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Say ‘Bonjour’ to Summer’s French Film Fest!

This summer the French Embassy is turning New York City into the Paris of the States with their free summer movie series! From June through early September the Films on the Green Festival will be screening French films from ten different French directors in parks throughout the city and Brooklyn at sunset (or approximately 8:30 pm). To get a taste of a little “love ‘à la française,’” be sure to stop by one of the following nights – and don’t worry, there’ll be subtitles!

June 7 at Central Park, Cedar Hill: Mississippi Mermaid by Truffaut

June 14 at Washington Square Park: The Art of Love by Mouret

June 21 at Washington Square Park: French Cancan by Renoir Read the complete post »

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Food Trucks at the Barclays Center

One of our favorite summer trends is the food truck surge, when New York’s finest food takes to the sticky hot streets and meets the city-dwellers halfway. Tomorrow afternoon the Barclays Center will play host to some of the city’s best food trucks in the plaza outside of the arena for its first of three food truck-filled Saturdays of the season. From 11 am to 5 pm head out to Brooklyn to try food from some of the following meals on wheels:

Treats Truck (@TheTreatsTruck)

Coolhaus Ice Cream Sandwiches (@CoolHausNY)

Taim Mobile (@TaimMobile)

And more!

Be sure to stop by the plaza before these trucks roll out! Don’t worry if you can’t make it this weekend, though – mark your calendars for July 6th and September 7th when Barclays does this all over again with new batches of trucks to try.


Try one of Coolhaus’s gourmet ice cream sandwiches – a staff favorite!

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Handsome Dan’s: the year-end check-in

Almost a year ago, I reviewed then week-old Handsome Dan’s. It was a snow cone candy shop that had just recently outgrown its take-out window location at Blackbird. The owners were young and enthusiastic. A year later, I can say they’ve maintained and multiplied the energy– and the candy. Most interestingly, we’ve seen Handsome Dan’s grow into its identity as a local, independent Williamsburg business. That Williamsburg spirit has a particular flavor; at Handsome Dan’s, it’s particularly sweet:

1. The store is very much involved in and part of  the Williamsburg food scene. The candy cases feature local Williamsburg brands like Mast Brothers chocolate and Brooklyn Hard Candy. Handsome Dan’s taps into the nostalgia for old time candy stores with Goo Goo Clusters and Sifer’s Valomilks and also makes his own artisan snow cones and cotton candy, in flavors like earl grey, rose and chocolate milk. Most of all, Dan’s establishes itself as ‘Williamsburg’ with its by-the-mason-jar bulk candy deals. Yes. Customers can pay flat fees to fill mason jars with candy. Obviously, the best one is the $35 extra large.

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2. Handsome Dan’s is run by a staff of artistic transplants. Jesse moved from San Francisco (where he hung out in an aunt’s candy store) to make paintings in Brooklyn. Alex moved from Australia to wear all-out head-to-toe denim cowboy wear, complete with a bolo tie. They spend their days chatting with the friendly and often international clientele that lives in Williamsburg and visits the store. “Scandinavians love licorice! They go crazy for this hardcore stuff we have- we hide it from everyone else,” Alex reports, as he points to a discrete floor-level shelf, “and we get to know regulars, like the woman who comes in every week just for the cake pops in the front case”.

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3. It’s for grown-ups, but hugely kid-friendly. Like so many places in Williamsburg, Handsome Dan’s is 100% PG, but in like the Fantastic Mr Fox way. Moms comfortably navigate strollers around scruffy-bearded 30-year-olds who undoubtedly read comic books and listen to vinyl. Located in the mini-mall between North 4th and North 5th, the friendly neighborhood store is pleasantly removed from the busy street, but is planning birthday parties and movie nights for the summer. Follow on Facebook to stay updated.

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Ballet Hispanico Spices up Spring

Spring in New York is a fabulous time!  Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, and Ballet Hispanico returns to The Joyce Theater (this is the company’s 25th year on the stage!).

I was lucky enough to catch Wednesday evening’s performance, 90 minutes of energetic, intriguing, and quick-paced dance completely unique from traditional ballet. The audience clapped, tapped their feet, and even laughed out loud during the three seamless pieces full of contemporary Spanish flare.

The last piece, A vueltas con los ochenta, heavily employed headphones as props and featured both solos and group choreography to the background of 1980s europop music.  The movement was unpredictable and exciting to watch, incorporating creative lighting techniques into the motion as well.

Credit:  Stephanie Berger

Credit: Stephanie Berger

A Ballet Hispanico performance makes for a fantastic evening or afternoon out, and is super affordable!  Tickets start at $10 and the three programs run through April 28th!

-Melissa Kravitz

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Experience Hidden New York Treasures

Even in a city like New York there are always those days when you just don’t know what to do. All the usual places feel old and boring and the cool urban hangouts you so often see in movies just seem impossible to find. And while we at Inside New York do our best to keep you entertained, we wanted to share with you an exciting new resource made possible by Sidetour!

Sidetour offers an extensive array of tours (which they refer to as experiences) made especially for New Yorkers who have already seen the usual places and are looking for something unique. Here are a few of our favorite picks:

shaw_chelsea_galleries   vintage_shops_sidetour

hiphop_620x365   5pointz

- Explore the Cutting Edge of Chelsea’s Contemporary Art Scene

- Join a Vintage and Antique Hunt with a Seasoned Collector

- Hit all the Hippest Stops on a Hip-Hop Tour of Harlem

- Explore the Epicenter of Graffiti Culture at 5Pointz

 Let us know what you think!

