Friday, February 12, 2010

The Big Reveal


For several weeks now, I’ve been alluding to my Grand 2010 Plan. At long last, the day has finally come for me to reveal it, along with Single Gal In The City’s brand-new address.

So, update your bookmarks and head on over to
www.singlegalnyc.com to find out what I’ve got in store….and how you can be a part of the excitement!



Thursday, February 11, 2010

SGITC Reader Perk: CafePress Valentine's Giveaway

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I’m excited to offer Single Gal In The City readers a special giveaway, courtesy of the generous folks at CafePress.

The irreverent online retailer – which features customizable t-shirts, mugs, and even underwear – is giving one lucky SGITC reader a free tee. If you win, you’ll get to choose between two top sellers: this pink “Kissing Bandit: I'll catch you if I can” confection…

Are you a Kissing Bandit?

…and, one of my personal favorites, this cheekier t-shirt that reads, “It’s not you, it’s me (I’m lying, it’s you)”…


I love this shirt!

For the not-so romantically inclined, CafePress offers (huzzah!) 320,000 anti-Valentine’s Day gifts.

To enter the giveaway, simply post a comment here or Tweet me about your favorite or least favorite thing about Valentine’s Day. Winner will be announced next Thursday, February 18th.

Speaking of announcements, stay tuned for the big reveal of my Grand 2010 Plan – along with SGITC’s new address – tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Meet And Greet With Jackie Collins: Part Two

As Monday’s meet and greet with Jackie Collins continued, the delightful bestselling author shared her observations about life, love and writing.

Jackie happily signed copies of her new novel Poor Little Bitch Girl

“The pleasure you give,” she said intently, “is the pleasure you get and that applies to everything, especially sex.”

Speaking of sex, Jackie noted how it doesn’t sell without a good story and interesting characters. Women in old novels -- confined to sex and cooking -- inspired her from a young age to write strong, powerful female characters free to do whatever they desire.

Her favorite creation? The beloved Lucky Santangelo, who will reappear in the upcoming Goddess of Vengeance.

“She’s so strong. Women love her, she’s like a female James Bond,” she said.

Jackie’s passion for the craft of writing, and for having her finger on the pop culture pulse is reflected in how she approaches her work. She writes longhand in leatherbound volumes, a practice she’s maintained with all 26 of her books. And, she keeps her stories fresh by submitting them months -- instead of a year -- ahead and doing all of the editing herself.

“If I fail, I want to fail on my mistakes, not somebody else’s.”

Jackie’s recipe for success has added up to sales of 400 million copies in more than 40 countries. How does she define success?

“Success,” she said wryly, “means I can call up Mr. Chow’s in Beverly Hills and get a table on a moment’s notice.”

For the chance to share a meal with Jackie, head on over to her website for details about an exciting new contest. If you win, you'll enjoy every minute -- literary stars don’t come any more gracious or enchanting than Miss Collins.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Meet And Greet With Jackie Collins: Part One

Yesterday, I headed over to Bar Seine at NYC’s swanky Hotel Plaza Athenee for a blogger meet and greet with author Jackie Collins.

A True Star: Jackie Collins and me with her latest page turner

Celebrating her new novel, “Poor Little Bitch Girl” -- in bookstores today -- the intimate gathering of about 15 people offered the opportunity to dish with the bestselling author about her work past and present and, of course, her experiences in Hollywood.

I’m happy to report that Jackie is as sassy, charming and fabulous as you would expect from reading her books.

A Hollywood insider since her adolescent days, Jackie says the inspiration for “Poor Little Bitch Girl” came from the pampered and privileged celebrity offspring she has encountered.

“The new accessory in Hollywood is a baby,” she said. “What happens when the baby becomes a grown child, and you don’t want to deal with the kid that becomes an adult?”

Still smitten with the entertainment world, Jackie shared some favorite stories -- from interviewing neighbor Al Pacino to receiving a handwritten note from Frank Sinatra after Kitty Kelly published an unauthorized biography about him.

“Kitty Kelly is fiction, yours is the truth,” he wrote of Jackie’s truthful take on life in the fast lane.

Though she’s a regular at A-list parties -- Clive Davis’ legendary annual pre-Grammy soiree among them -- Jackie admitted celebrity gossip sites are one of her guilty pleasures. A self-professed pop culture junkie, she raved about Paris Hilton’s album, “The Hurt Locker” and Neil Patrick Harris.

“I love Hollywood,” she said. “I’ve been there since I was a teenager and I still find it a fascinating place.”

Up next…Jackie shares her best dating advice for women and talks about whether sex really sells.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Queen of Quirky Takes Manhattan

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of catching up with Queen of Quirky blogger and galpal Stephanie.

A Kansas City native, Stephanie and I clicked at the big BlogHer conference in Chicago last summer, finding we had both blogging and journalism-to-PR career trajectories in common. It was Stephanie’s first visit to NYC, so we enjoyed an action-packed girls night out on Saturday.

