Category: Gramercy bars


Girls Night Out: Gramercy

January 28th, 2012 — 8:05pm

Last night, I headed down to Gramercy for a girls night out with my friend Bobbi and four of her galpals.

The Hurricane Club: Our corner banquette (pictured back left here) offered a perfect view of the SATC-esque crowd

Our first stop — the Hurricane Club, a swanky Asian fusion restaurant with high ceilings, huge potted plants and a Casablanca meets Sex And The City vibe. As I took in the perfectly coiffed, fashionista and GQ-heavy crowd, we enjoyed the exotic flavors for which this place is known (sangria garnished with lychee and flowers, PB and guava “J” with thai basil, cashew chicken).

After a sinfully decadent dessert of chocolate devils food cake with a carmelized banana slice, we walked a few blocks north to the Gansevoort Hotel on Park Avenue. Like its equally trendy SoHo sibling, the newer Gansevoort has become a place to see and be seen. Velvet ropes, guest lists, bouncers with attitude — you get the idea.

Fortunately, though we weren’t on any guest list, Bobbi managed to work her charm and the fact that we were a group of six women to get us inside after only a 15 minute wait. Much as I feared, what we found at the hotel’s rooftop bar wasn’t my idea of a good time — loud, thumping music and an overcrowded scene.

Call me a party pooper, but all the allure of floor to ceiling windows, plush couches and low lightings dims pretty quickly when you’re constantly getting jostled.

Sensing my lack of enthusiasm, Bobbi read my mind when she said–

“We’re getting too old for this.”

Amen to that.

And so, one quick non-alcoholic drink later, I said goodnight and stepped onto the elevator — whereupon I found myself standing across from a cute, salt and pepper haired guy. He smiled at me, quickly introduced himself and before I knew it, we were sitting in the lobby exchanging tales of travel and creative inspirations.

It turned out he was celebrating a friend’s birthday. I was ready to head home anyway, so we exited together — and he gallantly walked me to a taxi.

I was still smiling as the cab pulled up in front of my building. For the first time in a long time, new york had surprised me in a good way. Like my often exasperating, never let up hometown was telling this single gal — hang in there, you never know what’s right around the corner.

I just love it when that happens.

2 comments » | Girls Night Out, Gramercy bars, rooftop bars, Sex and The City

A 60 Minute First Date

July 21st, 2010 — 8:25pm

Last night, I went out with Ethan, the bachelor selected for me on The Fix-Up Show. Though Ethan was my first choice, I wasn’t sure what to expect — given that it was a bit challenging to schedule a date with him.

Old Town: Ethan and I had a quick bite at this venerable bar in Gramercy

After the show on Thursday, Ethan informed me that the weekend wasn’t an option because he had to rest his voice for a performance (he’s an opera singer). When I suggested Monday at 7:30pm, he said that would be too late for him (he walks his dogs daily at 6am). So we settled on Tuesday at 6:30 — for an hour (he had a family dinner to attend).

Thankfully, Ethan did manage to strike up some interesting conversation, confirming my initial impression of him as being worldly, witty and well-educated. It’s not every day that you hear someone use the word canard when they’re referring to a little white lie. And I liked that he had a cocktail waiting for me when I met him at Old Town, a historic bar in Gramercy.

The most unexpected moment came when Ethan asked–

“Have you ever had a relationship go up in flames?”

After taking a quick mental inventory of the eight or so serious relationships I’ve had, I was happy to tell him that most fizzled out quietly. We compared notes on stalking exes, and how the advent of technology makes it far too easy to engage in a multimedia assault post-breakup.

Before Ethan rushed off to his family affair, we talked about our mutual affection for traveling. He mentioned having several friends in Europe that he’d be glad to connect me with during my upcoming dating tour across the pond.

Coming up…more details about the European Dating Blitz!

1 comment » | first date, Gramercy bars, The European Dating Blitz, The Fix-Up Show

A First Visit To Two NYC Hotspots

July 4th, 2010 — 1:56pm

This week, as part of my mission to try at least two new things weekly, I visited a pair of dining and drinking venues for the first time.

Maya Restaurant: contemporary Mexican food in an inviting setting

Monday night, my cousin and soul sister Alexandra and I headed over to Maya Restaurant on NYC’s Upper East Side. Chef Richard Sandoval’s modern Mexican restaurant is long on atmosphere and attentive service. It also happens to serves up a mean guacamole and some of the best flan I’ve had in ages. The seared beef soft tacos are melt in your mouth.

On the more casual end of the spectrum, I headed over to No Idea bar in Gramercy for happy hour with a few former PR colleagues. Along with a lively (albeit young and mostly twentysomething) crowd, No Idea offers Name Night, where you drink free if yours is the evening’s chosen name. The catch is you have to bring your friends.

No Idea also encourages customers to mingle with playful coasters like this one.

Find Your Match: No Idea has a variety of coasters designed to help you make a connection

I may have to pay a return visit just to try give this a try.

Happy Fourth Everyone!

Comment » | Gramercy bars, Upper East Side, Upper East Side restaurants

Back In The (Dating) Saddle Again

February 26th, 2010 — 7:34pm

Wednesday night, I had drinks with real estate executive Frank down in Gramercy.

The date marked my first since things fizzled with HurryDater and PR guru E, so it felt good to flex my flirting muscles as I gear up for my Great Dating Blitz across the U.S. And it felt fitting that, like E, I connected with Frank at a speed dating event — Purple Lab’s frenetic Find Your Luvah party back in January.

