Monday, July 26, 2010

Week of July 27 - August 2, 2010

Film: Illegales

Set in the sweltering desert on the Southwestern US and the Mexican borde
r towns adjoining it, the film examines the intersecting lives of five groups of people on both sides of the border, as well as the broader, explosive issue of immigration. Through both heartbreak and hope, the five stories weave together, each asking the question “what lines would you cross for a better life?” Ilegales stars Shirley Rumierk, Luis Bordonada, Omar Leyva, Salome Martinez and Art LaFleur. The story and screenplay come from Carl Lucas and Marco Sheperd.

“We’re delighted New York’s International Latino Film Festival has honored our film with two great slots in the Festival,” said Producer Jake Pokluda, whose film credits include the features Living Gaugin and Jordan, the award-winning short Red Mesa and the short Mirando al norte. “Ilegales does two important things: as a narrative feature, it examines and illuminates one of this country’s most pressing social issues with an amazing ensemble of Latino actors, and takes the audience through the struggles illegal immigrants face crossing the border.”

This easily makes Ilegales one of the most anticipated movies to premiere at the New York International Latino Film Festival. Festival Screenings: Visual Arts Theater 333 West 23rd St. July 28th 2010, 4:30PM July 29th, 2010 8:00PM For more info visit: and


Contest: Dos Equis

As legend has it, during a routine circumnavigation of the world, the Most Inter
esting Man's personal aircraft malfunctioned, and he was forced to parachute much of his priceless artifacts mid-flight across North America. Many were recovered. Many were not. He is calling upon his loyal friends to use all their vast talents to help recover his private collection in the Dos Equis Cargo Hunt.

By signing up for the Dos Equis Cargo Hunt, players become “Cargo Hunters” and collect virtual treasures in several ways: through the Cargo Hunter’s map on the website, through codes on specially marked Dos Equis packaging, and at special promotional events this summer. Various prizes are given out along the way and at the end the players with the most artifacts qualify for a Cargo Hunt grand prize – an all-expenses-paid trip to Mexico. For more info check out the Cargo Hunt website,


Music & Dance: Lincoln Center Out of Doors

Marking its 40th anniversary, Lincoln Center Out of Doors celebrates with three weeks of FREE music and dance on the plazas of Lincoln Center. Kicking off on July 28th it will run through August 15th. The 40th annual edition of the festival will present a wide range of music and dance events by dozens of international, U.S. and local artists, including Latino and Latina artists representing a wide range of backgrounds, and music and dance styles and traditions.
We cant wait for Larry Harlow’s La Raza Latina: A Salsa Suite conducted by Larry Harlow, starring Ruben Blades, with guest vocalist Adonis Puentes, plus orchestra and chorus on a
double bill with Bobby Sanabria Big Band in their New York premiere.

The best part is all the events are free and take place on Lincoln Center’s Plazas between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenues, from West 62nd Street to West 65th Street (except where noted). Take No.1 IRT to 66thStreet/Lincoln Center Station) OR the A, B, C, D and No. 1 trains to 59th St/Columbus Circle.

Visit for complete schedule.


Shop: Jalapeño Shopper

Jalapeño Shopper, a new online boutique,, offers style seekers top-quality jewelry and accessories for those tired of the same boring, over-priced accessories typically found at the mall. Putting a global spin on current trends, items found on are either inspired by or made in different parts of the world and prices do not exceed $100, the majority is under $75.

Pedro, The Jalapeño Shopper, is the site mascot. He searches the world for unique and interesting styles that look like they came from markets and bazaars common in other countries. Whether it’s a sterling silver ring from Thailand, a necklace from Mexico, or a cuff bracelet from a hip designer in New York City, the jewelry selections inspire a simple question, “WOW! Where did you find that?” And now you know!

"From now until August 15th GEM & ULM readers can enter promo code “JSURBAN” to get
free shipping on all purchases."

For more news follow them @jalapenoshopper and on facebook:


Fitness: Cardio Meets Carnival

During the month of August NYSC hosts a healthy happy Hour featuring Zumba.
All are invited to get their afterwork groove on in this stress-melting, high-octane workout. Zumba is a fun, easy-to-follow aerobic class that combines Latin dance moves with cardio training. It’s a wildly popular way to maximize caloric output while toning your whole body. Zumba takes the work out of working out. Nonmembers are welcome. See the schedule below for the class nearest you.

