THE BEAT
The Untapped Salsa Scene

When you think of New York City nightlife in the 1970's, things like the infamous Studio54, drugs and disco-techs may pop up in your mind. But, you may just be recalling Saturday Night Fever and other films from that era because, despite the cinematography that strove to capture that generation, movies never tell the whole story. If you’re lucky enough to know someone who experienced the 1970’s NYC club scene first hand you will 100 percent of the time hear stories about the influx of Puerto Ricans and the Salsa music they brought along with them.

From 103rd street to the Lower East Side from sidewalks to rooftops, salsa, in its myriad of genres, spilt onto the streets of NYC in the late 1960’s taking the music industry by storm. Club owners of the time gladly booked the then trending acts knowing the exotic rhythms and style of dance would attract club goers looking for an alternative to the excessively popular disco beat. Salsa continued to remain popular throughout the 70s and into the 80s with popular venues like Roseland Ballroom and Palladium scheduling weekly Latin nights. However, as its popularity diminished among first generation Latin Americans, who found themselves experimenting with the budding sounds of hip hop, the required pianist, trumpeters, and percussionists, needed to form the traditional eight-man orchestra became virtually non-existent.

HOW-TO
How-To: Black Bean Citrus Salsa

If you are tired of the pre-packaged, store-bought jars of salsa, preparing your own is actually quite quick, cheap, and easy.

  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup red onions, diced
  • 1/3 cup parsley or cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup green bell pepper, diced
  • ½ cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 medium bowl
  • 1 cup
  • 1 knife
  • 1 cutting board
  • 1 spoon
GET THE PARTY STARTED
The Weekly Restoration: Party Edition

What is it about Monday that breeds melancholia? Is it the ponderous distance from Friday, the insipid conflux of responsibility and duty, or the tethering embraces of socialization? Rumor has it that “everything that rises must converge,” therefore, rise we must: above the miasmic, ennui-inducing strands of our proletarian lots! So let us ascend from the ashes of ambition, and combat the stultifying grind of the “everyday” by indulging in a little frivolity.

Day by day we crawl towards salvation—the glorious beacon of freedom and fleeting mercy that is Friday—only to repeat the endless Tantalusian cycle anew by weekend’s end. In order to maintain homeostasis (as well as sanity) we must temper desire with duty, in this finely honed balancing act of existence. In that light, here’s the rundown of the weekly restoratives, guaranteed to revitalize and reinvigorate even the most jaded of souls!

IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Finally, A Cure For The Case Of The Mondays
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Salsa en Nueva York

Picture the dance contest scene from "Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights." Sexy bodies rubbing against each other to the beat of salsa. The room is filled with son and a whole lot of soul. Use that image as a template for your next night out. Except your are not in Cuba in the midst of a revolution, Diego Luna is not your dance partner (sorry) and Patrick Swayze is not eyeing you from afar. Disappointments aside, bodies are still looking sensual and the room still exudes that latin warmth. Below are the best salsa joints in New York for some dirty dancing. Make sure you check them out!

Where: 161 East Houston Street, New York, NY

CHEAP EATS
San Francisco Best Breakfast Burritos

Everyone should start his or her day off right with a hearty breakfast. Put down that tired bowl of cereal for a change and try something that will warm you from the inside out. Healthy breakfast burritos will fill you up and won’t slow you down. Here are two places in San Francisco where you can get your breakfast on the run.

Velo Rouge Café is just a hop, skip and a jump away from the beautiful Golden Gate Park. Velo Rouge offers breakfast every day until 4:30 p.m. There can be quite the line in the morning, but the wait is surely worth it. You can get their Leipheimer Breakfast Burrito, filled with two eggs scrambled, black beans, potatoes, cheddar cheese, avocado, salsa, sour cream, with an option of adding bacon or sausage to the scramble. This hearty burrito only costs $6.95 and is served with chips and salsa.

BAJA FRESH
Baja Fresh Frenzy At NYC Opening

The Left Coast Mexican food chain opened up their first Manhattan location on Lexington between 45th and 46th Tuesday in the old Zen Burger space, and needless to say- it was more than packed. As you can see in the photo below, there were reported waiting times of 25 minutes and up by local costumers who were brave enough to attempt to be one of the first get their hands on the Fresh fare.

Baja Fresh has been known on the West Coast not for their Mexican food, but because they cook with fresh ingredients that don’t leave your stomach feeling like you have just been at war, something quite different for those of us who have been to ahem, ahem, Qdoba or Chipotle. On top of the fresh ingredients, they give you free chips with your purchase and there is even a salsa bar to boot.