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West Side Rag - Sun, 03/29/2015 - 15:04
New health-food is coming to the Upper West Side as a furniture store and other shops close.
Categories: Blogs, News


West Side Rag - Sun, 03/29/2015 - 10:37
Are you curious about the history of your building, your church, your synagogue, your kids’ school? Or maybe that interesting­looking building down the block?
Categories: Blogs, News


West Side Rag - Sat, 03/28/2015 - 08:39
Nicholas Figueroa, one of two men who were still missing on Friday following an explosion in the East Village Thursday, went to public school on the Upper West Side, according
Categories: Blogs, News

5 and Diamond Makes Five

Morningside News - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 13:04

How apropos that 5 and Diamond Restaurant has its birthday during Women’s History Month. With two dynamic women at the helm, there was much cause to celebrate on Monday, March 16th, when the restaurant hosted its 5th Anniversary Soirée!

5 and Diamond owners, Lia Sanfilippo and Selene Martinez

5 and Diamond owners, Lia Sanfilippo & Selene Martinez. Photo: NY Daily News

Owners, Lia Sanfilippo and Selene Martinez, with Djo Sanou, commemorated five successful years of service and signature cuisines in an evening that brimmed over with an eclectic mix of friends. The celebration boasted  the best of the 5 and Diamond menu – including “Brunch for Dinner” – surprise tastings courtesy of Chef Joe, and a free champagne toast for the house. The mood was set by emerging celebrity twin DJs, Angel and Dren, who kept the night lively with upbeat jams from the present and past. In addition to local and citywide celebrants, 5 and D’s Restaurant Row neighbors were also sighted – owners and managers from Chocolat, 67 Orange, Park 112 and Madiba Harlem were all present in a friendly show of support and congratulations. Sanfilippo led the toast, thanking her amazing staff and giving kudos to the restaurant’s new Executive Chef, Joseph Hayes III – whose artwork prominently dresses the dining room.

5 and Diamond opened in 2010 and has become known for its romantic, no-frills-needed atmosphere, its soul-inspired cuisine and most of all, its warm, personal service. The restaurant is committed to local, organic produce and the seasonal menu is sparked by the team’s culinary experiences, here and abroad. Menu favorites for anniversary night included Blackened Catfish & Grits, 5 & Diamond Asian Wings, Chicken and Pancakes and, of course, Monday is Mac & Cheese Mania! – where you can order your machego blend macaroni and cheese with an infusion of crab, short ribs, shrimp or bacon. The restaurant is appreciated for its generous portions and healthy doses of Harlem hospitality. Sanfilippo describes, The 5 and Diamond Restaurant for us had to be an expansion of our love for this community – It’s a watering hole, a place to express yourself through food, music and conversation. It is about the silhouette or outline of our neighborhood, not the momentary trend.”

As one of Harlem’s Restaurant Row’s pioneers, 5 and Diamond has remained loyal to its mission – to make the art of dining a top priority. With five years of community commitment and outstanding service under its belt, the restaurant has indeed proven to be a jewel in the neighborhood. The 5 and Diamond Restaurant, 2072 Frederick Douglass Blvd. NYC 10026 | www.5anddiamondrestaurant.com

Preparing for champagne toast (left); Twin DJs Angel & Dren (right). Photos courtesy of 5 and Diamond

Champagne toast (left); Twin DJs Angel & Dren (right). Photos: 5 and Diamond

May 15th, The 5 and Diamond will participate in the Harlem EatUp! Festival, which takes place May 14-17 and celebrates the food, culture and spirit of Harlem. For The Festival’s Dine-In event, The 5 and Diamond’s Chef Joe will welcome Emmy® Award-nominated television host, author and the first chef of the First Lady’s Let’s Move campaign, Chef Marvin Woods, for a collaborative evening of culinary delights. Seatings for the May 15th Dine-In are 6:00 PM & 8:30 PM.  Tickets are $85 per person. More information may be found at HarlemEatUp.com.


