Posts by Valerie Blanchard

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Valerie Blanchard

Valérie Blanchard possesses a passion for theater, music, fine wines, dining, travel, and literature with a focus on poetry. An admirer of the symbolism of André Gide and the literary grandeur of Marcel Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu, Blanchard enjoys sensual and evocative prose, often exploring themes of love, desire, and the complexities of human relationships. Her critical insights are well-informed and reveal an ability to identify emerging trends in the arts.

Cabrini, starring Cristiana Dell’Anna
Movie Reviews
Valerie Blanchard

Cabrini

NEW YORK – Cabrini, a poetic biopic that was riveting and heart-rendering from the first moment.

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Entrance to Spano's in Point Pleasant Beach NJ. Photo by Valerie Blanchard
Restaurant Reviews
Valerie Blanchard

Spano’s Ristorante Italiano

Spano’s Ristorante Italiano is a very special place in Point Pleasant Beach NJ. Known for its fresh seafood and authentic Italian cooking, the extensive menu represents the many regions of Chef Spano’s Italian heritage. Due to the restaurant’s popularity you can only attend with reservations.

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A view of Light Field at Freedom Plaza. Photo by Valérie Blanchard
Travel Reviews
Valerie Blanchard

The Light Field at Freedom Plaza

In Freedom Plaza, artist Bruce Munro crafted a Light Field that is a gentle pageantry of glowing synesthesia enveloped by buildings on three sides and open to the expansive view of the East River. Walking calmly through this window box of light and hope, one imagined a beautiful garden with tall flowers reaching upwards to the clear sky. At the same time, one sensed a serenity gleaned from a cambric of fond memories cradled in this dreamy, sumptuous chiaroscuro celebrating those who have gone before us.

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A view of the interior of Balade (photo froim Baladerestaurants.com)
New York Restaurant Reviews
Valerie Blanchard

Balade Lebanese Restaurant

As we entered Balade Lebanese Restaurant in Manhattan’s East Village neighborhood, we were greeted by friendly, attentive, and accommodating staff. It was the beginning of an enjoyable dining experience with genuinely fabulous service and smiles all around!

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Edgar Allen Poe portrait at Edgar's Cafe. (photo from EdgarsCafe.com)
Dining
Valerie Blanchard

Edgar’s Café

Edgar’s Café serves delicious food on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and is billed as a “Magical place with a cafe, wine, beer, food & desserts.”

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An artistic depiction of guests at the 18th-century Mount Vernon Hotel in New York City. Photo by Valerie Blanchard
Museum Reviews
Valerie Blanchard

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden

Just north of the Queensborough Bridge in Manhattan I recently discovered the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden while hurrying to an appointment on East 68th Street. Once I saw it, I stopped and could hardly take my eyes off this cozy, charming, well-maintained, 18th-century hotel. Its locked gates and imposing stone wall were mysterious, and I knew I must get inside to see the gardens and building.

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Paul's Da Burger Joint. Photo by Valerie Blanchard
Dining
Valerie Blanchard

Paul’s Da Burger Joint

Paul’s is an iconic, family-run restaurant in New York City’s East Village since 1989. Regulars and celebrities alike love the homey vibe of Paul’s. Now that I have experienced the ambiance, I must agree. 

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The Main Bar at Keens. Photo from Keens.com
Dining
Valerie Blanchard

Keens Steakhouse

Keens Steak House serves fantastic meal options in a beautiful, historical setting where the likes of Teddy Roosevelt and Albert Einstein dined

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Entrance to El Parador. Photo by Valerie Blanchard
New York Restaurant Reviews
Valerie Blanchard

El Parador Café in Kips Bay

The El Parador Cafe in Manhattan’s Kip’s Bay looked perfect; it had a convenient location and a tempting menu. Stepping inside the door on 34th Street, you are immediately drawn into the vibe of a Mexican vacation. The solid wood tables and chairs, mood lighting, and Mexican music with smooth acoustics extolled “bring on the salsa!”

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Entrance to Quantum Leap. Photo by Valerie Blanchard
New York Restaurant Reviews
Valerie Blanchard

Quantum Leap Restaurant

Quantum Leap has become our go-to restaurant for healthy, delicious, satisfying food. From the comfortable, homey vibe and an extensive menu to the smoothies and decadent vegan desserts, you, too, may find nourishing respite at your new best friend’s kitchen table on 1st Avenue and 60th Street.

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Outdoor Seating at The Butcher's Daughter in Manhattan's Nolita neighborhood. Photo by Valerie Blanchard
New York Restaurant Reviews
Valerie Blanchard

The Butcher’s Daughter in Nolita

For me, food is love. Chopping, preparing, and creating a delicious meal for family and friends and then enjoying it together is one of life’s great pleasures. Nina and the staff at The Butcher’s Daughter Nolita created that caring vibe with a delicious, healthy, relaxing, quiet meal experience. From the moment we saw the inviting restaurant entry to the delicious dessert and golden elixir latte, The Butcher’s Daughter Nolita was a welcome elixir to help us ease into the weekend.

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