Tag: Essex

Snow day

Friday, February 22nd, 2008 | All Things, Eats, Events

The first major snowstorm of the season hit New York City today, forcing the cancellation of over 1,100 flights, including that of our friends SC and JG. (Weekend in Boca!) By 2PM, 5.6 inches of snow had accumulated in Central Park, the city’s biggest snowfall in two years; until that Friday, just 5.7 inches in total had fallen all winter, due in large part to the snowless stretch in January.

The Parks Department held a “Snow Day,” providing free sleds and Urban Park Ranger-led nature walks at selected park locations across the city. Almost 2,000 people participated in the event, in which 1,700 free cups of hot chocolate were served.

As adults, we don’t get many snow days. I put on my Doc Martens boots and trudged into the office.

Trinity Church snow

Trinity Church snow

Later that night, I met CS at the Laugh Lounge on Essex for the “L.E.S. is Indulgence” party, organized by The Lower East Side Business Improvement District. The organization, established in 1992, is dedicated to revitalizing Orchard Street’s historic shopping district.

No hot chocolate here; the beverages were of a decidedly more adult nature. Event sponsor, Zygo, promotes their signature liquor as “caffeine-spiked vodka.” Hmm, sounds familiar. More precisely, though, Zygo’s active ingredients are Yerba Maté (South American holly, used for tea), Guarana (South American berry, containing a substance chemically similar to caffeine), D-Ribose (naturally occurring sugar that is a component of RNA) and Tuarine (amino acid, best known as the stuff that gives Red Bull its wings.) If you’re looking for more flavor than kick, there are plenty of places around the city that offer infused vodka. Spirited hot chocolate, anyone?

We toured the tables set up by participants from the neighborhood: handmade truffles and caramelized butter toffee samples from Roni-Sue Chocolates, slick polish from Valley Nails, makeovers by MakeUpMania, and um, tips from Babeland…

Candy and vodka do not a meal make, so off we went in search of more substantial fare. Near hour waits at ‘inoteca and Schiller’s Liquor Bar just wouldn’t do. Luckily, there was Essex — at the top of our minds since SC’s birthday brunch — where we enjoyed a comforting repast of mac n’ cheese and potato latkes… just the thing for a snowy day.

Essex dinner

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On Rivington Street

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007 | All Things, Eats, Friends

Three birthday celebrations in one week! This time SC was the honoree, and our destination was the Lower East Side. I learned later that day that in our trek through the New Museum galleries earlier this morning, we had somehow completely missed out on the drawers of candy up for grabs on the top floor during the opening; that’s what we get for bypassing the crowded bright green elevators, in favor of the stairs. (J & J, who were more thorough in their museum tour, brought me a souvenir bag later that evening, crammed with Jolly Ranchers, jawbreakers and other treats, so I was not deprived.)

Had we known about the candy-fest on the Bowery, we probably would not have felt compelled to stop in at Economy Candy on Rivington en route to meeting the rest of our friends down the block. This well-loved family-owned candy shop has been a neighborhood fixture since 1937. The shelves are crammed with almost every type of candy imaginable: a staggering variety of old-time favorites, European sweets and hand-dipped chocolate confections. Gummy brains. Wax lips. Candy cigarettes. Nerds. Pop rocks!

Economy Candy

This was intended as a brief stop, but we each ended up laden with packages on the way to brunch. (The dark chocolate-covered pretzels proved irresistible to me this afternoon.) We did manage not to dip into our stash – for the most part – saving our appetites for Essex and its amazing $16 brunch deal, which includes 3(!) bloody marys, screwdrivers or mimosas. But who’s counting?

B ordered “The Southern” (biscuits, sausage patties & eggs with sausage gravy), which reminded me of the summer’s road trip breakfasts:

Essex brunch

I went for the seared diver scallops, topped with potato pancake and poached eggs. Scallops again! Hmm, maybe this is how rumors get started?

Essex brunch

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