The store is a mosaic in itself. Denes Petoe, CEO, and Graham Barr, president, have laid out their showroom to facilitate the nearly 1, 000 varieties of natural stone, as well as to capture the eye of each customer. Style here is in the eye of the beholder, not in the hands of the retailer.
“I really want families to play together. That’s my goal in the store, ” said Christina Clark, who has been wowing parents, grandparents, and, most importantly, children for decades with her wonderland of toys and games. Christina worked in a toy store as a young mother and realized she had found her calling. She opened Kidding Around on Bleecker Street, followed by several other locations. Today, it is the 15th Street shop that has survived throughout the years. “I love going to work every day, so it was a good choice for me. ”In the shop’s beginnings, its selection of toys and games leaned toward the traditional — “no batteries, no remote controls, and everything that just uses your imagination. ” Over the years, however, Christina chose to grow with the times and introduce more modern, automated items into her inventory. Her own children later helped her bring new options into the store. Today, Christina feels lucky to work with her daughter, Kasey Coyle, who uses her background in applied behavioral analysis to stock plenty of books and toys for younger children and those with special needs. Interestingly, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Christina found that her clientele went back to the basics — the demand for puzzles and classic board games was revived. “I hope that trend continues, ” she said earnestly. “I hope that people remember how much fun they had playing games with their family so it brings us together and off our devices. ”
On any given day when passing by, there are legions of young, hopeful actors hanging around outside this building in between classes. Lee Strasberg, known to moviegoers for his role as gangster Hyman Roth in The Godfather: Part II, founded his institute in 1969, almost forty years after he participated in the formation of the Group Theatre (an ensemble of actors that were committed to putting on productions representative of "the life of their times. ") As artistic director of the Institute until his death in 1982, Strasberg continued to train his students through Method Acting - a technique that has been recognized internationally. Paul Newman, Marilyn Monroe, Dustin Hoffman, Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Barbra Streisand, and Marlo Thomas are only a few of the actors who were taken under Strasberg's wing and taught to fly. Today, the Institute continues to flourish as it turns out many fine actors both here and at its Hollywood location. For those who would like to watch some of this training in action, there are two theaters (The Marilyn Monroe Theater and the Lee Strasberg Theater) connected to the Institute where students perform.
Enter through the looming stone archway and immense wooden doors and walk inside the Horseman, where the gloomy interior is an aesthetic rather than dreary. The exposed brick, recycled wood from new England barns, and flickering natural gas lamps conjure a communal vibe. In the dark warmth, one can almost imagine a massive stone fireplace roaring with pots of stew simmering over open flames, or moors lying in wait just on the other side of the smoked windows. This rustic, colonial gastropub is one of the latest additions to 15th street. When we asked the bartender why the pub was named after Ichabod Crane’s spooky pursuer, he gestured toward the door and asked us what street we were adjacent to: Irving Place - and local legend claims Washington Irving lived at 122 East 17th Street. His famed character’s namesake bar is anything but sinister. The rotating seasonal beers and atypical comfort food could warm anyone's bones.
Traditionally trained sushi chef Noriyuki Takahashi prepares much of his food from the local ingredients that he finds a few steps away in the Union Square Green Market. Guests are invited to select from the Sushi and Sashimi bar menu or order their house-made soba noodles or tofu, but one cannot go wrong with anything served at 15 East. While walking the area, every time we mentioned food and 15th Street together, it was 15 East that people raved about. So many commented on how it is by far the best place to eat sushi. When I began to do my research, it became clear that they have garnered a great reputation having been awarded a Michelin star in 2013 and voted one of the best in several culinary categories by different magazines and websites. The reviews continue to sing their praises. On the day that we stopped in to take photos, the staff was attentive and accommodating, and worked quickly to create a perfect setting for us to shoot.
