Johnny Sandaire Photography: Blog en-us (C) Johnny Sandaire Photography [email protected] (Johnny Sandaire Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:53:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:53:00 GMT Johnny Sandaire Photography: Blog 109 120 Ribalta, Napoletana Restaurant, New York City My wife, Kasia, and I decided to head-out to New York City to celebrate the arrival of 2016 and to visit our favorite Sacks 5th Ave window display.  As usual, we were not disappointed.  This year, Sacks chose a White theme with a very light touch of color.  Specifically, there was an elegant shoe in every window frame (try to find it in the photo posted below).  My favorite window was the one that depicted a Queen wearing her diamond jewels and crown; with her was the display of cakes and sweets. 


The weather was dry, but definitely took a turn on the colder side of the barometer, a complete reversal from the 73 degree Christmas temperature that we experienced a week ago.   Nevertheless, we were not disappointed.  We navigated our way around the crowed sidewalk and completed our visit with a Light show filled with music and applause from the gathering street spectators.


All this walking around, surrounded by food street vendors and amazing visuals of cakes and sweets stimulated our appetite for something awesome.  Kasia is the food expert of the family and she is the only person that I know who can point me to a great place to eat in NYC.  So, after a brief discussion, we decided to hop onto the F train to Union Square for a Movie and a meal.  


We arrived at Union Square with enough time to purchase our movie ticket and had an hour left to eat before the 7:50 show.  Kasia was in the mood for something light, delicious and fast.  We walked towards 12th Street on Broadway and spotted the perfect hole-in-the-wall Pizza restaurant.  At least we thought it was a hole-in-the-wall from the street entrance, but were completely surprised once we entered the restaurant.  We walked-in and were immediately taken by the low and pleasant background bassy music.  With a smile, Vito the Manager greeted us, and we requested a table for two.  He asked if we had a reservation or are we a "Walk-in."  We chose the latter and were immediately seated.  The service was fast and polite.  


After deciding on the PARMA Pizza, which comes with Mozzarella, Grape Tomatoes, Arugola, Prosciutto di Parma, Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, and the BABY OCTOPUS, a slowly cooked in San Marzano Tomato Sauce, Gaeta Olives and Sicilian Capers, our table was quickly garnished with warm Italian bread, unfiltered Olive Oil, and Water.  


Although this is my first Napoletana meal, I heard several times from Kasia about this salad-garnished Pizza but never had a real chance to taste one. I did not know what to expect with the Pizza, but had the opportunity to eat grilled baby octopus, but I was not sure how it would taste in a sauce.  So, after we received our orders, which came in less than 20 minutes, I started on the Octopus and was quickly blown-away by the sauce rich and tasty flavor.  Kasia dug into the Pizza and was also amazed!  I shared a piece of Octopus with her and OMG, we were both equally satisfied with this amazing and delicious delight.  Next, I reached for a slice of Pizza, not knowing, again what to expect, we both had a similar delightful experience: delicious.  My curiosity was stimulated; we needed to know the process of this Pizza and Octopus. 


The restaurant has an open design, exposing the Pizza oven area, given me the opportunity to observe the preparation and cooking area.  I would, at first glance, credit the wood oven the the crust, but that would not be fair, for there is a great deal more that I have yet to discover.  


The ingredients are made from scratch and added to each Pizza as needed.  There is no magic.  The delicious flavor comes from the fresh ingredients and process.  The cooking is slow and the temperature is just right.


We are definitely returning here for another meal, the sooner the better.  For more information on Ribalta, please visit their Web site.

[email protected] (Johnny Sandaire Photography) food italian napoletana new pizza restaurant ribalta york Sat, 02 Jan 2016 16:32:33 GMT
Spice Market NYC The following photos are part of a set of images of the amazing Spice Market NYC restaurant, located at 403 West 13th Street, New York City.  This lower Manhattan area is known for its eclectic restaurants and high-end designer stores.   My wife and I had an opportunity to visit the Spice Market restaurant to photograph its main dining areas.  When we entered, it felt like we stepped into a different country.  The wooden architecture depicts a strong and bold style, while the ambiance remains calm and peaceful.  We noticed the intricate designs on the wooden posts and ceilings.  They are magnificent.  Although we did not get a chance to wander to the basement level, we can see a vision of it through the balcony photo.  We will definitely take more time to document this GEM during our next visit.    The first photo depicts the Manager, Raygie De Los Santos, and his staff.  


View of the Grand Dining Room, located on the first level next to the bar.  From this dining room, the kitchen is visible.  Bar stools are available for guests to observe the Head Chef and his team prepare the delicious meals.


Directly across the main bar, is a lounge area for casual cocktails and networking.  The reception area is located on the immediate left, next to the main entrance.


The balcony from the cocktail lounge provides a top-level view of the downstairs dining room, where patrons can sit privately to enjoy the warm and exotic atmosphere.


Left of the bar and cocktail section hosts additional sitting with an overview of the front entrance and cocktail lounge.


