BlackBook Exclusive: Interview w/ Jayma Cardoso + Cocktail Recipes from Her New ‘Mailroom’ Bar

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Image by Rob McKinley 

 

Hard to believe now, that not so long ago Montauk was the “quiet” corner of The Hamptons. But when Jayma Cardoso opened The Surf Lodge in 2008, it became the buzzy galvanizing point for the new “beach bohemia,” presenting live performances by everyone from Rufus Wainwright to The Kills to Patti Smith, hosting fashion pop-ups by the likes of Topshop and Rosario Dawson’s Studio 189…and solidifying its zeitgeisty influence with a Surf Lodge Cafe at Art Basel Miami and a Snow Lodge at Sundance.

Yet having also lorded over NYC hotspots like Goldbar and Lavo, Cardoso is now back in Gotham with a fascinating new concept: the nightlife destination as WeWork playground and, naturally for her, artistic incubator. Cleverly, The Mailroom is actually the mailroom for the WeWork and WeLive spaces at 110 Wall Street – and so already a natural meeting point. But the mission is really about bringing together creative thinkers and doers to inspire and cultivate ideas. It’s already hosted DJ talent like Mark Ronson and James Murphy; but there will also be Monday comedy nights, Wednesday band residencies (i.e. locals French Horn Rebellion), as well as book signings, film screenings and fashion events.

As for the more practical details, Mailroom’s low-key-sexy interior, by longtime collaborator Robert McKinley, is something like cool-60s-airport-lounge meets trendy-80s-disco-club. Eats come by way of Todd English alum Sean Olnowich; and signature cocktails are by mixologists from La Esquina, with clever “post-office-chic” names like Handle With Care and Return to Sender. A few drink creations even come in “large format” – so you can enjoy the wonderful feeling of sharing with your party, without all that models-and-bottles awfulness.

We caught up for a chat with Ms. Cardoso, who also gave us the recipes for some of The Mailroom’s most popular cocktails.

 

Image by Rob McKinley

 

Mailroom seems almost more a “community center” than just a nightlife destination?

I agree, there is something about Mailroom being more than a bar or a lounge. It really serves as a gathering place for a lot of like minded people that are interested in exploring new projects, ideas and ways to collaborate. History has a way of repeating itself; in a way, I think of salons, commonly associated with French literary and philosophical movements of the 17th and 18th centuries, or the 1940s…but, I think people wanted to come together in bigger ways.

How does the WeWork/WeLive connection help to shape the overall vibe of Mailroom?

The atmosphere is really designed around the collaborative nature that WeWork and WeLive is creating for people who are seeking a different approach to work, to how they travel and live.  It’s the same for hospitality…I wanted a place that is a conduit for sharing and creating; this place is designed for where I expect the next big ideas come from. Hence the programming is centered around the arts and giving guests new experiences. This isn’t a club, it’s not meant to be a bar…it’s a place for people to come together in pursuit of their dreams via connecting with others.

Do you think this will be a new trend? Combining nightlife with a cultural and social ideology and “mission” of sorts?

I’m not sure it’s a trend, I think people are always looking for ways to connect…and in a world where we spend so much time in digital and social media spaces, I believe people want more then ever to find others who have the shared idea of doing bigger things by coming together in person.

NYC nightlife has been on virtual autopilot for quite awhile, an endless succession of craft cocktail and craft beer bars. Do you hope to reinvigorate it a bit by building The Mailroom around “ideas?”

I agree. I truly believe in craftsmanship with food, beverages and service; but I’m hoping to make The Mailroom a member of the next evolution, a celebration of all the incredible people who come to New York in pursuit of new ideas, technology, businesses, art, etc. For me, creating a gathering place for visionaries is the next big step.

 

Cocktail Recipes From The Mailroom

The Gimlet 

– 1 oz Absolut Vodka
– .75 oz Lemon Juice
– Splash of Ginger Juice
– Mint Leaf
 

Fired Up Margarita

– 2oz Altos Blanco Tequila
– 1oz Chili Syrup
– 1oz Lime Juice
– .5oz Blood Orange

 

 –

Cold Pressed Negroni

– 1oz Sipsmith Gin
– 1oz Campari
– 1oz Coffee Infused Vermouth

 

Mailroom Mule

– 2oz Absolute Elyx Vodka
– .75oz Lime Juice
– Topped with Homemade Ginger Beer

 

 

Gwen Stefani Opens the New Renaissance Downtown Hotel Dubai

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None other than Ms. Gwen Stefani took to the stage last night, to open the plush new Renaissance Downtown Hotel Dubai – the brand’s first in the UAE’s most mediagenic city.

