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FRESH PASTA RANA

Published June 29, 2013 by Tony

Tortellini in New York

A few months ago the Italian Rana family opened a pasta-restaurant in Manhattan by the name of  “LA MIA CASA” (my home).
140 wooden tables, marble shelves, a spectacular ceiling made ​​by hundreds of pots, graters, sieves and ladles of copper.
This eatery opened in Chelsea Market is a mixture of vintage Italian architecture and industrial-urban.
From long the group Rana is a well known brand in Italy for the production of fresh pasta. Here, there is not a supermarket that does not have packs of “tortellini” marked “Rana” in its counter-fridge. Over the years the products produced by the Rana family have diversified, and today we can find different types of “fresh pasta filled”, with mushrooms, spinach, ricotta cheese, artichokes.  In just four years the Italian company has opened 28 restaurants in Italy, 5 in Switzerland, one in Madrid, London and Luxemburg, through a franchising program.
The decision to open a restaurant in the heart of New York has the aim of promoting the fresh pasta to the Americans. And after investing € 2 million and having trained 100 employees, with the raw materials imported directly from Italy, in Manhattan the fresh pasta will be produced on-site, about 250 kilograms per day, to the delight of the Americans.

SATURDAY DINING OUT

Published April 10, 2013 by Tony

SATURDAY NIGHT IN NAPLES and NEW YORK

Standard of living and lifestyle have influenced and still influence the way how people spend their weekend. If we take as a reference two medium families, one from Naples and another from New York, both formed by working parents, with one or more adult children, probably in a month the Neapolitan parents spend one Saturday or Sunday to dine out, while the New Yorker parents spend three. For New Yorkers the Saturday “evening dining out” was, until recently, an obligation, especially for couples with both engaged in work. Due to the popular demand, in order to go to a restaurant or pizzeria in New York, a Saturday evening reservation even was necessary. Where the New Yorker didn’t go out to dinner, as an alternative there always was a dinner party hosted by some friends at their home or in a pub. A lifestyle difficult to eradicate, even in view of the fact that wives were not inclined to spend weekend at home, between cooking and dishes.
Aside from this substantial cultural difference, there was another of economic nature, because an average Neapolitan family certainly did not have the same economic opportunity of the overseas peers.
Although a normal dinner in a normal restaurant in the Neapolitan hinterland costs less than the one in a similar restaurant in New York, the average Neapolitan family culturally is more “conservative” and traditionalist, with wives, who, although involved in work, have not lost their  “housewives” identity, preferring to stay at home during the weekend.  In Naples, there has never been a “dining party” culture, and instead of Saturday dining out, if anything, the custom of a Sunday lunch away from home has always been more in vogue. But occasionally and not as a weekly habit. The Neapolitan wife has always been very attached to the house and the children and  weekend is just a chance to spend more time at home with family, and attend to all those household chores that she has not been able to do during the week.
Our habits have not changed much over the years. The economic situation has led, if anything, to renounce to some Sunday lunch at the restaurant and be thriftier in foodstuffs purchase.

Americans, instead, after a hard week spent at work, look forward to weekends, planning in advance for them.  For many weekend means going out with friends or relatives, outdoor activities or watching a game in a stadium.
In the past, one of the largest changes in American eating habits was the increasing reliance on food eaten away from home (FAFH). FAFH increased from 33% of total food expenditures in 1970 to 47% by 2003. Most of this is at table service and fast food restaurants.
Much of the growth is attributed to the rising value of household time, especially as induced by more female labor force participation, and rising household incomes.
As a 2009 Zagat Survey showed, eating out was a way of life for many Americans, with 50% of all meals prepared outside the home. In short, restaurants became the family kitchen for the busy two-career families. According to Zagat Survey CEO Tim Zagat, “Americans are still eating out in restaurants, they are just making smarter choices.”

Recently, the economic downturn, occasional jobs and financial turmoil in America have made it difficult for people to find enough money to afford their “dining out” habit.
Lately, Americans are making family dinner more often than dine out, a trend that slowly took root before the recession. Mostly, they’re cooking with and eating a narrow range of foods — and relying, to some extent, on prepared, frozen, and canned items to feed their families quickly and economically. “It’s very boring. That’s the sad truth,” says Harry Balzer, chief food industry analyst for the NPD Group, a national market research company. “For the most part, we’re looking for what’s the eaesiest way out of this, what’s the cheapest way out of this.” Balzer said, the number of restaurant meals an American family eats — dine-in or takeout — has been flat, at just under 200 a year, correlating to plateaus of both women in the workforce and household incomes.

Even the New York Times supported the thesis of the “end of the dinner party” because people do not have more money, time and wish to do so.  Someone else says that beyond the crisis there is a lack of good manners and savoir faire, with people no longer able to have a conversation and that’s why lately “finger food” and “standing up” are preferred to dinner party.

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Pierre Casiraghi

Published February 23, 2012 by Tony

pierre casiraghi and beatrice borromeo

The Prince Rainier III of Monaco nephew, Pierre Casiraghi, was assaulted in a nightclub in New York. He is living in Italy for years between Rome (where his girlfriend lives, the journalist Beatrice Borromeo), and Milan (where is attending the University Bocconi).
As reported by the Telegraph, Pierre was attacked by Adam Hock, the former owner of the nightclub “Double Seven Bar”, where the prince was with three friends. Hock said to have been provoked by the prince’s friends while having a drink with three girls. Instead, some witnesses reported that Pierre – who was together his girlfriend Beatrice Borromeo – was assaulted receiving a violent fist without even realizing the reason. Hock, 47, tried to explain the accident in court, but there was no provocation by the prince, who in turn lodged a complaint for assault.

NEW YORK SUBWAY ACCIDENTS

Published January 25, 2012 by Tony

Bloody Saturday in New York subway

What ‘s going in New York City’s subway?

This past week four deaths in subway odd accidents in less of 24 hours, one in Brooklyn, one in Queens and two in Manhattan.
Was it a black Saturday or just a coincidence.
The first fatal subway accident occurred at 2 a.m. in Elmhurst, Queens when a  man was found unconscious at the elevated Elmhurst Ave. station on the R line. He was rushed to the hospital, but died an hour later. Authorities believe he may have slipped and fell down the stairs.
At about 8:30 a.m. in Manhattan, a man died near the 14th St. station when an L-line train struck him inside a tunnel. Investigators are unsure why the 22-year-old Long Island man was wandering around inside the tunnel.
The third fatality occurred on the A line a little after 4 p.m. in Brooklyn at the Nostrand Avenue station. The victim died when struck by the A train and police do not know why the man was on the railway.
The final more gruesome death occurred at the Sixth Ave. station at around 10 p.m. when as in a horror movie some Manhattan passenger saw a decapitated head lodged between the platform and the train. Authorities are still investigating the accident and searching for the body’s victim.
Police say none of the victims were related.

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Danilo Gallinari

Published January 22, 2012 by Tony

NBA Danilo Gallinari Triumphant return


Remember, the first time in New York you were booed!

As Italian I don’t mind the american team you are playing with but your bravura only.

Anyway, he scored a career-high 37 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as the Denver Nuggets won their fourth straight road game, 119-114 in double-overtime, over the Knicks…

Great Nilo!

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