Banning cell phones in restaurants is becoming more common, as diners who constantly use their phones to chat or document their meals can be a distraction to other customers. A Brooklyn restaurant is taking things to the next level by banning talk altogether, piloting a “silent dining” event in which no one speaks for a 90 minute meal. Last month there were 17 diners at Eat participating without words in the first of what may become a monthly event, and after a chance to inform servers about allergies, there was total silence. The managing chef was inspired by silent meals at a monastery he visited in India. The restaurant serves only organic local food, with all furniture and decor also made by local artisans.
Is this a welcome concept, or just another gimmick in dining?
A San Francisco restaurant is often silent, but it’s not a gimmick, it’s run by a deaf couple with a some hearing-impaired staff. Patrons can communicate in sign language, or like many of us do in foreign countries, by pointing and writing. Owner Melody Stein wants Mozzeria to be known for its pizza, not as a deaf restaurant, and they have many repeat customers both hearing and deaf.Dining in the dark has been a trend for awhile, with restaurants in the U.S. and in Europe promoting an experience of eating without sight. Many of the restaurants employ blind waiters who are trained in serving sighted customers who are plunged into a pitch black restaurant or blindfolded. The idea is to heighten the other senses, but the reality can be more terrifying than tantalizing.
Like your steak with a side of vertigo? For a thousand bucks or so apiece (plus catering costs), you and 21 friends can be hoisted up in the sky on a crane to try Dining in the Sky. Started in Belgium and France, the table can be rented all over the world.
A truly moveable feast was hosted on a New York City subway for 12 diners. Waiters served six courses at stops between Manhattan and Brooklyn, and the MTA was not amused, but no one was arrested or fined for the meal.
Would you try any of these unusual meals? Share your experiences in the comments.
Why did a hotel security officer set hotel fires? It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, except, unfortunately for everyone involved, this was no joke.
When you hear about a former employee of two hotels starting his own hotel fires, you might assume he or she did so because of job dissatisfaction or revenge. But in the case of Mariano Barbosa, Jr., the suspect simply wanted to make his job a little bit easier. Barbosa was the security officer for both Yotel and the Soho Grand Hotel in Manhattan. He recently was arrested and charged with setting multiple hotel fires in both of these hotels dating back as far as 2009. When fire marshals began to grow suspicious of Barbosa’s inconsistent stories, they questioned Barbosa further.
If you’re visiting New York this fall (and you should, it’s the best time to go), and you like football, there’s an important thing to keep in mind. Jets and Giants fans may seem to run the show, but many — if not most — people in this city hail from somewhere else. And they’ve brought their football allegiances with them.
New York has a bar for almost every pro football team’s fans (and countless college teams as well, but that’s another can of worms). Some teams have a few bars to choose from. Others, like the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints, share one space (usually peacefully, though that 2009 NFC championship game sure made things exciting…). Most of these spots are a microcosm of the place they’re cheering for, dishing out potlucks, swag and a chance to meet other people from your hometown. At the very least, you’ll have someone else cheering for the same touchdowns and interceptions that you are.
So don’t cut your NYC trip short — stick around on Sunday and cheer for your team at one of these bars:
Bradford started out as a visual artist with an emphasis on drawing from photographs and a degree from Rhode Island School of Design in illustration. When he moved to NYC after graduating college, he began photographing NYC, originally as fodder for his drawings. But Bradford soon discovered that his photographs stood as pieces on their own and began pursuing the art form.
%Slideshow-79433%When Bradford began working as an art director for Saks Fifth Avenue fashion shoots, he experienced swift success with images appearing in the New York Times and other national magazines. After devoting a decade to this type of work, Bradford decided to go freelance, hoping to devote more of his time toward his personal art. When he responded to an ad for taxi drivers, he had intended to use the job as a means to an end and spend his free time working on his own pursuits. However, according to Bradford, he realized on the first day of the job, as he sat inspired behind the steering wheel and saw NYC in motion, that he would have to combine his photography with his work.
His photographs from the taxi, much like his initial art, were turned into drawings in the beginning. But Bradford discovered the medium of the camera all over again.
“I was on the lookout for truth and beauty with interesting light. With the right light, anything can be beautiful,” he said to me in an email. “This city is like a moody person. So I shoot her right back and capture that vibration.”
If you have ever crossed the Brooklyn Bridge you know that it’s a stunning piece of architecture. But if artist Di Mainstone has her way, it will be more than just that. It will be a musical instrument.
Mainstone’s Human Harp project, documented beautifully by the Creators Project, aims to transform bridges around the world into instruments, allowing people to interact with architecture in a new way and “play” them, which means that come next year, hopefully you’ll be able to pretend the Brooklyn Bridge is a harp.
In fact, when the Brooklyn Bridge re-opens in 2014, you will be able to strap on a harness – developed by Mainstone – that connects retractable strings to the bridge itself, making music as you move.
If all goes well, the Human Harp may soon be coming to a bridge near you.