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Meet The Former and Present Residents of Manhattan Plaza: Arnold Wilkerson



Buddy Valastro, Arnold Wilkerson, Joe Ariel after Little Pie Company wins the competition during the Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival.

Arnold Wilkerson is an actor and the creator and owner of the Little Pie Company located in Manhattan Plaza.

Arnold Wilkerson, Gilbert Lewis and Denzel Washington in  a production of “Ceremonies in Dark Old Men” 1979 Players State Theater in Florida

Orginally from California, Wilkerson attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. After graduation,he moved to New York City, making his Off-Broadway debut as Hud in the original production of James Rado and Gerome Ragni’s Hair at Joseph Papp’s Public Theater in October 1967. He made his Broadway debut in 1968 as Arnold in the original production of John Sebastian’s Jimmy Shine, sharing the stage with Dustin Hoffman and Rue McClanahan. In 1969 came Jon Swan’s Fireworks at the Village South Theatre. That same year he appeared in the original production of Ronald Ribman’s The Most Beautiful Fish with Eileen Dietz which was commissioned by New York Television Theatre for broadcast on PBS.

Alex bradford, Arnold Wilkerson, Bobby Hill, Hope Clark and seated Micki Grant.

In 1971, Wilkerson appeared in the world premiere of Micki Grant’s Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope at the Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. He continued with the production when it moved to Broadway the following year. 

In 1974, he played the role of Jimmy in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.

After Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope, Wilkerson’s acting career went through a slump and he worked largely as a waiter. In 1983 he, along with business partner Michael Deraney, founded the Little Pie Company.

Arnold Wilkerson in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman

T2C: When did you first move into Manhattan Plaza and how did you get into the building?

Arnold Wilkerson: I started out as an actor and qualified in that category. I moved here in 1983 when the building was considered a white elephant. The neighborhood was run down and nobody wanted to live here until Mayor Lindsey decided the actors needed nice dwellings.

T2C: What are your fondest memories of living in the plaza?

Arnold Wilkerson: The support system and a great appreciation for the community they were establishing. I was able to start my business from my apartment thanks to Rodney and Richard.

T2C: Where you there during the AIDS crisis? Tell us about that time.

Arnold Wilkerson: Yes indeed, Rodney and Richard found a way to set up a foundation to care for patients. I had the privilege to be on that board. Now as a result of that board it has been converted and designed to help elderly patients.

T2C: You created The Little Pie Company. How did that come about?

Arnold Wilkerson: I was working as a waiter in a restaurant and I was at the point where I decided I needed to make a change in my life. The other waiters and I use to make five – course meals for each other. Nobody liked my cooking, but they liked my deserts. 

T2C: What have been the biggest changes to the neighborhood and your business?

Arnold Wilkerson: Having been in this neighborhood since the beginning. Through community support, I was able to star my business. Actually because of the restaurant Curtain Up. The night I brought in my pies Liza Minelli, Bobby Short and Chita Rivera all had some. They told Robert Nahas the owner that my pies should be on the menu regularly, as they thought I had something really great going on. This helped popularize his restaurant.

I was also working at Maxwell Plum’s. I would give slices of my pies to my favorite customers. One night Babara Costikyan, from New York Magazine had one. She wrote an article called “Buy, Buy This American Pie.” when she wrote this my phone ran off the hook. I was baking from my neighbors apartments (3 to be exact), as I could only do four pies at a time in mine. My waiter friends would deliver the groceries and the pies. Rodney told me he knew I was smuggling pies, but he let me slide in order to create this life for myself.

T2C: What does living in the building allowed you to accomplish?

Arnold Wilkerson: It understood that artists are creative people, no matter what part of the arts it is. There is such a large support group.This building allows you to expand and grow.

T2C: How does living in the building make you feel?

Arnold Wilkerson: Manhattan Plaza continues to allow me to be creative. Self-expression is realized. It is supportive and it stills remains.

T2C: What would you change from your time living in Manhattan Plaza?

Arnold Wilkerson: There isn’t anything because this has been a perfect structure for me. To have a business five minutes from where I live, allows me to be an entrepreneur. I have been very fortunate.

T2C: What is your fondest memory of New york?

