Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What Not to Drink on a First Date

A first date can be nerve-wracking.  Whether he’s a set up through a friend or the cutie you’ve been thinking about every day since meeting him at a bar last week, there’s so much to worry about as you hope this date will be a success.  So, why let your alcohol of choice be a factor in making or breaking the evening?  Imbibe without a messy mistake or becoming a stereotype by avoiding these drinks on a first date.
(image via)

Sex On The Beach.  Or any ridiculously named girly drink for that matter, will make you appear a bit immature.  Cocktails with over-the-top names can also infer you lack knowledge in quality liquors.  If you still want something sugary, order good quality vodka with soda or juice to satisfy your sweet tooth without the silly drink name.

PBR.  Cheap.  Boring.  Easy to Get.  These descriptions are perfect to describe the canned beer that is PBR, but not how you’d wish to be referred to as.  If you prefer beer to wine or liquor, feel free to order your favorite ale on a first date.  Appear more lady-like by enjoying a draft or pour a bottle into a glass.

Pitcher of Bud Light.  Yes, beer is fine on a first date, but unless you want to seem like one of the dudes, don’t ask for a pitcher with plastic cups.  Cheap beer served in a giant pitcher accompanied by wings and greasy fried foods is more appropriate for a chill night out with your best guy friends than for a romantic first date.

Red Wine.  If you’re wearing light colors (and tend to be jittery when nervous), this is a spill waiting to happen on your favorite new dress.  And it may also stain your pearly white smile.

Tequila Shots.  Spring break wet t-shirt contest, anyone?  You don’t want to show your party girl side by getting wasted and behaving like a mess.  This is not attractive when you’re just getting to know someone.  Skip the shots, sister.

Expensive Bottle of Champagne.  A sophisticated glass of bubbly will make any lady look classy, but the enormous price tag on the bottle will make you look spoiled.  For the same sweet and bubbly taste, without looking like you expect him to drop $100 on your cocktail tab, order a glass of Prosecco or Cava. 

Make sure that you do take plenty sips of water, while enjoying alcohol on your date to stay hydrated and to avoid a hangover the next morning.  And even though you may be nervous, don’t forget to eat.  Know which foods to avoid ordering on a first date then feel free to peruse the menu to enjoy a meal or appetizers together as you get to know your new crush.  Cheers to your new date! 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Big Gay Ice Cream Shop Opens Saturday

The East Village has been waiting all summer long and the moment is finally here - the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck will become the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop this Saturday, Sept. 3 at noon, according to the store's Twitter, just in time for Labor Day Weekend festivities!  The little shop is all blinged out with crystals and their famous bright colors splattered on the walls.

With popular combinations like the Bea Arthur (vanilla ice cream, dolce de leche, and crushed Nilla Wafers) and Salty Pimp (vanilla ice cream, dolce de leche, sea salt, and chocolate dip) Big Gay Ice Cream combines traditional soft serve with a variety of unique and sweet toppings, such as pumpkin butter and Nutella.

For more information, make sure to follow Big Gay Ice Cream on Twitter!
Big Gay Ice Cream Shop.  125 E. 7th St.

Monday, August 29, 2011

An Affaire with Chef Edgar Navarette

Things got steamy last week at Affaire, the East Village’s sexy French Restaurant and lounge.  Chef Edgar Navarette instructed food bloggers on how to make Mussels Mariniere, Provencal and Grand Mere in the tiny upstairs kitchen of the restaurant on Thursday evening.
Chef Navarette began by heating up oil, and then added chopped shallots and fresh mussels followed by chopped garlic, to make sure the garlic didn’t get burnt in the process.  Next up, was white wine, a bit of butter (heck, a slab of butter), salt, and pepper.  This heaping pan was then topped with chopped parsley.  He instructed that once the mussels start opening, you must turn down the flame to save them from being overcooked.
This basic recipe for mussels sent delicious, heavenly scents throughout the kitchen space and into Affaire’s intimate rooms downstairs.  For special varieties of mussels, Chef Navarette added bacon, beer and heavy cream to one batch and even curry to another pot of piping hot mussels.  Each recipe required only a few basic ingredients and took a matter of minutes to cook.  Mussels may seem like a restaurant-only indulgence, but Chef Navaratte made it clear that this French dish can be enjoyed at home any night of the week.
When dining at Affaire an order of mussels are a must!  And the perfect compliment?  Creamy, salty, crispy Goat Cheese Fries.  Check out other menu items, including their strong cocktails here.  And make reservations for your own East Village Affaire soon.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Do You Like Him or His Attention?

