#SPOTTED: STAR-STUDDED NEW YORK WEEKEND
We weren’t planning to visit New York City for a bit but temptation got to us. We really should be resting after a draining TIFF and what seemed like an endless series of weddings. Rest can always wait as NYC was the place to be this weekend with New York Comic Con, Paley Fest, New York Film Fest, Taylor Swift on Saturday Night Live and more going on in tandem. We don’t know how New Yorkers even function with all that excitement going on!
We came with no real agenda but came out exceedingly-pleased about our weekend! It was beyond amazing. We keep doting on it, but 2019 will go down as our best year yet.
Wait till you see our sightings!
We, like the rest of Toronto, cannot wait for the arrival of EATALY, an upscale Italian grocer/eatery and all-around Foodie Heaven. New Yorkers are blessed with two locations and it was a joy having our morning coffee and pastries there.
This was our first visit ever to New York Comic Con, held at Jacob Javits Center, which was endless energy… it was amazing seeing how precise some of the Cosplay was! We are overjoyed finally to meet Marvel Cinematic Universe stars and acting veterans, Paul Rudd and Benedict Wong! They were beyond nice and we love seeing Rudd back with his signature hair again.
This year marks the 57th edition of the New York Film Festival and while many of the films screening there had done the rounds at TIFF ’19, it was so cool see New Yorkers get excited about them too. Films like Marriage Story and Parasite came out with raves just like in Toronto and they were lucky to see some Cast we didn’t get to see last month. Our highlight was getting to see ScarJo and having her throw you guys a wave! 👋 So cool Greta Gerwig came too to support Baumbach! We have a feeling this power couple will have competing Oscar contenders this Award season, she with Little Women. Just a reminder, these embedded albums can be scrolled-through by hovering right them and tapping on the arrow.
We adore Mary-Louise Parker and she is getting lots of acclaim for her work on Broadway in The Sound Inside. Loved getting to meet her finally!
Paley Fest celebrates Television, giving fans a chance to attend some intimate panels. We were lucky enough to catch the stars of AMC‘s The Walking Dead attending their panel.
It isn’t a New York visit without Saturday Night Live and this weekend’s taping was extra special with a star-studded list of guests seeing Fleabag star Phoebe Waller-Bridge host with musical guest, Taylor Swift! You won’t believe who came out to watch!
We couldn’t resist a visit to scenic Belmont Park! We are so happy to have found a gap in our day to see their star-studded card of racing including the Grade I Joe Hirsch Turf Classic and Champagne Stakes too!
We love always trying new things and BIBBLE AND SIP stamped itself a new favourite and we cannot wait to go back for their Hong Kong-inspired pastries and superb coffee.
…and Shake Shack, you need to come to Canada, already!
Till next visit! Love you, New York! 🗽
(Photo/video credit: Mr. Will Wong)
#HORSERACING: MR. WILL AT BELMONT PARK!
To say that the Belmont Park experience is anything short of breathtaking is an understatement. It has long been a dream of mine to witness the World-famous Home of the Belmont Stakes, the third jewel in America’s celebrated, yet illusive Triple Crown. While we await whether or not this year’s phenomenal Kentucky Derby Winner California Chrome, will go on the achieve the greatness of the likes of Affirmed, Seattle Slew and Secretariat, only the gorgeous mile-and-a-half Oval knows what fate holds for that West Coast Star.
I had the honour of visiting the 109-year-old Elmont, New York Track on my recent New York visit. A 200 year-old White Pine Tree is the Centerpiece of the Paddock, where a Longines (a major Sponsor and Partner of the Racetrack) Clock greets Visitors. Lush greenery is a pronounced theme, visible even in the Track’s Logo. The cuppy Dirt course parked up against the Track’s Grandstand made me feel as though I was in the thick of the Race. I mean, after all this is the place where Racing History has been made – where Secretariat in 1973 won the Belmont Stakes by an unheard-of 31 lengths, that moment commemorated at the Track with a Pole marking his distance of victory on the Infield in the famous blue and white colours of The Chenerys. Some sadder memories also are honoured too and it was something special to see in-person the beautifully-maintained Shrine located on the Infield in memory of legendary Filly Ruffian, buried at the same Race Course which made her a National Heroine. Her tragic life-ending injury in 1975 forever is remembered as one of the darkest moments in the Sport.
The Track manages to draw a Crowd of 10k-plus on weekends, proving that the spirit of Thoroughbred Racing is v. much alive and well among New Yorkers. The fact that an easily-accessible Train Station is situated at the Track makes it convenient to commute to, only a quick ride away from Penn Station and the heart of Manhattan.
Dining options are plentiful at Belmont‘s Food Court with ever many convenient choices from Paninis to Burgers. Judging by traffic alone, the most popular dining option is the Belmont Café, where quick and easy sandwiches are a hit not only with Racing Fans, but Staff too. I had the privilege of dining at the ultra-exclusive Belmont Room, it being famous for its phenomenal Prime Rib and Entrées – a Hotspot for Horsepeople. I fell in love instantly with their New York-Style Cheesecake and Chocolate-Banana Cake, all reminiscent of an Era when Carbs and Fat weren’t counted. Delectable. I will say though as a Sidebar, that Woodbine Racetrack‘s Favourites Dining Room still holds its own when compared to other A-List Tracks across North America like Santa Anita and Belmont.
The talents of World-Class Jockeys including Rising Stars like Taylor B. Rice, Jose Ortiz and Irad Ortiz to Veterans like John Velazquez all are on display at Belmont – Racing Fans new and old passionately cheering them on in the Paddock as they head on-track, placing them right in the moment. Seen in the Paddock Area also is The New York Racing Association‘s bubbly resident Expert Maggie Wolfendale, who more often than not can accurately predict a Horse’s performance based on his or her pre-race appearance. Follow her here.
Belmont Park is a Must-See for any Racing Fan planning to visit New York. Its Season pauses in July before heading three hours away to historic Saratoga, before commencing once again in the Fall. The 146th edition of the Belmont Stakes will be run on Saturday, June 7, 2014.
To learn more about Belmont Park, click here.
(Photo/video credit: Mr. Will Wong)
#EDITORSNOTE: MR. WILL IN NEW YORK CITY, 2014
Celebrating Couturier Charles James‘s achievements this year, the 2014 Costume Institute Benefit (Met Ball/Met Gala) will be held on Tuesday, May 5, 2014 in New York City. We had so much fun taking-in all the Red Carpet Beauty last year, that we’re going back yet again to cover the amazing Affair!
Join me as I bring you pure beauty and glamour as we admire the amazing Fashions together – you’ll never guess who we’ll run into! I mean, look who we saw last year here!
Co-chairing this year are a star-studded group of the Influencial including: Bradley Cooper, Oscar de la Renta, Sarah Jessica Parker, Lizzie & Jonathan Tisch, and Anna Wintour! Did I mention also that Dakota Johnson, Anne Hathaway, Lupita Nyong’o, Margot Robbie, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts and many, many more are expected? It is said also that Men will take-on a more principal role in this year’s Gala too!
Being a huge Horse Racing Fan also, this Visit also will mark my first visit to historic Belmont Park and with excitement for the Sport reaching a high this week with the 140th edition of the Kentucky Derby to be held this Saturday, this couldn’t come at a better time!
Follow along on Twitter and Instagram for Mr. Will’s Sights of New York City and check back here for Highlights mid-week!
Until then, I’ll miss you!
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)