Arnold Wilkerson: Making the decision to do what I am doing. I decided that as an actor, if I wasn’t where I wanted to be by a certain age, I would change careers. Timing is everything. I became enlightened while watching Phil Donahue. He stated there was a time in America where you could write the word taxi on your car and you had a instant business. People did that. I took that a sign to cut through the red tape. The fact you could do this encouraged me to make pies. I was soon selling to Curtain-Up, Maxwell Plum, Dean and Deluca, The Empire Diner and on and on. I outgrow my apartment and Richard and Rodney offered me a space downstairs. The problem was I had no money. I met Jane Stanicki who worked for the Bowery Bank. When we met, she was surprised when we met. She thought a Jewish kid would arrive with a name like Arnold. She got me a loan. I am indebted to all these people for what they entrusted me with. It was quite a journey, but I made the commitment and needed to stand by it. I paid back all the loans. 

T2C: What would you like us to know that we haven’t asked you?

Arnold Wilkerson: That lots of business come and go in this city. We have, by the grace of God, been able to be here for 30 years. That makes me to continue to work hard. The trust and support has continued. 

The documentary Miracle on 42nd Street, is available on Amazon and will soon be available to stream. 

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

1800 Tequila and Carmelo Anthony Holiday Drop Shop



This is a perfect idea for a gift for the tequila lover in your life. The new 1800 Tequila x Carmelo Anthony Holiday Drop Shop celebrates the best taste in tequila and in life this holiday season.

As part of 1800 Tequila’s passion for sports and dedication to its community, all apparel proceeds from the 1800 Tequila x Carmelo Anthony Holiday Drop Shop will directly benefit The Carmelo Anthony Foundation to provide communities better access to recreational activities such as refurbishment of local basketball courts.

Featuring a partnership with brand tastemaker, 10-time NBA All-Star, and entrepreneur, Carmelo Anthony the 1800 Tequila x Carmelo Anthony Holiday Drop Shop showcases tasteful gifts for tequila, fashion, and sports fans alike.

The 1800 Tequila x Carmelo Anthony Holiday Drop Shop is a limited-edition apparel capsule collection featuring four bespoke items designed and produced in collaboration with Carmelo Anthony and his apparel lifestyle brand STAYME7O. The 1800 Tequila x STAYME7O collection includes: 1800 Tequila x STAYME7O Varsity Jacket (hero product), 1800 Tequila x STAYME7O Hoodie, 1800 Tequila x STAYME7O Snapback Hat, and 1800 Tequila x STAYME7O Embroidered Fabric Patch.

Consumers can purchase apparel from the 1800 Tequila x Carmelo Anthony Holiday Drop Shop through various bundle sets ranging from $75 – $295 while supplies last. Sign up to get notified for early purchase access on



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Countdown to Christmas: A Sweet Treat For Christmas and Chunakah



24 days to go! 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.

I am starting first with Chanukah which starts December 7th. Here are great little surprises and treats. First up are these festive Chocolate Dreidels ($14) are  handmade with the finest chocolate, and filled with milk chocolate gold-foiled Gelt coins for a surprise inside that never disappoints. They make a great addition at any Chanukah celebration everyone will love! Each Dreidel contains 3 coins. Gluten Free. Kosher Certified.

Then there are the adorable Menorah Pops. At $4.95 its a sin not to indulge.



Menorah Pops $4.95

Their unique selection of Chocolate Gift Boxes, Towers and Gift Baskets stand out among New York’s discerning chocolate enthusiasts. We loved the box of 30 Chocolate Mini Presents at $25 these bite-sized solid premium milk chocolates wrapped in Italian foil are perfect for filling stockings or party favors. Gluten Free. Kosher Certified.

 Li-Lac Chocolates are fresh, gourmet chocolate hand-crafted in small batches for exceptional quality and superior taste. They also come in dairy free, sugar free and Kosher certified making them perfect for the family. These chocolates are creamy, tasty and so delightfully sinful.

Handmade in Brooklyn, not only are you supporting a local business but freshness is guaranteed.

Li Lac Chocolates are now my go to chocolate place for gifts.

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Ziploc and Milk Bar Host Holiday Mixer



It was the holiday mixer that hit all the sweet notes.

Milk Bar founder Christina Tosi and Ziploc hosted a fun interactive holiday party at the New York City Milk Bar flagship location on November 29. Attendees at the special affair got to hear Christina’s tips and tricks for the holiday season, as well as see Ziploc’s latest innovation, the Stay Open Design bags.

