Donum Dei Brewery opens in New Albany

Kentuckiana's newest craft brewery just wants to fit in.Donum Dei Brewery, located off Grant Line Road in New Albany, opened last week after about three years of planning and is now gunning to join the burgeoning craft beer community — which has seen four local breweries open within the past year.With an open layout, bright setting and visible lack of televisions, Donum Dei's atmosphere varies from other nearby breweries, including New Albanian Brewing Company and Red Yeti Brewing in Jeffersonville. But brewer and co-owner Richard Otey said he hopes to prove himself before attempting to make his mark."I think it's important, especially for a young artist, to prove that he can do the technical stuff," Otey said, comparing his craft to that of a painter. "He knows how to do that, so he can follow the rules, then he can break them. I want to do that with my beer. I want to let people know I can brew a pale ale, I can brew a Belgian, then I can go out and brew whatever is the latest trendy beer. I need to establish myself first."Craft brewers are currently at the height of their place in the beer industry, reaching a double-digit volume share of the marketplace for the first time ever last year, according to a recent report by the Brewers Association.And as more breweries join the movement — with 615 opening in 2014 alone — Otey said the businesses need to compliment each other, not compete."In craft beer, we kind of work together for the most part because we're 10 to 15 percent of the market share," he said. "We know who our competition is ... it's Miller, Bud, Coors."Otey was a home brewer for years before getting the idea to sell his beer professionally. An electronics engineer by trade, he took up the hobby with his wife, Kimberly, after their kids moved away and has enjoyed the process ever since. He now owns Donum Dei with his wife and business partner Jonathan Ruff.The Oteys closed on the Grant Line Road property, located in a shopping center Continue Reading

Where to pay tribute to Michael Jackson: King of Pop events, landmarks in New York City

The death of superstar Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, has sent a wave of shock and sadness through New York City, inspiring impromptu memorial gatherings across the boroughs. To find a place to honor and celebrate the life of this music legend, check out our list of MJ tribute events that will be taking place this weekend. Crowds have been gathering at both the Apollo Theater in Harlem (253 W. 125th St.) and at Madame Toussauds Wax Museum in Times Square (242 W. 42nd St.) to honor the pop legend. At Madame Toussauds, Jackson’s wax figure dressed in his red “Thriller” jacket and black pants will be on display in the window for the next few days, and fans are invited to visit and leave mementos next to it. All weekend: The Dreamland Roller Rink in Coney Island is offering discounted entry to anyone dressed in a Jacko-inspired ensemble. Prizes for best moonwalk and the sound of the King of Pop will be given out all weekend. (Fri 7-11pm, $10; Sat 2-6pm, $10, 8pm-midnight, $12; Sun 3-7pm, $10.) 3052 W 21st St. Friday, June 26 5 p.m.:  "Thriller" reenactment flash mob, as posted on Twitter, at Times Square 6 p.m.: Memorial planned at Union Square 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.: Musical tribute to Michael Jackson and the Jackson family at KATRA (217 Bowery and Rivington), features two for one drinks until 7 p.m., doors open at 5 p.m. 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.: The MJ tribute wine pairing at City Winery, 155 Varick St. $25 wine and music pairing memorial. 25 of Michael’s classic songs spanning over five eras will be paired with specially selected wines.  10 p.m.Fri and Sat: Tribute at M1-5 Lounge with music by DJ Lazor, 52 Walker St. between Church and Broadway. 10 p.m.: 1Oak Michael Jackson party, "It doesn’t matter if you’re black or white, just don’t come with too many dudes" at 453 W. 17th St. 10 p.m. - close: Ice Cream dance party with DJ Full Time Fun and hostess Maggie C at the Arrow Bar Continue Reading

