Creative Cupcakes

Visit the Little Cupcake Bakeshop in Soho for a taste of childhood.

The bakery, which is known for celebrity sightings, offers several unique cupcakes. Remember enjoying the Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake ice cream bars? Try the Good Humor Cake—it’s just like the ice cream, only in cake form.

If you’re craving chocolate, the Brooklyn Blackout’s for you. Named one of the best chocolate cakes in America by Food and Wine Magazine, this moist cake is frosted with two different kinds of chocolate icing.

Of course, what’s cake without coffee? Coffee lovers can enjoy espresso and other caffeinated drinks at the bakery.

Up and Coming Fashion Designer in SoHo

A local kid recently got some amazing press in the New York Times about his fashion design success. Peter Wenger is only 16, but this home-schooled kid is lighting up SoHo with his fashion finesse. He was part of a children’s tournament on Chopped when he was 12 and now he’s setting his sights on fashion.

As Peter’s mom said, “Because I’m an entrepreneur and my husband is an investor, it’s in the air for Peter. He meets these young founders and sees that everything possible.” Since 2013, he’s been working with Morgane Press, a “fashion mentor.”

He had his own show in SoHo at the same time as New York Fashion week, and he definitely appears to be one to watch.

Invite-Only Tech Club Coming to the Meatpacking District

This is cool news for the Meatpacking District. Betaworks Studios is opening an invite-only club this spring that is supposed to help to promote connections between venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and others in the tech industry. When talking to Business Insider, Betaworks founder and CEO John Borthwich said, “In the startup community, we’re seeing an isolation among builders and an inability to connect with one another. With Betaworks Studios, we’re creating a physical space to open up the best of Betaworks to a larger community.”

 

He explained that he envisions it functioning like the lobby of a tech conference. As he explained, “The inspiration is that there’s a lot of people who pay high ticket prices to go to a conference to find that what’s happening in the lobby is often times the best thing there.”

How will it work? Prospective members will apply through the Betawork site and, if they are accepted, will pay $2400 a year to be a member.

Blade Hairclub – The Place To Be

If you haven’t heard of Blade Hairclub in SoHo, it’s high time that you did. It’s a hair salon that also has a bar downstairs so you can hang out a bit longer after your haircut (or throw back a few shots before it if you get your cut done if you’re the nervous type). There is always something interesting happening here and it’s certainly the place to be and be seen. Check it out. You can thank us later.

Composting for a Better World

Sometimes, saving the environment feels like too much work. But it doesn’t have to be. There are many very simple ways that you can help to reduce the waste that is filling landfills like the West Lake landfill around the country.

Believe it or not, one great idea is composting. Take your plant and kitchen waste and turn it into amazing food for your garden or animals. When you peel a cucumber or a banana, when you crack an egg or when you have leftover food, put it together in a composting area. You’ll really be reducing what goes into the landfills and you’ll be helping your garden or animals to grow!

This may sound funny, but buying rechargeable batteries really can make a difference. You’ll be keeping all of those disposable batteries out of landfills and you’ll keep the chemicals in the batteries from leaking and causing problems. Rechargeable batteries make a huge difference.

Watch Out for Tanya Taylor’s Pop-Up Shop

New York-based designer Tanya Taylor will soon have a three-month pop-up shop in tandem with the Council of Fashion Designers of America and sponsored by Cadillac. Taylor is a designer worth watching and wearing.

Four years ago, she launched her own clothing line and her designs are anything but boring. As she said during a recent interview at Saks Fifth Avenue, “In different seasons I have to play with layering and texture and do colors in moment rather than in the summer where everything is fresh and colorful.”

When describing her collection, Taylor said there is a “laissez faire attitude in this collection, a lot of playful details that feel light hearted and energetic.”

Taylor has had a great customer in First Lady Michelle Obama who wore one of her fall ’16 dresses to the final White House holiday party last month. She was invited, as well, to the bash.

Interestingly, Taylor’s designs are inspired by her painting. For her most recent collection, she traveled to Capri and Cuba where she painted and was then inspired for her clothing line.

 

A Great Get-Away at Barton Hill Hotel

If you’re in the market for a vacation and a get-away from New York, it’s worth looking into the Barton Hill Hotel. Taken over in 2015 by Stabilis Capital in New York, the hotel is being operated by Scout Hotels with CEO Robin Kirk.

Scout Hotels is based in Nantucket, Massachusetts and operates six resorts on Cape Cod and Marth’s Vineyard. They also have one in Florida and one in New Hampshire.

The Barton Hill Hotel fits right into the portfolio of Scout Hotels, located on the Niagara River and boasting 70 rooms. As Kirk said, “Barton Hill is in an absolutely spectacular location. We like the structure very much indeed.”

For New Yorkers looking for a great get-away, the Barton Hill Hotel is a lovely location. A five minute walk from the Lewiston Museum and a 12 minute walk from the Artpark music venue, the hotel has beautifully decorated rooms with fireplaces, flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi.

Animal Haven’s SoHo Adoption Center

SoHo isn’t just about great clothes, food and spas (although all of these things are wonderful). It’s also about helping others – and this even includes our canine friends. If you didn’t know it was there – you might miss the Animal Haven’s SoHo adoption center which is located on 200 Centre Street which offers a way for homeless animals to be matched with loving families. They are open seven days a week and have a selection of dogs and cats up for adoption. They also house a pet resource center so you can find information about dog training, grooming and more.

They have funding from the Mayor’s Alliance through the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Check them out. But be forewarned…you might just walk out with a new furry friend.

Lands’ End Pop-Up Shop

Who doesn’t love Lands’ End? Now, if you live in SoHo, or if you’re near the neighborhood, you’ll have the opportunity to shop there at 580 Broadway. The two-story store actually has a “cashmere bar” and a “men’s haberdashery shop” with a billiards table in it. You can get your items personalized on-site.

They also have Lands’ End Canvas and Lands’ End Sport. The pop-up shop drew quite a crowd when it opened with Arianna Huffington and the editors-in-chief of Glamour and Marie Claire in attendance.

As Land’s End CEO Federica Marchionni told WWD.com, “My goal is to keep our loyal customers and of course I need to recruit a new generation of shoppers.”

Don’t worry if you don’t have time to get there just yet. The shop will be available until February 15th.

 

Rajeev Chilaka Awarded Honorary Doctorate from Academy of Art University

 

 Academy of Art University building, South of Market neighborhood, San Francisco. Photo by Caroline Culler
Academy of Art University building, South of Market neighborhood, San Francisco. Photo by Caroline Culler.

Rajeev Chilaka, founder of Animation TV Pvt. Ltd., was awarded an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

Chilaka said he was pleased with the honor, and described the success he has achieved which led to the recognition bestowed by the Academy of Art University.

Chilaka explained that, “there weren’t many Indian cartoons that catered to the Indian audience below the age of 14 years, so we decided to come up with an ideal character that could teach good values to children.”

That character is of course “Chhota Bheem,” who was launched in 2008 and has become one of the most popular animated series in India. It is watched by 40 million children every week, but its appeal includes adults as well. The series receives among the highest consistent television ratings throughout India.

Chilaka says that he owes much of his success to the education he received at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He adds that Walt Disney was an inspiration for him. Chilaka even traveled to Kansas City, Missouri, where Disney used to work and live.

After graduating from the Academy of Art University, Chilaka returned to India in the year 2000 to follow his dream of working in animation. Currently his studio has over 400 animators and a franchise business consisting of 25 Green Gold retail stores all over India.