Like A Parking Meter: This New Coffee Shop Charges By The Hour, Not The Cup

Ever wonder what it’s like to chug a latte like it’s a frat-supplied keg of Budweiser? Now you’ll get your chance at a new coffee shop in Germany – where you’re charged by the hour, not the cup, and the brew is all-you-can-drink. At the cleverly-named Slow Time Café, an hour in the shop costs you around $6.45, and every half-hour after is $3.88 – making four hours a hefty $29.73. But, if you are someone who is extremely adept at downing three cappuccinos in under 30 minutes, the $2.59, first half-hour charge is unbeatable.

Inspired by cafes in Russia, Slow Time is stocked with books, board games, and cozy slippers – and all the clocks inside are purposely set at different times – ensuring that people get too comfortable warming their feet and playing Yahtzee to realize they just spent $150 on the experience.

Will this business model be applied to wine bars and breweries? We can only hope, folks. We can only hope.

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Coffee, Eggs, & Pie: New York Diner Dash Part One

Whether strolling through a bustling metropolis or driving along a forgotten, corn-edged byway, you can always find a diner. It’s practically our birthright as Americans. Diners are a symbol of what once was, a 99-cent slice of history frozen in time. Menus never change, staying reliably identical. The coffee is always brewing, if slightly burnt. Diners are the only establishments where harsh, overhead lighting actually makes you feel more cozy. My ideal diner sits far off some desert road, where a middle-aged woman called Dolores calls me toots and smacks her gum as she pours me a hot cuppa joe. But, seeing as I dwell on the isle of Manhattan, I’ve resolved to seek out that same lingering feeling, that same sweet and savory On the Road deliciousness in the city. My goal is to hit up as many diners as possible in an attempt to determine who has the best staples of diner cuisine: coffee, eggs, and pie.

And what better day to start off my search than Sunday – a full and hearty meal to help rid me of last night’s hangover and deliver me into a food coma, just in time for my midday nap. The first stop on my diner dash was Coffee Shop. I was immediately drawn to the East Village fixture (14th street and Ave A – not the more famous Union Square joint of the same name) because of its classic exterior and Lynchian vibe – the perfect mix between The Double R Diner and Winkie’s.

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What I Ate: Omelette Brunch Special. For just $11.25, I chowed down on coffee, freshly squeezed orange juice, and an omelette accompanied by home fries and toast.

Coffee. Damn fine cup of coffee. Not too strong, not too weak, blended perfectly for both breakfast and dessert.

Eggs. An enormous Garden Omelette stuffed with fresh veggies and cooked with just enough love to offer the fluffy richness I was looking for. The potatoes were hearty and seasoned without all the grease you usually find pooling on the side of your plate.

Pie. The first few bites of my Cherry Pie threw me into a sugary bliss, but I quickly realized that someone without my enormous sweet tooth would have been sent into a diabetic coma. The crust was buttery and flakey, but the filling tasted a little too artificial for my liking. However, I still licked my plate clean.

Overall, Coffee Shop was a delight. On the Dale Cooper scale, it gets a solid 8.

Project Detox: Liquid Lunching Around Union Square

Summer is supposed to spell glory for your bathing suit—and your body—but it seems I’ve returned to the island of Manhattan after my August getaways feeling ready to prematurely dip into the knitwear I’ll be hiding in for the rest of the year. After a music festival, a (gourmet) beach wedding, and some stressful encounters with bakeries, I find that I’m now more sluggish and paunchy than refreshed and ready to take on autumn. With just a few short weekends of beachwear left, I’ve realized that my mostly healthy lunch stops aren’t as forgiving as I pretend they are and instead decided to seek out some truly healthy, detoxifying—without getting all Gwyneth Paltrow-y—lunch options. My first find: Jus outside of Coffee Shop in Union Square.

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The Spot: Jus seems healthy in the way you see models eating cake and drinking champagne backstage at a show—it’s like skinny masquerading as fun. Usually it’s a big farce, but Jus is simple enough to be gut-friendly. You pick your juice concoction from a multitude of vegetables, fruits, and roots, or go by the cheeky menu guide. There’s elixirs for Sex Power, Liver Tonics, Cleansers, and Immune Builders.

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The Benefits: Even if you add just one green juice to your diet a day, your body benefits, especially if they’re Chlorophyl-rich plants like Kale and Spinach. Chlorophyll has been intensely researched and people still don’t really understand why it’s so great for you, but it’s been used in treatments for things like periodontal disease, diabetes iron deficiencies, and ulcers. Juicing in general helps out your tired, sluggish ass by simply giving your digestive processes a rest while absorbing seriously needed vitamins and minerals. Since I am on my way to Goop-ville, it doesn’t hurt to mention that I’m not advocating a quick slim-down for your next Iron Man installment. Rather, I’m offering up an alternative lunch that is surprisingly filling, and will actually make you feel better than your usual salad.

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Stay Away From: The smoothies. Go for juice and nix all the calories and dairy that come with Jus’ rich smoothies. Save the thick stuff for dessert.

At 3PM—just two hours after I replaced lunch with a Kale, Spinach, Apple, and Celery juice (large, for just $5! best deal in town) I’m feeling more energetic than my usual 3PM slump-time, but I am also gazing longingly at the fun-sized Snickers bars on my coworker’s desk. Somehow, knowing I just filled my body with green sludge and nutritious veggies, it’s helping with my willpower.