Open House New York offers key to city’s best-kept secrets

Attention, voyeurs! And trespassers, too. There's an event happening soon that's tailor-made for your obsessions. "Open House New York" presents a dream opportunity for anyone who likes to peek at places where we're normally not allowed - or at least at areas we usually can't crash for free. Now in its sixth year, this weekend-long event (Oct. 4 and 5) throws open the doors to hundreds of city landmarks, museums, park areas and homes - many of them otherwise shuttered, obscure or simply ignored. Essentially, OHNY operates like a monster-size treasure hunt, allowing anyone to find scores of pleasurable sights throughout the five boroughs. Along the way, you can poke into places of considerable historic worth, artistic importance or, if nothing else, eccentric flair. I've been attending this blessed event since its first year and in that time I've had the pleasure of previewing the coming High Line park (in the West Village) from a usually banned perch. I've also gotten to wind my way up the usually padlocked insides of the Little Red Lighthouse, housed on its own peninsula under the George Washington Bridge. More, I've sauntered around private artist studios in the airy Starrett-Lehigh Building while gaping at how its windows frame, and refigure, New York's western skyline. This year's densely packed program features all kinds of walking tours that would normally cost you some bucks, as well as admission to scores of pricey museums, for no cash at all. One warning: OHNY has become quite popular over the years, and many events draw long lines. So arrive early, in comfortable shoes, and be prepared to be a sport if you don't get to barge into every space your heart desires. Fear not. There's always next year. In the meantime, here's a brief sampling of just a few events I'm hot for this year. To assemble your own itinerary, go to Open House New York's Web site, where you can sift through multitudes of listings to create your own dream view of the hidden Continue Reading

Does luxury still live in New York?

Tell Jay-Z that luxury is dead and he'll show you the wood paneling in his Gulf-stream V. Tell the buyers of a luxury condo backing onto the rail tracks in Long Island City that luxury is dead and they'll swear by their double-paned silent windows it's alive and kicking. While luxury is a million different things to a million different people, for the past 25 years, brand marketers have pummeled the word into a sad state where its meaning is as confusing to consumers as quantum physics. Volvo claims it's a luxury vehicle. So does Cadillac. Lexus tried to redefine the word in the 1980s but diluted it even more. Ralph Lauren was luxury, then he licensed his label to mass manufacturers. Now, according to fashion insiders, he's buying back his name in certain product categories to better control his brand image. The concept of luxury has become confusing, but it's far from dead. When it comes to New York-area housing, luxury is applied by architects, home hunters and real estate agents to describe anything from a wall-to-wall carpeted two-bedroom condo in Asbury Park, N.J., to four-bedroom apartments overlooking Central Park with Corinthian marble entryways, bathroom bidets, 14-foot ceilings and Venetian blown-glass kitchen tile. "Luxury is a misused term because the market tries to apply it to everything," says Dr. Jim Taylor, vice chairman of the Harrison Group and co-author of "The Annual Survey of Affluence and Wealth in America," produced by American Express Publishing and Harrison Group. The 2008 version of the most definitive survey undertaken today on the habits of America's wealthiest individuals is being released at American Express' Luxury Summit conference on Tuesday. The data even cover those with $20 million or more in individual assets. "It serves marketers' interest to say their own product is luxurious," said Taylor. Luxury Defined So what is luxury? According to Taylor, whose clients include Gucci, Four Seasons Hotel Group, Continue Reading

Bids for new Windows on the World sought by Port Authority

Call it the second incarnation of Windows on the World.The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is seeking a restaurant operator to occupy the 100th and 101st floors of the Freedom Tower at ground zero."This is another step forward in the redevelopment of the historic site," said Port Authority spokeswoman Candace McAdams. "The Freedom Tower is an iconic structure that calls for a world-class dining destination."The restaurant, scheduled to open in 2013, will offer 360-degree views of New York City and the Hudson and East Rivers.The Port Authority will issue a formal request for expressions of interest on Tuesday to design, build and operate the 34,000-square-foot restaurant. Interested restaurateurs will have until the end of February to respond.The Port Authority signed an agreement with Cushman & Wakefield Inc. last year to find tenants for the Freedom Tower, which will also be called One World Trade Center.The 1,776-foot tower’s foundation is under construction, and it is expected to open in 2012 — 11 years after the attack on the trade center.Windows on the World occupied the 106th and 107th floors of the north tower of the old World Trade Center and was destroyed along with the rest of the complex on Sept. 11, 2001. All of the restaurant staff members and breakfast patrons who were present died when American Airlines Flight 11 hit the tower. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

‘In New York I actually rarely feel like an immigrant’

