So Your Flight Got Canceled? Make It a Staycation

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If the thought of spending the weekend with your family was stressful anyway then maybe it’s for the best. We’ve got the best city in the world to hang out with anyway.

Favorite Indulgences: Wine + Pizza

Head to Corkbuzz Wine Union Square for special pairings of pizza and vino.

Friday November 28th, 6:30-8 pm

Give Thanks + Namaste

Attend a workshop at Goodyoga and make your own Mala beads while setting your intentions and reflecting on your hopes for the holiday season.

Sunday November 30th, 1:45-3:45 pm

Sip Perfectly Brewed Matcha + DIY @ Home Too

Check out “The Basics,” at Williamsburg’s Matchabar where you’ll learn to brew this super-healthy ancient elixir, and take some home for yourself too.

Take In Some Cinema + Hardcore Recline

The AMC at 84th street is a great place to take in a movie, or just to relax. It’s an ideal location for a date-date or a solo-date. Go ahead, spring for the popcorn and try to pay attention to the movie while also adjusting your seat to perfection. Mockingjay Part I is out now and whatever you think of franchises, Jennifer Lawrence gives a pretty good performance.

Find Great Deals + Get New Clothes

Pick any neighborhood and take advantage of the once-a-year Black Friday deals. Or just sit at home, and alternate between Netflix and adding-to-cart. Cyber Monday starts earlier every year.

Another option, read a good book and treat yourself with a new sweater when you finish. This, this, and this are guaranteed selections.

A Holiday Manicure That Won’t Chip off in the Turkey

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It’s happened to all of us. No matter how pristine your manicure before you head home for the holidays, it’s as if you never even tried as soon as someone asks for your help in the kitchen. Gone is the shiny top coat, and then it’s only a matter of time before your mother points out the chipping. So what’s a helpful gal to do this time of year?

We know that sometimes the only times in your schedule to get a manicure are the off hours the salons aren’t open, so to replicate the strength and long-lasting effects of a gel mani at home, we’re reaching for Deborah Lippmann’s Gel Lab, a base and top coat that seals in shine and gives you the strength and durability your hardworking hands need.

No UV light needed, no weird remover required. And it works with whatever color you want.

Just one more thing to be thankful for.

Get Deborah Lippmann’s Gel Lab here.

Photographer: Justin Bridges
Makeup Artist/Hair Stylist/Manicurist: Ashley Rebecca
Model: Ella Petrushko (Marilyn)
Fashion/Beauty Editor: Alyssa Shapiro
Location: Ammon Carver Studio

Lipstick Pairings to Get You through Several Glasses of Wine at Thanksgiving

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Ella (Marilyn) in Eddie Borgo Gemstone Pyramid Drop earrings and For Love & Lemons sweater

It’s an interesting conundrum; the more wine you drink, the less you tend to care what your makeup looks like. But sober you would tell a different story, so why not start the night off on the right foot? Our advice: begin the evening with a wine-colored lip before you move on to drinking the stuff. Accidental purple-mouthed embarrassment avoided; purposeful, holiday-appropriate sultriness achieved.

Some of our favorite pairings:

For the cabernet sauvingnon sipper: Tom Ford lip color matte in Black Dahlia

For the fan of a petite sirah: Nars Audacious lipstick in Ingrid

For the pour of pinot noir: MAKE matte lipstick in Jakarta

For the barolo afficianado: MAKE silk satin lipstick in Beetroot

Photographer: Justin Bridges
Makeup Artist/Hair Stylist: Ashley Rebecca
Model: Ella Petrushko (Marilyn)
Fashion/Beauty Editor: Alyssa Shapiro
Fashion Assistant: Emily Ovaert
Location: Ammon Carver Studio

Happy Thanksgiving: All That I Am Thankful For

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Today there isn’t much to say. Be careful out there. Some people go overboard during this season and there are too many people who drink and drive. Take the keys away from tipsy friends and do what you can to alert others to the dark clouds lurking amid all our silver linings. Be thankful for what you have and be aware of those around you who may need a boost. Sometimes a phone call can make a big difference. Be aware of those around you who are far away from home or are alone for other reasons. This time of year can be the loneliest for many. Be a good neighbor, a good friend, a good mate. Watch what you eat, and I’m not saying look at your food as you gorge yourself. Stay healthy. 

I have many problems, but these are far outweighed by the things I have to be thankful for.

I thank you for reading me.

I thank my editors who do their best to make me sound coherent, and temper me when my temper gets in the way of my higher brain functions.

I thank the tone-deaf operators who let me DJ at their joints.

I thank the operators who entrust me to build them their better mousetraps.

I thank Amanda for her…understanding.

I thank the Lord for the gift of family.