New York Sports Clubs
Broadway - City Hall
--> Thursdays 5:30pm
23rd & Park
--> Fridays 6:15pm
86th & Lexington
-->Tuesdays 9:30am
-->Thursdays 5:30pm
Brooklyn Heights
--> Thursdays 7:30pm
Dobbs Ferry
--> Thursdays 6:30pm
East Brunswick --> Thursdays 6:30pm
--> Fridays 6:00pm

More class locations on

Monday, July 19, 2010

Week of July 20 – July 26, 2010

Enjoying food in the great outdoors feels like a mini vacation – a “staycation” if you will, and serves as a glorious escape from an overscheduled NYC day, night or weekend. When your eye catches the sizzling plate of a lucky patron’s table, your senses are lit and put into action. Your clock slows down and you succinctly feel more relaxed, the sun warm on your skin or the moon shining brightly above you, the wind rustling your hair—and you think to yourself, where is the best seat outside this fragrant oasis? Your feet are now blindly following your eyes, and you select the best seat available in the middle of it all. You’re now in one of more than a thousand licensed “pleine-air” eateries, and this week some of the best are participating in this summer's NYC Restaurant Week! Yes people… Restaurant Week part deux has been extended from July 16 to July 25thth!

What is restaurant week?

For those who’ve never taken advantage of this week, or for those who are simply from “out of town,” restaurant week offers you the opportunity to dine at fine restaurants for a fraction of their normal prices. In almost all cases, the menus are more limited than their regular fair – and are planned in a way that is simple and unobtrusive to patrons, and to accommodate for the increased traffic brought on to these establishments from the notoriety of being a participating venue. Despite the logistics involved in pulling off a successful “week run”, for just $24 per person for lunch or $35 per person for dinner (prices do not include drinks, taxes or tips) patrons can experience some of New York's most exclusive restaurant provisions.

Are there any cross promotions occurring as well during Restaurant Week?

I’m so glad you’ve asked : ) There are always cross promotions with a grand ‘ole event like this! GEM will showcase two that may peak your interest:

*Get $15 back as a credit on your AMEX statement when you register and use any American Express card to dine out three or more times at any of the 250+ vendors participating in this summer’s NYC Restaurant Week. For enrollment details and special merchant offer terms please click here.

*Do any of you want to take a REAL trip outside NYC? Well this week, two lucky winners will receive two round-trip flights on JetBlue (the King of “more leg-room”), two nights’ accommodations in a luxury hotel, a unique dining experience for two, two tickets to a theatre show, among other amenities! . For enrollment details and special merchant offer terms please click here.

Which restaurants are participating?

For a list of restaurants participating in Restaurant Week you may browse by neighborhood or cuisine here. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling the participating restaurant of your choice or online via Special Notice: Some of Manhattan's finer restaurants do have and enforce dress codes. It is recommended that you ask about the dress code policy when you make your reservation or you may be turned away.

GEM NYC recommends the following “alfresco” venues for your next lunch or dinner feast:

ViceVersa Restaurant

ViceVersa is nestled among a number of French bistros in the Theatre District. Its sophisticated and sleek decor sets the tone for the contemporary Italian cuisine. The traditional Italian fare is tough to beat as it’s graced by the sous-chefs of Central Park South’s San Domenico Restaurant. For dessert, you may wish to try a selection of gourmet gelatos and sorbets for a cool ending to a meal enjoyed out on the plant-filled back patio, a welcome retreat from the busy Midtown streets out front. Simply take the C/E to 50th street, and you’ll find it nestled between 8th and 9th avenues. Just note, the terrace seating will be available on a first come first serve basis – so get there early! To view the mouth-watering Restaurant Week prix-fixe menu click here.

Central Park’s Boathouse

The iconic Central Park Boathouse allows you to savor upscale cuisine at the waterfront restaurant or relax with beer and burgers at the Express Cafe as boats and birds glide by in the water. After you eat, rent a bike or a rowboat to continue your “all-day” Central Park tour. Simply take the 1 train to 72nd street. To view their lunch or dinner prix-fixe menu click here.

Cipriani’s on Wall Street

When you think of the epitome in gourmet food and upscale hospitality, you immediately remember the brand Cipriani. So this is your lucky week because in the heart of New York City's Financial District, you can dine like the stars at Cipriani of Wall Street, and enjoy Restaurant Week prices. Located in the historic Merchants Exchange Building at 55 Wall St., the restaurant is open from 6:30am to 10:30pm Monday through Friday. With an outdoor terrace among the building's granite columns, Cipriani of Wall Street is perfect for dining “alfresco” or meeting for after-work drinks. The terrace features unparalleled views of Wall Street and is open year-round. You’ll want to call ahead because the terrace seating is limited, and is most times reserved by tourist groups. Simply take the 2/3/4 trains to Wall Street, and make sure to call in advance to reserve your spot: 212-699-4096.