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Nearby Venues (In case you take your detox with a side of cheeseburger) image

Amanda Lepore’s Big Top and a Diner’s Fallen Empire

Amanda Lepore’s BIG*TOP, a weekly Wednesday night party that started last night, is.. well, over the top. It is a triumph of glitz, glam and, more importantly, fun. All the usual and unusual gathered for this 3-ring purpose. We often judge these “fashion fag” events by the familiar faces, the cast of tried and true characters who have shaped this scene for decades. Their presence laid credence and their attendance was often the barometer of success. What I saw yesterday was much better. A new generation as magnificently styled, as beautiful and as relevant as days of yore has taken over. They needn’t be defined by what was, but do carry respect for those like hosts Kenny Kenny and Amanda Lepore who have, for eons, broke it out, tore it and wore it without getting worn out. Many of the legends who led the way have moved on to live on farms or become stylists to the stars or some such thing and are not seen as often at these galas. Of course many have succumbed to the pains that are inevitably the price of their past pleasures. Having attended the services of Marc Berkley earlier in the evening I was melancholy as I walked to Amanda’s soiree. A chill spring wind added to the mood. Then sparkles from a glass-enhanced sidewalk broke the spell. If I were king of the forest all sidewalks would dazzle.

I was whisked into carnival through the Bowlmor lanes entrance. Carnival is the upper floor of the University place. It used to be called Pressure and not pleasure, as it wasn’t. Carnival is wonderful. Filled with Coney-like amusements and a colorful high-tented ceiling. It was a perfect background for this fun loving crew. I chatted up door host—Josie—who was head to toe in his boyfriend’s “nude ensemble.” Normally Josie is strictly a Christian Louboutin man but the custom shoes created by his sig-nif, the Project Runway alum Wesley Nault of Feld and Nault, Josie told me how doing the door for Amanda and Kenny was “a great honor—it’s where Kenny started.” He greeted each patron with a real smile and a “thank you for coming.”

Upstairs, Kenny introduced me to new creatures of the night in all shapes and sizes. He giggled with glee as a brash youngin’ hit him up hard and cutesy for a drink ticket. The energy and love from this gathering of mixed nuts broke me from my mood. I’m glad to be friends again with Kenny. Over the years the club world we helped create and enjoyed had faded into an elusive mist. The fun, the fashion, the love couldn’t be relived it seemed. Suzanne Bartsch had tried a few times but the times were not right. Maybe too close to the crash and burn of this scene in the late nineties. She has had a ginormous success with Kenny with her Sunday nights at Greenhouse. She has kept the embers of this form of nightlife alive for years while everyplace else digressed into the model/bottle/jet-set formula.

This second weekly event, for what was sometimes called the Club Kid crowd, is better than all the other attempts at recapturing or redefining this niche of nightlife. The moniker “Club Kid” doesn’t apply any longer. It’s a dead and buried concept. I use it only to reference the time in clubs when preparing your evening’s outfit was a big part of the lifestyle. I hate to define this world in the image of the club kids. That era’s leader, Michael Alig, has been incarcerated for 13 years and, of course, was an evil mess for a few before that. This crowd knows him only from a bad movie. However, it must be noted that outside of Susanne’s monthlies back in the day at the Copacabana and other spots, or her New Years Eve soirees, it was Michael who led us down the path of spectacle. I’m glad that the good things Michael pushed have survived without a trace of the negatives that tore that house down. It’s like, out of all the fertilizer that Alig and his crew left behind so many years ago, these newbies have sprouted. They are not defined by what was. Only I am. I was awed by the return to form. I was inspired that it was devoid of the bad energy and that creativity in fashion and attitude was tempered with just enough humility and respect to renew my hope. For years I have said to those wallowing in “good old days’ banter that it could come back, that the missed spirit is still all around. I congratulate and thank Amanda, Kenny and Joey Rosa for making it so. Amanda Lepore’s big top is undeniable.

The closing of the Empire Diner, which has for decades been the gathering place of so many in the club world, leaves me hungry. Late-night avocado vinaigrettes, sweet potato fries and hot fudge sundaes have defined my waistline forever. My favorite memory was having Sunday brunch looking forward to day of sunshine and dog walking while leather queens fueled up next to me, gearing up for a day at nearby Sound Factory or Twilo. I have been told by a couple people, who are sometimes right, that the crew from Union Square’s staple Coffee Shop might take it over.

On a last note, word came to me from sources about comments made about Marc Berkley after his death by mega DJ Peter Rauhofer, who will define Santos Party House this Saturday. Over the years I have heard despicable things come from the mouth of this Grammy-award winning producer/DJ, who I respect professionally. On this occasion, when I called around to confirm what I heard, I was told “it isn’t worth my time to say anything” and that “he has beef with everybody” and that “you can’t dignify the things that come out of Peter’s mouth” and “an evil, destructive, egomaniac who has NO care for you or anything else including his fellow DJs, promoters, employees” and so on. I have lots of these. I must say that the few times I have had dealings with Peter, we had minor beef—only once—but I hear of it all the time. Marc Berkley was no angel for sure, but if the remarks attributed to him are true, Peter should try to reflect on the message he is putting out there. If he wants to be defined as an asshole there are people, like me, who will help him with this endeavor.