(image via College Candy)

He tells you you’re beautiful.  Over and over again.  He texts you just to let you know he’s thinking about you.  And he actually picks up the phone and calls when he wants to tell you a story or to fill you in on his day.  He’s attentive, polite, affectionate, and above all, puts you on the pedestal you rightly deserve to be on.  This boy is head-over-heels (or at least unafraid to admit his feelings).  With all of his sweet words, soft touches, and starry-eyed stares, have you ever wondered if you like him or if you just like his attention?

After being treated badly by men in New York City, how can a girl not fall quickly for a guy who treats her with respect as he whispers sweet nothings into her ear?  This is obviously near impossible.  But, when meeting a new guy who treats you like gold, the last thing you want to do is lead him on or break his heart.  So what’s a girl to do?

How do you step back to tell the difference between liking a guy or just liking his attention? xo

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Weekend of Sweet Pop Ups at Openhouse Gallery

Looking for sweet temptations this weekend to enjoy with your best girlfriends or your crush?  Openhouse Gallery presents Cool Cravings and Cupcake Cakewalk, back-to-back food pop ups on Saturday Aug. 27 and Sunday Aug. 28, just in time to satisfy your upcoming weekend cravings.   Both events run from 2-8 pm, so you can reserve the best time slot between your brunches, shopping, and summer rooftop tanning sessions.
For Cool Cravings, they’ve partnered with Clean Plates, the healthy food guide, to bring together eight frozen dessert artisans from around New York, ranging from purveyors of all-natural frozen juice pops and coconut-based dairy-free ice cream to raw, vegan soft serve and shaved ice full of fresh fruits.  Cool Cravings is a healthy, tasty dessert festival featuring Brewla Bars, La Cremeria, The Juice Press, Raw Ice Cream Company, The Shaved Ice Shop, The Soft Serve Fruit Co., Stogo and Sky Ice.  Still feel unsatisfied without a taste of chocolate?  Indulge in NibMor’s organic, vegan dark chocolate, which will also be on display.  Hint water and VitaCoco will be serving complementary drinks to keep you hydrated as you sip and lick your way through the desserts.
Cupcake Cakewalk on Sunday is a one-day competition to declare the Best Cupcake in New York City.  Even Carrie Bradshaw and the ladies would approve of this outing!  Openhouse is featuring Alice’s Tea Cup, Billy’s Bakery, ChikaLicious, Duane Park Patisserie, Robicelli’s and Sun in Bloom. VitaCoco is providing the refreshments to wash down those little cake bites.

And to feel good about all of the dessert gluttony, a portion of the proceeds will go to Wellness in the Schools, a not-for-profit that inspires healthy eating, environmental awareness and fitness as a way of life for students at New York City’s public schools.

With the success of The Big Cheesy grilled cheese competition and The Middle Feast hummus tasting at Openhouse, you know this weekend of sugary goodness will be one not to miss!

Visit GiltCity to order your tickets for both pop ups before they are sold out!  And follow Openhouse Gallery on Twitter and Facebook for updates on future events and exhibits.

SPECIAL DEAL FOR MY READERS: Order at least one ticket on GiltCity and you can get a FREE ticket for a date or friend by emailing Greg your Name, GiltCity Voucher #, and Guest Name!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Physique 57

Every little girl wishes she was a princess and a ballerina.  There may only be one Kate Middleton, but obtaining a ballerina body without honing the actual professional dance skills is one childhood dream that can be turned into a reality!
(Image via NY Post)

For the Best Fitness Classes in NYC Physique 57® was foolishly left off the list.  This innovative workout program combines isometric exercises and orthopedic stretches to lengthen and sculpt your muscles and create a beautiful, lean dancer-like body. Physique 57®’s interval sets use your body’s own weight as resistance.  Your muscles are targeted and overloaded to the point of fatigue, then stretched for relief.

