Big Apple British Havens

tea and sympathy


Walk along the promenade of the Plaza and you are often likely to run into an Englishman or two. British expatriates are among the most populous of the thriving international community at Waterside Plaza, and happily for all homesick Brits (and general anglophiles!), there are a few good British haunts in New York City. Tucked away in the West Village, the small and cosy Tea & Sympathy is patronized by many expats longing for a taste of home. National comfort food such as Welsh rarebit and bangers and mash are served up by the friendly and very British staff, along with flaky scones with heavenly clotted cream and jam, and of course, a pot of tea. Next door at Carry on Tea & Sympathy, you can stock up on all groceries British from Walker Crisps to Crunchies chocolate, which as any English expat will attest, is one of the things they miss most about home. 108 Greenwich Avenue on Jane St. (212) 807-8329.

the red lion 


Walking into The Red Lion on a Saturday morning or a weekday afternoon, the natives will be surprised to find hordes of English, Scottish, and Irishmen drinking beers and raucously cheering on their football (soccer to Americans) teams on the bar’s several televisions. The Red Lion airs the Premier League games, making it a haven for any British football fan. Offering affordable drinks, an English pub decor as well as live music from 7PM to 4AM seven nights a week, this is a lively New York solution to longed-for London pubs. See The Red Lion’s Premier League schedule here. 151 Bleecker Street. (212) 260-9797.

soho house


The exclusive members-only Soho House is a favorite New York social club for British expats. Originally founded on London’s Greek Street over a decade ago as a place for professionals from the creative industries to gather, the British-run New York branch endeavors to maintain the same spirit. Being a member or a friend of a member of the sleek establishment gains you access to the six-floor facilities, including the rooftop heated pool, the Cowshed spa, the Pantry Bar, the 44-seater cinema and more. While members from all over are to be found mingling in the elegant rooms, Brits still hold strong sway. Learn about memberships here. 29 9th Avenue between 13th and 14th Sts. (212) 627-3647.


Chinese Lunar New Year Events!

chinese new year 2012


Welcome to the Year of the Dragon! According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, the new year begins on Monday, January 23 and it’s expected to be a good one! Of the twelve animals associated with the Lunar Calender, 2012 belongs to the Dragon, the most favorable sign in the Chinese Zodiac. The only mythical animal on the list, the dragon is a pervasive symbol of benevolent power in Chinese culture. Those born under the sign of the Dragon are said to share the creature’s characteristics including energy, passion, and intelligence. So those of you born in 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988 or 2000 have even more reason to take part in the city’s spectacular New Year celebrations as this is the year of your sign!


chinatown lunar new year parade


The festivities kick off on New Year’s Day with the traditional Firecracker Ceremony at noon, which is the highlight of the Chinese New Year Cultural Festival, a lively celebration featuring drumming, dancing and contests. The festival is held from 11AM-3PM in Roosevelt Park, between Grand and Hester Streets. But the red letter Lunar New Year event is the 13th Annual Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade and Festival, held on Sunday, January 29, 11:30AM-4PM. The parade winds through Chinatown along East Broadway, brimming with elaborate floats, lion and dragon dances, magicians, musicians, acrobats and countless other talented entertainers, and is always one of New York City’s most colorful events.


chinese cultural center 


And Chinatown is not the only place to ring in this auspicious year. The New York Chinese Cultural Center hosts a stunning multilevel bash on Saturday, January 28, 1PM-4PM, at the Winter Garden located at the World Financial Center. Featured performances include Shaolin-inspired kung fu, folk dances, and traditional music. Come earlier in the day to learn traditional Chinese arts such as paper-cutting and calligraphy from expert craftsmen. All performances and workshops are absolutely free.


lunar new year gala and flower market


Lastly, as all New Yorkers know, Flushing, Queens has become the most vibrant Chinese community in New York and in recognition of its most thriving community, the Queens Botanical Garden is hosting its Seventh Annual Pre-Lunar New Year Gala and Flower Market this Saturday, January 21, 10am-5pm. Admission into the Garden and the gala is also free. The festivities include live music, feng shui discussion, and cooking demonstrations. Speaking of cooking, make sure you don’t leave Flushing without sampling the best authentic Chinese cuisine the city has to offer! Any of the restaurants dotting Main Street, Flushing and beyond is likely to be a winner. Happy Lunar New Year!