Festival Celebrates Women in Music in Harlem and beyond

Morningside News - Sun, 03/15/2015 - 10:33
LGC01More than a dozen years ago, bassist and composer, Kim Clarke spearheaded The Lady Got Chops Music & Arts Festival in celebration of Women’s History Month. The annual event supports and highlights the talents of women musicians and takes place at different venues throughout the city.Clarke, who has traveled the world, performing most notably with the late Joe Henderson Quartet, hoped to mirror and share  the type of festival experience she felt so fortunate to have been a part of overseas. Now in its 13th year, the grassroots celebration has showcased the musical contributions of more than 170 women.

The 13th Annual 2015 Lady Got Chops is currently underway and features seventeen musical acts in three boroughs, at eight different venues between six neighborhoods. Five of those performances have landed at Harlem on Fifth (formerly Shell’s Bistro) – a quaint neighborhood restaurant and live music venue located on Fifth Avenue between 131st & 132nd.

The LGC is happening there every Tuesday in March. Earlier this month, they celebrated with performances by Noel Simone Wippler and the legendary Bertha Hope with her trio. With three dates remaining, you can still catch performances by the Nora McCarthy Quartet (3/17), The Julie Bluestone Quartet(3/24) and the Cheryl Pyle-Roberta Piket Duo (3/31). Cover $10. No reservations required. Harlem on Fifth is located at 2150 Fifth Avenue, NYC 10037.

For more information about The Lady Got Chops Music and Art Festival visit ladygotchops.com

Enter The Magic Realm: An Exhibition of Children’s Book Illustrators

Morningside News - Sat, 03/14/2015 - 16:00
Step into The Interchurch Center and you are instantly transported to infinite worlds of wonder. In an exhibition aptly titled, The Magic Realm, the building’s corridors and Treasure Room Gallery have been transformed by the paintings and drawings of five children’s book illustrators. Featured artists are working at various stages in their careers and include Ruth Chan, Barbara DiLorenzo, Yuko Katakawa, Steve Light, Violet Paek and Chad Wallace.The exhibition takes adults instantly back to childhood, and beyond to surprisingly thrilling worlds of mice and mermaids. Children viewing the show, with their imaginations already in flight, get to soar from one storybook realm to another and marvel at the extraordinary and everyday lives of creatures, real and invented.Interchurch illus1
There is a sense that you could walk right into Chad Wallace’s moonlit landscapes; many of his featured paintings are from his first book, The Mouse and the Meadow, and capture the wondrous expressions of a mouse as he explores his habitat for the very first time. Artist, Barbara DiLorenzo, shares sketches and finished watercolors from her first and upcoming book, Renato and the Lion; she carries us straight to 20th century Italy as a young boy makes friends with a lion statue amidst WWII ruins.   Ruth Chan, whose debut book is also forthcoming, describes these fantastical storybook pictures as “…things children inherently understand, things we hope they’ll never forget and that we somehow hope to recover as adults.”

Art by Barbara DiLorenzo

Art by Barbara DiLorenzo

Seeing the illustrations – framed and in this context – is a refreshing way to consider the remarkable talents of these dedicated artists. The individual works – many of them for sale – can be easily envisioned as inspiring additions to children’s rooms, the office, or any space where an ageless smile is welcome.

Curated by Frank DeGregorie, The Magic Realm remains on view at The Interchurch Center through March 31, 2015. Hours are M-F from 9am-5pm. The Interchurch Center, 475 Riverside Drive (at 120th Street) NYC 10015 |  www.interchurch-center.org

Panic Artists: The Snow Family of 106th Street

Out Walking the Dog - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 10:21
It’s been a slow year for snowmen. In years past, snowmen popped up all over Riverside Park after every big snow, like mushrooms after a rain. Here are a few examples. A few years ago, a snow person pushed a positively ecstatic snow baby in a swing in one of the Tot Lot playgrounds of Riverside […]
Categories: Blogs