On the Road (Show) Again

Two Ideas for Taking a Food Break in NYC without Busting Your Expense Account
You can release endorphins with top-rated Latin jazz—hot salsa (not the kind you eat), son and boleros—and eat well at the same time for less than $20, five days a week at Havana Central, 151 West 46th street.
OK, so I am a little crazier than most for this kind of music, triggered about five years ago by a trip to Havana.  But it’s a cool place with great food, and it takes your mind totally off work. Best yet, even though you may not see Poncho Sanchez, Chucho Valdez or Arturo Sandoval, the talent is awesome, and there’s never a cover charge. You can walk there from most parts of Midtown Manhattan. The general manager is Phil Colbaugh, 212 398-7440. Reservations are not usually necessary.
This next one—pure, unadulterated, totally authentic Greek, Taverna Kyclades, 3307 Ditmars Blvd., Astoria, Queens—requires about a 30-minute (could be a little longer, but well worth it) cab ride or subway.  But get ready for a true culinary feast, where the average entrée with appetizer, a glass of wine at a neat little bar down the street, and dessert, is $14. Trust me, this place is no dive. You won’t see tourists, you will hear Greek spoken, and you will make a return trip.
About that wine…there is usually a 30 to 60-minute wait to get seated at the restaurant. So former basketball player-turned-restaurateur Adrian Skenderi (718-545-8666) made a deal with a bar-owner friend a half a block away to provide a free glass of wine or hard drink absolutely free while waiting. When you sign in at the restaurant, you and your guests are given a coupon for the free booze and the name of the bar. Leave a tip, of course. You can get essentially the same meal, sans the wine, at Avra on 49th just east of Lex for about $60+ per person, but you will not likely hear many people speaking Greek.


Roger Pondel, rpondel@pondel.com

Business Noose

The next obit many legacy media companies may be writing is on the death of business sections.  When times get tough, second-tier publications often relegate business sections to the back of the sports or metro pages, and then, without nary a whimper, the business section is kaput, KO’d, a grizzled piece of charred meat that you were thinking about eating because you were still hungry but couldn’t stomach the idea of putting in your mouth.
So where do you go to satisfy your hankering for business news?  Fox Business?  CNBC?  The Wall Street Journal?  Maybe you lost your appetite or never had one for business news.  Maybe the financial collapse is inducing your gag reflex and business news is on par with your fondness for acid reflux.  Reflex, reflux, whatever it is about business news, it is time for some reinvention.  It is time for a new way to portray business news that engages, debunks, and denudes the financial mavericks that got us into this mess in the first place.
Below is a brief list of media outlets that offer a fresh take on business news. Some will entice. Some will repel. But at least they are attempting to resuscitate an important subject that is too critical to lose to gimpy newsprint.
Footnoted.org – Each day, Footnoted looks under the hood of companies’ SEC filings and tries to make sense of what they are saying.
Planet Money – NPR’s take on the global economy.
SEC Data Guy – Stats and analysis of EDGAR and IDEA data.
10Q Detective – Former analyst waxes on quarterly results, SEC filings and the like.
Market Folly – A blog primarily focused on hedge fund portfolio tracking.


Evan Pondel, epondel@pondel.com