From a ballet barre, to resistance balls and mats, attendees will use basic tools and accessories to achieve more than basic results.  Your muscles may be shaking, but this pain is worth the transformation you’ll notice in as little as 8 workouts.  The instructors are encouraging and positive, as they play high energy music, helping to distract you from your sore muscles.

For long legs, toned arms, and a sexy backside, sign up for a package of classes at Physique 57® with locations in the city and the Hamptons!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Catch Me If You Can

Love.  Betrayal.  Drama.  Comedy.  Lust.  The world of musical theatre is filled with the things dreams are made of.  Catch Me If You Can, currently playing on Broadway at the Neil Simon Theatre, is the perfect night out for those looking to laugh, smile, and possibly fall in love inside a singing and dancing dream.
Catch Me If You Can, based on the DreamWorks Motion  Picture, stars Broadway vet Norbert Leo Butz, as the play-by-the-books Agent Carl Hanratty, and Aaron Tveit, as a young, scheming, and charming Frank Abagnale, Jr. (portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio on the big screen).  The comic timing by Butz is comparable to no other currently on the Broadway stages.  With a powerhouse voice, quirky dance moves, and his heart on his sleeve, audience members sympathize with Butz’s Hanratty, a workaholic with a lonely soul.  His talents won him the 2011 Tony for Best Actor in a Musical.
Tveit is the ultimate heartthrob; with his leading man good looks and clear voice with a beautiful belt.  And his handsome face will make any lady swoon.  The pint-sized leading lady, Brenda, played by Kerry Butler, is not your typical ingenue.  She may be blonde and petite, but this little lady's unique voice and awkward movements make her anything but ordinary.  Portraying Frank Abagnale, Sr., Tom Wopat, a favorite of both the stage and screen, shapes his son’s criminal future with a childhood filled with financial instability and a fantasy world of grandeur all the while bringing a heart and soul to this lost character.   Each and every cast member brings energy and something special to the performance.  Even the ensemble dancers are triple threats - no dancers who can’t sing here.
On Thursday evening, Catch Me If You Can hosted Blogger Night, for NYC's in-the-know locals to enjoy this Broadway hit to share just how magical the evening is with their readers.  Whether looking for a girls' night out that doesn't focus on getting tipsy or for a date night out with your man, Catch Me If You Can delivers.
Musical theatre sings to the hopeless romantic in all of us.  So, if you’re looking to impress your date with a night of culture, laughs, and a little romance, make sure to scope out Broadway tickets.  Hurry and buy your tickets here for Catch Me If You Can before the show closes on September 4th!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

5 Ways to Make His Mother Love You

A mother cherishes, adores, and spoils her sweet baby boy.  As he grows and matures, she may still think of him as a child and behave protectively suspicious of the other women in his life.  News flash ladies, YOU are the other woman.  Mommy Dearest may always come first (well, until you marry that sweet baby boy, and you and your children together become his priority).  But until that special day, you must make nice with momma.
(Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez in Monster-in-Law)

Bring Sweet Treats.  Even if you can't bake like Martha, a pastry from your favorite little bakery downtown will help sweeten the deal during your first meeting together. Ask your boyfriend about her favorite indulgences to make sure you bring something with her taste in mind - not a generic fruit cake during the Holiday season.  Also, note her allergies because if your walnut bread sends her reaching for an EpiPen, sending her on an ambulance ride to the ER, your kind gesture will be lost.

Dress Like a Lady.  That sundress you wore to your best friend's bridal shower is much more appropriate for dinner at your future in-laws home than last night's black mini.  Pack and dress accordingly.

Share.  Open up about your family, your career goals, what's important to you.  She will appreciate an inside look at the girl who has her son's heart.  Being too quiet might make her suspicious of you or wonder if you're too stuck up to fit in with her family.

Name Drop.  Okay, so don't tell her about your night at The Jane watching Lindsay Lohan do lines, but including her on fun celebrity driven facts will make her feel cool and included.  Reminiscing about the days when that cutie Paul Dano from Little Miss Sunshine was your neighbor?  Totally acceptable.  Telling her about last Sunday's run in at Whole Foods with Rachael Ray?  Also a good mom-tale.

