Category Archives: Entertainment

Director Peter Farrelly’s Greatest Yet? The Greatest Beer Run Ever

It is just possible that ‘The Greatest Beer Run Ever: A Memoir of Friendship, Loyalty and War’ will be director Peter Farrelly’s next best act since ‘Green Book.’ Movie producers are: David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Don Granger (the Skydance team) and Andrew Muscato.

There were a few writers involved in creating the movie: screenwriter Brian Currie, screenwriter Pete Jones and Director Peter Farrelly. The film is based on the book of the same title written by Chick Donahue and J. T. Molloy and tells Donahue’s story of leaving New York to bring beer to his army pals fighting in the Vietnam War.  After his arrival in Qui Nho’n, Donahue encountered a slew of experiences – both funny and potentially dangerous – until he found his friends.  Definitely sounds like the making of another great movie for director Peter Farrelly!

Talks are now being held with Zac Effron (who starred in ‘The Greatest Showman’), Russell Crowe (known for his role in ‘Les Miserables’) and Bill Murray for acting roles and it seems like Apple Studios will finance the movie.

Dayton Kingery on Staying Active While Staying Safe

The health regulations and recommendations to curb the spread of COVID-19 are constantly changing. But one message has remained consistent throughout: remaining physically active is important for the long-term health of both the body and mind.

Dayton Kingery, a Connecticut native and fitness enthusiast, says that the real estate market in his area is busier than ever. “People are looking for safe ways to be outdoors and be active. Nobody wants to be cooped up in their small city apartment. They want to escape the virus and the deserted city streets. Here we have more space and plenty of outdoor venues for exercise and exploration.”

Dayton Kingery- deserted city streets
Dayton Kingery says city dwellers are heading toward the suburbs in search of safety and space

People from across New York, who own or rent summer properties in Connecticut, say that riding out the lockdown orders, social distancing regulations, and work-from-home expectations is much easier in less densely populated areas. “Bike riding has always been a popular form of transportation in the city,” Kingery says, “but now it has become a form of relaxation and self-care.”

Dayton Kingery bike trails
Dayton Kingery recommends cycling as a safe and fun activity

Longtime Connecticut residents and other city “escapees” should all consider taking up a new hobby or activity; these pursuits are important ways to combat loneliness, remain mindful, and stay busy. Kingery recommends enjoying the many hiking trails, walking paths, and nature reserves across the state and taking in as much of the great outdoors as possible.

Dayton Kingery- nature trails
Exploring local parks and being outdoors is key to wellness, according to Kingery

New York: New Year

People are definitely looking forward to a new year.  Fed up of 2020, New York is also gearing up for some socially-distanced celebrations.  One way of saying goodbye to 2020 is by saying hello to 2021 and this year the illuminated 2021 display – that has been on a 5,000 mile trek to arrive at Times Square – is one of the biggest highlights.

According to Jeff Strauss, producer of Times Square:

“As these numerals were being driven across the country by Kia drivers, people along the way at every stop were cheering. Everyone can’t wait until 2020 is over.”

Indeed, perhaps that is what Good Riddance Day is all about.  For sure most people will be saying Good Riddance to 2020!

While most of the celebratory new year’s events will be online, one can also enjoy some events outdoors such as the winter wonderland lights show from Edge.  Featuring close to 50,000 lights which light up the Skyline Steps, also on display is a Christmas tree and large hot air balloon display.  While there be sure to order the “Cocoa in the Clouds,” a hot chocolate drink featuring rice crispy peppermint-encrusted treats and whipped cream.  For an extra hit, order the added liquor!

Most people feel like they owe it to themselves to see this year out with a bang and welcome the new year with hope.

New Infrastructure has COVID Bringing Hollywood to New York

While the entertainment industry and Hollywood seems to be severely struggling, some in New York are taking some real initiative to turn things around. Instead of panicking about public entertainment taking a hit, these people have figured out a way to respond to the new need for stay-at-home viewing. In addition, the tax breaks the state has given the industry have really helped.

What’s happening is that in various sectors of New York – in particular Brooklyn and Queens – soundstages are popping up.

And now it seems like this is becoming quite the popular industry for private investment firms.  For example, both Hackman Capital and Square Mile Capital acquired New York’s Silvercup Studios for $500m.

According to a recent article in The New York Times, while “New York’s arts and entertainment industry has been devastated by the pandemic…the sight of shiny production trucks and the hum of workers rolling equipment on and off film sets is giving the city a glimpse of its former self.” This can be seen in the fact that local studios are full.  True, due to limitations they cannot work at full capacity, but still, there is a will to work in this industry.

Queens’ Kaufman Astoria Studios (originally owned by Paramount) films popular shows like Dickinson, Flight Attendant and Sesame Street.  According to Chief Executive of the studio Hal Rosenbluth, investing in the community is what George Kaufman always said was good for everyone.  Once you help yourself you actually end up helping others.

Let’s hope these investments – with their adherence to coronavirus safety restrictions – end up helping a lot more individuals, communities and the entire New York region.

Miracle at Stonewall

So many businesses are still shuttered, likely never to return to operations.  The coronavirus has done a serious number on SMEs as well as many self-employed.  At looked at one point as if The Stonewall Inn LGBTQ bar would follow suit. 

At the beginning of the pandemic, all the bars had to close in NYC.  Many couldn’t survive and were not able to return.  The Stonewall Inn is more than just a bar – it is viewed by many as the Greenwich Village “symbol of pride.”

So when a plea was put out for help to save the iconic bar, many responded and it was saved.  This led Stacy Lentz – one of the bar’s owners to claim that it really is a “community tavern,” and her and her co-owners are merely “keepers of the historic bar.”

