5/31/12

Penn and Teller and a Bit of Luck

From the amazing Mariah Carey concert I covered to the Seven Stars Cookbook giveaway I promoted, you may have noticed a little hint-hinting for you to check out Caesar's Entertainment and their Total Rewards Program over the past few months. Well, it's been an absolute pleasure working with them, and I hope you learned a thing or two about how to optimize your next Atlantic City or Las Vegas vacation. As a final word, I'd like to leave you with a few words from the famous magicians Penn and Teller.

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May the chips fall ever in your favor and may you register for Total Rewards!

AWESOME GIVEAWAY: 2 Tickets to Closer than Ever

There's something about Off-Broadway theaters I love. Whether it be the intimate setting, the encouragement of success swirling about, or the mere opportunity to be able to see a show not many others get to see, Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway theaters produce some of the best shows around.

The York Theatre Company is one of my favorites. Boasting 175 seats and having produced hits like Yank! in 2010 and Sweeney Todd, it serves the community well by offering $20 tickets to all shows for both students and seniors. The latest mainstage production is a revival of 1989's Closer Than Ever, an intimate musical about love, friendship, security, happiness – and holding onto those essentials in a world that pulls us in a hundred directions at once. The musical promises to be a refreshing treat for audiences, old and new, filled with insights you’ve never heard expressed, except in your own heart. The limited engagement starts June 5.


All my readers are in luck! I'm giving away a pair of tickets to Closer Than Ever! There are 4 easy ways to win, and each comment counts as an entry. Be sure to leave your email in each comment so that I can contact you if you are the winner.

1) REQUIRED - Follow this blog by clicking on the button on the right panel and leave a comment below letting me know you did so.

2) REQUIRED - Leave a comment letting me know what your favorite Off-Broadway experience has been. If you don't have any Off-Broadway experiences, let me know why you'd most like to have one.

3) Follow me on Twitter @yaelleah and leave a comment below letting me know you did so.

4) Tweet about this contest "I just entered to win 2 tix to Closer Than Ever at the York Theatre on Awesome In New York! http://bit.ly/KAZkKV" and let me know with a link to your tweet.

Winners will be chosen using Random.org on Tuesday 6/5. You have until Tuesday 6/5 at 12 p.m. EST to enter the contest. Good luck!




A winner has been chosen! Congratulations Evie! You've won 2 tickets to Closer than Ever! Thanks to everyone who entered and stay awesome!

5/30/12

AWESOME DEAL: 13-Month Subscription to NY Mag

Having been a subscriber to New York Magazine for almost 2 years now, I can tell you it's a must read for any New Yorker. It's full of interesting feature stories all somehow relating to your life in the Big Apple and the culture section fills you in with all you need to know about what's going on around you in the coming week. However it's not so long ***cough, New Yorker, cough*** that you can manage to get through it on your weekly commute and still have time to read other things that interest you.

13-Month Subscription

Rue La La (one of my favorite deal/shopping sites) is currently offering a 13-month subscription to New York Magazine for only $17, which is a steal especially considering it's a weekly publication. Normal subscriptions sell for over $30. The deal ends in 6 days, but why wait?

Free Tickets to Traces for Crunch Members

Attention all Crunch members! If you're dying to see the Off-Broadway show Traces, which recently inspired a new workout class at Crunch Union Square, clear your evening tomorrow! The first 50 people who show a valid Crunch membership ID at the Union Square Theater Box Office (100 E. 17th Street) at 1 pm tomorrow, Thursday 5/31, will receive one free ticket to tomorrow night's performance at 8 pm.



I hope some of you are able to take advantage of this awesome offer!

5/16/12

AWESOME GIVEAWAY: More Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center Tickets!

A few weeks ago I gave away several pairs of tickets to classical concerts at Carnegie Hall and I had such a great response that I'm giving away more! Here are details on the 3 concerts up for grabs:

  • West Coast Sounds: Tuesday 5/29, 8pm at Carnegie Hall featuring a piano program full of talented young people playing works by Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, Chopin, Liadov, Vine, Lutoslawski, Bach, Schumann, Beethoven, R. Strauss, and Kabalevsky.
  • What About Us?: Friday 6/15, 7:30 pm at Jazz at Lincoln Center featuring today’s youth taking on tough issues using song and dance to illustrate a more positive and peaceful world. Professional gospel singers join the 84 voiced choir to bring the thrill of gospel and pop to new heights.
I'm giving away 2 pairs of tickets to each show! To enter to win please follow the instructions below. There are 5 easy ways to win and each comment counts as an entry. Please include your email in any and all comments so I know how to contact you if you are the winner.

1) REQUIRED - Leave a comment below letting me know which concert you would like to enter to win tickets to (you can enter for all three in one comment!).

2) REQUIRED - Follow this blog by clicking on the button on the right panel and leave a comment below letting me know you did so.

