Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Now I'm heading home for the holidays so I'll be off blogging for a few days, barring any unexpected freebie fun!
See you all next week...
Monday, December 20, 2010
Here is a pic Cousin A shot of the entrance area, with lockers. Her tip is to bring a lock if you have one, since they are not provided and you otherwise have to risk shoe theft! Also see cute snack bar here too...
After enjoying grits from the holiday market (Explique-moi, s'il vous plait!), Cousin A took this shot of Celcius Lounge, an appealing bar that overlooks the rink.
p.s. She also tried to get the aforementioned free hot cocoa from the Kate Spade pop-up shop but there was no hot cocoa to be had! What gives? She went on a Friday, which was one of the days that was allegedly earmarked for hot cocoa giveaways. Two thumbs down, Kate...
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Free mini candy bars dished up at Bed Bath and Beyond:
Free candy cane sticks at J. Crew:
Free peppermint bark at Williams-Sonoma:
Friday, December 17, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
I did hear of a free classical music concert that my alma mater is giving at Julliard, on Friday (12/17) night. Go if you have the time!
What: Violin and Piano recital by Alicia Choi and Erika Allen (Brahms, Bach, Debussy, and more)
When: Friday, Dec 17th at 8pm
Where: Paul Hall, Julliard School, 60 Lincoln Center Plaza (65th betw Bway and Amsterdam)
FREE and open to all! And a reception with "light fare" after the performance!
Friday, December 10, 2010
This event was super-trumpeted as the freebie event of the season to all Yelp.com members. There were going to be food and drink provided by local vendors, games to play, photo booths, etc...
Well, dear readers, it was a terrible party.
It was in the 26th St Regiment Armory, which gave the entire event a "middle school dance in the gym" feel. There was zero decoration, and all the vendors were set up in ways that caused a very cramped, hard to navigate sensation among the guests, which is a feat to accomplish in such a huge room!
But worst of all, once we got inside, there were insanely long lines to get small samples of any food or beverage. And many of the best foods were already completely gone (we arrived at 7:15pm, and the event began at 7pm).
Not OK. We made our quick getaway, and paid for a yummy dinner. :)
Thursday, December 9, 2010
The entire men's store was decked from top to bottom. This is a shot of the first floor, where they had open bars, hors d'ouvres, giant urns full of candy canes and Brooks Brothers Hanukah gelt, employees dressed in four-plaid pants (yes, four plaids on one pair of pants!) and a stage for performers:
If you rode the escalators up to the children's floor, every surface was covered with gingerbread (check out these Brooks Brothers gingerbread people!):
We headed around the corner to the Women's store, where we took a photo with Santa (a very classic, classy Santa too), witnessed four Edwardian carolers singing their hearts out, and encountered a cookie decorating station.
All in all, this event was just huge. There was so much going on, but it was very crowded. Here's my breakdown:
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
Today I did just that, and wowie zowie were they doing a good freebie giveaway! Usually it's small samples of prepared food or worst - organic beauty products -but today it was...
Free Lara Bars!
I actually really like these health fruit/nut bars. I got two! One Carrot Cake, seen here, and one Chocolate Chip Brownie. :) Thanks Whole Foods!
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Of late, these are usually yucky energy drinks, but I stopped and grabbed one because it was actually a pretty large bottle of SIMPLY ORANGE orange juice! I also was handed a $1 off coupon for a future purchase of Simply Orange juice.
Thanks freezing orange juice distributors, for making my Saturday extra fun!
Friday, December 3, 2010
Last night, talented showstopper pal S and I met on 5th Avenue in midtown to admire gorgeous holiday windows (see the 57th St star fully illuminated here):
Our other objective? Attend a mysterious "Holiday Party at the Hilfigers" at the Tommy Hilfiger flagship store on 54th St. This was one of those in-store events where all we knew was the date, time, and location.
Could it have been a bust? Absolutely.
Was it? Absolutely not! It was fantastic.
When S and I entered, they checked our names off the list and indicated that there was a photo booth downstairs on the "hipster clothing floor." We whisked down there and took a cool old school photo booth set of pics before the booth got infested with bedbugs from a zillion people sitting inside (Yes, I am that neurotic New Yorker!).
The party was in full swing by the time we grabbed our beverage of choice, a few yummy appetizers, and started to wander.
The event was co-hosted by InStyle magazine, which I will say ALWAYS seems to do a good job with in-store events. Here are my grades:
Food: A-minus. While it was very highbrow (veggie stacks of root vegetables, carrots topped with mushrooms, proscuitto wrapped pear) it was all lukewarm and very veggie-heavy.
Drink: A. They had sparkling water, sparkling cava, and a signature cocktail the "Pear Fizz" which was pear nectar, ginger ale, and Bombay Sapphire gin.
