Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas in New York with Kids

Take a photo with Princess Diana

----New York for Kids Part 6 ----

Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

While doing the research for the soon to be released "New York Get There 1-2-3" (every week there is another delay), I discovered several terrific places to take kids that are open everyday of the year, including Christmas Day! Wonderful news for those who don't celebrate Christmas and something for parents to keep in their back pocket after the gifts have been unwrapped and the thrill of new toys, gadgets and computer games have worn off. Here are three I think are great fun.

  • Madame Tussauds - The grand dame of Wax Museums. From experience, I can report the wax figures are as engaging to adults as kids. Just off Times Square you have a choice of major fast food restaurants close by.

  • The Observatory at the Empire State Building - Although a must for tourists, it is amazing how many people who live here have never been up. Enjoy a spectacular view from every angle, you won't want to come down.

  • FAO Schwartz - Can you believe it? Open on Christmas Day in the event that there is some little person you forgot on your Christmas list and you are expected for dinner later in the evening. This wonderland of toys is guaranteed to keep the whole family, from preschoolers to grandparents, absorbed for hours.

Hate to keep teasing you, but you will find several more terrific spots open everyday of the year in "New York Get There 1-2-3," look for an upcoming announcement on how Postcard Readers can get their copy "Free."

Jacqueline Cable

Addresses and Directions to Remember:

Madame Tussauds, 234 West 42nd St. between 7th & 8th Ave., New York, NY 10036, 212, From Times Square MTA walk wone half block west. Something to consider next year, throughout the month of February, guests who present their Metro Card at the Madame Tussauds admissions counter will receive one free admission with the purchase of one full priced Adult All Access Pass.

Empire State Building, 350 Fifth Ave @ 34th St., New York, NY 10018, 212-736-3100, From Times Square MTA N, Q, R, W to 34th St. walk east to 5th Ave.

FAO Schwartz, 767 Fifth Ave @ 59th St., New York, NY 10153, 212-308-6094, From Times Square MTA N, R, W to 5th Ave/59th St.

Photo by Joseph Knight

© Copyright 2007-8 The Cable Group

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

11th Hour Gift giving Woes? A Tasteful Solution

Cookies well worth the Calories!

----A note from the Editor---

As the weather outside is nippy, and the warmth of summer far behind us, I thought I would feature this story written by Postcard's photographer last summer. After the frantic pace of the Holidays, brace yourself for the winter with these delicious treats (find the telephone number below to have them delivered.)


Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

Many of you will be shocked to learn that Jacqueline Cable has been trying to kill me for years. This conspiracy started during an early 1990's trip to Scotland (in preparation for a Golf Tour.) Jacqueline was determined to get into an ancient cathedral that happened to be closed. She was dragging me from locked door to locked door, pounding on them mercilessly, "Joseph, there must be a caretaker or rector somewhere, come on, they'll hear me knocking."

To my utter surprise, when I looked down I realized we were walking on big flat grave markers, overgrown with moss and lichen. A moment later, BAM! I was flat on my back, cracked a 17th century grave marker, (sorry Mr. Ross MacDonald), and in utter pain...

Fast forward to a hot day in July in New York City on a Postcards from New York photo shoot; Jacqueline raced between landmark buildings and monumental sculpture, this time around lower Manhattan, demanding I keep up. I was ready to call it a day. We had been running around since early morning and I was very pleased with the abundance of photos waiting in my camera.

"Joseph, come on, one more waterfall, just one - I promise..." she prodded. Suddenly walking on the uneven 18th century pavement, I thought of Scotland, and several other near death experiences. However, my fear was unwarranted and we made it to the "last" waterfall, and guess what? My perseverance was rewarded. Just behind Chase Plaza and Jean Dubuffet's "Group of Four Trees", I found Financier Patisserie. My bonus for a long day's work.

I walked in from the heat of the day to discover a cornucopia of wonderful baked jewels. I am a self confessed cookie-aholic; I love cookies! They remind me of my German and Italian grandmothers, Oma and Nona. Oma always said, "It's not a complete day if you don't reward yourself with a cookie." When in Sicily, Nona spoke to us, letting us know she loved us, with the most amazingly thin butter cookies, almond horns and pinolis. While she spoke no English, and my sisters and I struggled in deficient Italian, "cookie" was universally understood.

There, guarded behind glass, (bullet proof I am sure), in all its glory, was a plate of almond horn cookies! And look, a jewel encrusted lynzar tart - my mother's favorite - ooooo, and macarons - fat and fresh in pastel colors and delicate flavors! WAIT what is that? Thin toasted almond slices on a rich bead of swirling dark chocolate. The sight of these cookies brought me back to my childhood, to my grandmother's kitchens and the espresso bars of Italy. Needless to say I left with a wonderful lime-green striped box full of these divine cookies to sample at home later.

As I paid the cashier, Jacqueline called, "Joseph, come on, I need a picture of just one more fountain, it's not a waterfall, I promise." OK, I said, no more waterfalls, just one more fountain..."

Go Eat Something Good!

Joseph Knight

Address to Remember: Financier Patisserie, 35 Cedar Street (between Pearl and William), New York, NY 10005, 212-952-3838,

Directions: From Times Square MTA 2 or 3 to Wall St. walk west to Pearl St. and north to Cedar.

Photo by Joseph Knight

© Copyright 2007-8 The Cable Group

Friday, November 28, 2008

11 Things

Taxis, A Quintessentially New York feature

----A Postcard from New York Encore----

With the addition of one more thing that makes New York so very special for me.


Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

On a return flight from LA last week, I looked out the plane window at the landscape below ablaze with light; building lights, expressway lights, bridge lights and car lights zooming rhythmically in a sea of traffic. Immediately I got the rush, the little exhilarating shiver I always get when I come home and it hits me how lucky I am to live in this incredible place.

Now after a festive Thanksgiving surrounded by friends and family, I pause a moment to share 10 things I am extremely thankful for but take for granted far too often.

1. That this city truly never sleeps. It is alive with places where you can listen to jazz, like Birdland, into the wee hours, and places where you can just sit and chat with friends until 3 or 4 in the morning.

2. That the US Post Office at 33rd Street and 8th Avenue is open 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Need to have something postmarked, perhaps your tax return on April 15th? Just get there by 12 AM. In most US cities, even major ones, the Post office is closed by 5 or 6 PM at the latest.

3. The late Federal Express Drop off. It is almost 9 PM, you discover you’ve got to have something delivered tomorrow. In any other city, you would be out of luck. Not here, last drop off at 537 West 33rd Street between 10th and 11th Avenue is 9:30PM.

4. The Barnes and Noble at Lincoln Center. If like me, you find it impossible to free up an hour or two during the day to get to a bookstore; arrive here at 9 PM and you will still have hours to browse through books in your favorite sections. The store is open until 12 AM every day.

5. Cipriani for gourmet take-out. Your sister or a friend calls to say they are on the way over, and like most New Yorkers you have nothing in your fridge; after all, with over 45,000 restaurants to choose from, we frequently dine out. No need to settle for Chinese, Mexican or Pizza. More on this amazing place in an upcoming Postcard.

6. Staples and FedEx Kinko's. Ever find yourself in a situation where you finally finish a last minute report or presentation and you need to have copies made and professionally bound? Staples at 14th Street and Union Square is open until 10 PM or there is a 24-hour Kinko’s in almost every neighborhood.

7. Easy access to the most renowned writers, artists, musicians, healers and guru’s. One can hear them play in intimate surroundings, meet them at gallery openings or lectures, or talk with them after a show or informal gathering at places like The New School. Enroll in a drawing class at the Art Students League, and there standing next to you is a famous artist, pencil and paper in hand honing his craft.

8. The New York Public Library. The city’s greatest asset belongs to all of us and we do not take advantage of even 10% of all its offers. Look for an upcoming series on the Library in Postcards early in the New Year.

9. Fairway – Like No other Market. Yes, Zabar’s and Citarella are wonderful and they too bring food and delicacies from far corners of the globe within our reach; but Fairway makes no pretense and doesn’t try to be anything other than an insanely harried, bustling, crowded-at-all-hours market.

