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ArtsConnection Hosts 2024 Benefit

by xoJohn

In the heart of Chelsea, amidst the vibrant pulse of New York City, the IAC Building stood as a beacon of creativity on June 5th, 2024. ArtsConnection, a stalwart nonprofit dedicated to enriching the lives of New York City public school students through the arts, hosted its annual Benefit – the Art is the Heart of Life Festival. And what a celebration it was!

Under the skilled guidance of WABC Anchor Sandra Bookman, guests numbering close to 200 gathered to support a cause that resonates deeply with the soul of the city. With the collective effort of attendees, nearly $1 million was raised, a testament to the unwavering commitment to providing arts education in-school, afterschool, and within the wider community.

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Actress, Philanthropist, and Author Leesa Rowland celebrated her recent Park cover, hosted by fashion designer Marc Bouwer at newly opened Populares restaurant in New York City, owned by Marcus Andrews. The feature, covering several pages of the latest issue of her photographed at home with an insightful interview about the multi-verse of Leesa’s interests.

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A Night at Populares NYC

by xoJohn

Alphabet City has a new watering hole, full of signature cocktails, delicious Mexican fare, and artistic flair. Populares NYC has been open for less than 90 days and has already become a neighborhood favorite. We wandered by on a rainy Monday night and found the place jumping, filled with happy bar flies and diners enjoying the jovial atmosphere. The bar area is flooded with ambient lighting which compliments the beautiful imported tiles on the bar itself.  The tiles came from Mexico adding to the authenticity, an intentional homage to the homeland of Populares’ cuisine. The windows are adorned with a railing of various cacti, adding a homey touch.

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Where to Brunch: Allure Restaurant and Lounge in NYC

by xoJohn

Allure Restaurant and Lounge emerges as a beacon of sophistication and gastronomic delight. Nestled in the vibrant landscape of NYC, this establishment has quickly become a hotspot for those seeking an elevated dining experience that seamlessly fuses modern elegance with culinary excellence. From the moment you step through the doors of Allure, you are transported into a world of refined luxury. The ambiance is a harmonious blend of contemporary chic and classic opulence. The interior design, characterized by sleek lines and plush furnishings, exudes an air of sophistication, creating an inviting space that is both stylish and comfortable. The soft lighting adds to the intimate atmosphere, making it an ideal setting for a romantic dinner, a celebratory gathering, or a business rendezvous.

Allure’s menu is a carefully curated masterpiece, featuring a fusion of international flavors that cater to diverse palates. A few friends and I stopped on a Sunday morning for a brunch experience. The brunch menu consists of items like Pastries,  French Toast, Croque Monsieur, Korean Chicken Sandwich, and Steak and Eggs, to name a few.

I love good libations and my personal go-to is an Old Fashioned. This sophisticated cocktail never disappoints. You should always stick to what you know, especially in new environments. In true nature, I opted for the Smoked Old Fashioned. Designed with Pistachio Infused Angels Envy Bourbon, Maple Syrup Aged in Bourbon Barrel, Angostura Bitters, and Woodford Spiced Cherry Bitters. Fashioned with a Dehydrated Orange Wheel and Brandied Cherries. It was a great top-off to my dining experience and made for quite an impressive presentation (@xojohn on Instagram). The cocktail will run you a hefty $26 but it’s worth the experience and presentation.

Allure Restaurant and Lounge in NYC is a testament to the city’s dynamic culinary scene, offering an experience that transcends the ordinary. With its exquisite ambiance, culinary delights, and impeccable service, Allure has carved a niche for itself in the hearts of food connoisseurs and those seeking an unforgettable dining experience in the city that never sleeps.

Allure is located inside the Hotel Belleclaire, for more information, visit allureloungenyc.com.

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As usual I was running late. My dining companion texted me a picture of his refreshing Margarita to make me feel even worse as I was making my way to Brooklyn. When I finally arrived, I was greeted by our spunky waiter, an annoyed friend, and the delicious scent of Mexican food. All was right in the world.

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In the bustling heart of Manhattan, where the city’s vibrant energy meets a culinary adventure, a new restaurant has opened its doors. Butterflied Chicken, the home of Greek Chicken, celebrated its grand opening at 18 West 45th Street. The grand opening of Butterflied Chicken kicked off with an after-work party that set the tone for what this restaurant is all about—good food, great company, and a dash of Greek flair. Live music filled the air, creating a joyful ambiance that resonated with the spirit of celebration.

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Dîner en Blanc NYC 2023

by xoJohn
New York City, the bustling metropolis that never sleeps, once again played host to one of the most iconic events of the year – Dîner en Blanc. On a crisp, late-summer evening, the Meatpacking District was transformed into a sea of elegance as four thousand attendees, clad entirely in white, gathered for the world’s largest picnic. This year’s Dîner en Blanc NYC was not just a celebration of exquisite food and wine; it was a spectacle of friendship, culture, and culinary wonder.
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Each year it doesn’t seem possible. How can TV Personality Josh McBride continue to curate an over-the-top birthday bash that stands out amongst New York Fashion Week events? Well, he did it again, throwing a birthday extravaganza filled with star-studded performances and New York City as its backdrop. Held “in the sky” at celebrity hotspot Somewhere Nowhere, the room was electric with over 400 invited guests ready to celebrate Josh. The theme was black and red, with guests arriving in their Thursday best ready to party.

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