Green Man Festival

Friday, May 10th, we welcomed spring with dancing, debauchery, and revelry at the McKittrick Hotel. This was the Green Man Festival. We dressed in white and spun our merry way around the Mayflower pole and enchanted forests while sucking down libations and getting caught in the pouring rain on a New York City rooftop.

There is nothing quite like a Friday night in Manhattan, surrounded by good friends, interesting people, and a Midsummer Night’s Dream environment. We stepped into a fairy tale that night that I’ve yet to truly wake up from.

Five Boro Bike Tour 2013

After over two years of thinking about it, attempting to plan it, falling short, and wishing I did it, the Five Boro Bike Tour finally came to pass.

Attending the Bike Expo on Saturday (for the primary purpose of hoarding free samples and free food) my friend Nick and I made a few friends and learned about some excellent cycling opportunities. Being from Vermont, Nick immediately bonded with the Cabot cheese representatives. On top of giving away free cheese samples, Cabot also gave away cups of delicious strawberry banana smoothie blended up in an enormous vat to break the Guinness Book of World Records for largest smoothie. They did it! and all proceeds went to charity.

Nick hopped on their blending bike and made himself a tasty chocolate and banana smoothie!

We walked away with racing gear and our bags full of free goodies and coupons.

Sunday, bright and early, I met up with my racing buddy Jeff, for a breakfast of bagels as we prepared ourselves for the 40 mile trek through Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island.

Beginning in Battery Park we worked our way towards the Bronx cutting through Central Park and dodging pedestrians attempting to cross the street or jog along the paths. All of whom were in their own ipod induced worlds completely oblivious to 32,000 bikers flying by them. There were a few narrowly avoided close calls.

The bridges were the most grueling (mainly the Verrazano and the climb leading up to it). Long, steady inclines surrounded by masses of people crawling along, some walking their bikes. This left little room for maneuvering and no room for kicking it up a notch to end the pain sooner.

Excluding those two tough inclines, the 40 miles flew by! Between spectacular scenery at all of the five bridges, random bits of entertainment along the way from local establishments and New Yorkers, as well and good company, a great crowd, and free bananas, the tour was spectacular  It ended with a festival in Staten Island with live music, food trucks galore, and plenty of sunny spots to catch some sun.

Prune and Mono Mono

By far the greatest thing about New York is the diversity and quality of the restaurants. I recently tried two new places after very strong recommendations from friends. Tried and true, these two are incredible!


Located in the East Village, Prune serves very simplistic American fare. Ingredients are basic and pure and the menu is constantly changing and evolving. The flavors are out of this world. If Anthony Bourdain could only eat at one restaurant for the rest of his life, he would eat here. From a cynic like him, that’s saying something.

I enjoyed the baked mussels with parsley shallot butter and the grilled lamb blade chop with Turkish piyaz. Everything was perfectly seasoned and placed the core elements of the meal on a pedestal of deliciousness.

Mono Mono

Also in the East Village, Mono Mono serves the best Korean fried chicken in all of New York City. What makes this chicken so special is it takes 30 minutes to specially prepare for you and it is double fried adding an insane amount of crispiness to the outside, leaving the inside super juicy and apparently burning off excess fat. It was amazing! Best fried chicken I have ever had and that includes the incredible chicken I ate in Atlanta. That’s saying something.

The interior is very intriguing. The ceiling is very high and thousands of records are stored in built in shelving running all along the walls. An electric system pulls the records from the shelves and transports it over to the DJ. You can also eat your fried chicken on a piano converted into a table.

Another interesting note, all their drinks are made with soju, almost like vodka. They infuse their own soju there and the drinks are heavenly.

Ten Cabaret Performers You Need To See

Thanks, Time Out New York! See the article here.

Ten cabaret performers you need to see

Here are ten unique nightclub artists who will move you, shock you and knock you for a loop.

Bridget Everett
When Hurricane Bridget hits the stage at Joe’s Pub or elsewhere, prepare to be blown away. She comes on like a warrior: fearless and unabashedly sizable, with a classic-rock voice that punches equally powerfully through contemporary pop, ’70s favorites and her own ultra-raunchy originals. But it’s Everett’s vulnerability—the damaged, oversharing regular gal that emerges from her hilariously wounded stories—that makes her so astonishing. Give her a microphone and a bottle of Chardonnay, and there’s nothing she can’t or won’t do.

