When GoodLife Report first launched in 2010, I pledged to dedicate a certain amount of our coverage to the natural, eco-friendly lifestyle niche—from hotels, to restaurants, to products you can buy on Amazon. At that time, though, most of the applicable products and places, especially those within the travel industry, came with a bit of a caveat: Continue reading
When you think of all the restaurants in the theatre district, there surprisingly aren’t that many kid friendly restaurants in Times Square, or at least not the kind we typically like. There are a lot of upscale and fine dining restaurants in Mid-town, and then there are a lot of big chains and theme-style restaurants. But if you’re like us and don’t want to head to Applebee’s or Olive Garden, and certainly aren’t taking your wild childs with you to fancy Le Bernardin, what are you left with? There is a lot of sifting to be done in the mighty Times Square area to find the right place to eat for you and your family.
Here are 8 great kid friendly restaurants in Times Square to help you plan a pre- or post- theatre meal if you’re visiting the city or seeing a show.
This always-popular Italian is a NYC institution and is great for big groups. It’s all about family-style sharing, so bring your appetite along with friends and the kids, and get down to business. Antipasto platters, garlic bread, any pasta you desire and their delicious chicken parm will leave you fully satiated and ready to take on a Broadway show! 200 West 44th Street, New York 10036/ 212.221.3800
Times Square would certainly not be complete without a Shake Shack! Considered by many to be the best “fast” burger in the city, eating at this Danny Myer chain is a win-win for kids and adults alike. Apart from their mouth-watering burgers and fries, their shakes are insanely good as well, especially the caramel and malted vanilla flavors. 691 8th Avenue, New York 10036/ 646.435.0135
For years Virgil’s has been a well-known NYC BBQ joint. And after dealing with the masses of Times Square you just might be in a little need of some comfort food! Think pulled pork, bbq chicken, hush puppies and mac ‘n cheese. Make sure to book a res, and come hungry. 152 West 44th Street, New York 10036/ 212.921.9494
Who knew that this lively Cuban night spot had a kids menu? I certainly didn’t – last time I was there was over mojitos before a Dead show! But they do, and with lots of games to keep the young ones occupied. My older daughter had chicken fingers while my younger one had a heaping plate of rice and beans, followed by brownies and chocolate filled empanadas with whipped cream and ice cream. It’s their new favorite place to eat before a show. 151 West 46thStreet, New York 10036/ 212.398.7440
If you’re looking for pizza, try this low-key family-run restaurant. A bit of a hole in the wall, but Broadway posters all around make it fun. And sometimes a slice of pizza is just what you need. Pastas and other dishes on the menu as well. 311 West 48th Street, New York 10036/ 212.245.4343
This famed Brooklyn restaurant – serving the “best cheesecake in New York” – has an outpost in Times Square and has a full menu beyond cheesecake, including things like wings, hummus, potato pancakes, salads and soups. And my favorite kind too – split pea soup. 1515 Broadway, New York 10019/ 212.302.2000
Ok, so the food may be overpriced for what it is – diner food – but how can one resist the singing waiters at this swinging retro 1950’s style diner? Known as the Stardusters, the singing wait staff, many who continue onto Broadway, are sure to entertain the kids and keep them at bay – half the battle while eating out as a family. People come back to this hopping diner again and again for a reason – it’s just so much fun. 1650 Broadway, New York 10019/ 212.956.5151
For a more upscale experience, but not necessarily so that you can’t bring the kids, try this popular Italian restaurant. With items such as lasagna and spaghetti on the menu, as well as paillard and pan-seared salmon, there’s something for everyone. A nice little retreat from the Times Square chaos outside.
35 West 46th Street, New York, 10036/ 212.397.7597
Not all food and wine traditions—like grilling certain meats, decanting certain wines, or “popping” the cork off of a champagne bottle—results in a better product. Champagne is supposed to open with a bang, right? Not necessarily. In fact a huge celebratory “pop!” is actually a sign that it was opened by an amateur. Experts contend that a bottle of champagne opened with skill will make only a very small popping sound, or perhaps none at all.
