Style Guide: Waste No Time With A Fresh Wooden Timepiece From JORD + Enter To Win A New Watch!

Keeping it casual. Knit top: Behno, Watch: JORD

December is here, and you know what that means. The holidays are right around the corner, and you are probably making your lists, trying to decide what to get for all your loved ones (and yourself). As I am always in the spirit of helping folks with gift suggestions, I have teamed up with the wonderful folks at JORD watches for a unique campaign. The brand makes beautiful men’s and women’s wooden watches for all tastes, and I have collaborated with them for a style post and giveaway. Yes, a GIVEAWAY!

Close-up of the Frankie 35. Jeans: TopShop, Top: Behno

I am super low-maintenance when it comes to timepieces. I always look for something in a pretty neutral color or color combination, that can transition from day to night. I am also super mindful of the size of a watch face as I have a tiny, baby wrist. I have found that in the Jord Frankie 35 style. With a 35mm face, this style is the smallest that Jord has to offer, which was right up my alley. The Zebrawood & navy face combo works greatly for me as I wear jeans a lot during the day, and the palette complements it well.

Time for a costume change. Wool shirt dress: Behno, Watch: JORD

I run lots of errands during the day in my jeans and sweater, and as holiday party season approaches, I generally work special events or attend parties in the evening. I easily transition from day to night by throwing my hair up, applying one of my favorite red lipsticks (I have a collection of about six shades), and switching into an easy dress.

Stunt. Wool shirt dress & faux fur stole: Behno, Watch: JORD

I like to call this look my nod to the arrival of King Jaffe Joffer in 80’s comedy classic, Coming To AmericaClean and simple lines with a dramatic or statement factor; in the case of King Jaffe Joffer, his statement piece was a lion head stole, in my case, it is the combo of the printed stole complementing the wood element of my watch. The look will definitely turn a few heads at your next gathering, having everyone ask, “Where did you get your watch?”

When you see the food at the function. Wool shirt dress & faux fur stole: Behno, Watch: JORD

You will  politely respond that your watch is from JORD, who makes some of the finest wooden watches on the market. You say hello to your buddies and get to talking to new friends, and then this look of excitement appears; the food and drinks come out, and you are overjoyed. It doesn’t take much to make you happy; good food, company, and copious amounts of compliments from your cool watch.

All in the details. Wool shirt dress & faux fur stole: Behno, Watch: JORD

Now you ask how you can be down to be the talk of the party with the best watch? You are in luck. One lucky person will have the chance to win a brand spanking new JORD watch, just in time for the holidays! Here’s what you got to do:

Pretty much a win-win for all. May the odds be in your favor!

Wooden Wristwatch
//www.woodwatches.com/widget-article/andreakcastillo

Photos by Kermit Mercado

This post was sponsored by JORD Watches

Event: Camel Assembly x Overthrow Present #GrabMyGloves, Bringing Awareness To Domestic and Sexual Abuse, Sun. 11/20/16

For a little over a year now, I have been a part of a wonderful women’s collective called Camel Assembly. Spearheaded by my good friend and fellow Sistergoddess, Yelda Ali, we gather for monthly assemblies to exchange ideas, team build, and collaborate for the greater good. This Sunday, November 20th, we are holding a very special assembly paired with an incredibly important social campaign for our fellow women; raising awareness for domestic and sexual abuse.

The #GrabMyGloves campaign is the vision of Sistergoddess Heather Ovieda, whose aim was to use assembly as a means to raise social awareness for a cause too many women unfortunately succumb to at some point in their lives. The women-only event will be held at Overthrow Boxing Club, where attendees/spectators will be able to view select Camels sparring for charity in the ring. Following this will be a panel discussion featuring three of Overthrow’s female trainers Alicia Napoleon, Melissa St. Vil, and Ronica Jeffrey, where they will tell their stories and personal experiences with domestic and/or sexual abuse. I am humbled to be interviewing the fighters and moderating the discussion. It will definitely be a powerful moment where our voices will be heard!

