Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Charitable Event Pick: Cocktails For A Cause

Tomorrow night, you can mingle with young professionals down in SoHo at Cocktails For A Cause, a benefit for A Caring Hand.

Southside: A Caring Hand will host a cocktail event at this SoHo hotspot tomorrow

A Caring Hand helps bereaved children and families in grief, offering services to help them with their emotional journey and financial assistance to aid their future education. With 50% of inner city youth experiencing the unexpected death of a close relative or friend, that’s a mission worth supporting.

Cocktails For A Cause runs from 8-11pm tomorrow at SoHo hotspot Southside and will include an auction for exotic trips. Visit A Caring Hand’s website and donate $50 (per person) and your name will be added to the guest list.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dinner With A British Old Flame

Last week, I met up with E, a British old flame from my college days.

E resurfaced out of the blue in a Facebook email. I couldn’t help appreciating the irony of this, given that he was one of the reasons I hesitated to join Facebook in the first place.

During my junior year in London, E and I were good friends who ended up crossing the platonic line while he was on the rebound. One morning, I woke up to find a troubled look on E’s face. When I asked what was wrong, he responded--

“I don’t know…I just feel less for you than I did before.”


Bar Italia: E and I caught up over dinner at this fabulous UES wine bar and restaurant

Thankfully, it felt like a lifetime had passed since all of this unpleasantness as I approached E at Bar Italia.

Over a delicious dinner al fresco (including a heavenly plate of fettucini amatriciana), we talked about life, love and work. A film editor, E was in town working on the movie “Kick-Ass,” due out next spring. Now married with kids, he was quite inquisitive about why I’m still single, whether I’ve ever been in love, etc. By choice and yes, I answered, adding wryly that he’ll have to wait for my book to find out more.

E thanked me for agreeing to meet him, observing that I had every reason not to. Laughing, I admitted my initial inclination was to say no but then I figured, why not?

I’m glad I indulged my curiosity. Seeing E again put an important period on a brief but seminal chapter in my young adulthood.

As I walked away from him, I thought to myself -- he’s just an ordinary guy, one who happened to teach me the value of proceeding with caution when it comes to romance. And who, by extension, made me appreciate how great it feels to throw caution to the wind whenever you meet someone who warrants it.

Monday, September 28, 2009

U2 Rocks Giants Stadium

Thursday night, I headed out to Giants Stadium with galpals Sara, Andrea and Leila to see U2.

Our first stop at the Meadowlands -- Inside Sports & Entertainment Group’s fabulous tailgate party. With cold hors d’oevures (mozzarella and tomato, crudite), yummy desserts and wine and beer, the premium ticket provider served a first class spread and spared all of us who attended from greasy, overpriced stadium fare. Thanks, Inside SEG.

Before The Show: Sara, me, Andrea and Leila

A little after 9pm, U2 took to the stage, opening their electrifying two-hour set with “Breathe” and their recent hit, “Get On Your Boots.”

“For a couple of Irish boys, why does this feel like a hometown gig?” Bono asked with a smile.

He and his bandmates had all of us in the capacity crowd cheering as they rocked a perfect mix of old and new tunes. From “Beautiful Day” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (to which everyone sang along) to “”No Line On The Horizon” and “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” U2’s 23-song set proved why they’re one of rock’s most enduring -- and most beloved -- bands.

U2 rocked it at Giants Stadium

U2’s talents were on full display thanks to a 360 degree set that had the band strutting across various platforms. Along with images of the band performing, massive overhead screens projected colorful words and symbols.

The show was infused with powerful messages about democracy and other social issues. Bono dedicated a moving rendition of “Walk On” to Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The 80’s classic “One” was more stirring than ever, overlaid in part with video footage of Bishop Desmond Tutu declaring --

“We are all the same, we are one.”

After two rousing encores that included “Where The Streets Have No Name” and “With Or Without You,” Bono once again thanked the audience. With a mischievous grin, he proudly stated that the crowd of 84,000 had broken attendance records at Giants Stadium -- exceeding both the Pope and Bruce Springsteen.

U2 was more than worth the long wait to finally see them in concert. Even with two decades of music behind them, the show proved they've still got plenty of rockin’ to do -- and plenty of fans who want to see them do it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Divine Nomination

Win or lose, it’s true that when it comes to awards, it really is an honor just to be nominated. Which is why I’m especially excited that Single Gal In The City has been nominated for a Love! This Site Award on Divine Caroline.

Thanks to my best friend and greatest champion Lisa, SGITC is now one of more than 40 blogs nominated in the relationships category. This is SGITC’s first ever web award nomination, so I’m hoping you’ll cast a vote and tell your friends to as well.

And while you’re over there, be sure to check out some of the fabulous other nominees in categories ranging from travel and style to home & food and body & soul.