Here is exactly how to open a champagne bottle like a pro:
Chill thoroughly-Properly chilled champagne will fizz and/or froth over less
Towel dry the bottle- if there’s condensation to ensure a good grip and prevent slippage
Cut the foil- using a knife, only tearing with fingers after you’ve scored the foil.
Tilt and aim- Tilt the bottle to 45 degrees and aim it away from yourself, others, and anything breakable (like windows)
Hold the cork down- with one hand while twisting open the wire cage with the other
Twist the bottle- with one hand while continuing to hold the cork down with the other
Listen- for the sound of air escaping to signal that the bottle is open. There may also be a small cloud of gas.
The pop can be fun when among friends in a party atmosphere but if opened gently and quietly the champagne will have more bubbles and taste better. As the old saying goes “The ear’s gain is the palate’s loss.”
Once you’ve successfully opened the champagne the next step is pouring it. For the best results make sure the bubbly has been chilled to the proper temperature, 46º F – 57º F depending on age, and then further preserve the bubbles by using a ‘beer-like’ technique and pouring the liquid down the side of a tilted champagne flute.
This article was originally published on Pursuitist. Republished by permission.
1,000 acres—3 Deluxe Hotels—2,300 rooms—100,000 square foot casino —8 Pools—30 Bars—42 Restaurants—$4 Billion in total cost: These are just some of the staggering statistics that accompany the newly opened, much ballyhooed, longtime-in-the-making mega resort Baha Mar in the Bahamas—which was famous long before it ever opened due to multiple bankruptcies, a revolving door of owners, and the now well documented, stutter-step fashion in which it was conceived and ultimately built. Continue reading
I toured Eleven Experience’s flagship property, Scarp Ridge Lodge—in the heart of downtown Crested Butte, CO—this past summer and loved it! I can only imagine how comforting it must be to stay here after a long day of skiing in the winter. Perhaps even “snowcat skiing” via their partnership with Irwin Guides (more on that).
A former Croatian saloon, with its Western façade still in tac, this European ski chalet-meets-Rocky Mountain lodge makes for an ideal place to stay for private groups and families.
You may be wondering, what is Eleven Experience? Eleven Experience is an exclusive accommodation and experiential travel brand which seeks out unique and authentic places and properties around the globe. They tend to be off the beaten track, and are mostly all-inclusive, full buy-out type properties. Think 5-star accommodations, but in the comfort of a private home. In addition to seeking out these special properties, Eleven Experience also provides customized experiences with private guides.
Eleven Experience has a few properties in Crested Butte, Scarp Ridge Lodge being its lead property. I visited the lodge this summer, when I was in Crested Butte, and had a wonderful tour. The property is fabulous. I debated whether or not to ask if I could bring my kids, and was going to leave them with my brother, but when my brother said he wanted to go on the tour too, they welcomed us all with open arms – a good thing, because as you will see, this property is not only amazing for groups of friends, but for families as well.
Scarp Ridge Lodge, with its 5 King bedrooms and bunk room with 7 beds (including a nanny’s room), functions as a retreat for private groups during the winter, and as an upscale B&B during the summer. During winter, Crested Butte is known for its excellent skiing, as well as a plethora of other outdoor winter sports including cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, backcountry skiing, snowmobiling, fat biking (bikes with extra fat tires to allow you to bike on the snow), and cat skiing.
The lodge has its own, custom snowcat that comes each morning and takes guests to exclusive ski terrain in nearby Irwin. This is part of the “experience” Eleven Experience offers its guests here. Along with a private snowcat, private guides, amazing terrain, and two mountain cabins for eating and apres skiing, guests of the lodge can enjoy a completely unique and plush experience.
After a long day on the mountain, Scarp Ridge Lodge itself is the perfect place to relax and unwind. With a rooftop hot tub, indoor hot tub, indoor salt water pool, sauna and steam room, gym, and media room, there’s not much the lodge doesn’t have. It even has its own oxygen-enriched air system for those who are having a hard time to adjusting to the high altitude. There is a bar for post-skiing drinks, and an open kitchen with fully stocked fridge accessible 24/7. And no worries about cooking – a private chef will do that all for you. Though I must say – the restaurants in Crested Butte are pretty great! You can dine out too.
