Category: O’Flanagan’s


Girls Night Out: Upper East Side

September 30th, 2013 — 7:44pm

Friday, I enjoyed an impromptu girls night out with my friend Vania.

We met up at Sojourn on NYC’s Upper East Side. It’s no mystery why this has become one of Vania’s favorite haunts — Sojourn has a welcoming neighborhood vibe and great wine list and always attracts a lively crowd.

Vania and me

Vania and me

Friday was no exception. The bar quickly filled up. When Vania spotted a male friend of hers she waved him over to join us. Alongside him was his colleague BW, a charming, tall attorney with an irresistible Southern accent.

I soon learned that BW is from Birmingham and has great affection for NYC (he lived here briefly), football and telling it like is. We had an effortless, engaging conversation about the plusses and minuses of life in the Big Apple, and the often alarmist media coverage about being single over the age of 35. When BW expressed his appreciation for the enduring beauty of Jane Fonda and Raquel Welch, I have to admit I swooned a little.

From Sojourn, we headed over to my favorite Irish dive bar nearby, O’Flanagan’s, where the flirting continued as a cover band played classic hits we sang along to.

As the night ended, I couldn’t help thinking that there is a lot to be said for being out and about, especially in the bar scene. It’s something I haven’t really done in awhile, but the vagaries of online dating have made me appreciate for the umpteenth time one fundamental reality: meeting new people in the real world is always a thousand times better.

Who knows? Maybe (almost) 40 is the new 30 after all.

Comment » | Girls Night Out, NYC bars, O'Flanagan's, Upper East Side, Upper East Side restaurants

Rediscovering The Power Of One

June 7th, 2011 — 5:05pm

One of the great things about living in New York is it really is a place that celebrates the power of one. Over the last couple of days, I found myself rediscovering this attribute of my hometown.

It started over drinks at wine bar Riposo 46 in Hell’s Kitchen with Nicki (aka moneymaus), a lovely twentysomething bachelorette newly transplanted from San Diego.

With most of her friends back home settled in serious relationships, Nicki is finding the NYC single’s way of life to be a breathe of fresh air. Though I couldn’t help thinking the solo living reigns supreme mantra was decidedly easier to embrace when I was Nicki’s age, some of her enthusiasm rubbed off on me — especially the next night, during a visit to O’Flanagan’s.

Galpal Bobbi joined me for a drink here after tapas at UES bistro El Porron. After she left, I opted to stick around and enjoy the sounds of fabulous cover band East Coast.

Readers of this blog know O’Flanny’s is my favorite neighborhood dive bar and East Coast is one of the big reasons why. They know how to create a vibe that’s a cross between a wedding and a good friend’s house party.

As I took to the dance floor and shook my booty to energetic covers of Lady Gaga, Cee Lo Green and Katy Perry, I felt something I haven’t in awhile — completely happy to be out and about on my own. For once, I wasn’t wishing away my single status, I was appreciating the freedom to go wherever the night takes me. 

Who knew singing a different tune could be so much fun?

Comment » | being single in your thirties, East Coast, O'Flanagan's, wine bars

A Birthday To Remember

January 24th, 2011 — 7:04pm

When it comes to birthdays, I’m a believer in — as Oprah puts it — rocking it out. Turning 37 has given me the opportunity to do exactly that, in more ways than one.

Birthday Fun: Celebrating my 37th with (clockwise from left) Faith, my cousin Alexandra, Gwen, my sister Hilary, Caroline, Bobbi and Crystal

Friday, I woke up to a dozen pink roses and candlelit croissants from galpal Lisa. The festive mood continued over dinner at Dos Caminos in Midtown with my closest family and friends. In its previous restaurant incarnation, Dos Caminos was the space where I spent Thanksgiving with my nearest and dearest. I couldn’t help but appreciate having a little piece of my childhood years with me for a grown up happy occasion.

That sense of home continued as we headed to O’Flanagan’s, my favorite Irish pub. Newlywed Heidi made the trek in from Jersey City and joined us in dancing the night away to awesome cover band East Coast.

Being surrounded by so many of the wonderful women in my life only reinforced the serenity that has accompanied this birthday for me.

For once, I’m not measuring life in terms of whether marriage or motherhood is on the horizon. Instead, I’m counting my blessings and savoring this moment in time. Because I know I’m exactly, spot on, right where I’m supposed to be. As far as birthday presents go, it doesn’t get any better than that.

