Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Delicious Dinner At Francesco's

Tuesday night, I headed down to NYC’s West Village for dinner with Italian restaurateur Vito Rappa.

Vito and I met back in November at a charity gala, during which he invited me to check out the newest location of his trattoria, Francesco’s.

Francesco’s: The trattoria’s West Village location serves up a killer penne alla vodka

Francesco’s opened on West 4th Street in March -- the larger Columbus Avenue location has been around since 1998 -- and delivers a delicious menu of pizza and pasta.

“As long as I have pasta, I can live,” Vito says.

Good food is in his DNA. A native of Sicily, Vito learned to cook at age 11. His great-grandfather opened a restaurant in 1901, and was the first to have a taverna in the town of Borgetto. His grandfather would often say pasta is the first step to heaven.

That certainly applies to Francesco’s sublime penne in vodka sauce (a family recipe) and perfectly baked garlic knots. The homemade tiramisu drizzled in chocolate sauce is also a must.

While enjoying my dessert, I ended up chatting with fellow single gals Ayesha and Callie. They shared their new year’s resolutions -- Ayesha is preparing to launch her own handbag line while Callie hopes to make her first trip to Europe.

We all agreed there’s no better time for a fresh start than a new year. Especially when it also marks the start of a brand-new decade.

Happy 2010 everyone!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Girls Day Out: Midtown East


Tuesday, my friend Bobbi and I enjoyed an afternoon of pampering at Metamorphosis Day Spa in Midtown East.

Hidden away on the fifth floor of an office building, Metamorphosis offers quiet relaxation in a small yet well-outfitted setting. If you’re looking for a full-blown spa experience, though, this isn’t the place for it.

Metamorphosis has only a tiny relaxation room, and there’s no opportunity to unwind in a bathrobe before your treatment. I also had to ask where the shower was -- there’s only one -- so I could rinse off after my massage. That said, the staff is friendly, I thoroughly enjoyed my 50-minute Swedish Massage, and the heated table is a nice touch.

Afterward, Bobbi and I headed over to trendy nearby Italian bistro Serafina. Over a delicious late lunch (the vegetarian lasagna is light and delish), we talked about men who say one thing but do another and our travel plans for 2010.

Bobbi is an avid skier. It’s been about fifteen years since I’ve hit the slopes, so I think I might just have to join her this winter.

Coming up…dinner with a charming restaurateur and ringing in 2010 with The Lost Girls.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Smart Woman's Guide To Online Dating

When it comes to candid, common sense talk about sex and dating, nobody does it better than fellow NYC-based blogger Simone Grant. Now, Simone is sharing her wisdom about looking for love in cyberspace in The Smart Woman’s Guide To Online Dating.

Simone Grant demystifies the often-tricky world of online dating in her fabulous e-book (photo courtesy: 2ChicksInc)

Based upon a decade of experience with meeting men online, the e-book covers everything you need to know about Internet dating -- from identifying which dating site is right for you and selecting which photo(s) to include in your profile, to the most effective ways to communicate with potential dates.

Simone shares my view that, if meeting a guy face to face is your end goal, skip the IM/chat function and head straight to email and phone. And, she says, stick to a two-week rule of graduating from initial contact to getting together in person.

If you’re looking to save yourself time and make the most of online dating, this is the guide for you. Click here to get a copy.

Monday, December 28, 2009

An Old Love Resurfaces


As I mentioned a few days ago, California-based ex Mark (a.k.a Sparky) recently posted a comment here for the first time. Our resulting online exchange and phone conversation got me to thinking about closure and how it’s often a lengthy, multi-step process when it comes to a big love.

Sparky and I hadn’t communicated since June, when work led him to cancel a visit to New York -- the day before he was due to arrive. The episode confirmed for me that, though we once shared something special, it was well past time to let go.

Still, given our long history, I couldn’t help wondering -- Did he regret standing me up last summer? Had he seen what I’ve written about him here on the blog? It turns out the answer to both questions is yes.

Mark apologized profusely for bailing on his scheduled visit, reiterating the remorse he expressed in his comments.

“I think I made the biggest mistake of my life,” he said.

Eventually, we moved onto other, less complicated subjects.

As we filled each other in about career, life, etc., it occurred to me that Mark and I have finally come full circle. After 15 years, we’re where we’re supposed to be -- two people who once shared a great love bonded now by friendship.

No matter how long it takes to get there, closure is always worth the wait.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Finding My Sea Legs Again


When it comes to things I’m thankful for this holiday season, the healing power of the human body is most definitely one of them.

I’ve been experiencing this particular wonder since a PDA-related fall with PR exec E one month ago. Slowly but surely, my injured leg has been regaining strength.

Last night, I felt like I had finally found my footing again, during -- appropriately enough -- an evening of dancing with E at my favorite SoHo nightspot Canal Room.

Awesome 80’s cover band Rubix Kube had me shaking my booty at full force. I’m in recovery mode today, but haven’t felt this good in weeks. Getting your groove on really is the best medicine.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Night Out At SD26

Wednesday night, I headed down to SD26 in NYC’s Flatiron District for galpal Rachel’s 29th birthday celebration.

Cheers: Rach and me at SD26

Located opposite Madison Square Park, SD26 is the perfect combination of swank and low-key friendly charm -- as Rach and I discovered when we informed affable bartender Renato it was her birthday.

He immediately concocted a round of delicious Bailey’s and vanilla vodka-infused shots, insisting they were on the house. Nice.

After a celebratory toast, Rachel and I joined about a dozen of her friends in a cozy anteroom.

IT trainer Angela told me how envious her friends are that she resides in New York, that she has to disabuse them of the notion that life in Gotham is always as it appears in “Sex And The City.”

I also chatted with Noam, a friendly environmental lobbyist-turned-physics professor. We talked about our respective stints in small town USA -- Noam spent years in Maryland while I’ve lived in Bangor, Maine and Southern Illinois. We agreed that New York tends to spoil you for living anywhere else.

There’s still nowhere else I would rather be.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Reconnecting at Christmastime

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is reconnecting with loved ones who, for whatever reason, I’ve fallen out of touch with. This year, I’ve been blessed to do that with three men who each hold a special place in my heart.

BFFs: Morty and me at our friend Cristina’s wedding in Boston

The bonding began at my friend Cristina’s fabulous recent wedding, where I caught up with former work husband and dear friend Morty. We hadn’t seen each other in months, but quickly picked up right where we left off -- talking about life, love and the pursuit of professional bliss.

