A Night in the ‘Hood

I had a very hot day last night with my 8 year old son.  We stayed in the ‘hood which is always great.  It opens his eyes to the wonderful happenings around the corner from his home.

We started out at Craftbar for dins.  I am a huge fan of Tom Colicchio.  He has built a small empire on east 19th street near Grammercy Tavern where he got his legs.  There is Craft, Craftbar and Witchcraft all in a row.  Craft is the more serious of the 3 restaurants.  We thought about going to Craft but opted for the bar next door.  Witchcraft is the spot for lunch.  I believe my husband eats there about 3 out of the 5 days of the week.

Dinner was delicious!  We started with a grilled octopus salad accompanied with a lemon cream and grilled lemon.  Huge pieces of octopus grilled perfectly.  Then we split 2 main entrees.  The portions are really the perfect size.  We split the veal ricotta meatballs.  3 large meat balls that sit in a deep bowl with red sauce and shaved parm.  The meat balls are so light and airy that they almost fall apart when you cut in.  We also split 2 pieces of sirloin (cooked to your liking and in our case that would be rare, very rare) over sauteed greens and root vegetables.  Delicious on all fronts.  Also, the vibe in there is warm and inviting.

After wards, we ventured over to Paragon sports.  I am not a fan of this store at all.  Lame is an understatement.  Also, they rarely carry what u are looking for even though the store is packed to the gills with merchandise.  But, we needed a hockey stick.  My son played roller blade hockey all summer and is totally into it.  He spent hours this past weekend hitting the ball out at the beach so I figured he should keep up the activity in the city.  We found what we were looking for.  I was going to pick up a goal but it was too heavy and the cost for messenger service the next day was going to be $125.  God knows what service they are using but obviously not a good one b/c that is ridiculous.  So, they lost the business and I will buy it on line somewhere else today. 

We still had some time to kill before our big event of the evening so we rambled around the small shops that are erected at the bottom of Union Square during the holiday season.  It is reminiscent of Faneuil Hall in Boston or Baltimore Harbor or even South Street Seaport.  Small booths set up with wares for the season.  It is fun to walk through.  Lots of schlock but still a real seasonal event.

Then our big outing.  We went to see Slava’s SnowShow.  I have heard rave reviews.   It is a production of clowns but basically performance art.  The creator and performer, Slava Polunin is from Russia and is passionate about mime and clowns.  He has put together a very alternative, visual and interactive show.  At the beginning I was thinking, ugh but as times goes on the performance is truly captivating.  My son loved it.  He had the same reaction as I did from the onset, hmmm should we stay through this?. 

The clowns don’t talk but perform around music.  They interact with each other in a comical yet serious way.  Their movements are clever.  The music is intertwined with their physical acts.  The whole show lasts about 80 minutes.  There is an intermission but it is not really an intermission.  In our supposed intermission, the clowns came out and they climbed around the audience on the back of the chairs.  I was the lucky one that got pulled on stage.  It was fun.  The reason for the name snow is from small bits of white paper cut up and used during the performance.  It is everywhere.  The grand finale is a huge wind tunnel of these small white pieces of paper. Literally, the entire theater is covered with the stuff. It is pretty impressive. We were in the front row and had to duck our heads.  When we left,  we had paper in our hair, our coats, our pants and in my purse.  It was quite a production.  It is different and I’d recommend bringing the family.  This is a definite one of a kind event.

Homeward bound after that.  But all and all, a fantastic date!