Thursday, March 28, 2013

5 Things I Want To Do In NYC When I Win The Lotto.

WGINY guest author, Li Chen, of Vimbly, tells What's Good in New York what she would do in NYC if she won the lottery, in her own words. 

5 Things I Want To Do In NYC When I Win The Lotto 
by Li Chen 

I recently filled out a questionnaire sheet and one of the questions was, "If you woke up as a millionaire, what's the first thing you'd buy?" I gave it a lot of thought. Unlike those chick flicks, I don't care for a Prada or a Porsche. I am not Miss Universe so I won't say "world peace" to every question and I won't donate my share either. Instead, this is what I'd do:

1. Visit the Empire State Building. The day I win the lotto will be the day I visit the Empire State Building. It costs $45 dollars for a NY Skyride and Empire State Building Observatory ticket...that's equivalent to a box of 24 Packs of King Size Kit Kat bars ($41.99!). Unless I get to take a picture with King Kong on top of the Empire State, I am spending my money on curing my sweet tooth cravings. Besides, time is money too. Did you see the line? Waiting in line...heck to the no!

2. Go on food tours everyday. I initially thought of eating at a buffet everyday, but having worked at one, I know waiters and waitresses look at you (they do!) when you go up for seconds or thirds. I prefer food tours where everyone is busy trying out food samples and no one is paying attention to you wolfing down a cannoli. Definitely food tours for the win!

3. Invest in micro apartments. There has been a shortage of affordable housing in New York City since the beginning of mankind. Micro apartments are definitely a better investment than clothes from Macy's. You can either sell it for a higher price when it's finished, or rent it and collect rent. Hey, planning for retirement wasn't that bad after all!

4. Buy parking lots. Wherever you see empty lots, buy it! Space is money in the city. You don't even need to decorate or renovate or anything. Simply put up a sign that spells P-A-R-K-I-N-G and you are guaranteed to make money.

5. Start my own company. There are numerous start startup companies in New York City. If money is not a concern, why not start a company of your own? Yes, you run the risk of failing but what do you have to lose? Most importantly, you are helping your community by creating time-saving web and phone apps like OpenTable: NYC Reservations for restaurants and Vimbly for recreational activities.

For more info on Vimbly, see WGINY's previous post about how this very nimbly site helps navigates NYC for busy activity-seekers. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

NYBG's Annual Orchid Show is Upon Us Again!

Spring is right around the corner, which means it's time for the New York Botanical Garden's Annual Orchid Show!

Read all about last year's colorful show, and purchase tickets to the 2013 show, which runs through April 22, here. WGINY readers can get a special discount by entering code "9926" when purchasing an All-Garden pass.

Last but not least, don't forget about those steamy Orchid Evenings!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

NYC Alumnae Chapter of “TriDelta” Raises Funds for St. Jude Children’s Hospital on March 21

On Thursday, March 21, the NYC Alumnae Chapter of national college sorority, Delta Delta Delta will be hosting its fourth annual “Stars& Crescent Evening,” a fundraiser event for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  “NYC DDD” has a strong philanthropic foundation, and is frequently acknowledged as the top national alumnae chapter for fundraising by St. Jude. At their 2012 fundraiser, hosting over 300 guests, NYC DDD raised $28,800 for St. Jude! Can you help them raise more this year?

Taking place at the elegant Bowery Hotel, the “Stars & Crescent Evening” will be a night to remember with music and mingling to the beats of DJ Brian Gaffey, a high end open bar with signature cocktails, appetizers and dessert fare, and a silent auction with an amazing array of prizes. You can enter to win Knicks tickets, a roundtrip Jet Blue flight, tickets to “Watch What Happens LIVE!,” a helicopter ride around NYC, a Long Island winery experience, and so much more. 