Earlier this week, old flame Steve comforted me with a thoughtful email on the anniversary of my beloved dad’s passing. And made me smile when he asked if my diary entries from our time together will make it onto the blog.

“Do you think you will ever let some of that out of 'The Vault?' ” he wrote. “I will always cherish those memories.”

The feeling is mutual.

Speaking of past loves, the most surprising reconnection happened with California-based ex Mark (a.k.a Sparky). For the first time ever, he posted a comment on Single Gal In The City (click here and scroll down to see our exchange) -- which led to our first conversation in many months.

Up next…more about this latest chapter in the Sparky saga and a festive night out in the Flatiron District.

Merry Christmas All!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Singles Event Pick: New Year's Eve At Stitch


When you live in the Big Apple, finding a New Year’s event that won’t set you back at least $100 is no easy feat. Thankfully, the folks at Professionals In The City have the answer, with a Singles New Year’s Eve Party that’s only $50 per person.

The party kicks off at 8pm at Stitch, a lively lounge in NYC's Garment District. Ticket price includes light hors d’oeuvres, champagne toast at midnight, party favors, cash bar, creative and interactive activities, DJ & dancing.

There will also be door prizes, along with chances to win free adventures as well as private golf lessons, ski packages and a complete home theatre system.

“Dress to impress,” says the website.

Tickets are $50 if purchased by tomorrow (Friday) at 5pm, and sales for the event will close at 11am on Thursday, December 31st. Click here for more info.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Friends Night Out: T-Bar

Last night, I caught up with my friend P at trendy T-Bar Steak & Lounge on NYC’s Upper East Side.

T-Bar: This lively, hip eatery is a great spot for drinks or dinner

Over cocktails that included a round of Kamikaze shots, we talked at length about our parents. Yesterday marked the third anniversary of my beloved father’s passing.

Having lost his mother years ago, P understood exactly how I was feeling – and managed to bring a much-needed smile to my face. Raising his glass in a toast, he said--

“To our parents.”

“To our parents,” I repeated.

In talking about my mother and father’s enduring relationship, we eventually got onto the subject of marriage and how we’ve both had opportunities to go down that road with previous significant others – but have no regrets about choosing not to.

P also had me giggling when he mentioned a business meeting that took a most unexpected turn. The reason? His female colleague suddenly went off on a tangent about her affinity for gay porn.

Speaking of surprises, it turned out that my brother Andrew’s former flame, adorable Reese Witherspoon-lookalike Julie, was sitting at the next table. We exchanged pleasantries and Julie said she has a couple of male friends she would like to introduce me to.

That’s the kind of offer that doesn’t seem to come along very often these days, so I happily told her – sign me up!

Up next…when inappropriate advances derail romance and a big love resurfaces.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Your Dream City For Singles


When it comes to being single and meeting new people, I’m a big believer in shaking up your routine – and there’s no better way to do that than with a change of scenery.

According to SoloTravelPortal.com, nearly 35 million American adults have taken a vacation by themselves. A recent glance at Forbes.com’s 2009 list of the Top 40 U.S. Cities for Singles got me to thinking about the dating scene outside of my hometown – and curious about where other singles would go on the prowl outside of their zip code.

So, Single Gal In The City readers, what do you think? If you could pick any U.S. city (other than your hometown) to explore as a single, which would it be? Post a comment here or email me at SingleGalInTheCity@gmail.com.

Now through January 31st, 2010, everyone who responds will be automatically entered to win a fun and flirty SingleTease t-shirt, and one reader will receive a $15 iTunes gift card.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Holiday Party

Friday night, I hosted a dozen friends at my third annual holiday party.

This year, along with the usual spread of cold hors d’oeuvres, I brought in White Castle sliders and pigs in a blanket. Hot comfort food goes a long way when the mercury drops -- even my trainer Crystal was all for the caloric indulgence.

Celebrating The Season: (from left) Cindy, Rachel, me and Jason

Travel was one of the hot topics of conversation. Galpal Cindy and hubby Jason filled me in on their upcoming trip to Costa Rica, while my friend Prince shared his plans to visit Tanzania after the new year. My 2010 travel resolution -- see more of the U.S., especially cities with a happening singles scene.

Fellow dating blogger Lost Plum and I talked about mining the past for material during present romantic droughts, and she also told me about the stalker who wants consent to use her likeness in his upcoming book. Only in New York.

Toward the night’s end, pals Andrea, Rachel and I settled in for some kvetching about singlehood in NYC.

As we shared stories and a few laughs, I was reminded of how lucky I am to have such great friends -- friends who make the holiday season something to celebrate.

What's your favorite part of this time of year?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Opening The Vault: Part Fifty Nine

When you reach six months in a relationship, it tends to feel like something of a milestone. And never has that occasion been commemorated more memorably than it was back in ‘98 by then-boyfriend David.

Just a few days before Christmas, David surprised me with a grand gesture that literally brightened up my room. I now Open The Vault and take you back to December of 1998.…

December 21, 1998
New York, NY

Dear Diary,

I’m sitting here surrounded by five dozen roses. Yep, that’s right -- 60 roses, in a range of colors from the man I love.

A Sea Of Colors: Some of the 60 roses David gave me for six months together

The flowers were David’s surprise gift to me for our six-month anniversary, an occasion that has reinforced my deepening love and desire for him.

The magical day started with some holiday shopping. As we strolled around holding hands, I suddenly found myself imagining us doing the same -- like 20 years from now.

After stopping at Barney’s on Madison Avenue so David could get a tie for my family’s holiday party, we went back to Dad’s and joined him in the den. D really made the effort to contribute to the conversation. Since he’s on the quiet side, I know that can be difficult for him so it meant a lot to me. So did what happened next.

We walked into my room and I noticed two big, long boxes from a flower company in Canada. I immediately assumed they were from some high school friends of mine in Toronto. Then, with some help from D, I opened them.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read the card--

“To the first six months…and to many more. Te quiero con todo mi corazon, David.”

I jumped up and threw my arms around him. I was so surprised!

D tended carefully to each flower, cutting the stems and filling vases with water while quipping that I needn’t worry about him taking up flower arranging.

In my room, I thanked him again. David said he’ll get me more flowers for my birthday -- and for our one-year anniversary.

* * *

I’m looking at the roses -- pink, red, yellow, white and peach -- now, marveling at how they’re opening. In my entire life, I’ve never been given so much from a man, nor have I felt so happy and connected to one. I love David, more and more every day.

