Monthly Archives: October 2009

Halloween Cocktails…boooo!

If you’re like me, you’d rather have your own party or go to a friend’s house party than brave the city streets, clubs, bars or lounges on Halloween. However, if you’re going to try to entertain or contribute to the party, the best thing you can do is create a unique Halloween cocktail!

Here are a few that should get everyone going and in the spirit…


Bloody New York City Cosmo:

(2 servings)

  • 4oz. citron-flavored vodka
  • 2oz. cranberry juice
  • 1/2oz. orange liqueur
  • 1 1/2 tsp. lime juice
  • 2 twists of lime for garnish

combine everything in a cocktail shaker, add ice, shake, pour, garnish, ENJOY!


In honor of my Italian husband, I am going to share the recipe for a Negroni, which is bloody in color and deadly if you have more than one:

(4 servings)

  • 3/4oz. Campari
  • 3/4oz. gin
  • 3/4oz. sweet vermouth

combine everything in a cocktail shaker, add ice, shake, pour, ENJOY!!!


Blue Curapolitan:

  • 2oz. tequila
  • 1oz. blue curacao
  • splash Grand Marnier
  • 1oz. lime juice
  • 1oz. cranberry juice

combine everything with crushed ice in a cocktail shaker, shake, pour in a martini glass, ENJOY!!!

Enjoy everything responsibly…please  :)~

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NYC Marathon – SUNDAY, NOV 1!!!

It’s that time of year again…


when all of New York City comes out and joins together to enjoy watching their friends and family sweat and struggle through the 26.5 miles of the NYC Marathon.

It is truly one of the best times to be a New Yorker –  the spririt of the city is somehow healthier and happier. Watching the 40,000 runners pass is rejuvenating and exciting – although it always makes me think “if that guy can run the marathon, what the heck am I doing on the sideline?!?!?!” This thought usually passes with the justification of being busy with work, classes, husband, coop board, etc, etc. Always calmed with the promise of running SOME DAY


I also love it when its marathon time because my birthday is on November 7th, so the marathon = party time for me! 🙂



There are so many good spots to watch – it’s best to choose the borough first since the marathon goes through Brooklyn, Staten Island, Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx. You may want to choose a spot near one of the 100 bands that will be playing to motivate the runners. You can also dine at one of Zagat’s recommended spots to not miss a step! If you’re really interested in supporting your loved one or just want to have a prime seated location, you can purchase seats in the bleachers in Central Park for the last 100 meters!

Whatever you do – get out there and support our runners and the causes many of them are running for!!!

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Gotham City Ghost Tour

If you’ve done the haunted houses, you’re sick of the Halloween Day Parade, and you’d like to not fight the traffic and crazy crowds in costumes on Halloween night…there is something fascinating to do this weekend during the day that will still get your goose bumps going!


Edgar Allan Poe

The Gotham City Ghost Tour is the perfect compliment to (or substitute for) all of NYC’s night-time Halloween activities. Visit historic and macabre sites in Greenwich Village including Edgar Allan Poe’s old house, the spooky cemetery at St. Mark’s, and the burial ground at Washington Square!


St. Mark's Cemetery

Now this sounds like it would be fun even if it wasn’t Halloween weekend, and $18 isn’t so bad when compared to spending a lot more money browsing American Apparel for some Halloween costume inspiration. So make sure you call Gotham City for the meeting spot and details: 212.465.3331

Saturday, Oct 31 @ 1pm & 4pm

Sunday, Nov 1 @ 12:30pm & 2:45pm

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Palmer Girls…great Halloween costume!

This past Saturday, we had our annual Halloween Karaoke party (mentioned in a previous post), and it was fantastic! Everyone was dressed in amazing costumes – all music related. I ended up going as a Palmer Girl (you know – Addicted to Love) with three of my girlfriends, and we tore the house down with our red lips and blow-up guitars 🙂


While we were getting ready, we decided we needed some help with our makeup techniques because all of us were born in the 80’s so we’re not so used to the smokey-eye shadow-up-to-the-eye brow…we found this YouTube video, which guides you through the entire process from the beginning. Amazing!


We bought our skin-tight black dresses at American Apparel, and they were perfect! Our blow up guitars were from Toys r Us. All of this with some sheer black tights, pointy-toed pumps, and slick hair bun – we were set! I highly recommend this costume for any girl who wants to look hot and act like a diva for the night – another bonus – the outfit wasn’t freezing cold because we bought long-sleeved dresses!


