All Points West Festival – This Weekend!

 

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This weekend, head to Liberty State Park for the All Points West Festival.  This year there is a wide variety of performers during this local three day music event.  If you are coming from Manhattan, I recommend taking the ferry. That way you can fully take in the beautiful scenery on your way to Liberty State Park.  Once at the festival there will be plenty of music, art and food to enjoy throughout the day.  I had a lot of fun last year and am looking forward to this year’s line-up.  Check out their website for all the details at http://www.apwfestival.com/index.php.

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Exit 44 – This Saturday!

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One of my readers informed me about a fantastic event coming up this Saturday, June 13th in AstoriaExit 44 is an all-day independent music festival that will feature some up and coming local NYC artists. Headlined by Tigercity and Project Jenny Project Jan, the lineup also includes Action Painters, The Shondes, My Teenage Stride, Schwervon!, and many more.  You van view the full lineup and hear some tunes at www.myspace.com/exit44festival.  The fun starts at 3pm and will continue into the night.

Tickets are $10 in advance and can be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets. If tickets are still available on the day of, they will be $13 at the door.  This event is 18+ to enter, 21+ to drink so bring your IDs.

Wonderland is located at 38-01 23rd Ave (at 38th St), in Astoria.  It is a quick walk from the N Train (you can exit at Astoria Blvd. or the Ditmars Blvd. stop).  It is a really cool space and from what I hear there will an area open on the roof as well as cheap drink specials during the festival.  Sounds like a great way to spend a Saturday to me!

When You Can’t Travel – Dine Instead!

This past Wednesday I took my first trip to Brazil… well at least my taste buds certainly did! Favela Grill, located at 33-18 28th Avenue in Astoria, is an excellent way to get first-rate Brazilian food when you are not able to travel there in person. The space is divided into a lounge and bar section which then leads to a separate, larger dining area. It is a warm, inviting space and because Mardi Gras was coming up, the tables were decorated with sequined mask centerpieces which added a fun flair to each table. It is details like that which can really enhance a dining experience.

Having never had Brazilian food before, the entire menu was full of tasty new dishes for me to try. While tempted to order one of the varieties of Salgados (a homemade Brazilian style pastry), I ended up sampling a few delicious bites of the Isca de Peixe appetizer (strips of fried white fish with a dipping sauce) that a friend had offered up since the portion was so abundant. When I saw my entree in front of me, I knew I had made the right choice. I was presented with portions of a fried tilapia fillet covered in a house special shrimp sauce that was accompanied by a serving of mashed potatoes and white rice. It was the perfect mixture of tastes all on one plate and I savoured each bite! Since I was with a large group it was fun to see what everyone else had ordered too. Everyone seemed to enjoy their dinner choices as much as I had. I will definitely be coming back to Favela for more tastes of Brazil as I am eager to try some of the other menu items I missed out on this time around. Although, I think the house special shrimp sauce was so good, it will be hard to order a different entree!

Favela Grill is open 7 days a week from 12pm to 11pm. I was excited to hear that on weekends they have live Brazilian music (reservations strongly recommended). If you are lucky enough to go there for lunch, they offer daily specials. You can view their menu and more details on their website: http://www.favelagrill.com/.

Fridays at the Rubin Museum of Art

Just because the Outdoor Bound event at the Rubin Museum of Art is now over, doesn’t mean you can’t take part in their special Friday night offerings. The K2 Lounge located within the Rubin is a great spot to get an after work cocktail. They have happy hour (buy one get one) from 6-7pm on Fridays. Even though drink prices are on the higher end, with wine and cocktails in the $9-$11 range, entry to the museum is free after 7pm which is a nice bonus. While relaxing with a glass of wine, I enjoyed sampling from their appetizer menu. I loved the special pizza they served which had a spicy tomato sauce and was covered with paneer cheese. It was delicious!

Having never been to the Rubin before, I was happy to discover that this museum will become a regular place to visit from now on. Even after the private tour I went on with Outdoor Bound, I still need to go back so I can further examine all of the art that the Rubin holds. We had an excellent tour guide who really went into detail on the pieces we looked at and it was a perfect way to get introduced to the meanings behind the beautiful visuals of the art. It is quite evident that there is so much more to learn about the pieces on display than what can be covered in the hour of time we had during the tour. I was quite impressed with the space too – it used to be the location of the first Barney’s department store. Now it has been transformed into an excellent showcase of Himalayan Art and a center for cultural learning.

Along with the impressive art and the K2 lounge, the Rubin has an art film to view at their Cabaret Cinema every Friday at 9:30pm (admission is free with a $7 bar purchase!). There are also cultural concerts performed during happy hour as well. I had such a great time during this first visit that am definitely looking forward to another Friday night at the Rubin Museum again sometime soon.