United Nations City Design Exhibit

design with the other 90% cities



Currently on exhibition in the United Nations Visitor’s Lobby, is the second series of the groundbreaking 2007 Cooper-Hewitt Museum’s "Design with the Other 90%: CITIES" project. On display at no admission cost from October 15, 2011 to January 9, 2011,  the exhibition is a moving testament to how socially responsible design can change the world.


design for the other 90% cities 


The exhibition features over 60 projects from 22 countries around the world and explores design solutions to the challenges of rapid growth settlements, commonly known as slums. Population in these global settlements are estimated to swell to 2 billion by the year 2030, which makes the need for such innovations as alternative housing design and low-cost clean water more important than ever.


design with the other 90 cities 


The exhibition features interactive maps, video and sound installation, statistics and a myriad of stories of what the global community is doing to help the global community. Visitors from all over the world are invited to come take part in the ongoing dialogue of sustainable living in the modern age.





International Eats in NYC


One of the very best things about living in New York City is that there is always something new to eat–at any hour of the day. A diverse city doesn’t deserve the term unless it can offer delicious international foods, and fortunately, NYC delivers. Below are some of Time Out New York‘s Best International Eats of 2011.




Stamina Soba at Cocoron on Delancey Street. Succulent slices of pork belly, scallion, and ginger chicken meatballs swimming in a delicious Japanese broth. You can dip the healthy and delicious buckwheat soba noodles in the broth and it will be unlikely that you’ll be able to refrain from draining the bowl when you’re done!



Al pastor tacos at Taco Mix, 116th Street. Tacos abound in New York City but nothing quite like this. This signature pastor pork is hand-sliced in this tiny hole-in-the-wall joint in Spanish Harlem. The juicy meat flavored with cumin and pineapple is worth the trek, and worth the standing you’ll have to do while eating it!




Dum Biryani at Tulsi, 46th Street. A little closer to home but no less delicious, this Indian-style potpie is the chef’s signature dish. Saffron dyed Basmati rice and juicy, well-spiced goat leg encased in a puffy, crispy nan! If your mouth isn’t watering yet, see Time Out New York‘s full list of international eats here



UN Spouses Art Exhibit!


Waterside Plaza is proud to present the international artworks of our very own residents and members of NYLESA (New York Local Expatriate Spouse Association), Neerja Tata and Zijiang Jin. The exhibition of gorgeous Indian folk & tribal art and Chinese landscape painting will be held on Saturday, Sept 10th at the Waterside Health Club.



Neeja Tata, who has been painting for the last 18 years, had her formal training in the East Indian state of Orissa’s original art styles, "Saora" tribal art and the ancient folk art style known as "Pattachitra" (Sanskrit for paintings on silk). Neeja has brought innovation to these cherished traditions by combining the two styles and using new mediums, such as wood, to paint on. She draws inspiration from Indian mythology and themes of rural life and agriculture. Neerja has exhibited her work in Bangkok and the United States. This is her fourth exhibition.




Jin Zijiang was introduced to the art of Chinese landscape painting at the age of seven and has been painting since, including time spent studying with Chinese art master, Liu Haisu. Like many traditional Chinese artists, Zijiang finds inspiration in landscapes and paints his innermost feelings into the depictions of the natural world. "Beneath fine-boned brushed strokes, ethereal ink washes and delicate mineral tints flow subtle feelings and ideas." Zijiang’s work has been exhibited in China as well as Florence, Osaka, and in many publications.


NYLESA is an organization created by UN spouses for UN spouses to help families adjust to their new lives in New York City. See the NYLESA website for more information on this great organization.