Friday, December 19, 2014

Happy New Year! Exciting Events Happening This Winter!

Don't let old Man Winter get you down! The coldest months are a time for awesome indoor activities and culture galore.  Here are a few of our top recommendations!  

1871 House, an Upper East Side Boutique Hotel in the style of a Bed and Breakfast, serves as a terrific home base for many activities and special events because of its incredible location.  As such, the best New York Restaurants are within walking distance such as chef Daniel Boulud's Daniel on East 65th Street featuring French Cuisine or Jo Jo, Jean-Georges Vongerichten's gorgeous Townhouse restaurant on East 64th Street.  Since we are on the topic of great restaurants, if you are one that enjoys fine dining you'll be thrilled to know that dates for Restaurant Week 2015 will be announced very soon.  Restaurant week is one of the only times during the year when you can eat at some of the most exquisite restaurants in the city, for only a fraction of the normal cost. Participating restaurants offer three course lunch for $20 per person and dinners for only $35 per person. In recent years, Cafe Boloud has participated in Restaurant Week and this is our top pick should they be participating again. The best participating restaurants book up fast so you need to make your reservation early. Dates for this year are still be announced, but look for them soon. Restaurant Week usually takes place in the months of January/February.

The Park Avenue Armory is currently putting on an interesting event involving fantastic French pianist Helene Grimaud and artist Douglas Gordon, in which Grimaud performs water-themed works of Debussy, Liszt, Ravel, and others in a space designed by Gordon involving an immense field of water. The show runs through January 4th. Learn more: The Park Avenue Armory

1871 House is also within easy walking distance of the East 59th Street Theater, which presents the world premiere of Manhattan Parisienne from Dec. 18th - January 4th. The lyricist and librettist for the production is Alain Boublil, previously famous from both Les Miserables and Miss Saigon.

Meanwhile, there's always the Met, just a quick stroll across the park from 1871 House. The opera house is currently running Die Meistersinger von Nuremburg (Dec. 23rd), La Traviata (Dec. 22nd - Jan. 24th), and Aida (Dec. 26th - Jan. 10th). Tickets for the Metropolitan Opera and more information about the productions can be found here: Metropolitan Opera

If you're a pet person, there are a few events for you to catch. The New York Pet Fashion Show will take place Thursday, February 12th this year. There aren't many cities in which you can enjoy a pet fashion show, so don't miss the chance if you're thinking of an upcoming New York stay. You can find out more about the event here: The New York Pet Fashion Show

The 139th Westminster Kennel Dog Show follows shortly after on Feburuary 16th and 17th, with judging taking place at The Piers and Madison Square Garden. Prior to the show this year, Westminster will host the AKC Meet the Breeds on Feburary 14th. More info can be found here: Westminster Kennel Dog Show

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Experience Christmas in New York City...Manhattan, the Best Place to Be...

While Christmas is only but a few weeks away there's no need to panic. With New York City's New York Style Bed & Breakfast and charming alternative to New York City Hotels 1871 House as your home base, everything you could possibly want or need is at your fingertips.  Even a short stroll will lead to many of Manhattans best places.  Be it Lexington Avenue, Madison Avenue or 5th Avenue, there is an incredible selection of stores surrounding 1871 House.  Shops are decorated and are ready to help you choose that perfect gift.

Find the perfect holiday sweets at Dylan's Candy Bar, the worlds largest candy emporium. Beautiful displays have something for everyone. Holiday minibins filled with Gummy Santas, hot chocolate sleighs, gingerbread men and mini licorice candy canes, chocolate dipped nutcracker gift box, and holiday chocolate bars!

Holiday Windows are here again! Starting in mid-November, many stores along New York City's Fifth Avenue create their magical annual holiday windows. Barney's, Berdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale's and more!  In between picking out sweaters and presents, stop outside these department stores to take in their thrilling artistry. The holiday windows are one of the best things to do in NYC during the holidays for both locals and tourists alike.

The Rockefeller Center tree is already up and lit and the ice skating there has begun. Performances of Handel's Messiah and Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker, perennial December favorites, are already underway. The New York Philharmonic, for example, performs the former for several nights, beginning December 16th.

Radio City Christmas Spectacular has been named "America's favorite Holiday Show" and it makes sense you attend this show at least once in your life! The show combines tradition, like the "March of the Wooden Soldiers" with high tech sounds and effects. The precise and lovely dancing of the Rockettes is always a highlight; add to that a live orchestra, ice skaters, children performers, and various farm animals, and you will see why it is called "spectacular."

The Particular magic of the holiday season depends, you might say, on a sensation of general cheer, the feeling that many others are delighting in the same traditions, festivities and rituals as you are, In a way, the mass celebration of major holidays is a kind of temporary reminder of the type of cultural solidarity which, for many people, appears infrequently if at all in today's heterogeneous social landscape. It's a brief time when a kind of order appears: adults with gifts, children with candy-canes, the ice skating, these are the signs you can count on.

Perhaps this is the reason why being in New York for Christmas is always something especially memorable: simply that there are so many fellow revelers. For a short period, the throngs of New Yorkers on the street cease to be merely other commuters or annoyingly slow moving tourists. Instead, they are partners in the feeling of the season. From Miracle on 34th Street and before to more recent films, songs, and other media, New york has long figured prominently in the mythology of the Christmas season in the popular imagination. If you've never had the chance to stroll down  Park or Madison Avenue in late December, with the lights and displays all ablaze with festive celebration, this year just might be your chance!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A Bed & Breakfast in Gossip Girl Territory?

