How to find stuff that interest you?

People often ask me how do I find fun stuff to do the city. It really depends on what you like to do. What are your interests? And most importantly, you go  have fun. So enjoy and get out there.

Here are, however, my useful tips to help locate events yourself. Have a look.

1. Business cards, a must

If you’re going to schmooze, then  get cards made. Think of it as if you’re networking for a job. You wouldn’t just write your number on a scrap paper and hope they phone you up. Cards are the easiest way to spread your contact info and get on mailing lists.

Cards also show good etiquette in certain cultures. For example, the Japanese exchange them when meeting for  the first time, but professionals in many cultures also do the same. If you’re going to a reception at The Japan Society or the French consulate for example, have your cards handy. This also goes for trade shows, wine / food tastings and especially meet-and-greets.

When selecting a design, choose something attractive, unique and bold.  Give basic contact information: including your E-mail, phone number and / or website. Your job title or company is optional. Just remember that you don’t need to put too much info. Easy as hell.

If you’re comfortable using your company cards, then by all means, go ahead.

If you need them made, go to Staples and Fedex, which have cheap online options and you can pick them up on your lunch break. I also included Vista, but if you know of someone else, then go for it.

http://www.fedex.com/us/office/designprint/index.html?lid=fo_dpc

http://www.staples.com/sbd/content/copyandprint/businesscards.html

http://www.vistaprint.com/category/business-cards.aspx?couponAutoload=1&GP=8%2f1%2f2015+6%3a47%3a17+PM&GPS=3575835273&GNF=0

2. Plug into  your local community

Some of my friends are involved with their local church or temple. Others volunteer with their local politician.  That’s not really my thing, but my pals who do this taught me local message boards and news bulletins are really good ways to find events in your neighborhood.

The same works for businesses like wine and food distributors that hold frequent events in the city. Sign up to receive their newsletters.

3.   Keep tabs on your favorite websites. Sounds like a no-brainer, which is because it is. A lot of the event pages  are updated routinely and can send you alerts, but always check up on your sites regularly because you may find something cool that you’d have missed otherwise.

All the websites that I’ve listed here are available as phone apps, which is convenient because you can get your tix sent directly to your smartphone.

Eventbrite.com and Goldstar.com are fantastic websites that many organizations and groups post on. It was through Eventbrite that I found some great foodie events, wine tastings as well as fashion parties.  The stuff posted on Goldstar are mostly ticket offers from shows and boat tours, but I found America’s Test Kitchen Live and the caffeine charged Coffee and Tea festival, and the Architectual Digest expo. Both Eventbrite and Goldstar frequently offer early bird deals so act quickly!

Other useful websites and apps are: the skint, Nearify, Viper, and  livingsocial.com. Sometimes these websites are so cluttered with things to do that I sometimes feel slightly overwhelmed.

For those who like dance parties, I would suggest checking out Resident Advisor – a really fantastic London-based website that posts info on upcoming DJ shows in the city. You can buy tickets to these shows on RA.

4. Read the paper for crying out loud!

I get the New York Times delivered. You’re probably thinking “Why?”, but it was the best decision ever. When I used to read it online, I would only read a limited number of  articles, completely missing the rest of the paper. But in print form, you actually discover more by just turning the pages. If you’re into food, pay particular attention to the Front Burner in Wednesday’s food section. where I discovered the French Cheese Board – an association of  French cheese makers that have a pop up shop near Bryant Park.  Thursday’s styles edition is a good way of finding fashion-related and promotional events. And finally, don’t forget to read the art and weekend sections, too.

The NY Times has an event listing app as well, but they’re often posted the day of, giving you less advance notice.

5. Museums, galleries, cultural institutions and consulates are event treasure troves.

This is the best way to plug into all things happening in the city. Sign up for their newsletters or become a member of one that interests you.  For details check out my section on Associations and Groups, where I put additional info and useful links.

6. Join social groups.

Some of my friends use meetup.com which is great, but I also recommend that you join some more established  associations. Certain groups require a member recommending you, but that’s often an easy thing to do. For more info, check out Groups and Associations here:

7. Share your infor with event organizers and PR firms.

Always know who is organizing it and get on their mailing list for upcoming activities. Many PR companies and event organizers need people for their clients’ events and therefore will be happy to add you on their lists.

Personal privacy is sometimes overrated. For instance, last year the Bologna Business School got my name and info and invited me to attend their afternoon talk at Eataly, where they filled us with wine and delicious grub.

8. Fashionistas befriend your department store salesperson

I have a couple of contacts at Saks Fifth Avenue’s flagship store as well as Bloomingdales on Lexington. High end boutiques like Ted Baker also throw invite-only promotional parties for clients as well as people in the industry. This past spring Saks hosted an event the Kooples and Kenzo, which included fashion shows and complementary drinks and snacks. Make sure you’re on their contact list.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are we not men?

