Getting Drunk With Santa

It’s that time of year again—no, not Christmas, but Santacon. This is when hundreds upon hundreds of people dressed like elves, Mrs. Claus, reindeer, and the big man himself take over Manhattan in a drunken display of holiday cheer.

Care to join in the mayhem? Well, grab a red hat, stripy socks, and a hip flask, and pick up some canned food to donate, then head to Pier 84 at 10am on Saturday. From there, you go to zone one, aka Santa’s Clubland, which includes Pacha, Stage 48, Hudson Terrace, and Southern Hospitality, among others (for a complete map go here).

Zone two, also dubbed “Santa Delights Tourists in Midtown,” where, aside from frolicking in Grand Central Station, you can take advantage of Santacon specials at Rattle n Hum, Brother Jimmy’s, Rick’s Cabaret, and more. Zone three takes you downtown to drink around Union Square, Tompkins Square Park, and St. Marks Church. If your flask runs dry, hit up Double Down Saloon, Doc Holiday’s, and Village Pourhouse, all which serve as canned food drop locations as well.

By 7pm, only the strongest will survive, and that means Santas across the city start heading to Brooklyn. There, merriment continues at Spike Hill, Radegast Hall & Biergarten, and at The Warsaw, where the after party continues until at least 1am. Finally, for you Scrooges out there that want to celebrate without a bevy of red suited frat boys, 508 Gastrobrewery is serving up a special Humbug Nog, a cocktail made with eggnog, vodka, Bailey’s and the pub’s own Mint Stout.

Bring on the Meat: New Places to Pig Out

In the last month, it’s been a sausage fest in New York, and the latest joint to make the scene is San Francisco transplant Rosamunde in Williamsburg. This rustic shop just opened a week ago on the bustling Bedford Avenue, and already it’s become a hot spot. Maybe this is due to Rosamunde’s laidback staff and lack of hipster bartenders. Maybe they are stoned (they’re from California!). Or maybe the meat is so good that everyone is just high off of sausage. I like this option the best, but if you want to check it out for yourself, go to their official opening party on Saturday from 6 to 9 PM. There you can get sausages like the spicy pork Italian, wild boar with apple, or chicken habanero, which is smoked with tequila.

You can also fill up on sausage at the newly opened Die Koelner Bierhalle in Park Slope. This biergarten serves up some mean German fare, including a traditional bratwurst with sauerkraut, bauenwurst, currywurst, kielbasa, and the wurst of them all, wiesswurst, which comes pressed into a soft pretzel with sweet mustard. Also in the German sausage category, Radegast Hall & Biergarten has a whole griddle full of meat links, and, if you don’t know what they are, just point to what looks good. For a more high-class sausage, Daniel Boulud’s DBGB in the East Village offers excellent homemade ones.  Is there a missing link? Feel free to chime in on more great sausage spots?

Street Beautes: How NYC Keeps Cool in the Heat Wave

Being the kind of writer who does most of her work from the confines of an artificially cooled office, the idea that there are street-style paparazzi clicking along cobble stone streets in 103 degree heat strikes me as a novel, if slightly hazardous, concept. So novel, in fact, I decided to leave the comfort of my 70-degree office yesterday to do some face hunting myself. But as I sweatily tramped around the island of Manhattan, I wasn’t searching for the jazziest outfit, the stealthiest stomp, or the new ‘it’ lipstick shade: I was curious to find out just how girls on the go were keeping their makeup from running down their faces. Not surprisingly, at peak heat yesterday afternoon, there weren’t a large number of girls trotting around Nolita. In fact, many of the girls who were taking a stroll were so concerned with the state of their frizzing hair or sweat-stained T, they refused to have their photos snapped. The gals who were doing it right (somehow managing to keep a cool brow while I sneaked into coffee shops for napkins and brief moments of AC reprieve) were happy to share their big secret: keep it simple, take the subway, and have a cocktail.

image Megan Ross, Prospect Heights “I’m about to try to grill at my friend’s apartment, but it seem like a better plan to stay inside, directly in front of an air conditioner.” Spotted: Waiting for her friend on a bench on Mott near Spring Street. How She’s Keeping Her Cool: I’m wearing really loose clothing. Besides that, just drinking a ton of water and taking the subway—the subway was actually heaven compared to walking around on the streets today. Melt-Proof Beauty Tricks: I’m not wearing any makeup, just sunscreen—LaRoche-Posey Anthelios 60 Melt-In Sunscreen—and very large sunglasses.

image Laurel Lang, Williamsburg “I don’t have air conditioning, but I’ve been doing my best to find reasons to be in places that do.” Spotted: On her way to work at Public, on Elizabeth between Prince and Spring Streets. How She’s Keeping Her Cool: I’ve just discovered the most amazing iced lollies from this place next to Saltie in Williamsburg. I found them as I was wandering into places that had AC. I also spent the day at the beer garden Radegast Hall to watch the soccer match. Basically, I just stay out of my place as much as possible. Melt-Proof Beauty Tricks: I can’t say enough about waterproof. Waterproof liner and mascara is all I’m wearing right now.

image Moa and Saga, Sweden “We had to put a lot of thought into what to wear today because we didn’t want to carry a lot of stuff, and we packed nothing for this kind of weather.” Spotted: On the way to get frozen margaritas to go, on the corner of Stanton and Chrystie. How They’re Keeping Their Cool: We’re staying in a hostel that has air conditioning, but unfortunately they are having some problems with the electricity because it it so terribly hot. So now we are going around, looking for ways to keep cool. We heard about this margarita stand that has frozen drinks to go, so we’ll try that. We also have to be creative with what we are wearing—I’m (Saga) tying up this dress to make it shorter. Melt-Proof Beauty Tricks: Go natural—no makeup is the best thing to do to keep your face from feeling like it’s melting off.

