Monday Wake-Up: NYC Skate Specials, Dreamliner Reviews

● If you’re planning on being in New York City during the holiday season and want to participate in the city’s iconic winter activities, Cassa Hotel and Residences has partnered with Citi Pond at Bryant Park in a special offer that includes VIP admission (skip to the head of the line to pick up your skates and get on the ice), free hot chocolate, and a 10% discount on all food and beverage purchases. Starting at $329 for reservations made in October, November, and December, and $269 for reservations made in January and February. [Cassa Hotel]

● We’ve mentioned the Boeing 787 Dreamliner before, and Travel Weekly editor Kenneth Kiesnoski got a chance to try out ANA’s inaugural flight out of Narita in Japan. His full recap is worth a read — but it sounds like the new planes are as good as promised. [Travel Weekly] ● The Biz Travel Forum, sponsored by Uvet American Express Corporate Travel, was held in Milan this past week, and they named Etihad Airways their choice for best business class. Etihad’s fully flat beds and excellent food service have won it numerous fans, and much recognition previously from the industry. [Travel Daily News] ● Good news for travelers looking to spend: If you’ve had trouble with your swipe cards in the past, Travelex’s reloadable chip-and-pin cards are a huge convenience, and they’ve now added the US dollar and the British pound to its list of supported currencies. The pound is an important addition for all travelers, while the dollar is meant to ease things for Canadian travelers coming to the United States. [Biz Travel News] ● MSNBC’s roundup of how to complain about travel deserves to be printed out with every itinerary; from securing booking confirmations to using social media, they’ve got everything covered. [MSNBC]

Nightlife To-Do List: This Week’s Events

Fashion Week is over, and with it, loads and loads of free booze. There are, however, a multitude of events on the agenda this week, some offering the promise of free and/or cheap drinks, some offering a fairly expensive brand of cool, and some offering reasons enough to try sneaking past the door without an invite: just like fashion week. While you’ll probably still be clamoring to get into Don Hill’s and the other venues that seemed destined for greatness this past week, these special events are worth crashing, dropping cash on, dropping by, or otherwise taking advantage of. And while you may not be able to see Courtney Love perform anytime soon, there are some insane shows scheduled for the music-lovers amongst us.

Monday Parties to Crash ● Barenjager Bartender Competition at Macao Trading Co. Skilled tenders compete from 7:00 to 10:00pm in the First Annual National “Fight for Your Honey” Barenjager Bartender Competition. The grand prize for these liquor slingers: a trip to the 2010 Oktoberfest in Germany. ● Swarovski Elements presents 22 Ways to Say Black at Phillips de Pury & Company from 7:00 to 10pm. Aside from the auction of 22 designer dresses for charity, peeping Carla Bruni would be reason enough to crash. ● It’s game night at Soho House! Play Candy Land, Yachtzee, and Jenga with other civilized folk at the members-only den. Ticketed Events ● Ne-Yo performs at Amnesia with DJ Bobby Trends. Admission is $30 ● NY Ministry of Rum Festival is happening from 5:30 to 9:00pm at Papilion Bistro. Drink and talk shop with other rum aficionados for $50. ● Alta Cucina hosts The Summer Kitchen, Panini and Gelato class. Date night alert—learn how to make authentic gelato, panini, and pizza at the Alta Cucina Epicurean Center. Parties for the People ● Sleigh Bells play Webster Hall at 8pm for a mere $8. You’d be crazy to miss this band for this price. ● Catch the Klaxons at Bowery Ballroom at 8pm for $20. ● The East Village’s White Noise is one of those awesome bars that closes its doors at 2am, but if you’re already safely inside, you can party all night (well, until 4am), which carries the connotation that anything goes. Pierre Stone and Ben Brunnemer DJ the Monday night “Fever” party: “that ol rock and roll and good people, no disco shit.” ● One of our all time favorites, Franco V, DJs along with Eli Dias at the Mondays @ Kenmare party.