Votes will be accepted through December 4th, 2009. To vote for SGITC, click here.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Opening The Vault: Part Fifty One

When it comes to breakups, some are truly final while others simply begin a new chapter in your relationship. For long distance love Mark (a.k.a. Sparky) and I, it was a case of the latter.

After our rocky bicoastal romance ended in 1995, Sparky and I continued seeing each other periodically when business brought him to New York. Each time, the powerful chemistry between us would resurface. I now Open The Vault and take you back to March of ‘97...

March 31st, 1997
New York, NY

Dear Diary,

I saw Sparky tonight for what was the briefest encounter we’ve had in the three years we’ve known each other. Amazingly enough, in the space of just a few hours, my feelings for him resurfaced with an intensity that had me in tears just a moment ago.

X Marks The Spot: Sparky and I reunited here at a now-defunct restaurant on 58th Street and First Avenue

After our tumultuous reunion last fall, I felt certain -- or as close to being certain as I can ever be about what Sparky and I have (i.e. not very) -- that each subsequent encounter would diminish his place in my heart. But it was the exact opposite that happened tonight.

I could feel the deepest emotional parts of me responding to his closeness. We lingered in one another’s arms every time we embraced. And it felt so wonderful, like it always does, when Sparky finally pulled me into a long kiss. Only one thing was missing -- those three little words.

It never really occurred to me that that would happen because, no matter what, we’ve always said “I love you” when we’re together. As if, in the middle of our overwhelming differences and impossible situation, that was the one thing I could always count on. Until tonight.

Sparky told me several times how happy he was to see me, and he was the one who initiated most of our hugs. Maybe I’m being unfair, expecting him to pick up where we left off, but he makes me believe that’s possible every time we’re together. He’s the one who reiterates how we’re at the same point in our lives, and how I should remember him in the future.

He didn’t say “I love you,” and yet he seemed truly delighted to be with me again. They say silence speaks volumes and he didn’t mention a word about his live-in girlfriend. Can I assume this means his heart still belongs to me? More importantly, why does that even matter anymore?

* * *

The question of Mark’s feelings would be answered soon after our brief reunion -- though it wasn’t enough to ward off a painful revisiting of where we’d gone so horribly wrong in the first place.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Jazz For A Great Cause

Monday night, my friend Rachel and I went to History Start Now’s Live Jazz cocktail benefit at Pranna in Gramercy.

History Starts Now: Rachel and me at the Live Jazz event

Held in the trendy Pan Asian restaurant’s inviting downstairs space, the semi-formal event featured hors d’oevures, signature drinks and fabulous musicians -- and sobering statistics about child trafficking.

Founded last year, History Starts Now uses a multi-media approach to raise awareness for the fight against sex trafficking of minors in the U.S. According to the group, 300,000 children are trafficked in the U.S., with 10,000 trafficked in NYC alone. The average age of most victims is 12-14 years old.

After talking with charming and well-informed HSN co-founders Rachael Lechliter and Kristina Lee Grandstaff, Rachel and I caught up on recent events. I told her about the end of my summer fling and upcoming second date with cute photographer Ali. She filled me in about her trip Down Under to Sydney, her former hometown.

Another charming Aussie ended up joining our conversation, Perth-born musician Mark. Part of a trio called the Out of Towners (his bandmates are from Japan and the U.K. respectively), Mark and co will be performing at Sugar Bar on October 13th.

Speaking of upcoming calendar-worthy occasions, History Starts Now will be hosting a winter event, one of four annual fundraisers. For more info about the group, click here.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Celebrating National Singles Week

While reading’s fabulous Single-ish blog, I learned that this is National Singles Week. It may not be a well known occasion (truthfully, I never even knew it existed), but I think it’s definitely one worth celebrating. Especially because there’s plenty to celebrate about being minus a plus one, as I’ve rediscovered over the last couple of days.

The other night, I headed out to happy hour on my own. It had been several months since I’d flexed my flirting muscles in this way, so I was both exhilarated and a little nervous.

Butterfield 8: A great place for happy hour fun and flirting

Thankfully, I picked a great spot -- lively midtown hotspot Butterfield 8 – with a good crowd. Within a matter of minutes, I found myself talking to charming gadget salesman Milton about everything from the search for happiness to what exactly constitutes good sex.

My conversation with Milton reminded me that, when you’re single, adventure is always right around the corner if you know where to look. Last night, my newly-single trainer was beaming about the possibilities that lay ahead for her now that she’s exited an unhappy relationship.

Of course, one of the best things about singlehood is the tradition of girls night out. Tonight, I will be enjoying a big night out with three of my best galpals – and U2 at Giants Stadium.

How are you celebrating National Singles Week? Whatever you do, make it fun and fabulous. After all, that’s what being single is all about.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Blast From The Past

When it comes to old flames, I’ve experienced my fair share of those inclined to make unusual requests.

One married ex suggested we go on a double date with his wife and my then-boyfriend. Another insisted I meet his live-in love -- the morning after he and I had shared a few passionate kisses. The most unexpected request, though, happened yesterday with E, an old flame from my college days.

