City Pulse

By Kimberly McDonald

Ok so…you know how sometimes we all have that little secret that we like to keep, even from our best buds? Yeah, you know what I mean…you didn’t tell where you got that Marc Jacobs bag for half price (EBay), or you didn’t tell that you popped into Dr Fox’s office for a touch-up teeth whitening and you certainly aren’t telling what fragrance you use (it’s your signature scent!). As unique women-in-the-know, we all have a little secret here and there. Well, my friends, I’m going to break with my ‘mums the word’ tradition and let you in on one of mine.

Everyone knows I love me some GHOST. Flowy fabrics, easy to travel with, great colours, flattering cuts…I mean, like, who doesn’t love GHOST? (Stop thinking that I’m Captain Obvious…I’m getting to the good stuff)…

So, what if I told you how to get gorgeous GHOST-ly garments for a fraction of the retail price? Would you want to be my best friend forever? Would you confess to me how you got those Tom Ford sunglasses for a steal? OK…If you pinkie-swear, here goes:

THERE’S ALWAYS NEXT YEAR!
By Lauren Baccus

I love New York. I love the energy and the excitement. And at one point, I even enjoyed the sour rank rising from the subway grates (trust me, this didn’t last long). It’s hard to live in this city without becoming absorbed in this proverbial melting pot. We come from all corners of the country, the globe, and in some cases, seemingly the universe. And in the process of mixing and mingling, we become New Yorkers, defined more by the here and now, than by whom and where we’ve been. I’m often amazed whenever I meet an actual “native.” But they’re all too easy to pick out with that classic telltale sign: the sincere look of disappointment at the mention of their beloved New York Knicks.

While MTA monthly passes and being screamed at by subway conductors binds the melting pot together, for some of us, our allegiance to the sports teams we rooted for growing up still subsist. And while our differences are sometimes glaring, in the spirit of our urban community, I feel a certain oneness with Knicks fans (despondent as they may be). I too have suffered my fair share of disappointments year after year, despite glorious basketball memories of a time long passed when the Hawks (yes, dare I say it, the Atlanta Hawks) once held the hardwood court with the best of them (there, I said it).

Perhaps in an all too obvious effort to alleviate my personal pain, the NBA Playoffs have become less about winners and losers, and more about the glory of chicken wings and buffalo sauce. Whether your knowledge of basketball extends as long as a pair of 1970′s tube socks, or all you know is that you hate the Lakers with an inexplicable passion, the NBA Playoff Finals is the perfect excuse for everyone to grab a stool, get acquainted with some of New York’s best sports bars, and drown our collective b-ball sorrows in blue cheese dressing.

PHASE 1: So this is your first foray into the world of sports bars, eh? Let’s take it slowly and not totally abandon ourselves to a deep fried frenzy. For beginners, start instead with JAY-Z’S 40/40 CLUB, hands down the clear winner of the best scene-disguised-as-a-sports-bar award.

I definitely argue that the people-watching is almost as good as any game, but the mixed drinks and upscale bar food are also pretty sound diversions. The bar is usually packed and the prime, plush seating is pretty much a no-go for latecomers, so getting there early is always worth the effort. And yes, the bathrooms are co-ed.

The 40/40 Club
6 West 25th Street
(212) 832-4040

PHASE 2: You may be feeling confident enough to try something a little, shall we say “meatier.” Before you substitute a foam finger for your French manicure, pump up those testosterone levels at PARK AVENUE COUNTRY CLUB. The space feels enormous (translation = in Manhattan, over 1,000 sq. ft.) but is outfitted with enough big screens to get you talking some serious smack (i.e., trash-talk for you newbies) before the appetizers arrive.

Park Ave Country Club
381 Park Avenue South
(212) 685-3636

You’re doing great! We are well on our way to the high-octane sport bar experience.

PHASE 3: If you have successfully navigated Phases 1 and 2 without grabbing a Fiji water and desperately phoning your nutritionist, you are now deemed ready for the King of all NY sports bars: THE ESPN ZONE in Times Square.

Be forewarned, I think I actually integrated “doh” and “schmuck” into my regular vocab after my first trip there. Last football season, not to be outdone by the handful of women at the bar, I casually sauntered up to the wall of TV screens and sunk myself into a huge leather armchair. One look at the menu and I decided to put my side table to good use: six chicken fingers+ a bottle of Heineken. Three quarters later, a stealth breast exam confirmed that I am indeed still a woman (phew!). Gender-bending aside, the ESPN Zone is truly the pinnacle sports viewing venue in the city.

ESPN Zone
1472 Broadway
(212) 921-3776

But ladies, don’t be timid to raise a glass at your own local sports bar. And if you’re feeling particularly generous, order a conciliatory cerveza for a nearby Knicks or Hawks fan and toast to that age old sports adage: there’s always next year!

FOLLOW YOUR HEART… YOUR INTUITION
By Amber Roniger

You know how the FRYING PAN is usually the hot spot to watch the beautiful boys baking in the sun, right? You didn’t know that? Honey, what barnacle have you been lashed under? Well, normally it is anyhow, but next Wednesday night, JUNE 7, it’s going to be transformed into a fundraiser for PROJECTILE ARTS’ INTUITION IV BENEFIT EVENT. Save your dirty little fantasies for the beach and come out in droves to support the interdependent future of art and media in NYC. Lavish yourself with cocktails overlooking the Hudson, a hosted dinner on the Pier, silent auction, live musical performances, multimedia presentations, special screenings, a ritualistic dance party (think “Krippendorf’s Tribe” on second thought, don’t), and more (don’t you always love the ‘and more’ sooo mysterious!). Artists performing include: Alchemy Performance, Akim Funk Buddha, GlobeSonic, Haale, Joshua Geisler, Maracatu NY and Wolf+Lamb. Exhibitions include works by: Bec Stupak, Booklyn, Muriel Stockdale and Zarif Design. This is gonna be one totally bomb-un-stuffy fundraising fete that will be an actual party! Imagine that!?!
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I can’t really think of a more crucial time to foster dialogue between different cultures and communities through the arts, with emphasis on experience rather than analysis. Screw commentary, let’s just go Euro-style and watch the images and be free to draw our own conclusions, shan’t we? And you can’t miss the World Premiere of Projectile Art’s KOKOYAKYU: HIGH-SCHOOL BASEBALL on Thursday 8 June at THE BROOKLYN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (www.wbff.com).

Kokoyakyu takes the audience inside the never-before-seen world of Japanese high school baseball teams striving to make it to the National Championships. Much more than just a child’s game, martial arts baseball’s deeper purpose is the forging of the spirit. And if your team doesn’t win, there’s always next year!

INTUITION IV BENEFIT EVENT
@ Pier 63 & Lightship Fryingpan
West 24th Street @ The Hudson River
Sign up through:
www.projectilearts.org
(718) 349-6444

Originally published June 2006
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