Daily Archives: June 13, 2014

The Vita Escort – On Celebrating Your Dad

| June 13, 2014

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In case you haven’t checked your calendar, Sunday is Father’s Day.

And since I’m personally not ready—or mature enough—to be a dad quite yet, the best thing for everyone is to just live vicariously through the other one’s we know and love so much.

Even though my dad called me last week just to tell me that he went for a bike ride and thought that he may or may not have pulled something while doing it, I couldn’t help but hear him through.

So for all those dad’s out there, we raise the nearest glass and shout out a toast, because these are some ways to celebrate you this weekend.

Put Down the Phone

While most people might be thinking that this is the exact opposite of what you’re supposed to do—listen up.

This isn’t in reference to picking up the cell and calling your dad for the first time in a few months.

No, this means that, if you go visit him, you put down the phone and just spend quality time together.

Instead of texting significant others, checking social media or browsing the Internet, leave the phone at home and just listen to the guy who made you.

Get Him Something Nice

This should already have happened by now, but if it hasn’t, than it’s time to get on it.

I remember back in fifth grade doing something like a coupon book for him, where my dad would get a break from mowing the lawn, washing the car or taking out the trash by me.

Now that you’re all grown up, though, sacrifice a night out on the town and go get him something that will remind him why you’re the best damn kid he has ever had.

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Embarrass Him

Look, to be completely blunt, part of having a good Father’s Day is taking some time to remind everyone around you why you love your dad so much—which means making him bashful a little bit.

Whether that means putting together the funniest pictures of him while you were growing up or blasting questionable fashion choices he had when he was your age all over Facebook, this should be something that makes him smile and not get too upset with you over.

Think of it as a best man’s speech—lighthearted, clever and witty.

Actually Go and Visit Him

While some of these other things will surely surprise your dad, the one thing that probably completely catches him off-guard is when you pack up some bags and head home to see him for the entire weekend.

Sure, it’s supposed to just be Father’s Day, but what better way to decompress from a crazy work week than seeing the faces of your parents for a few days?

Even if it’s a hassle and an expensive flight to get there, if you really want to show your dad some serious love, you’ll put aside some cash and plan a mini vacation to see him.

Tell Him You Love Him

This should be so self-explanatory it’s not even funny—yet some people may forget it.

All of these other things will show him that you love him, but when he hears it, it will mean a hell of a lot more.

Cards, photos, gifts and all that other stuff will eventually get lost or thrown away. Hearing his son or daughter say, “I love you” won’t, so remember to say it.

Vita Cohorts: New York’s Baby’s All Right

| June 13, 2014

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Throw out everything you know about diners and music venues, because when you walk into Brooklyn’s Baby’s All Right, you’ll have a change of opinion on what can be achieved with talent, good friends, a lot of hard work and some creativity.

Located on Broadway in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, the diner-like setting might not appear to be more than just some refurbished wood, cool art and a few tables scattered around, but after attending—yes, that’s what it should be called when visiting the place—it will instantly pull you in with all that is happening in the 5,000-square foot space.

As one of the restaurants that serves our brew in the steadily evolving New York City coffee scene, see why Baby’s All Right isn’t food, isn’t music and isn’t a bar; but a place that offers an experience that will undoubtedly become a routine of yours each week—for any one of the reasons we just listed.

Sitting down with Executive Chef Ronald Murray, here’s why your next trip to the Big Apple should include this hip haven.

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How did you get the idea to do all this, because I know it’s pretty unique what you’re doing here?

“The original concept was born out of a love for music and a love for the neighborhood we’re in. We saw that we could do something entirely unique, but also very special for the people who live not only in New York City, but the Williamsburg area in Brooklyn.

There were three of us that got together to develop a more solid concept in which music, arts and food were all combined into a beautiful collage of the youths.

It was cool, because we—along with Zach Mexico and Billy Jones—could have opened a music venue—that would have been one thing. We could have opened a bar—that would have been another thing. We could have just opened a restaurant. But we saw a very challenging opportunity, but also something special, because we tried to hit on something that had never been done successfully here on such a large scale.”

So this really came from a couple of buddies who wanted to turn it from a hobby into a real business?

“It was more based off of Zach, who is the Founder and head concept creator, who took someone like Billy Jones, who has been a friend and partner in booking music in the city for years, to someone like me, who has specialized in restaurants in New York for the past decade, and finding something that would be functional and very, very fun.

We’ve been really going for it this past year, not only just trying to get things off the ground, but really to build an identity and a lifestyle.”

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How did you guys decide on Vita coffee?

“You guys came in because of your spot on the Lower East Side, and that spot being Billy’s favorite coffee shop.

Knowing you roast it in-house and that you’re not going to get a better brew, we thought you would be perfect for what we wanted here because you were smaller, very personal and the coffee is just really, really good.

It was the personalization that we really believe in and are big on here, because you’re not part of a big company, and you just fit in with our whole philosophy.

And in regards to how it’s doing, people love the coffee.”

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How has the reception around the area been to Baby’s All Right?

“It’s going really, really well. It was a full build-out of two spaces, so the process was a little crazy.

For example, before we had gas or anything to cook with, we were just working on renovations during the day, and then used it as a music venue, basically just throwing parties as different bands came in. Hell, we didn’t even have hot water, so we were serving in like plastic cups.

After an entire season of just holiday parties, we launched the kitchen and the music and the bar seven days a week. Soon thereafter, we started doing brunch.

There are a lot of amazing restaurants around here, but most of them you have to wait for to have brunch, and we just thought we could create something here that can be lasting. Amazing food first, and then people can go see a show after.”

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How often do you have bands playing per week?

“We have about three live acts a night, sometimes more, and then we also have DJs. Sound check usually goes on about 7pm for the headliner, and then doors open around 8pm to 8:30pm, do a few live sets, and then have the front DJ play over the whole space.

But because of how it’s broken up, it’s very modular, so it’s two separate spaces. You could sit in here for two hours and have dinner, and never know that there’s some rocker in the live room just singing his heart out.”

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Lastly, I have to ask, how did you guys come up with the name?

“When first renovating the place, Zack had bought a sign at an antique auction that just said, ‘All Right,’ so then it just had to be ‘Something All Right.’

So with me being Ronnie, I suggested just going with, ‘Ronnie’s All Right,’—which got shut down really quick.

It was always a really funny talking point, because it just turned into a joke. Like after meeting you, I’d be like, ‘let’s name it Nick’s All Right.’

And then we booked 15 different acts for an entire week and were throwing a crazy party in here—but still didn’t have a name.

So we were hanging out talking, and after a lot of ideas were thrown around, I was talking about an ex-girlfriend of mine who is into some crazy shit these days. Everyone reacted all surprised and I said, ‘No, guys, don’t worry, my baby’s all right,’ and it just kind of stuck.

With us being a music venue, we thought about rock n’ roll, and how everybody is always singing about their baby, and if their baby’s all right.

One dirty story, and I’m trying to defend my girl. No one really knows that, but that’s how it happened.”