1 comment » | birthday reflections, O'Flanagan's

Taking Another Stab At Dating Younger

December 16th, 2010 — 2:39pm

Not too long ago, I blogged about the pros and cons of dating younger men. Last weekend, a night out with Simon, 27, showed me why Demi Moore might be onto something here.

Simon and I met at O’Flanagan’s, my favorite Irish dive bar, where we danced the night away. He took my number and called the next day to ask me out. Unlike the more jaded, thirtysomething Gotham bachelor, Simon didn’t waste time deliberating about when to make a move, he just did it.

Even better, he made a point of asking me whether I prefer texting or calling. A welcome question in this day and age where it seems like the getting-to-know-you phone conversation is a thing of the past.

So we meet for happy hour at an unusual venue — a members-only lounge for medical students and fellows at NYC’s Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital. Simon keeps the conversation light and compliments me on how I look.

“You haven’t told me I look great,” he said in mock disappointment.

“You look great,” I said with a laugh.

“No, it’s too late, you’ve cheapened it now,” he joked.

Later, after we said goodnight, he followed up with a text and the next day, a phone call. I couldn’t help thinking how refreshing it is to spend time with someone who doesn’t have the play it cool mentality that’s all too common among Gotham guys once they leave their twenties behind.

When I asked Simon his age, he told me but was polite enough not to ask mine. Point taken that sometimes in matters of dating, age really is just a number.

2 comments » | dating younger men, O'Flanagan's

Girls Night Out: UES Triple Header

December 4th, 2010 — 2:30pm

Yesterday, I enjoyed an action-packed girls night out with my good friend Faith.

American Trash: One of the best dive bars on NYC’s Upper East Side

The evening began at American Trash on NYC’s Upper East Side. Over a shared lobster roll, fried calamari and clams, Faith and I talked about holiday dating disasters and the importance of maintaining friendships regardless of your marital status.

Our lively conversation continued at nearby cocktail bar Stir and then, of course, O’Flanagan’s, my favorite neighborhood bar. As I’ve said before, O’Flanagan’s always delivers a good time — thanks to an unpretentious, friendly crowd and great music (this time, courtesy of cover band East Coast).

Though I wasn’t in mingling mode, a few guys approached me on the dance floor. And within less than two minutes, both of them asked me what I do for a living. I couldn’t help thinking how my perspective on this line of questioning –both asking and being on the receiving end of it — has changed since my European Dating Blitz.

During the course of my travels, I learned that over there, it’s considered rude and inappropriate to ask someone about their profession right away unless the information is volunteered. I found it refreshing that getting to know a date
takes precedence over sizing him up based on his job, and have since shied away from making ‘what do you do?’ my default question.

So I tell bachelor #1 that I work in PR. He says he works in finance, then returns to the subject of my job.

“Do you plan to diversify?” he asks.

I didn’t know whether he was giving me unsolicited stock tips or career advice. Either way, it wasn’t my kind of small talk so I excused myself and walked over to the bar. That’s where bachelor #2 also asked me right away what I do work-wise.

I guess original conversation starters are really in short supply these days.

Comment » | Girls Night Out, O'Flanagan's, The European Dating Blitz, Upper East Side

Girls Night Out: Midtown

July 23rd, 2010 — 4:17pm

Last weekend, I enjoyed a girls night out with my new friend Faith.

The Peninsula Rooftop: A great spot for rooftop mingling

Our mission was to check out one of NYC’s new rooftop bars. When the one we had in mind was closed for a private party, we headed over to the bar atop the swanky Peninsula Hotel in Midtown.

Over a crisp glass of Chardonnay, we surveyed the well-dressed, friendly crowd. At one point, fortysomething bachelor Alan came over and asked the clichéd line of why we were single. Alan was nice enough, albeit a little too friendly with his hands.

Suddenly craving a change of scenery, Faith and I headed over to Irish pub O’Flanagan’s — joined by Linda and Vania, two fun and fabulous single gals we had met at the Peninsula. As we danced the night away to some cheesy 80’s tunes, I couldn’t help thinking how easy it is to meet great people in NYC. I can’t wait to see how the singles scene stacks up in London and the other amazing cities on my European Dating Blitz!

2 comments » | Girls Night Out, Midtown NYC hotels, O'Flanagan's, rooftop bars

Tuesday Double Header

May 26th, 2010 — 4:47pm

Last night, for Chris’ final evening in NYC before returning to Cleveland, we met up with my dear friend Caroline.

At The Frying Pan: Caroline and me

Our first stop — the Frying Pan in Chelsea. Listed on the New York State and Federal Registers of Historic Places, the Frying Pan is a lightship docked at Pier 66 offering stunning views of the harbor.

