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Friday
Mar192010

VESELKA - UKRAINIAN RAINBOW IN NYC

The Veselka in the East Village of New York City has been a staple in the neighborhood for over 55 years.   What started as a small little counter has grown into a full scale restaurant open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.   Known for the best Borscht and Pierogis West of the Ukraine, Veselka is the go to restaurant  for anyone looking for home cooked favorites on Sunday  for brunch or on any night you have a craving.  

The charm of Veselka ( Rainbow in Ukrainian) is the feeling that you are in Eastern Europe.   Family run, and authentically staffed with many of the waiters and waitresses new to America from the Ukraine, the feeling this setting creates is impossible to fake.   

Much of the original success of the Veselka stems from Eastern European immigrants living in the East village that were looking for a little bit of home in these delicious, authentic recipes.   Add to that everyone who has or had a grandmother from the region, that grew up eating Ukrainian soul food.   Then add to that anyone with a grandmother from Central Europe who cooked similar dishes.  I myself am in this bunch.   My Paternal grandmother was Hungarian.   The youngest of 9, my grandmother was born in America but grew up with a strong link to Hungary from her older siblings and parents.   While she never learned the Hungarian language, happily the recipes were passed down.      Visits to my grandmothers house meant eating Hungarian delicacies such as stuffed cabbage, Haluska (pasta & cabbage), beet salad, & sweet little pastries  to name a few.   Ukrainian dishes are not exactly the same as Hungarian, but it is close enough to put a smile on my face. 

My story is not unique and thousands flock to the Veselka every week to remind them of a little bit of home cooking just like Mom or Grandma used to do.   I recently surprised my parents and took them to the Veselka for lunch on their anniversary.   My father was really pleased to try the stuffed cabbage that reminded me so much of his mother.   While the recipe is slightly different, he loved it!  

Now for the first time, the Veselka is sharing their famous recipes in a beautifully photographed cookbook.    The book gives you a chance to experiment with the recipes that might not have survived to your branch of the family tree.   It also is just a great coffee table book for those who would never cook, but appreciate the wonderful photography that can conjure up nostalgic feelings of a time gone by.  The book and the restaurant both have this effect.   I know I think of my grandmother every time I visit.    

To order the book now, click - VESELKA COOKBOOK

 

Monday
Jan252010

BOOKED IN CONNECTICUT - DARREN WINSTON

Looking for hard to find Ephemera from the 1950's?  Have no idea what Ephemera is?  Ok, I couldn't resist.   It's rare you see that word - especially in print, promoting a new book store.  (for the record - Ephemera is defined as "printed material that is not intended to be retained or preserved).    DARREN WINSTON METICULOUS SHELVES

However, Darren Winston is not your typical book collector - and his new shop in Sharon, Connecticut is not your typical book shop.   Having said that, maybe it should be.   In this day and age, your first book source (if you still read books and not nooks!) is probably Amazon - or some other internet source.   If all book shops were as interesting and chock full of hard to find - finds - you might still have a corner shop in your neighborhood.DARREN WINSTON BOOKSELLER - CONNECTICUT

Darren Winston has an eclectic eye and a knack for finding hard to find and out of print titles.  Looking for a first edition of " a Charlie Brown Christmas" - Winston has it.    Curious to see what teenage girls were reading in the 1950'S?  Winston has some pristine vintage paperbacks  and pamphlets ( Ephemera).   There are historical books of all types - from biographies on Political leaders - to local folklore about towns that helped to shape this great country.  Of course, all the classics are there as well.

DARREN WINSTON - FUN TO SHOPMr. Winston has developed an extensive network of sources for all types of books since he started his business in 1995.   If there is a book you are looking for, chances are Mr. Winston will find it and send it to you, wherever you are.

DARREN WINSTON BOOKSELLER - 81 Main Street, Sharon, Conn. 06069  860-364-1890 / darrenwinston@gmail.com

Sunday
Jun212009

SUSANNA SALK'S WEEKEND RETREATS

The April Showers have continued into June in the Northeastern United States this year.   While you may be heading to your weekend house - I'll bet you will be spending more time inside than ever before.   One way to spend a few hours curled up on the sofa is with Susanna Salk's second book - WEEKEND RETREATS.   Published by Rizzoli, Weekend Retreats is also the perfect gift to give to the host or hostess you are visiting this summer.  

Susanna Salk is a design expert known for giving an insiders view of the quintessential Northeastern -style that is unique to the region.    The wonderful weekend homes of Connecticut are.... click WASP to continue reading.