Oh – and don’t forget that The Palmer Girls never smile…no need to worry about your red lipstick getting on your pearly whites!

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Vintage Thrift Shop


I like to think that I am a smart shopper – I don’t like to spend money on anything unless I think I am getting a good value. I also think pretty hard before making most purchases – if I see something I like, I won’t buy it and then if I find myself thinking about the item a few days later, I am sure I would use it. But, one thing is true – I don’t like cheap quality. It bugs me to feel or see bad materials – fabrics, zippers, buttons, furniture, etc. One way of shopping that works for the likes of me is quality vintage shopping, but I have to admit it can be hard to find that gem of a piece…

Enter Vintage Thrift Shop!

vintage 7

People walk out of this place with Prada shoes with soles that have never touched the ground, vintage Lanvin belts, and Madonna studded cuffs – the real things! Not to mention the furniture that will make you feel like you’re in a modern episode of Mad Men. Find furnishings, hats, vintage gloves, housewares, matchbook covers, etc. Talk to the salespeople – they are fashion curators!

The best time to go? Transitional periods – such as Fall and Spring when closets are cleaned. Merchandise does arrive daily, though, so stop in whenever you get the chance. Friday afternoons and Sundays tend to be busy.

Vintage also holds window auctions – but bidding can be fierce, so have your game face ready. They have so many donations, that they even have stuff in storage. Also look out for the “blue tag” fifty percent off sales when the goods are marked down even further after a few weeks on the floor.

Don’t forget to donate your own clothes from seasons past – one person’s trash could be another person’s treasure! Plus, you get a tax deduction…

286 Third Avenue
(22nd & 23rd Streets)

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Duets 35 – Karaoke in K-Town!!!

Tomorrow night my husband and I have a Halloween Karaoke party! This is right down my alley…1. I love to wear costumes 2. I love to karaoke and 3. I love seeing so many of my friends in one place at the same time!


Now – my husband has a near heart attack every year around this time because he has to figure out what costume he is going to wear. Since we have been together, he has been a mob gangster, Caesar, James Bond, and this year I think he will be some sort of Frank Sinatra.


He is much more prepared than I am because a huge box was delivered to my office today – when I opened it, I found a white hat and boots with the white upper portion…you can imagine the look of my coworkers…

The rule of the party is that everyone has to be a singer, so I am planning on Cher, Marilyn Monroe or a flapper singer. I have the flapper outfit, so now I just need a microphone to make it a flapper singer!


The party is at Duets 35 in Korea Town. This means that the place has fantastically cheesy private rooms for parties like ours, tons of alcohol (including my favorite, sake!), good snacks, and a bilingual remote for the projector and music. Classic!

duets 35

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random fun things that you’ve never done in NYC…

In the city that never sleeps and has everything and anything you could ever want, sometimes its hard to actually come up with things to do. I don’t know if it’s because the options are overwhelming, there’s a lack of information, or we just tend to get into a routine of going to the same places on the same evenings with the same people. There’s so much more out there to experience, and it doesn’t have to cost $$$:


1. Hop on the Staten Island Ferry for a free trip around Lady Liberty! The ferry also runs 24 hours, so you can do this any time you want – sunshine or moonshine. (Battery Park, South St @ Whitehall St)


2. Stop in for a match at the Village Chess Shop (230 Thompson St between Bleeker/W. 3rd St)

3. If you’re looking for some competitive games with good music and drinks, Fat Cat has nightly jazz, board games, ping-pong, shuffleboard, and more! (75 Christopher Street @ 7th Avenue)


4. In a frisky mood, check out the acts at the Slipper Room where men sing like women and women act like show girls…it’s entertainment that you won’t find anywhere else! (167 Orchard St @ Stanton)


5. Write a “sweet” message to your special someone on the huge scrolling marguee in Times Square at the Hershey’s store – just ask a shop employee and they’ll show you the counter to purchase 15 minutes of scroll time for just $1.95! Now that’s cheap for such a big impact! (Broadway & 48th St)

hotel chelsea

6. Tour the famous Chelsea Hotel during one of the monthly tours that were recently revived to witness first-hand the venue of some of NYC most famous individuals. (222 W. 23rd St)

7. Finish off all of your NYC fun with a “street dog” or some of those nuts that smell so good you think you might die if you don’t buy a bag…or you’ll die FROM buying a bag with all of the germs from the vendor’s hands. Regardless, it’s all part of the crazy world of NYC.


