Monday, April 30, 2012

How to Avoid Double Booking Your Social Calendar

(image via)

Any city girl or guy scheduling work meetings, coffee dates and brunch outings on a daily basis will tell you that double bookings happen to the best of us. We’ve all been through that embarrassing moment when we realize we’ve got a date set up with Mr. Right Now and a birthday dinner for a coworker scheduled on the same night, on opposite sides of the city, no less!

When working through a hectic day, the phone is ringing, you’re checking voicemails on your cell, running through emails – leading to forgetting to put multiple dates in your Google calendar as they come up. To avoid the last-minute shock, disbelief and then subsequent near-panic, follow the steps on my guest post for Praxis, the blog for Brooke Stone Lifestyle Management, to being a city socialite on-the-go without double booking your calendar!

How do you avoid double booking yourself? xo

Friday, April 27, 2012

Caffe Buon Gusto Open in East Village

After a 3 year wait, as neighbors passed a vacant blue building wondering if a cafĂ© would really open up on Avenue B and E. 5th Street, Caffe Buon Gusto opened their doors last night for dinner.
Baby Octopus Antipasti
With a reasonably priced menu, this Italian restaurant is currently cash only and BYOB (with a $10 cork fee). Eventually, they’ll be accepting credit cards, but for these first few days, arrive with cash to enjoy lunch or dinner and make sure to stop by Alphabet City Wine Co. for the perfect wine to compliment your pasta or seafood.
Orecchiette Broccoli Rabe and Sausage
Caffe Buon Gusto is a bit of a mini-chain with locations in Brooklyn and the Upper East Side. A long two-page menu allows diners to mix and match six pastas (including linguine, gnocchi, ravioli) with five sauces (such as Bolognese, pesto). The main menu options feel a bit like a touristy dinner in Little Italy, but the warm hosts and non-standard menu specials will remind you, you’re in the East Village.
Alaskan King Crab with Scallops over Linguina in Spicy Marinara
Unlike the nearby Frank restaurants, with cozy, romantic atmospheres, Caffe Buon Gusto is more casual; with a large flat screen TV hanging over the bar (showing a Rangers’ game last night), while early 90’s Kenny G plays in the background. This ambiance may take you back to dinners in your parent’s living room, while Dad watched the game and Mom fussed around listening to relaxing slow jams.

Caffe Buon Gusto may not have standout dishes yet to boast about, but there is definitely something for everyone’s diet needs and tastes. From six seafood offerings for health nuts to cheesy pasta dishes to satisfy your vegetarian pals, and steak offerings for the meat lovers in your life, the wide menu options make Caffe Buon Gusto a great dinner spot for large groups and picky eaters.
Caffe Buon Gusto. 545 E. 5th Street. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

World Yacht to Kick Off Spring with Maifest on the Hudson

Fallen in love with the beautiful view of New York City by the Hudson River? Yearning to celebrate the beginning of spring with a few glasses of ale? Readers of Bright Lights, My City know that World Yacht puts on amazing city-by-the-water events, such as Oktoberfest and Beauty Brunch for the Cure. Pier 81 will once again be transformed into an outdoor beer garden for the afternoon on Saturday, May 12 at their annual Maifest event.

Now that spring is in full swing, toast the sunshine with live entertainment, German inspired grub and of course, beer. Maifest is taking place from 12:00-4:30pm with a 1 hour optional cruise (sailing from 2:00-3:00pm) up the Hudson River, with views of the George Washington Bridge and Riverside Park. Snuggle up to your crush as you float along the river for a bit of NYC romance.

Tickets for pier admission are $15.00, while tickets for pier admission plus 1 hour optional cruise are $20.00 and can be purchased onlineFood and drink tickets will be available for purchase onsite, so you can get your fill of German sausages, while getting tipsy on suds. 
World Yacht.   Pier 81 W 41st Street & the Hudson River.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

8 Signs You’re Comfortable in Your Relationship

At the beginning of a relationship, you’re on your best behavior - rocking sexy LBD’s for date nights, perfecting your blowouts and applying photo-shoot ready makeup. But what happens after you’ve fallen head over heels and fall in unconditional love? Superficial actions that were once important may disappear from your daily routine with your sweetheart. It’s fine to get comfortable in your relationship – but don’t get so comfortable that you’ve lost your sense of self-esteem or confidence!
(image via YourTango)
You know your relationship is past the get-to-know-you phase when…

Bodily functions don’t embarrass you. Your man may think you fart glitter and poop rainbows, but once you’re comfortable passing a bit of gas in front of him, or better yet, making a joke out of it, you’ve entered a relaxed (and stinky) zone.

You spend less time prepping for a date. Forgetting to pack red lipstick and settling with moisturizer and mascara for a night out? A lady doesn’t stress over a bare face when with the man who loves her with or without makeup. Even girls who typically pile on the foundation will tone down her look when in love with the right guy.

Your style is more relaxed. Choosing glasses over contacts? Women opt for a comfy pair of sweats over sexy lingerie or forget about a monthly wax once they’re settling in.

Intimate details are shared.  Have you discussed finances? Or shared your Facebook password? Couples who not only trust each other, but also are confident in how far they’ve come as a couple, will share their most intimate thoughts, beliefs and yes, even passwords.

Nakedness isn’t only for sexy-time. When nudity happens in a non-sex context - lounging around in the buff or folding laundry in skimpy underwear - you know you’re comfortable with your bodies together.

You change your routine.  Realized you can’t sleep well without him? Adjusted your Sunday morning workouts to accommodate his love of  lazy, late mornings with coffee and the newspaper? Couples make small changes to their daily lives when their partner is their number one.

