in Travel

Beyond Brooklyn: City Crab & Seafood Company

A few weeks ago, I left work on a Friday in search of a good, late happy hour spot around Union Square. City Crab & Seafood Company answered my prayers on this breezy (later-turned-rainy) evening. The interior is huge and two-tiered, but I grabbed a table outside with some friends and pounded a few half-price Bloody Marys, while perusing the also half-price seafood picks. We zeroed in on the lobster mac-n-cheese, Buffalo shrimp with blue cheese, a hot pot of North Atlantic steamers in drawn butter and 15 juicy Blue Point, Long Island, oysters. The combination of fresh shellfish and cool evening air made me feel like I was in New England, and really, really made me wish I was. But, Manhattan on a nice night would have to do. The mac-n-cheese was certainly the dish of the hour, as someContinue reading

in Travel

Beyond Brooklyn: Laughing for Charity

Photo Credit:

On Wednesday, October 26, some of the biggest names in comedy gathered at the Kaufman Center’s Merkin Concert Hall to raise money for The Joshua Morales Fund for Children with Transverse Myelitis.

Stand Up For Charity, a live celebrity stand up comedy show, attracts household names in comedy, politics, television, film and music to donate their time to raise money for selected charities around the country. Last Wednesday, the line-up was especially incredible; Jim Gaffigan
Todd Barry, Judah Friedlander, Jim Norton, Dave Attell and a special appearance by Macaulay Culkin .

The night started with a set by the host, of MTV’s soon to be premiering Guy Code, Andrew Schulz. His physical and very funny routine included jokes about what woman find fun; i.e taking jumping pictures and pictures of their feet in a circle (on the moon, that’s a space dolphin). Following the host was Todd Barry, who started off somewhat slow but picked up with some self-deprecating humor . Jim Norton followed with jokes about being a pervert and being unable to make small talk, erupting the room into laughter. Following Norton was Jim Gaffigan whose ode to Mcdonalds comedy routine had one pregnant audience member laughing so hard she almost went into labor.

After Gaffigan, a brief raffle was held by none other than the party monster himself, Macaulay Culkin. This was the highlight of the night for me. If you’ve seen my Macaulay Culkin nail post (amongst other Mac dedicated ones),  you already know.  Seriously, Macaulaywas the cutest thing on stage, first calling out Betty White’s name as the winner before proceeding with the actual names. Unfortunately, I did not win, but being 20 feet away from Mac was ( get ready for super, creepy, weirdness people) the real prize. Le Sigh.

Moving on from my creepy Mac obsession, the next comedian to take the stage was Judah Friedlander. To be honest, his rehearsed jokes fell flat however what Friedlander excels in is improv. Once he started interacting with the audience, the entire room was in hysterics.

The last comedian of the night was Dave Attell. You know how you know a comedian is extremely funny? When every other comedian is standing in the back of the room watching his set and laughing. Entering the stage super scruffy and kind of resembling a homeless hippie New Yorker, Attell took no prisoners as he made fun of everything and everyone. Witty, cynical and with a no holds barred attitude, he was definitely the highlight of the night.

For more information about the charity, how to donate, or to find out when the next Stand Up for Charity event is being held, click here.


in Travel

48 Hours in…Philly

I spent the weekend visiting my cousin in Philadelphia, cooing at kittens in storefronts, drinking copious amounts of coffee in adorable coffee shops, dancing my ass off to the Top 40 radio hits of Nicki Minaj and Pitbull, walking in the wrong direction for 10 blocks in search of a bar I spent less than five minutes in and so much more.Check out my stitched-together guide to doing Philly in 48 hours.

Saturday Morning:

Arrive in Philly (on the Megabus, in my case) and drop your bags. (No crash pad? Be a high roller and try the Le Meridian or Four Seasons, both around Logan Square, Love Park and the dark Rodin Museum.)

Noon – 2p.m.

Head over to Kildare’s Irish Pub on Manayunk’s Main Street for an authentic brunch from the Emerald Isle, complete with bangers, rashers, mash and eggs, served in the skillet on top of a helping of pepper-sauteed home fries.  Top it off with a spicy Bloody Mary.

2p.m. – 5p.m.

Take an eight-mile drive south on the Schuylkill Expressway to LOVE Park and snap an obligatory photo with the artsy structure. Stroll down the tree-lined South 16th Street, turning on Walnut Street for a taste of Philadelphia’s wealthiest address, Rittenhouse Square, sporting ornamental ironworks, ancient Greek statues, art galleries, boutiques and parkland.

6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Bus it over on the 21 or drive the three miles to University City’s Distrito Restaurant, a modern interpretation of Mexico City, where spicy salsa, fresh ceviche, medium-rare carne asada strip steak and tequila tickle your taste buds – courtesy of owner and Iron Chef winner, Jose Garces. The vibrant food matches the polychromatic décor, complete with pod-shaped booths, a lucha libre mask wall and a porch swing.


Stick with Distrito, which transforms into a hopping party destination with lively Latin rhythms and a spectrum of blue agave harvest varieties from the Cabo Wabo to the Patron. Or, jump in the car and head to Manayunk’s Sapphire Lounge, where the, somewhat young, crowd gets down to the hottest radio hits on the neon dance floor … if you’re into that sort of thing.


Let’s face it – after a night like that, you’re going to need your beauty sleep.

Noon – 2p.m.

Regardless of where you bed down for the night, every visitor should check out the quaint Crossroads Coffee shop in Manayunk, where locals set up shop with laptops and sip hit-the-spot chocolate Frappucinos. Meanwhile, the hippy wait staff takes their time preparing house-made breakfast sausages on toasted oversize whole grain bread slices and your choice of melty cheese (American, swiss, provolone, feta, goat, cooper, cheddar), plus an egg. Did somebody say hangover cure?

2p.m. – 5p.m.

Walk off the food coma on Philly’s eclectic South Street (a good 10-mile drive from Crossroads), which runs perpendicular to the Penn’s Landing pier, a small, but popular waterfont. South Street boasts over 300 shops, bars and restaurants, not to mention the most colorful collection of graffiti-style awnings in the city. Knick-knacks, head shops and specialty clothing stores abound.

5p.m. – 6:30p.m.

Say your farewells at John’s Bar & Grille on South Street – a family-owned bilevel indoor/outdoor affair. Its claim to fame is being the original home of Larry Fine, one of the Three Stooges, and its consistent draw remains the ultra-friendly service and 20-plus beer-lover’s draft varieties, along with countless bottled chart-toppers like Chimay (blue), Unibroue ephemere apple and Stone Brewing’s Arrogant Bastard.