Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bryant Park Freebie

One of the best NYC winter freebie experiences is ice skating at the free Citibank rink at Bryant Park. It costs $ to rent skates, but if you b.y.o.s. you can skate for free!

Additional freebie if you're in the Bryant Park area: There is now a Kate Spade holiday pop-up shop at Bryant Park and they are giving away free hot chocolate every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday until after the holidays!

So get thee to Bryant Park and get some free hot cocoa!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

International Freebie

How cool is this ad?

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

Famous Face Freebie

As anyone who currently lives in NYC will tell you, we're having a bit of a heat wave.

Highs in the 60s...and December is rapidly approaching.

So you can imagine my confusion when this sight met my eyes on the way to work yesterday:

It's faux snow! For a film shoot near the Flatiron Building. Several blocks looked like this, and it was real honest to goodness icy snow, made with ski slope machines or something.
The movie is Mr Popper's Penguins, starring Jim Carrey, who was there in the flesh shooting a scene.

Freebie snow is one thing, but I've had an interesting week in terms of another NYC free perk as well: celebrity sightings!

In the past WEEK, I have seen all of these people in the flesh:

Scott Adsit from 30 Rock eating lunch at City Bakery
Penn Badgley shooting Gossip Girl in Union Square
Stephen Baldwin eating Chinese food
Broadway legendary producer Hal Prince at the Bells Are Ringing dress rehearsal
Jim Carrey filming Mr. Popper's Penguins in the snow by the Flatiron Building
And, finally, at last night's performance of Brief Encounter, Brad from The Rachel Zoe Project!!

I literally saw all of these people IN ONE WEEK. Something's going on in the Big Apple...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Theater Freebies: Bells Are Ringing and Brief Encounter

My fever cold hellaciousness has been sandwiched by fantastic theatrical freebies.

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!!


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

Freebie Flu

Bad news: I caught the flu.

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

Starbucks Two-for-One This Weekend

While not technically a freebie, this qualifies as a great promotion in my books.

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

Update: Free (Green) Lunch


The truck is funded by NBC's "Green is Universal" eco-initiative and will be giving out free veggie burgers and iced tea all week.

Check here for daily locations.

The veggie burger was surprisingly tasty, though somewhat heavy on the bun side. I'll post a pic when I can upload one. The tea was not-too-sweet, and quite refreshing!


Gotta make this quick, but NBC is giving out free veggie burgers and ice tea from a truck on Union Square (north west corner, across street from Pret and in front of Starbucks). RIGHT NOW.

The veggie burger is actually quite good!

Free Hummus Party

I won a hummus party the other day.

Yep, a hummus party. 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.

Hummus mini-reunion!

Total cost to me: nearly nothing.

Fun of eating hummus with old college pals: priceless. provided signage:

And also sent prizes: coupons for the guests to buy more hummus, recipe cards, a trivia game about international cuisine, and "prizes" like a stone Sabra trivet, bamboo hummus paddle, and recipe holder stand (all pictured below):

So go to and start applying for your own free parties - They select hosts nationwide!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Burt's Bees freebie

A little surprise landed on my doorstep on Saturday.

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

Holiday Freebie: Elf on Broadway

M & I have a college friend who is actually a bona fide Broadway star! And I try to see him in all his productions, to support his skyrocketing career.

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

The Best-Laid Freebie Plans...

Yesterday was supposed to be a big day for freebies...and it was.

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

Upper East Side Mystery Light Show

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

"This is better than church!" - J, during the Living Nativity scene

Congratulations to J, winner of the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular Quote Vote!

Almost-Free Opera Seats

I was recently tipped off that the Metropolitan Opera has reorganized its $25 rush seating policy for weekend performances. It's almost too good to be true!

Monday, you enter an online lottery for the coming weekend's performances. Tuesday, the winners are posted online.

There is also a wait list posted, and if the winners fail to claim their tickets, the wait list has a crack at grabbing them on Thursday.

These $25 seats are bona fide Orchestra and Grand Tier seats, not standing room in the rafters!

Enter here next Monday.

Too Many Events!

I have just been invited to this exciting lifestyle event on THIS Thursday, November 11th:

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!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Leopard Print, China Figurines, and Teddy Bears, Oh My!

Two exciting freebie events on the horizon:

This week: Friend J and I plan on making an appearance at the aforementioned Williams-Sonoma book signing, and then wending our way several blocks to the Lladro/Steiff event!

It's past the RSVP deadline for the latter, but I'd call and see if you can add your name if you'd like to join us:

Love that there's going to be a Steiff appraiser on site. If only I had my brother's old teddy bear that made a "roar" when you tilted it. This not-so-roar-like noise earned the stuffed bear the vivid name, "Farty the Bear." I am not kidding.

And then, next week on Thursday, November 18th - a NATIONWIDE EVENT for all of us! A "Girls Night Out" at all Bebe stores, starting at 6pm.

No rsvp neccessary for that one - enjoy!

Friday, November 5, 2010

American Eagle Freebie

Attention NYC shoppers:

To celebrate the opening of their Soho store, American Eagle is giving out $50 gift cards to the first 500 shoppers this Tuesday (11/9)! And an official "Mud Truck" will be on site to provide refreshment!