Decked in Gucci, Gwen rocked her set with faves like “Wind it Up,” “Underneath it All,” Holla Back,” and her version of No Doubt’s version of the Talk Talk classic “It’s My Life.” (The private concert was actually for Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest/SPG members, as part of Marriott International’s global concert series with Universal Music Group.) But not one to holla and run, she also joined the hotel’s Cleatus George for some falconry and, um, dinner in the desert, which she fittingly documented on her insanely popular Instagram page.

The Renaissance Downtown Dubai is set to be one of the city’s most stylish new sleeps, with jaw-dropping room views, as well as its Bleu Blanc and BASTA! restaurants – both by chef David Myers – and an outpost of Morimoto on the way.

 

This is Karl Lagerfeld’s Christmas Tree For Claridge’s

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We reported earlier that none other than Karl Lagerfeld would be designing the annual Christmas tree at London’s unceasingly glamorous Claridge’s hotel (where you might rub shoulders with the likes of Cara Delevigne, Bella Hadid, Kate Moss, Kate Winslet, Kate Middleton or Metallica on a given day). His selection followed a prestigious line of fashion titans, that included John Galliano for Dior, Christopher Bailey for Burberry, Albar Elbaz for Lanvin and Dolce & Gabbana.

The tree has now been unveiled, and it’s an absolute stunner. No surprise, Herr Lagerfeld chose to turn the most beloved symbol of the season upside down, with the result resembling an opulent, flamboyant stalactite. It features leather feathers, German-handcrafted snowflakes, an Icelandic sheepskin rug at the bottom, and a dazzling, mirrored-star at the top.

Do take a moment to pop in and see it if you’re in Mayfair during the holiday season – and perhaps stay for a Festive Afternoon Tea in the Thierry Despont designed Foyer.

 

Cheeky Christmas Wish Lists: Bar d’O’s Joey Arias, Sherry Vine and Raven O

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All the hand-wringing about gentrification, and the nostalgia about a more daring time in NYC nightlife doesn’t, of course, really solve anything. What does make a difference is making sure the show goes on, whatever else happens to be going on around us.

So don’t let all the terrible news “drag” your holiday down – instead, plan to glam it up with Joey Arias, Sherry Vine and Raven O at the 13th Annual Bar d’O reunion this December 17 at Indochine. The latter, of course, remains Gotham’s most glamorous restaurant ever – having celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2014 with a star-studded bash. So there could be no better place to host NYC’s most glam night out. There will be three fabulous sets of the legendary drag cabaret (10pm, 11pm, midnight) – all sure to be equally sexy, scandalous and utterly spectacular.

But to get properly in the holiday spirit leading up to the big event, we asked all three of its stars to give us their Christmas wish lists for 2017 – and, no surprise, Superman makes the list.

 

Sherry Vine

I  I’ve been trying to find a stocking big enough that Joe Manganiello can fit into!
2  A lifetime supply of Absolute Purple by Il Makiage (they’ve discontinued it!)
3  A bottle of my fave fragrance: Tom Ford’s Black Orchid
4  Did I mention Joe Manganiello in a stocking, under the tree, behind the Menorah? Help a “lady” out!

Joey Arias

1  A check for $5,000,000 – is that asking too much???
2  A gift certificate to Louboutin – unlimited, of course!
3  A prescription for antibiotics against that nasty STD!

Raven O

1  Henry Cavill
2  The body I had 15 years ago
3  The memory I had in my teens

Keen is a Brilliantly Idiosyncratic New Philadelphia Restaurant

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The word “keen” is defined as “finely sharpened” and “characterized by distinctness of perception” – as well as “intense, as feeling or desire.”

So it’s probably no accident that Philadelphia’s most captivating new restaurant is named, well, Keen. It’s initial buzz goes all the way back to spring 2016, when it was announced that yet another eatery would be taking over the space – just off Rittenhouse Square – once occupied by the storied Astral Plane, which closed in 2007 after three decades of its beloved bohemian chic.

The bi-level space is now replete with art curiosities, mystically glowing chandeliers, a glass bar, rustic-but-surreal mirrors and handrails (echoing the shapes of nature, certainly), exposed industrial piping, and – our favorite – a vintage condom machine in the loo…which dispenses the restaurant’s own namesake brand.

 

 

Chef Antonella Biundo (how could she not be cool with that name?) serves up wonderfully clever takes on comfort food: riceballs with root vegetables and celery & sage pesto; “Pig Candy” bacon with maple syrup and a shot of Old Grandad; a spicy chicken sandwich with kale and pickled zucchini; an apple-cider brined pork chop; and (yum) pumpkin trifle with gingersnaps. Pair with seasonal tipples like the Autumn Margarita w/ pear and cinnamon, or the Winter Whirl w/ rye, applejack and maple syrup.

Plan to book a table at Keen and make a weekend of Philly this time of year, as the city has one of the most exquisite holiday markets / skating rinks in the Northeast, all situated around the majestic, 19th Century City Hall. Book into the nearby and distinctly stylish Le Meridien Philadelphia, one of our fave hotels in town.

