Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Accessories Council Holiday Preview: Wow, What A Collection!

By Anne M. Raso

Every year I attend the Accessories Council Holiday Preview, where assorted press people get to see dozens of holiday collections from designers both new and established. Many of these items are handcrafted and one-of-a-kind. I pursued the collection being offered and selected a half-dozen of my favorites in all price points. Many of these are destined to become heirloom items passed from mother to daughter and so on down the line.
Andrew Hamilton Crawford Cuff

Monday, November 25, 2013

Mad About Art: Checking Out The Unforgettable Fountain House Benefit

By: Anne M. Raso

The charity Fountain House, which raises money for mentally ill actors, had a 100-artist Mad About Art auction and cocktail party fundraiser on November 20th at Cedar Lake in Chelsea, and I was lucky enough to attend. The event chairs were John P. Casaly, Rick Froio, Carmel and Brett Fromson, Dario Gristina, Leslie Harwood, Rich Hiler, Louis J. Mantia, Bonnie and Frank Pratt, Jerry Schumm and Gabriel Stefania.
Sign at Entrance

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Tiny Fork: Big On Flavor…But No Desserts!

By: Anne M. Raso

I recently visited The Tiny Fork on the Lower East Side. The first thing you notice outside the medium-sized corner restaurant is a big red neon sign that says “RAW BAR”—and indeed that is what many flock to this hip eatery (formerly The Slipper Room) to get! You can be very loose when ordering from the raw bar and just say to the waitperson, “Give me three East oysters, three West oysters and a couple of clams” and they will gladly do it for you. You can even see a photo of such an order here. Seafood is so fresh that it tastes like it came out of the ocean five minutes ago, and prices are pretty standard as far as NYC raw bars –oysters are $2.50 to $3 each and clams are $1.50. In case you are curious, the catch from the east is mainly from RI, MA and Canada, while the West catch is from CA, WA and Vancouver, BC.
Tiny Fork Atmosphere

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Irresistible Emails: How to Serve Up a Better Email Campaign Response

Infographic, brought to you by icontact

Since 2003, iContact has helped small and medium businesses share their stories, ideas, and products through email and social marketing. They take what they know about their favorite small and medium businesses—a trendy boutique hotel in South Beach, the online poster store that helps decorate the office cubicles, even the local coffee shop you'll find the locals in on Saturday—and they build the online marketing features they know those businesses need to succeed. Below is a piece they wrote about how to optimize an email marketing campaign. So read on for some great tips and tricks!

Michael Imperioli for Oldboy: This Time He's Playing The Good Guy!

By: Anne M. Raso

Michael Imperioli is an actor with great diversity, and yet we know him best as Christopher Moltisanti on The Sopranos--a no-good junkie, alcoholic, girlfriend-slapping young mafia soldier who made his boss Tony Soprano seem as sensitive and polite as Mr. Rogers! In Spike Lee's new film Oldboy, he plays the "true blue" old friend and bar owner who's not afraid to stick his neck out for a friend (played by Josh Brolin) who has disappeared for 20 years...and who happens to be a criminal on the lam for killing his wife. (Well, or so we are led to believe--I can't give away any of the spoilers for this film, which is a remake of the 2002 avant garde Korean classic of the same name but with twists and turns added!)
Imperioli at Oldboy Press Day, NYC

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Guerlain Spa Revisited: Their Microcurrent Facial Really Gave Me A “Lift”!

By: Anne M. Raso

It’s always a pleasure to visit the tranquil, marble-covered Guerlain Spa in the Waldorf Towers over in midtown. It’s actually like stepping into a whole different part of the world—possibly a Tuscan spa—thanks to the contrast between what’s going on out in the streets and what’s going on in the spa. Guerlain Spa treats its guests like royalty—you will find yourself with a glass of champagne or cappuccino in hand less then three minutes after entering the lobby, and you have the option of lounging around in a wonderful waiting area with tables and banquets or “taking a steam” before starting your service. (By the way, after your service, there is always a delicious artisanal chocolate and bottle of water waiting for you—and each service suit has luscious private showers, bathrooms and storage unit complete with built in phone chargers.)
Front Entrance

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Li-Lac Chocolates: Making The Village Sweeter For 90 Years

By: Anne M. Raso

I was lucky enough to attend the 90th anniversary party for Li-Lac Chocolates, a mainstay in a part of town that is changing rapidly. The first 100 people in the door this past Sunday got to buy four items at 1923 prices--meaning that a classic box of mixed chocolates were only $3.67! Other delights, including fudge and toffee crunch (the store's top selling item) were 23 cents each. Visitors reminisced outside on line--which started more than an hour before start time. Two-hundred people were lined up down Eighth Avenue by the time the doors opened at 1 PM.
Line outside of Li-Lac

Monday, November 11, 2013

Lifelong Learning: Reads on the Road Launch Party at 70 Park Avenue Hotel

By: Wela Quan

In today’s fast paced world, nothing is more comforting than curling up with a good book on a fall evening. But what if you are away from home and don’t have your favourite books on hand or simply forgot to pack on in your rush to the airport? 70 Park Avenue Hotel, a quaint traveler’s hotel in midtown seems to have come up with a solution to this problem: offer your guests book to read as part of their stay!
Reads on the Road Titles

Friday, November 8, 2013

Traveling Through The UK, Trafalgar Style! Part Two: Scotland

By: Anne M. Raso

I had a wonderful time in England, traveling through London, Liverpool and York and on the Trafalgar coach on the way from York to Edinburgh--where I spent the remaining three nights of my trip—we made a sobering stop ten miles south of Manchester. Quarry Bank Mill (at Styal, Wilmslow) is owned by The National Trust and is kept as original to the period of 1784 to 1830 as possible. Thousands of orphans and unwanted children lived and worked at mill in exchange for room and board. The guided tour of the Apprentice House to see the close conditions in which the children lived—as well the working machines in the mill that wove cotton fabric and were so loud that most workers went deaf within six months—was heartbreaking. The mill and grounds look beautiful, but knowing what went on inside their walls made all visitors happy for how we live today and how indentured servitude was outlawed shortly after slaves in the US were freed by Lincoln. We had a lovely traditional English lunch in one of the event buildings at the mill, but it was hard to let go of what we just saw. Just three of the mill’s machines turned on was too much for any of us to take for more than a couple of minutes.
View from top of Edinburgh

Monday, November 4, 2013

Traveling Through The UK, Trafalgar Style! Part One: England

By: Anne M. Raso

I was recently lucky enough to take Trafalgar Tours wonderful weeklong holiday in the UK--England and Scotland specifically. The 60-year-old company--currently owned by the highly creative Tollman Family who also run the 16 wonderful, character-laden Red Carnation hotels around the world--give the traveler many options with their tour packages. You can take as many sideline excursions as you want, you can ask for a busy or leisurely travel package--and on top of that, Trafalgar's rep will find packages that match even the cheapest budget. Trafalgar does not include airfare in their packages, but one can get hotel, tours and at least one meal a day in Europe for as little as $1,350 a person/week! Trafalgar predominantly uses four star hotels, but costs are cut for budget travelers but using hotels a little more out of the way but not more than 10 minutes from a town's top attractions.
Kings Arm Pub, York

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