City Pulse

By Amber Roniger

Please, please, please don’t be peeved at me for not cluing you in sooner to my fav tea extravaganza on Avenue B. It’s completely not my fault, I swear. Life is just so damn crazy lately! What with spring-cleaning and all (I totally straightened the sofa cover) and starting that spring fling thing (haven’t quite worked out the logistics on that one either), I hardly have any time for the most important chore on the agenda… high tea with my lady crew. And for chrissakes, HIGH CHAI has only been open since last year so I’m not that delinquent. Don’t I already do everything for you (you still love me, right)? I know you’ll cut me a little slack here, my honies, cause I’m seriously engrossed by my (top-secret) mission (from the UN High Commission) to uncover every last hot tea spot nook and cranny in this entire town. Uh, yah, that’s how I made my fortune.

Since I take my mission very seriously, I sleuth on over to High Chai to sneak a peak. This perky little peach of a tea spot seamlessly blends ornate Chianti walls with fine bone China (not the easiest decor to pull off, kudos!), dishing up tons ‘o different tea blends and ceremonies from every damn place that ever thought to pour hot water over leaves and call it tea. But High Chai’s one distinctly unique feature isn’t the caviar, or the wafer thin crepes, or the flakey mushroom pastry worthy of a jig. It’s Svetlana, the gregarious owner, pouring the stiffest passion fruit infused martini this side of Russia and laughing me under the bar with her outrageous tales. You too would be shocked to hear of her and a friend being escorted out the door of a certain Cheshire Cat-inspired tea nook for stirring tea with a knife (the apparent equivalent of flipping the bird in high tea speak, who freaking knew?). And who else can claim to zip around town on a girly scooter with a horse-riding helmet? Svetlana’s svetlananess is oozing from every artsy detail of High Chai’s clubby vibe, definitely a late night spot for all you tea-loving owls. Yah, I could fib and say I return to High Chai mainly for their fab food and strong-ass drinks, but truth be told, Svetlana’s tall tales and outlandish banter are the main draw for me.

In addition to live music and other special events, you’d be foolhardy to miss a really cool gathering this weekend. Sip chocolate tea to the tune of TRANSFERS IN COLOR by NORMA BROWN HILL, a unique photo workshop on Sunday, May 21st. Learn about photo transfer and emulsion lift and make beautiful impressionistic photographs worthy of hanging on the MOMA’s walls. Even the White Rabbit, late as he is, has enough time to hop on by the Chai and say hi.

High Chai
18 Avenue B, NYC
www.highchai.com
(212) 477-CHAI

TRANSFERS IN COLOR by NORMA BROWN HILL
Sunday, May 21st from 12-5PM
RSVP to: photoart@optonline.net or 516-659-2297

www.artnsoul-online.com

CUPID’S QUID PRO QUO
By Amber Roniger

Since you’re already familiar with the grisly disaster that is my non-existent dating life, I won’t even bore you with more gory details. So I know you’ll excuse me for appearing totally geeky by attending my first ever speed-dating event put on by CUPID.COM and DORCHESTER PUBLISHING. I know, I know, I’m supposed to believe that my love life could resemble some romance novel cover (“Single In Singapore?”). God forbid this re-virgin snog or shag sometime this millennium. I figure, if “Springtime for Hitler” can bring down the house in Jerusalem, then perhaps I have half a shot at getting some sugar. And you know what they say, once you go past the first six months, it’s just a slide into menopause. Well I’m only 33, so I decided to fight.

I approach with my usual gay attitude: don’t expect anything and you can’t be disappointed. So there’s that. But the first aspect of the whole dating mishmosh that suits my fancy is the fact that the women sit still like queens and the men have to shuffle from table to table, cocktails in hand (as well it should be). So there’s that. And much to my surprise, I find that I actually appreciate the sentiment these men are coming from. Let’s face it, clubs and bars are shitty places to connect with members of the opposite sex. You know who’s frequenting those kinds’a joints: hustlers, hoosiers, boozers and aspiring conmen… reaaalllly slim pickins. And I’ve made those mistakes before, both The-Asshole-Before-The-Bastard and the Bastard himself were byproducts of the club scene and so I finally learned to steer clear of venues that rely on lighting from disco balls refracting cheezy black lights. So there’s that.