Industry Insiders: Peter Shapiro, Alley Cat

Peter Shapiro, the owner of Williamsburg’s music venue/bowling alley Brooklyn Bowl, has been a mainstay in the New York music scene since the mid-’90s when he purchased TriBeCa jam band headquarters Wetlands at the age of 23. Environmentally conscious and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified, Brooklyn Bowl is packed every night of the week. With Bowery Presents promoter Josh Moore and Brooklyn Bowl’s Will Griggs, Shapiro books talent from Snoop Dogg to Galactic to Neon Indian. More on upcoming events and the path to hipster and commercial success after the jump.

On upcoming events: When we first opened the club, we thought maybe we’d do three to four nights a week, total. It’s evolved into doing something every night. We’re going to have Questlove from the Roots DJ every Thursday in April. Q-tip is DJing regularly. We do an awesome karaoke party every Monday called Karaoke Killed the Cat. It’s wild. We have bowling leagues now, too. We do Fader Bowl once a month and Movie Bowl where we show films. We’re doing a big thing once a month called Local X Local. We do that to showcase local bands and food vendors. Brooklyn Bowl enables us to do things booking-wise that you can’t do at the more traditional live music venues in NYC like Irving Plaza or Bowery Ballroom. We can book live events ten nights in a row because we’ve got so many people coming in. It isn’t just the average theater.

Biggest moments at BB: Facebook and Twitter have enabled us to do some amazing last-minute shows. A day or two out of the event we can just announce it and expect a full-house. We were able to do a series of Haiti benefits, Q-Tip, Questlove, Talib Kweli… signed on the day of, basically. We did one with Robert Randolph. That was big. We did a last minute show that was two or three days notice with Citizen Cope. There’s a jam band called Moe that we did that with as well. And Galactic from New Orleans got stuck in a snow storm on Superbowl night so we were able to announce one day out that they were going to play after the Superbowl. Our marketing and promotions team, Learned Evolution, has also been instrumental in making these events happen.

On the inspiration and process: If I was going to do another venue, I wanted to create a place that was different than anything done to date. My partner, Charley Ryan was the GM at Wetlands and we worked together to find this kind of space. We looked all over Williamsburg, Manhattan, Brooklyn. When we walked into this building, it was a dump—no electricity, no plumbing. We were just like, ‘Holy shit, yes!’ You can’t really find spaces that size and in that rustic condition in the city, no matter what kind of money you have. It feels like you’re in an old industrial bar in Colorado. We were able to protect and maintain a lot of the original wood and it’s the first LEED certified bowling alley in the world. That took a lot of time and effort given that it wasn’t a new structure. It was a conversion from an old building using iron work from the 1880s. So, to get it ready to pass the LEED certification took a lot of work and resources.

On being 23 and owning Wetlands: I’d been a film student at Northwestern University. I was really into film and music and through a weird series of events, ended up going on the road with the Grateful Dead. Then, I went back to New York and heard that the owner of Wetlands was looking to pass the club on the someone who would continue the mission. I still to this day don’t know what I was thinking. I had no experience; didn’t have the resources; didn’t have the money. I just sort of raised my hand. I went to see him and said, “This is a really great place, I’d like to help,” He let me pay him on a note and the value of the club was reduced because the lease was short term, and people had a sense in TriBeCa that you weren’t going to be renewing a long term lease. There are no more clubs there or bars because all those buildings — old commercial manufacture buildings — are condos. So, I owned a club from ‘96 on through when it closed around 9/11.

On the similarities between his projects: An old Wetlands regular came in and said, “It’s Wetlands 8.0.” There’s the whole integration of technology. It is so different, yet there’s a touch of Wetlands there. I made a concerted effort in the first six months of opening to bring in a lot of the bands that were regulars at Wetlands. I’m proud that we’ve been able to have Bob Weir, Warren Haynes, Galactic, Moe, Karl Denson, and Soul Live, and just go down the list of the regulars. So many bands came back. We’ve also been able to add so many bands that weren’t part of the Wetlands stuff. Especially a lot of indie Brooklyn bands.

On what makes a good music venue: Good sight line, good sound, good staff, good entry, accessible and good priced drinks, a venues that fosters interaction rather than just people coming in having a beer and watching a show. When I’m in the room I just know whether it’s a good place. A good promoter has a sixth sense. There are just certain things you feel and know from experience. If the band wants an encore, but crowd isn’t clapping enough. You can be in the crowd clapping loud and you would be surprised how one person clapping loud at the right time can encourage the rest of the crowd to start clapping. I’ve used that a couple times and it works.

Go-to spots: Coffee Shop. There’s nowhere better for breakfast. There’s nowhere better for a casual dinner than Noho Star. I love Subway Inn. Another classic for weekend brunch is City Bakery. I lean towards classic institutions more than trendy places.

Photo: Peter Shapiro with pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph by Dino Perrucci.

NYC: All the Week’s Parties

With Spring comes a veritable shift in nightlife. Not only are rooftops reopening and patios getting their shine on, but people start feeling inspired to jumpstart their social life and there are plenty of new offerings vying to be the jumper cables. Simonez makes a jump to Pravda on Wednesday nights (an attendees sardonic review: “Like the Vanity Fair Oscar party combined with being backstage at Woodstock”), and Mike has started using his Apartment to shoot rap videos. Meanwhile, all wait with baited breath to see what will become of the old Nells/new Scott and Richie spot, which is set to open next month.