* * *

David made good on his word to surprise me again for my birthday. As we grew closer, though, differences between us would emerge to test our love -- and threaten our future together.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

When Flirting Fizzles


Not too long ago, I did a post about flirting at the gym prompted by repeatedly seeing a certain guy there. A recent encounter with him got me to thinking how absence doesn’t always make the heart grow fonder.

As I mentioned before, this guy has made a habit of staring at me. Ironically, after deciding to finally break the ice and say hello, I didn’t run into him for about a month.

My fabulous trainer Crystal, however, did see Mr. Mysterious. She said he would look at her expectantly, like he was waiting to see if I was with her. I’m not so sure, especially after our bizarre exchange the other day.

He walked past Crystal and me to the other side of the floor. About two minutes later, he circled back and approached us -- literally stepping between Crystal and I, gazing intently at me. I gave him my best, most inviting smile…and he just kept on walking.

Now I can certainly appreciate being the shy, silent type (I’ve dated a few of those). And I can also understand treading gingerly before making the first move. What baffles me is spending months skirting thisclose to doing so and not following through.

At the risk of sounding like a ‘rules’ girl, I think sometimes a man just needs to man up and do something. If he can’t work up the courage to do it at the beginning, it’s only downhill from there.

Who knows? Maybe Mystery Guy just enjoys staring.

Friday, December 18, 2009

SGITC Reader Perk: New Mobile Dating App


A brand-new mobile dating application is making it easy to flirt on the go. And, as a Single Gal In The City reader, you can check it out for free!

The app uses your GPS/GEO location to find out who is single and ready to mingle in your area.

Designed to be fun and flirtatious, it features a suggestion engine that offers conversation starters, current events, jokes, and movie quotes related to your ideal guy’s profile.

And it’s safe -- the app has a variety of filters so you can choose how much info users can see about your location, profile, etc.

What the application doesn’t currently have is a name, and that’s where you come in. The designer is running a contest where users can name the app. If your submission is chosen, you’ll get 2% of the profits for two years.

The contest only runs through December 31st, so visit NameThisApp.com for more details. To sign up for three months free, click here.

Happy flirting!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Meet The Filmmakers: SJP And Hugh Grant

Tuesday night, I headed down to the Apple Store in SoHo for an evening about "Did You Hear About The Morgans?" featuring co-stars Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant and director Marc Lawrence.

Rom Com Dream Team: Director Marc Lawrence, SJP and Hugh Grant

Part of the store's ongoing Meet The Filmmakers series, the Q&A session was moderated by USA Today entertainment reporter Donna Freydkin.

SJP said she’d longed to work with Grant on a romantic comedy after the two appeared together in "Extreme Measures," a little-seen thriller 13 years ago. She raved about his approach to acting.

“He’s incredibly conscientious,” she said. “He takes rehearsal more seriously than most actors I’ve worked with and was always good. Always completed invested [in each take].”

Hugh reciprocated the praise, and had both his co-star and the audience laughing with his razor-sharp observations.

“She’s tiny and yet she eats more than any woman I’ve ever met,” he said of SJP. “I think she’s half woman, half locust.”

SJP and Hugh Grant: the co-stars bantered playfully with each other

Grant, with his acerbic, self-deprecating wit and charm, was the evening’s true star. SJP seemed spent from her earlier appearance on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” while director Lawrence didn’t have that much to say.

When asked about shooting romantic comedies, all three agreed that they’re the hardest kind of movies to make.

“There’s only a handful of truly great ones,” Lawrence said.

“Comedy is harder,” agreed Grant. “It should get the [award] prizes before the deep, dark serious stuff.”

Favorite rom coms? Sounding very much like Carrie Bradshaw, SJP said “The Way We Were” should be viewed at least 2-3 times a year. Grant is now hooked on “Sex And The City,” having watched late-night reruns while filming “Did You Hear..” in New Mexico.

“I would email [Sarah Jessica] and say ‘Like your heels tonight, worried about Big.’ But I don’t like when they talk about stuff boys should be talking about.”

Grant also joked about the movie’s on-set diva – Bart the bear.

“He was the biggest prima donna I’ve ever worked with,” he quipped.

"Did You Hear About The Morgans?" opens nationwide tomorrow. A free podcast of the entire Q&A is available on the iTunes store. For more info about Apple’s Meet The Filmmakers series, click here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Meeting The Romantic Comedy King

Readers of this blog know I’m a big fan of celebrity encounters. I’m also a big fan of actor Hugh Grant -- especially after having the pleasure of meeting him last night.

What A Charmer: Hugh Grant and me at Soho’s Apple Store

My photo opp with Hugh happened after a Q&A with him and co-star Sarah Jessica Parker, about their new romantic comedy, “Did You Hear About The Morgans?”

I’m happy to report that the British actor is just as charming and witty (and yes, adorable) in person as he is on screen.

Coming up…a full recap of the lively Q&A, including what made Hugh compare SJP to a locust and the dish about who was the movie's biggest on-set diva.

I think my favorite Hugh Grant rom coms are "Love Actually” and “About A Boy.” What's yours?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Wedding To Remember

Saturday, my weekend in Boston continued with Cristina and Chris’ wedding. One of the best I’ve ever attended, the 130-person event was truly an affair to remember.

Happily Ever After: Cristina and Chris on their wedding day (photo courtesy: Michelle Abril)

Following a nuptial mass at Cathedral of the Holy Cross, the festivities continued at Boston’s Omni Parker House – America’s longest continuously- run hotel, located next to Beacon Hill.

During the cocktail hour, I chatted with Cristina’s sweet twin brother and Man of Honor Robert. We shared a laugh when he quipped that he refrained from adjusting the bride’s train for fear that traditionally female gesture might end up on YouTube.

I also caught up with my former work husband and good friend Morty. Morty filled me in on phD application overload (he’s applying to 15 psychology programs), and we debated the subtle yet important distinction between desire and need when it comes to the object of one’s affections.

Eventually, everyone made their way upstairs to the ballroom, elegant with its dark, wood paneling and decorated with a Christmas tree and Baby’s Breath centerpieces. A snowflake ornament adorning each place setting completed the festive holiday theme.

All Smiles: the beautiful bride and me

After the Best Man said a few words, Chris spoke from the heart with gratitude for his parents and in-laws – and abiding love for his beautiful bride. Recalling the day he met Cristina six years ago, Chris said he knew then it was forever.

“You are the love of my life,” he said. “You’re the only person I’ve ever loved.”

Wow.

Speaking of wow, the DJ impressed with a perfect mix of dinner-appropriate tunes (including Sinatra in heavy rotation) and lively dance songs. Knowing my affection for Ricky Martin, Cristina had him kick off the booty shaking with “Livin’ La Vida Loca.”

