Two New(ish) Manhattan Spots To Satisfy Your Donut Fix

Donuts from Dough in Chelsea

It's getting to the point where there's really no excuse to eat a mediocre doughnut ever again in your life. Sugar-bombs from the chains? Processed boxed nonsense from the supermarket? You can if you want, I guess, but given the number of first-rate bakeries slinging first-rate doughnuts there days, wolfing poor pastries is more of a choice than a necessity. Peter Pan, Doughnut Plant, Dough Loco, Pies-n-Thighs, Cinnamon Snail, Babycakes… the list of "favorite" spots is long and wonderful and now includes two newcomers (well, one's just a new branch of old standby): the great Dough, now in Chelsea/Flatiron; and, get ready for this one, Underwest Donuts, located in a car wash (yup) along the West Side Highway.

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How To Commemerate The 50th Anniversary of The Selma March

selma-new-york-historical-society-stephen-somerstein-king

You may have noticed an extra intensity to Monday's Martin Luther King day marches here in New York City (there were two fairly large actions in Manhattan alone), and anyone who's been paying attention will tell you that race relations remain a vital issue both in the city and in America as a whole. This year, 2015, marks the 50th anniversary of one of the pivotal moments of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and '60s, the five-day, 54-mile march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, led by Martin Luther King, Jr., and completed by thousands of enormously courageous individuals, both black and white, local Alabamans and from all over the country. Here, then, are two terrific ways to commemorate, and celebrate, the historic Selma March, both of which, by the way, also serve as excellent "primers" of that era: the people, the tactics, the reasons for the fight.  

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London’s Burger and Lobster Has Arrived in NYC

 

Burger and Lobster is now open in the Flatiron District

Do you like eating lobsters? I sure do. Especially one of those whole steamed beauties, where you pull out the sweet meat, dip it in butter… man, what a treat. How about eating burgers, do you like to do that? Me too! Big juicy burgers with bacon and cheese and pickles, maybe some kind of special sauce… YES! Great idea for dinner. Ok, so if you're like me, here's where you have to go before it gets too crazy crowded: the brand-new Burger & Lobster, a short walk from any of our Midtown West Apartments. The huge, designed-for-a-party restaurant that only has two items on its menu–you can probably guess what they are–for the set price of $20 each. Fun, right? And the best news is this: on the night I went last week, both dishes were great, prepared with skill and attention, wholly satisfying.

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Best Places in NYC to Stay Warm During the Winter

Image of a private hot tub in nyc surrounded by candles and relaxing decor at Setai

Warm-cold-warm-frigid…so far New York's weather has been a bit of a yo-yo this winter, with temperatures bouncing around from a disconcertingly balmy mid-50’s to arctic-like single digits within the span of a day or two. It's hard to know what to expect for the next few months (not to mention how to dress!). For those arctic chill periods that are bound to hit us again, here are some of our favorite ways to get cozy and warm even when the wind chill bites into our bones.

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Seven Romantic Weekend Getaways From NYC For Couples

 

The lit up chalet at Whiteface Lodge

We're now heading into that full winter slog, so before you get too defeated by the biting crosstown wind, the impassable slush lakes at the corners, the bulky layering that make the subway feel even more impossibly crowded, maybe you should book a weekend away, somewhere cute and cozy, for you and your sweetheart? Or a friend or two? Or the whole fam-dam-ily? Not anyplace you have to deal with airlines and airports–so, nowhere warm–just a quick trip upstate someplace where the snow is actually pretty and/or recreational, and you can relax or cuddle by a real-live fireplace, and then pass out on one of those for-some-reason ridiculously comfortable country-inn beds. Sound good? Yes it does.So, if your opting for something a bit more intimate than our family winter weekends trips, here are a few suggestions to get you even more inspired…  

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New York City’s First & Finest Mustard Boutique, Maille Boutique