Tickets for the event are $30 a seat, with proceeds going to the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence. The main event will be at Overthrow Boxing from 3-5pm. The “afterparty” will be at Gelso & Grand from 5-8pm. Tickets are still available for purchase now. Grab yours here. If you are unable to attend, or are a man (sorry guys!), you can still donate whatever you can to help support the cause. Hoping to see you on Sunday!
Sunday, November 20, 2016 | 3 – 5 PM
9 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10012

Yes, You Can Have A Plant-Based Meal With Flava at Urban Vegan Kitchen

Urban Vegan Kitchen as seen from Carmine Street

When it comes to food, I am always up for an adventure. When it comes to dining out, I prefer a sexier environment that is chill with unique design elements. When these two things are combined, I am a happy camper, and this is the case with Urban Vegan Kitchen. I attended the grand opening event in late October directly after a hot yoga class, ready to eat, drink, and learn more about the new culinary outpost. As I have many friends and family members that are vegetarian (some vegan), I am always in search of restaurants that have plant-based meals that I can equally enjoy.

The brainchild of co-founders Pamela Elizabeth, of Blossom Du Jour fame, and David Tianga, Urban Vegan Kitchen serves up vegan soul food in the former space of Blossom on Carmine. Once crossing the threshold inside, I was immersed into a super cozy space of white-painted exposed brick walls, standard table & cocktail table seating, lounge chairs, with framed photographs and posters hung on every wall. The lights were dim, evoking a sexy, but not too sexy nighttime vibe, with sounds spanning A Tribe Called Quest to salsa hits played by the DJ of the evening.

Menus & cocktail table seating

The dining area was separated from the kitchen with a glass block wall (seen above), offering a distorted, light-filled peek into where the magic happens. Passed hors d’oeuvres were served throughout the evening, my favorites being the Fried Okra served with ranch dressing, and the Chickpea Hush Puppies served with a house-made remoulade. I saw folks with drinks and realized there was another level below. I arrived quite early, but once I found friends and was able to put down my gym bag, I headed downstairs for a cocktail.

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Event: Dirt Don’t Die: A Celebration of the Life of Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Fri. 11/18 in Brooklyn

Hip Hop heads in NYC, this one is for you. November 13, 2016 marked the 12th anniversary of the untimely death of Wu-Tang Clan founding member, Ol’ Dirty Bastard. He passed two days before what would have been his 36th birthday. To celebrate his life and legacy, the family of ODB along with the folks at Chemistry Creative bring us Dirt Don’t Die: A Celebration of the Life of Ol’ Dirty Bastard

Hosted by Ivy Rivera, the event will feature a live DJ set by legendary Hip-Hop producer Ski Beatz, who will be spinning proper 90’s Hip Hop in addition to ODB’s entire catalogue. There will be a live performance by ODB’s son, ODB Jr, and many more special guests!

Tickets are $20 online and at the door, and can be purchased in advance via Eventbrite. For more info, head over to the event Facebook page, and prepare yourself to enter the Brooklyn Zoo!

 

Dirt Don’t Die: A Celebration of the Life of Ol’ Dirty Bastard

Fri, Nov 18, 2016, 6:30 PM – Sat, Nov 19, 2016, 12:30 AM

CHEM LAB WAREHOUSE

315 Ten Eyck Street

Brooklyn, NY 11206

Saturday Sounds: Mattie Safer “Whenever You’re Ready” (Music Video + Audio)

As we quickly approach the middle of November (ALREADY) after an anxiety-filled presidential election, I wanted to musically smooth it all out for you guys with a nice soulful tune & visually appealing music video. Let me introduce you to Mattie Safer, the DC-bred, bi-coastal crooner whose EP All We Are is sure to make a fan out of you!

His latest single, “Whenever You’re Ready”, evokes a feeling of 70’s soul, reminiscent of Marvin Gaye, but fresh enough to be played in 2016. The song lyrics are a confession to a lover. Mattie explains that he will be available to love the object of his desire whenever she is ready, and not rush her into something that she it not yet prepared for.

The track’s music video, directed by HXLT (formerly Hollywood Holt, for the real ones), is a simple visual told through a multitude of hanging bulbs, with Mattie as the center spotlight. Peep it below.

