Thursday, June 24, 2010
As featured in my NYC Food & Drinks Column in h Magazine out now at select Barnes and Nobles www.h-monthly.com
174 Ninth Avenue @21st
This charming vegan chocolate and wine bar café recently opened in the heart of Chelsea and has quickly garnered a loyal following. The first 100% vegan, organic, fair trade chocolate shop also has an extensive online menu of tempting vegan "milk" chocolate truffles, almond toffee, chocolate covered caramel popcorn and pillowy marshmallows that can be delivered directly to your doorstep.
Visiting this intimate spot is a pleasure to the senses as you inhale the scents of baking that easily envelope you here. Cheaper chocolate abounds from brands we all know and love, but the choice of ingredients here which come from the Dominican Republic and are processed in the motherland of Switzerland makes all the difference whether you’re stopping in for a coffee or taking the time to enjoy their wine and chocolate tastings. The chocolate desserts are paired with a short list of savory items that offer you a choice from a Vegan Cheese plate (yes you read that right) to their Whimsical Quiche, a Nutella Plate and English Tea Sandwiches. Have no fear here, your taste buds will thank you and beg for more.
Chocolatier and pastry chef Patrick Coston is a self-taught maestro who’s been named previously as one of the top US pastry chefs for two consecutive years by Pasty Art & Design magazine and his passion is present in all the dishes here. With a nod towards keen animal rights, no dairy is used here and this doesn’t stop the flavors from melting across your mouth with delicious abandon. The latest offerings in Chocolate bark, which seems to be the new catchword are freshly made here and temptingly packaged to go too. Six different truffles will leave you bleary to make a decision, try them all!
Sit down, relax and enjoy the ride here, a trip is well worth taking.
Photo by Antonio Anobile
Thursday, June 10, 2010
From a post by my friend Sian Richards who posted this on Facebook where I found it. Yes, after all the strum and drang over privacy I've posted here in my blog, I do believe in the power of Facebook when sharing is put to good use.
As I write this, listening to the lyrics of Welcome To The Black Parade by My Chemical Romance. "I'm just a man, not a hero. Just a boy who wanna sing his song. Just a man not a hero. I don't care..."
Here Steve Jobs gives a moving and relevant commencement at Stanford fully five years ago that is relevant and timeless.
Enjoy, share. Stay Hungry...Stay Foolish, live every day as if it were your last.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
The great debate over privacy was tenable this week at the annual tech conference from the Wall St. Journal, as CEO Mark Zuckerberg melted under the heat of direct questions over privacy at the D8 conference. Whether he knows what he’s doing today or not has to be asked as the value of his idea grows exponentially and he’s now the 26 year old CEO of an audience of 400 million plus members of Facebook.
How Mark Zuckerberg became “the man” is nicely outlined in Patrick Kirkpatrick’s exclusive upcoming book excerpted in the current issue of Fortune magazine, The Temptation of Facebook. It’s hard to believe the company itself is only six years old and has come so far so quickly to really define the Social Media experience for so many. Kirkpatrick does an excellent job of humanizing the Facebook juggernaut but leaves open the question to me of what exactly drives Mark Zuckerberg which was only highlighted by his public display of nervousness over such a core issue on the internet. What are his true ambitions and how much does he really care about the community he’s created? Can Mark Zuckerberg be trusted?
Surely more will come from this upcoming tome and more when the Facebook movie premieres, which makes it all the more something to look forward to as the zeitgeist unfolds before us. What was once the warm and fuzzy place to be that everyone was joining has morphed into something much more mysterious with a taint of real greed that goes beyond money. Is this a different kind of greed then those that have come before or is it a simple case of megalomania that has played itself over and over again both in fact (Michael Milken) and in fiction (Gordon Gekko).
For a young man who’s gone from digital programmer to digital prophet, his drive to maintain control of his company against all offers is staggering and still somewhat mysterious ($10m in 2004 to $24b in 2009). This mystery of control and command of his power over his company is exactly what lead to the recent blow up over privacy (he simply thought that at 26 years old—he knew best). Based upon the allegory detailed in Fitzpatrick’s piece—I’m not convinced that any real lesson’s were learned, I predict it won’t be the last time Zuckerberg and team face such a response.
It’s been written that the recent 35,000 members of Quit Facebook day was a failure, and I strongly disagree. I only wonder if the next time there will be a strong enough backlash, organically grown from within the community to slow or stop misdirection on par with what congress has now called into question regarding the use of members information and their privacy. The movement against “the man” was an organic first wave (there’s been several actually) that offered fodder to the media to ask the larger questions of how and why the privacy debate even began.
I didn’t even join the group, but it had an effect on me and heartened my own thoughts related to the fact that I was not alone in questioning the ethics of what was previously a beloved or at least benevolent part of my life. Today that’s changed for me. I didn’t quit but I certainly no longer share on Facebook the way I used to. Nor will I ever again. The shine is off the penny for me. To many I’ve mentioned the topic to and to those I’ve listened to (Including Robert Scoble’s wife’s meandering interview) it was simply beyond their grasp as to care why. The fact that a minority did care and did ask the question and did create a movement at the time it was needed to highlight their cause speaks volumes for the hope all of us should have that we can all “do the “right” thing in keeping an ego the size of Zuckerberg’s in check.
I’m reminded (fairly melodramatically) of Terminator and the mission of young John Connor to overcome the tyranny of the machines, or even Neo in The Matrix to save humanity from the hands of automated creatures. No, Mark Zuckerberg may not yet achieve anything near that status—but his blinding drive and ambition for total control of his company have him well on the way to achieving at least a degree of that infamy if he makes too many mistakes and let’s an ego continue to run amok. Am I the only one who feels like we’re watching an episode from a Marvel comic of a young mogul over-reaching his knowledge to achieve some nefarious just cause, even if its to learn how to be a better CEO? He has such advisors by the way. Why are we the guinea pigs for his ambitions?
Nifty Facebook logo from http://sharkdivers.blogspot.com/