Is That Beer In A Champagne Saucer? The Pierre Mixes Up Seven Chic Brew-Based Cocktails

In John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row, the character Doc becomes obsessed with a fanciful drink he’s never tasted and has, in fact, never seen – the beer milkshake. “He wondered what a beer milkshake would taste like,” Steinbeck writes. “The idea gagged him a bit, but he couldn’t let it alone. It cropped up every time he had a glass of beer.”

Beer isn’t Cointreau; it’s a self-contained, stand-alone drink. But like prosecco, bourbon and other staunch stand-alones, it can play nice with the right accompaniment. The new Beer Cocktail menu at The Pierre’s silky Two-E Bar shows just how nice. Read more

A Great Place to Watch the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop Without the Crowds

Terrace in the air.

Terrace in the air.

Not that you’ll be alone. My guess is the new outdoor terrace at the freshly refurbished Novotel New York Times Square will be jam-packed when 2014 is ushered in.

Still, the handsome outdoor expanse – a dazzling 5,700 square feet – that semi-circles the seventh floor of the Novotel’s glass tower is sufficiently spacious to pack ‘em in, from cocktail sippers enjoying an autumn moment to year-end revelers who want to be outdoors but above it all, literally. Read more

You Like Embassy Suites – And Your Favorite New TV Show is . . . “Sleepy Hollow?”

Chances are you said yes – or so says new data from NewMediaMetrics, an eight-year-old company that measures the emotional attachments of consumers to well-known brands. Each June NMM conducts its yearly study of 3,750 adults, between the ages of 18 and 64, to determine their emotional attachment, or EA, to top brands. Among the data digested by this year’s group was their emotional reaction to the concepts behind the new TV line-up. From there the company crunched the data on each subject’s loyalty to brands, including hotels. Read more

When the Roof’s a Farm: Five New York Hotels that Grow Their Own Food

Hard as it may be to picture – especially if you’re gazing at the Empire State Building – Manhattan was once blanketed by farmland. John Rowland, the 19th-century surveyor who mapped Manhattan’s street grid, knew all about it. In his spare time he fashioned nearly 100 maps of the island’s farms.

But enough history. Manhattan farming is back, albeit on a very small scale (think planter boxes). Still, finding a Manhattan hotel that grows its own food – or at least some of it – is a lot easier than it was as recently as a year or two ago. Read more

Stumptown or Starbucks? No Problem – They’re Next Door at the Park Central Hotel

Coffee unleashes strong passions. For everyone who swears by Starbucks there’s someone who would rather choke than order up a Grande anything.

Bean lovers probably feel just as strong-minded about Portlandia’s Stumptown brew, which if nothing else, is a lot more exclusive. (Translation: it’s harder to find.) Read more

A Touching, Dawn-of-the-Day-After-9/11 Dance Tribute from New York City Ballet

Maria Kowrowski and Ask le Cour in "After the Ran."

Maria Kowroski and Ask le Cour in “After the Ran.”

Like most New Yorkers, I’ve dreaded the arrival of September 11 every year since 2001. I don’t think it will ever cease to be a heartbreaking day, nor do I think it should.

Every year, it seems, brings a new memorial. A beauty arrived on Youtube this morning at dawn in the form of a pas de deux danced on the 57th floor terrace of Four World Trade Center in the shadow of Freedom Tower. Read more

A Last Look at the Hotel Chelsea – And a Chat with the Photographer Who Captured its Final Days

On an impulse, I stopped by the Hotel Chelsea the week before it closed two years ago for what was supposed to be a one-year renovation. As it turned out, this was the Chelsea’s last hurrah as the much-loved, occasionally reviled free spirit of the New York hotel scene. Read more

Pass the Popcorn: What Movies Were the Biggest Hits in Hotel Rooms in August 2013?

Leonardo and Carrie and the Tiffany bling.

Leonardo and Carrie and Tiffany bling.

If you spent a late summer night in a New York City hotel room, chances are you escaped the heat and humidity by watching Carrie and Leonardo toy with Tiffany cuff links and pearls in The Great Gatsby, old sport. Elsewhere across the US and in Canada, hotel-goers clicked onto the antics of a very different duo, FBI agents Sandra and Melissa in The Heat (New York audiences liked that one, too.) But the big winner in August was the magician’s caper, Now You See Me. Read more