Tuesday, September 28, 2010

LivingSocial Deal: Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating and Marriage

Oh, yeah, I did succumb to an online bargain yesterday. Only it wasn't the massage. It was a LivingSocial discount for tickets to Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating and Marriage.

An off-Broadway show starring Eve Plumb, who played Jan Brady in The Brady Bunch, and Manuel Herrera, the performance is a comedy about "the story of Miss Abigail, the most sought-after relationship expert to the stars (think Dr. Ruth meets Emily Post), and her sexy sidekick Paco, as they travel the world teaching Miss Abigail’s outrageously funny 'how-to's' on dating, mating and marriage!"

Hmm, now to book the performance date and figure out who I'm going to see this comedic show with!

LivingSocial, Lifebooker and Groupon! Deals... Or Else!

Ok, so I haven't joined Groupon yet. I feel a little inundated as it is with offers from LivingSocial (Downtown, Midtown and Brooklyn!!) and Lifebooker Loot... but it is tempting. A little too tempting, because I already have several outstanding purchases to redeem from both LivingSocial and Lifebooker. And I am sooo tempted to buy Lifebooker Loot's special today, which is a 65 minute massage for only $49. But I still have two pre-purchased massages yet to redeem, one from Spa Week (ay, yet another all-too-irresistible bargain) and one from LivingSocial.

Anyway, moderation in moderation, I guess...

I've reviewed LivingSocial, Lifebooker and Groupon on Suite 101: The Online Bargain Scoop: LivingSocial, Lifebooker and Groupon. In between pampering myself, I am, after all, trying to develop a writing portfolio here!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My Cultural Tastes Wait for My Health...

I had grand plans for today. I was going to go to the Dumbo Arts Festival and wander around galleries all day, getting lost in the art, the music, the vibe of a warm fall Saturday in Brooklyn.

And then I was going to go see the Eels tonight at Terminal 5. It was to be an event- and culture-filled day.

Sadly, instead I spent the day inside, wiping my nose and lying in bed. I woke up with a wretched head cold today, ironic because I've recently been taking Vitamin C, antioxidants and echinacea regularly, among other supplements. Maybe that is some anecdotal evidence warning me not to put too much faith into supplements. But then again, I've always been exceptionally susceptible to colds.

So, I have been taking it easy, and who knows, if I am well enough, I may even make it to the Dumbo Arts Festival tomorrow. I remember exploring this festival in previous years, and it really is fascinating to randomly explore large buildings with gallery after gallery as well as to find art tucked away in corners and in the park, lurking everywhere, waiting to be consumed by passer-by.

Sigh. In the meantime, I have been reading all about how to craft a perfect pitch letter, lesson-planing for my classes and watching bad comedy.

And now, for my sleep, which together with all the cold medicine I've been consuming, will hopefully have me in better health and better spirits tomorrow.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Happy Ending time

How cool does this look?

Gotham Girls Roller Derby reading afterparty at Happy Ending

Thursday 9/23/10
Dub and Derby
Lower Level

Free Red Stripe and Appleton Estate Rum drinks while supplies last starting at 9:30

Gotham Girls Roller Derby host afterparty for reading and Q&A of
"Down and Derby: The Insider's Guide to Roller Derby" by authors and derby skaters Axles of Evil and Kasey Bomber at Happy Ending. Reading held at McNally Jackson Books at 7:00 with afterparty starting at 9:30 at Happy Ending.

DJs: Still Life, Gefilte Funk and more!

Happy Ending
302 Broome Street x (Forsyth/Eldrige)
New York, NY 10002

Only I was just at Happy Ending last night for a party...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Rocking, Biking, Hanging and Shopping: Another Delicious NYC Weekend!

It has officially been a NYC weekend for me.

My weekend has featured everything from seeing of Montreal (with an opener by the fabulous Janelle Monáe) on Friday to partaking in a wonderful housewarming party in Park Slope Saturday, to catching up over cocktails and shopping in the L.E.S. today.

Janelle Monáe, as always, was a soulful, sci-fi diva with mesmerizing dance moves ranging from skat to seizure-like break dancing moves. And Of Montreal put on a top-notch, trippy performance, with lead singer Kevin Barnes in a buttless skirt for the first half of their show. Alien-like creatures abounded, and though, unlike a prior performance I had seen, there was no live horse on stage, they did bring out a horse-muppet-dragon creature with Barnes striding on top.

Of Montreal's show featured a heady mix of classic songs and tracks from the newest album: it was definitely a hyped up dance party at Terminal 5. Though I have to say I prefer the intimacy of smaller venues, it was incredible to be a part of the massive energy at Terminal 5 on Friday.

Friday's show ended with several covers of Michael Jackson songs, with Barnes on vocal, and a crew of dancers onstage, including Janelle Monáe.

