Sunday, June 7, 2009

Raines Law Room

Step 1: Ring door bell

Step 2: Indicate your importance to the Maitre-D when he only cracks open the door to decide whether you will be one of the chosen ones that will enter this new speakeasy.

Step 3: Stand around the island in kitchen as you watch the baristas make you a Negroni

Step 4: Snag a seat in one of the cozy tables (complete with drapes for privacy

Step 5: Press the button in your nook to get the attention of the waitress. With this feature, you'll never be forgotten.

Step 6: Continue drinking...

That's all you'll need as you make your way to the newly opened "Raines Law Room" where the clandestine atmosphere mimicks an exclusive members-only club. As you mingle with the other lucky guests in the kitchen, you feel like you are in the home with your closest friends as you watch the mixologist stir up a drink. I had been eager to try out this new lounge, but when I did last weekend I was not dissapointed. Sure, the cocktails are a bit pricey, but the star treatment makes you forget that your pocket's empty as you stumble out. Although there was no seating at the tables, half an hour later the maitre-d kindly came into the kitchen to escort us to the available table. He had not forgotten us with all the people waltzing in trying to snag the few free seats.

Unfortunatly, this little-known gem is already becoming exposed. After my evening here, I opened up the New York Times Dining section Wednesday only to see a huge photo of the hush-hush lounge. I give it a week before I may have to alter Step 2.

Raines Law Room

48 W 17th Street

New York, NY

No Phone

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Odd Twin Trading Company

So, I finally checked out the over-hyped Topshop and to be honest, I was dissapointed. I had always loved the Topshop in Oxford Circus in London, but for some reason it didn't feel the same in New York. I had picked up a shirt that I originally thought was cute and decided to try it on. I entered the dressing room and a teenager was admiring herself in the same blouse. I was immedietly turned off. I decided to get in line at the register anyway, hoping they'd surprise me and tell me it was on sale. As I waited in line to pay for the over-priced blouse, I noticed a middle age women holding the same shirt getting ready to swipe her credit card. I dropped the shirt and left. I am so sick of over paying for the same clothing I end up seeing every other person wearing.

A few days later, I was walking along 5th Avenue in Park Slope and came across a new vintage store called Odd Twin Trading Company. A bit higher end than the nearby Beacon's Closet, Odd Twin has unique pieces, with even some designer wear. Housing both women, men, housewares, and stunning jewlery, Odd Twin is smaller and carries more selective pieces than Beacon's Closet. It is much easier to rummage through there selection of vintage purses, summery day dresses, 50's style bathing suits, riding boots, silk scarves, and flapper-esque attire, as there's just enough selection to keep you occupied, but not too much where you end up wasting away the entire afternoon ::ahem:: Beacon's Closet. Plus, the prices are recession-friendly. I walked out with a vintage Jordache long sleeve body suit for $18. Now that's a steal. Plus, I can almost be sure I be matching someone else on the subway. So long Topshop, hello Odd Twin!

Odd Twin Trading Company
105 Fifth Ave (at Degraw St.)
Park Slope, Brooklyn

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

ICE, ICE, Baby

No, I am not talking about Vanilla's Ice's addicting tune, but about the Institute of Culinary Education, of course!

Did the lemongrass chicken recipe inspire you to learn to cook? Are you embarassed that you have nooo idea how to boil a pot of water? Well, I recently came across the recreational classes in the flatiron district at ICE (Institute of Culinary Education).

Have no idea where to even start while in the kitchen? Sign up for "Cooking 101: The Course for the Absolute Beginner". It's three sessions (nine hours total) for $325 that will literally have you cooking up a storm as soon as you get home. From shrimp cocktail to pasta primavera to arugula pear salad to a blueberry fruit crisp. You'll be a pro in no time.

Want to focus on learning how to bake the most moist Devil's Food cake? "Techniques of Cake Baking" may just be the class for you.

Do you just want to refine your Thai cooking? Mexican? Tuscan? They've got a class for it!

Are you dying to just learn how to make THE perfect pizza? Perfect your grilled chicken recipe? Yup, they've got one for those too. "Pizza, Pizza, Pizza" or "Chicken Seven Ways" (both $105 for one 4.5 hour session) may be the classes for you.

