Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Best First Date Ever

When it comes to romance, there’s nothing quite like a first date. Which is why I was excited to be part of writer/blogger Kristen Flanagan’s roundup of best first dates ever.

Kristen asked a dozen female bloggers about their most memorable first dates. Effortless conversation, grand gestures, intensifying chemistry -- these stories have it all.

My favorite first date included a carriage ride through Central Park

My all-time greatest first date? It involved a carriage ride in Central Park and lingering in front of NYC’s legendary Plaza Hotel. You can read more about it in Kristen’s slideshow, and the full story in Opening The Vault parts six and seven.

With three mutual matches from my recent speed dating foray, I’m looking forward to experiencing the excitement of a first date all over again.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Girls Night Out: StyleFixx

Last week, galpals Caroline and Heidi joined me at StyleFixx’s fabulous Girls Night Out.

Caroline, me and Heidi at Girls Night Out

Held at NYC’s Metropolitan Pavilion, the shopping party featured more than a dozen fashion, beauty and accessory vendors, along with complimentary massages and free hair treatments. Included in the $30 ticket price -- five cocktails and a swag bag with girlie products ranging from lingerie tape to anti-humidity hair spritz.

StyleFixx’s first NYC event was a big success

My favorite finds of the night were in the accessories category. I loved Mara Sinderbrand of Mara Made Jewelry’s necklaces crafted from handbag beads. Equally elegant -- Martha Almeida of BluetNewYork’s no-pain velvet headbands.

While enjoying our drinks and some tasty samples of Vermont’s Cabot cheese, Caroline, Heidi and I talked about the downsides of high-tech communication. Heidi’s boyfriend bliss had hit a brief snag over a text messaging exchange. I, meanwhile, was still smarting over being deleted as a Facebook friend -- by my cousin. Ouch.

The three of us also shared a few laughs after Heidi convinced me to say yes to a stylist offering to flat iron my hair. I nearly flew out of the chair when he said this particular flat iron would set me back a cool $150. For that price, it should come with a hairstylist.

StyleFixx’s next Girls Night Out in NYC is set for spring 2010.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Return To Speed Dating

Last night, I headed down to East Village bar Sin Sin for HurryDate – my first speed dating event in well over a year.

Sin Sin: Not nearly as inviting as it looks here

Of the handful of times I’ve participated in HurryDate, this was the most lackluster in terms of logistics. Sin Sin’s downstairs lounge was dark and poorly ventilated. And the friendly hostess was having such a good time that she inadvertently gave the same number to multiple men – a mistake that could’ve led to missed connections because of incorrectly filled out scorecards.

Fortunately, all of this proved to be a good icebreaker during my 12 four-minute dates. It was a very international crowd, with men from Europe, India, Mexico and Hong Kong. And, much to my great relief, I enjoyed meeting most of them.

Handsome Italy-born Paolo and I chatted about Columbia University – my alma mater and his current employer. Charming Brit David impressed me with his dry wit and shared my opinion that London and New York are sister cities.

Of the American born and bred, former Milwaukee resident and book publishing exec John was far and away my favorite. Especially after I discovered that he was one of the men who’d received a duplicate number.

A few minutes after our date, the frazzled HurryDate host came over to tell me the number to which John had been reassigned.

“He told me to make sure you know,” she said.

Meanwhile, soft-spoken New Yorker Assim and I commiserated over our shrinking pools of single friends. Upon informing him that my favorite wingwoman recently married, Assim sighed empathetically and said his go-to buddy is now forever lost to domesticity too.

Of course, there were a few HurryDaters who didn’t leave a great impression. Like the one who said I sound like I’m from Brooklyn (trust me – this is not a compliment). Or the guy who said abruptly—

“You don’t have a lot of free time, do you?”

When I asked what prompted this observation, he said--

“You speak very quickly.”

Not surprisingly, I can’t remember his name.

All in all, for $35 and one hour, not a bad deal. I met a dozen men and enjoyed two glasses of wine for the price of one. That’s my kind of recession-friendly fun!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Small World Of Online Dating

When you live in a city where single women outnumber their male counterparts by 200,000, it often feels like the universe of available men is a finite one – especially the universe of online dating.

After posting a recap about the singles party that I recently hosted, I heard from a reader who was curious about one of my guests -- member and radiologist Jacques, whom I went out with once last spring. It turns out that, six years ago, she also dated Jacques briefly after meeting on a singles trip.

My friend Andrea had her own experience of what a small dating world cyberspace can be. During a night out in Central Park, she ended up sitting next to three girls talking about dating. She overhears one of the ladies mention by name a guy that Andrea herself had gone out with a few times the month before.

“I just start laughing hysterically,” Andrea says. “She had the same thoughts about him as I did. I so wanted to tell her to go with her gut, but I kept my mouth shut.”