10. The Spa at the Madison Hotel for the most exquisite Shiatzu massage. Back walk anyone? I never have time to do these things during normal business hours. Here, I can book a last minute appointment or just walk in at 7 or 8 PM and leave at midnight or later, completely rejuvenated.

11. The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting is an annual thrill. The moment the more than 30,000 lights go on will leave you giddy and speechless. The Christmas season doesn't really start for me until I experience that special magic. Share it with family and friends this year on December 3rd. Just get there early and secure a spot as it is guaranteed to be a "gridlock alert day." Click here to learn more about this years 72-foot, 8 ton Norwood Spruce.

Yes, only in New York.

Jacqueline Cable
For Postcards from New York

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Photo by Joseph Knight

© Copyright 2007-8 The Cable Group

Monday, November 10, 2008

Meet the Wedding Guests Luncheon at Payards

Here comes the bride!

Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

"Jack you haven't RSVPed," the voice on the other end of the line said. Ohh! Oh, I thought, what have I not done now as I cast a nervous glance at a growing pile of untouched mail? "You should have received your invitation weeks ago, Donna scolded. "

"What's the date, where is it, I'll be there," I shot back. "Blaike (her youngest daughter) and I are having a luncheon for Capron, I thought it would be a good idea to introduce you guys (meaning her college buddies) to friends of the family, that way you'll know each other at the wedding and I won't have to make endless introductions."

Leave it to Donna to think of everything I said to myself as I hung up. She was always "the boss," the leader of my college posse, my dearest friends from first semester freshman year. I smiled and considered how very lucky I have been to have these incredible women in my life, and now their kids are getting married! While a few sons have walked down the aisle, this event was particularly exciting because Capron was the first "daughter" to go. You know how it is when "Moms" are planning weddings.

Payard, the grand dame of French Patisserie's on the Upper East Side with an upstairs designed to accommodate private parties, was the perfect venue for the luncheon. Elegant wood paneled and subdued mustard yellow walls with large gilt framed mirrors create an image in one's mind of rich chocolate pudding and swirling lemon custard long before dessert arrives. The anticipation of things to come gives the place a lightness and gaity that belongs uniquely to Payard.

The menu was the perfect conversation starter, everyone chose something different so we could all have a taste of almost everything. Among the selected appertizers were a thick rich and creamy butternut squash and chestnut soup, crab, smoked quinoa and wild mushroom broth, and our absolute favorite choice, the duck terrine with pistachios and walnuts. Ahh! For the main course, a sublime risotto with smoked salmon, warm chicken salad with seasoned greens and shallot herb dressing, and a delictible cobb salad with chunks of avocado, dried grape tomatoes and lush roquefort cheese, all received high praise.

When several waiters arrived carrying silver platters of what Payard is best known for, our lively chatter ended as we ohh'd and ahh'd over the tempting desserts. A momentary hush settled over the table as we considered our choices: fruit tarts in luscious cream, a deep dark chocolate mousse, warm chocolate gateau with marshmallows, pumpkin custard, meringue, lemon tart, a goat cheesecake napolean, truffles, and an assortment of macarons. They were just too perfect to touch. Is there any doubt we did?

To keep our collective sweet tooths in check and sample as many as possible, we split desserts in half. But not the macarons, (one tiny lemon macaron was especially memorable). Nothing like sharing desserts to cement new friendships; I look forward to seeing them all again at Capron's wedding in January.

Donna, Blaike good show! Thank you.

Best wishes Capron and Matt for a long and rewarding life as you begin your journey together.

Jacqueline Cable
For Postcards from New York

P.S. If you call now, you may secure a table during the busy hectic Christmas season.

Address to Remember: Payard Patisserie and Bistro, 1032 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10021, 212-717-5252,

Directions: From Times Square, MTA S or 7 to Grand Central Station, 6 to 68th St., walk north to 1032 Lexington between 72nd and 73rd.

    Photo by Joseph Knight

    ©Copyright 2007-8 The Cable Group

      Friday, October 31, 2008

      A Weekend to 'Just Be' and B

      Quintessentials Bed & Breakfast


      Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

      Lured by all the amenities offered at Quintessentials, we happily ditched my plan to do a little bit of everything. When we worked up an appetite from all that lying around, Sylvia made us dinner reservations at some of the best restaurants the area had to offer. The rest of the weekend went pretty much the same easy way, so we stayed nearby until Sunday came – way too soon as usual.

      Leaving us with a winery map and brochures to take away, Sylvia bid us adieu after another delicious breakfast and invited us to come back anytime. And, I know we will.

      On our last afternoon in the North Fork, we finally got to the wineries! We both love wine - I’m a fan of sweeter varieties like Riesling, and my boyfriend prefers something with a bit more bite like a rich Chianti. Determined to find some local gems, we drove along Route 25 on the way back and finally stopped at Pindar Vineyards, one of the largest in the area.

      Once inside the wood-paneled tasting room, we sampled just about everything by sharing two menus, all for little more than the cost of a glass of wine at a Manhattan restaurant. We decided on a couple of tasty bottles - "Autumn Gold," a crisp, floral white, for him and "Sweet Scarlett," a surprisingly easy-to-imbibe red, for me. Because we were driving, we decided one wine tasting was enough, and went for a stroll around the Pindar estate, snapping pictures between rows of auburn vines.

      A few hours later, we were back in the pulsing metropolis. And somehow, the city streets felt a lot less cramped after our weekend of bliss. We vowed to go back, and all I would do differently next time--book a massage...and an extra night.

      Conveniently, from now until March 7, the NY Board of Tourism is running a “Cozy Inns” campaign in which participating B&B’s are offering a ‘Book Two Nights, Get One Free’ special click here for details. Among many others throughout the state, you can find Quintessentials on that list.

      Hope it’s as rejuvenating for you as it was for us!

      Jaime Wilson
      For Postcards from New York

      Address to Remember: Quintessentials B & B, 8985 Main Road, Box 574, East Marion, NY 11939, 631-477-9400 or 800-444-9112,

      Pindar Vineyards Winery & Pavilion, Route 25, P.O. Box 332, Peconic, Long Island, NY 11958, 631-734-6200,

      Directions: From Times Square MTA 7 or S to Grand Central Station & 42nd St. Walk two blocks east to corner of 44th St. and 3rd Ave to take Hampton Jitney to Greenport or East Marion 800-936-0440 or 631-283-4600 call inn to arrange car or taxi pickup. Or, take the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) from Penn Station to Greenport via Ronkonkoma. 718-217-5477.

      Pindar Vineyards: 90 miles East of Manhattan. Follow LIE (Route 495) East to Exit 73 (Route 58) which turns into Route 25. Continue approximately 12 miles to Peconic. Pindar Vineyards is on your left on the North side of the road.

      Photo courtesty of Quintessentials Bed & Breakfast

      ©Copyright 2007-8 The Cable Group

      Sunday, October 26, 2008

      Long Island Weekend Getaway

      A Fellow Beachcomber

      ----A Weekend to 'Just Be' and B continued---

      Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

      The sun greeted us the next morning, glistening in pastels through the trees outside our window. We went down for breakfast in the formal dining room at about ten, and it was here that we got the real flavor of Quintessentials as Sylvia served up a gourmet feast with a side of camaraderie and conversation.

      The impressive menu had something for everyone, including Frittata Mediterraneo, a baked omelet with olives, veggies and feta cheese, the best corned beef hash I’ve ever had, fried plantains, fresh fruit, and baskets of warm rolls, muffins and biscuits. Sylvia was not only an amazing cook, but also a lively hostess with a knack for finding common threads between people from all walks of life.

      Formerly a finance executive for American Express, she enjoyed a successful career traveling the world before leaving Wall Street to open the bed and breakfast 13 years ago. We were there with a couple from Ireland who had settled in a nearby town with their two young boys, and newlyweds from New Jersey celebrating their honeymoon. By the time the plates were cleaned and cleared, we were all still deep in conversation, trading suggestions on which wineries to visit.

      After breakfast, everyone went their own way –some to the spa for a treatment (Sylvia is also a licensed aesthetician) and others to meander about. Guests were invited to make themselves at home in the common areas - curling up with a book from the library, playing a tune on the piano in the lounge, or watching a movie while snacking on refreshments replenished throughout the day.