Water’s Edge in Queens

Well, contrary to popular belief, Manhattan is not the center of the world – and if it were, the world would be flat (^_^). So for those who are brave enough to venture outside the great enclaves of the Manhattan Island, perhaps you should try Water’s Edge restaurant. It’s one of the few spots in Queens with a fantastic view of the East River from Long Island City. I recommend that you make a reservation beforehand and also request a table on the restaurant's outdoor terrace, where you'll sit just inches from the river with a dramatic view of the Manhattan skyline as backdrop. The impressive, seafood-heavy menu features a macadamia nut–crusted wild salmon and licorice-dusted duck breast, YUMMY! To view the mouth-watering Restaurant Week menu click here. You’ll want to consider calling in advance for the best table “outside” the house - (718) 482-0033, and view driving and mass transit directions by clicking here.

Terrace in the Sky, Columbia University

Located at Columbia University’s Butler Hall, Terrace in the Sky has been the original upper west dining pioneer for 30 years. To the north, you can spy Harlem and the Bronx, and south, the college campus and the northern boundary of Central Park. Panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline coupled with superb cuisine from executive chef Jason Potanovich make little oasis a dining experience not to be missed. The food is a mix of French with American flair, with crowd-pleasers like duck-confit risotto and crème brûlée—which are both included on the NYC Restaurant Week menu. Simply take the Number 1 train to 116th Street – and complimentary valet parking is offered after 6PM for dinner. For more information view their prix-fixe menu and visit their site here.

So whether it’s on the upper west side, lower east side, or outside of Manhattan Island, just make sure to bring your sunglasses, a fabulous date – and much appetite to this week’s alfresco Restaurant Week! Enjoy, and forget about the treadmill until further notice : )

Your’s truly, GEM

Monday, July 12, 2010

Week of July 12- July 19, 2010

Dear GEM NYC friends and followers this week’s post is truly a very personal one for me. I believe we can take a break from sharing the latest and greatest restaurant, lounges, and/or museum exhibit for a good cause. This week we encourage you to consider the value and personal enrichment that comes from donating your very precious time and Volunteer!

Yesterday I accepted an invitation from my friend Brenda Jones to speak to a group of women at her non-profit organization 4 Real Women International, Inc. (4RWI) in Brooklyn, NY. The topic was “Women in Media, Marketing and Advertising”, this General Assembly is part of LEAD! an eight-week workshop seminar, geared specifically to ‘reach and teach’ women aged 18-35 the personal 'life skills' that help build important self-trust, and foster a solid foundation of self-reliance and confidence. The experience of connecting with other women and sharing both my personal and professional journey was humbling and fulfilling. I am thoroughly impressed and applaud the commitment that all the women at 4RWI are making to empower and enrich the lives of all the women and the families they touch!

If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else. — Booker T. Washington

The following is a modest list of some equally important and commendable non-profit organizations that can use your help:

4 Real Women International, Inc. (4RWI)
Mission: To help women by equipping them with leadership and empowerment skills to effectively change their lives, the lives of their families, and their communities. The organization is run by women for women, and their families, with operations in the United States and internationally. 4RWI, Inc. develops and presents innovative and creative insight-gaining programs and activities for women in individual or group settings. We do this through peer-counseling, mentoring, online and on-site workshops, seminars, interventions, and support groups.

Boys and Girls Club of America
Mission: To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. In every community, boys and girls are left to find their own recreation and companionship in the streets. An increasing number of children are at home with no adult care or supervision. Young people need to know that someone cares about them. Boys & Girls Clubs offer that and more. Club programs and services promote and enhance the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence.

Dress for Success
Mission: To promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help wo
men thrive in work and in life. Founded in New York City in 1997, Dress for Success is an international not-for-profit organization offering services designed to help our clients find jobs and remain employed. Each Dress for Success client receives one suit when she has a job interview and can return for a second suit or separates when she finds work.

Girls Education and Mentoring Services (GEMS)
Mission: To empower young women, ages12-21, who have experienced commercial s
exual exploitation and domestic trafficking to exit the commercial sex industry and develop to their full potential. GEMS is committed to ending commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking of children by changing individual lives, transforming public perception, and revolutionizing the systems and policies that impact sexually exploited

Big Brothers Big Sisters
Mission: To help children reach their potential through one-to-one relationships with mentors that have a measurable impact on youth. For more than 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has operated under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. As the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 6 through 18, in communities across the country. They develop positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people.

Safe Horizon
Mission: To provide support, prevent violence, and promote justice for victims, their families and communities. Since 1978, Safe Horizon has provided support and advocacy for victims of crime and abuse. Today, as the largest victims' service agency in the United States, they are also recognized leaders in responding to the changing needs of their clients, and are sought out as experts on issues of violence and victimization across the country and around the world.

God’s Love We Deliver
Mission: To improve the health and well-being of men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other serious illnesses by alleviating hunger and malnutrition. God’s Love We Deliver prepares and delivers nutritious, high-quality meals to people who, because of their illness, are unable to provide or prepare meals for themselves. They also provide illness-specific nutrition education and counseling to their clients, families, care providers and other service organizations.