Do you not have an interest in this blog post at all, but are wondering where the Happy Hour Post is? Well, maybe you'll like ICE's Mixology 101 class (a 3hr, $80 class that will help you master those mojito's and martini's).

Eiether way, I'm suuuure there is something you'll find interesting!

Who knows, it could be you on the next season of Top Chef...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

MTA Fair Hike

Fare Hike? No fare hike? Fare hike? No fare hike? The dizzying back-and-forth decisions that have been occurring over the past few months regarding the MTA's proposed fare hike have finally come to a halt! So, where will that $1.75 billion needed to close the budget gap come from? YOU, of course. Fortunately, though, for us subway and bus riders, the increase will not go as far as to rise to the originally purposed $4.00, but instead will rise to $2.25. Still annoying, but not as bad as we all thought. So, what will happen to all those major service cuts that we were all dreading? Gone! Your morning commute will be kept intact. Unfortunately, there will also be a $0.50 extra surcharge for all taxi rides, but the initial toll purposed on the East and Harlem River bridges are non-existent. Hooray! So enjoy that extra $0.25 you have in your pocket, because unfortunately, it won't be there come July.

*All hikes will start at the beginning of July. No exact date has been set.

What do you think of the fare hikes? Vote below!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Manhattan Polo Classic

After seeing Mind That Bird prance his way to first place at the Kentucky Derby this weekend, I felt inspired. Inspired to go to a horserace, actually. Having the sudden urge to strut around in a large hat, I looked to see if perhaps New York City had a horserace? What I found was sooo much better: A Polo Match.

The Veuve Clicquot Manhattan Polo Classic, to be exact.

On May 30th, take the ferry over to Governor's Island for the 2nd Annual Polo Classic and watch an exhibition polo match while sipping on champagne to celebrate the 400th Anniversary of New York City! The "Sport of Kings" will feature players, including Nacho Figueras. Tickets should be going on sale soon (the website says May 1st, but they haven't updated it yet) and indicates that there will be a non-ticket section for anyone to attend as well as a ticketed section. The proceeds of the tickets go to the American Friends of Sentebale charity supporting children in Lesotho, Africa.

What a better way to start off the summer than to channel your inner-Britishness at a Polo Match? Later on, there will be an after party at Pink Elephant. It is not a day to miss!

I am anxiously awaiting the opening of the ticket sales and will let you know how much they're going to be going for.

In the mean time, i'm going to go pick out my hat...

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Buy Your Friend A Drink

Ok, do you NOT want your friend to ever wear that baseball hat in public? Avoid the embarassment...for both you and your friend, please. I'll spare you both. Introducing,! Can't find the 'Wow' gift at Pippin for your best guy friend? Guys, unsure of whether your girlfriend would prefer earrings or a brooch. Problem Solved! A unisex gift. A gift that you can guarantee everyone will love...a drink. They choose the bar and the drink and All YOU gotta do is pay... beforehand! Go to, enter the recipient information, enter your credit card number (Paypal secure!), and VOILA! Your gift can be given either by sending your friend a text, email, or by give them a redeemable card. Either way, when that $12 gets deducted from the next drink order, we're sure the appreciation will be felt (surely, the alcohol will help escalate this feeling).

Currently, there are about forty bars in the NYC participating, including Underbar at the W Hotel, Wetbar, Libation, Metro 55 , Southern Hospitality, and StoneRose (in the Time Warner). Check out the site for the full listings. Although your favorite bar may not be on it...stay tuned! They are constantly adding more bars so don't be discouraged.