      Instead of running out to do the wine tour right away, we chose to spend the afternoon just lazing around and soaking up the quiet of the area. We strolled the gardens, snapped some great photos using the rustic old barn and gazebo as backdrops. After a tête-à-tête on the wraparound porch, we roamed around the block, admiring the neighboring historic homes, and then took a short drive to the water. (The inn is just 10 minutes away from the Long Island Sound to the north and Gardiners Bay to the south.)

      Except for a couple of seagulls, it was just us. We perched on a big rock carved out of a nearby cliff, huddled together, and watched as the waves generously washed up treasure chests of sea stones every few seconds. It was idyllic. And to this day, it’s still one of our favorite memories.

      A Wealth of Sea Stones

      To be continued...

      Jaime Wilson
      For Postcards from New York

      Address to Remember: Quintessentials B & B, 8985 Main Road, Box 574, East Marion, NY 11939, 631-477-9400 or 800-444-9112,

      Directions: From Times Square MTA 7 or S to Grand Central Station & 42nd St. Walk two blocks east to corner of 44th St. and 3rd Ave to take Hampton Jitney to Greenport or East Marion 800-936-0440 or 631-283-4600 call inn to arrange car or taxi pickup. Or, take the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) from Penn Station to Greenport via Ronkonkoma. 718-217-5477.

      Photo by Jaime Wilson

      ©Copyright 2007-8 The Cable Group

      Tuesday, October 21, 2008

      A Weekend to 'Just Be' and B

      Gone the crowds of summer

      Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

      Sometimes even those of us who thrive on the bustling energy of New York City can use a couple days’ reprieve. For a quick weekend away that doesn’t require hours of travel, look no further than the Long Island Wine Country. (Yes, Long Island!) My boyfriend and I decided on a quick getaway to enjoy the peak of the fall foliage season, and it was perfect – close enough that we didn’t need to take a full day off work to get there and far enough to feel like we’d left the concrete jungle behind.

      After a little research, I discovered a few weeks after New England and Upstate forests reach their color peak; the warmer regions on Long Island are just beginning to burst. So, we decided to head “out east” and landed in East Marion, a quaint little village on the tip of the North Fork.

      With more than 30 wineries (see for a complete list), the east end of Long Island also boasts numerous small, family-owned inns, each with their own charm. After much deliberation (there were so many inns to choose from on, we booked a retreat at a lovely bed-and-breakfast that had it all – fireplaces in every suite, whirlpool tubs, a full service spa, and glowing reviews on Appropriately named Quintessentials.

      Ever the planner, I was determined to do it all – tour the vineyards, eat great seafood, do a little antiquing, take pictures beneath a rainbow of trees, hike, bike, and, oh, relax a little too. Our journey began mid-afternoon Friday aboard the eastbound Hampton Jitney (North Forth Route), which conveniently stops at various points on the east side of Manhattan. In no more than 15 minutes we were out of the city, our mood changed with the scenery – from cramped and rushed to clear and relaxed. (The further we went, the more I began to rethink my jam-packed agenda.)

      Between catnaps, we caught the vivid displays of burnished maples and fire-engine red oaks on the passing landscape. Within an hour and a half, we were at Riverhead, where we picked up a rental car (an Enterprise branch is conveniently located directly across from the bus stop) to drive the rest of the way.

      After another half hour or so of cruising along Route 25 past farmland and vineyards, we arrived at the 1830’s Italianate Victorian inn just after twilight, greeted by the aroma of homemade apricot tart. The innkeeper Sylvia Daley welcomed us by name, with a smile as warm as the herbal tea she poured before we could drop our bags.

      The inn was even more inviting than it looked on the website. Its blend of traditional Victorian and contemporary cottage décor and sprinkling of personal photos and antiques made Quintessentials feel more like a relative’s home than a hotel. Comprised of five suites, each named after a parish in Sylvia's native Jamaica, guests can choose their rooms in advance on the website, but be forewarned, it’s a tough pick as they all look so cozy.

      There is the Negril Suite, awash in the calming blue of the Caribbean, and the Mandeville Raj Suite, equally luxe with a private deck. Then there’s the Kingston Room, dubbed the “honeymooner’s favorite,” and the quaint Savannah Room. In the end, we chose the mid-range Brandon Room and, upon entering, were more than satisfied.

      With the warm glow of the gas fireplace to beckon us, the room’s country chic décor included a comfy queen bed draped in quilted linens with extra blankets (and chocolates on the pillows), an elegant mix of mahogany and antique furnishings, tapestry upholstered footstools and valences, and a Victorian loveseat in the corner.

      And, although our goal was to tune out, we were relieved to have a TV/VCR/DVD and wireless internet access at our fingertips. Best of all the bathroom had a large, extra deep whirlpool tub, perfect for soaking away hours at a time. Needless to say, after a long workweek, we were more than happy to spend the bulk of the evening indoors.

      To be continued...

      Jaime Wilson

      Address to Remember: Quintessentials B & B, 8985 Main Road, Box 574, East Marion, NY 11939, 631-477-9400 or 800-444-9112,

      Directions: From Times Square MTA 7 or S to Grand Central Station & 42nd St. Walk two blocks east to corner of 44th St. and 3rd Ave to take Hampton Jitney to Greenport or East Marion 800-936-0440 or 631-283-4600 call inn to arrange car or taxi pickup. Or, take the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) from Penn Station to Greenport via Ronkonkoma. 718-217-5477.

      Photo by Jaime Wilson

      ©Copyright 2007-8 The Cable Group

      Wednesday, October 15, 2008

      Autumn Splendor - The Foliage Report

      Their job done!

      ----A Postcards from New York Encore----

      Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

      This time of year always reminds me of a "Johnny Walker" ad some years ago "When the trees have done their job even they turn to Red."

      The last vestige of summer gone the cooler weather signals the approaching holiday season, harvest time, Halloween pumpkins, and Thanksgiving.

      October and November can race by in a flash, unless you live in the suburbs or near Central Park where nature's physical changes are ever-present. In this city, it is possible to miss out on Autumn's special beauty altogether; Don't let that happen this year.

      Plan now to spend a weekend in the country. The Catskills, Long Island and Poconos are not far away if upstate New York, Vermont and New Hampshire would require more time and planning than your schedule allows.

      Closer to home, take a leisurely drive along the Hudson River Parkway; marvel at the Palisades awash with colors or experience Autumn's silent music along the Saw Mill River Parkway, The Taconic or US Highway (7) in Connecticut.

      You will find a foliage map here of nearby forest and woodland areas to alert you to the peak time to experience nature at its most dramatic moment before it begins to hibernate for the long winter.

      Autumn more than any other season keeps us in touch with the cycle of life. Somehow as the trees change they ignite our inner spirit.

      If, despite all your efforts, life gets in the way and a weekend or day in the country is out of the question; the New York Botanical Garden is only a 20 minute train ride from Grand Central Station. Go; let yourself be captivated by the magnificent Henry Moore sculptures on display and walk the trails in over 50 acres of natural forest for an hour or two.

      Just don't miss out, whatever you do, on this season's spectacle of Autumn colors.

      Jacqueline Cable

      Photo courtesy of the New York Botanical Garden

      ©Copyright 2007-8 The Cable Group

      Thursday, October 9, 2008

      Columbus Day: Spotlight on Italy

      Giovanni da Verrazano

      Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

      As he marches up Fifth Avenue at the head of the Columbus Day Parade on Monday, this years Grand Marshall retired Admiral Edmund P. Giabastiani Jr. as an Italian American who has made a significant contribution and sacrifice to our county reminds us to pause a moment and remember unique and spirited Italians from the past who took to the seas and played an important roll in the history of our city and country.

      I thought it might be a good time to answer a persistent question that creeps up everytime I drive beneath its towering spires, or turn to glance at its graceful sweeping lines from a car window on the BQE Expressway or an outside deck of the Staten Island Ferry. Who is the man the Verrazano-Narrows bridge is named for?