The longer you’re part of the online dating marketplace, the more you find yourself running into the same cast of characters. I’m hoping there won’t be any familiar faces when I make my long-awaited return to speed dating tonight.

The one significant other that I met through speed dating tied the knot last weekend. As I do all of my other exes -- well, most of them anyway – I wish him all the best. Even though it means the pool of old flames whom I can beat to the altar is almost officially dry.

Rationally speaking, I know it shouldn’t be a competition. But, to paraphrase something Sex And The City’s Samantha once said, there’s always a competition with your ex. What’s rational thinking got to do with it?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Double Dose of Charitable Fun

Last week, I enjoyed a double dose of socializing for two very worthy causes.

Tuesday, I attended a benefit at the W Hotel in Midtown for Women Of The Congo. Nearly 200 guests schmoozed and listened intently to sobering remarks from some high-profile speakers.

Whoopi Goldberg talked about the urgency of responding to what’s happening in Congo

According to New York Times East Africa bureau Chief Jeffrey Gettleman, despite U.N. and U.S. involvement, brutality toward women in Congo has escalated. Whoopi Goldberg put the conflict in a historical context.

“When I was growing up, women were second class citizens,” she said. “So it’s not unusual for this to go on in other countries where women aren’t seen as 100% human beings.”

Whoopi introduced activist and playwright Eve Ensler, who’s been working on behalf of the women in Congo for years.

Eve Ensler spoke of her first-hand experiences in Congo

Eve shared astonishing anecdotes and statistics -- from a nine year old girl who was raped to the 500,000 women in Congo who have been brutalized, many with guns.

“When you allow human beings to be desecrated in this way, you license it everywhere,” she said.

A few days after Women Of The Congo’s powerful, standing room only event, I headed down to trendy SoHo nightspot Greenhouse for the Lighthouse International’s cocktail party fundraiser.

The crowd at Lighthouse Foundation’s party

I enjoyed some tasty hors d’oevures and signature green cocktails made with Veev, an eco-friendly Acai spirit that also supports the Brazilian Rainforest ($1 from each bottle goes to rainforest preservation). Sweet.

While Veeving it up, I chatted with cute Internet technology entrepreneur Robert, in town from Baltimore. Unfortunately, he lost his charm pretty quickly when he said that I’m nice -- for a native New Yorker.

Speaking of open mouth-insert foot syndrome, I had a good laugh with spirits marketing exec Michelle about this frequent male tendency.

She filled me in about some of her memorable NYC dating experiences. Among them -- a guy who claimed to “know a lot about women” after co-habitating as part of a threesome for years, and the player who insisted that a week was long enough to know someone before having sex.

No wonder Michelle is now happily reunited with her college sweetheart from elsewhere. I might consider that route myself, were it not for the fact that I went to a women’s college.

Coming up…speed dating at last and the small world of singles online.

Monday, October 26, 2009

O You 2009: Part Two

Saturday, my action-packed day at O You! 2009 in Kansas City continued, as my best friend Lisa and I attended a seminar with no nonsense financial guru Suze Orman.

Suze Orman told the crowd to open their eyes when it comes to money

Suze spoke at length about America’s credit crisis, telling the crowd--

“Every time you touch plastic, you become less in touch with your money.”

Of women’s instincts to spend their money on everyone except themselves, she shared a sobering story about a woman living out of her car so she could pay off her son’s student loan.

Suze’s top tips -- identifying fears about dealing with money and using visioning to create goals that will drive you toward positive action with your personal finances.

BFFs: Lisa and me at O You

After a quick lunch at The Marquee Bar & Grill inside AMC Mainstreet (who knew a multiplex could serve up the perfect bistro experience?), Lisa and I headed back to the Convention Center.

It was standing room only for Dr. Oz, who demonstrated why he’s become one of the most popular medical experts today.

Dr. Oz dispensed great advice about everything from weight loss and migraines to depression and heart disease

With his signature rapid fire style and riveting animations about the human body, Dr. Oz dispensed great advice for taking charge of your health -- especially when it comes to weight loss.

“Biology can’t be overcome by will power,” he said. “You have to nudge the biology of blubber in the right direction.”

To that end, Dr. Oz said waist size is the best indicator of ideal weight. Eating nuts 30 minutes before a meal, he says, and eliminating as little as 125 calories daily can help you stay in shape.

After the seminar, I spotted style maven Stacy London sharing fashion advice at a pop-up station. Also roaming around, fitness guru Jim Karas and organization expert Peter Walsh.

Organizing expert Peter Walsh and me

Throughout the day, O Editor-At-Large Gayle King was doing live interviews for her XM Radio show.

