Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Best Annual Tasting Event: Village Voice Choice Eats, March 19, NYC

I have my tickets, and I'm ready to eat.  The Village Voice Choice Eats event is the annual foodie event that I most anticipate.  I hope to see you there. The sixth version of Choice Eats is set for Tuesday, March 19 at the 69th Armory at 68 Lexington Avenue (26th Street) from 6:30-9:30pm. I'm thrilled about the which has an amazing 86 restaurants from New York City, all hand-selected by Village Voice’s food critics Robert Sietsema and Tejal Rao. Two of my favorites are in the group this year: the new Qi Thai Grill from Pichet Ong and Sripraphai (Williamsburg) and Txikito, Alex Raj’s Basque-Mediterranean tapas restaurant (Chelsea).  As those of you who have attended in the past know, the evening isn’t only about food.  There’s also a great selection of craft beers, wines, and other alcoholic libations to sample. 21 and older..

If you are among the lucky ones to get a ticket, here are some strategies for making your evening a successful one:
·          Plan to get there early as the line snakes around the block with hungry hopefuls.  Scout out the stands (or map) before you “attack.”  There will be lines for all of them, so it’s good to have a plan so you don’t miss out on your favorites. Go with a friend -- you can "divide and conquer" two lines at once this way.  And, be sure to alternate food and drink.  I don't need to tell you why.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Tomorrow is Passport Day -- Time to Get One or Renew

At one of the seminars at the New York Times Travel Show, we listened to representatives from the National Passport Agency talk about the still-low percentage of travelers who own a passport.  They also described a new event, National Passport Day, happening on March 9.

I thought this was a brilliant idea to motivate people to sign up, especially before the summer crunch and planned to write about it.

Today, I went online to double-check that the event was still happening -- I want to share my enthusiasm for world travel and cuisine with everyone.  But, to get beyond being an "armchair traveler," you need a passport.  (Right, President Bush?).

Imagine my surprise when I read the opening lines from the National Passport Agency's own page -- nonetheless you can still participate in tomorrow's effort, if you can find a place to go.

Here's the exact text from their site:

Due to the budget sequestration, Department of State Passport Agencies will not be participating and will be CLOSED on Saturday, March 9.
Many Non-Department of State Passport Acceptance Facilities, such as post offices, clerks of court, and libraries will still participate. On Saturday, March 9, U.S. citizens may apply for or renew their passport book or passport card at participating non-State Department passport application acceptance facilities. 

While Department of State Regional Passport Agencies and Centers will not be open for service on Saturday, March 9, many of the same services can be obtained at our acceptance facilities, such as application acceptance, including for children’s passports where both parents must be present, and expedited services.