Compliment Her.  Is her home decorated like a page out of Domino Magazine?  Did she bake the most flavorful salmon you've ever enjoyed?  Make sure to let her know you appreciate her taste or skills in home decor, fashion, cooking, fitness, nutrition, etc.  She will appreciate a heart-felt compliment.  Anything fake or backhanded will be noted.

How do you make his mother love you? xo

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What Not to Wear to a Wedding

For those weddings when you’re not forced to squeeze into a shiny taffeta bridesmaid uniform (I mean, beautiful gown) you’ll need to find the right dress to wear for the nuptials.  To look beautiful and sexy without taking away any attention from the bride, keep in mind these fashion no-no’s when planning your outfit as a wedding guest.
A White Dress.  It might seem obvious, but women all over the city (and frankly, the country) keep making this mistake.  Save the romantic flowy white dress for an al fresco brunch date with your girlfriends and take your pick of every other color in the rainbow for your wedding guest party dress.

Anything Too Tight or Too Short.  Of course you want to look attractive and a little sexy to get the attention of that handsome groomsman, but you can get those come hither stares while still keeping your reputation as a lady intact.  Remember that wedding guests include family members of the bride and groom.  Nonna Genevieve will not approve if your cocktail dress is tight on your ass with your chest hanging out for all of the male guests to gawk at.

A Conservative Suit.  Suits at weddings can be a “Do” if they've got a skirt, have feminine details, and are in a stunning color (vintage Chanel skirt suit?  Yes, please!).  But that thing you wore to the last three unsuccessful job interviews?  Not appropriate.  Weddings are celebrations, so let go a little!

An Upstaging Dress.  Your sequined, low-cut dress from last year’s office holiday party at Cipriani?  Definitely not.  This can be tricky, if the invitation reads "black tie”.  If the fancy dress you've been eyeing says "Look at me!" or has red carpet details like a train or backless cutouts, please reconsider.  You don’t want to take any attention away from the bride or her bridesmaids by looking like J. Lo at the Grammys.

The Same Color as the Bridal Party.  The bridesmaids may not love their gowns, but that doesn't mean they aren't protective about the fact that they are the special, chosen ones.  The bride selected their dresses to fit perfectly into her wedding color scheme, so her besties stand out among the crowd of wedding guests.  Find out ahead of time what color the bridal party will be rocking, so you don’t blend in with their team.

What rules do you follow when wearing a dress to a wedding? xo

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Guys Every Girl Should Sleep With

(image via)

There are men who make the best boyfriends and husbands – trustworthy, caring, intelligent, affectionate…I can go on and on about the qualities that make up Mr. Right.  Along the path to finding your Prince Charming, you may kiss (and fall into bed with) many different men.  To find out just want you want and need from a man and a relationship, make sure to spend some intimate time with the sterotypes every girl should sleep with.

The Older Guy.  He’s experienced. Very experienced.  This older and wiser man can teach you a thing or two.

The Younger Guy.  He may make you feel a bit old, but most likely he’ll remind you of what your carefree life was like post-college.  His high sex drive lends him tons of energy to keep going for hours.

The Guy Who Likes You More Than You Like Him.  This sweet guy has put you on a pedestal.  He will do anything to please you, while he makes sure your needs are met first.  Just be careful with this enamored gentleman -  you don’t want to break his heart.

The Bad Boy.  Wild, rough, uninhibited sex.  Sometimes a girl just needs to let go.

The Romantic.  This suave guy will kiss your neck, while caressing your arms, and brushing back your long hair from your beautiful face.  Plan to spend the night cuddling in his gentle arms.

The Artist.  This creative hipster is emotionally connected to both his craft and your body.

The Clean Freak.  He always has his bed fixed with clean sheets, his room is tidy, and the sink in his bathroom is shinier than your mother’s.   He may even give you pj’s to sleep in (to avoid your city clothes coming in contact with his germ-free space).  This anal guy may seem like someone to avoid hooking up with, but his efficiency in the cleanliness department may make him a thorough lover.

