Dating F.A.M.E NYC Style

Spring 2013 is here and despite the flip-flopping weather, it appears not to be going anywhere soon.  Spring always brings with it an air of romance and New York City is a great place to have a fling.  If you already have a significant other, NYC can certainly assist in keeping the spice alive in your relationship and offers a smorgasbord of things to do, places to stay and gastro pubs to pack on calories ( that you can work off later).   A relationship novice only chooses holidays and other special occasions to show affection, but if you want the flame of your love to burn bright you had better stoke to those fires more often.  Date night in New York City is play land of possibilities.  So to all my love-struck FAMERS, this piece is for you.   I’m going to share with you my top five places to go, restaurants and hotels to create an awesomely romantic date any day or night.

SIGHTS TO SEE

Empire State Building – Hey…it worked for Carey Grant and Deborah Kerr and Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan; it could work for you and your mate.  The observation deck of the Empire State Building is indeed a place to spark romance.   Standing in the heavens with the city all around you can render a “top of the world” feeling.  There is no better time to grab your lover for a kiss or to drop to one knee for a sky-high proposal.

themetmuseumMetropolitan Museum of Art – The Met was the first date for Pierce Brosnan and Renee Russo in the remake of The Thomas Crown Affair.  Crown was a billionaire; he could take his date anywhere he wanted, but for all the rest of the 99 percentile, The Met can provide a modest date.  Priceless works of art, the ability to travel to different eras in history all for a small nominal fee.  Who needs a time machine?  Afterwards, you can take advantage of the closeness of Central Park and spring for a horse and carriage ride.  If you want to put a twist on the old horse and carriage idea, rent a luxury vehicle and cruise the park and city in opulence.

Meat Packing District – In a city filled with trendy spots, the Meat Packing District remains one of the trendiest.  You could take your honey-bunny on a shopping spree.  If you are planning an evening date, go clubbing or go on your own private bar crawl.  You could add a little role play and play the “sexy stranger” game at each new lounge or club you go to.

Times Square – Times Square is the heart of The Big Apple.  Just the luminosity of the place delivers 120 watts of electricity to your body.  You can take your beloved to dinner and a show, take in a little shopping or just sit and watch the show New York City provides via the traffic, street performers and passersby. 

Hayden PlanetariumHayden Planetarium – When I was a girl, I saw a laser light show set to The Beatles music.  The Hayden Planetarium has been one my favorite places in the city ever since. Part of the American Museum of Natural History, the Hayden Planetarium has been a New York institution since 1935.  Create some rockets in flight and a little afternoon delight, take a date into the stratosphere and canoodle under the stars. 

 

 

 

 

RESTAURANTS

Mari Vanna – Russian food and old world romance on the east side.  Oh, and did I mention they make their own Vodka.  The décor is charming.  Even if Russian cuisine doesn’t necessarily strike a chord with your palette, I guarantee that you will score points with the venue as well as the food, which is very comforting.  And if all else fails, you can get your mate drunk – nostrovia lovers!

the-lambs-clubThe Lamb’s Club – Located in Times Square, The Lamb’s Club is an experience that rivals any on Broadway.  Taking American cuisine to the next level, Chef Geoffrey Zakarian and partners have created a cool, yet opulent spot to dine before or after a show.  The menu has a wealth of great selections and scrumptious drinks.  Make sure to make it a 24-karat meal and order the Gold Rush (my mouth is watering just thinking about it).

 

 

 

Courgette Restaurant & Bistro – Yummy is the first word that comes to mind when I think about this eatery, located on W. 55th Street.   Courgette is French for zucchini, but it’s definitely not a vegan spot.  This restaurant fuses Mediterranean, Italian and French cuisine to perfection, if you try one dish make sure it’s the Acquerello Risotto with wild forest mushrooms; it’s to die for.   After you finish dining, take your date downstairs to Courgette’s sexy basement speakeasy, which boasts a state-of-the-art sound system and karaoke room. 

Le Bernardin – Eric Ripert…need I say more?  This restaurant is legendary for its chocolate dessert and seafood dishes.  If you are doing a day trip or date that features all of NYC many iconic spots, include this place on your itinerary.   

