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Savor the Season Returns Uptown for Harlem's Food Scene

Savor the Season Returns Uptown for Harlem's Food Scene

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Harvest Home's annual Savor the Season Uptown returns on Sept. 26, and while the Harlem chef Marcus Samuelsson won't be there (presumable filming episodes of The Taste), the Marcus Samuelsson Group is still pulling out all the stops.

The event moves to a larger venue at the Museum of the City of New York, with food from Red Rooster, Corner Social, Levain Bakery, and more; Nils Noren will be repping the Samuelsson Group.

"If you look at Harlem there are still things that need to happen; there needs to be better food that is more easily accessible," Noren told us over the phone. "There are tons of organizations in Harlem that do a great job." Harvest Home, for one, provides the neighborhoods with local, farm-fresh produce in its farmers' market. Fortune FRESH, in the meantime, makes a point to train formerly incarcerated youth to run an organic farm stand.

"I’ve been here since we’ve opened [Red Rooster], and I’ve seen a huge change," Noren said. "Harlem has been Harlem in a great way and but there are a lot more entrepreneurs opening, cafés, vintage clothing shops, and obviously restaurants, which is great." And although some naysayers may point to gentrification as a potential killer of old Harlem, Noren notes that focusing on accessible, economically friendly healthy food for locals is hardly an evil cause. "Of course people are worried about gentrification but I think it’s an evolution that is good because it gives a lot of opportunities to open up businesses, and it’s also creating jobs," Noren said. "A lot of our staff at Red Rooster are from Harlem, which adds to the restaurant experience... the staff is able to talk about what’s happening not only at our restaurant but also in Harlem in general."

To bring awareness to the neighborhood and Harvest Home's causes, Noren and Samuelsson have curated a menu for Savor the Season Uptown, with tickets going for $125 each (VIP goes for $250 a plate). Proceeds benefit Harvest Home.

July & August In Saugatuck

July & August is the time when there’s no better place to be than in our small village on Lake Michigan… the sand sings under warm summer breezes and dips in the cool lake refresh. There are Berry Crisps, Heirloom tomatoes and pesto, young sweet corn fresh from The Farmers’ Market on every daily menu at Wickwood. Sitting on our back porch with minty iced tea or a glass of Sangria while you leisurely savor the solitude of a summer afternoon is heaven.

It’s the season of beach picnics, all day sails, Parades and Fireworks, Mason Street Warehouse Summer Stock, The Chamber Music Festival, art shows and artists doing demonstrations in the galleries or at their studios. In July & August there’s time for fishing, kayaking, rides on the chain ferry to Oval beach, bluegrass and folk at Salt of the Earth, jazz at The What Not, or blues at Saugatuck Brewing Company … just another lazy summer to savor where the living is easy.

We’ve created a getaway guide with some local favorites, suggested stops and insider secrets to help you love life like a local. Use our tips as you will, but let your imagination be your guide!

The Apollo Announces 2015-16 Season In Harlem

The Apollo Theater today announced its 2015–2016 season, encompassing world premieres, commissions, and collaborationswith world-class performing arts institutions and international artists working across a range of disciplines and genres— from dance and theater to jazz, soul, and opera.

The Theater will produce more than 100 performances for the new season (a record for the Theater), extending the nonprofit institution’s commitment to supporting emerging and established artists from Harlem and around the globe, providing a home for artists to explore and push the boundaries of their respective forms.

The season begins with the return of Breakin’ Convention, a global celebration of hip-hop dance theater culture curated by hip-hop theatre spoken-word artist and director Jonzi D, featuring a new work by acclaimed choreographer Rennie Harris, currently in development as part of the Apollo’s new works incubation program Salon Series. Additional highlights include: The New Orleans Jazz Weekend and Masquerade Party, the first presentation of the Theater’s multi-year partnership with newly appointed Jazz Artist-In-Residence Irvin Mayfield and his New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, returning to Harlem for the New York concert premiere of the new collaboration CD Dee Dee’s Feathers and performing with legendary jazz vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater a new ballet by renowned Brazilian choreographer Fernando Melo, co-commissioned with the Apollo and Ballet Hispanico — Beautiful, Also, is the Sun a celebration of the Jazz à Vienne Festival’s 35 th anniversary with Je Suis Soul!: A Salute To French And African Jazz And Soul featuring many of French soul’s most celebrated artists Manu Dibango,Ben l’Oncle Soul with the Monophonics and Les Nubians The Classical Theatre of Harlem presents the world premiere of The First Noel byLelund Durond Thompson and Jason Michael Webb and the first opera presented on the Apollo’s Mainstage, the New York premiere ofCharlie Parker’s Yardbird co-produced with Gotham Chamber Opera and Opera Philadelphia. Additional details follow below.

“Our 2015/2016 season looks to contemporary and uniquely American forms of expression, as well as to some of the genres developed on our legendary stage,” said Mikki Shepard, Executive Producer of the Apollo Theater. “The season also marks three ‘firsts’ for the Theater—the first presentation by our newly appointed Jazz Artist-in-Residence, Irvin Mayfield our first ever Mainstage opera performance and our first ballet commission. We will be presenting more than 100 performances next season, and are so thrilled to continue expanding our support of artists at all stages of their careers from around the world, welcoming back many whom we’ve helped nurture over the years, alongside those new to the Apollo and our audiences.”

The season will also feature the Apollo’s signature series Amateur Night and Apollo Music Café, which showcases boundary-pushing, emerging and mid-career artists in an intimate club-like setting on the Theater’s Soundstage. A cornerstone of the Harlem community, the Apollo will also present public conversations, education programs for students and families, and other community events to complement the season’s artistic offerings. Tickets for the season go on sale Friday, May 15, 2015.

Season Highlights Include:

Breakin’ ConventionAn International Festival of Hip-Hop Dance Theatre

Featuring: Rennie Harris Puremovement Dance, NL2, Ukweli Roach of Birdgang Dance, Compagnie Phorm, Street Kingdom, The Ruggeds, Antoinette Gomis, and More

The Apollo presents Breakin’ Convention, a Sadler’s Wells London production, for three days of hip-hop dance theatre performances featuring the best dance artists and companies from New York City, the U.S., and around the globe. Curated and hosted by Sadler’s Wells Associate ArtistJonzi D, Breakin’ Convention is a celebration of hip-hop culture and its global impact and is part of the international festival’s first U.S. tour. New to this year’s Festival is the inclusion of an original work commissioned for Breakin’ Convention by the Apollo and created by acclaimed choreographer Rennie Harris, currently in development as part of the Apollo’s new works incubation program, the Apollo Salon Series. The Philadelphia-based Rennie Harris Puremovement Dance Company and the Brooklyn-based Next Level Squad, both standout participants in the Theater’s first Breakin’ Convention, will perform 100NAKEDLOCKS, a new piece inspired by the themes of Afro futurism and the Black sci-fi genre.

The list of Breakin’ Convention artists include: Rennie Harris Puremovement Dance (Philadelphia), NL2 (Brooklyn), Ukweli Roach of Birdgang Dance (UK), Compagnie Phorm (France/Argentina), Street Kingdom (Los Angeles), The Ruggeds (Holland) and Antoinette Gomis (France).

The Apollo Theater first presented Breakin’ Convention, its first global festival, in June 2013. The Festival provides a platform to celebrate the Theater’s hip-hop roots while highlighting the development of the culture around the world.

Tickets for Breakin’ Convention are $25 – $45. Apollo Advantage: $17.50 – $31.50. Tickets will be available at The Apollo Theater Box Office: (212) 531-5305, 253 West 125 th Street, and Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000,

The New Orleans Jazz Weekend and Masquerade

Featuring: Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Brass-A-Holics and More

Grammy Award-winning jazz musician and newly appointed Apollo Jazz Artist-in-Residence Irvin Mayfield returns to the Theater to bring the spirit of his hometown, New Orleans, to Harlem for a special Halloween weekend of events, marking the official start of the new artistic partnership between the Apollo and Mayfield. The weekend will include a special performance by the renowned trumpeter with legendary jazz vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater in the New York concert premiere of Bridgewater’s and Mayfield’s new album, Dee Dee’s Feathers (slated for release in the U.S. on August 11). The masquerade-themed concert will be followed by an after-party as part of Apollo Music Café in the Theater’s Soundstage and will feature the New Orleans Go-Go brass funk band the Brass-A-Holics. The weekend will also include a special Apollo Music Café on that Friday night with Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse, curated by Bridgewater and featuring a jam-inspired set with some of the best young female jazz vocalists and a New Orleans Creole-themed mask- and music-making workshop as part of the Apollo Education Family Workshop series.

Tickets for New Orleans Jazz Masquerade Mainstage concert are $35 – $65. Premium tickets (which include

the Mainstage concert and access to the exclusive after-party with the Brass-a-Holics) are $95. Apollo Advantage: $24.50 – $45.50.

Tickets for Friday night’s Apollo Music Café are $20. Apollo Advantage and A-list: $15 in advance.

Tickets will be available at The Apollo Theater Box Office: (212) 531-5305, 253 West 125 th Street, and Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000,

Beautiful, Also, Is The Sun

A Co-Commission of the Apollo Theater and Ballet Hispanico

The Apollo and the nation’s leading Latino dance organization, Ballet Hispanico, present the world premiere of renowned Brazilian choreographerFernando Melo’s new work, Beautiful, Also, Is The Sun. A co-commission of the Apollo and Ballet Hispanico, the work is choreographed to a medley of Brazilian sounds, electronic and acoustic, and explores the cultural contrasts of Melo’s homeland of Brazil in an homage to Melo’s native country.

Additional Ballet Hispanico programs include special Apollo Education performances of Beautiful, Also, Is the Sun with Apollo School Day Liveand Family Showtime.

Tickets for Ballet Hispanico are $28 – $58. Apollo Advantage: $19.50 – $40.50.

Tickets will be available at The Apollo Theater Box Office: (212) 531-5305, 253 West 125 th Street, and Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000,

Je Suis Soul!: A Salute To French And African Jazz And Soul

A Celebration of the 35 th Anniversary of the Jazz à Vienne Festival

Featuring: Manu Dibango, Ben l’Oncle Soul, Monophonics and Les Nubians

Apollo Theater and Jazz a Vienne continues their partnership and artistic exchange with a weekend in celebration of the 35 th anniversary of the Jazz à Vienne Festival. Through the sounds of French and African jazz

and soul, Je Suis Soul!: A Salute to French and African Jazz and Soul will explore the influences of soul on jazz, funk, and other popular music from around the globe. Featured artists include: the legendary Cameroon saxophonist Manu Dibango, who made his Apollo debut in the 1970s and is best known for his hit “Soul Makossa” French soul superstar Ben l’Oncle Soul performing with San Francisco’s foremost retro-soul group, Monophonics and Les Nubians, the Grammy-nominated duo whose unique mix of neo-soul, hip-hop and African music is epitomized in their most recent hit, “Nü Revolution.” The celebration will also include Apollo Music Café performances in celebration of Jazz à Vienne.

Founded in 1980, Jazz à Vienne is one of the world’s premier music festivals. This annual, three-week festival stretches from mid-June to July and features a mix of gospel, soul, funk, blues, groove and, of course, jazz. In July 2014, the Festival celebrated the Apollo Theater’s 80 th anniversary in its 7,500-seat Roman amphitheater.

Tickets for Je Suis Soul!: A Salute To French And African Jazz And Soul are $25 – $65. Apollo Advantage: $17.50 – $45.50. Tickets will be available at The Apollo Theater Box Office: (212) 531-5305, 253 West 125 th Street, and Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000,

The Classical Theatre of Harlem—The First Noel: A World Premiere Musical

Preview Performances: December 11 & 12, 2015 7pm

Opening Night: December 13, 2015 7pm

Performances: December 15 – 30, 2015 7pm (Matinee at 2pm)

In this World Premiere, The Classical Theatre of Harlem presents The First Noel, a new Harlem-based holiday musical that promises to be an evergreen classic for years to come. Presented in the Apollo’s Soundstage, The First Noel follows three generations of a Harlem family affected by the tragic loss of a loved one until an unexpected visit reveals some long-absent Christmas joy. It is a story about how a community is healed, one family at a time, as everyday people do extraordinary things to help one another receive the gift of love at Christmas time. The First Noelfeatures music that crosses genres—from disco to rock to gospel — to tell a universal story of love and belonging.

Book and lyrics by Lelund Durond Thompson (founder, YellaFella Entertainment and CTH Artistic Associate). Music and lyrics by Jason Michael Webb (Motown the Musical, Violet). Kamilah Forbes (A Raisin in the Sun and Stick Fly) serves as Director. For The Classical Theatre of Harlem: Artistic Director Ty Jones and Managing Director David Roberts.

Tickets for The First Noel are $25 for previews, $75 for opening night, $35 for weekday performances and $50 for weekend performances. Apollo Advantage: $30 – $40. Tickets will be available at The Apollo Theater Box Office: (212) 531-5305, 253 West 125 th Street, and Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000,

Featuring: Bombino, Mokoomba and Jojo Abot

The Apollo, in partnership with World Music Institute, presents the fourth annual Africa Now! concert celebrating the best of the contemporary African music scene. This year’s main stage blow-out concert will feature Bombino, Mokoomba and Jojo Abot—artists whose music showcases the origins of African music and its extensions into today’s global pop culture. Omara “Bombino” Moctar is a young Tuareg guitarist and songwriter whose electrifying jams capture the spirit of resistance and rebellion while echoing with guitar riffs reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix, Tinariwen, Ali Farka Touré, John Lee Hooker, and Jimmy Page. Mokoomba, the eclectic six-piece band, brings an electrified blend of Afro-fusion and traditional Tonga music and will be making their U.S. debut at the Apollo show. Jojo Abot is a Ghanaian singer-songwriter whose music is an experimental blend of electronica, afrobeat, jazz, neo-soul, house and reggae.