Gayle on the air with Dr. Oz

She stopped to chat with the crowd after wrapping up. Just off the phone with Oprah, who couldn’t attend O You! because of a prior commitment, Gayle told us that Miss Winfrey will be present at next year’s conference.

The event, which will coincide with O Magazine’s tenth anniversary, promises to be a blockbuster. Best of all -- O You! 2010 will take place in New York.

Lisa and I can’t wait to get our tickets!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

O You 2009 Conference: Part One

This weekend, I’m enjoying a four-day getaway to Kansas City. The occasion for my visit -- O Magazine’s O You! 2009 Conference.

Yesterday, my best galpal and Kansas native Lisa and I joined approximately 4,000 women at the Kansas City Convention Center for the all day event. O You! featured seminars with O’s most popular contributors, along with the opportunity to meet the experts at book signings.

Gayle King looked fit and fabulous in a red sheath dress and black pumps

O Editor-At-Large Gayle King kicked off the conference, sharing an affection for Kansas City that began years ago when she worked for WDAF-TV here and later met her ex-husband. As she spoke about the city’s many charms, from fabulous dining and barbecue to friendly locals, I smiled in agreement.

Gayle introduced adorable interior designer Nate Berkus, who charmed the crowd with his quick wit and user-friendly home decorating advice.

Nate Berkus charmed the 2,800 person audience

“Our homes should tell the story of who we are,” he said.

Nate says creative inspiration can come from anywhere -- magazine articles, flea markets, even a friend’s personal style. A pattern on a wallet, for example, can become a pattern for a throw pillow.

He also advised looking at what you can add to surfaces like end tables and not being afraid to take risks.

“If you want a chandelier in the bathroom, do it,” he said. “There shouldn’t be rules in design.”

Nate and I at his book signing

After his seminar, Nate signed copies of his decorating how-to book Home Rules, and Lisa and I caught a glimpse of a few other O contributors on the scene, including political strategist Donna Brazile and life coach Martha Beck.

Up next…great advice from Suze Orman and Dr. Oz and a big announcement from Gayle about upcoming O Magazine’s tenth anniversary.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

First Date: Dinner, Dialogue And Dr. Oz

Last Sunday, I went out with human resources consultant and fellow Upper East Sider Jeremy.

Jeremy and I attended a fascinating roundtable featuring (from left) Dr. Oz, Elie Wiesel, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and Mayor Cory Booker

Jeremy and I had met at ADL’s Imagine Gala a couple of days before, and discovered we both had tickets to another amazing event – a roundtable on Jewish values and current societal problems featuring legendary writer and humanitarian Elie Wiesel, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, medical expert Dr. Mehmet Oz and popular rabbi Shmuley Boteach.

Dr. Oz was just as gracious as he was when I filmed a segment of his show a few weeks ago

Held at stunning Central Synagogue in Midtown NYC, the 2.5 hour roundtable was a lively, intelligent conversation that covered everything from health care and celebrity culture to social responsibility and the power of one person to make a difference.

I was especially riveted by Mayor Booker’s soft-spoken eloquence. If you ever get a chance to hear him speak, don’t miss it.

Biggest surprise during the Q&A – attention seeking reality star Jon Gosselin asking the esteemed panelists for parenting advice. Only in New York.

After the event, Jeremy and I headed over to cozy restaurant and lounge Opia.

Over some Sauvignon Blanc and a delicious dinner (hanger steak, fries and truffled salad), we talked about how inspiring the panelists were, what we like about living on the UES and the importance of family mealtime when you’re growing up.

As Jeremy spoke at length about Judaism, I couldn’t help thinking of my interfaith background. Dad was Jewish and Mom was Catholic, and so am I.

My parents managed to navigate being of different religions so that it didn’t come between them. They taught me differences don’t have to be an obstacle to enduring love. It’s a lesson I’m looking forward to applying with my future mate -- whatever his spiritual bent happens to be.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Singles Soirée At My Place

Last weekend, I hosted a little singles party at my place.

The last time I threw a singles gathering, an ex’s best friend ended up naked uninvited in my bed. Thankfully, Friday’s event didn’t lead to any similar exhibitionist displays – unless you count a faux marriage proposal induced by a little too much wine (see below).

About 15 people attended my soirée, a perfectly co-ed combination of friends and friends of friends, including charming radiologist Jacques. Jacques and I met through and went out on a date last spring.

Since romance wasn’t in the cards for us, we opted to stay in touch. He brought two charming, adorable male friends who added to the convivial vibe.

J-Schoolers Unite: Carl, Eddie and me at my singles soiree

Fellow Columbia j-school alums Eddie and Carl talked about their exciting new online venture, while galpal Andrea shared some of the wild tales which inspired her to start her new blog. Even as a diehard New Yorker who adores her hometown, I have to admit her “so over it” stories are hilarious.

