Violet- Grilled Pizza in the East Village

Have you had grilled Pizza? Violet, is the latest restaurant in the Emmy Squared pizza empire. They are located in Alphabet City and the grilled pizza is out of this world good. Try the traditional, Classic with havarti and tomato sauce, the savory Aloha with pineapple and peppered bacon (of course I had to get this one) and save room for the sweet and almost dessert like Emily with pistachios and honey. Al are served with scissors to cut your own slice. All taste vastly different from each other and all of them are fantastic.

Also try their meatballs which comes in a dish of three. They were covered in sauce and dense with flavor from the meat, cheese and bread.

The menu also has a hamburger which I may try next time and a multitude of other appetizer size dishes.

The space feels like one of those old pubs, only a little nicer and they also have a full bar.

If you find yourself in Alphabet City and are hungry this is a great option to keep near the top of your list.

 

Oklahoma!

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You might have already read how this version of Oklahoma directed by Daniel Fish is so different from the versions that have played in numerous theaters across the US as well as a movie released in 1955. This version which also had a sold out run at Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse, feels more like real life. By that I mean it feels grittier and I felt more connected to it than the glossy technicolor versions of the past. There are a few ways they have brilliantly achieved this.

It takes place at the Circle in the Square Theatre so it is a super thrust/ almost a round. The audience is surrounding the action instead of it just taking place in front of you as in traditional theaters.

The lights are kept on for the majority of the show. You can clearly all the audience members as well as the actors making you feel more a part of the action. There are of course a few times where the cast interact directly with the audience as well.

Rather than the traditional huge orchestra the band is simplified and on stage. This gives the feel of a real “Box Social” event with the minimal yet accurate instruments including banjo, mandolin, guitars, standing bass and fiddle. The drummer even uses and old suitcase for a kick drum!

At intermission the audience is invited to the stage and cups of chili and cornbread are doled out stagecoach style. You feel like a part all of this.

I am not going to go on and on but you get the idea, this is interactive theatre done very well for a traditional Broadway show. And this is what audiences want more of these days, to be a part of the action, they want an experience and want to participate, not just be voyeurs. This is so clever by the production team.

The cast and band are fantastic all around, you can read numerous reviews on the Tony nominees and the rest of them. I’ll just say you will not regret seeing this fantastic version of Oklahoma! which I feel needed this refreshing update. Go see it now as it will be ending it’s run January 19, 2020.

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Vegetarian

I was a vegetarian for two weeks...It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Maybe it’s because I live in New York City and here you have numerous non-meat options when it comes to dining. During the two weeks I had a superior burger, an impossible burger, a Beyond Meat burger and multiple falafels. I also rediscovered a love for roasted vegetables; the beautiful and magic caramelization of a a cauliflower, a broccoli or a brussel sprouts. I found out just how much grains like freekeh and couscous can fill you up. I ordered and tried dishes I would never have tried before while on the diet like a hummus taquito. I felt like I gained more energy for my workouts and I definitely became for regular with my “movements.”

After two weeks I did go back slowly starting with grilled fish and eventually working back up to a steak (which was so delicious.). Would I do it again, maybe for a limited time like that. Would I ever completely give up meat, no. But I have learned that it is not hard to do, it’s easier than one would think and it showed me that you don’t have to have meat for every meal.

 

Some of my New York City Vegetarian suggestions:

Dirt Candy 86 Allen Street (Broome & Grand) - (212) 228-7732)

abcV38 East 19th Street - (212) 475-5829

Nix72 University Place - (212) 498-9393

Kajitsu  – 125 East 39th  Street (bet. Park & Lexington Avenues) - (212) 228-4873

Derren Brown: Secret

Are you wanting a night out on Broadway but looking for something different than the normal play or musical? Now on performing on Broadway, Derren Brown: Secret just might be it.

What is the Secret? I can not tell you but what I can say is this was an entertaining and thought provoking 2 and a half hours. Mr. Brown is an illusionist, a mind reader a performer and more. He currently has three specials on Netflix dealing with psychological manipulation, myth debunking and social experiments. I watched one before the show and it accurately depicts some of the psychological programming and manipulation he brings to light on stage. It is a one man show and Mr. Brown uses the audience throughout the show.

Some of the elements reminded me of the Magician at The NoMad, but this being in a Broadway theater it is on a much larger scale. Mr. Brown does well to keep the crowd interested and engaged throughout the show.

I highly recommend this show to anyone looking for an entertaining and thought provoking evening on Broadway. The only hesitation is If English is not understood well I would go a different direction.

Secret is scheduled to play through January 4, 2020. Go enjoy and get ready to have your mind blown!