Tomorrow I will dine with my 90-year-old father and my 83-year-old mom. They have been together for 63 years and are a joy to behold. Dinner will be a blast. My brother and his wife will be there with Amanda and I, and we will bring a perfect stranger: Jillian Lee. She is an aerialist at Toy, a contortionist and dancer, and does hosting and other jobs at Hotel Chantelle. She is a Florida gal chasing her dreams in the city that still goes to bed real late. These days, NY definitely sleeps and it occasionally takes naps. 

I am thankful for all the talented people who gather in this city of ours and push to the edge. Clubs are still my choice of entertainment. Every so often I find myself in the very right room at the very right time. I love the music, the designs, and the people who are prancing around at 3am. I love the sexuality, the mysteries, the adventures of the night. I came into the world at 5am nearly six decades ago and I hope I go out at a similar time whenever my time comes.

I’m thankful for my experience in nightlife. I have rarely been bored. Even when I find myself in a place that is obviously not happening, the analysis of why it is not happening interests me to no end.

Thanks for listening to my rants today.

Thanks for being here for me.

BlackBook Party Tonight, One Of NYC’s Biggest Party Nights Tomorrow

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‘Tis the season to be confused as too many events attempt to wash away the memory of the storm that nearly washed us all away and continues to define the lives of so many. The Sandy events will culminate in that Paul McCartney, Bruce, Bon Jovi, Who, Roger Waters, Kanye, Alicia Keys, etc., etc., etc. thingy at the Garden on December 12. I wonder if Kanye will complain about Paul McCartney’s billing or something like that. Kanye is doing three shows at Revel in AC for New Year’s weekend for those who do that.

A couple years ago, New Year’s Eve nights were defined by how long the open bars were and what kind of music was played. DJs are still the stars, but it’s great to see mega, super-duper, uber acts raising the good time bar. I can’t believe its Thanksgiving already. The storm seemed to wipe away the calm before the holiday storm. Up is down and down is up and gee, I have to pay rent already? Uptown comedy club Stand Up NY is taking its show on the road tonight with a one-off (which I’m guessing will eventually turn into a two-off or more) at Hair of the Dog, 168 Orchard St. at Stanton. A whole lot of great comics will bring cheer to your holiday starting at 6pm. You can get tickets here.

My Thursday rock and roll DJ gig at Hotel Chantelle with Sam Valentine is canceled due to turkey festivities, but it’s being pushed forward to Wednesday, tomorrow night. Hope those rockers get the message. 

Tonight, BlackBook has teamed up with Stoli for a Mixers and Shakers event at the Thompson LES on Allen Street. I hear the new hotel they are doing by City Hall is wonderful. I never get invited to these BlackBook things and I’m getting paranoid about it. I’m gonna crash it. Flash my column or something to the intern at the door. 

The confusing-on-purpose Murray Hill and his cohort Linda Simpson will make their Monday night BINGO extravaganza extra-extraordinary this coming Monday again at Hotel Chantelle with a joint birthday celebration. I, of course, never miss a BINGO and I am considering turning pro. I even had BINGO tattooed on my shoulder a couple months ago. I roll like that. 

Tomorrow night, the night before Thanksgiving, is traditionally one of the biggest nights of the year. Many have four or more days off work looming, and many are traveling in to dine with friends and relatives. Many places let college kids take over as they are flush with holiday loot. Others know their patrons will be absent for a moment or more as the snowbirds flock south to mark the Miami season and try to grab all the gusto and cash from them before they leave. Big DJs and quality entertainment abound, but call to see if the joints you usually like haven’t sold out to the frat-boy set. 

So if this is Thanksgiving, then December must be near and I am in no way ready for December. I must remind you as you feast and celebrate that many of our neighbors are still climbing out of the mud. Find time to help, donate, and contribute.

Happy National Day Of Fasting!

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It’s the third Wednesday of November, and you know what that means: no food today! You will need every cubic inch of intestine space for the food you shovel down your gullet tomorrow afternoon at Thanksgiving dinner. For right now, just try to think about something—anything—besides the mile-high sandwich you’d like to make and messily consume.

You can do it! Only, like … 28 more hours of not eating. Then mom will put the hors d’oeuvres out, yes indeed. May I suggest other indulgences in the meantime? This would be a great time to pop some Adderall and forget your appetite completely. Or perhaps you can drink yourself unconscious and sleep until the smell of simmering gravy and steaming stuffing and glazed-to-hell-and-back turkey wakes you.

It’s an uphill battle, but the result is well worth it. You’ll sit down at the dining room table confident in your ability to dominate the proceedings, fetching seconds and thirds, finishing what remains on your little sister’s plate, taking down half a pie. The only catch I can foresee is your stomach contracting from today’s fast, such that you can’t fit much mashed potato in there after all. Oh well: there’s always next year.

