed." [Midtown Lunch] Park Slope: Lebanese Laila has closed, which doesn’t seem like a surprise since it was across the street from "the better, cheaper Olive Vine." [TONY] South Slope: The Fourth Avenue soup man has officially given up his spot in preparation for a new fancy condo. [Eat for Victory/VV] Upper West Side: China Fun is getting in on the New Year shill fest: Submit 500 words (or fewer) on why you want to celebrate the Year of the Rat at China Fun (info@chinafun-ny.com), and you could win a banquet for eight. West Village: After losing its lease, Italian sandwich destination Crosby Connection is moving from its hole-in-the-wall to an actual restaurant space a couple of blocks away. [The Gluttoness]

Caviar and Vodka Warming Hearts in Midtown; Danal Not Down for Long in the East Village

Astoria: The guacamole at Luna de Juarez is prepared tableside. [Joey in Astoria] Central Park: Someone may take over the Tavern on the Green someday, but they won't be calling it Tavern on the Green. That name belongs to owner Jennifer LeRoy. [Insatiable Critic] East Village: From a tipster comment on yesterday’s nabe watch: Danal is reopening on January 10 in a new Fifth Avenue space just south of 13th Street. [Grub Street] Lincoln Center: Bruni gives Rosa Mexicano thumbs up for its kid-friendly service and adult-friendly fare. [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Lower East Side: Móle might make some of the tastiest tamales in town. [Gothamist] Midtown East: Reservations are required for Gastronomica editor, Russian professor, and cookbook author Darra Goldstein’s sustainable-caviar and vodka tasting next Wednesday in the Williams Club at 24 East 39th Street. [Williams Club] Nolita: Ceci-Cela on Spring Street will bake you a buttery galette des rois with only one day's notice … [Snack] Tribeca: … while Ceci-Cela on Chambers has officially closed after rising rents compelled the bakery to give up its lease. [Grub Street] Upper East Side: Rome expat Enrico Proietti (Baraonda, Per Lei, and Bella Blue) is opening a fourth Italian restaurant, which he’s named Ciaobella in commemoration of his first, long-closed, New York venture. [NYS] Upper West Side: Not only does DB source great charcuterie for Bar Boulud, the chef also knows how to throw a party. [Eater]

Charcuterie Continues to Wow on the UWS; Beer, Cheese, and Chocolate Go Together in the East Village

Chelsea: Cain’s Website is already “pimping” a London opening. [Down by the Hipster] East Village: Jimmy’s No. 43 is hosting a cheese, beer, and chocolate pairing on January 22. Luckily, cheese before beer, you're in the clear. [Gridskipper] Danal on 10th Street has given up the ghost. [Zagat] Hell’s Kitchen: Tasting World is hosting its first Wine Essentials course of 2008 on January 17. [Tasting World] Midwood: The Amateur Gourmet’s "Best Place I Should’ve Been To Already and Where I Should’ve Already Gone Back To" for 2007: Di Fara Pizza. There are surely too many out there who can relate. Upper West Side: Ed Levine is as wowed by Sylvain Gasdon’s charcuterie at Bar Boulud as we were. [Ed Levine’s New York Eats via Eater] West Village: David Page and Barbara Shinn have left Home to focus on their North Fork winery and have taken the wine-sensitive heart of the restaurant with them. [Eater]

Flatbush Is Even Noisier Than Your Hood

East Village: Do a piercing salon, tattoo parlor, and bong shop qualify as the "community facilities" a developer said he'd rent to in return for being allowed to build bigger than code here on St. Marks? Discuss. [Neither More Nor Less] Elmhurst: A skater boy rescued a newborn baby, umbilical cord intact, from a freezing Dumpster. Troubled young moms, New York law says it's okay to abandon babies … as long as you leave them somewhere safe and warm where they can be found! [Newsday] Flatbush: Locals here called in more noise complaints in the second half of 2007 than in any other Brooklyn hood. So does that make Flatbush the borough's noisiest hood or just full of its noisiest kvetchers? [Ditmas Park Blog via NYDN]

Newfangled Toilets Make Us Wonder What They'll Look Like When They're Oldfangled

Bushwick: All the 'swhik kids are chipping in to help Steve Trimboli, who runs local indie-rock mecca Goodbye Blue Monday, pay his mountain of post-cancer bills. That's nice. [VV]
Carroll Gardens: Who is trying to destroy the hood's "Democracy Wall," where locals post anti-development propaganda? Could it be … Councilmember Bill DeBlasio? [Gowanus Lounge]
Flatiron: The new Cemusa toilet's going up in Madison Square Park! Weird to think that something so sleek will soon be crawling with germs. (Or are these things self-cleaning?) [Curbed, Promediacorp]