 

Interview: Suzi Analogue on the Launch of Moogfest’s ‘Always On’ Female + Transgender Live Streaming

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There are a thousand and ten music festivals across the country every year – and one might sincerely have a hard time distinguishing one from another. (“Oh, Frank Ocean and Lorde are playing at this one, too?”) But the electronic-leaning Moogfest, approaching its 13th year, has been one of the genuine beacons of innovation, bringing together an electrifying mix of artists and enlightenment, leaving attendees surely walking away with a new vision of contemporary culture, technology…even the socio-political.

And in the wake of the recent sexual harassment scandals and the resulting #metoo movement, they are, no surprise, once again at the forefront. Indeed, on December 6 they launch Always On, an exciting new program highlighting specifically the talents and ideas of female and transgender artists. It features 50-hours of continuous live-streaming programming from around the world, and it accompanies the announcement of its all-female-identified programming for the 2018 edition of Moogfest (May 17-20 in Durham, NC) – with none other than Chelsea Manning as keynote speaker.

We caught up with prolific NYC musician-producer (and Always On participant) Suzi Analogue, to talk about what it all means.

 

Above, past Moogfest performers Princess Nokia and Zola Jesus

What drew you to the Moogfest ‘Always On’ project?

I feel like it is a great response to a popular question in entertainment culture I hear often: “Who are the female-identifying/trans/non-binary producers out there?” It seems like people often draw a blank or can only name a handful; but Always On is hitting you with 50 hours of new names who are committed to the craft of electronic music making. That’s undeniable. It is demystifying who is behind the beats and sounds of electronic music.

What can we expect from the livestream event?

From the livestream you can expect to hear super interesting beats and sounds from people who have been playing and creating electronic music culture all year long, from all over the world. You might tune in and catch a club set, or ambient set, or even a synth jam session – you never know. The stream will be as diverse as the artists playing.

What do you hope for the all-female/transgender component of the 2018 Moogfest to accomplish?

My foremost expectation for Moogfest is to help us artists truly tell our authentic stories through sound and song. Once our stories are told and supported, we as marginalized womxn and trans artists can better secure ways to improve our lives and those around us.

How do you feel art can best play a role in women tipping the scales of power in the coming months and beyond?

Art is a huge catalyst of conversation, and conversation can lead to change; the goal is for change to better our communities. Womxn presenting their art about their lives all adds to a huge recipe that is currently being created to serve progressive and more humanistic decisions in our society. The more art, the more we can see, think and actively feel what needs to progress and what has held us back in the past.

It would seem we need more than ever to have women elevated to equal leadership with men – surely because men are doing such a terrible job. Do you think this might be the time for the floodgates to really open?

YES! Truth be told, historically, womxn have been a huge component to the decisions of men in power – but we were never given the same visibility, and often times written out of popular history…in music, film, science and more. Now that society is realizing this, our spotlight will hopefully become streetlights, and connect ways that we can continue to raise visibility of how powerful we have always been.

Do you have a sense, in the wake of all the sexual harassment allegations, that women feel genuinely empowered? Or really more just pissed off?

Womxn feel everything right now. Empowered, strong, frustrated, pissed, exhausted, excited…this is the most hopeful time to be a womxn known to humankind. Us artists are just setting the soundtrack for that, so we can sing and dance in these times together.
– 

 

Musical.ly Star Baby Ariel’s Fave Miami Hangs + Debut Single & Video ‘Aww’

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Image by Kacie Tomita

Just 17-years-old, Baby Ariel (real name Ariel Martin) is already the paradigm modern media star. Having first garnered attention in 2015, posting videos on the lip-synching app Musical.ly, she’s since built an astonishing audience of more than 30 million, including 2.4 million followers on YouTube and 7.7 million on Instagram.

She’s also been featured in Billboard, on CNN and 60 Minutes…and was given an “Innovator Honor” by The Wall Street Journal. Perhaps most importantly, in 2015 she launched #ArielMovement, a high-profile anti-bullying campaign.

Surely it was merely a matter of time, then, before she took the conventional route, and released music on an actual record label (Baby A, to be specific). Indeed, her charmingly funky debut single “Aww” is out today, with Ariel poignantly philosophizing, “Everyone wants somebody who looks at them like that / And everyone wants somebody that never hurts them back” over a bouncing, infectious beat and a particularly beguiling groove. Best moment in the accompanying video: the skateboarding cat.

A Florida girl, in true BlackBook fashion we asked her to share with us her fave hangouts in Miami – at least that is until she becomes the international sensation she’s pretty much destined to be.

 

 

Lincoln Road

Great place to visit near South Beach for shops and cafes – but mostly, for the best people-watching in SoFla.

