Tasty Eats & Artistic Treats

MSEfall14Do you remember me blathering on about Madison Square Eats? Well the mini-food fest in the heart of New York City is back this September. You can get your grub on from 11 AM to 9 PM daily through Oct. 2. It’s located just off Madison Square Park, where Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and 25th Street meet.

Brooklyn is Abuzz
Photoville has set up shop on Pier 5 in the waterfront Brooklyn Bridge Park. This celebration of the art of photography will be open from 4 to 10 PM on Thursdays and Fridays and 12 to 8 PM on Saturdays and Sundays through Sept. 28. They’ll also have a Smorgasburg Beer Garden on site, so you can take a break from looking at all those amazing images and enjoy the picture-perfect view of the lower Manhattan skyline across the river.

The DUMBO Arts Festival is back as well. There’s so much to see and experience, and it’s a great excuse to wander around DUMBO. Exhibits, performances, and public displays will be held at various locations around the neighborhood from Sept. 26-28. It’s one of those events that reminds you why you love to live in New York City.

The annual Atlantic Antic will also be on Sept. 28. Celebrating its 40th anniversary, it’s the largest and most eclectic street festival in the city. Extending along Atlantic Avenue from the Barclays Center to the waterfront, there will be plenty of food and fun for the entire family from 12 to 6 PM.

Feeling Horny
Did you know there is a Festival of New Trumpet Music? Well, there is, and it sounds awesome. Running through Sept. 28, it will feature a number of concerts at various New York City venues. You can find details here.

And speaking of obscure celebrations of brass instruments, be sure to check out the Honk Festival. Running from Oct. 13-18, it’s billed as the 8th annual convergence of brass and percussion ensemble musicians from the US and Europe. Like the aforementioned FONT, HONK features concerts in various venues around the city.

At Madison Square Eats you can get a personal pie from Roberta's, one of the finest in the city, starting at $9.

At Madison Square Eats you can get a delicious personal pie from Roberta’s, one of the finest in the city, starting at $9. Great food at reasonable prices!


Madison Square Eats

MadSqEatsIf you’ve ever found yourself near Madison Square in New York City, food probably wasn’t on your mind. Yes, Madison Square Park is home to the original Shake Shack, which has since popped up in more convenient – and more comfortable – locations. And there have been a few fancy restaurants in the area, but those seeking good food at reasonable prices were starved for choices.

In fact, Madison Square is a pocket of Manhattan that I typically try to avoid. The original Madison Square Garden was located in the neighborhood years ago (hence the name). They have cleaned up the square, converting much of it into a manageable pedestrian plaza that may actually be nicer than the park itself. But the only redeeming value of this location is that the famous Flatiron Building is located there, so you at least have something to look at.

I recently had to visit the area due to the incompetence of the greatest hub of malicious stupidity in the tri-state region, Time Warner Cable, whose Manhattan headquarters is located nearby. And hoping to restore my faith in mankind after that bile-boiling Time Warner experience, I crossed through the park to try Hill Country Fried Chicken. Along the way I came across a cluster of tents – food stalls – packed tightly onto the once-vacant sliver of land sandwiched between Broadway and Fifth Avenue beneath 25th Street.

MadSqEats Roberta'sIt seems I had stumbled upon Madison Square Eats, a sort of spawn of Smorgasburg and the food truck craze. Although it’s unfortunately only there on a temporary basis (through Oct. 25th), the folks from Madison Square Park created this mini outdoor food court – albeit the antithesis of everything a food court has come to stand for – to add a little flavor to the neighborhood. And that it does, quite magnificently.

There’s Roberta’s Pizza – yes, that Roberta’s Pizza, from Williamsburg, with hardly a wait. There’s also Delaney Barbecue (I recommend the fried chicken tacos), Calexico, Mexicue, Sunday Gravy, Asia Dog, Red Hook Lobster Pound, and even Momofuku’s Milk Bar. Open from 11:00 AM through 9:00 PM daily, this is more than just a lunch spot. You can grab a beer at several of the stalls, including an offshoot of the Cannibal as well as Mason Jar and Mayhem & Stout. Even Sigmund’s Pretzels has taps. I also discovered some newcomers, such as Mighty Balls and Arancini Brothers. And, just like me, they didn’t forget dessert – with selections that include Nunu Chocolates (with taps, too), Melt Bakery, and my beloved Doughnuttery.

What an amazing find! I have found excuses to head back there once a week since I first stumbled upon it. It’s a pity it ends on Oct. 25th. And, yes, I should have posted this sooner, but I got greedy with the lack of lines at these eateries. Still, you’ve got a week to check it out, so quit your belly-aching and start your belly-filling!