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Travel: Thessaloniki, Mount Athos and The Spiritual Connections

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How the trip to Thessaloniki came about, is a spiritual journey in itself, so it is no surprise that the spiritual connections just kept on coming. In heading to the winery at Domaine Porto Carras, we were told of the Athos peninsula in northeastern Greece and Mount Athos. Also known as the “Holy Mountain”, this is one of the most important centers of the Christian Orthodox world. This monastic community is banned to women both human and animal. These historical monastic traditions, date back to at least 800 AD during the Byzantine era. Because of its long history of religious importance, the well-preserved agrarian architecture within the monasteries, and the preservation of the flora and fauna around the mountain, were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1988.

Andreas Kelemidis

Two of my companions on this journey are Andreas Kelemidis who arranged everything and Evageline Plakas who owns Hellenic Daily News in New York.

Evageline Plakas

They told me of a Holy Father, Geron Nektarios, Abbot of the Kalyve of Holy Cross in Skete of Saint Anne in Mount Athos, who would come to the hotel to talk to and bless us. This turned out to be serendipitous, as I had learned a friend of mine, had been given bad news 15 minutes before his arrival.

Holy Father, Geron Nektarios, Abbot of the Kalyve of Holy Cross in Skete of Saint Anne in Mount Athos

The Father immediately prayed for my friend. His companion was once, one of the singer’s of “The Killer’s” Nikolaos Dimitriadis now a Professor of World Religions. Greek ambassador of Globethics, head of the environmental campaign at the Center for Ecumenical, Missiological and Environmental Studies (CEMES). I was allowed to interview the Holy Father with Nikolaos interrupting the messages for me.

I hope this video blesses all who see it.

 

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: suzanna@t2conline.com

Food and Drink

68th Annual Summer Fancy Food Show Highlights

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Specialty food and beverage products from 2,400+ exhibitors came to New York City at Javits Center for the 68th Annual Summer Fancy Food Show.

Speciality Foods Association brought the important and beloved event to the Big Apple this June.

Like Air Puffcorn

More than 29,000 specialty food and beverage industry professionals came together for the sold-out show that hosted exhibitors from 56 international countries across dozens of specialty food and beverage categories.

Brooklyn Bread

In addition to makers and buyers, event attracted industry affiliates, press, influencers, investors, and trendspotters.

Raincoast Crisps

“This year’s Show highlighted our incredible specialty food community in so many different ways, and SFA appreciates everyone who participated,” said SFA President Bill Lynch. “It was the place to be for a captivating keynote with Whole Foods Market CEO Jason Buechel and an insightful fireside chat with Kristen Kish, who also hosted our SFA Awards Gala. The exhibitors brought their best to the Show yet again, and the collective energy this year was palpable. We saw innovations in product format, flavor, and more that will reverberate through the wider food industry in the months to come.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ethel’s

The winners of the five sofi Grand Honors Awards were revealed at the SFA Awards Gala on Monday, June 24, hosted by Kristen Kish of Bravo’s Top Chef.

Smul

The 2024 Grand Honors Award winners:

  • Outstanding Packaging: Strawberry Soft-Serve Milkshake by Fanci Freeze and Pivot North Consulting
  • Outstanding New Product: Flash Frozen Guinness Beef Stew by Jane Foodie
  • Outstanding Classic: Uncured Wagyu Beef Salami by Alef Sausage Inc.
  • Product of the Year/Beverage: Barcoop Bevy Bloody Mary with Smoked Sea Salt and Chiles by Bittermilk LLC
  • Product of the Year/Food: Molasses Spice Cookies by Girl In The Little Red Kitchen, LLC

The SFA operates an Exhibitor Food Donation Program in partnership with City Harvest to ensure unused food makes it to New Yorkers in need. 125 volunteers rescued 95 pallets of specialty food, which were then delivered to six of City Harvest’s partner agencies around New York City.

Jack Daniel’s Coffee

The next Fancy Food Shows are the 2025 Winter Fancy Food Show(Opens in a new window), January 19-21 in Las Vegas and the 2025 Summer Fancy Food Show(Opens in a new window), June 29-July 1, in New York City.

 

 

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Broadway

Broadway in Bryant Park And You Are There With Hell’s Kitchen, Water For Elephants, The Wiz and More

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July 11, 106.7 LITE FM’s Broadway in Bryant Park kicked off its 2024 program, bringing the best of Broadway back together for free performances, every Thursday in July.

