Sunday, January 31, 2010

Find Your Luvah Party: Part Two

Friday, after chatting with matchmaker Steve Ward, I rejoined the sizable crowd at Purple Lab’s speed dating party.

Extreme Speed Dating: Purple Lab’s event drew 400 people

About 400 people turned out for the event, evenly split between men and women.

During the cocktail hour, I found myself chatting with amiable twenty something Jersey natives Edmund and Colby. We talked about what kinds of questions are appropriate for a three-minute date. I had a good chuckle when Colby suggested this one -- if you were a drink, what would you be?

Both Edmund and Colby were speed dating virgins and so, based upon my informal polling, were most of the men in attendance. Not surprising, given the age spread of 21-35 (most speed dating events have a more targeted range).

Around 9pm, the round robin dating began. Despite impossibly loud music, I managed to have a few memorable conversations. One of my favorites -- Matthew, a music producer whose opening gambit was to say he’s only interested in women for sex.

“I’m just trying to keep it real,” he said of his candor.

How romantic.

Thankfully, the other men present appeared to have more than booty on the brain. Like adorable real estate exec Frank, who charmed me with his passion for cooking and appreciation of his Italian heritage.

“I would love to hang out with you,” he said. Sign me up.

After speed dating was over, I ran into Edmund and Colby and we headed over to a nearby Irish pub, where we enjoyed a few laughs about the evening’s festivities.

Upon sharing my story about the randy music guy and how taken aback I was by what he’d said, Colby said--

“If a guy heard that from a woman [he just met], he’d be like ‘Alright! Let’s get out of here.’ “

I laughed again, amused to be reminded of the biological differences between men and women. And happy to be reminded also that, sometimes, the most fun connections to be made with the opposite sex are those of the platonic variety.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Find Your Luvah Party: Part One

Last night, I headed to Hoboken for Purple Lab’s “Find Your Luvah” speed dating party.

Strike A Pose: All smiles at the W Hoboken

Held at the swanky W hotel, the action-packed event promoted the brand’s new Luvah lip color and featured cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, a swag bag and Vh-1 “Tough Love” host and Master Matchmaker CEO Steve Ward.

Known for his no-nonsense approach to dating and relationships, Steve tells it like it is -- and yes, he’s even more adorable (not to mention very, very tall) in person.

What A Charmer: Vh-1 “Tough Love” host Steve Ward and me

His top dating tips -- be yourself, be honest and don’t overthink things.

“Women try really hard and make it really complicated, when it’s really simple,” he said, adding that a little common sense goes a long way.

When I asked him the number one question he gets from single women, Steve said it’s invariably about failed relationships.

“If it doesn’t work out, it’s always about the other person, it’s nothing [women] attribute to themselves,” he said. And yet, he added, women are far more inclined to look inward about their dating behavior when they’re unattached.

His Rx -- do that introspection regardless of your relationship status.

“There’s always something you can do differently, I don’t care if you’re Drew Barrymore or Joe the Plumber,” he said.

Up next…a look at the big speed dating crowd and the two Jersey boys who made my night.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Girls Night In: Williamsburg

Wednesday night, my good friend Caroline and I headed out to Brooklyn for an evening of fun and fabulous food at our Quinn & Co. galpal Morgan's abode.

Girls Night In: Caroline, me and Morgan

Nestled in the hipster hamlet of Williamsburg, the apartment that Morgan shares with France-born hubby Arthur is a perfect reflection of them -- chic, inviting and warm.

One of the most well-matched, likeable couples you could ever hope to meet, Morgan and Arthur treated us and a handful of friends to a scrumptious homemade meal that included two kinds of quiche, chocolate pie and, bien sur, plenty of wine and cheese. It's no accident that the French are renowned for their hospitality.

Joined by Morgan's lovely galpals Prune and Judith, we toasted with a round of cosmos before settling in for the evening's main event -- a "Sex And The City" marathon.
Cheers: (from left to right) Judith, Morgan, Prune, me and Caroline

The men played cards as we curled up with season one of SATC which, outdated hair and fashion notwithstanding, holds up surprisingly well a decade later. Or maybe it's just, now that I'm a mid-thirtysomething single, I relate to Carrie & Co. on a more visceral level than I used to.