Not only did I shake, as Morty put it, all three of my moneymakers but I managed to forget about my injured leg. One of the bride’s relatives later told me--

“You should be on Broadway!”

Along with everyone else, I also got my groove on to such crowd pleasers as “All The Single Ladies,” “Disco Inferno,” “Don’t Stop The Music” and “I Gotta Feeling.”

What a celebration. When a couple is so perfect for each other like Cristina and Chris, you can’t help but be overjoyed to watch them embark on happily ever after – and feel hopeful all over again in finding it yourself.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Weekend In Beantown

This weekend, I headed to Boston for my friend and former Quinn & Co. colleague Cristina’s wedding.

At The Rehearsal Dinner: Bride-to-be Cristina and me

Long Island-born Cristina, who has a personality and sense of humor as big as her heart, and Staten Island-bred Chris met six years ago in Beantown when he was in law school. Which is why the couple happily chose New England’s most charming city as the destination for their I Do’s.

The festivities kicked off with a lively rehearsal dinner at Union Oyster House, one of C&C’s favorite local haunts and a place long on both history – it’s a designated landmark and located on the Freedom Trail -- and gracious hospitality.

In addition to meeting the bride and groom’s fun and friendly kin, I caught up with a handful of my current Q&C co-workers as well as our former business manager Annie.

During her lengthy tenure at Quinn & Co., Annie was very much the mother hen – someone you could always turn to for advice, and who you could trust to be the sole of discretion.

A few months after joining the company, I accidentally left my house keys at the office. Following a night with my then-boyfriend, I snuck in early and did the walk of shame to retrieve them, encountering Annie along the way. She smiled sweetly and didn’t say a word.

Annie filled me in about her newlywedded bliss at age 51. As I shared my recent dating ups and downs, she said something I’ve heard many times before -- that love comes when you least expect it and aren’t looking for it.

The next day, before the wedding, I found myself standing beside a cute male guest.

“Are you on the bride’s side or the groom’s?” I said with a smile.

“The bride’s,” he answered. “My wife is in the wedding party.”

Maybe Annie’s right.

Coming up…a wedding to remember and a look at unexpected 180-degree turns in romance.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Opening The Vault: Part Fifty Eight

If you still have feelings for an ex, does that mean you’re not really in love with your new significant other? That weighty question was on my mind during an intense encounter with California-based old flame Mark (a.k.a Sparky) back in 1998.


Le Parker Meridien: Sparky and I caught up at this Midtown hotel back in ‘98

Sparky’s visit came at a time when I was at my most vulnerable -- a little more than a month after losing my mom. Up in his hotel room, the connection between us resurfaced. I now Open The Vault and take you back to November of ’98...

November 21, 1998 - Volume 70
New York, NY

Dear Diary,

As Sparky and I embraced, I could feel his face turning toward mine. I made sure to keep only my cheek next to him.

He suggested I come out to Arizona.

“You could be the other woman,” he said. “Okay, let’s have a fling.”

I wasn’t entirely sure he was joking, but we both grew serious and Sparky said he has too much respect for his wife (as do I for David) to do that.

Suddenly, I could feel myself getting emotional and nostalgic about us. I struggled with the words. Finally, they came.

“When we were together, I was completely certain I loved you,” I admitted. “I haven’t had that certainty since.”

“Wow,” he said, clearly taken aback. “That’s really nice of you to say.”

I also told Sparky how upset I was to learn of his marriage. Though, I said, I never expected him to wait for me--

"I always thought we’d get back together someday."

“Now you tell me!” he said with a laugh.

Later, Sparky reassured me that I will be okay, and reiterated how sorry he is about mom’s passing.

We hugged again. He squeezed my hand as he told me--

“I’ll always be here for you.”

He said not seeing me had been gnawing away at him since Mom’s passing in September, that he wanted to just jump on a plane.

“I still care about you -- I think about you all the time.”

About David, he said he was 99 and 1/10 percent happy for me, but also a little jealous.

“Because I wish it was me.”

So, what does all of this mean for my relationship with David?

I don’t know.

* * *

David and I managed to survive Hurricane Sparky. And a happy milestone for us as a couple would prompt David to execute one of the greatest grand gestures I’ve ever received.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Singles Event Pick: Contacts & Cocktails Holiday Party


When it comes to hosting first-class events with young professionals, nobody does it better than Contacts & Cocktails. Which is why I was excited to hear about the group’s Third Annual Holiday Party.

Scheduled for Tuesday, December 15th, the event will feature complimentary peppermint martinis from 6-7pm, and live jazz from 630-930pm.

Admission is free. Advance registration and business cards are required. To RSVP, click here.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Love Lessons From My Personal Trainer


I recently celebrated five months with my fabulous personal trainer Crystal. As we talked about this mini-milestone, I couldn’t help thinking that Crystal has outlasted any of the men I’ve dated during this period – and how much easier romance might be if men took a page out of the personal training playbook.

Have Regularly Scheduled Dates: When you’re working toward a fitness goal, you can only get there if you stick to scheduled dates with your trainer. The same applies to love, whether you’re in the throes of new romance or settled into a committed relationship.

Remember Likes and Dislikes: Crystal knows I prefer mat stretching to using foam rollers and keeps me into our workouts by remembering that when structuring routines. Similarly, remembering what your significant other likes and doesn’t like is an important part of sustaining a mutual spark. As the saying goes, love is in the details.

A Little Praise Goes A Long Way: Unlike our fiercely fit First Lady Michelle Obama, I don’t have supermodel upper arms. Which makes me all the more appreciative when Crystal notices a change in my guns for the better and says as much. When you’re dating, a little compliment goes a long way. My current romantic dalliance, HurryDater and PR exec E has a good knack for sweet nothings. There's no better icebreaker.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate: Crystal and I ended up working together after my previous trainer left to go back to school. Open and honest communication helped us fall into a good groove quickly – just as it does when you’re getting to know a potential sweetheart.

Much like getting in shape, learning the dos and don’ts of dating is a constant work in progress. All the more reason to appreciate good counsel wherever you find it -- even at the gym.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Girls Night Out: Cesca

Monday, I headed to Cesca restaurant on NYC’s Upper West Side for a girls night out with my new friend Sherri, founder of SingleEdition.com.

Cesca: Delicious Italian fare in an upscale, intimate setting

Sherri and I connected a couple of months ago through our respective work in cyberspace and hit it off immediately after meeting at SingleEdition.com’s Live The Life You Love events.

Over a delicious dinner – during which Sherri introduced me to the unexpected delight of fried brussel sprouts – we talked about work, life and love.