Elsewhere in the City

Alma Jodorowsky, Paris Spotted: Strolling the High Line image

Marina Tregubova, New York City Spotted: The “L” Train image

(Photo Via)

New York: Top 10 Places to Celebrate Oktoberfest

Zum Schneider (East Village) – New-school Teutonic brings Oktoberfest in July. And also October! Live oompah and DJ four nights a week, with Mösl Franzi and the Ja Ja Jas. Oktoberfest specials to wet your whistle. ● Loreley (Lower East Side) – Industrial entrance on Rivington backwater leads to rollicking little biergarten. Pours ‘em like they do in Cologne, knock back a few Gaffel Kölsch or Reissdorf Kölsch and you’ll be wondering where you left your backpack with the hostel address in it. Seasonal brews and food specials mark the Oktoberfest season. ● Blaue Gans (Tribeca) – The Gutenbrunner Austrian Empire creeps further downtown via charming “Blue Goose.” Celebrate the season with heavy-duty special brews from Munich, plus sauerbraten, sausages, and ginormous pretzels.

The Standard Beer Garden (Meatpacking District) – White plastic furniture keeps pretense in check, as does menu’s focus on draughts and sausages. Serving wenches dressed in the dirndl equivalent of a tuxedo t-shirt. ● Radegast Hall & Biergarten (Williamsburg) – Sit at a picnic table with some well-scrubbed hops hounds, knocking back liters of the German, Czech, and Austrian good stuff. Full menu includes Murray’s cheese and charcuterie, but bratwurst is pretty hard to resist. Go plan your next putsch. ● Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden (Astoria) – Czech your liver at best beer garden in the US of A. Not quite Bavaria, but close enough. Sprawling throwback to a forgotten era makes for an awesome afternoon, sippin’ Spaten under the branches. ● Studio Square (Astoria) – Modernist deconstruction of Bohemian Hall. The biggest in the city, with monster cobblestone patio softened by birch trees and vines. Queens: it’s all about the biergartens. ● Heidelberg (Upper East Side) – Yorkville-circa-1936 holdover with schnitzel, potato pancakes, lederhosen, wood paneling, and enough hefeweizen to make you smell like the inside of a stein for days. ● Der Schwarze Kölner (Fort Greene) – Friendly new biergarten will have you calling the neighborhood Fort Grün. German-only tap and bottle list, plus kraut bites like brats and brezels. Checkerboard black and white floors, communal tables for cool-weather coziness. ● Bia Garden (Lower East Side) – Celebrating Oktoberfest in a Vietnamese beer garden? Why the hell not, it’s New York City! And when your holiday is about drinking beer to excess, does it really matter so much if the suds come from Laos and not Munich?

Gramercy Park Hotel: Most Overpriced Drink in New York?

As someone with a roommate who tends bar at Dutch Kills, and another who works door at its West Village cousin Little Branch, I’ve been privileged to sample a lot of carefully concocted cocktails lately, filled with as much blood and sweat as they are with gin and orange bitters. These are precise, creative libations worth every penny of the $12 ($9 at Dutch Kills people!) you dole out. That’s why, when a bartender at the Roof Club of the Gramercy Park Hotel charged me $20 for a vodka soda , I wanted to spit up the beverage all over my nice clean boat shoes.

It was the other night, at Nick Cohen’s promotional thingamajig for his Upper Echelon Shoes collection — and it wasn’t $20, it was actually $19, but it stung like hell (especially because I ordered thinking the bar was open). My girlfriend ordered one too, bringing our total to $38. With our own eyes, we watched the bartender toss in some ice, pour an ounce or two of Grey Goose, and finish it off with a splash of soda and a wedge of lemon. When we found out the price, my girlfriend sheepishly asked if we could return them. We couldn’t. I understand it is my privilege to be amongst the beautiful set at the admittedly magical salon-like terrace, but dropping a twenty on a yawn of a cocktail is nothing but buzz murder. Rose Bar creative director Nur Khan was nearby when it went down, and I know he’s not (fully) responsible for this blasphemy, but I felt like going up to him, collapsing into his arms, and sobbing like a lost toddler at the mall. I ask of you, is this the most overpriced drink in the city? Here are some New York treats that are cheaper than the vodka soda at the Roof Club, and way more worth it.

The Queens Park Swizzle, Dutch Kills ($9). ● Cheeseburger, at The Spotted Pig ($17). ● Ramen, Momofuku Noodle Bar ($16). ● The Woody Allen sandwich, Carnegie Deli ($17.95). ● A pitcher of Blanche de Bruxelles Witbier, Radegast Hall & Biergarten ($18). ● Oaxaca Old-Fashioned, Death & Co ($13). ● Porchetta sandwich, Porchetta ($9). ● Kobe Beef Sashimi, Scarpetta ($16).