Gusto Now Going to Look and Taste Like Centro Vinoteca

Chelsea: It doesn’t look good for those who are just getting used to the belly; pig’s ears are the latest trend, and even the version at stellar tapas spot Tía Pol was described by Peter Meehan as "crunchy and sticky with a funky pigskin flavor." [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine] Financial District: Don’t forget, the trial run for the proposed year-round seasonal market at South Street Seaport starts on December 16 (and Molto Mario will be there). [Grub Street] Park Slope: Tempo Presto is closing this Friday because the restaurant can’t keep up with the pricey rent. [Gowanus Lounge] Upper West Side: Dovetail‘s opening next week. [Zagat] West Village: Sasha Muniak must feel really good about the Centro Vinoteca formula; after tapping chef Anne Burrell to take over for Amanda Freitag, he plans to redesign the Gusto space by next year with help from Centro Vinoteca and Jean Georges designer Thomas Juul-Hansen. [Restaurant Girl] Andrea Strong unveils renderings of Jason Neroni’s new gig, 10 Downing. [Strong Buzz via Eater] Magnolia Bakery will be open regular hours every day this holiday season except for Christmas, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on December 24, kids can pick up a cupcake that comes with a note to Santa. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Williamsburg: A benefit party at Supreme Trading tomorrow night promises an open Bass Ale Beer bar from 7 to 8 p.m. and "one of the most difficult cuisines to find in New York City: Rwandan." [Cakehead]

Bruni Hot for Small Baguettes on the Upper West Side

East Village: Anita Lo thinks Degustation isn’t getting enough attention. [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Bao 111 will now be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. [Eater] Hell’s Kitchen: Kyotofu will be holding a seven-course dinner plus dessert paired with "six different types of specialty and esoteric sake" at 7 p.m. on Monday, December 17. [Grub Street] Richmond Hill: RIP 80-year-old Jahn’s Ice Cream. [Lost City] Upper West Side: Frank Bruni reveals he’s "hot for" small baguettes with butter and raspberry jam from Levain Bakery: "I demolish it in four or five bites, squeezing it so tight the jam drips from the edges, and I sometimes have to change my shirt afterward because of the jam stains." [Refinery 29]

Should Stuyvesant Heights Secede?

Bushwick: This blogger hates on gritty Bed-Stuy, claiming that it's nothing compared to its slicker, 'shwick-er neighbor. That's harsh, but maybe he's right to suggest that pretty Stuy Heights secede from the rest of the hood. [BushwickBK] Chelsea: Even before 100 Eleventh Avenue developers could obscure Knox Martin's landmark mural next door, they've covered his signature with their ad. It's a proto-dis! [Chelsea Blog] Coney Island: An ice-skating rink at the base of the Wonder Wheel? That's bigger than Wollman? That's a summertime sailing pond? Yes, yes and yes! [NY1 via Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn]

Brooklyn's Top Bed-and-Breakfasts; Free Cupcakes in the Financial District Friday

Bedford-Stuyvesant: Akwaaba Mansion at 34 Macdonough Street made it to the top of this list of Brooklyn bed-and-breakfasts. [Gridskipper] Financial District: Crumbs has opened a bakery at 87 Beaver Street between Hanover Street and Wall Street, and to celebrate the shop will give away 1,000 cupcakes this Friday starting at 7 a.m. [Snack] Harlem: Among its other delicacies, Fairway sells flagels, which are “to the bagel what nuggets are to fried chicken. When toasted, they are delightfully crunchy, but the inside still has the chewiness a bagel should — “just less of it” — because they’re flattened, of course. [Eat for Victory/VV] Jackson Heights: The city's first Tibetan street-food cart is up and running near the 74th Street stop. [Gothamist] Lower East Side: Six Point Ales debuted a new flavor called 8 Days of Wheat at the Whole Foods Beer Room last night, and the first impression is that “it’s pretty darn good.” [Down by the Hipster] Upper West Side: Senor Swanky’s has put its space on Columbus Avenue between 84th and 85th up for rent. So line up, if you just happen to have a business plan that incorporates giant chile peppers and underage drinking. [Eater]

Jonathan Waxman to Open a New Barbuto Uptown

Barbuto, Jonathan Waxman’s Haute Barnyard outpost in the Far West Village, has always been a restaurant noted as much for its unique space as for its menu. That might not be the case for the new Barbuto, which we hear is planned for next year in the Columbus Circle area. The Susan Magrino Agency, which handles Barbuto’s PR, wouldn’t proffer any details just yet but confirmed that the restaurant had a target opening date of September 2008.