From AMDA College of the Performing Arts-Kyle Taylor Parker

From AMDA College of the Performing Arts-Kyle Taylor Parker, Charity Arianna , Destiny David, Ailadis Hernandez De Leon, Nyjair Wilkerson and Jackson Bateman

This week’s performances included: a preshow featuring students from AMDA

Ali Louis Bourzgui

Bobby Conte and Ali Louis Bourzgui

Bobby Conte, Ali Louis Bourzgui and Adam Jacobs

Ali Louis Bourzgui, Bobby Conte,

Lily Kren, Alexandra Matteo, Daniel Quadrino, Jenna Nicole Schoen, Nathan Lucrezio, Reagan Pender, Bobby Conte, Tyler James Eisenreich, Mark Mitrano, Haley Gustafson, Afra Hines, Dee Tomasetta, Adam Jacobs, Ali Louis Bourzgui, David Paul Kidder, Jeremiah Alsop, Andrew Tufano and Ronnie Bowman, Jr.

The Who’s Tommy (Ali Louis Bourzgui, Adam Jacobs, Bobby Conte, Haley Gustafson and more)

Isabelle McCalla and Ken Wulf Clark

Ken Wulf Clark

Joe De Paul and Asa Somers

Isabelle McCalla and Ken Wulf Clark

Isabelle McCalla and Ken Wulf Clark

Isabelle McCalla and Ken Wulf Clark

Joe De Paul, Asa Somers and Sara Gettelfinger

Joe De Paul, Asa Somers and Sara Gettelfinger

Joe De Paul, Asa Somers and Sara Gettelfinger

Joe De Paul, Asa Somers and Sara Gettelfinger

Ken Wulf Clark, Sara Gettelfinger, Joe De Paul and Asa Somers

Ken Wulf Clark, Sara Gettelfinger, Joe De Paul and Asa Somers

Ken Wulf Clark, Joe De Paul, Asa Somers and Isabella McCalla

Water for Elephants (Isabelle McCalla, Ken Wulf Clark, Asa Somers, Sara Gettelfinger, Joe De Paul)

Avery Wilson

Kyle Ramar Freeman and Nichelle Lewis

Kyle Ramar Freeman

Kyle Ramar Freeman

Melody A. Betts

Kyle Ramar Freeman

Nichelle Lewis

Nichelle Lewis, Kyle Ramar Freeman, Avery Wilson and Polanco Jones Jr.

Kyle Ramar Freeman, Avery Wilson and Polanco Jones Jr.

Kyle Ramar Freeman, Polanco Jones Jr., Nichelle Lewis, Melody A. Betts and Avery Wilson

The Wiz (Avery Wilson, Kyle Ramar Freeman, Melody A. Betts, Nichelle Lewis, Polanco Jones Jr.)

Jelani Remy

JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith and JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith and JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith and JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith and JJ Niemann

Jelani Remy and JJ Niemann

Jelani Remy and JJ Niemann

Jelani Remy and JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith, Katie Laduca, JJ Niemann and Aaron Alcaraz

Hannah Kevitt and JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith, JJ Niemann, Jelani Remy and The Cast of Back To The Future that includes Hannah Kevitt, Cixtoria Byrd, Kimberly Immanuel, Jessie Peltier, Gregory Carl Banks Jr., Katie Laduca, Joshua Kenneth Allen Johnson and Aaron Alcaraz

Evan Alexander Smith, JJ Niemann, Jelani Remy, Hannah Kevitt, Cixtoria Byrd, Kimberly Immanuel, Jessie Peltier, Gregory Carl Banks Jr., Katie Laduca, Joshua Kenneth Allen Johnson and Aaron Alcaraz

Back to the Future (Jelani Remy, JJ Niemann, Evan Alexander Smith)

Gianna Harris and Lamont Walker II

Lamont Walker II

Jade Milan, Jackie Leon and Gianna Harris

Jade Milan, Jackie Leon and Gianna Harris

Donna Vivino

Donna Vivino

Donna Vivino, Gianna Harris, Lamont Walker II, Jade Milan and Jackie Leon and Jackie Leon

and Hell’s Kitchen (Gianna Harris, Vanessa Ferguson, Jackie Leon, Donna Vivino, Lamont Walker II)

106.7 Lite FM’s Helen Little

106.7 Lite FM’s Helen Little is joined by Co Host Kyle Ramar Freeman

with host Helen Little and co-host Kyle Ramar Freeman.

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Events

A Sweet Day of Fun with Malibu Rum on National Piña Colada Day

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The Royalton Park Ave was the sweet place to be for the National Piña Colada Day celebration with Malibu Rum.

Some favorite Malibu Piña Colada Recipes were enjoyed at the poolside affair. Malibu is the number one white rum-based coconut spirit in the world. Try these at home today!

Malibu Coconut Water Piña Colada

1.5 parts Malibu Original

1.5 parts Coconut Water

2 parts Dole® Canned 100% Pineapple Juice

0.5 parts Fresh Lime Juice

Garnish: Slice of pineapple

Ice

Method

Pour all ingredients into an ice-filled shaker

Shake until cold and strain into a chilled glass filled with ice cubes

Top with a slice of pineapple

Malibu Sparkling Piña Colada 

Ingredients

1 Part Malibu Original

⅓ parts Dole® Canned 100% Pineapple Juice

⅓ parts Cream of Coconut

2 parts Sparkling Wine

Garnish: Pineapple wedge

Ice

Method

Pour all ingredients (except sparkling wine) into an ice-filled shaker

Shake until cold, pour sparkling wine into shaker and stir

Strain into a chilled glass and top with a slice of pineapple

 

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Family

Tech Gifts for Outdoor Enthusiasts

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Summer is one of the best times to enjoy the outdoors with your family and friends. Here are some great and various modern technologies to add offering exciting options.