The Rubin Museum of Art is located at 150 West 17th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues). For information on how to visit and for all the details on what they offer, please visit their website at http://www.rmanyc.org/.

Art, Music, Film & Drinks! All in One Night!

Outdoor Bound is hosting an event called Himalayan Happy Hour at the Rubin Museum this Friday, December 19th, 2008. This one sounds too interesting to say no to!

For those of you who might not want to do some of the more physically challenging activities Outdoor Bound offers, this might be right up your alley. This event at the Rubin includes: Happy hour with drink specials, a private tour of the exhibit which features sacred art from Bhutan, music from a series of Himalayan art-inspired jazz concerts and an optional movie on-site in the Cabaret Cinema.

According to the website, there are still some spots left, so I thought I would share it with you in case you were interested! It sounds like a great way to end a work week to me! Here is a link to the event on http://www.outdoorbound.com/: http://www.outdoorbound.com/index.php/events/sub/himalayan_happy_hour_at_the_rubin_museum/

A Night of Acoustic Music at Crescent & Vine in Astoria

This Sunday, October 5th, there will be a live music showcase at Crescent & Vine from 7-9pm! Shannon, My Divided Unity, AM Preacher and Two Seconds To Midnight are all scheduled to perform and trust me when I say that it is a great line up.

Crescent & Vine held another acoustic show a few months ago and it was simply divine to hear great music while sampling the fabulous wine and beer offerings at one of my favorite wine bars. They also have cheese/meat platters you can order to accompany your wine samplings as well as delicious sandwiches, appetizers and desserts. I cannot go there without getting the Tartufo panini and the bruschetta. It is so yummy! This is a cozy venue so get there early to get a seat so you can really enjoy the dark yet candlelit atmosphere while hearing this local music showcase.

After the bands have all played, everyone will head over to another favorite place of mine – Fatty’s Cafe. This is another amazing Astoria restaurant that has one of the best brunches in the area and an amazing dinner menu as well. Fatty’s is the place to go for late night drinks in an artistic yet still laid back atmosphere. Local artists take turns having their works on the walls so there is always something new to see and the bar is illuminated with a blue light which sets the tone for the space. When the weather is nice the outdoor patio is open to accommodate more people. There is always a great mix of music playing while you are there enjoying your dinner/brunch/drinks too. I love this place!

So plan to make your Sunday a night of wine, beer, food and music by coming to Crescent & Vine for the showcase and then mingling at Fatty’s Cafe afterwards. It is sure to be a lot of fun!

Fatty’s Cafe is located at 25-01 Ditmars Blvd (corner of Crescent St.) and Crescent & Vine is right next to it.

A Rockin Cruise!

I had the pleasure of going on a super fun concert cruise last night. ROCKS OFF hosts a Concert Cruise Series aboard the Half Moon. The Half Moon is a two level boat. Upstairs there is a sun deck as well as a shaded dance floor while downstairs there is a full bar and an indoor seated area with large windows. The cruise I went on featured live performances by Bryan Scary & The Shredding Tears and Via Audio. Both bands were excellent!

The Half Moon departs from Skyport Marina located at 23rd St. & FDR Drive. Boarding for my cruise began at 7pm and we departed promptly at 8pm. The cruise ended close to 11pm and you’ll be having so much fun that you won’t want to be back on land!

Last night, there was an especially beautiful view of the city skyline. On top of what the river normally offers, we also got a chance to see Olafur Eliasson’s Waterfalls (which can be seen till October 13th, 2008) as we floated underneath and past three of the city’s majestic bridges. These waterfall installations are particularly fun to see at night when they are all lit up. And the most meaningful view of the evening was seeing the “Tribute in Light” beams as they reached to the sky near Ground Zero. It was an awe inspiring!

As for the cruise experience itself, we got chance to really enjoy the city views and take lots of pictures before the concerts began. Then while we were circling really close to the Statue of Liberty it was time to let loose and listen to some great music. My friends and I were able to enjoy the cash bar on the ship without missing any of the show and they also have a hot food buffet if you get hungry. The concert area is fully enclosed and according to the website this ship runs rain or shine for all their concert events. I know that I personally was having so much fun I didn’t want to head back to dock at the marina. I look forward to going on another one of these concert cruises!

You can get all the details about the concert cruise series as well as Rocks Off’s other offerings – such as their Mets Game cruises – at their website: http://www.rocksoff.com/

And make sure you get to see Olafur Eliasson’s waterfalls before they are gone. More info at http://www.nycwaterfalls.org/ .