E and I were good friends until a disastrous brief fling. In a Facebook email aptly titled “Blast From The Past,” he informed me that he was coming to New York today.

I was more than a little surprised to hear from E given that we hadn’t seen or spoken to each other in more than a decade. And even more surprised about what prompted his email -- a need for last-minute accommodations.

“If not you,” he asked, “Do you have any friends I might be able to stay with?”

He tempered this “super-cheeky” request by suggesting we catch up during his short visit. Here, I opted to oblige him.

Coming up…celebrating National Singles Week and, at long last, U2!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fashion Week Encore

Last week, I ventured backstage at Fashion Week once again with the crew from fabulous nail spa Dashing Diva.

Backstage at the Bryant Park tents

While the team made sure every Tibi runway model was perfectly manicured, I caught up with one of Dashing Diva’s delightful PR reps. We talked about the unceremonious timing of exes who decide to resurface and the search for a perfect apartment in NYC.

I also had the pleasure of meeting veteran beauty blogger Jamie Allison Sanders, who was off to another show – but not before making me smile when she said she’d heard of Single Gal In The City.

Just before the show began, I surveyed the crowd of perfectly coiffed fashionistas and decided it might be time for me to update my shoe and accessory repertoire. Who knew big, pearl-finished watches were all the rage?

The Tibi models strutting their stuff

Tibi’s Spring 2010 show served up a pretty and feminine mix of, as the tip sheet put it, abstract florals in icy pastels mixed with intensely saturated colors. One thing I would’ve liked to see more of – models with at least some degree of d├ęcolletage. One thing I would’ve enjoyed seeing less of – their bony backs. To paraphrase my best friend, these girls need some cheeseburgers stat.

Coming up…a jazzy night out for a good cause with a couple of Aussies and an outrageous request from a long ago ex.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Charitable Event Pick: End Of Summer Sizzle

The Starlight Children’s Foundation knows how to throw a party. Which is why I was excited to hear about the non-profit group’s upcoming End of Summer Sizzle event.

The Frying Pan: This popular hotspot is the venue for Starlight’s End of Summer Sizzle

Scheduled for this Wednesday, September 23rd, the event will be held at the Frying Pan, a bar built on a historic 1929 lightship and one of NYC’s top outdoor hotspots. Music will be provided by J.Tower of Pulse 87.7 FM. Admission covers two-hour premium open bar and hors d'oeuvres.

Starlight’s mission is to brighten the lives of seriously ill children and their families. Tickets to the End of Summer Sizzle are $40 in advance and $60 at the door. For more information, click here.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Central Park Date

There’s a classic moment on “Sex and the City” when Carrie and Big fall into the lake in NYC’s Central Park. Thankfully, I managed to avoid a similar fate here last weekend during my first date with Ali.

The Lake in Central Park: Carrie and Big got waterlogged at this romantic spot

The afternoon got off to a bumpy start when Ali turned up 45 minutes late -- without being too apologetic. Tardiness is one of my major pet peeves, but I opted to get past it given Ali’s two-hour trek in from New Jersey.

Following a quick snack, we rented a boat for a few hours. Along with learning that rowing isn’t as easy as it looks, I found out quite a bit about Ali.

A former resident of Canada and Colorado, Ali is into outdoor activities (skiing, tennis, water sports) and photography (he shoots weddings). We discovered a mutual affinity for working out. Ali said he struggles to gain weight. I admitted I would love to have that problem.

After our leisurely boat ride, we strolled around the park before parting company.

“You’re nice and I like spending time with you,” Ali said.

Even better, Ali said he won’t be late next time. We’re going out again next Sunday.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Opening The Vault: Part Fifty

When it comes to high school sweethearts, there’s good reason for the nostalgia associated with them. Years ago, I had the chance to rediscover why during a reunion with my prom date Hogan.

Ellis Island: Hogan and I shared a romantic afternoon here during his '97 visit to NYC

It was Valentine’s Day of '97. Hogey and I had reconnected months before in Toronto (where I spent part of my high school years). The chemistry between us had only deepened, so I was over the moon that he was finally coming to see me in New York. I now Open The Vault and take you back to February 1997...

New York, NY
February 7th, 2009

Dear Diary,

I can’t wait to see Hogan…Hogey has a sweetness and honesty that’s unlike any of the other men who have drifted in and out of my life. He’s driving down next weekend -- a 12-hour trek! -- and we’ll have our first opportunity ever to spend more than a night together.

Being with him will be the perfect cure for my winter blues.

* * *

February 15th, 1997

Even more so than during
our reunion back in October, I adore what makes Hogan who he is. There is no pretense or game playing with him because it simply doesn’t occur to him be that way.

As we cuddled by candlelight just now, I basked in the delight of our evolving closeness. We confide so easily in each other, invariably resuming without effort wherever we left off before.

