Friday, October 29, 2010

"This event is great because it allows me to indulge my fantasy that I live at Crate & Barrel." - J

Winner of the Marimekko Event Quote Vote!

Free Hopper and Meat Sculptures

Awesome pal, L, works in museums and invited us to tag along for an opening at the Whitney Museum of American Art!

The place was awash with trendy young things, and we made our way down to the lower level where wine was being served in a pink lit room.

Here's the best pic I could take (dim lighting):

And here is what the bar looked like up close. As L had foretold, much of the VIP excitement of attending a private opening at the Whitney is about just being there and not the free offerings themselves.

Drink: A- There was only wine, but they had both red and white and the white wine was quite good!

Food: B Standard art gallery potato chips and crudites.

Ambiance: A+ Giant vases of autumn leaves on the refreshments floor gave the event a proper autumnal feel. And fantastic people watching! Lots of young people in tight jeans, fedoras, and one man in what appeared to be an Amish farmer hat. I saw a glam girl from my high school in a black cape! And I don't think it was being worn in reference to Halloween at all.

Swag: N/A, unless you count the cultural "swag" of seeing multiple Edward Hoppers from close proximity after hours.

After imbibing, we headed upstairs to preview: Modern Life: Edward Hopper and His Time. It's a great exhibit. A wonderful assortment of Hopper paintings mixed in with works by Hopper's contemporaries done on similar subjects.

And then, right before closing time, we took a quick spin around: Paul Thek: Diver, a Retrospective. He was known for making "meat sculptures" out of plastic and fiberglass - sometimes disturbing, but very interesting nonetheless!

See right column of the blog for a Quote Vote for the evening! Thanks, L, for this highbrow freebie night out!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Chef Event

Williams-Sonoma is great with their chef and cooking class events (more on those soon!), but I wanted to put this freebie event to meet chef Michael Chiarello at a book signing in NYC next week:

Date: Tuesday, Nov 2nd (I will be at a not-free Broadway show!)

Time: 5pm

Location: The W-S on 59th St just west of Lexington Ave

These events usually have yummy food and some kind of beverage. And if you buy the cookbook, you can get a signed copy - a great holiday gift!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Halloween Weekend Events

There are two NYC events this weekend that I hope you'll consider.

The first is a Zombie Book Reading event!

FRIDAY, Oct 29th at the Princeton Club from 6-8pm: Williams College alum and NYT bestseller Carrie Ryan '00. Apparently she writes novels set "after the zombie apocalypse." ooooooh! Halloween goodies and cider provided - yum!

Call (212) 596-1261 to rsvp

The second event (which I sadly cannot attend!) is the launch of

The Wedding Shop at Lord & Taylor

See evite here:

Bridal events are some of the very best lifestyle freebie events out there, so I hope some of you will attend this Saturday, from 1-3pm this weekend!

RSVP via email to: with "Weddings" in the subject heading.

This is a good time for me to emphasize the importance of RSVPing at freebie events.

a) It's good form. If these businesses and hosts are going to be nice enough to welcome you to a freebie event, RSVP! It gives them an idea of what numbers to expect.

b) Even though some freebie events just appear on the floor of a department store and anyone can walk in, there is often a velvet rope and lady with a checklist. If you're not on the list, you're not allowed in. And all this embarrassment could have been avoided with an RSVP.

c) It gets you on lists for future freebie events! Once you prove yourself to be a valued freebie shopper/attendee/supporter/etc, you will be invited to more lifestyle events. I'll never forget how a quick cocktail event at the Judith Lieber store transitioned my name onto a list for an insanely glitzy tourism event for the principality of Monaco at the Conde Nast building. Ditto a Michael C. Fina/Whitney Port party that yielded a personal invitation to Ivanka Trump's jewelry launch. I'm not pulling your leg, people!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Holiday Sparkle

A very sweet friend who works for Bobbi Brown arrived at our apartment Friday, and gave me two fistfuls of BB freebies! Hooray for beauty freebies!
These are not-yet-available pieces from Bobbi's holiday 2010 collection, and they look divine.
I cannot wait to try a different clown look every day. I will use every set if it kills me.
modern classic lip and eye palette
day to night warm eye palette
day to night cool eye palette
sparkle glamour quad (eye shadow - this one looks awesome!)
lip gloss trio
THANK YOU, L!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

New England Freebie

I spent the better part of this week in and around Boston for work.