3) Follow me on Twitter @yaelleah and leave a comment below letting me know you did so.

4) Tweet about this giveaway with a link to this page and let me know with a link to your tweet in a comment below.

5) Click on this link and register to play the Total Rewards online game and leave a comment letting me know you did so.

Winners will be on Wednesday 5/23. You have until Wednesday 5/23 at 12 p.m. EST to enter the contest. Good luck!

Total Rewards Mega Prizes

Raise your hand if you've been playing the Total Rewards game from Caesar's Entertainment over the past few months! Sad news...the promotion is almost over! However, the good news is that you have a chance to win a whole bunch of super awesome mega prizes on May 18-20 as the program wraps up. All you have to do is swipe your Total Rewards card at a Caesar's hotel/casino and your entered!


For more information and to check out all of the hotels nearby (there are 5 in Atlantic City!), click here. Prizes include 200 Total Rewards Marketplace gift cards per property, ACM property experiences (dining, spa, hotel), a trip to Las Vegas that includes 2 nights hotel accommodations, coach airfare for two and a $200 Total Rewards Marketplace Gift Card (each property will award one trip) and trips to the 2012 Olympics and lodging at London Clubs (each property will award one trip). You know you'd like to take a spontaneous trip this weekend :)

5/8/12

AWESOME GIVEAWAY: 2 Tickets to 2 Off-Broadway Shows

So you say it's been a little while since I ran a ticket giveaway, well that's about to change. Jules plays at the Laurie Beechman Theatre (407 West 42nd Street) and tells the story of Broadway's most famous vaudeville and film star: female impersonator Julian Eltinge. The year is 1941 and the place is a dressing room at Billy Rose's club in Manhattan during the star's the final performance. (Save $5 on the price of your ticket here and use code TETCJ512).


Tennessee Williams' final full-length play In Masks Outrageous and Austere explores the surreal, the nefarious, and the erotic in ways never before attempted. The richest woman in the world, her gay husband, and his young lover are thrust into a mystery world, defined by disorientation and paranoia, where they are held captive by omnipotent corporate forces. A cast of bizarre characters enters an increasingly threatening environment, and tensions reach a fever pitch as trust among the three protagonists begins to disintegrate. Playing at The Culture Project (45 Bleecker Street) through May 13, this one is sure to make you think.


All my readers are in luck! I'm giving away a pair of tickets to both shows: Jules and In Masks Outrageous and Austere! There are 4 easy ways to win each set of ticketsjust use the forms to enter below (no comments necessary).

1) REQUIRED - Follow this blog by clicking on the button on the right panel and leave a comment below letting me know you did so.

2) Follow me on Twitter @yaelleah and leave a comment below letting me know you did so.

3) Tweet about this contest "I just entered to win 2 tix to Jules off-Broadway on Awesome In New York! http://bit.ly/JbK4Ss" and/or "I just entered to win 2 tix to In Masks off-Broadway on Awesome In New York! http://bit.ly/JbK4Ss" and let me know with a link to your tweet.

4) Click on this link and register to play the Total Rewards online game and leave a comment letting me know you did so.

Winners will be chosen using Random.org on Thursday 5/10. You have until Wednesday 5/9 at 5 p.m. EST to enter the contest. Good luck!




5/4/12

The Choice is Yours to Eat

Aaaah! Sorry, major awesome brain fart! Meant to post this weeks ago, but better late than never I suppose. Enjoy!

What can I say about Choice Eats that hasn't already been said? It's amazing. It's mind-blowing. It's chock-full of yumminess! After the food coma I left in last year, I was determined to be smarter about things this year. Although I love bread, I would only try a nibble of it in say a sandwich, and just focus on the filling. Also, I did not eat whole servings of everything I tried and sadly had to throw a lot away. Lastly, despite the boundless alcohol sponsors, I stuck to water. This was a MUCH better way to make my way though the 50+ food samples (disclaimer: I didn't make it to all) that filled the 69th Regiment Armory. Let's begin.

I arrived and was led to the special VIP room downstairs where I was given a Choice Eats tasting glass and pen. Unfortunately press didn't get gift bags, but they looked intriguing. 


The VIP lounge included several food and drink vendors. My favorite of those was SCRATCHbread because along with a selection of breads, they served fresh mozzarella (the way to my heart). Brooklyn Cured had a great pastrami on rye sandwich, but if the meat had been a tad leaner I would have liked it way more. I tried the Ceviche de Bife from El Amacen and though it wasn't anything special, it was tasty. Murray's Cheese had a selection of their finest and Fatty 'Cue ran out of whatever they were serving before I got there.
  
Pastrami on Rye (Brooklyn Cured)
Murray's Cheese Selection
Ceviche de Bife (El Amacen)
Mozzarella on SCRATCHbread
VIP Lounge

The main room was not supposed to open until 6:30 but I was super excited when they announced it was open at 6:10. That gave all the VIPs an extra 20 minutes before the general admission ticket holders were let in. I'd highly recommend remembering this next year if you bought your general admission tickets this year and ended up waiting in line for an hour or two.