The Expiration Date.  He may be visiting the city on a work trip or about to move to LA for his career.  Either way, this fling will stay just that - a brief, but possibly intense affair without the messy baggage of having strings attached.

Who are the guys you believe every girl should sleep with? xo

Monday, August 15, 2011

Joy Bauer's Food Cures Luncheon

NYC's trustworthy health journalists and favorite lifestyle bloggers were invited to dine last week with The Today Show's Joy Bauer to celebrate the newly revised and updated edition of Food Cures, the nutritionist's guide to eating the right foods to make an impact on your health; whether you need to improve the glow of your skin without a trip to the spa for a facial, lower your cholesterol without medication, or slim down back into your college shape without counting calories.   This go-to book can serve as your personal nutritionist to help you to accomplish an overall healthier life.

As women in the fast-paced, career driven microcosm of New York City, eating well to stay in tip-top-shape is a daily challenge.  Running from the office to the gym to a date to late night cocktails with your girlfriends, counting calories and watching "bad" carbs can drive a city girl crazy.  With an easy to follow approach to a healthy lifestyle, Food Cures may just be the new bible for the busy women of NYC.

During our afternoon with the engaging Ms. Bauer, we feasted on a delicious lunch packed with solid nutrition.  During each course, the petite and engaging Bauer explained why she chose each ingredient.  Clams "Casino" and Mussels "Rockefeller" served as the perfectly portioned appetizer.  These healthy versions of the typically greasy and bread crumb filled shellfish, were instead topped with almonds, spinach, cantaloupe and bell pepper relish, and guava cubes.  Green Tea and Rosemary Spiced Arctic Char (with lentil and carrot puree, broccolini, cherry tomato confit, leek coulis) was served as our entree.  This delish pink fish, similar to salmon in both color and nutrients, was fresh and flavorful.  Joy couldn't stress enough that cold-water, fatty fish like salmon and sardines are the best seafood sources for omega-3s.  Opting for wild salmon over farm raised is also an important note to keep in mind, whenever possible for fewer toxins.

Although Joy instructs (and follows) a healthy food focused life, she knows a girl can't live without chocolate or alcohol.  For dessert she treated us to Espresso and Chocolate Mousse (sprinkled with berries and cocoa nibs).  This fluffy, yet strong dessert rounded off lunch with a sweet touch.  As we enjoyed our delicious and instructional meal, we sipped on a Pomegranate Prosecco Cocktail, as this tart fruit is loaded with antioxidants to fight skin cancer, and a little alcohol (Joy suggests only one drink a day) can actually be good for you!

When hitting happy hour with your crew, she advises "don't go overboard".  Enjoy a slimming adult beverage of a shot of vodka (or whatever your preferred hard liquor of choice may be), club soda, and a splash of any fruit juice.  This cocktail will only cost you about 100 calories, so the only guilt you will feel when imbibing will be induced by all the gossip about your coworkers and ex boyfriends.

Food Cures is available now!  So order your copy, and get your city girl booty in the best shape it can be!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Dolce Vizio Opens This Weekend!

Dolce Vizio, NYC’s first store entirely dedicated (and devoted) to Tiramisu, will open this weekend!   To celebrate the grand opening, customers who visit between 12pm-1pm on Saturday, August 13th will enjoy FREE Tiramisu.  There will be music, free coffee and more.  If you’re not in the Hamptons or down the shore on this warm summer weekend, make sure to stop by!

The menu will include both classic and contemporary made-to-order Tiramisu at a reasonable price.   Six signature Tiramisu options ($7 per slice) will be featured, including the Classic (with espresso and cocoa powder), Limoncello (with Limoncello liqueur and lemon zest), and Nutella (with Italian hazelnut cream and cocoa).   Each dessert has alternating layers of rich traditional Tiramisu cream (made with Mascarpone cheese, egg yolks, sugars and heavy cream), light ladyfingers dipped in espresso, liqueur or fruit jams with a touch of sprinkled cocoa and are topped with fruit or chocolate.