Hogey himself mentioned how things between us continue to change each time we’re together.

“We never go backward,” he said. “We only move forward.”

He leaned over and nuzzled my nose before adding--

“I feel more and more passionate toward you.”

Indeed, the physical chemistry between us on this go-round has been very different from what it was in the past. It’s like the attraction between us has matured as we’ve come to know each other more completely. It felt so exhilarating to be with him.

Hogan’s tenderness has soothed away my recent romantic angst by reminding me that some connections only get better with the passing of time. We don’t have to complicate things by worrying about what comes next because the here and now is fulfilling enough.


* * *

It would be more than a year before Hogey and I were reunited again. In the meantime, another old flame paid me a visit -- Sparky.

Friday, September 18, 2009

MENu Dating Launch Party

Earlier this week, Haute Look threw a swanky party at NYC’s Bryant Park Hotel to celebrate the launch of “MENu Dating: Taste Test Your Way To The Main Course.”

The new book by Tristan Coopersmith and Todd Johnson offers a fun and fresh take on dating -- encouraging women to go out with as many different types of men as possible without fixating on settling down.

At the MENu Dating Soiree: Tristan and me

Tristan, who’s absolutely charming (and gorgeous) in person, told me that - much like eating tapas, it takes sampling a lot before you know exactly what you like and don’t like.

MENu Dating arose out of a little experiment between Tristan and Todd. Friends since childhood, the two decided to help each other interpret the opposite sex. For 90 days, neither could make a move in their love life without the other’s approval.

“Todd and I dated largely and lively,” she writes, “enjoying each and every moment of it.”

The duo tested their theories on scores of friends, and both Tristan and Todd have found their respective soulmates. You can’t argue with that kind of success.

MENu Dating is a must-read for singles. It’s a wonderful reminder that the road to happily ever after can be an adventure -- especially when you’re willing to step outside of your comfort zone and do some taste testing.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dinner With A Sweetheart From Long Ago

Thursday, after my action-packed experience at Fashion Week, I met up for dinner with my old flame Alain.

Like many blasts from the past these days, this one came about through Facebook. Now married and living in Helsinki, Alain reached out and I was excited to hear from him. Fifteen years my senior, he was my first experience of May-December romance back in the day.

It had been well over a decade since we’d last seen each other, so we had lots to talk about over dinner at Accademia di Vino.

Accademia di Vino: Alain and I talked about life, love and tennis over dinner at this UES hotspot

We talked about timing and the role it plays in finding happily ever after. Alain said it was when he decided he was going to take a break from the New York dating scene that the tide turned. Alain started hearing from several old girlfriends, but it was on the tennis court where he met his match.

Months later, when his Finnish-born sweetheart proposed by declaring they were getting married in her hometown, he was more than happy to say yes. As he shared this, I couldn’t help thinking that, when you find your life’s partner, the semantics of how you wind up together don’t seem to matter so much.

As he did many so years ago, Alain demonstrated that he’s one of the good guys.

“I couldn’t leave this earth,” he told me, “without telling you how sweet you are.”


Coming up…a new author’s delectable approach to dating and a look at how to break up without being mean.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fashionable Night Out

Last Thursday, I joined the crew from Dashing Diva -- my favorite nail spa -- for the Rosa Cha show at Bryant Park.

Strike A Pose: Backstage at the Bryant Park tents

From a crush of photographers to waif-like girls getting primped for the runway, there’s plenty of action backstage at Fashion Week. Dashing Diva’s team, led by celeb nail artist Pattie Yankee Williams, was busy doing manicures for all of the models.

Pattie used Miranda’s Law, a bold, bright coral polish, for the Rosa Cha models

Pattie mentioned some of her favorite famous clients (Rachael Ray and Brooke Shields are among them) and shared a few tips for making a manicure last longer -- buff your nails first and use a top-notch base coat. With more than 25 years in the fancy finger business, Pattie knows what she’s talking about.

The show started fashionably late and featured a look at Rosa Cha’s 2010 beachwear collection. Only one front row celeb sighting here, "The Bachelorette" star Jillian Harris.

On The Catwalk: Rosa Cha’s leggy models

My next stop was Saks Fifth Avenue, which had festivities on every floor as part of Fashion’s Night Out. A packed crowd of shoppers enjoyed complimentary makeovers, blowouts and the opportunity to mingle with some of the biggest names in the world of style. I met legendary designers Carolina Herrera and Elie Tahari.

How Chic: Designer Elie Tahari and me at Saks

With more than 800 FNO events around the city, I was tempted to see what other bold-faced names I could encounter. I opted instead to head home, to get ready for a last-minute blast from the past.

What a night.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Party For The Broadroom

Last week, I headed over to Barney’s on Madison Avenue for More magazine’s premiere party for Candace Bushnell’s new webisode series, "The Broadroom."