This is an extremely romantic and breathtaking restaurant with awesome background music, allowing a conversation to be conducted without raising your voice.  I found their music selection quite pleasing and nouveau.

[email protected] (Johnny Sandaire Photography) manhattan meat packing district new nyc restaurant spice market york Mon, 17 Mar 2014 19:21:26 GMT
Atlantic City - Post Sandy Hurricane Sandy made landfall in New Jersey and devastated its coastal landmarks and beautiful beaches.  We decided to visit one of the most famous landmarks of the Jersey coast, Atlantic City Boardwalk, to determine the level of recovery that has been underway since Sandy's passage.  From our point of view, the evidence of the disaster left by the hurricane is undeniable, as indicated by the eroding beaches, disappearing sand dunes, and buried walkways.  At low tide, we noticed a clear path of Sandy's destructive power.  


The Atlantic City Boardwalk suffered a tremendous blow, but it is not left unattended; although the power horses were resting when we visited, we observed the clean-up efforts that are under-way throughout the Boardwalk area, revealing a sure sign of recovery.    

_DSC4631 Nevertheless, the evidence of the massive and speedy recovery is depicted by the amount of rubble that has been collected from the broken infrastructures.


The Boardwalk of Atlantic City is slowly recovering and signs of tourism is noticeable.  The Casinos were not empty; the slot machines were constantly ringing when we entered through one of the Casino doors.  

_DSC4632-2 Life is slowing returning to this famous and affluent part of Atlantic City.  Faced with this much destruction, the beauty of the City and its famous Boardwalk remains energized.  We enjoyed seeing the recovery process for this part of New Jersey; hopefully, the rest of AC and New York will feel a similar level of compassion and determination.


[email protected] (Johnny Sandaire Photography) Atlantic Boardwalk City Hurricane Jersey New Rebuilding Sandy Thu, 15 Nov 2012 12:57:00 GMT
ARHAUS (Our House) Everyone has moved into a new house or apartment at one time or another in their life.  We all know how daunting it could get when the actual day has arrived.  The whole project could be exhausting and tedious, especially in New York City...  

Once we have moved in, the next phase of the project was to garnish our new space.  One of the most intriguing parts is finding the right pieces.  Personally, I enjoy the shopping most of all; my wife is the expert in choosing what we needed and she is excellent at discovering the gems that are hidden in the marketplace.  One of these gem-filled locations is Arhaus, which is located in the heart of New York City's Meat Packing District.  

Arhaus, pronounced "Our House," is one of the largest chains of retail stores in the United States.  Its line of merchandizing includes a blend of unique, handcrafted designs that are commissioned from a group of skilled artisans of diverse cultures and backgrounds, ranging from Italy to Indonesia.  The outcome is an astounding and eclectic collection of the most exclusive pieces on the market. 


As we entered the store from its 13th Street entrance, Phyllis greeted us and offered her assistance, which we gracefully accepted.  As we roamed through the displayed arrangements, we were instantly absorbed by the layout and fine lighting arrangements.  We discovered immediately the strength of style, design, and earth-tone essence of the artistic expression of the new pieces as well as the recycled antiques.


We also discovered how earth conscious the owner and CEO, John Reed, is about the furnishing that is exhibited in the store.  John’s commitment to the environment has no bounds.  He vowed to commission furniture that is fabricated from organic fabrics, recycled glass, and cooper.   A promise that he has kept since he launched his first store in 1986.


As we walked around the store, we could not help admiring the presentation and layout of the pieces.  We were especially impressed with the beauty and rich textures; the brilliant color combinations are well coordinated, which provided a suitable backdrop for the exhibited collections.  


We appreciated the sets of seating arrangements, having a blend of chairs and sofas that are wrapped in organic, leather, and custom order fabrics.  We also noticed a wide range of beds, one-of-a-kind antiques, nightstands and wall decorations.


Dressers, made of recycled wood, are presented with an array of covering choices, depicted with a unique and well designed lighting arrangements.   We could not help noticing the private label bedding collections, accent pillows, and throws.


Navigating through Arhaus was fun and enjoyable.  Everything that we needed for our relocation was available, including a library and office pieces, with an all-encompassing media center for our high-tech gadgets.  


Overall, we appreciated the passion for great design that is depicted in the body of the pieces.  We were curious about the collections and wondered about their origin.  We discovered that the store designers travel the world to gather inspiration.  Then, they commissioned their creations from skilled craftsmen, who delivered the classic styles that are available from Arhaus.  


Arhaus was established in 1986, as a privately held company.  As of September 2012, 600 employees serve the public in 18 states and 46 stores.  The Arhaus Corporate Office is located at 7700 Northfield Road, Walton Hills, Ohio  44146. 

[email protected] (Johnny Sandaire Photography) arhaus downtown furniture manhattan meat packing district new york Mon, 17 Sep 2012 21:38:46 GMT