Monthly Archives: October 2008

Bachelorette Party – #5 walk to Bijoux

After 1Oak, we felt we needed a more hip-hoppish vibe to end the night right. So, we all headed to Bijoux where we have another friend who manages – again, guaranteed tables are a bonus when the group is as large as ours was. Our party bus was gone by this time, we we all had to get down there by walking or cabbing it. I ended up walking with three girls down 10th Avenue. Previously, at the Soho House, my MOH gave me 10 dares that I had to complete by the night’s end. This walk was my chance to fullfill a few of those dares. Here are the dares I completed on this short walk downtown in the Meatpacking District:

#1: have a man serenade you
#2: make a toilet paper veil and have a man pretend to walk you down the aisle (one of the girls stole a role of toilet paper from the Soho House!)
#3: spank a man’s behind
#4: toilet paper a MINI cooperS

#4 wasn’t really a dare, but the girls and I didn’t know what to do with the extra toilet paper from my veil. I hope this post isn’t going to get me in trouble – I’ve given away a lot of details. 🙂

After completing all of these dares, we finally made it to Bijoux. This nightclub is run by the guys who used to run PM nightclub. Located underneath the restaurant Merkato 55, this venue is essentially hidden amongst black brick walls and countless corridors with enough crystal chadeliers to make the Phantom jealous. Needless to say, getting through the door to this hush-hush upscale loft is not an easy feat.

All of my girls were already there dancing away at a table. We had photographic evidence of my completing the dares, and everyone was very proud. There was one dare, however, that I didn’t think I could complete: “#5 get a man to give you his underwear.” Luckily, I have one girlfriend who will do anything relentlessly to get what she wants. So, she guilted a guy into helping me complete my dares, disappeared for 5 minutes, and came back with his underwear.

That’s about when the night was over – what more could we accomplish? I headed home with my MOH and two best friends from home to eat some junk food and call MM to come over after his night out with the guys.

It was an amazing bachelorette party – I recommend everything that we did for any girl planning one in NYC! We did it up, and we did it up well!

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Bachelorette Party – #4 1 Oak

After Soho House, we rode around in the party bus for about an hour. Once we had plenty of hopping on and off for photo ops and dancing while falling all over each other, we were ready to head to the clubs. A few of my girlfriends have a friend at 1Oak, so we knew we could easily get a table. You may be familiar with 1Oak from multiple episodes of Gossip Girl, but it really is a nice club with good music and a classier crowd than a typical NYC club.

Once you pass through the coat-check anteroom where lines of cursive are engraved in the wall, you find yourself in an large room with a ceiling of raw oak slats and a zigzagging black-and-white floor that sets an El Morocco tone. The room is divided by a central black lacquered bar doling out overly expensive drinks. In one corner, hides a VIP area with a huge fireplace and giant artwork by Roy Nachum (designer of Southern Hospitality and Saucy) of a sexy nude. Ostrich-leather banquettes line underlit brick walls covered by metallic gold curtains with another large piece of artwork of a young blindfolded boy with two horses. In the front of the room there’s a D.J. podium blaring out songs from all time periods creating a cooler, less strictly hi-hop vibe.

The girls and I had a great time dancing around together for about an hour before we were ready to go to another club for some good old hip-hop grinding. Plus, we didn’t want to stay anywhere too long…that’s lame.

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Bachelorette Party – #3 Soho House & David Beckham

We began our night at the Soho House to share some small bites, toast with Prosecco, and open gifts. Their club level was the perfect venue for this portion of the evening because it is very comfortable on the loungy couches, it is more calm, and you can talk and actually hear one another. We had three huge couches in a horse-shoe so we could all chat around the food and drinks. I’m sure we also entertained the other club members with our discussions, laughter, toasting, present opening, and games. We were well-behaved, but fun!

The girls became even more excited when we were told that David Beckham was also at the Soho House for dinner. He was sitting in a windowed room right next to us at a huge dinner table with about 10 others. The windows were blinded just enough with see-through curtains to give him the privacy he desired, but still allow the room to feel open to the club. All of the ladies began trying to pass the doorway to his dining room to get even a glimpse of his famous face – some saw him, some couldn’t. It was definitely a texting topic with everyone’s friends.

