Hey Jennibelle and all other fellow DF'ers,
I have not been on here in awhile, I look forward to meeting and dancing with some of you at the NY Congress - I'll be there all weekend, aside from my class with Karisma on Saturday afternoon.
Since so many of you beautiful people are coming to grace my city with your presence I thought to share with you some different things you can do and the best places to eat when you're not dancing.
Food - New York attracts some of the best chefs in the world but its also the "best kept secret" places that make us love our food options so much.
Cafecito - 185 Avenue C (Between 11th and 12th Street). Great Cuban cuisine at affordable prices. Comparable to the food you'd find in Little Havana, Miami. Lupa 170 Thompson Street (Between Bleeker and Houston) Mario Batali's Roman osteria in the Village. Great Italian food and an unbelievable Tartufo, just a tad pricey though. Cafe Habana - 17 Prince Street (Cross street Elizabeth). Another great Cuban spot at affordable prices. You must try their corn - roasted w/ paprika, crumbled goat cheese and mediterranean sea salt. Also their Chuleta de Puerco, pork chops smothered in a creamy mushroom sauce on top of pork shoulder and a slice of toasted bread with goat cheese. Yum! Big Wongs - 67 Mott Street (between Bayard and Canal) Although its noisy and lacks decor arguably the best Chinese food in Chinatown and very cheap too. Victor's Cafe - 236 W 52nd Street (Between 7th and 8th Avenue). Probably the most authentic Cuban food outside of Cuba itself but very pricey.
Entertainment - Some things to do when you've OS (over-salsa-d)
Nuyorican Poets Cafe 236 East 3rd Street (between Avenue B & C) Get some New York beat, slam, hip hop, spoken word, etc... entertainment here. Zinc Bar 90 West Houston Street (corner of La Guardia Place) Various live music such as Brazilian Bossa Jazz, Samba Jazz, Cuban Salsa, African. The Living Room 154 Ludlow Street (between Stanton and Rivington) If you want a quiet evening of talented live acoutic/folk/vocal music.
Metropolitan Museum of Art The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street. Great collection of art including original Renoirs, Monets, Picasso, etc... Chelsea Art Galleries - West side of New York from 14th Street to 27th Street starting at 10th Avenue. If your taste in art is for living artists, sculptors, etc... check: www.westchelseaarts.com. There are over 200 galleries in a 6 block radius here.
Shopping - Of course all of the finest retailers and designers in the world have their stores along 5th Avenue and also Madison Avenue from 42nd street up to 60th street but there are a few other gems as well.
Shoe Mecca - Between 5th and 6th Avenue on 8th Street known as the Shoe Mecca there are dozens of shoe stores that line this street... New York Street Fairs - There are street fairs in New York of varying sizes 200 or more of the 365 days of the year. Why simply buy an I LOVE NY T-Shirt when you can buy some handcrafted knick-knack to remember your visit. Check out: http://www.nyctourist.com/st_fairs_calendar.htm, for schedules...
Alright, well I hope that gives you guys a few more ideas to enrich your visit to New York... heck, and they say we New Yorkers aren't friendly...
I'll be there (I live in NYC). It would be so great to meet everybody that frequents these boards! Maybe we could all plan to meet at a certain night, and in a certain corner, for one of the dance socials that will be part of the NY Congress??
Was in town last weekend. A great outdoor party Satuday night at Pier 16 at the South Seaport (end of Fulton St.). Hundreds.
It seems that these free affairs are scheduled for a lot more Saturday nights.
For those who'll be in town for some time before/after the congress, here's ideas for salsa dancing in NYC:
Friday 8/25, 9:30a - Angel Ortiz Dance Social featuring performance by Eddie Torres. I personally don't know of this Angel Ortiz guy. I don't believe he regularly holds socials, or if so, I've never heard about them. However, all that matters is that Eddie Torres is scheduled to perform, so it's all good.
Monday 8/28, from 6p-11p or so, outdoor dancing at Tavern on The Green in Central Park - while the dance floor is very small and crowded, and is essentially a temporary wooden dance floor (can hold maybe 25-30 couples really packed in there), it's nice to be dancing out of doors at such a well-known location, under colored lights strung from the trees. This dance is frequented by probably 50% curious tourists, maybe 40% 'casual' salsa dancers, and 10% more serious dancers.
Another option for Monday's is Taj Restaurant and Bar. A beautiful venue with some tables and banquet seating. Maybe 20% casual dancers, 60%intermediate, and 20% more advanced.
Tuesday, 8/29, from 6p-11p - The River Room Restaurant at 145th Street and Riverside Drive in Harlem. This location is relatively new, and not yet on the radar of true salseros (partly because of its newness, and perhaps partly due to it's being located in Upper Manhattan). My sense is that most of the dancers that go here are "casual". I've only been there once, and that was on the 4th of July, which understandably was probably an "off" night. However, the music was great, and since not many people seem to know about this place, my sense is you'll always have plenty of floor space. But the big selling point is the place itself. A BEAUTIFUL restaurant with floor to ceiling windows, overlooking the Hudson River and the George Washington Bridge (all lit up at night). They also have outdoor patio seating. A real GEM of a place for salsa dancing.
Wednesday (not sure where folks go on Wednesdays.... there's a Club LQ that's decent, but I think it's more "latin" music night... not just salsa.)
Sunday, 9/3 - I assume everyone will go to Jimmy Anton's social.... I'd say 80% intermediate, 20% advanced/serious dancers.
So if we don't all come up with a fixed meeting plan at the Congress, then please look out for me. I'd love to meet you all. My pic is with my profile... :--)
The Ortiz social, where Eddie Torres is performing, is the debut of this particular party, so it's unknown what the vibe+crowd will be like. In general, the salsa crowd at Stepping Out is on-1 (in new york, on-1 is ballroom salsa. That studio is where I myself started). I would predict the party would be sort of a dud for the serious mambo dancer *except* for the fact that the unusual Torres performance will likely bring a lot of people into the party who wouldn't otherwise come. I myself was a little shocked to read that ET will be dancing.
Monday/Taj: me and Africana hit that party when she was here. Sparse partner choice but nice room, and would be fun if you were to go with a small crew.
Tuesdays: best choice is Link, a new party at a restaurant/bar on Irving Place near Union Square. $5 cover (was free until a few weeks ago.) There are still long interludes of bachata/merengue (anything more than a single song at a time is too much for me) but the dancer crowd has come out for this party, and the location, for me, can't be beat.
I thought Salsa at the Seaport @ Pier 16 was great this last Saturday. I only got to dance a few songs because I was there to actually see a show @ the Spiegeltent but the crowd seemed to be the regular socials/hardcore dancers and dancing outside, on the pier, especially if the weather is nice, is lots of fun!
alemana you should come out to the congress friday night. I swear I had a great time that night last year, after that energy level in general was down hill, especially with the advent of the carpet-dancing wanabes.
still I wonder if there's a Yamulee social that weekend, I don't think they're performing --I'd rather attend their social than a congress night!
(hint, there's one this weekend, I have some friends who are gona be there )