THURSDAY

Lowdown: This is Manhattanites’ Friday night. Whipped has moved to Baddies, the hipster alcoholics moving closer to their hipster roots. Hot Now:CV (Lower East Side) – Something has finally been done with the over-saturated spot formerly known as 105 Rivington. Let’s see how long this minor revamp will last. ● BEast(Chinatown) – Main Man, Ryan McGinley’s night of debauchery, is still in swing. Expect a Misshape or two, Sophia Lamar, and a band of insiders. ● Coffee Shop (Union Square) – One of the true day clubs, chocked full of promoters networking via text message; the basement named USL will be making random appearances throughout the week. Avenue, Boom Boom Room and 1Oak are still a great standby for good times, while the down belows like Macao’s basement opium den, is also great. imageBaddies (West Village) – The former Butter party was moved around until it finally flew to coop to the basement bar of Kingswood. Resident hipster DJs Matt & Maia draw out big name fashion folks like Alexander Wang and the Ronsons. Other Things to Try:New Party: The guys from Stereo of party days past have a newbie night at the Penthouse @ Hotel on Rivington named “A Family Affair.” Could use a better name. ● About Town: Fashion folks, take a break from your vodka/cigarette diet and check out ‘Wichcrafts cozy sandwich/fire pit thingy. “Bryant Park’s Southwest Porch provides free appetizers and drinks courtesy of ‘wichcraft, with heat lamps and a fire pit to stay warm.” Yeah, no hooch but it’s free food and a toasty atmosphere. If you’re a Bushwickian, head to Don Pedro’s from 9-10PM (the working man’s Happy Hour) for some free Colt 45 and some metal music at the Impose’s Test Patterns party for a mere $5 cover. If you’re one to mourn the loss of the Annex, then help the Tiswas Weekly party, now at Beauty Bar (on the island). Showboating with vodka from 10:30PM- 11:30PM.

FRIDAY

Lowdown: Doesn’t much feel like Friday if you had the luxury of sitting around your apartment in your underwear, celebrating President’s Day. But it’s already here! Hot Now:Boom Boom Room (Meatpacking District) – You probably won’t make it in like the rest of the plebeians (us included), but if you could, this would be the night to go. ● Home Sweet Home (Lower East Side) – Jonathan Toubin brings the fairly popular New York Night Train to this little living room on Friday nights. ● Santos’ Party House (Chinatown) – A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip. Upstairs. Funk. Other Things to Try:

SATURDAY

Lowdown: Saturday: a day of rest, a night of partying. Hot Now:Boom Boom Room (Meatpacking District) – Again, try your luck. ● Lit Lounge (East Village) – Saturday night is grimy and fun! ● Bowery Hotel (East Village) – Simonez throws ragers here, spanning Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. Other Things to Try:

SUNDAY

Lowdown: Sundays have been a solid party night, even through the bluster of the winter season. Hot Now:GoldBar (Nolita) – Frequented by the Ronson clan and celebfolk who go unrecognized by a collection of spendy bankers. A favorite amongst models, Danny Masterson, and DJ Jesse Marco. ● Sway (Sway) – Moroccan themed bar has become the Pants on the Ground song. Sort of creepy, but a guilty pleasure and viral. ● Greenhouse (Soho) – The Van Dam party begs the question: Where is Jean Claude Van Dam? ● White Slab Palace (Lower East Side) – Another odd place to stumble into late night. Hit or miss and always a “Where did all of these people come from?” moment. Other Things To Try:Free Booze: Home Sweet Home tries to offer an alterna-Sway with their new Sunday party, N.W.N.S (No Way No Sway). Enjoy an open vodka bar from 10:30pm-11pm with no cover. ● Arlo and Esme has something called Buns and Puns, free Jell-O shots starting at 7:30PM.

MONDAY

Lowdown: Monday night is for getting rid of your Sunday hangover. Hot Now:Stanton Social (Lower East Side) – Yes, still a great place to have a fun bite/Monday night drinks. ● Butter (Noho) – Not only is this a truly great place to get sloshed on Mondays, I am now excited to admit it. There’s a cool, younger crowd that’s mixing in on Mondays and adding a bit of an edge to the festivities. ● Black & White (Greenwich Village) – Restaurant becomes cramped, sexy, and very cozy after ten. ● Johnny Utah’s (Midtown West) Football season is over, but it’s still industry night here. Other Things to Try:

TUESDAY

Rose Bar (Gramercy) – This really has a lot to do with Nur Khan, who is pairing up with Paul Sevigny on the next New York hot spot, Kenmare. ● Avenue (Chelsea) – People were astounded to find this place under our Tuesday heading: “Duh, the hot nights are Monday and Wednesday, obvi.” Those people are right, but those people have never known the true Bea. And really, Avenue is good every night — right? ● 1Oak (Chelsea) – Right around the corner, the one-of-a-kind kids get the spillage of displaced hipster kids, who can’t decide between one gilded lounge or the other. Again, people agreed to disagree — and with a name like “Tight Jean Tuesday,” we know Jay-Z’s knots don’t fit. ● SL (Meatpacking District) – Might be able to add another notch on its belt; Tuesdays are hot at SL. ● Greenhouse (Soho) – Green followers love Tuesdays too. Other Things to Try:

Free Booze: It’s Trainwreck Tuesday at Angels & Kings. This means two open vodka bars with no cover. The first freebie power half-hour: 10pm-10:30pm, the second from 1-1:30am. Happy Ending has free vodka from 11-12am at their weekly Disco Down party with 66Sick, and Brooklyn’s Glasslands Gallery for Todd & Harrison’s Tuesday Night Disco. This means free absinthe and live music with a $7 cover.

