The Top NYC Nightclubs To Hook Up With Models

Okay, we’re shallow, shallow people. Whatever. Sometimes it’s just fun to hook up with models. I wouldn’t know, but I have a couple of moderately douchey but lovable friends who say it’s "da bomb." Models are creatures of another world, a world like Avatar. And though they are scattered all across the city, there are certain nightclubs where we can confidently say “you will be breathing the same air space as a high concentration of models.” So here is our list of the Top NYC Nightclubs To Hook Up With Models

New York’s Top Halloween Parties

All dressed up with no place to go? (Gasp!) That just might be one of the scariest things to happen this Halloween. This is your one chance to be someone you’re not, so you better get your partially-exposed butt and painted face out there to a party. Looking to hook up, get high, dance like mad, or party like a sophisticate? Then check out our list of New York’s top Halloween parties in 2012. They all have in common one thing: OPEN BAR. So go! Drink! Flirt! Dance! And completely become that which you are not – for a night.

London’s Top Bars to Cheers the Olympics

Whether you live in London, are visiting, or just wish you were, it’s hard to ignore our list of London’s top bars to cheers the Olympics. Because when a global event comes to the front lawn of the Buckingham Palace that is all about fulfilling and shattering dreams, you’re gonna need a beer in your hand. And a cocktail. Maybe even a couple of shots. Definitely a funnel. Hell, this is the freaking Olympics.  Let’s all get bloody drunk!

The Truth About Summer & Your Skin From a Top New York Dermatologist

When you’re sitting at a picnic table with a ketchup-drenched burger and icy beer in your hand, reveling in the sun’s heavenly gaze upon your back, it’s easy to forget about that one little thing you’ve carried with you since birth: your skin—which is probably getting burned. Perhaps you forgot to put on sunscreen, or maybe you applied that from-the-depths-of-the-bathroom-cabinet sunblock that was around when you won the 6th grade spelling bee. Or perhaps you’ve just shunned it entirely, deeming it "too greasy, and thick, and smelly" and other blah blah blah-related BS. Well, you’ll stop now. Because thanks to a conversation with one of New York’s top dermatologists—Dr. Debra Jaliman—it’s clear that how you treat your skin today, on this gorgeous summer day, dictates how your skin will look for the rest of your life. As the author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist, Dr. Jaliman shares some shocking truths with us about sunscreen, aging, moles, and how Botox can save your iife. 

Your book has 12 chapters devoted to sunblock.
Yes, because it’s the least-expensive way to really prevent sun damage. So many times people come here and they want to spend a lot of money correcting things that they think are aging changes in their skin when, in fact, they’re sun damage. People say “I have these brown spots, these wrinkles, these age spots, these liver spots,” but they’re actually just caused by the sun. People come and do fillers, they do botox, and then I say, “Let me tell you about sunscreen” and they say, “No, no, no, I’m not interested.” And then I try to explain to them that they’re going to spend thousands of dollars on all these treatments and laser procedures, but if you don’t use a good sunscreen—one that’s right for your skin with the right chemicals and is not expired!—then all that money is really wasted. 

I was so surprised to read in your book that wrinkles aren’t even a natural symptom of aging—they’re merely just from exposure to the sun.
People look at my skin and think that because I’m a dermatologist, I’ve had 500 procedures and 500 things put in my face—I don’t. But it’s just that I am obsessed with using the right sunscreen every single day. I’ve never had wrinkles and I’m 56 and it’s because from the time I got interested in dermatology, which was when I was in my teens, I became interested in sunscreen. I was always wearing some form of sunscreen all of those years.

So what do you think are some of the cheapest, most effective sunscreens that you can buy at any drugstore?
One of the really good ones I’ve used is Vanicream. I’m a big fan of zinc-based, physical sunscreens because no matter what your skin type is, you’re not going to get a reaction from them. Let’s say you have rosacea, eczema, sensitive skin; you’re not going to get the reaction that you would from a chemical-based sunscreen.