Tickets for Africa Now! are $25 – $50. Apollo Advantage: $17.50-$35. Tickets will be available at The Apollo Theater Box Office: (212) 531-5305, 253 West 125 th Street, and Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000,

Jazz and Spirit

Featuring: Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra

After the critically acclaimed premiere of the Afro Latin Jazz Suite on the Apollo stage last year, Grammy Award-winning composer Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra return for this concert featuring two works by O’Farrill, which explore the deep connection between jazz and spiritual traditions. The first piece, “A Still Small Voice,” is a hybrid of classical jazz and Afro Latin elements focused on the idea of a conscience a voice inside of us that knows right from wrong. The second piece, “The Cornel West Concerto,” newly commissioned by the Apollo and penned by O’Farrill, will set text by the speaker, scholar and activist Dr. Cornel West to Afro Latin Jazz orchestration. Steeped deeply in the faith and in the oratory of great preachers, Dr. West’s clarion call for social justice rings loud and clear in the style of a great jazz musician.

Tickets for Jazz and Spirit are $35 – $65. Apollo Advantage: $24.50 – $45.50. Tickets will be available at The Apollo Theater Box Office: (212) 531-5305, 253 West 125 th Street, and Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000,

Charlie Parker’s Yardbird

Opening Night: May 31, 2016 7:30pm

Performances: June 3, 2016 7:30pm and June 5, 2016 3pm

Featuring: Lawrence Brownlee, Angela Brown and Will Liverman

The New York premiere of this new opera follows the inspirations, demons, and women who fueled the bebop great, Charlie Parker. Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, a co-production of the Apollo Theater, Gotham Chamber Opera and Opera Philadelphia, will premiere at the Apollo as part of the Apollo’s and Gotham’s artistic seasons, and will also be a part of the 2016 NY Philharmonic Biennial Contemporary Music Festival. Set in the famed NYC jazz club Birdland, saxophonist Charlie Parker composes his final masterpiece. Tenor Lawrence Brownlee stars as the legendary saxophonist—a role crafted around the effortless, improvisational style that makes him one of opera’s most sought- after tenors. Soprano Angela Brown appears as his mother, Addie Parker, and baritone Will Liverman debuts as jazz icon Dizzy Gillespie.

Music by: Daniel Schnyder Libretto by: Bridgette A. Wimberly Conductor: Neal Goren Director: Ron Daniels Set Designer: Riccardo Hernandez Costume Designer: Emily Rebholz Lighting Designer: Scott Zielinski. Charlie Parker’s Yardbird is a co-commission by Gotham Chamber Opera and Opera Philadelphia.

Tickets for Charlie Parker’s Yardbird are $21 – $125. Apollo Advantage: $35 – $87.50. Tickets will be available at The Apollo Theater Box Office: (212) 531-5305, 253 West 125 th Street, and Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000,

Amateur Night At The Apollo

The Apollo Theater’s signature program, Amateur Night, continues to be a resource for discovering new talent and a defining experience for many emerging artists. The show has launched countless careers since 1934—from Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown, Michael Jackson, D’Angelo, Jazmine Sullivan and Lauryn Hill to recent winners like Matthew Whitaker, Machine Gun Kelly and Matthew Hashimoto. The Amateur Night 2015-2016 season will feature the following special editions:

Amateur Night: Harlem Week Celebration

Amateur Night: Super Top Dog

Amateur Night: Holiday Special

Apollo Music Café

The Apollo Music Café presents forward-thinking artists and draws out equally adventurous audiences, and features diverse performances across a myriad of genres from R&B, hip-hop, soul, jazz, pop, funk, to rock. Presented in the Theater’s intimate Soundstage, the series continues the Apollo’s longstanding commitment to presenting diverse and innovative artistic voices. Since its debut in February 2011, the series has become a favorite destination for music lovers of all kinds—from Harlem tastemakers, to tourists, to the downtown hipster set. The Apollo Music Café 2015-2016 season will feature special editions including the New Orleans Jazz Weekend and Masquerade and Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead,presented in collaboration with John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Dates and performers to be announced at a later date.


The Apollo Theater Education and Community Program extend the Apollo’s commitment to serve as a resource and gathering place for the entire community. The nonprofit Theater’s education and community programs include events for school children and families career development for teens and adults through the Apollo Theater Academy and discussions on cultural and civic issues important to the Harlem community that highlight the history of the Apollo and its impact on American art, culture, and entertainment.

Apollo Family Showtime

Over the course of its 81-year history, the Apollo has long served as a source of entertainment and often as an opportunity to discover live music, dance, and theater. Apollo Family Showtime is designed to continue this legacy and to provide families with the opportunity to experience live performances at the Apollo. Planned Apollo Family Showtime events for the 2015-2016 Season include:

Sunday, October 18, 2015 3pm

Ballet Hispanico: Saturday En Familia

Saturday, November 21, 2015 2pm

Saturday, March 26, 2016 1pm

Breakin’ Convention Family Showtime tickets are $10 – $40. Ballet Hispanico: Saturday En Familia Family Showtime tickets are $15. For tickets and information visit

Apollo Family Workshop

Apollo Family Workshops provide families with an opportunity to learn more about the music, movements, and moments that define the Apollo’s contributions to American history and culture through interactive activities. Children must be accompanied by an adult caregiver. Adults must be accompanied by a child. Planned Apollo Family Workshops events for the 2015-2016 Season include:

Creole Mask and Instrument-Making

Saturday, October 31, 2015 1pm

Apollo Family Workshops are free and pre-registration is strongly suggested. For registration information visit

Apollo School Day Live

Apollo School Day Live provides new generations of theater-goers with exciting opportunities to learn about the arts, history, and culture. Planned Apollo School Day Live events for the 2015-2016 Season include:

New Orleans Jazz Orchestra School Day Live

Friday, October 30, 2015 11:30am

Ballet Hispanico: Beautiful, Also, Is The Sun

Friday, November 20, 2015 10:15am and 11:30am

For tickets and information at

Harlem Healthy Soul Festival

September 19, 2015 12pm-7pm

The Apollo Theater will present its third annual community initiative focused on family wellness—Harlem Healthy Soul Festival. This day-long, free event is designed to serve as a platform for Harlem families to learn about the numerous community health resources to help live active and healthier lives. The Festival will transform the Apollo and 126 th Street behind the Theater into a block party filled with music, entertainment, health, and educational resources, and family fun. Activities throughout the day will include live entertainment in front of the Apollo on 125 th Street, as well as presentations by celebrities, doctors, and health experts inside the Theater. On 126 th Street, vendors will be on hand promoting programs and services that encourage a healthy lifestyle. Families are encouraged to participate in the array of free activities such as health screenings, nutrition-focused cooking demonstrations, celebrity performances, and exercise modules.

Harlem Healthy Soul Festival is free and open to the public.

Coca-Cola Winter Wonderland

Before the Apollo Amateur Night Holiday Special, the Apollo and Coca-Cola are partnering to bring the magic of the holiday season to Harlem. Under the Apollo’s iconic marquee, Coca-Cola will offer a variety of holiday-themed activities and performances free and open to the public. Hosted by Billy Mitchell, Apollo tour director and in-house historian, festivities include picture taking with Santa Claus and giveaways. Additionally, in the spirit of giving, the Apollo will be a designated location for a toy drive.

Kwanzaa Celebration: Regeneration Night

December 27, 2015 2pm & 7:30pm

Featuring: Abdel R. Salaam’s Forces of Nature Dance Theatre

The Apollo Theater celebrates its 9 th annual Kwanzaa Celebration, featuring the renowned New York-based dance company Abdel Salaam’s Forces of Nature Dance Theatre and guest performances. Since 2006, the Apollo has established an annual show to celebrate this holiday tradition on one day of the Kwanzaa holiday. The Apollo’s celebration is a joyful evening of dance and music honoring the principles of Kwanzaa—family, community, and culture. Hosted by radio personality Imhotep Gary Byrd.

Tickets for Kwanzaa Celebration: Regeneration Night are $20 – $35. Apollo Advantage: $14. Tickets will be available at The Apollo Theater Box Office: (212) 531-5305, 253 West 125 th Street, and Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000,

Apollo Uptown Hall

The Apollo continues to be a natural gathering place and “town hall” for local community residents as well as people from across New York City. This was demonstrated by the huge crowds that gathered under the Theater’s iconic marquee in response to world events such as the 2008 presidential election outcome and the passing of James Brown and Michael Jackson. Launched in September 2012, the Apollo Uptown Hall is a forum for presenting and discussing timely issues relevant to the community, the country, and the world, incorporating video, texting, and live performance to enhance and develop an interactive forum for community gathering and discussion.

Apollo Uptown Hall: A Martin Luther King Tribute

In celebration of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, WNYC’s annual Martin Luther King Day celebration will return to the Apollo for a special edition of the Apollo’s Uptown Hall series. The series brings together community members, leaders, scholars and activists to engage in conversation about Dr. King’s legacy and how his teachings affect us today. WNYC’s Brian Lehrer will co-host this free event.

Apollo Uptown Hall: A Martin Luther King Tribute is A WNYC and Apollo Theater presentation.

Sandy Hill’s Charlotte Mysteries

Since launching my Storied Charlotte blog in February of this year, I have become increasingly aware of the many Charlotte authors who once worked as reporters or editors for The Charlotte Observer. I have featured a number of these former Observer employees on my blog, including Tommy Tomlinson, Dannye Romine Powell, Patricia Cornwell, Jodie Jaffe, and Kathleen Purvis. With this week’s blog post, I am adding Sandy Hill to this list.

Hill moved to Charlotte in the 1960s, and she worked as an editor for the Observer for many years.She also, however, has written historical novels and cozy mysteries, including the just-released Shadow Dance. Like two of her other mysteries, Shadow Dance is set in Charlotte. I recently contacted Hill and asked her about how living in Charlotte has influenced her career as a novelist. Here is what she sent to me:

All but one of my novels are set in North Carolina. Tangled Threads is set in a mythical Tar Heel cotton mill village in the late 1890s. A visit to the exhibit “From Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers” at the Levine Museum of the New South piqued my interest, and I ended up writing the story of two girls who grew up in a mill village, one leaving and the other staying and how their lives intertwined. That called for a sequel, Kate & Delia, also set in a North Carolina mill village, about what happened later.

The Blue Car is a coming-of-age story set in the North Carolina foothills and deals with difficult choices and the courage to stand up for what is right. I wrote the opening sentence 20 years ago at a writing workshop in South Carolina.: “They came for her in a blue car.” That line stayed in my mind for years. Finally, I sat down with the opening line and let the novel unfold from there.

Three of my cozy mysteries are set in Charlotte: Deadline for Death, An Ice Day to Die, and Shadow Dance. All of them feature journalists. Deadline for Death, with my sleuth, Erin Markham, deals with murder at a fictional Charlotte newspaper. It gives a behind-the-scenes look at a big-city newsroom. An Ice Day to Die takes my intrepid newspaper editor Erin to an ice-skating competition in Charlotte. I’ve competed in skating competitions as an older adult and had one appearance in the chorus line of Ice Capades when it came to Charlotte some years ago. I drew on that background, plus more research for Ice Day to Die. Shadow Dance is set in Charlotte but has a visiting journalist, not Erin. It draws on my brief foray into ballroom dancing and includes rock climbing at Crowders Mountain.

One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about writing is talking to Charlotte book clubs about my novels and the process of writing. It’s interesting as a writer to see what readers think of your darlings. Readers who want to know more about me can visit my author page:

By setting several of her mystery novels in Charlotte, Sandy Hill is not just writing about what she knows she is also providing Charlotte readers with the added pleasure that comes from recognizing the places that figure in Hill’s Storied Charlotte.

18 Best Fried Chicken Restaurants from Coast to Coast

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To take advantage of Chase Sapphire Preferred&rsquos lucrative 3x points on dining offer on the first Friday of the month, we&rsquore rounding up the best in dining. For November, comfort food is on the brain as we gear up for Thanksgiving and the holiday season. And what&rsquos more comforting than down home Southern comfort and fried chicken? Read on for our team&rsquos roundup of the best fried chicken joints across the country.

The tantalizing fried chicken at Mary Mac&rsquos Tea Room. Photo by Wally Gobetz/Flickr.

The Bird: Served a la carte and big enough to share, Mary Mac&rsquos buttermilk-dredged, deep-fried chicken entrée comes with a leg, wing, breast and thigh ($13.50). The bread basket here is complimentary and includes warm, house-baked yeast and cinnamon rolls, and each side dish (think mac-and-cheese and fried okra) is $3.25.
The Restaurant: The last of Midtown Atlanta&rsquos traditional tea rooms &ndash the genteel Southern colloquialism for women-owned restaurants &ndash this 1945 local standby features walls lined with photos of local personalities and a friendly in-house amabassador, Jo Carter, who wanders the dining room, offering smiles and backrubs to Mary Mac&rsquos patrons. You can either pencil in your order or recite it to a member of the waitstaff (several of whom have been employed here for multiple decades), and consider pairing your fried chicken with a tall glass of sweet tea and an order of a savory pork soup called pot likker, which is served with &ldquocracklin&rsquo bread&rdquo (butter-baked cornbread) and collard greens stewed in pork broth. &ndash Melanie Wynne

Perfectly crisped fried chicken at Gus&rsquos.

