Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Food & Drink Double Pleasure: Enjoy The Macallan No. 4 Whisky at Grand Central tastings - & Rockefeller Center Farmer's Market

Macallan Through the Ages

Following the flawless, special press preview event on Monday, at The Weylin - a former bank in Brooklyn that is now an extraordinary event space because of the building’s architectural designs and quality craftsmanship.


The location fit oh-so appropriately with The MacAllan brand’s dedication to quality craftsmanship. We were invited to Monday to celebrate Macallan’s new distillery - in Speyside, Scotland. There was a bit of confusion, er mystery, surrounding this announcement. One could’ve been forgiven for reading the invitation to suggest the venerable Scottish whiskey maker was opening a distillery in Brooklyn. Why not?

The event was top-tier/top-shelf from start to finish.  Kudos to the entire MACALLAN team.

The event was a tribute to the past, present, and future of The Macallan. And as the evening unfolded, I came to understand the scope…

Walking in, I felt like I stepped through the looking glass. It was a speakeasy from a bygone era - or being in Brooklyn - everyone - especially the men - looked like everyday hipsters who inhabit this borough.

There was the piano player- right out of central casting and Tin Pan Alley

There were also lots of perfectly appointed cocktail culture accessories - from bar carts and crystal decanters and glasses to openers and more. Great decorating ideas for a home bar and speakeasy like I have.

The ambience was transporting. Plus, I was sipping a kind of whisky and ginger ale drink - refreshing but muscular. Plenty of food trays were passed. Loved the Scottish eggs.

The bar and bartenders were all in tune, too. Loved the Speyside Sazerac - concocted from The Macallan Sherry Oak 12, a spritz of Absinthe, Bitters, and a lemon twist garnish and mixed by Aaron.

The 1824 Bamboo (The Macallan Sherry Oak 12, Dry Oloroso Sherry, Dry Vermouth, Orange Bitters, and a twist of orange for the garnish) was very good too - although I only had a sip of that before it was time to enter the Cube!
But first, our group was tasting a dram of The Macallan No 4 Whisky before entering the Cube. 

Then, it was time.  To enter this Cube. 
As a former tech exec - I loved the use of technology to transport us to other worlds - other places -- all with the flip of a hand. 
We were in Scotland.  Or was that The Macallan whispering?!  Ha. 

The 4D technology is really incredible. Here we experienced the new Macallan Distillery located in Speyside Scotland with sight, sound, the vibration of air -- the tinkling of brooks. Very transporting. 

As a garden and landscape designer, I was further impressed with the distillery’s design -- located essentially underground! So as not to disturb the pristine land there. It’s a true green roof, undulating across the rolling hills of Speyside.

Next, it was on to the Future of the Macallan.

We we ushered into a grand hall -- all open space and airy bar, dotted with lounge seating and VR technology. Oh - and food and drink.

I tried The Ruby Queen - a super blend of The Macallan Double Cask 12, Fresh Beet Juice, Fresh Lemon Juice, Honey, and a garnish of fresh tarragon. Loved it and the garden to glass garnish. Lovely finishing touch.

The Macallan team will replicate a wee bit of the immersive Distillery and Visitor Experience we had on Monday at Grand Central Station’s Vanderbilt Hall. Please see dates and times below.

Here are some details on the experience:

  • Created using 360-degree video (using technologies such as drones and a remote-controlled robot) “The Macallan Distillery Experience” will make the user feel like they have been fully transported to the whisky mecca. 
  • The 15x15x15 cube-like structure allows for a group VR experience for groups of 15 at a time.
  • The experience includes cutting-edge wind and scent diffusion technology matched to the footage and fully interactive leap motion controls allow guests to guide the experience with a mid-air gesture of their hand.

Outside of the NYC events, whisky enthusiasts around the globe will be able to view “The Macallan Distillery Experience” on their mobile phones or desktops, through social media, or at select wine and liquor retail stores, bars and restaurants using a VR headset.

Here’s one of the videos that will be shown in the 4D cube: The 4D really makes it extraordinary, though.

Here are the exact timings for the Grand Central activation:

Date(s): Wednesday, July 25, Thursday, July 26 and Friday, July 27 (half day only), and culminating on Friday, July 27 -- which is: National Scotch Day - naturally!

Time: 11:30 AM to 7:30 PM (12:00 PM to 3:30 PM on Friday)

You’ll be able to sample The Macallan’s new Edition No.4 whisky.


And this being New York - there’s more than one big event launching today. The Rockefeller Center® Farmers Market Returns for the Summer

Organized by The GrowNYC Greenmarket, the summer farmer’s market in the heart of Gotham, offers specialty products from local, regional farms.

That there is a farmer’s market in the heart of midtown makes perfect sense. Did you know that the country's First Botanic Garden was on 20 wooded acres at today's Rockefeller Center?

It’s true!
With garden dreams of yore floating through your seasonal, homegrown menus, be sure to visit Rockefeller Center’s annual farmers market that returns this summer with a wide variety of specialty products from regional farms spanning New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Vermont.

The market will be open Wednesday, July 25 through Friday, August 31, Wednesday-Friday of each week from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., at Rockefeller Center Plaza, located between 49th and 50th Streets and 5th and 6th Avenues, Manhattan.
You’ll find fresh produce, meat, eggs, flowers, baked goods, cheeses, wine, spirits, and more. The farmers market is free and open to the public.

