Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Guide to Sangrias that Swing

From NY Mag

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Who said sangria had to consist of wine, triple sec, and brandy? Certain spots are pouring unexpected liquors into the classic summer refresher.

Pisco: Rayuela
165 Allen St., nr. Stanton St.; 212-253-8840
You can get a fine traditional red sangria at this progressive Latin eatery, but its stylo libre approach to cocktails also means a white variety that combines pisco (the potent Chilean brandy) with white wine, Bacardi Limon, and chunks of kiwi, pineapple, and orange. The Cava sangria is less cooling and more festive: At the bottom of the Champagne flute it comes in you’ll find strawberries, peaches, and mangos that have been marinated in potato vodka. Another offering that incorporates sake and pear liqueur has a rich, earthy taste. Glass: $10. Pitcher: $30.

Rum and infused vodka: Barramundi
67 Clinton St., nr. Rivington St.; 212-529-6900
This Lower East Side mainstay uses rum instead of brandy in their tart white sangria, which is ladled from a jug on the bar. While you’re sipping it at the open windows up front, see if you can taste the secret ingredient: house-infused vodka. Glass: $5. Pint: $8 (dollar off during happy hour, Daily, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.).

154 W. 13th St., nr. Sixth Ave.; 212-989-7699
If you’re fortunate enough to snag a sidewalk seat on this sushi den’s leafy residential block, celebrate with a complex sangria in which the acidity of Sancerre wine evens out the dryness of Suishin sake. A bed of cantaloupe, honeydew, mango, papaya, pineapple, and kiwi infuses the drink with a tropical flavor. Glass: $8. Pitcher: $15.

Cachaça: Carne Vale
46 Ave. B, nr. 4th St.; 212-777-4686
Booze usually balances a sangria rather than dominates it, but at this Brazilian rodizio, the bracing taste of premium cachaça comes on strong. It’s combined with passion-fruit purée and the house sangria, a mix of red wines, Champagne, vodka, chopped fruit, and pineapple and cranberry juices. It’s best enjoyed on the narrow back patio, when there’s a live samba band on the weekend. Glass: $9. Pitcher: $45.

Gin, tequila, and beer: Boqueria
53 W. 19th St., nr. Sixth Ave.; 212-255-4160
If the concept of beer sangria rubs you the wrong way, think of Boqueria’s signature drink (actually created at sister restaurant Suba) as more of a shandy: It’s wheat beer with just a bit of lemon juice and triple sec. A rose variety marries the dry woodiness of gold tequila with the tartness of cranberries and pomegranate juice. White rum and apricot purée drive the white sangria while a hint of gin puts a twist on the traditional red. Glass: $8. Pitcher $32.

Limoncello: Dani
333 Hudson St., at Charlton St.; 212-633-9333
What do you get when you mix homemade limoncello and Italian brandy with muddled fruit and passion-fruit purée, adding a colorful float of red wine? Sicilian sangria, says Ben Scorah, the mixologist at this West Village Italian spot. Dani’s kitchen was a filming location for No Reservations, but that's neither here nor there when you're sipping at one of the covered sidewalk seats. Glass: $10.

Julia Alvarez on the Quinceañera

Julia Alvarez reading from Once Upon a Quinceañera
August 6 at 7pm
Barnes and Noble
Lincoln Triangle
1972 Broadway

Once Upon a Quinceañera is an enlightening, accessible, and entertaining portrait of contemporary Latino culture as well as a critical look at the rituals of coming of age and the economic and social consequences of the quince parties.

Monday, July 30, 2007

chic outlet shopping in spain

Leave it to the fabulous julib.com to report on another reason to jet to europe.

when in spain. you'll find versace, carolina herrera, and hugo boss at at madrid's la rozas village, just outside madrid and very near the museum district (hey, mix a bit of culture with your couture). and forty minutes outside barcelona, las roca village offers burberry, ralph lauren, la perla, and (hometown hero) camper. reductions up to 60 percent means you won't leave empty-handed. make time for a late meal at el bulli, but call ahead - they are booked six months in advance.
illustration by anne smith

Friday, July 27, 2007

Manu Chao's new album La Radiolina set for release on Sept 4th

For six years we've been waiting for Manu Chao's new studio album, and finally, La Radiolina is set for release on September 4. Until then, we get a sneak peak of the new material with a four-song EP Rainin in Paradize, which includes an exclusive iTunes remix of the title track.
Check It Out

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

MARQUÉS DE CÁCERES rated best buy and 87 points by Wine Spectator

MARQUÉS DE CÁCERESRioja Rosado 2006 (87 points, $8)

A bold rosé, delivering cherry, rose, menthol and herb flavors in a firm, full-bodied style. A bit rich on its own, but a good match for food. Drink now through 2008. 18,000 cases imported. From Spain.

