Seen & Heard: Crown Shy to open for brunch

Crown Shy will begin serving brunch starting next weekend, featuring a bread program (yes, you heard that right) and chef James Kent’s answer to banh mi: a chicken sandwich on house-made focaccia with fermented chili hot sauce. The four breads currently on the roster come from Renata Ameni’s pastry kitchen: cinnamon bun using the dough from their Parker House loaf; banana bread with caramelized bananas; savory bacon bread seared on the plancha and served with ricotta; and a yeast donut filled with maple crème fraîche. Yowza.

The Portfolio school will host a free Halloween maker event where kids can make a lava lamp or some simple lever artwork: Saturday, Oct. 26, 10a to noon, 90 Hudson. For kids ages 4 to 12, costumes encouraged.

It was news to me that the bar and lounge at the AKA (formerly Smyth) Hotel is no longer open to the public, and from what I hear, the cocktail list has also been cut back from its former glory (with the idea to make all the hotel’s bars have the same offerings? Don’t see the logic behind that). But I was able to get a couple pics of the newly renovated space, which is certainly not the cozy place it once was. You may recall it was closed all winter for this reno by “luxury minimalist” Jennifer Post.

The water fountain next to the bathrooms in Washington Market Park is offline while the city repairs the pipes leading to it – it tested positive for lead this summer. The Parks Department said it tested all 3500 park water fountains across the city for lead, and this one (but not the other one in the park) contained lead in exceedance of the federal action level of 15 parts per billion. After initial remediation work, Parks determined that further repairs are needed; they expect to be done in the spring and will retest then. That water fountain was installed in 2011, when the bathrooms were built, which makes this a bit of a mystery. The lead must be coming from pipes laid long ago – certainly not pipes put in eight years ago. So how will this ever be remediated?



  1. The redesigned lobby at Smyth is such a loss for the community. I can only speculate they did it to try to attract more business clientele but we used to go there often for coffee, drinks, etc – it was a gem of a cozy space in the neighborhood. Agree that both the sign and the new design are off putting.

  2. Agree it is a terrible loss. I brought my team there for meetings and for drinks. And I’d often eat from Little Park in the lounge. I’d suggest the hotel reconsider.

  3. The redesigned lobby at AKA is offensive and such a loss. Uncomfortable couch in front of the fire place, sexist pictures lining the walls. We used to call it our living room and loved going there in the winter especially. Now it is a ghost town. I peaked in one night and there were three people in there. I am sure the waiters are not happy. Even the people who work in the restaurant and at the front desk do not understand why it is closed to the public. maybe that will change but they have already ruined the space.