Barb Jungr
A cabaret set by England’s Barb Jungr, perhaps the world’s greatest interpreter of the post-1960 chapters of the Great American Songbook, is akin to a religious experience. Exploring the mysteries of artists like Bob Dylan, Nina Simone and Leonard Cohen, Jungr balances the heaven of her rich, expressive singing with the earthiness of her warm, funny stories. In her too-rare New York runs at the Metropolitan Room, she has the unpretentious conviction of a reformist oracle: a true believer in the power of song to transform and explain our lives.

Justin Vivian Bond
Countercultural icon Justin Vivian Bond, who prefers to go by the invented pronoun of v instead of he or she, radiates a disarming mixture of nurture and menace: part transsexual den mother, part cultural assassin, part offhand Cassandra. In rambling personal monologues and rumbling songs (from Kurt Weill to Joni Mitchell and beyond), Bond wields a shamanistic charisma that transcends both gender and genre. Heir to—and investor in—the Weimar and Warhol traditions, v commands nothing short of fascination.

Maude Maggart
Maude Maggart embodies romantic nostalgia in the present tense. With full lips and long, dark hair, she looks the part of a nightclub singer in a black-and-white movie; she often performs material from the Great American Songbook era, in a voice that can move from an ethereal sigh to a gently piercing trill. Yet her classic mixture of sensuality and innocence has subtle shades of modern trouble (her sister is Fiona Apple, after all) that deepen with each new set.

Cole Escola
Blending boyish mischief with dizzy charm and the ruthless twinkle of a starlet bent on fame, Escola’s comic persona suggests a street urchin raised by the gang from The Match Game.He gobbles your attention whole, with a scrappy confidence that doesn’t try to hide how hungry he is. Having cut his comedic teeth on YouTube and the Logo Network’s sketch-comedy show Jeffery & Cole Casserole, Escola is happy to bite the showbiz hand that feeds him, but with a poignant sweetness that makes you forgive him any trespass.

Paula West
Boldly straddling the line between jazz and cabaret, Paula West fuses musical rigor with keen emotional insight; perhaps more than any other modern jazz vocalist, she harks back to the glory days of Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan. This has been a roller-coaster year for the San Francisco singer, marked by the release of her first CD in 11 years (Live at the Jazz Standard) and the death of her longtime musical director, George Mesterhazy. A perennial at the Oak Room for many years, she currently lacks a regular New York home—but a voice like hers demands to be heard.

Meow Meow
The international chanteuse known as Meow Meow—the alter egotist of performer Melissa Madden Gray—is a postmodern kitten with a whip-smart sensibility. Buttressed by pianist Lance Horne, she metes out her polyglot repertoire with brio and pique, moving from comedy to intensity in the blink of a long, fake lash. When not in her native Australia, she haunts the nightclubs of London, Berlin and New York (where Joe’s Pub is her usual home), spinning decadent silk into a tangled, captivating web.

Molly Pope
Self-styled as a brassy comer out of 1950s Broadway, Molly Pope teaches old-school lessons in the value of singing big. Her thrilling alto emerges like a full-on blast from the past; at a recent benefit evening of Judy Garland songs, she earned a midshow standing ovation. And her retro gumption brings a strange force to contemporary material, as she has proved as a fixture of Our Hit Parade—and is now demonstrating anew in a run of shows at the Duplex, with musical madman Kenny Mellman at the keys.

Lady Rizo
Lady Rizo, the “caburlesque” persona of actor-singer Amelia Zirin-Brown, has shed the straight-up girlie-show elements that once surrounded her, including back-up dancers called the Assettes. But there’s still plenty of tease to the stripped-down Unescorted series that she performs at Joe’s Pub. The bump and grind of her crackly retro voice (she sounds like an old blues LP, scratches and all) complements a Gypsy Rose Lee–ish enjoyment at being a naughty girl—a broad wink at femininity, with all its trappings and traps.