Since work travel is all freebies, I don't really think it's fair to discuss hotel, food, etc that one enjoys while traveling for work. This is a quasi-freebie, not a true freebie.


When I was in Concord, MA I picked up a tea kettle as a wedding gift for a nearby cousin at The Concord Shop.

The Concord Shop is an upscale cooking store, like Williams-Sonoma, but independently owned.

At the checkout, they had a big bowl of delicious looking, freshly picked apples from a local orchard and a sign said, "Please take one!"

That, my friends is a real freebie!! I took an apple, and it was fantastic!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Freebie You Never Want to Use

Yesterday was not-so-fun.

I spotted a small, reddish brown bug in our apartment.

As most of you probably know, NYC is undergoing a bedbug epidemic of massive proportions and I am somewhat obsessed with avoiding the pest.

I trapped the bug, put him in a jar, inspected the whole bed for others (There were none.) and then gave him a good hard look.

He was bedbug color, and a tad smaller than what I believed to be bedbug size. But compared to the many, many photos I was able to find on the internet, he was decidedly NOT bedbug shape. And we had no bites.
Still terrified, I called a pest control company in Manhattan to see if I could bring the bug in. They said they did a "verification housecall"... FOR $300!!!!!

Was $300 going to be what I had to pay for certain peace of mind?

Over the course of the day, I did obsessive web research and also scoured Yelp for exterminator companies.

That was when I found M&M Pest Control:

M&M is located on the Lower East Side and happily accepts "walk-ins." You can bring your "sample" to them in a sealed jar, and they will tell you what you've got. COMPLETELY FREE OF CHARGE.
I should add that they get rave reviews on Yelp, AND that they specialize in eco-friendly, pet-friendly, child-friendly pest control. Oh, and they are incredibly nice and cool people who clearly are used to dealing with freaked out New Yorkers.
After work, I zipped down to Orchard Street.
The instant verdict: JOY OH JOY IT WAS NOT A BED BUG!
This little guy was some form of garden bug that found his way inside from our deck.
In a gesture of happiness, I gave him his freedom in a garbage can so he could live long and prosper in a dump somewhere.
I happily recommend M&M for all your Freebie Fauna Freak-Out needs!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Coupon: Calling All Pet Owners

As I headed to Barnes and Noble near Union Square today, I was approached by this nice lady in bright yellow.
It's a coupon freebie!
$5 off a purchase of $25 or more at Petco!
I don't have a pet - whoever leaves the first comment gets this coupon. Calling all pet owners!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Free for All: Financier Patisserie

Here's a freebie tip from me to you:

Financier Patisserie is a lovely chain of cafe pastry shops around NYC. You may recognize them from this amazingly Laduree-esque logo:
Only recently did I discover that, when you order a latte or cup of coffee, your beverage comes accompanied by a FREE mini-madeleine (see photo above).
The tiny tea cake is buttery, delicious, and about the size of a domino. Perfect for a mid-afternoon pick me up!

Harry and David Pop-Up Shop

One benefit of working in the Flatiron/Gramercy/Union Sq area is that the neighborhood is a veritable pu-pu platter of freebie giveaways. Since this summer, I've gotten Haagen-Daz ice cream, Quaker granola bars, numerous energy drinks (yuck), and more...

In fact, yesterday I discovered everyone's favorite in-mail gift basket purveyor, Harry & David, just opened a pop-up shop in Manhattan for the holiday season.