You don’t hide your girly rituals. Remember those days when you wouldn’t dare let him see you watching TV in Crest Whitestrips? Now you’re caught with hair removal creams on your upper lip and hot rollers in your hair, but barely flinch when he takes note.

You experience weight gain. You no longer feel the need to count every calorie just in case he stops finding you attractive. But be careful not to let eating habits spiral out of control because it is no good for your health, or your self-esteem. Just because he eats a burger everyday does not mean your metabolism can handle the same indulgences. Enjoy foods with your man, but do so in moderation!

What are the signs that show you're comfortable in a relationship? xo

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Comfort Food Brunch at Mama's Food Shop

Even skinny hipsters need comfort food after their model girlfriends leave them for another moody musician. Thankfully, Mama’s Food Shop has been cooking up soul food (and possibly mending broken hearts) in the East Village since 1995.

When we think “comfort food” we usually imagine a heavy dinner on a cold, rainy night. But, how about comfort food for brunch? Mama’s Fried Chicken and Waffles will erase your hangover pangs. Three pieces of crispy chicken paired with waffles smothered in cayenne honey butter make for a savory and sweet indulgence. You’ll literally be licking your fingers and sucking on the bones, to the embarrassment of your dining companion.  

The Biscuits and Gravy, served with a potato hash, are garlicky without being overwhelmingly so. Fluffy biscuits are smothered in white gravy, leaving no need to use more than your fork to dig in.

Addicted to caffeine? Start your early afternoon right on the weekends at Mama’s as they’re proudly serving Intelligentsia Coffee.

If you’re stopping by for dinner, like most East Village neighbors, don’t miss Mama’s Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf with a heaping scoop of Macaroni and Cheese to forget your unrequited love or just to plain ole’ cheat on your diet.

Mama’s Food Shop. 200 East 3rd Street.

Monday, April 23, 2012

25 Places to Steal a Kiss in NYC

(Classic Getty image via)

Swept off your feet by a handsome stranger or in the mood for a make out session with Mr. Right? Check off these places to kiss in New York City from your romance bucket list.

1. In an elevator, not caring if it stops on random floors before your destination.

2. In the back of a stadium seated movie theater in Midtown, like lustful teenagers.

3. In a photo booth at a dive bar downtown to document your make out session for a few bucks.

4. In the pool under the disco ball late night at Le Bain.

5. In the tiny kitchen of your walk-up apartment when you’re cooking dinner.

6. At a summer concert in Central Park while lying on a picnic blanket.

7. Under the mistletoe at your office party, for the tradition (and the scandal).

8. At work in your cubicle (or better yet, boss’ office) when everyone else has gone home for the night.

9. On top of an amusement park ride in Coney Island.

10. In the bathroom on a plane when leaving the city, to see what the hype is all about.

11. On the dance floor at an over-the-top Staten Island wedding among happy couples.

12. On the dance floor in a crowded, sweaty club in Meatpacking.

13. In a taxicab, before apologizing to the driver.

14. In Penn Station or Grand Central, passionately, with hundreds of commuters walking by.

15. On your couch, on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

16. On a cobblestone street in Soho.

17. Leaning against your apartment building after he’s walked you home, not ready to say 

18. Outside a bar, with a sexy stranger, in front of the smokers and drunks searching for a cab.

19. In the “country”, just outside the city somewhere, with no one around.

20. On a long borough-to-borough subway ride, just to pass the time.

21. In the nosebleeds at Citi Field, when the sun sets, and you’re too drunk on beer and full from hot dogs to pay attention to the game.

22. At JFK or LaGuardia, while saying a tearful goodbye (making everyone jealous).

23. On the long escalator at the WTC Path Station, with one person standing taller than the other.

24. On a beach in The Hamptons, in the water, drunkenly, like on Jersey Shore.

25. On a rooftop, overlooking all of Manhattan.

Where is the most spontaneous or romantic place you’ve shared a kiss in NYC? xo

Friday, April 20, 2012

JoeDough's Stoner's Delight 4/20 Special

Calling all NYU students, East Village hipsters and unemployed stoners: The Village Voice's Fork in The Road blog has shared breaking 4/20 news!

JoeDough, the East Village sandwich shop opened recently by Chef Joe Dobias, will offer their Stoner's Delight for only $4.20 today starting at 4:20 p.m. until the store closes! That's a $5.80 discount! This heavy grilled cheese sandwich features cheddar, queso blanco and cotija cheeses on buttery, thick challah bread. And yes, of course you should add bacon.

Enjoy this gourmet take on your childhood favorite perched on one of their window-side stools or take it back to your apartment in paranoia to inhale while watching Half Baked with your roommates or ex-frat brothers.

Can’t make it today to enjoy this 4/20 special? No worries! Their list of creative sandwiches, including the Almighty Brisket (brioche bun, cheddar and horseradish mayo) and After School Special (white bread, fried bologna, mustard and chips) are only $14 with a drink and chips on the everyday menu.  So, get high (on life, of course) and stop by Joe Dough to satisfy your munchies! xo

Joe Dough. 135 First Avenue.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Hester Street Fair Opens for Third Season in LES

The Hester Street Fair, celebrating their third season, will be open every Saturday in the Lower East Side starting Saturday, April 28 through October 27th.
Each Saturday from 10 a.m. through 6 p.m., the outdoor market offers shopping selections from gourmet local foods to handcrafted accessories and vintage clothing. Every downtown diva and dude can find cool wardrobe additions and one-of-a-kind gifts!

Does shopping make you hungry? Foodie favorites at Hester Street Fair include Luke’s Lobster (serving the city’s favorite lobster roll), Melt Bakery (scooping out indulgent ice cream sandwiches) and La Newyorkina (freezing gourmet ice pops to cool you down all season long) just to name a few from the long list of delicious vendors.

Hester Street Fair. Corner of Hester & Essex St.
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