Woman Around Town’s Editor Charlene Giannetti and writers for the website talk with the women and men making news in New York, Washington, D.C., and other cities around the world. Thanks to Ian Herman for his wonderful piano introduction.
Even in the bright of day, once you’ve entered the East 6th Street restaurant, you’re in the dark world of Tim Burton. The narrow restaurant – perhaps only subway-size in width and two cars in length — features tables for two on the right and tables for larger groups in the rear. The bar which can hold roughly 10 to 12, is dimly lit and decorated with ghouls, goblins, and an eerie thing with teeth hanging from the ceiling. A conglomerate of scissors on the left side of the counter, a 3-D Betelgeuse display behind the bar, and original drawings and paintings of Burton’s movie characters line the walls. Fun for adults and fans of the cult classics Beetlejuice with Michael Keaton, or Edward Scissorhands with Johnny Depp, it’s not too dark for kids.
Their price fix brunch menu ($25 pp) includes an entrée, two sides and a dessert, with drinks extra and feature goofy names like Eggs Skellington or Cheshire Mac and Cheese; dinners could be the Beetle Bread, Nightmare (hot) Wings, Sweeney Meat (steak), or Edward Burger Hands. Their drinks, described as “custom made poisons, potions and elixirs,” are truly unique, like the Edward’s Lemonade, Alice’s Cup of Tea, and the Barnabas Collins which includes rye whiskey, crushed brown sugar, chocolate bitters and peychauds bitters. Betcha never had THAT before!
This new entry into the NYC roster of restaurants with classic themes is perfect for the city, especially in its East Village location. Owners Zach Neil and Brian Link, already knows how to run a lively restaurant with a fun theme since they already run the Will Ferrell-themed Stay Classy (174 Rivington Street); Brooklyn’s Chez Moi (135 Atlantic Avenue) features the kinds of things that Marie Antoinette liked to nosh on and French-themed décor, like the alleged doorknob taken from her bedroom.
Although it opened just last Spring, the bar’s plain exterior gives the impression that it’s been there for years, and it has already become a tourist favorite. It’s not unusual for one of the characters to show up during the dinner hour – why, even the customers get into the act and come dressed up themselves. Owner Neil is quick to point out, however, that his restaurants are not affiliated in any way with Burton, Ferrell, or, for that matter, Antoinette, but are simply inspired by them.
Late October marks not only the advent of Halloween, but also National Frankenstein Friday on October 28, celebrating the birth of Frankenstein and his creator Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. To honor this most iconic of monsters consider watching one of the following films.
Frankenstein (1931) The original that spawned it all. Directed by the late great James Whale (Hell’s Angels, The Invisible Man) and starring the legendary Boris Karloff in the title role, it was spectacularly successful at the box office as was its sequel Bride of Frankenstein. It was ranked 27 on Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movie Moments, and the Chicago Films Critics Association has called it the 14th Scariest Movie Ever Made. The American Film Institute would also name it the #87 greatest movie of all time. Not just greatest scary movie but greatest movie period.
Young Frankenstein (1974) Directed by Mel Brooks and starring the recently deceased, and much mourned Gene Wilder as the title character; a descendant of the infamous Dr. Victor Frankenstein. Teri Garr, Peter Boyle, and Cloris Leachman all helped round out the cast as well. To help evoke the atmosphere of the early 30’s films, Brooks made the bold move of shooting the movie entirely in black and white. It generally heads the lists of all-time great comedies and on its 40th anniversary, Brooks named it his finest (though not funniest) film.
Monster Squad (1987) In this 80’s horror comedy written by Shane Black and Fred Dekker a group of kids seek to thwart the plans of the evil Count Dracula who leads a troupe of legendary monsters including the Wolf Man, the Mummy, and of course “Frankie.” The twist here is that Frankie becomes BFF’s with a little girl, before joining the good guys in the battle against Dracula. While not especially successful when it first opened, Monster Squad has since become an acknowledged cult classic among horror buffs of all ages.
May(2002) This psychological horror film, inspired by Mary Shelley’s concept, concerns a troubled young woman named May (Angela Bettis of Girl Interrupted) whose sole ‘friend’ is a doll named Suzy. Struggling to connect with people around her, May remembers her mother’s advice – “If you can’t find a friend, make one.” Of course to do that she’ll need parts. Lots and LOTS of parts. Bettis won the Award for Best Actress at the Catalonian International Film Festival and the Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film. Moreover Bloody Disgusting ranked May #17 in their list of “The Top 20 Horror Films of the Decade.”
Frankenweenie (2012) This Black and White, 3-D stop motion, animated fantasy horror comedy film directed by Tim Burton was a remake of Burton’s 1984 short by the same name. Both a parody and homage to Mary Shelley’s classic, it’s voiced by Burton veterans Winona Ryder, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, and Martin Landau. It was critically acclaimed as a welcome return to form for Burton with an 87% fresh rating on the Tomatometer, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
Thursday July 7th is Chocolate Day! In honor of such a tantalizing holiday consider watching one of the following tributes to one of life’s most decadent pleasures; the flower of the cocoa bean. Warning-watching these may bring on sudden cravings.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) This musical fantasy directed by Mel Stuart (Four Days in November, One is a Lonely Number) with a legendary performance by dreamy eyed Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka about how Charlie Bucket receives a Golden Ticket to tour Wonka’s Chocolate Factory along with four other children is one of the most beloved children’s films of all time especially for the iconic scene when the children reach the main room of Wonka’s factory with the edible forest and chocolate water fountain. Adapted from the Roald Dahl classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory there’s also the 2005 film version as well directed by Tim Burton starring Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka.
Consuming Passions (1988) This black comedy based on the 1973 radio play Secrets, tells the tale of a chocolate factory preparing to launch a new product. Unfortunately a worker falls into the vat during production and the horrified owners fail to recall the chocolates. When the newest chocolates become a surprise hit, the factory owners realize they have inadvertently stumbled on a new key secret ingredient for candy production. Starring Sammi Davis, Vanesssa Redgrave, and Johnathon Pryce.
Like Water for Chocolate (1992) Adapted from the novel and directed by Alfonso Arauby the same name by Laura Esquivel. As the youngest daughter Tita De La Garza (Lumi Cavazos) is forbidden to marry and instead charged with caring for her mother until the day she dies. Pedro (Marco Leonardi) is in love with Tita but marries her sister Rosaura (Yareli Arizmendi) instead to be close to her. Tita a chef, begins to sublimate her passions into her work and thus we get some of the sexiest cooking scenes ever recorded on camera. It earned all eleven Ariel awards from the Mexico Academy of Motion Pictures including Best Picture and became the highest grossing Spanish language film ever released in the U.S. at the time.
Chocolat (2000) This film adaption of the Joanne Harris novel of the same name stars Juliette Binoche as Vianne Rocher a expert chocolatier who travels to a sleepy French town in 1959 with her daughter Anouk to open a chocolate shop at the beginning of Lent-much to the displeasure of the town mayor the Comte de Reynaud (Al Molina). The all-star cast also includes, Johnny Depp, Carrie Anne Moss, Judi Dench, Lena Olin and Peter Stormare, it was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Picture.
The Dark Side of Chocolate(2010) In this 46 minute long documentary available online, journalists Miki Mistrati (The Massive Killer) and Robin Romano (Stolen Childhoods)investigate how the worldwide chocolate industry is fueled by child trafficking in the Ivory Coast.