Château Cherbuliez – Speaking of iconic New York spots, no club was as iconic, historic or infamous as Limelight. This church turned club has had a few reincarnations.  Currently, it’s The Limelight Marketplace, towards the back it turns into Château Cherbuliez.  When it was Limelight, walking into this spot was like stepping into another world.  That aspect hasn’t changed.  Stepping into Château is like being whisked off to the south of France.  The décor is impressive and has one of the largest outdoor garden spaces in the city.

HOTELS

gal-pool-gansevoort-jpgHotel Gansevoort – Meat Packing District – If one were so inclined, one could plan an entire NYC-themed date in the Meat Packing District.  After a day and night of shopping, drinking, eating and partying, the Hotel Gansevoort the perfect place to catch a luxurious snooze or soak up some more of Chelsea’s ultra-trendy vibe.

 

 

W Hotel – Times Square – Dinner, a show, a few drinks, maybe even catch a light night comedy act.  Why end the night at home?  Have a nightcap at W and allow the views of the city to assist you in a night of seduction. It may not be a stage, but I guarantee you will be the star of the show.

Four Seasons – Book a room at this hotel and resort and that could be your date, period end of story.  If the five star treatment is what you’re looking for, you and your mate will find it here.

GramercyParkHotel-lobbyGramercy Park Hotel – This hotel is steeped in history.  Afterall, the Kennedy’s stayed here.   The Gramercy Park Hotel has seen its share of marvelous times and some seedy ones, but after the 2006 renovation it recaptured its former glory and has maintained it ever since.  Artist Julian Schnabel and British architect John Pawson have created a masterpiece.  It remains one of the coolest, chicest places to stay in the city.

 

 

Crosby Street Hotel – SoHo is one of the many artists’ neighborhoods turned chichi in NYC.  Elegant and eccentric, this hotel serves a taste of London with a New York twist. 

 

 

 

The Roots of House Music Are Alive at Cielo

Wednesday has been considered “hump day” ever since the 40 hour work week was invented.  But for those of us who live to rejoice under strobe lights while the sounds of House music filters from the speakers and fills the atmosphere, Wednesday has taken on another moniker.  Wednesday is a night that is all about Roots.

One of my greatest moments while working as the Entertainment and Lifestyle editor at Caribbean Posh Magazine was interviewing Louie Vega and his wife Anane.  Louie is one of the architects of House music and a living legend.  His DJing and mixes have provided the soundtrack to my life and many other house heads’ lives around the world, and have been responsible for baby powder residue littering the floors of many venues. 

For those of us who live and breathe this music and culture, it is more of a creed than a lifestyle choice.  When I wrote my article about the Grammy winning DJ/producer, I dubbed him an archbishop because that is simply what he is.  Every leader must have a home base and in New York City Louie’s resident house is Cielo, located on 18 Little West 12th Street in the Meatpacking District.  The weekly Wednesday night party known as Roots is the seed of Louie Vega and Kevin Hedge of Blaze, another House music legend and high priest in his own right.  During its six years, quite an epic feat for an underground party, the stems of Roots have grown to become one of New York City’s staple parties.

Because House music is so engrained in the fiber of their beings, Louie Vega and Kevin Hedge provide the patrons of Cielo with sermons that are sure to guarantee a perspiration drenched t-shirt, aching bodies and refreshed souls.  When Louie is traveling, Kevin holds the party down solo.  Even Anane and Antonello Coghe (Nulu Music) spin on occasion. 

House music is not a genre readily found on top 40 FM.  It does not sell out arena sized venues and because it does not appeal to the masses, the future of my culture and its music is always in a precarious state.  Parties like Roots ensure that New York City, the cradle of House Music, will continue to have a voice as the underground dance scene moves into the next decade of the new millennium.

 Photos:  F.A.M.E NYC Editor

Meat Anyone?

Sometimes when I look around at the city I can hardly recognize it.  Really, this city has seen more facelifts than Zsa Zsa Gabor.  One upgrade in particular that still makes me shake my head in amazement is the Meatpacking District. 