Whatever the case may be, one thing's for sure. Like a pitcher of cosmos, laughter and good food are infinitely more enjoyable when experienced with your girlfriends.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Singles Event Pick: Valentine's Week At Havana Central

NYC’s Havana Central is celebrating Valentine’s Day with a Week of Love. Two of the Cuban restaurant’s three locations are hosting fun events for singles.

On Tuesday February 9th from 7-9pm at Havana Central Times Square, kick off Valentine’s Week with the Love Potion Cocktail Challenge.

Cocktail lovers are invited to create a unique “Love Potion” cocktail using Bacardi rum. The winner will receive a $250 prize, credit on menus and a plaque commemorating this first-ever Cocktail Challenge at Havana Central.

Havana Central: The Cuban restaurant chain is hosting a series of Valentine’s-themed events

Entries should be emailed to lovepotion@havanacentral.com and click here for full contest rules and regulations.

On Thursday February 11th, join relationship experts Tamsen Fadal and Matt Titus for an evening of dating do’s and don’ts, featuring a panel of three men-about-town on hand to answer questions. Tickets are $15 and include one “Love Potion” cocktail. For reservations, email ylanfranco@havanacentral.com.

Finally, start off Valentine’s weekend with Spice It Up Speed Dating at Havana Central’s uptown location on Friday February 12th.

Geared toward singles ages 25-45, the event runs from 7:45 to 9:45pm. Ticket price of $59.95 includes tax, hors d’oeuvres and one Havana Central classic cocktail. To purchase, call 1-800-406-0832 or visit the following links:
Women (ages: 22-32) and men (ages: 24-34) , women (ages: 25- 35) and men (ages: 27-37) and
women (ages: 30 – 38) and men (ages: 34- 44) .

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dating Help From Three Matches


Whether it’s online dating or speed dating, I’m a big believer in taking advantage of modern methods for meeting the opposite sex. That said, I’ve always been curious about a more traditional resource – the matchmaker.

I think there’s something endearingly old fashioned about entrusting your romantic fate to an expert, not to mention the appeal of saving time by having potential partners selected for you.

And, as a thirtysomething single, I would welcome the opportunity to sit down with a matchmaking pro and explore where my romantic journey has taken me so far, and where I hope it will lead in the future.

Thanks to their generous invitation, that’s a conversation I’m looking forward to having with the team at Three Matches.

Founded by mother and daughter team Margaux & Nicole, Three Matches connects couples in London, Paris, Tel Aviv, Montreal, Miami as well as here in New York. With blind dates becoming an increasingly rare occurrence in Gotham, it will be fun to find out who Three Matches pairs me up with.

What do you think about matchmakers? Yea or nay?

Coming up…A meet and greet with VH-1 “Tough Love” host Steve Ward and gearing up for my Grand 2010 plan.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

YourTango's Twitter Top 10


I’m a big fan of YourTango.com – and not just because the site gave Single Gal In The City its very first media rave back in the summer of ’08.

YourTango is chock full of great dating and relationship advice (including romance-related celeb news), and features a talented team of editors. Which is why I’m especially excited to be included in their new Twitter Top 10 list of people to follow for dating advice.

I’m #2 on the list, just behind Match.com. Among the other fabulous Twitterers who made the cut are @The_Single_Girl, @eFlirtExpert, @HowVeryLucky, @okcupid, @gelato_dating, @sws_DC, @JessDowney and fellow Gotham gal @KB_in_NYC.

What a thrill to be in such good company. Thanks again, YourTango!

Monday, January 25, 2010

An 80's Style Birthday Celebration

Saturday night, I headed down to SoHo for a birthday celebration with my cousin Chris and ten of my best galpals.

Happy Birthday: Making a wish over a candle-lit slice of ricotta cheesecake

The evening’s festivities kicked off at Petrarca, an Italian bistro long on great service, delicious pasta and excellent wines. Over a delicious dinner (creamless cauliflower puree soup and risotto with porcini mushrooms for me), we talked about my friend Andrea’s new PR gig and the fun of being flooded with birthday wishes via Facebook.