Digging it? If so, and you live in NYC, he will be performing live on Monday, November 14th at Berlin Bar in the Lower East Side. Check out his website for more info, including his glorious bio written by yours truly. Happy Saturday!

 

Photo by Christelle De Castro

Fan Of Chef Masaharu Morimoto? Enter To Win A Signed Copy of His New Book, “Mastering The Art Of Japanese Home Cooking!”

Here at A Life In The Day of Andrea we are super passionate about food and entrepreneurs. It is incredibly exciting when both worlds combine in the form of talks and other live events. IVY, a membership-based social community with a purpose of lifelong learning aimed to ignite young minds, hosts a myriad of events, spanning business networking, talks, and wellness. For their next salon discussion in NYC, they are hosting an evening with Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, of the globally famed Morimoto restaurant portfolio.

In his salon event, Chef Morimoto will discuss his newly released book, Mastering The Art of Japanese Home Cooking in a Q&A style, his road from chef to world-renowned restauranteur, and conduct a book signing for attendees to wrap up the event.

Are you a fan of Chef Morimoto, Japanese cuisine, entrepreneurs, or do you just love books? Want a chance to win a signed copy of his new book? Hit us up on social media and tell us why you should win, and be creative! Let us know about new skills you want to learn in the kitchen, food history, anything that stands out. Be sure to include the following in your tweets/Instagram posts/Facebook posts:

  • Your testimonial as why you should win a signed copy of Chef Morimoto’s new book. Extra points for photos!
  • Social handles: @alifeinthedayof | @IVYConnect | @chef_morimoto
  • Hashtag: #IVYConnect or #TheSocialUniversity

If you reside in NYC or the surrounding area and want to attend the salon event, check out the IVY website to become a member. Good luck to you!

Saturday Sounds: Steve Lacy “Some” (Music Video + Audio)

The youngest member of my favorite band The Internet, Steve Lacy, is here to bless your ears with bouncy guitar-driven soul. The 18-year old musical phenom-in-the-making released his first solo music video for his feel good tune, “Some.”

The music video, directed by Matthew Castellanos, gives us a bit of nostalgia of teen romantic-comedy films. The young man with a speaker in front of the object of his affection’s home, posted up to serenade her, and ask her out to prom. This story, however, ends a little bit differently. Check it out below.

The video is tight right? But you are probably asking, where’s the audio girl? The track is on Lacy’s SoundCloud and the player is below. Like it, play it on repeat, and vibe out.

If you were lucky to snag tickets, you can catch Steve Lacy perform live with The Internet at the now sold out Camp Flognaw Festival on Sunday, November 13th in L.A. His solo debut is on the way, so hold tight for more tantalizing grooves!

When The Going Gets Tough, You Compete in Your 1st Tough Mudder With Noah Galloway

Team Merrell at Tough Mudder

When the going gets tough, what do you do? Do you rise to the challenge, or whimper at the idea of possible defeat? Depending on your circumstances, the answer to this question can have a myriad of options. A few weeks back when I recounted my mental health journey, I was not having the best time. In that week I was invited to participate in a Tough Mudder competition on a media team sponsored by Merrell and led by Noah Galloway. Galloway, an army veteran that lost his leg and a part of his arm in the line of duty, is the Tough Mudder ambassador and recently released a book on his journey entitled Living With No Excuses.

Since I was feeling a bit down, I stared at the email for a very long time before I responded because the idea of competing in a mud run scared me. At the time I had not worked out in month, and I was scared that I would hurt myself as I was not in the best shape. After speaking with reps via email, I decided to do it as a voice inside me told me to do something that scares you. I psyched myself for the remainder of the week and was ready to go bright and early that Saturday morning.


