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November 30, 2005

Sample Sales

Inauspicious sample sale return policies (read: none) do not bode well for gift purchasing. shopping-bag.gif Without impeccable knowledge of Aunt Lily's taste and sweater size, even 70% off a TSE cashmere is just not worth the risk. If her arms are a bit too pudgy to squeeze into the skinny sleeves, the luscious gift will only induce frustration.

Sample sales are seductive. But unfortunately around this time of the year most of us are a little low on funds. Big spending ought to be practiced only when the big purchase is a gift for someone else. However, for those willing to dip into savings, max out the Amex or risk the unexchangable gift, Daily Candy has thoughtfully provided us with a list of fabulous sample sales. I will definitely be making a few sheepish appearances this week.

Posted by EMC at 12:20 PM | Comments (0)

November 29, 2005

Pandora: Designer Radio


There is something particularly satisfying about a custom tailored radio station that allows the listener to skip over songs that do not suit their fancy. QLL has found a website that does just that and best of all, it is free.

In 2000, a group of musicians and tech-savvy lovers of music formed The Music Genome Project. Five years later they created www.pandora.com. It is simple. Sign up, tell the search engine the name of a favorite song or artist and let it design a radio station comprised entirely of songs that sound similar to the original pick.

As each song plays, listeners can give it a thumbs up or thumbs down, add it to favorites, buy it from iTunes, buy the album from Amazon or receive an explanation as to why the song was chosen. The designer radio stations are saved in user profiles allowing listeners to return to the same station day after day. QLL is a huge fan of The Police Radio. Check it out.

Posted by EMC at 05:11 PM | Comments (0)

November 28, 2005

A Taste of Christmas at Lincoln Center


Thanksgiving has taken another notch in our belts and as always, Christmas is right around the corner. This is the week when most Christmas-loving Americans break out the lights and holly, readying themselves to pose for kisses under the mistletoe. Grandmothers across the country dig up their candy thermometers to start making fudge and most important of all, tree-trimmings are scheduled.

mistletoe.jpgChristmas is my favorite time of year. The smells, the sounds, the sights all bring back childhood memories of delightful anticipation of presents and excitement of having a tree in the house. But as a true New Yorker, my cozy downtown apartment is barely large enough for its three inhabitants; playing host to arborist holiday inclinations is simply out of the question.

For those nostalgic for the scent of evergreen, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts hosts their Annual Holiday Tree Lighting tonight from 5:30-6:00pm. The celebration will be held on Josie Robertson Plaza at Columbus Avenue and 64th Street and boasts aerialist and operatic performances as well as an excerpt from George Balanchine's The Nutcracker. For more information, check out the Lincoln Center website.

Posted by EMC at 02:29 PM | Comments (0)

November 23, 2005

A Reason to be Thankful


The streets of New York spill over with the homeless and less fortunate. Were it not for soup kitchens and charitable organizations, these people might spend Thanksgiving cold, hungry and alone. Tomorrow afternoon, before the turkey hangover starts to kick in, resist the urge to snooze on the couch all afternoon. Get out of the house and help spread the warmth of Thanksgiving with those less fortunate. Sign up today to lend a hand serving Thanksgiving dinner in a soup kitchen, or stop by the Bowery Mission to sign up for a number of different positions. Brighten the day of a perfect stranger.

If tomorrow is too hectic, the Food Bank for New York City has a list of upcoming opportunities to volunteer.

Posted by EMC at 11:14 AM | Comments (0)

November 22, 2005

Tui-Na: Affordable Massage

massage.jpgThough the reception area at Qi Gong Tui-Na massage parlour is a bit cramped and drafty, the Pepto Bismol hued walls and sandalwood incense evoke the feeling of a spa. Upon our arrival, there was only one therapist but a brief phone call yielded three new therapists and a raised eyebrow from my companion.

tuina1.gifThe women materialised within minutes, each possessing a waning command of English. Now knowing when to use the subjunctive tense is by no means necessary for working the kinks out of my back. However, even a basic level of communication would have allowed me to better direct her hands. Nonetheless, in an hour she had covered every reasonable inch of my body.

tuina3.jpgAt Qi Gong Tui-Na the mysterious massage therapists just might double as call girls on Canal Street. But if your call girl-slash-massasge therapist compliments you with, "very nice body," refrain from wondering about the innocence of her inner thigh kneading -- she is just buttering you up for a big tip.