Each of the 5 bedrooms has its own en-suite bathroom and is uniquely decorated, with rustic touches in a contemporary setting. We were able to see a bunch of them, all cozy and inviting. The lodge really does feel like a home. The bunkroom, with its 7 beds, is awesome – it had my kids grinning from ear to ear. Based on the board game Chutes & Ladders, it’s adventurous and fun, and just plain cool. There is a loft you can climb up to, and if the kids are young and need some watching after, no worries – there is a nanny’s room right next to it. My kids have been begging to go back. I keep telling them, we will.
As I mentioned, we toured Scarp Ridge Lodge during the summer, when it is a B&B. Not only a ski town, Crested Butte is amazing to visit during the summer. Known for its impressive mountain biking, hiking, flower festival, a happening downtown, and gorgeous scenery, Crested Butte is a special place to visit any time of the year. The lodge is conveniently located in downtown, making it a very easy and accessible home away from home.
They say you can foretell future trends by looking at what the big thinkers and pioneers are doing now. So what’s up with wellness warriors in 2020?
Let’s start with an example of the future of business travel in the wellness arena. In spite of in-person events being canceled across the board, the Global Wellness Summit—an international organization that brings together leaders and visionaries to positively impact and shape the future of the global wellness industry—had the fortitude and determination, in spite of some resistance, to go forward with their first ever hybrid (both in-person and virtual event ) Nov 8 to 11 at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida.
The organizers of the event—which included 17th Surgeon General of the U.S, Dr. Richard Carmona—felt that since the pandemic could, by some estimates, continue to affect our lives for at least another year, a model needed to be created for a safe, in-person gathering. Their thinking was, who better than the wellness community to do that. Everyone was tested upon arrival, mask wearing was strictly enforced at the event; the conference rooms had socially distanced seating, exercise balls and stationery bikes to sit on; and Far UV Light was quietly cleaning the air all around us. No cases were traced to the event afterwards either.
While there and interviewing Fred Maxik, the lead scientist of Healthe Inc—a company pioneering Far UVC light’s role in combatting Covid—for the GWS Podcast which I host, I asked him why he thought the entire in-person attendee list of about 124 people from all over the U.S. and Mexico tested negative for Covid upon arrival at the summit. He said “Check their Zip Codes, their lifestyles and their established medical care.”
In the destination spa category, I refer to my well-heeled, regular spa-going friend who has been uber careful during Covid—groceries always delivered and the only activities done outside her home were masked hiking and masked golfing. Before the pandemic she had booked a trip to a hiking-forward destination spa in California for this December. Since she’d been before and knew the lay of the land, she knew each guest would have their own bungalow. She said she also trusted that management would follow the Covid safety protocols they had put in place – private massage bungalows that were disinfected between treatments, smaller exercise classes and more buses driving guests to hike trails each morning so they could space out as well as the option to eat their vegan, delicious meals outside, which she and a friend always did. She said after months of lock down she made a conscious decision to choose a local travel/wellness experience that would reinforce her immune system and overall health. She also said that she has just rebooked her cancelled trip to the Galapagos Islands for 2022.
It also stands to reason that with so many people “giving up” on healthy eating during the pandemic and gaining that extra “Covid-19” pounds, they will be seeking out ways to shape up after things open up. Look for spas that specialize in weight loss to find a strong uptick in business.
Also, with depression and suicide at record levels even before the shutdown, resorts and wellness retreats know full well that it is just straight necessary to have spiritually and mental wellness rooted activities on the menu.
And, while it may sound simple enough, let’s not forget that humans are intrinsically drawn to the healing power of nature. With Apps like CALM taking us to streams and mountain tops and rain forests virtually during Covid, we long even more to get out to the real thing; the wide open spaces, and take a really deep, mask-less breath.
In fact, Douglas Drummond, Healing Arts & Somatics Director at the iconic Esalen Institute in Big Sur, the birthplace of the Human Potential Movement, predicts that besides being Nurtured in Nature, travelers in 2021 will be looking for ways to do the following four things:
-Be Intentional: Help in setting realistic goals. Taking inventory of what is now and setting a course for the future.
-Have Real Talk:. This pandemic has underscored the value of truth and what really matters. Wellness centers will teach us how to be honest about how we feel and how to interpret what that might mean for the road ahead.