Eggs Benny from Jack’s Wife Freda. Photo: Andrea K. Castillo

We started our day with a lovely breakfast at Jack’s Wife Freda in the West Village. The super cozy all-day American-Meditteranean bistro has a plethora of delectable (and healthy) breakfast options. After much back and forth, I decided on the Eggs Benny which was two poached eggs on a potato latke, served with smoked salmon and beet hollandaise, paired with a latte to sip on. As we finished up eating, reps from Merrell began to distribute our gear for the mud run and post-activities. It included the following items:

Once we were geared up, it was off to the sprinter van with our team to head to Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ, the site of this year’s Tough Mudder Tri-State and Tough Mudder Half Events. Our team competed in the Tough Mudder Half; a 5 mile course containing 13 military-style obstacles. What is unique about Tough Mudder and other similar events is that it is not an individual race, but based on teamwork. With that in mind, my anxiety lessened a bit on our way to the course, and once I saw it, I felt much better about my decision.

Climbing the Pyramid Scheme

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Celebrate Italian Heritage Month with Cacio e Pepe & Stemmari Nero d’Avola

Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe & Stemmari Nero d’Avola 2013

October is Italian Heritage Month, and to properly celebrate, I wanted to share one of my favorite pasta dishes paired with an excellent red wine. On National Pasta Day (October 17th) I decided to chef up Cacio e Pepe, a Roman dish which literally translates to “cheese and pepper”, that is comprised of a thin pasta, Pecorino cheese, and black pepper. My wine pairing was a  bottle of Stemmari Nero d’Avola 2013 that was sent from their PR company.

Nero d’Avola is an intense red grape harvested in the Agrigento provence of Sicily, marked by its deep ruby red color, bouquet of dark red fruit, and velvety texture on the palate. Given these characteristics, I surmised the peppery quality of the pasta would balance the notes of the wine.

Since I had a box of Barilla Thin Spaghetti to work with, I googled “Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe” and found a great recipe from Olivia’s Cuisine. I did not have the exact ingredients listed in her recipe, mainly the fresh grated Pecorino and Parmigiano Reggiano, so I like to call this “Andrea’s Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe On a Budget”.

Ingredients

My cooking style is very on the fly, always trying to use the ingredients I have at home at the time when hunger strikes. It is much easier to work with what I have got, so when I opened the fridge to see I was out of Parmigiano Reggiano, but had pre-packaged Parmesan cheese, I decided to go forth. Let us get into everything you will need to make this dish.

Tools

  • 1 Large pot to boil pasta
  • 1 Large Saucepan or wok to mix pasta and sauce
  • Tongs

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (box) of Barilla (or any other brand) thin spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp ground black pepper plus extra for serving
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 stick of butter unsalted
  • 1½ cups grated Parmesan cheese (can be doubled)
  • Salt to taste

Simple goodness

Now, here are the steps to get you into the world of pasta goodness!

Instructions

  • Fill large pot 3/4 full with water seasoned with a dash of salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Boil spaghetti.
  • While the pasta is boiling, toast the black pepper in your saucepan/wok approximately 30 seconds until fragrant. Add olive oil and stick of butter. Once butter is melted, remove from heat and reserve.
  • 2 minutes before spaghetti is al dente, remove from heat. In this case the pasta should cook approximately 7 minutes. Remove from heat, strain pasta and reserve 1- 2 cups of the pasta water.
  • In your saucepan, add a 1/2 cup of pasta water to your pepper/olive oil/butter mixture, stirring in pasta until coated over medium heat. Dash in cheese bit by bit, stirring vigorously to melt cheese and avoid clumps. Repeat these steps until all cheese is blended in and you achieve your desired consistency.
  • Serve immediately in a warm pasta bowl or plate. Add cheese, black pepper, and salt to taste.


Close up

Isn’t this divine? With a prep and cook time of about 20 minutes, this dish is simple pasta with a hearty amount of cheese and intense flavor. Pour up a generous glass of Nero d’Avola (13% ABV, if you were wondering) and you are transported to Italy, if only for the moment.

For more information on Sicilia DOC wines, be sure to head over to their website. Buon Appetito!