Meredith Corporation and Maybelline, co-producers of the series, took over Fred’s restaurant for the swanky soiree, which boasted a crowd of well-coiffed fashionistas and scrumptious hors d’oeuvres (my favorite: the truffled risotto balls).

The Broadroom ladies: (from left) Lauren Devereux, Jennifer Esposito, Jennie Garth, author Candace Bushnell, Mary McCann and Talia Balsam

“The Broadroom” follows five businesswomen who meet in a conference room and end up sharing their gripes about, among other things, husbands, wardrobes, careers and juggling it all.

“Caramel kiss -- when did they start naming lipsticks after food?” asks Roan (Jennifer Esposito)
“When food became more interesting than sex,” quips Natasha (Jennie Garth).

Jennie Garth raved about Bushnell and her co-stars

Garth, looking fabulous in a black bubble dress, told me she jumped at the project because of Bushnell’s smart writing and clicked immediately with her castmates as soon as the cameras start rolling.

Jennifer Esposito rocked a form-fitting silver mini dress

During the party, I ran into journalism school classmate and news editor Iris and her colleague Erica.

Catching up: Iris and I were classmates at Columbia University’s J-school

We traded war stories about one of the most treacherous types in the dating world – the married man who masquerades as a bachelor. Erica mentioned a friend who didn’t discover until she became engaged after a year with her beau that he was already married to someone else. Yikes.

Speaking of marital escapades, you can watch episode one of “The Broadroom" (“Husband Hijinks”) here. Episode two airs online September 25th.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Remembering Patrick Swayze

I was saddened to learn of Patrick Swayze’s passing today. Like my beloved mother -- who died 11 years ago this month -- he lost his heroic battle with cancer at the terribly young of age 57.

Patrick was as adored offscreen as he was for his iconic movie roles

Like countless movie fans around the world, I fell in love with Patrick for his iconic roles in “Ghost” and “Dirty Dancing.” It’s no exaggeration to say that I’ve probably seen “Dirty Dancing” about 80 times, marveling each time at the soulful sweetness he breathed into the character of Johnny Castle -- and of course, his flawless dance moves.

Dirty Dancing: Baby wasn't the only one whose heart Patrick stole in this beloved film

Offscreen, Patrick was known for being a true gentleman and for his enduring 34-year marriage to wife Lisa Niemi. In an industry where relationships rarely last beyond the next tabloid cycle, theirs was a true love affair that stood the test of time.

Patrick’s talent and courageous and noble spirit will never be forgotten. May he dance into eternity and rest in peace.

An Evening With Two Chick Lit Authors

Last Tuesday, I headed over to the 92nd Street Y to listen to prolific chick lit authors Jennifer Weiner and Candace Bushnell.

Chick Lit Queens: Weiner and Bushnell charmed the sold out crowd

Longtime friends, the two ladies talked candidly about their life experiences and their passion for writing.

With self-deprecating wit, Weiner told the crowd that anything is material as a writer – from teaching her 21-month-old daughter to say boobies to her mother coming out as a lesbian at age 54. All of us in the audience laughed as Weiner recounted the awkwardness of sharing her debut novel’s title, Good In Bed, with her mother.

A newspaper reporter for 10 years, Weiner always wanted to be a writer. Bushnell had five completed novels in her drawer when she started writing her legendary “Sex and The City” columns at age 34. Her favorite subjects—

“Focusing on what makes me uncomfortable and on people’s choices. I’m fascinating by the choices people make and what they do to get ahead.”

With a draft of her latest work – Carrie Bradshaw’s high school diaries – due next week, Bushnell also shared her observations about life as a teenager.

Candace and me: The author signed copies of One Fifth Avenue after the lecture

“When you’re young, you look for tools to help you understand the world,” she said.

“You go through it skinless,” Weiner added. “Everything hurts more. That time is so fraught and intense.”

My favorite quote of the night – Weiner describing friendship as an opt-in sisterhood. DNA-induced ties notwithstanding, it's usually the best kind of sisterhood to be a part of.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Inevitable Reprise

After you break up with someone, it often happens that -- voluntarily or not -- your paths end up crossing again.

One of my favorite books, The Heartbreak Handbook, refers to this as the inevitable reprise. I’ve been down that road many times, reconciling with an ex-boyfriend or briefly revisiting the spark that ignited in the first place. When I caught up with a summer fling for drinks this weekend, I couldn’t help thinking about the allure of the old flame -- and how fleeting it is.

He said he’s missed me since I broke it off between us three weeks ago. Though the chemistry between us was still there, so were the reasons I chose to walk away. As he spoke of his difficult work schedule and inability to express his feelings, I found myself feeling very grateful that I’m no longer dealing with either anymore.

Like the other exes I’ve reconnected with, my fling reminded me how fortunate I am to still be single and not have settled for less than what I’ve deserve. Closure is a wonderful thing.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Star Studded Week

If you’re the kind of person who gets starstruck, New York is an ideal place for indulging this particular inclination. For me, that’s never been more true of my hometown than over the last seven days.