Books & Books

Old school bookstore that has old and new books, and a little cafe. A cozy place to sit, read, and journal with a latte in hand.

 

 

Boardwalk on Hollywood Beach

Rent a bike (or tandem) and take a ride down the beach. Get a slice of pizza, a frozen yogurt, or an iced coffee. Then take a swim in the ocean and build a sand castle.

Wynwood Walls

Murals and street-art painted on building and warehouse sides. Great place to check out new art, street performers, and get a bite at the Wynwood Kitchen & Bar.

 

 

CineBistro

I love movies more than anything! But here, you get to order a full-on awesome dinner, have it brought to your recliner seat, and then enjoy your movie in surround.

Bolay

My favorite place for a quick, healthy meal. Build your own bowl how you like it, with your favorite base, protein, and topping. Yum!

 

 

Flamingo Gardens

When you want to get away from it all, a slice of hidden nature in West Central Broward. Stroll through the trees, see the flamingos, and soak in the vibe.

Adrienne Arsht Center

Catch a musical, a symphony, or a play (this month it’s The Book of Mormon and The Hip Hop Nutcracker). Then head to Mary Brickell Village in Downtown Miami for dinner.

 

 

 

 

Try Bella Hadid’s Broken Coconut Favorite, the Farm Scramble

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Since its opening in October, locals and visitors have flocked to the stylish healthy eatery Broken Coconut. With a vibrant, beachy ambiance, it’s attracted the likes of Sara Sampaio, Jasmine Tookes, and Jonah Hill. The menu is also awesome, with its fresh and tasty approach to healthy food that matches the colorful motif of the space.

“With Broken Coconut, we utilize our hospitality experiences to create a destination for food conscious urban bohemians,” says Scott Sartiano, partner at Broken Coconut, “featuring an eye-catching environment, comfortable seating and guilt-free food options. Eating better doesn’t mean dieting, nor does it require sacrificing flavor.”

One such “food conscious urban bohemian” that’s taken to the new downtown favorite is Bella Hadid. And diners can eat just like the supermodel if they order her favorite dish, the Farm Scramble. In addition to its fresh, healthy ingredients, it’s both delicious and highly Instagrammable.

Visit Broken Coconut at their Saks Fifth Avenue pop-up or their NoHo flagship location, and order the Farm Scramble. Or give it a try at home.

Ingredients
2 heads of asparagus
2 eggs
crispy red onions
1⁄4 avocado
vinaigrette*
olive oil
salt
lava salt
*Tomato vinaigrette:
1 cup of cherry tomatoes
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
shallots
1⁄4 tsp stevia
salt
pepper
Directions
1. Grill or roast two heads of asparagus with olive oil and a pinch of salt.
2. Scramble two eggs vigorously in the pan.
3. Toss in the asparagus just before the eggs are done.
*Eggs are better when they are cooked for less time than you think.
4. Add the tomato vinaigrette.
5. Top with crispy red onions, a quarter of an avocado, a touch of olive oil, and lava salt.

Broken Coconut Opens Healthy Pop-Up Eatery at Saks Fifth Avenue

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As Christmas season takes a toll, gift shopping can be an exhausting task. But instead of retreating to the closest fast food eatery or binging on holiday sweets, shoppers at Saks Fifth Avenue now have a healthy and stylish alternative.

Having recently launched in NoHo, Broken Coconut brings their fresh healthy menu and their cozy beach ambiance to the iconic department store just in time for the holiday season. With their neon-lit tropical decor and their signature bohemian swing, it’s a Christmas-in-July experience for shoppers. And the menu is all the indulgence, without any of the guilt.

 

 

“‘Eat pretty’ is what brings the concept of our restaurant full circle, emphasizing the beautiful food that you’d find at the beach,” says Will Makris, partner at Broken Coconut. “All of our dishes are inspired by the beach mentality: an outlook that wellness means making fresh, nourishing choices regularly; and we hope to empower our customers to feed their mind and body beautifully.”

That “beach-to-bowl” concept certainly brings a fun and fresh approach to responsible eating. With choices like the Pink Island Girl, a blended smoothie bowl featuring dragonfruit, raspberry, and spiced coconut, and the Banana Cashew Butter, toast with flax, maple, and ceylon cinnamon, it’s an irresistible alternative for healthy eaters. The menu also matches the vibrant summer atmosphere, perfect for the Instagram-savvy diners.

 

 

After opening in October, their NoHo location has attracted such regulars as Bella Hadid, Jasmine Tookes and Jonah Hill. With the “eat pretty” philosophy making its way uptown, it’s sure to draw even more of the culturati.

Visit Broken Coconut at their pop-up on the fifth floor of Saks Fifth Avenue, or their flagship location at 15 E 4 St. Find more info at Broken Coconut.