Que me des tu cariño - Juan Luis Guerra y 4.40

Monday, July 23, 2007

Blowin' Up: The New Brazilian

The querida amigas at Splendora.com published this "incredible, ‘investigate immediately!’, ‘life altering!’, ‘Where do I sign up?’" report

Blowouts are both the bane and boon of our existence. Doing the DIY blowdry is a chore, but the in-salon treatment is a genuine beauty escape. There's nothing like walking out of a beauty shoppe with a smooth, shiny head full of bouncing hair. We sometimes get so taken with the results that we roll down the block flipping the hair back and forth like a Flex commercial. Alas, the fresh feeling does not last forever and we must wash and dry on our own. Then the process of straightening out our unruly locks begins once again. However, leave it to those crafty Brazilians (who by the way, give the BEST blowouts) to bring their secret Escova Progressiva (a.k.a. Progressive Blowdry) treatment to the States. Just like the now ubiquitous Brazilian Bikini Wax, prepare yourself for the fanaticism that the aptly named "Brazilian Blowout" is about to cause. Unlike the Japanese Thermal Reconditioning Treatments of yore, the Brazilian hair straightening system is a Keratin based solution (which is essentially hair protein) that is sealed onto the "outer layer of the hair cuticle to trap moisture, hydrate the hair, and add a glossy veneer." Indeed there is a hot iron involved, but it can be used on most hair types as well as color-treated hair. Women who have had the treatment have wept with joy at the results. We're getting our Kleenex ready. To see if the Brazilian cocktail is served in your neighborhood, check out Brazilian Keratin or Brazilian Hair Straightening.
"Curls, Split! Ringlets, Be Gone!"

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Live Brazilian Jazz at the Rink Bar

Live Brazilian Jazz at the Rink Bar

Rockefeller Center 5th avenue
btwn 49th and 50th streets

Enjoy the cool sounds of Brazil with performances by the ZE Luis Quartet
Monday July 23, 30 and August 6th

After-Work Drink Specials
including $7 Caipirinhas, Mojitos & Margaritas
$4 Beck's, Sam Adams and Coronos

Thu, July 19 | Umbrella Re-Opening w/ Sergio Vargas

Thu, July 19 Umbrella Re-Opening w/ Sergio Vargas

After a complete makeover Umbrella is back and open for business with a special performance by Sergio Vargas. DJ LDR and DJ Teti la Leyenda will also be spinning old school, hip-hop, reggae and international hits all night.

440 West 202nd St @ 10th Avenue
New York, NY-10034
Date:Thursday July 19
Time:9:00 PM-?

Matador Bistro Latino: 20% off food plus complimentary glass of Sangria

Matador Bistro Latino: 20% off food plus complimentary glass of Sangria

Cuisine: Spanish, Tapas, Latin

Category: Casual Dining

Neighborhood: West Village, NYC (57 Greenwich Ave. at Perry St.)

The eclectic tapas menu at this West Village charmer boasts "simple, funky, sexy food" with Spanish, Cuban, Asian and Middle Eastern influences. For a great evening, score one of the coveted tables in Matador's outdoor cafe. Take in the sights and sounds of the West Village and be sure to start with an exotic cocktail before savoring a delicious dinner. To top it all off, take 20% off food and enjoy a complimentary glass of Sangria with this DiningFever offer: click below for details.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Proenza Schouler sample sale

Up to 75% off at the Proenza Schouler sample sale

120 Walker [Baxter] 6th flr.
this Thursday and Friday, 10-7

Friday, July 13, 2007

Café Tacuba performs at Summerstage MAÑANA

Date: Saturday, July 14th
Time: 3:00pm - 7:00pm
Location: Summerstage (directions)

Tomorrow, a special treat as Café Tacuba hits up Summerstage. "Arguably the most successful groups to emerge from the “rock en español” movement, Café Tacuba formed in the late ‘80s in Mexico City. The band’s core has always been the guitars, bass and drums set-up of your typical rock ‘n roll outfit: it’s what Café Tabuca does with this set up that matters. Heavily influenced by the punk and alternative rock of The Clash, The Cure and The Smiths, the group also incorporates Mexican styles like norteño and ranchero, as well as hip-hop, electronica and even musique concret." They are joined this afternoon by Pacha Massive and La Sista.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Live-in Maid

Cinema Tropical has just given up the heads up on this new Argentine release:

Wednesday, July 18 - Tuesday, July 31 •

Two WeeksShowtimes: 1:00, 2:45, 4:30, 6:20, 8:10, 10:00

A film by Jorge Gaggero
Starring Norma Aleandro

FILMMAKER JORGE GAGGERO IN PERSON! Wed/Thurs/Fri, July 18-20 at the 8:10 shows

“Large in spirit and ambition, and very nearly perfect in execution.” – A. O. Scott, The New York Times“

Powered by two first-rate performances, Jorge Gaggero's debut featureis full of psychological nuance and keen social observation. Visually striking... has the feel of Italian neo-realist cinema and the naturalness of the French new wave.” – James Greenberg, The Hollywood Reporter

Norma Aleandro, the grande dame of Argentine cinema (think Meryl Streep crossed with Penelope Cruz), plays Beba, a still-elegant haute-bourgeois divorcee, living in a fashionable Buenos Aires apartment, surrounded by a lifetime of consumer goods, but with too little cash to stay afloat. Dora, Beba’s maid for 30 years, massages her feet, freshen her drinks and listens to her complain. When Dora makes moves to abandon this sinking ship, the two begin “their tango of class resentment and unacknowledged dependency with consummate subtlety and grace. Those words also apply to Mr. Gaggero’s direction, which is breathtakingly understated...The rooms and hallways of Beba’s apartment...seem to resonate with unspoken emotions – love, loyalty, regret, spite – that achieve a poignant, comical clarity precisely because they are never expressed... (The movie is) modest in scope but large in spirit and ambition, and very nearly perfect in execution.” – A. O. Scott, The New York Times

Argentina/Spain • 2005 • 83 minutes • In Spanish with English subtitles • The Film Sales Company

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Premiere Brazil -- film festival

July 12-23
Premiere Brazil
11 days of new Brazilian film ...premiering at the MoMA !

West 53rd St at Fifth Avenue
(212) 708-9400

Friday, July 6, 2007

Now Playing... THE METHOD (El Método) -

2006 - Spain - Spanish (with English subtitles) - 115 minutes - Palm Pictures

Directed by Marcelo Piñeyro

Featuring: Eduardo Noriega, Najwa Nimri, Pablo Echarri, Adriana Ozores, Eduard Fernández

22 East 12th Street
New york, NY 10003

A group of job applicants submit to a battery of tests to win top management position with a shadowy corporation. Winner of two Goya Awards including Best Screenplay for acclaimed writer Mateo Gil (Open Your Eyes, Vanilla Sky, The Sea Inside).

This movie is playing between: 7/6/2007 and 7/19/2007

Conversations About Books - In Her Absence

Tuesday, July 10th 7:00 p.m.
Instituto Cervantes Garden
Instituto Cervantes at Amster Yard
211-215 East 49th
Subway E,V to Lexington Ave-53rd St; 6 to 51st St.
Tel: 1 212 308 7720

Conversations about Books: In Her Absence, by Antonio Muñoz Molina

The celebrated Spanish author, Antonio Muñoz Molina contemplates identity and desire in this smartly amusing novella

The author will discuss his novel with Michael Greenberg (Times Literary Supplement, London).

In English. Free admission.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Shake Your Hips in Cartagena

New York Magazine just published this very inviting and throughly researched piece on Cartagena. Que viva Colombia! Que viva!

Indulge in late-night rumba in this up-and-coming Colombian city.
By Grace Bastidas

1. Where To Stay

The Hotel Santa Clara (from $250) in Cartagena’s old town was visited last year by Liev Schreiber, Javier Bardem, and the rest of the cast of Love in the Time of Cholera, the long-awaited film adaptation of the Gabriel García Márquez novel, opening this November. Just steps away from some of the city's best restaurants, this former convent has a vibe that's both spiritual (check out the saint statues, confessionals, and crypt) and tropical, with an inner courtyard that receives morning visits from wild toucans. Ask for suite 501 on the top floor—it’s the only room out of 119 with ocean views.

The year-old Casa El Carretero (from $150), a restored colonial two blocks from the nightlife strip of Calle del Arsenal, is great for groups—the entire hotel can be rented for as little as $550. To really feel like you own the place, ask the housemaid to prepare a breakfast of arepa de huevo, a griddlecake stuffed with a fried egg, and dig in while relaxing at the rooftop pool.
Situated near the massive fortress that helped Cartagena fend off pirates in the sixteenth-century, the four-month-old Casa Boutique Veranera (from $150) has a spa, yoga studio, and just five suites. The most popular, the Yoga Room, has transparent glass doors covered by billowy white curtains, and a hideaway bed that leaves plenty of space for downward-facing dogs.