The Bird: Gus&rsquos Fried Chicken redefines the meaning of comfort food. This crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside fried chicken is seasoned to a T with just the right amount of spice (two-piece meal with beans, slaw and bread, $6-7).
The Restaurant: Gus&rsquos was originally founded in Mason, Tennesse in the 1950s, and the tradition carries on throughout Tennessee (the Memphis location is the stuff of local legends), Arkansas and Mississippi. Family-owned and passed down through generations, Gus&rsquos world famous fried chicken recipe is a family secret and no one is spilling the beans. The joint is a no-frills spot for hand-battered, home-cooked goodness, and its customers come to chow down on fried chicken, mac-and-cheese, and potato salad. &ndash Lori Zaino

Fried chicken, waffles and watermelon at Yardbird. Photo courtesy Yardbird.

The Bird: Whether you opt for Mama&rsquos Chicken Biscuits ($14), Llewellyn&rsquos &ldquo27-hour&rdquo Fine Fried Chicken ($26) or go all out for the fried chicken with chow-chow cheddar waffles and watermelon doused in honey hot sauce and bourbon maple syrup, you&rsquoll leave Yardbird with a renewed affinity for fried chicken.
The Restaurant: Springing onto South Beach&rsquos dining scene in 2012 with a slew of accolades including Bon Appetit Magazine&rsquos 50 Best New Restaurants list, Yardbird has been perennially packed from the start with no signs of slowing down. Serving up a gourmet spin on Southern comfort food in a shabby chic setting one block off Lincoln Road, be prepared for a delightfully indulgent meal anytime of day. With dishes meant to be shared, pick your bird and then pick its accompaniments. You can&rsquot go wrong with the fried green tomato &ldquoBLT&rdquo made with pork belly and pimento cheese and the pungent, crave-worthy mac & cheese made with Tochio pasta and a crispy herb crust. At brunch, the omelet of the day is consistently creative and cooked to perfection and the shrimp and stone ground grits with crispy Virginia ham are outrageously flavorful&ndashyou&rsquoll savor every bite. Wash it all down with one of their signature bourbon-based cocktails and call it a night. &ndash Shayne Benowitz

Fried chicken with all the fixins Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House.

The Bird: For the flat price of $18, opt into an all-you-can-eat experience with the star attraction: crunchy, taste bud-tingling pieces of fried chicken made with evaporated milk, vegetable oil, and seasoned lightly with salt and pepper.
The Restaurant: In 1965, Savannah cook and housewife Sema Wilkes bought a mid-19th century boarding house where she had been working in the kitchen, and set up shop as a restaurateur with a menu focused on local produce and traditional Southern recipes. Though Mrs. Wilkes died in 2002 at the age of 95, her Savannah Historic Foundation establishment remains a city fixture where you&rsquoll almost assuredly wait in a long line, sit at a well-worn communal table with perfect strangers, and enjoy some of the most delicious, authentic Low Country cooking you&rsquoll ever be lucky enough to eat. Aside from the fried chicken, standouts include the beef stew, fresh black-eyed peas, and flaky house-made biscuits. &ndash MW

The no frills facade of Willie Mae&rsquos in New Orleans&rsquo Seventh Ward.

The Bird: The mouthwatering, spicy, wet-battered fried chicken at Willie Mae&rsquos is especially known for its chicken breast, considered the most moist and succulent of them all (three-piece meal and a side, $10).
The Restaurant: Located in New Orleans&rsquo Seventh Ward, Willie Mae&rsquos is worth the short cab ride over from the more frequented French Quarter. Friendly staff offer a warm welcome in this homey atmosphere. In addition to fried chicken, you can also opt for pork chops, country veal and fried shrimp or catfish. Get there early, as this place is popular among tourists and locals, and be prepared to wait. The restaurant is still standing even after Hurricane Katrina flooding, and the family-owned eatery just opened a second location, Willie Mae&rsquos Grocery and Deli, in the uptown neighborhood on Saint Charles Avenue. The new spot serves all the original favorites, plus some new menu items like po&rsquo boys. &ndash LZ

The spread at Roscoe&rsquos in Hollywood.

The Bird: Well-seasoned and perfectly browned chicken, pillowy waffles, and all the fixins you could ask for. Order up a combo, add on some cornbread and greens, and get ready to eat your fill.
The Restaurant: This LA institution has seven restaurants in the metro area. The original in Hollywood is situated just off Sunset Boulevard and remains a hotspot for celebrity sightings. Hours vary between locations, sometimes closing as early as 8 p.m. on weekdays, so double check before you head there for a late meal. With a raucous atmosphere and Spartan décor, Roscoe&rsquos isn&rsquot the ideal venue for a romantic dinner, but the outlook is positive if your first date digs it. If not, well, at least you won&rsquot go hungry. &ndash Peter Rothbart

The Lady and Sons, Savannah, GA

Fried chicken wings galore at Paula Deen&rsquos landmark restaurant.

The Bird: You can add a single piece of The Lady&rsquos tender, crispy-fried Springer Mountain Farms chicken to any meal for $3 a pop, or spring for the $18 ($16 on Sundays) &ldquoAll You Care to Eat&rdquo Southern buffet. Named USA Today&rsquos International Meal of the Year in 2011, the extravaganza will always include unlimited fried chicken, access to the salad bar, and one house-baked dessert (warm peach cobbler), as well as an always-changing line-up of vegetable sides, like lima beans, cream corn, and yams.
The Restaurant: Before she was a Food Network star, cookbook author and lightning rod for controversy, chef Paula Deen was a single mom of two boys who turned a small catering business into an iconic, family-owned Savannah hotspot for comfort food that has the potential to warm and weaken your heart at the same time. Encompassing three renovated stories of the White Hardware Building (originally built circa 1830) on West Congress Street, The Lady & Sons features 15,000-square-feet of dining space and a full bar. Menu standouts include a plate of grilled grouper served with house-made peach BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese-grit cakes ($28) and creamy, lightly spicy crab stew (cup, $6, bowl, $8). &ndash MW

Red Rooster&rsquos fried yardbird in Harlem.

The Bird: Fried twice so it&rsquos extra crispy, Red Rooster&rsquos Fried Yardbird ($27) is also full of flavor thanks to chef&rsquos famous spice blend&mdasha fiery mix of Ethiopian berbere, cumin, paprika and other spices&mdashand is served with special hot sauce, pickles, white mace gravy, braised collards and creamy mashed potatoes.
The Restaurant: Ethiopian-born, Swedish-raised Chef Marcus Samuelsson combines both aspects of his heritage when creating the Southern-style comfort food at Red Rooster Harlem. Named after the Harlem speakeasy that once drew greats like Nat King Cole, the local eatery still embraces the community spirit, bringing in local musicians, offering neighborhood cooking classes and showcasing artwork on the walls by a range of photographers and artists. Open seven days a week with brunch on the weekend, the menu spans all of your Southern favorites with a twist, like the shrimp & grits with salsa verde, cilantro and smoked ham, or deviled eggs with chicken skin mayonnaise. &ndash Lane Nieset

Hot chicken doused in hot sauce and spices at Hattie B&rsquos in Nashville. Photo courtesy Hattie B&rsquos.

The Bird: Hot chicken is a distinctly Nashville phenomenon and at Hattie B&rsquos you can pick from five heat levels starting at Southern (no heat) to Shut the Cluck Up (burn notice). Enjoy your hot sauce-doused chicken in a range of sizes from from small and large plates of white or dark meat to wings and chicken tenders ($9-$12).
The Restaurant: With two Nashville locations, the screened porch setting is casual and familial. Order a hot chicken plate, served with toast and pickles along with two sides. These classically Southern selections include black eyed pea salad, pimento mac & cheese, southern greens and homemade cole slaw. Pair that with a sweet tea or a bottle of craft beer and find out how hot you can go. Save room for a seasonal cobbler or root beer float for dessert. &ndash SB

Grab your grub to go at Ezell&rsquos.

The Bird: Perfectly crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, this chicken comes in regular and spicy, and you&rsquoll want to try them both. Don&rsquot miss the fried okra, sweet potato pie, and for the more adventurous, fresh-made livers and gizzards.
The Restaurant: Made famous when Oprah Winfrey declared it her favorite fried chicken, this chain has several locations around Puget Sound. The original is off the beaten path in Seattle&rsquos Central District and offers take-out only. Service is fast and fresh, but expect a line around lunchtime. Head to nearby Volunteer Park, Washington Park Arboretum, or down to Lake Washington for a scenic picnic, or on weekends, cross 23rd Avenue to Garfield High School and take in a beer league softball game while you chow down. &ndash PR

Aunt Pitty Patt&rsquos fried chicken.

The Bird: Tuck on into three pieces of perfectly crispy, yet tender fried chicken served with decadent mashed potatoes and rich gravy, as well as Pitty Pat&rsquos signature Southern Salad Sideboard of a dozen dishes (including a buttery sweet potato salad, vinegary beet salad, and zingy pickled watermelon salad).
The Restaurant: Named for Melanie Hamilton&rsquos high-strung, Atlanta-based aunt in Gone With Wind, this is one of the American South&rsquos original concept restaurants. Originally designed in 1967, the cozy, wood-paneled Pitty Pat&rsquos Porch is meant to evoke the spirit of an old plantation with a big verandah overlooking Andrew Young International Boulevard, as well as pewter serving-ware and menus styled like handheld church fans. Compliment your meal with a carb-fest of homemade muffins, drop biscuits and cornbread, and sides of black eyed peas and steamed collard greens. Consider starting your dinner with a mint julep in the downstairs Rocking Chair Lounge and indulge in Georgia specialties, like fried green tomatoes and Low Country shrimp and grits. &ndash MW

Pok Pok, Portland, OR

Pok Pok&rsquos Vietnamese-style chicken wings.

The Bird: Inspired by Thai street food, Ike&rsquos Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings are at once crispy, sticky, sweet and spicy. The six wings per order ($14.50) are marinated in fish sauce and sugar, deep-fried, tossed in an addictive coating of caramelized fish sauce and chopped garlic, then served with a slaw of pickled veggies &ndash and a stack of napkins.
The Restaurant: The original Pok Pok on Portland&rsquos SE Division is a casual, laid-back spot set in a Craftsman-style house with strings of lights and picnic tables on the porch, but its authentic Thai street food menu has earned chef Andy Ricker a James Beard Award and launched a mini-empire. You can now find outposts of Pok Pok spread across the Rose City to New York, and soon, to Los Angeles. The particular popularity of Ike&rsquos Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings has really taken flight, prompting a separate Pok Pok Wings kiosk to open at Portland International Airport. &ndash MW

Beautifully fried chicken in a bucket at Lucy&rsquos.

The Bird: Based on a secret family recipe from Chef James Holmes&rsquo grandmother Lucy, the chicken is soaked in a buttermilk blend that includes soy sauce, seasoned flour, salt, cayenne and eventually hot sauce. Try the fried chicken in its full glory with the Bucket O&rsquo Chicken ($24.95) that feeds four.
The Restaurant: The love affair with Chef Holmes&rsquo fried chicken started during Sunday brunch at the much-loved sister restaurant Olivia, (named one of the Top 10 Best New Restaurants in America by Bon Appétit Magazine). Now, guests can get their hands on Holmes&rsquo proprietary fried chicken at Lucy&rsquos with two Austin locations serving up the bird in a variety of forms. Think, fried chicken gizzards and livers to fried chicken spaghetti and even fried chicken nachos. Named after his grandmother, and also the name of one of his three daughters, Lucy&rsquos is designed for &ldquofolks to feel at home,&rdquo Holmes says, and share food dishes with friends and family. &ndash LN

Sweet tea fried chicken sandwiches at SAW&rsquos in Birmingham complimented by fried pickles.

The Bird: The simple sweet tea-fried chicken sandwich is anything but, served between two buns with a special mayonnaise and vinegar-based white sauce, topped with pickles ($6.99).
The Restaurant: Following his first barbecue joint SAW&rsquos BBQ, founder Mike Wilson teamed up with Chef Brandon Cain to create a soul food restaurant in the developing Avondale neighborhood that definitely adds soul to the community. The small (and crowded) space is no frills&mdashfrom the chalkboard-cum-menu on the wall to the Styrofoam plates and paper towel rolls on the tables&mdashbut there&rsquos also picnic bench seating outside. If you happen to be at Avondale Brewing Co. next door, you can order from SAW&rsquos menu on the wall and have BBQ while you enjoy a local brew. &ndash LN

Read More: Check out our guide to the country&rsquos Best Craft Breweries & Brewpubs.

Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York City

The Southern and Korean-style fried chicken available with advance order at Momofuku.