Girls Night Out: Stephanie and me at Buddakan

The evening’s festivities began with dinner at swanky Buddakan, site of Carrie and Big’s rehearsal dinner and one of my favorite restaurants. It never disappoints and this meal was no exception.

For appetizers, we indulged in chili rock shrimp, taro puff pork lollipops and wok hay frog legs. The gastronomic bliss continued with braised short ribs and shrimp and lobster chow fun, and for dessert, a carrot-ginger cake with cream cheese ice cream that was beyond heavenly. Steph is quite the foodie, not to mention a great cook, so I can’t wait to try her take on Buddakan’s braised ribs.

After dinner, we headed over to the Gansevoort Hotel, where we took in the dressed-to-be-seen scene at both the rooftop bar and Tanuki Tavern.

Big Drink: Steph with Tanuki Tavern’s oversized cosmo

Our last stop of the night -- Irish pub O’Flanagan’s, for some final cocktails and the sounds of cover band Planet Groove. We danced to some classic tunes (“500 Miles” and “Sweat--La La La Long” among them), toasted our friendship -- and talked about how Steph’s hometown will figure into my Grand 2010 Plan.

Stay tuned for the big reveal on Friday!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Opening The Vault: Part Sixty Three

As you cross the one year mark in a relationship, you can’t help thinking about what it’s taken to reach that milestone -- and what it will take to reach future ones. I had all of this on my mind back in 1999, when I celebrated one year with then-boyfriend David.

In The Den: I was sitting here with David during our heart to heart (June 1999)

The beginning of our anniversary weekend got off to a rocky start. A big night out at a charity gala proved to a big disaster while I struggled to cope with David being in one of his silent moods. The evening’s end found us having a tough conversation about our different temperaments. I now Open The Vault and take you back to June of ‘99..

June 21, 1999
New York, NY

Dear Diary,

David said that, at the gala, he had no idea anything was wrong because I just took off with my friend and he assumed I just wanted some girl time.

“I’m not a mind reader and you should’ve told me what was bothering you,” he said.

On this, I had to concede was right and I apologized. Still, I would not back down on the issue of me having to carry the weight of our relationship. I told him back in January that I need him to take a more active role.

His behavior at the Copa was a reminder that I still have to decide what we do when we’re together, to plan everything, and I’m tired of it.

“I feel like those conversations might as well have never happened,” I told him.

“The easy thing to do would be to walk out the door,” David said in a shaky voice. “But I haven’t. I’m trying harder with you than I have with anybody in my entire life. I love you more than I’ve ever loved anybody in my entire life.”

“I love you too,” I said.

I moved into his arms and we were quiet for a few minutes until D said--

“I’m sorry.”

“I know,” I said flatly. “You always are.”

Squeezing me tightly, he said softly.

“I’m trying, Mel.”

“I know,” I replied.

And we kissed.

* * *
Saturday, exactly 365 days after we met for the first time, D and I decided to recreate our first date and do another pub crawl, this time in my neighborhood. I was feeling very nostalgic -- and then very disappointed when David called to tell me he was too sick to come over. No ‘Happy Anniversary,’ no ’I love you.’

Coming so soon after Thursday’s disaster, this was the last thing I needed. I had reached a breaking point.

* * *

Our anniversary would take another surprising turn, while a trio of weddings forced me to decide my fate with David for better or worse.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Countdown Rolls On


Two of my favorite blogs -- Sex, Lies & Dating and The Lost Girls -- have undergone a makeover. It must be that time of year because, in just 6 days, Single Gal In The City will be migrating from Blogspot to Wordpress, to a shorter, snazzier domain.

SGITC’s new look will, of course, coincide with the big reveal of my Grand 2010 Plan. It’s a plan that’s been in the works for a couple of months now and I can’t wait to fill you in!

Coming up…a visit from the fabulous Queen of Quirky and celebrating Super Bowl Sunday in NYC.

Friday, February 5, 2010

In Defense of Courtship Rituals


Earlier this week, I received an email from a male reader with an interesting take on my recent romance with PR exec E.

Based upon my posts about E’s knack for planning elaborate dates, said reader assumed his wining and dining me must have had an ulterior motive – to get me in between the sheets.

As I read his (thankfully) inaccurate take on E’s modus operandi, I couldn’t help thinking how the art of courtship seems to be something increasingly scoffed at in the dating world.

Last year, a conversation with my summer fling during a rare night out found us talking about one of NYC’s five-star restaurants. He asked if previous significant others had taken me there and I said yes.

“Those guys were just trying to impress you,” he said dismissively.

And what, I thought to myself, is so terrible about that? Why is it that, according to the new dating rules, men are often considered foolish for wooing a woman, while women who want and enjoy the experience are made to feel guilty for it?

Over the years, I’ve gone out with men who have taken me out lavishly as as well as those who preferred more low-key courting. Neither approach is wrong, it’s simply -- like the type of person you tend to be attracted to -- a matter of personal preference.