Among the topics of our three-hour chat – the impact of having happily married parents and the challenge of finding commitment-minded men in NYC. Sherri met her Jersey-bred hubby on JDate.com. Though I’m officially over and done with online dating, I think it might be time for me to explore the bridge and tunnel crowd a little more closely.

If you’re looking tips and inspiration for living your best single life, head on over to SingleEdition.com. While you’re there, check out the site’s Just for One Holiday Gift Guide. It’s the perfect place to find something fabulous for your single friends, or even for yourself.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Minus A Plus One...Again


Tomorrow, I’ll be heading to Boston for a good friend’s wedding. Since this will be the third nuptial affair I’m attending this year, I can’t help thinking about what it’s like to fly solo when a couple is exchanging their I Dos.

It’s an experience I’ve had plenty of practice with. The last time I was invited to a wedding with a guest was five years ago. My then-boyfriend and I broke up only a few days before the big event, so a place card bearing his name was next to mine at the reception. Ouch.

Being minus a plus one at weddings has also lent itself to some funny, memorable moments. Like the time I kissed the bride’s cousin only to have his date turn up later (see the full story on Time Out NY’s website). Or when I accidentally singed my hair on a candle during an attempt to be flirtatious.

As another year of being unattached draws to a close, though, I find myself feeling more apprehensive about going it alone at these events. The pool of fellow singles to mingle with seems to grow smaller and smaller, as does my tolerance for being in the minority of attendees without a significant other.

Thank goodness for open bar.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

City Lights Gala

Sunday night, I enjoyed my first post-PDA injury outing and headed over to History Starts Now’s City Lights Gala.

HSN founders Kristina Lee Grandstaff (left), Rachael Lechliter and me at the City Lights Gala

Held at the swanky and intimate Aspen Social Club near Times Square, the event drew about 100 guests supporting HSN’s mission -- to raise awareness for the fight against sex trafficking of minors in the U.S.

Smart and dedicated co-founders Rachael Lechliter and Kristina Lee Grandstaff gave a brief presentation that included the story of a young woman whose sister was trafficked in Queens. You can watch a video with her personal testimony at HSN’s website.

The crowd at Aspen Social Club

The gala featured open bar for the first hour and a yummy selection of hors d’oeuvres. While I was sampling a bite of cheese, email marketer Lak approached me.

“What are some of your favorite ‘cheesy’ events?“ he said, clearly amused by his food-inspired pun.

Lak sat down next to me, telling me about his recent divorce and move to NYC from Virginia and how difficult it is to meet people here.

Given the lopsided guy-girl ratio in Gotham, I was surprised by Lak’s complaint. And equally surprised when he said his taste is very specific, and that he prefers classy women. Since I practically trip over fabulous, single women every day, I’m skeptical of his claim that there’s a shortage of this type in the Big Apple.

“What are you doing for New Year’s?” he asked suddenly.

Though the invitation was a bit much after only five minutes of conversation, I appreciated Lak’s honesty about having to relearn the dating ropes after his eight-year marriage-induced sabbatical.

Equally candid about his single status – IT customer support rep Noah.

While chatting about the charms of the Pacific Northwest, Noah told me that his job requires being on the road 80% of the time, making it impossible to sustain a relationship. I nodded empathetically, newly grateful that most of my traveling is dictated by pleasure.

After taking a bite of the delicious cupcakes from Desserts by Tawny, I thanked the lovely hostesses and called it a night. The work that Kristina and Rachael are doing is truly inspiring. Visit History Starts Now's website to find out how you can be a part of it.

Coming up…being minus a plus one at another wedding and dinner with SingleEdition.com founder Sherri Langburt.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Singles Event Pick: The Set's Holiday Bash

TheSet NYC, Time Out New York’s monthly variety show, is celebrating the season with Holiday Bash 2009.

The Sullivan Room: TheSet's holiday bash will take place at this West Village hotspot

Set for Friday, December 18, 2009, the soiree will take place from 9 to 11pm at the famous Sullivan Room in NYC’s West Village.

Mingle with artists, enjoy catered food and drink specials (2 for 1 from 9-10pm), and bring business cards for networking. Music provided by DJ Adam Childs and an after party will follow.

I’ve had the pleasure of attending TheSet more than once and it’s always a fun night out.

Admission to the Holiday Bash is free. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Learning To Go With The Flow



For all of the ups and downs that tend to accompany thirtysomething single hood, I’ve recently found myself appreciating one major plus -- learning to go with the flow.

It’s a lesson that’s been a long time coming. I’ve always had a knack for overanalyzing every romance du jour, trying to forecast outcomes by looking for fatalistic signs around every corner.

With my thirty-sixth birthday rapidly approaching, though, and another year of dating experience behind me, I feel a welcome shift in attitude settling in. I trust my instincts more and I have renewed faith that, eventually, things do work out the way they’re supposed to.

Maybe there’s something to the idea of being older and wiser -- especially when it comes to smoothing out those bumps in the road to happily ever after.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Opening The Vault: Part Fifty Seven

When it comes to love, there are moments where you find yourself at a crossroad between past and present. That complicated juncture is where I found myself back in the fall of 1998.

At the time, I was about four months into my relationship with dashing, noble Brit David -- and six weeks into dealing with my beloved mother’s passing from breast cancer. It was during this emotional maelstrom that first love and California native Mark (a.k.a Sparky) came into town. I now Open The Vault and take you back to November ‘98...

November 21, 1998
New York, NY

Dear Diary,
I just spent a couple of hours with Sparky. It was an emotional, revelatory encounter -- in some ways I hadn’t anticipated.


Le Parker Meridien: Sparky and I shared an intense encounter at this Midtown NYC hotel

I got to his hotel and was about to get on the elevator when the doors opened and he was there. We hugged and he immediately told me how great and thin I looked (always nice to hear from an ex).

As he usually does, he crammed into the revolving door next to me. Then, he extended his arm. I put mine through his but then felt awkward -- which I admitted -- and pulled away. Still, Sparky kept putting his hand on my back, shielding me from traffic.

We walked to Times Square, during which I spoke a lot about Mom. Bless him, he managed to say all of the wrong things -- asking me if I’m thinking about my career or a retirement community for Dad now. I found myself thinking a lot about David, how much more understanding and sensitive he is.

After lunch at a diner, we walked back uptown and I told Sparky about David.

“I’m glad you have a good boyfriend,” he said.

“I’ve had one or two before,” I said pointedly.

Later, I told Sparky I was glad we could still laugh together.