As the evening unfolded, a wine connoisseur pal was openly curious about who had brought a particular great vintage from Spain. Eventually, the mystery buyer was revealed to be my good friend Leila, which prompted Mr. Oenophile to get down on one knee and ask in jest for her hand.

Though -- this amusing moment notwithstanding -- no love connections were made, the party was a delightful affair. And a fun reminder that, in a city as big as New York, it’s often easier to expand your social circle when the crowd is a small one.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Singles Event Pick: Scavenger Hunt At The Met

If you’re a fan of “The Da Vinci Code,” then Professionals In The City has an event for you.

This Sunday, the group is hosting an urban adventure for singles based on Dan Brown’s bestseller. Teams of 4-6 will compete in a two-hour quest at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to solve clues and find locations. The first team to learn the secret of the Hunting Grail wins.

Think you can open the cryptex? Try on your amateur sleuthing skills and enjoy a little schmoozing at the same time.

Tickets for the event cost $35 and registration closes tomorrow at noon. For more information, click here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Contest: Who Has The Best Online Dating Profile

Whether you connect with someone or not, one of the most entertaining parts about online dating is browsing through the many profiles in cyberspace. Now, OKCupid is offering the chance to win $250 with its Who Has The Best Online Dating Profile Contest.

Both members and non-members have the opportunity to vote at OkCupid or through one of a dozen blogs working with the site to showcase the contest. You can check out the contest by clicking on the widget to the right. Or, if you’d like to join the site so that your profile can become a favorite, click here.

The Who Has the Best Online Dating Profile Contest is free and runs through November 30, 2009. Winners will be announced on December 2, 2009. All contest participants will be automatically enrolled in a sweepstakes for $250 cash.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

When He Doesn't Take The Hint

It's great when a man takes some initiative about pursuing you. It’s decidedly less appealing, though, when you’re not interested – a fact of which I was reminded recently with two different guys.

First, there was member Scott. Prior to our long-delayed second date, I communicated very clearly that I’m not a fan of last-minute plans. After date #2, I received the following text message from him:

“Hey cutie, want to watch a football game tonight at ur place free massage included and btw I’m the best! Xo”

Turned off by his forwardness (not to mention bad grammar), I declined Scott’s invitation. The next day, he followed up with—

“Football tonight? And a spa massage xo”

Equally persistent was the New Jersey resident whom I politely but firmly told by email that I had no romantic feelings for. He said he would like to remain friends, so I invited him to my recent singles party.

He proceeded to suggest (multiple times) that I come to his hometown -- 2 hours from NYC -- so that we could work out together. At the party, I was happily flirting with another guy when Mr. New Jersey sauntered over. He put his arm around me and exclaimed—

“I think you’re just the bomb!”

Talk about a conversation killer. Though Mr. NJ nixed my opportunity with the other guy, he managed to teach me a valuable lesson – when a guy doesn’t seem to be taking the hint that you’re not into him, leave him off of your guest list.

Coming up…a first date raises a big question and a charitable night out with Whoopi Goldberg.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Flying Solo At ADL's Imagine Gala

Wednesday night, I went to the Anti-Defamation League’s annual Imagine Gala at Union Square Ballroom.

All glammed up at ADL’s Imagine Gala

The swanky affair was hosted by ADL’s Next Generation Philanthropy group of young professionals. Having attended the last couple of years with my now-married friend Cindy, this was my first time going by myself.

Thanks to a great hair blowout and a favorite LBD, I entered the crowded ballroom feeling a mixture of confidence and nervous excitement.

The well-heeled crowd packed Union Square Ballroom

It didn’t take long for me to start mingling with the well-heeled crowd. At the bar, I found myself chatting with marketer and aspiring writer Josh and his friend Ben. Josh mentioned his current screenplay project – about a PR player who ends up with, ahem, performance problems – and his struggle to find the perfect title for it (“Ready to Blow,” “Coming Attraction” are his current choices).

I wished him luck on his master’s program applications and continued circulating, ending up next to another Josh – an adorable attorney with a penchant for wine. We compared notes on favorite varieties, having the inevitable white-versus-red debate, until he returned to checking his Blackberry.

He was the second guy I encountered who was attached to this gadget, but I didn’t mind since it afforded me an opportunity to say hello and ask—

“Are you really that bored?”

Fortunately, friendly human resources consultant Jeremy was Blackberry-free and very easy to talk to. We quickly discovered that we both love to travel, and that we happen to live five blocks from each other on the Upper East Side.

Along with hobnobbing with the opposite sex, I also had the pleasure of meeting fellow single gal Amy. After I told her that I’m currently without a wingwoman, she happily volunteered to join me for nights out on the town.

