Category Archives: Dining

Meli Melo , Haitian , Cajun restaurant.

Looking   for a wonderful Haitian/Cajun restaurant  with amazing food ?., One just opened a few weeks ago and a wonderful surprise awaits you . Meli Melo  located at 153 Dubois avenue in Valley stream is such a place, Relaxing ambiance , great and timely service. The space is beautifully done and the music nice and “Melo” . Transport yourself to New Orleans  and Haiti ,with  live music . This is a wonderful place to spend a romantic evening  or great times with your friends. Plenty of parking in the rear.

 

My lovely waitress Enrica from Palermo was the best.. Very attentive and simpatico

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The Poisson gros sel is fabulous , a light and finer version of the dish, not too spicy ,just spicy enough.You can always request a side of Pikliz to add some heat if you require.It is also their best seller.

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After trying the Poulet en Sauce , my friend said ” the only problem with the food is that you cant stop eating because its so good”
Of course had to have the Pain Patate, a  dish not easy to prepare  and hard to find  is most restaurant. The work involved in creating this dessert , keeps it off most menus. Chef ASH does a wonderful job with this dessert, served nice and warm straight from the oven with a topping of vanilla ice cream .It’s been a long time since I’ve had  an authentic pain patate. 
Credit to Executive chef Ash who does a fantastic job and has never disappointed me.

 

The cocktails are wonderful and if you like mangos , do try the  Marigo. If I didn’t have to drive,  I think I would have drowned myself in this delectable concoction.

A beautiful , relaxing place to have dinner and drinks. They have a very large bar area where you can sip those marvelous cocktails and maybe a shot of rhum Barbancourt and listen to some great jazz .

Happy hour drink specials weekdays  $5 & $6 . they open at 4 pm  .This restaurant is only weeks old, so they are still working out the kinks , give it a chance you wont be disappointed. 

My overall experience was super positive and I highly recommend that you try  Meli Melo . I have been back several times and plan on going back often.

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The owners Patrick and Judy  and their partner go out of their way to make everyone feel welcomed and I sure wish them the best of luck.

Bon appetit…

Marrakech ,Morocco.

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Marrakech ,one of my favorite cities  in the world. The city that inspired me to photography. A city that welcomed me with open arms. A former imperial city dating back to the Berber empire. It’s the 4 th largest city after Casablanca , Fez and Tangiers.

I was told not to go , specially not alone . Fear is a crazy thing !! it keeps you from living.  I decided to go anyway, as it was on my bucket list . I read all I could , in order to make sure I was safe. The first day I aired on the side of caution , Of Course ….

As my plane few over the Red City , landing in Marrakech . the excitement started to build. After a long flight , I had to navigate  the massive amount of taxis waiting to take me to my resort. Of course not knowing my way around, I  overpaid for the taxi ride, but that’s 0k, since it always happens the first time  😦

Arrived at the Palmeraie golf and  resort . a really beautiful resort . My room absolutely 5 * .  was more like of an apartment.

Unpacked my bags and immediately decided I was going to start my Moroccan experience immediately .  For sure  it was a couscous day, and I was starving .  All I  could find walking distance , was pizza.  . Somehow a New Yorker eating Pizza in Morocco, unheard of.. At Least not on the first day.

Went back to my hotel to ask the concierge wether there was a restaurant nearby, they suggested

EL KARMOUSSA  restaurant, just in the neighborhood.

grabbed a taxi and off I went..My mouth was watering as I arrived , only to find the restaurant closed .

I could not get over the resemblance of my waitress with a good friend of mine in Miami.
The Band and staff could not have been nicer.

I walked in , expecting to be turned away and explained ,  I had just arrived from New York and really needed  a good Moroccan meal. To my surprise they asked me to come in and sit , they  prepared a wonderful meal . WOW!!! This was just unreal…They  brought in two musicians to play ,while I had lunch. The only client, in a closed restaurant. Now  that’s VIP treatment.

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Throughout the day a seemingly endless stream of merchants, tourists, locals, and entertainers arrive with the activity only slightly interrupted by the frequent calls to prayer from the many nearby mosques. While there is a large Muslim population in Morocco there are also many other groups, Berbers being the most numerous, who are split between Muslim and Christian populations.

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Koutoubia Mosque

The name is derived from the Arabic al-Koutoubiyyin for librarian, since it used to be surrounded by sellers of manuscripts. Koutoubia Mosque.