“Hey you!” he shouted to me as I was heading to the subway station. “Just say ‘no’ to skinny jeans! Remember you’re a man!” I glanced at what I was wearing: a blue, checkered blazer, a tie and a pair of black, stretch J-Brand jeans. I just shrugged and said, “Yeah, thanks for the tip.” I hear a lot of this from guys who often feel the need to remark on what I’m wearing. Many of my friends often call it “metrosexual” or “Urpean”, which is completely beyond me. Seriously, they’ll say things like, “Hey, you look very metro” or “That’s really European”. When I ask them to explain what that means, they’ll use terms like: stylish, feminine, or even soft. I don’t really mind. I like nice clothes and invest in my appearance, perhaps a bit more so than many men would care to admit.

Terms like “metrosexual” or “European” to describe how men dress indicate a wider problem of how we define sexuality. Let me clear. I’m straight with no hang-ups about my sexuality and no problems of any kind with anyone else’s orientation. I keep thinking of Seinfield: “I’m not gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.” But I digress. My point is that somewhere we were conditioned to believe that being a man means not investing in his appearance or wearing stylish clothes. I’m sorry to say, but I think many men in America have pigeon-holed themselves into dressing in a manner that doesn’t look “Euroepan” or “gay”. After all we have TV shows like “Queer Eye for the Straight guy”, which, although a great program, still feeds stereotypes that are engrained in our psyche. So, the logic goes like this: Only gay men know how to dress. So if you know how to dress, you are …wait for it… gay! Not that there’s anything wrong with that! Of course there isn’t. But let’s not forget that homosexuality is an orientation not a style of dress. I think that guys from all walks of life, religious or not, gay, bi or straight can identify what looks good or not, but societal stereotypes actually limit creativity. So my fellow men, you should be classy, suave or dapper and whatever you do or wherever you go, always look the part!

“I really don’t care how something fits. I don’t really look for slim fit clothes,” a pal said as we were peeking at some shops along the way from the gym. “Why not?” I thought. “What’s the point of working out if you’re not going to flaunt it?” But that’s just it. A lot of guys are afraid of flaunting their goods or they feel they have to dress in a certain way so they don’t bring too much attention on themselves. Now, I’m not suggested that men wear whatever just to be flamboyant or start wearing makeup, but just take a bit more time and see what works or diversify their wardrobe and don’t be afraid of accessories. They are all cool. The Magnificent Bastard blog makes a really good point, if guys are looking to change their wardrobe, guys should buy more jackets. It really shirks me when one of my mates says, “I only got one jacket.” How the hell do guys let that happen?

In reality, I think guys do spend a lot of energy in how they look. They are fully aware of colors, name brands and fits. And ladies, yes, they notice what you wear, how you style your hair and makeup and whether your nails are done. I think the problem is that many guys often spend too much energy unwisely on their appearance and ignore basics. Just to quell any potential backlash from a manly rebellion, I don’t claim to know anything, but I have noticed a couple of things that we got to get right. So gentlemen shall we begin?

Basic grooming. I can’t stress this enough. If you’re planning to go to social events to meet people, you’ve got to get this right. Don’t forget that physical grooming is a two-way street; we notice how others look just as they notice us. And before you start, there is nothing European about trimming your nose and ear hairs or trimming your nails or I’m using the f-word, filing them.

Got black spots on your nose? No soap or facial cleanser will take care of that. You’ve got to open your pores with those fancy strips. I use those tape strips from Bioré that are available at most drugstores. I get mine from the Japanese supermarket Sunrise out of convenience. But boy do they work! The stalactites of dirt that the tape removes will amaze you. Honestly, I didn’t know that pores could hold so much gunk!

And while we’re talking about skin, hot showers and shaving dries your skin so remember to use a facial moisturizer and lip balms every morning before you head out and at night before you hit the sack. Flaky skin and chapped lips just look wrong.

Where NYC Events

IMG_20150804_214028“How do you find these events?”

Tibet House

Art Reception with Rima Fujita at the Tibet House

My friends often ask me this every time I talk about one of my little adventures. Then more questions arrive. “Did you find the event on a website or did you crash it and somehow got lucky? Or “Was it by invitation?” And finally, “How much did it cost to get in?” And when I spill beans, they say, “Hey, you should write about it.”

Sake and smiles at The Japan Society

Sake and smiles at The Japan Society

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Spirikal, which you’re probably wondering why anyone would go by such a ridiculous sounding pseudonym. Why not use my real name?