Follow Miles Klee on Twitter.

Black Friday Gets Closer And Closer As Stores Greet Mobs On Thursday Night

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They’ve taken over the local department store by spreading their seeds like a virulent strain of kudzu. They innocuously tempt from the television, promising great deals on life-altering items like a 96-inch flat screen television, a guitar-playing Tickle Me Elmo and a gold-plated chain bracelet that comes with a variety of gaudy, ridiculously annoying charms. They’ve even made themselves comfortable in the form of asinine ads in your inbox: “Black Friday starts on Thanksgiving!” “Don’t be left out in the cold, get your gold!” and “Get an early start with these spectacular deals!”           

And those, I am saddened to say, are the relatively tame ones.

But there’s something different about the day I like to call “brain fry-away day” this year which really has me questioning the limits of humanity: that stores will open at 8 PM on Thanksgiving Day.

Picture this: a wholesome-looking, J. Crew-outfitted middle-class family bonds all Thanksgiving Day over the creation of some GMO-laden, factory-farmed Butterball turkey and quasi-barbarically stuffing the carcass with twice-steamed rice. They then consume the damned thing amidst prayers of thanks and “mmms” and “ahhs” and exhortations about how delicious the spread was. Then they go watch The Nutcracker together, all Father Knows Best-like.

That’s the way it’s supposed to be, right?

This year, instead, die-hard shoppers will probably pile into the family station wagon, a turkey leg in hand (or in a Ziploc in case they get peckish later) and a soda in the other, a fully charged iPhone with all their digital coupons pre-loaded and ready to go, and gang way to the nearest Wal-Mart in the vicinity, because they simply need to have a PS3 for $150, like their livelihood depends on it.

Considering the earlier and earlier pattern of store openings on Black Friday in recent years, it’s not totally unexpected. Last year, stores started opening at 10 PM on Thanksgiving (which isn’t even Friday anymore), while the years before that, they typically opened at 5 AM on Friday, which was bad enough.

"The name of the game this holiday season is who can do it best," National Retail Federation spokeswoman Kathy Grannis told the Chicago Tribune in a recent interview. "When (early openings) started in 2009, things were a little bit worse off in terms of consumer confidence. At that point it was very necessary for retailers to get out there before anybody else, and that literally meant before midnight."

Nevermind that people have actually died because of rabid, zombie-like, discount-hungry Neanderthals. In 2008, a 34-year-old Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death by a 2,000-man horde of Black Friday shoppers, who didn’t even wait for the store to open—they pushed against the locked polycarbonate sliding doors so hard, it finally gave way, snapping at the hinges. And they started “shopping.”

What kind of world do we live in that would allow and encourage this kind of behavior? Even if you play devil’s advocate and say that it wasn’t the shopper’s fault—it was how irresistible the deals were—you’d still lose, because that just means that Black Friday would be the only day to get items at a reasonable price… so why not offer those prices on other days of the year? Wouldn’t our economy and morale be better off?           

Understandably, store associates are not happy about having to clock in at an hour that should be spent with family and friends (though in all possibility, they can quit—it’s entirely in the right of the stores to open whenever they please), not strangers ready to horde a car full of one-dollar microfiber towels.

Over two-hundred thousand signatures have already been added to a Change.org online petition created by a store associate, urging Target not to open on Thanksgiving night, a move they decided to make after learning of Wal-Mart’s 8 PM opening hour.

Here is an excerpt from the petition letter to Target’s CEO, Gregg W. Steinhafel:

“I’m not complaining about being a minimum wage worker (kudos to her for that!). … How can you expect workers to spend time with family and then stay up all night… You are most likely tucked away in bed while workers are in the stores pushing back a rabid crowd of shoppers trying to get an iPod. A 9 PM opening disgusts me and symbolizes everything that is wrong with this country. The world won’t end if people have wait 7 more hours to buy useless junk that will be outdated in a year anyway.”

Sadly, the petition will in all likelihood do abso-fricking-lutely nothing. Retailers don’t give a damn about values, common courtesy, or family time—all they care about is money. And it’s the willingness of a blind, soulless, materialistic flock of consumerist sheep that makes it all possible.           

According to a news broadcast by CNBC, ten-percent of all holiday shopping is done on Black Friday itself. That amounts to the 226 million shoppers that showed up last year—and the amount of money they will grow higher still—by 4.1%—projected for this year’s debacle.

That’s right, the real culprit is not Wal-Mart, Target, Toys“R”Us or Best Buy—it’s US (double entendre 100% deliberate). We make the madness happen. We are the ones flooding the stores, wreaking both havoc and economic growth upon the nation. We are the ones who will make a mad dash to buy a Wii U for $89, because we can.

