Tracy's New York Life | A Blog About Life in New York City

Friday, April 18, 2014

My Favorite Spring Blog Posts of All Time

by Tracy Kaler

Spring is in full swing!

Spring is my favorite season in New York. In mid-April, blooms begin to add accents of color to the dull, gray cityscape. By early May, the city is in full green with daytime temperatures in the high 60s and low 70s. Meanwhile, early morning and nighttime numbers linger in the 50s, ideal for sporting a spring coat.

With Easter, Passover, warmer weather, and the changing landscape around town, New Yorkers emerge from their apartment cocoons and fill the streets, parks, shops, and sidewalk cafes.

Spring also provides a host of topics to blog about. I looked back and selected some of my favorite posts to reshare in case you missed them the first time around. 

Happy holiday weekend!

Early spring in Central Park when blooming begins 

1. Tiptoe Through the Tulips
Yesterday was a brisk spring day in New York, but the sun was shining brightly on thousands of tulips in the West Side Community Garden. Locals of all ages filled the volunteer greenspace to get a glimpse of the blooming buds, which will look their very best when they peak within the next week to ten days. Read more:

2. My New York Sunday: What I Wore, What I Did, and What I Spent
Wake-up at 9:10 a.m. Temperature: 52 degrees
Cappuccino at 10:05 a.m.

Throw on Uniqlo corduroy leggings, Gap v-neck t-shirt, Ralph Lauren gingham blouse -- tie it at the waist, no socks with Tsubo booties, silver hoop earrings, Efva Attling Memento Vivere necklace, a no-name cargo jacket, a scarf from a NYC street vendor, and my Gabs bag. Read more:

3. Springtime in the Bronx
March 20 may have marked the first official day of spring, but with temperatures still hovering in the high forties and low fifties, we have yet to see warmer, sunnier weather here in New York City. Not to mention the past six months –– which have been rough and enduring for New Yorkers –– especially with natural shockers like Hurricane Sandy and Nor’easter Nemo trashing our houses and taking down our public transit system. As soon as the ground thaws and the flowers bloom, I bet many folks will emerge from hibernation and reclaim their city. For my boyfriend and I, we plan to visit the “Boogie Down” Bronx. Read more:

Central Park is gorgeous in late spring.

4. Tracy's New York Life Gets in the Kitchen for Easter and Passover
Rumor has it New Yorkers never cook. I'm here to tell you --that is indeed a rumor. In New York City -- the city of dining out and delivery -- we like to get creative and entertain when schedules permit. Not to mention, like most, our get-togethers always involve food. Be it a family favorite, made-up concoction, or that perfect dish from Martha Stewart, cooking and eating are typically highlights of any holiday, and there's nothing like a plate of homemade food to complete that special occasion. Read more:

5. Don't Be Shy –– Get Graphic This Spring
Sure, there will be florals and pastels, and chambray and eyelet - but what if you’re looking for something a bit bolder this spring? What if you’d like to try something new? If these nagging questions sound familiar, make a statement by embracing graphics this season. This time around, designers opt for a less obvious and more edgy spring print. They’re getting graphic with words, shapes, colors, and more. We've pulled together some of our favorite ways to show off the graphic trend this spring.  Read more: 

New Yorkers emerge from their apartments on nice days like this.

6. Springtime for Broadway: Theatre Roundup
While most of New York City hibernates during this blustery winter, the theatre world is hard at work rehearsing new musicals and plays that will open before the snow stops coming down. The upcoming season boasts a roster of Broadway veterans (instead of Hollywood celebrities) and has something to offer every theatergoer, from comedy to rock ‘n’ roll to drama, even to a few old classics. Read more:

7. 20 Spring Cleaning Tips for Your NYC Apartment
Today is April 1 –– also known as April Fool’s Day –– but this blog post is not a joke. Spring is upon us, and besides warmer temperatures and strappy sandals, spring means it's time for a thorough apartment cleaning. 

I am no different from anyone when it comes to cleaning my apartment –– it's not exactly my favorite pastime. Even though I don't enjoy dusting, sweeping, or scrubbing, I do enjoy the results. And so, I imagine how good my apartment will look when it’s clean, and use that as motivation to get me through each task on the list! Read more...

Riverside Park is like paradise in late spring.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Muse Cocktail Debuts at The Leopard at des Artistes

by Tracy Kaler

The Leopard at des Artistes is a restaurant in Hotel des Artistes, one of the most majestic buildings in NYC. {credit}

Hotel des Artistes is a majestic structure in the Lincoln Square area of the Upper West Side. Located at 1 W. 67th St., the residential pre-war tower is between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue, just steps from Central Park.