      Giovanni da Verrazano like Amerigo Vespucci (whose name was given to the lands Cristoforo Columbo first made known to Europeans) came from the beautiful city on another great river, the Arno...Florence. He is the first European to set eyes on what would become the Hudson River and give names to Block Island and Narragansett Bay. Though Giovanni first sailed into the Upper Harbor in 1524, it was almost a century later in 1609 before the Hudson was fully explored as far north as Albany by Henry Hudson, an Englishman employed by the Dutch.

      Next time you are downtown in Battery Park look for the monument to Giovanni near the launching site where the boats leave for the Statue of Liberty.

      After the Parade stop over to Grand Central Station, take a look at the special Columbus Day Exhibit (October 7-17) in Vanderbilt Hall "The Great White Fleet - 100th Anniversary of the US Naval Rescue of the Southern Italian Earthquake."

      Then for a close-up look at vehicles designed more for flying than driving see the 2009 Maserati's on display in the Main Lobby.

      Happy Columbus Day!

      Jacqueline Cable

      Address to Remember: The Parade starts at 44th St. and Fifth Avenue and goes up to 79th St. Get there early (before it begins at 12 PM) and do not forget to bring flags.

      Directions: From Times Square MTA 7 or S to Grand Central Station, short walk west to Fifth Avenue.

      ©Copyright 2007-8 The Cable Group

      Wednesday, September 17, 2008

      Last Chance to see Turner at the Met

      Norham Castle, Sunrise 1845

      Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

      In the mood for a visual treat? Spend a couple of hours with the dazzling oils on canvas of the Andy Warhol of his day, J.M.W. Turner at the Metropolitan Museum now through September 21.

      Credited as an inspirational force behind French Impressionism, Turner's unconventional landscapes, turbulent seascapes and panoramic classical subjects, many submerged in blazing floods of sunlight, will engage your eye and imagination in a way matched by few artists.

      Sunlight reflected on water first fascinated Turner as a boy growing up near the Thames River; That fascination would last all his life and is the connecting thread between the 140 watercolors, gouches, engravings and large scale oils on display. Don't miss this rare opportunity to experience upclose an artist whose most compelling works rarely leave their home in London's Tate Gallery.

      Successful from his teen years, Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851) purchased many of his finest works back from patrons and collectors during his lifetime. At his death he left more than 300 oils, over 30,000 watercolors and all of his sketchbooks to the British people...provided they build him a museum. More than a hundred years later, his dictate was realized with The Clore Museum, a wing of the Tate Gallery, Millbank.

      You think, what hubris? Go see why his paintings and works on paper deserve a home of their own.

      Jacqueline Cable

      Address to Remember: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY, 10028, 212-535-7710,

      Directions: From Times Square MTA S or 7 to Grand Central Station, 4, 5, or 6 to 86th Street, walk west toward Central Park to Fifth Avenue, short walk to 82nd Street.

      Photo courtesy Tate Gallery

      ©Copyright 2007-8 The Cable Group

      Saturday, September 13, 2008

      The Shaw Project

      The ever engaging G.B.S

      Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

      The problem with New York is how impossible it is to stay on top of the many special events that take place everyday of the year. Despite endless lists of events posted in New York magazines and weekly newspapers, one invariably will miss out on something rare and unique like The Shaw Project.

      Fortunately, a Postcards reader brought it to my attention, so I immediately checked the web to learn more about this once a month event that takes place in an elegant 19th century mansion the former home of Shakespearean actor Edwin Booth overlooking beautiful Gramercy Park.

      Fritz Weaver, Marian Seldes, Charlotte Rae, David Cote, Brian Murray and Marc Kudisch are only a few of the well-known Broadway personalities, actors and performers who bring a whole new meaning to "reading a play" at the very private Player's Club, where tickets are hard to come by if you don't call the 1st day of the month to reserve a spot.

      Project Shaw's creator David Staller,(taking a page from Joseph Papp's goal to present every one of Shakespeare's plays outdoors some years ago) set an ambitious goal to present all of George Bernard Shaw's more than 50 plays to provide a venue for many works that have never been performed on the New York stage.

      Don't make my mistake. I missed a September 22nd reading of "Caesar and Cleopatra" because I waited until the week before to order a ticket.

      Tickets are available the 1st day of the month at 212-352-3101 for $20! They sell out quickly within a day or two, so mark your calendar now for upcoming readings. October 20, "The Shewing Up of Blanco Posnet," November 17, "Jitta's Atonement," and December 22, "St. Joan."

      Jacqueline Cable
      For Postcards from New York

      Address to Remember: The Player's Club, 16 Gramercy Park South, New York, NY, 10003, 212-475-6116,

      Directions: From Times Square MTA N, R, or W to 23rd St, walk south to 19th St. then east to Gramercy Park.

      Photo courtesy of Gingold Theatrical Group

      ©Copyright 2007-8 The Cable Group

        Sunday, September 7, 2008

        Villiage Stories V: Sant Ambroeus Sunday Brunch

        Buono uovo oltimo!*

        Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

        I perused the menu and read "uovo sodo," and wondered could it be?

        The perfect organic soft boiled egg surrounded by geometically arranged triangles of toast arrived and suddenly I was transformed back to my childhood vacations at my Nona's kitchen table in Corleone, Sicily. Yes, home of the "Godfather." Family legend has it that my great-grandfather was the Godfather, but that story is for another time.

        My sisters and I would joke in our very deficient Italian with our grandmother, calling her eggs, Bono Ouvo (good egg) and greedily sopping up the rich golden orange yoke with thick slices of heavenly fresh baked bread.

        It's been almost three decades since I've experienced the joy of eating such a simple egg meal, but "Sant Ambroeus" delivered; they also offer other incredible edibles (see below) to make it the perfect Sunday brunch after a morning walk around the Village.

        I recommend a table outside - it will feel like you're in Rome, in Trastavere at a small local cafe off the main streets.

        Crostino Milanese, scrambled eggs served with vine ripe tomatoes and slivers of parmesan, the salad is perfectly dressed with extra virgin olive oil and lemon.

        I paninetti all'olio con mortadella, fresh baked rolls drizzled with olive oil, thin slices of cured sausage and provolone cheese. Jealous? Take a bite!

        Il marinaio, crabmeat, shrimp and avocado - heavenly!

        Le foccaccine con parma prosciuito e mozzarella, a flaky foccaccia stuffed with thin slices of ham and a chuck of mozzarella. This was a favorite! Wish I could eat it off the screen!

        Make sure to save room for dessert, this ricotta cheese cake is a MUST!

        Go eat something good!

        Joseph Knight
        For Postcards from New York

        Address to Remember: Sant Ambroeus, Espresso Bar, 259 West 4th Street, New York, NY, 212-604-9254,

        Directions: From Times Square MTA 1 to Christopher Street, walk north on West 4th Street to Restaurant.

        *A very good egg

        Photos by Joseph Knight

        ©Copyright 2007-8 The Cable Group

        Saturday, August 30, 2008

        Village Stories IV: A Gem on St. Mark's Place

        Just waiting to be sipped

        ----A Postcards from New York Encore----

        Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

        Remember the last time you had a "real" New York Egg cream.

        As soon as the clerk started pumping the vanilla syrup into the old school Coca-Cola glass, I was transported back to the late 1970s.

        I was 8 or 9 years old, sitting on a red vinyl stool, the kind that sticks to your legs when you wear shorts on a hot, humid summer day, at the lunch counter, at a Woolworth's, in the Bronx. My grandmother, who we called Oma, was sitting next to me. We waited in silent anticipation for the soda jerk to present us with our order.

        Ohh, the first foamy sip! We never used the straw to begin, so we could laugh at our cream soda mustaches; we always laughed, big belly laughs, and then Oma would kiss my mustache off. How I miss her; Oma always said that she thought clouds must taste like this and someday when we were in heaven, we'd be sipping up all those egg cream soda clouds.

        Luckily, you don't have to wait until heaven. A small piece of it is at St Mark's Place and 2nd Avenue at Gem Spa, a tiny 24/7 newsstand. Just think, you can get one any time of day or night! To make the experience extra special, I recommend ordering your vanilla or chocolate egg cream soda in a Coca-Cola glass, not a take away cup. This way, you are forced to take a few minutes to really cherish one of life's simple joys.