When I was a girl the Meatpacking District was known for large slaughterhouses, tranny hookers, the Mafia, drugs and sex clubs.  The vices in the meatpacking district almost overshadowed the meat and was one of the best places to find sin in New York City, outside Times Square of course.

Now Gansevoort Market is a far cry from the days when transsexual prostitute skulked around corners and the mafia ruled the slaughterhouses with an iron, Black Hand.  The Meatpacking District is one of the chicest areas in the city with restaurants, bars and clubs that play host to the fierce and fabulous as well as some of the best designer boutiques.  Some feel that the Meatpacking District has become too chic for real New Yorkers and is nothing more than a tourist haven like Times Square.  Maybe they are right, but something I learned from the tragedy of 911 is that you don’t take any part of this city for granted.  So without further adieu, here are my choices for the best that the Meatpacking District has to offer.

DINING

RdV                                 RDV Image

409 W. 13th Street New York, NY 10014    

212-675-3300

After stepping down a dimly lit stairway, you arrive in a sexy subterranean chill zone.  RdV takes elegance underground with its plush Baroque style furniture and potted banana trees that add a tropical feel.  The candlelit private dining room is a hideaway within a hideaway and provides its diners with an intimate experience.  The cuisine definitely lives up to the opulent French setting.  I recommend Foie Gras Terrine for an appetizer and Truffled Chicken or Pan Seared Wild Stripped Bass for a main course.  RdV holds 150 guests and is the perfect lounge to drink and dine when planning a grown and sexy gathering with friends.

Bagatelle                       Bagatelle%20Interior                       

409 W 13th St, New York 10014

212-675-2400

Above ground designer David Graziano, designer of RDV, created a posh French bistro.  Bagatelle has been dubbed the place to eat for the rich and trendy and is also known for their brunch.  I recommend Dimanche – Poule-au-Pot and the Potato Puree.  And if you are going to the Caribbean check out Bagatelle’s sister restaurant in Turks and Caicos.  Great food + great atmosphere = a complete dining experience.

 PARTY

Cielo                        ceilo                      

18 Little West 12th Street New York, NY 10014
212 242-8537

Besides the great décor, which resembles a log cabin, the sunken dance floor, and outdoor back yard that has heated lamps in the winter, this club plays host to some of the legends of dance music.  Francois K., Marques Wyatt, Jojo Flores, Junior Vasquez, and Roger Sanchez have all spinned in their DJ booth.  Louie Vega and Kevin Hedge hold their Roots party every week on Wednesday.  Cielo is an absolute must for anyone who seriously loves dance music.

Kiss & Fly                              Temple Perimeter View in Purple Light

409 W. 13th Street New York, NY 10014

212-255-1933

With the opening of Kiss and Fly lavishness has been brought back to NYC nightlife.  This club caters to the sophisticated and fabulous.  Kiss & Fly is Dom Perignon’s flagship club in the United States. Fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld designed a mural for the club that is the backdrop to the $18,000 bottles of Dom Perignon that are on display and on the wine list.  Kiss & Fly also boasts 28 VIP areas with their own “private” dance floor that is raised behind the table.  Fire acts, aerial shows, stilted performances, fire throwers turn this nightclub experience into an extravaganza.

STAY 

Hotel Gansevoort             hotel-gansevoort_3

18 9th Avenue New York, NY 10014

212-206-6700

Just because you live in the city doesn’t mean you have to stay at home, the Hotel Gansevoort offers awe-inspiring 360 degree panoramic views of New York City and is the only luxury, full service resort in the Meatpacking District.  Hotel Gansevoort offers an elegant get away to its patrons.  The hotel has 187 guestrooms and 23 suites.  The rooms are lavish, but with a minimalist aesthetic. The duplex penthouse houses a Jacuzzi and fireplace.  Hotel Gansevoort also has 45-foot heated outdoor rooftop pool with underwater lights and music everyday as well as a swanky rooftop loft and spa. Designer David Graziano also places his stamp on the Hotel Gansevoort making the hotel the fourth business in the Meatpacking District that has been touched by his chic  style.  Upon walking out of the Hotel Gansevoort, be prepared to take on the cobbled-stone splendor of the new Meatpacking District.