Tuesday Parties to Crash ● Super-excited for the first US Scotch & Soda store opening in Soho at 274 Lafayette Street (and Prince). There will be complimentary beer, wine, and specialty cocktails by h.wood.tea, and music by Chairlift. Again, invite only, but at least take a stroll by. ● The Train & The Box New York celebrate their Spring/Summer 2011 collection with an after party with Paper Magazine at Avenue from 9:30 to 11:30pm with faves Matt&Maia DJing. ● Gansevoort Park Avenue hosts their official Opening Celebration party with The One Group, Michael Achenbaum of the Gansevoort Hotel Group, Jason Binn of Gotham magazine, and Steve Birkhold. ● Fulfill your dream of crashing a Martha Stewart party tonight in the jungle of the New York Botanical Garden at the reasonable hour of 5:30pm. Join Martha Stewart for an evening of mixology, and enjoy a champagne cocktail and herbal appetizers. At 7pm Martha will also share her secrets for growing and using herbs in delicious end-of-summer cocktails. Divine! Ticketed Events ● Showtime has their own rooftop, and for $25 you can enjoy unlimited cocktails from 6 to 8pm at Cassa Hotel and Residences. This will be the last hosted rooftop event by Showtime Original Series, so expect to rub shoulders with Showtime’s nearest and dearest. Parties for the People ● Disco Down is still happening at Happy Ending, and it’s still free booze from 11 to 12pm, and still no one is going? No, people are going. Michael T emailed My Open Bar to personally say that Disco Down is not dead: it’s been well and fine, and on the main floor of Happy Ending. ● Glasslands Gallery‘s weekly Black Majik Tuesday is pretty hip with the kids, thanks to badass local DJs and great bookers. Free vodka from 8 to 9pm on Tuesday nights helps with the hipness. ● Ra Ra Riot play Bowery Ballroom at 8pm for $20 admission. You should catch them now before their ticket price inevitably goes up, i.e.: the kids are talented. ● Pavement, yes that Pavement, hits Central Park’s Rumsey Playfield at 7pm for $38.50. As part of their reunion tour, they’ll be playing this spot all week.

Wednesday Parties to CrashBlue Ribbon hosts a bash in honor of their new partnership with Renaissance Hotels at the Renaissance Hotel Times Square. Taste the new “Classics Menu” from 6:30 to 8pm. Invite only, so crash with caution. ● IMPROVD opens their shop-in-shop installation with a cocktail party at Atrium from 7 to 9pm. Parties for the People ● Your new favorite band, AKA the Crocodiles, play Mercury Lounge at 7:30pm for $15. ● Bobo throws themselves a birthday bash complete with half-price cocktails and finger-foods from 7:30 to 12:00am.

Thursday Parties to Crash I dont know of any. Do you? Then comment below. Ticketed Events I dont know of any. Do you? Then comment below. Parties for the People ● Rock out to Simian Mobile Disco at Santos’ Party House. $10 is a steal for a sweaty good time of this caliber. Doors at 10pm. ● Gallery Bar rocks at their Mating Season Extreme party (whatever that means) with two floors of insanely awesome music: Dances With White Girls, DJ Messkid, and Jane Bang. Big draw: from 10 to 11pm, you can slam $1 tequila shots and $2 drafts. Then there’s a 2am open vodka bar. $3 cover, and snaps by The Culture of Me. ● If you missed Sleigh Bells earlier this week (for shame), you can see them open for LCD Soundsystem at the Wellmont Theater. It’s 35 clams and doors are at 7pm.

Beyond Avant Garde to Downright Crazy: The Showtime House

Multimedia smashed head on with design madness last night at midtown’s Showtime House at Cassa Hotel and Residences. Held in three different penthouses, this year’s house featured a set of designers unafraid to take a leap into the unknown.

Charged with designing a room inspired by a different Showtime series (Dexter, The C Word, Weeds, The Borgias, etc.), the designers could go any direction they wanted. In The Borgias Room, a sound display of haunting church bells mixed with a heartbeat to give the room ominous emotions. The small boxy white room had a video display, a neon cross, a Marcel Wanders chair that looked like it had devil horns, and a neon blue halo. David Schwarz of Hush Studios Inc. spearheaded the room.

“We packed all the themes of the show into this little room,” said Schwarz. “Stay in here for 10 minutes and then walk outside. This room is an all encompassing experience. It physically impacts you.”

It does. The body goes warm, and the eyes take a second to adjust when you leave. On another floor, the Californication bedroom from Space 4 Architecture isn’t a bedroom at all. Through a slanted black hallway lined with faux grass, you walk into a white room with raised letters splashed against a wall, a whiskey bottle on a glass table, a laptop and a small television in the corner. A mirrored floor reflected a hand-painted ceiling. The slanted room stands for the uncertainty of certain sexual encounters.

“When you go to a bar and meet someone you never knew before who you sleep with, you never know what your getting into, or in the morning, how to get out of it,” says Ulderico Micara, an architect with Space 4. “He is a sexual predator, crippled by writer’s block, and consumed by ephemeral passions. That is not a bad thing.”

The Showtime House is located at Cassa Hotel and Residences at 70 West 45th Street. It will be open to the public on Saturdays from September 11 through October 24. Tickets cost $15 each, with all proceeds benefiting the nonprofit Harlem Children’s Zone.