“We just can’t do the physical stuff,” he interjected.

Nevertheless, back in Sparky’s room, he beckoned me toward him.

“You know, I’ve been waiting for a big hug,” he said.

So I went over to him and we embraced. And I felt a rush of the warm feelings I’ve always felt for him.


* * *
Before the afternoon was over, Sparky would make an unexpected proposition -- and I would admit something I had never told him before.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Girls Night Out X 2

Tuesday night, I enjoyed a girls night out double header that began at the Empire Hotel’s rooftop bar, where I caught up with new galpal Amy.

Amy and I connected at an ADL gala back in October and discovered we’re both regulars on the charitable event circuit. Having lost my number one wing woman to the throes of marital bliss, I was excited when Amy volunteered to hit the town with me.

Over drinks, we talked about upcoming events we’re planning to attend and the importance of looking your best when catching up with an old flame.

Vintage: this chic Hell’s Kitchen lounge has a fabulous martini menu

After Amy and I parted company, I headed down to Vintage bar in Hell’s Kitchen, where I enjoyed a few cocktails with fellow dating bloggers Simone and Lost Plum.

The three of us traded observations about the mommy blogger mafia’s hold on corporate America, and the perils of dating men with high-powered jobs and a penchant for text messaging.

“That sounds like my last five relationships,” Simone quipped.

When it comes to sassy, candid takes on singlehood in NYC, it doesn’t get any better than Simone and Lost Plum. Do yourself a favor and check out their fabulous blogs.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Reader Perk: City Lights Gala Discount

History Starts Now is celebrating the holiday season with its First Annual City Lights Gala -- and offering Single Gal In The City readers a 15% discount on tickets to the event!

Aspen Social Club: HSN's City Lights Gala will take place at this swanky lounge

This Sunday from 6-9pm, the charitable group -- which supports the fight against sex trafficking of minors -- is taking over NYC’s trendy Aspen Social Club. Hosted by James O’Connor of the hit television show “White Collar” and Joseph Perrino of “The Sopranos,” the event will feature complimentary hors d’oeuvres and signature cocktails during the first hour, and desserts by Tawny Treats.

Aspen will be donating 10% of the evening's bar sales to History Starts Now. Gala evening attire is requested.

Tickets for the event are $35, but History Starts Now is offering SGITC readers a special price of $30 at the door. All you have to do is email Jaclyn at press@historystartsnow.info by December 5th to RSVP and mention Single Gal In The City.

Let me know if you plan to attend. I might be there, if my bruised leg is feeling better by Sunday!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

When PDA Attacks


It’s not often that a public display of affection lands you in the doctor’s office -- but that’s exactly where I hobbled to this afternoon with a badly bruised leg and possible fracture.

The injury happened Saturday, during date #3 with adorable PR exec E. Having just sang karaoke at Top Tunes in Midtown, we were feeling particularly celebratory. E and I began smooching until, all of a sudden, we both lost our balance and I fell backward.

As it turns out, we had an unexpected audience for our PDA. I received an email from my cousin the next day saying that she and her husband spotted us at Top Tunes, but refrained from saying hello since we were…otherwise engaged.

I guess the moral of the story here is make sure you’ll holding onto something other than your date when engaging in PDA. Or at least, that you’re both surefooted.

Coming up…drinks with two fellow NYC dating bloggers and a special event perk for SGITC readers.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Using The Internet For Revenge

Revenge may be a dish best served cold, but in this day and age of the Internet, it’s all too easy to seek vengeance online when you’re blazing mad.

On the 'net, revenge is just a keystroke away (illustration: Boris Kulikov/Wall Street Journal)

In today’s Wall Street Journal, columnist Elizabeth Bernstein takes a look at examples of webtribution. Among the stories – a wife who outed her cheating husband on his Facebook page…and one from yours truly about a nasty exchange with an ex following my blog post about his engagement.

As I told Elizabeth, the episode taught me to think twice before lashing out online, no matter how irresistible it might be.

Have you ever used the ‘net to exact revenge against someone? You can read the full WSJ story here – hopefully without being tempted to recreate the same scenarios.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Downside of Virtual Flirting



When you’re single, social networking often takes on a whole new dimension -- as I discovered not too long ago with a brief Twitter flirtation.

It began with a direct message from Tom, one of my Twitter followers and a Connecticut-based fellow PR practitioner. Our conversation moved quickly from business practices in a down economy to playful banter.

Referencing my Twitter bio, which mentions a previous stint in broadcast news, Tom said --

“Well, you're TV gorgeous.”

A few more direct messages and texts later, we were sharing favorite cocktails and planning to get together in person. Tom asked me when I was Connecticut-bound, and I countered with asking when he was coming to the city.

“Whenever you say yes to letting me buy you drinks,” he replied.

Though our e-flirting didn’t end up materializing into a date, I couldn’t help thinking about how the Internet, text messaging and the like have become a double-edged sword when it comes to romance.

For as much as technology makes it easier to interact with new people, it also makes truly connecting more difficult -- because it has overtaken traditional methods of communication like ye old telephone.

Whatever happened to the ritual of extending a date invitation by phone? Or following up after a great date with an actual conversation instead of a text message? You can say a lot more by using your voice than you can with your Blackberry.

Which is why I’m happy to skip the virtual flirting in favor of making connections through more old fashioned means -- speed dating.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Dazzling House Concert

Earlier this week, I had the great pleasure of hosting an NYC House Concert at my place.

Pre-Concert Smiles: Violinist Clauda Schaer, me and Michael

The ongoing concert series, produced by my friend Michael, features top classical, jazz, and folk musicians performing in homes throughout the New York metropolitan area. Monday’s featured artist was delightful solo violinist Claudia Schaer.

During the pre-concert cocktail hour, I mingled with the lively, interesting crowd of about fifteen people.

Real estate exec and fellow Upper East Sider Nadia and I chatted about the charms of both her native Vancouver. Samsung exec Soo and I had a laugh over the tendency of many Gotham men to try rushing into the bedroom -- especially when I told her the tale of an ex’s best friend who once disrobed without invitation.

First-class Talent: Claudia dazzled everyone with her performance

As soon we all took our seats and the room filled with Claudia’s versatile sounds, I was mesmerized. Her performance of a four-part Bach Sonata followed by a Bartok Sonata were unlike anything I’ve heard.

It’s no wonder Claudia has been the recipient of several international competitions. She is a stunning talent who carries herself with the elegance and poise of a true artist.

