First blog post

Hi there!

Welcome! This blog was created by two cousins who set out on a mission to change the dating world as we know it. Lets admit it, as fun as it is to go on a spontaneous night out, its equally as fun and way less stressful to have your plans set out before you. Today, its hard to make plans in advance, and finding the latest activity on a whim leads to a lot of frustration and online searching. Thats where we come in, WHO WENT WHERE was designed to update you on the latest events listed all in one place. With our user friendly system,  you won’t have to sit for hours trying to plan.

Heres to many stress free date nights!

– Daniella and Batya

Island Hopping: Roosevelt Island During Cherry Blossom Season

 

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Ok so I may be a bit bias because I work on Roosevelt Island but I think it is a great place to come explore and I keep telling people to visit (and bring food because the Island is lacking in the food department). Roosevelt Island is reachable by car  from Queens and by the F subway train or Ferry from Queens or Manhattan. However, the tram from Manhattan is the best way to visit if you’re in it for the experience. The Roosevelt Island tram leaves from 2nd ave and 59th – one block away from Bloomingdales one of my favorite NYC landmarks!! The riding the tram is basically like on a ferris wheel in an amusement park, except NYC is the amusement park!

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The southern park is closest to the tram station, just exit the tram and make a left when you are facing the Manhattan skyline. You will walk underneath the Queensborough bridge [ FYI, interesting fact, the bridge use to have a car elevator as transportation to the island before the welfare bridge, tram or train]. The buildings you will pass on the left are part of the new Cornell Tech campus that was just featured on the cover of Architectural Digest and catches beautiful reflections of sunset. The Cornell Tech Café in the Bloomberg building is open to visitors and has some Cornell Ithaca made kosher ice cream!

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Continuing past Cornell Tech along the water you will get to the entrance of Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park. The park contains the creepy remnants of the small pox hospital as well as a dedication to President Roosevelt and his speech about the Four Freedoms. The park offers great views of both Manhattan and Queens. I love coming to this park on my lunch breaks, it almost feels like my own secret garden with only a handful of tourist and the occasional school trips. Starting April 21st the park is hosting the Cheery Blossom Festival of 2018 and I think there is no better time to come visit! ( I mean look at these beautiful trees!!)

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As I mentioned before, food is not Roosevelt Islands strong point. Just one block north of the tram station along the water is Starbucks and Duane Reade – my two main sources of nourishment when I forget my lunch at home. Also note, because Roosevelt Island has become mainly residential Starbucks may close earlier than other NYC locations so check times before your visit.

A little known fact, the Island has its own transportation that happens to be free! The red bus with the logo RIOC loops around the Island and is the easiest way to get from the tram to the north park and the old lunatic asylum. In my opinion the north park is not as fantastic as its southern counterpart. The north park does have a 50 foot stone lighthouse that stands at the northern most tip of the island hence, it is often called the Lighthouse park. If you want to avoid the tourists visit the Lighthouse park, but if honestly the  Four Freedoms Park should not be missed.

Feel free to venture down main street in these absurdly quaint NYC neighborhood and then come visit me at work! I hope you enjoy!

Gustav Klimt:

Gustav Klimt, is known to be Vienna’s most renown  artist of the twentieth century.  His work manifested the era of Austrian beauty and splendor.  The Exhibit “Klimt and the Women of Vienna’s Golden Age, 1900-1918″ is now on display at the Neue Galerie in New York. Here, you will see one of Klimt’s  most recognized pieces, “Adele Bloch Bauer I” which made headlines due to its role in one of the most notorious cases of Natzi art theft.

A little background History:

The book “Stolen Beauty”  depicts  the story of Adele Bloch Bauer, who grew up in Pre WWII Vienna.  The book portrays the beauty of the Jewish heritage pre Holocaust, and the elegant life Austrian Jewry once lived. The famous Ringstrasse street in Vienna (where the story takes place)  is known for  it’s beautiful architecture and opulent homes, was the center of elegant society and Jewish grandeur.

Much of what you’ll see at the museum are artifacts that remain from this era of Jewish life in Vienna, such as pieces of silver and fine art.

You may be familiar with this painting as it was the subject of the movie “Woman in Gold” (with hunky star  Ryan Reynolds) which discusses the exact details of how the painting was taken from it’s rightful Jewish owner during the war, and later put on display at the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere in Vienna.

