The Big Chocolate Show in New York City

If you can’t get enough chocolate, the Big Chocolate Show has you covered. Now in its third year, this chocolate focused, annual expo offers over 50 exhibitors from Europe, North, and South America. It’s a truly epic celebration of everyone’s favorite decadent treat: chocolate.

The Big Chocolate Show runs from Friday, September 20th through Sunday, September 22nd. At the show, you’ll meet chocolate artisans, chefs, and experts from across the globe. This year’s show will be held at Resorts World Casino in Jamaica, NY.

You can attend demonstrations by award-winning pastry chefs. Enjoy guided tasting classes. Learn from experts about the chocolate making process. Even join workshops to see how to roast, crack, grind, temper, and mold amazing chocolates for yourself. And don’t forget to participate in The Big Chocolate Show’s FAVE awards and vote for your favorite brands, flavors, and textures.

Visit and old favorite’s booth or discover a new love. Either way, The Big Chocolate Show is one sweet trip.

For additional information, such as tickets, event times and a list of exhibitors, check out the event site here.

You can find our coverage of the 2018 show here.

And if you can never get enough chocolate, check out our post The Chocolate Addict’s Guide to New York City here.

Museum of Interesting Things Secret Speakeasy

The Museum of Interesting Things Secret Speakeasy NYC is a traveling, interactive exhibition of antiques, collectibles, and inventions. The focus of the speakeasy is to inspire innovation and creativity. This is achieved through interaction with relics from our past. In many cases, the audience are full-on participants. They assist in unveiling the newest acquisitions, offer their own anecdotes about particular items, and ask insightful questions. Interaction at a secret speakeasy, whether with people or objects, is encouraged. Save for a few exceptions, audience members are entirely welcome to touch the items on display.

The Museum of Interesting Things Secret Speakeasy NYC is presented by its inimitable host, Denny Daniel. He’s the curator and founder of the museum. If you are wondering what the show is like, the general ballpark is a robust mix of Barnum and Baily, Pawn Stars, and Antiques Roadshow. So, in other words, prepare to be entertained.

Please keep in mind that the secret speakeasy has been known to change venues last-minute. We strongly recommended that you check the website before the event. Typically, though, the speakeasy is held at The Loft in Soho at 177 Prince Street. Keep in mind, each month the programming changes to focus on a specific theme, so make sure to join the email list to see what is offered each month. This month’s theme  is Suffragette City, which has one of the largest collections
on the history of the suffragettes, rights and voting.

For a preview of the event, read about our experience visiting a prior speakeasy here.

Lunar New Year Parade in New York City’s Chinatown

The Lunar New Year is celebrated at various locations throughout the five boroughs. But easily the most festive Lunar New Year parade in New York City can be found in Chinatown. This year’s parade is on February 17th.

It’s the Year of the Pig according to the Chinese Zodiac, so dress in your most auspicious reds and make your way out to Mott Street and Canal Street in Lower Manhattan to get in on all the festivities. There will be impressive floats, marching bands, lion dance troupes, dancers and, of course, those colorful confetti sticks popping off along the parade route. Just make sure to get there early for the best vantage, it can get mighty crowded.

You can find more information on the parade, including the complete route, and other Chinatown celebrations here.

You can get a birdseye view of the event from our coverage of 2018’s Year of the Dragon here.

Make Hearts for Humans with Army of Lovers

Do you dread Valentine’s Day or relish it? Whether you are single, married, “consciously coupled” or in the nascent stages of a recently established relationship, Valentine’s Day evokes complicated, sometimes ambivalent feelings. It’s a holiday that is purportedly focused on the celebration of love but oftentimes feels overly commercialized, exclusive or judgemental.  Army of Lovers seeks to change that. At heart (pun intended) Army of Lovers started as a humble community organization, founded in Brooklyn in 2013 by Erika Anderson. Army of Lovers has since blossomed into a loosely organized international movement with the goal of recognizing everyone’s humanity, dignity, and need to feel loved.

Make Hearts for Humans is one of Army of Lovers’ crafting events in which like-minded individuals make cards for the purpose of passing them out to complete strangers around the city on Valentine’s Day. The event is being held in New York City on February 9th from 5:00pm to 10:00pm. It’s free, open to the public, and a great opportunity to meet locals and, perhaps, make new friends. Events like Hearts for Humans will also be hosted in various cities around the country and the world. And if the event strikes you as something you would like to do yourself, you can host your own. Details on that, all other events, and the particulars of the organization can be found through their website here.

For a preview of the event, check out our post from a previous Hearts for Humans crafting event here.

My Favorite Things at The Museum of Interesting Things Secret Speakeasy

The Museum of Interesting Things Secret Speakeasy is a traveling, interactive exhibition of antiques, collectibles, and inventions. The focus of the speakeasy is to inspire innovation and creativity. This is achieved through interaction with relics from our past. In many cases, the audience are full-on participants. They assist in unveiling the newest acquisitions, offer their own anecdotes about particular items, and ask insightful questions. Interaction at a secret speakeasy, whether with people or objects, is encouraged. Save for a few exceptions, audience members are entirely welcome to touch the items on display.

The Museum of Interesting Things Secret Speakeasy is presented by its inimitable host, Denny Daniel. He’s the curator and founder of the museum. If you are wondering what the show is like, the general ballpark is a robust mix of Barnum and Baily, Pawn Stars, and Antiques Roadshow. So, in other words, prepare to be entertained.

Please keep in mind that the secret speakeasy has been known to change venues last-minute. We strongly recommended that you check the website before the event. Typically, though, the speakeasy is held at The Loft in Soho at 177 Prince Street. Keep in mind, each month the programming changes to focus on a specific theme, so make sure to join the email list to see what is offered each month. This month’s theme for Denny Daniel’s birthday is One of My Favorite Things…and Yours! Party in Soho.

For a preview of the event, read about our experience visiting a prior speakeasy here.

The Mad Hatters NYC Blog: Year Three in Review

Throughout the year, the pervasive mood in the country has been dour, an ominous shadow hanging over virtually everything else. And yet, we still put ourselves out there, traveling more this year than we had in the last two combined, which was simultaneously exhilarating and exhausting. But 2018 was a challenging year for us personally, too. We both work full-time and there were some notable changes to our jobs, which upended the comfortable life we’d built. We were plagued with some health challenges, though fortunately nothing too serious. We had some unfortunate luck, like discovering our toilet was leaking the day before we were due to leave for a trip. And finally, in a real gut-punch, we lost a few friends unexpectedly–a fellow blogger to a freak accident and a longtime co-worker to cancer.

As for the blog, it’s hard to believe it’s been three years since its inception. Some days it feels like the time has flown by, while others it feels like a slow, steady, relentless grind. At this point, we could forgive you for assuming the blog is humming along like a well-oiled machine. But that hasn’t been the case. The curve balls have kept coming, so let’s talk about what the year brought us.

Continue reading The Mad Hatters NYC Blog: Year Three in Review

Thanksgiving at The Museum of Interesting Things Secret Speakeasy

The Museum of Interesting Things Secret Speakeasy is a traveling, interactive exhibition of antiques, collectibles, and inventions. The focus of the speakeasy is to inspire innovation and creativity. This is achieved through interaction with relics from our past. In many cases, the audience are full-on participants. They assist in unveiling the newest acquisitions, offer their own anecdotes about particular items, and ask insightful questions. Interaction at a secret speakeasy, whether with people or objects, is encouraged. Save for a few exceptions, audience members are entirely welcome to touch the items on display.

The Museum of Interesting Things Secret Speakeasy is presented by its inimitable host, Denny Daniel. He’s the curator and founder of the museum. If you are wondering what the show is like, the general ballpark is a robust mix of Barnum and Baily, Pawn Stars, and Antiques Roadshow. So, in other words, prepare to be entertained.

Please keep in mind that the secret speakeasy has been known to change venues last-minute. We strongly recommended that you check the website before the event. Typically, though, the speakeasy is held at The Loft in Soho at 177 Prince Street. Keep in mind, each month the programming changes to focus on a specific theme, so make sure to join the email list to see what is offered each month. This month’s theme is Eureka! History of Invention: Things that would be in a home 100 yrs ago.

For a preview of the event, read about our experience visiting a prior speakeasy here.

I Spy at The Museum of Interesting Things Secret Speakeasy

The Museum of Interesting Things Secret Speakeasy is a traveling, interactive exhibition of antiques, collectibles, and inventions. The focus of the speakeasy is to inspire innovation and creativity. This is achieved through interaction with relics from our past. In many cases, the audience are full-on participants. They assist in unveiling the newest acquisitions, offer their own anecdotes about particular items, and ask insightful questions. Interaction at a secret speakeasy, whether with people or objects, is encouraged. Save for a few exceptions, audience members are entirely welcome to touch the items on display.

The Museum of Interesting Things Secret Speakeasy is presented by its inimitable host, Denny Daniel. He’s the curator and founder of the museum. If you are wondering what the show is like, the general ballpark is a robust mix of Barnum and Baily, Pawn Stars, and Antiques Roadshow. So, in other words, prepare to be entertained.

Please keep in mind that the secret speakeasy has been known to change venues last-minute. We strongly recommended that you check the website before the event. Typically, though, the speakeasy is held at The Loft in Soho at 177 Prince Street. Keep in mind, each month the programming changes to focus on a specific theme, so make sure to join the email list to see what is offered each month. This month’s theme is I Spy: Spy, Cipher, Crime, and Communication Tech.

For a preview of the event, read about our experience visiting a prior speakeasy here.

The Big Chocolate Show

Can’t get enough chocolate? Well, The Big Chocolate Show has you covered. Now in its second year, this chocolate-centric annual expo brings together over 50 exhibitors from Europe, North, and South America in an epic celebration of everyone’s favorite decadent treat.

From September 28th through Sunday, September 30th, meet chocolatiers, artisans, chefs, and experts from across the globe at The New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan. Attend demonstrations by award-winning pastry chefs and chocolatiers. Enjoy guided tasting classes. Learn from experts about the chocolate making process. Join workshops to see how to roast, crack, grind, temper, mold and make amazing chocolates for yourself. Participate in The Big Chocolate Show’s FAVE awards and vote for your favorite brands, flavors, and textures.

Visit one of your favorite chocolatiers or discover a new love. Either way, it’ll be one sweet trip.

For additional information, such as tickets, event times and a list of exhibitors, check out The Big Chocolate Show’s site here.

Mad Chatter: Let’s Talk About Fact And Fiction, Truth and Lies

So here’s something I’ve been thinking about lately. I’ve never been a fan of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, but I’ve become mildly obsessed with a scripted satirical series derived from similar reality shows called UnREAL. The series ended its run recently, which made it a perfect candidate for binge watching. UnREAL isn’t easy to digest, and it features some pretty despicable characters. But it forces us to confront something we’ve all been complicit in: allowing truth and fiction to meld together to create an entertaining narrative.

Continue reading Mad Chatter: Let’s Talk About Fact And Fiction, Truth and Lies