Collage Bistro and Bar was always a great place to get a hearty and inexpensive breakfast before heading out to explore the city or after a long day to grab a drink or a small bite to eat before going out on the town. We have to admit, though, that the setup wasn’t the most inviting and limited the atmosphere. Bring on Collage Bistro version 1.2.
We’ve updated the layout with some super comfortable lounge seating and new tables that adjust to your preferred height. So whether you want to kick back with some friends to enjoy a few cocktails, make use of the free Wifi to get some work done, or grab a bite to eat – Collage should do the trick.
This past weekend we were lucky enough to partake in the Brooklyn Waterfront Craft and Specialty Beer Festival on the Williamsburg Waterfront. The event is put on a few times throughout the year by the Hand Crafted Tasting Company at different venues across the city. Ticket prices vary, but we upgraded to the VIP Pass for $65.00 to get early entrance by an hour and beat the rush.
So what does $65.00 get you?? The early entrance is key, the line to get in the event was a couple of blocks deep, but the VIP pass allows you to jump right to the front. We’re not sure how limited the passes are (we had no problem purchasing a week before the event,) but the extra hour of time to browse the vendors, easy access to beer tasting, and open view of the NYC skyline was well worth the extra $20.
Craft and specialty brewing is a growing trend these days, so not only did we find favorites from some of the larger brew houses (e.g. Brooklyn Brewery, Samuel Adams, Blue Moon) but the true small batch and specialty brewers really impressed. Some favorites included SMaSH Saison by BENsBREW (www.bensbrewny.com), Momus by Bruton (www.bruton.it), and the Double Black IPA from 508 Gastrobrewery (www.508nyc.com) which is located right here in Manhattan.
When it comes to out of Manhattan borough excursions, there’s none more celebrated and rewarding than a visit to Brooklyn’s Dumbo via the historic Brooklyn Bridge. Just a hop on the A, C, or F train to the first stop in Brooklyn puts you out in Dumbo (which is an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass). With cobble stone streets and breathtaking views, Dumbo classifies as a must see for locals and tourists alike.
The area is located just underneath and between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridge and has become a mecca for art galleries as well as culinary gems like the River Cafe (located on a floating barge below the Brooklyn Bridge and offering panoramic city skyline dining), the famous Grimaldi’s Pizza (recently expanding to this new building and still sporting equally long lines. Worth the wait? You tell us!) and don’t forget about dessert at Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.
Follow up your feasting witha stroll through Brooklyn Bridge Park. During winter months it can be a lovely place for quiet walks and photo ops, but come summertime this park is hopping with live music on the barge, movie screenings against the Manhattan skyline backdrop, and a soon-to-launch outdoor swimming pool on Pier 2 (with man-made beach and food vendors to follow).
Once you are ready to head back to the hustle and bustle of Manhattan life, your journey has just begun. Find the staircase on Dumbo’s Washington Street that leads up to the Brooklyn Bridge walkway to access a pedestrian crossing all the way over the East River and into the City Hall area of Manhattan.
We hope you enjoy just another one of the countless, wonderful neighborhood splendors that Brooklyn has to offer…and be sure to bring a camera!
Death of a Salesman
Written by Arthur Miller
Directed by Mike Nichols
Willy Loman….Philip Seymour Hoffman
Linda Loman….Linda Emond
Biff Loman ……Andrew Garfield
Reviewed by Jennifer Rota and Paul Austin
We like plays more than musicals so there was little hesitation when we heard that Philip Seymour Hoffman would be starring in the classic Death of a Salesman on Broadway. Not only would Arthur Miller’s tale be brought back to life by an Academy Award-winning actor but at the helm it would have Mike Nichols directing the ensemble in the iconic Barrymore Theater.