The Multicultural Music Group
Mission: The basic mission of the MMG is to provide performances, instruction and professional dev
elopment in multicultural music as a tool to promote global understanding, cultural awareness, and academic achievement. The presentations, training and instruction provide the constituents the opportunity to experience artistic growth and cultural awareness through the acquisition of specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes that contribute to a more harmonious society and a better lifelong enjoyment of music.

Spoons Across America
Mission: Spoons Across America,® the source for children’s culinary education is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to educating children, teachers, and families about the benefits of healthy eating. We work to influence the eating habits of children through hands-on education that celebrates the connection to local farmers and the important tradition of sharing meals around the family table.

El Puente
Mission: El Puente is a community human rights institution that promotes leadership for peace and justice through the engagement
of members (youth and adult) in the arts, education, scientific research, wellness and environmental action. Founded in 1982 by Luis Garden Acosta, El Puente currently integrates the diverse activities and community campaigns of its Center for Arts and Culture and its Community Health and Environment Institute (CHE) within its three neighborhood Leadership Centers and its nationally recognized public high school, the El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice. Organizing in North Brooklyn and beyond, El Puente remains at the forefront of community/youth learning and development issues and as such, initiates and impacts social policy both locally and nationally.

Women in Need - WIN Organization
Mission: Women In Need provides housing, help and hope to New York City women and their families who are homeless and disadvantaged. Through comprehensive programs such as shelter, supportive permanent housing, job training, domestic violence services, alcohol and substance abuse treatment and childcare, WIN offers the tools and guidance which allow our families to return to their communities and live independently.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Week of July 6 - July 11, 2010

With the summer now in full swing we’ve got vacation on our minds. Don’t know where to go? How about a 3 hour plane trip to one of the hottest spots in the world?

Whether it’s a week away or just a weekend getaway, New Yorkers flock to Miami for the hot sun, its well-known beautiful beaches and trendy nightlife.

Recently, the team of the website showed us how they took over the Fontainebleau Hotel to create Hotel Thrillist Miami 2010. The Thrillisters not only showed us how to tear it up Miami style, they left behind
a blueprint with the key ingredients: where to stay, dine, play…and of course what to wear.
Let’s get set to party VIP style!


STAY: Nothing is more VIP than the legendary Fontainebleau Miami Beach, Located on Collins Avenue, this is the place to be and be seen. It's easy to relax on the beach or oceanfront pools. Fontainebleau’s new poolscape boasts “walls of water” intermingled with a free-form pool. Between the resorts' eleven restaurants and lounges, a 40,000-square-foot spa and the 1,504 guest rooms offer plenty of relaxation for everyone.


Foodies will enjoy the multitude of culinary options Miami has to offer. While at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach check out the trio of signature restaurants:

Gotham Steak
– Alfred Portale, chef and owner of New York’s
celebrated Gotham Bar and Grill, is at the helm of Gotham Steak. Portale’s menu expands beyond modern American steakhouse fare to include raw seafood towers, exotic meats and 1500+ wines from around the world.

Scarpetta – Scott Conant of Scarpetta in New York City opened a Miami Beach outpost. Known for coaxing the most sublime flavors out of the simplest ingredients, Conant has created a satisfying and soulful meal that encourages guests to pick up a piece of bread and clear their plates.

– Hakkasan at Fontainebleau, conceptualized by Alan
Yau of London’s Michelin-rated Hakkasan, provides diners a diverse menu of modern Cantonese cuisine with a wide array of wines, sake and cocktails.


DRINK & BE MERRY: Speaking of cocktails… for a festive summer drink, try the Bacardi Torched Cherry flavored rum mixed with Coca-Cola. This delicious cocktail creates a Cherry Coke flavor that packs a punch. For recipes explore the free Bacardi Flavors Cocktail Application for the iPhone and iPod Touch available at Apple iTunes.

One of the most popular recipes:


1-1/2 parts pineapple juice

1-1/2 parts cranberry juice

Shake ingredients,pour over ice and garnish with pineapple wedge.


NIGHTLIFE: Miami locals and visitors flock to the Fontainebleau for trendsetting, high-energy nightlife. LIV nightclub, a favorite for celebrities and those in the know in Miami, offers an eclectic mix of entertainment in a sleek, stylish environment.



In Miami looking haute is what its all about! Your confidence is your best accessory… that and a hot bikini. For poolside looks that are fun and irreverent, check out swim styles by the House of Jackie Brown. The bold, retro-futuristic swimwear collection can be seen at

Another way to make a statement is with your eyewear. It's easy to do that with shades by Stunner of the Month, For $9 a month the subscription based program sends members a unisex, usually funky and unique, pair of stunnas. Holla!

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