Spirikal and friends at Moma Pop Rally

Spirikal and friends at Moma Pop Rally

Baron François

Spirikal at Baron François

Cheese, honey and wine - oh my! Barnyard Collective

Cheese, honey and wine – oh my! Barnyard Collective

Spirikal, however silly, keeps certain anonymity, and it speaks to me. It describes my spirit and passion for exploring city events and parties. It sums me up pretty well. I am a socialite, an event-goer, or as I prefer to call myself, a metronaut.

Spirikal, l'ambassadeur at the French Consulate

Spirikal, l’ambassadeur at the French Consulate

Here's to yours !

Edible Magazine NY Grand Tasting  Here’s to you !

What is a metronaut?  To me, it is an explorer of the city. Someone who walks the street with open eyes. A person who is naturally curious and who wants to learn something new. Whether it is sale, a reception, an expo, a lecture or a dance party, a metronaut sees every event as an opportunity to meet new faces and get connected with the city. No stone is left unturned. I want to know what everyone is doing, who’s hosting what, and what contacts can I make.

Girls'night out with wine, cheese and art. French Cheese Board

Girls’night out with wine, cheese and art. French Cheese Board

For years, I have been checking out loads of social, cultural, and foodie events and parties in the city. And through these activities, I have met many people and really gotten a feel for New York, which has much to offer.

Harney & Sons: You starin' at my cocktails, punk?

Harney & Sons: You starin’ at my cocktails, punk?

And from every occasion, I have learned something new and made new friends. These events have become my livelihood, an escape from the daily grind of my job.

No matter how rewarding my career choice has been, it’s still a day job. And let’s face it; it can’t always be about work. We have to live a little and meet people. And what better place to do it than New York?

What is Where NYC Events?

I had been mulling over the idea of creating a website, which would both preview and follow up on foodie, fashion, cultural and social events in the city. I talked to everyone I knew and asked them what they thought of creating such a website.

Then my genius brother brought up a valid point. “Aren’t there already tons of sites that do this? Why would anyone care about yours?” Of course, I still don’t have answer to that. Shit. Could I really offer anything that wasn’t already out there?

Califia serving sweet iced coffee at Food Loves Tech

Califia serving sweet iced coffee at Food Loves Tech

Websites and apps such Eventbrite, Goldstar, Nearify and Viper

and the numerous social groups list events by the hundreds, and in many cases, you can sort through the stuff you like yourself. Plus the events I choose to discuss on my blog may not be your cup of tea.

Open House at the Alliance Française

Open House at the Alliance Française

But wouldn’t be cool to consolidate the best activities that I can find on one calendar, complete with previews and reviews of events, thus saving the time of having to comb every single site?

And with every question I asked myself, I thought of ten more. Who would find this website interesting? And what are these associations and groups I talk about?

How do I suggest people dress for these occasions? Should we bring friends or go on our own? And finally how to meet people at these events and get leads on other goings-on in the city?

Where NYC can answer all of that, plus include a personal perspective on events rather than just list them. This blog has three simple goals: inform, report and inspire. Many of the events featured concern food, lectures, expos, receptions and dance parties.

I hope to add more kinds of stuff, once I discover more. Whether you are looking for friends (or potential bedfriends) or just want some ideas on events to attend, this blog will help you up off your chair and hopefully out the door.

Wine and hors dœuvr

Wine and hors d’œuvres at Edible Escape 2015

Besides previewing and reviewing, I am also going to include some suggestions of restaurants, lounges and bars near some of the venues just in case a nightcap is on the agenda. You will also find savvy tips on this blog on how to find the stuff you like.

Finally, I’m going to provide a little lifestyle and social advice to those who want make a good impression on others. In this section, you can learn about upcoming sales and fashion tips as well as how to present yourself. I am not going to be smug, but I have learned both from my mistakes and watching others at events.

Can we comment on the blog posts?

No, I don’t forsee any Yelpification on the site, where one can read the same comments on how ‘it used to be cool’ or rants about how everything sucks. Although you can’t comment on the posts, you can certainly contact me if you have suggestions or requests for information.

Reception at the Asia Society

Reception at the Asia Society

I’m also aware that the Internet is a troll-infested cesspit from hell with mean-spirited people everywhere. So if your aim is to trash everything, this site won’t be for you. I really want it to be fun and positive so I won’t respond to any negativity.

Japan Society

Meet and greet at the Japan Society Members Preview

All events reviewed will have warm and sometimes cool, but constructive, feedback. If I don’t anything nice to say, then I won’t write about it. Cheers for your understanding.

Fancy a drink? Edible Good Spirits

Fancy a drink? Edible Good Spirits

I hope that this blog will serve in some way as a blueprint to getting excited about this city I have learned to call home. So join me and let’s get out and about.