They Know They Can Dance!

I'm starting to become a bit of a fan of Fox's So You Think You Can Dance. I saw one routine that week that was AMAZING so I have to share it here. It's being billed as "the fastest mambo ever performed". Also, the song is just sick. It's called "Black Mambo" and is by Angel & the Mambokats. I haven't been able to find this ANYWHERE, so if anyone knows where I can get a copy, please let me know! Now, check out Heidi & Benji:

Take A Wizz!

I just discovered a low-cost airline, another easyJet if you will, that services mostly eastern European countries. Check out W!zz Air for cheap fares from London and many western European cities to destinations like Budapest, Warsaw and Split (Croatia).


Happy Birthday Blakey!

I just also realized that today is Blakey Blake's birthday! It's a 2-fer!

Happy Birthday KK!

Today is Kimmi K's birthday. I think she turns 23 today. Hmmmmm . . . anyway, I'm sure her bash tonight will be AMAZING! Mind the Jaeger-bombs!


Franch Fries!

This posting is not YET a recommendation. But it's something I heard about that I have to go try . . . IMMEDIATELY! . A new restaurant/bar just opened in the old Village Idiot space on 14th St. called Gin Lane. The theme is "the good ole days of New York" - serious coctails and full course dining in an old time setting. To me, that wasn't the draw. What is luring me in is that The Strong Buzz mentioned that Gin Lane offers a FRENCH FRY TASTING at the bar where $14 buys you a selection of roasted garlic, chipotle, black truffle and bleu cheese fries - and they are the slender golden ones dusted in fresh herbs. Bring 'em on! (I'll let you know how it goes!)


Axial Beaubourg

Not much has been going on this week, so I'm digging into the archives a bit with a hotel recommendation for Paris (especially after having just seen the city of lights inthe movie The Devil Wears Prada which made me long to return) .

I HIGHLY recommend staying at Axial Beaubourg. It's a small boutique reasonably priced 3* hotel in the heart of the Marais (which, if you aren't famililar with that area, is a great place to be - lots of hip little stores and restaurants and very centrally located). Our room was small (but most in Paris are) and was decorated modern with a bit of old world charm. Deep purples and golds dominate the colors of the hotel. Service at the hotel is excellent - everyone was super-friendly and helpful, especially Elizabeth (insert Will & Grace joke here). Rates run about 170-200€ (depending on the time of year) for a double/twin with bath en suite.


Fall Concert Update

2 great shows were announced this morning:

Keane plays Hammerstein Ballroom on Thursday Sept 14th. Tickets went on sale today at noon and are $37.50 through Ticketmaster. Keane is on the road promoting their new CD Under The Iron Sea.

Tickets for Pet Shop Boys at Radio City on Saturday Oct 14th go on presale tomorrow morning @ 9am and regular sale on Friday @ 9am. PSB's will be promoting their new CD Fundamental.


Sisters @ Siren

Saturday I made the trek out to Coney Island with DEC & Co. to see the Scissor Sisters at the Siren Music Festival. Leaving the city it was drizzling, but luckily once we finished the 40 minute subway ride there the sun had returned and the temperature had become much more comfortable. The show was great, much better than the one a few months ago at Bowery Ballroom, and I'm actually starting to feel a bit better about the upcoming new material (especially the song that features the "$10 tube of lipstick). The best part of the trip wasn't the show, though, it was Coney itself. We started the afternoon with many beers on the boardwalk at Ruby's (which was just voted one of the best beach bars by Time Out). We got a great table right by the boardwalk runway and watched the parade of freaks pass by. Next it was on to a little sustinence in the form of corn dogs (which were not so fresh - we obviously picked the wrong stand). DEC almost went for the hot buttered corn cobs but decided it best not to do so.

To work off the dogs, we played the carnival game where you shoot the water pistol into the clowns mouth to blow up and break a balloon which racing others to do so. None of us won and luckily we only played one round since I could have become majorily addicted to it. Since the show was super crowded we decided to get a birds-eye view of the event and took a ride up the Astrotower. After a lot of dancing, we finished off the trip with a quick ride on the Cyclone. Luckily all of the beers kept me from remembering that yes, this is a death ride. The black-n-blues on each of my elbows are now reminding me different.

Hotel Metro Rooftop Bar

I finally checked out the rooftop bar at the Hotel Metro on Friday after work. An oasis in Herald Square, this one comes recommended if it's good weather and/or if you are happen to find yourself in that area (has potential to be a great stop before a summer show at the Garden). The limited bar offers ice-cold beer (Bud/Bud Light - $5 / Heineken/Corona - $6), wine and some liquor. The view is an in-your-face of the Empire State building and has a very open feel. The bar opens at 5pm and there was already a line forming at the elevator when I arrived at 4:55pm. There are 15 or so basic patio tables (less if a section is roped off for a private party), many with umbrellas, which fill up quickly. The crowd was a great mix, as was the music.