For those of us who are picky (or frankly princesses who need to get our own way) “Make Your Own Tiramisu” is also an option.  Choose from a variety of flavors such as chocolate, citrus and mint sauces to soak the base of the ladyfingers.  Toppings include dried pineapple, coconut, mixed nuts, apricots, berries, dark chocolate curls, granola and more.  “Make Your Own Tiramisu” is available in two sizes, 5oz small ($5) or 12oz large ($8).

Opening hours are Monday-Friday from 11am - 11pm; Saturday from 10am-12pm; and Sunday from 10am-8pm.  There is only enough seating for 14 guests in this tiny shop, but free Wi-Fi is available to make sure your friends feel jealous when you tweet, post, and check-in to share just how delicious the sinful tiramisu tastes.
Dolce Vizio.  131 Christopher Street (at Hudson)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Take it Like a Man

(Does Samantha Jones really exist?)

Everyone knows that men can easily separate sex from love.  Sometimes sex is just sex.  But for a woman, sex is typically an expression of her love or a way to feel closer to the man she is falling for.  When the deed is done, a woman is biologically wired to release hormones creating a feeling of affection for the warm body snoring at her side.

But, what if a woman is single and just misses the act of sex?  The raw, exciting, orgasmic release.  Can a woman sleep with a man solely for sex?  And the even bigger question is: will the man believe her when she says that is all she’s after?

Friends-with-benefits and one night stands run the twenty-something dating scene in the late-night world of New York City.  Both men and women can develop feelings for someone they are consistently hooking up with, while a one-night-only romp with a stranger is easy to get over.  But, what if a lady desires a man who isn’t a stranger, but someone who will continue to be in her life long after a sex session - a coworker or neighbor perhaps?

A man can desire a woman based completely on her looks.  Why can’t a woman feel the same about a fit, well-dressed, handsome man?  She may find that he lacks boyfriend qualities, but would make the perfect sleepover buddy.  Would the slumber party guest in question believe that's all she wants?

Do you believe a woman can have sex just to have sex?  And do you think a man will believe her when she says satisfaction is all she’s after?  xo

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Best Drunk Food Downtown

(Classy night at Ray's Candy Story circa 2006) 

Recently Eater covered "New York City's 15 Best Drunk Foods", inspiring this downtown girl-about-town to compile and share the best drunk foods found below 14th street for all the cool kids who refuse to venture uptown.

1. Hot Dogs at Crif Dogs.  As mentioned in Hangover Dining this basement hot dog shack offers a variety of dogs, along with tater tots and cheese fries.  The Philly Tubesteak (with cheese and sautéed onions) and the Good Morning (their dog wrapped in bacon, smothered in cheese, and topped with a fried egg) will coat your stomach and make you forget all about those vodka sodas in the morning.

2. Belgium Fries at Ray’s Candy Store.  This tiny hole in the wall on Avenue A is not the penny candy shop your parents grew up visiting.  The storefront may be crumbling, but don’t let that stop you from stepping inside to order a giant tray of fries, accompanied with a range of dipping sauces to fill you up on your tipsiest night or early morning venture back to your apartment.

3. Carne Asada Taco at Snack Dragon.  Open late night at locations in the East Village and LES, you can enjoy marinated steak stuffed inside a blue corn tortilla for only five bucks.  If shots of tequila have brought you back to Acapulco Spring Break ’05, satisfy your taste for Mexico here.

4. The Famous Crepe at Creperie.  Got a sweet tooth after throwing back too many beers?  Thankfully the Creperie has two downtown locations, in the West Village and LES, situated by some of the nightlife world’s consistently packed venues.  The Famous Crepe is stuffed with strawberries, bananas, Nutella, ice cream, and whipped cream to satisfy even your sweetest cravings.

5. Artichoke Slice at Artichoke Basille’s Pizza.  Thick fluffy pizza crust topped with piping hot creamy cheese and hunks of artichoke may be the ultimate in drunk food heaven, available at three locations in the East Village, West Village and Chelsea.

6. Perogies at Veselka.  Open 24 hours, this Ukrainian diner has been an East Village staple since 1954.  Feast on a variety of perogies to soak up the booze.