From spotting the “Sex And The City” gals in action and meeting SATC author Candace Bushnell to saying hello to famed Chicago chef Tony Mantuano and fashion royalty, it’s been quite a week.

My favorite celeb encounter? Meeting 90210’s Kelly Taylor, the lovely Jennie Garth.

Jennie Garth and me at the premiere party for Candace Bushnell’s new webisode series

Jennie stars in Bushnell’s new webisode series, "The Broadroom." Coming up…more about that and my eventful week -- including a surprise visit from an old flame.

Friday, September 11, 2009

SGITC Perk: Sex And The City Tour

With excitement about SATC2 continuing to build, there couldn’t be a better time to check out the fabulous “Sex and the City” Hotspots tour. And I’m excited to report that On Location Tours is offering a 10% discount for Single Gal In The City readers on both SATC and “Gossip Girl” tour tickets!

On Carrie’s Stoop: (from right) Me, my dear friend Steve and his mom took this photo during the SATC Hotspots tour

I had the pleasure of doing the three-hour SATC tour a few years back. Led by actresses and stand-up comediennes who know the show inside and out, it covers more than 40 locations from the movie and the TV show -- including the bakery where Carrie and Miranda ate cupcakes, the shop where Charlotte bought her "Rabbit,” and the trendy Meatpacking District. The last stop – a round of cosmos at the bar owned by Aidan and Steve.

This week, SATC2 filmed on Fifth Avenue, near the Hotspots tour's departure point

The tour departs at 11am and 3pm daily in front of Pulitzer Fountain on Fifth Avenue. On Location Tours has also launched "Sex and the City" girlfriend getaways and bachelorette packages that include the tour of SATC Hotspots by limousine, dinner at a location used in the show, and admission to one of the nightclubs where scenes from the show were filmed.

To book your tickets for SATC Hotspots or the “Gossip Girl” tour, click here and enter discount code SINGLEGAL to receive a 10% discount.

Stay tuned for more SGITC perks…and the chance to win a pair of free SATC tour tickets!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Unexpected Love Connection

When you’re a thirtysomething single and you encounter women who’ve found their lifetime partner, you invariably find yourself asking – how did you meet him? After a recent exchange of this kind, I couldn’t help thinking about the unexpected ways in which someone special can cross your path.

While attending a chick lit lecture the other night, married gal Marissa and newly-engaged Wendy filled me in about their respective roads to happily ever after. Marissa met her hubby in a Brooklyn bar, only to discover later that they lived just four blocks from each other. Wendy, meanwhile, got lucky at a singles boat party she grudgingly attended at the insistence of her friends.

Their stories reminded me that, statistical probability be damned, you never know when chemistry will ignite. This weekend, I’m going on a date with Ali, the friend of a friend’s new husband. We met at the newlyweds’ moving-to-the-burbs party, where a romantic prospect was the last thing I expected to find.

That’s the thing about being unattached in New York. Thanks to the element of surprise, the next adventure is always right around the corner.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Another Glimpse Of SATC2

Yesterday, I joined the throngs of onlookers in Midtown lined up to watch “Sex and the City 2” in action.

I managed to catch a glimpse of Sarah Jessica Parker and Kristin Davis filming a few takes of a breezy stroll in front of NYC’s legendary Plaza Hotel.

SJP and Kristin Davis on the set of SATC2

SJP rocked a semi-sheer white Halston dress that she also wore in scenes shot last week with Chris Noth. Kristin was at her Charlotte chic best in a bright pink Christian Dior skirt suit with a matching satchel and heels.

Primping between takes. Check out Kristin’s two-toned pumps!

After shooting wrapped for the day, Kristin flashed a smile and waved at fans. Despite being completely mobbed, SJP graciously did likewise and even stopped to sign autographs and pose for a few pictures.

SJP was all smiles for her adoring fans

Later, my SATC-themed fun continued when I had the chance to meet author Candace Bushnell at a book signing. More details about that coming up.

SATC2 continues filming today around 58th Street between 6th and 7th Avenue, and 59th Street between 5th Avenue and Madison. For the latest about SATC2, check out Cosmo Guy, the best source for “Sex and The City 2” news.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A New Season Begins

Now that Labor Day has come and gone and there’s a slight chill in the air, it feels like fall is officially here. And so far, the new season is shaping up to be an eventful one for Single Gal In The City.

Sex And The City 2: The Fab Four was reunited on set today. I’m hoping to catch them in action later this week.

This week, I’ll be stopping by the premiere party for Candace Bushnell’s new webisode series, "The Broadroom." Also on the calendar – going backstage at Fashion Week with the Dashing Diva crew, a second visit to the set of SATC 2 and a date with Ali, an adorable photographer that I met at my friend Cindy’s recent farewell to NYC party.