 

The painting is rich in history and exemplifies an era of great difficulty for the Jews. It hung in their grand home until the war broke out when it was wrongfully taken by the Nazis and hung in their museum. When the rightful Jewish owners claimed it after the war, the nazis refused to return it . The question of ownership of the painting was brought before the United States Supreme Court In Republic of Austria v. Altmann. After a fierce battle it was returned to the descendants of its Jewish owners.

Up-close, the painting will literally STUN- you with its richness. Klimt used many Jewish subjects for his paintings. He painted using the richest materials such as real gold and silver leaf and his subjects often wore beautiful jewels further hinting at the level of splendor which Jews enjoyed in pre war Austria. This particular painting was  commissioned by Jewish businessman, Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, to portray his wife wearing a jeweled chocker he had gifted to her. Up close, you can see her initials “A” and “B” across her gown.

This Small but classic collection is just a small glimpse into the grand life of Austrian culture Jews lived not that long ago. You and your date can walk around to see the latest exhibit or head downstairs to the Cafe (which had a line out the door).

 

Halava Good Time

Chelsea market, nestled in the meatpacking district on 9th Avenue (Between 15th and 16 Streets) is an enclosed urban food court and shopping mall. The building itself is full of history and charm in fact, the market is in the former National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) factory complex where the Oreo cookie was invented and produced! The urban vibe mixed with history and good A.C creates a good place to sit and enjoy the environment ( and your company).

Located about midway through the complex and facing 15th Street (which means you can’t really see it from the market’s central corridor), you will find Seed + Mill. Seed + Mill, Hechsher under United Kosher Supervision, is a cute little kiosk dedicated almost entirely to artisanal, flavored cakes of halava, reminiscent of those in Israel. I did you all a favor and tested quite a few flavors – pistachio chocolate is my favorite followed by nutella. Grab a slice of halava and either have a seat in one of the nooks of the market or head outside to the highline.

The highline is another urbanized piece of history in the Chelsea area. The old elevated train tracks now converted into a garden is a wonderful place to take a walk and enjoy the views of the city and the Hudson. One of the lesser known gems of the highline is the ability to feel closer to the stars with the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York. Every Tuesday from dusk until closing large high power telescopes are set out on the highline near 14th for stargazing.

 

Kosher in the area:

Sushi Tokyo just opened up a location in Chelsea on 19th St. You can choose to eat at one of the bar stools in the shop or take your sushi to go and enjoy it in either the market or the highline. Hechsher under the OK certification

Skip the dinner reservation


Going out to eat is sooo passé. Why order in when you can spice things up by actually learning how to prepare and cook the food you eat, together. The Kosher Culinary Center is the perfect place for you to sharpen your skills in the kitchen. The Culinary center offers interactive cooking classes in their professional kitchen, where several couples come together to receive instruction and supplies to cook a most avant gard menu.

 

What was so unique was the Mexican theme menu for the evening. It was cool to learn a little about the Mexican culture and the different foods they eat. We used a variety of unusual foods we’d never eaten before, like cactus and banana leaf. Growing up in a Hungarian home, this was VERY different from the chicken paprikash and Linzer torte we’re used-too (served on Herend, of course) and we absolutely loved every second of it.

As Chef Weissman put it “I could teach you all how to make chicken soup, but then you’d leave and never come back” which is so true. This class gave us the opportunity to learn something totally out there and different.

Upon arrival we were given cocktails at the open bar featuring frozen and fruity drinks for the ladies and wine for the gentlemen, and aprons as we watched a short demo of what we would be preparing together that evening. We then spent the next few hours chopping, mixing, stirring and grilling. Once everything was finished, we all sat down and enjoyed the meal together.

Tips we learned:

How to perfectly bake a tortia in the oven, not too crispy, and not too raw… just right

How to dice an onion, into perfect cubes.

This hands on, and intimate class is really the perfect place no matter what cooking level you’re at. In addition to their date night classes, we would definitely come back for their French macaroon making, steak night, and hamburger wars.

Game on Wall St

If you think Wall street folks only know how to work hard come down to wall street on a Wednesday this summer for a block party and you can witness wall street folks playing hard – you can even join in on the fun. On Wednesdays July 26 and August 2 at the corner of Coenties and Water in the Financial district are free games from 12-8 and a live DJ & drinks from 5-8. Lunchtime is crowded but fun to watch we got a nice spot in a coffee shop, Ground Central, overlooking the fun while sitting in the shade. Once the crowd dissipated we were able to try our hands at some games: arcade style basketball, foosball, cornhole, giant connect four, and shuffle board.