But that doesn’t mean we should. 

What Kristen Stewart Is Not Thankful For, In Her Own Words

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This Thanksgiving, Kristen Stewart shares what she’s not thankful for. From a series of appearances, premieres, and interviews,  we’ve gathered the top things Stewart will not be praising at her Thanksgiving table. Here they are  – in her own words.

1. Being really hot effortlessly.

“I go outside, and I’m wearing a funky T-shirt and my hair is dirty, and people say, ‘What’s wrong with her? She needs to invest in a hairbrush.’" 

2. Living a charmed life.

“ I feel boring. I feel like, ‘Why is everything so easy for me?’ I can’t wait for something crazy to fucking happen to me. Just life. I want someone to fuck me over. Do you know what I mean?"

3. Having a beloved fanbase.

“Girls are scary. Large groups of girls scare the crap out of me.”

4. Being a part of the Twilight empire. 

“I feel like it’s not going anywhere. It is strange. But things shouldn’t stay stagnant. You’ve got to move on.”

5. Her father’s pride.

“Oh, he loves that I’m famous. He’s a total fame whore. Even if I’m not with him.  he’s like, ‘Hey, I’m John. Stewart. Father of Kristen… Have you ever seen Twilight? Yeah, well, that’s my kid!’ It’s the most embarrassing thing in the world.”

6. Having sex with Robert Pattinson

“The sex scenes were silly, very silly.”

7. Cameras. 

Kristen Stewart

Thanksgiving Out, Where To Have Your Turkey and Eat It Too

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With Thanksgiving less than a week away, it’s probably a good time to pin down what you are going to do for the holiday. While some people go home for this iconic feast, many of us choose to avoid that, and the kitchen all together. So where can you get your Thanksgiving on? There are plenty of options.

In Midtown, Del Frisco’s is giving steak a break, and instead, letting turkey take the main stage. They will also serve butternut squash soup, apple sage stuffing, potatoes au gratin, and pumpkin cheesecake; all for $80 starting at noon. 

For an Austrian twist, hit up Edi & the Wolf or their sister restaurant Seasonal Restaurant & Weinbar for a three-course prix fixe menu. At the more laidback Edi & the Wolf they offer dinner for $45, from 3pm to 12am, with dishes like roasted duck with sweet potato, spatzle with wild mushrooms and Brussels sprouts, and fluke tartare. At the other eatery, they serve pork belly with kale, grapefruit and sweet potato, rainbow trout, and Austrian caramelized pancakes with seasonal fruit, all for $65.

If you want to do two Thanksgivings in one day, you can go to Landmarc for Thanksgiving brunch. This feast of pumpkin pancakes, hash browns, and cheesy egg sandwiches comes with a $45 price tag. Follow that up with a three-course traditional turkey dinner at Back Forty in the East Village. There, for $60 you can get your fill of Brussels sprouts, roasted sunchokes, and pecan tarts. They will also be offering this feast at their SoHo location for $65, with the bonus of a fireplace.

Chef James Corona of Bocca Restaurant & Bar will whip up four courses for your Thanksgiving pleasure, for $49.95 starting at noon. The menu includes pumpkin risotto, turkey breast with chestnuts, and butternut squash soup with candied walnuts. You can also get this to go, or delivered to you.

Perilla chef Harold Dieterle has a lovely feast of brown butter sweet potato soup, roasted local turkey, braised ginger-sassafras short ribs, and pumpkin-chestnut bread pudding for guest starting at 2pm, until 9pm, for $75 a person. A great feast can also be had at The Little Owl in the West Village. There, chef and owner Joey Campanaro’s $85 prix fixe menu features Riesling roasted turkey with fig and root vegetable dressing, roasted scallops with truffled parsnip mousse, and Italian holiday cookies. Reservations start at 1pm and go until 10pm, and, it’s half off for kids under the age of 12. 

For charitable folk, il Buco Alimentari & Vineria is donating all proceeds from their Thanksgiving dinner to post-Sandy relief efforts. That means when you pay $85 for their family-style meal of antipasti, oysters, risotto, heritage turkey, roast suckling pig, and pumpkin gelato, you may not be doing your waistline any favors, but you are helping others. 

Finally, why sit down for a meal when you can get one to go in a flash at Pie Face. That’s right, this Australian pie shop has a Thanksgiving pie to go, which consists of turkey, stuffing and gravy in a buttery shell that gets topped with sweet potato mash and cranberry sauce. They also have pumpkin, pecan, and apple pies for dessert. Take home one or 12, they cost between $2.66 and $7.90, and taste just like Thanksgiving.