Girls Night Out: (counterclockwise from right): Leila, Sara, me, Caroline, Rachel and Bobbi at Canal Room

After dinner, we headed over to my favorite NYC nightspot Canal Room, which graciously comped our admission for the show. Performing was my favorite 80’s tribute band, Rubix Kube.

Rubix Kube: Best 80’s tribute band ever

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Rubix Kube a handful of times and they never disappoint. I was especially excited when keyboardist Rich Forman gave me a birthday shoutout.

What could be better than celebrating with good friends and revisiting the music of your childhood? I found out when I jumped on stage and rocked it out with lead singer Scott Lovelady.

A Little Respect: Rubix Kube’s Scott and I jammed to the 80’s Erasure hit

You can enjoy the sounds of Rubix Kube most Saturdays at Canal Room. The band will also be part of Canal Room’s Help For Haiti benefit concert on Wednesday February 3rd, featuring four tribute bands. Tickets are $20, click here for more info.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Opening The Vault: Part Sixty Two

When you reach one year with a significant other, it feels like an important milestone. That was most definitely the case more than a decade ago with my then-boyfriend David.

During that year, our relationship deepened as David helped me through the devastating loss of my mother -- and taught me for the first time what it meant to be with a true partner and take the good with the bad. As it turned out, our anniversary was a stark reminder of this. I now Open The Vault and take you back to the summer of '99...

June 21st, 1999
New York, NY

Dear Diary,

I’m miserable at the moment, having just experienced one of the worst weekends I’ve had since Mom’s funeral.

Thursday was supposed to be the official start to the anniversary celebration for me and David. I bought us tickets to a charity benefit at the Copacabana featuring dinner, dancing and gambling. Unfortunately, David was in one of his quiet, distant moods.

The Copacabana: NYC’s legendary nightclub provided the backdrop for a surprising evening with David

When we arrived at the Copa, he showed little reaction to the festive atmosphere. Then, when we sat down to eat, he ignored me to read an event brochure.

I decided to go to the bar and have a few drinks with a friend who co-organized the event. After about an hour, David reappeared with my friend’s husband and seemed to have warmed up considerably.

He was affectionate, told me he loves me, etc. But all I kept thinking was, why did he have to be such a downer for the first half of the night?

I told David we were leaving after he finished his drink. He seemed surprised but, as usual, failed to pursue the issue.

On the way home, David put his arm around me.

“So, have you had a fun evening?” he asked.

“No, I haven’t,” I said with a flat laugh.

We spent the rest of the ride in silence.


* * *
At home, David joined me on the couch.

“Okay, what have I done now?” he asked, in a tone much harsher than any I'd ever heard from him.

Not knowing where to start, I told him that I feel like no matter what I do or how dressed up I get, it’s impossible to elicit a reaction from him.

“I’m not the kind of person who reacts in a big way to things,” he said angrily.

I couldn’t help wondering -- is his quiet, laidback personality the opposite of what I need in a partner?

* * *

Before the night was over, David and I would address where we had each gone wrong with each other. But the larger question of whether we were truly compatible continued to haunt me.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Platonic Breakup


Whether it's with a friend or lover, breaking up is a messy business -- a fact of which I was reminded during a recent encounter with a former colleague.

After catching up over a pleasant lunch, said former co-worker unexpectedly launched into a 45-minute monologue about why he needed to pull back from our friendship. He felt ‘stifled,’ he said, adding that he still needs ‘space’ to figure out his feelings.

“It’s not because of waning interest or because you were too needy,” he told me. “And I’m sure at some point in the future I'm going to want to drop you a line."

I was baffled. How, I wondered, had I suddenly been cast as a jilted significant other, when the man doing the rejecting happened to be gay?

The question got me to thinking about how, unlike with romantic relationships, there’s really no road map for ending a friendship.

In my experience, when friendship fades, it’s a gradual process that bypasses the breakup scene altogether. You start seeing each other less and communicating less frequently. And that fizzling out tends to happen once you no longer share what brought you together in the first place -- a common workplace or dating status, for example.

Interestingly enough, this is exactly what took place with my now ex gay best friend. Our lunch was only the second time we’d socialized in a year, so his I’m-just-not-that-into-you speech seemed more than a little irrelevant.

