Monthly Archives: November 2008


MM and I will be driving to Pittsburgh this afternoon – hopefully it won’t take us 12 hours! We got stuck driving due to far too many plane tickets purchases during these months – Italy (2 times) and Pittsburgh for Christmas.

Anyhow. I wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving and plenty of good eating!

I will post all about MM’s 2nd “TURKEY DAY” and how he wears gloves to stuff the turkey because he hates the feeling of raw meat when I return to NYC!

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Level V

If you decide to go to Level V, be prepared to deal with a ridiculous door policy. If you make it past the grouchy doorman, you’ll head downstairs below the Italian eatery, Vento. Next you’ll enter a dungeon-like space with stone walls and caves for private parties and bottle service. But you won’t find any gruff prisoners among the abundance of revelers who are proud to have made it downstairs. The only problem is, the guests look more like bridge and tunnel folks than exclusive New Yorkers. Towards the back, a D.J. spins old school music by a small dance floor – he could use a lesson or two about what’s current and what New Yorkers actually like to dance to. We’re surrounded by good music with worldly influence, so “Vanilla Ice” and “Poison” are hardly exciting to us. Also beware: your cell won’t work, so your friends who are probably stuck with the grouchy doorman won’t be able to call you to let you know they can’t get in.
We had a surprise birthday party for my girlfriend on Saturday here – I have the right connections to get a party of 50 people through the door. But, after a couple of hours of reminiscing with my pals, we were ready to head out. This place used to be fun, but now I’m over it – I’ll let other people deal with the wait at the door while I go some place better.

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Gold Bar

This lounge is actually true to its name – gold skulls embedded in the walls, gold chains separating the rooms, gold ceilings, and golden “love bracelets” for drinks tables, engraved with Latin sayings. The paintings on the wall seem like antique nobility, but they actually depict GoldBar investors, contractors, and the photographer’s accountant. The running theme of the cocktails is honey—also gold—and it works very well. There are fantastic drinks including: Gold Rush (bourbon, honey, and lemon) and the smooth and sweet Bee’s Kiss (aged rum, honey, and cream).

The ladies and I had fun at GoldBar on Saturday evening – but I think repeat visits may feel like a gold overload…

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So…the ladies and I met up at BUtterfield 8 last night, but there was a “networking” event in the back, which crammed up the front bar. Even though there were plenty of attractive and successful looking young men for my girls, we decided to head somewhere else so we could sit and actually chat (which is the point of girls’ nights – no matter what men think!)

Being that we were in the unfortunate area known as midtown, we walked East and ended up at Wetbar in the W Court Hotel on 39th and Lex. After you enter through the black curtains, you realize it has sexy potential to be a nice lounge. We had to wait a bit, but we ended up getting a cozy horseshoe couch.

Everything was pleasant except the attitude of the bartender – long black hair and very well-endowed – she had something stuck up in a dark place. Also, the prices of their drinks were pretty shocking. MOH and I got our typical (non saketini option) vodka martini straight up with a twist (usually with Kettle, but they didn’t have it, so we went with Absolut) and it put us out $15 each. I have been shocked with a higher price per drink before (1OAK) but this place isn’t justified to have those prices.

It was nice to have a place to sit, but I think they need to rethink their niche in Manhattan!

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Ladies Night @ BUtterfield 8

Being that MM is in LA for the week, I have no excuse but to see all of my girlfriends! No too bad of a deal! So, tonight I’ve made plans with a few of them. While debating on where we should meet after work, my objectives were:

  • stay in a neutral zone – aka “midtown” – since we’ll all be coming from our offices
  • make it classy and fun for us professional women
  • good and not too expensive martinis

I gave the ladies a list of my recommendations, and we decided on BUtterfield 8, a 100-year-old restaurant & lounge with dramatic crown mold ceilings that bring the nostalgic turn of the century feel of the classy New York speakeasy. A 35-foot granite bar and wide plank walnut floors contiue the theme. Back lit walls of white onyx and dark mahogany along with five massive Chandeliers creating a warm semi-formal setting.

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LA versus NYC

MM is in LA for work this week. He’s staying at the a fantastic hotel and enjoying martinis at the pool in between meetings and jobs. He said its 80 degrees and gorgeous there right now…besides the wild fires, which MM could see from the airplane when he was landing.

Considering the fact that we are experiencing the coldest day of the year so far in New York, hearing about MM’s fabulous experience made me jealous. This made me think. I love the seasons of NYC. I grew up in Pittsburgh and Fall was always my favorite season. How could I live through Halloween, my birthday, and Thanksgiving without smelling the Fall air and seeing the gorgeous colors nature produces? What would it be like to put up a Christmas tree and sing carols about snow without the reality of it outside?

