In addition to being a music venue, restaurant and bar, City Winery is also a functioning urban winery. We source grapes from all over the globe including, but not limited to, California, Oregon, New York, Chile and Argentina and each of the vineyards we work with produce organic grapes. Our winery facilities practice the same production procedures you would find in wineries from Napa to Bordeaux, from sorting to fermenting, crushing, aging, bottling and labeling – all done in house. If desired, costumers have the option of making their own barrel of wine but if you prefer the act of drinking you can also purchase bottles of City Winery wine or enjoy a glass of wine served on tap. We also design special commemorative wine labels for each artist who plays City Winery for fans to purchase during shows or online. You may have a key chain, t-shirt or a record of your favorite artist but where else can you find a bottle of wine featuring him or her on the label? We have a lot of fun with both the design and the name of each bottle. You can find past artist wine to buy on the website.
I generally tend to dislike the standard Office Depot furniture models and working environment. Fortunately, I was able to locate this beautiful mid-century desk on Craig’s List a few months ago, which I consider to be quite a find. I especially love the little nukes and shelves to display the knickknacks I’ve collected over the years. Among the objects I have chosen to display, you can find a small Humani figurine, a photo of me with hippie legend Wavy Gravy, an instrument from Zimbabwe, a 1930’s toy I found at a garage sale in upstate New York and a little plastic hen that lays chocolate eggs when you wind it up.
These signed posters are one-of-a-kind souvenirs from a benefit concert series I help curate and act as an associate producer for. Each year we choose a different musician to honor as a “living legend” and with the help of 21 artists, put together amazing shows at New York City’s Carnegie Hall. Past tributes have featured the music of Bill Withers, Talking Heads, Prince, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Bob Dylan, Elton John, REM, Joni Mitchell, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, and Paul Simon. This year we are honoring the music of the late, great David Bowie at Carnegie Hall, Radio City and, for the first time, London’s Royal Albert Hall. All net proceeds raised by these shows are donated to music education programs, serving under privileged youth. Over the past 11 years we have raised more than one million dollars. Our 2016 shows are sold out but you can find more information on the series and past shows at Musicof.org.
The Viking Glass Company of New Martinsville, West Virginia created my collection of beautiful glass vases between 1944 and 1970. I started collecting them during weekly visits to swap meets in San Diego and L.A about 15 years ago and I am still always on the look out. The deep blues, reds, and greens together with their unique shapes have always been a great conversation piece and works nicely into the aesthetic of our apartment. Their prices vary based on where you shop. I suggest keeping your eyes open at any antique or second hand stores but if you do have the urge to purchase one now you can find them on Esty and Ebay (http://www.ebay.com/bhp/viking-glass or https://www.etsy.com/market/viking_glass).
While my CD collections are a part of the past and my MP’s are sitting on a small silver hard drive, there is really no replacement for the artistic presentation of album art on vinyl. My girlfriend and I have combined our collection of classic, contemporary and childhood records and have them proudly displayed in our living room. Among the collection is also a nice selection of signed vinyl. Each time we have an artist play City Winery, I make sure to pull out our relevant records and have them signed. Every time we travel, whether we are stopping in Nashville, Austin, London, San Francisco or beyond we always make sure to stop in the local record shops and do some digging. You never know where and when you will find a gem.
My favorite reoccurring theme around the house is the color orange. I love this mid-century popular color, with it’s warm aesthetic so it’s no coincidence that the house has been filled with orange speakers, chairs, clock, coffee coasters, rugs and even an orange cat.
One thing I have always been drawn to is original, thought-provoking and at times, disturbing imagery. Our collection of art includes a few paintings by my holocaust surviving uncle, a painting of abstract faces that our friend, musician and artist Joseph Arthur painted on stage during one of his shows at City Winery, a minimalist painting on wood of a stereo system done by my cousin, an over size piece of wood shaped and painted as a pencil and a large rock painted in bazooka pink. I’ve always had a problem with what I see as taking the cheap way out (a.k.a. anything mass-produced or even worse, having naked walls). Decorating your home with art is a great way to tell a story, create a conversation and help tell visitors a little something about yourself without saying a word.
Finger puppet look-alike
This is one of my favorite gifts I have received. Does it look exactly like me? No. But I love the idea. Dan Crowley is a Chicago based artist and if you send him a few photos with a paragraph about that person, he will make a finger puppet of them. The are really fun and unique gifts to give someone. You can follow Dan here https://www.facebook.com/dan.crowley.969 and here http://artoftoys.com/product-category/crowley-dan/
I know what they say about dogs but if you ask me, cats are a man’s best friends. They are the perfect combination of love and low key. They are there when you need them and for the most part, know how to take care of themselves. I love how they always seem to gravitate to the room you are in and act as the perfect thing to warm up to on cold New York City nights. Our go by Moses, Nick and Muireann. I had one cat and two more were added to our family when my girlfriend moved in. Like people, some times they get a long and some time they don’t. We both grew up with cats and I imagine they will remain in staple in our house for the rest of our lives.
This is my favorite new toy and it is one that changed me forever. I have been a heavy, yet functional smoker for a long time. A friend gifted this to me one day a few months ago and over night it become the only way I smoke. It’s easy to carry around, travel friendly, 99% odorless and most importantly, helped me kick the bad habit of mixing with tobacco. It won best electronic pipe at the High Times smoke competition in Amsterdam last year. Needless to say, I highly recommend it.
Two years ago a friend of mind turned me on to Kickstarter product in its very first stages of development. I gave $50 because I loved the concept they were pushing for: one card to replace all the credit cards and debit cards which contains all information on a single card for your wallet. This came about before Apple Pay and doesn’t require the vendor to have a special credit card machine. Nothing happened for about two years and I thought that, like may Kickstarter projects it just didn’t make it. I was wrong. Recently I got mine in the mail and it hasn’t disappointed a bit. It works everywhere and I love seeing people’s expression when I am about to pay with a press of a button, switch my method of payment on the card. I highly recommend it: https://onlycoin.com/
For many years, baseball has been and still is my passion. I started playing baseball in Israel when I was 10 years old. Once I finished my military service in Israel I again chased my dream of becoming a baseball player by moving to the United States. I played on a scholarship at UC San Diego and then went on to play semi-pro and independent baseball around the US. I have also been playing for the Israeli National Team for 25 years. The highlight of my career came years after I stopped playing ball in a professional sense when I got to play for Team Israel in the World Classic Qualifier. I had a chance to play with some of my idols including Shawn Green, Gabe Capler, Brad Ausmes and Joc Petarson. In September of 2016 we will be playing in the 2017 World Classic Qualifier in the same bracket with Brazil, Pakistan and the UK.