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Countdown To Christmas: A Countertop Garden



The Miracle-Gro AeroGarden

Every year people panic to find the perfect gift. We at T2C have been collecting idea’s all year long to bring you the perfect gift guide at all price levels. When you’re at the end of your rope trying to find the perfect Christmas present this year, come to this guide for some great suggestions.

The Miracle-Gro AeroGarden

I have loved this ever since I first saw it. Image using your own fresh herbs for your Thanksgiving dinner right from your countertop. Grow fresh herbs, vegetables and flowers in your home with this Miracle-Gro AeroGarden Harvest LED kit on sale at Kohl’s $84.99. The Miracle-Gro AeroGarden is the extraordinary soil-free indoor garden that grows plants 5 times faster than soil. Grow fresh herbs, vegetables, salad greens, flowers and more… let your imagination grow wild.


The Miracle-Gro AeroGarden

  • Countertop garden uses water and patented nutrients to naturally grow plant
  • Grow up to 6 plants in this garden
  • 20 watts of high-performance LED lighting
  • LED lights are tuned to the specific spectrum that allows plants to maximize photosynthesis
  • Ideal lighting and optimally balanced levels of water and nutrients help plants grow up to 5 times faster than in soil
  • Easy-to-use LCD control panel creates optimal conditions for your plants by automatically turning the lights on and off and reminding you when to add nutrients


  • 6-Pod garden
  • 20-watt full spectrum LED grow light system with 12-in. of growing height
  • 3-oz. patented nutrients
  • Genovese basil
  • Curly parsley
  • Dill
  • Thyme
  • Thai basil
  • Mint


Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email:

Food and Drink

The Consulate: A Gastronomical Menu of Perfection



The Consulate, is a well known French brasserie on the Upper West Side at 519 Columbus Avenue. A month ago they brought that charm to 44 West 56th Street.

From the moment you walk inside, the decor takes you to another world of rich wood, exquisite wall paper, that looks like tapestry to a chandelier that is a modern piece of art. The Interior Designer Larisa Mihajlova has created a place of warmth and sophistication, that welcomes you the moment you walk in.


Beverage Director Jelena Maksimovic has created a drink menu that is inviting. My guest started out with The Malalama ($20) made with Spicy tequila, ancho ryes, blood orange, lime, spicy salt rim. Generously poured Margarita was in heaven.

I had the Lola ($19) with Rum, violet liquor, lemon, orgeat, pineapple, dry lime. This is now my new drink of choice.

For appetizers Steak Tartare ($24) served with Capers, shallots, Dijon, cornichons, quail egg. Chucks of the freshest choice steak melted in our mouths.

Then the piece de resistance, Bone Marrow ($22) 2 pcs, small greens, toast, port fig jam. I literally loved this dish so much, that I clean the plate of the sauce with my bread. I will be back for this alone. It is sumptuous and done to perfection.

Margarita wanted to try the Grilled Octopus ($26), which she said was tender and cooked to perfectly with potato and carrots. I was actually full after all this and so I recommend if you are looking for a pre-Broadway meal, this is definitely a must.

For entree’s Short Rib Cavatelli ($34) shredded slow braised beef, served with cavatelli pasta and herb ricotta. So fresh, so tender and wonderfully light.

We also tried the 14 oz. Ribeye Steak ($60) with Truffle fries ($18), Brussel Sprouts with Bacon ($17) and sauces Green Pepercorn ($6), Blue Cheese ($6) Bernaise ($6) and Bordelaise ($6) or you can get All four as one ($20). The steak was mouthwatering and melted in your mouth.

The fries were crispy and so flavorful.

The Brussel Sprouts were a delight.

And the sauces added so much flavor to both the steak and the fries. I adored the Bernaise and the Bordelaise, which was so unexpectedly wonderful. Margarita loved the Blue Cheese.

For dessert Apple Tart with ice cream and a Creme Brûlée that was topped just right and warm. Yum!

Along with a cappuccino and ice coffee this was the perfect ending to a phenomenal meal.

Metodija Mihajlov and his twin brother Kiril Mihajlov

Metodija Mihajlov and his twin brother Kiril Mihajlov and Margarita

Founder Metodija Mihajlov and his twin brother Kiril Mihajlov, are just as charming and warm as their establishment. When you meet them, you can see the love and care they put into everything. Going to The Consulate is a treat for all your senses.

Chef Alan Vargas you made my night, your food was exquisite and I will definitely be recommending this restaurant and I will definitely be back.

The Consulate: 44 West 56th Street.

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The Rare Titan-arum Blooms For The First Time In 7 Years At NYBG



Titan-arum blooms are rare and unpredictable. Each plant takes seven years or more to store enough energy to bloom for the first time. This titan-arum is 12 years old. There is now an Amorphophallus titanum preparing to bloom in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory! Titan-arums take years to form flower buds, but when they finally do, the flowers mature very quickly.