        Joseph Knight
        For Postcards from New York

        Address to remember: Gem Spa, 131 2nd Avenue, New York, NY, 212-995-1866. Open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

        Directions: From Times Square MTA N, R and W to 8th Street, walk across Astor Place to St. Mark's Place walk two blocks to 2nd Avenue. From Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street take MTA 1 Bus to 8th Street.

          Photo by Joseph Knight

          ©Copyright 2007-8 The Cable Group

          Friday, August 22, 2008

          Villiage Stories III: Sunday "Times" at the Fountain

          The Fountain at Father Demo Square

          ----A Postcard from New York Encore----

          Dear Postcard from New York Reader,

          Doesn't this fountain look inviting? Too good not to be enjoyed.

          So, if Central Park is a hike, and you don't have the luxury of a private park nearby like those lucky folks who live around Grammercy Park; Father Demo Square extends a welcome invitation.

          For a visitor, it's a great spot to take a break after wandering around the West Village, and for a New Yorker, it is a perfect time-out place to peruse the Sunday Times before your day goes into high gear.

          Father Demo Square at the intersection of Bleecker and Carmine Streets and Sixth Avenue was a construction eyesore for the longest time. The Square faces the facade of Our Lady of Pompei Church and is a tribute to former pastor Father Antonio Demo (pastor from 1899 - 1933), who was responsible for building the church and adjoining school in the early days of the last century.

          The Squares renovation was finally completed this spring. Now refurbished, antique style benches and colorful flower beds surround a three tiered wedding cake fountain.

          The tiny park, fashioned after an Italian piazza, is open every day until 1 AM and can be enjoyed anytime, but I think it is best experienced early Sunday morning before the temperature heats up and the sun reaches it height.

          Grab your favorite sections of the Sunday Times, and maybe a few magazines that have piled up; Throw anything on, you'll only be gone an hour or two, and head for the nearest subway. Once in the Village, pick up a steaming hot cup of coffee, cappuccino or espresso from Rocco's Pastry Shop and Espresso Cafe at 243 Bleecker, then find an empty bench or seat, spread out your papers and magazines and listen as falling sheets of water drop into the fountain's pool. The sound is hypnotic.

          Question; do you lose yourself reading the papers and magazines, or is it the people around you that capture your attention?

          Jacqueline Cable
          For Postcards From New York

          Addresses to Remember: Father Demo Square, Bleecker and Sixth Avenue, New York, NY 10014.

          Rocco's Pastry Shop and Espresso Cafe, 243 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10014, 212-242-6031,

          Directions: From Times Square MTA 1 to Christopher Street, short walk to Bleecker Street, N, R, and W to 8th Street short walk to Sixth Avenue, A, C, or E to West 4th Street, short walk to Bleecker.

            Photo by Joseph Knight

            ©Copyright 2007-8 The Cable Group

            Tuesday, August 12, 2008

            Villiage Stories II: Simpy Amazing Cannoli!

            Mmm! So-o good

            ----A Postcards from New York Encore----

            Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

            Indulge! Expect a little shiver of anticipation as the dessert fork lifts the rich luscious ricotta filling to your lips and eagerly awaiting tongue. Stop. Do not swallow before you allow all the flavors of the creamy custard to dissolve.

            One luxurious cannoli is more than enough to leave you completely satiated; but, go ahead, be decadent, and have two.

            By now, my guess is you have figured out that I have a wicked sweet tooth. My one cardinal rule: The sweets must be absolutely wonderful, never so-so or just okay. The calories have to be worth it!

            Rocco's Pastry Shop and Cafe's cannolis, and all their desserts and cookies are worth every last calorie. A true Southern Italian pasticceria, the dolci (sweets) are never too sugary.

            Friendly and slightly crammed, the shop's great to visit with friends for desserts or alone with a good book.

            Most of the time I write about things readers outside New York must wait until they visit to experience. Not this time. Rocco's will ship anywhere in the continental US. Call 212-242-6031, order now, and you can enjoy these mouth-watering cannolis tomorrow. Don't you deserve a treat?

            Buona fortuna!

            Jacqueline Cable

            Address to remember: Rocco's Pastry Shop and Espresso Cafe, 243 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10014, 212-242-6031.

            Directions: From Times Square MTA 1 to Christopher Street, short walk to Bleecker Street, N, R, and W to 8th Street short walk to Sixth Avenue, A, C, or E to West 4th Street, short walk to Bleecker.

              Photo by Joseph Knight

              ©Copyright 2007-8 The Cable Group

              Friday, August 1, 2008

              Village Stories: A Walk in the West Village

              A tree-lined Street in the West Village

              ----A Postcards From New York Encore----

              The last weeks of summer and early fall are perfect to explore neighborhoods like “the Village.” Over the next several days we will feature past articles as “Village Stories.” In response to questions about the boundaries of the West Village, Greenwich Village and the East Village click here.


              Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

              This glorious late summer weather is perfect for walking. And, we know hitting the pavement is the very best way to truly make New York your own.

              There are lots of green spots between and in the shadows of our dazzling high skyscrapers, as well as little known fountains and waterfalls, cobblestone streets and mews, tiny steeple churches tucked away in remote corners and 18th and 19th century buildings with endlessly interesting architectural features. I bet you thought I was describing some European city.

              Have an hour? We'll keep it simple. Begin at West 4th and 6th Avenue, and find Bleecker Street. Walk north, just pass 7th Avenue to Grove, turn left, and continue walking until you come to Hudson Street.

              Stop a moment to glance at the picturesque garden set back from the street at the Church of St. Luke-in-the-Fields on Hudson. Right out of a storybook, now notice the winding walkway leading to the entrance of the school not far from the church. Next, retrace your steps on the opposite side of Grove Street so you can take a close look at the brownstones and buildings across from you. When you reach Bleecker, walk to the next block, Christopher Street and repeat, then proceed to West 10th, Charles, Perry and West 11th Street.

              Survey the unique character and architectural detail of the brownstones and low apartment buildings. There is an unhurried neighborhood feel here; people leisurely walk with little children and dogs, and sit on doorsteps and front stoops. You'll see ivy clad doorways and facades, well kept stone stairwells with exquisite wrought iron handrails. Dated plaques on many brownstones are proof they have been around since the mid 19th century.

              Look up at the stairwells to find grand entrance doors; some carved with intricate designs or polished to a high gloss finish like the mahogany double doors at 70 Perry Street.

              There is a lot to see. Bleecker Street has numerous small shops, cozy bookstores, intimate cafes and sidewalk restaurants. Your fingers will itch to touch the striking flower arrangements displayed at VSF 208 W. 10th Street. While the antiques in the window of Les Pierre Antiques beg to tell their stories, the colorful fabrics and smartly designed children's clothes at
              Bonpoint are impossible to resist.

              Sarah Jessica Parker calls this area home. If you are a fan of Sex and the City join the line trailing around the block at Carrie's favorite place for cupcakes, Magnolia Bakery, or stop at Sant Ambroeus for gelato. Better yet, be really decadent and have a "to die for" cannoli. I'll tell you where next time.

              Jacqueline Cable
              Postcards from New York

              Address to remember: West 4th Street and Sixth Avenue.

              Magnolia Bakery, 401 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10014, 212-462-2572,

              Sant Ambroeus, 259 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10014, 212-604-9264,

              Directions: From Times Square MTA 1 to Christopher Street, short walk to Bleecker Street, N, R, and W to 8th Street short walk to Sixth Avenue, A, C, or E to West 4th Street, short walk to Bleecker.

              Photo by Joseph Knight

              ©Copyright 2007-8 The Cable Group

              Friday, July 25, 2008

              A Parson's Garden on Hudson Street

              A garden bench waits for you

              Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

              Beautiful weekend weather, like we have had recently, begs to be enjoyed outdoors. Say you've got just the book to while away an afternoon, but can't think of just the right place to do it; comfort is a must, somewhere a bit unfamiliar so there is little chance you'll run into neighbors who want to chat and most definitely a place far away from any noisy playgrounds.

              The rustic garden, adjacent to St. Luke-in-the-Fields in the West Village on the corner of Hudson Street across from Grove Street, may be just the spot you're looking for.