What’s the difference between a physical and chemical sunscreen?
The ingredients in physical sunscreens physically block your skin from the sun, like a t-shirt. With chemical sunscreens, there’s a chemical reaction that inactivates the sun. I like the physical ones more because they’re broad spectrum, whereas the chemical ones are less. If you’re acne-prone, pick up a non-comedogenic sunscreen, which doesn’t block pores. Neutrogena has a very nice physical one.

So what about you? Do you try to avoid the sun, always sit under an umbrella?
I would be a liar if I told you I was huddled under the sun. I’m very active; my boyfriend has a boat so we’re on the boat all the time and I’m a very active person in the sun. I think that if you tell people to be a recluse and stay away from summer, it would be unrealistic. So the better approach is to take advantage of all the great technology we have; for example, there are hats with SPF 30 in the fabric, I always wear a UV 400-blocking sunblock, and a lipbalm with SPF in it. You must think it takes hours for me to get ready but it really doesn’t; once you get into the habit of it it takes two minutes.


What do you think of these tinted, SPF moisturizers that are on the market? I love them. For a lot of people they don’t want to wear makeup in the summer, and that tinted moisturizer gives you the illusion of having color but you don’t, so you have the great look of a glow.

What is the most neglected area for sunscreen?
There’s many. The ears. The nose—even when you apply it, it gets wiped off often. The Achilles tendon, the soles of the feet, the tops of their feet.

Never would have guessed the Achilles tendon. I have noticed the upper chest area is so easily burned.
That’s because there is no fat there; the skin is sitting right on the bone and it’s so thin.

What about moles? Can you easily spot a harmful mole?
Yes. I’ve had so much experience with them and always such an interest in them. I figured out early on as a dermatologist that there aren’t that many ways to save someones life. One is to spot early Lyme disease and the other is to maybe spot an early allergic reaction that could become life-threatening, but the top way is to spot melanoma, since melanoma left untreated can become deadly pretty quickly. It doesn’t take a long time.

Does everyone that comes in get a mole check?
Nearly everyone. I fight with people over getting these mole checks because they just save lives. But believe it or not—Botox saves more lives than anything else, because with Botox, people are here every three or four months, getting checked. 

I was shocked to read in your book that UV rays even penetrate glass.
Oh yeah – when you’re sitting in your car, in the office, even walking around on a cloudy day—that’s when people really get into trouble. And a lot of times when people come here, I can tell whether they are the driver or passenger of their car because one side will have more sun damage than the other.

Really? Just by looking at them?
Same thing with lime juice; I can tell if someone was sitting in the sun drinking or eating something with lots of lime in it—they’ll come in with blistering sun burns just on their hands from squeezing the limes. Same with bergamot, an ingredient sometimes found in perfumes—people will have little dots on their neck and I can tell it’s from spritzing the perfume. I swear, dermatologists are detectives. 

The Best Places to Watch the NYC Fireworks

Here at BlackBook, we take Independence Day pretty seriously. Not only is it a national holiday, but it’s also the only summer day we have off from work, thus presenting a wonderful excuse to indulge all day outside on charred, ketchup-drenched burgers, icy American beers, and semi-cheesy red/white/blue apparel. We’ve put together a list of our top five favorite places to witness that spectacular view of the fireworks and have a holiday that you won’t be able to stop thinking about the next day. 

The Realities and Fantasies of Finding Love With New York’s Top Matchmaker

You are not the kind of girl who would be at a place like this at this time: 6:30pm. Or maybe you are. Maybe you are the kind of girl who would sit under a massive plastic cupcake-shaped awning while waiting for matchmaker Janis Spindel to assess you. But then, what kind of girl is that?

When I walk in to Dylan’s Candy Bar for one of the famed Matchmaker’s Meet and Greets with eligible women I feel an almost frantic temptation to inform anyone manning that door that I am fine. I don’t need any help getting dates! Maybe some women do, but not me! Not me! I feel this way, because, if you are a halfway attractive woman, you are supposed to be in, approximately, the same romantic situation as Scarlet O’Hara at a barbecue—no matter that not even Vivien Leigh had that many beaux.