Still, I can’t help appreciating the irony that he took a page out of the breakup playbook to get his message across. Well done. He just needs to work on his timing.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ex-cessories.com: Don’t Get Mad, Break Even


After a breakup, it’s not unusual to wonder what to do with relics from the relationship. Two New Orleans entrepreneurs have answered that question with ex-cessories.com.

An online marketplace for jewelry from past relationships, ex-cessories.com was conceived by founders Allison Hoffman and Elizabeth Rothbeind. While doing some closet cleaning, the two came across jewelry and other mementos from an ex-boyfriend. When it came time to toss the items, their business idea was born.

“Don’t get mad, break even,” says the Web site’s tagline.

I love it.

In addition to buying and selling ex-cessories, you can get tips at the site on everything from food to fashion. Click here to check out the daily blog.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me


I’m officially 36 years old today. As I enter the -- gulp -- second half of my thirties, I find myself feeling especially grateful for the life lessons this decade has taught me so far.

Job-wise, I’ve learned that one of my exes had it right when he said a career isn’t a sprint, it’s a long-distance run. It takes perseverance and hard work to get where you want to be, and to not lose sight of the big picture.

When it comes to friendships, this has been an era of rediscovering that proximity (or lack thereof) has no bearing on the true ties that bind. Many of the friends closest to my heart are geographically the furthest away, yet our bond remains unbreakable.

Of course, no birthday reflecting would be complete without a nod to the trajectory of my love life. It’s been a fabulous, tumultuous and often incongruous ride as a thirtysomething single gal -- but I think, at long last, I’ve finally learned to roll with the punches (okay, or at least try to!). And to laugh about the ups and downs along the way.

It’s nice to feel like I’m not only another year older but, hopefully, a little wiser too. Who could ask for a better birthday present than that?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Singles Event Pick: Anti-Valentine's Day Party

If you’re unattached on February 14th, there’s no better way to celebrate being solo than by mingling. And you can do just that at Pros In The City’s Anti-Valentine’s Day party.

Amnesia: Get your flirt on February 13th at this cavernous Midtown nightspot

Scheduled for Friday February 13th, the party will be held from 730-11pm at Amnesia nightclub. Along with icebreaker games, the evening includes hors d’oeuvres and drink specials from 8-9pm, prize giveaways and DJ dancing.

Dress code is business casual and tix are $19.99 if purchased by this Friday. Click here for more info.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New Year, New Look


When it comes to changes -- be they of the cosmetic or more dramatic variety -- I think there’s no better time to make them than the new year. That’s why Single Gal In The City is in the middle of a makeover.

You may have noticed SGITC’s new look, unveiled over the weekend. Next month, I’ll be moving the blog to a new, snappier URL -- and announcing my grand 2010 plan and how you can be a part of it.

In the meantime, don’t forget to drop me a line and share your dream U.S. city for singles. See sidebar below for contest details.

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Visit To Fox News Channel

Friday morning, I headed over to Fox News Channel for my client Tourism Queensland’s appearance on “Fox & Friends.”

Hello Again: “Fox & Friends” anchor (and former colleague) Steve Doocy and me

I had the pleasure of catching up with co-anchor and all-around good guy Steve Doocy, who greeted me with a big hug. We reminisced about the time when we shared a cubicle wall during my stint as an associate producer at Fox.

While we were talking, it hit me that a decade has passed since my FNC days -- and that the winding road of my career has mirrored the twists and turns in my love life.

For seven years, I pursued my passion for TV news, traveling like a serial monogamist through jobs in writing, producing and on-camera reporting. With every gig, I learned something about myself -- just as I have from each of the men I’ve dated.

I think that jobs, much like relationships, aren’t necessarily meant to last forever, but to prepare for you what comes next. By illuminating who you are and refining your vision of what you want for yourself, they help equip you to make that vision a reality, even if it means taking a few detours along the way.

Over time, I’ve found that each detour is less a bump in the road and more an opportunity to make a fresh start. Because in both life and love, it’s never too late to begin again.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Opening The Vault: Part Sixty One

Milestone birthdays inevitably find you taking stock of your life -- and who’s in it. I found myself doing a lot of reflecting when I crossed the threshhold of 25.