The funny thing is that the next night, at around the same time as the previous evening, the house party I was at featured a slew of old school Michael Jackson songs. MJ time, apparently. My 45-minute bike ride to Park Slope was well-worth it for the experience of mingling to MJ music at my friend's gorgeous new apartment. When people ask me my line of work these days, I am beginning to add "writer" to my list; hopefully I will shortly be not just a writer but a published one! I am finding conversations with new acquaintances and social networking to be more meaningful now that I am seriously pursuing my writing. I love meeting friends of friends in this city.

So I definitely had apartment-envy on Saturday. My friend's Park Slope apartment features two balconies and the master bedroom has its own bathroom. Meanwhile, I am sharing a bathroom with two guys, in my run-down apartment building in Williamsburg! But, now I know I am a 45-minute bike-ride away from my friend's Park Slope place... It's a small world, NYC, especially on bike.

And today I spent the morning writing, then met up for my weekly writing workshop with my new friend (who I met at the mediabistro personal essay class I attended!). Spending the afternoon over a cocktail at Schiller's Liquor Bar in the L.E.S., discussing writing and life, I felt like a true New Yorker. And of course, I ended my afternoon jaunt in the L.E.S. with a splurge at Steven by Steve Madden! Hello, sale! Funny, and the writing piece of mine that we discussed this afternoon is about how I am learning to balance being thrifty with indulging.

And, in thriftiness, I returned to Williamsburg the way I had arrived into Manhattan earlier today: by bike. And there was my NYC weekend.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Brooklyn Deliciousness and Debauchery

The storm clouds looming overhead today bring a sense of stillness to the city, the eerie quiet that precedes cleansing storms. It is fitting that the rain has held off until today, Sunday; the crisp, mild Fall weather of Friday and Saturday afforded a thorough enjoyment of the weekend, so that today we can stay out of the rainstorms and recuperate, indoors and cozy, free of guilt from not being outside.

Friday, I discovered Roberta's, a charming restaurant/pizzeria tucked into a quiet street in Bushwick. I am already planning on shortly returning to sample more of the deliciousness! After enjoying salad, cuttlefish and wine (yes, I had a glass! cheers to moderation...), I proceeded with my friend to Kings County Bar, a small hipster bar around the corner, in Bushwick/East Williamsburg. Sipping on my seltzer and lime, I sat outside with my friend in the lovely enclosed backyard area, listening to her stories of the bar's Saturday night frenzied crowd. Apparently Saturdays is a wild ruckus of a dance party and even has go-go dancers!

I may return there for less sober times in the future. But Friday night, after saying good-night to my friend, I departed to meet up in Greepoint. Here I discovered yet another place new to me, the Manhattan Inn, a confusingly named piano bar/jazz lounge/eatery in Greenpoint. I have to come back here as well!

All of this fun with only one glass of wine and good company!

Saturday, refreshingly not hungover, I embarked on a new adventure: BBQ party in Bushwick, celebrating my friend's birthday, mingling, and then biking and dancing galore. I have to say, I love, love love love small private outdoor parties! There is nothing better than a garden BBQ party in lovely crisp Fall weather, with good company, good food, and good music. I am excited about getting to know friends of friends better and delighted that NYC is opening up this way to me, with its hidden gardens and parties.

And then, I biked all the way to the Gowanus, from Bushwick, to the Bell House. I vaguely knew the way, vaguely got lost, and then seemingly magically arrived shortly before midnight, in time to pay the reduced entry for the Cheryl dance party. With a 7-11 costume theme, a free table to decorate yourself and thumping electro music, the party was truly jumping.

It was such an enthusiastic, visually fascinating crowd that I didn't even crave a drink. (And I was already good to go, with sangria from the BBQ party.) I even made it home on my bike before 2:30 a.m. Party pics below (which don't even do justice to the costumes or party).

And, today, there is a block party in Bushwick!! I wonder if it's rain or shine... Highlights include food from Roberta's and some great free music... !

Friday, September 10, 2010

Weekend Plans: 9/11 Memorial... To Life!

Okay, good luck to me this weekend! There is too much going on for me not to go out, but I am determined to stay strong and maintain my little vacation from drinking. I haven't had a drop of booze since before Labor Day weekend and don't plan on ending my little detox anytime soon.

But let's see how well I can balance health with partying and my weekend freedom with my imminent teaching responsibilities.

So, this weekend is Pre-Hysteria, a 3rd Ward party to benefit Rubulad, an Underworld Record Release Party, sponsored by GBH, and the mysterious, alluring Cheryl party.