You might have stumbled past the landmark on your travels and not realized it. The 1917 building is one of many on the tree-lined  "artists row," a compilation of residences originally sited for both artists and musicians. Besides its reputation for being one of the most famous apartment buildings in town, the cooperative is also home to The Leopard at des Artistes, a restaurant known for its ornate murals, decadent space, and authentic Southern Italian food.  

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Slup Up NYC's Best Matzo Ball Soup

by Melissa Kravitz

Get your matzo balls all over NYC! {credit}

We're three days deep into Passover, and matzo ball soup may be the only thing tiding you through until Tuesday. Personally, I love a fluffy matzo ball that can soak up the soup with every bite.  Some like sinkers, some like floaters, but there's a matzo ball for everyone in this city! Even if you're not observing the Jewish holiday, enjoy the end of soup season (is it really not spring yet?), with some of New York's best bowls of this Jewish staple.

If you want to enjoy matzo ball soup at home (and maybe pretend that you made it) Zabar's offers the perfect solution.  The emporium sells homemade matzo balls in orders of four, and quarts of chicken soup or consomm√©, so you can customize your broth to ball ratio! If you can't make it to the store on the Upper West Side, you can order online.

NYC Could Be Out of Gefilte Fish; A Rat on the Subway; Manhattan Might Be the New Brooklyn in 2 Years; and More

by Tracy Kaler

Street festivals, such as "Summer Streets" in August, are some of the best days in NYC.

A bad day in New York City may be better than a good day anywhere else, but these are the best days.  (Thrillist)

 Fashion designer is the most popular job in New York. (Brokelyn)

 Is NYC out of geflite fish? This is not possible. (DNA info)

Photos of New York then and now, but no matter when you look at the Big Apple, you can't help but love this city. (Business Insider)

A rat on the subway scares the ever-loving crap out of New Yorkers. We're not so tough, after all. (Blame It on the Voices)

Check out these creative cocktail menus when you're ready to booze it up. (Timeout NY)

New York could be in for a Solar Vortex, or the hottest summer –– EVER. (Gothamist)

Before you see a Broadway show, know the etiquette. Here's the cast from Les Miserables with an official guide. (

As Brooklyn rents continue to rise, one blogger predicts that in two years, Manhattan will be the new Brooklyn. Crazy. (Gawker)

Will Brooklynites be forced to move to Manhattan because the median rent is cheaper?

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Gramercy Tavern's Howard Kalachnikoff Dishes About Vegetables, Lobster, and His Hometown

A chat with a fascinating New Yorker
by Tracy Kaler

Chef Howard Kalachnikoff is at home in New York and in the kitchen.

New York native Howard Kalachnikoff had no intention of becoming a chef, but his love of food called him into the kitchen following a nine-year career in the record industry. After graduating from the French Culinary Institute and refining his craft at Savoy and other Manhattan restaurants, the chef began his tenure at Gramercy Tavern in 2009 as a line cook, followed by Sous Chef, and finally, Executive Sous Chef.

You will find Chef Kalachnikoff at the tavern on a daily basis where his duties run the gamut, and his days keep him busy. He usually arrives in the morning, reviews kitchen notes with the Gramercy team, creates special menus, and works on new recipes like the dish for the First Annual Lobster de Mayo, which will take place on May 10 at Capitale. 

Gramercy Tavern is one of select fine dining establishments involved in the lobster extravaganza, which is organized by leading Maine lobster purveyor, Homarus, partner to Gramercy as well as a plethora of other topnotch NYC restaurants. The four-hour party will feature incredible food, drink, music, and a silent auction to benefit City Harvest, a food rescue organization dedicated to fighting hunger in New York's five boroughs.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Hats on to You, New York!

by Tracy Kaler

Linda Pagan and I pose in our Sunday hats at The Hat Shop in SoHo.

"Leave everyone wondering which is the more interesting piece of work... you or your hat." --Unknown

I hated hats as a child. My mother has a video of me sporting a hat –– probably at the age of about two years old –– then tearing it off my head and tossing it to the ground. I think I cried while doing it, too. (Not sure if I cried because I was mad about wearing a hat, or because I realized my head was cold without it.)

As I grew older, I developed an affinity for hats of all kinds. I can't remember exactly when this started, but I believe there was a random moment when I looked at myself wearing a hat as an adult, and thought, "I look okay in this." And then one day I decided that I was undoubtedly a hat person, and my love for hats only blossomed from there.
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