This is no sweet or lighthearted story; indeed, Death deals with a family’s troubles both past and present and their feckless pursuit of the American dream, culminating with the growing dementia of the patriarch – Willy Loman. First premiered in 1949 at the Morosco Theater (since torn down and replaced by the Marquis), the play has been a staple of American storytelling and requisite reading for many a high school youth. The plot itself is a simple and oft repeated one and it would have been quite easy for the set and script to be updated to a modern time. Instead, Mr. Nichols chose to replicate the play to the exact word and nail, giving us a glimpse into the Loman’s home as it was 70 years ago.
We were privileged to be in the audience for the first performance, and we were not disappointed. The cast swept us in from the first scene with acting so intimate I felt like a voyeur at times, willing myself to not look away at this family’s self destruction and pain. After, I could not help but marvel at the ability of these players to portray tormented characters night after night, giving everything of themselves to the audience to do so.
Tip: We buy our tickets from www.telecharge.com If you have an American Express Card, you can choose American Express seating…it is discounted and better than general or even Premier Seating. For this performance we snagged front row center tickets.
2) Here’s a wonderful RUSH TICKETS policy: “$30.00 – Available at the Box Office only on the day of the performance for students 30 years and younger – Photo ID is required – Limit 2 per valid ID – Subject to availability.”
The Plaza Hotel, situated adjacent to Central Park, is one of New York City’s premiere landmarks standing tall and proud for over a 100 years now. The Hotel’s been featured in countless films and other pop culture mediums, such as the well-known children’s book, Eloise, or even F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. For my birthday in January, I decided to head on over for Afternoon High Tea at the Palm Court, located on the ground floor of the Plaza. Here are some photos from the day!
While I killed time at the 24-hour Apple Store across the street until my reservation, I could see The Plaza from the store!
Right outside of The Plaza is Karl Bitter’s Abundance at the Pulitzer Foutain. It was the first heavy snow here in New York City this year, and as you can see, it was so beautiful!
I finally walk in for the first time in my life… Wow!! Look at those chandeliers!
I took a peek into the Palm Court, where I’ll be having my fancy tea!
Finally, I enter.
The waiter surprised me with birthday strawberries, and had the live pianist play a tune of “Happy Birthday’!
This cucumber sandwich got a standing ovation from me (in my head)!
Their mini cupcake has a “Plaza” logo on it!
After the scrumptous meal, we walked around and found wonderful things!
Some photos of past guests:
Good bye Plaza, you’ll be seeing me again very soon!
The Film Society of Lincoln Center, home of the prestigious annual New York Film Festival, has brought many innovative films of both American and international background. I’ve always loved visiting Lincoln Center for its serene and fantastic architecture and their utmost support of the arts, in any shape and form. This year I visited the Jewish Film Festival, which the Film Society sponsors and presents in collaboration with the Jewish Museum of New York. I come from a Jewish background, went on a Birthright Trip (complimentary trip to Israel geared towards American-Jewish youths), and was very proud to see these films, but of course the themes were very universal.
Torn tells the story of Romuald Waszkinel, who over a decade after he’s ordained as a Catholic priest, discovers he was in reality born to Jewish parents who left him with a Catholic family for his safety during the emergence of the Holocaust. Now, in his 60′s, can Romuald find and accept his Jewish identity by relocating to a religious kibbutz in Israel, or rather, can Israel and Judaism accept him?
400 Miles to Freedom is the story of Avishai Yeganyahu Mekonen who grows up in a small, clandestine Jewish community in Ethiopia, where Islam is the primary religion practiced. His family escapes by foot and begins their journey to faraway Jerusalem. On their way Avishai, then 9 years old, experiences psychological and physical damage when he is kidnapped in Sudan. He is safely returned to the family eventually, however when they finally reach Israel, the life of their dreams is not exactly how they expected it to be. This documentary follows the lives of not only Avishai but all of those of the Jewish faith who is or was not easily accepted due to, mainly, the color of their skin.
Both the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Jewish Museum offer fantastic events and exhibitions throughout the year, so make sure to check them out when you’re in New York!!