Be prepared to strip down to your skivvies in the presence of total strangers, because you are in a room with two other potentially anonymous clients, and you don't have time to think twice. And at $40 an hour, don't question; just sit back and relax.

Call ahead for appointments, and do not be guilted into a larger tip. 20% is generous enough.

If the idea of laying nearly naked in a room with strangers is enough to put knots in your back, Mario Badescu Spa offers solo massages for $70 an hour.

Qi Gong Tui-Na
222 Lafayette Street
between Spring and Kenmare


Posted by EMC at 08:55 PM | Comments (0)

Thanksgiving 4 Free!

Everybody knows that in New York City, the night before Thanksgiving is one of the biggest nights out. Howver, being the end of the month, you may be strapped for cash so if a night at Marquee is not on your radar here are some free alternatives:

Skate and Meet the NY Rangers
The man made ice skating rink at Bryant park - known as The Pond - will host an evening of skating, meet and greet, youth hockey clinics, and autograph sessions with the NY Rangers and their alumni. Skate rental is available for a fee but skating is free @ Bryant Part.
nyfc_200.jpgNew York Fuckin City
This not-so-little showcase of NYC hip hop and rock talent is a great way to get that "sorry mom, I was out late last night" thanksgiving hangover. First, and foremost GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan is performing live. Add additional live acts Slaine, Stiffed, Three Sixtys, and Trouble to the bill and you have a happening live stage. Add Kech, Elle, Yoda, Sujihno, Cassiano, IXL, and SPAE on the tables and you have a full night of serious music. Open beer and gin bar from 8pm - 9pm get you going early. Free w/ RSVP @ Crash Mansion / BLVD (199 Bowery).

Jon Cutler Funky House Party
NYC House legend Jon Cutler invades the intimate Opus22 lounge for some serious deep house funk. Open vodka from 9-10 gets your night going @ Opus22. Free when you mention "the email".

RENT Release Party
Free T-Shirts, free beer, and free CD's make this a party full of rent booty. That, and the usual amount of booty that is usually at Soho323. Open bar from 10-11.


Happy Thanksgiving and eat responsibly.

Posted by Jeremy at 01:00 PM | Comments (0)

November 18, 2005

Chicken Soup for the Common Cold


Over the course of the last week, at least three people have sneezed on me in the subway. With 200+ strands of the common cold virus lazing about in the winter air, it should come as no surprise that all of Manhattan is coughing, sneezing and nose-blowing. We are all scheduled to catch at least 2-3 colds this winter. Unfortunately, there is no cure for the common cold. There are, however, some cheap and easy ways to stay healthy and perhaps cut short the duration of any cold you may contract.

garlic.jpgVitamin C and garlic will not prevent a cold, but they may confine sniffling and sneezing to a few short days. Keep you body stocked with Vitamin C all season by loading up on Vitamin C rich foods like kiwis, red peppers and oranges. Once a cold starts to set in, eat some fresh garlic. Not only will it ward off vampires, it will also put you on the mend.

Chicken%20Soup.jpgBut on Sunday morning when QLL woke up feely stuffy, we headed for the kitchen to make a pot of chicken soup. Scientific evidence now advocates for chicken soup. Viruses thrive on fixed temperatures. The hot broth will upset their environment in your throat, loosen up the mucus in your nose and sinuses and soothe an irritated throat.

Science or no science, we swear by chicken soup. And while we are keeping the family recipe in the family, we do suggest this recipe. We would, however, add 1 1/2 T of chopped garlic and start with three quarts of chicken broth instead of water.

Posted by EMC at 11:02 AM | Comments (1)

November 17, 2005

Gentlemen, Start Your Mustaches!

figaro_shaves_1.jpgNew York City plays host to many charity events. QLL is all for it, and will often times participate when time and money allows. However this one, I personally refuse to partake in.

Mustaches for Kids, a non-profit charity for children is holding their seventh annual shave off. Participants raise money by growing mustaches between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Growers solicit donations from friends, family, co-workers, and people in their communities. At the end of the growing holiday season Mustaches for Kids hosts a contest where the facial hair is evaluated by an independent panel of judges, and one mustache is declared to be the finest. Today, November 17, is the official kick off, or Shaving Day as it is known.