During my time with E, he planned a series of great dates ranging from nights out on the town to quiet, cozy evenings in the neighborhood. He was thoughtful about everything and, when it comes to the art of courtship, there’s nothing more than romantic.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Singles Event Pick: Young Wall Street and CC4C Happy Hour


City Chicks 4 Charity and Young Wall Street are teaming up for Happy New Year Happy Hour.

Set for tonight from 630-930pm, the event will take place at Traffic Bar and Lounge in Midtown. The $20 donation at the door covers beer and cocktail specials and light snacks, and there will be a raffle as well.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Chess-in-the-Schools, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to improving academic performance and building self-esteem among inner-city public school children.

For more info, click here.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Memorable Night At The Adrian Awards

Monday night, I joined my Quinn & Co. colleagues for the HSMAI Adrian Awards, a.k.a. the Oscars of hospitality marketing.

All Glammed Up: Dear friend & colleague Carla Caccavale Reynolds and me

Held at NYC’s Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square, the black tie event draws 1,000 people from the world of travel promotion. There was plenty to celebrate, as we garnered nine awards, including two for my work on Tourism Queensland’s blockbuster Best Job In The World campaign.

Golden Work: Me standing beside one of my award-winning entries

During the cocktail hour, while enjoying some wine and heavenly Artisanal cheeses, I chatted with co-worker Danielle about her upcoming fall nuptials and possible honeymoon destinations. Danielle is the antithesis of a bridezilla – I hope that I have her calm and cool attitude whenever my turn to walk down the aisle comes.

Renowned USA Today business travel writer and Hotel Check-In blogger Barbara De Lollis kicked off the two-hour awards ceremony, which recognized the crème de la crème of hospitality PR, advertising and web marketing. One of my personal favorites -- a San Diego Zoo ad campaign featuring talking elephants.

Barbara De Lollis: A true travel pro and brilliant blogger

Dinner was exceptional. I’ve attended many functions over the years at the Marquis and can say this was one of the finest meals ever served there. Our delicious three-course dinner featured spinach salad with cambozola blue cheese, pears and wine vinaigrette, melt-in-your-mouth beef tenderloin and a heavenly dessert foursome -- baked chocolate chiboust, caramel slice, bittersweet chocolate sorbet and a chocolate mousse shot.

Best of Show: Me with my Q&C colleagues John Frazier and Florence Quinn, and Tourism Queensland’s Shana Pereira (holding the award)

The icing on the cake, so to speak, came at the night’s end when Best Job took home the night’s top honor, Best of Show. It doesn’t get any better than this, especially when you have wonderful colleagues to share it with.

Coming up…a defense of courtship rituals and a look at the question of whether to settle.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Looking Back As You Go Forward

When you find yourself on the verge of a new direction, life has a way of reminding you of the journey it took to get there. Lately, I’ve enjoyed a few unexpected strolls down memory lane.

Junior’s Restaurant: Lunch at this Times Square eatery with an old friend kicked off my week of reminiscing (photo courtesy: chowtimes.com)

It began last week, during a delightful lunch with my former Fox News colleague Frankie. Though Frankie and I hadn’t seen each other since I left Fox nine years ago, we picked up right where we left off, reminiscing about the hilarious stunts we pulled in the name of TV production (including one involving "Star Wars" costumes). He asked me if I wanted to come back, and I was grateful to be reminded that some doors never truly close.

A few days later, I was at a deli on my lunch break when I ran into former “Days of Our Lives” actor Matthew Ashford. Having grown up watching Days, I was genuinely excited to see Matthew again (our last encounter was during the ’04 Daytime Emmys) and to hear about his new gig – playing one of the dads in a national tour of “Mamma Mia.”

As we talked about the shifting TV landscape and uncertain future of daytime dramas, I thought about how soaps were to my teenage years what “Sex And The City” has been to my thirties. It’s surprising and sad to think of the genre eventually being no more.

Speaking of surprises, the third one of the week happened at home when I was going through boxes of childhood mementos. Turns out one of the boxes was mislabeled, so I was floored to open it and find a collection of dolls that I assumed were lost in a move years ago. What a welcome flashback.

Yes, there’s definitely something to be said for the occasional backward glance. In the course of just a few days, I reconnected with three very different periods of my past – all of which have contributed to the woman I am today. As I take stock of where I’ve been, I feel even readier to embrace what comes next.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Dream U.S. City For Singles: The Winners


In December, I asked Single Gal In The City readers and followers on Twitter the following question -- if you could explore any U.S. city as a single, which would it be?

I'm happy to announce that fellow New Yorker Mimma is the winner of a SingleTease t-shirt. Mimma nominated San Francisco as her dream town for singles.

"I hear so many great things about this city," she says. "I would love to try the different wonderful foods and meet the locals and walk the hilly streets."

Arkansas resident Autumn, winner of a $15 iTunes gift card, chose Washington D.C. as her top pick.

"I love museums and history, so DC is right up my alley," she says. "Plus, there are lots of people there on business who take time out to visit the monuments and museums too."

Thanks to everyone who weighed in. And for those who didn't, feel free to post a comment here. Answers will be rolled into the big reveal of my Grand 2010 Plan, coming just 11 days from now!