WEDNESDAY

Hot Now:Le Cubain (Lower East Side) – Great spot for pre-drinks and cheap eat with babes with bangs in boots and vintage fur coats. Maybe even make it downstairs for a Chloe revival — bottle models pack it in pre-1Oak and Boom Boom Room. ● 1Oak (Chelsea) – This is still 1Oak’s undisputed hot night. ● Greenhouse (Soho) – BlackFun (indieelectropopbangers) take over the party along with banter & booze from Marc Alan + Kieren+ Mike de Guzman+Joey Nova+ Valerie Termini+Anna Maltezos & Friends. (hint: these are names to drop @ the door kiddies.) ● Avenue (Chelsea) – Another good night for the kids on the Ave. ● subMercer(Soho) – The FAM (Friends and Music) party, featuring Gabby, Richard and Tariq has been going strong for the past few months. ● Su Casa (Greenwich Village)- The kids from Upstairs (remember Upstairs? Leo Di doesn’t either) are putting together this new party. Heavy on the gays and the girls, produced by Michael Cohen, Cameron Moir and Mark Holcomb. imageSouthside (Nolita) – Tutti, Franco, and Brion run the DJ booth at their TGIWednesday party. Von (Noho) – Party in the basement is “pretty packed and a lot of fun” for the Noho set after 10pm. image

BlackBook’s Work Week Lunch: Union Square & Flatiron

Every day without fail Senior Editor Nick Haramis comes over to Assistant Editor Ben Barna’s desk and debates lunch. They aren’t necessarily arguing about where to go, they’re arguing about logistics, how quickly they want to eat, type of food and, most importantly, the length of walk, since the selection of good eating around Union Square is sprinkled throughout the Flatiron, Gramercy and even Greenwich Village. Here, a list of what is getting Seamless Webbed, called in and brought back to the BlackBook offices during the workday lunch.

Office image BlackBook Media 29 East 19th Street, 4th Floor (Park Ave. & Broadway) Eating Hood: Union Square, Flatiron, Nearby: ABC Carpet, Pipa, Starbucks on the corner.

Union SquareDogmatic– Saucy gourmet dogs in toasty baguette jackets about which our Vice President of Content Chris Mohney says simply “luv.” Sunde Johnson, our Quality Assurance Engineer, usually gets one beef and one asparagus dog since “one will not fill you up.” Get your sausages in beef, chicken, pork, turkey, lamb or asparagus form. Smother it in cheddar jalapeno sauce, horseradish mustard, truffle gryere, chimichurri, sun dried tomoto feta or mint yogurt. Handmade sodas in summer are quite nice as well. Tip: Johnson has an aversion to bringing messy food to her desk. “I get jalapeno cheese sauce on the side, a lot of people get the sauce in the actual bun, but it can get really messy.” ●Republic– Minimalist fave of Partnerships and Promotions dude Andrew Berman and myself. Only vaguely communist, which is more fun than the full-bore thing. Andrew is a fan of #15- the Vietnamese Vegetable Noodles (cold rice vermicelli, mint, broccoli, celery, carrots, tofu egg, shallots, bean sprouts, peanuts) while I’m a Glass Noodles person myself (#33 sauteed chicken, green & red bean noodles, carrots, celery, bean sprouts, onions, sesame seeds, ginger dipping sauce). Tip: If you are ordering with some picky eaters from your office, remind them of the sandwich shop in the front which takes advantage of the Baogette and Vietnamese sandwich trend. ●Coffee Shop– Wanna-models, PR flacks, and the occasional leather ‘n’ jean diehard pack this vast diner space, and during the daylight hours we like to take out to take a gander at all of the hungover club people. Our high-ups visit it for other reasons of course, to talk business on lunch breaks. Mohney makes his pilgrimage “never for coffee,” but confirms its “still decent for small power lunch.” If I’ve been surviving on Lean Cuisines all week I’ll begin to crave the Sesame Chicken & Bok Choy Salad with shredded crisp tortilla. Tip: Spring time wait for tables on the patio are horrendous. Send your intern to camp out if you’ve gotta impress a client. ●Chop’t– The lines are as long as Disney Land’s, but nothing beats having your salad chopped within an inch of becoming soup. You might feel like you’re an old Italian woman ordering Pancetta (I said finely sliced not beer coasters buddy!) but nothing feels as good as not being able to taste your bean sprouts, but knowing they’re there. Barna usually “makes it as cheap as possible” and orders a standard DIY salad with four toppings, and I echo this sentiment. Other lovers: Haramis (after months of convincing him that the worms they found in the salad were at Tossed, not Chop’t) and Berman who goes Greek from time to time. Tip: They have cans of Fresca, which is a highly sought after commodity in this office. ●Laut– A favorite of Features Editor Willa Paskin and Marketing Manager Julie Fabricant, who prefers the Tom Yam Gung soup, featuring lemongrass spicy broth with been sprouts, bamboo shoot, mushrooms, basil, mint and cilantro. The red and green curries, which come with a combo of duck, shrimp and beef for $14, chicken, pork and squid for $13, vegetables and tofu for $11, red snapper, salmon and scallop for $15, or soft shell crab and mixed seafood for $16. Tip: Escape from work to this cozy place if you can, it’s a nice mental retreat and still bustling enough to keep you off the Blackberry. ●Ennju– A fave of the adventurous eaters in the office, a grab-and-go for Japanese fast food. Kimchi, weird looking salads and imported candies round out the surprisingly big selection. I usually go for the spicy tuna rolls and pick at the small salad bar. Tauginas swears they have some of the best udon noodles in the area and Mohney is in it for the solid selection of quick sushi. Tip: Place slows down and gets all cafe-ish after the lunch rush.