Besides, you know the kind of girl that you expect to see at any kind of matchmaking event.You know. Imagine them in your head. Imagine The Millionaire Matchmaker if you’re having trouble. Bleached blonde hair. Lips pumped full of collagen. Dead behind the eyes.

When I think of the women who use matchmakers, I specifically think of one of the girls on Millionaire listlessly stroking the back of her male conquest as he excitedly explained they were co-habitating. While he did so, she stared at the camera, blankly, as though she had decided her youth would be a fair price to barter for a three bedroom on 3rd Avenue.

Which is to say: I don’t think I could ever pull off bleached blonde with my coloring. Becoming utterly soulless also seems like it might be tough.

And if there’s any door guy, I want him to know that, too.

There isn’t one, of course.

There is, instead, an incredibly nice, down-to-earth group of around a dozen women waiting in the upstairs cafe. Not a single of one them seems to suffer from jelly-fish lip syndrome. They appear to range in age from their mid-twenties to late thirties, and all of them are excitedly waiting to meet Janis.

I’m shocked, mostly, I think, by the footwear. They wear sensible shoes. I realize I—ludicrously—expected everyone to be teetering around in 6-inch plastic heels.

But the women aren’t gold diggers or dilettantes or universally known “actresses/models”. They have great jobs. They make good jokes! They’re the kinds of girls you’d want to be friends with. Then I draw back and realize that this is perhaps because they are not doing this to be on television.

That might be why. So, why are they here, then, these nice, pretty, normal women in their nice, pretty, normal shoes?  They’re certainly the kind of women who can find dates on their own.

Everyone has their reasons. One woman explains that her mom met someone through Janis. Someone else says that they found an offer through Lifebooker. Someone remarks that Janis has e-mailed her to come in about 20 times (Janis proudly admits that she is relentless). And someone else points out that she read that Janis has married almost 1,000 couples (Janis is, in fact, six away). The group nods in unison. 

Ah. That’s right. They’re there to meet their husbands. 

That, perhaps, really is the appeal. In an age and a city where you’re supposed to be so fulfilled with your life that you’re perpetually “only looking for something casual”—you’re Scarlet O’Hara at a barbeque!—it’s almost taboo to be obviously looking to settle down and get married.

Even on the Internet. In spite of the fact that on online dating sites it’s perfectly acceptable to say that your interests include, say, crocodile wrestling and braiding strangers’ hair, it would still be a bit weird to lead with your desire to get married and start a family as soon as possible. But Janis assures the room that that is precisely what her male clients are looking for.

Marriage is what Janis Spindel does, and she’s fairly clear on that point. She recounts a story to the women about meeting a man who had decided he was ready to find his wife, and how a name of one of her clients instantly popped into her head. “So, I said to him, ‘Brianna,” she declares, “and he says ‘who’s Brianna?’ And I said, “well, she’s your wife.’”

Janis says this with such conviction that I imagine there’s no doubt in any listener’s mind that, a week later, Brianna and that man are now married. This, seemingly, is just how it happens with Janis. She does—as that one attendee pointed out—have nearly 1,000 couples married, and a shockingly low divorce rate.

Now, maybe it happens that way simply because she is throwing together two people with reasonably similar interests who are both very ready to settle down. But still. On some level, everyone who has ever had disappointing experiences dating probably dreams that a fairy Godmother will sweep in and say, “Here. Here is the person you are supposed to be with. Go live happily ever after now.”

And to get to skip all the stumbling about and feigning an interest in crocodile wrestling in search of that person? No wonder men pay Janis a starting fee of $100,000. And as for the women, perhaps it’s worth sitting through Janis’s intense questioning period (she asks one woman if she’d like to move to Seattle, the woman declines, and Janis replies, undeterred, “Until you meet him and fall madly in love!”) on the off-chance that your name will pop into her head and she’ll present you with true love on a platter.

We may be willing to work very hard to find love, but how wonderful it would be if, instead, it could just be presented to us so effortlessly.  As the women—these nice, normal, pretty women—leave the Meet & Greet, they do so with a sense of childlike optimism that befits the venue.

And who’s the kind of girl who would be into that? Well, maybe it’s just about all of us.