Maille Mustard Boutique on the Upper West Side

When I first heard there was going to be a mustard store opening in the city this winter, I assumed it would be one of those artisanal Brooklyn-y shops, where flanneled, bearded gents stone-ground their own with hand-forged mortars and free-range seeds and the finest imported vinegar and whatever else goes into that delicious condiment. Heck, maybe they'd even sell shots of the stuff! Not that there's anything wrong with that picture–it basically describes the Mast Brothers chocolate outfit, which is amazing and super-successful–but I wasn't really convinced that they could survive the intial rounds of snarky ridicule. Ah, how wrong I was! The rustic mustard shop I was envisioning is actually an outpost of the French Dijon giant, La Maison Maille, and it's a super-sleek, high-end boutique on Columbus Avenue, staffed with an actual mustard sommelier. Who, by the way, totally knows her stuff! THIS mustard store fits in just fine on this particular stretch of the Upper West Side, and, in fact, was enjoying a steady stream of paying customers on both evenings that I've stopped in.  

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The Force is Strong at Nature’s Fury, the Museum of Natural History’s Latest Exhibit

Nature's Fury at American Museum of Natural History

First, let me just say that any visit to the American Museum of Natural History is bound to educate, entertain, and satisfy. You can't go too often (unless you're six years old), but if you grew up around these parts, there are few things that can evoke the feeling of childhood more readily and deeply than a stroll through the dimly lit corridors of the museum's permanent collection. The mammals, the ocean life, the birds, the "peoples", the reptiles… these iconic dioramas, though cleaned up a few years ago, remain unchanged in their content and composition, down to the smallest details, from when I started going here in the late 1960s. The whole fossil and dinosaur wing was (very successfully) redesigned in 2003, so even though these great creatures are still as cool as you can imagine, they don't pack the nostalgic punch of, say, the pair of moose locked in combat, or the massive tree trunk.     

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Eight Great NYC Events To Do in January

A pantless participant waits for the train for Improv Everywhere's No Subway Ride

A new year, a new list of great things to do in this beautiful city of ours. Because even though it's January that, in fact, can sometimes seem like the cruelest month (it's cold, it's long, it's culturally somewhat barren, there's the whole post-holiday blahs thing), there are still, as always, plenty of events to keep you energized, some goofy, some more sophisticated, all excellent reasons to be grateful we live here, and not somewhere else.  

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Best NYC Workout Classes and Gyms for New Year’s Fitness Resolutions

People attending Soulcycle's soulbands workout class with resistance bands in NYC

Eating lots of delicious food is one of the things I enjoy most about the Thanksgiving-to-New Year's holiday season. Sure, all the time with family and friends and loved ones is pretty great, too… but the dinner tables with cookies galore, piles of cheeses and mountains of chocolates? Such a pleasure. But an unsustainable one! So now it's time to start thinking about how to work off any extra, um, LOVE you might have acquired over the holidays. Here is a quick look at some of the gyms and classes around NYC that will help you reach your New Year’s fitness resolutions!

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Mu Ramen, Long Island City’s Hottest Ramen Shop, Now Takes Reservations

Lantern hanging outside of Long Island City's newest Ramen House, Mu Ramen

The story of Mu Ramen, surely one of the most eagerly anticipated restaurant openings of the season, is worth retelling. About a year ago Joshua and Heidy Smookler opened up a six-seat, after-hours ramen shop in the back of Bricktown Bagels, an unassuming spot owned by a friend in the couple's Long Island City neighborhood. There was zero hype about the venture, all just word of mouth… until Pete Wells of the New York Times put it at the very top of his list of favorite bowls of ramen in the city. Most of us were like "WHO Ramen?!?!", demand quickly outpaced supply, and the swamped Smooklers shut it down. There's a very happy ending though! After a frustrating series of delays, the new Mu Ramen has finally opened on Jackson Avenue in LIC, right near both the 7 and G trains, and though the crowds have been plentiful, it's actually not impossible to get a same-day reservation or even snag a seat as walk-in. I went the other night; here's the full scoop…

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