Still not convinced? Watch this video from last year's event. Then check out the invite below and click here to purchase general admission or VIP tickets, or become a sponsor. VIP guests have special access to whiskey, wine and champagne tastings throughout the night, as well as some other surprises. Individual tickets start at $65. 

Even if you can’t attend, consider donating to the fundraiser.

S&C Final Invitation

Thursday, March 7, 2013

There's Magic in the Air at the SoHo Playhouse!

For the past eight years, world premiere sleight-of-hand artist, Simon Lovell, has been winning over audiences at the SoHo Playhouse with New York City's longest running one-man show, "Simon Lovell's Strange and Unusual Hobbies". Author of at least sixteen books, esteemed recipient of the 2009 Merlin Award (like an "Oscar," "Tony" or "Emmy" for Magicians), and self-proclaimed con-artist, Lovell is also known for acting, writing and consulting on TV shows and movies, such as USA Network's "White Collar".

Lovell, who learned his first magic trick when he was four years old, amazes with impossible card tricks and other close-up magic, and his witty British charm adds a special flair to his "shindigs" at the Playhouse. He has mastered a one-handed shuffle and four-way card cut, and impresses when he asks six different audience members to secretly chose cards from his deck, building suspense as he finds each and every card after it has been mixed back in. He may even teach you ways to cheat your friends and become a "grifter" (aka con-person) yourself!

Perhaps the most intriguing part of Lovell's show is the sassy way in which he performs his tricks, encouraging audience participation and essentially posing many of his "tricks" like riddles -- you'll have that "aha" moment when he's done, but you never saw it coming. Though the "Strange and Unusual Hobbies" show typically runs 70 minutes, don't expect to be bombarded by magic the entire time, as much of the show comes down to outrageous props and perfect comedic timing.

Lovell's show takes places in a sleek downstairs lounge at the Playhouse, The Huron Club, offering a full bar and seating for about 40 people. Despite playing every Saturday night at 6:00 p.m., the show consistently sells out, so purchase tickets in advance, and get there early to ensure a seat right up front, where Lovell will be most likely to force you to interact with him during the show.

You can read more about the mysterious history of Simon Lovell here. If you happen to be a budding magician yourself, you may want to consider inquiring about Lovell's lectures for performers.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Spoltight on "FM Belfast"

Who or what is "FM Belfast," you ask? Don't expect to be in the dark too long about these guys as they light up the electro-pop music scene. Hailing from Iceland, FM Belfast headlined the 2008 Iceland Airwaves music festival, around the time of the release of their first official album, "How to Make Friends". As often happens with good music, it was their European fan base that really propelled them, but Americans are starting to take notice.

Perhaps they just can't stop singing along to catchy tunes such as "[I'm gonna learn] American" or "I don't wanna go to sleep either," or dancing to the hip beats FM Belfast pours out. Whatever the reason, it is clear that where FM Belfast goes, so does a surge of musical energy and excitement. Whether they are getting low with the crowd, rapping, throwing out confetti and silly string, or singing in their underwear to the tune of their single, "Underwear," FM Belfast knows how to have fun.

According to their website bio, FM Belfast was formed by couple Árni and Lóa in late 2005, because they simply wanted to make a Christmas song recording for friends. However, there was such a clear, cheerful passion and talent evident in their music, that they were encouraged to continue making music and begin performing. They have been doing so since 2006, despite their first album release being delayed until 2008.

Apparently, while the group usually performs with a core of four members, as many as forty musicians have appeared on stage in their shows over the years.  This past Sunday, a moderately-sized FM Belfast lit up the Studio at Webster Hall with their peppy, upbeat tunes, perhaps set to follow in the footsteps of now-well known bands such as Vampire WeekendMumford and Sons, Spoon, Florence and the Machine, and so many others. The stage was vibrantly decorated and the sounds of cowbells and maracas merely further accessorized the party in which the crowd became engrossed.

Get more familiar with FM Belfast here, and keep an eye on their tour dates. You don't want to miss their next NYC show.