I’m looking forward to taking her up on that. Though, as I’ve rediscovered, sometimes the greatest fun you can have is when you’re flying solo.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

NY I Love You Premiere

Wednesday night, I headed over to NYC’s Ziegfeld Theater for the premiere of “New York I Love You.”

My official spot on the red carpet

While waiting for celebrity arrivals, I chatted with editor Colleen, who filled me in on the site’s fun, snark-free approach to covering the entertainment world. avoids scurrilous rumors -- unlike the columnists we were standing next to, who were gossiping about whether Jennifer Aniston and “New York I Love You” star Bradley Cooper ever really hooked up. Meow.

Cast member and legendary actor Eli Wallach charmed reporters by boasting about his long history in Hollywood (and working with Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe).

Veteran actor Eli Wallach said Broadway is his favorite NYC street

Stunning co-star Maggie Q raved about working with Ethan Hawke.

Actress Maggie Q dazzled in a white Bodyamr gown

“Real Housewives Of New York” star Ramona Singer talked about her new skin care line TruRenewal and using cardio and free weights to stay in shape.

“Real Housewives…” star Ramona Singer

Of her co-stars, she said that off screen--

“We’re friendly acquaintances. But you get five women together and they fight like bitches.”

I think that rule applies primarily to women on reality shows.

Coming up…meeting multiple men during a night out solo and searching for a new wing woman.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Girls Night Out: Meatpacking District

Last weekend, my friend Bobbi and I enjoyed a girls night out in NYC’s Meatpacking District.

Agave: adobe walls and flickering candles contribute to the hip yet relaxed atmosphere at this Mexican eatery

Over dinner and a shared pitcher of sangria at lively Mexican eatery Agave, we talked about past and present affairs of the heart -- from our respective experiences of cops being major players to our different takes on May-December romance.

Bobbi is having fun with a twentysomething personal trainer-aspiring rapper. I prefer men who are my contemporaries or older, having had three boyfriends who were approximately 15 years my senior, and parents with a 25- year spread between them.

Later, Bobbi and I encountered a well-coiffed mixture of twenty and thirtysomethings at a crowded bar across from Pastis. Just when we were about to call it a night after a few glasses of wine, a tall, adorable guy with an Australian accent brushed past us with a group of male friends.

Originally from Melbourne, he introduced himself as Dave and quickly reminded me why Aussies have a reputation for being great storytellers.

Dave told us the tale of how he met his most recent girlfriend. While traveling to Africa, he found himself naked when his clothes were stolen during an afternoon of skinny dipping. His soon-to-be sweetheart stumbled upon him and took pity on his embarrassing situation, and so a romance was born.

Which just proves that you never really know when Cupid is going to strike. And that it’s preferable to be fully clothed when he does.

Friday, October 16, 2009

An Action-Packed Week

One of my favorite parts about life in New York is the virtually endless array of diversions available as soon as you walk out the door. This week was no exception.

From chatting up five men at the Anti-Defamation League’s fabulous Imagine Gala in Union Square to lunch with founder Sherri Langburt, I’ve done some fun hobnobbing over the last few days – including B-list celeb spotting at the red carpet premiere for “New York I Love You.”

Speaking of red carpet scenes, you can catch “Sex And The City 2” filming one tonight at NYC’s classic Ziegfeld Theater from 7pm on. I’ll be skipping the on-camera action this time because I’m hosting a little singles soiree at my place.

Watch this space for more about my eventful week. And if you’re interested in attending next week’s StyleFixx shopping party, I’ve got 9 free VIP tickets left! Email me at for info.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Happy Hour At Origin's In Soho

Last week, I headed down to the Origins store in SoHo for a festive “make-under” happy hour hosted by and general manager Paula Drum told me about the new retailer’s budget-friendly approach to online shopping, with multiple paying options and surprise “Goodie Bag” offers (freebies, discounts, etc.).’s Beth Pinkser Gladstone said there’s plenty of deals to be found online thanks to coupons in just about every shopping category.’s Beth Pinkser Gladstone and me

After nibbling on a few appetizers, I settled in for a heavenly mini-facial with charming newbie New Yorker Wendell, who opened up my pores so much that I almost didn't want to wear makeup ever again. Almost.

Origins’ Make A Difference mask lives up to its name. Heavenly.

From the event, I raced back to Midtown for dinner at Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse with newlywedded friend Cindy.

While enjoying the five-star ambiance (along with perfectly cooked steak, sweet mashed potatoes and creamed spinach), we talked about the merits of summer flings when you’re single and the dubious characters on today’s reality shows.

Speaking of reality shows, the crew for a new one about bad bosses was shooting all around us. It’s scheduled to air on NBC in January, so maybe we’ll have a cameo in the background.