I have to be at work, but it's 599 Broadway, right by Houston St. I'm not sure what time it opens (I'd imagine 10am?), but if you're currently unemployed or have a flexible schedule, I would get there early.

$50 at AE is nothing to sneeze at!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"Let's do a quick drive-by of the meat sculptures before closing." - L

Winner of the Whitney Museum Opening Event Quote Vote!

Holly Jolly Freebie: Radio City Christmas Spectacular

What do you say when someone asks if you'd like to drink a huge swig straight from the fount of holiday cheer, you say "Of course!!!" and you gulp, gulp, gulp.

Well, that is precisely what incomparable pal, S, did when he gave me a free ticket to last night's dress rehearsal of the one...the only...


Yes folks, I went every year with my grandma as a child. But Grandma never sprung for THIRD ROW TICKETS!!!! Our view before the curtain rose:

Needless to say, there is a sacred, cheesy place in my heart for this time-honored cornball NYC tradition.
And yes, I know it's only early November, but it felt like December 23rd once the fake snow started falling, the REAL fireworks started blasting onstage, the ice rink was rolled out for actual ice skating routines, live camels, sheep and donkeys traipsed the Living Nativity, and the Rockettes did their infamous tin soldier routine:

S invited lady friends T, J and moi. I arrived with bagged treats from Momofuku Milk Bar, which recently opened on 56th St. You must have sweets at the sweetest show in NYC!
There's ample fodder for comedy in a show that bastardizes "The Nutcracker" by having mascot-like bears dance the steps:

For more mockery, check out the QUOTE VOTE on the upper right hand corner of the blog. :)
But you'd have to have a heart of stone to not be at least partially charmed when the Rockettes do their NY at Christmas routine on a double decker tourbus!!

The seats and scale of this freebie were off the charts: A+ Did I mention we were in the THIRD ROW?!?! Let's just say I could tell which Santas were actually roly-poly and which were Rockettes dressed in padded Santa suits!
Thank you, S, for an amazing kick-off to the 2010 Holiday Season!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Upcoming Freebie Events: mid-November

Two more freebie events in the coming week and a half. Feel free to RSVP!

The Wedding Salon (aka BIG wedding event!!!):

Monday, November 15th (4-9PM) in Manhattan

I just got an email from NY Magazine giving a free entrance code for two tickets, available for Brides at this event, which usually costs $25 to attend. Click on the image above to see the Code and Website you need to enter. Forward to any NYC engaged pals!

Second, another Williams-Sonoma book signing event. I'm going to try and attend this one!

Featuring Christine Hanna, of The Winemaker Cooks: Menus, Parties, and Pairings.

It's at their NYC Columbus Circle store, Wednesday, November 10th at 5pm. I assume wine will be involved somehow, right?

Farmers Market Freebies

One of the best parts of my job is working close to the Union Square Farmers Market. One of the best farmers markets in all of NYC!
Three days a week, I scamper down to Union Square to buy fresh fruit, veggies, cider, cheese and meats.

Farmers markets are great for all freebie lovers, as most stall operators realize the best way to convince buyers to spend is samples, samples, samples. And for some reason, in the fresh air and sunshine I don't get as skeezed out by sampling stations as I otherwise do.

The photo above is the decadent apple sampling table at Red Jacket Orchards, which is in full autumn apple season right now. How can you resist the opportunity to decide which apple you like best. This week, my new favorite is the heirloom "Keepsake" apple!

Another favorite stall, Eve's Cidery, sells authentic French/English/early American style hard cider. This ain't Woodchuck - it's less sweet and much like appley beer. Mmm... Oh, and did I mention they give samples so you can choose your favorite cider?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Return to Williamstown

Although college was far from free, a group of fellow-alums and I decided to return to Williamstown for a weekend of foliage, fun, and "Remember _____?!?!?"
Williams, always fairly eco-conscious, has gone a step further than we remembered by providing these cool W decorated, BIO-DEGRADABLE drinking cups near filtered water stations around student buildings.

Since my not-so-free tuition and alum donations help pay for stuff like this, I decided to grab a few as mementos of our trip north.

The mountains, the mountains!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Zombie Book Reading

The Carrie Ryan zombie book reading at the Williams Club was a mixed bag...and I don't mean bag o' trick or treating candy! (terrible...terrible...)

Lovely friend and lovely cousin, A & A, joined me at the Princeton Club for Friday's book reading. When we got there, there was nary a "Halloween goodie" or "cider" in sight! The event organizers lied!!! This was a bare bones book event, with a carafe of water on a table set with glasses.

So, it gets a D for food and drink.

However, Carrie Ryan was charming, funny, and truly excited about her success as a NYT bestselling author of zombie teen lit. She did a reading from her upcoming novel, "The Dark and Hollow Places," and it was dark and suspenseful. I'd buy it!

A for entertainment at this freebie event!

And as I left the Williams (aka Princeton) Club, I was blindsided by a spectacular freebie view - one of those awesome NYC moments.

At first glance, just a view of the Chrysler building through a NYC sidestreet...

But the way the sunset reflected off the top of the building and the golden bath of sunlight on that gorgeous skyscraper - I had to stop and take another close-up picture:
Sometimes walking the NYC streets is the best freebie of all. :)