La Chine offers provincial Chinese cuisine with a touch of French finesse

La Chine offers provincial Chinese cuisine with a touch of French finesse La Chine offers provincial Chinese cuisine with a touch of French finesse  |  New York, United States  | What a remarkable dinning experience at La Chine‬ Chinese Restaurant‬ at the iconic Waldorf Astoria New York. We were there celebrating their first week opened. Provincial Chinese menu with the finesse and hint of French influence Continue reading La Chine offers provincial Chinese cuisine with a touch of French finesse

And we are officially MARRIED

Carlos Melia and Rubin Singer MarriageAnd we are officially MARRIED  |  New York, United States  |  Yesterday I changed my status to MARRIED. After 4 years of being together, Rubin Singer and I decided to tie the knot and formalize legally our love and commitment to each other. Early morning, we went to the City Hall in New York and got our Marriage License, follower by a lovely breakfast at Locanda Verde, hosted by our dear friend Michael Romei. That same evening we celebrated with all our dear New York friends and family, with a magical private dinner at the Wine Cellar of the 21 Club by Belmond. Continue reading And we are officially MARRIED

Birthday celebration at ELEVEN MADISON PARK Restaurant

Eleven Madison Park RestaurantBirthday celebration at ELEVEN MADISON PARK Restaurant  |  New York, United States  |  Celebrating my 41st Birthday, last night my partner Rubin Singer, took me for a fabulous fine dinning experience out in New York. His line was, you are so jaded and you have experience almost all in terms or cuisine and hospitality, but I will yet surprise you. And so he did. 3-Michelin-starred restaurant Eleven Madison Park by Chef Daniel Humm under the Relais & Chateaux portfolio, was quite outstanding and indeed a great discovery. Continue reading Birthday celebration at ELEVEN MADISON PARK Restaurant

Anniversary dinner at The Plaza Athenee New York

Anniversary Dinner at The Plaza Athenee New YorkAnniversary dinner at The Plaza Athenee New York  |  New York, Unites States | For our third year anniversary, with Rubin Singer, we choose this time to celebrate it with an intimate private dinner at Arabelle Restaurant at The Plaza Athenee New York. Mondays, the restaurant remains closed, therefore it is the perfect time to have your one-on-one private dinning experience. We chose the small room next to, my absolute favorite bar in New York, the Seine Bar. Very cozy, intimate and old time chic. For a minute you forget about being in New York, and you are transported to a petit bistro in France.  Continue reading Anniversary dinner at The Plaza Athenee New York

Manhattan Bar Singapore

Manhattan Bar Singapore by www.carlosmeliablog.comManhattan Bar Singapore  | Singapore  |  Following my posts on Singapore and my favorites from my recent trip there, here I present the recently inaugurated Manhattan Bar at the Regent Hotel Singapore. Manhattan is a grand hotel bar inspired by the 19th century’s Golden Age of cocktails and fine drinking. Delivering on its name with a glamorous yet modern space reminiscent of old New York, craft bartending meets artisanal spirits to pay homage to classic and forgotten cocktails that leap from the pages of history. Savour classic and forgotten cocktails crafted from the world’s first in-hotel rickhouse and a remarkable collection of house-made ingredients. Gourmet bar bites that reflect New York’s myriad of cultures complement the inspired beverages. Continue reading Manhattan Bar Singapore

Merry Christmas from Rockefeller Center

Merry Christmas from Rockefeller Center by www.carlosmeliablog.comMerry Christmas from Rockefeller Center | New York, United States | As every year at the Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, here is the Holiday Spirit. Hope you enjoy it. Merry Xmas and Happy Holidays to everyone. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

See the video at New York Holiday Season at Rockefeller Center

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Merry Christmas from Rockefeller Center by www.carlosmeliablog.com

Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour

Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.comGrand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour  | New York, United States | If there is something that always intrigues and interests me about iconic landmarks and destinations, is to dig deep into their apparent facade and learn about the myths and legends behind them. You saw my recent post on Buenos Aires, from my visit last week, and now New York. Invited to join this exclusive group of luxury concierges of Manhattan, by my friend Michael Romei, I took part of this exclusive behind the scenes 3hs tours of Grand Central Terminal and Beyond. The tour was conducted to detail and perfection, by Docent-in-Chief Daniel Brucker, who not only is an erudite in the subject, but also is known and referred as “The Keeper of Grand Central’s Secrets”.
Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.comGrand Central Terminal is “the world’s number six most visited tourist attraction”, bringing in approximately 21,600,000 visitors annually. The first tip to learn about Grand Central, is that it is a “Terminal” and not a Station. Grand Central is the point the end and the beginning of the rail line into and out of New York City. Our tour guide, made strong emphasis on this, and demanded respect alluding Grand Central Terminal, is the biggest train terminal in the world.
Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.com
From there on, we immersed into a behind the scenes and secrets tour, which took over 3 hours. I must say it felt like just one. We started with a brief introduction. while seating at the stunning and breathtaking Vanderbilt Hall. This room is very important, and you will be able to read the plaque placed there. The Grand Central was the first building in the United States to be saved under the Landmark Act by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. In 1975, when Grand Central was threatened with demolition, Jacqueline Onassis lent her support to the preservation cause.
Photo Sep 23, 10 41 07 AMPhoto Sep 23, 10 36 31 AM (1)Facts: Grand Central Terminal is the biggest terminal in the world. New York’s biggest basement. The entire population of San Francisco passes by and uses the GCT everyday (750K people). 700 trains daily.  44 platforms with 67 tracks. 99% punctuality. 80% Lost and Found rate. 1200 passengers per train formation.