Big Town Big Dreams Stories about immigrant  New Yorkers who make this town the great place it is Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska didn't come to New York City to become an award-winning journalist in the Polish community. As a 24-year-old immigrant from Warsaw, Kern-Jedrychowska arrived in March 2001 with dreamy notions of living on the lower East Side with her French boyfriend of four years. Poland was a thing of the past. "It all seemed so romantic," says Kern-Jedrychowska. "And it was, for a while." But the couple broke up shortly thereafter and she left their cozy apartment. Suddenly, she was alone and unemployed in a foreign city that had just suffered its saddest moment in recent history. "I'll never forget the toxic smell that was floating in the air on 9/11," she says. "I had left the windows open, and everything was covered in soot." As she grieved over the city, her relationship and her empty bank account, she turned to her community for help. She moved to Ridgewood, a predominantly Polish neighborhood in Queens, where she rekindled old friendships and made new ones. She also discovered a support system of Polish doctors, banks, charities and agencies that manage everything from flights to taxes. People of Polish ancestry in New York City - estimated at 213,447 in 2000 - were thriving, and they had many stories to tell. "Immigration and similar hardships make people closer," she says. "I'm surrounded by people from different countries that I've met only recently, but nevertheless we care for each other." In 2003, Kern-Jedrychowska started working at Nowy Dziennik, or Polish Daily News, one of three Polish-language daily newspapers in New York City, at 333 W. 38th St. in Manhattan. Her work has won several Ippies, the Independent Press Association of New York awards for ethnic journalism. Kern-Jedrychowska also works as a free-lance reporter for WNYC New York public radio as part of the New York City immigrant series Continue Reading

The hottest fall restaurant openings in Indianapolis

Goodbye, summer. Hello, hot fall restaurant openings in Indianapolis. Attend the IndyStar Food & Wine Experience and you’ll get to try some of these restaurants before or soon after they open. Get tickets at Super Bowl Pho 5603 E. Washington St., superbowlphowestfield.comLaunched in Westfield in 2013, this real-deal pho shop plans to open its second location in mid-October on Irvington's main drag. Vietnamese owners Tony Nguyen and his uncle, Leo Van, run the shop that has earned high mark from Yelpers. They list it as one of the top Vietnamese  restaurants in the United States. Get traditional meat-heavy pho full brisket, meatballs, tripe, tendon and sliced beef, or choose pho with a choice of beef, oxtail, chicken or seafood. Vegetarian pho is also available. The full menu of Vietanamese dishes includes numerous other soups, banh mi sandwiches, noodle dishes, stir-fries, spring rolls and a huge range of Vietanamese beverages like pennywort juice, egg soda and coconut water inside a coconut.  Beholder 1844 E. 10th St., sexy, fun, energetic and comfortable neighborhood restaurant is how chef Jonathan Brooks defines Beholder, Indy’s most exciting restaurant project of the moment. chimed in, naming it among America’s 16 most anticipated fall openings.Brooks, mastermind behind the city’s nationally acclaimed Milktooth, has been mum on Beholder menu specifics.At Beholder's Instagram, see him playing with Indiana hanger steak cooked directly on binchō-tan, a Japanese oak charcoal. One shot shows rutabaga roasted in coffee, goat’s milk and Mexican chocolate.Wine will be a big deal. Brooks' business partner is Josh Mazanowski, former sommelier extraordinaire at SoBro's late Recess. Acclaimed Indianapolis pastry chef Pete Schmutte announced in July that he will leave Cerulean this year to become to pastry chef Continue Reading

