With a winter storm bearing down on the Northeast, who wouldn't want to be in Casablanca right about now? Sitting in Rick's Cafe American, sipping a Manhattan as the ceiling fans do their best to keep the breezes flowing in the otherwise balmy air....Well, if you're able to make it to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center tomorrow evening or the State Theater in New Brunswick on Sunday, you can actually escape to Morocco for a stretch, at a screening of the classic 1942 film Casablanca, with musical accompaniment by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Under the direction of conductor Constantine Kitsopoulos and music director Jacques Lacombe, the NJSO will perform classics from the film's soundtrack, including As Time Goes By and La Marseillaise. Why? Because of all the cities in all the countries in all the world, this blizzard had to walk into ours. For ticket info, click here.
Honking taxis were nowhere to be found on Park Avenue this morning. Nor were delivery trucks or town cars. Much in evidence, though, were bikers, runners, bladers, skateboarders, walkers and even members of the so-called Kangoo Nation (wearers of a very cool jumping shoe). As part of the city's Summer Streets program, today was the third and final August Saturday where, from East 72nd Street down Park Avenue and all the way past Union Square to the Brooklyn Bridge, closures gave active New Yorkers a rare glimpse of the cityscape from the middle of our roadways.
I had the opportunity to run a full loop--from the Upper East Side to the Brooklyn Bridge and back, and was duly impressed by the courtesy extended between cyclists and runners, most of whom shared the streets graciously and without incident. Along the way, my fellow outdoor adventurers and I enjoyed music, giveaways and even stretching classes.
Of course, August being a huge month for vacations, traffic in the city was lighter than normal anyway. But still, how nice would it be if New York streets could be car-less for one Saturday every month? When that petition is drafted, count me in. Until then, all I can do is mark my calendar for Summer Streets 2012. (And who knows....I might even try it wearing a pair of Kangoos.) —THOMAS P. FARLEY
Photo courtesy of @inspiredcyclist
What's the secret to keeping a Victoria's Secret body? If you ask Candice Swanepoel (left), her answer just might include spinning. Along with fellow Victoria's Secret angels Alessandra Ambrosio, Lily Aldridge, Erin Heatherton and Lindsay Ellingson, Swanepoel will be taking part in a special "Supermodel Cycle" tonight at SoulCycle's spinning studio in TriBeCa. The one-time event is a benefit for Pelotonia, a charity devoted to ending cancer. Sadly,seats don't come cheap (prices range from $1,000 to $2,500), but then again, how often do you get to ride with angels?
Celebs including Gossip Girl's Penn Badgley, Glee's Dianna Agron (left) and designers Christian Siriano and Charlotte Ronson avoided mayhem in the Hamptons over the weekend, opting instead for the sky-high penthouse of the Mondrian SoHo, where Carrera Sunglasses hosted a sun-soaked two-day party for VIPs and friends.
Badgley was overheard speaking about his plans to produce a record after he returns from an upcoming trip to Mexico. (Apparently, he can play any instrument but the drums....though we doubt that includes performing on a theremin or a didgeridoo!)
After chillaxing at the Carrera party--a gathering that also included activities such as morning yoga, eyebrow shaping and neck massages, Agron went out to celebrate the birthday of figure skater Johnny Weir with Vanessa Hudgens, Emma Roberts and Susan Sarandon (gotta love that Susan can still hold her own with the youngins). Apparently, Weir's birthday festivities didn't wrap until 7 a.m., so having a pair of sunglasses to hide the inevitable day-after eyebags must have been a welcome comfort for the Glee cheerleader.
The summer celebration, which has become a Carrera tradition, also featured goodies by a host of other luxury brands, including UV Vodka, SOUL by Ludacris and Venroy Australia. New York Insider was there enjoying it all to the bittersweet end, as the sun went down and (sadly) the sunglasses came off.
Agron photo by NickyDigital.Com