 

*Photos by Andrea K. Castillo

What I’m Reading: “The Bridge To Brilliance: How One Principal In A Tough Community Is Inspiring The World” by Nadia Lopez

A few weeks back, I recapped the book release and conversation event for Dr. Nadia Lopez’s newly published work, The Bridge to Brilliance, at BRIC Media House in Downtown Brooklyn. As I have completed the book, I wanted to share my experience in reading it, and the lessons that have rang true to me. The Bridge To Brilliance is a non-fiction work by Dr. Nadia Lopez, principal of Mott Hall Bridges Academy middle school in Brownsville, Brooklyn. She quickly rose to fame on the internet in the past year when a student of hers named Vidal mentioned to Brandon Stanton of the popular Humans of New York blog, that she was the person that most influenced his life. The viral reaction of this post led to a full profile on the school, its staff and students, and a massive crowdfunding campaign to send the students on annual trips to Harvard, which was fully funded over 10 times over.

The book recounts Lopez’s own childhood, growing up in Crown Heights, Brooklyn to immigrant parents (from Guatemala and Honduras, respectively), and how good teachers affected her life and livelihood in her younger years. It focuses on  Lopez’s transition from the corporate world working at Verizon to the NYC Board of Education as a Teaching Fellow, to her current position as founder and principal at Mott Hall Bridges Academy. The tone of the book is very no-nonsense and easy to read as it is the words of an educator. Lopez clearly gives breakdowns on the NYC Board of Education and its processes in funding, mass gentrification and its effects on students, and the importance of taking students outside of their school and comfort zones to experience the vast world outside of Brooklyn, New York.

As the daughter of immigrant parents from Belize who have worked for (and continue to work for) the NYC Board of Education in special education the majority of my life, I immediately connected with the majority of the stories in Lopez’s book. A lot of jargon, specifically in the special education sector, which Lopez worked in in her earlier years, was easy for me to understand as I have learned it from my parents. It felt like with each page I turned, I was reading the experience of someone just like me, which I do not often experience when reading books. The words are very familiar.

What I did not entirely expect, was the amount of trials and tribulations that Lopez went through, both in her personal and professional life, to get to where she is today. She mentions that she was on the point of giving up when Brandon Stanton visited her school. It made me realize that everything is not as it seems, and that sometimes in life we have to reach rock bottom in order to go up. Her steadfastness and relentlessness did not allow her to give up on herself or her students when the future was not promised. I really enjoy this story because it really did inspire me to keep going, but to be kind to myself. Women, particularly Black women and other WOC are often expected to be strong, but it is necessary to have a tribe of women and men to lean on in the tough times to get through it all.

If you are interested in learning more about the NYC public school system, or are a lover of inspirational stories (or both), I would definitely suggest picking up The Bridge To Brilliance. The book is available for purchase at booksellers nationwide, with all online retailers listed on Dr. Lopez’s official website. Happy reading!

 

*Photo via Amazon.com

Transparency On This #WorldMentalHealthDay

My happy place, Belize

What do you do when you don’t know how to ask for help? From a young age I learned how to help myself in many ways as I did not want to bother others, or would lose patience in waiting too long for help. Being able to help myself made me feel very independent; I learned how to assemble furniture on my own as a preteen, and could always conjure up a meal or snack in the kitchen with limited ingredients. This will to “make it happen” on my own terms is why I started A Life In The Day of Andrea five years ago; I wanted to have my own online destination where you could learn something new, view beautiful photos, and feel like you were present for all the experiences I have documented thus far. At the age of 30, I have come to the conclusion that this ability to help myself is a huge issue I deal with, and it has been quite detrimental in many facets of my life, the largest one being my own mental health.

In the past, I have written tidbits of my struggles with depression from dealing with the deaths of many family members and friends in four short years, and how stuck I have felt from losing jobs over and over again. I have had many temporary highs in that time, whether it be working with a respected publication, partnering with brands, traveling to a new city, and meeting awesome people, but behind my smiles and pristine photos, the high would end as soon as I got home. To attain more highs, I would keep myself busy, go on as many coffee dates, making sure to attend as many events and partaking in the open bar so I could temporarily escape from my existence of being unhappy. I can’t really pinpoint where this feeling of unhappiness and feeling of ongoing depression began, but as of late, I have really hit a wall. I like to think of myself as a natural born leader who has a strong vision for what she wants in her life, but I often fall short as my thoughts of self-doubt, riddled with anxiety hold me back. It is hard to really explain where it comes from, but it has been pretty consistent for years now.