Bruni Down With Lunch at Craft; Blue Ribbon to Open This Week in Columbus Circle

Clinton Hill: A Nigerian restaurant, EN of Africa, is opening on the corner of Cumberland and Lafayette, and there’s relief that it’s not another French spot. [Clinton Hill Blog] Flatiron: Frank Bruni finds the newly instated lunch at Craft a good, logical fit, in that “Craft doesn’t project the kind of fussiness — on the plate or in terms of décor — that can feel more stilted and constraining at lunch than at dinner.” [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Hell's Kitchen: Xai Xai, a new wine bar, has opened up. [Endless Simmer] Murray Hill/Kips Bay: From November 7 to 10, the Champagne room at Country will be transformed into a bonbon shop where you can pair pastry chef Hsing Chen’s house-made chocolates with specialty cocktails or order a chocolate tasting menu as part of a collaboration with the upcoming Chocolate Show. [Grub Street] Park Slope: Katina’s seems to have been taken over by super Greek diner Purity and may now be called Little Purity. [Grub Street] Upper West Side: Blue Ribbon Six Columbus is poised to open this week, and here’s a sneak peak of the interior. [Zagat] West Village: Mary’s Dairy has closed both of its locations supposedly because the shops weren’t making enough money. Can ice-cream-only stores no longer cut it? Mary’s comes on the heels of Emack & Bolio's Seventh Avenue closure and Ben & Jerry’s Bleecker Street failure. [Eater] Williamsburg: Three of the ten-plus restaurants that serve sushi in the nabe made the cut in this Brooklyn raw-fish roundup. [Gridskipper]

Jacques Torres Cocoa Will Get You Hot; Artisanal Bringing Cheesy Bites to Midtown

Dumbo: Jacques Torres’s Wicked Hot Chocolate is so good it will put you in the mood like “six gin and tonics.” [NYPress via Dumbo NYC] Fort Greene: Seventeen-year-old African restaurant Keur N’Deye has closed. [Eating in Translation via Eater] Midtown East: Terrence Brennan instated a bar menu at Artisanal this week that includes smoked paprika popcorn and grilled cheese bites. [Strong Buzz] Upper West Side: The All State Café had a different name in 1973 when a teacher was brutally murdered after coming in for a drink but still survived until last night when the storied space closed due to rising rents. [NYT] Williamsburg: The director of King Corn Aaron Woolf is a partner in Lodge restaurant and has decided to open a Slow Food natural market called Urban Rustic, on the edge of McCarren Park, by Thanksgiving. [Brooklyn Based]

Porta-Café Touching Down in Columbus Circle; La Marmite Back in Harlem

Astoria: Sorriso’s Italian Salumeriaa at 44-16 30th Avenue makes a serious Rosino Panino. “It may look like chicken, but those thick white slabs in the middle of the sandwich are actually house-made slices of fresh mozzarella (made three times a day) piled atop a generous helping of prosciutto cotto.” [Serious Eats] Chelsea: P.S. 11’s fall festival this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. features a ten-piece salsa band, free food, and a bake sale, plus it’s open to the public. [Blog Chelsea] East Village: Back Forty from Savoy chef Peter Hoffman is opening October 17. [Grub Street] Harlem: La Marmite restaurant has finally opened in its new location. [Uptown Flavor] Lower East Side: Now’s your chance to be the next Sam Mason: Thor is looking for its own rock-star pastry chef. [Eat for Victory/VV] Tribeca: The new home for Steak Frites will be the same space that was temporarily the doomed Charolais. [Eater] Upper West Side: From November 28 to December 29, Illy coffee will maintain a “Push Button House” in the Time Warner Center; the installation is basically a large shipping crate that opens to reveal a full-service café that premiered at the 52nd Venice Biennale. [NotCot]

Mermaid Inn UWS to Open Late Fall; Garifunan Cuisine Has Arrived … in the Bronx

Chelsea: Candy Camp confectionary classes for kids start Saturday at Sapa. [Cakehead] Clinton Hill: A confused source says the former Bodegas space will become Clinton Hill Bistro, but that’s what Bodegas had painted on its windows when it was open. [Clinton Hill Blog] Harlem: Doug E. Fresh talks chicken and waffles and the late-night feel of his second restaurant: "Hot Pot, the Caribbean spot I’m opening in December … Harlem’s always been known for its late-night style." [Uptown Flavor] Long Island City: Big Easy landmark Jacques-Imo’s New York branch has lost its uptown lease and will take refuge in Queens. [Joey in Astoria via Eater] South Bronx: If you’ve been craving Garifunan food (the cuisine of “Coastal Caribbeans of African and Native American descent”), head to newly opened and possibly only-one-of-its-kind Garifuna Star at 640 Prospect Avenue for “curry-esque soup and a fufu-esque plantain dish.” [Eat for Victory/VV] Upper West Side: Danny Abrams plans to open his second Mermaid Inn by the end of the fall. [Eater]