And here we are, a room full of jittery men and women, who are sick of the bullshit and want to try something different. And we’re busy little critters who don’t have much time and wanna get right down to business. And lo and behold, there are actually some interesting men who I probably wouldn’t have noticed across a crowded dance floor (I’m totally hypnotized by the strobes). And although six minutes (sometimes gratefully) passes in a flash, it is enough time to start to go deep, if you wanna… or you can just sit around and yack about his dayjob at Sunglass Hut. And I am surprised (again) at the amount of candor and sincerity displayed by these men, for a change of pace. And honestly, even though I didn’t find my perfect match, I’d definitely do it again, because I truly do believe that great relationships begin with stimulating conversation and not awful lines slurred over gin martinis: ‘What a great ba-dunk-a-dunk you have, my dear!’ Geez Louise, get a grip!

www.cupid.com to register
All Single Professionals, Ages 32-44
June 21 @ 6:20 PM
The Prince Street Club
177 Prince Street – 2nd Floor

And the Award for Best Luncheon Goes to…CEW
By Stefanie Schwalb

This year Cinco de Mayo took a turn for the more glam when skincare, hair care and makeup professionals reneged on their usual liquid lunch of tequila and margaritas (unlikely, I know, but it did happen), to dine divine at the Waldorf Astoria in honor of the COSMETIC EXECUTIVE WOMEN’S (CEW) Beauty Insider’s Choice Awards of 2006. The awards honoring the best in show are selected by CEW members (over 4,000 fab pros in the beauty biz). Beauty co’s everywhere covet The CEW Pink Seal of Success that the exalted winners can place on their packaging (think pink!).

The star-studded event (and let me emphasize ‘studded’ because two “Sex in the City” dudes emceed, and I also caught a lusty glimpse of the fabulous Frederic Fekkai, nià…” handsome devil!) is considered the Oscars of the beauty industry, with four nominees selected in each of 34 categories: makeup, skincare, hair care, bath & body, nails, sun, and scent. Nearly 500 products were in competition by 180 beauty companies, with 173 finalists selected. In addition, there were 22 companies in consideration for top honors in the special Enterprising Beauty Award Category, trumpeting the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of small independent beauty companies (we love you!). This year’s winners include beauty ADDICTS, FusionBeauty, GIELLA custom blend cosmetics, MALIN + GOETZ, and MD Skincare.

The fun of the CEW awards kicked off back in February, 2006 with the CEW beauty awards product demo at the Metropolitan Pavilion. A mouthwatering display of every product imaginable for girls and guys looking for the beaucoup best beauty products around made my mouth… water. After judging these sensational selections, CEW members picked the finalists. Then the CEW Board of Governors provided the final word. The voting is strictly confidential, the ballots tabulated by Ernst & Young – again, just like the Oscars! Fortunately, the potency and excitement of the winners’ acceptance speeches were not dampened by self-indulgent blubbering (hello, Rene!) or excessively long orations (hello, Halle). Whew!

In my humble opinion (cause I am your hair editor, remember hello?!), the following wins earned two tributary shakes of my beauty pompoms: Hair Care & Coloring Product ($10 and over) – Frederic Fekkai’s Overnight Hair Repair, and Hair Care & Coloring Product (under $10) – Clairol Nice ‘n Easy Root Touch-up. One of my fav body treatments (under $15), Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer, also won, as did Olay’s Regenerist Continuous Night Recovery for Anti Aging (under $20). Check out more info on the celebrated winners and the Cosmetic Executive Women’s association at www.cew.org.

Originally published May 2006
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