In recent weeks, the combination of my depression (caused by lack of opportunities, and recent birthdays of the deceased) and anxiety have had me locked up in my bedroom for days. My sleeping habits changed, going to bed after 3 AM and awaking in the early afternoon. I have avoided meeting groups of friends as I did not want to answer the question, “so what are you up to?” In my avoidance, I have developed a feeling of guilt as I believe I have disappointed people. The idea of disappointing people is often worse than actually disappointing people. A few days ago while trying to draft a post here, it happened; I had a pretty awful anxiety attack that felt like my chest, specifically over my heart, was caving in. I cried for hours alone, drank water, and took pain meds to ease the pain that I had caused myself. I texted friends and family as a cry for help, and they listened, but what I really needed was a real life human in the same room as me, to listen and help me with what I was/am going through.

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Celebrate National Vodka Day With Tips From elit by Stoli Global Brand Ambassador, Brent Lamberti

It seems like everyday there is another “national (insert noun here) day”, but here at A Life In The Day of Andrea, the ones that excite us most are those that celebrate an adult beverage. Lucky for us and the free world, today, October 4th is National Vodka Day!

Here are some fun facts about vodka from the folks at elit by Stolichnaya, to impress your buds later for happy hour:

  •  Vodka is lighter than water – 1 liter of water weighs 1,000 grams while 1 liter of vodka weighs 953 grams
  • Distilled liquor in the Middle Ages was used mainly for medicinal purposes, as well as being an ingredient in the production of gunpowder
  • Contrary to popular belief, vodka can go bad if stored for longer periods of time. Ideally, vodka should be consumed within 12 months of the manufacturing date

We had the opportunity to chat with elit by Stolichnaya Global Brand Ambassador, Brent Lamberti about the right way to drink vodka, and his personal favorite cocktail.

 elit by Stolichnaya National Brand Ambassador, Brent Lamberti

When it comes to vodka, often some of us are reminded of our younger years and the improper way to imbibe. On National Vodka Day, what are your tips for enjoying vodka without the hangover?

As long as you are enjoying elit responsibly, there’s definitely no wrong way to enjoy it. As for hangovers, the best way to avoid them is to drink cocktails with minimal sugar content. The overly sweet cocktails of 10 years ago have been replaced by more sophisticated, spirit forward cocktails. Traditionally in Eastern Europe, the birthplace of vodka, people drank it with food. While vodka pairs perfectly savory appetizers, the food also helps you from over-drinking.

We have got a taste of the LED Martini and The Golden Hour cocktails, but what would you say is your favorite cocktail made with elit by Stolichnaya?

I love an ice-cold Flame of Love cocktail. The Flame of Love is a martini variation from the Rat Pack Era. Substitute Fino Sherry for Dry Vermouth and an orange twist in place of a lemon one. Serve with a side of Jamon Iberico and I think you’ll enjoy National Vodka Day just fine!

The Flame of Love
3 oz elit
1/4 oz fino sherry
3 orange peels

Method: rinse and season a chilled martini glass with the sherry and then discard the excess. Using a match, express and ignite the oils from 2 orange peels so the burned oil coats the inside of the sherry-coated glass. Stir elit with ice until very cold and fine strain into the seasoned glass. Finish with one more flamed orange peel.

For more info on elit by Stolichnaya, head over to their website, or to @elitbystoli for more vodka cocktail and entertaining ideas. Cheers to National Vodka Day!

 

*Photos courtesy of elit by Stolichnaya

Saturday Sounds: Kaytranada feat. Syd “You’re The One” (Music Video)

Earlier this week, my best friend in my head, Kaytranada, dropped the much anticipated music video offering for his single “You’re The One” featuring vocals from Syd. Directed by Shomi Patwary, the visual is colorful and fun, referencing various movies and TV sitcoms from the ’90s, like Martin and Coming to America.

The bouncy tune and equally carefree video are sure to be the base for a great Saturday. Press play below.

Kaytranada kicks off his 99.9% Tour today in Seattle, wrapping up on November 12th at the Camp Flognaw Carnival in Los Angeles (that I am still trying to get to this year). Check out his website for all dates and ticket info. He rocks NYC on October 5th at Terminal 5, so keep us posted if you are going to the show!

