Friday, 28 May 2010

Walking Tour: The Bloomberg Building, One Beacon Court, NY

There is so much to see, architecturally, in New York City. As I walk around, I find myself stopping for a few minutes to admire some architectural sculptures. One such place is the BLOOMBERG Building, designed by Argentinian- born, American architect Cesar Pelli.

Bloomberg is a familiar name in the world of finance. Michael Bloomberg, who now reigns as the Mayor of New York, formed Bloomberg as a media company in 1981, to provide the tools and data needed by businessmen in the world of finance. Their main product, the Bloomberg Terminal, is "a computer system that enables financial professionals to access the Bloomberg Professional service through which users can monitor and analyze real-time financial-market data movements and place trades." It is most relied upon because it provides "the fastest-growing real-time financial information network in the world."

The building structure occupies a whole block bound by 58th St. where the main entrance to the building is located...leading to the atrium...

...59th St. where there is another entrance. At the base of the building, in 6 floors, the offices of Bloomberg are situated.

The atrium is elliptical in shape, with the glazed-glass walls sloped inward with a 7% slope. Seen from the elliptical shape is the Lexington Tower.

After taking this picture, I was told that I could not take pictures within the atrium area as it was private property. But, they graciously informed me I could continue taking pictures from the sidewalk, or from any other angle outside of the building's perimeter.

From a vantage point on the 27th floor of another building, this is the view of the Lexington Tower, which is now the eighth tallest building in New York City. A third of the tower is for residential use, the third top most.

Here is another angle from 59th and 3rd St. Built with a structural-steel frame system, at the bottom of the building's structure you will find your favorite commercial establishments such as a bank, a hardware store, a coffee house, a department name it, you think it...and it might just be somewhere around the block.

Here are more photos I took as night time was setting in...from the sidewalk across the surrounding streets:


As you can see, the entrance to the offices is marked by the Bloomberg sign, while the residential entrance is through the white-framed glass doors. Professional business groups in the world of finance can make an appointment to tour the Bloomberg Building, by booking an appointment in advance. But for a tourist like me, "sorry" what I got when I tried to make an appointment.

Just in case you happen to be walking by this area when you come to visit New York, slow down and you might catch a glimpse of Mayor Bloomberg, and possibly Beyonce and her husband Jay Z, Woody Allen and a host of other celebrities and prominent people. As for me, I was content to simply admire the architectural beauty, design, and movement of this building.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

A Gastromique Tour: Breizh Café for some French Gallette

When treating friends to something Frenchy, a visit to Breizh Café in the heart of La Marais in Paris, at 109 rue Vielle de Temps, becomes a fun experience of deciding just what to order. The choices on the menu are limited to sweet and savoury French gallette creations.

A galette is like a French crêpe - it is a thin, large, savoury, buckwheat-flour pancake, while a crepe is made from wheat flour, much smaller in size and mostly filled with a sweet filling. This type of large, thin pancake originated in the regions of Normandy and Brittany, where it was used to replace bread as basic food, and it is now eaten countrywide. Buckwheat was also planted as a crop in impoverished soil conditions, in the regions of Limousin or Auvergne.
It was a treat to see how easily these things are prepared. First, the chef poured a ladle-full of the buckwheat mixture on to the top of the crepe maker - these round, flat gizmos.
With a wooden squidgy, the pancake mix is thinned out up to an inch 
from the outer rim of the heated, crepe plate.
With a stainless spatula, the chef lifted up one side and proceeded to turn it over to brown the other side.
While still on the crepe plate, butter is spread on it, then the other ingredients are added to the center of the gallette, and finished by folding the curve sides to form a square...just like you see it.

The savoury gallete is frequently garnished with egg, meat, fish, cheese, cut vegetables.
One of the most popular varieties is a galette covered with grated Emmental cheese, 
a slice of ham and an egg - and this is what I had ordered - galette complète (a complete galette). 
This was filling to my tummy.

The sweet gallete is filled with apple slices, berries, caramel, or similar ingredients and topped with powdered sugar, ice cream scoops, syrups...and what ever else you want on it, for an additional fee! 
For my dessert, this is what I ordered: gallete topped with 2 scoops of marron glacé ice cream.
This is how it came! Oh...that was so sweetly delicious!

Did I tease your palete enough? If you want to try making it yourself, check this recipe from  Bon appetit!

In the Kitchen: Parmesan Chicken

Home-cooked meals are a constant adventure for me as I design healthy but tasty meals. Here is one of my son's favorite "Parmesan Chicken."

This recipe is similar to "Scaloppine al Limone" (made with veal.) Instead of using breadcrumbs, I am substituting grated parmesan cheese and using chicken breast as my meat. The elimination of the breadcrumbs makes this meal a high-protein food.

2 Chicken breasts, butterflied to 1/4 inch and tenderized with a kitchen mallet
Sprinkle with lemon and set aside.

On parchment paper (or wax paper), spread grated parmesan cheese, then add some dried onion flakes.

In a shallow plate, scramble one egg. Dip both sides of the chicken, then coat both sides with the parmesan/onion mixture.

In a pan, warm up a little butter and cooking oil (do NOT use olive oil). Pan fry each side 2-3 minutes or until. Serve with a side salad.

SIDE SALAD: Arugula with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Garnish with Green Apples and Pecans Caramelized with agave.


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