-Practicing Movement as Medicine: Hike, Dance, Swim, Do Downward Dog study after study shows that at least 30 minutes a day makes a real difference in longevity. Wellness retreats need to show us HOW to WANT to move everyday. Interestingly, Esalen was a bit prescient on this. Somatics—which is the mind/body connection enhanced by movement – was built into the Institute’s 1963 charter.
-Experiencing the Power of Touch—Masks are always welcome. But, never before have we needed to connect and rejuvenate as much, and there’s no more effective way to help the body heal itself than with a fabulous massage.
And what about the best kept secret of soaking in a hot spring as Mother’s Nature’s way of boosting your immune system? In fact, a peer reviewed study by Australian-based, hot springs aficionado, Dr. Marc Cohen, shows that raising the body’s core temperature from a hot springs soak – and hopefully a cold dip to seal off the contrast bathing experience—does all the right things a fever does to kickstart the body’s immune system, but without the negative side effects. There’s a reason Native American warriors followed a code of: “No fighting in a hot spring.” It is the most natural way to just be still and let the healthy minerals rejuvenate body and mind. And, more often than not, hot springs vacations are among the most affordable options available. For a road trip with the bonus of immune boosting magic, check out this historic hot springs loop in Colorado:
A friend who is a Business Travel Manager says that people are definitely rethinking the necessity of traveling for business in the near future but—with a lot weighing on the vaccines providing herd immunity—they are also already booking destination weddings and travel adventures for Summer 2021 and beyond. And airlines and hotels are to be commended for offering ongoing flexible fares and generous cancelation policies.
Travel—both internationally and domestically—has been a way of life for so many of us for decades. But as the founder of Ageist.com said to me in an interview recently, “If you’re not in the Wellness Business now, you’re really not in business.” So travel destinations, take heed.
The figure that always amazes me is that the travel industry was the number one employer in the world before the pandemic. Let’s face it—whether we work in the wellness travel or hospitality industry or are happy participants in it, we’re all ready to have that joy and delight in connecting with each other again—whether it’s a bellman, a massage therapist, a yoga instructor, a hike guide or a seat mate on a plane while we’re on our way to one of our “bucket list” adventures.
Wellness Seekers Unite! 2021, here we come!
Ah, the library bar. An urban oasis steeped in history (quite literally). Vintage, deep-seated armchairs, mahogany shelves and leather bound books ease the soul, while a single malt scotch calms the nerves after a long day of work. Ron Burgundy’s kind of place. My kind of place. Continue reading
If your personal preference is centered on design and style, or on food and entertainment, here’s our list of the top high-end culinary brands that will suit your preferred lifestyle.
Live, and dine, in luxury with these incredible kitchen appliance brands, as Pursuitist presents the Best Kitchen Appliances for 2020:
Bertazzoni. Italians are renowned for their passionate love of food. Bertazzoni continues that tradition, as a fifth-generation, family-owned Italian manufacturer of high-end kitchen products. The company’s products include free-standing ranges, built-in cooktops, ventilation hoods and other design-coordinated accessories.
Gaggenau. Gaggenau is the world’s preeminent brand of high-performance restaurant-grade cooking technology for the modern home. Specializing in cutting-edge, built-in home appliances, its sleek portfolio includes ovens, gas, electric and induction cook-tops, ventilation, dishwashers, modular refrigeration and freezer columns and wine storage units. Gaggenau also produces specialty appliances such as steamers, grills and deep fryers, and the Asian-influenced Teppan Yaki – all crafted for the luxury American kitchen.
La Cornue. Each Château and each Cornuchef is assembled by hand and by one person; this person will follow production through to the end and finalize every last detail. Each kitchen range is monitored, controlled and tested at all the stages of production. Even if you happen to be the Queen of England, you will have to wait at least two months for your Château La Cornue. The superior ranges simply cannot be made any quicker. For three generations, La Cornue has loved and served cuisine in the same way as a stringed-instrument craftsman loves and serves music. La Cornue cultivates an ideal of excellence.