For more information visit

For news and updates follow @RockCenterNYC on Twitter and Instagram and Like Rockefeller Center on Facebook. Join the conversation by using #RockCenter

DATE: Wednesday, July 25 – Friday, August / Wednesday through Friday, weekly

TIME: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

LOCATION: Rockefeller Plaza - Between 49th and 50th Streets and 5th and 6th Avenues

Friday, July 13, 2018

New York Botanical Garden's School of Professional Horticulture to Host 6th Annual Free Green Industry Field Day, July 18

NYBG Lily Pools
Join The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) and the School of Professional Horticulture for its annual event for interns and seasonal employees involved in the green industry, Wednesday, July 18, 2018, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

This free industry-sponsored event features remarks from top horticulturists around the tri-state area. Come view the Garden’s collections and talk with our Horticulture curators, test your plant ID skills with a contest, and conclude the day with food and refreshments, games, and prizes.

The School of Professional Horticulture is proud to announce that the 2018 keynote speaker will be Celebrity Landscaper Ahmed Hassan. Ahmed is best known as the original host and co-creator of Yard Crashers, Blog Cabin, and Turf War on DIY and HGTV networks. Outside of television he’s the owner and sole proprietor of Ahmed Hassan Landscape Services (AHLS), a landscape design, construction, and garden installation company in Northern California.

While at NYBG, you will have the opportunity to view the latest exhibition Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawai‘i.


R.S.V.P. with the name and e-mail address of each person attending, and the name of your organization to Eric Lieberman at 718.817.8580 or Space is limited to one supervisory staff member per group of interns or seasonals.

"From its inception six years ago, the Green Industry Field Day's mission was to celebrate and elevate careers in horticulture -- especially for the growing, diverse community of budding professionals," said Charles Yurgalevitch, Ph.D., Director of the School of Professional Horticulture
Charles Yurgalevitch, Ph.D., Director of SOPH
"We have rigorously built on our foundation through the glowing feedback we receive from an ever-expanding attendee community, the growing lineup of corporate sponsors, and the dedication of NYBG staff. This year, we are extremely excited about our peerless roster of speakers and our record-breaking band of interns who now not only represent the NYC-area; but also hail from across the country," Yurgalevitch explained. "Green Industry Field Day - otherwise and afffectionately known as Hortie Hoopla continues to expand to serve the needs of our horticulture community and, in fact, has become the recognized industry event benchmark for emerging hort professionals," he added.

Attendees can view the Garden’s collections and talk with NYBG Horticulture curators and experts, test their Plant ID skills, and conclude the day with food and refreshments, games, and prizes. Plus, enjoy 30% off at NYBG Shop all day!


11 a.m.—Early Check-in

Lunch on Your Own (NYBG Pine Tree Café open all afternoon or bring your own)

12:30–3 p.m.—Arthur and Janet Ross Lecture Hall

Welcome: Barbara Corcoran, VP for Continuing & Public Education; Charles Yurgalevitch, Ph.D. Director, School of Professional Horticulture - NYBG

My Stories:

Chris Roddick — Arborist & Foreman of Grounds, Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Jessica A. Schuler — Director, Thain Family Forest, NYBG

Keynote Address: Ahmed Hassan

3–5 p.m.—Site visits to the new Edible Academy, Green Materials Recycling Center (composting facility), plant ID contest, and more!

5:00 p.m. to dusk—BBQ in the new Edible Academy with games, prizes, and more.

Keynote Speaker

Ahmed Hassan, best known as the host and co-creator of Yard Crashers, Blog Cabin, and Turf War on DIY and HGTV network. He owns and operates Ahmed Hassan Landscape Services (AHLS), a landscape design, construction, and garden installation company in Northern California, and regularly travels the country hosting workshops, speaking engagements and performing philanthropy with his group of “Sustainable Heroes”.

Jack Algiere is farm director at The Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. Jack graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a degree in horticulture and has been actively farming since the early 1990s. His lifetime of experience in organic, biodynamic and ecological systems brings a broad diversity of experience in greenhouses, orchards, fields and pastures. Jack plays the drums, is captain of the local volunteer fire department, and sits on the board of Johnny’s Selected Seeds.

Tatiana Morin co-founded and was subsequently named Director of the NYC Urban Soils Institute. She was a member of the steering committee for SWIM NYC (Stormwater Infrastructure Matters) and served as a Stormwater Technician for NYC Soil and Water Conservation District. Currently, she is working on her Masters in Environmental Science while overseeing operations for the Urban Soils Institute in five programming areas.

Shephali Patel is a farmer, educator, and writer.

Her work is split between building models that display the interconnections between soil, agriculture, and ecological health; and empowering others to use this knowledge to create positive change in their communities. Shephali has worked at The Youth Farm, Snug Harbor Heritage Farm, and The Jane Goodall Institute, among others. Her latest published essays include “Darshan” in Spiritual Ecology (2nd edition, 2016) and “Sacred Soil” in Parabola Magazine (Fall 2017).

Christopher Roddick is Arborist and Foreman of Grounds at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

For over 20 years, he has developed the Garden’s tree care program where he specializes in conservation arboriculture and veteran tree care. In addition, Chris consults with landscape architects and private clients on mature tree preservation and tree protection in construction and development sites. He is the author of, The Tree Care Primer a guide to care for young, mature, and veteran trees.

Jessica A. Schuler, Director of the Thain Family Forest, is responsible for the management of the 50-acre, old growth urban forest including ecological restoration and the development of education and research programs. Jessica earned a BS in plant science with distinction in research from Cornell University, is an ISA-certified arborist, and a Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner with the Society for Ecological Restoration.

2018 Sponsors!

Vibranium Sponsors

Central Park Conservancy

Etain, LLC

Flora Landscape, Ltd.

High Glen Gardens

Gold Sponsors

Bartlett Tree Experts

Landcraft Environments, Ltd.

M. Bulfamante & Sons

Marijuana Policy Project

Silver Sponsors

C&C Landscape Contractors, Inc.

N.Y. State Arborists

Riverside Park Conservancy

The Bronx Brewery