              Enter the garden through rose-red brick pillars on the north side close to St. Luke's School set far back from the street. Wind your way behind the church just beyond a brick wall and open gothic arches, to find comfortable wooden benches in a garden of trees, shrubs and a profusion of wildflowers.

              Then follow a path over well-worn slate and brick walkways through thick clusters of colorful blooms of bright yellow and orange, pastel blues and purple, vibrant red, lilac, peach and white.

              Where one finds flowers, you can expect a buzz of insect activity and the twitter of numerous birds along with pleasant drifts of fragrance. Just to play it safe, carry along some insect repellant.

              As it was truly difficult to select a photograph for this story, join me on a walk through the garden here, click on A Parson's Garden St. Luke-in-the-Fields and select view as a slideshow.

              Jacqueline Cable
              For Postcards from New York

              Address to Remember: St. Luke-in-the-Fields Church, 487 Hudson Street @ Grove Street, New York, NY, 10014, 212-924-0562, www.

              Directions: From Times Square MTA 1 Downtown to Christopher Street, walk west on Christopher toward the river to Hudson Street turn left to St. Luke-in-the-Fields Church.

              Photo by Joseph Knight

              © Copyright 2007-8 The Cable Group

                Thursday, July 17, 2008

                Let's Talk Movies About New York

                Click on the center of the above screen to view

                Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

                My friend Ellen knows my passion for Rome is equal to my love for New York, so she thoughtfully emailed me details of a recent screening of "Roman Holiday" at the World Financial Center Winter Garden.* Sure enough, the many wonderful scenes of Audrey Hepburn dashing around Rome against the backdrop of the eternal city's many historic sites made me think--how about a story on my favorite New York movies.

                I become giddy with expectation when I see a movie like "Sex and the City" filmed on location in New York, because it inevitably reminds me once more how astonishingly beautiful this city is. Yes, I know there's Paris, but Paris, wonderful as it is, is nothing like New York.

                Do you recall Jerry Petrasek's story about running the New York Marathon last fall? Particularly the part where he describes his first visit; when he was finally able to fulfill a long held desire to get out of a cab in front of Tiffany's, walk to the window and look in while holding a paper cup of coffee like Holly Golightly in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (if not, click here). I thought at the time-- Gee, I didn't know anyone else was caught in the web that movie so successfully spins.

                Then when Postcard photographer, Joseph Knight mentioned a retired Tiffany employee once told him the most frequently asked question of store employees was "On what floor is breakfast served," I felt--it was time.

                In anticipation of disappointment because I have not included one or more of your favorite movies, next month I will publish a list of Postcard Reader's Favorite New York Movies. So stay tuned and please, email me your favorites at

                My absolute number one, of course--

                1. "Breakfast at Tiffany's." Taxi styles may have changed, yet everything seems immediately familiar--the brownstone on the Upper East Side, walk-ups, fire escapes, brass-plated mailboxes, corporate skyscrapers along Park Avenue, running up the steps of the Fifth Avenue library, and the comfortable clutter of Woolworth's.

                2. "Wall Street." Its edgy frenetic energy captures New York's gritty pace, while Michael Douglas gives his most brilliant performance in the character of Gordon Gekko.

                3. "Annie Hall," received the Oscar for Best Picture, notice the difference between New York's skyline in 1978 and now.

                4. "When Harry Met Sally," will we ever forget Meg Ryan's scene in the famous Lower East Side Deli, Katz's?

                5. "Superman," my favorite super-hero fights for truth and justice. The scene in the lobby of the Daily News ( the Daily Planet in the movie) building on 42nd Street with the huge globe in the floor surrounded by large clocks where Lois and Clark get caught in the revolving doors is memorable as I walk by there almost everyday. Ahh! The aerial views of the city when Superman takes Lois for an airborme ride around town.

                6. "Hannah and Her Sisters." Woody Allen truly is a master at capturing the city's essence.

                7. "Working Girl." Ohh, that wonderful opening scene shot from a helicopter of the Staten Island Ferry sailing New York Harbor, with a close-up 360 of the Statue of Liberty and the soaring beauty of the World Trade Towers. You can feel the breeze when Tess McGill hangs over the rail on the outside deck. The hair may be over but she continues to be a familiar face on city streets.

                8. "The Out-of-Towners"--The Goldie Hawn, Steve Martin version. I never saw the original. "An only in New York" experience with a cameo appearance by then mayor Rudy Guiliani eyeing the couple from the window of Tavern on the Green.

                9. "The French Connection." That insane subway chase scene gets me crazy just thinking about it. My favorite Gene Hackman film.

                10. "Crossing Delancey." Wonderful scenes of Lower Manhattan.

                11. "The Way We Were." Sad, romantic, the relationship between Katie and Hubbell forever memorable for those scenes on the streets of the city.

                12. "Three Men and a Baby." The brownstone everyone can imagine owning.

                13. "The Interpreter," filmed in my neighborhood around the United Nations, features an area usually overlooked by filmmakers.

                14. "Inside Man." Spike Lee like Woody has an uncanny eye for great architectural locations.

                15. "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days," the chemistry between Matt and Kate make them my choice for most romantic movie couple for the decade.

                16. "Crossing Lanes." How about the opening scene in the Temple of Dendar?

                17. "Die Hard: With a Vengeance," a bomb in the subway--every rider's secret nightmare. My kinda action movie with the man--John McClane. Love those congested city traffic takes and the hair-raising taxi drive through Central Park.

                Okay, now how about your favorites? Enjoy the memories.

                Jacqueline Cable
                For Postcards from New York

                * For those of you in the Boston area "Roman Holiday" can be seen at Boston Common August 27, for details click here.

                © Copyright 2008 The Cable Group

                Thursday, July 10, 2008

                A Painful Reminder

                Spectators gaze in silence

                Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

                As we walked up the street filled with summertime tourists, she drew my attention to it; She said, "Look Joseph, there it is, the Atlas..." As I turned, my heart ripped in two--all the pain of 9/11/01 filled my soul. The beautiful sculpture was damaged and beaten, but still elegant and beautiful; could it be more beautiful?

                Thoughts of friends lost, especially Melissa Vincent, only 27 and full of hope, she was one of the first bodies recovered from the terror. I couldn't cross the street; my mind was struck still but my body wanted to run and scream. I stopped and was able to distance the searing pain through my camera lens.

                Yes, Atlas* is more beautiful, a strong symbol of what is so right with America; it is now caressed by trees that will someday be ancient, and surrounded by people fighting back by living and enjoying the majesty that is New York City.

                Joseph Knight
                For Postcards from New York

                Address to Remember: Battery Park, New York, NY 10004.

                Directions: From Times Square MTA 1 to South Ferry, walk along State Street to Battery Park, R, 0r W to Whitehall Street, short walk south to State Street to Battery Park.

                To learn about initiatives and programs that support children who lost parents on that fateful day visit

                * Sculpture The Sphere by Fritz Koenig 1969

                Photo by Joseph Knight

                © Copyright 2008 The Cable Group.

                Saturday, June 28, 2008

                A Gift from Havana

                A cool refreshing Mojito

                Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

                It was a typical hot and humid summer Friday night in Manhattan; you know the kind, when your clothing no matter how thin, sticks to you. Where to go and what to drink? My friend, Leah Vail, a gorgeous and vibrant twenty-something entertainment reporter, recommended we head to the rooftop bar at Tonic East on 29th and 3rd. As we entered, the multi-storied establishment's mix of lively music and beautiful people added to the evening's heat.

                We climb the three floors and get to the rooftop as the sun sets -- the Empire State Building lights up the dramatic skyscape before our thirsty eyes. A bubbly waitress passes by with a tray of sparkling beverages; as she approached, I asked what it was, and she told me "a Mojito." Both Leah and I agreed we had to have one of these cocktails first created in Havana for Hemingway. When our drinks arrived the condensation beads trickled down the chilled glasses, we toasted in anticipation.

                When the liquid touches your lips you'll know this is it, Tonic East has mastered the Mojito presenting it in elegant tall glasses that promise total refreshment. You'll find the mint expertly minced and muddled with simple syrup, fresh squeezed lime juice and a generous helping of rum and just the right amount of ice and soda.