“Ziploc bags have been a favorite tool of mine since I started baking because they are so versatile and easy to use. From rolling out and freezing dough to ensuring my baked goods always stays fresh, there’s no shortage of ways that I use Ziploc® at home and in our bakeries,” she said. “The new Ziploc® Stay Open Design bags help give me an extra set of hands in the kitchen. As soon as I tried them, I was immediately reminded of mixing puppy chow in a Ziploc® bag as a child, and I knew this would be another perfect collaboration.”

Teaming up for the release the bakery’s first-ever, limited-edition take on “puppy chow” dessert – Ziploc x Milk Bar Holiday Mix – is a perfect way to start December. Perfect for festive gatherings, hosting gifts, stocking stuffers, family road trips and long sessions on the couch watching holiday movies, the offering features popular holiday flavors, including corn square cereal, white chocolate, cookie butter, sprinkles, and sugar cookie pieces.

Each bag of the Ziploc® x Milk Bar Holiday Mix comes pre-packaged in a quart-size Ziploc® Stay Open Design storage bag. Ziploc®‘s latest innovation helps ensure the contents will stay fresh and easily snackable thanks to a cuffed opening and patented stand up bottom that keeps it upright and open for filling and sharing with confidence. For the month of December, pick up a bag at the New York City, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles Milk Bar stores for just $7, plus tax, while supplies last.

And, for anyone in NYC, starting December 1, you can also book the perfect holiday activity, a build-your-own holiday mix-making experience! Attendees will learn Christina Tosi’s tips and tricks with the Milk Bar expert bakers and walk away with a gallon-size bag of holiday mix gifting for their own enjoyment.

For those not located near a Milk Bar store, don’t worry! Milk Bar and Ziploc® are sharing the exclusive recipe for free on both of their websites – a wonderful opportunity for a festive home activity with friends and family. Ziploc® also created a one-stop shop, to easily find all the ingredients needed at Amazon, Target or Walmart, including Ziploc® Stay Open Design bags that allow for easily folding, filling, scooping and snacking.




Photos by AP for Ziploc®

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Food and Drink

Lifevine Brings a Sparkle to Your Holiday Party




Lifevine is a wine that is oh so fine this holiday season for all the right reasons.

If you are looking for an alternative for drinking this holiday season look no further than these incredible bottles that will forever find a place in your home.

The wine brand with zero sugar is a wine lovers dream. All in the brand’s portfolio is excellent in every single sip and it feels oh so good to know it is one of the first wines to list both serving facts and ingredients on the bottle. They believe in providing you the transparency you deserve so that you can make the best choices about what you put in your body.

As the company states, “We set out to produce a wine to fit your active lifestyle. We wanted a wine that offered excellent taste, purity, zero sugar* and full transparency. That is why we created Lifevine. We are committed to the highest level of transparency because we believe you should know what’s in your wine. Beyond zero sugar*, we want our wine to be free of harmful toxins and pesticides, without compromising quality or flavor. For this reason, we lab test all of our wines and submit them to a 3rd party standards organization to certify and award for things like organic and purity.”

Your holiday parties are set to buzz with delight with such an amazing alternative that tastes great and will not make you feel guilty the next day.

Varietals include Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and more. Lifevine is lab tested for purity, certified pesticide free and committed to label transparency.

Here is to your perfect holiday with Lifevine.

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Park Terrace Hotel, Hotel Chocolat and Ofreh



Park Terrace Hotel

Hotel Chocolat kicked-off the holidays and unveil the Velvetiser‘s pop-up for the season.


Apple Pie Hot Chocolat from Velvetiser’

We miss the fireworks at the Bryant Park Christmas Tree lighting ceremony but we did watch Ofreh sing Christmas (Baby Please Come Home). Click here to hear her husband Andy Karl singing “Sleigh Bells”.

Healthy snacks and drinks abounded.

Rice paper stuffed with vegetables

Reconnecting with Diva Gals Daily Samantha Bessudo Drucker

Diva Gals Daily Maureen Martin

Diva Gals Daily Delaina Dixon with Hot Chocolat

A salted caramel rum old fashion

From the balcony of the Park Terrace Hotel

From the balcony of the Park Terrace Hotel

From the balcony of the Park Terrace Hotel

There was plenty of holiday cheer, a holiday sing-along and plenty of European style hot chocolate, festive cocktails and bites. What a way to start the season.


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