The Bird: Actually it&rsquos two whole fried birds ($125). The first, a Southern chicken fried in a buttermilk and Old Bay batter, and the other a Korean-style, tripled-fried chicken in a spicy glaze, served with mu shu pancakes, baby carrots, radishes, lettuce, four sauces and an herb basket. Whether you want to savor the chicken&rsquos flavor and eat it solo or create wraps with the other ingredients, there will be more than enough food to go around since the family-style meal feeds four to eight people (reserve in advance online).
The Restaurant: The East Village eatery is the first in the Momofuku clan, serving up seasonal dishes and ramen, as well as Chef David Chang&rsquos famous pork buns&mdashsteamed buns stuffed with roasted pork belly, hoisin, pickled cucumbers and scallions. While the pork buns are a must-have and the fried chicken feast is definitely worth trying with a group, don&rsquot miss sampling other noodle bar items, like the Momofuku ramen with pork belly, pork shoulder and poached egg. For dessert, order one of the items from sister spot Momofuku Milk Bar, like the pretzel cake truffles or pb & strawberry sweet cracker soft serve. &ndash LN

Fried chicken goodness at white fence Farm.

The Bird: White Fence Farm&rsquos delectable fried chicken is pressure cooked and refrigerated in bulk before being individually flash-fried to order. Their low cholesterol soy bean oil is supposedly &ldquoless saturated than most,&rdquo and therefore they offer the healthiest fried chicken around (half farm chicken, $15).
The Restaurant: This spot is actually a farm and a restaurant. Before or after your meal, wander around the farm where kids can pet the animals, and adults can enjoy a leisurely stroll around the gazebo. In addition to the fried chicken, they also offer T-bones, shrimp and homemade desserts&ndashtheir most famous being their pumpkin pie. With locations in both Denver and the Chicago suburbs, these restaurants are geared towards family, home-style dining. The restaurant also hosts big events like weddings and private parties, and even concerts. &ndash LZ

Honey drenched fried chicken at Beasley&rsquos.

The Bird: The fried chicken here is sweet (not spicy), and you can top it off with honey sauce and a side of waffles, if you so choose ($13).
The Restaurant: Chef/owner Ashley Christensen has made Beasley&rsquos a stylish, Southern-inspired spot and an &ldquoode to fried chicken&rdquo with a modern, upscale touch. Eat at the community table in a big group or if you&rsquore having one of those days, pick up your chicken and take it home with you. For more variety, give the chicken pot pie a try and wash down your meal with a glass of Lonerider Sweet Josie Brown Ale, one of the local craft beers on tap. &ndash LZ

Fried chicken is the main attraction at Fat Lyle&rsquos.

The Bird: Order the food truck&rsquos most popular dish&mdashfried chicken&mdashserved only on Sundays &ldquojust like grandma makes it&rdquo with plenty of salt and a homemade buttermilk biscuit ($7 for two pieces of $8 for three).
The Restaurant: Across from the El Cosmico hotel and campground lies FAT Lyle&rsquos food truck, named after husband-and-wife duo Mark and Kaki&rsquos dog. The simple white truck serves &ldquosandwiches, sandwiches, sandwiches all day long&rdquo with fillings like sardines and grilled sausage, but the buttermilk fried chicken is one of the hot commodities on the menu, which is full of items that incorporate local ingredients. Another popular choice? The Crispy Fried Brussels Sprout Haystack&mdashbrussels sprouts prepared with caramelized onions, blue cheese and a spicy aioli, topped with Sriracha and served on top of hand-cut French fries. &ndash LN

Don&rsquot forget to go out there today and use your Chase Sapphire Preferred card for 3x the points on dining.

Savor the Season Returns Uptown for Harlem's Food Scene - Recipes

The Smile and Bumblebee Spaces have teamed up to offer lucky New York City residents a glimpse into the future. Five select homes at the BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group-designed collection of Harlem rentals are equipped with modular furniture systems from San Francisco-based Bumblebee Spaces. These ingenious robotic mechanisms effectively multiply each home’s usable space by lifting furniture to the ceiling when it’s not being used. This means that a studio apartment’s bedroom space will become a comfortable living room with the touch of a button or a verbal request — a user experience that Bumblebee Spaces’ CEO and co-founder Sankarshan Murthy says was inspired by Iron Man’s highly modular home in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Many animal lovers are taking special notice of the Harlem luxury apartments designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, The Smile . These new homes are pet-friendly, while the building is conveniently located between a number of Manhattan’s best dog runs. So, clip that leash on Fido and check out why living at The Smile is a treat for residents and their best furry friends.

Whether they’re bringing a four-legged companion, a terrarium-dwelling lizard, or a tank of colorful fish to The Smile, residents will need to get the right food and toys for their pets. Fortunately, the nearby Ideal Pet Warehouse is a one-stop shop for everything pet-related, while The Pet Store just a little further south, features a wide variety of pet food as well as specialty tropical fish. Between these two shops, residents of The Smile should be able to get everything they need to keep their pets healthy and happy.

While many pets are full-time apartment dwellers, we all know that most dogs need some space to run around. Residents of The Smile live near some of the city’s best parks and dog runs, including the nearby Harlem River Park and Marcus Garvey Park.

Best known for its expansive sports fields, Harlem River Park is just a four-minute distance from The Smile and features nearly six acres of wide-open space that’s great for excited pooches to work out their zoomies. Residents will love bringing a ball and playing a rousing game of fetch or simply running with their dog around the large fields.

Less than 10 minutes away from The Smile’s front door is Marcus Garvey Park . Named after the early 20th-century Black leader and intellectual , the park spans over 20 acres and includes the celebrated Marcus Garvey Dog Run , where pooches and their owners come together to socialize, play, and get a workout.

When both two- and four-legged residents have tired themselves out, it’s time to return to the stylish Harlem rentals at The Smile, where they will be welcomed home by the lobby attendant before being whisked to their residence by the building’s speedy elevators. So, if you and your pet are looking for a new home, reach out to The Smile’s team to schedule a virtual tour and start your new life in Harlem today!

The Smile offers a range of highly desirable luxury apartments in the heart of Harlem. At Apartment #503, bold, brutalist design blends with deliciously practical spaces, finished with state-of-the-art fixtures and appliances. The building’s superlative amenities will put a smile on your face, too.

Welcome to Apartment #503

The moment you enter this apartment, you’re wowed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group’s stunning design. Exposed concrete features, gleaming white monolithic resin floors, and floor-to-ceiling glass evoke a sense of light, spaciousness, and industrial chic. Like other apartments for rent at The Smile , #503 boasts nine-foot-high ceilings — a true luxury in loft-style living. Such capaciousness isn’t just striking, but practical, too. A high-end washer and dryer are easily accommodated in the apartment, while oversized closets mean you’ll have ample space to store year-round fashions.

Dazzling Modern Touches

Every fixture and fitting in this unique Harlem rental complements the overall design. The sizable open kitchen features Italian stainless steel cabinetry and matching stainless steel appliances. Plus, there are dazzling modern touches, such as color-changing LED lighting. With its breakfast bar and adjoining dining and lounge areas, the kitchen at The Smile makes a great space for whipping up midweek meals or hosting weekend dinner parties.

Amenities to Make Friends Envious

The Smile has some seriously enviable amenities , too — 20,000 square feet of them. Chill poolside at the Rooftop Swim Club, or enjoy a soak in one of the three whirlpools, which come with dramatic Manhattan skyline views as standard. Lose yourself to beats in the dance studio or make sushi in the open-aspect demonstration kitchen. Spend a constructive day at your laptop in the coworking studio, and then unwind while shooting pool with pals in the game room. And, of course, anytime you head out the door, you’re in one of New York City’s most vibrant neighborhoods .

Want to Rent at the Smile?

If Apartment #503 is the one for you, or you have your eye on one of The Smile’s other rental residences, book a virtual tour guided by a team member. This will be followed by a safe and secure site visit with social distancing, personal protective equipment for all visitors, and paperwork completed via DocuSign.

The studio apartments at The Smile by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group are getting a serious upgrade thanks to Bumblebee Spaces. These intimate homes are equipped with the firm’s ceiling-mounted, voice-controlled, completely modular furniture system, which takes advantage of a space’s cubic volume to multiply its furniture capacity. The result is a sleek bedroom set, complete with bed, desk, and drawers, all of which tuck themselves snugly into a ceiling-mounted frame at a word, opening up the studio’s main room for living and dining. The smart furniture even remembers where residents store their belongings, giving them the power to retrieve their best hat or much-needed umbrella by simply saying the word.

Lux Exposé explored a high-tech studio residence in BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group’s new collection of Harlem luxury apartments at The Smile, showing how Bumblebee Spaces’s modular furniture system multiplies the possibilities of even the most intimate space. Mounted on the ceiling in the studio, this robotic furniture system turns a living room into a bedroom with the touch of a button (or a voice command) by lifting or lowering a full-size bed and set of “drawers.” The system, designed by a team of former Apple and Tesla engineers, even remembers where residents store individual items, making retrieving that scarf or notebook as easy as saying they need it.

As New Yorkers adjust to a year with COVID-19, Brick Underground reports that buildings like The Smile in Harlem have adjusted their on-site procedures to ensure their residents have full access to their health and wellness amenities. Residents of the BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group-designed Harlem rentals at The Smile have access to The Smile Fitness Club, where state-of-the-art equipment, including Peloton bikes and Nautilus machines, can be reserved via the URBN Playground app to provide safe social distancing. In addition to helping maintain appropriate pandemic precautions, the app gives residents the ability to check how busy the fitness center is from the comfort of their own residence.

Architectural Digest raved over the design for The Smile, highlighting architect BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group’s efforts to blend his steel-and-glass building into the fabric of Harlem. “Like a good neighbor, it fits into the existing neighborhood,” said Ingels, whose design for the 11-story collection of Harlem rentals features a curving facade that floods the street below and the homes inside with natural light. The building’s checkerboard architectural design gives each home a floor-to-ceiling window from which residents can see nearby Harlem and greater Manhattan. Elsewhere in the building, residents will enjoy access to a suite of luxury amenities, including a plunge pool with multiple whirlpool tubs and a rooftop movie theater.

The new Harlem rentals at The Smile place you at the heart of a legendary New York neighborhood and into a luxuriously modern building that provides for your every need — and beyond. Right now, “beyond” includes a partnership with JAJA Tequila , an award-winning brand, already hailed by some of the biggest names in music and fashion.

JAJA’s journey began in the Mexican state of Jalisco and ends at your doorstep at The Smile , where every resident 21 years old and up is greeted with a complimentary bottle of JAJA. This is only the beginning of what will prove to be an even deeper partnership in the months to come – stay tuned!

As JAJA’s founder puts it: “We developed JAJA’s brand ethos to be ‘Smile, Laugh, and Celebrate.’ With JAJA, we know we’re celebrating with a great-tasting tequila, but also keeping it unpretentious, lighthearted, cool, and, of course, eco-friendly.” The quest for the ultimate tequila led the founders to Mexico and to the creation of a drink whose quality is pushed to its utmost at every step of the production process. They started with the heart and soul of the best tequilas: pure agave. In this case, the agave is aged for seven years, cooked, and then fermented for 72 hours. The tequila is then distilled in copper-lined pot stills with volcanic water. It’s a meticulous process that reaps delicious rewards. This is the kind of product where you can practically taste the land, plants, sky, and geography that made it possible. You can get it from a range of retail locations, as well as luxury hotels and the finest bars and restaurants. However, perhaps the best place to enjoy it is in the comfort of your home at The Smile .

Whether you are planning that long-anticipated party with friends and family, or looking to create a magical night at home with your loved ones, JAJA’s Blanco, Reposado, and Anejo tequilas are all incarnations of a pure agave tequila experience. JAJA Blanco offers notes of pepper and citrus, while the Reposado, which is aged in oak barrels for six months, has notes of vanilla and honey. Anejo is aged in oak barrels for two years and boasts the requisite complexity and smoothness. Blanco is perfect for making truly distinctive margaritas, and its high quality and flavor will instantly transform your sunny loft-style apartment into a party zone — just add some lively Norteño or mariachi music to complete the scene.

Your new favorite drink can bring a touch of the festivity and flavor of Mexico to your life thanks to this unique partnership with JAJA, whose name, along with the Harlem luxury apartments at The Smile, conjures happiness. Learn more about the bold and bright residences at The Smile by contacting the leasing team or filling out a rental application today.

Style meets function at The Smile, the new collection of Harlem luxury apartments from BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, which features a unique exterior designed to greet residents and passersby alike. The steel and glass checkerboard facade curves back and inward, seemingly draped from the brick buildings on either side, flooding the street below with sunlight while creating floor-to-ceiling windows with spectacular city views in each of the modern Harlem rental homes within. The blackened stainless-steel panels received a high-tech treatment in Germany that contrasts with the interposed windows while concealing the window frames, resulting in a seamless presentation that grins out at 126th Street.

The sleek lunar surface of The Smile’s facade made the pages of Architects’ Datafile, where the magazine showcased the new building’s mysterious exterior. Draped like a sail between the brickwork buildings to either side, The Smile will present a checkerboard of glass and steel that catches the sun and reflects it at unique angles, creating an ever-shifting series of reflections while flooding the street below with natural light. From within, the glass panels create floor-to-ceiling windows in each residence, revealing the city beyond and letting in ample natural light. On the building’s roof, residents of these Harlem rentals will have access to more city views as well as a suite of luxury amenities.

Departures reports that The Smile will be the first building in New York City to feature futuristic furniture from Bumblebee Spaces. Select Harlem luxury apartments at BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group’s latest project will complement their sleek, modern interiors with the tech startup’s modular furniture system, which uses a ceiling-mounted grid to store multiple rooms’ worth of furniture that can be deployed with a word to a Siri-connected device. In addition to raising and lowering beds and tables seamlessly to and from the ceiling, the Bumblebee Spaces system learns where residents store their belongings, making retrieving a yoga mat or coat as easy as saying the word.

