The New York Barclay Buzz blog is a place to explore insider New York City experiences, the ins and outs of our sustainable hotel and concierge tips on touring and dining that every visitor wants to know. Check back often for our latest posts.
Monthly Archives: May 2012
The InterContinental New York Barclay is the first hotel in New York to acquire a Global Enviro composting machine which transforms food waste into dry fertilizer in just 18 hours. The composted food waste turns into top soil and has fertilizer-like qualities to be used in the hotel’s rooftop garden and for composting needs in the local community. The composting process is all natural, utilizing no chemicals. An important benefit to composting at the hotel is that the onsite machine negates a daily pick-up from a garbage truck, which would normally have to travel 300 miles to a composting facility or 600 miles to a landfill. Not only is the hotel able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the amount of waste that gets transported to a landfill, but also it indirectly reduces the amount of methane gas being produced from the landfill. Methane gas is considered to be 20 times more harmful than CO2 gas emissions.
By utilizing this advanced waste management technology, the InterContinental New York Barclay is able to apply continued efforts towards reducing our carbon footprint wherever possible.
No, it’s not an exotic adventure destination, but close. Tumbador Chocolate is an exceptional Brooklyn-based chocolate company which creates sustainable and delicious made-to-order chocolate, crafted from the finest ingredients in the world, featuring exotic fruits, spices, fresh herbs and regional flavors. The InterContinental New York Barclay works with Tumbador to create its delicious chocolate amenities. In Spanish the word Tumbador means “to fall.” But as Lisa Ainbinder, the company’s VP of Sales and Marketing explained, a Tumbador is the worker on a Cocoa plantation who shakes and listens to cocoa pods to make sure they are ready for the picking.
On a recent rainy day, I nabbed InterContinental New York Barclay’s Executive Chef Serge Devesa and Chef Concierge, Domenic Alfonzetti and hopped the N Train to Sunset Park (4th Avenue and 36th Street stop,) to visit the Tumbador Chocolate factory – Willy Wonka,
Our hotel’s Director of Quality Mimi Dagot, kindly arranged the visit for us to see first hand what she’s been raving about: the service, creativity, flexibility, local community support and quality that makes Tumbador a stand-out. This chocolatier not only makes yummy confections – it does so in a socially-conscious way.
We arrived and were guided straight to a kitchen after a mini orientation. We found Executive Pastry Chef/Owner Jean-François Bonnet transfixed upon a football (translation: soccer) game screened on a small computer perched above a chocolate vat.
Once we pulled him and our Chef Devesa away from this seductive diversion, we learned about Chef Bonnet and his iconic Americana concept chocolates for Tumbador. These include his interpretation of S’mores (my favorite!) mallows, pretzel nuggets and ringdings, among others.
Formerly of New York’s renowned restaurant Daniel, Chef Bonnet brims with enthusiastic energy. World-renowned chef Daniel Boulud noted that Chef Bonnet “has the technique of an artisan and the creativity of an artist. He combines it with simplicity and respect for delicate flavors and textures.” Indeed, his creativity permeates the delicious all natural, no preservative, Kosher/Parve non-dairy custom confections of this Brooklyn sweet spot.
Tumbador’s staff is as diverse as its confections. Many members of the Tumbador workforce are ex-convicts given a second chance through community-based programs such as Strive, Goodwill and the Fortune Society. I had the pleasure to get to know a success story in the person of Jamel Spencer, Delivery and Maintenance Manager. A five-year member of the Tumbador family, Jamel told me of the dreadful events that landed him in prison, and his plight to work hard, do well and do good. Now a positive member of society, Jamel is integral and indispensable to the Tumbador operation.
Visit their Website where you can buy some of Tumbador Chocolate’s retail goodies and seasonal specials. These can also occasionally be found on invitation-based sale sites such as Fab, Lot 18 and Rue LaLa.
As the guest blogger for the upcoming year, I am thrilled to be able to share my adventures on working as the first ever Sustainability Management intern here at the InterContinental New York Barclay. I invite you to join me on this journey as this classic hotel-with all of its elegance, demure, history- turns into a model of excellence in urban sustainable hospitality.
