Tagged: New York City

New Music: Peter Thomas featuring Betty Who “All of You”

Betty Who is back!

I’ve been patiently waiting for new Betty music and it’s finally here! “All of You” was well worth the wait and is the perfect extension to Betty’s previous releases and maintains her catchy, 80’s pop-inspired sound.

If you haven’t heard Betty Who’s EP, The Movement, give it a listen here!

Check out Peter Thomas’ “All of You” featuring Betty Who. 

 

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Designed By Me, For Me: The Mean Green 574s from New Balance

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I was recently invited to attend New Balance’s ‘Design It. Share It. Wear It.’ Event celebrating the new 574 customization kiosk at the New Balance Experience Store on Fifth Avenue.

The event was well attended by editors, bloggers and New Balance fanatics, including myself. Draft beer from Sixpoint Brewery was poured all evening alongside hotdogs and hamburgers from Bark.

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Event atmosphere. #newbalance #NBNYC #NBNYC574

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Sixpoint Brewery
is located in Redhook, Brooklyn and has become my new favorite local brewery. #sixpointbrewery

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I had one of each from Bark… And both were really good! #noshame #barkhotdogs

 

In addition to great gift bags, custom shirts with Five Seven Four and Made In The USA (which reminded me of Miley Cyrus) imprinted on the front were made on-site and given away. They also had several big giveaways, including a trip to Maine, that were raffled off throughout the evening. Although I didn’t win any of the giveaways, I did walk away from the event with a free, new pair of my own customized New Balance 574s!

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Custom shirts were made and given away on-site. #madeintheuse #mileycyrus

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DJ Mars, a self-proclaimed New Balance fanatic, emceed the event.

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Atmosphere.

All guests were treated to the opportunity to customize their own 574s using the new customization kiosk at the New Balance Experience Store. From the sole and the shoe laces to the logo embroidery and the tongue label, every element of your 574s can be customized using the extremely easy-to-use customization kiosk. You can also name your 574s.

Here are my custom New Balance 574s, The Mean Green, designed by me, for me:

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If you can’t make it to New Balance’s Experience Store, need not worry! You can also design your own 574s on New Balance’s website. A custom pair of New Balance 574s cost $139.95.

The event also celebrated and recognized New Balance’s continued commitment to manufacturing products in the United States.  For more than 75 years, New Balance has been committed to creating quality products in the United States. Believe it or not, New Balance is one of the only athletic shoe manufactures that can make this claim (which is all the more reason to celebrate!).

Follow me on Instagram (@justinbreton) to see where I take my custom 574s, The Mean Greens! 

 

The New Balance Experience Store is located at 20th Street and 5th Avenue.

New Music: Cher Lloyd “I Wish”

I first fell in love with Cher Lloyd when she auditioned for the X Factor in the United Kingdom. She owned the stage with pure confidence and sass. I liked her debut album, Sticks & Stones, and am excited for what she puts out next.

Check out Cher’s new single “I Wish.”

 

And just in case you haven’t seen it, check out her X Factor audition with “Turn My Swag On.”

 

I’m seeing Cher Lloyd and Fifth Harmony on Saturday at the Best Buy Theater in New York City.

New Music: Kacey Musgraves

I’m upset with myself for not discovering Kacey Musgraves sooner than I have because she’s really, really good! 

I first heard (and saw) Kacey on this years broadcast of the Country Music Awards Music Festival in Nashville. She reminded me of a dirtier, edgier Taylor Swift, which is definitely a good thing. She seems like she’d be fun to hang out and get wasted with.

Check out Kacey’s performance of “Blowin’ Smoke” from the CMA Music Festival.

 

Also, check out Kacey’s official music videos for “Blowin’ Smoke” and “Merry Go ‘Round.”

 

Kacey’s album, Same Trailer Different Park, is available now.

For those in New York, she’ll be performing at The Bowery Ballroom on September 19. Tickets are $20 and on sale now.

NYC Eats: Brooklyn Crab

This past weekend the boyfriend and I took a trip to Brooklyn Crab in Red Hook, Brooklyn. I’ve been wanting to go to Brooklyn Crab since I first read about it last year. I’m happy to report that I finally made my way there!

We took the IKEA Ferry from Pier 11 (free on the weekends; $5 on weekdays) off of Wall Street in the Financial District to the Fairway Market stop, which takes about 15 minutes. To be honest, the ferry ride is enough of a reason to make your way to Brooklyn Crab and Red Hook.

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Manhattan skyline from the IKEA Ferry.

We arrived at Brooklyn Crab around 3:45 p.m. on Sunday and the wait for a table was only 45 minutes (they don’t take reservations for small parties). Not too bad! Similar to The Meatball Shop (see my post NYC Eats: The Meatball Shop), Brooklyn Crab takes your cell phone number and texts you when your table is ready. I love when restaurants do this.

I have to be honest… At first I was a little disappointed when we got to Brooklyn Crab. For some reason, I thought it was located on the water’s edge with a large deck and stunning view of Manhattan. I’m not sure why I thought this, but I’m sure you can imagine my level of confusion when we got off the ferry and moved inland. Maybe it has to do with growing up in Maine and working at a seafood restaurant on the water?