The future has arrived with the Harlem luxury apartments at The Smile, and it invokes opera hall sets and floating tea lights as much as it does the ingenious technology of designers who honed their talents at places like Apple and Tesla. The Smile’s Bumblebee residences are equipped with Bumblebee’s new modular technology, which opens living spaces into a new dimension. Taking full advantage of airspace, ingenuity, and possibility, Bumblebee remakes the modern home by letting you raise your bed, desk, and storage systems into the ceiling whenever you wish. This means that in seconds you can transform a bedroom into your dream work-from-home space, an art studio, or a pristine and spacious room for practicing yoga completely unencumbered.

In addition to its practicality, the Bumblebee system is an elegant use of the marriage of form and function and opens the door to a way of thinking about design where a single piece of furniture has multiple uses. It’s also revolutionary in the way it employs AI, which keeps track of your things, so you can literally ask it where your favorite shirt is anytime. The system is able to document your belongings and keep track of where everything is by creating a photo catalog of what’s inside the modules, using a privacy-first, object-recognition system. This is more than just a way to make your life easier and more spacious it’s a way to rethink the domestic sphere, imagine the possibilities beyond conventional understandings of space and organization, and make day-to-day life more creative and flexible.

It’s a perfect complement to life in Harlem, where the creative muses of art and music have reigned for years, and storied places like the Apollo Theater and the Studio Museum in Harlem are just a short walk away. The system is also a fitting extension of the genius of the building itself, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group. Made to perch gracefully in its place in the neighborhood, the facade was built with a “smiling” sweep that allows the sky and the city to play a starring role in each residence. The play of light and skyline in the windows is echoed by the rise and fall of the Bumblebee system. And if there is something futuristic about these systems, they are also a natural extension of The Smile’s approach to making life as easy and as pleasant as possible at these new rental developments in Harlem. With a thoughtfully designed fitness center, rooftop pool, and whirlpool area, coworking spaces, on-site parking, viewing room, and spa, your whole experience of life at The Smile in the heart of New York City will feel a bit like your needs are being attended to by a team that knows what you want and how you want it—because, with their edge on the future of amenities and innovative design, the visionaries behind The Smile will be right behind you too.

Learn more about the bold and bright residences at The Smile by contacting the leasing team or filling out a rental application today.

The new Harlem rentals at The Smile boast an impressive suite of luxury amenities, but simply building a state-of-the-art fitness center and spa is just the first step. Especially with social distancing guidelines, managing communal amenities efficiently is of utmost importance, which is why The Smile has partnered with URBN Playground to create a full-service concierge for residents. In addition to maintenance and scheduling, URBN Playground provides personalized services, group workshops, entertainment options, and much more!

Residents interact with URBN Playground’s services in one of two ways. The first and most straightforward is via the smartphone app, which residents use to schedule concierge services like housekeeping and pet grooming appointments as well as to reserve time slots in the building’s fitness center. And URBN Playground’s knowledgeable and skilled staff are always on-site to help manage these amenities should residents need extra assistance.

For everything above and beyond these simple matters of scheduling and access, URBN Playground’s Amenity Director steps in. The Smile’s Dedicated Amenity Director is each resident’s advocate and assistant, working personally to ensure that everyone who lives at The Smile gets the most out of the building and neighborhood. This high-touch approach to amenity management makes URBN Playground’s services a part of everyday life at The Smile.

URBN Playground strives to connect The Smile residents with one another as well as their community through local partnerships and, in the age of COVID, via mainly virtual events and programming, including virtual fitness classes at @urbnburn Instagram Live. Recently, residents have participated in Comedy for a Cause with Liz Miele in support of local restaurants, learned to cook from Chef Danny Boome, and even engaged in some digital networking while figuring out how to navigate the pandemic job market with the Keen on You Professional Development series. In a fun addition, the programming also includes Manifestation events with numerology and tarot card readings.

Outside The Smile, URBN Playground has partnered with national and local providers to offer discounts and promotions to residents. Sporty residents will love the discount from Athleta , the leading women’s athletic and athleisure designer, while local affiliates, including Partners Coffee and Rosehip Social , give residents an excuse to savor an exquisitely crafted cup of coffee and an exquisite floral display.

All these services are merely the jumping-off point for what residents can expect from URBN Playground. As part of the high-touch service, URBN Playground’s staff is always seeking the next best way to satisfy and please The Smile’s residents. So, why not come up with a few new ideas for your future lifestyle while experiencing a virtual tour of your new Harlem home?

Learn more about the bold and bright residences at The Smile by contacting the leasing team or filling out a rental application today.

What fuels the creativity and unstoppable energy of NYC? Some might say ambition, some might say passion, but everyone knows what really inspires us to get up and get going. That’s right, it’s coffee. With that in mind, when looking for a home, proximity to their favorite coffee spot is simply not negotiable for a lot of New Yorkers. Luckily, residents of the Harlem luxury rentals at The Smile have a bevy of options for their favorite morning beverage.

Whether you’re in a spacious studio or a sprawling two-bedroom, you’ll wake up in industrial-chic splendor in the heart of Harlem. While you could pull out the French press or prep the Chemex for a pour-over in the sleek, modern kitchen, why not take a quick stroll through this vibrant neighborhood and call in at some local businesses to get your caffeine fix? Here’s a list of top-tier spots where you can enjoy the world’s best coffee and savor the city’s tastiest breakfast treats and snacks.

Get ready to start your day with an elixir that’s bound to put some pep in your step — and we don’t mean the premium African coffee found at Ginjan Cafe. We’re talking about their signature drink: ginjan. This ginger-based juice created from a millennia-old African recipe is sweet and spicy and hits all the right notes for an early-morning drink. Pro tip: Grab a bottle to go and save it for the evening, where it makes the perfect addition to cocktails.

Your blues are sure to melt away when you order some joe and grub at this small and intimate cafe. Yes, you can get a life-affirming cup of coffee from this lovely place, but the food here is equally impressive. If you think a Nutella crepe sounds like an indulgent breakfast, you’re right! And you can indulge to your heart’s content at this local spot.

Levain Bakery | 2167 Frederick Douglass Boulevard

Speaking of sweets, the sugary delights of Levain Bakery have gained a cultish following ever since a pair of friends opened their first shop on the Upper West Side over 25 years ago. Today, outposts can be found throughout the city — including one near the Harlem rentals at The Smile. Get there early, as you may find a queue forming. Their heaping chocolate chip cookies are the reason why. Much more than your average, flat Toll House-style number, a Levain treat is a mound of chocolatey goodness that pairs perfectly with their world-class coffee.

You may have seen Pabade Bakery & Cafe’s famous pastries in stores like Whole Foods and Union Market. However, within a few minutes’ distance from The Smile, you’ll have access to this family-owned bakery’s full line of freshly baked goodies, including scones, brownies, tarts, and cakes — and you can pair them with a steaming cup of La Colombe coffee. NYC foodies flock to Pabade for their renowned vegan muffins with flavors like blueberry, chocolate chip, and banana. Learn more about the bold and bright residences at The Smile by contacting the leasing team or filling out a rental application today .

The South China Morning Post featured The Smile in its report on how residential buildings in Manhattan are adjusting to meet the new health and safety needs created by the global pandemic. Designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, The Smile is bringing 233 Harlem apartments for rent to the historic East 126th Street corridor, complete with a suite of amenities and services calibrated to make modern work-from-home life safe and comfortable. The building will conform with all CDC requirements as well as enforcing enhanced occupancy and cleaning measures in the building’s amenities spaces like the spa, fitness center, and rooftop deck.

When designing the facade for the new collection of Harlem luxury apartments, BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group was adamant that the building should be a “good neighbor.” The result is a glass and steel facade draped between the brick buildings to either side, leaning back in scalloped shape and curving at the top to create the eponymous Smile. The 233 homes at The Smile feature floor-to-ceiling windows set into this facade, flooding the spacious interiors with natural light and providing exciting city views.

When viewed from above, The Smile is laid out in a regular T shape with its long edge along Harlem’s historic East 126th Street, allowing for a variety of layouts in the building’s 233 homes. From the sidewalk, however, The Smile’s facade on 126th presents an unforgettable view: to conform with a 1916 zoning law mandating that buildings not loom over the street and obscure natural light, architects BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group designed The Smile’s facade with a gentle sweep, curving up and away from the street in a checkerboard of floor-to-ceiling windows and aluminum panels. This design gives each one of these Harlem luxury apartments an open view of the city around them, connecting residents with their neighborhood from the moment they wake up.

After a year of sheltering in place and social-distancing guidelines, apartment hunters are looking at what kind of outdoor spaces and amenities will come with their new pad. Mansion Global highlights the combination of open and compartmentalized recreational spaces available for residents of the Harlem apartments for rent at The Smile. This new BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group-designed luxury tower features a host of amenities, including a spacious rooftop deck complete with a pool as well as private grill and hot tub areas perfect for socially distant partying. Residences at The Smile feature large, light-filled interiors and range in size from studios to 2 bedrooms.

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New York City is currently in the grip of frigid temps and snowy winter weather. However, you can enjoy your days and nights, warm and comfortable, at home in the Harlem luxury apartments at The Smile. Located in one of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods, these Harlem rentals offer a respite from the chill of the season — not to mention a sophisticated sense of style and a host of luxury amenities. With an open, airy industrial-chic aesthetic and perfect temperature control, The Smile is one of the best places to get and stay cozy until spring arrives. If you’re looking for a fun and satisfying way to spend your time in the great indoors this winter, channel your inner sommelier and have a wine tasting!

There’s no need to travel to France or even the vineyards of Long Island to learn about wine. Hone your oenophilia from the comfort of home. Business Insider has some terrific recommendations for a virtual vino experience , and many of them are absolutely free. We’ll raise a glass to that.

Don’t know your cabernet from your Côtes du Rhônes? Ease yourself into the world of wine with a class from Coursera , the online learning platform. Whether you want to impress at a restaurant with your knowledge of varietal vocab or simply discern the difference between a good and a bad bottle, this gratis 14-hour class will give you the tools you need to make informed decisions.

When you begin to really learn about wine, you realize that it’s all about terroir — that is, the land, environment, and climate that produces the grapes that make your wine. One person who had a deep understanding of this subject was the legendary Prussia-born vintner Charles Krug.

Today, we know the Napa Valley in California as one of the most renowned wine regions in the world. But in the 1800s, that wasn’t so. After seeing the Mediterranean-like climate and bountiful land in Napa, Charles Krug established California winemaking. Though his ideas took a while to catch on, the Charles Krug name now stands for excellent California vintages. You can savor the vineyard’s indulgent offerings with a wine delivery membership. Customize the frequency and your preferences, and get ready to relax, unwind, and enjoy. With this membership, you’ll almost certainly learn about wines you might otherwise never have discovered. Plus, you can sip a glass and watch a live comedy special presented by Charles Krug. Laughter and libations make an excellent pairing.

Need a good bottle to go with dinner on a typical weekday evening? Check out some of the many options that surround you near your home at The Smile — all you need after that is your favorite drinkware and a corkscrew. Either stop by or have your favorite delivered from Harlem Wine Gallery , a boutique shop that has everything from the perfect malbec to a 2011 Armand Rousseau Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru. For intriguing or obscure sips, your best bet is to call in at Wine & Unwind . The staff here is very knowledgeable and can match your preferred profile with just the right varietal. For quick delivery of premium wine, check out Hamilton Wine House , where they not only stock the best of the best but also deliver in under an hour.

If you want to warm up luxuriously with a glass of wine at The Smile, schedule a tour with our leasing team to see these bright, spacious Harlem apartments. We recommend starting with a virtual tour, and then stopping by for a visit — socially distanced, of course, and with personal protective equipment available on-site. Cheers!

Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of cracking open a book, relaxing in a quiet and comfortable spot, and taking in an entertaining or inspiring story. With winter weather blustering its way through the Manhattan streets, there is no better time to do a little reading. And there’s no better place for it than the new Harlem luxury apartments at The Smile. Here are a few great books to get you started — and even an idea or two about how to turn your reading habit into a fun and fulfilling social activity!

Author Tara Westover was born to a fundamentalist Mormon family in rural Idaho in 1986, never attending school until she and her brother secretly applied and were accepted to Brigham Young University. “Educated,” her memoir, captures the arc of her life: from her survivalist upbringing to her single-minded drive to build a better life to realizing her dream of connecting with the larger world through higher education. Told in sparkling prose, Westover’s story is an inspiring tale of the power of the human spirit.

Readers intrigued by the Westover clan won’t be able to put down “The Glass Castle,” the 2005 memoir by Jeannette Walls that tells the story of the author’s unconventional upbringing at the hands of a pair of dysfunctional, yet charismatic and free-spirited, parents. Walls and her siblings move frequently around the country with their family, enduring poverty, the effects of her father’s drinking, and other hardships. But despite these difficulties, Walls forges a successful life for herself and writes of her family with warmth and affection.

Residents of The Smile who are equal parts intimidated and intrigued by the great classics should think about either joining or starting a virtual book club . Over the past year, Zoom lobbies have replaced coffee shops and living rooms as settings for literary salons, and the spacious, light-filled homes at The Smile are perfect for both reading and video conferencing. Some clubs are run by publications and organizations. For example, the Seattle newspaper The Stranger is hosting a reading and discussion of “The Plague,” by Albert Camus and the DC Public Library is guiding readers through books like Elizabeth Acevedo’s teen novel, “With the Fire on High”.