Activities: A. Between the photo booth, "day to night" dressing demo, and ample room to browse the wares, there was lots to do.
Swag: A. Getting a free photo booth strip is awesome - and they were thoughtful enough to print out two (one for each of us). While not explicitly swag, everyone was welcome to take a December 2010 issue of InStyle as they left the party, and that's a nice thing to have for the gym! Oh, and there was a really cute gift wrapping station that I snapped a pic of, which kind of counts as swag if you purchased something:
Thursday, December 2, 2010
At 6pm, I attended a free lecture at the Frick Collection: The lecture was called, "The Other Versailles: Where the Decorative Arts Became Modern" by Joan DeJean, a UPenn French professor. It was really interesting - all about the early palais at Versailles and the nascent years of the first "decorateurs interieux" (probably butchering that spelling). Thanks, L, for letting me return to my college days of Art History for an hour inside the blissfully decked out Frick Mansion!
But the best was yet to come.
UVA pal K had invited me to take her spare ticket to hear the Chanticleer Christmas concert at the Met Museum!
Chanticleer is an all-male a cappella group that sings rather classic/medieval songs in 4 part harmony.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Italian lingerie line Intimissimi is offering an awesome bra-recycling program. You bring old bras into their stores, and get 3 euro towards a new bra for every bra you recycle.
The material from the old bras will be made into soundproofing panels for buildings.
Bring this freebie stateside, per favore!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
So you can imagine my confusion when this sight met my eyes on the way to work yesterday:
I literally saw all of these people IN ONE WEEK. Something's going on in the Big Apple...
Monday, November 22, 2010
It's only today that I've felt well enough to tell you of my exciting night at Encores! For those who don't know, Encores! stages readings/pared down performances of less-performed musicals in a two week whirlwind rehearsal and performance schedule, with big Broadway star casts. It's a great way to see musicals you've never seen before, and very exciting for actors and audience alike.
This was my first Encores! experience, and the show was Bells Are Ringing by Comden/Green/Styne. It was a wonderful piece, and cast members Kelli O'Hara, Will Chase, and more did not disappoint!
Cousin, T, let me be his "plus-one" to the dress rehearsal and it was full of Broadway personalities. Top on my list: I got to shake hands with Hal Prince! Life goal!!
...insert FIVE DAYS OF FEVER AND COUGHING...
And now tonight, T's fab daughter A is taking me and M to see Brief Encounter, which I have been dying to see!!!
Thanks to the whole C clan for singlehandedly making this the best fever freebie theater week ever. :)
Friday, November 19, 2010
Sorry I haven't been posting the past couple days. And I had the most amazing freebie evening seeing "Bells Are Ringing" at Encores too! I met Hal Prince!!
More details to come when I can look at a computer screen without getting dizzy...
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Visit any Starbucks between 2-5pm, Nov 18th-21st and buy one, get one free of any seasonal beverage
(Caramel Brulee latte, Peppermint Mocha, Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha, Peppermint Hot Chocolate, Gingerbread latte (my fave!), Eggnog Latte, Caramel Brulee frappaccino, Peppermint Mocha frappaccino)
So, grab a friend and get thee to a Starbucks!
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
The veggie burger is actually quite good!
Yep, a hummus party.
houseparty.com is a site that lets consumers apply to host free parties featuring vendor's products. I think it's halfway between an advertisement and a focus group. All you do is fill out a survey, and if you're the demographic host they're looking for, you get a party pack, invite your friends, and voila! Free party.
After many applications, I finally won a coveted host position! And it was a great product too - Sabra hummus, which I already believe to be the best store-bought hummus on the market.
I got a bunch of free Sabra hummus and Stacy's pita chips. I augmented with fresh veggies and bread.
I used it as an excuse to invite a few college friends over for a hummus party.
Total cost to me: nearly nothing.
Fun of eating hummus with old college pals: priceless.
houseparty.com provided signage:
Monday, November 15, 2010
A tiny tube of Burt's Bees Rejuvenating Lip Balm with Acai Berry!
For some time, I've been regularly entering the Lucky Breaks sweepstakes that Lucky Magazine offers online. Sometimes the prizes are grand like vacations or thousands of dollars shopping sprees, but often they are regular sizes of beauty products, like this.
The great thing is, they usually give a ton away. I've gotten items from Ole Henriksen, Elemis, Dove, and now... Burt's!
I encourage everyone to enter monthly here. You win something fairly frequently, I swear!
Friday, November 12, 2010
Anyhow, he is currently the star of Elf, a holiday Broadway musical based on the Will Ferrell movie.
Earlier in the week, Broadway cousin, T, invited us to tag along to a preview of the show! Free tickets to see our fellow alum sing in green tights and curly tipped shoes? Yes, please!
