A New View Of The World

In the market for new glasses? Head to See on Bleecker St (near 7th). They have tons of funky eyewear and the prices are EXTREMELY reasonable. All basic prescription lenses are included in the price of the frames that run from about $169-$269. Plus the staff are fun and very helpful. If you register on their website in the "bribes and secret offers" section you can get coupons too!


Something Old

Yesterday I watched Mad Hot Ballroom, a movie I've been wanting to see for a while now. If you haven't heard of it, it's a documentary about NYC public school kids in a ballroom dancing competition. These kids are amazing - both on the dancefloor and off - and quite a little cast of characters. It is such a feel-good movie and really shows that there is some hope left for the youth of today. I highly recommend this movie and it's on Showtime On-Demand this month so that should make it easy!


Keane @ Summerstage

Tickets went on sale this morning for Keane at Central Park's Rumsey Playfield on May 30th. Let's just hope Tom Chaplin doesn't slide back into rehab before May and that they actually make it here this time! Grab a ticket while you can!


Wine 101

Last night I went with Kimmi K. to a Wine 101 class at Crush. We both enjoyed it very much and would highly recommend it. The classes there are small - they only hold about 18 people. Luckily there were only about 12 in our class. We were seated around 2 tables in a very comfortable room.

The evening started with a sparkling Loire Vouvray. This was my favorite of the night - wrap it up - I'll take a case! From there we moved on to the whites - a still Vouvray(from France) and a Chenin Blanc (South Africa). We didn't LOVE either of them (they were good for what they are but neither of us really loves the chenin blanc grape), although we were thankful when he told us he usually does chardonay's for that portion but had decided to switch it up for us. Then, finally, on to the reds. The first 2 were burgandy's - a French Bourgogne and an Australian Pinot Noir. I enjoyed them both, leaning a bit more towards the Pinto Noir. The last round of reds were both cabs - one from Bordeaux and one from California. Both were great - full-bodied and delicious, although in the end the Aussie Pinot Noir was still my favorite of the night.

To keep you from falling over, there are plates of cheese, meat, fruit, bread and crackers for you to nosh on. The instructor, Steve Bitterolf was young, hip and very knowledgeable. The format was a bit unstructured - mostly dialogue back and forth between Steve and the group discussing each wine with facts peppered throughout. Despite the haze we left in, we did both learn some stuff and are looking forward to Wine 201!


Elliott's New Joint

Today marks the release of the self-titled debut cd from Elliott Yamin, who finished 3rd last year on A.I.. Check this bad boy out!

Is He Havin' A Laugh?

I was sad to hear today that after 2 successful series Ricky Gervais is bringing Extras to an end. The good news is that there will be one extended finale episode, similar to what he did with The Office.


What Brown Can't Do

First off, I want to give a big thumbs up to newegg.com. I just bought a Panasonic DVD recorder from them and my experience was fabulous. Not only was their price $60 less than I've seen it anywhere else, but they also overnighted it that day for only $9.50 and I had it the next day (or at least I should have). I would highly recommend this site if you are in the market for some new electronics.

Which leads me to what Brown can't do. Brown attempted to deliver the package the following day but I wasn't home to sign. Fine, no biggie. I called and asked them to hold it and said I'd pick it up the next evening. I schlepped all the way over to Houston & Washington the next day only to find out that the package wasn't there . Evidently they had tried to deliver it again and it was still "on the truck". No wait - the truck was there but the driver was gone home. "Sorry, sir, we can't find the truck". UM, HELLO! WHO LOOSES A BIG BROWN TRUCK! After sitting there for an hour I finally got fed up and left and ordered them to make sure they held it for me for tomorrow night. The next day, again, the same thing! Luckily this time they were able to find the truck and I got my recorder after only having to wait there 20 minutes this time. Note to all shippers - USED FedEx - the uniforms are hotter anyway!

The one other thing that I need to bitch about here is hooking up the recorder. Why is all of this new technology such a nightmare to figure out?!?!?!?! What ever happened to the concept of plug-n-play! 3 calls to Panasonic and 5 hrs. later I finally got the damned thing working. Although not completely working. For some reason I have to leave the machine on all the time to be able to watch tv. Whatever - at least it works. I'll worry about that in a few weeks once I upgrade my cable box to HD. I must say so far I love the recorder. I now finally have a copy of Coldplay Storytellers (in which I have a cameo) on DVD (which is unavailable in the stores) that I rescued from my DVR (luckily before the box gave out or it got accidently erased). I guess that in the end it is all worth it!


Paddy's Day

My recommendation for the best way to spend the day is to start it with a fry-up at St. Dymphna's (sans Strongbow) and finish it with pints at either Dublin 6 or Trinity Place. Shocking, I know!

Goldstar Events

Looking for half-price tickets for concerts, sporting events, comedy clubs, etc.? Check out Goldstar Events. Enroll with them for free to get access to the listings. They also give you the option to receive email alerts based on what your interests are when new listings are announced. The selection isn't amazing, but who doesn't want to go to see Kenny Loggins perform the theme from Footloose at B.B. King's for a mere $32.50! Cities with listings on the service include NY, LA, Boston, SF, San Diego, Chicago, D.C. and Vegas.


