Where Drinking and Sword Fighting Go Together

Well, not quite sword fighting.

Stand back everyone, because you are about to learn how to impress all your friends with a new party trick. Champagne sabering is an age-old tradition of opening a bottle of bubbly with one fell swoop. For $50, the folks at LIC bar The Baroness will teach you all you need to know about wielding the sword and you get to drink the Champagne. Or, you know, you could share it with a friend.

The swashbuckler in me is super intrigued, so I'll keep you posted if I decide to take the slice, but if anyone beats me to it, please comment how it went!


AWESOME ALERT: $9.99 Boutique Fitness Classes All Over NYC

Say you want to take a Flywheel class tomorrow morning, but you want to mix it up and sweat it out at Barry's Bootcamp Friday after work. You'll definitely need a restorative yoga class at Yoga Vida Saturday morning, but Monday morning it's back on the hard core train with a workout at Exceed Physical Fitness. You finish out the week with a throwback to the 90s spin class at Cyc and a little lift, tone, burn at Pure Barre. Is your wallet hurting yet? (It should be...all those classes combined would normally cost more than $150).

What if I told you that you could take all those classes and more for just $99 a month? If you haven't heard about Classpass yet, you better jump on the fitness bandwagon. I have a hunch that this site is going to revolutionize the way New Yorkers do fitness--outdating the traditional gym membership while adding convenience and cost savings to our lives all at the same time.

The way it works is simple. You pay a monthly fee and obtain access to a constantly-expanding database of classes from Williamsburg to Midtown, Hoboken to the LES, and Astoria to Union Square. You can visit one studio a maximum of 3 times per month with a total of 10 classes per month. (I was lucky enough to sign up during a promotion period for "Unlimited Summer" meaning I get to take as many classes as I want through Labor Day. I can't guarantee it, but if they did it once, they might do it a second time!).

Interested? Head on over to Classpass and see all their offerings. Warning: membership may lead to new obsessions. I'm hooked on Row House and I'm dying to try out underwater spinning at Aqua Studio. If you sign up here, I promise that you'll never be bored by your fitness options again! 

Disclosure: If you choose to sign up via any of the links above, I will receive a referal reward from Classpass but all opinions are my own. 


AWESOME DEAL: Wine and Mixology Classes at Back Label Wine Merchants

Summer is just about here and that means it's time to stop drinking alone in the doldrums of your apartment. Back Label Wine Merchants recently posted part 1 of their summer wine and mixology class schedule and at $40 a pop (you get a $20 voucher to buy anything in the store after), each one is a steal!

Here are the deets:

  • Wine 101- Nature vs. Nurture - Thursday 6/5, 7pm - 8pm
Join us for an introduction to how wine is made and why it’s so darned enjoyable. This class will cover the basics of viticulture and show how farming plays a huge role in shaping what you experience in the glass.
  • Austria 101! - Saturday 6/7, 4pm - 5pm
In a world where minerality is provocative and Rieslings are as dry as they get, join us for a tour through the great Austrian countryside and their commitment to exceptional farming and viticulture. Austrian wine specialist, Jodi Stern, will lead us on our journey and some of the greats Austria has to offer!
  • Champagne 101 in 3 Parts – Part 2 “Champagne & Cheese″ - Thursday 6/12, 7pm - 8pm
There’s nothing like bubbles and cheese especially those from Champagne and our friends at Spoonwood Cabin Farm (Jacksonville, Vermont). The great cheeses of Spoonwood Cabin Farm are tiny-production, artisanal French-style, semi-soft cheeses that aren’t readily available in this country. This class is not to be missed! Call today to sign up and reserve your seat!
  • 8 Kickass Grapes you’ve Never Heard of and Why They Matter - Saturday 6/14, 4pm - 5pm
There are so many grapes out there and so little time it feels like, at least to us.  The odds are you have actually tried some of these and wines and don’t even know it! If in fact that is not true, this is the perfect moment to come on in and start a new wine adventure. Guest Speaker – Evan Spingarn
  • True Wine Connoisseurs: Where Wine and Music Meet - Thursday 6/19, 5pm - 8pm
5 years ago Will Tell played a joke on his friend Sadat X by placing in his hands a bottle of wine instead of cognac while in the studio.  From that moment there was no turning back, the result was nearly 70 videos, a great love of wine and a lot of laughs.  Together they’ll put on a class that will not quickly be forgotten.
  • Mixology 101 - Saturday 6/21, 4pm - 5pm
Rock star bartender Robby Haynes, owner of the new and popular Chicago bar Analogue, will be here while in NYC to lead this badass class involving the dos and don’ts of mixology and what inspirations lead to world class cocktails! Robby is best known by Chicagoans as the star bartender of Wicker Park’s Violet Hour.
  • Champagne 101 in 3 Parts- Part 3 “Cote des Blancs″ - Thursday 6/26, 7pm - 8pm
The Cote des Blancs is a unique and very special place within the renowned region of Champagne. This class will cover just how special it is showcasing its soil types, climate and decadent expressions. Want to really learn about Champagne? We triple dog dare ya! Ouch.
  • Summer Single Malts - Saturday 6/28, 4pm - 5pm
Single Malt Scotch is not just for the colder months. Join us as we explore the finer and lighter side of this classic Scotch whisky!

To book a class, call (212) 229-WINE or order online at backlabelwine.com.


AWESOME DEAL: 20% Off Sparkly Soul Headbands

One of my favorite things to do is work out, but one of my least favorite things to do is wipe stray hairs out of my sweaty face in downward dog or in 3rd position over the flywheel. To solve this problem, NYC-based Sparkly Soul created the one and only no-slip hairband that has ever stayed in place for me throughout an entire exhale Core Fusion class.

I bought my first several years ago at Pure Barre and have collected several of their fun and sparkly colors ever since. The hairbands come in thin ($15) or thick ($17) varieties and can be found slicking back coifs of fashion-conscious fitness fiends around the city. I can't even tell you how many compliments I get and recommendations I give every time I work out in one.

Good news! Sparkly Soul is offering 20% off all their products through Memorial Day (May 26 at 11:59 pm PST) with code MEMORIALDAY. Also, if you share this sale on social media using the hashtag #sparklysoulheadbands through 11:59 pm PST you will be entered to win 12 headbands of your choice. That's an amazing prize!! Good luck and happy sweating.


AWESOME GIVEAWAY: 3 Pairs of Tickets to The Anthem

What do you get when you combine the teachings of Ayn Rand and a synthesizer? Well, a sci-fi musical of course! The new musical The Anthem is based off the capitalist author's novella "Anthem," and tells the story of a revolt of the young against an evil state.

In a world where individuality is illegal, Prometheus abandons everything to confront the State -- controlled by the overlord of evil efficiency, Tiberius. With a forbidden copy of Ayn Rand's ancient tome in hand, 
can Prometheus overthrow the system?

The show opens next week at the Lynn Redgrave Theater at 45 Bleecker. To receive a discount on tickets--$39 from May 20 to May 28 (regularly $60) and $45 from May 30 to July 6 (regularly $64)--click here and use code ANTRRM, call 866.811.4111 and mention code ANTRRM, or show up at the box office at the Lynn Redgrave Theater at 45 Bleecker (box office opens daily 2 hours before performances).

Good news! I'm giving away 3 pairs of tickets to the show! Please use the form below (follow all instructions!) to enter to win by 5/21/14. Best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Sip Sake and Browse Japanese Art at Onishi Gallery Tomorrow

Looking for something unique to do tomorrow night? Check out Chelsea's Onishi Gallery (521 West 26th Street) for a one-of-a-kind exhibition on contemporary Japanese arts and crafts.

Onishi Gallery founder, Nana Onishi, will launch the exhibition My Japanese Discoveries: Toyama Prefecture Japan – The Extraordinary Koei Art and Contemporary Design. Artists featured will include:

  • Ozawa Komin, a metal artist who is Toyama Prefecture’s sole “Living National Treasure of Japan.” Ozawa is a master of the yakigata casting technique, while blending innovative technology with creative design to push the boundaries of traditional metal casting.
  • Hannya Tamotsu, another celebrated metal master, who is the only known artist to have ever made a three-metal cast piece.
  • Shakunaga Yukio, a widely-admired ceramic artist, who creates simple forms and exquisitely colored ceramic pieces that have attracted devoted collectors all over the world, including Apple Company’s Steve Jobs.

Food and sake tastings will be served in traditional lacquerware and metalware, courtesy of Union Square Events. The opening reception takes place Friday 5/16 from 6-8 pm, while the gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday from 11 am - 6 pm.

Free Fitness and Health Fun This Week at the West Side Y

The 15th annual National Women’s Health Week kicked off on Mother's Day, and the West Side Y (5 West 63rd Street) is celebrating with a week of fun health and fitness related activities that are free and open to the public!

Check out their offerings here for fitness classes such as yoga, pilates, Zumba, boot camp, total body conditioning and more through May 17. They are also hosting multiple workshops for women, including Telling Women’s Stories – a writing workshop for women; a culinary wellness workshop with opportunities to get hands-on in creating healthy and nutrient dense meals; and stress relief workshops. Visitors and members will also enjoy giveaways and free chair massages throughout the week.

Additionally, Komen NYC will be sending the Scan Van to the Y to give free mammograms. Duane Reade and Walgreens will be providing blood pressure screenings throughout the week.