The spacious homes at The Smile are the perfect reading retreats for winter, so why not schedule a virtual tour today and see them for yourself? Learn more about the bold and bright residences at The Smile by contacting the leasing team or filling out a rental application today.

The Smile is a new building from the mind of BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group that brings 233 studio to 2-bedroom Harlem apartments for rent to the booming East 126th Street corridor. Laid out in a T-shaped footprint, The Smile takes its name from the sculptural facade that curves back and around 126th, keeping the sidewalk light and airy in a unique way. On top of the building, a suite of recreational amenities brings a new level of luxury living to the changing neighborhood, while Italian cabinetry and Kohler fixtures add a touch of elegance to minimalist interiors.

The Architect’s Newspaper covered the final days of construction at The Smile at the end of last year, highlighting the creative way in which the collection of Harlem apartments for rent fulfilled a century-old zoning regulation. Passed in 1916, the ordinance requires stepped-back facades to keep the street light and breezy. Faced with this challenge, renowned architects BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group came up with the ingenious solution: by curving up and back from street level to the roof, the building’s facade along East 126th Street creates a wide grinning shape that allows light and air to flow to the sidewalk while also providing unobstructed views from the building’s windows.

As the first residents move into The Smile, BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group’s latest collection of Harlem apartments for rent, the building’s head-turning design is generating conversation around the architecture world. Outlets like Dezeen featured photos of the building’s facade, which curves back from the sidewalk to maximize the light and fresh air at street level, and commenters love the striking checkerboard pattern that smiles down on East 126th Street. The homes inside The Smile feature minimalist layouts and high-end appliances and finishes, including Italian cabinetry in the kitchens and Kohler fixtures in the baths. And, with a suite of amenities including a spa and rooftop swimming deck, The Smile represents a new level of luxury in Harlem.

The first residents are moving into new Harlem luxury apartments from visionary BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group. Dubbed “The Smile,” this collection of Harlem homes features a unique checkerboard facade along East 126th Street that curves inward from the sidewalk, providing ample light and air to city streets. The resulting building looks out at the historic surroundings with an unobtrusive smile, making its mark without overshadowing its iconic red-brick neighbors. Inside, homes at The Smile feature minimalist, light-filled interiors with spacious layouts and luxury appliances and finishes, while residents have access to a suite of on-site amenities, including four swimming pools and a fully equipped fitness center.

In the wake of the Second Avenue Subway extension, The Smile is leading the charge for new-construction homes in Harlem, and no other development combines a unique design (from BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group) with a suite of luxury amenities and chic interiors in quite the same way. Developed by Blumenfeld Development Group, The Smile features 233 Harlem apartments for rent, ranging in size from studios to two bedrooms, as well as a comprehensive amenities package encompassing a massive spa with hammam and LED salt room, a fully equipped coworking studio, and a landscaped rooftop terrace great for everything from grilling to screening movies.

As we’re set to usher in a new year, why not set the stage with a stylish upgrade for your apartment at The Smile? The homeware and gardening stores that will help you make it happen are right on the doorstep.

We’ve all been spending more time at home lately—and because of that—on the couch. Harlem Furniture offers an array of brand-new luxury sofas and armchairs to snuggle up on in the colder months. Among them are the emerald-hued Emily Velvet Sofa (made extra comfy with its two roll-style pillows), the rich leather Anondale Espresso Chair (best enjoyed with a glass of bourbon), and the Arcadia Recliner (perfect for lazy Sunday afternoons in front of a good box set).

Hope to be hosting more dinner parties in 2021? Laia has a range of dining furniture, including the Auletta Table with its trestle base and wood grain top and matching linen upholstered Auletta Chairs. You can also treat your rental to an elegant server table like the rustic-styled Marla, with its gray woodgrain finish, or the decorative Leslie in whitewash. Elsewhere, you can furnish your bedroom with a Willamette Night Stand—ideal for accommodating a reading light, steaming hot cocoa, and a stack of books for cozy reading nights. And putting on morning makeup is made all the more modish with an art deco-inspired Carissa II Mirror.

Bring the outdoors into your rental residence with the help of this much-loved local garden center. Place miniature aloe vera and assorted ferns in the bathroom, make the living room pop with exotic birds of paradise, and even create a miniature hanging garden with English ivy and hoya above the kitchen countertop. Thanks to The Smile’s floor-to-ceiling windows, there’s plenty of light to keep your plants content.

Interested in Renting at The Smile?

In these demanding times, we’re adhering to Real Estate Board of New York guidelines to keep you and our staff safe. Visit The Smile website to book a virtual tour of the property, guided by the leasing team. If you like what you see, we’ll schedule you for a socially distanced on-site tour (with PPE).

Learn more about renting at the Harlem luxury rentals at The Smile by contacting the leasing team today .

6sqft got its hands on a new set of photos from the recently completed collection of Harlem luxury apartments at The Smile that show off the building’s comprehensive amenities package and the residences’ light-flooded interiors. Designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, this curving building is home to a collection of luxury amenities more often seen south of 110th Street, including a rooftop deck, multiple plunge pools, a spa featuring a color-changing LED Himalayan salt room, and a fully equipped coworking studio perfect for workers during (and after) the current pandemic. The interiors all feature the same striking combination of industrial design and museum-style minimalism with a twist of playful color, creating a unique and homey take on chic luxury.

Photography blog Field Condition got a look inside the recently completed collection of Harlem luxury apartments from Blumenfeld Development Group and architects BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, and the resulting photo spread shows off The Smile’s sleek facade and stylish interior. The curving facade features a checkerboard pattern of windows that flood the minimalist interiors with natural light, while the public spaces like the mailroom and amenities areas have an industrial-chic aesthetic punctuated by pops of color. The residences themselves combine industrial minimalism with modern luxury to create well-lit, stylish homes with state-of-the-art kitchens and luxury baths that include custom vanities and Caesarstone counters.

Harlem is home to some of the most extraordinary small businesses in all of New York City. Now more than ever, it’s crucial to support the people who make this part of NYC the amazing place it is. Here’s just a handful of some of our favorite Harlem businesses.

Serengeti Teas & Spices | 22 East 125th Street
Broaden your hot beverage horizons by stocking up at this wonderful little boutique. The staff at Serengeti Teas & Spices will guide you through the aromas and tasting notes of their loose-leaf oolong, fruit, green, herbal, and rooibos teas. Whether you’re looking for a morning pick-me-up or something to help you wind down in the evenings, you’ll find it here. There’s also a naughty selection of hot chocolates, including an unctuous Moroccan mint hot cocoa.

The Brownstone Woman | 24 East 125th Street
It might be a scaled-back holiday season this year, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress the part. Add razzle-dazzle to proceedings with a mint-colored geometric print knit skirt suit—a showstopper for any virtual soirees you’ll be throwing at your new rental at The Smile. For wintry walks in nearby parks, layer up with an incandescent tribal dress coat and mustard yellow gloves garnished with miniature bows. The Brownstone Woman’s oversized cowl sweater, meanwhile, is perfect for chilly evenings snuggled up in your apartment sipping eggnog and bingeing on festive movies.

Dapper Dan of Harlem
Such is Dapper Dan’s reputation, this tailor—who forged his reputation kitting out celebs in the hip-hop boom of the 1980s—is even referenced in a Jay-Z song. You needn’t be a world-famous rapper to be fitted out at Dan’s boutique, though make an atelier appointment, and the team will work to create bespoke threads, which no one else in the world—let alone Harlem—has. A real treat to start 2021 in style.

Muse Experiences | 66 Edgecombe Avenue
This modern townhouse boutique contains a world of luxury fragrances from around the globe, for him and for her. There are almond- and jasmine-tinged perfumes from Sicilian brand Via Dei Mille, bold Silver Musk or Black Afgano from Nasomatto, and Tuscan Fig or Cuban Tobacco fragrances from Australian brand Lumira. The Muse Experiences custom sample sets allow you to try three fragrances at a time.

HH Bespoke Spirits | 245 Malcolm X Boulevard
Stoke up your bar cart with the help of this upmarket Harlem drinks brand. Why not buy a bottle each of their vodka, gin, and rum (online from or in person at Pompette Wine and Spirits at 420 Lenox Avenue)? Their website has recipes that’ll help you spin their spirits into liquid gold. For something with a local flavor to suit your luxury apartment at The Smile, try a Harlem Walk, made with gin, grapefruit juice, and ginger ale.

Mama’s One Sauce | 100 West 125th Street
A true taste of Harlem, Mama’s One Sauce is inspired by everything from Caribbean to Southern cooking—with a backdrop of gospel, jazz, and R&B music. As such, it’s a staple ingredient to keep in your kitchen at The Smile—to pep up an infinite number of dishes. We’ll let you decide whether you’re going for Mild, Spicy, or Fire.

Learn more about renting at the Harlem luxury rentals at The Smile by contacting the leasing team today.

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“Burgers here are a model of simplicity: 5-ounce, flattop-grilled patties, available as a single or double, made with 44 Farms beef (seasoned with cracked black pepper a.

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“It stands for 44 Farms, and when you see the number on a menu, it means you’re about to get some grade-A barbecue. The all-natural Black Angus beef from this Cameron, T.

New Houston Restaurant Promises a Real No Frills Burger

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Rodeo Goat won for its goat cheese-caramelized onion number, on a hamburger using 44 Farms angus beef.


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Billion Dollar Buyer: 44 Farms Accepts $2 Million Deal with Tilman Fertitta

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Full Exclusive interview with Mike Colameco

Talking to Mike Colameco is just like meandering with him on his gritty, New York-centric old show “Mike Colameco’s Real Food,” as he talks to KLCS about how he became a chef “a million years ago,” how his popular food news brief that airs on Create called “The Bite” came about and why his old show is now gone, what it’s like now in New York since the pandemic for restaurants, what his week is like these days, and a Julia Child story he heard from a workout buddy.

I love “The Bite.” I always learn something new in the food world in just a minute, how did this concept come up and did you want to give up your old show where you showed various New York City restaurants and its behind the scenes stories and recipes?
Two answers, the idea came from Kent Steele, he was the number two guy at Channel 13 (WNET-TV) and he called me up four summers ago and said, “Hey, I have this idea, everyone’s looking for good cheap media content.” He had the idea of doing these one minute things and I had done radio from 2006 to 2011 in New York on WOR and they had me do a thing called “Food in a Flash” which I recorded those for them and then they sold them out to iHeartRadio and all around and they just paid me per piece on those things, so I was used to the idea of one minute. They sent down a team – a producer, some tech people, they put an iPad in my apartment in the city. It took a little while, we hadn’t done it before and we kind of got it right. It’s harder to do TV, there’s no editing so I have to deliver the media clean, so any mistakes, that’s not a take, that’s deleted. So I give them multiple takes of every one of those, three or four each “Bite” and I upload them using software. It’s funny, when we look at where we are today with Covid, what we were doing technologically, once Covid hit, Channel 13 shut down their studios really early, at the beginning of March. And they were reaching out to me all the time – “So how do you do this thing again?” I did them locally for New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and then year later American Public Television reached out and said, “Can Mike do a national fed for us?” So, some weeks the feeds are identical, sometimes it’s separate content. That was four years ago and “Mike Colameco’s Real Food” we did 20 seasons. The way food content works with PBS is they don’t buy the shows, you give them to them. You have underwriting and it’s a very funny business model, so my challenge was, I’m selling advertising space for “The Bite” and for my series. At the end of the day, if I lay one on top of the other it’s the exact same market and yet your TV shows costs 10, 20 times as much for 20 seconds of advertising than “The Bite” does, so “The Bite” began to eat away at the advertising revenue for the show. In New York, it also airs during the weekend cooking block after every show there’s a “Bite” and that’s gold for advertisers. The way the show works, by the time you pay everybody you end up with what’s left, whereas with “The Bite” there are no expenses. Four years ago we started this and last year we wrapped our 20th season (of “Real Food”). My guys are older guys, they’re all my age and I just said, “Twenty years is a good number.” (laughs) And the truth is this wasn’t prescient, we stopped production last summer and then Covid hit in March and we would not have been able to do anything because of that, it’s just a nightmare for restaurants and hospitality.

I thought the same thing, your news brief is what everyone’s doing now.
It is. Kent was real smart. In the beginning it wasn’t easy, I don’t have a teleprompter, so I’m just winging it. A minute’s a long way to go so if you stumble it doesn’t work, so it probably took six weeks to get comfortable.

Did you watch Channel 13 back in the day?
In the ‘80s I was a chef. People said, “I hate cooking shows, they all suck, we don’t need another guy showing you how to make meatballs.” I said, “Let’s do something no one’s doing.” So the idea was “I can get us into kitchens. Let’s just tell stories around food, or neighborhoods, or cuisines or all of the above. And I’ll be the lens that people can see that world through and really for the first time ever, because I know chefs and they know me.” I can call up Daniel Boulud or Thomas Keller and say, “Hey, we want to film in your kitchen.” They would never allow that before and they did. So we did a little demo reel, we brought it to Food Network, who basically said “No, no one’s going to get it in Paducah,” which they were right about and then I went to Channel 13 and Anne Gorfinkle back then was running programming and she saw something, “Give me three pilots and we’ll air them.” It was ‘99 or 2000. We didn’t have any money, any underwriters. So one of them was just we had this footage we shot, we were at a diner in North Jersey, a Korean place in Midtown and a fine dining restaurant in Newark. I just said, “Let’s call it ‘A Day of a Commuter’” and I’ll cover it with a show on delis and show Harlem and they aired in October of that year. This was before anything – the Internet, Instagram, Facebook. And the audience freaked, the second week we had better Nielsens than anybody else and the third week we had the best Nielsens of the cooking block with no press. I remember getting a call the Monday after the Sunday of the third show and Ann’s assistant said, “Hey, did you do anything to promote this?” I said, “No, I’m down in Cape May.” “Look the audience loved it, if you could do a series we’ll take it.” And that was the beginning of me figuring out, “Ok, how does this work?” You’ve got to raise money.