Coming up…men who don’t know how to make a graceful exit and flying solo at a swanky charity event.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

SGITC Reader Perk: VIP Tix To StyleFixx Event is hosting a two-night shopping event at NYC’s Metropolitan Pavillion – and they’re offering free VIP tickets to 30 lucky Single Gal In The City readers!

Scheduled for Wednesday October 21st and Thursday October 22nd at NYC’s Metropolitan Pavillion, StyleFixx’s shopping party features the latest in fashion, beauty and accessories. Project Runway designer Kara Janx will show off her fall 2009 line. Attendees will also enjoy complimentary massages and facials from Rani Spa, free hair treatments by Enzo Milano and make-up demos by celeb makeup artist Eve Pearl.

VIP admission to the event includes a product-filled swag bag. The best part – next week’s event will benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer. When it comes to a girls night out, it simply doesn’t get any better.

So round up your best galpals and email me at if you’re interested in one or more free tickets (four maximum per person).

Many thanks to the generous folks at!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Live The Life You Love Event: Part Two

Last week, and Spark Networks’ “Live The Life You Love” event featured a fabulous panel of women’s lifestyle experts.

The crowd at Saks Fifth Avenue’s café, where the event was held

Nutrition counselor Susan Weiss Berry, founder of Evolved Eating, talked about the importance of moderation and not feeling guilty about what you eat.

“Starving doesn’t give you a good life and neither does eating emotionally,” she told the crowd. “When we use our bodies as self-improvement projects, we miss out.”

That’s why Berry is a proponent of mindful eating -- being present so that you enjoy the calories you’re taking in and have more clarity about when you’re satisfied. She also advises eating (slowly) because your stomach is hungry.

My favorite tip? Taking a culinary adventure once a week (with notebook in hand), so that your critical eye is turned toward the restaurant, not yourself.

“As a gift to your single self, pretend you’re a visitor to New York. Pick a new neighborhood or even simply a new street you’ve never been to.”

Fitness expert Amie Hoff

When it comes to staying in shape, fitness consultant and personal trainer Amie Hoff said finding the motivation tends to be harder for singles.

“Working out with a partner is more beneficial because it makes you accountable and keeps you more challenged.”

Hoff recommends scheduling workouts like you would any other appointment and setting goals.

The evening’s final speaker, sexpert and psychoanalyst Cathy Beaton, talked about the three P’s -- permission, practice and pleasure.

“Loving your sexual self impacts your overall sense of wellbeing," she said. "Take responsibility for your sexual pleasure…and let go of the good girl guilt.”

To that end, the event’s gift bag included a portable vibrator from sex toy store Babeland, along with goodies from The Vitamin Shoppe and Clarin’s. From start to finish, and Spark Networks truly covered all bases.

The next “Live The Life You Love” event, set for November 3rd, will cover cooking, career, love and entertaining. Click here for more info.

Monday, October 12, 2009

SATC2 At The Empire Hotel

After several days of shooting in studio, Sex And The City 2 was back on the streets of NYC today.

SATC2 took over the Empire Hotel on 63rd and Broadway. I saw some glammed up extras emerging from the hotel and caught a fleeting glimpse of Kim Cattrall. The ageless Samantha Jones looked fit and fabulous in slim fitting dark jeans, a beige jacket and matching boots.

Meanwhile, Sarah Jessica Parker delighted fans when she emerged from her trailer with smiles and a friendly wave.

SJP wowed the small crowd in front of her trailer

SJP even stopped briefly to wish one onlooker a happy birthday before returning to the set.

And in the best-kept-secret department, it seems there is more than just one sequel in the works. SATC2 extra Cayte Grieve told Blackbook magazine--

“There will be a Sex and the City 3. They are currently filming both SATC 2 and SATC 3, as told to me by a few other extras who overheard it from crew members.”

Looks like we’ll be enjoying the adventures of Carrie Bradshaw & Co. for years to come.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Live The Life You Love Panel: Part One

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of attending and Spark Network’s “Live The Life You Love.”

Held at Saks Fifth Avenue’s swanky café, the event -- part of a three-night series -- offered expert advice themed around health, mind and body. founder Sherri Langburt and me

After a delightful cocktail hour featuring cold hors d’oevures and pink champagne, founder Sherri Langburt took to the podium. A success story, she shared what inspired her to create, which celebrates single life and encourages singles to do the same.

“Lots of singles put their life on hold -- until they lose weight or find the perfect boyfriend,” the now-married Langburt said. “Bodies and boyfriends have become roadblocks to pursuing dreams.”

Langburt introduced the evening’s four panelists -- fitness consultant Amie Hoff, nutrition counselor Susan Weiss Berry, physician Dr. Jennifer Wider, and sex therapist/psychoanalyst Cathy Beaton.