PS 450: This trendy Gramercy bar is always packed and plays a heavy rotation of 80's tunes

Frank and I met up at trendy bar PS 450, where he filled me in about his day job, his passion for family, and his talent for cooking. I also learned that he’s 28 — i.e., much younger than I had guessed.

Though I was surprised, his age quickly became apparent as he described how good he is at his job, how outgoing he is and how he can strike up a conversation with anyone. While all true, it sounded like a sales pitch more appropriate for a job interview.

And it didn’t help that he repeatedly checked his Blackberry  — who knew RE managers were always on call? — or that he asked me more than one question I had already answered.

The music at PS 450 became too deafening for easy conversation, so we headed over to the lobby bar at the W Hotel in Union Square. A pair of delicious cocktails (Gin Fizz for Frank, Bellini for me) got us onto the subject of gastronomic delights.

Proud of his Italian heritage, Frank not only cooks but he makes his own wine and cheese. He had me laughing when he described smuggling in olive oil and cured meats from Italy. You have to admire a man whose willing to risk the wrath of the TSA in the name of authentic food.

A true gentleman, Frank drove me home before making his way back to New Jersey. It was a fun evening — and I’m looking forward to many more…with the men of Cleveland, Atlanta, and all the other cities I’m about to visit!

3 comments » | first dates, Gramercy bars, speed dating, The Great Dating Blitz

Schmoozing At Slate For A Good Cause

March 11th, 2009 — 10:00pm

Last night, I headed down to Slate, an upscale bar and billiards venue in Gramercy, for a low-key fundraiser for The New York AIR Society. AIR supports research, clinical and educational programs at National Jewish Health, the #1 respiratory hospital in the U.S.

About 25 people showed up for the event, including my friend and fellow PR gal Lauren and many of her pals, who showed up to support guest bartender Steve in his charitable efforts.

Slate: Upscale billiards in NYC’s Gramercy district

At the bar, I bonded with effervescent nutrition consultant Francie about the merits of Ann Taylor trousers and a good cocktail. Steve mixed a mean fuzzy navel, and I enjoyed two of them as Francie endearingly attempted to play matchmaker between me and Barry, a tall, friendly Merrill Lynch guy and fellow Upper East Side resident.

The sparks weren’t there, but the conversation flowed as Barry told us about his recent date with a woman newly converted to Judaism. Having grown up in an interfaith family – and converted in the other direction (to Christianity, though I still consider Judaism a big part of my heritage) – I asked what led to his date’s spiritual transition.

He quipped that it must have been peer pressure in college, and I wondered aloud why he hadn’t asked the obvious follow up question. Then again, as a former reporter, I guess I’m a bit more curious than the average Joe.

Speaking of curiosity, I was eager to learn more about Lauren’s adorable friend Michael – especially when he mentioned a recent weekend jaunt to London for a fundraising dinner in memory of his friend Jason Boas. Jason died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 34 and established The No Surrender Charitable Trust. No Surrender supports cancer research and serves as a networking site for young adults suffering from cancer and other life threatening illnesses.

I love it when an event for one worthy cause leads to learning about another. It gives a whole new meaning to the idea of happy hour.

Comment » | billiards, charitable events, Gramercy bars, happy hour, London, National Jewish Health, New York AIR Society, No Surrender, pancreatic cancer, pool

Schmoozing At Slate For A Good Cause

March 11th, 2009 — 5:00pm

Last night, I headed down to Slate, an upscale bar and billiards venue in Gramercy, for a low-key fundraiser for The New York AIR Society. AIR supports research, clinical and educational programs at National Jewish Health, the #1 respiratory hospital in the U.S.

About 25 people showed up for the event, including my friend and fellow PR gal Lauren and many of her pals, who showed up to support guest bartender Steve in his charitable efforts.

Slate: Upscale billiards in NYC’s Gramercy district

At the bar, I bonded with effervescent nutrition consultant Francie about the merits of Ann Taylor trousers and a good cocktail. Steve mixed a mean fuzzy navel, and I enjoyed two of them as Francie endearingly attempted to play matchmaker between me and Barry, a tall, friendly Merrill Lynch guy and fellow Upper East Side resident.

The sparks weren’t there, but the conversation flowed as Barry told us about his recent date with a woman newly converted to Judaism. Having grown up in an interfaith family – and converted in the other direction (to Christianity, though I still consider Judaism a big part of my heritage) – I asked what led to his date’s spiritual transition.

He quipped that it must have been peer pressure in college, and I wondered aloud why he hadn’t asked the obvious follow up question. Then again, as a former reporter, I guess I’m a bit more curious than the average Joe.

Speaking of curiosity, I was eager to learn more about Lauren’s adorable friend Michael – especially when he mentioned a recent weekend jaunt to London for a fundraising dinner in memory of his friend Jason Boas. Jason died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 34 and established The No Surrender Charitable Trust. No Surrender supports cancer research and serves as a networking site for young adults suffering from cancer and other life threatening illnesses.

I love it when an event for one worthy cause leads to learning about another. It gives a whole new meaning to the idea of happy hour.

Comment » | billiards, charitable events, Gramercy bars, happy hour, London, National Jewish Health, New York AIR Society, No Surrender, pancreatic cancer, pool

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