Mar
5

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Hunter Gatherers + Giveaway

unnamedWe’re giving away tickets to a new off-Broadway production! Here’s all the details on the show, and how to grab your pair!

HUNTER GATHERERS is a pitch black comedy that begins with one couple’s annual dinner get-together with best friends. The evening begins with an animal sacrifice that quickly descends into more sex, violence, deception, wrestling, and dancing than at previous parties. It’s an ominously comic evening where the line between civilized and primal man is blurred, and where not everyone will survive long enough to enjoy the brownies for dessert.

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Here’s how to enter:

1. Subscribe to Used York City, which signs you up for our monthly newsletter. (Don’t forget to respond to the verification message you are sent via email. Former subscribers are automatically entered!)

Details:

The contest will run until Friday, March 6th, at which time a winner will be randomly chosen and announced on this post and via Twitter, and the winner will be notified directly by the email address that they subscribed with! Best of luck to all our readers!

p.s. if you don’t win the tickets, here’s a code for discounted ticket prices: REDCARL20 (through March 12th) REDCARL25 (through March 13th through March 28th).

Mar
4

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12 Comments

Used York City Is Featured On HotelsCheap!

20121201-082745We were thrilled to sit down with HotelsCheap for an interview, where I shared my very favorite things about NYC for both tourists and locals.

Now, I don’t want to give it all away, but one thing I enjoyed chatting about was how running Used York City has changed my relationship with NYC.  Here’s what I said:

It just boils down to spending time doing the things I actually love. For example, when I first started the blog and opportunities would come my way, I’d say yes to everything: “concert? sure! fundraising event? why not! gallery opening? I’ll be there!”  The website has taught me you don’t have to do and love everything; time is better spent digging deeper into the things you really enjoy. So instead of saying yes to 3 random events around the city, I’ll spend my time seeing a show and then going into a deep discussion about the show afterwards while trying a new restaurant. I think this is important because it brings the focus back on inspiration. With the precious hours that we have to ourselves, why not spend them doing something that inspires us and makes us happy?

For the full interview, click on over here!  Thanks so much for having me, HotelsCheap!

xo,

Jess

||Photo Credit: 1||

Mar
3

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18 Comments

Pooch Paradise: St. Michael’s Inn At Perry Cabin

Fun fact: Wedding Crashers is one of my husband’s Top 2 favorite movies (I’ll leave you hanging in suspense as to the other…!)  So when narrowing down choices for a laid back, drivable, not-too-far-from-NYC-where-we-can-also-bring-our-dog getaway, I was thrilled when the Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michael’s, Maryland popped up.  Why?  Because it’s the gorgeous spot Wedding Crashers was shot, of course!

unnamed unnamed-3I know you’re probably all “do you guys really pick weekend getaways based on your favorite movies?!”  Well, yes and no.  While that was what initially roped us in and got our interest piqued, a few other key items were what sold us.

First off: the inn is pet friendly, and SO friendly to your pets!  (Pet parents will automatically know the importance here!)  While once upon a time I was able to sneak my sweet chihuahua in just about anywhere, in his older age he’s become much more, shall we say, vocal.  If I were to leave him in a strange room for more than a few minutes, his chirping (the cute little noise he makes when he barks, but sounds much more like a chirp!) begins.  Impossible to hide.  Which makes finding properties where we can bring him along, comfortably, a bit of a challenge.

unnamed-7We were chuffed to find out the inn only has you pay $100 pet fee (for the entire stay!), and also treats your pooch like royalty.  I’m talking doggie cookies, bathroom bags, water at your front door, and so many hugs and kisses and scratches throughout the day.  They even had a doggy menu you could order from!  And our own little fenced-in backyard for Gills to go potty romp around!  I’m pretty sure Gillman thought this was a spa vacation just for him.

unnamed-4Besides not having to stress about the comfort of our 14 year old chihuahua (which was huge, as you pet parents will agree), the inn offers lots of other goodies for a relaxing retreat: the essentials, such as a spa, seasonal outdoor pool, delicious restaurant, casual pub, and fitness center, along with nice bonuses such as gorgeous gardens, waterside location, and both complimentary bikes and boat docking.  The town of St. Michael’s is quaint and walkable, full of just enough cafes, boutiques, and antique stores to fill an afternoon stroll.  All this in under a 4 hour drive from NYC.  Kinda perfect, eh?

unnamed-5My favorite part, though?  Sitting by the roaring fireplace in the lobby, playing board games and drinking wine–the ultimate rest and recharge. With little man on my lap, of course.

cn_image_3.size.inn-at-perry-cabin-st-michaels-st-michaels-united-states-104079-4 unnamed-6Have you been on any pet-friendly getaways lately?  Share below!

Feb
27

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Learning A New Language: Month 2

Have you guys ever noticed how EVERY treadmill at your gym is completely taken in January, and then around February…crickets. Where did all the people go?!  Creeping away from their New Year’s Resolution, that’s where!  Which is kinda what happened to me this month…

funny-new-years-resolutions-going-to-the-gym-funny-someecards1As you’ll recall, I started January on a super high note with my language learning…I was playing the CD’s, writing daily phrases on our kitchen chalkboard, even texting in the mother tongue!  But then I lost that thing we know is SO essential to turning a resolution into a habit: motivation.

Around mid-month when I really noticed my progress slacking, I asked myself what the problem was (well, besides I just really suck at learning new languages…the struggle is real!)  But more importantly: I find language learning incredibly boring, so would push it back as far as possible into my day, putting other things way in front of it: reading blogs, going to yoga, sweeping the floors…seriously, anything that wasn’t language learning!  And then before I knew it, it was time for bed, and guess what?  No practice for Jess!  I reminded myself of Gretchen Rubin’s magical words of advice:

“Things often get harder before they get easier.”

So here’s what I changed towards the end of the month to address my problem of procrastinating my studies: I set my alarm (and coffee pot timer!) an hour earlier in the morning (I’m a morning person anyway so this wasn’t so terrible), and now study for an hour before my day starts.  This still hasn’t gotten to the point where it’s simple or enjoyable, and I’m not quite sure it will.  But you know what will eventually happen if I keep with it?  I’ll speak Bosnian a little better.

How are you 2015 resolutions/habits coming along?  Feel free to vent in the comments below!;-)  

Feb
26

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Intermission: The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time

Theater-Curious Incident of the DogThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” has totally captured both critic and audience.  No doubt in anyone’s mind; this is the play to see this Broadway season.  Another “Brit on Broadway” import, and a story of such universal importance and reach . We all relate, its ideas cross borders, it strikes a major chord while playing in a minor key – and hits us in our core.  How often does THAT happen?

This drama perfects what I term the “essential p’s”  -  plot, production and  performance.  All three of these elements magnificently align for a moving, perfect whole in this absorbing drama.  The story in truth is relatively simple – but that is not necessarily the point here.   Nothing better when you arrive home all jazzed up from an evening of theater, and it dawns on you much later why exactly you couldn’t sleep that night.  This show is ripe for discussion; you’ve just got to talk about it.  So thank you Jess for allowing me to get my thoughts out on paper.   

In the case of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’, the breath taking pace of today’s technology creatively captures the story line, and indeed this is what captures our minds in addition to our hearts.  In many of the stage scenes, you feel like you have left terra firma, and are inside your computer’s hard drive, observing as well as participating in its inner workings.   Not only do lighting effects and imaginative staging dynamically augment this contemporary story, but in the case of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” it dominates this particular production.  There simply is no other way to tell this tale involving so much motion and emotion – both externally and internally – without pushing the limits of lighting and staging.

Nothing better when you arrive home all jazzed up from an evening of theater, and it dawns on you much later why exactly you couldn’t sleep that night. 

“The Curious Incident of the Dog….” is based on a mesmerizing, successful novel -  written uniquely in the first person singular – of the same title. It centers, literally and figuratively, on an autistic teenager, Christopher Boone – who is indeed a first person singular in every possible way, a beautiful being. He discovers his neighbor’s dead dog one shocking morning, and this provides the backdrop for an intelligent, thrilling, emotional journey..  Christopher is what is termed an “idiot savant” – his particular genius is math, he is a geometrically walking trigonometry table. Math never lies and an innocent like Christopher can only understand truth.  He is disturbed and touched by this dog’s untimely death. So he decides to use complex mathematical formulas (aren’t you slightly jealous of people who can take Pi beyond the usual 3.14 ?!!) and must leave his comfort zone to solve this crime.  Genius as he is in mathematics, Christopher cannot understand simple daily activities and has never traveled by himself, let alone outside his neighborhood.  He lives in his own specialized autistic world with his Father as sole parent, and he is about to cross boundaries and meet people way beyond his small universe.

HINT:  what is essential to the heart and mind is invisible. Doubtful any mathematical equation could be more slight…yet more complex.  From the ordinary to the extraordinary…..with so many stops along the way.  Yet sometimes you have to go in complete circles before you get anywhere. This story of love, family, survival is a complete experience, you feel entirely satisfied, a rich completeness as the curtain drops.  It’s a contemporary catharsis of which ancient Aristotle would mightily approve.  Such pathos, I was searching for my Kleenex.

I reserve solo special raves for Alex Sharp, a recent Juilliard Drama School Grad playing the teenage lead.  He is BEYOND amazing, what an auspicious Broadway debut. Personally I think (as do those in the know) a Tony nomination, if not a win, is assured. Such a physical role, he is in every scene – in mind and matter.  And BOTH matter on stage.  Keen intelligence as well as stamina is required for the portrayal of an autistic savant teenager, this is a challenge for any actor, let alone one spanking new to the boards. Bravo Alex, you are fantastic.

06CURIOUS-slide-UKTL-slideThe rest of the cast – who assume multiple roles in this show – surely deserve great praise. Particularly stand out are Mercedes Herrero, Richard Hollis and Francesca Faridany who plays Siobhan, Alex’s oft quoted teacher. Be apprised, at the Sunday matinee and Wednesday evening performance, Taylor Trensch will play the part of Christopher.

It bears repeating…you have to find a new way to tell a story, an innovative manner. The playwright, Simon Stephens, has done just that with this bold, daunting play, a novel approach to a novel!  Broadway is catching up to film and its imaginative use of today’s technology, not only in musicals which it serves so well, but in straight dramas.

NOW…..

WARINING: Just when you think the show is over, and the well earned applause has stopped, stick around. You are in for a treat! I’ll say no more except stay put and enjoy this interesting sidebar. Intriguing, right?!    

Have you seen the show or read the book?  Let’s chat in the comments below!

By: Joanne Thedorou

||Photo Credit: 1, 2||