p.s- if your register on the site you reap the benefits, too. They will buy YOU a drink if you buy your friend a drink. So, buy all your friends drinks and you'll pretty much never have to buy yourself a drink...for a while, I mean.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Mayahuel: a new booze-den located in the heart of the East Village. Mixologist Phil Ward, from Death and Co, has just opened a tequila-based bar, therefore the cocktails will inevitably to die for. What looks like a tiny rancho from the outside, transforms into a plush upstairs lounge complete with burgundy velvet benches, tiled-tables, and valentine-red walls. Downstairs you can settle in a wooden booth and enjoy a cocktail with some a small selection of tapas, including tortillas, plantanos, and palomitas. With over fifteen different cocktails to choose from, I was overhelmed! Being my indecisive self, I pondered for a while, but once the waitress came over I figured I’d ask the pro. You know, sometimes you get those really obnoxious serves that, when you ask “what drink do you recommend?”, answer with “everything is great!”. I hate that. But, at Mayahuel, I couldn’t have asked for a better waitress. She was very personable and truly gave us honest answers about the cocktails. I was in the mood for a bitter cocktail, so she led me in the direction of the Pilot Punch: blanco tequila, Jalapeno, yellow Chanteuse, and a hint of cucumber and mint. Delish. An amazing spicy aftertaste (not overwhelming though). My friend ventured towards one of the Tea-Killa cocktails, the Raspberry Charade to be exact: Raspberry tea infused Tequila with citrus and Cava. Equally as amazing!

I highly recommend Mayahuel if you want a cozy place to relax with a deadly tequila-cocktail . It has just opened, so check it out sooner rather than later.

SWAG it! Rating: !!!! (four exclamations out of five)

304 E. 6th Street
at 2nd Avenue

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Another week has passed, another happy hour Thursday to quench your thirst!
Heard of Elettaria? A West Village locale, serving New American cuisine offers a stupendous happy hour each weekday from 5pm-8pm with $6.00 cocktails and beer starting for $3.50 for beer. The cocktails are spectacular. They are originally $12 and now $6. Whoa, I know, don't get too excited. It is a quaint, but vibrant, west-village spot where the friendly staff will get to know you and have you wondering why you can't always rush back downtown for happy hour after work? Try the Peg Leg Punch (my favorite), but if you are feeling particularly daring try the Zombie Punch (absinthe-infused).
Plus, for their first year anniversary in business they just added a $33 prix-fixe dinner that changes weekly (yesss!). Ah! I haven't gotten to try it yet, but next time I go, I am WILL be staying for dinner. What a steal, what a steal, as the entrees a la carte run from $25-$30. Still thirsty after happy hour? For an extra 8 bucks you can get two refills of their homemade sangria.

Ready, set, GO!


33 W. 8th St., nr. Macdougal St.

New York, NY 10011


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Laptop Case Debacle

Ok, so I need your help! I take the subway to work each morning, but I cannot stand the commute knowing that I will be lugging ,what feels like, a dead-body on my shoulder, aka: my computer bag. Honestly, that clunky, black, shoulder-ache-inducing brick sets me behind like 7 minutes each morning. It’s horrible, but I just have to bring my laptop to work each day. I was talking to my boss today about how insanely heavy our laptops are and he suggested that I get a rollaway laptop case. I just gave him a look signaling “hah! In you’re dreams will I be caught dead with a rollaway computer bag.” I was made fun of in grade school for carrying a bright metallic purple rolly backpack from the GAP and that was enough humiliation for me, thank-you-very-much.
But, now that I think about it…it would be reallllly nice not to have to lug that bag over my shoulder. I mean, I’ve seen older-men wheeling their computers to work, but is that socially acceptable for a young professional like me? Be honest, would I look like a complete geek if I showed up to work with, basically, a rollaway backpack? I don’t want to reenact my middle-school years, but I want to save myself from back problems, too!
So, what do you all think? Should I invest in a rollaway laptop case? Or should I suck up the pain and carry a bag like everyone else? Let me know!
Oh, and this is the one I was thinking of getting, below.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fruit Vendors