Meat Pies In Brooklyn

I want to give a shout out to DUB Pies (that stands for Down Under Baking) in Brooklyn. Our Australian travel client sent us over mince meat pies (almost like empanadas) and they are DELISH! They also sent over an amazing looking coconut chocolate cake but I have to stay away from that so I don't "expand my horizons" too far! I have no idea where Columbia St. in Brooklyn is - but if for any reason you find yourself near there - pop in and grab one!


Boston Notes

I spent the weekend of my little mini-break with the Lady Spence & Kimmi K in Beantown for the DMB concert @ Fenway. Dave was in prime form and it was a great venue to see him at, surrounded by some haaaadcooooor Bostonians. Highlights of the show included a cover of "Sweet Caroline" mid-show and "Crush" and "What Would You Say".

Pre-show nibbles & drinks were at Audobon Circle on Beacon St. in B.U.'s South Campus directly below my old apt in what used to be a liquor store that had a fake i.d. wall of shame. This place was perfect for avoiding the crowds and only a short walk to the field. The bar area is sleak, and plays great music. We opted to sit outside on the back patio. For food we tried 3 apps - the grilled flatbread with white bean puree, the vegetable quesadilla (very fresh) and the potstickers (which had a little kick). All were EXCELLENT and the prices were reasonable. Also on the menu are lots of grilled paninis and pizzas. For drinks we had margaritas that were DELISH and got the party started. The crowd was an ecclectic mix of both neighborhood folk and concert-goers (however not all the young ones). I would HIGHLY recommend this place if you are heading to Fenway and don't want to get caught up in all of the mayhem.

Sunday AM we hit the "pajama brunch" (all of the waitstaff and many of the patrons show up in their pajamas) at Tremont 647 in the South End. So fun! And tasty! I had the bacon & cheddar scrambler with hash browns which did wonders for the hangover and the Lady had the huevos rancheros which were great as well.

Our accomodations were at the new Jurys hotel on Berkley & Stuart straddling the Back Bay and South End. Located in an old police station, the hotel has a modern decor without being to over-the-top. Service at the hotel was first-class all the way from the follow-up call once we had been in our room for a few minutes to make sure that everything was satisfactory to the concierge providing us with the exact start times of Dave & Sheryl. Beds were comfy with soft bedding and a thick down conforter (although Peter Greenberg wouldn't have used it since that was the only top covering besides the sheet!). The bathroom was the best feature of the room - very large with a walk-in spa style shower, robes and heated towel racks. At $205/night (which is cheap for Boston on a weekend night), this centrally-located Irish import is a steal!


Day 1 Complete!

Well, I'm back from vacation and just finishing up day 1 of the new job. So far, so good. The best part of today was being shown into my new office which is huge AND has a window! Who knew you could actually see it raining while at work ?!?!?!? No more morgue for this kid! Now, I'll just sit here and wait for Jamie Oliver to stop by! At this point, it looks like I will definitely be able to keep up the blogging, so as of today I'll begin Guest Packets, vol. 2! Thanks for hanging in there and keeping with me, loyal readers!


The Primetime Emmys

Nominations were announced this morning and I am PSYCHED to say that Lisa Kudrow was nominated for her unforgettable portrayal of Valerie Cherish/Aunt Sassy! Note to self: I didn't NEED to see THAT! If you missed this landmark series - pick up the dvd when it is released on August 1st!

Check out the full list of nominees on the official Emmy's website. The show airs on Sunday August 27th @ 8pm on NBC.


Scissors @ Siren

The Scissor Sisters have been announced as the headliners at the Siren Music Festival at Coney Island on July 15th from 12pm-9pm. Check out the rest of the schedule for this free show. The Sisters are sure to draw a huge crowd so be sure to get there early!

Vintage Wine Bar

Friday night DEC introduced me to a wine bar in SoHo on Broome St. called Vintage Wine Bar. All of the wines served there are from NY wineries and the food all features local ingredients. The wine is served by the glass, bottle or in a flight of 3 2 oz. glasses. We started with the kir royale which was delish and moved on to a bottle of Pinot Noir (a bit too flowery for my taste). For food, we only sampled the toasted herbed almonds - served warm they were heavy on the rosemary (which I liked). I am definitely going to return to try the wine flights and sample some of the food.

Next door is their companion wine store. They also have another location on the UWS. They offer wine tastings and the cellars are available for private events.

Celebrate NY and give this place a try!

The Devil Wears Prada

Go see it IMMEDIATELY! It was WAY better than I expected and as usual Meryl Streep is a GENIUS!

I Want My $200 Back!

Went to Madonna last night and it was pretty disappointing. I now feel spoiled by the last Re-invention tour. I guess you can only see Madge ride a mechanical saddle only so many times. Disco ball, crucifixion, guitar solos - hasn't it all been done before ?!?!?! Sad to say, I don't recommend rushing out to get tix when she returns to NY for 2 more shows at the end of July.