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Bite Into It

This week’s recommendations are all about the food. Whether you want to do a beer tasting or slurp oysters, these fun-and-easy events will fill your free night without emptying your wallet. Try out:

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Blessed Unrest Presents “Eurydice’s Dream”

In the words of Tupac Shakur, “Reality is wrong.  Dreams are for real.”  However, Tupak didn’t have the chance to see the show, Eurydice’s Dream, which opened at the Interart Theatre last Monday night.  Had he been there, he may in fact have amended his quote to allow for the ambiguity between dreams and reality, each of which cannot exist without each other.

Eurydice’s Dream, the high-energy, experimental play put on by a multi-talented, multi-cultural 7-member cast, explores what happens when an American female backpacker, a foreigner who has fallen in love with her, and Greek legends Narcissus, Echo, Orpheus and Eurydice were trapped together on a train, “an archetypal place, a contained and moving space that is forever in between places and from which you cannot move without disastrous consequences.”

The performance, which included acrobatics, dancing, singing and physical stunts on a pole, was daring and provocative.  It was clear throughout the piece that there was a high level of trust between the actors.  As the program explains, “Blessed Unrest uses the safe structure of training, rehearsal and performance to create an environment where dangerous things can happen.”  The play delves into the emotional turmoil that accompanies love, physicality, self-worth, and the positive and negative consequences of the overlap–sometimes planned, often unexpected–between the paths of different individuals.

The narrative itself was fast-paced and often seemed purposefully blurred.  In short, “There are times when Narcissus becomes Cupid, Echo becomes Proserpina, and Eurydice has a day job as a Sound Mimic in a freak show and a sister with a glass eye.”  Cutting back and forth between separate storylines and intertwining them, the audience was often forced to let go of their analytical tendencies and simply absorb the physical elements unfolding before them.  Said one audience member, “The production itself was difficult to follow for the hour and 20 minute duration, but its quick transitions and provocative acting was engaging for the whole time which is hard to pull off.”  If this sounds like your cup of tea, head over to Hell’s Kitchen and catch a performance of Eurydice’s Dream!

–Luna Adler

Interart Theatre: 500 West 52nd Street, at the corner of Tenth Avenue

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BurgerFi: Picture Perfect

“We’re really just a meat and potatoes place,” Steve Lieber, brand ambassador at BurgerFi, modestly quips.  But if BurgerFi was truly about just the meat and potatoes, it wouldn’t be able to turn first-class ingredients into a first-class burger and fries with the finesse that it does.

While it is true that the secret to BurgerFi’s success lies partly in the ingredients, the combination of these ingredients plays a healthy role in creating the unparalleled burger BurgerFi consistently produces.

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An Intimate Evening with Mika at LPR

Glitter and confetti is essential Mika

Le Poisson Rouge is one of INY’s favorite downtown venues. Small enough to feel comfortable yet spacious enough to feel the right amount of rowdy during a concert or party, LPR has it under control.

Tuesday night, Mika took the stage for what was deemed an “intimate evening” with the pop diva. The queue wound around CVS at Bleecker Street, with fans from all over the world excited at the chance to see Mika perform up close and personal.  Doors opened at 7 and the house was packed by 8pm, but even those in back had a great view of the stage (and easy access to the bar, perhaps more importantly), much closer than a mega-venue like Terminal 5 or even Music Hall of Williamsburg.

In a suit enhanced by beaded necklaces rather than a tie, Mika kept his audience singing, dancing, and proclaiming their love for him for almost two hours. With a grand piano and two back-up musicians, Mika didn’t disappoint  with old favorites and new tracks off his Fall 2012 album, The Origin of Love. “The Popular Song” which samples lyrics and melody from Wicked’s song “Popular” brought Kristin Chenoweth to the stage, a welcome surprise for the unsuspecting audience.

As he left the stage, Mika declared, “I wish I could play New York more often.”  We do too Mika, we do too…

Image Courtesy of LPR

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Old School Meets Tribeca Cool at The Square Diner

Courtesy of David H on Yelp

Courtesy of David H on Yelp

A bit of old school cool in the heart of chic Tribeca, The Square Diner offers up the kind of classic diner experience that defines old-fashioned New York cheap eats. Immediately upon walking in you feel like you’re getting taken out of the neighborhood entirely. Between the wood paneling, old “Rosie the Riveter” posters, a classic 50’s counter, and more pleather seats than a…um… pleather seat factory, The Square Diner takes you back to a time before Tribeca was the neighborhood it is today. Potted plants hang from the ceiling near the windows, and the walls are adorned with autographed photos of celebrity customers. The diner feels like it’s been there forever; it doesn’t feel like Tribeca.

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INY 2013 Cover

  Inside New York has been turning newcomers into New Yorkers since 1978! With over 600 new reviews of the hottest lifestyle, dining, and nightlife venues in our new book, INY 2013 is conscious of your time and budget so you can make the most of NYC!

  Our book can be purchased here, at McNally Jackson Books, BluestockingsThe Community Bookstore, Book Culture, and other fine NYC book retailers.

  For information on advertising with Inside New York please email



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