In the mid-twentieth century, Tibet — which is devoted to Buddhist practices and is led by the Dalai Lama — was invaded by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, sparking a decades-long dispute over Tibetan sovereignty. China’s Communist Party has since destroyed vital elements of Tibetan culture, including over 6, 000 monasteries. With so many cultural centers demolished by the Chinese forces, the rich, centuries-old Tibetan way of life risks extinction. For this reason, the fourteenth Dalai Lama asked to establish Tibet House U. S. to preserve the heritage of his people. Thus, the intriguing institution was founded by prominent American Buddhists: composer Philip Glass, author Robert Thurman, and actor Richard Gere. Since the 1990s, Executive Director Ganden Thurman has dedicated himself to Tibet House U. S. ’ mission of protecting and presenting Tibetan culture to society at large. Having spent time in India as a child while his father — a professor of Buddhist studies — did research, Thurman came to appreciate the “poise, humility, and perspective” of the Tibetan lamas and academics who frequented his family’s home. Though he considers himself more secular than religious, he clarified that Tibet House is neither a political nor religious organization. However, there are often times when they find themselves engaged in conversation on such topics. Through art exhibitions, lectures on subjects including medicine and mind sciences, and classes such as “Developing Compassion” that fuse Buddhist practices with Western psychology, Tibet House allows visitors to draw their own conclusions. With its library and permanent installation of Tibetan artifacts — open regularly to the public — this precious museum safe-guards the culture of the region within its walls. Since members of Tibet House are considered too political to attain travel visas by the Chinese authorities, the House does not have the ability to source artworks on its own. Instead, generous collectors donate the majority of the pieces on display. According to Thurman, such artists and art aficionados are the House's greatest supporters, as they tend to feel a personal connection to the fight for freedom of expression. This collaboration was evidenced by the prints we observed of the current Dalai Lama, donated by Richard Avedon, hanging above a printer, and musician Philip Glass' name listed on the roster of the Executive Officers. Thurman revealed to us that during the course of the Tibet-China conflict, over 100 Tibet nationals have resorted to self-immolation in order to catch the world’s attention and direct it towards their struggle. They are desperate to be seen - and through its efforts Tibet House US is providing them the right to be present in the narrative of world heritage.
We almost missed the entrance leading down to this subterranean bar on 15th street. Unassuming is an understatement. The glass-faced double doors look as if they could lead to any former factory turned "office block". Only the small, burnished gold sign indicates otherwise. The Barretts, father and son owners, prefer it that way. They have run a hotspot before, The China Club, for nearly twenty-five years, so when this basement space in the Nabisco building opened up in 2011, they could not resist the opportunity to operate The Tippler. Michael, the son, explained that The Tippler fills an odd niche in the Meatpacking District: a “post-dinner, pre-club” spot, that attracts a laid-back after work crowd during weekdays and gets a bit more crowded on the weekends when a DJ is pumping out music. Whatever the clientele, the aesthetic manages to match. Brick archways, exposed steel support beams, books, Persian rugs, unfinished wood tables and chairs, bare bulbs behind wire mesh, string lights, and concrete floors all play into the part-industrial, part-hip dive bar aesthetic. There is a revolving selection of draught, bottled, and canned beers, house, and classic cocktails (like the Charming Snake - a mix of bourbon, Garam Masala seasoning, and habanero bitters). The ambience and drinks are matched with small plates of spiced nuts, olives, and pickles or toasts topped with anything from mashed deviled egg and crispy prosciutto to chicken liver pate. The Tippler is where comfort and class meet for a quiet drink.
Coffee is an essential ingredient in the everyday lives of many New Yorkers, and Richard Agudelo, the owner of Terremoto, takes this fact very seriously. He only provides single origin, best trade coffee, which means that he knows exactly where his coffee is coming from. In sitting down to discuss his business with him, I learned that he owns fifty percent of a coffee farm in Colombia, which allows him to have a close relationship with the people who grow his coffee and to ensure that the end result is the highest possible quality. “We know our farmers, milk purveyors, water suppliers, everything. We make sure that it is locally-sourced as much as possible - everything down to our grill. ”Richard, who is also a creative director, has always loved coffee. After several years of research, he finally decided to open Terremoto on 15th Street in 2016, recognizing that this particular neighborhood "needed a place for high-quality coffee. ” Terremoto, which means earthquake in Spanish, is named in part after Richard. He spent his summers as a child staying with his uncles in Colombia, who often called out in Spanish, “Look, the earthquake arrives” upon his entrance. “I was a handful, ” Richard admitted. Laughing, he added, "Our caffeinated drinks will wake you up, just like an earthquake. "Terremoto first made headlines for its famous espresso machine, which is covered in twenty-four carat gold. While the machine is certainly flashy, Richard said that he decided to buy it to serve as an homage to the original espresso makers from the early twentieth century. They were similarly plated in metal, usually copper or brass. In order to add a little twist, Richard decided to buy one covered in gold. Terremoto serves a wide variety of classic espresso-based drinks and a number of specialty teas. Richard donates twenty percent of the revenue generated from three of these drinks to charity: the Purple Rain, a lavender and vanilla based drink, the Space Oddity, a rose and vanilla based drink, and the Terremoto, a dulce de leche beverage. He has worked with various artists throughout his career, hence the references to famous songs. He donates to Music Cares and to a variety of emergency relief funds. Richard shared with me that he was a first responder at 9/11. He lived three blocks from the site, and grabbed a respirator from the hardware store below his apartment before going to help shovel out the debris. He has remained committed to helping other emergency relief efforts, having donated money to the earthquake in Haiti and the tsunami in Indonesia. Terremoto’s 15th Street location was his first, but Richard has already expanded to Brooklyn with the hope of continuing to open more shops while providing high quality, single origin coffee.
