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If you have the chance to have lunch or grab a drink in the Petrie Court Café at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, take notice of the unique dining companions you’ll find amidst your elegant surroundings. Reaching the café through the Carroll and Milton Petrie European Sculpture Court, you’ll pass by large-scale, nineteenth-century works of art that may seem at odds with the café menu, many featuring starvation themes.

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NYC-Diner en Blanc-2015-Hudson River Park-Pop Up White Dinner

At the 2015 New York City Dîner en Blanc this year, 5000 guests in white took over Pier 26 in Hudson River Park. Despite the fact that the location was geographically close to that of last year, in Nelson A. Rockefeller Park, there’s one very unique fact, as pointed out by Aymeric Pasquier, co-founder of Dîner en Blanc International: this was the very last event held on the empty Pier 26, before it’s converted into a mixed-use recreational facility.

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Mustard Day untapped cities afinelyne

It is said that mustard is the second most used spice in the United States today, brought here by immigrants from all over the world and sold in tins and glass jars. For National Mustard Day on August 1st, we are staying close to home by honoring the old and the new companies that operate here in New York City, as well as around the country.

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6sqft punta cana bodega gentrification-NYC-Untapped CitiesImages via Doug Cameron

Have you ever been struck by a food craving so powerful you couldn’t think about anything else? Chocolate, french fries, maybe a fresh skimmed pond scum smoothie.

Involuntary gag aside, pond scum smoothies, Oxacan sea salt taco rubs, and Barnyard Scent country deodorant are just the kinds of exciting new products that marketing experts Doug Cameron and Tommy Noonan think will revitalize their newest client, the lunch counter Punta Cana in Washington Heights. The bodega, touted as a popular eating joint on the corner of Broadway and 162nd Street for the past 30 years, has fallen hard due to spiking rents. Cameron and Noonan’s posters, advertising unsightly new products for ridiculous prices as part of their ‘Artisanal Landlord Price Hike Sale,’ are meant to raise awareness of rising rents threatening smaller businesses in the area.

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Lady Mendl's Tea Salon-Untapped Cities-AFineLyneLady Mendl’s Tea Salon in the Inn at Irving Place   Image via Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon

Afternoon tea emerged sometime between the 1830’s and 1840’s. So says the book “A Social History of Tea” by Jane Pettigrew, the well–known tea historian. Since lunch was light, and dinner no earlier than 7:30 pm, it was that pleasant bit of sustenance in mid–day. Called “Low Tea” because of the low chairs and tables, the offerings have not changed much over time, consisting of crustless finger sandwiches, scones, cakes, and other nibbles, in addition to a full complement of teas. It was very much a part of the fabric of the time, and has lasted, in various forms and in many Countries, through today.

Generally beginning sometime after 3 pm, Afternoon Tea in New York City runs the gamut, from the formal to the funky. Some with a bit of an ethnic twist and some designed specifically for kids. Some require sophisticated casual attire and others are just plain casual. Held in hotels and restaurants, they conjure up images of days gone by. But in fact, it is a wonderful break in our modern-day life, when friends can meet without the time and commitment of dinner, or without the noise you might find having a drink in a bar. It is a time and place where the frenetic urban air is left at the door. We’ve picked out twenty–five places, in no particular order, for you to have your Afternoon Tea, and hope you will add to our list with your favorites.

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midsummer night swing-NYC-Untapped CitiesLincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing. Image via glenwoodnyc.com

This Saturday, America will set the skies ablaze in honor of its 239th birthday. Admittedly, fireworks never look quite as spectacular as they do on the 4th of July, especially over New York City’s iconic skyline. But we feel for some New Yorkers who might have grown tired, over the years, of watching the same old show over the Hudson River (now East River, thanks to Mayor de Blasio’s firm stance on New York fireworks strictly for New York). Here are a few ways we found to enjoy the holiday with a new twist.

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