We walked a couple blocks west to grab a slice at Bravo Kosher pizza which offers a whole menu besides pizza ( but I personally always want pizza). This Bravo location is spacious and offers outdoor seating. Bravo Pizza is open until 7:30 pm

Other food option in the area include:

Bravo Burger and Deli , just next door to Bravo Pizza open until 8:45.

Milk and Honey that just reopened in a large café however, this location closes at 5.

Reserve Cut has a $29 lunch special from 11:30-2:30

Café 11 is a to-go take out counter in the lobby of an office building selling sandwiches, salads and sushi until 5. You can take the sandwiches to eat across the street in the Bowling Green Park along side the iconic Charging Bull

After lunch we walked to the Oculus. The Oculus is the center of the World trade Center Transportation Hub designed by internationally acclaimed architect Santiago Calatrava and is the third largest transportation center in NYC . The Building is magnificent to look at and the A.C was welcoming after spending time in today’s heat. The atrium of the oculus is line with shops and boutiques and at the center is a rotating art exhibit – the current exhibit was on the Michelangelo. If you want to see another marvelous indoor structure You can continue to walk west while staying indoors and head to the Winter Gardens. The Winter Garden Atrium is a 10-story glass-vaulted pavilion on Vesey Street in New York City’s Brookfield Place office complex a good place to just sit and relax.

I would like to give a special shout out to my dad for being my date today! Thank you for teaching me how to play corn hole and giving me a grand tour of Wall St.

 

Strand(ed) at the Bookstore

They say “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” but lets face it, we’re all guilty.  But then again, there’s also something kind of cool about picking up a used book that’s cover is almost ripped off, with pages that are bent over  in a million places. It’s proof that the reader was so drawn in that they couldn’t put it down, and destiny found its way into your hands.  While walking in the streets of Manhattan, we found ourselves suddenly in the midst of Strand, a bookstore that advertises “18 miles of books.” While its pretty impossible that the store takes up 18 miles, being it is a corner store of a city block, if you lined up all the (2.5 million) books in the store, it would span for about 18 miles. Each book you pick up feels like a tiny piece of treasure, since many of them are rare collectables and signed editions. They were even selling the first edition ever of Tom Sawyer.

The rustic vibe gives this location the perfect opportunity for adventure. Whats so awesome about this date is that books themselves contain literally thousands of built in conversation topics, like checking out cookbooks from different countries to reading famous old poetry (cue; ever mine, ever thine, ever ours) or even looking up books on travel.  You can also take the time to reminisce together about your all-time favorite read, and find mutually interesting topics. You can sit down and find that book that you always wanted to read, (like the one from Reese Witherspoon’s book-club that you’ve been dying to try) and get lost together in this thrift shop bookstore.

Dō your thing

Let’s Dough the Village: The west village has always been a cool place to visit but it has just gotten cooler.  Dō  a whimsical café that mixes up ice cream and safe-to-eat raw cookie dough just received it’s kosher certification last week and is now under the supervision of Rabbi Aaron D. Mehlman. Although the line fluctuates from 5 minutes to 35 minutes long it is worth the wait. We waited on line across the street (no joke – the line is across the street to avoid blocking other store fronts) for 25 minutes and used the time catch up and talk. The shop itself is set up like an ice cream parlor with lots of charm. There are 16 flavors to choose from along with 2 vegan/ pareve options. I got confetti dough with vanilla ice cream but would defiantly go back to try other flavors. It is important to note that the serving sizes are large and one scoop would have been sufficient, however, I got 3 scoops which meant I had more than enough to bring some home and bake in the oven.

Just two doors down from Dō is the Center for Architecture that is open to the public free of charge. The exhibit is small but interesting. The most fascinating part is that you can watch a class in action from a balcony above. In an honest opinion unless you have a prior interest in architecture this is not a must see place.

Three blocks north is Washington Square park, a vibrant center to the village with many places to sit. If you’re on a day date, I recommend finding a place near the fountain so you can cool off in the mist. We had the good fortune of sitting near a group of brass musicians.

Other ideas of places in the Village:

The Chess Forum on Thompson Street: a chess parlor where you can pick up a game of chess for $5 an hour. The parlor also offers other board games like Backgammon, Checkers,Dominoes, Go, Chinese Chess, Chinese Checkers, Mahjong, Cribbage, Mancala, Poker and Playing Cards. This place is quieter and nicer than the more popular Uncommons game café across the street.

Stray Boots Scavenger Hunt: This super cool App (available on iphone and android) will transform Greenwich Village into a super fun hunt filled with challenges, trivia and photos. You’ll be able to experience the neighborhood like never before, at your own pace, taking as many breaks as you like. While I have used this app before, I have never done the hunt in this exact location.

