If there's one thing I've learned from my Italian heritage, it is this: You do not visit someone's home, especially during the holiday season, without an armload of carbohydrates. Sure, you could pop by empty-handed, but everyone will whisper behind your back, and the invitations should dry up quickly once the malocchio really kicks in.
Where Rochester, Bangkok, and New York meet
There are streets in Manhattan that have yet to be completely overtaken by chain restaurants, though they are further and fewer between than they were 10 years ago. These patches of resistance are little, rabbit-warren-like spaces, crammed with wood-grain Formica two-tops and tiny black chairs.
That stately two-story brick building at 289 Alexander Street, the one that most famously housed Lloyd's and most recently Benedettos, has had new life breathed into it by Havana Cabana, which bills itself as a Cuban café and rum bar. The latter is certainly accurate; the gorgeous bar boasts more than 40 different varieties of rum, which find their way into cocktails both modern and traditional, as well as flights for the connoisseur or merely the curious.