THIS SATURDAY // Pre-Hysteria – A Fundraiser to help save Rubulad from certain oblivion

Saturday, September 11, 10 p doors, 11 p show, 195 Morgan Ave, Brooklyn, NY, 21+ with ID

$20 admission to benefit the existence of Rubulad for 65 million more years to come

After years of sending Brooklyn's most adventurous party-goers into all-night wonderlands of art and celebration, Rubulad is now in danger of losing its space. Now we're helping our kindred party-spirits by hosting a fundraising party called "Pre-Hysteria" -- referring to all things billions years back, the way things were when dinosaurs and not the Department of Buildings ruled the earth. Please dress and comport yourselves accordingly.

Live music by:
Les Sans Culottes, Lily and the Parlour Tricks, Not Waving, but Drowning, Jessica Delfino, Bradford Reed and his Pencilina

The Vintage DJ, DJ Dirty Finger, Reagonomics

Performances by:
Zero Boy, Fairytale Experiment Presents: Shadow/Play, The Jared Whitham Show, Modern Dance Awareness Society

Aerialists curated by Anya Sapozhnikova, G. Scopitronic's Non-Stop Film Fest, Light Circus Extraordinaire of Norm Francoeur & Delicious Barbecue

AND - the Underworld Record Release Party at Brooklyn Bowl!

And the Cheryl party, at the Bell House:

Also, see the Time Out NY list of cultural events for Saturday! To life, and the weekend...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Freedoms and Responsibilities in NYC

NYC never fails to test my limits. And I never fail to be lured by the freedoms, while conveniently shrugging off the responsibilities.

My latest misadventure was my luxuriously swanky, intimate, white-themed Labor Day dinner party this past Saturday.

Why was it swanky? I hosted the little shin-dig in Chelsea, in a gorgeous apartment with a balcony overlooking W. 20th St. How did I come by such a place? A dogsitting gig I had for the long weekend, caring for a sweetheart black lab. A black lab, by the way, who seemed almost more excited by my guests than I was; every time a new guest arrived, he bolted down the stairs, tail wagging furiously, to greet them. Lots of excitement for him and I both!

Though small and relatively tame, the little soirée managed to attract the attention of at least one neighbor, whether a concerned citizen in the building or the super, I may never know. Nor did I know at the time that the event had been anything other than on the down-low.

So how did I find out that I'd been discovered?

When my guests were leaving, I opened the apartment door to find a row of cigarette butts neatly aligned under the door. I thought at the time the message was: Don't litter your cigarette butts on the sidewalk. Or, Don't litter your cigarette butts in front of my home. But maybe it was, I know about your party. And so will your client when she returns with the family.

And, regardless, the latter message was the end result. Somehow I knew word would get to the client; and sure enough, I am now like a sulking dog with my tail between my legs. Now I'm in the doghouse. At least the real doggy was fine...! Just as he knew when to go in his crate, I am just now learning the same. Lesson learned: remember the limits and responsibilities that come with the freedoms!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Labor Day Fun Day

So I am proudly entertaining a small dinner tonight to kick off Labor Day and enjoy what should prove to be lovely weather and a delectable evening, surrounded by good friends and good vibes! Besides the fact that I am so thoroughly content with my dinner party plans ahead, I am also trying to take care of my health (and my wallet). But, for those who DO want to party tonight, here are some events that look good:

"Art: The Forbidden City" - a Winkel and Balktick Warehouse Adventure that you have to RSVP to in order to obtain the exact location and party details (but rumor has it that it's deep in the heart of Sunset Park, Brooklyn, which at least means it should be raging till the early dawn).

Henrietta Hudson's White Party - in honor of Labor Day, you must wear white!! I am trying to institute the same rule for my own dinner party, but we'll see how well that works out...

And, all weekend long, the Electric Zoo festival at Randall's Island Park!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Writing and Indulgences

As much as I want to kiss the fecklessness of my 20's behind, I am realizing it is (much!) easier to say than do.

While I have begun writing daily and am keeping myself disciplined and motivated with writing, I can't seem to so easily abandon old habits. NYC, you're too much fun, you are like a siren calling me that keeps veering me off my planned journey, and I both grumble and whisper mischievously, telling myself, but isn't the journey itself the whole point? And who can completely resist New York's sexy siren calls?

But I am getting my thrills now more from writing about past escapades and indulgences; and somehow it lets me validate the experiences, relive them and bury them all at the same time. I can finally say goodbye to my college days and early years in New York, gaining some understanding of those whirlwind days while finally putting them to rest.

Yet, of course, I still crave a little fun... And now I am fantasizing about something like this - The Bruise Cruise!

Bruise Cruise - The Strange Boys from BRUISE CRUISE FEST on Vimeo.

A rock 'n' roll cruise from Miami to the Bahamas. Hello, maybe I am not completely done with the fecklessness after all! Of course, I need to be able to cough up some money to do this sort of exploit... hmmm, now to write that $1,000 essay...!