At the time, I was seven months into a relationship with dashing, noble Brit David and five months into coping with my mother’s passing. I now Open The Vault and take you back to January of ‘99...

January 21st, 1999
New York, NY

Dear Diary,

Well, I am officially 25 years old today. More than any other birthday so far, this is the one that’s giving me pause.

Up until now, age has been almost irrelevant in my life. Between dating older men and the 25 years that separated Mom and Dad, I always felt age was more a state of mind than a number. Now, though, I’m suddenly very mindful of it.

The biggest reason for that is losing Mom. But it’s also because this is the first birthday that finds me thinking about my career and having a family someday -- and David has a lot to do with that.

Me at 25: Sitting in front of a few of the 300 roses David gave me

He overwhelmed me last night when I came home to 25 dozen roses. Yes, that’s right -- 25 DOZEN!! That’s 300 to be exact (well, 298 -- 2 didn’t make it, LOL). They’re the same rich array of colors as the 5 dozen D gave me last month. My room looks and smells like a botanical garden.

He’s pretty amazing.

* * *
January 23rd, 1999

I’m up early because of drilling outside. It’s only exacerbating the pounding in my head of frustrating thoughts about David.

I love him -- of that I have no uncertainty. He has 85% of what I’ve been looking for in a man. The question is, will the 15% that’s missing eventually drive us apart?

Though we’re compatible in many ways, I can’t deny that I wish we had more ‘deep and meaningful conversations,’ as D puts it. I fear that his seeming inability to give me the kind of dialogue that I need will eventually pull us apart.

Then, there’s the matter of my lingering distractions about Sparky. I was convinced back in November that he posed no threat to David and me. But it scares me that two months later, he still takes up space in my brain.

Distractions disappear when I feel like David and I are really communicating. I just want that to be more of a regular occurrence.

* * *

The ghost of my ex would be the least of my problems with David as our different personalities became an increasingly difficult obstacle to overcome.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Anti-Valentine’s Day SATC Tour

February 14th is still a month away, but the folks at On Location Tours are already cooking up a fun Anti-Valentine’s Day package with the company’s popular Sex And The City tour.

You can celebrate V-Day in SATC style with On Location Tours

Throughout Valentine’s weekend (2/12-2/14), OLT is offering 14% off its SATC Hotspots tour. To receive the discount, visit www.screentours.com and type in promo code ANTIVDAYSATC.

Grab your girlfriends and book early for a Valentine’s Day to remember. Click here for more info.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Backstage At Today: Part Two

Yesterday’s action-packed visit to NBC's Today Show began in the crowded greenroom at 30 Rock.

Ben and me in the Today Show greenroom

I joined my Tourism Queensland client Shana Pereira, along with Best Job In The World winner (and one of the coolest guys on Planet Earth) Ben Southall. As we waited for Ben to be called up to the set, a show producer approached and quipped—

“Do you have Take Your Daughter To Work Day? Can I be your daughter?”

Ben’s highly-publicized six-month stint as Island Caretaker has everyone wishing they could be in his well-traveled shoes. As a tourism ambassador for Queensland, he’s visited 74 of the 600 Islands of the Great Barrier Reef. Talk about dream gigs.

Speaking of dream gigs, that’s exactly what my job felt like when we were finally escorted upstairs. As Ben was getting miked up, I was excited to spot Jeremy Renner, one of my favorite actors, on set.

Jeremy’s been generating Oscar buzz for “The Hurt Locker,” but I first fell for his talent and charisma on ABC’s fantastic, short-lived cop series, “The Unusuals.” I told him so after his interview, and he graciously posed for this picture with me.

Actor Jeremy Renner -- what a sweetheart!

Surprise #2 -- anchor Meredith Vieira strolling by and introducing herself to me and Shana.

Today co-anchor Meredith Vieira and me

After Ben’s lively interview with Kathie Lee and Hoda (watch it here), he answered a few questions for Today correspondent Sara Haines. She was delightful.

Today correspondent Sara Haines and me

Follow Sara on Twitter for great behind-the-scenes tidbits from the show.

