Thursday, May 28, 2009

Shhhhh, Don't Tell Anyone!

I've just always wanted to write that in a public forum!  How could it not get your attention?
But seriously, don't tell anyone...
..who doesn't read this blog!
I'm talking Chili Thai, the tiny little hole in the wall on 9th Ave. between 48th and 49th!
I've blogged about it before in a previous post entitled Poll, but my husband and I just had a date there tonight and I had to write about it again!
I mean, who doesn't want delicious, fresh tasting, creatively presented fusion food at an amazingly low price?  If you didn't, you probably wouldn't be reading this.
For a grand total of $29.95 (not incluuding tip), Ted and I ordered the appetizer sampler (included the best chicken satay we'd tasted in a long while as well as magical melt in your mouth shrimp dumplings) and then our favorite salad (which would make the perfect lunch, I tell you!) called Yum Neua that has marinated beef thinly sliced atop mint and crisp lettuce, and then split the chicken Green Curry (humongous portions) served with sticky white rice.   
You can order Thai beer from them now, but without a liquor license (a thing to look for in a restaurant, if you're a Renaissance Girl!) they allow you to go next door and buy your own bottle of wine for $10 or less (see my post about wines for under $10) and they bring you glasses and an opener.  So okay, it was $46 at the end of the experience, but if you know how to get more for your value in New York City, you'd better email me now!  
Tips before you go:
  • It's often crowded, and I haven't had much luck with reservations in the past so have patience.
  • The bathrooms are in the back, THROUGH the kitchen.  But it is always very clean, once you get there.
  • Go hungry.
Other favorites:
  • Duck Empanadas (their  signature creation)
  • Massaman Curry (all curries come with a choice of chicken, pork, beef, tofu, or seafood
  • Pad Thai
  • Delicious desserts including Mango Dumplings, Mango with Sticky Rice, and you'll never believe that I haven't yet ventured to try the Bananas in Golden Pouch, but that's next on my list!
Go.  Eat.  
And don't tell anyone!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Headshots: Practically Free!

Dilemma:  You got a new haircut but can't afford new headshots.  
Solution:  Go to Ben Strothmann for a $75 quickie!  
Friends of mine have taken advantage of this amazing NYC bargain and walked away with some great results!

(pictured above: portrait above of  The Chalks by Ben Strothmann)  

The Story of Stuff

Go ahead, call me the Queen of Cheap, but I'm not too stubborn to constantly reevaluate my methods of saving money.  
This video has a heavy message but one that is urgent, I feel and it just might mean that some of my suggestions about inexpensive shopping (ie. 99Cent stores, Conway, etc.) should be obsolete.  It  might mean spending a bit more money on something that was produced locally and that isn't disposable in nature.  It means that buying second hand (reusing as well as recycling) and repairing rather than disposing are still key. 
Go to The Story of Stuff for some pretty amazing myth busting.

Monday, May 18, 2009

An "I'll Always Remember This" Moment

Who says moving, history making entertainment is only for the rich?
It's been a crazy month, with travel and some amazing performances, hence my long hiatus from blogging.  But this last Saturday was an "I'll Always Remember This" moment.
I performed at Symphony Space in Wall to Wall Broadway with the likes of Donna Murphy, Rebecca Luker, Martha Plympton, Liz Calloway, , Michael Cerveris, Terrence Mann, Raul Esparza, Julie Wilson, and many more, all with an orchestra conduced by Paul Gemignani.  
Now I perform regularly at Symphony Space with the Thalia Follies, a Political Satire group, so I'd heard of Isaiah Sheffer's Wall to Wall concerts (Wall to Wall Sondheim, Wall to Wall Stravinsky, Wall to Wall Mozart, etc.).  They last 12 hours and are completely FREE to the public and feature educational interviews as well as dozens of amazing performers.   But when Isaiah asked me to sing the duet, "If I Loved You" from Carousel with Gregg Edelman to end the first half of the orchestra section in the evening and then to sing Cunegonde in "Make Your Garden Grow" from Candide with Alex Gemignani as Candide, I couldn't have been more honored.
What is wonderful about this free concert is that you can come and go as your schedule (and saturation point) allows and the program is varied, with obscure works as well as favorites, old and new.  Even Sheldon Harnick (who signed my sheet music of "Tell Me I Look Nice"!) wrote and PERFORMED a rap with Lin-Manuel Miranda (composer of "In the Heights")!   
Pictured above are Kathryn Markey & Mary Brienza (aka The Chalks!) who performed some obscure but hilarious comic songs with me earlier in the evening  so while I  should have been posting about this last week so that everyone could experience this wonderful New York bargain, I was literally downloading and memorizing three songs I'd never heard before in a matter of days. It's also worth mentioning that Kathryn and I both found these dresses at The Salvation Army and my shoes were Payless (This season!  Go!  Now!).  I wore a dress and shoes in the earlier segment (I was there for eleven hours.  Whew!) that I had bought last week with my friend Chad in a resale shop in Seattle (Crossroads in Capitol Hill.  Very cool!).  Always the Renaissance Girls...
When you hear about a Wall to Wall Symphony Space concert again, go!  You just might have an "I'll Always Remember This" moment.