The Stonewall Inn, an iconic location known worldwide for the important role it played in the battle for inclusion and equal rights for the LGBTQ community, was almost another casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bar, along with all other watering holes in the city, was forced to close in mid-March as NYC began its long battle against coronavirus. But more than three months without being able to open nearly led to the Greenwich Village symbol of pride closing its doors for good. Then the owners put out a plea for help — and got plenty of responses.

Co-owner Stacy Lentz said that while they may be the keepers of the historic bar, it’s the community’s tavern — so they felt the public should know how much they were struggling.

Another restaurant close to bankruptcy with a happy ending was Gene’s Restaurant. A personal favorite of famed Sex and the [NY] City  actress Sarah Jessica Parker, when restaurants were allowed to re-open under coronavirus guidelines, Gene’s was not due to access blocking from Citi Bike docking stations.  Parker – a consumer of Citi Bikes herself – joined 7 On Your Side in advocating for the landmark.  Parker wrote:

“I’m happy to help move the @citibike rack just a bit east to make room for some outdoor seating. Whatever it takes.”

De Blasio responded and 20 bike docking stations were moved to accommodate the restaurant.  They will remain at the end of the street until the end of October 2020, when it is anticipated there will be another change in outdoor dining coronavirus laws.

Re-Opening of NYC

It’s been a particularly trying time but even more so for parents of school age kids in the summer. These months are challenging enough as kids are not in school but usually there is a camp option. These have been limited.  And with reduced entertainment options it’s gotten even harder.

Thankfully last week some outdoor pools re-opened.  Areas with open air pools for the public included: Bronx (Crotona Park, Haffen Park, Mullaly Park), Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens (Astoria Park, Fisher, Liberty) and Staten Island.

Now we are looking at museums.  Not for right now but hopefully by the end of the month.  On August 29th plans are set for the Metropolitan Museum of Art to open, providing precautions are taken to protect staff members and the public. Two earlier dates were given but then taken back but hopefully this one will stick. Also set to open will be the Whitney Museum of American Art and an outdoor exhibition curated by the New York Historical Society.

Caribbean Week New York

New York City has a substantial Caribbean-American residency.  As such, the Caribbean Week New York that begins tomorrow is very well-received and attended.

Organized by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), this is a great bolster to the economy with the attraction of VIPs, diplomats and others to the city to enjoy the free Revival for the Caribbean affair.  It will take place in Manhattan’s Financial District at 225 Liberty Street in the Meredith Global Corp’s 5th floor auditorium.

Programs include: “Revival for the Caribbean,” “Rum & Rhythm Benefit and Auction,” “Celebrity Chef Program” and more.

Christmas in the Montauk Colony

With Christmas approaching, many hard working New Yorkers are considering how to spend the upcoming holidays.  Just over 100 miles from the big NYC noise is the Montauk Colony area, offering vacationers a tranquil getaway nestled in a beachy paradise.

To begin the vacation on the right foot, travel via the LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) for a relaxing journey and take in the picturesque landscape. While the area is best known for its summer vacations, Christmas can be a good time to go as well. Specifically, Montauk’s lighthouse undergoes a complete transformation, taking a step away from its traditional maroon and white décor that graces the iconic tower the rest of the year.

You can get into the holiday spirit by booking a stay at Gurney’s Montauk Resort and Seawater Spa.  Early this month they hosted an event which included Christmas karaoke and cookie decorating. There is also the Santa Crawl hosted at the Daunts Albatross Hotel.  The $20 donation included a buffet with proceeds going to the Montauk Playhouse Foundation & Contractors for Kids.

Over the Christmas period the Surf Lodge is an attractive place to eat, with its fire pit, live musical performances and stunning sunset view. Unique ambience can also be enjoyed at The Crow’s Nest or for those looking for something different there is a fabulous dessert spot – the Buddha Berry located on South Euclid Avenue. They offer flavorful, organic and healthy sweets such as frozen yogurt with superfood toppings, custom-blended smoothies, buckwheat Belgian waffles and more.

Christmas in the Montauk Colony area can make for a spectacular, unforgettable vacation.




Comic Con

superheroWhile the annual Comics Convention in New York – which began in 2005 – is a cultural event, since it is so well-attended it can also now be seen as an economic event for the city.

This year it is expected that over 150,000 people and 850 companies will come to the event, being held at the Javits Center, with planned screenings for shows like X-Files and The Walking Dead.

Moreover, there is a $5,000 cash prize awarded to the winner of the NYCC Eastern Championships of Cosplay.

One reason this event is getting so much business is because movies are becoming bigger business. In 2006 only two movies were based on comic books but just eight years later that figure had jumped to six. Much of this increase has been attributed to the acquisition of Marvel, for which Walt Disney paid $4bn in 2009.

Comic Con is getting so popular that even superstars feel the need to attend as well.

Beyler Eyubov: Loving Jazz is Good Business Sense

musician-308866_1280It’s not only jazz lover Beyler Eyubov who enjoys frequenting Side Door. The club opened about a year-and-a-half ago and has been inundated with returning customers. However, owner Kenneth D. Kitchings is not necessarily what one might expect from a successful New York businessman. And, especially given the fact that making money out of jazz isn’t so easy either.

But something Kitchings did must have been right. Located at Old Lyme – not the liveliest of locations – this jazz club has become quite the hubbub of jazz lovers from near and far. Other than jazz fan Eyubov, Newport Jazz festival founder, George Wein, a pianist himself, who has been frequenting the club, explained his success like this:

“He couldn’t fail. He’s not an owner who’s looking to make money. He loves jazz and gets more enjoyment from it than his customers do.”

So maybe a love of what one does is more important to business success than a love for money. It sure seems to be working for Kitchings.