Coming up…a visit to my old stomping grounds at Fox News and the differences between dating and relationships.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Backstage At Today: Part One

This morning, business intersected with pleasure in a big way as I enjoyed a visit to the set of NBC’s Today Show.

Outside Studio 1A: Me, Best Job In The World winner Ben Southall and Tourism Queensland’s Shana Pereira

The occasion for my backstage pass -- a four-minute segment with my client Tourism Queensland’s Ben Southall, winner of the Australian destination’s high-profile Best Job In The World campaign.

From meeting Meredith Vieira to a surprise encounter with one of today’s hottest actors, it was a fantastic experience. Up next…a full report.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Girls Night Out: Bocca

Last night, I headed down to NYC’s Flatiron District to join galpals Sara and Deborah in celebrating our good friend Leila’s birthday.

Bocca Restaurant & Bar: The tiramisu here is to die for

For the festivities, Leila chose Bocca -- a cozy and fabulous bistro that serves up traditional Italian fare with a twist. Among the culinary delights we enjoyed were goat cheese-filled beet ravioli salad, veal meatballs with chick pea puree and pan-roasted chicken over artichokes in truffle jus. Delish.

After toasting Leila over cocktails, we settled in for a lively conversation, the kind that makes you thankful for girlfriends.

We talked about the recent bumper crop of good movies, who’s hot and who’s not among male celebs (Clooney, of course, and Downey Jr--yea, Pitt and Law--not so much), and whether American men outside of New York are easier to read than their Gotham counterparts.

That’s probably wishful thinking.

Coming up…finding love lessons in career twists and going backstage at NBC’s Today Show.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Singles Event Pick: Find Your Luvah Party

Readers of this blog know I’m a big fan of speed dating. It usually attracts smart, professional guys who don’t want to waste time. What could be better than that? A speed dating event with the opportunity to be in the Guinness Book of World Records.

The W Hoboken: Purple Lab’s speed dating party will take place at this swanky hotel

On Friday, January 29th, beauty brand Purple Lab are teaming up with the W Hoboken hotel and VH1 “Tough Love” host Steve Ward for “Find Your Luvah,” an event aimed at breaking the world record for most speed daters.

Celebrating the launch of Luvah, a new lip stain equipped with libido stimulants (no, I’m not kidding), the event starts at 8pm if you’ve pre-registered and 7pm if you haven’t.

Admission is $15, with a portion of proceeds benefitting Women In Need. Click here for more info.

Monday, January 11, 2010

How Slow Can You Go


A friend of mine recently told me she was advised not to see her new beau on Sunday because that’s a ’relationship day.’

Along with the absurdity of this so-called dating rule, I couldn’t help thinking about how romance unfolds -- and how tricky it is to know whether you’re going at the right pace.

When it comes to relationships, I’m a veteran of the warp speed variety. There was the long-distance love who mentioned marriage on our first date. And the Yonkers native who said those three big words only four days after we met. Did I mention the dog lover who declared, after one month, that he’d stopped seeing other women immediately following our first date?

Having spent so much time in the dating fast lane, I find myself wondering what (if anything) it means when a relationship develops more slowly. Does getting together on a weekly basis mean there’s a lack of urgency, of passion?

Not according to my wise best friend Lisa. Lisa says taking things slowly is a sign of maturity, of getting to know a potential significant other before investing too much emotionally.

She may have a point. I don’t have to look any further than my late and adored parents for a great example of the slow burn.

For years, Mom and Dad were colleagues at odds. When, much to her surprise, he asked her out, she based her answer on his reputation as a ladies man.

“When I want to belong to a stable,” she said without missing a beat, “I’ll invest in some horses.”

Needless to say, she eventually changed her mind.

Maybe there’s something to be said for keeping your foot off the relationship accelerator. After all, you never know what's right around the corner.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

God Of Carnage: Sinfully Entertaining

Yesterday, I went to see “God of Carnage.” The play recently got a brand-new cast -- all of whom shine in Yasmina Reza’s sharp Tony Award-winning tale.