Taylor Mac
A Fabergé radical—beautiful, ridiculous and full of hidden tricks—the sublimely freakish Taylor Mac pilots audiences through fantastical journeys, guided only by the compass of his magnetic individuality. He is unafraid to aim at the clouds, and undeterred if some of his arrows go astray. (“Perfection is for assholes,” he insists.) Mac’s typically ambitious current project is a 24-hour concert spanning the past 250 years of American music; each show in his series at Joe’s Pub explores a different decade.

Comicon NYC 2012

My first experience at Comicon was incredible! I went as Sally Jupiter from Watchmen with my friends as Protoman, Ramona Flowers and Scott Pilgrim. At least one of us was asked to stop for photographs at least every other minute, Protoman and I were pulled aside for an interview with a Japanese news show covering the convention, and we had an chance to see a live demo of Assassins Creed III. So much fun!

Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery

To welcome the first day of fall, two of my friends planned a trip to the Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery for a day of delicious wine and apple picking.

We began the morning with a breakfast of wine. Finding the Black Dirt Red and the Black Dirt Blush to be absolutely phenomenal, I took a bottle of each home. For the dessert option, I tasted the Winston’s Harlequin Port and found it to be deliciously bold and sweet.

Off to the orchards, we loaded our sacks with Honeycrisp, Macintosh, Empire and Gala apples. Honeycrisp being my favorite, I stocked up on plenty for snacks and making applesauce and apple butter. The Empire apples are perfect for baking. Those will be baked into a pie with crust from scratch later this week.

After loading up on apples, we headed over to the outdoor grill and had a lunch of hotdogs, brisket, pumpkin soup, and cheeseburgers. We lounged out on blankets and enjoyed the sunshine and cool breeze.

Bedford Trail Riding Adventure

On July 6th my trainer, Vanessa, and some other riders from the Stables at MiraBella and I took the horses, including my little four year old, for an adventure in upstate New York at Bedford Riding Lanes Association.

Having very little trailering experience and only one prior trail ride, Ozymandias handled himself quite well. He loaded in and out of the trailer like a pro and behaved like an angel throughout the trail ride up until we encountered a creek about an inch deep. At this point, he simply refused to move. No amount of encouragement would budge him. Ultimately, a friend riding with us hopped off her steed and lead him through a section of mainly rock.

At the second river crossing, this time a bit wider and deeper, after a few minutes of poking and prodding ending in zero results I hop off and try and drag my hesitant horse across only to have him leap out as I pulled. It all happened quite fast, but I ended up falling in the river and he stepped on my calf. Nothing broken but there is a nice nasty bruise to show for it.

At this point I scare the entire group by having my vasovagal syncope kick in leaving me deaf and blind and I fight to stay conscious. Luckily my quick thinking trainer jumped off her mount and helped hold me up while the dizziness passed.

At the third river crossing my horse continued to put up a fight despite how much effort I put into moving him forward. He reared, kicked out, danced and tried to circle, but ultimately with the help of the group he jumped into the water. Not two seconds went by before he realized it was not a pit of death and despair but a refreshing cooling experience for his hooves. He drank, pawed and played with his buddies totally calm and content. The next two water crossings went beautifully. He catches on fast.

This set of trails in Bedford was perfect for a hot sunny day. The extensive wooded trails kept out sun and heat allowing the us and the horses to cool off and relax. The woods were broken up by many beautiful fields with cross country jumps and trimmed grass for smooth cantering.

The day ended with a picnic on grounds before driving home.

All images in this post are courtesy of my trainer, Vanessa Karlewicz.

Cold Spring, NY

A quaint river front town with a main street lined with boutiques, bakeries, and antique shops, Cold Spring is right between the beautiful Hudson River and a wide expanse of forest, mountains and glorious nature.

The day was hot and humid. My family and I were driving up to Connecticut to look at boats before realizing our destination was closed. As we started back home the insurmountable urge for a frozen fruit pop revitalized memories of an orgasmic mouth experience when biting into a mango frozen pop at the Warwick Applefest fall of 2011. The business just happened to be located in one of my favorite New York State towns.

The drive to Cold Spring, though a mere 30 minutes, felt exponentially longer as my anticipation grew. Once on Main Street, unable to contain myself long enough to wait to find parking, I rushed out of the car and into the storefront of Go-Go Pops.

They even have green juices!