Dr. Jennifer Wider shared some key health advice

Wider mentioned the impact of what women see in magazines.

“Singles feel great pressure to look a certain way and that is because we’re being assaulted in the media,” she said.

“We need to love our bodies no matter what size we are,” she added, noting that the average woman’s size is 14.

Wider also spoke about the importance of being an advocate for your own health. The top 5 lifesaving tests, she says, that every woman should have on her radar -- blood pressure and cholesterol, pap smear/pelvic exam, mammogram, colonoscopy and skin cancer.

Up from SingleEdition's experts about sex and staying in shape.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Getting Fit For Dr. Oz

Tuesday, I enjoyed a brief return to the world of TV for an upcoming fitness segment on “The Dr. Oz Show.”

The Oz-ettes: (from left) Shurla, Sharon, Hillary, Tawanna, me and Darneice with Stepp Stewart

My action-packed day began at NYC’s Pearl Studios in Midtown, where I met the five fabulous women who would be joining me on camera -- Shurla, Hillary, Tawanna (a.k.a Sam), Darneice and Sharon. Superstar cardio dance instructor Stepp Stewart taught us a quick, high-energy routine that had us feeling the burn right away.

After an hour of rehearsing, we headed over (in a comfy chauffeured van) to 30 Rockefeller Plaza, home to “The Dr. Oz Show” and, of course, NBC.

In The Green Room: Hillary getting de-linted by a member of the crew

As we were escorted up to the sixth floor, I couldn’t help thinking about my previous stint at 30 Rock, when I wrote for WNBC’s morning news. I felt a familiar rush of adrenalin seeing all of the producers and on-camera talent running around.

If only I could get this star treatment every day

Perky show producer Jill made sure we were all comfortable in the green room, where we changed into Dr. Oz t-shirts. Next, we all took turns getting glammed up by the hair and makeup pros.

All smiles post-primping

While waiting to be called to the set, the ladies and I bonded over conversation about men and aging. Fabulous Fifty-somethings Sharon and Hillary raved about being comfortable in your own skin once you hit the big 5-0. A tangent about dating older guys led Darneice to quip--

“Some men aren't meant to mature.”

Lights, Camera, Action: On “The Dr. Oz Show” set

Finally, more than three hours after we’ve arrived, it was time for our one and only on-set rehearsal. The runthrough was, as Sam observed, a hot mess. Thanks, though, to some additional off-camera practice and a pep talk from Jill, we were pumped up for showtime.

If I do say so myself, we nailed our routine, garnering big applause from the studio audience and an on-camera shoutout from Dr. Oz himself.

We love Dr. Oz!

It was an exhausting, exhilarating day. Not only did I burn some serious calories, but I got to know some amazing women. We’re already planning a viewing party reunion as soon as we know the airdate. Watch this space for details about when to tune in!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Opening The Vault: Early Days Edition

When you amass 95 journals, you invariably get asked the question -- do you ever reread them?

  1. Yes. And most recently, I found myself reaching far back into my hefty archives, to the days when I first started keeping a diary.
As I’ve just rediscovered, my flair for drama began at a very early age. I now Open The Vault and take you waaaaay back to the early 80’s….

New York, NY
October 28th, 1981 (age 7)

Dear Diary,

I hate my friends…except for Brian. I love him. He’s cute, sexy and adorable.

One day I will marry him.

* * *

November 12th, 1981

Dear Diary,

I fell in love with Brian one week ago. He loved me then, but he doesn’t now.


* * *

November 21st, 1981

Dear Diary,

Mom and Dad are coming home today and I’m in big trouble because I’ve been fresh with my grandparents.

Plus, my boyfriend has been loving me on and off.

P.S. My life is all wrong.

* * *

Though I have no recollection whatsoever of Brian, I must admit revisiting my marital thoughts about him made me smile. At the tender age of 7, I unknowingly got quite a preview of the bumps in the road that go along with school crushes and other forms of romance. All of these years later, I’m still learning when it comes to love.

Coming up…an enlightening evening with the experts of and a belated girls night out.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Return To Speed Dating

This weekend -- for the first time in about two years -- I’ll be taking part in a speed dating event. When I signed up last night, I couldn’t help thinking about my past experience with this popular mechanism for mingling.

The Delancey Rooftop Bar: Sunday’s speed dating party will take place at this cozy Lower East Side venue

My inaugural outing with industry leader HurryDate produced four first dates and a five-month relationship with a well-intentioned but clingy Brit. Along with his warp speed wooing, he left an impression for something much less romantic – being uncontrollably gassy. He regularly referred to himself as my “Flatulent Prince.”

Then, there was the angry, tall guy whose opening gambit left little to the imagination.

“I’m 37, Asian and recently divorced – how the hell are you?”