[Insert TEXTile here]

 We just HAD to check out the hype surrounding New York City’s textile week. Tapping into our more creative side, we headed to the Jacob Javits Center.

While you’re thinking textile is just fabric, its not. In reality it’s a combination of Art, History, and Culture.

Texworld USA debuts from July 17-19. This textile show has on display the finest textiles from all over the world.  Its good for anyone in the business, but its really geared to all the trend setters out there.  You’ll learn about how the industry studies the markets, and is then able to give a sneak peak into upcoming trends in fashion. They also have cool technological displays for all the science geeks out there. You’ll also find lots of cutting edge concepts such as ideas for what can be done to recycle old unused clothing (Hint: a lot of times its used for heating installations)

This event  is fun  for anyone who’s interested in seeing textile and house-wear products from places such as Bangladesh, India, Egypt and China. Its a bit like a giant worlds fair pavilion. Very professionally done with lots of artistic displays as well as cafes set up in the common areas, for some much needed coffee.

What we enjoyed:

3D printing is all the range now. We were able to watch how textiles are made with the latest 3D technology. Fun fact: the printers they were featuring were developed in Rosh Haayin, Israel.

TREND COUNCIL: using cutting edge systems, they are able to analyze different patters used in the latest runway collections. Once they have identified the patterns and materials, they are able to  predict a “trend forecast” for the next seasons newest and emerging trends.

What you’ll see:

It’s pretty hard to avoid getting lost in the wonderful world of prints and patterns, but you’ll find yourself surrounded by countless materials such as silks, prints, cottons, linens, furs, leather, laces and prints.  On display you’ll find items such as activewear, menswear, suitcases, towels , swimwear and  scarves .

You may even be able to catch a seminar or two, as they have guest lectures from across the globe. So go on ahead and delve into the entrepenorial side of you. You and your date will have hours of fun at this one.

Let them eat cake {or ice cream}

Tonight, we headed out to one of the West side’s best-kept secrets, Screme Gelato Bar, located on 94th and Amsterdam. In this blazing city heat, we’ll do just about anything to stay cool. Under the supervision of Rabbi Zushe Blech, this street level shop is the perfect place for you and your date to head to for all your ice cream cravings. They have outdoor seating, so you can sit and enjoy your gelato (before it melts) and feel like you are sitting out on the streets of Manhattan. Honestly, it was hard to pick between all their unique flavors, like Nutella toffee, Butter cookie, Maple Cone, and Margarita. We may or may not have taste-tested them all, (for blog purposes of course). Lets be honest, I think we can speak for everyone when we say we’ve had enough with all this fat- free sugar free, taste free ice cream trend.  This Gelato Bar is a Must for all ice cream lovers out there.

~Sunday Vibes~

In all the hustle and bustle of daily city life, sometime all you need is a romantic day out in the countryside. In our efforts to find the perfect spot, the closest we got was the 79th Street Greenmarket. Without even having to leave the city, Columbus Avenue is transformed into a farmers market with tons of booths filled with locally grown products you won’t see anywhere else, making it the perfect day date.

Every Sunday from 9-5, between 77th – 81st Street (directly behind the Museum of Natural History) you’ll find about 30 different booths set up creating a “Bazar” or “Shuck” feel.

What we loved:

Each farmer was super friendly and happy to talk about their produce. With all the “Certified Organic” and “Gluten Free” signs, it’s hard to not let the health food junkie inside of you free. There’s lots of salad greens, and herbs. You can even buy little planters filled with celery and sweet potato. Of course they also have all your typical produce, such as corn, radishes, apples and tomatoes.

Hands down, our favorite booth was Lavender by the Bay. They sell individual lavender bundles, Lavender oils and soaps, as well as little pillows and neck rests filled with lavender.

Don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers (LITERALLY) and even try something new. It’s really the perfect place to expand your horizons and try a new vegetable you’ve never eaten. Or better yet, head across the street to central park, throw down a blanket, and set up a picnic for two with everything you picked up.

What were buying:

Baked Goods! All this shopping was making us HUNGRY. We were so relieved to find the Kosher Las Delicias Patisserie booth. Under the certification of Rabbi Chaim Goldberger of the Twin Cities Community Kashruth Council, this boutique artisanal bakery has tons of beautifully packaged cookies and babkas, as well as lots of Gluten Free products. What really blew us away were their peach and plumb pies- Goodbye diet?

May we suggest… after experiencing the farmers market, plan another trip to visit the different vender’s farms out in Long Island- Road trip anyone?