Dacor. Working together to redefine the modern kitchen, the Dacor family has produced an impressive array of industry firsts. Patented features abound throughout their full line of cooking appliances. Features like an infrared gas broiler inside an electric oven, a Pure Convection system for even heat distribution, a Butterfly Bake Element for an extraordinary traditional bake, and extra-large Dacor Greats that simplify cooking with large pots and pans.
Miele. Each Château and each Cornuchef is assembled by hand and by one person; this person will follow production through to the end and finalize every last detail. Each kitchen range is monitored, controlled and tested at all the stages of production. Even if you happen to be the Queen of England, you will have to wait at least two months for your Château La Cornue. The superior ranges simply cannot be made any quicker. For three generations, La Cornue has loved and served cuisine in the same way as a stringed-instrument craftsman loves and serves music. La Cornue cultivates an ideal of excellence.
Viking. In spite of its tremendous growth and success, Viking Range Corporation remains essentially the same entrepreneurial company it was at its inception. This small, close-knit company culture serves Viking and its customers well, and greatly contributes to the company’s ongoing growth and success. By carefully preserving this unique, creative and stimulating environment, and through offering only the very finest, highest quality products, Viking plans to continue its aggressive growth and expansion to further increase its already strong presence in the worldwide major appliance and related culinary lifestyle industries.
Sub-Zero Refrigeration. For 60 years, Sub-Zero has offered innovative, aesthetically appealing and technologically advanced solutions to meet virtually any home refrigeration need. Through foresight and responsiveness, the company has earned its position as an industry leader – a position Sub-Zero intends to maintain well into the new millennium.
GE Monogram. GE has been a leader in American manufacturing for years, gaining a corporate reputation for unmatched reliability and innovation in their products. Their Monogram line consists of their premier professional-grade products, from refrigerators to cooking appliances and everything else you can dream up for your kitchen. Should you ever take issue with a Monogram product, GE employs a nationwide fleet of vans and repairpeople to provide prompt service on your appliance.
Thermador. Thermador has been at the forefront of cooking technology for more than seven decades, fusing state-of-the-art performance with classic design to satisfy the most demanding culinary enthusiasts. From introducing the first built-in wall oven almost 50 years ago, to revolutionizing gas cooktops with the patented Star Burner, Thermador’s innovations have helped to transform the kitchen from a mere workplace into the social and entertaining center of the modern American home.
Wolf. For more than 70 years, Wolf has been synonymous with professional cooking equipment for restaurants and hotels. Now, as part of Sub-Zero, the Wolf line has been adapted for the serious in-home cook. With their superior performance and leading-edge design, Wolf instruments fuel a passion for cooking.
Bosch. Also for 70 years, the beauty of Bosch exterior design is how well it blends with your kitchen decor. Their integrated system allows you to match the dishwasher to your cabinets, complementing the entire look of your kitchen with ergonomically-designed controls are at your fingertips.
Jenn-Air. This company creates luxury appliances that are more than a facet of your kitchen, they make your house more of a home. Ranked #1 for the last four years in their creation of built-in refrigerators, Jenn-Air will never fail to impress guests in your home.
AGA. Aga has nearly a century of experience of enriching kitchens around the world. The Classic Aga Range employs cast iron construction and energy efficient heating, which combine to offer a truly unique cooking experience. Available in a variety of enameled colors; Aga ranges offer tremendous design flexibility. Now enhanced with complementary undercounter refrigeraton Aga continues to redefine upscale kitchen design coupled with professional cooking prowess.
And that concludes our list of the best luxury kitchen appliances for 2020. What culinary brand, from refrigeration to cooking, do you own? Share this on social and add your favorite brands!
In the book The Big Oyster, Mark Kurlansky writes “before the 20th century, when people thought of New York, they thought of oysters.” Though that sentiment along with New York’s oyster population has diminished over the past two centuries with the city’s drastic growth, oysters are currently making a strong comeback in Mahattan via the Oyster Restoration Research Project. Continue reading
While relaxing vacations certainly have their virtues—think pina coladas on a white sand beach, or a deep tissue massage at a desert spa—many people prefer a daily dose of action and adventure on their vacations. No, I’m not talking about golf, or tennis or long walks on the beach. I’m talking about real activities and adventure—perhaps even a little danger.
