New Years

The Holidays are Here and Change is in the Air!

The Holidays are Here and Change is in the Air!

Everyone gather ‘round, because things are about to get different. And hopefully better for it.

Also—discount code for the final tours of the year!

Groundhog's Got Me Thinking of Spring!

Groundhog's Got Me Thinking of Spring!

Exciting things for a Fun Foodie in 2016

Limited Time Special Winter Tour

Limited Time Special Winter Tour

Limited Time Special Winter Tour! Bonus Food, Same Price!

Funnily Combining Comedy and Food! The Food Funny

Almost three years ago I started taking comedy writing classes--the same time I started working for City Food Tours, and then preparing to be a tour guide myself! Since then I've been struggling to find a way to combine my two passions--food and comedy. Then a few months ago I realized that a lot of the chefs I know are rather funny and a lot of the funny people I know are really into food and thus the idea was created! Make the food people be funny and the funny people make food! :) So, I found the perfect venue on the Upper West Side, which happens to be managed by my sister, and spoke with the owner and started booking the talent. Well--now I have a show to put on! 

Of course, it's rather appropriate that the first show of the New Year features two food pros who are known for a healthier relationship with the edibles. Christy Harrison is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with her own podcast about the psychology of food, which I'll touch on more tomorrow, and she'll be battling with her improv chops against Nicholas Feitel, who'll be recognized by Bethenny Frankel fans as her former chunky food blogger who lost over 60 pounds with a little help from his friends!

Our funny ladies, however, are more known for their comedy stylings on the prestige Upright Citizens Brigade stages. But the daring broads will be taking on a mystery box cooking challenge with 5 junk food ingredients that I'm already nervous about tasting! Johnna Scrabis, who's a very funny improviser on the UCB Harold team, Side-Piece, has not even bothered to tell me how much (or how little?) skill she has in the kitchen. And her counterpart, Sarah Wharton, who was on the 1st all-female house improv team at UCB, Detroit, promises she's an "avid home cook", but if she lives alone, that's not saying much.

All of this is going down on Mondays at 9pm, starting on January 5th at the legendary West End Lounge. Located on the Upper West Side, we're sandwiched between one hell of a line up for anyone into the arts, and of course, F&B! Before The Food Funny, you can check out Bound for Broadway, where you'll catch tomorrow's big superstars. Then, after the show, you can get drunk at the hand of my sister who's on bar starting at 10pm. And if you're in the service industry yourself, you can stick around for Service Industry Night, which gets you 50% off drinks after midnight! Which is when Midnight Movie Massacre begins as well!

You should definitely come out for the show that's only a $5 cover (I gotta pay for that food somehow) and a $15 food/drink minimum. You're not gonna get a better deal like this on the UWS, I guarantee it! :)

The Funnest Foodiest Time of Year!

I know that Thanksgiving is considered to be the holy holiday of food. It is a day in which we, Americans, are to sit down with our family and friends and whatever others you've invited to the table and break bread or just consume broken bread in the form of stuffing. There aren't traditionally any gift exchanges going on, but of course the last few years has seen the consumer madness known as Black Friday turn into a whole week-long event that includes our beloved Turkey Day. But I'm not going to rant about that--enough people in the world do, and it's got little to do with the food part of things. Instead I just wanted to say that I'm thankful for this whole season.

Sure, it's a cray time of year--especially for someone who works in the hospitality business. This is the craziest time! But it's also, often the most fun time! Especially in New York City! Thanksgiving was the beginning (or if you're young enough to appreciate a party night, I suppose Thanksgiving Eve was the start for you--but I was busy battling a chest cold to be drinking all night). We have the parade  here, which of course most New Yorkers enjoy just like the rest of the country--from the comfort of their own homes. And then the many drinking establishments that are open to comfort you after you day of family dealings.

And then you hit December, and tonight we start the many festivities that will take us through the Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanza/New Year's season!

Tonight, I'll be trying my best to head down to the Upper West Side for the 15th annual Winter's Eve event! There's always so much to see and do, and I suggest getting there early as the crowds to come and the food will run out! You know if I'm there, there's tasty food on hand, but there's also tons of music, and plenty of festive fun!

Tomorrow, I'll be back in the Lincoln Square area as it is the first day of the Columbus Circle Holiday Market! And as I take my Festive Food & Holiday Fun tour there, I've gotta scout out the best food that the market has to offer!

Course, Wednesday starts the madness of the holiday party season and so I'll be going back and forth between Holiday Tours and Holiday Parties. The Fall tours are now over, except for one this weekend--so if you're interested on checking out the last Fall Tour of 2014, book today there are only 8 slots left! Of course, if you're more into the holiday spirit then you can come along on the holiday tour anytime after tomorrow! 

I hope to see you soon!

Old Inside and Auld Lang Syne...Rememberances and Resolutions 2013

OK...So, I'm late with this, but better late than never...right? I won't go too deep into all of the things that typically make me feel warm and fuzzy come the winter holiday celebrations, but I will share a couple brief things...with some pics.

I mentioned in my Thanksgiving post that my favorite part of the holidays is getting together with family, and in my family that means our Christmas Lights tour. My mother is one of five kids, and aside from her brother Jay and his family the rest of them live on the West Coast...but aside from us they're all tied to the East Coast as they've all produced children with people who are or have family here. This means we get to sit back each year and let them come to us! And about 8 years ago, my mother booked a van and took some clients on her first Christmas Lights Tour that she decided to share with her loved ones and it's now become our family tradition.

We start at my parents' home where the mini coach meets us, and then we make our way down to the Winter Garden at the World Financial Center, which is across the street from Ground Zero. The atrium features 50,000 lights, which makes it a perfect place to start our tour. Also...there are two decent spots for some coffee or hot chocolate; Starbucks of course...or Financier Patisserie, which is my preference of the two.

This is what 50,000 lights looks like

After about 10 minutes of wandering the Winter Garden and gathering any of our crew that's decided to meet us there we get back on the van and head to Brooklyn! This year, we marveled as we took the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, which was flooded to the top during Sandy. Next destination is Dyker Heights, where the residents show their Christmas Spirit with as many lights and figurines and blow up characters as they can fit in their yard. We ooooo and aaaah at the creativity, decadence and dedication displayed for our viewing pleasure.

After taking a few blocks of the lights in we get back on our mini-bus and head over to Mona Lisa's for dinner...to consist of pizza, salad, bruschetta, and WINE! Once the food was devoured and wine finished off, we made our way into the pastry section of the shop for some sweet treats before heading back on the bus to return to the isle of Man...hattan.

Tasty Pastry!

Back on the island means time for Wall Street. We lucked out this year and got some time at Trinity Church before they shut it up for the evening.

Decorative Ceiling

And then off the Wall Street itself...which has lost some of it's luster over the years...I guess we can't be so ostentatious when we're still coming out of a recession. But after the last of the lights are taken in it's time to pack it up and head home.

So that's my favorite holiday tradition. Feel free to share yours!

Lastly, I mentioned resolutions, so I will say this is mine:

Independence or at least a good deal more of it for this next year...that and of course happiness and peace for my family and friends.

Also I hope to be better at writing more regularly.

What are you trying to tackle this year?