This year, the proceeds will be donated to the Children's Hospital of New Orleans. In addition to the usual demands of maintaining their Kids First Clinics, which provide free care to children from low-income families, CHNO is faced with the additional challenge of setting up statewide outreach clinics to reach their patients who have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina. They're saving kids; the least you can do is grow a mustache.

Mustaches for Kids Shaving Day
Ace Bar
531 East 5th St
between Avenues A and B, Manhattan
8:00pm; Admission is free

Posted by Jeremy at 05:09 PM | Comments (0)

November 14, 2005


fashion_van.jpgClaudine and Brian Gumbel melded luxury shopping with the Fresh Direct concept and came up with a truly New York idea. Gut-renovating the interior of a 2005 Ford Winnebago, the Gumbels transformed it into a mobile boutique, Caravan. The look is sleek. Artwork adorns the walls, hip vintage pieces fill an armoire, and video screens project runway footage. Caravan makes private house calls, but is not above stopping for walk-ins.

Always laden with new pieces, the image is young, with a tendency towards Los Angeles style. Caravan juxtaposes brands like Original Penguin, Generra and Rock and Republic with young designers' labels such as Yeohlee, Jak&Rae and Skull & Bones. The company's private label, 'C,' features staple travel pieces in blacks, grays and white and a stylist is always on hand.

Caravan is up and running on Saturdays and Sundays with a maximum capacity of ten people. For those of you prone to car-sickness, check out their online store.

The next time you spot a Winnebago trolling through Manhattan, stick out your thumb. The purchases you make will stop traffic.

Track them down.

Posted by EMC at 03:54 PM | Comments (0)

November 11, 2005

Tour De Bus


What if I told you that within less than 45 minutes you may be able to dodge midtown traffic, drink coffee, chill a drink, read the Times, listen to your i-pod, and burn up to 600 calories all while you commute to work (to arrive by 9am). Superman? Nah, you are just a New Yorker!

As New Yorkers, we are the ultimate multi-taskers and crave convenience and efficiency. Rio de Janeiro has satisfied this need by coming up with what must be the word's first mobile and moving gym called the Bus Bike. It is a totally modified bus offering indoor bike classes. 'Passengers' pay a monthly fee (which translates to $64 USD) for two classes a week (or you can opt for 3 classes per week). On board are an instructor, overseeing 16 bikes, as well as a dressing room, a fridge, and a sound system. The bus is connected to a GPS system to avoid getting caught in traffic jams.

bus.jpgThe bus uses fixed stops on three different 45-minute itineraries (M-F) The Bus Bike beats going to the gym and you get a changing perspective of the city. Better than any workout we can think of! With a spin-class on wheels, there could never be another excuse to run (or cycle) away from getting in your exercise!

Posted by Shari at 09:21 PM | Comments (0)

November 10, 2005

Blow Your Bugle: Cocaine in the UK


Everyone knows that New York is the city that never sleeps but recent revelations on cocaine usage in London suggest otherwise.

A study commissioned by and published in the Sunday Telegraph reports that a shocking 80,000 lines or 2 kilos of the white powder are dumped into the Thames each day after passing through the bodies of England's finest and also sewage treatment plants. This number reflects the efforts of an estimated 250,000 people, or 4% of London's population, who blow through a combined total of 150,000 rails a day.

Tissue, please?

Apparently Kate Moss and her cohorts are not the only ones awake at night. Doctors and the British government are also losing sleep -- over the fact that the newly estimated usage number is fifteen times higher than the official figure from Home Office.

Posted by EMC at 05:00 PM | Comments (0)

November 02, 2005

Street Meet

Halal_Cart_small.jpgDoes Thiru Kumar, Tony Dragonas, or Rolf Babiel ring a bell? Well they're not quite Alain Ducasse, Mario Batali or Daniel Boulud, but they're superstar chefs in their own unique little space. Which space is that you ask? They are all finalists in the 1st Annual Vendy Awards. It's a thankless job but we are glad that someone is there to serve us hotdogs and pretzels after a long night out.

The final cook-off takes place November 10th, 7-10:30, the finalists will be selling their food (at their usual prices), there will be an open bar of wine and beer, and judges will pick the winner. It's $35 (tax deductible) and will take place at 27 E. 4th, for more information call 646-602-5679.

By the way, does anyone know where these guys wash their hands?

Posted by Jeremy at 06:13 PM | Comments (0)