The first party was a glowing success. Guests were hand-picked and invited to this new-take-on-a -salon in order to mingle and exchange ideas with other tastemakers from a variety of industries. Ellen Swandiak is not only the Editor-in-Chief of Hobnob Magazine, but also the author of “500 Hidden Secrets of New York.” Like all her other parties, she assigned a theme—hidden secrets—thus influencing the menu which featured a bevy of secret ingredients. Guests were also served specialty cocktails by Hendrick’s Gin Ambassador, Erik Andersson (see the recipe for a fab punch) and when the guests got nice and warmed up, she asked them to share their favorite secret and or hidden spot in New York. Watch the video to get all the details, and see the links for each place below.
First the host, Ellen Swandiak, shared her own favorite place for indulging in Eastern European treats, such as kielbasa. The East Village Meat Market (also known as J. Baczynsky) was opened by Julian Baczynsky in 1970. It was his slice of the American dream, and remains an East Village institution (see the recipe of Kielbasa canapes that were served at the party at this link)
Melody Mudd is a photographer specializing in covering the world of burlesque. Melody loves the Grand Central Terminal. What makes it special for her is the timeless atmosphere, and it is where her husband proposed. Grand Central Terminal holds a New York secret in its architecture. When you stand near the dining concourse arches there is a “whispering wall”. To test it out stand at the tunnel’s arched entry way, face the corner and whisper a secret. Have a friend stand at the other corner of the arch. They should be able to hear your secret loud and clear.
Tijana Ibrahimovic is a Journalist and TV Personality, who founded Tijana Style. Her secret place is a hidden bar called Please Don’t Tell. It is a speak easy located in an unassuming hot dog shop on St. Mark’s Place. The way to enter PDT is by locating a phone booth and talking to the host. Crif Dog itself is an excellent place to spend your time while you are waiting. Besides delicious hot dog options, they have games and a see-and-be-seen type of atmosphere.
Dean Holdiman, Interior & Garden Designer has a special affection for a place called Turk’s Inn, in Bushwick, Brooklyn. This spot, unbelievably, was transported from Wisconsen, and now graces Brooklyn’s streets. Be amazed by its colorful and whimsical 1930s ode to foreign lands.
Jade Dressler owns a creative agency and is the author of “Immortal Beloved”, an illustration book for adults. She shared information on a place located in New York’s Upper East Side, right on the Museum Mile. While not necessarily secret, Cafe Sabarsky is worth a special trip. It is located inside the Neue Galerie, so you won’t find it off the street. It is named after the Galerie’s co-founder, Serge Sabarsky. What makes it unique is its old fashioned Austrian atmosphere and excellent food. You must try their Viennese pastries.
The expert perfumer and owner of Aroma M Perfumes, Maria McElroy, shared a place in Staten Island called the Snug Harbor Botanical Garden. What makes it hidden and special is the location. It is one of the lesser known places to visit in New York, and therefore not as crowded. Inside you will find a Chinese Scholar Garden, of which there are only two in United States.
Bradley Spinelli is the author of the novels “The Painted Gun” and “Killing Williamsburg” (if you are a fan or long-term resident of Williamsburg, you will love how Bradley has captured it in it’s pre-heyday glory in this novel). Bradley was a bit cagey in his recommendation, but if you know secret bars you have probably already guessed where this cool spot is in the East Village. Check out his other ode to NYC, as writer/director of the film #AnnieHall, which the Village Voice called “fascinating.”
Prasida Newman is a writer whose passion for scents led her to Fueguia 1833 Soho. It is a high quality perfume shop that sells naturally-derived scents in engraved crystal bottles. Fueguia 1833 pride themselves on being pioneers in sustainable fragrance production.
Bob Hennessy is a retired L’Oreal executive, and current bon vivant. He shared his latest New York discovery, which occurred while entertaining relatives from out of town. Bob experienced the New York Media Boat Tour. What makes it unique is the type of boat you board, meant for photographers and other media—which is more like a raft than boat. The military style boat makes this tour a high-speed adventure, with an added bonus of seeing New York’s unique vantage points.
Joseph Heidecker is an accomplished New York artist known for his unique eye and a sense of humor in his embellished pieces. Joseph has works in the permanent collections of the George Eastman Kodak House Museum, Cindy Sherman, Joel Peter-Witkin, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Kyle Harding DeWoody, Uma Thurman, Benicio Del Toro and other private collections. As an artist he sees New York in a way that others might ignore and that is how he found the Mmuseumm on Cortland Alley. The show is always a surprise. It is open on weekends only and by appointment during the week. If you happen to be walking by, take a peek in the window and see if its something that strikes your fancy.
VIDEO by Danny Bellini, a Writer & Content Producer in Brooklyn, New York with experience on all sides of the camera. dannybellini.com
Some photos from #TheHobnob: Hidden Secrets of New York: