Tuesday, November 22, 2011


You know what I was thinking about on my walk to work today? Other than what Anderson Cooper dreams of at night, of course.  My guess is Armani t-shirts and Cher concerts.  Anyhow, I was thinking about that scene in "You've Got Mail" where Meg Ryan is at the grocery store and doesn't have cash in the cash only line and Sara Ramirez is the cashier, Rose, and she is super Spanish.  At the end she says something like "Happy Thanksgibing Bahk".  I love that little scene, I found it on YouTube, here you go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHuqZrIZ2yg

Anyhow, this leads me to today's story/money saving tip: go to any and all holiday gatherings to which you are invited, bring a bottle (or box) of your favorite discount wine, hold no holiday gatherings of your own.  It also helps if you have a friend who is a really, really good cook.

This past weekend, for example, I was treated to a "Friendsgiving" in the Brooklyn home of my good friends Joyce Carol and Les Paul.  Now, Joyce Carol is a legit cook...she studied in Paris, what of it Sandra Lee wannabes? For the cost of a few bottles of wine, my friends and I were treated to an amazing meal of turkey, rosemary potatoes (courtesy of my friend Francine), can-shaped cranberry sauce (the best kind there is), apple stuffing...the works.  Plus we got to stay a night in their place AND were treated to an amazing and kosher lox and bagel breakfast the next morning.  

By my estimate, a night in a Brooklyn hotel would be roughly $100, and a fine deli breakfast of lox and bagel - with sides of the most amazing eggs and bacon I've had in life - would be around $12.  Add to that the cost of an upscale Thanksgiving meal ($40 to be conservative), we're talking upwards of $150 here.  I got all that for the cost of some fine red wine and a couple of pies.

Plus, the weekend itself was filled with amazing friends and laughs and memories that no one could ever put a price on, awwwwwwwww....aren't I sweet?

Having done this, my theory is, a lot of these gatherings will be coming up over the next few weeks.  Some of you will wonder which ones to go to and which ones to skip, my solution? 


Take the example I just shared, multiply that by three gatherings...you get umm...let's see...carry the one, square root of eleven...over $450 in holiday savings.  You could buy half a pair of Louboutin shoes with that...maybe J.Lo will pitch in for the other half.

Also, on the subject of the aforementioned pies, I must give a little shout-out to Four and Twenty Blackbirds.  I ordered two pies for pick-up from them and they were so nice and accommodating of my yet-to-be-determined schedule.  Plus the pies were AMAZING. We got a Salted Caramel Apple pie and a Brown Butter Pumpkin pie. I may or may not have had an extra slice of the Pumpkin after consuming too much of Les Paul's Dewar's whiskey.

The shop was a little interesting...like imagine a hipster's paradise, after you try to spoof "Gangster's Paradise" with that, what do you see? A lot of scarves? Ironic t-shirts? Groups of girls with scraggly hair and thick-framed glasses? Yea...sounds about right, they permeated the shop.  As Smirnoff said, "this place is like walking into a cliche".  Lots of people writing zines on apple computers or pretending to read the New York Times, "There's just nothing like a real paper man, you know what I mean? The feel of it! Oh, hold on, I just got a new 'Words with Friends' request on my iPad." 

Here's a picture of the carefully constructed de-constructed interior to give you an idea:

Just walk in and pretend like you just got back from an Arcade Fire concert, you'll be fine.  Trust me, the pie is worth it, and the staff is pretty awesome too.

Before I close, let me just issue a super special thanks to Joyce Carol and Les Paul for having me, as well as Smirnoff and Jefe for putting up with my snoring on Saturday night, and all my friends in NY (BethAnn, Francine, and Emilia Bedilia included) for being so amazing!

Okay, this is getting a little too "Lifetime Presents" so let's just cut it off there.

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