Walking through the subterranean, industrial infrastructure of Chelsea Market, there is a bombardment of sight, sound, smell, and taste that is simply glorious. It is a sprawling, trendy, quirky, traditional, diverse, crowd-pleasing stroll rolled up in an epicurean’s paradise that always leaves me craving more. This underground bazaar winds through the belly of the old Nabisco factory with its concrete floors, iron-gilded arches, exposed beams, and bare bulbs conjuring up the past. The space was once the world’s largest baking factory, taking in 2, 500 barrels of flour a week and churning out Oreo, Marshmallow Sandwiches, and Nilla Wafers for distribution the world over. Today, at one bend, a wishing well with cascading water asks for spare change, and at the next, a canopy of Christmas lights welcomes visitors. One thing remains to link the new Market with the old National Biscuit Company’s bakery: the food. Distinct smells from savory to sweet linger around the curves and corners of the market, overtaking and enhancing the experience. The Lobster Place, which also sources fresh seafood to Cull & Pistol, offers an intensely salty and fishy aroma. The ginger, cardamom, and hibiscus are just a few prominent scents from Spices and Tease blends, which help distract the long line of people enticed by Los Tacos No. 1 during lunchtime rush. Next door, whiffs of ground coffee beans come from Ninth Street Espresso. Concentrated in one corner of the 15th Street arcade, The Doughnuttery, Bar Suzette (a crepe bar), and Li-Lac Chocolates never let a passerby forget to indulge after delighting in the vegan offerings at Beyond Sushi, an eatery that takes pride in fresh and local ingredients. On the specialty side, Dickson’s Farmstand is a butcher shop that works with small family farms and The Filling Station is committed to sourcing oils, vinegars, salts, and craft beers organically. A Manhattan staple, with an emphasis on organic and local, Amy’s Bread serves up delicious loaves from tangy sourdough to walnut raisin. The Green Table, a small haven for actual dining, also offers local, sustainable, and organic dishes including roasted pasture-raised chicken and a harvest salad. L’Arte Del Gelato‘s amaretto, panna cotta or mascarpone are only a few examples of the enticing flavors for the adventurous ice cream lover. People are constantly lining the narrow aisles to gather up the quality and well-priced fruits and vegetables from Manhattan Fruit Exchange or lingering in Buon Italia, with its bounty of imported Italian goods. Although gastronomy dominates, the Market is not entirely filled with food vendors. Anthropologie anchors one end of the market, and, wandering farther down, there is Posman Books, with an excellent selection of titles and greeting cards. Not only can chefs find absolutely anything necessary for their restaurants at Bowery Kitchen Supplies, but there is also an abundance of fun and useful items for the everyday cook. The colorful décor at Imports from Marrakesh constantly draws people inside. Artists & Fleas has found a permanent home just inside the Tenth Avenue entrance where Brooklyn’s emerging artists sell an ever-changing, well-curated collection of vintage goods. The farm-to-table sentiment is certainly not lost in the market with its vendors focused on high quality, ethically sourced ingredients – bringing rural roots to an urban environment. Chelsea Market is a retrofitted factory made into a concourse of culinary dreams, reminiscent of Grand Central Station and the vaulted, underground promenades of Paris. Read more about the shops of Chelsea Market.
Showing up with a bouquet of balloons can be a fun way to make an entrance - and there are plenty to choose from at Balloons To Go. For any kind of party or event, this is the spot to procure helium tanks, miniature hot air balloons, and a variety of balloon arrangements. Have an idea for a theme? Balloons To Go is happy to design custom arrangements for any concept.