5:15PM: Hopping on the A or C train from Distrikt! A quick 10-minute trip total to Columbus Circle.
Columbus Circle's beautiful holiday decorations!
5:30PM: Walking hastily over to Lincoln Center! I see the Empire Hotel! They have a great rooftop bar.
The clock across from Lincoln Center and the large, red Empire Hotel sign on their rooftop!
5:40PM: I have a few minutes until I have to get to the theater. Strolling around Lincoln Center!
The recently renovated Alice Tully Hall. Downstairs is a mini-concert hall and restaurant, and upstairs is a dance studio!
Another shot of Alice Tully Hall.
Side steps to Avery Fisher Hall
The steps leading to Metropolitan Opera House say "Welcome" in many different languages! They light up individually; very pretty!
5:45PM: I found the theater! The very newly constructed Francesca Beale Theater flaunts a chic, modern design, with a fabulous restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows upstairs, and a cafe and movie theater downstairs.
Found it! What a pretty movie theater with a restaurant on top! Walking over to get my ticket.
… Two hours later! 8:30PM! They were fantastic documentaries!
Filmmakers of 400 Miles to Freedom, Avishai Yeganyahu Mekonen and wife Shari, speaking to audience members after the film
The tree lighting at Rockefeller is known all over the world as one of New York City’s most beautiful and exciting traditions. The idea of standing near a stunning, giant tree with loved ones, and observe over five miles (approximately 30,000) of colorful, LED light bulbs brighten up the city sounds like a pretty amazing experience, doesn’t it?
The real question is: Is the well-advertised Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting worth it? Here’s the short answer for you: no. Do not go. Do not waste your time. Do not even walk within a 4 block radius of the event. I say spend your lovely afternoon shopping and dining. Go sightseeing, enjoy a cocktail, and visit the tree the following evening, or the evening after, or the evening after that. It will be lit for 24 hours until the New Year. Trust me, you will have plenty of time to see it.
The streets were already packed when I arrived at 3:30 PM. Barricades and very impatient cops were guarding all surrounding blocks. Lost travelers stood in the middle of the street, not knowing which way to go because every intersection was an exit according to the authorities. Very rude New Yorkers with crying children pushed their way through, screaming obscene words at anyone who came in their paths. The show was scheduled to start 7PM; it was going to be a very long wait.
When I finally made it to my desired spot, I stood for over 5 hours, surrounded by restless toddlers, bored teenagers, and disappointed parents to finally see the tree come to life. Most of the people I stood next to for the first three hours had given up, and left. Families argued about who should stand where. There was no music to get the crowd going before show time. And the performances they show at 7PM are not actually taped live (I know, talk about feeling cheated). Instead, we got a woman holding up a wand she designed with rolled up sheets of paper to tell us to scream and wave at the camera. She swayed her arms in the air to signal us to pretend that we were having a fantastic time so you (at home) would want to be part of the joyful moment.
After the event is over, do not even think that you will get out easily. There are lines to get into exit lines. You will walk around the block three times before you get to make it out. Also the subway station on 6th Avenue near Radio City will be closed, so you will have to walk with your sore and cramped up legs to the next station to get home in the cold.
In summary, the tree is beautiful, it should be one your “to-do” list for the holiday season. However, do not go to the lighting. It is one of the most undesirable experiences one would want to go through, especially when visiting. It is a big waste of time.
Margaret Zox Brown, a New York City based artist, is working with the Fashion Bid as part of the 2011 Fashion District Arts Festival. Distrikt Hotel is proud to display Ms. Brown’s solo exhibition in our onsite bar/restaurant, Collage Bistro throughout the length of the festival from Thursday, October 13 to Saturday, October 15, 2011.
Margaret currently works on colorful, expressionist oil paintings. In addition to being a commissioned artist, the native New Yorker, is a mother of two and teacher. She currently resides in the Upper West Side and works in a beautifully bright studio in Midtown.
Click on the link below to watch a one-on-one interview with the artist: