NYC : Blizzard

The blizzard has come and gone in New York City and it has left most residents with an overwhelming feeling of being underwhelmed. What was being preached as the storm of the century, or “the worst in New York’s history” has turned out to be an unimpressive 6 inches of powder.JUNO

While the snowfall totals are lackluster, the city folks sure were not when it came to enjoying a day off, and a day of fun in the powdery white stuff that turns us all into children. Sledding, snowball fights, snowmen, even skiing and snowboarding were practiced as the precipitation fell. If one were to take a walk through Williamsburg Brooklyn you would have seen snowboarders jumping over cars, doing tricks and laughing as if they were at the terrain park on a Vermont mountain.

So what impact did Juno have other than selling out gas stations and grocery stores in the hours leading up to it? It gave all New York and New England a day of reflection, to remember the times that were much simpler in our lives and to spend a day away from the hustle of the city and enjoy the outdoors with our families.

Thank you Juno for being a constant reminder to for us to stay young at heart, and not to pay too much attention to the weather forecast. After all, remember all those barbeques that were ruined by a rouge rainstorm that passed under the radar of our local meteorologist? Juno served as a good test run in case the “big one” ever does come our way, or if the next ice age comes all at once. For this New Yorker, I enjoyed the day of relaxation across the city, and the comradely that is sometimes lost in this busy town. Until next snow storm, its back to the pavement for this city.

from Ari Kellen | New York City Exploration


Empire Music

Music plays an enormous part in any TV show or movie, it drives the audience to feel what the character feels. In horror films high frequency strings make you feel on edge, while slow piano makes you relaxed and lets you know nothing bad is going to happen in the immediate future. In the newest hit show, Empire this is no different. It is a show about the music industry therefore one would assume that the music in the show Empirewould be second to none.

Who would have the set the hands that Fox TV would place this enormous responsibility in? None other than Timbaland, the famous producer known for his works with Missy Elliott, and Justin Timberlake to name a few. He has created iconic music for our generation that forces you to dance, even if against your will. Creating the original songs for this series is nothing but another day at the office for the iconic producer. This time around he has help from one of his protege’s Jim Beanz. Beanz wrote almost all of the original music for the inaugural season, raising his stock among the TV ranks. Beanz also plays an upcoming rapper in the series as he is blurring the lines from behind the scenes production to on the set acting.

With original music the TV executives are looking to match the shows popularity with the musical popularity. Creating a top selling soundtrack for TV or a movie almost always drives viewership of that media as well as creating another revenue stream for the production house. Shows like Glee, and movies like Django both saw success in creating original scores and Fox will look to mirror these instances.

Songs from the show have already started to peak the public’s interest as “Good Enough” showed a short tenure on iTunes top sellers list. If this is foreshadowing for anything that is yet to come with this young series, we may be seeing music from Empire on the top selling lists for many seasons to come.

To read the original article, here.


from Ari Kellen | Musical Minded

Travel To Your Favorite TV Show

Are you a TV buff? Can’t get enough of your favorite shows? Tv networks are wising up to the fanatic ways of TV series fans by enticing them to come visit the places that are frequented on the show. Downton Abbey fans, you can spend a night at the Highclere Castle, location of the show. Stay at the guest quarters and feel Winterfell | Ari kellenlike you are in the show at the front of the complex called London Lodge.

Other domestic destinations are seeing an influx of tourists as Albuquerque is seeing Breaking Bad Fans touring the streets, and Georgia is hosting more and more Walking Dead buffs. Visitors can take a walking tour of the hospital and CDC featured in the show led by Walking Dead extras, or…. zombies.

For those wishing to bask in the glory days of advertising and fitted suits, tourists can walk up and down Madison avenue along with other iconic Manhattan streets to taste old fashions and other 60’s style cocktails. If you plan on going, they recommend dressing to impress, to fit in and get the full experience.

Trying to run through the countryside north of the Wall from Game of Thrones? Visit northern Ireland to breathe the fresh air and feel the bite of winter just like your favorite characters. You might not find Winterfell but hey, at least you will be close enough to say you were north of the Wall.

What would a tourist article be without mentioning the mind-blowing Harry Potter World. Have a drink at Hogsmeade before you attempt to escape from Gringotts. Then take a stroll down Diagon Alley to visit Ollivanders wand shop. Maybe you would like to pick up some quidditch supplies.

Options are available for you to experience the places what you watch on TV every week, it is up to you to make the decision to go for it! Be sure to keep exploring and have a great time.

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from Ari Kellen| Travel Page

Top Destination for 2015, Cuba Among Top Places

A couple weeks after the Obama administration lifted the travel ban to Cuba many habitual travellers have pegged the island country as their number one destination for 2015. Travel Leaders Group announced in its 2015 trends survey that Cuba is emerging as a top spot for luxury vacationers. They compile the data from about 850 travel experts and managers.Cuban-beaches-zc

The country is an untouched paradise for American travelers as there has not been a legal way to get there from the U.S. for many decades. Such time passing has created much demand for exploration around the island.

While Cuba is a place of interest, European travel continues to dominate the travel volume as they offer river and Mediterranean cruises along with historical destinations for academic buffs. Europe offers a balance of the old and new world and the possibility to do it in style and comfort. Other destinations are creeping up on the European demand, including African safaris, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Croatia and Vietnam.

Any of these destinations not tickling your fancy? the rest of the top ten destinations from North America are Australia, England, Baltic cruises, Germany, Ireland, and South Africa.

The emergence of a stronger U.S. dollar has driven travel abroad, coupled with dropping fuel costs along with airfare ticket prices. It seems that 2015 will shape up to be a big year in tourism for Americans looking to take advantage of the economic atmosphere. If you are looking for the most bang for your buck head to the Euro-zone as our dollar is doing well against the EU at the moment.

At the moment, northern Europe is seeing a higher influx of tourism than southern Europe where cruises are usually launched. If trying to find a deal, aim towards the Mediterranean.

How ever you travel, and wherever you travel, be sure to have fun and take pictures!

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from Ari Kellen| Travel Page

Best Brooklyn Eats

The best thing about loving finding new places to eat in New York City is that you can never stop finding new, interesting restaurants. This city is so big and diverse, it is the perfect place to expand your palate. This week I spent quite a bit of time in Brooklyn, and with the help of, I found some great places to eat. For those who do not know, Brooklyn is the borough to the SouthEast of the city and to get there from Manhattan you need to cross the East River. Without further ado, here are my favorite places to eat in Brooklyn.Ari kellen

This is a Japanese eatery that specializes in small plates, so more than one might be necessary to temper those strong appetites. The sushi is of course spectacular, as you would expect from a Japanese place. Their shrimp dumplings also left me wanting more by the end of the dish. As far as picking the right poison, Their strawberry vodka with at least 8 years of aging seems to be the go-to.

Radegast Hall & Biergarten
This German Style beer garden is best in the warmer months with a semi-outdoor auxiliary seating area with shared tables. The super long picnic look is perfect for large groups of friends or meeting new friends. Indulge in the decently priced sausage grill out back and drink german beer by the liter to get the Oktoberfest feel, all year long.

Peter’s Since 1969
The best, and most comfort food for the money you spend. It is a dream to walk in and grab some meatloaf and an irresponsible amount of sides and only pay under $10. This place is good for a night in, or a pre-night out foundation. Beer and wine are on deck for those looking to wash down some heavy food with a little spirit. The best part, they deliver.

from Ari Kellen | New York City Exploration

Ari Kellen’s Favorite Music From The 90′s

As a child of the 90’s I hold a warm place in my heart for the songs that remind me of a simpler time. The throwback Thursday playlist on Spotify has to be one of my favorite playlists not made by me. I find it to be a gateway to childhood memories I would otherwise not be aware of and that in itself brings a smile to my face. Below, I would like to offer a grouping of songs that remind of my childhood, force me to sing along, and that just rock. Here is my favorite jams from the 90’s.

Ari Kellen

Nirvana, Smells Like Teen Spirit– These guys defined the grunge rock age and made wearing flannels cool. This song brings me back to the dark days of overall style and teen angst.

Jay-Z, Hard Knock Life ( Ghetto Anthem )- A sampled beat that you cannot get out of your skull has been sampled so many times thereafter that it has turned into sampling inception. This is one of those songs that propelled Jay into the business he is today.

Whitney Houston, I Will Always Love You– Originally written and recorded by Dolly Parton, Whitney Houston used her golden pipes to blast this song into one of the best pop songs ever. I recall not being able to turn on the radio without this song playing on at least one station.

Blackstreet, No Diggity– I highly doubt that you have not heard this song at a recent house party and once it starts to play, that means the party has just begun. This is a complete jam that the average human body cannot help but to dance to.

Hanson, MMMMBop– The pseudo-scat song by three pre-teens with golden locks at first was not my cup of tea. But hours after listening to the song I could not shake the catchy, non-english melody.

Puff Daddy/Faith Evans- I’ll Be Missing You– This one tugs at the heartstrings for yours truly. The thought of what might have been if Biggie had lived into the new century still rests on the minds of many-a hip hop fan and this was a tribute from his widow and his best friend.

That was just a taste of my favorite songs from the 90’s. There will be plenty more to come in later weeks to remind you of all the great music that was created when we were young kids.

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from Ari Kellen | Musical Minded

AFC Championship: Patriots vs. Colts

Its the most wonderful time of the year, playoff football in the college ranks and the NFL. With the first ever college playoff ending last night, we set our sights on the upcoming championship games for the NFL. In particular lets dive into the AFC where we have been denied our right to see the rivalry between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady continue. Who is the culprit? Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts with their dominant performance in Denver last week.

ARI KELLEN AFC Championship

The scrappy Andrew Luck will face off against the seasoned veteran Tom Brady who seems to attract winning games like mice to cheese. Historically, the Colts have not seen much success when Luck is starting vs the Pats, with three blowout losses. Luck accounted for 8 turnovers himself during those three games. Looking at this upcoming game optimistically, Luck just defeated a pro bowl pass rush and future hall of fame QB in a hostile Denver. Proponents say if he can do it there, he can do it in New England.

While the Patriots defense has great talent that needs to be navigated by the Colts offense, they showed they are, in fact vulnerable with their performance against Baltimore. The Ravens gained a total of 428 yards of offense and average almost yards per carry on the ground. The keys to holding up against this defensive front? Stay away from Revis Island, that guy still has it, that past knee injury is no longer a factor in his game. The Colts offensive line also needs to give luck time in the pocket the way they did in Denver. If he remains vertical and able to drive through his passing motion, they are going to see some success.

On the flip side of the ball, the Patriots offense have been averaging 48 points over the last three games. A tall task for the Colts defense to stand up to. With that being said, these Indy defenders looked extremely impressive against Peyton Manning and the Denver offense that is filled with weapons at his disposal. If they can find a solution to Rob Gronkowski’s caveman-like strength and ballerina-like ability to stay on his feet, they have a great chance to hold Tom Brady at bay.

Tune in to the game this weekend as these two teams meet in Foxboro for the chance to punch their ticket to the big show.


To read the original article, click here.

from Ari Kellen | Sports

College Football National Champion Buckeyes

Last night saw one of the most intensively anticipated climax to a college football season to date with the final of the first ever college football playoff. The Oregon Ducks were matched up and favored over the Ohio State Buckeyes who gathered in Texas at the Dallas Cowboys home stadium, AT&T Stadium.

BRUTUS-BUCKEYE-AT-MIDFIELD-ohio-state-football- Ari Kellen

The first quarter began with the to be expected, offensive blast from the season-long dominant Ducks. Up 7-0 after their first drive, Oregon fans were feeling optimistic. The Ezekiel Elliott checked in to the game.

Elliott was a honorable mention running back in the Big10, a fact that leaves this sports fan flabbergasted as he set a National Championship record for rushing in a game at 246 yards on 36 carries. Early in the game it seemed as though Oregon had him under control by stacking the box with 8+ defensemen. As the second quarter came around, Elliott took over and started lashing enormous gains open from his supreme vision and speed, coupled with poor gap control by the Ducks defense.

What is even more impressive is that this is not an anomaly from Ezekiel Elliott, this is the third game in a row that he rushed for more than 220 yards. It is not like he has played easy teams the past few games either, he has totalled 696 yards against Wisconsin, Alabama, and Oregon, some of the best teams in the country.

Buckeye nation is not surprised at their national championship win as in the last three seasons, Ohio State has compiled a 38-3 record under the direction of former Florida Gators coach, Urban Meyer. This guy has a knack for winning as he picks up where he left off when he departed from Florida. This coach has turned a third string quarterback, and a first year running back into a national champion, and did so with some style points.

Oregon on the other hand suffers yet another postseason collapse after a stellar season. Some jitters were noticed early in the game as key third down passes were dropped on consecutive drives. In total three third downs were floundered from dropped passes. Other than those instances, Mariotta played strong, throwing two touchdowns and completing 24-37 for 333 yards with 39 rushing yards. With Mariotta departing this year for the NFL, who will take the reigns in the coming season? A better question will be, who will be able to give them as good a chance to make it to the national championship as this super efficient, high first round draft pick.

Congratulations to the Ohio State Buckeyes, enjoy it!


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from Ari Kellen | Sports