We boarded just before sunset, and settled into a table on the upper deck. Over cocktails, Chris shared tales about his adventures with flying and race car driving while Caroline filled me in on what’s new at my former employer, Quinn & Co.

Next up, a low-key, delicious dinner at my favorite Upper East Side Irish pub, O’Flanagan’s. There, we enjoyed some laughs about New York City kitchens  rarely being used for cooking — and how Chris defied that several times during his visit by making some fantastic meals.

He may just have inspired me to use my little galley for more than just microwaving and takeout.

1 comment » | O'Flanagan's, The Frying Pan, Uncategorized, Upper East Side

Queen of Quirky Takes Manhattan

February 8th, 2010 — 6:01pm

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!

Comment » | BlogHer Conference, Buddakan, Carrie and Big, Girls Night Out, Grand 2010 Plan, O'Flanagan's, Planet Groove, Queen of Quirky, Sex and The City movie, Tanuki Tavern

Rubix Cube Redux

January 10th, 2009 — 5:24pm
Last Saturday, my friend Lauren and I enjoyed a girls night out at O’Flanagan’s my favorite neighborhood pub.

A fellow travel PR maven, Lauren was the first person I connected with in the industry back in ‘04, when I was making the jump from TV news. We hit it off immediately during an informal networking lunch. I remember thinking if travel PR attracts fabulous women like her, this is the business for me.

Girls Night Out: Lauren (far right) and me rocking out to Rubix Cube with our new friends at O’Flanagan’s

After talking shop for a few minutes about representing Australian destinations, we moved onto more pressing matters — like our shared New Year’s resolution to do more mingling with the opposite sex and make sure we’re having plenty of fun along the way.

To that end, we joined new friends Lori and Jamie on the dance floor to the groovy 80’s sounds of Rubix Kube.

Rubix Kube: The crème de la crème of 80’s cover bands

I first caught Rubix Kube at SoHo’s Canal Room last summer. The band was even more entertaining the second time around, and I was especially delighted when keyboard player Rich Forman made this special dedication —

“This goes out to all the single gals in the city here.”

As Rubix Kube kicked into high gear with classics from Erasure’s “A Little Respect” to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy,” Lauren and I burned off our holiday indulgence with a little booty shaking.

During “Billie Jean,” I joined a male reveler in the center of the floor and we danced like it was 1985 while the crowd cheered us on.

It was well after 2am when we called it a night. I was exhausted but exhilarated, knowing that this is just the beginning of what is shaping up to be a great year. How could it be otherwise with my 35th birthday later this month and my long-awaited return to Australia just a few days away?

Comment » | 80's cover band, Australia, Billie Jean, Girls Night Out, O'Flanagan's, Rubix Kube, travel PR, turning 35

Rubix Cube Redux

January 10th, 2009 — 12:24pm
Last Saturday, my friend Lauren and I enjoyed a girls night out at O’Flanagan’s my favorite neighborhood pub.

A fellow travel PR maven, Lauren was the first person I connected with in the industry back in ‘04, when I was making the jump from TV news. We hit it off immediately during an informal networking lunch. I remember thinking if travel PR attracts fabulous women like her, this is the business for me.

Girls Night Out: Lauren (far right) and me rocking out to Rubix Cube with our new friends at O’Flanagan’s

After talking shop for a few minutes about representing Australian destinations, we moved onto more pressing matters — like our shared New Year’s resolution to do more mingling with the opposite sex and make sure we’re having plenty of fun along the way.

To that end, we joined new friends Lori and Jamie on the dance floor to the groovy 80’s sounds of Rubix Kube.

Rubix Kube: The crème de la crème of 80’s cover bands

I first caught Rubix Kube at SoHo’s Canal Room last summer. The band was even more entertaining the second time around, and I was especially delighted when keyboard player Rich Forman made this special dedication —

“This goes out to all the single gals in the city here.”

As Rubix Kube kicked into high gear with classics from Erasure’s “A Little Respect” to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy,” Lauren and I burned off our holiday indulgence with a little booty shaking.

During “Billie Jean,” I joined a male reveler in the center of the floor and we danced like it was 1985 while the crowd cheered us on.

It was well after 2am when we called it a night. I was exhausted but exhilarated, knowing that this is just the beginning of what is shaping up to be a great year. How could it be otherwise with my 35th birthday later this month and my long-awaited return to Australia just a few days away?

Comment » | 80's cover band, Australia, Billie Jean, Girls Night Out, O'Flanagan's, Rubix Kube, travel PR, turning 35

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