If I could wear a bathing suit all year long, I think my life would become more one dimensional without the affect of nature on my actions and lifestyle. I love that in NYC, everything that we do is dependent on the weather and the season. From the food offered at restaurants to the clothing in the store windows, New Yorkers live the seasons.

I love it

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Bed, Bath & Beyond in NYC

Why is it that MM and I constantly feel the need to go to Bed, Bath & Beyond for one simple thing yet come out with a receipt for over $300? How is that possible?

Between the countless TV gadgets lining the aisles to the endless amount of necessary home objects, you’re bound to find at least five more things you can’t live without! By the time you get to the register you look down at a full cart of things you “need” to make your apartment more organized and your life better…huh???

This past weekend, MM and I went there for throw pillows and came out with a laundry hamper, some sticky things to hang his belts on, new pillows for the bed, 4 throw pillows (to match the couch to our new storage bench), a curtain rod, an extension cord, and I forget what else! When we got home, we realized the throw pillows were all wrong, so we have to return the only thing we actually went there for.

Hopefully, when I go to return them, I don’t spend another $300!

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Zip Car – the way to move

Living in NYC can present many challenges, one of which is certainly owning a vehicle. Our public transportation is great, and I love that most New Yorkers use it and don’t add personal vehicles to pollute the air more. However, getting anywhere the subway doesn’t run, helping a friend move, buying an air conditioner, donating to Good Will, or even trying to get home to visit your family can all turn into impossible tasks without easy access to a vehicle!

Enter ZIP CAR!

MM and I joined Zip Car about a year ago, and it has tranformed our lives. We no longer struggle with the idea of leaving the city to go to the beach in the summer, going to Ikea or Sam’s Club on the weekend, or running errands that require a trunk. We are more free now to do the things that every human being should be able to do without the nightmarish thought of flagging down a taxi while balancing a piece of furniture you got from a friend on your foot so it doesn’t touch the pavement.

I think every New Yorker should look into Zip Car and have it a bit easier.

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Japonais: find your old self

MOH and I met at Japonais last night after work to have some saketinis. We love the easy location from our homes, their saketinis and edamame make a great combo for happy hour, and we usually like the music. However, last night there were a few things “off.” There is a waiter who has been working there for about 6 months now, and he really gets on our nerves. He is constantly bugging us to order more, then asks us to close out when his shift is done, and then disappears when we need our credit cards back. MM can’t stand him because he once got snippy with us about bringing our drinks over to the window tables after ordering them at the bar.

Another thing that was odd last night was some new manager who was trying to be funny with us, but was simply annoying. He joked with us about blowing out our candle too often and tried to talk us into another round, but when MOH said “we’ll take another round if at least one is on the house” to which he quickly replied that he couldn’t and nearly fell over the ottomons as he scurried away. Please.

Also, the music tends to blow out an ear drum every time a more upbeat song comes on. They need to learn to monitor the volume better or simply leave it a little lower so that it doesn’t stop everyone’s conversation every 15 minutes.

We love Japonais, but they need to go back to their lowkey and cool happy hour vibe or we’ll find another place to make our standard. It will be a sad day when we have to begin to ask where we would like to meet after work.

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NYC Bucket List: 26 – 50

Here are the next 25 things to do in NYC that I came up with:

26. sit on the steps at the Met
27. visit the Met
28. watch ice skating at Rockefeller Center
29.visit the Christmas tree and angels at Rockefeller Center
30. stand outside of the Today Show while they’re taping
31. eat at the Rainbow Room
32. attend a taping of the Late Show with David Letterman
33. attend a taping of the Conan O’Brien Show before he takes over the Tonight Show in LA
34. visit the MoMA
35. drink vodka at Pravda
36. eat a Reuben at the Carnegie Deli in Times Square
37. eat and watch the singing wait staff at Ellen’s Stardust Diner in Times Square
38. stand at the top of the TKTS Booth stairs in Times Square and take a picture
39. buy tickets from the TXTS booth for any cheap Broadway show
40. eat family style Italian at Carmine’s
41. shop at the original Macy’s on 34th Street
42. look at Macy’s Christmas windows
43. stand in Times Square for the New Year’s ball drop
44. stand in Herald Square for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
45. shop in Bloomingdale’s, Barney’s, Henri Bendel – but not all at once
46. eat at Gino’s – you’ll know you’re in the right one if it has Zebra print wallpaper
47. get a tattoo or a piercing in St. Mark’s Place

48. buy some crazy colored Converse All-Stars on Broadway above Houston
49. play chess in Washington Square Park

50. walk through the Washington Square Arch

Stayed tuned for 51 – 75!

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