Event: Mezcal de la Raza Premium Mezcal Tasting, Columbus Day @ Astor Center in NYC

When it comes to the world of spirits, would you say you are familiar with mezcal? Some call it the “smokier cousin of tequila” which is just scratching the surface. This comparison is often made as like tequila, mezcal is also produced from the agave plant. In the United States, mezcal is more of a novelty spirit, but the folks behind Mezcal de la Raza have the mission of breaking those barriers down.

To be held on Columbus Day at Astor Center in NYC, Mezcal de la Raza is a premium mezcal tasting like no other, offering a curated selection of over 30 mezcals from 20 producers in all nine states of Mexico which legally produce the spirit.

Featured brands include:

Cielo Rojo Sotol
Del Maguey, Single Village Mezcal
Mezcal Derrumbes
Mezcal Don Amado
Mezcal El Jolgorio
Espíritu Lauro
Koch el Mezcal de Oaxaca
La Venenosa Raicilla
Mezcales de Leyenda
Mezcal Marca Negra
Mezcalero mezcal
Nuestra Soledad Mezcal
Ochocientos sotol
Mezcal Pierde Almas
Sotol Por Siempre
Mezcal Real Minero
Rey Campero
Mezcal Vago

In addition to the tasting, seminars will be held, focused on food pairing, cocktail creation, and the history and production behind the spirit.

  • Food Pairing Workshop with Yana Volfson of Cosme NYC: discover how different varieties of mezcal express themselves with cuisine
  • Behind The Bar with Alex Valencia of La Contenta NYC: cocktails, glassware, and presentation
  • Production, Culture and Myth with Tess Rose Lampert of PalateTrip: take a trip from the earliest known evidence of distillation through to the modern day

Tickets are available now, with a number of price ranges for the full event, tasting only, and single seminars. Today is the last day for early bird tickets for the full event, for $60, with the price going up to $75 thereafter. Be sure to scoop up your tickets here, and I hope to see you there!

Mezcal de la Raza
Monday, October 10, 2016
2:30 – 6:30 PM
Astor Center
399 Lafayette St.
New York, NY 10003

Take A Bite: Burgers & Bloggers at Harlem Shake’s El Barrio Outpost


Harlem Shake’s new El Barrio location

When it comes to food, I like to call myself a bit of an explorer, but nothing satisfies my hunger like a nice juicy burger. At the end of August my blogger bud Mary, of Mary in Manhattan informed me that she was organizing a blogger meet-up aptly called “Burgers & Bloggers”, and in true Andrea fashion, I agreed to be a part of it, without even knowing the location. Once the date was set, I was all about it. The location of our meet up? The newly opened Harlem Shake location in East Harlem, more affectionately known as El Barrio, reflecting the majority Latino residents.

We met up in the afternoon of Saturday, September 10th, on quite possibly one of the hottest days of the season. I was running a little bit behind as weekend subway service is always a hassle because of construction and detours, but I managed to make it in the last hour, and get the lowdown on the restaurant and its unique menu items and decor.


Interior view

Like its West Side counterpart on W. 124th St & Lenox Ave., the new restaurant is decorated to evoke the diner/ice cream parlor style of yesteryear, featuring a bevy of seating options by the bar, large booths, and smaller tables and chairs.


Jet Mag covers

Staying true to the neighborhood, the main dining area hosts a “Wall of Fame” of autographed photos of some of your favorite people, and a wall of Afros. When you turn the corner to head to the restroom, there is one entirely decorated with Jet Magazine “wallpaper”, and the other covered in all of the covers of Marvel’s Luke Cage comic book.


45 coasters?

At our booth, a range of 45 records were placed in the center, I believe to be used as coasters. It freaked me out a little because as an audiophile, the music picks were splendid and the vinyl was still in very good condition to play, but I digress. Now that you have a picture and feel of the space, let’s get to the food!

Harlem Shake is known for their delicious high-quality beef burgers, made from Pat LaFrieda beef, and their handmade, organic milkshakes made from Blue Marble ice cream.


Signature “Poppin Parcha” Milkshake

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