Bonsai, Say I

bonsaiThe Hoppers are on the move!

Come join us this Thursday, September 20, at New York’s Japan Society, where one of us will be moderating an in-depth discussion and exploration of the bonsai while the other will be plotting intricate, difficult questions to launch from the audience. We can’t wait!

Special guest Julian Velasco, long-time curator of the esteemed bonsai collection at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, will illuminate his process and new insights into the creation and cultivation of the bonsai.

I profiled Julian a few years ago for WNYC, New York’s NPR affiliate, and can’t wait to sit down with him again later this week.

Come join us!


Hoppie is BACK

We’ve been rushing around in a muddled and befuddled state– not our preferred Hopper existence but so it goes. This hopper-writer in particular has a backlog of fine notes on all manner of NYC izakaya deliciousness–how many we have visited in the intervening months!–and all will be written and posted tout suite! For now, please accept our humble apologies and this very worthy round-up from New York Magazine of all things nibbly, warm, small-plated and big-hearted by way of great izakaya here in the city.


December, 2016

Ippudo, a bulwark of great ramen in NYC, opens its doors for “Highball Night”– a special evening of ramen and whiskey pairings, which is to say they will be serving glorious highballs of Suntory Whiskey Toki and one should and must order some ramen to wash it all down. Toki was newly released this year, and it is a vivid blend of whiskies from Suntory’s Hakushu, Yamazaki, and Chita offerings.
Monday, December 12, 2016
5 – 9 pm
65 4th Avenue, New York, NY (212) 388-0088

The American Buddhist Study Center hosts a commemoration of Dr. Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki (1870-1966), who is honored for his leading role in introducing Zen and Shin Buddhism to the English-speaking world. At New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), there will be a celebration of Japanese culture featuring taiko drumming, a kendo demonstration, a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, a Japanese musical recital, a Japanese dance recital, and presentations by Buddhist scholars and Zen teachers. For tickets visit
Sunday, December 11, 2016
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
11 W. 53rd St. New York, NY (212) 864-7424

Whoa Hoppers, whoa. We love to hop far and wide and we have been especially pleased by the ongoing domination of the Chinese xiaolong bao or soup dumpling glories here in New York and happily brought to us by way of Shanghai. With arms wide-spread, we welcomed Drunken Dumpling to New York’s 1st Avenue back in September, and are pleased if not somewhat surprised to see the new operation– which rightfully prides itself in its use of locally sourced ingredients to create one of China’s hottest exports from its own east coast– offer free beers on all orders of $20 or above. Just mention our friends at Chopsticks Magazine to get in on the deal.
Through December 31, 2016
Drunken Dumpling
137 1st Avenue
New York, NY (212) 982-8882




NYC Izakaya Calendar

October, 2015
Fall in Japan is a time of contemplation and reflection, of celebrating the arts, reading, and, of course, eating. We will celebrate the change of season by taking the “Fall Harvest” class at the downtown cafe SOY. So much of the best of izakaya food is seasonal and we can’t wait to see what SOY serves up on a late October night in New York City. We also have our eye on the “Winter Noodles” and ever-popular “Sushi Master” classes.
Wednesday, October 21, 2105
6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
SOY Cafe
102 Suffolk Street, New York, NY (212) 253-1158

We are so going to rock out with Charan-Po-Rantan at the Japan Society! Japan’s only accordion-toting vaudeville gypsy-pop sisters make their New York debut near Halloween and they sound especially amazing because they sing and dance with something they call a “stuffed safety pig” so–basically– yes.
Thursday, October 29, 2015
7:30 pm
Japan Society
333 East 47th Street New York, NY (212) 832-1155

November, 2015

December, 2015