An incredible selection of teas, coffees, organic chocolates and treats… endless deliciousness.

Insisting on two pops, I started with a Mango Hibiscus made with fresh chunks of mango frozen in hibiscus tea. Heaven on earth. My second pop was Coconut made from coconut milk, coconut water, and a touch of cane sugar. I enjoyed this while strolling down to the river.

The views are spectacular. This area of the Hudson is clean and quiet, prefect for boating and adventures.

Bachelorette Party – Lucky Chengs

An evening at Lucky Chengs, the “Drag Capital of the World!”

With a group of 14 stunning ladies, we headed to the 10pm show for a large crowd of rowdy women and men in lace and sequins.

The show was very amusing consisting of various interactive stints rather than a performance. Beginning with providing volunteers with lap dances (including our bride-to-be) part of which involved the dancer’s head between my cousin’s thighs and her bum in my cousin’s face in a mini handstand that involved quite a bit of grinding. This was of course after the balloon man created a very large vagina hat, clitoris included, for my cousin.

The night continued with a prefix meal at $32 a piece of what I imagine was supposed to be Chinese or Asian Fusion cuisine. The food was horrendous. Though I still managed to eat my money’s worth. Go for the show, not the food.

The show continued with selecting one member from each table to compete in a contest which was not immediately described. Of course we all nominated the bride. Then a gentleman was chosen from the crowd. It was then revealed that the ladies had to compete for best lap dance. The guy chosen was very very lucky. After the first girl went, two chicks quickly ran back to their tables in hopes of escape. Luckily they succeeded and another girl was chosen along with a young man who resembled Harry Potter. The competition winners came down to my cousin and Harry. Harry put on a spectacular, sexual performance with stroking and all sorts of kinky stuff. He seemed so meek and innocent. His efforts paid off and he won.

After a belly dance of some sort, the show concluded and we parted for the evening. The night was great fun and a wonderful chance to spend some time with my cousin and meet her friends.

Epic Reunion

Epic: The penetration of the veil separating material and immaterial existences allowing for a greater intimacy between gods and men.

Thank you high school humanities teacher, Mr. O’Connor, for your wise definition which will be forever imprinted upon my mind.

Prepare thyself for a tale of debauchery and depravity capable of scalding the ears of Chaucer’s Miller and causing a flush on the cheeks of the Wife of Bath. I call on thee, Jim, Jameson, and Jack, the amber muses, to aid in the retelling of events dutifully inspired by your wisdom and influence.

Where it all began…

Irish Exit, a place held in infamy, infested with the lewd, crass youth of Midtown East, scattered with professionals too old to be partying and and the bizarre you hope to never encounter. Little Kitten won a happy hour – half priced drinks from 9-11pm. Despite the despicable crowd, this is our favorite dive and discount drinks cannot be ignored. Arriving to a packed bar and a small crowd of invited friends pushed back against a wall by the impeding crowd, Little Kitten, Minxy (visiting from her new home of Boston), and I started off strong with our good friend Jack.

It was not long until Little Kitten and I found ourselves invited onto the bar by convivial bartenders seeking pretty girls to dance and open mouths for shots. Gaining the attention from a group of Irish football players in for a game, we won ourselves a few more drinks and a certain Little Kitten took a short trip to the wild side.

Mingling with the strange and catching up with old college friends, the hours flew by and the drinks continued to pour. Irish Exit drew to a close when somehow I managed to finagle all three of our coat check tickets and retrieve jackets and scarves, tossing them to Minxy before scurrying off to locate Little Kitten. Astray for a bit too long, Minxy sought to locate us, finding Little Kitten sitting on the floor of the bar, the little lush, and me enjoying “tea time” (tea time: intoxicated, catachresis articulation about tweedle dee and tweedle dum, Russian Literature, all relevant and irrelevant subjects) with strangers outside the ladies room.

We make it about ten blocks (estimating) in a cab before I get out at a red light simply stating, “I need to get out.” With both Minxy and the cab driver telling me to get my ass back in the cab, Little Kitten comes to my defense stating with drunken wisdom, “She needs to do what she needs to do,” as if this were some life mission. Light turns green and they’re off.