I don't think I'm allowed to write anything about the show, since it hasn't officially opened yet, but we had so much fun. Afterwards, we strongarmed our way backstage and got to congratulate our friend on his new role.
Ho ho ho! Two holiday shows already, and it's not even halfway through November. Overkill?
Who cares?!? Ho ho ho!
p.s. Fashionable cousin Z was also at the show, and she gave me a full blow-by-blow of her experience getting the aforementioned free $50 gift certificate at American Eagle earlier this week. She actually skinned a knee in the melee, but also managed to get a free shirt. Freebie Rockstar!
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Just not in any of the ways I'd expected.
I found out from a colleague that Schnitzel and Things (a street food-vendor truck that serves Austrian/German food that's apparently delicious) had been booked by Austrian Airlines all week in a giveaway promotion.
Yesterday they were stationed at Park Ave and 26th, near our office, so we took a lunch break stroll to check it out. Here's a photo of the truck, covered in Austrian Airline wallpaper:
The schnitzel of the day was chicken, and it was delicious! Very thin pounded cutlet, lightly breaded, served with a giant lemon wedge. And a side of chipotle sauce that I wasn't sure how to use, but ended up dipping my chicken piece like a giant Austrian McNugget! Oh, and you get to enter a contest for a pair of free roundtrip tickets to Vienna too.
Today and tomorrow, the truck is in the 50s. Thursday: 52nd St between 6th & 7th Ave.
Friday: 52nd St & Lexington Ave. Hours each day will be from 11am-3pm, or until supplies run out.
After work, intrepid friend, J, and I headed to Williams-Sonoma at Columbus Circle for a book signing.
It was totally ill-attended, no wine (even though the book was a winemakers cookbook), and almost no food, except for a "display" of radicchio and blue cheese that I thought was samples and accidentally ate. AND I THEN GOT YELLED AT BY A PRICKLY W-S LADY! It was a huge serving platter of food on a counter - How was I supposed to know?!?
We fled the scene to the Lladro/Steiff event, which was event worse.
The entire Lladro showroom smelled like a heady floral air-freshener, and the place was packed with figurine collectors. J and I discovered a table set with wine glasses and another empty table that seemed to be a proper site for hors d'ouvres, but nary a beverage or nibble was to be seen.
FreebieFAIL. We fled Event #2 and got dinner at a very delicious, very not free establishment!
But all was not lost! As I left the Bloomingdales area, I checked my watch and reckoned it was perfect timing for me to walk 10 blocks north on Madison Ave to check out the aforementioned Ralph Lauren mystery light showing at 8:30pm.
It was, in a word, amazing.
First, the show:
RL used the new building on Madison as a projection screen for a 10-15 minute music and light show. These projections were creative and truly fun.
See photos below:
This is what it looked like as they projected the mansion "opening up" - kind of like a dollhouse, to show an interior "fashion show" on a descending staircase:
And then they went totally fantastical, projecting polo players and giant belts and all kinds of things. The coolest was when they had giant neckties flop over the mansion, as seen here:
Also, the scene:
As I walked up to 72nd St and Madison, there were police barriers around the older RL store, and all kinds of preppie people milling about. There was a party happening inside the older RL store, but it was by personal invitation only (Drat!). So I ensconced myself with a great view, directly under the awning and directly across from the new store where the show would be happening.
At about 8:28pm, all of a sudden paparazzi flashes started blinding me and I realized I'd inadvertently gotten a front-row spot beside the red carpet.
Why it was Ralph Lauren, in the flesh! Himself. The snow-haired, orange-skinned man. In a gorgeous light tan toggle coat. He brushed right by me, took his even better view front row spot, and the show began!
If you want to see what the light show was like, click here to watch a video.
FreebieSUCCESS, after all!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
I don't quite know what's going on, but some sort of free outdoor light show is happening tonight outside of the new Ralph Lauren store at 867 Madison Avenue (72nd St). Apparently "screenings" of the "digital innovation" will be occurring at 8, 8:30, and 9pm on the facade of the store. An online "screening" will go up tomorrow.
According to the New York Times, this is a new "4-D" form of projections. In addition to using the exterior of the building for projections, there will also be sound and "a mist of fragrance."
I don't know how I feel about a building spritzing me with perfume, but I guess it's more pleasant that the summertime drip of a/c units!
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
7 For All Mankind 10th Anniversary Celebration in Soho
Ah, 7 For All Mankind... Has it really been ten years? It feels like just yesterday that I tried on my first pair and my own personal jeandom was forever changed.
Unfortunately, I'll have to pass on the anniversary party since I'll be attending another fun freebie night of Holiday Theater: Elf on Broadway, courtesy of awesome Broadway cousin, T!
However, I promise a full report on tomorrow's lifestyle events at Lladro/Steiff and Williams-Sonoma!