As one of America’s most outstanding female chefs, Stephanie Izard knows how to inspire, captivate, and cook up a storm. The first woman to win on TV’s “Top Chef,” she’s also the chef and owner of the acclaimed Girl & the Goat restaurant in Chicago specializing in nose-to-tail whole animal cooking. Continue reading
It’s hard to imagine life without pickles — those crunchy delights straight out of the jar, the tangy, sweet surprises tucked into a burger, or the sliced spears served fresh, ready for the tasting on the side of your plate. Continue reading
Asheville, N.C., surrounded by the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, is a quirky, artsy, musical town considered by some to be the black sheep of the state. To townies, though, this is something to be celebrated. Continue reading
Classic, old fashioned cocktails are back in vogue. And their simplicity is what makes them so timeless—and good. Don’t overthink your mixology psychology this summer. Impress your guests with these easy to make, refreshing, summer classics.
Weighted blankets have exploded in popularity of late. They’re used therapeutically for a variety of issues including sensory processing disorder, anxiety, depression, autism, insomnia, ADHD and simply getting a better night’s sleep. Continue reading
International cities have long been ahead of the curve in terms of environmental initiatives and sustainability. European cities often lead the way, especially those found in Nordic countries. Continue reading
Ah, the library bar. An urban oasis steeped in history (quite literally). Vintage, deep-seated armchairs, mahogany shelves and leather bound books ease the soul, while a single malt scotch calms the nerves after a long day of work. Ron Burgundy’s kind of place. My kind of place. Continue reading
OPINION & VARIETY
Tequila sometimes has to struggle with its brawling-bikers-under-a-hot-sun reputation. Rarely do people write on their garden party invites, “tequila drinks being served.” Which is a shame, because even though a shot of tequila may be the drink of choice for those wearing leather jackets in July, this base spirit also plays well in a variety of cocktails, from traditional numbers such as the Margarita to lighter and less-known summer fare that pairs tequila up with intriguing ingredients.
One such lesser-known tequila recipe that’s getting more popular by the minute, and one that’s perfect for backyard gathering when the mercury has risen up the thermometer, is the Green Garden from Paul Abercrombie’s wonderfully green cocktail book “Organic, Shaken and Stirred.” The Green Garden mixes organic Blanco tequila with a cucumber-infused syrup (if your own garden isn’t overflowing, pick up English cucumbers – what Abercrombie suggests using here – at a local farmer’s market), a hint of lime and Italian sparkler Moscato d’Asti. The end result is a drink that doesn’t sacrifice anything in tequila taste, but one that also stays light on its feet. Because even a biker doesn’t want to be weighed down by their drink when the summertime dancing starts.
1-1/2 ounces organic blanco tequila
1/2 ounce Cucumber-Infused Organic Simple Syrup (recipe follows)
1/4 ounce freshly squeezed organic lime juice
1 ounce organic Moscato d’Asti
Several edible organic flowers (such as small roses or lavender blossoms)
1. Combine the tequila, simple syrup, and lime juice in an ice cube-filled cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously, then strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass or champagne saucer.
2. Add the Moscato d’Asti and garnish with the flowers.
Cucumber-Infused Organic Simple Syrup: Juice one English cucumber (leave the skin on for flavor and color). Place the juice in a small glass bowl with an equal volume of Organic Simple Syrup (see below) and 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed organic lime juice, and stir to combine. The syrup will keep, in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for up to one month.
Organic Simple Syrup
Makes 2 cups
1 cup organic granulated sugar
8 ounces water
1. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. The syrup can be stored, in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for up to one month.
Recipe Copyright 2009 by Paul Abercrombie, “Organic, Shaken and Stirred,” The Harvard Common Press; photo copyright 2009 by Jerry Errico
Looking to explore your favorite restaurant from a new vantage point, or maybe ease your way into a spot you’d like to try? Pull up a bar stool and experience all the atmosphere has to offer with a delicious drink in hand. Whether you’re ordering cocktails, snacks or going all out with a full meal, these beautiful bars are a great spot to take a seat and enjoy. Continue reading
Not too long ago, hotels routinely replenished towels and bed linens with nary a thought to the environmental or monetary impact. Continue reading