Visit Claudia’s website to find out more about her and her upcoming performances. For info about NYC House Concerts, click here.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Opening The Vault: Part Fifty Six

When you’re facing a devastating loss, your partner becomes much more than a significant other -- he becomes your anchor. That was most definitely the case eleven years ago, when dashing, noble Brit David came into my life a few months before my mother passed away.

Totoya: David and I had one of our first dates at this UES Japanese eatery

The friend of a college’s friend husband, David had contacted me at his suggestion when he moved to NYC. The chemistry between us was immediate, and we quickly fell into a relationship. I now Open The Vault and take you back to the summer of ‘98...

August 9, 1998
New York, NY

Dear Diary,

David is the nicest guy I’ve met in ages. He’s charming, funny, affectionate and -- hoorah! -- British. And he takes me away from the pain of Mom’s illness.

I waited until I got back from my recent trip to London to confide in David about what is happening to her. He could not have been more supportive or understanding.

David is a thousand times more fun and uncomplicated than the baggage-laden older men I’ve usually attracted to. Then again, it’s only been two months. He could develop three heads or never call me again. With my track record, I’m prepared for anything…I think.

* * *

August 24, 1998

David is so wonderful -- everything I’ve wanted in a man for so long. The first guy who is not only good to me but good for me. No ex wives, no kids, no tortured background.

He’s continually coming up with ways to make me smile (cute emails, gifts, flowers). For two months now, his track record has been a very good one. He’s seeing me at my worst and yet he hasn’t run scared or pulled back. Part of me wouldn’t blame him if he did.

* * *

David remained steadfast, and our bond continued to deepen, as my mother’s condition deteriorated. Our love, however, would be put to the test by the return of an old flame -- at the worst possible time.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Charitable Event Pick: Starlight’s Holiday Happy Hour


When it comes to festive, first-class events, the Starlight Children's Foundation always does it up right. Experience the fun for yourself at Starlight’s upcoming Holiday Happy Hour.

Set for Wednesday, December 2nd at 7pm, the fundraising event will take place at Mad River Bar & Grill on NYC’s Upper East Side. The $25 ticket price funds the purchase of a teddy bear for a hospitalized child.

For more info and to purchase tickets, click here.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Counting My Blessings

When it comes to celebrating the holiday season, one of my favorite traditions is taking the time to reflect on what I have to be thankful for. This year, my gratitude attitude comes from a long list of blessings both old and new.

I’m thankful for dear friends who share in my triumphs and comfort during my trials – blessing me with their compassion and understanding, and reminding me time and again that there is no greater gift than true and abiding friendship.

I’m thankful for my family, most especially my beloved and very much missed parents, whose legacy of love and strength continues to inspire me in living life with the zest that was so much a part of who they were.

I’m thankful to be part of the blogosphere, a rich, vibrant community that has connected me with many fabulous, smart women whom I’m fortunate to call peers.

I’m thankful for new beginnings and the willingness of the human heart to take its umpteenth chance on romance when someone wonderful enters the picture.

Finally, I’m thankful for my beloved hometown, for the continuing excitement of living in the world’s greatest city – a joy articulated so perfectly by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys in “Empire State of Mind:”

In New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There's nothing you can't do, now you're in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Let's hear it for New York

New York, New York

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

An Exciting Second Date

Friday night, I enjoyed an exciting second date with adorable 37-year-old PR executive E.

Bond 45: Great food and service in a bustling Theater District landmark
(photo courtesy: Shanna Ravindra, New York Magazine)

We met up at historic steak and seafood restaurant Bond 45. E took my face in his hand and greeted me with a quick kiss.

“You look great,” he said as he sat down. I smiled, grateful for the good hair day that I was having thanks to a quick blowout at lunchtime.

Over a delicious dinner (skirt steak cooked to perfection), E and I talked about our shared appreciation for architectural history and “NYPD Blue,” and our fondness for the good music and fun to be experienced at weddings.

Upon mentioning that I’ll be attending a friend’s nuptials in Boston next month, E asked if he could be my plus one. If only I had been invited with a guest.

After dinner, while walking through Times Square, E kissed me. I could feel every part of me ignite at his touch and, for a moment, I literally forgot where I was. Heaven.

E treated us to one of the most entertaining Broadway shows I’ve ever seen, “Burn The Floor.”

The high-energy two-hour ballroom dance extravaganza features stunning choreography, fantastic music and couples that truly sizzle. Anya and Pasha of “So You Think You Can Dance” were among the show’s talented troupe, which also boasts dancers from as far away as Russia and Australia.

Next, we headed downtown to E’s office on Hudson Street, where we took in sweeping city views from the roof deck -- and shared a few kisses in the moonlight.

Over drinks at a nearby Irish pub, E leaned forward and pulled at the ribbon on my top, clearly not realizing it was purely decorative.

“You need level 3 clearance for that kind of access,” I teased, “Right now, you’re only at level 1.”

“That’s okay,” he responded with a smile. “I have a lot of patience and I’m not going anywhere.”

Our last stop of the night was a tiny eatery designed like an old ship, where we shared a few appetizers and talked about favorite TV shows and portable gadgets.

Later, E walked me to a cab and pulled me into another knee-weakening, lingering kiss.

When it comes to second dates, it simply doesn’t get any better than this.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thursday Double Header

Thursday night, I headed over to swanky event venue Hudson Terrace for C Squared Group’s Fall Entrepreneurs networking mixer.

Hudson Terrace: C Squared group took over the swanky space for its fall event

More than 150+ people from a variety of industries filled the space, which boasts nearly 360-degree city views.

HR consultant Patrick and I talked about what makes a great vodka gimlet and why, in his view, “American Psycho” is a must-see/read. Sourcepad CEO Joe filled me in about his company, which is a great online resource for hiring freelance IT professionals that you can work with using live video.

Joe also told me the delightful story of how he met his wife -- during a Scrabble game at a friend’s place.

“She was beating everybody, and I’m terrible at Scrabble,“ he said with a laugh. “She took pity on me and started to help me, to the chagrin of everyone else.”

A Scrabble aficionado myself, I loved this tale of finding love across the game’s lettered tiles. As I’ve discovered with previous boyfriends, wordplay can be a great prelude to romance.

After having my fill of schmoozing, I met up with galpal Rachel at one of my favorite Hell’s Kitchen eateries, Cara Mia.

Over a delicious dinner (grilled calamari, spinach fettuccini in vodka sauce), Rach and I reflected on the multi-step process of getting over a big love -- and the importance of keeping busy along the way with good friends and meeting new people.