2. Where to Eat
The fashionably rustic, immensely popular La Casa de Socorro (Calle Larga No. 8 B-112; 57-5-664-4658), known for its steaming seafood casseroles, recently added photos of Cholera stars Benjamin Bratt and John Leguizamo to its sizable wall of fame (already loaded with head shots of Colombian presidents, beauty queens, and baseball players like the Atlanta Braves’ Edgar Renteria). Get there right at noon or after 2 p.m. to avoid the midday rush and snag a table inside, preferably in the sunlit upstairs dining room.

Native son and retired boxer Bonifacio Avila opened the beachside shack Kiosco El Bony (Bocagrande; 57-5-665-3198) in 1976. Today, it’s a local institution, serving tangy octopus and shrimp cocktails to fishermen, hotel workers, and backpackers. Order a whole red snapper, and don’t be afraid to use your hands.

Reservations are a must at La Vitrola (Calle Baloco No. 2-01; 57-5-664-8243), the upscale Cuban-themed restaurant around the corner from a seaside mansion owned by García Márquez. The dining room feels like prerevolutionary Cuban chic, with palm trees, whirring fans, black-and-white photos of Old Havana, and a live band playing the music of Beny Moré and other soneros. Try the deliciously meaty ropa vieja habanera with shredded beef, plantains, beans, and avocado.

Homemade sweets can be found at El Portal de los Dulces (located inside Plaza de Los Coches), an archway in front of Cartagena’s iconic clock tower. The sidewalk is lined with older ladies selling tamarind balls, coconut shavings, and other sticky fruit-based treats. If it’s Friday evening, take your sugar high over to Donde Fidel (32-09 Plaza de los Coches; no phone) at the end of the archway—the tiny salsa club opens its doors early for the after-work crowd.

3. What to Do

Cartageneros don’t need an excuse to shake it. In the daytime, roving musicians play vallenato, a folkloric accordion music popular in Colombia’s Atlantic coast, at impromptu dance sessions on Bocagrande beach. Tip them a few dollars and request anything by vallenato master Carlos Vives. Nightly carousing begins around 10 p.m., when dressed-up locals (no shorts allowed) start passing around communal shot glasses of aguardiente, the national liquor.

Start your night at Paco’s (Calle 35 No. 3-02; no phone) in Plaza Santo Domingo, where you can sit by one of Medellin artist Fernando Botero’s corpulent statues while sipping an after-dinner coffee. Next, make your way to Quiebra Canto, a dimly lit salsa bar where a D.J.-cum-bartender plays songs by Mongo Santamaria, Celia Cruz, and other legendary Latin singers.

A younger crowd favors Calle del Arsenal, a strip crammed with bars and lounges like La Carbonera Cantina (Calle 24 No. 9A-47; 57-5-664-3720), which plays a crossover mix of pop, electro, and Caribbean sing-alongs. Tourists from Ecuador, Panama, and other neighboring countries come in droves to Mister Babilla (Calle 24 No. 8B-137; 57-5-664-7005), a big kitschy club where female waitresses and bartenders hop on the bar to get the crowd riled up.

4. Insider's Tip
Most guidebooks and big hotels recommend a night trip aboard a chiva en rumba (a typical Colombian party bus), but avoid the temptation at all cost. Though admission includes all the rum you can drink and a live band, the last stop is usually a cheesy club that will most likely be empty except for a few sunburned tourists.

And a word on nightlife etiquette: Male clubgoers should think twice before chatting up single ladies. Most Cartageneros go clubbing in groups or as couples, so even if you see a bevy of pretty girls shimmying on the dance floor, don’t assume their boyfriends aren’t downing Aquila beers nearby.

After a dizzying night of partying, regain your balance by inhaling some salty sea air in Islas del Rosario, a coralline archipelago of 27 islands—some so tiny they only have space for a single hotel or house. Locals often head to Playa Blanca in state-owned Isla Barú, where white sands, turquoise waters, and a few food stalls enliven the sleepy scene. Divers and snorkelers looking for something less sedate can book an all-day excursion with Caribe Dive Shop (57-5-665-3517). Most trips include transportation, a midday sandwich, and access to the accommodations at Hotel San Pedro de Majagua, a high-end property owned by the same folks as the Hotel Santa Clara in Cartagena. If you stay overnight, make sure to book a boat trip to Isla Grande, where at night, microscopic plankton light up like tiny stars in the mangrove lagoons.
6. Related Links
In addition to hotel, restaurant, and nightlife listings, CaribeNet hosts a fascinating collection of folk stories about Cartagena.

To get a sneak peek at city attractions, check out Cartagena Fotos’ wide selection of shots of street scenes, historical monuments, and even some nocturnal action.
Travel blogger Jack Alexander Jowett writes about security concerns and the drug situation in Cartagena at Jack’s World.
Learn more about Colombia’s Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez, celebrating his 80th birthday this year, at The Modern Word.