When I first moved to New York I had a stigma about buying fruit from the vendors that would begin setting shop when the temperatures hit 60 degrees. For some reason I thought the fruit that came from the stands was more unsanitary and less-fresh than the fruit from the grocery stores, hence the lower prices. Boy, was I wrong! I have come to embrace the fruit stands of New York and find their fruit to actually be fresher, majority of the time, while also providing a wider variety of fruit. Although bananas and apples are sold on nearly every occasion, the selection ventures beyond the staples, adding gooseberries, figs, muscatel grapes, cherries, and papayas during their peak seasons. At Citarella or Food Emporium, they may have these specialty fruits, but be prepared to pay an arm and a leg for them. This won’t be the case at the fruit stands, as they usually feature specials, not-to-mention it is easier to bargain with them than it is to talk down the cashier at Garden of Eden. The fruit is almost always fresh, as they need to get rid of the food by the end of the day/week to assure it doesn’t go bad, therefore they are willing to throw in that extra plum in your bag. Plus, they are super convenient since you don’t need to maneuver your way through the complicated aisles of a grocery store to line up to buy just one apple, as they are usually located just a block or two from your apartment!

I am now the biggest advocate for fruit stands and I now scoff at those who frown upon the stands and label them as selling the ‘reject fruit’, as it is exactly the opposite…and it is always cheaper. At my local fruit lady, you can get a pound of green seedless grapes for only $1.00/lb, whereas at Citeralla I have to be prepared to shell out $2.99/lb. Mangoes are $1.00 each, Freshdirect $1.50 each. Cantaloupe-$2.00 each, Whole Foods- $3.99 each. You get the point, so cut the vendors some slack—it’s actually in your favor.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Pimm's Cocktail

Looks like HE"S having some fun. Look's like he's got some Pimm's in hand. Jealous? Jump on the bandwagon and enjoy this fabulous day with a glass of Pimm's! Pimm's is a typical British summer drink consisting of Pimm's No. 1 liquor, which is a gin-based alcohol infused with spices and fruits.

1/3 pint(s)Pimms No. 1
2/3 pint(s)lemonade

1 part(s)Cucumber
1 slice(s)Orange(s)
1 slice(s)Lemon(s)
1 slice(s)Apple
1 pinch(es)Mint
1 piece(s) Strawberry

Mix it all in a glass or jug. Stir. Drink up!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sample Sale Vitals

Here are some unmissable sample sales happening this week and next week. Don't miss 'em:

Last two days of the JCrew Sample sale with price reductions for Men & Women, including:
-tee's & polo shirts $10 now any 2 for $15

-shirts, tops & non-cashmere sweaters now $25, any 2 for $40
-3/4 & l/s cashmere sweaters now $50, any 2 for $80
-basic dresses now $45
-sample specialty dresses now $45
-denim pants $45, now any 2 for $75
-cotton shorts & pants now $15
-jackets & outerwear now $45
-men's suiting blazers now $60

Thursday April 16th & Friday April 17th from 10am to 7pm
SSS Sample Sales
261 W 36th Street (between 7th & 8th Ave)
2nd Floor

The Warehouse Sale: Jeans up to 80% off!
Brands include 7 For All Mankind, Rock and Republic, William Rast, Antik Demin, Genetic Denim, Chip & Pepper, and more!
April 16th- April 18th from 11am to 8pm
at the Metropolitan Pavilion-4th Floor
123 W 18th St.
RSVP today to avoid the $5 entrance fee at the door at:

La Perla
Up to 80 percent off deluxe bras, panties, sleepwear, and goodies from Frette.
Apr. 19-24. Sun., 1-6 p.m.; Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
4 West 58th St., (between Fifth & Sixth Aves.), 4th flr.

Furla~ Italian handbangs
Wednesday April 22nd from 8am-8pm
Thursday April 23rd from 10am-8pm
Friday April 24th from 10am-8pm
145 W 18th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenue)

Max Mara
Sunday, April 26th 12noon - 5pm
Monday, April 27th 10am - 8pm
Tuesday, April 28th 10am - 7pm
Wednesday, April 29th 9am - 4pm
145 W 18th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenue)

Sigerson Morrison
Boots for $250, shoes for $135, Belle boots for $175, and Belle sandals for $75.
Wednesday April 22- 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m
Thursday April 23-Thurs., 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
Friday April 24- 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th St. (between Sixth & Seventh Ave)