June hotel roundup: The latest openings, renovations, new brands

The U.S. hotel industry continues to remain robust, with 191,832 new rooms under construction as of May. That represents a 16.4% increase compared with May 2016, according to research firm STR’s latest pipeline report.Hoteliers are also investing more in various markets, renovating hotels across the country. Here’s a roundup of some notable openings, renovations and brand announcements. Hilton’s new Tru brand debuts  Hilton has opened the first of its new midscale brand. The debut of the first Tru by Hilton Oklahoma City Airport hotel marks another milestone. It is Hilton’s 5,000th hotel. Hilton now has 14 brands.The McLean, Va. Company has 425 signed deals to create new Tru hotels. Ten properties are slated to open this year and 75 next year.Hilton says it is targeting a “value-conscious” customer. The price point will be in the $100 range, depending on the location and time of year. The Tru in Oklahoma City has a 2,880-square foot lobby with spaces for working or lounging. The front desk features a social media wall with real-time content. A 24/7 “eat. & sip.” market offers snacks and refreshments, single-serve wine and beer, and light-meal options and sundries.A complimentary “Top It” breakfast bar has 30 options for sweet and savory dishes, including bagels, donuts, yogurt, granola, hard-boiled eggs, and oatmeal.Rooms have platform beds, 55-inch TVs, eight-foot wide windows, and several outlets for powering devices. There is complimentary Wi-Fi, mobile check-in, room selection and digital key entry to rooms available through the Hilton Honors mobile app.“There are a whole bunch of customers that we haven’t been able to serve that we want to serve,” says Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta about the market segment Tru is targeting. Wyndham announces a new brandWyndham Hotel Group has announced that it will start a new brand—its 19th. The Continue Reading

Maxwell Anderson property for sale in New City

Driving along South Mountain Road in New City, a casual traveler might not realize the historical significance of the neighborhood.Beginning in the 1920s, the area was home to a group of artists that included playwrights, potters, actors, painters, and novelists; composer Kurt Weill and wife actress Lotte Lenya, actors John Houseman,  cartoonist Milton Caniff, and ceramicist Henry Varnum Poor all lived on The Road, as it was known. Actor Burgess Meredith lived nearby.Properties along the narrow, wooded and winding road now sell for millions, a price afforded by large parcels of land and lots of privacy. Houseman's former home, for example, is currently on the market for $2,488,888.There's also a squat, white, concrete block house with a sagging porch set on an overgrown property well back off the road.Listed for $399,999, the three-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath home could be a bargain for fans of the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Maxwell Anderson, who reportedly used it as a writer's retreat. The taxes are $17,581 (2014).In a piece he contributed to the Historical Society of Rockland County in 2008, Anderson's late son, Alan, wrote that after arriving on South Mountain Road in the early 1920s, his father's life was centered there for the next 30 years, "an incredibly productive period during which he wrote an astounding 39 plays, 28 of which, were produced on Broadway."Considered among the most important American playwrights of the 20th century, Anderson wrote "Key Largo," "What Price Glory,"  "Winterset," as well as the screenplay for "All Quiet on The Western Front," among many other works.Some of the works could have been written in this unassuming cottage, although its exact provenance is unclear.Located down a bumpy dirt track and completely hidden from view, it comes with 7 acres of wooded property and a separate garage. The last owner of record was Terence Anderson, one of Maxwell's sons, who Continue Reading

SCARIEST BUILDING IN NEW YORK. Jitters over demolition of toxic tower near WTC

THE 40-STORY shell at 130 Liberty St. stands as a ghastly testament to the devastation of 9/11; to many residents of downtown Manhattan, it is the scariest building in New York. The former Deutsche Bank headquarters, located on the edge of Ground Zero, is filled with a toxic brew of asbestos, lead, cadmium, dioxin, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and other poisons deposited after the collapse of the twin towers. And now, the planned demolition of the structure - scheduled to begin later this month - has ignited passionate fears that the neighborhood again will be exposed to a cloud of contaminated debris. Public hearings on the demolition have been packed. The only problem: The public hasn't been allowed to speak or ask questions. Furious protesters, including local residents and environmental activists, repeatedly disrupted one recent meeting, shouting down speaker after speaker. Some placed blue tape over their mouths to symbolize being gagged. "Why are you censoring the victim? " shouted one red-faced man. "Take your speeches outside! " bellowed Michael Haberman, a spokesman for the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., which oversees post-9/11 rebuilding downtown and now owns 130 Liberty St. To those who live in its shadow, it is easy to understand why emotions run high when the topic of 130 Liberty St. comes up. The morning of the terrorist attacks, debris from the collapsing south tower ripped a gash 15 stories down the face of the building. Tons of steel and concrete punched through to the subbasement, causing an underground diesel tank to explode. Some of the toxic plume created by the tower's collapse settled into 130 Liberty's gaping hole. Still unsettled by those events, many local residents fear that the scariest building in New York is about to become much scarier. In the coming weeks, the LMDC is scheduled to begin the job of tearing it down, floor by floor. Contractors have begun erecting scaffolding all the way to the top. Continue Reading