I walked past Dirt Candy, who were whipping up Tomato Chipotle Cotton Candy, and though I was tempted, I couldn't risk missing some of the tables who were bound to have long lines very soon by scarfing down cotton candy. Did anyone try it?


My first bite was Cured Arctic Char with Orange-Chicoree Salad, Lemon Gel and Dill from Edi and the Wolf. This place is innovative and that's why I love it. This bite was fresh and tasty, and I thoroughly enjoyed all the flavors.

Cured Arctic Char with Orange-Chicoree Salad, Lemon Gel and Dill (Edi and the Wolf)
 Next I made my way to one of my favorite tables from last year, Patacon Pisao. This place knocked my epicurean socks of last year when they served authentic mozzarella arepas (didn't I tell you mozzarella was the way to my heart?) called cachapas. So imagine how elated I was to find they were serving the exact same areapas! It took all the willpower I had not to eat two.

Cacacha (Patacon Pisao)
Next up was one of the more unique things I tried at the event: Savory Buttermilk Pannacotta with Roasted Carrots, Almonds, and Licorice from Northern Spy Food Co. Always an innovator in farm-to-table cooking, Northern Spy created a dish that was both delicate and hearty, savory but creamy with a hint of sweet. I definitely finished this one.

Savory Buttermilk Pannacotta with Roasted Carrots, Almonds, and Licorice (Northern Spy Food Co. )

Next came the meat. And a whole bunch of it. My favorites were from Porchetta, the obligatory Porchetta Ragu on Toasted Crostini; from Goat Town, the Goat Face Sandwich (no, there wasn't an actual face stuffed between the Texas Toast but meat from the face - supposedly it's the tastiest!) with pickeled jalapenos and marinated onions; and from Kutsher's Tribeca came Milton's Short Rib and Brisket Meatball Sliders with caramelized onions and cream horseradish sauce (YUM!).

Porchetta Ragu on Toasted Crostini (Porchetta)
Goat Face Sandwich on Texas Toast with pickeled jalapenos and marinated onions  (Goat Town)
Milton's Short Rib and Brisket Meatball Sliders with caramelized onions and cream horseradish sauce (Kutsher's Tribeca)
For a quite fiber break I sampled the Fried Brussel Sprouts with tahini/pomegranate drizzel and garlic crusted panko bread crumbs from Tanoreen -- basically the most delicious brussel sprouts I've ever had.

Fried Brussel Sprouts (Tanoreen)
Then came the seafood. I was smart to head straight for Luke's Lobster. Before the crowds came and formed a line all the way down the aisle (you'd think these people had never seen a shrimp roll before), I was able to step right to the front and indulge in the glory of fresh shrimp, simple spices, all on a buttery grilled bun. Then came super creamy New England Clam Chowder from Littleneck. Next, Juliette put out a classy and colorful display of Main Diver Scallop Shooters with clear tomato broth, shaved scallions and toasted mustard seeds and Cured Arctic Char with charred charentais melon and crispy serrano ham. I had the scallop shooter and it was very refreshing and light.

Shrimp Roll (Luke's Lobster)
New England Clam Chowder (Little Neck)
Main Diver Scallop Shooters and Cured Arctic Char  (Juliette)
My last two favorites were a Oaxacan Style Chicken Tamale with Mole Poblano from Mexico Lindo - a place right by my apartment I for some reason have never been too - and the kick-ass display of sandwiches from Joe Dough. Though I didn't partake in a sandwich (that would have been the beginning and end of my Choice Eats experience just based on the size of their portions), they looked amazing and I will definitely swing by the shop one day to partake.

Oaxacan Style Chicken Tamale (Mexico Lindo)
Sandwich Display (Joe Dough)
Though I had to run before I could tackle dessert (and honestly my stomach couldn't hold anymore), I did try The Blue Stove's Bourbon Chocolate Cookie Pie and OMG. Super moist and you could definitely taste the bourbon. Who needs beer and wine when you have boozy cookie pies?

Bourbon Chocolate Cookie Pie (The Blue Stove)
All in all, another successful Choice Eats. I'm already counting down the days until next year!

5/1/12

Get Your Central Park Workout On

There's no better bonding experience with other New Yorkers than working out together in Central Park (getting drunk together in the East Village comes close). If you can't wait to leave the gym behind and fully embrace the great outdoors, you'll be excited for Self Magazine's Workout in the Park.


Featuring Crunch classes and all sorts of food and fitness brand samples, the event will be held rain or shine Saturday May 12 from 11-3 pm at Rumsey Playfield. I'm sure there will also be a lot of great contests to enter. Tickets are $20 and include a 1-year subscription to Self Magazine (a $10 value).