Ted Rossi
Save up to 75 percent on bangles, cuffs, clutches, and more.
Thursday April 30- 10am-7pm
Friday May 1- 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
15 E. 30th St. (between) Madison & Fifth Aves., ste. 300.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Madison Avenue’s prim store windows are flooded with SALE signs, neighborhood cafes are closing faster than we can blink, and restaurant recession specials are popping up everywhere from McDonalds to Per Se. It’s overwhelming! So, we are going to help you sift through some of these amazing restaurant deals. Who knows how long they’ll last! Today’s Tuesday Tidbit: Paradou.
Paradou is a quaint Parisian restaurant in the chic Meatpacking district that has come up with a whole lineup of hard-to-beat recession specials featured each week. It’s not a HUGE meatpacking haute spot like Buddah Bar, but that’s what makes it so special and relaxing, especially as the weather gets nicer and you can enjoy the garden in the back. Two of my favorite deals: Free Wine Mondays and their famous Unlimited Champagne Cocktail brunch, which has now been extended to Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Make a reservation on Monday’s and you get a FREE bottle of wine! They are offering this promotion to lift our spirits in the dreadful economy, which they will continue until the DOW hits 12,000. Honestly, what is better than that? Then head back on Sunday for the Unlimited Champagne Cocktail brunch for $29 (with your entrée included)! After a few Kir Royale’s you’ll feel like your livin’ the life as you enjoy the breathtaking view of the Tour Eiffel….or not. But, nonetheless, your wallet will feel the love.

8 Little West 12th Street
Between 9th and Washington Ave
NY, NY 10014

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Facebook: Mine AND yours, Mr. Zuckerberg?

Stop! Those pictures you just put up on facebook from your night at Cabin Down Below. Ya, those. So, uh, did you realize that facebook now owns those pictures...forever. Yes, all that content on your profile, you are allowing Mark Zuckerberg to keep backlogged for the rest of his humankinds existence, even if you shut down your facebook acount.

Facebook recently changed its terms of policy and they want to be one biiiig happy family. But, why? What will they do with our information. They are claiming they wouldn't use our information in any way we wouldn't want it to be used, but can we be sure? Why would they change the policy if they aren't going to use it our wall-to-walls, 'about me', or status updates? Why? Why? Why? All these questions! So few answers.

In response, a revolt has spurred as a result to this change, facebook has decided to let us vote on this new proposal, which they altered to us allowing them to keep our information so long as we have a profile still. Once we delete our facebook page, facebook revokes the rights to ownership of all our information.

So, what do you think? On April 20th, Facebook will allow us to vote to choose to accept this alteration...or not. In response, we have come up with our own poll to keep us posted in the meantime. What do you think? Rock the Vote here!

Oh, p.s. Facebook will only follow the voice of the poll if at least 30% of the people vote. That's 60 million people that need to

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Plunge at the Hotel Gansevoort

It’s Thursday…which means it’s almost Friday… which means it’s almost the weekend! I mean, Thursday is technically the start of the weekend, right? To get the “weekend” started today is the first day of Happy Hour Thursday! Thursday’s posts will be your guide to the cities best happy hour hot-spots.
I figured I’d start off with a rooftop since we are all wishing it would be warm enough to actually sip a cocktail outdoors without our teeth clattering. Perhaps, if we visit Plunge rooftop at the Hotel Gansevoort in the Meatpacking warmer weather will find us! Overlooking the glitzy district along with a spectacular view of the Hudson, Plunge offers Lucky 7 Happy Hour every Monday to Friday from 6:00-8:00 pm. Every handmade cocktail, wine, sake, and beer is a sole $7. To make the deal even more worthwhile, the Hotel Gansevoort’s swanky Japanese restaurant, Ono, is offering $7 sushi rolls on the roof to accompany your boozy evening. So start your night off with the model crowd after work tomorrow and soak up the New York views with some sushi and wine. I know I will be!

Ono at Hotel Gansevoort
18 9th Avenue,
New York, NY 10014

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Revlon Run/Walk for Women

As the weather starts to get nicer, New Yorkers begin itching to get out and enjoy the sunshine by flocking to their rooftops and terraces. But, if you are like me, whose terrace experience only consists of watching the neighbors sip sangria on their lawn chairs then… to Central Park we go!