That answer was my next question – what made you originally want to cook on TV, what was your path to being a chef on TV?
Yeah, I didn’t really want to cook on TV. I wanted to tell stories. The stuff that’s out there to me is so boring, the same, “The Chopped” and there’s so many good people and stories to be told that weren’t being told and I was like, “That’s what we want to do.” But because it was PBS, I think for the first 10 years, I cooked at the end. The first three years we cooked in my kitchen in Cape May, which was a nightmare. And then Viking got a hold of me and said, “Let’s do a little partnership, we have a beautiful studio, you can use it.” We shot in the Viking showroom on Third Avenue until they closed down. I wanted to tell stories more than cooking. Here’s these fascinating places all around New York City that aren’t fancy, some of them maybe, most of what we did wasn’t and they’re all just great stories of immigrants or cuisines. And that’s what I wanted to do.

Do you miss talking to local chefs whose life is their restaurant? You did it so well.
I still do. The crew I had the whole time, at some point, I sh-t-canned them. I didn’t have an apartment for a while because I didn’t need it, I’m a member of New York Athletic Club that has rooms upstairs for members. I would just call and say, “Let’s do a deal for the year,” give me 90 bucks a night I’m good to go and I’ll give you 40 nights a year, but once I started doing radio I was living in Manhattan again in 2006 and I started taping the show and I didn’t like what I saw. I’d never paid much attention to the edits, which is a funny thing to say as a host/producer. I just assumed if you shot good stuff, they could put it together and it would be good. I remember taping the show and just going, “You’re kidding me.” For two years I got the guys together and said, “It’s really not good, I work too hard for this, I’m getting a whole new crew.” I hired a bunch of younger kids that came out of TV who drove me bonkers, because I hated the way they worked, but I learned a ton from them on how to shoot better TV. After two years with them, the voiceovers took a whole day. It was, “You guys are over-producing this thing. Thanks a lot, I learned a lot, bye.” I brought my old guys back and said, “Here’s how we’re doing it from now on.” I’m still in touch with tons of chefs, I still live in the city, I’m in the neighborhood, that’s who I’m friends with on social media. There’s no cameras no rolling, but literally New York’s such a small town. I literally walk around and bump into three people on the subway, uptown, downtown, that you hadn’t seen in six months. But more than missing them, my heart is just going to everybody in the industry now, because I don’t know how we get out of this. There’s going to be so many restaurants going out of business. A question you didn’t ask, but it saddens me to have watched, because I’ve been doing this for 20 years, I’ll have kids come up to me that are chefs now and say, “When I was at working at Eleven Madison, I was in the kitchen when you filmed.” And then I would watch these young bucks, guys and girls, work their way up the ladder, do everything right, everything by the book, just opened their own places and then suddenly Covid hits and they’re under the bus. New York’s not going to be back to normal. Maybe next summer, next fall, until there’s vaccine and the risk of contagion is somewhat eliminated.

With “The Bite” how do you figure out what news piece is important?
Without sounding like a total troglodyte, I have a big old-fashioned notebook with a spiral binder and it’s thick as hell and I just keep it around on my desk here and in New York City. I read a lot of food stuff and every time I come across something, “Oh, that could be a Bite,” I make a note of it and I make a note of where I got it from – the New York Times, Washington Post, or Forbes or NPR, or wherever I got it, so that I can go back to the source material.

So it is new, they are timely.
We do 200 a year for the local market and 200 a year for the national market. I record five new ones every week all year long, once every four or five weeks, we’ll take a break and do some evergreen repeats. It’s new content. Once they air, they don’t air again, so they’re disposable.

It’s like a news brief.
Hopefully. Once in a while I’ll play them back. I have a producer, who selects the one she thinks is the best, but there’s still mistakes once in a while because she’ll send me the Vimeo links. “Oh crap, did I say that? Like seriously?” (laughs) I have a website and you get feedback from all around the country and people are funny, people are perceptive. “Yeah, you’re right, yup, I blew that one, sorry I meant to say this.”

What made you become a chef?
It’s a million years ago, I’m the youngest of three boys, my oldest brothers were academics, I was the runt of the litter. By the time my parents had me, “Mike, it’s Friday, you going to be home by Monday? You going to school this week?” I hated school, I had a miserable one or two semesters in college, high school was a joke for me, we just partied and I wanted to be a musician. That was what I studied – jazz guitar for years and at some point I just looked in the mirror. (laughs) A brief moment of good judgment at a time when I was displaying none of it. I just said, “If you look at your heroes, most aren’t making money.” I grew up in Philly, Philly had a great music scene, great jazz scene, always has. All the guys I knew that were great, they had day jobs, and they would take their amps to a gig and work in a smoky bar. I was like, “I’m not sure you’re every going to be as good as them. And even if you are, what kind of living is that?” I started at 13 working in restaurants, I worked in restaurants through junior high, high school, college. After I dropped out of college, that’s what I did to support myself. I thought, “You’re 21, 22, forget music.” I don’t know why I wanted to go to the Culinary Institute, but I guess it was some wisdom to the idea that a degree was better than no degree. So I went to the CIA in ’79, graduated in January of ’82. Everybody wanted me to come to back to Philly, it was bad restaurant town and I was a partier. I didn’t want to be that guy. I said, “I’m moving to New York. I don’t know anybody in New York, I don’t know the city at all. All I know is it has the best restaurants in America, it’s got tons of energy and I can reinvent myself here. I’m not going to do that in Philly, I’ve got too many phone numbers and too many friends and what am I going to do there? So I loaded everything in the back of my Ford Pinto and drove down that January and that was it. Luckily, going to New York was cathartic. “Ok, we’re going to work hard, we’re going to play by the rules and do everything right, we’re going to work our way up and hopefully it works for me.” And luckily it did.

Do you have some favorite Bites, news briefs that are interesting?
It’s funny, apropos of nothing, I was doing a Bite last year about the proposed tariffs We have this big kerfuffle with the airlines that goes back 20 years, so there were 25 percent tariffs imposed on lots of specific foods – olive oils, specialty cheeses and I was doing a Bite on that. And I got an angry email from a dairy farmer in Wisconsin saying, “You can get your parmigiano reggiano and shove it up your blank.” At the same time I was working with the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative, they have a fundraiser every year and I was going to be the keynote speaker. And I just started doing research on Wisconsin cheeses. I read that every year in Italy, it’s the biggest cheese competition in northern Italy and it’s huge. Wisconsin cleaned the house, like 40 medals and a bunch of Best in their class. I was blown away. So, once in a while, something’ll bounce off me and I’ll do the homework. And I also know, because I eat a lot of cheese, that there’s tremendous work being done in the United States in the last 25 years, not just in Vermont, not just in California, but all over the place, with really world-class American cheeses. For me, those kind of things are just fun to do, because it shines a light on a part of the country that I honestly don’t know. I’m an East Coast guy, so those are the fly-over States, and yet Wisconsin’s the third largest dairy state in the nation after California and New York. They have amazing cheese. That was a fun one. I’m just looking for fun stuff, because you can’t get into depth in a minute. There was another funny one I did last year, that I didn’t realize, it’s just food trivia – KFC does thirty percent of their annual sales in Japan the week leading up to Christmas. (laughs) KFC in the early ‘70s, some guy at a KFC franchise in Japan was approached by a local school to see if he would give chicken for a meal before Christmas. A couple of other schools heard about it and within a year, KFC began to promote this idea of eating fried chicken in Japan before Christmas. And it just turned into this thing, like that’s just this really weird leaf to turnover, like, “Why would the Japanese be crazy about Kentucky Fried Chicken in the days leading up?” And if you google it you’ll see 10 percent of their annual sales takes place in that week. It’s like, “What?”

That was my other question, do you get feedback about “The Bite” or wanting your show back?
The show back – constantly. And it’s really hard to explain. The trouble is “The Bite” competes with the show. I compete with myself.

So far almost everyone’s had a Julia Child story. Do you have one?
I don’t, but a funny story is, I’m a member of the New York Athletic club and one day one of the guys I work out with up there, he’s a sub-four minute mile runner, a real athlete, owns an elevator company and started to do triathlons. He had a buddy who was an ex-Navy Seal guy, a Seal Team Three guy, a lead Seal Team sniper instructor, he had a funny Julia Child story. Julia Child went to Smith and during World War II, she wanted to get involved in the services and she couldn’t. She ended up being the assistant for somebody and one of the things that she did – she was testing recipes for shark repellents. She never cooked before. Shark attacks were a real problem for the Navy in World War II and they came up with this idea for a repellant that she worked on. She was making this stuff in her bathtub. That’s a funny one.

Do you have a favorite dish to cook?
Not really. My wife’s Korean, I’m Italian American, we all learned French cooking. Last night I made wonderful, fresh corn fritters that were great. Tonight we’re having swordfish. That’s all we do is cook and eat and think about it. We’re two chefs. We met a million years ago at the CIA, she was two classes behind me.

What is the favorite part of your job? Do you call it a job?
Yeah, no, not really, thankfully. People are always like, “How do you know so much about food?” It’s all I’ve ever done. I’ve been swimming in this little fish tank for 50 plus years, I’m 63 and this is all I’ve ever done. I really liked doing live radio back when we were doing that, I’d never done radio before and it was a live call-in show, and “The Bite’s” just a blast. The content’s all mine, PBS doesn’t have any say, they don’t care, as long as I deliver stuff that’s deliverable and they like. And then you get random feedback from people. I’ve been on TV for 20 years, so when I walk around New York it’s always gratifying to have young kids in their 20s, chefs come up to me, “I grew up watching your show!” like Action Bronson. He blew up on Vice as a food guy, he’s a rapper too. We’re filming in a Williamsburg restaurant, I know the chef Missy Robbins, she’s great. It’s a two location shoot, we’re wrapping up the day back at her restaurant during service, so we roll the crew in, with minimal gear. We’re using handheld cameras, no tripods, the restaurant’s full and we’re there 10 minutes getting ready to start rolling and Missy comes up and says, “Hey there’s someone at the bar who wants to meet you. You know Action Bronson?” “You got to be kidding me!” We filmed it, it was really, really fun. Action’s like “Man, you the legend! I grew up watching you, Ming Tsai, f-king Jacques Pepin! Oh I can’t say that on PBS! Sorry about that! I grew you watching all you guys!” That’s maybe the best part of the job is to think that as old as I am, and as many years as I’ve been doing it, that in some way you’ve sort of touched the lives of these culinary kids who came up watching the show, maybe I was one of the reasons they decided to go into the industry, among others obviously. That’s just a fun thing to see, that ripple effect of the influence of PBS and of television that it has that, and people watch it. And it’s surprising.

What’s your day now just doing “The Bite” and in this time?
Middle of March till middle of April, we didn’t do anything. New York was a real mess at that point and everyone had to move to home, but by the middle of April my producer reached out to me, “I’m ready to start doing ‘The Bite’ up again, when you’re comfortable coming back to the city, we can start this whole thing again.” I have a garage that’s 200 yards from my apartment, I park the car, walk to the apartment, take the elevator, I wash my hands, I take my mask off, I don’t have to go outside for any reason. Since then, I go to New York for a two days a week and record “The Bite” on the second day and leave the third day because there’s no other reason to be in New York. The city has come to a grinding halt.

Do you do anything else?
No, I’m 63, so I’m trying not trying to climb higher trees or jump off taller bridges. I’m a workout guy, so this whole thing sucked because pools closed, gyms have been closed, so I couldn’t work out. I walk and hour and half day. I’m twiddling my thumbs, I would much rather be in New York three or four days a week like I used to, but there’s nothing to do. There’s no restaurants to go to, no jazz clubs, no museums, the city is a ghost town. All the things that make these cities what they are, have been taken off the table for the moment.

What’s the most frequent question you get and what’s your answer to that?
“What’s your favorite restaurant?” or something like that and I never have an answer to that question. (laughs) People figure, “This guy eats out, he’s living in New York since ’87 for the most part full time.” What makes New York’s dining scene so dynamic is, “Yeah, if you want to drop $800 a person, you can eat at Eleven Madison Park or Masa or Per Se,” and it’s spectacular. But I know a place on Chrystie Street that’s takeout only Chinese and they have roast pork, roast duck, roast chicken, braised cabbage and rice, for literally $7.50 in a to-go container, you have enough food for two people for dinner. What I loved about the New York dining scene was for not a lot of money, there’s so much ethnic food that’s not expensive and so good. Until this thing hit, in Brooklyn, this kid who worked at Per Se, had a place, there was no entrée over $20

Do ever pinch yourself that you get to do this for a living?
Yeah, all the time. Absolutely, because I came out of the industry. I was a chef. That’s all I every wanted to do. This just fell on my lap by accident and 20 years on TV. There’s no way in the world, if you asked me as a young kid and chef just being able to reach people and tell stories. Absolutely.