7. Lamb over Rice at Halal Cart.  When walking around Midtown, Halal trucks are hard to avoid.  Some provided delicious cheap meals, while others are frankly health hazards.  Parked on the corner of 1st Ave and 11th St in the East Village is a stand-out Halal Cart, open during the wee hours of the morning to the delight of revelers.  Order the lamb over rice, topped with creamy white and hot sauces.  You’ll even have leftovers for the next morning.

8. Pancakes, Bacon, Grilled Cheese, Chicken Fingers, Disco Fries and a Milkshake at Odessa Restaurant.  This average diner serves average food at an average price.  What makes this restaurant special is its proximity to the East Village’s popular bars, so you can walk on over to stuff your drunk face with a long list of diner standards that will taste above average when intoxicated.

9. Slice at South Brooklyn Pizza.  The Margherita pie is drizzled with olive oil when pulled out of the oven, then topped with fresh basil leaves.  Marinated garlic and hot peppers are available on the side to add to your slice.  At $4 a pop, it may be one of the pricier slices in the ‘hood, but with fresh ingredients and a taste comparable to DiFara’s in Brooklyn, this pizza is delicious when you’re drunk or completely sober.

10. Double Cheeseburger and Fries at McDonald's.  Okay, okay this is not just a New York City based restaurant (never mind a solely downtown spot) BUT, other than vegetarians, who can resist stuffing their face with their signature over-salted crispy fries and greasy burgers when drunk?  PS - the McDonald’s on 1st Ave in the East Village delivers.  But, my fat ass didn’t tell you that.

Where do you get the best drunk food downtown? xo

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sugar Daddy

Last week on the Today Show Arianna Huffington sat with anchor Ann Curry and psychiatrist Gail Saltz to talk about the current trend of young women strapped for cash seeking sugar daddies online to help pay their student loan debt in exchange for companionship.

Arianna suggested that these so-called "sugar babies" are selling themselves to cope with the failure of the American Dream. "You play by the rules, you work hard, you graduate from college.  But we have an economy which does not make it possible for them to get a good job and pay their debts."

For young, educated, unemployed women "This is really an act of desperation," said Arianna.

The most interesting reaction regarding this segment came from my mother, who sent her thoughts to me via text.  Please keep in mind, these are her texts verbatim.

Mom: Sugar Daddy/Sugar Baby seems like a good idea for tuition $ lol That was the college topic for Today, hah!

Me: I saw. You're insane.

Mom: Maybe the sug dads are nice, they feed u, pay ur bills, buy u expensive purses/fashions, keep u safe & some are prob old & have less sex drives than younger men! Hah! And no more college loans! No wonder women want to look for a good sugar daddy!

Most mothers watched this segment and feared that their daughters would get so financially desperate that they'd prostitute themselves to survive.  My mother apparently thought it was genius.

What are your thoughts on Sugar Daddies? xo

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Best of NYC Group Fitness Classes

(image via Lauren Gould Fitness Weekend in Shelter Island)

Trying to fit into that bridesmaid dress or squeeze your booty back into your skinny jeans from last fall? Check out all of these New York City fitness classes to get your sexy body looking curvy like Kim Kardashian or lean like Jennifer Aniston!

SoulCycle: Whether in Manhattan before heading to the office or weekending in The Hamptons, there's a bike waiting for you to reserve.

Lauren Gould’s Boot Camp: Breathe in the fresh air of Central Park during week night classes or enjoy a cool breeze off the Hudson during a Saturday morning class.  No matter the neighborhood, Lauren Gould will get you outdoors and fit.

Bar Method Soho: Ballet moves will give you that long, lean dancer’s body you’ve always wished for.

Insane Kickboxing Camp: Trek to LIC for this intense sweat session. Tara, a dancer and certified trainer and spin instructor, will kick your ass to heart-pumping beats.

Yoga To The People: Donation based zen.