Nearby Picks: Union Square Cafe, Blue Water Grill, Havana Central, Lillie’s, Hallal street meat on the corner of 17th and Broadway, City Bakery Soup & Sandwich

image Flatiron‘wichcraft– Not to be confused with Craft and Craftbar that also takes up residence in the area, this fast and fab ‘wich shop satisfies the inherent foodies in the office, on days we can afford to splurge. “Try the Smoked Ham breakfast sammich,” Tauginas advises, “it’s a baguette with butter, avocado and ham.” Dan Murphy orders the Gruyere Grilled Cheese and tomato soup religiously. Tip: If you want to escape for a work lunch, this sandwich shop has a hidden restaurant space where you can sit down and enjoy a ‘wich during lunch and a selection of small plates during the dinner hour. Nearby: Craftbar, EquinoxEisenberg’s– Julie Fabricant and Willa Paskin’s favorite “Jewish deli food” as described by Fabricant, who orders the corn beef and chopped liver on rye or pumpernickel. Good portions and a hefty breakfast menu. Tip: The sides are really cheap, so if you’re having one of those days where you can’t decide what you want, load up on cottage cheese, fruit salad, knish, or stuffed derma. ●Azuki Sushi– Rises above the sushi masses with an offer you can’t refuse, really, one that you can afford. The bento boxes from Azuki can be seen on any given desk throughout the week. Stupid fresh fish that stays fresh through delivery. Sushi, Teryaki or sashimi boxes fill you up and are under $10. Old Town Bar– “When beer is required” says Mohney. Chi-town-esque oasis near Union Square, proudly lubricating the locals since 1892 and the BlackBook staff since 2007. If you need a room big enough for a media company to get boozed up, the upstairs is the perfect size for the occasion. ●Shake Shack– Is it worth standing on line forty-five minutes for an undersized, over-salted burger? Yes, friends, yes. And with whisps of forty degree weather, we’re biting at the chomp for the grand Madison Square Park opening. Tip: If you have interns, barter with them to stand in line as a proxy in exchange for free shakes.

Nearby Picks: Houston’s, World’s Best Sandwich Cart (on 20th between Park and Broadway).

Photo: mightysweet.com

All the Week Parties

THURSDAY

Lowdown: This is Manhattanites’ Friday night. Whipped has moved to Baddies, the hipster alcoholics moving closer to their hipster roots. Hot Now:CV (Lower East Side) – Something has finally been done with the over-saturated spot formerly known as 105 Rivington. Let’s see how long this minor revamp will last. ● BEast(Chinatown) – Main Man, Ryan McGinley’s night of debauchery, is still in swing. Expect a Misshape or two, Sophia Lamar, and a band of insiders. ● Coffee Shop (Union Square) – One of the true day clubs, chocked full of promoters networking via text message; the basement named USL will be making random appearances throughout the week. Avenue, Boom Boom Room and 1Oak are still great standbys for good times, while the down-belows like Macao’s basement opium den, is also great. ● Baddies (West Village) – The former Butter party was screwed with until it finally flew the coop to the basement bar of Kingswood. Resident hipster DJs Matt & Maia draw out big name fashion folks like Alexander Wang and the Ronsons.

Other Things to Try:New Party: The guys from Stereo of party days past have a newbie night at the Penthouse @ Hotel on Rivington named “A Family Affair.” Could use a better name. ● About Town: Fashion folks, take a break from your vodka/cigarette diet and check out ‘Wichcrafts cozy sandwich/fire pit thingy. “Bryant Park’s Southwest Porch provides free appetizers and drinks courtesy of ‘wichcraft, with heat lamps and a fire pit to stay warm.” Yeah, no hooch but it’s free food and a toasty atmosphere. For a dose of electro-darkness, Dan Black plays Mercury Lounge with Free Blood (not to be confused with True Blood). Luckily for those who live off of open bars and luckier for those who live for fashion: StyleCaster and SmartWater “Celebrate New York Fashion Week” at Goldbar tonight from 9PM-12AM. Tom Green begins a 3 day stint at Comix while the Music Hall of Williamsburg celebrates their third annual (which is like 10 years in Brooklyn terms!) Dre Day at 10PM. If you’re a Bushwickian, head to Don Pedro’s from 9-10PM (the working man’s Happy Hour) for some free Colt 45 and some metal music at the Impose’s Test Patterns party for a mere $5 cover. If you’re one to mourn the loss of the Annex, then help the Tiswas Weekly party, now at Beauty Bar (on the island). Showboating with vodka from 10:30PM- 11:30PM.