                If you are like me, you'll find a single Mojito is just a start. Can I be so bold as to suggest ordering a double Mojito, or as I have asked the folks at Tonic East to name it after me, "The Mojito Joe;" it comes in a pint glass and is a refreshing time saver as Mojito is not enough.


                Joseph Knight
                For Postcards from New York

                Address to Remember: Tonic East, 411 Third Avenue (corner of 29th Street), New York, NY 10016, 212-683-7090,

                Directions: From Times Square MTA 7 or S to Grand Central Station and 6 to 28th Street and Park Avenue, walk one block to 29th Street then east two blocks. M42 or M104 to Lexington Avenue then M101, 102 or 103 to 28th Street.

                Photo by Joseph Knight

                © Copyright 2008 The Cable Group.

                Sunday, June 15, 2008

                Bryant Park in Bloom

                View from the Terrace Cafe

                ----A Postcards from New York Encore----

                Since this article first appeared last spring, two new places have opened across from the Park that we recommend you consider in your picnic plans; Pret a Manger for terrific organic sandwiches and Crumbs for the most delectable cupcakes in a wide variety of flavors.


                Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

                Spring never arrived; winter hung on for an unusually long time, and now all of a sudden, the heat is upon us. New Yorker’s have quickly abandoned hats, coats and scarves in exchange for beach wear, sandals and flip flops. Overnight, trees blossomed from bare branches to provide a welcome oasis and parks are filled with people reading newspapers, playing chess, eating, chatting or just sitting in quite reflection.

                Bryant Park on 42nd Street behind the New York Public Library has long been a lunchtime refuge for corporate employees working in the area and students from the State University of New York School of Optometry across the street.

                Years ago, from my office in the AT&T Building (now Verizon) on the Avenue of the Americas, I looked down upon the park and realized the geometrically laid out spaces for grass and trees were deliberately designed to compliment the architecture of the Library. From my high vantage point, it was immediately evident that the early 20th century building was planned to replicate an Italian Renaissance or Baroque Palazzo (Palace) with the requisite landscaped garden to provide a pastoral retreat from city life.

                The park's tranquil beauty, café umbrellas, comfortable chairs and tables, make it an ideal location for a picnic. Invite a friend to meet you for lunch or after work for a short visit. You can pick up everything you need close-by. Select a bottle of chilled wine from a wide variety at Park Ave Wines and Spirits, 292 Madison Avenue, between 40th and 41st. Then, stop by Zeytinz, direcly across from the Park on 40th St, for fruit, crackers, sandwiches, breadsticks and of course, cheese. One nice touch, they have a place where you can wash the fresh fruit.

                Monday evenings in the summer, the Park becomes the “place to be” when HBO sponsors a Summer Film Festival. Thousands of New Yorker's with picnic baskets and hampers in all shapes and sizes come out to eat, lounge on the grass and toast glasses of wine. Plan now to join the party next Monday night, June 18th, when the Festival opens with one of my favorite “New York” movies, Woody Allen’s funny, charming and unforgettable Annie Hall.

                Other classics on this summer's menu include: The Sting, Psycho, and Casablanca. Click here for dates and check out the many events from Yoga and Tai Chi, knitting, poetry readings and jazz concerts that keep Bryant Park abuzz with activity from early morning to late at night.

                Jacqueline Cable
                For Postcards from New York

                P.S. Want to feel like you are sitting under the trees? Click directly on the photograph and see what happens.

                Addresses to remember: Bryant Park, 42nd Street and Avenue of the Americas. Visit web site to learn more about the parks beautiful flower arrangements, events like free tai chi classes, music and dance performances, poetry and book readings

                Zeytinz, 24 West 40th Street,, 212-575-8080.

                Park Ave Wine and Spirits, 292 Madison Avenue, between 40 and 41st Street, 212-685-2442,

                Directions: From Times Square MTA A, E, C, 1, 2, 3, 7, S, R, N, Q or Grand Central Station 4, 5, 6, 7, and S, a short walk to Avenue of the Americas.

                Photo by Joseph Knight

                © Copyright 2007-8 The Cable Group.

                Saturday, May 31, 2008

                Rooftop Luncheon Alfresco

                A rooftop garden overlooking the park

                Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

                A couple of friends came up from Washington DC for a day of meetings with wholesale merchants in the Garment District. With a tight schedule between appointments, they asked me to choose a place for lunch. My first thought, the rooftop cafe over the Bryant Park Grill. Its' central location in midtown, not far from the Fashion and Garment Districts, made it ideal and easy to get to.

                Some folks love to be inside with cool air conditioning, but not me; when the weather is this hot, there is nothing I enjoy more than eating outdoors. The restaurant overlooks colorful flower beds, a wide expanse of manicured lawn and beautiful shade trees--a truly tranquil setting.

                Ice-cold marguerites were just the antidote to the heat and humidity before our orders arrived. I recommend the cold crisp Caesar Salad with slices of chicken breast. Robin enjoyed Grilled Pork Chops with mashed sweet potatoes and snow peas, while Felicia nodded her approval of the Mediterranean Chicken Breast over capers, tomatoes, arugula and onions.

                We were absorbed in conversation, enjoying lunch, when without warning clouds overhead darkened; a momentary flash of lightening streaked the sky before rain came down in buckets. Our drenched waiter rushed over with an umbrella to escort us indoors. We looked at him, then at one another and shook our heads in unison--absolutely No! The huge beach umbrella over our table was the perfect shield.

                We continued the conversation while the rain poured around us. What a delight--outdoor lunch in a downpour, followed by a scrumptious chocolate-filled brownie (we shared) for dessert, just as the rain subsided.

                Jacqueline Cable
                For Postcards from New York

                P.S. Another great spot to dine is the terrace patio enclosed by a stone parapet on the park level. Ask the maitre'd to seat you under the alcove against the ivy-covered wall; you will never know you are just a few feet away from the congested automobile and pedestrian traffic on 40th Street.

                HBO's summer film festival on Monday nights is in progress through August 18 with features such as Arsenic and Old Lace, The Candidate, and the first Superman. Click here for details, then pack a picnic basket, add a bottle of wine, and join the outdoor party.

                P.P.S. Say you walk by and the Parks' empty lawn chairs and inviting shade trees are too much to resist, and you wish you could put together a picnic in ten minutes or less. See tomorrow's Postcards Encore "Bryant Park in Bloom" with details where to purchase goodies nearby.

                Address to remember: The Bryant Park Grill, 25 West 40th Street, New York, NY 10018, 212-840-6500.

                Directions: From Times Square MTA 7 to 5th Avenue and Bryant Park, M42 and M104 to M42nd Street and Fifth Avenue.

                Photo by Joseph Knight

                ©Copyright 2008 The Cable Group

                A Mews off Washington Square

                Ivy, carriage houses and cobblestones

                Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

                One of my favorite places to research the letters and diaries of people who lived in 1480's Florence for a book I am writing is the New York University Library because I can work there until midnight. Everytime I walk across Washington Square to the entrance of Bobst Library the uniform beauty of the handsome red brick brownstones that line the North side of the park give me a reason to pause and gaze. Then for a moment those buildings known as "The Row" whisper images of turn-of-the-last-century New York.

                In the 1890's Washington Square was the hub of high society. Every affluent family maintained horses and carriages to transport them around town. No parking lots around the corner or blocks away, their carriage houses were behind their homes.

                You will find this narrow archway opens to a mews of converted carriage houses just behind the Squares brownstones. Step through and let your imagination recreate life as it was more than a century ago: the clip clop of horse shoes against the uneven cobblestones, the screech of carriage wheels, stable boys scurry to open heavy double wooden doors beneath double-arched carriage house entranceways. Servants come and go while young boys in knickers play hop scotch and ring-a-levio between passing carriages, a world Martin Scorsese so brilliantly brings to life in The Age of Innocence.

                Now for a reason to visit Washington Square, how about the annual music festival through July 29 at 8 PM? Visit for performance details and mark your calendar.

                Find the Mews and see if it doesn't force you to pick up a novel by Henry James (who was born in one of the brownstones on the Square in 1843), or Edith Wharton or both. My suggestion: Edith's The Age of Innocence and Henry's Washington Square.