The Soho House prohibits flash photography, so we didn’t get many photos to remember the beginning of the night – I think one of my friends broke the rules and has already posted it on facebook. I can guess the Soho House does this to protect the David Beckhams who are looking for some place in NYC where they can have a nice private dinner without photos and without the public being allowed in. The members of the club like to pride themselves on not being phased by the famous. I think it still excites everyone, though…

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Bachelorette Party – #2 – party bus

My MOH (maid of honor) is the greatest to ever exist. We’ve known eachother since we began kindergarten, she helped MM deal with the stresses of getting a ring, and she has made being engaged so exciting and fun – I think partially because she is excited to go through it all herself one of these days soon.

She planned my bach party early because a few of my close girlfriends (who don’t live in NYC) are going to have to travel to Italy in May for the wedding, so asking them to travel to NYC close to that date would be ridiculous. Plus, winter nights out can be tough in the city and spring is likely to get stressful with finalizing the wedding details. So, October 25th it was!

With 20 girls, my MOH knew we would need a sensible and fun mode of transportation. So, she and her man rented us a PARTY BUS for the evening! I have to say this was one of the best decisions in planning the night. It was so much fun! The bus was fully decked out with disco lighting, ipod hookup, full bar, and stripper poles. You can imagine 20 friends had a good time driving around the city together in this bus.

We got picked up early, drove to our first destination (Soho House) for dinner and presents, and then spent an hour driving around the city in the bus before heading to the clubs. We even stopped in Times Square for some hilarious photos, which included cops and a traffic cone…naturally.

The bus gave us the ability to stay together easily, not stop the fun while moving from place to place, and have the chance to really just be the 20 of us in a small dance floor. It is my recommendation for anyone planning a party with enough people to require more than a couple taxis and it was much more spacious and fun than a limo.

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Bachelorette Party – #1

It is going to take a few posts to fully cover the events of this past weekend. I think I can officially say that my bachelorette party was one of the best nights of my life. Friends from all periods of my life in NYC – it couldn’t get better.

As a pre-party, on Friday night we had a coed get-together at the Back Room in the lower east side. MM was happy to have a chance to hang out with all of my visiting friends, and it was fun to have our guy friends and girls’ boyfriends around. The Back Room is throw back to the prohibition era – they serve their cocktails in tea cups and the beer bottles in brown paper bags. The tea cups get difficult and are a bit smaller than a normal drink, but the idea is definitely fun. We wished we had tried to book the secret room through the bookselves, but we didn’t know about it before.

The fete actually served as a minor high school reunion – I am from Sewickley, PA, which is a small town north of Pittsburgh. There are quite a few of us in NYC, so it was great to all get together including a few Sewickely alum who visited from DC and San Fran. Lots of catching up was made and plenty of jaw-hurting laughter.

The plan was to make Friday night an early and relaxing evening to just catch up and get enough sleep for Saturday’s plans. The issue is – once you get old friends together, there’s no stopping the story telling. We stayed till around 3am. At least we could sleep in on Saturday.

It was the perfect beginning to an amazing weekend! More stories and reviews to come…

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Dashing Divas

This weekend is my bachelorette weekend! My MOH (maid of honor) has done an amazing job at planning the entire weekend with get togethers and fun activities since we will have a bunch of visiting ladies from LA, San Fran, London, DC, etc. I’ll definitely give the run down on all of the venues we visit next week – I wouldn’t want to assume how they will be.

On Saturday, however, we will be relaxing before the big festivities by getting manis & pedis. I love pampering myself with a good mani/pedi in a nice place at a reasonable cost. I usually go to Think Pink on 6th Ave and 10th St – it’s very pleasant and I am almost always happy with the job that they do. MM comes with me to get a MANicure and a nice buffing – they all know us well. But, with a lot of girls we needed a place that does reservations for groups with a fun and festive atmosphere. I have seen Dashing Divas all over the city, and, though it is a bit vibrant with its pink decor for me, it does seem like the perfect place for a bunch of girls to go and get excited about the evening’s events.

I’m sure our nails and toes will carry us through whatever comes our way…

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Pumpkin Pie

If you’re like me at all…this season gets you craving for pumpkin carving, candy corn, Halloween costumes, Thanksgiving dinner and PUMPKIN PIE!