When you’re in L.A., do you have any favorite places to go or dine?
I haven’t been to L.A. in a million years. I’ve only been to San Francisco half a dozen times. Everyone tells me the L.A. food scene is on fire and it’s way better than the Bay Area scene, so I hear.

Do you still play music?
I’m still playing guitar. I’m looking at 27 guitars. I didn’t play from ‘82 when I moved to New York to 2002. A little after we’re filming in Greenwich Village on Carmine Street, we’re getting B-roll shots, and I’m walking around and there’s a guitar store and the guy knew me from PBS and he had a guitar for sale and I remember buying it on the spot. My hands came back and I could play, so I do that, between doing “The Bites” and workouts and cooking.

“Mike Colameco’s Real Food” will re-air on KLCS’ Saturday afternoon cooking block beginning October 10th at 5 PM. Catch Mike Colameco’s “The Bite” weekdays on KLCS’ CreateTV.

Grayson Social, Downtown’s Newest Southern Spot

Grayson Social, one of the latest restaurants to appear in Dallas, is Darlene Marcello and Daniel Tarasevich’s brainchild with a southern accept. Located in the old LTV Towers on Elm Street, the social club offers comfort food in setting equally as comforting, all while maintaining a sense of sophistication.

The sumptuous downstairs area has ample dining space as well as an outdoor patio just beyond the impressive bar. Up the lavishly carpeted stairs flanking the hostess stand is a “members only” area, which provides slouch friendly couches and chairs along with a sense of exclusivity. Throughout the restaurant, marble tables are adorned with elegant, old volumes bookmarked by roses and adding to the atmosphere are wall mounted antlers and framed drawings of flowers.

Courtesy of Grayson Social

The private upstairs area is for members and high spenders only. (Non-members must spend a minimum of $1,000 to feel like they’re a part of the secret club … womp womp.) Currently, the only way to become a member is by knowing someone who is already a member. It’s literally a “who you know” situation. Some of the benefits include:
– 15% discount on full-priced menu items
– Free WiFi (hello, business lunch)
– Exclusive invitations to special events
– A complimentary bottle of champagne and birthday cake for members’ birthdays
– Monthly previews of food and drink before they’re released to the downstairs peasants (don’t worry, we’re down there, too)

Each membership is valid for one year and will be automatically renewed as long as restaurant privileges are used throughout the year. It seems as if the hardest part about being a member is simply becoming one – after that it’s all bourbon and biscuits.

Courtesy of Grayson Social

I stopped by Grayson Social for their Bourbon & Biscuits event last night, which was a formal presentation of the restaurant and its offerings. A seemingly millennial crowd filled the posh space, (all of whom seemed like they just came from the office) and mingled with featured bourbon cocktails in-hand. As the event name suggests, bourbon cocktails and their “killer” biscuits were free flowing all evening long.

The bourbon drink menu consisted of several creative concoctions such as the Bacon Bourbon Manhattan, the Vanilla Old Fashioned, and the Campfire Cocktail. The bourbon of the evening was Yellow Rose Distilled Outlaw Bourbon Whiskey, which is hand made from 100% corn and pot distilled right here in Texas. Many of the drinks included unique ingredients or elements such as house-cured beef jerky, rose essential oils, bacon-infused bourbon, and house made marshmallow syrup. (Can you say “yum”?)

The Campfire Cocktail was a mix of bourbon, whiskey, house made marshmallow syrup, and topped with a toasted marshmallow (my inner child jumped for joy). I fully expected this cocktail to be overbearingly sweet but was pleasantly surprised. The Beef & Bourbon (bourbon (duh), maple syrup, myrrh, cypress, honey, and a side of house-cured beef jerky) was also delicious. I may or may not have chosen these drinks because they came with an edible component … sometimes you need a little bite.

The appropriately named Killer Biscuits were unreal with flavors ranging from Margherita and pecan bacon to pimento cheese and pineapple coconut. Fear not, they also serve a classic buttermilk biscuit for all those set in their traditional ways that are served with house made jams like raspberry ancho chile, blueberry ginger, and strawberry lime. Also available for our noshing pleasure was a buffet line of fried chicken, a salami and prosciutto bar, and several ice creams.

Getting to Grayson Social is pretty straightforward. Valet is available if you enter on the Pacific Side, and there is a public parking garage right next door. From what I tasted at this short event, I would highly recommend visiting Grayson Social for brunch, lunch, or dinner so long as you try the biscuits, the fried chicken, and the bourbon.

Mom picks this weekend in and around Washington, DC

Happy Mother’s Day to all!! We’ve found some fun things families can do together. And, in case you still need brunch plans for that special Mama, here’s a list of some family friendly places. Find more ideas on our Instagram & Facebook pages!

The Kennedy Center is hosting Artes de Cuba through May 20.

5:30pm-8:00pm: Pajama Party at Hillwood Estate & Museum
Embark on a magical adventure as you enjoy short films featuring all sorts of fanciful creatures from friendly dragons to the monster under the bed. Before the movie begins, relax in the gardens and enjoy a picnic on the lawn. Sandwiches, drinks and snacks, including popcorn and other movie treats, will be available for purchase from the Cafe’s express menu. Hunt for knights and dragons in artwork displayed in the mansion and make your own work of art: decorative medals to celebrate your bravery, inspired by honorary knight’s badges in Hillwood’s collection. Bring pajamas, pillows, blankets, and cushions from home to get cozy as you head indoors and settle in for the film screening. Enjoy a selection of award-winning, family-friendly short films.

6:00pm-10:00pm: Drive-in at Union Market: Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Drive-In at Union Market is back for a new season — from May through November — our biggest season yet! $10 parking fee per car. Advance purchase is highly recommended. Free for walk-ups. (Synopsis: Archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis. 1h 55 min, rated PG) Lot opens at 6:00, Lot closes promptly at 8:15, Film begins 8:30 Film ends at 10:25

9:00am-5:00pm: Mothers Day Weekend at Mount Vernon
Join the “Mother of our Country”, Martha Washington, for Mother’s Day weekend at Mount Vernon! Stroll through Mount Vernon’s magnificent gardens in bloom. Lady Washington will give lavender sachets to all mothers (while supplies last).

10:00am-3:00pm: Frying Pan Farm Park Spring Farm Day
Watch sheep shearing and antique farm equipment demonstrations. Participate in hands-on farm activities such as cow and goat milking. Enjoy crafts, games, and get an up-close introduction to the baby farm animals. Walk-ins welcome $8 at the door.

10:00am-1:00pm: Acton Children’s Business Festival
Outdoor market with over 100 young entrepreneurs ages 6 to 14. Shop original board games, Star-Wars-themed noodles, tooth fairy monsters, hand-dyed jump ropes, race car crayons, and more! (Rain date is Saturday, May 19, 10am to 1pm)

10:00am-6:00pm: Bethesda Fine Arts Festival
Delight in fine art created by 130 of the nation’s best artists, live entertainment and Bethesda restaurants. Children’s area will be on Auburn Ave. Festival takes up space from Bethesda Woodmont Triangle, Norfolk Ave., between Auburn and Del Ray Aves.

11:00am-12:00pm: InterAct KidStory Theatre Festival
It’s that time of year again! Join InterAct Story Theatre as we present the second annual KidStory Theatre Festival: A celebration of stories for kids, by kids! Throughout the year, InterAct’s artists help students craft unique stories and share some of them on stage. We take a handful of these stories and transform them into short plays, musical numbers or theatrical vignettes, all so we can share the creativity of kids at this wonderful FREE event. This year’s selections come from Prince George’s County Public Schools , Montgomery County Public Schools , Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) , DC Public Schools and more!

11:00am-1:00pm: Nibble+Squeak Mother’s Day Lunch at Plume
Nibble+squeak will be hosting a very special, Mother’s Day Weekend lunch at Plume. Nibble+Squeak is a community of “parents with pipsqueaks” who love to eat! A family-friendly resource for restaurant dining, we host private events that allow everyone to relax and enjoy the meal, in a welcoming and worry-free environment. As the recent recipient of one star from the prestigious Michelin Guide and the only Forbes five star rated restaurant in Washington, DC, Plume at The Jefferson serves as a discreet and elegant backdrop to the artistry of an award-winning culinary team. Savor classic dishes crafted using traditional techniques and a seasonal menu inspired by the harvest from Thomas Jefferson’s kitchen gardens at Monticello.

1:00pm-12:00am: Funk Parade
Funk Parade is a one-of-a-kind day fair, parade and music festival, celebrating Washington DC’s vibrant music, culture, and arts, the U Street neighborhood, and the Spirit of Funk that brings us all together. Day Fair 1-7pm, Parade is 5-6pm, Music Fest 7pm-12am and the Showcase is at 8pm.

6:00pm-8:00pm: Mother’s Day Wine Tasting at Firehook Cleveland Park Garden
Join us in celebrating all the wonderful moms in our community! Wine tasting will begin at 6 PM , and feature 3 tastings, $5 glasses, complementary small bites and a new pop-up menu! Come enjoy beautiful weather, fine wine, and delicious, local food in our neighborhood garden! All ages are welcome ( Must be 21 to purchase/consume alcohol).

9:00am-5:00pm: Mothers Day Weekend at Mount Vernon
Join the “Mother of our Country”, Martha Washington, for Mother’s Day weekend at Mount Vernon! Stroll through Mount Vernon’s magnificent gardens in bloom. Lady Washington will give lavender sachets to all mothers (while supplies last).

9:00am-10:30am: Littlest Critters class at National Zoo
Celebrate Mother’s Day with some of our favorite new moms and babies at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo! Bring your little critter and get to know some of our favorite Zoo babies, including our juvenile orangutan Redd and baby gorilla Moke. Friends of the National Zoo preschool classes are designed for children ages 2-3 to discover a whole new view of the National Zoo. “Adult-and-me” format classes use interactive learning stations, hands-on activities and crafts, Nature Play, and exciting Zoo Walks to engage your child’s sense of wonder and curiosity about wildlife and the natural world. Pre-registration is required. “Littlest Critters” will run on Sunday, May 13 from 9-10:30a.m. $28/child for FONZ members. $35/child for non-members. Registration fee covers one child with adult.

10:00am-4:00pm: Mother’s Day Brunch at Pinstripes
Treat mom to an expansive bottomless brunch this Mother’s Day and then a game of bowling or bocce! Indulge in favorites like made-to-order omelets, carved prime rib and fresh shrimp, bagels with spreads and smoked salmon, flatbreads, waffles ‘her-way’ topped with berries, bananas foster or Nutella, plus a chocolate fountain for dessert. Moms will be especially encouraged to sit back and relax with mimosas and bloody Mary’s as the kids are taken care of at the ‘Kids Corner’ station with pizzas, chicken fingers, Mac and cheese and more. Adults $40, includes bottomless mimosas or $34 without Mimosas | Kids 6-12 $15 | Kids 5 & Under: Free | $4 Mimosas & $7 Bloody Marys available all day. Please call to make a reservation!

10:00am-5:00pm: Bethesda Fine Arts Festival
Delight in fine art created by 130 of the nation’s best artists, live entertainment and Bethesda restaurants. Children’s area will be on Auburn Ave. Festival takes up space from Bethesda Woodmont Triangle, Norfolk Ave., between Auburn and Del Ray Aves.

11:00am-2:00pm: Mother’s Day Tour of the Rose Garden
Is your Mom breathtakingly beautiful, cuddly or–oh my goodness–ferociously thorny? Does she flit like a butterfly or prefer walks in sensible shoes? We have just the right rose and rose story for her. Bring your Mom to stroll the paths, hear the rose’s stories, and enjoy our beautiful rose garden. Please note: This tour is held outdoors. We suggest wearing sunscreen and protective clothing and bringing water. The tour is canceled if it rains or during times of extreme heat (head index of 95 degrees or higher/Code Red weather alert).

12:00pm-2:00pm: Fluffness at The Plaza at CityCenter
They will be passing out free cotton candy to celebrate Mother’s Day. After taking mom on a stroll through Palmer Alley or after enjoying brunch at one of our restaurants, make sure to stop by the Fluffness cotton candy cart to make her special day even sweeter!

1:00pm-4:00pm: Celebrate Mothers Day at United States Botanic Garden
Looking for a fun way to celebrate Mother’s Day? Join Lee and Danielle to explore the Wall Flowers exhibit as you make your own oversized flower to take home. Afterwards, learn how to make (and taste) several healthy recipes you can make for your mom. Please note: This is a drop-in program and appropriate for ages 7 and up.

1:00pm: Free movie screening of Book Club + Pampering at Mazza
The screening begins at 2:00pm , but beforehand there will be a Mother’s Day tea in a private room at the movie theater. The pre-party tea will include snacks, tea, complimentary massages, a photobooth, and makeup touchups by the Glam Squad! There are also some prize packs to give away at the screening.

6:00pm: Despicable Me 3 at National Harbor
Nothing says summer like an evening under the stars—and there’s no better way to enjoy the season than movie nights at National Harbor. Pack your chairs, grab food to go from one of our delicious dining establishments, and meet us at the Plaza screen for a free evening of fun!

Judy Moody at Adventure Theatre plays all weekend long with some extra treasures! Saturday & Sunday at 11am & 2pm.