Comedy of (Bad) Manners: From left, Jimmy Smits, Annie Potts, Christine Lahti and Ken Stott face off in "God of Carnage." (photo courtesy: Sara Krulwich/The New York Times)

Two couples meet after the son of one duo (Jimmy Smits and Annie Potts) breaks the teeth of the son of another (Ken Stott and Christine Lahti). At first, the four engage in polite conversation. But, as the drinks begin to flow, diplomatic niceties give way to explosive tension -- with hilarious results.

Potts is pitch perfect as the uptight wife who eventually lets it rip, while Smits exudes effortless charm as her amused, cell phone-obsessed husband. Lahti holds her own as a self-righteous do gooder, especially when she has it out on stage with Stott. Stott, who also appeared in the show’s London production, is absolutely brilliant as a self-made man who tries to be the voice of reason.

“God of Carnage” is 90 minutes of smart, funny entertainment. And now through February 28th, you can get discounted tickets at BroadwayOffers.com. Use code GCDM121.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Hello Again Mr. Smits

2009 was a good year for celebrity sightings, and it looks like this year will be no different. Today, I had the pleasure of meeting Jimmy Smits after his performance in the Broadway hit, “God of Carnage.”

Hello Again: Jimmy Smits and me after the show

It was my second encounter with the tall and charming actor -- the first being almost fifteen years ago on the set of “NYPD Blue.”

On Location: Jimmy, me and co-star Kim Delaney during a shoot for “NYPD Blue,” August 1995

At the time, we chatted about Jimmy’s lingering affection for his hometown of Brooklyn and I was impressed by how soft spoken and down to earth he was. He smiled today when I mentioned meeting him then, instantly recalling that particular shoot at the borough’s legendary River CafĂ©.

“You haven’t aged a bit,” I told him.

“I don’t know about that,” he said graciously. “Nice to see you again, thanks for coming out.”

Sigh. A decade and a half later, Mr. Smits is still a charmer.

Up next… a review of “God Of Carnage.”

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Delightful Dinner At Rue 57

Last night, I met up with London-based longtime family friends Charles and Diane at Rue 57 in Midtown.

Rue 57: One of Midtown NYC’s best bistros

One of my favorite restaurants, Rue 57 serves up an expansive menu of pasta, steak and seafood (including sushi) in an inviting bistro setting. The wait staff is always friendly and swift, the food delicious.

Over a delightful dinner (potato crusted salmon with crimini mushrooms and Barolo sauce for me), we talked about cruise travel, shopping in NYC and the various phases of romance.

Charles and Di will celebrate their 35th anniversary later this year, while their son Kane is in the throes of true love with his girlfriend of eighteen months.

The young lovebirds are navigating the interfaith terrain -- he’s Jewish, she’s Protestant. We all agreed that, as my late and beloved parents demonstrated so beautifully, a religious divide needn’t be an insurmountable obstacle. And that if it is, you tend to know early on (like, for example, the JDate guy awhile back who bolted after 60 minutes upon learning I’m Catholic).

I also shared with Charles and Di my Grand 2010 Plan, and they shared my excitement about what lies ahead during this decade-launching year. Stay tuned for details, including how Single Gal In The City readers will be a big part of the fun.

Coming up…a record-breaking singles event and a Broadway smash gets a cast makeover.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Opening The Vault: Part Sixty

When it comes to testing the mettle of a relationship, there’s nothing quite like traveling with a significant other. During my first trip back in 1999 with then-boyfriend and dashing Brit David, sharp personality differences emerged.

Sunset in Sedona: My first trip with David included a jeep tour of Sedona’s red rock mountains (January '99)

David and I headed to Arizona to visit college friends for new year’s. I now Open The Vault and take you back to ‘99...

January 2nd, 1999
Scottsdale, AZ

Dear Diary,

David and I are more than halfway into our four-day getaway and, amazingly enough, we’re not sick of each other. In fact, being with him 24/7 is much more fun and romantic than what I’ve experienced with other men.

Okay -- that’s the good part. Since nothing in life is ever perfect, neither is what’s transpired between us during this trip.

David has fallen into the habit of only saying the l-word when we fool around. Compounding my frustration about that are certain comments he’s made over the last few days.