My mom and I used to make this recipe while I was growing up. We had one disastorous time when the pumpkin pie was a wet mess after baking – but every other time it has been a scrumptious success:

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.) Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin

1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk
1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
Whipped cream (optional)

Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl.
Beat eggs in large bowl.
Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture.
Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
Pour into pie shell.
Bake in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes.
Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.
Cool on wire rack for 2 hours.
Serve immediately or refrigerate.
Top with whipped cream before serving.

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Soho House

Last night I met up with two girlfriends to catch up after months of busy schedules. The three of us usually can spend hours chatting about the same things over and over again, so we know we need somewhere that is reasonably quiet and comfortable. One of my friends is a member of the Soho House – a members-only club and hotel. I have a few friends who are members, so I can usually be put on the list to meet them on the club level. We decided that would be the perfect spot for our girl session.

The Soho House is a great place to go for happy hour because the club level is divided into sectional rooms where you are sure to find the environment that fits your needs. There is the bar, the banquets, the dining room, huge lounging couches, tables for chatting, fireplaces, a billiards room, etc. I don’t think they missed anything when they were planning the layout. There are other floors that fullfill other needs: spa, hotel, party rooms, screening room, library (sans actual books, but the book wallpaper is an effort), and a pool on the roof. You may have seen the Sex & the City episode where the ladies were enjoying the Soho House rooftop pool.

The crowd is pleasant on weekdays, but can get a little too “fashionable” and sceney on the weekends. I guess all NYC establishments struggle with trying to keep the exclusive and “chill” attitude without eventually attacting that crowd. Everyone’s looking to be an individual, but their real desire is to belong. Soho House meets that need for the young, jet-set New Yorker.
I’m actually having dinner there this Saturday for my bachelorette party – there will be 20 girls lounging, eating, opening presents, and entertaining the other members, I’m sure. We’ll see how Soho House performs…

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SCARPETTA…and jeremy piven

Last night, MM and I had a business dinner at Scarpetta. I know I have mentioned the restaurant before, but I didn’t give a thorough analysis and description. It is honestly one of the best restaurants in NYC, so MM and I tend to make it our default when we need to impress someone or host someone visiting the city. Last night, a couple of our guests were very respected individuals in the art and fashion world visiting from Milano. They were very impressed – they loved the food, the retractable roof in the dining room, the ambiance, the service, and the wine. It was a success!

We ordered nearly every appetizer for everyone to share – my favorite is the raw yellowtail olio di zenzero & baked sea salt – amazing! For my entree, I had the Black Cod – moist and succulent with the perfect blackened skin sitting atop a bed of caramelized fennel and concentrated tomatoes – divine! One of our visitors from Milano had the creamy polenta fricassee of truffed mushrooms, and the pleasure in her face as she slid the spoon from her mouth said enough. You would think that after a dinner so impressive, topping it off with dessert could only bring it down a notch. Not so. The desserts – such as the caramelized apple pie with a polenta crust, black pepper-caramel sauce, & honey-vanilla gelato – just take it to another level by adding that perfect sweetness to send you out feeling somewhat more complete than when you walked in.

The Meatpacking District has finally entered the highly competitive arena of fine dining, but with a comfort and soul that holds it apart from midtown.

Oh, and Jeremy Piven walked in with a large group for dinner while we were there…his presence was not impressive in comparison to the real star of Scarpetta…the cuisine.

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the Apple of my eye

MM and I went to the Apple store in Soho on Saturday to look at the new Macbook Pro. I get a bit of anxiety when I step into Apple – especially on the weekend – and this time was no different. It feels less like a cool, technological experience and more like a crazy amusement park. From the crowds of people hounding over your back as you wait in line to touch a computer to the strange homeless man yelling nonsense in the corner to the little kids crying because they don’t care about computers yet…I’d rather go during the day on a weekday or buy online. I have to say the newer Apple store in the Meatpacking District is less crowded and feels more focused on the technology as opposed to being the “Apple store” – any Soho real estate creates that vibe these days.

On the brighter side, the Macbook Pro is pretty impressive – if you’re into graphic design, photos, etc. If you’re just looking for a good laptop to use Windows and the internet, get the new HP touchscreen! I can’t wait for Apple to catch up with their own technology and come out with the touchscreen iMac!

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