Speaking of new people, I filled Rach in about HurryDater E and how much I enjoyed my first date with him. Up next…details about equally exhilarating date #2.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Dinner With An Online Dating Trailblazer

Wednesday, I headed over to Tenzan restaurant in Midtown for dinner with Dating Revolution founder and CEO Ross Felix.

Tenzan: The Midtown outpost of this Upper West Side eatery offers swift service & tasty sushi

Over a delicious selection of sushi rolls, we talked about the highs and lows of online dating, and being single in New York.

Whether it’s following certain rules or throwing out the playbook altogether, many Gotham singles seem to think there’s a strategy that has to be followed when it comes to making a lasting connection. Ross and I both agreed that common sense and putting yourself out there are the most important keys to dating success.

A JDate.com success story, Ross -- with the support and creative input of his fiancĂ©e – is breathing new life into the Internet dating space. Currently in beta testing mode, Dating Revolution will offer a number of safeguards and tools that Match.com and other existing sites don’t.

Dating Revolution will solicit member feedback to help enforce dater honesty, while color coded searching will make it easier to find matches faster. And you can also maximize opportunities for connecting by joining niche communities within the site specific to religion, hobbies, etc.

For a limited time, membership to the site is free. Click here to find out more.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Girls Night Out: Whiskey Trader

Tuesday night, after seeing “Superior Donuts,” I headed over to the Whiskey Trader in Midtown for a happy hour hosted by The Lost Girls.


Bartending Goddesses: (from left) Lost Girls authors and bloggers Amanda, Jen and Holly

While enjoying a couple of cosmos mixed perfectly by Jen, my Divalicious friend Heidi and I talked about male profiling -- i.e., making assumptions about men in suits. She presumes they’re dull and conservative, I think a suit usually spells sophistication.

Speaking of assumptions about the opposite sex, I decided to vet my theories on texting versus calling with a couple of friendly guys at the bar.

When I said that texting to make plans is less considerate than making a call, both men balked. They maintained that it’s hard to know when is a good time to call a woman, and one even tried to liken texting and emailing to the lost art of letter writing.

With all due respect, I think these are just excuses for not taking initiative and picking up the phone. As DatingRevolution founder Ross Felix puts it so well in this blog post, guys need to man up here. A quick call goes a long way toward making a girl (this girl, at least) feel courted.

Coming up…a look at Broadway’s sizzling “Burn The Floor” and an action-packed night out in Hell’s Kitchen.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

An Eventful Week

When it comes to the perfect mix of female bonding, nights out on the town and budding romance, this week had it all.

Girls Night Out: Heidi and me at The Lost Girls happy hour

From a happy hour celebrating The Lost Girls and their upcoming memoir and a schmoozefest at one of NYC's hottest event spaces to an exhilarating second date with adorable HurryDater E, I’ve been on the go non-stop and enjoying every minute of it.

Coming up…details of all the action and the debut of a new SGITC feature.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Charitable Event Pick: Friends Of NY Toy Drive


Tis the season for festive fun and giving back – and you can enjoy both at the upcoming Fourth Annual Friends of New York Real Estate Toy Drive.

Set for Monday November 30th, the benefit for The NY Foundling & HELP USA will take place at Knoll. The event runs from 6-9pm and will feature wine tasting, hors d’oeuvres and raffle prizes including signed memorabilia from the cast of "The Sopranos" and much more.

Tickets are $25 with a toy, $40 without. Toys accepted for newborn through 15 years old and must be new or used in good condition.

For more info and to RSVP, email Sandy Snyder at ssnyder@vvainc.com or call 212-576-8400.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Superior Donuts: A Sheer Delight

Tuesday night, I went to see “Superior Donuts.” Written by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright Tracy Letts, the show is a deliciously worthy follow up to his debut hit “August: Osage County.”

A Broadway Treat: Michael McKean (Arthur) and Jon Michael Hill (Franco) in “Superior Donuts”

The show starts off with a bang, after a break-in at the titular Chicago donut shop run by aging hippie Arthur Przybyszewski (Michael McKean). Divorced and alone, Arthur is resigned to maintaining his quiet existence at the family-run shop – until young dreamer Franco Wicks (Jon Michael Hill) shows up looking for a job and the opportunity to breathe new life into Superior Donuts. When an unexpected tragedy befalls Franco, Arthur is forced to decide whether he’s going to continue playing it safe.

As he did so effectively in “August…,” Letts tells a story that is equal parts poignant and funny, with crisp dialogue and believable, flawed characters. McKean is touching as hopeless Arthur P, but it is Hall who steals the show as smart, tough talking Franco. The supporting cast is equally superb, especially Yasen Peyankov (Max Tarasov) as a fiery Russian neighbor trying to make Arthur an offer he can’t refuse.

“Superior Donuts” is first-class entertainment, with a story that delivers big laughs and lump-in-your-throat emotion. Don’t miss it.

The show continues its run at Broadway’s Music Box Theater. For tickets, click here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Double Dose Of Female Bonding

Saturday, I enjoyed a double dose of female bonding that began with galpal Amanda.

Pershing Square: This cozy bistro is conveniently located right across from Grand Central Terminal

Over brunch at cozy bistro Pershing Square in Grand Central, we caught up on work, life and dating. Amanda filled me in on PR plans for her upcoming travel memoir The Lost Girls, including a book club tour across the U.S. I told her about an industry award that could lead to winning Best of Show with my colleagues for the second time in my PR career.

We also talked about one of our biggest pet peeves in the dating world – text messaging. Phone-o-phobia, as Midtown Girl calls it, has reached epidemic proportions among single men. Both Amanda and I have recently gone out with great guys who choose texting as a means for making plans. Sorry, but romance simply doesn’t go hand in hand with messages of 160 characters or less.

Later, I headed to lively bar Joshua Tree in Midtown for my good friend and former colleague Cristina’s bachelorette party.

All Smiles: Bride-to-be Cristina and me

Over multiple rounds of cocktails and shots, we toasted the bride-to-be on her pending nuptials in Boston next month to longtime love Chris. Thanks to an endless loop of 80’s videos, I got my groove on on top of a chair – until a grumpy bouncer instructed me to sit down. I should’ve told him to relax, because I’ve done this particular maneuver several times over the years without incident.

Shaking My Booty: The music at Joshua Tree made this inevitable

After bidding the bride-to-be goodnight, I was feeling wistful so I decided to walk up Third Avenue for awhile. I remembered when Cristina got engaged two years ago and felt unnerved all over again about still being single.

But then I reminded myself of the upside about being unattached, namely the adventure of what’s right around the corner. HurryDater E is taking me out for date #2 on Friday.