He told me I was being a showoff after I trotted out the video of my on-camera reporting debut to show to our friends. And after I did a provocative karaoke performance, he said curiously--

“I don’t know how you do it.”

Translation; David is a shy person by nature, so he couldn’t fathom how I could get up and sing in front of a large crowd.

I am an outgoing person. Can David, being as reserved as he is, accept that? He says he wouldn’t change me for the world, but his comments this weekend tell a different story.
I love him. But I’m scared of the differences between us.

* * *

January 3rd, 1999

I still think David is the best man that’s ever come into my life. But I fear our differences could become a problem down the road. It was these differences that had me running scared back in October, when I split from D for two miserable days.

Sigh. I could just hear what Mom would say about my overanalyzing. She would tell me to go with the flow and remind me that borrowing trouble from the future will not deplete the supply. As usual, she’s right. If only she were here to tell me that herself.


* * *

David would continue to support me in navigating life without Mom. As I emerged from my grief, though, the dynamic between us would begin to change -- bringing my worst fears to the surface.

Monday, January 4, 2010

When Desire Trumps Etiquette


In this post-Sex And The City era of dating, it’s not uncommon for etiquette to take a back seat to physical desire. I couldn’t help thinking about this during a recent conversation with fellow single thirty something Ujji.

Ujji mentioned a guy that told her it was over because she wouldn’t perform a certain sexual request of his -- on date #4. Her tale prompted me to share the now-infamous story of H, a 40-year-old real estate attorney I dated briefly with a libido as large as his ego.

H’s inappropriate antics began with sprawling out naked uninvited on my bed at the end of a singles party I hosted -- and continued with repeated attempts to push the envelope physically.

“With anyone else I’ve dated, I would have had sex ten times by now,” he said about 10 days into our ill-fated dalliance.

Later that night at my place, I returned from the bathroom to find H sitting on my couch -- without his pants or underwear on. I was aghast, not to mention anxious from a hygiene standpoint (who knows if scotchgard covers bodily fluids?). The evening was our last for nearly a year, until H resurfaced, exhibiting much greater restraint.

When it comes to physical intimacy, everyone has their own idea for how quickly it should unfold. Call me old fashioned, but I much prefer a timetable that allows plenty of room for romance. Or, at the very least, doesn’t damage the furniture.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Charitable Event Pick: FLI Wine Tasting


When it comes to perfect pairings, a wine tasting that benefits a worthy cause is the ideal ticket. You can get your drink on and support educational opportunities at The Future Leaders Institute (FLI) Junior Committee’s upcoming wine tasting on Tuesday, January 12th.

The benefit for the charter school will take place from 7-9pm at New York Vintners on Warren Street. Admission is $50, $25 of which is tax deductible. Click here for more info.

A quick editorial note -- Single Gal In The City will be on an every other day schedule this week while I enjoy a little vacation and respite from NYC. Stay tuned for an action-packed January, including visits to the sets of NBC's Today & The Martha Stewart Show!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Ringing In The New Decade

Last night, galpal Rachel and I headed down to NYC’s Financial District for Lost Girls bloggers/co-authors Amanda and Jen’s fabulous New Year’s Eve bash.

Party Time: Amanda and I celebrating New Year’s

True hostesses-with-the-mostess, Amanda and Jen served up a first-class menu of fun, food and cocktails to the friendly crowd of about 30 people. I now have a new appreciation for vanilla vodka mixed with cranberry, not to mention Amanda’s sinful four-layer dip (cream cheese, refried beans, salsa, and shredded cheddar -- delish).

Rach and I chatted with M-Theory lead singer Courtney about her upcoming gigs and the promise of adventure that this particular new year seems to hold.

The fun really kicked into high gear when my friend Prince and his longtime buddies Eric and Chris showed up.

Good Times: Rachel, Eric, Prince, me and Chris

We shared plenty of laughs, good conversation and hugs all around at midnight.

Later, thanks to medley of Michael Jackson tunes, the ladies and I busted out a few 80’s moves -- including, of course, the “Thriller” routine. Some things you just never forget.

A good friend of mine says how you ring in the new year (and with whom) dictates how the following 365 days are going to unfold. If that’s true, then I can’t wait to see what 2010 has in store!