Ali has already managed to get me out of my comfort zone – a goal I’ve been pondering quite a bit since doing a radio interview last week on the subject. I took the initiative to ask him out. Technically, Ali made the first move by giving me his card as I left Cindy’s soiree. Though I figured it was a safe bet that he was interested, I still felt slightly daring in doing the asking.

Sometimes, it’s fun to break the rules.

Monday, September 7, 2009

At Last: Avenue Q

Last weekend, I went to see Avenue Q. The hilarous Tony Award-winning musical was more than worth the long wait it took for me to see it.

Four years ago, a nasty bout of food poisoning -- picked up at (no joke) a restaurant called Good Enough To Eat -- forced me to miss out on the performance I had tickets for. I couldn’t help wondering, would Avenue Q live up to all the hype?

In a word, absolutely.

Inspired by the set and characters of Sesame Street, Avenue Q is a wickedly funny, raunchy tale about the colorful human and puppet residents of an NYC tenement. The show tackles -- among other topics -- sex, racism and homosexuality with wit and bracing honesty.

The show’s story centers around idealistic college grad Princeton (Robert McClure), his search for a job and a purpose, and his romance with Kate Monster (Anika Larsen). When things don’t go turn out as he plans, Princeton learns some hard lessons about life and love.

Avenue Q manages to strike the perfect balance between politically incorrect snark and sentimentality. The ensemble cast does a heroic job of breathing life into their puppet counterparts, leaving you laughing uproariously along the way.

Broadway will lose a major source of fun when Avenue Q goes dark for good this month. After more than 2,500 performances, the long-running show will wrap up its six-year run on September 13th.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

By The Numbers: On Air Edition

I recently had the pleasure of catching up with my former Fox News boss and good friend Jerry.

Over a delicious lunch at Ben’s Kosher Deli & Restaurant in NYC’s Garment District, we reminisced about our days together at Fox ten years ago. It should probably be illegal to have as much fun at work as we did.

Shepard Smith: This Fox News anchor fronts the primetime show that I worked on

As we recalled that magical time, I couldn’t help thinking about my former career path.

Before jumping ship to the world of public relations, I spent seven years working in TV news. From taking flight in a golf cart powered by an electric parachute to interviewing newsmakers big and small (Senator Bob Dole, Jared the Subway sandwich guy), I enjoyed plenty of adventures in pursuit of the day’s news. Here are some of the highlights -- By The Numbers:

Number of jobs in TV news: 7
Number of TV news jobs that required moving out of state to small towns: 3
Number of on-camera reporting jobs: 2
Number of TV news gigs abroad (in Sydney, Australia): 1
Number of winter weather disasters experienced during TV news stints: 2

Back in ‘97, I was a morning news producer in Bangor, Maine when a devastating ice storm hit. Later, during a 2003 blizzard in Delaware that shut down the state, I did a live report on the disaster from a waist high snow bank.

Yes, producing the news may not always be glamorous but one thing is for sure --- it’s one hell of a ride.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Singles Event Pick: Live Jazz Night

When it comes to the smooth sounds of jazz, there’s no shortage of places in the Big Apple -- so named by musicians back in the 1920’s -- to hear it. On Monday, September 21st, the place to hear it will be at History Starts Now’s Live Jazz Night.

Pranna Restaurant: Live Jazz Night will take place here

The four-hour event will take place at trendy Pranna Restaurant on Madison Avenue and feature live music, mingling and luxury raffles. Also included in the $20 ticket price -- a free signature cocktail and complimentary hors d’oeuvres. The first 100 guests will receive a gift bag.

History Starts Now uses a multi-media approach to raise awareness for the fight against sex trafficking of minors in the U.S. Event proceeds will support the group’s partner, Redlight Children Campaign.

Live Jazz Night kicks off at 7pm on the 21st. For tickets and more info, click here.

Coming up…finding dates in unexpected places and going inside the tents at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Opening The Vault: Part Forty Nine

Breaking up is hard to do, especially when it’s with someone who’s treated you like a princess. Back in ‘97, my second and final split from then-boyfriend Larry had me guilt ridden over hurting such a great guy.

A 16-year age difference proved to be too much for us to overcome, as I realized I wasn’t ready to settle down. Still, after a year together and one brief trial split, saying goodbye wasn’t easy.

I now Open The Vault and take you back to January of 1997...

January 28th, 1997
New York, NY

Dear Diary,

Larry and I broke up again the other night -- and this time I think it’s for good.

Unlike our previous split (I initiated both), this separation was not the result of an impulse to retaliate for anything. When I ended things back in October, it was primarily because he had let me down when I needed him most.
Ironically, more so than he ever did before -- and that’s saying a lot -- Larry treated me like a princess these last couple of months. Casting off internal demons that had kept him somewhat closed off, he revealed a tender, romantic streak the likes of which I’d never seen in a man before.