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Brooklyn Crab in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

While waiting for our table, we sat at the downstairs bar and enjoyed a few Red Hook-brewed Sixpoint beers ($6 each) and crab roll ($16). As you can see in the photo below, they did not hold back on the crab meat. It was delicious.

It should be noted that the downstairs bar offers a very limited menu, including the crab roll, oysters and shrimp, and only accepts cash. The service at the downstairs bar specifically was not that great. I had to keep staring down the bartender to get his attention and actually had to remind him that we needed to pay for our crab roll. 

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Nautical decor on the ceiling of the first floor bar.

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Crab roll ($16) at the first floor bar, which we paired with Sixpoint beer ($6 each).

When we got the text that our table was ready, we moved up to the second floor (of three) and sat at one end of a picnic table. The atmosphere felt authentic for eating seafood and reminded me of a summertime clam bake in Maine.

Since we didn’t order one of the crab specials (ranging from $16 to $48; click here for Brooklyn Crab’s menu), I can’t say I’m giving an entirely fair review. I think most people that venture out to Brooklyn Crab are going for the crab specials. It makes sense. Instead, we ordered the fried calamari ($11) and fried White Gulf Shrimp ($16). Both were good very fresh, but lets be real… It’s fried seafood. Nothing revolutionary and nothing to call home about.

Unlike the downstairs bar, the second and third floors accept credit cards (except American Express).

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Second floor atmosphere with picnic tables, colorful umbrellas and decorative lights.

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Fried calamari with warm marinara sauce ($11).

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Fried White Gulf Shrimp with fries, coleslaw and tartar sauce ($16).

Before leaving, we went up to the third floor to check out the view of Manhattan. It’s not nearly as good of a view as I was expecting since its somewhat obstructed. However, the third floor is definitely the better place to be seated if it’s available. In addition to the “view,” it’s completely shaded from the sun and has a nice breeze.

Brooklyn Crab also offers mini golf and corn hole in the “back yard.” We didn’t play on this visit, but we both agreed it would be fun to play either on our next visit.

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Mini golf and corn hole in the “back yard.”

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Brooklyn Crab decor on the outside.

All-in-all, the boyfriend and I agreed that Brooklyn Crab is a great little getaway from Manhattan. Next time we will order the crab special for a true Brooklyn Crab experience. It seems like the right thing to do.

We’ve actually already discussed heading back to Red Hook in the near future to explore its other offerings. Like I said before, the ferry ride alone is enough of a reason to make your way there.

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Gorgeous sunset view of the Statue of Liberty from the IKEA Ferry.

Brooklyn Crab is located at 24 Reed Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

Dinner for Two: Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad, Summer Squash and Sausage Tart and Gnocchi with Zucchini and Feta

Even though its technically a women’s magazine, I really love Real Simple. Each issue has great tips for the home, interesting facts and real simple recipes (pun intended).

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Below you’ll find three recipes, including two from Real Simple’s August issue, that are perfect for any end-of-summer meal. Per usual, all the ingredients are from Trader Joe’s.

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad, Summer Squash and Sausage Tart and Gnocchi with Zucchini and Feta

Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Red Onion Salad with Homemade Honey Mustard Dressing (from Food52)

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Ingredients:

  • One (1) bag of Trader Joe’s Shaved Brussels Sprouts
  • One (1) red onion
  • One (1) cup of Trader Joe’s grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • One (1) lemon
  • Two (2) teaspoons of Trader Joe’s Spicy Brown Mustard
  • Two (2) teaspoons of honey
  • Two (2) tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Directions:

  • Slice the red onion. Soak slices in small bowl of cold water for 15 minutes.
  • Squeeze the lemon juice into a small bowl. Add the honey, Spicy Brown Mustard, extra-virgin olive oil, pinch of salt and pinch of fresh ground pepper. Whisk together until emulsified.
  • Empty the bag of Shaved Brussels Sprouts into a large bowl. Add the onion slices (now drained) and toss gently.
  • Add the dressing. Slowly mix in the grated Pecorino Romano cheese.

Summer Squash Tart with Crumbled Sausage and Dijon Mustard (from Real Simple)

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Ingredients:

  • Thawed puff pastry sheets – a seasonal item at Trader Joe’s; thus, you may need to buy elsewhere
  • One (1) package of Trader Joe’s Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage – also good on the grill!
  • Two (2) yellow summer squash
  • Three (3) tablespoons of Trader Joe’s Whole Grain Dijon Mustard
  • One (1) tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Lay out the puff pastry sheets (most packages come with two) on a greased baking sheet. Do not unfold. Prick all over with a fork.
  • Cut the Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage into small pieces. Set aside. Slice the yellow summer squash. Set aside.
  • Add the extra-virgin olive oil to a large pan over medium-high heat.
    • Add the sausage and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until slightly brown. Transfer cooked sausage to a small plate.
    • Add the sliced yellow summer squash, two (2) tablespoons of water, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper and cook for 4 to 6 minutes until soft.
  • Spread the Whole Grain Dijon Mustard on the puff pastry sheets. Top with the yellow summer squash and Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the puff pastry is golden brown. Remove and cut into pieces.