For my first post, I thought it would be appropriate to reveal a little more about my own journey and how I came to pursue this exciting new endeavor.
From an early point in my days as a college freshman at Cornell-surrounded by esteemed professors and many of the brightest young minds in the country, I couldn’t help but ask the question: “What is it we’re trying to achieve with all of this hard work and dedication?”
As I pondered the meaning of life and continued to pursue a degree in hospitality management, there came the moment of clarity. One lecture was all it took for my mind to be hooked on the ideology that is sustainable hospitality-the new era of business where we not only factor in solutions to complex business issues, but we do so by incorporating economic, social and environmental factors. In that definition, I had found the answer to my question.
For “we do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, but borrow it from our children.”-Native American Proverb.
Sustainability is where our hard work and perseverance will pay off someday. In my mind, that day can’t come soon enough. For our planet is in a dire state and every action or inaction can determine generations to come.
As my interest in sustainability matured so did my desire to learn more. My interests took me as far as Australia to engage in field research on hotel certification programs of the Australian hotel industry. And today I am immersed in this burgeoning field of sustainability management as a graduate student in Columbia University’s School of Continuing Education and the Earth Institute.
Much like our hotel has stood the test of time, here @IC_NYBarclay we believe responsible business will help us continue serving our guests for generations to come while standing as a beacon to our surrounding community of New York City. If you are new to our blog, I ask you to browse through the Sustainability page located on our site, or simply click on the link to explore further-http://www.intercontinentalnybarclay.com/sustainability
Peace and sustainability to all,
For a fun and free way to experience NYC, attend a taping of one of the many talk shows filmed right here in Manhattan. Early morning, late night and every talk show in between is at your disposal for chance to catch the latest celebrity interviews, comedy, cooking demonstrations and more.
The best way to secure your seats is to request tickets ahead of time online or by phone. However standby tickets are generally always an option.
The best advice? Arrive early and be prepared to wait. In the end sitting through a live taping is worth it!
Here’s a list of the top shows with locations and arrival times for standby tickets.
The Today Show – 49th and Rockefeller Plaza. Stand outside from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. for a chance to be seen in the crowd and meet the famous show hosts.
Good Morning America – Arrive at 44th and Broadway any Monday to Friday at 6:45 a.m. and stand on the audience guest line for standby tickets.
Live! With Kelly – ABC Lincoln Center Studios, 67th St and Columbus Avenue. Arrive no later than 8am for standby tickets.
The View – Anyone looking for tickets on show day must pick up a number from a View Audience Associate between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. at their audience entrance, located at 320 W. 66th Street.
The Martha Stewart Show – Chelsea Studios 221 West 26th Street Between 7th and 8th Avenues.
The Rachael Ray Show – 222 East 44th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue. The arrival time to receive a standby voucher is 10:15 a.m. (for the 11:30 a.m. taping) and 2:15 p.m. (for the 4:00 p.m. taping).
The Tyra Banks Show – Chelsea Studios 221 West 26th Street.
The Late Show with David Letterman – Ed Sullivan Theater, 1697 Broadway (Between 53rd and 54th Streets)
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon – For standby tickets, arrive no later than 9:00 a.m. on the morning of the taping under “NBC Studios” marquee on the 49th Street side of 30 Rockefeller Plaza (GE Building).
Saturday Night Live – Possibly the most coveted show tickets around. If you do not enter the yearly lottery for tickets, stand-by tickets are distributed at 7:00 a.m. on the 49th Street side of 30 Rockefeller Plaza on the mornings of the tapings.
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart – 733 11th Avenue, between 51st and 52nd streets. For standby tickets arrive by 400 p.m. at the studio, first come first serve.
The Colbert Report – You can sign up for stand-by tickets by lining up at 4pm at 513 W. 54th Street
*Note several shows have minimum age requirements or that anyone under 18, must be accompanied by an adult.