Horticulturists noticed that a three-inch-tall flower bud had formed on Saturday, May 15. In the beginning of the bloom cycle, a titan-arum grows four to six inches each day. By June 19, 2019, the bud was 44 inches tall. Later, growth slows significantly. Two leaves at the base of the spathe shrivel and fall off. The spathe begins to open, revealing the red-purple color inside, and completely unfurls over the course of about 36 hours. During full bloom, the spadix self-heats to approximately human body temperature, which helps disseminate odor particles.

Titan-arum or corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum) is native to the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. Its enormous flower spike is the largest unbranched inflorescence (flower structure) in the Plant Kingdom. The fleshy central spike, called a spadix, bears small flowers in rings around its base. The spadix can grow up to 12 feet tall. The spadix is wrapped in a frilly, modified leaf called a spathe. When the plant is ready to bloom, the spathe unfurls, exposing the flowers inside. You may recognize the structure’s resemblance to calla-lily, anthurium, and jack-in-the-pulpit, which are all relatives in the arum family, Araceae. Amorphophallus titanum is often called corpse flower because when it blooms, it emits a powerful stench similar to that of rotting meat. This scent, along with the deep-red, meaty color of the open spathe, attracts insect pollinators that feed on dead animals.

This titan-arum has been nurtured in the warm tropical zone of the Nolen Greenhouses. The hot and humid conditions in the greenhouse mimic the natural conditions of Sumatra. The plant must be watered and fertilized copiously.

NYBG received its first titan-arum from Sumatra in 1932. In May 1937, a flower bud appeared. This was the first titan-arum to flower in the Western Hemisphere, and the Conservatory was mobbed with visitors, reporters, and photographers. After a long wait, the plant finally bloomed on June 8. Its eight-foot spadix was the largest ever grown in cultivation.

A second specimen bloomed at NYBG on July 2, 1939. The Bronx Borough President commemorated the event by designating Amorphophallus titanum the official flower of the Bronx. (It was replaced by the more conventionally attractive daylily in 2006.)


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Have You Seen Windy At The High Line?



On the High Line, Bennani realizes her first public sculpture, Windy, co-commissioned by High Line Art and Audemars Piguet Contemporary. Windy is a spinning sculpture in the shape of a tornado made from black foam. The work plays with various traditions and ambiguities of public sculpture. In many cases, the public is asked to walk around public sculpture, taking in its grandeur from a safe distance. Bennani’s sculpture spins itself, and at a speed that makes the details of the work almost impossible to grasp—both visually and physically. The work continues Bennani’s practice of creating large, geometric steel sculptures, which to date she has built to house her videos. Windy marks Bennani’s first sculpture that exists on its own terms, while the object’s movement continues her fascination with animation and the way that drawn and still characters come to life. In her conceptualization of the work, Bennani was inspired by the dynamism and constant movement on the High Line, wishing to make a sculpture that could capture and work within this urban energy.

Merging magical realism, absurdist humor, and techniques from a wide range of moving image genres, Meriem Bennani creates video series that tell stories about human behavior and our experiences on- and offline, tackling subjects such as language, displacement, and diasporic living. Employing production aesthetics and storytelling methods found in recognizable forms such as reality television, home videos, documentary film, cell phone videos, and animation, Bennani welcomes the viewer into narratives that feel like an amplification of reality. Bennani shares her videos in a variety of traditional and creative formats, from immersive projection installations, to screens embedded in colorful, cartoon-like sculptures, to social media platforms like Instagram.

Audemars Piguet Contemporary, established in 2012, commissions international artists to create contemporary artworks. The art programme of Audemars Piguet—the oldest fine watchmaking manufacturer still in the hands of its founding families—engages with and commissions artists to create new work across a variety of scales and media, which may enable them to explore new territories in their practice. The curatorial team accompanies each commission process from inception to development to exhibition and builds experiences for audiences to engage with the work around the world. The resulting artworks belong to the artists and contribute to their body of work. Learn more.

Meriem Bennani (b. 1988, Rabat, Morocco) is an artist based in New York. She has presented solo exhibitions at the Renaissance Society, Chicago, Illinois (2022); Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, England (2022); Julia Stoschek Collection, Berlin, Germany (2020); Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, France (2019); The Kitchen, New York, New York (2017); and MoMA PS1, Long Island City, New York (2016). Her work has been featured in group exhibitions at institutions including LAX, Los Angeles, California (2020); Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Denmark (2020); and MAXXI National Museum of XXI Arts, Rome, Italy (2018). She has participated in major international exhibitions including the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York (2019); Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement, Turin, Italy (2019); Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland (2018); Biennale de Rennes, France (2018); and 11th Shanghai Biennale, China (2016).

Windy is on display until May

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