Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Buy Your Sweetie a Massage for Valentine's Day and Get One Free for Yourself

Now that's the kind of present I want to get. After the past two years of economic curveballs, physical strain, and psychological oppression, I need a massage. I actually need a massage every week. Massage for me is no longer a luxury -- it's an absolute necessity. So for those of you stymied about what to buy your significant other for Valentine's Day, after you book your fabulous date-night restaurant (sadly no longer at Restaurant Week prices), walk your tootsies off to get there or if you go all out and travel somewhere sexy, you definitely need someone to soothe those aching feet and overworked face and jaw muscles.

The place to go? Physical Advantage in Manhattan, at 139 East 57th Street. Laurie Towers will give you a massage unlike any other -- she's a bodybuilder so you know it'll be strong; she's also a musician so there will be great tunes playing while she prods and pushes with trigger point specificity and effect. You won't be sleeping through this one, but you'll walk away relaxed and on the road to recovery. And the deal is fantastic.

P.S. You can also give this present to yourself and hoard the two appointments to use whenever you can. For the Valentine’s Day special, call (212) 460-1879.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

260 Restaurants -- $35 for Dinner. How Can You Lose?

I love January and February in Manhattan. I love to eat. I especially love to eat when I'm at a five-star restaurant that has two-star prices. Through February 7, 260 NYC restaurants are offering their finest fare at recession prices. Have a 3-course dinner for only $35 or a 3-course lunch for even less at $24.07. I've made 4 reservations so far. Have you? If we're lucky, maybe this will be extended beyond the initial two-week period, as it was last year. For now, you have until February 7 to chow down for cheap. Click here for the full list.

Leave me a comment and tell me which restaurants you enjoyed the most during Restaurant Week: How were the menus? Were there enough choices? I love hearing from you!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My New Flip

I was hoping to have some great new video to include in this post about how easy the Flip was to use.... but I haven't quite arrived at that yet. My experience thus far has been a bit challenging: the Flip Mino doesn't come with batteries like its larger brother. That's one thing that I wasn't aware of when I brought the Mino with me to record my recent trip to Mexico's Riviera Maya. It's a bit tricky shooting at night (as you'll see). It picks up ALL ambient sounds (as you'll hear). And, if anyone jostles you even a little, you'll get that lovely Blair Witch effect (you'll see that, too).

I also haven't mastered the editing software yet which was depicted as being simple enough for professional-looking uploads to YouTube. So far, my shaky cam recordings of New York City and Mexico would certainly frighten anyone thinking that this is quality video. I tried three times to upload my video of NYC's Tree Lighting Ceremony to this blog using blogger's very simple upload feature. The video seems to show up some of the time -- sometimes it appears black; other times it actually works. I hope it will work for you.

In the meantime, read Matt Gross's insightful "Frugal Traveler" article about various videos from yesterday's New York Times.

Any Fans of Ryanair Out There? Better Not Drink Any Water on Your Next Flight

Pay-to-pee in-flight? Only one bathroom per plane? This is so unbelievable, I couldn't make this up. Read the original article here.

Let me know your thoughts, seriously!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

$20 for 20 Days – Fabulous Deals Now at Lincoln Center through January 26

Move over TKTS…Introducing the new Zucker Box Office at the David Rubenstein Atrium where you'll find discount tix for performances at Lincoln Center. Thru January 26, there's a special promotion called $20 for 20 Days, which offers $20 tickets to select day-of purchase performances. The box office opens at noon, and tickets are first-come, first-served, with a limit of two per pers on. Recent shows available have included South Pacific, Big Apple Circus and the NY City Ballet. Sign up for advance notification of listings at Atrium DiscounTix here

Friday, January 15, 2010

Ways to Help Haiti - Updated

Here is a list of some of the ways you can contribute to the rescue and relief efforts underway in Haiti:

Visit Starbucks
Donate onsite at Starbucks

The American Red Cross or
Text "Haiti" to 90999 to donate $10 (billed to your phone)

The United Nations World Food Program

The Salvation Army

Action Against Hunger

Project HOPE

Partners in Health

Monday, January 4, 2010

Love, Loss and What I Wore Extended through March

I was very excited to hear about the extension of The Ephron sisters' Love, Loss, and What I Wore until March 28. Even if you’ve seen this sassy off-Broadway show before, you can now see it again with an entirely different spin each time the cast changes. The show, based on the best-selling book by Ilene Beckermen, is a collection of vignettes that reference clothing and accessories to trigger both touching and hilarious stories.

The upcoming cast rotations include:

January: Katie Finneran, Michelle Lee, Debra Monk, Traci Ellis Ross, Casey Wilson

February: Janeane Garofalo, Carol Kane, June Diane Raphael, Caroline Rhea

March: Didi Conn, Fran Drescher, others TBD

A portion of the proceeds benefit Dress for Success which provides job support and clothing for low-income women. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased at or at the Westside Theatre Box Office.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Share Your Travel Info Easily Thanks to Forms4Travel is a new Web site that has successfully mastered the art of “de-stressing” family travel planning. Whether you're traveling without your children, worrying about getting all pertinent information to the babysitter, or even leaving your pooch for a few days, has a system to keep everything "on the same page." With just the click of a mouse, you'll find all the forms you'd ever want (child travel forms, Americans living abroad forms, traveling parents forms, babysitter authorization forms, pet forms) to keep your travel plans organized with notarized documents. All forms cost about $15 including delivery and are printed on secure watermarked paper.

Order forms by calling 877-210-1410 or visit

A Deal a Week: Volunteer on Vacation and Get Two Nights Free at Recreo in Costa Rica

As a pro bono teacher of Spanish, I love volunteering, and the management at Recreo Resort in Guanacaste, Costa Rica clearly do too. Recreo is showing its thanks to those who volunteer by offering two additional free nights if guests book five nights and volunteer for at least one day between now and January 31, 2010. The package starts at $239 per person per night. Included are a dedicated chef preparing 3 premium meals per person per day in the villa’s private full kitchen, a private housekeeper for daily service, mountain and bay views from private balconies and infinity pools at each villa, concierge services, full access to the fitness center and tennis courts, chauffeured transportation around the estate and to the beach, and other on-site amenities.

Recreo has done some wonderful things for its community such as supplying approximately 700 people with water by installing a new well and pump for El Jobo (the small fishing village near Recreo), hiring only local Costa Ricans, and donating bicycles to the El Jobo Police Department for local patrolling. Now, Recreo is asking you to help in their mission, adding a new dimension to the concept of vacation. Pick from an array of volunteer programs such as helping build schools, aiding the underprivileged, protecting endangered animals, working on a local farm or teaching local students about US geography.

Book now at or call 1.877.268.2911 with the promo code VOL259.