GPS Devices

Our first gift option is a GPS. It is a must-have tech gift for summertime excursions. It can be challenging to navigate different locations, but with a reliable GPS, you are assured that you are heading in the right direction. There are many really good options such as the  Garmin GPSMAP 66i. It has comprehensive charting, two-way texting, and SOS features. Another option to check out is Suunto Traverse Alpha.

Portable Laptop Monitor Extender

Are you creative and have multiple things to do simultaneously on your laptops. A portable laptop monitor extension improves productivity and easily connects to all laptops. The Mobile Pixels Trio/Trio Max, is our favorite with exceptional HD displays for multitasking. The Duex Float  can easily adjust with a 180-degree rotation.

mp_trio_05

Portable Solar Chargers

A  good-quality portable solar charger will keep your gadgets charged and helps with extended outdoor travel. These portable solar chargers are an ideal option for an off-the-beaten-path excursion with few power outlets. An example is the Anker PowerPort Solar, which has twin USB connections for quick charging. Another option is the Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus.

Action Cameras

Want to make an impression give an action camera. These incredible tech gadgets can effectively record all the exciting events in high definition. are favorite is the GoPro HERO9 Black, which is an excellent GoPro action camera with 5K video and modern stabilization. With the option of twin displays, 4K HDR video, and RockSteady stabilization for fluid filming is DJI Osmo Action.

newtrio126-min

Wearable Tech

Lastly, a wearable technology that can offer various advantages like a fitness trackers and smartwatches. These presents help monitor your health, navigate paths, and measure fitness data. Garmin Fenix 6 and Apple Watch Series 7 are our picks.

Most travel lovers need the convenience of editing photos/videos, creating captivating content, and more. with a portable laptop monitor extender you have the world at your hands.

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Art

NOFLEX Korean Dinning Surrounded By Art and Technology

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NOFLEX, located at 286 5th Avenue  right off 30th street us the first media art loungeThis contemporary Korean restaurant and bar is managed by Next Dining, a distinguished hospitality group from Korea.

The art on the walls

The art on the walls

The restaurant offers inventive Korean cuisine made with fresh ingredients and diverse flavors. The ambiance of the space is unparalleled, with a 72-foot LED wall and vibrant lighting that will transport you to Seoul.

The Bar

There is also an upstairs, overlooking the fun.

You can enjoy an impressive selection of cocktails, wine, sake. We tried The Pornstar Mojito’s ($17) Sparkling Wine with lime, mint and passion fruit. Refreshing and cooling served with a flower.

The space is very modern and has a club-like vibe, so I am sure after hours is very different than at dinner time, which was cool inviting and relaxed.

Looking at the menu

The menu is extensive and if you like seafood and sushi NOFLEX is sure to please. I am not exactly a seafood lover, however my guest and I went on a exploration of shrimp. 
We started our journey with Hand Rolled Cigar Rolls filled with beef and shrimp, served with aside of truffle aioli ($19). As far as food goes this was my favorite dish. The truffle aioli was fantastic, I ended up dipping everything in this sauce. These were crispy, juice and delectable.

Onto the Deep Fried Shrimp Skewers ($21) 6 pieces of lightly crispy shrimp in a wasabi mayo. The batter was more like the texture of coconut, and they were light and filling. Both were easily shared.

For entrees, we tried the Shrimp Scallion Pancakes ($25). Each slice was filled with a whole shrimp and there were eight slices. I would have preferred the shrimp to be cut up with scallions, as the garlic was barely a taste, however the truffle aioli  sauce from the cigars, perked these up and help immensely.

Also for an entree the Gambas ($33) which is shrimp in a spicy, garlic sauce served with slices of baguettes. This was Roger’s favorite dish.

And then there was dessert….. Roger and I would go to NOFLEX strictly for their Brûlé Banana Nutella Croffle ($17). This dessert is  a cross between a croissant and waffle, with ice bream. This was seriously sensational. First of all, I am not even a fan of bananas, but done in the Brûlé style they were out of this world and a Croffle with Nutella is a serious culinary adventure.We also tried the Silky Vanilla Cheesecake ($17) that was also excellent. What made this so good was that it was light with these fabulous cookie crumbles that elevated this classic dessert.

Bibi

We found out our fabulous server Bibi created these treasures.

NOFLEX is a wonderful addition to the neighborhood and has one of the best desserts I have ever had.

NOFlEX, 286 5th Avenue off of 30th closed on Monday’s and opened for dinner at 5pm.

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