Saturday
May232009

AIDEN SHAW IS BRUTAL

AIDEN SHAW The name Aiden Shaw makes millions of women around the world sigh and swoon as they think of the fictional love interest of Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex & The City.   The name Aiden Shaw also makes millions of men around the world sigh for a different reason.   You see, the Aiden Shaw that has a mythical appeal to men is not the fictional character in SATC, but the real life version.  SARAH JESSICA PARKER & JOHN CORBETT IN SATC

The real Aiden Shaw is a legend in the gay adult film industry.  Not since international Playboy Porfirio Rubirosa of Doris Duke fame in the 1930's has a gentleman's endowment been written about more than Aiden Shaw's.   While Rubirosa was scandalous in his era, Aiden Shaw could cause a scandal in any year.  ZSA ZSA GABOR & PORFIRIO RUBIROSA, ORLY AIRPORT, PARIS The producers of Sex & The City certainly chose to name one of Carrie Bradshaw's lovers with a wink and a nod to the real life legend.  

Aiden Shaw is one of those people who is impossible to justly describe.   He is a man of so many facets and talents, that to reduce his achievements to his work on film is really a disservice.    Entering the adult film world by accident via art school and a trip to L.A. where he met a producer who said he would "make him a star" - and he did.BRUTAL - ORIGINAL RELEASE

There are a string of celebrity friends and high powered connections that have kept Aiden  on the short list of any event happening in London, New York, and L.A.    He is a person that  people are drawn to.  He has an energy that lights up a room.  

There is a big difference between Mr. Shaw and most of his adult film peers.   Most have physical attributes, but Aiden had many attributes that lie beneath the surface.   In turns out that what is between his ears is as threatening as what is in his pants.

When most adult film stars would see their 15 minutes of fame tick away, Mr. Shaw had other plans.   Who knew a writing career would follow?  First there was a book of poetry that would sell out and is now a collectible that sells for over $200 - if you can find a copy on ebay.  Then came the novels.  I must say that any of Aiden's book are not for the faint of heart.   They are fictionalized accounts of his life that is a wild ride to say the least.   There is sex, drugs, & maybe a bit of Rock & Roll like you have never seen or read about.  The fact that Mr. Shaw can recount some of these stories and with such clarity is a testament to his highly articulate mind, as many would not have lived to tell about it.   When Betty Davis said the infamous line "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night" - she had nothing on one of Mr. Shaw's adventures.   At the core is a romantic character with a big heart - that is looking for love, albeit in all the wrong place.BRUTAL- UNCUT

Personally, it's the CD he produced a few years back that drives me crazy.   I can see a cult club re-mix of his album happening any day now.  The tracks are sexy and infectious and leave you wanting more.  The singles are available on i-tunes

2008 saw Mr. Shaw enroll in a Masters program at a prestigious university in London.   We would expect nothing less from this true artist.  

While working on a new novel - Aiden has also re-written and re-issued one of his wildest rides - Brutal.    Brutal-Uncut can be described as Brutal 2.0.    This tale is an eye opener and I guarantee you will not be bored!

Brutal and Brutal Uncut are in bookstores now or available at Amazon.    We hope to see Mr. Shaw state side again soon.

Friday
Apr242009

YANKEE STADIUM - THE FINAL SEASON

The original Yankee stadium is a landmark.   Built in the 1920's, people from around the world have made the pilgrimage.   Certainly it is a right of passage for any New Yorker to make the trip.   I remember my dad taking my brother and I to games when I was a kid.  Back then there were coupons on milk containers that you could cut out and add up to discount a child admission.   The stadium seemed like the biggest place on earth.  The lights, the field, & of course the Yankees.   I always thought those pinstripe navy/gray uniforms were so cool!  Then again - I did go on to work in the fashion industry, but I know you all love the uniforms too!  The Yankees have an excellent website with more information that you thought you ever wanted to know.  Click - YANKEE STADIUM  

When the time came to christen the new stadium - appropriately there was much fanfare surrounding the legacy of the original.  A-ROD Celebrities, heads of state, and everyday fans paid respect to the house that Ruth built.

To carry the torch and keep those memories alive - buy a copy of the official retrospective of Yankee Stadium appropriately titled - THE FINAL SEASON.   Alfred Santasiere and Mark Vancil put so much emotion into this beautiful book.   A great gift idea for any baseball fan or for any coffee table.  Page after page of never before published photos and legendary shots relive the greatest moments of the most famous ball park in the world.  Buy the book and then get tickets for the new season!  In case you're wondering, odds are you probably had a better chance of seeing Madonna at a game last season.  Click here to buy - YANKEE BOOK

Sunday
Mar292009

GUGGENHEIM GETS SOME GOO-GOO TIME

Here is great gift idea to introduce modern art to the little one in your life.   The charming story of little Andy who wanders away from his napping dad in central park and discovers the iconic Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.   Once inside he marvels at the endless ramps and curves of the legendary space - not to mention priceless art by Kandinsky, Leger, and Picasso.   Written and illustrated by A.C. Hollingsworth in 1970- this new edition was printed with the approval of his widow.