I definitely want to knock all of these things off of my bucket list, but I also appreciate going to the same place on the same night to see the same people – it keeps me sane and connected to the people who mean the most to me…there’s a time for everything, right?

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Pumpkins in Central Park…

Last year, I dragged my husband to a pumpkin patch outside of the city. We rented a ZipCar, put the destination in our navigation system, and off we were! Although it was late in the season, so the pumpkins were scarce, we had a blast. We roamed the patch, picked out some pumpkins, bought some apple butter and cookies, and enjoyed some fall air. If you don’t want to have to find a pumpkin patch, reserve a car, and navigate your way outside of the city – you don’t have to!

pumpkin patch

This Saturday, October 24, Central Park has its annual Pumpkin Festival! Park staffers help guests at carving and decorating stations – trying to let everyone who shows up early enough go home with their very own pumpkin!


There is also a one-story haunted house, a scarecrow design competition, and more! Over 200 scarecrow designs are  displayed at Bethesda Fountain.

Enter at 72nd Street & Central Park West12 – 5pm


Sunday is the Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Sail! Bring your favorite jack-o-lantern and participate – 110th Street between 5th & Lenox Avenues

This weekend is the perfect way to bring the pumpkin patch to Central Park! My husband and I might visit…then again, I LOVE to get out of the city and get the feeling I used to get when we visited the pumpkin patch in Pittsburgh…maybe we can fit TWO pumpkins in our apartment this year!  ♥

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NYC Fall Foliage

Fall is my favorite season – I love the colors, smells, holidays, crisp and cool air, clothes, boots, everything! My birthday is also in November, so I think the excitement of that also added the my love for all things Fall.

One of my favorite things is the way that the trees change color to make the palette of the earth even more beautiful than normal. Everything that was once green turns yellow, pale green, red, orange, brown, and every tone in between. I grew up outside of Pittsburgh, so the foliage was everywhere – driving through the woody hillsides was one of my favorite after school activities around this time of year.


In NYC, although there are less trees and I don’t have my Jeep Wrangler anymore, there is still an abundance of Fall foliage to be appreciated in Central Park. Here are some of the spots to consider visiting in the next two weeks – because after that, its brown, grey and bare…

Great Lawn – ginko and sweetgum tree foliage

Sweetgum leaf

Sweetgum leaf

Bow Bridge – look east to the red maples

red maple leaf

red maple leaf

Literary Walk – the breeze brings the leaves down like snow

Linden leaf

Linden leaf

100th Street Pool – the reflection on the water is doubely beautiful

Belvedere Castle – red falls from the black tupelo trees

Ginko leaf

Ginko leaf

The Ramble – ginko leaves form a beautiful blanket

NOT foliage...

NOT foliage...

…you will likely find many other things amidst the foliage, but these things are better left in the trash bins. Please don’t be a litter bug!

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it’s a FREE Saturday!!!

That’s right – all of the following activities are FREE!!!

…because we could all use a little help sometimes, and the weekends can be particularly bad on the wallet…



Gina Gibney Dance lessons – combines yoga, breathing and movement exercises

890 Broadway, studio 5-2, 2 – 4pm



Brooklyn Botanical Garden – smell the roses for free!

900 Washington Avenue, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, 10am – 12pm


Free ZipCar rides home for women (and men who prefer to be women – referred to as “gender queer”) 

call 718.964.7781 to arrange pick-up, 12 – 3am



Samples at Union Square Greenmarket – delicious samples from 140 producers!


Tour the Plaza Hotel with art and architecture critic Francis Morrone – must call ahead to make a reservation!

212.546.5477,  3pm


Drawing classes @ Battery Park with artist Larry Dobens – paper and colored pencils provided!

South Cove, Battery Park , 10:30am – 12pm



Free wine & sake samples @ Pour Wines

321 Amsterdam Avenue, 5 – 7pm


With the weather forcast for this weekend looking a little wet and cloudy – 12 – it may be best to stick to the indoor options on this list! No matter what – get out and explore the options!!!

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