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My morning ritual, the sweetest  fresh squeezed orange juice , I’ve ever had.

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How can you resist such a beautiful face.

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My experience as a solo woman traveler, made walking around the Souk an experience in itself. Needless to say you will be approached by all kinds of seller and  people wanting you to take photos with monkeys and snakes ect.. some people may Yell “Hey La gazelle” at you  and tattoo “artist” may just grab your hand and start  decorating ( just pull you hand away and say no), I just found that there are better places to get a henna tattoo). Of course it can get more annoying than dangerous , so either ignore or politely say no and move on.  I must admit I did take the monkey and snake photos. HaHaHA

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Don’t be afraid to explore, if you get lost just ask for the golden doors. They are close to the exit.

 

Had a really funny experience the first day in the Souk. When I travel I don’t buy souvenirs but I always try to take home a pc of local art.While visiting an art gallery ,  the gallery owners daughter took a liking to me and decided I was the perfect woman to marry her brother Jamal.

So she started asking me questions about my status  and decided that since I was single , she was going to play match maker.I kept insisting that I had no intentions of getting married on my first day in Marrakesh , but she was insisting more than me.So she called her brother Jamal  , cause she figured , once I saw how handsome he was I was going to change my mind.

Jamal arrived and I agreed with her that her brother was handsome ( what else was I going to say LOL)  but I still was not getting married. Then she suggested that she would have her mother come and meet me , and probably seal the deal. Needless to say this was going a bit too far for me.I bought a lovely painting and told her I would be back after I have had time to think this proposal over.  Hahahaha

My almost sister in law  LOL
The man in question Jamal
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No Clue what they are doing . possibly just passing time ,waiting to do henna tattoos.
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The souk is separated into different departments , this is the Morrocan Olive market
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Spices arranged  in pyramids , the scents are overwhelming.

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Water bearer

 

Dancers entertain at night in the Plaza ( this is a boy dressed as a women)

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Nightime  Jeema El Fna

 

Food stands built in the evening just for the night.

 

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Snails anyone ? Delicious !!

There is so  much to see, do and experience in Marrakech.  I could not possibly cover it all, this was one day. a surprise waits at every corner. Marrakech is also inexpensive.

Please follow me for further blogs, on this amazing destination.  If you have question or experiences, good or bad  Please comment.

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Cancun , Yucatan Mexico

 

Woke up Monday morning and called in “Vacation” , by Tuesday morning I had decided  to get the hell out of town, my derriere was hurting from sitting.  and  had no plans.  what to do ??

I  Called Clubmed in Cancun to see if they had any space . Booked a room for the next day and by noon  I was packing my bags to get out of dodge on the 6:55 Am flight to Cancun Mexico.

Flew to Cancun with Interjet Airlines , it was a very enjoyable  flight ,with lots of room between the seats. I had never heard of this airlines before. It’s a  low cost Mexican airlines with new service to Cancun. By the way as a side bar, seniors 65 and up get an automatic  15 % off the airfare.

Clubmed Cancun

When I  arrived I was surprised by the roughness of the sea. Damn !! i thought. I’ m going to need a surfboard, the only problem i cant surf. Apparently the weather had not been so great  until the day of my arrival. Of course LOL .

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The resort itself is quite nice and very big.   A beautiful beach  and several restaurants . The pool area is a bit disappointing.

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It’s Clubmed so expect the usual nightly shows, with the most amazingly talented G.O’s. The trapeze acts are really world class.

The Mexican staff is very friendly and  courteous . I must name one in particular Israel  at the Taco Arte restaurant, a pleasure to watch this gentleman work. Reservations are required for dinner at Taco Arte and The Estancia. The G.O’s very nice and helpful.

The food is delicious  and the bar area probably has the best sunset this side of Cancun.

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Was happy to see the presence of SEA SHEPHERD , a fabulous organization dedicated to the protection of marine life and the world’s oceans. I felt this was a very big plus for me in the appreciation of the resort. 

Ek’Balam  meaning in Maya language  black jaguar 

Ek’ Balam is a Yucatec-Maya archaeological site within the municipality of Temozón, Yucatán, Mexico. It is one of the few Pyramids  today that allow climbing.

EK-Balam  meaning in Maya language  black jaguar

The Acropolis. The biggest building in Ek Balam is the “Acropolis”. With its length of160 m, the width of 70 m and a height of 31 m this pyramid is definitely the biggest pyramid in the northern Yucatan peninsula, due to its volume. The building rises up with 6 levels.

Although Acropolist only has 106 stairs , it’s very steep and surprisingly  difficult. Open every day from 8 am to 5 pm and Admission fee Admission fee is 141 MXN as of February 2017, this does not include the cenote which is an extra 70 MXN. If you are planning on using a Go Pro or a film Camera you will be charge and additional MX 45 for its use.

Try to get there as early as possible to avoid the crowds. Be aware that there is a time difference between Cancun and  and Ek’Balam of  – 1 Hour.

Do wear some sneakers , I noticed while I was there , that some people were climbing with very dangerous shoes, such as high heal or platform sandals. Please don’t . It’s just not safe.

Cenote XCanche

img_5567what is a cenote 

A Cenote is a natural pit, or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath. The water is a bit fresh about 24 deg C. and life vest are available for those who need it. Its definitly worth trying .

The Yucatan is uninhabitable, no natural resources and the ground does not promote agriculture , except where there are cenotes. If you find  village it’s because there is a Cenote, it’s the only place that can sustain life in the Yucatan. The population mainly makes a living on tourism.

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Meanwhile back at Clubmed  , we were getting ready for the white party

 

 

Chichen Itza and it’s sacred Cenote.

You can no longer climb the mighty El Castillo at Chichén Itzá. One of the 7 wonders of the world.

The cenote in Chichen Itza is not for swimming , it’s a sacred Cenote

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The use of the Sacred Cenote was exclusively ceremonial. Over the years, the murky water has yielded many artifacts including gold, jade, copper, turquoise, obsidian, copal or incense, pottery, rubber, shells and the bones of around 200 people who were thrown in as a sacrifice. According to Bishop Landa, men, women and children were thrown alive into it as a sacrifice to the gods in times of droughts.

Photos from Chichen Itza

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Clubmed Snow party. Ok was not expecting to get covered in soap, after a wash and blow dry.  But hey!! all in good fun. By the way I don’t know the girl kissing me , that was a photo bomb. Love it !!

Saturday was “D” day . Time to get out of town, it’s 20 Deg in New York.

Oh the humanity !! Its 78 deg and sunny , had breakfast , packed my bags including my bathing suit. I’m in my going home mode , the brain had almost adjusted to the thought of freezing my derriere.  After Having my fresh squeezed Papaya juice, a cafe con Leche, and  a nice ficelle  bagette, I took one look at the beach . The thought of 20 Deg hit me all of a sudden and all I could think  was ,  F…  it !!  take advantage to the last minute , so in the water I went , clothes and all.  Did not regret it for one moment .

“Never did the world make a queen of a girl who hides in houses and dreams without traveling.”
― Roman PayneThe Wanderess

If you are wondering why the federal police was on the beach . Well I was wondering the same . No!! It’s not hotel security . So I asked them if they came for the guy on the lounge chair , who had plucked some coral from the ocean . Lol . You never know…

Nope!! “No problema” I was told . Well that’s good to know.

All good things must end. I hate when people say that but …. I guess they must.

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Malta , a beautiful travel destination.

Travelling  is getting very scary these days , where to Go? The world is becoming unsafe  but you still have to travel. During my research , trying to find a place to go, I discovered the island of Malta .Why I never looked into it , I  don’t know. It’s totally the type of destination that attracts me .. Another plus ,English is one of the two official languages. Not to mention it’s a lot less expensive than other European destinations.

Valletta ,world heritage site .is the tiny capital of the Mediterranean island nation  It’s known for museums, palaces and grand churches. Baroque landmarks include St. John’s Co-Cathedral,  home to the Caravaggio masterpiece “The Beheading of Saint John.”many movies have been filmed there including  game of thrones , gladiators , Troy .

Where is Malta? The Maltese archipelago lies virtually at the center of the Mediterranean, 93 km south of Sicily and 288 km north of Africa. The archipelago consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino with a total population of over 400,000 inhabitants occupying an area of 316 square kilometers. Yes it is still Europe.

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Malta has something for everyone, beaches , monuments , history , natural wonders .From the pictures that I have seen, i cant imagine anyone not finding something exciting to do..i was amazed and dazzled  by the beauty and diversity .. definitely on my bucket list.

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The best time to visit Malta is late May or June, it is warm but not too hot, May temperature up to 22C, 71 F for us not on centigrade,.  June up to 27C, whereas I prefer July up to about 30C or August where it is often over 30C or 86 F

 

Maltese cuisine reflects Maltese history, it shows strong Sicilian and English influences as well as Spanish, French, Maghrebin, Provençal, and other Mediterranean cuisines.

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The photographs are not mine,so i will not take credit for them . I have not yet traveled to Malta.  however  when I do  i will make sure to post my own view and photos of this fabulous country.

Key West ,Florida .We are back.

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Hurricane Irma has devastated the Keys , but don’t write it off as a fabulous travel destination.. They will be back soon and will need all your support to get back to normal . Key West is a safe bet. A fun and interesting town , with enough excitement and good weather for all ages.  If you want culture ,you will find  museums , galleries. If you need  sun and fun ,there is plenty to go around., If you want a  little daring nightlife, drag yourself to a drag show. Some people think there are no beaches in Key West, I beg to differ, as you will see . If fishing is your thing ,no better place .

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If you arrive by plane you will  notice right away the pink taxis  at the airport .

Of course no day starts without a good breakfast, so head on down to  Blue Heaven. Best breakfast in town and  they have live music too!!.

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Ghost Tours

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The butterfly Museum. Mel Fishers Gold museum.

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Nightlife

In the evening head down to Mallory Square where People gather for drinks and some entertainment, but the highlight and the raison d etre is the Sunset celebration. Every night the sun gets a standing ovation, as it slowly goes down , like a celebrity in a blaze of flashes and clicking cameras  and cell phones.

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Lots of fun in Mallory Square

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Have a drink while waiting for the nightly sunset celebration

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The long awaited for daily sunset

 

 

Woodstock , in the Catskills upstate New York.

Everyone is running to the Hamptons , or to Montauk  for the summer, Its great !! but if you don’t know anyone or are not a big winery person, there are other fabulous places in New York really worth looking into. In the Catskills mountains , only 2 hours from New York City , there is a little town called Woodstock . If the name sounds familiar , YES!! it does bring back memories. The summer of love , Days of peace and love. jimmy Hendricks , Janis Joplin. For those of you, who are too young to remember , its just a cool little town. It is the perfect summer destination for the week end or even just a day. You won’t be bored . I promise !!..

My favorite little town. Great food , fabulous restaurants, Theaters, Art galleries , a very cool place to hang even for the day. . Imagine the city,  in the country . This town is funky, happening and cool.Peace and Love in the middle of the mountains.

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Every town has a wizard  and Woodstock is no exception

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The drum circle

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It is a happy place

 

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Pretty much anything, to make you smile.

Some other cute places to grab a bite .

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The Garden Cafe on the green

Yes it’s Vegan and yes it’s AWESOME! This charming cafe sits right in the center of town with a great view of The Green and all the local color you can handle. But come for the food and be amazed. Everything we tried was awesome , the vegetable lasagna , the Pesto pasta ,  the Black bean burrito, Pasta marinara and YES!!! I did taste all of it. Closed on Mondays.

 

 

 

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the sexy locals Monique and Nicole

The Catskills are some of the most beautiful mountains  in the North  East ,so when you get tired of walking around town , just wander the relaxing and beautiful countryside. The Woodstock waterfall is worth a look.

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Yessss !! Something for everyone…….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MoCa Asian Bistro- an unexpected little gem in Hewlett.

Cant think of a place to eat or hang out after work ?  perhaps you need to meet a client, in a beautiful setting. MoCa Asian bistro 1300 Peninsula Blvd, an  Upscale  Japanese  fusion Bistro , is the place.A real culinary surprise in Hewlett . The restaurant is beautiful  and very clean, the staff  very courteous  and the service is quite quick. Lots of parking . Alvin the manager super nice guy..

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Andy the Captain ,super cool and very friendly ,gave a me a tour today after lunch , which was by the way delicious ,and came with its own flame.. Impressive…

The wine selection is extensive .

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Thursday night, is the night for live Band  and all night Happy Hour.  Behind the Bar  is Melisa , she has been there from the start. So go and enjoy Happy hour from Monday to Saturday  3 pm to 7 Pm. Be good to Melissa.

 

Next to the bar  is the VIP room , for  parties  and kareoke , max sitting 16 . The VIP room is equipped with a private bathroom and  a special filtering system  to accommodate  the smokers in the crowd. As a non smoker who hates the smell ,I must say not even a trace.

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All in all ,a neighborhood place with great food and service , worthy of any Manhattan restaurant.. Give it a try you wont regret. Prices are not bad also …