On Saturday, May 2nd that is exactly where I will be as I join celebrity hosts Jimmy Fallon and Jessica Alba, as the 12th Annual Revlon Run/Walk for Women kicks off in Times Square, ending in Central Park. The 5K Revlon Run/Walk for Women raises money and awareness for women’s cancer treatment, research, and outreach programs. This will be my eight year participating in this fundraising event and it is one that I look forward to throughout the year, signaling my official start to spring. For a registration fee of just $25.00, you are not only helping out a great cause, but you are able to witness more than 40,000 New Yorkers uniting for the same cause, while also uniting to claim their T-shirt and free gift bag, which I must admit has some amazing Revlon trinkets. Although you may cringe at the thought of waking up early on a Saturday to be in Times Square at 8:30am, the rush after passing the finish line after your 5K stroll through Central Park, knowing that you have helped spread awareness to eliminate women’s cancers, makes it all worthwhile.

Sign up early to avoid the late-registration fee at plus, lunch is included...and Cosi is sponsoring!
Hope to see you there!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Ginger Orange Chicken Kabobs on Lemongrass Skewers

What a tease! After an absolutely gorgeous day yesterday, we are back to April showers and gloomy, gray skies. Hopefully you got to enjoy the weather yesterday, but as for today, I must confess I have absolutely nooo desire to try to brave the rain. So, I think I’m going to try to cook dinner tonight and cozy up to TV. Ok, so I may be staying in just so that I can catch Gossip Girl, but who needs to know that part, right?

On the dinner agenda: Ginger Orange Chicken Kabobs on Lemongrass Skewers. Uber simple, quick, delicious, and healthy!

3 chicken breast, boneless and skinless, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 TBS olive oil
1 TBS rice vinegar (regular vinegar will work if you don’t have rice vinegar handy)
1 cup of orange juice
1 tsp salt
1 stalk lemon grass, chopped, plus 3 lemongrass stalks to use as skewers
1 two-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced
1 cloves garlic
1 peeled orange
2 scallions, cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths
1/2 TBS sesame seeds, toasted

In bowl of food processor, place olive oil, rice vinegar, orange juice, salt, lemon grass, ginger and garlic cloves. Process until lemon grass is chopped fully, about 3 minutes. Transfer to glass bowl. Add chicken breast to bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least two hours, or until you are ready to assemble the kabobs.
Peel the three lemongrass stalks to prepare for skewering. Peel until you have reached the thick, but thin stalk of the lemongrass. Set aside.
Preheat oven broiler. Thread chicken pieces, orange slices, and scallions onto the lemongrass skewers. Place on grill and cook, turning once, until chicken is firm and opaque, about 6-8 minutes per side. Plate on serving platter and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Done! You have yourself an amazing meal to look forward to tonight. Don’t roll your eyes. Come on, just give it a try! I swear it won’t take long AND you’ll save money on that takeout.

*note: Lemongrass has become increasingly popular and you should have no problem finding it at your local grocery store. If you can't find it, then you can just use regular wooden skewers. Also, let me know if you have any other questions or comments by commenting below!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Cabin Down Below

You would think that this recession would have taken a toll on New York nightlife and that perhaps, it would be easier to get past the bouncer. Better yet, shouldn’t the drinks be more reasonably priced? Unfortunately for us bargain-hunters, this hasn’t seemed to be the case lately…that is until my bar-find last night. Strolling along Avenue A in the East Village, Cabin Down Below epitomizes the term ‘hidden gem’, as it is cleverly placed below the space of a pizza joint. After my party of seven, majority of which were boys, was already rejected at an haute-bar earlier in the night, I was crossing my fingers that the Cabin Down Below was still laying low and that the likes of Kirsten Dunst the previous weekend hadn’t already revved up the security at the door. The stars were aligned for us last night as the slightly unintimidating bouncer let into the dimly lit den, where the drinks were moderately priced and the music was appropriately indie. Cabin Down Below turned out to be an ideal place to chill with friends and fellow east-villagers without a fuss and without hours playing aggressive-New Yorker just waiting for one drink at the bar. Even Chloe Sevigny nonchalantly sipped a drink, clad with a red toque, blending in with the rest of the crowd. So low-key, so utterly fabulous! This basement bar is literally a tiny basement, so get there early to avoid the lengthy line at door…or wait, maybe the line was for the pizza? Either way, this nook won’t be a secret for long so make sure to get there before the bridge and tunnel crowd start reading about it in US Magazine and becomes just another place with an impossible doorman.