Photo Sep 23, 10 19 29 AMDid you know that all the Train Schedules displayed on the boards, are wrong ? Well technically they are wrong, but on purpose. All train departures are scheduled to leave a minute before they do. This is to allow the massive crowds to move safely and organized.

Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.com Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.comHave you ever tried the Whispering Gallery? There is a section of the Terminal on the lower concourse, next to the Oyster Bar and Restaurant. The acoustics of the low ceramic arches, covered of Guastavino tiles, can cause a whisper to sound like a shout. I looks like I am confessing, but no. This is how it works. Stand at opposite corners with a friend. Let your friend whisper something, facing the wall. You will hear it loud and clear on the other opposite corner, you were right next to them.

Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.com

The Grand Central Terminal Clock, is a stunning true jewel. Urban legends say, it is worth between 10 to  20 million dollars. Each of the four clock faces is made from opalescent glass; the story that the faces are made of opal and that both Sotheby’s and Christie’s have estimated the value
Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.comThe ceiling over the Main Concourse, one of Grand Central Terminal’s most famous features, displays a massive celestial piece of art. This remained covered for many many years, with grime and dirt, result of millions of cigarettes smoked by waiting commuters. However, if you look carefully, you will notice the great mistake made by the artist. The zodiac on the ceiling is depicted backwards. The Vanderbilt, never recognized this mistake, claiming the painting was made as if God would be looking from the skies.  Also if you look carefully, next to Pisces you will find a hole in the ceiling. This hole was pierced by a Redstone rocket, which was place on display at the Main Concourse to show Americans and the world the supremacy over the Soviet Union and the Sputnik Satellite.

Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.comBut this was just the beginning of our behind the Scenes and Secrets for Grand Central Terminal. Till this point, we had seen same as any other regular visitor. But of histrionic guide, had a few more surprises of us, which are only accessible to a few. First we went down to New York City deepest and largest basement. There we saw and learnt about the very soul and power of this iconic station.

Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.com Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.com Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.comWe explored the tunnels under GCT, with rock formation that date 600 million years. Did you know that the Grand Central Terminal and the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, are linked by a secret train platform and track “Track 61” ? which allowed VIPs to enter the hotel in a more private manner, and was always fueled and ready for the use of presidents. Even Andy Warhol was popular for throwing parties in this train, called “The Underground Party”.
Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.comThis simple tiny red button, is the one responsible for shutting off the ENTIRE power of Grand Central Station, in case of an emergency.

Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.com Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.com Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.comFrom there we move to the higher floors of the Terminal, where we visited the “Situation Room” and the “Headquarters of Operations”.
Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.comBut I must say, that the most exciting part of our tour was reaching the highest point of the building, and seeing Grand Central Station at full splendor, from the city windows of the ceiling. What I called “the eye in the sky of Grand Central Station”. Little windows located right on top the 100 years sing.

Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.com Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.comGrand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.comGrand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.comWhat an amazing way to explore Grand Central Terminal, and learn more about such an iconic building, which in many ways has transformed the life of Americans and most closely New Yorkers. After over 3 hours walking along, up and down, was time for lunch. For this which better option than walking to the lower level and enjoying some great fresh dishes at the OYSTER Bar & Restaurant (I strongly recommend the Manhattan Clam Chowder, and the Tuna Steak, with a chilled Chimay Belgian beer). Hope you enjoyed my report. I do not want to say much, not to spoil your own experience. Once again BIG THANK YOU to Michael Romei, Les Clefs d’Or organization and Metro-North Railroad. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

Photo Sep 23, 10 46 55 AMPhoto Sep 23, 10 49 34 AMPhoto Sep 23, 10 47 17 AM Photo Sep 23, 10 49 27 AM Photo Sep 23, 10 19 36 AM (1) Photo Sep 23, 10 11 29 AM Photo Sep 23, 10 16 46 AM Photo Sep 23, 10 16 54 AM Photo Sep 23, 10 31 57 AM Photo Sep 23, 10 31 57 AM (1) Photo Sep 23, 10 11 26 AM Photo Sep 23, 11 13 24 AM Photo Sep 23, 11 49 39 AM Photo Sep 23, 11 36 31 AM Photo Sep 23, 11 41 27 AM Photo Sep 23, 11 37 58 AM Photo Sep 23, 11 39 43 AM Photo Sep 23, 11 38 46 AM Photo Sep 23, 11 42 34 AM Photo Sep 23, 12 58 08 PMGrand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.com Photo Sep 23, 12 57 23 PM Photo Sep 23, 12 55 29 PM Photo Sep 23, 1 11 11 PM Photo Sep 23, 1 10 11 PM Photo Sep 23, 1 08 19 PM Photo Sep 23, 1 01 50 PM Photo Sep 23, 1 30 37 PM Photo Sep 23, 1 48 54 PM (1) Photo Sep 23, 1 48 12 PM Photo Sep 23, 2 21 22 PM (*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email carlos@carlosmelia.com or phone # 917.754.5515. Check our schedule bespoke groups, escapes and retreats at Coups de Coeur. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of LGTNetwork, IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.

Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.com(**) Follow me around the world curating the best on Luxury Travel and Lifestyle by subscribing to my Facebook Page Carlos Melia Recommends, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter, InstagramYouTube and/or pining me on Pinterest. And if you want to travel like me, or would you like to join me, check Coups de Coeur.

Apothéke Mixology and Prescriptions

20130825-122712.jpgApothéke Mixology and Prescriptions | New York, United States | Inspired by the history and rise of the apothecary in Europe as well as the artistic influence of absinthe dens in 19th century Paris, Apothéke is the first of its kind. The entire experience from wandering down a hidden street to find the entrance, to tasting the first sip of a specialty cocktail made with exotic herbs and fruits – is a privilege. I have only experienced such take on mixology before at The Alchemist in Manchester, UK.
20130825-122855.jpg At Apothéke, the presentation of a cocktail is just as dramatic as the cocktail itself. The bar is no longer a bar. It’s a stage. A chemistry lab. A theatre. A unique-shaped Austrian crystal glass is carefully selected for each cocktail, and into it, is poured a beautiful, jewel-colored liquid. This is much more than a cocktail bar – this is a cocktail apothecary.
20130825-123147.jpg My choices for the night, three of them… Well two different cocktails, and one repeat ha ha. Call me crazy but anything that has cilantro and is combined with ginger and the word Buddha in it, I am down with it, so two of those drinks were a Sitting Buddha, Absolut Vodka, Lemongrass, Fresh Pineapple, Cilantro, Ginger, Lillet Blanc, Lime, Skin Tincture. And then one The Matador, Olmeca Altos Reposado Tequila, Bell Pepper, Cantaloupe, Habañero Bitters, Pink Peppercorn, Sea Salt Rim.
20130825-123300.jpgJust arriving on the taxi and going by Doyers St alley and seeing all the cool people walking by and around looking for the little door, right in the heart of Chinatown, with the trash truck wondering around, the low lights and smells classic of this neighborhood, and all of the sudden walk through the door, after you make it through the invitees list… WOW just so many flashbacks on my late fun nights in Asia in Hong Kong, Bangkok or Chiang Mai. Thank you Anthony and Denise Vasi. Best of luck at the VMAs tonight, and check the red carpet for some Rubin Singer moments. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends
20130825-123029.jpg 20130825-123418.jpg 20130825-123643.jpg 20130825-123801.jpg (*) Follow me around the world curating the best on Luxury Travel and Lifestyle by subscribing to my Facebook Page Carlos Melia Recommends, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter, InstagramYouTube and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.

Sunday run at Hudson River Park

Sunday run at Hudson River Park by www.carlosmeliablog.comSunday run at Hudson River Park  |  New York, United States  |  As almost everyday, today I went out to enjoy a lovely sunny Sunday running along the Hudson River at the Hudson River Park, in Manhattan, New York City, on the West side. Since my running partner abandoned me today, I was bored and played a bit with my iPhone while running, to keep me away from thinking how many more minutes or miles I had left. (3,5 miles / 497 Cal). Hope you enjoy my live video. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

Sunday run at Hudson River Park by www.carlosmeliablog.com Sunday run at Hudson River Park by www.carlosmeliablog.com Sunday run at Hudson River Park by www.carlosmeliablog.com(*) Follow me around the world curating the best on Luxury Travel and Lifestyle by subscribing to my Facebook Page Carlos Melia Recommends, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.

New York Perfect Summer Evening

New York Perfect Summer Evening by www.carlosmeliablog.comNew York Perfect Summer Evening | New York, United States | This is what I call a New York perfect Summer Evening. Drinks at my favorite Manhattan hotel The Mark, over filthy Vodka Martinis EXTRA olives with my FAB client, planning her next trip to South East Asia. After that walk back home strolling by the Central Park. Now cooling off at home while writing this brief post and off to dinner to Taboon with Rubin and our good friend from London.  Couldn’t be better, couldn’t be happier. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

New York Perfect Summer Evening New York Perfect Summer Evening New York Perfect Summer Evening New York Perfect Summer Evening New York Perfect Summer Evening(*) Follow me around the world by subscribing to my Facebook Profile, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter. and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.