On my last speed dating go round, I rediscovered what a small world New York can be for a city with more than 8 million people. Of the dozen or so guys in attendance, two were repeats – one from a previous event, the other being a guy I’d gone out with once through a dating site.

Yes, sometimes it can feel like the Big Apple is pretty small when it comes to the finite universe of available single men here. Which is why it’s fun to shake things up and go on a one-night dating blitz.

Care to join me at Sunday’s speed dating party? Admission is $15, click here to reserve a spot.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Q&A With Sherri Shepherd

Saturday afternoon, I headed over to Barnes & Noble in Lincoln Square for Sherri Shepherd’s signing of her fabulous new memoir, “Permission Slips.”

Svelte Sherri: The actress/comedienne/author wowed the crowd at Barnes & Noble

During a lively Q&A, the hilarious co-host of “The View” demonstrated why she has become such a force to be reckoned with. Sassy, smart and infectiously upbeat, Shepherd spoke with great candor about her personal and professional ups and downs -- from losing her mother to diabetes to her challenging first year on ABC-TV's morning chatfest.

“If it was all about stability, you wouldn’t need to have faith.”

As she portrays so irresistably in her new Lifetime sitcom, the former legal secretary found creative fulfillment when she turned to acting and stand up comedy.

“Being on stage when you kill,” she quipped “is better than the best orgasm.”

Wordsmiths: Sherri and I chatted about the fact that we’re both journal keepers

Shepherd revealed that she turned down “The View” several times because of her quiet, non-argumentative nature.

Of her now-infamous response to Barbara Walters’ question of whether the earth is flat, she attributed it to first day nerves. The experience, she says, reminded her of how important it is to give yourself permission to make mistakes.

“We try to be perfect for everybody,” she said. “As long as my four year old is looking at me and saying ‘Mommy I love you,’ everything’s good.”

Shepherd spoke with great affection for her beloved son Jeffrey, who was born four months premature and not expected to live. His miraculous recovery, coupled with faith and family, she says, are what keep her smiling and looking at the glass as always being half full.

“As long as you get up and look up, everything’s going to be okay,” she said.

All smiles after the signing

Shepherd’s positive outlook on life also extends to her single status.

“There’s a time for everything -- and that includes being a relationship or not,” she told the crowd. “While you are in the season, find out what’s great about it and why.”

Along with being a true inspiration, Shepherd is a class act. She responded directly to my tweet about the book signing with a very gracious thank you. What a pleasure to know this multi-talented star is as delightful off screen as she is on.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Charitable Event Pick: Alzheimer's Event At Arena

In these tough times, non-profit groups need help more than ever. Which is why it’s even more rewarding to support their efforts through social events like the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) upcoming Fifth Annual For the Love of George.

Arena Street: AFA’s upcoming mixer will take place at this spacious club in Times Square

Scheduled for Thursday, October 15th, the fundraising reception will take place at Arena Street in Midtown. Festivities include cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, live entertainment, a celebrity MC, silent auction, 50/50 raffle and more.

For the Love of George is part of a national tribute held in honor of the late George Irvin, a grandfather to the AFA New York Junior Committee co-chairs, as well as the millions of individuals who have had or are living with Alzheimer's disease.

Tickets for the event are $80 per person. Click here for more information.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Join Me On The Dr. Oz Show

Tomorrow morning, I’ll be taping a fitness segment for “The Dr. Oz Show” -- and I’m inviting a few lucky SGITC readers to join me!

The show is doing a fitness segment that will feature a group cardio dance. If you’re not camera shy and interested in ramping up your workout regimen, this is the perfect gig for you!

You’ll need to be available all day Tuesday (10am-430pm) for the rehearsal in Midtown NYC. If you’re interested, email me ASAP.

See you on TV!

Single Gal Meets Neal B In NYC

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting fellow blogger and “Sex And The City” diehard fan Neal Bennington.

Bloggers and SATC Fans Unite: Neal and me in Central Park

Neal has attracted a big following for his fabulous photos and videos from the set of “Sex And The City 2.” He’s been profiled in the New York Daily News and recently appeared on “The Wendy Williams Show.”

We caught up at Lincoln Square on NYC’s Upper West Side, where we talked about the crazy crowds that SATC 2 is generating -- and our shared goal to score invites to the movie’s premiere next spring. Neal also interviewed me on-camera for his new blog, Neal B In NYC.

You can watch the video here or head on over to Neal’s blog to see his complete post about SGITC. His site is a fun read covering everything from celebrity dish and what’s happening in NYC to, of course, the latest about SATC 2. He’s definitely a rising star in the blogosphere.

Coming up…an appearance on “The Dr. Oz Show” and up close and personal with “The View” co-host Sherri Shepherd.