Gnocchi with Zucchini, Basil and Feta (from Real Simple)

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Ingredients:

  • One (1) package of Trader Joe’s Potato Gnocchi
  • Three (3) zucchini
  • One (1) cup of Trader Joe’s Feta
  • Three (3) garlic cloves
  • Fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Directions:

  • Cook gnocchi following the directions on the package. Drain and return to pot.
  • Cut the zucchini into small pieces (roughly 3/4 of an inch). Dice the garlic cloves.
  • Add the extra-virgin olive oil to a large pan over medium-high heat.
    • Add the zucchini, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, tossing occasionally, until tender.
  • Add the zucchini to the gnocchi and toss.
  • Serve and sprinkle with Feta and basil.

Overall, the boyfriend and I really liked everything. It’s somewhat of a heavy meal, so this is definitely best to have at the end of summer.

These recipes output a lot, so you’ll definitely have leftovers if you’re only preparing for two people. We reheated the Summer Squash Tart in the oven a few days later and it was just as good as when we first had it.

Of the three recipes, my favorite is definitely the shaved Brussels sprout salad. It’s so easy to make and surprisingly full of flavor.

Give these three end-of-summer recipes a try and let me know your thoughts!

Countdown to the 2013 MTV VMAs: #1

The 2013 MTV Video Music Awards are less than a week away and I can’t wait!

To celebrate this year’s VMAs, I’m counting down my top five VMA moments over the past few years.

VMA MOMENT #1:

It’s a tie! I simply couldn’t pick between two iconic Britney Spears performances.

Are you surprised they’re all Britney moments? You shouldn’t be… Welcome to my blog!

 

Rounding out my top five VMA moments are Britney Spears’ “Satisfaction/Oops I Did It Again” performance from the 2000 VMAs and Britney Spears’ “I’m A Slave 4 U” performance from the 2001 VMAs.

 

Click here for VMA MOMENT #2.

Click here for VMA MOMENT #3.

Click here for VMA MOMENT #4.

Click here for VMA MOMENT #5.

 

The 2013 MTV VMAs will air live on Sunday, August 25 at 9 p.m. from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn with performances by Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Miley Cyrus, Robin Thicke, Katy Perry, Kanye West and Justin Timberlake.

Countdown to the 2013 MTV VMAs: #2

The 2013 MTV Video Music Awards are less than a week away and I can’t wait!

To celebrate this year’s VMAs, I’m counting down my top five VMA moments over the past few years.

VMA MOMENT #2:

The infamous Britney Spears and Madonna kiss (when everyone forgot who Christina Aguilera was) from the 2003 VMAs. 

As a video…

And as a GIF…

And as a picture…

 

Click here for VMA MOMENT #3.

Click here for VMA MOMENT #4.

Click here for VMA MOMENT #5.

 

The 2013 MTV VMAs will air live on Sunday, August 25 at 9 p.m. from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn with performances by Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Miley Cyrus, Robin Thicke, Katy Perry, Kanye West and Justin Timberlake.

Caption This: Pizza, Pizza, Pizza!

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Caption this: “Sometimes I __________”

 

Photo taken at Brooklyn Bridge Park in Brooklyn after the boyfriend and I walked the Brooklyn Bridge to watch the sunset and get pizza. Check out my Instagram feed on the right for a photo of the sun setting behind New York City’s downtown skyline from the Brooklyn Bridge. It was gorgeous.

 

The pizza is from the original Grimaldi’s Pizzeria located at 1 Front Street in Brooklyn under the Brooklyn Bridge. The 45 minute wait was well worth it for the authentic, made-to-order, coal brick-oven pizza. It truly might be the best pizza I’ve ever had. I’m not a snob when it comes to pizza (thus, I don’t have particularly high standards), but every bite from start to finish was fucking amazing. We did half pepperoni and half sausage. I highly recommend getting the pepperoni. Pass on the sausage.

Things to know about Grimaldi’s Pizzeria: you will have to wait outside, the staff is kinda rude, slices are not available (go big or go home), cash is the only form of payment, order to go to eat in Brooklyn Bridge Park and, if there are two of you, you’re probably gonna eat the entire pizza. We did!

Countdown to the 2013 MTV VMAs: #3

The 2013 MTV Video Music Awards are less than a week away and I can’t wait!

To celebrate this year’s VMAs, I’m counting down my top five VMA moments over the past few years.

VMA MOMENT #3:

Britney Spears performs “Baby One More Time” at the 1999 VMAs. This was Britney’s first VMA performance and… She nailed it!

 

Click here for VMA MOMENT #4.

Click here for VMA MOMENT #5.

 

The 2013 MTV VMAs will air live on Sunday, August 25 at 9 p.m. from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn with performances by Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Miley Cyrus, Robin Thicke, Katy Perry, Kanye West and Justin Timberlake.