                Jacqueline Cable

                Address to Remember: Washington Square Mews, University Place across from Waverly Place, New York, NY 10012

                Directions: From Times Square MTA 1 to Christopher Street, walk east pass Avenue of the Americas to Washington Square, A, C, or E to West 4th Street, walk east one block to Washington Square. N, R or W to 8th Street, walk west to University Place, turn left to Washington Square.

                Photo by Joseph Knight

                ©Copyright 2008 The Cable Group

                Monday, May 19, 2008

                A Waterfall near Saks

                Ahh! The refreshing sound of rushing water

                Dear Postcard from New York Reader,

                Almost every woman's nirvana is a day of serious shopping. Start at Bloomies, next, walk over to Barney's, peek in Crate and Barrel, lunch at Bergdorf's, then head for the shops on Fifth Avenue, Prada, Escada, Fendi, Ferragamo, Gucci, Henri Bendel and Takashimaya. The round's almost complete; last stop, Saks. Despite the cool air-conditioned store interiors, New York's summer heat and humidity has left you down at the shoulders and a bit wilted.

                With several bags hanging from shoulders and in each hand, you emerge from the revolving doors at Saks. Maybe you have some time before meeting your spouse or a friend for dinner or the theatre, where to go when you don't really feel in the mood to sit down in a restaurant for an iced coffee or tea? What to do?

                Walk three blocks up Fifth Avenue to 53rd Street, cross to the north side of the street, turn right and head east toward the East River. Before you have taken several steps, your ears perk up at the sound of cascading water; your head quickly turns left in response to discover an unexpected waterfall in a tiny open space almost hidden between towering buildings.

                It's an only New York feature called a "vest pocket park." A few steps up and you are in it, surrounded by comfortable garden chairs and large stone pots filled with golden mums.

                Drop those bags in a nearby chair, pull over a table and sit for a minute, or two or more. Allow the hypnotic sound and cooling breeze of splashing water to work its magic. Like a soothing balm, the waterfall soon dissolves the restless go-go-go frenetic pace of Fifth Avenue shoppers, calms agitated nerves and revives one's spirits.

                Ten minutes pass, then fifteen, soon a half-hour or longer; it's easy to loose track of time here.

                Before you go, walk really close to the falls, lean your head forward, hear the thundering crash of falling water. Breathe in a last deep breath, close yours eyes. There, now you are ready to go...refreshed and revived after the perfect cure for shopper's fatigue.

                Jacqueline Cable
                For Postcards from New York

                Address to Remember: East 53rd Street between Fifth and Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10019.

                Directions: From Times Square MTA E to 5th Avenue and 53rd Street.

                P.S. If you love waterfalls don't miss the spectacular man-made waterfalls at four sites along the East River through October 13 from 7 AM to 10 PM. Circle Line Downtown gives free half-hour tours on the water departing from Pier 16 at South Street Seaport. For details visit

                Photo by Joseph Knight

                ©Copyright 2008 The Cable Group

                Tuesday, May 13, 2008

                The Bridge over 42nd Street

                View from the Bridge

                Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

                While spring has not made up its mind whether to stick around and frequently retreats to allow winter temperatures to take precedence, one group remains unaffected by the iffy weather--- the spring tourist. Undaunted, they are out in force, guidebooks and cameras in hand, snapping away at the sights to be found along the city's most trafficked thoroughfare--42nd Street.

                Around Grand Central Station, Times Square, in front of and between the lions that flank the grand marble staircase of the New York Public Library, and near the Chrysler Building, hundreds snap, click, focus their cell phones and arrange themselves in various poses, to find just the right position in front of the famous monuments.

                Here's a tip for all visiting photographers; the very best place to photograph or film 42nd Street and its distinguishing landmarks is from the Bridge over 42nd Street.

                You've never heard of it? Clearly not as well known, breathtaking or majestic as many of our other famous bridges (images of the Verrazano, Throgs Neck, Whitestone, Brooklyn Bridge and GW flash across your mind) that connect the island of Manhattan, the boroughs and New Jersey; this picturesque stone bridge only connects the south side of 42nd Street to the north side.

                Walk east along 42nd Street toward First Avenue. At the corner of Second Avenue you will see McFadden's Pub on the north side of the street. Just after you pause to notice the eye grabbing indoor garden at the Ford Foundation Building, continue walking until you come to a stone stairwell. Walk up the steps alongside a playground. At the top step you'll find you are in one of the two parks that face a cluster of Pre-War buildings known as Tudor City after the gargoyles, turrets and stain glass that embellish the architecture.

                Turn right, a few short steps brings you to the middle of the bridge. Above the traffic you can see all the way to New Jersey as 42nd Street winds like a bumpy hill to the Hudson River. Look up; See the soaring pinnacle of the Chrysler Building glistening against the sky? In the distance on your left, there's the spire of the Empire State Building.

                Wait, it gets better. Turn around to face the pallid green glass tower of the United Nations, with the East River meandering below, while the over 190 colorful flags of the member nations flap noisily in the wind.

                Return after dark for an even more spectacular view.

                Jacqueline Cable
                For Postcards From New York

                Address to Remember: Bridge over 42nd Street, between 1st and 2nd Avenue, 10017.

                Directions: From Times Square MTA 7 or S to Grand Central. Walk three blocks.

                Photo by Joseph Knight

                © Copyright 2007-8 The Cable Group

                Saturday, April 26, 2008

                Billy's Key Lime Delight

                A tempting invitation

                ----Note from the Editor----

                Sorry we lost the film clip on our last story The Lioness in Winter, please visit the website or click here to see what you missed.


                Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

                Under the gun, running late as usual, I took the subway to the Upper West Side for the express purpose of picking up dessert, the Birthday Pie.

                Every year I bring it; a houseful of people were expecting it. So imagine my horror when I found the little bakery where I purchase it, cleaned out, vacant, closed down. What to do?

                Perhaps Fairway's incredible cheesecake would fit the bill. A short time later, staring at it behind the glass case, despite how scrumptious I knew it to be--it just didn't look special enough. "What I really want is a key lime pie," I moaned half aloud more to myself than to anyone in the Saturday afternoon crowd packed close on the bakery goods line.

                "You should go to Billy's," someone said. "Yeah," another person chimed in nodding her head in agreement, "they are known for their key lime pies."

                Two enthusiastic recommendations from serious shoppers on Fairway's bread line was not something to shrug your shoulders at. "Billy's?" I asked, " I never heard of it (nothing unusual, as I am always discovering new places to indulge my sweet tooth). "Where is it?"

                Back to the subway and downtown to 23rd Street; the extremely long avenues on the west side made the walk to Ninth and 21st Street seem more than a mile from the train stop. As a midtown East Sider, Chelsea is the ends of the earth; no wonder I never heard of "Billy's". My spirits were immediately lifted as I approached and saw the line outside the tiny shop.

                Awhile later, I finally made it inside to the warm welcome of a grandmother's kitchen. Coconut drizzled cakes, banana cream, peanut butter and pecan pies, many-colored buttercream topped cupcakes--no where did I see a Key Lime pie. "I came for the Key Lime pie." "Oh, I'll have to check if we have any left," said the clerk behind the counter. I crossed my fingers. What luck! They had one left.

                Hours late for the party; My friend's Mom, Mrs. Eadie, greeted me "did you bring the pie?" I hesitated, "It's not the usual, I haven't tasted it (pause), but it comes highly recommended."

                Within minutes after the first luscious slice slide onto a plate, only a few crumbs from the gingerbread crust left any evidence that there was ever a Key Lime pie.

                Mme, so-o-o-o good. Dense, yet creamy, poignantly tart, allow each morsel to linger on your tongue--you will be drunk--it is so delicious.
                Jacqueline Cable
                For Postcards from New York

                Address to remember: Billy's Bakery, 184 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10009,, 212-647-9956.

                Hours: Mon-Thurs 9 AM-11 PM, Fri & Sat 9 AM-12 AM, Sun 10 AM-10 PM. Late night hours on the weekends make this the perfect place for an after theatre dessert. Can't trek to Chelsea, Billy's delivers.

                Directions: From Times Square MTA 1 or A to 23rd Street, walk west to Ninth Avenue.

                Photo by Joseph Knight

                ©Copyright 2008 The Cable Group