The Good The Bad & The Queen

Monday night I went to see The Good The Bad & The Queen at Webster Hall. It was as good as I had hoped. It's always fun to see Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz). I love his voice and the music is almost like a mix of his 2 previous bands. I like the fact that the songs live were a lot more paired down than on the album. If you haven't heard the cd yet, check it out. Since this is the band's debut album, the set was rather short but they covered all of my favorites including History Song, Kingdom Of Doom and Herculean. It's always better leaving them wanting more I guess . . .


The End Of An Era

I'm sad to say that after being an EXTREMELY happy customer at St. Dymphna's for over 10 years now, last night they did me wrong. It turns out that they are no longer serving Strongbow on tap. What am I going to drink with me fry-up? The fact that Paddy's Day is Saturday makes this all the more devastating! I need to find the owner Barry and get to the bottom of this! In the meantime, if anyone knows where I can find Strongbow on tap in NYC, please let me know!

Notes From The LES

Last Friday after work I met the USN girls for happy hour at the new LES bar Nurse Bettie. It's a small place decorated with pictures paying tribute to pin-up girls. There is a small bar that seats about 6 in the back, a couple of sectionals in the front and some stools with a counter along the back wall. Music was very Pixies oriented. I started off trying 2 different wines ($7 / glass) - the Cab was decent, the Pinot Noir swill. Then I made the switch to PBR ($4 / bottle - I was wishing it was in a can though!). I liked this place for happy hour. There was a good vibe and a good mix of people. When we left around 8:30 though it started getting packed (as most LES establishments do), so I would recommend getting there early if you want a seat.

In between stops we popped into this little hole in the wall called Rush Hour for a grease fix. BOY was it GOOD! I wish I lived closer to this place for delivery! We had mozzarella sticks that were REAL - gobs of gooey cheese inside a light batter - YUM! That was followed up with by the freakin' tater tots. Crisp, crunchy and better than the high school cafeteria used to make! This place is definitely going to become my last stop on drinky LES nights!

Friday's final stop was at Pianos. Can't say I loved it or hated it. It was a bit too crowded for me but we managed to get seats at the bar so that's all that mattered. To me it was just another typical Ludlow St. bar that I could live without.

Reopening Soon

If anyone misses Blind Tiger Alehouse, they finally got their liquor license and will be reopening on Thursday at the corner of Jones & Bleecker. A good or bad addition to the neighborhood? We'll soon see . . .

In Case You Missed It

The Roxy closed for good on Saturday. Ahhhh, the sadness that must be consuming the residents of Chelsea!


Spring Forward!

Don't forget to set your clocks forward an hour on Sunday am! Goodbye darkness, hello sun!


The End Of Winter Is Near!

With daylight savings on its way this Sunday and April just around the corner (although you wouldn't know it with these below 0 temps in NYC) I'm eagerly anticipating the arrival of spring and the warm weather (it's supposed to be 47 here on Saturday people!). Not much has been going on lately during these winter doldrums. I spent last weekend in Boston and it was rather uneventful. I did manage to see Zodiac. I liked it a lot (of course, I mean both Mark Ruffalo and Jakey are in it!) . Even though it was long (2 hrs. 45 mins.), it did keep my attention for most of it. It's an interesting story told by a talented cast. It's not the best movie I've ever seen but I'd recommend it (although it can definitely wait a month until it is released on DVD).

While I was up there I heard a disheartening story on the news about one of my favorite Boston bars J.J. Foley's. Evidently one of the owners beat up a gay patron who was seen kissing another man and physically threw him out of the bar. At first I kind of found this hard to believe. I've been there tons of times and it's always a crazy mix of people and I've never seen any prejudice of any kind go on in there. HOWEVER, a quote by the owner sealed the guilt. When asked whether he would allow two men to kiss in one of his establishments, Foley said: "Hell no. What would you think?". OMG - the IGNORANCE. At least TRY to hide your guilt buddy! Sadly, that place won't see another dime of my money. Please join me in the boycott (at least until the verdict is passed down - I do believe in innocent until proven guilty).

On to happier things. Here are a few things that are warming up my winter and making me smile:

1. The exclusive release on iTunes of Dave Hemmingway's (former lead singer of the Beautiful South) solo effort "Hello Cruel World". I love this pic on Dave's myspace page!:

2. My impending birthday trip to Barcelona in April (if any readers out there have any recommendations for eating/drinking/shopping/etc. please comment!). First stop will be the counter at Cal Pep for pa tomato and chipirones with a glass of Rioja, followed by a couple absentas at Bar Marsella!

3. Food & Wine's upcoming announcement of the 2007 Best New Chefs in April.

4. The Amazing Race All-Star Edition. My pic to win - Boston Rob & Ambaaaa - they're ruthless!

5. The opening of the new Keith McNally, Morandi, with chef Jodi Williams at the helm. (I just need to motivate now and pick up the phone and make a booking!)