NYC: All the Week’s Parties: Lenten Drinking Festivities

Well that was fast. Mardi Gras is fin, and most New Yorkers were too distracted or bleary-eyed from the long weekend to get truly fat on Fat Tuesday. Now Lent is here and people have rushed into giving things up and fasting and otherwise resorting to being good and decent people for the next 40 days. What does this mean for New York nightlife? Judging from the long lists of places to-go and people to-see, I’d say not much. This week we’ve got Brooklynites saying Bryant Park what? as they host a fashion week(end) of their own, while Oak takes it upon itself to get its own magazine credits by releasing another issue of their popular Oak.a.zine fashion rag. Hotel Rivington tries out a new party with the old dogs from Stereo, people flood Rose Bar to see if they can’t shmooze their way into Nur Khan‘s new Kenmare, StyleCaster hits up Goldbar and free booze tries its damnedest to revive Happy Endings.

Eclectic, Straight THURSDAY

Lowdown: This is Manhattanites’ Friday night. Whipped has moved to Baddies, the hipster alcoholics moving closer to their hipster roots. Hot Now:CV (Lower East Side) – Something has finally been done with the over-saturated spot formerly known as 105 Rivington. Let’s see how long this minor revamp will last. ● BEast(Chinatown) – Main Man, Ryan McGinley’s night of debauchery, is still in swing. Expect a Misshape or two, Sophia Lamar, and a band of insiders. ● Coffee Shop (Union Square) – One of the true day clubs, chocked full of promoters networking via text message; the basement named USL will be making random appearances throughout the week. Avenue, Boom Boom Room and 1Oak are still a great standby for good times, while the down belows like Macao’s basement opium den, is also great. imageBaddies (West Village) – The former Butter party was moved around until it finally flew to coop to the basement bar of Kingswood. Resident hipster DJs Matt & Maia draw out big name fashion folks like Alexander Wang and the Ronsons. Tonight Andy Rourke joins in the fun. Other Things to Try:New Party: The guys from Stereo of party days past have a newbie night at the Penthouse @ Hotel on Rivington named “A Family Affair.” Could use a better name. ● About Town: Fashion folks, take a break from your vodka/cigarette diet and check out ‘Wichcrafts cozy sandwich/fire pit thingy. “Bryant Park’s Southwest Porch provides free appetizers and drinks courtesy of ‘wichcraft, with heat lamps and a fire pit to stay warm.” Yeah, no hooch but it’s free food and a toasty atmosphere. For a dose of electro-darkness, Dan Black plays Mercury Lounge with Free Blood (not to be confused with True Blood). Luckily for those who live off of open bars and luckier for those who live for fashion: StyleCaster and SmartWater “Celebrate New York Fashion Week” at Goldbar tonight from 9PM-12AM. Tom Green begins a 3 day stint at Comix while the Music Hall of Williamsburg celebrates their third annual (which is like 10 years in Brooklyn terms!) Dre Day at 10PM. If you’re a Bushwickian, head to Don Pedro’s from 9-10PM (the working man’s Happy Hour) for some free Colt 45 and some metal music at the Impose’s Test Patterns party for a mere $5 cover. If you’re one to mourn the loss of the Annex, then help the Tiswas Weekly party, now at Beauty Bar (on the island). Showboating with vodka from 10:30PM- 11:30PM.

FRIDAY

Lowdown: Doesn’t much feel like Friday if you had the luxury of sitting around your apartment in your underwear, celebrating President’s Day. But it’s already here! Hot Now:Boom Boom Room (Meatpacking District) – You probably won’t make it in like the rest of the plebeians (us included), but if you could, this would be the night to go. ● Home Sweet Home (Lower East Side) – Jonathan Toubin brings the fairly popular New York Night Train to this little living room on Friday nights. ● Santos’ Party House (Chinatown) – A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip. Upstairs. Funk. Other Things to Try:About Town: Eric Clapton & Jeff Beck get all old skool/new skool at Madison Square Garden at 8PM while the Dirty Projectors play the old school Lincoln Center at 8:30PM for the American SOngbook concert series. If you have traded in your tired fashion week fixation to join the rest of humanity with a healthy Winter Olympics obsession, the Bohemian Hall & Beer Gardens in Queens is doing that whole “big-screen Olympics” trend and are showing hockey at all hours of the day. Lastly, Freshkills and the Death Set hang out/play some tunes at Lit. Hopefully not a Freudian Death/Kills slip of what’s to happen to the smoking Lit.

SATURDAY

Lowdown: Saturday: a day of rest, a night of partying. Hot Now:Boom Boom Room (Meatpacking District) – Again, try your luck. ● Lit Lounge (East Village) – Saturday night is grimy and fun! ● Bowery Hotel (East Village) – Simonez throws ragers here, spanning Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. Other Things to Try:About Town: Like you haven’t heard this one before; party at Tribeca Grand. They’re hosting an open Svedka Bar from 10- 11PM while Memory Tapes play a live set. presented by the folks at Self-Titled Magazine, GrandLife, self-titled & The Pop Manifesto. Just when you thought it was over; Williamsburg decides to host yet another fashion thingy. But Brooklynites should get behind this one. The Williamsburg Fashion Weekend at GlassLands Gallery runs Saturday and Sunday from 8pm and features 12 local designers (and some national ones as well) along with an art show and live music for just $8.