Suddenly, the “little things” whose absence I’d once lamented were part of what we shared -- flowers for no reason, unexpected phone calls, expressions of love.

But sadly, all of this came as I realized receiving Larry’s affections without being able to commit to him was selfish and unfair. After giving so much to our relationship, he deserves more than the emotional limbo I’ve led him into.

In an email today, Larry indicated the door is still ajar for yet another reprise between us. As much as I miss him, though, and wish I could ignore what is standing in our way, I don’t think we can reconcile.

* * *

February 7th, 1997

Larry and I emailed back and forth last week and I called him a few days ago. As always, he was full of love and understanding. He said he still wants to be my best friend, that no matter what he wants to be part of my life.

“Not a day goes by that I don’t thinking about you,” he said softly.

“I miss you,” I said.

“I miss you too,” he replied.

It was a wonderful, comforting conversation, one that made me hopeful about the possibility of us remaining in touch.

* * *
Larry and I would indeed stay connected. And my post-breakup blues about us would soon be lifted by the return of an old flame, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Visit To The Set of SATC2

Yesterday, I paid a visit to the set of “Sex And The City 2.”

Day two of the SATC2 shoot took place at a public school on NYC's Upper East Side. I caught a fleeting glimpse of Cynthia Nixon (Miranda) decked out in a sleeveless maroon dress and matching heels.

Also on set -- David Eigenberg (Steve) and young Joseph Pupo (Brady). David greeted his on-screen son, who's looking much more grown up now, with a big hug before heading inside for their scenes.

Back In Action: David Eigenberg (Steve) and Joseph Pupo (Brady)

Lynn Cohen (Magda) was as smiley and gracious as she was when I met her at the DVD launch party for “Sex And The City: The Movie.”

All Smiles: Lynn Cohen (Magda)

Later, I spotted SATC’s legendary costume designer Patricia Field in a funky bustier and hat ensemble.

Fashion Maven: Costume Designer Patricia Field

SATC2 is filming on 48th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue today, and on Perry Street in NYC’s West Village tomorrow. For the latest about filming locations, check out my favorite go-to source, On Location Vacations.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My First Trip To The US Open

Last night, my friend Sara and I headed out to Queens to catch the evening session at the U.S. Open.

Stadium Seating: Sara and I at the U.S. Open

After a delightful trip on the free Powerade Zero-sponsored ferry and a short bus ride, we arrived at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Wanting some sustenance before the games that wasn't greasy food court grub, we opted to check out a more upscale option -- Tony Mantuano’s Wine Bar Food.

The renowned Chicago chef -- and President Obama favorite -- serves up light, tasty dishes with his signature innovative style. Sara and I shared tomato bread with Serrano ham and manchego cheese and flaming ouzo shrimp that is truly heaven on a plate.

Finally, we made our way into the stadium, where we watched a few riveting sets between Maria Sharapova and Tsvetana Pironkova.

The evening’s main event -- an intense match between #2 ranked Andy Murray and Ernests Gulbis that saw lots of tough-to-call shots and challenges from both players. Underdog Gulbis held his own (and had the crowd cheering) but Murray defeated him in the end.

I have a whole new appreciation for the excitement and drama of tennis now. And it doesn’t hurt that, as you’re taking it all in, there’s some nice eye candy to look at -- on and off the court.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Girls Night Out: Bounce Sports Bar

Friday night, I had the pleasure of catching up with my cousin Carla over drinks at Bounce, a lively sports bar and restaurant on NYC’s Upper East Side.

Bounce: A good place for happy hour and, on occasion, mingling with men who love sports

Bounce was serving up 2-for-1 happy hour specials, so I treated us to some flavorful frozen margaritas that tasted more like daiquiris (note: strawberry tops coconut here).

Carla and I hadn’t seen each other since the start of summer, so we had lots to talk about. Among the threads of conversation – moving on from no-good old flames, the inevitable expiration date of summer flings and the pleasures of a good meal.

Calories be damned, we indulged our gastronomic whims and headed over to nearby Cilantro for tasty Mexican fare. There’s no better way to start the weekend than over a shared plate of guacamole with one of your favorite people who just happens to also be family. Even if -- now that I’m in Single Gal slimdown mode -- it means spending more time at the gym.

Coming up…a long-awaited visit to the set of SATC2 and a trip to the US Open.

SATC2 Begins Filming

Break out the cosmos -- Carrie Bradshaw is back! Filming for the "Sex and the City" sequel officially kicked off today. Check out this fabulous photos of Sarah Jessica Parker wearing a semi-sheer white dress and gold Christian Louboutin heels.

In glancing at the background, it looks like SJP is standing in front of the location that served as Carrie and Big's dream penthouse in the first SATC movie.

The real-life address of their dream pad -- 1010 5th Avenue near 82nd Street. If you're in NYC and in that neck of the woods today, you might want to head over and maybe you'll spot SJP in action. If you do, be sure to let SGITC know!