Where are your favorite group fitness classes? xo

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Food Network Presents Entwine

The Food Network has unveiled Entwine, a new wine collection partnering with Wente Vineyards.  At The Kitchen NYC on Wednesday evening Winemaker Karl Wente, along with guest of honor Chef Anne Burrell of The Food Network, were on hand to present these flavorful wines, paired with the finest food compliments.  
From whites served with delicately seared scallops to reds presented with hearty beef sliders, each dish was made complete with sips of the right glass of Entwine.
The blends, which are designed to make wine more accessible to even the newest wine connoisseurs, include Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.  The bottles come equipped with pairing suggestions right on the label, making it easy for anyone to pair these delicious wines with the right meal.
These basic labels are the ultimate wine pairing for dummies.  Bottles will retail for only $12.99 and will be available in grocery stores soon, so you can easily pick up the best wine to compliment the night’s dinner without a separate trip to a wine shop, while lugging your groceries across the city.  Entwine is currently available for purchase online.
(My darling Food Snob and I, "Cheers!")

The Food Network hopes their viewers will become as passionate about wine as they are about food with the introduction of Entwine.  When Entwine hits stores grab a bottle (or two, or heck as many as you can carry) for your summer rooftop soirées, backyard Brooklyn BBQ’s and romantic Central Park picnics with Mr. Right Now.  You can be confident that these flavorful wines will be the perfect match for whatever you’ll be dining on, even if your date turns out to be your less-than-perfect match.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

People's Pops East Village Pop-Up Shop

People's Pops Popsicle Pop-Up stand opened to the relief of sweaty, over-heated Manhattanites last month on East 7th Street, the East Village's foodie destination block.
(image via)

Maintaining People's Pops' tradition of serving up fresh, locally sourced fruit pops and shaved ice, this itsy bitsy stand, squished between the corner deli, Caracas Arepa Bar and Luke's Lobster, has a handful of delicious options to choose from, rotating on the regular.  The ice pops ($3.50) have been available in flavors ranging from Straight Up Strawberry, Red Plum Basil, Rhubarb Elderflower, and Raspberry Basil.  The shave ice ($2.50) is offered in two daily varieties, recently featuring Red Plum, Sour Cherry, and Sweet Rhubarb.  These icy treats are much more sophisticated than your childhood slushies.

People's Pops changes flavors to reflect the season and the guaranteed freshness of each frozen batch.  The pop-up location will stick around until Oct. 15th, open 5pm-midnight on weekdays and noon-midnight on weekends.
People's Pops.  118 1st Avenue (at 7th St.)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What Not to Order on a First Date

(image via NYC Daily Deals)

Red Wine.  If you’re wearing light colors (and tend to be jittery when nervous), this is a spill waiting to happen on your favorite new dress.  And it may also stain your pearly white smile.

Hummus.  Growing up in a Middle Eastern household, hummus was served with everything from eggs to salad.  As healthy and delicious as this dip may be, it is a "no, no" on a date.  Hello, garlic breath.

Ribs and Hot Wings.  Eating with your hands, as the sauce drips, while you take huge gnawing bites off the bone is fine with your dude friends at a sports bar, but not so sexy with a new crush.

Oodles of Noodles.  From Pad Thai to linguine with clam sauce, any long noodle or pasta may turn into a slurping disaster.

Spicy and Exotic Cuisine.  Anything with potential to upset a sensitive stomach (Indian Curry, anyone?) should be avoided.  Hours spent in the bathroom are better left for your married years.

Lobster.  This seafood dish is not only pricey, so you’ll look like a spoiled princess ordering the most expensive item on the menu, but it is also messy as you crack that sucker open, then spend the rest of the night reeking like fish meat and butter.

Frozen Desserts.  From trendy popsicles like People’s Pops to dripping ice cream cones, cold treats may seem tempting on a hot summer night date, but all this phallic shaped licking may give a dirty boy the wrong idea.

What do you avoid ordering on a first date? xo

Monday, August 1, 2011

Bright Lights, My City Featured on City Unlisted

"Sarah Shaker is making all of New York jealous with her brutally honest and witty blog, Bright Lights, My City."

Wow, doesn’t that make a girl feel special?

Check out my very first feature article on CityUnlisted, Gilt City's new online publication.  You’ll find out more about my thoughts on dating in New York City, my favorite place to be in all of Manhattan, and where I get my inspiration.

Thanks to all my lovely readers!  xo
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