SUNDAY

Lowdown: Sundays have been a solid party night, even through the bluster of the winter season. Hot Now:GoldBar (Nolita) – Frequented by the Ronson clan and celebfolk who go unrecognized by a collection of spendy bankers. A favorite amongst models, Danny Masterson, and DJ Jesse Marco. ● Sway (Sway) – Moroccan themed bar has become the Pants on the Ground song. Sort of creepy, but a guilty pleasure and viral. ● Greenhouse (Soho) – The Van Dam party begs the question: Where is Jean Claude Van Dam? ● White Slab Palace (Lower East Side) – Another odd place to stumble into late night. Hit or miss and always a “Where did all of these people come from?” moment. Other Things To Try:Free Booze: Home Sweet Home tries to offer an alterna-Sway with their new Sunday party, N.W.N.S (No Way No Sway). Enjoy an open vodka bar from 10:30pm-11pm with no cover. If you’re looking for some Brooklyn brew, check out Savalas for “Shake Your Brass Sundays with Wolff” night. They’re hawking free Yuengling from 8-9pm. ● About Town: Passion Pit play yet another DJ set at Pianos. Apparently they really want to burn out? Mates of State bring their special brand of musical cuteness to The Bell House tonight, $16 advance tickets and $19 at the door. Too tame? Arlo and Esme has something called Buns and Puns, free Jell-O shots starting at 7:30PM.

MONDAY

Lowdown: Monday night is for getting rid of your Sunday hangover. Hot Now:Stanton Social (Lower East Side) – Yes, still a great place to have a fun bite/Monday night drinks. ● Butter (Noho) – Not only is this a truly great place to get sloshed on Mondays, I am now excited to admit it. There’s a cool, younger crowd that’s mixing in on Mondays and adding a bit of an edge to the festivities. ● Black & White (Greenwich Village) – Restaurant becomes cramped, sexy, and very cozy after ten. ● Johnny Utah’s (Midtown West) Football season is over, but it’s still industry night here. Other Things to Try:About Town: The Paris Review’s Philip Gourevitch hangs out with Mary Karr at Joe’s Pub for a public chat at 7PM. Oh I’m sorry, a conversation without booze not cool enough for you? Then go hang out with people talking about a different kind of ‘zine at the release party for Oak’s specialty rag, oak.a.zine, being held at SPiN.

TUESDAY

Lowdown: Fashion week comes to a close, so get your last drop of freebie booze and your final fix of celeb stalking. Hot Now:Rose Bar (Gramercy) – This really has a lot to do with Nur Khan, who is pairing up with Paul Sevigny on the next New York hot spot, Kenmare. ● Avenue (Chelsea) – People were astounded to find this place under our Tuesday heading: “Duh, the hot nights are Monday and Wednesday, obvi.” Those people are right, but those people have never known the true Bea. And really, Avenue is good every night — right? ● 1Oak (Chelsea) – Right around the corner, the one-of-a-kind kids get the spillage of displaced hipster kids, who can’t decide between one gilded lounge or the other. Again, people agreed to disagree — and with a name like “Tight Jean Tuesday,” we know Jay-Z’s knots don’t fit. ● SL (Meatpacking District) – Might be able to add another notch on its belt; Tuesdays are hot at SL. ● Greenhouse (Soho) – Green followers love Tuesdays too. Other Things to Try:About Town: Walter’s Fall 2010 After Party is at 9:00pm at The Eldridge. ●Free Booze: It’s Trainwreck Tuesday at Angels & Kings. This means two open vodka bars with no cover. The first freebie power half-hour: 10pm-10:30pm, the second from 1-1:30am. Happy Ending has free vodka from 11-12am at their weekly Disco Down party with 66Sick, and Brooklyn’s Glasslands Gallery for Todd & Harrison’s Tuesday Night Disco. This means free absinthe and live music with a $7 cover.

WEDNESDAY

Lowdown: Fashion week winds down with many needing to detox after the week’s festivities, but Hot Now:Le Cubain (Lower East Side) – Great spot for pre-drinks and cheap eat with babes with bangs in boots and vintage fur coats. Maybe even make it downstairs for a Chloe revival — bottle models pack it in pre-1Oak and Boom Boom Room. ● 1Oak (Chelsea) – This is still 1Oak’s undisputed hot night. Tonight it’s all about Funkmaster Flex on the decks. ● Greenhouse (Soho) – BlackFun (indieelectropopbangers) take over the party along with banter & booze from Marc Alan + Kieren+ Mike de Guzman+Joey Nova+ Valerie Termini+Anna Maltezos & Friends. (hint: these are names to drop @ the door kiddies.) ● Avenue (Chelsea) – Another good night for the kids on the Ave. ● SL (Meatpacking District) – Tonight is the night for this Aalex Julian-guarded door. ● subMercer(Soho) – The FAM (Friends and Music) party, featuring Gabby, Richard and Tariq has been going strong for the past few months. ● Su Casa (Greenwich Village)- The kids from Upstairs (remember Upstairs? Leo Di doesn’t either) are putting together this new party. Heavy on the gays and the girls, produced by Michael Cohen, Cameron Moir and Mark Holcomb. imageSouthside (Nolita) – Tutti, Franco, and Brion run the DJ booth at their TGIWednesday party. Von (Noho) – Party in the basement is “pretty packed and a lot of fun” for the Noho set after 10pm. image