Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza & Wine Bar – The Italian Restaurant on The Upper East Side of Manhattan

Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza & Wine Bar - The Italian Restaurant on The Upper East Side #NYC

Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza & Wine Bar – The Italian Restaurant on The Upper East Side #NYC

I enjoy a good glass of wine. The red house wine at Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza and Wine Bar, an Italian restaurant on the Upper East Side, was awesome. I dined there with a friend on Thursday and also really enjoyed the restaurant’s Salmon Risotto special. My pal Richard had the Rigatoni special and he liked it very much. The establishment blew us away with their White Chocolate Cake dessert which was described by Gaven, the general manager, as “one of the best desserts in the house.”

Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza & Wine Bar has been in business for seven years and was started by brothers Jon and Marc Bash (fratelli means brother in Italian.) The decor is warm and wood-based with incredible chandeliers creating cozy lighting. The hospitality is friendly and the staff takes the extra step to make sure every thing is fine.

The entrance to Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza & Wine Bar on the Upper East Side.

The entrance to Fratelli Brick Oven Pizza & Wine Bar on the Upper East Side.

I have always loved Italian food and was torn by the vast choices on Fratelli’s menu. I will have to return some day to try their raving pizza and partake of their delicious red house wine again. I think I have found my “go to” place on the Upper East Side and possibly one of my favorites in Manhattan. If you are in the New York City metropolitan area and feel like an authentic Italian restaurant experience, definitely consider visiting Fratelli on the Upper East Side (on 1st Avenue near 71st Street.)

Which Chocolate Cake dessert at Fratelli on the Upper East Side.

Which Chocolate Cake dessert at Fratelli on the Upper East Side.

 

Delphic of Gamma Sigma Tau Fraternity

Delphic of Gamma Sigma Tau Fraternity

Delphic of Gamma Sigma Tau Fraternity

I am a member of The Delphic Fraternity, Inc., also known as Delphic of Gamma Sigma Tau. Every March my fraternity has a reunion in the small college town of New Paltz, NY. I’m looking forward to this year’s event, which celebrates the 27th anniversary of the organization’s re-establishment.

The fraternity officially becomes 143 years old in October. I am the self-proclaimed historian of my era for the fraternity and manage a site called the Delphic Fraternity History Homepage.

As I prepare to join my follow fraternity members to recognize the organization, discuss business, catch up with old friends, and connect with my Ala mater, the communicator in me can’t help but promote my fraternity via a social media shout out.

I was blessed to attend college and joining a fraternity was one of the best college-related decisions I’ve ever made. I knew when I joined the fraternity it would be a life-long commitment and I look forward to continuing to represent it the best way I can.

D E L – P H I !

Business Networking

networkingAs 2014 begins, my professional focus will be on business networking.  As a social media enthusiast, I have become more active on LinkedIn and finally reached the coveted 500+ connections. During the past few years I’ve concentrated on developing a social media network and now in 2014 I hope to create and maintain a strong business network.

I have been a member of Meetup.com for quite sometime and will be much more involved socially this year as well. I look forward to promoting my marketing/communication work with new contacts and learning more about how to work and connect with my present and long-time contacts in the New York City metropolitan area.

Wishing everyone I’ve ever come in contact with via my social, educational, and professional life a very happy and professionally prosperous 2014!.

Startups of Puerto Rico: Boricuas Doing It For Themselves

Startups of Puerto Rico

Startups of Puerto Rico

The economy of Puerto Rico may be struggling like many others, but there is a community of dedicated technologically-savvy entrepreneurs working hard to make La Isla de Borinquen a startup technology hub.

As a native New Yorker of Puerto Rican descent, I did not know there was a tech startup community on the Caribbean island.

According to one of the Puerto Rican pioneers of the startup community, Marcos Polanco, the startup community in Puerto Rico has officially existed since 2010 but has been around since 1996.

In 2010, Ramphis Castro and Marcos joined forces to create an association called Startups of Puerto Rico. They envisioned Puerto Rico and its people establishing start up technology companies and representing a growing number of successful businesses.

Castro and Polanco hosted a Startups of Puerto Rico Showcase on Tuesday, October 15 at the New York offices of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration.

I registered for the event to write this blog post. It was an honor just to be in the space, let alone in one with over 60 people with the collective idea of doing what we can to promote the startup community of Puerto Rico.

The event allowed four Puerto Rican startups the opportunity to pitch their companies to successful technology startup investors. The companies received priceless feedback from the tech investors who could have been anywhere they wanted to be at the time.

The tech investors on the pitch review panel included Bob Dorf, Amol Sarva, KJ Singh, and Ricardo García Amaya.

The startups from Puerto Rico included:

Blimp, represented by Giovanni Collazo, a startup providing “beautiful and easy project management for doers.”

Leavebox, represented by Roberto Santos, describes itself as the place “where Human Resources meets Business Intelligence by providing tools to manage employee absences.”

Kytelabs, represented by Jonathan Gonzalez, offers OneCard, “The last card you’ll ever carry.  Pay from any account, anywhere, on any system.  Say goodbye to your wallet.”

iGenApps, represented by Norman Ortiz, allows users to “create function-rich mobile apps from the palm of your hand with no programming.”

The startups showcased their companies and products and were open to suggestions on how to move their company/product to the next level. The investors also provided critical advice by expressing their occasional wish to either hear more specific information or see more dynamic presentations.

All the startups were amazing but I was most impressed with iGenApps. Smartphones are becoming more popular than laptops and it makes sense to be able create your own mobile app on your phone without the use of a desktop computer.

The night’s theme highlighted Puerto Rico as a place to do business and, as Startups of Puerto Rico notes on it’s website, “a real technology startup scene right smack in the middle of the Caribbean.”

Some of the event’s sponsors included the law firm Perkins Coie, Puerto Rican crowd-funding company Antrocket, and Puerto Rico’s first co-working space, Piloto 151.

A social gathering sponsored by Fans and Friends of Startups of Puerto Rico, founded by Carmen Bonilla, at Iguana‘s ended the evening.

I enjoyed the informative night and look forward to hearing more about Startups of Puerto Rico on the island and in New York.

It’s incredible to see a vibrant and visionary community of Boricuas creating their own, contributing to the local economy, and demonstrating leadership.

Keep up the wonderful work!

Fans & Friends of Startups of Puerto Rico

Puerto Rican FlagDid you know there’s a community of startup companies in Puerto Rico? If not, well there is and the community has been flourishing for years. A group called Fans & Friends of Startups of Puerto Rico formed in New York City on August 15, 2013.

The New York City-based group, founded by Carmen Bonilla, aims to strengthen ties between the Puerto Rican startup community on the island and the startup community in New York City in order to promote Puerto Rico as a technology hub.

According to Mashable, a startup is a company set up to test a business model developed around a new idea. The startup community in Puerto Rico sprang up partly in response to the island’s economic difficulties, according to Bonilla.

Fans & Friends of Startups of Puerto Rico will provide programs and networking to its members and aim to grow the pipeline of aspiring entrepreneurs and the number of startups both in Puerto Rico and in NYC.

The community of Puerto Rican descent in New York is the largest in the US, creating a great opportunity for our communities to come together, bridge the gap, and help one another.

Are you interested in technology? Are you interested in doing what you can to help the economy of Puerto Rico? Are you involved in startups in New York or Puerto Rico? Then become a member of Fans & Friends of Startups of Puerto Rico by joining their Meetup group now!

Not All Frozen Yogurt Places In New York Are the Same

Off The Wall Frozen Yogurt

Thanks to LinkedIn, I recently became the social media / marketing manager for Off The Wall Frozen Yogurt. In the last month, I have learned a great deal about the frozen yogurt industry. If you live or work in New York City, you may have noticed all the frozen yogurt shops popping up. At first glance, you would think they are all the same. However, as you take a closer look, you will see and taste that the actual product and service runs the gamut.

Some frozen yogurt has more of a tart taste, others are more on the sweeter side. Some are self serve, others serve the customer. Some spaces are tiny, and others spectacularly spacious. The two main factors for any business are the product and the service. At Off The Wall, you get both at a very high caliber.

To be honest, I’ve never really been a huge fan of yogurt. I recently started eating it for its health benefits. I would pass by frozen yogurt places all the time, not really noticing them. Of course now, I notice them everywhere.

While interviewing for Off The Wall, I tried the product and instantly became a fan. Even if I did not get the job, I would have returned as a customer. The product was incredibly delicious and the staff was extremely friendly and helpful. Off the Wall is much more then incredible frozen yogurt. It’s an awesome experience.

Off The Wall Frozen Yogurt is a self-serve, New York-based frozen yogurt chain founded in 2010. The company presently owns and operates a store in Cedarhurst, NY and three (soon to be four) stores in the borough of Manhattan. Off the Wall’s mission is to curate a playful customer experience from start to finish.

If you’re a frozen yogurt fan, and even if you’re not, you have to give Off The Wall a try. You’ll truly enjoy the frozen yogurt and the experience.

If you have already given it a try, let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from you.

Red Bull Music Academy Helps Musicians Showcase Their Talent

grassmass(Rodrigo Coelho) and Hiram Martinez are two of over 200 international musicians that are participating in this year’s Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA.)  I had the pleasure of meeting them both at the RBMA Drone Activity in Progress event at the Knockdown Center in Maspeth, Queens last Thursday night. The show of loud sounds and flashing lights introduced me to drone music and provided many musicians the opportunity to showcase their incredible talent.

grassmass (Rodrigo Coelho)

grassmass (Rodrigo Coelho)

São Paulo–based musician grassmass is part of the Brazilian duo Cassady who decided it was time to venture out on a solo career.  grassmass, who closed one of the stages at the RBMA drone event, plays the club scene in São Paulo and plans on debuting his personal electronic project in the next few months. The accomplished guitarist and bass player has become most comfortable with electronic music.

“I am really into Brazilian and African percussion and find electronic music the place where I can get the most freedom and enjoy bigger palettes and sound scapes,” said grassmass.

The Brazilian artist sent music from Cassady to the RBMA and was chosen as one of 2013 participants. grassmass used the RBMA drone event to experiment a bit with his music and prepare for his solo work.

“There is so much freedom as a solo artist,” grassmass said. “I have been producing music for almost 20 years now, so it’s about time.”

grassmass has also become more visual with his music and has started promoting it via Instagram.

grassmass is part of small contingent of Latino artists representing at this year’s RBMA. Mexican musician Hiram Martinez sent samples of his solo work to RBMA after a friend who attended the RBMA in Madrid made the recommendation.

Hiram Martinez performing at the 2013 Red Bull Music Academy drone event, May 2, 2013.

Hiram Martinez performing at the 2013 Red Bull Music Academy drone event, May 2, 2013.

Martinez was extremely excited to be chosen as one of the 2013 RBMA participants. The month-long event gives him an extraordinary opportunity to meet new people, make valuable contacts, showcase his music, and create a fan base.

Hiram, who is from the Guadalajara metro area, was a main guitarist in a post-rock band before working on his own electronic music. He knew early on that he was going to be a musician.

“I was always really interested in music,” Hiram said. “It was always an escape for me, on a lot of different levels.”

Hiram was excited and very nervous before his big gig at the RBMA drone event. It was going to be the first time he preformed his new music, which he describes as “down tempo melodic electronic/pop,” to an audience.

“In the beginning I was really scared,” confessed Hiram. “But it was the best experience. It really feels awesome to play my music and present it to people.”

Hiram Martinez is still working on his first project and his music is a continuous work in progress. He does not yet have a website or Facebook Fan Page, but be sure to follow him on Twitter to get the latest from this budding electronic musical artist.

If you are a music lover and want to hear work from up and coming artists like Hiram, check out the remaining RBMA events that run through May 31, 2013 at various venues across New York City.