Little Kitten and Minxy shared an emotional moment on the car ride back. Or many I should say. Tears poured down and the cab driver begged them to stop crying. As I was not present for this, I did miss any possible reason for their emotional downpour, but according to them it was a general “life” moment. Upon arrival back at the apartment, Little Kitten rid her body of some unnecessary alcohol. She won’t be the only one this weekend.

It takes me a few blocks of walking to realize I am still on the east side with the vast Central Park between me and my destination. Drunk decisions are never good ones, but let’s bypass my stupidity. I continue my trek, not really sure of where I am going, but I seem to find it essential to stop at a bar along the way. No more drinks of course, but a quick bathroom break and conversation with a bubbly blonde and her friends. After a phone call with my worry crazed boyfriend in Afghanistan, a few moments of complete disorientation, and probably an hour and a half of walking, some aimless wandering, I make it back to Little Kitten’s apartment on the Upper West. How I made it back alive, no fucking clue. Woke up the next morning to a lecture from my boyfriend about how I am in more danger than he is in Kabul and I need to straighten up. I fully agree with him.

No hangover! Perfect! And a lovely brunch at the Cuban Calle Ocho on 81st. Besides the food being satisfyingly succulent, this place offers complimentary sangria (as many glasses as your heart desires) with the purchase of an entree.

Though sangria truly belongs to red wine, I cannot deny the sensational bliss that is Tropical and Havana Banana, especially after a night of chugging whiskey when the body craves something crisp and refreshing.

Conversation ensued, travel at the forefront. With Miami as our intended destination, Minxy, Little Kitten and I discussed possible dates for a definite trip in the fall to relive our adventures from March 2011. South Beach is a beautiful place.

Still hangover free (excluding Little Kitten), between the wine and tasty food we were a little sleepy and decided to head back for a nap and cuddle fest in Little Kitten’s purple queen. It quickly turned into laughing maniacally for no reason, or high of the reunion and wine at all before eventually drifting off to sleep.

Feeling rejuvenated, we headed over to Gabriela’s, a tequila bar and Mexican restaurant for a round of quesadillas with a spicy chipotle sauce and bright colored strawberry and mango margaritas. Dinner at 9pm. This is how we do. Minxy’s last night in NYC had to end with a bit more fun than just a dinner outing, so we decided to head down to 84th and Amsterdam to hit up a few bars all packed with twenty-somethings. This is of course after stopping back at the apartment for a few quick drinks, mainly Minxy finishing off about a third of a bottle of Jameson. She even beat me out. Not the norm I promise you.

Our first stop is an old classic- Jake’s Dilemma. Starting off with straight Jack, Minxy and I were applauded by the two largest black men I have ever seen for our taste in beverage, offering to treat us next time around. We sauntered off quite please with our level of intensity to join Little Kitten. Drinks in hand, we were abruptly approached by an attractive young blonde woman trying to give us a Kettle and vodka. “Please, I am not trying to roofie you.” We took the drink. Held it for a few minutes, then Minxy gingerly placed it on the floor behind us half tucked away under a booth.

“You cannot call yourself a truse geisha until you can stop a man in his tracks with a single look”(Memoir’s of a Geisha). How about three looks? While they were exiting the bar, two very attractive men, architect and a marine, stopped dead in their tracks as their eyes feasted upon Little Kitten, Minxy and I. Modern geisha’s perhaps? I prefer to refer to us as 21st century Aphrodites, who undoubtedly share the talent.

We eventually made our way to the next bar, not before Little Kitten and Architect exchanged numbers and Minxy, after being chased out of the bar by Marine, provided him with the wrong number. Little bit cruel? Perhaps. Next stop, George Keely. A bar very big on its beer. Minxy and Little Kitten were a bit spent, but I happily sipped on a beer courtesy of a very kind doorman attempting to chat me up. The highlight of this quick stop, the Polish bouncer who insisted Minxy’s last name was not in fact her last name. I think he even asked her to spell it out for him. Quite amusing.

The evening drew to a close with me giving the incorrect number to the kind doorman with the utmost confidence in its integrity and the three of us heading back up to that luxurious purple queen for bed. But the night is not over until Minxy gets sick which comes to pass soon after our arrival at home. Minxy shunned to the sofa for the evening, Little Kitten and I curl up in the queen for a night of deep drunken sleep.