Pineapple-Caramel Margaritas & A Taco Shack Hit NYC Today

What did I just hear? The sound of acoustic guitar music and pork belly sizzling on an open grill? Yes. With today’s opening of Tequila Park, the new tequila and taqueria at the Hudson Hotel, NYers are offered an evening of sipping strawberry-mint and pineapple-caramel margaritas, holding a maple-braised taco in one hand and kimchi shrimp nachos in the other, and reclining into a sea of throw pillows –  all to the sweet sounds of live, acoustic guitar music and a 20-foot outdoor movie screen playing black-and-white classics.

With 40 kinds of tequilas and an actual taco shack doling out Sriracha cheese steak and tuna tacos, Tequila Park is basically that place you go when you 1. Can’t afford to go to Mexico 2. Are sick of eating pasta and 3. Have a “thing” for sexy, scruffy acoustic guitar players.

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New York Opening: La Palestra at The Plaza Hotel

Founded by Madonna’s trainer Pat Manocchia, designed by Frank Gehry, and situated in The Plaza, fitness club La Palestra is monumental.

A purely Gehry angular staircase connects floors, while multi-level ceilings and mirrors mounted away from the walls create a whole different sense of depth. Many of The Plaza’s historical features were left intact (La Palestra is located on the lower levels), but a sense of stylish futurism nevertheless prevails. A rather serious place, it combines both cutting-edge and classical equipment with training that includes consultations with internists, orthopedists, and even what’s known as behavioral therapists–and we all know a few people who could use some help with that. 
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The Best Places to Watch the NYC Fireworks

Here at BlackBook, we take Independence Day pretty seriously. Not only is it a national holiday, but it’s also the only summer day we have off from work, thus presenting a wonderful excuse to indulge all day outside on charred, ketchup-drenched burgers, icy American beers, and semi-cheesy red/white/blue apparel. We’ve put together a list of our top five favorite places to witness that spectacular view of the fireworks and have a holiday that you won’t be able to stop thinking about the next day. 

New York Opening: The Bar at the Dream Hotel

When your kid brother ups the ante, you’ve obviously got to rise to the occasion. So with the Dream Downtown having become one of the defacto NYC nightlife fabulosity magnets, the Dream New York has taken decisively to the task of becoming the same. First there was the wild new Russian karaoke bar, Jelsomino, opened in April in the basement. Now comes The Bar, an elegantly stylish new lobby bar.

Jody Singleton’s interiors, all cowhide rugs, antiqued mirrors and Chesterfields set against exposed brick, convey a sort of poshie old-school Englishness. But cocktails, courtesy of Williamsburg’s Liquid Lab NYC, are decidedly 21st Century. Italo nibbles can be had from the hotel’s Serafina restaurant. 

New York Opening: Angelo Galasso

Not many designers (er, actually probably no others) can say they’ve dressed Pacino, Jay-Z and Morrissey. But Italian fashion legend Angelo Galasso’s “Tradition in Evolution” philosophy has an appeal that apparently crosses not just a few cultural divides.

His tres elegan-tay new boutique, installed in the Plaza Hotel’s storied Edwardian Room, is his Stateside debut, and oh what an entrance he makes. Galasso’s modern-classical, masculine luxe looks are right at home amongst the space’s magnificent architectural details, including oak wainscoting, opulent chandeliers and a dramatically beamed ceiling. A seriously classy affair.