Location: 115 5th Ave, between 21st and 22nd St.

As I made my merry way along 5 Avenue, a jolly lady in a sweater offered me a chocolate truffle from a basket:

I took one and it turns out to be a milk chocolate Harry & David truffle. Mmm!

The shop is not yet open, but will be soon.

If you're in the neighborhood, I suggest popping by for a free truffle. I imagine they'll be handing them out for the next four months!

Patterns and Potatoes

The Marimekko shop launch at the Houston Street Crate & Barrel was a freebie event to behold!

Trusty Freebie Friend, J, and I arrived at the door shortly before 6pm. The entrance was staffed by workers in Marimekko outfits, preventing anyone NOT on the list from entering. Luckily, we were on the list, so in we went!

A Marimekko wonderland awaited us!

Bars on both side covered in Marimekko fabrics, staffed by young men who poured wine, beer, and signature cocktails that included: green grapes, white cranberry juice, St Germain, Ketel one, and Sprite. Delicious!

There was a DJ and the entire store was decked out in Marimekko prints and products. In the rear of the first level was the actual Marimekko shop, with more fun stuff than one person could ever take in on a single visit. Plates, bibs, clothing, bags, duvet covers...and more!

Here is photo of J posing happily on a Marimekko bed:

But let's talk freebies!

Drink: A+ (two bars with plenty of bartenders, signature top shelf cocktail, and good wine too, served in nice Crate & Barrel glasses)

Food: A+ (they really went for locavore, high end appetizers! Menu consisted of: twice baked fingerling potatoes (Best App of the Night!), beet soup with hard boiled quail eggs, smoked salmon and dill on pumpernickle toast points, radishes with herb cheese, grilled duck breast on carrot pancakes, olive oil cake)

Ambiance: A+ (great DJ, plenty of stuff to browse, plenty of happy people, plenty of cushy couches to lie on)

Swag: A++ (Although swag is not a prereq for a great freebie event, it does help. On our way out we scored cute cotton black and white bags (great for the farmer's market!) stuffed with OUR CHOICE of Marimekko pillow!!!EEEEEEE!!! See mine here:)

I will now go into Rule #1 of Freebie Events: Bring a Fantastic Freebie Friend (or two!).

Freebie Events are, by their nature, madhouses filled with people you've never met and will likely never see again. Not too fun without at least one trusty friend to get excited by all things around you, drink cocktails, and mock certain ridiculous sights that you see at a Freebie Event. For example, once when C and I attended a freebie summer event at Sotheby's in London, the hors d'ouvres girls were in nothing but yellow mini-slickers and carried snacks in upside-down umbrellas - NOT A LIE!

As someone who can get carried away by Freebie Events, I will also acknowledge that it's a good idea to have someone who knows you nearby to make sure you don't embarrass yourself. (Last night I spent 5 minutes trying to fish out a giant delicious-looking green grape from my cocktail, until J reminded me that we are not chimps.)

At Marimekko, I was lucky enough to have two FFFs, J & C, with whom I last shared International Free Macaron Day in the spring. They both love freebies too and are gung-ho about attending "lifestyle events" such as these.

So, thanks a million J & C (especially C, who informed us about this event in the first place!) for being the best FFFs a gal could hope for!

Now a new section that will come whenever Freebie Events happen: The Quote Vote.

As Freebie Events are fertile ground for ridiculous quotes, it makes sense to have a Quote Vote whenever a freebie event inspires certain hilarity. I have placed the current Quote Vote at the top of the blog. Don't forget to cast your vote!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Marimekko Event

Yay! In-store parties are the best!

Faithful co-freebie fan friend, C, alerted me to this Marimekko/Crate & Barrel joint cocktail event tonight at the Soho store:

Should be fun. Cocktails, appetizers, fun mod prints, and friends. I'm going with fun friend, J, who is always up for fun events in NYC!