A Day That Will Live in Frenemy!

  • I’ll always remember where I was when I learned the identity of Gossip Girl – here in the offices of 1871 House, a New York Bed and Breakfast and hotel alternative located on the Upper East Side, curled up with a bag of popcorn and my memories of the last 6 seasons... What! It was work-related!!

  • In fact, our New York City Bed & Breakfast/Boutique Hotel, 1871 House, is steps away from real filming locations used in the popular television show -- and I was only watching the finale in order to better serve our guests with an interest in… local culture… So if the prospect of living without your weekly Lonely Boy update is too much to bear, take refuge at 1871 House! Located in the Upper East Side Historic District, we’re nestled in the thick of Gossip Girl landmarks. Grab some Coffee from Sant Ambroeus on 61st (between Park Avenue & Madison Avenue), don your cutest walking flats, and head over to the steps of the Met relive your best memories.
“Exx-Oh, Exx-Oh…!”

1871 House's Favorite East Side Coffee Bars and Cafes

1871 House is located on the Upper East Side and is close to many wonderful cafes!  So when guests at our New York City B&B and Boutique Hotel Alternative find themselves in need of a great cup of coffee, we've got a few favorite neighborhood spots we love to recommend. 

While we must confess to our frequent visits to our local Starbucks Coffeehouse (63rd/Lexington) for this article we’d like to share with you some of our most favorite alternative NYC cafes and coffee bars located near 1871 House
Birch Coffee, our neighborhood's own little hipster joint, is located right across Lexington Avenue on East 62nd Street. The recently opened Birch Coffee Shop serves specially roasted coffee and a selection of pastries.  While this location is very compact, there are cozy seats by the front window, as well as a few exterior seats on some of the more mild mornings and days.   Just like every other Birch Coffee, they have a library of books with a "leave a book, take a book" policy. 134.5 East 62nd Street.

With two locations very close to 1871 House, Sant Ambroeus is never far away. The Madison Avenue location has been a staple of Upper East Siders for several decades, and now we are so fortunate to have a Sant Ambroeus Coffee Bar just one block away!  The espresso and cappuccino bar remain an institution with their fantastic traditional Italian Cappuccino, Italian croissants, famous gelato, as well as their cakes and cookies baked onsite.  The coffee bar also features warm pressed Panini, such as Madunina (our favorite and to die for!) with veal cotoletta, rucola, tomato, lemon and Dijon mustard. Patrons can also enjoy a selection of savory Paninetti, soft home-baked rolls with a delicate crust perfumed in olive oil and Le Foccaccine, a flaky and slightly salted interpretation of Focaccia. One of our favorite paninetti is the mozzarella, tomato and basil on a kind of focaccia bread.   The Madison Avenue location also offers a menu of cocktails, wine, and a full dinner selection.  Sant Ambroeus never disappoints! That being said, Sant Ambroeus is not inexpensive.  But as the expression goes you get what you pay for here. The portions are good sized and the food and service are first rate.   If you're a fan of Gossip Girl, watch Queen B and her minions sip their coffee from Sant Ambroeus coffee cups on the steps of the Met! Sant Ambroeus Coffee Bar @ 540 Park Avenue and Sant Ambroeus Madison Ave: 1000 Madison Avenue

Via Quadronno, located on a quiet side street on East 73rd Street, opens up into a small cafe where you will find people standing at the coffee bar sipping on an espresso or foamy cappuccino.  There are also several tables and chairs along the bar area.  In the summer the french doors swing open and a few benches allow one to sit just outside the cafe. Via Quadronno is a perfect stop for a caffeine boost or light panini to eat on the way to or from the Metropolitan or Frick Museum or as a break from the fabulous shopping in the neighborhood.   If you are hungry for a full meal, behind the cafe, a large restaurant connects to the coffee area that serves a variety of different mouth watering truffle and meat dishes.  

We return to this restaurant year after year for the charming atmosphere, friendly service, and most importantly amazing food.  25 E 73 Street. Via Quadronno has recently opened a 2nd location on Madison Avenue and 88th Street.  

Little Collins, a gem in Midtown East, is named after a bustling street in Melbourne, Australia, and pays homage to that city in many of its design features. The cafe is partnered with Counter Culture Coffee and also holds the distinction of being the first cafe in New York to unveil the ModBar, a sleek new piece of coffee brewing hardware.  The Aussie inspired cafe makes perfect Flat White's along with serving great Australian inspired food.  We have found the staff to be uniformly excellent, informative, friendly and courteous. The only downside is that this place is a small space, only about 10-12 seats, and if you find a table you are a lucky one indeed so get there early!

~Joe Coffee (NYC and Philadelphia)
Everyone knows Joe for their exceptional lattes, cappuccinos, and espresso — they serve undoubtedly some of the best you’ll find in New York City. This Lexington Ave outpost of local mini-chain Joe is one of the roaster's most beautiful shops.

1871 House

Housed in a classic 19th-century brownstone on an inviting, residential street near Central Park, shopping and museums, 1871 House consists of seven apartment style suites. Uniquely, 1871 House offers both the intimacy of a Bed and Breakfast and the privacy of a traditional hotel. A stay at 1871 feels much like time spent in a personal Manhattan apartment.