The Cabin Down Below
110 Ave A(at 7th St)
East Village
New York, NY 10009

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Pippin Vintage Jewelry

Whenever a birthday rolls around the task of choosing a birthday present for my close friends becomes more stressful than a day’s worth of work at the office. The criteria for what I want in a gift seem to pile up and make it next-to impossible to actually find this ‘idea’ gift that I have fixated upon buying for weeks. It usually includes the prerequisites of:

a. uniqueness
b. Budget friendly, aka: less than $50
c. something that she would actually wear for once.

Lucky for me, I found a perfect solution to all female-based birthday gift dilemmas: Pippin Vintage Jewelry. Located on the side street of 17th street between 6th and 7th Avenue, Pippin is overflowing with fabulous gift ideas for any girl (fabulous vintage gift ideas to be exact). Earrings! Rings! Necklaces! Cuff links! Bracelets! It’s vintage costume jewelry heaven. Pippin has drawers upon drawers of vintage jewelry that the stores owners purchase weekly at auctions throughout New York, therefore are new necklaces and accessories that appear in the windows each week. Not only is the jewelry all unique, but the prices are what have me going back over and over again! With earrings starting at $5.00, you can find a gift for every friend; with each one recognizing the time and thought that went into buying the gift, while also making them think you must have paid at least $45 for those 1950’s clip ons. But, if it is $45 that you truly want to spend, there is some fine-antique jewelry cased off too that will make for an extra-special Mother’s Day gift. So, pop on into Pippin this weekend and I can assure your anxiety over buying a birthday gift will be ::poof:: Gone!
Pippin Vintage Jewelry
112 West 17th Street
New York, NY 10011

Friday, April 3, 2009

Caviar Russe

Here it is! My first blog post I am dedicating post numero uno to my personal favorite category: restaurants.

After having worked at Madison and 56th this past summer, I grew tired of meeting friends at the same drab Café Europa for lunch everyday. Mixing up the lunch hour should not consist of venturing to Cosi rather than to Café Europa. I had walked down Madison about a hundred times that summer, yet I never noticed the navy blue awing of the seafood restaurant, Caviar Russe. It wasn’t until my sister, who also works in midtown, chose the restaurant as the location of our lunch date that I realized Caviar Russe was one of the best deals in town! As a frequent reader of the Zagat Guide, this was one restaurant I hadn’t recalled.
After ringing the buzzer on Madison, you are buzzed up the marble staircase to a dining room that overlooks the lunch hour crowd rushing back to their desks. The tuxedo-clad wait staff sits you down and passes out the large menu consisting of one of the largest selections of caviar in the United States. Amidst the pricey menu, the prix-fixe $19.99 two course menu seems to rise to the top. Obviously, we choose the latter. Soon enough my spicy tuna tartare appetizer arrived at our table, elegantly plated, followed by my Chef’s choice sashimi selection meticulously placed on ice. Two pieces of salmon, tuna, octopus, eel, and yellowtail sashimi stared back at me, but all was missing was the fisherman who had just minutes ago reeled them in. This was assuredly the freshest fish I had in New York at such a price. To finish off the meal, although not included, a trip to Caviar Russe would not be the same without an order of their signature Walnut Tart with espresso ice cream—a must have. At a Zagat Rated 25 for food, I did not understand why this deal had not already been exploited. All I can say is…it was a lot harder to go back to Café Europa the next day. The pressata just did not taste the same while sitting near the window glancing up at the diners savoring their tartare. ::sigh:: If only the menu was $16.99 could I perhaps justify dining in such extravagance every day. Until then, pass over the stale ciabbata roll.

Caviar Russe
538 Madison Avenue
between 54th and 55th Streets
New York, NY 10022
Reservations: (212) 980-5908